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Being Human

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Keep on running. I tell myself as I run through the dark of night. The only thing I can hear is the heavy beating of my heart. Loud, loud, so very loud. Did it always beat that loud? No of course not, that's a stupid question, but right now it's the only sound that I am focused on.

"Cassandra!" A voice yelled out in the distance. It was a man's voice and a voice that I wanted to forget. His voice was full of anger and hatred as he yelled out my name. If I turn back he will surely kill me. After all I did betray him as he had said before I started running. I can feel the USB burning a hole in my pocket. All this trouble just for a stupid hard drive but this this 'stupid' hard drive was my last chance to start over.

I feel so faint, so cold, so ghost-like, like I could detach myself from the ground any second. Almost there. I tell myself again. I just need to get as far away from that man as possible.

"CASSANDRA!!!!!! You can run all you like but I will find you!" The voice shouts at me again. His words sound venomous like a serpent ready for the kill. I know what he is telling me is true but I keep lying to myself that he can't get me. It's impossible, there are billions of people living in this city. My speed increases even more. My feet are throbbing but it will be worth it once I'm far away from here.

I didn't want this; I didn't want to be here, in this situation, why must I endure this? To him it was always just a game. He had me on the run and he was loving every minute of it. He knew I was and still am terrified of him. He never truly cared. I was just his play thing and I was dumb enough to let him do those things to me. The tricky thing was that I had to make him think that I was his. Maybe at first I was but once I saw him for what he truly was I wanted to get away from him as far as possible.

No, concentrate, I have to stop thinking about him, I need to focus, focus! Ahead of me I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm almost there!

BAM!

My whole body freezes as the loud bang resonates through the night. I feel something go through my body and I fall to my knees as I clutch my left side. The bullet! It goes through me like a knife through butter. I look down at my hands and see that they are covered in blood. I also notice the bullet wound on my stomach. Suddenly the entire tunnel seems to fall into nothingness and I find myself falling, falling into nothingness before landing in an abandoned flat. I then see the dead body of a young girl surrounded by a pool of blood and above her on the wall there is a note for me on the wall that reads “IOU".

I wake up covered in sweat and shaking, safe and sound in my own bed. Shit, another night's sleep ruined by that damn dream. I quickly sit up in my bed wide-eyed and place my hands on my head before closing my eyes. My dark red hair falls on my face as I start to rock back and forth on my bed.

"Baybrook Street. Wulfstan Street. Hammersmith." I mutter to myself over and over again my voice going hoarse in an attempt to stop the sobs from surfacing. I want to cry but my body doesn't let me. Crying would be a sign of weakness.

Finally calming myself down I open my eyes again and lower my hands. With a groan I flop back onto my pillow letting out a huge breath before I turn to my side to look at the alarm clock on my bedside. Half past four in the morning. Damn it, that nightmare was going to be the death of me.

Those eyes.... Oh God those eyes. I will never forget those eyes as long as I live. He's still out there somewhere and he was eventually going to get me. 'You can run all you like but I will find you' those words still rang in my ear.

No, no he can't be here in London. It's just a delusion. It's not your fault. You're only imagining things, that's what my shrink told me the first time we've met. Of corse I don't see her anymore. I am perfectly safe....

Then why don't I feel safe, even in my flat behind bolted doors? Somethings never leave you alone, especially your past, no matter how hard you try it will always be there. I then let out another loud sight before closing my eyes. I wonder if anyone else is having trouble sleeping tonight like me. I then finally closed my eyes before I allowed myself to be lulled back to sleep.

Chapter Text

It was about eleven o’clock in the morning, late January, the 29th to be exact, with the sun peaking through the cloudy sky. I felt the chill of the cold London air as I excited the cab that was parked outside of Saint Bartholomew’s Hospital. I was wearing my black leather jacket, dark grey hoodie, a blue checkered long sleeved flannel dress shirt with a white kami underneath, light blue ripped denim jeans, and black biker boots. I also had on a purple infinity scarf around my neck and my black fingerless gloves. I pulled on my olive messenger bag, which was holding some very important documents as the cab drove away.

I placed a strand of my wavy red hair behind my ear as I strode forward to the doors of the hospital. I opened the door and stepped inside the hospital. I greeted the ladies at the reception desk and told them that I was looking for Doctor Hanson, or as one of the receptionists called him “Doctor Handsome”, who was a neurosurgeon at Bart’s. It had been a while since I’ve last been here but it still pretty much looked the same. I needed to find him after all three hundred pounds was on the line. They told me that he was in and that his office was located on the eight floor. I thanked them before I made my way over to the lifts.

I rode on the lifts till I reached the floor I was looking for. As soon as the doors to the lift opened up I walked down the hallway and located Dr. Hanson’s door. I knocked on it before I heard a man’s voice telling me to come in. It’s showtime, I thought to myself as I put on some lipstick and lowered my jumper before opening the door. I found him sitting behind his desk as I entered his office.

“Hello Doctor Hanson. Oh thank goodness you’re here. My name is Anna Swan. I called you yesterday about my fiancee.” I told the doctor, sounding like I was relieved to see him. In a way I was but not in the way that I was pretending to be.

“Ah yes. You can sit down.” Doctor Hanson told me sounding bored as he gestured to one of the two chairs in front of his desk.

I nodded at the blonde haired doctor before I sat down. He got up and walked over to a file cabinet before he pulled out a peach binder. I looked around at his office and on his desk I saw that there was a picture on his desk with him and a nine year old boy wearing a Manchester football jersey, obviously his son. Next to it was a picture of Doctor Hanson with a few other doctors at what looked like a retirement party and next to him in the picture was a blonde haired woman, who he had his arm around her. To the untrained eye it looked like a friendly gesture but I saw that it was more than that. Finally in the far corner of his desk there was a photo of him and his wife but I had a feeling that photo was just for show by the way it was located. Separated. I then shifted my gaze to the Doctor and I saw that there was no wedding ring on his finger. “I’m sorry buy unfortunately there is nothing I can do about your fiancee Ms. Swan. Your insurance doesn’t cover for his operation.” He told me not sounding sympathetic at all. I knew that he only did this job for the money.

“Please Doctor. They say that you are one of the best neurosurgeons in London. You’re the only one who can help us. Without your help my fiancee will die. We don’t have that much money but we can pay you the best we can.” I told him as I quickly whipped up some tears going for the sympathy route but he still looked on with unsympathetic eyes.

“I’m sure you are more than capable to find someone who can help you that fits in you’re price range. Now if you can kindly leave I have important patients to deal with.” Doctor Hanson replied before I wiped away my tears as he got up and walked to do the door. “This would have been easier if we had discussed this over the phone like I suggested instead of you waisting both our times.” Damn this isn’t working, I thought to my self as I quietly sniffled before switching to a new tactic. I decided to use the other thing that Doctor Hanson loved more than money. I wasn’t leaving until I got what I came here for.

“If money is a problem. I’m sure there is something else I can do for you to repay you?” I asked the Doctor in a seductive voice. If this doesn’t work then I don’t know what will. The man stopped dead in his tracks at the door before he turned to look at me. I sat down on top of the man’s desk and I bit my lip seductively as I opened my legs. Doctor Hanson looked me up and down before a grin appeared on his face. Bingo.

“What do you have in mind?” Doctor Hanson asked me sounding very interested. I smirked at him before I stood up and walked over to him.

“I want you to fuck me hard.” I told him as I stood in front of him as I unbuttoned my flannel dress shirt to reveal my cleavage under my white kami. The “good” Doctor licked his lips as he looked at me up and down again suggestively until he placed his hands on my hips. I was trying so hard not to slug him in his perfectly faked tanned face but I had a job that needed to be done. Just before he could stick his tongue down my throat I grabbed the man’s arm and twisted it behind his back as he made a quick yelp. I held onto his arm as I pushed him to the desk and slammed him onto it.

“What the hell?” The doctor asked as I backed away from the desk and grabbed my messenger bag taking out some papers.

“You were a very difficult man to find Doctor Hanson even your wife was having a hard time finding you.” I told him as I placed the papers on his desk. “Which is why she came to me for help.” Doctor Hanson finally stood up and he looked at me with a confused and angry look on his face.

“My wife!? You’ve been talking to my wife?” Hanson asked me still fuming. This was usually a normal reaction when a cheating spouse discovers that their significant other has been talking to me about them. “What is this?” He asked finally noticing the file I had placed in front of him. I calmly sat back down into the chair and buttoned up my dress shirt as he started to read the file.

“Divorce papers. You’re estranged wife has been trying to get you to sign these for months now but you were to busy having sex with your mistress. Not only that but you’ve been skipping your marriage counseling and you keep on bailing your own son.” Hanson skimmed over the pages before he looked back up to me with a glare as I described why I was really here.

“I hate people like you. Why don’t you get a real job like the rest of us?” He asked me sounding even angrier but that didn’t phase me at all. I rolled my eyes at him as I snorted. Yeah like I’ve never heard that one before.

“Just sign the god damn papers doctor and I will be out of your hair. And for your information you are waisting both of our time.” I replied before the man growled at me. He finally got a pen and signed his name on the papers. I gave the man a fake smile as he handed me the papers and I put them back inside my messenger bag. “See it wasn’t that hard. Make sure to show up in court. I don’t want to have to find you again.” I told the man as I got up from the chair and headed to the door.

“Who the hell are you anyway?”

"Cassandra Kyle. Private Investigator.” I replied with a smirk. “Go home Doctor Hanson and go see your son. Take him to the Arsenal and Manchester United game that you promised him. He misses you. Even if you don’t want to see your wife or can’t stand her you shouldn’t let your son suffer. He seems like a really great kid.” The man’s face softened by what I said about his son. I then opened the door and walked down the hallway back to the lifts. On my way I quickly looked out of the window into the London skyline.

London may be a big city but just like the best of us it has it's secrets. Not that I’m complaining. A big part of my job is looking for the worst in people and turns out I excel at that. Clients hire me to find dirt and I find it. I believe that you gotta make a decision. One, do something about it or two, keep denying it. People don’t seem to follow that motto and they need someone to blame so they blame me. I'm used to getting all the blame it seems to become second nature. Telling me that I’m the one ruining their already shitty lives. People do bad shit. Some people do more bad shit then others.

“Cas! Cassandra! Cassandra Kyle!” A familiar voice called out to me just as I reached the lift. I turned around to see an old acquaintance of mine come walking up to me with a smile on his face. "Cas it's me Mike!" The man said with a huge smile on his face.

“Mike?” I asked Mike as he came up to me and gave me a one armed hug. The man in question laughed heartily as he let go of me. I had known Mike for about six years and he helped me out with a lot of things in my life even if I didn't ask for it.

"Oh Cas. Look at you. You even grew your hair out.” Mike commented as he pointed at my hair.

“Yeah I was tired of having short hair.” I replied as Mike nodded in agreement. Last time Mike saw me I had my hair cut short so that i wouldn’t be easily noticed especially by him. I quickly shook my head. No I don’t want to think about that now. Mike looked at me confused by my reaction. “I forgot that you still work here.” I told Mike changing the subject just as the lift opened up behind me.

“Yeah still do. I was actually about to leave for lunch. If you’re not busy I would love if you could join me. My treat.” Mike offered.

"I am kind of hungry. Sure why not.” I I told him with a little grin before we both walked into the lift.

We rode all the way down to the ground floor and we made our way out of Bart’s together. Mike was one of the few people in my life that I would call a friend. I wasn’t known as the friendliest person in the world or even the most approachable. Mike was one of the few people who looked past my cold exterior. To be perfectly honest I didn’t have friends. I was fluent in sarcasm along with swearing and my constantly changing moods was another reason why I didn’t have friends. We stopped in a park by Bart’s to catch up before lunch. It had been a while since I last saw Mike. My client could manage to wait a while.

“So what have you been up to?” Mike asked me as we sat down on a bench together. Next to me was a newspaper that was left behind from the last person who sat on this bench. There was an article about the triple suicide case. “How’s life as a private investigator?” Mike asked me as I picked up the article.

“Tedious.” I replied as I look at the picture of Detective Inspector Lestrade that was next to the article. I’ve encountered DI Lestrade more times than I could remember. Mostly he was either trying to recruit me or bailing me out. “It’s fine actually. Same old same old. Wives having affairs, teenagers missing, husbands not paying child support… The usual.” I handed the newspaper to Mike who started to glance over it.

“Hmmm. It’s a shame about these suicides.” Mike mused and I hummed in agreement. Yeah these suicides were strange but there was something more to it than meets the eyes.

“Yeah if you could call them suicides.” I told Mike as he put the newspaper down next to him. On my days when I wasn’t spying on people and tracking down two timing spouses I had been following the case just to keep myself from getting bored. It was interesting to say the least, serial suicides. So far the police had yet to connect the dots in the cases.

"If you’re getting tired of your job why don’t you try help the police solve cases like a consultant or something. I bet you’d be great at it.”

“It’s complicated and besides you know my history with the cops.” I told Mike and he hummed in agreement. Mike knew exactly what I was talking about. I never did like the cops even when I was a child and of course my days as a thief wasn’t helpful at all. I wasn’t successful or famous but I was smart and I knew how not to get caught. “How are you doing? Are you still teaching?” I asked Mike quickly changing the subject.

“Teaching’s fine. Probably one of the biggest group of smart arses I think I have ever seen. Kind of like you.” Mike teased me with a laugh as a cheeky grin formed on my face.

“Well no one can compare to the original.” I told Mike who replied with a chuckle. The phone in my pocket started to buzz and I pulled it out of my pocket. “Fuck.” I muttered as I realized that the number calling me was my landlord. “It’s my landlord. He keeps on calling me about the rent.” I told Mike as I shoved my phone back into my pocket ignoring the call. I was able to sneak past my landlord for the past few days but today he caught me and he has been calling me and texting me non stop. “I wish I can move out of there but my salary as a PI won’t let me move to a nicer place. So I'm stuck in that hell hole.”

"Why don’t you find a flat mate then?” Mike asked me before I gave him a look that read ‘seriously’.

“Yeah right.” I replied with a snort. “Who would want me as a flat mate?”

“You know you are the second person to say that to me today.” Mike mused and I turned to look at him. Mike then smirked at me and I couldn’t help but get suspicious. I know that look and he was up to something. “Anyway it was just a suggestion.”

I just shook my head and Mike laughed at the look I gave him before we sat in companionable silence for a few seconds. I watched the people go by us around the park. I made my silent observations about everyone. It was one of my specialities and it was extremely helpful with my trade. You could call it a gift but most of the times it was a curse. It was something I started to do when I was younger. I liked to watch people and read them. It was a huge advantage especially on the streets. I didn’t have a great childhood and I would often hide away for hours watching people. The crappy thing about it is that people don’t believe me and say that it’s all a trick. Fitting especially since I was named after the Greek heroin Cassandra. That’s what happens when both of your parent’s were professors. Cassandra was seduced by Apollo who gave her the power of second sight but when she refused him he cursed her so that no one would ever believe her prophecies. I may not be able to tell the future but I sure could relate to her.
My thoughts were interrupted by the sound of footsteps. Step, clink, step, clink. I just took a deep breath and let my brain make it’s observations. The person was walking with a cane and relying heavily on it. They were stepping down heavily on their left hand side. Then a man passed by us. Mike stared at the man and I saw the flash of recognition in his eyes.

“John! John Watson!” Mike called out to the man who turned back as Mike stood up and hurried over to him smiling. From the way Mike was smiling I read that he knew the man well. Most likely an old friend of his.

The man, John, was short in terms of height. He had sandy blonde hair cut short and bright blue eyes. He wore casual jeans with a checked shirt and he had a coat that screamed military man. He was leaning heavily on his cane, which meant that he had a limp, probably psychosomatic. So military man with a psychosomatic limp meant wounded in action. I looked on in curiosity at the two men’s interaction.

“Stamford. Mike Stamford. We were at Bart’s together.” Mike told the man who looked very surprised that someone had recognized him. Looking at John’s posture he seemed slightly uncomfortable like he didn’t want company, but didn’t know how to refuse it.

“Yes, sorry, yes, Mike.” John said as he took Mike’s offered hand and shook it. “Hello, hi.”

“Yeah, I know. I got fat!” Mike told him grinning as he gestured to himself. I snorted as I watched John fumbling for a response that didn’t sound rude.

“No.” John said after a second trying to sound convincing and I couldn’t help but shake my head at that. Mike seemed to buy it. I glanced back to look at the blonde haired man. Hmmm. John Watson… After a moment John locked eyes with mine before he quickly looked away.

“I heard you were abroad somewhere, getting shot at. What happened?” Mike asked John still grinning and I rolled my eyes at his lack of tact. That was a stupid question. It was so obvious that John might as well have a sign plastered on his back.

“I got shot.” John told him awkwardly before both men looked embarrassed and stood in awkward silence. I got up from the bench before I walked over to the two men.
“Afghanistan or Iraq?” I asked the blonde haired man who then quickly turned to look at me.

“I’m sorry?” John asked me as he quickly looked at me and I saw Mike give me a grin. He knew exactly what I was trying to do but John looked at me confused and almost startled as soon as I walked up to them.

“Hello.” I told John as I placed my hands into the pockets of my jacket.

“John, I want you to meet Cassandra Kyle. Cas this is my old friend John Watson.” Mike introduced us as John offered his hand out to me smiling tensely. I could definitely relate to how he was feeling. I looked at his extended hand before looking back up at him. He looked back at me worriedly as if I was going to ignore the handshake but I surprised him by giving him a grin.

“Nice to meet you Doctor Watson.” I said as I shook his offered hand. A firm handshake meant confidence in meeting new people. So he was fine with meeting new people, but just didn’t want any company. I quickly glanced at Mike who gave me an approved nod. Unlike John I didn’t like meeting new people and am normally standoffish but I was going to make an exception for him.

"Just John please.” He offered up as I turned to look back at John. Mike then nudged me. I quickly looked back at Mike who gave me a look of approval and he gave me a look for me to smile. What I was being polite? Which is very rare for me. John looked a little confused by our silent conversation. I quickly rolled my eyes at Mike before smiling at John. To be honest I liked him, another rare thing for me. I studied him for a brief second. Not long enough to make him feel uncomfortable, but just long enough to fully take in his appearance and make silent deductions about him.

"Cassandra is a friend of mine. We just bumped into each other at Bart’s today and we were just catching up.” Mike explained to John who smiled back at me seemingly more genuinely and so was I. He seemed to be at odds with the world, which was completely relatable and understandable.

“So you’re a doctor?” John asked me making small talk. he seemed genuinely curious, which showed that he was one of those people who truly cared about others. He was a very trusting person.

“No. I’m actually a Private Investigator. I tracked down a doctor who didn’t want to sign divorce papers, which I got him to sign.” I answered him and John seemed surprised about my response. It was always funny seeing people’s expressions when they find out I’m a PI. Usually I get those looks from the people that my clients want me to find.
"Oh. That must be… interesting.” John remarked for a lack of a better response although John looked a little embarrassed.

“It has it’s ups and downs.” I replied with a shrug.

“We were about to head out to lunch, why don’t you join us? We can sit and catch up.” Mike offered breaking the silence as John looked back at him.

“I wouldn’t want to intrude.” John said carefully.

"Not at all. I’m all for intrusions.” I told John before I grinned at him. John looked back at me a little baffled by my reply and personality. John would have to get used to me and my sarcastic comments.

“Umm, okay if you’re sure.” John mumbled before I smiled at him. I quickly patted Mike on the arm with an amused look on his face.

“Great.” I said before I started walking ahead of them. I was starving and since this was on Mike I was ready to eat a big meal. I had Mike laughing behind me and I assumed that John probably was confused by the way I acted.

"That's Cas for you." Mike said before we started making our way out of the park. 

"Are you two…?” I heard John asking Mike and I snorted at that.

“No, God no. I met Cassandra when she was younger. I was her sponsor for a while so she would come and visit me at Barts. She sure is something. Strangest girl I have ever met, but she’s bloody brilliant. Cas normally hates people but she seems to like you. You’ve must have made quite an impression on her.” I heard Mike as he teased John as we made it back to the main street. I waited on the street corner for both men, joining their company again. We all crossed the street to a cafe across the way.
Mike opened the door for me and I entered the cafe with John following behind him. He seemed to be a little more comfortable. We sat down at a table by the window with John sitting next to me and Mike across from me. We ordered our food before settling in silence. I shot some glances at John before him and I shared a glance.

“Afghanistan or Iraq?” I asked him and Mike grinned at my question. John looked at me in shock as the waitress brought us our drinks. Mike sat back in his chair before taking a sip of his tea. He then looked at Mike confused before looking back at me.

“You told her about me?” John asked him sounding surprised and Mike answered him with a chuckle. He grinned at me as I took a sip of my tea.

"Not a word. Told you she was good.” Mike commented as I put my cup back onto the table.

“But how did you…”

“It’s this thing I can do. I can see things about people. I can read people. Even everyone in the cafe right now.” I explained to John who was still looking at me dumbfounded. “I could read that you were in the army but I couldn’t read where.”

“Afghanistan.” John answered me. We sat in silence for a moment before John spoke again. “That thing you can do…” John commented before he paused for a second. My grin then turned into a frown. I was expecting him to say something negative about what I had said but what he said next completely threw me off. “… sounds amazing.” I looked back at John with a confused look on my face as he smiled at me. I then grinned before I turned to look out the window until our waitress came back with our food.

We ate in silence at first but John seemed more comfortable than before and after a while he told me a few horror stories about him and Mike, which were very amusing. I even showed off my readings of the other customers to the two men. John Watson was an interesting man. He wasn’t adjusting to civilian life well. I could tell that he missed the danger of the battle field. Life did seem a lot duller when you went from the action of war to the quiet humdrum of everyday life.

By the time we left the cafe with to go cups of coffee in hand, John had become more at ease around me and we settled into a friendly companionship. Back on the bench I sat down on John’s left hand side. I had determined that his limp was definitely psychosomatic. It was apparent when he was thinking about it, but it was nearly nonexistent whenever he forgot about it. Mike looked at John worried as John obliviously took a sip of his coffee before looking at Mike.

“Are you still at Bart’s, then?” John asked him breaking the silence. I went back to observing people as I listened to their conversation. There was a man cutting through the park. Business man, married, and having an affair with multiple women. Cheaters were always easy to read. Like I said this city sure does sleep around.

“Teaching now. Bright young things, like we used to be. God, I hate them!” Mike told him as the two men laughed and I couldn’t help but smile. Mike had been teaching since I had met him six years ago. That was when I was ordered by the court to have a sponsor look after me when I was caught for stealing from a government official. I was a petty thief stealing just to survive until I changed my profession to become a Private Investigator. “What about you? Just staying in town ’til you get yourself sorted?” Mike asked John as I sipped my coffee.

“I can’t afford London on an Army pension.”

“Ah, and you can’t bear to be anywhere else. That’s not the John Watson I know.”

“Yeah, I’m not the John Watson…” John said uncomfortably not even finishing his sentence as he shifted in his seat beside me. Mike looked awkwardly away from him and just sipped his coffee. I watched as John switched his own cup to his right hand. He clenched it into a fist trying to control a tremor that had started in it. I sipped my coffee slowly as John glanced my way. I observed that John seemed to do this as a coping mechanism. I don't blame him. We all have different ways of coping of course mine was what some people would say destructive. I knew exactly how it felt to feel the same way that John was feeling. Mike looked round at him again and hesitated for a brief second before speaking again.

“Couldn’t Harry help?” Mike asked John as I watched a young couple stroll through the park together. They looked so happy. I remember a time when I used to be that happy. They both stopped on the grass and the boy placed his hand on the small of the girl’s back before he started kissing her. I watched the couple as I frowned inwardly.

You want to do it. You know you do.”

Shit! I gasped and quickly looked away from the couple as the girl started to giggle after being kissed. That voice! I closed my eyes before glancing at Mike and John to see if they noticed my reaction but they were blissfully unaware. “Baybrook Street. Wulfstan Street. Hammersmith.” I whispered to myself after I turned away from John and Mike. I placed my cup of coffee on the ground before opening up my messenger bag and pulled out my flask. “Yeah, like that’s gonna happen!” John said sarcastically unaware of what I was doing.

“I dunno you could get a flatshare or something.” Mike suggested as he shrugged. My ears perked up by what Mike had told John. I then put the flask back into my bag before picking up my coffee cup and drinking from that again.

“Come on, who’d want me for a flatmate?” John remarked and Mike chuckled thoughtfully. I then turned to look back at John by what he had said.

"What?” John asked him confused as Mike looked at me bemused.

“Well, you’re the third person to say that to me today.” Mike told him as he looked back at me before grinning. That sly old dog. Mike then gave me a look saying looks like I found you a flatmate.

“Who were the firsts?” John asked him and Mike pointed at me.

“I did.” I told John slowly before I grinned at him and for a split second I thought I saw John grin back at me. After a moment of silence Mike gave a sigh before getting up.

“Come on you two. I have someone I want you two to meet.” Mike told us as both John and I turned to look up at him.

“Who?” John and I asked in unison to Mike who just chuckled at our confused faces.

“Come on.” Mike replied as he nodded his head back to Bart’s. Both John and I looked at each other before Mike started to walk away. John got up from the bench beside me. Shit how many people did Mike know that needed flatmates?

I finally got up and followed after Mike who had started leading us away back towards Bart’s. I threw my empty coffee cup away on the walk back over as I caught up with the two men. Mike was being very secretive about who we were going to meet, which meant that he didn’t want me to figure out anything before he introduced us to this mystery person. John and I followed Mike into the hospital and from the direction we were headed I could tell that we were heading towards the labs. I raised my eyebrows as we got to the door of one of the lab rooms and Mike knocked briefly before walking in without waiting for an answer.

John and Mike entered ahead of me before I stepped in behind them as I held onto the strap of my messenger bag. I glanced around the room until my eyes landed on a man standing at the far end of the lab who was using a pipette to squeeze a few drops of liquid into a Petri dish. He obviously wasn’t a doctor, but he had skill over what he was doing that came with personal experience. The man was, well, dare I say it, handsome. He was wearing a slim fitting suit that showed off his tall, thin frame. I guessed his height to be around six feet about a few inches taller than my 5’6” height. His hair was black and curly and his eyes were a mixture of blue and grey. He was quite pale, like me, He had rather high cheekbones that I swear could cut steel. They were almost inhuman. He looked familiar but I couldn’t place where I have seen the man before. The man glanced across the room at us briefly before looking at his work again. His eyes lingered on me for a few seconds longer before he looked away. John limped into the room, looking around at all the equipment but I couldn’t keep my eyes off of the man across the room.

