Replacing John

Lee is a smart ass, no doubt, a master deductioner and a detective inspector, some may say even smarter than Sherlock. She may have started small, but she is growing higher than ever. Curious, Greg Lestrade investigates, thinking that she would be the perfect partner for his old friend.


3. The Blind Banker: Part One...

“I’m glad you could make it over. We’ve had another break in” Sebastian said leading us across the trading floor “Sir Williams’s office – the bank’s former chairman. The room has been left here like a sort of memorial. Someone broke in late  last night”

“What did they steal?” John asked, I rolled my eyes, they didn’t steal anything, it was obvious.

“Nothing just left a little message” I knew it!

He held his security card against the reader by the door to unlock it. Inside, hanging on a plain white wall behind the large desk is a framed portrait presumably the late Sir William Shad himself. On the wall to the left of the portrait, someone has sprayed what looks like a graffiti ‘tag’ in yellow paint. The tag looks vaguely like a number 8 but with the top of the number left open, and above it is an almost horizontal straight line. Across the eyes of the portrait itself, another almost horizontal straight line has been sprayed. Perhaps because of the texture of the paper or perhaps because of the ‘artist’ over-sprayed the line, the yellow paint had run trails down the painting. Sebastian led the way towards the desk and then stepped aside to allow Sherlock and myself to get a clear view of the wall. John moved to stand on the other side of Sebastian, who looks at Sherlock expectantly, while the detective stares in fixed concentration at the graffiti.

I knew what he was thinking, I watched him for a moment, staring at him in fake awe, I could figure this one out in a snap, I just needed to check something first, I pulled out my phone taking a picture for future reference. Sherlock looked at me distracted, I go to look back at him but his eyes quickly dart away back to looking for clues. Phase one was almost complete, I just needed him to compliment me on my appearance and phase one was complete.


Later, were back in Sebastian’s office and he is showing the boys the security footage of the previous night, he doesn’t trust me, yet he trusts John, peculiar. I observed him, he looked to be what he says he is, so why doesn’t he trust me, by the process of elimination (something average humans do?), Sherlock would be the most untrustworthy, but sentiment, friendship was stopping him from noticing that. Ugh, emotion is so fragile, yet not easily broken.

“Sixty seconds apart,” Sebastian states he flicks back and forth between the still photograph taken at 23:34:01 which shows the paint on the wall and on the portrait, and a minute earlier at 23:33:01 when the wall and portrait were completely clean.

“So within a minute someone came up here in the middle of the night, splashed paint around, then left” Sebastian ends.

“How many ways into that office?” Sherlock asked in a reporter manner.

“Well, that’s were it gets really interesting”

We follow Sebastian back to the reception area; Sebastian shows us a screen from a computer which has a layout of the trading floor and its surrounding offices. Each indicated door has a light against it showing its security status.

“Every door that opens in this bank it gets logged right here, every walk-in cupboard, every toilet.”  He continues.

“That door didn’t open last night” I ended.

“This is an advance, tell me how he got in, there’s a bigger one on its way”

He pulled out a cheque set for Sherlock from the breast pocket of his jacket.

“We don’t need an incentive, Sebastian” Sherlock says walking away, I followed him along.

John watched us walk away before turning to Sebastian and saying “Uh he’s kidding you, obviously, sh-shall I look after that for him?”


John chased after us.

“Two trips around the world in this month. You didn’t ask his secretary, you just said that to irritate him, so how did you know?” John asked Sherlock looked at me wanting me to answer.

“Did you see his watch?” I replied.

“His watch?”

“The time was right but the date was wrong, said two days ago, crossed the dateline twice, didn’t alter it” Sherlock continued.

“Within a month, how did you get that part?”

“New Breitling, only came out this February” I finished.

“So do you think we should sniff around here any longer?”

“No, we have everything we came, for now, thanks” Sherlock stated


“That graffiti was a message. Someone at the bank, working on the trading floors. We find the intended recipient and...” Sherlock continued knowing I was thinking so he answered all of John’s obvious questions.

“They’ll to lead us to the person who sent it.”


