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?


21. Chapter 21

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

Here is the next part of A Scandal in Belgravia.

I own nothing, except Calliah

Sherlock gets out a plane ticket. “There’s going to be a bomb on a passenger jet. The British and American governments know about it but rather than expose the source of that information they’re going to let it happen. The plane will blow up. Coventry all over again. The wheel turns. Nothing is ever new.” Sherlock deduces.

Neither Plummer nor the driver respond to him in any way. I look over and shrug. Sometime later the car arrives at Heathrow Airport and is driven past hangars to a 747 Jumbo Jet parked on the tarmac. The car stops near the plane and Sherlock and I get out and walk over to the steps which lead up to the entry door. Neilson is standing at the bottom of the steps. So I guess Mycroft didn’t kill him. “Well, you’re lookin’ all better. How ya feelin’?” Sherlock asks nonchalantly, in a deliberately fake American accent.

“Like putting a bullet in your brain…sir.” Neilson says. Sherlock lets out a quite snigger and starts to walk up the steps. I follow. “They’d pin a medal on me if I did…” Sherlock and I stop. “…sir.” He says insincerely. Sherlock half-turns back towards him, then apparently decides he can’t be bothered and we continues up the steps. Inside, he pulls back the curtain obscuring the passenger seating and we walk into the aisle. The lighting is very low and it’s hard to see. There are people sitting in almost all the seats but none of them is moving or speaking or showing any signs of life at all. Frowning, we walk forward and he looks more closely at the nearest passengers. An overhead light shows more clearly the faces of two men sitting beside each other. “They are dead.” Sherlock tells me. I look more closely and see their skin is very grey and they’ve clearly been dead for some time. He turns and looks to the passengers on the other side of the aisle, turning on another overhead light to get a better view. As he straightens up, I realize that everyone on board the plane must be in the same condition.

“The Coventry conundrum.” I hear Mycroft tell us. I look up and see him at the other end of the section. Sherlock turns as Mycroft pushes back the curtain and steps through into the cabin. “What do you think of my solution?” Sherlock gazes around the cabin, still taking it all in. I was so confused. “The flight of the dead.”

“The plane blows up mid-air. Mission accomplished for the terrorists. Hundreds of casualties, but nobody dies.” Sherlock says, slightly explaining for my part.

“Neat, don’t you think?” Mycroft asks. “You’ve been stumbling round the fringes of this one for ages – or were you too bored to notice the pattern? We ran a similar project with the Germans a while back, though I believe one of our passengers didn’t make the flight. But that’s the deceased for you – late, in every sense of the word.” I laugh softly.

“How’s the plane going to fly?” Sherlock asks. “Of course: unmanned aircraft. Hardly new.”

            “It doesn’t fly. It will never fly. This entire project is cancelled. The terrorist cells have been informed that we know about the bomb. We can’t fool them now. We’ve lost everything. One fragment of one email, and months and years of planning finished.” Mycroft explains. Was this what he was doing today?

“Your MOD man.” Sherlock says.

“That’s all it takes: one lonely naïve man desperate to show off, and a woman clever enough to make him feel special.” Mycroft says. I frown in confusion. I was lost and like at all the cases, I didn’t know why I was here.

“Hmm. You should screen your defense people more carefully.” Sherlock says.

“I’m not talking about the MOD man, Sherlock; I’m talking about you.” Mycroft says loudly, furiously. He slams the tip of his umbrella on the floor. Sherlock frowns, genuinely confused. “The damsel in distress.” He says softly. He smiles ironically. “In the end, are you really so obvious? Because this was textbook: the promise of love, the pain of loss, the joy of redemption; then give him a puzzle ...” his voice drops to a whisper while he twirls the end of his umbrella in the air. “... and watch him dance.” I frown. I have never seen Mycroft act this way. Was this how he thought of me? Was I a puzzle for him to solve?

“Don’t be absurd.” Sherlock says.

“Absurd? How quickly did you decipher that email for her? Was it the full minute, or were you really eager to impress?” Mycroft asks.

“I think it was less than five seconds.” I hear Irene behind me. I groan. Of course she was involved.

Sherlock and I turn around to see her at the end of the cabin. She was dressed in her best outfit, her hair and make-up perfect.

“I drove you into her path.” Mycroft says behind us. I look over and see him looking at me. He looks into my eyes. “I’m sorry.” He lowers his eyes. “I didn’t know.”

“Mr. Holmes, I think we need to talk.” Irene says.

“So do I. There are a number of aspects I’m still not quite clear on.” Sherlock says.

