This is set a little less than a month after 'Shall We Talk'.
She had gone up those steps a thousand times only to fall on them and send her shopping all over the sidewalk. It was going to be one of those days and she was not looking forward to it.
"Let me help you." A young American sounding man stopped walking and began picking up the fallen objects. "You alright?"
"Yes, I am; thank you." She picked up what was around her. "What's your name dear?"
"Charlie Siringo." The American smiled as he offered a hand to help her up. "You?"
"Mrs. Hudson." She could not help but smile as Charlie handed over her purse. "Silly me; I can't believe I fell like that."
"Will you need any help getting those in?" Charlie asked holding up her shopping.
"I should be fine from here." She opened the door not that her hand were free. "Thank you."
"Have a good day ma'am." He said handing over her shopping. He gave her a wave as he continued down the street.
Mrs. Hudson closed the door behind her, shopping in hand and smiled. Perhaps today was not going to bad after all.
Charlie turned at the next intersection and kept walking until he reached the third intersection took a right and another turn down the first alley where Wilhelm Lehrer was waiting for him. He was smoking a pipe and looked up when he heard the approaching footsteps.
"Charlie Siringo? Really?" Wilhelm shook his head slowly.
"Historical joke," Terasach Carleton raised his hands in mock surrender.
"And fishline?" Wilhelm asked relighting his pipe. "I hope the dear lady wasn't hurt too much."
"She'll have a few bruises but nothing too serious." Carleton shot a glare at Wilhelm. It was a simple ploy to create a situation to allow an opening to insinuate oneself without suspicion that Carleton had often used. He was not a grifter so he used tactics that were not always elegantly executed, but they worked.
"Well?" Wilhelm jumped to the point of this whole escapade.
"I say there were about two snipers trained on her." Carleton crossed her arms as he explained. "Deactivated the explosives that were in the apartment before she came back."
"Two snipers? And explosives? That's interesting." Wilhelm remarked readjusting his hat as he began to pace the alley.
"If you mean interesting by unnecessary, than yeah." Carleton said. "What is it about that woman that makes someone want her dead?"
Wilhelm did not answer, either from not hearing being lost in his own thoughts, or the lack of want to answer being that the answer was not his to give.
"Is this one of you mysterious cases where you don't tell us anything except have us run seemingly random errands?" Carleton ventured after a while, recognizing that thoughtful look on Wilhelm's face.
"Why have snipers on her at all?" Wilhelm asked suddenly stopping in the middle of the alley. "What's the point if he's already dead?"
"And you're talking to yourself – again." Carleton sighed. Whenever Wilhelm was thinking he had the habit of talking aloud to no one in particular. After working with the Lehrers for years Carleton had grown accustom to their unusual habits. "Wait, who's dead?"
"Her tenant." Wilhelm answered unexpectedly. Another thing about Wilhelm, he always seems aware of what is going on around him, even when distracted. Carleton will never forget the time when he was talking with Hatch about baseball and they were debating about game rules, Wilhelm walked into the room and corrected both of them before grabbing what he needed and left.
"So someone had a beef with the tenant and threatened the land lady to get even?" Carleton asked watching Wilhelm resume his pacing. "That's intense; who got pissed?"
"If there are still snipers then someone believes that he isn't dead. That's a bother." Wilhelm sighed nonplussed. "Come along."
Wilhelm covered the chamber of the pipe and sucked out the air to extinguish it as he made his way to the street to hail taxi. Carleton quickly followed and reached him as a taxi pulled up to the curb.
"Should I be concerned?" Carleton asked as Wilhelm opened the car door.
"Moriarty." Wilhelm said simply as he hopped in.
"Only he could still cause trouble despite being dead." Carleton commented following Wilhelm into the taxi. "What's the interest in the land lady?"
"London City Airport." Wilhelm told the driver and they were off. The two men continued in hushed tones. "Her tenant crossed Moriarty and everyone he was close to was used as leverage against him. But since the tenant is dead the question becomes why are there still guns aimed at their head."
"Assuming that there are snipers on the other people based on their presence with Mrs. Hudson." Carleton added to clarify.
