This is set around the same time as the last chapter.
Enola had gotten Sherlock out of the hospital and to one of the many safe-houses that the Lehrers had set up in London over the years. As soon as they got there Enola left again with Wilhelm with claims of errands leaving Sherlock in the hands of Amelia. During the days leading up to the burial Sherlock saw little of his sister and that of Wilhelm. Sherlock watched them and they would come in and out of the front door, grabbing this or that as they talked out some drug company bribes or a family who lost everything from a scam – nothing that really interested Sherlock.
Wilhelm was actually the one to take Sherlock to his own burial. During the drive to and at the event Sherlock said next to nothing. He had nothing really to say. Wilhelm was also quiet, he was formulating his own plans.
"German or Austrian?" Sherlock asked when they were driving back from the burial. Wilhelm glanced at him quickly before turning back to the road and considered his answer.
"Firstly, never ask that question of any German or any Austrian," Wilhelm said. "Secondly, Naturalized American citizen."
Well that answer was frustrating. Sherlock was tempted to launch into the explanation of how he came to that conclusion. Wilhelm had that annoying authoritative manner that reminded Sherlock too much of Mycroft; for that reason alone Sherlock wanted to say something, anything, to show his intelligence. Much like he had done when he first met John.
"I'm really not interested in the 'how'." Wilhelm said just as Sherlock opened his mouth. For the rest of the ride Sherlock said and asked nothing else.
Amelia was very welcoming but seemed to understand Sherlock's need for some time alone to collect himself from the chaos from which he just recently escaped. He ate and slept little and Amelia made no comment. She actually spoke very little to him until a few days after the burial when she declared that he must change appearance. She had everything ready for the haircut and dyeing; it was obvious that she would not take no as an answer and Sherlock did see the benefit of looking different.
When she was done, Sherlock looked at himself in the mirror. Amelia had skillfully cut and dyed his hair so now he had shorter reddish blonde hair. It was very different; he doubted if anyone would have recognized him easily, which was the point.
"Here we are," Amelia came up from behind him with a thin black box contain different spectacle frames. "This rectangular frame will work best I believe." She pulled out a pair that fit her description and handed them to Sherlock. With them on he looked even more different..
"Hm." It would take Sherlock a while for him to adjust to the new look. Probably a day or so.
"Your new identity has to be Elle's best work yet." Amelia practically beamed as she spoke. "I don't think she worked as hard on any other identity."
Sherlock looked at the various papers in front of him. This was really the first time he had a chance to look over her work since she had given him them. Everything was there that was needed to prove that this fake person existed. Passport, birth certificate, medical records, to name a few. Enola even gave the identity a credit card statement. A very through job.
The makeup of the false identity was an interesting choice on Enola's part. Vilhelm Sigerson, a Norwegian photographer who spent an extensive amount of time traveling for his art. The name was creative, Sherlock had to give that to his sister, it was actually the first thing he noticed; Vilhelm, the Norwegian version of William, his barely used first name of William Sherlock Scott Holmes; Sigerson, their father was named Siger. The choice of occupation would allow Sherlock the ease of travel without much suspicion to take down Moriarty's web of crime.
Enola's work on this was … impressive. She accomplished what few had ever done, impress Sherlock Holmes. Within days of running away Enola essentially disappeared; neither Mycroft or Sherlock, with all their connections that grew as the years past, could find her. At the time Sherlock was too annoyed with the disappearance to be impressed by it. But now he could fully appreciate the skill it took for her to do that. Now those skills were refined and given ease so she could disappear right from Sherlock's side without him realizing it as she had done when they first talked in Regency Park. Mycroft had even mentioned in passing that it was difficult to locate Enola despite knowing she was in London.
"You taught her." It was a statement bordering on accusation. Despite what Enola had provided for him, Sherlock felt . . . disappointed that she had chosen to become a criminal. He did not know why he felt that way, he just did. He was confused by the feeling.
"Yes." Amelia said, obviously proud. Sherlock could not decide if she had not heard his threatening tone or if she was choosing to ignore it. "She's even better than me. Her attention to detail is amazing to say the least. Wilhelm and I are very proud of her."
Sherlock said nothing – just observed her as she spoke. Amelia acted very parental towards Enola, he could see it in the small gestures she did towards Enola. Things like gently brushing strands of hair from Enola's face, placing hands on Enola's shoulders in comfort, even telling Enola she was proud of her. Sherlock noticed the protective nature in which Wilhelm had towards his sister in the short time he saw the man.
All the actions of loving parents towards their beloved child. But Enola was not their child. Sherlock did not understand why they treated her as such. He almost felt robbed by the Lehrers for, in a sense, taking his sister away. If he had the chance, Sherlock was certain that he could have molded Enola into something great, not just some petty thief. But that was what was done to her by Wilhelm and Amelia; both who seemed to care too much about a girl who was not their own.
