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Sherlock's Latest Addiction

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Bang! Bang!

"Sherlock-"

Bang!

"SHERLOCK!"

Sherlock Holmes slightly lowered the revolver and pouted at John from his position on the sofa.  "If it won't cure my boredom, I'm not listening."

Bang! Bang!

John huffed at his flatmate.  "Really Sherlock, you're going to run out of ammo soon anyway,"  His stern glare demanded that Sherlock put the weapon away.  "Don't you have a body part to microwave, or an experiment to write about, or anything to do other than put holes in the wall?"  When Sherlock didn't respond, John, hoping that there would be some quiet now, wandered into the kitchen to prepare some breakfast for himself.  

A brush of cold air washed over him as he opened the refridgerator.  Milk...  Cereal? thought John, analyzing his options for this morning's meal.  His eyes found a carton of eggs in the door.  Ah, an omlette today, then.  John retrieved the carton and was on his way to the table when Bang!

John started and lost his grip on the eggs, sending them tumbling in slow motion to the kitchen floor.  They produced their own kind of bang when they hit the cold floor.  John knelt down, fuming, to survey the damage.  He found six damaged eggs leaking golden fluid onto the floor.  Unfortunately, there were no survivors.

John left the eggs to bleed out on the floor as he rose, pinching the bridge of his nose and furrowing his brow.  Oh, I'll give him a crime scene.... It'll be his own corpse though. I'm sure Lestrade wouldn't mind.  Neither would Mrs. Hudson if I promised to clean up afterwards... John grumbled inwardly, inserting more vivid language where he saw fit.  As he crouched once more to wipe up the bits of uncooked omlette, three more bangs ensued.  

Sherlock was a touch startled by the hostility John emanated as he stormed in the room a few moments later and opened his laptop.  He was basically slapping the touch pad, and a few clicks and an enraged smirk later,  John tossed his laptop at the consulting detective, who had to drop the gun to catch it.  

"It's called Minesweeper," said John as he went for his coat.  "I've got to go get some eggs," John put more emphasis than necessary on that last word.  "If Mrs. Hudson raises the rent again because of this, Sherlock Holmes, so help me-"

Sherlock wasn't listening after this point.  He was too consumed by the grid of blue squares glowing on the screen in front of him, though he did hear a faint clatter as John slammed the door.  Hmm.. Thought Sherlock, Some sort of game, I suppose.  Tentatively, he clicked one of the squares.  A delightful noise erupted from the speakers as a cluster of blue tiles turned to white and the timer at bottom left corner began counting.  Sherlock loved a good timer, though he wished it were counting down instead of up.  

Sherlock took special note of the multicolored numbers skirting the edge of the oblong white cluster.  Instantly his mind switched to experiment mode, and he wanted to know what would happen if he clicked one of the tiles next to the numbers.  The results were less than satisfactory, though quite informative.

In the time it took for every bomb to explode, Sherlock deduced exactly what the numbers meant.  Each number indicated exactly how many mines were touching that tile.  This could be worth my time after all... mused the consulting detective as he clicked "play Again", slightly disappointed in John's unspeakable winning percentage and frankly alarming number of played games.

Sherlock was prepared this time, briefly checking to see what right-clicking a tile did before left-clicking the first tile.  A tiny red flag of victory cheered him to continue on.  He removed the flag and clicked a square.  To his dismay, however, it was a mine.  Sherlock stared at the exploding screen for a solid fifteen minutes, weighing in his mind the pros and cons of continuing this silly game.  The pros, however, won out, and before he knew it, he had clicked "Play again." again.  Before he could attempt the first tile, his phone buzzed.  

Probably just John asking what kind of eggs we should get, thought Sherlock, picking up his phone and without looking, typed the message: 

Grade-A white chicken -SH

Within a couple of seconds, his phone vibrated again.  Sherlock ignored it completely this time, too engrossed in the game to look at a silly text message.


John slammed the door behind him.  Why must his flatmate be the most interesting person he knew while simultaneously being the single most infuriating git in all of London?  He let the nip in the air cool him off.  He let his feet carry him past a few more convenient stores.  John was in no hurry whatsoever to return any time soon, though in the back of his mind he was concerned that Sherlock might blow up the flat before he returned.

John passed one or two more shops and a sparce collection of people now and again, some of which nodded to him and one of which greeted him with a "Good morning Doctor Watson," as she passed by, mostly alone on the uncrowded street.  John was tempted to pick up her number, but instead continued walking about fifty paces when a piercing scream tore out from behind him.  He whirled around just in time to see a man wearing a knit-cap racing around a corner with the woman's purse tucked under his arm.

