1: Tokyo, Japan
May 24, 2012
The first time it happens, Sherlock has only been away from London for three weeks. He is in Tokyo chasing a lead that would hopefully lead him to Lestrade's intended assassin. He grits his teeth and pushes through the throngs of people flooding the sidewalk. His attention is glued to his target, who is similarly navigating the crowd some five yards ahead of him.
When he finally registers the commotion coming from behind, he has all of five seconds to brace against the body barreling past him (Japanese man in his twenties; hair last bleached almost a month ago, roots showing; smelling strongly of fudge). The momentum from the push catches Sherlock by surprise, spinning him into a group of teenage girls. His ears are ringing when his elbows and knees hit the pavement— hard.
Sherlock turns his head as a rush of wind cards through his dyed ginger hair. From his vantage point on the ground, he catches a glimpse of well-worn jeans and the hem of a cable knit jumper stained with a spot of iodine.
Sherlock sits up in time to see the profile of a blond man be swallowed up by the crowd. The man is shouting in fluent Japanese, "Wait! We just want to help!"
It can't be John (his John should still be safely ensconced within the walls of 221B under Mycroft's ever vigilant surveillance). His John can't possibly be running through the streets of Tokyo like a madman.
His heart sinks back into his stomach. Having lost track of his target, Sherlock returns to his empty hotel room and tries his best to delete the incident.