Flower

Flowers were one of the things Sherlock Holmes knew little about. He could explain, in perfect scientific jargon, how the plants grew. But, he could not understand why people enjoyed them, why they put them all around their houses and stuck their noses in them from time to time. Sure, for scientific study, they were fine. But, why, he wondered, would one want to keep houseplants? They had to be fed, watered, pruned. And yet, they served no purpose. They did not produce food. Most people did not study them. What was the point?

Such were the questions that Sherlock had asked himself before and that he asked John when, one day, the doctor came home with a small honeysuckle plant. John explained that there had been one such plant at his childhood home, and that he had always loved the smell of it. He added that the green thing "brightened up" the flat. Sherlock still did not understand. At last, John gave up, saying, "It's sentiment, Sherlock. Just leave it at that."

Sherlock had nodded his head and then picked up his phone, quickly forgetting the conversation.

Days passed and the little plant grew. It shot out its sweet-smelling blossoms and soon the scent reached from where the plant sat on a kitchen window to the living room. Sometimes, Sherlock would stop and inspect the thing closely, his face as impassive as ever. After a few minutes, he would shrug minutely and walk away. John would shake his head. Sherlock was a genius. But, this fact seemed to render him often incapable of enjoying something as simple as the scent of a flower.

Of course, Sherlock seemed to make it a point to not enjoy the thing. He never smelled the little blossoms, never seemed to see that the lively bit of green lessened the dull grey of scientific equipment that sat all around it. He seemed determined to prove that he was not like other people, that he could not be affected by something as simple as a plant.

Then, one day, after the plant had sat in the window for some weeks, John emerged from a morning shower into the living room to be greeted by a strange sight. Sherlock stood near the sink with a glass of water in hand. He guzzled two thirds of the glass's contents, stood uncertainly for a moment, then dumped the remainder into the flowerpot. There was another pause. Then, Sherlock stooped, took one of the blossoms between his thumb and forefinger and sniffed it. Though John could only see his friend's profile from where he stood, he was almost certain he saw a look of pleasure cross the detective's face, a smile quirk the corners of the mouth.

John strode forward and cleared his throat.

Sherlock jumped and spun in a single movement.

"So," The doctor drew the word out. "You do like it."

Sherlock had replaced his mask of boredom in an instant. "I don't know what you're talking about," he said evenly.

John quirked a brow at his friend. "Oh, really?"

Sherlock was stoically silent.

John smirked and pointed at something in Holmes' left hand.

Sherlock looked down. In his hand was a small, white honeysuckle bloom. The detective tossed the bud back in the pot and wheeled in an instant. But, John was almost certain that he saw the usually pale skin brighten.