“Well, bit different from my day.” John remarked as he looked around the room.

“You’ve no idea!” Mike told him chuckling. I then walked further into the room. This was the first time I had ever been in the labs. It was a lot bigger than I thought it would be. I watched the man sit down at the far end of the room.

“Mike, can I borrow your phone? There’s no signal on mine.” He asked Mike without even glancing up from his work. His voice was a deep baritone and I quirked my eyebrow up in interest. I studied the man who Mike wanted us to meet. I couldn’t place him entirely. Some things were obvious to read, but I couldn’t figure out everything about him.

“And what’s wrong wit the landline?” Mike asked him. The way he spoke hinted that he was used to this sort of behavior from the tall dark haired man.

“I prefer to text.” The man told him sounding bored.

"Sorry. It’s in my coat.” Mike told him not sounding sorry at all. I walked over to John’s side and kept my eyes on him. He was skilled in chemistry, but not a chemist. He certainly didn’t work at Bart’s either and yet he had been given access to the lab. This man was very interesting.

John fished in his back pocket and took out his own mobile. “Er, here. Use mine.” He offered breaking through the silence that had settled over the room.

“Oh. Thank you.” The man said sounding genuinely surprised by the offer. He glanced briefly at Mike before standing up and walking towards us. I regarded the man in front of me as I studied him further. This was the second time I encountered someone who I could not read.

“An old friend of mine, John Watson and another friend of mine Cassandra Kyle.” Mike introduced the both of us as the man took the phone from John. He turned partially away from us and flipped open the keypad before starting to type on it. He glanced at me for a brief second. Our eyes meeting for the barest of seconds.

"Afghanistan or Iraq?” The man asked suddenly and I had a surprised look on my face as John frowned beside me. I looked at Mike the same time as John did and he just smiled at the two of us knowingly. John looked back at the man as he continued to type. So he can read people like I can. Now I am very interested.

“Sorry?” John asked him as I shared a look with Mike. I gave him a look as to ask him if he knew about what this man could do and Mike simply nodded his head yes.

“Which was it… Afghanistan or Iraq?” He asked again as he briefly raised his eyes to study John before looking back to the phone. John hesitated at being asked the same question twice in the same day and looked at Mike confused. Mike only smiled at him smugly as I narrowed my eyes and studied the man who had certainly peaked my interest.

“Afghanistan. Sorry, how did you know…?” John asked before the door opened cutting him off. The man looked up from the phone as a young woman walked into the room carrying a mug of coffee. She was wearing a white lab coat over her blouse and trousers, which meant that she worked her unlike the man standing in front of us. She was a cute girl and she had her hair in a ponytail. It look like she was wearing lipstick before but had recently taken it off.

“Ah, Molly, coffee. Thank you.” The man said as he shut down John’s phone and handed it back to him as the girl, named Molly, brought the mug over to him. He looked closely at her as he took the mug. “What happened to the lipstick?” He asked her forwardly and I raised an eyebrow at his question.

“It wasn’t working for me.” Molly told him smiling awkwardly at him. During their conversation I had read Molly and saw that she was a really nice girl, was a bit timid and shy. She was a pathologist so she spent a lot of her time in the morgue mostly because of her work and him. I could tell that she had a major crush on this guy, but the feelings were completely one sided. Which meant that she wore the lipstick for him but since he didn’t notice it she took it off.

“Really? I thought it was a big improvement. Your mouth’s too small now.” The man told her as he turned and walked back to his station. I watched him take a sip from the mug before grimacing at the taste and setting the mug down. I was sure that he wasn’t going to touch it again. He didn’t seem to care about offending people.

“…Okay.” Molly said quietly as she turned and headed back towards the door dejectedly.

"That was fucking rude." I commented before everyone in the room turned look at me. I quickly looked back at Mike who was used to my sudden outbursts. I noticed that the dark haired man was staring at me closely. I know that I am a rude person but at least I was rude to people who actually deserved it. “Don’t listen to him. You look very nice.” I completed the girl as I looked at her even though she was just wearing her normal work clothes with her hair tied up.

“Thank you.” The girl replied looking a little bit surprised and a little embarrassed by my compliment. Suddenly she gave me a genuine smile by the confidence boost that I gave her. She then made her way back to the door still smiling. I then glanced back at the man who insulted the pathologist. I glared at the man who just looked back at me with his eyebrows raised and I knew that he was trying to study me. He finally turned away from me and I noticed that an amused grin appeared on his face.

“How do you feel about the violin?” The man said suddenly his voice cutting through the silence. John looked at Molly, but she was already walking out the door. He glanced briefly at Mike who was still smiling smugly at the two of us before John came to the conclusion that he was talking to the two of us.

"I’m sorry, what?” John asked him at the randomness of the question. The man was typing away on a laptop as he started talking again.

“I play the violin when I’m thinking. Sometimes I don’t talk for days on end.” He said as he looked at us. “Would that bother you? Potential flatmates should know the worst about each other.” He finished as he threw a hideously fake smile at us. I snorted at him. He sure was the king of mood swings. John looked at him blankly before looking back at Mike.

“Oh, you… you told him about us?” John asked Mike sounding confused. I didn’t take my eyes off of the man who was finishing up his experiment.

“Not a word.” Mike answered him smugly as I looked back at Mike for a brief second as I remained silent.

"Then who said anything about flatmates?” I asked the man as I took my hands out my pockets and John turned back to him. The man got up and picked up a great coat before pulling it on.

"I did. Told Mike this morning that I must be a difficult man to find a flatmate for. Now here he is just after lunch with an old friend, clearly just home from military service in Afghanistan and a good friend he has known for years since she was young. Wasn’t that difficult a leap.”

"How did you know about Afghanistan?” John asked him as the man put on a navy scarf around his neck. It was worn, a good few years old which meant that he loved that scarf. He picked up his mobile and checked it briefly. Of course he didn’t have service I thought sarcastically as I caught the man’s eye. I saw the barest hints of a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.

“Got my eye on a nice little place in central London. Together the three of us ought to be able to afford it.” The man said as he walked towards John. Three of us? I thought as I walked over to Mike. “We’ll meet there tomorrow evening; seven o’clock. Sorry… gotta dash. I think I left my riding crop in the mortuary.” He continued as he put his phone into the inside of his coat before walking past John and heading for the door. His eyes swept over me again as he walked past me.

“Is that it?” John asked him sounding flabbergasted. The man turned back from the door and strolled closer to the two of us again.

“Is that what?” The man asked him. Any normal person might have felt uncomfortable under his gaze, but I stood my ground and crossed my arms in front of my chest.

“We’ve only just met and we’re gonna go look at a flat?”

"Problem?” The man asked him quirking one of his eyebrows. John smiled at him in disbelief before looking across to Mike for help. Mike only continued to smile so John looked back at the younger man in front of us. John looked at me briefly for a second and after taking in my stance he decided to handle this for the both of us.

“We don’t know a thing about each other; we don’t even know your name.” The man looked at the both of us closely for a second. I then saw a flash of amusement take over his features as he looked at me.

“I know you’re an Army doctor and you’ve been invalided home from Afghanistan. I know you’ve got a brother who’s worried about you but you won’t go to him for help because you don’t approve of him… possibly because he’s an alcoholic; more likely because he recently walked out on his wife. And I know that your therapist thinks your limp’s psychosomatic… quite correctly, I’m afraid.” John looked down at his leg and cane and shuffled his feet awkwardly. “That’s enough to be going on with, don’t you think?” He asked us smugly as he turned and walked to the door again. He opened it and walked through, but then he leaned back into the room again. “The name is Sherlock Holmes and the address is 221B Baker Street.” He said as he click-winked at me before looking round at Mike. “Afternoon.”

Mike raised a finger in farewell as Sherlock disappeared from the room. As the door slammed shut behind him, John turned and looked in disbelief. Mike smiled and nodded at him as I uncrossed my arms looking at the door.

“Yeah. He’s always like that.” Mike told us as I turned to look back at Mike. “So what do you think?” Mike asked us but knowing him that question was directed towards me.

“What an arse.” I said before John looked back at me in surprise but Mike just chuckled at my response. “But I like him. He interests me.”

“Oh God what have I done. I think it was a bad idea introducing you to him Cas.” Mike told me as he shook his head at me while John stared back in disbelief.

“It was nice to meet you John and I hope to see you tomorrow.” I told John as I walked over to the door.

"Are you really going to meet him tomorrow?” John asked me as I opened the door. I then turned to John with a grin on my face.

“It wouldn’t hurt to look.” I told John before looking over at Mike. “Thanks for lunch old man.” I told Mike before I winked at him as the door closed behind me.

I made my way out of Bart’s and back out into the cold chill of the London afternoon. I sighed to myself as I made my way into an alley. I pulled out my cell and decided to call back my client about her husband. I called but all I got was her voicemail. Of course she wouldn’t answer. I left her a message before having up and putting the phone in my pocket. It was past 2 o’clock and I wasn’t completely ready to go back to my flat. I could probably walk around or go back to the park to observe people. Anything to avoid my landlord. I opened my messenger bag and took out a cigarette along with my lighter. I lit the cigarette before inhaling deeply and blowing the smoke out.

“Smoking outside of a hospital. Isn’t there one of those law things?” A deep baritone voice asked behind me and I jumped at that.

“Fuck!” I said as I took out the cigarette from my mouth before turing around to see Sherlock standing behind me. He looked at me with a frown before I let out an exasperated sigh. “Oh it’s just you.” I said as Sherlock grinned at me. It wasn’t the hideously awful grin like he gave John and me earlier it was a natural one. “What are you still doing here?” I asked the man before taking another drag of my cigarette.

“I should be asking you the same thing.” Sherlock replied before we stood there in silence for a few moments. I saw him eyeing the cigarette at times and I could tell that he wanted one. Hmmm so addicted to nicotine. That's something. 

“Want one?” I asked the man who looked back at me.

“No. I’m trying to quit.” He replied before we went back into silence. I decided to attempt to read him again but still I got nothing. Hmmmm… why couldn’t I get anything out of him? “Shouldn’t you be getting home?” He asked me before I took another hit of my cigarette.

“Hmph. If you would call it a home.” I muttered to myself. My flat really wasn’t much of a home as it was where I held my agency. Maybe I should take Mike’s advice and after all Sherlock did mention that the three of us could afford the flat. I was only going to check the place that Sherlock mentioned but I wasn’t completely sure if I wanted to move in with these two men. To be honest I haven’t had a place to call home in a long time.

“Good I’ll be seeing you tomorrow then.” Sherlock remarked as I noticed that he was holding on the the riding crop that he had mentioned. I eyed at it trying to figure out what he was doing with it in the morgue or if was some kind of kinky shit thing that he did. Sherlock raised an eyebrow at me as if he was expecting my answer.

“What makes you think I'll be coming tomorrow?” I asked the man who just grinned at my response. 

"Because you hate the current place you are living in and you only got that place because it was in your price rang, which isn't all that much especially by the state of your taste in clothes. It must be a lonely life being an ex thief turned Private Investigator. After all you’re probably used to it since you also had a very lonely childhood” He replied as I looked back at him in surprise. He just kept grinning back at me before I let out an annoyed grunt before looking away from him before I changed back to my surly demeanor. 

“It amazes me that you can read me too.” I commented before putting out the cigarette. “I’m impressed.” I told him with a grin as he frowned at me.

“Read?” He asked me in confusion and I nodded at him. Before today I thought that I was the only person in this world who could see things the way I do. I thought that I was different. I thought that I was a freak, but this man could do it too. It felt nice knowing that I wasn’t alone and that there was another person out there like me.

“You mean deductions?” Sherlock asked me and I frowned at that word.

"Deductions?” I asked him slowly testing the word. “Deductions. I like that, it sounds better that way.” I told him and he looked at me only for a moment before I giggled. He then grinned at me.

“I’d better be off. I need to see a man about a green ladder. Afternoon Ms. Kyle.” Sherlock told me before he walked off into the street. I raised my eyebrow by the randomness about a green ladder. As I made my way back into the street I noticed that there was a CCTV camera pointed at my direction. Had that been focused on me the whole time? I stared at it an cocked my head to the side before it swiveled away from me. That was odd. I then continued walking down the street.

Sherlock Holmes, I thought as the people passed by me on the streets. He might just be the rudest man I had ever met, but I couldn’t help but find him very interesting. John was also probably the only man that I met and instantly liked him. He had his demons but so did I and I knew that we would get along. I’m not sure if I should completely move in with those two men but it wouldn’t hurt just to look.

Chapter Text

I had finally returned back to my flat in Peckham around 7pm. I had dropped off the signed divorce papers to Mrs. Hanson. She was relieved to say the least and she paid me, which was a plus. Unfortunately just as soon as I reached back to my flat my landlord stopped me, who I was hoping to avoid, so I had to give him half of my money for the rent. Ugh it was such a long day that I was ready to do nothing for the rest of the night.

I opened the front door of my flat and turned on the lights. It wasn’t much of a home as it was more of a place of business. The flat I was currently living in used to be a business before it was turned into a flat, which was why my living room was so small. Mine was the only one that didn’t have a proper kitchen but there was a bedroom that was added. In the living room there was a small couch against the wall and in front of the windows was my desk where my work essentials were stored. I sighed as I placed my messenger bag on the old sofa before crossing into my bedroom as I heard a police siren go off outside. Typical I thought to myself as I rolled my eyes. Just like my living room my bedroom was small and plain looking. My room consisted of a twin sized bed, a side table next to my bed, and a dresser next to my closet door. I didn’t have that many clothes so my dresser was also small. I sat on the edge of my bed as I took off my boots and taking off my leather jacket before plopping myself face up. I sighed again as I felt the warm wool blanket.

Ugh another boring. Every day just the same since I first moved into this place. Well it wasn’t all that bad. I got to meet two very interesting people which was a rarity. Normally I hated everyone but John and Sherlock were the exceptions. Sure Sherlock was a huge arse but there was something about him that made me like him. I was contemplating all day whether or not if I was going to look at the flat with the two men but I finally decided that I was going to show up. It wouldn’t hurt to just look and any place would be better than this dump. The worse thing that could happen was that these two men are actually psychopathic murderers. If they were that wouldn't be a first. John is more of the cautious type I could tell especially by his hesitation at first about Sherlock’s offer but once he got the info he wanted he became a little less cautious.

Sherlock on the other hand is even more of an interesting man than John is. He obviously didn’t care what people thought of him, which is why he spoke the way he wanted to or it could be because he didn’t realize what he was saying is actually hurtful. I could relate to that. Growing up I always knew I was different than everyone else. I saw the things that normal people couldn’t. Like John who had been injured in war, but missed the battlefield and Sherlock who was a total enigma.

I finally got off the bed and decided to do some research on Sherlock Holmes. I quickly went to my closet and took out my laptop before going to my desk and sitting in the chair. I then typed up his name and a website came up called The Science of Deduction. Hmm… I clicked onto the link which lead me to the cover page.

I’m Sherlock Holmes, the world’s only consulting detective.

I’m not going into detail about how I do what I do because chances are you wouldn’t understand. If you’ve got a problem that you want me to solve, then contact me. Interesting cases only please.

This is what I do:

1. I observe everything

2. From what I observe, I deduce everything

3. When I’ve eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how mad it might seem, must be the truth.

If you need assistance, contact me and we’ll discuss its potential.

I raised my eyebrow at that last statement before snorting. Someone was full of himself. I went on to check out the rest of the website to see what else I could find about Sherlock. Mostly there were cases that he has done and he also wrote an interesting piece about his analysis of tobacco ash. But the one thing that caught my eye were some cryptic messages sent to him by an anonymous stalker.

‘I’m watching you.’

I quickly closed the laptop before I leaned back in my chair and gave a big stretch as I yawned. It had been a long day plus I haven’t had a good night sleep in a long time. I closed my eyes for a moment and the next thing I knew I had fallen asleep.

The nightmare starts again just like it always does. Someone is talking to me, a soft voice but not in a gentle tone. I slowly turn to see the silhouette of a man. I couldn't see his face except for his eyes. Oh so much hatred. Those eyes which still haunt me even now. It had been so long, I thought I was safe, how did he find me? I want to scream for help but I can’t.

He watches me as a smirk appears on his face. I try to run but I can’t. It's as if I am glued to the floor. I can’t look anywhere but at him, straight into those eyes that threaten to suck out my soul. ‘It’s not real. You’re not here. You can’t be.’ I think to myself as he flashes that eerie satisfied smile on his face as he continues to watch me. I’m nothing to him but a plaything. He enjoys controlling me. Suddenly the pain of a bullet coming through my stomach fills my body with so much pain as a pool of blood appears at my feet. The only thing he says to me is “smile.”

With a frightened gasp, I open my eyes filled with terror. I quickly snap my head up from the desk as my breath was shallow and rapid. I take in my surroundings finally realizing that I was in the safety of my own flat. I then lower my head before placing my hands behind my head. I then mutter my coping mechanism before lifting my head up.
This always happens whenever I try to sleep but once that nightmare is finished I don’t dream about it for the rest of the night. God I need a drink. I thought to myself as I let out a groan. I opened up the bottom left drawer and inside I found the bottle of Kilbeggan. I pulled it out before noticing that the bottle was empty.

“Shit.” I muttered to myself. I closed the drawer as I looked at the wall clock to check the time. Hmmm. 9:30 PM. I should probably get some food and I really need that drink. I grabbed the empty bottle before getting up and throwing it away. I then went back into my bedroom and put my jacket back on and boots before finally grabbing my bag as I headed out of the door of my flat.

I hailed a cab and slid into the back seat. I gave him the address and he took off. About a few minutes later the cabbie pulled over and I paid him as soon as the cab stopped. I got out of it before heading inside The Crooked Hare. It was a little pub that my friend's family owned. I opened the door and walked inside the pub and it was unusually crowded for tonight but I managed to find a seat at the bar. A small grin appeared on my face as my friend David Crowley walked over to me holding a bottle of whiskey and poured me a drink. David was the same age as me, he had dark blonde chair, and had piercing blue eyes. He wore a long sleeved grey shirt with the sleeves rolled up, a black vest, and dark blue jeans.

“Hey Cas. You made it just in time for ladies night." David said as I took the glass before looking around the pub seeing maybe about three women. I snorted at his comment and raised my eyebrow at him.

“Ladies night?.” I asked David before he started to chuckle as I chugged down my drink. I put down the empty glass and held my head in my hands before sighing. I was still shaken up about that dream. I always felt like crap when I had those.

“Uh-oh. I know that look. Rough day today?” David asked me as he refilled my glass.

“No it’s just that I’ve had that damn dream again.” I replied with a sigh.

“Again? That’s the fifteenth time this month.” David replied as I took a sip of my drink. David has been a good friend of mine ever since I started to put my life back together again. He and his sister Christine patched me up and let me crash at their place before I found my current flat. The Crooked Hare is a family owned pub by their father who is a retried judge and David along with his two older brothers help him run the place. David chose to work the pub while his brothers provided financial backing. Christine is a nurse so she knows how to patch up a bullet wound.

“Yeah. I know.” I replied before taking another sip and looking away from David. A few chairs away from me I noticed two young girls, who were obviously in their first year of Uni sit down at the bar. They were all dressed up as if they were trying to appear older but they weren’t fooling anybody. They were no older than seventeen years old. The shorter girl had padding stuffed in her bra while the taller girl had makeup on that made her look like a hooker. “And there’s nothing I can do about it. Although alcohol helps.” I commented as I looked back at the blonde haired man.

“You could… I don’t know. Go see someone about it, maybe meet new people who were in that same situation, or join a support group.” Matthew suggested and I took off my fingerless gloves.

“I’ve already done those things but they always tell me the same thing over and over again. ‘It’s not your fault.’ I know it’s not my fault but the guilt is still there.” I told David just as I saw these two drunk guys walk up to the two eighteen year olds and started hitting on them.

“It was just a suggestion but I get your point.” David commented before he walked over to serve the two young girls. Behind me I heard a noise and I turned around to see two men, who were obviously drunk, they were looking at the two young girls and one of the men whistled at them. The shorter girl looked back at the men and she looked very uncomfortable. I made an annoyed noise as David walked back over to me and placed a plate of fish and chips in front of me.

“Thanks." I told him before taking a bite of my piping hot food. "Although there are these two guys.” I told David as he looked back at me in interest as I took another bite of my food. “I kind of like them.”

“Really? Cassandra Kyle making friends. That’s something you don’t hear everyday.” He replied teasingly before he chuckled and I couldn’t help but join in. "I'm jealous I thought I was your only friend."

“Yeah I am a real charmer.” I told him sarcastically. “Well no one can replace you Dave." I finished with a smirk before he looked back at me with a charming smile. David and I had some history together. We were more like friends with benefits but we decided to just stay friends. David and Christine helped me out a lot especially with helping me start my life over again. "You know I have to say they are both very interesting. One of them is an Army Doctor and the other one is a Consulting Detective, whatever the hell that is. I bumped into my old sponsor today and he introduced them to me.” I commented still trying to figure out who Sherlock Holmes really was.

“Leave us alone you creeps! We’ve already told you no!” A girl yelled and both David and I snapped our heads to where the sound was coming from. I saw that it was from one of the eighteen year old girls who said that to the drunk men.

"Shit. I hate it when this happens." David commented as I glared at the two men. Great all I wanted was a nice meal to myself with a couple of drinks but now I have to hear these arseholes.

“Come on babe don’t be like that.” One of the drunk men said as he placed his hands on her thigh. She slapped him in the face before he called her a little slut. Right before he could hit the girl I quickly got up from my bar stool and grabbed his arm.

“Now when a girl tells you no and to get lost you should respect that. Or are you just that stupid?” I asked the man as his friend got up from the other girl at the bar. I glanced at her and saw that she was crying. I let go of the man’s arm as he and his friend glared at me.

“Piss off! Mind your own business bitch.” The man told me with a snarl. He was holding on to his arm as if it was broken. Oh come on I didn’t even twist it. I glanced back at Matthew and he nodded at me. He gave me a look that said he was okay with me kicking those guys arses.

“It is my business when I see arseholes like you hitting on girl’s that obviously don’t want to be bothered. Are your dicks that small that you need to feel entitled to think that you two are so irresistible?”

“Bitch!” The man shouted right before he pulled back as if he was going to hit me. I rolled my eyes before quickly dodging the punch. I then rounded and pushed the guy in the groin. He groaned in pain before falling to the ground and clenching his stomach. The other guy ran at me but I quickly grabbed him and threw him across the room before he hit a table. I glanced back at David who grinned at me before he walked over to where the two men were at.

“You guys obviously had enough. Now get out of here before I call the cops.” David told him before the two men ran out of the pub. “Sorry about that everyone. The next round of drinks is on the house.” He told everyone in the pub before they all started clapping. I quickly turned on my heel to walk back to my bar stool with a smug grin on my face. I always hated men who did things like that to women. I deduced that those arseholes had been drinking since seven o’clock and that they wanted to have sex with them. Suddenly one of the girls came up to and gave me a big hug. I stopped dead in my tracks surprised by this sudden gesture. The girl finally let go of me and gave me a big smile.

“Thank you.” She said before her friend came up and gave me a hug. She let go as well and together the two girls left the pub. Suddenly a smile formed on my face. That was the first time someone had actually appreciated something that I did for them. It felt nice. I kept on smiling before I started eating again. I stayed another hour chatting with Matthew and telling him more about John and Sherlock. When it was time to pay Joseph told me that the meal and drinks were on the house.

I walked out of the pub as I saw a cab driving up. “Taxi!” I shouted as I ran to the oncoming cab but it just kept on going. “Shit.” I muttered to myself as the taxi just kept on going. The pub was starting to get crowded so I decided that I should start walking back. Walking would probably be better for me anyway. Just as I walked past the corner a payphone beside me started ringing. I paused for a second and stared at it till it stopped ringing. That was strange. I was a little drunk so I wasn’t sure if I was imagining things. I quickly looked up and noticed that a camera was pointed in my direction before it quickly swirled away. I just shrugged it off before I continued walking. A few minutes later another cab came up from behind me and I tried to flag it down but yet again it just kept on going. I wasn’t sure if it was the alcohol or the lack of sleep but I was starting to get pissed.

“Oh you’ve got to be kidding me.” I groaned before I took out a cigarette and my lighter. I was about to light it when a second payphone started ringing next to me. I looked at it for a second as I lowered the unlit cigarette from my mouth. Never one to ignore a coincidence I walked into the phone box and answers the phone.

“Hello?” I asked speaking down into the phone. Whoever this was I wasn’t in the mood for whatever thing thing is.

“There is a security camera on the building to your left. Do you see it?” A man’s voice asked me sounding slightly sinister. He was older and he also had an accent that screamed posh and proper.

“Who is this?” I asked sounding slightly annoyed. This better be good.

“Do you see the camera, Ms. Kyle?” The man asked me and I sighed before I looked through the window of the phone box and located the CCTV camera high up on the wall of a nearby building.

“Yeah I see it.”

“Watch.” The man ordered me and I watched as the camera, which had been pointing directly at the phone box swivel away. “There is another camera on the building opposite you. Do you see it?” He asked me and I looked across to the second camera, which was also pointed towards the phone box. I made a sound of agreement and the camera immediately swiveled away like the first had. “And finally, at the top of the building on your right.” The man told me and I stared up into the third camera, which was also watching me before it swiveled away.

“Is there a point to all of this?” I asked the man as I looked up at all of the cameras sounding bored. He wasn’t impressing anyone with this little trick although I was a little curious as to how this person was doing all of this.

“Get into the car, Ms. Kyle.” The man ordered me with an amused tone to his voice. A black car pulled up at the curbside near the phone box and a male driver got out of the car opening up one of the rear doors. “I would make some sort of threat, but I’m sure your situation is quite clear to you.” The man told me and I scoffed at that.

“You can’t make me get in there and I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to.” I told him and I heard the man chuckle on the other side of the phone.

“And yet I know your name and where you live. Get in the car Ms. Kyle. Do make things easier on yourself.” The man replied before the phone went dead.

“Fuck.” I muttered to myself before I put the phone back on the hook. There wasn’t much else I could do but get in the car and find out what that arsehole wanted with me. He had already been watching and following me, which explains the camera earlier today. I walked out of the phone box and over to the car where I slid into the back seat.
The car pulled away from the curb as soon as I got in and drove off. Sitting next to me was a young woman who was around the same age as me. I watched her as her eyes were fixed on her BlackBerry as she typed on it. I had seen people focused on their phone but this was ridiculous. It was as if she was writing her life story.

