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like rumpelstiltskin but better (saymyname) wrote,

guess i'll need to get a raincheck on getting proper sleep this week
There's an emergency at work that has to do with the boss' brother. Emergencies at work always have to do with his brother (well, that's a lie, because last time it was a terrorist attack, but at least I get to sleep through those). Sometimes I wonder why M hasn't just implanted a GPS into his arm or something, except the last time I asked him that, he said S managed to rig something up with magnets and maybe an EMP and destroyed it. I couldn't tell if he was joking or not.

Anyway, M called me in yesterday at around 11:30 PM. I haven't been home since, but I managed to get a few hours of rest at my desk, and one of the drivers has been delivering us coffees and late-night takeaway. M hasn't slept yet, but I managed to convince him to eat something (I told him it'd be better for thinking, which I think is even true. Go me!)

like rumpelstiltskin but better (saymyname) wrote,

oh god i'm going to get fired
I just put sleeping pills in my boss's tea. He's snoring on his desk now (I moved the papers out of the way so he won't drool on them).

I am so fired.

like rumpelstiltskin but better (saymyname) wrote,

crisis averted
M slept for 14 hours and when he woke up he had an ~epiphany~, and after he finished making phone calls and dictating notes and everything he said to me, "Thank you, Victoria. That was quite refreshing." I didn't give him Victoria by the way. I think I gave him Susan, but I don't even remember anymore, he never calls me by it. Victoria's next on my list, and I've no idea how he knows that, because every time he uses my name, he uses the next one I have open.

Maybe he's telepathic.

But I guess this means I'm not fired. Thank god. I mean, can you imagine how I'd explain it to my mum? "Hi mum, I lost my job, yes, the really cushy one with the crazy expense accounts and bonuses. How? Oh, well, there was a crisis at work that my boss needed to solve, and I drugged him so he couldn't work on it."

Not fired. Thank god. I said that already, but it bears repeating.


It feels silly, sometimes, having an online journal where she talks about her life to other people and other people (most of them friends from uni, or friends-of-a-friend) talk back as words on a screen instead of in person at a pub or over dinner.

But she likes the internet, and she likes being online. There's something clear and simple about reading something and knowing exactly who wrote it, at only having to remember one thing to know who someone is instead of trying to identify them based on who has this hair and wears these shoes.

She knows that "girlwithshoes" is Jennifer, her first roommate, and that "theblokeybloke" is her friend Matt from uni, who'd helped her get through History lessons without dying of boredom and is now a lawyer. She knows this without having to analyze the color of their eyes, or the brand of their shoes, or the style in which they wear their hair, without having to compare them to a million different people she's seen before who look almost the same.


After the Pool Incident, as she's been mentally calling it in her head, Mycroft assigns her to monitoring his brother's website, which is how she finds herself reading through his boyfriend's blog. In her opinion, it's a better read than the Science of Deduction. John manages to say things without sounding like an arrogant arse, even if he does sort of sound like he can't go an hour without wanting to shag Sherlock silly.

She looks through the comments he gets to his entries as well, but most of them seem to be from his real-life friends and family. He doesn't have the (ridiculous, dangerous) international popularity that Sherlock has.

"Is the anonymous poster on Sherlock's website the same person as theimprobableone, or does he have two obsessed stalkers with crushes on him?" she asks when she brings Mycroft his lunch. She sets it down on a corner of his desk.

He glances up at her. "Theimprobableone seems to be just a fan. There's a surveillance team on them just to be safe, of course."

Of course.


like rumpelstiltskin but better (saymyname) wrote,

estalking my boss's little brother
One of my new jobs is to e-stalk M's little brother, S. Literally, he wants me to keep an eye on S's website (and S's boyfriend's website too, I imagine), and let him know if anything "of interest" happens. S's website was involved in the thing that went on last week, and a lot of it could have been prevented if M had known about some of the posts there, so I think that's where this new task is coming from.

I don't mind. S's website isn't bad, and his boyfriend J's blog is really interesting. He's a good writer, and he writes all about the things that happen to him, which is more than you'd think, considering he's supposed to be just a locum doctor.

