The Ripped Tomato
"Are those my shoes?" He asked her. Louise glanced down at her feet as though she had forgotten what she was wearing, and smiled bashfully at him as she took them off.
"Yeah, I'm sorry I took them with out asking," She said, "but I didn't have any shoes on … before, so I had to throw some on in a hurry when I followed Sherlock out of the flat."
"No, it's quite alright. Better than having you run around barefoot." John reassured her. 'Well, that explains it...' John thought as he sat back down in his chair with his tea. Then he noticed something else that was out of place in the flat. "Is that a wallet under the couch?" He asked. Louise followed his gaze, and her eyes widened with recollection.
"Oh, yeah," she said, "That's mine actually. I tossed it under there before we left so I would have a reason to come back here if Sherlock tried to ditch me. I also didn't want to have any official ID or money on me since I don't technically exist in this world. For all I know, they way those things look here is different from how they look where I come from. They might accuse me of fraud, and it helps make my cover story more believable."
"Your what?" John asked her.
"Her cover story, John," Sherlock said, still lying on the couch, "is that she has amnesia, and I took her case out of boredom. She met Lestrade earlier and told him she seemed to have misplaced her wallet. She used a sketch of a self-portrait she had drawn and conveniently labeled with information about herself in order to explain how she knew her name and age. It would be difficult to find her origins with such limited information. Although, it's obvious she is American, but without any definite proof or a passport, it would be rather difficult to deport her." John blinked. It seemed Louise and Sherlock had everything under control.
"That was rather quick thinking on your part." John told Louise. She smiled and said,
"Thanks John, I should probably get rid of it for good though. There's no telling how long I'll be here, and if I do manage to get home, I can always find a way to get replacements for what I lost. I'd rather not risk being exposed. They might put me in a mental hospital, or worse try to dissect me or something." Louise said, scrunching up her nose at the last thought. She picked up her wallet and started shredding anything that could ID her with a pair of scissors she found lying around before tossing it all in the trash. Now that she new she was safe and had a chance to relax; Louise realized how tired she was and yawned. John saw this and looked at the clock. It was rather late now so he suggested they have a light supper and go to bed. Louise's stomach growled when she realized she hadn't eaten anything for several hours. She and John rummaged through the kitchen cupboards before finally finding something edible. Sherlock refrained from eating, saying it slowed him down when he was thinking. Louise wasn't quite sure what to make of that since she always seemed to do worse when she was hungry or tired. After supper, they tossed around ideas for where Louise should sleep. Louise insisted she should sleep on the couch since she was just a freeloader. John insisted she should sleep somewhere more comfortable since she was a guest and offered his bed. The two of them went back and forth arguing over it until Sherlock had finally had enough and told Louise to take his bed since he never slept in it anyway. She would have protested, but she was too exhausted and didn't have any more energy left to argue. That being said, they bid each other good night, and went to bed.
Louise awoke the next morning to find that John was still asleep, and found that Sherlock had apparently not slept at all and had chosen instead to continue the experiment he had started before her arrival had interrupted him the other day.
"Morning." She mumbled as she stumbled into the kitchen to get herself some breakfast. She found some cereal and opened the fridge to get some milk before she remembered why that was a bad idea. Well, at least she was wide awake now. Louise decided to try some milk anyway since there didn't seem to be anything suspicious that was actually in or on the milk itself. She pulled out a small cup and poured a little milk in it to test it. Sherlock watched her as she sniffed the glass of milk before taking a sip. The milk smelled fine, but her face actually turned an interesting shade of green when she tasted it. It tasted like a cross between raw meat and chicken, cheese, and tomatoes. Louise had been both blessed and cursed with extremely acute taste buds, so she knew she was tasting the aroma of the contents of the fridge that had permeated the milk bottle. There really were cheese and tomatoes in the fridge, but no chicken or beef. Good God it was the severed arm she was tasting. Louise immediately rushed to the sink and started rinsing her mouth out, trying desperately not to be sick. John came out at that point and noticed the milk on the counter and Louise frantically trying to rinse her mouth out. Sherlock looked immensely amused.
