Cuts

Calliah Mullen is the sister to Irene Adler and has always been called the ugly sibling. After hearing it for so long, Calliah believes it and cuts her self to relieve the pain. When see meets Sherlock and John, her views on the world, herself, and her sister change. Will it be for the better or worse?

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17. Chapter 17

Thank you Ariane DeVere aka Callie Sullivan on livejournal for the transcripts. They help so much.

Here is the last part of The Great Game.

I own nothing, except Calliah

We get home and I see Mycroft sitting in Sherlock’s chair. “Get out of my chair Mycroft.” Sherlock says as he comes in. Mycroft gets up and goes over to me.

“Did she get checked out?” Mycroft asks John.

“Of course.” John says. Mycroft looks at me and I nod. I motion to my room and he nods.

We go to my room and I sit on my bed. I bring my knees to my chest and step my head on my knees. He sits down and wraps an arm around me. “Let me see.” He says softly. I bring my head up and he looks at my neck. “You shouldn’t have bruising.” I nod and put my head back. “Does it hurt to talk?” He asks.

“A little.” I whisper.

“No talking then.” He says softly.

I look up him and I can feel the tears in my eyes. “I was a hindrance to them Croft. If I hadn’t been there then they would have got that man.” I say and start to cry. Mycroft wraps his arms around me and lets me cry into his chest. After a while, I sit up and turn my back to him. I wipe my eyes. “Sorry.” I say softly.

I feel Mycroft place a hand on my shoulder. “Don’t be afraid to show your emotions with me.”

“You are.” I say and look back at him.

He frowns and nods. “I am.” He says and lays on my bed. I lay down and rest my head on his chest. “We are a couple of messed up people, aren’t we?”

I laugh and nod. I look up at him. “But we help each other and will get better.” He nods and kisses me softly. Mycroft left after a little after that with a promise to call, a warning to John, and a glare to Sherlock.

The next morning we are back at Hickman Gallery. Sherlock is standing in front of the Vermeer paining, looking up information on his phone. John, Miss Wenceslas, and I are standing behind him.

“It’s a fake. It has to be.” Sherlock says.

“That painting has been subjected to every test know to science.” Miss Wenceslas says.

“It’s a very good fake, then.” Sherlock says and spins around and glares at her. “You know about this, don’t you? This is you, isn’t it?”

Miss Wenceslas turns to Greg, looking exasperated. “Inspector, my time is being wasted. Would you mind showing yourself and your friends out?” Miss Wenceslas asks.

The pink phone rings. Sherlock snatches it from his pocket and switched it from his pocket and switches on the speaker. “The painting is a fake.” Sherlock says into the phone. There’s a faint sound of breathing over the speaker but otherwise there is no response. “It’s a fake. That’s why Woodbridge and Cairns were killed.” Still there’s nothing more than breathing. “Oh, come on. Proving it’s just the detail. The painting is a fake. I’ve solved it. I’ve figured it out. It’s a fake! That’s the answer. That’s why they were killed.” No one still answers. Sherlock takes a deep breath to calm himself. “Okay, I’ll prove it. Give me time. Will you give me time?” He asks.

After a moment, the tremulous voice of a very young boy comes over the phone’s speaker. “Ten…” The boy says.

Instantly Sherlock spins and looks closely at the painting.

“It’s a kid. Oh, God, it’s a kid!” Greg says shocked. I frown and wrap my arms around myself.

“What did he say?” John asks.

“’Ten’.” Sherlock says.

“Nine.” The boy says.

“It’s a countdown. He’s giving me time.” Sherlock explains as he scans the painting.

“Jesus!” Greg says.

“The painting is fake, but how can I prove it? How? How??” Sherlock says.

“Eight…” the boy says.

Sherlock turns and glares at Miss Wenceslas. “This kid will die. Tell me why the painting is a fake. Tell me!” Miss Wenceslas flinches and opens her mouth. Sherlock immediately holds up his hand to stop her.

“Seven…” The boy says.

“No, shut up. Don’t say anything. It only works if I figure it out. He turns back to the painting again. Unable to stand the tension, John turns and walks away a few paces. Lestrade turns to watch him, probably wanting to join in the pacing as well. I move to Sherlock and takes his hand. “Must be possible. Must be staring me in the face.” Sherlock says to me softly.

“Six…” The boy says.

