Disclaimer: Sherlock is not mine – whoopdeedo.
A/N: This fic is for the Anti-Cliche and Mary-Sue Elimination Society, and thus, if you are unfamiliar with us, I recommend hopping onto my profile page and reading all the stories in our C2 before reading this one.
Would like to take this opportunity to remind Americans, that 'chips' are not the thin crispy things covered in salt that you dip in sour cream or spicy tomato sauce. They are the older, fatter and healthier brother to the French fry. In fact you'd all better have google on standby. This is a VERY British fic.
This is set after A Scandal in Belgravia and before The Hounds of Baskerville.
Insert Curious Blog Title Here
If you exited the Baker Street London Underground station and turned left, you would find yourself gazing down the street of the same name, with cars lined up on either side of the road, hooting obnoxiously at one another as they tried to carve their way through the busy London traffic.
If you walked half way down the street you would find a small cafe, cheap but cheerful looking with excellent bacon butties. On the left side of the cafe you would find a black door with the letters 221B on the front, a functional brass knocker, and a heavily abused doorbell – in fact if you looked closely enough, you would swear that those holes looked distinctly bullet shaped...
On the ground floor of the flat, lived a cheerful elderly lady known as Mrs Hudson, often found pottering between her flat and the first floor in her sober array of Marks and Spencer cardigans. There had been a Mr Hudson, once upon a time, but...well, that was a whole other story.
Up on the first floor, Doctor John Watson was patiently counting down the seconds in his head, his laptop humming on the table by his elbow. He could already see the interest dying like the last ember in a fire in Sherlock's eyes, as the consultant detective stood in the corner with his hands clasped behind his back. The latest in a string of potential clients, fidgeting nervously in the threadbare armchair, was boring him to death, and he had only started talking three minutes ago...
Another set of deep brown eyes were also fixed on the consultant detective, and John glanced over, meeting them and exchanging a grimace. Sally Elizabeth Roberta Foster was their new neighbour – a student who had moved into the basement flat that Mrs Hudson had had so much trouble letting out due to the damp, not two weeks ago. And like John, she had quickly become swept up in the life of Sherlock Holmes, the world's (mercifully) only consultant detective.
And unlike John, who routinely questioned his sanity upon waking every morning only to find a new severed limb in his fridge, Sally was openly embracing the madness of Baker Street, proving her astounding intelligence and helping to solve the last few cases with speed that had surprised everyone (even the unflappable detective). What was even more odd to the doctor, was that Sherlock, who displayed open cynicism and scorn to all other human beings (aside from Mrs Hudson and himself) actually seemed to like the young girl too. Enough to let her redesign his website at any rate.
There was something very odd, just nagging at the back of John's mind...a strange feeling that he had read something similar to this scenario before...but he could not for the life of him put his finger on it. Maybe he'd forgotten to buy milk again...
"Bored now," Sherlock finally announced, snapping his roommate out of his thoughts, and causing a smile to twitch its way along Sally's face. "Secretary forging documents – not worth my time. Goodbye!" he sauntered off to the kitchen, and John prayed that he hadn't gone to find the cigarettes...or his gun. The poor wall couldn't stand another beating.
"Three minutes forty nine seconds," Sally announced, as the ruffled businessman stumbled back down the stairs to the front door. Strains of Mozart's Serenade in G major began to filter in from the kitchen, and John relaxed – Sherlock had found a less destructive outlet for his boredom...this time.
"Getting better," optimistic, John turned back to his laptop and opened up his favourites, scrolling down the list of other blogs he followed to find something interesting to read.
"At least he didn't outright insult them this time," Sally gave a beaming smile. "He's getting better John."
He had to admire her faith...along with a lot of other things. Her willingness to believe the best in everybody was not something you found everyday. And Sherlock was getting...more polite. He hesitated to say 'nicer', but if he carried on this way, maybe...
"Its all your doing," he told her honestly. "He's only been like this since you got here." Again, something nagged at him, and he wondered if he should check the fridge...
Sally blushed prettily. "Don't sell yourself short. You've helped too." And she squeezed his arm, before getting up and heading for the door, citing a lot of schoolwork to get back to.
Opening up one of his favourite blogs, John had to smile. It was nice having a young lady around...and after all, Sherlock had changed a lot in the wake of Irene Adler. Maybe a woman's touch was all he needed to become more amiable...
Fortunately for all our readers, the author got bored at this stage, and decided to go work on her Twilight fanfiction for a while. And thus the real drama began to unfold in central London...
