A/N: Welcome, welcome! This is an OC/Sherlock story, Holmes Is Where the Heart Is, a little play on Home Is Where the Heart Is, the second story in my series, The Jackie Holmes Chronicles (see my profile for other OC stories, Supernatural and DW). My OC, Jacqueline 'Leena' Jerrard, called Jackie by everyone who isn't Sherlock, is a very old, very close friend of Sherlock Holmes, so close that she has her own nicknames for him, Sherwood, when around others, and Locksley, in private, based on her favorite story as a child, Robin Hood. Leena is of average height, with light blonde hair just down to her chest that hangs straight with a little wave to it with gray eyes. I picture her to look something like the actress Brianna Brown. This will also be a minor crossover with Criminal Minds as Leena has been in America the last four years working with the BAU, slight references will be made to that show.
I am going to try to keep as true and in character to Sherlock as I can, though I give one caveat, you are a different person around your friends than around your family or co-workers or others. Leena is closer to him than anyone, the two of them entering a relationship in my first story, Holmes, Sweet Holmes, (I would recommend reading that first if you are just picking up this story) to understand their dynamic and past. This story picks up with a very long and very established relationship/friendship between Sherlock and Leena long before the show begins that we only learn more of as time goes on.
This story will be updated daily, with the episodes broken up into two chapters.
~8~ is a scene break
'...' is a form of communication between Sherlock and Leena where he deduces her expressions and she profiles his, silently communicating without speaking.
Disclaimer: I do not own Sherlock, not Sherlock Holmes or the BBC's show...otherwise we'd have the third series out by now.
A Scandal in Belgravia: The Woman
Sherlock stood, his gun trained on the bomb jacket lying on the floor of the pool, Moriarty before him, staring him down, as John knelt on the floor beside Leena.
Moriarty smirked, "Come now Sherlock, would you really pull the trigger? I know you won't blow up the pool. Oh," he frowned, "You'd have no problem doing it, killing yourself, killing John even…" before smirking again, "But you'd never risk your precious Leena, would you?"
Sherlock tensed, glancing at the bomb.
The tension was so thick it could have been cut with a knife, until…
The Bee Gees 'Stayin' Alive' began to play.
Sherlock and John glanced at each other, confused, till Moriarty closed his eyes in irritation and sighed, "D'you mind if I get that?" he asked, pointing at his pocket.
"No, no, please," Sherlock motioned with his gun to go ahead, "You've got the rest of your life."
Moriarty took the phone from his pocket and answered, "Hello?" he paused, listening, "Yes, of course it is. What do you want?" he mouthed 'sorry' at Sherlock, who sarcastically mouthed back 'oh it's fine.' Moriarty rolled his eyes, listening to the conversation, turning away slightly, before spinning back, "SAY THAT AGAIN!" he shouted, glaring at nothing in particular, making Sherlock frown, "Say that again," Moriarty threatened, "And know that if you're lying to me, I will find you and I will skin you!" he nodded, "Wait," and lowered the phone, stepping forward as Sherlock stiffened, eyeing the bomb, till Moriarty stopped, "Sorry. Wrong day to die."
"Oh," Sherlock nearly scoffed, "Did you get a better offer?"
Moriarty looked at his phone, then turned around to walk out, "You'll be hearing from me, Sherlock," he moved to the back doors he'd entered through and picked the phone back up, "So if you have what you say you have, I will make you rich. If you don't, I'll make you into shoes," he lifted his free hand and snapped his fingers, the lasers turning off as he vanished out the doors.
Sherlock looked around for only a moment, but saw no snipers, John letting out a sigh, "What happened there?" he asked.
Sherlock glanced at him, putting the gun away and moving to check on Leena, "Someone changed his mind," he remarked, trying to rouse her, "The question is…who?" he shook her a little more as she groaned.
"Do NOT tell me," she began, rubbing her head as Sherlock helped her sit up, "That I missed it!"
Sherlock smirked, "No, I didn't kill him yet."
"Good," she huffed, "I'd rather like the pleasure."
Leena smiled as she stood beside Sherlock, across from John and Lestrade in the morgue of St. Bart's, the man going to town examining a new body. He'd had a bit of a bad run the last few weeks, so many people had come to him to solve crimes, most of which he'd deemed too boring to bother with. There was a man who thought his wife was cheating on him, a woman who thought the same of her husband, a man who claimed his aunt's ashes weren't human ashes (she honestly didn't want to know how he could tell the difference as he claimed he could), a business whose files had been stolen…though the boys who claimed their comic books were coming true had interested him a little, occupied him for a day or so, before more cases came in.
Now though, it seemed like Sherlock had a true mystery to solve. The woman on the slab was blonde, with tiny odd specks all over her body and no known cause of death.
"Do people actually read your blog?" Sherlock asked John absently as he looked at the body through a magnifying glass.
"Where d'you think our clients come from?" John countered.
"Sherwood does have a website of his own," Leena shrugged.
John gave a little laugh, "In which he enumerates 240 different types of tobacco ash," he shook his head and looked at Sherlock, "Nobody's reading your website."
Sherlock straightened up and glared at him, pouting a little, as Leena snorted behind her hand, trying to keep from laughing. She was growing more and more impressed with John the more she got to know him. Not many people would say that to Sherlock's face.
John though, didn't seem to notice as he looked back at the body, "Right then, dyed blonde hair, no obvious cause of death except for these speckles, whatever they are…" he pointed to the tiny red spots and looked up, only to see Sherlock had already turned to storm out of the room.
Leena shook her head, "Don't worry about him John," she reassured him, rushing after Sherlock, catching up to him in the hall and absently taking his hand.
He glanced over at her and smiled, squeezing her hand in return. They were truly back to how they had been, never far from the other's side if they could help it.
Later that week Leena was walking with Sherlock and John, following Lestrade as he led them towards a car. They'd just met with two rather adorable little girls who were concerned that they hadn't been able to see their grandfather who had recently died…and Sherlock had told them all about the wonders of cremation, probably scarring them for life. But then Lestrade had appeared and Sherlock was off on another mystery, the 'Speckled Blonde' as John had titled it in his blog, solved.
"There was a plane crash in Dusseldorf yesterday," Lestrade was saying, "Everyone dead."
"Suspected terrorist bomb," Sherlock rolled his eyes, his hand in Leena's.
"I've managed to get him to watch the news at least," Leena added.
John scoffed, "He said, 'Boring,' and turned over."
Lestrade shook his head and stopped by the car, its boot opened, a body inside. Sherlock frowned and moved to look around the car and body as Lestrade explained all they knew, "Well, according to the flight details," he glanced at a bag of evidence, handing it to Leena, "This man was checked in on board. Inside his coat he's got a stub from his boarding pass, napkins from the flight, even one of those special biscuits. Here's his passport stamped in Berlin Airport. So this man should have died in a plane crash in Germany yesterday but instead he's in a car boot in Southwark."
"Lucky escape," John commented.
Lestrade glanced at Leena and Sherlock, "Any ideas?"
Sherlock looked through his magnifier at the body, "Eight, so far."
"Six," Leena huffed, she always tried to get more plausible explanations than Sherlock, never quite seemed to manage it though.
He straightened and looked at the body again, frowning, "Ok, four ideas."
Leena eyed the body closely, "No, still six," she started to smile.
Sherlock took the passport and ticket stub in the evidence bag, looking at the airline, Flyaway Airways, and up at the sky, "Maybe two ideas."
Leena sighed, "I have no idea," when he narrowed it down to two ideas she knew he was an inch away from solving the crime and to not even bother trying her own theories.
Back in 221B Baker Street, Sherlock was wearing heavy protective gloves and safety glasses, carrying a blowtorch and glass container of green liquid, pausing by John, who was typing up his latest blog, 'Sherlock Holmes Baffled,' while Leena sat on the sofa, curled up and reading a book.
"No, no, no, don't mention the unsolved ones!" Sherlock cried.
"People want to know you're human," John argued, "Why do you think I blog about Leena...Jackie," he corrected quickly when Sherlock glared at him, "Don't worry, I call her Jackie."
"Why do people want to know?"
"'Cos they're interested."
"No they're not," he frowned, "Why are they?"
"Because you're a fascinating man," Leena called.
He looked over at her, grinning smugly, pleased with that answer. He was, admittedly, always trying to impress her. She had been one of the first to find his deductive reasoning fascinating, much like John had, and he had improved upon them, built them up in the hopes of continuing to impress her as time went on.
It appeared he was succeeding.
"Look at that," John muttered, tapping the screen, on the hit counter of his blog, "1,895."
"Sorry, what?" Sherlock looked over.
"I re-set that counter last night."
"So you've gotten almost 2,000 hits in the last eight hours?" Leena asked as John nodded, "Well done John, congratulations."
"Thanks," John smiled, before glancing up at Sherlock, "This is your living, Sherlock, not 240 different types of tobacco ash."
Sherlock's lips pursed, "243," he corrected, firing up the blowtorch and putting his safety glasses back on, heading for the kitchen.
"Don't burn the kitchen down!" Leena called jokingly after him, "I'd like to take tea in an hour or so!"
