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 two more doctors were 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 to 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 with Mycroft. Well, it wasn’t the Brady bunch, but it was as close as those two would ever get.
Sherlock, the incredible father, was an equally fantastic 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 organising 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 even though 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 a 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 apparent 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 breakneck 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 centre, 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 tumour 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 favourite of Guthrie’s since he first snuck in when he was merely 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 favourite. 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 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 a brain tumour. 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 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 typically 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 brilliant 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 were 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 were 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 through 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 large 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, savoury foods of Friday night. It was as the 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 two different faces were standing over him. A younger and an older person. The older man was in his late fifty’s maybe 60’s his blonde hairs were starting to turn an almost translucent white not really grey just devoid of colour altogether. 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 an 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 begging 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 prominent figurehead 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 beautiful 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 aftercare.
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 through his body and 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 him remember his life.
He paused as he saw the lights ahead. The House Of Silk. It sent a shiver through 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 always forgot stuff. The man would visit the man with the colourless hair and hard face but a 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’d 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, perhaps 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 into 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 recognised the man the minute he was brought into the room. Jim Moriarty, Consulting Criminal Mastermind. Fitzsimmons had found his right-hand man through Mr Moriarty. But the man he saw 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 them.
“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 this 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, it 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 as you did your DC Job?” Rowan asked as Benji gave Mycroft the once over.
“Handsome older bloke 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 a 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 division, and a fresh new stack of cases to work on.
Then the strange string of murders started. All died from what appeared to be a 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 doesn't 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 through 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.
Chapter 3: Thick of Things
John and Sherlock quickly made their way into the Banbury Hospital. They’d gotten the call from Anthea that there had been an accident. And that Mycroft, Greg and Elijah along with their driver Paul and guard Thomas were taken to Banbury.
Anthea knew that sparing no time was essential and had sent them via helicopter to the small town.
They were shown to a room in the back. Greg and Mycroft were each in a bed, Elijah curled up by Greg.
“Uncle Sherlock, Uncle John,” Elijah said as they entered.
“Hello,” Sherlock said coming over and gently hugging the child as John picked up Greg and Mycroft’s charts.
“Mostly bumps and bruises.” Greg quietly said as he opened his eyes. “But since we’ve both had prior head injuries and can’t remember if we hit our heads they are keeping us for observation.”
“You have broken ribs, a fractured shoulder blade and you did hit your head there’s a goose egg on your forehead,” John said
“It’s a broken rib, it’s more like a crack, and that explains my headache,” Greg said looking over at Mycroft. “Is Myc ok?”
“Quite bruised from the seatbelt and looks like he's injured his hip. May not be able to wear his prosthetic for a while.” John replied.
“He was on the side that got hit, I thought he’d be worse,” Greg replied looking at Elijah, his arm was in a bright yellow cast from the base of his fingers to his shoulder.
“You got tossed though papa because you were protecting me,” Elijah said
“I didn’t do a very good job.” Greg sighed.
“Yeah you did this is from when Thomas landed on us.” Elijah said looking at Sherlock “Thomas wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, he hurt his neck. They had to wait to get us till they got Thomas out.”
“Oh dear,” Sherlock said, “are Thomas and Paul alright?”
“Thomas has a broken neck, and Paul is shaken and bruised but no major injuries,” Anthea said entering. “Thomas will heal, no cord damage, more of an avulsion fracture of the vertebra from the extreme whiplash from being tossed.”
Sherlock and John nodded.
“There is; unfortunately, no camera’s on that stretch of highway, and the driver is dead, no seatbelt, he went straight through the windshield. No ID, Truck came up as stolen a few days ago.” Anthea said as she sat by Mycroft.
“So it wasn’t Rowan Durham?” Greg asked.
“No” Anthea replied
“I thought he was dead, died in Sherrinford?” Sherlock asked.
“Nope, Myc and I ran into him getting ready to leave when he approached. We just left, didn’t really know what else to do.” Greg said
“No not Rowan, this gentleman was of East Indian descent,” Anthea said.
“OK,” Greg said pulling Elijah a little closer.
“Maybe his did his mind control thingy” Elijah spoke up. “Like you were talking about in the car before the lorry hit.”
“Mind control thing?” John asked confused.
Sherlock and Greg explained the case from way back when they first met.
“So he could potentially be the one pulling all the strings, he could even have controlled Eurus,” John said.
“No, Eurus would not take anything he offered, but the two could work together, together they could be quite, deadly.” Mycroft quietly spoke up from his bed.
“Daddy!” Elijah said slowly getting up to head over. John picked up the young one and moved him over to Mycroft’s bed. “Thank you, uncle John.” John smiled as Elijah gave Mycroft a gentle hug.
“Thank you, my prince,” Mycroft said returning the hug.
“Uncle Sherlock and John are going to help bring down the bad man,” Elijah said matter of factly.
“We’ll need everything there is on Rowan Durham, and you said there was a young man with him, are they CCTV cameras nearby that may pull a shot for facial recognition?” Sherlock asked getting down to business.
“I’ll start digging,” Anthea said pulling out her blackberry.
“You sleep my prince, you had a long day,” Mycroft said kissing his forehead.
Elijah nodded and drifted off.
Jim watched the flames as they pillared into the sky, three, three shelters had been set ablaze in the last week...
There weren’t very many in the city. There had even been reports of the emergency house provided by the council being destroyed. Someone was trying to flush someone out, and Jim had a feeling he was the prey for this little hunt. Someone, not Fitzsimmons but the others, didn’t want him finding Mr Sherlock Holmes of 221B Baker Street London.
Jim turned as the wind picked up. Hopefully, he would get to the church’s shelter before the line got too long.
He moved to the side as another man started down the alley from the opposite direction. The man was familiar; he’d seen him around the House of Silk a few times. The name Guthrie sounded familiar. Yeah, Guthrie, he was a regular.
Jim diverted his eyes to the ground not wanting to stare. He didn’t see the flash of the blade until it was too late.
Guthrie drove the blade deep into Jim’s side, Jim let out a groan like breath as the pain started to radiate through his body. Guthrie pulled the knife out and discarded it balling up his fist and connecting with Jim’s face. Jim dropped, but the assault continued. He tried to raise his arms to cover himself but he couldn’t.
