A/N: SOooooooo I am a Sherlock fanatic. I've watched the "Empty Hearse" twice now and I am eagerly awaiting the second and third episodes (as they have not yet aired here yet :P). SO here is my spin on a new character named Imogene Weaver. I hope I captured John and Sherlock alright. Let me know what you think. As of now this is a oneshot. I may add more chapters as the series airs but that will depend on you, won't it .
"That'll be 15 pounds, thanks." Imogene Weaver smiled politely at the man as he handed up his money, slipping it into the register as he left with his newly purchased books. She sighed as she heard the shop door ring again, signaling another customer.
These days did tend to drag on, don't they, Imogene thought as she glanced briefly at the clock. Especially now that . . . Well, it would do no good to dwell on it.
"Hello, Immy." Imogene looked up at the sound of the nickname, eyes wide in confusion. She smiled brightly at the man now standing in the front door, looking as awkward as could possibly be.
"Well John Watson," she said, sticking her hands into the front pockets of her apron. "Aren't you a sight for sore eyes."
He gave her a little smile, hidden a bit under the new brush of hair on his upper lip. "You've been well Immy?"
"I have." Imogene reached up and switched off the light above her register. "Shall we go for coffee?"
"Don't you have to work?" He asked as she grabbed the keys from under the counter.
"I own the place, John." She brushed past him, opening the door and locking it, flipping the 'open' sign to 'close'. "If I say it's closed, it's closed."
They walked down the street to the nearest café, taking a seat in front. After the waitress had taken their order and disappeared inside, John leaned back in his chair, hands in his lap. "You've cut your hair."
Imogene reached up and fingered her now neck length brown curls. "Yes I thought it was time for a change. You, er, you've grown some."
"Ah yes," John muttered, running a finger across his new mustache. "Mrs. Hudson said it ages me."
It did just that. Imogene placed her hand over her mouth, pretending to cough to hide her smile. "You've gone to visit Mrs. Hudson then?"
"Yea, I just thought I'd pop in for a bit. She wasn't very happy with me."
"Can you blame her? It's been two years."
"Are you angry?"
"I'm –" Imogene stopped, resting her elbows on the table and her chin on top of her clasped hands as the waitress brought out his coffee and her tea. Of course she was angry. She had cared about John just as much as she had cared about . . . the other one. She didn't think it was fair that he had cut her off just because he had died. She had thought that they would be of some comfort to each other after everything, even if they hadn't known each other very long. She smiled at John again. "I'm glad to see you."
John smiled at her. She wasn't surprised that he couldn't tell. "I've met someone."
"Oh yeah!?" Imogene said leaning back in her seat as well. "What's her name?"
John tilted his head a bit. "You knew it was a woman?"
"Of course." Imogene shrugged her shoulders. "Why wouldn't it be?"
"Well uh . . . nevermind. Her name is Mary. I'm going to ask her to marry me, tonight."
"Lovely! Well that explains why you've come round."
"It's time to move on," John explained. "Don't you agree?"
"Sure. I have a date tonight as well."
The two old friends sat in silence for a moment sipping at their separate drinks. Imogene laughed softly. "You have to come around a lot more John, so we can afford these awkward silences."
John sighed, setting down his cup. "I am sorry Imogene. I thought – it was just . . . hard."
"I knew him for a long time, John," Imogene said, giving him a sad smile. "Imagine how hard it was for me. And then you just disappeared too."
"You are forgiven." Imogene clapped her hands together. "Now I want to hear all about this Mary."
After coffee with John, Imogene returned to her book store feeling a little lighter than she had. She really had missed John. He had become a big part of her life in those two years. The first time he had met her he had no clue how she could be involved with such a person as that man. But then again who wouldn't get caught up in that exciting life he had led.
Perhaps she ought to go see Mrs. Hudson this evening before her date. She had kept contact with the older woman over the two years but didn't go over to 221B Baker street nearly as much as she should. She wouldn't pop upstairs, she couldn't. John was right about one thing. It was hard going there, looking at anything even remotely related to him without it hurting in some way. Still Mrs. Hudson worried, like a mother hen that woman was. The least Imogene could do was pay her a visit more often.
Imogene moved out of her slump when her cell phone buzzed in her pocket. She looked up at the clock. It was nearly four, meaning she could leave soon and meet her date. She pulled out her phone, turning on the screen.
I need you to send a message. SH
Imogene's phone dropped to the ground. She stood in shock for a moment, not quite sure how to respond. This – this couldn't be right. There was no way possible. There was no way –
She plopped down in the chair trying to control her breathing before she became light headed. She stared at the phone, not quite sure how to react. With a shaky hand, Imogene reached down and picked up her phone.