Every British person who could afford it knew that Afternoon Tea was an art.
Nowhere was this more apparent than London, where the art had been perfected and preened for centuries. Everyone knew that for a quality afternoon tea, one looked to such names as Claridges, or Brown's, or The Dorchester Hotel. Today however, the oddities of this story, were partaking of The Ritz.
The white walls of the room were lined with gold, each table delicately laid out with the fine china – a cup resting delicately on a saucer, with a teaspoon, small knife ready and waiting on a side plate. A crisp white napkin completed the image. The flowers in the centre of the table, injecting a warm splash of colour to the stark table cloth, had quickly been removed to make way for the incoming food.
The dress code was simple – no jeans or sports shoes. Gentlemen wore jackets and ties. In accordance with modern feminism, the dress code had been slightly relaxed from its grand old days, and allowed women to wear trousers.
But of course, Harriet Marlow would not stand for that.
Ladies wear trousers to afternoon tea indeed! What uncultured youths were these that had fallen under her guidance?
The esteemed founder and leader of the Anti-Cliche and Mary-Sue Elimination Society was in her element, in a stunning tea dress of deep green and purple, eyes sparkling with glee as the server arrived with the first pots of tea and cake stands. Around the table, the emotions of her fellow diners ranged from enthusiasm to outright disgust (some more obvious than others) and cutlery and china began to clink together as everyone began to help themselves.
"Harriet, may I put in a formal request?" Tash was the first to speak, stealing an egg and cress sandwich from the tea stand. "I want all our team meetings to be like this from now on."
The leader bowed graciously. "Of course Tashy. We all need a little culture after all." She sighed as she saw the awkward shuffling of a sandwich box under the table. Valerie and Alice, by far the two pickiest eaters in the Society, had broken out the emergency lunchbox of sandwiches, and were sneaking them to each other under the immaculate table cloth, out of sight of the hawk-eyed Maitre'd. Harriet hoped that they would remain discreet, or they would all be tossed out of the hotel faster than you could say Fussy Dietary Requirements.
"Do we have to eat this?" Marcus asked, examining the nearest scone as though it might rise up and bite him at any moment. Harriet drew herself up to her full height and adopted a strong masculine accent.
"Yes! You must have tea and cake, or you die!" she exclaimed dramatically. A few nearby diners shot her anxious looks, and wished that the large and oddly dressed group of young people had opted for a private room.
"Cake or death?" Rhia giggled.
"Cake please," Michael said with a mouthful of pastry.
"Well we're out of cake!" Harriet finished the quote with a huffy expression. "We only had three bits, we didn't expect such a rush!"
"...what are they all talking about?" Tyler whispered to Robert through a mouthful of sandwich.
"I have absolutely no idea."
"Okay, now that we are being fed," Harriet announced grandly, ruffling a sheet of headed paper. "We can begin the meeting. Item one –"
"Harriet," Michael said, with a fond smile. "You don't need to pretend. We all know that there's no real meeting."
The leader blinked. "Excuse me? You think I brought you all out for afternoon tea, and spent a lot of money on Adrian's credit card –" ("Hey!" the Librarian protested from across the table) " – and then not have a real meeting?"
"And I suppose its just a coincidence that you happened to send Emily on her very first solo mission to this particular fandom, not half an hour ago?" Michael asked, causing the leader to pause noticeably. The rest of the table fell silent.
"Emily," Harriet put on her best authoritative expression. "Is a capable young lady. I have every confidence in her. This..." she gestured to the spread of food and teacups. "Is a pre-emptive celebration of her success!"
"Uh huh...and if she fails?" Dave asked pointedly. Harriet threw him a scowl.
"Then its a pre-emptive cheering up party." She bopped the Head of PR on the head with her enormous handbag. "Now shut up and eat your sandwich."
It was, in retrospect, not one of the best ideas Emily had ever had.
Of course it had sounded like a blast at the time – a night long party at Mike's house to get the start of term off everyone's minds. Not only did Mike's Dad have a very dodgy lock on the liquor cabinet, but Mike himself was tall, lanky, and looked almost identical to his older brother – not that Conway Street Corner Shop bothered checking ID anyway...
Had she known that she would be flung into her first solo mission ever the very next day, she would have thought twice about the house party. But it was too late to have regrets now as she sat on the London Underground, stroking bits of her fringe out of her face as she waited for her stop to appear. The hangover was not pounding or throbbing like she had heard people describe it – rather it was like a colony of excited Combee's had moved in and were now playing pinball in her skull.