He heard the voices and felt someone pull Guthrie off of him, saying something about being a big man beating up a homeless person. Jim looked up trying to get his eyes to focus. It was Natalie, and her brother and boyfriend, she’d shown him pictures. Freddie and Alistair if he remembered correctly.
“Nat, ly” Jim mumbled.
“We called an ambulance, lay still,” Natalie said kneeling by him. Alistair and Freddie were holding Guthrie who seemed to not want to give up, he kept fighting. Even with the two much larger men holding him.
“What the hell are you on mate?” Alistair asked as he used Guthrie’s belt to bind his hands.
“Imperium Summa.” Jim coughed out. “total control.”
“What?” Freddie asked quizzically as the sirens neared
“Get Sherlock, 221B Baker Street, London,” Jim said before passing out.
“Jim, come on wake up,” Natalie said patting his cheek as the paramedics knelt. “His name is Jim Moran, he’s homeless, has memory problems, I’ve been trying to help. He lives at some of the shelters here.”
“Ok, We’ll take good care of him. He’ll get good care and a nice warm bed.” The paramedics said as the police arrived.
Alistair and Freddie spoke to them as Natalie let go of Jim’s hand.
“What Hospital will you be taking him too?” She asked
“Manchester Royal” one answered.
Natalie nodded and went to speak to the police.
Rowan sat in his office. All was going well. Greg Lestrade got the message loud and clear that revenge was coming his way. A poor migrant worker they picked up on their last trip to India was the perfect fall guy.
Guthrie will have taken care of the Moriarty loose end by now, and soon Sherlock would help him tie up the loose end of Fitzsimmons and Blackwater while entangling himself in the web that Rowan and Benji had been weaving.
Benji was a great asset to his little operation. He was pleased he met him within the walls of Sherrinford. Rowan wasn’t too sure what Benji’s story was or why Benji was in there, it was not a question that had ever arisen. He’d hoped that having him accompany him to meet Greg and Mycroft it would shed some light on the matter, but it didn’t neither seemed to recognise him.
He was good on their little trips to placate Fitsimmons too. He could spot the perfect man or woman for their “employment,” seduce them to a quiet spot where they were subdued, and then Rowan went to work. He could make them do anything,. Dance at a strip club, no problem. Run drugs across borders, sure. Drive vehicles in the private cars or stab poor messed up homeless men, absolutely.
Moriarty was the strongest mind Rowen had ever broken. He knew all the tricks of the trade and how to counter them. Moriarty had a good tolerance for the drugs too. It took Rowan, Benji, and Eurus two weeks to break him, and still, he needed a booster every so often to keep the memories from returning. It was why Rowan and Eurus made Moriarty believe he was sick. Once the drugs had a hold of him it was easy to implant symptoms psychosomatically, he got ill, looked sick because he believed he was sick. Then they weren’t sure what else they needed from Jim, so that’s where James came in. James’s mind wasn’t as sharp, he broke easily. He put on quite a performance as Richard Brook.
Jim did the first robbery at the Crown Jewels, the trial the visit with Sherlock, he stayed with Kitty Riley. James was just needed, for one thing, the rooftop.
The whole plan had been Jim’s from the get-go, Eurus and Rowan had no influence on that. Eurus just modified it a bit. She saw Moriarty’s mind as an almost equal to her own. She wanted to keep him in her back pocket, a little psycho for her use. Most of her plans for the Sherrinford showdown she made with Jim. But Eurus didn’t like Moran. The emotional connection that Moriarty had to Moran, Eurus though it was a hindrance to Jim. That Moran’s impulsiveness and brutish nature somehow diminished Moriarty’s brilliance. When Moriarty wouldn’t leave Moran, that’s when the brain tumour and the swap came into play. To pull Moriarty away from Moran.
Rowan never expected the prolonged use of the drug to affect Moriarty so much, he’d never needed to keep up such high doses in someone for so long.
His memories started to go, then his faculties, he wasn’t the same. Eurus was furious. She and Jim had many plans, so many for the future to bring down Sherlock. And there in the cell sat Moriarty a shell of a man they once admired.
So they shipped him off to live with Fitzsimmons, that had been a mistake. They weren’t able to adequately monitor him and missed out on the memories starting to come back. Well, that didn’t matter now, he was dead and gone joined up with his beloved Sebastian Moran.
Moran, Eurus would have never bothered with Moran if it wasn’t for him trying to start world war three on Baker Street. In the end, she really wished she hadn’t even bothered with him, funded him, she should have just let him fail. Hindsight was always 20/20 he guessed.
But really Moriarty wasn’t her downfall, and neither was Moran. It was her own ignorance of the power of emotions. She thought they were a hindrance to a person, as the Holmes children all though after that fateful night she drowned Sherlock’s dog and set the ancestral home on fire.
But emotions and feelings were not a burden, it was amazing what sentiment and love could make a person do.
Sure they could be manipulated, but that made torture much more fun. Manipulating someone into believing that they were unloved, or had been betrayed and were all alone.
And with any number of his chemical creations, Rowan could make anyone do, feel, or say anything he wished.
Victor Trevor had been a brilliant drugs designer, but he lacked the imagination and the flourish to branch out beyond creating dependent druggies. When Rowan let him go from his tutelage, he should have known he’d end up in trouble.
But it was through his watching Victor he learned of Sherlock Holmes, and though Sherlock he saw Greg Lestrade. Oh, the fun he had with those two. If only his apprentice at the time hadn’t had a misstep. Rowan would have been able to entirely play out his plans.
But Sherrinford wasn’t all that bad; by the time he got there, Eurus was already starting to take her hold on the prison. He was reunited with Victor. Victor was alright, but he was cocky. Meeting Benji was much more productive. They worked well together, and it didn’t hurt that Benji was really up for anything Rowan wanted to do, in work and in play. Victor and Rowan never told Benji they knew each other previously, even now Rowan never told him. He liked Benji having the illusion of being his first apprentice.
Benji was great, but he wasn’t what Rowan wanted, not really his dream. Greg Lestrade was what Rowan yearned for, to make Greg his own. Yeah he just had a guy drive a lorry into his car, but he knew Greg would survive the crash; those government vehicles were well armoured even if they didn’t look it.
