Why did Edward stop attacking humans? After all, he was only attacking criminals. During those brief ten years, he was acting on behalf of justice. Using his powers to stop evil, by becoming evil himself. So why did he stop? Because he met someone. A human. Someone who even today, scared him. Someone so great that the simple mention of his name would send a chill down his spine.
He would forever remember that day, even if he didn't know what time it was, or what day it was. Dates did not matter to him, as long as he could make that thirst for blood go away. In the blink of an eye, he had killed the man and started drinking his blood. His thoughts showed a horrible string of murders, one that he had hid well. Extremely well, in fact. Edward, being able to read minds, was probably the only person alive who would ever know the terrible deeds that person had committed.
"Why did you kill him?"
Edward quickly turned around, to see where the owner of that voice was hiding. Not that he needed. He was just in front of him, not trying to hide. The stranger had his hand on the dead man's neck, probably trying to confirm his death.
"So young, to have committed such an act," he said, as he shook his head in disapproval.
"You don't know the full story," Edward replied, almost as if fighting to hide a smile.
The man seemed offended at Edward's remark. After getting up, he stared at him with a cocky smirk on his face, not showing the slightest sign of fear despite the situation.
"I," he started proudly, "know the full story. You, on the other hand, cannot say the same."
Edward, aware that he was caught by a human killing someone, said nothing despite a strong desire to contradict the man. Before he could finish his inner struggle on whether he should say something or not, the man went on with his speech.
"You killed this man," the man said.
It wasn't a question.
"Yes," Edward confirmed, ready to make a run for it if he had to.
"An innocent man."
At that moment, both the man and Edward stared at each other. Daring the other to say something. It was hard to be precise about how long they kept staring at each other, but a minute or two should be accurate enough. The man was the first one to say something.
"Very well then...What's your name, boy?"
"Edward." He said it simply. He had no need to hide his name, since he could make a run to another country any moment he wished.
"Edward. I am Sherlock Holmes."
Holmes announced his name, perhaps expecting a reaction from Edward. He could not hide his disappointment when he showed no signs of recognizing his name, but those signs were probably misinterpreted as fear.
"That man killed someone. Did you know that?" Edward exclaimed looking at Holmes, expecting to see a reaction of mixed shock and frustration.
"Yes," Holmes said simply, before adding, "and he killed the man who was about to kill his own wife in order to save her. Did you know that?"
Edward did not know that. Maybe Holmes was just playing with him, or maybe he should have read his mind further than he actually had. He had indeed committed a murder, but what if his intentions were as noble as Holmes had just told him?
"Do I, really?" Holmes replied, almost laughing.
Holmes got down again, in order to examine the dead man's body. He looked at his muscles, and then looked at Edward.
"This does not make sense," he commented, puzzled, "you are smaller than him, and yet you seem to have killed him by strangulation. How did you do it?"
It was an honest question. Holmes seemed puzzled by the situation.
"Well," Edward started, convicted that he would be able to reason his way out of this one, "I didn't do it. It seems rather improbable, don't you think? For someone like me to try to strangle him, instead of bringing a weapon…"
"It's improbable, yes," Holmes conceded, before adding, "however, once you eliminate the impossible, that this man committed suicide, then you know that whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. Therefore, I know you killed him."
Edward had never experienced a situation like that one before. The man before him was mere mortal, and yet, he couldn't shake him. He couldn't prove him wrong. He couldn't just confuse him. Maybe he should kill him right there, before things got dangerous.
"I wouldn't kill me if I were you. In case you haven't noticed, a policeman is about twenty meters away from us. I would say he could easily recognize you," Holmes remarked casually.
Edward looked around. A policeman was indeed there, just waiting for a sign, or perhaps just hesitating because of fear. It was what one could only describe as a checkmate. Even if he killed Holmes, the man would fire his gun. Whether the shot hit him or not, did not matter. The sound would be enough to wake up every single living soul in that street. And Edward's existence as a vampire would be revealed. Sure, maybe people wouldn't believe in the story, but what if they did? Then Europe would want him hanged. They would never be able to accomplish that, but that meant that they would try. And if they tried, that would mean the end of his peace. He would have to be constantly on the lookout for maniacs that tried to kill him. Though the chance of that happening was small, he could not risk it. People didn't believe in vampires anymore. What if he ruined all of that? What if he disappointed his Father even further?