"Are you alright?" John asked Louise. Louise nodded and said,
"Yeah, I'll be fine. Don't drink the milk." John stared at her. His brain was a little foggy from just waking up, but now he was able to put two and two together.
"You tried to drink it?" John asked her in disbelief.
"It seemed like a good idea at the time." Louise said while taking a seat at the kitchen table with her dry cereal. "I hate eating cereal with out milk, and it looked okay and smelled okay. It did not taste okay." She still looked slightly green in the face.
"What did it taste like?" Sherlock asked her. John stared at Sherlock. Why couldn't he just leave her alone? Wasn't tasting it bad enough without having to think about it again? Louise continued to eat her cereal, but she answered Sherlock in between spoonfuls.
"It tasted like cheese, tomatoes, and a combination of raw meat and chicken." She said grimacing. "I didn't mind the cheese and tomatoes. I have sensitive taste buds, so I'm used to being able to taste the contents of our fridge in my milk. However, the only thing we have in there that even remotely resembles meat, is the severed arm." Louise had to stop eating as she said it, completely put off any thought of food now.
"Hmm, interesting," Sherlock said, "that must be what human flesh tastes like then." Louise and John's heads both snapped over to Sherlock. John had suddenly lost his appetite too.
"Can we not talk about this?" Louise snapped at him. John couldn't agree more.
"Why?" Sherlock asked, clearly unperturbed. He found this fascinating. What else could she taste? Maybe he could test her by putting other things in the fridge and removing them before she could see to determine just how accurate she was. John could see the wheels turning in Sherlock's head, and he had a feeling that he knew just what he was thinking.
"Don't even think it." John said darkly, "I have to eat out of that fridge too you know." Sherlock smiled.
"Why John, I have no idea what you are talking about." Sherlock said innocently. Louise had feeling he knew exactly what John was talking about, and the innocent tone of voice he was using was obviously fake. She also had a feeling she wouldn't be drinking or eating anything out of the fridge again for a good while. Louise liked John, Sherlock too, despite himself, but she needed some fresh air after this particular experience.
"I think I'll go visit detective Lestrade." Louise said out loud. Both men stared at her.
"Why?" John asked. "How do you know Lestrade?"
"Because the little outing I went on with Sherlock, the one I mentioned yesterday, was to a crime scene, and he was the one in charge." Louise explained, "I should probably at least try to look like I'm sincerely trying to figure out who am. I can ask Lestrade to see if anyone filed a missing persons report, though we all know it will come up empty."
"You already told him I was looking into it." Sherlock pointed out.
"Yes, but unless you have connections, you probably wouldn't be able to find out what Lestrade could. If he asks me what I'm doing about it, what should I say? That I'm planning on posting flyers all over London saying: Found, one 21 year old girl, blond, hazel eyes, enjoys long walks on the beach, answers to the name Louise?" She asked raising an eyebrow. John smiled at the amusing images that conjured up. Sherlock's lips twitched in amusement.
"Well, there's always that." He replied.
The three of them stood in front of Scotland Yard. Louise was almost out the door, when she realized she had no money for a cab, and she didn't want to somehow end up stranded in some random part of a strange city if something went wrong. She also needed shoes. John had offered to go with her and help her get shoes since he had off that day, and Sherlock insisted on coming too because he was bored. John didn't argue with him on that since the last time he left Sherlock alone on his own, bored, he had shot a few holes in their wall. As they entered the Yard, A familiar voice called out to them.
"What are you doing here, Freak? You usually wait until there's an actual crime before you show up." Sgt. Donnovan said. "Hello, John" she greeted him tightly, though admittedly a bit more nicely. She just glared at Louise. "Still here are you?" Sgt. Donnovan shot at her. Louise smiled back tightly. She probably hadn't made the best impression by being so rude to the sergeant the first time they met, but come on, it wasn't that bad.
"Nice to see you again too, Sgt. Donnovan." Louise said. "Could you tell me where I can find out if anyone filed a missing persons report on me?" Sgt. Donnovan stared at her.
