'...and furthermore, it's your duty, Sherlock. You can't hide away forever. Why, if I told Lestrade about this, he'd be round there in a shot...'
'Yadda yadda yadda.' Sherlock Holmes stretched out more comfortably on his sofa. It wasn't quite long enough, so his feet hung over the edge, but that was alright. It was nice to have a bit of a breeze round them.
The phone lay discarded on the rug, Mycroft's voice still whining out of it. He was moaning about some case or other- boring. Sherlock wanted action, but not in the form of a case. He wasn't sure what, though.
A loud thump reverberated through the room as the door slammed. That would be John, Sherlock mused. Either that, or Mrs Hudson had discovered his collection of dissected appendixes. But no- Mrs Hudson wouldn't wear a hat, and therefore wouldn't pause to hang it up outside the door. John, then.
Sherlock stretched out a little on the sofa, and hoped that John would cater to his addiction to tea, and therefore make him a cuppa as well.
The kettle pinged. Lovely.
'So...' John sounded hesitant. 'How are...things...going?'
Sherlock turned his head slowly and deliberately. 'Wonderfully, John.'
'Wonderfully isn't a word.'
'Have you read the dictionary?'
'Then I suggest you don't suggest unless the suggestion you suggest is suggestive.'
John was silent for a while after that. Sherlock could almost hear the cogs grinding in his head.
'Everything is worthwhile if it broadens experience. But in fact,' Sherlock brandished a file in front of John's nose. 'There's a case that a bit of suggestiveness may just help me- us- solve.'
John raised a derisive eyebrow. Sherlock, hitting on him? Phase. It would pass. John felt, somewhere in his gut, the tiniest ping of sadness, but ignored it. That would pass, too.
John coughed, realising that his thoughts had drifted elsewhere. 'Case?'
'A sixteen year old boy committed suicide by hanging himself in the family's garage last night. At least, that's what Lestrade says. But that's impossible. Look at his shoelaces. See? Impossible. Come on. We're going.'
Before John could protest he was dragged up by his collar and pushed bodily out the door. He didn't even get to finish his tea.
'Thought you didn't want the case.'
'Well I'm sorry, but 'cha can't have it now. Sally and me have it covered.'
'Sally and I.'
'Whatever. Besides, it's suicide. Thought 'cha didn't do suicide.'
Lestrade took a while to process this. 'So you're saying... not suicide?'
'I'm saying murder.'
It was funny, Sherlock mused, how many places the word 'murder' could take you. Why, he'd once gotten into the Queen's residence to share a cup of tea with her, simply by running around screaming that she'd been murdered. Of course, it had taken Lestrade several months to calm the press, and therefore the population of England down, but that tea had been worth it. There'd been shortbread as well.
'Prove it's murder.' They had arrived at a dingy garage, made all the more depressing for the corpse of a boy hanging in it.
'Oh, we're here already?' Sherlock smiled at Lestrade. 'Doesn't time fly when you're having fun.'
'Get a move on.'
Sherlock huffed slightly, then proceeded to turn his collar up and pace around the crime scene. Of course, he'd seen the evidence that it was murder the moment he'd walked through the door, but humans did so love a bit of a show.
The boy, Marcel Dulamont, was an only child. According to his peers and parents he'd been a little preoccupied for the past few weeks, but had taken a devastating turn for the worse after a confession to his parents, resulting in him being banished from his own home. Apparently, the boy had simply stated that he was falling behind in school, and the parents had kicked him out to teach him a lesson, but Sherlock knew better.
The detective stopped in front of the gently swinging boy. His eyes took in the untied shoelaces, the scruffy shirt, the long and mangy hair, and the expression that was plastered plainly across Marcel's still, delicate features. Fear.
'He was gay.'
Lestrade inhaled some coffee accidentally, and ended up doubled over, coughing. Sherlock ignored him.
'He was meticulously tidy. His room,' Sherlock gestured to the just visible room outside the garage, 'is utterly clean, his clothes folded and ready, and even in his rush to leave he remembered to close the curtains and pack his toothbrush. He also has many friends, so wouldn't have let him sleep on the street, so why is he so dirty? Maybe he never did leave the house. And look at his hair.' Sherlock lifted a strand up with the end of a pencil. 'Damp and freshly washed, but covered with dirt. If we look in here...' Sherlock rummaged in the boy's pocket, resulting in another coughing fit from Lestrade. 'Ah ha!' Sherlock triumphantly brandished a picture. In it, from what John could see, were two boys, their arms around each other, smiling...happy. 'Gay, see? You can tell by the way they're both standing. But why, you ask?' Sherlock ignored the fact that no one had, and proceeded with his deductions. 'Why has this crime been so meticulously set up? Murder. Someone strangled this boy, then hung him up like a marionette. And that someone went to great lengths to make sure no one ever found out. If you go to this address,' Sherlock produced an address from Marcel's other pocket. 'You'll find another boy. Another...dead...boy.'
Lestrade took the address in a daze, and wandered slowly out towards the door. He bumped into the frame a few times as he tried to get out, but succeeded eventually. John glanced at Sherlock.
'You knew he was gay before we came here. How?'
Sherlock smiled. 'I went on his blog.'
John closed his eyes for a moment. 'So how much of that did you actually deduce from the crime scene?'
Sherlock considered. 'He didn't mention in his blog the fact he'd washed his hair recently.'
John groaned, turned on his heel, and stalked off to speak to some witnesses.