"So, would you mind accompanying me to my home?" Holmes asked. "I and officer Lestrade got some questions we would like to ask you."
"Do I have a choice?" Edward replied, with a challenging smile on his face.
"Yes. We could just bring you to jail, where you would not be able to escape from without demonstrating your powers again."
He smiled at Edward. Edward was not dazzled by that. That man was dangerous. More dangerous than any vampire he had ever met before. That man did not have any powers, but he was stronger than anyone else. Edward felt something he had never felt before. Fear. Immeasurable and absolute fear.
"You are going to regret this," Edward muttered, giving up his cocky smirk and adopting a more murderous expression.
"Am I, really?" Holmes chuckled.
Edward tried to regain his composure. He had about fifty seconds before they reached the policeman, and went to Sherlock's house. Calm down, Edward. He told himself. You can do this. They are just humans. You are a vampire. They are mere mortals. Edward decided to read his mind. It didn't matter how smart Holmes was. As long as he knew what he was thinking, he could win.
"What's the problem?" Holmes asked.
Edward was sweating. He had never seen a mind like that one before. It was not like he couldn't read it, no. He could. But he couldn't understand his thoughts. He was thinking in two, maybe three different languages at the same time. One sentence in French, the other in Latin, one in English. His mind was just too complex. The speed he moved from one thought to another, the amount of thoughts he had at the same time…It was overwhelming.
"Perhaps, you need to see a doctor?" Holmes inquired, as Edward realized he was laying on the ground.
"I am fine," Edward assured.
"You do look a little pale," Holmes noted, "very much so in fact."
"I'm fine," Edward repeated.
They kept walking, and soon, reached the Policeman that was waiting for them. Edward couldn't think of a plan fast enough. He had been overwhelmed by the great detective's mind. It was too much of a shock. All those years, he had never seen a mind like that one.
"Edward, Lestrade," Holmes said, introducing them to each other. "Lestrade is the most tenacious police officer I know. Don't try anything in front of him."
Edward chuckled. He looked around. Of course! He just had to run away. Why didn't he think of that earlier? He just had to run away and then…
"Now, don' try to run away," Holmes remarked while handcuffing him to Lestrade
Can he read my mind? Edward wondered. Is he a Vampire too?
But Edward knew that wasn't true. He smelled like a human being. But he couldn't accept that a mere human, could rival him. That a mere human, could outsmart him.
"Here we are," Holmes announced, "Baker Street. My home."
Edward knew he couldn't run. He could break the handcuff, but given his strength, he would likely destroy Lestrade's hand. And so, revealing his identity as a Vampire. He had no choice.
"This is my friend, Dr. Watson." Holmes said as he introduced him to Edward.
I can't go to jail, no matter what. No matter what. If I go, they will either eventually notice that I don't age, or I will have to break out of there using my powers.
Before Edward knew what was happening, Watson was holding his wrist, looking for a pulse. Probably because he looked so pale, it was his instinct as a doctor. Edward reacted as fast as he could, and that was his mistake. He jumped. Way higher than a normal person could jump, and broke the handcuffs. Lestrade's hand, while still attached to his body, was bleeding. And that made Edward jump towards him, desperate to drink it. He could feel it already. The taste of the blood…
A gunshot had been fired. Edward looked around. The gunshot had hit him in the head, slowing him down enough to give Lestrade time to get his own gun with his good arm, and shoot Edward in the heart. Edward couldn't die from these wounds, but the impact was enough to make him take a few steps back. And it hurt. It hurt a lot.
"My god, Holmes!" Watson exclaimed. "He has no pulse, he is still alive after a shot to the head, and another shot to the heart! He is a monster!"
A monster. That hit him harder than those bullets. He hated being a monster. More than anything. But now that wasn't the end of his pain. Another two shots followed, one to his shoulder, and another one to his arm. Though the wounds would heal, he took two steps back. He was shocked. That man, Sherlock Holmes, didn't flinch when he demonstrated his powers. He just took the most logical course of action.