Rowan finished his drink and stood, heading to the bedroom. Benji was on the bed, playing a video came in nothing but his pants. Rowan smiled. Benji was young, younger than Rowan had ever gone for; Benji was 16 when Rowan first met him. He didn’t know if he’d just arrived at Sherrinford or if Eurus was now just introducing him to Rowan. Rowan had never seen him in the two years he had been at Sherrinford. But He guessed Eurus knew that Rowan was in need of a better assistant than Victor Trevor. Four years later Eurus released Rowan and Benji into the world shortly after Sherlock’s swan dive off of St. Bart’s. They started small then they moved up to something more substantial, the disappearing woman.
They moved her to a sweet little members-only club in Bangkok where white women were exotic enough to fetch a pretty penny. Sherlock was dead at the time it was the perfect way to expand and not get caught.
They started their business with Fitzsimmons and took over care of Moriarty.
Then Sherlock returned, but Rowan and Benji were told to stand down. But now they were all gone, and Rowan finally had time to play.
He’d given the MET a case, the gentleman who killed a guy and yet had no memory. Too bad the now DCI Greg Lestrade was distracted by Moriarty aimlessly wandering the streets and sending off letters.
But he wasn’t distracted now. Now all he would care about was Rowan.
Chapter 4: Sherlock Holmes 221B Baker Street London
Natalie Doncaster stood outside the famous door. The knocker was slightly askew to the side. She contemplated knocking but noticed the doorbell next to the door and the label reading J&S Watson-Holmes. She pushed and waited, nothing, she pushed again. There was a light on; there was someone up there. She gave it three more pushes in quick succession.
The door opened to reveal a hurried older lady with rubber dish gloves on her hands and a younger woman trying to come down the stairs a little on in a carrier on her front, a little girl on her hip and one other older girl coming down the stairs behind her.
“Can we help you.” The older lady asked.
“I’m looking for Sherlock Holmes.” She replied, “This is his address, isn’t it. Sherlock Holmes 221B Baker Street, London.”
“It is but I am afraid he is out.” The woman on the steps said.
“Daddy and Papa went to see Uncle Greg and Uncle Cake at the hospital.” The little girl on the steps said.
“Oh,” Natalie said looking down.
“They’re on their way back,” The older woman said. “Greg, Elijah and Mycroft were released from the hospital early this morning and are on their way back.”
“Would you like to wait?” The younger woman asked.
“Please, I came all the way from Manchester, A, A friend was injured and is in need of Mr Holmes’s help,” Natalie replied as the older woman opened the door more to let her in.
“Come on up, and I’ll make you some tea.” The younger lady said. “Also your friend must not read the papers. It’s Sherlock Watson-Holmes now.” She smiled as they headed upstairs, the little one on her hip stared at Natalie almost sizing her up as the little one in the carrier slept.
Once they were in the flat the young woman, who introduced herself as Willa had Natalie sit in a plain wooden chair by two armchairs and then went to make tea. As the water boiled, she sat to listen to Natalie.
“My friend, well, more of just someone I help, he’s homeless, so he doesn’t get to see a lot of news or what’s going on in the world. I bought him a cup of coffee, and he said he needed to reach a Sherlock Holmes. I know he’s a big detective, but I don’t know what Jim needs him for. I’ve helped him send letters and photos and Sherlock never responds. Jim was stabbed last night. He’s in the ICU they say he will recover, but it will take a while. The man who stabbed him was on some sort of drug and is now telling the police he has no memory of stabbing Jim.” Natalie looked out the window. “Jim has always been sweet to me but my brother; he says there is something about him that isn’t right.”
Willa went and dug through a box on a shelf by the fireplace. She removed a paper and came over.
“Is this your friend?” Willa said showing her an old newspaper clipping.
“Yes, but he said his name was Jim Moran, not Moriarty,” Natalie replied.
“He was my brother’s arch nemesis. He tried to ruin his life, drove him to try to kill himself.” Willa said
“I remember the stories vaguely” Natalie took the paper in her hand. “But Jim, from the coffee shop is so soft-spoken, so kind.”
“He lured in Kitty Riley to believe he was nothing more than an actor hired by Sherlock to pose as a Criminal Mastermind. However, it was pure seduction.” Willa said as Natalie handed her the newspaper back
“No, it wasn’t seduction it was a sacred man on the streets,” Natalie replied as footsteps were heard on the stairs.
“Papa! Daddy!” The older child said as she made her way towards the door. It opened and in walked Sherlock and John.
“Hello Rosie, my love,” Sherlock said scooping her up and hugging her.
“Client,” Rosie said pointing towards Natalie.
“Ah, and this has something to do with Jim Moriarty,” Sherlock said looking at the paper in Willa’s hand as John was grabbed tightly by the younger girl.
“Hello, Stevie.” He said picking her up.
“He’s going by Jim Moran now,” Willa said handing Sherlock the paper. “I’ll take Rosie. Stevie is probably getting hungry. We’ll go have an early lunch at Speedy’s while you talk.”
“Thank you,” Sherlock said setting Rosie down.
“No, I help,” Rosie said holding Sherlock’s leg. “I do daddy’s job, and daddy can go get the snack.”
“Not for this case I’m afraid my love,” Sherlock said kneeling. “This is not a case I want you on. But I promise I will let you help the very next case Uncle Greg brings ok.”
Rosie thought for a moment. “And we dissect another eyeball?”
“How about a pigs eye we can compare it to the human one and the cow one we did?”
Rosie smiled “Thank you, papa.”
Rosie went over and took Stevie’s hand. “Come on Stevie let’s go share a cheese and bean potato.”
Willa smiled as she followed “Rosie I need to carry Stevie, she’s not good on stairs remember.”
“We’re going to ride Uncle Brodie’s lift,” Rosie said climbing onto the wheelchair lift that had been added to the stairs after the rebuild so Brodie could visit.
“Then I have to ride with you,” Willa replied as the door closed behind them.
“Your daughter is adorable,” Natalie remarked as Sherlock sat in front of her in his chair. He was impressed Willa had instinctively put Natalie in the client chair.
