Chapter 1: Life Goes On
When the leaves became red, gold and orange that meant change was coming. Fall was here and soon winter would follow.
John pulled up the collar of his coat as the wind shifted direction. The colder weather meant the clinic would be busier. At least there were two more doctors starting this week. John hated overtime, kept him away from his family.
He enjoyed his nights in with Sherlock and Rosie, reading or solving crimes. Rosie was learning a lot about deductions from her Papa. So much, in fact, they had had several calls from the nursery school letting them know she had made other children cry. John smiled, nothing like a phone call letting you know your three-year-old daughter made a four- year old cry by telling them their goldfish was a fraud that their parents had replaced it after the first one died. And that no the spot by his left gills was not obvious to everyone.
Sherlock had been hesitant at first to let Rosie go to nursery school, but it was better for her. Sherlock and John were not going to stop working and it was not right to expect Mrs. Hudson babysit at a moment’s notice all the time.
Not that Rosie was left out of the family business. Her first real crime scene had been a big to do for Sherlock. Yes, there had been a short one back when she was a mere three months old but this was a big one. There were lots of pictures taken that rainy August night. Mrs. Hudson was away at her sister's, John and Sherlock were both needed so into stroller went Rosie. She was two. And Sherlock lamented that he’s always thought it would be sooner. John reminded him that they had taken a lot of time off after their ordeal with Eurus. Sherlock had just nodded as he went about bundling her up for the trip.
To say that the police and crime unit was shocked was an understatement, especially when Sherlock got them to pose with Rosie. Sherlock did his usual ramble of clues; John suspected that he was showing off for Rosie.
After John examined the corpse, Sherlock insisted on a family picture of them in front of the body. That one was not a picture for the mantel.
John smiled again as he entered the office.
“Good morning Dr. Watson-Holmes” Abby the new desk clerk said
“Morning Abby, and remember you can call me John.” He replied
“Yes sir” She smiled as he entered his office.
Pictures of Rosie, Sherlock and even Elijah with Greg and Mycroft adorned his desk and wall, and Willa and Ashton with their little ones, along with pictures Rosie drew him. Things had been well for John after the Eurus Holmes ordeal. He and Sherlock were officially married, and life was simple (well as simple as life could be with Sherlock) and happy.
Yes they had been receiving letters here and there all claiming to be from Jim Moriarty, and all claiming to be from the day they arrived, but nothing else, nothing else worthy of Moriarty in the way of crimes and no other communications. Mycroft was quick to point out that with today’s technology any photo could be altered even one made to look like a Polaroid. Someone out there was playing with them, but probably didn’t have the means or the nerve to really go for it.
There had been some debate over removing the blog, but after much discussion, it was decided to leave it. John was now just starting to update it again. He had done a little side site linked to it, a memorial really, for Mary, Mike, Henry, Irene and Donovan, Throes who had been a part of the cases who were no longer with them.
John knew Sherlock still blamed himself for Mike, Henry, and Irene’s deaths. Eurus murdered them to get to him.
It took Sherlock a long time to finally process and deal with everything that had happened with Eurus. John figured having Willa back in his life helped. That and the new closeness he had to Mycroft. Well, it wasn’t the Brady bunch but it was as close as those two would ever get.
Sherlock the wonderful father was an equally amazing uncle to Elijah Lestrade-Holmes and to Willa’s kids. Brianna was a year and a half and Bowie was five months. Even Molly’s little one Charles called Sherlock and John uncle.
John looked at his schedule on the computer. Four full physicals followed by two follow-ups and two hours of walk-in hours, those were always fun. Never knew what was going to come through your doors.
John finished organizing his desk then flicked on his light to start the patients coming.
Greg sat in front of the window, on the other side a young man was handcuffed to the table; Dimmock and McLaughlin were in the interview room. The man was a mess. Tears and crying, professing his innocence despite the fact that he was found a weapon in hand over the body and there was security camera footage showing him commit the murder.
As far as the young man was concerned he was watching telly at home. Some reality program then was being thrust into a police car covered in blood and under arrest.
A phone call to the man’s mother confirmed that he had indeed been at home but had suddenly got up abruptly and left without a word to anyone. She was on the verge of making a police report when she got the call from Dimmock.
They were at loss; they could perfectly trace his movements. His whole 2- hour journey from Isleworth near the library to Walthamstow, there was a three-hour gap then his travels to the alley on the outskirts of the City of London, almost out of the MET jurisdiction.
