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Sherlock BBC Prompting Meme

"we get all sorts around here."

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Prompting: Part XVI
Giggles at the Palace
Please check the Sticky Post to find the newest active part and post your prompts there.

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There's a link to this at the bottom of the post. I ask that if the part you wanted isn't up yet, just wait and one of the archivists will get to it, but please, once it is up, please make sure you post your fills there according to the guidelines. DO NOT skip out on doing this because it seems like too much effort.
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Fill: A Study in Winning 1/?

A Study In Winning


Tennis has been my life for as long as I can remember. One of my earliest memories is of Dad taking me to the local park to play a little knock around on the concrete courts with those huge wooden rackets we would later use as snow shoes the January after the almost white Christmas. I must have been a natural because Dad kept taking me back and Harry showed her displeasure by aiming tennis balls at my head from close range. She has always been the more violent of the two of us. Still, her aim hadn’t always been that good back then and it meant I became very good at dealing with tennis balls hurtling towards my head. Facing a hundred and forty mile an hour serve from a professional player has little on the fierce temper of my sister. Still, without her I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Which was where exactly?

He stared at his laptop screen, or more accurately at the flashing curser at the end of ‘today’ and bit back a sigh. The literal answer was in a small bed-sit near his training ground, sat at the small desk, fingers hovering over the keyboard, ready to succumb to the pressures of his painfully slow two finger typing. His shoulder ached, his leg ached, both ankles ached, his back felt sore, his neck stiff and he could do with another long massage and hot shower. He was basically falling apart.

“Face it, Watson,” he said with a stretch and a sigh, “you’re a washed up almost was with no career and no life.”

And wasn’t that the truth. He should have retired years ago, after that injury to his shoulder, but faced with the prospect of long painful physiotherapy and retraining, or finding something else to do with his life, he had chosen the former. Even his therapist had thought him crazy, reminding him that he wasn’t alone, that there was life after tennis, but then again she was his therapist, of course she thought he was crazy. That was why he was sitting staring at that screen now, because she had suggested that writing about his life would either make him more enthusiastic about it, rekindling his love for the game, or enable him to finally be able to let it go. So far it was achieving neither. It was just making him more depressed.

He closed the laptop lid with a sigh. His life was over, he was sure of it. Or if it wasn’t yet, then it would be over in less than a month. Hell, not even that. Three days to Queens and then on to Wimbledon where it would then be all over, no question about that. Out in the first round? Perhaps the second if he was lucky and his body held up. So about eighteen days then.

Eighteen days and then the end.

His shoulder throbbed in sympathy.

Christ, he should have become a doctor.


Sorry it's a short start but I hoping to update very reguarly and later parts will get longer. Also it isn't beta-ed and has only been edited by me. But I hope you enjoy. I'm certainly having fun writing it.

OP Re: Fill: A Study in Winning 1/?

Already having fun reading it! Loved this set-up, perfect, poor John!

Looking forward to more!

Re: OP Re: Fill: A Study in Winning 1/?

Hehe, thank you. Poor John indeed. More coming very shortly. :)

Re: Fill: A Study in Winning 2/?

Apologies now for the terrible use of different languages and accents throughout this story. No offence intended. Also I may have taken a little inspiration from the film Wimbledon. :)


“Just tell me how bad it is,” he groaned pressing his face into the towel covering the medical examination bench.

He tried not to groan again as thick fingers prodded at his shoulder muscles shooting pain down his spine and across his neck.

He should have said no to Queens. He wasn’t as young as he used to be, but they had given him a Wild Card and it was traditionally one of the last major tournaments before the green, green grass of SW19. Now he was suffering.

Still, he’d made it to the second round before being steam-rolled by the eighth seed.

“Little bit of muscle strain,” his doctor – Mike – told him in a voice that was far too cheerful, but then again it had been Mike who had put him back together again after the accident, so he had seen far, far worse.

“Nothing to worry about. We’ll have you fixed up in no time. Shall I send Günter in to loosen you up a bit?”

“Please,” he said, his voice still muffled. A good, firm rubdown was exactly what he needed right now.

“I’ll go find him then.”

Nodding, he closed his eyes as the door opened and closed and waited. And waited. And waited. In fact he was waiting so long he was tempted to go out and find out where everyone was.

Eventually, just as his temper was started to overcome the lethargy of his muscles, he heard talking by the door. It was hard to tell, but he was almost certain that it was two male voices and that they were speaking German.

