She’s used to be the first one up on the weekends, at least if Sherlock doesn’t have a case at the moment; since the children inherited what she likes to call her husband’s “erratic sleep pattern” she doesn’t expect any of them to stir before eleven am.
Just as well. Sherlock didn’t rest much in the last few weeks, since they had successfully rescued a banker from a kidnapper a business rival hired.
Sally has just finished her first cup of coffee for the day when her phone rings.
When Dimmock calls her early – well, before lunch – it means it’s work. Hopefully it’s not too complicated; she’d rather let Sherlock rest a little longer.
“Andrew” she greets him.
“Sally – I’m terribly sorry to disturb you – “
“Trust me, you’re not interrupting anything. Everyone’s still asleep.”
“Why doesn’t that surprise me?” he chuckles then sighs when suddenly someone starts screaming in the background.
“What is going on?” she asks, already putting on her shoes, years of working as a detective having taught her when to move quickly.
“There’s been a murder... a robbery gone wrong, most likely, but the victim’s wife insists that we “get one of the Holmes” for the job...”
She laughs. It’s not rare these days that both her and Sherlock are requested to work on a case, or that she’s called in first “to check” if it is difficult or interesting enough for her husband, who keeps protesting that “no one has to make certain, people just have to observe” which actually means that he won’t allow anyone considering her intellect bellow his.
“I’m on my way. Do you want to tell me or should I wait until I arrive at the Yard?”
“I think you should see for yourself. There’s something... strange about it” Andrew says and she immediately grabs her purse to leave the flat. Even Sherlock has commented on Andrew’s good instincts as a copper. If he thinks there’s something off, there probably is.
She raises a hand and a cab stops in front of her; thankfully Sherlock’s ability to conjure means of transportation out of thin air seems to have rubbed off on her over the years. They’ll probably buy a car eventually though; their children should get licenses after all.
Sally doesn’t doubt Mycroft will take care of it if necessary – not that it should be. They’re rather well off due to the prices some clients are willing to pay.
She can hear the victim’s wife is still screaming as soon as she steps out of the elevator. Poor Andrew. No wonder he gave in and called.
As soon as she knocks she hears him call out “Come in!”, the relief in his voice obvious.
At least the wife stopped screaming for now.
And yes, there is something strange, as he put it.
Mrs. Grimes suddenly acts like a grieving widow – even now she’s crying silently into her handkerchief – but there’s something missing behind her eyes.
She smiles at her and introduces herself, which gives her more time to study her.
Wedding ring dim, unpolished. Her makeup is still perfect – she must have taken time to reapply while she was here. Expensive clothes and bag, but old shoes.
“DI Dimmock, do you think there’s someone who could look after Mrs. Grimes for a while? You understand, ma’am – only as long as I need to understand the case. Then I won’t have to bother you for too long with my interview.”
She nods and allows herself to be led away by the young PC Andrew calls.
“I’m right, am I not” he says calmly after the door closes behind them.
Sally nods. “She likes spending money, but her shoes are old. Someone so conscious of their appearance wouldn’t wear old shoes with this outfit. She’s buying more than they can afford, her husband probably didn’t like it.”
“And there’s her wedding ring” Andrew observes. He shrugs when she raises an eyebrow.
“I read John’s blog too” he adds, “even though I still blush at the Blind Banker.”
“Then what am I supposed to say?” she mumbles as she quickly reads through the preliminary reports.
“He was just randomly attacked on the street. Isn’t the pub Mrs. Grimes says she was meeting friends at only one or two streets away from – “
“Exactly. It was one of the things she started crying over, that she was “so near her dear John” and “couldn’t help him””.
“Did she talk about him in present or past tense?”
He frowns as he tries to remember. “She said – she said – wait, she did mention that he always liked long walks. I remember that because it sounded so – “
“Something like that.”
“We need to look into their finances” Sally decides. “Of course, if we can get her to confess...”
“What do you think?”
“The direct approach” she says simply. She has seen many murderers like Mrs. Grimes, too content to believe that they are cleverer than anyone else. They usually fall apart quickly if challenged.
She is right. Fifteen minutes later, Mrs. Grimes is screaming profanities as she is led away and Sally turns to leave, only to be accustomed by Thompson.
“Sally! How nice to see you!”
DI Thompson is not the sort to chat leisurely with colleagues; he spends too much time trying to make himself noticed by the Chief Constable.
“What is it?” she asks. Whiel Sherlock and the children are most likely still asleep and she does love her work, she deosn’t want to solve cases constantly.
He looks disappointed by her lack of enthusiasm for her game. Probably because Serlock took one look at him and declared him uninteresting and impossible to work with.
“It’s nothing. I was just wondering if you could take a glance at this file...”
Undoubtedly he found a case above him. Equally undoubtedly, he will not mention her involvement at all.
There were times when she would have been bothered. But thankfully these are long past.
“Let me see”.
Everyone could see that this is not a disappearance or kidnapping, but clearly an insurance fraud. Or maybe not everyone. Thompson, for one, can’t, so she tells him to check flights to Cuba in the last few weeks.
Andrew has stayed near them for the duration of their talk and when Thompson walks away, looking slightly bewildered, he fights off a smile.
“You sound like someone I know” he teases her. “Rather tall and thin, keeps referring to himself as a sociopath. By the way, you can’t possibly talk him out of that? I don’t think people believe him anymore.”
“You know Sherlock”.
“Say, do you want to come over for dinner next week? It’s been awhile.”
“I’m sure Charles and Andie will look forward to it”.
The last time they came over, Andie, Hamish and Cecily almost blew up the house – only because of a small upset among the chemicals, her daughter was quick to reassure her.
Andrew and Charles took it remarkable well. Maybe they are just relieved their sixteen-year-old likes to study instead of getting drunk.
When Sally eventually exits the Yard, intent on enjoying her weekend, there’s a limousine waiting for her. Anthea’s inside.
“Not that I am not glad to see you...” she begins. Her sister-in-law nods.
“I know. But sadly, Mycroft is dealing with North Korea again and we have reason to believe an agent of the NSA is trying to access our files – the ones that are too dangerous to keep on any computer. We only have one physical copy of each, and it is in the basement of our office building.”
“And we can’t afford to make his fellow countrymen angry so we have to handle this discreetly”.
“Exactly. And I’d rather have your help, if you don’t mind.”
Mycroft’s office is buzzing with activity as usual.
“So” Sally says, letting her purse drop down on his desk, “Where do you think the agent is and what does he want?”
She will freely admit that it turns out to be quite annoying to chase this agent through London, but thankfully he is quite reasonable once caught.
When Anthea drops her off at 221B, it is five o’ clock and Sherlock and the children are waiting for her with tea and biscuits. She has rarely been more thankful for Mrs. Hudson.
“I hear everything went well” her husband greets her.
She frowns as she kisses him. “As if you never forget to let me know where you are.”
Sherlock wisely chooses not to comment as the children are already sniggering behind him.
They don’t get to enjoy tea for long.
She’s just finished her third cup, Sherlock’s hand on hers relaxing her even more than the hot beverage when Greg and John bust in.
“Where?” Sherlock asks as they get up simultaneously.
“Fenchurch Lane – “
She only takes the time to instruct Hamish and Cecily to be nice to Mrs. Hudson (prompting eye rolls and sighs of “of course, Mum”) before she follows her husband and friends.
There’ll be time for a normal weekend later.
The game is on.