There is where he was found in the alley behind the Shard. It was there security footage that caught the murder on camera. The victim was not as easy to identify. They had no ID on them, wearing simple shorts and a tee shirt that one might wear to bed. The face was beaten beyond recognition so it was up to the lab to ID either by fingerprint, dental or DNA. Greg considered bringing Sherlock in on this but he was already delving into another funny case that had arisen last week. That was a perhaps serial killer. Sherlock was still trying to find the pattern.
Greg rubbed his eyes and headed out into the hall. Dimmock and McLaughlin were going to be tied up with this case for a while. If they needed help they knew who to ask.
Greg made his way down the hall; he noticed the other interview room hall light was on indicating it was in use. Brakenried and Tyler had been called out early to a call, maybe this was them.
Greg entered the observation room.
D.S William Brakenried and D.I Annie Tyler was inside with a sort of familiar woman. Greg had seen her somewhere before but was at a loss as to where. The woman, around 40, long blonde hair green eyes, looked lost, frightened and weary.
Greg flipped on the speaker.
“How can it be 2018?” The woman asked. “I just celebrated the New Year with my family, 2012, I went back to work, why am I here how did I get here?”
Annabelle Duchene, Greg remembered where he had seen her face. An interior designer from Liverpool went missing shortly after returning from a New Year’s Eve trip to Paris with her family. Every police agency in England had received a news bulletin one her. If Sherlock hadn’t been his fake dead at the time, Greg probably would have put him on the scent.
A woman goes missing from her locked office, the office was a mess so obvious struggle yet the keys the only set that could lock the door behind her, were found on the chair by the desk.
The police had broken the front door to get in after the husband reported her missing.
Her car was still parked on the street, her bank accounts were never touched, and the weird part was all the power in the area had been out. Not from any mechanical failure that could be traced. Every camera, traffic or private was out, all phones down, all street lights everything even backup power supplies was down. Witness did report seeing some cars speeding through lights at reckless speeds at the time, but all that had been attributed to some youths of the area.
Her husband and every adult member of her family and circle of friends had been investigated and nothing ever turned up. She had vanished.
Now though there was Mrs. Duchene sitting alive and relatively well in an interview room. She looked physically fine, a little thinner and hair not as thick as it had been in all the pictures that were on the posters pleading for help. Greg could just tell that mentally she was a mess. She didn’t know why she was in London, or where she had been for the last six years.
DI Tyler stood and exited the interview room. Greg exited and met her in the hall.
“Oh, hi boss, you watching that?” She said indicating the room behind her.
“Yeah. She went missing from Liverpool six years ago, I remember the report put out.” Greg replied.
“She’s a mess, I know I should call her family, but, I don’t think they should all rush here.” DI Tyler said leaning on the wall. “This is a hard one.”
“Call the emergency mental health center, get someone over here to talk with her and follow their lead of what to do,” Greg replied DI Tyler nodded
“Yes, sir.” She replied as she headed to her desk to call.
Dimmock exited his interview room.
“I’m going to give the EMHC a call. This guy is not all there, maybe an act, or he may really have an insanity claim.” Dimmock said as he looked back at the door.
Greg nodded “They’re popular today.”
“Based on what they say I may run the file by Sherlock. He likes the odd ones.” Dimmock continued as he and Greg headed to the bullpen.
“Sounds good,” Greg said as he stopped at Dimmock’s office. Technically it used to be Greg’s as ranking DI he had the best office but with the shiny new headquarters on Victoria Embankment. (Built after the old damaged headquarters on Victoria were deemed structurally impossible to rebuild, it was easier to convert new space then it was to fill the hole in the middle of the old building which was now demolished)
Greg left the DI there and headed to his large corner office overlooking the Thames, the Battle of Brittan memorial and London Eye. The inbox on his desk was nearly empty. Thank god. The weekend was coming up and he had plans. Mycroft was off and they were going to take Elijah up to Stratford-Upon-Avon. Elijah had found the MAD museum while online and really wanted to go. So a weekend getaway of learning about Mechanical Art and Design and some History was planned. Elijah was excited to see Shakespeare’s birthplace. Mycroft had started reading him plays for story time. Mostly the comedies, he loved a Comedy of Errors.
Greg smiled as he settled into his desk. He picked up a file. It was a report of a strange man seen wandering Salford area of Manchester. The file was sent to Greg by one of their DI’s. Humphrey Poole, he’d been a DS in London before transferring out after the explosion, he didn’t want to work in London anymore.
Greg was confused at first as to why Humphrey would send him a file on a vagrant until he opened the envelope of pictures, a dozen or so shots from security cameras, some clear and some grainy but all super easy to identify the person in question on film, the unmistakable face of Jim Moriarty.
But how? How could he still be alive? Sherlock watching him blow his own brains out. Even if he hadn’t the inoperable brain tumor would have killed him. Yet there he was plain as day. Seemingly alive and living on the streets of Manchester.
