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Title: Order: Octopoda
Fandom: Sherlock
Characters: Sherlock Holmes, John Watson
Prompt: You are walking along the street of the area you call home and you come across..... a bucket. It appears to contain water. As well as a small octopus.
Someone has scrawled on the outside of the bucket, in possibly Sharpie, IF FOUND PLEASE RETURN TO [smudged beyond readability]
Wordcount: 475
Rating: k
Warning: None
Summary: Sherlock makes a friend. John is exasperated.

Comments: I did not follow the prompt exactly. I rarely do.


“Do you think it’s poisonous?”

“An octopus, John? An octopus?”

“Octopi usually are.”

“Who leaves an octopus on the sidewalk?”

“I mean we could try to find out who it belongs to…?”

“In the middle of London!”

John left later that afternoon for Dublin, or Scottland, or Narnia; Sherlock neither knew, nor cared, nor noticed really. Not that John expected him to. When John returned he expected to find the flat as he had left it, perhaps a little worse for wear, but no more than usual. What he found instead he was not prepared for.

He heard it as he lit upon the first landing on his way up to the flat, a slight running of water. The door at the top of the stairs was open, allowing the sound to filter down the stairwell. John had a sudden mental image of walking in and finding all the taps had been left on for some sort of experiment, and the flat slowly flooding. He hurried up the last set of stairs.

He did not find all the taps left on, which was a relief he did not have the luxury of basking in. What he did find was a tank. A large tank. On one of the shelves where previously there had been books and other knickknacks there was a large fish tank. And in the tank…

“The octopus…”

“Hm?” Sherlock was lounging across his chair, staring at the octopus that was crawling its way around the inside of the fish tank.

“Sherlock…what? Why is that thing still here? Weren’t you going to find out who it belonged to?”

“What? No. Exactly how did you expect me to do that? Besides we’re keeping it. We agreed.”

“God not this again. Sherlock, I’ve been gone. All weekend.”

“You know octopuses are extremely intelligent creatures.”

“So you want to keep one for a pet?”

“They show maze and problem solving skills which suggests a capacity for both long and short term memory.”

“You do know that keeping something as a pet means not eventually dissecting it right?”

“They can open screw top jars and be trained to distinguish between different shapes and patterns.”

“R-really?”

“Yes.”

“So you’re keeping the octopus…”

“His name is John.”

John, the Human, made a noise. It was impossible to quantify what the noise was exactly, but it was followed by,

“No, Sherlock. No.”

“What do you suggest then,” Sherlock sounded put out.

“I don’t know. Name it something properly aquatic.”

“Like what?”

“I don’t know! Name it Poseidon!”

“Boring. His name is John.”

Human John made the noise again and stormed out.

“Where are you going?!” Sherlock called out, sounding petulant.

“To unpack!” John shouted back.

Sherlock grinned at the John the Octopus who had pushed up the lid of his tank and was slowly feeling his way around the outside.

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