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Art of the Reasoner

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Sherlock didn’t see the world like others did. Well, short of climbing into their heads, he could never technically see how others did. Though the concept did intrigue him.

While Sherlock couldn’t use other people’s eyes to see the world, they took photos, painted and sketched just exactly what they saw and then some, which was a good enough indicator to him.

He had always seen in, what he had dubbed, ‘4-D vision’. From what he could find, no one else saw the world filled with floating letters and numbers, answer after answer overlapping and crashing into one another. Sherlock occasionally wondered whether he was a robot—didn’t robots see with a frame of binary numbers running up and down, or was that simply Hollywood propaganda?

There had always been another element to how he saw things, as if his eyes could cut through it all to its very heart—to the truth, as it were.

When Sherlock was younger, he had been encouraged to draw like any child was apt to by parents giving him crayons to occupy his attentions with. Except he didn’t create the atypical, awkward stick figures. Sherlock drew with a concentrated fervour that normal children didn’t have on things they shouldn’t have noticed: the chipped nails of his mother’s hands; a spidery crack in the pavement; the erratic way shadows fell with multiple light sources.

All of his pictures, varied and random yet oddly fixated, all had one major thing in common—words. Words, though in the beginning were little more than incoherent scribbles, filled the blank spaces, occasionally bleeding over into the drawings themselves. It was observation after observation of the minutest detail listed for the world to see.

Sherlock quickly learned to draw faces because they had the most amount of interesting knowledge to impart on paper. Faces were important.

The human face had so many little details that only Sherlock seemed to see. But he wanted everyone else to see it, too. Creases at the eyes—stress, fatigue, aging; lips dry and a spot of blood—worry, gnawing on lip, pain; stubble on chin—busy, unable to shave. Sherlock noticed a little bit of everything, and his mother was beginning to worry at just exactly how many sketchbooks he was filling up.

He didn’t have the heart to tell her he had decorated his walls with pencil marks, filling up every space he could with knowledge. It was biting at him at every moment his hands were still. Like his mind couldn’t stop running unless it knew Sherlock was doing something with the information that was so very unhelpful and pointless but there all the same.

Mycroft was good, aiding as best as he could, giving Sherlock stacks of papers and canvases and paints of all colours. Sherlock had painted his brother dozens—no, countless amounts—of times, over and over until he was able to recreate a portrait of his brother off by heart. The writing had almost stopped for Mycroft because all that ever needed to be written had already been done so, in another page of Sherlock’s many books or another paint-streaked canvas.

Even his parents, whom Sherlock both loved and adored, he never drew so much. When he did, he always cut out their faces. Refused to paint the faces because the writing that followed—like an impulse, impossible to tame or control—horrified him. When he was old enough to really understand what he was writing on a level more than childish naivety, he saw that their relationship wasn’t an entirely happy, nor a healthy, one. It was intense, like they would die for the other without a single word of protest. More than love—it was complete self-sacrifice.

It scared Sherlock, to be honest. So he tried to ignore it.

Hands were something Sherlock fixated on next, the lines and wrinkles never repeating, always unique and devilishly hard to recreate with pencils. Dirt under short nails—accustomed to manual labour; indent in finger—once a ring but now absent, perhaps a failed relationship?; smooth, soft skin—a child’s hands, naive, innocent.

His hands were long and bony, kind of garishly cartoonish if he looked at them long enough. Sherlock didn’t care that they were slightly abnormal. They allowed him to draw and that was more than enough.

-

School was an indescribable torture to Sherlock; seeing so much but being unable to record it anywhere safe. His notebooks had more drawings than schoolwork, and he came home every day with ink-stained fingers—red, blue, black and green. Often he could be seen ignoring the teacher in favour of drawing or sketching and occasionally simply writing, because schools, while painful, had so much sensory input it nearly drove him mad.

Some days, Sherlock thought he had gone mad at school. It wasn’t an impossibility for him.

Tables and chairs where he was sitting were soon marked by his rather distinct handwriting and art. His graffiti was never quite intentional, his mind usually connecting sights to his hands and fingers before the filter registered that it was wrong. No matter though, because Sherlock kept going at it, drawing and writing and trying to rid himself of all the words he could see.

