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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26. Chapter 25

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

Here is the first part of the fall.

I own nothing, except Calliah

Sherlock’s business was becoming more popular and we had cases all the time. The one that make Sherlock famous was the Reichenbach case.

Falls of the Reichenbach, Turner’s masterpiece, thankfully recovered owing to the prodigious talent of Mr. Sherlock Holmes.” The patrons applaud. We were all standing nearby. The Director gives a small gift-wrapped box to Sherlock. “A small token of our gratitude.”

Sherlock takes the box and looks at it. “Diamond cufflinks. All my cuffs have buttons” I chuckle and take the box from Sherlock.

“He means thank you.” John says to the Director.

“Do I?” Sherlock asks.

“Just say it. I wanna get out of here.” I say softly.

“Thank you.” Sherlock says insincerely to the Director. He grabs my hand and we start walking away.

John holds us back. “Hey.” Sherlock and I unwillingly stop and the press start taking photos.

Our next case was a kidnapping case. We were outside the banker’s house, the rescued man is standing with his arms around his wife and young son and the press film and photograph them while we were standing uncomfortably nearby. I hated the press. They thought I was dating Sherlock and John. I rolled my eyes when I read that one.

“Back together with my family after my terrifying ordeal; and we have one person to thank for my deliverance – Sherlock Holmes.” The man says. As the public applauds, the little boy smiles and offers a small gift-wrapped box to Sherlock.

Sherlock takes it and rattles it. “Tie pin. I don’t wear ties.” He says to us.

“Shh.” John says.

Greg held a press conference for our latest case. We were at Scotland Yard and we were standing in the front with Greg. “Peter Ricoletti: number one on Interpol’s Most Wanted list since 1982. But we got him; and there’s one person we have to thank for giving us the decisive leads ... with all his customary diplomacy and tact.”

Sherlock smiles insincerely towards Greg and John leans closer to Sherlock and speaks quietly. “Sarcasm.”

“Yes.” Sherlock says.

As the press applauds, Greg walks over to Sherlock and gives in a gift-wrapped package, smiling cheerfully. “We all chipped in.” Sherlock tears open the wrapping paper and he pulls out of a deerstalker hat.

“Oh.” Sherlock says and tries to smile.

“Put the hat on!” Some reporters call out.

“Yeah, Sherlock, put it on.” Greg says.

Sherlock looks at the reports and John clears his throat uncomfortably. “Just get it over with.” John says softly. Glowering at him, Sherlock shoves the wrapping paper into his hands, and then unhappily puts the hat on his head. Flashbulbs go mad and everyone applauds. At the back of the room, Sally claps with sarcastic delight while Anderson grins smugly. I glare at them. Sherlock smiles at the press through gritted teeth and glances at Greg as if promising him a world of pain later.

A few days later, we are at the flat. John is sitting on the sofa reading the papers while I was sitting in John’s chair. Sherlock comes stomping in and throws the Daily Star onto the pile of newspapers on the coffee table. “’Boffin’. ‘Boffin Sherlock Holmes’.” Sherlock says indignantly.

“Everyone gets one.” John says.

“One what?” Sherlock asks.

“Tabloid nickname: ‘SuBo’; ‘Nasty Nick’. Shouldn’t worry – Calliah and I’ll be getting one soon.” John explains.

“Page five, column six, first sentence.” Sherlock tells John. He looks at me. “You are always Beautiful Calliah Mullen-Adler.” He tells me. I grin and bring my knees to my chest. Sherlock goes over to the fireplace, picks up the deerstalker, holds it up and punches it angrily. I chuckle at him. “Why is it always the hat photograph?”

“’Bachelor John Watson’?” John says as he looks at the newspaper.

“What sort of hat is it anyways?” Sherlock asks.

“’Bachelor’? What the hell are they implying?” John asks.

Sherlock holds up the hat and twists it back and forth rapidly. “Is it a cap? Why has it got two fronts?”

John glances up briefly. “It’s a deerstalker.” He looks down and reads a part of the article. “Frequently seen in the company of bachelor John Watson…”

“And Beautiful Calliah Muller-Adler.” I add and grin.

