John and Sherlock continuously ignore ‘moments’
The first time that John and Sherlock met, neither of them really noted the other. In fact, if you asked them today, they would have a completely different story of their first encounter.
The truth however, is usually not what either party thinks it is. In this case, the truth involves a particularly rainy night, a single coach, and an inadequate overcoat.
John Watson was walking rather quickly down the street, broad shoulders hunched inward in a way that made the usually imposing gentleman look like he was in possession of a much smaller stature than he had. His brow was furrowed in frustration and his hat was pulled down low.
It was scarcely eleven, and already the establishment he had been at had asked him to leave. His buddies had jeered for a moment, but quickly settled back into their cups when the owner had turned to them, ready to throw more men out.
It was true that John was the most rambunctious man in the place, but wasn’t it just his luck that he should have been singled out amongst his peers, who had been nearly as loud and disruptive as he. It seemed like ever since he has gotten back to England, he has had nothing but poor luck.
To top off the night, the weather had taken a turn and he found himself in a simple overcoat, ill prepared for the rain and bone-numbing chill of a London night.
He shook violently, drawing his coat even tighter around himself. Little good it did him, the wool was soaked through and heavy, clinging in all the wrong places. The damn thing would doubtlessly shrink, and be entirely useless to him.
The alcohol he has so joyfully imbibed so excessively just a little while ago now left him feeling cold, dizzy, and very down in spirits.
Truly, there could be no man in the whole of England who was more miserable tonight than he.
Speaking of more miserable men, there was in fact one such soul. Sherlock Holmes, who found himself once again in an unknown part of the city, was striding through the lamplit streets, eating up the blocks rapidly with his long legs and drug fueled vigor.
The last few days were a blur, and Sherlock felt as terrible as he looked. His dark hair was matted and much to long, falling about his face in wet strands. A thick black coat was wrapped around him firmly, his only solace on the nights he was unable to return to his flat and ended up sleeping it off in an alley.
Tonight though, he had a single thought. He needed to return home. He didn’t know what drove him so. Perhaps it was the drugs – an obsessive thought that had wormed its way into his skull and proceeded to push through piles of grey matter to the front of his brain, squashing any other impulses that arose.
He felt violently ill, the high receding along with his boundless energy. He wasn’t quite sure where he was headed, but he was sure that he didn’t have the money for a coach. It grew more and more likely that tonight he would stay in this unknown neighborhood, and wake to the light of day just as lost and penniless as before.
He passed a lone man walking rather aimlessly, and was quick to go around him. This hour of the night saw all sorts of undesirables, of which he readily recognized himself as one of them. However, Sherlock had never needed the rob another person, nor felt the need to harm another. The same could not be said for everyone else out on these streets.
A driver sat upon the front of his coach, nearly asleep. The steady rain and late hour left him wishing for hearth and home. While his attire kept him warm enough, his horse looked damn near frozen and there hadn’t been a single person yet who found themselves in need of a ride. Perhaps in a few hours he would make his way down the seedier parts of town to try and catch the drunks who still had money in their pockets and were in need of a quick drive home, but for now it was to risky to sit and wait in that area.
Gregory, the driver, considered himself a godly man. He was an honest soul who had never had real cause to fear the things that haunted the imaginations of more sinful men, but he shivered to his very bones when a tall figure pushed through the dense fog not more than ten strides from his carriage, and made towards him.
The gaunt man was wrapped in a thick black coat, falling well below his knees. His face was drawn, pale and dirty. His face was clearly fine boned, but had strayed towards the skeletal. Cheekbones stuck out like knives, and his eyes appeared dull and sunken.
He was shivering slightly, but Gregory chalked that up to the cold night.
No longer in motion, the figure was no less imposing but slightly more pitiful. He has stopped by the driver, just slightly in front of the carriage but not yet close enough that Gregory was worried that he would grab him. The man swayed where he stood, uncertain what to do with his hands as they fiddled with the sleeves of his coat.
“Never expected to find a driver at this hour,” The man rasped.
Gregory pulled himself up straighter, now entirely awake.
“Yes well, ‘er I am. Are you in need of a ride sir?”
The man’s hands continued to pull pointlessly at his sleeves.
“I was hoping to get a ride towards the tower,” His eyes darted left, no longer holding Gregory’s gaze. “Only thing is, I haven’t any money on me.”
Gregory gave a long suffering sigh. Of course.
“But Detective Lestrade is an colleague of mine, and were you to deliver me to the yard I am sure he would pay you.”
Certainly, Gregory thought to himself, a detective would pay for this bums travel fare. That seemed as believable as the Queen emerging from the fog next.
Before the weary driver could tell this man to shove off, another figure appeared from the fog.
This man seemed the direct opposite of the wraith currently hovering near his coach. This man was considerable shorter and broader, and walked with none of the violent sure-footedness the first man had possessed. This man was slowly winding his way towards the pair, hat pulled low, and breath doubtlessly foul with drink.
“What is going on here sirs?” He mumbled, in a very amenable way if you’d ask him, still a distance from the pair.
Then, a bit louder, “Has this carriage been spoken for?”
Finally. Drunks paid well, had they the ability, and Gregory would be sure to get his money up front.
“Not at all friend. Where are you heading?”
The tall man was staring only at the ground now, beginning to shuffle his way backwards. The driver had completely dismissed him now, focused on the friendly customer who would no doubt pay. It was hopeless.
Turning, the man stared up into the sky for a moment, letting the cold droplets clear his mind and wash his tangled hair off of his face.
The voice of the approaching man carried through the fog, chatting with the driver about the many injustices he had faced this night, and how fortunate he was to find a coach at this hour.
He heard the slightly slurred voice call out to him as he walked away. Something about sharing the carriage ride, but it was all to easy to simply let his mind get washed away with the rainwater swirling down the street as he wandered off again into the night, following the swirling pools of water as they too rushed down the street in search of a gutter.