Chapter 1: Meeting John and Sherlock
This is my first Sherlock fanfic and I hope you enjoy it. If you're curious about Evie then google Katie Mcgrath. Some of my author followers probably know what a huge lady boner I have for her...it's so true, she's too beautiful it should be considered illegal.
I did a big rewrite. Grammar is fixed and bits added to add more character development.
Well read and enjoy...
Here I was again. Sitting on the expensive leather seat sitting across the doctor who was wearing the same judgmental face that he tried to pass off as sympathetic. He was waiting to hear that his time has paid off, but he won't hear it. Nothing has changed since the last time I forced myself to talk to him, to endure his judgment.
I really shouldn't be too hard. Dr. Jenner really wants to help and I'm paying him. Since I ran away from Ireland with my tail between my legs and came here to England, he's helped me from being a paranoid hermit to a civilized woman who has the occasional panic attack. Though now he pressing me to take the final steps, meaning forming relationships which I still wasn't ready for.
"So Evie, how are things?" He asked tapping his pen against my open file.
I shrugged, "Same as usual." I twirled the tassel on the throw pillow in my lap refusing to look up at him. I know he's disappointed. His opinion didn't matter but I wanted to improve so I was disappointed with myself as well. I wanted to get my life back to normal.
"Evie, we've talked about this." Dr. Jenner sighed exasperated, "You're ready for this." He leaned forward to touch my head but I jerked it away before he could make contact. He sighed then leaned back again.
"I'm not ready. I'm still afraid." I swallowed thickly.
"Afraid of what?" He asked. I resisted glaring, he knew what the answer was, but asked anyway.
"Of letting people in again, of betrayal, and the possibility that they might be ripped away." I replied.
"Evie, you will never stop being afraid until you conquer the fear. Make connections, you'll see that they are not bad things." He informed.
I nodded, "Ok, I'll go out and make a friend. Anyway, our time is almost up, I need to get to work." I set the pillow back into its proper place then stood.
"I'll see you in two weeks?" Dr. Jenner stood as well to walk me to the door.
I nodded half-heartedly. I started thinking about not coming again, lately I noticed that Dr. Jenner wasn't pushing me into moving on for myself but for himself. I didn't think he disliked me, but the way he would try to touch my hand during sessions told me he no longer saw me as his patient. He knew better than anyone that I wasn't ready to take that step yet, least of all with him.
I really need to get a life, I thought as I scanned the large pile of books. All I ever do these days is work and sit around my flat wasting away. Though I've been trying my hardest to avoid my flat since my flatmate loves to bring back all sorts of men who she entertains until the early hours of the morning, I need a new place. However, finding a new place where my potential flatmates are not possible rapists or serial killers is very difficult.
I glanced down at my desk to the newspaper, Flatmate wanted: 'Must be attractive with generous curves and open minded to being watched and filmed Pet friendly!' All I read was: I am a murderer and whoever moves in with me will be my next victim and I will eat your pets. I marked out the ad then went on to the next one, not all of them were crazy, but they were out of my price range or just too far away from Bart's where I worked in the school's library.
I flipped the next page; I couldn't help but notice the article about the three suicides. I couldn't believe the police-three suicides all similar to the same cause of death all found in pretty popular places. It screamed murder. I focused only on the article, with a marker I wrote WRONG, MURDER, and SERIAL KILLER. It made me feel like a detective as I thought about it: what connected them, how the murderer chose them, and how did the murderer make them take the poison.
"What on earth are you doing?" A shrill voice filled the air making me nearly jump out of my skin. It was the harpy known as Ms. Price, my boss who is determined to make my life a living hell. I really think she got off on sneaking up behind me, but then again, she loves sneaking up on the couples who do 'research' in the farthest shelves. I would really hate to be in that compromising position only to find the Harpy screeching with a rolled up National Geographic.
