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the liar [ON HOLD]

Chapter Text

‘Welcome to London,’ Viola thought to herself, groggily stowing away her worn sketchbook as the plane started to tilt downward. She had recently boarded a fight and moved out of her small, humble apartment in Toronto, Canada and decided she would move back to London. She was beyond excited to see her older brother, John Watson, again. The last time she had talked to him in person was six years ago. Of course, the two still kept in touch, but as those six years went by, both Viola and John talked less and less. A month earlier, he texted her, asking if she ever planned on visiting London anytime soon. Viola took this chance to move out of her suffocatingly quiet Canadian life and packed up her few belongings. Now she was waiting patiently in an airport terminal, violin case in hand, waiting for her brother to pick her up. She shifted her bass case as she heard someone call her name.

"Viola!" She spun around to find a beaming John jogging towards her.

“Johnnie!” She found herself engulfed in his warm bear hug and cream jumper. "It's so great to see you again," John chuckled, finally pulling himself off of her. "I've missed my scrawny little Pip." He playfully ruffled her chocolate curls, which closely resembled a bird’s nest.

"When will you ever forget that silly nickname?" Viola laughed and playfully nudged him. Pip was short for Pipsqueak, the nickname John called her since childhood. When she was a child, she wasn’t able to speak until the age of six. The only form of communication she had was a system of squeaks, which was where the nickname originated.

“I’m always going to bring it up,” he replied fondly, messing with her hair again. He picked up her heavy bags, helped her lift her instrument cases, and walked towards the exit, chatting the entire time. “To be honest, I’m quite surprised you haven’t developed a Canadian accent.”

“Well,” Viola chuckled. “We’ll see about that, eh?”

John snorted.

“What?” Viola looked confused.

“You say “eh,” he laughed. “Y’know, like the stereotypical Canadian.”

“Mhm,” she giggled. “God, you’d be surprised how many Canadians actually say “eh.”

As the two made their way out of the airport terminal, John offered her a stay at his flat, 221B Baker Street. "You're going to have to endure my arse of a flatmate Sherlock until you find your own place to stay," he told you, adding emphasis on the word "arse." Viola beamed and replied, "At least he isn't dull, I assume." Once the pair got into the taxi, they started catching up on each other's lives. By the time they arrived at the flat, Viola knew the basic facts about this “Sherlock Holmes” man. She had few belongings, so there were only a few suitcases. John introduced her to Mrs. Hudson, his landlady. She offered Viola her second flat, 221C. Viola gladly accepted and immediately brought all of her luggage down to her new place. It would require some fixing, but thanks to her artistic abilities, it wouldn’t be too difficult. The biggest problem was her lack of a job, but she supposed she could fret about it later.

After an hour of organizing her belongings, John popped in, stepping over an open luggage and sitting next to Viola on her mattress. "Hey Pip," he said, smiling warmly. "Since you haven't got any groceries, would you like to have dinner with Sherlock and me?"

"Of course," she grinned, throwing a bag of toiletries in the general direction of the bathroom. "It’ll be interesting to meet Sherlock Holmes."

"Uh yeah," he replied, surveying her mess of a flat. “If interesting involves him discovering your entire life story just by your clothing.”

"I’m sure I can handle this arse. Anyway, I'll be there in a bit." Viola quickly got up and shooed him out the door. "Now let me change."

A few minutes later, she hesitantly walked up the stairs to 221B, wearing the plain white t-shirt and pale blue jeans she dug out of the bottom of one of her luggages. Before she could even knock, a rumbling voice spoke. "Come in." Curiously, she slowly opened the door and peeked into the flat. She found a slim, curly-haired stranger sitting in an old chair. She steadily met his cold, icy blue eyes as they stared her down. She then realized he was studying her very carefully. The stranger, Sherlock, she realized, sighed and narrowed his eyes at her. Finally, he spoke. "John is out getting groceries. I have one important question.”

“Fire away,” Viola spoke calmly, hiding the nervous butterflies in her stomach.

“Who are you?”

"Mr. Holmes, I would have assumed you already 'deduced' me, as John calls it," she replied smoothly, allowing a small smirk. "I'm sure you already figured out exactly who I am."