His parents and teachers were concerned, but Sherlock wasn’t an idiot. He was distracted, yes, but he knew enough to pass his tests, finish his assignments and complete his homework. Sherlock rarely talked to other students, always too lost in his own mind to really care, so there were no complaints about making a nuisance of himself. In the end, Sherlock was left as he was because there was no real reason to justify forcing change on him.

Somewhere along the line, Sherlock discovered an old violin in his attic—probably while he was trying to find more space to work—and another way of converting information was handed down to him. His parents were initially hesitant to give him lessons, but they caved in the end.

Sherlock did not take to the violin like a natural. His hands were more suited to scribbling and twitching gestures and he had to train himself to seek smooth movements with a bow. Grace and patience defined the days he learned to play. It was tiring, but a fruitful pursuit to Sherlock all the same.

When he learned enough, he quit his lessons and figured the rest out for himself. Something about the violin connected with another layer of what he saw. Emotions, and he tried to explain further but words failed him. They were more colours and impressions than words. Harder to paint, impossible to sketch, but infinitely easy to release into the air and convert into music.

Still, his hands preferred the twitchy, erratic movements and he soon left the bow to simply pluck at the strings with paint-stained fingers. Occasionally, to his mother’s despair, he would play until his fingertips bled, strings turning blue and green and scarlet red.

-

As soon as he was capable, Sherlock moved out of his home in the countryside. His parents did not understand why, thinking it was another atypical move to branch away from his childhood and become an adult, but Sherlock left because he was freer that way.

The flat he bought was part of an abandoned complex on the outskirts of London, but the water worked and he had a decent generator for electricity. Creature comforts didn’t matter when he got isolation, which was far better. He did have to spend a few days cleaning out of all the crap and dust that had accumulated over the years. Then he got down to work.

The walls, floors and ceiling were all soon covered in art. The doors and the glass on the windows followed quickly, as did furniture like tables and chairs. All the tiles in his bathroom were painted individually, as was the ceramic toilet bowl.

Things he saw during the day he immediately would jot down somewhere to remind himself—he carried a messenger bag full of notebooks and pens for that very reason—and then in his studio he would recreate. His memory and visual recall were growing more powerful by the day. It was fascinating.

It was painful, too. Information died as soon as he covered it; released it from him through his arm and into a pen, to paper, to canvas, removing it from his mind like deleting a document from a computer. But when he couldn’t remove it from his mind, it cluttered, filling his brain with pointless information that stopped him from accessing the important things.

So Sherlock painted and painted and painted, over his walls and over old images; over and over again. Sketching was something he did when his brain was just a buzz and the white letters turned grey at the edges. Then on the days where the sun was up high and there was a lovely scattering of clouds, Sherlock would go to the park and play his violin, uncaring that he was a multitude of colours or that his skin was going taut and grey as he worked himself to the ground.

On a park bench, he could play any song that came to mind. He loved the classics, but preferred to freestyle from what he saw—tenderness for the couple having an anniversary picnic; joy for children playing in the playground; melancholy for the homeless man beside him. The violin was the only time he could tell the world the emotions he saw. Coins and notes occasionally fell before him, but he always picked it up and gave it to someone he felt deserved it more. He had enough money for now, so there was no need to get greedy.

Everyone was so blind. Just because he could see shouldn’t make him privileged.

For a while his life was good, even as his head swam with the fumes of paint, and his nails blackened by charcoal residue. He had to replace his bow and his violin strings a number of times, but he personally felt his music was best played with a frayed bow.

Because that was how he felt. His entire life felt frayed around the edges.

He needed inspiration . Just because the white letters were a swarm didn’t mean he wanted it to go. When he was running out of new things to paint—at least, things he felt important enough to capture—Sherlock began to panic a little.

-

In hindsight, panicking never led to the best decisions.

Blood was similar to red paint but thicker—candy apple red, bright and vivid—and it swirled everywhere. It was something more than paint, the heady scent of rust and copper adding more words to the air. Fuzzy white words which were both indistinct and burningly clear, as if they were right there to be touched.

Electricity roared down Sherlock’s veins—or was that the drugs? Either way, it was exhilarating. Sober, Sherlock could never have seen so many things. It was like his mind was ablaze with energy, things he had missed before coming forth in stark contrast.

A grating noise filled his ears and he noticed that he was carving spiralling grooves into the back of his violin, the knife scratching in pale lines that soon bloomed to resemble something like flowers. Every time he plucked a note, he could see music. Literally, see the music.

