Common Ground

Sadly, I don't own the Rescue Rangers or any Sherlock Holmes-related things. If I did, there would not be enough ransom money in the world to get Gadget, Jeremy Brett, and Benedict Cumberbatch back from me.

Common ground is hard to find.

Easily, he didn't understand a quarter of what she said. And just as easily, she didn't understand a quarter of what he didn't say.

Of course, that's how love is. Man doesn't understand woman but loves her anyway. Woman doesn't understand man but loves him anyway. They try to find common ground to meet on.

But it is rare.

Take away the necessaries. The 'good mornings' and the 'here, let me help you with thats.' Get rid of the group banter that both participate in. Get rid of the group safety net and the mentality that comes with it. The catalytic object to bring just two people together is missing. Something else has to be there.

But for that 'something else' to be there, they need somewhere to meet and create it. Common ground.

If only it wasn't so uncommon.

He thought long and hard about it. There had to be something they shared outside of their work. There must be. Something more than a similar liking for gouda cheese or the tendency to like being alone. Liking to be alone? That was far from common ground.

She thought about it too. She was sure they were very similar. But she couldn't see the forest for the trees and she knew it. And she was too modest and retiring to attempt to formally find a common ground between them.

And so their common ground lay bare between them. It was dark and devoid color, except around the edges, where it was splattered with embarrassing attempts to bridge the gap.

He was frustrated. And whenever he became frustrated in his heart, he turned away from his tangible friends and sought the company of fictional ones. Holmes. He needed Sherlock Holmes. Holmes came in all forms now – in essential literary form, in faithfully interpreted television shows, in popular films, and in updated new interpretations. He wanted all of it. Any of it. Holmes was his earliest mentor, his oldest friend. The not-so-quiet voice of insanity and logic in his head that kept him level.

It was very simple. He sat down on the couch and watched Sherlock Holmes.

She was lonely. And whenever she became lonely, she retreated from her adopted family and into her workshop, where she could be alone to construct and build. To think. She needed to think. Because thinking, if done long and hard enough, could always push away the heavy lonesomeness that hung on her shoulders and made her throat catch and eyes pain. She admired those who could think – and there were not many who could think like her; as fast, as fluidly, as effortlessly as they could breathe.

It was very simple. She left the kitchen and made her way to her workshop.

But a funny thing happened on the way to her workshop. She heard a voice. A voice so familiar and intimate to her thoughts that she froze in the hallway and turned towards it. It was instinctive. This voice had brought her comfort since she was young – the brazen and immodest voice of the Great Mouse Detective. Of Sherlock Jones.

She followed his voice. And heard another one. Another familiar, clear, high voice speaking, as if talking to the Detective.

A funny thing happened halfway through the movie. He listened to Holmes tell Watson, at a lightening pace, exactly how to deflect the ax that was about to sever them from this mortal veil. It was his favorite part. He had memorized it as a small child, earnestly trying to understand the geometry and physics principles divulged in under 15 seconds. He had always wanted to be able to be like him. Like Holmes.

He heard a small laugh behind him. A private yet uninhibited laugh. He turned around and saw her, staring at Holmes.

He watched her, engrossed, as she watched Holmes and Watson, engrossed as the Rube-Goldberg machine sprang to life, only to be thwarted.

The camera flashed, bringing her from the private realm she had stood in. She saw him looking at her, and the natural smile Holmes brought to her face found his. A genuine smile. A very deep and innocent smile. And it rang through him so hard he returned it.

The common ground between them broadened.

He jerked his head towards the couch. An invitation. Amazingly, she accepted. She sat beside him – a natural distance. A comfortable closeness.

Time passed. The Queen was saved. And now for Big Ben. He loved the deep gong that chimed out, telling Holmes of the pith of the moment. She loved the heroism, the unwavering bravery Holmes showed. They were both, very simply, caught up.

He cheered when the rat fell. She was amused by his candor.

She gasped and clutched her arms when Holmes fell. He was fascinated by her reaction.

The credits rolled.

He sank back on the couch, feeling infinitely better than when he had sat down. She relaxed into the cushion, the loneliness taken away.

He looked at her. "It's one of my favorite movies."

She smiled in a secret kind of way at the floor. "He's one of my favorite characters."

"I always wanted to be like him, when I was little."

"I always wanted to meet someone like him."

"He always makes me feel better."

"Me too."

They sat in silence for a time. Then, simultaneously,

"Do you want to watch it again?"

They laughed. He pressed play. She came a little closer to him. He came a little closer to her. The whole room was now their common ground. The entirety of Holmes literature was now their common ground.

Sherlock Holmes was important to him. He adored him. Worshiped him. To be able to think like Holmes would be one of the most incredible things in the world. It occurred to him that she was very much like Sherlock.

Sherlock Holmes was important to her. She adored him. Loved him. To find a person like that would be one of the most incredible things in the world. It occurred to her that he was very much like Sherlock.

It is very uncommon, in people in love, to be unable to find a starting place. It must be a natural place. A comfortable and familiar place. And it must be grounded in each of them already.

There must be common ground.

Hope you enjoyed! -Boxy