1. Time of death
'Lestrade promised he'd call. Why hasn't he called yet? He promised he would call!'
Sherlock Holmes opened his eyes when there came no reply. The living room was dark and, as Sherlock looked out the window, he could tell that it was probably around 3 o'clock in the morning. He sighed, realising that John had probably gone off to bed, while he had been sitting in his chair, his eyes closed, hardly aware of everything surrounding him. He sank back into the leather chair and was just about to close his eyes again, when he heard John stumble down the stairs.
Not much later, he barged into the room, his hair sticking up in thirteen different directions, Sherlock counted. He muttered something under his breath as he hobbled towards the kitchen.
'John?' Sherlock asked with a frown on his face, 'What are you doing?'
'Tea,' John mumbled sleepily.
Sherlock heard multiple loud noises come from the kitchen. Plates clattering, cupboards smashing, a spoon dropping to the floor, followed by some angry swearwords. When Sherlock's friend joined him in the living room, a cup of tea in his hand, the detective decided it was time to ask some questions.
'Did I… wake you up?' He asked with something in his voice that sounded remarkably like guilt.
John raised an eyebrow and shook his head. 'No. Why? What did you do?' He asked, suspicious of what Sherlock could've possibly done wrong this time, 'You didn't break anything, did you?'
'Don't jump to silly conclusions John. You know I was waiting for Lestrade to phone and –'
'Oh let me guess, you went to your mind palace?' John said, sarcastically rolling his eyes. Sherlock didn't reply and with that practically confirmed that John was right.
John could guess what had happened. Sherlock had completely lost track of time again, while in his mind palace, and had probably decided to ask for John's opinion, then to find out John wasn't there anymore.
'Ah,' John sighed, 'So you've been talking to yourself for a while again, I see.'
'I wasn't talking to myself. I was talking to you,' Sherlock hissed through clenched teeth.
'Yeah, but I wasn't there, now was I? No…' he grinned but, after quickly glancing at Sherlock, decided it might be time to cut it out. He sighed, 'Who cares. That's not what woke me up, anyway.'
Sherlock shifted in his seat and leaned forward, his elbows on his legs, his hands folded in front of his face, his nose pressed against his fingertips. 'Then what did wake you up?' he asked, curiously.
John shrugged. 'No idea,' he laughed, 'Probably a dream.'
Sherlock frowned and looked at John with penetrating eyes. 'It wasn't a dream,' he whispered, 'You're lying to me. Why are you lying? What woke you up?'
John sighed and held the bridge of his nose. 'Oh Jesus, it doesn't even matter. You must think I'm mental!'
Sherlock's lips curled into a smile, trying hard not to make a rude comment. John continued his story, 'I thought I was awake, and I heard this noise. This…' he hesitated, 'this whooshing noise.'
Sherlock couldn't help chuckling quietly. 'A 'whooshing' noise?' he replied, clearly amused, 'What on earth do you mean?'
John stared at the wall, avoiding to have to look at Sherlock while he said, 'It was such a weird sound. Nothing like a car, or even a bus. Oh, it doesn't matter!' he shouted when he saw Sherlock smile out of the corner of his eye. 'Like I said it was probably just a dream!'
'Probably?' Sherlock laughed, 'I'm quite certain it was. Otherwise I would've heard it as well, don't you think?'
John didn't need to answer him. They both knew that Sherlock would have. The man noticed everything, after all. John buried his face in his hands and grunted. 'What time is it?'
'Three,' Sherlock replied.
Another grunt followed. 'There's no point in going upstairs again. By the time I fall asleep it'll be five o'clock.'
Sherlock shrugged, 'Then you might as well stay up.'
John nodded and gulped the last bit of his tea down. 'Suppose so,' he said as he put the cup and saucer down on the table in front of the sofa.
Just as John put it down, both men jumped up and shot each other a surprised look. They heard a noise, that vaguely sounded like the engine of a car gone horribly wrong. 'That's it!' John cried out, completely blown away, 'That's the sound I told you about!'
Sherlock didn't hesitate one second and sprinted towards the door. He quickly got his coat in the running process and stormed out the door. Not even thinking of the neighbours. 'Come on, John!' he shouted, as he sprinted through the street.