"Now why would you want to do that?" She asked. Apparently neither Anderson, nor Lestrade had told her Louise had "amnesia." Louise sighed.
"Because I have amnesia. All I know is my name, my age, and that I have an American accent. It's not a lot to go on, so I thought maybe if I could find out who is looking for me, then maybe I'll be able to find out more about who I am." Louise said patiently.
"I know." Sgt. Donnovan said, "What makes you think anyone is looking for you?" Oh. So she did know, she was just a bitch. Louise didn't feel so bad now. She frowned and was about to say something they'd both regret when she spotted Lestrade. Louise smiled and waved at him. He saw her and started to make his way toward them.
"Hello again, Miss Rouge." Lestrade greeted her. "Sherlock, John." he nodded at the two men, "What brings you here today?"
"She's not very patient." Sherlock said looking at Louise. Louise frowned at him.
"Well, how would you feel?" Louise said hotly. John hid a smile. He thought Louise was in fact, incredibly patient. She just got riled up easily. Louise smiled politely at Lestrade.
"I was hoping you might be able to help me find out if anyone was searching for me. As, I told you yesterday, we don't have much to go on. Sherlock's brilliant, but even he has his limits." Louise told him. Sherlock wasn't sure how he felt about that "limits" comment. Lestrade nodded in understanding.
"I'll see what I can do." he assured Louise. Louise smiled gratefully at him. It might have been a wild goose chase, but the man was being very gracious about it.
"What if no one's looking for you?" Donnovan said, crossing her arms. Louise groaned internally. She had almost managed to forget she was there. John and Lestrade frowned at Donnovan. Sherlock was quietly observing the whole exchange.
"I think I'd still like to know. If there really is no one who cares enough to look for me, maybe I'm better off without them." Louise replied, shrugging a little sadly. She had just remembered the conversation with her "mother" from this world.
"Don't worry, I'm sure we'll find something." Lestrade tried to reassure her. Louise smiled at him.
"Thank you Sir." Louise said.
"Yes, well now that we have that out of the way, let's leave. Shall we." Sherlock said as he briskly started to walk out of the Yard. John nodded goodbye to Lestrade, and Louise smiled and waved one last time as they followed Sherlock out. None of them made it very far, because they stopped as Anderson pushed past them, holding several evidence bags containing what looked like hand written letters.
"We just got a call from the owner of that popular new restaurant, Chez Noir. He sent us these. They're threats he received, and he wants you to go the restaurant so he can talk to you now." Anderson said quickly.
"Right now?" Lestrade asked.
"Yes, right now." Anderson answered him. Just then, Sherlock's phone alerted him he had a new message. Sherlock pulled his phone out and glanced at it before placing it back in his pocket.
"Looks like we're going too." Sherlock said to John and Louise as he walked outside and hailed a cab. Louise and John looked at each other as they followed him.
"What just happened?" She asked as they climbed into the cab.
"I got a text from the owner of that same restaurant requesting my presence." Sherlock said as he started searching for something on his phone. Louise wondered how the owner knew Sherlock's number when John supplied her with an answer.
"The number's on his website." John told her after seeing her slight confusion.
"Oh." She said. Sherlock put his phone away after he finished whatever it was he was doing with it. "Why did he ask both you and Lestrade to come? He already sent the letters to the police." Louise wondered out loud.
"Well, his restaurant's just been threatened. He's probably just nervous." John told her.
"But isn't that a bit overkill?" Louise asked. "Anderson was holding three letters. Were they all sent the same day?"
"Oh good, so you noticed." Sherlock said. John blinked.
"Noticed what?" John asked as the cab pulled up in front of Chez Noir. Sherlock got out of the cab and swept towards the restaurant, dramatic as usual. John sent Louise a questioning look as he paid the cab driver, and they both followed Sherlock. Louise shrugged.
