This is so sad - there are only two days left in the countdown. Okay, everybody: it's Christmas Eve, so it's time to grab a cup of cocoa, a cozy chair, and some Christmas cds to listen to. Don't forget to hang up your stocking. (Is anyone going to see Hobbit 3 tonight? O.O)
If you haven't read the first story in this series, you can find it on Lily Lindsey-Aubrey's profile page. It's called The Iron Hills Mall. Then go and read the ten (soon to be eleven) other stories in the series. Don't worry; you have all the rest of Christmas break to do it in.
Before we get into this story, here's Lily Lindsey-Aubrey's replies to the reviews for Red Bicycle:
First off, I offer my sincere and profuse apologies for the numerous mistakes I made. One of these was that I forgot to make us find something that we'd lost in the third story of FFCC; this happened to be Olaf the snowman. I've added it now. Anyone who read it before the edit, no problem, it's not that changed.
ThurinRanger: You win the prize for most prompt and most faithful reviewer! :) Thank you so much; I always look forward to your reviews. I like Mickey so much. He sticks with Rose even though she treats him like dirt. He does; usually he's more successful, but that day just wasn't his best. XD Yes, only two more days, but guess what!? WE ARE GOING TO HAVE AN LOTR ONE! AND IT IS GOING TO BE EPIC! I am looking forward to it as much as you are. :D (I'm not the one writing it; sadly, number ten was the last one for me to write.) Thank you so much! I want to do it next year. But we will probably forget. You need to bug us next year until we promise to do it. :) We have lots of ideas for more fandoms to do already.
2MFriedmanFreak: lol yes, I forgot Olaf. Thank you so much for reminding me! I would have never remembered. I don't like Olaf either, but he's not the worst character I've run into. (*ahem* *cough* Jar-Jar Binks *cough* *ahem*)
Melkor'sOnlyLieutenant: I'm sorry it's hard to follow. I tried to make it make sense even if you haven't seen the show, but it's really hard. Doctor Who is extremely involved and complicated. :/ Yes, he is Rose's original boyfriend, but then she runs off following other guys all the time. And he still puts up with her! I don't like Rose much.
Thalion Estel: I'm glad you enjoyed it, despite not having seen the show! (*gasp* *glare* ;P) I'm not exactly certain that the whole 'meeting himself' would have worked in the Doctor Who universe, because I've only seen the first season and a half. But yeah, time travel is cool! And here is your Baker Street story. :)
I started out intending to write a cool, brainy story but unfortunately...I'm not Stephen Moffat. *sob* So this is simply an extremely goofy story that isn't brainy at all. I don't know what Moriarty's evil plot was; Sherlock should have figured it out for me but he didn't. :P You have failed me, Sherlock!
This story is pre-Reichenbach because I haven't seen any of the newer season yet. It's also been almost a year since I saw any of the shows, so I may have gotten some things wrong. I made my sister read this story to make sure the characters weren't too ooc. She said they were too ooc. Especially Moriarty.
Sherlock Holmes - consulting detective (everyone should know that already); also high-functioning sociopath
John Watson - Sherlock's friend; doctor; Afghan War veteran; Sherlock often makes him help with cases
Mrs. Hudson - John and Sherlock's landlady—not their housekeeper
Mycroft Holmes - Sherlock's brother; runs the British government; is the British government
Molly Hooper - works at the hospital; likes Sherlock with unrequited affection
Lestrade - inspector at Scotland Yard; first name is Greg
Jim Moriarty - criminal mastermind; Sherlock's nemesis; has love-hate relationship with Sherlock
Anderson - (referenced only) police guy who works for Lestrade
Christmas on Baker Street
On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me eleven pipers piping...
John entered 221B Baker Street carrying several shopping sacks and found Sherlock loafing on the couch in his pyjamas staring at the television.
"Have you been watching telly the whole time I've been gone?" said John, setting the bags on the table.
"What took you so long?" said Sherlock. "Have another row with the chip and bit machine?"
"No," said John. "I was buying Christmas presents. By the way, did Mrs. Hudson tell you about the party she's planning?"
Sherlock wound himself up in his silk dressing gown and curled up into a ball on the couch.
"Oh, I guess she did," said John, slightly nonplussed. "Well, it's really not that bad. It's only going to be a few people."
