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Men in Kilts

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Sherlock was not taking a nap.

He was pretending to take a nap while, with the assistance of two fortuitously placed mirrors, he watched John, wearing nothing but his kilt, clean the bathroom.

After breakfast, they’d both shaved, Sherlock with John’s assistance. John had expressed a desire to tackle the bathroom after he’d finished the kitchen. Sherlock had kept John company in the kitchen, regaling him with the details of another successful case, but there wasn’t really space in the bathroom for two if one of the two had a broken arm and a broken leg.

Sherlock had pled fatigue, and John had helped him to bed.

Sherlock said he had no preference about the bedroom door, and John had left it open. The bathroom door was half-open.

Scrubbing. So much scrubbing.

John had peeled his vest off and hung it on the doorknob.

His back. His arms. His chest. His neck. His legs. His bloody scar! Sweaty. Damp.

Sherlock might have gone on surreptitiously ogling if it weren’t for the arrival of an unexpected and, given the timing, most unwelcome visitor.

“Sherlock?”

Damn it!

John put his vest on and hurried down the hall.

“Shhh! He’s taking a nap!”

“A nap? Yeah, right.”

“He is! Lower your voice, please.”

Sherlock smiled. John was a wonderful watchdog.

“Just who are you?”

“John, the housekeeper.”

“What happened to Mrs. Hudson?”

“She’s not his housekeeper! Who are you?”

“Detective Inspector Lestrade.”

John’s tone became friendly. “Oh, Sherlock was just telling me about you!”

“Yeah, well, I’m not half as bumbling as he makes out.”

“Yeah, well, we’re all bumblers compared to him.”

John really was quite amazing. And so honest!

“Right you are. Here. I brought him a few cold cases. Thought they might give keep him out of trouble. Hey, you cleaned the kitchen.”

Sherlock rolled his eyes. Of course, John cleaned the kitchen! He was the housekeeper! Brilliant observation and deduction skills, Detective Inspector!

“Yeah, that’s my work.”

“Great job! Looks better than I’ve ever seen it.”

“Thanks, and thanks for these. I bet they’re just what Sherlock needs.”

Sherlock huffed. Thank you, now exit stage left!

“You know, I could use help around my flat.”

What?

“Let me get you a card.”

“Thanks. So the kilt’s…”

John chuckled. “Mandatory.”

“Well, that’s all right. Suits you.”

The kilt did suit John, but what was Lestrade getting at?

“So can I call and ask for you by name?”

“Sure. John Watson. I’m with Sherlock for the next three days to get this place, and him, in good shape but after that…”

Oh, no! Sherlock conjured up the image of a shirtless John scrubbing Lestrade bathroom. This had to be nipped in the bud! The chair would take too long. Sherlock went for the crutches.

“Here. Let me give you my card. I’ll put my personal number on the back, and if you have any trouble with Sherlock, just let me know. He can get a bit, you know.”

Did ‘you know’ mean ‘extraordinary’ and ‘amazing’ and ‘fantastic’?!

“Thanks.”

“Even if you just need to grab a pint and blow off steam…”

John laughed.

Enough!

“Lestrade!”

Sherlock hobbled down the hall.

“I guess he’s up!” remarked Lestrade cheerfully.

Sherlock looked past John and narrowed his gaze.

“Hello, Detective Inspector.”

“Hello, Sherlock. You seem to be doing better. Taking naps, I hear?”

“He brought you some cold cases, Sherlock,” interjected John. “Let me get the chair.”

“Thank you, John,” said Sherlock politely.

John went up the hall. Lestrade’s eyes followed him. Sherlock glared at Lestrade, who had the decency to blush and look away when he was caught out.

Ogling my housekeeper!

“Good idea for you to get some help.”

“Yes, it was.”

“Here we go!” called John.

Sherlock settled in the chair and took the files that John offered him. He leafed through the first one.

“So, what’s next?” asked Lestrade.

“You are leaving,” said Sherlock without looking up.

“I was talking to John, Sherlock.”

“I’m just finishing up the bathroom. Then the hall. Maybe a bit of Sherlock’s bedroom if there’s time.”

“Not in here?”

“Not today. Tomorrow. I’m have a few colleagues help out.”

“Yeah. I can see that. I’ll be going. Good luck, Sherlock. Nice to meet you, John.”

“You, too,” said John.

Sherlock said nothing until Lestrade’s patience ran out and he turned to go.

When Lestrade reached the threshold, Sherlock slapped the file closed.

“Oh, Detective Inspector?”

Lestrade turned back. “Hmm?”

Sherlock held out the file. “The brother is the murderer. He has a green ladder. Arrest him. You’re welcome.”

John howled and clapped his hands together. “Oh, ho, ho! Holy Mary!” He cackled and ruffled Sherlock’s hair. “Wow! Just for that, you’re getting my very special pasta carbonara tonight, m’boy!” Then he did a kind of drunken jig down the hall, whooping and laughing.

Sherlock smirked. “Showing off. It’s what I do.”

Lestrade looked constipated. “Thanks,” he grumbled as he snatched the file and left.


“You absolute bastard.”

Mycroft Holmes looked over as Lestrade slid onto the stool beside him.

“You called it, Mister Holmes. A bet’s a bet. First round’s on me.”

“You saw Sherlock?”

“Yeah. And John Watson.” Lestrade motioned to the barman. “If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn’t have believed it.”

“So you agree with my assessment?”

“Yup. Gone. Your brother is fuckin’ gone on that housekeeper of his. I sort of, you know, and Sherlock got all,” Lestrade waved his hands, “woo-hoo!” He shook his head slowly. “I thought you geniuses left that stuff to the rest of us poor sods.”

“Some of us do,” murmured Mycroft weakly, looking everywhere but Lestrade.

A plate of crisps and a pint appeared.

“Hullo, my baby!” cried Lestrade jubilantly. “So, what are you going to do about it?”

Mycroft exhaled. “What do you suggest?”

“Advice from me, the happy divorcée?”

Mycroft winced.

“Sorry.” Lestrade drank, then he sighed. “I don’t know John very well, but I like him. He takes his job seriously. He seems genuinely concerned for Sherlock’s welfare, and,” he leaned closer to Mycroft and whispered in a gossipy tone, “your brother lets him ruffle his pretty little hair.”

Lestrade gave an imitation of John’s gesture in the air.

“No!” gasped Mycroft, in genuine, if slightly dramatic, disbelief.

“Yes!”

“Dear me!”

“And Sherlock likes it!” Lestrade laughed, then he eyed the large screen behind the bar and raised his glass to it. “So, are you gonna stay for the game?”

Mycroft turned his head, the better to hide his blank expression, and said, “Of course. Wouldn’t miss it.”