“Sorry for keeping you, Mr Watson,” he heard Günter’s voice say as the door finally opened and warm, strong fingers dug into his shoulder. “I was just finishing off Mr Holmes.”

He winched and sucked in a deep breath as Günter worked out a particularly hard knot. So was that who Günter had been talking to?

“Sherlock Holmes?” he asked between gasps. “I though…” wince, “he was…” whine, “French.”

“Ja,” Günter said, “but he speaks very good Deutsch.”

Somehow John was not surprised. Everyone knew about Sherlock Holmes. Currently ranked third in the world, he was an English born, French raised, bilingual star on the courts, who despite having an English father had horrified the British press by daring to become a potential world champion under a different flag. Not only that, but the French Tricolour. (The traitor!) And all due to having been trained in France from a young age by his French Grandmother. As such the British press had initially been torn between wanting to embrace him as a prodigal son, or vilify him. Luckily for the press he had taken that decision out of their hands by being arrogant, abrupt and down right rude at times, three things the British and the English in particular greatly abhorred. So that was that, Britain would have to look elsewhere for their Wimbledon hopeful.

Well, John thought as his pains and cares were forcefully and efficiently manhandled away, at least they were no longer looking at him either.


Re: Fill: A Study in Winning 3/?


‘Johnny, its Harry. Look about the tickets, you were joking right? You are gonna get me some. You know how much I enjoy watching you play, and if this is going to be your last, well then, and you promised you’d keep in touch. Sucks having to find out how you’re doing from the newspapers. You know what they’re like. Anyway, call me.’

He sighed and hit three to delete the message. No tickets, that was what he had told her the last time they had spoken, well argued. He had no desire for her to come only to eat the strawberries and drink the free booze, because they both knew what happens after that. It was a miracle Clara was even speaking to him. Well, actually she wasn’t, but that was more down to him than his uncontrollable sister.

The cab finally stopping not because of London traffic, he made sure to check he had everything before bailing out. It wouldn’t do for him to forget something important, like his rackets… again.

Clothes, check. Laptop, check. Half a pharmacy in acceptable drugs, lotions and muscle relaxant, check. Rackets and other sundries and accessories, check.

Grabbing his wallet from his pocket he paid the cabbie and made his way to his new temporary home. The Dorchester Hotel. Yeah, it was as grand and imposing as he remembered, although he wasn’t sure he recalled quite so many security guards. Blimey some of those men looked imposing.

“Welcome to the Dorchester, Mr Watson,” the woman on the desk smiled as she handed over his key. “Your room is on the third floor. Enjoy your stay.”

He would, he just doubted it would be a particularly long one.

Sighing, he made his way through the crowds, past a number of faces that he recognised. Andy Roddick, 2003, second round Rogers Cup, three sets disaster. David Ferrer, 2006, US Open, third round, painful disaster. He really needed to stop remembering when he lost to each of them, it was hardly helping.

Was that Maria Sharapova?

“Sorry. I’m so, sorry.”

And now he had done it. Distracted as he was he had ended up walking into someone, someone with dark hair who was dressed incredibly smartly in a dark suit and white shirt, both of which were undoubtedly designer. The man looked incredibly familiar, but fumbling for his dropped key and bags he made his apologies and disappeared as soon as he could.

It was only later when he got to his room, sorted out his things and switched on the telly that he realised who it had been.

“Damn,” he said sinking onto the bed. Of all the people to have literally walked into.

So, he typed a little later having decided that he might as well try and settle his mind with a spot of introspection and self therapy, the day before my last tournament and I’m here, by myself, in my room, in a huge hotel, basically talking to myself. Christ, nothing ever happens to me. Except tennis of course. There’s always tennis, although not for much longer. Sod it, I’m going to the courts for a last final practice.

Re: Fill: A Study in Winning 3/?

eee can't wait for more. I love Wimbledon. Love AU's even more *-*

OP Re: Fill: A Study in Winning 3/?

Aww! Loved John's litany of losses. And the second round of Queens isn't that bad! Also loved your description of Sherlock, SO much better than mine!

(Also Wimbledon is one of the OP's favourite films. She watches it pretty much every year, usually just after the last British player has gone out...)

Loving this so far

Re: Fill: A Study in Winning 4a/?

Slowly getting there. :)


Arm up, ball up, racket up. Racket down, ball down, beer can… not quite down.


He watched as the ball bounced a few more times before rolling to a harmless stop at the far end of the court. The beer can, however, remained obstinately upright.

“Right,” he muttered to himself and went back to the baseline again.

