In a bed somewhere in London, John Watson is having a nightmare. In the nightmare, he is reliving his Army days and his team is under fire somewhere abroad. A colleague cries out his name as the gunfire continues.
He suddenly jolts awake, distressed and panic-stricken. He sits up in bed wide-eyed and breathing heavily until he realizes that he is safe and a long way from the war. Flopping back onto his pillow, he tries to calm his breathing as he continues to be haunted by his memories. Eventually, he soon begins to weep and was unable to stop himself from doing so.
Sometime later he has sat up on the side of the bed and switches on the bedside lamp. It’s still dark outside. John sits quietly, wrapped up in his thoughts, and looks across at the metal walking cane leaning against the desk on the other side of the room. He looks at it unhappily, then continues to gaze into the distance. He will not be sleeping again tonight.
In the early hours of the morning, John, now wearing a dressing gown over his nightwear, hobbles across the room leaning heavily on his cane. In his other hand, he has a mug of tea and an apple, both of which he puts down onto the desk. Sitting down, he opens the drawer in the desk to get his laptop. As he lifts the computer out of the drawer, we see that he also has a pistol in there. Putting the laptop onto the desk and opening the lid he looks at the webpage which has automatically loaded. It reads, “The personal blog of Dr. John H. Watson”. The rest of the page is blank.
A few hours later he is at his psychotherapist’s office and he sits in a chair opposite her.
"How’s your blog going?" She asked
"Yeah, good," He clears his throat awkwardly, "Very good," He replied
"You haven’t written a word, have you?"
He points to her notepad on her lap, "You just wrote, 'still has trust issues'."
"And you read my writing upside down. D’you see what I mean?"
John gave no reply only an awkward smile.
"John, you’re a soldier, and it’s gonna take you a while to adjust to civilian life; and writing a blog about everything that happens to you will honestly help you," She stated
John gazes back at her with his face full of despair, " Nothing happens to me."
A well-dressed businessman, Sir Jeffrey Patterson, is talking with his personal assistant on his mobile phone, asking for her help because he has gone to the wrong railway station. She tells him that he has no choice but to catch a cab, something that he is obviously not used to doing. It is also obvious that the two are having an affair. He is seen later on the floor of an office building nervously taking a capsule from a small glass jar and eating it, after which he has a seizure and dies. Later, the dead man's wife is seen giving a press release on how unexplained his suicide was while the PA cries on the background, trying not to be obvious.
Two young men walk in the rain under one umbrella. One, James Phillimore, tries unsuccessfully to hail a cab, then decides to go home to find another umbrella. His friend Gary Jenkins waits for a while and walks back to search for him, but the friend never comes back. James is seen crying in an empty gym while taking a capsule from a jar. A day later, a newspaper headline on the front page, announcing the 18-year-old's suicide.
A wild party is in progress to celebrate the nomination of Beth Davenport, a local MP, to the Ministry of Transport. Two of the MP's assistants meet at the bar. One of them has removed the car keys from Beth's bag, in order to prevent her from driving They both suddenly look around, but their boss is not there anymore. She is seen by her car, looking for her car keys, then looking around. She is then seen in a fenced yard full of rental containers crying, with a jar with capsules by her hand.
Later, the Metropolitan police serve holds a press conference about the MP's death. Detective Inspector Lestrade sits at the table looking uncomfortable while his colleague sitting beside him, on his right was Detective Sergeants Sally Donovan and on his left was Harriett Houdini.
“The body of Beth Davenport, Junior Minister for Transport, was found late last night on a building site in Greater London. Preliminary investigations suggest that this was suicide. We can confirm that this apparent suicide closely resembles those of Sir Jeffrey Patterson and James Phillimore. In the light of this, these incidents are now being treated as linked. The investigation is ongoing but Detective Inspector Lestrade will take questions now,” Donovan announced.
“Detective Inspector, how can suicides be linked?” A reporter asked.
“Well, they all took the same poison; um, they were all found in places they had no reason to be; none of them had shown any prior indication of …” Lestrade answered before being interrupted by the reporter.
“But you can’t have serial suicides.”
“Well, apparently you can .”
“These three people: there’s nothing that links them?” A 2nd reporter asked.
“There’s no link been found yet , but we’re looking for it. There has to be one,” Lestrade answered.
At this moment, every single mobile phone in the room receives a text message. As they look at their phones, each message reads: “WRONG!” Harriett looks at the same message on her own phone.
“If you’ve all got texts, please ignore them,” Harriett told the crowd.
“Just says, ‘Wrong’,” the 1st reporter said.
“Yeah, well, just ignore that. Okay, if there are no more questions for Detective Inspector Lestrade, I’m going to bring this session to an end,” She informed the reporters.
“But if they’re suicides, what are you investigating?” The 2nd reporter questioned.
“As I say, these ... these suicides are clearly linked. Um, it’s an ... it’s an unusual situation. We’ve got our best people investigating …” Lestrade was then cut off by everybody’s phones.