Irene walks past us. “Not you, Junior. You’re done now.” She continues down the aisle towards Mycroft. Sherlock turns and watches her go as she activates her phone and holds it up to show Mycroft. “There’s more ... loads more. On this phone I’ve got secrets, pictures and scandals that could topple your whole world. You have no idea how much havoc I can cause and exactly one way to stop me – unless you want to tell your masters that your biggest security leak is your own little brother.” Mycroft can no longer hold her gaze and turns his head away, lowering his eyes.

Mycroft leads Irene, Sherlock and myself to the car. Irene and Sherlock get in and I look at Mycroft. I kiss his cheek and get in. He gets in after me and sits by me. He grabs my hand and rubs his thumb on my hand. I now knew that I was here for support. Mycroft needed me and I would be there for him. I turn to him and smile softly. “I came by your house today.”

“I know. I’m sorry ‘Anthea’ had to turn you away. I was dealing with this mess.” He says softly and looks at me.

“I understand now. Next time, just shoot me a text and tell me to stay away. I know your job is stressful and I know there will be days where you need you space and quite. I’m not a total goldfish.” I say and smile. He laughs and nods.

We get to his house and we all go in. We go into the sitting room. Irene and Mycroft are sitting at the table. Sherlock is in the armchair near the fireplace, half turned away from Irene and Mycroft. I was sitting by the window, watching them all. Mycroft points down at the camera phone which is lying on the table in front of him. There is no aggression or threat in his voice as he speaks to Irene. “We have people who can get into this.”

“I tested that theory for you. I let Sherlock Holmes try it for six months.” Irene says. Sherlock closes his eyes briefly, grimacing slightly. “Sherlock, dear, tell him what you found when you X-rayed my camera phone.” I hated her. I wish I could go over there and teach her to shut up.

“There are four additional units wired inside the casing, I suspect containing acid or a small amount of explosive.” Sherlock says flatly. Mycroft lowers his head into his hand. “Any attempt to open the casing will burn the hard drive.”

“Explosive.” Irene says and looks at Mycroft. “It’s more me.”

Mycroft lifts his head and looks at Irene. “Some data is always recoverable.”

“Take that risk?” Irene asks.

“You have a passcode to open this. I deeply regret to say we have people who can extract it from you.” Mycroft says.

“Sherlock?” Irene says calmly.

“There will be two passcodes: one to open the phone, one to burn the drive. Even under duress you can’t know which one she’s given you and there will be no point in a second attempt.” Sherlock says.

“He’s good, isn’t he? I should have him on a leash – in fact, I might.” Irene says and gazes at Sherlock intensely but he remains turned away from her and can’t see her expression.

I glare at her and get up. She looks at me and smirks. I walk over to Mycroft and rest my hands on his shoulders. “We destroy this, then. No-one has the information.”

“Fine. Good idea ... unless there are lives of British citizens depending on the information you’re about to burn.” Irene threatens.

“Are there?” Mycroft asks.

“Telling you would be playing fair. I’m not playing anymore.” She reaches into her handbag on the table in front of her and takes out an envelope which she pushes across the table to him. “A list of my requests; and some ideas about my protection once they’re granted.” Mycroft takes the sheet of paper from the envelope and starts to unfold it. “I’d say it wouldn’t blow much of a hole in the wealth of the nation – but then I’d be lying.” He raises his eyebrows in amazement as he reads through the demands she has listed. “I imagine you’d like to sleep on it.”

“Thank you, yes.” Mycroft says, still reading it.

“Too bad.” Irene says. Mycroft looks up at her. Sherlock snorts. “Off you pop and talk to people.”

Mycroft sinks back in his chair, sighing. “You’ve been very… thorough. I wish our lot were half as good as you.”

“I can’t take all the credit. Had a bit of help.” Irene says and looks to Sherlock. “Oh, Jim Moriarty sends his love.” I look over at Sherlock and see that he has raised his head.

“Yes, he’s been in touch. Seems desperate for my attention…” He says. “…Which I’m sure can be arranged.” He says ominous. I frown. I hated seeing my sister playing my boys.

“I had all this stuff, never knew what to do with it. Thank God for the consultant criminal. Gave me a lot of advice about how to play the Holmes boys. D’you know what he calls you? The Ice Man ...” She says softly and looks across to Sherlock “... and the Virgin.” Irene says.

“Well then he must not know Mycroft that well.” I say. Irene looks at me and smirks again.

“I do think he does little sis. I can’t wait to see how you two pan out. It will be fun to see you get crushed again.” Irene says. I practically growl at her. She looks back at Mycroft. “Didn’t even ask for anything. I think he just likes to cause trouble. Now that’s my kind of man.”

