The Great Game: The Criminal
"How much blood was on that seat," Sherlock asked as he, Leena, and John stood before Lestrade in Scotland Yard's parking garage, before the car Mr. Monkford had rented, "Would you say?"
"How much?" Lestrade frowned, "About a pint."
"Not about. Exactly a pint. That was their first mistake. The blood's definitely Ian Monkford's, but it's been frozen."
"There are clear signs," Leena nodded, thinking on the tests they'd run.
"I think Ian Monkford gave a pint of his blood some time ago," Sherlock remarked, "And that's what they spread on the seat."
"Who did?" John looked up.
"Janus Cars. The clue's in the name is."
"The god with two faces," Leena nodded.
"Exactly. They provide a very special service. If you've got any kind of a problem, money troubles, bad marriage, whatever, Janus Cars will help you disappear. Ian Monkford was up to his eyes in some kind of trouble. Financial at a guess, he's a banker, couldn't see a way out. But if he were to vanish, if the car he hired was found abandoned with his blood all over the driver's seat…"
"So where is he?" John shook his head.
"Colombia?" Lestrade frowned.
"Mr. Ewart of Janus Cars had a 20,000 Colombian peso note in his wallet," Sherlock explained as Leena pulled out her phone and began a search on her app, looking for the records of Mr. Ewart, "Quite a bit of change, too. He told us he hadn't been abroad recently. But when I asked him about the cars I could see his tan line clearly. No one wears a shirt on a sunbed. That plus his arm."
"He kept scratching it. Obviously irritating him. And bleeding. Why? Because he'd recently had a booster jab. Hep B, probably, difficult to tell at that distance. Conclusion, he'd just come back from setting Ian Monkford into his new life in Colombia."
"Yep," Leena nodded, "I have bank transactions of currency exchange for Mr. Ewart, transportation of a plane ticket to Columbia, and health records for a shot against Hepatitis B. Not to mention a nice little deposit to his bank account in the amount of 1,000 pounds, must have been the contract fee. And his work records have him as out sick the last three days," she looked up to see the men looking at her.
"How did you get that information?" Lestrade eyed her.
She held up her phone, "I had a friend create an automatic hack system. I put in the place I need information from and on who and it'll hack into the system and download the information for me."
"You've a friend who's a hacker?"
"You might want to let Sherwood finish first," she remarked, nodding over at Sherlock, who seemed a little irritated that Lestrade found that more interesting.
"Right, yes, sorry."
Sherlock nodded, "Mrs. Monkford cashes in the life insurance and she splits it with Janus Cars."
"Mrs. Monkford?" John frowned.
"Oh, yes. She's in on it too. Now, go and arrest them Inspector, that's what you do best. We need to let our friendly bomber know that the case is solved," he turned to Leena, grinning, as they walked away, "I am on fire!"
Sherlock sat in 221B Baker Street, John and Leena behind him on either side of him, as he posted a new message on his website
'Congratulations to Ian Monkford on his relocation to Colombia.'
A moment later the pink phone rang.
"He says you can come and fetch me," the man breathed, before starting to cry, "Help, help me, please!"
Sherlock was sitting in a chair across from John, with Leena beside him, that morning, John digging into the diner food as soon as it was laid before him, "Feeling better John?" Leena asked, smiling up at him.
John just glanced at her a moment, eyeing the pair, they were sitting close, far closer than he'd ever seen anyone sit with Sherlock, closer than he'd ever seen Sherlock let them sit. Sherlock had his gaze on Leena, his entire concentration and focus on her, despite the fact she was talking to someone else at the moment. John shook his head to himself, he knew what was coming, but he couldn't understand how it would happen.
Sherlock was in love.
He had to be.
The girl that he didn't insult, that he seemed to value the opinion of, that he texted and talked to at all hours and about everything…the girl he focused on yet didn't analyze or deduce…he'd seen the man's reaction to the bomber calling Leena a twat, how he hadn't corrected the man when Leena had been called his girlfriend. Somewhere, in the vast recesses of Sherlock's mind and heart, he had fallen in love with the girl some time ago. He was sure of it…it was just…very unexpressed in normal human terms. And he truly felt for Leena, because he very much doubted it ever would be expressed.
Sherlock Holmes was a self-proclaimed sociopath.
He didn't feel.
Or, at least, he liked to believe he didn't.
He could tell the girl cared for Sherlock deeply, the way she interacted with him, trusted him, praised him, their history…she was just like Molly, in love with the man, but Leena had known him long enough to not stutter around him, she had known him long enough for him to let her in. He could only hope for a miracle, that the two would one day get together. Because he rather liked Leena, she could be good for Sherlock.
"To be honest," he shook himself from his thoughts, "We've hardly stopped for breath since this thing started. Has it occurred to you…"
"Probably," Sherlock remarked, his eyes still on Leena as the pink phone sat before them.
John rolled his eyes, "No, has it occurred to you that the bomber's playing a game with you? The envelope, breaking into the other flat, the dead kid's shoes, it's all meant for you."
"Yes, I know."
"It adds to the profile as well," Leena added, "He's got a fixation on Sherwood which means he's the personality type to be able to focus on one thing for an extended period of time. He's obsessive, which compliments his cleverness, he won't just plan it out, he wants it to be perfect. We need to find him soon though," John gave her a look, "Because this level of obsession will only escalate. He'll go from wanting Sherlock's attention, to wanting him to suffer if something doesn't go his way. And once he escalates to that level, then we are in danger as well because he'll strike Sherwood in the place it hurts most, his heart, his friends," she looked over at him, holding Sherlock's gaze with her own.
"Is it him, then?" John asked after a moment, when neither turned away or said anything more, "Moriarty?"
"Perhaps," Sherlock sighed, finally turning his gaze from Leena when the pink phone pinged. He hit a button and three pips sounded, a picture of a plump blonde woman appearing in the message. He frowned, "That could be anybody."
"Well, it could be, yeah. Lucky for you, I've been more than a little unemployed."
"How do you mean?" Sherlock frowned.
"Lucky for you Mrs. Hudson and I watch far too much telly," he got up and walked to the counter of the diner, turning on the TV above it to a makeover show, the woman from the picture was the host.
"Thank you Tyra," she was saying, "Doesn't she look lovely. Everybody. Now? Anyway, speaking of silk purses…"
The pink phone rang and Sherlock picked it up, putting it low on speaker, "Hello?"
"This one is a bit defective," an old woman spoke slowly, "Sorry. She's blind. This is a funny one. I'll give you 12 hours."
"Why are you doing this?" he asked, he had a bit of a soft spot for old women, Mrs. Hudson being a kindly one.
"I like to watch you dance."
Suddenly the channel cut in and a news bulletin was shown, "Continuing into the sudden death of the popular TV personality Connie Prince. Miss Prince, famous for her makeover programs, was found dead two days ago by her brother in the house they shared in Ham…"
"Connie Prince," Lestrade read a file as he walked them over to Connie's body in the morgue of St. Bart's, "54, one of those makeover shows on the telly. Did you see it?"
"No," Sherlock stated, staring at the body.
"Very popular, she was going places."
"Not anymore. So," he looked at the small group gathered around him, "Dead two days. According to one of her staff, Raoul de Santos, she cut her hand on a rusty nail in the garden. Nasty wound. Tetanus bacteria enters the bloodstream. Good night Vienna."
"I s'pose," John shrugged.
"Something's wrong with this picture…"
John and Lestrade started to roll their eyes when Leena spoke, "I agree. It can't be as simple as it seems," she glanced up at the men, "The bomber is too sophisticated for this. He wouldn't be directing us towards it for nothing."
"Something is wrong," Sherlock nodded, getting a closer look at a few scratch marks on her arm, some pricks in her forehead, "John."
"Hmm?" he looked over.
"Cut on her hand, it's deep. Would have bled a lot, right?"
