Chapter Six: The Train Wreck Impulse
The rest of the night, Sherlock makes no reappearance. John goes to bed at eleven o'clock, after thoroughly dissecting the situation and coming to a rational conclusion. While he's not exactly sure what sent Sherlock fleeing for his own bedroom, he does know what made him freeze up. What made them both freeze up. It hadn't been a conscious thought, more like reflex. It had been the return of that sensation of biting off more than he could chew.
It's not the end of the world—he's firmly told himself that about ten times—and he simply needs to apologize.
So in the morning, he goes downstairs and knocks on Sherlock's door. It's slightly ajar, which may hint that the detective had been roaming about at some point in the night. At first, he doesn't think Sherlock is awake—didn't really expect him to be, what with it only being nine o'clock or so—and is preparing to walk away when Sherlock opens the door, standing there in all his pajama-clad glory. He doesn't say anything, just raises his eyebrows and props himself against the doorjamb.
John wonders if he slept last night.
"Sorry about last night," John says, by way of explanation for his presence. "I…well, we got carried away, didn't we?"
Sherlock takes in a deep breath, and lets it out with a sigh. Looks down and appears to think for a moment. Looks back up and says, "I was startled. I needed time to think. I'm not used to being confused and I'm not the greatest of communicators under the best circumstances. I should have acted more rationally, but at that moment I knew I needed to remove myself from the situation in order to properly assess it, and so I did." He pauses, but John can tell he's not done and stays silent.
"I've been in a similar situation," he says, "with someone else—and I really do apologize for that. It…well…it set off a chain of events in my life that I'd like to forget."
They are silent for a few minutes, both of them lost in their own thoughts, staring at ahead but not seeing. John tries not to think about the fact that, where Sherlock is concerned, he isn't the first. Knows that if he does, he may say things he'll regret. He knows he shouldn't be jealous—Sherlock is his Soul Mate, after all, and he regrets his adolescent transgressions as much as anyone regrets such things. It's hard to remember, what with his robotic demeanor half the time, that Sherlock is actually capable of things such as regret.
Just thinking it makes him feel like a complete asshole.
"So…what did you end up with?"
Sherlock's eyes trail up to glance at John from under his lashes. "What?"
"You said you thought about…everything. Did you come to any…conclusions, or…?" He doesn't know how to say it without sounding pushy, but he would like to know what he can and cannot do from now on.
In response, Sherlock looks down again with a small huff of a laugh, crossing his arms. If John didn't know any better, he would say Sherlock was nervous—or embarrassed. He says, "Well…I like it when you touch me."
"Are you sure?" John says before he can stop himself, and immediately wants to crush his head against the wall. It's a question that's been burning in the back of his mind for weeks, and especially last night, but he never thought he would actually show so little discretion as to ask it.
Understandably, Sherlock is offended. His posture straightens and he looks down his nose at John and yes—this is the Sherlock John is used to. While the slightly timid, somewhat sweet Sherlock of the last ten minutes makes a nice change, this is the version of him—haughty, drawn up—that John knows, and knows how to deal with.
"No, John. Don't know what I want and I need you to decide for me."
"Stop that. That's not what I meant, and you know it." Sherlock, eyes narrowed, continues to glare but at least looks a bit more open to suggestion. He continues, "It's just…sometimes I do touch you, and it doesn't seem like you want it. You brush it off or inch away. Sometimes it doesn't seem like you want me around at all. I know you probably can't control it, but you've got to understand how bloody confusing it can be with all those mixed signals."
"You're not the only one receiving mixed signals," Sherlock points out, raising an eyebrow. Jabs a finger into John's chest and says, "You're the one who initiated the events of last night, only to fling yourself away from me when you realized how my body was reacting. It's also confusing when you pull me into your lap one day, and proceed to ignore me the next. Or, John, when you keep information from me, such as the fact that you're still having those strange dreams."
