The evening had grown late. They all sat outside in a cosy pool of light and warmth on Greg's back patio.
"Come on, John, it's your turn." Molly grinned and sipped at her wine. She'd already had a couple of glasses with dinner and she was a little over half way to drunk, if John was any judge.
"Who am I picking for?" he asked. John was a little less than half way to drunk himself.
"Be gentle. I've had a rough night," joked Greg, and Sophie and Molly both laughed at him. Molly's date, Oscar, and Sherlock let out identical snorts of amusement.
John set down his latest beer and rubbed his hands together. "Let's see. Best and worst, best and worst. What should I choose?"
"Be afraid," intoned Molly. "Be very afraid." Then she burst into infectious giggles.
"Okay, okay. I've got it." John looked at Greg as seriously as he could manage while fighting a rapidly growing case of the giggles. "Greg."
Greg met his gaze with a slightly bleary one of his own. It was a good thing no one was driving home tonight. "Yes."
"Best and worst food you've ever eaten."
"Whew!" Greg let out a dramatic sigh of relief. Considering some of the previous bests and worsts others had come up with so far, John was letting him off easy. "Best food?"
Greg gave it some serious thought, or maybe he was simply having trouble focussing--like everyone else. Even Sherlock was looking a bit pissed. The soberest ones there appeared to be Sophie and Oscar.
Eventually Greg came up with an answer. "Adult Tater Tots."
"What's that?" asked Oscar.
"They're like mini potato croquettes filled with brie and bacon."
"Oh. My. God. That sounds amazing."
Right. Foodie, thought John. "Are you going to turn it into a fairy cake flavour for your shop?"
Oscar burst out laughing. "Hell no, mate! Maple and bacon, sure. I've done that and people eat it up every time--literally. Maybe I'd try making brie and pear. But no. Potato, brie, and bacon should never be combined in a cupcake. However, I may have to try my hand at making what Greg said at home."
"Invite me over," said Greg immediately. "I volunteer to taste test every batch until you get them perfect."
"Okay, okay!" John said again, waving his free hand in the air. The other hand held securely to his reclaimed drink. "That's the best. What's the worst?"
Greg didn't hesitate. "Lutefisk curry."
Everyone made a sick face or a disgusted noise or both. Only Molly and Oscar looked surprised. The others knew all about it, by story if not personal experience.
"You didn't eat that!" Molly exclaimed. "That's not a real food."
"It is when you lose a bet to John."
"No!" She looked properly horrified, which for a woman who worked with corpses daily without so much as flinching, was saying something.
"Yes," Greg said firmly, and John nodded confirmation.
"He did. I even made it for him. Mrs. Hudson was not happy with the resulting aroma."
"Nor was I," put in Sherlock.
"You weren't home! You were gone that entire weekend," protested John.
"And the odour was still present when I returned on Monday." Sherlock looked at Molly and Oscar. "John is forbidden from ever bringing lutefisk into the flat again."
"Like I'd want to."
"But, lutefisk curry?" Molly was having trouble wrapping her head around it, and John couldn't blame her. Even dead sober it was a puzzler. He must have been feeling particularly evil when he'd thought it up. "I can't-- I just-- Eugh!"
Greg nodded sagely. "Too right. The resulting dreams were...intergalactically weird."
"Silverfox!" shouted Sophie and then clapped a hand over her mouth.
John and Sherlock laughed. Greg just shook his head wryly. "That is becoming the worst-kept secret ever."
Molly looked from Sophie to the boys and back again. "What? What?"
"Let's let Greg tell it," Sophie said with a wicked grin.
"You're all sorts of trouble-maker tonight, aren't you?" Greg said. "First those damned ghillies and now this."
"You're the one who brought up the curry," she protested.
"Someone tell the story!" Molly exclaimed.
For the second time that evening, Greg gave into peer pressure. "All right. Someone needs to get me one more beer, though. And then I'll tell you everything I can remember about Silverfox and his mates."
*Apparently every story in this mini-series requires a title from classical theatre. In this case it is Hamlet:
"Give first admittance to th' ambassadors.
My news shall be the fruit to that great feast."
Lutefisk curry is entirely to blame for the Silverfox universe. See Foxhole from JWP 2011.
Adult Tater Tots exist. They can be found at Stack Steak House at the Mirage in Las Vegas. They are sublime.