"You mean the last couple of hours?"
"No, John, since I've been awake. I couldn't talk to you, however."
"I noticed that you didn't, but why couldn't you? Why couldn't you at least tell me that you couldn't?" John probed.
"Mycroft. He was eavesdropping. The room was bugged to the hilt."
John had expected something like that, but he hadn't really expected that Sherlock would be bothered by it.
"Ok. You usually don't mind, in fact you told me once that our flat here is bugged, too. So, why are you talking know when you wouldn't in the hospital?"
Sherlock opened his hand to show it to John. There were a couple of tiny black plastic items with tiny antennas attached to them. Bugs.
"Oh! You searched the flat. Sure you found them all?"
Sherlock nodded. Only now did John notice that some parts of the flat weren't as tidy as they had been when he had left for his walk. Some of the books were carelessly drawn from the shelves, the picture with the death's head was hanging lopsidedly, and the light bulb of the living-room lamp was lying on the coffee table. Sherlock had been thorough, however he hadn't been bothered about putting things back where he had taken them from.
"Now explain. Why do you suddenly care about Mycroft listening?" John wanted to know.
"He's involved," the Consulting Detective stated to John's surprise.
"I guess, he's involved in almost everything here in Britain, more or less, but... involved in what exactly?"
"Not sure yet, John. It was really hard to concentrate with all the noise in the hospital room and a snoring roommate. "
"Sherlock!" John warned him.
"The memory gaps, John," Sherlock remarked. "Admittedly, there are indeed gaps in my memories. I remember the courier very well thanks to my photographic memory, I have seen him before, however Icouldn't find any information about him in my mind palace, which doesn't make sense. My brain's fine, no long-term effects, so, why do I know the courier and can't remember?"
"Um, Sherlock, actually, that is probably nothing to worry about, it happens to all of us occasionally", John commented.
"Well, if you ask rhetorical questions, then please tell me in advance, so that I don't have to bother my brain with thinking about an answer, ok?"
Sherlock went on, ignoring John's objection.
"That doesn't happen to me, John. My brain doesn't work like yours! Once I have stored a piece of information I can never forget about it anymore, unless I delete it deliberately!" Sherlock hissed between gritted teeth. He stood up and started pacing up and down with long strides, his hands clasped behind his back. "And Molly. Of course, Mycroft knew where I had sent the experiments and he knew that it wasn't her who poisoned the petri-dish."
"Ah, so you did notice that bit, too. I had already been wondering… Well, I guess, Molly's innocence is out of question, isn't it?"
Sherlock gave John an enigmatic glance. "Of course," he said, obviously regarding her involvement in attempted murder too far-fetched.
"You know, women do love poison. Especially for unfulfilled...,"
"John!" Sherlock interrupted his companion. "We're going to visit a family member of mine. Get your jacket!"
Sherlock crossed the room, heading for the door.
"Stop, Sherlock!" The Consulting Detective didn't react, so John yelled, "Halt!"
Sherlock actually stopped and turned around, his eyebrows raised in surprise. "Military, John?"
John smirked, at least it had worked. "Maybe I have some information that you should know in advance."
Sherlock approached John, an inquiring look on his face. "Tell me."
John dropped into the armchair without turning his gaze from Sherlock, took a deep breath and started telling his flatmate what he had observed in the clinic and what that little rant with his brother had been about.
Sherlock had actually listened without interrupting John. He had sat down slowly in the opposite armchair, leaning his elbows on his knees and steepling his fingers under his chin in concentration.
When John had finished, Sherlock remained silent for a while, then looked at his flatmate intently.
"Probably no family visits at the moment," he said thoughtfully.
John waited for Sherlock to say something more, but he remained silent.
"Is that it? Nothing more to say about your brother apparently giving you some illegal and top-secret drugs?"
"No, John, that's fine. He knows what he's doing as far as that is concerned."
"You think so? The drug is top secret, not sufficiently tested, and you aren't the slightest bit worried! Has it crossed your mind that there might be side-effects that they don't know about so far and that you might serve as your brother's guinea pig?"
"Calm down, John. Actually, I prefer being his guinea pig to being dead. Not really an option I'd go for at the moment. I'm not worried about the drug. That is fine. Let's put it this way: If he really considered the drug questionable in its safety, if there were any side-effects that he knew about that could raise suspicions in others – doctors mainly – which, in turn, could cause trouble explaining, he simply wouldn't have used it on me."
"Oh, yeah – actually - no, that's not really a logic that I can follow. Something like "He's my brother, he cares too much about me to put me in any real danger", that's something reasonable for me, but that has to do with sentiment, so I assume that's not a thought that might cross your mind," John replied confused.
"I don't expect you to comprehend, just accept it."
"Yup, and you should accept that your brother cares about you!" John snapped.
Sherlock gave him an annoyed look, but didn't say anything.
"So, you really aren't worried about the drug?" John probed, just to make sure, because he was.
"What are you worried about then?"
"My memory gaps. Deliberate deletion of memories is a technique that you learn the same way as you learn to store memories. A friend of Mycroft's taught me that technique when I was little. Showing someone how to do it in that particular way also means you have temporary access to the learner's mind. You have imaginary keys to the doors of your memory building, something like codes. The one who teaches you has to know at least some of the codes and since the keys cannot be replaced by others, has life-long access to some of the rooms, or memories, respectively, only the very basics, though. In other words, the early memories that have been stored in that way. For some reason or another Mycroft has deleted my memories of a former meeting with the errand boy."