Now they're back to that. John would rather not talk about it, but if sacrifices have to be made, it's a small one. He says, "Okay. I see where you're coming from. Do you want to talk about the dreams? We'll go sit down and talk about the dreams. This is all about communication, Sherlock. You need to tell me what you want, what you like, before I can make any confident moves. So far you've given me nothing."
"Is this dissolving into an argument?"
"I'm trying not to let it."
Sherlock pushes himself away from the wall while letting out a long sigh, and runs his left hand through his hair. It's obvious he's irritated. Whether with himself or John, it's a little harder to figure out. Then he says, "We're grown men; this shouldn't be so hard!" and John knows which one it is.
"It's not as though they teach these things in school, you know," John says, reaching out a hand and resting it on Sherlock's upper arm. "You…don't get yourself so worked up, okay? It's just harder for some people. Sometimes, Soul Mates just click. Other times…they have to work at it. We're very different, you and me. Polar opposites, practically. But you know what they say about opposites attracting."
A short, slightly hysterical laugh leaves Sherlock's mouth, and he says, "No, I don't actually. I think that proves your point."
John laughs as well, for lack of any other way to react, and slides his hand down Sherlock's arm to take his hand. Squeezes. Sherlock leans down, slightly hesitantly, and presses his forehead against John's. They are silent for a few minutes, and John feels as though he should say something, eventually coming up with, "I like to touch you, you know. And I like to be touched by you. You're not alone in that regard. It makes me feel…it reassures me. That you're there."
"Look at us," Sherlock sighs. Lifts his arms and wraps them around John, and John places his hands on Sherlock's waist and it's nice. It's really nice to just stand there and embrace, feel the warmth of another living body and know it's the person you've been spending your life looking for. When he was young, he never thought he would be satisfied by something so mundane. Never thought it would feel so good just to wrap his arms around someone and hold tight.
"I need you to do me a favor," John murmurs into his neck. Sherlock hums in question and John says, "Tell me when you need this, okay? I know it's not in your nature, but everyone needs a cuddle now and then. I don't care when, I don't care where. If you need a hug, I'll give it to you." Inside his head, it sounds look a good plan. A good first step to the physical side of their relationship, and a good compliment to the plan of increased communication that they've so recently implemented.
When he says it though, it sounds a bit childish.
To Sherlock, however, it appears to be a good idea. He presses his face against John's neck, and John can feel his eyelashes against his skin as he blinks. He murmurs, "Okay," against John's neck, and John tightens his grip, just a bit, and presses his lips to Sherlock's cheek.
Soon enough, Sherlock breaks away. He looks a bit embarrassed, perhaps about his show of emotion—a show of weakness, as Sherlock might think of it as. But even the embarrassment he hides well. John decides to give him a moment alone, and walks into the kitchen. Pulls out milk and orange juice and sets two pieces of toast to brown in the toaster.
The toast pops up as Sherlock walks into the room, and he grabs it out on the way past. Gets John's jam out of the cabinet and sets a piece of toast in front of him. They sit for a few minutes in silence, Sherlock buttering his bread and John putting jam on his.
Out of the blue, Sherlock says, "How long have you been having them?"
John looks at him, toast halfway to his mouth, and says, "What?"
"The dreams. How long have you been having them?"
He shrugs and says, "Yeah, well, I've been trying to figure that out myself. I thought that they started that night—the night after we wrapped the Blind Banker case." Here, Sherlock makes a face at John's mention of one of his 'ridiculous blog post titles,' but John ignores him. "But now that I think about it, I think I started having them a bit before that. Probably a few months. Say…around the time I moved in here." He shrugs again, takes a drink of his orange juice. "For all I know, that's the reason I'm having them."
"Do you think it could be me?"
John's head snaps up, intending to reassure Sherlock that he's done nothing, but finds Sherlock looking curious, rather than wearing any expression of devastation—which most people would reasonably assume upon contemplating that they are the reason for the strife of their Soul Mate. Not the first time, he says a silent thanks that Sherlock is Sherlock (For every thanks, there have been an equal number of curses, but he's not going to think about that) and replies, "How so?"
