The Prince and the Hedgehog
The London skies grew dark as fresh rain started to fall. Sherlock clutched his peacoat tightly as he walked into 221B Baker Street. He melancholily breathed out as he fumbled for his keys. He fit the key into the lock and pushed the door to his flat open. Suddenly, the lights switched on, momentarily blinding him.
"Happy birthday Sherlock!" John, Lestrade, Molly, Mycroft, and Mrs. Hudson shouted with their arms in the air. A very rare expression crossed Sherlock's face, and John grinned as he saw it spread over his best friend. Sherlock's mouth gapped open.
"You- Uhm... Thank you," Sherlock was completely baffled.
"Oi, this is for you Sherlock," Lestrade said and placed a thin paper crown on his head. "You've officially been crowned 'Prince of Deduction'."
"I don't wear puerile crowns," Sherlock started to take the paper off of his head.
"Oh come on Sherlock, at least take let me take a picture of us with you wearing it. It's just for laughs!" John pleaded to his friend, fixing his black and white striped jumper.
"Oh yes, keep it on, little brother..." Mycroft smirked. Sherlock shot him a look then sighed and agreed to John's wishes. John quickly snapped a picture of them and Sherlock tossed the crown onto the coffee table. Molly was holding a full glass of wine in her hand and a gift in the other. She handed Sherlock the tiny package and he nodded to her thankfully. Mrs. Hudson, Lestrade, and even Mycroft presented the young man with gifts. Sherlock was rather suprised about everyones gestures towards him.
"Even though you can be such a... SOB. We do appreciate you. So what better is it to say thank you than your birthday?" Lestrade chuckled lightly. Sherlock actually gave a half smile to everyone.
"Anyone else want any more drinks? Considering Molly drank that entire bottle of wine by herself..." John asked, muttering the last part under his breath. A drunk Molly just giggled as John walked into the kitchen.
On the counter, he saw a bottle of what seemed like more wine.
Hmm... Mrs. Hudson probably put this here. Better take some before Molly drinks all of it... John thought and poured a small amount of the wine into a glass. As he took a sip, Sherlock looked into the kitchen to see John drinking one of his experiments.
"John! No!" Sherlock yelled and shot up from the couch. A giant puff of smoke exploded in the kitchen and Sherlock sprinted over to see if John was safe. "John? JOHN!" Sherlock shrieked, worried about him. He looked down at the table and saw a cute little hedgehog wriggling it's way out of John's sweater. Sherlock picked him up and sighed. "You idiot..."
"JOHN GOT TURNED INTO A HEDGEHOG!?" Molly screamed. Mycroft gapped and Mrs. Hudson squealed and bustled out of the kitchen.
"Oh no. Sherlock, what did you do?" Lestrade pressed the palms of his hands on his eyes.
"It's not my fault John drank my experiment!" Sherlock spat back, then looked worriedly back at the hedgehog rolling around in his hands. "It'll be okay, John. I'll find a way to change you back..."
"Do you have any idea how to change Doctor Watson back, brother dear?" Mycroft chimed in. Sherlock stood up and fixed his coat with one hand, and cradled Hedgehog-John in the other. He quickly deduced in his mind all of his options, and for once in his life, couldn't come up with a conclusion.
"No..." Sherlock muttered finally under his breath.
"Well... Maybe it's like that story. What was it? The Princess and the Frog," Molly slurred, chiming in.
"What do you mean?" Sherlock raised an eyebrow.
"I mean, what if a kiss will break the spell? It has to be a soul mate's kiss though. Maybe one of his ex's will be willing to kiss him? Or a friend? Best friend? Soul mates don't have to be lovers," Molly babbled on.
"Molly, that's just a fairy tale. It's highly improbable that a kiss would change John back into a human," Sherlock stared down at John as he wriggled his little hedgehog nose.
"Once you've ruled out the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be true," Molly retorted, swigging out of the wine bottle. Sherlock's mouth gapped open, realizing she used his own words against him. Molly was incredibly clever, even when she was drunk.
"Well, it's worth a shot," Lestrade chimed in.
"I shall be off, little brother," Mycroft sighed. "Give me a call when Doctor Watson is back to normal." He picked up his umbrella and left. Then, Lestrade and Molly followed behind.
"Poor thing," Mrs. Hudson hummed, tapping her fingertips on her chin. "Sherlock, would you like some tea? Anything for you while you think?"
"No. Privacy would be nice, Mrs. Hudson," Sherlock cupped John in both hands, examining his rodent like appearance.
"Okay, Dear," Mrs. Hudson nodded her head and scurried out of his flat.
Sherlock sighed, "I suppose we will go around to your previous girlfriends tomorrow." John just crawled around on his palm, sniffing his fingers.