Leena took the woman's hand and turned it, looking at the wound, "But the wound's clean. Very clean and very fresh," she leaned closer.
"How long would the bacteria have been incubating inside her?" Sherlock asked.
"Eight, ten days," John guessed.
"This cut was inflicted post mortem," Leena noticed. John frowned and moved closer, seeing that the blood clotting was off, it HAD been done after the woman had died.
"After she was dead?" Lestrade frowned.
"Must have been," Sherlock nodded, "The only question is how did the tetanus enter the dead woman's system?" he glanced at John, "You want to help, right?"
"Of course," John nodded.
"Connie Prince's background. Family history everything. Give me data."
"Here John," Leena tossed him her phone, "Use my cell."
"Right," he nodded, heading off to the side to get the records on Connie Prince.
"There's something else that we haven't thought of…" Lestrade began.
"Is there?" Sherlock glanced at him.
"Yes, why is he doing this, the bomber? If this woman's death was suspicious, why point it out?"
"Who press gangs suicide bomber?"
"I'm serious Sherlock. Listen, I'm cutting you slack here, I'm trusting you. But out there, somewhere, some poor bastard's covered in Semtex and he's just waiting for you to solve the puzzle, so just tell me what we dealing with?"
"Something new," Leena sighed.
This was a VERY sophisticated killer. She hadn't come up against many of them in the BAU. And this one trumped them all. The unsub reminded her very much of what a crime might be like if Sherlock had ever gone 'dark side' on her. But she knew this man was nothing compared to Sherlock. Because Sherlock, heaven forbid he ever did this, would make the murder unsolvable. He'd challenge himself to make one so well planned out that not even HE would be able to get anything off the victim or the crime scene.
"Connection, connection, connection," Sherlock mumbled as he paced in 221B Baker Street, staring at the collage of information they'd collected of Connie stuck up on the mirror, as Lestrade watched, John having gone to investigate Connie's brother, "There must be a connection," he glanced at Leena, just thinking out loud but at her, "Carl Powers, killed 20 years ago, the bomber knew him, admitted that he knew him…"
Leena stepped back from a map she'd posted on the wall beside the mirror, areas marked in red, getting a geological profile going, "The bomber's iPhone was in the stationery from the Czech Republic. The first hostage from Cornwall, the second from London, the third from Yorkshire, judging by her accent."
"What's he doing?" Sherlock frowned, "Working his way round the world, showing off?"
Leena glanced down as the pink phone rang. She walked over and picked it up, setting it to speaker.
"You're enjoying this, aren't you?" the old woman asked, crying, "Joining the dots. Three hours. Boom. Boom."
"Great," Sherlock nodded as he spoke on his phone, "Thank you. Thanks again," before taking Leena's hand and pulling her to the back of the room.
"It's a real shame," Mrs. Hudson remarked as she stood beside Lestrade, staring at the information on the wall, "I liked her. She taught you how to do your colors."
"Colors?" Lestrade frowned.
"You know, what goes best with what. I should never wear pastels apparently, drains me."
"Who's that?" Lestrade asked as Sherlock walked back, Leena looking up information on her phone.
"Well, home secretary, actually, owes me a favor."
"She was a pretty girl," Mrs. Hudson nodded at the pictures of Connie, "But she messed about with herself too much. They all do these days. People can hardly move their faces. It's silly, isn't it? Did you ever see her show?"
"Not much for TV," Leena shrugged, she preferred her books.
"Not until now," Lestrade added.
Sherlock picked up his laptop, turning it on to the webcast of the show, Connie speaking with another man, "That's the brother," Mrs. Hudson told them, "No love lost there. If you can believe the papers."
"So I gather," Sherlock nodded.
Leena glanced up from her phone, "I've just been having a very fruitful chat with people who love this show," she showed him the message boards, "The fan site's indispensable for gossip."
He nodded, when his mobile rang and he answered, on speaker, "John."
"Hi," he said quickly, "Look get over here quickly, I think I'm onto something. You'll need to pick up some stuff first. Have you got a pen?"
"We'll remember," Leena assured him.
"That'll be him," Raoul, the houseboy, led Sherlock and Leena into Mr. Prince's home, Sherlock with a camera around his neck, Leena with a black box of makeup, playing cameraman and stylist.
"What?" Mr. Prince looked up, seeing to other people enter, John getting up to greet them.
"Ah, Mr. Prince, isn't it?" Sherlock walked over and shook his hand, "Very good to meet you."
"We're so sorry to hear about your sister…" Leena began, setting her box down and moving to shake his hand as well.
"Yes, very kind," the man shook Sherlock's hand and then Leena's.
Sherlock moved over to John, pretending to set up his camera, while Leena combed Mr. Prince's hair, readying him for the photo, "You were right," John said quietly, pretending to speak to Sherlock about the photo, "The bacteria got into her another way."
"Oh, yes?" Sherlock looked over.
"Right, are we all set?" Mr. Prince moved to stand by the fireplace as Sherlock got into his face, snapping pictures, "Not too close, I'm raw from crying."
"Oh," Leena looked down at the cat that had scampered into the room, "Who is this?"
She glanced up, "Named after the Egyptian goddess I take it?"
Mr. Prince nodded.
"How nice," Sherlock remarked dryly, "Was she Connie's?"
"Yes," Mr. Prince smiled, "A little present from yours truly."
"Sherlock…" John gestured over to the man, "I'd like you to…"
"Oh yes, sorry," Sherlock held up the flash and took pictures of Mr. Prince with the cat.
"Bloody hell," Mr. Prince glared, "What are you playing at? You're like Laurel and bloody Hardy you two. What's going on?"
"Actually, I think we've got what we came for," John turned to him, "Excuse me…"
"Sherlock, Jackie," John turned to him, keeping his cover as the journalist to the camera man and stylist, "We've got deadlines."
"But you've not taken anything!"
The group just ignored him, hurrying out of the room and the house.
John laughed, smiling, "Yes. Oh, yes!"
"You think it was the cat," Sherlock commented as they walked down the path from the house, "It wasn't the cat."
"What?" John frowned, "Yes, yeah it is. It must be. It's how he got the tetanus into her system. Its paws stink of disinfectant."
"No. He coated it onto the claws of her cat. It's a new pet, bound to be a bit jumpy around her. A scratch is almost inevitable, she wouldn't…"
"I thought of it the minute I saw the scratches on her arm. But it's too random and too clever for the brother."
"He murdered his sister for her money!"
"Did he?" Sherlock glanced back.
John frowned, "Didn't he?"
"Not even a little," Sherlock smirked.
"It was revenge, John," Leena explained, knowing how much Sherlock loved to prove his intelligence by making others work to reach the same conclusion he'd made.
"Rev…who wanted revenge?" John shook his head.
"Raoul, the houseboy."
Sherlock nodded, "Kenny Prince was the butt of his sister's jokes week in, week out. Virtual bullying campaign. Finally, he had enough, fell out with her badly. It's all on the website," he nodded at Leena's phone where she'd showed him the comments on the show in the cab over, "She threatened to disinherit Kenny, Raoul had grown accustomed to a certain lifestyle."
"Wait, wait, wait a second. What about the disinfectant then, on the cat's claws?"
"Raoul keeps a very clean house. You came through the kitchen door, saw the state of that floor, scrubbed within an inch of its life. You smell of disinfectant. I know the cat doesn't come into it…"
"But Raoul's internet records do," Leena looked at her phone, having searched Raoul in her program.
"I hope we can get a cab from here," Sherlock muttered, looking around.
"Raoul de Santos is your killer," Sherlock told Lestrade, walking into Scotland Yard with a packet of information, "Kenny Prince's houseboy. Second autopsy shows it wasn't tetanus that poisoned Connie Prince. It was botulinum toxin. We've been here before. Carl Powers. Tut-tut," he looked at Leena, "Our bomber's repeated himself."