“You stalk a deer with a hat? What are you going to do – throw it?” Sherlock asks.

John looks at another part of the article. “…confirmed bachelor John Watson!”

“Some sort of death Frisbee?” Sherlock asks.

“Okay, this is too much. We need to be more careful.” John says.

“It’s got flaps…ear flaps. It’s an ear hat, John.” Sherlock says and accurately skims the hat across the room to John. John catches it and I clap. “What do you mean ‘more careful’?” Sherlock asks.

“I mean this isn’t a deerstalker now; it’s a Sherlock Holmes hat. I mean that you’re not exactly a private detective any more.” He holds his thumb and forefinger an inch apart. “You’re this far from famous.”

“Oh, it’ll pass.” Sherlock says. He slumps down into his armchair and folds his hands in the prayer position in front of his mouth.

“I’d better pass. The press will turn, Sherlock. They always turn, and they’ll turn on you.” John says.

Sherlock lowers his hands and looks more closely at John. “It really bothers you.”

“What?” John asks.

“What people say.” Sherlock says.

“Yes.” John says.

“About me? I don’t understand – why would it upset you?” Sherlock asks.

John holds his gaze for a moment, then looks away. “Just try to keep a low profile. Find yourself a little case this week. Stay out of the news.” John catches my eyes and I smile softly.

Sherlock and I were sitting in the kitchen. He was looking into a microscope and I was reading. John comes into the kitchen as Sherlock’s phone goes off with a text alert. I look up and see that John is just in his bathrobe. “Well hello John.” He rolls his eyes and laughs. He knew I loved him like a brother and knew I was picking fun. He throws the towel he was drying his neck off at me. It lands on my head and I grab it and throw it back.

“It’s your phone.” John says to Sherlock.

“Mm. Keeps doing that.” Sherlock says disinterestedly.

John walks into the living room, passing the mannequin Sherlock hung in the living room, and sits in his chair and picks up a newspaper. “So, did you just talk to him for a really long time?”

Sherlock looks up and glances at the mannequin. “Oh. Henry Fishgard never committed suicide.” He picks up an old hardback book from the table and slams it shut in a flurry of dust before going back to his microscope. I chuckle at him and shut my book. “Bow Street Runners: missed everything.”

“Pressing case, is it?” John asks.

“They’re all pressing ‘til they’re solved.” Sherlock says.

Sherlock’s phone sounds a text alert again. John lowers his newspaper. “I’ll get it, shall I?” John asks tetchily.

“No I will John. Go back to reading.” I say and smile. John smiles back and I get up and get it. I look at the text and the blood drains from my face.

Come and Play. Tower Hill. Jim Moriarty X

I turn and take it to the kitchen. “Sherlock…” I say softly.

“Not now Calliah, I’m busy. Go call up Mycroft and annoy him.” Sherlock says, not looking up.

“Sherlock, he’s back…” I say softly. Sherlock lifts his head and takes the phone. Sherlock’s eyes widen and he sinks back on his chair.

I get out my phone and text Mycroft.

It has started. CM

We go to the Tower and are watching the recorded security footage taken from behind Jim as he sticks the gum onto the glass. He pushes something into the gun.

“That glass is tougher than anything.” Greg tells us.

“Not tougher than crystallized carbon. He used a diamond.” Sherlock tells us.

Greg adjusts the footage, which shifts to a recording taken from the other side of the glass. The footage is also reverse, showing the glass rising back up into place before it shattered. As Jim pulls the fire extinguisher back again and the glass becomes whole, the message which he scrawled onto it becomes clear. He deliberately wrote the words backwards on the glass so that they would be seen from the camera on the other side of the case. With the smiley face inside the “O”, the message reads:

GET SHERLOCK

John and I turn and stare at Sherlock but his eyes are fixed on the screen.