John shivered as soon as he stepped over the threshold. He hesitated a little longer, before actually running after Sherlock. He was wearing his pyjamas and, though he knew no one was watching him, he felt a tad embarrassed. Next to that it was November, and in the last few days the temperatures had dropped and now, John was absolutely freezing.
'Hold up, Sherlock! Wait!'
But the detective didn't stop. He kept running until he reached the corner of the street. He looked around, hoping to see find the place where the noise had come from, but didn't see anything suspicious. The 'whooshing' noise itself had stopped as well and Sherlock slammed his hand against the brick wall next to him in anger.
John shivered again as came to halt next to Sherlock. 'There's nothing here,' he whispered, utterly confused.
Sherlock didn't reply, but scanned the houses surrounding them. Lights were on in most of them and people peered through the curtains to see what was going on.
'At least we're not going insane. They've heard it too,' he said, pointing at the figures in the windows.
John giggled, 'Or they've heard us.'
Back in 221B Baker Street, John made himself another cup of tea and handed Sherlock a cup too. He took it, but put it down next to him and John didn't think he'd drink from it at all.
'I need to know what it was,' Sherlock muttered for a fourth time that evening. It was nearly five o'clock and he couldn't let the noise go quite yet. John, on the other hand, had given up and was desperately trying to tell Sherlock that it wasn't a big deal and that it was probably something really silly. Nothing to worry about.
But Sherlock was determined to find out what the mysterious noise had been.
He closed his eyes and they sat in silence for over an hour. Sherlock's was wrecking his brain, while John finally dozed off again.
A little past six, Sherlock opened his eyes again, no further than he had been an hour earlier. He needed more data. He looked around the room to find that John had fallen asleep on the sofa. He was snoring quietly and after hesitating for a while, Sherlock decided to let the man sleep.
He hung back in his chair and closed his eyes again. This time, not to think. He was stuck and knew he wouldn't figure anything new out if he kept deducing now. He drew in a deep breath before he, too, dozed off in a light sleep.
And, just like John Watson had predicted, the cup of tea next to Sherlock's chair remained untouched for the rest of the night.
The ringing sound of his mobile phone woke Sherlock up only one and a half hour later. He jumped up, immediately wide awake, and picked up. 'Lestrade?'
He didn't think of John, who was still sleeping on the couch, when he shouted, 'Anderson did what?!'
John sat up in an instant, eyes wide open. As soon as he found out it was Sherlock's fault he didn't get to sleep any longer, he shot him an angry look. Sherlock simply shrugged and continued his conversation with Lestrade, while pacing through the room.
John had a look at the clock on the wall and frowned. Three o'clock?
Had he been sleeping until three in the afternoon? He got his phone out, just to check, and let out a surprised yelp as the digital clock on the screen said 03:04.
Three o'clock in the morning, then? No… No that couldn't possibly be. He walked towards the window and opened the curtains to find that the sun was shining, and lots of people were rushing through the street. It appeared to be morning.
As soon as Sherlock had hung up the phone, John asked him what time it was.
'Half past seven,' Sherlock said, 'So, Lestrade just called and –'
'Half past seven? How do you know?'
He rolled his eyes, as he began to explain his deduction. 'Look outside, John. People in suits are walking the pavements, cabs are rushing through the street, it's a bit obvious don't you think? They all mean to get to work in time. Also, have a look at the sun. It's easy enough to tell by its angle that –'
'Yeah, yeah, yeah,' John rudely interrupted him for the second time, 'but look at the clock. It says it's three.'
Sherlock held his arms up in a questioning manner. 'Okay, the clock broke down. So?'
'Nothing. But then I checked my phone and…' John handed Sherlock his mobile and sighed in relief as soon as the detective brought his hand to his face and raised an eyebrow. 'Oh…' he muttered.
He threw the phone back at John, who caught it out of mid-air with the least effort, and got his own mobile out. Just like John's it said 03:04.
'Why did all the clocks stop at three o'clock this morning?' he asked, more to himself than to John.
