Title: The Curse of the Consulting Detective
Fandom: BBC Sherlock/Sherlock Holmes (2009)/Doctor Who
Word Count: 1300
Summary: Present-day. Sherlock finds evidence of what seems to be…another Sherlock Holmes and John Watson? Another consulting detective and another doctor living in the very same flat. The only problem is, they were alive in the 19th century?
It wasn't unusual for John to get up to go to the loo in the middle of the night and find Sherlock at the big desk in the sitting room, hunched over muttering to himself, random pieces of evidence strewn about, working on whatever case they had on their plate that week. In fact, it wasn't often that John would ever see Sherlock sleeping; his bed always had the air that it was not slept in. He just assumed that Sherlock fell asleep out in the sitting room and awoke before John's alarm went off in the early morning. Sherlock never seemed to tire after long chases or when they found some new breed of killer that liked to speak with guns instead of words, so John thought nothing of his sleeping patterns. Sherlock did not function at a normal human level, and after months living with him, John began a journal to catalogue his eccentricities.
Sherlock would often watch the sunrise, sitting in the window alcove until long after the sun had risen. John noticed on more than one occasion that he seemed to have an almost wistful expression, like he was very far away. Sherlock also seemed to have a hyper-active sense of taste, being able to determine material or age of an object based on taste alone. As far as John knew, he was never wrong in this method, which led one to think of just how many things Sherlock would have had to lick to recognize the taste. And then there were the sleeping habits, which seemed to indicate Sherlock hardly slept, if at all. Which is why John was relieved to come in to the sitting room to find Sherlock asleep on the couch, though his eyes opened at the first notice of sound and movement, before falling back to slits.
"This is the first time you've slept in what-three days? Four?" John looked at the clock as he threw his overcoat onto the already covered table. "Don't let me disturb your shut-eye."
"I was just getting up anyway. I just laid down for a short nap while I was waiting for you to get back. Put your coat back on, we're needed at the morgue. There's been another one. Come on."
The magic words. Sherlock spoke and John followed. As it's always been.
As they made their way through the London streets, Sherlock's mind was racing. It was always racing. It was always calculating, seeing everything around him and then compartmentalizing, putting each piece of information into a different file to be pulled out later if needed. He referred to this as his curse, this ability and need to see everything around him, from the dirt on the back of the elderly gentlemen's neck that was walking in front of them, to the woman that walked past them with disheveled hair and day-old makeup. Compartmentalizing and then conclusions could be drawn.
Sherlock liked the way John worried about him, but to him, this worrying was foolish. He slept until he had enough energy stored that he could work until he had to sleep again. For Sherlock, sleep was not a normal event that happened every night, but a necessity, to recharge his brain and muscles for the next few days. If that meant he slept six hours over the course of a week, then that's all the sleep he needed. Why waste time on sleep, which accomplished absolutely nothing, when he could be tracking down leads or working on a different case. Being the only consulting detective meant that he had a near monopoly on the field. Lestrade, private detectors, the wealthy upper class, everyone that had an unsolvable mystery came to him now. The few times his name had appeared in the papers in correlation to a solved case or stopped murderer attracted Sherlock enough fame that he and John no longer had to scrounge for work. Of course, John still had his shifts at the hospital, but Sherlock's work was much more important.
John wasn't fooling Sherlock with that little notebook he wrote in. The minute John had left for work the first time Sherlock had noticed it; he went to John's room to find out its contents. If John made it his quest to catalogue all of Sherlock's quirks, he would need more than one notebook. However, John didn't know Sherlock's strangest quality, the one that Sherlock tries to deny to himself. Sometimes, in his dreams, he sees cities, planets, places so radically different from Earth yet familiar to him, mountain ranges stretched high up into the sky, fields of grass that seemed to be a deep red, and a city, a city that appeared to touch the red-tinged clouds, all covered by a circular dome. He dreamt of the void, though he could put no image to that name, only the emotion of aching horror. He saw himself on this planet, a much younger version of himself, then older, in what seemed to be late 19th century London, with a man who looked very much like John. Sherlock had begun to transcribe his dreams of this place in case they ever proved useful, but to him, they merely seemed to be the result of an overworked mind. Of course, dreams were the playground of the imagination, and Sherlock told himself to hold no stock in these dreams.
But there was something, in the weeks to pass, tugging at the edge of his mind, bothering him about dreams. And so, as was habit, Sherlock began to research them.
John knew something was different with this case. Sherlock seemed frantic, and acting in the same way when he has two pieces of information that's edges doesn't quite match up. Pictures and old newspapers were strewn about the apartment, but Sherlock would not tell John what he was working on, only that "it wasn't important." And Sherlock remained tight-lipped on the new case, that is, until one day when Sherlock finally called for John's help.
"Have you ever Googled your name?" Sherlock lay on the couch, steepled fingers under his nose.
"Not that I recall. Why, is there something that comes up?"
"You'd say John is very common name, yes?"
"Yes, I suppose."
"And Watson is also fairly common."
"What does this have to do with-?"
"You could say, in fact, that over the course of history, there have been numerous John Watsons, inevitably a few being doctors as well?"
"However, when we apply that reasoning to me, the chances dwindle very quickly."
"I don't follow-"
"Sherlock is an extremely unique name, the reason that my mother gave it to me. Another Sherlock Holmes? Doubtful at best."
"Then why is it, that over the past three centuries, four Sherlock Holmes and four John Watsons have roomed together in this same flat?"
"What? That's im-"
"Clearly it's not impossible, since there is photo evidence of the last pair to live."
Sherlock handed over the photos to John, who looked through them incredulously.
"When were these taken?"
"But, how?" John pushed the pictures away from him as if they contained evil.
"For once, I'm at a complete loss. The fact that one of these pairs exists is statistically impossible, but three others? Impossible."
"What do we do about this?"
"What can we do? Neither man had children, nor do their lives not impact ours. We still have work that needs to be done, instead of debating about long-dead men."
And John agreed eagerly; glad to put this talk of multiple Sherlocks and multiple Johns behind them.
But Sherlock would carry this knowledge, the knowledge and the fact that learning it hadn't surprised him. Almost like he already knew. And Sherlock couldn't tell which fact was worse to think about.