Chapter One: A Study in Love

Panting, he runs across a seemingly deserted field.

Suddenly,

a shot rings out.

He falls as his life flashes before his eyes.

Everything goes dark.


John Watson sat up in the small bed of his flat, drenched in sweat. "Holy shit. Shit, shit, shit..."

He cradled his head in his hands and tried to forget.


One of John's veteran friends convinced him to meet a colleague of his, who is apparently looking for a new flatmate. John figured it would be for the best if he wasn't cooped up in his tiny flat all by himself. As he followed his friend through the door, he was stopped as his eyes fell on the man sitting at the counter.

Their eyes met.

Almost immediately, the man asked, "Afghanistan or Iraq?"

"Sorry, what?" John stuttered.

"Clearly, by your stance and your hardened expression, you must be a soldier. So, which one is it then? No, don't tell me... Afghanistan, of course."

"I-"

"And no doubt that has traumatized you in some way, which seems to owe to why you seek a flatmate, as well as a change in scenery, it's because your current living space must be incredibly musty, unfortunately empty, and downright boring."

John became aware that his mouth was hanging slightly agape. He quickly closed it and turned his attention to his friend. "Him? This man and I are to be flatmates?"

Oh, Doctor Watson, please. I'm really not that... Well, you'll get used to it eventually. Anyways, I must be off." He headed out the door.

John snapped out of it and hobbled after the man. "Hey, wait! I didn't get your-"

"Holmes. Sherlock Holmes." He disappeared around the corner, leaving John awestruck.


John stepped out of his cab and walked up to the door of 221B Baker Street. It was open with a note taped to the handle: I've stepped out for a moment, please let yourself in. Mrs. Hudson should be in.

John stepped over the threshold only to be swiftly passed by none other than Sherlock himself. "My goodness, I expected you would have been here much earlier."

"Well, I only just left ten minutes ago," John said. "Besides, you just got here yourself."

"No, I got here twenty minutes ago. I ran, grabbed evidence for a case, and met with Lestrade to give him my verdict."

"Lestrade?"

"You'll meet him later." They heard a knock at the door. "Ah, that should be him now. Come in."

The door opened. "Sherlock, you brilliant bastard, you've done it again." he noticed John. "Uh, hi. Detective Inspector Greg Lestrade." He reached out to shake John's hand.

"John Watson. Nice to meet you."

"And you are..."

"My new flatmate," Sherlock interrupted, looking at John, who nodded slowly.

"Right, well, you know those suicides that have been occurring?"

"There's been a fourth."

"Yes. But you could at least give me the chance to tell you next time."

"No, I couldn't. So, you need our help."

"Our?" John asked.

"Yes, you'll be assisting me from now on. Obviously there's no sense in asking for any help from Anderson."

"Ander- I'll meet him eventually. Got it."

"See John?" Sherlock started to ask as he grabbed his coat to leave. "I can tell you and I are going to get along fine. Do keep up, would you?"

John followed him out the door.


After another seemingly long thirty minutes of listening to Sherlock's deductions, they stopped at a restaurant for a bite to eat before heading back to the flat.

"So, you clearly don't have many friends-"

"None."

"Right. What about a girlfriend?"

"No."

"Oh."

Silence washed over them for a moment.

"Boyfriend?"

Sherlock looked up from his tea. "... No."

"I mean, it's all fine by me if you do-"

"I don't."

"Alright. Good. Well, if you did, then that would be perfectly okay."

"Great."

Another moment of awkward silence went by.

Sherlock pounded his fist on the table. "Of course!"

"What?" John asked, taken aback.

Sherlock said nothing, but bolted out the door after a cab. John ran after him.

Somehow, Sherlock knew exactly where the cab was going, and exactly how to get to it. They ran through alleys, climbed stairs, and even leaped from one building to the next until they caught up with the cab. They panted and jogged back to 221B after realizing they had the wrong man.


Sherlock unlocked the door and led John into the hallway. It was a cramped space, and their jackets barely brushed against each other as they stood face to face.

"John, I know there was something wrong with that cab. I just feel it. And you must have realized by now that I'm-"

"Never wrong?"

"Well," Sherlock started. He stopped himself as he realized how close John was standing. If he really wanted to, he could reach out and just...

Woah. Am I really thinking... Do I want...

"Well?" John interrupted Sherlock's thoughts.

Sherlock cleared his throat loudly. "Well, of course. Come on, let's go in."


(Sherlock)

No, no, no. I do not... This is not... I can't... He... God, why can't I think straight?

He began pacing around his room. There was a knock at his door.

"Come in."

John opened the door and poked his head in. "Er, just thought I'd say goodnight. Thanks for letting me move in. It means a lot."

"Erm, right, sure."

"Well... yeah. That's it. Okay." John started to close the door.

"John."

"Yeah?"

Sherlock thought for a moment. "Nevermind. Goodnight, John."

(John)

What was Sherlock about to tell me? Probably something about how ordinary I am. Again. Ugh. Although, it seemed like he might have said something that had to do with our conversation at the restaurant. He had the same look on his face then as he did just now. But then again, probably now. I'll just leave the deductions to him.


John's mind raced. He had just seen Sherlock get into a cab and drive away. He had a really awful feeling in his gut. He traced Sherlock's cell phone and eventually caught up with him and the cabbie. He ran frantically throughout each room in the building until he looked through the window of one. He looked across to find Sherlock and the cabbie facing each other. Sherlock had a pill in his hand. He was raising the hand to his mouth.

"No!" John screamed. "Sherlock!"

A shot rang out.

A single bullet smashed through the glass and pierced the cabbie in the shoulder. John ran out.

Sherlock looked through the hole in the window and knew only one person who could have possibly made the shot, and only one person who would have.

John.