“You know if you look at your phone like that, you’re face is going to stay like that.” I commented but she didn’t respond. “Any point in asking where I’m going?” I asked her and she still remained silent. “Do you need me to text you that question?” I asked sarcastically and just like that she finally decided to look up.

“Hello.” She said smiling brightly at me.

“Oh good you’re not a zombie.” I told her as I took out of the window. We were driving further away from the center of the city. The woman laughed at that and I couldn’t help the slight grin on my face. “So whoever you are is there any point in asking where I am going?” I tried again now that I had her attention.

“None at all.” She told me as she went back to texting on her phone. “And the name’s Anthea. Cassandra.” She added like an afterthought. I sighed and crossed my arms sitting back in my seat waiting for this car ride to end. I couldn’t help but let my deductions flow about who these people were that kidnapped me. They were obviously rich since this was a very nice car. I placed my hand on the seat feeling the leather interior as I closed my eyes. This “Anthea” worked for someone in the government. Anthea obviously isn’t this woman’s name. I can’t believe I was being dragged into this again but this time it wasn’t even my fault. So how the hell did I get mixed up with the government?

'Getting in trouble again aren’t we? You really are a naught girl.’

I snapped my eyes open and made a gasping noise. God damn it! I thought to myself before I turned to look at not Anthea who was still typing away on her phone.

“Baybrook Street. Wulfstan Street. Hammersmith.” I muttered to my self trying to get his voice out of my head. I need to find a way in shutting away any thoughts of him and my past life. I didn’t even dare to utter his name nor do I want to hear that name uttered again. I watched out of the window as the dark streets of London raced by. It didn’t take too long before the car pulled into an almost empty warehouse.

I looked out of the window of the car and saw a man in a very expensive tailored looking suit standing in the center of the area, leaning nonchalantly on an umbrella as he watched the car stop. As soon as the car stopped I opened the door and got out myself. I front of the man was a straight backed armless chair facing him. He gestured to it with the point of his umbrella as I walked towards him.

“Have a seat, Cassandra.” The man told me calmly with this air of a posh man who was used to getting what he wanted. I always hated that type. I glanced at the chair before looking at the man.

“You know, I’ve got a phone.” I told him as I looked around the warehouse with my hands in the pockets of my leather jacket. “Nice touch though with the camera and the black car, but you could’ve just phoned me like a normal person. Although I can tell that’s not your thing.” The man smirked at my comment just before I flickered my gaze to the man’s umbrella for a brief moment silently deducing if that could possible be used as a weapon. Wouldn’t that be interesting.

“When one is avoiding the attention of Sherlock Holmes, one learns to be discreet hence this place.” The man told me and I frowned at that remark. Sherlock? So this man knows about Sherlock Holmes. “Sit down Ms. Kyle.” The man demanded of me trying to sound intimidating.

“No I’d rather stand.” I told him refusing to do anything he told me to do. The man looked at me curiously almost as if he expected me to say that before he smirked at me.

“You don’t seem very afraid.” The man remarked sounding slightly amused. I quickly gave him a ‘you’ve got to be kidding me’ look and snorted at him. Was I supposed to be afraid of him? He had an umbrella for God’s sakes. Mary Poppins was more intimidating than this guy.

“I’ve seen worse.” I replied and he just chuckled at me before he looked at me sternly.

“What is your connection to Sherlock Holmes?”

“Who wants to know?” I asked the man standing my ground. The man frowned at my response and he started to look at me the same way Sherlock did earlier today. I just kept my guard up and stared back at him. It was at that exact moment I started to deduce him.

Government official, more power than he lets on, in his forties, on a diet which he clearly hates being on, loves and I mean LOVES cake. He has a younger brother who he doesn’t get along with, stress lines meant hard day at work, not married although he did have a band on his finger. The only thing I couldn’t figure out was how this man knew Sherlock. Humph… That’s odd. Just like Sherlock I couldn’t get anything else from him.

“An interested party.” The man replied as I took out a cigarette and lit it before taking a drag. I was getting really tired of all this secrecy and not to mention I was exhausted.
“Interested in Sherlock? Why? You’re obviously not friends. Friends don’t do things like this. Well not that I would know.” I remarked as I blew out the smoke.

“You’ve met him. How many ‘friends’ do you think Sherlock has? I am the closet thing to a friend that Sherlock is capable of having. It would seem that you two have become fast friends. After all he did offer for you to move in with him.” The man told me thoughtfully. So I was right this man had been watching me since I left Bart’s today. He was closer to Sherlock then he actually lets on. I studied the man harder until it finally hit me.

“Do you plan to continue your association with Sherlock Holmes?” The man demanded as I grinned at what I had deduced. How could I not see it before!

“I could be wrong… but I think that’s none of your business.” I told him honestly after taking another hit of my cigarette before snuffing it out. “Don’t you think your brother should be able to associate with whoever he wants? Mr. Holmes.” I finished with a grin as he frowned at what I had said. That explains why this man went with all this trouble just to scare me away from his younger brother. He then grinned at me before he shifted his umbrella.

“People usually don’t figure that out so fast.” The man told me as I kept a straight face. “I would like to know how an alcoholic, chain-smoking Private Investigator figure this all out.”

“I have my ways. I know for instance that you are in your forties. You work for the government but hold more power than you actually let one. Hence the cameras. You’ve had a stressful day, probably because of the fact that your younger brother refuses to talk to you making your life difficult. You don’t get on well, which is why you had to drag me all the way down here just to see if Sherlock has made a ‘friend’.” I told the man sharing my deductions about him as his eyes narrowed and he stared back a me passively.

“You’re thirty years old. You grew up in the streets hence your tough exterior. You were an ex thief who is now a Private Investigator. You don’t work for the police because of your criminal past although there is someone who needs you help. You’re an alcoholic because of something or someone from your past. You are above average intelligence or at least you would have to be in order to figure out that Sherlock is my brother. Finally you are running away from someone but no matter how hard you try you are still haunted by your past. Although it is obvious that you miss your days as a thief. You’ve lost that sense of excitement and danger. Have I missed anything?” The man asked me as I looked on before nodding my head.

“Yup. Definitely brothers.” I replied as I mused over the deductions he made about me. He wasn’t as quick as Sherlock was when he gave his deductions but he still got them right. The man eyed me again as if he was trying to figure me out. The man reached for his jacket pulling out a notebook from his inside pocket. He opened up to one of the pages and consulted it before looking back at me.

“If you do move into, um… two hundred and twenty-one B Baker Street, I’d be happy to pay you a meaningful sum of money on a regular basis to ease your troubles.” The man told me as he closed his notebook and put it away.

“Why?”

“Because you’re not a wealthy woman an my price is a better offer than your average salary.” The man told me trying to play my interests. I’ve been in this situation before but this time I wasn’t going to take this offer. Although last time I was desperate but I wasn’t going to do anything stupid like that again. “I worry about him. Constantly.” The man finished sounding truly genuine. It was a little surprising at first but I deduced that he truly cared about Sherlock although he wouldn’t admit it openly.

“The answer is still no.” I told the man before he looked at me closely for a moment, then took out his notebook and opened it again.

“‘Trust issues’, it says here. Could it be that you’ve decided to trust Sherlock Holmes of all people?” The man asked me and I scoffed at that.

“So you’ve been watching me. Big deal. And I don’t trust him. The last time I agreed to spy for someone in a business suit for money I almost got killed.” I told the man as my anger got the best of me.

“You don’t seem the kind to make friends easily.” He pointed out and I laughed at that. Seriously?

“Are we done now? Not that I haven’t loved this, but I have better things to do.” I told the man and he raised his head looking into my eyes deducing me again.

“You tell me.” The man told me and I glared at him before he gave me an amused grin. “It’s time to choose a side, Ms. Kyle. There’s an East Wind coming. Are you prepared for it?” The man asked before he walked away from me towards the back of the warehouse. I watched the departing man until he left me alone with my anger. Wo the hell did he think he was? And what the hell is an East Wind? The car door opened behind me and Anthea got out walking a few paces towards me her attention still riveted to the BlackBerry held in front of her in both hands.

“I’m here to take you home.” She told me as I half-turned towards her. I looked back at the direction where the man retreated to before following the phone girl into the back of the car, letting her take me home.

This sure was one strange day. I though that today was going to be just like any other day but I never expected that I would meet two interesting men and get kidnapped all in the same day. I knew that this wasn’t going to be the last time that I would see Umbrella Man but that didn’t deter me from Sherlock Holmes. Now I was really intrigued by this Sherlock and I was definitely going to move in just to piss his brother. I needed to start getting my life back together and moving in with Sherlock and John is exactly what I need.

Chapter Text

It was around 7pm when I made my way out of my flat and hailed a cab over to Baker Street. I was dressed in the same clothes I was wearing the other day, since they are basically the only pair of clothing that I own. I should probably buy some new ones but clothes were expensive. I was actually looking forward to seeing the two men again. There was something about those two that interested me. Sherlock was a huge arse but he was a likable arse while John was an all around great guy. After what happened last night I did some research on Sherlock’s older brother, using some of my hacking skills. I was able to bypass MI6’s databases and found some pretty interesting things. I had discovered that his name was Mycroft Holmes. Oh god even his name sounded posh and arrogant. To say that he worked for the Government would be an understatement. He practically is the British Government. I was going to find more information on him before I had been cut out of the database by an unknown source. Looks like Mycroft didn’t like the fact that I was snooping into MI5. I knew that last night wasn’t going to be the last time that I would be seeing Mycroft. I looked out of the window as the cab pulled up along the curbing next to the door of 221B just as Sherlock was getting out of the cab in front of mine. I paid the cabbie and grabbed my messenger bag as I slid out of the cab before stepping onto the street. John was standing over by the door marked 221B as I walked over to join him.

“Hello.” Sherlock greeted us as he reached through the window of his cab and handed some money to the cab driver. “Thank you.” He said as John and I turned to face him as he walked over to us.

“Ah, Mr. Holmes. Ms. Kyle.” John greeted us as he offered Sherlock his hand. I looked at John a little confused that he called me Ms. Kyle. Even my clients never called me that. I was not used to all this formality especially since I was from the wrong side of the tracks.

“Sherlock, please.” He responded as they shook hands.

“Just Cas or Cassandra if you like.” I told both men as I shook their hands.

“Well, this is a prime spot. Must be expensive.” John commented as he looked around the street. I nodded my head in agreement. This flat was in a better part of London then my hellhole of a flat was. The perks of being Sherlock Holmes.

“Oh, Mrs. Hudson, the landlady, she’s giving me a special deal. Owes me a favor. A few years back, her husband got himself sentenced to death in Florida. I was able to help out.” Sherlock told us as I raised one of my eyebrows at him.

“Sorry, you stopped her husband being executed?” John asked him confused.

“Oh no. I ensured it.” He answered John with a smile and I grinned at that as the front door opened to reveal the mentioned Mrs. Hudson. She opened her arms up to the younger man with a smile on her face.

“Sherlock, hello.” She greeted him as Sherlock turned and walked into her arms. He hugged her briefly before stepping back to introduce the two of us. This Mrs. Hudson seemed like the mothering type.

“Mrs. Hudson, Doctor John Watson and Cassandra Kyle.” Sherlock introduced us as he pointed us out in turn to the elderly woman. I grinned back at her trying to leave a good first impression.

“Hello.” Mrs. Hudson greeted us with a warm smile. I got a positive and loving vibe from this woman. She seems a lot nicer than my current landlord.

“How do?” John greeted her as he shook her hand. Great more formalities.

“Come in.” Mrs. Hudson said as she gestured for us to enter. Shooing us inside out of the cold London air.

“Thank you.” John told her as he stepped inside of 221B leaving Sherlock and me outside of the threshold.

“I'd knew you'd come.” Sherlock told me with a confident smirk on his face. 

“Yeah well there are still a lot of things you don’t know about me.” I told him as I rolled my eyes before I walked in with Sherlock behind me. Mrs. Hudson closed the door behind us as Sherlock passed by me in the hallway his shoulder brushing against mine even though there was plenty of room. He looked back at me briefly as I raised my eyebrow at him before he trotted up the stairs to the first floor. He paused and waited for the two of us to join him. John started up the stairs as Mrs. Hudson greeted me.

“Hello there dear. It’s very nice to meet you.” The older woman told me as she gave me a big motherly hug. I was a little surprised by this sudden burst of affection before I gave her a smile. I couldn’t help it. It had been ages since I had been given such a warm motherly hug. It felt…. nice.

“Hello, it’s nice to meet you too.” I told her with a smile.

“Oh it’ll be nice to have a young lady around the place. If you ever need anything don’t hesitate to ask.” Mrs. Hudson told me before she pushed me towards the stairs. I ascended the stairs meeting John at the top. Sherlock opened the door ahead of him and walked through, revealing the living room of the flat.
John and I followed him through the door and we looked around the room together. Wow! It was a lot bigger than my flat that was certain. My flat looked like a shoebox compared to this place.

“Well, this could be very nice.” John commented as I walked past him into the living room and looked around as I placed my messenger bag on the couch. There was a stack of books on a desk and I looked at the spines while reading the titles. There were books on subjects ranging from chemistry to bee keeping. Hmm so he likes bees. Sherlock didn’t strike me as the person who was interested in bee keeping.

“Yeah very nice.” I commented before straightening up. My eyes finally fell onto a violin presumably the exact same one he told us about the other day. It looked to be in good condition. It was reasonably old but well cared for which meant it was a possession that Sherlock prized above the rest of his things.

“Yes. Yes, I think so. My thoughts precisely.” Sherlock stated as he looked around the flat happily.

“So I went straight ahead and moved in.” He continued as John simultaneously said “Soon as we get all this rubbish cleaned out… Oh.” He paused, embarrassed as he realized what Sherlock was saying. I raised my eyebrow at the man’s blunder.

“So this is all…” John remarked uncomfortably as he took in the clutter around the room. Yes, the room was a little disorganized but it wasn’t that bad. I honestly didn’t mind the clutter.

“Well, obviously I can, um, straighten things up a bit.” Sherlock said as he walked across the room and made a half hearted attempt to tidying up a little. He threw a couple of folders into a box and then took some apparently unopened envelopes across to the fireplace where he proceeded to put them onto the mantlepiece and then stab a multi tool knife into them. Sherlock then glanced at me waiting for my response about the place and if I had any problems with the mess.

“I don’t mind. It looks better with all the clutter.” I remarked placing my hands into the pockets of my leather jacket and shrugging my shoulders. Sherlock looked at me out of curiosity by my response. He was probably surprised that I didn’t complain about the mess. Typically it was the woman who complained about a place being to messy or not but I didn’t care. It was then that John lifted up his cane to point as something on the mantlepiece.

“That’s a skull.” He remarked as I looked to where he was pointing to find that there was indeed a skull on the corner of the mantelpiece. Well that’s something you don’t see every day.

“Friend of mine. When I say ‘friend’…” Sherlock told him as I crossed the room and picked up the skull. Sherlock gave me a look as if he wanted to kill me but I just ignored him.

“Shakespeare in the park?” I asked Sherlock grinning. “Alas poor Yorrick. I knew him well.” I recited before looking back at Sherlock as I heard John make a cough laugh sound.

“You know you would make a great Hamlet.” I told the man before putting it back in it’s proper place. I looked back at Sherlock and saw that he was now looking at me with an expression that was a mix of annoyance and perplexity. It was then that Mrs. Hudson made her appearance agin. She picked up a cup and saucer that Sherlock had left on a table while he took off his greatcoat and scarf and hung them up behind the door.

“What do you think, then, Doctor Watson? Ms. Kyle? There’s two other bedrooms, one upstairs and one down, if you’ll be needing three bedrooms.” Mrs. Hudson said as she looked at the two of us expectantly.

“Of course we’ll be needing three.” John told her and I snorted at the exact implications of Mrs. Hudson’s words. It was kind of amusing to watch John get so completely uncomfortable with a situation. She either thought that I was in a relationship with John or Sherlock or that the boys were in a relationship.

“Oh, don’t worry; there’s all sorts round here.” Mrs. Hudson told us confidentially before lowering her voice to a whisper at the end of her sentence. “Mrs. Turner next door’s got married ones and I know how young people are these days living together before marriage.” Mrs. Hudson nodded as she tried to figure out the nature of our relationships with each other. John looked across the room to Sherlock as if expecting him to confirm that they were not involved in that way, but Sherlock appeared oblivious to what Mrs. Hudson was insinuating. John looked back at me for help but I only shrugged as Mrs. Hudson walked across into the kitchen. This was one topic that I wasn’t going to touch with a ten foot pole.

“Oh, Sherlock. The mess you’ve made.” She scolded him before she went into the kitchen and saw that the kitchen table was covered in chemistry equipment. Looks like he does experiments at home too. That should be interesting to say the least.
John walked over to one of the two arm chairs in the room and plumped the cushion on the chair before dropping heavily down into it. He looked across the room last Sherlock who was still tidying up a little though now it was for show. He was trying so hard to make a good impression on us.

“I looked you up on the internet last night.” John said suddenly and I turned briefly to look at him.

“Anything interesting?” Sherlock asked him abandoning his attempt at cleaning as he turned around.

“Found your website, The Science of Deduction.”

“What do you think?” Sherlock asked him smiling proudly as I walked over to the empty arm chair and sat myself down on it. I threw my right leg over the arm of the chair with my left foot placed on the ground. John threw Sherlock a ‘you’ve got to be kidding me’ look and Sherlock’s face fell.

“You said you could identify a software designer by his tie and an airline pilot by his left thumb.”

“Yes; and I can read your military career in your face and your leg, and your brother’s drinking habits in your mobile phone.” Sherlock responded snappishly. Well someone was having a hissy fit. 

“How?” John asked him incredulously. Sherlock smiled and turned away from him before he looked at me before frowning.

“What about you? What did you think about it?” Sherlock asked me as I turned my head and eyed him.

“It’s okay.” I told Sherlock with a shrug before I sat properly in the arm chair. “Interesting stuff on your analysis of tobacco ash though.” I finished as a grin appeared on my face. John looked at me in exasperation while Sherlock smirked back at me but before he could respond Mrs. Hudson walked out of the kitchen reading the newspaper.

“What about these suicides then, Sherlock? I thought that’d be right up your street. Three exactly the same.” Mrs. Hudson said as Sherlock walked over to the window of the living room and looked down at the street below. I heard the sound of a car pulling up outside. I didn’t have to look outside to know that the person who pulled up was here to see Sherlock. It was the cops. Three serial suicides and now someone from the police was coming to visit the world’s only consulting detective only meant one thing.

“Four.” Sherlock and I said in unison. Sherlock quickly turned to look at me in confusion.

“There has been a fourth.” I commented ignoring the looks I was getting.

“Yes, and there’s something different this time.” Sherlock said after a moment. He continued to watch me closely almost as it was the first time he had actually looked at me. I just remained a motionless mask as I stared back at him.

“A fourth?” Mrs. Hudson asked the two of us sounding completely confused as we continued our stare down.It was then that we all heard the door opening down stairs before the sound of loud footfalls could be heard coming up the stairs. A second later a gray haired man walked into the door.

“Where?” Sherlock asked Detective Inspector Lestrade barely giving the man to catch his breath as Sherlock kept his eyes on me.

“Brixton, Lauriston Gardens.” Lestrade told him.

“What’s new about this one? You wouldn’t have come to get me if there wasn’t something different.” Sherlock asked him sounding slightly annoyed but I could tell that he was secretly pleased that Lestrade had shown up. I quickly eyed Lestrade and he locked eyes with mine. I saw a wave of relief appear on his face. That’s odd normally people aren’t pleased to see me.

“You know how they never leave notes?” Lestrade asked him sounding extremely tired. The lines on his face provided all the evidence that showed he was nearing his breaking point.

“Yeah.”

“This one did.” Bestride told him. With those exact words I perked up in interest. Hmmm…. Someone actually left a note. Very interesting. Lestrade then looked back at me with a nod.

“I sure could use your help too Cassandra.” Lestrade told me right before Sherlock turned to look at me confused before looking back at Lestrade. I sighed but before I was about to say something Sherlock cut me off.

“You two know each other?” Sherlock asked as he pointed between the two of us.

“A little bit.” I replied as Sherlock still looked confused that Lestrade knew me.

“Uhh…. Cassandra helped me out on a missing persons case.” Lestrade explained to Sherlock and I snorted at that. Lestrade was trying to tell Sherlock one of the reasons why I knew him to Sherlock.

“You also arrested me. On multiple occasions too.” I commented before Lestrade scratched his head as everyone in the room gave me a look that was a mix of shock and surprise.

“Umm…. yeah I was trying to avoid mentioning that. That wasn’t my division when I arrested you by the way.” Lestrade replied with a sign. I quickly glanced at Sherlock to see his reaction but he just looked on at me with mere interest. “Any way can you help?”

“You know I don’t do things like that. I don’t know why you keep asking me. I’m just a PI.” I told Lestrade as I gave him a stern look. I had a reputation at Scotland Yard and it wasn’t a good one. I knew I wasn’t welcomed there but for some bizarre reason Lestrade wanted me to help.

“Because you are one of the best and I need you too Cassandra. All the same, I would really appreciate it if you would come along.” Lestrade tried again trying to appeal my interest. I had to admit the case did sound interesting. Three serial suicides and then finally a note. Hmmm…. Decisions decisions. “Will you come?” Lestrade asked turning away from me and directing his question at Sherlock.

“Who’s on forensics?” Sherlock asked him as he looked back at Lestrade.

“It’s Anderson.” Lestrade told him reluctantly. Shit! I thought to myself.

“Anderson won’t work with me.”

“Well he won’t be your assistant.” Lestrade replied.

“I need an assistance.” Sherlock complained. I don’t blame him I hated the idea of Anderson being there but it looked like he had no choice.

“Will you come?” Lestrade asked us again. I actually felt bad for the guy. He must be truly desperate to come to me for help even when he fully knew that I was a Private Investigator and that I had refused him so many times.

“Not in a police car. I’ll be right behind.” Sherlock answered him. Lestrade looked at me waiting for an answer and a moment later I gave out a heavy sigh.

“Shit. Fine I’ll come, but you owe me. Big time.” I finally told Lestrade who smiled at me smugly. “And wipe that smug grin off of your face.”

“Thank you Cassandra. I knew one of these days I was going to get you to come.” Lestrade told me as I just rolled my eyes at that.

“I’ll ride with Sherlock.” I told him as I got up from the chair I was sitting in. There was no way in hell I was going to show up in a police car. Never again.

“Thank you.” Lestrdae said again before looking at John and Mrs. Hudson for a moment and nodding briefly. He turned around and hurried off back down the stairs. As soon as the door slammed shut downstairs Sherlock leaped into the air and clenched his fists triumphantly before twirling around the room happily.

“Brilliant! Yes! Ah, four serial suicides, and now a note! Oh, it’s Christmas!” He exclaimed as he picked up his scarf and pulled it on as he headed into the kitchen I raised my eyebrow at his sudden outburst of excitement as I crossed over to the couch and picked up my messenger bag. It was just a crime scene. I didn’t know what the big deal was.

“Mrs. Hudson, I’ll be late. Might need some food.” Sherlock called from the kitchen as I sighed heavily. I just rolled my eyes before turning around and trudging down the stairs to wait for Sherlock by the front door. I was starting to regret my decision.

“I’m your landlady, dear, not your housekeeper.” I heard Mrs. Hudson reminding Sherlock as I left the flat.

“Something cold will do. John, have a cup of tea, make yourself at home. Don’t wait up!” I heard Sherlock call from the flat as I opened my messenger bag and took out a small flask before drinking from it. I was going to need some alcohol in my system and lots of it. As I put the flask away Sherlock appeared at the top of the stairs and boiled down them. His excited expression faded when he saw me at the bottom of the stairs. I stared back at him showing no emotion on my face. “So… you worked for Lestrade?” Sherlock asked me the question I knew he wanted more explanation for.

“Once or twice. It was when I first started out as a PI. He asked me to track down a man who had jumped bail for kidnapping a government official's grandson. I first met him when I was in my early twenties.” I explained to Sherlock.

“That would be around the same time you were a thief?” Sherlock asked me looking emotionless.

“Yeah.”

“I don’t work well with others and nor do I need your help.” He finally said after a second and I snorted at that. Oh I felt so welcomed.

“Neither do I sunshine, but Lestrade asked me so you just have to deal with it.” I told him as I brushed my hair behind my ears. He was probably used to people backing off but I was not one of those people. I was here to help where Sherlock and I liked it or not. We both glared at each other in silence, challenging one another. Neither of us were backing down.

“Damn my leg!” We heard John shout suddenly from the living room and we both turned to look back up the stairs. A second later Sherlock turned back to look at me with an expression in his eyes that looked like he was up to something.

“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Sherlock asked me and I looked at him before looking back up to the stairs.

“That an Army Doctor is what we need?” I asked him with a grin. Sherlock grinned back at me. We turned around and trotted back up the stairs together.

“You’re a doctor. In fact you’re an army doctor.” Sherlock said as soon as we entered the living room again.

“Yes.” John said upon taking notice of us. He got to his feet and turned towards the two of us as Sherlock walked over to John and stood in front of him.

“Any good?” I asked John as I leaned against the door frame.

“Very good.” John told me as he met my challenge.

“Seen a lot of injuries, then; violent deaths?” Sherlock asked him.

“Mmm, yes.”

“Bit of trouble too, I bet.”

“Of course, yes. Enough for a lifetime.” John said quietly as if he was trying to convince himself. He couldn’t resist it though. He missed the danger of the chase far too much to back down.

“Wanna see some more?” Sherlock asked him as I grinned at that.

“Oh God, yes.” John told us reverently without a second’s thought. Sherlock turned on his heels and headed back down the stairs with John following behind him. I followed after the two boys with a grin on my face. Maybe this night won’t be so bad after all.

“Sorry, Mrs. Hudson, I’ll skip the tea. Off out.” John called out as he hurried down the stairs after Sherlock. I saw that he brought his cane with him and I rolled my eyes. We had to do something about that limp and fast.

“The three of you?” Mrs. Hudson asked in confusion as she stood at the end of the stairs. Sherlock had almost reached the door as I got to the bottom of the stairs before he quickly turned and walked back towards her as I passed by them.

“Impossible suicides? Four of them? There’s no point sitting at home when there’s finally something fun going on!” Sherlock told her as he took her by the shoulders and kissed her on the cheek.

“Look at you, all happy. It’s not decent.” Mrs. Hudson said unable to hold her smile. Sherlock turned away from her and walked over to me as I opened the door and walked over to me as I opened the door and walked out to the curbing.

