The Unseen Factor

Unpleasant Meetings

This chapter is set during 'A Scandal in Belgravia'.

Enola found herself reading John Watson's blog. She had finished studying everything she needed for the broad to gain her Masters in her latest discipline. She was still debating whether she would continue on to a Doctorate in that field or not. It was decision that did not need to be made at the moment. Hence her being on the blog. Her mind was so occupied with Medieval History that she wanted something else to break up the monotony of her mind.

"Elle, what have I said about studying in the kitchen?" Amelia sighed as she entered said room. Despite her voice sounded world weary, that a mother that had told her child the same thing a thousand times over, her face held a look of fondness and amusement.

"Not to put the books away with the cere- I did it again, didn't I?" Enola looked up from the computer with an apologetic look on her face.

Amelia piled the books on the counter she found in the pantry with the cereal. "I'm willing to put more fiber in my diet if need be, but this is just ridiculous." She said with halfhearted admonishment. "What are you reading?"

"John Watson's blog." Enola turned back to the screen

"That's the man who rooms with your … second eldest brother, right?" Amelia asked as she stood behind Enola to read the screen.

"Yes," Enola nodded rather stiffly. She was getting better when talking about her family, but it was still hard. "Apparently he thinks Sherlock fancies someone. I think he's just projecting his wishes on the situation."

Enola looked over her should to Amelia and was surprise to see subtle changes in the woman's face.

"Something wrong?" She asked despite knowing the answer. Sometimes, though she never deduced the Lehrers, it was hard not to use her ability, not to see when something was wrong.

"Yes there is," Amelia finally said placing a hand on Enola's shoulder giving her a gentle squeeze. "But it's nothing you need to worry yourself about."

After a quick kiss on the temple, Amelia left a confused Enola to retreat to her husband's study where he was grading papers. Hearing the door click closed, Enola turned back to the computer rereading the blog post to see what upset the woman. There was little she could see and after trawling for another hour, returned to her work. The door of Wilhelm's study remained closed for all this time.

Enola thought little of it over the next days until she saw Wilhelm and Amelia talking at the door with a suitcase at their feet.

"What's going on?" She asked.

"There's something that I need to look into – alone." Wilhelm stressed the last word.

"What aren't you telling me?" Enola demanded looking back and forth between them.

"We'll talk when I return." Wilhelm promised after a slight hesitation.

Enola slowly nodded. "I'll hold you to it." It was an unnecessary insistence; the Lehrers had yet broken a promise to her, but the need to say it was there.

"We wouldn't expect anything less." Amelia remarked. Trust was still a difficult thing for Enola. If there was a chance that there was something being kept from her or something deceiving her, she became unconsciously spooked. The Lehrers worked hard to make sure that Enola was kept in on everything so she could learn to trust those closest to her when appropriate.

Wilhelm gave them each a kiss on the cheek before leaving. When the door had closed, Enola suddenly found herself being held by Amelia. She did not protest the embrace but returned it despite her confusion.

"I know that look." Treasach Carleton remarked as he sat next to Wilhelm in the old bar near the Lehrers' loft apartment. A local neighborhood bar that had been there for years. Wilhelm's father had often gone there with him when he was meeting a co-worker. Wilhelm would sit and watch everyone as they went about their business as his father was worked over dinner. It was really the first place that Wilhelm would profile people. At the moment the bar was not particularly busy due to the holiday season having ended.

Wilhelm was nursing a beer and was about half way through; Carleton had only just gotten his beer and was only a few sips short of a full glass.

"Which look, I have so many." Wilhelm said drily before taking another sip. He had just recently returned to the Sleepless City and had not quite made it back to his home. He needed to organize his mind before he faced his wife and daughter.

"The same look I've seen on my own face when I look in the mirror," Carleton said. "That look of thinking over that one thing that you did that could have gone too far; something that you couldn't forgive yourself if you did."

"So speaks the solider." Wilhelm leaned back in his seat and sighed. He knew that he could not distract Carleton that easily.

"What's on your mind?"