“Thank you.” John said gathering a notebook from the desk as the kettle whistled.” Would you like some tea?”
“Oh no thank you,” Natalie answered before telling them all she had already told Willa as John got himself and Sherlock some tea, he set some water down by Natalie.
“Does the name Rowan Durham mean anything to you?” Sherlock asked.
“Jim mentioned a Rowan once, said he came by the House of Silk,” Natalie replied
“The House of Silk?” John looked up
“It’s a gentleman’s club in Manchester. There are Girls of all legal ages, sizes, ethnicities. It’s said to be a virtual fantasy heaven. They even have ladies night with some fine fit blokes. I went for a Hen night once. Was kind of sad though. Everyone seemed so dead in the eyes. Kind of like Jim when I met him.” Natalie relayed.
Sherlock looked at John. “I wonder if Willa and Ashton would take Stevie for a few more days. I believe a trip to Manchester is in order.”
John nodded. “Greg may want to come.”
“They are probably just arriving home now, and he needs his rest. However, he can set something up with that friend of his there. Detective Inspector Poole I believe was the name.” Sherlock took out his phone. He paused and looked at Natalie. “You head back now, John and I will follow. I thank you for bringing this to me. I wish I had full answers sooner. Just getting photos in the mail from an old enemy was jarring. But new information has come to light, and I will help. You said he is in the ICU is he conscious” Natalie shook her head. “I have a few people I must speak to first then we will follow.”
Natalie nodded and stood. “I don’t care what he did in the past. He’s not that guy anymore Mr Watson-Holmes. I can feel it.”
“Just at Kitty Riley believed he was Richard Brooke,” John said
“We will follow. May not be till tomorrow though, if he wakes call me straight away” Sherlock said handing her his card.
Natalie nodded, took the card and left.
“Do you believe it?” John asked as Sherlock text Willa.
“From everything we know about what Rowan Durham and his young cohort like doing I am pretty sure they took control of Jim Moriarty,” Sherlock said heading to the bedroom. “Want me to pack for you or are you going to toss together a travel pack?”
“I will pack. If left to you all you would put in there would be the lube and the clamps.” John said following him to the bedroom.
“Never on a case John,” Sherlock said with exaggerated shock.
“Yeah right.” John smiled as he pulled out a few shirts.
“Facial recognition dragged up a mug shot from 11 years ago. Benjamin Vyse. 27 years old. The mugshot is from a misdemeanour shoplifting charge he had at 16. Broke into a shop in the Royal Victoria Place Shopping Center in Tunbridge Wells.” Greg said looking up from his laptop.
“You’re supposed to be resting Gregory,” Mycroft said entering and carefully easing himself onto the chair. He hated crutches, always made his sides hurt. But it was better than a wheelchair until his hip healed, his new repaired prosthetic leg would be arriving any day.
“It hurts to lay down, and it hurts to recline. Breathing hurts, so if I’m up, I might as well be productive.” Greg said pausing his reading to scratch an itch where the strap of his immobiliser rubbed his neck. The contraption was uncomfortable, but if he wanted to avoid surgery on his shoulder blade, his arm must be kept completely still for healing. At least the band that held his arm tight against his chest helped with supporting his injured rib. “Besides if I sleep this afternoon, I won’t sleep tonight.”
“I knew a young lady in Tunbridge. An acquaintance from school had a Cottage near there. We went for a summer before I started at Oxford. Cécile Hall. She and I shared a special summer, but it was not meant to be.” Mycroft said looking out the window onto the street.
“You are saying I wasn’t your first,” Greg said with a smile.
“You were not, I am afraid. I felt awful, I did care for Cécile, but I was not attracted to her. Well not physically or sexually. Her mind, however, she was brilliant. She fell in love with me, but I couldn’t give her what she wanted. I never went back.” Mycroft sighed. “I wish we could have remained friends. We were each other’s firsts.”
Greg looked from the laptop to Mycroft.
“What you were married to a woman, I just slept with one, once,” Mycroft said mistaking Greg’s stare for being hurt.
“Myc, Benjamin’s mother, is one Cécile Vyse nee Hall. Married Ashley Vyse in December of 1990. Benjamin was born in April of 1991; a doctor noted that he was a full-sized premie.” Greg said turning the laptop to face his husband. “When did you and Miss Hall, ah, experiment.”
“July of 1990. We were both; she wanted to do it before I turned 18.” Mycroft started.
“Myc, that fits,” Greg said
“It was one time.” Mycroft started.
“It’s all it takes.”
Mycroft sighed and looked out the window. “It there a contact number for her?”
“Write it down. I will take the call in my office.” Mycroft said as he eased himself up onto the crutches.
Greg wrote down the number and handed the paper to Mycroft who solemnly headed to his office. Greg watched him leave the sitting area and then glanced towards the kitchen. Tabitha, their housekeeper, was out shopping, Elijah was upstairs sleeping, his pain medication made him sleep, but perhaps Greg should put some tea on, or would Mycroft need something stronger after the call.
Mycroft sat in the armchair in his study/office. He looked at the number in his hand. It had been so long, 27 years since he’d spoken to her. They had their fight in late August. Mycroft headed home, the first of the whole group. We not to home, home, but rather uncle Rudy’s. Then October 1st was the start of the Michaelmas term. He’d tried to reach out to Cécile many times by never went through with it. What if he had, his life would have been different but would it have been better?
Mycroft dialled, and soon it was ringing. Perhaps if he were lucky, he would be able to leave a voicemail.
“Hello.” The quiet voice answered. It still had its soft touch of a French accent.
“Hello Cécile,” Mycroft started.
“Mycroft.” She cut him off “It’s been a while.”
“Yes, I do apologise, I always intended to call but, I am afraid I let myself become immersed at first in my studies, and then in my job. I am calling, I am calling about Benjamin. Our son.”
“How, how do you.” Cécile stammered. “Only my mother and Ashely know. He agreed to marry me even though I was nearly four months pregnant when we met. I wasn’t showing, and everyone believed Benji to be a premature child.”
“My job, I have a minor position in the government, my husband is a Detective Chief Inspector for the Metropolitan Police. Benjamin is involved with a case we are both currently investigating.”