She had never been hungover before – oh she'd drunk before – tentative sips here and there and the odd glass of cider when they had run out of apple juice. But she had never been drunk before. Not like last night. She thought she had been pretty sensible too – limiting herself to one drink an hour, and scoffing down a full bag of greasy chips and a battered sausage with Anna and Miki before the party. It irked her to be hungover, for her wonderful and perfect sisters had never suffered any ill effects from alcohol. The genetics roulette was obviously fixed against her...or whatever God was up there today just felt like laughing at her expense.
Huffing, Emily leaned against the seat and hoped that the Sue would come quietly. Fortunately she did know this fandom – the modern day take on Arthur Conan Doyle's master detective was one of her favourite TV shows. It was a level five Mary Sue, whom the Society had never encountered before, so she did not know too much about what she was getting into. She (the Sue, not Emily) had started out pretty quiet – subtly influencing the plot by going on cases with Sherlock and John, and having a rather odd impact on Sherlock's behaviour. Why you would want to humanise Sherlock Holmes, was a mystery to Emily. She loved the snarky detective, sociopathic behaviour and all.
But ever since the author had got bored, the Sue had gone on a bit of a rampage, taking all the cases that Sherlock deemed too boring or obvious and still having time to participate in the interesting ones with the famous duo. It was a miracle that Sherlock had not got bored yet with everything being solved at lightning speed – but Emily had a hunch that even her Sueish powers would be no match for a bored Sherlock Holmes.
The train pulled out of Oxford Circus, and Emily groaned. The swarm of Combee's in her head were now singing out of tune. Her body was aching too – she was not sure if that was the hangover or a result of her heavily modified supersoaker, strapped to her back like her own personal (brightly coloured) AK-47. The coffee she had bought quickly before boarding the Underground was all gone and not helped jar her awake at all.
And to add insult to injury, she suddenly had to pee like a pregnant woman.
Squirming a little, she stood up and headed for the door as the train slowed down into Baker Street. She had thought about plotholing straight into 221B, but in her current state of mind, she would probably end up on the unpleasant end of a London bus. She wondered briefly if she should stop complaining about her hangover, but it was difficult to think about anything else. She jumped a foot in the air, and almost whacked her head on the train doorframe, as her phone rang in the pocket of her long sweater. Scooping it up, she pressed it to her ear.
"How's it going my little munchkin?" Harriet was completely nonplussed by the grumpy greeting.
"Not a munchkin," Emily rolled her eyes. "I'm big and manly." She sneered at her four foot eleven frame in a condescending manner as she spoke.
"Okay, Miss Big and Manly, are you there yet?"
"Nope," Emily shook her head, regretting it as the Combee's all performed barrel rolls like the world's most psychotic synchronised swimming team. "Underground was packed. I'm walking there now."
"And how's the hangover?"
It was moments like this where Emily was glad that Harriet was her adoptive mother – she didn't tell her stupid things like how she was too young to be drinking and going to parties and reading yaoi. And she wasn't naive enough to think that Emily wouldn't try them for herself. Instead she let her be a teenager and learn things through experience, as she should.
"Hideous," the younger agent replied. "Coffee isn't working at all. I don't think I'll be much use in a fight, if it comes to that with the Sue."
Harriet gave a chuckle. "Don't worry dear, we've got an afternoon tea with your name on it here at the Ritz. That'll fix your hangover."
A pair of eyebrows arched into a messy fringe. "You're having tea at the Ritz?"
"Well y'know, the Society always needs a bit of culture," Harriet declared grandly. "And American's always need corrupting to the dark side of the teapot."
Emily snorted. Trust her mother. And thank God she had opted out of jeans that day, or they'd have turned her away at the door. "Fine. I'll meet you there after this...provided I don't get splattered by a bus."
"Don't worry Emily! We're all right behind you!" Harriet beamed. Unfortunately, Alice chose this moment to helpfully cry out across the table, "Ten quid on the Sue!" and Harriet promptly hung up on the other end.
Pressing the end of her phone against her forehead, Emily groaned again and decided to grab another coffee before heading for her target.
"There's a woman in Doncaster who believes her husband is stealing from her-"
"Yes," Sally announced, a mere second before Sherlock declared, "boring!" If John were totally honest with himself, he didn't like it when the pair of them did that. It left him feeling like the only sane man (though he knew that Sally was perfectly sane and not a man).
