Sherlock is obsessed, even more than usual. The taunt of three victims in red shoes have done their job, and Sherlock chases Jim Moriarty with the hubris that he is untouchable.
Greg cautions. Mary worries. Mrs. Hudson scolds. John seethes. Even Sherlock's brother Mycroft (the most virtuoso of composers Collette has ever heard, his duets for cello and violin known around the world) has a word of advice, though Collette knows Sherlock would never listen. Sherlock is the Firebird - he flies high and falls hard, he believes he cannot be captured - but Jim Moriarty is no Koschei the Deathless.
Koschei had a heart; Jim Moriarty does not.
And so when Sherlock disappears one day after rehearsal, Collette does not even have to wonder. Collette does what she does best - she takes charge. She bullies Greg into checking the surveillance tape, she bullies mousy little Molly into telling everything she knows about Moriarty, and she bullies John into calling Mycroft, who has been left a puzzle.
(Teaching, Collette knows, is really just a balancing act of fairness and power. Letting your students believe they have the power is all well and good, but sometimes you just need to demonstrate your control.)
"Moriarty will have planned for all of this," Mycroft says. "He knows us nearly as well as we do ourselves, and what we are each likely to do in pursuit of Sherlock."
John lashes out with his fist, knocking over a resin box. "We can't just sit here doing nothing. Who knows what that twisted bastard is doing to Sherlock?"
Someone clears their throat, and Collette looks over to find Mary studying the puzzle Moriarty left for them - a single red feather (from Sherlock's Firebird costume) and the childish verse "he loves me he loves me not he loves me".
"He left this for a reason. He had to plan for it - if we figured it out, if we didn't figure it out, who would likely know what it meant. And I think I've figured it out."
"It's Giselle," Collette finishes, picking up the daisy and sharing a meaningful glance with her husband, her own Albrecht. "The second act of Giselle."
She doesn't need to say the rest: they all know their ballets, know that Moriarty has designs on drowning John, their Hilarion, and forcing Sherlock to dance to his death before Mary's eyes, changing the ending and letting Albrecht die.
But Collette has danced Giselle, and what most choreographers forget is that while Giselle is a naive peasant girl in the beginning, she does not stay that way. She uses the pain of heartbreak, of betrayal, of death, to forgive Albrecht and overpower the Veela. Collette has fought and loved and forgiven, and Jim Moriarty has not.
"I know where Sherlock is," Greg says, stopping the surveillance tape. "Look at the lapel of Moran's jacket."
John's already grabbed his bag and Mary's hand. "National Conservatory parking pass. Deserted after a performance. We'll meet you down there."
The Veela and Koschei the Deathless will not be changing any endings tonight.