Title: The Case of the Forgotten Doctor
Author: Rewrittengirl (or Leffie)
Fandom: Sherlock (TV series)
Wordcount: 3,044 words.
Rating: T for teen
Characters: Sherlock Holmes, Dr. John Watson, Inspector Lestrade, Anderson, Donovan, and others.
Pairing(s): Shwatsonlock, maybe Anderson/Donovan if I get around to it.
Genre: Angst, tragedy, romance, spiritual, thriller
Warning(s): The death of our favorite doctor. You may not do it in this chapter, but trust me. You WILL cry in this fic. Have tissues nearby for later on. Also angst.
Contains: Death, sadness, loss, romance, etc.
Notes: If you read Written in the Stars, you'll know I talked about this super unique fic in my author's note. Well here it is! First chapter! Its very sad, and you'll be a bit shocked and confused as to what's going on. But that's technically the point. Sherlock doesn't know what's going on either. I'm very proud of this piece, and I hope you enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own Sherlock Holmes, nor any of the characters mentioned in this fic (apart from one introduced later). Sir Arthur Conan Doyle owns the characters, and the BBC, Steven Moffat, and Mark Gatiss own the modernized version. If I owned the BBC version, Holmes would have kissed Watson in a dark alleyway in thanks for saving his life. Episode one. :3
Summary: Memories are subjective creatures. Watson wants him to remember, so he gives Sherlock a chance to do so. Can he though, really, when he's all alone now? Can he survive hunting down John's murderer and uncovering his life story at the same time, never knowing who he is or why he needs Sherlock in the first place?
The body in the ditch was a man by the name of Doctor John H. Watson.
The man looked peaceful, to say the least. Sherlock nearly envied him, but the game was afoot. He didn't have time to pity the dead.
The police would be there any minute, including Lestrade... and Anderson. He needed an assistant in dealing with difficult cases, but the man was far too dim-witted, and dare he say it? Dull? At least for his taste.
He'd texted Lestrade promptly upon discovering the body. The man's entire chest was ripped open and an aluminum can was stabbed through his left thigh. The bone was smashed and mangled around it. Beside him had lain his mobile, which the detective thoroughly searched. It was how he found out his name.
The odd thing was, there was not a single message, call, voicemail, or video to be found. There was only one picture, that of a medical ID belonging to Dr. Watson.
He knew this to be the victim's phone because of his lithe deductions about the phone's condition. The device was scratched and scrapped, as if it had been in a person's pocket or with the phone. He'd had a small salary, so he'd never spend that much money on a phone like this. It was a gift, given to him by his drunk brother. There were scratches around the charger hole from clumsy hands going to plug it in at night. Dr. Waston clearly was never a drunkard. That was the only solution. Not to mention the fact that it was inscribed to one Harry Watson on the back, from dearest Clara. These were simple deductions, though he gathered more from the phone than just that. He was far too capable for just that.
"Oh my God!"
Sherlock turned around swiftly, smiling in glee at the arriving task force. "Ah, lovely, you've arrived." He was still fiddling with the phone.
"Oh my God..." Sergeant Donovan repeated, but with whispered horror. The woman looked like she was about to be sick, and covered her mouth.
Holmes looked back down the corpse. "Hmm, yes. It's a rather ghastly sight, isn't it?" He grinned smugly, saying brightly, "Nothing I can't solve!" He rubbed his gloved hands together in contemplation.
Donovan looked to the equally befuddled and down right disgusted Lestrade, her eyes pleading with him to give her some sort of explanation. He had none to give. She seemed like she wanted to go to the victim, but her commanding officer held he back.
"Sally, don't," he said, glaring at Anderson, who'd dropped his equipment in shock.
Sherlock furrowed his brow in confusion. "What?" He stuck his hands in his pockets, along with the phone, raising his eyebrow. "What's so shocking about a murder?"
He didn't even realize how ridiculous his statement sounded.
Donovan kept looking to Lestrade for reconciliation, but the man shook his head, staring at her with a form of ordering that didn't come from being her boss. It was as a friend.
After a long moment of silence, their breaths caked in fog from the cold, Lestrade said quickly, "What do you make of it, Sherlock?" He averted his eyes.
The consulting detective blinked. "Umm..."
A moment of consideration.
"Oh, look. He's at a loss for words," said Anderson with thick resentment. "Sound the alarms!" Typical Anderson and his mockery, setting up his forensics tools. Though Sherlock couldn't help but detect a bit of a tremor in the way he moved.
Holmes glared, turning back to Lestrade and nodding his head, still confused at their unexpected shock. Really, it was just any other murder. Did they all know the man? If so, they should have told him by now, so that their judgment wasn't compromised.
He moved back toward the body and crouched down. "I haven't had the chance to examine it yet. Give me a moment."
Lestrade mumbled an "okay" in reply, and grabbed his two subordinates, pulling them out of Sherlock's earshot (though Lord knows they had to travel far for that to happen). He looked incredulously at the whispering cohorts, but returned to observing the dead man.