“Well, there’s 300 people up there. Who was it meant for?”



“Pillars and the screens. Very few places where you could see the graffiti from. That narrows the field considerably. And of course, the message was left at 11.34 last night. That tells us a lot”.

“Does it?”

“Traders come to work at all hours. Some trade with Hong Kong in the middle of the night. That message was intended for somebody who came in at midnight. Not many Van Coon’s in the phone book, TAXI”


We drove to Van Coon’s flat, I sat in the middle of the three seats, Sherlock remained quiet for the whole ride, I went to touch his knee, he didn’t notice, as I touched him his whole body squirmed. He looked at me straight in the face, I stared back into his eyes.

“I never did notice how pretty you actually are,” Sherlock said, “A-according to the ‘laws of beauty,”

Close enough to a compliment for my plan,

Phase One Complete, Phase Two: In motion

John was shocked at Sherlock, probably for two reasons, he stuttered and most shocking, he complimented me. I moved my hand off his knee, I blushed slightly, on purpose naturally, I needed to be human. Phase two was only slightly harder.


We arrived at the flat, I buzzed the door, there was no response, I buzzed it a second time, still no response.

“So what do we do now?” John asked, “Sit here and wait for him to come back?”

 “Just moved in,”   Sherlock and I said in unity.


“Floor above, new label” I continued.

“Could’ve just replaced it”

“No-one does that” Sherlock replied.

Sherlock pressed the buzzer for the flat above.

“Hello?” said a female voice.

“Hi, um, I live in the flat below you, I don’t think we’ve met,” Sherlock said.

“no, well er, I’ve just moved in”

“Actually, I’ve just locked my keys in my flat”

“You want me to buzz you in?”

“Yea, and can I use your balcony?”



I had managed to get Sherlock to help me get in, but he didn’t let John in, poor soul, well I think anyway, human emotions are all too precious. The door to Van Coons flat.

“Sherlock? Lee? You OK? Yeah anytime you feel like letting me in!” he called, I laughed a little inside.

Sherlock opened the door to the small bathroom and glances inside at the few items on the shelf opposite. He shut the door and walked to the larger door which I was by, trying to open it, he tried too, only then realising it was locked. I rolled my eyes again, jeez Sherlock I'm smarter than you, but you refuse to believe that. Ugh, men can be so arrogant. Sherlock turns on his side and shoulder charged the door, ouch, the door burst open. He walked inside, I followed him cautiously, something was off, and there was a man in a suit and overcoat lying on his back on the bed, dead. There is a pistol on the floor, and the man had a small bullet hole in his right temple.

I called the police against Sherlock’s want, I am not losing my job because of his arrogance. The photographer was taking pictures of Van Coon’s body lying motionless on the bed. A forensics officer was dusting for fingerprints on the nearby mirror, and the distant voices suggest that the other forensic team were elsewhere in the flat. Sherlock took off his coat and was in the bedroom with a pair of gloves while I am walking around the living room before I was curious to see how Sherlock was doing. It was murder I thought. John was already there, standing beside him.

“Do you think he’d lost a lot of money?” He said as I walked in, “I mean, suicide is pretty common among city boys”

“We don’t know that it was a suicide,” I began, “At least I'm pretty sure it wasn’t”

“Come on, The door was locked on the inside; you had to climb down the balcony”

Sherlock was squatted down by a suitcase near the bed, then straightened up and looked at John.

“Look at the case.” Sherlock believed “There was something packed deeply inside of it”


“Yeah, I'm not desperate to root around some bloke’s dirty underwear”

Sherlock walked to the foot of the bed, I was leant on the wall beside the balcony.

“Those symbols at the bank – the graffiti, why did they put it there?” I asked.

“What, some sort of code?” John replied.

“Ugh, obviously”

Sherlock looked closely at the man’s legs, or possibly his shoes – he moved up and carefully opened the man’s jacket to look at the inside pockets.

“Why were they painted?” Sherlock continued, “If you want to communicate, why not use e-mail?”

“Well, maybe he didn’t respond” John replied.

“Oh good, you follow”

No, he doesn’t.

“No” John responded

Told you, well, thought so.