He started putting groceries away, but couldn't find room in the refrigerator.
"Sherlock..." he said.
He heard a bump from the other room. That was Sherlock getting off the couch. There was a thud. That was Sherlock stepping on the coffee table. There was a bang. That was Sherlock firing his pistol at the wall. John hastened into the next room to save his laptop from being stepped on. There wasn't really any safe place for it where he could be sure Sherlock wouldn't walk.
Mrs. Hudson opened the door and poked her head into the room.
"Sherlock, I think—" she began. Then she saw John. "Oh, you're home, John," she said, looking relieved. "Keep an eye on him while I'm gone for a few hours, won't you?" She lowered her voice. "He hasn't had a case all morning. I'm afraid of what the neighbours might think if he goes on shooting the wall."
"I'm going to the shops, Sherlock," she said, raising her voice. "Is there anything you want?"
"Yes, I'd like my skull back," said Sherlock.
"You see what I mean?" said Mrs. Hudson in a whisper to John. "Keep him out of trouble. I'll be back shortly."
"I suppose you don't have any plans for the morning?" said John, closing the door behind Mrs. Hudson's departing figure.
Sherlock walked aimlessly into the kitchen without answering and began poking into bags.
"Well," said John, briskly, "Christmas isn't far away and it might be nice to have a little break from work, don't you think?"
Knowing that this would meet with disagreement, he didn't bother waiting for an answer. He picked up the bag with his Christmas presents in it and took it to his room where he hid it under the bed. Sherlock was watching television again in the living room when John came back. The news appeared to be covering some sort of accident.
"That looks bad," said John. "I know where that is. I walked by it just the other day."
His phone rang and he answered it in the middle of Sherlock's complicated explanation of how the accident had happened and that the owner of the vehicle was a vinyl blinds manufacturer from Lisbon.
"Who was that?" said Sherlock when John had hung up again.
"Who just called?" said Sherlock.
"Oh," said John. He briefly considered telling Sherlock that it wasn't his business, but didn't feel like taking the trouble since Sherlock would probably tell him who it was anyway. "That was Molly from the hospital. Mrs. Hudson invited her to the party tonight and she wanted to know what to bring you for a present."
"I could use a dozen eyeballs," said Sherlock. "Green, preferably."
"I doubt that many green-eyed people have died recently," said John dubiously.
A sudden rather unpleasant thought struck him. "Um, Sherlock," he said. "You know, I was just going to say, don't bother getting me a present this year. London is expensive and I—"
"Why would I get you a present?" said Sherlock from the couch.
"Oh—just, well not that you would. I just thought I'd mention it in case you felt obliged to or something. I mean, most people get their friends presents at Christmas."
"I don't have friends," said Sherlock.
"Oh, right; forgot," said John.
Sherlock thought that it might be wise to be nice to John, in case he wrote another unflattering blog post about him.
"By the way, John, thank you for your present," he said.
John looked startled. "But I haven't given it to you yet," he said.
"I found it," explained Sherlock. "And wanted to save you the trouble of wrapping it."
"You're welcome," said John drily.
"I don't happen to like gummy bears so I gave them to Mycroft," Sherlock continued.
"Sorry," said John. "Well, I knew you didn't want cuff links or deer-stalkers."
He took his laptop which Sherlock was in the act of hacking and retreated to a corner.
"I need a case!" cried Sherlock, suddenly losing his poise and seizing two generous handfuls of his hair. "Otherwise I'll have to go to Mrs. Hudson's party!"
"She'd be terribly disappointed if you didn't come," said John. He glanced at the yellow smiley face on the wall that was riddled with bullet holes and had an idea.
"Do you want to go out and get a Christmas tree?" he said.
"Why?" said Sherlock, staring vacantly into space.
"It might be fun," said John. "You need to get out and air your brain. Come on. Get some clothes on."
He got up and put on his coat. Then he waited impatiently while Sherlock went into his room and changed out of his pyjamas. Five minutes later the two of them were walking briskly down Baker Street.
The trees in the lot were wound up in plastic, making them difficult to look over. John walked from one to the other, trying to find the cheapest, while Sherlock stood gazing into the middle distance without deigning to be interested.