"Well, you moved into Baker Street the same day you met me, more or less. There is any number of variables in your life that were changed when you did so, most obviously the fact that, where before you were still Searching, your move to Baker Street coincided with you meeting me." He frowns and leans back in his chair, crossing his legs and arms. "The question is, why? I suppose it could be stress. Unlikely, though, considering you lived the better part of three years in a warzone. Have you ever had these dreams before?"
A shake of the head. "No. Not that I can recall."
Sherlock sighs, slightly frustrated, and says, "I don't understand. Most nocturnal phenomena can be easily explained given the content of the dream or the conditions in which the subject finds himself, but with you it's…completely illogical. Your life is the least stressful it's been in years, even with the introduction of my work. Not to mention that it's not a problem with dreaming…it's a problem with remembering them. There's plenty of data but no answers."
Smiling, John eats the last of his toast and gets up to put his plate in the sink. Stops next to Sherlock's chair and squeezes his shoulders. "Don't stress yourself over it. They'll stop on their own, I'm sure of it."
"There's also the fact," Sherlock mutters, as he gets up himself—his toast half-eaten—and joins John at the sink, "that roughly forty-five percent of the time, you wake up with a scream of my name."
This causes John pause, and he stands there for a second, watching Sherlock rinse off his plate and toss his uneaten toast in the rubbish bin. There's something on the periphery of his mind, like a song he'd forgotten but only just. It tingles at the back of his mind, saying here I am, come catch me as it flits further into the recesses of his mind. It passes quickly, and he's left extremely confused and mildly disoriented. Sherlock is still there, and still running water over his plate. John comes up behind him and encircles his waist, more to disguise his sudden need for assistance supporting himself than any sudden affection.
From the living room, Sherlock's phone pings. John mutters, "Probably Lestrade," into his shoulder blade.
Sherlock hums his agreement—John feels it more than hears it—and John backs up, away from him and back into the bedroom. Calls back to Sherlock, "I'm going to take a shower. Pop your head in when you know what he wants, okay?"
Another grunt, vague and noncommittal. John rolls his eyes, not without affection, and walks into the bathroom, strips, and climbs into the shower.
Ten minutes later—give or take, John's never had an exceptionally accurate internal clock—he hears the hinges on the door whine as Sherlock pushes it open, and subsequently his Soul Mate's baritone as he says, "Lestrade says the found out where the couple from yesterday lived. They need me to meet them there this afternoon."
"Oh yeah? Why?"
"That information is forthcoming."
"Alright then." John turns the shower off and gropes around on the wall just outside the shower stall until he finds the towel rack. Wraps it around his hips and says, "I'm coming out."
When John pulls open the shower curtain, Sherlock is sitting on the closed lid of the toilet, attention absorbed in his phone—no surprise there. John opens the medicine cabinet, pulls out his toothbrush and toothpaste, and starts brushing his teeth.
It takes him a minute to realize that Sherlock is abnormally quiet, and the tapping of his phone has stopped. John glances down at him, and at first he thinks Sherlock is just in thought, his chin propped on his hand and his elbow on his knee. Then he realizes the other man's silver eyes are staring at him from under his lashes, subtly and silently. Noticeably, though, because there is a small patch of red on the very tips of his ears. Would be unnoticeable except that John, for once, is looking down at him instead of up.
"Sorry," John says, once he's spit out his mouthful of toothpaste. It comes out gummy, because he hasn't rinsed, but it's intelligible. "Are you embarrassed?"
Slowly, Sherlock shakes his head. "No."
Suddenly slightly self-conscious, John pulls up the towel cinched around his waist and turns back to the sink, with his back to Sherlock. He says, "Sorry, I didn't even think." And, honestly, he hadn't. In the army, no one had cared if you wandered about naked as the day you were born, let alone wearing a towel. They were quickly desensitized to it, mostly due to necessity. It's hard to live in a mass barracks where everyone has to share a shower and not encounter another bloke wandering around in his birthday suit every once in a while.