She really did look like a harpy, cruel as it to think. She was once in an accident that left her hunching over slightly and had terrible arthritis that made her hands looked gnarled like claws. It only made it worse that she did not age well, a lifetime of smoking and tanning left her skin leathery looking. She wasn't the prettiest thing to look out, but that wasn't what made her unbearable. Appearance is easy to ignore unless you're shallow. Ms. Price was all over a complete and total witch who loves to speak outwardly cruel to anyone who crossed her path. She acted nice at first to new people or customers, but would mumble terrible things about them under her breath thinking no one could hear her.
"Sorry, Ms. Price, I was…" I looked around for an excuse besides playing detective. I couldn't think of anything so I might as well fess up, "I was distracted, sorry." I looked down at my feet, but not in guilt. I didn't want to look into Ms. Price's beady eyes as they were no doubt narrowing up at me.
"Of course you were, you can't keep a good solid thought in your head. You were probably daydreaming about your harlotting ways." Ms. Price was convinced I was a harlot, which I thought to be more funny than insulting considering I haven't had a relationship in three years. A pang went through my chest at the thought, but I pushed it aside.
"Or you were thinking about the transfer. Can't believe they would want a lazy sod like you, but then again, I could replace you with someone more competent." She sneered.
"I will certainly miss you." I grumbled.
Ms. Price grunted, then hobbled away with a magazine rolled tightly in gnarled fist, I don't understand how she can wield or turn it into such a formidable weapon. I had no doubt she found out some unfortunate couple snogging somewhere within the library.
Not a second later, two men ran out of the shelves stumbling over their pants as they attempted to pull them up and dodge Ms. Price's blows. Poor lads, I thought, but then I heard it uttered beside me.
"Poor lads." I turned to see one of my friends, well my only friend, Mike Stamford. He was the first person I allowed myself to warm up to since I started the job. I felt quite proud of myself that I managed to make that one connection but I don't think my relationship to Mike was the one Dr. Jenner had in mind when he preached to me. I could never have that with Mike, so I guess that's why I'm close to him, that and he wasn't at all a threat.
"Oh, hello Mike, anything I can help you with?" I asked politely.
"No, but I do believe you're done for the day." He glanced at his watch, "In fact you've been done for an hour now."
My jaw dropped and I glanced at the clock in shock, "Wow, how fast the time passes by when you're being tortured by the Harpy." I mumbled. Mike chuckled when he heard me.
"Well, it's my lunch break. Would you like to join me?" He asked. Bless him, he was such a sweet man. He knew the struggle I was going through, so he always took the time to gently ease me back into society. Honestly I don't think it was Dr. Jenner's doing that helped me so much, but Mike.
"Why not?" I shrugged. I was glad that I didn't have to go back to the apartment to hear Vivian, my flatmate, shagging. I gathered my things together, including the newspaper I wrote in and stuck it into my bag.
"How's the search going?" He asked once we sat on our favorite park bench.
"Terrible." I huffed a laugh, "Everything's expensive, out of the area, or has insane flatmates." I took a large bite out of my candy bar.
"But you usually stick to yourself, I doubt you'd have to converse with them." Mike commented.
"It's true, I'm not looking for friends, but it would be nice not having to keep an eye open while I slept." I joked.
"I understand wanting to be safe, but Evie," Mike turned to me, "You need to make friends, I know it must have been hard for you to lose Liam but that was three years ago. You need to move on and have fun. Do something crazy!" He threw up his hands on the last sentence with a smile.
It's good to know that the good doctor wasn't the only one trying to help me. I didn't feel as judged or disappointing when it came to Mike. He was like a father teaching a child to walk or swim, kind and encouraging.
I gave him a sad smile and reached, but for my locket hidden under my blouse, "It's still hard, but I'm trying. I really am." I fought the crushing weight of depression and agony. I already mourned Liam though I still missed him terribly, but his death wasn't the reason I was devolving into a hermit. It was the person that took him away that made me this way.
