A/N: Yes, I haven't updated this story, well, ever... But I've been snowballed with ideas. What do you think? Do you like this chapter? Should I continue? Please drop me a review, they make my day! Hannah x
Disclaimer: Don't own, don't sue.
No matter how many times Mrs Hudson implied that she defintiley wasn't Sherlock Holmes' and John Watson's house-keeper, she always seemed to do what a house-keeper did in general anyway. She'd cook, buy the shopping as well as a whole manner of other things for her two lodgers; but one thing Mrs Hudson never did was clean for them. Occasionally she'd tidy the books on the shelf or rearrange the sofa cushions, but she never vacuumed or dusted or polished- as far as she was concerned, that was John and Sherlock's duty.
But today Mrs Hudson was in full super-domestic mode, coming in at eight o'clock in the morning (Sherlock was already out at that time, for some reason John couldn't determine- he still hadn't returned) with mop in hand and wearing a tattered blue apron. The reason behind this was still unbeknown to John; his landlady only muttered things to herself while she scrubbed their flat clean.
John, of course, offered to help about three hours ago (when he'd gotten up) but Mrs Hudson refused any. Whatever she was doing she had to on her own, in her own way. Even though she was tidying his and Sherlock's space. Which seemed a bit wrong, but John didn't do anything about it.
At about quarter to eleven, Mrs Hudson had almost finished her 'chores'. In the time she'd done this, John had managed to read a whole newspaper twice as well as go and get breakfast from Speedy's next door, then update his blog. He pondered going to make a cup of tea about three times but every time he approached the kitchen Mrs Hudson gave him a look to suggest otherwise. Even though, strictly speaking, it was his kitchen that he was paying for so he should be able to do what he liked in it. However he decided not to interrupt. Better not while Mrs Hudson was in full flow.
John was perched on the edge of the arm chair, looking at the now spotless coffee table, when Mrs Hudson finally spoke to him properly for the first time that morning.
She had her arms folded, her face scrutinising the state Sherlock had left the kitchen table last night that he didn't bother cleaning up. "John, dear, do you think Sherlock will mind if I move his things around a bit? He always leaves everywhere such a mess, that boy."
John smiled to himself. He loved the way how his landlady always referred to Sherlock as if he was a mischievous youngster rather than a grown-up sociopath. But Mrs Hudson did always treat Sherlock in a way no-one else really understood. "I wouldn't know. Sometimes he doesn't care, sometimes he throws a fit. As long as you- Oh."
John cut his warning short as he saw Mrs Hudson was already throwing Sherlock's carefully prepared petri dishes into a plastic box she produced from nowhere. "Sorry, dear, were you saying something?"
John merely shook his head. Hopefully Mrs Hudson wouldn't feel the wrath of Sherlock because, to be honest, Sherlock did hold Mrs Hudson higher in his ranks than his paternal mother. And possibly his brother too. "It doesn't matter."
Mrs Hudson regarded John's response with a quick nod. "Good, good. Because I know what your Sherlock can be like."
"Yeah." John's head suddenly shot up and he gave Mrs Hudson a sceptical look. "Wait a minute. My Sherlock? He's not my Sherlock. He doesn't…"
There was no point in continuing to speak as Mrs Hudson wasn't listening. She'd thrown the remainders of Sherlock's belongings into the box and threw it on top of the kitchen cabinet, out of the way. She gave the table a quick once over with a cloth, ridding the surface of any stains. She then had a glance in the fridge and John could tell she breathed a little sigh of relief when she realised there were no dismembered body parts casually lying about in there with their food.
She pushed the door shut then stepped back, pressing her hands together- clearly pleased with herself. "There we go! All done."
John looked over with a confused glare and the obvious question popped into his head- the question he was still yet to properly ask. "Yeah, Mrs Hudson, what did you just clean the flat for? Me and Sherlock could've…"
Mrs Hudson's eyes grew wide, much like a rabbit in the headlights. "Oh, didn't I tell you, dear?"
