"Delivery for 221a"
Watercolour version of my first contribution to April’s “Let’s Draw Sherlock: Alternate Professions”: John’s a bored UPS employee stuck in his dull job, while Sherlock is a bicycle messenger who roams London’s roads and has a habit of riding dangerously.
If anybody felt inspired to write a fic of that, I’d be chuffed :).
"Afghanistan or Iraq?"
John looks away from trying to locate the buzzer for 221A to see a tall man standing next to an expensive but well-worn bike. His hair is a riot of curls that are flattened on top, as if he’d been wearing his helmet for a long period of time. John also can’t help but notice that his body is gorgeous, every curve of muscle defined by his tight bike jersey and padded shorts.
"Excuse me?" he asks, confused because he’s pretty sure he’s never met this man, yet the question is startlingly relevant.
The stranger then proceeds to rattle off a list of amazing deductions that prove how he knows that John is indeed a recently returned veteran and the only detail he can’t deduce is whether John was in Afghanistan or Iraq.
"That was…" he pauses because something changes in the stranger’s face, goes from curious to guarded. "…amazing," he finishes. "And it was Afghanistan," he adds, although he’s not sure if the stranger heard him because he looks so surprised at John’s choice of adjective.
"That’s not what people normally say."
"What do they normally say?"
"Piss off," says the stranger with a smirk.
John laughs and then asks, “Where did you learn to do that? I mean, figure all that stuff out just by looking?”
The stranger shrugs. “I’m observant. And being a bike messenger, I’ve had plenty of experience observing people. I can also identify the contents of any wrapped package with 97.6% accuracy.”
Ah, bike messenger. Makes sense, especially as John now takes in the courier bag strapped to the stranger’s back. “Bike messenger, hm? So you’re one of the crazy ones.”
The stranger looks looks pointedly at John’s truck idling in the street. “And you’re one of the boring ones.”
John sighs and wishes he could refute that statement, but the truth is that he finds it boring as well. In the silence that follows, the stranger looks John up and down.
"You know," he says, "The courier service I work for is looking to add a few messengers." He pauses and looks at John almost seductively. "Could be dangerous."
John clears his throat and looks away for a second. When he looks back, the stranger’s eyes are shining like he’s already won. “How would I, uh, go about inquiring about a messenger position?” John asks.
A grin spreads over the stranger’s face. “I’ll bring you with me when I check in tomorrow.” He begins resecuring his helmet.
"Just like that? We don’t even know each other’s names."
"My name, John,” the stranger says, with a nod to the name patch on John’s uniform, “is Sherlock Holmes, and the address is 221B Baker Street.” He winks and slides his sunglasses on, and prepares to mount his bike.
"Wait, that’s…" John gestures to the building he’d been in the middle of delivering a package to.
"Yes, Martha Hudson is my landlady. You’ll have to come back later, I’m afraid, as she’ll have already taken her herbal soothers for the afternoon and won’t hear the bell." Sherlock eyes the package. "But don’t worry, as the romance novels she’s ordered won’t spoil and she hasn’t finished the one she’s currently reading anyway."
"That’s brilliant," John says, then adds, "The deduction about the package, I mean."
Sherlock quirks another smile and mounts his bike, looking out into busy London traffic. John gets caught a moment looking at Sherlock’s ass and almost forgets to ask, ‘What time tomorrow?”
Sherlock doesn’t look away from the street but answers clearly, “7 o’clock.” He then pushes forward aggressively on his bike, sliding into a narrow gap in between cars. The vehicle he cuts off honks, but Sherlock just throws out a vaguely offensive gesture and continues to weave through traffic.
John grins to himself. This is going to be mad, and John hasn’t been as excited about anything in his life for quite some time.
khorazir I hope you are chuffed about this (did I use that word correctly?)! I had to write something because I love this picture, especially the part where Sherlock’s bike is the right height for him. As a biker that makes me so happy.
And another story :). Thank you so much. You guys are very generous.