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July 17, 2016 5:43 am  #21


Re: Marvellous Midyear Fics 2016 - read them here!

Here we have our final fic for the Midyear Fic Exchange, another two-parter. Don't forget to comment here when you've read it




This fic is for kgreen20

You asked for a platonic no slash fic involving time travel and featuring Granada Holmes & Watson, and BBC Sherlock & John, set pre-Reichenbach for both. I wrote this completely from scratch and I feel like it could turn into a series… I hope you enjoy it. It’s pretty long, sorry, but there was a lot to get in!





Two Holmes Are Better Than One


“Do you believe in time travel, John?” asked Sherlock one night, completely unexpectedly as they’d both been sat in silence on their respective armchairs, John finishing off the final chapter of The Hobbit and Sherlock perusing the latest edition of the Evening Standard for interesting titbits and new cases.

John barely looked up from his book, merely quirking up an eyebrow as he glanced over the top then back down again at the words on the page. “So you did borrow my Doctor Who DVDs. I told you you’d like it.”

“No, don’t be ridiculous,” scoffed the detective angrily, folding up the paper and tossing it onto the floor, finally causing John to give a quiet sigh and rest his book face down on his lap. “Doctor Who is childish and nonsensical.”

“Bit like you then,” muttered John under his breath.

Sherlock ignored him and carried on. “I mean the whole idea of a flying police box is absolutely ludicrous. I’m not talking about getting in some sort of space ship and whizzing back and forth through time.”

“What are you talking about then? Have you been using again?” John narrowed his eyes suspiciously at his friend. It was a rather fanciful conversation, even for Sherlock.

“I’m talking about portals.”

“T-time portals?” John asked hesitantly.

Sherlock nodded, then bent to pick up the newspaper he’d tossed on the floor and rustled through the pages until he’d found what he was looking for. “Here. Look at this.” He handed it across to the ex-army doctor, who dutifully took the paper and had a read, pulling a sceptical face and scoffing a little, in a not so dissimilar manner to his logically minded friend.

Missing man reappears. ‘I travelled through time’, he says.

“Surely you don’t believe this nonsense,” John said with a little smirk. “People don’t just travel through time.”

“You’re the one with the Doctor Who collection, John.”

“Well yeah but…that’s science fiction. This is real life!”

John cleared his throat and read the paper aloud to his companion. “'Mr Mark Moffat disappeared two weeks ago from the Southbank entrance to Waterloo Bridge where he was waiting for his date to arrive. A police investigation was launched and friends and family contacted, but no further light was shed on the mystery until this evening, when Mr Moffat allegedly reappeared in exactly the same spot, believing it was the same night he had left, and claiming he had travelled through time.' Blah blah, it goes on to uh…explain some of the things he supposedly did on his travel through time. He went into the past, apparently. To Victorian London. And watched an alternate version of himself take the same girl on a date.” John shook his head. “Guy’s obviously crazy.”

“Obviously,” Sherlock murmured, but didn’t exactly sound very convinced.

John looked up. “You’re interested in this, aren’t you?”

“Of course I am! Man disappears and travels through time? Most interesting case we’ve had in weeks!”

“But you can’t actually believe he travelled through time!” John protested.

“No, I can’t. Not until I have proof. As usual, John, I need more data. And don’t you wonder where was he for the past two weeks?”

“Hiding out somewhere?”

“But why?”

“I don’t know. Why don’t you ask him?”

“I intend to.” Just then, the doorbell rang. “Ah, that’ll be him now.”

“You’ve contacted him already?”

“Actually no,” Sherlock muttered, standing up and shrugging off his dressing gown and putting on his suit jacket instead. “He contacted me first. Said he simply had to speak to me. Who am I to deny his wishes?”

John sighed and rolled his eyes at little as he slid his bookmark in and stood up to prepare for their guest, popping into the kitchen to put the kettle on.

Mr Mark Moffat was a man in his mid forties, of medium height and build, around five foot seven with slightly more fat than muscle, although he wasn’t heavy or overweight by any means. John scrutinised him as best he could and scribbled down some cursory notes for his blog, mostly about his dark curls that were a lot tighter on his head and frizzier than Sherlock’s.