He immediately started pounding towards the thief, running as fast as his legs would carry him, adrenaline already coursing through his body.  John whipped around the bend and saw the scoundrel darting alone across the street and into a neighboring alleyway.  John tried to go faster; he couldn't loose the thief so soon.  A cab driver with his tires screeching and horn wailing shouted obscenities at John when John dashed in front of him to cross the street.  John ducked into the alleyway where the wild yahoo was attempting to scale a fence and rapidly succeeding.  The ruffian leapt over the top of the fence before John had a chance to grab him, but that didn't deter John Watson.  He was over the fence within thirty seconds and hot on the trail of the athletic brigand.

The chase led both men through the narrow alleyway.  The crook upset a row of bins to try to impede John's progress, but to no avail, for the blogger was spry as a goat.  The victory seemed to be in John's hands as he chased the younger man, getting closer by the second.  John watched as the hooligan rounded the corner of a building and pursued him, mere seconds behind, but then skidded to a halt, bewildered to find that the purse-snatching lout was nowhere to be found.  He had vanished.  There was nothing before John but an empty alleyway, devoid of anything.  Not even a measly bin occupied stifling brick walls that surrounded the lone doctor.

The theif was lost.  John slumped himself against a wall to catch his breath, which was coming out in white puffs.  His lungs ached from the chill in them.  John took this opportunity to contact his flatmate, who he was certain would relish this fascinating opportunity.  John might write it up later and call it "The Case of the Vanishing Villain" or something cheesy like that.

Sherlock, I was chasing a thief and he just disappeared.  He literally vanished.  Interested?  -JW

John didn't have to wait long before he got Sherlock's response.  Ah good, thought John, that means he's going to-

Grade-A white chicken -SH

What? -JW

The amount of 'what' in John's 'What?' was astounding.  Was Sherlock attempting to call him a coward by comparing him to poultry?  Was he making a pitiful jab at white people?  Could it be both at the same time?

John, whose breath was still coming out in white puffs, decided in a moment of pride and frustration that he was going to solve this case without the aid of Sherlock Holmes.  At least until Sherlock responded with an adequate response.


 

Said consuting detective was currently 75 seconds into a surprisingly entertaining round of Minesweeper.

Yes, thought Sherlock.  If a two is adjacent to two ones, the mines must always be on either side of the two... and if the one and the three are there, there can't be a mine here... These thoughts and many ones just as boring passed through Sherlock's mind as he worked out precise mine-placement scenarios in his head.  And then he got here.

He was stuck.  The only thing he could do was go clicking any square willy-nilly, and that was very irksome to Mr. Sherlock I-Never-Guess Holmes.  Nevertheless, the timer was counting, so he wasted no time on choosing one such square as scientifically as possible, taking probability into account.

That wasn't very helpful.  It only gave him one less square to fling his cursor upon.  So he clicked again, knowing his chances were one square smaller.

Sherlock couldn't suppress a smug smirk when the all-too-pleasing sound permeated the empty flat.  This put him in a much better position.


 

John knew Sherlock's methods very well and endeavoured to use them in the best possible manner.  That's why the first thing he did was phone Lestrade.

Lestrade, however, was very busy doing something so pressing (eating a sandwich, probably) that he would not answer his phone.  What a shame.

This time John really applied Sherlock's methods.  He scanned the ground for clues.  The thief's footprints were visible in the dirt that coated the concrete, just the imprints of the very tips of the workboots worn by the running roughneck.  He followed these to the end of the alleyway where they stopped before a dead-end wall of red bricks piled three stories high into the London air.  John probed the wall with his hand to find that it was indeed made of solid brick.  John, mildly frustrated, searched around him for more clues.

A few dead leaves were a testament to both the closest park and the windy weather, but neither of these things were important to John at the moment.  He found a shard of broken glass in a scanty gathering of leaves.  

Just a shattered beer bottle... but where's the rest of it?

He rooted around the whole alley but found no booze container.  Now what does this tell me?  thought John.  Someone was mucking about this alley with a bottle of beer and dropped it, and someone picked up the pieces.  Why would anyone pick up the pieces?  mused the blogger.  This is too remote a place for anyone to be sweeping the streets.  Perhaps our thief is accustomed to running willy-nilly through this particular alley and didn't want broken shards of glass getting in his way.  

John found this working hypothesis acceptable, but was still miffed.  There had to be a secret entrance somewhere in this alley, and John Hamish Watson was going to find it if it took him a week.  He began feeling along the walls, tugging on the ocassional loose brick, pushing on ones that jutted out too far.  John got all the way to the dead-end wall and felt once again foiled.  He leaned one hand against the wall in frustration but jumped back when the wall gave under the slight pressure and budged sideways a fraction of an inch.  That was all John needed to see.

He pushed with his soldier's might and found the wall surprisingly easy to shift.  He was able to create a space about two feet wide in the wall and behind it saw only inky darkness.


This is going rather well, thought Sherlock as he clicked away.  I wouldn't be surprised if I-

Bang! Bangbabangbangbang!

