I'm an adult human skull.

You know what I look like, you've seen examples on the telly, I'm sure. We're all pretty much the same. Of course I'm a bit better looking than the average skull, tighter sutures, more elegant zygomatic arches, a particularly bodacious occipital bone.

My good looks aren't the point, though, the point is that while you're here I'd really like to get a few things off my chest. Well, I say chest…

What I mean is that I'd like to talk to someone. Unburden myself. Clear my mind, so to speak. The long and the short of it is: I think I need a therapist. And guess what? I used to be one.

Seriously. A good practice, too, over by the Royal Courts of Justice. Spent all day analyzing emotionally fragile, intellectually sterile, morally bankrupt barristers. It was a good living.

Damn. See, that's part of the problem. I keep getting side-tracked. But that's not the point either. The point—and I do have one—is that things have changed around here and not for the better. The tension is so thick you could smear it on toast. And frankly, it's driving me to distraction.


Okay, it all started after I died. (And there's a story with some twists and turns, but we'll save the details of my demise for another time, shall we?).

Anyway, after I died, life was good. Good, steady, predictable. Well as predictable as it can be when you live with an autistic, manic-depressive with too many ideas and not enough outlets. (Those first years I was on the ingredient list of more experiments than I care to count. Did you think I was ancient based off my decrepit hue? Think again, I am actually barely eleven years older than my boy genius.)

As I was saying, it's been me and Sherlock for nearly eight years, ever since he discovered me at my own crime scene. (Don't worry, I was procured legally. Eventually.) Anyway, for a long time life had a blissfully steady rhythm, going something like this (by the way, I speak in italics, always have, always will):

"The barber was giving a talk at the convention, we know that."

Barbers have conventions? What could they possibly do there, style one another's hair?

"Quite probably. So the barber was not at his shop when the salesman delivered the order."

Salesmen deliver their own wares? Really?

"Sometimes. But if the barber wasn't at the shop, of course he couldn't have used the titanium pinking shears to stab the salesman in the neck."

Pinking shears? I'd like to see that wound. It sounds…decorative.

"Not sos you'd notice. And even though the barber's talk at the convention was curtailed that night, dozens of people claim to have seen him at the banquet."

The banquet for barbers. The barber banquet? Oh now you're just putting me on.

"There was something one of the attendees said, something simple that I'm forgetting."

A banquet. I'd like to go to a banquet. Have a beer, maybe two. It's been awhile, you know? Oh boy."

"Banquet, banquet, beer, boy—Boy! Two boys! He's got a brother who's a chef, one of the acquaintances said they were always jealous of each other. It was the chef. Of course it was. He found out his brother was having an affair with the salesman—the same man the chef bought his knives from."

It goes like that most of the time. A bit of give, a bit of take. It was an easy life, a good life. Me and Sherlock, we were simpatico.

And then he showed up.

You know who I mean. The one with the limp and cane. The one with the war wound. The one with those jumpers and the tea and the milk and the shopping and the tidying up. The little one. That soldier.

God I love him.

Everything started glowing when he got here, you know? Heck, every time they stood near each other a bright cold fire just about jumped off their skin, a blazing corona around both of them. For the longest time they couldn't see it, they actively fought it, and frankly it half-near drove me to drink.

But with a little help everything eventually turned out all right, thank god, and it's been good for a long time now.

Except now Sherlock's gone and done that thing, and John let him and that, that's why I was hoping I could talk to you.