He sat in the uncomfortable hard backed armchair the detective duo always used for their clients and fiddled awkwardly with his hands, looking incredibly nervous, his eyes darting from John to Sherlock and back again.

“So, tell us about the moment you travelled backwards through time,” Sherlock began with an eager expression and apparently without a jot of sarcasm.

John shifted a little in his seat and looked over at his friend with a quizzical expression. Did he really believe this? Surely, he couldn’t.

Mr Moffat nodded as he took out a handkerchief that was stuffed inside his shirtsleeve and wiped the back of his neck, then his forehead, clearing his throat before slowly beginning his story.

“Well, I had a date, you see. I was just waiting for her at the place we’d agreed – ”

“The Southbank side of Waterloo Bridge,” Sherlock interrupted impatiently. “We’ve read the papers. Skip to the good bits, please.”

John gave a weary sigh, not in the mood for having to warn Sherlock to be politer to their clients. It was already late and he’d been planning to go to bed within the hour. Not much chance for that now, he thought to himself.

“Well, I was just stood there waiting, and it was pretty quiet.”

“Really?” Sherlock queried. “Unusual for the Southbank. What time was it?”

“Late, I guess. I was supposed to meet her at midnight.”

“A midnight date?” The detective frowned.

“It’s romantic, Sherlock,” John helpfully supplied.

“It is?”

“Yes.”

“Huh, if you say so. I trust you on these matters, John…women are your department. I presume they must like that kind of thing. SO, you were waiting for a midnight, ‘romantic’” – at this point Sherlock raised both his hands in the air and mockingly mimed speech marks with his fingers. “- date when all of a sudden you got whisked back in time to the 1800s, correct?”

“Uh, almost,” mumbled Moffat. “It wasn’t so much whisked as uh…fell.”

“Fell?”

“Yes, uh…that’s what it felt like. Like I was falling.”

“Explain.”

“I was leaning up against the railings looking out over the water. As I mentioned before, there was no one around at that moment, which was why I think nobody saw what happened. There were a few people at the other end of the bridge and some others along the Southbank but nobody close enough to actually see. I felt this…thing…under my feet. Like uh…like a loose paving stone or something on the bridge, or as if I’d stepped on a rock and it was wobbling under my heel. That’s what I thought it was anyway. But when I moved my foot out of the way to see, it was actually a black ball with some weird white markings on it. It looked kind of interesting so I picked it up.”

“Why was none of this mentioned in your newspaper interview?” Sherlock demanded. “Didn’t you tell the police?”

“No, because this ball was the thing that took me back to the Victorian era. If some kind of weird, magical ball can take me back in time, then I’m not going to just hand it over to the police, am I? I’m, y’know, going to want to keep it…in case I ever want to travel back in time again.”

“Did you bring it with you?” the detective asked with keen, sparkling eyes.

“Um…y-yeah.”

Sherlock thrust out his hand, palm facing up, silently demanding the ball.

Moffat put his hand in his pocket and somewhat reluctantly removed the strange item, handing it over.

Sherlock carefully took it, turned it over in his long, dexterous fingers, then tossed it up into the air and caught it with his other hand, chuckling to himself. “OK, carry on, what happened next?” He asked, playing with the ball, tossing it from hand to hand.

“B-be careful with that,” Moffat stammered, watching Sherlock in a mild panic. “It…could be dangerous.”

John watched the two of them with a slightly open mouth, his pen poised over his notepad but not having written anything in a while, too enthralled by what must have been the strangest case to ever cross the threshold of 221B.

“As I held the ball in my hand, playing around with it a little as you’re doing now, Mr Holmes, Big Ben began to strike midnight. It was on the final stroke of midnight that it happened. My vision went all blurry. I felt as though I was falling through the floor and half expected to collide with the cold water of the Thames any minute. But I didn’t. I just kept falling and falling. And I couldn’t see anything. Everything was like, a haze of colours just whizzing past me and my stomach was in my mouth.”

“Like going down a rollercoaster,” John suggested.

