Stricken Sneezes

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AU: Brothers Consulted

Timeline: Right after moving into 221B Baker Street


“Look out!”

Dean shoved Sam out of the way, his younger brother stumbling backwards from the unexpected danger. Moira yelped, grabbing Sam’s arm to haul him back, leaving Dean to face the threat on his own.

A cat.

Dean didn’t budge an inch, his silver knife in hand as he faced down the cat to give Sam and Moira time to escape. This was supposed to be a quick trip to grab some supplies, stock up Sam and Dean’s new home a few flats away from Moira’s family. They’d only had enough extra food for one meal, and having Moira’s help was welcome.

Of course, no one ever consulted them when getting a new pet, and not knowing that a cat now lived in the flat Moira’s family called home meant that they’d stumbled right into it.

“Mrow?”

It wasn’t quite the hiss of anger Dean had expected to hear before the deadly paw descended on him. In fact, it was exactly the opposite. He squinted his eyes open just as he realized he’d closed them as he prepared for the inevitable.

The cat still sat in the same spot, its tail swishing from side to side. Now that the element of surprise was gone, Dean could see it was only a kitten, nose twitching as it looked over the three tiny people it had cornered. Its head moved closer and Dean stiffened, expecting at any second to feel the crushing fangs close around his chest.

Instead, a wet nose pressed into Dean’s side. He jolted away in surprise, almost flailing off balance. The kitten blinked at him, then mrowwed again.

Stalemate.

Sam and Moira, standing against the wall, stared at the odd scene. Slowly, it all began to sink into Sam, and he snickered.

Dean sent him a wounded look over his shoulder.

“It wants you to pet it!” Sam called, almost doubling over with laughter.

Dean tore his gaze from Sam and looked back at the kitten just as a headbutt from the animal knocked him from his feet. He went sprawling, rolling a few times until he landed at Sam and Moira’s feet, staring up at them in a daze.

Moira joined Sam in laughing as they hauled Dean to his feet. “Go on!” she said, shoving him towards the kitten. “Pet her!”

Dean reached up a hesitant hand as the kitten cocked her head at him, ear flicking the moment his hand brushed against the fur. He scratched behind the ear like it was the most important task he’d ever performed, considering that if she wanted to, the kitten could turn the three of them into her playthings.

Nothing like that happened, aside from a rumbling purr from deep in the cat’s chest. She stretched out her front legs, each toe extending as she flopped down at Dean’s feet and looked up at him.

“I think you have a new best friend,” Sam said in a laughing attempt at a hush as he slipped past Dean, leading Moira towards the wall entrance they’d left behind.

“You’re not so bad, are ya?” Dean mused as he rubbed behind the ear again, thinking everything was going to work out fine.

Just as Sam and Moira made it to the wall, it happened.

“Ah– CHOO!”

Dean’s sneeze was so violent he was knocked off his feet, landing on his butt an inch away from a curious ear flick. The kitten picked up her head, nosing worriedly at Dean when the scritches didn’t resume. He barely noticed the large wet spot left on his leather jacket this time, too concerned with holding back another sneeze.

“ACHOO!”

Sam had to come back to grab Dean with Moira safely in the walls, hauling his older brother up and giving him a shove at the entrance while distracting the kitten with a scritch. Sam, who didn’t have any allergies to cats, did much better than his older brother, and escaped the moment the kitten’s eyes fluttered shut.

They parted ways with Moira at the fork in the path, her returning to her home with her parents while Sam propelled Dean towards their new home in the hopes that dunking his head in water might help the sneezes.

Otherwise, they might lose their ninja titles.

All through the walls, Dean sneezed.

Passing a kitchen with wonderful aromas wafting through the walls. “Ah-choo!”

Hearing a toilet flush. “Ah– ACHOO!”

Sam let out a sigh as they finally got home, hurrying to their water supplies while Dean morosely picked at a long, ginger-colored hair that clung to him even after leaving the kitten behind.

Ah– CHOO!


The humans living in the flat were usually more observant than most. They were also quite busy and happened to be lost in their own worlds.

Sherlock Holmes was wrapped up in an experiment, subjecting disembodied fingers– specifically the fingernails– to the flame of a blowtorch at gradually lengthened intervals.  It was a relatively quiet experiment, but the smell of it had John Watson slamming the sliding kitchen doors shut to keep the odor out of the main room.

John sat at the small table against the wall in the middle of the living room, typing away at his blog. Sherlock’s most recent case had been a convoluted one, and he wanted to be sure to get the details right. Or at least to a point where they made sense to the layman.

A muffled sneeze briefly broke his concentration.

“Gesundheit,” John muttered, under the assumption that the fingernail-fumes were finally starting to get to Sherlock. For his part, the detective hadn’t even heard the small noise from the kitchen, and so he and the doctor remained blissfully ignorant of the smaller residents of 221B Baker Street as the brothers stared at each other in shock, the human’s response to Dean’s sneeze completely unexpected.

Before Dean could sneeze again, Sam dunked his head into the cap of water. Dean resurfaced, gasping and wiping at his eyes before burying his head in the nest of fabric he called a bed. A muffled sneeze could be heard as Dean slumped in place.

“No more cats,” Sam said grimly, wondering at their close call with Sherlock and John.


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One thought on “Stricken Sneezes

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