“Who cares about decent? The game, Mrs. Hudson, is on!” Sherlock called in the door way before he walked out and stopped by my side. “Taxi!” He hailed a black cab as it approached the curb before stopping. The taxi pulled up alongside the curb before Sherlock got into the back seat of the cab with me getting in next and John followed behind.

It was a tight fit but we were all able to fit in. I wasn’t used to sitting this close to people but I had to endure it. Sherlock shouted the address at the cabbie who pulled out back onto the road and started to head for Brixton. We sat in companionable silence for a long time while Sherlock pulled out his phone and fixed his eyes on it. I felt the cell in my bag vibrate but I just ignored it. John kept on shooting us nervous glances and finally Sherlock lowered his mobile besides me and looked past me at John.

“Okay, you’ve got questions.” He said as my cell started to vibrate again. I groaned inwardly before finally taking it out of my bag. I glanced at it and saw that it was a message from an unknown number.

“Yeah, where are we going?” John asked us and I sighed as I read the message. Going somewhere? It’s seem you and my brother have become chummy. -MH. Shit! Great now Umbrella man has my cell number.

“Crime scene, obviously. Next?” Sherlock asked John. I glanced at Sherlock out of the corner of my eye and saw that he was watching me.

My phone vibrated again with a second message. ‘Where are you and my dear brother going?-MH. The text read. I groaned inwardly, I didn’t want to deal with this now I already have one Holmes brother giving me a headache.

‘Piss off. I’m busy.’ I texted back simply hoping that would be the end of it but of course it wasn’t. A few seconds later it started to vibrate again.

“Son of a bitch!” I exclaimed loudly getting really annoyed about all of these texts. I noticed that both John and Sherlock were looking at me only by my sudden outbursts. Yeah I got those looks all the time. I was one of those girls who swore a lot. One of the many things that they would have to get used to about me.

“Who are you two? What do you two do?” John asked us before he looked back at me. “I thought you said that you are a Private Investigator?”

“Yeah I am. This really isn’t my thing. I just have a specific set of skills.” I remarked as I lowered my phone and put it on silence.

“What do you think?” Sherlock asked John as I placed my phone into the pocket of my leather jacket.

“I’d say private detective…” John said slowly hesitating in his response.

“But?”

“…. but the police don’t go to private detectives.” John finished as he looked at me. “Well except for you apparently.”

“I’m a consulting detective. Only one in the world. I invented the job.” Sherlock answered John and I snorted at that.

“Consulting detective? What the hell is that?” I asked Sherlock as John looked at him confused. Sherlock gave me an annoyed look before he gave out a sigh.

“It means when the police are out of there depth, which is always, they consult me.” Sherlock told us before adding reluctantly. “Or apparently Cassandra.”

“Oi listen Mr. Consulting Detective I only helped Lestrade once to find a killer who jumped bail. This isn’t something I do everyday.” I reminded Sherlock as he kept eyeing me. Ugh men get so emasculated when they find out that a woman can do the same thing they can do. They are so territorial. John looked back us us hesitantly. He was worried that Sherlock and I were going to get into a fight any minute.

“The police don’t consult amateurs.” John said before Sherlock turned his focus away from me and back to John.

“When I met you for the first time yesterday, I said, ‘Afghanistan or Iraq?’ You looked surprised.” Sherlock remarked as I looked back at John.

“Yes, Cassan.… I mean Cas asked me that question first and then you. How did you two know? You said that you could read people? Is that a trick or a game that you do?” John asked us directing his last question at me. I noticed Sherlock threw a look my way. It was a mixture of surprise and loathing at having been shown up. Oh he was definitely going to love me. I thought to myself sarcastically.

“No it’s not a game or a trick. You don’t have to call me by my nickname if you feel uncomfortable. Cassandra is fine.” I commented before giving a small smile to John. I knew that he wasn’t comfortable calling me Cas and I wasn’t going to force him. “Ever since I was a child and after the….. accident I took to observing people. It’s a very helpful skill to have especially in my line of work.” I explained to John. It was really hard for me to mention the accident. I didn’t really like talking about it.

Suddenly I heard a little girl calling out to me. Come on Cassie! Let’s go! The voice said. It was a voice that was very familiar to me. Of course it was only in my head.

“Accident?” John asked me sounding sincerely concerned and I noticed that Sherlock looked at me with curiosity.

“It’s nothing.” I told John trying to cover up what I had said. I always hated talking about what happened to me when I was a child mostly because of the guilt I had and the sympathetic looks I got from others. After that day I had been a lonely child and from being transferred from one place to another I spent my days just watching people. No one suspected a child and most of the times I had witnessed people doing bad shit and things that they wouldn’t normally do if another adult was watching. It had also helped me get out of sticky situations.

“And you? How did you know?” John asked Sherlock changing the subject back to him. Sherlock was staring at me questioningly. I could see the silent questions he longed to be answered.

“I didn’t know, I saw. Your haircut, the way you hold yourself, says military. But your conversation as you enter the room said trained at Bart’s, so Army doctor, obvious…” Sherlock told him as I hummed in agreement. People were easy enough to read. In the case of Sherlock, I could deduce the most basic things about him. Like me he wasn’t a people person because he thought others were of a lower intelligence to himself. Sherlock was also a recovering addict. He didn’t get along well with his family especially his older brother Mycroft, whom I had the pleasure of meeting last night. Ugh! Other than that I got nothing from him. Eventually I would figure out exactly who Sherlock really was. “Your face is tanned but no tan above the wrists. You’ve been abroad, but not sunbathing…”

“Your limp’s really bad when you walk but you don’t ask for a chair when you stand, like you’ve forgotten about it, so it’s at least partly psychosomatic.” I remarked cutting in on Sherlock’s deductions about John sharing my own.

“That says the original circumstances of the injury were traumatic. Wounded in action, then. Wounded in action, suntan… Afghanistan or Iraq.” Sherlock finished loudly clicking the ‘k’ sound at the end of the final word as he gave me an irritated look at me having interrupted his deductions.

“You said I had a therapist.”

“You do have a psychosomatic limp John obviously you would have a therapist.” I told John as I nudged his arm. I really liked John which was rather odd for me. I didn’t normally develop close attachments towards people so quickly.

“Then there’s your brother.” Sherlock interjected.

“Hmm?” John asked him sounding confused as he looked away from me and at Sherlock. He held out his hand out to John across my chest.

“Your phone. It’s expensive, e-mail enabled, MP3 player, but you’re looking for a flatshare. You wouldn’t waste money on this. It’s a gift, then.” He said as John gave him the phone. He turned it over in his hands and looked it over as he talked. “Scratches. Not one, many over time. It’s been in the same pocket as keys and coins. The man sitting next to Cassandra wouldn’t treat his one luxury item like this, so it’s had a previous owner. Next bit’s easy. You know it already.”

“The engraving.” John said slowly as I took the phone from Sherlock ignoring the look he gave me. I turned over the phone, studying it and making my own deductions about it. I turned it over and read the engraving on the back before Sherlock took it back.

Harry Watson
From Clara
xxx

“Harry Watson, clearly a family member who’s given you his old phone. Not your father, this is a young man’s gadget. Could be a cousin, but you’re a war hero who can’t find a place to live. Unlikely you’ve got an extended family, certainly not one you’re close to, so brother it is. Now Clara. Who’s Clara? Three kisses says it’s a romantic attachment. The expense of the phone says wife, not girlfriend. She must have given it to him recently, this model’s only six months old. Marriage in trouble then, six months on he’s given it away. If she’d left him, he would have kept it. People do… sentiment. But no, he wanted rid of it. He left her. He gave the phone to you. That says he wants you to stay in touch. You’re looking for cheap accommodation, but you’re not going to your brother for help, that says you’ve got problems with him. Maybe you liked his wife; maybe you didn’t like his drinking.” Sherlock continued with his deductions. Very impressive.

“How can you possibly know about the drinking?” John asked him completely baffled. I answered him before Sherlock could.

“It was a shot in the dark. A very good one though.” I complimented Sherlock who smiled smugly at me as I showed John the phone. “The power connection. You see, there’s tiny little scuff marks around the edge of it. Every night he goes to plug it in to charge but his hands are shaking. You’d never see those on a sober man’s phone and you’d never see a drunk’s without him.” I explained to John as I handed him back his phone.

“And then there is yours.” Sherlock started as his gaze turned to me. “You’ve received some texts from someone in just a few minutes, but you’ve ignored all of the. They weren’t from your clients or else you would have taken them. By the looks of your outfit you don’t have that much money and you need your clients for money. So, someone you aren’t fond of talking to at the present time.” Sherlock continued as he took my phone. He flipped it over in his hands studying it carefully. “This was a gift, someone you know gave this to you. Someone that you love. Not in a romantic way but familial. It may have been romantic in the past but not any more. Obviously not the person who is trying to contact you. You don’t have any friends so I’d say a sibling gave you this.” Sherlock finished as he handed me back my phone. He got a lot less off of my phone then he had from John’s.

“There you go you see… you were right.” Sherlock told John smiling with satisfaction. I slipped my phone into my messenger bag and looked at John.

“I was right? Right about what?” John asked him sounding stunned that Sherlock had told him he was right about something.

“The police don’t consult amateurs.” I told John with a grin on my face. Sherlock looked out of the side window and I caught him biting his lip nervously as he waited for John’s reaction. He was obviously used to the same reactions I was used to.

“That…. was amazing.” John said suddenly. Sherlock looked round at John with an expression of surprise upon his face. I mirrored Sherlock’s expression. Did he seriously tell us that we were amazing? Well, that was a first.

“Do you think so?” Sherlock asked him after he gained his composure back.

“Of course it was. It was extraordinary; it was quite extraordinary.” John remarked truthfully and I grinned widely at him.

“That’s not what people normally say.” Sherlock remarked as I hummed in agreement.

“What do people normally say?”

“Piss off!” Sherlock and I told John in unison before we looked at each other. We then both grinned at each other. John took in the both of us before turning away to the window with a grin on his face.

Chapter Text

The cab arrived at Lauriston Gardens and the three of us got out of the cab as I slung my messenger bag over my shoulder. Sherlock paid the cabbie before we walked towards the police tape that was strung across the road. The crime scene was at an abandoned building in part of London that was out of the way. I had been here before one time on a case where a runaway teen and her friend were hiding. It is rather odd that I am back here again but this time I was solving a murder.

“Did I get anything wrong?” Sherlock asked us suddenly as we walked. I shoved my mobile back into my bag as I flicked my attention over to John and Sherlock.

“Harry and me don’t get on, never have. Clara and Harry split up three months ago and they’re getting a divorce, and Harry is a drinker.” John told the two of us as I kept up with his pace.

“Spot on, then. I didn’t expect to be right about everything.” Sherlock said smiling proudly to himself. I just rolled my eyes at him.

“Oh god.” I muttered to myself. If Sherlock’s head was any bigger wouldn’t fit through the doorway.

“And Harry’s short for Harriet.” John finished. I let out an amused laugh but Sherlock stopped dead in his tracks.

“Harry’s your sister.” Sherlock said deadpanned. “And what about you?” Sherlock demanded of me.

“You’re right about one thing. I don’t have friends.” I told Sherlock who was still processing that he got a deduction wrong. “But I did have a sister.” I said softly. John didn’t hear me but Sherlock did and he looked at me for a moment out of curiosity by what I had said.

“Look, what exactly am I supposed to be doing here?” John asked Sherlock as we continued onwards leaving Sherlock behind.

“Sister!” Sherlock said furiously through gritted teeth.

“No seriously, what am I doing here?”

“There’s always something.” Sherlock said exasperatedly as he started walking again. It only took a few strides for him to catch up with us. We approached the police tape where we were met someone that I was not happy to see.

“Shit.” I said before we got closer to the police tape. This was going to be an interesting evening.

“Hello, freak.” Donovan greeted Sherlock before she took notice of me. She looked very surprised to see me until it faded to loathing. “Look what the cat dragged in. I thought you were in jail somewhere.Thief.” She sneered as I rolled my eyes at her. Lord please give me the strength not to hit her.

“We’re here to see Detective Inspector Lestrade.” Sherlock told her sounding rather bored. It appeared that Sherlock was more than used to this treatment and so was I. While Sherlock probably brushed off those insults I was the one who would get into a fight for someone calling me a freak. I had met Donovan a few times, which was too many for me and she always hated me from the start.

“Why?” Donovan asked us sounding annoyed. She was rather lucky that I was making an effort to control my bad temper.

“We were invited.” I snapped at her as I clenched my fists.

“Why?”

“I think he wants us to take a look.” Sherlock answered her sarcastically. I smirked at him and watched as his eyes flicked towards me, showing his amusement.

“Well, you know what I think, don’t you?” Donovan remarked as Sherlock lifted the police tape up and allowed me to duck under it before he followed after me.

“Oh yes tell us Donovan because we are all just dying to know what you have to say about us. Wait that’s right. Nobody cares.” I told the woman as I stared her down before a minute later I sniffed. “Didn’t make it home did you?” I asked and she glared at me looking positively lived. Sherlock smirked besides me as I stood next to him.

“You little…” Donovan said to me angrily before she seemed to notice John for the first time. “Er, who’s this?” She asked us as she pointed at John.

“Colleague of ours, Doctor Watson.” Sherlock told her as he turned to John. “Doctor Watson, Sergeant Sally Donovan, old friend.” He introduced John to her and his voice was dripping with sarcasm.

“A colleague? How did you get a colleague?! How do you two even know each other?” Donovan asked us as she turned to John. Oh god her voice was so annoying. “What, did they follow you home?”

“Would it be better if I just waited and….” John started, but before he could continue Sherlock cut him off.

“No.” Sherlock told him as he lifted the police tape up for him, ignoring Donovan’s question about how we knew each other. John ducked under it joining us on the other side. Donovan lifted her radio to her mouth as soon as John had joined us.

“The freaks are here. Bringing them in.” She spoke into her radio as she led us towards the house. Sherlock looked around the area and at the ground as we approached the house. As we reached the pavement a man dressed in a blue coverall came walking out of the house. Shit! Now I have to deal with arsehole number two.

“Ah, Anderson. Here we are again.” Sherlock said as Anderson looked at him with distaste.

“It’s a crime scene. I don’t want it contaminated. Are we clear on that?” Anderson snapped at us and I just sighed in annoyance. I had only met Anderson once before and he was still annoying. Sherlock took a deep breath beside me.

“Quite clear.” Sherlock replied as I gave Anderson a mock salute before I sniffed again.

“Is your wife away for long?” I asked him and I noticed that Sherlock had a smug smile on his face by my question.

“Oh, don’t pretend you worked that out. Somebody told you that.” Anderson scoffed with a snort. I smirked at that remark as I looked at Sherlock and he just smirked back. This was fun messing with Anderson.

“Your deodorant gave it away.” Sherlock replied for me with a smirk on his face. He looked rather amused by what I had started. Anderson looked shocked before he replaced it with irritation.

“My deodorant?” Anderson asked angrily.

“It’s for men.” I told him with a smirk on my face. Sometimes it’s as simple as the smell of deodorant can expose a cheating spouse.

“Well, of course it’s for men! I’m wearing it!” Anderson snapped back at me with a murderous glare. Oh yeah this was definitely fun.

“So’s Sargent Donovan.” I remarked as Anderson looked at Donovan in shock. Sherlock sniffed pointedly as I smirked next to him. “Ooh, and I think it just vaporized. May we go in?” I asked him as John shifted a little uncomfortably behind us.

“Now look, whatever you’re trying to imply…” Anderson said as he turned back and pointed at me angrily.

“She’s not implying anything.” Sherlock told him pointedly as he looked at me. I strode past Donovan towards the front door. Sherlock the followed me and we both stopped by the door. “I’m sure Sally came round for a nice little chat, and just happened to stay over.” Sherlock finished as he turned to look back at Anderson. John stood looking between the four of us completely baffled by what was going on.

“And I assume she scrubbed your floors, going by the state of her knees.” I finished off in smug satisfaction as I watched Anderson and Donovan share a look before they stared back at us in horror.

Sherlock smiled smugly before the both of us turned and entered the house together. John followed us into the house after a second and Sherlock lead us into a room on the ground floor where Lestrade was pulling on a coverall similar to the one Anderson was wearing. Sherlock pointed to a pile of similar items as I took off my fingerless gloves before shoving them into my messenger bag.

“You need to wear one of these.” Sherlock told the both of us as I snorted at that. Yeah right like I was going to wear one of those.

“Who’s this?” Lestrade asked Sherlock as he pointed over at John.

“He’s with me.” Sherlock answered him as he started to pull off his black leather gloves.

“But who is he?” Bestride prompted again as I took off my messenger bag before placing it on the ground.

“I said he’s with me.” Sherlock told the man as I leaned over him and picked up a pair of latex gloves. In the meantime John took his jacket off and picked up one of the coveralls. He looked at Sherlock who was picking up a pair of gloves like I had before looking back at me as I was pulling my own gloves off.

“Aren’t you two gonna put one on?” He asked us in reference to the coveralls. Sherlock looked at him sternly and John shook his head as if to say, ‘silly me. What was I thinking?!’

“It’s not really my style.” I commented as I put my fingerless gloves in the back pocket of my jeans before putting on the latex gloves.

“So where are we?” Sherlock asked Lestrade.

“Upstairs.” Lestrade told us as he picked up his own pair of gloves. He led us up a circular staircase as Sherlock put on his latex gloves. “I can give you two minutes.”

“May need longer.” Sherlock told him casually.

“Her name’s Jennifer Wilson according to her credit cards. We’re running them now for contact details. Hasn’t been here long. Some kids found her.” Bestride told us as he led us into a room that was two stories above the ground floor.

The room was empty of furniture except for a rocking horse which was in the far corner. Emergency portable lighting had been set up around the room. I noted that there were some scaffolding poles holding up part of the ceiling near where a couple of large holes had been knocked through one of the walls. A woman’s body was lying face down on the base of the floorboards in the middle of the room. She was wearing a bright pink overcoat and high-heeled pink shoes. Ugh that is too much pink. Her hands were lying flat on the floor on either side of her head. Sherlock and I walked a few steps into the room before we both stopped and focused our attention on the corpse in front of us. The four of us stood their silently for several long seconds before Sherlock suddenly looked across the room to Lestrade.

“Shut up.” Sherlock told Lestrade rudely. I looked at him with a raised eyebrow. That was completely random.

“I didn’t say anything.” Lestrade told him sounding startled. I rolled my eyes at Sherlock’s attitude before I turned to look at the body. If I was going to help find answers for

Lestrade I was going to have to get closer to the body.

“You were thinking. It’s annoying.” Sherlock told him before he stepped forward to observe the body. Well I guess it’s show time. I thought to myself as I walked over to join Sherlock before crouching in front of the body. I glanced up at Sherlock and his gaze met mine. I wasn’t sure if we were going to work together but I had decided to make my own deductions about the victim. I was just as stubborn as Sherlock and I always preferred to work alone but tonight wasn’t going to be like any other night.

The first thing I noticed was the word “Rache” had been scratched into the floorboards by the woman’s left hand. My eyes trailed over to the woman’s hands inspecting them more closely. Her fingernail on the index finger and middle finger were broken and ragged at the ends plus her nail polish was chipped. The rest of her fingernails were still in perfect condition. Her index finger was resting at the bottom of the ‘e’ so I assumed that she had written this while she was dying.
Rache. Hmm… Rache is German for revenge but that can’t be it. This woman didn’t look German. So what could it be? Most likely it was a name. I started to run a list of names that could fit what she was writing. Rachel! That was the only name that would make sense. It was at that moment that Sherlock crouched down beside me breaking my train of thought. He ran his gloved hand over along the back of the victim’s coat, then lifted his hand again to look at his fingers as I looked on. He caught my eye before he showed them to me. I raised my eyebrow questionably before he gestured for me to look. I looked at his fingers and noticed the shine of water on his gloves. The back of her coat was wet, she had been out in the rain recently.

I reached forward and dug around in the woman’s coat pockets before I found what I was looking for. I pulled a white folding umbrella out of the woman’s pocket and ran my fingers along the folds of the material. I held up my hand and inspected my glove before Sherlock looked at my glove. Her umbrella was dry. The wind must have been too strong for her to use the umbrella. I put it back into her pocket as Sherlock moved up to the collar of the woman’s coat and ran his fingers underneath it. He held his fingers up for inspection between the two of us. Wet, so she had her collar up against the rain.

It was surprising and interesting that Sherlock was letting me work with him. So far we haven’t killed each other which was a good sign. Ever since we had that little chat outside of Bart’s I felt that there was some sort of connection between us. There’s something about him that I was drawn to. Just like me he knew what it was like to be treated differently because of our deductions. It was like we understood each other.

I was interrupted by my thoughts as Sherlock reached into his pocket and took out a small magnifier. He clicked it open before using it to closely examine the woman’s delicate looking gold bracelet on her left wrist. I looked over and saw that it had been cleaned recently. The gold earring on her left ear and the gold chain around her neck had likewise been treated with the same care. Her wedding ring and engagement ring were both dirty.

Married. Judging from the state of her rings unhappily. Sherlock reached forward and carefully took off the woman’s wedding ring off of her finger. He held the ring up into the light and inspected the inside of the band before showing it to me. It was clean. Sherlock slid the ring back onto the woman’s finger as I calculated my findings. Her ring was regularly removed. A woman in a rather unhappy marriage who regularly removed her ring? She was an adulterer but one man wasn’t enough. No, she was a serial adulterer. The same MO as every one of my clients. She was careful, probably told her husband she was going somewhere for work. I placed her as being a journalist given the state of her nails and the alarming shade of pink. I smiled slightly in satisfaction before looking back at Sherlock. His expression was similar to mine before he went back to looking bored.

“Got anything?” Lestrade asked us having noticed our pause in examining the body.

“Not much.” Sherlock said nonchalantly as we took off our gloves.

“She’s German.” Anderson said as I turned to see him leaning casually against the door frame. “‘Rache’: it’s German for ‘revenge’. She could be trying to tell us something…” Anderson began as Sherlock strode over to the door quickly and began to close it in his face.

“Yes, thank you for your input Anderson.” Sherlock told the man sarcastically before he slammed the door shut in Anderson’s face. He turned and walked back into the room as I had a grin on my face. I watched over his shoulder as he pulled up the menu for “UK Weather” on his mobile and began to scroll the five options that the menu offered him. He selected the maps option and put in the paramaters.

“So she’s German?” Lestrade asked us slowly hesitating in his answer.

“No.” I told him. “She’s not German. She is from out of town, though. Intended to stay in London for one night…” I continued before looking back at Sherlock who was smiling smugly as he apparently found what he was looking for.

“…before returning to Cardiff.” Sherlock finished for me as he pocketed his phone. “SO far, so obvious.” Sherlock remarked to me. I walked back towards the body and scanned the victim one last time to see if I might have missed something. I didn’t want Sherlock to get all the credit.

“Sorry… obvious?” John asked us sounding completely baffled.

“What about the message, though?” Lestrade asked me. I opened my mouth about to tell Lestrade what the message was but Sherlock cut me off.

“Doctor Watson, what do you think?” Sherlock asked John, ignoring Lestrade. Oh right I forgot about why we brought John with us. I was so caught up in what I was doing that I wanted to explain everything. To be perfectly honest I was having fun. This was the most fun I have had in years. It was the same thrill that I had when I used to be a thief. I quickly glanced over at Sherlock and saw that he noticed how I was feeling. I would have to thank Sherlock for pulling me out of my slump even if I was a little suspicious to his motives.

“Of the message?” John asked Sherlock quizzically.

“Of the body. You’re a medical man.”

“Wait, no, we have a whole team right outside.” Bestride protested as I gave him a look that read ‘don’t be stupid’.

“Oh please. Those people out there couldn’t spot an elephant if it was standing right in front of them.” I remarked as Lestrade looked at me exasperatedly.

“They won’t work with me.” Sherlock remarked as he was trying to keep a straight face by my remark. However he was failing miserably.

“I’m not going to argue with you two. I’m breaking every rule letting you two in here especially you Cassandra.” Lestrade pointed out before he sighed.

“Yes….because you need us.” Sherlock told him and I looked back at him in a look of surprise and confusion. De he just say us? Bestride stared at us for a moment before lowering his gaze helplessly.

“Yes, I do. God help me.” Lestrade muttered in defeat. That was all the permission that we needed.

“Doctor Watson.” Sherlock told John gesturing to the body and asking for him to give his medical opinion as I nodded at him.

“Hm?” John asked us as he looked up from the body to us and then turning his head towards Lestrade still unsure if it was really okay.

“Oh, do as he says. Help yourself.” Lestrade told John sounding a little annoyed before he turned and opened the door stepping outside. “Anderson, keep everyone out for a couple of minutes.” He told Anderson who had probably been seething behind the door that Sherlock had shut in his face. That was pretty funny.

Sherlock, John, and I walked over to the body before I squatted down next to Sherlock who lowered himself down on one side. John painfully lowered himself to one knee on the other side, leaning heavily on his cane to support himself.

“Well?” Sherlock asked John sounding mildly impatient.

“What am I doing here?” John asked the both of us softly.

“Helping me prove a point.” Sherlock commenting sounding less irritated. I nudged him on the side and when he looked at me in annoyance I raised my eyebrow at him. Sherlock just rolled his eyes at me before looking back at John. “Helping us make a point.” He replied with the sound of annoyance in his voice.

“I’m supposed to be helping you two pay the rent.” John shot back at him.

“Yeah, well, this is more fun.” Sherlock told him and I grinned at that.

“Fun? There’s a woman lying dead.” John said through gritted teeth.

“Wow very good John.” I told John sarcastically as he sent me a look of disapproval. “We were hoping you could delve deeper.” I finished as Lestrade walked back into the room and stood inside the doorway. John dragged his other leg down into a kneeing position before leaning forward to inspect the woman’s body more closely. He put his head close to hers and sniffed before straightening a little and lifting her right hand looking at the skin. After examining John kneeled up and looked across to us.

“Asphyxiation, probably. Passed out, chocked on her own vomit. Can’t smell any alcohol on her. It could have been a seizure; possibly drugs.” John was saying as I got up and looked down at the body.

“You know what it was. You’ve read the papers.” Sherlock told him and I nodded at that. I looked more closely at the woman. I couldn’t help but feel like we were missing something, something obvious.

“What, she’s one of the suicides? The fourth…” John asked us as he looked up at me and then back at Sherlock. I scanned the room slowly. What was it?