"Naughty him," she laughed, playing on the child-like joke.
"So how'd he do it?" John shook his head.
"Botox?" Lestrade stared at him.
"Botox is a diluted form of botulinum," Leena explained, showing the man the information she'd gathered of Raoul on her phone, "Among other things, Raoul de Santos was employed to give Connie her regular facial injections."
"My contact at the home office gave us a list of Raoul's duties for Leena to cross reference with the complete records of Raoul's internet purchases," Sherlock added.
"You can see here," she pointed at her phone, scrolling down, "He's been bulk ordering Botox for months."
"Bided his time," Sherlock nodded, "Then upped the strength to a fatal dose."
"Are you sure about this?" Lestrade had to ask.
Sherlock grinned, "I'm sure."
He sighed, "Alright, my office," he led the way.
"Hey, Sherlock, how long?" John asked as they followed the man.
"What?" Sherlock glanced at him.
"How long have you known?"
"Well, this one was quite simple. And, like I said, the bomber repeated himself."
"Which is always a mistake," Leena added, "Makes it easier to catch them once they form a pattern."
"No, but Sherlock, the hostage," John reminded them, "The old woman, she's been there all this time."
"I knew I could save her," Sherlock waved him off, "I also knew that the bomber had given us 12 hours. I solved the case quickly that gave me time to get on with other things. Don't you see? We're one up on him…"
John sighed and followed the two after Lestrade. Sherlock moved to the man's desk, sitting down and getting onto his website, leaving the newest message.
'Raoul de Santos, the houseboy, Botox.'
A moment later the pink phone rang and he answered it, "Hello."
"Help me!" the old woman cried.
"Tell us the where you are. The address?"
"He was so…" the woman trailed, in shock, "His voice…"
Leena's eyes widened, "No, no, no. No. Don't say anything!"
"He sounded so…soft…" the woman breathed…before the line cut off.
"Hello?" Sherlock frowned.
"Sherlock?" Lestrade looked over, concerned.
"What's happened?" John frowned as Sherlock and Leena exchanged a knowing glance.
Leena hurried after Sherlock as he stormed into 221B Baker Street, throwing off his coat and striding to his bookshelf. He pulled out a book about Robin Hood and opened it, quickly pulling the syringe filled with morphine that was cut into the pages out, when a hand grabbed his wrist.
"No," Leena said, firm, holding his wrist, "Sherlock, no. You don't need it."
He struggled to pull his hand free, feeling like a pressure was building in his chest. It was…sorrow…he knew it. He hated feeling it. He hated feeling. He needed the morphine, dull his senses, make him focus, "Yes I do!" he yanked his hand away, moving to roll up his sleeve…
When Leena took a different approach, simply resting her hand on his, stilling him, "No," she whispered, looking at him, making him look into her eyes as she reached up to gently touch his cheek, "You don't Sherlock," she said softly, knowing she had to act quickly, she had to do something to stop him, "Feeling isn't a bad thing," she told him, before leaning in and gently pressing her lips to his.
His eyes remained open for a moment, before blinking, his breath catching as she kissed him slowly, his eyes drifting closed as his body took over his mind and he began to return the kiss. Before he knew it, his mind had completely shut off, all thoughts of the old woman of the way and reason she had died, leaving him the more lost he became in Leena's closeness, her warmth, her kiss…
His grip on the syringe loosened, dropping it in order to put his arms around her, moving her closer, needing to be closer, to feel something other than the sorrow, to feel what she had always made him feel...comfort.
Leena started to smile into the kiss as she stepped closer, stepping right on the syringe, breaking it. She pulled back slowly, blinking as she looked up at him, "You don't need it," she repeated.
He stared at her a long moment, lifting a hand to gently run his knuckles along her cheek, "No," he agreed, "I don't," he leaned in, this time being the one to initiate the next kiss, one that lasted so much longer than the last, felt so much more powerful. He felt breathless as he pulled away, resting his forehead to hers, his body was on pins and needles, his heart racing, his mind delightfully blank for one brief moment in his life, "Much better than any morphine."
She smiled and gave a little laugh, giving him one more peck, "Love is the best drug in the world Sherlock," she whispered against his lips, "I've been using for years," she admitted, giving him a meaningful look.
He blinked, realizing what she was saying, as a thrill ran up him. He'd always been a selfish and possessive boy, always irritated when others touched his things, he was the same even now with his experiments. But...Leena...she was the one thing he hated when others touched or spoke to. In his mind, she was his, from the moment she'd insisted on them being friends and refused to leave his side. At first he'd been irritated with the girl always following him but...she'd worn him down in a startlingly short time. She'd become a part of his life, never being far from him in the last fifteen years or so...until she'd gone to America. It had been...hard. Harder than he would ever admit out loud, to wake up and go through his day not even being able to see her. He texted her constantly, called her, emailed her, anything he could do to keep contact. He let her into his cases, told her about his puzzles, asked for her opinion if just to keep her involved in his life. He went to more effort trying to keep her in his life than he had with his own family.
Because she was Leena.
He'd been terrified when she'd told him she was going to America. Not just because of where she'd be working, what she'd be doing, hunting down serial killers and other criminals, no, she did that with him as it was. But to know he wouldn't be there to watch her back, to help her solve the cases, to...keep the other men away. He admitted to himself now, though he used his best efforts to push all those thoughts to the back of his Mind Palace, to delete them before, he was afraid she'd meet a boy in America and decide to stay there. She was the one constant in his life, the one person who had been with him through everything, who knew him so completely he didn't even have to speak for her to understand him. It was the same for her as well he knew. He'd never given much thought to what it all could mean, all the...feelings...that stirred when Leena was around or when he thought about her. But now, hearing her words, now he knew.
A soft smile made its way onto his face, "I'll have to experiment with this one then."
She stared up at him a moment, her heart racing even faster. He hadn't said it, but he'd implied it. He was not going to touch drugs again, ever, he'd promised her, but this drug…this was one he'd gladly use.
She pulled him into one more kiss, realizing he'd just, in his own way, admitted he felt the same.
John sighed, standing in 221B Baker Street, watching the telly, a news report about an explosion that had originated in the flat of a little old blind woman, "The explosion, which ripped through several floors, killing 12 people, was caused by a faulty gas main. A spokesman from the utility company…"
"Whole block of flats…" he shook his head, "He certainly gets about."
"Well, obviously I lost that round," Sherlock remarked from where he was sitting beside Leena on the sofa, his arm absently around her shoulders, "Although, technically, I did solve the case," he turned to another channel.
"He killed the old lady because she started to describe him," Leena frowned, "Just once, he put himself in the firing line..."
"What'd you mean?" John looked over at them.
"Well, the profile would say that he stays above it all. He organizes these things, he is never the one to physically do anything, doesn't want to get his hands dirty. But that goes even more detailed into the fact that no one ever has direct contact with him. They can't say who he is, what he looks like, sounds like…"
"What like the Connie Prince murder, he arranged that? So...people come to him, wanting their crimes fixed up...like booking a holiday?"
"Novel," Sherlock nodded, they watched as Raoul was taken in by the police, before he glanced at the pink phone, "Taking his time this time."
"Anything on the Carl Powers case?"
"All the living classmates check out spotless," Leena added, holding up her phone, "No connection."
"Maybe the killer was older than Carl?" John suggested.
"The thought had occurred," Sherlock mumbled.
Leena shook her head, "We've already decided that the bomber and Carl's killer are one in the same. The bomber is a young man. I'd say about our ages, give or take a couple years."
"So why is he doing this then?" John frowned, "Playing this game with you. Do you think he wants to be caught?"
"I think he wants to be distracted," Sherlock remarked, almost sounding empathetic.
