Ok, this was my first Sherlock fic and I was really excited about it. I am not real good with writing mysteries and I wasn't 100% sure that I could give Sherlock all the justice it deserves. But, to my surprise, things really took off and next thing I knew, I was close up on 100 chapters. So, I wound up having to downsize the story, so I could edit it and add chapters to it easier. At the end of each story, I made a point of guiding you towards the next section. If you wonder which one is next, all my fics are numbered.
I own nothing, except for Tammy. A friend of mine
I dedicate this fic to Trrmo77, who's been a great help to me in improving my grammar. (I really appreciate how she carefully phrases what I'm doing wrong with my grammar so I don't feel too discouraged. As a result, I've greatly improved, but there's always room for more.) She's also been a big help to me off fan fiction, helping me get through some difficult times with my family. She's also great at encouraging me when I get a little discouraged and her reviews never fail to make me smile.
I also have an urgent message to share as well. The Robin Hood fandom has been under attack from 4 different spammers posting MA reviews on almost everyone's stories. They were also posted on stories rated K. 3 writers, one being myself, took down some of our most popular works because we couldn't remove the reviews. We reported to Fanfiction the MA reviews and they told us to ignore it. The first attack was one thing, but after the second, we decided that we're going to try to get as many people together as possible to make fanfiction give us the power to remove reviews that we the writer's find offensive. Sometimes people get harassed by other writers and that can be traumatic for them as well. One writer, who's now joined our fight, confided that she'd been bullied so badly in one fandom, she almost committed suicide. I myself, was traumatized in one fandom so badly, that I lost 8 pounds in a month.
If these spammers are getting away with it in the Robin Hood fandom, it's only a matter of time before they spread to another fandom. So we need to nip this in the bud and gain some control now. We are attempting to get a petition together and if you're interested in joining us, please let me know and help spread the word to your friends. If not, at least give us permission to put your name on the petition so we writers can gain the right to remove reviews that are offensive to us. We've gotten 100 signatures, we're aiming to get up to 250. If you wish to see the content, please, view the reviews on my story 'Ne're forsake me, here remain' so you'll know what we've had to deal with. If you're underage, do not read them. You can't miss the reviews as they're on the first page. My other story had the horrid ones, but, as it had God's name in it and it was rated T, in good conscience, I couldn't leave it up. It had to go.
Chapter One: Meeting Mr. Sherlock Holmes
It was a cold day, one of the coldest winter's that London had ever seen. I'd only recently arrived yesterday and had moved into a flat that my lawyer had recommended for me to move into. The price was reasonable and it was close to the nightclub where I'd be working. Everyone who knew me would find my choice of living rather unusual when one considered my previous lifestyle. But I loved London, I'd grown up here until I turned sixteen, then, my mother died and father needed a change of scenery. I hadn't wanted to leave, but I loved my father too much to add more pain to the grief he was feeling.
As I maneuvered through the cold streets of London with my favorite zebra scarf tightly tucked over my mouth, two men caught my attention. Now, I swear, I did try hard not to pay attention to the two men talking loudly in front of me. One was tall, had curly hair, and his friend was shorter, slightly older and limped. However, the taller man was agitated about something, and though I tried to ignore him, his voice kept catching my attention. It was truly an interesting voice.
"Think!" He said in agitated, frustration. His friend turned around, momentarily making eye contact with me. A blaze of embarrassment flooded my cheeks; I hadn't intended to appear as if I were eavesdropping. So I reached into my purse to find my MP3 player and listen to Vivaldi. "Who do we trust even though we don't know them? Who passes unnoticed wherever they go?"
Now, he really had my attention. I loved riddles like these! Father would put to in my backpack every school day for me to solve during the lunch period. I don't know how he kept finding these riddles, some were easy, some were hard, but I always solved them. If I didn't, I sat, pouted and worked until I got it right. My favorite book as a child, next to the Narnia series, was the Lord of the Rings. You can probably guess now that my favorite scene in the Hobbit was where Bilbo and Gollum had their riddle game.
Again, I'm drawn back to the man's loud voice. "Who hunts in the middle of a crowd?"
"I don't know," his friend asked. "who?"
"Haven't the faintest."
I hadn't intended for it to happen, but the answer flashed in my mind. Before I could stop the words, they came flying out of my mouth. "A taxi driver!" I blurted out loud enough to be heard by them.
