The Tumblr Crackficlets Headcanon - Tinker, Tailor….
Vincent St. John will not bother with trite sayings about the importance of being a gentleman and having a good, exquisitely tailored suit.
This is not something open to question or heaven forbid, even the merest smidgeon of a protest. This is part of his catechism, as much as designing and creating suits to fit the exacting specifications of his customers who came, naturally, in all sizes and body types. A nip here, to emphasize a trim waist or to ensure that the cut of a jacket or coat would flatter broad shoulders or create a flattering silhouette for a fellow who tended to indulge a little bit too much at the dinner table. Mr. St. John knew all the tricks of his trade, knew which color shirt would be best flattering to one’s coloring and what fabric to use and even deciding what sort of cufflinks were in good taste and which were decidedly not.
He and his family have been part of Savile Row practically since it became de rigeur for the fashionably-dressed gentlemen of the ton to have their suits made here. And yes, the St. Johns have had clientele going back several generations, all of them loyal and appreciative of their tailors’ skills, speed and discretion.
Mr. St. John knows a great many secrets.
He remembers the day when he found young Sherlock Holmes sporting a fat lip and a bruised right cheek, tears in his suit jacket and the shirt stained and ripped beyond repair. Some people will tut and say “Boys will be boys” but Mr. St. John knows how cruel children could be, especially those inclined to bullying. He tended to the then fifteen year old Sherlock’s hurts as best he could and replaced his clothing, finding an exact match to both suit and shirt.
If he could not take away how the boy was constantly called “freak” and a great many other hurtful names by his peers, he could at least return a modicum of dignity to the young man.
It goes without saying that the Holmes Family was one of their most cherished clients, with a relationship that went back quite a number of generations. Still, if pressed, Mr. St. John will admit to being rather fond of young Master Sherlock and paid no mind to the whispers about him being “strange,” “eccentric,” and “unstable.” Rubbish to all that - anyone with a working brain and some sense could see that the young man was brilliant and hopelessly misunderstood.
Mr. St. John understood these things all too well.
He remembers other things about young Master Sherlock. He remembers measuring a too-thin young man in his twenties for his suits, noting the track marks and the hollow eyes and the persistent tremors. He can look back to being an unwitting audience to a few rows between Sherlock and his older brother, withdrawing discreetly to give them their privacy.
He won’t forget how Sherlock cleared Mr. St. John’s own good name when the cash-strapped, spoiled great-grandson of one of their other clients tried to frame him for jewelry theft in some hare-brained insurance scam.
And Mr. St. John remembers the unutterable relief that he felt when, upon Sherlock’s next appointment with him, it was obvious that Sherlock had finally cut himself off from his drug addiction. And, from the general conversation, it was certain that he had indeed been “clean,” so to speak, for a considerably long while now. Sherlock Holmes was still far too thin for his liking but one step at a time.
Mr. St. John did suggest that the shirt in that particular shade of purple flattered Sherlock’s complexion and dark hair quite well.
Of course, it was rather a surprise when Sherlock Holmes came in for a new suit fitting just six months later. He had a friend with him, who was introduced to Mr. St. John as Dr. John Watson. And yes, it would be much appreciated if Mr. St. John could also do a suit for Dr. Watson.
Dr. Watson protested this but Sherlock wasn’t hearing a word of it. “And it’s all your fault - I didn’t think I’d be needing new suits so soon.”
"And how is it exactly my fault, Sherlock?" asked the doctor.
Mr. St. John could see why but it took years of training to keep himself from smiling when he saw the blush creep across Sherlock’s features.
"I have…er….needed to move a size up, I imagine - which couldn’t be helped, since Certain Army Doctors insist on fattening me up like a Christmas goose!”
Dr. Watson snorted. “Insisting on you eating at least twice a day is not ‘fattening you up’ - it’s called making sure you get enough to eat so you don’t faint away from blood sugar loss or die of malnutrition!”
"And I told you that I need the additional processing power for my brain -"
"And your brain needs fuel in order to function properly - I’m a doctor, Sherlock, so credit me with some knowledge of the subject. And the additional weight rather looks good on you…” And at that, the doctor blushed and Mr. St. John was hard-pressed to repress the giggle that threatened to erupt when it was so obvious that Sherlock was preening at the praise.
Dr. Watson was correct - the additional weight looked very well on Sherlock. There was now a healthy tinge of color to his skin and perhaps there was a certain sparkle in those remarkable gray-green eyes that Mr. St. John had not seen in a great many years of having Sherlock Holmes as a client. Though perhaps that could be credited more to the man whose company Sherlock was keeping rather than to any improvement in his physical health, welcome as that might be.
Mr. St. John counted it a victory when it was the good doctor’s turn to be measured for a suit. It was true that Dr. Watson was rather lacking in the height department but his posture and carriage were excellent. In addition, the baggy jumper was definitely hiding broad shoulders and a physique that still showed military conditioning.
He had to admit that Dr. Watson cut a rather fine figure in his suit.
Mr. St. John also noted, with a great deal of carefully concealed amusement, that Sherlock definitely noticed.
It took a little more time than Mr. St. John had originally thought. However, when the day did come, he was utterly delighted and honored to measure both men for the morning suits that they would be wearing to their own wedding.
He was quite touched when Sherlock gave him his own invitation.
Note the First:
I could not resist casting Tim Gunn in the role of Sherlock’s fairy godfather. *cackles*
Note the Second:
Yes, I know Certain Consulting Detectives actually have their suits from Spencer Hart but I was just unable to resist the notion of the Holmes Family being the clientele of an imaginary and long-established Savile Row tailor.
Note the Third:
Purple Shirts of Sex are Very Good Things. Also, Certain Army Doctors in a Suit (and OMG GLASSES!) are also Very Good Things, yeah?
Time.com for the Tim Gunn pic
The Voorman Problem.com - Martin Freeman pic