Michael Downey scowled and cursed under his breath as he made his way through the SIS Building, the London headquarters of MI6. Michael was a valuable asset to the agency and he knew it – he was a technological genius, for God's sake! - but due to an unfortunate comment he had made whilst in the vicinity of one of the agency's higher ups, he had been assigned to do grunt work for the next week.

When Michael reached his office he found the file containing his new assignment already on his desk (even though his office had been locked and secured). All he had to do was keep up the surveillance being carried out on two civilians – a Mr. Sherlock Holmes and a Dr. John Watson. He wouldn't even be watching the video feeds from their place of residence or anything else remotely interesting. Michael had to read their texts. That was it. Read and log the texts being sent by two civilians. For a week. Great.

The first text came through half an hour later.

John, take the head out of the fridge. It's temperature needs to be lowered immediately. SH

Michael blinked. That couldn't be right. It must be a spelling error.

NOW, John! SH

I'm at work! Where are you anyway? I thought you were at the flat. JW

I am. I'm thinking. Never mind, too late now. Try and react faster next time. SH

Michael told himself that this conversation was perfectly normal, and that it only seemed strange because it was out of context. That was all.


Get some milk. SH

I got four pints last night, there's loads. JW

Not anymore. SH

Obviously, this guy just really liked milk. Perfectly normal.


Meet me at the Yard. Triple homicide. Brilliant! SH

Oh, dear lord.

Bring your revolver. Could be dangerous. SH

On the way. JW

That was it. Michael picked up his phone. Someone had to know about this. Just as he was about to dial, it rang.

"Yes?"

"Mr. Downey, this is Mycroft Holmes. I believe you are currently doing some surveillance work for me?"

"Yes, sir. Actually I was just about to –"

"No need, Mr. Downey. You do not have to make any reports to me about this."

"But sir –"

The line went dead.

Right then.

There were no texts for the rest of the day. Michael went home hoping that today's...conversation topics...were a one off.

He hoped in vain.


That night, at three o clock in the morning, his phone bleeped. It was informing him that either Holmes or Watson had texted the other. Swearing creatively, he hauled himself out of bed, plonked himself down at his desk and turned on his computer to check the new communications.

Stop playing the bloody violin. JW

You're texting me from upstairs? SH

You text me from across the room. Now shut up. JW

Sometimes, Michael decided, he really hated his job.


For the rest of the week Michael read texts containing, but not limited, to mentions of human fingers, fish fingers, the morgue, milk, emergency medical instructions, urgent summons to pass a pen, a detective inspector, a homeless man, chemical experiments, Chinese takeaways, murders, thefts, disappearances, woollen jumpers, baked beans and chip-and-pin machines.

Needless to say, by the end of the week Michael Downey had vowed to never, ever make another disparaging comment about Mycroft Holmes' weight.