Years and years of playing and he’d missed all of this? He laughed as he realised that all this time he thought he could see he was really as blind as everyone else. How could he had missed all this information; all this delicious, stunning, glorious detail?

Of course he should have noticed the dust in the air, the way breathing left a distinct taste in his mouth from every rattling gasp, how the hairs of his paintbrush split in halves from use—

Sherlock woke up in hospital a few times. The feeling that followed was similar to a hangover, but more groggy and disorientating.

He hated every trip of course. The walls were always white—painfully so—and the words that floated around him were hard to see. The cleanliness was uncomfortable, the lack of colour and textures disorientating. He wanted the smell of paint to cover the taint of disinfectant in the air. Those points alone made it an awful experience.

Then there was the fact Mycroft was usually there when he woke, disappointed and tired and always making Sherlock feel guilty about liking the pressure of bandages on his skin and ashamed for longing for the cold prick of a needle sliding through skin and muscle.

“You need to eat more.”

“You need to stop the drugs.”

“You need to stop hurting yourself.”

“You need to start thinking.”

Mycroft said a lot of stupid, stupid things. Sherlock didn’t need any of this. What he needed to do was show the world what he saw. The irony didn’t pass him that he didn’t actually show the world anything he made at all. His brother had suggested selling his art though—had gone far enough to suggest a few buyers—but Sherlock had always said no, too attached and knowing that he’d need those canvases to paint over later.

Sometimes Sherlock did commissions though. He never got fixated with those because they were what others saw, not what he saw. They were boring, mindless, dull pieces of art, copies and not interpretations, but they brought in money he used for more... fascinating outlets.

-

Sherlock saw a lot of things, quite an extraordinary amount of things, but he didn’t see that his family would seek to throw him into rehab. The pain of withdrawal was excruciating. It was an agony worse than being unable to draw, unable to communicate, unable to put pen to paper and write down the letters to understand. Every moment felt like death, and every moment he wanted to die. It was a vicious never-ending cycle of aching hurt.

For a few terrifying days, Sherlock couldn’t see anything at all but white and only white. As if the letters had completely filled and blocked his vision and without paint or pencils or paint to make it go away, he only could start screaming instead. It was the period of his life he least remembered.

On the day he was discharged, clean sober and fully free of drugs’ enticing grip, Sherlock told his brother he was indebted—but would never forgive him for the pain. There was something darker about Sherlock’s art from that day on. There were less vibrant colours and more details that shouldn’t have been noticed.

Purple, blue, green—bruises shaped like fingers on reddened skin; black, dark green, brown—filth in an alleyway; pink, red, white—the insides of a dog run over on the road.

Wanting to get as far away from his brother’s watchful eyes as possible, Sherlock travelled. He dipped into his meagre savings—not his trust funds, which his family had frozen—and planned a trip around the world. It was partly for leisure, but mainly for learning.

He wanted to learn more about what he could see and what it all meant.

-

For a while, he painted landscapes and exotic foods and strange miscellaneous items and places, all of which held far more of Sherlock’s attention than people, which were a dime a dozen. There was something addictive about every sweep of the hills and every cluster of leaves. During his travels, he created like he was a man possessed.

Of course the logistics of carrying around these canvases and sketchbooks was difficult to work around at first, but Sherlock eventually rented out a secure warehouse and sent his works there for storage. In the beginning, he painted mainly: deserts and sand dunes; grassy meadows and wheat fields; rocky outcroppings over red, red dirt.

Few words invaded these paintings, though. He didn’t have to write any of the floating words down because he could feel that what he saw in the peace of country sides was infinitely obvious to those who passed it. Peace, tranquillity, harmony.

As time passed, more people appeared in his art again. Like he was trusting humanity again, giving their profiles another go.

He filled over three sketchbooks with magnified views of jewellery—the hint of an earring beneath bushy hair; the glint of a cufflink covered by a wrist; a beautiful, intricately woven necklace, bursting with coloured beads and feathers. Those were the most smudged of his work, scribbles of tarnished metals and well loved shine dotted the margins and curled in on themselves like spirals when room ran out.

Sherlock hated drawing ordinary people. He liked drawing the people beneath ordinary. Very soon, he sought out the homeless and others society had shunned and asked to draw them. It was fascinating because he could reveal their entire life with one sitting, one painting to shout out to the world who they were and what they had done.

