This is set after Sherlock jumps off St. Bart's roof.
The burial was an odd affair for Mycroft. He knew that Sherlock was not dead but it did not lessen the fact that his brother was willing to die for the people he considered his friends. Sherlock had changed since gaining John as a flatmate. It also did not lessen the guilt and pain that he felt for having to reveal to Moriarty Sherlock's past under the orders of his supervisors.
Mycroft was thankful that neither of his siblings knew the extent of his actions. He doubted if John told Sherlock and if Enola found out through her own connections. If they did know, their already brittle relationship would break into a thousand pieces and would never be able to be put back together in any extent.
Lying to his mother, Violet, was difficult. As soon as she arrived she demanded answers from Mycroft that he could not give her. He had to admit that his mother's silent accusations of not taking better care of his brother gave him uneasiness.
They went to the burial and said nothing through the entirety of the event much like they did when they buried Siger Holmes. Mycroft observed the few people in attendance. Mrs. Hudson and John Watson were there, of course, along with a few of Sherlock's past clients who still believed. Members of Sherlock's Homeless Network were scattered along the edge not daring to come too close to 'respectful' people. Mycroft saw Sherlock hidden in the distance watching; with him was a man that Mycroft did not recognize. But they disappeared as soon as the man noticed Mycroft watching them and Mycroft did not find them again.
The Holmes were the next to last to leave; Mrs. Hudson and John had the honor of being the last to linger. They looked utterly broken, John more so than Mrs. Hudson. It look like John had stopped taking care of himself and was so focused on the death of his friend that the rest of the world became a blur. Mycroft did not allow the pang of guilt he felt show through his features as he left with his mother. He doubted if John would ever forgive his actions regarding Moriarty.
"People will talk." Violet remarked to her son as they entered the car.
"People do little else." Mycroft replied.
"The second child I've lost to misfortune." Violet said contemplatively. "Oddly enough it was the two who caused the most problems."
Mycroft did not reply to his mother's last remark. It was a conversation that he really did not wish to have at the moment.
The following day Mycroft took his mother to the train station and bid her good bye. He was secretly relived when she was gone. There was no longer a need to keep up pretenses continuously. He returned home and began to ponder his next course of action.
"I must say your mother is a very elegant woman." Mycroft stopped walking when he heard the unfamiliar voice coming from his study. Turning on the light he saw a man, an American, married, late forties to early fifties, professor, sitting at his desk looking over the multitude of newspapers all with similar titles declaring Sherlock a fraud. "I can see quite a physical resemblance between her and her children. Her youngest children take after physically more so than you. You are more your father's son in appearance, but, I would say that you do have her eyes. The burial was quite nice, I must say. I would also give you my condolences for the loss of your brother, but . . . we both know better."
"Do we?" Mycroft asked, cautiously going further into his study and thus closer to the man. He should have been more upset that a strange man had found his way into his home, but he was more annoyed than anything else. The man stood when Mycroft reached his desk.
"Elle doesn't tell me everything, but it wasn't hard to figure out for who she was creating an identity. I insisted that she allows us to help her, which was very fortunate." The man walked out from behind the desk. The man was impeccably dressed showing both conservative taste and substantial wealth. "You're a first for us – we've never worked for a government before."
The connections clicked in Mycroft's mind as he calmly walked to his desk, it was the man who was with Sherlock in the cemetery. There was a handgun locked in the top drawer of his desk, just in case he needed to be in reach of it. As he walked he wondered why the American would be doing in his office. "What are you doing here, Dr. Lehrer?"
Wilhelm smirked as Mycroft lingered on his name. It was a simple ploy to show one's opponent that little was unknown about them and that research had been done. Now the men stood on either side of the desk.
"Elle did say you do like to get to the point." He smiled and offered his hand. "Dr. Wilhelm Lehrer, professor of philosopher at New York University, private businessman, and professional thief. The last one is, of course, not listed on my tax returns."
Mycroft looked at his hand and briefly shook it – it was only polite to do so. He did not share in the man's humor. "The man responsible for taking care of Enola in America and turning her into a criminal."
There was a great amount of disappointment in Mycroft towards himself. If he had better guided his brother and sister, than maybe the current situation would not exist.