So close yet so far. Why was he hiding? Why was he not avenging the death of Sebastian Moran? Their love seemed so genuine or was it just another one of Moriarty’s tricks and games. Did he use Sebastian like he used so many others?
Sherlock and John had been receiving letters, but this-this was different this was real. Humphrey has even enclosed a memory stick of some of the footage, the Manchester lab had already gone over it, and there were no signs of tampering. Maybe Mycroft’s people would give a better report.
Guthrie James pulled his coat collar up against the rain that had just started. This is not what the weatherman had predicted. It was supposed to be a sunny weekend. He shivered as he reached his destination.
House of Silk-Manchester’s best Gentleman’s Club.
A favorite of Guthrie’s since he first snuck in as a raging hormonal teenager, now some 30 years later the club was still going strong and a visit had become Guthrie’s weekly Friday night tradition. It was basically where all his money went to.
Unmarried it was easy for him to spend what he wished on the lovely ladies. He’d arrived once on a Wednesday on a whim to find it was ladies night and the stage filled with fit young men. He hadn’t minded that night either but it was not a regular thing for him.
No, while he didn’t might the tight muscular bodies of the men he preferred the ladies. And he’d been saving up for tonight. Tonight he was going after his favorite. Jessie a petite young thing with dyed purple hair, a tongue piercing and a tattoo of a fairy on her left thigh, she was gorgeous. Tonight Guthrie would partake in an extra service he hadn’t ever dreamed of doing. But it was his birthday, so why not have a little fun. He, of course, had to arrange a loan but his financial history was impeccable so with the bank signing off he was set.
For a mere $10,000 Jessie would be his for the night. Mr. Fitzsimmons had arranged it all. Charles Fitzsimmons was not the original owner of the House of Silk, He’d taken over ten years ago after the original owner died of a heart attack while entertaining one of his girls. He’d really made the club something special. High-end sound systems, clean luxurious private booths and rooms, and the addition of the extra services. Want a night with one of the girls, no problem. $2000 got you a dinner and dancing date, $5000 got you cuddles and kisses and for $10,000 you got the full relationship in a small private flat above the club. Bubble baths, champagne and all the sex you could handle.
Guthrie hadn’t really been with a woman in a long time, but he knew this was going to be a spectacular night.
The bouncer Hank let him in with a smile, and Guthrie settled into his booth smiling from ear to ear.
Mr. Fitzsimmons waved from the bar and headed over with a bottle of champagne.
“Hello, Guthrie,” Fitzsimmons said as he put the champagne on the table and sat across the booth from him.
“Hello. Good evening Mrs. Fitzsimmons” Guthrie answered.
“Guthrie I have told you, you are one of our most valued guests, so please call me Charles,” Fitzsimmons replied a smile creasing his lips.
No one was too sure how old Charles Fitzsimmons was. Years of reconstructive surgery, fillers and Botox had made his face a tight mostly unreadable visage. His eyes told a lot though, you could read his anger disappointment and joy in his eyes and the way they would dull or shine. But the rest of him, when he smiled it was more like a crease across this face, his cheeks and forehead barely moved. His body was what you might call muscular but it was all injections and surgery if asked to move a table he may struggle there was no strength in his purchased muscles.
“Thank you so much for this opportunity Charles.” smiled as he handed him the cashier’s cheque.
“You are very welcome Guthrie. Oh look here come’s your sweetie.” Fitzsimmons said as Jessie came over. Her waist length purple hair had a pink and blue streak in it now one on each side and framed her face with the curls that bounced as she walked.
“Hello, Guthrie my darling.” She said leaning in and planting a kiss on his lips.
“H, hi, Sweetie” Guthrie replied he was smitten.
“Now.” Fitzsimmons said standing “I will leave the two of you alone to get to know each other. Jessie, you are in apartment 5 ok.”
“Yes, sir Mr. Fitzsimmons.” Jessie replied as she slipped into the booth and on to Guthrie’s lap. She poured the champagne with one hand while pulling his face tight against hers for a passionate kiss with the other.
Fitzsimmons rolled his eyes as he headed back to the bar. These pathetic men, who have to pay for women. Then again with his money women just threw themselves at him.
He frowned or rather the corners of his mouth did a slight downturn as his personal assistant and right-hand man Horace Blackwater entered and motioned towards Fitzsimmons private office. Fitzsimmons picked up his drink and made his way to the office.
“I take it this is not good news,” Fitzsimmons said settling on his couch
“No sorry sir we haven’t found him and Inspector Harriman was not able to get the file from DI Poole’s office in time.” Blackwater said staring down at the ground.