Here though, he has Sherlock. Sherlock, who his Soul Mate and, whilst not entirely as proper as appearances would deceive, is still a bit less comfortable with the idea of random nudity.
Not to mention, Sherlock is his Soul Mate. Someday, at some point, they're bound to give into physical temptation. It's a bit different walking around in nothing but a towel in front of the person you actually plan to have sex with one day.
"It's okay," Sherlock mutters, still staring straight at John's abdominals. He's not in as good a shape as he was in the army—six months of sickness and a subsequent period of lots of exercise with very unhealthy eating and sleeping patterns will do that to anyone. However, he's not in horrible shape either.
He realizes that this is the first time Sherlock has seen him shirtless. Then he realizes that Sherlock may be staring at this stomach in an uncharacteristic bought of tact. The wound on his shoulder is an eyesore that anyone's gaze would be drawn to the moment they set it on shirtless John Watson.
After rising, John turns to Sherlock, props his hip against the counter, and says, "You can look at it, you know. I'm not ashamed of it or anything." It doesn't seem right to deny Sherlock something like this. It would feel as though he was denying Sherlock the chance to learn more about him.
Sherlock does not have to be asked twice. He's not coy, Sherlock; probably grew up learning that you took what was offered you lest it be taken away at the next opportunity. So he moves his eyes upward, settling them on the puckered scar on John's shoulder. It's not gross, per say, but certainly not what the normal person would call pleasant. To Sherlock, though, it's probably fascinating. Not because it's on John's body, at least not solely. More because you can tell so much about people from their scars. John should know; he's a doctor. He knows that kind of stories scars tell. Add that to Sherlock's breathtaking ability to deduce practically anything he wants from even the smallest bit of evidence given, and it's as though John is offering himself to be read like a book.
For all he knows, he is.
"You say you're not ashamed of it," Sherlock murmurs, after a lengthy examination, "but you also layer your shirts to reduce its appearance under your clothing and don't wear anything that might leave it on display, or otherwise allow it to be seen through."
He's not sure it's a question, but he answers it anyway. "Well it's winter, isn't it? And besides. I'm not ashamed of it, but that doesn't mean I want everybody and their brother staring at me. I mean, most people…when they see that kind of thing…their first reaction is to stare, or gasp, or look away. It's embarrassing. Little kids stare at you and pull on their mum's skirts and ask what's wrong with that man over there, why's his shoulder like that. They don't know any better, but it still hurts. I'm lucky to have a wound that I can hide. Some of the guys that made it out of bombings and sniper attacks weren't nearly as lucky as me. They lost legs or arms or their faces were deformed. I'm lucky it's something I can hide."
"You didn't worry about me reacting negatively to it."
John raises an eyebrow and chuckles, "I think we both know you're not nearly that squeamish."
"But I am staring. You mentioned staring as a negative reaction."
This makes John pause. The easy answer would be to say you're different, but such a vague answer would undoubtedly be completely unsatisfactory to Sherlock. Instead he says, "It's okay when you do it. I can tell your skin isn't crawling with disgust, or you're staring at it out of some kind of…train wreck reflex."
Sherlock smirks. "Too horrible to look at, too fascinating to look away."
"Exactly." John brings up his left hand and swipes his thumb over Sherlock's brow. "You're just…gathering information. It's sweet, in a very…you way."
Tilting his head to the side, Sherlock says, "I can't tell if that's an insult or not."
John rolls his eyes and leans down, tilting his head opposite the way of Sherlock's. Says, "You know what I mean," and presses two kisses to Sherlock's lips.
Unlike times past, they do not dwell on the kiss. Sherlock turns back to his phone, responding to another ping! And John airs his intentions to go upstairs and dress. It's nice, actually, to not have to think about it. Review their actions as though training for something. It's progress.
