It was a quiet Saturday afternoon in 221B.
Sherlock and Luna were alone in the apartment. Sherlock was sitting in his usual seat, poring over a notebook full of a code that he was attempting to decipher for his latest case. Luna sat across from him in John's chair, her elbows propped up on her crossed legs, chin in her hands, watching him work.
He let out an exasperated grunt and slammed the book onto the coffee table in front of him.
"Problem?" Luna asked abstractedly, as Sherlock passed his hands over his face, pressing the heels of his palms against his eyes and then running his fingers through his dark curls.
"Yes there is a problem," he snapped, glancing up at her. She merely raised her eyebrows at his tone, but said nothing. "It's not making sense. There's something I'm missing. I've read it over fifteen times and can't figure it out."
"May I?" Luna reached towards the notebook, but stopped to look up at Sherlock.
He sat back and crossed his long legs. "Be my guest. But you won't get anything out of it. They've left something out. Must have."
Luna grabbed the book and began leafing through it, holding it first close to her face and then far away. She tilted her head to the side and turned the book upside down. She hummed quietly to herself as she studied the pages. When she lowered the book a few minutes later, she noticed that Sherlock was watching her closely.
"What?" She set the book down.
Sherlock looked away with a shrug. "Nothing."
"Sometimes all you need is a fresh perspective," she said simply. "Or a cup of tea. Shall I get you one?" She stood up and stretched, reaching her arms toward the ceiling.
"No," Sherlock replied, snatching the book off the table and paging feverishly through it again. Luna shrugged and made her way to the flat's messy kitchen.
As she prepared the tea, she called out. "Maybe you should just take a break, Sherlock. We could go for a walk."
Sherlock snorted from the other room. "Feel free to go without me. I need to have this finished by tonight."
"Why tonight?" Luna asked, pouring the tea into a mug and returning to the room.
Sherlock did not look up from the book as he replied. "So I can start on a new case by tomorrow."
"What's the rush?" Luna asked, sitting down cross-legged in John's chair once again.
Sherlock glanced up from the book. "Sorry?"
Luna sighed, throwing her head back to face the ceiling. Her dirty-blonde hair cascaded down her back. "The rush, Sherlock! Your constant ruuuusssshhh." She drew the word out and rolled her head around, before snapping it back up. "I just think you ought to take a little break, is all."
Sherlock was watching her with his head slightly to one side, studying her. In the past several months their unlikely acquaintanceship had grown into something neither of them could quite put their finger on. Luna spent the majority of her free time in 221B. John had never minded Luna's presence, as the two got on quite well. Sherlock had found her somewhat tedious at first, but then again, she had found him rather tedious at first as well. But then they began actually noticing one another; the way the other perceived life, the way the other saw things.
Sherlock now found Miss Luna Lovegood to be among one of the most interesting, albeit strange, people he had ever met, and Luna felt the same about Sherlock Holmes. Whenever she came to call, she liked to simply watch Sherlock work. Now and again she could even offer helpful insights to the detective, especially when a case required a different viewpoint than either Sherlock or John was used to.
But here Luna was accusing him of having a rushed life, something she had never said outright before, although both of them knew that she liked to take things slower and more peacefully than Sherlock.
"My constant rush?" Sherlock asked, setting the book on his lap.
Luna shrugged. "Don't take it personally, most people feel the need to be constantly busy."
"Is that a negative thing?"
"Not always," Luna said thoughtfully. "But you seem to be in a rush more often than most people I know. I just don't want you damaging this."
She stood up, leaned across the table and tapped Sherlock's forehead with her index finger. Her light pink lips quirked up in a grin at his confusion and she sat back in John's chair.
Sherlock recovered from his confusion quickly and resumed looking at the notebook. "It's already damaged," he said calmly.
Luna laughed lightly. "Oh don't say that, you know it isn't true." Sherlock saw her face fall ever so slightly as she clasped her hands together and let them rest on her lap. Despite the fact that she was still smiling, Sherlock could see despondency behind her eyes as she looked down at her hands. It surprised him; Luna had never appeared to be anything but content.
Her sad smile gave way to confusion as she glanced up. "Sorry?"
"You're sad. Have I said something wrong?" Without John around to point out his social mistakes, Sherlock found himself worrying that he had accidentally offended her.
"No, no," she replied, sitting up straighter. "It's just that word, damaged. People have called me that before. Of course, they probably didn't understand how it made me feel, but it was still rather unpleasant, you know?"
She looked up at Sherlock and saw genuine concern in his eyes. A single tear rolled down her cheek and she chuckled quietly as she wiped it away.
"Would you look at that, I'm crying." Her tone was one of thoughtful surprise as she resumed looking at her lap.
Sherlock leaned forward across the coffee table and placed his hand atop Luna's entwined fingers. She glanced up and caught his eye.
"You are many things, Luna. But damaged is not one of them."
She gave him a smile and untangled her fingers, taking his hand in hers and holding it properly.
"Thank you, Sherlock."
There was a moment of silence before either of them spoke again. The afternoon sun was still shining, and the loud sounds of London on a Saturday seemed to be a little quieter than usual.
"Do you still want to go on that walk?" Sherlock asked.
Luna's face broke into an honest smile and she nodded, standing up. She released Sherlock's hand only long enough for them to put on their coats, before snatching it in her own once again.
"Do you mind?" She asked as they made their way out of 221B and into the street.
Truthfully, he did a little bit. Physical contact was not something he was used to, especially in a public setting. But as he looked into Luna's face, something in her misty grey eyes caused him to change his mind, if only for that one day.
"Of course not."
And they made their way around the city, Luna skipping slightly to keep up with Sherlock's purposeful strides.