“So he is still out there with his memories starting to resurface.” Fitzsimmons said anger rising in him.
“Yes. But as far as our resources have said he only remembers Sherlock Homes. 221B Baker Street and Miss Me.” Blackwater said in a seeming calm tone with underlying fear.
“We were entrusted with his care, we were entrusted with making sure he stayed unaware. IF he remembers, if he finds out what happened in his absence, we will pay with our lives.’ Fitzsimmons continued rising again.
“We will find him sir. But with Eurus Holmes dead. Who is really in charge anymore?” Blackwater asked
“That is not for you to bother with!!” Fitzsimmons yelled. “Now fix this or I will make sure you die first, slowly and painfully!”
Blackwater nodded and headed out.
They should have never even agreed to this. But then they were both so convincing. They could sell you your own mind if they wanted to.
Fitzsimmons settled back onto his couch and downed his drink. This was bad. This was very bad. But the voice was always still there, and even with Eurus, the mastermind gone. This orchestrator her right-hand person was still there, just a voice on the phone.
Across Manchester in the alley behind the church, a man huddled under his newfound blanket, it had fallen off a stroller, he’s tried to return it but the woman just kept walking.
It was getting cold and he was tired. When he closed his eyes he saw the faces, the young child, the man with the reddish blonde hair and the scar on his face, the woman with the redder than red lips.
The tall curly-haired man with the striking cheekbones, his companion the shorter man in the jumpers, the address, and the names. Sherlock Holmes 221B Baker Street. Miss Me, Miss me.
And one more name.
Sherlock paced the length of the government office. The evidence Greg had brought forth had been processed by the best and it was all true. Nothing tampered with. Facial recognition was run and it was Jim Moriarty.
“So what do we do?” John asked looking at the evidence.
“I put in a trace to all the letters you got. All send from a mail service at a local homeless shelter in the area. They said the man would come in with the photos and ask them to mail them to Sherlock Holmes 221B Baker Street London, said he had a friend take the photos.” Greg said from where he was sitting on Mycroft’s desk.
“How. He was dying and he blew his brains out in front of me, there was blood on me and a body.” Sherlock retorted.
“About that,” Mycroft spoke up. “Eurus had mentioned that Moriarty had a brother. When Greg brought me this I had Anthea dig a little deeper into the Moriarty line. Jim’s brother James was an older brother yes, but only by 15 minutes.” Mycroft reported.
“It’s never twins!” Sherlock exclaimed as he paced.
“No, it never is.” Mycroft continued “It was triplets. Julius Moriarty was the last one born and the first to die. Julius Moriarty died in infancy. He was ill from birth and did not see his first birthday.”
“So who died on the rooftop?” John asked
“James,” Mycroft responded. “James was also the one with the brain tumor. Not Jim.”
“Then why the letters from our Moriarty to Moran? Jim honestly believed he was dying.” John said
“Eurus,” Greg spoke up. “She had everyone in that prison under her control. Even you to a smaller extent.”
Mycroft frowned at the reminder that Eurus had gained a small control over him in order to get her treats.
“She wasn’t able to gain control of Sherlock or Willa, who I will admit having stronger, superior minds than my own. How could she gain it over Moriarty?” Mycroft asked.
Sherlock would normally take that moment to gloat over that comment but now was not the time.
“Maybe Moriarty wasn’t as smart as he liked everyone to believe.” Greg pondered.
“He was very smart though.” Sherlock finally spoke. “Victor was there Victor was very adept at creating any manner of drugs. How long had Victor been a prisoner in Sherrinford?”
“Since his arrest for putting you in the hospital what was that 12 years ago?” Mycroft responded.
Sherlock just nodded.
“If she had control of the prison she had control of everything, including the infirmary and lab. If Victor was given access to that, he could do some damage. If they were able to bring in stuff, he’d be very dangerous.” Sherlock said.
“I will look to see what purchases were made by the prison,” Mycroft said.
The other men nodded.
“Please don’t let this spoil your weekend away,” Sherlock said looking over at Greg and Mycroft. “I wouldn’t want Elijah to be upset. We will be fine. He hasn’t made his way here yet. Anthea will still be here and John, Rosie and I will be fine. There is something not quite right about him if he was the Moriarty we all knew and loathed he would have made some move by now. His love for Moran was undeniable and he would want revenge on those who caused his death.”
“Are you sure?” Mycroft asked standing.
“Very well. We will have or cell phones on at all times and everything will be fully monitored.” Mycroft said standing.
Sherlock nodded and stood by John.
“What are you plans for this weekend Sherlock?” Mycroft asked as Sherlock put on his coat. Greg went and poured himself some more coffee.