Everybody’s phone trills another text alert and again each message reads: “WRONG!”
“Says, ‘Wrong’ again,” A reporter said.
Lestrade looks despairingly at Donovan.
“One more question,” She told the reporters.
“Is there any chance that these are murders, and if they are, is this the work of a serial killer?” A 3rd reporter asked.
“I ... I know that you like writing about these, but these do appear to be suicides. We know the difference. The, um, the poison was clearly self-administered.”
“Yes, but if they are murders, how do people keep themselves safe?” The reporter questioned him.
“Well, don’t commit suicide.”
The reporter looks at him in shock. Donovan covers her mouth and murmurs a warning.
“‘Daily Mail,’” She said
Lestrade grimaces and looks at the reporters again before saying,” Obviously this is a frightening time for people, but all anyone has to do is exercise reasonable precautions. We are all as safe as we want to be.”
Again the mobiles trill their text alerts, and once more each message reads: “WRONG!” But Lestrade’s and Harriett's phones take a little longer to alert them to a text and when they look at it, the message reads: “You know where to find me. -SH.” Looking exasperated, Lestrade puts the phone into his pocket and looks at the reporters as he stands up.
“Thank you,” He said.
Shortly afterward, Lestrade, Harriett, and Donovan are walking through the offices of New Scotland Yard.
“You’ve got to stop him doing that. He’s making us look like idiots.’ Donovan told Harriett.
“I can't watch over him 24/7, I have a job as a detective,” She explains.
“You volunteered to babysit him, so go find out where he his and tell him to stop,” Lestrade said to her before they continued walking.
John is limping briskly through the Russell square park, leaning heavily on his cane. As he walks past a man sitting on the bench, the man stares after him, clearly recognizing him. He calls out.
“John! John Watson!”
John turns back to the man as he stands up and hurries toward him, smiling.
“Stamford. Mike Stamford. We were at Bart’s together,” Mike tells John.
“Yes, sorry, yes, Mike.” He takes Mike’s offered hand and shakes it, “Hello, hi.”
“Yeah, I know. I got fat!” Mike said as he grinned and gestured to himself.
“No,” John said, trying to sound convincing.
“I heard you were abroad somewhere, getting shot at. What happened?” Mike asked.
“I got shot.” John said awkwardly. They both look embarrassed.
A little later they have bought takeaway coffees and are sitting side by side on a bench in the park. Mike looks at John worriedly. John takes a sip from his coffee then looks across to his old friend.
“Are you still at Bart’s, then?” John asked.
“Teaching now. Bright young things, like we used to be. God, I hate them!” Mike replied, They both laugh.
“What about you? Just staying in town ’til you get yourself sorted?”
“I can’t afford London on an Army pension,” Was John’s reply.
“Ah, and you couldn’t bear to be anywhere else. That’s not the John Watson I know,” Mike said with an optimistic voice.
“Yeah, I’m not the John Watson …” John said uncomfortably before he stops.
Mike awkwardly looks away and drinks his coffee. John switches his own cup to his right hand and looks down at his left hand, clenching it into a fist as he tries to control the tremor that has started. Mike looks at him again.
“Couldn’t Harry help?” He asked.
“Yeah, like that’s gonna happen!” John sarcastically replied.
“I dunno. Get a flatshare or something?” Mike shrugged.
“Come on, who’d want me for a flatmate?” John questioned.
Mike chuckles thoughtfully.
“What?” John asked Mike.
“Well, you’re the second person to say that to me today,” He replied.
“Who was the first?”
In the morgue of St Bartholomew’s hospital, Sherlock Holmes unzips the body bag lying on the table and peers at the corpse inside. He sniffs.
“How fresh?” He asks Molly, a pathologist, as she walks over.
“Just in. Sixty-seven, natural causes. He used to work here. I knew him. He was nice,” She answers.
Zipping the bag up again, Sherlock straightens up, turns to her and smiles falsely.
“Fine. We’ll start with the riding crop,” He said
Shortly afterwards the body has been removed from the bag and is lying on its back on the table. In the observation room next door, Molly watches and flinches while Sherlock flogs the body repeatedly and violently with a riding crop, but her face is also full of admiration. She walks back into the room and as he finishes and straightens up, breathless, she goes over to him.
“So, bad day, was it?” She jokingly asks.
He ignores her banter as he gets out a notebook and starts writing in it. His phone then chimes and he looks to see that it's a text alert, the text reading: U shouldn't have done that -HH.
He then briefly smirks before saying, “I need to know what bruises form in the next twenty minutes. A man’s alibi depends on it. Text me.
“Listen, I was wondering: maybe later, when you’re finished …” She tires to get out.
Sherlock glances across to her as he is writing, then does a double-take and frowns at her.
“Are you wearing lipstick?” He asked,” You weren’t wearing lipstick before.”
“I, er, I refreshed it a bit,” She said nervously. She smiles at him flirtatiously. He gives her a long oblivious look, then goes back to writing in his notebook.
