“Sherlock,” Grace said, and the way she said my name sent chills down my spine. “Are you alright,” she asked as she placed a hand on my shoulder causing my stomach to feel a warm sensation.
“Yeah of course,” I said. I felt her hand start to move so, I suddenly, without knowing what I was doing, set my hand on hers. “I want to apologize for yelling at you it’s just…”
“No, I understand, I shouldn’t have told you to calm down.” She said slipping her hand out from under mind as she dropped her hand.
“No, you were right, our emotional reaction to the situation was not helping anyone. You’re brilliant by the way.” I said and I was shocked, I was thinking it, but never in a million years had I wanted to say it out loud. The words just slipped out. “I don’t just say that to anyone either.”
“You’re the only one who thinks that then,” she replied with a sad smile on her face, a deep sadness in her eyes.
“What do you mean?” I asked and suddenly everything I had ever taught about emotions and how “caring was not an advantage” was gone as I reached out and grabbed her hand trying to comfort her.
“Ehem,” John said clearing his throat and I quickly let go of Grace’s hand returning me back to reality. Back to the true Sherlock Holmes, the man who loved one thing and one thing only, my work. “Don’t you think we should call the police?” He asked.
“I don’t have a gun with me so…” I smiled a thick hint of sarcasm in my voice.
“How about I call them like a normal person.” John said a tick hint of annoyance in his voice.
“Fine, we could do that.” I grumbled as I grabbed two pairs of gloves for Grace and me. It was time for me to actually get some work done before the police came and ruined it all. After handing one pair to her, I quickly put my pair on as John called the police.
“What, what does the M stand for?” Molly asked using her small mouse voice witch always annoyed me.
“Moriarty,” I said as I searched the body for another note.
“Sherlock,” John sighed hanging up the phone and I realized that Molly didn’t know and I had just told John not to tell her about her precious “Jim.” It was too late for me to try and change what I said, so it was up to John to help Molly, he was better in that department anyway.
“As in Jim,” she gasped, Molly was a bright girl, I was surprised she didn’t see it before. But maybe Moriarty was a better actor than I thought.
“Yes Molly, you have to stay away from him,” John said as he turned to me. “Lestrade said they are on their way, but traffic is heavy. Also, he says to not touch anything until he gets here.”
“Grace, what do you make of this?” I asked pointing to a scar just below the woman’s collarbone, ignoring what John had said.
“It looks like a cattle brand,” she said tracing the scar, which was distinctly shaped like an M, with her finger. “But why? Moriarty already carved an M into her stomach, why brand her with an M as well?”
“I don’t know, but the other body had it as well.” I said as I began to run through my thoughts. Moriarty never did his own handy work and he especially didn’t like being associated with it, so what made this different.
“Can I see?” John asked. I nodded as I let him through. It was only a few moments of examining her that John came back with results, one of the many reasons I kept him around. “She has been dead for a day, maybe two, and that brand was definitely made after she died.”
“Why brand her after she’s dead?” Grace asked.
“I don’t know, but there isn’t a note anywhere on this body.” I sighed frustrated as I ripped off the gloves.
“Sherlock, I hope you didn’t…” Lestrade started as he walked in a whole team behind him. But I didn’t have time to deal with that, I had other and much more important problems to deal with.
“We’re done here,” I said, “Molly you’re going to stay with Mrs. Hudson for a while.” I quickly walked out of the morgue followed by John, Grace and Molly.
“Ok?” Lestrade said.
After stopping at Molly’s flat to grab her some clothes, to which she didn’t have many, mostly just non flattering sweaters, we headed to Grace’s flat. It wasn’t a very impressive flat, it was actually in a really bad part of town. The building was falling apart and the land lord gave us a very dirty look when we walked in.
“I’m just grabbing my stuff,” Grace snapped when the man began to question us.
As we got to the door, I saw a giant eviction notice plastered on it and I realized why the man was upset.
“Grace, why does your door say “evicted?” John asked in a concerned yet disappointed
“Because I didn’t pay the landlord any rent.” Grace replied sheepishly as she opened the door and ran inside.
“Why not?” John asked as we followed her into the flat. It was completely empty. All that was in the flat was single folding chair that faced a wall that was covered in newspaper clippings and pictures. A wall that look eerily like the one I would put up when I was on a case, well a case that was actually worth my time.
“I got fired from my job.” Grace called from a room in the back.
“Why?” John asked as he picked up one of the empty pizza boxes that, along with clothes, were scattered around the flat.
“I never showed up.” Grace said and I could hear how ashamed she was.
“Grace,” John sighed as he used his finger to rub his temple.
“Moriarty has kind of preoccupied my time John.” She said coming out of her room with a very small suitcase. “Alright we can go.”