This time the ball clipped the can but the can still remained upright.

“Interesting. Old injury to your left shoulder, slight tightening of your serratus anterior, partially from overuse, most probably picked up at Queens. Out in the first, no second, round, beaten by someone younger, fitter, faster, but not necessarily better. Wild card entry here, partly due to Queens, mainly because you’re British. They’re desperate and love an underdog. Once ranked as high as 15th in the world, but that was years ago now. This is it, your last tournament. You’re worried you’ll go out in the first round, and unless you change something then I admit there’s a very good chance that you will. You’re just not sure what you need to change.”

He stared in blatant shock at the tall, slight figure leaning casually against the fence behind him. His face fell half in shadow due to the angle of the sun, but there was no mistaking the tousled curls of his dark hair. His image was well known, plastered across billboards, posters, busses, while his name was mentioned practically every time there was a major tournament being discussed. Anyone who knew anything about the sport had heard of –

“Sherlock Holmes,” he man said pushing off from the fence to close the gap between them. “I don’t believe we’ve had the honour.”

No, that was one thing that he did know, they had never faced each other across a tennis court, Holmes’ almost meteoric rise to the top coinciding with his injury and equally spectacular fall from household name status.

“Yes,” he said nodding as if he understood what had just happened, “I recognised you, although your accent’s different.”

Holmes cocked his head slightly but made no effort to explain, rather a different question emerged. “And you are?” he asked.

John blinked, absently turning his racket in his hand. “John, John Watson,” he said, “but you must have already known that, you know, what with everything you just said.”

“Hardly,” Holmes said. “Everything I said I gleamed simply from my observation of you just now. While from your equipment I can gather your initials to be either JHW or, the slightly less likely due to an inconsistency in capitalisation, MHR, your precise name needed more information than I have in front of me, information you have just now supplied.”

He stared. “You… you don’t know who I am?” he asked slowly.

The other man made a motion that could almost be a shrug. “Should I?” he asked casually.

“No, uh, I guess not,” he conceded.


They both looked up as another man suddenly appeared on the other side of the fence. Older than them both, his dark hair was peppered with white and he had the look of someone who was clearly annoyed.

“What are you doing?” the newcomer said in an aspirated tone. “You know you’re supposed to be back at the hotel room. You have an interview in twenty minutes or did you forget?”

“I didn’t forget, Lestrade,” Holmes bit back. “I said I’ll be there, so I’ll be there. Laissez-moi, allez-vous en!*”

The other man – Lestrade? – looked even more annoyed at that if his scowl was anything to go by, but he left without another word.

“Agent or trainer?” John asked, watching as Holmes bounced a ball twice before executing a text book serve that sent the beer can flying.

“Neither,” Holmes said tossing him a spare ball. “Try not to tense your arm and you should be fine.” He pointed to the next beer can along.

Author's Note (Anonymous) Expand

Fill: A Study in Winning 16a/?

Fingers crossed this will appear in the right place since I'm attempting to stop it from getting ridiculously small on the right hand side.


He knew all about post match emotional crashes, having experience quite a number in his life, but this was the first time he’d had such a serious one coming off the high of a euphoric win.

Sighing he entered the room and stowed his bags and rackets carefully out of the way. The room phone didn’t have any messages on it and his mobile was staying stubbornly silent. Sitting on the bed he switched on the telly just in time to see the tennis highlights, but switched it off again after a few minutes.

What to do now?

He lay back on the bed and stared up at the ceiling. It wasn’t as if he had expected to still be here by this point. Through to the third round, whoever would have thought that? And he was playing better tennis than he had done in a long time. Dimmock next and there was always the possibility that he would beat him. Then what? The fourth round. He hadn’t seen the fourth round of a competition in years. That would be nice. But no, he wasn’t about to get ahead of himself. Dimmock would be a challenge. He mustn’t take that one lightly.

Sighing, he rolled off the bed and stretched. The adrenaline and endorphins from the match had finally worn off leaving him to finally feel the extent the win had done to his muscles. Win or lose he certainly wasn’t bouncing back as he had done when he was younger, but at least it didn’t feel as if he had damaged anything. He couldn’t risk stiffening up though. Maybe another shower would do him good, the heat would help his muscles and the whole thing would take his mind off everything else.

His room might be smaller than most in this hotel, but the shower was heavenly. He lost track of how long he stayed in there, only knowing there was condensation everywhere by the time he emerged. Drying himself with the first towel, he wrapped the second around himself and wondered back into the cooler air of the main room.