"Mrs Constance of thirty one Westbury Lane," Sally rattled off the top of her head. "Husband is Chief of Police – clearly been funnelling money into something shady, and has started diving into the family's more personal assets." She gave a beaming smile. "I read an article in the paper about the crime rise in that area last week."
She plucked the milk from the fridge door and trotted past the two men and back down the stairs to her flat. John rolled his eyes, and closed the email client down. Almost instantly, Sherlock started pacing. The former army doctor felt his spirits drop – it was never a good sign when Sherlock started pacing.
They were saved by the timely sound of two sharp rings on the doorbell.
It confused both men for a moment. It wasn't a client – clients made a single ring, which lasted less than half a second, as though they were half hoping that they hadn't been heard and they could flee. The police (when they bothered to ring the bell and didn't just barge their way in under the flimsy disguise of a drugs bust) made three rings, each progressively longer in duration, just to make sure that Sherlock had heard them.
John blinked, and exchanged a look with his flatmate. "Milkman?"
Sherlock shrugged, just as bemused as him. In the back of his mind, this worried John, but he brushed it away and got to his feet, just as Mrs Hudson beat him to it.
"Oh sorry dear! Sherlock must have shot the bell again..."
"Its fine!" the bright voice of somebody under the influence of caffeine responded. "Are they in?"
Mrs Hudson had dealt with enough of Sherlock's clients to recognise them by now, and so she waved the girl upstairs. John was surprised. He'd expected a student, wired on energy drinks and youth. This girl did not look a day over ten, despite the waistcoat and square glasses.
The impression was not helped, as her eyes went wide and sparkled at the sight of him. After months of becoming an internet celebrity in the wake of the antics of his flatmate, John was starting to recognise the signs, and he mentally groaned.
"Not another one..."
Back at the Ritz, Tash's Plot Summary beeped. She arched her eyebrows at the message.
"Incoming Fangirlism in three...two...one..."
From across London a loud "EEEEEEEEeeeeeeee!" sounded through the buildings, causing windows to rattle and a few of the Champagne glasses to shatter in people's hands. The sound of traffic from outside increased sharply as startled taxi drivers slammed on brakes in alarm and hooted at each other angrily.
Harriet clapped her hands together, her napkin pressed between them.
"I'm so proud of her!" she sniffed, wiping away tears and accidentally wiping a smear of clotted cream on her nose.
Peering around the waist of one John Watson, Emily caught sight of Sherlock seated in one of the threadbare armchairs, his fingers dented together, and an expression resembling amusement on his face.
"Something appears to have attached itself to you John. Latest fashion accessory?"
Emily frowned. "Sherlock doesn't make jokes," she thought to herself. "This is worse than I thought. Okay body, release the doctor and get back to work."
She did so, reluctantly, and cleared her throat, realising after a second that in her haste, she had missed a prime opportunity to Copyright John. She blamed her hangover.
"Are you a...client?" John asked, rubbing some feeling back into his midriff.
"Kinda," as soon as she had thought about it, her grogginess returned and she flopped into the vacant chair. "I'm looking for somebody and I was hoping to get your help." Perhaps she noticed Sherlock's eyes wandering to his violin, because she hastily picked up her speech. "Only, I don't really know who she is because I've never met her before...I just know she's here and doing a lot of really bad things..." She pulled a face at how ridiculous she must sound. Her thoughts were scrambled as the Combee's high score suddenly went into seven digit figures.
"Sorry, since introductions were kind of skipped over," John interrupted, retaking his place by the laptop. "Who are you?"
"Oh sorry," Emily rubbed the bridge of her nose. "My name is Emily."
"Right...and does your mother know you're here, Emily? And shouldn't you be in school?"
Irritation flared through the young woman, and sent another jolt of pain across her head. Just because she was short didn't mean she was an infant! "Actually I'm a member of a top secret organisation that hunts down and captures literary creations that threaten to damage the fabric of reality...so no, I'm not in school today, and yes, my mother does know I'm here."
She'd expected John to look sceptical or laugh at her, and was surprised when his eyes brightened and he smiled. "The Anti-Cliche and Mary-Sue Elimination Society!"
Emily's jaw dropped. "You know about us?" She'd guessed the Sue might have warned him that she might have people coming after her, but to actually explain the full situation to canon characters-
"Course I do – I read your blog."
"Oh..." well that made more sense, she rationalised.
"Do you really have a pet Liopleurodon?" the doctor asked.
