Kairi stood at the sink, scrubbing furiously at the stain widening on her breast. She whined a little bit at its position. The longer she stared, the longer she rubbed at it, the more and more in looked like a nipple. She sighed heavily, throwing the wet paper towels into the sink in defeat. She leaned forward, her hands providing balance as she stared at herself in the mirror, her eyes kept being drawn to the perfectly positioned stain.

She grabbed the paper towels again, rubbing at the nipple-esque stain and letting out a dismayed cry as she stomped her foot in frustration. The sound of her stomp echoed off of the walls of the bathroom, causing her to flinch and feel stupid. It was just a stain! It can't be that bad! No one was going to even notice. Kairi adjusted her clothing and gave her most winning smile to the mirror. She looked a bit off with her bleached blonde hair and crystalline eyes shining back at her. Most people would call her striking or maybe stupid for choosing such an obnoxious hair color with her clear eyes and pale skin. She wore bright red lipstick to break up the monotony of her face, accentuating her full lips and her thousand watt smile. She nodded to herself, trying to remain positive.

Then she looked down again and whimpered. "Seriously?" The stain looked like it was spreading, getting rounder, and darkening in the middle. Now it really looked like a nipple. She wanted to kick something but she was afraid to strike the innards of Scotland Yard lest the building collapse around her. Though they gave the building a major face lift just a few years ago, it was all smoke and mirrors. Recycled fixtures that were considered "new" and cheap paint that had already started to bubble in some odd places. She leaned back down onto the sink, wishing she could crawl inside the basin and just stay there for a little while longer.

A sound behind her startled her and she shot up, standing straight, and gripping the sides of the porcelain sink. She held her breath for a moment when a door to a stall opened and her worst fear came true.

Someone was coming out of the stall, a witness to her cursing and murmuring threats to her lactated coffee stain. Kairi hoped against all hopes that it was not one of the inane secretaries that hated her. She had enough problems at Scotland Yard, being the only American there, and a socially awkward one at that. Now she'd be the American intern with the nipple stain who didn't know how to speak in public. She closed her eyes and wished to be invisible. Being a poorly paid intern meant that she interacted with a lot of officers, she handled the scraps of cases from every department that no one wanted to deal with and no one seemed to like her, well, that's if they even noticed her.

Her heart was beating a little faster and she sucked in her bottom lip to gnaw on it. The door opened and Kairi saw the top of the unknown's head as they began to look up: curly brown hair, then chocolate skin, dark eyes, and a patronizing smile tweaking her lips.

Sally Donovan.

She smiled wryly at Kairi, "Alright there Aria?"

Kairi tried not to glare at her, "Fine." She muttered through grit teeth. Donovan was not one of the people that Kairi got along with. The damn woman just rubbed her the wrong way and Kairi seemed to do the same to her.

"Nice bit you got there." Donovan didn't even try to hide her snicker.

Kairi nodded, a tight smile on her lips, "Yeah, guess its my lucky day."

They washed their hands at the same time, Kairi keeping her head down and pretending not to notice Donovan glancing at her and chuckling. Kairi kept her eyes shut and dried her hands slowly, biding time until Donovon left the restroom so she could run to her desk and hide.

Once Donovan exited, heading in the opposite direction of Kairi's desk, she made a bolt for the door and walked briskly to her desk, sitting down and wrapping her sweater around her now less than white blouse. She stared down at her chest buttoning and positioning the sweater in order to conceal her indiscretion. She sighed heavily when it seemed like she couldn't conceal it any better and she glanced at her desk. The damn thing was covered in files. She was starting to think that people just left their shit there, believing the desk didn't actually belong to anyone. She pulled out a hair band and wrapped her shoulder length hair up on the top of her head in a chaotic looking bun that didn't deserve a second attempt. She slid on her glasses and she attacked the files breeding on her desk, cross checking them with the database to see what she actually needed to do with them.

She flipped through files, updating them, and placing them into organized piles. Her position was an odd one, obtained by an old and distant friend of her father's. She was a glorified file clerk, mostly in charge of obtaining research and background for the Murder Investigations Team, the homicide division of Scotland Yard. She would be loaned out here and there to help when homicide was slow and other divisions were overloaded, but for the most part she spent her time being bossed around by Detective Inspector Lestrade. Not that she minded much. The job was good, the pay was enough to keep her fed and her rent paid, Lestrade was actually pretty nice to her, and in the end she was a faceless member of the workforce which was perfect. She was happy to stay out of the drama that always seemed to permeate Scotland Yard.

