Sherlock pretended to tidy up the living room as he waited for Murray to arrive. Mrs. Hudson kept telling him about the papers accumulating around the room in stacks. Personally, he didn't see that it was out of hand. There wasn't anymore space in the bookcase. It would be ever so tedious to rearrange his whole filing system. If anything, Mrs. Hudson should have been proud that he wasn't the average idiot reading nonsense. All his papers were case notes, scientific journals and whatever he was interested in at the moment. Not useless tabloid magazines or trashy novels that everyone loved to talk about.
"Sherlock! You have a client! Sending him up to you, dear." Mrs. Hudson shouted from downstairs.
Stopping his pacing, Sherlock waited impatiently with his hands clasped behind him. It was already too much waiting and he needed a good case. He also needed a bit of money to pay rent. Mycroft was still holding his trust fund hostage. The fat git was also out the question when it came to cases. The cases were always boring. Lestrade was still ignoring him about cases too.
He had even stopped answering his texts which was more annoying than frustrating. He took a seat in his leather armchair and picked at the nicotine patch on the inside of his arm. Boredom and impatience was eating away inside him. God, what was it like to be the average person and go through like without anything relevant going on? At hearing the last of footsteps come to a stop, Sherlock lifted his gaze to the doorway. Finally.
"Mr. Murray. Come in. Take a seat." Sherlock said, motioning to the empty armchair across from him.
He watched Bill hesitate in the doorway, taking in the state of his flat. He quickly snapped out of it and walked to the offered seat Sherlock let him and decided to make some deductions about his potential client.
Straight posture indicating military (completed last tour about six months ago). Still trying to get used to civilian life if checking the exits of his flat were any indications. Faded grey shirt, well worn leather jacket (saltwater stains from a river or ocean), high end jeans with bit of sand and mud in the cuffs (East Sussex variety so living near the ocean), boots [military grade] also had traces of mud on the soles (has to walk through the beach to get to home). About average height, broad shoulders, muscular frame with a narrow waist (what Western culture would consider a male to be attractive). Tan above the wrist (served in hot climate, most likely Afghanistan) with slight callouses along his hands. Indicating works with medical instruments. Not a doctor since none indicate work with anything surgical. Most likely RAMC nurse but got a job in a hospital when arriving home.
In all, someone that was confident in his abilities and work. He liked to splurge on what he enjoyed but was still practical when it came to money. Military and all that. Interesting. Sherlock couldn't help but take in some of the more boring details like eye color (green), facial structure (average with a cleft in the chin), and hair cut and color (jet black and "trendy" if the product had anything to say).
"Explain the case. I don't have all day."
Bill looked at him in surprise and looked a bit startled. He leaned back in the armchair to gather his thoughts, rubbing his arm in nervousness. He barely acknowledge that Sherlock was waiting his every move. He took a calming breath and sent Sherlock a weak smile.
"Ah. Right. I'm really grateful you're taking the time to hear me out. This whole thing has a bit wound up. Frazzled, really." Bill said.
He quickly cut himself of at the annoyed glare Sherlock through his way. Right. Don't waste his time or be 'boring'.
"Let me start from the beginning. I came home from work a few nights ago and found my house broken in. It threw me off since my neighbors are mostly elderly and a few couples with small children. When I checked inside, four men in black were rushing out through the back door. They had destroyed the room I kept my fish in but other than that, left everything else untouched. They got in a unmarked van before I could get to them. I checked to see what they had stolen and realized they had taken my fr-I mean fish. I wanted to go to the police first but I have a long standing...issue with them. I'm sure it was a professional job."
Bill went silent after and worried with the zipper on his jacket. His whole body language screamed worry and nervousness. Sherlock really wondered who cared for pets so much. Sentiment. Bill wasn't asking his help for a lost investment. He was careful with money and wouldn't waste it things he didn't need. His high end clothing was proof of that. Why would anyone got through so much trouble to steal a fish? Ransom? Fame? Collections? Frowning, Sherlock steeped his hands under his chin.
"What's so special about this fish? You said rare but you could be lying. What species is it? How much is worth? Is it endangered? Was a ransom left? I need more data."Sherlock said.
If he was lucky, it could turn out to be a underground smuggling ring. That would make his whole month. Then again, it could be an very irate neighbor playing a trick. He watched Bill nod slowly and his nervous demeanor skyrocketed fir a second. It quickly disappeared as Bill ran fingers through his hair, making it messier than before. He looked to be debating on telling Sherlock something. If he kept data from him, the case was going to be off. The solider in the man showed as he crossed his legs and stared at the fireplace. He sighed as he took a digital camera out his pants pocket. He fiddled with it silently while collecting his thoughts.
"You look like you're a man of science, Mr. Holmes."
"Sherlock, please. What gave it away? My website? Or my lab?"
Bill couldn't help but chuckle at the thick sarcasm in the detective's voice. Of course. Just like he expected him to be. His tone came off just like it did on his website. No doubt that the man across from him was brilliant and in a class off his own. Still, he was trying to be serious and the explanation was going to get even more complicated.
"Someone with methods like yours are deeply rooted in science and logic. Hell, I'm a former RAMC nurse and still work in the medical field and it's amazing. It can't be explained by science or medicine. Tell me, do you believe in the supernatural? Magic? Myths?"he asked seriously.
Sherlock's frown deepened at the sudden questions. What did this have to do with the case? He knew about various religions, myths, magic, and illogical things as superstitions. Most things could be easily explained with science. He knew not everything couldn't be explained by science but it could be as easily worked out by someone who used their brain. He always saw such this as fodder for the mindless populace, needing something to fall back on in their lives. Always needing something to look up and explain the unknown. The real question was, where was this going?
"I believe that nothing is impossible, only improbable. As for things like faeries, magic and other nonsense, I have a hard time believing still exist or ever existed at all."he explained.
Bill looked back at Sherlock and let out a small chuckle. He had a feeling that would be the answer. He had been the same way not only two years ago. Turning his attention to the camera, he turned it on and look for the pictures he needed. He had to show Sherlock what he was talking about. When he found the set he was looking for, he handed it to the detective for him to see.