"More importantly," Sherlock interrupted. "As its fairly obvious that this is your first day on the job, does the thirteen year old daughter of the leader plan on doing all her missions hungover?"
Reeling her jaw in off the floor, Emily sighed heavily. "Course you noticed...okay, go ahead. How did you work it out? Just so I know for next time." Seeing John's frown, she added. "Hey it's a learning curve."
"Dark circles under both your eyes indicating a long night out along with a slightly bloodshot gaze," Sherlock began without pausing once for breath.
"Sherlock..." John rubbed his temples. The forgetful feeling he'd had all day was coming back and he really did not want to listen to Sherlock being clever.
"I think my gun needs polishing John..."
Beaming, the consultant detective cleared his throat and began again.
"I'd say you drank about six units of alcohol last night – judging by the frankly alarming shade of blue still left on your tongue most of these were vodka based. Clearly a house party – you're much too young to be drinking in clubs – and there's two distinct shades of lipstick marking your neck where you fooled around with two girls over the course of the evening. Small lips, sloppily placed, clearly drunken experimentation."
Emily felt her face burn, and she hoped that alcohol was mostly out of her system before she set herself on fire.
"You height suggests you are young, but your speech, behaviour and the assertive manner with which you carry yourself suggests a thirteen year old who doesn't have the patience to be mistaken for a child, hence a slightly abrasive personality." Sherlock carried on, heedless of whether he was being rude or not. "You can't have passed the entrance test that long ago, and the fact that you haven't let go of your phone since entering the room suggests that this is your first mission on your own. You're nervous – you don't want to mess up because you're trying to impress somebody – most likely a parent, since you don't strike me as the type to care what other inconsequential people think of you. You said it yourself, your mother knows you're here and what you are doing, therefore your mother is clearly leader or somebody pretty high up. Simple deduction."
There was a long silence in the room. Emily was feeling more out of her depth by the minute. For all his out of characterness with human emotion, Sherlock was still pretty calculating. Which Emily supposed made sense – after all, Sherlock's deductive skills were the focal point of the whole series.
Instead she opted for what she hoped was a neutral tone.
"Are you going to drink that tea?" she gestured to John's half drunk mug with 'Keep Calm and Put The Kettle On' written on the side.
The doctor's eyebrows arched incredulously. "You want to finish my tea?"
Emily shrugged. "Sherlock called it. I'm really hungover. I definitely drank a few WKDs last night. I did make out with two girls – boys don't usually do it for me. And my mother is Harriet, leader and founder of the Anti-Cliche and Mary-Sue Elimination Society. And I'd really appreciate it if I had a decent blood-tea level before I started catching a Mary-Sue."
John's eyes widened, but he did not relinquish his tea. "There's a Mary-Sue here? In London?"
"Duh..." Emily nodded, rolled her eyes. "Why else would I be here?" She levelled Sherlock with a critical look. It was unnatural for him not to point out the obvious to John...not so much to everyone else, but always to John. Something (or someone) was worming their way between the two.
She wondered if Sherlock even knew what they were talking about – he didn't strike her as the type to read fanfiction, and he didn't go near blogs like John did. He usually relied on his housemate to bring him bits and pieces from the internet.
"I dunno," John shrugged. "You could be a fangirl."
Emily snorted. "I am a fangirl, but not in the way you're thinking." Her eyes lingered hopefully on the tea, and she rolled her shoulders, feeling her supersoaker get clenched between them. "Look I just need to know if you've been hanging out with anyone new – probably a young woman. Very attractive. Most likely intelligent. Handy in a fight. Probably with some kind of tragic past..."
Sherlock's face was impassive, but Emily had not expected him to give anything away.
"Wait, Sally is a Mary-Sue?" John was frowning, and Emily felt relief. That had been very easy. Still, she took a deep breath, ready to counter any furious objections that he doctor might raise...but to her surprise, he merely raised both eyebrows as though he had just worked out the last line on a crossword. "Huh...I wondered why Sherlock liked her so much..."
"And just what is that supposed to mean, John?" Sherlock responded, in an offended manner. Emily rolled her eyes, and reached over her shoulder.
"Where is she, John?" she asked. The doctor – clearly torn between Sueish influence to protect their new friend, and his unusually genre savvy knowledge about the situation – just sat there with his mouth half open. He couldn't stop his instincts however, which compelled him to glance nervously at the floor. Emily's smile widened.