I go out in a black dress that went to my knees. On the top was lace and it had a belt. I had on Mycroft’s promise ring on, as well as, a ring with black diamonds in a shape of a heart and a black bangle. I had on black heels. I was putting on my black drop earrings as I walked into the living room. John is standing in front of the mirror in the living room. He is wearing a suit and finishes tying his tie before putting his jacket on. Near the sofa, Sherlock is buttoning up his own jacket while watching John’s reflection. Sherlock leads the way downstairs and goes to the front door, then stops and turns to the side to allow John and me to pass him and John reaches out towards the door.

“Ready?” John asks us.

“Yes.” Sherlock says.

“I hope.” I say and smile softly.

Bracing himself, John opens the door. Police officers are trying to hold back the large crowd of journalists who immediately start photographing us and calling out questions as the police clear the way and allow us through to the waiting police car. They get into the back and the car pulls away and races off with its sirens wailing.

We were going around Trafalgar Square, when John looks at Sherlock. “Remember…” He says.

“Yes.” Sherlock says instantly.

“Remember…” I say insistently.

“Yes.” Sherlock says even more quickly.

John looks at him in frustration. “Remember what they told you: don’t try to be clever…” John says quickly.

“No.” Sherlock says over him.

“….and please, just keep it simple and brief.” John finishes.

“God forbid the star witness at the trial should come across as intelligent.” Sherlock says and I chuckle.

“’Intelligent’, fine; let’s give ‘smart-arse’ a wide berth.” John says.

Sherlock pauses and then says “I’ll just be myself.” I start laughing and John elbows me.

“Are you listening to me?” John asks irritated.

We get to Old Bailey and get inside. Sherlock goes to the restroom and John and I sit down and wait. “How is Mycroft?” He ask me.

“Amazing. We are doing great. I’m so happy he opened up to me in this way. I have known him for a long time.” I say and play with my promise ring.

“He has helped you a lot. You haven’t… um… done you know what in a while.” John says.

“You and Sherlock helped with that too. I feel like I can share more. I’m completely happy. I have my boys and I love you all.” I say and grin.

He chuckles. “Well, I know Sherlock and I are happy that you are happy. Do you think you will marry Mycroft?”

I blush. “I hope. I can’t see myself with anyone else.” I say and grin.

“He will do it soon.” He says as Sherlock leaves the restroom. We get up and head to the court room.

John and I are sitting in the public gallery upstairs. Sherlock is in witness box and I was hoping that he wouldn’t say anything to bad.

“A ‘consulting criminal’.” The prosecuting barrister says.

“Yes.” Sherlock says.

“Your words. Can you expand on that answer?” the barrister asks.

“James Moriarty is for hire.” Sherlock explains.

“A tradesman?” Barrister asks.

“Yes.” Sherlock says.

“But not the sort who’d fix your heating?” Barrister asks.

“No, the sort who’d plant a bomb or stage an assassination, but I’m sure he’d make a pretty decent job of your boiler.” Sherlock says.

There’s muffled laughter from some people in the court. Okay so far so good.

“Would you describe him as…” Barrister starts to say.

“Leading.” Sherlock interrupts.

Spoke too soon.

“What?” Barrister asks.

“Can’t do that. You’re leading the witness.” Sherlock explains. He looks towards the defending barrister. “He’ll object and the judge will uphold.”

The judge looks exasperated. “Mr. Holmes.”

“Ask me how. How would I describe him? What opinion have I formed of him? Do they not teach you this?” Sherlock asks.

“Mr. Holmes, we’re fine without your help.” The judge says.

“How would you describe this man – his character?” Prosecuting barrister asks.

“First mistake.” Sherlock says. He raises his eyes and lock his gaze onto Jim. “James Moriarty isn’t a man at all – he’s a spider; a spider at the center of a web – a criminal web with a thousand threads and he knows precisely how each and every single one of them dances.” Jim almost imperceptibly nods his head in approval of the description. The prosecuting barrister clears her throat awkwardly.

“And how long…” the prosecuting barrister starts to ask.

Sherlock closes his eyes in exasperation. “No, no, don’t – don’t do that. That’s really not a good question.”

“Mr. Holmes.” The judge says angrily.

“How long have I known him? Not really your best line of enquiry. We met twice, five minutes in total. I pulled a gun; he tried to blow me up.” Sherlock says. “I felt we had a special something.” He finishes sarcastically.