"She's one of my best students, in more areas than just thievery." Wilhelm smiled. He then took something from his jacket pocket and put it in Mycroft's hand. "I really do hate unnecessary violence."
When Mycroft looked at the object he discovered, much to his surprise, that it was the magnum, emptied, of his handgun. He quickly checked the drawer and it was still locked with no sign of a forced entry.
"Impressive." Mycroft remarked and sat down, placing the magnum on the desk. "You still haven't answered my question."
"I want Richard Brook," Wilhelm said grabbing a chair and turning it so that was backwards in front of the desk. "Or as he's really christened – James Moriarty."
Something twisted inside of Mycroft at the sound of that name. "What about him?"
"Give me everything you have on the identity of Richard Brook and I will be able to tell you who forged it." Wilhelm said unbuttoning his jacket before sitting in the chair, leaning forward on the back support.
"Wouldn't that be betraying your own kind?" Mycroft leaned back in his chair. This conversation was certainly not what he expected from the criminal. "I believe the term Americans use is 'snitch'."
"Not really," Wilhelm shrugged. "You will find that I am not your normal run of the mill thief." He put the unfired bullets on the desk, one by one, into a neat little row. By such an act Wilhelm was showing that he could have done great harm to Mycroft without breaking a sweat. But now Wilhelm was freely putting in Mycroft's reach a means of protection. "I have associates and connections on either side of the law. Moriarty and people like him I usually stay clear from."
"So even criminals have their standards." Mycroft said unconvinced. The old adage, 'No honor amongst thieves' was clique, but in Mycroft's experience very true.
"After a fashion." Wilhelm said contemplating how to relay what was on his mind. "When I first met James Moriarty he was an arrogant young man with a lot of talk. The last time I saw him he offered me a chance to work with him and he was still an arrogant man, but with a hell of a lot power to back up his ego. I declined his offer. A man like Moriarty and a man such as myself do not work well together. He breaks the law for the thrill of it and the challenge it presents. I break the law because sometimes the law is the problem."
"You fancy yourself, your wife and my sister as Robin Hood thieves of the modern age." Mycroft said feeling a sense of annoyance towards the man. He had done his research after Enola had first approached him with her information on Moriarty. After a few dead ends he learned about Wilhelm and Amelia Lehrer and their connection to Enola. They were very good at hiding their criminal activities and on paper were the perfect law-abiding citizens. It was actually very difficult, even for Mycroft, to connect any crime to them.
"If you like."
"I do not."
"Then, sir, we are at an impasse." He stood and walked to a bookcase collecting his thoughts. Wilhelm turned back and considered Mycroft before continuing. "For someone who disapproves of my actions in regards to Elle, you found them to be most useful. You could have gotten any government to give you papers for your brother to go into hiding, yet you use valuable, hard to acquire favors to locate and bring in your sister."
"I worry, constantly." Mycroft said evenly.
"As do I," Wilhelm said. "So you will understand when I demand to know if you are simply using her? Elle is not one to say no to you or Sherlock. Why go to Elle?"
"For it to work no government agency could be involved." Mycroft said evenly.
"Alright," Wilhelm shook his head. "Stick with the official story if that's what you want. Just realize that it put Elle in a lot of danger."
Mcroft said nothing; he honestly had nothing to say.
"I know you are mad at me," Wilhelm smirked. Mycroft thought it odd that Wilhelm Lehrer was even in his office talking with him and difficult to decipher the motivations. The criminal before him was surprisingly hard to read. "Well, let's us say disappointed, that I taught Elle how to break the law and not get caught. But you must understand that it was either that, let her starve in the streets or even have end up in the system. My wife and I would have never forgiven myself if I had chosen one of the latter two."
"You should have called your authorities and she would have been returned to her family." Mycroft even manner of speaking was still there, but the anger was there and Wilhelm could see it. "Than she wouldn't have become a criminal and hence be unknown to Moriarty."
"From what I learned about your family Elle would have just ran away again and Heaven only knows what would have happen to her after that." Wilhelm said politely, allowing his own anger to show through the cracks. He still remembered all those talk he and Amelia had with Enola once she had become comfortable talking about her family, the night when Enola told him of the night she left, and there was no way, in good conscious, that Wilhelm could send her back to her family. "I did not just teach her how to steal. Amelia and I homeschooled her through high school, helped her pass the GED, found people amongst our friends willing to tutor her giving Elle strong Liberal Arts background at the college level. She is accomplish in art, music, rhetoric, dance, writing – name it and she will learn about it and do it. Despite all her accomplishments and capabilities she is humble and she enjoys helping people. She may not understand them but she will help them.
