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“So did you find anything interesting?” Sherlock asked idly as John carefully stitched up the knife-slash on Sherlock’s upper thigh. “You were rather late in responding to my texts.” Unspoken, but heard all the same, were other words: concern and interest and curiosity.

John hesitated a moment too long before answering. “Just an old police call-box.” His hands remained rock-steady as he set another stitch, but his voice sounded flat. Other words floated in the air: guilt and confusion and regret.

Sherlock’s muscles tensed under John’s hands. “Really?” He cocked his head, grey eyes oddly intent. “Strange place to find one.”

“Mm-hm.”

“My great-uncle Charles used to tell a story about a magic one, in fact,” Sherlock went on after a moment. “A magical police call-box, that was bigger on the inside than on the outside, that could travel anywhere, piloted by a madman in a cricketing outfit. A very nice genius of a madman, actually, who helped save my great-aunt Ann when they were still engaged.”

John froze, every muscle in his body locking except for his eyes, which riveted themselves to Sherlock’s face. “Really?”

“Yes. My great-aunt claimed she’d never truly been in danger. But she never denied the rest of it.”

“Really.” John slowly smiled. “My aunt Jo used to tell me similar stories about a police call-box..."