She told him to ring her. He didn't.
She gave him her old phone, one engraved to her from Clara, and he held it in his hand. It was cool against his palm, and he wasn't sure how to use it, but there was something pleasing about the weight of it.
Harry smelt like gin, but he didn't bring it up. Just inhaled the familiar smell. She told him that she was leaving Clara and that she thought reiki would really help his leg almost in the same breath, and she made coffee in a plunger pot, but forgot about plunging it, so it was bitter and not quite hot enough.
Walking hurt, but he walked anyway.
Back from Harry's house to the little bed-sit.
Round and round the park. The sky was unfamiliar and too familiar at the same time. It was hard to concentrate on the crutch and on the press of people at the same time. Sometimes he bumped into them, but they were usually nice about it. The crutch made people kind.
When he walked he wondered if people knew he wasn't real. If they could see it in his face. Other days it felt like they weren't real and he was, and he wondered if they knew that too. If they knew they didn't exist.
He hoped they didn't know. Not existing wasn't particularly pleasant.
Later, Sherlock asked him if he'd started when he came back from Afghanistan.
He couldn't remember when he'd started. He thought he must have been nine or ten, and it had been with a key or a clothes peg, playing with his skin and the force he would have to exert to break it. He remembered playing that game a lot as a kid, pressing blunt objects to his skin and hoping.
During the war, he was too busy to think about it much, though one quiet night when the moon was very full and the light it cast seemed too bright, he found a quiet spot outside and cut into his shoulder with a scalpel, and let the blood drip onto the ground, and felt, for a moment, completely calm.
He found nothing more comforting than a blade against his skin. Nothing more comforting than seeing his own blood come up, and the taste of it in his mouth. That was the only moment when he felt like he really existed.
When he first got back to London, he kept forgetting where he was supposed to live. He couldn't connect this London with himself and instead lived in a London he'd inhabited years ago, wandering in the neighbourhood of former flats and standing in groceries he'd once frequented. He moved oranges from shelf to shelf, wondering what he was doing there.
He woke up crying, but the nightmares during the day were generally worse than the ones at night. Those nightmares came upon him when he was walking from room to room or standing in Tesco, looking at bags of grapes, came and swallowed him whole, and left him trembling and exposed and standing vacant, and that was worse.
No one seemed to notice, but then this was London. If he started screaming they would probably just walk past.
He saw Clara one day. She called him on Harry's phone and said, “I'm glad I could reach you. I've missed you.”
He found Clara hard to place in his head, but that was true of most things. She was someone he had once known, that was all. She smelt like lavender when he saw her, lavender and something fresh and clean which he couldn't name, and he remembered the way her face changed when she smiled, and the angle of her throat when she swallowed. If you became fond of someone small things like the movement of their throat or the way they pronounced certain words became endearing. And he supposed he must have been fond of her once, because he did find those things endearing.
She made filter coffee and her flat was small, but warm and bright.
“Harry didn't tell me you'd come back,” she said. “Or I would have seen you sooner.”
Why, John wondered. Why would you want to see me. I don't really remember you. But he knew to say something polite. He seemed to forget everything else—how to sleep, where he lived—but he didn't forget how to say something polite.
She said she had a box of his old things he'd left at Harry's, and she'd taken it with her by mistake. He took it home with him in a taxi, and then he was stuck at the bottom of his stairs, with a box he didn't want and a crutch. He stood there fruitlessly for a while, the problem seeming first insurmountable and then unimportant, and at last a young woman who lived below him helped him up with it. She was strong and quick and he was embarrassed.
“You're very fast,” he said.
“Strong, you mean,” she said. “It's just because I work in a warehouse.” She had a pleasant smile, and was nimble, and another John might have tried to ask her out. This John held his crutch and felt humiliated.
When he opened the box it was full of children's books, meticulously kept lab-books from school, and a smattering of forgotten photographs.
Not worth the effort.
The nightmares during the day were worse, but that didn't mean the ones at night were particularly bearable either He made a nest on his bed so he didn't have to sleep with his head on the pillow. Sleeping flat on his back made waking worse somehow, breath coming harsh and sudden in his throat.
In the box was a framed screen-print of a zebra he remembered having on his wall when he was a child. It was in profile and he remembered its one eye watching him while he slept and had chicken-pox and read books. He put it by the bed and let it watch him again.
He read some of the children's books. Tom's Midnight Garden, Prince Caspian, The Family from One End Street. They helped and did not help at all. He stopped getting up at the right times. It made sense to sleep from six am to three and then settle in for some afternoon telly.
He mostly ate tangerines and bags of crisps from the multi-packs that always seemed to be on sale in Asda. He liked tomato ketchup flavour best. He kept eating them in bed and finding crisp crumbs and peel in the sheets. It was messy and part of him hated it, but it was somehow soothing to wake from a nightmare and stick your foot down between the sheets and find a little curl of tangerine peel.
The next time he ran out of crisps he bought a little box of razorblades at the supermarket. It was a tiny item when mixed in with the tangerines and the crisps, but he couldn't stop looking at it.
He knew, of course, how to do it in the most aseptic way, but knowing is not the same as doing. He did not clean the area first. He took the razorblades out of the packet fresh, but he didn't clean them any further, and sometimes he reused them. He'd done it with different tools all through his childhood: Swiss Army Knives, and serrated kitchen knives mainly used on onions, and other, less obvious objects, like the sharp edge of a key or the corner of a clothes peg. When he got older, he just bought packets of razorblades, because they were sharp and clean and easy to use. He tried not to reuse them too many times. He didn't want to get cellulitis or something worse, after all. He liked to wrap them back up once he'd used them, and see the dots of blood seeping through their thin paper.
He loved how thin they were, how easily they could be slipped into a wallet or pocket. He loved how sharp they were, how little pressure had to be exerted for the skin to be broken.
Standing in Tesco, just holding the box, made him feel real and clear for a moment. He was John, here in London. He was John, looking after himself as always.
Nothing quite touched him properly. He tried to make dinner and he forgot about the soup he'd been heating up until the pot was irrevocably burnt. He had an apple instead but it didn't taste like anything, and he wasn't sure if the fault was his or the apple's.
He wondered what he'd done before he'd gone to Afghanistan. He couldn't seem to remember.
He watched a lot of telly. He especially liked the opening themes of old cop shows. They were very soothing. They were so soothing he often forgot to pay attention to the rest of the episode. He liked the advertisements too, especially the Marks and Spencer ones.
Sometimes he came back home with things he couldn't remember buying. Usually sweets, like rollos or jelly tots or kit-kats, but sometimes fruit or packets of ready-grated cheddar. He didn't know why he bought them but he usually enjoyed eating them more than things he meant to buy for himself. He started making bacon-flavoured crisp sandwiches again, like he'd done secretly as a child.
Often he couldn't stand being in the flat, but sometimes being outside was worse. As it got closer to Christmas he liked being outside less and less. It was too loud So he stayed in all day and slept at odd times. If you slept during the morning, you could make a sandwich and watch TV until it was time to go to sleep again. Sometimes he forgot to buy bread for sandwiches, but he remembered to tidy. The bed had crumbs in it but at least it was neatly made.
He started sleeping later and later, waking to see daylight creeping around the curtain, and forcing his eyes shut again until he knew it was dark out. The day time nightmares got worse all the time. There were always cockroaches on the floor now but he could never catch them, and he kept cleaning but they just ran around the brush and made soft, high sounds. There'd been cockroaches in Afghanistan too and he wondered if they'd followed him home. At four pm he woke up and told himself, Weak, and Bad, and cried, and then curled up into the smallest possible lump on his bed and wrapped his arms around his pillow and brought it to his chest. Weak. Bad.
Those were the most difficult thoughts to have.
Soothe the poison. His father had chosen alcohol, and so had Harry. He didn't know what his mother had chosen. Maybe she just bore it, bore every day of living with no crutch at all. That was admirable.
The way he chose was better than alcohol. He was so much healthier than they were. When he was injured, the doctors noticed the marks on his body that could only be caused by self-cutting, lines across both sides of his rib cage and over his belly, and scars that marked only his right arm, because his right hand was not precise enough when he tried to cut the left arm. Doctors had noticed before, but the real wounds on his body were more pressing and they didn't talk about it. John was so glad.
In January he went to see his therapist. He hadn't thought it would be any good, seeing her, or any help, but somehow he was still holding onto it in his mind, like somehow it would change things. She was nice and well-dressed and that made things more difficult. He suddenly wanted her to think well of him: they were both professionals and he wanted to seem as sensible and well-spoken as she was. He knew he was supposed to tell her about what was wrong, but the room was too bright and his problems belonged in dark bed-sits and frosty parks, not in bright rooms in front of windows.
Out the window he could see a busy street, and the movement of people reminded him of a canal, and he wondered suddenly if he was looking at a canal, not a street, and he'd been wrong about streets all his life. He'd mistaken canals for streets for so long: how embarrassing. He thought about all the canals he'd walked through. He saw the buildings as high river banks, the cars as boats. He sat there, hovering above the sudden canal, and then realised he was John and he was in an office and it wasn't a canal.
His therapist was looking at him.
“Where did you go, John?” she said.
“I didn't go anywhere,” he said.
“Was my last question difficult for you?”
“I can't remember what it was,” he told her honestly.
“I asked if you'd found anything helpful when you're dealing with nightmares or flashbacks,” she said.
John thought about the zebra, the nest on his bed, and the white box of razor blades. He thought about canals again, and about the feeling of himself leaving the chair without his body. He thought about not being real. “No,” he said at last. “Nothing helps.”
She sent him home with a number of questionnaires to fill in for next week: sheets of paper with questions asking him to rate symptoms based on how much he experienced them. He remembered seeing such things before, but he had never had to fill them in. She talked to him about writing a blog, too. He remembered he had a lap-top in a drawer of his desk, under the children's books and his gun. She told him to come back next week.
It was stupid for even the smallest part of him to expect anything to change.
Then he met Sherlock, and there were a few glorious hours when he thought about nothing but movement, and felt nothing but adrenaline.
Afterwards he was back in London, the real London with its streets full of meaningless sounds and the endless oppression of having nothing to do and nothing he really wanted to do.
Wanting was important. When you don't want anything it really hurts. He lay in his bed in the new flat. It was at least a double bed and he was no longer faced with the indignity of a single. He lay in his bed and he pulled his left arm out from under the sheets and looked at the scars. An arm is an impractical place to cut yourself when you're a doctor, so the scars here were very old, especially those close to his wrist. They were thin and white and barely noticeable if you didn't know what you were looking for. He knew, and he found them, tracing them with his fingers. There were thicker, deeper scars just below his elbow, and a host of pink and white lines below his shoulder where they could be hidden with almost any sleeves.
You could cut your ribs and watch blood trickling down your body in dark lines, contrasting with the skin. You could let it dry and pick it off flake by flake, and your ribs would feel pleasantly sore and bruised for a few days. You could cut your tummy, see how deep the blade would go in the soft flesh there, and soak the blood up easily with tissues. A strange place to cut when you were a doctor, and knew where the organs were, which vital parts of yourself you could damage if you just pushed hard enough. There were lots of places where the skin was soft and the blood came quickly and you could concentrate on the edges of yourself, but somehow there was nowhere John craved cutting more than his arm. The cuts there were easier to see and the blood flowed more quickly and he could trace the scars with one hand and be comforted by their presence, be comforted that he could at least control his skin.
He wasn't doing anything and it wasn't important to have scars that could be easily hidden any more, so he went to his desk and took out the little white box of razorblades, and held them in his hand. Sherlock, he thought vaguely, would probably notice, because Sherlock could see anything. That gave him pause, but he wanted to cut too badly to think about it too much.
He closed the bedroom door and turned on the lamp and took off his t-shirt. He sat on the desk chair and held out his arm, flexing the muscle. He thought about the vulnerability of skin. It reminded him of watching his first surgeries, the wholeness of the skin before that first steady cut through it, and then the muscle.
He paused, thinking of it. Then he brought the fresh razorblade lightly over his arm, and watched as flecks of blood welled up almost instantly. The blade was so sharp it didn't really hurt. It would hurt much more with something blunt, but today he wanted to see his blood. Some days he wanted pain, but not today. He cut again, faster and pressing more deeply, and the blood did not for a moment reach the wound, so he could see how white the flesh was there, so white and so smooth it seemed almost to shine. In the centre of the wound he could see one or two little yellow lumps, the beginnings of fatty tissue, and then the blood welled, and the wound gaped at him like a little red mouth, a little red mouth trickling blood.
He made another similar cut, and again, and again, until he lost count. Then he held his arm away from his body and let it drip blood onto the floor. A few drops had ended up on his pyjama bottoms, but that was all right. They would wash.
