It didn’t take Sherlock long to memorize John’s face. Those eyes, either the deepest blue or steely grey. The small dimple at the corner of his mouth that he got when he smiled. That little boomerang-shaped scar on his left cheek (barely noticeable, but he was Sherlock, he noticed everything). It didn’t take Sherlock much longer to remember his expressions- amused, annoyed, that sarcastic look, the concerned look, the one that he got when he was putting together whatever Sherlock had said this time.
But today, it was none of these things that bothered Sherlock. It was that look on John’s face when Sherlock had announced that he didn’t have friends. First nothing- shock presumably- and then anger, with a sardonic smile and little quip. “Naah. Wonder why?”
That wasn’t what he meant! Bugger it, all of it, he could never speak straight when he wanted to. Needed to. When John left, Sherlock didn’t try to stop him. Just leaned forward to put his face in his hands and sigh. And then drink more of that brandy.
Damn, damn it all, why couldn’t he think!
Okay. Okay. Reason this out. Reason is good; logic is good. Logic is sound and stable and doesn’t rush off because you’re feeling scared and dear god you’re even shaking and you cannot for one moment believe what you have seen.
Why? What could make his eyes tell him something different than the truth?
One, insanity. Oh, he knew he wasn’t the sanest of all men, but hallucinating? No, surely not. It just wouldn’t make sense. But the thought nagged at him. Insane people never know that they are insane. It could be true. But, no, no, he would… He would move on. There were other options, surely.
Two, fear and paranoia. It was a dark, spooky, foggy night, his imagination could have been running away with him. But then why that ghastly glowing? Henry had said red eyes, but no glowing. No. Too unlikely.
Three, there really was a Hound. The word was capitalized, in his mind, because it wasn’t just a subset of the canine species labeled as a hound, but a Hound, the Hound of Baskerville. But that was unlikely, too. No.
Four, there was a dog and Sherlock had been projecting his own subconscious fear of the Hound onto it, and Henry’s verbal stimulus to support that idea in his brain had led him to see exactly what he wanted to see. No, wrong. His mind was better than that, it had to be. Besides, wasn’t this one remarkably similar to Two?
Five, it was a dream. Possible, but highly unlikely. Easy enough to check. Light levels can change? Yes, the pub was lit differently than the dark woods. The text and digital clock on his mobile were stable. No, this was reality and not a dream.
Six, random hallucination flashback from one of the drugs he’d taken? No, no, no, that was all-
Ah, drugs. A narcotic, potent enough, obviously. He was shaky, by his own admission, which is a common side effect in narcotics in general. But then why hadn’t John seen it, too? What had they eaten or drank since arriving?
It too him a while to figure it out.He had to check his mental list twice and then start nitpicking apart ingredients. The sugar, of course, became the last choice left. So sugar it must be. But how to test that? He hadn’t his microscope and equipment…
He could give it to John.
Was that bad? Would that be callous? John was angry with him right now; he'd hurt him, that was obvious. This was almost guaranteed to piss John off more. Scratch that, it would majorly make him mad, if past incidents were anything to go by. By doing this, he could very well be alienating his best friend. Only friend.
Perhaps he ought to tell him that. In the morning, maybe. When he hadn't drunk quite so much brandy.
What was he thinking about before? Oh yes, the experiment. It would be for the sake of a man's sanity... Two, counting Henry. But that didn't make it right. Then again, it didn't make it right for him not to do it. Perhaps... Perhaps.
So, he would do it, then. It wasn’t a necessarily good thing and he knew it… But he would do it. Because logic, not sentiment, was found on the winning side.