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Fic: Two Locks, One Night

Title: Two Locks, One Night
Fandom: Elementary
Rating PG
Characters: Joan Watson
Length: 580 words
Alternate Link: AO3
Author's Notes: Written for the watsons_woes JWP #28: It's All in the Details. Set post-season 3. Unbeta'd.
Summary: Joan's first night in her new apartment.

Joan meticulously laid out her clothes for the morning on the chair she'd placed by the east window in her new bedroom. There'd be no one to wake her up in the morning, tossing her an outfit.

Joan's new apartment was nice and small. Well. It was certainly small. Aside from that, it was affordable, and convenient to the subway. Most importantly, it had been available immediately. Not in two months, two weeks, or two days, but immediately. It wasn't the safest neighborhood, though; Joan was glad for the locks on her door.

Joan stepped out of her bedroom, walked ten paces through kitchenette/living room, and checked the door. Yes, the lock was engaged, as was the deadbolt.

Joan took a quick shower. She missed the Brownstone's water pressure, but at least she could be sure that no one would burst into the bathroom demanding that she look at a Venezuelan magazine article, compare two different perfume samples, or listen to his latest theory on some cold case from the 80's. She'd meet Sherlock at ten in the morning, a respected colleague, rather than his live-in sober companion, assistant, or pet project.

Joan dried off, noticing that the towel she used probably belonged to Sherlock, and made a note to wash and return it to him. She brushed her teeth, put on her pajamas, checked the two locks on the front door, and lay down in bed.

A blaring horn from a car on the street jolted Joan awake, just as she was starting to drowse off. She lay there in the half-dark, illuminated by the street lights outside her window. Normally Sherlock checked the doors on the Brownstone before he went to sleep, when he deigned to sleep, but now she was on her own. She had already checked that they were locked, twice. They were definitely locked.

Oh god. She'd turned the deadbolt, when she checked it after her shower, to make sure it was latched properly. What if she'd un-locked it in the process? A normal key lock wasn't secure, Joan knew that perfectly well. She could pick that lock in under thirty seconds.

No. That was irrational. It was locked. She had checked the door, and the deadbolt was locked. She was safe.

Joan lay in bed, listening for the sound of an intruder, trying to get her spiraling anxiety under control. It hadn't been this bad since she was a teenager studying for her SATs, checking the door and the faucet and the stove and the iron over and over, convinced something was wrong, terribly wrong.

She'd thought she was going crazy, like her dad. She wasn't schizophrenic, clearly. Maybe a little OCD. There were genetic predispositions, co-morbidities … she'd done her research. Joan had hidden it from her mother. From everyone, really. The last thing Joan needed, in the cut-throat, competitive world of medical school and dick-measuring surgeons, was a diagnosis. It wasn't even an issue, unless she was under stress. Even then, as long as she had someone else there, to check things for her, everything was fine. She had coping strategies. They worked. And they would work.

Tomorrow morning, on the way to meeting Sherlock, she would buy black-out curtains, some earplugs, and an extra, high-security lock for her door. One that even Sherlock couldn't pick. Until then, all she had to do was lie here in bed, and go back to sleep.

Any minute now.


Joan got up and went to check that the door was locked.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 30th, 2014 03:40 am (UTC)
Ooh, nice piece of work.
Jul. 30th, 2014 03:51 am (UTC)
Thank you, gardnerhill.
Jul. 31st, 2014 02:42 am (UTC)
I can relate to Joan's situation (the not being able to sleep cause she's in a new place.) It's a strange feeling trying to get used to a new place and I think you captured that perfectly. I wonder how Sherlock would react when he sees her in the morning?
Good job!
Jul. 31st, 2014 10:20 pm (UTC)
Thank you horrorfangirl1, I'm glad that it worked for you! I believe this is one of the few instances in which Sherlock would actually display some tact, and not say a word.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )