Hi, this is a follow-on from 'This Changes Everything' but can be viewed as a stand-alone . Please Read and Review as always x
I'm not stupid; it was always going to be difficult. Something akin to catching a comet with a butterfly net I suppose. Most of the time I was abandoned for the next legal high, settling for being the constant in Sherlock's whirlwind of a life. But when his mind stills for a second, just before the crest of another wave brakes, all that attention is directed at me and his energy bound for other activities.
"You let me in now Sherlock, do you hear me? I will charge you with something, and this time I'll make it stick"-shouted Lestrade, banging on the door of his own office and jiggling the handle again as if there were a chance it had been unlocked in the last few seconds.
Seven days previously, a very strange coincidence had knocked thrice upon our door. The first was a beautiful young woman by the name of Miss Christina Harper, the only daughter of Sir Michael Harper recently knighted for his work for charity and long standing service to the court of human rights. He had also been brutally murdered in his own Mayfair study a week ago and was reportedly due to a burglary gone wrong. Christina believed that her father had known something was about to happen to him and had given her a small key to a locked security box the day before his murder. This box had been the only thing stolen.
On the morning of his death she had received long range photos of her father handing an envelope to a man with his face obscured and another of him bending down to greet a small Latina looking child of around four years old. The police were beginning to mention his possible involvement in money laundering and drug funding.
Christina was devastated. She had never known her mother and had no other family to speak of. Her loving father had been her world but she was beginning to question his wealth, work, and even his love for her. I had been very moved by the distraught young woman and had taken her hand as she left; promising that if anyone could dig out the truth it would be the man to my right. He had given me a small smile and taken the case. The rent was due after all.
"Do you have a lot of work on Sherlock?"-Mycroft had asked an hour later, wiping a finger over the fireplace and inspecting the level of dust he found there before sitting down.
"Oh don't punish us with your presence for any longer than necessary brother. Spit it out" says Sherlock looking uncomfortable as he fiddled with the tuning on his violin.
"I need someone….. unofficial to leave the country and retrieve a security box that has… (he shuffles trying to find the right word) 'escaped' our jurisdiction. We have reason to believe that within this box lies account details that would enable us to begin collecting information on some of the most far-reaching drug rings; both here in the UK and in the States. I'm sure you'll understand that I'm not permitted to say more, but the fee is considerable."
Sherlock stills for a second and without the usual torrent of excuses he reserves for his brother, he nods.
"Why not, I'm not busy."
"Sherlock I promised that poor girl your help." I say in surprise. He cuts my words in half with a knife.
"What did I mention to you about extracting one's feelings about a case John? Have Anthea send me the details and show yourself out Mycroft."
The third player in this game of intrigue had pulled up just as Mycroft left.
"I need your help Sherlock"-said a stressed looking Lestrade. "This 'Sir Harper' thing, I'm really being leant on to find this burglar. I've had a tip off to say that there's vital information as to his involvement in some illegal activities in that box that went missing. You get me that box of evidence in a state I can run it for prints and it leads to an arrest, I'll let you have one hour in my case archive."
This of course had peaked his interest as the Inspector's office had been the one cave of treasure that was off limits to Sherlock. Although Lestrade knew the debts he owed the Detective, he also had a clear sense of his boundaries and understood the reaction his superiors would take at having a 'civilian' in on the show. But let's face it. Lestrade had nothing else to deal with.
"Always two steps behind is our Lestrade"-Sherlock had muttered once the Inspector had left.
Later that evening I watched his eyes from over the newspaper as the puzzle lay down for him. A stab of jealousy hit me as I realised this would be a case I did not get to watch unfold in its entirety and that I was going to be without Sherlock for it's coming duration. He looked like he was going to be up for the night and so I began to prepare to leave him to it in favor of an early night. I had a full week at the surgery ahead of me and it was going to be taxing, but we really did need the money. As I stretched an arm down past his shoulder to take a closer look at his papers on the desk, he paused for a second and smiled up at the closeness as if it had taken him by surprise.
"You think that this girl's case and Mycroft's 'mission' are the same?"
"Don't you? All the details suggest they are" -he says; lifting a photo out of my hand. For a second he stilled and a small smirk appearing on his face. "You thought she was pretty didn't you?"
I lean down further. "Does that bother you?" I whisper into his ear.
He contemplates my words then says a brief "Just an observation John."
I smile to myself and straighten, taking a closer look at the photo of Sir Harper handing over the apparent 'drug money'.
"I really don't get it; he doesn't seem they type of man to put his daughter in danger like that. I read his book, it was a good read. Before he became a human rights lawyer he did a load of charity work with poor kids in Mexico."
