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"Being a parent is scary and beautiful and hard and miraculous and exhausting and thankless and joyful and frustrating all at once. It's everything..."

-Jill Smokler

Sherlock's POV:

It was aberrant, seeing this young woman parade around my flat. It was incommodious and intense as well, trying to deduce what she was thinking. I knew her expressions only because I had seen them every morning, looking in the mirror, but it frustrated me that I could not read her. The only other time this had happened... well...

"I'm not going to apologize for the mess because I'm not at all sorry." I told her curtly. Yet again she surprised me though, shaking her head.

"No, it's fine. I like it. It feels like a house should- crowded and full of books." She ran her fingers over the skull  sitting on my mantle. "Was he a friend of yours?"

I shrugged. "Actually, he's one of the skulls the original Shakespearean actors used during the play Hamlet." Why did I feel the need to tell her that? I hadn't ever told anyone that. Only Mycroft knew, and that was because he had been present when I had received it.

Her eyes widened. "Impressive..."

I felt very uncomfortable to say in the least. This was all new. I felt an uncharacteristic urge to speak again.

"My godfather gave it to me when I was very young." How inconvenient.

"You talk when you're nervous." She turned on me.


"It's interesting." She shrugged carelessly. "Sometimes, you're readable. Like right now, you're uncomfortable. I can tell by your stiff posture that you dislike me. Your eyes are shifting towards certain things in the room, books, the skull, your violin, like you don't want me to see the worst parts of you. You make conversation when faced with compromising situations which is absolutely ridiculous as there is nothing to be apprehensive about."

I stared at her for what felt like a very long time while she continued to explore my house, completely ignorant of me.

"I-" I was cut off by a vibration coming from my left pocket. It startled me out of my trance and when I answered it I heard Lestrade's voice, heavy with exertion.

"Sherlock." Gasp. "You've got to see this." Gasp. "Come right now, we really need you to look at this." Gasp. "It's at the Yard." Gasp.

Feverish excitement built up in my chest. A case! Yes! I grabbed my coat and dashed down the stairs, swinging the door open and hailing a cab.

"What is it Lestrade?" I burst through the front doors, coat billowing behind me.

The entire office area was roped off with yellow caution tape. Cameras flashed and police officers gathered in clumps around a single body on the floor covered in a bloody white sterilization sheet.

"See for yourself." Lestrade tossed me some gloves and I pulled them over my fingers. Gently I pushed the sheet back to reveal a mangled face. The body was obviously female and she was lying face down, her shoulders and waist covered in blood.

"Sally." I muttered.

"She's dead. It's already confirmed." Came a throaty voice from right behind me. I rolled my eyes.

"Shut up, Anderson."

"No, I will not shut up! This is serious. Not everyone can fake their deaths as fabulously as you... someone... something murdered her. Now fix it!"

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