“Miss Sorrel, are you seriously claiming this man is an expert, after knowing the accused for just five minutes?” The judge asks.

“Two minutes would have made me an expert. Five was ample.” Sherlock says.

“Mr. Holmes, that’s a matter for the jury.” The judge says.

“Oh, really?” Sherlock asks. His eyes turn towards the jury box. John raises his hand to his head in an all-too-recognizable “oh, shit, NO!” gesture. I giggle softly, Sherlock turns the full force of his gaze onto the twelve people sitting in the jury box. “One librarian; two teachers; two high-pressured jobs, probably the City.” He focuses on someone. “The foreman’s a medical secretary, trained abroad judging by her shorthand.”

“Mr. Holmes!” The judge says.

“Seven are married and two are having an affair – with each other, it would seem! Oh, and they’ve just had tea and biscuits.” Sherlock says and turns to the judge. “Would you like to know who ate the wafer?”

“Mr. Holmes. You’ve been called here to answer Miss Sorrel’s questions, not to give us a display of your intellectual prowess.” The judge says.

Sherlock takes a breath but can’t help looking up towards John and me and smiling a little at the acknowledgement of his ‘intellectual prowess’. John stares at him sternly, while I smile at him.

“Keep your answers brief and to the point. Anything else will be treated as contempt. Do you think you could survive for just a few minutes without showing off?” The judge asks. Sherlock pauses while he gives the question some thought, then opens his mouth and draws in a breath

Sherlock was thrown into a cell. He was thrown into a cell. That was amazing. I never thought he would get thrown into a cell. I giggle to myself when I think about it. “Come on Calliah. Let’s go get our convict.” John says and helps me up. I giggle as we go down to the cells.

While he signs for his personal property, John is standing beside him leaning back against the desk with his arms folded. I was standing by Sherlock.

“What did I say? I said, ‘Don’t get clever’.” John says.

“I can’t just turn it on and off like a tap.” Sherlock says.

“I thought it was funny. Made my day.” I say and giggle.

Sherlock takes the bag of items from the custody officer, he turns to John as we begin to walk away. “Well?”

“Well, what?” John asks.

“You were there for the whole thing, up in the gallery, start to finish.” Sherlock says.

“Like you said it would be.” John says.

“He sat on his backside, never even stirred.” I say, referring to Jim’s defending barrister.

“Moriarty’s not mounting any defense.” Sherlock says.

We walk into the living room of our flat. “Bank of England, Tower of London, Pentonville. Three of the most secure places in the country and six weeks ago Moriarty breaks in, no-one knows how or why.” John says and sits down in his armchair while Sherlock begins to pace. I sit in Sherlock’s chair. “All we know is ...”

“…he ended up in custody.” Sherlock finishes. He stops and turns to John. John takes a breath.

“Don’t do that.” John says.

“Do what?” Sherlock asks.

“The look.” John says.

“Look?” Sherlock asks.

“You’re doing the look again.” John explains.

“Well, I can’t see it, can I?” Sherlock asks. John points to the mirror on the wall as if Sherlock’s an idiot for not realizing it’s there. Sherlock turns his head and looks at his reflection. “It’s my face.”

“Yes, and it’s doing a thing. You’re doing a “we both know what’s really going on here” face.” John explains.

“Well, we do.” Sherlock says.

“No. Calliah and I don’t, which is why we fine The Face so annoying.” John says.

“If Moriarty wanted the Jewels, he’d have them. If he wanted those prisoners free, they’d be out on the streets. The only reason he’s still in a prison cell right now is because he chose to be there.” Sherlock says and starts to pace again. “Somehow this is part of his scheme.”

The next day, John went back to the case. Sherlock had to stay away, because he was banned, which I laughed a lot about. I stayed because I had to. I had to watch Sherlock. Mycroft asked me to. Sherlock was sitting sideways on the sofa with his back against the arm nearest the window. He was reciting what I think the judge would be saying. “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury. James Moriarty stands accused of several counts of attempted burglary, crimes which – if he’s found guilty – will elicit a very long custodial sentence; and yet his legal team has chosen to offer no evidence whatsoever to support their plea. I find myself in the unusual position of recommending a verdict wholeheartedly. You must find him guilty.” Sherlock closes his eyes. “Guilty.” He says in a whispers.