“Running a few experiments. Rosie and I may be dissecting an eyeball for an experiment the Crossbury Case. All depends if Molly can get me some eyes.” Sherlock replied as John shivered. John hated the sound an eyeball made when you cut into it.
“Sounds, Fascinating.” Mycroft dryly replied.
“Dimmock and McLaughlin may be in contact. They had an odd one this morning.” Greg said as John gathered the papers they’d brought.
“Is that the murder by the Shard?” Sherlock asked. Greg nodded. “I will avail myself if necessary.”
“Thank you.” Greg said as John and Sherlock left. Greg looked at Mycroft. “We can’t back out on Elijah.” Greg said knowing the look on Mycroft’s face.
“No, No we will still go, I just hope I can focus on our son and not dwell on all this.” Mycroft waved his hand over all the photos and note.
“Humphrey’s a great guy and a wonderful DI. He’s got the entire Manchester Police force keeping an eye on Moriarty. They won’t bring him in, not unless he does something, but they are monitoring. You have CCTV there to, your agents can monitor.” Mycroft nodded. “It will be ok for the weekend.” Greg said kissing Mycroft’s forehead.
Jim stood outside the mission. Dinner was at six they were allowed to start lining up at five. It was five thirty and already the line was longer than what would fit into the dining area. They never turned anyone away having them eat in shifts, but the wind was picking up and no one was looking forward to standing outside for perhaps up to two hours.
Jim was about forty from the front. The dining room fit about fifty. The smell of meat, potatoes and wonderful gravy wafted out onto the street. It was Sunday, the mission always did up a lovely Sunday roast every week and it was popular.
Jim stared down at the street, rolling a pebble back and forth with his foot. His mind was racing today. Sherlock Holmes 221B Baker Street, Jim Moriarty, John Watson, The Man with the key is king, there was visions of decadent jewels and a crown, music hung in the back of his mind like a dream.
And the face of a man, his reddish brown hair cut short, military style, the scar on his face near his eye, the way his face softened and lit up when he smiled, the feeling of warmth and happiness when the man, Seby, that was his name Sebastian but he called him Seby, or tiger, his tiger, and he was the magpie, the warmth of his tiger, his Seby holding him close. He smiled.
“Hey get moving!” A voice behind brought Jim out of his musing. “Doors open get moving.” The man said giving Jim a shove.
“Sorry.” Jim mumbled as he shuffled forward into the warmth of the mission. He moved though the line to receive his food and water. There were some new faces here tonight, but most were the same ones Jim saw all over, this mission the one at the church a few blocks over and the other private ones.
When you have no place of your own, you go where you can. The missions were overrun though, Jim would love to not have to live on the street. But no fixed address and his mind in a muddle what job could he get.
Jim looked at the food and quietly began to eat.
Guthrie James, opened his eyes, it was dark still, the room he was in was not the room he had begun his weekend in. Gone was the plush luxurious apartment with the soft four post king bed fit for royalty. Now he was strapped to a hard, plain wooden chair. Gone was the spacious bubbled filled hot tub, instead he was cold and shivering but also dripping with sweat, his body fighting what he was given. Not the rich savory foods of Friday night. It was as liquid in a bag that was attached to the pole on the chair, the liquid that was attached to the tube that was attached to the needle that had been inserted into his arm. Gone also was his lovely companion, instead he was left alone in this cold barren room. One night one hot passionate night was all he got. Jessie was everything he had dreamed she was and more.
Friday night was filled with passion and pleasure.
But no, all he felt was pain and despair.
He’d had his glorious night with Jessie it lasted well into the early hours of Saturday, then he fell asleep. It was a great sleep filled with wonderful dreams. Those dreams were soon gone as he was jolted awake by the pain of the prick of the needle into his arm. It was dark and there were just voices. He passed out again. He expected to see Fitzsimmons or Blackwater when he woke again, maybe he had unknowingly done something wrong and Jessie was having him punished. But there were two different faces standing over him. A younger and an older person. The older man was in his late fifty’s maybe 60’s his blonde hairs was starting to turn an almost translucent white not really grey just devoid of color all together. His face was once quite boyish now turned almost stoic handsome with wrinkles. Standing at just over six feet tall, his frame was average for his age, and he was dressed simply in black trousers and a green polo shirt. The younger was just a few inches shorter, his brown hair and blue eyes shone with his youthfulness, he was maybe in his mid-twenties and was smiling with a sort of giddy grin on his curvy lips.