Later on Leena sat on the bed in Sherlock's room, Sherlock just lying beside her, his head resting on her lap, smiling as she laughed heartily at the newspaper before her. A picture of the three of them from a previous case that had happened in a theater, the three of them had gotten caught by the press and Sherlock had grabbed hats for them to hide under. It was ridiculous, those hats were, the papers had taken to calling them 'Catwoman, Hatman, and Robin' given that her particular had had been a black woolen one with cat ears attached, while Sherlock's had been a deerstalker. She thought the name was adorable, Sherlock was less amused, but pleased that she was enjoying it.
A man had come to the flat earlier, afraid he may have somehow killed someone. Apparently his car had broken down and, when he'd gone to check the engine, noticed a man standing by a stream a far distance away. When he'd gotten into his car, which had backfired, he'd looked over to see the man had collapsed. Rushing over, he'd seen that the man was dead, bleeding heavily from the back of the head. He wasn't sure if he'd killed the man in the red jacket or someone else had so he'd gone straight to Sherlock for help.
Sherlock had sent John there to scout out the crime scene, according to him, this wasn't a top priority case. He loved to rate his cases by levels of interest and difficulty, this was a six, and he refused to leave the flat for anything less than seven, so it had just missed the mark. As soon as John had stepped out the door, Leena had smirked, one he knew very well, she had a prank in mind. While he may not seem the prankster, he loved tricking people, either into confessions or giving up information, or just to mess with them, his brother especially. It was something that had developed when he'd met Leena, when she'd taken revenge against Mycroft for cutting the heads off her dollies. Whenever the man had been foul to her, she'd pull some sort of underhanded prank, often getting Sherlock to help her either anticipate Mycroft's moves or cover up their tracks so not even a Holmes could deduce what had happened or who had done it.
Leena's laughs quieted down when there was a ping from the hallway, from the sitting room where Sherlock's laptop was. Sherlock smirked, glancing at her, "Phase One," he began, rolling to his feet and pulling off his shirt, grabbing a sheet Leena had left folded at the end of the bed. He wrapped it around himself and headed into the sitting room, spotting John's face pop up on the webcam.
"You realize this is a tiny bit humiliating?" John called.
Sherlock grinned to himself, moving to pick up the laptop, he knew John wouldn't react to HIM wearing just a sheet, but that was just phase one, "It's ok, I'm fine," he moved to sit in the sitting room, plopping down on the sofa, "Now, show me the stream."
"I didn't really mean for you."
"This is a six John," Leena called as she walked over, dressed in her own sheet, wrapped tightly around her like a makeshift toga, "He won't leave the flat for anything less than a seven," she smirked at Sherlock mouthing 'Phase Two' before sitting beside him.
John blinked as she sat, seeing that she was wearing what Sherlock was wearing too, "Where were you two just now?"
"Were you two just…" he quickly shook his head, "Never mind! I don't want to know! I really don't. Don't say a thing!" he looked back, "Why don't you both just put some clothes on and come out here yourselves?"
Leena looked up as the doorbell rang but Sherlock had taken her hand, unwilling to allow her up, "Because we agreed. Now, go back. Show us the grass."
John rolled his eyes but walked to the stream, pointing the camera on his laptop at the grass and the stream, squatting down, "When did we agree that?"
"We agreed it yesterday. Stop!" he leaned closer, looking at the mud, "Closer."
John just turned the laptop around, "I wasn't even at home yesterday. I was in Dublin."
"Well, it's hardly my fault you weren't listening."
Leena laughed, shaking her head fondly, "Oh Sherwood."
The doorbell rang again, more insistently.
Sherlock glared at the stairs, "Shut up!"
Leena put a hand on his arm, "I'll get it," she stood.
"You should put a robe on first," he tugged her back.
She frowned, turning to him, "Why?" before smirking, "I thought you liked me in a toga."
He smirked, "I do. But I don't like anyone else seeing the same."
She rolled her eyes but moved back towards the bedroom.
"D'you just carry on talking when I'm away?" John called, pulling Sherlock's attention back.
He shrugged, "I don't know. How often are you away?"
"Of course," John nodded, "You wouldn't notice. Do you notice when Leena's disappeared?"
"Always. Now, show me the car that backfired."
Sighing, John stood and moved the laptop towards the road, where the car was, "It's there."
"That's the one that made the noise, yes?"
John swung the laptop back around, "Yeah. And if you're thinking gunshot, there wasn't one. He wasn't shot, he was killed by a single blow to the back of the head from a blunt instrument which then magically disappeared along with the killer. That's gotta be an eight at least."
Sherlock leaned back on the sofa, running a finger back and forth across his lip, thinking.
"You've got two more minutes," a man called, the Detective Inspector assigned to that case, "Then I want to know more about the driver."
"Oh, forget him," Sherlock scoffed, "He's an idiot. Why else would he think himself a suspect?"
"I think he's a suspect!"
"Pass me over."
"Alright," John warned, "But there's a 'mute button' and I will use it."
"Up a bit! I'm not talking from down here!"
John just passed the laptop over completely, "Ok, just take it, take it."
As soon as a new face appeared, Sherlock went off, "Having driven to an isolated location and successfully committed a crime without a single witness, why would he then call the police and consult a detective? Fair play?"
"He's trying to be clever," the man defended, "It's over-confidence."
"Did you see him? Morbidly obese, the undisguised halitosis of a single man living on his own, the right sleeve of an internet porn addict, and the breathing pattern of an untreated heart condition. Low self-esteem, tiny IQ, and a limited life expectancy, and you think he's an audacious criminal mastermind?!" he glanced up at the driver, still sitting across from him, as he had been the entire time, to nervous to leave the flat so they ignored his presence for the most part, "Don't worry, this is just stupid."
"What did you say?" Phil, the driver, gasped, anxious, "Heart what?"
"It's alright," Leena called, stepping back into the room, in the process of putting her hair up in a clip, a strand of it uncooperative and falling to the side of her face, now dressed in casual black slacks, black converse shoes, and a dark blue jumper, "Would you like some tea?"
Sherlock glanced at her and frowned, "I said a 'robe.'"
She rolled her eyes, "Yes, and doorbell usually means company. As in, more than one pair of eyes."
Not having an argument, Sherlock turned back to the camera as Leena smirked and moved to the kitchen to make some tea, "Go to the stream."
"What's in the stream?" the Inspector called.
"Go and see," he remarked, glancing up as Mrs. Hudson entered with two large men in suits.
"Sherlock! You weren't answering your doorbell!"
"I'm sorry Mrs. Hudson," Leena called, stepping into the room, "I was dressing and then I had to put the tea on first…"
"Oh it's alright dear," Mrs. Hudson walked over, hugging her before moving past her and into the kitchen to prepare the tea herself.
"His room's through the back," one of his men turned to his partner, "Get him some clothes."
"Who the hell are you?" Sherlock asked as Leena walked over to sit on the arm of the sofa, putting her arm around his shoulders.
"Sorry, Mr. Holmes," the man said as his partner went to gather the requested clothes. He glanced between the two of them, "You're coming with us," before reaching forward and closing the lid of the laptop as his partner returned, placing the clothes on the table.
Sherlock raised an eyebrow at it and shrugged.
"Please, Mr. Holmes," the man stated, "Where you're going, you'll want to be dressed."
Sherlock just eyed the men, analyzing him, deducing him. He noted the expensive suit, the lack of weapons, his manicured nails, the work lines on his forehead, how he was right handed, well kept shoes, and small hairs on his trouser legs from small dogs.
He smirked, "Oh, I know exactly where we're going," he stood, holding out an arm to Leena, "Shall we?"
She nodded and stood as well, 'Mycroft?' she guessed in her expression.
'Exactly,' he nodded.
'Excellent,' she smirked.
Oh the possibilities that would present themselves with Sherlock wearing nothing more than a sheet and pants.
Leena and Sherlock, still wrapped in his sheet, were sitting on a sofa in an ornate room, the pile of clothes and shoes sitting on a coffee table before them, when John entered and sat down beside Sherlock, who was in the middle.
John glanced at Sherlock, then around the room, then back at Sherlock, before looking away, "Are you wearing any pants?"
"No," Sherlock said.
Leena smirked, liar.
"Ok," John nodded.
But, playing along, she leaned forward to look at John on the other side of Sherlock, "He's very stubborn, and I'd rather fight to get his pants off than on."
She sat back, trying desperately to hide her smirk as John started choking on air, making Sherlock chuckle quietly.
"Oh," John shook his head, figuring out they were trying to get a rise out of him. He looked around, glancing at the coffee table with an ashtray on it, "I'm seriously fighting an impulse to steal an ashtray," he said, for any way to get the topic away from Sherlock's lack of pants, "What are we doing here? Seriously, what?"
Sherlock, still smiling, simply remarked, "I don't know."
"Here to see the Queen?"
"Oh yes," Leena murmured as Mycroft walked in from the next room, making the boys laugh.
"Just once, can you behave like grown-ups?" Mycroft rolled his eyes exasperatedly.
"We solve crimes," John countered, "She kicks people in the shins, I blog about it all, and he forgets his pants, so I wouldn't hold out too much hope."
Sherlock's expression faded, growing more irritated as Mycroft made his way over, "I was in the middle of a case, Mycroft."
"What, the hiker and the backfire?" Mycroft scoffed, "I glanced at the police report. Bit obvious, surely?"
John looked started that Sherlock had worked out the crime already, while Leena just frowned, she'd worked out most of it, but just needed a final connection to get it.