John comes downstairs ten minutes later. Sherlock is still sitting on the closed toilet lid, frowning at his phone. It's not unusual for Sherlock to plant himself in an unusual place and proceed to become absorbed in whatever he's doing. John found him at the bottom of the steps once, bum on the third stair up and feet on the floor. He'd lost himself while trying to find the weather in New York. By the time John found him, he was absentmindedly playing Tetris on his phone whilst contemplating the bigger problem of how someone who had been in New York only four hours before had ended up in London.
Sometimes he worries John. He seems far too adept at doing things without really thinking about them, or else leaving his body to distract itself with repetitive actions while occupying his mind with bigger problems. He'll often pick up a pencil and twirl it in his fingers, over and over for hours on end. It reminds John too much of bad cases of PTSD and while he knows there's no parallel between Sherlock's absentminded twiddling and the torpidity of the severely damaged, he can't help but be bothered by it.
"Sherlock?" he says. Grabs his comb off the counter and runs it through his hair. Stares in the mirror and plays with it a bit. It's just gotten long enough to style and after six years of buzz cuts he's trying to figure out if he actually likes having longer hair again.
"Mmm?" Sherlock brings his thumb up to his mouth and bites into the very tip of it with his front teeth. He's done that before too, and John wonders if it's some remnant of nervous thumb-sucking Sherlock grew out of when he was little.
"What did Lestrade say?"
"Oh, right." Sherlock reanimates and clicks rapidly through his phone—the man can fire off a text quicker than John can even unlock his own mobile—to pull up what is presumably his conversation with Lestrade. Says, "As usual, he's sparse on the details, but he says there were some odd findings. They found the identification cards of both victims—Joseph and Rachel Hirsch. Very Jewish."
"Do you think this was a hate crime?"
Sherlock shakes his head. "No. Lestrade says nothing in the home was touched, aside from the jimmied front door lock and the tousled sheets on the bed. I won't know until I get to the house, but a mutually religious couple is almost always going to have some variety of religious paraphernalia decorating their house. If this was a hate crime, they would surely have been vandalized on some way. Lestrade didn't mention anything of the sort; he says there aren't even signs of a struggle. Nothing looks knocked over or shaken up. In-and-out job."
"Is that's what's peculiar?"
Another headshake. "No. It just means there had to be more than one kidnapper, and they must have used some sort of respiratory anesthetic. Chloroform is most likely. What's odd is that neither of them have each other's mobile number in their phones, nor emails, nor any other contact information."
John furrows his brows, then shrugs and says, "Perhaps the cell phones were for work?"
"People who have work phones usually have personal phones as well. And these people weren't ultra-orthodox Jewish, or otherwise unacquainted with modern technology. Lestrade was careful to tell me that they had a brand new television—one of those fancy ones with the stupid names, lava or something like that."
"Plasma?" John volunteers, barely keeping himself from snorting.
Frowning, Sherlock snaps, "Yes, plasma," and a giggle leaves John. Sherlock rolls his eyes and continues, "They had a plasma television and both had a laptop, and the mobiles were newer models. It doesn't make sense that neither of them would have their spouse of all people in their contacts."
Far from trying to figure it out himself (if Sherlock can't, John doesn't have a snowball's chance in Hell of it) John just shrugs and pats Sherlock's back. "Maybe we'll figure it out once we get there."
Sherlock sighs noncommittally and rises from the toilet seat. Says, "I'll shower and change." So John goes into the living room and turns on the television and doesn't watch it for fifteen minutes until Sherlock comes out, primed and ready. It's amazing how quickly he can get his arse into gear when there's something going on, but when John wants him to go somewhere that doesn't involve murder it's like pulling teeth. He mentions as much, and only gets an apathetic snort. It's the return of case-mode Sherlock, uncharacteristically suspended mid-case before and now back with a vengeance.
They go downstairs and hail a cab (Sherlock does, rather, with his almost supernatural ability to hail cabs whenever and wherever needed) and Sherlock gives the address—John vaguely recognizes it as a Chelsea address. Comments, "These people weren't poor."