"Downstairs? Oh of course! Mrs Hudson has that spare flat with all the damp in it, doesn't she?" she pumped the barrel of her supersoaker and got to her feet, sweeping for the doorway. "Thank you boys! This won't take long!"
She hurried down the stairs, not caring that her boots thumped heavily on the wood. Mrs Hudson lost her peace and quiet when she let Sherlock and John live upstairs. She swung her supersoaker around across her chest. All three bottles were loaded with a different liquid – currently she had it set to Fangirl Strength Disinfectant – her favourite weapon. She fingered a switch on the underside, and flipped the toy setting from 'default' to the newly added 'shotgun' mode. This was the perfect trial run...
"John, where did you put my gun?!" Sherlock bellowed from upstairs. Emily guessed that the doctor had hidden it along with Sherlock's cigarettes. Then she felt cold as she realised that the gun was not for the Sue.
"Okay this is worrying," she thought. "Why is Sherlock still defending her, when even John admits there's probably something not right with her..." her scrambled mind fumbled for an answer. It hit her hard like a slap. "Of course. Deduction is based on ruling out what's impossible. Sherlock hasn't ruled out the possibility that I'm lying. I thought this was too easy..." For once, Sherlock's brain was working against her...
Mrs Hudson had retreated back to her flat, so the entranceway was empty. Emily could just make out the distorted outline of the elderly lady through her front door. Instead she turned her attention to the doorway under the staircase that lead to the basement flat. The mortis lock resisted, and Emily backed up and shoulder charged the door.
"Ow, ow! Oooh that looks so much easier in the movies!"
She hopped around on the spot for a moment, as the numbness in her arm, hip and shoulder faded away to pins and needles. The resolute door remained firmly locked in place. Since Plan B had failed, Emily decided to default to Plan A (a lesson she had learned from Jared), brought the supersoaker up and fired at the door.
There was a bang like someone slamming a door, and the lock was drenched in Fangirl Strength Disinfectant. It hissed as the lock melted away into a twisted slag of plastic and metal. Rearing back again, Emily kicked out hard at the door, which swung inward easily.
...didn't stop pain from radiating up her leg and into her hip.
"Ow! Note to self! Movies lie to us!"
Gingerly, she began to descend the staircase, as a triumphant shout echoed from upstairs – it sounded like Sherlock had found his gun, and from the frantic footsteps on the stairs, he and John were in hot pursuit.
She reached the bottom just as they arrived at the top. Sure enough, Sherlock was armed. John at least still had enough common sense not to have bought a gun of his own.
"Sherlock! Calm down! She's just going to talk to her!"
"You keep thinking that John, but I'd like to check that for myself!"
There was a yelp as John put his hand on the burned hole where the mortis lock used to be. Emily smelt burning flesh.
"Don't touch it!" she called up the stairs, kicking herself as she realised that her cover was now effectively blown (if the multitude of footsteps thundering up and down the stairs hadn't tipped Sally off already). "It takes about three layers of skin off!"
"I knew that wasn't a normal toy," Sherlock muttered, and Emily gulped as she heard the click of the safety being taken off.
"I'm not going to hurt her!" she called back. "Unless she hurts me first," she added in her head. For once, she found herself wishing that the Sue had gone the way of all bad Sherlock fics and made the two protagonists lovers – it would certainly make her job easier if they were more interesting making out than chasing her. But no, their impulse to protect the Sue was depressingly strong this time around...
"Just calm down!" John looked as though he might actually lose his temper. "Just put the guns down and we'll go-"
"Look are you going to stand out there all day?" Came a whiny voice from behind the flat door. "Or are you going to come in and get on with the plot?"
Sherlock and John both froze five steps away from Emily. The agent had enough sarcasm left in her that day to respond.
"Coming Jim! Just averting a potential domestic!"
And she slouched into the room, followed by a tense Sherlock, and an anxious John (who looked as though he thoroughly regretted not bringing a gun now).
There was Sally, sat on the faded salmon coloured sofa, with her hands tied behind her back, and her feet bound. Her black hair was a little messy in its braid (but still very attractive) and her brown eyes were wide with supposed fear (which turned into very real fear when Emily sidled her way in). Sitting backwards on the desk chair, in his immaculate business suite, was Jim Moriarty, tapping away at a mobile phone with one hand, and holding a gun trained on Sally with the other.
Emily rolled her eyes at the cliché of it all.
"What are you doing here?" Sherlock had levelled his gun at the consultant criminal, his eyes narrowed and calculating.
"Finally, something resembling canon!" Emily mentally sang, even though this made things a little more difficult for her...
