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A Rose By Any Other Name

By sparrowlina

Romance / Adventure

Chapter 1

I got all I need when I got you and I. I look around me and see a sweet life…

The alarm rang right through the small flat which was supposed to signal its owner to wake up and start her day. Coming out of the bathroom with a toothbrush hanging out of her mouth, the already awake tenant silenced her phone and flicked through the various notifications that popped up on her screen. Most of the emails were junk from her office that she didn’t have time for at that particular moment. The one text she needed was from her secretary that listed what time her train was supposed to leave Manchester and arrive in London. Finding it, she forwarded it to Greg Lestrade, tossed her phone on her unmade bed, and then continued to brush her teeth while returning to the bathroom.

It was unlike Lestrade to call her in on a case like this. She hadn’t heard from him in years now that he was more successful in his division. She didn’t mind, though. It gave her time to further her career in her own division. Getting pulled away to London by Lestrade to help with different cases had really slowed her down. In fact, she probably could have become a detective inspector a lot faster had she stayed in Manchester more often. Before now, she usually had a bag packed near her front door in case she needed to leave at a moment’s notice. She was thankful that he hadn’t called her in during her probation period because if she had left, there was no chance of her becoming a DI.

Rinsing and spitting, she wiped her mouth on the towel she had draped over the side of the sink. She reached for her hairbrush and began to untangle her brown locks and pull them into a ponytail. She straightened her white, three-quarter sleeve collared shirt and tucked it into the waist band of her black slacks. As she put on her watch, she noted the time and began to move at a faster pace. Her train was going to leave in an hour and it took twenty minutes to get to the station by cab from her flat. And who knew what kind of chaos would be happening at the train station on a Monday morning.

She jogged around her flat grabbing any last minute things: files, her pea coat, her favorite pair of Converse, socks. Clenching the files in her teeth, she used her free hand to grab her travel bag and sling it over her shoulder. Her other bag trailed behind her as she pulled it outside and locked the door. She hadn’t even put her shoes on when she hailed the cab to go to the station.


The train ride was long. It had been some time since she made the nearly two and a half hour venture and she had forgotten how dull it could be. She had probably gone through the files Lestrade had sent to her office two or three times before deciding that there was only so much you could analyze about dead bodies in photos.

Leaning back in her seat and closing her eyes, she tried to go through the cases by memory. She preferred to do this method that way she wasn’t slowed down during the deduction process. A friend had taught her to keep track of the little details because those were the ones that would matter when it came down to connecting all of the puzzle pieces. Not to mention this way she didn’t need to bring all of those papers with her to scenes and risk either losing them or having them fall into the wrong hands. No one could steal her mind so she knew it was a lot safer that way.

Images flashed through her mind like a slideshow. In total there had been five deaths thus far. Three men, two in their 50s and one in his 30s, and two women, one in her 30s and one in her 70s. All five had been stabbed just below their left clavicle, the damage to the heart enough to be deliberate and painful (or at least that’s what she imagined it to be). Entry wounds were very clean and meticulous, as if the killer took his or her time ensuring that they ended up in exactly the same place.

Each victim bled out within half an hour and police were anonymously tipped off about them within 24 hours of their deaths. When police arrived, the only thing they had on their persons beside their personal identification was a newly bloomed rose. None of them were from the same place, all of them had different jobs, and they didn’t share any common acquaintances. Lestrade had even gone as far back as checking if they had all gone to the same schools, and they hadn’t. On the surface, it seemed that there was nothing to connect these five people nor give a motive as to why they were all dead.


“It’s a perfectly good example of how to not waste our time,” the consulting detective snapped.

“She happens to be one of the best in our field,” Lestrade argued, the steam starting to ooze out of his ears.

“Well, she’s not good enough for me,” Sherlock blatantly stated, his eyes piercing into the detective inspector’s.

“Just give her a chance! We’re already at the end of our rope and we have been for almost a month!”

“We wouldn’t be here if your team hadn’t contaminated the last scene!”

“SHERLOCK.” John couldn’t sit through the argument any longer. It was the same argument the two had had the day prior and he didn’t want to be the referee to some childish yelling match.

Sighing in disgust, Sherlock leaned back in the chair he was in and brought his hands into the form of a steeple in front of his mouth. Closing his eyes, he went through the details they had regarding the case. No matter how many times he revisited the information, nothing new presented itself. No amazing epiphany was coming out of the woodwork and for once in his life, he was truly stumped.

But he would never let that on. He was too proud to ever admit that he needed help unless it came when he didn’t ask for it. That usually came from John.

“Has there been no new toxicology reports or scene samples that have been analyzed since we last visited all of the scenes?” John asked in an attempt to alleviate the tension.

Lestrade shook his head. “It’s been a dead end every which way we turn. Even when we hired back Anderson, he couldn’t find anything either.”

“That’s because Anderson is an idiot,” Sherlock insulted, not breaking his prayer-like state.

John rolled his eyes slightly as he walked over to the window of Greg’s office that overlooked the front of Scotland Yard. It wasn’t a situation he was used to seeing Sherlock in which, for once, worried the doctor. Even when put under pressure, John had seen Sherlock solve some outstanding cases and saved a fair amount of lives because of it. Unfortunately, this case had caused Sherlock to become so engrossed that he’d disappear for days on end trying to send messages through his homeless network and make any other helpful contacts in order to find out what was going on. John couldn’t even remember the last time Sherlock had sat down to eat something. His robotic tendencies had taken over.

What made it worse was that Jim Moriarty was back in the picture, which added to the already chaotic mess Sherlock’s mind was in. John wanted to help his friend more but he also had his future family to think about. Mary was two months away from delivery and he hesitated to leave her alone, even for a minute.

Sally Donovan and Philip Anderson walked to the door of Greg’s office and waited to be acknowledged by the DI.

“Yes, what is it?” he asked with irritation.

“Your friend is here,” Donovan informed, her arms crossed as she laid eyes on the detective who looked as if he was sleeping in the chair in front of her. “We sent her to the meeting room since I figured it’d get a bit cramped in here.”

“Any developments?” Anderson asked. Seeing the state that Sherlock was in amused yet scared him. Finally seeing the detective unable to solve a case was a triumph and a tragedy all in the same breath.

Ignoring Anderson, Sherlock quickly got up from his chair and walked past the two people in the doorway. Making a few turns and not caring who he nearly ran over in the process, Sherlock finally reached a meeting room that had Lestrade’s name on the door, indicating that he was the one who had it reserved.

“Be nice,” he heard John warn from behind him.

He smirked. With all that he had argued with Lestrade about, Sherlock intended to give this other DI hell. There was no way that she would be able to help with this case any more than he himself had. The only way she would is if she was him.

And no one was as smart as Sherlock Holmes.

“Well get on with it then,” Greg rushed, waiting impatiently behind Sherlock with Donovan and Anderson.

Sherlock turned the door handle and the group flooded into the room. Opposite from the door was a clear board that had all of the crime scene photos on it for easy viewing. Profiles of each victim were on another board of the same make that was perpendicular to the first. Their pictures as well as their morgue photos were set up side by side. The table in the middle of the room had other photos that were related to the cases. Now they were joined by the new DI’s travel bag, coat, and manila folders that held her copies of the information displayed before them.

At the moment, she had her back to the group, leaning against the table and looking over the photos once again.

“Glad to see you made it alright,” Lestrade began with a smile as he pushed past Sherlock and walked over to the woman. When he reached her, he opened his arms in welcome to her and hugged her.

She laughed as she returned the embrace.

The laugh was all too familiar and Sherlock froze.

He had never expected to see her again after so long.
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