"I'm not really sure," she said, "I feel like something's odd about this whole thing, but I don't know what it is." They were greeted by a waiter, who escorted them to the employees only part of the restaurant and led them through the kitchen. There were lots of chefs hard at work, preparing for the restaurant's opening. Off to the side of the kitchen, there was a smaller closed-off space that had what looked like a window without panes for an opening to give the person in it a view of the kitchen. There was a man standing in there, but steam from the pots that were on the stove in front of him obscured her view of him. The waiter noticed her looking and informed her that it was Chef Pierre's private kitchen. Louise glanced at John and Sherlock, who had also noticed it. They reached the owner's office, and the waiter held the door open for them before going back to work. Inside the room, was the owner, DI Lestrade, and Sgt. Donnovan.
"Why hello, you must be Sherlock Holmes," the owner greeted, smiling at Sherlock, "and you must be his assistants." He said looking over Louise and John. "My dear, shouldn't you have been in school by now?" the owner asked Louise. Donnovan snickered. Louise smiled tightly. Why did everyone assume she was still in high school? She didn't look that young.
"I'm twenty-one years old, Sir." She patiently told the man. He looked a little too surprised at that.
"Oh forgive me, my dear. You just look so young." He apologized. At least he sounded like he meant it.
"I'm assuming you called us here for a reason, Mr. Blight." Sherlock stated. The owner, whose name was apparently Mr. Blight, turned his attention back to Sherlock and the detectives.
"Oh, yes quite. Sorry about that." Mr. Blight said as he resumed his seat at his desk. John and Louise took a seat on one of the small couches he had in his office. Sherlock remained standing. "As I was just telling DI Lestrade and Sgt. Donnovan here, my restaurant has received several threats over the past few days.
"Yes, we've seen the notes." Lestrade said.
'We haven't.' Louise thought. Not really.
"We haven't." said John aloud. "Do you have a copy we could see?"
"No need. I got a good look at the Yard." Sherlock said.
'Well, that makes one of us.' Louise thought a little indignantly. She was a little miffed he was leaving her and John out of the loop. Mr. Blight looked surprised. Which was a little strange, considering he should have been more concerned about his restaurant. A loud bang and a sudden commotion was heard from the kitchen. They all stood as a chef ran into the office.
"Mr. Blight, something's happened to Chef Pierre!" He cried in distress.
"No! Not Pierre!" Mr. Blight cried as he ran to the kitchen. They all followed after the man, and were shocked at what they saw.
Chef Pierre was lying on the floor of his personal kitchen with the back of his head bashed in. Louise watched while John and Sherlock put on gloves and examined the body
while Lestrade called for backup, and Donnovan started interviewing the
witnesses. Which were pretty much all the chefs in the kitchen at the
time. The witnesses all said the same thing. Nothing was out of the
ordinary. Chef Pierre had arrived early before everyone else so he could
get a head start at cooking the soup of the day, like always. They
didn't hear or see anything. There was a door that lead to the outside
of the restaurant in the private kitchen, but Chef Pierre always kept it
locked. Louise decided to turn her attention back to Sherlock and John.
"This head wound was inflicted by a blunt object, probably cylindrical in shape. It's odd, but if I didn't know any better, judging by the body's progression in to the state of rigor mortis, I'd say this man had to have died at least an hour ago." John told Sherlock.
"Yes, it would appear so." Sherlock replied as he looked around the kitchen. The pots of tomato soup the chef had been working on had been knocked over when he fell into them on his way down. The fans that should have been venting the steam away from the kitchen were off. Shouldn't they be on to keep the steam from building up too much in the kitchen? They were on before, and the door was closed. Unlocked, but closed. Louise followed his gaze and noticed something strange. What was a raw tomato doing on the floor? It had an unnatural cut in it that made it look as though it had been ripped. She looked at Sherlock and asked,
"Why is there a raw tomato, and why does it look like that? Did you know the chef usually locks that door?" Sherlock's lips twitched upwards a bit, and he was about to answer her, when he was so rudely interrupted.
"Of course there's a tomato on the floor. He was cooking tomatoes." Someone sneered. Oh goody, Anderson was here. "Get out of here, you're contaminating the crime scene." He ordered them. Well, he tried to. Louise thought it sounded like more of a whine than an order.
"That's fine, I have what I need." Sherlock replied as he stepped out of the kitchen, followed by John and Louise. Louise was starting to feel like a baby duck tailing along behind momma.