He sat and let himself bleed, and let himself bleed, until he grew cold in the room and then he took his t-shirt and pressed it against his arm to staunch the flow. When he pulled the cloth away from his arm he could see the cuts clearly for a moment, almost entirely unobscured by blood. He'd cut himself more and more deeply as he got older, but he hadn't cut his arm for a long time, and it was strange to see the familiar flesh so marred by blood. He assessed them and told himself that none needed stitches, that they needed only pressure.
Later, he got dressed and put on a long sleeved shirt so the little wounds wouldn't chafe against the sleeve of his jumper. They'd stopped bleeding, though one was oozing occasionally. He wiped at the floor vaguely. Most of the blood came up, thought a little stuck to the wood. He didn't think that it was important. He stuck his soaked t-shirt into the middle of a pile of washing and chucked the whole lot into the washing machine. Sherlock watched him do it, but he didn't say anything, and anyway, he couldn't know yet. He couldn't possibly.
He felt better all day. Cutting often had that effect on him.
The cuts on his arm healed well, but remained sore longer than he had expected. They were easy to see since he only had to pull his sleeve up, rather than remove his shirt as he had to do for the ones on his ribs, and because of that they were constantly reassuring. He liked looking at them, feeling them with his fingers. Sherlock did things with test tubes and paint samples and seemed intent. John wandered from room to room, and then outside, walking London streets, watching strangers and drifting. His leg didn't hurt any more and gradually he stopped feeling much of anything. He was just a body that moved from place to place.
He went home and slept briefly on his chair, wondering how he could sleep so much and do so little. His hand was trembling again, quivering against his thigh, and the magic of those few hours with Sherlock seemed never to be repeated. He remembered, instead, hopelessly mundane things: stepping over his father's body when he slept outside one spring morning, too drunk to make it to bed, and the dew that had settled on his collar. His mother standing over the sink, crying over a teacup John had broken. “It's such a little thing,” she had kept saying, between sobs. “Such a very little thing.” He thought about those things and felt far away from himself, like he was wandering somewhere above his body. He sat and he floated.
The room was far away. Sherlock was in the flat, a clever mouse working with tubes. John's body was light and it could do anything. John's body was heavy, weighing him to the ground. This was all a game someone was playing with him. This was a game he was playing by himself and no one would tell him the rules. He felt so cold and tired and vulnerable.
He wanted to cut himself and he did not want to cut himself. Cutting required so much energy, was so exhausting, and he couldn't be bothered, and yet it was the only thing he wanted to do. It was something he needed to do.
In the bedroom, he dug in his drawer for the familiar white box. He took it out, cradling it in his palm. It was so familiar. Sometimes he didn't cut for months, or years, but in the end he always came back to a box of sharp edges. It was where he belonged. The box felt very light and he was pleased by its lightness, pleased that so much could weigh so little. He didn't feel far away now, he felt happy and slightly giddy.
He tipped the box and tried to slide a blade out, but he found he couldn't. Instead, folded in half, was a slip of paper.
Come and find me. SH.
John looked at the note, and found his hand was shaking terribly, and his heart was racing. He felt first panic and then anger. Once he'd decided to cut himself, he didn't think he could stand not to do it. He had to. There was no other choice.
He was trembling, feeling angry and horribly exposed. It had been a long time since someone had known and had cared. A doctor had seen his arm when he was a teenager and said a few stern words. A teacher had seen, too, an unpleasant biology teacher who had noticed the blood stain, and had asked him to roll his sleeve up. He had looked at her as he had done it, and seen her face change when she saw the marks, change from her stern teaching expression to something very open and very hurt. She'd told his mother, and his mother had looked and said, “We don't have time for this, John.” Her expression was gentle, but her meaning was clear.
After that, John had made sure no one really important had ever found out.
He wanted to leave the flat and not come back. He wanted to go and shout at Sherlock. He wanted to cut and there was a blade tucked safely in his wallet, the one he'd used a few days ago. He took it out and brought it down across his forearm, a few inches below the elbow joint, hard and fast, his hand trembling with anger and with panic. He realized, when he looked at the cut, that it was long and jagged, and probably too deep. The blood, when it came, was thin and red and quick, and he knew he hadn't hit an artery, so he cut again, and again, these cuts thinner but no more controlled. He felt terrified and unable to stop, his hand trembling on the blade. At last he dropped it, and felt sobs welling up within himself. He bit his right hand, blood dripping onto his collar.