"Time to move on then," Mycroft nodded, bending down and picking up the clothes to offer to Sherlock, who just gave him a look, making him sigh, "We are in Buckingham Palace, the very heart of the British nation," he returned the look with a stern one, "Sherlock Holmes, put your trousers on."
Sherlock shrugged, "What for?"
"And my client is?" he asked, standing.
"Illustrious…" an older man entered, very well dressed, very prim and proper, "…in the extreme," he added as John stood respectfully, "And remaining, I have to inform you, entirely anonymous," he smiled at Mycroft, "Mycroft!"
"Harry," Mycroft greeted, walking over to shake the man's hand, "May I just apologize for the state of my little brother?"
"Full-time occupation, I imagine," he glanced at Sherlock, who scowled, and over at Leena, "And Jacqueline Jerrard, former British liaison to the American BAU, now a member of Scotland Yard's own profiling unit."
"Pleasure," Leena remarked tensely, shaking the man's hand. Frowning as he kissed the back of it, feeling Sherlock tense beside her.
"And this must be Dr. John Watson," he added, noticing the man, "Formerly of the Fifth Northumberland Fusiliers."
"Hello, yes," John nodded, shaking his hand.
"My employer is a tremendous fan of your blog."
John looked startled, "Your employer?"
"Particularly enjoyed the one about the aluminum crutch."
Harry nodded and looked back at Sherlock, walking over to him, "And Mr. Holmes the younger. You look taller in your photographs."
"I take the precaution of a good coat and a short friend," Sherlock countered, glancing at John before walking right over to Mycroft, "Mycroft, I don't do anonymous clients. I'm used to mystery at one end of my cases. Both ends is too much work," he glanced at Harry, "Good morning," before he started to walk out of the room.
Mycroft, however, just stepped on the end of the sheet trailing behind him, nearly pulling the sheet off Sherlock, who managed to grab the end of it before it revealed his ruse of not being completely naked under it. He tugged on it, but Mycroft wouldn't budge.
"This is a matter of national importance," Mycroft snapped, "Grow up!"
Leena let out a laugh, "Says the man who just tried to pants his little brother in the middle of Buckingham Palace."
"Get off my sheet!" Sherlock hissed through clenched teeth.
"Or what?" Mycroft countered.
"Or I'll just walk away."
"I'll let you."
Leena laughed again, "Oh I would LOVE that."
"Boys, please," John cut in, seeing Leena wouldn't be any help, "Not here."
"Who. Is. My. Client?" Sherlock demanded.
"Take a look at where you're standing and make a deduction," Mycroft replied, "You are to be engaged by the highest in the land. Now for God's sake…" he sighed, glancing at Harry, and back, "…put your clothes on!"
Sherlock just tensed but made no move.
Mycroft rolled his eyes, "Jacqueline," he entreated, "If you would be so kind?"
Leena sighed and rolled her eyes, before smirking as a thought hit her. She nodded, picking up the clothes and walking to stand before Sherlock, "Please?" she asked, though her tone indicated there was more to her asking than for Mycroft's sake.
Sherlock tilted his head a moment, eyeing her smirking expression and nodded.
She grinned, "Mycroft, if you would?" she glanced at the man, who removed his foot, and reached out to take Sherlock's hand, leading him off.
"Um," John called, "Where are you going?"
Leena just looked back over her shoulder at them, "As he said," she nodded at Harry, "It's a full-time occupation, isn't it?" she tugged Sherlock towards the doors, throwing a, "I'm going to help," over her shoulder.
Sherlock smirked, seeing her plan, "We may be a while," he added as they disappeared around a corner, both bursting out in silent laughter at what the trio must be thinking they'd be doing.
Sherlock was sitting on the sofa, grinning smugly, his arm around Leena's shoulder, John on the other side of him, with Mycroft and Harry across from them. Mycroft was tense, pouring tea from a teapot, smirking at Harry, "I'll be mother," he remarked about the superstition that only the mother should pour tea.
"And there is a whole childhood in a nutshell," Sherlock remarked.
"Don't insult your mother Sherwood," Leena rested a hand on his arm, making him sit back as Mycroft glowered at them.
"My employer has a problem," Harry began, turning to Sherlock.
"A matter has come to light of an extremely delicate and potentially criminal nature, and in this hour of need, dear brother, your name has arisen," Mycroft added.
"Why?" Sherlock eyed him, "You have a police force of sorts, even a marginally 'Secret' Service. Why come to me?"
"People do come to you for help, don't they Mr. Holmes?" Harry asked.
"Not, to date, anyone with a Navy."
"This is a matter of the highest security and, therefore, of trust," Mycroft explained.
John frowned, "You don't trust your own Secret Service?"
"Naturally not. They all spy on people for money."
"I do think we have a timetable," Harry cut in.
"Yes, of course. Um…" he opened his briefcase and took out a glossy photo, handing it to Sherlock, who looked at a picture of a woman with dark brown hair in a tight dress, "What do you know about this woman?"
"Nothing whatsoever," Sherlock remarked, tossing the picture back, it landing on the table.
"Then you should be paying more attention…"
"She's the center of two political scandals in the last year," Leena interrupted, "Recently she ended the marriage of a prominent novelist by having an affair with both participants separately."
The men looked at her, shocked.
She rolled her eyes, "Just because I wasn't here, doesn't mean I didn't keep track of what was happening. Especially in politics Mycroft."
"You know I don't concern myself with trivia," Sherlock rolled his eyes at his brother before turning to Leena, "Who is she?"
Mycroft nodded, "Professionally known as 'The Woman.'"
"Professionally?" John shook his head, confused.
"There are many names for what she does. She prefers 'dominatrix.'"
Sherlock frowned, almost thoughtful, "Dominatrix?"
"Don't be alarmed. It's to do with sex."
"Sex doesn't alarm me."
Mycroft smiled a snide smile at him, "How would you know?"
Sherlock and Leena just looked at each other and laughed, "Your spies must not be up to par Mycroft," Leena remarked.
"That or your skills are lacking," Sherlock added.
Mycroft frowned, eyeing them, before his eyes widened, working out exactly what had taken them so long in getting Sherlock dressed.
Leena smirked, seeing his look, "When would I ever get another chance in Buckingham Palace?"
Mycroft closed his eyes and shook his head before turning to Harry, "My apologizes, SHE is typically not like this."
She leaned more on Sherlock, dropping her hand from his arm to his thigh, "Sherwood must be rubbing off on me."
Sherlock smirked, seeing his brother shifting uncomfortably as he moved his arm from her shoulder to around her waist, stroking her side. His skills really had to be lacking, if he couldn't see the evidence against their lie. They hadn't done anything of the sort, but they'd made it their lifelong mission to make Mycroft's life difficult. And they were doing a fantastic job of it if they were being honest.
"Perhaps we should continue?" Harry asked, growing uncomfortable as well, thinking about what the two must have done and not having a clue where they'd gone before.
Mycroft cleared his throat, "Miss Adler provides, shall we say, recreational scolding for those who enjoy that sort of thing and are prepared to pay for it," he pulled more photos out and held them out to Sherlock, who refused to take them, so he placed them on the table, "These are all from her website."
They glanced down at the photos, professional-looking publicity shots, portraying Irene as sexy and glamorous in various poses and leather outfits.
"Let me guess," Leena began, "She has incriminating photos of someone, probably a royal, possibly sexual in nature?"
"You're very quick, Miss Jerrard," Harry shifted.
"It's hardly a difficult deduction," Sherlock rolled his eyes, even John had probably worked it out, "Photographs of whom?"
"A person of significance to my employer. We'd prefer not to say any more at this time."
Sherlock glared at not getting the information requested.
"You can't tell us anything?" John frowned, moving to take a sip of his tea.
"I can tell you it's a young person," Mycroft began, "A young female person."
"I'd wager I could find out who," Leena crossed her arms and leaned back. Mycroft scoffed and she raised an eyebrow at that, "Fine," she pulled out her phone, "I'll prove it then," she set it on the table as it rang, on speaker.
"Special Agent Dr. Spencer Reid here," she smiled as Spencer picked up, "You've reached the Federal Bureau of In…"
"Hey Doctor," she called, cutting him off, using her playful nickname for the boy, he was quite the fan of Doctor Who apparently and, being a doctor himself, she'd taken to calling him that over her years at the BAU. She also knew she should cut him off quickly, Reid's phone answers tended to turn into a ramble.
"AJ?" Spencer called, she could practically hear him perk up.
"It's me," she nodded, even though he couldn't see. It was the team's own name for her, AJ, as they already had a JJ, so they took her middle name, "How's everything going there?"
"We're doing ok. We miss you. Your deductions really helped out a lot, though I did see that website you told me about, the 'Science of Deduction' and it has a lot of useful information and tactics. I'm thinking of trying to impliment some of them for our next case. But these last few cases without you were particularly difficult, we could have used your observations."
She laughed a little, "I have plenty of experience in difficult."
"Right, how's Sherlock anyway?"
She started blushing as the men looked at her, clearing her throat, "He's fine. Listen, is Penny there?"
"Yeah, hold on, I'll transfer you."
Spencer laughed before the phone call cut out and a woman, Penelope Garcia, answered, "BAU Garden of Technology and Information, Eve here."
"Penny, you're on speaker."
"Lizzie?" Garcia squealed, before adopting a posh British accent, "How are you my dear?"
Leena laughed, "Speaker Penny, and I'm in Britain right now…"
"Ah, right, sorry!" Garcia called to the others, dropping the accent, "How can I help you Liz?"
