Summary:: Knowing that Sherlock had left things in a bad way, between himself and Joan, he tries a more traditional form of apology. Spoilers for Turn It Upside Down 4x22
Title:Flowers Can Say More Than I Ever Could
Author: Sacha Thompson
Characters/Pairings:Sherlock Holmes, Joan Watson
Summary:: Knowing that Sherlock had left things in a bad way, between himself and Joan, he tries a more traditional form of apology.
Spoilers for Turn It Upside Down 4x22
Disclaimer: Not mine! The characters used belong to their respective companies/owners. No copyright infringement was intended with the making of this story.
It had been a few days since Sherlock had found out about Joan’s mole and their attempted spying on his father Morland Holmes. He knew that he had been overly harsh towards Joan in regards to her spying on his father and the fact that she had kept it all from him.
Perhaps, a simple meal would not be a sufficient apology, Holmes mused. He realized that he may have to go a more traditional route. Which meant flowers.
Sherlock checked the clock on his phone. He knew that Joan would return to the brownstone within the next hour. The detective also knew that he didn’t have much time to waste. So he opened the door and went outside.
Once outside, Sherlock checked for any messages that he might have missed. Finding none, he decided to call Captain Gregson. It took a few minutes before Gregson answered.
“Gregson,” said the captain. “What’s up Sherlock?”
“Ah, Captain,” said Sherlock. “I was wondering, do you happen to know of any florists in the area?”
“Something for Fiona?” Gregson asked.
“Er. No, they’re for Watson actually,” Sherlock admitted.
“Let’s just say that I let my emotions get the better of me and leave it at that,” said Sherlock.
“Sherlock…” Gregson began. But the detective was quick to reassure his friend.
“Don’t worry, Captain. I did not physically harm Watson.”
“Ok, that’s good to know.” Gregson replied. “So what did happen that is causing you to be in search of a good florist?”
“I…” Sherlock began, took a deep breath, then started over. “Has Detective Bell told you what happened at the diner? Who were killed?”
It took a moment for Gregson to realize what Sherlock was saying. “Joan knew one of the victims?”
“Yes,” Sherlock replied. “And kept the knowledge from me. I admit I acted poorly once I learnt the truth. Hence, the flowers.”
“Try Nilly’s,” suggested Gregson. “They’re not too expensive.”
“All right,” said Sherlock. “I’ll give them a try.” He paused for a moment, then said: “Thank you.”
“No problem Sherlock, let’s just say that I know what it’s like to be in the doghouse,” said Gregson. “Let me know it goes. Okay?”
“I will,” Sherlock promised. Then he made a call for a taxi.
Fifteen minutes later, the taxi arrived. Sherlock gave the driver the name of the florist that Gregson had suggested. Another thirty minutes had passed when the cab arrived at the florist’s shop. “That will be thirty-five dollars, mister.” Sherlock gave the man a fifty and told him to keep the change.
The bell rang shrilly as Sherlock entered the shop. The woman behind the counter looked up and smiled when she realized that there was a customer.
“Good afternoon,” said the clerk. “My name’s Mary and welcome to Nilly’s. How can I help you?”
“Good afternoon, Mary,” said Sherlock. “My name is Sherlock Holmes and I was wondering; is it possible to have an arrangement of carnations made by this evening?”
Mary thought for a moment then went to the computer. “Let’s see,” she said and began to type in the search bar. “Are there any colors that you prefer in the arrangement or any other flowers?”
Sherlock thought for a moment, then asked: “Could a purple hyacinth be placed in the center of the arrangement?”
“Sure,” said Mary as she typed Sherlock’s preferences. “And the carnations? What colors would you like with those?”
Sherlock took out his phone and went to his notes app. Once there, he tapped on the note marked FLOWERS. He tapped on the display again to enlarge it, then gave the phone to Mary.
She took it and scrolled down before settling down on the fourth picture. “Something like this?” She asked, showing Sherlock an arrangement of carnations; each one a different shade of red.