"Through this education I have given Elle opportunities to let her do anything she wishes." Wilhelm continued. "I am encouraging her to look beyond the thieving life. I know from personal experience that it's very hard to stay in the game and not be negatively affected by it."
"Are you trying to defend your actions to me?" Mycroft was a bit surprise by what Wilhelm was telling him and, again, wondered at the motivation behind it.
"No," Wilhelm returned to his seat and turned it so it was now facing the desk properly before sitting down. "I thought I should tell the legal guardian how his charge is doing. It must have been difficult for you to learn that your mother hated her daughter, your sister. Rather silly, since Enola could not help to be born around the time it was discovered your father was cheating on her. In that very act of signing over guardianship to you, Violet Holmes abandon her daughter. I'm a bit surprised that she doesn't have the same resentment to Sherlock since he's the one that revealed it for all to see. Ah, the things children will say when they don't know any better."
If one was to count how many times Mycroft Holmes was struck speechless only one hand would be needed, and this was one of those moments. Though, he did not show his surprise on his face.
"I won't bother asking the the benign 'how do you know that' question." Mycroft said when he found his voice. "You seem to be very well informed."
Mycroft never told anyone that at the death of Siger, his father that Violet, his mother, wanted nothing to do with the daughter that reminded her of her failed marriage. Mycroft was able to quickly draw up the paperwork naming himself the legal guardian of Sherlock and Enola until they each turned thirty years of age.
Sherlock at his thirtieth birthday would become a co-guardian with Mycroft over Enola. Violet agreed readily and signed the documents without so much as a second thought. Mycroft said nothing of this to his brother and neither Sherlock or Enola found out about it.
"More so than even you," Wilhelm took out a card from his wallet and placed it on the desk within Mycroft's reach. "And very connected, which could be very useful to you."
Mycroft took the card and saw that it was Wilhelm's contact information listing several international numbers.
"Why?" Mycroft asked putting the card back on the desk.
Wilhelm smiled. It was the kind of smile that said that the person knew a lot more than he was going to say. Mycroft had used such a ploy often in his career and he hated that he was now on the receiving end of such a smile. Wilhelm stood and buttoned his jacket.
"It was a pleasure meeting you Mycroft Holmes." He said making his way to the door. "I expect a call from you as soon as you have all the Richard Brook information ready."
"You expect me to work willingly with a criminal." Mycroft also stood just as Wilhelm reached to door.
Wilhelm turned around, he was not surprised by Mycroft's remark. He also did not regret what he was to say next.
"You did once for the sake of national security." Wilhelm's statement made Mycroft tense up. "To clear your brother's name and to bring down the man who tricked you into helping him do that, I expect you to be willing to walk through the nine levels of Dante's Hell then the nine levels of Purgatory, twice.
"I always found it odd that Enola could face off with the most dangerous people in the world, like Moriarty, without batting an eyelash." Wilhelm walked back to the desk. He spoke with authority, almost down to Mycroft. There was an edge in his voice that made Mycroft realize why they man before him was so successful in the criminal world. If you crossed him or acted against him in any capacity – run. "But when it came to her own flesh and blood she became terrified. What does that say about the relationships in your family?"
Wilhelm considered Mycroft a moment before offering his hand to the man not allowing him to answer the question. The two men shook, but instead of simply letting go, Wilhelm shifted his grip so he had a better hold on the wrist and proceeded to ram Mycroft's hand onto the flat surface of the desk.
The pain shot threw Mycroft's hand and through his arm, but he kept his reaction to a simple grimace. The thief had him pinned in an uncomfortable position, but it allowed Wilhelm to easily lean in to talk into Mycroft's ear.
"I know I said I hate unnecessary violence, but this is to prove a point, so it is necessary." Wilhelm spoke in a stage whisper and tighten his grip causing more pain. "If you ever do what you did to your brother to my daughter, nothing short of Divine intervention will stop me from getting to you. Do I make myself clear?"