"You know," said John, "we're going to have to hire a cab to bring one of these home. Maybe we should just get a small artificial tree." He glanced across the street at Harrod's. "Let's try over there, Sherlock," he said.
Sherlock followed him without demur across a zebra crossing and into the festive and expensive interior of Harrod's. John suddenly realised that a case might be forthcoming in a store at Christmas time; there were bound to be some thefts.
They rambled around the store aimlessly, John picking out a one-metre tall Christmas tree and then not knowing what to do next. Sherlock was spending a long time looking through a rack of scarves when John got a phone call.
"Hello," he said.
The voice on the other end was Lestrade's. John listened in a sort of trance as he droned on in his unintelligible chav some sort of message that John only hoped he wasn't understanding properly.
"Yes, he's in hospital...poisoned evidently...not too serious..."
"Just a minute," said John, as his brain began to process this. "Tell me again why you're calling me about this and not Sherlock."
"Well..." There was a considerable pause on the other end.
"Yes?" said John.
"I thought I'd let you tell Sherlock. Actually, there's some suspicion...not me—it was Anderson who said it...I mean..."
"What?" said John.
"Well, it was the gummy bears he gave him," Lestrade finished reluctantly.
John seemed to hear a ringing in his ears.
"Hullo?" said Lestrade.
"All right, yes; I'll tell him right away," said John. He hung up.
"What happened to Mycroft?" said Sherlock.
"How did you know it was Mycroft?" said John, startled.
"You said 'He', so it couldn't be Mrs. Hudson, and if it had been Lestrade, you'd have waited and told me later."
"Yes, you're right, I would have," said John, mulling over this.
"So what happened to him?" said Sherlock impatiently.
"He's been poisoned," said John.
"What?" said Sherlock.
"Apparently the gummy bears..."
It took him several minutes to convince Sherlock that it was an actual, clinically-diagnosed case of food poisoning and not simply that Mycroft had eaten the whole package of gummy bears in one sitting. After that it took several more minutes for him to explain to Sherlock that they didn't need to go to the morgue, but only to the hospital.
Since he was doing the explaining as they rode in a cab, they reached the hospital just as he finished. A nurse showed them up to the darkened room where Mycroft lay unconscious. John entered uncertainly and stared with professional concern at the ghastly colour of Mycroft's skin. Sherlock had out his pocket magnifying glass and was studying Mycroft's fingers.
"He'll be better in a few hours, once the medication wears off," said the nurse reassuringly. "It wasn't a deadly poison."
"Where are the gummy bears?" said Sherlock.
"I think they're down at the police station," said the nurse.
"Tell Lestrade to send them up. I'll want to analyse them in the lab."
John followed Sherlock down to the laboratory, trying to summon courage to confront his intimidating friend.
"Sherlock," he said as the door of the lab closed behind them, "I want to talk to you."
"Don't," said Sherlock. "I need to concentrate."
"No, you need to listen," said John. "Do you know that they think you did that?"
Sherlock's eyes were focused into the microscope which shone two pinpoints of creepy blue light on his pupils.
"They think you poisoned Mycroft."
"Yes, I did know that," said Sherlock, still without looking at him. "Anything else?"
"Yes, one other thing, and it's something I really need to know," said John. "Did you?"
"Oh, you think I did?" said Sherlock.
"Well, you gave him the gummy bears."
"You gave them to me, so it's just as likely you were trying to poison me. It's more likely, in fact."
John stared in amazement. "You don't think I would poison you?" he asked.
"Of course I wouldn't poison anybody."
"Yes, and for some reason I would?"
"You're the psychopath," said John impatiently. "I'm a perfectly normal person."
"You have PTSD," said Sherlock. "And you're seeing a psychiatrist."
"Well, at least I'm seeing one," said John. Then he remembered that he hadn't seen his psychiatrist since he'd met Sherlock.
"Sherlock, let's go home," said John.
"You go," said Sherlock. "I'll want a blood sample when Mycroft wakes up."
John picked up his Christmas tree and went home. At least he would have a few hours of quiet without the television blaring, he thought.
He opened the door of the apartment and found that the television was blaring. He was sure he had turned it off. He looked over at Sherlock's favourite spot on the sofa and saw that it had been taken.