Sherlock frowned and looked at Leena, mouthing 'Liz?' to her.
'Queen Elizabeth,' she mouthed back, before turning to the phone, "I have a challenge for you."
"Ooh," Garcia clapped, "What is it?"
"Hack into British Intelligence for me?"
"Love it," she called, and they could hear keys tapping, "Give me...a...minute..."
"And I'm in!" Garcia cheered, "What do you need?"
Mycroft began to choke on air.
"Anything there about a…Mycroft Holmes?" Leena smirked.
"Holmes? As in Sherly's brother?"
Leena flushed again as John laughed quietly, finding it immensely amusing that Leena had apparently told everyone she worked with about Sherlock.
Sherlock could only smirk, reaching the same conclusion.
"Yes, his brother," she cleared her throat again, "Anything?"
"Hmmm…some orders for self-dieting DVDs, some credit card charges for McDonalds…ohhh," Garcia laughed, "Someone's cheating on his diet. Naughty boy."
"How about an Irene Adler, can you see her schedule for the past week? Any activity anywhere involving her?"
"Let's see…" there were more taps, "Yes. I can see money transactions to her bank account but no schedules though."
"Great, any of them match the money sent out from anyone associated with Buckingham Palace."
"There's one...2,000 pounds, two days ago, under the name…"
"Thank you!" Harry cut in, looking as scandalized as Mycroft was that their information was so easily accessed by an American.
Leena rolled her eyes, "Point proven I take it?" the men nodded, "Thanks Penny."
"No prob Liz," Garcia called, "Call me when you finish the case."
"Of course. Oh! Penny, if you could keep an eye out for any transactions that involve a Moriarty, that'd be great."
"Sure! Catch ya later."
"Bye Penny," she reached forward and ended the call, before leaning back on the sofa, crossing her arms, smug.
Sherlock smirking beside her, "So how many photographs are there of this mystery client?"
"A considerable number, apparently," Mycroft shifted.
"Do Miss Adler and this young female person appear in these photographs together?"
"Yes, they do."
"Was Leena correct in assuming they are in a number of compromising scenarios?"
"An imaginative range, we are assured."
"John," Leena called, seeing John was still sitting there with his teacup half-raised, shocked to find the client was female, "You should put your cup down."
"Can you help us, Mr. Holmes?" Harry asked as John set his cup down on the table.
"How?" Sherlock asked.
"Will you take the case?"
"What case?" he scoffed, "Pay her, now and in full. As Miss Adler remarks in her masthead, 'Know when you are beaten.'"
"She doesn't want anything," Mycroft called as Sherlock stood, "She got in touch, she informed us that the photographs existed, she indicated that she had no intention to use them to extort either money or favor."
Leena shook her head, "She's a power player then. She wants control."
Sherlock nodded, interested, "A power play with the most powerful family in Britain. Now that is a dominatrix. Ooh," he smiled at Leena, "This is getting rather fun, isn't it?"
"Sherlock…" John began.
"Hmm," he turned and grabbed his coat, glancing at his brother, "Where is she?"
"Uh, in London currently," Mycroft answered, "She's staying…"
Sherlock just picked up his coat and started walking out, his hand in Leena's, "Text me the details. I'll be in touch by the end of the day."
The others got to their feet, Harry calling out, "Do you really think you'll have news by then?"
Sherlock paused and glanced back at them, "No, I think I'll have the photographs."
Leena shook her head, "Check your ego Sherwood."
Harry, though sighed, "One can only hope you're as good as you seem to think."
Sherlock seemed indignant that Harry would doubt him, he understood Leena's concern, she was well aware of times where he'd made such a promise and not been able to follow through, which irritated him and put him in a foul mood, she was trying to avoid that.
But this man was just being snide.
He glanced at him, deducing him, before glancing at his brother, "I'll need some equipment, of course."
Mycroft nodded, "Anything you require. I'll have it sent to…"
"Can I have a box of matches?" he asked Harry.
"Or your cigarette lighter. Either will do," he held out a hand for it.
"I don't smoke."
"No, I know you don't, but your employer does," he smirked as the man reached into his pocket and handed him the lighter.
"We have kept a lot of people successfully in the dark about this little fact, Mr. Holmes."
"I'm not the Commonwealth," he replied, slipping the lighter into his pocket and turning away.
"And that's as modest as he gets," John sighed, following them out, "Pleasure to meet you."
"Laters!" Sherlock called back, mimicking Harry's accent, not pronouncing the T.
"Sorry about him!" Leena called back as well.
The trio was sitting in a taxi, on their way back to 221 Baker Street, "Ok, the smoking," John shook his head, "How did you know?"
Sherlock smiled and shook his head, "The evidence was right under your nose, John. As ever, you see but do not observe."
Leena reached into her pocket and pulled out the ashtray Sherlock had nicked.
"The ashtray," Sherlock smirked.
John laughed as Leena handed it over to Sherlock, who chuckled, putting it in his own coat, "And did you see Mycroft's face?" the girl laughed, sending Sherlock into laughter as well, "Oh," she sighed, shaking her head, "This case...this'll be interesting."
She rolled her eyes, "We had a similar case in the BAU. It was actually rather interesting..."
John frowned, "You had a case with a dominatrix?"
She shook her head, "A call girl, actually. But, unlike Miss Adler, she saw fit to kill her clients instead of blackmail them."
She nodded, "My team gave me a lot of teasing about that."
"Why?" Sherlock frowned.
"Apparently she and I looked quite a bit alike," she shrugged, "I didn't see it."
Leena had had quite the laugh at Sherlock when he'd tried on a number of outfits, trying to find a disguise that would get him into Irene Adler's home to steal back the photos. A particular one she'd taken a photo of and set as her background, him in a large yellow hi-vis jacket. In the end, he'd settled for his same clothes, except with a white collar as though he were a priest.
They had just arrived near Irene's street and had walked down it, when Sherlock had the brilliant idea to have John punch him in the face. Leena had been highly amused at that, especially when, after refusing, Sherlock had punched John to get him to retaliate. She'd stood off to the side, of course, recording it on her phone to send to Lestrade, it was very entertaining to watch as John continued to attack Sherlock after the first blow, not at all happy with having gotten hit in the first place.
Now though, she was standing at Sherlock's side, holding his arm as though supporting him, as he rang the intercom of Irene's home, "Hello?" a woman called out.
Sherlock looked at the small camera affixed to it, wide eyed, flustered, anxious and fearful as he looked around, jittery, "Ooh! Um, sorry to disturb you. Um, I've just been attacked, um, and, um, I think they...they took my wallet and, um, and my phone. Um, please, could you help me?"
"I can phone the police if you want."
"Thank you," Sherlock sniffled, "Thank you! Could you, please?" he stepped back, stumbling, pretending to limp as Leena helped him, "Oh, would you...would you mind if we just waited here, just until they come? Thank you," he breathed, before turning to Leena as she dabbed at his cut cheek with a handkerchief, "Thank you so much…"
There was a buzz as the door opened, allowing them in, John rushing after them into the lavish foyer.
"Thank you," Sherlock glanced around, "Er, ooh!"
"You have a lovely home," Leena breathed, putting on an American accent, pretending to be a tourist who had stopped to help.
"I…I saw it all happen," John called, closing the door, "It's ok, I'm a doctor," the woman who had buzzed them in nodded, "Now, have you got a first aid kit?"
"In the kitchen," she nodded, before gesturing Sherlock towards a front room, "Please," she moved to take Leena's place, helping him.
"Oh!" Sherlock replied, tensing, not liking the change, "Thank you!"
"It's through there," the woman nodded to the side.
"Thank you," John nodded, taking Leena's arm and tugging her with him, knowing she'd be able to help him snoop in the limited time they had better than he could on his own.
The woman led Sherlock into another room, helping him to take off his coat and sit on a sofa in the elegant sitting room, before heading out to help the others with the first aid kit.
He looked around, stiffening when he heard footsteps, starting to dab at his cheek again.
"Hello," a woman called, "Sorry to hear that you've been hurt. I don't think Kate caught your name…"
"I'm so sorry," he spoke, in character, "I'm…" he turned and froze as none other than Irene Adler walked in, her hair elegantly done, completely naked, save for her heels.
"Oh," she gave him a small pout, "It's always hard to remember an alias when you've had a fright, isn't it?" she walked right over to him, half-kneeling on the sofa beside him as she reached out and pulled the white plastic of his collar away, "There now, we're both defrocked…" she smiled at him, "Mr. Sherlock Holmes."
"Miss Adler, I presume," he responded, dropping his character.
She eyed him intently, straightening, "Look at those cheekbones. I could cut myself slapping that face. Would you like me to try?" she narrowed her eyes as she put the white collar into her mouth and bit it.
Sherlock just stared at her in confusion…
When John and Leena walked into the room, John with the kit and Leena with a bowl of water. They both stopped dead, taking in the scene before them.
Irene looked at them, the plastic still in her mouth.
John looked at Leena, "I've missed something, haven't I?"
Leena though, was unusually quiet.
Sherlock frowned, eyeing her closely. He didn't analyze or deduce her like he did others, but he had learned to tell when something was wrong, a surprising feat for a sociopath.
And something was certainly wrong now.
Leena was just eyeing Irene, shifting back and forth, uncomfortably, before dropping her eyes to the bowl of water.
