John swallowed the last of the whisky in his tumbler and staggered towards his sofa. He fell onto it in a sprawl, the tumbler slipping from his hand and rolling across the floor. Rosie was with Molly for the second night straight so he had had no reason to try to pull himself together and had let himself get completely drunk. It was the only way to silence the warring voices in his head, but it wasn’t enough to silence Mary.
“John, you need help,” Mary said, sitting on the coffee table near John’s head.
John rolled his head around drunkenly to look at his vision of her. Mary looked just like he remembered. “You're so beautiful.” He reached for her, but let his hand fall away. Even drunk, he knew she wasn’t there.. “Beautiful.”
“Call Sherlock. Tell him you need him. Let him take care of you,” Mary urged, her face full of concern.
John struggled to sit up and managed it, barely. “No, n- n- no. He killed you. He’s n- not my friend.” His face was screwed up in anger.
Mary cupped John’s cheek, undeterred. “You know that’s not true. Call him.”
“No!” John shouted.
Mary disappeared completely. In her wake, John was left looking at the empty space she had occupied. Slowly, he broke down into sobs and slid from the sofa onto his knees where he stayed until he passed out.
Eurus scanned through the footage the recording device she had planted in John Watson's living room had captured. It was so predictable. He had been disintegrating nicely. Suddenly something caught her eye. Something different. Eurus scanned back to the beginning of the curious bit and watched John's drunken ravings interspersed with movement and pauses.
“You're so beautiful. Beautiful.”
“No, n- n- no. He killed you. He’s n- not my friend.”
How interesting. He was talking to someone who wasn’t there. The question was, was it a drunken hallucination or a more fundamental, deep-seated hallucination. The phenomenon would bear watching.
Sherlock both loved and hated what he was doing as he plunged the needle into his arm. He loved the rush, the euphoria, the high. He hated the guilt that crawled through his veins along with it. Even though he knew what he was doing was for John, the guilt wouldn’t go entirely away.
When the flat was empty, he could hear John shouting at him that he was an idiot for doing this to himself. That’s why he had texted Billy. He couldn’t stand being alone with his thoughts anymore. Besides, Billy wasn’t an idiot. He might come in handy whilst he sought out a suitably dangerous case.
Sherlock discarded the syringe and stood, turning in circles. He needed a case. A case. A case. A dangerous case. He needed John to save him from the corpses that piled up in morgues in hospitals.
There was something about that. Something Sherlock couldn’t quite grasp.
Billy came bounding up the stairs and into the flat. “Shezza, you started without me.”
Sherlock waved him away. “Go get set up in the kitchen. You’re staying. I need you to substitute for John. The skull isn’t working.”
“I ain’t been no skull substitute before. Been lots o things, but not that.” He set his brown bag of ‘supplies' down on the table. “What's your old lady gonna say about me cookin?”
“Hudders. Not ‘old lady'. I’ve asked her to stay out. I’m performing a hazardous experiment. Now quiet!” Sherlock kept spinning, trying to deduce what he was missing.