“Sherlock, Cassandra… two minutes, I said. I need anything you’ve got.” Bestride interrupted us as Sherlock got to his feet. John was having a hard time getting up from the floor so I reached out my hand to him. He looked at it hesitantly for a second before he grabbed it. I pulled him up to his feet after he regained his footing told me that he hadn’t expected me to be that strong. I may be thin but I was stronger than people expected. I might not be a thief anymore but I still have been exercising and Luke has been training me.

“Victim is in her late thirties. Professional person, going on by her clothes; I’m guessing something in the media, going by the frankly alarming shade of pink. Travelled from Cardiff today, intending to stay in London for one night. It’s obvious from the size of her suitcase.” Sherlock shared his deductions with Lestrade.

“Suitcase?” Bestride asked before John looked around the room. Oh! So that’s what was missing her suitcase. I just hope those arseholes from the Yard didn’t dispose of it.

“Suitcase, yes. She’s been married at least ten years, but not happily. She’s had a string of lovers but none of them know she was married. I should know. Cheaters are good for business and they are easy to spot out.” I explained to Lestrade as I looked back at the body.

“Oh, for God’s sake, if you’re just making this up…” Lestrade began before I pointed down at the woman’s left hand, specifically her wedding band as I looked at Lestrade.

“Her wedding ring. Ten years old at least. The rest of her jewelry has been regularly cleaned, but not her wedding ring. State of her marriage right there. The inside of the ring is shinier than the outside- that means it’s regularly removed. The only polishing it gets is when she works it off of her finger. It’s not for work; look at her nails. She doesn’t work with her hands, so what or rather who does she remove her rings for? Clearly not one lover; she’d never sustain the fiction of being single over that amount of time, so more likely a string of them. Like I said cheaters are good for busy.” I finished with a smirk. It was all rather simple. Cheaters were always easy to deduce and since most of my clients hire me to see if their spouses are cheating it has become natural to me. People thought they could hide those sort of secrets but those were always bound to show up.

“That’s brilliant.” John said breaking the silence in the room. His tone almost sounded…. admiring. I looked at him in shock. No one had ever complemented me on my work before. Usually they would blame me and say that I was the root of their problems. “Sorry.” John told me apologetically having seemed to misread the look I gave him. My face then began to soften again. This was just like how I felt last night after those girls thanked me for beating up those drunks that were bothering them.

“Cardiff?” Lestrade asked Sherlock. He looked rather impressed with me too but then again he was impressed when we first met. I deduced Lestrade right on the spot when we first met and I was the one who deduced that his wife at the time was cheating.

“It’s obvious, isn’t it?” Sherlock asked them sounding bored. I knew that he was bursting to share his deductions. He wasn’t used to having to share.

“It’s not obvious to me.” John told us. Ahh yes. How blissful to be normal. People saw, but never observed. Sherlock paused looking at them before looking at me. I just shrugged at him.

“Dear God, what is it like in your funny little brains? It must be so boring.” Sherlock told Lestrade and John before turning back to the body. “Her coat: it’s slightly damp. She’s been in heavy rain in the last few hours. No rain anywhere in London in that time. Under her coat collar is damp, too. She’s turned it up against the wind. She’s got an umbrella in her left-hand pocket but it’s dry and unused: not just wind, strong wind- too strong to use her umbrella. We know from her suitcase that she was intending to stay overnight, so she must have come a decent distance but she can’t have travelled more than two or three hours because her coat still hasn’t dried. So, where has there been heavy rain and strong wind within the radius of that travel time?” He deduced as he got out his phone from his pocket and showed Lestrade and John the webpage he was looking at earlier, displaying today’s weather for the Southern part of Britain.

“Cardiff.” Sherlock and I said in unison before he smirked back at me.

“That’s fantastic!” John exclaimed in admiration again.

“Do you know you do that out loud?” Sherlock asked John lowly as he turned to look at him with a studying eye.

“Sorry. I’ll shut up.” John said quickly shuffling a little bit.

“No, it’s fine.” Sherlock told him sounding secretly pleased like I was at the praise. It felt nice to finally be appreciated.

“Why do you keep saying suitcase?” Bestride asked us changing the subject.

“Yes, where is it? She must have had a phone or an organizer. Find out who Rachel is.” Sherlock said as he spun around the room in a circle looking for the case I had been looking for.

“She was writing ‘Rachel’?” Bestride asked him sounding confused. I sighed heavily before rolling my eyes at him.

“No, she was leaving an angry note in German.” Sherlock told Lestrade sarcastically. “Of course she was writing Rachel; no other word it can be.”

“Question is: why did she wait till she was dying to write it?” I asked as Sherlock turned to look at me. He raised any eyebrow in thought over the question I had posed. What was the significance of Rachel? It had to mean something important.

“How d’you know she had a suitcase?” Bestride asked us ignoring Sherlock’s attitude. Sherlock pointed down to the body, where the woman’s tights had small black splotches on the lower part of her right leg.

“Back of the right leg, tiny splash marks on the heel and calf, not present on the left. She was dragging a wheeled suitcase behind her with her right hand. Don’t get that splash pattern any other way. Smallish case, going by the spread. Case that size, woman this clothes conscious, could only be an overnight bag, so we know she was staying one night.” Sherlock said as he squatted down by the woman’s body and examined the backs of her legs more closely. “Now, where is it? What have you done with it?” He asked Lestrade demandingly.

“There wasn’t a case.” Bestride told us shaking his head. I frowned at that as Sherlock slowly got to his feet and frowned at Lestrade too.

“Say that again?” Sherlock asked Lestrade wanting to make sure he had heard him right as I looked back in confusion.

“How is that possible? There had to be a case. It has to be somewhere.” I told Lestrade before he shook his head.

“There wasn’t a case. There was never any suitcase.” Lestrade told me. Sherlock and I looked at each other for a second before he grabbed my hand and headed for the door.

“Oi! What are you…” I exclaimed as we hurried down the stairs as Sherlock started to call out to all of the police officers in the house.

“Suitcase! Did anyone find a suitcase? Was there a suitcase in this house?” He asked demandingly as Lestrade and John followed us out and stopped on the landing above us.

“Sherlock, there was no case!” Lestrade called down to us. Sherlock and I slowed down, but we still continued to make our was down the stairs. I quickly snapped my hand away from his and gave Sherlock a dirty look. What the hell was that?

“But they take the poison themselves; they chew, swallow the pills themselves. There are clear signs, even you lot couldn’t miss them.” Sherlock called back up to Lestrade sounding very frustrated that no one was seeing the obvious.

“Right, yeah, thanks! And…?” Lestrade asked him. I was starting to get frustrated myself. Come on people!

“It’s murder, all of them. We don’t know how, but they’re not suicides, they’re killings…. serial killings.” I told Lestrade as Sherlock held his hands in front of his face in delight.

“We’ve got ourselves a serial killer. I love those. There’s always something to look forward to.” Sherlock remarked to me with a grin on his face like a kid in a candy store.

“Why are you saying that?” Lestrade asked me as Sherlock and I both stopped in the stairs to look at the others and at Lestrade in exasperation.

“Her case! Come on, where is her case did she eat it? Someone else was here, and they took her case.” Sherlock called back up to Lestrade. That’s it! I then turned to Sherlock as I realized something.

“So the killer must have driven her here and forgotten the case was in the car.” I shared with Sherlock and his eyes widened as he realized what I had said.

“She could have checked into a hotel, left her case there.” John offered and I shook my head up at him.

“No, she never got to the hotel.” Sherlock told him as he looked back up the stairs. “Look at her hair. She color coordinates her lipstick and shoes. She’d never have left any hotel with her hair still looking…” Sherlock explained before he stopped talking as he made a realization. “Oh.” He said, his eyes widening as his face lit up. I looked at him in confusion for a second before it hit me as well. Oh that was brilliant.

“Oh my god.” I remarked as Sherlock clapped his hand in delight before he grabbed me by the shoulders and gave me a kiss on my forehead.

“What the bloody…” I said angrily before John cut me off from saying anything further.

“Sherlock? Cassandra?” John asked us as Lestrade leaned over the railings to look down at us.

“What is it, what?” Lestrade asked us as he tried to find out why Sherlock seemed so excited and I was so angry.

“Serial killers are always hard. You have to wait for them to make a mistake.” Sherlock said smiling cheerfully to himself blissfully unaware about how pissed I was. Glad he was so happy. He was lucky I didn’t slug him for kissing me. I know for one thing that there was no way in hell I was going to let Sherlock bloody Holmes kiss me ever again.

“We can’t just wait!” Lestrade called down the stairs sounding exasperated.

“Oh, we’re done waiting!” Sherlock told him as he started to hurry down the stairs again. “Look at her, really look! Houston, we have a mistake. Get on Cardiff, find out who Jennifer Wilson’s family and friends were. Find Rachel!” Sherlock yelled back up to him as he reached the bottom of the stairs and started to head for the door.

“Of course, yeah… but what mistake?” Lestrade called after Sherlock as I continued down the stairs. Just as I reached the bottom of the stairs Sherlock reappeared so Lestrade could see him again.

“PINK!” He yelled up to Lestrade before he glanced at me. I raised my eyebrow at him before he hurried off again. Oh no! He wasn’t going to get away that easy! I quickly took off the plastic gloves and grabbed my messenger bag before following after Sherlock. Just as I reached outside I saw that Sherlock had completely disappeared.

“Shit!” I said to myself as I looked around. Humph so much for teamwork and what the hell was it about that kiss! I just shook my head as I made my way over to the police tape. I noticed that Donovan was talking to one of the cops before she sneered at me.

“Freak.” Donovan told me before I heard the cop next to her chuckle. Just as I walked passed Donovan I purposefully bumped into her with my elbow before stopping. She gave me dirty look as I just smirked at her.

“Excuse me.” I told her before I turned and started walking towards the police tape. Unbeknownst to Donovan when I bumped into her I had pickpocket her badge and wallet. I smirked to myself as I crossed under the police tape and made my way off down the road.

“Still got it.” I muttered to myself before I started to giggle. Well since Sherlock is no where to be found I think I will be doing some investigating on my own. While Sherlock was looking for the suitcase, which I assumed he was doing, I decided to do some background check on out pink lady and find out who Rachel is. It was going to be a long night and the game had only just begun.

Chapter Text

-John’s POV-

Lestrade turned to me looking baffled before turning back into the room while Anderson, who I saw why Sherlock and Cassandra disliked him, and his team hurried upstairs. “Let’s get on with it.” Anderson said as everyone seemed to forget about me now that Cassandra and Sherlock had taken off to God knows where. Where did they go? What did they figure out? Pink was a very vague answer.

I hesitated on the landing before I slowly started making my way down the stairs. A couple more police officers hurried up and one of them bumped against me, throwing me off-balance and made me lurch heavily against the bannisters. The man hurried on without a word, although his colleague did at least look apologetically at me as he passed. I regained my balance and continued down the stairs. God I hated this limp but there was nothing I can do about it.

I still don’t even know why I was here. Sherlock said that they needed me to prove a point but I didn’t do anything. Of course what they had done was bloody brilliant. I knew that Sherlock was good, especially since he had been showing it off, but Cassandra had surprised him. She didn’t look like she would be as smart as Sherlock but she proved me wrong. Cassandra was just as good as Sherlock if not better. She was more than just an average PI. The difference between Cassandra and Sherlock was that she wasn’t as rude or smug about her “deductions” as Sherlock was. Why was she solving a case like this even when she specifically said that she doesn’t do these type of things.

I could tell that there was a lot of animosity between Sargent Donovan, Anderson, and Cassandra. They even hated Sherlock but that really didn’t surprise me. Sure, Cassandra wasn’t very lady like and she swore but she was very charming. I actually like her and deep down under that tough exterior there is probably a sweet and caring girl. Sherlock on the other hand was an arrogant sod. If I move in with them hopefully they won’t try to kill each other but so far they both seemed to be getting along okay. I wasn’t sure if I should be glad or worried.

When I finally made it back down the stairs I removed the coverall and put my jacket back on, before walking out onto the street. I looked all around but I couldn’t see any sign of Sherlock or Cassandra. Great of course they left. What could two geniuses need me for in the first place. I was supposed to helping them pay the rent not solving a crime. I just want a nice peaceful and quiet life. Is that too much to ask? Sighing heavily I walked towards the police tape.

“They’re gone.” A voice told me and I snapped my head to look and discovered that it was Donovan who was talking to me.

“Who, Sherlock Holmes and Cassandra Kyle?” I asked her although I already knew the answer.

“Yeah, they just took off. He does that.” Donovan told me sounding snide.

“Are they coming back?” I asked tentatively. From the look on her face it was evident that they weren’t coming back. Great, now I was stuck at a crime scene somewhere in London and they just left me.

“Didn’t look like it.” Donovan told me sounding slightly sympathetic.

“Right.” I told her while looking around again unsure what to do. “Right…Yes.” I continued as I turned to her again. “Sorry, where am I?” I asked her sheepishly. This was so embarrassing.

“Brixton.” Donovan answered me exasperatedly. Hmm Brixton, I wasn’t that far from Baker Street.

“Right. Er, d’you know where I could get a cab? It’s just, er…well.” I said as I awkwardly looked down at my walking stick. “…my leg.” I hated talking about my leg and those pitying looks that people gave me. Cassandra had probably noticed but she treated me like a normal person instead of someone to take pity on. It was almost as if she knew what I was going through. Maybe Sherlock is right about my limp being psychosomatic after all I did get shot in the shoulder not the leg.

“Er..” Donovan told me as she stepped over to the tape and lifted it for me. “…try the main road.”

“Thanks.” I told her as I ducked under the tape. I was ready for a nice cuppa and a good night’s sleep.

“But you’re not their friend.” Donovan told me suddenly which made me turn back towards her. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. “They don’t have friends especially her. I don’t even know or want to know how those two met. I’ll tell you one thing though. Them getting together is the worst thing that can happen. I guess freaks have to stay together. So who are you?” She demanded. I frowned by what she said. I didn’t like where this was going and I also didn’t like the way she was talking about them.

“I’m…. I’m nobody. I just met them.” I told the woman truthfully.

“Okay, bit of advice then, stay away from them if you know what’s good for you.” Donovan warned me sounding dead serious.

“Why?” I asked. What was so wrong about either of them?

“You know why he’s here? He’s not paid or anything. He likes it. He gets off on it. The weirder the crime, the more he gets off. And you know what? One day just showing up won’t be enough. One day we’ll be standing round a body and Sherlock Holmes’ll be the one that put it there. And Cassandra…. she’s worse than him. You do know that she was a thief before she was a PI?” Donovan asked and I looked back at her processing what she had just said. “Lestrade just has some weird fixation on her because she can do the same thing that freak can. She’s a bigger freak then he is. She’s also a drunk and completely mental. About three years ago they found a dead body in her flat. There was a pool of blood with the body on her bed. She wasn’t charged but I know that Cassandra did it. One day she is going to snap again. I’d bet she’d be the one to put the body there first. They’re a perfect nightmare.” Donovan finished snidely as she bad mouthed the both of them. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! Cassandra a thief and a murderer? I just… It doesn’t seem like them. Sure he didn’t know them that well but Cassandra was alright and even Sherlock was half ways decent to be honest. There was nothing wrong with being different. I noticed that they were used to being called freaks and I wonder if that’s normal for them.

“Why would they do that?” I asked her even though I didn’t want to hear the answer. Murder just didn’t seem like something they would do. They were to smart for that.

“Because they’re psychopaths. And psychopaths get bored.” Donovan told me before Lestrade called for her from the entrance to the house. She shouted back at him that she was coming before walking away. Donovan turned back at me as she walked back into the house giving me a final warning. “Stay away from Sherlock Holmes and Cassandra Kyle.”

I watched as she went still trying to wrap my head about what she had warned me. No it can’t be true. I thought as I shook my head before turning and starting to limp off down the road. To my right, the phone in a public telephone box began to ring. I stopped short and looked at it for a few seconds but then I looked down at my watch. It was late, really late. Who would be calling a phone box this late a night? I should be at home not roaming around London trying to find Sherlock and Cassandra. I sighed before continuing down the road. Oh god why did I agree to come with them to the crime scene. I had absolutely no business being there. Now I was stuck in the middle of nowhere and the bloody detective and PI had taken off without me. I was pretty pissed to say the least. Not even a word of where they were going or a heads up of what they had figured out other than pink. It was then at that moment that I realized I was now walking down Brixton High Road.

“Taxi! Taxi…” I cried out as I attempted to hail a passing taxi but it just kept on going. Oh great what else could go wrong!?

Suddenly I heard another payphone ring again as I turned to see a fast food restaurant called Chicken Cottage. I looked on as one of the serving staff walked over to a phone on the wall but as the man reached for it, the phone stopped ringing. Hmmm that was the second phone to start ringing on my way over here. No that ridiculous. God I just wanted a nice warm cuppa and a bit of a lie down. I could go back to Baker Street or that depressing place I called home. Cassandra had mentioned something about Baker Street looking a lot nicer the her flat. It looked like she was willing to move in but I still had my doubts. Maybe I could find out more about Sherlock back at his flat. Maybe even talk to Mrs. Hudson and learn more about him.

Ring!

I quickly snapped my head up and turned to where the sound was coming from, which was coming from the public telephone box right next to me. Three times that a random phone box had a ringing phone meant that there really was someone calling. I was ready to figure out what was really going on. I pulled open the door and went inside and lifted the phone off the hook.

“Hello?” I asked into the phone hesitantly.

“There is a security camera on the building to your left. Do you see it?” An older sinister voice asked me. I frowned at that. Security cameras?

“Who’s this? Who’s speaking?” I asked irritably. Was this supposed to be some sort of practical joke? Whatever it was I was not amused at all.

“Do you see the camera, Doctor Watson?” Well this is bloody perfect! Now this person knows who I am. I might as well just humor him. I then looked through the window of the phone box and located the CCTV camera which was high up on the wall of a nearby building.

“Yeah, I see it.”

“Watch.” The man ordered me and I watched as the camera, which had been pointed directly at the phone box, which swiveled away. “There is another camera on the building opposite of you. Do you see it?” The man continued and I looked across to the second camera, which was also pointed towards the phone box. My annoyance had turned into uneasiness, whoever this man was he knew my name and he was watching me.

“Mmm-hmm.” I answered him as I watched the camera immediately swivel away like the first one had. I wasn’t sure what was going on but I knew I wasn’t going to like the answer.

“And finally, at the top of the building on your right.” The man told me and as soon as I located the camera that was watching me as it turned away like the others had. Okay this is not good. Not good at all. Who the bloody hell was this guy?

“How are you doing this?” I asked him in my military voice not letting them know that I was uneasy. That was one thing I learned while being in the military and that was never let the enemy you are afraid. I was a bloody captain for God’s sake. I had invaded Afghanistan, gotten shot at, gotten shot, and generally saw things that no one should ever have to see. I wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction to intimidate me.

“Get into the car, Doctor Watson.” The man ordered me just as a black car pulled up at the curbside near the phone and a male driver got out of the car and opened up one of the rear doors. “I would make some sort of threat, but I’m sure your situation is quite clear to you.” The man told me sounding slightly amused before the phone went dead. I put the phone back on the hook looking thoughtfully at it for a long moment. This creep had already been watching and following me. I left the phone box and walked over to the car before sliding into the back seat.

The car pulled away from the curb as soon as I got into the car and it drove off. I shifted uneasily in my seat before I noticed that there was a rather attractive young woman sitting next to me. Her eyes were fixed on her BlackBerry as she typed on it. I felt like I had to say something to her. Maybe she could tell me where I was going?

“Hello.”

“Hi.” The woman answered me looking up from her phone for a brief second to smile at me brightly before she turned her attention back to her mobile.

“What’s your name, then?” I asked her hoping to find out at least the names of the people who had practically kidnapped me off of the street. I felt really uneasy as I thought of something. What if no one knew what happened to me? What if this guy ended up to be some psychopathic killer? No one would know or care what happened to me. Oh god! I didn’t want to think about that.

“Er… Anthea.” She answered me after a second. Well that was a trained and quick response. Who were these people, the government? That was silly, what would the government even want from me? I was a nobody.

“Is that your real name?” I asked her out of curiosity.

“No.” She answered me smiling. I should have known that. I nodded and twisted to look out of the rear window before turning back to her again.

“I’m John.” I said introducing myself. If I tell her my name maybe she will talk more and give me a straight answer.

“Yes. I know.” Anthea told me with an amused smile as she continued to type away on her BlackBerry. Maybe I shouldn’t have said that. Oh great now she thinks I’m a complete idiot!

“Any point in asking where I’m going?”

“None at all…” She told me smiling before looking back at her phone again. “….John.” She finished after a moment sounding like she forgot my name.

“Okay.” I told her finally settling down into the seat. Since I had met Sherlock and Cassandra my life had been completely thrown upside down. I had been dragged to a crime scene and now I had been kidnapped. I watched out of the window as the dark streets of London raced by. It didn’t take to long before the car pulled into an almost empty warehouse. I had no idea where I was but I did know that this was a place I didn’t want to be at.

I looked out of the window of the car and saw a man in a very expensive suit was standing in the center of the area. He was also leaning nonchalantly on an umbrella as he watched the car stop. I slowly got out of the car, holding onto the door for support before I got my other foot on the ground. In front of the man was a straight-backed armless chair facing him, he gestured to it with the point of his umbrella as I limped towards him leaning heavily on my cane.

“Have a seat John.” The man told me sounding very prim and proper.

“You know, I’ve got a phone.” I told him sounding calm as I looked around the warehouse trying to find some sort of clue as to where I was at. “I mean, very clever and all that, but er… you could just phone me… on my phone.” I continued as I walked straight past the chair and stopped a few paces away from the man. There was no way I was going to be sitting.

“When one is avoiding the attention of Sherlock Holmes, one learns to be discreet, hence this place.” The man told me. His voice, which had a pleasant smile in it had now become a little more stern. “The leg must be hurting you. Sit down.” The man demanded of me sounding more sinister than before.

“I don’t wanna sit down.” I told him refusing to do anything he told me to do. The man looked at me curiously as if he was almost expecting this reaction.

“You don’t seen very afraid.” The man remarked quirking one eyebrow thoughtfully. He had a slight smirk on his face.

“You don’t seem very frightening.” I told the man in front of me. I wasn’t afraid of him but he was actually quite imposing. He chuckled at my response which made me more uncomfortable.

“Ah, yes. The bravery of the soldier. Just like I told Cassandra Kyle bravery is by far the kindest word for stupidity, don’t you think?” The man asked me as he looked at me sternly. I looked surprised that this man knew Cassandra. I just hope that he didn’t kidnap her too. “What is connection to Sherlock Holmes?”

“I don’t have one. I barely know him. Cassandra and I met him…” I answered before looking away thoughtfully. “…. yesterday.” I finished after a second.

“Mmm, and since yesterday you and Cassandra have moved in with him and now you’re all solving crimes together.” The man said sounding rather amused. “Might we expect a happy announcement by the end of the week?” The man asked me smiling in that creepy way.

“Who are you? How do you know Cassandra?” I asked him getting fed up with all of the secrecy.

“An interested party.” The man answered me simply. Well that was helpful. “As far as Mrs. Kyle we only just met yesterday to have a little chat.” I felt even more uneasy when he said that about Cassandra. I know she can take care of herself but there was something about her that also made her very vulnerable.

“Interested in Sherlock? Why? I’m guessing you’re not friends.” I scoffed as I remembered what Donovan had told me about them. I doubted that Cassandra would waist her time on this man even Sherlock for that matter.

“You’ve met him. How many ‘friends' do you think he has? I am the closest thing to a friend Sherlock Holmes is capable of having.”

“And what is that?”

“An enemy.”

“An enemy?”

“In Sherlock’s mind, certainly. If you were to ask him, he’d probably say his arch-enemy. He does love to be dramatic.” The man said before I looked pointedly around the warehouse. Was this guy serious? Look at where we were at.

“Well, thank God you’re above all that.” I told the man sarcastically and he just frowned at me. Suddenly my phone trilled a text alert. I looked at the man for a long second before I dug into my jacket pocket and took out my phone. I unlocked it and read the text message while ignoring the man in front of me.

Baker Street. Come at once if convenient. SH

“I hope I’m not distracting you.” The man said pleasantly enough with an amused smirk on his face as he leaned against his bloody umbrella.

“Not distracting me at all.” I answered him casually as I took my time looking up from my phone before pocketing it again.

“Do you and Cassandra plan to continue your associations with Sherlock Holmes?” The man demanded in his sinister tone as soon as he had my attention again.

“I could be wrong… but I think that’s none of your business.” I told him honestly, standing my ground. I couldn’t speak for Cassandra but I knew she would have said the same thing.

“It could be.” The man told me a little ominously.

“It really couldn’t.” I told him immediately. What I did with my life was none of this man’s business. If I wanted to continue my “association” with Sherlock and Cassandra it shouldn’t be anyone’s business. The man looked at me for a second before he reached for his jacket pocket and I tensed but the man calmly took out a notebook. He opened it and consulted one of the pages.

“If you do move into, umm… two hundred and twenty-one B Baker Street, I’d be happy to pay you a meaningful sum of money on a regular basis to ease your way. “He told me as he closed the notebook and put it away.

“Why?”

“Because you’re not a wealthy man.” The man told me trying to play to my interests.

“In exchange for what?” I asked him not even considering taking his offer. Since he did kidnap Cassandra I had a feeling that she told him no. I grinned inwardly as I imagine Cassandra telling this man to piss off.

“Information. Nothing indiscreet. Nothing you’d feel… uncomfortable with. Just tell me what he’s up to.” The man told me, looking down at his umbrella before back up at me.

“Why?”

“I worry about him. Constantly.” The man told me sounding genuine, which was rather surprising. I still wasn’t going to spy on my flat mates and neither would Cassandra.

“That’s nice of you.” I muttered.

“But I would prefer for various reasons that my concern go unmentioned. Sherlock and I have what you might call a… difficult relationship.” The man told me as my phone trilled again alerting me to another text. I immediately fished my phone out of my pocket once again and read the message.

If inconvenient, come anyway. SH

“No.” I told him firmly while I kept my eyes on the phone. What did Sherlock want with him especially after he had left without me? Then again so did Cassandra.

“But I haven’t mentioned a figure.”

“Don’t bother.” I told him as I stowed my phone away in my pocket again. No amount of money was going to get me to change my mind. The man laughed briefly. Which made me very uncomfortable again.

“You’re very loyal, very quickly. You and Cassandra.”

“No, I’m not. I’m just not interested.” I told the man honestly. It wasn’t that I was loyal, I just wasn’t interested in spying on Sherlock. The man looked at me closely for a moment, then took out his notebook and opened it again. He gestured to it slightly to make it clear that he was reading a note from the book.