The following morning, Sherlock made some tea and breakfast, for once. He placed John on a plate with a piece of toast and jam. Hedgehog-John seemed excited about the breakfast and started nibbling away at the bread. A small baritone chuckle escaped Sherlock's throat as he watched the tiny John gorge himself. Within a few minutes, John was done with the toast, and was scampering towards the cup of tea. He tried to hop up to drink the tea and was unsuccessful. So he poked Sherlock's hand with his nose and gestured towards his cup.
"Oh, you want some?" Sherlock asked the hedgehog. John nodded and scurried towards the cup again. Sherlock picked him up and angled him in a way that he could drink the tea without falling in. Once John had his fill, he backed away and looked up at Sherlock. "You ready to go?" John's response was to start rolling around in his palms.
Sherlock put on his peacoat and placed John in his pocket. He stuck his little head out after scrambling around in the pocket for a moment.
The two young men--well, the young man and the hedgehog--walked out into the frozen morning air.
"There was the doctor, the one with the nose, the one with the spots, and the boring school teacher..." Sherlock counted the girls on his fingers. "Luckily I know where they all live, considering I found their addresses on your laptop," he looked down at the hedgehog. John just hissed at him and scooted back down into the pocket. "Here's Sarah's flat," Sherlock muttered under his breath as he buzzed the ringer.
"Hello?" a distorted voice escaped from the speaker.
"Hi. Sarah. It's umm... John's friend, Sherlock," Sherlock replied.
"Oh... Not you... What do you want?" Sarah sighed back.
"Err... I don't know how to put this, but John was accidentally changed into a hedgehog and... I need your help. I couldn't think of any way to change him back... And I was wondering if you could kiss him and change him back...?" Sherlock bit his lip. There was silence on the other end of the speaker.
"Is this some kind of joke? You are absolutely insane," Sarah angrily spoke into the speaker.
"This is not for laughs, Jeanette! This is serious!" Sherlock replied.
"IT'S SARAH!" Sarah shouted back.
"Oh... Jeanette was the teacher..." Sherlock groaned. "Sarah?" he asked once more into the speaker. No reply. Sherlock buzzed once more and was greeted by silence. He sighed and looked down at the hedgehog. "I don't think she's your princess, John." He just replied with an annoyed clicking noise.
They continued on to each house, but without any success. All of the girls just seemed to say the same thing. They either slammed the door in Sherlock's face or screamed foul words his way. Sherlock's spirits were definitely doused as he climbed the stairs to his and John's flat. He closed the door behind him and picked John out of his pocket and placed him on one of the sofa cushions. Sherlock sat down and started to play the violin. A sad tune escaped from his bow and strings as Hedgehog-John climbed onto Sherlock's lap. He scuttled around on his thigh a couple of times before he curled up into a ball and listened to the music. Sherlock looked downcast at the hedgehog resting on his leg.
"John...?" Sherlock's voice quivered. The hedgehog looked up and him and scurried up towards Sherlock, propping his tiny hands on his deep purple button up shirt. "I'm sorry... I'm so sorry... I don't know how to fix this... I'll think of something... I just... Don't know how... I've turned my only friend into a blasted hedgehog! I'm so sorry John... I'm so, so sorry," Sherlock choked out his apology. John purred softly as Sherlock set down his violin. He picked up John in his palms and stared at the little hedgehog. "I'm sorry, John. Please forgive me," he sighed then planted a small peck on the little hedgehogs forehead. It wasn't a romantic kiss at all, it was definitely more of a commiserative kiss.
Suddenly there was a giant puff of smoke that exploded in Sherlock's face. John was standing there with Sherlock's lips still on his forehead.
"Sherlock...." John muttered, embarrassed. Sherlock opened his eyes and both men screamed, pushing each other away.
"OH MY G-! JOHN! I'M SORRY!!! I WAS JUST APOLOGIZING!!! AND-- AND-- CLOTHES!!!" Sherlock screeched covering his reddened face. John shrieked and grabbed a sheet that was lying on the chair next to him and wrapped it around himself.
"This is so embarrassing..." John gritted his teeth.
"I di-- I... I didn't know I'd be the one to change you back!" Sherlock stuttered.
"Neither did I!" John's face was warm from embarrassment.
"Molly did say that it had to be a soul mate. A soul mate!" Sherlock looked up at John, terrified.
"I know! I heard her say that!!! But she did say it could be a friend. A best friend," John looked up at Sherlock. There was silence between them, but they both seemed relieved. Sherlock walked over to John and hugged his best friend.
"I'm sorry. Please don't change into a hedgehog again... Even though it was kind of fun having a tiny John hang around," Sherlock laughed softly.
"Oh shut up, you idiot," John laughed back then was silent for a moment. "Let's never speak of this again and tell them that the potion wore off within twenty four hours..."
"Fine by me," Sherlock replied and let him go.
"I'm... Just... Gonna go change," John pointed, then scurried off into his room and shut the door. Sherlock laughed out of relief and sat back down on the couch. He then picked up his violin and started to play a much happier tune.