Sherlock appeared to be gazing under his dresser, but he was actually waiting for the sound that would tell him his plan was working. The blonde. It was all about her and her sudden appearance in his flat. Ah, and there it was! The buzzing of John's mobile indicating he had a text. Now, it was just matter of time.
The moment he stepped into the room Mr. Slater jumped from he'd known exactly what happened. Examining the desk and the window had been a ruse to give him time to observe her, but then she'd done something he hadn't expected. She, as John had done on occasion, stuck up for him. It took him by surprise and almost threw him off his game…almost.
He asked John about the suicide first and his friend came to a perfectly ordinary conclusion. He was getting better, but he still didn't see everything. Usually Sherlock would've prodded his friend to find the truth, but he'd brought the blonde for the purpose of discovering how she thought and to do that he needed to find out what she saw.
She was from a working class background. Her family might be posh now, but that's not how she was brought up, and yet she quoted Shakespeare in everyday speech. She was polite, but didn't mind pointing out his rudeness. It all made for a very confusing picture and he wasn't able to draw any conclusion about her mind.
He could tell from the way John looked at her that his friend found her attractive, but that wasn't Sherlock's area. Under normal circumstances he wouldn't have given her a second glance, but she'd gotten into his flat and, according to her, she'd used science to do it.
When he asked her about the suicide she came to the same conclusion he had after glancing around the room. And the phrase she used. It was one of the strangest things he'd ever heard, but it was completely true. She wasn't a genius, not like him, but she was sharp. She saw the whole picture. Noticed things that ordinary people didn't notice.
Normally he wouldn't have thought twice about her, but there wasn't anything normal in the way she appeared in his flat. It had to be a ploy to pique his interest, but why? Did she want something from him? He dismissed that idea. If she wanted him for a case she would've told him by now. Had someone else sent her? Mycroft? Doubtful, but still a possibility. Moriarty? Another possibility. She could be a hired assassin. He'd solved enough crimes to put a horde of hostile prisoners behind bars.
There was only one way to find out. He had to get her alone. If she was sent to kill him she'd make her move and if she was there for another reason she might let something slip. The plan formulated in his mind the moment he realized how perceptive she was. He crossed the room, picked up the wine, and appeared to take a drink.
After that it was all about believability. When they were back in his flat he took the opportunity to accuse her of working for Moriarty. He hadn't said the name, but if she was then she'd know who he was talking about. Only there was no emotional betrayal on her face. Confusion, yes, but no fear, shock, concern, nothing that indicated she knew who he was talking about.
Mycroft was another part of his plan. He'd been texting Sherlock for the last two hours. Ever since the cab ride to the crime scene. He set his phone to silent in the car, deciding to put his brother off until later. He knew that Mycroft would eventually text John to find out where he was and that fit perfectly into his plan. John would make excuses, but if Mycroft was insistent, which he always was, his friend would meet with Sherlock's brother himself.
The sound of the door closing told Sherlock that the second part of his plan was about to be put in motion. John was leaving to meet Mycroft, a meeting that would run on for at least a few hours because he knew what his brother wanted. Although he set his phone to silent he read through the texts.
There was a client waiting. One of Mycroft's business associates. Someone had stolen a valuable painting from an auction house. Sherlock might've been interested…mildly interested, if he didn't have a more pressing mystery to solve. John would be meeting with their client and then questioning employees, going over police files, and taking a look round the auction house. Boring.
He felt between the mattresses where he kept one of the pistols that found its way into his flat. The one from the bloke who'd gone out the window with a bit of help from him. He doubted he'd need it, but it was there just in case. Then he lay back on his bed and waited.
He heard her cross the room into the kitchen. If she was an assassin he'd given her an opportune moment. Her intended target was vulnerable. Under the effects of a hallucinogenic drug. They were alone in the flat. Mrs. Hudson was downstairs. He heard her leave after she returned with the sleeping pills. Most likely to return to her programs.
The blonde walked around the kitchen. What was she doing? Looking for a knife? She didn't appear to have anything on her…no, there'd been something in her pocket. He thought it was a thin lamp or some kind of tool, but maybe it was a weapon. If she was an assassin it made sense that she'd bring her own weapon.
She pulled open a drawer. She must be looking for a knife. The kettle whistled. She picked it up. Poured water into her cup. Is she…making tea? He was lying on his bed waiting for her to try to kill him and she was making tea! Didn't she see the opportunity he was affording her?