Wilhelm crossed his arms in thought. "We never seem to get away from the darkness, do we? Step into that world just a moment and it stains your soul, eating away at your soul. Ever tire of people saying that they understand or they empathize when you know they really can't?"

"Yep," Carleton took a drink from his glass.

"I almost killed a woman in London." Wilhelm said thoughtfully as if talking about his classes. "I'm wondering if I did the right thing by not following through."

"Do I – "

"No," Wilhelm shook his head slowly. "There's no reason for you to stain your hands red once more. Besides, she will bring down her own downfall."

"Do anything to push that along?"

Wilhelm shook his head again. "Said I would just to scare her; knowing her, her pride will do all the work for me."

"May you never see that woman again." Carleton held up his glass. Wilhelm took his own glass and clinked it to Carleton's.

"Here, here."

"I understand you're putting together a crew." Carleton said after he put down his glass. "Do you need muscle?"

"You want in?" Wilhelm could not help but smile at the fortuitous turn of events. He now no longer needed to ask.

"I want in." Carleton held out his hand.

Both men gladly shook hands in agreement. Wilhelm noted, as he often said to his students, with every valley, there comes a peak.

Enola locked the door behind her and was shedding her coat and scarf when she sensed something was off in the apartment.

"Elle" She heard Amelia call from the sitting room. She hung her outer wear and breathed deeply. The air felt thick with tension and she had yet to see her parents yet.

"Yes," She said as she entered the sitting room. Wilhelm and Amelia were sitting on the couch both wearing a grim expression. Enola was slightly surprised as she was not expecting Wilhelm to return until the next day. "Are we going to talk now?"

They nodded and as Enola walked further into the room the air felt weighted. She likened it to the time the Lehrers told, better yet, warned Enola about James Moriarty. But there was something different about the weight; there was a chill as if there was an old wound recently reopened unkindly. Emotional damage – Enola could see it without trying.

They talked into the night, forgetting dinner, forgetting papers to grade, forgetting class lectures to proof, forgetting everything except Irene Adler, a dominatrix specializing in blackmail. They did not go into a great amount of details of their dealings with Adler, but their vague descriptions of the encounters left Enola glad they were enigmatic. The more they talk the more Enola wondered why Sherlock would even be slightly attracted to someone like that. Granted, people change over time, but she doubted Sherlock had changed much since last they saw each other. Part of her wondered if Adler was perhaps someone from his drug using days, perhaps trying to blackmail him back to her side. She could fathom no other reason for her brother's interest.

"Did you find out who she was?" Enola suddenly asked. "The woman Adler used as a body double?"

Wilhelm nodded. "The woman was Rebecca Mills. I was at least able to return her body to her family after she was properly identified."

Enola sat there between Wilhelm and Amelia on the couch, cross legged, fiddling with her silver necklace. Wilhelm had draped his arm over her shoulders and Amelia held Enola's free hand.

"What was it that your dad says?" Enola asked looking at Amelia.

"There are wolves that prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls." Amelia quoted her father. How strangely apt for the situation.

"Do you think she'll try something to my brothers?" Enola looked to Wilhelm.

"Probably," Wilhelm nodded. "The chance of a power play on the man who embodies the British Government using his weakness of his little brother is too tempting to pass."

"Weakness?" Enola connected many things to Mycroft; weakness was not one of them.

Wilhelm gave a weak smile. "Everyone has a weakness. Mycroft's is that he wants to protect his family; jury still out on how well he has done that."

Enola pondered this in her head; she had never thought of Mycroft of a family protector, simply as a looming presence that wished to control her. But thinking back, it made sense. Mycroft and Sherlock were always arguing about things and Mycroft defended himself saying he did what he thought was best. Maybe it was the reason why Mycroft did so well with his job; he worked hard to protect Britain which he valued greatly. Following that line of reasoning Enola wondered if Mycroft valued his family just as he did Britain.

Enola leaned against Wilhelm and he held her tighter, Amelia began to gently stoke her hair.

There maybe wolves in the world, but Enola knew that she did not need to face them alone.

There are probably only going to be about two or three chapters after this one. I'm working on a sequel to this story which I hope everyone will want to read.

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