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I'm SO SORRY for being slow with the final installment for Get Me To The Church On Time. I can only plea long hours at work, some travel, and the dreaded writer's block. My hope is to wrap things up by the end of this month. As a small token of appreciation for everyone's patience, here's a TSN/Sherlock fic that wouldn't let go of my brain.

Pairing: Mark/Eduardo, Sherlock/John (implied or platonic)
Rating: PG
Word Count: 1918
Disclaimer: This is complete fiction. I do not own the characters from the movie The Social Network, and there is absolutely no connection to the real people. Sherlock the series belongs to the BBC, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories belong to the public domain.
Notes: Based on ACD's story A Case of Identity, with some direct quotations. A Social Network/Sherlock (BBC) fusion.
Summary: “I’m surprised, Mr. Saverin,” Sherlock said as he waved the man into a chair, “that a man of your means came in person to consult me.”

“I’m starting to see your point about the telly.” John startled at the sound of Sherlock’s voice but managed not to drop the kettle. From where he was stretched out on the sofa, Sherlock continued, “Little people and their little lives are infinitely stranger than anything the mind of man could invent.”

John craned his neck to cast a bleary glance at screen. “Oh, that one’s scripted. You can already tell that the husband drank too much, and the wife ran off because there’s another woman.”

“Ah,” said Sherlock, and John could sense his smugness from the kitchen. “Indeed, the show consulted me about the wife’s sudden disappearance. The husband was a teetotaler, there was no other woman, and the wife left because he had the habit of taking out his false teeth and hurling them at the poor woman. That episode should air this Sunday.”

John acknowledged defeat by bringing Sherlock a cup of tea. “I suppose I will be grateful if you take more cases from The Only Way Is Essex. Mrs. Hudson says the new boiler will have to come out of our rent.”

“That won’t be necessary. Our next client will be quite generous, if I am not mistaken.”

Sherlock had risen from the sofa to gaze down into the street from between the parted blinds. Looking over his shoulder, John saw a gangling young man with a prodigious head full of hair. He paced backward and forward on the pavement, and his fingers twitched with his hair until it achieved an impressive elevation. Suddenly, he took a deep breath and darted out of view, and the doorbell sounded with a sharp clang.

Sherlock dashed into his room to change his shirt, and John grumbled about the man’s vanity as he plodded down the seventeen steps to welcome their visitor. In the light of their sitting room, however, Sherlock’s fastidiousness seemed justified: between his flatmate’s latest suit and the newcomer’s crisp tailoring, John felt every bit the shabby pensioner.

“I’m surprised, Mr. Saverin,” Sherlock said as he waved the man into a chair, “that a man of your means came in person to consult me.”

His eyes widened. “How did you . . . did Gretchen call ahead about me?”

As always, John felt a surge of warmth and pride whenever Sherlock explained his deductions. Sherlock knew, because he visibly preened before turning to their guest. “All too easy. I recognize the work of the best Singapore tailors, and your watch confirms your net worth. How many wealthy young Americans live in Singapore? If I had any doubts, the initials on your cufflinks removed them, Mr. Saverin.”

“Please, call me Eduardo,” he said with a rueful smile. He sobered quickly. “Gretchen, my lawyer, says I shouldn’t go to the police about Clark, but I couldn’t sit on my hands and do nothing!”

He cast a beseeching glance at John, who was not unmoved. “Why don’t you start from the beginning,” John prompted.

“Clark’s my boyfriend—well, not exactly my boyfriend yet, but we’ve become really close since we met six months ago at a Stanford tech conference,” Eduardo began. His expression turned sheepish. “There was a huge group of people at the afterparty, and I was rather trashed. So my impressions of Clark from the party were really vague. No, I didn’t go home with anybody,” he said, at John’s knowing look, “but I woke up to a text from Clark about how he really enjoyed talking to me. Turns out that we were already friends on Facebook, and we started e-mailing and texting a lot.”

“Did you meet him in person again?” Sherlock asked.

Eduardo flushed. “We were taking it slow because he’s in Palo Alto and I’m traveling all the time . . . and . . . and because I’ve been really hurt before. Clark’s incredibly understanding about giving me space, and he encourages me to talk about my issues and work through my feelings.”

“Such a paragon,” Sherlock murmured.

John reacted to the sarcasm with a glare, as their young visitor continued with his tale of woe. Eduardo had finally worked up the courage to ask Clark out to dinner, when Clark suddenly became erratic. One moment, Clark was looking forward to their date and describing his plans for dessert. The next, he started hinting about unusual visitors at his workplace and a new project that he couldn’t discuss in detail. From what Eduardo could tease out, Clark’s employers had been awarded a big government contract, and Clark was involved in some top secret software work. It all came to a head while Eduardo was in London for a business meeting.

“Here’s the email he sent me.” Eduardo presented the crumpled print-out to Sherlock, who angled it so John could also see.

“Can’t make dinner—no more contact—circumstances beyond his control,” Sherlock read quickly. “Hmm…he wishes you had more time together and says that you ‘must never’ look for him. With the ‘never’ underlined, in bold font and uppercase.” Sherlock arched an eyebrow. “It’s rather straightforward. I don’t see the problem here.”

John made an exasperated sound, while Eduardo put his head in his hands. “But don’t you see?” Eduardo asked, in a muffled voice. He sat back with a wild look in his eyes. “What if someone’s kidnapped Clark and made him write that? Or the government’s forcing him to cut off all ties to the outside world? We have to find him!”

