1983 Chelmford

"Harry, Look. I did it! I bent the spoon just now."

John called after his sister. A teenage blonde girl called Harry was writing a reply to one of her classmates who had sent a love letter. To the sender's dismay, she wasn't interested in boys. This was a new experience and she didn't know what to do. She could fill the pages of correspondence with girls but with a boy? She had no idea. Crumpled papers were scattered on her desk. She tried to ignore her brother, and threw away the piece of paper that she was writing. She was starting on the new paper when he opened her door without a knock and ran into the room.

"John! Get out!"

Harry made the "a-brother-is-for-no-use" look at him. John's eyes sneaked a peek of the paper that she had been writing on. It was a blank piece of paper. Blushing, she yelled.

"John Watson, get out by the time I count three or you'd be sorry."

The boy knew the tone: time to retreat. The boy deflated all of a sudden, turned around, and trudged out. A few minutes later, the girl sighed and trashed every crumpled paper into the bin. She called,

"John? Where are you?"

She soon found the boy coiling into a corner of the sitting room. He was whimpering. She knelt before him and asked gently,

"John. I'm sorry. You should've knocked the door. What was it all about?"

John buried his head between his legs and stared on the floor. She whispered,

"John? I'm sorry."

He gave her a nod and mumbled out a few words, hicupping.

"I'm sorr…y for n... kn.. not knocking."

The blonde tall girl noticed a bent spoon in front of her brother.

"You broke the spoon? That's mother's silverware."

He shook his head, and pointed at a TV screen. A famous but controversial illusionist was on the show. He said,

"I looked into his eyes on the screen. He told me I could bend the spoon. Just focus. Let your energy flow into the point of bending. It really bent. I did it!"

"Wow, really?"

Harry tried to make her voice that of a surprise, but failed magnificently.

"Yes. I will practice every day, and then I might be able to be a great magician and illusionist like him!"

The girl didn't know how she could make the boy understand that illusion was just a combination of magic tricks without letting her brother down. She sighed, and said,

"Well, John. Just don't practice with any more spoons. Not the silverware.. You know, this is one of mother's favorite. You could've used an everyday spoon."

A look of surprise was on the boy's face: his heart began to beat faster. Mother would not be happy. Glancing at the sweaty forehead of the boy, Harry knew what was eating her brother. She asked if he wanted to go out with her and eat ice cream cones. His eyes twinkled. As the siblings went out, the boy had forgotten about the illusionist and the bent spoon. A couple hours later, their mother wasn't pleased at the dinner table, but John was able to avoid punishment because Harry distracted Mother with the letter from her classmate, Jack.


1983 London

Mycroft and his best friend, Ethan were watching Telly. Ethan dreamed to be a magician, learnt a few magic tricks from books, but had to keep his dream secret because his parents would never approve such a thing. Mycroft's face was indifferent at best while his friend's face was glowing with excitement. His eyes were fixated on the screen: a rerun of the previous night's performance of a famous illusionist and self-claimed psychic.

Mrs. Parson, the cook of the Holmes famly, had agreed to let the boys use a cooking metal spoon for a few minutes, but Ethan was still glaring at the spoon while caressing it for half an hour. Nothing happened. Mycroft squinted hard on the spoon as Ethan said he thought it was slightly bent. The older Holmes shook his head.

Sherlock finished messing up with salt and sugar in his room. On his table were an alcohol lamp, a few beakers, spoons, test tube stand with the tubes of differently concentrated solutions. He put out the lamp carefully: twice he had forgotten to put the lid on the lamp, and almost burnt his experiment journal. The first mishap was saved by his brother. Mycroft had advised to keep a water-soaked towel or a box of sand nearby. So when a second disaster happened, the boy just put a wet dripping towel onto the burning lamp and put it out before the fire left a significant damage. He put the experiment things in a box and was emptying the test tubes in the kitchen when he overheard his brother's friend asking for a spoon. His curiosity kicked in. He hastily put away his test tubes, and leaned towards Mycroft's door and listened.

"I think it's bent a little, at least by one mm."

Ethan was adamant. Mycroft thought hard about a diplomatic way to tell him the truth.

"It depends on the angle. You are holding it differently."

"It's all about changing the world with your thoughts. Focus your energy on the spoon. Then the metal will bend."

Mycroft looked at his friend incredulously.

"Is there any proof? Scientific proof?"

"Try it."

"No"

Ethan shrugged as if he had expected the very answer from Mycroft, and started staring at his spoon again.

"You won't be able to do it because you don't believe it."

Mycroft abruptly yelled, making Ethan jump and drop the spoon on the floor.

"Sherlock, I told you that it's rude to eavesdrop behind the door. Knock and come in if you have any business here."

The door opened, and the dark-haired face appeared.

"Why do you need a spoon?"

"Come in. Sherlock. Look."

Ethan's face beamed at the possible spectator. He pointed at the screen but the rerun of the show had just ended. Mycroft turned the telly off, and Ethan fervently explained the magic show.

"You believe it, stay focused, and send your energy to the point that you want to bend. I think I just did it."

The little boy's eyes stared closely at the spoon. He shrugged off after a minute.

"No change."

"Look closely."

"I am looking! Nothing changed. It's just Mrs. Parson's spoon for cooking. Who is this guy that you talked about?"

"He's famous. He is a magician and illusionist. He has the strong psychic power, I guess. I want to be like him one day."