Said drama was about six feet in height with dark shaggy hair and a voice like sin. If not for his troglodytic looks and his uncanny ability to severely insult everyone he met within his first breath, Kairi would be interested in receiving saucy phone calls on lonely nights. The main problem, aside from his harsh features and a personality that would make Mussolini seem like a kitten, was that fact that his entrance to Scotland Yard caused Kairi all sorts of discomfort. When his gaze would shift her way, she was utterly ecstatic to be of no concern to the precinct. She'd melt into walls, retreat into rooms, and do just about anything possible to stay out of his way.

She knew of his reputation, flawless and flawed at the same time. His brilliance was well renowned but most people disliked him greatly. He was a terror to work with but a force to behold and she couldn't help the tiny bit of fascination over the mystery that surrounded him. She had started working for Scotland Yard for just a few weeks before the drama, Sherlock Holmes, literally came back from the dead. She didn't know the details of what happened a few years ago when he fell to his supposed death, but there were whispers of his defamation because of Richard Brook, later proven to be James Moriarty, the criminal mastermind. From what she gathered, it was pretty clearly divided between the "I Believe in Sherlock Holmes" camp and the opposite side, despite the evidence that was presented.

She mindlessly clacked away at her keyboard, sorting what she was given and trying to keep herself busy. She paused for a moment, feeling a cold shiver creep up her spine. She glanced up to the entrance and saw Lestrade entering the pen. He seemed to be looking for someone and she watched him, licking his lips in deep thought until his eyes rested on hers. He smile faintly and nodded to her and Kairi just sort of nodded her head and went back to typing. She tried to stay calm as she looked up again and Lestrade had turned to speak to someone who wasn't in her view. She took a deep breath and refocused until she heard the tell-tale signs of someone walking on the linoleum in her direction. She kept typing quickly, leaning into her screen to hopefully hide herself behind the bulky monitor. The monitor she was using was bulky and large, it looked like it was from the 90s, so that's how effective her camouflage was - it also indicated the high esteem in which she was held.

Someone cleared their throat and Kairi peeked around her monitor smiling awkwardly at the group standing before her. The aforementioned drama was front and center, staring at her with narrowed eyes, flicking across her entire body. She could practically hear the snap shots being taken in his mind.

To his left was Lestrade, who smiled at her in his charming way. To the right was Holmes' partner in crime or life or whatever the tabloids speculated, John Watson. Kairi was able to smile at him, he had kind eyes and a gentle grin, staring at her almost expectantly.

There was a full beat of awkward silence as everyone stared at Kairi and she tried not to fidget in her seat.

"Hello Kairi." Lestrade finally said, sitting on the corner of her desk that wasn't teeming with dockets.

As if electrified, Kairi bolted out of her seat, the discomfort she felt causing her muscles to react a bit too drastically for her liking. She cleared her throat, adjusted the glasses on her nose that went slightly askew, "Hello Lestrade." She nodded to him and then looked to his companions, "I don't think we've been formally introduced, I'm Kairi." She made her way around her desk smoothly.

"Dr. John Watson," He smiled wide, eyeing Kairi appreciatively.

"Pleasure to meet you Dr. Watson." Kairi reached out her hand and he shook it.

"Please, call me John." He gave her a very handsome grin, "And the pleasures all mine."

"John then." Kairi tried not to blush, glancing at Lestrade who rolled his eyes. Obviously the tabloids had never seen the way John looked at women. She chuckled slightly and turned to the imposing figure in the center. His eyes were still ticking away at her and he had a slight grimace on his face, she wanted to throw something at him to stop his assessment, but that would make a poor first impression - not that it mattered. Her eyes narrowed, waiting for someone to say something, but Sherlock Holmes remained silent. She cleared her throat and looked to Lestrade, "How can I help?"

Lestrade had a playful grin on his face as he glanced to Sherlock Holmes who was still looking at her, "You've got a computer background yeah?" Kairi nodded, not feeling like going deeper into her actual expertise, "Our resident genius could use some help."

Kairi's eyebrows lifted in surprise, "Oh! Well I'd be happy to assist in any way that I can."

