ysabetwordsmith: (Schrodinger's Heroes)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This story fills a square on my second card for the [community profile] cottoncandy_bingo fest. This fest encourages people to create and share material focused on what is variously called fluff, schmoop, gentle fiction, light reading, comfort reading, positive thinking, chicken soup for the soul, or anything else that offers a fun alternative to usual run of sex, violence, and angst of modern media. I'm hoping to attract some new readers for my writing.

The following story belongs to Schrodinger's Heroes, featuring an apocryphal television show supported by an imaginary fandom. It's science fiction about quantum physics and saving the world from alternate dimensions. It features a very mixed cast in terms of ethnicity and sexual orientation. This project developed with input from multiple people, and it's open for everyone to play in. You can read more about the background, the characters, and a bunch of assorted content on the menu page.

This is a crossover with BBC Sherlock. You can read how these characters found each other in "THE Woman" and formed a team in "Texas Sunrise," "Seeing Things," "Fighting Through the Fog," and "Still Alive."


Fandom: BBC Sherlock and Original (Schrodinger's Heroes)
Prompt: Cliché for a reason
Medium: Fiction
Summary: Quinn and John serve afternoon tea. But thanks to Chris there are some unusual additions.
Content Notes: Humor. Fluff. Domestic. Sherlock has a sweet tooth. Welcome to Texas, watch the menu.


"The Waxahachie Tea Party"


With British guests on hand, Quinn couldn't resist the temptation to serve afternoon tea. John of course offered to help.

Sherlock waved a languid hand from the couch and said, "Carry on."

"You Brits and your tea parties," Chris said. "I reckon some things are cliché for a reason."

John put the teakettle on while Quinn went outside to pick fresh lemons from a tree in a giant pot. Then John rummaged in the refrigerator for supplies. The cartons of cream and butter bore a banner of "Happy Hat Dairy, Waxahachie, TX" above a smiling cow in a cowboy hat.

"Preserves are on the bottom shelf," Quinn said as he set the lemons on the counter. "You'll not like the orange marmalade, it's too sweet -- but I've a jar of quince somewhere toward the back that nobody else likes."

John pulled out the quince marmalade, and the orange for Sherlock who had an appalling sweet tooth. An odd shade of pink caught his eye. "This does not look like pear jam," he muttered.

"Oh, bring that too, it belongs to Ash," Quinn said. "Prickly pear is an edible cactus fruit."

Despite having allowed Quinn to take over the kitchen for tea, Pat insisted on helping. He cut thick slices from a loaf of homemade bread while John arranged the condiments on a tray. In addition to bread waiting for butter and preserves, there were sandwiches of smoked salmon and cream cheese, egg salad, or sharp cheddar. There were also miniature cornbread muffins split and stuffed with ham. John had never seen cornbread at afternoon tea before.

Chris walked in, stuffed a whole hammed muffin into his mouth, grabbed a pitcher of something from the refrigerator, and walked back out.

"We try to accommodate everyone's tastes," Quinn explained.

They carried everything to the common room, where Ash and Sherlock were tormenting a helpless laptop by locking it and hacking it open again by turns. "Sherlock, sit up and eat something. You skipped breakfast," John said.

"Breakfast is boring," Sherlock said.

"Come on, I'll let you try my prickly pear jelly," Ash said, tugging Sherlock into an upright position and aiming him at the coffee table now laden with tea things.

John fixed himself a nice cuppa, then claimed one of the salmon sandwiches. He loved the rich, smooth textures and the contrast between tangy cream cheese and smoky salmon.

Sherlock had taken Ash's offer and daintily nibbled a slice of bread slathered with pink preserves. "Interesting," he said.

"Here, try this," said Chris. He poured a tall glass of some translucent liquid clinking with ice cubes, and pushed it toward Sherlock.

Sherlock sampled it. His eyebrows went up. "I say, that's rather good."

Chris offered one to John. "Your turn," he said.

Gamely John took the glass. He sniffed, wrinkled his nose at the cold flat smell, then sniffed again. He took a cautious sip. "This," he said, "is almost --" he took another sip, "-- entirely unlike tea." He sipped again. "It already has sugar in..."

"Well of course," Chris said. "It's sweet tea."

"Cliché for a reason," Quinn said, twitting Chris about the Southern custom.

John took a larger gulp. It was so cloying, it made his teeth itch. "How much sugar did you put in this?" John sputtered. He set it down. Sherlock was draining his own glass at an alarming rate, given his tendency to turn hyperactive on sweets.

"It is a ... saturated solution," Chris said with the careful air of someone reciting a memorised answer. "Alex and Pat tested it."

