Plot: After discovering Joan's fear of spider's, some harmless teasing stems into total war. No-one is safe in the battle between Joan and Sherlock, including a fake relapse, a Mets game and a forgotten key. Who will emerge victorious? And how far are they willing to go to win?

Disclaimer: I own nothing, CBS and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle do.


It was far too easy really. He was a consulting detective, from Scotland Yard. No amount of italics or emphasis could justify what this meant in terms of his ability to deduce, to see things the usual human eye missed. No mystery was unsolvable to him, no puzzle couldn't be unraveled at the seam by his razor sharp mind. He could solve a Rubix's Cube in 2 minutes flat, for crying out loud. If that wasn't a testament to his keen intelligence, he didn't know what was.

Even without his deductive reasoning, her shriek and the resulting flight into the next room, where he was lounging watching Jeremy Kyle USA since he had been feeling particularly homesick that day told him that something was wrong. This huge city, with its bustling streets and American accents was wonderfully enthralling, easy to lose yourself within. But there was something about Britain he occasionally missed, be it not drawing looks every time he spoke, or the way tea here never seemed to compare.

She grabbed the remote, ignoring his unintelligible protests, before turning the TV on mute, demanding his attention. He stared at her, wondering if prolonged exposure to him had drawn out an inevitable sanity loss. "Excuse me, I thought I was meant to be the irrational one in this companion-client relationship?" He asked mildly, grinning at the exasperated look she gave him.

"There's a...spider. In the kitchen. I need you to get rid of it." She sounded rather sheepish now, as if realizing her reaction had made it appear like there was a dead body in the kitchen rather than a spider. She couldn't help it, even growing up she had hated spiders, ever since her brother thought it would be funny to put a spider on her pillow when she was eight.

"A spider..." Sherlock repeated, lips pressed in an attempt not to burst out laughing. Joan Watson, skilled surgeon, professional ass-kicker and master of every bitch face imaginable...was terrified of spiders? He couldn't help an involuntary snort of laughter, which was rewarded with a swift thump from a pillow to the face.

"It's not funny! Just get rid of it!" She was poised to hit him again, but he had already sighed and rolled theatrically from the couch, slouching into the kitchen. She followed behind him, ensuring she had some means of protection between her and the offending spider. Sherlock turned and glanced at her over his shoulder, looking far too amused at her distress for her liking.

"Where did you last see this poor creature?"

"It was behind the blender." She hissed, as if it could hear them and would run to avoid being murdered by an ex-drug addict. He rolled his eyes and padded to the accused machine, but no amount of inspection yielded anything but dust.

"Are you sure this spider wasn't a figment of your imagination?" He asked, pressing the back of his hand against her forehead teasingly. She swatted his hand away, attempting to scowl, but failing as her lips teased upwards in a smile.

"No! It must have moved! You better find it Sherlock, or so help me God..." She couldn't find a suitable threat, nor blackmail for him to entice him to search harder for the insect.

"Your vague threats are certainly intimidating." He scoffed, before his seafoam eyes widened, his hand raising to partially cover his shock and his mouth. "I think you have a new friend..." He gestured to the top of her hair, expression filled with utmost seriousness that she stupidly believed him. Her scream and expression would be something he would never let her live down, and would provide a great source of amusement for at least the next week.

"Get it off get it off get it off!" She swatted at her hair repeatedly, jumping from one foot to the other as though she stood in molten lava. It was only when she stopped that she saw he was in fits of laughter, leaving against the table whilst his chuckles echoed the apartment.

"You. Complete. Asshole!"

Each yelled word was accompanied by a well-aimed slap to the arm, but it was decidedly worth the numbness, he thought later. He moved out of harm's way, around the table so her rage couldn't assault him in any other places. She continued to glare at him from her side of the table, shivering at the idea that the spider, the thing was still in the room. As well as the other thing, the scruffy British bachelor who was grinning at her like a Cheshire Cat.

She watched him crouch, hands cupped as he scooped up something from the floor. As he stood, one look at the spider crawling in his hands sent her to the living room, straight onto the spot on the couch he had been occupying earlier. He joined her in the room, heading for the front door, to liberate the poor creature. Not before he skipped in front of Joan, holding it aloft, as if he was going to drop it on her. His shin was lucky enough to receive a kick, but it certainly was worth it, he mused, as he stooped, watching the spider scurry into the cold New York air.

He closed the door behind him as he re-entered the apartment, only to be faced with Joan. Her arms were crossed over her chest, her expression stern. But in those clever eyes there was something working, and he gulped, a sense of trepidation washing over him.

"So...tea?" He asked, slipping past her to dart into the kitchen. He hoped she would be too mad at his stunts to follow, and would retire to bed. Then in the morning, he'd bring her breakfast and give her his best puppy dog eye treatments, and the whole thing would be forgotten. But as she followed him into the kitchen, alas, it appeared his fantasy was never destined to become reality.

He flicked the switch to the kettle on, keeping a bright expression maintained, but it vanished as she reached over and switched it back off again. Her gaze was intense, and would falter any weak man, but luckily he had become partially immune to the death stare. He gazed back at her, eyebrow raising. "So...no tea?"

"No tea." She smiled suddenly, and he knew in that instant, that he had made a terrible error of judgement. Her smile promised things to come, things that he knew weren't going to be good on his side of the field. She said nothing else, merely turned and exited the room, hair flying over her shoulder. He watched her leave, momentarily distracted by the movement of her hips, frozen in place. Slapping the side of his forehead, muttering, "Bad Sherlock," he scampered after her, holding onto the railings as she ascended the stairs. "I'm not going to wake up castrated, am I?" He asked, sounding genuinely concerned that she would do so.

She glanced down at him, her smile widening, as she gazed down at him. "When I'm done, you're going to wish that was what happened." She said nothing more, regally continuing upwards to her bedroom. He stood rooted to the spot, and only the click of her door closing, not slamming shut, which terrified him more, jolted him from his thought. There was only one thought, repeating over and over in his head, a mantra of sorts, repeating like an old broken record.

"What have I done?"


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Next time: Joan's revenge is the start of a long-lasting prank war. Her first move? Ensuring he has no cases for an entire 48 hours.