Sherlock considered this statement for a second then scrabbled around in the papers for the other photo of Sir Harper with the child. "That's exactly right. He wouldn't"-he says and almost knocks me over jumping to his feet and grabbing his coat. "Don't wait up"-he says with a grin and he's gone.
"What are we doing in here Sherlock?" I whispered pointlessly as I watch him hastily seeking something in the draws of Lestrade's desk feeling very uneasy about this whole thing. Sherlock had left for New York four days ago and in his usual mid-case style I had not seen him for two days prior to him leaving, returning to the flat only once to pick up his passport and say a hasty goodbye to me. I was quickly forgotten once I had confirmed to him that I would probably lose my job if I called in sick again. That was four days ago and I was at Scotland Yard that evening finishing off a few statements for Sally's records when he burst through the door, smiled in surprise at my presence and dragged me into Lestrade's office locking the door behind us and shutting the blinds.
"Sherlock will you answer me right now."
"Well you see, I am currently somewhat of a triple agent at present"-he almost sings, clearly enjoying himself as he pulls out draw after draw of the large filing cabinets against the back wall."I've just told Lestrade I didn't get his box and instead handed him the bill for my flights. You were right by the way, Sir Harper would have done anything for his child. Both of his children in fact."
"Both? But Christina was an only child."
"The police were right, but not for the reason's you think" -Sherlock said. "That box did contain papers detailing the accounts that he deposited money in, money that actually turned out to be his own and not through that of laundering. Sir Harper never once stopped being a loving father, John and certainly never ceased being a human right's lawyer with water tight morals either. He was being blackmailed of sorts. Do you remember that you told me he had carried out charity work in Mexico when he was younger?"
"Yes, but most people do that. I did that, I went to Africa for six months to work in an outreach hospital."
"Did you?" He stops midway through a draw and looks at me then seemingly struggles to regain his concentration. "Well it just so happens that it was in a small village that is pretty much run by drug lords. He was helping secure the safety for hundreds of orphaned children. Records in that box indicate that he helped a woman he tried to bring back to this country, married her in fact and with whom he fathered a child. He couldn't help the mother and she succumbed to drugs. Knowing that Sir Harper came from money, the child; a girl was taken and ransom demands made."
"That's what he was paying all the money for"-I say.
"Exactly, and that photo proved that he was paying money also in exchange for children and young adults to be illegally bought into this country and given help to start new lives or be adopted into families who would care for them in the eternal hope that one day, one of them might be his daughter. Unfortunately they began to up the price and he just couldn't keep it running. He sealed his own fate by informing them that he was going to the police with all the details that he had in the security box."
"You aren't going to give the papers to Mycroft or Lestrade, even though technically Sir Harper was funding drug activities and importing children illegally?"
"But he was doing it for admiral reasons John. All those children he helped bring in to this country, all those lives that will be considerably better, and drug free. The man doesn't deserve to be discolored in the media. He did good work."
"But Mycroft said it was a matter of National Security Sherlock, all those drug rings that could have been stopped."
"Oh John, wake up. Those papers didn't tell the government anything they didn't already know, they aren't interested in busting drug rings anymore john. It is too busy trying to keep its head above water. There are numerous reasons Mycroft's agency would need the account numbers in that box; evidence of our involvement in arms deals, funding the 'extradition' of foreign drug criminals. Take your pick it was all in there. It's irrelevant, undeserving and unfortunately untouchable. For now that is." He winks as he says the last statement.
"You gave it all to Christina, didn't you? All of the documents." I stop him with a hand on his chest leaving it there. "You let caring affect the outcome of your case"-I say with an accusing smile and I feel like I've unearthed a treasure no one has ever seen .
"Yes. Well. I thought that might appeal to you. She can do with it whatever she feels is correct. Her father was a good man and she needed to know that".
"So what are we looking for then?"
"In the documents was the name of the contact in this country that helped to bring the children over. It also indicated that she had contacted him saying she was sure she'd found Harper's daughter and the girl was on route. I recognized the name as a woman Lestrade had questioned before. We're looking for her case file for Christina. She has a sister John and wants to be the one to meet her. I want to ensure that happens. Ah, here we are."
He pulls out paper from a file and returns the empty card, taking a large breath. I can see the beginning of his post-case high; a wave that will carry us back to the flat for food, rest and other things. Not necessarily in that order.
"Sherlock, I will call security if you don't open this door right now"-Lestrade banged again.
"We need to get out of here"-I say.
"What's the hurry?" He says folding up the piece of paper and moving around the desk, brushing my coat aside to place the paper in my trouser pocket. I smile at the contact.