Caring is not an advantage. As seen with his fall from 'grace' – Moriarty won. He used Sherlock's caring against him. He should have not gotten emotional. It was much simpler when he could think calmly, logically, and rationally. At least that was what he was trying to convince himself. Sherlock was doing his best not to let his mind wander over memories of Mrs. Hudson popping in with a 'how do you do', John scolding him for being rude to a client or the times he laughed with John.
All of that was gone.
He lost everything.
But, before him was a blatant example of caring, from which Enola had apparently benefited. As Amelia had told him earlier, Enola was a force to contend with.
"Dinner's in twenty." Amelia said leaving Sherlock to muse in his thoughts. "And I will book no argument with you about eating. I expect you to clean your plate. Oh, and I'm not above force feeding you."
Sherlock quickly looked in her direction to glare at her for her last comment, but by the time he turned she disappeared around the corner. He had not formed an opinion of the woman, yet. She was intelligent in her field, that being art. As she cut and dyed his hair she talked of art and anything relating to art, from how painting styles have changed through out the centuries to how to mix pigments. None of it was interesting to Sherlock nor did it seem important for him, but he listened. Amelia also knew her ways around weapons. Not only did she restore paintings but she worked extensively with historic weapons ranging from the early 1700s to the World War II era, restoring them for display or working order for reenactments.
Wilhelm and Enola, having finished what they were working on in the past few days, returned shortly before dinner, which was a quite affair. Everyone was too preoccupied with their own thoughts to be concerned with conversation. Sherlock and Enola ate little, much to Amelia chagrin; she did not put that much on their plates to begin with. Wilhelm was looking over some paperwork, also to Amelia chagrin. She was about to make good on her threat of force feeding when her husband caught her eye.
"Ringer," Wilhelm said thoughtfully.
"What about him?" Amelia asked.
"He did it." Wilhelm placed the papers back into the folder and pushed it aside.
"Richard Brook." Wilhelm's last remarked caused Sherlock to snap out of his own thoughts and stare at him.
"Who is Ringer?" Sherlock made a grab for the folder but Wilhelm quickly took it from his reach as would a parent taking a object away from a child whose was too young to use it and handed it to his wife.
"A forger based out of Britain and a commonly good one." Wilhelm leaned back in his chair thoughtfully. "I've been looking at this Richard Brook identity and it has Ringer's fingerprints all over it."
"With that level of work this is an expensive job." Amelia remarked after looking over the file.
"I'm sure Ringer did it at a discount for Moriarty." Wilhelm's mind was racing wondering the next several possible steps he could take.
"This is more work than what we would even do for a forgery." Amelia shook her head in disbelief. "What about the Eraser?"
"Not someone who would work with Moriarty." Wilhelm said.
"Where can I find this 'Ringer'?" Sherlock demanded not use to being ignored.
"Not sure." Wilhelm said casually. "I've never worked with him personally and I honestly thought he retired years ago."
"Where can I find him?" Sherlock demanded again.
"Elle, why don't you show your brother what you've been working on." Wilhelm requested; he either did not hear Sherlock's question or chosen to ignore it. He did not look at her, his eyes were staring off in the distance lost in thought.
Enola briefly glanced at Wilhelm before motioning to Sherlock to follow her. Her brother lingered a bit as if weighing the options before him. Whatever the choices, he finally stood and followed Enola.
"Why not show him the file?" Amelia asked as she began clearing the table.
"He's not thinking clearly." Wilhelm leaned back in his chair. "He is upset and will only see what he wants to see."
"You're trying to keep him from doing something stupid." Amelia stated. "We might be too late on that one. And?"
"I don't want him to know about Mycroft's role until he is more at ease." Wilhelm stood and began to help with wife with the dishes. "Not like Mycroft had much of a choice in the matter."
"I see what you're doing." Amelia smirked as she made her way to the kitchen.
"I'm sure you do, my dear." He called as he followed her.
Enola led Sherlock to her room which also doubled as her art studio. The windows, which probably allowed an ample amount of light to come in when sunny, were covered by thick curtains. To one side, opposite her neatly made bed, there was an easel and a desk and scattered about and on the desk were sketches of places all over London, there were even a few of Baker Street, on the easel was the beginning of a painting of a country landscape. He was surprised by the tightness in his chest as he saw the Baker Street sketches; he quickly covered them under the other piles of sketches.
Amongst the sketches there were notes on criminal activity in London and other major cities, some Sherlock knew about, others he did not particularly care about or had any knowledge of. As Sherlock examined her room, Enola went to her armoire and pulled out a banker's box stuff full of papers and computer disks.
"When Moriarty expressed his displeasure towards me I took several precautions just in case he decided to take me out of the game. Of course that decision was made before half of the criminal world thought it would be a way in on Moriarty's good side to take me out." Enola placed the box on her bed and began to pull out the files and disks. It was notes on Moriarty's criminal organization. Seeing the contents of the box, Sherlock greedily delved into the notes only half listening to his sister, which is what Enola expected. "I collected all the data I could from different sources and used it against him. I took down a drug trafficking route of his last week. I could continue on my own, but I think that this is more for you. It's more personal to you."