“‘Trust issues’, it says here.”

“What’s that?” I asked him dropping my calm demeanor. Had this guy been spying on me since the start?

“Could id be that you’ve decided to trust Sherlock Holmes of all people?” The man asked me as he looked down at his book again.

“Who says I trust him?”

“You don’t seem the kind to make friends easily. Neither Cassandra for that fact.”

“Are we done?” I asked him impatiently. I was getting tired of whatever the hell this was. The man raised his head and looked into my eyes.

“You tell me.” The man told me calmly. I looked at him for a long moment before I turned my back on him and started to walk away. I was completely done with this conversation. “I imagine people have told you to stay away from him, especially about Cassandra, but I can see from your left hand that’s not going to happen.”
I stopped dead in my tracks. My shoulders tensed and dropped as I angrily shook my head a little. I finally had enough of the games that this man was playing.

“My what?” I asked the man savagely through bared teeth.

“Show me.” The man told me calmly as he nodded towards my left hand as he spoke. He planted the tip of his umbrella on the floor and leaned casually on it like a man who was used to having his orders obeyed. I, however, was not going to be intimidated. I deliberately shifted my feet under me as if I was digging in. I raised my left hand, bending it at the elbow, and stood still. My message was clear. If the man wanted to look at my hand, he’ll have to come to me. Unperturbed by my belligerence, the man strolled forward, hooking the handle of the umbrella over his arm as he reached for my hand. I instantly pulled my hand back a little.

“Don’t.” I warned him tensely. The man lowered his head and raised his eyebrow at me. Giving me a look that read ‘did I mention trust issues?’ I reluctantly lowered my hand, holding it out flat with the palm down. God this is so stupid! The man took it in both of his hands and looked at it closely.

“Remarkable.” The man commented with interest as he studied my hand closely.

“What is?” I asked him snatching my hand back. I didn’t like the way the man was talking. He then turned and walked a few paces away.

“Most people blunder round this city, and all they see are streets and shops and cars. When you walk with Sherlock Holmes, you see the battlefield.” He said as he turned towards me again. “You’ve seen it already, haven’t you?”

“What’s wrong with my hand?” I asked him.

“You have an intermittent tremor in your left hand.” The man told me and I nodded my head. “Your therapist thinks it’s post-traumatic stress disorder. She thinks you’re haunted by memories of your military service.” The man continued and I flinched at what he had said. My gaze was fixed ahead of me and the muscle in my cheek started to twitch repeatedly as I clenched my jaw in anger. I was finally done with all of this.

“Who the hell are you? How do you know that?” I snapped at him angrily. How the hell did this man know all about me? How long had he been bloody watching me?

“Fire her. She’s got it the wrong way round. You’re under stress right now and your hand is perfectly steady.” The man commented. My eyes flickered towards my hand before returning to stare ahead of myself, my set was set as I struggled to hold back my anger. I wanted so hard to hit him but I knew that his guards were probably on hand if I did anything to him. God I really hoped Cassandra put this man in his place if he had already pulled this stunt on her. “You’re not haunted by the war, Doctor Watson… you miss it.” The man continued as he leaned closer to me. Reluctantly I raised my eyes to meet the man in front of me. “Welcome back.” He told me in a whisper before he turned and started to walk away to the back of the warehouse. My phone trilled another text alert. “Time to choose a side, Doctor Watson.” He called back casually twirling his umbrella as he walked.

I stood fixed to the spot for a few seconds. What… the hell… was that about? I thought to myself. I was both angry and confused. How the bloody hell did this man know me or Sherlock or Cassandra for that matter? I clenched and unclenched my jaw before I turned and glanced towards the departing man one last time.

“I’m here to take you home.” I heard a woman tell me as I half turned towards Anthea before stepping and taking my phone out to look at the new message.

Could be dangerous. SH

I clenched my jaw in anger again. I had far more than enough for one night. My phone trilled again with a new text message. Oh great now what? I thought to myself as I opened the nee text and read it.

Hey it’s Cas. I’m such an arsehole for leaving you behind. Sherlock has been annoying me with these texts. Heading over to Baker Street to see what he wants.

I just shook my head at the second text I had received before putting my phone back in my pocket. Cassandra is definitely not your typical girl but at least that was her way of apologizing. Hmm so that means Cassandra wasn’t with Sherlock. She left the same time Sherlock did. I held out my left hand in front of me again and studied the lack of tremor coming from it. I smiled wryly to myself.

“Address?” Anthea asked me suddenly breaking me out of my thoughts.

“Er, Baker Street. Two two one B Baker Street. But I need to stop off somewhere first.” I told her as I turned and walked back over to her.

I was driven back to my bedsit and I walked inside switching on the light and closing the door behind me hurriedly. God this place was depressing. I crossed the room to my desk and opened one of the drawers taking out my pistol. I checked the clip before tucking the gun into the back of the waist band of my jeans before turning and leaving. After the events of this evening this will come in handy later. I went back out to the street and slid back into the back seat of the car which took off again. Not long after the car pulled up outside of 221B Baker Street. The young woman Anthea was still entirely engrossed in whatever she was typing on her phone.

“Listen, your boss… any chance you could not tell him this is where I went?” I asked her hopefully as I looked across the car at her.

“Sure.” She told me nonchalantly not even looking up from her phone. From the tone of her voice I knew that her boss already knew.

“You’ve told him already, haven’t you?” I asked defeatedly with a sigh. She looked up from her phone and smiled across at me briefly.

“Yeah.” She admitted and I nodded in resignation and turned to get out of the car. Just as I opened the door, I turned back to her. She was kind of cute. Maybe I could ask her out. Hopefully she says yes.

“Hey, um… do you ever get any free time?”

Anthea chuckled before answering me.

“Oh, yeah. Lots.” She told me sarcastically as she typed away at her phone. I waited expectantly but she continued working on her phone for a long moment before allowing her gaze to drift past me. “Bye.” She told me making it clear that she was’t interested and that our conversation had officially came to an end.

“Okay.” I told her for a lack of anything better to say before I got out of the car and closed the door. I watched the car pull away before I turned and walked across the pavement to the front of 221B. I knocked on the door and waited patiently for someone to answer it. I had a feeling that this was going to be a long night.

Chapter Text

-Cassandra’s POV-

After leaving Brixton I had gone off on my own to do some research on the pink lady Jennifer Wilson and of course to do some contemplating on if I truly wanted to continue on with this case. It felt really weird working with another person and it felt even weirder solving a murder. I was used to tracking down cheating husbands and runaway teens. I arrived at my old flat when I had realized that I also left John behind.

“Ugh. I’m such an arsehole.” I muttered to my self. I pulled out my phone ready to text John back but my battery was low. I’ll just text him later to let him know where I’m at. Besides he probably isn't there any more. I quickly plumed in my phone to charge it before opening my laptop and started my own investigation.

Well looks like Sherlock and I were right. Jennifer Wilson definitely worked for the media. A journalist to be precise. She worked for the Daily News and was here on assignment about the “suicides”. Hmm…. That was interesting.

Could the killer know that she was here? She must have known something if she was targeted by our killer. I also looked up on the pink lady’s home life and discovered a little bit about her marriage. She was married to a man named Robert Williams and he worked as a teacher in Cardiff. They didn’t have any children which is probably one of the reasons why she had been cheating on him. Either he couldn’t get her pregnant or else it was her that couldn’t have the kids.

The big question was who was Rachel? It seemed like that was the only bit of information I couldn’t find. Jennifer didn’t really have that many friends and I made some calls but they all told me the same thing. Jennifer has never talked about Rachel. So who could it be? A sister? Her mother? And why did she write down Rachel? I hate not knowing things.

Suddenly I heard the trill of a text alert from my phone. Shit! I really hope it’s not Sherlock’s brother again. I already told him to piss off. I got up from my desk and walked over to where my phone was at and unplugged it from the wall. I unlocked it but to my surprise there was a text message from Sherlock.

"Well it’s about damn time.” I said as I opened up the text.

Baker Street. Come at once if convenient. SH

Good. He must have found something important if he was texting me and I had a feeling that he found her suitcase. Just before I could text him back my phone trilled another text alert.

If inconvenient, come anyway. SH

I’m on my way over now. Cas. I quickly texted back as I went back to my laptop and turned it off. I grabbed my charger before I walked back over to where my messenger bag was at. Suddenly my phone alerted me with another text.

Could be dangerous. SH

I couldn’t help but grin at that last text. I then sent John a text with a sort of apology for also ditching him earlier. I quickly put on my black leather jacket and my infinity scarf before grabbing my messenger bag quickly stashing my phone charger. I locked the door behind me and walked down the stairs as I put on my black fingerless gloves. As soon as I reached the street I flagged down a cab.

I got in the cab and gave him the address to Baker Street. I relaxed in my seat as the cab took off. This was actually turning out to be a very interesting night. I mean I still had my reservations about this case but I was actually having fun. The thrill of the chase was so exciting. I couldn’t wait to catch the murderer. Hopefully Sherlock and I could solve this case tonight.

The cab finally pulled up to the curbing outside of Baker Street. I paid the cabbie before getting out. I knocked on the door and I didn’t have to wait long before Mrs. Hudson opened the door for me. She was hovering over me and going on about how I was going to catch a cold as she ushered me inside.

“Come in out of the cold. Aren’t you chilly without a proper coat. I would hate for you to get sick.” Mrs. Hudson asked me as she closed the door behind me.
“It’s not that bad and besides I’m warm blooded.” I told Mrs. Hudson as I turned to look at her. I didn’t dare tell her that I had some whiskey earlier in order to keep me warm from the cold. Mrs. Hudson then sighed as she smiled at me. She then placed her hand on my shoulder in a motherly way.

“Sherlock’s upstairs. I thought John was with you two?” Mrs. Hudson asked me as I walked over to the stairs.

“He probably had something to do but I think he’s on his way now.” I explained to Mrs. Hudson and I smiled back at her before I ascended the stairs. I didn’t want to admit to Mrs. Hudson that I left him behind like Sherlock. As soon as I got to the landing I saw that the door to the flat was wide open and I could see Sherlock lying on the couch. He had his hands under his chin in a prayer like pose. I raised my eyebrow at him before stepping into the flat.

“What the hell are you doing?” I asked Sherlock but there was no response from him. I just sighed before shaking my head. “You’ve got to be kidding me.” I muttered to myself. I took off my scarf and gloves before taking off my jacket. I placed them along with my messenger bag behind the door. “Are you asleep or dead?” I asked him before I turned and looked at him but yet again Sherlock didn’t make a move. “God I hope your not dead.” I muttered to myself.

I walked over to Sherlock and just stared down at him with my arms crossed. I stared at him for a few minutes before I uncrossed my arms and poked him to see if he would make any movements. I snorted before I walked back over to where my messenger bag was at. There was one thing that I knew would get Sherlock’s attention. I pulled out a cigarette and took out a lighter from the front pocket. I remember Sherlock eyeing the cigarette I was smoking yesterday when we were in the alleyway. I looked at him again before I sat down in his chair.

I placed the cigarette to my lips before I lit it and took a puff. Oh god that felt good. I thought as I blew out the smoke. Just like that I heard Sherlock sniff and he opened his eyes. Bingo. He pushed himself up from the couch and just walked out of the room. I heard Sherlock shuffling around nosily in another room. I pulled my legs up on the chair as Sherlock came back a minute later carrying a box of nicotine patches. He sat back down on the couch before he looked up at me.

“What are you doing here?” Sherlock asked me. I gave him a ‘you’ve got to be kidding me’ look.

“Really? You sent me a text remember? You said come at once to Baker Street. If inconvenient come away.” I reminded Sherlock as stared back at me blankly.

“Oh right right.” Sherlock said as if he was just remembering now. I just rolled my eyes before puffing from my cigarette. “When did you get back?” He asked me and I just shook my head at him as I blew out the smoke.

“About a minute or two.” I told him as he started pulling patches out of the box.

“You shouldn’t smoke in here. If Mrs. Hudson finds out she will have our heads. Here.” Sherlock told me as he gave me an ash tray.

I grabbed the ash tray and put out the cigarette in it before handing it back to Sherlock. I quickly waved my hand around to brush off the smoke as Sherlock rolled up the sleeves to his dress shirt and started to apply the patches to his arm. Three patches, that was a little excessive.

“If you need a nicotine fix have one of these.” Sherlock told me as he gestured to the box of patches.

“Fine I’ll take one.” I said as I got up and took out a patch from the box. I sat back down and rolled up my sleeve and put the patch on my right arm before Sherlock stashed the patches on the side of the couch and placed the ash tray under the couch before lying back down in his praying pose. I rolled up my sleeve and settled back into Sherlock’s chair. I waited to feel the effects of the nicotine patch but I got nothing.

I glanced at Sherlock who shifted in his seat, with his eyes still closed as he started pressing the palm of his right hand firmly onto the underside of his left arm just below the elbow. He was pressing on the patches to get the nicotine to release more quickly. His eyes snapped open wide and he stared fixedly up towards the ceiling before he signed out a noisy breath and relaxed. I just raised my eyebrow at him. Damn and I thought my nicotine craving was bad. Sherlock’s was even worse. It was like he was getting high off of those patches.

I heard a knock on the door downstairs and I assumed that it was John. The door opened downstairs and a few seconds later I could hear the low voices downstairs as Mrs. Hudson let him in. John started up the stairs and he walked through the door before stopping and staring at Sherlock who was repeatedly clenching and unclenching his fists.

“What are you doing?” John asked Sherlock as he watched the consulting detective closely. He then turned to look at me and I just shrugged.

“Nicotine patch. Helps me think.” Sherlock answered John calmly as he lifted his right arm to show the three round patches that he had stuck on his arm. “Impossible to sustain a smoking habit in London these days. Bad news for brain work.” He continued loudly clicking the ‘k’ at the end of the word.

“It’s good news for breathing.” John commented and I let out a snort laugh as he walked further into the room seeming to get over the initial shock of Sherlock.

“Good one.” I told John with a smirk on my face. He just shook his head at me before grinning a little. It was at that moment that I started to feel the effects of the nicotine patch. Oh wow that was strong. I thought as I closed my eyes and leaned my head back in the chair. It actually felt very relaxing. I could only imagine how Sherlock must be feeling with three patches. I then took in a deep breath before letting it out. I opened my eyes as I lifted my head.

“Oh, breathing. Breathing’s boring.” Sherlock told him dismissively.

“Is that three patches?” John asked him sounding surprised. I hummed in confirmation as John glanced at me. Sherlock pressed his hands together in the prayer position under his chin again before answering John.

“It’s a three-patch problem.” He told him simply as Sherlock closed his eyes again. John looked around the room for a moment before looking back at Sherlock again.

“Well?” John asked him. There was a long silent pause. “You asked me to come. I’m assuming it’s important.” He continued. Sherlock didn’t respond again, but after a couple of seconds his eyes snapped open. He didn’t even bother turning his head to look at John as he answered him.

“Oh, yeah, of course. Can I borrow your phone?” Sherlock asked him and I snorted. That was what was dangerous?

“My phone?” John asked him exasperatedly while he turned back to look at Sherlock after glancing at me.

“Don’t wanna use mine. Always a chance that the number will be recognized. It’s on the website.” Sherlock explained to him offhandedly as he stayed in his praying pose.

“Mrs. Hudson’s got a phone.” John pointed out, starting to sound irritated as he turned back to Sherlock.

“Yeah, she’s downstairs. I tried shouting but she didn’t hear.”

“I was on the other side of London.” John told him starting to sound angry.

“There was no hurry.” Sherlock told him mildly. John glared at Sherlock as he gazed serenely up at the ceiling before closing his eyes again. John dug his phone out of his jacket pocket and held it out towards him.

“Here.” John told him through gritted teeth. Without opening his eyes, Sherlock held out his right hand with his palm facing up. John glowered at him for a moment before stepping forward and slapping the phone into his hand roughly. Sherlock slowly again, this time with the phone in between his palms. John turned and walked a few paces away before turing around again.

“So what’s this about… the case?” John asked Sherlock who just sat in his drugged state.

“Her case was missing.” I answered John as I stretched my arms over my head.

“Her case?” John asked me confused and I nodded before glancing back at Sherlock. He was still completely high off of the nicotine patches.

“Her suitcase, yes, obviously. The murderer took her suitcase. First big mistake.” Sherlock answered him opening his eyes and flickering them at me.

“Okay, he took her case. So?”

“It’s no use, there’s no other way. We’ll have to risk it.” Sherlock muttered to himself and I raised my eyebrow. He raised his voice a little as he imperiously held the phone out towards John who was still not looking at him. “On my desk there’s a number. I want you to send a text.” John half smiled at him in angry disbelief.

“You brought me here… to send a text?” John asked Sherlock tightly.

“Text, yes. The number on my desk.” Sherlock told him sounding oblivious to his anger. He continued to hold the phone out while John glowered at him. It looked like he wanted to kill Sherlock right on the spot.

Eventually he stomped across the room and snatched the phone from Sherlock’s hand. Sherlock refolded his hands under his chin and closed his eyes but instead of going to the table John walked over to the window and looked out of it into the street below. Sherlock opened his eyes and tilted his head slightly towards him.

“What’s wrong?” I asked John as I got up from Sherlock’s chair even though I knew exactly what John was looking out for.

“Just met a friend of yours Sherlock.” John remarked as he continued to look out of the window. Fuck. Looks like Mycroft picked up John and did that hole stupid interrogation thing on him too. Sherlock just frowned in confusion.

“A friend?” Sherlock asked him.

“An enemy.” John elaborated and Sherlock immediately relaxed.

“Oh. Which one?” Sherlock asked him calmly.

“Your arch-enemy, according to him.” I told Sherlock as I answered for John. I heard this exact same speech when Mycroft picked me up. John turned to look at me in surprise by what I had said. “He did the same thing to me last night.” I told John with an annoyed tone.

“Do people have arch-enemies?” John asked Sherlock as he turned away from me and back at Sherlock.

“Did he offer you two money to spy on me?” Sherlock asked him still studying us trying to deduce our answer before we gave it.

“Yes.” We remarked before Sherlock eyed me.

“Did you take it?” Sherlock asked us as he cocked his head. John and I both looked at each other before looking back at Sherlock.

“No.” We told him in unison. John glanced at me smiling that I had also declined Mycroft’s offer. Unlike John though I was the only one who deduced that Mycroft and Sherlock are brothers. I think I will wait to disclose that information.

“Pity. We could have split the fee. Think it through next time.” Sherlock told us sounding completely unaffected by this revelation.

“Oh gee I have to remember that for next time.” I told Sherlock sarcastically before I moved to the window with my arms crossed to my chest.

“Who is he?” John asked Sherlock.

“The most dangerous man you’ve ever met, and not my problem right now.” Sherlock answered him softly as I scoffed at what Sherlock had said. I wouldn’t exactly call Mycroft that. God they were both so dramatic. “On my desk, the number.” Sherlock told him more loudly. John gave him a dark look but Sherlock had already looked away again. John looked at me incredulously before he walked over to the desk and picked up a piece of paper that had been taken from a luggage label. He looked at the name on the paper for a moment before looking up at me.

“Jennifer Wilson. That was… Hang on. Wasn’t that the dead woman?”

“Yes. That’s not important. Just enter the number.” Sherlock snapped out. John shook his head angrily as he got out his phone and started to type the number into it. I just sighed as I watched their interaction. I swear I don’t know who’s more of a headache Sherlock or his brother Mycroft. Granted I only met Mycroft once but he was still a major prick. “Are you doing it?” Sherlock asked John after a moment where the only sound in the room came from John trying to type on his phone. It was obvious that John doesn’t text very much.

“Yes.”

“Have you done it?” Sherlock snapped out again as I rolled my eyes at his impatience.

“Ye… hang on!” John snapped back in frustration. Oh God this was getting us no where. I thought to myself as I walked over to John.

“Let me do it.” I told John as I held my hand out for his phone. “That would look bad for both of us if you kill Sherlock over a text.” I commented. John then inhaled before letting out his breath and handed me over his phone calming slightly. As I typed in the number John passed by men and plopped down heavily into his armchair.

“These words exactly, ‘What happened at Lauriston Gardens? I must have blacked out.’” Sherlock dictated oblivious to what I had said about John killing Sherlock. I quickly wrote up the text as John watched me type away at the keyboard on his phone. As I typed I felt a strand of my red hair fall in my face before I placed it behind my ear.

“Twenty-two Northumberland Street. Please come.”

“You blacked out?” John asked Sherlock frowning as he snapped his head away from me to look back at Sherlock again.

“What? No. No!” Sherlock told him as he flipped his legs around and stood up, taking the shortest route towards the kitchen which apparently involved walking over the coffee table beside the sofa rather than walking around it.

“Type and send it. Quickly.” Sherlock snapped back as he walked into the kitchen. He came back into the room a second later carrying a small pink suitcase. Walking over to the dining table, he lifted one of the dining chairs and flipped it around, setting it down in front of his armchair before putting the suitcase on it and sitting in his chair. “Have you sent it?” He asked me still sounding demanding and snappish.

“What’s the address?” I asked Sherlock pretending to sound innocently forgetful before grinning. I obviously remembered the address I just wanted to annoy him for fun.

“Twenty-two Northumberland Street. Hurry up!” Sherlock snapped at me impatiently. I then looked at him with an annoyed you got to be kidding me look with a snort, which caused him to snap his head up to glare at me.

“Finished. Your majesty.” I told Sherlock sarcastically as I gave him a mock bow. He just huffed back in response as he unzipped the case and flipped open the lid revealing the contents. John covered up a laugh with a cough and I looked back at him with a smirk before handing back his phone.

I then walked over to the case and looked inside to see what the contents were. Upon my inspection I saw that there were only a few items of clothing and underwear all in varying shades of pink. I grimaced at the color. I never did like pink even as a child. It was just to… girly. There was also a wash bag and a paperback novel by Paul Bunch entitled Come to Bed Eyes in the bag. John turned towards the case and I caught his eyes widen slightly in shock as he realized what he was looking at.

“That’s… that’s the pink lady’s case. That’s Jennifer Wilson’s case.” John said sounding bemused.

“Yes, obviously.” Sherlock answered him as he studied the case closely. John continued to stare at him before looking back at me. Sherlock broke his intense stare with the case to look up at him and then rolled his eyes. “Oh, perhaps I should mention, I didn’t kill her.” Sherlock told John sarcastically which caused me to roll my eyes at Sherlock.

“I never said you did.” John told him as he looked at me with an expression of exasperation. I just shrugged at him before I bend down to my knees and began digging through her case.

“Why not? Given the text I just had you two send and the fact that I have her case, it’s a perfectly logical assumption.” Sherlock continued as I frowned. Her phone wasn’t with her case. Oh… that’s why Sherlock had us send the text, he thought the murderer had her mobile.

“Do people usually assume you’re the murderer?” John asked him as I stood back up.

“Now and then, yes.” Sherlock told him with a large smirk on his face as he looked at me and I smirked at that.

“Okay…” John said as Sherlock put his hands onto the arms of the chair and lifted his feet up under him so he was perching on the back of the seat. He clasped his hands under his chin again.

“How did you get this?” I asked Sherlock as John shifted in his chair.

“By looking.” Sherlock told me simply. I just rolled my eyes at that as John looked confused. Well that was a very vague answer.

“Where?” John asked Sherlock who sighed in exasperation.

“The killer must have driven her to Lauriston Gardens. He could only keep her case by accident if it was in the car. Nobody could be seen without drawing attention… particularly a man, which is statistically more likely… so obviously he’d feel compelled to get rid of it the moment he noticed he still had it. Wouldn’t have taken him more than five minutes to realize his mistake. I checked every back street wide enough for a car five minutes from Lauriston Gardens and anywhere you could dispose of a bulky object without being observed. Took me less than an hour to find the right skip.” Sherlock told us as I grinned at that. I could just imagine Sherlock digging through the trash just to find this case. I then wrinkled my nose as I looked back at him.

“That explains the smell.” I told Sherlock as I walked over to the mantel and leaned against it with my arms crossed.

“Pink. You got all that because you realized the case would be pink?” John asked us suddenly as Sherlock glared at me for my comment about the way he smelled.

“Well, it had to be pink, obviously. You saw the way she was dressed and of course her case. To say she loved that color would be an understatement.” I told John as I grimaced again at all that pink in front of us. God I really hated that color. I always have.

“Why didn’t I think of that?” John asked himself as he sighed and looked up at me.

“Because you’re an idiot!” Sherlock told him. John looked across to him startled by his insult at his intelligence. Sherlock made a placatory gesture with one hand.

“No, no, no, don’t look like that. Practically everyone is.” Sherlock said as he refolded his hands and then extended his index fingers to point at the case. “Now, look. Do you see what’s missing? Either of you?”

“From the case? How could I?” John asked him.

“Her phone is missing.” I told Sherlock who then pointed at me.

“Exactly. Where is her mobile phone? There was no phone on the body, there’s no phone in the case. We know she had one- that’s her number there; you just texted it.” Sherlock explained to the both of us although he was directing it more towards John.

“Maybe she left it at home.” John offered up. No she didn’t leave it at home. The murderer has her phone. Sherlock put his hands onto the arms of the chair and raised himself up so that he could sit down on the chair properly again.

“She has a string of lovers and she’s careful about it. She never leaves her phone at home.” I told John as Sherlock put the slip of paper back into the luggage label on the case before looking up at John expectantly.

“Er…” John said as he looked down at his mobile which he had put on the arm of his chair. “Why did Cas and I just send that text?” John finally asked Sherlock.

“Well, the question is: where is her phone now?” Sherlock asked John trying to get him to work through the answer on his own. Come on John you’ve got this. I thought to myself a I looked down at John while nodding at him.

“She could have lost it.” John said sounding unsure of himself.

“Yes, or…?”

“The murderer…” John said slowly as he watched me closely. “You think the murderer has the phone?” John asked as he looked back at Sherlock.

“By George, I think he’s got it!” I told Sherlock before I looked back at John and gave him a thumbs up. John just smiled at me by my reaction.

“Maybe she left her case. Maybe he took it from her for some reason. Either way, the balance of probability is the murderer has her phone.” Sherlock said as he rolled his eyes at me. I just glared at him and gave a look that said ‘real mature’.

“Sorry, what are we doing? Did we just text a murderer?! What good will that do?” John asked us and right on cue his phone started ringing. He picked it up and looked at the screen for the caller I.D. I leaned over and saw that the screen read withheld calling. I straightened up and John looked across to Sherlock as the phone continued to ring.

