FILE STATUS: DELETED.
Summary: Things that Sherlock deleted from his mind when he really shouldn't have. Implied Sherlock/John.
Disclaimer: I bow down to the awesomeness of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the BBC.
Originally posted at LiveJournal: 4 January, 2011
THE FIRST (and only) CASE HE'S GOT COMPLETELY WRONG
Sherlock has always solved cases. He has a sixth sense about these things. Failure terrifies him in a way that he can't seem to describe. Every time he thinks about it, a shooting pain stabs his gut.
This, he thinks, is how the mind constitutes loss.
There is a child lying on the floor, glassy eyed and utterly vacant and still and oh God, Sherlock interpreted the ransom note wrong. It was the south end, not the north end.
It wasn't that he was outwitted, because at the least that could've said something, but the fact of the matter was that Sherlock got the answer wrong, this time around.
His mistake killed someone.
He's used to blood, should be completely desensitised to it at any rate, but he has to walk briskly from the crime scene and find a private alleyway to throw up.
Caring never helped solve a case. He has time later, to care, to worry, but, of course, Sherlock has never failed and thus he's never felt that.
HIS FIRST KISS
To his knowledge, Sherlock's never been kissed on the lips. The idea is foreign in a way, interesting from an outside perspective, but never worth the effort to actually try for himself.
Anyway, who would want to kiss a man like him?
Alcohol taints his breath, another experiment he didn't like, his mind fuzzy and swaying. Someone stands too close to him; he can feel their body heat, smell them, his mind swamped with sensory input. They are as drunk as him, probably more so.
Closing his eyes—on instinct, he's always had good instincts—soft warmth touches his lips. Sherlock freezes, but the pressure persists. It can almost, but not quite, be construed as nice.
The moment of darkness and warmth and vodka is forgotten the next day, following a nasty hangover. He trusts that nothing important happened so he never bothers to hunt down the facts of exactly what occurred.
THE FIRST PERSON HE'S KILLED (intent notwithstanding)
In his hands is the first official police report listing Sherlock as consultant. They have to mention him, really, since he is responsible for taking care of the murderer. In this case, it is mostly self defence—because one would be pushing their luck to face a gun and hope to remain completely peaceful—and partly because the man deserves to die.
She is a nameless, unimportant girl; just another part of his homeless network. With shaking hands, she hands him a note full of names and dates, and in an almost kind gesture, Sherlock hands her his coffee so she can warm herself up. He is busy scanning the names, looking for Alexander in particular, when a shuddering gasp pulls his attention to the girl.
Choking noises escape her throat, and Sherlock stands frozen, shock gripping his body until logic kicks in. His eyes catch the details. The faintest traces of white powder, the smell of almonds he originally thinks is part of the coffee—cyanide poisoning. He is meant to die, but she drinks first.
When Sherlock finishes calling for an ambulance, she is on her hands and knees gagging up whatever she last ate. For once, Sherlock's mind is stuck. He doesn't know how to treat poisoning. That's something he has always left for the experts, the doctors.
Mycroft handles the situation—it does look very suspicious for Sherlock—but in the end, Jane Doe (nameless even in death) dies. Sherlock catches the murderer, kills him, and that's as much justice as he can give Jane.
What Sherlock can't grasp is that after he kills the man, his homeless network seems to recoil from him for a few weeks, avoiding his money and calls for aid like he is a plague. It is a strange feeling to be avoided by those who society shuns. Almost in compensation, Sherlock throws himself into studies of poisons and their effects on humans. The sudden fascination is erratic, but he learns it dutifully regardless.
Still, the case, while simple enough, will be one Sherlock remembers for a long time. The first man—and woman, though he can't remember—he kills.
MEMORIES OF THE FATHER
Sherlock is never one to be sentimental. He knows he should occasionally show emotion when visiting the grave of a loved one—which is an irrational practice Mycroft forces him into, because what's the headstone going to do? Talk back at him?—especially when the gravestone reads in bold letters:
A loving father and doting husband.
May he rest in peace.
There is no good is standing here, slightly off to the side of the grave out of respect not to stand on the body buried six feet under. Flowers are there, fresh, the style not quite Mycroft's, definitely not his mother's. The curled ribbon indicates a female hand—long nails required to create the curl in the ribbon—which might lead one to assume they're the work of a female florist if not for the straight cut of the stems; it shows they don't work in a flower shop.
Clearly, Mycroft's attendant bought and wrapped these, most likely at Mycroft's orders. For all that he is berated in needing more sympathy and empathy it didn't seem like Mycroft cares that much. Or maybe this is all intentional to hide at some deeper emotion. That is where Sherlock stops his observations. Passing the first few layers of human emotions is dangerous, illogical business he avoids when possible.
Sighing, Sherlock wonders what he is doing here. He barely knew his father, anyway, apart from a few stories his mother would sometimes tell, when she is in a good mood.
It astounds everyone in the household when Sherlock first talks. He talks likes he thinks, too quickly and stumbling over his words carelessly, as if he assumes everyone should understand. Sherlock isn't like other children with their cooing. Every word Sherlock says has a purpose, and thus when he is distracted or busy, he would stay quiet for days, always perturbing his mother.