Sometimes what they had done wasn’t very good at all. But Sherlock didn’t judge so long as it was something interesting. He couldn’t care less so long as it kept him occupied and focussed where the letters popped up.

Magenta, charcoal grey, sienna—blood, worn out clothes, murderer, eyes dead with regret; fuchsia, electric purple, lime green—a whore’s outfit, trying to attract a buyer; grey, eggshell, cadmium yellow—a small orphan boy with the most marvellous blond hair and sticky pick-pocketing fingers.

Life was put into perspective. Everyone cared about the big picture, but it was the small details that made up a life. That’s what should have mattered, but didn’t. And as he traversed by foot, by car, by bus, plane, boat, horse and on one particularly memorable occasion, a llama—Sherlock taught himself to notice the details more and more.

No longer did Sherlock try to fight the letters that surrounded everything he saw. He embraced them.

-

Moving from place to place, Sherlock made sure he always stayed long enough to learn some of the language of the area. It was a theory he had—which eventually proved true when he woke up one morning to see floating German words intermingled with French and English.

The Spanish he recorded with oil paints, Chinese with watercolours, and tourists he rendered with charcoal and 2B pencils. In South America he worked with clay until his hands were cracked, dry and sore.

In some cities, he would randomly get coloured chalk and scrawl murals on the ground. He could write around the drawings until the chalk disappeared into dust, and if Sherlock was lucky, he would be around to watch the clouds burst with rain to wash away all his work. Watching it all disappear into streaks and blurs was something special in of itself.

For all that his talents were admired he had a few narrow misses with the law for defacing property.

How could he be faulted for wanting to experiment with the qualities of spray paint against grainy brick and wood?

Somewhere along the line, Sherlock took up smoking and drinking. Both were socially acceptable drugs to keep him stimulated, but he remained careful never to quite push the limits. He still had nightmares of rehab, after all.

The cigarettes gave him a hacking cough that made spots appear in front of his eyes, which he eventually painted alongside his words. Alcohol made everything appear in sharp detail, but his hands became too clumsy to put it to paper.

Eventually, he quit the cigarettes but not the nicotine. Sherlock would draw something on the back of every patch, hands twitchy as he tried to keep himself occupied. He gave up drinking because while it made everything stand out, it wasn’t worth it if he couldn’t record it and get the details down.

Music still made up a big part of his life, his violin following him everywhere. Part of him resented that he couldn’t see the notes dance in the air without drugs. Still, he played what he felt and eventually decided that it was good enough for him. The unintentional busking helped him get extra cash for supplies and food, not that he ate much those days. Food was starting to really seem inconsequential. Skipping breakfast for a new brush seemed a worthy trade.

Whatever fat he’d been able to regain after rehab disappeared and his cheekbones threw daunting shadows on his face, all the more dramatic with his eyes gaunt from lack of sleep. For all that Sherlock spent time in the sun painting and busking and living, he never really tanned, still pale like a ghost.

He was living an artist’s life, for sure. All he missed out on was a tantalising forbidden lover and some tragic love story. But he ended up skipping on that—not that he cared for that sort of thing to begin with.

All Sherlock needed was his hands and art supplies.

-

Paris was overrated, Sherlock thought. Of course, he went to pay dues to the artists of legend, but those works he really favoured were in Vatican City, not the Louvre. The sight of paintings decorating the ceiling while halls were lined with paintings made him a little homesick.

England could hardly compare to the illustrious nature of the world, but that’s where Sherlock returned to.

His flat was still there, stinking of stale air and confined paint fumes. It was practically the same as when it made Sherlock happy, but now it felt too small, like claustrophobic inducing space. Sherlock wanted to move but Mycroft was somehow restricting his cash flow and England was an expensive place to live in, especially for an artist who hated commissions.

His brother was also obviously keeping an eye to see whether he’d fall off the wagon or not.

If Sherlock stayed sober in Amsterdam, then he would be fine in England. Hopefully. He slapped on another nicotine patch on his wrist and drew the Japanese character for knowledge on top of it with a red Sharpie.

The thought still itched and nagged at Sherlock though, like he wasn’t trustworthy enough. He wanted to move away from the dreary city without a word of warning and give them all heart attacks. It would at least be more appealing elsewhere.