Leena just leaned over and rested her head on his shoulder. She'd offered to make him a riddle to bide his time, but he wanted to be focused and undistracted when the next round began. They both knew the little old lady hadn't been the last test.
"I hope you'll be very happy together," John rolled his eyes.
"Sorry, what?" Sherlock stiffened, pulling his arm away from Leena, as though just realizing he'd had it around her.
"There are lives at stake, Sherlock. Actual human lives. Just so I know, do you care about that at all?"
Sherlock was unimpressed, "Will caring about them help save them?"
"Not even a…"
"Then I'll continue not to make that mistake," Sherlock glared at him.
"And find that easy do you?"
"Yes, very," he narrowed his eyes more, Leena remaining quiet, "Is that news to you?"
Sherlock eyed John a moment, "I've disappointed you."
"That's good, that's a good for deductible, yeah."
"Don't make people into heroes, John," Sherlock told him, "Heroes don't exist, and if they did, it would be Leena, not me," he said, startling Leena, "I certainly wouldn't be one of them."
"It's not just Sherwood, John," Leena called as John headed for the door to his room, "In the BAU we're taught to keep a distance, to not get attached or emotionally involved. You have to look at things logically, objectively. Emotions cloud your judgment and that's when you make mistakes."
John looked at her a long while before turning to head out, knowing she was right, knowing that was probably why Sherlock was so good at what he did. He didn't get attached to anything.
"You were surprised," Sherlock turned to Leena after John shut the door, "When I called you a hero."
She shrugged, "I was more surprised you didn't call yourself one."
"Because I'm not."
"You are to me," she smiled softly, "My hero. My Locksley."
He just smiled softly and closed his eyes, resting his forehead on hers. She was his Marian.
Just then the pink phone pinged, playing two pips as a new picture popped up, "A view of the Thames. South Bank, somewhere between Southwark Bridge and Waterloo," he looked at her, "You check the papers, I'll look online."
She nodded, getting up, before glancing at the door to John's room, "Should I get him?"
"He's angry with me," Sherlock shrugged, "So he won't help. Not much cop this caring lark."
"Locksley," she gave him a look.
He sighed and got up himself, going to get John, holding up the pink phone and nodding. John sighed and stepped into the room, moving to sit on the armchair, waiting.
Leena flipped through the papers, "Archway suicide," she called.
"Ten a penny," Sherlock remarked, looking up information on Leena's phone.
"Two kids stabbed in Stoke Newington. Man found on the train line, Andrew West…"
"Nothing," Sherlock snapped frustrated.
Leena rolled her eyes and got up, "If my app hasn't picked it up," she remarked, taking her phone back, "Then it's not been discovered yet."
He nodded, that was logical, she always had a way of doing that, making his irritations into logical reasoning against his irritation. He picked up his own phone and called Lestrade, "It's me. Have you found anything on the South Bank between Waterloo Bridge and Southwark Bridge?"
The next morning the trio was walking along the bank of the Thames, over to Lestrade and a few other officers who had gathered around a body of a man in a white shirt, black trousers, and black tie, lying face down.
"Do you reckon this is connected to the bomber?" Lestrade called over as they approached.
"Must be," Sherlock pulled on some gloves.
"It's odd, though, that he hasn't been in touch," Leena frowned. Whenever a profile skewed, it typically meant escalation on the horizon, never a good sign.
"Then we must assume that some poor bugger's primed to explode, yeah?" Lestrade sighed.
"Yes," Sherlock stepped around the body, moving a few feet away to look at it.
"Seven so far."
"Seven?" Lestrade's eyes widened.
"Drat," Leena frowned from where she was crouched by the body, "I've only six," she remarked, standing, having tried to come up with as many plausible explanations as she could.
Sherlock smirked, "You've gotten rusty. Spent far too long in America."
She just shook her head at him with a small smile. Knowing that was his way of saying she'd been away too long a period. That he'd missed her. Ah the joys of being fluent in Sherlockish. It was actually hard to get offended when your brain was hardwired to understood what he was really trying to say.
He stepped closer to the body, examining it with his magnifying glass, glancing at the man's veiny leg, before stepping back, gesturing to John to take a look. Lestrade waved him on and John moved over to the body.
"He's dead about 24 hours," John mumbled, "Maybe a bit longer. Did he drown?"
Sherlock moved over to Leena's side, quietly going over what he'd learned as she searched through her phone for the information he was looking for.
"Apparently not," Lestrade remarked, neither of them noticing the quiet conversation going on a few feet away, "Not enough of the Thames in his lungs, asphyxiated."
"Yes, I'd agree. There's quite a bit of bruising around the nose and mouth," John frowned, looking at small oval shaped bruises, "More bruises, here and there."
"Fingertips," Sherlock remarked.
"He's late 30s I'd say, not in the best condition."
"He's been in the river a long while. The water's destroyed most of the data. But I'll tell you one thing that lost Vermeer painting's a fake."
"What?" Lestrade shook his head.
Leena smirked, she loved the reactions of others when Sherlock threw them for a loop.
"We need to identify the corpse find out about his friends and…"
"Wait, wait, wait," Lestrade held up a hand, "What painting? What are you on about?"
"It's all over the place, haven't you seen the posters? Dutch old master, supposed to have been destroyed centuries ago. Now it's turned up, worth 30 million."
"Ok," Lestrade frowned, recalling seeing flyers for some art gallery presenting a lost treasure, some sort of painting, "So what has that got to do with the stiff?"
"Everything," Leena said, surprising the men, who seemed to not be following, "Have you ever heard of the Golem?"
"Golem?" Lestrade shook his head, even more confused.
"It's a horror story, isn't it?" John frowned, "What are you saying?"
"Jewish folk story actually," Leena started to smile, she loved talking about stories and books and tales of old, "A gigantic man made of clay. It's also the name of an assassin whose real name is Oskar Dzundza. One of the deadliest assassins in the world. That," she nodded at the body, "Is his trademark style."
"So this is a hit?" Lestrade looked at her.
She nodded, "The Golem squeezes the life out of his victims with his bare hands."
"Do I want to know why you know that?" John eyed her, now able to see a little Sherlock in her.
She rolled her eyes, "He was the basis for my dissertation to earn my Doctorate in Criminology and Criminal Justice."
Lestrade frowned, "But what has this got to do with that painting? I don't see…"
"You do see," Sherlock remarked, "You just don't observe."
"Yes, alright, alright, girls," John cut in, "Calm down."
Leena smiled, "Sherlock, take them through it."
He grinned, "What do we know about this corpse? The killer's not left us with much just the shirt and the trousers. They're pretty formal, maybe he was going out for the night. The trousers are heavy duty, polyester, nasty, same as the shirt."
"Cheap," Leena nodded.
"They're both too big for him."
"So some kind of standard-issue uniform."
"Dressed for work, then. What kind of work? There's a hook on his belt for a walkie-talkie."
"Tube driver?" Lestrade suggested.
"Security guard?" John guessed.
"I'd wager that one," Leena nodded at John.
"That'll be borne out by his backside," Sherlock continued.
"Backside?" Lestrade frowned.
"Flabby, you'd think he led a sedentary life. Yet, the soles of his feet and the nascent varicose veins in his legs show otherwise. So…" he pointed at Leena.
"A lot of walking and a lot of sitting around," Leena agreed.
"Security guard's looking good. The watch helps too. The alarm shows he did regular night shifts."
"Why regular?" Lestrade countered, "Maybe he set his alarm like that the night before he died?"
"No, no, no. The buttons are stiff, hardly touched."
"He set his alarm like that a long time ago," Leena nodded, "His routine never varied."
"But there's something else. The killer must have been interrupted otherwise he would have stripped the corpse completely. There was some kind of badge or insignia on the shirt front that he tore off…" he pointed at Leena.
"He works somewhere recognizable, in some kind of institution."
