This is it. Fin. Cursum perficio. This is The End.
It started back in mid-January and now it's finished at last in late June. I have received well over 300 reviews—currently my most-reviewed fic ever—15 favorites, and 23 subscriptions. And somewhere between 20 and 30 different people reviewing. Those stats aren't bad—and if it weren't for those stats, AMM would not be out there now in published form!
So, where do we go from here? Well, you should go buy the eBook, first of all (to which you can link from my profile)—it's got so many more great more stories in it that you'll never see otherwise! (There is also a special little treat inside for you regular and semi-regular reviewers!) And you should keep track of my fics here on-site and my blog, which will keep on giving you pertinent info as to future plans, etc. etc.
And me? Well, I'll be catching up on online college and doing research into the Victorian criminal world… and in the fall, I hope to start writing my next book, which will not appear on FFN. Nope, any glimpses you want of the coming Deliver Us from Evil series (an epic depicting the events leading up to FINA, the Great Hiatus, and EMPT and the aftermath) will have to come from the on-site Tales from the Great Hiatus and my blog. If all goes well, the first draft could be completed by Christmas, and you could be seeing the book on Amazon this coming winter.
To my reviewers:
SabrinaPhynn: That's okay, I can wait—thanks for letting me know! =) Aww, poor darling! *hugs* Anything you want to talk about in a PM?
Spockologist: Thank you very much! =)
VHunter07: Cavities? Uh-oh, you know that does mean an appointment with Dentist!Sherlock, don't you? He likes to take care of those fluff-induced cavities… xDDD Thank you! (Did the PC Kindle program work properly?)
Joan Jett The Runaway: Yaaay, thank you, and you're welcome!
WanderingChild96: Oops, I forgot to reply to your PM! *facepalm* I'll be sure to do that later, but in the meantime, I'm so very glad you're enjoying it!
Moonspun Dragon: *hugs* Thanks… Nope, not a thing! =D Yeah, me, too… *hugs him* Thank you!
Mam'zelleCombeferre: Your brain almost exploded? O.o Yikes… Well, I'm not sure about "epic," but thank you! *blushes* And thanks for the congrats! I guess I feel, well, a definite sense of accomplishment—after all, not only is it my first work published, but ALL the work on it was done solely by myself and my beta—but that's, unfortunately, been followed up by a little bit of depression. I mean, I knew I wasn't going to be a bestseller overnight, but I still expected the book to do better than, well, less-than-10 sales in its first week. So… *shrugs* dunno…
insideouttuoedisni: Thank you very much! *is happy* I'm really going to miss updating this—seriously! Awww! Well, you can still keep up with my other stuff on-site! *blushes* Yes, Holmes definitely needs a big hug, even if it's from one of his fans. =)
O'FoggageGreen: Heeey! *hugs* You made it! I was afraid you wouldn't! Awww, don't cry! *hands hankie* Holmes will be okay… (There's too much Watson!torture out there and not nearly enough Holmes!torture. ^_^ And it's not that I'm evil, either!) Thank you!
© 2011 by Aleine Skyfire.
All rights reserved.
Summary: Sherlock looked up this time. "If I could hide from you, I can hide from anyone."
Warnings: nooone =)
Word Count: 753
To say that it irritated him would be a grave understatement. Mycroft Holmes, Jr. was, at the tender age of fifteen, an intellectual genius.
He could not find his own little brother.
Sherlock had challenged Mycroft to a game of hide-and-go-seek, which Mother had forced Mycroft to accept. The elder Holmes brother had now been looking for the younger for three hours, twenty-eight minutes, and forty-two seconds.
In other words, nearly all afternoon.
This was going to drive him mad.
"Mother!" he called as she passed him down the hall.
She stopped and turned, gazing at him innocently. "Yes, Mycroft?"
He was not fooled one little bit: Sherlock's penchant for mischief had been inherited from their maternal parent. "I'm finished with this game," he declared stoutly. "Let Sherlock stay cooped up all day if he likes—I am done."
Cécile Holmes merely arched one aristocratic eyebrow.
The other eyebrow went up.
Mycroft sighed. "Bl—"
"Watch your tongue," she warned. "Now, go find your brother."
Not even dinner could bring Sherlock out from whatever hole he had crawled into when he was determined. Mycroft, however, was of an entirely different opinion—namely, that meals should be strictly observed at their proper times. Therefore, he left off the hunt for ten minutes to dine and would have stayed there longer had he not been shooed away to continue.
Mycroft considered the interruption of his dinner the insult added to injury.
It was nine o'clock and past Sherlock's bedtime when at last Mother put an end to the game. She led her defeated firstborn upstairs and into Sherlock's bedroom…
"Sherlock Edward Holmes!" Mycroft shouted. "What in the name of all that is sacred are you doing here?"
The insufferable child blinked languidly. "Lying in bed, brother mine."
"I can see that!"
Sherlock shrugged, though his grey eyes danced. "Neither of us ever specified if I could move about the place or stay in one spot. I was still hiding from you, and you were still seeking me…" He shrugged again.
Mycroft's face flushed, and he might have done his little brother mild but definite bodily harm had not Mother been there. He forced himself to calm down, and when that task was accomplished, said coolly, "Engage one of the servants in your games, next time."
Sherlock's insouciant grin faded satisfactorily, and Mycroft turned to leave. Mother stopped him in the corridor beyond. "Mycroft," she said sternly, "you were not a perfect child by any means, either. And your brother loves you very deeply."
