I'm hoping to begin uploading more regularly again. Perhaps every two weeks.
Oh and get prepped for some snarky Ellen/Sherlock banter this chapter.
As always, don't forget to follow/fav/review if you enjoy!
Scandal In Belgravia - Part Two
Ellen was a changed woman. That was certain. It was hard not to be in light of recent events. There were things about her family's past that unsettled her. The circumstances over her mother's passing was something she struggled to come to terms with. That was a piece of information that her father had not shared with Beth. It only added fuel to a fire that she was trying to quell. With Peter gone indefinitely it was time for Ellen once again to be the head of the family. She had to keep her head high and her spirits even higher. It wouldn't be right otherwise; the psychologist in the family being the one unable to cope with their emotions.
She'd kept a journal since she first began working in psychology, meant to be a place she could reflect whenever a session was particularly troubling. When she felt concerned for her own mental health it was a place of solace. In the days after the pool incident Ellen had picked it up once or twice and thought about what she could write this time. But the more she lamented, the more she wanted to burn the damn thing. She didn't want a log of the events, she wanted it to disappear and pretend none of it had happened.
Beth had been good to not press her sister. Ellen had assured her after returning from the pool things were finally over. Whether that was true was yet to be seen. They hadn't mentioned the call they'd both received from their father, however Ellen knew their calls had ended in similar ways. Angry, rattled and unsure what to do next. They'd talked about going into therapy, but never acted on their conversation. Just like the diary, going into therapy would have the same drudging effect. While Ellen knew what she was going through, she needed to find a different way to console her troubles.
Having almost depleted their supply of tea and managing to clean every orifice of the place several times over, Ellen had decided she was beginning to feel trapped. She'd rearranged furniture, spring cleaned her closet and had even begun obsessing over hunting for a new apartment. As much as a darling Beth was through all of Ellen's recovery, the apartment was never meant to accommodate for two people. Beth's 'bedroom' was an office space with a fold out couch permanently outstretched. They still fought tooth and nail for bathroom time. The many windows, that had once been a deciding factor in Ellen settling on this apartment, became a lense that she felt watched through. Despite her father assuring her of her safety, Ellen still felt that at any second a bullet could tear through a window and end her life. If only out of spite, she had to get back into the world.
She set out to get her life back on track. On her day back in reality she had mostly menial errands to run, replacing things she lost when her car exploded. Heading to the bank to reissue a card, a new driver's license and new phone. After she'd finish up with that she had planned to get back on the tube and go home. However before the station there was a quaint flower shop that called out to her. The floral smell was enticing and the colours brighter than any flowers she'd even seen. Daisies. Roses. Tulips. Bouquets of all sizes lined the front of the store. She wandered inside and the arrangements climbed to the ceiling.
"Hello!" a small woman exclaimed from behind the counter. "Can I help you with anything?"
"I'm just having a browse thank-you." Ellen smiled back. It was then that her eyes fell onto a bouquet that made her heart jump. Dahlia's, in various hues of pink. Corals, blush, magenta. The colours bled into one another. Ellen grabbed the bouquet and took it to the counter.
"Ahh, these are some of my favourites." the lady cooed.
"They're beautiful." Ellen found herself smiling once again. The lady removed the price tag and tied a ribbon around the bottom into a neat bow. When Ellen left, she continued past the station. She walked to clear her head. She had a destination in mind, but it wasn't one that she was eager getting to. She walked for almost an hour before she arrived at the wrought iron gates of a cemetery.
The air shifted as she entered, sending a cold shiver down her spine. The place was carefully manicured, the caretaker not far away on a hill sweeping up leaves. The cemetery sat behind an ancient looking church that shadowed the headstones. She continued to one particular plot underneath a large elm tree. In Loving Memory of Heather Harper. Ellen placed the bunch of dahlia's down gently and sighed. She hadn't made time in a while to visit her mother's headstone, but right now it was important. This visit was different than the last. Ellen wasn't just sad that her mother wasn't around. Before she had believed that the hand of God had taken her. Now she knew otherwise. Now, it was the meddling hands of Jim Moriarty to blame.
"I don't know how right now..." she said softly, kneeling down to speak to her mother, "But I'm going to make sure his actions don't go unanswered for."
She'd left the grave without another word, moseying her way back home.
Greg Lestrade had visited her apartment in the week after her return, to check in on how she was and to let her know they had a relief in, covering her cases until she was ready to come back to the yard. She'd asked if they'd made any progress in tracking down the bomber, but Lestrade had no such luck. Holmes and Watson had reported what happened at the pool, but it hadn't been any help to police to catching Moriarty.
"A month tops." Ellen had insisted.
"Are you sure that's not too early?" Greg questioned.
"I think, once I get the move sorted out and settled into my new place I should be fine."
"Well you let me know if you change your mind at all."
By the month's end the sisters had packed up their belongings and relocated to the other side of the city. A quaint apartment right in the hub of London. Their new place was far more spacious, they both had their own rooms. There was a living space for Ellen to set up a small office and a perfect sized kitchen. While there was still only one bathroom to share, the girls had worked out a schedule avoid their old screaming matches. Plus the pipes in the new place didn't sound like they were going to give way if you turned the shower on. And best of all, the walls were thick. Meaning whenever Dave came over to visit Beth, Ellen wasn't disrupted by their indoor 'exercise activities'. Overall, it felt like a fresh beginning.
