Shot in the Dark
This is set about a year and a half after the Fall.
It was a shame really. She was a quite a pretty little thing.
The sniper steadied his breath waiting for the right moment watching his target through the scope. The target was walking with a tall man and they seemed to be in the midst of an heated debate. The sniper could not help but smile at the thought of the man forever regretting the next few things he said to her being the last he would ever utter to her. People always did remember that, especially if the words were in any way harsh.
The pair continued on their way unaware of the danger. They were approaching the point where there was a clear shot for the sniper and he readied himself. You can imagine his surprise when he felt another presence in the room.
"Pull that trigger and a bullet in your brain is the last of your concerns." The woman said smoothly.
It would have been such a lovely shot the sniper mused as he lifted his hands over his head. He did so hate to see a perfect shot go to waste.
"Smart boy, now back away from the rifle." The woman ordered. "Slowly."
He did as he was told. Out of the corner of his eye he got a visual proof of her gun. It would have been foolish of her to go against him without one. He was, however, surprised by the woman's age; much older than he would have thought.
"Can I at least have your name?" The sniper asked smoothly looking for the opportunity to gain the upper hand. A confident man like he was, he was used to having his way with the ladies. This should be no different.
"No," She said bluntly. "Don't even try to find an advantage against me; I'm told by my kinsfolk I'm a crack shot."
But of course good advice in these situations are rarely ever taken to heart. The sniper made a grab for the woman's gun and for his troubles ended up with a few cracked rives and a bloodied nose.
"Told ya." The woman said between breaths holstering her gun and shaking her head. She folded the sniper's arms behind his back and securing them in place with zip-ties that she always kept on hand and doing the same with his ankles. "When you next talk to the person who hired you, do tell them that it's best that they don't try again."
Satisfied that the sniper would not get loose, she left him in a position that only aggravated his newly acquired injuries. She found his phone in his pocket and dialed the nearest police station only to hang up when answered. It was enough to ping the nearest cell tower, she knew that the police were keeping a watch on that particular number.
"Is that everything?" She wondered aloud as she glanced around room.
"Who are you?" The sniper demanded trying to free his arms with minimal pain and failing miserably.
"Ah, yes," The woman smiled as she found a roll of duct tape in the sniper's duffel bag. She happily stuck a length of tape over the sniper's mouth. "Yes it will hurt when the cops rip it off. They should be here between ten, fifteen minutes depending on traffic."
She gave him a hard smack on the cheek and left. Outside the room she took off the latex gloves and inspected her clothes to make sure there were not any blaring specks of blood. Satisfied with her appearance she took the stairs down.
"You are incorrigible!" Enola declared with frustration.
"You are too emotional." Sherlock spat back.
"I would rather be that then stone hearted like you." Enola was growing tired of these arguments. She knew that neither of her brothers particularly liked her profession but she did not like their not so subtle hints of their displeasure. They failed to acknowledge the positives her lifestyle had had on her; they were narrow mindedly focused on the crime. Enola was all for a good debate where ideas were exchanged and defended but her brothers were never ones for a good debate; they were simply men who always had to be right. And if you didn't agree, you were simply steam rolled.
Despite her growing closeness to her brothers, she found herself having to constantly defend herself. But it was a challenge Enola was up for. "You immediately condemn everyone as an idiot without even giving them a chance."
"Why waste time having people prove what I already know?" Sherlock said. Their arguments had been increasing as of late; he had to confess that he was unaccustomed to Enola speaking back to him. Neither of them set out to argue, but it happened.
"That is ridiculous," She counted. "I still can't believe you had the gall to say 'Good God, it can think!' to Russell. She is extremely intelligent and doesn't need to you to degrade her like that."
She did not add the fact that her anger stemmed from her mortification she felt at Sherlock's words towards her oldest friend. For all she knew he probably treated his friend John in a similar fashion. It was moments like these that made Enola realize how much she had been influenced by the Lehrers and the rest of her surrogate family
"She took it with stride." He pointed out annoyed. He could not understand why his sister was becoming so upset about this. Where is John when you need him? His brain supplied but he quickly flicked that thought away before it could muster the ache and the homesickness along with it.
"It's moments like these that make me wonder how the Hell you survived as a detective in London." She glared at him as he held the door open for her.
"Language, sister mine." He reprimanded, he couldn't help but notice as he said it, that the words felt like something Mycroft would say to him. He had come to the conclusion after spending time with his sister that some of Mycroft's more annoying traits had indeed perhaps been the traits of a big brother.
Though apparently her reaction to them was similar to his own as she flounced through the door.
"You've said worse." She called back to him.
"Hold the door!" Amelia called out just before Sherlock went in. "Thanks."
Amelia noticed that Enola was not waiting for them and the expression of Sherlock's face was grim and annoyed. She sighed and shook her head. "Oh boy." She had noticed the recent increases in their spats lately and was worried. She was also concerned for what could have caused them as neither Holmes child seemed any different than usual.
As the trio headed to elevator the blaring sounds of police sirens ran through the street. The sheer number of police vehicles that went by was what caught the attention of the otherwise apathetic New Yorkers, if only briefly.
"What did you do?" Sherlock demanded quietly to Amelia grabbing her arm.
"Whatever do you mean, Will?" She asked giving him a questioning look. Enola had gone ahead of them when the police cars no longer held her interest and opted for the stairs.
"Everyone turned their attention to the doors at the sirens, including myself, except you." Sherlock muttered quickly keeping an eye out for eavesdroppers. "You were expecting it. Stop playing the fool – what did you do?"