Sherlock immediately set his glass on the table and dropped a pinch of sugar into it, watching the grains sink slowly to the bottom. "So it is," he said, grinning. "Sweet tea. Brilliant." He reached over and nicked John's abandoned glass.

"This is going to be worse than the nicotine patches," John grumbled, burying his face in his hands.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-12-07 09:35 pm (UTC)
thnidu: You're a bit cold? Tea. BF just left you? Tea. You've just been told you've got cancer? Tea. Terrorists? Tea, dammit! (tea)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
almost entirely unlike tea


Brilliant!

Re: Thank you!

Date: 2012-12-07 11:14 pm (UTC)
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
Yes, but you wrote the fic. Take credit for that.

Re: Thank you!

Date: 2014-12-28 06:09 am (UTC)
technoshaman: Tux (Default)
From: [personal profile] technoshaman
Re-reading this two years on, it's *still* full of giggles. I'd forgotten the zinger at the end... :)

Re: Thank you!

Date: 2016-05-16 12:59 am (UTC)
technoshaman: Tux (Default)
From: [personal profile] technoshaman
*Still* fresh. A friend of a friend of a friend is having his 42nd Birthday, which means it's H2G2-themed... and I remembered the "almost entirely unlike tea" bit and sicced this on the thread... and of course had to reread it myself. "Cold, flat smell" ....

Wait. Synesthete? I *grok* what you did there even though I don't *quite* perceive it that way... just as the way I got a bad steak once when I was in the single digits and remember saying it tasted like grey paint. I still remember that taste... it just did. It tasted the way latex paint smells, only... grey. It's a taste that's almost not a taste.

Re: Thank you!

Date: 2016-06-10 04:12 pm (UTC)
technoshaman: Tux (Default)
From: [personal profile] technoshaman
..... I *just* came back to read this reply, as I'm about to foist this on a new friend... :)

Earl Grey, in peach ice cream. Now, I don't *like* Earl Grey anymore, having OD'ed on it on a plant trip more than a quarter century ago... but that makes PERFECT sense; you're making a frozen fuzzy navel! (Bergamot being a kind of orange...) Okay, I gotta run this by Mama Colleen, and find the ice cream maker. The cream and peach will cut the sharpness of the bergamot, but the bergamot will, as you say, punch up the flavour...

You wouldn't *happen* to have a recipe, or at least an algorithm?

And, yes, peach schnapps *does* have a fuzziness to it... even though I'm a 'nary in that respect...

Careful with that DB, that shit's dark magic... *wry*

(no subject)

Date: 2012-12-07 10:29 pm (UTC)
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
From: [personal profile] stardreamer
Heh. Believe it or not, I pretty much agree with John about "sweet tea", now that I've stopped drinking it. It's like "how did I ever put that stuff in my mouth?"

(no subject)

Date: 2012-12-11 10:56 pm (UTC)
brushwolf: Icon created by ScaperDeage on DeviantArt (Default)
From: [personal profile] brushwolf
Anecdote; I remember a history teacher in high school talking about growing up during WWII, and complaining that the saccharine they dumped into the tea had this bitter aftertaste (sugar was rationed, unavailable). It simply never occured to people in Georgia that they could have iced tea without dumping sweet gunk in.

Re: Yes...

Date: 2017-04-29 06:47 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
aspartame in particular tastes like a battery feels when you put it on your tongue...sharp and dull at the same time with a flash of metal.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-06-29 05:56 pm (UTC)
technoshaman: Tux (Default)
From: [personal profile] technoshaman
Re-reading this in light of the arty you pointed to on Kishōtenketsu...

and... I think I needed the laugh... but I'm also seeing new aspects of the story... there *is* conflict here, but it's not central to the story... it's the *twist* that provides the giggles.

Which makes this story more awesome than I thought it was. :)

Love this!

Date: 2014-04-07 07:06 pm (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
I liked how you used the "careful air of someone reciting a memorised answer," to imply Chris's education history rather than his intelligence. There really isn't enough of that in MOST entertainment, across the boards.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-29 03:05 pm (UTC)
technoshaman: Tux (Default)
From: [personal profile] technoshaman
Coming back to this yet again on Birthday #50...

STILL funny.

I love how the *narrative*, not just the dialog, shifts between Texican and Brit depending upon the actor... "nicked his abandoned glass"... code switching is FUN (and often produces horrible puns... ;)

Oh, and I'm seeing Colleen today. I shall have to mention the idea for Earl Peach Ice Cream.

(no subject)

Date: 2018-05-20 02:40 pm (UTC)
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
I missed that entirely. Now I must go back and re-read. What a shame. ;-)

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