A Fumbling Fighting Failure

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    "Sherlock you need to be nicer to her, if your families decide you should marry you're going to have to live with her your entire life. If you go into marriage hating each other it's going to be a lot more difficult." Molly suggested. Sherlock groaned, loudly, his chainmail clanking around with every step.
"I already hate her, so what's the point if she hates me? A marriage would never work." Sherlock decided positively.
"You're crazy if you think that your opinion matters at all." Molly pointed out, and Sherlock just ignored her, clenching his jaw because he knew she was right. Mycroft didn't care at all what Sherlock thought of Irene, and chances are her father didn't care either. If the royal families thought they would be a good match then obviously the two had no say. When they finally got down to the armory they grabbed a large chest plate and helmet for Billy to wear, supplying him with a shield and a sword. Sherlock didn't know how else to train for fighting without actually fighting someone, so poor Billy had to be the target again. Molly hiked up her dress and pinned some of the layers higher up so that it didn't scrape across the dirt ground of the arena, and together the three of them waddled out, loaded down in armor and multiple skirts. The area was empty, the usually packed stands seating nothing but bird droppings and stray leaves. It was kind of creepy to be honest, the thrones were empty, the dirt untilled, every time Sherlock was in here it was always so loud but now the quiet was almost tangible. It was odd that someplace could be so different without the presence of a crowd.
"Well then, helmets on men." Molly decided. Sherlock groaned, but smashed his helmet onto his head, the visor creaking around on its unoiled hinge. Sherlock hadn't worn his armor since last year's tournament, and he still hadn't bothered to make Billy clean it. Sherlock swung his sword around a couple of times, the blade piercing through the air with a satisfying whoosh. The moment was ruined, however, when the handle hit him in the chest and flung the sword out of his hand, making him look like a total idiot.
"I don't recommend doing that." Molly decided, and Sherlock growled at her, picking up his sword and brushing it off with his glove.
"Alright my lord just...don't kill me." Billy muttered, sliding his helmet over his head. It was a bit too big and whenever he turned his head it would slide to the other end. Sherlock knew that this probably wasn't the safest treatment of his ridiculous servant, but then again it wasn't like Sherlock was actually going to get a hit in. He'd probably drop his sword again before he got a good a good strike.
"Alright, Sherlock, ready?" Molly wondered, stepping out of the way in case a sword or man went flying.
"Ya, I'm ready." Sherlock groaned, standing with his arms dropping and a scowl on his face. He didn't look very ready to be honest, more sulky.
"Billy, ready?" Molly asked, sounding a bit more worried about the servant than the prince.
"I um...I guess." Billy agreed, getting in a fighting stance and holding his sword in the air. Sherlock's sword still dragged around in the dirt, making sad little circles as his wrist twirled.
"Alright then, I guess you can fight." Molly shrugged. Sherlock raised his sword with one hand, looking like an unexperienced child and ran at Billy, waving his sword around in the air and hoping he could hit something. Billy dove out of the way, obviously not prepared to take a hit for the greater good.
"Come here Billy let me hit you!" Sherlock yelled, but Billy took off around the arena, his sword left in the dirt as he ran for his life. Sherlock chased after him, but after a good three minutes of running and waving his sword he got really tired, so he dropped his sword as well and glared at Molly from across the stadium. However Molly wasn't looking, she was burying her head in her hands as if crying in shame.
"THIS IS NEVER GOING TO WORK!" Sherlock cried, ripping his helmet off and throwing it at where Billy stood, leaning against the stadium wall and catching his breath. The helmet fell about five feet short, but the servant still jumped in horror.
"Alright, alright, just give me a moment!" Molly called, running into the armory faster than Sherlock could run anywhere, and she was wearing heels. Sherlock stalked back over to where his sword lay, hoping that Billy would retrieve his helmet because he certainly didn't want to go all the way back there. It was very difficult to breathe with chainmail restricting his lungs, and before long he felt rather dizzy.
"Where did Ms. Hooper go?" Billy wondered from behind him. Sherlock just growled, turning on Billy and giving him a look of death.