“Don’t worry.” John patted Eduardo on the shoulder. “Sherlock has some . . . influential friends, who may be able to help us find Clark.”

Sherlock bristled like an angry cat.

“I’m sure Mycroft wouldn’t mind,” John said in a loud whisper. Indeed, Mycroft was always eager to offer his services.

“There’s no need for that,” Sherlock said, tapping on his phone. “The next direct flight from Heathrow to San Francisco is in eight hours. Could you procure seats for us?” he asked Eduardo. “First class, if possible. John has got a bad leg from Afghanistan.”

* * *

Dustin refused to leave the conference room Eduardo had commandeered at Facebook offices. “Consulting detective? That’s awesome—I’ve always wanted to see a locked room murder.”

“Don’t say that,” Eduardo hissed, hurting at the thought of Clark being tortured—or killed. John poured him another mug of tea; the man had a gift for comforting with caffeine. “John, are you sure we can’t go to Clark’s apartment, at least? I think I can talk our way past the doorman.”

John shook his head. “Sherlock says that the key to finding Clark is here. I’ve learned to trust his instincts.”

“I just don’t see what Facebook has to do with anything,” Eduardo said. “Clark’s working for this startup near the Stanford campus. Why can’t we start the search there?”

“Don’t worry, we’ll find Clark.” John said. “I trust Sherlock.”

Sherlock finished typing and shut the laptop with a flourish. “Quite an interesting system, this Facebook. I find it more interesting than the disappearance of Mr. Clark Turnham. Which, I’m sorry to say, is a rather familiar problem, though one or two details are new to me.”

Eduardo’s mind immediately leapt to the worst. “Was it the government—”

“Or the Russian mafia?” Dustin interjected.

“Neither.” Sherlock tapped out a message on his phone. “The wonderful thing about social networks is that its users rely upon certain assumptions. People have hundreds of friends in their network—when they see a friend they don’t remember adding, they think nothing of it.

“Or when they see that someone listed as a graduate of Stanford and tagged in various pictures at tech conferences, why, they assume that this person is from Stanford and does go to—”

“Wait,” Eduardo said, as he felt something clench around his heart. “Are you saying that—”

“Clark does not exist aside from hundreds of status updates, tagged photos, and linked videos on Facebook, and, of course, his emails and texts to you? Yes, I am.” Sherlock checked his watch.

“But who would—why—”

“Who would have the ability and access to create a false identity on Facebook? From Mr. Moskovitz’s accelerated heartbeat and increased blood flow to the surface of his neck, I suspect he may have an answer.” Sherlock seated himself at the head of the conference table and steepled his fingers. “As for the ‘why,’ your ‘Clark’ wanted to engage your affections and exclude everyone else from your attention. What better than a sudden disappearance? To be followed by the occasional resurfacing, of course, which could string you along for years.”

“But—but—” Eduardo’s mind shied away from the obvious conclusion. He seized on one last piece of evidence. “Clark said I must never look for him! Why would he write that if he wanted my attention?”

“The most basic kind of reverse psychology,” Sherlock scoffed. “Elementary! Even John could do it.”

“I’ll try asking you not to get the milk next time,” John said.

Just as Eduardo wanted to get up and punch somebody—or burst into tears—there was a knock on the door.

“Ah.” Sherlock leaned back in his chair. “May I present—”

The handle turned.

“‘Clark,’ your missing boyfriend.”

And Mark walked in the room.

“You?!!” Eduardo hurled himself towards the doorway, held back only by both Dustin and John. “It was you all along?!”

Mark froze, and Eduardo thought he saw a flicker of fear. “Eduardo, I can explain—”

“Sorry, Wardo, Mark asked me to help him,” Dustin said in one ear.

“Violence is not the answer. Well, not always,” John said in the other.

“Really, Eduardo, you should be flattered by such single-minded attention from a diabolical brain,” Sherlock said.

With an abrupt burst of energy, Eduardo shook off Dustin and John, picked up his mug of tea, and threw it at the wall. It shattered and left a satisfying stain.

Eduardo took a deep breath. “Mark, you . . . you did all this for me?”

“Yes, yes I did,” Mark said, with obvious relief. “Everything was for you.”

“Why the bloody hell didn’t you just phone him?” John asked Mark.

“I, er, didn’t know what to say.”

“Oh, God,” John said. “Don’t give Sherlock any ideas.”

“What about all the things ‘Clark’ told me?” Eduardo needed to know. “About how I deserve somebody who listened to me, about how my ex-best friend was an idiot?”

“He was.” Mark straightened and met Eduardo’s eyes. “Your ex-best friend was an idiot who hid behind business practices as an excuse for not talking things through with you.”

“Oh Mark, you asshole.” And the only thing Eduardo could do was kiss him.

* * *

“I still can’t believe Eduardo took your advice about being flattered,” John grumbled as he sorted out the post after dinner and a glass of sherry. The first envelope had produced a check for a hefty sum, a certificate for Facebook shares, and a standing invitation to visit Palo Alto.

“You must admit that criminal acts can have a certain charm, when intended for one’s benefit,” Sherlock pronounced from the sofa.

“If you say so.” John rolled his eyes. Sherlock’s response to Moriarty’s obsession with him would always be a sore point between them.

“I refer to, of course, a particular feat of marksmanship,” Sherlock said. His lips quirked in a smile. “At the beginning of our friendship.”

“Well, er.” John raised his glass. “I can drink to that.”
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