Send the Inspector to examine the stream. If you just tell these people, they'll never learn. They have to find the answers themselves, even if they do need leading through it, step-by-painful-step.
Footsteps up the stairs.
“Sherlock, you weren't answering your doorbell.”
Mrs. Hudson and two strangers. Men in suits: dull, generic.
“His room's through the back, get him some clothes.”
Strangers who know where his room is and, worse, intend to dictate to him about what he's wearing. Unacceptable.
“Who the hell are you?”
“Sorry, Mr. Holmes. You're coming with us.”
A non-apology intended to give a veneer of politeness. Hateful. Not going anywhere while there's a case – solved already, of course, but getting to what has become the best part - explaining to John and getting to see his face light up with awe.
John has noticed the interruption. “Sherlock, what's happen-” Suitman closes laptop before John can finish. Turn to glare at him. Shutting off John is not allowed.
“Mr. Holmes, you will need to come with us. Right now.”
Expects to be obeyed without question, or is hoping to just steamroller Sherlock into going along with him. Neither are going to happen.
“I am going nowhere. I'm currently working.”
“My employer has another case for you. One that is far more important.”
More important than a dead man? Interesting, but value is highly subjective in these things.
A stack of clothes is set down on the desk. Smart clothes. Emphasis on black – intentional? All were clean and put away – he opened the wardrobe to get at them. No underwear – assumed Sherlock was already wearing some or unwilling to handle another man's pants? Too many questions.
“Please, Mr. Holmes. Where you're going, you'll want to be dressed.”
Time to finally take a look at the invader.
£700 suit; unarmed; manicured; hairline says office-worker and shoes say he works mainly indoors; right-handed and spends a great deal of time around a small dog. Several small dogs – three. Distinctive hair, breed obvious.
“I know exactly where I'm going.”
Suitman is uncomfortable about that statement, but soldiers on. Briefly reminded of John.
“If that's so, then you'll know you'll want to be wearing clothes when you get there.”
Look back at clothes pile. Will wearing clothes matter? Unlikely, and there's a strong stench of Mycroft in all this. Wearing a sheet on this trip would pay him back for any number of childhood humiliations.
Not going at all might even be better, even with the risk of losing an interesting case. Pros and cons: the effort of leaving the flat; interacting with normal, boring people, possibly also Mycroft; giving in to being dictated to by these men in suits; being expected to care about the pomp and circumstance of the British monarchy, as if Queen and country were really all that important. A lot of cons.
Oh. John would enjoy it. Queen and country – he was shot for the sake of those. He should at least see what he likes to think he was fighting for. In fact, he would probably greatly enjoy seeing it all, at the same time as finding it all highly amusing.
Odd for another person's thoughts and emotions to factor in on the pros side, but not completely unknown since the arrival of John. Decision made.
“I can't go without my colleague.”
Suitman is becoming irritated. Not used to people putting up a fight about being abducted.
“Where is he?” Glances at the client in front of the fireplace. Clearly an imbecile, then. A cretin like that wouldn't be any use as a colleague.
“At a crime scene.” Probably poking at his laptop, trying to work out why the connection had died and blaming the wifi. Despite various attempts to educate him, John still finds technology a struggle. Occasionally endearing, usually irritating. Once or twice both – how was is that managed?
“We don't have time to wait for him.”
“I'm going nowhere without him.”
Exasperation. “This is not a request. You will come with us. Now. Either dressed or in that sheet, although dressed would be better.”
“I'm not getting dressed, and I'm staying here unless you fetch John. You can try and take me by force if you wish, but I should imagine Baker Street is rather crowded at this time of day – wouldn't look good to be abducting a man in a bedsheet, would it? Especially as I shall scream the whole way.”
Suitman hesitates. Close to winning, just need to tip the balance.
“I can scream extremely loudly, you know.”
Suitman sighs and pulls out his mobile phone. Perfect.
Buckingham Palace is cold when wearing just a sheet. Clearly trying to save money by turning down the heating. Complaints from government about the monarchy's finances, or worried The Sun will find out how much it costs to heat a stately home these days?
Retrieving John takes some time, although it is organised much quicker than Sherlock would have expected – did someone anticipate his demand? Mycroft? Irritating to be so obvious, but good to reinforce that inclusion of John should be automatic.
The look on John's face when he enters the room is more than worth being forced to leave the flat and come to this drafty, gaudy anachronism. Amused smirk after he sits down even more so.
“Are you wearing any pants?”
Bless John for avoiding all the obvious first questions in this situation.
And then they're both laughing, and it's glorious. An actual explosion of giggling from John – beautiful. Record it and keep it for posterity.
“Buckingham Palace. Right. I am seriously fighting an impulse to steal an ashtray.”
Just like that. He makes it look so simple and easy – without him this would have been close to intolerable, but with him, it's something to be laughed about. How does one man make such a difference, just by existing?