"Has reality taken a rain check?" Hopkins wanted to know.

"Yes." Gregson confirmed. "Now where the devil is Jones?"

"He refused to be involved." Bradstreet offered. "Can't say I blame him. I mean, seriously. Holmes and Watson are off gallivanting about in the future, Hopkins has been turned into a vampire, Gregson has-what were they called? - superpowers, Holmes has a daughter, Lestrade's wife is a witch, and she and her husband have disappeared entirely."

"They're in the future too." Gregson offered.

Hopkins shot him a look. "Now how do you know that?"

Gregson shrugged. "I peeked at the next chapter." He confessed.

"Why are we starting in the middle anyway?" Hopkins wanted to know. "That's bad storytelling. You don't start in the middle."

Bradstreet chuckled. "Can you think of a convincing way to make all this happen?"

"One or two, maybe, but not everything." Hopkins conceded.

"Well, there you go. If it were just one or two things, we would have been fine. But as it is, we're starting here."

"Where is here, anyway?" Hopkins asked.

Gregson rolled his eyes. "For you, some vampire royalty is taking over London. For me, so is some insane super villain. Meanwhile, poor Bradstreet is unwittingly falling in love with Holmes' daughter, and Lestrade and his wife are preparing to rescue Holmes and Watson for whoever summoned them into the future."

"But I don't want to be a vampire." Hopkins whined. "That involves drinking people's blood."

Bradstreet scoffed. "You think you have problems. Did you hear what he said about Holmes' daughter? I'm a married man, Gregson. And besides, Holmes would kill me."

"Only after he got back from the future and found out he had a daughter." Gregson tried to console the other Inspector.

"Can I turn into a bat, since I'm a vampire?" Hopkins asked. Gregson shook his head.

"You're a 'new' vampire. You have super strength, super speed, you're body is as cold as ice, and you sparkle in the sunlight."

Hopkins stared at Gregson. So did Bradstreet. "He what?" Bradstreet asked, trying unsuccessfully to stifle a laugh.

"You sparkle." Gregson said. Then he shrugged. "But no bats."

"What about coffins?" Hopkins demanded. "I'm not sleeping in any coffins."

"No coffins. You can't be staked, either. You have to be burned to death to be killed. I think."

"That is absurd." Hopkins declared.

"Anyway, you're supposed to be looking for someone named Carlisle Cullen." Gregson said. "And you're supposed to stop the vampire royalty from taking over London. Now get to it."

"I don't want to." Hopkins grumbled, but he headed for the door anyway. "Sparkling vampires. Ha. You'd never have scared us with that story growing up."

Gregson turned to Bradstreet. "I am not falling in love with Holmes' daughter." The latter informed him. "I refuse."

"If it's any consolation, your wife will never find out." Gregson offered. When Bradstreet simply glared at him in reply, he sighed. "Just go and pretend to fall in love with her. Tell your wife that it's part of some secret case you've been called in on, or something, but go."

Bradstreet left as well, grumbling almost as much as Hopkins had been.

Down the hall, Jones peeked his head out of the office. "Is it safe?" He asked.

"No." Gregson replied. "We've only just begun."

Jones swore, and a second later the door slammed shut. With his enhanced hearing, Gregson could make out the sound of the lock turning.

Gregson sighed. "What in heaven's name have we done to deserve this?" He asked, not for the first time.

Disclaimer: Sherlock Holmes and the boys at Scotland Yard do not belong to me.