A/N: Oh, look who's coming out of hibernation! I don't even know what happened to time, it just flew by and a week passed just like that. I'm really sorry for being late (again), guys, and this isn't even a real chapter. It's short and a transition and I'm not happy and truly sorry for inflicting such terrible quality on you, but here it is.
However, I have the plot all neatly planned out now, so yay for me.
And I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry because you're in for some frustration. Which kind of pleases me, by the way. Sadist? Why, yes. :]
As always, tons of love to everyone who reviewed, alerted and such. The amazing Fool Who Follows has been kind enough to do some spell checking for me, so I'll edit and re- post some stuff in the next few days. Thank you! :]
Sally had, as strange as it sounded, actually enjoyed the relationship she and Sherlock Holmes had shared back then, before that morning on the rooftop of a hospital that changed everything. The bickering, the open loathing, the endless arguments; it was nice to have someone whom she could hate unconditionally, who, if the situation called for it, filled out the role of the scapegoat so flawlessly. She hadn't liked being wrong practically all the time, that was one of the things that made the „Consulting Detective" so infuriating, but otherwise, theirs had been a symbiotic relationship in which one took pleasure in the simple way of hating someone without guilt or regret, and the other appreciated being able to direct a constant string of insults at the other.
It was easy, straightforward; they always knew where they stood with each other.
Well, it was safe to say a lot had changed since then.
As Sally stood over the two bound men, the metal pipe again firmly in her hands, she wondered what was going to happen now. It started to dawn on her what John Watson meant when he used to say that when around Sherlock, one wasn't likely to get bored. Well, she'd been with him for under 24 hours, and apart from the few hours of fitful slumber, she hadn't had time to stop for breath.
One of the men groaned and lifted his head from where it rested on his companion's shoulder. His bald head turned towards her and small, squinting eyes glowered up at her. For a moment, he frowned in confusion, but as his situation became clear to him, he began to wiggle and struggle against the duct tape Sally had bound the two with, but to no avail.
After a while, he stopped, defeated, and his now red face and the huff of frustration muffled by the tape over his mouth spoke volumes.
Sherlock's steps were still a bit uncertain, but otherwise, he was remarkably steady on his feet for someone who had been stabbed, punched and strangled in the not too distant past. And who was, at least officially, dead.
He rounded yet another corner and inwardly cursed the Nottingham City Council and their damned incompetence. How difficult could it be to put up public phones in a city like this? He'd have Mycroft fire some people.
He neared the train station, and finally, he was in luck. Sherlock slipped into the booth and quickly dialed the number.
His brother's voice was sharp and somewhat agitated. Sherlock had an inkling why. He had known when Mycroft hadn't answered him that something was wrong.
„Hello, brother dear."
Sherlock heard Mycroft suck in a deep breath.
„Sherlock. I trust you're unharmed?"
The younger Holmes smiled to himself. So predictable. But that was Mycroft all over, and Sherlock felt, once again, a strange sense of fondness for his brother.
„I'm fine. The drivers weren't as lucky."
Of course. Mycroft and his damned eyes and ears. They were everywhere, every corner. The sod was probably watching him right now. Sherlock immediately stood straighter, although the movement made his bashed- in ribcage throb slightly.
You wouldn't happen to have any more of your men in the area?"
Mycroft sounded much more collected as he answered.
„They're on their way."
„Good. Also, I have a package that needs delivering."
„Just two. But they might have some answers."
Sally's ears perked up when she heard the gravel on the small path leading to the house crunch beneath someone's feet. Grasping the lump of metal tighter, she snuck over to the window.
Relieved, she turned back to her charge, still bound on the floor.
„Have they been good?" Sherlock asked as he entered the house and closed the door behind himself carefully.
„Very. Haven't said a word," Sally replied. The men, now both awake and both sufficiently silenced by duct tape, continued their hateful staring.
„Mycroft's sending backup," Sherlock informed her. „They'll be here in a few hours."
„Oh. Uhm, that's good."
Sally turned back, biting her lower lip and wondering what on earth she was going to do with Sherlock Holmes for the next couple of hours.
As it turned out, not much; Sherlock was leaving Sally to guard the two men on the floor while the man himself paced the length of the den, gesturing wildly and muttering quietly to himself. Sally had seen him like this a few times, only then, he'd more often then not had held his violin, plucking at the strings absent- mindedly while forming wild theories. The twitching of his fingers told her he was probably imagining holding the instrument right now.
She was too caught up in her reminiscences of the past to realise that he had suddenly stopped his frantic movements.
She watched as a shudder went through his body and the previously agitated and scrunched up face evened out, eyes widening and lips parting to let out a whispered, „Oh".
Before she could ask him what grand realisation had come over him, a knock interrupted her contemplations.
"And that would be the cavalry."