John couldn't help but chuckle to himself. "No, I think you must've forgotten to mention it. While you were cleaning."
Mrs Hudson must've spotted a speck of dust on the kitchen sideboard as she whipped out her cloth quickly and scrubbed the surface intensely for a second. "I've got a girl coming round to look round a room in my flat. Only talked to her yesterday- was in a right fluster, poor thing. So I told her that I had a bedroom going and she's coming in…" Mrs Hudson paused to check her watch, "About ten minutes."
John was slightly startled by this sudden announcement. A new flatmate? In 221 Baker Street? "Oh. Right. So she's coming this morning?"
Mrs Hudson nodded. "Yes. In ten minutes. Pretty girl, too. Maybe she'll interest our Sherlock."
John spluttered with the absurdity of Mrs Hudson's comment. "Sherlock? Girl? No! Just… No. Definitley not."
Mrs Hudson brought her hands up to her face. "Oh, I see. Are…"
John silenced her before she could continue. "Don't even start, Mrs Hudson. Don't even start."
Mrs Hudson nodded and tapped the side of her nose in an 'I understand' way. John got fed up of trying to intervene her thoughts with his protests. "Anyway, I just wanted to give the whole place a little tidy up. Don't want the state of you pair's flat to put her off before she's even had a chance."
John didn't know whether to be insulted or not by that comment. Anyway, the thought of a new person (that person being a lady, as a bonus) seemed promising and he was instantly intrigued. "So you're planning on bringing the lady in question up here?"
"Of course!" Mrs Hudson exclaimed as if there was no other answer to that question, "I need her to meet the two other occupants that live under this roof! She seemed like such a vulnerable lamb, poor dear, I need her to realise that she's got two wonderful gentlemen upstairs to lend her a hand."
"You can rely on me, Mrs Hudson, but…"
As if he could sense his name was about to be spoken, Sherlock swooped into the living room with the strange elegance, like he owned wherever he walked in. His blue scarf was wrapped in a loose knot round his neck and his black coat had its collar turned up- it wasn't windy outside, so he obviously was doing that 'trying to be cool' thing again.
"Well, that was tedious!" he announced with flourish, pulling off his coat and throwing it onto the sofa arm, Mrs Hudson tutting as he did so. "Ordinary murderers are so dull. They lack that element of intelligence that only serial killers possess. That element being that the serial ones are actually clever and the ordinary ones just aren't."
He threw himself onto the sofa and grabbed the newspaper which had by placed lazily on the edge of the coffee table when John had finished with it. "I see you're awake then. I was going to ask you to accompany me this morning, but you were still sleeping- anyway, you should be grateful. The murderer was so obvious that I could find him in just over ten minutes- that shirt. It was so simple I expected Lestrade to have seen it, but of course, he didn't. Maybe it was because I saw him speaking to Anderson last night- everybody knows that Anderson has a voice which instantly exterminates brain cells."
Suddenly, Sherlock stopped talking (which was a change) and sniffed the air. "Mrs Hudson, why is everything so clean?"
"Maybe I cleaned." John suggested.
Sherlock gave his friend a look. "Oh, come on, John. We all know that isn't true."
John threw his hands up in mock surrender and went to sit on the other couch. There was no point in saying things like that when your flatmate could read you better than a book. Although, Sherlock probably didn't need to make any deductions to come up with that assumption…
Mrs Hudson tutted at her lodger, her face a picture of disapproval. "I could've sworn that I'd told you, Sherlock."
Sherlock's brow furrowed as he chucked the newspaper back onto the coffee table. John had realised a long time ago that Sherlock Holmes only ever read the newspaper to keep count- to keep count on just how many errors the press could make. "When was this?"
"Yesterday evening!" Mrs Hudson exclaimed, rushing in to remove the newspaper from the table and into the rack. "You were lying on the sofa over there, you were. You had all those patches up your arm like you do sometimes."