Sherlock stared dumbfounded at the screen.  That wasn't meant to happen.  His finger slipped at the last second, and it just wasn't fair, because the sweet taste of victory should have been his.  Sherlock contemplated throwing John's laptop out the window and into the street below, but something persuaded him to click that darned "Play again" button for the third time, and he became dead to the world.


John slid his trusty torch from his coat pocket.  One never knew when one would need a light, after all.  With one hand on his handgun and the other on his light, John inched into the darkness, barely penetrated by his puny torch.  He could see a faint break in the mirk some distance away.  From this he gathered that he must be in a hall of some sort.  

Crunch.

John froze as he felt the glass give way beneath his heel and turned off the light.  He didn't want anyone to see him if they looked.  Minutes passed, but there was nothing but the stillness of the concrete cave John found himself in and the sound of the wind blowing outside.

Flicking his light back on and pointed it at the debris at his feet.  Sure enough, it was the rest of that bottle he had found outside, glowing green as emeralds in the light.  He lightly stepped over the shards and carried on towards the end of the hall where he found a ladder leading down into what smelled to John like the perfume of roadkill and cheese.

Lovely.  A sewer, thought John as he shined his light down the hole.  He could see the damp floor tiles on the bottom but hesistated before going down.  Instead, he wedged his torch in the crook of his arm and withdrew his mobile, the light that the screen threw at his retinas blinding him.  He proceeded to type out a text to one Sherlock Holmes.

Apprehending said vanishing thief.  I could use some backup. -JW

John took in one last lungful of fresh air before plunging further into the reeking abyss.


 


Three hours and twenty-seven minutes later, John returned limping to the flat to find Sherlock curled up on their sofa with John's laptop propped on his  knees.  Sherlock looked completely absorbed in whatever was on that screen, but at the moment, John's apathy was almost as large as his swollen eye.

"That was quick," Sherlock commented after John experimentally texted him one more time, just to see if Sherlock's phone was still functioning properly.  

John did not attempt composure.  "I've been gone almost four hours, Sherlock.  I've sent you fourteen texts and called you twice, and was beginning to think you'd died, like I almost did because you weren't answering your phone."

Sherlock tore his eyes away from the screen and gazed at his bruised flatmate.  The expression on his face would have been laughable under any other circumstances.  "You've been attacked...?  Why have you been crawling around in a sewer, John?" said he with genuine shock.

John laughed in exasperation and yelled back to Sherlock as he retreated into the kitchen to make himself an ice pack, "Look.  At.  Your.  Phone."

Sherlock, for once, obeyed and flicked open his phone.

2 missed calls from: John

View recieved messages:

 

Sherlock, I was chasing a thief and he just disappeared.  He literally vanished.  Interested?   -JW

 

What? -JW

 

Apprehending said vanishing thief.  I could use some backup. -JW

 

I found some glowing mold you might want to experiment on.  I'm in a sewer, by the way.  Don't you like sewers? -JW

 

If you're still playing that stupid game, Sherlock, you will never hear the end of it.  -JW

 

Sherlock, there are dead bodies down here.  I really think you want to see this.  Lestrade's on his way. -JW

 

Answer my calls, Sherlock. -JW

 

They're on to me.  There's more than one, and I'm frighteningly outnumbered.  Send help, Lestrade isn't here yet. - JW

 

I've managed to knock out one of them.  I can't do that twenty more times. - JW

 

Sherlock noted a significant time-lapse between the previous text and the one that followed.

 

Thank Lestrade next time you see him, because without him, you wouldn't have a blogger anymore. - JW

 

Also, thank him for reminding me that it would, in fact, be illegal to kill you when I get back. -JW

 

The whole sewer is one massive crime scene now.  The possibilities are endless. - JW

 

Are you still breathing? -JW

 

I'm standing right beside you and you haven't noticed yet.  This is absurd.  - JW

Sherlock looked back up at his battered flatmate, who was now seated in his chair, glaring at Sherlock, and frowned.

"Well?" spat John.

Sherlock frowned harder.  "You know I shut the world out when I'm thinking, John."

John crumpled back into his chair mostly full of bitterness and in pain, but partially amused and amazed.  "You played Minesweeper for almost four hours, nonstop?"  John laughed this time and glanced at the holes in the wall, then scowled back to the pouting consulting detective who was sad because he had missed a case, however small. There was static tension in the air between the two men before Sherlock was given one last reason to thank Greg Lestrade, for at that moment, Sherlock's phone buzzed once more.  There was a new case to be solved.  Sherlock was sliding his slender arms into his coat sleeves when he said, "Coming?"

There was silence from the fuming man in the oatmeal-colored jumper.  John was still absorbed by his chair.

Sherlock sighed.  "If you come with me, I'll get you the number of the woman whose purse was stolen."

John didn't even bother asking how Sherlock figured that out.

"You're a horrible person," said John Watson as he followed Sherlock out the door and once more onto the streets of London.