"How dare you run away from me while I'm trying to train!" Sherlock exclaimed. Billy held up his hands in surrender, closing his eyes and wincing, preparing for some sort of physical pain. Sherlock just sighed, grabbing his helmet from Billy's outstretched hand and sitting against the wooden wall, bringing his knees to his chest and frowning.
"I'm never going to win this tournament." Sherlock decided.
"Yes you are sir, you do every year." Billy pointed out. Sherlock sighed heavily, shaking his head and leaning his chin against his knees.
"I have a bad feeling about this year. I don't know why." Sherlock admitted. Billy shrugged, but obviously whatever he was going to say was cut off when Molly reappeared. Sherlock turned, looking at her and trying not to laugh. She was still wearing her dress but overtop she had forced a chest plate, pushing a helmet over his brown ponytail and grasping a sword in her white gloved hand.
"You're kidding me." Sherlock muttered.
"Obviously you can't fight Billy, and you need someone to fight, she here I am." Molly said, sounding a bit ashamed that Sherlock thought this was such a ridiculous idea.
"Molly I don't want to hurt you." Sherlock insisted. Molly just frowned, or at least Sherlock thought she did, he really couldn't see her face through the helmet.
"More like you're too afraid to get beat by a girl. You know me Sherlock, I'm not fragile." Molly insisted. Sherlock bit his lip in thought, looking over at Billy to see what he was thinking of this. Unfortunately Billy looked too entranced to really have an opinion.
"Billy get your head out of the clouds or I'll have to fight you again." Sherlock warned. Billy blinked, nodding apologetically and picking up Sherlock's discarded sword.
"Good luck sir." He muttered.
"What, you're supporting this?" Sherlock wondered, and Billy just shrugged.
"She has a better chance than I do." He admitted. Sherlock sighed, but shook the dirt off of his helmet and put it back on.
"Molly you're in heels." He pointed out.
"What, you wish you had some too?" Molly wondered.
"That doesn't make sense." Sherlock decided.
"It did when I said it in my head." Molly defended, holding up her sword and pointing it at Sherlock.
"Prepare to get beat by a girl." She said proudly, and with that she charged.
"You didn't even ask if I was ready!" Sherlock defended, grabbing his sword and holding it up defensively. Miraculously he blocked Molly' strike, but it only took a moment for her to recuperate and strike at Sherlock's head, her blade bouncing off his helmet and leaving a miserable clanging in his ears.
"Dead." Molly decided, lifting up the flat of her helmet to reveal a large smile on her face. Sherlock pushed his helmet flap up as well, messaging the side of his head with a frown.
"How are you so good at this?" he wondered.
"Practice." Molly admitted with a shrug, as if that answer should've been obvious.
"When do you ever have time to practice sword fighting when you're always...I don't know, doing your hair or something." Sherlock muttered, obviously not knowing what Molly got up to in her free time.
"I'm not useless Sherlock, just because I wear a dress!" Molly insisted, sounding insulted.
"Well obviously, you're able to beat me and I'm wearing very uncomfortable pants." Sherlock agreed. Molly couldn't help but laugh, holding up her sword for round two and knocking down the flap on her helmet.
"Sherlock you better get ready." Billy suggested, having somehow gotten up on top of the wooden wall, dangling his feet like a child.
"Shush Billy." Sherlock snapped, but nevertheless he smacked his flap down and held up his sword, ready to fight.
"Alright, block my swings." Molly suggested. She slashed slowly towards Sherlock's side, and he pushed his blade in the way, knocking her sword out of the way. Next she swung at his head, which Sherlock ducked and stabbed his sword right at her chest. Thankfully Molly knocked his blade out of the way and sent her sword swinging down onto the top of his head. Sherlock trying to duck but instead he slashed his sword at her chest plate. It was a miracle that he actually hit it, and together there was a loud sound of scratching armor, coming from the top of Sherlock's head and Molly's chest plate, hitting each other at the very same time. Sherlock groaned, falling onto his butt and sitting in the dirt, ripping his helmet off and messaging his head.
"That hurt!" he whined, running his hand through his curls to see if there were any welts growing.