"No, actually," he said, frowning. "I can figure out where you've been and such, but you are a closed book.” He narrowed his eyes carefully, giving Viola another look.

"Oo~ I'm a mystery," she teased in response, wiggling her eyebrows and sitting on the chair across from him. "I'm such an enigma. So, Mr. Holmes, tell me what you already deduced about me." She then rested her chin in her hands and stared, as if she was challenging the man.

"Well," he drawled, his clear eyes boring right through her emerald eyes. "You’ve changed your clothes, and you can see it from the creases on your shirt and pants. The creases are very sharp, which, in turn, means you’ve kept it in a tight area. A luggage. Anyway, why would you change? Airplane flight. From the state of your hair, it was an overseas flight, which you slept a majority of the time. Same goes for your lack of makeup, meaning you haven't had any time to put it back on. I heard you come in an hour ago, so I checked the airplane flights within the past two hours. The only overseas flight that landed at that time was Air Canada, arriving from Toronto, Ontario. Am I right? Of course I am. You lived in Canada for a significant amount of time, but you haven't lived in Toronto for long, have you? You have a slight French accent, but you wouldn't need French in Toronto. You must've lived in a city that spoke a lot of Canadian French, so I deduce you previously lived in Quebec before moving to Toronto. Also, looking at the calluses on your fingers - only the tips of your fingers - you play the violin. Strangely, you also have a callus on the pointer finger of your right hand. It is much more prominent, suggesting you play more than one string instrument. The contrabass. I would've said cello, but the bass is well known for its pizzicato in genres like jazz. Cello pizzicato isn’t as necessary as bass pizzicato. Therefore, I eliminated cello. You have an abnormal amount of pencil lead on the side of your left hand, suggesting you are an artist. There's a mark around your neck, perhaps from a camera or a camera bag. How do I know? Since you're a musician and an artist, it made sense to assume you were into photography as well.”

Viola barely managed to keep the surprise off of her face. “Impressive,” she smirked. “But you got one thing wrong.”

“Is that so,” he said, raising an eyebrow. “What did I get wrong, Miss Watson?”

“I play the viola, not the violin. It’s in the name, Sherlock Holmes.”

Chapter Text

John POV

Just as I walked into my flat, I saw my sister engaged in an intense staring contest with Sherlock. Neither of them seemed to notice my entrance, so I tapped my knuckles against the door and cleared my throat. Both Viola and Sherlock whipped their heads in my direction. “Erm, did I interrupt something?” I frowned, looking back and forth between the two of them. My little Pip just smiled and bounced over to help with the groceries. “Sherlock was just deducing me,” she spoke cheerily, surveying a package of crisps. “Oh, these are my favorite!”

“I knew you’d like them, Pip,” I replied, putting the perishables into the fridge, avoiding the frozen head. “Now-” I was interrupted by a groan.

“Is that a real head?” She glared, looking about ready to lecture me.

“Erm,” I said slowly. “Yes. Yes, that is a real head.”

“What the HELL is a human head doing in your fridge? That’s so-”

“It’s an experiment,” Sherlock called, walking into the kitchen. “I wanted to see the effects of the cold temperatures on the brain of a corpse.” I held my breath, hoping Viola wouldn’t do something irrational or freak out.

“Interesting,” she replied slowly, narrowing her eyes. “I majored in forensic science, so body parts aren’t the problem here. The body parts in the fridge are the problem because that’s incredibly unsanitary.”

“Pfft,” Sherlock rolled his eyes. “John isn’t sick, and neither am I. It’s fine.” In response, Viola stuck her tongue out at him and mocked him silently. Wordlessly, she grabbed a few ingredients and started cooking something. I offered to help her, but she waved me away. I couldn’t help but notice some scars on her arm.

Sherlock POV

Once I saw the scars on Viola’s arm, I started to piece things together. I miraculously kept my mouth shut, waiting for more evidence to crop up. I watched her intently, noting that she favored her dominant arm. It could mean a multitude of things, but I suspected a previous injury had made her protective over it. She was certainly riveting.