Sherlock scoffed at that and Kairi scowled at him, "How could she be of possible use to me Lestrade?" His eyes focused on Kairi's and he glared at her trying to intimidate her with his gaze. He looked her up and down again, showing obvious disinterest, "What are you? Some sort of file clerk I presume? Judging by the state of your desk, not a very decent one." He turned to Lestrade who was exhaling heavily, "You actually pay her for this?" His attention refocused on Kairi as his eyes ticked away at her again, "Relocated from America within the last year or so, judging by your accent and style of dress." He added with disdain and Kairi took this moment to inspect herself. She was wearing a simple white blouse with a grey sweater over it and black slacks beneath that. She wasn't quite sure how this screamed American but perhaps there was a colonial flag she'd missed. Sherlock Holmes began to speak again with virulence, "Drastic make up, blood-red lips. Trying to add some excitement to your bland features and pale complexion?" Kairi's scowl deepened and she felt anger brewing in her gut, "Trying to impress someone are we? Perhaps our on-agan-off-again bachelor, Detective Lestrade, hm?" He smiled at her cruelly and Kairi blushed at the implication (who wasn't attracted to Greg Lestrade?), "Trying to convince him you may be worth a roll in the hay? Highly unprofessional behavior from a subordinate."

"Sherlock-," Lestrade tried to break in, giving Kairi a pleading look.

"Not very well liked either, since no one is leaping up to defend you." He grinned, leaning forward into Kairi's space as she vibrated with embarrassment and rage, "Run away from the merciless California sun? Escaping daddy's clutches?" He added sarcastically and Kairi felt her fists clenching and unclenching. "Cheap shoes, cheap clothes, cheap glasses, and ghastly hair, all indicative of a low-income, poorly-educated, mess of a woman. I'm surprised you'd be able to keep a child alive, let alone convince someone to impregnate you."

That shocked Kairi out of her rage, "Ch-child?" She squeaked out, her vocal chords trembling of their own accord causing the pitch in her voice to spike.

Sherlock looked at her like she was an idiot, "Yes, a child." He sounded exasperated. "Light roll in your stomach, widened hips, shoddy fitting clothes, pale skin, tired eyes, and a milk-stain on your left nipple all indicate that you have a child or at least are lactating. Give it up for adoption, since you couldn't provide for it?" With each mention of her body part, Kairi's hands twitched and she felt herself biting her lip to keep herself in control. She felt her ears ringing and her nails digging into the fatty flesh of her palm "Judging by the size and general sag of your breasts -"

And that's when Kairi blacked out.

When Kairi came to she was still standing, staring out at the silent precinct. She looked to Lestrade who was gaping at her and then to John who had a hand clamped over his mouth, as if he were fighting to keep the laughter in. It took Kairi a second to realize the abhorrent detective was no longer standing in front of her.

She glanced down and saw Sherlock sprawled on his back, eyes shut and blood spurting out of his nose. "What happened!?" She asked in shock and looked to Lestrade whose shocked mouth had widened into a smile.

"You hit him!" Lestrade got out through a laugh.

"I hit him?" Kairi asked disbelieving. She glanced down at her right fist, clenched in the proper form her father had taught her years ago. Her bones felt sore and her knuckles were bruising, obvious signs that she'd punched someone. "I hit him!" She exclaimed in surprise and looked at John who was staring at her with a strained emotion on his face, Kairi swore it was elation.

"Bloody good hit too." Lestrade muttered and Kairi stared at him, horrified. Her eyes went back down to the unconscious detective who let out a groan and began to squirm.

Kairi let out a sharp squeak, horrified as she turned on her heel and ran from her desk, back to the ladies' room. She peeked in, noticed it was empty and slammed the doors, locking it from public use. Adrenaline coursed through her system, causing her to shake and feel giddy and horrified all at the same time. She ran into the furthest stall, closing the door and perching herself onto if the toilet, hiding her feet from public view. She wrapped her arms around her knees and tried to breathe deeply to keep herself from screaming or crying or laughing or all three. Odd tears began to leak out of her eyes, the way she dealt with most intense emotions that overloaded her, and she clamped a hand over her mouth to keep her laughing sobs at bay.

She hadn't hit someone in many years, despite often feeling like she wanted to, and she felt horrible and awesome at the same time. Sherlock Holmes had been detestable and scathing and an absolute blundering idiot. His parlor trick had been wrong on almost all accounts and she was fuming now, thinking about the cruel words he said to her when he had no idea who she was or what she did with her life.