John, is this you? This is a really sick joke.
She nearly slammed the phone down on the counter. If it were John she had a few choice words for him. But she knew it couldn't possibly be him. John was kind and considerate. He'd never be so horrible to –
The phone buzzed again and Imogene hesitantly picked it up.
Not a joke. Send a message. SH
That evening, after Imogene had locked up the shop and even while on her date, the text was at the forefront of her mind. Sherlock. . . . There was no possible way that he was alive! She had gone to his funeral, she had stood there as they lowered the coffin into the grave, she had. . . . She had never seen the body. She really hadn't wanted too not after she had heard how he died.
She had met the strange man four years prior to his death but she had known a great lot about him before then. She was sort of star-struck when it came to the consulting detective, enough so that she followed almost every single case of his. He was brilliant Sherlock Holmes.
And boy oh boy did she like to mess with him.
Behind her smiles and calm demeanor, Imogene was quite an accomplished hacker. It was a skill she gathered during her A-levels, changing a few grades here and there to get her into the University of her choice. She didn't hack often but when she did she did it big. She was only able to afford her shop and flat from the because of the small 'donations' other people gave to her via bank accounts. Sometimes she'd take money and give it to charities. She wasn't a bad person, no, just very clever and she liked to show that off from time to time.
So with Sherlock, Imogene started small by leaving messages on the wall of his blog as if she were nothing more than a normal on-locker. Afterwards she slowly progressed to changing and adding things, mixing up his cases. Of course, Sherlock would see them and he'd fix them, changing the IP address but she always managed to figure it out.
About a month in, faster than she thought he would, Sherlock Holmes appeared in her store. She had smiled brightly at him, nodding. "Flip the sign and lock the door, won't you?"
Sherlock Holmes was every bit as imposing as she thought he might be. Even from his place by the door, she could tell he practically towered over her, his bright blue eyes taking in everything around him as he did what she asked, moving closer to the counter. "Imogene Weaver, I presume."
"You would be correct!" Imogene whipped off her apron, holding out her hand. "It is truly a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Holmes. You have no idea how much of a fan I am."
He didn't shake her hand, just glanced at it as he kept his hands behind his back. "You sure have a way of showing your fascination."
Imogene tilted her head. "I thought you enjoyed figuring things out."
"Oh I enjoy it very much." Sherlock turned his back to her, walking around her shop. "For example, you, Imogene Weaver, 22 years old, accomplished hacker it would seem. Newly developed skills? No, you've been a hacker for a while now. University? No, A-Levels."
Imogene couldn't help but smile. "How could you tell?"
Sherlock glanced around. "You bought this shop second-hand, meaning you couldn't have had too much money when you purchased it, certainly not enough to afford University. You learned how to hack the system during your A-Levels to help you earn scholarships to University."
"You're very astute, Mr. Holmes, but of course I knew that. I can't say I'm not impressed."
When he finally turned to face her, Imogene was slightly surprised to see that he wasn't smiling. She had expected him to maybe be a little impressed with her. "You're lonely."
She could feel her excitement at meeting Sherlock faltering along with the smile on her face. "Of course I'm not."
"Of course you are. You're a book lover aren't you? You surround yourself with books, with the characters because you don't have real people in your life."
"I get it," Imogene muttered, clenching her hands at her side.
"Estranged Family? No, even estranged you'd have pictures from before. Ah, I see . . . orphaned."
"You can stop now."
"You lost your parents at a very young age, young enough to the point you don't remember them. You were shipped in between foster homes, too quiet to really be noticeable. And so you read books, all books, to keep yourself entertained and to give yourself some company."
"Are you quite finished, Mr. Holmes?" Imogene was angry now. She didn't show her angry side. Being happy, smiling in the faces of the people who made you angry or hurt you was a lot easier than allowing all of that emotion to seep through. Then you have to deal with the backlash of arguments and hurt feelings. Why not smile? Why not show victory over the people who try to make you cry?
So why was it that she couldn't just smile at Sherlock Holmes? It wasn't fair that this man, who had only known her for little more than five minutes, could make her feel as if she wanted to cry.
"I thought you liked games." Sherlock walked forward, leaning against her counter. "Why did you hack my blog?"
Imogene gave him a bright smile that did not quite reach her eyes. "Because I could."
"That's usually what criminals would say, Ms. Weaver."
"I'd say there's a thin line between fun and crime, Mr. Holmes, wouldn't you?"