“A few hours after his last victim, and now he receives a text that can only be from her. If someone had just found that phone they’d ignore a text like that, but the murderer…” Sherlock said as he paused dramatically for a moment until the phone stopped ringing. “… would panic.” He finished as he flipped the lid of the suitcase close and stood up. He walked across the room to pick up his jacket as John continued to stare down at his phone. Sherlock put his suit jacket back on before he walked towards the door.

“Have you talked to the police?” John asked us as I walked over to the door to pick up my jacket.

“Four people are dead. There isn’t time to talk to the police.” Sherlock told him as he walked to the door and I snorted at that. He was right though, there wasn’t time to talk to the police. The murderer was going to strike again. The question is who was going to be his next victim?

“So why are you talking to me?” John asked us as Sherlock reached behind the door and took his greatcoat from the hook beside the one I had hung my leather jacket up on. He looked across the room towards John and suddenly frowned. I looked to where his line of sight fell and noticed that Sherlock’s skull was missing from the mantelpiece.

“Mrs. Hudson took my skull.” Sherlock whined.

“So I’m basically filling in for your skull?” John asked him as Sherlock pulled his coat on.

“Relax, you’re doing fine.” Sherlock told him as he reached behind the door and pulled my jacket off of the hook next to his the same time I tried to reach for it. I gave Sherlock a suspicious look before he held out my leather jacket. John continued to sit in his chair just staring at us.

“Well?” Sherlock asked the both of us. He raised his eyebrow at me before he helped me slip into it. I wasn’t used to having someone help me into my jacket like this. He obviously had manners which meant that he came from a well to do family.

“Well what?” John asked him sounding confused.

“Well, you could just sit there and watch telly.” I pointed out as I slid my arms into my jacket and let Sherlock help me put it on.

“What, you want me to come with you two?” John asked us sounding generally surprised as I grinned back at him.

“I like company when I go out, and I think better when I talk aloud. The skull just attacks attention, so….” Sherlock said and John smiled at the both of us briefly. “Problem?” Sherlock asked him as he pulled his scarf off of the hook and handed me mine. I put my scarf around my neck as I looked back at John.’

“Yeah, Sergeant Donovan.” John told us. I just groaned. Crap of course that woman had to have said something to John about us especially me. God she was such an annoying bitch.

“What about her?” Sherlock asked John as he looked away in exasperation. We shared a look that showed our mutual feelings for that woman.

“She said… You get off on this. You enjoy it.” John told Sherlock. “And she told me that you’re dangerous than Sherlock.” He said as he directed that statement towards me. Fuck, Donovan most likely told him about what had happened three years ago. Suddenly I had a brief flashback of what had happened before I heard that man’s voice again.

I will find you Cassandra!

I quickly backed up a little bit and stumbled at my feet as I started to feel my heart racing fast. I looked up to John and Sherlock who both looked back at me.

“Cassandra. Are you alright?” John asked me as he looked back at me in concern. “You look really pale.”

“I’m…. I’m fine.” I told John before I started walking away. Damn Donovan. Damn her for bringing that back up again.

“And I said dangerous, and here you are.” Sherlock said nonchalantly as I walked out of the door taking a drink from my flask with Sherlock behind me as we started down the stairs.

“Something wrong?” Sherlock asked me as he raised his eyebrow at me. I knew that Sherlock could tell something was up but I wasn’t ready to tell him. No not yet. I didn’t want to be put on the spot again.

“It’s nothing. I just lost my balance. No big deal.” I told Sherlock nonchalantly before he nodded.

“You know you could have come up with a better lie then that that.” Sherlock told me and I looked back at him. “After all you are dangerous.” Sherlock finally added before he let out a laugh and I couldn’t help but smile at him. Sherlock actually looked charming when he truly smiled. He had this sort of boyish charm especially with his dark curls. It was refreshing to see than his typical foul mood.

“Damn it!” We heard John say behind us as we reached the door and walked out onto the street together. Sherlock pulled out a pair of leather gloves out of his coat pockets just as I put on my own gloves. It didn’t take long for John to catch up to the both of us and fall into step beside me.

“Where are we going?” John asked us and I noticed that he was leaning heavily on his cane again.

“Northumberland Street’s a five minute walk from here.” Sherlock answered him as I realized that I had left my messenger bag up at the flat. Well I guess I really don’t need it with me now. It’s just Mrs. Hudson and I doubt that she would go through my bag. I have something very valuable in there which could mean either life or death and I didn’t want anyone to touch it.

“You think he’s stupid enough to go there?”

“Or brilliant enough.” I told John before Sherlock cut me off smiling expectantly.

“I love the brilliant ones. They’re always so desperate to get caught.” He said enthusiastically and I just grinned at his excitement over the case. It was kind of amusing seeing him get all excited.

“Why?” John asked us confused.

“Appreciation! Applause! As long last the spotlight. That’s the frailty of genius, John, it needs an audience.” Sherlock remarked and I snorted at him. Was he describing the murderer or himself?

“Yeah.” John said looking at him pointedly before his gaze turned to me. I just shrugged nonchalantly at John before Sherlock suddenly spun around to indicate the entire area as we continued down the road.

“This is his hunting ground, right here in the heart of the city. Now that we know his victims were abducted, that changes everything.” Sherlock told us before he slipped back into thought.

“That is strange. All of his victims disappeared from busy streets but nobody saw them go. Of course if someone got kidnapped someone would be bound to make a scene but not one person has said they saw someone get kidnapped. Unless they went with that person willingly.” I said thoughtfully as Sherlock suddenly held his hands us on either side of his head as if he was trying to focus his thoughts.

“Think! Who do we trust, even though we don’t know them? Who passes unnoticed wherever they go? Who hunts in the middle of the crowd?” Sherlock asked us as he paused and jumped in front of John and I looking us both straight in the eyes.

“Dunno. Who?” John asked him as we both stopped and looked at Sherlock.

“Haven’t the faintest.” Sherlock said nonchalantly and shrugged before turing around. What the hell was that all about? I thought as I gave Sherlock a confused look. “Hungry?” He asked us as he led us into the small restaurant we had stopped in front of. 

Chapter Text

As we entered the restaurant, the waiter near the door way recognized Sherlock and immediately ran towards us. He gestured to a table at the front window, offering it to us.

Thank you, Billy.” Sherlock told the waiter offhandedly as he took his coat off and sat down on the side of the table not facing the window. He immediately turned sideways so that he could clearly see out of the window, ignoring us as he was lost in his detective mode.

John helped me out of my leather jacket and I thanked him before sitting down. I’ve never received such gentlemanly behavior before meeting John and Sherlock. It felt kind of nice. As Billy took the ‘Reserved’ sign off of the table, John sat down on the bench seat with his back to the window, after he draped my jacket over the back of my chair. I sat into the seat next to Sherlock and looked around at the restaurant. This was a really nice place. It wasn’t crowded, which was nice, and there were some patrons enjoying their meal.

“Twenty-two Northumberland Street. Keep your eyes on it.” Sherlock told us as he nodded at the building across the street. He kept his eyes trained on it as I glanced quickly across the road. It was going to be completely obvious if we all looked across the road. I was going to leave all of that to Sherlock and casually look up once in a while.

“He isn’t just gonna ring the doorbell, though, is he? He’d need to be mad.” John remarked sounding skeptical. He had a point but the killer did already make one mistake with the woman’s case.

“He has killed four people.” I pointed out to John.

“…Okay.” John said as a man came over to our table. From what I deduced this man was the owner of the restaurant. He looked very pleased to see Sherlock.

“Sherlock.” The man said as both men shook hands. He then glanced at both John and I before grinning at us. “Anything on the menu, whatever you want, free.” The man told us in a hushed voice before he laid a couple of menus out on the table. I hummed in approval. Free food is always great. “On the house, for you and your date.” The man continued in a conspiratorial whisper as he looked between John and Sherlock. I couldn’t help but laugh at that as John turned red before he glared at me.

“Do you want to eat?” Sherlock asked us completely oblivious to what was going on. I stopped laughing before I nodded at that. Oh man that was the best laugh I’ve had in a long time. To be honest I couldn’t remember exactly when it was I had last eaten. I did have tea this morning and a granola bar. I didn’t really eat much mostly because my flat didn’t have a kitchen and I couldn’t afford real meals unless I got paid. Usually I just went to Luke’s family pub where he gave me free food.

“I’m not his date.” John told the man through slightly clenched teeth. I started to giggle again but John shot me an annoyed look.

“This man got me off a murder charge.” The man told John as he leaned down holding Sherlock’s shoulders. I was surprised to see Sherlock smirk slightly instead of shaking him off.

“This is Angelo.” Sherlock introduced him as Angelo offered his hand out to John. John shook his hand, but I could tell he was still slightly irritated by being called Sherlock’s date. Angelo then offered his hand out to me. I shook his hand before he kissed my hand. I gave him a surprised and confused look by that gesture. “Three years ago I successfully proved to Lestrade at the time of a particularly vicious triple murder that Angelo was in a completely different part of town, house-breaking.”

“He cleared my name.” Angelo pointed out.

“I cleared it a bit. Anything happening opposite?” Sherlock asked Angelo who shook his head as he briefly glanced across the street.

“Nothing.” Angelo answered him as he looked at John and I again before continuing. “But for this man, I’d have gone to prison.”

“You did go to prison.” Sherlock pointed out.

“I’ll get a candle for the table. It’s more romantic.” Angelo said to John before looking at me. “And a little something special for the young lady.”

“I’m not his date!” John called out tetchy as Angelo walked away.

“You may as well eat. We might have a long wait.” Sherlock told John and I as he turned and glanced out of the window again, his eyes flickering from person to person as he deduced each turn. He was so quick with his deductions which I found very interesting. Another thing was that I was going to move in with these two men. One an ex-army doctor and the other a consulting detective. At least I won’t be bored.

“So, are you going to eat?” John asked us as he skimmed over his menu. I glanced down at mine deciding on something to eat.

“What day is it?” Sherlock asked John without bothering to turn around.

“It’s Wednesday.” John answered him in confusion. Hmm should I get the ravioli or spaghetti? I thought to myself as I looked over the menu.

“I’m okay for a bit.” Sherlock answered him disinterestedly. I looked up and glanced out the window quickly, my eyes darting around the people on the opposite side of the street.

“You haven’t eaten today? For God’s sake, you need to eat.” John protested. So Sherlock is bad at remembering to eat like me. That explains why he was so skinny.

“No, you need to eat. I need to think. The brain’s what counts. Everything else is transport.” Sherlock shot back. John frowned at him as I rolled my eyes. Angelo then came back with a small glass bowl with a lit tea-light candle in it. He put it onto the center of the table before placing a glass of red wine in front of me. He gave John a thumbs up and sent me a smile before he walked away.

“Thanks!” John shot a little grumpy look at Angelo’s retreating form. As soon as he was completely out of sight I leaned forward and blew out the candle before I picked the wine glass that was given to me. John smiled at me in gratitude and I saluted him with it before I took a big chug of wine. This was exactly what I needed.

“Interesting you drink and you use nicotine.” Sherlock said suddenly as I held my glass in my hand.

“Yeah. It calms me but I’m not a drunk.” I told Sherlock as I pointedly took another sip of my drink. I do drink and smoke but I’m trying to cut down the smoking. Drinking on the other hand was harder. Angelo came back over to our table with a grin on his face, ready to take our order personally.

John and I ordered something to eat, but Sherlock didn’t order anything. We continued on making small talk for a while. Mostly it was John and I having the conversation with Sherlock cutting in a comment here or there. We got our food and started eating as Sherlock’s attention was fixed out of the window. He was quietly drumming his fingers on the table.

“People don’t have arch-enemies.” John said breaking the silence as he took a bite of his chicken parmesan. It took a long moment before Sherlock finally looked around at him. I stared at the two men as I took another bite of my lasagna.

“I’m sorry?” Sherlock asked him.

“In real life. There are no arch-enemies in real life. Doesn’t happen.” John said as he looked across the table at me. I just rolled my eyes remembering that Mycroft had told me the same thing last night when I was kidnapped.

“Doesn’t it? Sounds a bit dull.” Sherlock said disinterestedly as he looked out of the window again.

“So who did Cassandra and I meet?” John asked Sherlock. I then took another sip of my red wine. I was so tempted to tell John that Mycroft was Sherlock’s brother but I’d rather leave that up to Sherlock. It was his brother not mine. I could see why he thought his older brother was annoying.

“What do real people have, then, in their ‘real lives’?” Sherlock asked John sounding slightly condescending as he completely ignored John’s question. I knew that John had these questions burning in his brain and that eventually they would come out. I on the other hand wanted to observe and let John ask all of the questions. I sat back in my chair as I took another bite of my lasagna.

“Friends, people they know, people they like, people don’t like… Girlfriends, boyfriends…” John said before Sherlock cut him off.

“Yes, well, as I was saying-dull.” Sherlock said and I just looked at him. I didn’t make friends well so I didn’t have that many of them. Luke and his sister Clare were the only ones that I would consider actual friends. Mike was more of a friendly acquaintance. I never really had a best friend and I was pretty okay with it. To be completely honest the only one that I had ever considered a best friend was my old flat mate but she’s dead…. because of me. I started to chug down the rest of my red wine before placing down the empty glass on the table.

“You don’t have a girlfriend, then?”

“Girlfriend? No, not really my area.” Sherlock said as he continued to look out of the window. I looked back at John who didn’t seem really surprised by Sherlock’s response.

“Mm.” John hummed in agreement. A long, awkward moment passed before I saw a flash of surprise in John’s eyes as he seemed to realize the possible significance of Sherlock’s statement. “Oh, right. D’you have a boyfriend?” John asked him and I snorted sharply at that. Sherlock looked at John sharply finally being broken out of his staring contest with the street. “Which is fine, by the way.” John added.

“More wine please.” I told the waiter named Billy who had just passed by our table keeping my eyes fixed on the two men. I needed a lot more alcohol to watch this conversation.

“I know it’s fine.” Sherlock told him quickly looking slightly uncomfortable with where this conversation was headed. Soon Billy reappeared with a bottle of red wine and poured some more wine into my empty glass. John smiled seemingly to indicate that he wasn’t signifying anything negative by what he said.

“So you’ve got a boyfriend then?” John asked him again before I turned to look at Billy who walked back to our table holding the bottle of red wine and poured some into my glass.

“Leave the bottle.” I told Billy before he walked away in confusion.

“No.” Sherlock told John as I took a sip of my wine. Oh God could this be any more awkward?!

“What about you then Cassandra?” John asked me suddenly turning the conversation to me. Oh God! I thought to myself. “Do you have a boyfriend? Or a girlfriend maybe? ‘Cos that’s all fine you know.” John continued as I held the wine glass in my hand. Thank God for alcohol! Sherlock watched me with more interest than before.

“Oh no no no no. I’m not drunk enough to answer that.” I told John as I chuckled in amusement before I took another sip. Both John and Sherlock looked at me with Sherlock raising his eyebrow at me. “Let’s just say my last relationship didn’t end well.” I told John honestly before I felt a pain shoot through my hip. I could feel that bullet go through me again even though I was in the restaurant with John and Sherlock. I hated talking about my old relationship. Humph if you would call it that. God I still don’t know what I exactly saw in that man but then again I was young, naive, and I didn’t know any better.

“Right. Okay.” John said still smiling, though his smile seemed to become a little fixed and awkward. “You’re unattached. Like me.” John said as he looked down at his plate. He seemed to be rapidly running out of things to say. “Fine.” He continued as he cleared his throat. “Good.” He finished before he continued eating. Sherlock turned his attention out of the window again for a long moment before he looked back at John.

“John, um…. I think you should know that I consider myself married to my work, and while I’m flattered by your interest, I’m really not looking for any…” Sherlock told John as he spoke rather awkwardly but rapidly speed up until he was almost babbling by the time John interrupted him.

“No.” John said as he interrupted him quickly. He turned his head briefly to clear his throat. “No, I’m not asking. No.” He finished as he fixed his gaze onto Sherlock’s, apparently trying to convey the sincerity of his words. “I’m just saying, it’s all fine.” John told him and Sherlock looked at him for a moment before nodding.

“Good. Thank you.” Sherlock told him before he turned his attention back to the street. John looked back at me with a bemused expression on his face that seemed to ask me ‘what the heck was all that about?!’ I just shrugged before taking another bite of my food just as Sherlock nodded out of the window.

“Look across the street. Taxi.” Sherlock told us. John twisted in his seat to look out of the window where there was a taxi parked on the other side of the road with its back end towards the restaurant. “Stopped. Nobody getting in, and nobody getting out.” Sherlock continued as I watched the male passenger in the rear seat of the taxi looking through the side windows as if he was trying to see somebody in particular. “Why a taxi?” He asked me before he scrunched his face up in thought. “Oh, that’s clever. Is it clever?” Sherlock said to himself before looking up at me for an answer.

“That’s him?” John asked us as he continued to stare at the taxi.

“Don’t stare.” I told John in a whisper before I snuck a peek out of the window. No one was getting into the taxi. Sherlock did make a good point. Why a taxi?

“You’re staring.” John pointed out as he looked at me.

“We all can’t stare.” I told John as Sherlock suddenly got to his feet grabbing his coat and scarf as he headed for the door. I got up after him, pulling my jacket on as I walked.

John picked up his own jacket and followed out after us hurriedly. Sherlock shrugged himself into his coat while he kept his eyes fixed on the taxi. I looked across the street where the passenger continued to look around at him before he turned and looked out of the back window of the cab. His gaze fell on the restaurant and then on us and he stared back for a few moments while Sherlock and I just stared back at him. I almost felt like we were reacting the shoot out scene from that old Clint Eastwood movie The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Suddenly the man turned towards the front of the vehicle and the taxi began to pull away from the curb.

Sherlock immediately headed towards the cab without bothering to check the road that he was running out into. He was almost run over by a car coming from his left. The driver slammed on the brakes and stopped the car in time but Sherlock allowed his forward impacts to carry him onto the top of the bonnet. He rolled over the bonnet, landing on his feet on the other side and then ran after him taking the same path he had over the bonnet. I vaulted off of the hood and broke into a run after Sherlock. I smirked triumphantly at myself. This is where my talents as an ex-thief pays off. The driver of the car angrily sounded his horn as John put one hand on the bonnet and vaulted over the front of the car after me as he followed us. He apologized to the driver as he went.

“Sorry.” John shouted behind me as we chased after Sherlock. I was the first to catch him as he had only run a few yards up the road before he realized that we were never going to catch the taxi. We both slowed to a halt which gave John the time to catch up with us. He stopped beside us sounding slightly breathless. “I’ve got the cab number.” John told us.

“Good for you.” Sherlock quipped as he brought his hands up to either side of his head and made his thinking face.

“Right turn, one way, road works, traffic lights, bus lane, pedestrian crossing, left turn only, traffic lights.” Sherlock said in rapid succession. He lifted his head and I caught his line of sight as he looked at a man who was unlocking a door to a nearby building. Sherlock looked back at me for a brief moment before I grinned at him. I then took off like a lioness on the hunt and we both raced towards the man. Sherlock grabbed the man and shoved him out of the way before charging into the building with me running ahead of him.

“Oi!” The man shouted as Sherlock and I raced past him. John hurried after the both of us raising an apologetic hand to the man as he went. Sherlock and I raced up the stairs and out onto a metal spiral fire escape staircase which lead to the roof. We both take the steps two or even three at a time. I looked over my shoulder and saw that John was struggling to keep up with us. Sherlock seemed to notice the same thing.

“Come on, John.” He called back urgently as we reached the top of the stairs.

Sherlock and I ran to the edge and looked over before we spotted a shorter metal spiral staircase that led down the side of the building to another door one floor lower. Sherlock quickly descended the stairs and climbed onto the railing before leaping across the gap to the next building. I kept moving and made the jump following closely behind Sherlock. As soon as I landed we ran to the other side of the roof with me now being in the lead. The next jump looked a lot wider than the first. Sherlock and I shared a look before he tried to grab my hand but I quickly ran before jumping across the gap. I was airborne for a good while and to show off I did a little flip before I landed on my feet and my left hand in a crouched position. I then got up and looked back at Sherlock with a smirk on my face. Oh yeah I still got it.

Sherlock looked back at me and to my surprise he looked rather impressed. He then jumped across the gap and landed on the other side next to me. He smirked back at me before I started to laugh. I watched as John skidded to a halt as he seemed to realize that the gap might be too wide for him to jump given his “bad” leg. I watched as he hesitated and looked down at the drop beneath him. We had to keep moving or we were going to lose the taxi. John needed to make this jump and I knew he could do it. He was physically fit and he was was in the bloody army for God’s sake but it was his mind that was telling him he couldn’t do it.

“Come on, John. We’re losing him!” Sherlock called across to John as he looked between John and the rooftops.

"You got this John!” I called to John and he looked away from the fall and up at me before he nodded. He backed up a few paces and braced himself. He took a run up before leaping across the gap. He stumbled a little on the other side and I steadied him.

Sherlock dropped down onto a walkway along the side of the building and I followed him with John behind me. I started to laugh in joy as I ran. God I haven’t ran around on the London rooftops since my days as a thief. Running around like this made it feel like I was flying through the city. That was the one thing I missed. This was the only time where I felt free.

I ran past John as he chuckled behind me. I had caught up to Sherlock and ran beside him. Sherlock shot me an amused look before I ran ahead of him with my hair flying behind me. We exited the alleyway onto D’Arbly Street which the taxi was just turning into. The three of us turned the corner and raced down the last part of the alley only to watch as the taxi drove past the end of it, heading to the left.

Ah, no!” Sherlock shouted angrily as we raced out of the end of the alley and turned right. “This way.” Sherlock said as we continued on. We looked back over our shoulders only to see that John had instinctively turned left in pursuit of the taxi. “No, this way!” Sherlock called back to John again.

“Sorry!” John apologized as he turned and headed back in the opposite direction following us again.

Sherlock got ahead of me again and led the way. He seemed to have a map planned out in his head. We ran down the street, taking a shorter route than the taxi. We headed down more alleyways and side streets towards the middle of Wordour Street. Sherlock and I raced out of a side street and we hurled ourselves right into the path of the approaching taxi. It screeched to a halt as Sherlock crashed hard into the bonnet.

“Oh fuck!” I exclaimed as I skidded to a stop just behind him. Man that must have hurt. I thought to myself as I cringed inwardly. Sherlock scrabbled in his left coat pocket as he made his way around the bonnet. He pulled out an I.D. badge which he flashed at the driver. I couldn’t see his whole face but it almost looked like the driver was looking right at me.

“Police! Open her up!” Sherlock demanded as we panted heavily. He tugged open the rear door and stared in at the passenger, who looked back at him anxiously. Instantly Sherlock straightened up in exasperation just as John joined us. I saw the reason behind his exasperation, this was not our murderer. “No.” He said as he leaned down again and did a once over the passenger for a second time. “Teeth, tan, what?” Sherlock asked me as he turned back briefly to look at me to make it clear that he was directing this question towards me.

"Californian?” I supplied as I read the luggage tag on the bag at the passengers feet. “Yup Californian. Los Angeles. Santa Monica to be precise. He just arrived.” I finished as I straightened up beside Sherlock. He nodded at me also straightening with a grimace on his face.

“How can you possibly know that?” John asked me sounding completely amused.

“The luggage.” Sherlock answered him as he looked down at the suitcase on the floor of the cab, showing it to John. His luggage label showed that the man had flown from LAX to the London Heathrow Airport.

“It’s probably your first trip to London, right, going by your final destination and the route the cabbie was taking you?” I asked the passenger who looked rather confused, but still slightly nervous.

“Sorry… are you guys the police?” The passenger asked us as I pulled out an I.D. badge similar to Sherlocks from the inside of my jacket.

“Yeah.” I answered him as Sherlock and I flashed our badges at him briefly. “Everything all right?” I asked him before I flashed a fake smile at the man.

“Yeah.” The passenger said smiling nervously. Sherlock suddenly smiled falsely at the man.

“Welcome to London.” Sherlock said before the both of us immediately walked away, leaving John staring blankly for a moment before he stepped closer to the taxi door and looked in at the passenger. I watched as John paused for a second at the door.

“Er, any problems, just let us know.” He told the passenger. The man nodded and John smiled at him politely before slamming the cab door shut. John walked back to where Sherlock and I had stopped a few yards behind the vehicle to wait for him. I just smiled and looked down as I chuckled to myself. “Basically just a cab that happened to slow down.” John said as he rejoined us.

“Basically.” I told John as I looked up at him with a grin.

“Not the murderer.” John said and I nodded at him as I kept on grinning. I then let out another chuckle.

“Not the murderer, no.” Sherlock told him sounding exasperated.

“Wrong country, good alibi.” John continued seemingly not noticing that he should quit while he was ahead.

“As they go.” Sherlock said as he switched his I.D. card from one hand to the other.

“Hey, where… where did you get these? Here.” John demanded ad he reached for our cards. We both released them without putting up a fight. “Right.” John said as he read the names on the cards. “Detective Inspector Lestrade and Sargent Donovan?”

“Yeah. I pickpocket him when he’s annoying. You can keep that one, I’ve got plenty at the flat.” Sherlock told him nonchalantly as he looked at me with a raised eyebrow.

“I nicked it off of Donovan when I left the crime scene. Serves her right. I also got her wallet.” I told John with a grin. John looked back at me in shock while a little grin appeared on Sherlock’s face. “Don’t give me that look. She didn’t have anything worth wile anyway.” I told John nonchalantly. John nodded and then looked down at the cards again before lifting his head and giggling silently.

“What?” Sherlock asked him curiously as I looked back in confusion.

“Nothing, just: “Welcome to London”.” John told us. Sherlock and I laughed together. We looked down at the road when we heard a noise to find that a police officer had apparently gone to investigate why three people stopped a cab in the middle of the road. The passenger had got out and pointed down the road at the three of us. I think that was our cue to get the hell out of here.

“Got your breath back?” Sherlock asked John as we looked back at him. The both of us were smiling knowingly. John had forgotten his cane back at the restaurant in our haste to chase after the cab.

“Ready when you are.” John told us. I just smiled at them before I started sprinting back to Baker Street with the boys falling behind me. I’ve always loving running through the streets of London. God I have missed this! I looked up and watched as the CCTV Cameras followed us. Shit, Mycroft had his cameras set on us and especially on me, I hated that feeling of being watched. As I ran I quickly flipped off the camera before looking away at the road in front of me. I had a huge grin on my face before letting out a laugh as I heard the heavy footfalls of John and Sherlock behind me. I was a rather good distance ahead of them and I knew that they couldn’t catch me. I was having such a great time that not even bloody Mycroft fucking Holmes was going to ruin this for me. Watch out London Cassandra Kyle is back! 

