Characters: John, Sherlock, Mrs Hudson, Lestrade
Warnings/Triggers: very quick reference to a somewhat gruesome manner of death
Word Count 1,464
Summary: John Watson's roommate is a Montreal snotface who hates Kraft Dinner and hockey. But that's okay; some things are better than hockey.
Author's notes: There's a community on tumblr called 'Let's Draw Sherlock!' which has challenges for artists every month. Recently, they did a challenge asking artists to draw Sherlock characters in a culture they (the artists) belonged to. I can't draw, but I had fun imagining what Sherlock and John would be up to if they were Canadian. And I can't draw, but I can write.
Some background: I picture John and Sherlock living in Toronto, John having probably been born and raised nearby. Sherlock would have grown-up in the more bohemian, allophone Montreal. I've given Mrs Hudson some of my mum's 'Fringlish' phrases, so I suppose she maybe grew up in the French-speaking part of Ontario, maybe near the border between provinces.
Much to my sadness, I couldn't get a proper usage of 'eh?' in here sounding natural.
John stamped the snow off his boots and slipped them off his feet, wincing as his socks soaked through with the cold water on the floor. He pulled off his tuque and caught a view of his red cheeks in the mirror. He looked like a six-year old coming in from making snowmen.
“How did you make out?” Mrs. Hudson asked, coming out her apartment.
“There's sort of a path,” John said. “But the snow's still falling, so I don't know how long it will last.”
“I'm sorry to make you shovel,” Mrs. Hudson said. “I just worry about my hip on the ice.”
“I volunteered,” John reminded her. “I think it'll be fine for a while still. I've thrown down some salt. I can do another run through in the morning, if need be.”
“Thank you, John,” Mrs. Hudson said, kissing his cheek. “Ooh, you're freezing! Go up and get warm, young man.”
John gave her a salute and climbed up to 221B. “Next time, you're shovelling,” he said, to the apartment.
“That seems unlikely,” Sherlock replied, from the kitchen.
“I dunno,” John said. “One day Lestrade will call about a murder, and you'll dig yourself out of here.”
“Okay, that's a more likely scenario,” Sherlock agreed.
John went into the kitchen to find something for supper. There were about 25 boxes of Kraft Dinner in the cupboards and...nothing else. He selected a box of spirals and put the water on the burner to boil.
“I can't believe you actually eat that,” Sherlock said.
“Everybody eats Kraft Dinner, Sherlock,” John said.
“I've never eaten Kraft Dinner,” Sherlock replied.
“Yeah, well you're a Montreal snotface,” John said.
“I am not a Montreal snotface!” Sherlock declared, vehemently. It was an easy way to rile him up. He hated being called a Montreal snotface. Mostly, John thought, because he didn't know what it meant.
Actually, John didn't know what it meant either. His mom had always used it to refer to their neighbours, and he just used it with Sherlock because he got a kick out of how angry it made him.
“I bet even the Queen has eaten Kraft Dinner,” John said.
“The Queen would never eat a powdered cheese product reconstituted via milk and butter and mixed into pasta,” Sherlock said.
“Montreal snotface,” John said.
“I am not—” Sherlock started, but caught sight of John's smirk and stopped himself. “Ha.”
Mrs. Hudson came upstairs, and flicked the lights off in the hallway. “You should close your lights, Sherlock, your Hydro bill will be through the roof,” she called. “It's peak hour.”
John and Sherlock grinned at one another. Mrs. Hudson's concern about the Hydro bill was a daily occurrence. John sometimes wondered if she was employed by them to turn lights off whenever possible. Sherlock and John frequently found themselves sitting in pitch blackness after she'd left a room.
“I'm just going to pass the vacuum before the game starts, John,” she said.
“Go ahead,” John called back.
Sherlock looked up from his microscope in alarm. “Game? Another game? They're still playing hockey?” he said.
“Yep,” John said.
“But...there's always hockey,” Sherlock said. “They have to have run out of teams to play each other by now. It's on every night!”
“It's not on every night,” John said. He dumped his pasta into the boiling water on the stove. “It's on most nights. What does it matter to you, anyway? You don't watch.”
“I have to listen,” Sherlock said. “It's loud and stupid, and the commentary is pointless, and you yell and make those weird 'oooh!' noises when something exciting is happening. It's awful.”
