The East Wind Blows

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"Let me know if anything changes, mummy. Yes, I know. I will. I'll be down there tomorrow for a visit. Of course. Goodbye, then."

Sherlock set his phone on the table. Cradling his forehead in his right hand, he exhaled in defeat as he sat at the paper-laden table in front of him.

"Sherlock, you realize this is exactly what Moriarty wants?" John asked, sitting in his armchair and bouncing Rosie on his hip as she sucked on a teether toy. "Mycroft's...being in the hospital...has you distracted, mate."

"Of course he realizes that, Doctor Watson," Irene said, looking up from her novel for a moment. She looked at her husband from where she was lying on the sofa. Reading the frustration on his face was too easy.

"But he's quite set on thinking his way through it all the same. He needs time," she said. John felt reproached by her, and his eyebrows furrowed in annoyance.

"I have time," Sherlock spat, side eyeing her and silently barking, "shut up." Her eyebrows flexed. "And I know what I have to do, John," he went on. "I need to see Craig."

"Craig?" John asked. "Craig the hacker? What would you need him for?"

"The Wellington brothers obviously received some type of information from Moriarty that prompted them to tell my brother. If no, then why are they dead? Their personal and work computers have been completely erased of any and all data, as have their email accounts and messaging apps. Nevertheless, there is still a void of stored data that only the most cunning of hackers have access to. That's what I need Craig for."

John pursed his lips. "So...why aren't we already there, then?"

"For goodness sake, Doctor Watson. How insensitive can you be?" Irene breathed, closing her book. "His brother's been shot and is in a coma, his sister has refused to aid him in destroying Jim Moriarty, and this, as you can imagine," she sarcastically crowed, "is a bit of a mental inhibitor. Can you give no account for the shock?"

John's mouth was open. "No, hang on, don't you accuse me of being insensitive. I'm not the one who bloody beat him with a riding crop, drugged him, and/or pretended to be dead, now am I? If you want to talk about insensitive, you ought to examine your own actions before you point a finger at me," he said, his nose bulging with agitation.

"I didn't ask for a whole account of my errors, Doctor Watson, so please don't give me a list. I understand myself perfectly. I'm only speaking in my husband's defense."

"Fine, just don't insult me while you're at it."

"I'm sure I never meant to," she said, nearly rolling her eyes.

"Ugh! Shut up, the whole lot of you! And don't pity me, Miss Adler! I'm fine," Sherlock snapped with insane irritation dripping from his words. "Leave John alone; he's allowed to voice his opinions."

John smiled to himself. Yeah, leave me alone.

Irene retaliated.

"And am I not allowed to voice my opinions? For goodness sake, am I not allowed to defend you, dear husband?" she asked, sarcastically emphasizing the last two words to his extreme annoyance.

"I said not to pity me," he said again, shuffling through some papers and refusing to look her in the eye from where he sat.

"I said the same once," she replied. "But that didn't stop you from feeling it; why should it stop me?" she asked, rising from her place on the sofa and walking into the kitchen. He only followed her with his peripheral vision, determined not to inconvenience his neck muscles for her sake.

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