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Demons Don't Exist, John

Chapter Text

"Sulfur?" Lestrade asked as he looked at Sherlock with surprise.

"Yes, can't you smell the rotten eggs?" Sherlock said as he held a finger with yellow powder on it to Lestrade's nose.

"Sherlock, that still doesn't tell us why this man is lying dead," Lestrade sighed.

Sherlock rolled his eyes and continued his examination of the body. John gave Lestrade a knowing, sympathetic look, but continued to follow Sherlock and write down everything he noticed.

"Sherlock!" Lestrade exclaimed, "Please tell me what you're finding!"

Sherlock furrowed his eyebrows, "Not much, actually. Besides the sulfur there's nothing too unusual about the body. It seems that some internal organs have collapsed, and it's like he fell from the top of a building, but we're in a one story warehouse. It makes no sense."

John nodded with a grimace, confirming that he had found Sherlock's observations to be correct.

Lestrade looked shocked, "That's all you got from the entire body? I can't believe this, the great Sherlock Holmes unable to..."

"I can tell you everything else about this man!" Sherlock screamed, interrupting Lestrade.

John chuckled before saying, "Except how he ended up here with collapsed organs."

"And the sulfur," added Lestrade. “Has anyone moved the body? Can you tell?”

“No, it hasn’t been moved,” John said as he kneeled down next to the body and looked it over, “look at where the blood’s settling. It’s not at any place where the body is touching the ground, but it’s still on the parts of the back that don’t touch the ground.”

Sherlock smiled at John, and nodded when Lestrade looked at him for approval.

“Besides this man being dead, and the unexplained collapsed organs, he seems perfectly fine. There aren’t even any lacerations on the body,” John said as he continued to examine the body.

“And the sulfur,” Sherlock whispered as he stared into the distance.

John rose from the floor and shrugged, he knew that he wouldn’t be able to figure out how the man died or how the sulfur got there.

“Lestrade!” Sherlock barked as he put his gloves on. “Send the sulfur to the lab at St. Bart’s, make sure that no one touches it until I get there. I also need you to investigate any other cases where sulfur was found, don’t limit your search by geography. Get back to me with the results tomorrow morning.”

“Sherlock, it’s already bloody morning!” Lestrade screamed at the receding figure, who ignored him. He shook his head and walked to his car, ready to do the job Sherlock requested despite the demanding way it was made. He was prepared for the long night ahead.


Sherlock was at the microscope and John was pacing behind him when Molly came into the lab early the next morning. She looked between the two of them, bit her lip and went back to the mortuary, deciding that her lab work could be done later.

“Find anything?” John asked Sherlock, sighing because the man needed him there ‘to think’ and wouldn’t allow him to get rest.

“It’s just sulfur,” Sherlock said, his voice as full of surprise as John had ever heard it.

John shook his head; he wasn’t sure what Sherlock had expected it to be. An answer, maybe, to the mysterious death of the John Doe in the warehouse? He shrugged as he reached for his coat, assuming that they’d be able to go back to 221b, since Sherlock’s experiment hadn’t yielded any results.

“I didn’t say we were leaving.”

John turned around and found Sherlock with his eyes still focused on the microscope.

“Aren’t we?” he asked, moving closer to Sherlock.

“No, Lestrade is on his way with the records of the other unsolved murders that involved sulfur.”

John closed his eyes and counted to ten, almost unable to restrain himself. “Sherlock, why is he bringing the files here instead of Baker Street?”

“I told him to.”

“And how the Hell is this a murder?”

Sherlock didn’t answer, but he did look away from the microscope as he leaned back and stared at John.

“I know, I get it,” John said, throwing his hands up in defeat, “there is no other plausible answer for what’s going on.”

“Actually there’s no plausible answer for what’s going on,” Sherlock sighed with defeat, “and I’m not even sure if there’s a possible one.”

“Maybe you’ll have to rethink that phrase,” John said with a small laugh.