Irene smirked, seemingly pleased with Leena's reaction, before pulling the collar away, "Please, sit down," she stepped back from Sherlock and over to a smaller armchair, not even noticing Sherlock's gaze not on her, but on Leena, "Oh, if you'd like some tea I can call the maid."
Sherlock glanced over at her, "We had some at the Palace."
"I know," she sat down and crossed her legs, folding her arms gracefully, hiding her more private parts.
John watched as Sherlock and Irene eyed each other, each silently weighing up the other, "I had tea too, at the Palace, if anyone's interested," he called.
Sherlock frowned as he looked at Irene, unable to really deduce her due to her being bare. He narrowed his eyes, not liking that.
"D'you know the big problem with a disguise, Mr. Holmes?" Irene asked after a moment, smirking confidently at him, "However hard you try, it's always a self-portrait."
"You think I'm a vicar with a bleeding face?" he scoffed.
"No, I think you're damaged, delusional, and believe in a higher power. In your case, it's yourself," she smiled as Sherlock rolled his eyes and unbuttoned the top two buttons of his shirt, "Oh, and somebody loves you. Why, if I had to punch that face, I'd avoid your nose and teeth too," she glanced at John, who forced a laugh.
"Could you put something on, please?" John asked, "Er, anything at all," he glanced at the napkins and bandages he had in his hands, "A napkin?"
"Why? Are you feeling exposed?"
Sherlock stood, picking up his coat and holding it out to her, "I don't think John knows where to look."
Irene ignored him, eyeing John, before standing up and walking closer to him, the man desperately trying to keep eye contact and not look at her body.
Leena took that moment to step past Irene as she came closer, putting the bowl of water on the coffee table and heading to the window to keep a lookout.
"No, I think he knows exactly where," Irene remarked, eyeing John, before turning to Sherlock, who had averted his gaze, watching Leena at the window. She sighed, "I'm not sure about you," she told him, taking the coat from him.
"If I wanted to look at naked women I'd borrow John's laptop," he replied, knowing Leena was quite modest.
"You do borrow my laptop," John reminded him.
"I confiscate it," he walked over to the fireplace opposite the sofa, his back to Irene, allowing himself to look at Leena out of the corner of his eye. She had crossed her arms, her right hand absently rubbing her right shoulder, and frowned.
Leena stared out the window, though still able to see the goings on in the room through the reflection in the glass.
Irene made her uncomfortable.
And she hated that.
She wasn't a vain woman in the slightest, having no problem wearing sweatpants and an old ratty shirt as well as a fancy dress. She hardly ever wore makeup or jewels, never worried about her weight, could gorge herself on popcorn and crisps without a care, but…to be confronted with someone like Irene, who was…for lack of a better word…flawless…made her think about her imperfections. She had a jagged scar across her back from when she and Spencer had been attacked by an unsub with a knife, she'd pushed him away and gotten slashed instead. She had a gunshot wound to her right shoulder, having gone after an unsub with Morgan and Rossi. And she had a few jagged cuts on her stomach from unsubs trying to throw broken bottles at her and the team. There was a portion of her left leg that had gotten burned badly by an arsonist once. She was by no means ashamed of her scars, they reminded her of a time she had taken one for her team, saved a child or another victim, but…she knew others wouldn't see the story behind the scars, just the ugliness of the scars themselves.
It made her self-conscious to be around women like Irene.
And she hated it because that wasn't who she was.
"Well, never mind," Irene sighed, wrapping the coat around her, "We've got better things to talk about. Now tell me, I need to know," she moved to sit on the sofa, "How was it done?"
"What?" Sherlock glanced at her, not having been paying attention to what she was saying.
"The hiker with the bashed-in head," Irene remarked, taking off her shoes, "How was he killed?"
"That's not why I'm here," Sherlock replied.
"No, no, no, you're here for the photographs but that's never gonna happen, and since we're here just chatting anyway ..."
"That story's not been on the news yet," John frowned, confused, "How do you know about it?"
"If she's willing to blackmail the royal family," Leena called quietly, still looking out the window, "She must be willing to blackmail others for information. She has connections."
Sherlock turned to look at her, frowning, this was not like her at all, she was never…quiet…not since she'd mastered English.
"Smart girl," Irene nodded, "I know one of the policemen. Well, I know what he likes."
"Oh," John sat on the sofa beside her, "And you like policemen?"
"I like detective stories, and detectives. Brainy's the new sexy."
"Positionofthecar..." Sherlock said quickly, almost incoherently, which made Leena look back at him.
But then he noticed John and Irene staring at him curiously and cleared his throat, "Er, the position of the car relative to the hiker at the time of the backfire," he glanced back at Leena to see her look down and out the window, and frowned.
Not his intention.
"That and the fact that the death blow was to the back of the head. That's all you need to know."
Leena sighed, resting her head against the cool window pane, she'd NEVER seen Sherlock get flustered around a woman, not like that, speaking that quickly…it seemed Irene was affecting more than just John.
"Ok," Irene leaned forward, "Tell me, how was he murdered?"
"He wasn't," Sherlock replied.
"You don't think it was murder?"
"I know it wasn't."
"The same way that I know the victim was an excellent sportsman recently returned from foreign travel and that the photographs I'm looking for are in this room."
"Ok, but how?"
He smirked, "So they are in this room," he glanced at Leena to see her starting to smile.
His intention again.
"Thank you. John, man the door. Let no one in," he called as John moved to watch the door, closing it behind him, Irene watching him go, suspicious, "Two men alone in the countryside several yards apart, and one car," Sherlock started to pace, distracting Irene.
"Oh," she blinked and looked over, "I…I thought you were looking for the photos now."
Leena started to smile more, however much Irene might be affecting Sherlock, she would never be able to keep up with him like she could.
"No, no. Looking takes ages. I'm just going to find them but you're moderately clever and we've got a moment, so let's pass the time," he stopped and turned to look at her, though his angle let him see Leena as well, "Two men, a car, and nobody else. The driver's trying to fix his engine. Getting nowhere. And the hiker's taking a moment, looking at the sky. Watching the birds? Any moment now, something's gonna happen. What?"
"The hiker's going to die."
"No, that's the result," Leena called.
"What's going to happen?" Sherlock asked.
"I don't understand," Irene shook her head, making Leena smirk.
"Oh, well, try to," Sherlock challenged, smiling now that Leena seemed in better spirits.
"Because you cater to the whims of the pathetic and take your clothes off to make an impression. Stop boring me and think. It's the new sexy," he glanced at Leena, catching her eye, "It's always been the new sexy."
Leena blinked and started to smile, "The car's going to backfire," she said, nodding, as Irene looked between the two of them, frowning at how Sherlock's attention had shifted, "Which means there's going to be a loud noise."
"So, what?" Irene crossed her arms.
"Oh, noises are important," Sherlock smiled, holding Leena's gaze, "Noises can tell you everything."
"Noises can cover things up as well as…" Leena turned, as the fire alarm began to blare, both of them watching Irene's gaze turn to the large mirror over the fireplace, "Expose them."
"Thank you," Sherlock nodded, "On hearing a smoke alarm, a mother would look towards her child. Amazing how fire exposes our priorities," he walked over to the fireplace and found a switch under the mantel, pressing it to slide the mirror upwards, revealing a safe, "Really hope you don't have a baby in here," Sherlock remarked as Irene stood, "Alright, John," he called, "You can turn it off now," but it still kept going, "I said you can turn it off now."
"Give me a minute!" John called back.
A moment later the alarm shut off.
Sherlock turned to the number pad on the front of the safe, eyeing it, "Hmm. Should always use gloves with these things, you know. Heaviest oil deposit's always on the first key used, that's quite clearly the 3, but after that the sequence is almost impossible to read," he glanced at Irene, noticing that Leena had frowned and was heading towards the door to see what was taking John, "I'd say, from the make, that it's a 6-digit code. Can't be your birthday, no disrespect but clearly you were born in the eighties, the eight's barely used, so..."
"I'd tell you the code right now but you know what?" Irene smirked, "I already have," Sherlock turned to her, frowning, "Think."
Suddenly the door burst open and a man strode through, grabbing Leena around the neck and pulling her towards him as he aimed a pistol at Sherlock, "Hands behind your head," he ordered, his American accent clear, before turning the pistol on Irene too, "On the floor. Keep it still."
A second man moved to Irene and grabbed her as a third man entered with John, "Sorry, Sherlock," John called.
"Ms. Adler, on the floor," the leader called as Sherlock started to raise his hands, his gaze on Leena.
Irene was shoved to the floor along with John, the men holding their guns to the backs of their heads.
"Don't you want us on the floor too?" Sherlock asked as the man kept Leena standing.
"No, sir, I want you to open the safe."
"American," Sherlock noted his accent, "Interesting. Why would you care?"
"Sir, the safe, now, please."
"I don't know the code."
"We've been listening. She said she told you."
"Well, if you'd been listening, you'd know she didn't."
"I'm assuming I missed something. From your reputation, I'm assuming you didn't, Mr. Holmes."
"For God's sake," John rolled his eyes before jerking his head towards Irene, "She's the one who knows the code. Ask her."
"Yes, sir. She also knows the code that automatically calls the police and sets off the burglar alarm. I've learned not to trust this woman."
"Mr. Holmes doesn't…" Irene began.