“So, Viola,” I said, dragging out the syllables in her name. “Were you in a relationship while you lived in Canada?” At this, she visibly stiffened and eyed me suspiciously.

“If I was,” she replied, putting down the ingredients she was holding. “Why would I tell you, of all people?”

In response, I shrugged and said, “I deduced so. Care to give me an answer?”

“Yes,” she murmured, turning back to her cooking. “Yes, I was.”

Before I could say anything, John interrupted. “Hang on,” he chimed in, frowning at me. “Why is this being brought up? Pip, I never knew you had a partner.”

“Doesn't matter,” she mumbled, resuming her cooking. “He isn't my partner anymore.”

“Knew it,” I whispered to myself. John glared at me, but Viola didn't seem to hear.

“I assume it did not end well,” I said, breaking the brief silence.

“No,” she whispered through gritted teeth. “It didn't. Stop asking.”

The way she glared at me was enough for me to keep my questions for later. I silently stalked back to my chair, sulking at her response. She was certainly a strange human because although she exhibited human emotions, they seemed very...off. I had dismissed it initially, but now I knew there was something about her I needed to figure out. She was more distracting than Irene Adler. She wasn’t wearing any makeup, but her eyes were captivating. She bore little resemblance to John, but their personalities were very much alike. Her dark brown hair fell in perfect ringlets around her strangely bright green eyes. Her dark eyelashes perfectly complimented her eye color. She had blemishes on her light skin, but that didn’t stop my head from becoming distracted. Too distracting. Whenever I tried to deduce her, my brain would wander off. I hated it. Human sentiment is a weakness, and I did not want to fall victim to it.

 

3rd Person

Viola’s insides were writhing with anger, and she could barely suppress the urge to slap the undeniably attractive man right across the face. In an attempt to calm her anger, she began to violently chop up baby carrots. She was lost in her vigorous chopping until John cleared his throat. She whirled around to face him, her eyes flashing with annoyance. Before she could say anything, John spoke quietly, pointing at the carrots. “I think, uh,” he laughed, smiling warmly. “I think you’ve diced those carrots enough. You might as well have shredded them.” At this, Viola burst out giggling hysterically. Sherlock and John simply watched her politely, albeit confusedly.

“Pip are you okay?” John looked moderately concerned for his sister’s sudden laughter. She continued to laugh, waving the knife in his direction. John backed up quickly, barely avoiding the sharp blade.

“I’m sorry,” she gasped, out of breath. “I’m quite tired. Jetlagged and dazed.” John smiled and took the knife from her. ‘She's lying,” he thought to himself.

“In that case,” he answered. “You better get to bed.”

“But I’m making dinner,” she protested, gesturing vigorously at the chopped up ingredients. “You guys won’t have anything to eat.”

“Viola, get to bed,” John insisted, grasping her hand and pulling her towards the door. “I’ll have Mrs. Hudson help me with dinner.” Viola glared at him, but let him drag her to her new flat. He shook out the dusty sheets and pulled the covers over her as she snuggled into her old pillow.

“Good night, Viola,” he whispered to her, and that was the last thing she heard before she drifted to sleep, her eyelids heavy.

Viola’s dreams were full of mysteries and memories she wished she could forget. She saw a flash of a pair of striking blue eyes belonging to the enigmatic man upstairs. The pair of eyes blinked and she found herself running through a dark forest. She was a tempered rainstorm and an uncontrollable, raging wildfire. She tore through the darkness blindly. Her rain was putting out the fire, but her heat evaporated the cool drops. She was tearing herself apart, constantly out of balance. Some days the fire would take over and destroy everything in her path, and some days she would flood and wash away everything she saw. Next thing she knew, she was onboard a crashing plane, nosediving towards the cruel earth. She knew what was happening but what she didn’t understand was how to land. Just as she was about hit the ground, she found herself in her old apartment, someone laying next to her. Her ex boyfriend. As she opened her eyes and turned around, she found herself face to face to the man of her nightmares. Before she could process who she saw, the man began to scream and curse at her. She was never used to his verbal abuse, whether or not she was dreaming. It felt too real to her. Her flooding eyes widened as the man raised his arm, about to slap her and-

She woke up.