On her first day back at Scotland Yard, Ellen had prepped for the worse. She'd never met her relief and secretly hoped that they'd been shit. She hoped to have piles of paperwork and filing, anything to get her mind to work. Entering the office was slightly surreal, as the lift doors opened she felt like all eyes were on her. She supposed people were curious to see if she was an absolute mess, today however she didn't plan to be.
"And she's back!" exclaimed a voice she knew too well. Approaching her came Sally Donovan with a big smirk on her face, "You gave us all a right ol' scare."
"Early halloween prank gone wrong!" Ellen grimaced. Donovan wrapped her in a hug. She'd never been close friends with the other woman, let alone been hugged. When she was released another voice called out.
"Good to see you back." said Phillip Anderson, with his morning coffee in hand.
"Thanks." she smiled at him.
Throughout the day many of her colleagues came up to her desk to welcome her back. She'd never been the biggest socialiser and it surprised her how many people had her in their thoughts. Perhaps Greg had put them up to it. Either way, she wasn't bothered by the attention.
Unfortunately, her replacement had been decent at their job. Almost all the cases she had been working on before her break had been taken care of. She had a small list of new cases to work on, but nothing big. A couple of small time arsonists, robbers and petty criminals. Ellen wanted a big case, someone who potentially brought her a challenge. Someone like Moriarty, that she could help convict. Perhaps it would help her bring sense to the world. No such case presented itself.
That same day, two more familiar faces appeared. Ellen began gathering her things, leaving for her lunch break when the lift opened and out walked Watson and Holmes.
"Fancy running into you two here." she called as she began to head towards the elevator. The pair's head's turned in her direction with unison. They stopped as Ellen stood in front of them.
"Miss Harper." Sherlock nodded hello.
"Holmes." Ellen smirked at the formality in his greeting, "John."
"Hey Ellen, how've you been?" John smiled.
"Good, good. I've been well."
"Done anything stupid things lately?" Sherlock quipped. Ellen stared him dead in the eyes as the man kept a smug look on his face.
"I've not had any interactions with guns or explosives lately, so no. Yourself?" Ellen retorted.
"I don't really do 'stupidity'." Sherlock sneered.
"Sherlock stole a bus last week." John interjected.
"I didn't steal the bus, I borrowed it. And it's not as if the tourists seemed to mind." Sherlock bickered, rolling his eyes.
"I'm not even going to ask..." Ellen raised one brow.
"Probably best." John guffawed. Ellen's stomach growled. The two men looked down at it.
"Well that's my cue." she pat her tummy, "I guess I'll see you both around. And maybe don't steal buses. The public transport system is already shoddy on good days." With a chuckle the three went their separate ways.
She went down the road in search of a cafe she used to visit whenever she didn't pack lunch. The Hummingbird Cafe. When she arrived it was buzzing with people. The coffee machine's whirring away and chatter all around.
"Ellen!" exclaimed a voice behind the counter, the owner Vivianne. She was an older lady, heavily Italian and heavily hilarious, "Oh darling good to see you again! I saw you on the news a while ago and wondered if you were okay!"
"I'm doing well Viv." Ellen smiled.
"The usual?" Viv asked.
"Yes please!" Ellen nodded.
"Have it on the house, my treat."
"I surely couldn't-," Ellen shook her head.
"No arguing!" Viv shouted joyfully as she began making Ellen a large cappuccino and put one of her staff onto making a chicken sandwich.
"So tell me, any new men in your life?" she brought the coffee out and plopped down next to Ellen on a seat. Ellen struggled to hold back a laugh.
"No Viv, I haven't exactly had time-."
"Shush! There's always time to find a man!" Viv chuckled, "Didn't eye off any emergency workers? Firemen? Any lookers from the police department?"
"Nope." Ellen bit her lip to stop her smile from forming. Every time she came in Vivianne would ask her about her love life, since she'd married off all her kids. She'd tell Ellen that soon she'd be in her thirties and that dating was going to get much harder. Her love life was the least of her worries right now.
"Let's fix that. We need to get you out and dating." Viv exclaimed, she got up and pulled Ellen with her to a notice board at the front of the store. She pulled off a flyer from the bottom corner and handed to Ellen. It was an advertisement for self-defence classes.
"This young man came in the other week wanting to put up a poster for his gym and you know I can never say no to a looker. You should go, chat him up. Or perhaps talk to other men in the class. Nothing sexier than throwing a man on the ground and sitting on top of him. They find that stuff kinky."
"I really don't think I have to gall to do something like that."
"Nonsense!" Viv grabbed Ellen's bag and shoved the poster inside. There was no saying no to Viv. She handed Ellen the coffee once more and the sandwich, before Ellen insisted she had to go back to the office.
Walking back she pulled out the flyer and laughed to herself. How ridiculous, going to self defence classes to meet guys. Where did this women come from?! However, Ellen couldn't deny that self-defence classes might be a good idea. The more she could keep her mind occupied with work and other activities the easier she'd find it to move past the kidnapping. Plus the idea that if she ever came across Moriarty again she'd be able to knock the lights out of him was appealing too.
Ellen pulled out her phone and found herself typing in the number to the gym.
"Hello, Fit & Fearless Self Defence Center, Tyler speaking. How can I help?" a man said.
"Hi Tyler, my name's Ellen. I wanted to enquire about female self defence classes…"
She started on Monday.