Except there was something strangely hypnotic and captivating about the grime and smog that blanketed London. He soon grew to know the streets in minute detail by walking down all of the side alleys most overlooked over and over again. There were details hidden away there that Sherlock liked recreating.

Alice blue, ash grey, tawny—a leaking rusted pipe; black, forest green, grey—a dumpster overflowing with black trash bags; feldgrau, amber, orange—a lone flower growing from a small crack in the concrete.

On the day Sherlock was sketching with watercolour pencils on his own homemade paper—an experiment in style—he noticed two fellows talking at the opening of the alley. He stayed quiet and observed them, noting the odd bone structure of the shorter one and an intriguing colourisation of bruising on the other.

He wanted to ask them to be models for him. Except he stayed quiet because even from where he was half hidden by a garbage bin he could see how their clothes screamed trying-to-be-discreet and there was a bulge under their jackets that hinted at a gun. Fascinating.

Sherlock stopped sketching the flower—beautiful study of colours, but dull all the same now—and flipped the page, already outlining the two men before him. The lines of their body were filled in quickly enough, muscle memory in his hands taking over the simpler aspect of clothes and stance. Those details could be added in later. He took his time with their faces though, taking pauses to choose the right colours that would capture the moment of half-fear and half-curiosity.

A Study in Secrecy , he would name the piece. He named all his pieces, but unless he wrote it down, he hardly had a reason to say it and would soon forget, so easily distracted by other things.

He had finished the taller man and was nearly finished the shorter man when there were sudden shouts and his unknowing models bolted. Sherlock wasn’t too worried, having committed the scene to memory, but he sighed tiredly regardless. There was always something extra about art when he did it with a live model.

Looking down, he saw his hand had been busy filling the blanks while he had stared off into space.

Bulges indicates gun. Clothes indicate discretion. Bruising related to prior bouts with violence. Stances show men with power. Muscle structure display heavy training, perhaps as a bouncer or guard—gun presence means unlikely to be a policeman, though army personnel is an option. Eye contact = men know each other, not intimately on a romantic basis from boundaries of personal space in place, but as a business/partner-ship.

Minor criminals by the looks of things. Dull. Even a sordid love story would have been a little more remarkable. Collecting his things, Sherlock stood and walked out of the alleyway, looking up and seeing clouds he’d paint slate grey and wondered for a split second over the chances of rain. Fifteen percent at most, he decided before a voice made him look down sharply.

“Oi, you!”

A man stood before him, a few inches shorter, eyes a brown darker than sienna and brown hair flecked with grey. Wrinkles on his face spoke of stress and the presence of calluses on certain parts of his fingers indicted a lot of writing—not a writer because they did their work, generally in this day and age, on the computer; so most likely someone face with a lot of paperwork. A black and white sketch of the man would do very well, maybe some blue to highlight certain areas.

Before Sherlock could firmly conclude any suspicious about him, his thought process was interrupted.

“Detective Inspector Lestrade,” the stranger said as way of introduction. His face was set in a serious mask. “I’m going to have to ask you to come with me.”

-

Sherlock briefly gave a thought to how he must look, his ratty old clothes streaked with paint and smears of charcoal ash and hands a jumble of various colours. He hadn’t brushed his hair in what felt like years, and he had not gone out of his way to keep with the fashion trends, buying what was comfortable to move about in. Most definitely, his cheekbones were sharp enough to show he was a little unhealthy—though not starved from lack of food, but more of lack of time. There was no time to eat when he had to create.

Possibly the only thing he conceded to do was keep his face clean shaven and his hair a certain length, though that was more because he hated getting paint—especially acrylic—stuck in his hair.

However public opinion didn’t matter one bit to him so the thought was banished from Sherlock’s mind a second after he entertained it. His hands were busy with pencils and paper—HB pencils and college-ruled paper mind you, but it was something as opposed to nothing.

With nothing better to do than wait, Sherlock had taken up to drawing a characterture of the entire office. The layout was simple enough and he showed the inter-relationships of the staff he’d observed with little speech- and thought-bubbles. He hadn’t been to many offices—too stifled and dull for him normally—but this one was busy and loud and thoroughly entertaining, papers littered everywhere in great stacks or tacked to walls.

Murder. Abduction. Theft. Assault. Homicide .

Concentrating on those papers—case files, really—for too long sent hundreds of words into his field of vision, causing a piercing ache to flare in the centre of his brain. Blinking rapidly a few times, Sherlock shook his head to clear it and went back to drawing. Sometimes constantly seeing the truth meant knowing when to stop looking.