“Come on.” John says urgently

“Woodbridge knew, but how?” Sherlock says.

“Five…” The boy says.

“It’s speeding up!” Greg says.

“Sherlock.” John says urgently.

Sherlock sees something and his mouth open as the penny finally drops. “Oh!”

“Four…” The boy says.

“In the planetarium! You two heard it too. Oh, that is brilliant! This is gorgeous!” Sherlock says. Sherlock turns and shoves the pink phone into John’s hands. He walks away from the painting, grinning as he pulls out his own phone from his pocket.

“Three…” The boy says.

He types something into his phone and then turns back and walks towards us, laughing in delight. “This is beautiful.  I love this!” I frown.

“Two…” The boy says.

“Sherlock!” I yell furiously.

Sherlock grabs the pink phone from John and yells into it. “The Van Buren Supernova!”

There’s a short pause, then the boy’s plaintive voice come from the speaker. “Please. Is someone there?” He asks. I sigh in relief and lean against the wall. “Somebody help me!”

Sherlock turns and hands the phone to Greg. “There you go. Go find out where he is and picks him up.” He gives John a long look and turns to the painting and points at the dots in the sky. “The Van Buren Supernova, so-called.” He holds his phone over his shoulder. “Exploding star, only appeared in the sky in eighteen fifty-eight.” He turns and throws her a triumphant look, then walks away. John drags in a relieved breath, then walks closer to look at the painting.

“So how could it have been painted in the sixteen forties?” John asks. He grins over his shoulder at Miss Wenceslas, then looks back to the picture again. His phone trills a text alert. “Oh.” He digs out his phone, still breathing heavily, and looks at the message. He growls slightly, then looks up at the painting one last time. “Oh Sherl…” He switches off his phone and walks away. I follow.

John and I go to Battersea while Sherlock goes to Scotland Yard. We are wearing a high-vis jacket over our coats, John and I are walking along the railway line with the Tube guard who found Andrew West’s body.

“SO this is where West was found?” John asks.

“Yeah.” The tube guard says.

“Uh-huh.” John says.

“You two gonna be long?” The tube guard asks.

“I might be.” John says.

“You with the police, then?” The tube guard asks.

“Sort of.” I say.

“I hate ‘em.” tube guard says.

“The police?” John asks.

“No. Jumpers.” tube guard tells us. “People who chuck themselves in front of trains. Selfish bastards.”

“Well, that’s one way of looking at it.” John says and squats down to look more closely at the railway track.

“I mean it. It’s all right for them. It’s over in a split second – strawberry jam all over the lines. What about the drivers, hmm? They’ve gotta live with it, haven’t they?” The tube guard says.

John runs his finders along the track, then lifts his hand to look at it. “Yeah, speaking of strawberry jam, there’s no blood on the line.” He stands up. “Has it been cleaned off?”

“No, there wasn’t that much.” The guard says.

“You said his head was smashed in” John said.

“Well, it was, but there wasn’t much blood.” Guard said.

I look at him unbelieving. “Okay.” John says. He turns and looks along the line thoughtfully.

“Well, I’ll leave you two to it then.” Guard said. John and I walk a few yards further down the line and John squats down. “Just give us shout when you’re off.”

“Right.” I say. The guard walks away.

John stands up and looks at me. “Right: so, uh, Andrew West got on the train somewhere – or did he? There’s no ticket on the body. Then how did he end up here?” John and I squat down and look at the tracks.

“Points.” I hear behind us.

“Yes!” John says and springs to his feet. I stand up and we turn around to see Sherlock.

“Knew one of you would get there eventually. West wasn’t killed here; that’s why there was so little blood.” Sherlock explains.

“How long have you been following us?” John asks.

“Since the start. You don’t think I’d give up on a case like this just to spite my brother, do you?” Sherlock asks.

“Yes.” I say.

He rolls his eyes and turns and starts to walk away. “Come on. Got a bit of burglary to do.”

We walk down the street. “The missile defense plan haven’t left the country, otherwise Mycroft’s people would have heard about it. Despite what people think, we do still have a Secret Service.” Sherlock explains.

“Yeah, I know. I’ve met them.” John says. I look over and roll my eyes.

“Which means who ever stole the memory stick can’t sell it or doesn’t know what to do with it. My money’s on the latter. We’re here.” Sherlock says.