“Yes, exactly that!” cried Moffat, pointing at John in excitement. “Then, almost as quickly as it had started, it stopped. The whole experience must have lasted around ten or twenty seconds at a guess, although it felt much longer because I was frightened. I landed on the floor with a bump, which was another thing that added to the idea that I’d fallen from somewhere…”

“Fallen through time,” murmured John, starting to find his imagination captured by all this, despite himself.

“Exactly,” said Moffat. “It kind of hurt too, not going to lie. So, I got up off the floor, brushed myself down a bit, and looked around me. I was still holding the ball in my hand and I was still on Waterloo Bridge at the exact same spot. It was also still midnight. But apart from that, everything else was different, and I realised very quickly that something extremely strange and extraordinary had just happened.”

“You were in Victorian London,” said Sherlock.

Moffat nodded. “There were carriages and horses and people dressed strangely, and looking at me funny because I was dressed in modern clothes. I was so confused. I just wandered around the Southbank for a moment in daze. But then I saw her. Susan. The woman I was supposed to be meeting for a date. She recognised me and ran over.”

“And what was Susan wearing?” John asked, intrigued.

“That’s just it. She was a different Susan. Different but the same. She was Victorian Susan. And I soon realised she wasn’t running over to me, but to someone directly behind me. I spun round as she went past and saw…saw myself.” At this point, Moffat leaned in close to the two of them, speaking in a whisper with wide, excited eyes. “A Victorian version of myself. He looked just like me, except for his clothes and a slightly different way of having his hair. And it was obvious the two of them had been meeting for a date. It was like…a parallel universe. And I just stood there in complete shock and watched as the two of them walked off together arm in arm.”

“Did he see you?” Sherlock asked. “Did you speak to him at all? When travelling backwards and forwards through time you really shouldn’t interact with other versions of yourself, it can cause a paradox and mess up the timeline completely.”

John looked over at Sherlock and raised an eyebrow. “Did you borrow my Back To The Future collection too?”

Sherlock ignored him and stared at Moffat for an answer.

“No, he didn’t see me, and I didn’t speak to him. After they left, I started trying to come back to my own time.”

“Good. How did you manage it? What were you doing for the entire two weeks you were gone?”

“Well, I went back to the bridge to the same spot and fiddled around with the ball, but nothing seemed to work. I was there for about an hour. When I got frustrated and tired, I walked off and found myself somewhere to stay for the night. It was only in the morning when I tried to pay for my lodgings that I realised the money I had in my pocket from modern times wouldn’t suffice. They looked at me like I was crazy and demanded some ‘real’ money. When I tried to explain that this was real money, they called the police and I was thrown into prison. It didn’t help my case much when I tried telling them I’d travelled through time, and although my story made the papers, it was all I could do for them not to lock me in an asylum and I spent the next two weeks incarcerated. I was released quite unexpectedly by some unknown benefactor. I asked after him when I was at the station counter getting my belongings back, and I was told it was a man by the name of Sherlock Holmes. You see, that’s why I had to come and see you, Mr Holmes.”

At that, Sherlock’s interest in the case seemed to triple, as did John’s. They both sat bolt upright, and Sherlock seemed as though he could barely conceal his own excitement, his legs jiggling up and down on the floor, unable to sit still.

“Did you meet this man?” He asked. “This…Victorian Sherlock? My counterpart?”

“N-no,” Moffat admitted.

“You idiot!” Sherlock snapped at him rather angrily, causing him to jump. “Why on earth not? The man clearly just paid for you to be released from prison! Didn’t you even bother to thank him?”

“Well, I’d been doing a lot of thinking while I’d been in prison, Mr Holmes, and…I’d come up with a way that I thought I could get back home. I was trying to think of all the different circumstances that had culminated in my travelling there, and I realised it was threefold. My position on the bridge, the ball, and the time. It had been midnight when I’d travelled and on the night I was released from prison it was around half past eleven. I travelled to Waterloo Bridge immediately to try and put my theory to the test, and it worked. I stood in the exact same spot, holding the ball in my hand, and waited until the final stroke of midnight.”

“And you found yourself back here?” John asked.

“Yes,” nodded Moffat. “Isn’t it amazing? Nobody believes me.”

“Hmm, I’m not really surprised. It does sound rather fantastical.”

Sherlock was leaping up from his armchair and grabbing his coat, stuffing his feet into his brogues before John had even barely finished his sentence. “Come along, John! The game is on!”

“Wh-what?” John looked up at him in confusion, stumbling to his feet and trying to keep up.

“It’s quarter past eleven. We need to get to Waterloo Bridge.”

“Are you serious?”

“Do I look like I’m joking? This man has provided us with a theory, and we need to test it. Now come on, there’s not a minute to waste.” Sherlock pushed the special ball into his pocket and with a swirling swish of his coat tails he had disappeared off down the stairs, careering towards the door, with Mr Mark Moffat following eagerly behind him, and John not so far after.

Half an hour or so later and all three of them were stood on Waterloo Bridge awaiting the strike of midnight.

“And this was the spot?” Sherlock was muttering impatiently, wanting to make sure everything was perfect. “The exact spot.”

“This was it,” Moffat nodded.

“Are you sure?”

“I’m positive.”

The detective threw himself on the ground and began examining the area, prodding at the ground with his gloved fingers and getting out his sliding magnifier to take a closer look, trying to find anything unusual.

He let out a little huff and sat up, rocking on his heels and leaning his elbows on his knees, brow furrowed.

“Just ordinary slabs…”

“Well, what did you expect?”

“Something…I don’t know! Anything! There must be some kind of explanation!” Sherlock cried exasperatedly. “People don’t just travel back and forth through time!”

“This is what I’ve been trying to tell you!” John cried, throwing up his arms. “Finally! I thought you’d gone mad!”

Big Ben began to chime for midnight, and their client, Moffat, grew in excitement, gripping the mystical ball tightly with its strange markings and practically jumping up and down. “This is it, this is it! I’ve never travelled with other people before. How does it work? Should we hold hands? Do we all need to be touching the ball?”

John looked at him sceptically, but Sherlock had adopted a serious expression once more and placed his hand over the ball along with Moffat’s. “John…”

The army doctor shook his head in disbelief. “Really?”

“Do it.”

John sighed and with a certain amount of reluctance, placed his hand on top of the ball too, all of them making sure they were touching it in some way.

Just as the final chimes from Big Ben rang out over the city, something extraordinary happened, something that changed John Watson’s perception of reality forever more.

It was exactly how their client, Mark Moffat, had explained it.

First of all, they felt as though they were falling, like they were on a rollercoaster. Vision was blurred to black and yellow as the lights from the city whirred past them, all their senses temporarily dulled and switched off. Even hearing was difficult. All John could make out was a strange whooshing sound, like the wind rushing past their ears.

Then, almost as quickly as it had started, it was over.

There was a thud and a dull pain in John’s backside as he found himself on the cold, hard and slightly damp floor, as if he’d been physically unable to stand anymore or…as if he’d been literally falling through time.

He opened his eyes, not having realised that he must have closed them at some point during the journey, and looked around him. Sherlock and Moffat were sat opposite, in similar unflattering positions and both slowly getting to their feet. Moffat seemed comparatively calmer and less confused about this whole thing than either John or Sherlock, the latter of which immediately began to run up and down a small stretch of the bridge, his long coat flapping as he swished and turned sharply, his eyes wide with excitement and a big smile on his face like a child at Christmas.

“It worked!” He cried delightedly, running up to John and grabbing him by the shoulder. “It actually worked.”

John took a small, tentative glance around him, then nearly jumped out of his skin as a horse and carriage came rolling past on the Southbank. “Jesus…what the – ”

“We have to get to Baker Street!” Sherlock was saying.

“What?”

“We have to go and meet our compatriots, John. Don’t you understand? The Sherlock Holmes from this world paid for our friend Moffat here to be released from jail. He’d seen his story in the paper and believed it, knew there was something strange happening, wanted to find out more from him directly.”

“How do you know?”

“It’s obvious! He was no doubt hoping that Moffat would pay him a visit at Baker Street to thank him, but the ungrateful little shit didn’t bother.”

“Hey, I just wanted to get home,” Moffat interrupted.

Sherlock ignored him and carried on. “We need to go and compare notes. See what he knows.”

“I thought you said we shouldn’t interact with our other selves. That’s what you told Moffat!” John protested.

“Oh to hell with that. That’s just sci fi movie mumbo jumbo nonsense. You don’t actually believe that, do you?”

“I don’t know, Sherlock. I’ve never travelled through time before, oddly enough!”

“We haven’t really travelled through time, John. It’s an alternate dimension of some kind,” Sherlock muttered as he started walking across the bridge in the direction of Baker Street.

John and Moffat jogged to catch up and fell into step either side of him.

“What?” John looked at him even more baffled.

“If we’d travelled through time, then Sherlock Holmes and John Watson wouldn’t exist, would they? I may sometimes feel that the youth of today are beyond even my comprehension, but we’re not that old, John. And they can’t be our grandparents or relatives because they have the exact same names.”

“Right. I suppose so,” John conceded in a mumble, finding this a lot more difficult to get his head around than Sherlock was doing, who would take everything in his stride as long as he’d actually seen it himself. Believing the evidence of his own eyes, he called it.

The journey to Baker Street was a fascinating one.

As they got off the other side of Waterloo Bridge they were faced full on by the world of 1800s London.

The streets were all cobbled and, for the most part, incredibly dirty, covered in horse dung and droppings that people had to swerve and jump over to avoid stepping in. The traffic was less intense and busy than modern London but no less dangerous, and Sherlock had to yank John backwards and out of the road seconds before a carriage came careering round the corner, cantering horse’s hooves going at full speed and the driver whipping at the poor animal carelessly, shouting some curse at John as he whizzed past.

Being as it was late in the evening, there were few people around on foot, and the streets themselves were so dimly lit it was hard to see anything, with the city’s usual illuminations from lamps and indoor lighting blaring from the tall skyscrapers now nowhere to be seen. The one or two people they did pass gave them cursory glances, then double takes at the sight of their clothes, and John was beginning to feel self-conscious in his jeans and jumper. At least Sherlock could pass for Victorian with his suit and big swishy coat, although he was in dire need of a tie. Mark Moffat too, was dressed in ordinary modern clothing – jeans, shirt and a leather jacket.

John buttoned up his coat and tugged up the collar in a not so dissimilar manner to his taller, curlier haired companion then, as they turned onto a particular quiet and dark stretch of street where they could barely see their hands in front of their faces, he tugged his hand into his pockets and brought out his phone, turning on the torch device so they could see where they were going.

Sherlock grimaced slightly at first and John thought he was going to tell him to put it away, but they were the only people out on the streets and it was pretty helpful in getting them to where they wanted to go – and avoiding the horse dung.

John was starting to realise how smelly and slightly disgusting Victorian London really was. How did people stay looking smart in their frilly shirts and bow ties? He gagged slightly as they walked past a particularly offensive section of road, then turned another corner.

The roads and streets were different. They didn’t have the same signs on the corners, or easily recognisable buildings and landmarks that John normally used to navigate himself back to Baker Street – the McDonalds here, the Tesco there, the tube station on the corner, the Starbucks on the left etc. None of that. Just rows of houses and the occasional shop. Sherlock though, didn’t seem to have a problem with that in the slightest. He strode ahead, leading the two of them as they followed him blindly through this street and that, through small alleys and passage ways to Baker Street. Occasionally he would stop, pause, look left and right and get his bearings, but he never once looked lost or confused, with an expression of excitement and adventure on his face the like of which John hadn’t seen for a very long time.

“You’re enjoying this, aren’t you?” he muttered to him under his breath as they finally turned onto Baker Street some half an hour later.

Sherlock merely smirked.

“Are you going to solve the Jack the Ripper case while you’re here? I remember you saying you always said you could.”

“Possibly. The thought had crossed my mind.”

The two of them glanced at one another and smiled, then crossed the road in step as they arrived at their familiar yet different lodgings, at 221B Baker Street.

There was no Speedy’s underneath their window, simply another ordinary window with presumably another flat there and as Sherlock approached the door and John instinctively got out the key, he realised how foolish he was being. Of course, their own key from 2011 wasn’t going to work.

Instead, Sherlock rapped his knuckles on the door and they waited for it to be answered by their Victorian counterparts.

“What if they’re asleep?” John whispered, turning off his mobile light and putting it back in his pocket. “It is pretty late and it’s not as though they’ve got a TV to watch.”

Sherlock stepped back and gazed up at the window, where a soft, yellow light was glowing.

“If this Sherlock is anything like me, he’ll still be awake working on his experiments.”

***

It was approaching one in the morning and Sherlock Holmes was still wide awake, working on some intolerable and pungent experiment, the odour of which seemed to permeate throughout the whole of our lodgings and prevent me from slipping into any kind of slumber, the like of which I so desperately needed after the past two nights of incessant violin playing. After several days of inactivity without a case, my friend had grown restless and, as a result, everyone at Baker Street was suffering. Little did I know that the very relief he needed was about to walk into our lives only moments later and alter our perceptions of reality forever.

When I look back on the many dozens of bizarre and unique cases through which I have had the pleasure of documenting the very singular skills of my good companion, Mr Sherlock Holmes, there are few as unusual and fantastical as the one I shall now lay before the public.

It had all began two weeks previously, on a warm summer evening as Holmes and I were sat reading the daily newspapers.

“Do you believe in time travel, Watson?” he had asked me, quite unexpectedly and without warning.

I must confess, I was rather baffled that someone of such sound, logical mind could be so enraptured by such a fanciful notion but it appeared to me that Holmes had already had his imagination captured by the newspaper article he in turn asked me to read out to him. It documented the arrival in our city of a middle aged man named Mr Mark Moffat, in curious clothing who claimed to have come from a different time period altogether – from the future, it would appear.

Unsurprisingly, he found himself arrested and thrown into prison for his rantings as well as failure to pay the bill at an inn, pending a review for him to be moved to a mental institution.

I folded the paper in half and shrugged at my considerably excited companion. Holmes’ eager grey eyes were sparkling and his angular features seemed to glimmer and glow in the candlelight of our rooms. “We need to get in touch with this man, Watson. We need to speak with him.”

“About what, Holmes? Time travel?” I huffed, believing my good friend was pulling my leg somewhat.

“Yes! Time travel!” Holmes cried, leaping from his armchair like a jack in the box, his long agile limbs already moving towards the door as he flung away his smoking jacket and slipped on his overcoat and hat.

I grumbled to myself as I grabbed my bowler and jacket to follow him out into the night. “Holmes, you don’t really believe any of this nonsense could be true, do you?”

“I don’t know, Watson, but it’s a mystery, and mysteries must be…unravelled!” He replied dramatically, rolling his ‘r’s. “Come, come, the game is afoot!”

And with that, I was rushing out of the door and into a hansom cab as the two of us rolled down the streets on the way to Scotland Yard. There, Holmes paid a hefty sum of money to secure Mr Moffat’s release before returning back to our lodgings.

According to Holmes, it was only a matter of time before Mr Moffat paid us a visit, and I believed him, but after three days of waiting, we slowly began to give up hope, and Holmes was more restless and intolerable than usual.

It was into that scenario that three unexpected visitors walked in.

I was just about to rise from my bed and give up hope of sleep altogether when the knock on the door piqued my attention. I frowned and sat bolt upright, my nightcap slipping from the top of my head as I rubbed my moustache in confusion. It was a rare occasion indeed that we received visitors at such late an hour, and it could only mean one thing – clients.

A split second later I heard Holmes’ loud voice billowing out to me. “Watson!” But I had already gotten out of bed and was hurriedly getting dressed into something a little more respectable to receive visitors in.

I heard Holmes’ heavy footsteps pounding down the stairs to open the door, with our housekeeper Mrs Hudson long since having retired to bed, returning accompanied by several sets of footsteps and men’s voice talking animatedly to one another.

I swiftly left the bedroom and made my way into the main sitting area of our lodgings, to find three men stood with Holmes, two of which were dressed in the most unusual of clothing.

“Watson,” Holmes declared with a smirk. “May I introduce, Mr Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson.” He indicated, with a sweep of his arm, to the tall curly haired man in the long coat and the blue scarf, and the shorter, sandy haired man with the checked shirt, cream jumper and strange blue cloth trousers.