"I told you so."
John hits Sherlock in the knee. He grumbles, but in his reflection in the mirror, John can see the corner of his mouth is quirked up. He smirks at his own window and pats Sherlock's thigh.
They are dropped rather unceremoniously by their cabby, about half a block from the crime scene. Cab drivers tend to get jumpy when they see police cars for whatever reason—probably instinct from so many warnings about moving violations and speeding. Cab drivers in London drive as bad as anywhere else, but they get you where you're going more or less. Either way, Sherlock pays the man and they walk the rest of the way, the always-pleasant Sally Donovan standing as the marker on the front yard of the designated house.
"Morning, Sally," Sherlock says, mockingly chipper as always upon greeting.
Sally rolls her eyes and turns around, leading the way into the house.
It's large. The entirely of Baker Street would fit in the living room and adjoining dining room. The floors are all wood, polished to within an inch of their lives, and the sofa and two matching chairs are brown, as is the dinette. The television is at a perfectly absurd angle and can only be seen by someone sitting on the very edge of one of the couches without extreme contortion. The rug underneath the glass coffee table is some sort of fur. Just being here makes John feel how middle class he is.
"I'm going to go out on a limb here," John says as they walk in, "and say the husband must have been someone important."
"Some lawyer," Sherlock says, waving his hand in a way that says not important. "He has a high-profile clientele. A few well-known artists have used him when suing record companies and such. I looked him up while you were dressing. It's not anything relevant to the case; this didn't happen because of their money. Couldn't be further from typical burglary or home invasion."
John makes a noise in the back of his throat as Lestrade comes downstairs. He and Sherlock cross towards the dinette to plant themselves in front of him. For as little as Sherlock respects Lestrade's authority, he's usually willing to take his marching orders before rampaging around a crime scene. Whether or not he follows them is another thing entirely, however.
"Okay," Lestrade says, "Forensics has already been through and done their bit. They didn't find anything substantial, but there's some trace evidence that they're taking back to the lab. I'll have the results back to you as soon as possible. The landlord wants to get in here and check the place over - for obvious reasons - so you have free run of the place for half an hour, and after that we have to wrap things up. There are two bedrooms and two bathrooms upstairs, although one of the bedrooms is empty and the adjoining bathroom looks rarely used. There's a garden through the kitchen, although Anderson's crew has already been through there with a fine-toothed comb and didn't find anything."
"I didn't think they would have been through the garden," Sherlock says, remarkably civilly. John wonders if Lestrade's words from last night are setting in, or if Sherlock just doesn't want to waste the energy and time on being snippy. "I'll focus in the bedroom and bathroom." He pauses, glances around, then says, "The laptops and mobiles. Where are they?"
"With the A/V people in forensics."
Sherlock blows some hot air out his nose and grumbles, "Fine. Tell Anderson I want copies of all files and documents created on the husband's computer within the last month and copies of both of their emails from the last three. I want their browsing history going back as far as possible. I also want to know if the browsing history has been deleted. Tell them they need to sweep the memory for any recently-deleted files on the laptops, and check the mobiles for tampering."
Squinting at his notepad, Lestrade says, "Okay, I think I got all of that. Is that it?"
"For the moment. Can I go upstairs now?" Somehow he manages to sound both professional and like an irritated six-year-old.
Lestrade gestures to the stairs. "Be my guest. Or, well, theirs."
Ignoring Lestrade's morbid humor, Sherlock walks past and up the stairs. John follows, stopping to pat Lestrade on the shoulder. Gets to the top of the stairs just in time for Sherlock to turn him back around and tell him, "No, you look downstairs."
"I thought you said we were going to look around upstairs!" John sighs, exasperated. He steps away from Sherlock, not liking the idea of being frog-marched downstairs in front of Lestrade and his team.
Sherlock says after him as he heads down the stair, "I said I would focus upstairs. I need you to look in the living room and kitchen. Find anything unusual, anything that seems out of place or like it doesn't belong here. Anything that might be relevant to the murders."