Chapter Text

Viola woke up, sweat dripping down her back and face. She flopped back onto her creaky mattress, breathing heavily. After a minute, she stood up and made her way through the darkness and to her bathroom. The dim lights flickered on and she started to splash her face with icy water. She wiped her hands on her pajama pants and looked at her reflection. With makeup, she could be flawless. Without it, she felt exposed and vulnerable. She felt like she needed to be the definition of perfect. While she was still in her abusive relationship, she maintained a facade of calm. She knew exactly why she walked and talked like a machine, aiming to please and be liked by everyone around her. She glared at her flawed reflection and went back to bed.

The next morning, after applying her makeup, she crept up to John’s flat. There, she found a drunk Sherlock dozing on the couch. She tapped her knuckles on the door, startling the drowsy detective. His eyes flew open to find Viola standing in the doorway, staring with an emotionless expression. He thought she was pretty before, but with makeup, she was beyond stunning. Her green eyes bored straight through his soul, eyeing him up and down.

“Whatareyadoinginmyflat,” he spoke, slurring his words and looking around sleepily while waving an empty bottle of wine. “Whattimeisit?”

“Where is John,” she replied, ignoring his question. “Did he leave for work already?”

“Did someone say my name?” Viola turned around to find John rubbing his eyes, watching from the corridor behind her.

“Oh you're veeeeeeeery prreeeeetty sister did,” Sherlock muttered, loud enough for John to hear. “I’d like to test her.”

“What did you say,” John hissed, glaring daggers. He paused, taking a deep breath and jabbing a finger in his face. “I'm not going to let you treat Viola like another one of your damned experiments. She is my sister and I’m not going to stand around as you use her!” He nearly screamed his last statement. ‘He’s overreacting,’ Viola thought to herself, sighing.

“Notanexperiment,” Sherlock exclaimed, standing up abruptly. He began to sway in place, looking dangerously crazed. “She’s a test.” He cleared his throat and walked over to John and jabbed him roughly in the chest. “Don’t tell me whatta do.”

“Sherlock stop-” Viola shouted, seeing the enraged expression on her brother’s face. Before she could finish her sentence, John grabbed Sherlock’s shoulders and rammed his forehead into Sherlock’s nose.

The next five minutes were spent in silence. Occasionally, Sherlock would sniff and dab at his bloody nose. Viola looked concerned for both Sherlock and her brother. She cleared her throat, breaking the silence. “Tea?” she offered, standing up quickly.

“I’d love some,” John replied, some of the anger melting from his face. “Thanks, Pip.”

“Seltzer,” Sherlock muttered, squinting at Viola.

“Pardon?”

“Get me a seltzer,” Sherlock repeated, looking queasy. “I have a hangover.” Viola scoffed at him, but still reached for a glass of water and dropped a tablet in it. She then proceeded to make John’s tea. Before she could finish it, John cursed loudly and rushed to put on his coat.

“I’m sorry, Pip,” he apologized in a rush, throwing on a scarf and coat. “I have to go to work. Don’t let Sherlock do anything to you.” He gave the man a venomous glare and rushed out the door.

“I guess I’ll have his tea, then,” Viola responded, talking to no one in particular. She sighed and sat in John’s seat, directly in front of Sherlock. “So, Sherlock. What exactly do you do as a ‘consulting detective,’ eh?”

“I thought it was obvious,” he responded monotonously. “I solve crimes that those imbeciles at the Scotland Yard can’t wrap their minds around.”

“Interesting,” Viola said, showing no interest. “I’ll be back.” She made her way down to her flat, grabbed her sketchbook and a pencil, and ran back up to Sherlock’s flat. The detective had moved back to his chair, his hands forming a triangle under his chin and his eyes closed. ‘Perfect,’ Viola thought to herself, opening up to a clean page. ‘Hopefully he stays like that long enough to finish this.’ The two sat for an hour, the only sound came from Viola’s pencil and the people outside their quiet little flat. When Sherlock finally opened his eyes, he was shocked to find Viola sitting in John’s chair, sketching. He frowned, unsure of how to break the silence. After a minute he cleared his throat. “Uh, may I ask what you're sketching?” In response, the woman simply uttered the words “a person” before returning to her art. Unsatisfied with her answer, he stood up and proceeded to look over her shoulder, his face close to hers.