They were excited he was waking. They were glad that they had been given another unrememberable whatever that was. He came to learn that he was a unrememberable, someone not worth remembering, someone with no close family. Coworkers would report him missing when he didn’t show up for work, but no one else would. No one would be on the telly pleading for him to come home, or pleading for information. No one would lose sleep over his disappearance. Soon he would fade away from everyone’s memory, not worth the thought. He would be forgotten lost in time.
Unrememberables, Guthrie was sure they had made that term up. He’s never heard it before, were a huge part of some plan they had. Something about a crime syndicate. They had gotten rid of some crime boss some big figure head and were trying to make themselves the big men in the world.
As Guthrie drifted in and out of consciousness the drugs burning in his arm, he would hear them talk.
The older one, identified as Rowan used to live in some pace called Sherrinford, Guthrie didn’t know where that was, maybe over by Felixkirk. The younger one, Benji, just kept going on about how excited he was to be working with someone so brilliant.
They talked of Sherrinford. Late Saturday night, Benji had gathered up the courage finally, Guthrie guessed, to ask Rowan why he had been in prison. Rowan said something about a chemical weapon. He’d been arrested for an unrelated incident he’d already been on a government watch list and his name came up. He was arrested and sent away, to never be seen again, an unrememberable. But in prison he met a remarkable woman. She liked his gifts, and she had this way of manipulating people, almost like a mind control just by the way she talked to them. She introduced him to a man named Victor Trevor and the two of them made some wonderful creations together and combined with The woman’s persuasion they thought they were unstoppable.
Rowan told Benji about a man a master criminal who this woman, he never did catch her name, had brought to them, how they like what he was doing and wanted to take it to the next level. How they made this fearless psychopath think he was dying, switching him with his brother. And some elaborate plan involving a detective in London.
Rowan went on to say how the woman freed him as this man they manipulated needed after care.
Rowan loved the freedom. He used his gifts to fund a lavish lifestyle. But that was all Guthrie heard before passing out again.
When Guthrie woke again he felt better than he had since first waking up in this room.
The door opened and Rowan and Benji entered.
“Hello Guthrie. Today we start the final phase of our little fun. You of course will remember nothing of this when you wake but soon you will be the perfect pawn in our clean up.” Rowan smiled as Benji inserted the needle into his arm.
Guthrie felt a warmth flow though his body and a fog settle in his mind. What the hell were they doing.
Jim headed down the street towards the shelter. He’d stopped by the Photoshop down the street, the nice girl was working again and she took his picture. He had to get this Sherlock Holmes of 221B Baker Street to come. Maybe he could help settle his mind and help his remember his life.
He paused as he saw the lights ahead. The House Of Silk. It sent a shiver though his body. That was not a nice place to be. The owner and his minion, they were nasty, but it was their business associate who was worse.
The room Jim had lived in was nice enough, and he wanted for nothing but he was always forgetting stuff. The man would visit the man with the colourless hair and hard face but calming voice.
And his skittish partner, the one who would give him his medicine as the older man would talk. Tell him that everything was ok, that the memories he had were dangerous and that they needed to be removed.
But they were his memories and Jim didn’t want to forget that face, his Tiger. So he got out, but where could he go, he had no money, no friends, just a few streams of memories floating around in his muddled brain. He was found on the street shivering by a local shelter team, he’d been in and out of various shelters since.
He had these memories but didn’t know who to tell, who to ask. That’s when he met Natalie, she was sweet she saw him sitting in the alley and took him for a coffee and pastry. They didn’t talk much but when he saw her camera he asked about the photos. She was a little weirded out but agreed. She said she didn’t think there would be any harm. So once a week for some time now she’s take photos, some with the day’s paper some just of him. The first photo she had a friend deliver, but the rest he’d take them to the shelter and mail them. He didn’t know if they’d reach their target but it was really all he could do. This time maybe he’d try to write a note.
He didn’t know why he hadn’t written one already, but his mind, it was weird, it was like it prevented him from doing what he should.
He turned down the alley a few streets before the club. He’d mail the letter then maybe he’d come, maybe he’d help.
Fitzsimmons sat at his desk pouring over the number, in the beginning business was good but it wasn’t great, hence why he started letting that mysterious voice at the end on the line use his establishment for recruiting. Mostly Human Trafficking, something Fitzsimmons and his associate Blackwater had been in for a while. The exotic girls brought in the most money but we so hard to get to come. But the voice had helped a lot. It helped cut down costs too. Whatever this voice did it turned beautiful women in to the best, most obedient slaves. And Dr. Rowan Durham and his associate Benji Vyse needed only to visit weekly to make sure the ladies were behaving. Fitzsimmons didn’t know what pharmaceutical help was involved with the maintenance and he didn’t care. He needed only to pay a small fee. Business was now skyrocketing. Fitzsimmons was smart he knew who could be handed over to the voice; He knew who wouldn’t be missed. He knew what real Unrememberables were, the ones who drifted in and out of establishments like The House of Silk, looking for a place to feel wanted, to feel loved and needed. After a few months, Fitzsimmons was asked to house a person for the voice.
