Okay, so this was a fill for a prompt on the BBC Sherlock Kink Meme.
Prompt: Psychological Warfare/Creative Threats (Triggers for gore, torture and possible non-con although there isn't any non-con here; we're focusing on a different disturbing)
The Yard is trying to keep up with the latest string of serial murders. Each death is more grisly than the last. Each scene is carefully staged and clearly meant to be found. Each victim is an obvious near-doppelgänger for Sherlock Holmes, right down to the hair, coat, and scarf.
Sherlock is called in on the case, of course. As the murders grow more heinous, John and Co. worry it's all an elaborate threat/promise of intent, and that the sicko responsible will aim for the real McCoy next.
Naturally, Sherlock dismisses such concerns. That is, until they start finding scenes featuring brutalized doubles for John.
The first body is fresh, found near one of those old and abandoned buildings scheduled for demolition. Its limbs are bent into unnatural angles, its face pale and haunted, its eyes wide and gaunt. It was one of the homeless folk that found it, causing an expected fright indeed.
By the time the police arrive to inspect it (it can't have just been the suicide it seemed like; there is pavement and there is the position of contact, but the face - the person - proves otherwise), everyone has avoided the area. The homeless and their friends swiftly keep away from the scene. Their thoughts are unspoken but their actions speak for everyone. No one wants to be there. No one has a reason for being there.
DI Lestrade is summoned to the scene, choosing to bring his own team. He's heard the news and wants to see it for himself. Everyone wants to see it for themselves, even if they don't want to be there.
"Ah, Detective Inspector," a police man says, shaking his hand and nodding once. "Glad you're finally here. We could have ruled it a suicide, but someone called you. Something about it clearly not being a suicide, due to the victim involved."
There's the professionalism in his tone, but he's confused, as is Lestrade. The DI nods.
"I've already heard, but I really have to see him for myself."
The other man nods and walks away, the DI at his heels. They lift the yellow tape - barrier - and Lestrade's breath is almost knocked out of his lungs.
The man - no, just a body now, nothing but a bloody corpse - is splayed against the pavement. His long coattails had gathered up around his legs awkwardly (they flailed mid-flight and crumpled up as he fell), and his necks snaps at a gruesome angle. His eyes are open and very much wide; he had stared at the concrete as his body met it, embracing the impact and finally losing to hard gravity.
His body had bled but bleeds no longer; his head had bled but bleeds no longer, and his skin is as pale as dead men's skin go.
But that isn't what bothers Lestrade. It is the man's face. It is the thick lop of dark curls. It is the eyes - as glassy as they are. It is the height, the bulk of long and lean limbs. It is the familiar blue scarf and the familiar coat.
It is Sherlock Holmes.
Lestrade realizes that he has held his breath. He clears his throat and approaches with caution. It looks like Sherlock, it could be him, but he knows it isn't.
He kneels down on the pavement a few measly feet away. He stares at the body, long and hard, and then calls up his team. They respond quickly, and he turns his head to look over his shoulder.
"Sergeant Donovan? Anderson? Forensics?"
By the time Donovan arrives she's cut off mid-sentence. Anderson is at her side, looking a bit smug and disbelieving, but as soon as they see the body they hush themselves and exchange glances.
"Is that really him?" Donovan asks. Lestrade sighs and stands up, dusting the dirt off of his knees.
"Probably isn't." He walks off. "Usual procedures."
The two watch him walk away. For once, Anderson is silent.
It's not a surprise, he thinks, as he approaches 221 Baker Street. This time it's not much of a case, but perhaps a warning. A questioning, even? What the bloody hell is Sherlock Holmes' doppelgänger doing with his body skewed about on a pavement?
He knocks. The door opens quickly and he greets Mrs Hudson. She only smiles and greets him back, no questions, really. She's used to it. He won't bother telling her about the news; it would probably best not to upset the woman. He smiles and heads up the stairs. Before he even reaches the door to their flat, Sherlock's voice rings out.
"What is it now, Lestrade?"
Lestrade rolls his eyes and opens the door. John sits on his chair, typing away on his laptop. Sherlock adds resin to his violin bow. He doesn't even bother to look in Lestrade's direction. John quickly stops typing and looks up at the DI.
"Hello, Lestrade." He says. "Cup of tea?"
Lestrade feels like saying yes, but he doesn't. He lingers in the doorway and speaks before Sherlock can comment on it.
"No, thanks. I'll just be quick—"
"Out with it, then." Sherlock interrupts. John shoots him a glare but the man doesn't even blink. He lifts the bow and examines it closely.
"There's been an apparent suicide. Or murder, but nothing promising." He sees Sherlock open his mouth and continues on. "Let me finish, at least, all right? Well, nothing much peculiar about that. Except for the fact that the poor man looks like you. Same hair, same eyes, same height and build. He even wears your coat and scarf."
John blinks, looking a bit confused. He tilts his head to the side slightly and looks lost.
"You don't think someone is—"
Sherlock doesn't react. He carefully returns his violin to its case.