Sherlock grinned, "Excellent. And I found this," he held up a few bits of white paper, "Inside his trouser pockets. Sodden by the river, but still recognizable."
"Tickets?" John squinted at the papers as they walked over to Sherlock.
"Ticket stubs. He worked in a museum or gallery. Had Leena do a quick check."
She held up her phone, "The Hickman Gallery has reported one of its attendants as missing. Alex Woodbridge."
"Tonight, they unveil the rediscovered masterpiece. Now, why would anyone want to pay the Golem to suffocate a perfectly ordinary gallery attendant? Inference, the dead man knew something about it. Something that would stop the owner getting paid 30 million. The picture is a fake."
"Fantastic," John stared at Sherlock stunned.
"And a Happy New Year," Lestrade grumbled.
John looked down at the body, "Poor sod."
"I'd better get my feelers out for this Golem character," Lestrade began to head off.
"Pointless," Sherlock called, "You'll never find him. But I know a man who can."
"Me," he grinned.
As Sherlock, Leena, and John sat in a cab, Leena frowned, eyeing the pink phone in her hand, "Why hasn't he phoned?" she sighed, "He's broken his pattern…"
John frowned, "And that's bad?"
She glanced over at him, "Very bad. It means he's escalating. He's gotten bored with leaving clues, he wants us to really struggle…he wants us to be left in the dark. That's never a good sign."
"Waterloo Bridge," Sherlock leaned forward to tell the driver.
"Where now, the gallery?" John looked over.
"In a bit," Sherlock shrugged, pulling out a small booklet from his pocket.
"The Hickman's contemporary art, isn't it? Why have they got hold of an old master?"
"Don't know," Sherlock mumbled, jotting a note in his notepad.
"And, with this unsub, it's dangerous to jump to conclusions," Leena added.
"We need data," Sherlock decided, tearing out the paper and folding it. He glanced out the window and called to the driver, "Stop. Can you wait here? I won't be a moment," he added, getting out with the others, hopping over the railing of the bridge, John and Leena following.
"Sherlock?" John called as the man jogged off and up a few stairs to a homeless blonde woman.
"Change?" the woman looked up, "Any change?"
"What for?" Sherlock asked.
"Cup of tea, of course."
"Here you go," he handed her the folded paper and a note, "50."
"What are you doing?" John asked as Sherlock took Leena's hand and pulled her back down the stairs to the cab.
"Investing," he called, opening the door for Leena to get in, "Now we go to the gallery," he glanced at John, "Have you got any cash?"
John rolled his eyes as he got in after Sherlock, Leena just pulled out a few notes from her pocket, not about to let Sherlock mooch off of John, she handed it to him when the cab pulled up before the museum, Sherlock getting out.
"No," he called, motioning for John to stay, "We need you to find out all you can about the gallery attendant. Lestrade will give you the address."
"Ok," John nodded, moving to take the backseat, pocketing Leena's money as the duo walked off.
"You run a search," Sherlock muttered as they neared the back entrance, handing her his scarf and coat to hold onto, "I'll see what I can deduce about the painting."
She nodded and he moved to head in, only to be pulled back. He turned, confused, when she just smiled and gave him a quick kiss, "Be careful," she whispered, giving him another kiss, "Be smart."
He smiled, taking the initiative to give her a kiss as well. He knew she must have been waiting to do that for ages, Leena wore her heart on her sleeve, but she knew that, with his sociopathic tendencies, expressing emotion, mostly around others, was something he was uncomfortable with, so she'd waited till they were alone to do it.
It was funny, he thought, as he made his way into the building, he'd never had trouble expressing himself around her.
Sherlock, now dressed as a security guard, stood before the 'lost painting' in the gallery, just staring at it, when a well dressed woman stepped up behind him, "Don't you have something to do?"
"Just admiring the view," he remarked.
"Yes. Lovely, now get back to work, we open tonight."
"Doesn't it bother you?" he turned to her, walking towards her.
"That the painting's a fake."
"What?" she laughed.
"It's a fake, it has to be. It's the only possible explanation. You're in charge, aren't you, Miss Wenceslas?" he eyed her, recognizing her from the news.
"Who are you?" she frowned.
"Alex Woodbridge knew that the painting was a fake. So, somebody sent the Golem to take care of him. Was it you?"
She shook her head, confused, "Golem? What the hell are you talking about?"
"Are you working for someone else? Did you fake it for them?"
"It's not a fake," she insisted.
"It is a fake. I don't know why. But there's something wrong with it. There has to be."
"What the hell are you on about? You know I could have you sacked on the spot."
"Not a problem."
"No," he smirked, "I don't work here. You see, just popped in to give you a bit of friendly advice."
"How did you get in?"
"I want to know."
"The art of disguise is knowing how to hide in plain sight," he turned and headed back towards a side door, taking off his hat in the process.
"Who are you?"
"Am I supposed to be impressed?"
"You should be," he pulled off his jacket and dropped onto the floor, "Have a nice day!" he pushed his way through a side exit that led to the street, grinning as he saw Leena standing there, leaning against a black cab, waiting for him, as he pulled at the tie around his neck, taking it off. He hated ties.
"Have fun?" she asked, looping his scarf over his neck and holding out his coat for him.
"I'd have had more if I knew why the painting's a fake," he muttered, putting his coat on.
"I ran a search on the painting," she commented, handing him her phone as they got in the cab, "It's a representation of something called the Van Buren Supernova."
He nodded, looking at the search, the information on the supernova, the painting, glimpsing the other data on the side, the dates of it and other astrological events.
"There's something here," he frowned, eyeing the information, "It's just not connecting."
"You'll get it eventually," she reached out to take her phone back, replacing it with her hand, "You always do Locksley."
He smiled at her faith in him.
Sherlock and Leena were standing outside 221 Baker Street, waiting for John to arrive, they'd gone back to the flat to see if any of the information might click with Sherlock if he saw it again given this new case, nothing.
"Spare change?" the young homeless woman from the bridge called from a few feet away to the passersbys, "Any spare change?"
"Alex Woodbridge didn't know anything special about art," John called, stepping out of the cab that had just pulled up.
"And?" Sherlock glanced at him.
"Is that it?" he scoffed, turning to head towards the woman as Leena went to hold the cab, "No habits, hobbies, personality?"
"Give us a chance, he was an amateur astronomer."
"Spare change, sir?" the woman asked as Sherlock stepped beside her.
"Don't mind if I do," he grinned as she handed him a scrap of paper with 'Vauxhall Arches' written on it. He nodded his thanks and went over to the cab, "Fortunately, I haven't been idle. Come on."
The trio was out of the cab in record time as soon as it pulled up to the Arches, walking in the dark to the tunnels.
Sherlock looked up, spotting the stars through the tops of two buildings, "Beautiful, isn't it?"
John glanced at him, "I thought you didn't care about…"
"Doesn't mean I can't appreciate it," he remarked, his hand absently taking Leena's in the dark, he glanced at her, "You taught me that."
And indeed she had.
Since she had an eidetic memory, she didn't study as often as he'd had to when they'd gone to University together. He'd wanted to prove his intellect by graduating with top marks, which meant conforming to the thoughts and teachings of the professors. He'd been going through a phase. He'd nearly gone mad studying for exams till Leena pulled him away, locked his books in her room, and dragged him outside to a hill on the other side of the campus to just lie there and look at the stars. Ever since then, whenever something got to be too much or too frustrating, he'd take a walk about, look at the stars, and think of her.
"Listen," John cut in, snapping Sherlock out of his thoughts, "Alex Woodbridge had a message on the answerphone at his flat. A Professor Cairns..."
"This way," Sherlock called, heading further into the tunnels.
"Nice," John remarked, glancing around at the homeless men and women sleeping around the tunnels, "Nice part of town. Any time you want to explain?"
"It's his homeless network, John," Leena explained, shining her torch around.