Oh! Also, M put my phone on an expense account and told me to feel free to buy whatever software I need or want for it. This totally makes up for the week before last (also I get double-overtime for consecutive hours worked after the first 24, which helps too).

Anyone have any good game/app recommendations?


"Hi again," the man says -- short sandy hair, dark trousers, blue shirt. No glasses, no facial hair. He's smiling at her. She has no idea who he is (there's a half-dozen people he could be -- no one dangerous, of course, because she'd have been told to get in the front-seat if he were dangerous).

She waits a beat, until it becomes clear he's expecting a response. "Hi."

The silence draws out awkwardly between them, and after a few seconds, she breaks and goes back to her phone; Mycroft forwards all the emails he doesn't want to answer to her, so she's going through and sending them all the generic form response -- Unfortunately, Mr. Holmes is a busy man, and does not have the time to blahblahblah...

"So..." The man says.

"Yes?" When she looks up, he's got his hands folded in his lap. No earring, no ring, watch on his left wrist (but she doesn't normally notice watches -- they get blocked so often by long sleeves).

He grins at her. "You don't remember me, do you?"

She shakes her head. "Nope," she says, entirely unapologetic. If he'd wanted her to remember him, he'd have done better to be memorable.

"Who was that?" she asks the driver (stud in the right earlobe, dark hair that falls to his ears, has a day's worth of stubble -- Stephen), when they drop the man off at an abandoned warehouse, where he'll be intimidated by Mycroft for a while before they pick him up again.

"John Watson, miss," is the prompt reply.

Oh. She knows John Watson. She likes John Watson -- his blog makes him seem pretty decent, and it's fun reading the cases from his perspective instead of in the form of the bland, dry reports Mycroft's surveillance teams write.

She's reading an ebook when the door opens again. A man -- short sandy hair, dark trousers, blue shirt, no glass or facial hair, gets into the seat next to her. John Watson.

He doesn't say hi to her this time.

I read your blog, she thinks, but she doesn't say it out loud.


like rumpelstiltskin but better (saymyname) wrote,

apparently i'm now a nursemaid
S is sick, so M sent me with Lemsip and biscuits to tend to him. He even gave me a spare key that I don't think he was supposed to have.

S was pretty surprised when I came in, but he still did the name thing ("Stephanie, Mycroft sent you, I see," and then he made annoyed faces at me). Right after that he realized of course I'd know who he is -- he's the only tall, skinny, dark-haired bloke in his flat, who else would he be? But it's the thought that counts, and he's really pretty decent when he's too tired to be annoying.

Oh! And J isn't his boyfriend, apparently. I told S I going to sit with him to make sure he ate something and had some medicine until his boyfriend got home, and he stared at me like I was the mad one. J showed up after he finished working (M texted me when he knew J was off work, which is cool in a "my boss is omnipotent" kind of way), so I left S to him.

I think he was surprised when I said "It's nice to see you, J" on my way out.


Sherlock refuses to solve a case for Mycroft, so Mycroft pulls strings at Scotland Yard to get him barred from working for them. Somehow, this leads to Sherlock storming into Mycroft's office (right past her, as if she's not even there!) in the middle of Mycroft's meeting with the Prime Minister.

Mycroft doesn't blame her for it, of course, but she's still the one who has to reschedule his meeting, and even with the Prime Minister's secretary on the phone helping her, it takes two hours of mutual shuffling of schedules and soothing ruffled feathers before they both have enough free time to schedule one tiny little phone call before the end of the next week.

Which, naturally, puts her behind schedule for the rest of the day. She doesn't get home until nine at night, grumpy and hungry because she hadn't noticed the time or her hunger until it'd already been too late to order takeaway if she didn't want to sit around waiting for it to arrive.

In retaliation, she leaves a comment on Sherlock's website with links to the Wikipedia pages for inductive and deductive reasoning, and the words, "The Science of Deduction?"

Sherlock doesn't reply, but by the time she comes into work tomorrow, John Watson's left a reply -- "Looks like they've got you there," and then timestamped ten minutes later, "This is never going to stop being funny."

