Rachel ambled down the cobblestone sidewalk. Walking slowly both from the rain and her concentration. She loosened her grip on the umbrella handle allowing it to tilt back slightly. Granting her a better view of the rows of houses.
‘221B, 221B” she muttered as she sidestepped a lamppost.
“Ah, there it is,” she spotted a glossy black door.
The gold letters stated 221B just under the knocker.
She stomped her way up the few steps and raised her hand for the knocker and rapped it a few times.
Rachel stepped back from the door. Rocking back and forth on her heels, she waited for the telltale noise of steps coming to the door.
Instead, she got a thunder of hurried steps downstairs. A moment later, the door popped open.
Watson stood holding the door, slightly winded from his rush down the stairs.
“Hello, my dear,” he smiled.
Rachel smiled back,” Hello, Dr. Watson, is it? I am here for the intern position?”
“Ah yes, do come in,” he stepped out of the door," I must warn you Sherlock wasn’t, or rather, isn’t very, ecstatic, about this situation.”
Rachel placed her umbrella and coat in his outstretched hands,” about me?”
“Well, not exactly, you see. I was the one who ran the contest, Sherlock had nothing to do with it, “He didn’t figure it out?”
“Oh no, he did, but he let me have my fun, mostly because he doesn’t think you’ll last a week.”
By now they’d gone up the stairs and entered a somewhat dreary living room.
Rachel stepped into the middle of the room and surveyed it. Yellow and brown wallpaper framed a frumpy couch.
Watson flung open the sheer curtains to the right of the couch.
"Sherlock works mostly in the dark. I’ve become accustomed to it, so I don’t open these much. I was also out this morning, or I'd have opened them sooner.”
The light spilled onto a white table beneath, littered with papers.
She nodded, and her eyes dragged past, landing on a brick fireplace with two armchairs on either side.
“Would you like some tea?” Watson had continued the kitchen which opens right up from the living room.
“Tea would be great,.
Rachel sat down at one of the chairs at the small table that sat between the living room and the kitchen.
The Dr set the tea kettle on the stove. ”Sherlock is out helping Lestrade at the moment.”
He set down two china cups as the kettle whistled.
Watson swiftly turned the stove off and poured the steaming liquid.
He stepped over to the small fridge and opened it, gasped. Then grabbed the milk and closed it with a thunk,” For goodness sake Sherlock!”
Rachel leaned back,” Everything ok?”
“Yes,” the Dr fished out the tea bags from the cups, and poured in a few drops of milk,” Sherlock sometimes keeps his experiments in the fridge without telling me. Most aren’t very pleasant.”
“Mind me asking what is there now?”
Watson down set her cup down,” I’d rather not.”
They sipped their tea for a few moments. Until the silence was broken by the squeak of the door downstairs, followed by a thunk that made the house shutter slightly.
“Watson! Put the kettle on!”
“I’ve just made tea Sherlock, it'll still be hot,” Watson stood up, glancing at Rachel.
As he was pouring another cup, Sherlock appeared.
He stalked over to the fridge, briefly opened it and then sunk into a chair at the table.
Rachel sipped more of her tea, watching them both. She set her cup down and shifted slightly towards Sherlock.
Watson looked at her again as he set sherlock tea down,” This is Rachel, she’s yo-”
“My intern,” Sherlock interrupted, finally glancing at her,” where is she staying?”
His gaze shifted to Watson, who’d sat back down.
“Mrs, Hudson said she could stay downstairs with her”
Watson turned to Rachel, “I don't recall you bringing anything?”
“My mother is dropping them off later.”
Silence enveloped them again, interrupted only by sips of tea.
The heavy London rain still fell outside, causing the cold to creep in.
Watson downed the last of his tea.
“Well,” he strode over to the fireplace,” I suppose it time I get a fire going in here”
Sherlock hummed and stood up, then planted himself in the chair by the window. His feet propped up on the table of papers. He shifted, then stared blankly at the curtains.
Rachel gathered the cups and set them on the counter, then knelt by Watson to help with the fire. She looked at Sherlock again, who was still staring.
“Is he ok?”
“Him?” Watson tilted his head at Sherlock,” he’s fine, just in his mind palace.” he reached out a hand.
“Mind Palace?" She handed him a piece of wood from the wood box.
“Yes, it's where he goes to think, in his mind.”
The dr set the gate back in front of the fire, sometimes I'm concerned he leaves his body."
He glanced at the clock,” Mrs. Hudson should have our dinner, now,” he stood up, Come I'll show you your room”.
They headed through the living room.
“Your landlady cooks for you?” Rachel asked.
“Neither I, nor sherlock can cook, so we either have takeaway or Mrs. Hudson cooks.”
They were soon down the stairs, and in the entryway, Watson opened a door, to one side of the stairs. He let Rachel through, and then stepped in and closed the door.
“This one,” The dr pointed to the second door on the left,” I'm going to get our food if you want to look around.”
He disappeared down the hall.
Rachel pushed open the door and felt for a light switch, squinting when it flashed on.
The room was sparse, a twin bed in one corner with a closet on the opposite wall. The only light came from the ceiling fixture.
“We might be able to find something to brighten it up,” Watson appeared behind her, holding a box.
Rachel jumped and spun around,” Dr! You scared me,” she glanced at the box. The sweet smell of food wafted out.
“Apologies,” Watson lifted the box when he noticed her gaze,” our dinner.”
“Let's get up the stairs before we devour this box and all,” Watson chucked. Rachel laughed and followed him back upstairs.