Great Minds Think Alike
Words: 2 580
After the Dinner at Harry's was over, and yes John was thinking of the event with a capital D, he felt more confused than ever. When talking to Sherlock Harry was aloof and impossible for John to follow as it seemed like they barely needed to utter anything verbally to communicate, it was like he imagined conversations between Sherlock and his brother might be if they actually agreed to meet up more often than when Sherlock was in deep trouble, but when facing him Harry behaved like a completely normal person. It was strange and more than a little bit unsettling that an individual could be so dual in their behaviour.
Anyhow once it was over Sherlock had clammed up, refusing to talk about their neighbour, spending a lot of time in his Mind Palace trying to figure the man out and days later he had still failed at that, causing him to be yet more aggravating than usual to deal with. Things were not made better by what he met when he came home from his afternoon at the clinic to find Sherlock running down the stairs from the forth floor and into their flat. He followed with caution and had no idea what to make of what he saw next.
His flatmate had stopped in front of the stove and was turning the knobs on and off, looking at them as if they had offended him in the gravest fashion.
"Sherlock, what are you doing?" he asked, not nearly as afraid of the answer as he felt he ought to be.
"It happened again," Sherlock answered cryptically, still turning the hotplates on and off at random intervals, unable to tear his eyes away.
"What exactly happened again?"
"I was breaking into Potter's flat, trying to get to his lab," Sherlock said the word with obvious scepticism, as if he did not believe that there actually was a lab two floors up, "but every time I put my hand on the door handle I strongly feel as if I've left the stove on and that I have to go home and turn it off so as to not risk a fire starting. It is a compulsion I've so far been unable to resist and I don't know why I get it. It is completely illogical; I have not used the stove in weeks."
"Thanks, I know," John muttered. He remembered well the last experiment Sherlock had used the stove for, and it would be a cold day in Hell before the consultant detective actually tried to use it for cooking. "And it's not as if you would care about a fire hazard either."
"Exactly," was the reply.
And now John's mind caught up to what Sherlock had been saying in the first place. "Hold on a second. You have been breaking into our neighbour's apartment? Repeatedly? Why? No, never mind why. I know why. It's because you're an obsessive nut job who can't leave anything well enough alone. The true question is how you could think that it was a good idea to break into his flat and how are you expecting Potter to take it when he finds out. Because he will find out about it."
"Of course he will. There were obviously some sort of intruder alarm stopping my efforts of investigation, but he won't mind. This is a challenge. If anything he'll add to it once I get close enough to solving it." Sherlock had at last finished with turning the knobs on the stove, leaving it safely turned off. He swirled around and went over to the sofa where he flopped down, getting into his thinking pose, hands on his chest, fingers resting against his chin and eyes closed.
"So, this is all a game to you?"
"Not a game; a challenge, John. And before you say anything more; it is a worthy pursuit. Whatever it is that Potter is hiding it is big and I will find out what it is."
John shook his head. "Whatever makes you happy, I suppose," he muttered, "as long as no one gets hurt."
Sherlock ignored him. And he ignored the buzzing of his mobile which was lying on the table next to him when it started to ring a moment later.
"Are you just going to let that ring?" John asked.
"It's Mycroft," was the answer, which when coming from Sherlock was all the answer needed.
All the same John picked it up, not in time to answer, but he looked and saw that it had indeed been Sherlock's brother. And the man had called no less than seven times in the last three hours.
"Do you know how many times he's called?"
"Three," Sherlock answered immediately.
John smiled. Sometimes the man was completely oblivious. He could miss things going on around him as he was preoccupied with his thoughts. "Seven," he said.
"Oh." Sherlock opened his eyes and peered at John through the corner of his eye.
"Do you think it might be important?"
"No. If he it was he'd have tainted us with his presence, barging in here like he is wont to do. He is just keener than I thought to keep me from investigating Potter. That is good news."
"Good? What am I missing?"
The dark-haired male turned his head and gave a disapproving stare. "If Mycroft wants something kept secret from me it is for a good reason."
"And naturally that means that you have to ruin it for him."
