"This is ridiculous."


"Single stick's your hobby."


"… it's not going to help me solve crimes."

"Aim for the pate," he says; Joan's grip tightens around her makeshift weapon and she steps forward, widens her stance — one, two, a vehement whack to the head of her sparring partner. She has no idea what his name is — knowing Sherlock, she wouldn't put it past him to name his single stick dummy, either. Something old-fashioned, perhaps — Elijah, maybe, or Victor to be ironic, seeing as how he'll never win any matches. The phone rings and she moves instinctively, hitting the dummy square on the crown. The stick whistles through the air, lands with a satisfying thud that she feels up to her elbow.

For a fleeting moment, she imagines herself hitting Sherlock instead — not hard, just enough to shut him up for a while; and most certainly not on the pate, contrary to his constant reminders. She's lost count of how many times he's repeated that line, always in the same, insistent tone. Could've been a hatchet, she'd say innocently in response to his reproachful stare.

It's beautiful, the quiet swooping sound that cuts through the air. Think of the stick as an extension of yourself, as you. Be the stick, Sherlock had always insisted. Joan tightens the fist behind her back, bobs on the balls of her feet, leans forward, lands a clean hit on Victor — his name's Victor now, she decides. The dummy bobs and sways from the impact and as he raises the phone, Sherlock smiles broadly.