"Shut up, all of you," the man cut in, "One more word out of any of you, just one," he turned the gun on Leena, holding it to the side of her head, making Sherlock tense, "And I will decorate that wall with the insides of her head. That, for me, will not be a hardship to get what I want."
Sherlock glared at him.
"Mr. Archer. At the count of three, shoot Dr. Watson."
"What?" John gaped.
"I don't have the code," Sherlock insisted as John frowned, feeling the gun being pressed against his head.
"One," the man began to count down.
"I don't know the code!"
"She didn't tell me," he glared, starting to shout, "I don't know it!"
"I'm prepared to believe you any second now," the man remarked, watching as Sherlock glanced at Irene, "Three."
"No, stop!" he shouted.
The man held up his hand to stop Archer, waiting as Sherlock worked it out. But Sherlock wasn't looking at the safe or Irene any longer, he was watching Leena, who, for someone with a gun to her head, seemed remarkably calm. His lips pursed as he stared at her, tense, even a bit confused as to why she wasn't afraid for clearly she wasn't. She just caught his eye and gave him a smile, 'I trust you,' her expression said it all as she offered him a small smile.
Still, she was being held rather tightly, he could tell she was feeling a sort of discomfort by the way she kept twitching and shifting in the man's hold. But she was otherwise calm, not shaking, not panting, the steady rise and fall of her shoulders alerted him to that. And then he noticed…her shoulders…her outfit…
He glanced back at Irene who was looking pointedly down and grinned. He slowly turned to the safe and eyed the keypad, the men watching him. He hit a number and another, hesitating a moment before adding two more, then hesitating again, glancing at Irene before adding one more pair. And then the safe beeped loudly and unlocked, making him sigh and close his eyes a moment.
Irene just smirked satisfactorily.
"Thank you, Mr. Holmes," the man called, tightening his grip on Leena, "Open it, please."
Sherlock reached out and moved to unlock it, glancing at Leena a moment when he saw her move out of the corner of his eye. She'd been eyeing Irene, who seemed far too pleased that Sherlock had cracked the safe for comfort. That could only mean one thing in her mind.
She caught Sherlock's gaze, 'Trap,' she indicated with a nod of her head at Irene.
He smirked, "Vatican cameos!" he shouted before pulling the safe open as John threw himself at the floor. Sherlock hit the deck as well moments before a tripwire attached to a gun inside the safe was triggered and fired at the men standing behind John and Irene.
Using the distraction, Leena threw her head back, head butting the man holding her and twisting to grab his arm, hurling him over her shoulder, managing to get the gun out of his hand and hold it on him, not that he was moving, he was too stunned and winded, "Thank you Morgan," she muttered to herself, recalling how he'd shown her some moves to protect herself with, like that clothesline that had taken down Shan.
The other woman in the room wasn't idle either, turning on her knees before her captive, who had only been shot in the arm, and elbowing him in the groin, before leaping to her feet and punching him across the face, sending him down, grabbing his gun to aim at him as soon as he hit the floor.
Leena kept her eye on Irene as Sherlock turned and pulled the contents of the safe, a phone, out and into his pocket.
"He's dead," John called from checking on Archer.
"Thank you," Irene added, glancing at Sherlock, "You were very observant."
"Observant?" John frowned.
That made Leena frown as well, not sure what the woman was talking about.
"Don't be," Sherlock scoffed.
"Flattered?" John shook his head.
"We don't really have the time," Leena shook her head from her thoughts, "There's probably more men coming, watching the building."
Sherlock nodded and held out a hand, waiting till Leena handed the gun over before he hurried outside, Leena watching as Irene moved to check her safe.
Leena moved to the window, watching as Sherlock ran outside and fired into the air to draw the attention of the nearest police officer.
"Oh Sherwood," she muttered, shaking her head. She watched as Sherlock told John to do something, the man jogging off into the house as he returned to the room, tossing the contents of the safe in his hand, grinning, "Well, that's the knighthood in the bag."
"Ah," Irene turned, "And that's mine," she walked over to him, holding out her hand for her phone.
He grinned smugly and switched on the phone, looking at the security lock, needing 4 figures to activate. It read 'I AM' above the four letters with 'LOCKED' below them.
"All the photographs are on here, I presume," he eyed Irene.
"I have copies, of course."
"No you don't. You'll have permanently disabled any kind of uplink or connection. Unless the contents of this phone are provably unique, you wouldn't be able to sell them."
"Who said I'm selling?" she countered, lowering her hand.
"Why else would the Americans get involved?" Leena remarked, "Whatever it is, it isn't just pictures."
"That camera phone is my life, Mr. Holmes," Irene turned back to him, "I'd die before I let you take it," she stepped closer again, holding out her hand, Leena frowned, tensing, "It's my protection."
"Sherlock!" John called in the distance.
Sherlock simply put the phone back in his pocket and looked at Irene pointedly, "It was."
He turned and headed out of the room, Irene jogging after him, Leena giving one more look out the window at the distant lights of the police cars before following.
"Must have come in this way," John was saying as she entered a bedroom to see the woman who had let them in, Kate, lying on the floor, unconscious.
"Clearly," Sherlock remarked, heading into the bathroom to look out the window.
"It's alright," John said, seeing Irene eyeing the girl worriedly, "She's just out cold."
"Well, God knows she's used to that," Irene sighed, "There's a back door. Better check it, Dr. Watson."
John glanced at Sherlock, who nodded, "Leena, check the front door."
She nodded as well, getting up to follow John out, pausing in the doorway to watch as Irene moved closer to Sherlock again. She sighed, shaking her head and jogging down the steps to the front door, she opened it, looking out to see the police had arrived. She waved an arm out, signaling for them to come in…when she heard a thump upstairs.
"John!" she shouted, rushing up the stairs, hearing John running after her, both hearing the sound of someone being beaten.
They ran down the hall, bursting into the bedroom to see Irene heading for the bathroom, dropping a riding crop as she put her phone in her pocket, with Sherlock lying, struggling, on the floor, a syringe beside him, his face cut up from the crop, dazed.
"Sherlock!" Leena ran over to his side, kneeling beside him to check on him.
John glared at Irene, "What are you doing?"
"He'll sleep for a few hours," Irene waved him off, moving to sit on the windowsill of the bathroom, putting her feet up on the tub, "Make sure he doesn't choke on his own vomit. It makes for a very unattractive corpse," she reached out and grabbed a cord hanging from the ledge.
"What's this?" Leena picked up the syringe, standing as John took her place, "What have you given him?"
"Sherlock!" John shook him a bit.
"He'll be fine," Irene rolled her eyes, "I've used it on loads of my friends."
"Sherlock, can you hear me?" John tried to get through to him.
Irene smirked as she eyed Leena, "You know, I was wrong about him. He did know where to look."
"For what?" she shook her head, "What are you talking about?"
"The key code to my safe."
"What was it?"
She smirked at Sherlock, who was barely conscious and trying hard to remain awake, "Shall I tell them?" she asked, a smug quality in her voice, "My measurements," she laughed, pushing out the window backwards in her escape.
John ran over to the window as Leena moved back to Sherlock's side, trying to keep him awake…
"You know," Leena murmured as she sat up in Sherlock's bed, the man having fallen unconscious, his head resting in her lap as he dozed, curled up on his side, her hand absently stroking his hair, "I finally figured it out. Took a while, but I did," she glanced down at him sadly, concerned, "Figures you'd sleep through it, but oh well," she sighed, "The car backfired, which made the hiker turn to look away from the boomerang he'd been throwing around, the one that ended up in the stream. It hit him in the back of the head and when Phil looked over, the hiker was dead. Well done Locksley, you got that from a glance. I have to agree with Irene there, definitely sexy."
Suddenly Sherlock jerked awake, "What? Leena? John?" he shook his head, "John!" he shouted.
"John!" Leena called as Sherlock threw off his sheet and knelt on the bed...only to lose his balance and roll off the foot of it onto the floor.
"You two ok?" John asked as he entered to see Leena helping Sherlock up.
"How did I get here?" he demanded.
"Well, I don't suppose you remember much. You weren't making a lot of sense. Oh, I should warn you…I think Lestrade filmed you on his phone."
"Yes, he did," Leena nodded.
"Where is she?" Sherlock stumbled.
"Where's who?" John frowned.
"The woman. That woman."
Sherlock stumbled more as he tried to step towards John, Leena catching him, "The woman. The Woman woman!"
"What, Irene Adler? She got away. No one saw her."
Sherlock stumbled out of Leena's arms and over to the window where he could have sworn she'd entered from.
"Sherwood," Leena called, he must have been dreaming, "She wasn't here, I've been with you this whole time.
Sherlock turned around, only to fall to the ground from the force of it and try to drag himself across the floor.
John looked at Leena, almost able to swear he could read her expression, 'You stubborn ass.'
He sighed, "No, no, no, no," he hauled Sherlock up and dropped him back down on the bed, face down, "Back to bed," he had to smile when Leena moved to cover him with the sheet again, "You'll be fine in the morning. Just sleep."
"Of course I'll be fine," he mumbled, his voice slurred and muffled, "I am fine. I'm absolutely fine."
"Yes, you're great," John scoffed, "Now I'll be next door if you need me."
"Why would I need you?" he mumbled, burying his face into Leena's leg as she moved to sit on the edge of the bed again.
John had to laugh at that, "No reason at all," he turned to leave, moving to shut the door behind him.