He had been a man of the military, that much was deduced. The clean and short haircut, the pristine (if not bloody) fingernails. He had been shot in the shoulder, as his left arm was stiffer than the other, even in death. There were remnants of an illness in his face, showing signs of being more vibrant before the war he came home from. The illness could have been mental or physical, but he'd never know.
"Is he really that dense?" he heard Anderson pipe up. the man was simultaneously smacked in the back of the head by Sally Donovan.
Sherlock sighed with exasperation. "Okay, I give up. What's going on here? Honestly, I'm trying to work!"
The group quieted their bickering, Lestrade the one to reassure him. "Its nothing, Sherlock... Just talking about my son. H-he's failing basic math, you see..."
A pathetic excuse for a lie, and the man knew it. Really Lestrade? That was the best you could come up with?
The detective shook his head and prepared himself to question Lestrade about all this later, but now his attention was focused on the body. The chest wound was serious, but had not been he cause of death. Upon turning the head a bit, he found a blood caked bullet wound on the back of the head, point blank range. The chest wound was an addition which the killer perpetrated in a sort of blind and savage fury, which was heightened by the ritualistic stabbing of the leg. There were no traces of a wound from the war, but the leg's seemed unequal, as if he favored one from the other.
Conclusion: psychosomatic wound.
He was jerked out of his rigid observational state with a jolt by Lestrade's boisterous voice.
"What?" he asked, annoyed.
Lestrade stood over the pair, living and dead. His face softened, and he sighed. "I said, what have you got?"
Sherlock looked back at the body, then rocked back on his heels and stayed crouched. "The man's a doctor, army doctor. Hes been back from the war for sometime, but he is still plagued by it from his stiff arm, a shoulder wound no less. The cane is also his, to help his psychosomatic wound in his left leg."
Lestrade looked uncomfortable, but stuck his hands in his pockets and nodded, kicking a bit of rock at his feet. Donovan and Anderson were conversing quickly some feet behind him. "And what of the murder?" he questioned.
Holmes pursed his lips and stood up, staring down at the body with his own hands in his coat pockets. "Gunshot to the back of the head, point blank range, chest wound probably there to both divert attention from the real cause of death and to extract some sort of internal coldblooded rage on the man, also evident from the animalistic stabbing of the leg." He looked back up to Lestrade, unamused, but smiling sarcastically. "That much is obvious."
A sharp pain in his chest and he stumbled back a bit, shaking his head.
"Sherlock, you alright?"
He nodded blankly. "Y-yeah... Yeah I'm fine. Just remembering... something..." He rubbed the back of his head, confused.
"That's brilliant! … Sorry."
Was that a memory...? Or something... else...?
He looked back to the body, telling Lestrade's team they could take it away to the morgue, where he'd examine it further.
He suddenly noticed a piece of paper, sticking out of the victim's bloody coat pocket. He appeared to be nonchalant, even whistling lightly, as he strolled around the body, quickly snatching it up.
He was lucky, it was barely bloodied. He stuck it in his look at it later. "I'll be needing the man's clothes when you get a chance, Lestrade," he said, beginning to walk away with his usual "swag" as some people liked to call it.
What the devil it meant, he didn't know.
"Sherlock? Where are you going?" Lestrade called to him, but the man was already a good distance away.
"Can't talk now, case to solve!" he yelled back over his shoulder.
As he walked away, his feet dragged on, away from the body of the man he didn't know, nor would ever know. He never knew them, they were just cases. Lost lives that needed to be avenged.
What was your story, John Watson? He wanted to know, if only for that fleeting moment of connection he shared with victims. It was the only connection he had with other people, living or dead.
The man's peaceful face haunted him, as well as the whispered words in his mind, words he should remember, but couldn't. It irritated him, buzzing at his memory like a bell, chiming at midnight.
He didn't know as he walked away, however, that this would be the case that changed his life.
Upon his arrival at 221B Baker Street, Sherlock was alone.
He was not greeted by Mrs. Hudson's smiling face anymore. Sad, for he'd come to expect her kind eyes upon his haggard return.
Cancer, that. What a terrible waste of silliness. Sherlock had to admit, she had been a rather silly old woman. Leaving him the lot and everything. Ridiculous.
So he was alone. Though his friend was there... Well, he says friend...
The man flung his coat down on one side of the coffee table, as well as his blue scarf. He flopped down on the settee, kicking off his shoes and loosening his shirt collar.
He made himself comfortable and slipped the bloodied piece of paper out of his pocket. He now realized it was a folded letter in a sealed envelope. He carefully broke the seal, and gently spread the paper out on the coffee table in front of him.
He had planned on skimming it through it once, then going back and reading it thoroughly.
That plan was deleted the moment he saw that the letter was addressed to him.
