A/N: Well here is the second chapter! Did you like the last chapter? Hope you like this one!
The next day Sherlock was in the shower when someone rang the doorbell to 221b. John ignored it. Ms. Hudson walked up the steps with a letter in hand and a package under her arm.
"John, there is a letter and a package here for you and Sherlock." Mrs. Hudson handed him the letter. She set the package down next to the chair.
John opened the letter. He put the letter down and grabbed the package. A small shoe was inside. A bedroom slipper to be exact. John got up from his seat and knocked on the bathroom door. There was no water running so John assumed he was done.
"Sherlock." John called. No answer.
"SHERLOCK!" He called louder. The door opened. Sherlock had a towel around his waist so the whole front of his body was naked.
"What is it?" Sherlock asked. John handed him the letter.
"You may want to read this."
Sherlock took the letter from John and read it. He gave it back to John and shut the door. John stood there stunned for a moment. But after a minute the door opened and Sherlock walked out with a suit and tie. "Let's go." He said.
"Where? And I'm not even dressed." John said, starting to walk towards his room to get dressed.
"Well hurry up." Sherlock sighed.
A few minutes later John appeared in a suit and tie.
"Okay, let's go." Sherlock sprung from the chair. He grabbed the box and letter.
John walked in front of him. He opened the door and 221b was flooded with sunlight. John shielded his eyes from the light. He looked over at Sherlock, who was walking like the sun wasn't even there. They signaled a taxi.
They walked into Greg Lestrade's office with the letter in hand and package under his arm. Sherlock opened the door without even knocking. John hoped Lestrade wasn't in a meeting or doing anything important. To his relief, he wasn't. He was sitting at his desk eating a donut and drinking coffee. His feet were propped up on his desk. Sherlock dropped the letter on Lestrade's desk.
"What's this?" Lestrade asked. He set his coffee down and put the donut on a napkin.
"Just read it." Sherlock demanded. Lestrade obeyed. He picked up the letter. His eyes widened.
"God Damn." He said 20 seconds later. The letter read:
Dear Sherlock and John,
We could call this a game or we could call this a kidnapping. Let's call it a game. Here is how it works. The 3 kids are all in different places. I send you clues and you figure it out. Each object hints where one of the 3 kids are. You solve it and you will know exactly where they are. . Here is the fun part. You will have a time limit. It varies on the clue. But for this clue you have 8 hours to figure it out. If you run out of time the child will die. When you do find the child, dead or alive, do not bother looking for me. I will be long gone. Have fun with this.
"And I assume the hint is in the package." Lestrade said, not looking up from the letter. Sherlock handed the package to him. He opened it and was surprised to see a small child's slipper.
"We'll take it to the lab and run some tests." Sherlock says.
"When can you get back to me about this?" Lestrade asked. Sherlock didn't answer. He just picked up the shoe and letter and placed them in the box. He turned around and walked out the door. John followed. The duo got into a cab. "St. Bart's hospital." Sherlock told the driver. The driver nodded and then drove off.
Sherlock walked into the lab with an aggravated face on. He took the shoe out of the box and placed it on a tray next to him. John sat on a stool on the other side of the counter, where the microscope was.
"So how much time is left?" John asked.
"While you were getting dressed I started a countdown. We have… 7 hours and 35 minutes." Sherlock said, putting his phone back in his pocket.
He started scraping sand off the bottom of the slipper onto a microscope slide. Without being asked, John picked up the microscope and set it down next to Sherlock.
"Thanks." Sherlock said bluntly.
That's a first. John couldn't help thinking of how Sherlock could be the biggest dickhead on the planet. Sherlock was currently scraping more contents off the small, pink, slipper. He took samples of the grass on the side of the shoe and the blood. After he tested those he studied the bottom of the slipper again. Judging by his face, John knew he was getting close. They had been there for over two hours, saying little but doing a lot. John had stopped 5 minutes ago. He had been testing some bird droppings but it didn't seem useful. Sherlock put down the shoe and picked up the slide with the bird shit on it. He put it under the microscope.
"Cirl Bunting." Sherlock randomly said.
"What's that?" John lifted his head from his hand.
Sherlock lifted his head for a moment. Suddenly he grabbed his jacket and shoe and was running out the door. John chased him down to the hospital lobby and out to the curb. They got into a cab. A few minutes later they stopped in front of the Police Department. Once again Sherlock did not bother with knocking he just walked right in. Sgt. Donavan was there talking to Lestrade.
"South Devon." Sherlock said.
"What?" Sgt. Donavan looked confused.
"South Devon." Sherlock repeated, "Wet grass on the side of the shoe. And where has it rained in the last day? South Devon, just before the beach. Sand particles, small pieces of rock were tested. She scrapped her heal on a rock. The slipper is wet. Not from the rain, sea water. She has to be somewhere on the beach."
"Can you narrow it down any?" Sgt. Donavan asked.
"It'll have to do. Come on!" Lestrade got up from his chair and rushed out the door. Sally Donavan followed him. She was followed by Sherlock then John.
A helicopter took the 4 and a search team to South Devon beach. The search began. All it looked like was a small beach and empty. The people who were there packed up and left when they saw the helicopter descending onto the beach.
2 hours later there was still no sign of the little girl. It was starting to get dark and they were running out of time. 4 hours left. The search teams were scattered all around the area. They were growing tired.
Another hour went by. Sherlock and John went off on their own searching. Really they were just walking along the shore.
"What if we don't find her?" John asked. He was nervous.
"Pray that this guy doesn't do what he says."
"Well it's getting darker and before we left Donavan told me they would give it another hour before they-." John was cut off by Sherlock stretching his arm out in front of his chest.
"John." He whispered. He pointed to some footprints in the sand. Tracks that matched the slipper.
"John, go get Lestrade." Sherlock ordered. John sprinted back the way they came and Sherlock followed the tracks. The footprints lead behind a large rock. A small girl with brown hair was lying in the sand. Her left leg was in an awkward position. She was missing a slipper, the slipper Sherlock held in his hand. There was dried blood on her heal. She saw Sherlock and looked at him and opened her mouth to scream but Sherlock spoke before she could.
"Don't be scared! I'm here to get you out of here."
He took a step towards her. She didn't try and move away. Sherlock picked her up gently, watching her leg. the first time in a long time Sherlock felt true sympathy. He began to jog back. The little girl began to cry against Sherlock's chest. Half way back the light of a flashlight made Sherlock run faster.
"OVER HERE!" He screamed. He felt the child flinch against him. The group of four that was running towards him included John, Lestrade, Donavan, and Anderson. Donavan took the sobbing child out of Sherlock's arms.
"Be careful of her left leg." Sherlock warned her.
"So what now?" John asked.
"She'll be taken to St. Bart's then after she recovers back to the orphanage." Lestrade replied.
He started to follow Donavan.
"Nice job Sherlock." John complimented the detective.
Sherlock never admitted how he felt towards the little girl.
He only said "1 down 3 to go."
A/N: sorry if some of this is irrelevant. Like the deductions an stuff about South Devon. Tried my best though.