"Let him go, Doctor Smith."

"I don't know how you're not dead already, Holmes. But this here? This is the same virus I sent you. I may be done for, but I won't go down alone. You'll get to see! See this glorious weapon I've made! You all will. And it will be this poor fool…"

John had just noticed that Sherlock was looking behind Smith, not at him, when he felt a sudden fine spray of something warm on the back of his neck, and jumped forward as Smith crumpled to the floor with the syringe still grasped tightly in his hand.

"What just..."

"Are you alright, John? Did it touch you? I didn't think it did. But it didn't, did it?"

John looked at the dead man on the ground, and the living man standing a foot or two in front of him, and opened his mouth but couldn't quite make a connection between it and his brain. At that moment Mycroft walked in.

"Ah, Sherlock! One of your best performances, I think. Congratulations are in order, and your country thanks you. A knighthood, perhaps at this..."

"Mycroft, you know I will not ever accept a knighthood. Your sniper has killed your rogue scientist, and I have avoided utter boredom for a few days. But now I want to eat."

"Wh-what..." John was staring from one brother to the other, occasionally glancing back down at the corpse.

"Ah, yes." Mycroft paused the never ending staring contest between himself and Sherlock to look at John. "I should explain."

"Yes..." John wasn't really sure of anything at the moment, but that sounded reasonable.

"Not forgetting, of course, that I am in the room, Mycroft, and can hear you if you decide to utter some absurd falsehoods."

"Thank you, Sherlock. I will bear that in mind. Several months ago, it was brought to the attention of the government that a British scientist was experimenting on the Ebola virus, and perhaps a new super-virus was about to be launched on the world. We had been able to track this criminal as far as a specific government-run facility that you need know nothing more about, but no further."


"Sherlock, be quiet! I then called on Sherlock, who also was unable to identify the perpetrator."

"I described him correctly."

"'A white male between the ages of twenty five and fifty-five with a doctoral degree in medicine or chemistry' did not narrow the suspect list significantly, Sherlock."

"It's still more than..."

"Will you allow me to proceed?"

Sherlock folded his arms and rolled his eyes. But he did stop talking.

"We then decided that the only way to deal with this man was to draw him out. We calculated the amount of time he would take to respond to a clear threat, and then coordinated our actions so that his response would fall during the weekend in which you visited a Mr. Bill Murray, formerly of the Royal Army Medical Corps, in Cardiff, and went to a rugby match with him…"

"So I wouldn't have to hear John talking about that wretched sport anymore..."

"Sherlock then made sure that all the possible suspects knew that he was trailing them, and waited for a response."

"Which came in the form of a primitive box with a loaded spring contaminated with the virus. He must have thought I was very stupid to fall for something like that."

"Sherlock, do not tempt me by saying things of that nature. Sherlock feigned his illness. And here we are.

"We had calculated on your overly emotional reaction as another way of convincing the perpetrator that this was genuine. We had not-and I can admit my mistakes, John, even if my brother cannot-counted on your getting into the room this quickly, and thus creating a potential hostage for Doctor Culverton Smith to utilize when he revealed himself as our aspiring bioterrorist."

"Smith came in to draw my blood, so he could test it. I suppose I was not dying fast enough for him. And I may have been his first human test case. But of course, once he was that close, he could see that I was perfectly healthy. And he brought out a vial of the virus. Then I fought him off, and Mycroft's sniper killed him."

John knew he would need a bit of time to process all this information. Somehow Sherlock's "I fought him off" felt wrong, among other things. But his brain wasn't running on all cylinders. He was fairly clear on the main point, though: Sherlock was not dead. He might be emaciated and weak. But he was not dead. He was not dying. John was so relieved that he walked forward, and for the first time in their long acquaintance, he threw his arms around his friend. When Sherlock immediately stiffened, and shoved him backwards...and John realized that Sherlock was not wasting away. And when he looked up at Sherlock's I-just-sucked-on-a-lemon face, he realized it was...caked with makeup?

That was when the truth of the situation hit him.

"You...You complete bastard!" And one swift left hook had dropped Sherlock to the floor.

Mycroft looked at his unconscious brother as if he were an interesting work of modern art. "You should know, John, that for his own fantastic reasons, Sherlock has had a paternity test. He is our father's son."

John just stared. Then he sighed and crouched down next to Sherlock, who was waking up.

"You okay, Sherlock? I didn't think that would knock you out."

"I haven't eaten anything in four days. That's quite a while-even for me, John."




"I've had a paternity..."

"Yes, Mycroft just told me, you git!"

"John?" He reached an arm up, and John hoisted him back to his feet.


"Never, ever hug me again."

This was indeed my attempt to Sherlock-ify Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Adventure of the Dying Detective." It's an interesting story. I find it at least as frustrating as it is interesting, but that's why I wanted to update it! I recommend giving it a read:

http : / / www . gutenberg . org / files / 2347 / 2347 - h / 2347 - h . htm