He felt out of control. Out of control of himself and of the cuts on his body, and out of control of the situation, because Sherlock knew.
He knelt on the floor, biting his hand, tears coming hot down his cheeks, and he watched the blood stain his clothes, and blood stains were so hard to get out, and he knelt and he floated far away from himself, spiralling gently away to the ceiling and beyond. He left, he was gone, he was no longer the lump sitting on the floor, he was a slate on the roof, scum in the bottom of a take-away container, part of a cloud, a pebble, nothing.
He got cold and came back to himself. He'd bled quite a lot. There was blood on the floor and on his clothes, and he couldn't be bothered to clean it up. He got into bed instead, shivering, drawing the covers around his bloodstained body. He'd unpacked the zebra a few nights ago, and it watched him, propped up on his bedside table, watched him with its one steady eye, in its forest of reds and oranges.
Hello, zebra, he thought, and then he fell asleep.
He'd showered the dried blood off himself. There wasn't really that much. He cleaned the floor badly, leaving little flecks of blood everywhere, and he put his clothes in the wash, though he didn't have a lot of hope for them. He did it mechanically, and felt all the time like he was watching himself. There were bloodstains on the bed, too, but he didn't think it mattered.
He went into the sitting room where it was generally warmer. Sherlock was lying on the sofa, staring up at the ceiling.
“Has it been since Afghanistan?” he said. John had sat down and there had been quite a significant pause between John's entry into the room and the question.
“No,” John said. “Much longer than that.” Then he said, “It's amazing how far a little bit of blood can go.”
“That's useful, though,” Sherlock said. Then, “Why didn't you come and find me?”
“What would you have done?”
“I don't know,” Sherlock said. “I wondered if you'd still do it if you had another option.”
John didn't know what to say to that. He felt soothed from the cutting, and he didn't feel much of anything else. It was useful, not feeling much.
Sherlock said, “You're not going to damage yourself too badly. That's not why you do it.”
“No,” John said. “It isn't.”
Sherlock was quiet. John thought the conversation was over and he got out his laptop. He wasn't really sure what he was looking for, but he flicked around from one website to another, not paying much attention to anything he saw.
After a while Sherlock said, “Why?”
John didn't know. He smiled. “It helps me think.”
It was raining out. John lay on top of his perfectly made bed, looking at the drips on the window. He felt small and exposed. Razorblades were expensive, around seven pounds, and Sherlock had taken his. He still only had the one he'd kept in his wallet, and both of its edges were blunt. He played with it between his fingers, lightly stroking the edges with calloused fingertips.
He went out for another walk. He went to Asda and wandered around, but lately he found that there was too much stuff, and he couldn't remember what he was supposed to buy. The problem with food was that you had to keep replenishing it. He'd thought going outside might make him feel better, but if anything he felt worse. He went home and settled in for some old episodes of Cagney and Lacey with Mrs Hudson.
Later he took a knife from the kitchen and brought it into his bedroom. God knows what Sherlock had been using it for, but it looked clean enough that he could convince himself it was. He had to press harder than with a razor blade. He watched the blood come, swell at the wound, and then spill, trickling down his wrist and onto the floor. He put the knife back on the desk. Its tip was pleasantly bloodstained. He lay in bed, watching the blood trickle from the wounds. He could smell the blood on the air, faint and metallic. He could see cockroaches, again, scuttling at the corners of his vision, and smell blood too strongly, and mixed with something else. It made his head hurt and his body slide away from itself, let go of itself. He was adrift again.
He looked at the zebra carefully, and watched as other animals loomed up from the forest, panthers and great, angry insects. He found he was trembling. He drew his bleeding arm to his chest. It hurt, and he wished it didn't. He wished someone was there to bandage it up for him, someone was there to sing him to sleep.
Anyway, you didn't get sung to when you were a Watson. There were advantages and disadvantages. You could stay up for as long as you liked. No one would notice what you did as long as you were quiet. Being quiet, there were a lot of things you could do. John mostly read books and drew pictures. Harry mostly climbed out of the window and went to see friends. All her friends were older than she was, because they were the only ones who could stay out that late.
John didn't want to read a book now. He didn't want to lie here either.