"Really, you figured it out already?" John asked. Sherlock didn't answer as he approached Lestrade.
"You might want to run tests on that." Sherlock said while pointing to a dish that had been sitting out on the counter, forgotten in all the commotion. Lestrade looked at him funny.
"Why, it's just a plate of food?" Lestrade asked him.
"Is it?" Sherlock asked. Mr. Blight over heard them, and rounded on Sherlock.
"Why are you harassing me? My partner and friend, Pierre, was just murdered, and you want to question our cuisine?" Blight shouted at Sherlock. Sherlock was unfazed.
"Yes, actually, I do." Sherlock said, "You called us because your restaurant was threatened, but of the three letters, only one of them had different handwriting. This one also had a slightly different message, rather than threatening to actually inflict harm on the restaurant, it was more of a warning, 'this restaurant shouldn't exist' and 'stop what you're doing now'. Why is that? What were you doing that warranted threats like that? I looked up this restaurant on the way here. I looked up your history as well." Mr. Blight's eye twitched when he heard that. "This is not your first restaurant. In fact, two of your other restaurants have been accused of drugging the foods they served. You slipped steroids into the meals of several athletes."
"That was never proven!" Mr. Blight interrupted Sherlock. That was an odd choice of words Louise and John thought. Shouldn't he have said it wasn't true?
"Yes, but while it was never proven, the stigma was still there." Sherlock continued, "Chef Pierre was with you at those other restaurants as well. He was also the one who prepared the meals in question."
"So that's why the restaurant was threatened and why Chef Pierre was targeted?" John asked, "Because someone suspected foul play?" Louise was still wondering how Sherlock had managed to catch so many details from the letters when he only saw them once, and Anderson was holding them.
"Yes, and no." Sherlock said. "I noticed one of Chef Pierre's cook books was left out. There were handwritten notes he had added in the margins. His handwriting is the same as the handwriting on the one note that was different. He sent the note to the restaurant."
"Why? What could he possibly gain from that?" Lestrade asked.
"Maybe the food was drugged. Maybe he didn't want to do it any more." Louise said. They all looked at her.
"You do know you said that out loud, right?" John asked her. Louise raised her eyebrows in surprise.
"Really? I have got to stop doing that." She said.
"You weren't wrong." Sherlock told her. "That's actually what I was about to say."
"So, the food was drugged?" John asked.
"Yes that would be a proper motive for Chef Pierre to send that letter." Sherlock replied, "He had probably hoped it would make Mr. Blight nervous enough to stop pressuring him into drugging the food. If this restaurant closed down too, well, who would want to hire such a suspicious chef? I doubt even Mr. Blight could bribe enough people to let him open yet another shady restaurant with three strikes against him." Sherlock turned to Mr. Blight as he said, "You killed him. You recognized his handwriting. So, you confronted him, but he wouldn't back down. Maybe even threatened to go to the police. So, you wrote the additional threat letters yourself to make the situation seem more urgent and sent them to the police. You knew he came in before everyone else, every morning, and you took advantage of that. You hit him over the head with a blunt object, hard enough to kill him. Then, you dragged him back inside and propped him up to make it appear as though he was standing. You used a frozen tomato with two pieces of rope looped through holes on each side of the tomato, and tied the other ends to the ventilation fans. You turned the fans on to blow the steam from the pots out of the kitchen, and it also served to obscure the casual passerby's view of him. To others, it would appear as though the chef was watching the soups he was working on. With the set up complete, you decided to call DI Lestrade and myself, and had us come here in person. What better witnesses to assure your innocence than a member of law enforcement and a fairly well known detective? While we talked, you were buying time for the tomato to thaw. As the tomato began to thaw, the chef's weight became too much for it to handle, and it ripped apart. This is when the body fell and knocked over all of the pots containing the tomato soup. It should have camouflaged your tomato, but Louise and I both noticed it. The ropes, no longer being pulled down by any weight, were then pulled up and out of view as they wound themselves about the moving fan blades. This jammed the blades, causing them to stop. You had left the outside door unlocked, hoping to blame it on a trespasser, but since the chef always locked the door; it is unlikely he would have left it unlocked today. The door should have been locked, and if someone did try to attack the chef, there would have been signs of forced entry. John examined the body, and there is sufficient evidence that proves the man was killed, at least an hour before we arrived." Sherlock finished his long explanation as Lestrade walked back into the room holding two ropes. When had he left?