It was around dinnertime by the time we got back to the flat and I could almost hear Grace’s stomach rumbling.
“Mrs. Hudson!” I yelled as soon as I opened the door.
“Yes Sherlock,” she replied as she slowly opened her door.
“Molly is going to stay with you for a while.” I said shoving Molly in front of me as she made a squeak.
“Oh yes, come on in dearie, we will get you settled.” Mrs. Hudson smiled her kindness even after everything I had put her through made me smile a bit. But I quickly lost the smile as soon as I saw John staring at me.
“Thank you,” Molly said as she headed into the flat.
“Alright anyone hungry?” I asked completely forgetting about Molly.
“Yes,” both Grace and John replied.
We headed to the usual café and got our usual table. It was the only café in town that didn’t have people that annoyed me.
“What do you think Moriarty is up to Sherlock?” John asked as he ate his usually meal of pork pie. Grace had ordered a salad to which she had barely touched, and I had nothing, as I usually never ate while on a case. I was far too distracted to concern myself with something as trivial as food.
“He wants to play another game, but I’m not playing this time.” I said seriously as I watched as Grace twirled her fork around her plate.
“But you have to, if you don’t he’s just going to keep killing innocent people.” John said
“And he’s just going to keep killing people until he’s beaten me. That is why I have to beat him first.” I replied.
“How do you plan on doing that?” John asked as a loud crash came from the kitchen.
Grace jumped and pulled out a gun.
“Gracie!” John gasped as I quickly reached across the table and grabbed the gun as I put it in my coat. “Why do you have a gun?”
“It’s not mine John, it’s yours. I took it from your drawer when I was in your room.” Grace sighed and I could see her hands were shaking.
John didn’t reply he just stared at his food. It was a few minutes before John finally broke the uncomfortable silence.
“I’m ready to go, how about the two of you.” John snapped.
“Yes, let’s go,” Grace sneered and they both quickly stood up and went outside.
“This is going to be a long night,” I thought.
The cab ride home was silent as I sat between John and Grace both of them staring out their own windows. “Is this what Mycroft and I are like?” I wondered.
When we reached our flat, John stormed up the stairs. “I’m going to bed.” He called.
“It’s 8:30 John!” I called, John was never one to even think about heading to bed before 10:30 at the least.
“I don’t care!” He called back making me smile.
Grace grumbled as she fell onto the couch. “Sometimes he just…” She sighed as she paced her head in her hands.
Slowly I walked over and sat next to her. “He’s just trying to protect you that’s all.”
“But I don’t need protecting,” she sighed propping her head up on her arm so she was looking at me. “He just doesn’t understand that.”
“I know what you mean, I have a brother like that.” I said and I was taken back. I was talking about Mycroft, which I never did.
“Really is he older or younger?” She asked.
“Older, and he just assumes I…”
“Can’t do anything right.” We said together, then we laughed. She slowly looked up at me, her eyes staring into mine. I could see her start to blush as I grabbed her hand. There was something so different about Grace. She was like me, she was smart and she thought like me. But she was like John because she cared about people. Slowly I leaned closer as she did the same, our faces were inches apart. “Grace.” I said. My mind was screaming at me to stop but I didn’t listen.
“Yes,” She said as I started to lean in ready to kiss her. I watched as she started to lean in, but just before our lips met, I stopped. This wasn’t me, I didn’t do this, I didn’t do the romance thing.
My mind screamed at me. “This is emotion you are showing!” Listening to my thoughts, I backed away and cleared my throat. Grace opened her eyes and backed away as well. We sat in silence; the sexual tension was so high I almost had to sit on my hands to stop myself from grabbing her and kissing her. “While we were in the morgue, after I called you brilliant, you said I was the only one who thought that, what did you mean?” I asked trying to break the tension.
“I get really obsessive about things, so I don’t really have a social life. I’m a whole lot smarter than most people in my life so they don’t exactly like me. I’ve never really had any friends so.” She said as she wrapped her arms around her knees.
“Well I think you are brilliant,” I said and my emotions took control again as I moved a strand of hair from out of her face. I leaned close again, but this time she backed away.
“I should probably get some sleep.” She said sheepishly. “It’s been a busy day.”
“You can sleep in my room, for tonight.” I said as I quickly got off the couch trying to clear all thoughts of Grace in my head, but they wouldn’t go away.
“Are you sure?” She asked as smile on her face.
“I’m sure, now go.” I smiled.
“Thank you Sherlock,” She said, then she grabbed some clothes from her suitcase and then headed into my room.
I smiled when she opened the door again and threw a blanket and my sleeping clothes at me. Quickly I changed into them and then lay down on the couch. I did my best to stay awake but I found myself thinking only of Grace. So I believed my only option was to sleep to get my mind off of her, however I ended up dreaming about her.