"Why isn't personal for you?" Sherlock asked not looking up from reconnaissance pictures. "Having your life threatened would make it personal for most people."
"We're not like most people, Sherlock," Enola pointed out as she pulled out her laptop from under her bed. As she sat on her bed, she began to feel drowsy; it must have been for not getting enough sleep over the past few weeks. "For me it's just business. One can't take too many things personal in this line of work, or else you would get nothing done."
They fell silent. It was not uncomfortable or awkward it was just simply there. Enola watched Sherlock pour over her notes, he seemed quite captivated by them. She even allowed him the use of her laptop so he could access the disks. After a while, she saw that Sherlock was also showing signs of being tired, which was odd. Enola remembered how he would not sleep when he had something to entertain his mind and her notes should be doing that, judging on how intensely he was studying them.
Sherlock felt a bit dizzy and sat next to Enola before he lost his balance. He suddenly became a little concerned, he was not one to become dizzy.
"You alright?" She asked gently.
"I feel tired." Sherlock stated standing up in a feeble attempt to awaken himself.
"Not surprisingly considering the week you've had." Enola remarked. "When was the last time you slept?"
"That's not the point." Sherlock protested, plopping himself on the floor at the foot of the bed. "I don't sleep; not when I have a case!"
"Sherlock!" Enola joined her brother on the floor, kneeling next to him. "You lost everything in the course of less than two days. That would be trying on anyone, even you. Have you even allowed yourself to feel the magnitude of your loss?"
"I can't afford to feel anything! Look what happen when I allowed myself to feel!" Sherlock snapped furiously and glared at Enola. She seemed to shrink away quickly like a frightened child and fear flashed in her eyes. Enola's reaction gave Sherlock pause, she was on the verge of shaking but she regained her composer and very cautiously placed a hand on his arm.
"I know," She spoke softly as if afraid that he would snap at her again and kept her eyes downcast. She could not bare to look at his face, it brought too many painful memories to surface. "You gained a wonderful friend, a woman who looks at you like her son, I might even add a man who you have respect towards. You became a better person, people became more willing to seek your help despite your abrupt manner, and – "
She stopped and closed her mouth not wanting to continue. Removing her hand she sat next to Sherlock gathering her knees to her chest showing her own tiredness. She focused on her breathing, taking deep breathes. Enola worked on returning the memories deep into her mind and Sherlock watched. Her face was still, but Sherlock could easily the fear and sadness in her expression and that she lost the little color that was in her face.
"You're no longer afraid of me." Sherlock finished for her after he deduced her actions. "You were afraid of me?"
Enola nodded. Few things could surprise Sherlock but that was one of them. He could not think of a reason for Enola to fear him; angry, yes, but fear? He could not answer that.
"Why?" He asked, his attention completely on Enola. She looked at him and shook her head.
"No dear brother mine." She wore a sad smile on her face. "Today, we do not worry about me. Today we concern ourselves about you and help you get started on your crusade." She reached behind her to grab a file.
"Enola – "
"You do know how to use a camera, right?" Enola asked cutting off Sherlock. She looked intently at the file. "If not, Wilhelm can teach you; he taught me photography."
Sherlock decided to withhold his question for now. The Holmes family was nothing if not stubborn and Enola had that trait in abundance; though not as much as Sherlock.
They proceeded to plot and plan for Sherlock's first steps in taking down the web; the tension that had suddenly erupted between them slowly dissipated and they worked until they could no longer ignore how tired they had become and fell asleep sitting on the floor next to each other with Enola resting her head on Sherlock's shoulder. They were not disturbed when Amelia opened the door to check on them. She smiled at the sight of them sleeping with the papers askew around them with the light of Enola's computer shining on them.
"You put a sedative in their food." Wilhelm stated as his wife closed the door softly.
"They were running themselves ragged." Amelia defended herself. "You know how Elle won't sleep or eat well during a con and we came straight from a con to here, that's almost three weeks. I'm sure her brother has similar habits."
"I understand, believe me." Wilhelm gently pulled his wife into a hug and just held her. "Sherlock looked drained when we brought him back from the graveyard. Elle is always on edge whenever Moriarty is involved or being in England."
"I won't tell if you won't." Amelia said leaning her head on Wilhelm's shoulder. It had been a long and stressful time for them. Amelia could never understand women who have so little regard for children, especially their own. Early in their marriage Wilhelm and Amelia tried for children, having one son who was born too soon and died too young. It was several years before Amelia could listen to a baby crying without tears forming in her eyes. When Enola entered into their lives, Amelia took to being very mother-like towards her, which was what the girl desperately needed.
The family Amelia had growing up was large, loud, emotional and many times annoying but it was a guaranteed fact they had your back. Enola's family was nothing like that and Amelia wanted to make that up to the girl.
"Tell them what, my dear?" Wilhelm asked in all sincerity. "That they fell asleep on the floor? They'll find out when they wake up."
Amelia smirked and shook her head. "You are impossible."
"And yet, you willingly married me." Wilhelm kissed her forehead and they headed off to bed.