Cécile let out a sigh.
“I wondered when he disappeared what trouble he’d gotten into.” She said pain and sadness in her voice. “He always misbehaved. He liked to think himself smarter than anyone, even Ashley and I he was hard to discipline or even control. We put him in so many schools that were supposed to help. He was arrested at 16, shoplifting, after his bail hearing he disappeared, it’s been eight years and nothing.”
“We believe he is under the control of a man who is part of our investigation. As for his behaviour, I fear I must apologise for that. It is an unfortunate trait that runs in my family; I had a sister that was the same way.” Mycroft explained. “She also may be behind this. In her incarceration, she planned out an act of revenge against myself and Sherlock. It would be easy enough for her to bring Benjamin into this. Also, for that, I would have to apologise as well.”
“It sounds like you have to do that a lot.”
“Not as much as I used to.” Mycroft allowed himself a small smile.
“How is Sherlock?” Cécile asked almost amusement in her voice.
“He is well, a married man, and a young daughter. Married a doctor. John Watson, a former army doctor.” Mycroft said looking over at a photo of the two on the mantle.
“I see him in the papers sometimes, and I guess he put his annoying habits as you called them to good use. So how are you, Mycroft Holmes.”
“I am Mycroft Lestrade-Holmes now, as I said before I am married and my husband and I have a child we adopted.”
“I’m glad you found someone to be happy with.” Cécile replied “You find our son, you can let him know the truth if you would like. Do with him what you must; all I ask is that I get to see him again, but that I never speak with you again.”
Mycroft was at a loss for words, he thought they were coming to an understanding, he didn’t expect her to be best friends, but he had hoped for some communication.
“I never got to go to university; I never got to follow my dreams Mycroft Lestrade-Holmes. I know you were too busy. I reached out, I tried. You Uncle Rudy made sure to let me know exactly what he thought about everything. Your career was much more important than mine. Your life was worth more than mine. Ashley left, didn’t like that years later I still missed my son. He filed for divorce two months ago but didn’t even bother showing up to the hearing on Friday. I love Benji; He came from me. However, knowing your family, as you say thing like this run in it. I blame you for every bad thing that has happened in my life. So do me a favour and stay away from me.” With that, Cécile hung up.
Mycroft looked down at the phone the dial tone echoing through the office. Perhaps it would have been better to have never have called at all. The memories he must have brought up for poor Cécile. Perhaps Mycroft should recuse himself from the case ahead, leave it under Anthea, but Gregory would not let it go, and Mycroft wasn’t sure if he could stand on the sidelines either. A call to Anthea to update her would be best though, then a nice stiff drink and a call to Tabitha for a decidedly unhealthy but delectably good dinner. That would help.
Sherlock sat across the table from the young man. He’d been in the custody of the MET for nearing two weeks now. It was Dimmock and McLaughlin’s case. Greg had just supervised the initial interview, Dimmock was going to call Sherlock, but other cases got in the way.
The poor sod had been sitting in a holding cell, with no answers.
Sherlock showed the man. Timothy Jarante a photo of Rowan and one of Benji Vyse that had been forwarded to him by Lestrade.
“Do either of these two men look familiar,” Sherlock asked.
“That’s Mr Durham; he’s a regular at the café where I worked. He was a nice enough guy, his friend the younger one, he was odd. He could tell you your life story just by looking at you.” Timothy said with a shudder.
Sherlock’s eyebrows raised and he glanced over at John, it would explain Eurus’s interest in the young man.
“I went to their flat a few times.” Timothy continued. “Just watched a film, had a pizza and a few drinks. Did it a few more times. A week later I’m in here.”
Sherlock just nodded.
“They said they still haven’t identified the man I beat. I guess it was bad and the DNA is not working out.” Timothy sighed
“DNA is not a foolproof means of identification, especially if there is nothing to base it on. DNA has to already be on file for a match to be found.” Sherlock stated. “We believe that you were an unwilling pawn in Mr Durham’s little game he likes to play. It is something he has done in the past and was sent to jail but was broke out by an equally nasty person. I am afraid there is not much I can do for you at this time till we gather more information on your victim and Mr Durham. I can assure you that once this is all settled, I will see to it that you are not found guilty of the murder.”
Dimmock made a noise of surprise. Sherlock continued.
“The drugs Mr Durham uses are strong, and he can manipulate anyone into doing anything he pleases. I will seek to prove this and show your actions were not your own. For now, however, I believe you are being transferred to a private holding area in a local prison, for your protection you will be segregated from the other prisoners. But you will have a little more room then the cells here.”
“Thank you Mr Watson-Holmes,” Timothy said still looking at his hands. “I, I don’t even like violence on the telly, how could I do that, even drugged as you say.”
“The drugs and the persuasion are powerful,” Sherlock said standing.
Timothy nodded as Sherlock and John exited the interview room.
“Next we visit Mrs Duchene,” Sherlock said as the two headed down the hall to a more comfortable lounge-like area used to interview victims and family members.
Mrs Annabelle Duchene was already sitting on the plush couch, her husband Frank to her right and D.I Annie Tyler on her left. D.S William Brakenried opened the door and let Sherlock and John take the armchairs while he sat on the bend by the door.
“Hello. Mrs Duchene, Mr Duchene.” Sherlock said shaking their hands. “I’m Sherlock Watson-Holmes.”
“We know.” Mr Duchene said, “We hoped you could help us shed some light on all that has happened to Anne.”
“Do you know either of these men?” Sherlock said showing her the pictures of Benji and Rowan.
“That’s Benji. He did our yard work.” Mr Duchene spoke up. “Stole our lawnmower and some money, we reported him, but we had an inkling that he was a transient.”
“And that’s Mr Durham.” Mrs Duchene said quietly. “He wanted me to help redo some rooms in his house.”
“How many visits to his house did you have?” John asked
“I think four or five. I never wrote them down… I don’t know why part of my billing is time at home visits for consulting before actually starting the redo.” She answered
Sherlock began to explain to her what they believed happened.
“So I, I might have committed a crime?” Mrs Duchene asked horrified.
