They followed the group of curious tourists and police officers. As they were walking, someone pulled Holmes back.
"What?" He turned to see Watson, who once again had a grasp on his arm, and was attempting to pull him back. "Watson, cut it out."
"Maybe, we should go back to the hotel; this doesn't concern us." He replied.
"Why would we go to the hotel?"
"There might be further clues." Holmes turned to face him, causing him to let go of his arm to face him as well.
"We searched that hotel. There is nothing there!"
"If we went back, there might be something we missed!" Watson yelled.
"That's the dumbest idea I've ever heard."
"You two are like a married couple." Irene sighed, half-laughing.
"What?" Watson asked in surprise. "Are you saying we're homosexual?" Irene giggled, shook her head, and continued walking. Holmes caught up with her, and took hold of her arm, ever so gently, she noticed with a slight blush.
"My dear lady, I'm not saying I am homosexual. If I was I could do better than Watson, but as you do give us your blessing." He grabbed Watson's hands and kissed it slightly, causing a shock in his colleague's eyes. Irene blazed with fury at his actions.
"Can we just get back to work?!" She yelled, storming off into the direction of the crime; she stomped her feet with every step. Melody followed her.
"Jealousy." Holmes smiled. "That's a good sign."
"It is indeed." Watson said, wondering if he should tell Mary of the incident which just happened. "And what do you mean you could do better than me?"
"Now, now, Watson, let us not argue about something so trivial." He sighed. Watson groaned, and forgot the subject. They followed Irene to the scene. She had her arms crossed, still angry over what happened. Cops surrounded the area, each with guns equipped. The store owners were in tears, holding each other as officials entered the store, looking for the culprit. There was nothing over here; Holmes knew that for certain. However, he had been so bored the last few days that this sort of case was bound to bring some fun into his life. Besides, burglaries reminded him of Irene. Her stolen necklace shined in the moonlight as he thought of her.
"What happened?" Holmes asked the male store owner, who jumped when addressed.
"We were minding our own business. Doing inventory in the back." He explained.
"Then, the alarm went off. We couldn't see his face; it was covered by a ski mask. He had a gun and took off with one million dollars worth of jewelry." His wife continued.
"You were threatened?" They nodded, tears streaming down their cheeks. He turned back to Watson. "I don't think this concerns us."
"Didn't I tell you that already?" Watson said.
"I was just making sure, Watson." Holmes said, walking away from the scene. "If a murder occurs, then it's our business."
"I suppose." He followed. Melody and Irene followed as well. While they were walking, Holmes stopped out of nowhere, causing everyone to bump into him. Melody, being the smallest, was knocked off her feet.
"Terribly sorry, Madam." Holmes said, grabbing her hand and pulling her up from the ground. She smiled, showing him she was alright.
"Why did you stop, Sherlock?" Irene asked.
"I have a theory." He replied.
"And that would be…?" Watson asked, gesturing for him to continue with his story. Holmes cleared his throat before he began to speak.
"The biggest mystery of any murder is how they escaped." He began. "For instance, when you find a door locked from the inside, you began to wonder 'how did the murderer leave the room?' Well, I have the answer to that question!"
"Yes?" They asked in unison.
"We found rope by the hotel, correct?" They all nodded. "I suspect two men climbed up the rope to the balcony. The window was already open, so they climbed in. As they got in, the murderer killed Mr. Jackson. He unlocked the door and went to the other room. Hiding in the closet, he waited for them to come. I am sure he picked the lock, but did not break it. Once inside, he locked the door. Before the couple had the chance to lock the door, he jumped out, killing them. That is why the door was unlocked when Watson and I checked." He took a deep breath and coughed slightly. He continued after a minute or two, "Meanwhile, the accomplice locks the door, makes sure the room key is safe in Mr. Jackson's pockets, and climbs back down the balcony. He pulls the rope and it falls to the ground. He does not pick it up, and instead leaves it there." He became silent, and watched them with eagerness for their opinion.
"How does the murderer escape the room, Holmes?" Watson asked.
"I cannot answer that, Watson. He may have been able to sneak out."
"That's a good theory, Sherlock." Irene commented with a smile; she was trying to make amends for what happened the night before.
"Thank you, Irene." He replied.
"I agree…" Melody spoke up. "But, it does not tell us who the murderer is and why he killed my brother and those people."
"I know, and I'm sorry for that, Miss Jackson. I know we will find the man responsible for these horrible deeds." Holmes was about to walk forward, and ponder over everything and come up with a solution, but something caught his eye. A man was by the jewelry store, holding heaps of shining jewelry, and running. The wind was blowing hard as he ran. "I'll be right back." He said, running after the man. Everyone else ran after him. The man looked behind to see them chasing him and he attempted to run faster. However, he quickly lost control and fell to the ground, spilling the jewels. They clattered to the ground. Holmes chucked under his breath and approached the man.