She is still smiling at her screen when Mycroft comes in. "Your weekly phone call to your mother is in five minutes, sir," she tells him, and hands him his coffee (decaf, with skim milk and one sugar).

"Thank you, my dear." He looks intently at her for a moment -- she can always recognize that, because the way he stands goes sharp, just sharp enough that she feels like she should be getting cut. He and Sherlock both do it. "Jennifer, today? Or... No, something else. Janice?"

"Janice," she agrees, because she's on J now. She'd assigned Janice to her contact at MI5, but the woman had transferred two weeks ago to a different department, so Janice is free once more. She likes keeping the names in order.

Later, she gets an email from with no subject, just a link to the Wikipedia disambiguation page for "Deduction" and the words, in bold, "Natural Deduction". For lack of a better response, she replies with two images. The first is a still from the surveillance footage of Sherlock's flat, where he is sprawled flat on his back on the sofa, deeply asleep. The second is of a kitten in the same pose.

She BCCs it to Mycroft, and when she pokes her head into his office at night to let him know she's heading off, he smiles and says, "I believe it's traditional to include funny captions on your images."

Well. That's practically an engraved invitation.


like rumpelstiltskin but better (saymyname) wrote,

been a while since my last update
It's been a while since my last update. Things are getting busy at work again. I'm sort of peripherally involved in a top-secret project, so I've been working late a few times per week and talking to all sorts of people on M's behalf and all that. Obviously, I can't give any details here (and I know my journal's being monitored too, so: Hi guys!).

Mum called again. She keeps asking me when I'm going to get a boyfriend, and then I tell her I'd rather have a career instead, and then she always brings up that she didn't have a career when she got married to Dad, and things always go downhill from there.

I bet if I told M this, he'd hire an actor to be my fake boyfriend. It sounds like the sort of thing he'd do.


They pick the man up for Mycroft within a few streets of Baker Street -- short sandy hair, watch on left wrist, red shirt with black jeans. Probably John Watson.

He takes being kidnapped rather well. He smiles at her. "Hi, Anthea. How've you been?"

Definitely John Watson. She gives him a brief smile. "Fine," she says, and goes back to typing out her message. ...found no sign of Moriarty in Germany, but reports say...

"What are you doing?" John asks.


"What are you working on?"


"Ah, right. Of course." John's quiet for a few minutes, before he says, "If Anthea's not your real name, what is?"

"None of your business," she replies, because her real name is for family (she even has a false identity assigned to her, from working for Mycroft). "If you don't like Anthea, you can call me Elizabeth."

"Anthea's fine," John says immediately. "It's very pretty."

"Thank you." That's not why she'd chosen it, of course, but she knows how to take a compliment.

John's meeting with Mycroft is twenty minutes long, once per month or so. While they wait for him, the car drives in lazy circles around where they'd dropped him off. In the driver's seat, Julian (blond hair, gang tattoo on his neck) raises an eyebrow at her.

'It's very pretty?' he mouths at her, and she laughs, shaking her head.

When John gets in the car again, he asks, "So, are you seeing anyone?"


She's done with work emails and is looking through her own email inbox when she feels his presence over her shoulder. She folds the phone protectively to her chest. "Hey!"

He sits back immediately, hands up. "Sorry. I just wanted to see what you were staring at so intently. But -- were those pictures of my flat?"

She'd been emailing screencaps of Sherlock in hilarious poses to herself and sometimes to Sherlock, because after the last one, he'd asked suspiciously, Who is this? Are you one of Moriarty's men?, and that had just been. Well, really funny -- more funny than it should be, considering Moriarty was a madman and a criminal mastermind and the reason she's been coming in to work on Saturdays.

But she doesn't have anything against John, and if someone had pictures of her flat, she'd want to know why. She tilts her phone back, letting him see the screen. "They're from his security detail," she explains. John nods at the words 'security detail'. He doesn't seem surprised. "I have other ones from CCTV. I'm saving the funny ones."

"Why?" he asks, tilting his head inquisitively. He laughs when she scrolls through her saved images and shows him the one where Sherlock's perched on the seat of an armchair like an overgrown bird.