“Not necessarily, We are looking more in depth at things that happened in the UK during the time you were gone, but I am afraid Mr Durham has his fingers in many pies and uses his manipulation control to have people operate in every facet of his organisation,” Sherlock explained
“Did they give you a medical when you returned?” John asked, “Some information in there may help us track your movements.”
“They did, and I will let you have full access to them if it means filling in those years.” Mrs Duchene said.
“Tell them about the nightmares” Mr Duchene added rubbing his wife’s back.
“Nightmares?” Sherlock prodded.
“Since I’ve returned I’ve had nightmares of being pinned down, of a room filled with loud music and small rooms with very little light.” Mrs Duchene replied. “and men talking in a different language.”
“What did this other language sound like?” Sherlock asked.
“Rả h̄nụ̀ng tênrả” Mrs Duchene replied, “It’s practically ingrained in my brain, it comes out in my sleep that and Thèā h̄ịr̀ s̄ảh̄rạb khwām ngām p̣hās̄ʹā xạngkvs̄ʹ.”
“It’s Thai” Sherlock replied “Dance pale one dance, and How much for the English beauty.”
Mrs Duchene looked up horrified.
“Why would I be in Thailand and why would men be saying that too me?” She asked shaking.
“I will find out,” Sherlock said standing. “I will not let this man get away with what he is doing.”
“Thank you.” Mrs Duchene said leaning on her husband.
Sherlock and John left the room; DI Tyler was talking to the Duchene’s about counselling.
“You already know what they had her do, don’t you?” John asked
Sherlock nodded but waited till they were in the privacy of Greg’s office to let John and Brakenried know that she was probably held in a sex club or strip club in Bangkok.
“They did a basic medical on her. I would try and suggest they do a more thorough one. Tell her we believe she was held in an exotic location that may have been unsanitary.” Sherlock explained
Brakenried nodded “Thank you. Is this tied to Lestrade getting injured?”
“It is, and the resurface of the once thought dead Moriarty,” Sherlock said as he looked around Greg’s office. “Durham has been here.”
“What! How the DCI office is all the way through the rest of the offices, it’s a corner office with one way in and one way out.” Brakenried was shocked
“Window cleaners,” Sherlock said motioning to the window behind Greg’s desk, the one that overlooked the embankment.
“They don’t open,” Brakenried said with disbelief.
“The seal around this one has been replaced recently.” Sherlock noted pointing to the brand new seal “It is not as faded as the others. It sits askew as it was put back in upside down. The top of the glass was bevelled to fit in the unique shape of the top. They reset it upside down, and it fit incorrectly into the bottom groove of the windowsill. It’s also the reason for the excess sealant on the top to keep it from wiggling; they couldn’t simply turn it over as the cement was already drying so they couldn’t move it without causing more damage. And having it be more noticeable.”
“Wouldn’t Lestrade notice? Brakenried asked
Sherlock gave a chuckle
“As much as I like to think I have changed Greg’s way of observing I know He can still be very unobservant.” Sherlock smiled “Also, you didn’t notice.”
“You got me there.” Brakenried smiled. “But in all seriousness. I read about the Durham incident in the police journals. He’s a nasty piece of work. When you catch him, I hope he is gone for a long, long time.
“He will be he and his cohort,” John said as Sherlock gave the office anther once over.
“We will stop by Greg, and Mycroft’s get Mycroft to put some security on the house. Not that Greg keeps anything with his address in here, but from the pictures, It’s guaranteed Durham can find out what school Elijah goes to. They can put a guard on him, well, an extra guard I know Mycroft has security on Elijah at school as well as Rosie.” Sherlock stretched. “I also have to ask my brother about his activities twenty-eight years ago.”
John gave Sherlock a quizzical look but got no answer. Sherlock’s phone beeped. He looked.
“No change in Moriarty though they are going to start ease back his medications overnight so he will be waking up for sure tomorrow. We should head out later, be there in case he wakes in the night.” Sherlock said as they headed down onto the street. A black car was waiting. “Ah, Mycroft is expecting us. Hopefully, he gives us the truthful answers.”
“About what?” John asked.
“His firstborn,” Sherlock said getting in the car leaving John to stand confused on the sidewalk for a moment wondering what either Elijah had to do with all this. Then again he was fathered by Moriarty. “You coming?”
“Oh yea, yes,” John said getting in before the car made its way through the streets of London.
Chapter 5: Jim Moriarty, HI!
“What do you mean he’s Mycroft’s son!” John said looking between Sherlock and Mycroft the picture of Benji on the desk between them.
“I had a tryst with a lady the summer before Oxford. I did not know that this, encounter led to a child. After we parted ways, I never contacted her.” Mycroft said staring down at the photo. “If I had known, I assure you I would have been a part of his life.”
“He sounds like a handful, much like Eurus, you sure you wouldn’t have locked him up like you did her?” John asked. Mycroft looked up at him hurt in his eyes. “I know you now would not, but the you back then, you eleven years ago would have. The man I first met that night in 2010, wanting me to spy on his own brother. You would have locked Benjamin up the minute he showed any signs of being like Eurus.”
Mycroft gave a nod. “I concede that. I have been digging through records the Governor of Sherrinford kept. As mentally controlled as he was, he still did his job... mostly. He kept records of the prisoner ins and outs. Benjamin was brought to Sherrinford in 2007, two years after Rowan was taken to Sherrinford by me. Benjamin’s arrival was documented as a transfer, but he was not being held at the time. He had been released on bail.”
“So Eurus knew, somehow she knew,” Sherlock spoke up. “I knew after seeing the picture. But I wanted to talk to the other control victims first. Did Eurus have access to police reports of arrest records?”
“She had full access to every police agency criminal database here, and around the world, it was one of the tools she needed to help us with anti-terrorism research,” Mycroft answered, realisation spreading across his face.
“She would have seen his photo from his arrest and processing,” Greg spoke up. Mycroft and Sherlock nodded.
Greg picked up the photo.
“He looks more like a young Hugh Grant, just a bit more effeminate,” Greg said. “I don’t see you in him at all.”