'I woke up at three,' John said quietly.
'The noise woke me up at three.'
Sherlock shook his head. 'That can't have had anything to do with it. That would've been a horrible coincidence. I don't believe in coincidences, you know that.'
'Why would it have been a coincidence? It's the only link we've got!'
But to John's surprise, Sherlock shook his head. 'No. I don't think it is. I told you, Lestrade just called. He had quite the interesting case for me.'
John bit his lip, annoyed with the fact that Sherlock hadn't shared the information sooner. 'And what was that?' he said through clenched teeth.
'Two men were found dead this morning, close to the Thames. No one could determine their cause of death, so they want me on the crime scene to have a look, in case there's something they missed.'
'Okay. So where's that link then?' John asked, not understanding what the case had to do with their clocks not ticking.
'Lestrade told me chances are, that the two men were thrown into the Thames, because their watches have stopped ticking. According to him, the water must've ruined the devices. The funny thing is, however, that the bodies didn't seem to be cast into the water at all. They weren't wet, and their skin was in a perfect state…'
Sherlock smirked at the look of disbelief on John's face and then continued, 'Their watches stopped at three in the morning. And like I said, I don't believe in coincidences.'
A warm-hearted Lestrade was waiting for the two men at the crime scene. Knowing that Sherlock wouldn't work with any of the Yard's officers, he had told sergeant Donovan and the rest of her team to stay clear.
'There they are!' the detective inspector laughed as Sherlock and John walked up to him. 'How're you doing?' He stopped and looked at John, a bit of a concerned look in his eyes, 'You should sleep a little more.'
John smiled weakly and nodded.
Lestrade beckoned them to follow him to the place where the bodies were lying motionlessly on the floor. Sherlock shook his head disapprovingly as he sighed, 'Who was the idiot who even considered it an option for them to have been in the water?'
Lestrade mumbled something and stared at his feet.
'You?' Sherlock asked in disbelief.
'Well, both their watches have stopped, what was I supposed to think?' Lestrade sighed desperately, this time looking Sherlock in the eye.
Sherlock rolled his eyes at the DI's ignorance. 'Look,' he pointed, 'Their bodies are close to the Thames, that's true, but they're on the pavement. They can't have washed up, since the river never even reaches this spot!'
'Yeah, I know that but –'
'Also,' Sherlock continued as if he hadn't been interrupted, 'the bodies would still be soaked if they had been in the water since three o'clock, it would've ruined their skin at least a little.'
Lestrade broke him off again. 'Yeah, I know all of that!' he bellowed, 'But then how do you explain the watches?'
Sherlock knelt down next to one of the two bodies and reached for the man's wrist. A bit hesitant he removed the silver watch and stared at it, a big frown on his face, before sliding it into one of the pockets in his coat.
'I don't,' he eventually sighed, 'I have no idea.'
John, who had been quiet all the time, now knelt down next to Sherlock and, without anyone telling him to do so, started to examine the body.
Sherlock gave him five minutes before asking, 'How long has he been dead?'
'Approximately five hours,' John said in a hushed voice.
Neither Sherlock nor John said anything else, for they both knew what it meant. The watches had stopped at the time of death. And worst of all, so had the clocks in 221B.
After this had sunk in, Sherlock asked his next question, nearly fearing the answer. 'What's the cause of death?'
John confirmed his thoughts. 'I don't know. It's unlike anything I've ever seen.' While John continued studying the first body, Sherlock moved over to the second.
The man was reasonably young. Sherlock estimated he was in his late twenties. The man, named Mr Robinson, didn't appear to be any regular corpse. His skin tone wasn't as pale as a dead man's usually was, and his cheeks seemed slightly pink. His body was ice cold, though and the look of horror on the man's face was simply terrifying. Sherlock took his pulse which was, obviously, dead. However he shivered when his fingers touched the man's skin. It really was unusually cold.
For a brief second he wondered if the man could have died of the cold, but it hadn't even been freezing last night. He had felt so himself.
Besides, two young, fit men, both dead because the temperatures were low? Highly unlikely.
Lestrade sat down next to him and Sherlock immediately got up, leaving Lestrade to look up to him with an annoyed expression on his face.
