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Sherlock Fanfic: Among the Leaves So Green - CaffieneKittySpace
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Sherlock Fanfic: Among the Leaves So Green
Title: Among the Leaves So Green
Fandom: Sherlock (BBC)
Alternate Postings: AO3
Rating/Content: PG13, set during season 1, holiday themed, probably OOC, passing ACD reference
Warnings: none
Word Count: 1900
Disclaimer: Not my world.
Notes: Written for watsons_woes WAdvent Day 21. (A bit belated, sorry. Life happened. :-()

Summary: More subtle methods of surveillance exist, but none are quite as festive.

Among the Leaves So Green

The final notes of "Here We Come a Wassailing" were overwhelmed by polite applause from the house's door, and warm holiday wishes being called out as the group moved on to the next house in the lane. "I still can't believe you got him to come along!" Molly enthused gleefully, falling roughly into step beside John.

Carrying a dog-eared songbook and a lantern on a stick, John trudged along with the pack of festively festooned people - mostly staff from Bart's hospital - trying to hide the disbelieving stare he felt compelled to level at his flatmate. Sherlock was striding along near the front of the pack, scanning houses left and right, a sprig of holly festooning the buttonhole of his coat.

"...yeaaaaah," John said when his silence dragged a little long. "I can hardly believe it myself."

In fact it had been Sherlock's idea to join the carol-singing group from Bart's in their annual musical trek. Lestrade, who had gone home sick from work earlier that day, had texted him there might be something going on in the neighbourhood and noted that Molly's carol-singing group went door to door in the area. There was a high percentage of elderly and shut-ins on the street.

John really hoped that there wasn't someone preying on the disadvantaged of the community, or if there was, he and Sherlock would find them and stop them tonight. So far it seemed like one of the most peaceful neighbourhoods he'd been in, though that didn't stop Sherlock skulking between songs. The Christmas carolling leant an air of peace to the night, despite Sherlock's ulterior motives for them being there, and John's feeling of unbalance, not having his gun along.

There was always the lantern on a stick, though; John supposed if they did encounter any nefarious doings in the neighbourhood he could wallop some miscreant with it.

Molly continued cheerily wittering. "It's fantastic you could both come out. We're always looking for men." Molly blushed. "Oh god. I mean- I don't mean 'looking for men' looking for men, I mean it's just, um. Nicer when there's a baritone or two."

Without notice, Sherlock stopped behind someone's privet hedge and crouched slightly, letting some of the group pass by.

What the blazes is he up to? John smiled distractedly, watching Sherlock behind the hedge. "Yes, of course, Molly. Happy to help."

"Greg usually comes too, but what with him being sick-"

"Lestrade sings?" John blurted out.

"Yes!" Molly said. "Well. With carolling sometimes enthusiasm counts more than being particularly on-key. But we're all just out to spread cheer and have a bit of fun, so it's fine."

When they got up beside Sherlock, he detached from the hedge to walk beside them.

"Thanks again for coming tonight, Sherlock," Molly said across John at the detective, smiling.

"Third house from the end on the opposite side," he murmured. "Someone is moving around upstairs and the lights in the house are all off."

"Yeah?" John peered up in as non-obvious a way as he could. The house was completely unlit, a dark looming edifice on the festive streets.

"Oh! That's Mrs. Randall's," Molly said. "Completely blind, doesn't turn on the lights at all. Saves a packet on the electric bill she says. We do her place every year. She loves the singing."

Sherlock's shoulders slumped slightly. "Oh."

"Well, the singing and the shortbread!" one of the paediatric nurses from Bart's added, holding up her basket of little gingham bundles.

Sherlock side-eyed the home-baked treats. He'd had investigated those thoroughly as well when they'd first joined the group for the evening, in case someone among the carollers was secretly a psychotic poisoner, until the nurse in charge of shortbread swatted him away.

The group was comprised of known staff from Bart's and their friends and associates, all of whom did this every year, so John found the idea that one of them was an incipient mass murderer even more disturbing than the general possibility of criminal activity. The goodies and singers had all been passed as clean by Sherlock though, (and a random sampling thoroughly examined and judged 'excellent' by John himself) so that was some relief.

"Coming up on the next house," called the group leader, a junior oncologist at Bart's who was wearing an incongruous combination of a Victorian stovepipe hat, a jumper with a goggle-eyed reindeer, jeans and red trainers with bells on. "Songbooks out."

The group clustered into rough sections at the front gate of the house, well lit by their holiday displays.

"Right," the young oncologist said, flipping a page in his songbook. "Next up on the listing is 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town". Ready everyone? And-"

Sherlock barked a laugh. "Oh I don't think so."

The leader of the carollers turned to raise an incredulous brow at Sherlock. "You don't think so?"

"Open your eyes." Sherlock pointed into the over-decorated front garden of the house they stood before. "Manger scene." He pointed up to the four-pointed star glowing from the eaves. "Star of Bethlehem." He pointed at the words stenciled in the window in fake snow. "Peace on Earth, Good Will to all men." He pointed at the angel wobbling on the roof as it waved its ponderous wings. "Heavenly host."

The leader squinted at the display. "Bit over the top, that."

"Yes, but also very heavily Christian." Sherlock smirked. "They'll not likely be very happy with a song detailing the seasonal threat of Santa's judgement on their children."

The leader hummed in consideration. "Yeah, all right then. Change of order! Next up, 'O Holy Night'."

As the group muttered and turned the pages of their songbooks looking for the song, John sidled up to Sherlock.

"I'd say that was thoughtful, but I suspect you've got reasons other than respecting someone's beliefs?"