“Do you mind?” Viola elbowed him hard in the crotch and glared. He cursed and scowled at her.

“Is that me?” The detective looked flabbergasted at the eerily strange accuracy of the sketch. “I look quite clever.”

“Yes, that's you,” Viola murmured absentmindedly, blending the shadows underneath his cheekbones. “You stay quite still, so I couldn't pass up such a good chance.”

“You're, er, very talented,” he deadpanned, looking quite awkward as he towered over her short form. “How long have you been...drawing?”

“Long time,” she replied unhelpfully.

“How long have you played the viola?”

At this, her emerald green eyes bore straight into his once again. “12 years.”

“Impressive,” he replied, trying not to sound impressed at all. “Tea?” He offered, picking up her empty cup. He had never felt so out of place.

“Oh, yes please,” she responded offhandedly. She wiped her cheek, leaving a silvery streak of lead across the left side of her face. Barely any skin showed through the lead coating the palms and fingers of both hands. When Sherlock returned with an awful cup of tea, he studied her sketch again. With a huff, Viola briskly stood up, tore the page from her sketchbook, and held it out to him. He looked at her quizzically, cocking his head ever so slightly. “Take it,” she said, her expression morphing into one almost identical to one of John’s signature reactions. She waved the paper in front of his face, making a flapping noise. Grudgingly, he took the sketch from her hands and placed it on the mantel next to his skull. He gave a quick “thank you,” then flopped onto the chair in front of Viola.

“So,” Sherlock drawled, somewhat lazily. “Miss Watson, what are you?”

“A human,” she answered, mocking his tone of voice.

“Not so,” he responded, leaning forward and bringing his face uncomfortably close to hers. “You have many secrets hidden by many walls buried deep inside your mind. Care to break them down and tell me what exactly you are hiding?”

“I would rather not, Mr. Holmes,” Viola chuckled, tapping out a viola concerto on the arm of John’s chair. “They are called secrets for a reason.”

“True,” Sherlock allowed, still leaning forward. “But you must have a reason for hiding your abuse from John.” At this, the normally composed expression on her face narrowed with deep suspicion.

“Do tell me how you figured it out,” she hissed angrily, her voice laced with caution. “But not a word of this to him, do you hear me?”

“Oh I hear you,” Sherlock muttered, rolling his eyes. “Your unnecessarily strong voice carries quite well in a small flat like this.” Viola composed herself and leaned back, sipping her cold tea.

“Not. A. Word,” she hissed, gripping her tea cup tightly.

“I wouldn’t dare.”

“Sarcasm does not suit you, Sherlock Holmes.”

“Neither does the burden you carry on your shoulders.” Sherlock’s normally plain expression flickered with an emotion Viola couldn’t quite make out. She gripped the arms of the chair tightly.

“I-I don’t understand what you mean,” she whispered, almost inaudibly.

“For someone so close to John, you keep quite a lot of things from him.”

“I do it for his benefit,” she replied, so monotonously it almost seemed like a well practiced line.

“You do it to protect yourself,” Sherlock countered.

“It saves him the pain of knowing,” Viola growled in return.

“It'll pain him more when he finds out on his own,” he said, frowning at her.

“He won't find out,” she assured him. “But you said you would not to tell him, Sherlock.” She warned him, a dangerous fury burning in her eyes.

“I won't be the one to tell him,” he fired back, a fierce look in his eyes.

“He won't know about it,” she smiled, emotionless. She began to scoop up her things and head out the door. Before she left, Sherlock called out to her.

“You know,” he called, looking her in the eye. “For a sociopath like you, you are very sentimental.”

“Whoever said I was a sociopath?” Viola responded innocently, seemingly scratching at something behind her.