"I've found them, just as you said." Lestrade said as he put the ropes into an evidence bag. "There's also tomato juice on them." he added. Mr. blight blanched as he saw all the evidence coming together against him.
"That doesn't prove anything. The only thing you have on me is circumstantial evidence. It will never hold up in court." Blight told them as he inched towards the door.
"The murderer," Sherlock said, "Would have had little time to hide the murder weapon before the others showed up for work." Sherlock began moving produce boxes about; searching for a place the weapon could be hidden. He opened the previously blocked drawer, and motioned to Lestrade to come over since he wasn't wearing gloves anymore.
"There's your murder weapon." Sherlock told him as he pointed to a rolling pin that had a speck of blood on it. Lestrade pulled it out of the drawer and turned it over. It was covered in blood. "I'm certain you'll find Mr. Blight's finger prints all over it." Sherlock told Lestrade. That was the breaking point for Blight. He took off like a shot towards the exit, but John tackled the man to the floor. He tried to punch John, but Louise grabbed a nearby frying pan and bonked the villain on the head before he could.
"Are you quite finished?" Sherlock asked Blight coldly as Sgt. Donnovan came over and handcuffed him.
"You okay John?" Louise asked as she set the frying pan down. She was trying to calm herself down as she recovered from the rush of adrenaline she had just experienced.
"Nice reflexes." John told her as he tried to catch his breath. Louise shrugged.
"I have my days." She said smiling. Sherlock walked over to the two of them.
"You're alright." Sherlock stated. It wasn't a question, more of an observation, but Louise and John could tell he was slightly concerned.
"We're fine," John assured him, " a bit out of breath, but otherwise fine." Louise nodded in agreement. Sherlock nodded before smirking at Louise.
"A frying pan, really?" He asked, raising an eyebrow at her.
"Oh shut up!" Louise told him as she lightly punched him in the arm. Her face was flushed slightly from embarrassment as she realized she must have been watching too many Tom & Jerry cartoons. I mean a frying pan? I guess that's what you get when you grow up watching easily imitatable violence. Well, at least John was okay.
"Are all Americans this violent?" Sherlock asked John.
"Yes, but all the ones I met were soldiers, so I'm not sure that counts." John answered back while smiling at Louise.
"Haha, very funny guys." Louise told them sarcastically as she rolled her eyes at them.
Despite starting the day with a violent murder for breakfast, it was a rather beautiful day outside, so the trio decided to take a walk instead of hailing a taxi. As they were walking away from the restaurant, Louise couldn't help but feel as though she was being watched. She turned around to look, but no one was there.
"Something wrong?" John asked her. Neither he nor Sherlock seemed to be bothered by it.
"No, not really. I must have been imagining things." She told him. They stopped for lunch at a Chinese restaurant. Sherlock told her something about how you could tell they were good by looking at the door handles. She was a bit skeptical about that, but she knew better than to question him by now. She always liked reading the fortune cookies. She told the two men about the time she got a really ironic one. It had said "You are heading in the right direction," but she was so busy reading it, she walked into a pole. John got a good laugh out of that, and Sherlock smirked at her and made a comment about her being a klutz. She decided to retaliate by flicking a cookie crumb at him. Not very mature, but it made her feel better. At least until she saw her current fortune, "You are being watched." Well, that won't make a person feel paranoid at all, will it? Still, they managed to make it back to 221B Baker St. without stumbling upon any more crime scenes. Sherlock might have preferred it if they had, but Louise liked her lunch just where it was, in her stomach. She still wasn't quite used to seeing real dead bodies. Watching crime shows was one thing, but seeing the real thing in person was a whole 'nother enchilada as she liked to put it. As they were about to enter the flat, an older lady opened the door.