"Just try a bit harder." Mike spoke softly. I didn't say anything but nodded. He seemed to settle for that and looked away. It was that moment that he saw someone he knew and called for them. He turned and motioned for me to stay put, that he would only be gone for a moment then followed behind the mysterious man. The man who walked with a cane didn't hear him or just ignored him, but he stopped after Mike called again. Mike jumped up walking over to him; I stayed put and watched them with curiosity.
"It's Mike Stamford." Mike reminded him, "We went to Bart's together."
The man looked like he didn't want to be talking to Mike. He looked like he didn't want to talk to anyone period. He looked like if you said the wrong thing, he wouldn't hesitate to punch you. He didn't seem all nice either, but he didn't say anything to Mike. Strange, he didn't look physically if he could hurt someone. He was shorter than me, maybe by a few inches, and he wasn't built strong. He looked about average in build with short brownish-blond hair.
He played polite and stuck out his hand to shake Mike's, "Yes, sorry, yes Mike hello."
Mike laughed cheerfully, "Yea, I know, I got fat." I silently laughed along with him.
"No." John mumbled, not very convincingly.
"I heard you were abroad somewhere getting shot out." Mike said, trying to make conversation, "What happened?"
John replied with no emotion, "I got shot." My smile dropped and I couldn't help the look of pity popping up on my face, though he didn't see it or notice me.
That must be why he looked and sounded so angry. Getting shot and leaving you with a limp can make anyone bitter, even this man. I wonder how recently it happened.
Mike looked very uncomfortable, "I'm sorry, John. W-would you like to join me for some coffee? I'll buy." He offered. John simply nodded; together they went off to a coffee cart close by. Mike and he returned to our bench. I could see him clutching two drinks in his hands; I couldn't stop the smile, knowing he bought me a hot chocolate.
"John Watson, this is my friend Evangeline Murphy. She works in Barts' library" Mike introduced, why did he always introduce me by my full name? John gave me a polite smile and shook my hand. A second later, I wondered why I didn't retreat when he was introduced. Normally I avoided contact but I shook John's hand without thinking. Maybe I was getting better after all.
"Pleasure to meet you, Evangeline." He said with a small smile.
"You as well, but please call me Evie." I said. I scooted over so he could sit between us, making sure there was still some space between us so that we were not touching. Mike then handed me my chocolate. The three of us were all silent for a moment, I had no problem with the silence, but Mike was a social creature, for once though it wasn't Mike to break the conversation but John.
"Are you still at Barts, then?" John asked.
"Teaching now. Bright young things like we were. God, I hate them." Mike joked making John chuckle briefly.
"What about you? Are you just staying in town until you get yourself sorted?" Mike asked.
"I can't afford a place in London on an army pension." John replied.
"And you couldn't bear to be anywhere else. That's not the John Watson I know." Mike smiled.
John grimaced, "I'm not the John Watson you…" John stopped there. While Mike was taking a drink, John clenched his fist. It made sense to me; he was a soldier who was shot giving him that limp making him bitter. He still wanted to be out there on the battlefield. Hesitantly, I placed my hand on his arm. He shot a confused look at me, but I gave him an understanding smile. He nodded and took a deep breath. We hardly knew each other, but I could feel the small bond that formed just in that moment.
I knew why I was already opening to John. We were both broken. We both had something torn from us and then thrown back into the world and told to adapt. His was his leg, mine was Liam.
"Couldn't Harry help?" Mike asked.
John scoffed, "Yeah, like that's going to happen." Whoever Harry was, John certainly wasn't going to him.
"I don't know; get a flat share or something. Evie's trying to do the same thing." Mike said.
"Come on, who'd want me for a flatmate?" John asked. I just nodded my head thinking the same thing about me. Who wanted to live with an emotional hermit with serious trust issues and depression? No one, "I know I wouldn't want to live with myself." I mumbled aloud.
Mike chuckled, "You know you're the second and third person to say that today."
