She stared at John with piercing brown eyes, the nearly soaked paper she held over her head dripping onto the steps. Her hood was drawn up, but strands of long brown hair poked out.
“Please,” she pleaded to the man, her fingers digging tighter into the printed words. “Please let me in.”
John considered her words for a moment, still looking at her. She looked flushed, and her legs were shaking, as if she had been running for a very long time.
But her pleading, bright eyes did him in. He reached for her arm, and barely touched her sleeve before she realized she was allowed in. Nearly dashing inside, she dropped the paper into a small bin Mrs. Hudson had put near the doors, her arms shaking a little.
The rain and wind began to pick up as the girl looked around her new place, her face full of wonder and slight caution. She followed the doctor up the stairs, her footsteps quiet and careful.
John walked into the main flat, and saw Sherlock sitting where he had left him: studying some kind of toxin that had been in the victim Molly had autopsied. Sherlock was convinced something else was included in the toxin, that something else was the fatal dose; the main one was just a distraction he had told John, certainty in his voice.
The girl wandered in, her left hand holding her elbow. She made her way over to the roaring fireplace, flicking her hood back with her free right hand. John noticed it was covered with fingerless black gloves, almost blending in with her jacket. Rubbing the back of her now free head, she said, “Thank you.”
John just gave her a small nod, but the other man said nothing. John wasn’t even sure if Sherlock knew that he had returned from St. Bart’s, or that the girl was about six feet away from him; sometimes the detective was so deep into his examining that hours would pass before he looked up to see that night had fallen.
This time though, he knew.
“Who are you?” he asked the girl, his eyes still on the microscope.
“Amaris,” she replied, her left hand moving to grab something silver hanging around her neck. She stood up a little taller (which was almost unnecessary – she couldn’t have been taller than five feet), her eyes hardening.
“And what would an eighteen year old girl with no parents, no job, no home, and no future want in our flat?”
John sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose. He really hated it when Sherlock did that. He knew that the detective couldn’t really help it though; it was a wonder how John managed to survive all this time with his friend without punching him right in the face.
“I’m not a burglar if that’s what you’re saying,” she snapped at him, and John looked over to her, his eyebrows knitting together.
“You’re American,” he stated, and her gaze snapped over to his.
“I’m new here. Just a couple days, actually,” she told him, her fingers still rubbing the silver pendant around her neck.
“Obviously,” Sherlock muttered, adjusting one of the lenses.
Amaris glared at the man, and John grabbed the glass of water he had gotten for her from the counter. Holding it out to her, she said, “Thank you” again, and took it, making sure her fingers didn’t touch him.
John noticed the move, but said nothing about it. He asked, “So why London?”
“I needed to get away,” she said, staring down into her glass, avoiding any eye contact. “Someplace new…and unknown.”
She shivered slightly, setting down the glass. “It’s really this rainy in London, huh? I always thought they were exaggerating, but…” She glanced around the flat, taking in her surroundings fully this time.
When she turned a little, John saw a long, red mark on her blue shirt, and asked, “What happened?” He was only moving to motion towards it, but she must’ve thought otherwise.
Suddenly, she snapped around, and her eyes were…glowing. Not surrounded by light, no, nothing like that. Her irises had turned a golden color, and they were angry.
“Don’t touch me!” she hissed, and, oh, don’t let Sherlock have drugged his drink again, John saw fangs. Real, actual fangs where her canines usually were. One of her hands was raised in defense, small pointed claws where bitten fingernails had been before.
John raised his arms in surrender position, saying in a calm tone, “I wasn’t, I won’t…It’s alright. It’s okay.”
Sherlock had gotten half-way out of his seat to get a bottle near the sink when she had yelled. He froze when he looked over at her, and couldn’t, no, wouldn’t, believe it. He had seen the Hound, the “giant monster”. It was a trick, just a magic trick, a trick, a trick…
Amaris scooted a little ways away from the two, and they saw her claws change back, her fangs recede. Only her gold eyes remained. But they were no longer angry.
“I’m sorry, I just can’t…I can’t stand it…” she apologized, placing a palm on her forehead. She spun away from them, her legs carrying her to the window. She turned back to them then, and her hand dropped. The eyes still spun with the golden color, and she faced them fully.
“That’s impossible…” John breathed. He hadn’t moved from his spot, his eyes blown wide open with shock.
Once you’ve ruled out the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be true.
Sherlock said those words to his one friend back at Baskerville. He knew them by heart, could recite them in a second, and practically lived by those words. But even the words failed him. There was no explanation for the sudden change in eye color, teeth, and nails. No magic trick. No behind the curtain man.
It. Just. Was.
She sighed, her eyes softening.
“I did it, didn’t I?” The question seemed to be aimed at herself more than them, and she ran her fingers through her hair, her shoulders tensing.
“God DAMMIT!” she suddenly shouted, and the two men jumped slightly, snapping out of their temporary trance.
“Just when I think I can pass by normally, I fuck it up…” she said, a hint of sorrow and anger mixed into her tone.
“What the hell are you?” John asked, his tone cautious. He didn’t sound angry or shocked, as she thought he would.
It surprised her, making her speechless for a few seconds.
Sherlock noticed John’s hand had neared the butt of his gun when she had shouted. It was still there, but Sherlock knew he wouldn’t need it, not at the present moment. Reflex and instinct for the former army doctor was what generally kept them alive on cases involving sudden movements and guns. Amaris should count herself lucky; had she moved towards them when she had shouted, John might’ve pulled out the weapon and used it.
Not a body he particularly wanted to see on the floor of the flat.
She finally relaxed, and the gold began to fade, the brown seeping through until her eyes were completely normal.
“You won’t believe me,” she stated, her tone flat.
“Try me,” John replied, his eyes flicking over to his flat mate before settling back onto her. “I think we’ve seen enough in our line of cases.”
A lie, but the detective said nothing. He had to know. Needed to know. He was a high functioning sociopath with one friend, that he knew, that he accepted.
But Sherlock Holmes was not crazy, losing his mind, anything else you could call him that would mean “delusional”. Neither was John Watson.
She raised her chin, as if preparing herself for a flurry of words that she knew was coming.
“I’m not a true human. I never was; from the second I was born to the second I will die, I will never be one. I have found out that because of this, my mortality rate has actually increased. I can hear a cat picking out trash from a dumpster two blocks away in an alley, and can find anything in complete darkness if I yelled with my sonic voice. I look eighteen, but in human years, I am thirty-six. Nothing has explained why I am like I am, and I don’t know if I’m alone in this world with what I have. I am lucky enough to be able to blend in with society until I’m triggered and show my true colors.”
Suddenly, a pair of big, black wings snapped out from behind her back. They were bat wings, all leathery and veined, fur lining the top ridges of them. Small silver claws shined at each end point, and her eyes stared at them with defiance, challenge written all over her face.
“I’m a mutant.”