Character(s): Holmes, Watson
Summary: The Eastern Orthodox calendar provides a crucial clue in a kidnapping, so Holmes decides to celebrate. This Calvin and Hobbes comic strip also provides a reasonably good summary.
Author's Notes: ACD universe. Entry for Watson's Woes July writing prompts; fill for July 4 prompt: "Celebration of a non-British holiday (either legitimate or not; crack/fluff is acceptable for this prompt). " I figure that Russian Christmas in January counts as sufficiently non-British.
Word Count: 381
A cold rain streamed down heavily over London, depressing not only the thermometers, but also the spirits of an entire population that was not quite ready to return to the struggle of living in a new year after the revelry of welcoming it. John Watson was not immune to the effects; indeed, his mood was so dark as he returned to his flat that at first he did not notice the wreath on the door, and it was only the sharp needles in his palm that prevented him from hanging his hat on a Christmas tree where the hooks by the door used to be, and where the day before a Christmas tree most certainly had not been. At his perplexed splutter, a steaming cup of (he sniffed) mulled cider was thrust into his hand, and to his astonishment Holmes began to sing.
When that I was and a little tiny boy (sang Holmes),
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
A foolish thing was but a toy,
For the rain it raineth every day
Watson waited for him to stop, and remarked, "Appropriate enough for the weather, but almost two weeks late for the decorations."
"Exactly," replied Holmes. "For Twelfth Night here is Christmas eve in Russia (or close enough), and thanks to the glorious Julian calendar, Princess Valentina Kavitskaya's son is now safely in her arms again. We can't have geese falling into our laps every year, but my fee from her will buy us a bit of holiday cheer."
Despite the cider, Watson's mood failed to lift. His hand stung, and the various shrubberies in the flat smelled moldy, and he said as much.
"Ah," replied Holmes, "now you smell, but still you do not observe. Your cuffs show you must have brushed against at least three different trees on the sidewalk as you made your way home. I commented just yesterday that the tinsel on your left bootlace showed you had tripped over the one lying in front of 219. Why do you think our garlands smell old?"
Watson glanced out the window. "You knew I tripped because I came in with sopping trousers cursing about the dustmen not doing their jobs. Anyway, there is nothing in front of 219 now."
Holmes lifted his mug. "Wassail."