“Where?” John asks. Sherlock turns into the drive of a marionette and trots up the steps at the side of the building which lead to the front door of flat 21A on the first floor. As he rummages in his pocket, John whispers to him urgently. “Sherlock! What if there’s someone in?”

“There isn’t.” Sherlock says and picks the lock and goes inside.

“Jesus.” John says softly. We hurries inside and I shuts the door. Sherlock trots up the short flight of stairs ahead of him and walks into the living room. “Where are we?”

“Oh, sorry, didn’t I say? Joe Harrison’s flat.” Sherlock says.

“Joe…?” John asks.

Sherlock goes straight over to the window and pulls back the net curtain. He grins in satisfaction at the sight which greets him outside. “Brother of West’s fiancée. He stole the memory stick; killed his prospective brother-in-law.”

Dropping to his knees, he gets out his magnifier and runs it slowly along the edge of the window sill. John walks across to him and peers over his shoulder. “Then why’d he do it?” John asks.

He straightens up and turns as someone unlocks the front door. Sherlock also stands. “Let’s ask him.”

Reaching round to the back of his jeans, John walks quietly to the door of the living room as the front door slams. He steps out onto the landing just as Joe, wearing his courier gear, is leaning his bicycle against the wall. When he sees John he picks up the bike as if he intends to use it as a weapon or simply to throw it at him. John instantly raises his right hand and points his pistol at him. “Don’t.” John says sternly. Joe keeps coming but John shakes his head. “Don’t.” Joe stops and lowers the bike, sighing in a mixture of frustration and fear.

John leads Joe to the sofa as we stand and look at him. He was very distressed. “It wasn’t meant to…” Joe says as Sherlock looks away, exasperated. “God.” Joe rubs his hand over his face. “What’s Lucy gonna say? Jesus.” He sinks back on the sofa.

“Why did you kill him?” John asks.

“It was an accident.” Joe explains. Sherlock snorts. “I swear it was.”

“But stealing the plans for the missile defense programme wasn’t an accident, was it?” Sherlock asks.

“I started dealing drugs. I mean, the bike thing’s a great cover, right? I dunno – I dunno how it started; I just got out of my depth. I owed people thousands – serious people. Then at Westie’s engagement do, he starts talking about his job. I mean, usually he’s so careful; but that night after a few pints he really opened up. He told me about these missile plans – beyond top secret. He showed me the memory stick; he waved it in front of me. You hear about these things getting lost, ending up on rubbish tips and what-not. And there it was, and I thought ... well, I thought it could be worth a fortune. It was pretty easy to get the thing off him, he was so plastered. Next time I saw him, I could tell by the look on his face that he knew.” Joe explains.

“What happened?” John asks.

“I was gonna call an ambulance, but it was too late. I just didn’t have a clue what to do, so I dragged him in ‘ere, and I just sat in the dark, thinking.” Joe says.

“What a neat little idea popped into your head.” Sherlock says, pushing the net curtain aside and looking out of the window. “Carrying Andrew West way away from here. His body would have gone on for ages if the train hadn’t met a stretch of track that curved.”

“And points.” John adds.

“Exactly.” Sherlock says.

“D’you have it, then? The memory stick?” John asks. Joe nods.

“Fetch it for me – if you wouldn’t mind.” Sherlock says. Joe stands up, sighing unhappily, walks into another room. Sherlock walks closer to us. “Distraction over, the game continues.” He says softly.

“Well, maybe that’s over, too. We’ve heard nothing from the bomber.” John says.

“Five pips, remember, John? It’s a countdown. We’ve only had four.”

Later that night, we are in our coats. Sherlock is sitting in his armchair with his feet up on the seat and his arms folded tightly around him, trying to conserve heat. The pink phone is on the arm of the chair. John is sitting at the dining table, typing on his laptop. I am laying on the couch, looking up at the boys. The TV is on and a Jerry Springer/Jeremy Kyle-type show is playing. As the audience boos noisily, Sherlock yells indignantly at the telly. “No, no, no! Of course he’s not the boy’s father!” He gestures at the screen. “Look at the turn-ups on his jeans!” He sighs and folds his arms.

John looks round to see what Sherlock is protesting about and then goes back to his typing. “Knew it was dangerous.”

“Hmm?” Sherlock asks.

“Getting you into crap telly.” John says.

“Hmmm. Not a patch on Connie Prince.” Sherlock says.

“Have you given Mycroft the memory stick yet?” John asks.