“Sorry, you were saying?” He asked.
She gazes at him intently and said, “ I was wondering if you’d like to have coffee.”
Sherlock puts his notebook away, “Black, two sugars, please. I’ll be upstairs,” He walks away.
“ ... Okay,” Molly said.
In the lab, Sherlock is standing at the far end of the lab using a pipette to squeeze a few drops of liquid onto a Petri dish. Mike knocks on the door and brings John in with him. Sherlock glances across at them briefly before looking at his work again. John limps into the room, looking around at all the equipment.
“Well, bit different from my day.” John commented.
“You’ve no idea!” Mike chuckled
As he sits down Sherlock says, “ Mike, can I borrow your phone? There’s no signal on mine.”
“And what’s wrong with the landline?” He asked.
“I prefer to text.”
“Sorry. It’s in my coat,” Mike said.
John fishes in his back pocket and takes out his phone, “Er, here. Use mine.”
“Oh. Thank you,” Sherlock said before glancing briefly at Mike, he stands up and walks towards John. Mike introduces him.
“It’s an old friend of mine, John Watson.”
Sherlock reaches John and takes his phone from him, Turning partially away from him, he flips open the keypad and starts to type on it.
“Afghanistan or Iraq?” He asked.
John frowns. Nearby, Mike smiles knowingly. John looks at Sherlock as he continues to type an said,“ Sorry?”
“Which was it – Afghanistan or Iraq?” Sherlock asked again.
He briefly raises his eyes to John’s before looking back to the phone. John hesitates, then looks across to Mike, confused. Mike just smiles smugly.
“Afghanistan,” John answered, “Sorry, how did you know ...?”
Sherlock looks up as Molly comes into the room holding a mug of coffee.
“Ah, Molly, coffee. Thank you,” He said as he shuts down John’s phone and hands it back while Molly brings the mug over to him. He takes it and looks closely at her. Her mouth is paler again.
“What happened to the lipstick?”
“It wasn’t working for me,” She answered with an awkward smile.
“Really? I thought it was a big improvement. Your mouth’s too small now.” He said before turning around and walking back to his station, taking a sip from the mug and grimacing at the taste.
“ ... Okay,” Molly said before turning around and heading back to the door.
“How do you feel about the violin?” Sherlock asked John.
John looks round at Molly but she’s on her way out the door. He glances at Mike who is still smiling smugly, and finally realises that Sherlock is talking to him.
“I’m sorry, what?” John asked.
Sherlock types on a laptop keyboard as he said, “I play the violin when I’m thinking. Sometimes I don’t talk for days on end,”He looks at John,” Would that bother you? Potential flatmates should know the worst about each other.”
He then throws a hideously false smile at John, who looks at him blankly for a moment then looks across to Mike.
“Oh, you ... you told him about me?” John asked Mike.
“Not a word,” He answered.
John turned back to Sherlock and asked, “Then who said anything about flatmates?”
As Sherlock picked up his coat and putting it on he said, “I did. Told Mike this morning that I must be a difficult man to find a flatmate for. Now here he is just after lunch with an old friend, clearly just home from military service in Afghanistan. Wasn’t that difficult a leap.”
“How did you know about Afghanistan?” John questioned.
Sherlock ignores the question, wraps his scarf around his neck, then picks up his mobile and checks it.
“Got my eye on a nice little place in central London. Together we ought to be able to afford it,”He walks towards John,” We’ll meet there tomorrow evening; seven o’clock. Sorry – gotta dash. I think I left my riding crop in the mortuary,” Putting his phone into the inside pocket of his coat, he walks past John and heads for the door.
John turns to look at him” Is that it?”
Sherlock turns back from the door and strolls closer to John again, ”Is that what?”
“We’ve only just met and we’re gonna go and look at a flat?”
“Problem?” Sherlock questioned.
John smiles in disbelief, looking across to Mike for help, but his friend just continues to smile as he looks at Sherlock. John then turns back to Sherlock.
“ We don’t know a thing about each other; I don’t know where we’re meeting; I don’t even know your name,” He said,
Sherlock looks closely at him for a moment before speaking, “I know you’re an Army doctor and you’ve been invalided home from Afghanistan. I know you’ve got a brother who’s worried about you but you won’t go to him for help because you don’t approve of him – possibly because he’s an alcoholic; more likely because he recently walked out on his wife. And I know that your therapist thinks your limp’ psychosomatic – quite correctly, I’m afraid.”
John looks down at his leg and cane and shuffles his feet awkwardly.
“That’s enough to be going on with, don’t you think?” Sherlock said smugly.
He turns and walks to the door again, opening it and going through, but then leans back into the room again and said, “ The name’s Sherlock Holmes and the address is two two one B Baker Street. Afternoon.”
Mike raises a finger in farewell as Sherlock disappears from the room. As the door slams shut behind him, John turns and looks at Mike in disbelief. Mike smiles and nods to him.
“Yeah. He’s always like that,” Mike admitted.