Sherlock looked her over for a moment. "I'd say you were just looking for attention."
"Funny. I bet that's what people say about you, the world's only Consulting Detective."
"Hmm." Sherlock leaned back, clasping his hands behind his back once more. "Very well. Good morning, Ms. Weaver."
Imogene watched him turn from her, eyes wide with astonishment. "You aren't going to turn me in? Get me a slap on the wrist? How did you even realize it was me?"
Sherlock turned to face her once more. "You were the least obvious choice. I'll admit it was surprising. Are you going to stop stealing?"
"I make no promises."
Sherlock stared at her for a moment. "I'll be calling on you Ms. Weaver. It could be that I could use your . . . expertise."
And call on her he did, for little things like mass text from his phone to the public, information he couldn't obtain through more legal manners. Every so often he'd stopped by her shop and her flat right above, to make sure she wasn't stealing money. Of course, she still was if not as much as before and she knew he knew that but he never commented. Secretly Imogene believed Sherlock visited her as often as he did because he considered her friend. He never said it aloud, but she could tell in the way he talked to her and reacted to her. It wasn't in the same way he talked and reacted to other people and she noticed he actually valued her opinion and thoughts on certain matters. Imogene thought that maybe, just maybe, he kept tabs on her like he did because he was just as lonely as she was.
So it was with a rapidly beating heart that her taxi cab pulled up to her shop and she saw Sherlock sitting on the steps leading up to her flat. For a moment she just stared at him from the cab until the driver spoke up. "You alright, Miss?"
"Yes." Her voice sounded strangled, unsure.
"Do you know that man?"
"Are you going to be alright on your own?"
God, if she didn't get it together, she'd wind up getting Sherlock arrested. She turned in her seat and smiled at the driver. "Thank you for your concern. I'll be fine, really."
She got out of the cab, smoothing down the bottom of her blue dress. She smiled brightly, clutching a purse in front of her. "Hello there Sherlock. Been alright?"
Sherlock stood in that fluid way of his. "Imogene."
Hearing his voice again, seeing him standing there brought a wave of emotions she wasn't prepared for or wanting. She could punch him, she thought, though by the look of his red nose and busted lip someone had gotten there first, most likely John. He would be the first person Sherlock would go see for sure. She could hug him, wrap her arms around him and hold him so tight he'd never leave. She could practically kiss him if she –
"Care for a cuppa?" Without waiting for his answer, Imogene hurried up the steps, not really caring if he followed but knowing he would. She reached the top of the stairs and unlocked the door. Sherlock was indeed right behind her and she allowed him to enter before closing the door behind her. "I'll be back and then I'll put the kettle on. I dressed way to fancy for this rendezvous."
"How was your date?" Sherlock asked.
Imogene looked over her shoulder, not even bothering to ask how he knew. Instead she kept smiling. "Oh it was dreadfully boring. He was a banker and all he talked about was himself."
"Did you rob him?"
"Only just a little. . . . I'll be back in a mo'." Imogene hurried into her room, trying not to slam the door shut behind her and she kicked off her heels. What should she do? She took a deep breath, pulling her dress over her head and throwing on her sweats and a t-shirt. She hurried into the bathroom and grabbed her washrag, practically scrubbing the little bit of makeup from her face. She was tense and agitated and she knew Sherlock would know but she refused to give him the benefit of letting him see it.
She hurried back into her living room, surprised to see that Sherlock had already put the kettle on and was sitting in the chair he normally sat in when he dropped in. She stopped and stared at him for a moment and he stared back. "You've cut your hair."
He and John were so much more alike than they even realized. "I wanted a change."
"It suits you."
He was being polite, she thought. Sherlock doesn't just hand out compliments. She was sure he tried to just jump back into John's life and it had certainly backfired from the looks of it. He was obviously trying to be a little gentler with her. "I'll get you an ice pack."
She went into the kitchen, pulling out a baggie and ice from the freezer. Dropping the ice into the baggie, she walked over to Sherlock and handed it to him. "Hopefully it helps."
"You're wearing perfume."
"Yes. As you mentioned, I had a date."
"You never wear perfume."
"Well I did tonight. Date, remember?"
"I prefer it when you don't wear perfume."
Imogene took a step backwards, folding her arms across her chest. "What are you doing?"
"I am communicating. I believe they call it small chat." Sherlock finished with one of his big closed mouth smiles.
"The Sherlock I remember doesn't make small chat. It's pointless and Sherlock doesn't ever do anything without a point and a purpose."
Sherlock frowned at her, clasping his hands in front of his mouth. "You're angry."