"Just for fun," she says. "I might add a caption and post them on his forum if he does something really annoying. You already posted his picture on your blog, so it can't hurt any more."

"You read my blog?"

He sounds altogether too pleased at the prospect, so she shrugs nonchalantly and says, "One of my tasks is to monitor it." Honesty compels her to add, "But it's alright."

When the car stops at Baker Street but before he leaves, he asks her to email him some of the better pictures.

She does.


Subject: Hey, I know you!

I know you online, I mean. You're the one who posted the comment on Sherlock's website, the one about deductive reasoning. Sherlock said you were wrong, I know, but that doesn't make it any less funny. Lestrade (do you know Lestrade?) got a kick out of it too.

Anyway, thanks for the pictures. I'm sure they'll come in useful for the next time Sherlock's being a tosser. =)



She trades emails irregularly with him after that, one or two times a week -- just small things. Sometimes she passes him stills from the surveillance footage, when she sees something interesting and her brain thinks, John would like that.

After John knows about her, it only takes Sherlock another day to connect her to her online identity (he sends her a scathing email about not focusing on her real job, and she replies that he is her real job). Sometimes Sherlock forgets about the hidden cameras in his flat and she gets to see his reaction when he opens her emails.

Other times, John tells her about the cases they go on, especially the more exciting ones, giving her more details that he puts in the blog posts. She forwards those messages to Mycroft without even a tiny smidgeon of guilt.

John knows she does it (and her emails are probably monitored anyway). Whenever he tells her about a case, he also leaves a short message for Mycroft, even if it's something like "Sherlock won't say it, but thanks for getting us out of jail" or "tell Mycroft the security detail following Sherlock almost tipped off the suspect, by the way".


She's shopping when a strange man nudges her shoulder with his own. She levels a sharp look at him. Dishwater blond hair, slightly below average height, military posture, generic clothes. No identifying marks on the face or hands, and he smiles at her but doesn't say her name. Not someone she works with, because she's memorized the identifiers for anyone she's expected to recognize.

Someone she doesn't know.

He reaches for her arm, then drops his hand when she steps back out of range.

"Sorry," he says, and the corners of his mouth turn downwards. "I didn't mean to startle you."

She's not good with remembering voices (she speaks to most people on the phone, and the distortion's hard to compensate for), and his isn't particularly familiar. But he's looking at her like she's familiar.

They stare at each other for a moment, him expectantly and her with polite confusion. She breaks first. "I'm sorry, should I know you?"

An awkward pause. "Um, I thought you did. It's John. John Watson?"

Oh. Oooooh. She blurts out the first thing that comes to mind, which is, "You cut your hair. It doesn't look like that on the videos."

He's also wearing jeans. When Mycroft's car picks him up for their chats, he wears trousers, and the security footage she reviews doesn't have enough detail for her to have learned the brand of the jeans he sometimes wears. She doesn't say that part out loud; sometimes it makes people uncomfortable.

John's hand comes up to touch his hair. It's shorter than when she last saw it, by a good couple inches in all directions, and styled differently. "I got a haircut a few days ago," he confirms.

"Okay." She nods, and offers him a smile. "Hi. It's nice to see you again."

"You didn't remember me?" he sounds hurt -- genuinely hurt, not faking it, and also confused.

"Sorry," she says. "It's not personal. I can't recognize faces. It's a medical condition. I was born with it."

John rocks back on his heels as he digests this thought. "So you can't --" he waves a hand at himself, "recognize me?"

"Not by your face," she agrees. "And you changed your hair, so." She shrugs. "It helps if you use the name I gave you -- you're the only one who has Anthea, so if you call me by name, I can recognize you."

"Oh! Is that why you gave me a fake name?"

"Mostly." But also because it's fun. She likes choosing what people call her, and she has a good enough memory that it'd be a shame not to take advantage of it.

"Well, that's good." He smiles at her again. "I worried it was because you didn't like me or something."

"No, you're alright."

"Only alright?" he teases.

"Maybe," she teases back, with a coy smile.


like rumpelstiltskin but better (saymyname) wrote,

sometimes i forget
Sometimes I forget about the face thing.

