Holmes opened the windows without a word.

Watson stepped into the room and with a shiver, shot an annoyed look over at his roommate who was slouched with a book and promptly closed them again.

For a moment, all was quiet, then--

Gladstone erupted, a keen treble blast that reverberated in the room, the sound like a French horn artist warming up. Watson blanched, and then hastily darted to throw open the windows once more.

“Holmes?” It was an accusation and question all in one.

Sherlock looked up briefly from his tome. “Olives.”

"Olives? Dear God, how many?"

“Half a pound I should think. They were intended for my seduction which was . . . avoided, and now I lack any reward for my noble actions."

Watson sputtered with laughter, leaning with lazy grace against the windowsill and shooting a tolerant look to the bulldog before gazing over at Holmes. "Did it ever occur to you that perhaps Irene knew Gladstone would get them all along, Holmes? That this is a Parthian shot of the vilest sort?"

Holmes' brow darkened. "Devious, and given the amount, potentially lethal of her."

The dog sounded again, a basso blast this time, followed by an almost apologetic snuffle. Watson’s smirk deepened. "For whom, Gladstone or us?"

"Gladstone,” Holmes sighed, “is immune to his own flatulence; given how recessed his nose, probably a trait for survival."

"Given how gaseous he is, you mean."

"His bulk limits his ability to move away from his own emissions, therefore, a limited capacity for scent is . . . necessary."

"The bulk is NOT my fault,” Watson protested. “I'm not the one who consistently leaves the tea tray on the FLOOR."

"The tables are upholding more vital items, besides, on the floor, the tea is safe from being knocked over, Watson. I find it logical to keep it there,” Holmes murmured without looking up again.

"I find it in three weeks, you mean."

"Yes, well I'm not solely responsible for Mrs. Hudson's scones of stone,” Holmes sniffed. "I'd have a pipe to counter the odor, but I fear a single lucifer could send the building up."

"Probably a bad idea, yes,” Watson agreed, leaning a little out the window for fresh air. “The next time your elusive paramour turns up, would you at least suggest figs or something else innocuous?"

"Figs? Are you insane, Watson? As a medical man, you of all people should be fully aware of the laxative effect of dried fruit!"

"Yes, but he doesn't LIKE them. You, on the other hand, could use a good clearing out,” came the taunt.

"My bowels are fine, not that they are of any concern to you. And Gladstone isn't the only one to dislike figs. Besides, this condition of his cannot go on for much longer. A turn in the park may clear matters up before teatime."

"Very good,” Watson countered sweetly. “Feel free, old chap."

"Not for ME, for the dog! Off you go--take Mary, it will be good training for those oncoming scions of yours."

Watson moved to collect the leash. “If I take the dog, Holmes, then you won’t have anyone to blame for the other tuba solos in this room.”

He left.

Holmes kept the windows open.


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