“Yep. He was over the moon. Threatened me with a knighthood – again.” Sherlock says. I look over at him and frown. That didn’t sound like Mycroft at all. Sherlock was lying.

“You know, I’m still waiting.” John says.

“Hmm?” Sherlock asks.

“For you to admit that a little knowledge of the solar system and you’d have cleared up the fake painting a lot quicker.” John explains.

“Didn’t do you any good, did it?” Sherlock asks.

“No, but I’m not the world’s only consulting detective.” John says.

“True.” Sherlock says and smiles.

John closes the lid of his laptop and now stands up. “I won’t be in for tea. I’m going to Sarah’s. There’s still some of that risotto left in the fridge.” John explains to us. I get up.

“Don’t worry. I am going to Croft’s.” I say softly.

“Mmm!” Sherlock says, still watching the TV.

John stops at the door. “Uh, milk. We need milk.” John tells Sherlock.

“I’ll get some.” Sherlock says.

We turn back to Sherlock with a look of disbelief. “Really?” John asks.

“Really.” Sherlock says.

“And some beans, then?” John asks.

“Mmm.” Sherlock says, still not looking away from the TV. John hesitates, still surprised, but then nods and walks away.

I move my arm into John’s arm as we walk down the sidewalk. We don’t get far when we both get hit on the head and black out.

I wake up tied to the chair. I have a bomb to my chest. I look over and see John still passed out with a bomb on his chest. I look around and see Jim from the hospital. “W-What is going on?”

He smiles at me and stands me up. “Oh don’t worry darling. It will be alright. Except it won’t” He says and laughs. Jim puts on a hooded jacket on me and leads me to an entrance to the pool. He jams an ear piece into my ear. “Just do as I say and no one will get hurt Miss Adler.” I nod and wait.

“Brought you a little getting-to-know-you present. Oh, that’s what it’s all been for, hasn’t it? All your little puzzles; making me dance – all to distract me from this.” I hear Sherlock say loudly.

“Okay now go my darling.” I hear in my ear and walk out and turn to Sherlock. Sherlock looks at me over his shoulder in shock.

“Evening.” I say softly. Sherlock’s raised hand begins to lower slowly but otherwise he doesn’t move, still staring over his shoulder in utter disbelief. “This is a turn-up, isn’t it, Sherlock?”

“Calliah. What the hell…” Sherlock says softly and shocked.

Finally Sherlock manages to move, and starts to walk slowly towards the woman he had believed to be his friend until now. The shock and bewilderment on his face make him look about twelve years old. Then, with a look of despair that matches Sherlock’s, I takes my hands from my pockets and pulls open my jacket to reveal the bomb strapped to my chest. A sniper’s laser immediately begins to dance around over the bomb. “What…. Would you like me … to make her say … next?” I ask. Sherlock continues to step towards me but now he is looking everywhere but at me as he tries to see who else is in the area. “Gottle o’ geer ... gottle o’ geer ... gottle o’ geer.” I say, my voice breaking at the last phrase.

“Stop it.” Sherlock says.

“Nice touch, this: the pool where little Carl died. I stopped him.” I cringe at the next words. “I can stop Calliah Mullen too.” I tear up and look down at the laser point on my chest. “Stop her heart. John Watson’s too.” John steps out the way I did too with a bomb on his chest. I sob when I see him.

Sherlock turns on the spot as he tries to look in all directions. “Who are you?” He asks.

A door opens at the far end of the pool and a soft male voice with an Irish accent speaks from that direction. “I gave you my number. I thought you might call.” The man says plaintively. Sherlock turns towards the new arrival, who now slowly walks out into the open. I turn and look and see him casually being to stroll alongside the deep end of the pool, heading towards us. “Is that British Army Browning L9A1 in your pocket ...” Sherlock reaches down to his trouser pocket and removes a pistol from it. ... or are you just pleased to see me?” Jim asks, with all hint of plaintiveness gone from his voice.

Sherlock raises the pistol and aiming it towards Jim “Both.”

