Only In the Mind of Sherlock: Ch. 3
A/N: Wow! I did not expect this to get so many followers so quickly! Thank you guys, you give me all the warm fuzzies! Please allow me to give aforementioned warm fuzzies back to you.
The pair of them headed down the stairs to catch a cab. Maybe it was John's imagination, but Sherlock seemed… off. He couldn't quite put his finger on it. It was almost as if Sherlock had already solved the case, he had so much energy, but at the same time, his movements were minutely slower than usual. John had to pause at the bottom of the stairs while the front door was opened, when normally he would have been tripping over himself to keep up with the whirlwind of a detective. Mrs. Hudson opened the door to her flat and stepped out before they made it outside, and she had a look on her face that John hadn't seen since the day he moved in. Her smile was bright, and she seemed extraordinarily chuffed to see them together. Her eyes met John's and her expression turned a little bit misty.
"Mrs. Hudson, are you alright?" The doctor moved toward his landlady with concern.
Mrs. Hudson took a hurried step backward waving him off. "Oh, yes, dear, yes I'm fine. Just allergies you know, make me look all teary." She rubbed at her leaking eyes, still grinning at them. "I just wanted to tell you boys to have a good day and don't get into too much trouble." By the end of her sentence, her voice was high-pitched and strained, and she ducked back into her flat before John could question her further. He followed Sherlock outside, any analyzing thoughts toward him long gone.
"What do you think that was about?" John muttered, climbing into their cab
"No idea. Could be that black mold she was so worried about from 221C."
"Sherlock, come on now, you can't really believe that was allergies? She's clearly worked up about… something." When that was met with no response, he continued. "You didn't deduce anything else that might have upset her?"
"I don't think she was upset, John, but it's hardly relevant, anyway. We've got a case and we don't have time for Mrs. Hudson's sentiment."
John heaved a weary sigh. He'd just have to check up on her later, he supposed. Far be it for Sherlock to be distracted by anything when there was a good murder to be had.
"Fine. Where's this one, then?"
"Brixton. Lauriston Gardens."
"Brixton?" John's heart rate doubled. "You mean there's another murder there?" Oh, this was bad. This was very, very bad. The last time a crime had taken Sherlock down memory lane had been the Carl Powers case. Best case scenario, it was a horrible coincidence, which would still mean there was yet another murderer loose in London; Worst case scenario, it was someone deliberately trying to recreate their first case together… Oh, please, God, no… not him again, not Moriarty…
Logically, John knew the man was dead, but that certainly hadn't stopped Sherlock.
"Well that's just it." The detective was talking, bringing John back to the present, "There's no murder. Not in Brixton, anyway. Just something that Greg wants us to have a look at—but he says there's no body."
John was not as put at ease by this as he would have liked. Even if there was no murder there, he disliked the lingering feeling that he was being toyed with. Still, Sherlock was always saying it was a fool's errand to make deductions with incomplete data. That thought would keep the panic to a minimum at least until they made it to the scene, and they could find out what they were dealing with.
The cab dropped them off in nearly the exact same spot as that January night so long ago. John half expected Sherlock to ask if he'd gotten anything wrong as they approached the crime scene. Blessedly, it didn't look like they'd need to enter the same house they'd found the body of Jennifer Wilson in. In fact, it looked like the police tape was only cordoning off a very small area just outside of it. Before they reached the area however, a sleek black car pulled up alongside them. The window to the back seat was rolled down, and Not-Anthea's face appeared. She lifted her eyes away from her blackberry long enough to address them.
"Mr. Holmes says he'd like a word."
John raised his eyebrow at her. "And he didn't collect us before we got in the cab?"
Not-Anthea just smiled. Sherlock rolled his eyes, and muttered in John's ear. "He was probably distracted by the dessert tray going by and missed us." John smiled, but turned his attention back to Mycroft's assistant.
"Well, it'll have to wait, we're on a case."
"He says it's urgent and…" She glanced between them "You're not needed, Doctor Watson."
Sherlock sighed dramatically, and put a hand on John's shoulder. He gave a reassuring squeeze, before moving to get in the vehicle.
"I know exactly what Mycroft wants. It'll be better to get it over with, or he'll be most insufferable until I see him. It would be far too distracting."
"But we're a hundred yards away from the case! How can you go dashing off?!"
"Oh, I'm sure the case will be quite simple, and I won't take long with my dear brother. Just go see what you can find out and I'll meet up with you."
"Fine, but I don't want to be dragged back here six hours from now because you need to sniff the bloody keyhole or something."
Sherlock smiled, taking the assistant's seat, and shutting the door behind him. He leaned out the car window to place a brief kiss on his partner's lips.
"Oh, I doubt we'll be back here tonight." His grin widened at John's confusion, and disappeared behind the rising tinted glass window.
The car slunk away, and John felt he was left looking like a fool. Greg and Donovan had definitely spotted him now, and had probably seen Sherlock just bloody take off again. He heaved a long-suffering sigh and headed toward the DI. As he got closer, he noticed the area that had been roped off was just the mailbox outside of the house.
"John!" Lestrade called, sounding eerily chipper.
"Hello, Greg. What's all this about?" He asked, indicating the mailbox. Now that he was looking, Greg and Sally were the only ones here. One squad car, one small area sectioned with crime scene tape, but nothing else. No forensics, no nothing. Even Anderson was missing.
Lestrade was biting his lip, trying and failing to keep from grinning like a fool. Even Sally had a smile for him. "Why don't you have a look?" She said, handing John a pair of forensic gloves, and nodding to the mailbox. The little flag indicating outgoing mail was raised. John raised his eyebrows, and wondered briefly what had gotten into these two. Still, even if Sherlock was a bit careless, he knew the Yarders would never lead him into something harmful. He pulled the gloves on and opened the mailbox, with just a hint of trepidation. Inside there was a pink envelope of heavy, luxurious paper. He pulled it out into the sunlight, and turned it over in his hands. The front side bore the name "John Watson" in Sherlock's familiar, swishy handwriting.
John looked warily back to Greg and Sally, both of whom were mouthing at him "Open it!" What on earth was going on here? He extracted the letter (on thankfully white paper) and read it with his head spinning.
My Dearest John
I have something very special planned for today. I'm sending you on a little adventure to see how much you've learned. I don't expect the same level of deduction as I would use, and I promise you won't need to identify any tobacco ash. I know you can do it, and I think you'll be pleased with where the day will take you. You can contact me, I'll have my mobile, but I won't give you any hints! Have fun.
All My Love,