He nodded, pleased. “Exactly, but with the purple hyacinth. Will it be too much trouble to have it ready by six?” He asked. Mary looked at her watch. It read 2:40pm.
“It’s a rush order,” she said, “but I think I can handle it.” Sherlock smiled.
“Excellent.” He took out his wallet and asked: “How much do I owe you?” Mary looked at the computer, opened the drawer behind the counter and took out a calculator. She spent a few minutes figuring out the pricing and the local state tax. Once she was done she said to Sherlock.
“That will be $43.50.” Sherlock handed Mary his credit card and waited. She processed it and handed the card back to Sherlock.
“If you like to wait there is a cafe across the street,” said Mary.
“Thank you,” replied Sherlock. “I may just do that.”
“Wait! Before you go, would you like to sign the card now, or after you see the bouquet?” Mary asked just as he reached the exit. Sherlock thought for a moment then said: “I think I’ll wait until I see the bouquet. Thanks.”
Mary nodded. “I’ll see you at six, then.”
“Six,” agreed Sherlock. With that the detective left the shop and headed to the cafe.
Once he reached the cafe, Sherlock went to the table near the window and sat down to call Gregson and Joan. The former to let him know that he, Sherlock, had taken his advice to heart. And the latter, to let her know that he will return shortly to the brownstone with a surprise.
That done, Sherlock went to the counter and ordered a sandwich and a cup of tea. He calmly waited for his order. When he received his order he went back to his table and sat down to eat.
It was on his second bite that Sherlock realized that he needed to call for another taxi. Quickly he finished his sandwich, drained his tea then went outside for a bit of air.
After spending a couple of minutes people-watching Sherlock decided to walk back to Nilly’s and check on the progress of the bouquet. Just as he was crossing the street his phone started to buzz. When he arrived at the entrance of Nilly’s he stopped to look at the text. “Bollocks.” He muttered, when he saw that it was from Joan. It said:
“Been trying to contact you. Is everything okay?”
Sherlock sighed. He replied that everything was fine and that he would be home soon. And to please try to not worry. That done, he went back inside Nilly’s only to be greeted by a large bouquet. “It seems that you’ve finished early,” said a surprised Sherlock.
Mary smiled. “We did. What do you think, do you like it?”
“I do,” said Sherlock, “and I believe that my friend will be just as impressed once she sees this. Thank you.” Mary grinned.
“I’m so glad that you like it, Mr. Holmes. Would you like to sign the card now?”
Sherlock nodded and signed the card that went with the flowers.
While Sherlock was busy signing the card, Mary carefully placed the arrangement in a large box, then placed the box in a giant shopping bag. “Is it too heavy?” She asked.
Sherlock grabbed the bag and lifted it with an ease that shocked Mary. “It’s fine,” he said. Just as he finished speaking the taxi arrived. The driver got out of the cab, entered the shop and said: “Sherlock Holmes?”
“That would be me,” said Sherlock. He turned to Mary and said; “Thanks so much for you help Mary.” She smiled and shook the detective’s hand. “It was a pleasure Mr. Holmes, I hope your friend enjoys the flowers.”
“I’m sure that she will.” He replied, then asked the taxi driver. “Shall we go?”
‘Do you need any help?” The driver asked, glancing at the bag in Sherlock’s hand. “I’m fine, thank you.” Sherlock handed the man a business card that contained his home address.
“I will give you an additional twenty dollars on top of your usual rate if you can get to the brownstone in forty-five minutes.” He told the cabbie. The cabbie grinned.
“You’ve got a deal, Mister.” With that they got into the taxi and headed to the brownstone. The road seemed free of traffic, but as they got into the city, it became more intense. “I wonder what’s going on?” The cabbie asked his passenger. “It’s usually pretty quiet around this time of day.”
Sherlock took out his phone. “If the amount of traffic, bothers you so, mister-?”
“Davison,” the cabbie supplied.
“Mr. Davison,” Sherlock continued, “then I believe I have some friends that may be able to answer your question, if you like.”
