Sherlock Holmes sat reading under an old oak tree; his back propped against its trunk, large book held tight in his hands. A persistent breeze was kicking lightly at the pages, curling them over each time he attempted to decipher an obscure word. He’d stolen the ancient text from his father’s library, enchanted by the gold trim and elegant twist of the title. However, he was soon learning that German, unlike most other things, was not something that came naturally to him. It, inconveniently, would require further investigation and so, after a time, Sherlock gave an annoyed growl and slammed the volume closed, throwing it to the ground by his side.
With a slight frown he looked up, noting that the sun had rolled to the centre of the sky. It was almost midday: he’d been sitting there for longer than he’d thought. The once quite and empty field before him was now alive with frolicking children, all enjoying the fine weather and freedom of the weekend.
Sherlock rubbed absently at the fold of his shirt and watched his peers sceptically. How could they be so content to simply run about a field? How could they receive satisfaction when there was so much more to do, to learn? Sherlock sighed and was about to stand when a boy launched from the bushes to his right.
“Bam!” he cried, flourishing his fisted hands as guns, “Bam! BAM!” He giggled and dived, curling his shoulders to tumble along the ground. Sherlock observed the energetic boy with a frozen look of uncertainty. He rolled across the grass and sprung to his feet, ready to fire again. When he noticed Sherlock’s hesitance however, he dropped his gun-poised fingers.
“Hey,” he wined, “I shot you! You’re dead now.”
Sherlock frowned, “No I’m not,” he stated coldly.“You didn’t shoot me, you merely pointed your fingers at me. How you expect that to kill someone is ridiculous. Besides, you were aiming at my right shoulder. Even with a real gun, that kind of shot is unlikely to fatally wound, especially with the hospital only two blocks away, and the fact that-”
“You’re weird,” the boy interrupted, adjusting the makeshift bandana across his forehead. He was smiling and watching Sherlock as though her were telling an elaborate joke.
“I’m weird?” Sherlock asked indignantly. “I’m not the one with mud on my face and an old sock wrapped around my head.”
The boy giggled once more and sat down on the grass. He reached out a hand, shoving it towards Sherlock’s chest.
“I’m John Hamish Watson,” he said with an expectant smile.
Sherlock eyed him cautiously, looking from John’s face to the presented hand.
“Come on, I promise I won’t shoot you again,” he encouraged.
“You didn’t shoot me in the first place,” Sherlock began, “all you did was-”
“Fine,” John sighed, “I’ll make sure nobody else shoots you then, how about that?”
Sherlock bit his lip pensively as he considered the offer. There were a few people he’d managed to bother in his eight years, and having someone to watch his back would be conducive to more efficient book theft…
“Alright,” he spoke after a time, cautiously taking the boy’s hand. “The name’s Sherlock Holmes.”
“Great!” cried John, launching to his feet once more, “what do you want to play?”
Sherlock lifted the forgotten volume from his side and tucked it under his arm, getting to his feet.
“Well,” he began, his eyes alight with the endless investigative possibility that having a sidekick enabled, “I’ve got this great game…”