The taller man stopped so suddenly that I almost crashed into him. I hadn't thought about dying, except at that moment and that's because I was. I was dying of embarrassment. He spun around and I found myself sucking in a breath. He wasn't dark, and drop-dead handsome as his rich, baritone voice had implied. Attractive, yes, but not handsome to my eyes. He was thin; his face was angular with razor-sharp cheekbones. I liked his nose but I considered his eyes to be his most attractive feature.
Oh good God, those eyes had such a piercing gaze that I felt as if he'd completely stripped me in five seconds flat! He had been gifted with piercing blue-green, gold eyes. I suspected the reason for them being so striking was because he had a condition called heterochromia. A friend of mine had the same condition and I envied them. Eyes are the windows to a person's soul and I could tell he was an animated man. I'd definitely gotten more than I bargained for by not keeping my mouth shut.
He stepped towards me. "Say that again." He was tall, I felt like a munchkin standing before the wicked witch. Not that he was evil mind you, just intimidating.
I flushed and tried to get myself out of this mess. "Sorry. I-I was just thinking out loud." Sweat began to form on my brow, I was so embarrassed. "I can't believe I just said that."
He stepped forward, his voice rumbled. "Then I suggest you think out loud again."
I tried not to appear intimidated by his whole stance as he stood, glaring down at me. "I just said taxi driver."
Those blue-green eyes of his narrowed again. "Didn't anyone tell you not to listen in on a stranger's conversation?"
I casually shifted my shoulder, not liking his tone of voice. "Well, you shouldn't be talking so loud in the street." His brow arched at my comeback, obviously not suspecting it. "It is public domain you know. Didn't your parents teach you that?"
The older man cleared his throat. "I apologize, that riddle's been bugging him all day." He shifted his walking cane to his other hand, extending it to me. "I'm John Watson."
I smiled and extended my hand. "Tammy Taylor." John Watson was a good looking, mature man. "This is Sherlock Holmes."
I turned to Sherlock Holmes and lied smoothly. "I'm pleased to meet you."
The moment our fingers met, I felt a spark between us. But I shrugged it off, I'd deduced a long time ago that I fell in love to easily and I'd never find 'Mr. Right' in my lifetime, so I'd sworn off of men and marriage. And don't get me started on love! Love was for the fools and the weak.
"Don't lie about that." He stated as he examined my hand, his eyes narrowed. "You're enjoying your return to London, I trust?" Sherlock suddenly stated out of the blue.
I frowned and nodded, wondering how he knew that. "You could say that."
"Indeed. You were born and raised here for a good portion of your life." He stated, speaking swiftly without blinking. "Judging by the sticker on your clutch, you arrived here yesterday morning. You lived in New York City for five years before returning here." I feared my eyes were bulging out of my sockets as he continued speaking. "You're an excessive reader; it's a wonder you don't need glasses by now. You must have known the owner of the nightclub you're working at; otherwise you wouldn't have given up your job in a wine factory. Maybe you hated your job or maybe you decided to have a taste of something different. Your clothes are the latest fashion in America; your job paid well, anyone can see you have expensive taste." He glanced down at my hand. "You recently broke off your engagement to your fiancée, he was cheating on you."
At this point, I couldn't say a word; I was so shocked that he knew practically everything about me that I stopped listening to him. A pain had flashed in my heart at the painful reminded of Robert's betrayal. I'd walked into Cynthia's office to find him satisfying her, on the desk. I remembered the look on his face as he realized he'd forgotten to lock the door. I realized what a fool I'd been making of myself. I'd tricked myself into believing he really loved me, but my father's passing had blinded me. I'd thrown the ring at his head without a word and left without a single look back.
I'd arrived home, opened my computer to be welcomed with a desktop of the London Eye. Four hours later, I'd found myself on the plane headed out to London. My lawyer had contacted and old friend of his and she'd found accommodations for me. Being wealthy had its pro's, I paid the rent for it, six months in advance and asked that the walls be painted a certain shade of forest green. The landlady, Mrs. Hudson, was a sweet, older lady with a kind heart. She'd agreed to allow me to paint the walls, as long as I paid for it.
I loved green; it especially would look good with all my books I'd inherited from my father. Deep green, painted walls and the cherry wood bookshelves made any reading room perfect. I wished that I could be really upset about my father's recent death, but a part of me was happy. Father had never been the same since mother died and it comforted me to know that he was now with her. They'd loved each other deeply, and he'd been inconsolable when she'd passed away. They were together now, and nothing could ever separate them again. It was a beautiful picture for my mind; it helped me come to terms with the grief. However, I did feel guilt that I was able to accept his death so easily.
"Sherlock." John said, his tone reminding him to be more tactfully. "I'm sorry."