A little while later, John calls. Sherlock listens to what John has to say and then hangs up. “Not Guilty, Calliah.” He gets up and comes to me. “Calliah, go to your room.”

“Nope.” I say and smile. “I have orders to stay with you.”

“Screw what he tells you to do. Jim is coming over and you can’t be in here.” Sherlock says.

“Sherlock. I have to be in here. I’ll sit on the couch and say nothing, but I have to be here.” I tell him.

He sighs and nods. “Fine.” He switches on the kettle and slams down a small tray beside it, putting a jug of milk, a sugar bowl, a teapot and two cups and saucers with teaspoons onto the tray. The kettle comes to the boil and switches off and Sherlock, now wearing a jacket in place of the dressing gown, makes the tea and takes the tray to the table beside John’s chair, then walks over to his own chair and picks up his violin and bow. I move to the sofa and sit with my legs underneath me. As he begins to play Bach’s Sonata No. 1 in G minor, downstairs the front door is expertly lock picked and pushed open. Partway up, one of the stairs creaks noisily and Jim pauses for a moment, as does Sherlock’s playing. A couple of seconds later Sherlock resumes from a few notes before where he stopped and Jim starts to climb the stairs again. Sherlock, standing with his back to the living room door, keeps playing until Jim pushes open the door, then he stops but doesn’t yet turn around. Jim smirks at me and I wave and smile.

“Most people knock.” Sherlock says. He shrugs. “But then you’re not most people, I suppose.” He gestures over his shoulder with his bow towards the table. “Kettle’s just boiled.”

Jim walks further into the room and bends to pick up an apple from the bowl on the coffee table. “Johann Sebastian would be appalled.” He says and tosses the apple and catches it. He looks around the living room as if searching for a seat. “May I?”

Sherlock turns to face Jim. “Please.” He gestures with the end of his bow towards John’s chair.

Jim immediately walks over to Sherlock’s chair and sits in that one instead. Sherlock looks slightly unnerved. Jim takes out a small penknife and starts to cut into the apple while Sherlock puts down the violin and begins to pour tea into the cups. “You know when he was on his death bed, Bach, he heard his son at the piano playing one of his pieces. The boy stopped before he got to the end ...” Jim starts.

“... and the dying man jumped out of his bed, ran straight to the piano and finished it.” Sherlock finishes.

“Couldn’t cope with an unfinished melody.” Jim says.

“Neither can you. That’s why you’ve come…” Sherlock says.

“But be honest: you’re just a tiny bit pleased.” Jim says.

“What, with the verdict?” Sherlock asks. He picks up one of the teacups, adds a splash of milk and turns and offers the cup to Jim, who sits up straighter and takes it.

“With me…” Jim says. “…back on the streets.” He says softly. He gazes up into Sherlock’s eyes, smiling. “Every fairytale needs a good old-fashioned villain.” He grins. Sherlock turns away and adds milk to his own cup. “You need me, or you’re nothing. Because we’re just alike, you and I – except you’re boring.” He shakes his head in disappointment. “You’re on the side of the angels.” He sips his tea as Sherlock picks up his own cup and stirs his drink.

“Got to the jury, of course.” Sherlock says.

“I got into the Tower of London; you think I can’t worm my way into twelve hotel rooms?” Jim asks.

“Cable network.” Sherlock says.

“Every hotel bedroom has a personalized TV screen…” Jim says. “... and every person has their pressure point; someone that they want to protect from harm.” He stares at the TV screen in horror. “Easy-peasy.”

By now Sherlock has unbuttoned his jacket and sat down in John’s chair. In a perhaps unconscious mimicking of the man seated opposite him, he too has his cup lifted close to his mouth. “So how’re you going to do it…” He pointedly blows gently on his tea. “…burn me?”

