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Title: The Ghost of Cases Past
Fandom: BBC Sherlock
Rating PG-13
Characters: John Watson, Sally Donovan
Length: 630
Alternate Link: AO3
Author's Notes: Written for the watsons_woes JWP Prompt #7: Wrong! Have a character discover that he or she remembers a pivotal life event incorrectly. Unbeta'd and not a cheerful read.
Summary: Flatmates should know the worst about each other.

There was an ambulance mixed in with the panda cars, their emergency lights reflecting from the two-story windows of a posh Mayfair house when they arrived.

Sherlock took one look at the scene and stiffened with indignation. He rapped on the partition. "Back to Baker Street," Sherlock ordered the cabbie.

John sat forward. "Wait, no, just pull over for a moment while we sort this out, please!"

The cab driver glanced back at them, shrugged, and pulled up to the curb.

"Aren't you even going to have a look?" John urged Sherlock. It had been two weeks without a case, the longest drought since John had moved in a few months ago, and Sherlock's experiments were escalating from disturbing to dangerous.

Sherlock huffed. Luckily, Lestrade chose that moment to step out of the front door of the house, Donovan trailing behind him. Sherlock caught sight of them and bounded from the cab.

John quickly paid their fare and followed him.

"- house-break gone wrong, with the witness right there, able to testify? This is a waste of my time," Sherlock snarled, gesturing at the badly-beaten elderly woman being carried out on a stretcher.

Lestrade shrugged. "All true, but she didn't see his face, and the way the guy cut the paintings out of their frames, and smashed everything else?" He looked around for a moment before stepping close, and said quietly. "It's the Travers case all over again."

"Oh, I solved that one ages ago," Sherlock complained.

Lestrade peered up at him. "No," he said slowly. "No, you didn't solve that one, actually. It's still an open case."

Sherlock drew a deep breath, opened his mouth to say something vicious, and then – stopped. Without a word, Sherlock unwrapped the scarf from his neck, shoved it into his pocket, and walked into the house.

John had no idea what just happened. "Lestrade, what's –"

The Detective Inspector turned around, avoiding John's eyes, and followed Sherlock inside. Sally Donovan was left standing by the door, arms crossed, watching as the victim was lifted into the back of the ambulance.

It was none of John's business. If it were, Lestrade would tell him about it, or Sherlock would. The absolute last thing he should do is go behind their backs to ask anyone else. Then again, Sherlock had spent the last three months deducing John's past every time he turned around, and he still knew next to nothing about the man.

John leant on the fancy metal railing next to Donovan, gulped a breath of the chill night air, and couldn't help himself from asking, "Travers case?"

Donovan's eyes flicked to him, then back to the ambulance. "Three years ago. There'd been a string of robberies in Chelsea, getting more and more violent. Finally ramped up to murder – Evelyn Travers. Kicked to death in her own bedroom. She was seven months pregnant at the time."

John took a breath.

Donovan smiled tightly. "Yeah. I'd just joined Lestrade's squad. He called in some civilian consultant. Said the man was a genius, worked for no pay, and would find us Travers' killer by the end of the week. Then the freak shows up," she said, voice breaking with disgust, "high as a kite, staggers around the scene spouting some incomprehensible rubbish, and would have passed out on the victim if Lestrade hadn't caught him. I had to call another ambulance for Evelyn Travers. The first one was too busy shipping his junkie arse off to A&E."

John swallowed against a sore throat. "He'll find the killer," he promised.

Donovan shrugged. "I'm sure he will. Wouldn't want this case buggering up his bloody winning streak, would he?"

The ambulance drove off. John watched it turn the corner and then headed in after Sherlock.

He really shouldn't have asked.



( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 8th, 2014 07:30 am (UTC)
Uuhhh!!! I'm intrigued now!!
And thank God Sherlock's out of that now!
Jul. 10th, 2014 06:00 am (UTC)
Agreed. Sherlock's drug history is one of those intriguing loose threads the show's canon has left us to play with.
Jul. 8th, 2014 12:29 pm (UTC)
Oh ouch, but that would explain some of the animosity Sally feels for Sherlock.
Jul. 10th, 2014 06:00 am (UTC)
It really would. Thank you, donutsweeper.
Jul. 8th, 2014 03:09 pm (UTC)
an off-topic comment
Imagine if John continued publishing cases after The Fall, and more and more people started questioning Sherlock's 'crimes', and police's status dropped in society's eyes? [Were I a clever criminal, I'd use it so:] Sherlock's name is cleared, people are indignant, those who have been leaning to illegal actions but were held back by fear of justice - suddenly decide it's not that scary... And then - the Dark Side wins in two moves. Ah, I'd wish there was a fic about how Sally Donovan came to John Watson to employ him to write things that would make PR better... could you write it? pretty please?:)
And thank you very much for your Ghost. It 'rang true every time' ((c) ACD). Good luck!
Jul. 10th, 2014 06:01 am (UTC)
Re: an off-topic comment
That is an interesting plot bunny! *eyes it nervously and feeds it carrots* Thank you, serenusc.
Jul. 8th, 2014 03:19 pm (UTC)
Oh this is dark and interesting. Explains a lot, too, as donutsweeper said. Nice!
Jul. 10th, 2014 06:01 am (UTC)
Thank you, monkeybard.
Jul. 8th, 2014 06:45 pm (UTC)
Oh jeepers. Yeah, that's a good reason not to remember what really happened, but it's definitely more than bit not good!
Jul. 10th, 2014 06:03 am (UTC)
Very much not good. THank you, pompey01.
Jul. 9th, 2014 08:35 pm (UTC)
This suits the prompt to a T and explains so much. (Probably better that the BBC team could!) Fits perfectly into their canon too! Dark and very well done!
Jul. 10th, 2014 06:04 am (UTC)
Thank you so much, captain, I really appreciate the feedback.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )