End of Things
This is set at the end of the Hiatus, so it's been three years since Sherlock has been in Britain and seen his friends.
"Sherlock has his last piece." Enola announced as soon as Amelia stepped on the roof. "Enough to get the last person in Morarity's web of crime."
Enola sat sideways on the ledge of the building holding her knees to her chest watching the sun set.
"With which he will returned to London as the righted hero and the populous with cheer on their ever fluctuating support for him." Ameila said with a bit of flare as she sat on the ledge with her back to the sun. "Which begs question which and your brothers have forced to the back of your minds – now what?" She added with a much more serious tone.
"A difficult question." Enola sighed hugging her knees tighter.
"Yep." Amelia glanced at Enola.
"They want me to stop. Being a thief, that is." Enola said. "They haven't said those exact words, but you see it in how they act whenever the subject comes up. The uncomfortable pause before they speak, that look in their eyes . . . They want me to do something respectable."
"Says the bureaucratic politician and a detective who bends rules." Amelia gave a mirthless chuckle. Enola did not join in the small laugh, her mind too weighed down by her thoughts. "Would you? Stop, I mean."
"I think I can compare that to asking Sherlock to stop using abductive reason or Mycroft to stop using the world as a chess broad." Enola explained with a huff. "I like what I do and the reasoning behind it. But I don't think it's enough for them. Even with my academic work."
"Sounds like there's more to this then just gaining approval from your brothers." Amelia remarked as she turn back to the the city scape. She watched a few lights flickered on in the windows of the buildings before her reveal the occupants and their activities. "What else is going on in that mind of yours?"
"I find that I'm having a crisis of self." Enola confessed after awhile. "Am I Elle Lehrer or Enola Holmes? A thief or a runaway? A criminal or a disappointment? I sometimes feel as thought I am living as two separate entities sharing the same body that is working hard to make sure that one entity does not bleed into the other."
Amelia had lost interest in the cityscape as Enola spoke and she looked at the woman she raised. She had grown into a wonderful person and there was no doubting that; accomplished in so much yet still plagued by the deeply implanted doubt. It was moments like these that Amelia wished she had slapped some sense in Violet Holmes when she had the chance, it seemed Elle, no matter how far she came, would always bear the scars of her childhood.
"My dear Verity Enola Marie," Amelia said her full name slowly allow her native Texan accent to in full force. The simplicity of the statement of her name caused Enola to look at her. "You are you; Wilhelm and I could not be more proud of you. No matter what you decide you will be always be our daughter." Amelia stood and gave Enola a kiss on top of her head. "Dinner will be ready in about thirty minutes."
Enola watched as Amelia went back inside. She swung her legs around off the ledge and gingerly placed them down.
With a simple sigh and nod, she made her decision.
"Elle, exactly how good are you at picking pockets?" Sherlock asked.
They were standing on the edge of a crime scene in Park Lane with the crowd that had gathered. People gasped and whispered as a gurney came out of the house with a full body bag. Sherlock and Enola stood in the crowd keeping their face hidden from people's direct line of sight and of the cameras watching the events unfold. Sherlock watched as Lestrade stepped out of the building looking exhausted and lost. There was an odd mix of emotions in Sherlock; he felt glad to see a familiar face but at the same time he felt sorry for the Detective Inspector for the back lash he suffered because of Sherlock.
Sherlock was aware that Mycroft was able to call in a few favors so that Lestrade was able to keep his job and rank with the Metropolitan Police. It was the least they they could so for the Detective Inspector; but even Sherlock that was not near enough of what both he and Mycroft owed Lestrade. In all the years that Sherlock worked with Lestrade, he never realized how indebted he had become to him.
He briefly glanced to Enola who was discreetly taking a good look at everyone in the crowd. Sherlock wonder how Lestrade would react to her. He supposed that if his plan to capture Moran went accordingly, he would soon find out.
"You tell me." Enola began riffling through a wallet taking out the cash and pocketing it. Sherlock looked at the wallet and it looked like his. Unconsciously his hands went to his pockets and to his great surprise found that the wallet was actually his.
He did not feel a thing.
"And thank you for your donation for those nice pair of shoes I saw in topshop earlier." She smirked at him. "Very generous brother mine."
"Touché." He took back his wallet from Enola who had a Cheshire grin on her face. He kept his hand out until she also gave back the money. He coughed and she sighed as she handed over his phone as well.
"What do you need me to get?" She asked as they turned their attention to the morbid scene before them. They were recently in London after following a lead concerning a Sebastian Moran, one of the last of Moriarty's lieutenant of his criminal web. It was not long before they heard word of the murder of Ronald Adair and rushed over. The murder had intrigued both of the younger Holmes children and Sherlock was certain of a connection to Moran.
"I need you to put something in." Sherlock gave her a folded note and pointed to Lestrade who was talking with a few officers.
"Consider it done." Enola took the note and headed off to the detective inspector while putting on spectacles and pulled up her hair up. Sherlock noted how she completely changed her manner of walk as she approached the detective, adding a bit of a spring in her step and a little saunter.
Sherlock watched carefully to see how she would do what he asked. When she stumbled practically into Lestrade's arms he thought she was caught. She laughed at herself and apologized explaining that she was still breaking in the shoes she was wearing. Lestrade assured her no harm was done with a gentle polite smile and they went about their separate ways.
She nodded to her brother before indicating that they should more away from the crime scene. Best not press their luck too much; she was worried that one of the police would recognize Sherlock and blow their cover.
"What was on the note?" Enola asked when they met up a block or so away from the crime scene. Sherlock held out his hand and looked expectantly at her. Sighing she reluctantly handed over Lestrade's badge. He was tempted to ask who she was able to remove it from the wallet without anyone noticing, but decline knowing that she would only smile. "He'll find it faster that way." She added defending herself.
"A meeting place and time if he wants to find the killer in the Adair case." Sherlock explained pocketing the badge.
"You're going to need more proof than just an educated guess." Enola pointed out as she pulled out her phone. "Which is why I cloned one of the memory stick of one of the cameras, so now I have some crime scene photos for you."
She gave her phone to Sherlock so he could look at the pictures.
"I don't guess." He mumbled as he thumbed through the collection. Sniper shot – that was easy to figure out. He was slightly put out that he could not get a proper at the body and the scene before the police trampled all over the place. But it could not be helped.
"Any way," Elle ignored her brother's grumblings. "I also hacked into their system. As soon as they forensic results are entered into the system we can run a comparison on the Moran bullet we got in Morocco."
"Good." It felt good to get back to what he did best – solving seemingly impossible murders.
The pair walked down the street in silence slowly making their way back to one of the Lehrers' safe houses, actually it was the same one that Sherlock was taken to after he faked his death. In a way, it was like coming full circle.
It took a little longer than it would normally since they were avoiding the CCTV. They were not hiding from Mycroft. Enola had actually called him when they arrived to let him know of their presence; the three of them had dinner plans for the following week. They were, in reality, hiding from everyone else.
Sherlock gave the phone back to Enola when they reached the safe house and dug out his keys to open the door. After he unlocked the door he looked back to his sister and was surprised to see her looking over the street.
"You do realize that this is the end of our collaboration." Enola remarked somewhat sadly, turning to him.
Sherlock looked at her realizing what she meant. With him returning to his old life they would be again on opposite sides of the law and she would probably disappear from the lives of her brothers. She did it once before and she could do it again. This time she would not come back. Enola knew what would occur if it was revealed that the Holmes boys, one deeply involved in the government and the other investigating murders, had a sister who was a thief. It could ruin both of them.
"We could – "
"No, Sherlock." She cut him off using his name, his actually name and not 'Will'. She only did that when they were alone or she when wanted to talk about something serious. "I'm a thief, you're a detective; we can't change who we are."
"You're not a thief." Sherlock insisted as he had often done.
"I'm not good at much less," Enola insisted.
"We both know that's not true." He thought back to both the Lehrers proudly talking about her accomplishments, academic or otherwise. Sherlock knew that his sister would simply say it was all so she could better grift or forge; but if that was the case Enola would not study as diligently or with as much pleasure.
"I think the old bookseller would be good way to get to your friend John." Enola said brightly as she entered the house leaving Sherlock feeling a little frustrated. He hated how she would change the subject of the conversation whenever she felt uncomfortable about it.
"Elle," Sherlock followed it and closed the door with a bit of a thud to show his frustration.