“It's not what you said, it's how you act,” Sherlock answered, smirking. Viola have another false smile, patted the door, and left. After a moment, Sherlock stood up and walked over to their door. Just as he thought, Viola had left a message on a piece of paper balancing on the doorknob. He smirked as he read the note, tucking it into one of his books. “Oh, Viola,” he murmured, glancing at the doorway where she had stood moments before. “You are very clever.”

Chapter Text

As Viola left the flat, she left the slip of paper on the handle and proceeded to trip on the stairs as she made her way back to her flat. She tumbled down a few steps before grabbing onto the stair railing. “Jesus,” she muttered angrily to herself. She brushed herself off quickly, checking for any injuries. Once she was satisfied with her thoroughness, Viola did another once-over and hurried into her flat to prepare the job interview she had scheduled the day before she left for London. She touched up her makeup, changed into a formal outfit, and dashed out the door. She called for a cab and made her way to the Scotland Yard. She hoped to get a comfy position at the morgue, but she predicted that they would send her to the forensics team. She didn’t have a problem with forensics, but postmortems were much more enjoyable for her. As soon as the cab stopped, she practically threw the money at the driver and sped through the doors. When she made it to the room she was to be interviewed in, Viola found herself face to face with the Lestrade man John mentioned a few times. The two exchanged pleasantries and sat down. Viola became quite nervous when Greg began to stare her down.

“So,” he groaned, glancing away and rubbing his forehead vigorously. “The thing is, we have almost nobody in the forensics team. I know you applied for the mortuary, but it’s full and you’re more than qualified for forensics.I checked your resume and credentials, so you’re good to go.” He rushed through this all, clearly stressed.

“Er,” Viola hesitated, confused. “So there’s no...interview?”

“No, sorry,” he sighed, looking quite tired. “Look, I really need to get back to work. There’s been a system error in our computer system so it’s been crazy the past month. You start next Monday.”

“Oh,” Viola said blankly, looking absolutely puzzled. “Er, I don’t suppose you’d let me take a peek at what’s going on? I’m a tad rusty, though.”

“Yeah, yeah go ahead,” Greg grumbled, waving at his computer.
“‘Mkay,” Viola hummed in response, clearing her throat. She tapped away until a stream of code appeared on the screen. Pausing, she scanned the text. Greg had started rambling, but Viola payed no attention. After a minute, she resumed her insanely fast typing. After another five minutes, Viola stood up, stretched, and turned the monitor to Greg.

“Fixed it,” she chirped, grabbing the keys to her flat and walked away, leaving Greg with an astonished expression.

As Viola rushed to find a taxi, she checked the time on her phone and gave false smiles to the people she passed. ‘What a productive second day,’ she thought, silently congratulating herself. Her observant emerald eyes sparkled as she waved down a taxi. The cabbie greeted her with a smile. “221B Baker Street, please,” she said, putting on an emotionless smile. The man grinned back at drove. The two made small talk as the driver made their way to Viola’s destination. The entire time, she tried to push the image of the man from her past screaming at her. The resemblance was striking and she felt very unsafe. Once they arrived, she shook off the frightened feeling, left a tip and hurried up the stairs to her flat. Just as she was about to enter, she heard the sound of a crying baby coming from John and Sherlock’s flat. ‘That’s odd,’ Viola thought. ‘John doesn’t have a baby and Sherlock doesn’t seem like the type to have one.’ Curiously, she crept up the stairs and walked into the sitting room. She discovered the frustrated detective glaring comically at a wailing baby.

“Sherlock,” Viola yelled above the high pitched screams. “Please tell me you did not just kidnap a small child.”

“It’s John’s offspring,” Sherlock called, still trying to subdue the distressed infant.

“What?” Viola exclaimed, utterly shocked. “He never mentioned a baby or a wife!”

“That’s odd,” he muttered, frowning. “He never mentioned Rosie?” Viola shook her head in response, looking bewildered. “As for the wife,” Sherlock hesitated, suddenly hushed. “She died.”

“I see,” Viola mumbled as a queer expression crossed her face. “I guess I won’t ask about what happened, eh?”