Of course she was angry. She was downright furious. But she was also stubborn. She smiled brightly. "Of course I'm not. Why would you think that?"
"You used to say that I was the only one who could truly tell what you were feeling."
"Yes well two years is a long time. Perhaps you've lost your touch." The kettle whistled then and Imogene hurried into the kitchen, turning off the fire and grabbing two cups. "Cookies, Sherlock? Biscuits?"
"You and John are not responding the way I expected you to respond."
That did it. Imogene practically slammed the cups down on the counter, taking a deep shuttering breath. "How did you expect us to respond, Sherlock? Did you want John to leap up and hug you? Were you expecting me to jump for joy, scream and shout?"
"Well, quite honestly –"
"Sherlock you died!" Imogene rounded on him. She could feel patches of pink staining her brown cheeks and tears coming to her eyes. "You were the closest thing to a best friend I had and you died! You gave up and you jumped off a building and the last thing I ever said to you wasn't anything even remotely meaningful. And come to find out you're alive! Two years and your just fine! Some part of you, some part of your logical brain has to understand that they way John and I are reacting is perfectly acceptable!"
Sherlock was staring her and if there was one word that she could use to describe the expression on his face, it would have been bewildered and perhaps even a little bit sad. "You have to understand. There were thirteen possible solutions and I –"
"I don't care," Imogene interrupted. "I don't care how you did it or why. It's the fact that two years, Sherlock, two years went by and I didn't get a word from you!"
"Moriarty had people watching you. He had people trained on you, John, Lestrade, and Mrs. Hudson. If I had contacted you he would have had you killed. You have to understand, as a hacker, how any word from me could have fallen into the wrong hands."
"Of course I understand but doesn't mean I have to like it!" Imogene took another deep breath and went back to setting the cups on a tray pouring hot water into them. She was embarrassed now and she was sure her whole face was pink. He had been protecting her. No matter how messed up it all seemed, he had been thinking about her and his friends. She could still be angry, still be upset but she had to at least acknowledge that. She picked up the tray and turned back to Sherlock, giving him a shaky smile. "I can't remember how you take your tea."
He took the tray from her, setting it off to the side. "You don't have to pretend with me, Imogene."
Imogene's lip quivered and she placed her hands over her face, finally letting the tears fall. She felt Sherlock place his hand on top of her head and before he could protest she threw her arms around his waist. She knew that this was new for them. She had never hugged him in all of their friendship because she thought it would make him uncomfortable. So needless to say she was surprised when he hesitantly put his arms around her shoulders, patting her back.
After a moment, she let go, turning her back on him to wipe her eyes. "Sorry about that."
"No need." Sherlock looked at loss for words as he simply took a step back, clasping his hands behind his back again.
When Imogene turned back around, she was smiling again, and though it wasn't her normal cheery smile but still it was something. "I'm sure you have other people to surprise tonight."
"Right you are. A certain detective and a Specialist Registrar at the morgue."
"Both of whom I expect knew about this little plot of yours." Imogene had always liked Lestrade and Molly Hooper was sweet if not shy.
Imogene tilted her head. "She's a sweet girl, that Molly. Do try and be kind to her."
"Aren't I always?" Imogene walked behind Sherlock as he made his way to the door. He stopped with his hand on the handle turning back to her. "You'll send that message?"
"Want people to know your back? I'll send it first thing in the morning."
Sherlock paused for a moment, his brow creasing. "Thank you, Imogene."
"No need," Imogene grinned widely. "I'm your Hacker after all."
"You far more than that," Sherlock muttered. Again he paused as he slowly opened the door. "The last thing you said to me, before I jumped."
"I can't remember what it was. You were so hurried and I couldn't track Moriarty. It was a rough day."
"You said, 'Go get em' Sherlock."
"See I told you. Meaningless."
"No. It wasn't meaningless." Sherlock reached forward and placed his hand on her shoulder. "It meant you had confidence in me. I needed that then."
Sherlock leaned forward and pressed a kissed against her forehead. Imogene stood absolutely still, not exactly sure how to respond and not wanting to move just in case she ruined the moment. She cared about Sherlock so much that it hurt sometimes. But Molly was the girl for him, she was sure of his feelings for the doctor, and Imogene cared so much that she'd take what part of him she could get, even if it were just as a friend.
He moved away and Imogene didn't move again until the door had closed behind him. When he was gone, she smiled brightly. "Welcome back Sherlock."
#SherlockisAlive was trending to cell phones all over England first thing next morning
A/N: Let me know what you thought. Sorry had to change America to England :)