"Really is indispensable," Sherlock muttered.
"Homeless network?" John frowned.
"It's his version of Mycroft's security cameras," Leena told him.
"My eyes and ears all over the city," Sherlock nodded.
"Ah, that's clever," John had to admit, "So you scratch their backs, and…"
"Yes, then disinfect myself."
John looked ahead, spotting a large shadow of a man standing up at the end of the tunnel, "Sherlock, come on," he pulled the two to the side, "What's he doing sleeping rough?"
Sherlock glanced around the corner to observe the shadow, "Well, he has a very distinctive look. He has to hide somewhere where tongues won't wag much."
"Oh, shit," John breathed.
"What?" Leena asked.
"I wish I…"
"Don't mention it," Sherlock cut in, when the Golem suddenly made a run for it, "No, no, no, no, no!" they dashed around the corner, trying to go after him but he hopped in a waiting car which drove off, "It'll take us weeks to find him again."
"Or not. I have an idea where he might be going."
"What?" Sherlock turned to him.
"I told you someone left Alex a message."
Leena smiled, "There can't be that many Professor Cairns in the book," she reasoned, giving John a kiss on the cheek, "Brilliant John!"
John smiled, ignoring the narrowed gaze of Sherlock, "Come on," he led them off, back to their cab.
They ran into the planetarium of the museum where Professor Cairns worked after seeing the car the Golem had escaped in pulling away from the scene.
"Golem!" Sherlock shouted, making the large man look up from where he was attacking Cairns.
Unfortunately they were too late, he dropped the body of the woman to the floor, the main lights turning off, the projection lights flashing haphazardly, as the man ran off.
"I can't see him," Leena shouted.
"I'll go round," John called, dashing off to try and find a switch.
"Who are you working for Dzundza?" Sherlock called, looking around.
Leena was suddenly shoved to the floor as Golem appeared behind them, grabbing Sherlock and covering his mouth and nose with a large hand, trying to kill him.
"Golem!" John shouted, running onto the platform now that there was more light, a gun out and ready, "Let him go or I will kill you."
Golem turned, kicking out, knocking the gun from John's hands as he threw Sherlock to the ground. He grabbed John, struggling with him, before shoving him away. Leena scrambled to the side, where John had been standing, as Sherlock got up and tried to fight Golem, only for the man to down him with a punch to the shoulder. He leaned over Sherlock, pressing his hand to the man's mouth and nose again…when John leapt onto his back.
"John!" Leena shouted, John's gun cocked in her hand, "Down!"
John let go, falling to the ground as Leena fired at the man, striking him in the shoulder. He gave an inhuman screech and turned, bolting out of the room as she fired once more, striking him in the leg…but still, he was too fast…
They'd lost him.
Sherlock slammed a fist against the floor before getting up. He looked at John, who pushed himself up, panting, and then to Leena, who had moved to sit against the control podium. She gave him a smile, trying to get up, but winced, her hand moving to her back.
Sherlock was at her side in an instant, tugging the edge of her shirt up gently to see a rather large, Golem-fist-sized, bruise forming on her back from where she'd been shoved. He simply let her shirt fall down again and put an arm around her, helping her walk out, John taking his gun back from her.
"Nice shot," John remarked.
She gave him a pained smile, "I was aiming for his knee the first time…"
The trio stood in the museum, Lestrade behind them, along with Ms. Wenceslaus.
"It's a fake," Sherlock remarked, looking through the information on Leena's phone, "It has to be."
"That painting has been subjected to every test known to science," the woman rolled her eyes.
"It's a very good fake, then. You know about this, don't you?" he turned to her, "This is you, isn't it?"
The woman scoffed and turned to Lestrade, "Inspector, my time is being wasted. Would you mind showing yourself," she glanced at Sherlock as the pink phone began to ring in Leena's hands, "And your friends, out?"
Leena clicked on the phone and held it out on speaker, Sherlock not even giving the bomber the chance to talk before speaking, "The painting is a fake. It's a fake, that's why Woodbridge and Cairns were killed. Oh, come on. Proving it's just a detail. The painting is a fake. I've solved it. I've figured it out. It's a fake, that's the answer, that's why they were killed. Ok, I'll prove it. Give me time. Will you give me time?"
Suddenly a child spoke, "10."
Sherlock turned to the painting instantly, looking at it closely, needing to solve it. While he was very partial to old women…Leena…she was very partial to children. He would not let her feel what he'd felt upon the death of the old woman.
"It's a kid," Lestrade stiffened, "Oh, God, it's a kid."
"Sherwood…" Leena turned to him, afraid for the child. Two of her good friends in America had children.
"I know," he muttered, looking at the painting.
"What did he say?" John frowned.
"9," the boy continued.
"He's giving me time…" Sherlock muttered.
"Jesus," Lestrade breathed.
"It's a fake, but how can I prove it? How? How?!"
He turned to Wenceslaus, "This kid will die. Tell me why the painting is a fake. Tell me!"
"No," Leena shook her head, tears in her eyes, "Don't say anything," she looked at Sherlock, "It only works if YOU figure it out."
He nodded, "It must be possible. It must be staring me in the face…" he turned back to the painting.
"How? Woodbridge knew, but how?"
"It's speeding up," Lestrade frowned.
"Sherlock!" John called.
"You can do it!" Leena encouraged.
He glanced back at her and then at her phone in his hand, "Oh!" his eyes widened, quickly scrolling to the search Leena had run of the painting, "Oh, that is brilliant. That is gorgeous."
"What's brilliant?" John called, "What is?"
"This is beautiful!"
"Sherlock!" Lestrade demanded.
He reached out and Leena tossed him the pink phone, "The Van Buren Supernova!" he shouted into it.
There was silence before…
"Please, is somebody there?" the boy called, "Somebody help me!"
Sherlock grinned and tossed the pink phone to Lestrade, "There you go, go and find out where he is and pick him up," he glanced back at the painting, "Van Buren Supernova, so called exploding star, only appeared in the sky in 1858."
Leena smiled, remembering the search she'd run, how it had talked about the painting, but with astronomical events on the side, their dates there, "So how could it have been painted in the 1640s?"
"Exactly!" he beamed, handing her back her phone and taking her hand, pulling her off.
John paused, looking at the painting, when his phone pinged, a message from Mycroft.
My patience is wearing thin.
Sherlock sat in Lestrade's office, his fingertips together, resting against his chin, Leena sat across from him, more like leaning on Lestrade's desk as the man sat across from Ms. Wenceslaus from the museum, John having gone to continue the investigation of Andrew West for Mycroft.
"You know, it's interesting," Sherlock commented, "Bohemian stationery, an assassin named after a Prague legend, and you, Miss Wenceslas. This whole case has a distinctly Czech feeling about it. Is that where this leads? What are we looking at, Inspector?"
"Well," Lestrade looked at his notes, "Criminal conspiracy, fraud, accessory after the fact, at the very least. The murder of the old woman, all the people in the flat…"
"I didn't know anything about that!" the woman cut in, "All those things, please believe me. I just wanted my share. The 30 million."
Lestrade looked at Leena, who had been eyeing the woman since they brought her in, profiling her. She gave a little nod, she was telling the truth.
"I found a little old man in Argentina," Wenceslaus continued, "A genius, I mean, really, brushwork immaculate. Could fool anyone. Well, nearly anyone. But I didn't know how to go about convincing the world the picture was genuine. It was just an idea. A spark which he blew into a flame."
"Who?" Sherlock sat up as Leena frowned.
"I don't know," she shrugged before sighing, "It's true. It took a long time, but eventually I was put in touch with people, his people. Well, there was never any real contact," both Sherlock and Leena stiffened, glancing at each other, THAT fit the profile of their bomber, "Just messages, whispers…"
"And did those whispers have a name?"
She nodded, hesitating before speaking, "Moriarty."