"But it's been five months since he offed himself," Carleton remarked. "Why keep orders of a dead man?"
"Exactly." Wilhelm said thoughtfully.
"What aren't you telling me?" Carleton asked.
"Quite a bit actually." Wilhelm sighed. "Do you still have those contacts in the military? Precisely the British military."
"Do you want air, land or sea?" Carleton asked. He knew better than to press Wilhelm for answers. The professor could become very cryptic and could out maneuver any question thrown at him. The end results left the questioner more confused than before and Carleton did not want a headache.
"I'm thinking anti-terrorist." Wilhelm took out his phone to check seeing if he missed any calls.
"Poker game with them next week," Carleton smiled. "Whaddya need?"
Mrs. Hudson was walking back from her regular visits to Sherlock's grave and was surprised to see Baker Streets filled with police cars. The sight gave her an ache in her chest; it was a common sight when her boys were still residing with her. But with Sherlock dead and John moved out, it did not seem right without them.
She was surprised to see a few SO vehicles with groups of people fully armed and armored. Their guns were trained on a couple of men that were cuffed and being escorted to a transport truck.
"Oh my," She said to herself. Again it was a scene she would have expected if her boys were still living in the flat. Despite the inappropriateness of it, Mrs Hudson smiled.
Enola smiled when she saw the caller ID. "We're not even a week out and you're checking in one us? We can handle ourselves." She said with false wounded pride and good humor.
"Just please tell me that you did not burn down Shanghai." Wilhelm requested, joining in on the joke.
"It's ablaze like Rome of ancient times." Elle answered with her small smile on her face growing. She was always happy to hear from the Lehrers and since she and Sherlock had taken down the drug ring in Shanghai connected to Moriarty earlier that day, she had lots to tell them.
"Are you alone?" Wilhelm asked. It was a simple question, but the manner in which it was asked caused Enola to tense slightly.
"Brother mine won't be back for an hour yet. He is ensuring the last of the evidence for the Shanghai police" She glanced over the copies that they had made of said evidence. She sat next to the window and watched as the brilliant lights of the Chinese city began to flicker. "Why?"
"Well..." Wilhelm told Enola what had transpired in London with Mrs. Hudson and the snipers.
"A bit much." Enola remarked with he had finished. Though her remark was casual it did not hide the uneasiness from Wilhelm. "Do you think that there's a chance that Moriarty faked his death?"
"At this point we will proceed that 'yes' is not a too improbable answer." Wilhelm had been pacing as he was talking with Enola. He slowed his pacing so he could stretch his arms and shoulders. "I have Hatch looking at the paper trail for Moriarty's body, see if there's any discrepancies."
"Sounds like a plan." Enola looked away from the window to the door as the handle began to rattle slightly. "Please do tell Sach not to cut his hair too closely this time." She added without missing a beat.
Sherlock walked in and saw Enola sitting in the chair near the window with her legs propped up on the table. She was talking with one of the Lehrers. Wilhelm most likely.
"Ah, Sherlock walked it," Wilhelm nodded understanding Enola's sudden change in conversation. "Keep him from deducing anything about this; he can't afford to drop everything and run to London."
"Of course it would be counter-productive." Enola declared with a huff keeping up her guise. She could feel her brother's eyes on her as thought he was trying to crack through her guise unknowingly.
"Stay safe my dear." Wilhelm requested sincerely.
"I will." She said with equal sincerity. "Tell everyone I miss them."
"Checking up on us." Sherlock said as Enola ended the call.
"Of course." Enola smiled removing her feet from the table. Sherlock sighed as he took the seat across his sister.
"No." They regarded each other for a moment. Sherlock felt that there was something else but he could not quite place what it was. It was much like trying to deduce something off of Mycroft who was very good at hiding things from his brother. Sherlock, however, could not think of any thing or reason for Enola to hide anything from him.
"How's your side?" Enola asked. The moment was gone, time to move on.
"Fine," He answered.
"Right." Enola said with a smirk knowing that he was still rather sore from his stab wound he received in Marseille.