“No, he looks like his mother.” Sherlock but his mannerisms are all Mycroft, the way he holds himself, and there is a faint little scar under each of his ears. It’s from surgery for a rare genetic disorder involving the Eustachian tube and some growths that can be passed on from generation to generation. Willa and I lucked out not to have it, but Mycroft and Eurus did. Mycroft had the surgery scars fixed via plastic surgery later in life. Benjamin has left his as is. There are only several documented cases of it in the UK, and none of the other cases still live in the UK.”
John and Greg nodded.
“I remembered Mycroft telling Mummy about a lady named Cecile Hall, and when delving further into Benjamin’s history, it just confirmed my suspicions,” Sherlock said gathering the photo up and putting it with the others. “John and I are going to be leaving soon to head to Manchester. Moriarty is supposed to be waking tonight or tomorrow. Rosie is going to be staying with Willa and Ashton. They have a concert tomorrow night, but it’s fine, one of the flautist's daughters is going to look after the kids in the rehearsal room. Rosie is very excited about seeing the harpist again. She does love him and the Harp.. will have to make a mental note to maybe sign up her up for lessons.”
“I called Humphrey” Greg said as he adjusted his position in his chair, his arm was killing him. “Just give him a call when you get there, and he will accompany you to the hospital to see Moriarty, He’s already been there a few times, says it’s odd seeing him look so weak and fragile.”
“Thank you,” Sherlock said giving Greg the once over. “Go home and rest, recline all the sitting up even with the immobiliser is putting too much stress on the muscles of your shoulder joint and back.”
“We will call you to check in,” Sherlock said pulling his coat around him.
“Are you sure you don’t want myself or Anthea coming?” Mycroft asked.
“You need rest and Anthea shouldn’t push herself too hard the late first trimester can be the most delicate.” Sherlock smiled
“OH” Mycroft exclaimed finally connecting some earlier information together.
“Your slipping brother, but it is allowed, what was it you said before, middle age,” Sherlock smiled
“It comes to us all Sherlock,” Mycroft said with a small smile. Before Sherlock and John left.
Mycroft turned to Greg. “Let’s get you home and reclining.”
“I could use a nap, maybe watch that early game with Elijah” Greg replied as he carefully stood.
I may nap with you.” Mycroft said kissing him “This has all been a lot to take in.”
Greg nodded as they headed to the waiting car.
Sherlock braced himself at the door. The doctor and Natalie had called, Jim Moriarty was awake. He was in pain and on a lot of medication, but he was asking Natalie if she got a hold of Sherlock Holmes.
John stood beside him the stance he took reminded Sherlock of the defensive stance John took when standing over his fake grave all those years ago. His soldier mode was active, no doubt primed to protect Sherlock should all this be some sort of elaborate show.
- Humphrey Poole stood on Sherlock’s other side.
Sherlock took a deep breath and stepped forward to activate the motion sensor on the door of the ward.
The bed was just to the left of the door. Natalie stood by holding the water glass helping the man in the bed take a sip from the straw.
He was so worn, so pale and looked so fragile.
He looked as the three men approached. He smiled, not the wicked smile he’d shown them in the past, this one was warm and almost sweet.
“You came, Natalie found you, and you came.” He said, the tones and inflexions of his voice was still there, just not as harsh, they now almost were sing-song.
“Yes, Miss. Doncaster came for a visit she explained your situation.” Sherlock said standing at the foot of the bed. John picked up the chart to give it a look over.
Jim studied Sherlock.
“I, I did something bad to you, didn’t I?” Jim asked an almost fear moving into his eyes.
“Yes, you did, but we think that for the most part you were being controlled by someone.” Sherlock started. “Well mostly, How much would you like to know about who you are?”
Jim took a deep breath. “Tell me everything.”
Sherlock took a seat beside The bed and started at the very beginning with Carl Powers. Jim stared down at the bed the entire time, around what John dubbed the great game he was starting to tear up, by the time they reached the jump he was crying hard, so hard, in fact, the nurses came and shuffled Sherlock, John and DI Poole out, scolding them for upsetting a patient.
Sherlock sighed and began to pace the hall. His reaction, it was not acting, Moriarty was genuinely horrified at all he had done.
“Could it be that Rowan messed with his mind so much that he is changed, and that he has zero memory of all that he did?” John asked.
“The memories are still there they are just buried deep.” Sherlock stated “Look at me with Eurus and what really happened to Willa. Memories never leave they just get locked away, sometimes really well, but they can always resurface.”
“So, he’s the same Moriarty we’ve been dealing with since the day we met?” John asked
“No.” Sherlock sighed “He’s damaged, does that negate his past crimes, no, but for now, he is the victim he is the client, and we are working for him and Greg to bring down Rowan and Benji.”
“So help but don’t trust.”
“Help with selective trust,” Sherlock answered John, nodded.
The nurse exited “He’s still upset but is insisting he still speak with you. So against my better judgement, I will let you all back in.”
Sherlock nodded and reentered the ICU. Natalie was sitting on the edge of the bed holding a still crying Jim Moriarty.
“I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.” He sobbed “I have these flashes that I thought were nightmares but I guess I am a horrible person, maybe I should have died. That man Guthrie, he should have killed me.”
“The man who attacked you is named Guthrie?” Sherlock asked, “You know him?”
Moriarty took a few deep breaths to steady himself.
“I saw him around the House of Silk.” He said, “I, I lived there for a bit before taking to the streets.”
“The House of Silk?” John asked
“A strip joint and gentleman’s club downtown,” Natalie answered as she wiped the tears away from Jim’s face.
- Poole made notes
“Women only?” Sherlock asked
“No, they have a ladies night once a week, a bunch of men on stage. For the Women or men who like men,” Natalie answered.
“And this Guthrie was who a worker?” Sherlock asked.
“No, a patron, a favourite, always frequented the same day, had the same girls dance for him all the time. He was saving up for one of the specials, a night with one of the girls.” Jim replied, “All the specials are hush-hush.”
“Prostitution?” DI Poole asked Jim nodded. “Ok, that’s grounds enough for an investigation.”