Chapter Text

I slowed my pace as I neared Baker Street and the boys caught up with me, their faces flushed from the cold and exercise. We ran side by side the past few blocks with people giving us odd looks. I slowed down for the boys benefit after all I was the fastest runner out of the both of them. Pedestrians jumped out of our way as we darted down streets and cut through back alleys. We got back to the flat and Sherlock unlocked the door with the three of us walking into the hallway of Baker Street breathing heavily. John took off his jacket and hung it on a hook on the wall while Sherlock draped his coat over the bottom of the bannisters. He turned back and helped me slip out of my jacket before throwing it over his coat. I pulled off my scarf before throwing it over the bannister.

“Okay that was ridiculous.” John panted as the three of us leaned side by side against the wall still trying to catch our breath. I was in the middle of the boys, shoulder to shoulder with the both of them. “That was the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever done.”

“Says the man who invaded Afghanistan.” I pointed out laughing again. John giggled in this very adorable way and after a moment Sherlock joined us in our laughter.

“That wasn’t just me.” John pointed and Sherlock and I chuckled again. My heart rate started to calm down but I couldn’t giggling and smiling. I couldn’t remember the last time I felt like I was having so much fun. I leaned my head back against the wall as I stopped laughing before turning to look back at John. He was smiling back at me.

“What?” I asked John a little taken aback that he was smiling at me like that.

“Nothing it’s just that’s the first time that I’ve truly seen you smile like this.” John told me before I looked back at Sherlock who was eyeing me in interest.

“Okay. I'm going to stop smiling now if you two are going to look at me like that for the rest of the night.” I told the two men as I regained my cool and calm demeanor.

“No. It suits you.” Sherlock told me and John nodded in agreement. It took me a while to register what he had said before I grinned at him. That was the first nice thing that Sherlock had said all night.

“Thanks but don’t get used to it.” I told Sherlock who just grinned back at me. I then looked back at John and winked at him before I giggled.

“Why aren’t we back at the restaurant?” John asked Sherlock slightly confused as to why we were back.

“Oh, they can keep an eye out. It was a long shot anyway.” Sherlock told him, becoming more serious and waving his hand dismissively. I just rolled my eyes at him. Of course he would take us out and lead a chase throughout London without even believing our murderer was going to show up in the first place. Well at least I got a free meal out of it.

“So what were we doing then?” John asked Sherlock still sounding confused. Sherlock cleared his throat before responding to John.

“Oh, just passing the time.” Sherlock said before looking at me as I grinned at him. “And proving a point.” Sherlock finished while he smiled as he looked at John.

“What point?”

“You.” Sherlock answered John as he turned and called loudly towards the door to Mrs. Hudson’s flat. “Mrs. Hudson! Doctor Watson and Ms. Kyle will take the rooms upstairs.”

“Says who?” John and I asked at the same time.

“Says the man at the door.” Sherlock answered us as he looked at the door. John and I turned our heads towards the door just as someone knocked on it three times. We then turned our heads to look back at Sherlock with John looking back in surprise. I grinned back at Sherlock knowing what he meant by that and I knew exactly who was at the door. Sherlock mouthed ‘shush’ at me before winking at me. I looked at John before he walked along the hall to answer the door. Sherlock leaned his head against the wall and blew out a breath as John opened the door and found Angelo standing outside.

“Sherlock texted me.” Angelo said as he smiled knowingly and held up John’s walking cane. “He said you forgot this.” He continued as John stared at the cane in surprise before taking it. Sherlock and I took a second to look at each other and before he shared a triumphant grin and I couldn’t help but smile.

“Ah.” John said as he turned and looked down the hall at Sherlock. He grinned back at John smugly. John turned back to Angelo who was waiting. “Er, thank you. Thank you.” John told him and Angelo nodded before leaving. John came back inside and closed the door as Mrs. Hudson came out of her flat and hurried over to the three of us.

“Sherlock, what have you done?” Mrs. Hudson asked sounding upset and tearful. My smile faded away before I looked up the stairs at our flat. The door was closed but I could see people moving around as people blocked out the light flooding out from under the door. Shit! My bag was still up there! I thought as I ready to run up those stairs to find out in the flat.

“Mrs. Hudson?” Sherlock asked her confused as to why she was upset.

“Upstairs.” Mrs. Hudson said before Sherlock turned and hurried up the stairs with me darting behind him. John followed behind us as I started cursing under my breath. I swear to God if anyone touched what’s inside my messenger bag… My thought was interrupted by the sound of Sherlock opening the living room door open and the two of us walked in. We found Lestrdae sitting casually in Sherlock’s armchair and other police officers were going through Sherlock’s possessions. Sherlock stormed over to Lestrade as my eyes scanned the room as I noticed my messenger bag was not in the same place I had left it. Shit!

“What are you doing?” Sherlock spat at Lestrade cutting me off from my angry thoughts.

“Well, I knew you’d find the case. I’m not stupid.” Lestrade told him grinning smugly. I just snorted and rolled my eyes at him. I didn’t care what his reasons were, I wanted to know where my goddamn messenger bag was. There was something very important in there that could either mean life or death for me. Especially if it falls into the wrong hands.

“You can’t just break into my flat.” Sherlock said through clenched teeth as John walked into the room behind us.

“And you can’t withhold evidence. And I didn’t break into your flat.” Lestrade pointed out.

“Well, what do you call this then?” Sherlock asked him as he waved his arm around gesturing to the people invading his sanctuary. Lestrade looked round at his officers before looking back at Sherlock innocently.

“It’s a drugs bust.”

“A what?!” I asked angrily. That was the worst excuse I had ever heard. “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me. That is the most…” Suddenly I someone grab my arm and I looked down at it to see that it was Sherlock who grabbed my arm. I then looked up and suddenly noticed something that looked like pain in Sherlock’s eyes.

“Cassandra. Don’t.” Sherlock told me in a whisper and I stared back at Sherlock as I realized why he did that. I never imagined that Sherlock was once a drug addict. That was something I added to my profile about Sherlock. There was so much that I couldn’t deduce about him.

“Seriously?! This guy a junkie?! Have you met him?” John scoffed behind us. Sherlock let go of my arm before he turned and walked closer to John, biting his lip nervously.

“John…” Sherlock tried just like he did with me but John just cut him off and didn’t let him finish.

“I’m pretty sure you could search this flat all day, you wouldn’t find anything you could call recreational.” John said to Lestrade.

“John, you probably want to shut up now.” I told him as I walked closer next to Sherlock. I wasn’t completely sure what type of drugs Sherlock did but they must have been bad. The only drugs I have done were nicotine and alcohol but I knew what it was like for someone to bring up your past mistakes. It’s like people want you to remember how much you screwed your life up. Sherlock looked down at me trying to deduce my motives for helping him out. I looked back at him and he seemed pleased with what he had found as we looked back at John. Maybe Sherlock and I weren’t that different.

“Yeah, but come one…” John said faltering as he looked into Sherlock’s eyes. “No.” He said suddenly.

“What?” Sherlock asked him.

“You?”

“Shut up!” Sherlock snapped at John angrily before turning back to Lestrade. He was back to being his normal self. “I’m not your sniffer dog.” Sherlock told him as I joined Sherlock across the room.

“No, Anderson’s my sniffer dog.” Lestrade told him as he nodded towards the kitchen.

“What, An….” Sherlock and I said at the same time as the closed doors to the kitchen slid open to reveal several more officers in there searching through the room. Anderson turned towards the living room and raised his hand in a sarcastic greeting. My eyes widened when I saw that Anderson was holding my messenger bag in his other hand.

“What the fuck do you think you're doing?” I asked angrily before Lestrade, Sherlock, and John all stared back at me worriedly. “You get your filthy paws off of my messenger bag or I will kick your sorry arse.” I spat at him as I quickly strode forward and yanked my bag from his hands. I ignored the startled looks that everyone was giving me and walked back to where John and Sherlock were at. I opened my bag and frantically looked to see if everything was still there. Please God don’t let it be missing! I saw that all of my normal items were in there that I always use when I’m working. I opened a secret compartment in my bag and sighed in relief when I saw that the USB was still there.

“Anderson, what are you doing here on a drugs bust?” Sherlock asked him angrily as I took out my flask from the bag and took a drink angrily. I was so ready to punch that arsehole in the face for touching my stuff but I didn’t want to get arrested. That would leave a bad impression especially in front of John. I put the flask back into my bag before dropping my bag behind John’s chair.

“Oh, I volunteered.” Anderson told Sherlock venomously as he gazed at me with hatred. He has no right to be pissed. I anyone should be pissed it should be me. He’s lucky I didn’t beat him up in front of everyone.

“They all did. They’re not strictly speaking on the drugs squad, but they’re very keen.” Lestrade said trying to ease the situation but he was failing miserably. Donovan suddenly came into view from the kitchen holding a small glass jar with some white round objects in it.

“Are these human eyes?” She asked Sherlock as I was trying to regain my composure. The thought of Anderson going through my stuff infuriated me and especially him finding that USB he would rat me out so fast. It was obvious that Anderson, Donovan, and I hated each other and after meeting Sherlock I knew that I wasn’t the only one who felt the same way I did about those two arseholes. No one should look at that USB except for me and especially from the one person who I am hiding it from. 

My little fireball. You need to smile more. I quickly snapped my head away after I heard his voice in my head. Not now. Not now! I thought to myself and I glanced at John for a moment to see that he was watching me with a look of concern. I just smiled sheepishly at him.

“Put those back.” Sherlock yelled as I took in a calm deep breath before letting it go. I need to get my heart rate back to normal.

“They were in the microwave!” Donovan responded in disgust.

“It’s an experiment.” Sherlock told her in his defense.

“And a wonderful parting gift. Now everyone get the hell out.” I told Donovan as I pointed at the door. Sherlock had an amused face on his look as Donovan shot me a dark look.

“Keep looking, guys.” Lestrade told them as he stood up and turned to Sherlock. “Or you could help us properly and I’ll stand them down.”

“This is childish.” Sherlock told him pacing angrily as I walked back to where Sherlock was at.

“Well, I’m dealing with a child. I’m letting you in, but you do not go off on your own. Clear?” Lestrade asked him. Sherlock stopped in his pacing and glared at him as I crossed my arms in front of my chest.

“Oh, what, so-so-so you set up a pretend drugs bust to bully me?” Sherlock asked him indignantly, spluttering over his words. I had never seen him in a loss for words before, but I knew why he was now. Sherlock was right and this was totally uncalled for.

“It stops being pretend if they find anything.” Lestrade told him seriously.

“I am clean!” Sherlock announced loudly. I looked at Sherlock and I deduced that he was indeed clean and had been for some time. I also knew that he wasn’t thinking of going back to that. What drugs was to Sherlock was the same for me with being a thief. That was a part of my life I wanted to put behind me and I was never going back to my old life ever again. I hadn’t made the best choices back then which is why I became a PI. So I could redeem myself.

“Is your flat? All of it?”

“I don’t even smoke.” Sherlock said as he unbuttoned the cuff of his left shirt and pulled it up to show the nicotine patches on his lower arm.

“Neither do I.” Lestrade told Sherlock as he pulled up the right sleeve of his own jacket and shirt to show a similar patch on his arm. Sherlock rolled his eyes and turned away as they both pulled their sleeves back down again. “So let’s work together. We’ve found Rachel.” Lestrade told us changing the subject.

“Who is she?” Sherlock asked him quickly as he turned back to face him. I walked forward in interest as I uncrossed my arms. Rachel was the only one from Jennifer Wilson’s life that I couldn’t find.

“Jennifer Wilson’s only daughter.” Lestrade told him as he looked at me.

“Her daughter?” I asked Lestrade as he nodded at me.

“Why would she write her daughter’s name? Why?” Sherlock asked me as he turned around at me and frowned.

“Never mind that. We found the case.” Anderson butted in as he pointed to the pick suitcase that we had left in the living room. “According to someone, the murderer has the case, and we found it in the hands of our favorite psychopath.”

“I’m not a psychopath, Anderson. I’m a high functioning sociopath. Do your research.” Sherlock told Anderson as he looked at him despairingly before turning back to Lestrade.”You need to bring Rachel in. You need to question her. We need to question her.”

“She’s dead.” Bestride told us and I frowned at that.

“Damn it.” I muttered to myself. That explains why I couldn’t find her and what was strange was that there was no official record about her death.

“Excellent!” Sherlock exclaimed and John looked startled at this. “How, when, and why? Is there a connection? There has to be.”

“Well, I doubt it, since she’s been dead for fourteen years. Technically she was never alive. Rachel was Jennifer Wilson’s stillborn daughter, fourteen years ago.” Lestrade explained to us. John grimaced sadly and turned away but Sherlock only turned to me with a look of confusion.

“No, that’s…. that’s not right. How… why would she do that? Why?” Sherlock asked Lestrade before looking at me. I just nodded my head in agreement. This doesn’t make any sense. Why would she write down Rachel? There’s got to be something else to this.

“Why would she think of her daughter in her last moments?! Yup… sociopath. I’m seeing it now.” Anderson said and both Sherlock and I turned to him with exasperated looks on our faces.

“She didn’t think about her daughter. She scratched her name on the floor with her fingernails. She was dying. It took effort. It would have hurt.” I told Anderson as I gave him a look that screamed shut up. “Moron.” I muttered under my breath as Sherlock began to pace back and forth across the room again.

“You said that the victims all took the poison themselves, that he makes them take it. Well, maybe he… I don’t know, talks to them? Maybe he used the death of her daughter somehow.” John offered up and I nodded at that. Yeah that could be it. Sherlock stopped and turned to John suddenly.

“Yeah, but that was ages ago. Why would she still be upset?” Sherlock asked and John stared back at him blankly. Even I looked back at Sherlock surprised by what he had said. It was then at that moment I thought about my family. No Sherlock was right that was a long time ago. Sherlock hesitated and looked back at me as he realized that everyone in the flat had stopped what they were doing and had fallen silent. Sherlock glanced around the room before looking at John awkwardly who was standing in disbelief at him.

“Not good?” Sherlock asked John slightly confused as he shifted uncomfortably. John glanced around the others before turning back to Sherlock.

“Bit not good, yeah.” John answered him and I looked at Sherlock who just shook it off and stepped closer to John, looking at him intently.

“Yeah, but if you were dying… if you’d been murdered, in your very last few seconds what would you say?” Sherlock asked him before turning back to me to show that he was asking me that exact same question.

“Please, God, let me live.” John answered Sherlock without any hesitation. I nodded my head in silent agreement. I had said those exact same words only once before.

“Oh, use your imagination!” Sherlock told us exasperatedly. I knew he was disappointed about our response.

“I don’t have to.” John and I said in unison. I looked over at John who shared the same look of pain as I did but he looked surprised by my admission. Sherlock seemed to recognize the look of pain on our faces. He paused momentarily and blinked a couple of times, shifting his feet in a sort of apologetic way before continuing.

“Yeah, but if you were clever, really clever… Jennifer Wilson running all those lovers, she was clever.” Sherlock said as he started pacing again.

“She’s trying to tell us something.” I said to myself realizing what Sherlock was trying to say. Suddenly Mrs. Hudson came to the door of the living room.

“Isn’t the doorbell working? Your taxi’s here, Sherlock, Cassandra.”

“We didn’t order a taxi. Go away.” Sherlock snapped at her as he continued to pacing. If I was Mrs. Hudson I would have smacked Sherlock for being so rude. She should be sainted for putting up with him. Mrs. Hudson looked around the room to see what all this commotion was.

“Oh, dear. They’re making such a mess. What are they looking for?” Mrs. Hudson asked us tittering away like a mother hen.

“It’s a drug bust, Mrs. Hudson.” John told her sounding slightly exasperated.

“But they’re just for my hip. They’re herbal soothers.” Mrs. Hudson said anxiously. I quickly looked at her and snorted in amusement. Way to go Mrs. Hudson. I thought to myself with a grin on my face. Suddenly Sherlock stopped in his pacing with his back to the door.

“Shut up, everybody, shut up! Don’t move, don’t breathe. I’m trying to think. Anderson, face the other way. You’re face is putting me off.” Sherlock shouted.

“What? My face is?” Anderson asked him indignantly.

“Everybody quiet and still. Anderson, turn your back.” Lestrade ordered.

“Oh, for God’s sake!” Anderson called out as I rolled my eyes at him.

“Your back, now, please!” Lestrade ordered him. Anderson complied by shutting the door to the kitchen.

“Oh good now there’s less stupid in the room.” I said before Sherlock shot me a look that told me to be quiet. I just raised my eyebrow at him and gave him a look that read “seriously?”.

“Come on, think. Quick!” Sherlock said to himself, bringing his hands up to the side of his head and running them through his dark curls, tousling them more than they already were.

“What about your taxi?” Mrs. Hudson asked him innocently.

“MRS. HUDSON!” Sherlock shouted furiously at her after turning to look at her. Mrs. Hudson turned and hurried away down the stairs. Sherlock stopped suddenly and looked around as he seemed to finally realize something. “Oh.” He said as he smiled in delight and strode over to me as he gazed down at me. I was pretty tall but I was still only just a few inches shorter than Sherlock which forced me to look up at him. “Ah! She was clever, clever, yes!” He said as he turned back to the others. “She’s cleverer than you lot and she’s dead. Don’t you see, do you get it? She didn’t lose her phone, she never lost it. She planted it on him.” Sherlock finished as he started pacing again.

“When she got out of the car, she knew that she was going to her death. She left her mobile behind purposely to lead us straight to her killer.” I said and Sherlock smiled at me as he pointed at me for getting it right.

“But how?” Lestrade asked us. Sherlock slowly turned and stared at him as I rolled my eyes.

“Wha…? What do you mean, how?” Sherlock asked him and Lestrade just shrugged. Sherlock had a look of exasperation as he looked at me.Oh I know they are pointless.

“Rachel!” Sherlock and I said as he looked at everyone triumphantly. They all looked back at us blankly.

“Don’t you see? Rachel!” Sherlock tried again and still everyone stared at us blankly. Sherlock laughed in disbelief as he looked at me and then back at everyone else. “Oh, look at you lot. You’re all so vacant. Is it nice not being us? It must be so relaxing. I swear Cassandra is the only one in this room that seems to have a working brain besides myself.”

“Rachel is not a name.” I told everyone sternly.

“Then what is it?” John asked me sounding equally stern and I looked at Sherlock. I had came to the same conclusion that he had.

“John, on the luggage, there’s a label. E-mail address.” I told him. John moved and looked at the label on the suitcase and read out the address for us.

“Er, jennie dot pick at methane dot org dot uk.” John told us as Sherlock sat down at the dining table and and looked at his computer notebook. I stood behind his chair and looked over his shoulder.

“Oh, I’ve been too slow. She didn’t have a laptop, which means she did all of her business on her phone, so it’s a smartphone, its email enabled.” Sherlock said as he pulled up Mephone’s website. He gestured for me to take over and I nodded before he got up from his chair. I sat down and quickly typed the e-mail address into the username box.

“So there was a website for her account. The username is her e-mail address…” Sherlock said as I continued to type into the password box. “…. and all together now, the password is?”

“Rachel.” John and I said at the same time as John came over to stand behind me.

“So we can read her e-mails. So what?” Anderson asked us. Ahh yes more wonderful commentary from the peanut gallery. I thought to myself as I rolled my eyes.

“Anderson, don’t talk out loud. You lower the I.Q. of the whole street.” I told Anderson not even looking at the man before I looked at Lestrade. “We can do so much more than read her emails. It’s a smartphone which means it has GPS, which also means if you lose it you can locate it online. She’s leading us directly to the man who killed her.” I told him before turning back to the screen.

“Unless he got rid of it.” Lestrade pointed out.

“We know he didn’t.” John told Lestrade as both Sherlock and I stared at the screen impatiently as it continued to load the page that would tell us where her phone was it.

“Come on, come on. Quickly!” Sherlock abused the computer as Mrs. Hudson trotted up the stairs and came to the door again.

“Sherlock, Cassandra, dears. The taxi driver…” She said as Sherlock walked over towards her.

“Mrs. Hudson, isn’t it time for your evening soother?” Sherlock asked her as I got up and gave John the chair I was sitting in. He watched the clock spinning round on the website as it claimed the phone would be located in under three minutes. Sherlock turned to Lestrade suddenly as I walked over to the both of them. “We need to get vehicles, get a helicopter.”

Mrs. Hudson looked around anxiously as a man walked slowly up the stairs behind her. That’s odd. I thought to myself.

“We’re gonna have to move fast. This phone battery won’t last forever.” Sherlock said to Lestrade seeming to notice the man who was at the stairs. Something just didn’t feel right and I always hated that feeling.

“We’ll just have a map reference, not a name.” Lestrade told him sounding tired.

“It’s a start!” Sherlock huffed at him as I looked back towards the computer and saw that a map had now appeared and was zooming in on the location of the phone.

“Sherlock, Cassandra…” John called and I moved back over to the computer.

“It narrows it down from just anyone in London. It’s the first proper lead that we’ve had.” Sherlock continued to argue with Lestrade as my eyes widened in shock.

“Sherlock….” I called out not believing what I was seeing on the screen in front of me.

“What is it? Quickly, where?” Sherlock asked us as he hurried across the room to look over our shoulders.

“It’s here. It’s in 221 Baker Street.” John told him sounding surprised. He knew the same thing I did about the phone not being in the flat. So how in the hell was it here now?

“How can it be here? How?” Sherlock asked me as he straightened up. I quickly looked back over to the door where I had heard the man on the stairs who had currently paused and listened to what was going on inside the flat. I stared back in shock. The murderer was here!

“Well, maybe it was in the case when you brought it back and it fell out somewhere.” Lestrade theorized.

“What, and I didn’t notice it? Me? I didn't notice?” Sherlock scoffed as I had my eyes fixed at our murderer.

“Anyway, we texted him and he called back.” John told Lestrade who turned to his colleagues.

“Guys, we’re looking for a mobile somewhere here, belonged to the victim…” Lestrade told them.

Suddenly I remembered what Sherlock had told us earlier tonight. ‘Who do we trust, even if we don’t know them?’ The man behind Mrs. Hudson reached the top of the stairs. He was wearing a badge in a leather cord around his neck. The badge was for a licensed London cab driver. Who passes unnoticed wherever they go? Who hunts in the middle of a crowd?

I turned to look at Sherlock and I saw that he had figured out the same thing I did. He then looked at me and I mouthed ‘the murderer is here’ to him. Sherlock nodded at me before our phones trilled a text alerts the same time. I quickly read the text which read, COME WITH ME. Sherlock and I shared a look for a moment and I realized that he got the same exact text that I did. He turned around and calmly headed off down the stairs.

Sherlock, Cassandra you okay?” John asked us. It’s always the last one you’d expect.

“What? Yeah, yeah.. I-I’m fine.” Sherlock answered him vaguely as I watched the man go. The only response I could give Joh was a simple nod.

“So, how can the phone be here?” John asked us as we still watched the taxi driver.

“Dunno.”

John got up to get his own phone out of his jean pocket.

“I’ll try it again.” John told us as I grabbed my messenger bag and headed towards the door.

“Good idea.” I heard Sherlock tell John.

“Where are you going?” John asked him sounding surprised.

“Fresh air. Just popping outside for a moment. We won’t be long.” Sherlock told John as he joined me and we headed down the stairs together.

“You sure you’re all right?” John called after us as we hurried down the stairs.

“We’re fine.” I called back to him as Sherlock grabbed his coat and my leather jacket from the bannister.

“You figured it out didn’t you?” Sherlock asked me as he pulled on his coat.

“Yeah. Just a few seconds before you did.” I explained to Sherlock while I put on my jacket, scarf, and fingerless gloves before stepping outside. We stood on the doorstop as a taxi was parked at the curb and the driver was leaning casually against the side of the cab. I looked at the cab driver’s leather patch and his name read Jeff Hope.

“Taxi for Sherlock ‘olmes and Cassandra ‘lye.” Jeff said as Sherlock and I stepped forward. Sherlock closed the door behind us as we stared at the taxi driver.

“We didn’t order a taxi.” Sherlock said as he stepped forward.

“Doesn’t mean you don’t need one.” The cabbie said with a slight shrug.

“You’re the cabbie. The one who stopped outside Northumberland Street. It was you, not your passenger.” I said as I walked next to Sherlock.

“See? No one ever thinks about the cabbie. It’s like you’re invisible. Just the back of an ‘ead. Proper advantage for a serial killer.” The cabbie told us with a smile as Sherlock and I took a few more steps forward before Sherlock looked up towards the windows of our flat.

“Is that a confession?” Sherlock asked the cabbie.

“Oh, yeah. An’ I’ll tell you what else, if you call the coppers now, I wan’t run. I’ll sit quiet and they can take me down, I promise.” The cabbie answered him. There had to be a catch here. I thought to myself.

“Why?” I asked him.

“Cause you’re not gonna do that.” The cabbie said sounding sure of himself.

“We’re not?”

“I didn’t kill those four people, Mr. ‘olmes, Ms. ‘lye. I spoke to ‘em… and they killed themselves. An’ if you get the coppers now, I promise you one thing.” The cabbie said as he leaned forward towards the two of us. “I will never tell you what I said.” Sherlock and I stared back at him. After a moment the cabbie straightened up and started to walk around the front of the cab.

“No one else will die, though, and I believe they call that a result.” Sherlock called to him. The cabbie stopped and turned back to us.

“An’ you won’t ever understand how those people died. What kind of result do you care about?” Jeff asked us as he turned again and continued around to the driver’s door. He got in his cab and sat down, settling into his seat ignoring us. Biting his lip Sherlock walked closer to the cab, looking up again at the flat windows, before he bent down and looked into the open side window of the cab.

“If I wanted to understand, what would I do?” Sherlock asked the cabbie.

“Let me take you for a ride.” The cabbie said as he turned to look at Sherlock through the window.

“So you can kill me too?” Sherlock asked him with a bitter laugh.

“I don’t wanna kill you, Mr. ‘olmes. I’m gonna talk to yer… and then you’re gonna kill yourself. So will Ms. ‘yle once I talk to her.” Jeff responded before he turned to face the front again.

Sherlock straightened up, his eyes lost in thought as he considered the situation presented to us. The cabbie calmly sat gazing out of the front window then smiled as the rear door opened. Personally I wanted to rat this guy out but I knew that this cabbie was up to something and I wanted answers. Sherlock and I didn’t even bother to look at each other as we slipped into the back of the cab, Sherlock slamming the door behind us. The cabbie started the engine and pulled out on to the street.