“It's hockey,” John said. “It's the national pastime. Be patriotic.”
“Patriotism is overrated,” Sherlock said.
“Do you even know how to skate?” John asked.
“Yes, sort of,” Sherlock said. “I've skated before. I was forced to go to Winterlude every year when I was a kid. I'm sure I could sort it out again if I had to.”
John decided he'd really like to see that, but doubt he'd ever get the chance.
He opened the fridge to get the milk he'd need and found...no milk. He rummaged through the drawers, and looked twice as though it might suddenly appear. It couldn't hide; there was hardly any food in there.
“I bought three bags of milk this morning, you can't have used three bags of milk,” John said. “That's three litres. Where's the milk?”
Sherlock pointed to the small window in the kitchen. Three bags of milk were hung on the clothesline outside, frozen solid. “Experiment.”
John stared at the bags, too many thoughts running through his head at once to form a coherent sentence. Why do you need to freeze milk? Couldn't you have used just one bag? Do you know much milk costs? Can a person defrost milk?
“Mrs. H, do you have any milk?” he yelled, over the sound of the vacuum.
“Yes, sweetie, go ahead and borrow it,” she yelled back.
John waited until he needed it, and took the pot of drained pasta down to her apartment to add the milk, to save himself a trip. He returned and added the powder and butter and mixed it up. He added some ketchup, and took a bowl to the living room to put the game on.
There was no remote. He looked over and under and behind the cushions and in drawers. Mrs. Hudson couldn't find it either. Eventually they both looked to Sherlock.
“Freezer,” he said, matter-of-factly.
John winced and went over to the freezer. The remote was frozen in the middle of a big, thick block of ice, like a giant version of those fly-in-ice-cube practical jokes.
“Okay...why?” John said.
Sherlock shrugged. “I wanted to freeze something. It was available,” he said.
John shook his head and went back to the living room. “Nice try,” he said. “But you know you can use the buttons on the actual TV to make it work.”
“Damn,” came Sherlock's muttered reply from the kitchen.
John got the game on, and ate his dinner. Mrs. Hudson sat down to watch with him. She wasn't very knowledgeable about the sport, but she was very enthusiastic. It was a bit adorable, actually. They ignored Sherlock's increasingly loud moans, and cheered the Leafs on (well, Mrs. Hudson cheered for both teams when they did well).
She left during the intermission, and around the middle of the second period the doorbell rang.
“Boys? Sergeant Lestrade is here!” Mrs. Hudson called up.
Lestrade made it to the top of the stairs before either Sherlock or John could react to the news. He had a light dusting of snow rapidly melting on him.
“What's the score?” he asked.
“2-1, Leafs,” John said.
“Nice!” Lestrade said.
“Don't start talking about hockey!” Sherlock said, desperately. “Tell me why you're here. If it's about hockey, you can leave.”
“Right...” Lestrade said, his eyes glued to the television screen. “I want you to come look at a crime scene, if you can. One of the city plough drivers found a body in his gritter. Shoot! You're open, just shoot!”
“Oooh,” both John and Lestrade said together, as the puck went wide.
Sherlock made a sound like a distressed dolphin. “I'll come. I don't care if it's interesting. I just need to get out of here.”
He haphazardly put away his science stuff, and grabbed his coat from his chair.
“You'll need something warmer, it's freezing out,” Lestrade said. “The windchill is -20 or something.”
Sherlock had one coat. John had once seen him in a parka, but that was borrowed, worn over his one coat, and forcibly put on him to stave off hypothermia. He pulled on his gloves and wrapped his muffler around his neck and seemed to think that would do. He wouldn't wear a tuque, either. Not even to stave off hypothermia.
“Are you coming?” he asked John.
John looked at the game.
“This will be better than hockey,” Sherlock said.
“Yeah, I'm coming,” John said. He went over and turned the television off, and then the lights in the kitchen for the sake Mrs. Hudson's Hydro bill worries.
He bundled himself up, and followed Lestrade out to the squad car. His path was almost entirely snowed in again.
“What's the cause of death?” Sherlock asked, under his muffler.
“He has a shovel in his chest,” Lestrade said.
Sherlock kicked some snow in delight. “Awesome! See, John? Way better than hockey.”
John rolled his eyes. But he sort of agreed.