He stopped in surprise. Okay, a bit more than surprise.

“Hope you don’t mind, but I thought I’d occupy myself while you are otherwise indisposed.”

Sherlock Holmes was once again sat stretched out on his bed, his laptop perched on his thighs, black socked toes wiggling while he looked very relaxed and very much at home. He tried not to gape but knew he failed horribly. For a moment he wanted to ask what the other man was doing there but discarded it as a pointless question. He closed his mouth and instead ran his hand through his damp hair.

“You’ve changed your password,” Sherlock commenting not even bothering to look up as he waved briefly to the laptop before typing something incredibly fast. “PissoffSherlock, not the most imaginative, but points for style. Will admit I started with fuckoffSherlock but it’s pretty much the same thing.” He then looked up with a slight frown. “While I appreciate the sight of you in just a towel, you may want to get dressed before we go out.”

He blinked finally getting enough act together to move fully into the main room.

“Where exactly are we going?” he asked.

“Fish and chips,” Sherlock said simply. “I believe it’s a British delicacy you wished to treat me to. Then I thought perhaps a walk, see some of the greener London sights, and then back here so you can bend me over this bed and give me a good seeing to. How does that sound?”

“Ah, good,” he managed suddenly aware that his curious onset of light headedness was most probably due to a certain amount of blood rushing elsewhere, namely downwards so to speak. Damnit, he wasn’t twelve.

Breathing in deeply and trying to think of something, anything else, he licked his lips and cleared his throat. “Sounds good,” he finally managed. “Uh, yeah.”

“Excellent,” Sherlock said. “Which means you might want to start moving, and don’t mind me, I’ve seen it all before.”

Re: Fill: A Study in Winning 16b/?

Well that was true, he had to admit. Pulling himself together, he crossed over to the draws to pull out a pair of pants. Then without a shred of embarrassment or hesitation he dropped his towel in order to pull them on. Next he found a decent enough shirt – one of his checked ones – a pair of non white non tennis socks, and finally his jeans.

“Has anyone told you,” Sherlock said having not even so much as moved an inch, “that you have the most gorgeous bottom?”

He laughed slightly buckling his belt. “Yes, actually,” he said. “Although not recently.”

“Criminal,” Sherlock said finally closing the lid of the laptop and rising from the bed, “because it really is something that should be appreciated more often.”

The hand that sneaked round to squeeze his arse did so without hesitation or compunction.

“Hmm, yes, definitely,” Sherlock said giving him a light squeeze, “but later. Come on.”

The hand tapped his behind firmly before Sherlock turned away to slip on his shoes.

“And don’t forget your wallet.”

They ended up finding a fish and chip restaurant that did take-away not too far from the hotel. Laden down with the hot food and a couple of bottles of mineral water, they wondered back to Hyde Park where they sat on a bench and watched the evening draw in and the people pass by. The food was pretty good and they talked casually. It turned out that Sherlock knew very little about films or TV programmes, looking blank when John mentioned James Bond. Apparently if it didn’t concern tennis then Sherlock wasn’t hugely interested.

After the food they strolled through Hyde Park while Sherlock pointed out what he could deduce about the people they passed. It was all rather pleasant, more than pleasant in fact, and in direct conflict with everything he had been told that day – by Sally, by Sarah, by Lestrade.

“I bumped into that chap of yours,” he said after a few moments of silence. “Lestrade. In the foyer of the hotel.”

“Hmm, yes,” Sherlock said mildly, “he mentioned something of that.”

“Did he tell you what he told me?” he asked.

“Not exactly,” Sherlock said, “but I can deduce. No doubt you had been asking questions of my whereabouts and he’d taken it upon himself to remind you that I care for nothing and no-one except my tennis. Am I right?”

John confirmed that he was.

“And yet we both know that already,” Sherlock continued. “I shag, I don’t date. At the end of this tournament we will go our separate ways. You know what that means. Until then I enjoy your company – which can not be said for most the people I ever meet – and I will physically take whatever it is you want to give. Any issues with that then you should walk away, but I’m not about to pretend that this is any more than that.”

That was… pretty much what he had expected; a brief fling, a bit of company during something that could otherwise be rather lonely, and some rather memorable sex. Yeah, he could do that. And if he won more matches along the way then so much the better. He had wanted to go out with a bang anyway. At least this would be memorable.

“I can live with that,” he said bluntly.

“Good,” Sherlock said. “Was here anything else?”

“Yeah,” he said, “that other tennis player, Donovan, she says you get off on this.”