Davison chuckled. “Don’t worry, Mr. Holmes I’ll get you home on time.”
“You’re not concerned about your bonus?” Sherlock asked, as he texted a message to the captain, letting him know what was happening in the street.
“Not really, no.” The cabbie confessed. Seeing the look of doubt on Sherlock’s face through the rearview mirror, the cabbie laughed. “Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the gesture, but there’s really no need. I make a decent living with this job. Plus the part-time I do on the weekends.”
“What do you do on the weekends?” Sherlock asked. Davison smiled. “I paint houses,” he replied. “For HUD.”
“In that case, Mr. Davison, would you allow me to give you half of the bonus I promised you?” Sherlock paused for moment, then said: “I know that it is not much but, I know it will help. True?”
Davison was touched by Sherlock’s offer, so he agreed to the detective’s plan of giving half of the ride’s bonus to him, despite the fact that they were no closer to the brownstone. In fact, thanks to the traffic it took Davison over an hour to get to Sherlock’s home. During that time, Sherlock had received three text messages: one from Gregson, the other two from Joan; with the last message stating that if he did not come home in the next ten minutes she would have Gregson place an APB on him.
“Oh bugger,” Sherlock muttered. Davison looked at Sherlock through the rearview mirror. “What’s wrong?”
“How fast can you drive?” Sherlock asked. Davison stepped on the gas. “Are you in trouble?” He asked.
“Only with my flatmate and business partner,” answered Sherlock. Again, Davison laughed, then shook his head.
“Well, it’s a good thing that we’ve arrived, isn’t it?”
“What?” Sherlock looked out his window and found, much to his surprise, that they had arrived at the brownstone. He had been so preoccupied with answering those text messages that he failed to notice when the taxi had stopped at the front of the brownstone.
Sherlock took out his wallet and handed Davison his fare, plus a little something extra besides the amount they agreed upon. The cabbie tried to give some of it back, but Sherlock said: “It’s a donation, for HUD.” Davison shook Sherlock’s hand, then asked: “You sure that you don’t need help with those flowers?”
Sherlock carefully grabbed the bag that held the flowers smiled at Davison, and told him that he was fine.
As the taxi drove away, Sherlock climbed the front steps of his home and unlocked the front door. Joan was in the living room on her phone, pacing back and forth. “Yes, Captain, I did check my phone and all Sherlock kept texting was that he was fine and he had a surprise for me. God, what is that man planning?”
“Hello Watson,” said Sherlock. “Surprise!” Joan stared at Sherlock, then said to Gregson on the phone. “Captain, he’s here. I have to go.” And she hit the end button.
“Where have you been?” Joan asked him. “I’ve been trying to contact you all day!” She took a deep breath, trying to calm down.
“I’m sorry, Watson. I did not mean to cause you to worry, I just wanted to keep it a surprise.”
“What is it, what’s the surprise?” Joan asked.
Sherlock smiled. “Let’s go to the study.” Grabbing the large bag he brought with him, Sherlock left the living room, a curious Joan hot on his heels. When they entered the study Sherlock carefully placed the bag he held on the desk.
“Okay, Watson you can look now.”
Joan carefully took out the vase. She gasped when she saw the arrangement of carnations with the lone hyacinth in the center. “It’s beautiful,” she said to Sherlock. “But why?”
Sherlock sighed. “Because Watson, I acted like a prat with you the other day, when I truly had no cause to do so. And I believed that flowers could express my feelings more than words ever could.” For a moment Joan was silent, lost in the depth of what Sherlock was telling her. She looked at the flowers again, and thought about the colors of the carnations and that single purple hyacinth.
The carnations were Sherlock’s declaration of love for her, Joan realized. And the hyacinth his apology. Like when he named a bee after her. Joan figured it out, Sherlock likes to use nature to express his thoughts and feelings about a person.
She smiled and gave her partner a hug, whispering: “You’re forgiven, and thank you for the flowers.”
Sherlock smiled, and hugged Joan back. “I’m glad that you like the flowers. And thank you Joan.” He whispered.