The crackling fire soothed two injured people's ills. Another two (one distinctly nonhuman) watched the two in exasperation.
Calvin sniffled, huddling further in his blanket, cold hands curled around the mug of hot cocoa. Beside him, Sherlock gingerly touched his side where a good-sized bruise was forming. "You jumped." Disbelief was heavy in that voice.
Calvin mumbled something softly. "I thought you were here about the noodle incident."
Sherlock snorted, and John sighed. "How very boring. No, we came about Miss Malcone."
It was the stuffed tiger that replied, making John jump slightly. "The old bird we ran through her backyard naked while strapped to a kite. Remember the birdbath?"
"Oh yeah. Heh-he-he…" Calvin put on his best, I-didn't-do-Anything smile, and widened his eyes into the best puppy-dog/bambi look possible. It didn't work very well, and John shifted uncomfortably as the tiger next to him began laughing. "I apologized for that."
Somehow John doubted that the apology was anything like Miss Malcone expected.
"A letter or something equally boring?"
"I tried to tell mom and dad that if they would rent me a flame thrower I'd make her the best sorry letter ever! But nooo!" Calvin rolled his eyes and threw up his hands, before once again scrunching down into a snarl. "And they wonder why their polls are down."
"Political polls." John barely managed to keep from flinching as Hobbes spoke up once more. "You should see them some time. I help draw the graphs."
Calvin stood, trailing wet footprints to the bookcase, before pulling out a clipboard. Written on it in scrawled, messy handwriting were various things observed, and a graph written in slightly neater handwriting. "See? Dad's popularity polls have been going down recently. They refuse to get any more tuna fish for Hobbes."
"If you want tuna fish-" Sherlock began, when Calvin cheerfully interrupted.
"I don't like Tuna Fish." The completely point-blank reply wasn't a lie. Even John could tell that. John glanced from between the staring Sherlock, the happily sipping cocoa Calvin, and the tiger with a few drops of hot chocolate on his whiskers. Wait-
The cup in Hobbes paws was completely drained.
John hid his face in his hands, and counted to ten. Then to twenty.
Finally feeling human enough to join the conversation, he looked up to find that Sherlock and Calvin both had disappeared, leaving him alone with Hobbes. "You drank that cocoa."
"Of course. It'd be a shame to let it go to waste."
"You're a tiger." A stuffed tiger lingered on his lips, oddly unspoken.
"Correct, a proud member of the species." Hobbes struck a pose, brushing a paw across fur in an attempt to smooth it down. "Fierce man eater, and solver of math problems at your service."
"Girls are too cute to eat of course." Hobbes smirked, and John laughed. It was absolutely crazy to hear the sentiment out of a tiger… but at the same time it felt so right.
"So you're hanging around Calvin then."
"To be more precise, he caught me in his trap and his parents make too good of tuna fish sandwiches to pass up. Well, there was that one point with those dogs…" Hobbes trailed off, frowning slightly at the bad memories. "Anyways, Susie found me after that and Mr. Buns is a nice rabbit to talk too."
"Mister-" John cut himself off before he could ask. "Nevermind."
Sherlock's voice suddenly rose, yelling and shouting. John rose to his feet, but was stopped by a paw to his arm. Hobbes was languidly stretching out, and he grinned lazily, "Don't worry; Calvin's just gotten on his costume."
John grinned, wondering what sort of costume it would be. Judging by Sherlock's sharp, irritable tone, some pop culture reference that the self-proclaimed sociopath wouldn't recognize.
"STUPENDOUS MAN WILL SAVE THE DAY!" A yellow clad figure came bounding towards the stairs. John grinned, and nodded at Hobbes, who nodded back, completely missing Sherlock's confused look before the man turned back to the hyperactive child.
"Would you please stop this annoying habit of dropping into fantasy?" Sherlock demanded coldly, "You're a lot less boring then most-"
High compliments… Too bad Calvin didn't care one whit about those compliments. "STUPENDOUS MAN TAKES TO THE AIR IN A FLYING LEAP!"
John looked up with terrified eyes as Calvin, at the head of the stairs, jumped off arms outstretched like a comic book hero in flight. Hobbes snorted as he rolled over, and the short man bolted from his comfortable place by the fire place, arms outstretched to catch the kid.
Said kid had a rather powerful jump, and would've only hit the middle of the stairs if John hadn't been there to catch him.
"Gwark!" Calvin flailed as his cloak wrapped around his throat, choking off his air supply. John dragged away the cloak, practically shaking the child.
"Do you have no sense at all? You keep trying to jump off of things-"
"Oh, you should see him come summer time, we go over the cliffs like lemmings on his wagon." Hobbes offered from the fireplace.