He recognized he man the minute her was brought into the room. Jim Moriarty, Consulting Criminal Mastermind. Fitzsimmons had found his right hand man though Mr. Moriarty. But the man he found in front of him was not the man he had met years ago. No this man was diminished. Didn’t even know his own name, yes he answered to Jim, but he didn’t know who the great Jim Moriarty was or that that man was he.
It was a little sad really, but it was in those first few days of Jim living above the club that Fitzsimmons learned what happened to people the voice no longer needed.
Jim Moriarty had been beaten by a more cleaver mind, Eurus Holmes, she and some associates took care of Jim in a way he never expected. Eurus had told Fitzsimmons everything. He never really knew why, was it to scare him or recruit him but either way he never wanted to cross them.
Then their charge went missing. Blackwater looked everywhere but said it was near impossible to find a scruffy looking street urchin in a den of urchins.
Fitzsimmons had feared the first visit from Durham and Vyse after Jims escape, but they seemed calm. Even the voice on the phone was calm. Said they’d handle it, but that they needed something.
That something was an unrememberable, and Guthrie had been in the right place at the right time, well for Fitzsimmons anyway. By handing him over, Fitzsimons saved his own neck. He just hoped he could continue to remain under the radar. Backwater’s’ contact at the Police had looked into Eurus Holmes and had discovered her link to Sherlock Holmes a private detective in London. Last thing Fitzsimmons and his business needed was a private detective snooping around. But Durham and Vyse said that they would take care of things, Fitzsimmons could then focus on his business.
Greg laughed as he watched Elijah chase a duck along the riverfront. They were getting ready to head back to the city but first. Mycroft wanted ice cream. The line up at the Ice Cream Barge was large, but Mycroft had fond memories of the ice cream he had there twenty six years ago when it first opened.
Elijah was not a patient one when it came to lines so he and Greg wandered along the banks of the river. The five year old was quite excited when he found the family of ducks. He waddled with them and quacked, and now as they scattered at the barking of a dog, Elijah ran with him.
“Come on bud, looks like daddy is almost at the front.” Greg said reaching for the little one’s hand.
“May I have Chocolate?” Elijah asked as he grabbed Greg’s hand.
“Of course you can.” Greg said lifting Elijah up so that the young one was upside down his legs bent over Greg’s shoulder.
Elijah squealed with glee and giggled as Greg made sure to really bounce him as they walked back to the barge.
Mycroft looked over and smiled. They were adorable. Mycroft figured he didn’t deserve any of this. Not after the lies he had lived most of his life. But he was grateful the universe found a way to forgive him and give his the wonderful gift of his husband and son.
“Hi Daddy.” Elijah giggled as they came to stand by him.
“Hello. My loves, oh dear I don’t know if they have upside down cones here?” Mycroft said with a smile.
“Papa will put me down. He’ll need his hand to eat.” Elijah giggled as Greg righted him and set him on the ground.
“May not be able to do that much longer, you’re growing like a weed” Greg smiled
“I’m gonna be tall like you” Elijah proudly said as Mycroft handed him his cone. ”Thank you Daddy.”
“You are welcome my prince.” Mycroft said as he handed Greg his before Greg took Elijah’s hand and headed towards the car.
“Greg, Greg Lestrade!” A voice called from behind.
The three turned to see the older man approaching followed by a younger man.
“How?” Mycroft started.
“Been a long time.” The man said as he got close to Greg who gently guided Elijah to be between himself and Mycroft.
“Rowan Durham, I thought you were rotting in jail.” Greg replied
“Not anymore, time stayed for good service. Well was nice seeing you Detective Sargent, oh wait it’s Detective Chief Inspector now isn’t it?” Rowan said with a smirk. “Did you sleep your way into that position like you did your DC Job?” Rowan asked as Benji gave Mycroft the once over.
“Handsome older folk like yourself could do much better.” Benji said with a creepy smile.
“I think it’s time for you to go away.” Greg said as their driver and two agents that had accompanied them just in case Moriarty did anything, approached.
“Fine, see you around Greg.” Rowan said as he and Benji carried on down the canal path.
Greg bent down and picked up Elijah.
“You dropped your cone Papa.” Elijah stated
“It’s ok buddy, not really hungry anyway.” Greg replied as the three got in the car. “He was on the list, there was a body.” Greg said to Mycroft as they started their drive back to London. They gave Elijah his tablet and headphones to play and not hear what needed to be discussed. “Eurus killed every other inmate in that prison.”