Sherlock and Leena quietly snuck up behind John as he crouched down by the tracks where Andrew West had died, looking at them, "Right…" he muttered to himself, "So Andrew West got on the train somewhere. Or did he? There was no ticket on the body. How did he end up here?"
"The points," Sherlock spoke, startling John.
"Yes," John looked over, standing.
"I knew you'd get there eventually," Sherlock shrugged.
"West wasn't killed here," Leena explained, having seen it before, "That's why there was so little blood."
"How long have you been following me?"
"Since the start," she smiled, "Did you really think Sherwood would ever give up a case like this, just to spite Mycroft? No, he'd want to solve it to spite Mycroft on the fact that he didn't work it out himself."
"Come on," Sherlock called, nodding his head, before walking off, "We've got a bit of burglary to do."
John followed Sherlock and Leena down a street, "Missile defence plans haven't left the country otherwise Mycroft's people would have heard about it. Despite what people think, we do still have a secret service."
"Yeah, I know, I've met them," John sighed.
"Which means…" he pointed at Leena.
"Whoever stole the memory stick can't sell it or doesn't know what to do with it."
He nodded, "My money's on the latter," he glanced up at a house, "We're here."
"Where?" John frowned as Sherlock and Leena just jogged up the steps beside it, "Sherlock what if there's someone in?"
"There isn't," Leena remarked.
"Jesus," John sighed as Sherlock nearly kicked the door in, "Where are we?"
"Joe Harrison's flat."
"Joe?" John frowned, following them in.
"Brother of West's fiancé."
"He stole the memory stick, killed his prospective brother-in-law," Sherlock added, kneeling down by a window overlooking the tracks to examine it with a magnifying glass, spotting traces of blood.
John and Leena stepped behind him, seeing the same.
"Then why did he do it?" John shook his head.
Sherlock glanced back, hearing the front door open, "Let's ask him."
John quietly snuck to the hall, peeking out to see Joe enter with his bike. He stepped out, Joe looking up for only a moment before lifting his bike up, about to throw it, when John pulled his gun, "Don't. Don't."
Joe sat on the sofa of his house, explaining everything that had happened, "He wasn't meant to. What's Lucy gonna say? Jesus."
"Why did you kill him?" John shook his head.
"It was an accident. I swear it was."
Leena sighed, eyeing the man with a frown, "But stealing the plans for the missile defence program wasn't an accident, was it?"
"I started dealing drugs. I mean, the bike thing's a great cover, right? I don't know how it started. I just got out of my depth. I owned people thousands. Serious people. Then at Westie's engagement do, he starts talking about his job. I mean, usually he's so careful. But, that night, after a few pints, he really opened up. He told me about these missile plans. Beyond top secret. He showed me the memory stick. He waved it in front of me. You hear about these things getting lost. Ending up on rubbish tips and what not. But there it was. And I thought…well, I thought it could be worth a fortune. It was pretty easy to get the thing off him, he was so plastered. Next time I saw him, I could tell by the look on his face that he knew."
"What happened?" John crossed his arms.
He shook his head, he couldn't speak of it, "I was going to call an ambulance, but it was too late. I just didn't have a clue what to do. So I dragged him in there. I just sat in the dark, thinking."
"When a neat little idea popped into your head," Sherlock guessed. He glanced out the window at the train that had carried the body of Andrew West on top of it from where Joe had dragged it, "Carrying Andrew way away from here. His body would have gone on for ages if the train hadn't hit a stretch of track with curves."
"And points," John realized.
"Do you still have it then, the memory stick?" John looked at Joe who nodded.
"Fetch it for me," Sherlock demanded with a quiet power, "If you wouldn't mind," they watched as Joe got up dejectedly and headed out of the room. Sherlock moved over to John and Leena, "Distraction over, the game continues."
"Maybe that's over, too," John shrugged, "We've heard nothing from the bomber."
"Five pips, remember, John," Leena shook her head, "It's a countdown, we've only had four hostages."
Sherlock sat curled up on the armchair of 221B Baker Street, the pink phone on the armrest, fully dressed, in his coat, watching telly, as John sat behind him at a table, blogging, Leena standing by the bookshelf, looking at the books Sherlock had.
"No, no, no!" he shouted at the TV, earning a laugh from Leena, "Course he's not the boy's father. Look at the turn ups on his jeans."
"I knew it was dangerous," John remarked.
"Getting you into crap telly."
"Not a patch on Connie Prince."
"And there are worse things to get into," Leena added.
Sherlock glanced over at her to see her smiling at him, proud of him for overcoming that. He gave her a smile in return, he never would have if it hadn't been for her.
"Have you given Mycroft the memory stick yet?" John asked, pulling his gaze from Leena.
"Yep," he answered, "He was over the moon."
"Did he threaten you with a knighthood again?" Leena asked.
"You know, I'm still waiting," John added.
"For you to admit that a little knowledge of the solar system and you'd have cleared up the fake painting a lot quicker."
"It didn't do you any good, did it?"
"No, but I'm not the world's only consulting detective," he remarked, closing his laptop.
"I won't be in for tea," he told them, getting up, "I'm going to Sarah's. There's still some of that risotto left in the fridge. Milk, we need milk…"
"I'll get some," Leena called, stepping over and getting her jacket, she needed something to do, she'd ready all the books on the shelve already.
"Really?" he looked at her, she nodded, smiling, "And some beans?"
"Not a problem," she laughed.
She'd been told by many people that she was too thin, that she should eat more, but those who really knew her knew that she ate like a pig nearly all the time. She'd just…spending so much time with Sherlock, rushing about, solving mysteries, and then with the BAU, she got ample exercise, burned off a lot of it very fast. She had no problems getting food, knowing Sherlock barely ate during his cases, but that she and John would be starving.
"Thanks," John smiled, heading out.
She pulled on her coat and turned to Sherlock, "I'll only be a few minutes," she told him, it was rather late and the last of the shops would be closing soon, it being nearly midnight. She leaned over to kiss him quickly, stepping back but glancing over at him, "Be careful," she nodded to the laptop he had partially stashed next to him, "And be SMART."
He nodded, smirking, he should have expected she'd notice and know what he was planning.
She nodded as well and stepped out.
He pulled out the laptop and updated his site.
'FOUND: The Bruce-Partington plans. Please collect. The pool. Midnight.'
He smirked, glancing at the clock, only half an hour to go.
Sherlock stepped into the pool at midnight, holding out the memory stick at the seemingly empty room, "Brought you a little getting-to-know-you present. That's what it's all been for, isn't it? All your little puzzles, making me dance. All to distract me from this…" he turned, hearing a side door open, only to see John step in, wearing heavy winter coat with a fur hood, not something Sherlock knew he owned.
"Evening," John said, "This is a turn-up, isn't it Sherlock?"
"John?" he frowned, "What the hell…"
"Bet you never saw this coming," he opened his jacket to reveal bombs attached to him, red lasers aimed at his chest from sniper rifles hidden on the floor above, "What would you like me to make him say next?"
Without missing a beat, Sherlock replied, "Gottle o'gear."
John rolled his eyes as Sherlock edged closer, looking around, "Gottle o'gear. Gottl…"
"Nice touch this," John continued, "This pool. Where little Carl died. I stopped him," John closed his eyes a moment, "I can stop John Watson too. Stop his heart."
"Who are you?" Sherlock called.
"I gave you my number," a quiet voice called from the side of the room, near the back doors, "I thought you might call," Sherlock looked over to see Jim, Molly's Jim, step out from behind a pillar, "Is that a British Army Browning L9A1 in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?"
Sherlock reached into his pocket and pulled out the gun, aiming it at Moriarty, "Both."