"Another game Sherlock!" Moriarty declared, pocketing his phone and springing off the chair, all smiles and excitement. "I'm here for little Sally!"
"Oh..." Emily's spirits sank.
"I had so much fun using John as a game piece last time, Sherlock!" he was practically bouncing now. "So this time it's your little girlfriends turn!" Emily groaned. This level of stupidity in the writing could only mean that the Sue was getting stronger. To her horror, Sherlock's pale cheeks were being coloured a violent shade of pink at the word 'girlfriend'.
"Sherlock and a romance subplot!" she thought. "Okay, that's enough of that!"
Tucking her hair behind her ears and taking a deep breath, she let out her most fangirlish squeal and glomped Moriarty around the waist. It was not the loving cuddly squeeze of Jenny, offered to all her friends and enemies (if they kidnapped her or fed her tea first), or the rib crushing destruction of Alice's feared glomps. This was somewhere between the two, with the Copyright expertly palmed into the small of Moriarty's back.
"Thank God Jenny drilled me for five hours in villain hugging!" she thought, remembering the two week long course at the Jenny School of Good Kidnapping. She'd never had so much fun in her life – she couldn't wait to get kidnapped for real. Maybe she should take a leaf out of Michael and Tash's book and start provoking them on Suebook...
"Erm..." the consultant criminal blinked a few times as Emily attempted to fuse herself with his waist. Unseen by Emily, he pointed both index fingers at the top of her head and gave Sherlock and John a look, begging them to clue him in here.
Sherlock just levelled his gun at Emily's back instead, already sizing her up as an accomplice of his arch nemesis. John watched the glomp with a pitying look on his face – he had been there too after all.
Relieved that the Copyright seemed to have worked, Emily released Moriarty and picked up her supersoaker again, turning to Sally, who had been in the middle of chewing off the last of her bindings.
"Okay, Sally dear, you're under arrest for fandom manipulation," Emily announced, pausing to give herself a small squeal. "I always wanted to say that!"
"This wasn't how this was supposed to go!" Sally whined, all traces of helplessness at the hands of Moriarty gone. She stamped her foot. "You weren't supposed to show up until I'd defeated Moriarty and made Sherlock fall in love with me!"
Now Sherlock was a brilliant shade of red, if a little confused as to who he should be aiming his gun at. Clearly weirded out (and not even remembering how he got there in the first place), Moriarty began to make a hasty and undignified exit out of the tiny basement window.
Wincing, Emily dug a finger into her ear. "Okay, take it down a notch, dear. I have a hangover."
Now she had surprised the Sue. "I wasn't aware that the Society encouraged Primary schoolers to drink...actually I didn't know they recruited Primary schoolers at all."
The surge of anger made Emily's trigger finger twitch. She reached for a Prohibitor instead. "I'm thirteen, stupid! Do Primary school children have these?" she gestured to her chest, already a nicely sized B-cup. "I think not!"
Sally shrugged carelessly, making sure to bounce her own ample breasts in response. "So you've graduated from training bras – you still look like you should be learning your alphabet."
"Yeah well you look like someone hoisted two honeydews half way up a flagpole," Emily snarked back. "And your face is ridiculous."
She allowed herself a grin at the furious look on Sally's face, and she made a mental note to deliver this particular tale to her friends at school tomorrow – they would definitely appreciate it.
"Okay girls..." John moved cautiously into the picture, like an exhausted teacher moving to break up two feuding students. "Do you think we can resolve this without insulting or blowing one another's heads off?"
"...uh..." Emily pretended to give this consideration. "Howsabout no?"
"Yeah, not going to happen I'm afraid John," Sally sighed in a tragic sort of way.
"Okay then, well why don't we go upstairs and you two can discuss your mutual grievances...and Sherlock doesn't have to shoot anybody."
There was a long silence broken by Sherlock's exasperated (and out of character) spluttering. Emily squeezed her supersoaker tight, trying to banish the sweat on her palms. Sally was looking suddenly thoughtful, genuinely considering John's suggestion. Emily weighed up the pros and cons – while it would be much quicker to just be violent, she really did not feel up to a physical confrontation.
"...will there be tea?" she asked hopefully. John frowned at her, before relenting gently.
"Yes, I will make tea."
Now Emily beamed. "Sounds good to me!"
Sally just shrugged. "Okay. I suppose there is no harm in talking like civilised people...as long as you put the gun away."