“I know, I supervised the cleanup.” Mycroft said starring out the window.
“He is more dangerous that Moriarty or Eurus, he’s got the best and evilest parts of both with none of the downfalls, no lover, no feelings, no agenda of his own, just sells himself to the top bidder for massive chemical drug weapons.” Greg said
“I’ve already contacted Anthea.” Mycroft replied taking Greg’s hand. “We’ll figure this out, we always do.”
Greg nodded and stared out the window.
Greg had just made the acquaintance of Sherlock Holmes and his brother Mycroft, he was a fresh newly minted Detective Sargent after Sherlock helped him bring down murderer, and was starting a fresh new case in a new department, he had a desk of his own in the scrum of desks that was major crime, and a fresh new stack of cases to work on.
Then the strange string of murders started. All died from what appeared to be fright. But these were not elderly or ill people with bad hearts. They came in all ages and races and fitness levels. Something caused their bodies to react in a way that they died with seemingly no other cause then a fear. The expressions frozen on their faces were disturbing masks of pure terror. Greg had actually had nightmares of a few of them.
Sherlock was still away in rehab, part of the deal Greg had made with him, he would get a stack of cold cases to solve as long as he stayed sober. This wasn’t a cold case but Greg was desperate it had been almost a month and they were getting nowhere.
So he gathered the files and headed off to the rehab facility.
Sherlock looked rather well; he was cleaner and had some weight back on him. He eagerly took the files from Greg and looked them over; He asked quite a few questions about the autopsies. Greg handed over the reports.
“If someone is scared to death it is that the rush of adrenaline causes calcium to rush into the heart cells which causes the heart muscle to contract strongly, in the massive response the calcium keeps on pouring in and the heart can’t relax, it causes ventricular fibrillation and that drops the blood pressure and blood does flow properly to the brain and you lose consciousness and die. All of which would show on an autopsy, from this the medical examiner Mr. M. Hooper who seems to be thorough there is none of these signs and states the heart stopped for no real reason, the by fright seems to be a guess based on the expressions on their faces which could be attributed to pain.”
Greg said he would get the medical examiner, Miss Molly Hooper, to run further tests on the blood samples.
When all was said and done six people were dead and one Rowan Durham of Pendersleigh road was under arrest. He had created a drug which he sold to people as a tea to heal their nerves.
After the events of Sherrinford and seeing Durham’s name on the list of prisoners which Eurus had killed or talked into killing themselves and others. Mycroft told Greg all about how the government had been trying to find Durham, they didn’t have a name they just knew of a great chemical genius who would sell his wares to the highest bidder to cause as much damage and catastrophe as he could.
Where Victor Trevor could create any high, Rowan Durham was not about pleasure, just death. Though he had branched out, he popped on their radar after British and American Agents in Russia were going against orders but having no memory of their actions.
Greg looked over at Mycroft.
“Do you remember what date it said that Eurus ended Rowan’s sentence?” He asked referring to the euphemism the one guard had used for Eurus killing.
“I do it was just after Christmas……” Mycroft trailed off. “It was just after the Christmas where she had her five minutes with Moriarty.”
“And you are sure it was just five minutes?” Greg asked.
“I, I am not sure of anything now when it comes to anything to do with Eurus at Sherrinford.” Mycroft said giving Greg’s hand a squeeze.
“If he created that drug to control those agents, Eurus convinced that physiatrist to kill his family and himself, could they have somehow done all that to Moriarty? Made him believe he was dying, made his twin confront Sherlock on the roof and kill himself in front of Sherlock.” Greg asked.
“I don’t see why not.” Mycroft replied
“You case papa.” Elijah spoke up, when did he take his headphones off? “The guy by the shard. He doesn’t remember what he did.”
Greg and Mycroft looked at each other, that was very true.
“And the woman, she went missing right after Sherlock’s jump.” Mycroft said.
“Elijah, you don’t worry you need to be a kid none of this case nonsense put your headphones on and watch Shaun the Sheep and just don’t worry.” Greg said
“But I want to help.” Elijah practically whined. “Sherlock lets me help.”
“Remind me to have a word with your uncle.” Greg said as a screech sounded beside them.
Greg looked out the window in time to see the lorry finish the U-turn and speed towards the car. Greg reached forward and held onto Elijah as the car hit.
Face captures for Rowan and Benji
Rowan- James Wilby as he sort of looks now but hair bit lighter and face more hardened.
Benji- Hugh Grant in Maurice.
Some names swiped from Maurice as I was watching it while brainstorming for this and a few other stories. haha.