Sherlock smiled and chuckled, “I think I may.”

They continued to laugh until they heard a knock on the lab door. John walked over to open the door, letting Lestrade in.

He handed the files to Sherlock with a shrug, there were only a few official Met files but he had included another thicker file with them.

“What’s this one?” John asked pointing to the thicker file.

“That’s filled with some cases from America, apparently mysterious deaths with sulfur left behind are pretty common there,” Lestrade answered.

“But not here?” John asked, looking at the other three files.

“These are just unsolved cases,” Lestrade said, “There are also a few where the murderer was caught. But still not nearly as many as there seem to be in America.”

Sherlock had opened the three files from the Met, and was glancing over the noted details. The deaths weren’t very suspicious, and one even seemed to be of natural causes, but sulfur was found near each of the bodies.

“These are all the unsolved cases in Britain?” he asked.

“Yes, I sent out emails to a bunch of DIs and this is what they sent back. Only one was in London,” Lestrade said as he pointed to the one file.

Sherlock turned his attention to the larger, American file. The cases were obviously happening more regularly there, and also more intensely. Not only did a large number of the deaths seem suspicious but many happened at the same time in states that were thousands of miles away from each other.

“It can’t just be one person,” Sherlock mumbled as he browsed the names and details of the victims, “Neat.”

“So?” the Detective Inspector asked when Sherlock put down the file.

“John and I are going on holiday,” Sherlock answered with a smile.

John looked surprised and opened his mouth to speak but was stopped by Sherlock.

“To America!” Sherlock exclaimed, “The file details that the last few cases have been isolated in a small area in Utah.”

“Sherlock, the American police aren’t going to be interested in your help!” Lestrade exclaimed.

“They will when I show them how brilliant I am.”

John rolled his eyes at his friend’s cockiness, “I have work, Sherlock. Work I get paid for, at the surgery.”

“Take your paid holiday,” Sherlock said, looking at John as though he was an idiot.

John sighed in resignation, he might as well just accept that he and Sherlock were going to America, there was no use arguing with Sherlock after he was set on his trip.

“I’ll call you when we’re back, and I expect a case to be waiting for me,” Sherlock said as he grabbed his coat and walked past Lestrade.

John gave Lestrade a sympathetic look as he followed his flatmate out the door, and to the cab.

“You do realize how crazy this is?” he asked once they were seated and on their way back to Baker Street.

“Of course I do, John,” Sherlock answered with a smile.

John just shook his head and smiled, ever since Sherlock had gotten back he hadn’t been able to argue with him as much as he previously had. He was just happy that his best friend was alive after the first few weeks of anger and rage he decided that he would try to understand Sherlock more, and make sure that he never had to do something like that again.

Once they arrived at 221b Baker Street Sherlock ran up the stairs and began shouting orders at John, because it was apparently beneath Sherlock to pack. John was eventually able to pack both of their suitcases with clothes that were appropriate to autumn in Utah as well as their laptops in their carry-ons and a bunch of adaptors that would allow them to plug their electronics into American outlets.

Sherlock had managed to get them a flight leaving that day, it would arrive at JFK by five o’clock Eastern time and then they would take another plane, leaving at eight pm Eastern time, to Utah.

Sherlock was bouncing off the walls when they got to Heathrow, he was far too excited for a case that he wouldn’t even begin to be able to try working on until the next day. As John apologized to everyone for his friend’s behavior he felt like he was travelling with a young child. This feeling only increased once they boarded the plane, and Sherlock still wouldn’t calm down.

John was unable to sleep at all during the flight, because when Sherlock finally stopped being excited he began to sulk, loudly.

When they finally landed in New York John took Sherlock to the side, and scolded him for acting like a child and making the whole plane hate them. Sherlock ignored John and went off to find the gate that their next flight was leaving from. John just sighed and followed Sherlock through the terminal; it was going to be a long trip if Sherlock continued to act like this.