Sherlock's face flooded with realisation. "Four-patch problem, Mrs Hudson. No other words or thoughts are valid but my own when it's a four-patch problem."
Four patches. Only Sherlock Holmes would use four patches at once. John had realised that a while back now.
"That'll explain why you didn't say anything." Mrs Hudson nodded knowingly, clearly used to Sherlock's strange habits. "Thought you'd have made a comment or two about having a new lodger."
John could almost see Sherlock's ears prick up at the mention of the word lodger. "Lodger? Why do you need another lodger?"
Mrs Hudson was now approaching the door- according to the clock; it was only a few minutes before her lodger was supposed to arrive. "It's not that I need one, dear, I just have a room spare and it would be nice to have a bit of company."
Sherlock narrowed his eyes at his landlady. John had no idea how Sherlock processed these remarks- the remarks that most humans understood but somehow he just didn't. "You have John and me."
Mrs Hudson gave Sherlock a light tap on the shoulder then officially walked out the door. "I know, love. But I can be awfully lonely when you two boys aren't around!"
The door-knocker downstairs signalled Mrs Hudson and she charged down the stairs, flinging open the front door with a flourish of greetings and hellos. If John wasn't mistaken, he could sense the hint of a Scottish accent coming from the girl behind the door.
Sherlock still looked somewhat confused. This amused John- give him the Periodic table he could recite it backwards without even more of a glance, but give him something normal and average and everyday he was pretty much clueless.
"Loneliness?" Sherlock pondered out loud, "I was alone for a long while before Baker Street. I never felt lonely."
"Well, yeah, that's because you're you." John reminded him. "You had a skull as a substitute for any friends."
"Good listener, my skull. The previous owner; not so much."
John decided not to delve anymore into his companion's past and got out of the sofa, wandering into the kitchen. He switched the kettle on at the wall. "Anyway, Mrs Hudson is bringing her new lodger up here in a minute. Don't do anything to scare her off."
Sherlock abruptly leaped off the armchair and back into the kitchen. He easily found the box of his chemicals that Mrs Hudson had packed away minutes earlier and set them out, back in their original position, on the kitchen table. "Why would I scare her off, John?"
"Don't act like you don't know." John extracted two mugs from the cupboard. "Your deductions. Yes, a million an odd may appear-"
"Observe, John. Observe. There's a difference."
"Fine then. Observe. All the same, if you can find out the ins and outs of her… Relationship status by the colour of her skirt or trousers or whatever, don't say them out loud."
"Why not?" a small grin turned up the edges of Sherlock's mouth, "You were impressed."
"That's different." John poured the boiling water into the two cups, "Women are different. Just don't, Sherlock. Please."
"Fine!" Sherlock concluded, carefully setting up his precious microscope, "But it's not my fault that some people make things so obvious for me. Sometimes, John, it's like they're asking for it. Sergeant Donovan, for example, is…"
Sherlock stopped dead in the middle of his sentence, which was unusual. John turned around to see what had caused this abrupt finish (Sherlock could discuss the mental flaws of his colleagues for hours) when he saw two women standing in their living room- one was Mrs Hudson, of course, the other whom he didn't recognise.
Her hair, which was long and a frankly alarming (but brilliant) shade of red, hung across her shoulders in loose curls. Her skin was incredibly pale, like porcelain, but she had a sprinkle of freckles across her nose and cheeks- like they'd been placed there by hand. She was dressed in a short black skirt which accentuated her endless, slender legs while her top half was clad in a pale blue vest with a leather jacket; a red, almost the same colour as her hair, scarf was thrown lazily and messily round her neck.
She was tall, too. Easily taller than John. Maybe a little shorter than Sherlock. But tall, all the same. Tall, and about twenty-one years old. From what John could see. Obviously, Sherlock would've been able to see so much more, but she was definitley tall. And quite pretty. Very pretty.
