Life with Mycroft Holmes is certainly not boring. It's not the rollercoaster of life that life with his brother would be. In fact as far as her job goes it's surprisingly ordinary. Well, as ordinary as a job which includes picking people up in cars with darkened windows ever can be. Perhaps regular would be a better word for it.
The woman she picks up today seems nondescript enough. There is nothing that suggests the woman to be particularly unusual; her description could fit hundreds of people, dark hair, brown eyes, medium height, older end of middle-aged, middle-class Londoner if she read the accent right. Yet despite this there is something. She started to recognise the type of people her might have to bring to Mycroft after a while. There isn't some visual common denominator but it's there. Sometimes she thinks it's some knowledge they have, crazy as that seems, but you don't work a job like hers without recognising the value of information.
This Hannah Cartus is scared. She hadn't been when she'd picked her up. More confused.
"Are you with them?" Hannah had asked.
An easy slip to make. Whoever Hannah is with she trusts them far too much. She sends the information off to Mycroft.
"They're not going to be pleased with me" Hannah goes before glancing at her and clarifying "I mean I guess I've been expecting something like this for years but please tell me that you're going to let me go"
She wonders whether the woman is always this effusive or only when she's scared. She also notices Hannah trying to surreptitiously get to her phone. It's strange how people assume that if she's looking at her Blackberry she won't notice anything else.
"That won't help you"
The woman gulps "Look, Anita"
She does like using A names. She wonders what she should be tomorrow. Or when she next picks someone up.
Hannah continues "I'm not going to do anyone any harm. I have a life, a perfectly normal life, one I want to continue. I'm an English teacher for goodness sake. Tell… tell Mycroft that"
Obviously Hannah's more important than she thought if she knows Mycroft's name. When things are as they should be nobody should know Mycroft's name.
"That fact you know who I'm taking you to means you should know it's not up to me"
"I'm right? You are taking me to Mycroft Holmes?"
The woman sounds almost excited. Unusual that.
After all, the car has stopped.
"So" Mycroft starts "what is it you know about my brother?"
Hannah maintains her silence
"I realise Sherlock has many" he pauses "fans, but most of them don't contact John Watson telling him they have information about Sherlock."
Finally the women speaks "Your brother isn't dead Mr Holmes"
"Perhaps not but it isn't your place to tell people and before you say anything else it's quite clear you were acting of your own accord"
Mycroft seems entirely unruffled by what Hannah has just said. Then again, he always is. Nearly always, she corrects herself.
"You're going to think I'm crazy"
"My brother is Sherlock Holmes"
The woman is close to spilling she can tell.
"When I was growing up I was very interested in a man called Sherlock Holmes. You see there were all these, autobiographies, I guess, written by his friend, a Dr Watson. They'd been popular when they came out and I guess they spawned the whole Detective genre. I was interested in them though because after all they were the real thing. There was a film or two and a tv series although I guess I was mainly into the books." The women blushes "I was a bit of fan to be honest. Part of a fandom, I guess given I was in contact with a few other Holmes fans."
The story sounds ridiculous but she has heard stranger
"Then you see one day I woke up"
"And it was all gone" Mycroft finished
"How did you know?"
"It's was obvious"
"Right of course, Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock's cleverer but lazier brother"
She supresses a smile at that. Mycroft will not enjoy being called lazy.
"Continue with the story"
"I felt sorry for him. He seemed so upset, the poor man, and I'm sure he would k
"So, I mean, I thought I'd gone mad or something and I didn't know what to say to anyone, they thought I was a bit mad at uni already, see. Then about a week later this man found me on the street and you know normally I'm very sensible but I was worried enough to go and listen to him. He told me there are archetypes, timeless ideas that just keep repeating. That Holmes was one of them and if I waited a while, I'd see it all happen for myself. Except no one could remember because humans couldn't cope with that. I'm not sure he was human honestly. They come and check up on me sometimes, always a different man even if they all act as if they were the one who's met me all the other times. They've never told me how I remembered though."
"So you're telling me my brother and I are but repetitions?"
Hannah is squirming, she almost feels sorry for the woman "As far as I know you've only been repeated once, if that helps. I think certain things have to be in place, an Afghan war for Dr Watson to be invalided out of maybe, not that I blame his birth for causing a war there."
"I felt sorry for him. He seemed so upset, the poor man, and I'm sure he would keep the secret. Watson was always loyal to Holmes. It's probably a good thing you stopped me though."
Mycroft does not speak for a long and when he eventually does it's to her not Hannah.
"Take Ms Cartus to one of the safe houses."