Mycroft cast a glance back over his shoulder to see Sherlock rather shrunken into his pillows, picking idly at his blanket. "Mother…"
He sighed. "Very well, I'll speak with him."
Mycroft cleared his throat as he stepped back into the room, but Sherlock did not look up. "Sherlock."
"Goodnight," the boy mumbled.
"Sherlock, I'm not here to say goodnight."
Sherlock glanced up briefly but said nothing.
Mycroft heaved another sigh and sat on the edge of the bed. "Why did you want me to play with you? You knew I'd spoil your game."
Sherlock continued to toy with his blanket. "I'm sure you can deduce that for yourself."
The little one wanted him to say it. "Because I'm your brother."
"That is what brothers are for, isn't it?"
"Well, if you can find that in Scripture, I'll agree with you." That elicited a brief smile from Sherlock, and Mycroft counted it a victory.
"It wasn't even only that, you know," Sherlock continued.
Sherlock looked up this time. "No. You are the smartest person I have ever met, Mycroft—even Father and Mother know you're smarter than they are. And if I could hide from you, I can hide from anyone."
Mycroft found himself smiling. "Quite possibly."
Eight-and-twenty years later, Mycroft was perusing the reports of his agents and his brother. Sherlock kept giving Colonel Moran the slip in their chase through Europe.
Mycroft smiled predatorily. An experienced hunter Moran may be, but he was no Moriarty. And if Moran was the hound, Sherlock was the fox. Furthermore, if Sherlock Holmes wanted to remain hidden, no one on earth could find him.
What did worry Mycroft, however, were these reports about Moran committing crimes—murders, mostly—to draw Sherlock out into the open. Sherlock, it is your game, not his, and you are the master of it. Please, do not act rashly—you have come too far in this game to make a misstep now.
D'awww! … D'awww!
Sorry, couldn't help it. My fluffiness astounds even me. ;D …Can you tell that this is drawn off of real-life experience? Not hide-and-seek, actually, but just experience with a lot of siblings a lot younger than I am. ^_^ And though Cécile was only in the story to keep Mycroft in line, it was fun writing her again and writing that side of her. (Btw, in the book, this is the one story that has an illustration including Mycroft—young and almost thin! Mycroft fans just might be interested. ;D)
I reiterate: if you want to see more of Cécile, you must get the book. There are… well, five more stories with her, I believe—and one includes Sherlock as a baby. That one is a must-read. =)
A quick trailer for the rest of the book as it is on Amazon:
"Don't you give me that look—I'm not as young as I used to be. If you want a human stepladder, bring one of the Irregulars next time. Better still, why don't I look and you give me the lift?"…
Watson merely raised an eyebrow. "If you think for one moment that I would be as shallow as to run off and leave you here while your life is in danger, Holmes—"
"It's a matter of common sense, Watson! I shan't leave your wife a widow, nor shall I leave your child fath—" Holmes halted, his grey eyes widening….
"Yes, you are a darling. I still don't know what I was thinking, though, by telling your parents to go to the operetta while the maid is away, leaving you here with an old bachelor."…
Breandán sighed in exasperation. "Sherlock, didn't you look for th' nest?"
"Of course, I did!" Sherlock said in an affronted tone. "But the nest was on the ground and in pieces, and this little one not far from it."…
"It was completely dark."
The children shivered. "And you and Papa had to wait in that the entire time?" asked Hamish….
The other sighed tolerantly. "I am here because you called me here. In seeing this—" he waved a hand to encompass the destruction spread out before them—"you invariably thought of me. My existence on this plane is absolutely dependant upon the impulses of your own mind."…
"Wiggins," I said sternly, returning the item to my pocket, "how am I to trust you for jobs if you nick things from me?"…
Mr. Holmes drew himself up slightly. "I am quite capable of taking care of myself, Inspector."
"Which is why you were caught out in the pouring rain without a proper coat," Lestrade shot back. "What on earth were you doing?"…
"I'm sorry… this is hurting too much, isn't it? I should have thought of that…"
"No!" Watson started weakly at the forceful shout. "No, Watson, don't you dare apologise! I would have it no other way!"…
"Mother, thank God! Are you unhurt?"
"I believe so, yes, but your father—"…
Lestrade's [gun] went off at the same time and felled a third [criminal]. "Drop it!" he barked at the last man standing. "Drop it now!"…
"Mr. 'Olmes, yew ain't co-eep—co-ep—"
"Aye, that's it, Doc! Yew ain't co-op-er-ayt-in', Mr. 'Olmes!"…
"My dear Lestrade, you have a positively wicked streak in you," Holmes smirked.
Gregson's grey-blond eyebrows shot skyward. "It took you all these years to deduce that?"…
"Mary," she corrected, and that startled him into looking back up at her. She smiled. "My name is Mary, and you have my permission to use it."
And now for a farewell:
I'm going to miss updating this so much. You don't know just how much. And I'm going to miss these wonderful conversations with you guys! You all have been so fantastic!
AMM has been an incredible experience. It started out as an outlet for my muse's angst, turned into a major hit with lots of variety, and actually turned into a three-month publication project that resulted in my very first book! And you guys have been so very supportive—thank you so very much! Lots of love to you all!
Yes, I'm very sad to say goodbye to it now, and to you guys. But hey, I'll still be around and writing, and you can still keep track of me. To quote my favourite actor: "Upward and Onward!"