“And here you are, the dominatrix who brought a nation to its knees.” Mycroft stands up and bows slightly to Irene. “Nicely played. But you are wrong about our relationship. I won’t let Calliah get crushed.” He turns away, grabbing my hand.

“No.” Sherlock says. We all look at him.

“Sorry?” Irene asks.

Sherlock turns and looks at us. “I said no. Very very close, but no.” He stands and starts walking to Irene. I smiled. He wasn’t going to let her win. “You got carried away. The game was too elaborate. You were enjoying yourself too much.”

“No such thing as too much.” Irene says.

Sherlock walks to her and looks down at her. “Oh, enjoying the thrill of the chase is fine, craving the distraction of the game – I sympathize entirely – but sentiment? Sentiment is a chemical defect found in the losing side.”

“Sentiment? What are you talking about?” Irene asks.

“You.” Sherlock states.

“Oh dear God. Look at the poor man. You don’t actually think I was interested in you? Why? Because you’re the great Sherlock Holmes, the clever detective in the funny hat?” Irene says and smiles calmly.

“No.” Sherlock says softly. He reaches out and slowly wraps the fingers of his right hand around her left wrist, then leans forward and brings his mouth close to her right ear. He whispers something into her ear. Irene frowns in confusion, while Sherlock tightens his grip a little around her wrist. He whispers something else into her ear. He releases her hand and pick up the camera phone from the table. “I imagine John Watson thinks love’s a mystery to me but the chemistry is incredibly simple, and very destructive.” He turns and walks a few paces away from her. She follows behind him until he turns and faces her again. “When we first met, you told me that disguise is always a self-portrait. How true of you: the combination to your safe – your measurements; but this ...” he tosses the phone into the air and catches it again. “... this is far more intimate. This is your heart ...” Without breaking his gaze into her eyes, he punches in the first of the four characters with his thumb. “... and you should never let it rule your head.” She stares at him, trying to stay calm but the panic is beginning to show behind her eyes. I smirk at Irene. “You could have chosen any random number and walked out of here today with everything you’ve worked for ...” He punches in the second character, his eyes still locked on hers. “... but you just couldn’t resist it, could you?” Her breathing becomes heavier. Sherlock smiles briefly and triumphantly. I’ve always assumed that love is a dangerous disadvantage...” He hits the third character, still gazing at her. “Thank you for the final proof.” Before he can type in the fourth character, she seizes his hand and gazes up at him intensely.

“Everything I said: it’s not real.” Irene says softly. She whispers something and Sherlock whispers something back.

Gently pulling his hand free, he types in the final character. “And this is just losing.” Slowly he turns the phone towards her and shows her the screen. She looks down at it, tears spilling from her eyes. I frown at her. She gazes down at the screen in despair for a few seconds, then Sherlock lifts the phone away and holds it out towards Mycroft. “There you are, brother. I hope the contents make up for any inconvenience I may have caused you tonight.” He says, his eyes still fixed on Irene’s.

“I’m certain they will.” Mycroft says.

Sherlock turns and begins to walk towards the door. “If you’re feeling kind, lock her up; otherwise let her go. I doubt she’ll survive long without her protection.”

Irene stares after him, her eyes wide with dread. “Are you expecting me to beg?”

“Yes.” Sherlock says flatly and calmly. He stops the door, his face in profile to her. She stares at him in anguish for several seconds, then realizes that she has no choice.

“Please.” Irene begs. He doesn’t move. “You’re right.” Now he turns to look at her. “I won’t even last six months.” She says pleadingly.

“Sorry about dinner.” Sherlock says. He turns and walks to the door, opening it and walking through. She watches him go, her eyes full of horror as the door closes behind him.

I look up at Mycroft. “Go. I need to finish up here and he needs you. I will be over later.” I nod, kiss his cheek and chase after Sherlock.

“Sherlock.” I call out and run to him. I stop him and see that he is tearing up. “Oh, Sherlock.” I hug him and he hugs back.

We go back to the flat and Sherlock and I sit on the couch.

“I can’t believe that she is your sister.” Sherlock says.

“Neither can we.” I say. “I can’t believe you are okay with me dating Mycroft.”

“He deserves it. The things I said about love and sentiment in there. I only half believe it. I just have never felt that way.” Sherlock explains.

“I know Sherlock. I know someone who would love to try and help.” I say and look at him.

“Hmm? Who?” Sherlock asks.

“Molly.” I say softly. I watch him think it over and he smiles.

“Molly.” He says softly. He gets up and looks down at me. “You are going to be so good for the Holmes brothers.”