"What constitutes 'unusual'?" John inquires, frowning back at Sherlock from halfway down the stairs.
"You'll know it when you see it."
Confused, but perhaps slightly flattered that Sherlock trusts him enough to go in basically blind, John continues downstairs and ventures into the kitchen. It's a very stark room with bare countertops and no grime whatsoever. John cleans their kitchen regularly, and makes Sherlock clear out any hazardous waste, but there are always a few dribbles of something on the stove, and their counters always have something on them. Maybe it's just been too long since John saw a clean house, but the sparseness is getting to him.
Strange, that, considering the neat-freak habits the army instilled into him. Sometimes he wonders if he's slowly turning into Sherlock.
The more he looks, the more irritated he gets because there is literally nothing to be found. There's practically no dust in the entire place, let alone anything that could be considered 'evidence' left lying around. There is a picture high up on one of the walls in the kitchen, obviously a wedding photo, and every time John looks at it he gets more irritated. The smiles on their faces seem to be mocking him. Look at our lovely clean house, they say, nothing here to find.
It's hateful, utterly hateful. He runs his hands over his face, twitching nervously, and only realizes after the fact that he's actually spun in a little circle. Just like Sherlock does when he's irritated. It surprises him, enough to bring a bit of rationality back to himself, and he stands there in the kitchen, staring at his hands. Christ, he really is turning into Sherlock.
Calm down, he tells himself forcefully, you'll find something. You have to. These people did live here. There's got to be something.
He takes a few deep breaths and almost feels himself coming back into his own head. The disoriented feeling from that morning is back, and he has to lean against a counter for support for the briefest of moments. He shakes himself, slightly concerned, and leaves the kitchen. Can't stand being in there for one more minute.
There are some folders on the coffee table that John can only assume hold information on cases the male victim had been working on. John flips through them, not finding much, until he moves on of them aside and comes face to face with something that is most definitely relevant.
A business card. For a fortune teller.
It's purple and technically advertises 'mystic' services: palm readings/tarot readings/aura readings, but to John it all translates into fortune teller. He sets it carefully aside, where he'll remember where it is, and glances over the table. Uncovers the remote after lifting one folder, glances at the television, and mutters to himself, "I wonder…" before picking it up and turning the television on.
It's on BBC Three, and he has a suspicion that Snog, Marry, Avoid had not been on when the television was last turned on.
He heads upstairs to alert Sherlock, only to meet him halfway on the stairs. Presents the business card and says, "I found this, and also the telly's on BBC Three. They have this show on right now, comes on around nine. It's this show about a woman who talks to the dead. Complete flake, obviously, but if you're into that kind of thing, you'd probably watch it."
Sherlock takes the card, listens to John, and gives him a smirk. Says, "And I found this."
He holds out a flyer. It's one for the fair. The fair where Rachel and Joseph Hirsch were killed. It lists several of the attractions at the fair, and in the lower left-hand corner, circled in pencil with two exclamation points next to it, is a sentence in gold text: Come get your palm read by a real psychic!
"It looks," Sherlock mutters, "like we're going to get more use of out Miss Morstan yet."
Notes: Hello, everyone! I'm terribly sorry that this chapter took so long to get out; I had some hang ups and then my beta had some hang ups, but things are going a bit smoother now, hopefully. I start school on September fourth, but I'm going to try to keep updates as consistent as possible. At least until November, because I'll most likely be in the fall play, and the fall play will most likely fall at the beginning of December. I'm almost never home in the weeks leading up to opening night, so forgive me if I go completely MIA at the end of the year.
I hope you guys enjoyed this chapter! I know it's not a lot for the time you've been waiting, but if I had continued I would have had to make this chapter about eight thousand words, and I hate having grossly disproportionate chapters in a multichapter story. I'm hard at work on the next chapter of Peril, so you'll have something to chew on while I work on the next installment of this! :)