"Sir? We've got another hit on bomb-making sites."
Agent Maddow wandered toward her desk. "Do we have an ID, yet?"
"No, sir, but this IP has some worrying searches on it. Look, see? Not only bomb-making, but sites about poison and the means of delivering it both individually and in a mass attack. Queries on blood loss and trauma medicine, as well as fighting tactics, serial killing, and various weapons of mass destruction."
"What the hell?" He leaned over the back of her chair, a quickening blink pattern the only outward sign of his shock.
"Yes, it appears that … hmm. I don't recognize this one," Agent Smothers clicked the AO3 link and said, "Oh."
"It's a fanfiction site, sir."
"Yes, sir. Fans of television shows, movies, books … anything really … write stories of their own to supplement the original. It's become incredibly popular, and judging by this link … sir, our subject is not a terrorist."
"No, sir. She's a fanfiction writer."
"Smothers? I thought you were done for the day?"
"Yes, sir, I was just … well, I went back to check that subject from earlier. The writer?"
He paused as he pulled on his coat. "Something else worrying?"
"Not exactly. I … I actually wanted to see what she was doing with all that research."
She didn't like the smirk to his face as he asked, "And? Any good?"
"Actually, it's quite good. She's a Sherlock fan—you know, the English show? From the BBC? They took Sherlock Holmes and set it in the 21st century?" She sighed at his blank look and just plunged forward, "Well, apparently our subject is a huge fan because she's written dozens of stories about Sherlock and John. The two I've read are really good—I'm actually pretty curious about what else she's done."
The man just laughed. "Well, at least she's putting her internet and government dollars to good use. Just don't wear your eyes out on that trash, Smothers. We've got another long day of chasing real criminals tomorrow."
"Yes, sir," she said, but her eyes were already straying back to the computer screen. Was John going to get away from Moriarty before Sherlock was forced to jump? She hadn't realized how much she'd hated the Reichenbach cliffhanger until now, when she was faced with other possible endings—apparently she wasn't the only one dying to know how Sherlock had survived the jump.
"Hey, Smothers? Remember that author you had come up on your watch list several months ago? I think we've got another one. Searches for everything from nuclear bombs to serial killer methodology—along with a collection of links to some site called ffnet. Heard of it?"
She couldn't help the smile. "Yes, that's another one. Which fandom does this one like?"
"Looks like James Bond."
"Maybe we should get them together—they could do a crossover."
"What? You still remember the other one?"
"Well, yes, actually … I've been reading her stuff for months. Her stories are remarkably good—and you know, a lot of authors seem to like crossing Sherlock with Bond—having Q a member of the Holmes family is a favorite. Adding in Merlin from the TV show is popular, too, since he looks like he belongs in the family—and he's immortal, so it takes care of those pesky time travel errors. Though I don't imagine Merlin fanfic writers are exactly searching for things that would come up on a terror watchlist. Weapons have changed since Medieval times, after all."
Maddow looked bemused. "No. No, I don't think they would." He glanced back at his computer screen. "You say these stories are actually good?"
"Some of them. I mean, some are horrible, and don't even get me started on all the porn, but some of the writers actually have talent. And we … I mean they have to do something while they're waiting for Moffat and Gatiss to bring Sherlock back."
"Oh, please. The show can't be that good."
She eyed him carefully. "What are you doing tonight?"
"Sir, there's another update."
"To the terror cell we're watching?"
"No, sir, to AO3. She put up a new installment to her story."
"Thank God, that cliff-hanger's been driving me nuts. Teaming up Morgana and Moriarty was an evil kind of genius."
"Oh, I know—but so was teaming up Kilgharrah and Smaug to go after them, and the idea of John and Bilbo fighting together…"
He glanced at the clock. "I'd say it's time for a coffee break, wouldn't you?"
"Oh yes, I couldn't agree more."
And as they headed toward the break room, iPad in hand, Smothers couldn't help the grin. Who knew that fanfiction really could bring so many things and people together?
NOTE: I blame the lovely ladies at Ravelry for putting this idea in my head. Just a bit of nonsense, really, based on some of the things we all occasionally need to research for a story.