"It's all right." I shook my head, pulling my hand out of his grasp. "That was… very impressive." I nodded my head in admiration. "And as much as I'd like to be ticked off, I can't be, because...I hate to admit it, but I am impressed. How…did you know all that?"
"I didn't know, I saw."
"You saw?" I smiled as an impish thought entered my mind. "So then tell me…what color underwear am I wearing?" The look on both men's faces was priceless. I couldn't believe I'd just said that to two men I didn't know, but then again, what else was I to say to the guy? He was being a total pain! "And then once you figure it out, I'll tell you what you missed in my private life. Don't worry, you got most of it right, you just missed a few things." With that, I turned on my heel and moved towards the nearest restaurant across Northumberland Street.
"Well," John said to Sherlock. "was that something people normally say?"
"No, definitely the most…..spontaneous reaction I've had." The nearness of their voices and a quick look behind me showed that they were following me into the restaurant. I did hold the door open for John, but let it close on Sherlock. He gave me a small glare, catching the door with a bit of a huff. The waiter immediately directed them into the nearest booth. "Thank you Billy."
I moved towards my own seat, draping my coat behind it, and then I removed my scarf. "Tammy?" I was preparing to sit down, but I then turned around to acknowledge John. "Would you care to join us?"
Sherlock glowered at John. "I'm certain she wouldn't care to join us."
Now, I really didn't care to join them, but Sherlock irked me so much that I wasn't about to let him have the last word. Besides, John would pleasant company. "I'd be delighted," I shot Sherlock a pointed look. "it beats eating alone."
He shifted in his seat and looked out the window. John allowed me to scoot in the booth, putting me between the two men. Sherlock's cool eyes told me that I was going to be in for an interesting evening.
And it was. Angelo was over-friendly; he couldn't decide if John or I was Sherlock's date. We both stated that they weren't his date but he didn't seem to get the hint. Sherlock didn't say much so I spent most of my time talking to John. We talked about the weather and all sorts of things going on in London. I kept my personal business and residence to myself. Sherlock dropped a few words here and there. He'd occasionally catch something in my conversation and add it to his observations about me.
When I found out that Sherlock was a consulting detective, I was relieved, for that meant that he wasn't some mind reader. I'd never heard of a consulting detective. I guessed that he didn't like to work like most people, so he invented a job to suit his needs. If he wasn't so irritating, I'd have asked him to help find my older brother, but then I'd have to put up with him. Besides, Johnny had vanished at age nineteen when mother died. He was my mother's naturally born son from a previous marriage. He never warmed up to father and refused to acknowledge him as his father. But he got along with me; he was wonderful to me; defended me whenever I needed help. I think he loved being seen as my rescuer, I idolized him, and he crushed my soul when he'd disappeared. Nobody could find him, he never turned up and everyone was assumed dead.
Besides, Sherlock pointed out to John that he didn't have a boyfriend, girlfriend and basically said that relationships were a waste of time. If I wanted to find Johnny, I'd prefer the man looking for him was a family man, so he could relate to my feelings. Sherlock didn't think about what he was going to say before speaking, so he spoke words that hurt.
I was tired, and a glance at my watch showed that it was getting a little late and I still had work to do in my flat. "I've got to get going; I've got a lot of work to do at my apartment. And I'm certain you two have got somewhere to be."
Sherlock's eyes narrowed. "Look across the street, taxi, stopped. Nobody getting in, nobody getting out." I spun around to look behind me and sure enough, a taxi was just sitting there. I frowned, vexed to be getting drawn into the rather curious atmosphere. "Oh, that's clever. Is it clever, why is it clever?" I smirked and rolled my eyes at Sherlock answering himself. Oh, I wished I could hate him, but everything about him was funny, even when he was being rude.
"That's him?" John asked.
"Don't stare." He said.
"You're staring." I pointed out.
"Well, all three of us can't stare." He grabbed his coat and got up.
John followed his example and I glanced at Billy. "May I have my check please?"
"Oh no," he said. "Angelo said your meal was on the house tonight."
"That's kind of him, please tell him thank you." A loud honking and thud from outside caused me to whip around to see Sherlock bounce off the roof of a moving car! I gasped and bolted outside, dropping my purse in my haste. "Oh my gosh! That man!"
I ran out, expecting to see him on the ground, but I soon realized that he'd recovered and he was now, running down the street with John behind him. The taxi was out of sight and he was mumbling something about the traffic route. Then he took off with John behind him. Curiosity overwhelmed me and I followed them in hot pursuit.