High Reason

The Case of the Flattened Soda

The Case of the Flattened Soda

Sunday afternoons it was typical of John and Sherlock to go out and about together, if only to escape the boredom that awaited Sherlock at the flat and the work that awaited John at the clinic. If Sherlock rememberd it was Sunday, that is, they would sometimes go to the pub for lunch. Of course, Sherlock didn't eat, but on one occasion, he did the unthinkable: he ordered a soda.

"Soda?" John said in disbelief, a smile breaking over his features once the waiter had hurried away. "You're drinking a soda?"

"I can't stand carbonation," Sherlock said, grimacing and gesturing at his face. "I never drink it, it goes up my nose and makes me feel strange."

"Then why did you order it?"

"It's much better flat."

It was John's turn to grimace. "That's disgusting."

"Room temperature, and flat."

"Did you tell them that?"

He shook his head. "No sense in bothering them, I'll fix it."

John chuckled and looked out the window for a moment. "Did you never drink soda as a child?"

"Wasn't allowed it. So I never got used to the bubbles. I like the flavor on a rare occasion, though, and found I can drink it this way."

Just then the waiter arrived, depositing John's tea and Sherlock's soda on the table. "Can I get an empty cup and a spoon?" Sherlock asked, giving the man a polite smile.

"Of course." The waiter probably wasn't in the habit of questioning customers, because he hurried off without a second thought.

John was sipping his tea when the empty cup was brought, and the spoon.

"Thank you," Sherlock said, and proceeded to fish the pieces of crushed ice from his soda, depositing them in the empty glass.

"You're making quite a mess," John said dubiously, regarding the dribbles on the table, and Sherlock obligingly swiped at it.

"You might want to leave now if you're going to be embarrased. Go to the men's room and come back later, pretending you don't know me."

John laughed outright. "Why -"

But he stopped short as Sherlock thrust his straw into the soda and began to blow vigorous bubbles in it. John stared in surprise. When he paused to take a breath, he explained, "I used to run a fork back and forth in it, agitating the bubbles so that they rose to the top and popped, but I have found it more effective to chemicly force the carbonation out by blowing oxygen into the -" The scrape of John's chair cut him off as he stood and hurriedly crossed the pub, disappearing through the door to the men's room.

When he returned, sufficiently recovered from his laughing fit, Sherlock was sitting calmly, sipping his [completely flat] soda, a second glass filled with melting ice and a small pile of dampened napkins sitting off to the side.

"Good?" He asked, taking a drink of his tea.

Sherlock nodded. "Good."

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