The Unseen Factor

After Baskerville

This is set shortly after 'The Hounds of Baskerville'.


Sherlock had been brooding since he and John returned from Baskerville. John could normally attribute that to Sherlock no longer having a case. Except it was not the usual brooding of Sherlock's boredom. He sat and stared blankly in front of him lost in thought.

After about a week of this behavior John had become very worried and working up to say something when Sherlock suddenly jumped up and texted someone on his phone.

"I'm going out." He announced grabbing his jacket as he headed out the door. "I'll shan't be gone long."

"You want me to come along?" John asked getting up from his chair. With the way Sherlock had been acting John did not want to leave him alone. Best not risk anything.

"No." And Sherlock was gone before John could say anything else.

Sherlock made his way to the agreed upon place in Regency Park. There were few people near the bench or in the park for that matter; it was not that sunny of a day to be visiting parks. Yet, here he was, waiting. He was not really expecting her to come. He was not even sure why he had texted her in the first place. But he did and now he waited.

"You wanted to see me?" The voice came from behind and Sherlock turned on the park bench to face his sister. The first thing he noticed that she was not speaking like an American; his face contoured in thought a little as he took in the rest of her appearance, making notes and deductions.

Enola shook her head as Sherlock examined her. Just once she wish he would not do that. "What?"

"What were you doing in Spain?" He asked wanting to know everything. Despite being a thief, her recent excursion to Spain had little to do with stealing anything and he wanted to know the reason. "And why were people shooting at you?"

"You wanted to see me?" She asked again side stepping his questions as she sat next to him on the bench on the opposite end not wanting to be too close. She actually was surprised to receive a text from her brother. As fate would have it she was in London setting up a new safe house for an Australian couple that got into business with the wrong sort of people and now were hiding until Wilhelm could find a way to get them out of trouble. Amelia was usually the one to set up the new home for the people they help, but she wanted Enola to take over that part of the business. Not being able to really say no to the Lehrers for such a relatively small request, Enola found herself in the city she hated.

"Doubt." Sherlock spoke rather abruptly. "You were plagued by it in out childhood."

"And the reason you're bringing it up now?" Enola asked hiding the stab of pain she felt from his words. She did not want to think on all the fights with their harsh words that her family had. She was in the process of closing that chapter of her life but these recent meetings with her brothers made it difficult.

"How did you get past that?"

Enola gaped at Sherlock trying to fully understand what he was asking. Something happen to him that now he sought her advice. Not a good sign in Enola's book.

"What happened at Baskerville?" She asked eyeing him carefully. His tensing at the question gave some insight to his adventure at the military research center. "This is more than just doubting yourself isn't it? You felt fear."

"How did you handle your doubt?" He reworded his question hoping she would not pry any further and stay on task.

"Who ever said I got over my doubt?" She smirked sarcastically. "I still have moments of monumental doubt about myself, compliments of Mummy."

"What do you mean 'compliments of Mummy'?"

"'You will do very well alone'." Enola quoted, imitating her mother's voice and mannerisms. It was a good imitation of their mother, Sherlock had to admit. In that short moment Sherlock could see his mother in Enola confirming their blood relation. But Enola's version of their mother was slightly cold, and not how Sherlock viewed her. "That became the only thing that she would say to me towards the end of my stay at the family estate. Do you realize that my name is 'alone' spelled backwards?"

"What does your name have to do with your doubt?"

"Violet Holmes, in her own little way, told me that no matter what I accomplished I would always be alone." Enola stated, speaking matter-of-factly. She had long since accepted that her biological mother did not like her very much, but she had at least taken care of her in her youth despite that. "No matter what I achieved, no one would give a damn about me. It is ingrained in me to believe that nothing I do will ever be worth anything, that nothing I do is worthwhile. Despite that Wilhelm and Amelia have great faith in me; I don't understand why, but they do. So, I work through it."

Enola felt her throat tighten as she spoke of her guardians in comparing them to Violet Holmes. The Lehrers were more like the loving parents that any child would want to have in comparison to the Holmes.

"How?" Sherlock noticed the slight hitch in Enola's voice. He decided against commenting on it. As much as he could infer Wilhelm and Amelia were the ones that took care Enola in American and she felt a familiar connection with them. If Sherlock was normal he would have said that he was jealous of that connection, if he was normal.

"My method would not work for you Sherlock." Enola insisted. She had a calming, meditative method that Wilhelm had taught her which would not cohere to Sherlock's empirical and rational mind. Also, Enola remembered that Sherlock would lash out whenever something was not going his way and wondered if he still did.

"Your reasoning," Sherlock demanded; he did not like being viewed as lacking, especially by his younger sister who never showed any signs of being anything other than ordinary.

"Because you're too prideful to allow other people to help you." She explained, shifting in her seat to face him a bit more directly. "Humility was never your best trait."

"Then what do you suggest?" He asked. Enola, again, found herself gaping in shock at Sherlock. "What?"

"I don't know if I should be flattered or very scared that you're asking me for help." Enola said with concern written all over her face. "Why come to me Sherlock? Why not go to your friend, John?"

"Why are you avoiding my question?" Sherlock was getting exasperated. He did not know which annoyed him more Enola talking or not talking.

"I'm not avoiding your question," Enola remarked, equally exasperated. "I'm trying to understand your reasoning for asking me and not our brother or John. With that in mind I can better assist you."

"This was a mistake." Sherlock stood abruptly and started walking away towards the park exit. He tried to remember why he even bother texting Enola. Cruse that drug and cruse the doubt it caused in him.

"You are incorrigible!" Enola cried as she jumped up and followed behind him. "The only mistake here is you not telling everything to me. If I don't know what happen I can't give you the help you apparently want from me."

Sherlock stopped walking just at the exit almost causing Enola to run into him. He weighted his options before turning to his sister.

"Fine." He barked.

He wasted no time in telling her everything from Bluebell the rabbit to the row he had with John after his first visit to the cove. It surprised Sherlock how easy it was to talk with Enola; there was no need to explain anything as with John and he was not trying to outdo her as with Mycroft, he just talked. For Enola, it brought on memories of even she was very young, before the fighting when her brothers would just talk and she would happily listen to them. This time she was part of the conversation. It was odd for Sherlock; he was not use to Enola vocally speaking in their conversations. In the course of this conversation his opinion of sister was changing; she was showing promise, not so ordinary. When he had finished Enola was giving him a thoughtful look.

"You did not tell me everything." She announced. Just like her brothers could tell what she was saying when she did not speak, she could also tell the same of her brothers.

"Yes, I did," Sherlock snapped back.

"No, you did not." Enola returned, keeping her voice calm. She would have laughed at any other time and if they were talking about something else, because here they were in the park arguing like normal siblings.

Sherlock snorted in frustration at Enola's accusation.

"Then tell me what you really saw in the cove the second time you went!" Enola demanded. Sherlock caught himself before he gaped at her. "What? Did you think you were the only person who could use abductive reason as effectively as your website suggests?" Enola could not help the little smirk that escaped.

"Its called the 'Science of Deduction'." Sherlock replied scathingly. "Do try to keep up."

"Deductions are the product, not the actual process," Enola replied. "Look it up, you're incorrect." she said with a little more satisfaction than she cared to mention.

Now, Sherlock just glared at her, but Enola just crossed her arms and waited for Sherlock to speak.

"Under the influence of the drug," Sherlock finally conceded. "I mistook Dr. Franklin for Moriarty."

"So you're afraid of Moriarty."

"I wouldn't say – "

"Yes, you are." Enola cut him off, with a flourish of her wrist, not dissimilar from the one Sherlock himself used to fob people off. "You have every reason to be."

At that moment the weather decided to be unreasonable and it began to rain. Without really reasoning through the action Sherlock grabbed Enola's hand and lead her to cover out of the park and the other side of the street. Surprisingly, Enola willingly allowed him to lead her. Finding shelter under a store awning they waited for the rain to stop.

"My friends help me through my doubt." Enola explained without any prompting. Sherlock observed her as she fiddle with her necklace. He had seen her wear it before and could tell that it had a high sentimental value to Enola. The necklace served as a connection to the people who had great significance in her life. "They push me past my doubt, my fear. They are always there to help me. But despite this I've never stopped having that nagging feeling that being alone is what protects me.

"I have done very well on my own because I have been alone for most of my life." Enola finally looked at Sherlock and her hand dropped away from her necklace. "The question you must ask yourself is when you doubt yourself, who do you trust to get you through it?"

"That's surprisingly helpful." Sherlock murmured, mostly to himself. He thought back to when John was talking with him after he was first under the influence of the drug. Both John and Enola were so willing to help him and he could not understand the reason why.

Enola's phone suddenly rang breaking the philosophical mindset the Holmes siblings found themselves in. They shared a look before she answered.

"Yes," Enola answered taking up her American accent. She listened to the person on the other end for a few moments. "I'm actually in town, it shouldn't be a problem. Three days is all I need . . . yes, I understand. Don't worry about it."

Enola looked at her phone as she hung up before looking pointedly at Sherlock.

"What?" He asked more out of frustration than curiosity. "Is it something I should be concern about?"

"Are you a drug trafficker or illegal arms dealer?" She countered, putting away her phone. She, to Sherlock's annoyance, kept the American accent. After his dealings with the American agents and how they treated Mrs. Hudson, he felt less than generous towards anything American.

"No," He deadpanned; that answer should have been obvious to Enola. Sherlock was beginning to get annoyed again; just when he thought she was beginning to show some promise, she showed herself to be irrevocably dull and ordinary

"Than I shouldn't see you snooping around my business over the next few days." Enola turned her gaze to the rain again. Her answer surprised Sherlock. "I promise that this little job of mine won't interfere with you directly, or even indirectly for that matter."

"Pity," Sherlock remarked also looking out to the rain.

"Why?" Enola cautiously ventured. She did not want an onslaught of criticisms from Sherlock; she and enough to deal with at the moment.

"I need the challenge." The honesty in Sherlock's voice surprised Enola.

The rain lighted up enough for Enola to slip away unnoticed, but unlike before she bid Sherlock goodbye.

"Try not to have people shoot at you this time." Sherlock requested. There was light bantering tone in his request and a ghost of a smirk on his lips.

"That is like me asking you to resist the urge to show off." Enola smirked, pulling her coat closer to her. It was nice to have a conversation with Sherlock that ended on a high note. "But, I'll see what I can do."

She ran off into the rain feeling rather lighthearted; Sherlock did not view her as ordinary, she was worthy of being a challenge. It was probably the closest thing to a compliment she had every gotten from him.

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