Slowly but surely she calmed herself down, her breathing still hitching and slightly erratic, but she was no longer crying, so that was a start. She placed her feet on the floor and tentatively walked to open the stall, peeking out to see if someone had secretly broken in. She wouldn't be surprised to see Sherlock Holmes shimmy out of the air vent to retaliate. She stood in front of the sink and mirror leaning on it heavily and sighing. She stared back up at herself and wiped at any smudged make up.

So her hair was up in this ridiculous bun and maybe she wore a bit of make up. She enjoyed the harsh lines of her eyes and the bluntness of her red lips. It was probably a bit rockabilly for London, but it made her feel sexy and that's what mattered. Sherlock Holmes could go hang himself with that stupid scarf for all she cared.

She adjusted her clothing, took a few deep breaths, and made her way to exit the ladies' room and face the entire population of Scotland Yard and soon enough, probably the rest of England, would know that she just broke Sherlock Holmes' nose.

She unlocked the door and opened it slowly, peeking out to see the coast clear. She opened the door all the way and air rushed in, calming her senses. She stepped out and tried to keep her breathing even as she walked back through the pen to approach her desk.

She didn't really know what was happening at this point. It sounded like hail clacking against a tin roof, slowly but surely building into a large cacophony that assaulted her already unstable senses. As she glanced around, she felt a blush rise on her cheeks as she noticed the people around her start clapping, actually applauding her for punching Sherlock Holmes in the face. She smiled timidly, waving slightly to the people around her and her eyes fell on Donovan and Anderson. Sally signaled her approval, giving her a wry smile and nodding in her direction. Anderson winked at Kairi and she felt like she might throw up.

She scuttled over to her desk, grabbing her coat and putting her glasses down, which is when she noticed the note on her desk, hastily written.

Have I ever told you what a pleasure its been working with you? Bloody brilliant.
Talk tomorrow about the case. Computer type stuff, I'll email you details. Sherlock is hopeless and pissed about it. Made my week.

PS: Let's you and me go get a drink sometime.

Kairi involuntarily grinned. She, like just about every female officer in the entire British Nation had a crush on Greg Lestrade, the Silver Fox as he was widely known. She crumpled the note into her pocket and threw on her jacket, rushing outside to calm the butterflies in her stomach from Lestrade and the queasy feeling left over from Anderson's wink.

She made her way outside swiftly, coming down from her adrenaline rush as she turned a corner and hid behind a back alley of Scotland Yard to light up her third cigarette of the day. She tried not to smoke at work, but assaulting the most brilliant detective in the known world pushed her towards the brink of panic. She glanced around, not seeing anyone who would reprimand her for smoking and she pulled out her cigarette case and lighter. She placed a filter between her lips and went to light her cigarette.

"I'd appreciate if you didn't assault me this time." She squeaked at the sound of the voice, the cigarette falling from her lips as she tried to grasp it awkwardly. She turned slowly and was surprised to see none other than Sherlock Holmes standing behind her. "I believe I deserve a cigarette after your dodgy attack."

She took him in slowly, his lips were a thin line and his eyes serious. He was standing stiffly, an indignant look on his features as he narrowed his at her. She couldn't help but notice the scowl was marred by the bandage on his nose, the blood spatter on his crisp shirt, and the subtle bruising that was starting to spread from the bridge of his nose, out to under his eyes.

And for the first time in quite a while, this complete stranger, laughed in Sherlock Holmes' stupid, haughty face.

A/N: Welcome! This is my first Sherlock fic and I am having an absolute blast writing it. As its getting a bit more attention I've noticed a lot of people aren't supremely impressed with my first few chapters. Neither am I! However, this story is something thats become extremely important to me and I absolutely love where my characters have taken themselves. I believe if you can stick with it past the first 3 -4 chapters thats when things pick up and relationships and plot begin to REALLY flourish. One of my personal favorites is chapter 8 and thats when things get VERY exciting!. If you'd be so kind as to slog through my warm up chapters I'd be eternally grateful - especially if you have any advice on how to improve my writing. I revisit my previous chapters often and edit things I find are confusing/poorly worded/ and the usual spelling/grammatical error, but if there are other ways I can help improve clarity or dialogue I'd love to hear it. Thanks so much for finding my story. I hope you enjoy :D