His father though, sees something special, something beyond normal, and he feeds that, buying books and puzzles and investing time to help Sherlock learn. Mycroft observes this and joins in. They bond as a family this way, even helping Sherlock's mother see the genius and not the outcast.
—learning Bach on the violin by the fireplace—
—reciting Shakespeare's soliloquies and debating Jung ideologies—
—Siger teaching Sherlock how to crack a Rubik's Cube—
—just lying still on hill tops and trying to see who could see the silliest shapes in the clouds—
—mother crying, brother blank-faced, someone saying, "Siger's heart stopped"—
Looking up, Sherlock thinks he can see a cloud in the shape of a frog before shaking away that thought. Rain looks imminent and a quick search on his phone confirms that. He walks away without a backwards glance, thinking without sadness, I never even knew you.
MEMORIES OF THE VICTIMS' FAMILIES
It's cold, even Sherlock will admit, how he views murder victims and corpses. But it's how he thinks. It's easier to compartmentalise when he thinks of the bodies as nothing but puzzle pieces. They are something to observe, something to understand and learn from; nothing more, and nothing less.
The morgue is the best place for this. There's no families, few people to contradict this world view. Here, in the hospital, it's the opposite. Chairs are filled with tired, grieving people, doctors and nursing hurrying up and down halls thinking, Every life counts.
If John didn't need to be checked up by another doctor for his concussion, he wouldn't even be here. There is something wrong with the stench of cleaning fluid. Maybe it's partly because he's always hated hospitals, on some subconscious level at least.
Thing is, Sherlock always sees the people who he couldn't save. The ones that die to start up the search, the ones that die before the serial killer makes a mistake, or the ones that are just plain unlucky.
Perhaps that's part of the problem. Sherlock sees the grieving families and rarely the grateful ones. Murder mysteries are always more captivating than lost-and-found enquiries, after all.
Normally Sherlock sees them at the hospital or their home; rarely at crime scenes.
In the end, Sherlock just deletes the families. Their tears, their disbelief, their heartache—they teach him nothing, they add nothing but re-affirm loss is pain. So he deletes it before the corpses start looking like sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, husbands and wives.
He has to forget these people have a story, even if even if he can catalogue everything about them in a glance.
John walks to Sherlock, rubbing his eyes, leg sliding a little on the floor but not justifiable in getting his cane. Sherlock snaps out of his reverie and wordlessly grabs his coat.
He can't quite put his finger on why he hates the hospitals.
"How can you not know the Earth goes around the sun?"
John's tells him in an incredulous voice and Sherlock's learned it now. His mind runs it through processors—how does this help?—finds it lacking and deletes it again.
"How can you not know the Prime Minister?"
Politics is a field he wants to stay as far away from as possible. It is his brother's playing grounds and he has no inkling to join him there. Even as John is saying the PM's name, Sherlock deletes it, unrepentant.
"Three blind men walk into a bar. Ow, ow, ow!"
While Sherlock looks on at the man with a blank face, John tries to cover up with a strained chuckle. In the end, Sherlock is able to wheedle the information he needs out of the witness' brother.
On the taxi drive home, John shoots Sherlock a sidelong look and asks, "You delete jokes?"
"It's all pointless clutter," Sherlock replies in monotone, fingers busy typing away on his phone, Brother is in on murder. Arrest both him and wife.
John's head falls softly against the head rest and he mumbles, "Knock knock?"
Raising an eyebrow, Sherlock says flatly, "I don't open doors to strange men."
For a moment, John is eyeing him like he's not sure how serious Sherlock is. After a pause, Sherlock grins and they both break into low laughter.
"Cooking eggs is a basic life skill."
"Yet here I am, alive and well, never having learned it."
"Christ's sake," John mutters, even as Sherlock grins. From the kitchen—after cursing a bit about the general state and clutter of human body parts—John is stating the instructions to how to make a simple omelette as he does it himself.
Of course, Sherlock on the couch hears it and thinks about learning it but deletes it in the end. It would be mildly helpful to know how to cook something substantial, but John is here, and while he will never admit it, he likes John caring.
THINGS SHERLOCK KNOWS, EVEN THOUGH HE KEEPS DELETING IT
Mycroft is related to him by blood.
John's birthday—March 31st.
Star Wars quotes.
John's middle name—Hamish.
John's tea preference—two spoons of honey and a splash of milk.
The smell of blood and death.
John's coffee preference—black, three spoons of sugar.
John's expression when Sherlock pulls off something extremely clever.
Email addresses, phone numbers and home addresses—once used, Sherlock will recall these things forever.
The fact that John would die for him.
His mother's aging face and her tired voice.
The fact that Sherlock would die for John.
A/N: I used my Google-Fu skills (-snort-) to find the name of Sherlock's father, which is never canonised but is heavily speculated as 'Siger'. Similarly, John's birthday is debatable.
If Sherlock can "see" words, why not the Recycle Bin when he deletes things?