Moriarty looked up and smiled.
"Just wanted to wish Sherlock a merry Christmas," he said. "Oh, he isn't here? Oh well. Tell him for me."
He got up to go, but John in a sudden excess of courage, blocked the door.
"You tried to poison Sherlock, didn't you?" he said.
"No," said Moriarty. "Actually I didn't. I was trying to poison Mycroft."
"Then why did you poison the gummy bears I bought for Sherlock?"
"Well," said Moriarty, "technically I didn't poison them."
"Do you mean," said John, "that you got Sherlock to do it?"
Moriarty raised his eyebrows goofily high. "You're a nice friend," he said.
"No, actually I am a nice friend," said John hastily. "But Sherlock isn't...always."
"Well, why do you hang around with someone you think is capable of poisoning his own brother?"
"He needs someone to look after him so he doesn't do things like that," said John. "Just please tell me that Sherlock didn't do it."
"Okay, no he didn't. Someone in my pay did. I didn't want to kill Mycroft, if that makes you feel any better. I just wanted him out of the way for a few hours. I knew you'd give the gummy bears to Sherlock and that he'd give them to Mycroft and that would make it look like he did it. Unfortunately, he gave them to Mycroft before you even gave them to him, so the effects will wear off a few hours earlier than I intended. So I won't be able to commit the wonderful Christmas crime I had all planned out."
"That's why you're here?"
"Yes, that's why I'm here, but I'm going now. Good bye."
"No," said John, blocking the door again. "No, you can't go. Not until you've told Sherlock the truth about what happened. He thinks I tried to poison him."
"Really?" said Moriarty, apparently thinking it funny. "Well, if I had to live with Sherlock, I probably would poison him too."
"I want you to tell him," said John again.
Moriarty looked like he was about to say something like, "I don't feel like it," but at that moment Mrs. Hudson came in carrying a tray of shortbread.
"You're not having the party in here, are you?" said John, momentarily forgetting about staring menacingly at Moriarty.
"Well, how else was I supposed to get Sherlock to come to it?" she asked. "Besides, my room downstairs is too small. Oh, Professor Moriarty, you're here already."
"You—you invited him?" said John.
"Of course. He's one of Sherlock's friends, isn't he? Somebody said he was."
"I wasn't planning on coming," said Moriarty in a whisper.
John glanced back at Moriarty and suddenly a thought struck him.
"Oh yes," he said. "Yes, he came early to help decorate, actually."
"How lovely," said Mrs. Hudson, going out the door.
"Good bye," said Moriarty, attempting to follow her. John seized his coat and forcibly detained him.
"Not so fast," said John. "You're going to stay and make sure Sherlock has a good time at Mrs. Hudson's party."
"Now that's asking a bit much, isn't it?" said Moriarty, his smirk leaving his face in a hurry.
"You're going to," said John firmly. "Because if you don't, I'll..."
Moriarty raised his eyebrows again. "What will you do?" he asked. The smirk crept back over his face.
John gave him the sort of stare he had once been used to giving Afghani insurrectionists. "If you don't, I'll tell Mycroft that you're afraid of—"
He made a significant gesture. It was significant to Moriarty, anyway.
"You wouldn't do that," said Moriarty, sobering up immediately. "Would you? I mean, if Mycroft knew that..."
He swallowed and set his lips.
"All right," he said. "What do you want me to do?"
"First you're going to help me decorate this tree," said John, opening the box he had brought home with him.
The two of them were very busy until Lestrade arrived. Then John made Moriarty help Mrs. Hudson entertain him until Sherlock showed up.
John heard the sound of the door downstairs closing and suddenly had a qualm of conscience over allowing Mrs. Hudson to use their room for the party. After all, how would Sherlock take it, coming home after a long and exhausting afternoon at the lab, expecting to find peace and quiet and instead finding what he hated most—namely a lot of boring people? John tried to make himself smaller than he already was and hoped some miracle would occur and Sherlock would not take this out on him.
Sherlock stepped into the room and then stopped, staring at all the people in it. There was a long silence.
"Hullo," said Lestrade.
"What's going on?" said Sherlock.
"The Christmas party," said Mrs. Hudson, who was the only one brave enough to say anything. "Don't tell me you've forgotten already."