Sherlock raised his eyebrows. “I’ve just told you that, and here you still are.”

He quirked his lips. “Coffee?” he said.

Sherlock smiled. “Thought you’d never ask.”


Coming Next – Sherlock and John in Even More Sexy Times. :D

Double-entendre? What double-entendre?

OP Re: Fill: A Study in Winning 16b/?

I shag, I don’t date.

Does Sherlock realise that romantic candlelit dinners and fish and chips in the park counts as dates? Especially when followed up with fantastic sex? I think Sherlock's in deeper than he thinks he is. Or at least is getting that way. Or maybe I'm just hoping that for John's sake and because I'm an old romantic?

Re: Fill: A Study in Winning 16b/?

"...and then back here so you can bend me over this bed and give me a good seeing to. How does that sound?”


I love this so, so much.

Edited for html fail. :/

Edited at 2011-06-26 09:57 pm (UTC)

Re: Fill: A Study in Winning 16b/?

I've been a bad reader and I didn't comment on the last part, but I really enjoyed it and would have applauded Sherlock if I hadn't been in a public place.

I wanted to applaud this chapter too, and I was glad I still had my disco ball because when John came out of the shower and saw Sherlock, that was a very good reason to celebrate. Fear my clumsy dance steps. Am I weird if I think it's insanely cute that Sherlock wants to go out for fish and chip? Because I think it's very cute, probably because it doesn't seem like the kind of thing he does. The romantic in me hopes that if he got out of his comfort zone for that, perhaps he will end up breaking (or almost breaking) some of his rules eventually. But even if he doesn't, I will enjoy the sexy times immensely. Because just the promise of more makes me react like a Pavlovian dog (don't be surprised if you get a bill for a broken keyboard, it'll be from me).

It looks like John has just found the best motivation ever. The better he plays, the longer he stays and the longer he stays, the more sex with Sherlock he will have. This could change professional tennis forever!


Fill: A Study in Winning 17a/?

Adult. Definitely adult. Have a I mentioned that it’s adult?


Feeling Sherlock stretch around him was just as good as the last time.

Easing his way in, John paused to allow Sherlock to adjust to his size while he admired the gorgeous sight beneath him. Bent forward over the bed, Sherlock’s back was stretched out before him, a multitude of tan lines from various clothing. His bare arse was the palest, protected from the sun by a variety of shorts, his back a touch darker from where he must have been practicing topless. His arms were the darkest although still not as tanned as he might have expected. He was, however, fucking gorgeous all over, and currently very much at his mercy.

“Hope you’re not waiting for an umpire before you start,” the deep voice grumbled beneath him, the body shifting impatiently.

“Hush,” he said gripping the narrow hips tighter. “Trust you to be impatient.”

Leaning over he pressed his mouth to the smooth skin, breathing out against it before curling his lips into a soft kiss. His body was screaming at him to get on with it, to slide himself in and out of the tight heat currently clenching him, but he forced himself to wait. He was going to take this slow. He was going to take it so slow that Sherlock was going to begging him, begging him to move, to go faster, to fucking hell let him come.

The soft kiss curved into a smile. Oh yes, they were going to do things his way. They had the time after all, and there was no telling if he would ever have the chance to have the Frenchman like this again.

A whine from beneath him had him pressing his teeth into the kiss, nipping gently but warningly at the soft skin. The wiggling ceased with a heavy outward breath and he giggled slightly before running his tongue up the curve of the spine, pressing further into that delectable arse as he stretched up.

“Move, please,” he heard from beneath him, said in such a way that it shot right to his cock.

God that voice.

“Okay,” he said because that voice was just so damn hard to ignore, and slowly pulled out until only the head of his penis was inside. Then he pushed back in nearly as slowly.

“How’s that?”

He repeated the motion a touch faster, this time chuckling at the slight moan he got for his trouble.

Shifting his feet wider he moved again and knew the instant he found Sherlock’s prostate.

“Oh yes,” he breathed as the body flexed beneath him. “That’s the shot.”

He sped up a touch giving in to the desires of his own body, but kept his strokes long and steady in what he knew would be a pleasant but slightly maddening way. It was certainly both for him, his eyes falling briefly shut as he breathed in and relaxed into the sensations.

Christ it had been a long time since he’d had a long slow fuck. The last time they had done this had been fucking gloriously brilliant, but there was something to be said about taking the time to build things slowly.

“You know, you left marks on me last time,” he said as casually as he could, punctuating the sentence with a stronger than usual thrust at the end.

