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Fic: Unknown number

Title: Unknown number
Fandom: BBC Sherlock
Rating: PG
Characters: John Watson, Sherlock Holmes
Length: 580 words
Alternate Link: AO3
Author's Notes: Written for the watsons_woes JWP 2015 Prompt #30, Words of Warning. Unbeta'd and written in a rush, so please feel free to point out any errors.
Summary: John once told Sherlock that people don't have arch-enemies, in real life. Tonight may prove him wrong.

Sherlock emerged from his Mind Palace, having properly sorted and stored the information on mud from the south bank of the Thames. His muscles were rather stiff. There was a cup of tea on the table next to John's phone, which was chiming a text alert.

Sherlock waited for John to answer it.

The phone chimed again.

Sherlock sat up and drank the tea, which was unfortunately room-temperature.

The phone chimed again. Sherlock picked it up and checked the screen.

Unknown Caller 020 7946 0010
20:02. You're late, Watson. Do I need to remind you what happens if you don't show?

Sherlock felt a frisson of excitement at the threat. It was now 8:05. "John," he called out.

There was no reply. John's coat and shoes were gone. He must have gone to meet with this man, leaving his phone behind as a clue. Why hadn't he said anything? Perhaps he had. Sherlock vaguely recalled John trying, and failing, to get his attention earlier.

Sherlock quickly found that John had received a single call from this number on Tuesday. They had spoken for six minutes. Aside from that, there was a string of threatening texts.

Tuesday 11:20 I've got a score to settle with you, Watson.
Tuesday 5:52 I'm going to enjoy watching you beg for mercy.
Wednesday 9:53 Do you know how long I've waited to get you back for that time in Lashkar Gah?
Today 6:41 Bring Holmes, if you like. He can bear witness to your humiliation and inevitable defeat.
Today 8:02 20:02. You're late, Watson. Do I need to remind you what happens if you don't show?

The military time and reference to an incident in Afghanistan made this a military threat. John had mentioned something about a friendly fire incident where his testimony had resulted in a sniper's dishonourable discharge.

It was now 8:07.

Sherlock made a decision and pulled out his phone. "Mycroft, John is being threatened by a soldier, or former soldier. I need you to trace a phone, 020 7946 0010."

Mycroft did not hesitate or mention the favours that would surely be owed. He rapidly found and conveyed the information. "The SIM card was purchased Tuesday morning at a London branch of Carphone Warehouse." Sherlock was already down the stairs, hailing a cab. "The phone is currently located at … 18 Wilton Row. Sherlock, that's -"

Sherlock rang off. He gave the address to the cabbie, then took the time to locate it on his mental map of London. The Grenadier Pub. A pub? An odd place for a man to wreak vengeance. Sherlock checked the phone again. Still, better to overreact to a potential threat, than not provide John with necessary back-up.

Sherlock burst through the pub door at 8:19. There was a startled silence. Sherlock spotted John in the back, calm and at-ease, holding a pair of darts and a pint glass.

"There he is! Bill, that's Sherlock," John told the man beside him, out of uniform but clearly a soldier on leave, who had gone on alert when Sherlock stormed in.

"You … left your phone at home," Sherlock said as he approached the two of them, still not entirely sure they weren't in danger.

"Did I?" John said with the innocent smile he only used when lying. "Oh, that was careless of me. Thanks for bringing it; Bill was hoping he'd get a chance to meet you."

Sherlock grit his teeth and smiled at John's army friend.



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 31st, 2015 12:33 pm (UTC)
Excellent. John clearly knows the right way to get Sherlock's attention!
Jul. 31st, 2015 09:29 pm (UTC)
That he does! Thanks, thesmallhobbit!
Jul. 31st, 2015 03:02 pm (UTC)
I love it! Good for John for getting his point across so craftily :)
Jul. 31st, 2015 09:29 pm (UTC)
He's clever, is our John. Thanks kit!
Jul. 31st, 2015 07:42 pm (UTC)
Ha! Love it! Nice twist on the prompt. :-)
Jul. 31st, 2015 09:46 pm (UTC)
Thanks! The prompt was so dramatic, which fits into Sherlock's world-view, but no one else's, and that gave me the idea.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )