Though it's no proper excuse, all I can offer by way of explanation for my extended absence is that school was CRAZY this year. Aside from creating a show, I also got a lead role in another, and that ate up a ton of time. On top of that add regular classes and assignments, and I was just pretty consistently exhausted. Not to mention it seemed like half my friends had...episodes of strange this year.
So yeah. Been somewhat distracted. But hopefully a new part will be welcome somewhat?
Title: Longer Ways to Go, part 7
Rating: PG-13 for some language. And to be safe.
Summary: After the standoff at the pool, and with some help from Mycroft, Sherlock's determined to disappear from England with John in tow, and work to bring down Moriarty's entire operation in secret.
Characters: John, Sherlock,
Disclaimer: Anything remotely recognisable is not mine, but the mixed creations of Arthur Conan Doyle, Steven Moffet, and Mark Gatiss. Who are all great, btw.
Spoilers: The Great Game
A/N: Takes off from the end of ep. 3, The Great Game, so yeah...some SPOILERific stuff. Feedback is love, and if there's a mistake that's really obvious/annoying/detrimental/etc. please don't hesitate to let me know and I will attempt to fix it
And my forgotten link to Part 6 (Sorry for the gaff)***
John isn’t allowed to bask for long in the dim light of his success, as Sherlock, with typical abruptness rips the memory sticks from his computer, and slams the screen down to meet the keyboard. He grabs the remaining sticks from the desk, pockets them, and, swinging his bag over his shoulder in a wide arc, proceeds out the door.
John physically stutters into motion behind him.
“Wait! Wait!” he hisses after Sherlock’s rapidly diminishing figure as it progresses down the hallway.
He spares the apartment a fleeting, apologetic glance, before retrieving his own bag, and pulling the door shut on the whole mess. He thinks it a vaguely ridiculous gesture. As Sherlock pointed out to him hours before, to a trained observer it will be immediately obvious that someone’s been through the flat; a closed door will do nothing to disguise the evidence should anyone choose to look. Still, while Sherlock immersed himself in his initial study of the LION’s files, John made a concentrated effort to right the chaos the two of them (though mainly Sherlock) had created. He had finished replacing the books on the shelves anyway, if only out of respect for the late Kratides – a thought which Sherlock proclaimed equally senseless, as the man was quite dead, and not about to thank John for straightening up his flat.
John countered Sherlock’s assertions by remarking that at the very least it would stop the police from suspecting anything untoward, hoping to appeal to Sherlock’s staunch belief that local help is always either useless or biased or worse. Kratides may not be alive to appreciate it, but John could not so callously extinguish his sympathy for the man, remaining aloof as was Sherlock’s constant practice. Criminal though he undoubtedly was, he did sacrifice his life for their cause, and even placing that aside, he was still human – his loss was one to acknowledge, if not mourn.
Out in the open air, Sherlock makes a quick survey of their surroundings. The cab he’s hailed pulls up to the curb just as John joins him, still struggling with the strap of his bag, twisted uncomfortably across his chest. He speaks quietly to the cabbie while John waits, finding himself, once again, rather less than well informed of the plan – if there is one. Sherlock opens the back door, and steps aside, gesturing for John to manoeuvre himself into the vehicle first.
“Okay,” John says, sliding across the back seat to make room for Sherlock. “Where are we going now?”
The cheap leather seats voice their sticky protest as hands and bodies shift across their surface. Sherlock tucks himself carefully inside, and gives the door a sharp tug, accenting his next remarks with a dramatically percussive thud.
“There’s far more information on these files than I’d expected to discover. The Leet speak you so excellently worked out unfortunately only seems to overtly relate to about a quarter of the material collected here, though I am quite positive that Oliver and Raymond are the point of origin for nearly all the criminal activity documented.”
“His work, but their commission,” he clarifies.
“So, we’re going to check into a hotel. At least there I’ll be able to make a more thorough analysis of what we’ve been so generously gifted. And we’ll have plenty of time, of course,” he adds, “Since no one’s looking for us yet.”
He says this with such a melodramatic finality that John half-expects a sudden crescendo of music to flare up, consisting largely of brass with a generous serving of symbol crashes. The wicked urge to shatter this illusion comes upon him suddenly, and he can’t help but act on it.
“Except your brother,” he says with deliberate casualness. “I think he’s definitely looking for us.”
“Well, yes, obviously. But he doesn’t count, now does he?”
From his sharp reply, it is evident that Sherlock had felt the moment dissolve around them as well, and is a small step away from dropping into a petulant sulk over it. John merely grins.
Sherlock, however, gets his revenge a few minutes later when they pull up outside what is unmistakeably a large general hospital. They sit in silence for a little while, before John is forced to ask what exactly they’re waiting for.
“We’re waiting for you to get out,” Sherlock says, eyes front, hands comfortably folded on his lap.
“What?” John replies, absolutely baffled.
“Oh, didn’t I mention?” he asks. His eyes are comically wide and his mouth agape in feigned shock at his oversight. The expression is overstated for Sherlock, but on anyone else it would appear entirely sincere.
John sits, dreading what’s coming next, but somehow still compelled to continue fuelling Sherlock’s performance.
“I need you to get in to see Kratides’ body. We need a blood sample. Something to prove he was poisoned.”
