She nodded when he inquired about her flatmate. “I… suppose you could say we’re close. Well, as close as flatmates can get.” And maybe a little closer, seeing as hers was male, and he did not often keep company. She was a rare gift- a diamond among coal- and she sparkled in the light of Sherlock’s brilliance, reflecting it right back at him. But, when she mentioned he was male, she quirked a brow.
Tripping over the tongue.
Oh, he was jealous… or starting to be.
“We’re not what?” She inquired, before laughing. “Green isn’t your color, Evan. And, no, we’re not involved in those sorts of activities. He’s married to his work- that will always come first.” She would be secondary, even if he were so inclined to be an affectionate, loving man. She went on, and from the look on her date’s face, she knew he didn’t believe her, at first, when she mentioned the name. Why would he? Donovan and Anderson both painted him some sort of psychotic recluse who was on the verge of snapping. When she didn’t, he looked up, and she gave a slight smile.
“Yes, really.” She shook her head. “Contrary to popular belief, he is human. With a flat and everything.” A laugh. “Well… you’re asking how we met, aren’t you? Well, that’s what you want, anyway. Let’s see… Sherlock was on the chase- ran right into him, knocked him over, and down we went in a tangle of limbs. He looked up at me, and said I must have Germanic-Welsh roots, based on my eye color, mixed with Asian somewhere based on my eye shape and hair- then he got up and hailed a cab. Took me to get treated, then scared the heart out of me when he came up to me out of the darkness, and he took me to a shelter that night. Told me I could find him if I tried, and disappeared again.”
“I was in a part of town I didn’t know… but he’d dropped a pack of cigarettes with a card from Speedy’s inside- I figured it out from there. He spotted me right away, and he actually laughed. Thought it was funny that this little American woman managed to track him down with so little information, and decided I was more than just a pretty face. I was worth talking to, worth being greeted and befriended. I got a job working for a friend of his who owed him a favor, but it was quietly domestic, and I was meant for more. Sherlock pestered me at work, constantly, trying to get me to tell him things about patrons, making my mind work. I liked it. They had to lay me off, and I didn’t know HOW I was going to afford my flat, when Sherlock comes bounding up and tells me he’s got an extra room and could use a flatmate, and why not consider moving in with him? After all, we knew each other and it was better than moving in with a total stranger.”
“I said no, at first, but he gets pretty masterful when he wants something, and he went on a sulking fit for a few days. He said he wanted me to move in. Said he needed someone who wasn’t a complete idiot to bounce things off of, and so far, I was proving bright and amusing. I kept him from getting bored.” She laughed. “Still do, in fact. Word of advice, never play Cluedo with him, unless you don’t typically play by the rules. He’ll actually convince you the victim offed themselves!” An amused shake of her head. “Never mind it isn’t in the rules- he’ll convince you.”
A shrug. “He’s on the eccentric side, but brilliance does that to people.” Defending him. She was like a dragon when it came to protecting him. “I know what lies Donovan’s been feeding you about him. He’s a ‘psychopath’, who will one day snap and kill, maim, destroy. He’d harm anything in his way. It’s a lie. He’s not a psychopath.” That was firm. “He’s not. That’s like saying I’m a psychopath. And I know the… rumors… about me too.” A huff. “I’m not deluded, or afraid of Sherlock. I know Anderson is convinced I’m actually terrified of him, but I’m not. He’d never harm me, and he has told me he would gladly dispatch my abusive ex if he ever comes sniffing around me again.”
“And I’ve gone and ruined the mood, haven’t I?” She realized, belatedly. “I… well, usually Sherlock and I bounce things off each other, so I think my social tact guard is possibly malfunctioning tonight.” She laughed, then.
“Anyway, he wore me down with that sulking fit, and I moved into 221b Baker Street. I can’t imagine living anywhere else.” She sighed. “I never know what I’m walking into.” A fond smile. Or what he would come home like. They had been walking- her looking five minutes late for an appointment due to those glorious long legs- the whole time, and when he spoke again, she smiled. “Of course no woman deserves it. I’m not a statistic, Evan.” She sighed. “Yes, I was abused. But, go back to my childhood, and it’s normal, for the most part. I wasn’t hurt by my family, wasn’t weak. I made good grades in school- worked through college. When I met Randy, he was charming and cultured- an exchange student from London. He convinced me to come with him, back here. I’ve never regretted it. It made me what I am today.”
She was confident despite the scarring, and her smile and dignity pushed all physical imperfections aside. Sherlock didn’t mention the scarring, except in passing, and even then it was brief, and it felt- normal. “I’ve done it again- sorry. Been cooped up in Baker Street for the past week, so my tact is really lax.” She didn’t use tact with her flatmate, nor he with her. And it was true- she HAD been cooped up. She didn’t leave Sherlock alone in the flat when he went on those sulking fits, for fear that he’d somehow harm himself. She gave him space, of course. “I promise I’m not usually like this.” A slight laugh. No, she usually didn’t want her flatmate- didn’t usually wish for his particular brand of sarcasm- but right now that was familiar and she was in unfamiliar territory.
She let him usher her into the club, and she relaxed almost instantly. Not intimate, not loud- and she let him lead her to a table, and accepted her drink, sipping before laughing. She nodded at him with an amused light in her eyes, gesturing to the couple at the bar with her eyes.
“They’ve only just met, but they bonded over a mutual love of cats. She’s never done this before- tourist- American. Older than she looks. Married, too- shameful.” Her eyes twinkled in mischief, waiting for the surprise, before responding. “Eyes and brains. Note their body language- their hips are touching but the rest of them isn’t. Signals sexual attraction, but they don’t know one another well, yet- that is the only place they touch. On her collar, a patch of white fur- too high to be from a dog, so, logically, a cat. At his ankles, both legs, ginger tabby fur- a cat, most likely an affectionate tomcat winding its way through his ankles. She keeps laughing and looking around- not to see if anyone notices her, but because she’s nervous. She won’t meet his gaze for long.” A grin. “You can see the blue corner of her passport peeking out from her purse, and her clothing screams American. She keeps herself fit- most likely from L.A. or one of those posh towns. Smile is slightly frozen, hinting at botox. Only an older woman would try so obviously to look so young.”
“As for the married bit, well- she keeps fiddling with her left hand, the ring finger in particular. She keeps looking at it, as if something’s not right. If she were recently divorced, she’d play with the finger but she wouldn’t look down so much, as if she’s betraying him. A middle-aged woman clinging desperately to her youth, who’s unappreciated at home.” She winked, then. “You see? I can make observations too..” she indicated her drink. “Like… you, for example.” Her smile grew.
“You grew up poor.” She said it as fact. “You got into your chosen profession to make a difference in your community. You have a fondness for old records, and you are wondering when I’m going to make sense. Oh, and you’re slightly jealous of Sherlock for living with me, don’t try to deny it.” A small laugh. “Really, it’s not hard to read people. I’ve gotten better at it since moving into Baker Street, but I was always pretty good.”
“I’ll save you some trouble now- Sherlock doesn’t see me as a woman. I’m a… companion, an assistant. I’m surprised he knows my name, let alone sees me- if he even does. Quite frankly, he’s quiet most of the time, and I’m used to his personality quirks.” Like… walking around in nothing but a sheet. That had been a fun morning, honestly. He was shameless about nudity. He’d just wandered in and sat down, chatting away like it was nothing. Then again, she slept in a very brief pair of shorts and a tank top, so it was perhaps his way of getting back at her. “There’s nothing going on there. Besides, he’s probably passed out on the couch by now- hasn’t texted me back.”
"Come, trip the light fantastic..."