Time passed. He might have fallen asleep, but he wasn't quite sure.
Sherlock came in.
“I thought it would be in here,” he said, picking up the knife. He rubbed his thumb against the dried blood. “Wish you'd killed someone: that would be much more exciting.”
John wished he had too.
On a case, nothing else mattered to Sherlock, and after a while nothing else mattered to John either. He liked the speed of it more than anything, the endless forward momentum. He stayed tight in his body in those times, never floating away. Always John, always in this moment. Pavements vanished under his feet, and his mind stayed sharp and constant.
Sherlock suffered in between, and John did too, though his suffering was more formless. He wasn't longing for another case, exactly, he was just longing to fit back in his body again. Sometimes cutting helped and sometimes nothing helped at all.
He still watched a lot of TV. It was a little better now that he'd been on another case with Sherlock, now that he was confident it would happen again. And again. That was all he wanted, thought. More.
It was so good to finally want something.
He said it to Sherlock, fumblingly, over a Chinese, after their case. Sherlock kept predicting his fortunes and getting them right, and John looked at the movement of his hands, the animation in his face.
“It was hell before,” he said at last.
Sherlock put down the fortune cookie. “You have six fresh cuts on your arm, and two, I think, on the right side of your rib cage. Why?”
John tried to think about it, but there weren't any reasons, or if they were, they slipped away. It was between the edge and himself. “Because that's what I do,” he said.
Sherlock looked at him thoughtfully, but with less of his usual intensity, as if he did not quite know how to analyse this. Yet. John suspected he would understand it better than John once he had gathered enough data. “Has your therapist said anything?”
“I don't think she knows,” John said. “Though it should be in my medical records.”
Sherlock made a faint, angry, spluttering sound. “You should fire her.”
“That's what your brother said,” John said. “I don't actually pay her though. I suppose I could request a new one, but it's the NHS. I don't think it would be that quick.”
His tone was light, but Sherlock's face clouded. He dropped his napkin onto his plate and then said, “Let's go.”
Later Sherlock gave him back the razorblades he'd taken. They were in a clear plastic bag with suspicious black crumbs at the bottom. “Save you buying more,” he said.
“Thanks,” John said. Sherlock looked at him again, and then put his hand on the back of John's, where the skin was entirely whole, and pressed down, just for a moment. Then he moved away.
He went to see Harry because he'd not gone at Christmas. She was worse at Christmas; being drunk was socially acceptable at Christmas. She made coffee again and said Clara was being a pain and that she had a lot of work to do and it never seemed to get done. Her body had softened recently and she was wearing clothes intended to highlight her curves. She told him she was tired and worked too much and didn't have anyone to talk to. John looked at her and felt far away. She always made him think of being at home, though she was different from either of his parents. She reminded him of the kitchen sink with pieces of broken teacup in it, of the dew on his father's collar, of feeding spaghetti to the mice behind the fireplace when he was tired and cold and alone. The mice liked it.
On the tube home he thought about cutting himself, about the blade meeting the skin, the clean, sudden pain of it, and then the long wait for the blood to stop. He felt tired and he wasn't sure if he could be bothered with it. The blades were safe in his pocket in their bag. He could do it whenever he wanted.
Sherlock was lying on the sofa in his usual position when John got back. His feet were up and his eyes were closed, but he opened one when he saw John, and he looked, for a moment, glad.
John got a tangerine from the bowl in the kitchen. They looked mercifully free from experimentation. He peeled it sitting across from Sherlock, enjoyed the sudden, clean smell of the zest.
“So contact with your family doesn't make you cut yourself,” Sherlock said. “Interesting.”
John paused, wondering if this statement would make him feel angry. It didn't. He put a piece of tangerine in his mouth. “Sometimes it does.”
“Hmm,” Sherlock said.
“Do you understand it yet?” John asked.
“No,” Sherlock said.
“Let me know when you do,” John said, smiling. The whole thing seemed suddenly, and almost miraculously, ridiculous. “I'd like to understand it too.”
Sherlock looked over at him, puzzled. “John,” he said, his voice soft and even. “I don't know if...” Then he stopped. “Give me a piece,” he said.
John reached over and put a piece of the tangerine into Sherlock's hand. Sherlock nodded, took it, and raised it to his mouth. The segment against his lips was the brightest thing in the room. “Yes,” Sherlock said, “I'll let you know.”