The area was swarming with uniformed cops, members of the forensic crime scene unit, and what seemed like a million other people Sally hadn’t been introduced to yet, but she found herself riveted by the sight of the “New York Holmes,” as Marcus had called him in an aside to her and Greg, and his assistant. There was a sense of fluid partnership that, in some ways, was missing with her Holmes and Watson. It seemed a true partnership, a true friendship. They had a very real understanding of each other, and it showed. There was no grandstanding, as her Holmes was very much capable of, and when this Holmes tried, Joan was quick to shut him down.
She might be in love.
Not with Holmes, though.
She had never felt such an admiration for a woman in her life as she did for Joan Watson, with the way she handled herself with grace and poise and a quick wit. It was clear she had the respect of every person on the site, even the arses from INTERPOL, who had figured out the game after all, and when they did get snippy it just took a glare from her to get them to settle into line. Oh, this woman was the most powerful and amazing woman she had ever seen in the history of her career in Scotland Yard, and she was a consultant.
She wanted to worship her and take lessons in how to be that brilliant.
Finally, Joan stripped off her gloves and walked away from the scene of crime and over to her, giving her a wide smile. “You must be Detective Sergeant Donovan,” Joan said, holding out her hand. “I’ve been looking forward to working with you.”
“With me?” Sally asked, surprised.
“I heard about you, when I was in London,” she said. “And from Kitty Winter?”
Sally smiled at the familiar name. “Kitty was a good person. I didn’t know you knew her.”
“We were well acquainted,” Joan said. “I thought when she said she’d done some work for Lestrade she meant the other Lestrade, but now I realize she meant this one. Which is good.” She looked down and realized she was still holding Sally’s hand and let go. Sally looked up and saw there was a faint flush to Joan’s cheeks, which struck her as odd. “So you have your own Holmes?”
She nodded. “And our own Watson, too, though ours is a man.”
“I see,” Joan said. “Wonder why I haven’t heard about them.”
“Well, Sherlock...our Sherlock, I mean...has been taking care of things for his brother Mycroft on a large scale basis, I think. Involving a criminal mastermind.”
Joan pursed her lips. “My Sherlock has a brother named Mycroft,” she said. “He’s not a chef?”
Sally shook her head. “Low-ranking government official, supposedly, though I think that’s shite. It’s probably just a cover for a much higher position.”
Joan tilted her head slightly. “The criminal mastermind...wouldn’t be a woman named Jamie, would it? Went by Irene Adler for a time?”
“Oh no,” Sally said, shaking her head again. “James Moriarty. Goes by Jim. Irene Adler was a whole different person, a dominatrix.”
Joan shook her head. “I feel like I’ve stepped into an episode of the Twilight Zone,” she said.
“Why is that?” Sally asked, frowning.
“Jamie’s last name is Moriarty,” Joan said. She crossed her arms. “I get the feeling we should go have a stiff drink and then a chat. Because this all sounds really weird. Too coincidental to be true.”
Sally looked over at the scene of crime. “Can we leave?” she asked.
“Sherlock’s got this part of the case wrapped up,” Joan said, waving her hand. “Chances are he’ll take everyone back to the station and dazzle them with a brilliant answer, and he’ll wake me up at four in the morning with the breakthrough, and you guys will get to go home tomorrow night. I think they can do without us for a bit.”
Sally bit her lip and then happened to look down at her wrist, her eyes widening. 00:00:00. Her timer had stopped.
Joan Watson was her soul mate.
She looked back up and then nodded towards Greg. “Let me go tell Greg, alright? You’re a consultant, but...”
Joan nodded. “I get it.”
Sally moved away from Joan, slightly bewildered. No wonder she had felt such a strong pull towards the woman. Now she was wondering if it was at all mutual, if Joan felt the same strong pull towards her. Would she be that lucky?
She got to Lestrade and tapped his shoulder. He looked over at her. “Yeah, Sal?”
“Look at my wrist,” she said quietly, holding it out between them.
He glanced down and then back up, his face carefully not betraying any emotion. “Who’s the lucky person?”
She allowed herself a small smile. “Joan Watson. She says her Sherlock is liable to talk our ears off and suggested a drink, to compare just how closely her experiences with her Holmes compares with our experience with our Holmes.”
“So if you don’t get back to your hotel room tonight I shouldn’t worry?” he said, giving her a small smirk.
“Not going to shag my soul mate the first night I meet her, boss,” she said, nudging him slightly. “Can I go?”
“Yeah, go on, go,” he said. “Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.”
“Thanks, Greg,” she said. She moved away and then back towards Joan. “I’ve been given permission to escape having my ear talked off by an over-eager consultant.”
“Lucky me,” Joan said with a grin. “There’s this place I like that has good food, too. Let’s go there; I think it’s going to be a long evening.”
“I hope,” Sally said with a grin as they walked away from the others. That was an understatement, of course, but it was true all the same.