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storypaint ([personal profile] storypaint) wrote2015-07-28 07:41 pm

[Elementary] Christmas still a shining thing (Sherlock and Joan gen)

Title: Christmas still a shining thing
Fandom: Elementary
Length: 719 words
Prompt: comment_fic: Elementary, Sherlock&Joan, Sherlock spends the holidays with Joan's family
Pairing: Sherlock and Joan gen
Other: Set during some ambiguous previous season.

Excerpt: Joan's grandma was beating Sherlock at mahjong, and he kept looking at her sideways in that feral way of his, as if trying to confirm she wasn't cheating. It made Joan smile a little. Her grandma beat everyone at mahjong, and reveled in finding a new victim.

Joan's grandma was beating Sherlock at mahjong, and he kept looking at her sideways in that feral way of his, as if trying to confirm she wasn't cheating. It made Joan smile a little. Her grandma beat everyone at mahjong, and reveled in finding a new victim. He was also wearing a small, white, paper hat, which had come out of a toy he'd called a Christmas cracker. He'd brought enough crackers to appease her nieces and nephews, who were chasing each other around the house, high on sugar and holidays.

He fit in surprisingly well. She'd been sure this would be a terrible idea, and she'd told her mother as much when Mary Watson suggested that they invite him. She was sure everyone would assume the wrong things about their relationship, and that Sherlock would charm her family into sharing tidbits of information about her. He wouldn't have to try too hard; her mother brought out the photo albums at the slightest provocation. Joan didn't need to hear her tell the story of Joan's first day at school again, not to anyone.

She hadn't even expected him to accept the invite, when she offered it. She was sure he'd have some kind of plans for the holiday. Perhaps he'd call his father; surely Mr. Holmes wouldn't be working at Christmas. He might even go back to London briefly. But instead he'd nodded in agreement to her somewhat stilted invite, and offered to bring some sparkling cider.

And he'd been charming. He hadn't picked at dinner and he'd remembered to use utensils and all of the manners she'd been sure that someone had taught him. He even managed to deflect the most gruesome of her niece's questions about all the dead bodies he'd seen as a detective, at least during dinner. (Joan made a mental note to pick up a kid's book on forensic science for the girl's next birthday.)

Joan grew tired before Sherlock did. These big family gatherings wore her out. It was a combination of the childish energy and the sense of family obligations she felt pressing on her. No one managed to ask, this year, when she'd be having her own children, but a few elderly relatives had remarked in her hearing that Sherlock was pretty nice for a white man, with all inherent implications that Joan could do worse and that she didn't have much time left to be picky. Ty had always found their pointed questions amusing and didn't realize why they upset her. Sherlock avoided the idea entirely. He was on his stomach examining tiny car wheels with her sister's two-year-old when he glanced up and met her eyes. Soon, he began making their excuses, mumbling about case work and how a detective never really got time off, but he'd been so glad to visit. Only ten minutes had passed before he was helping her into her coat, and they were out, walking swiftly toward Joan's car.

Joan took a deep breath of the frigid air and enjoyed it. Sherlock didn't say anything until they'd gotten into the car and he'd fastened his seatbelt.

"Thank you for inviting me," he said, and it was polite, but sincere.

"I'm glad you enjoyed it," Joan said. She held up her phone. "I didn't get any messages from Gregson. What'd he send you?"

Sherlock looked confused, but then realized what she meant. "Nothing at all. I was ready to leave, and we do have work to do. I found something in the newspaper this morning that I believe is related to your money laundering case. I judged that it could wait until after the festivities."

It was beginning to snow, and the flakes melted as they reached the windshield, but that wouldn't last for long. Joan pulled out into the street.

"Where are we headed?" she asked him.

"Home for now," he answered. "There are some books I need to consult as well, I'm detecting a similarity to a previous caseā€¦"

He rambled on; being with people often left Sherlock with energy to burn, and Joan knew he'd be dragging out his single stick practice dummy as soon as he got his boots off. The car glided through the light traffic and the quiet snow.

Home sounded really good right now, for Christmas.

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