Roses Red and White
"The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers," muttered John, shaking his head at the newspaper he was reading. It was hardly an appropriate comment and yet it was too accurate not to have come to mind. Three solicitors had been murdered over the past two weeks, all from the same city in Kent, of all places. It couldn't be coincidence, but was it enough to get Sherlock out of his sulk?
Sherlock didn't move from where he languished, bored, on the sofa. It had been his usual position for over a week now. "What did you say, John?"
"Hm? Nothing. Just quoting a bit of Shakespeare. The police have found a third dead lawyer in Chatham. I don't suppose that's enough to interest you." He'd learned to use a dismissive tone in situations like this. If Sherlock agreed with his assessment, he won by being right. If Sherlock disagreed, John still won because it meant no more stroppy Sherlock--at least until the case was resolved.
"No, but what you just said--"
"Henry the Sixth. Part two, I think. Why?"
"Two women have died in arson attacks in the past month."
It seemed like a non-sequitur, but the way Sherlock's brain worked, who could tell? John rolled with it.
"Yes." The arsons had been all over the papers until the lawyers started dropping like flies and the press and public found a new focus for their morbid curiosity.
"And a man was strangled in his bed in a home invasion in Gloucestershire," Sherlock went on.
"Um, yeah. I think I remember reading about that." John almost bit his tongue at his own stupidity, expecting a rebuke from Sherlock about his sloppy thinking. Surprisingly, none was forthcoming.
"Interesting. There should be a pirate soon, likely in Suffolk. And eventually a man drowned in brandy." Sherlock stood swiftly, his dressing gown flowing around his pyjama-clad legs as he rose. "The idiots will have missed the smaller deaths, but they're out there, too."
"What are you talking about?" asked John as Sherlock rushed into the bathroom. Hearing the shower begin to run, he put down the paper and followed. He stood in the doorway and asked again, "Sherlock? What are you talking about?"
Sherlock grabbed John's face in both hands and planted a kiss on his surprised lips. "You're almost clever this morning, John."
It wasn't the nicest compliment, but from Sherlock it was genuine praise. "Thanks," said John somewhat flatly. "Now tell me why."
"Shakespeare!" Sherlock exclaimed. He stepped into the shower still talking. "We're going to see Lestrade. He has a serial killer on his hands."