Sherlock gripped Leena's thigh as he tried to snuggle more into her leg, making her laugh at how out of it he still was...
When suddenly there was an orgasmic female sigh.
Leena frowned as Sherlock rolled over, looking at his coat hanging on the back of the bedroom door. She sighed, getting up and walking over to it, she reached into the pocket and pulled out his phone, a text from someone with no contact name, but she knew, it was from Irene. She tossed the phone to him, biting back a laugh when he reached out to catch it but missed entirely, grabbing the phone off the bed where it had fallen.
"We found your coat outside her house," Leena explained as he looked back at the coat again.
He nodded, looking at the phone, reading the text.
Till the next time, Mr. Holmes.
"What did she say?" she asked, crossing her arms uncomfortably.
Sherlock just stared at his phone a moment longer, fiddling on it, before huffing in annoyance and putting it on the bedside table, "Nothing," he remarked, flopping back on the bed.
Leena sighed quietly, glancing at the phone before getting up to take her place sitting beside him again.
The next morning would find Sherlock fully recovered, the three of them sitting at the table of the sitting room, the kitchen table full of experiments. John was eating breakfast while Leena sipped some tea, Sherlock reading a newspaper, all of them ignoring Mycroft standing nearby.
"The photographs are perfectly safe," Sherlock argued.
"In the hands of a fugitive sex worker!"
"She doesn't want it as blackmail," Leena explained, "She's using it as protection. Probably from..."
"How can we do anything while she has the photographs? Our hands are tied!"
"She'd applaud your choice of words," Sherlock remarked.
Leena rolled her eyes, about to speak, when an orgasmic female sigh sounded. She frowned, glancing at Sherlock as he stiffened.
John and Mycroft frowned, "What was that?" John asked.
"Text," Sherlock replied with a shrug.
"But what was that noise?"
Sherlock just got up and went to pick up his phone, frowning at the message.
Good morning, Mr. Holmes.
Leena cleared her throat, "As I was saying, she's using it as protection against the other people after her," she eyed Mycroft, "A fact I'm surprised you missed, given that CIA-trained killers came after her."
Sherlock moved back over to where he'd been sitting on the sofa, beside Leena, who was on the armrest.
"Yeah, thanks for that, Mycroft," John added sarcastically.
"It's a disgrace," Mrs. Hudson commented, bringing in a plate of breakfast and setting it down before Sherlock, "Sending your little brother into danger like that. Family is all we have in the end, Mycroft Holmes."
"Oh, shut up, Mrs. Hudson," he snapped.
"MYCROFT!" the trio shouted at once, furious, glaring at him for how he'd acted towards the dear old lady.
Mycroft eyed their expressions a moment before cringing and looking at Mrs. Hudson, "Apologies," he offered, strained though it was.
Mrs. Hudson just smiled and nodded, "Thank you."
"Though do, in fact, shut up," Sherlock had to add, which earned him a playful smack on the arm from Leena.
And then his phone went off again.
"Ooh," Mrs. Hudson frowned at the tone, "It's a bit rude, that noise, isn't it?"
Sherlock rolled his eyes at the last message.
"There's nothing you can do and nothing she will do as far as I can see," Sherlock looked at his brother.
"I can put maximum surveillance on her," he argued.
Leena held up her phone, "Or you could just follow her on Twitter. I believe her user name is 'TheWhipHand.'"
"Yes," Mycroft nearly sneered, "Most amusing," he sighed when his phone rang in his pocket, "'Scuse me," he called before pulling out his phone and heading into the hallway, "Hello..."
Sherlock watched him go suspiciously, when John turned to him, "Why does your phone make that noise?"
"What noise?" he asked, staring blankly at John.
"That noise…the one it just made."
"It's a text alert," he shrugged, not seeing the problem, "It means I've got a text."
"Hmm. Your texts don't usually make that noise."
"Well, somebody got hold of the phone and apparently, as a joke, personalized their text alert noise," Sherlock snapped, starting to grumble about the blasted noise.
"Hmm. So every time they text you..."
The phone went off again, the sighing filling the room.
"Apparently," Leena muttered.
"Could you turn that phone down a bit?" Mrs. Hudson asked, "At my time of life..."
I'm fine since you didn't ask.
Was the next message.
Sherlock just put the phone down and went back to reading his paper, smirking when he saw Leena smile at the action out of the corner of his eye. He could tell that something about the phone and the texts upset her. The less he spent dealing with Irene the happier she seemed to be.
"I'm wondering who could have got hold of your phone, because it would have been in your coat, wouldn't it?" John wondered.
Sherlock just lifted the newspaper more, frowning now as Leena's smile had disappeared.
He hated when that happened.
It was one of the reasons he didn't deduce her when they'd been children. Most people stormed off after he analyzed them, frowning, and...he just...he hadn't wanted her to frown like that then, nor did he now.
"I'll leave you to your deductions," Sherlock muttered.
"I'm not stupid, you know," John smiled.
"Where do you get that idea?"
"Bond Air is go," Mycroft finished, stepping back into the room, "That's decided. Check with the Coventry lot. Talk later," he hung up as Sherlock looked up at him.
"What else does she have?" he asked his brother, Mycroft gave him a look.
Leena sighed, "Irene. The Americans wouldn't be interested in her just because she has a few compromising pictures, there has to be more to it."
"Much more," Sherlock agreed, standing up to face Mycroft, who just looked at him, stone-faced, "Something big's coming, isn't it?"
"Irene Adler is no longer any concern of yours," Mycroft glared, "From now on you will stay out of this."
Sherlock just looked him in the eye, defiantly, "Oh, will I?"
Leena sighed, she hated when Sherlock got like that, obsessed because he'd been told not to do something.
"Yes, Sherlock, you will," Mycroft nodded, watching as Sherlock just turned away, "Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a long and arduous apology to make to a very old friend."
"Do give her my love," Sherlock called, picking up his violin and playing 'God Save the Queen' as Mycroft left, Sherlock following him out, playing to annoy him.
Leena though, smiled at that. He was quite the musician. She couldn't play a note of anything without it coming out wrong, but that was why she stuck more to books and puzzles than anything.
Time had passed rather quickly for the trio, who had gone about their daily lives, solving crimes, doing experiments, blogging. It was Christmas now, the room decorated warmly in lights and garlands, courtesy of Leena and Mrs. Hudson. She knew Christmas wasn't a big thing in the Holmes household, neither boy having ever believed in Father Christmas, having deduced the truth about him. But Leena always insisted on celebrating it.
So Sherlock would go along with it to humor her. Which was why he was walking around the room, playing 'We Wish You a Merry Christmas' on the violin. Mrs. Hudson was sitting in a chair, a glass of wine in her hand, smiling at the tune, Leena sitting on the arm of the chair beside her. Lestrade had been invited by Leena, having rolled her eyes at Sherlock's grumbling and reminding him that, technically, she did work for Scotland Yard, with Lestrade, so he should be invited. John was wearing a Christmas jumper, his date wandering around somewhere. Now they just had to wait for Molly to arrive.
"Lovely!" Mrs. Hudson cheered as Sherlock finished with a flourish, making Leena clap and him smirk, "Sherlock, that was lovely!"
"Marvelous!" John agreed.
"Brilliant as always Sherwood," Leena smiled, getting up to give him a hug, the one time of year where she didn't care how Sherlock felt about affectionate displays, just too happy to worry.
"I wish you could have worn the antlers!" Mrs. Hudson added, thinking of the gift she'd gotten him. She'd been hoping that Leena might be able to convince him to wear them, she so often was able to get him to do things he didn't normally…like eat while on a case. But, alas, it seemed that was beyond even her power.
"Some things are best left to the imagination, Mrs. Hudson," Sherlock smiled at her.
John handed over a cup of tea to Mrs. Hudson, who had had quite a bit of wine already, "Mrs. H."
A rather lovely woman, John's date, walked over with a tray of mince pies and slices of cake, offering it to Sherlock and Leena.
"No thank you, Sarah," Sherlock waved her off.
"Jeanette," Leena whispered to him as the woman's face fell.
"Uh, no, no, no, no, no," John rushed over, "He's not good with names."
"Well you can hardly blame me," Sherlock countered stiffly, it really was useless information to keep in his Mind Palace, the names of women who never stuck around longer than a few weeks when it came to John, "Sarah was the doctor and then there was the one with the spots and then the one with the nose and then the boring teacher…" he trailed off as Jeanette, the boring teacher, glared at him.
"Oh Sherwood," Leena sighed, but shook her head fondly.
Sherlock offered her a smile, that was one thing truly refreshing about Leena, she never tried to change him or reprimand him for the things he said or did. She understood what he was like, who he was, and she let him be. She accepted him for who he was, every facet of his personality.
He turned to face her completely, his hand reaching into his pocket for her gift, when something by the door caught his eye, "Oh, dear Lord," he muttered, shaking his head.
Molly Hooper had just walked in, carrying two large bags of presents, "Hello, everyone. Sorry, hello. Er, it said on the door just to come up…"
Everyone greeted her warmly, cheerfully…save Sherlock who rolled his eyes, "Oh, everybody's saying hullo to each other. How wonderful."
Molly glanced at Sherlock nervously and began to take off her coat and scarf, John moving to help, "Let me, er...holy Mary!"
Lestrade gaped at Molly, who was wearing a very attractive, tight black dress, "Wow!"
