A/N I think, now that things have settled down IRL, I can set up a logical positing schedule. So here goes. Wednesday is my major day to write, with time stolen from other days as I can. With this in mind, my schedule should be as follows. Breaking Devon Brannel will be updated on Tuesdays, Unfurling on Thursdays, and Alexis on Saturdays. Feel totally free to bug me if I don't stick to this schedule! Now, on to the story.
If it weren't for the jet lag, Devon would be pacing right now. As it is, she carefully disregards years of vocal training and slouches through security and customs, grabbing her bag, and sitting down in arrivals to wait. It's half an hour later when she feels her hopes start to rise. Maybe he isn't coming after all. Maybe he's forgotten, or decided not to come. Maybe—
Sorry about the wait. ~5 mins –JW
She feels her heart fall to the ground.
Of course, despite her best efforts, it promptly leaps back up into her throat at the sight of John. He's paler, thinner and the lines on his face are more drawn, his hair darker than the last time they'd seen each other, before his discharge. But more than anything else he looks indescribably happy. Despite the gravity of the situation, she finds herself grinning at him as she rises, collects her bags and walks over.
By contrast, it's all she can do to keep from glaring at the tall, lanky man who sidles up to John and wraps an arm around him in what is undoubtedly supposed to be a nonchalant manner. This is the man who is going to kill John Watson. And Devon has no idea how she's going to stop him.
"Devon? Is it really you? What happened to the girl who ran across half of Heathrow to knock me to the ground with a hug?"
She giggles a little at the memory-he'd spent all of that visit demanding she carry everything due to his 'injuries'.
"That girl hasn't had her morning coffee yet and hasn't eaten since Munich."
"And considering all you had in Munich was-"
John elbows Sherlock in the side. Devon pretends not to notice, instead looking towards John and waiting for an introduction.
"Devon, this is Sherlock Holmes, my-"
There's an exasperated huff from John.
"Yes, thank you Sherlock. Sherlock, this is-"
"Devon Brannel, actress, 38. American, trained at LAMDA which explains the accent-even when she's talking normally there's a slight tinge of RP in her words, likely a simple reflex from hearing us speak. She just ended a relationship a few weeks ago, possibly because he cheated, more likely because she's in love with someone else, someone who she thought she had a chance with but likely just figured out there wasn't one, by the tear tracks on her makeup-"
"It's alright John. I've had worse."
When John looks at her in apology, she flushes a little, hoping he thinks it's embarrassment at what was said and not joy he didn't go any farther.
Her phone rings, and she's set to ignore it until she hears the ringtone.
"Do you mind if I take it John? It's my...agent."
She pauses purposefully, hoping to arouse his suspicions. But he just smiles and tells her to go ahead.
"No, no, it's perfectly alright. Yes. Yes, of course it will work. No, no way. Tell them to recheck my contract, I'm sure it's in there somewhere!"
She holds her hand over the mouthpiece of the phone and mouths "be right back" at them, before striding away.
When she comes back nearly twenty minutes later, there's a grim determination to her face.
"I'm really sorry John, but it looks like I'll have to cancel lunch on you. I'm going to have to book a flight back to the states."
She shakes her head, annoyed past the point of words.
"Apparently the people doing this project just lost their accommodations for me and have no plans of finding somewhere else-and I certainly can't afford living here until the shoot's finished."
For a moment she thinks Sherlock's glare will be enough to stem the offer she knows is coming. But apparently not even the force of his 'partner' can stop John from helping a friend. It's normally something she loves about John, but right now she hates it.
"Devon, if it would be at all helpful, we've got a bedroom we can-"
She doesn't even let him finish, shaking her head vehemently. Although the effect may have been ruined by the yawn she lets out.
"I couldn't ask you to do that. I wouldn't be able to pay you rent, and you know how weird my hours are—I'd be keeping you up at three in the morning by running lines in the kitchen or something!"
She throws in a giggle, but allows herself a mental grimace when she sees John just firm his stance.
"It'd be just like old times, then. You wouldn't be any more trouble than this one, here, and besides, with all you've done for me I can hardly begrudge you a spare bedroom."
Devon rolls her eyes. "I should have known you'd bring that up again. It's hardly the same thing, and I'm sure I can find some sort of work back in the states—"
"Look, the next flight back to America doesn't leave for what, six hours? Let's get something to eat and you can at least see the place."
She's going to have to give in eventually, Devon knows, and if she protests any more it would be noticeably out of character. God knows she's always given into John before.
With a playful glare, she grabs her luggage and gestures to John to lead the way.
"Alright, I give. But this lunch better be delicious, mister!"
John gives her his lopsided grin and steals one of her bags, Sherlock striding ahead of them without looking back.