“Did I?” the Frenchman said, his voice not quite as steady as he might have been aiming for.

“Hmm,” he said. “On my back. Mike, my doctor, commented, wanted to know who the lucky lady was.”

“Ah!... oh yes, there. God, John, do that again!”

He sped up briefly giving half a dozen faster, harder thrusts that had Sherlock groaning in appreciation. Oh, yes, he could groan so nicely. Then he slowed down again, chasing back his instinct to turn this into some quick, fast romp that would be good, very good, but over far too soon.

“Bâtard!” he heard Sherlock mutter. He didn’t know what he meant but he could give a very good guess.

He chuckled again, sneaking a hand round to play with an offered nipple.

“Hmm, yes,” he said. “It was your fingers actually. Left lines down my back.”

“Long…hmmm… thin fingers. Yes, there! Mon Dieu! Good for the violin.”

“You play the violin?” He nipped at the curved back and pinched the nipple between his fingers.

Sherlock jerked, clenching around him at the sensation.

“Hmm, yes,” the Frenchman finally managed after a number of deep breathes. “Violin. Yes.”

“A man of many talents.”

(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)

Fill: A Study in Winning 26a/?


The shower wasn’t huge, but there was enough room for Sherlock to stand behind him and torture him with a good, firm, but slow hand job that had him gasping while the Frenchman whispered filthy things in his ear and made love to his neck with his mouth. Apparently it was pay back for leaving him hanging so long the night before. As paybacks went this was one he could live with.

After the shower he discovered that his bag did contain everything he could need and more, and was rather relieved to be able to pull on a fresh pair of pants and jeans. Sherlock, however, appeared to prefer a t-shirt and a pair of pyjama bottoms over which he pulled his dressing gown and promptly went to town on the fruit with the blender. It turned out he made a pretty good smoothy.

He accepted it with a smile while sorting out another cup of tea and some toast – jam for him, honey for Sherlock.

The morning was spent in a haze of lazy domestication. After the events of the previous day Sherlock seemed content to do very little, lounging around first with his laptop – snorting at the reports of the previous evening in the tabloids – and then with his violin. He turned out to be a rather proficient player, not concert standard, but more than able to zip through both some classical pieces and some more popular ones.

For the most part though he was ignored. Realising that the Frenchman wasn’t being rude but rather needed time to himself, John happily left him to it, then decided it was pointless to be surprised when on opening his laptop discovered a post-it note with the internet password for the flat on it.

He spent the morning checking his emails, writing his blog and laughing at the youtube video of the cat falling off the shelf. His blog took most of his time since he felt it only fair to talk about the fantastic week of tennis he was having. Of course he completely neglected to mention the fantastic week of sex he was also having. There was only so much other people needed to know about. He even responded to a message from Harry, although he didn’t tell her about having seen Clara. That wasn’t something he particularly wanted to go into right now.

Lunch consisted of whole wheat pasta salad knocked together from the foods in the box, followed by a lovely fruit salad that Mrs Hudson kindly brought up for them. His second meeting with her was decidedly less embarrassing than the first, although he hadn’t been able to stop the blush when she pointed out as a matter of fact that she had seen it all before anyway, and that she was their landlady not their mother. Sherlock, of course, took it all in his stride, planning an affectionate kiss on her cheek before stealing a strawberry. It was a little strange seeing him be so demonstrative, especially as he was so well known for his cold persona, but John had to admit that it seemed to suit him.

“Ah, here they are,” Sherlock suddenly said triumphantly, pulling an envelope out of one of the boxes. “Tickets for the semi-final and final.”

“For me?” Mrs Hudson said obviously delighted.

“Naturally,” Sherlock said accepting her hug.

“Well then,” she said, “I shall expect to see you both there then. Oooh, wait until I tell Mrs Turner next door about this.”

“That was good of you,” John said once she had disappeared down the stairs.

“Mrs Hudson is one of the my most loyal supporters,” Sherlock said waving it away. “She keeps my secrets, I keep hers. It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement.”

“Still,” John said flopping back down onto one of the armchairs, “you’re planning on making the final then.”

“I’m planning on winning the final,” Sherlock corrected. “It’s my time, my year, my trophy.”

“Well,” John said with a small smile, “won’t be easy. You’ll have to get past the likes of Federer, Djokovic… Moriarty to do that.”

“Exactly.” With that Sherlock took refuge on the sofa, stretching out, fingers pressed together as in prayer. There he stayed, silent and still for the best part of an hour.

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