Jim stops and looks back at him, unafraid. “Jim Moriarty. Hi!” Sherlock tilts his head as he looks more closely at the man. Jim acts as if he needs to remind Sherlock who he is. “Jim? Jim from the hospital?” He begins to walk alongside the deep end again. Sherlock brings up his other hand to support the one aiming the gun. Jim bites his lip as if disappointed. “Oh. Did I really make such a fleeting impression? But then, I suppose, that was rather the point.” He turns to face Sherlock just as the sniper’s laser flickers over my upper chest. Sherlock briefly turns his head towards me, a questioning look on his face. Jim starts walking again. “Don’t be silly. Someone else is holding the rifle. I don’t like getting my hands dirty.” He reaches the corner of the pool and stops. “I’ve given you a glimpse, Sherlock, just a teensy glimpse of what I’ve got going on out there in the big bad world. I’m a specialist, you see ...” He looks surprised, as if he has only just realized the connection. “... like you!”

“’Dead Jim. Please will you fix it for me to get rid of my lover’s nasty sister?’” Sherlock says. Starting to walk forward again, Jim grins. “’Dear Jim. Please will you fix it for me to disappear to South America?’”

Jim stops. “Just so.”

“Consulting criminal.” Sherlock says softly. “Brilliant.”

Jim smiles proudly. “Isn’t it? No-one ever gets to me – and no-one ever will.”

Sherlock cocks the pistol. “I did.”

“You’ve come the closest. Now you’re in my way.” Jim says.

“Thank you.” Sherlock says.

“Didn’t mean it as a compliment.” Jim says.

“Yes you did.” Sherlock says.

Jim shrugs. “Yeah, okay, I did. But the flirting’s over, Sherlock.” He says. “Daddy’s had enough now!” Jim’s voice becomes high-pitched and sing-song. He starts to stroll closer. “I’ve shown you what I can do. I cut loose all those people, all those little problems, even thirty million quid just to get you to come out and play.” He says in his normal voice. Sherlock’s eyes flickers across to John and me a couple of times as he tries to keep his focus on the man approaching them. “So take this as a friendly warning, my dear. Back off.” He smiles. “Although I have loved this – this little game of ours.” He says. “Playing Jim from I.T.” He says in the London accent. “Playing gay. Did you like the little touch with the underwear?” He says in his Irish accent.

“People have died.” Sherlock says.

“That’s what people DO!” He yells the last word furiously.

“I will stop you.” Sherlock says softly.

“No you won’t.” Jim says calm.

Sherlock looks at John and me. “You two alright?” I keep my gaze away from him since Jim said I couldn’t talk to him.

Jim walks forward again and reaches his side. “You can talk, Callie. Go ahead.”

I meet Sherlock’s eyes and nod once. Sherlock takes one hand off the pistol and holds out the memory stick towards Jim. I knew he lied. “Take it.”

“Huh? Oh! That!” Jim says. He strolls past John and me and reaches out for the stick, grinning. “The missile plans!” He takes the stick from Sherlock’s fingers and brings it to his mouth, kissing it. Jim lowers the memory stick and looks at it. “Boring!” Jim says sing-song and shakes his head. “I could have got them anywhere.” He nonchalantly tosses the stick into the pool. I see my opportunity and race forward and slam myself up against Jim’s back, wrapping one arm around his neck and the other around his chest. Sherlock backs up a step in surprise but keeps the pistol raised and aimed at Jim.

“Sherlock, run! Take John.”

Jim laughs in delight. “Good! Very good.” Sherlock doesn’t move, still aiming his gun at Jim’s head but now starting to look a little anxiously.

“If your sniper pulls that trigger, Jim, then we both go up.” I say savagely.

“Isn’t she sweet? I can see why you like having him around. But then people do get so sentimental about their pets, or even their brother’s pets.” I pull him even closer onto the bomb so it is sandwiched between us. Jim scowls at me. “They’re so touchingly cute. But, oops!” He grins at me and then looks at Sherlock. “You’ve rather shown your hand there, Miss Mullen.” He chuckles as a new laser point appears in the middle of Sherlock’s forehead. I stare in horror as Jim looks round at him expectantly. Sherlock shakes his head. “Gotcha!” Jim says sing-song. I release my grip on him and step back. I hold my hands up to signal that I won’t do anything else. Jim glances round at me, then back towards Sherlock. “Westwood!” He says and stands in front of Sherlock, who is still aiming the pistol at Jim’s head. “D’you know what happens if you don’t leave me alone, Sherlock, do you?”

“Oh, let me guess: I get killed.” Sherlock says, sounding bored.