His heart nearly stopped at the shock, and he leaned over to study the text carefully. It read:
"Mr. Sherlock Holmes,
You don't know me. But I know you. Doesn't matter how I know,I just do. I won't bother explaining just yet, but maybe you can figure it out on your own. You're clever enough.
But maybe not.
You were always too thick about those kinds of things.
I know what you're thinking. I'm not your enemy, Holmes. I'm not Moriarty, I'm not Irene Adler. Really, I'm nobody. No one will miss me when my body turns up in a ditch somewhere.
How did I know you'd find this letter? I know you, I told you. I know you better than you know yourself, if that surprises you (and I'm sure it does). I knew you would find me because you can smell crime like a police dog. You're quite handy in that sense.
Why am I writing this, instead of living out my final day on this earth in the arms of he person I love most? Well, I'll tell you. The person I love most doesn't want me. I wish he did, but he doesn't.
Now... Now you're my only hope, it seems. I'm prepared to die, don't get me wrong. I want to die. I'll get to the reason why later on, but first I want to tell you exactly why I'm writing this to you. You, who do not know me, will no me, nor care to know me.
I want to tell you a story.
This story, is the story of my life. Why would I tell you? Well, I've never told anyone before, and if I'm to die, then I should like someone to know. I thought you would be the one to greatly enjoy it. I hope you do.
But before I begin, I must end this letter. It won't do to simply lay all my cards out on the table. What is the point in living at all, then, if only for this one day? You are the type of man who thrills in danger, in the chase. I am also this type of man. I figured, well, why don't I give him a little chase to run when I'm gone, so he's not bored? I know how you hate to be bored.
Thus I provide you with a challenge. Oh, I know how you like challenges, games, puzzles. I can already tell you're going to have fun dancing all over England with your detective hat on, so I'll cut right to the chase.
I have spent the good part of a month traversing London and its surrounding areas. I have spread letters like this one, journal entries, personal correspondences, pictures, videos, and much more, in places only you will be able to find.
You like the game so far, don't you? Well good, I intended for you to like it.
Each letter or other item of interest you find will lead you to the next, but not without a bit of code cracking and puzzle solving on your part. It shouldn't be too difficult for you to figure out where the next "clue" so to speak is. You're a genius like that.
Why couldn't I just mail all this too you? Well, then my killer might intercept any of my mail. He didn't think to check my pockets, did he? Only my phone, which I'm sure he wiped clean, leaving only my name somewhere on the phone to identify me with. I don't know how he's going to kill me, but I'm not quite looking forward to it. Perhaps the peace of it all will be worth it.
A word of caution: Don't underestimate my killer. He will come after you next, I'm sure of it. You'll understand why someday. Just promise me, promise dear old John you'll be careful when you go out and hunt for my past. Traveling the road of memories is not an easy one... And you'll be alone this time.
And, as I conclude this sort of "introductory" letter, I leave you with your first clue. My, my, it's quite a mystery here we have here, isn't it? I give you this because I believe in you, and I know you want to begin as soon as possible. I'd like you to take a cab, and drive to the train station. I'm terribly sorry you must travel so far, but it seemed only appropriate for the beginning of my life. Take the train to Hampshire, where I was born. Ask around, listen to the stories people tell. Just listen, don't comment. I know that will be hard for you. Be polite to those people, and they'll tell you where I lived as a boy. The house is abandoned, so you'll have no trouble breaking in, as I didn't. There, you'll be on your way to solving my case.
Find me, Sherlock. Find me and my words, my thoughts, my feelings. I can't express to you how much I need you to know the story of my life. Why... My very life depends on it.
I leave my entire life, and death, in your very capable hands.
John H. Watson, M. D."
A long silence lingered in the air as the detective finished reading the letter for the 27th time.
Look at him, obsessing over something as silly as this.
Well he was damn right to! Wasn't he? Or maybe he should uncover the person on his own terms, and not play the man's silly little game.
He groaned. Who was he kidding? He'd be on the next train to Hampshire in a moment, simply for the thrill of the chase. But first he folded the paper neatly back the way it was, slipping it into the envelope and placing it in his breast pocket.
Find me, Sherlock... the words echoed in his head. What was so important that he found him? He... He was already dead. Memories were nothing, not when the future lie ahead.
But... But he felt it. The connection again. And this time it was deeper than it'd ever been. What was wrong with him? It was just a dead man, just like any other, one who saw the need to toy with him.
Who knew a man could make him "dance all over England with his detective hat on" from the grave?
John Watson knew. John Watson... cared.
Cared. What a strange, unfamiliar little syllable caught in the back of his throat.
He hopped out the door, coat and scarf in tow, before the feeling associated with the word could catch up to him.
What's going on, why doesn't Sherlock remember John? You'll find out eventually, and so will our favorite "dancing" detective.
As always, read and review! Oh, and alert this too! I'll be placing reminders in Written in the Stars of course, though, so you don't have to worry about that. XD