“Best not,” Sherlock sniffed, awkwardly patting the baby’s back in a useless attempt to quiet Rosie. “Do you mind taking her for a moment?” Viola shrugged half heartedly, but shuffled over to take Rosie from Sherlock’s arms. Viola began to rock her back and forth while soothingly rubbing her back. Sherlock walked silently to the kitchen and started to make tea. Once Rosie stopped screaming, she began to take quite an interest in tugging Viola’s hair.

“Ow,” Viola huffed, looking absolutely miffed. She pulled a stray curl out of Rosie’s tiny fist. “Mind the curl, Watson.”

“So you knew nothing about Rosie?” Sherlock inquired, continuing their earlier conversation. When Viola shook her head, Sherlock frowned, becoming increasingly puzzled. Viola continued to look down at the baby, as if she wanted to avoid eye contact with him.

“One thing I do know,” she spoke through gritted teeth. “Is that I am going to have a word with him about this.” She raised her head and when she met Sherlock’s eyes, he noticed a strange glint in her unwavering eyes. What he didn’t see was the look of utter sadness and betrayal scribbled all over her face.

Sherlock POV

The expression was strange, yet incredibly fascinating. I had never seen such an emotional and intense look. After a few seconds, Viola turned around and shifted her focus to Rosie. Unsure of what to do, I went back to the kitchen to fetch the tea. I returned with two cups and began to pour the steaming liquid for the both of us. I offered her sugar, which she accepted eagerly. She quickly put Rosie back in her crib in John’s room and shuffled back. She picked up her cup and gave me a sweet “thank you.” As she settled into John’s armchair, I couldn’t help but notice how incredibly short she was. When I mentioned it to her, she gave me a fake hurt expression but laughed anyway. As we talked, we touched on topics an outsider might consider strange or, perhaps, morbid. I discovered her enjoyment in performing postmortems and took note of her interest in forensics. I considered bringing her with me to assist in investigating crime scenes. She had quite a lot of potential and some insight I deemed useful. Even so, I couldn’t shake the feeling that Viola hid something inconceivably large from both me and John. I wasn’t sure if it would affect us or pertain to us, but I knew I had to find out what she kept so secretive. It was more than just her previous abuse. I watched her intently, but she kept her guard up. In an attempt to unravel the mysterious and perplexing Viola Watson, I continued our light banter.

“Do you have a secret you’ve never told anyone?” I asked suddenly, completely out of the blue.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t,” Viola responded coolly, unfazed by the sudden inquiry.

I snorted in amusement. “Most people respond immediately with ‘no,’” I stated, absentmindedly tapping my leg. “And, of course, they are lying.” I sipped my tea while keeping my gaze on Viola.

“I know,” she drawled, looking unbelievably bored.

“You are the first to answer somewhat truthfully.”

“Truthfully, eh?”

“Mhm.”

“By the way, you seem to be asking suspiciously specific questions. Are you trying to retrieve information from me?”

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t,” I mimicked her, smiling.

Viola scoffed, glaring dangerously. “I, Viola Indica Watson, will never let my guard down. Especially not for you, Sherlock Holmes.” I became eerily intimidated by the poison dripping from her voice, but I made sure my expression remained indifferent.

“Indica,” I replied slowly, dragging out each syllable. “What an interesting middle name.”

“Mhm,” Viola hummed warily. She got up to put her tea cup in the sink. “I was named after the Indica Gallery, which my mum loved very much.”

“I see,” I grunted, still sipping my tea. “Anyway, John will be back in approximately two minutes, so you can argue with him about Rosie.” I watched her face flicked into that queer expression once more before morphing into anger.

John POV

As I walked into the sitting room of the flat, I took one look at Viola and instantly knew something was horribly wrong. There was disappointment, hurt, and anger splashed all over her face. Then it hit me.

She wasn’t pissed at Sherlock.

That look was meant for me.

All my life, I shared a special bond with Viola. She was my best friend and my most trustworthy confidant. We were inseparable until the day I left for college. The expression on her face shifted to betrayal.

“Why didn’t you tell me about Rosie and Mary?” Viola’s voice was barely a whisper. I flinched when she mentioned Mary, but I managed to keep eye contact with Viola. “You had a whole life you didn’t bother to mention or let me into.”