Sherlock and I threw him a look before Sherlock moved on to examine Van Coons hands, come on Sherlock, with a brain like yours, you should know that ‘normal’ people are like goldfish when it comes to this.

“What kind of message would everyone try to avoid?” I asked, knowing John wouldn’t know the answer.

He frowned in confusion, I knew it.

“What about this morning?” Sherlock asked, “Those letters you were looking at”

“Bills” John groaned.

Sherlock gently prised open Van Coon’s mouth and pulls out a small black origami flower from inside. Air hissed out from the dead man’s lungs.

“Yes,” Sherlock began.

“He was being threatened” I ended, walking to Sherlock. “Well done, love”


“I said I’d work on it, you don’t like?”

“No, it’s, er, cute”

There was a man’s voice outside, a recognisable voice, it was a detective inspector, he worked with me and Lestrade.

“Bag this up, will you...” he asked from outside.

“Not being threatened by the gas board,” John said to Sherlock, looking closely at the flower.

Sherlock lifted an evidence bag to put into.

“...and see if you can  get prints off this,” the man’s voice said again.

The man, a plain clothed officer, who really doesn’t look like a detective, walked into the bedroom. Sherlock and I turned and walked towards him.

“Ah sergeant” Sherlock said offering to shake his hand, “We haven’t met”

“It's detective inspector,” I said to Sherlock.

Sherlock kept his hand held out, the detective shook the hand off and put his own hands on his hips.

“Yeah, I know who you are; and I’d prefer it if you didn’t tamper with any of the evidence,” he said angrily. “Detective” he ended looking at me.

“Detective” I replied.

As Sherlock lowered his hand, Sherlock gave the evidence bag to the officer turned his best stroppy look on him.

“I’ve phoned Lestrade, is he on his way?” Sherlock asked.

“He’s busy, I’m in charge.” He stated, “And your girlfriend’s right, it’s not Sergeant; it’s Detective Inspector Dimmock.”

“She’s not my girlfriend, she’s just a friend”

Sherlock looked at him in surprise, and then he turned and shared his surprised look with John. I smiled at him, I told you, Sherlock, don’t you understand, I have to work with this bastard.

“We're obviously looking at a suicide” Dimmock settled.

“That does seem the only explanation of all the facts” John replied.

John was being idiotic; Sherlock took off the latex gloves and turned back to him.

“Wrong, it’s one possible explanation of some of the facts” Sherlock stated, “You’ve got a solution you like, so you’re choosing to ignore everything you see that doesn’t comply with it”

“Like?” Dimmock asked smugly.

“The wound was on the right side of his head”


“Van Coon was left-handed, requires quite a bit of contortion”


“Oh, I'm amazed you didn’t notice. All you have to do is look around his flat.”

“Like what?”

“Coffee table on the left-hand side; coffee mug handle pointing to the left. Power sockets: habitually used the ones on the left. Pen and paper on the left side of the phone because he picked it up with his right and took down messages with his left. Do you want me to go on? Lee?”

“No I think you’ve covered it,” John said tiredly.

“Then I’ll continue, there’s a knife on the breadboard with butter on the right side of the blade because he used he used it with his left,” I continued with a smirk.

We turned to Dimmock, he had a really impatient look on his face, I smirked once more only this time I was actually happy.

“It’s highly unlikely that a left-handed man would shoot himself in the right side of his head”, I said

“Conclusion: someone broke in here and murdered him. Only explanation of all the facts” Sherlock continued.

I smiled at Sherlock, he was being smart.

“But the gun, why?” Dimmock asked confused

“He was waiting for the killer, he’d been threatened” Sherlock interrupted, grabbing his coat and scarf and starting to walk away.


“Today at the bank, it was a warning”

“And the bullet?”

“Went through the open window”

“Oh, come on! What are the chances of that?”

“Wait until you get the ballistics report. The bullet in his brain wasn’t shot from his gun, I guarantee it”

“But if the door was locked from the inside, how’d the killer get in?”

“Good! You’re finally asking the right questions” Sherlock ended, dramatically slamming his hands into his glove. 

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