“Oh I know. Mummy Holmes agrees with us. She loves me.” I say and smile up at him.

“Who wouldn’t?” He asks and starts walking to his room. He stops and turns around. “Don’t let Mycroft touch anything.”

“I won’t. We are off to bed when he gets here.” I tell him. He nods and leaves.

I turn on the TV and wait for Mycroft. After 2 hours of waiting, I turned off the TV and went to the window. I frowned and looked at the empty streets. “Maybe he won’t come.”

A couple weeks later I see Mycroft’s car pull up, him getting out and the car leaving. It was pouring rain. I hadn’t talked or see Mycroft in those weeks. I missed him but I was more pissed than anything. I glare at nothing and fly down stairs. I rush to him. “Mycroft!” I yell. He turns to me and opens his mouth to explain. Before he gets a chance to talk, I slap him. “How dare you not contact me for weeks! I had called and texted. And what do I get back? ‘Not now Calliah.’! I understand that you were busy that day but it has been weeks!” He grabs my hands and pulls me in for a kiss. I try to pull back then give in and kiss him back. He deepens it as do I. We stand there snogging for a little, then he pulls back. “Well, er, that won’t make me forgive you.”

He laugh and pulls be close. “I know Ardaigh. I have been ignoring you. I am a jerk and you are in the pouring rain in barely anything.” I look down and notice that I was in a Doctor Who shirt and a pair of pajama shorts. I blush and laugh. “I had to deal with your sister.”

“What happened?” I ask.

“I will tell you when Doctor Watson gets here, which will be soon.” Mycroft says and moves his umbrella to cover me. He lights up a cigarette and I see John coming home. He was soaking wet. Why didn’t he bring an umbrella? John notices us and stops in surprise. He walks over to us.

“Still weird to see you two together.” John says and looks at Mycroft. “You don’t smoke.”

“I also don’t frequent cafés.” Mycroft says. He drops the cigarette on the ground and treads it out. He closes his umbrella, picks up his briefcase and turns and walks into Speedy’s leading me in. John follows us.

Not long afterwards, Mycroft and I are sitting on one side and John sitting opposite each of us at one of the tables. John picks up his mug and looks at the plastic wallet which Mycroft has put on the table in front of himself. There is a sticker on the wallet saying “RESTRICTED ACCESS – CONFIDENTIAL”. The camera phone is inside the wallet on top of various documents.

“This is the file on Irene Adler?” John asks.

“Closed forever. I am about to go and inform my brother – or, if you prefer, you are – that she somehow got herself into a witness protection scheme in America. New name, new identity. She will survive – and thrive – but he will never see her again.” Mycroft says.

“Why would he care? He despised her at the end. Won’t even mention her by name – just “The Woman”.” John says.

“Is that loathing, or a salute? One of a kind; the one woman who matters.” Mycroft says. I shake my head softly. I knew he didn’t really care about Irene.

“He’s not like that. He doesn’t feel things that way ... I don’t think.” John says.

“My brother has the brain of a scientist or a philosopher, yet he elects to be a detective. What might we deduce about his heart?” Mycroft asks.

“I don’t know.” John says.

“Neither do I ... but initially he wanted to be a pirate.” Mycroft informs us. I giggle as I picture a little Sherlock playing pirates with little Mycroft. He smiles briefly at John, then his gaze becomes distant and reflective.

“He’ll be okay with this witness protection, never seeing her again. He’ll be fine.” John says.

“I agree.” Mycroft breathes in sharply. “That’s why I decided to tell him that.”

“Instead of what?” John asks.

Mycroft looks at me and frowns. “She’s dead. She was captured by a terrorist cell in Karachi two months ago and beheaded.” I gasp and look away. Mycroft takes my hand. John looks at him silently for several seconds, then quietly clears his throat.

“It’s definitely her? She’s done this before.” John asks.

“I was thorough – this time. It would take Sherlock Holmes to fool me, and I don’t think he was on hand, do you?” Mycroft asks. I look back and see that they were looking at each other for a moment. “So ...” he pushes the wallet across the table towards John. “...what should we tell Sherlock?”

“I’ll tell him about America.” John says and gets up. He takes the wallet and looks at me. “Are you coming?”

“No, I haven’t seen Mycroft in a couple weeks. I think I am going to stay at Mycroft’s for a little. If you need me text or call okay?” I say.

“Okay.” John says and starts to go.

“Oh, don’t do anything fun without me.” I call after him.

He look back and smiles. “Wouldn’t think about it.” He says and then walks out.

I look at Mycroft. “Your place?” 

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