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Friday, May 25, 2012

Story: What if...?

I was thinking more about John after Reichenbach. And this is what came into my head last night:

A note from Mrs. Hudson sat on his desk.

John, I shouldn't trouble you, but there's been a lot of post arriving at the flat for you. I had to put it into the downstairs flat. Would you come round and fetch it, please? There's quite a lot.

Do you think you might like to have some tea after?


Mrs. H

John looked around the room. Mrs. Hudson was chattering away, "And so you could see why I couldn't just put it into a parcel for you. There's so much of it!"

The one stack opposite the door wasn't teetering, not quite yet. The parcels ranged from bulky and lumpy -- like presents you get from your great-aunt -- to boxes of all sizes, and letters, and cards... He couldn't imagine where they'd all come from. It was exactly like being inside a cupboard full of packages.

And they were all addressed to him, John Watson.

He picked one up, trying not to think, and shook it a little. Too bulky, definitely not rattling. Then John ripped off the paper. Yes, a knitted cardigan. A nice one. Quite like the ones he often wore, in fact.

Mrs. Hudson made a pleased sound. "How nice that is! Someone thought you needed cheering up," she said. John handed it to her.

Gingerly, he took an envelope, and opened it. "Watson's Warriors: Moriarty Was Real" proclaimed the outside of the greeting card. Inside, someone had written "We believe in Sherlock!" A picture of a chalk drawing with the same words fell out of the card. He caught the picture, then slid it carefully back into the envelope.

John's throat closed.

Tucking the card under his arm, he opened another parcel at random. This was a small poster. "I believe in Sherlock Holmes!" was written over a picture of Sherlock. He heard himself suck his breath in hard -- almost as if he were listening to someone else.

Someone who was quite distinctive when he did that same thing.

He murmured something wordless.

"What, John?" Mrs. Hudson asked. He handed her the card. She read it. He watched her eyes widen. She looked around at all the parcels, the boxes, the letters, and turned back to him.

He held up the poster so she could read that too.

Finally she managed, "Is that what all of this is?"

John cleared his throat. "I don't know. I think so. Yes." His voice caught a little, but he said, "How long-- no, how many trips did the postman take to get all this here?"

"Yesterday. This lot all came yesterday." She gestured at the teetering pile right before them, not the other stacks. "I don't remember how many, he brought helpers. It... it took some little while. At first I thought perhaps you hadn't told someone you'd moved, but then I realised that couldn't be it. Not all those bags they brought!"

The wrapping paper he'd opened said New York City. The poster came from Sweden. The card -- John smiled. It was from Cardiff. He looked at others. Stamps from all over. He began, "Mrs. Hudson, I have an idea..."

"Will there be more? The postman said this is a week's worth!"

John managed to keep the smile. It hurt, but there was something else there now. Something new. He said, "Have you rented out 221B yet? There's... more space up there. At least until I get something arranged. I promise I'll call you tonight and tell you."

He thought about how Mycroft would feel about having to store all this, and smiled grimly to himself.

1 comment:

  1. Ooh, lovely! I'm getting wicked idea of my own about making these easier to find. --J.H. Waton