"You did great!" Molly exclaimed, taking her helmet off as well.
"Ya, I actually hit you, didn't I?" Sherlock agreed with a proud smile.
"You sure did!" Molly agreed, helping Sherlock back to his feet.
"Do you mind if we practice here as well?" asked a familiar voice behind them. Sherlock turned, seeing the servant duo of Greg Lestrade and that little rat, John what's his name.
"Yes, this is a private...something." Sherlock insisted.
"John scowled at him, swimming in some hand me down chainmail.
"Sorry your majesty, but this is a public place, is it not?" he wondered, twirling his sword around in the air threateningly. Sherlock scowled at him, looking over John to see just how much the stocks had beaten him up. Evidently they didn't do their job though, because he was still on his feet and looking perfectly healthy.
"Are you planning on entering the tournament?" Sherlock wondered with a laugh, stepping closer and examining the rust spots on his sword. John frowned right back, not scared of being in such close proximity to a royal.
"If I was I wouldn't tell you." John snapped back, looking ever so ready to swing that sword at Sherlock's head.
"Scared that I'll poison your tea?" Sherlock wondered, raising his eyebrows in accusation.
"Scared that you'd back down, and I wouldn't get the chance to humiliate you." John insisted.
"You'd humiliate yourself if you went out in that outfit." Sherlock snapped.
"Not everyone can have their servants clean their armor; some of us actually have to move a muscle in this world." John pointed out.
"At least my chainmail fits."
"At least I'm not so bad that the only person I can train with is a woman." John insisted.
"You want to go little man? I could slice your head off in two strokes!" Molly threatened, suddenly offended by John's remarks.
"I'm not doubting your skills ma'am, just our prince's." John assured. Molly just chuckled, leaning against the wooden wall next to Billy to see this go down. Sherlock glared at John, so tempted to throw him in the dungeons.
"I'll see you around, servant. Until then, I suggest you start to learn some manners." Sherlock hissed, and with that he turned and walked dramatically away, not aware that there was dirt all over the back of his pants.
"Can you believe the nerve of that bloody servant?" Sherlock exclaimed, throwing his helmet so hard at his bed post that he was sure it must've dented. Molly and Billy followed behind, both of them looking kind of annoyed at Sherlock's choice of drama. They had successfully made it up to Sherlock's room without decapitations, but it might not be long until Sherlock started throwing some punches.
"He's just a servant Sherlock, there's nothing to be annoyed about." Molly assured.
"Didn't you hear him? Didn't you listen to that complete betrayal?" Sherlock wondered, pulling of his chainmail and throwing it at the ground in anger. He flopped onto his bed and ran his fingers through his curls, letting his head hang over the side of the mattress.
"It's like he was sent here just to annoy me." Sherlock growled.
"I doubt that was his intention." Billy said quickly, and Sherlock just glared at him.
"Don't talk about things you don't understand Billy." Sherlock snapped.
"You don't understand him either! You're just making up stories to make it seem like you're not being completely immature!" Molly insisted.
"I'm not being immature I'm being logical, he's a nightmare, honestly." Sherlock insisted.
"Maybe you can make peace with him somehow." Molly suggested.
"And just how do you suggest I do that? Make him a fruit cake?" Sherlock wondered.
"Well, for starters, you shouldn't go assuming that he's going to be the death of you. You can be nicer to him, maybe smile, make an effort." Molly suggested.
"That's pathetic. And if he really is competing in the tournament then I need to look intimidating, scary enough that one hundred gold pieces is more tempting than a thousand." Sherlock insisted.
"The tournament's not a week away, are you sure you've got the money to do that?" Molly wondered.
"Of course I do Molly, you know my allowance." Sherlock insisted.
"Yes well, I'm worried this year. Like you said, it feels different." Molly decided.
"Well I mean, either way I can't lose. If I win the tournament I'll make John so angry that he won't be able to speak to me again. If I lose the tournament then Irene wouldn't want anything with me, her family will leave and they'll take this poor excuse of a servant with them." Sherlock decided. Billy nodded in agreement, his chin hitting off his chainmail and making him wince.
