Different Roads Challenges #1

Title: The Compromises of Living Together
Challenge #:  
Sherlock (BBC)
Genre (slash/het/gen/etc):  
Concrit (yes/no): 
Private only

“Have you lost your mind? Are you insane?”

“No,” I replied absently. Most of my attention was on the slide in front of me.  Fascinating. “The psychologist that Mycroft sicced on me when I was fourteen confirmed that I was sane, I just loathed people. And my mind is fine, thank you, just working on a different level than most of the humanity.”

“That is not reassuring,” Grumbled Lestrade as he poked around my temporary lab. Other than the sample under my scope and the ones waiting to be reviewed, there was nothing interesting to be found. Just the normal detritus of standard, dull and easily solved crimes, and the simple people who worked to solve them.

“It wasn’t meant to be,” I said dryly. I adored yanking the Inspectors chain. He twitched so beautifully every time he strayed out of his comfort zone.

“So what killed our victim?” The Detective Inspector asked.

“Tetrodotoxin poisoning. It looks as if he ingested some improperly prepared puffer fish. I haven’t heard of a reputable restaurant in London that would be willing to serve it, so it was either an underground source or he was served it in someone’s home. Might want to check hospitals to see who else came in with an unusual poisoning case.”

“Right.” Lestrade was obviously talking to himself as he wrote everything down. “So not murder by design, more like misadventure?”

“Hmmmmm….”I could feel myself humming lightly in response to Lestrade’s question, but most of my attention was on the tissues under my eye. Truly fascinating. At the sound of a cleared throat, I finally answered, “Oh. Given how incredibly difficult it is to get a true puffer into the UK, let alone find someone who can safely prepare it, well….” Rapidly assessing what I knew of the victim, the photographs that the good DI had shown me, and the clues I had teased out, I came to my conclusion. “He was murdered. The other ‘victims’ are collateral damage and their poisonings will be minor, not life threatening.”

“Lovely. What an unpleasant way to die,” Lestrade muttered. Not that he was wrong, but it must have been fascinating to watch.

The chirping of my phone was enough to pull me away from the slides. John had managed to get a hold of it to reprogram his ring. It was helpful, if annoying. A quick check showed that we had received a package and John wanted to know what to do with it. One quick tap and I had called him and he was on speaker. My slides weren’t going to wait.

“Sherlock? Why did we get a refrigerated box that is covered with stickers saying ‘Hazardous Medical Material’? And what are you doing with it?” my doctor asked. I could hear him turning a box around and around. Hopefully he wouldn’t open it. The experiment I wanted to do would be invalid if he started poking around with the supplies.

“I managed to obtain three dozen sheep eyeballs for an experiment. Please put the whole package in the fridge. Most excellent. I want to test the various ways that biometric scanners treat eyes under differing conditions. Including pickling a set or two,” The sound of Lestrade gagging was funny but a bit distracting. But it did remind me that I had better make certain that I label that batch. John was very easy going, but having eyeballs floating in brine might just cause him to do something…

“Well that settles that,” John said. I could hear him opening the fridge and shifting things around to accommodate the box. “I am not opening that box, Sherlock. Nor am I helping you with that. Your experiments are taking over the flat and the fridge again, mate. We are going to have to get you a mini one for them, because I do not want to open the main one to find a head when I am trying to get milk for my tea.”

A fridge just for my experiments? Well. That would cut down on some of the bitching from John and Mycroft. But… “John, does this mean that we are going to have to go shopping? Or can we get it online?”

The back and forth of the hows and whys of our new appliance were a nice distraction as I turned most of my attention back to my slides. Lestrade evidently figured out that I had nothing more for him and started walking out. As he did, I heard him talking to himself. Not too unusual these days. Poor man. I would have to make sure I went easier on him for a while. After all, if I kept at it, he might snap and actually believe himself when he says: “I am the only sane one here.”

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