Finally! I give you: the epic conclusion! Half by Mel, half by Ray :3 Please visit letyoursoul . tumblr .com/tagged/drewlock for fanart, videos, and general fangirling over this pairing. Thank you all for the reviews and support during this project! (There will definitely be sequels.) Without further ado, chapter 23:

"So, drug use." A small voice piped from behind Sherlock. He rolled his eyes and leaned back as far as he could in his chair, grasping Nancy's hands in his. He wiggled his fingers under her bonds and attempted to wrench them off, but to no avail; they were tied much too tight. She reciprocated his actions, but even her small and nimble fingers couldn't untie the cords. They both exchanged sighs and paused momentarily, before Sherlock clicked his tongue against the side of his mouth.

"Yes. I'm guessing you want the full story, then." He stated. She offered no response until a laugh escaped her.

"Sorry, I nodded my head but you… obviously can't see… um, go on." Nancy stuttered. "Tactful, Drew." She spat under her breath, a gesture obviously not intended for Sherlock's ears. He chuckled low and deeply, rolling his head back to stare at the ceiling.

"It started in university; that's how these things happen, you know. John sort of referenced it earlier, you might recall." Nancy made a small noise of realization behind him, the one he typically heard her make when she solved something. He smiled to himself. "You know how my brain gets. You experience it too, you just have a handle on it. It moves a million kilometers a minute and I can't control it. Drugs helped me keep my brain going. I thought it'd help keep the insanity at bay, but it really just made everything worse.

"I found myself using a lot, most days, actually, and I was a total wreck. Mycroft tried to help but it didn't work out so well. I wrote music, I read a lot, made lots of homeless friends… I didn't snort it, I shot it; made its way to the brain quicker that way. I was very lonely and I finally got myself off the stuff. I've used since then maybe once. John's helped a lot… John… John! Nancy! Do you think you could attempt to reach my phone from where you are?"

"What?" The girl stumbled over her words. She was so intrigued in the story about his past that her mind completely disconnected with reality. She quickly wiped away a stray tear on her shoulder and rotated her body as much as she could towards him. "Where is it?"

"Coat pocket to your right. Here," Sherlock grunted as he hopped his chair over towards her, using his feet that were still tied while placing his pocket underneath her hands. "Okay, lean back."

Nancy did as she was told, fumbling inside his pocket as she precariously leaned back in her chair. She felt the cool object and tapped it against his side as she pulled it out of his pocket.

"Beautiful job, you. Now hold it up facing me. I'm going to try and text him."

She felt a few hairs tickling her wrist and snorted to herself as she realized what Sherlock was doing – using his nose to make the text. She only wished that she could see the scene unfolding behind her. "Why aren't you calling him?"

"Because," He grunted out. "Because he's at work and won't answer his phone. This will have to do."

He leaned back up and let her slide the phone back into his pocket. He hopped his body a bit closer to her side so he could look at her, a crooked smile appearing on his face. Nancy likened him to a five year old most days; he never quite acted his age. The sound of clicking heels distracted the two of them. The door to the small, cement room opened and they were embraced by a floral perfume and bright red dress.

"Didn't I tell you not to move?" The raspy voice groaned. Samantha Quick made her entrance, slamming the door behind her.

"You know, as kidnappings go, this one is rather pathetic," Sherlock taunted. Nancy grinned; she was the one facing Samantha. "Beyond pathetic," she added, "And I have been kidnapped so many times it's embarrassing."

Samantha's lipstick-caked smile pulled into a thin line. "Indeed you have. Yet you wandered right into this trap." Nancy knew she meant more than just the tunnels in the tube, and she sensed Sherlock tensing behind her. "Beyond pathetic."

"I don't think you know what you're doing, Miss Quick," Sherlock jumped in, eager to keep her talking. The longer she took to get started, the more time John had to bring help. "Honestly, you left my phone in my pocket."

Nancy's eyes widened. He was completely stupid. Why would he point that out to her? It didn't make any sense to her, and yet part of her strongly believed—maybe just hoped very hard—that there was a plan behind it.

"So I did. How foolish of me," the woman twittered a cringe-worthy laugh and plucked the phone out of his pocket. Nancy closed her eyes and wished she could see Sherlock's face. Over-confidence, Nancy thought, trying to make deductions the way Sherlock did. He's playing up the fact that most of her decisions thus far have been centered on theatricality rather than tact. Of course, she left the phone there on purpose to dangle hope in front of them just to take it away while they watched, after they had awoken. Nancy smiled. Yes, he definitely had a plan.

"They're tracking us right now you know," Sherlock warned ominously, his voice deep and commanding. Nancy heard the bait in it.

"Stop your smiling, Drew," Samantha hissed, grabbing the detective's face between her finger and her thumb and plucking the phone out of Sherlock's pocket with the other hand. She waved the device in front of Nancy's eyes, and Sherlock grabbed a bit too frantically at Nancy's hand, enough to worry her a bit. He tapped his fingers against her, like he was counting off. His tension relaxed as Samantha stepped around so they could both see her. "In a moment, I'm going to get information out of you both. All the information you'd never dream of giving. But I have both of you, and I created you. I created this, so that it would matter. So that you'd do anything to save the other." Sherlock shifted uncomfortably against his bonds. "Five," Sherlock muttered, as if to himself. Then, a moment later, much quieter, "Four…"

"See this, you little idiots? This is your last connection to the outside world, being severed before any trace could possibly go through," Quick hissed, glowing with triumph as she raised the phone, prepared to slam it onto the concrete floor. However, she never got the chance, because, perfectly on cue, Sherlock's phone exploded in her hand, with a rather impressive boom and spattering of shrapnel.

