The Unseen Factor

Almost Unexpected

This is the idea that started this whole story.

Set during 'Scandal in Belgravia'.

"Well it seems Jupiter has descended upon me!" Enola said as she was escorted into Mycroft's office using her best American accent. Mycroft looked up from his tea to his sister at her remark. "I'm actually somewhat surprised you were able to find me Mycroft. The overly intimidating escorts, I must say, were a nice touch and the accessories they slapped on me, however," She held up her handcuffed wrists to prove her point. "Clash terribly with my outfit."

"Where's Jenson?" Mycroft eyed his agent carefully when he noticed one was missing.

"He received a bloody nose from Miss. Holmes where she tried to get away and had to get medical attention." The agent explained nervously and somewhat embarrassed. "We had to resort to handcuffing her, sir. She wouldn't come peacefully."

The sight of Enola in handcuffs was one that Mycroft never wanted to see. It was right up there with Sherlock dead from drugs when he did not get enough 'interesting' cases. Despite the fact that she was a criminal he still wanted to try to protect his sister, especially since he did a terrible job at it when she was very young.

"For the record, Jenson totally deserved the bloody nose." She interjected holding up her hands in a mock surrender, well as best she could with them cuffed. "Now that I'm here can these things be removed?"

Mycroft took the key from the agent and dismissed him. "Those men are highly trained. How on earth did you manage to give one a bloody nose?"

"The other one has a hairline fracture in his left foot." Enola supplied as Mycroft removed the handcuffs. They shared a look that both expressed annoyance at the other. Enola looked well since Mycroft last saw her with only a few scrapes from the scuffle she got into with his agents. Enola could see that Mycroft was under stress, he could hide the minor signs of him just barely fraying at the edges from his subordinates but never from his sister. "I learned to fight from a retired Mossad field agent."

"What else have you been taught by these thieves?"

"To be honest I freaked. I did not realize that they were your people until after the scuffle had started." She looked somewhat apologetically at Mycroft. He knew she was purposely avoiding answering any questions that concerned the people she worked and decided not to push the issue for the present.

"Why would you 'freak'?" Mycroft motioned her to one of the two chairs in front of his desk and he sat in the other one.

"I said 'no' one too many times for someone and he wasn't happy about it." She explained sitting down. This was odd. They were having a conversation, something that Enola always wanted to so with her brothers since she was young. Enola had lost count of the times she wished in her childhood to have a simple conversation with Mycroft or Sherlock without the cutting remarks. But there was something in Mycroft's manner that kept Enola on edge. "He expressed his displeasure. So about half of the criminal world is out to get me in hopes of gain some sort of favor from him. I've already had several attempts on my life and they keep increasing in frequency. It was Moriarty I said 'no' to, in case you were wondering."

"How many times?" Mycroft observed his sister carefully. She was uncomfortable in his office, her eyes darting around taking everything in, looking for possible escape routes. She had always been uncomfortable around Mycroft growing up, but he had attributed that to the age difference. But she did her best to conceal her discomfort behind her act of command, an act she did very well.

"He's tired of the ordinary challenge." She said ignoring his question. Talking about Moriarty made her feel unwell. She never really told anyone how much that particular Irishman unsettled her. She had seen his work and the results of his work up close and personal. Talking to him in person several times, well, it was an experience that Enola did not wish to repeat and wanted to forget.

Enola also felt that she was trapped in the governmental office and she felt stifled. The other side of the law was much more comfortable to her. It was not because the law was something she saw as intrinsically evil, it was just that the criminals she worked with seemed more human than her own brothers who worked with the law.

"And you have challenged him." Mycroft remarked.

"I'm not the only one." She leaned forward enough to let her hands rest on the armrests of the chair. "Whispers came about some time ago, some time after I gave you my file on him, that Moriarty had become obsessed with a private detective in London. I called in a few favors to find out who. You can imagine my surprise when Sherlock's name came up. Well, I wasn't really surprised, but my concern for him increased. And I wondered what my eldest brother was doing with the information I gave him concerning that particular threat."

Mycroft said nothing to this, he had nothing to say, it was his turn to ignore the question. The whole affair was rather complex and tiresome and did not wish to discuss it with his sister at the moment, he had other things on his mind. He stood to retrieve a file he had locked in the confines of his desk.