"Hello by the way"-he says, in his low rumbling voice edging closer and lightly pushing me back against the wall. His breath is warm and he presses into me swallowing hard lightly pressing his lips to my neck. I release a deep breath and sink into the wall, my head falling back into a stream of evening sunlight falling across my face. How I love that sun.
"Anderson, break this door down" Lestrade shouts.
"Don't fret, he won't do it" says Sherlock quietly and I must still look a little unconvinced because he begins to untuck my shirt and places his hands around my back, all the while slowly reintroducing himself to the crook of my neck.
"I've missed this neck"-he growls.
"Not here Sherlock" I struggle to say, trying to sound forceful but suddenly feeling very hot in this stifling office.
"I don't really want to do that Inspector"-Anderson can be heard saying, his usual shade of nervousness showing through. "We don't really know what they're doing in there."
I can almost hear the cogs of Lestrade's brain catching on. "That's my office" Lestrade shouts, sounding more like a child who's favorite toy has been ruined forever.
"Well it may as well be put to some use don't you think?" -Sherlock shouts as his hands make their way down to my belt and start to undo it whilst looking totally unfazed by the obvious crowd that can be heard growing outside.
"Sherlock not here please. Let us just go home"-I say half-heartedly as I struggle to remain standing. He's very much enjoying this reaction in me.
He hums into my mouth as he kisses me. "Come on, you told me you once did it an elevator surely this is more….interesting?"
"Oh screw it"-I say breathlessly and he smiles as my hands help him get my belt buckle undone.
"That's the spirit"
The image of Sherlock clearing Lestrade's desk for me will go with me to the grave and I'm almost past the point of no return when I hear something. I bolt upright pushing Sherlock from me. "Is that a key?"
"Oh crap." I can only get my trousers pulled up in time for Lestrade to come through the door with Anderson and Donovan peering in over his shoulder. They are treated to the sight of me trying desperately to do my trousers up and Sherlock looking completely unfazed by the intrusion and putting his coat back on.
"Oh my God"-shouts Sally shrieking with morbid delight. "I knew it. That's twenty quid you owe me Anderson."
"That's enough Sally" Lestrade scolds, trying hard to work out where to put his eyes. "That's it Sherlock, you've crossed the line. I'm charging you with…with..."
"With what Inspector, tidying your desk?" Sherlock scoffs.
"Sherlock behave"-I hiss at him tugging at his elbow. "Come on let's just go."
"Indecency" Lestrade shouts as we go to move past him and into the forest of office eyes. "Yes public indecency. That's what I'm doing you for."
"No matter, it was worth it" no remorse found in his voice. "Oh hold on"-he says stopping to fish around in his coat pocket. Lestrade suddenly looks relieved as if he believes he may yet get his papers after all. Damn Sherlock and his dramatics.
He hands Sally a twenty pound note and a huge grin. "This one's on me. Oh yes and Lestrade, here's the name of that delightful gentleman who bludgeoned Sir Harper to death. The American's weren't interested of course, half the story being here and half over there etc. etc. I wouldn't bother looking him up though. While I was there it seems he stole a large amount of money from some very dodgy gentleman in Brooklyn and unfortunately left his wallet at the scene to identify himself. A nasty business. It didn't look good when I left."
"What, Sherlock what did you do?, come back. This is no good to me."- shouts Lestrade.
We stand together waiting for the lift and I'm over aware of the part of Sherlock's arm that's touching mine. "Come on, come on"-I say smashing the button over and over with a building impatience for us not to be held back any further.
"Don't worry, I'll have Mycroft sort it out" he says leaning into me "He owes us after sending me on that ridiculous cover-up mission. Plus he sent me a message about some Russian thing, I have no idea what that could be."
"Oh, I know you'll sort it out, don't worry about that Sherlock. No one will employ a Doctor with a charge of indecent behavior hanging over his head. Believe me you're sorting this out." We get into the lift and as we wait impatiently for the doors to shut, I feel his eyes burn into me.
"So, do you want to accompany me to see the delightful Miss Harper?"
I read his eyes rather than listening to the caramel tones. "No it's okay. This is yours, finish it up. Call me when you're on your way back." I smile at him.
He looks relieved. "You know I always prefer it when you accompany me on my cases don't you? It's not quite as much fun when you're not there to…."
"To marvel at you? To flatter your ego? To….." I don't get to finish. The doors have closed and his hands have snaked skillfully around my neck, crashing his mouth upon mine and it's terribly hot once again.
"Do you think this lift has an emergency halt button?" I ask quietly.