It was driving him mad. Yes, all the signs were there, but he simply had to be reading them wrong. No such thing existed. Perhaps he'd lost his touch? Sherlock sat up a little straighter, furious that he could be brought to doubt himself. Impossible. But their existence in and of itself is so highly improbable. And even if he was reading everything correctly, then what the hell was one doing in England of all places? Not to mention it stood to reason that if there was one, then that certainly pointed to the existence of more... perhaps even in the same household?
He slumped back down in his chair. Should he worry that he'd reasoned out such a monumental secret? Would they try to eliminate him if he knew? He sat up straight in indignation. He would not be so easily disposed of. No matter how much he couldn't stand that prat Mycroft, he wouldn't take an insult to the family like that.
He threw himself backwards in the chair and slide down a bit. If he ever heard me admit that, I'd never live it down. Sherlock stewed over his conclusions, growing grumpier by the moment. How does one go about proving it, though? And did he really care to go to the trouble?
Watson rubbed his hand over his lower face. Really, this is the most entertainment he's had at his flatmate's expense in quite a while. Sherlock looked like nothing more than a half-broken jack-in-the-box. Forget inviting him to dinner, he'd not pay attention to anything he had to say. He turned to leave, only to hear Sherlock surface in the real world.
"We have a kitsune living next door."
This was going to be entertaining... "Yes. Don't tell me you're speciesist."
Sherlock looked at Watson with all the intense emotion of a scientist who's pet microbe suddenly mutated into a cold remedy... in other words, with both delight and consternation. "You knew. And speciesist isn't a word."
Watson shrugged and left it at that.
"You know it. Met it somewhere, probably while in the army."
He shook his head. Stumping Sherlock was one of the most entertaining sensations he'd ever experienced.
"Well?" Sherlock wanted to pull on his hair, he was so crazed by Watson's silent amusement.
"I met him here after he moved in. And don't call him an it. Offending a kitsune is very bad for one's health." He leaned against the doorjamb, taking the weight off his leg.
"So what? You met him one day returning to the flat, you introduce yourself to each other, and he just casually tells you he's a mythological creature...?"
"Now you're just being ridiculous," interrupted Watson. "Do it properly or not at all."
The younger man threw himself back in his chair and slid down, looking over his flatmate's posture and coming to look at the finger flicking against the bum leg. "I find it highly insulting that you are giving me clues."
The infuriating doctor simply shrugged again, a devil's smile creasing his face.
"It's the woman. She's been heading off in the direction of the local college at set times, so she's either a student or an instructor, probably instructor. If I recall correctly, they have premed and alternative medicine classes, so you probably know her from the war. Your emergency physician?"
Watson clapped a couple of times. "And the reason I don't have a prosthetic. The limping isn't psychosomatic, but you and the physicians couldn't be told the true extent of the injury. My leg was severed except for a few threads of skin. The good doctor reattached it with her magic. Kagome told me it would take a couple of years for the nerves to completely regenerate and send appropriate signals to my brain; until then, I'd have to live with the false diagnosis."
"And you denied the false diagnosis because that's what you would have done if it were true. Clever, but how am I supposed to believe in magic like that? Surely she'd be famous-"
"And locked away in some country's research facilities? She's been there, done that. Which is why you won't say anything to anyone about her abilities. Now, we're invited to dinner with a phenomenal doctor who came here to give a series of lectures and check out our health care system, and the kitsune who happens to be her husband. If you're interested?"
Sherlock looked so very put upon for a moment, then stood and grabbed his coat.
Watson turned to start down the stairs again, before turning back to put in one last piece of advice. "Just, for my sake, Sherlock, don't insult Shippou, or you'll be haunting oriental restaurants trying to find one that will supply you with fried rat and tofu in sufficient quantity to placate him."
"Fried rat? I'm not sure I'd care for supper, then."
"Good. Then I'm off to have a good meal, followed with some intelligent, non-sarcastic conversation. You stay here and intrigue the fox. If he gets interested in playing with you, he won't be causing random mischief." Watson turned and headed out, ignoring Sherlock's protests.
God, it felt good to be one up on the berk... and Sherlock could use a bit of fox-mischief in his life.
I love the new Sherlock. Just a oneshot, I don't have any other plans for it.