Laura stepped onto Baker Street from the subway. Might as well see the place her brother picked out. She pulled her bright red coat tighter around her body, shivering. She did not like cold weather much. At least this wasn’t Siberia. She’d freeze to death instantly. As she walked down Baker Street, she repeated the address in her head.
“221B… 221B… Ah, 221B!” Laura beamed as she found the door, knocking on it.
A woman answered, and she smiled wide at the brunette, “Ah, Laura! How are you, my dear? Sherlock’s right upstairs with Dr. John Watson. Is that his new boyfriend?”
“Mrs. Hudson! Thanks, and I don’t know. Best ask him yourself.” Laura smiled back at the older woman. That is why Baker Street sounded familiar.
Laura hurried up the stairs just in time to hear John call Sherlock’s things rubbish. Good taste. She stepped into the room, remaining quiet, and watched as her brother ‘straightened up’ the entrance room from all the clutter and chaos in the whole flat. Not too organized, was he?
“Well, obviously I can, um,” Sherlock cleared his throat, “straighten things up a bit.”
“That’s a skull.” John pointed his cane at the fire mantle.
“Friend of mine.” Her brother said, then he narrowed his gaze on Laura. “And what are you doing here, Laura?”
“Me? Thought I’d check out my brother’s new flat.” Laura smiled innocently.
Before Sherlock could say any more, Mrs. Hudson entered the flat, “What do you think, then, Dr. Watson? There’s another bedroom upstairs, if you’ll be needing two bedrooms.”
“Of course we’ll be needing two.” John tilted his head as he looked at Mrs. Hudson.
“Oh, don’t worry, there’s all sorts round here. Mrs. Turner next door’s got married ones.” The older woman gestured to the wall, her voice growing quieter as she spoke.
Bless her soul. Laura stepped further into the apartment, and she stopped to stare into the kitchen. Mrs. Hudson joined her side, giving a look to the older Holmes.
“Oh. Sherlock, the mess you’ve made.” She scolded him.
Laura glanced around the flat, and she picked up an object. She wondered what it was before setting it down. If it belonged to Sherlock, it was best not to touch it. Could be dangerous. The woman heard a grunt as John sat down in a chair. Sherlock was still straightening up. Or he was turning on his computer. For his case. Her brother was quite predictable in his habits. Laura continued to move around the flat, checking out things that intrigued her.
“I looked you up on the Internet last night.” Dr. Watson stated to Sherlock.
“Anything interesting?” Her brother questioned as he looked at Watson.
“Found your website. The Science of Deduction.” The doctor answered.
Laura sighed to herself. Oh, that website was so bland! Even she couldn’t read it. And she read all of “War and Peace” without falling asleep. Then again, science was not a focus of interest for her. English. She taught it for a reason.
“What did you think?” Sherlock sounded proud.
John scoffed, “You said you identify a software designer by his tie and an airline pilot by his left thumb?”
“Yes. And I can read your military career in your face and your leg, and your brother’s drinking habits on your mobile phone.” Sherlock said to the doctor.
“Best not to ask, John.” Laura said quietly as she passed by the doctor, stopping at the mantle to look at the skull.
“What about these suicides then, Sherlock?” Mrs. Hudson walked into the room with the newspaper in hand. “I thought that’d be right up your street. Three exactly the same,” she continued as cars approached the building.
“Four.” Sherlock corrected her as he peered outside the window. “There’s been a fourth. And there’s something different this time.” He elaborated.
Greg Lestrade hurried up the stairs, and he entered the flat. Sherlock turned to look at the detective, asking where the latest suicide was. Laura glanced at Lestrade, putting her arms behind her back and wondering what made this suicide different from the others.
“Brixton, Lauriston Gardens.” Greg said as he entered the flat.
“What’s new about this one? You wouldn’t have come to get me if there wasn’t something different.”
“You know how they never leave notes?” Lestrade stated.
“This one did. Will you come?” The detective needed his help.
“Who’s on Forensics?” Sherlock considered it.
Laura blocked out her brother. He complained all the time about how stupid Anderson was. It got old. Both of them were immature children when it came to working with each other. She turned around, picking up the skull and studying it closely as the conversation in the back became background noise to her.
“I need an assistant.” That caught her attention.
“Will you come?” Greg asked once again.