“Oh, that’s the problem – the final problem. Have you worked out what it is yet?” Jim asks. Sherlock has taken a sip of his tea and looks across his cup to the other man. “What’s the final problem?” He smiles across his own cup. “I did tell you ...” sing-song but still softly. “... but did you listen?” He takes another sip of tea and then puts the cup down into the saucer. Putting his hand onto his knee, he starts idly drumming his fingers. I watch the movement. “How hard do you find it, having to say “I don’t know”?”

Sherlock puts his cup into its saucer and shrugs. “I dunno.” I chuckle softly.

“Oh, that’s clever; that’s very clever; awfully clever.” Jim says. He chuckles in an upper class tone. Sherlock smiles humorlessly while putting his cup back onto the tray. “Speaking of clever, have you told your little friends yet?” Jim looks at me.

“Told them what?” Sherlock asks and looks at me. I shrug.

“Why I broke into all those places and never took anything.” Jim explains and looks back at Sherlock.

“No.” Sherlock says.

“But you understand.” Jim says.

“Obviously.” Sherlock says.

“Off you go, then.” Jim says. He has carved a piece off his apple and puts it into his mouth with the flat of his penknife.

“You want me to tell you what you already know?” Sherlock asks.

“No; I want you to prove that you know it. And so Calliah can find out.” Jim says.

“You didn’t take anything because you don’t need to.” Sherlock explains.

“Good.” Jim says softly.

“You’ll never need to take anything ever again.” Sherlock continues.

“Very good. Because…?” Jim asks.

“Because nothing ... nothing in the Bank of England, the Tower of London or Pentonville Prison could possibly match the value of the key that could get you into all three.” Sherlock finishes.

“I can open any door anywhere with a few tiny lines of computer code. No such thing as a private bank account now – they’re all mine. No such thing as secrecy – I own secrecy. Nuclear codes – I could blow up NATO in alphabetical order. In a world of locked rooms, the man with the key is king; and honey, you should see me in a crown.” Jim says and smiles in delight at Sherlock.

“You were advertising all the way through the trial. You were showing the world what you can do.” Sherlock says.

“And you were helping. Big client list: rogue governments, intelligence communities ... terrorist cells. They all want me.” Jim says and lifts another piece of apple to his mouth with the penknife. “Suddenly, I’m Mr. Sex.”

“If you could break any bank, what do you care about the highest bidder?” Sherlock asks.

“I don’t. I just like to watch them all competing. “Daddy loves me the best!” Aren’t ordinary people adorable? Well, you know: you’ve got John and Calliah. I should get myself a live-in one. Maybe take one?” Jim says.

“Why are you doing all of this?” Sherlock asks.

“It’d be so funny.” Jim says, talking about have a live-in ordinary person.

“You don’t want money or power – not really.” Sherlock says. Jim digs the point of his penknife into the apple. “What is it all for?”

Jim sits forward and speaks softly. “I want to solve the problem – our problem; the final problem.” He lowers his head. “It’s gonna start very soon, Sherlock: the fall.” he raises his head and whistles a slowly descending note as he gradually looks down towards the floor. “But don’t be scared. Falling’s just like flying, except there’s a more permanent destination.” His gaze reaches the floor and he makes the sound of something thudding to the ground. Raising his head slowly, he glowers across at Sherlock, who bares his teeth slightly and then stands and buttons his jacket.

“Never liked riddles.” Sherlock says.

Jim stands as well and straightens his jacket, locking his gaze onto Sherlock’s eyes. “Learn to. Because I owe you a fall, Sherlock. I … owe… you.” He continues to gaze at Sherlock for about six seconds, sealing his promise, then slowly turns and walks away. Sherlock doesn’t move as Jim leaves the room, but after a while he moves towards the apple which Jim left on the arm of his chair with the penknife still stuck in it. He picks it up by the knife handle and looks at it. I walk over and see that Jim has dug a large circular piece out of the apple, and on the left of the circle he has carved an “I” shape while on the right of the circle is a “U” shape, forming the letters “I O U”. Sherlock’s mouth twitches into the beginning of a smile.

If you want to see Calliah’s outfit, go here: http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/set?id=145754333

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