He released Mycroft's hand who discovered that he could barely move it.
"Perfectly." Mycroft spoke giving little acknowledgment to the violent handshake as though it had not happened. "My office will be in contact with you concerning Richard Brook."
Wilhelm cocked his head slightly noting that he approved of the course of action.
"I'm sure they will. I haven't told Elle what you did, if you're worried about that, and I doubt if Sherlock knows just yet." Wilhelm straightened his jacket before heading out. "You might want to put some ice on that." He called out as he closed the study door behind him.
Mycroft was not really surprise when he had his hand examined later to find that he sustained a sprained wrist and several hairline fractures in three of the metacarpals.
Wilhelm quickly left Mycroft's home and headed to Trafalgar Square where he prearranged to meet Enola. She was off collection favors on behalf of Wilhelm since he did not want her anywhere near by when he spoke to her brother. It was one thing that Wilhelm could agree with Mycroft; neither of them wanted Enola to know of Mycroft's involvement with Moriarty's plot to bring down Sherlock.
As soon as Wilhelm arrived he spotted her by a fountain walking about, well, her steps was more akin to dancing. She had her earphones in listening to music and judging from the rhythm of her steps Enola was either listening to Glenn Miller of George Gershwin, it was a toss up with her.
"Glenn or George?" He asked when he reached her.
"'Slap that Bass'," Enola smiled taking out her earphones and turning off her music player.
"With Fred Astaire, of course." She looked over him carefully. "Did your meeting not go well? You look a bit agitated."
Wilhelm shrugged offering his arm to Enola. She took it without a second thought. It was an old-fashion gesture, but it suited them best.
"It went as well as I could hope." He explained as they walked. "I know I at least got my point across."
"That's good." Enola then proceeded to give him a run down on the errands she accomplished for him. Wilhelm only half listen to what she was saying and was more focused on Enola. He had been a bit worried for her since they had arrived in London.
"What are your plans?" Wilhelm asked when they were about halfway home. They could have taken a cab or the tube, but they had wanted to talk and avoid bystanders listening in fully to what they were saying.
"Concerning what?" She looked at him thoughtfully.
"Your brother, Sherlock"
"I don't know." She confessed, looking momentarily lost. "It's just so odd. I've spent years trying to keep both my brothers out of my life, especially my work, and now … to so willingly allow one into my, well, our work so openly. It's a cornucopia of confusion."
"No doubt," Wilhelm agreed.
"I want you to go with him. He'll probably want to work alone at first, but he'll need a lot of help with the sort of operation he's planning." He said. He kept walking forward even after he felt Enola let go of his arm in surprise. He did eventually stop to allow her to catch up after she got over her shock.
"I'm sure you have a good reason."
"I do." Wilhelm nodded and started walking again.
"You're not going to tell me." Enola said after reading his body language.
"Not at the moment."
"I hate it when you get vague and omnipotent sounding." She remarked trailing behind him a bit annoyed. "I will admit it's cool when you do it to the mark, but when you do it to me, it gets kinda annoying."
Wilhelm laughed. "I must ask though," Wilhelm turned to look at Enola. "I've seen the way your brothers are able to glen information from people with the slightest of details. You've done it on occasion when we're in a tight spot on a con. My question – why have you never done it with me or Amelia when we don't tell you something? I imagine that you could find out quite easily."
Enola smiled and gave a small chuckled. "Because you would tell if you thought I needed to know."
"You trust me that much?" Wilhelm asked offering his arm, again, to Enola, who took it again.
"You've never given me reason not to." Enola said. They smiled at each other and continued their way home in contended silence.
Thus begins the very unusual relationship between Enola's guardians. Let's hope they don't kill each other.
OK, my reason for casting Violet Holmes in such a negative light is that in the Enola Holmes Mysteries, she just ups and leaves Enola without any word on the fourteenth birthday, so essentially abandoning her. The reason Violet Holmes want to live freely amongst the Gypsies without the constraints of Victorian society. That's all well and good, but she had a daughter who barely a teenager! Throughout the entire book series Enola just wants to find her mother and have a family (which I try to portray in this story) which really struck a cord with me.
So in conclusion the character of Lady Holmes in the book series irked me to no end and this is my small revenge against her.