“It-It’s nothing,” I sighed before realizing my mistake.

“No. It’s. Not,” she hissed angrily, her eyes shining. “We told each other everything! You promised. You didn’t even invite me to your wedding! Your. Wedding. You never even bother to keep in touch until this year. No mention of a wife or a child, eh? Did you even remember me?” Her voice wavered and became hushed. I struggled to search for the right words, but Viola took my silence as a ‘no’ to her question. She turned around and marched out the door and down the stairs. Helplessly, I watched her leave, her words stinging my eyes. I felt a weight fall onto my chest. It pained me greatly, but the truth behind her words was much worse. I turned to Sherlock, who had been standing to the side, silent.

“I just created a shit storm, didn’t I?” I faced him pleadingly as Rosie began to scream, woken up by the ruckus.

“Unfortunately, I believe you have created more than just that,” He replied solemnly, a flicker of emotion crossing his eyes. “Go get Rosie.” Sighing in frustration, I left the room to calm down little Rosie.

Third Person

While John cared for Rosie, Sherlock mulled over the strange presence of Viola Watson. The complexity of her mind truly intrigued him, but what further prompted his interest was the fact that she didn’t fully comprehend the potential of it. At least that’s what he thought. The truth was, Sherlock’s mind would always pull away from whatever he was brooding over and instead focused on Viola every time she walked into the room. He blatantly refused to become attached to her and outward appearance, but his efforts were wasted. How could he resist her demeanor, her slight French accent, those sad green eyes, the curve of her lips-

Sherlock nearly slapped himself.

Realization hit him like a train, and he absolutely did not want to believe it. Angered, he sulked for an hour before stomping to his room to sleep. The next morning, Viola woke up from the recurring nightmare she had every damned night. Panting heavily, she rubbed her forehead and shuffled into the bathroom. Whenever she was in the vicinity of Sherlock or her brother, she put on a good enough show of normality, hiding the frightened and untrusting soul inside of her. Alone, she was reduced to a shaking mess that was scared of her own reflection and what she might see in it. Every morning, she applied her usual, flawless makeup. Every blemish was covered, as if it could help erase the the touch of Sebastian’s skin against hers. Sebastian. The sound of his name alone was enough to make her shudder uncontrollably. She vividly remembered all the times he had betrayed her, used her, and abused her. She tried everything she could to get rid of the thought of him, but it was no use. He was burned into her memory forever. After she finished applying her makeup and changed, she headed out the door to purchase some groceries to stock her frightening empty fridge. Just as she was about to leave, she caught a glance of the jagged scar trailing from the back of her ear to the base of her neck. Anxiously, her shaking hands pulled a navy blue scarf around her neck. Sighing, she rushed out the door and caught a cab.

Her trip to the store was, thankfully, quite uneventful. Viola realized she wasn’t sure what kinds of foods she needed, so she grabbed a bit of every necessity. She was about to reach for her favorite bag of crisps, but thought back to her childhood and the row she had with John last night. Sighing, she walked away from the bag and over to the cashier to pay for her items. The ride back was unbearably boring as she sat in the middle of a traffic jam. Once she finally arrived, Viola shoved her perishables carelessly into the fridge and the rest into her tiny pantry. Just as she finished, Mrs. Hudson popped in with a steaming meal, which Viola accepted gratefully. The two had a lovely chat over some tea and lunch. Viola took a great liking to the landlady as she learned more about her. After an hour, Mrs. Hudson packed up the meal and left. With six more days before her work started, Viola knew she was going to be incredibly bored. Taking a deep breath, she crept up the stairs to Sherlock’s flat and entered. His gaze immediately snapped towards Viola as she gently walked into the room. He noticed how subdued Viola was acting, so he offered her tea. She gave a small smile and shook her head. The two chatted for a good hour before Sherlock was interrupted by a text notification. Smiling to himself, he looked up from his phone to stare right at Viola.

“Lestrade texted,” he said, grinning excitedly. “It’s time to put your forensics expertise to the test.”