The scene: a murder of course. But it wasn't just any murder. No, there was something extremely familiar about the body.

Not just the way she was killed (he could tell it was a she, that much was sure), because he had already seen it twice, making this girl the third victim. A serial killer then.

Not a terribly original one, although he is rather violent. (Yes, he, male serial killers are so very much more likely than female ones that even he hadn't caught one yet. Yet.)

Each girl more disfigured than the last. This one wasn't identifiable; they'd probably have to wait for DNA tests to come back.

But what was done to the victims was the same. Multiple cuts to the back and chest. Fingers and face burned by acid. But the killer had been sloppy, tying up his victim with zip ties, causing their wrists and ankles to be shredded as they struggled to get away.

Sherlock crouched down right next to the body to get a closer look. He could feel the glares of Anderson and Donovan, but ignored them.

It was difficult to tell anything with a body this disfigured really. She wasn't wearing any clothes. No jewellery, but there weren't really any tan lines to suggest that this victim wore any. Although, she was rather pale, so perhaps she didn't get out a lot. Definitely an indoor job.

She's small, with brown hair. Not young though, the same age as the other victims. The other victims looked like her, so the killer has a specific type. And- oh.

He straightened up abruptly. Reaching the caution tape in a few strides, he ducked under and headed towards the road, ignoring Lestrade's shouts. After climbing in a cab, he texted Lestrade.

Going to the lab. Have the body brought to Bart's. Get soil samples. -SH

He pocketed his phone again and sat back to think.

The scene: lab, Bart's hospital. He couldn't recall how he had gotten here. He was in the lab. But he was just in the cab... He shook his head. Perhaps John was right about his needing more sleep. Or perhaps he was just deep in thought as he had walked from the cab to here. It was rather familiar. Sherlock suspected he could have done it in his sleep. No matter. He had other things to attend to.

He pulled the sheet back off of the body lying on the table. The autopsy was complete, report written up and sitting on the work bench. That was fast. Sherlock frowned. How long had it taken him to get here? He shook his head. Irrelevant right now. He needed to examine the body more closely himself.

He peered at the corpse again, directing the light towards her face, then stopped, shocked.

It was Molly. It was Molly's body. Somehow, she wasn't disfigured now, except for the y incision the coroner had made. She was even smiling at him, like she told a joke and he hadn't gotten it yet.

His chest felt tight. He couldn't breathe. He spun around, desperate to escape, desperate for air, only to find Lestrade with his lackeys in tow, blocking the exit.

"Where're you going Sherlock?" They're all smiling too, just like Molly is. Was. Molly can't smile anymore. She's dead. Dead.

Sherlock was confused. What's funny. Don't they know Molly is lying here dead? That she was killed?

"Where's John?" Sherlock demanded.

They stopped smiling, and glanced uneasily at each other.

"Who?" Lestrade asked.

Sherlock rolled his eyes. He really didn't have time for this.

"You know, John. John Watson, army doctor, flat mate, friend." He saw their blank faces.

"Sherlock. You live alone. Always have. You certainly don't live with an army doctor who writes a blog about you." He smirked. "In fact, your blog is downright boring."

"But..." Sherlock began, then stopped, unsure of what he was actually going to say. What else was there?

Anderson elbowed Donovan and whispered to her.

"Looks like the freak finally lost it." They both snicked.

"Making up imaginary friends now are we Sherlock?" Donovan announced more loudly.

Sherlock only stared scathingly at her. Lestrade pulled him aside.

"Sherlock, are you doing drugs again? Cause you know if you're doing drugs again, and you must be doing a great deal if you're hallucinating, then you can't work-"

"No, I am clean and John is real. What the hell have you done with him!?"

Lestrade was just shaking his head, and Anderson was on his phone, glancing furiously at Sherlock and biting his words as they came out. He caught snippets. Help. Crazy. Lost it. Dangerous. Hallucinating.

No... no, this couldn't be right. John was here. John had been helping him at the crime scene, hadn't he? Wasn't he the one who collected the soil samples? Sherlock closed his eyes tightly and spun around. He tried to picture John being there... anything to do with John at all.


How could that be possible?

"John? John?!" They were grabbing him by the arms now, they were going to take him away, away to places where his mind palace would get broken by rampaging drugs and scattered thoughts. No. No.

"John! John!" He was screeching now, not caring what he sounded like. "JOHN! Help me! Please." He begged and he cried and he was in a white room with pillows for walls and they pricked him with drugs and he fell asleep as his mind palace began to fall to ruins and crumble with him still inside.

But he was still calling out for John, John, John, come rescue me.

The scene: hospital. Not white pillow walled, but a normal hospital bed. And there was John sitting in a chair. Oh John. I knew you were real, Sherlock tried to say. But his words appeared to be broken.

John noticed his distress, and came over, clasping Sherlock's hand between his.

He hushed him. "Sherlock, calm down. You were in a coma. You managed to get yourself injured yet again," he rolled his eyes, "on a case. Don't bother trying to talk, you've got a tube in your throat. Just relax, okay?"

John went to sit back down, but Sherlock grabbed his hands, pulling him back.

"Oh," John's face softened considerably. "There's no need to cry." John wiped away tears Sherlock didn't know had appeared, but now that he thought about it, they made sense.

He thought he had lost John. Now here John was, alive and well, and Sherlock was sure not going to let go of his hands any time soon.

But still, the tears were a bit of an overkill. Darn transport.

Well, he supposed, he could always blame the drugs.

The scene: John Watson, very real army doctor and personal blogger of Sherlock Holmes, sitting next to his hospital bed, tethering him to reality. All is well.