“Oh look,” said John. “There’s a bee.”
“Hmmm,” Sherlock agreed, noting the colour of the abdomen, the hairs prevalent on the thorax. “ Anthidium maculatum. Wood carder bee,” he added at John’s mildly exasperated look. “One of many species of solitary bees.”
“I thought bees live together in a hive?” John said, watching the little creature as it clambered up a stem.
“That’s a common misconception,” Sherlock said, rifling through a cabinet in his mind palace for the correct information. “In the UK, there are around two hundred and seventy species of bee, and two hundred and fifty of those species are solitary bees.”
“Huh,” John said, peering even closer. “So this little lady doesn’t have a family and friends to go back to?”
“Little gentleman,” Sherlock corrected. “And no, probably not. He might spend some time with a mate, if it suits him, but for much of his life he will be alone - flying from one flower to the next, foraging, and doing exactly as he wishes.”
“Sounds a bit lonely,” John said, and Sherlock snorted.
“No need to romanticise the bee, John. I assure you, he is quite content with his solitary life.”
“I’m not so sure,” John mused, and they both watched as the bee moved on to a different stem. “It’s all very well visiting all these places, seeing all these things. But with no-one to share them with? Not sure I’d like that.”
“Really? I would like it just fine,” Sherlock said, and this time it was John who snorted.
A bit peeved, Sherlock eyed him. “What?”
“You? You go mad when you don’t have someone to talk to - so mad that you start talking to inanimate objects. You love explaining about things you’ve seen, things you’ve learned. And you like having a place to come home to every night, with someone familiar there. We’re flatmates, remember - though I’m pretty sure you don’t need help with the rent. You are no more a solitary bee than I am.”
Sherlock stared at him.
John was still watching the bee, though his cheeks had gone a bit pink. “What’s it doing now?”
With some difficulty, Sherlock brought his attention back to the insect. “It’s collecting the tiny hairs from the stem of the plant. Wood carder bees use those to build their nests.”
“So… this one did find someone to go home to, after all,” John said slowly. He was watching Sherlock from the corner of his eye, and inexplicably, Sherlock blushed.
“I… I suppose he did,” he said, and made sure to keep his eyes fixed on the delicate fluffy body in front of him, that flew around against all laws of physics.
The lovely @alifetimeaheadtoprovethat drew this little doodle for me, so I decided to write a little ficlet to go with it <3 This is our entry for the @sherlockchallenge this month (prompt: One).
Liking is nice, reblogging is better!
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