"Though do try this time not to be too cantankerous." Enola called from Wilhelm's study. Sherlock shook his head as he took off his coat; he had been trying to talk to Enola for months about her life but she always out-maneuvered him into a different subject topic. "I think I even have a few first editions you could peddle."
"Enola," Sherlock entered the study and leaned against the door frame. Enola had already discarded her jacket and hat and was going through her rare book collection, but she had paused at the sound of her name. "I don't want you to disappear again. It would be pleasant to have someone around who is not an idiot."
A small laugh escaped Enola's mouth at Sherlock's joke.
"That's high praise coming from you." Enola turned to face her brother. She was holding several books. "But do you think it's wise to have your criminal sister around crime scenes. I might contaminate them."
"No more than me." Sherlock offered. "You are capable of so much more than thievery or forgery."
"Being a grifter has gotten into my blood," Enola insisted. "The other day I lifted a man's oystercard without thinking about it. Don't worry I gave it back." She added when she saw Sherlock about to say something.
"Yet you are docent at several American museums and lecturer." He pointed out. "Even Wilhelm encourages you to look for other occupation. Surely you cannot believe that this is all there is for you."
"Looking past the fact that you eavesdropped on a private conversation, I'll think about it." She sighed, putting the books on Wilhelm's desk. "Alight?"
"Alright." Sherlock saw that was about as far as he would get with her about the subject for the moment. He went and sat at the desk and looked over the books. "'The Origin of Tree Worship'?"
"Published in 1892 and it's an interesting read if you're bored." She shrugged as she took the book out out of her brother's hands. "I mostly like it for the illustrations."
"These are legally yours, correct?" Sherlock leaned on the desk looking at Enola.
"Of course they are!" She insisted while smiling and shaking her head. They had developed an easy manner with each other but that did not stop Enola from unconsciously inching away when Sherlock came to close or slightly flinch when he raised his voice. He wanted to erase those unconscious reactions from Enola's manner, but it proved difficult. As Mycroft had once remarked, it would take years to get past their mistakes.
Sherlock did admit that coming back to London felt like an end and a beginning. As he and Enola traveled across the world taking down Moriarty's web, Mycroft was working in London laying the groundwork to clear Sherlock's name and for his return. That was his new beginning, but he felt his time with his sister was fast coming to an end.
"I would have thought that after all this time you would have realized that I don't keep what I steal." Enola smirked as she took a seat at the desk. "If I did that I would have absolutely too much stuff.."
"What about that collection of Egyptian statuettes in the hallway?" Sherlock asked taking off his glasses. He had long since stopped dying and cutting his hair; it was back to what it was before his Fall but he continued to wear the glasses.
"Those are Amelia's." Enola said unfazed.
"Of course they are." Sherlock leaned back in the chair. "Dare I ask how she came across those?"
"You may dare," She shrugged. "But that doesn't mean that I'm going to answer you; or I could give a extremely vague answer along the lines of 'that was before Amelia used her powers for good'. Either way you come out annoyed."
"True." He had to agree because she was right. Sherlock's phone rang; sighing he picked up the phone. "It's Mycroft."
"Don't keep Jupiter waiting." Enola said as she picked up her notebook and began to write in it. "I'll stay out of trouble as you two converse."
Sherlock shook his head at Enola's nick name for their older brother and headed out to the hall to take the call. As he left the room she took a deep breath and leaned back in the chair throwing her notebook back on the desk. She had not told anyone of her decision. In truth she was not quite sure how her surrogate and biological family would react. Also, she thought it best to wait till after Sherlock had been brought forth as innocent and cleared of all charges.
If anyone would ask her, Enola would freely admit she manipulated the conversation with Sherlock to discover how much he true wanted her back in his life. She learned at a young age that her biological family that they would say things simply because it was what was suppose to be said at a particular situation, not because they actually meant it.
Over the years Enola could glean from her brothers' behavior and word phrasing that they hated the fact that she disappeared, but it remained unclear if it was because she outsmarted them or if they truly cared. After what was exchanged in the street she was leaning more towards the latter of the two.
Which was why she felt more comfortable with her decision than before.
The paperwork would be extensive, but it would be, in the end, worth it to Enola. She absently began to write her full name in the notebook; she paused when she came to the surname but smile knowing what she would write.
The world better be ready for the underestimated Holmes, for the unseen factor.