Amelia smiled; she firmly extracted her arm from his grip allowing him to see the scrapes and faint buries that were beginning to form on her knuckles.
"I was simply cleaning up." Amelia said sweetly with a smile that threaten. Sherlock could suddenly see from where his sister learned how to threaten. He unconsciously took half a step back as he held eye contact with Amelia.
"Hey!" Enola's voice snapped both of them from their stance. They both looked over to her as she stood in the stair doorway. "Meeting a client with a connection to the spider web in ten minutes. You can threaten each other later."
"We're taking the elevator." Amelia explained. Enola only sighed and accepted the answer before disappearing to the stairs again. Before Sherlock could protest, Amelia dragged him into the elevator and pushed the button the close the doors before anyone could get on. "I don't thing you or your brother ever truly comprehend how dangerous it was for Elle to take on your job. But she still did it anyway, because you are her brothers. Wilhelm and I sometimes are able to catch wind of a hit ordered on Elle's life. Sometimes the hits are ordered from people in Moriarty's organization; maybe they see it as fulfilling their boss' last order. Other times it's enemies of Mycroft wanting to weaken his network of whatever he controls. Let's not forget the enemies that you made during your time as a consulting detective. Either way, people want to her dead."
"What about your enemies?" Sherlock pointed out. He was not about to let the Lehrers forget what they expose his sister to.
Amelia casually looked at Sherlock; there was no glint of humor or sarcasm in her eyes. "They know better than to strike at us."
"When you say take care of it?" Sherlock ventured as he eyed Amelia's pocketed hands.
Amelia smirked as she cocked her head to the side giving a mirthless laugh. "As much as you hate it, Wilhelm and I do consider Elle as our daughter. We, like any other parent, would do anything to protect our child. But as I said before, we only hear about it sometimes – we will not be able to stop it all the time."
Much to Sherlock's annoyance, the elevator reached the destined floor and the doors opened to Enola, who had her arms crossed.
"Do I even want to know what you two chatted about on the way up?" She asked after looking them both over.
"Contemplating the question to life, the universe and everything." Amelia said brightly before giving a confused Enola a quick kiss on her cheek then heading down the hall. "Yes I've been hanging out with Hatch a little too much."
Enola did not say anything as she looked back to Sherlock. She was surprised that he no longer had superior smug that he usually had on his face; instead he was probing her wearing a thoughtful expression.
"Don't just stand there," Enola finally got out; she never liked it when Sherlock was picking part her person, she found it unsettling. "Other people have to use the elevator."
Sherlock followed her to the temporary offices that the Lehrers had set up to meet with the current client. The meeting was surprisingly informative, once you got past the emotionally presentation of the client. The client owned a shipping business, who took on side jobs to keep his business afloat and to pay the seemingly endless hospital bills for his child's care. The side jobs were done for a Tom Rim, who the client described as always knowing more than what he told. The client gave them everything he had on Rim.
"Hatch, could you find this Rim online?" Enola asked after the client had left. She was looking thoughtfully at Rim's business card. She, Hatch, Carleton and Tekla sat around the conference table while Amelia stood towards the back of the room tending to her hands; Sherlock stood towards the back, mostly because the thieves were a bit trying on his patience.
"I'm insulted that you had to ask." Hatch replied with a playful huff as he typed away on his keyboard; he brought up several images on the large screen in front of them. "Already on it; general cover business, pretty vague on what exactly he does."
"Does he have another name besides Tom?" She asked throwing the card on the table.
"What are you getting at?" Tekla asked as she picked up the card.
"Ares Jay." Hatch supplied. "Why?"
Enola did not say anything but began to write on a note pad then held it up for everyone to read. In big letters she wrote out 'Ares Jay Tom Rim' and underneath . . .
"James Moriarty." Sherlock read aloud.
"Not really a clever anagram." Enola sighed as she threw down the notepad. She sounded mildly disappointed, as if she had expected better. "And there's the connection between our client and the spider web if anyone still wondered."
She glared back at Sherlock to emphasize her point; they had been arguing about a possible connection earlier before their visit to Russell. Sherlock quietly sighed in frustration and wondered how long Enola would stay mad at him. He wondered for what felt like the millionth time since this started if all brothers found their sisters this annoying and why he on earth had ended up feeling guilty that she was cross when he had clearly been right?
"How did you even see that?" Tekla looked at Enola in shock.
"I like puzzles and riddles." Enola shrugged. "It was just an observation and a shot in the dark."
"Damn good aim," Tekla said throwing down the card. "You've been hanging out with those analytical specialists at the FBI too much."
"They're fun and Wilhelm's old team," Enola pointed out with mock surrender.
"Where is Wilhelm anyway?" Carleton asked. "It's not like him to miss a client meeting."
"He had to go do some cleaning." Amelia said softly so that only Sherlock could hear. They shared a pointed look before Amelia smiled to everyone else and walked to them. "He had to go investigate something and he wasn't sure how long it would take him. Anyway, find out who is in charge of the company since Moriarty is dead."
Amelia continued to instruct the team leaving Sherlock alone with his thoughts wondering exactly how much danger his sister placed herself in every time she did one of these jobs. Both he and his brother agreed that they had only found her and had her back in their lives again; they did not want to lose her, it was too difficult the first time.
The growing sense of sentiment was more trouble than it was worth for Sherlock, but oddly he found himself not minding so much.