She sat the kettle back on the stove. He heard the click of the burner being turned off. Maybe she wasn't there to kill him. If she wasn't then what was she there for? She hadn't said anything about a case.
She opened the door of the icebox…and…and…closed the door. Wait. Did John remove the head? Mrs. Hudson wouldn't have. She hadn't screamed so it must've been removed. Brilliant. He'd have to replace that one too.
He heard her cross the room toward his door. Ah! Here it comes. He tried to look natural while bracing himself for a struggle. She popped her head in the door holding a cup in her hands.
"All right there?" she asked, catching his eye.
She was checking on him? He'd been all set for a life and death struggle that…apparently…wasn't going to happen. She wasn't planning on killing him, which meant he needed to pry information from her. Try to discern her motives.
"Where's John?" he asked, trying to sound confused.
"He stepped out to see your brother," she said.
"Are you sure he went to see my brother?"
She entered the room, gazing at him in concern. Good. He could use that.
"That's where he said he was going."
"But what if someone tricked him."
She sat her cup on his side table.
"Why would someone do that?"
"To get to me."
She laughed. He felt his mask slip. Why was she laughing? He was trying to pull off being paranoid. John wouldn't have laughed at that. He'd be concerned. Sherlock would've scoffed at it, but she was laughing.
"What is it with you genius' and thinking the world revolves around you?"
What? That wasn't what he said.
"I didn't say the world revolved around me."
"John leaves and you start to think that maybe someone tricked him to get to you. Sounds like that's what you think."
"It wouldn't be the first time it's happened."
"You're right full of yourself aren't you?"
Full of himself? She sat down on the edge of his bed, motioning for him to shove over, which he did with a very uncomfortable look on his face.
"I am not-"
"Don't worry if anyone comes in after you I'll protect you," she replied, cutting him off.
Protect him? He didn't need anyone, least of all this insolent woman, to protect him. He thought she knew who he was. He dealt with murderers on a nearly daily basis, would be daily if he had anything to say about it, but sometimes the world was a dismal place.
"I can defend myself."
"You can, can you?"
She smiled, making him scowl.
"Yes," he sniffed, glancing at the other side of the room as he tried to ignore the fact that she was sitting on his bed as if she had every right to be there.
A few silent minutes crawled by during which he wished she'd get up and shove off.
"A little odd isn't it?" she asked.
He looked at her. Odd? What was she talking about?
"The fact that your hallucinations stopped as soon as I pointed out how full of yourself you are."
He froze. He'd forgotten that he was pretending to have ingested the Psilocybin. Did she know the whole time? Was she pretending to play along with him? Oh, she was good!
"How did you know?"
"I didn't. At least, not until you got distracted because of what I said, but I'm sure I would've worked it out soon enough."
"Why do you say that?"
"You're acting's a bit…" she trailed off with a laugh.
"A bit what?" he asked, scowling.
Instead of answering his question she stood up.
"Now that I know you're not going to have some weird hallucinogenic fit would you like some tea?" she asked.
She obviously wasn't going to answer him, but at least she wasn't sitting on his bed anymore. He scowled at her, not ready to let go of the comment she didn't finish.
She started out the door and then stopped and turned back.
"You realize there's a head in your icebox?"
"It's for an experiment," he replied, completely forgetting her earlier comment.
So, the head was there when she opened the icebox, but she hadn't screamed. Strange. Not for him, but for anyone else. Especially a woman. Not that he'd been around many, but all the ones John had brought round would've screamed and some might've fainted. Molly was the only exception, but he'd gotten the head from her in the first place.
"As long as you know it's there," she replied before disappearing into the kitchen.
He thought about staying in bed. He'd blundered his plan and now he had to come up with a new one, but then he thought about her returning and taking up residence on the side of his bed again while they had tea. That got him off the bed and out the door.
He stepped into the kitchen in time to observe Rose open the icebox door and retrieve the milk, which was sitting next to the head. No moment of hesitation or slight cringe. It was almost as if it were an everyday occurrence. She added milk to his tea and then returned it to the icebox.
"Do you get your kicks watching people make tea for you?" she asked with her back to him.
He raised an eyebrow. She turned around and faced him with a strange smile. One that was a bit…distracting.
"I was observing," he replied.
"Well, would you like to observe me in the living room or we could…" She glanced at his open bedroom door.
"No. The…um…other room will be fine," he replied feeling a foreign sensation creeping into his cheeks.
"It was only a joke," she said, that smile still present.
Joking? People didn't joke with him. Well, John did on occasion, but that was different. She retrieved her tea from his side table and he followed her into the other room.
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