Chapter 14: A Bet

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Claire and John faced each other as Sherlock made tea. John was quite surprised that Sherlock offered to make tea, but that doesn't bother him, what bothers him was the urge to ask Claire a question, unfortunately, he wasn't able to hold it in.

'What happened then?' He asks awkwardly as he crossed his legs picking up a newspaper from the desk beside him.
'Hm?' Claire asked dazed by the sudden question. 'To your mum?' John asked not wanting to bring up the real deal. 'Oh, uh since everyone thought that it was food poisoning and wasn't intended murder, my mum called me to be on the funeral and-'

'I don't really care about that, what I am asking is how did your mother take it in?' John bursts not being able to handle how shallow Claire was, but the truth is she just doesn't really like talking about it. 'She lives alone now, but that was 5 years ago, I haven't seen her since then.' Claire explained as she looks down at her hands. Sherlock, on the other hand, watched the two converse as he continued to make the tea. 'So you mean you didn't bother to visit?' John said slamming the paper down on the desk, Claire wondered why he was so mad about it. 'Truth is, I can't face my own mother knowing that I killed my father. I just can't. Because despite me killing him, I loved him dearly. I didn't want to do it, John, you have to believe me, it was a matter of national safety and it was the least I could do.' Claire explains fairly apologizing and giving out the truth of why she didn't visit her mother.

'Right.' John said standing up. 'I do believe you, and that's what's wrong. I don't want to believe that I am working with another psychopath!' John shouts making Claire jump at the sound. Sherlock finally finished making tea, bringing it to the coffee table between John and Claire. 'John, remember what I told you by the people you've met?' Sherlock said as he unbuttoned one of his buttons on his blazer. 'Hmm?' John asked huffing of anger. 'You're attracted to them.' Sherlock answers. John looked at him irritated. 'Ok, great. You two will really get along.' John said pointing his finger at Sherlock before walking away to his room.

Sherlock then sat on his chair where John was before picking up his cuppa tea.
'Hard-headed.' Claire shrugged as she picked up her cup. 'Mm, always has been. You should've seen him 3 years ago, I was in agony.' Sherlock retorts sipping his tea before placing it back on the tray.
'He must've felt the same.' Claire chuckles quietly making Sherlock furrow his brows.
'Is that supposed to be a joke?' Sherlock said scrunching up his face out of curiosity and annoyance. 'Oh, no.' Claire said sipping her two. 'Hmm.' Sherlock hummed approvingly.

Sherlock then stood up from his chair to walk towards the wall covered with a linen, he then pulled it down revealing a wall filled with maps, photos, notes, and messages. 'What the hell is all that?' Claire says as she stood up curiously walking towards Sherlock. 'My studies.' Sherlock replies. 'Of the case?' Claire asked scanning the wall. 'Precisely.' Sherlock answers biting his lower lip as he looked at the wall filled with papers. 'Why hide it then?' Claire asked as her sight was caught by the photos of Mr Hale, and some other guy.

'I came to a realisation that if I kept looking into it, I would have a tendency to just cave in and use some cigarettes, which I am doing quite well from.' Sherlock said as he pulled up his right sleeve revealing a nicotine patch. Claire looked down on it for a moment as Sherlock pulled the sleeve back down to stare into the wall once more. The two stared at the wall examining everything. From the thin threads connecting pictures and references to the black lines made from the map, they looked at it as if there was something hidden beneath it all.

'Oh, God.' John's voice boomed as he enters the living room with his phone on hand and a look of pure frustration. 'Late now are we?' Sherlock asked turning around to John, but Claire stayed to scan the wall continuously. 'Ah, yeah. I'm gonna be late, so don't wait up.' John says as he rushes out of the flat as his footsteps drummed the wooden steps.

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