“Kill you?” Jim asks and grimaces. “N-No, don’t be obvious. I’m going to kill you anyways someday. I don’t wanna rush it, though. I’m saving it up for something special. No-no-no-no-no. If you don’t stop prying, I’ll burn you.” He says. His voice becomes vicious as he says, “I’ll burn the heart out of you.”

“I have been reliably informed that I don’t have one.” Sherlock says softly.

“But we both know that’s not quite true.” Sherlock blinks involuntarily. Jim looks down and then shrugs. “Well, I’d better be off.” He nonchalantly looks around before turning back to Sherlock. “Well, so nice to have had a proper chat.”

Sherlock raises the pistol higher and extends it closer to Jim’s head. “What if I was to shoot you now – right now?”

“Then you could cherish the look of surprise on my face. Cause I’d be surprised, Sherlock; really I would. And just a teensy bit disappointed. And of course you wouldn’t be able to cherish it for very long.” I hear him walking. “Ciao, Sherlock Holmes.”

Sherlock steps forward. “Catch…you…later.”

The door opens and Jim’s voice can be heard, high-pitched and sing-song. “No you won’t!” The door closes. Sherlock doesn’t move for a few seconds, his gun still aimed towards the door, then his gaze drifts across to John and me and he instantly bends, putting the pistol on the floor, then drops to his knees in front of John as he starts unfastening the vest to which the bomb is attached. I start trying to do mine. 

“All right?” He asks John and me. John tilts his head back, breathing heavily. “Are you two all right?”

“Yeah-yeah, I’m fine.” Having unfastened the vest, Sherlock jumps up and hurries round behind John, starting to pull the jacket and the bomb vest off in one go. “I’m fine.” Sherlock, also breathing too fast, continues trying to tug the jacket and vest off. “Sherlock.” Finally Sherlock manages to roughly strip the jacket and vest off John’s arms. “Sh-Sherlock!” Sherlock bends and skims the items as far away along the floor as he can, while John staggers at the vehemence with which his friend just ripped them off him. Sherlock comes to me and helps me. “Jesus.” John says softly. He gets it off of me and throws it with the other one. I reach up and pull the earpiece from my ear. I breathe heavily as delayed shock began to hit me. I sit down and bring my knees to my chest. Sherlock hurries back to pick up the pistol before racing towards the door that Moriarty left though. John’s knees buckle and he staggers to one of the changing cubicles. “Oh, Christ.”  He turns and drops down into a squat, bracing his back against the cubicle’s edge as he blows out a long breath and tries to calm himself down. Sherlock comes back in. He starts to pace up and down near John and me, so hyper and distracted that he doesn’t even realize that he is scratching his head with the business end of a loaded and cocked pistol. “Are you okay?” John asks breathlessly.

“Me? Yeah, I’m fine, I’m fine. Fine.” Sherlock says, quick fire. He looks at me, wide-eyed and breathless. “That, er… thing that you, er, that you did; um…” He clears his throat. “… you offered to do. That was, um… good.” I nod and look around.

“I’m glad no-one saw that.” John says, staring blankly ahead.

Sherlock had temporarily lowered his hand long enough to not be risking accidentally shooting himself in the head – although he had terrible jitters as he held the gun down by his side. Now he lifts the gun again as he raises his hand to rub his chin while looking down at John in confusion. “Hmm?”

“You, ripping mine and Calliah’s clothes off in a darkened swimming pool. People might talk.” John explains, still not meeting anyone’s eyes.

Sherlock shrugs. “People do little else.” He looks down at John and me, then grins.

John snorts laughter, then leans forward and prepares to stand up. Before he can move, the beam from a sniper’s laser begins to dance over his chest. I look down and see the same thing. I let out a sob. A door near the deep end of the pool opens and Jim comes through clapping his hands together and turns to face us. “Sorry, boys and girl! I’m soooo changeable!” Jim says cheerfully. John grimaces in disbelief. Sherlock keeps his back to Jim, looking up into the gallery. Jim laughs and spread his arms wide. “It is a weakness with me but, to be fair to myself, it is my only weakness.” He lowers his hands and puts them into his pockets. Sherlock looks at John and then me. “You can’t be allowed to continue. You just can’t. I would try to convince you but…” He laughs and his voice becomes sing-song again. “…everything I have to say has already crossed your mind!” Sherlock turns to John. John responds instantly with a tiny nod.

