There comes a time when the Mind Palace can hold no more. The brain does not have infinite space to house all the information needed; its space is very limited. One cannot keep everything he has learned or observed; memories must be re-catalogued and useless information deleted.

With his mind fit-to-burst, Sherlock lays languidly upon the couch, fingers steepled under his chin. John was out working at the clinic, tending to the snot-nosed masses that lumbered through the door and thus would not be able to visit until later. Lestrade was on vacation which meant that he would not be calling the consulting detective with any new murder until his return. Now was the perfect time to sink within his Mind Palace and clean out the overload of information that bogged down his mind.

Cleaning out the confines of his Mind Palace was no easy task. Entering the Mind Palace, the consulting detective glanced at the overcrowded room. Boxes of memories piled to the ceiling, file cabinets overflowing with random scraps of paper memories made for an intimidating sight. Picture frames lined the walls, some hung neatly on the wall while others merely leaned against one another in pile. Scenes from his memory flashed within their frames. Sherlock stuck his head out of the doorway, staring down the halls of his mental construction. It was an even bigger mess than he originally thought.

Sighing at the task before him, Sherlock settled upon the floor and pulled an overfilled box to him. Reading a page, he quickly laid it in the 'delete' pile. What use was it to know who won the World Cup that year? Football is really more of a John thing.

Pale fingers grasped more papers, eyes scanning the memories and information on the pages.

Force = mass x acceleration

This one landed in the 'keep' pile. That basic formula was essential to the Work. Another page was picked up, this one with a small picture of DI Lestrade.

Detective Inspector Lestrade – First Name: Gregory.

Delete. Lestrade was Lestrade, knowing his first name would not change that.

Within minutes the first box was emptied, its memory contents neatly sorted between the two piles: keep or delete. Rising from his position on the floor, Sherlock paused a moment to consider the picture frames along the walls. Taking one up, he reached out to the memory it held.

Shooting up with a seven percent solution of cocaine. The euphoric drug haze descended as the syringe emptied into his vein. The haze that made breathing bearable and life without the Work less boring. A delicious burn ran through his skin, inflaming….

Sherlock shuddered, pulling himself out of that memory. He held it out before him and swiftly brought it down violently upon his knee. The memory of his drug habit and subsequent highs no longer excited him. Other things had taken its place: a best friend, his best friends' wife and various other people, whose existence had wriggled into his mind palace, making room for themselves…

Sherlock groaned as sudden realization hit him. In the disorganized chaos of his overfull Mind Palace, the mental constructs representing people from his life, like John and Mycroft, would be freely roaming the halls instead of in their designated rooms. Under normal circumstances, each mental representation would have their own room in his Mind Palace, residing there until he had need of their input. This unfortunate fact added to the weight of the task at hand.

Plan of action: sort out this room first, sort out the hallway and finally retrieve any mental construct wandering from their room. This is a Mind Palace, not a hotel.

With that he continued on. Despite his moment of inaction, the picture frames along the wall still flashed with memories, playing each scene in a never-ending loop. He reached for another, delving into another memory.

The flames were hot against his skin, but he didn't feel any pain. Pain was beyond him at this moment. All thought and breath was focused on one thing: John. John in the wood pile. John on fire. John in danger.

Mary was behind him, screaming John's name. Within seconds she joined him, scrambling to pull away the burning rubbish, her hands sometimes brushing his in their haste to uncover the trapped doctor. Finally, he saw a glimpse of coat; John's coat. Grasping it tightly, he pulled. John's body came free from the burning pile and Sherlock pulled him out of the way. Mary crowded over him, still calling John's name.

Fear for his friend overwhelmed him. The doctor wasn't moving. Sherlock's gloved hand tapped incessantly at the pale face, urging John's to wake up. Surely he wouldn't lose the doctor so soon after his return. They were supposed to solve cases together. How could they solve cases when John still hadn't forgiven him for his two year absence?

His efforts were finally rewarded when blue eyes blinked, staring at the two figures above. Relief washed over the detective…

Sherlock pulled himself out of the memory, breath coming a little faster from the lingering emotions this memory had produced. His pale hands gripped the picture frame with such force that the knuckles turned white. Delete. This memory definitely deserved to be deleted.

It made Sherlock itch to have his emotions so near the surface, so obvious. Bringing this framed memory swiftly down upon his knee, the detective then quickly tossed the ruined frame into a corner before returning back to the pile.

Shock. The very same framed memory was back on top of the pile as if Sherlock had not violently destroyed it. The scene kept playing, mocking the consulting detective. Again he picked it up, sweeping it down upon his knee with fierce effort. Throwing it on the ground, he turned back to the pile once more.

He nearly flinched. Damn! As if nothing had happened the memory was back on the pile, completely unscathed and continuing to play. Nostrils flaring in anger, Sherlock took up the frame yet again, this time steadying it in front of him with one arm while his fist flew, bursting through the center of the framed memory. Still grasping it, he brought his foot down upon the frame, pulling apart the confines of the frame itself. Stomping repeatedly until the entire frame lay in pieces at his feet. Satisfied with the memory's decimation, Sherlock put it aside and let out a relieved breath.

Out of his peripheral vision, he could see the same frame slowly materializing on the pile. Picking it up in disbelief, Sherlock simply stared at it. He could not delete this memory. Consciously, he saw no reason to keep it at all. This memory did not contribute to the Work, so why wouldn't his brain allow it to disappear from the Mind Palace?

What was it about this memory that made it permanent? John? But why was that important? He had thousands of memories of John.

Sighing, Sherlock placed the memory back on the pile and mentally vacated his Mind Palace. The rest of the cleaning would have to wait until later when Sherlock had come to grips with the fact that there were memories that even he could not delete. Memories burned into his Mind Palace, irremovable.