"Ah, you do have the ability to use your brain after all; I was beginning to wonder if you had lost it."
John frowned unimpressed by the backwards compliment. "Thanks," he grumbled dryly.
:221 B Baker Street:
A few more days had passed and Sherlock was profoundly bored. He hadn't made any progress with finding out what was so special about Harry Potter. He hadn't been able to enter the fourth floor flat again, getting deterred by the front door as opposed to just the door to the lab, so he had settled for trying to work with the information he already had from looking around.
Potter was twenty-four years old, born in Wales, having grown up in Surry, had gone to School in Scotland, though it was a boarding school with children from all over the British Islands so he had not adopted much of a Scottish dialect and he had since then lived in London, though as of late he had been spending more and more time abroad.
His parents had died when he was young and his relatives that had taken care off him had not done so well, their treatment of him could be labelled as neglect as best. His inheritance kept from him until he turned of age.
His teen years had been tumultuous; he had seen violence and death and had not walked through it unscathed. He had a few close friends, was married to his job and devoted to his godson.
All of that was boring and easy to deduce from photographs, items scattered about in the flat, clothes in the wardrobe and so on, but after that information was hard to come by and information that made sense less so.
Moving photographs, compulsion on doors, food cooking faster than what should be possible, entering the flat without coming up the stairs and leaving just as inexplicably, the absence of any technology more modern then the first half of the twentieth century. The list went on, but Sherlock couldn't put his finger on a common denominator.
He had ruled out a cult or religious sect, though there were signs that pointed in that direction. He was beginning to feel a bit irritated, but not at all deterred yet. He just needed more data to figure it out. And an opportunity was just about to present itself.
An incoming text from DI Lestrade caught his attention and he had been hearing movement from the fourth floor and John was absent. A plan had taken form in his mind as the factors lined themselves up.
Getting up from the sofa he memorised the place where Lestrade said the crime that had the Yard stumped had happened and ventured up the stairs. He approached the door to Potter's flat cautiously as he did not want to spend the next few minutes by his stove again, but as he didn't reach for the handle the compulsion did not appear. Interesting. Triggered by intention. He knocked and waited, listening intently for any sound from inside as he did so.
He could hear a bit of movement; light thuds as Potter walked inside, a few softly spoken words, rustling of fabric, a few more thuds approaching and then Potter answered the door.
"Hello!" Sherlock said, not bothering to smile or adhere to any social convention, Potter already knew that he wasn't keen on that and it was unnecessary between them. Potter was dressed in gray chinos and had a blue button up shirt this day, a bit more formal than he had previously seen. His hair stood up at the back of his head, but that was nothing unusual. Sherlock looked him over trying to assess what he had been up to before he arrived, but the room behind the man was completely void of any traces of activity. Either he had been occupied in another room, unlikely the sounds had been close, or he had somehow been able to hide any signs of his presence in the short moment it had taken him to answer the door. Able to hide it well enough for Sherlock to be unable to see it.
"Yes?" Potter said.
"I have a case."
Sherlock liked him as much as he found him to be highly irritating. Not having to spell everything out was a welcome relief, but he didn't do well with rivalry, still it was he who was suggesting that Potter come along for the case, and he had several reasons for that. One, more material for him to figure out the mystery that was Harry Potter and two, to befuddle and annoy the people from Scotland Yard. For once he actually wanted Anderson to be present.
"Kensington Gardens, Princess Diana Memorial Fountain."
Potter nodded. "Let's go then."
:221 B Baker Street:
"The results of the blood work have come back, Mr. Kashani," John said as he was sitting in his room at the medical clinic where he worked. His phone buzzed in his pocket, but he ignored it. "The levels were heightened showing that you have an infection, so I will be prescribing penicillin. Take two pills each day and you should not stop the treatment even if you start feeling better. You will get five days of sick leave. Unless you aren't feeling at all better next Thursday you should be able to get back to work, the penicillin will stop the you from being contagious," John said all of this, looking down in his paper and at his computer screen as he prescribed the penicillin, wincing a bit in sympathy as Mr. Kashani coughed loudly, wheezing and nearly choking as phlegm moved down in his throat, it sounded rather painful.