'Get Molly to do a post-mortem. I need both bodies x-rayed, scanned and checked on the inside. There's something on the inside that killed them.'
'What?' the detective inspector asked, now clearly confused. 'How can you even know that?'
To his surprise it wasn't Sherlock who replied.
'Well, they're dead, aren't they?' John began his explanation. 'There are no signs of a struggle on their bodies, no blood or bruises but they are most definitely dead. We can't determine the cause of death by merely looking at them, meaning we better have a look on the inside.'
Lestrade seemed perplexed. He even wondered whether John was becoming a bit like Sherlock when it came to deducing. There was so much logic behind it, that it was hardly believable any other man missed out on it.
He sighed. 'Sure. Will do. I'll call you as soon as she finds anything worth mentioning.'
'Brilliant,' Sherlock replied sarcastically, 'Come on, John. Home.'
It had been ages since Sherlock Holmes had had no idea where to begin his deductions. He had been quiet for some time now and had even told John to either go to his room or go out, whichever he preferred, as long as he would leave him alone. Sherlock hadn't been bothered to find out which option John had chosen.
He scratched the back of his head and simply stared blankly ahead.
Two dead men, a few broken clocks and a mysterious noise in the middle of this night.
It seemed very unlikely, but Sherlock had to entertain the possibility that the three things were linked. It was all he had to go on.
It bothered him, though, that none of the three could be explained rationally. The two men had died of something unknown, something that couldn't be explained easily. At three o'clock their watches had stopped, just like the clock in 221B and the clocks on their mobile phones. How could clock on a phone break down?!
And then there was that strange sound he and John had both heard at three. The time of death. That noise that seemed to come out of nowhere…
It was a list of too many coincidences, Sherlock decided. He sighed as he muttered, though a bit reluctant, 'The noise is the link.'
Who, or what, had made that sound, might've had something to do with the curious deaths. He let out an annoyed grunt. If he didn't know better, he'd say this was the work of sorcery.
'Yes, thank you so much for your time, Mrs Figg.' John zipped the zipper on his jacket up when he turned around and left the fifth house he'd visited in a row. All people had told him the exact same thing, the clocks in 221B weren't the only ones that had stopped ticking at a little past three. It appeared that all clocks in the street were broken.
He was just about to call his friend, Mike Stamford, to go out later this evening, when his phone lit up. The text from Sherlock said,
Come home. Need to speak to you.
John sighed annoyed and angrily replied.
No. You wanted me to go, so there.
He put the phone back in his pocket, not remembering why he had took it out in the first place. Seconds later the phone made another text alert noise.
Where are you?
John grinned and didn't reply. A reply would be pointless, for Sherlock would find him anywhere. It turned out, he was right. The door of 221B Baker Street opened seconds later and Sherlock's face peered out. He spotted John immediately and gestured for him to come over.
John raised his hands into the air, pretending not to understand him and waved, a bit sheepishly.
Sherlock waved back, though a bit reluctant and closed the door behind him. With fast, swift movements the tall man strode up to John. When he finally reached him, John laughed, 'Okay. So tell me, what do you need me for?'
'I need your opinion.'
He hesitated, before stammering, 'The case. I can't work it out.'
John smiled. 'And you think I can? Come on.'
He turned the corner of Baker Street and Sherlock followed him, not understanding why they were walking away from their home. 'No, I don't. I don't think you can work it out, but you might say something stupid that helps.'
John tried not to be insulted, because he knew Sherlock didn't mean it that way, but the words still hurt. He decided it would be for the best if he didn't reply.
They sat down in a small café named the Shakespeare's Head, where they both ordered some tomato soup, even though John guessed that the money spent on Sherlock's would be a waste.
'Lestrade called, just before I texted you,' Sherlock told his friend after sipping his drink. 'He said his clock is still working. And so are the ones at the Yard. We appear to be the only ones whose clocks are stuck at three.'
John shook his head and grinned, proud to be able to prove the world's only consulting detective wrong. 'It's not just us,' he said, mysteriously, 'The rest of the street's got the same problem.'