Sherlock turns and face Jim. “Probably my answer has crossed yours.” He raises the pistol and aims it at him. Jim smiles confidently, with no fear in his expression. Slowly Sherlock lowers the pistol downwards until it’s pointing directly at the bomb jacket. Jim tilts his head, looking a little anxious for the first time. As Sherlock holds his hand steady, continuing to aim towards the jacket, Jim lifts his head and locks eyes with Sherlock. Jim begins to smile and Sherlock’s eyes narrow slightly. The song ‘Stayin’ Alive’ begins to place tinnily. Sherlock, John and I look around confused. Jim briefly closes his eyes and sighs in exasperation. “D’you mind if I get that?”

“No, no, please. You’ve got the rest of your life.” Sherlock says nonchalantly.

Jim takes his phone from his pocket and answers it. “Hello?...Yes, of course it is. What do you want?” He mouths ‘sorry’ at Sherlock, who sarcastically mouths ‘Oh, it’s fine’ back at him. Jim rolls his eyes as he listens to the phone, turning away from us for a moment, then he spins back around, his face full of fury. “SAY THAT AGAIN!” He yells loudly into the phone. Sherlock and I frown. “Say that again, and know that if you’re lying to me, I will find you and I will ssssskin you.” He says venomously into the phone. Sherlock looks at John for a moment. “Wait.” Jim says into the phone. He lowers the phone and begins to walk forward. Sherlock looks at the bomb jackets and fretfully adjusts the grip on his pistol as Jim approaches. Jim stops at the jackets and gazes down at the ground thoughtfully before lifting his eyes to Sherlock. “Sorry. Wrong day to die.” Jim tells us.

“Oh. Did you get a better offer?” Sherlock asks casually.

Jim looks down at the phone, then turns and slowly starts to walk away. “You’ll be hearing from me, Sherlock.” He trolls back around the pool towards the door through which he originally came, lifting the phone to his ear again. “So if you have what you say you have, I will make you rich. If you don’t, I’ll make you into shoes.” Jim says into the phone. Reaching the door, he raises his free hand and clicks his fingers. Instantly all the lasers focused on Sherlock and John disappear. As Jim walks through the door and vanishes from sight, Sherlock looks around the pool but can see no sign of the retreating snipers. John sighs out a relieved breath.

“What happened there?” John asks.

“Someone changed his mind. The question is: who?” Sherlock says.

Later on that night, Sherlock, John, and I were at the flat. I was sitting on the couch, changed into sweat pants and a sweat shirt, with my hair up. I was playing with my phone. I was thinking about calling Mycroft to come pick me up, but didn’t know if I should. I didn’t want to keep running to him when I was hurt.

“Just call him.” I hear Sherlock say. I look up and see Sherlock looking at me. I look around for John and see that he isn’t there. “He went to bed an hour ago. You were doing the same thing you are doing now.” Sherlock explains. I nod and look at my phone. I should call him. I sigh and place my head in my hands. “Thank you again for doing that thing.” I hear. I nod.

“I didn’t want us all to die there. If I could save you two then I would.” I say and grab my phone.

Please come. CM

I sigh and lay down on my side. I hear feet coming up the stairs and sit up. The door opens and I see Mycroft. I let out a sob and run over to him. He holds me and rubs my back. “Shh. It’s okay.” He says softly. I nod and close my eyes. “Let’s go to your room.” He says softly. I nod and leave his arms and look at Sherlock. He was looking at Mycroft with rage.

“Night Sherlock.” I say and leave the room. I get to my room and sit on my bed. After a minute Mycroft comes in and shuts my door. “I was so scared Croft.” I tell him. He changes into his pajamas and comes over to the bed. He sits down and pulls me to his lap. “I thought I was going to die.”

“I’m sorry I wasn’t able to help. My men lost track of you and we couldn’t track you down. I failed you.” He says softly.

I look up and frown. “You shouldn’t have to watch me 24/7.” I tell him.

“Dating me and living with my brother makes your life a risk. You shouldn’t have to deal with us.” He tells me.

“I want to. You saved me and keep saving me each day. Sherlock is so amazing. He learned it all from you. You two have made my life amazing.” I tell him. He looks down and kisses me. I kiss him back and he deepens it. After a couple seconds, he pulls back. I giggle and snuggle into him. “Let’s go to bed Croft.” He nods and lays us down. “Thank you for saving me.”

“No, thank you for saving me and my brother.” He says as I fall asleep. 

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