“Does Rowan Durham run the House of Silk?” Sherlock asked
“No, but he helps supply the talent,” Jim replied. “I arrived there a while ago, The owner Fitzsimmons and his Muscle Blackwater kept an eye on me. Mr Durham and Mr Vyse would stop by for my tune-ups as they called them. They would come, and I would forget. But then the tune-ups stopped working, and these flashes started to appear. I knew I had to get out. I escaped but I had nowhere to go, so I lived on the street. Just flashes in my mind. Jim Moriarty, HI! Sherlock Holmes 221B Baker Street, Sebastian Moran, My tiger, his magpie.”
“John I need you to go check out this House of Silk, I will head to the police station with DI Poole to talk to this Guthrie.” Sherlock said “Mori…Jim, You just stay here and rest. I will take care of this, and after all, is said and done, then we can deal with our past.”
Jim Moriarty nodded.
“Oh, there was another flash that started to come to me recently. A song” Jim said
“I that am lost, oh who will find me? Deep down below the old beech tree. Help succour me now the east winds blow. Sixteen by six, brother, and under we go!” Jim sang the familiar tune.
“So you were close to Eurus.” He spoke, “She taught you the song.”
“Redbeard,” Jim replied before, and an almost wicked smile creased his face. “Redbeard the dog, You know I’m pretty sure of everything I did I never harmed an animal. You sister was special.” The tone and cadence of speech that John and Sherlock knew all to well had returned. “She showed me pictures of Willa, pretty girl, I could see why Eurus was jealous. She wasn’t as nice looking as my Sebastian though, my tiger.”
Jim Moriarty twitched almost as if he had been shocked.
“No, no, no,” He started to repeat and rock, the softer tone back in his voice. “I don’t like when I think of those things, it’s so dark and so nasty. The nightmares.”
Sherlock, DI Poole, John and Natalie all looked between themselves as Jim Moriarty shivered again before passing out.
“Moriarty is still in there.” John remarked “But whatever Rowan has done to him. He is seriously messed up.”
“He’ll never be a free man again, he will pay for his crimes, but prison will not be his home, he’ll be institutionalized,” Sherlock said as the three men headed down the hall.
“I, almost feel sorry for the guy” DI. Poole said looking back down the hall towards the ICU
“No one deserves to have their mind torn apart like that. No matter what he did to me or others. We had Eurus toy with our minds, our emotions and feelings at Sherrinford. But to have your mind scrambled like that. It’s pure torture.” Sherlock replied.
“But Sherlock, he killed people and did it with a smile on his face. He strapped bombs to innocent people and put a sniper on them. He blew up a blind woman because she described his voice. He dated Molly to get to you. He is not a nice man, he is not human, he’s a psychopath.” John vented as they reached the lobby.
“He’s still Human,” Sherlock replied
“He kidnapped me. Strapped a bomb to me and used me against you. He forced you to fake your own death.” John continued getting louder. “And the love of his life, his tiger, Moran, he’s a war criminal who killed hundreds of people just to get to us. Killed the mother of our child and nearly killed us. I will help you solve this case, for Greg’s sake, but I cannot find it in myself to have any compassion for that monster.”
“People called me a monster once,” Sherlock said stopping a few feet behind John “Called me a freak, a psychopath.”
“That was different,” John said walking back to his husband. “You were dealing with years of trauma, you lost a sister, and a beloved pet. Victor Trevor put you through so much hell. You put up walls, it was all an act, I helped those walls fall, I helped you recover.”
“How do we know Jim Moriarty didn’t have childhood trauma or a reason to act like this. We’ve done research into Moran’s background he was a young man raised by an extreme military obedient father, his anger stemmed from his desire to be the biggest and baddest person on the planet. But he had a heart, he loved Jim Moriarty enough to plan his revenge on a massive scale. I’ve done research on Rowan. He comes from a loving, wealthy family but in the end, has a personality disorder that leads him to want to do what he does. It’s all mental illness.” Sherlock said looking down at the floor. “Even me. I could have become that.”
“But you didn’t you have a moral compass somewhere in there that is steering you right,” John said taking Sherlock’s hands. “They CHOSE to do wrong, they like Eurus know the difference between right and wrong and they chose to do wrong. They loved it and relished in it.”
“I could have been that one wrong turn with drugs, one bored night with nothing to do,” Sherlock spoke, barely above a whisper.
“But you didn’t. You solve the murders, you don’t commit them.” John said pulling Sherlock closer.
“I killed Magnussen, and I killed while on my mission while trying to bring down the crime web,” Sherlock said stepping back a little.
“Magnussen was a horrible man that needed to be stopped. And for your years undercover.. was it your life or theirs?” John asked. Sherlock nodded “That is the same for all the Taliban forces, and insurgents I had to shoot while in Afghanistan, or the killer cab driver. I’m the soldier who never came home from the war, remember, I seek and crave danger. That can be classified as a mental illness. But do I go around killing the innocent for fun? No. There is a difference. Moran, Eurus, Rowan and Moriarty are monsters. Moriarty chose to play with the wrong person, and that led to him meeting Eurus. He got himself into this. And he is paying the price. It’s horrible to see a person with his mind torn apart. I saw it in friends and colleagues who went through PTSD and worse after and during the war. But we cannot let it distract us from everything Moriarty has done. He is tied to this case, but we are solving it for Greg and Mycroft. Not for Moriarty.”
John pulled Sherlock into a tight hug.
“We thought he was dead and now he’s back. But we can deal with that. It will not wind up where it did before. We will win this time.” John said before kissing Sherlock.
Sherlock reached up and grabbed John’s face pulling it closer to his. Kissing him back harder.
Sherlock broke the kiss and took a deep breath. It had shaken him to see Moriarty like that. This formidable opponent reduced to a weak crying mess. It truly spoke to the horrors Rowan Durham was capable of and why he needed to be stopped.
“Now you go interview this Guthrie fellow and I will got check out this House of Debauchery.” John smiled
“Thank you John. Thank you for being my balance.” Sherlock said giving his cheek a kiss.
“You are very welcome.” John smiled
Sherlock gave him another hug before John set off for the House of Silk and Sherlock to the Police Station.
None of the men notices the young man across the street watching the Hospital. Benji would return to Rowan and let him know that Mr and Mr Watson-Holmes were not sufficiently tied up in Manchester and that the rest of the plan could go though.
Benji smiled and headed back to the train station for the journey back to London.