"Having a Christmas drinkies, then?" Molly asked, seeing wine back in Mrs. Hudson's hand.
Sherlock just sat down at a table, "No stopping them apparently," he grumbled. He didn't like alcohol, it dulled his mind, made thinking harder, foggier, he didn't like it. He prided himself on being sharp.
"It's the one day of the year where the boys have to be nice to me, so it's almost worth it!" Mrs. Hudson cheered.
Molly giggled nervously, her gaze on Sherlock as he held out a hand silently to Leena, who rolled her eyes and gave him John's laptop, the man not even needing to speak for her to know what he wanted.
"Have a seat," John offered Molly a chair.
"John?" Sherlock called.
"Mmm?" John looked over, moving to see what Sherlock and Leena were looking at.
"The counter on your blog still says 1,895."
"Oh no!" John replied sarcastically, "Christmas is cancelled!"
Sherlock pointed to the sidebar that had a picture of him in the deerstalker hat, "And you've got a photograph of me wearing that hat!"
"People like the hat."
"No they don't. What people?"
Leena smiled, leaning over to kiss his cheek, "Me people," she answered, earning a smile from him.
John shook his head at the two, honestly, they weren't quite as bad or awkward as he imagined they'd be. But then again, he'd only just met Sherlock, Leena had known him for decades, the two would, of course, have a close relationship, she'd know him better than John did. He had already seen that, while Sherlock wasn't entirely different around Leena, there was a fondness, a softness about how he treated her compared to others. There was an acceptance and humor on Leena's part in how she took what Sherlock said and did.
"How's the hip?" he looked up to see Molly speaking with Mrs. Hudson.
"Ooh, it's atrocious, but thanks for asking," Mrs. Hudson smiled.
"I've seen much worse, but then I do post-mortems," she winced as an awkward silence fell, "Oh, God. Sorry."
"Don't make jokes Molly," Sherlock called.
"No. Sorry," she smiled at Lestrade when he handed her a glass of wine, "Thank you. I wasn't expecting to see you. I thought you were gonna be in Dorset for Christmas."
"That's first thing in the morning. Me and the wife, we're back together. It's all sorted," he smiled in return.
"No," Sherlock replied, not looking up from the laptop, "She's sleeping with a P.E. teacher."
Lestrade's smile became quite fixed as Molly turned to John and Jeanette, trying to change the topic, "And John. I hear you're off to your sister's, is that right?"
"Yeah," he nodded.
"Sherlock was complaining," she quickly backtracked, seeing Sherlock raise an eyebrow at that, Leena laughing quietly beside him, "...saying."
"First time ever, she's cleaned up her act. She's off the booze."
"Nope," Sherlock countered.
John glared at him, "Shut up, Sherlock."
"Sherwood," Leena called softly, making him look at her, she shook her head. While she never tried to change him, she did offer him silent advice on when would be best to drop a subject, picking up the social cues he missed.
He nodded, turning to Molly instead, "I see you've got a new boyfriend, Molly, and you're serious about him,"
"Sorry, what?" Molly blinked.
"In fact, you're seeing him this very night and giving him a gift."
"Take a day off!" John groaned.
"Shut up and have a drink," Lestrade added, putting a glass before Sherlock.
"Oh, come on," Sherlock rolled his eyes, "Surely you've all seen the present at the top of the bag, perfectly wrapped with a bow. All the others are slapdash at best," he looked at Leena for assistance, but she was frowning curiously, eyeing Molly.
She could read people fairly well, given the small lessons he'd given her on deducing, but she was better at looking at a crime scene and deducing the criminal without meeting them. She was also better at reading men for some reason than women.
He stood, knowing she'd get it eventually, and walked over to Molly, looking at the other decently wrapped presents, "It's for someone special, then," he picked up the best-wrapped gift, "The shade of red echoes her lipstick, either an unconscious association or one that she's deliberately trying to encourage. Either way, Miss Hooper has lurrrve on her mind. The fact that she's serious about him is clear from the fact she's giving him a gift at all…"
"Sherwood," Leena called, working it out…but working out exactly WHO Molly had been hoping to impress as well.
"That would suggest long-term hopes, however forlorn, and that she's seeing him tonight is evident from her makeup and what she's wearing," Sherlock continued, smiling smugly as he moved to look at the tag, "Obviously trying to compensate for the size of her mouth and breasts…" and he trailed off, spotting that the gift was for him.
He glanced back at Leena who as smiling sadly, she'd tried to warn him.
"You always say such horrible things," Molly said quietly, seemingly an inch away from tears at how he'd embarrassed her without realizing it, "Every time. Always. Always."
Sherlock, whose gaze was still on Leena, frowned. She just nodded towards Molly and he sighed, nodding to himself, before turning to the girl, "I am sorry. Forgive me?" he asked her, startling everyone else in the room with the apology, "Merry Christmas, Molly Hooper."
Molly started to smile when…
An orgasmic sigh echoed through the room.
Molly gasped in shock, "No! That wasn't...I...I didn't..."
"No, it was me," Sherlock countered.
Lestrade's eyes widened, "My God, really?!"
"What?!" Molly gaped.
"His phone," Leena corrected as he reached into his pocket to get the phone, which she frowned at. She knew who it was, and it bothered her that Sherlock was still keeping in contact, even if it was one-sided with Irene Adler, she'd never seen him reply…but then again, he could just do that when she wasn't in the room and she wasn't the sort to snoop through someone else's phone.
"57?" John called.
"Sorry, what?" Sherlock looked over.
"57 of those texts," John explained, noticing Leena wince at the number, "The ones I've heard."
Sherlock eyed the message.
And walked over to it, "Thrilling that you've been counting," he remarked, picking up a small, blood-red wrapped, gift, "'Scuse me," he headed out of the room, towards his bedroom.
"What…what's up, Sherlock?" John called, moving after him.
"I said, excuse me."
"D'you ever reply?" John called after him, but Sherlock just walked into his room and shut the door.
Leena cleared her throat awkwardly, "Anyone want some more mix?" she asked, nodding at the semi-empty bowl of trail mix on the table, "I'll go get some…"
She got up and headed into the kitchen with the bowl, John frowning and following her, "You alright?" he asked, seeing her focusing a little too much on mixing the nuts and the miniature chocolates into the mix.
"Fine," she said quickly.
He sighed, "I may not be able to deduce people like you and Sherlock, but I CAN tell when you're lying you know."
She sighed, "No, I'm not alright."
He nodded, "It's Irene, isn't it? Who's texting Sherlock?"
"Sorry," he offered, unknowing of what to say to that.
He frowned, "No, it isn't. You're his...girlfriend," however strange a title that was to associate with Sherlock Holmes, "You have every right to be upset about that. He shouldn't be contacting a woman like Irene Adler."
She sighed, "It's alright because I trust him John."
"How can you?" he asked quietly, he knew Sherlock cared for Leena, more than he let on, but he was a man and Irene was...Irene.
"Because I have to trust him."
"Because if I don't," she swallowed hard, setting her hands on the edge of the sink, bracing herself against it, "I'll break into a thousand pieces, and then what would I become to him? His next puzzle to solve, the next game to play. And the day I become that, will be the day I truly lose him," she turned to face him, "It's always been Sherlock for me John, ever since I met him, I'd married myself off to him in my head, there's no one else for me but him. IF he chose Irene...I'd leave, go back to the BAU. I've always tried to support him, to be understanding when no one else was, telling him he didn't have to follow Mycroft into the government and that he could be a detective, to play the violin and not the piano, ask for the skull for his birthday and not the potted plant..." she shook her head, "I'd leave because he deserves happiness."
"So do you," John pointed out, when the sound of a door opening reached them. They looked over to see Sherlock step out of the bedroom, his face blank, "You ok?"
"Yes," Sherlock nodded, walking over to Leena and putting his arm around her, startling her a moment, he was rarely ever the one to initiate such contact around so many others, he'd barely gotten used to doing it around John.
Sherlock just gripped the phone in his pocket, the one Irene had sent to him, her phone, still locked. But he knew what it meant.
Soon...Irene would turn up...dead.
A/N: Lol, I hope Sherlock was believable in Buckingham Palace with Leena, my reasoning is, he'd do ANYTHING to make things difficult or embarassing for Mycroft, part of that old feud cropping up. This was a tricky episode to write out with Sherlock being in a relationship with another woman already, but we'll see more about it at the end of the next chapter where, I'm hoping, anything that seemed off here will make sense :) I also hope Leena's reasoning for trying to trust Sherlock was believable as well. She knows how he works, if she breaks, he would only see her as a puzzle to put together again and lose sight of who she is to him. But...trust, faith, that's a difficult thing to hold onto at times. Will she be able to? I guess we'll find out. But who loved the little shout outs to Spencer, Garcia, and Morgan. I could totally see Spencer reading the 'Science of Deduction' site and trying to use it :)
This chapter title...The Woman...well, it'll be a little clearer when you see the next chapter's title and read that chapter, but keep in mind inflection is everything :)
And...suprise! Christmas gift announcement! Keep an eye out because more posts will be popping up, such as...
A new chapter of Recollections.
A new chapter of The Adventures of Spaceman and Timegirl.
And! TWO drabbles for Sneak Peeks (the second to be posted in a few hours).
AND! A surprise Supernatural chapter tagged onto the end of 'Heaven!'
Gotta love Christmas :)