"Hello." He said.
"What do you want? Go away!" He screamed. Holmes walked over him and noticed he was the man who was sitting in the back of the tattoo parlor reading the magazine.
"Tell me. Why'd you do it?"
"Do what?!" Holmes turned to Irene, Watson, and Melody who all confused.
"Ladies and Gentleman, I would like you to meet the Butterfly Killer!"
"The Butterfly Killer?" They asked.
"Yes!" He pointed to the man on the ground; he tried crawling away, so Holmes put one foot on his back to prevent him from escaping. "You are so clever, aren't you?"
"I don't know what you're talking about!" He yelled, groaning in pain. Holmes knelt down and lifted up the man's shirt. On his side, there was a butterfly tattoo. It was identical to the one on the drawing. Melody gasped. He managed to push Holmes's foot off, and stood up.
"You put the tattoo on a place where no one would look. But, as you were running, the wind blew your shirt up, revealing the tattoo." He smirked in triumph. "Have you any reason for the murders?"
"Many." He growled. "My name is Michael Kipper. All those people… I loathed them all. I went to a boy's school and I was an outcast. They would beat me up every day after school, and the girls from the school across the street would come and cheer them on. That is why I killed those couples."
"Michael Kipper?" Melody asked, taking an involuntary step forward.
"Melody Jackson…" Michael said, lifting her chin up with his index finger. "It's been so long. You were the only one who didn't make fun of me. While your brother and his friends were messing with me, you were the only one who didn't cheer them on." She let a tear slide from her eyes, and jerked away from him and ran behind Watson. "You are probably thinking that this is a stupid reason to kill people, but it isn't. If you knew the pain I went through, you would be doing the same thing."
"Somehow I hardly doubt that." Holmes commented. Michael ignored him and turned his eyes to Irene. Holmes followed his gaze.
"Irene Adler, so we meet again."
"Do I know you?" Irene asked coldly.
"Did you forget?" Michael asked, with a slight laugh. He pointed to the diamond ring on her finger. "You stole that from me a few months ago. It was the last keepsake I had of my mother." Irene covered the ring with her other hand. Something happened none of them expected. Michael took out a gun from his coat and shot. It missed Irene by an inch. Because of that, Holmes took out his revolver and pointed it at him.
"I was planning to only to take you to jail, sir. But, now it's personal. Watson!" Watson left Melody's side and took out his revolver as well. They both began shooting. Michael got hit by some of them, but managed to avoid most of them.
"You're going to get yours, Irene Adler. No one has ever wronged me and gotten away with it!" He screamed. She fell to the ground in terror. Holmes tried to shoot, but all he heard was a clicking noise; he was out of bullets. How did this happen? Then, he remembered; he did not reload it after shooting the wall a few days ago.
"I'm out of bullets, Watson!" He yelled.
"I'm on it." Before Watson could shoot, Holmes grabbed his arm. "What are you doing, Holmes?"
"Let me do it." He said.
"Because there is no worst humiliation than not being able to protect the woman you love." He whispered. Watson nodded, and handed him his revolver. He pointed the gun at Michael and shot. Michael screamed in pain and fell to the ground. With one more shot, he died. Holmes did not go to the body and instead ran to Irene's side. She was not so scared anymore. "Are you alright, Irene?"
"I thought you didn't care about me." She said with a smile.
"Well, I was lying, now, wasn't I?" He smirked, meeting her lips with his. "I love you, you know that?"
"I had a hunch."
"So, are you going to tell me why you didn't come to dinner?"
"I was about to leave, but then I realized… If I went, my feelings would expand for you, and I was afraid of that. It's hard for me to get close to people and when it does happen, it scares me."
"It's alright, I forgive you." Holmes said.
"Why, thank you." She replied.
The case of the Butterfly Killer was over. Melody was grateful for all their help, and was happy that the man who murdered her brother and other people was silenced. They found that the accomplice was the man with the shaved head, and that was why he did not give the name of his friend when they asked if anyone had a butterfly tattoo. He was sent to jail. Mary was finally reunited with Watson, and they spent the next few days together. Irene stayed with Holmes and told him he had to understand if she had to leave; he did, but she would be back. She always did come back. A few nights after the case, Holmes and Irene went on a double date with Watson and Mary at the Royale, and they had a good time just chatting over dinner. Holmes enjoyed solving cases, but after this complicated one, he hoped he didn't get one for a while, so he could just relax. All was well. For now… at least.
Again, thank you so much for all the lovely comments and reviews; I'm glad this fanfic was a favorite for a lot of people. =]] I'm sorry that I had to end it; I was running short on ideas and could not make more than ten chapters. So, thank you again!! I will continue writing stories!