"As I understand it you have become quite a legend in the criminal underworld." He leaned against the front of his desk, opened the file and began to read the highlights. He saw that Enola blanched slightly when he spoke, but she said nothing keeping perfect composure. "You have been involved in one of the most successful criminal groups of the past decade, not to mention the most imaginative. Every heist pulled that is credited to your group can never be definitively placed at your door. The result of the combination of people unwilling to testify against you and a lack of physical edvience. It's gotten to a point were other thieves will drop whatever crime they are going to do if the mere mention of your group having a group in the area."

"You have a dossier on me?" Enola grabbed the file and quickly began to rummage through it.

"But oddly enough," Mycroft continued as Enola flipped through the file. "Every single one of your marks never report in your activities. Mostly because it has been revealed that they themselves have been involved in their own illegal activities that broader on the inhumane. The police are able to make an arrest with the evidence that most conveniently appears. An anonymous tip, if you will."

Enola paused in her reading of the file. "My name and picture aren't anywhere to be found in this dossier. Or any of the names of my crew or associates. This is simply a collection of reports on odd cons and heists that have occurred all over Europe and America." She cautiously looked at her brother who was regarding her carefully. He took the file back from her and dropped it on his desk.

"What exactly do you do, Enola?" Mycroft asked.

"You seem to know exactly what I do." She retorted crossing her arms in a defiant stance and turning away from Mycroft. "You were always the smartest one of us all, abet slightly lazy."

"I would prefer if you told me yourself. You seem to lack the usual motivations that drives people to break the law." Mycroft sat behind his desk and waited for Enola to speak.

"Two years ago I told you that I help people." She started after careful consideration. She returned to her seat. "The laws of man are full of loopholes. Bad people find those loopholes and use them to exploit those with less privilege. I simply step in where the law stops or is simply limited. I maybe a criminal, but I'm not a bad person. None of us are.

"How was that for a confession?" She asked sarcastically. "Is that why you had me man-handled here? Going to haul me off to jail now? I won't give you names of my associates or – "

"I don't want a confession or to arrest you." Mycroft stated taking a sip of his now lukewarm tea. "I want to hire you."

There were many things going through Enola's mind at the moment concerning her brother's motivation in bring her to his office, but Mycroft's last remark was one that she never fathomed. He always did keep her on her toes.

"If this was anyone but you," She began slowly. "I would think that this was an overly complicated attempt to get me to expose myself and my crew, to get us arrested by the British government on the bases of national security.

"But with you, Mycroft – no, you would get explicit proof of my activities before arresting me, you're thorough that way. The lack of names and pictures in that dossier speaks volumes. You could very easily attach my name to those crimes and then just as easily find out who my crew is, but you haven't. You're protecting me from the very people to whom you swear loyalty. The reason for such an action – I'm not quite sure what it is.

"You're not one to place blood before Queen and Country. It's not in your nature." Enola made her way around the desk. She wanted nothing between them to act a figurative shield or fence as she spoke to Mycroft. "This is desperation – a man like you with the connections you have wouldn't come to a person like me unless he had no other place to go.

"You can't go to your supervisors – they want you to do something you are hating. Your hands are practically tied." Enola leaned forward to be able to look eye to eye with her seated brother. "Does this have something to do with Moriarty?"

Mycroft nodded and Enola stepped back. They considered each other as they now saw each other in a very different light.

Her brother never asked her for help and it scared her.

His sister was no longer the silent meek child and it impressed him.

"You are one of several contingency plans I have considered depending on how things play out." Mycroft said.

"Contingency plan – I'll take that as a compliment." Enola murmured as she walked to the window. "What exactly do you need me for?"

"I need you to forge identification papers along with the appropriate paper trail." Mycroft explained. He looked at his watch, it was almost time for his other guest to arrive. "Anything to convince the world that this new identity exists."

"Your office can supply an alternate identity for their own people." Enola pointed out. "Common black op protocol."

"It can't have an official government connection." Mycroft clarified. "Especially not to me."

"There are ways around that, which are perfectly legal. Are you trying to disappear?"

"It's not for me."

"For who than?" A confused Enola turned just as the office doors opened with some force by the second guest.

"Mycroft, I was in the middle – " Sherlock began but stopped at the sight of Enola who lost all color in her face. "Well this is almost unexpected." He added uncharacteristically quiet before glaring at Mycroft.

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