Sherlock gave an impatient sort of huff, but pocketed his weapon. "Fine! But next time, I will shoot."
"I wasn't talking to you, Sherlock," Sally said with practised patience. Emily obediently shouldered her own supersoaker. She saw Sherlock's hands twitching to his gun, but a look from Sally froze him, and then caused him to relax his arm against his side. Graciously, he stepped aside to let them pass him back up the staircase.
"Oh, I've still got your milk," Sally snapped her fingers, and did an about face on the stairs. "I'll meet you up there!"
Emily shrugged as the braid vanished back into the flat. "I can drink tea black." Indeed with her current state of hangover, she had a feeling only black would do.
"So does Sally," Sherlock was beaming like a man who held the secret to life, the universe and everything. "But you don't need milk to escape."
It took about five long seconds for his words to sink into Emily's scrambled mind. Then she understood. Uttering every swear word she knew (and a few she had picked up in French class) she tore back down the stairs into the flat, supersoaker armed and ready.
She had just enough time to aim and pull the trigger, before the Sue's long black hair vanished through the plothole that had been carefully concealed in the refrigerator door. The Disinfectant splattered against it, burning a hole clean through the plastic, insulation, and an unfortunate jar of mayonnaise.
Growling in frustration, Emily kicked over a stack of textbooks.
"...crap!" she finally exclaimed, when no other word would do. A confused John, and a smirking Sherlock poked their heads around the door.
"...so..." John began politely. "Am I going to get my milk back then?"
"Erm...no. I don't think so somehow," Emily deadpanned.
"DUMPLING!" Alice shrieked, causing all the diners of the Ritz to shoot her filthy looks. She flung her arms wide and almost sent a teapot flying. "YOU'RE ALIVE!"
Wincing painfully, Emily rubbed her ears. "I hope so. If this is the afterlife, its very disappointing," she deadpanned. There were a few snickers from around the table.
After over five years in this business, Harriet knew the signs, and smiled encouragingly at Emily. "She got away?"
"Yeah," Emily grunted, taking the seat next to her mother, and spinning around to answer the hovering Matire'D .She thought she glimpsed a sandwich box hastily disappearing down Valerie's shirt across the table, but she figured her mind had to be playing tricks on her. "Darjeeling and a tea stand please?"
"Did you leave a mess?" Harriet probed, as Emily slung her weapon over the back of her seat and rubbed her temples.
"No," Emily shook her head. "Just need a new lock on the basement flat of 221B, and a new refrigerator. We will need a clean up crew to clear out all of Sally's stuff before we memory bomb the fandom."
She jumped as her phone vibrated against her butt.
"Well clean up crew duty this week is..." Tash pulled out a torn rota from her pocket (along with a receipt, a tissue that had clearly been through the wash, and a box of orange tic tacs). "Adrian, Pete, Robert and Dave. I'll come by later with the memory bomb."
None of the four men looked particularly pleased at the prospect of stripping a flat out. Oddly enough nobody was ever thrilled at the prospect of clean up. Michael had once tried to approach Harriet about the possibility of borrowing her scantily clad male slaves to do clean up, but Harriet had put her foot down, insisting that cleaning up a fandom was character building and good for everybody...that and her scantily clad slaves had their own important tasks of drawing her baths, rubbing her feet and feeding Foamy the Dragon his Cheerios to be getting on with.
Emily's phone, which had been abandoned on the table after the text message had been dismissed casually, began to buzz again, the ring drawing even more dirty looks from nearby tables.
"...are you going to answer that?" Michael asked her. Emily gave him a look that spoke volumes...so Tash reached over and swiped it instead.
"Emily's hungover right now, can I take a message?" her eyebrows arched up her forehead, and she pressed the speaker to her shoulder.
"Emily, its Becky, and she says she has your bra from last night."
Now it was Emily's turn to look confused, and she hastily pulled her jumper up to her forehead so that she could check what she was wearing underneath.
"Oooooh...oh!" she reappeared looking a little pink in the cheeks. "Right...I did think this one was a bit lacy..."
"She says you can swap back tomorrow Becky, is that okay?" Tash asked the telephone. "...cool. Okay. Bye." She hung up.
"...you swapped bras?" Cristoph's voice was a dry as a desert – an effect made all the more challenging by his girlfriend, collapsing with laughter into his lap.
Emily shrugged. "When you're that drunk, things like that seem like an excellent idea..."
"Besides..." she thought to herself in relief. "At least no one's found out what we did with the traffic cones yet..."