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[personal profile] leone
Title: Make the morning last
Author: [personal profile] leone
Rating: G
Character(s): Holmes, Watson, OFC
Summary: An American tourist strikes out on her own, and encounters Holmes feelin' groovy, Watson less so.
Warnings: None
Author's Notes: BBC Sherlock universe. Entry for Watson's Woes July writing prompts; fill for July 1 & 2 prompt: 1: Watson injury (any severity) from a different POV from Holmes; 2: rain, lamp-post, handkerchief, flowers. For background, feel free to read the lyrics of Simon and Garfunkel's 59th Street Bridge Song.
Word Count
: 919

Courtney was fuming. Here she was, in London--London!--and all she had wanted was to look at the National Gallery (and the British Museum and the British Library and do that Shakespeare walking tour and see the Tower of London and maybe take a closer look at that big pickle and then there was the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle museum, which had a special exhibition of costumes used in the newest BBC adaptation of Professor Challenger stories (this one had better dinosaurs, but worse acting than the Jeremy Brett version)), and somehow she couldn't make it happen. No--not quite right. She could make it happen, but her mother had insisted that the entire family stay together, and her father and brother were bored with art and had overruled her pleas to remain longer, so they'd all left the museum after half an hour and gone to lunch and now here they were shopping, of all things, on a street which her parents (in piercing Midwestern accents) insisted on calling "Mary-lee-bone."

Finally, about the time her family greeted a Starbucks (of course there would be one here) with delight and relief, Courtney couldn't take it any more. She ducked around a corner and waited until the light changed, then dashed across the street, around a few more corners, and stopped. The Underground station behind her read “Baker Street” and she thought to herself that even her father couldn’t mispronounce that, and grinned. She sat down on a bench at the bus stop and looked around. Someone behind her said that he would the “chyube” home. A damp flier for laundry detergent lay on the curb, advertising superior "colour"-preservation. A twelve-year-old a few doors down was begging his "mum" for an iPad. Mum laughed and told him he couldn’t even save up ten “quid” from his chores.

Raised voices down the street drew her attention. Two men were running towards her, one in a long coat and scarf, texting as he ran. (Texting? Really? It honestly couldn't wait?) The other behind him looked vaguely annoyed, muttering to himself and limping as he tried to keep up. As they approached her bench, the texter finally knocked into someone, who roundly cursed him before stalking away. The diatribe was full of "oi" and "bloody wanker" and "clumsy git" and other expressions Courtney had never heard used unironically before. The texter seemed not to notice, and as his limping companion walked up, he put away his phone and started speaking quickly.

"He must be playing with us. He is playing with us. Nobody irons handkerchiefs--nobody irons at all these days. And the CD-player repeating track 6 over and over again: who uses CD-players anymore? There were three generations of iPods in that flat, and Lestrade expects us to believe he just happened not to have digitized that CD? Something's very wrong here, and nobody sees it (which is not unusual), but if I can't figure it out before it rains, the entire bridge will collapse, and that will probably hurt a lot worse than your ankle, so don't even start."

The limping fellow (now rubbing his ankle and looking even more annoyed) tried to say something, but then the texter jumped and turned around, his elbow jabbing into his limping companion's chest. Over the wheezing gasps that followed, he said triumphantly, "Not kicking down the cobblestones! Hello lamp-post, how's it going! John, he's got it in the Kew gardens!” He turned and raced up the steps into the house behind her.

The limping man (John) rubbed his chest and shouted after him, "No chance your brilliant mind could have figured that out before I kicked every cobblestone in that alley, is there? That would have been just groovy, you know!"

He sat heavily on the bench next to Courtney, muttering to himself. He saw her looking curiously at him, remarked conversationally, “What would you like to bet he comes out again raving about opium poppies?” Before Courtney could respond, the texter returned, still talking.

“ . . . allergic to roses; do you think blotchy is the same as dappled? Or maybe the key word was drowsy. ‘Let the morningtime drop all its petals on me’ . . . yes! ‘During the summer, the common poppy can often be seen growing in the Queen’s Garden behind Kew Palace.’ John, where’s the cab?

“You didn’t actually ask me to get you one.”

The texter stopped for a moment, then said, “Right.” He dashed into the street, and a police car coming round the corner screeched to a halt. He wrenched open the door, flung himself inside, and Courtney heard him yell, “Lestrade! It’s in the Kew--” before the door shut and the car drove off. John coughed, rubbed his ankle, and stood up with a grunt. “No, no, don’t mind me,” he muttered, “I’ll catch up.” He limped off towards the Underground station and was gone.

For a moment Courtney stared after him. Then she pulled out her guidebook. It looked like the yellow line to the green line with a transfer to the other green line at Earl's Court would get her to East Putney, and from there it was an easy walk to Enmore Road, where most Challenger scholars believed the professor had lived. She jumped up and followed John's path to the Underground station. With luck there wouldn't be too many gawping tourists in her way when she got to the Doyle museum.

Date: 2011-07-03 03:01 am (UTC)
methylviolet10b: a variety of different pocketwatches (Default)
From: [personal profile] methylviolet10b
*falls down laughing*

I LOVE how you worked in the Simon and Garfunkel song, American tourist angst, AND sneaky references to (I'm guessing) the more recent TV serial for The Lost World, the one filmed in Australia. All that in one lovely little fic. Just brilliant (said unironically). :-)

Date: 2011-07-03 03:46 am (UTC)
rabidsamfan: samwise gamgee, I must see it through (Default)
From: [personal profile] rabidsamfan
I am howling with glee, and remembering all too clearly my nineteen year old self in London for the very first time. And I adore the way you made ACD famous for Challenger instead of Sherlock Holmes!

Marvelous!

Date: 2011-07-05 04:29 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Excellent good fun. Reminds me of my first trip to London. I had to prioritize-- so I picked Sherlock Holmes, and the Beatles. Cheers!

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