“Should I be surprised that you’re in police custody?”

Mycroft’s voice was instantly recognisable, a dozen songs jumping into Sherlock’s mind of what he could play on the violin to symbolise it. Looking up, Sherlock looked into a face that had barely any letters around it, familiar though a little more rotund. There was still affection for him, definitely, and an abstract version of fraternal love.

Then again, Mycroft’s insinuation was enough to raise Sherlock’s hackles into defensive mode. So Sherlock straightened his spine and replied haughtily, “Wrong place, wrong time. I didn’t do anything.”

“You do look remarkably present,” Mycroft commented, his eyebrow raised as he peeked at what Sherlock was doodling.

“I haven’t touched drugs in years,” Sherlock replied coldly, a bite of anger inching into his tone. He scrunched up the piece of paper in his fist. Mycroft used to be the first person he showed his work to, when he wanted to show it to anybody. Not anymore.

“It only takes one—”

“Are you here to help or are you here to tell me pointless, trivial things?” Sherlock snapped. “If it’s the latter, leave now because I’d prefer to be locked up.” He wasn’t lying.

Mycroft sighed, and nodded in the direction of the Detective Inspector’s office, saying, “I’ve had a short word with him already. You can go.”

“Am I going to get my papers back?” Sherlock asked irritably.

“No,” Mycroft replied with a thin smile. “They’ve confiscated that for evidence. Since you so conveniently captured an image of the men they’re chasing down.”

Sherlock huffed but refused to speak any further. He walked past his brother, careful not to brush up against him in any way—showing, I still don’t forgive you—and barged into the Detective Inspector’s office without so much as knocking on the door.

Lestrade looked up with surprise, but Sherlock spoke before he could be interrupted.

“I want my things. Keep the sketch, fine, I can remake it at home,” he said. “But I want my bag and my art supplies.”

For a moment, Lestrade looked torn between amusement and annoyance. Luckily for Sherlock, the former beat the latter and Lestrade said, “One moment” before getting up and leaving the room, presumably to retrieve the items.

When he came back a few minutes later with the messenger bag in hand, Lestrade stared at the mess of files on his desk. Sherlock had gotten bored. He wanted a blue pen but all the ones visible were black or red. Finally, after rummaging around he found the blue pen and started tracing the veins on his wrist.

Drawing was the lesser of two evils because Sherlock’s eyes were beginning to get drawn towards the open file, the one with photos and pictures. As Lestrade spluttered over the state of his workspace, Sherlock looked at his veins, all coloured in blue. The writing circled faded white scars, numbers telling of how old the wounds were.

He scribbled over the numbers and carelessly chucked the pen back on the table, standing up in one fluid movement and grabbing his bag back in the next.

“What the hell did you get up to?”

Sherlock didn’t bother answering, checking that his bag was all right and that he had the majority of his supplies—though the paper he’d unfortunately have to remake at home.

“By the way, you know that abduction case?” Sherlock commented as he rummaged through his bag for a decent art pencil. “It’s the husband.” He should have kept quiet, but he knew this, the letters made complete sense floating and connecting answers with fine gold threads.

The blind should not lead the blind; especially when there was someone who could see.

“What?” Lestrade shot him an incredulous look, which Sherlock missed since his eyes were focussed on his bag. “How can you possibly tell?”

“The child, according to your files, is six. Children that young have to be entertained. Also, kidnappers normally wouldn’t target a family barely above middle-class. It’s something personal,” Sherlock replied indifferently, as if talking about the weather. His years of bouncing from one country to the next, hanging out with people most others wouldn’t dare make eye contact with—it gave him another perspective, more floating words, another element to how he interpreted the world.

“In the most recent photo in the file, a few weeks after the abduction, the father has finger paint staining the tips of his fingers—it’s not just paint but finger paint. There’s a difference.” Sherlock knew the difference was there from a fleeting glance. “And I doubt that’s a hobby of his.”

There was a beat of silence as Sherlock finally found the right pencil and tucked it behind his ear. He turned to walk out of the room, but paused for a second, adding, “Chances are he has a lover on the side; the colour of lipstick on the cuffs of his shirt doesn’t match the wife’s. Run a background check all the females who are in contact with the family. The girl will be there. Case solved.”