Sherlock didn't reply and just stared at John for a while.
'Yeah. That's what I've been doing,' the other man said. 'So much for your "maybe-they're-out-to-kill-us-too" theory. I don't think the killer means to murder the entire street, do you?'
'I don't know, John, he has already killed two people,' Sherlock replied, an obvious sarcastic undertone in his voice.
At that point a waitress put two big bowls of soup in front of them. She grinned at them and walked away without saying anything. 'That was a first,' John remarked.
Sherlock frowned, not getting the joke John had just made.
'Okay, so, you said Lestrade called. Had he heard anything from Molly yet?'
'Yes, but she hadn't found anything important yet. She tried to warm their bodies up a bit to make the process of scanning easier, but it took ages before the temperature went up, so she ended up not doing anything at all.'
John nodded, chuckling quietly. Sherlock eyed his soup as if he was thinking about drinking a bit of it. Just as he was about to pick up his spoon and scoop up a bit, they heard the noise again.
John looked up and quickly glanced at Sherlock. Their eyes met for only one second, but both men knew enough. They jumped up simultaneously and sprinted towards the door of the pub. 'We'll be back!' John yelled over his shoulder, then quickly jumped to the left, for he'd nearly missed the door hole.
'It's coming from Baker Street!' Sherlock shouted, stating the obvious.
As soon as they came running around the corner the whooshing had stopped, though. John was about to head back to the pub, obviously disappointed, but there was nothing to be done, when Sherlock grabbed his arm and pulled him back. 'Look,' he whispered, pointing in the distance.
Against the brick wall Sherlock had slammed his hand much earlier that day, now stood what seemed like a telephone box. 'When did they place that there?' John asked confused.
But Sherlock didn't reply and quietly walked up to it. 'That's not any telephone box,' he whispered as they got closer, 'That's a blue police public call box from the 1950's.'
'It's a what?' John asked, raising his eyebrow.
'They don't make those any more. What's it doing here?' Sherlock continued as if he hadn't heard his friend.
They now stood right in front of it, and Sherlock stretched out his hand to open it. He read the sign on the door, and did just as it said. He tried to pull the door open, but it wouldn't budge. He then walked around it, tapping it in different spots but nothing happened. While the consulting detective continued studying the blue box's sides, John kept pulling the door. Eventually he gave up and gave it a big shove. To his surprise the door pushed inwards. 'Sherlock?!'
The men didn't know what overcame them when they entered the police public call box. What they saw was, simply said, mind-blowing and almost impossible to describe. They stepped into a big round room. In the middle of the circle stood a big device, spreading a faint greenish glow through the room, unlike any both men had ever seen before. They were speechless.
Sherlock was the first to move. Cautiously he stepped towards the machine. The metal grating beneath his feet rattled quietly as he moved along. He stretched out his hand, in order to touch the machine's surface but quickly pulled it back when a face appeared from the floor below.
Through the grating the face of a man, a little older than the detective, stared at him with thick, raised eyebrows. Sherlock yelped and stumbled back in fright. The man from below seemed to grin as he ran up the stairs to greet his guests. John and Sherlock were already at the door when the tall man appeared in the room.
It took Sherlock less than two seconds to take him in. His chestnut brown hair was sticking up in different directions and bounced slightly as he swiftly made his way through the room, towards the duo. He scratched one of his sideburns, smoothed his hands over his well-fitted, dark brown suit with blue pinstripes, and opened his mouth in order to say something, but Sherlock beat him to it.
'It was you!' he exclaimed, when realisation hit him. The man looked at him in amazement and, if possible, raised his eyebrows even higher.
'What?' was all he could reply.
'I don't know how and I don't know why, but you killed them!'
With an even more scrunched up face, the man shouted a louder, 'What?!'
'At three o'clock this morning, you murdered Robinson and Owens!'
There it is in its full glory! Our first chapter of our Wholock story... Ah, we're so proud of it. It's wonderful to write for Ten for a change. Furthermore, we should add that there will be sci-fi in this story, and the aliens and plantes we mention are entirely created by us. So they're not canon. The rest all belongs to the BBC and Moffat and all those people, of course.