"You are faster than us, indeed," Holmes said, calmly analyzing the situation, "but you can't win against us."
It was time to show them the true power of Edward Cullen, he thought. It was time to show them just how different from them he was.
"I can't die. The only manner to kill me is to rip me to shreds and burn me to ashes. The only thing you can do is immobilize me for a moment with those gunshots…"
Another shot, now fired by Watson, hit his leg. They were trying to keep him busy taking care of his wounds. He hadn't been a Vampire for long, so it was tough for him to ignore the pain. Lestrade had covered his wound, so Edward wasn't driven by an incontrollable thirst anymore. He wasn't a killing machine anymore, and that left him in a big disadvantage against the great detective and his allies.
"I would like to thank you for being so kind as to inform us of how to kill you," Holmes took off his hat, in a sarcastic gesture of appreciation.
Edward was paralyzed. The man still didn't show any signs of fear. That desperate situation, mere humans like him would normally be crying in a corner. But not him. Reloading his pistol, he took another shot, not allowing Edward to fully recover from his last wound.
"Watson, Lestrade," Holmes shouted, "wait for my signal. Keep walking towards the door, and keep shooting him. We are bound to run out of ammunition. We can't keep this up. Watson, take a step back, and fire your gun. Lestrade, take two steps back, and fire your gun. I will take three steps back, and fire mine. Repeat that until we get to the door.
Both Lestrade and Watson shook their heads affirmatively. They were clearly afraid, but followed Holmes without questioning. Edward did nothing, half impressed, half still trying to heal his multiple gunshot wounds. Bang. A step back. Repeat. Two minutes later, they finally got to the door.
"All of us, at once! Fire!"
The gunshots all hit Edward at once. Carefully timed gunshots couldn't kill him, but could delay him long enough for them to escape. They were probably out of bullets now. Edward could run after them, and was going to. But then, as broke the door down in order to chase them, he saw lots of blood in the floor. He could tell by the smell. It was Sherlock's blood. He had shot himself in order to distract Edward. And he did distract him. Edward couldn't leave the house, until he had drunken his blood. It tasted different from what he had previously encountered.
Five minutes later, he was chasing them. The doctor should have closed their wounds… And he could still smell the blood. They must have carefully left some blood randomly around the city. Holmes was amazing. He had deduced that Edward was able to smell the blood and left fake clues in order to delay him.
"Where are you? Where are you?" Edward shouted. "Holmes! Holmes! Show yourself!"
But no one answered. One or other human in the streets looked surprised, maybe afraid, but just ignored him. He used his superspeed to chase Holmes and his friends around the city, but the fake clues were placed perfectly. It took him a long time to find him, but he did. He finally found Holmes alone in a street. No signs of Lestrade and Watson.
"So, you decided to sacrifice yourself to save your friends? Noble," Edward chuckled.
"I don't believe in sacrifice," Holmes replied proudly, "I just want to talk."
So it had come down to that. Even that human had human limits. He was just going to try to make Edward give up chasing them. Pathetic little human.
"The man you killed was a noble man," Holmes started, "he fought an entire criminal organization in order to save his wife. And you killed him."
Edward was not dazzled.
"You have a curious way of begging for your life, Mr. Holmes."
"I am not begging. I am asking you a question. Do you feel sorry you killed him?"
Edward took a step back. He wasn't sure why. There was something about Sherlock that scared him. Was he, sorry he killed him? That was a tough question. He did what was fair. Only that. Killing a cold blooded murderer. Right?
"I do not regret killing that man."
"I see. What a pity."
"Why?" Edward asked, not being able to hide the curiosity in his voice.
"Because I was thinking of giving you a second chance," Holmes said simply.
"You? Giving me a second chance?" Edward said. "I am the one who has the upper hand here!"
"WRONG!" Holmes shouted as he snapped his fingers.