"The longer we are allowed to stand and sing at each house, the longer we may observe this neighbourhood." Sherlock inclined his head toward the house. "Picking a song the householder is more likely to approve of merely suits our goals and gives more time to observe."

"What is it we're looking for exactly?"

"I'll know it when I see it."

"Right." John sighed and drifted back toward Molly, who grinned.

"And ready, set-"

John took a breath and belted the old familiar song out as best he could. The singing wasn't a chore, really. John thought he had a decent enough voice. A couple years spent in the choir at Mum's church as a boy. Molly's voice was good too, a soprano range if a trifle squeaky on the high notes, one that would be better if she put more volume into it.

Sherlock was of course a smooth, confident baritone; his voice enveloped the lyrics like creme caramel, even as Sherlock looked everywhere but the song sheet. Of course.

Just as they were starting, John's phone buzzed in his pocket. He pulled it out to see a text from Lestrade. He backed out of the singing group slightly to view it, gathering a smile from Molly and a glare from Sherlock.

/Hate texting but throat is killing me. Suggestions?/

John frowned, tucked the song book under his arm and the lantern stick under his chin, singing vaguely. /Lemsip, tea with honey, rum toddy./ Since they were out here at Lestrade's request, and John thought Greg could likely use a distraction from the miserable cold he was suffering, John added a second text to update the DI on his case.

/Am out with Sherlock, carollers, surveillance, nothing yet./

Molly looked nervous as she approached the 'oh night divine' high note, but Sherlock caught her eye and straightened his already straight posture. Molly stood taller and hit the high note along with the other three sopranos, drifting down from it with a beaming smile.

Another buzz./Can't believe it worked./

John narrowed his eyes at his phone.

/What worked?/

/Sherlock's actually singing? Take a video?/

Frowning intently and going a bit flat in his singing, John texted back, /What. Worked./

The group launched into a second verse of "Oh Holy Night" completely unfamiliar to John. Judging by the words-to-mumbles ratio of the other singers, they weren't too familiar with it either.

/Molly's said not enough men in her carol group for years. I'm laid up with flu & can't go. thought if I told Sherlock 'something going on', he might go instead. Longshot. Can't believe it worked./

John felt his brow rumple. /I'm here too./

/Yeah, but if Molly asked, you'd have gone./

John chewed on his irritation during a rest in the tenor line. /Yes. Fine. Maybe./

/Please, you have to take his picture. I don't believe it./

John looked up to see Sherlock off to the side of the group, staring intently into the heavily decorated yard.

This is not going to go over well... he thought as he fumbled his way through the final bits of lyrics.

As the song finished to applause from the doorway of the house, John tucked his songbook into his pocket and shouldered his lantern-stick. Holding out his phone, he sidled up to his lurking flatmate. "Sherlock, look... Lestrade's texted, it's not-"

"Shh, John. That shed is very suspect, and bears careful observing."

John sighed. "But Lestrade said there's nothing going on out here, it was all just a trick to-"

"Ah. But that's where Lestrade is wrong."


"It is my belief, John, founded upon my experience, that the lowest and vilest alleys in London do not present a more dreadful record of sin than do the-" Sherlock gestured at an inflatable glowing snowman lolling on a neighbor's front lawn. "-smirking and tatty suburbs."

John blinked, looked around at the cheery holiday decorations on the houses. "...Really."

"Of course." With a hint of a twinkle in his eye, Sherlock raised an eyebrow. "A chance to observe such a hotbed of crime directly? Not something to be passed up during the most boring season of the year. Criminals, the interesting ones, should not be eligible to take Christmas Holidays."

"So. You knew?"

Sherlock snorted and straightened his sprig of holly. "Of course I knew. Lestrade is an atrocious liar."

"But, that means you dragged me out carol singing and it wasn't even for a case."

"Please, it was hardly dragging. I've heard you murdering 'Adeste Fideles' in the shower often enough to know you'd like-" Sherlock waved a hand, encompassing carol singers, decorated houses, and all of Christmas in general. "-this sort of thing."

John spluttered, "I don't-!"

"Come on, men's section, try to keep up!" the group leader called, nearly at the next house on the street.

Sherlock glanced down at the mobile in John's hand and the last text received, still on display, then up to the house they were heading toward. "Ah. Now if you'll excuse me, I believe I need to go and skulk near that ornamental holly tree during the next song." And with that he strode off after the group.

Boggled, John watched him go for a second, but then shook his head, and lantern on a stick bobbing above his shoulder, he chased after Sherlock.

(that's it)

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6 comments or Leave a comment
capt_facepalm From: capt_facepalm Date: December 22nd, 2015 11:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Wonderful! And I don't get why you might think it might be OOC. Sherlock's reasoning for joining the revellers is perfectly valid. John (usually the nice one), being not as enthusiastic (but would go along if he was asked) is not out of place either. For some people, holidays are to be endured more than to be enjoyed, and that could certainly apply to a veteran with a dysfunctional family. Lestrade pulling a ruse and Sherlock seeing through it is a fun concept.
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: December 24th, 2015 12:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
I always worry that I'm getting the characters wrong, so I'm glad the reasoning makes sense.
borgmama1of5 From: borgmama1of5 Date: December 22nd, 2015 01:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: December 24th, 2015 12:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
rifleman_s From: rifleman_s Date: December 25th, 2015 04:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
"/Sherlock's actually singing? Take a video?/"

Ha ha! We'd all like to see that!!! Was he dressed up too??? *grin*

Thanks very much for a festive smile.

Edited at 2015-12-25 04:27 pm (UTC)
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: December 27th, 2015 05:17 am (UTC) (Link)
He had a token sprig of holly in his buttonhole, but that's as dressed up as he got.
6 comments or Leave a comment