"This is nice," the girl remarked, studying the flat with great interest. And John was right. She was Scottish. "Very nice."
"You can do whatever you like downstairs, dear. It could do with a bit of a do-up, you know." Mrs Hudson encouraged her new flatmate. She then turned to the direction of the kitchen, where Sherlock and John were stood. "Amy, this is John and Sherlock. The boys who I've been telling you about?"
The girl, Amy, stopped looking around the living room and dragged her attentions to her new fellow lodgers. She smiled warmly and advanced with a sort of lankiness- like she hadn't quite grown into her tallness quite yet. "Oh, hello! I'm Amy Pond. Mrs Hudson has told me all about you two."
She approached John first. "So, are you Sherlock or John?"
John extended out his arm and Amy willingly shook it. "I'm John. John Watson. Welcome to Baker Street."
She grinned- and for some reason, it made John go a little weak at the knees. Maybe she did that to everyone. "Thank you."
"Is it your first time in London, Amy?" John wondered, making light conversation with Amy as he would probably be seeing her a lot now.
"Yeah." she replied, "I come from this tiny town called Leadworth; middle of nowhere. It was so dull. Came to London for an escape. I mean, London is where everything is, isn't it?"
Something about the way Amy said dull distinctly reminded John of Sherlock. It was blatantly a coincidence, but it reminded him of him all the same. "I'm sure Sherlock and I will show you around. Won't we, Sherlock?"
Sherlock didn't reply. He just stood there, staring at Amy, a look so hard and calculating on his face. He didn't even move when Amy offered her hand in the way John had done moments earlier.
"So, you're Sherlock? I'm Amy." Amy pulled her hand back to her side, but Sherlock didn't stop staring. He didn't falter, he didn't flicker. He just stood there; intensely studying the girl before him with his eyes.
John patted her shoulder but gave Sherlock an evil glare before she turned around. "Just ignore him. He's like that sometimes."
Amy laughed. She didn't seem fazed by the sheer strangeness of her other flatmate. "I'll just have to get used to it, won't I?"
"I'm afraid so. Anyway, if you have any trouble, I'll always be willing to help. If Sherlock isn't."
Amy nodded gratefully. "Thanks, John. I appreciate it." she then paused and turned to Sherlock, who was still in the same position. "And next time, Sherlock, try not staring. Not a great first impression."
She gave John a small smile before both she and Mrs Hudson exited the room together, going down the stairs to 221A having a little conversation as they went.
When they'd left and shut the door to the kitchen, Sherlock snapped out of his trance. He went back to ordering his chemicals like the whole last five-ten minutes just didn't happen.
John couldn't have that.
Sherlock didn't look up. "Yes?"
"What the hell was that?"
This time he averted his eyes from his work and glanced up at John. "What was what?"
"Don't you dare pretend like that just didn't happen. Don't you dare." John was angry now, clenching his palms. "I wouldn't blame the girl if she didn't dare come up here again!"
Sherlock shrugged her shoulders. "So? Wouldn't that be better?"
"No, Sherlock, it wouldn't. Because even though you say you don't need friends I do. And Amy, she looked like she could be a friend of mine. Although, you'd probably have already seen whether she would be or not the amount of time you stood there just staring!"
"That's the point, John." Sherlock mumbled, barely audible.
"That's the point!" Sherlock roared suddenly, making John's heart leap. "I couldn't see anything!"
"Well of course you- Wait, what?" John asked, not sure whether he heard Sherlock correctly or not.
"I couldn't see anything! Not one line of her life history, not what she does for a living, not how she ended up in London!" Sherlock was enraged and he gripped John's shoulders hard. "And that just doesn't happen. I see everything!"
John was confused. Seriously confused. "What? How?"
"I don't know how!" Sherlock's voice went low. Scarily low. "I know it's impossible. Amy Pond is impossible. And that scares me and intrigues me at the same time."