Sherlock swept down from wherever he had been hiding, looking directly at Calvin. "Calvin, I need that information."
"I'm not Calvin- I'm STUPEN-"
"This foolish, stupid charade will come to a close here." Sherlock snapped, pale eyes burning in fury. "I do not wish to be subject to your fantasies any longer."
The upraised fist slowly sank, Calvin staring directly at Sherlock with dead eyes. His shoulders slumped. "Oh." His voice was incredibly small, like he was trying not to cry. "Fine. Let me go get my toboggan."
The toboggan was dragged behind Calvin as they hiked up the steep hillside. The pure white snow stretched for what looked for miles. The brambly forest stood out in dark contrast to the snow, off to the right. Calvin stopped at the top of the hill, resting the toboggan at the top.
"Here, sit here, would you."
Sherlock, surprisingly quiet throughout the entire thing, glared at him. Calvin glared back. "It's too get in the mood, alright? It was awhile ago. Just lay down on it, would you?"
It took a bit of shuffling, but Sherlock managed to fit quite nicely on the toboggan. Hobbes was snickering in the background, and John felt unease creep into his gut. Why?
"It was on a day a lot like this. Notice how quiet it is. It's like there's nothing for miles. It's so peaceful and silent, like the world is on pause." Calvin smiled as he stared up in the air, the muffled silence around them.
Sherlock seemed to agree.
John looked to where Hobbes was howling with laughter, pounding at the snow.
Both of them missed Calvin's foot snapping out to give the toboggan a gentle push. Sherlock did not miss gravity clutching onto him, nor did John miss Sherlock's surprised, undignified screech as the toboggan went careening down the hillside.
Calvin smirked. "I hate all that silence."
Hobbes was practically rolling around in delight, his howls of laughter filling the air.
"C'mon Hobbes. He'll land in Miss Malone's backyard. I saw her earlier today peeking out of the window, so even if he does land in her marigolds he'll be fine." Calvin spoke airly; completely unconcerned to the fate of his toboggan. "All we have to do now is convince Santa to bring me a new toboggan."
Wait. Miss Malone had been dead for the past two days. Unless… it wasn't Miss Malone.
"SHERLOCK!" John bounded down the hill towards the crashed and crumpled figure of his friend, dizzily staring up at the sky.
Out of the corner of his eye he could see Calvin and Hobbes giving each other high-fives and running off towards the house.
Within minutes, Sherlock Holmes and John Watson were breaking into the house of Miss Malone.
Calvin whistled happily as he lugged the big cardboard box up the stairs. When he had found the box, it had been filled to the brim with the stupidest things. Stuffed toys, fat books without enough pictures, some psychobabble written on paper-
He dumped it out in the middle of the living room, and went upstairs with the real prize: The cardboard box.
"HOBBES! LOOK WHAT I GOT!"
"Playing classical music at 75 rpm again Calvin?" Hobbes grumbled sarcastically from the bed, nose buried in a comic book.
"Hmm, no- We got ourselves a new time machine! Mom threw out the old one." Calvin dug out a black marker from the closet. "Good thing too, it was getting holey."
"Yes, have you seen this newest comic? Wonder Woman-"
"Stop being a sissy and get over here." Calvin snapped back as he wrote the words Time Machine in big, scrawling letters along the side. "I got our goggles."
"Quick! Before mom gets here!"
"YOU ARE IN SO MUCH TROUBLE YOUNG MAN!"
Hobbes leapt into the box, strapping on the goggles. "Which time period-"
"Any! Hang on tight Hobbes!"
John grinned as he sipped at the warm, Styrofoam cup of coffee, Sherlock fuming beside him. "Did you see that John! I was attempting to determine his psyche, see what would draw him, but he took the cardboard box! The box! He ignored everything and just took the box!"
"What would you have taken then?"
"Obviously the book on criminal psychology. That is what I took when Mummy gave me the same box."
"Oh? It's a tradition then?"
"Yes, at the age of eight we get the box. Mycroft chose politics." Sherlock snapped back. "Nobody has ever taken the box. What happened to my data?"
"Imagination," John murmured into his cup. "Imagination is what he has."
There was a loud crash, and a surprised screech.
Sherlock snorted, "Honestly John, that's so boring. What good does imagination do?"
"Well… It shoved you off the hill into the solution for our so-called murder, didn't it?" John murmured back.
Sherlock's scowl grew even blacker. "Come John, let us go. We have important work to be done."
John translated it to roughly, The little brat reminds me of myself and I don't like it.
He did text Mycroft about the boy with the wild imagination; and if Calvin's parents complaints that they were being watched by the government was true… well, there was no need for them to know, now was there?