John sighs, his frame wilting with reluctance.
“Sherlock, I can’t just waltz in there and demand a blood sample from some random corpse, especially not one resting without the suspicion of murder attached to it. I mean,” he continues, suddenly remembering the more personal repercussions of their exile, “I mean, I couldn’t have done that back home, let alone here and now when I’m, for all intents and purposes, dead. Even if I could speak Greek, and could navigate my way around their morgue, I’m not a doctor anymore! Thanks to you, I’m Ormond Sacker: Travel Journalist!”
Sherlock says nothing, but he remains absolutely focused, posed as if in profound contemplation of John’s objections. John, who can almost see his remarks rebounding off his totally unruffled companion, grits his teeth and makes to get out of the car with much frustration and very little grace.
The cab takes off without either further instruction or thanks.
Hours later, John makes it to the room Sherlock’s checked them into.
“You know,” he says, shutting the door, and bolting it behind him, “You might have told me which hotel you were going to.”
“Knew you’d figure it out eventually,” Sherlock says. He’s stretched out across the scarlet duvet of the twin bed on the opposite side of the room. His laptop is plugged into an outlet centred in the small portion of wall between the beds not hidden by the paired end tables. The recovered memory sticks have been excavated yet again, and dot the coverlet innocuously.
John drops his things on the floor next to what he assumes to be his designated bed, but he can’t be sure since Sherlock’s taken the opportunity in his absence to discard the rest of his own assorted belongings across its surface as well. Beyond the fact that he’s prepared to qualify a bed of any kind as practically a luxury, John notes that the rest of the room is decorated in a moderately tasteful fashion as well. The carpet is lush, and he hopes, clean, and behind Sherlock, heavy drapes that fall from ceiling to floor conceal a wall to wall picture window, behind which lies the beautiful, warm, September night.
“Blood sample,” John states simply, pulling a small vial out of his pocket, and tossing it in the small fridge that rests to one side of the dresser.
On the surface beside it, a tray of food rests apparently untouched. Steam issues from a single serving of pork and rice, while a cold salad sits to the right of the plate in a bowl. John approaches it cautiously, enticed by the smell. It’s been over a day, he thinks, since he’d last eaten properly, the biscuits he’d had on the plane notwithstanding. Perhaps he’d become too complacent in the face of months of regular meals with no chance of interruption in Switzerland, but in any case the sudden dearth of food is proving to be a real test of endurance.
“I hope you don’t mind, I took the liberty of ordering you some dinner. I was expecting you back any minute. It should still be warm.”
John looks over his shoulder, checking back to see if Sherlock is watching him with something like anticipatory glee, hardly daring to believe in this spontaneous act of goodwill, and wary of questioning it outright. If he is being set up as the oh-so credulous test subject for one of Sherlock’s experiments, he’d like some small warning of it at least.
But Sherlock hasn’t even glanced up from his laptop.
So John eats everything on the plate.
Miraculously, he lives to see the next day. And the next. And the next. And suddenly, they’ve been living in the hotel, dining purely on what is surely ridiculously overpriced room service, for over a week.
Sherlock disappears utterly into the files, though he frequently extracts himself for the brief moments he uses to bark commands at John. Usually his demands focus on the need for in depth information regarding current government policies, the makeup of the personnel in the parties, or the known home lives of seemingly unrelated Cabinet ministers. John rarely has answers that satisfy his flatmate, which Sherlock takes to confirm John’s status as class idiot. Frustrated, and deprived of his own laptop, John borrows the credit card Mycroft provided them with and purchases a cheap netbook.
Armed with this new device, he meets Sherlock’s demands with carefully researched reports and, on the days when the petitions are fewer, he takes to sketching out the events passing around them. The virtual pages on his screen are quickly filled with the lasting impressions of the people and places he encounters, and increasingly, Sherlock’s own stray notes, whether rattled off in disjointed moments of revelation, or found scribbled on the backs of discarded tissues. Sherlock takes full advantage of this, and more often than not, refers back to John to test the soundness of his conjectures.
One evening, John returns from his daytime rambles to a room void of the whirr of the computer. Sherlock has removed himself from the bed, and stands at the window, a pair of clawed fingers drawing the fabric back just enough to allow the man a glimpse of the street below. It’s twilight and all the lamps have been turned off. The pale sliver of light that manages to sneak into the room over Sherlock’s head steals across the floor, dividing the darkness in half, but not illuminating anything substantial to John.
“We should go out for dinner,” he says without any preamble.
John’s still removing the light jacket he bought the other day, having foolishly brought nothing of the sort with him from their Zürich house. This new one is lined with Thinsulate, so he hopes that if their next stop (as he’s well aware there will be one) is Tibet or Canada, he can at least survive the trip from the plane to a waiting taxi.
He hesitates for a moment, but slides his arm back through the sleeve.
“Alright,” he says. “Where to?”
“Oh, we’ll just pop downstairs, I think. Apparently the in-house restaurant is perfectly tolerable.”
Sherlock’s barely stirred from their room in all the time they’ve been here, but John refrains from asking him how on Earth he knows about the relative quality of the food. Instead, he follows Sherlock as he exits, being sure to grab a keycard on his way out.