Now, that's one way this story could have gone for a Thief Taker General. For a Jim Moriarty, who had a doctorate. Dr. Jim Moriarty.
But maybe in another reality, Jimi delivered the hand cream and watched Carl drown.
Maybe she was daydreaming in the back of the bleachers when a pale eyed boy came in wearing a red cloak like something from a movie about Ancient Rome. He asked Jimi if she'd seen what happened.
Jimi smiled and didn't say a word. Oh, the boy was a wonder of a whirlwind, the boy with his red cloak. Not that anyone listened to him, but still watching him, it was very much like love.
It was a little disappointing to see him leave, but leave he must. Jimi smiled to know that they would meet again. They had to.
The little smile on her Ma's face when Jimi presented as a Beta, well, there were some things up with Jimi would not put. Really it was a tragedy, her Ma's stumble down the stairs of their council flat, but with the lights out in the stairwell; the place really was an accident waiting to happen.
The Beta detective was only too friendly and kind with Jimi. Betas had such friendly scents.
She was invisible.
She stood right next to people and they never even knew. She went into Mathematics. She wrote a treatise on Binomial Theorem and was passed over for the Mathematical Chair at Durham. The chair went to an Alpha. It had gone to an Alpha since the university was founded.
There were rumours when the Chair died in a car accident and she gained the position after all. Breaking the glass ceiling and all that. True rumours. But she found the small town life wasn't for her.
She went to London, obtained a job teaching at a college, and exercised her talents from the shadows. She had Colonel Moran to present the appropriately Alpha face of her enterprise.
It wasn't important that be known.
What was important was that she pulled the strings.
When Colonel Moran, that old tiger, got into gambling difficulties, which made her organization look weak, she called him in to her office at the University of London. She handed him the cigar cutter and said, "I'll let you pick?"
He said, "Ma'am, it won't happen again."
"You're correct." She made some notations on a paper and considered who she'd have to kill in administration to get another teaching assistant. "Pick, or I'll pick for you." She smiled. "Surprise, I'll pick your cock." She looked over the desk and down. "We might need a bigger device."
In the end, he made his choice and walked a little funny without his little left little toe for a few weeks.
Still, she had no additional problems in that area.
It was in London, that cesspool of the world where she found the boy in the red cloak. Now all grown up and sexy.
It was Christmas. It was Guy Fawkes Day. That boy, that brilliant boy with his sharp eyes and his striding about was nothing so common as a Beta or an Alpha or an Omega. He was something else entirely.
He had the scent of a child. He had the scent of the unpresented. On any given day, Sherlock might come out of his flat smelling like an Alpha on the hunt or an Omega in heat, a Beta brooding, or like no gender at all.
His little flatmate was so in love with Sherlock it was simply ridiculous the way he followed him around, but Jimi had seen Sherlock first.
She knew what Sherlock wanted. She knew what he really needed wasn't anything as gross dross as bodies slapping against each other.
Jimi wanted to clap and cheer and blow up half of London in celebration at having found him. She got on that. Just a building or two at first. An amuse bouche. A series of puzzles for her incomparable love.
Still, she had to keep her business going.
Still, there were funds to acquire. Funds to launder. She had an identity. Several in fact. Mathematics professor gathering donated art for a charity she ran to encourage Betas in Maths. People felt good about donating art to something like that. Or even buying it in charity auction.
This was how she ended up in one of her rare in person business meetings with Charity Vernier, fresh from that loons' latest stint of being sectioned. Other than the mental breakdowns, she really was the best forger in the business. She could mimic any brush stroke. She could master any technique. Her art passed any test be it paint chips or radiocarbon dating.
Jimi was in the middle of asking Charity how she accomplished that one, when Charity put her cup of tea down with its interior rim barely marked with her Omega red lipstick. It really ought to be heavier given that she'd been drinking the tea. She said, "He was so small and perfect when he was born, my youngest." She straightened her cup. "As soon as I held him, I loved him. I should tell him that. That I love him even if he's never going to give me grandchildren. It's not his fault he's defective."
Jimi was about to ask the stupid bint what she was on about when Jimi's eyes dropped as if they had twenty pounds on the lashes. She tried to make a quip, but the words came out garbled.
Charity said, "That's the botulinum toxin. I thought you might appreciate it given your experience with it." As Jimi slumped blindly, Charity gently lowered Jimi to the floor.
Jimi wanted to struggle, but the neurotoxin was taking effect. All that occurred was a shudder. Her breath shivered in her lungs. It was an effort to keep her chest expanding and contracting. She focused on that. She needed to keep breathing. She focused on the mathematics of breathing. She could beat this.
Charity hummed and cleaned up her dishes. She pulled something in plastic out of her purse and threw it in Jimi's garbage.
Jimi tried to blink her rage. Her admiration. She couldn't open her eyes. She wanted to know why. She knew generally that this must be revenge for something, but specifics were difficult given all the options.
She wanted to know. Her life was about wanting to know.
Charity knelt down next to her and held her gloved hand over Jimi's mouth and nose. She said, "Shhh… relax. Not long now."
Jimi never did really find out why.
That Professor J. Moriarty. That was how the story went for her. A hand to her mouth and Death, who was waiting for her as she rose from her own body wore her own face, which made a certain amount of sense. Jimi'd never brooked arguments, and the Death that was her didn't either. Since there wasn't anything to be done about it, she followed herself into whatever was next with steady steps.