"Why, hello Sherlock, John." Mrs. Hudson greeted, smiling at them. "And who is this young lady? It's a pleasure to meet you love." She said as she ushered them inside and out of the nippy weather. It had started to get colder after lunchtime.
"This is Miss Louise Rouge." John said, smiling as he introduced her. John was quickly becoming rather attached to Louise, in a brotherly kind of way. She was much easier to get along with than Harry. "Louise, this is Mrs. Hudson, our landlady." He explained.
"It's nice to meet you too Mrs. Hudson. Please, call me Louise." She told the older lady as she smiled warmly at her. Mrs. Hudson reminded her a little of her recently deceased grandma, but she wouldn't tell her that. Most women didn't appreciate being made to feel old.
"It looks like she'll be staying with us for a while." Sherlock told Mrs. Hudson. "She has amnesia and nowhere else to go." He knew Mrs. Hudson had a soft spot for poor, unfortunate souls.
"Oh, you poor thing!" Mrs. Hudson exclaimed. "Well of course you can stay here. Look at you, face all pink from the cold. You just warm yourself up while I fix you a nice hot cuppa, but just this once dear, I'm not your house keeper." Louise smiled gratefully. She was relieved the landlady was so accepting of a freeloader.
"Thank you Mrs. Hudson. Something hot to drink would be fantastic right now." She said. Being from such a warm place, Louise never did mix well with the cold.
After chatting with Mrs. Hudson for a bit, the older lady left to take care of whatever errand she had been about to run before they came home. Louise had to admit she was a little surprised at how quickly she had come to think of the flat as her new home. A feeling of homesickness washed over her, and she began to worry about how her family was reacting to her disappearance. She hoped they weren't spending too much money looking for her. They lived comfortably, but college was expensive. Her scholarships covered all of her expenses, but Joseph's graduate school cost quite a bit more than hers did, and he still needed to get his Masters. Well, there was no point in dwelling on things she couldn't change, so she decided to distract herself. She noticed a book titled London A to Z. That could be useful, seeing as she knew absolutely nothing about London.
"You mind if I read this?" She asked the two men as she pulled the book off the shelf.
"Not at all." Sherlock told her as he removed the severed arm from the fridge and began examining the effect that refrigeration over a period of 48 hours had on it.
"Help yourself." John told her. Louise smiled a thanks at both of them as she began reading the book, or at least she tried to.
"Why is almost everything in here in German?" she asked, confused.
"It's in what?" John asked, looking just as confused. They had had the book since "The Blind Banker" case, but he had never actually read the book since he already knew how to get about London.
"That's because the man I borrowed it from was a German tourist. You don't know German?" Sherlock goaded her without looking up from his experiment. He was now examining something with the microscope.
"Um, no." Louise said, " I speak a little French, Spanish, Italian, and some Japanese. She had watched a lot of anime over the years. "I only know a few basic phrases in German, like 'guten tag'." Louise sighed and placed the book back on the shelf. 'So much for that...' she thought as she slumped back onto the couch and stared out the window. John got a call from Sarah. His girlfriend and coworker, he explained to Louise. One of the other doctors had to leave due to a family emergency, and she had called John to ask him to come in. So, being the responsible man he is, John left. After a while of sitting in silence while Sherlock continued to work on the severed arm, Louise decided she couldn't take it any longer. She was almost as bad at tolerating boredom as Sherlock was—almost.
"Maybe I should go get a copy of that book in English." She said, "I don't think it's a good idea for me to be so ignorant about the place I'm living." Sherlock didn't answer her. Well fine then. She checked her pockets and counted how much money she had. John had lent her some in case of emergencies. She kind of wished she hadn't thrown her wallet out with it contents now, because she had nothing to keep the money in. It looked like she had enough for the cab fare and a book.
"Get some yogurt while you're out. Take my card." Sherlock told her as he held his credit card out to her, still not looking away from the microscope. Louise thought about asking why he wanted yogurt, but she decided she was probably better off not knowing.
"Okay." She said as she took his card, "I'll see you later then." And so, Louise left on her first solo trip to the super market in London. She should've known it wouldn't be that easy.