"Have you been taking anything for your cough?"
"No, I haven't," the man responded and coughed again until his eyes watered.
"I think a cough medicine might be a good idea for you," John suggested. His phone buzzed again as another text was received, it was ignored once more. "I'll prescribe that as well, even though an OTC would suffice."
"Thank you, doctor."
They shook hands and the man left the room. One of the nurses stuck her head inside the door as soon as he was gone.
"Yes?" he said.
"We've begun closing down. There are no more patients in the waiting room and Victor is seeing the last one now, so you can feel free to go home."
"Great," he said with a smile. "Thanks, Suzie."
Feeling relieved that he wouldn't have to meet any more people with horrible colds today John fixed with the last things, writing up Mr. Jahan Kashani's medical records before turning off the computer and flicking off the lights.
It was first when he was already down on the street that he had a look at his mobile phone. There were two messages, both from Sherlock. Case. Princess Diana Memorial Fountain. Come here. That was the first one. Come here now, John. The patients aren't important. They just have colds or strained ankles, nothing to be bothered with. The Case. Now.
John snorted. Typically Sherlock, no regard for people's smaller problems. Most days he didn't mind going along for the cases, he fond it thrilling, but he felt knackered, having actually been at the clinic the entire day as opposed to just through the morning or afternoon. Still he picked up his mobile and dialled Sherlock's number, thinking that he would indulge the man if it was important, but to decide if it was important or not he would have to talk with the man, not just get another text which as little information on the matter of importance as the first two.
The call was answered by the second ring. "Is this important, Sherlock, or are you just being your normal obnoxious self?" he asked scathingly.
"Hello, John," said a deadpan voice that did not belong to his flatmate. John drew in a gulp of air, his mind suddenly filling with the worst possible scenarios because when it came to Sherlock a stranger picking up answering his mobile couldn't be good. "Relax, John, I'm Harry," the man on the other end of the line continued and John did relax as he recognized their new neighbour's voice.
He took a few deep breaths.
"Alright now?" Harry asked gently.
"Yeah, 'm fine," John breathed out. "Sorry about that."
"You just imagined that I was someone else, someone out to get Sherlock, it's understandable that you would come to that conclusion. He is fine too by the way, just a bit preoccupied, so he asked me to answer."
"Is that John?" he vaguely heard a voice asking.
"Yes," said Harry.
"Can I speak to him for a moment?"
Without John having the chance to reply to that he could hear the mobile switching hands.
"Hello, Dr. Watson," said the voice of District Inspector Gregory Lestrade.
"Hi," John said back, wary mixing with amusement at the man's exhausted tone.
"I am not sure what to say, just… How do you do it? How do you manage to get in contact with two men like that?"
"How do you manage to not only get involved with the Sherlock Holmes, but also with a ten year younger copy of him? And how is it that they are working together? Have you two found a way to replicate people or simply cultivated a way of attracting strange intellects to Baker Street?"
John hid a laugh with a strained cough. "How bad has it been?"
"Donovan left in a testy about five minutes after they arrived and Anderson looks ready to try out medieval torturing techniques on them."
"Do you want me to come over?"
"I'd be very grateful if you would. I'd accept any help at this point, but I reckon that at this speed the case I and my people have been working on for the last week will be solved before nightfall."
"Right. I'm on my way."
End Chapter 3
AN 27th January 2014:
This is perhaps not the most exiting or even entertaining chapter, but I think it is a nice bridge for what could potentially follow, i.e. Sherlock and Harry harassing the people at Scotland Yard simply by being themselves. If anyone has any ideas for what the crime that happened in Kensington Gardens could be, please let me know (murder and mayhem, kidnapping, magic, mundane). I will struggle with coming up with something good. And if there is anything else you'd like to see in this story just let me know. Thanks for reading!
(and if I made mistakes regarding medical terms, please tell me the correct way of saying things, I just don't know the jargon at a medical clinic in English, though I do know what things would be called in Swedish trying to find translations proved difficult)