"Jim Moriarty," he introduced properly, "Hi," he began to mock, "'Jim? Jim from the hospital?'" he sighed and started to casually walk around the pool, hands in his pockets, "Oh, did I really make such a fleeting impression? But then, I suppose that was rather the point. Don't be silly," he eyed the gun in Sherlock's hand as he lifted it, "Someone else is holding the rifle," he walked to their side of the pool, stopping by the lockers, "I don't like getting my hands dirty," he smirked, "But I bet your little girlfriend told you that already, didn't she?" he frowned, "Where is she? I'm sure she wouldn't want to miss this…" he smirked and turned, reaching to the side and pulling Leena out from between an opening in the lockers, her hands bound before her, her mouth gagged, more little red rifle lasers aimed at her, much like John. Sherlock stiffened, his eyes widening a fraction, but just enough for Moriarty to notice, "I've given you a glimpse, Sherlock, just a teensy glimpse of what I've got going on out there in the big bad world. I'm a specialist, you see. Like you."
"Dear Jim…" Sherlock began, his gaze on Leena, reading her expression. She wasn't afraid, if anything, she was angry, angry at herself for getting caught or angry at Moriarty for catching her he didn't know, so he had to buy more time, "Please will you fix it for me to get rid of my lover's nasty sister? Dear Jim, please will you fix it for me to disappear to South America?"
"Consulting criminal. Brilliant."
"Isn't it? No one ever gets to me. And no one ever will."
Sherlock cocked the gun, "I did."
"You've come the closest," he agreed, "Now you're in my way."
Sherlock's gaze narrowed, glancing at Leena as she subtly nodded. It was as she'd said, he'd escalated to the point of not just wanting his attention, but wanting him dead.
"Didn't mean it as a compliment," he shot back quickly.
"Yes, you did," Sherlock replied, equally as fast.
"Yeah, ok, I did," he shrugged, "But the flirting's over. Sherlock," he nudged Leena forward, making her walk with him closer to Sherlock, "Daddy's had enough now. I've shown you what I can do. I cut loose all those people, all those little problems, even 30 million quid, just to get you to come out and play," he paused, "So, take this as a friendly warning, my dear. Back off," he eyed Sherlock a moment, before starting to walk again, "Although I have loved this, this little game of ours, playing 'Jim from IT,' playing gay. Did you like the little touch with the underwear?"
"People have died…"
"That's what people do!" he shouted, making Leena flinch at the suddenness, making Sherlock tense, realizing this was the child-like quality, the tantrum, as Leena had called it, the moment of unpredictability.
"I will stop you," Sherlock threatened.
"No, you won't."
Sherlock glanced at John, "Are you alright?"
Moriarty stepped closer with Leena, "You can talk, Johnny-boy. Go ahead."
John just glanced at Sherlock and nodded he was fine.
Moriarty smirked, "See that, he's fine…" he glanced at Leena, "But your little girlfriend won't be," he suddenly shoved Leena to the side, headfirst into the wall of the lockers, knocking her out.
"Take it," Sherlock held out the memory stick, not wanting the man to attack her again.
"Oh, that?" Moriarty laughed, walking right up to Sherlock and taking the stick, "The missile plans," he kissed it, "Boring. I could have got them anywhere," and tossed it into the pool.
John, seeing his opening, dashed forward and grabbed the man around the throat from the back, "Sherlock, run!"
"Oh," Moriarty laughed more, "Good. Very good."
"If your sniper pulls that trigger, Mr. Moriarty, then we both go up."
"Isn't he sweet? I can see why you like having him around. But then, people do get so sentimental about their pets. They're so touchingly loyal. But oops. You've rather shown your hand there," he smirked, watching as a red laser appeared on Sherlock's forehead, "Dr. Watson…gotcha," John sighed and let go, stepping back. Sherlock gave him a look and John went to check on Leena, "Do you know what happens if you don't leave me alone, Sherlock? To you?"
Sherlock looked at John, who nodded, she was fine, just knocked out, so he returned his attention to Moriarty, "Oh, let me guess, I get killed?"
"Kill you?" he grimaced, "No, don't be obvious, I mean, I'm going to kill you somewhere, some day. I don't want to rush it though. I'm saving it up for something special. No, no, no, no. If you don't stop prying, I'll burn you. I'll burn the heart out of you."
"I have been reliably informed that I don't have one," Sherlock replied, serious.
Moriarty smirked, "But we both know that's not quite true," he glanced back at Leena, lying on the ground, with John beside her, before turning back to Sherlock, "Well, I'd better be off. So nice to have had a proper chat."
"What if I was to shoot you now?" he lifted the gun again, "Right now?"
"Then you could cherish the look of surprise on my face," he made a surprised expression, "'Cos, I'd be surprised Sherlock. Really, I would. And just a teensy bit…disappointed. And of course, you wouldn't be able to cherish it for very long. Ciao, Sherlock Holmes," he turned and slowly made his way off.
"Catch you…later," Sherlock called, serious, stepping up to John.
"No, you won't!" Moriarty called playfully as a door opened and shut.
Sherlock waited a moment longer before rushing over to John, helping him take the bomb vest off, "Alright? Are you alright?"
"Yeah, I'm fine, I'm fine, Sherlock," John panted as Sherlock tossed the vest away, "Oh, Christ. Are you ok?"
He simply moved to Leena's side, checking on her himself, "Me?" he asked, distracted, "Yeah, fine, I'm fine. Fine. That er…thing that you…that you did. That…um…you offered to do…that was…um…good…" he tried to express.
The only person he'd ever known who had been willing to die for him had been Leena.
He'd gotten her into quite a few pickles over the years, quite a few dangerous situations. One occasion, her very last before she'd gone to America, she'd nearly died…it had been a suicide escape, both of them running past men with guns. He'd noticed a small vent that she could have climbed through but she refused to leave him. She'd told him that she'd rather die with him, on a case, than see him die. She'd made him promise, since she wouldn't be there to watch out for him, that he wouldn't die. That if he was going to go, they'd go together.
"I'm glad no one saw that," John breathed after a moment, pulling him from his thoughts.
"Hmm?" he looked up from dabbing a small cut on Leena's head.
"You, ripping my clothes off, in a darkness swimming pool. People might talk."
"They do little else."
They started to laugh, both moving to Leena, about to try and get her up, when John noticed the red lasers were back, "Oh…"
A side door opened and Moriarty popped back in, "Sorry, boys. I'm so changeable. It is a weakness with me, but to be fair to myself it is my only weakness. You can't be allowed to continue. You just can't. I would try to convince you. But everything I have to say has already crossed your mind."
Sherlock looked at John, who nodded, and then at Leena's body, recalling her promise, and then to the gun in his hand, "Probably my answer has crossed yours," he called, turning as he stood, to aim his gun at Moriarty, before slowly lowering it to the bomb on the floor…
To be continued...in...Holmes Is Where the Heart Is!
A/N: This is probably my second shortest story so far, 'Revision: The Dream Lady' being the shortest with only four chapters. But I suppose Holmes Is Where the Heart Is (a play on Home is Where the Heart is) will be the same length too. I've got big plans for that story, especially for Leena and Sherlock.
I hope the Sherlock/Leena/morphine scene was ok. Sherlock is incredibly hard to write in a scene like that because I wanted to show that he was affected by the death of the old woman, and also...trying to have an overwhelming surge of emotion from a 'sociopath' is pretty hard. I feel like, at that point, he wouldn't outright say he loves Leena, but he would definitely realize he does, but...idk...it's a big old mess. I'm definitely going to try to keep Sherlock as believable as possible and if he gets a little too OOC, just let me know and I'll try to fix it :)
Check back tomorrow for the start of the next story, how will Leena deal with Irene? How will Sherlock deal with Irene now that he has Leena? I suppose we'll find out :)
Tiny note on a review, great minds must think alike...or maybe we're both secret Time Lords? Have you got a fob watch by any chance lol? :) That's awesome though, gotta love Sherlock/OC :)