“Not in a police car, I’ll be right behind.” Sherlock confirmed that he would be helping.
“Thank you.” With that, Lestrade left the flat.
Laura set the skull down, and her eyes widened as she watched her older brother bounce around the room. He was shouting out how he had been right. How it was the best thing to happen in these suicides. A note.
“Mrs. Hudson, I’ll be late. Might need some food.” He put on his coat as he entered the kitchen, addressing the older woman.
“I’m your landlady, dear, not your housekeeper.” She reminded him.
“Something cold will do.” Sherlock insisted. “John, have a cup of tea, make yourself at home. Don’t wait up!”
“Look at him dashing about… My husband was just the same.” Mrs. Hudson remarked as she looked at Dr. Watson. “But you’re more the sitting-down type, I can tell. I’ll make you that cuppa, you rest your leg.” She began moving to the kitchen to heat a kettle.
“Damn my leg!” Watson shouted, causing both women to jump. “Sorry, I’m so sorry. It’s just sometimes this bloody thing…” he apologized, looking away.
“I understand, dear, I’ve got a hip.”
“Cup of tea would be lovely. Thank you.”
“Just this once, dear, I’m not your housekeeper.” Mrs. Hudson reminded him.
“Couple of biscuits too, if you’ve got ‘em.” John added as he read the paper.
Laura heard Mrs. Hudson repeat herself for the third time, and she chuckled. Surprised she wasn’t dragged along, but she was curious about this note. Might have to tag along. Of course, she could always have tea and biscuits with Mrs. Hudson… Or John, as he was staying behind at the flat.
“You’re a doctor.” Sherlock’s monotone voice caused her heart to jump inside her chest.
“In fact, you’re an Army doctor.” He continued as he put on his black leather gloves.
John cleared his throat and stood, “Yes.”
“Any good?” Sherlock inquired as his gaze met John’s.
“Seen a lot of injuries, then. Violent deaths.” Her brother continued.
“Well, yes.” Watson raised his brows.
“Bit of trouble too, I bet?” Sherlock asked.
“Of course. Yes.” John answered him. “Enough for a lifetime, far too much.”
“Want to see some more?” The consulting detective offered the Army doctor.
“Oh, God, yes.” Watson stated.
Laura watched as the two men walked down the stairs, having an exchange with Mrs. Hudson as they passed by her. She rolled her eyes as she glanced around the flat. The brunette walked down the steps just in time to hear her brother say the game was on. That caused her to stop, and she silently questioned her brother as she stood next to Mrs. Hudson.
“You’re not joining him, dear?” The landlady glanced at her.
“No, he has a new person to drag across London. You’d like some tea?” Laura smiled.
As the two women spoke over tea, the door opened. Only one man entered: Sherlock. And he had a pink suitcase? Laura set her cup down, excusing herself and following her brother up the stairs. Seems like he already lost John. How does he manage that? It hasn’t even been a day yet.
“Where’s John?” She inquired as she hurried up the stairs after her brother.
“No idea,” he answered. “Why are you still here?” He shot back his own question.
“I was having tea with your landlady.” Laura said. “How did you lose John?” She continued her line of questioning.
“I texted him,” her brother replied.
Laura sighed. Yes, because texting was the perfect way to find John Watson. She shook her head, crossing her arms as she stepped into the flat. This was exactly like lecturing one of her students, except the only difference was that she was lecturing a grown man. Her older brother, to be exact. Almost worse than the teenagers.
“And has he texted back?”
“No.” Sherlock answered as he turned to look at his sister.
The consulting detective had his phone out again, typing in another message. She assumed it was John. She moved around to see what he was typing. ‘Dangerous’ was the one word that stuck out the most to her.
“That’s how you’re seeing if he’s okay?” Laura shook her head.
“He is not in danger, Laura.”
“How do you know?” The brunette countered.
“It’s John. He can defend himself. It’s quite obvious.” Sherlock answered, putting his phone back into his suit pocket. “Now, I need to solve this case, so zip it.” He took off the jacket, falling back onto the couch and placing three patches on his arm.
“Shut up!” He snapped at her before closing his eyes.
The brunette glared at him. She was going to strangle him one day. Laura huffed as she sat down in an empty chair. The newspaper. Might as well read up on the case. She grabbed the paper, reading about the three, now four, murders. She assumed it had to be if Sherlock was investigating it.