Edward heard the sound of gunshots, coming in his direction. At least twenty police officers were shooting him from all directions. He was cornered. And Holmes took a step back, getting behind the officers, so that he wouldn't be hit. Edward couldn't run. It was a perfect trap. First, Holmes got him into a hunter mindset. He made him accept nothing short of killing him. Then, after making him think that he had the upper hand, and that nothing could go wrong, he took the control of the situation back. It all happened fast enough so that it didn't even occur to Edward that he should run away.
"D...Damn you." Edward exclaimed, his body covered by gunshot wounds.
"Now, rip you apart, and then set you on fire was it?" Holmes asked, taking out a rapier.
"NO!" Edward shouted, filled with chagrin. "Please don't!"
It was the first time in his Vampire life he felt like that. He couldn't move. He couldn't heal that fast, and they were shooting him again as soon as the wounds began to heal. He felt, for the first time, vulnerable.
"Why, why did I lose?" Edward screamed, desperate for an answer. "I am a Vampire! You are just a human!"
"No, Edward. You got it backwards. I am a human. You are just a vampire."
It was at that moment that Edward understood. He had misjudged him. A little voice inside of his head screamed He's just a mere mortal! Kill him! but Edward knew better. There was nothing mere about that mortal.
Holmes took a step towards Edward, with the fencing sword in his hand. It was a matter of time now. MOVE! The little voice inside Edward's head shouted. Your legs, ARMS, ANYTHING! MOVE! RUN! But he couldn't. The timed shots kept coming, preventing him to heal enough to run. It was a perfect checkmate. He had been completely defeated.
"Goodbye, Edward," Holmes said calmly as he lifted his sword, ready to deliver the final blow.
Edward wasn't sure if a sword was enough to kill him, but it didn't matter. Even if his skin was strong enough to survive the cut, Holmes would just come back with a stronger weapon. Even though his opponent was just a human, Edward's mind was filled with nothing but a simple, yet absolute thought.
There is nothing that can defeat this man.
He closed his eyes, ready to accept his demise. But he didn't die. Reluctantly, he opened his eyes. Holmes was smiling at him, still pointing his rapier at the young vampire.
"That man you killed was no saint. He killed many people to protect his wife, and that is unforgivable. Killing, no matter the motive, is a horrible crime."
Edward didn't say anything; he just kept staring at him hoping that he would spare his life.
"But I was willing to give him a second chance. I was going to do everything I could, to keep him from being hanged. I say, everyone deserves a second chance."
"G…Give me one," Edward begged, struggling to say anything at all while being hit by another round of bullets.
Holmes looked at him. The vampire was now at his mercy. He could kill him right there. Edward was lying on the ground, not able to stand up. Holmes got down and came closer to him.
"Run," Holmes whispered. "I will give you this one chance. Don't kill ever again. Protect people if you can. If you break this promise –And I will know if you do– I will hunt you down, and kill you. Do you understand?
Holmes took a step back, so that he wouldn't be hit by another round of bullets which once again hit Edward, then got closer to him.
"Please," Edward begged, "I swear never to hurt another human soul. Not even a criminal."
Holmes smiled. That was the last time Edward ever saw him smiling. Holmes got up, and screamed at the top of his lungs.
"HE IS RECOVERING! RUN!"
Lestrade, Watson and the officers ran away, obviously afraid of Edward. Holmes command was enough to make them run. Though they were obeying him, they still had doubts about his plan.
"They should be back with more officers in ten minutes. Can you recover by then?" Holmes asked, without even bothering to look at Edward.
"I can do it in five." Edward answered, trying to sound as confident as he could.
Holmes didn't say anything else. He didn't even turn back. He just disappeared into the night, while Edward was left there, lying in the ground, trying to heal his wounds. He eventually ran away, when he had enough strength to do so, and went back to his father. His memories of that day would never fade. He was saved. A mere human, no, a great human who completely defeated him, decided to spare his life. He could have killed him, but he let him live. And he honored his promise, even years after Sherlock's death. Though afraid of Holmes, Edward couldn't help but admire him. Though his name sent a chill down his spine, he couldn't help but hope, that maybe, one day, he will be as impressive and strong as Sherlock Holmes.