One: The Last Straw
The idea, when it came, really was inevitable. Honestly, after the severed head incident, John was already desperate for some relief from Sherlock’s obsessive devotion to his experiments. And all the fancy microscopes and intricate computer simulations in the world could not hope to remedy the fact that human flesh, when left to its own devices, does what all dead flesh does.
And Mrs. Hudson, God bless her, really didn’t deserve to lose sleep over the foul stench of rotting toes in her tennants’ breadbox. Indeed, it was the sight of her with a lacy handkerchief clamped over her nose as she greeted him after he came home from the surgery that clinched it. Sherlock, and his experiments, needed a bloody holiday. And John? Well, John had connections.
“Oh, damn this weather!” Sherlock was moping again, his eyes glued to the window pane and the endless descent of snow outside it. John rolled his eyes and let the door shut behind him, reveling in the warmth of the flat.
“Hi, honey. I’m home.” John quipped.
Sherlock turned to look at him, his face wrinkled up in confusion.
“Pop culture reference, Sherlock. Nevermind it.”
“Oh. Alright. It’s snowing again.” He turned back to his window pane vigil.
John, who was in the act of brushing a small drift off of his coat and stamping the accumulated inch of white fluff off his boots, just glared at his flatmate’s back.
“Yeah, you know I had noticed.”
Sherlock flicked his gaze back to John, returned to the window and, in an instant, seemed to realize there was something expected of him. “Sorry, John, how was the surgery?”
John sighed. Well, Sherlock was making an effort at least. He rolled the stiffness out of his wounded shoulder and shrugged out of his coat. “Oh, bloody brilliant. It’s cold and flu season, you know.”
“Oh, yes.” Sherlock groaned. “More’s the pity.”
“Why do you care? You’re not sick.”
Sherlock flopped onto the sofa, his body limp and loose. “No, but they are.”
“Oooh.” John said, comprehension solidifying itself in his brain. They always meant “the criminal element” when Sherlock said it like that.
“I don’t understand it!” He moaned. “A bit of inclement weather and the murderers and miscreants all vanish! It’s like they--” His hand flapped dismissively in the air. “--fly south for the winter or something. Like geese.”
John sighed. “So no new cases, then?” Oh Hell, he’d dreaded this.
“Lestrade has been aggressively silent.” Sherlock confirmed.
“Nothing on the site?”
John winced. It was his a last ditch effort, but he had to do something. “You could try to find Moriarty again.”
Sherlock turned to regard him with a poisonous glare. “John. I do advise you to stop talking now.”
John deflated. Oh God. It was come to this. It was drastic. So very drastic. But he was running out of patience and Mrs. Hudson could only take so much before even she reached her breaking point.
Maybe he wouldn’t have to do it. Maybe Sherlock would get a case. Lestrade could call any minute with some snow-covered corpse wrapped in cellotape or something. Anything. Wearily, he trudged up to his room to change into some dry trousers and maybe rub something soothing onto his shoulder. He opened his door, and an involuntary scream tore out of his throat just as his body hurled him back against the far wall of the corridor.
“Bloody Hell!” He shouted. For there, on his bed, sitting atop a large sheet of thick plastic, was a complete human torso. Male, for what it was worth, and it was oozing.
“Problem?” Sherlock’s unpurturbed voice drifted up the stairwell.
John swore again, slammed his door and leaned heavily against the wall.
“That’s it!” He called down, malice and exasperation edging his words. “We’re going to America!”
There was a lengthy pause, then: “...what?”