"Well I have to admit, that's a very positive way of looking at things." Molly shrugged.
"Do you really think losing the tournament will make Irene have any less interest in you though?" Billy wondered.
"She said she liked a handsome prince who can fight. Considering I'm only one of those things then maybe she won't like me when she finds out who I really am." Sherlock decided.
"Don't be stupid Sherlock, it's not like she can found out that you're not handsome. It's a matter of opinion, and she's already made her decision." Molly pointed out.
"She'll find out how ugly I am on the inside. Trust me Molly, I know I'm pretty." Sherlock assured. Molly just laughed, shaking her head like an embarrassed mother. There was a knock on the door and Sherlock groaned loudly, considering everyone he could partially stand was already in the room, whoever was on the other side of that door would be the bearer of annoying news.
"Come in!" Sherlock groaned loudly, lifting his head up partially to see who could possibly want an audience with him. When the door opened, however, Sherlock scrambled to his feet, flattening his hair and smiling the best as welcomingly as he could. Molly and Billy mimicked him, dropping into low bows as the king entered the room.
"Father." Sherlock said, standing up tall. Sherlock's father and mother were among the many who didn't know he was useless, so every time he was around the king he needed to act like he was the Golden Prince once more. Mycroft, unfortunately, knew the truth, although he would never dare tell.
"Hello Sherlock." King Holmes said, nodding his greeting to both Molly and Billy.
"What brings you to my chambers?" Sherlock wondered. The king sighed, looking idly around at the messy state of Sherlock's bedroom.
"Has your servant done anything to contain this mess?" King Holmes wondered, casting an accusing look at Billy, who was still all dusty and trapped in his chainmail.
"We just got back from training sir, haven't had time to straighten things up." Molly said quickly, seeing as though Sherlock couldn't think of a good excuse.
"Ah, understandable. Training went well I assume?" the king wondered, looking at Sherlock hopefully. Sherlock nodded, not wanting to go into detail about just how 'training' went.
"As well as it can go I suppose, I hope to be prepared for the tournament next week." Sherlock agreed.
"I trust you will my son. You make me very proud, and I know you will continue doing so. Until then, however, you need to focus more on your own enjoyment." The king decided. Sherlock looked at him with a perplexed look, wondering what his father had in mind for his own enjoyment. Obviously his father had no idea what Sherlock actually did for fun (reading and yelling at people), so he was sure that whatever the king had to offer was surely not going to make Sherlock happy.
"Oh? And what would that be?" Sherlock wondered.
"I have arranged for you and Ms. Adler to have a private dinner tonight in the gardens." King Holmes said, looking at his son as expecting some sort of thanks. Sherlock was just trying hard not to vomit a little bit in his mouth. Sherlock just forced a smile, coughing a little bit.
"Father um...do you like her? As a potential wife I mean?" Sherlock wondered.
"I think she is a very fine young lady, perfect match for you as far as looks go." He decided with a small smile.
"You don't think she's a little bit...aggressive?" Sherlock wondered, trying to get his father to catch on without having to blatantly tell him his hate for that girl.
"Not at all. Why, do you have some sort of ill feelings towards her?" the king wondered. Sherlock shook his head profusely as if on some sort of instinct, he just couldn't disappoint his father.
"I guess I don't know her well enough to make assumptions just yet. If I do decide that she isn't the right woman for me, would I have a say in the final arrangements?" Sherlock wondered.
"Sherlock you know that you have to do what is best for this kingdom, and you know that I care very deeply for you. But when the time comes, and you must choose a bride to marry, who would you chose if not the best option for the good of the kingdom?" King Holmes wondered.
"An excellent point father, we need to widen our search until we both get what we desire." Sherlock agreed.
"We'll see Sherlock, we'll see. I think the Adlers will make very good allies." King Holmes insisted. Sherlock forced a smile, not wanting his father to see the hate deep in his eyes. "You best get dressed, you must be in the gardens by six o'clock."
"Yes of course, thank you father." Sherlock agreed, nodding his head in respect. The king smiled at him and swept out of the room without another word, and as soon as that door closed Sherlock groaned. 

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