M is really good about it, and I didn't even have to say it outright to him. He carries this slim black umbrella with him everywhere he goes, and that's his tell. And his brother S wears this posh coat that must have cost a thousand pounds, I haven't seen another one like it.

Everyone else mostly stays in their places or wears a name tag or I'm talking to them by email or phone where faces don't matter, and it's easy to forget that when they take off the name tag or go somewhere else or dye their hair (I hate when people dye and cut their hair at the same time, that's the worst), they become entirely different people.

I met J (S's not-boyfriend, but they live together) while doing the shopping yesterday. Or, I should say, he met me, and I didn't figure it out until after I acted like a total prat and asked if I ought to know him. So I had to explain it to him, but he was nice about it and didn't ask me any annoying questions (I sent him an email with some links to more information about it too, just in case).


"Hi Anthea," John says, and smiles broadly at her as he gets into the car. "I take it I'm meeting with Mycroft today?"

"Mm, no."

Out of the corner of her eye, she can see John look around the inside of the car. "Er," he begins. "Then why am I here?"

"Mycroft wants to talk to Sherlock," she says, and sends the text message to her boss (JW retrieved).

"So he kidnapped me?"

"Mycroft wants to talk to Sherlock alone," she clarifies. "You were on your way home, so he intercepted you."

"Right, of course. You want to talk to your brother in private, so instead of giving him a call like a normal person, you kidnap his flatmate," John mutters, but he doesn't sound angry, just exasperated.

Mycroft can be like that sometimes. She'd complained about how long it took to get to work once, and he'd found her a new apartment and scheduled movers for her, before she'd found out and had to explain to him that no, she hadn't meant it like that and yes, she wanted to stay in her current flat.

"That's how he does things," she agrees.

A few minutes pass in silence, before John's boredom gets the best of him; she can hear him shifting on the seat. "So..." he says. "Where are we going?"

"In circles, probably." She grins at his surprised laugh. "Really."

"Well," he says, settling back in his seat, a little closer to her this time, "At least I'm not alone. What are you working on?"

"Nothing." On a whim, she says, "But I have Scrabble on my phone. Would you like to play with me?"

"I'd love to," he replies.

John's winning by twenty points (but she's hoping to get "violin" down on a triple word score if John doesn't block the N) when the phone buzzes in his hand. "You have a text message," he says, and hands it to her.

It's from Mycroft, of course. Car en route to Baker Street. ETA 5 minutes.

"Five minutes left," she says, and hands the phone back. "It's still your turn. Hurry up."

She gets "violin" and has managed to reduce John's lead to only five points by the time the car pulls to a halt in front of 221B Baker Street. It's still John's turn when the door opens and Mycroft's umbrella taps against the side of the car. His voice is low and amused when he asks, "Enjoying yourself?"

John jumps, flushing, but she only gives Mycroft a quick grin as she holds her hand out for her phone back. "Quite, sir."

"Um." Their fingers brush when John hands the phone back ("Qi"? Really?). He glances over his shoulder at Mycroft for a moment, before saying quickly to her, "Do you want to continue this later? Maybe over drinks?"

She's startled enough that instead of answering him she says, "Did you just ask me out to a pub to play phone Scrabble with you?"

"It sounded a lot smoother in my head," he admits, getting out of the car reluctantly when Mycroft taps the tip of his umbrella against John's ankle. "What do you say?"

"Okay. I'll give you a call when I'm free."

"Great! That's great." John fumbles for his phone. "Do you have my number?"

"I can pull it from your file," she replies. She has to press her lips tightly together to smother the laugh that wants to escape when he blanches and at Mycroft again, who is waiting with every appearance of patience, hands folded over his umbrella.

"If that'll be all," Mycroft says with a pleasant smile, "We'd best be off."

Mycroft takes John's place in the seat next to her (though he doesn't sit nearly so close as John had been). John waves goodbye to her as the car pulls away. She waves back, then turns her attention back to her phone when John enters his flat.

Mycroft breaks the silence first. He leans back against his seat with a pleased smile. "Thirty minutes was enough then, I take it."

"Yes, sir," she says, and beams at him. "Thank you, sir."