Samantha screamed and scampered backward against the wall, holding a shaking, bloodied hand up in front of her face as she reeled from the unexpected blow. Sherlock burst into childish laughter, which only made their kidnapper shriek with a greater, angrier intensity. Nancy scrunched up her face and tried not to look at the mangled fingers—or what was left of them.

"What have you done!?" Quick screamed, and tried to grab the gun that was strapped to her thigh, but cringed in pain when she tried to wrap her hand around it, so instead she made an awkward fumbling motion before collapsing to the ground over the scattered pile of phone pieces.

And then there was the sound of distinct footsteps, rushing nearer with conviction. Well darn, Nancy thought, here comes Samantha's back up. After all, there was a whole tribe of criminals working from this base, and there were just two detectives. And they were tied up. And no longer had a phone. Perfect.

But it wasn't Samantha's backup—she had isolated Nancy and Sherlock and kept them all to herself. Her trophies, her game. No, this was backup of a much more welcome kind.

"Bess!" Nancy yelled, relief washing over her as the sunny-faced friend whipped around the corner and into the room. Shortly behind her, Dr. Watson appeared, and Sherlock made a strangled noise of surprise in greeting. Bringing up the rear, George put down the phone she was studying, blinking with a tracker guiding them to the room. She was the first to speak.

"Looks like you're a bit outnumbered, huh Quick?"

Nancy grinned at her normally-quiet George making her very first jibe at a bad guy. One could even call her proud.

Samantha made a sort of snarling sound and clutched her injured hand to her body.

"Geez, what happened here!" Bess squeaked, and pulled John by the cuff of his sleeve over to help untie Sherlock and Nancy, while George yanked the gun away from Quick and trained it on her, though she made no move to fight back. The woman was slumped in the familiar pose of defeat. John bent down and threw the ropes off with shaking hands. "John, we're fine," Sherlock said, his voice gentle. He seemed heavy with relief but also guilt. Nancy let out a tight breath as her hands and legs were freed and she stood up, staring down at Samantha. John told Sherlock that Lestrade was on his way with his best.

"The real Samantha Quick," Nancy hissed, vindictive. The woman grimaced and slinked further against the wall. "Leading the group that took my mother from me, trying to destroy me a second time. I don't know what you heard about Sherlock and me, but you were so wrong. We aren't alone or desperate or mad with drive. You can't trap people into feeling something. You can't design some twisted power-play and then expect it to become a reality just the way you intended. Looks like you had no idea who you were dealing with."

Nancy felt a strong hand slide into hers, and held on confidently, assuredly, unafraid. "Not sure I knew, either," he said, softly enough that only Nancy could hear.

What felt like an eternity later, under the not-actually-so-comforting hold of trauma blankets, Sherlock wrapped Nancy in his arms under the blue and red flash of police lights. From the corner of their eyes they could see John doing the same to Bess, and George trying not to laugh. They leaned against Lestrade's patrol car, while the others busied themselves with paperwork and questions. It was going to be a long night, and they decided they deserved a moment's peace.

"As I'm sure you noticed, I didn't actually text John," Sherlock said matter-of-factly. Nancy nodded against his shoulder, pulling back to look up at him, trying to read the strain behind his pale eyes. "I figured that out about the time your phone blew up, yeah."

"I activated the self-destruct count down."

"You are not a real person."

"I am most certainly—"

"You literally programed a self-destruct feature into your phone. Sherlock, seriously?"

Sherlock studied her for a moment in confusion, then let the words sink in. He started to realize the absurdity. Started to see himself through the eyes of a redheaded girl detective who was just as insane as he was, but somehow so much more grounded. So much more practical than even he was in all his logic and science. He dissolved into laughter. "Seriously," he laughed out.

"Brilliant," she answered, laughing with him now. "But I guess it's a good thing there was a real tracking device in my phone, which was in my bag that Samantha took."

Sherlock sobered up quickly. "That would explain that, then."

"What's wrong? We did it, Holmes."

"You did it, Drew. George, Bess, John—they did it. I was arrogant and couldn't allow myself to ask for help."

"Don't be stupid. None of this would have been possible without you. Samantha even knew she needed both of us. We needed to…" Nancy looked away, suddenly flushed bright red. "We needed to meet. I think we were always meant to."

Nancy couldn't read the expression that settled over Sherlock's sharp features then, but she knew that it stirred deeper parts of herself than she was even aware existed. So when his lips pressed to hers again, it felt like the anticipated resolution of a suspended chord, like the sight of home after being away far too long, like the perfect sentence ending the perfect story.

Endings. She clung to him a bit too tightly, as the knowledge crept over her that she lived thousands of miles from London, that soon a whole ocean would stretch between them. Sherlock seemed to understand at least this sentiment, and he wrapped his arms tighter around her waist, removing any space left between them. He pulled his lips from hers just enough to say, "It's illogical to believe in destiny, Nancy."

She was about to protest, when he continued, "But I am inclined to be illogical just this once."