"What's he doing here?" Sherlock inquired, staring witheringly at Moriarty who was wearing his most innocent expression for the occasion.
"I invited all your friends," explained Mrs. Hudson.
"I don't have friennnnnds," said Sherlock.
The door behind him opened and Molly Hooper came in.
"Hello, everybody; sorry I'm late," she said. "Merry Christmas, Sherlock."
Sherlock did not turn around.
"I brought you a lovely arm," Molly continued, undeterred. "It was an extra. Nobody wanted it."
"Put it in the refrigerator," said Sherlock.
To John's relief, he crossed the room and sat down on the couch. What was not to John's relief was that he sat down next to Moriarty. John could only hope his threat was terrible enough to keep Moriarty on good behaviour.
The evening went surprisingly well. Sherlock guessed what was in each of his presents, except for the one from Moriarty. He didn't even attempt to guess that one. It turned out to be a strange bear-shaped toy, made of squishy plastic and covered with short, stretchy tendrils.
"What's it for?" said Sherlock, examining it in from various angles.
"It's called a squidgy bear," said Moriarty. "I thought you could use one. People with ADHD focus better if they have something to do with their hands. Isn't it cute?"
John glared at Moriarty, feeling certain that the present was an allusion to the gummy bears. Then someone handed him Moriarty's present to him. It was an oversized stuffed bear that Moriarty had been too lazy to wrap and had just stuck a bow to its head with sticky tape.
"People suffering from emotional trauma can find a stuffed toy helpful when they need comfort or reassurance," Moriarty explained for the benefit of nobody.
Mycroft even showed up later that evening, looking more pained than usual and swallowing small pills at surreptitious intervals. He apparently did not harbour any suspicions of his brother, although he didn't try to eat anything while at the party.
At last the party was over and all the guests left. John tried to slip out with them, hoping to avoid Sherlock's inevitable wrath.
"John," said Sherlock, from a reclining position on the couch.
"What?" said John, jumping guiltily and turning around.
"Who told Mrs. Hudson that Moriarty was my friend?"
"I don't know," said John. "I didn't do it."
"Somebody made him come...and I don't think Lestrade could have done it."
"Well, all right, I did do that," admitted John.
"You did?" said Sherlock, visibly impressed. "How did you do that?"
"I threatened him," said John. "With his greatest fear."
"Shut up," said Sherlock.
"No, I did," said John. "And it worked too, as you noticed. He's absolutely terrified of them."
"What is his greatest fear?" said Sherlock.
"What?" said John. "Do you mean that you don't know what his greatest fear is and I do?"
"It isn't swimming pools," said Sherlock. "Is it?"
"Is it heights?"
"No," said John. "Figure it out for yourself. Asking me is cheating."
"All right, then," said Sherlock. "Why did you make him come?"
"I knew you'd stay if he was here," said John. "I didn't want you to spoil Mrs. Hudson's party."
Sherlock looked annoyed.
"I didn't stay because of him anyway," he said. "I stayed because I made Mycroft promise to come to the party and I had to make sure he did."
John felt a twinge of guilt for doubting his friend. After all, Sherlock could be terribly heartless, but John doubted that he really hated anyone (with the possible exception of Anderson) as much as he pretended to. What sort of a friend was John if he had such a low opinion of his best friend?
"Sorry," said John uncomfortably. "I shouldn't have done it. I just -"
He was suddenly distracted by a small, flat package still on the table. "Somebody forgot to open a present," he said.
"That's for you," said Sherlock. "From me."
John stared at Sherlock. "You got me a Christmas present?" he said.
He tore off the paper. Inside was a bagpipe music cd with the title "Eleven Pipers Piping" printed on the cover.
"Sherlock," sniffed John, "you didn't have to go to all this trouble for—"
"Mrs. Hudson gave it to me," said Sherlock. "But I don't like bagpipe music."
"Thank you, Sherlock," said John.
And he meant it.
Okay, I don't know what Moriarty's greatest fear really is; I just made one up for the story. My sister thinks it should be bears.
Tomorrow, if you aren't too busy unwrapping presents...or eating...or watching Hobbit 3...go over to OneSizeFitsAll's page to find the last story: The Annual Imladris Christmas Party.