"Illusionists deceive our eyes. Do you want to be a liar, a con-man?"

Inquired the little boy, while rolling his eyes.

"Sherlock!"

Mycroft's warning made the boy keep silent for a minute. Ethan started to glare at the spoon again. At last he gave up and angrily muttered out,

"How am I supposed to perform well in the presence of skeptics!"

The little boy's face was almost scandalous.

"Ordinary people are stupid to believe in paranormal activities. The Bermuda triangle, near-death experiences, spoon bending, psychic powers... All of them are not proved. Magic tricks are just illusions. The illusionist on the telly, I think he's not telling the truth. It's a performance based on powerful suggestions, tricks, lighting, and music. It's a lie, a trick of the eyes..."

He stopped his words as his brother's face looked livid. Ethan was almost on tears: his eyes were burning.

"Hush. Ethan. Why don't you use the toilet?"

Mycroft opened his door and pointed at the toilet door at the end of the hall. They could hear that their mothers had almost finished the teatime. Soon Eric's mother would collect him. Mycroft asked his little brother to leave. Thankfully Eric's mother didn't notice, but their mummy's lips made a thin line when she saw Eric's face. The older brother could see their dinner time with Mummy would take longer than usual tonight so he decided to finish his homework before dinner.


2011 After the press conference at the Yard

Sherlock glared at the deerstalker on the table. He was devising a 100 ways to destroy the hat and tell Lestrade that it was an accident. John flipped pages of the newspaper and paid little attention to Sherlock's fuming. All of a sudden, the doctor's eyes lit with excitement.

"Where's the remote control?"

"Why? Next to Billy."

John didn't ask his flatmate to get it for him although he was sitting on his armchair next to the mantle piece. John put the newspaper down, and got the remote control and turned on TV.

"There's a TV program that I'd like to watch. I thought he would've retired long ago."

Sherlock's eyes opened wide in surprise. He just saw Eric, his older brother's friend, standing next to an older man. He asked curiously,

"Who's that guy? The older one."

"I forgot his name. But he's famous for his spoon bending."

John sat back on the sofa.

"You know I did bend the spoon. It was Mother's one of the silverware."

Sherlock looked scandalous. His flatmate was a believer of paranormal activities! John noticed his face and asked,

"Didn't you watch any of his programs? I did in…83. I was ten years old."

"I didn't. But Mycroft's friend was a very fervent fan of that man! Look. The assistant who's now collecting the spoons. It's Ethan."

"He is your brother's friend?"

"Yes, he aspired to be one of the kind. It seems his aspiration has come true."

"So you don't believe it? Psychic power, ESPs, the Bermuda Triangle, near-death experience…"

"No. You know my clients always think I am a psychic or something when I tell them their life story. As you've well witnessed, it's based on scientific observation and some deductive skills. Nothing psychic."

John smiled.

"Yes, I've known you for a long time so I'll give you that it's observation. But I believe there is some unexplainable phenomenon in the world. For example, I bent the spoon."

"Oh, please, John. It's just a magic trick. It's a lie. You are not serious, right?"

"After being shot, I don't think I believe in spoon bending any more, but I think I had a near-death experience when I was in the ICU."

Sherlock got serious and gave a tentative look at his flatmate. Since the detective heard a detailed story from Harry about how John was after being transported back to London from Afghanistan, he just couldn't ignore John's story as untrue. His voice cracked despite himself.

"How was it?"

"It's the same story that other people say. A strange sensation of levitation; looking down to find yourself on bed; a bright light that seems to invite me…."

The detective was about to open his mouth, but John continued.

"Don't brush it off as a change in the levels of neurotransmitters and hormones in your brain. I know more about the neuroscience, and yes, they might affect your senses and perceptions. But I don't think it can be explained in words or numbers."

Sherlock didn't say anything. His eyes glinted: it was his Eureka moment.

"Fancy a tea?"

He asked and walked into the kitchen. While John's eyes were fixated on the telly, the detective secretly sent a text to his brother.

- John is receptive to suggestions. hypnotist. SH-

When the detective brought the tray of two tea cups, he didn't expect that he would have to fake his death in a few months. The possiblity was remote, he thought as he took a sip of his hot tea and listened to John's rambling about the TV program.


AN.

SPOILER ALERT!

Well, this might be a spoiler or not. I saw a few photos that John falls on the ground AGAIN after being hit by a biker: there was an unexpected man who seemed to help John to stagger up or keep him from running to Sherlock's body. It prompted this story.

The person on the spoiler pictures is not the model of the illusionist in this story. The illusionist mentioned here is based on a real person though I won't mention his name. He visited my country when I was young: I might have forgotten him at all but the following day, I heard my classmates that they bent spoons. Some brought the bent spoons to the classroom.

Again, my story is fictional and has no intention of insulting any of the real people. This is just a fan fiction that contrasted how Sherlock and John are different, and how it gives Sherlock the idea to stage his fall while making John firmly believe his "suicide".

I had seen the body wasn't Sherlock in 203 when the trolly was about to turn around the corner. So John had thought it was Sherlock, but actually he thought so because of the concussion and the hypnosis. That's my guess. The handshake between Mycroft and Moriarty was IMAGINARY in John's head. I believe that. Mycroft should be the last person to betray his brother. (groan...uruhhhhhhhh).

Thanks for reading. Comments are very appreciated.