Disclaimer: I do not own (most of) the characters, places, or events in these stories.

I do, however, own the orange kitten.

December 1: "Watson wants to learn an instrument." (from embracetheweird)

A/N: Well, it might not be entirely voluntary on his part, but here goes!

"Here, Watson," said Sherlock Holmes from his seat at the table as a bleary-eyed Watson sat down to his breakfast one morning.

"Mmph?" asked Watson sleepily, pouring himself some coffee.

"Look at this," Holmes said,holding up a hollow wooden cylinder with several holes in it.

"What is it?" asked Watson, after glancing at it and going back to stirring sugar into his coffee.

"It is called a nose-flute," replied Holmes matter-of-factly.

"A nose-flute?" Watson looked across the table at Holmes, his brow furrowed. "I have never heard of such a thing."

"Nor had I, until I took up that case given to me by Lestrade yesterday," he replied. "But it is a crucial point in the case. This," he held up the instrument, "was certainly left behind by the person or persons who killed Mr. James Anderson." Watson nodded; his mouth was too full of Mrs. Hudson's excellent cooking to speak.

"I would like you to try to play it," Holmes continued. Watson looked up from his breakfast, and gave the detective an "is this really necessary" look.

"Yes, my dear fellow, it is quite necessary," he said, answering his friend's thoughts, as he often did. Holmes held the nose-flute out to him and Watson took it.

"How am I supposed to play this?" he asked. Holmes stood up, walked around the table, and explained to Watson how to play it. As Watson put his nostril over the hole on the left side, he glanced at Holmes with a "I probably look ridiculous right now," expression on his face. Holmes only gave him one of his quick half-smiles. With a resigned air, Watson blew into the hole with his nose. Nothing happened.

"Try putting your nose directly on the wood, and hold your other nostril closed with your hand." Watson gave him a doubtful look.

"I'm not sure if that's very sanitary, Holmes. You said this was found at a crime scene?"

"You will be perfectly fine, Watson. Now will you please..." Watson did as Holmes directed. Still nothing happened. Watson glanced at his friend a moment before Holmes could hide his satisfied smile. Watson sighed, and handed the nose-flute back Holmes, giving him a half exasperated and half amused look.

"You knew I wouldn't be able to do it, didn't you?"

"I strongly suspected it, but I did not know for certain until a few moments ago," Holmes replied, and seated himself back at the table as Watson turned his attention to the now-slightly-less-warm breakfast sitting before him. "If I had been sure that you could not do it, I would not have asked you to attempt it."

"So, what exactly have we gained from this?" asked Watson after swallowing.

"We know that the man who killed Mr. Anderson must have very strong lungs, and as he is a very active man—I deduced as much from the investigation—he would have been able to swim the river and so escape into the woods as the alarm was being raised by the servants downstairs." Holmes brandished the nose-flute like a conductor's baton as he spoke, and now put it in his waistcoat pocket.

Watson nodded. "Seems plausible."

"Not only is it plausible, it is the only possible solution!" Holmes leapt out of his seat at the table. "I had better inform Inspector Lestrade," he said taking his jacket off the top of a chair and putting it on. "I don't want him arresting the wrong person." He picked up his hat from on top of a dangerously leaning stack of papers and dusted it off before putting it on his head as he walked toward the stairs.

"Holmes," said Watson suddenly. Holmes turned on his heel to face him, giving him an inquisitive look.

"Yes, my dear fellow?"

"Can you play it?" Holmes gave his friend a slightly smug smile as he pulled the nose-flute out of his pocket. Putting it to his nose, he played a rapid, but simple tune, and then turned again toward the stairs.

Watson heard him descend the seventeen stairs two at a time, and cringed as he heard the door slam with more force than was necessary. Shaking his head, he finished his breakfast.

A/N: I laughed so hard writing this! The nose-flute was my mum's idea, and the rest just sort of popped into my head. I hope you enjoyed!