"Hm. I suppose it is a bit strange. Ever thought that someone could just be doing this to spite me?" He asks. Lestrade frowns.
"Perhaps," he places his hands into his pockets. "Well, I suppose that's it then. I'll be leaving now. Goodbye." He doesn't usually leave like this, but he does anyway. What's left for him to say?
"Goodbye, Lestrade." John says. He's still hunched over his knees, hands clasped together. Sherlock looks at him. They don't bother themselves with questioning Lestrade's uncharacteristic brief visit.
"I don't believe we should be worried. It could just be someone playing a joke. Harmless, for now."
John shrugs. He doesn't miss the ominous tone of Sherlock's words.
"One body isn't much proof." He gets up and retrieves his laptop from the table. "Let's just make sure that it isn't the real you out there, all right?"
Sherlock almost smiles. John isn't sure what to make of it.
When the second body arrives, Lestrade storms up to 221B Baker Street. Sherlock and John greet him as they usually do, and this time, he urges them to come to the scene.
"What is it now, Lestrade?" Sherlock asks. He looks at the man from his place on the couch. John arrives from the kitchen. "If you don't have any new cases, what use is it for you to be here?"
Lestrade chooses to ignore his last comment.
"There's a new body, Sherlock." He says. "Just like you, just like the last one. You should see him."
Sherlock raises a brow. He sits up slowly and John enters the room, looking a bit more curious.
"Really? What about him now?"
Lestrade lets out a breath of air. He shakes his head.
"Let's just see it, shall we?"
Sherlock gets up. He knows Lestrade wants to convince him of something, but he doesn't bother with it. It'll come out eventually.
"Hm. Two are better than one. Let's see if this is really worth our time. I have been getting bored again, after all."
Sherlock grabs his coat - shakes the collar up - and puts on his scarf. He opens the door and steps out. John and Lestrade follow but not too quickly.
This second one is a bit more threatening, perhaps, but not yet altogether disturbing for anyone. It's clearly a murder; that's something everyone seems to agree on. When Sherlock and John arrive at the scene with Lestrade, they're greeted by Donovan looking at them with her usual contempt.
"Funny. Never knew the day when the Freak would be inspecting the crime scene of his own body. That's something new." She says, frowning. Sherlock takes a sniff and walks away.
"Strange how you're so fond of Anderson's deodorant."
John stifles a smile as they walk through. In a moment of a bizarre - but not unoriginal - scene, he finds the familiar reference comforting.
Sherlock immediately walks over to the corpse. It's head and facial features are indistinguishable in between the mess of brain matter, blood, dirt and bone. Its head is smashed in - great deal of damage with a blunt object or two - the objects swung numerous times until the face would be crushed and therefore rendered unable to give any identity - and its limbs are splayed as it lies on its back.
The same dark curly hair is coated in the remains of its head and in blood. What little of the scarf that is exposed is splattered dirty. The coat is darker and therefore not as easy to stain, but it's stained anyway.
Sherlock looks over his shoulder to see John staring at him as he pulls on gloves (to keep his hands clean, to not stain the evidence, to keep a limit on the blurring barrier in between examiner and amateur, perhaps).
He nods. John approaches and sits on his heels. His eyes scan the body as he proceeds to shift about, going on pressure points, checking for things, doing what he does best.
"Well," John says, standing up. "He obviously died from the bludgeoning. Although it could have been also blood loss, since it seems like some of the damage was done after his death. There's also a deep knife wound in his abdomen. The blade twisted as it entered his body, causing more damage. Time of death could be estimated to have been in between yesterday afternoon and early evening."
He pauses. "Bruising on the neck suggests attempted strangulation or perhaps just grabbing him by the throat and the victim tried to claw the unwelcome arms off."
Sherlock mumbles something incoherent. He looks around and scans the area quietly.
"You're looking for someone who knows this place well, or would be able to hide quickly. He's large and tall, strong enough. There's an accomplice - perhaps a shorter man but one just as strong or nearly - and they both had long and large blunt objects, mostly bats or something similar. The victim's wallet is missing so it could be a robbery, but certainly not. He's got an expensive phone in his front coat pocket; the attackers should have seen it, so it's a faked robbery. The bottom of his shoes suggest that he's been in a muddy or at least a wet and dirty area recently; it's different from the usual roads of London, but not too different from usual clandestine locations. And the knife wound suggests that it was done sneakily, and he, of course, tried to get away. That explains the bruising on his throat. Also, there are traces of a white powder on the inside pockets of his coat, near the phone. He's smuggled something since it's hidden near his chest and also near his phone which is obviously important to him, with the way he's handled it."
Sherlock stops speaking and looks at his audience. Among them is John, - always, John - Lestrade who looks the same as always, and a disgruntled Donovan and Anderson. Sherlock removes his gloves and places his hand in his pocket. He walks away and quickly leaves the gloves in Anderson's hands. The man grimaces as they hit him flat in the chest.
"You're looking for a gang, most probably. He must have stolen something or refused to pay a debt. I don't particularly feel like tracking them down for you." Sherlock yawns. "Boring."
The third body isn't as boring.