John and I thought a moment, then spoke together, "Who was the first?"
Mike chuckled, "He's someone you just got to meet in person." Mike stood up and waited for us. Without question both of us followed behind Mike silently until we got to Barts' labs.
The three of us entered a lab with only one person in there at the moment. I didn't pay attention to the conversation; I was busy looking around the lab with curiosity and with worry that I might see some body parts lying about. Luckily for me, I didn't see any. I wished I was smart enough and had the stomach to work in a lab, but that was just my imagination running a wild. Honestly the only reason I would ever want to work in a lab was to create a monster or maybe a unicorn. Or maybe I could create a unicorn monster to take over the world! I seriously needed more therapy than I was getting.
A deep and handsome voice brought me away from my thoughts of world domination, "Mike, can I borrow your phone? There's no signal on mine."
I looked up from the vials and other equipment to look at the speaker. The voice certainly fitted him; an unworldly attractive voice belonged to an unworldly attractive man. He was pale like me, but I thought it looked better on him. He was tall and lean, wearing a nice and expensive suit. What I wouldn't give to run my fingers through his beautiful black curls, it made mine look plain. Dear sweet God, he had the most breathtaking eyes. My green paled in comparison to his kaleidoscope of blue, green, and gold irises. I was willing to bet money that his cheekbones could cut diamonds. Don't get me started on his lips…oh snap out of it, Evangeline! Since when have you ever drooled over a man?! Have some decency!
"And what's wrong with the land line?" Mike asked.
"I prefer to text." He answered without looking away from his project.
"Um…you could use mine." I spoke up quietly. With a little encouragement from Dr. Jenner and Mike's words, and John's presence I decided now would be the good time to push myself out there.
He looked up at me and got up, "Thank you." I felt a little fear go throughout me as he drew near. He was definitely an intimidating fellow but I forced my body to relax and took a deep breath.
I dug through my bag aware his eyes were on me. Finally, at the bottom of my bag, I found my phone and handed it to him. Just as it touched his hands, my phone went off with a text. I tilted it while still in his hand to read the message upside down.
Don't come home tonight, got some friends. –Viv.
I let out an annoyed sigh, and cancelled the message. John must have thought I would want to reply back and offered up his phone instead. The man nodded, handing back my phone and took John's instead. He looked down at John's phone for a second, then back at me as I put the phone back. My eyes followed his, he was reading the squibbles I jotted down on the newspaper. I see that I added stuff without thinking earlier before the Harpy scared me.
How does he pick them? How does he get them to take the poison? Oh, and my personal favorite, How on earth are the police this thick headed? I hope no police officer ever caught me with this. I looked up at him with a sheepish smile hoping he didn't call me out on my strange behavior, but only to find him smirking at me, impressed about something.
"This is an old friend of mine, John Watson. And that's Evangeline Murphy, she works here at Barts in the library." Again Mike introduced me with Evangeline.
The man, still beside us, opened John's phone to text spoke, "Afghanistan or Iraq?" The question threw me off since it came out of nowhere, though I knew it was meant towards John since he was a soldier. I couldn't help but notice Mike's please smile, what was he up to?
"Sorry?" John asked, swallowing thickly.
The man looked up, "Which was it, Afghanistan or Iraq?" The man's eyes darted to me for a brief second then back to John.
"Afghanistan. I'm sorry, how did you know…?" John didn't get to finish asking his question before the door opened and the man spoke.
"Ah Molly… coffee, thank you." He took the mug from the girl who just entered, "What happened to the lipstick?" He asked looking her up and down.
She, Molly, forced a smile and said, "I-it wasn't working for me." I knew then she had a crush on the man. He didn't even seem to pick her the obvious hints.
"Really?" He asked making her smile before he spoke again, "I thought it was a big improvement. You're mouth's too small now." Ok, whatever fear I had of him before disappeared in the blink of an eye. How dare he talk to her like that? She was absolutely adorable, any man would be lucky to have a daring girl like her on his arm and he just humiliated her in front of us. I wanted to smack up upside his head, but of course I didn't. I glared at him and thanked my Irish temper for making me afraid.
She mumbled Ok with a frown. She was trying to smile, but she was failing, I gave her a smile that she tried to return but she walked out quickly and stiffly. I was still looking at the door and planning what I should make my monster unicorn do to him once I completed it when he spoke again.
"How do you feel about the violin?" He asked. I turned to him when he spouted of the random question.
"I'm sorry, what?" John asked confused.
"I play the violin when I'm thinking. Sometimes I don't talk for days on end. Would that bother you? Potential flatmates should know the worst about each other." He gave us an obviously fake smile.
"Did you tell him anything about us?" I asked Mike. Though I don't remember him messaging or talking on the phone after our conversation on the bench, if he spoke to him about anyone it would have been me since I see Mike every day. John was just someone who happened to show up and have a conversation about flatshares.
"Not a word." Mike looked innocent as he fiddled with a test tube.
"Then who said anything about flatmates." John was starting to sound impatient.
The man grabbed his coat while answering, "I did. I told Mike this morning that I must be a difficult man to find a flatmate for. And now here he is just after lunch with an old friend clearly just home from military service from Afghanistan and his librarian friend who wants to move out of her old flat because of a horrible flatmate who keeps her up until the early hours of the morning with 'friends'. Wasn't that difficult a leap." The man put on his coat and a fancy scarf while he explained.
"How did you know about Afghanistan?" John asked.
He ignored John's questions, "I got my eye on a nice place in central London. Together the three of us should be able to afford it. We'll meet tomorrow evening, 7:00." He passed us getting to the door, "Sorry, I got to dash. I forgot my ridding crop in the mortuary." Did he say riding crop? Stop curiosity, I don't want to know. Yes, you do, it whispered back. Oh, shut it!
John and I were gaping like fish, no doubt. We shared a flabbergasted look before turning back to this strange man, "Is that it?" John asked.
"Is that what?" The man asked, stepping away from the door back to us.
"We've only just met and now we're talking about to go look at a flat." John looked up at him with a tough look.
"Problem?" He asked.
John shot Mike a smile, then looked back at the man, "We don't even know a thing about each other. We don't know where we're meeting. We don't even know your name." The 'we' wasn't lost on me or the protective tone John already took when it came to me. I'm guessing he already noticed that I was as meek as a mouse I took on a guarding persona.
"I know you're an army doctor and you've been invalided home from Afghanistan. I know you've got a brother who's worried about you, but you won't go to him for help because you don't approve of him, possibly because he's an alcoholic, more likely because he recently walked out on his wife." The man looked down at John's cane, my eyes followed his, "And I know that your therapist thinks your limp's psychosomatic-quiet correctly, I'm afraid."
He looked at me then, part of me was afraid what he would say, but the other part, my curiosity, wondered what he would say, "And you are a bored, under-paid librarian tired of her dull life and your flatmate who won't give you enough rest. Though I imagine with the transfer to West Kensington Library will be a better improvement than Barts' library, better pay and hopefully without an evil boss. I know you have an insatiable curiosity, an admirable trait by the way. You love drawing, hate being the center of attention, have a large imagination, and hate to be called Evangeline, though it is a nice name that suits you. I think I'll call you by it instead of whatever nickname you'll no doubt ask me to call you by, you don't mind do you? I also know that you've just recently got out of a relationship that he ended and you are also suffering from a serious case of PTSD, though I haven't discovered the reason yet, not many details." I was shocked to say the least, how did he know all that? The only thing he was wrong about was about the relationship, but I was too blown away to say anything and a little uncomfortable. It was a bit evasive.
"I think that's enough to go by, don't you think?" He said smugly. Before walking out he said, "The name is Sherlock Holmes and the address is 221B Baker Street." He sent us a wink then rushed off.
What have I got myself into?