I looked between the two men in confusion, then back at Holmes. It was at that moment that I believe I must have fainted, because I remember nothing more until I felt the taste of brandy at my lips and found myself sat in my usual comfortable armchair with the four men sat round me all chatting animatedly.


***

As if one Sherlock wasn’t bad enough, John suddenly now found himself faced with two of the little shits and he was finally starting to believe that all this was real, that it was really, actually happening. He didn’t have much other choice by this point.

Victorian Sherlock was pretty different to his own though. For a start off, he called himself ‘Holmes’ all the time, and called his counterpart ‘Watson’, which John supposed made things a little easier to distinguish between them. He was also quite a bit politer than Sherlock was, it seemed, although still just as demanding, energetic and weird.

John didn’t think much of his own Victorian counterpart though. Watson was old, a little overweight and he had a terrible moustache that made him look even older than he was. John would never dream of growing a moustache. He’d also apparently fainted. Although once he woke up, he put it down to lack of food and sleep over the past couple of days, John couldn’t imagine anything so silly happening to him.

Once they’d all gotten over the initial surprise and excitement and meeting one another, the two Sherlock’s wanted to get down to business as quickly as possible.

“I have simply been dying to meet you,” Holmes announced to Moffat, running his hand through his perfectly pristine slicked back hair and smiling like a Cheshire cat. “Ever since I saw your story in the paper. Fascinating. I knew you’d come round eventually, of course, but I wasn’t expecting you to bring these two dear friends also. Now tell me…” He clasped his palms together under his bottom lip in almost the exact same way John had seen Sherlock do so many times. It was uncanny watching the two of them together, sat side by side. “Tell me everything. In the exact order that it happened. Leave nothing out. Pray continue.”

And so Moffat began to talk, recounting the same story he’d told to John and Sherlock in 2011 Baker Street, while all of them listened again, with Holmes occasionally interjecting with questions or asking to look at the strange magic ball.

Watson, who had, by this point, managed to rouse himself, listened to the whole tale with wide eyes and a pale expression that amused John, already beginning to think himself superior in many ways to this old fashioned bloke sat next to him.

“Have you ever encountered anything like this before?” Sherlock asked his elder and more sophisticated doppelganger.

“Not in all my years!” Holmes laughed delightedly. “Have you?”

“No. Never. I was hoping you might be able to shed some light on it.”

“I did read a theory, some years back,” Holmes began. “About a man who was attempting to alter the effects of time…”

While the two of them chatted, John got to his feet and slowly wandered round the living room, taking in the differences between their own modern Baker Street and this one. Some of the books on the shelves were exactly the same, albeit fresher, more unused copies compared with the ancient, dusty volumes Sherlock insisted on lining their shelves with. There were many differences - the pictures on the walls, the wallpaper, the row of pipes on the mantelpiece that Holmes now reached for and stuffed full of tobacco, while Sherlock watched with an eager, jealous expression, still struggling to quit. There were equally as many similarities – the amount of loose papers that Holmes seemed to keep scattered all about the place in a haphazard but organised (to him) manner; the letters on the mantelpiece, stabbed right through the centre with a knife, and the dozens of science paraphernalia, test tubes, bottles and equipment that John could spot in the corner, in the section that would have normally been their kitchen. There didn’t seem to be a kitchen here, probably because they had a housekeeper.

Having animatedly swapped theories with one another for the past twenty minutes and effectively gotten nowhere other than Sherlock apparently having made a friend – himself – it was agreed that they would go to the same spot on Waterloo Bridge at midnight the following evening and attempt to take Victorian Holmes and Watson back to modern Baker Street with Sherlock and John, to test whether it was possible for someone from this time to travel, or whether it was only people from the future who could jump back and forth.

The three men from the future therefore had the next twenty two hours to spend in Victorian London, and as both Watson and John were feeling pretty tired, it was decided that a good night’s rest was on the cards, and sleeping arrangements were made.

Holmes and Sherlock were only too happy to sit up in the living room with each other all night long, talking.

Their client, Mr Moffat, was given Holmes’ room, and John and Watson both bunked up together in Watson’s room, with John offering to take the floor space seeing as Watson was an old man, in his eyes.

As they lay together in the quiet darkness of the room, Watson asked John whether he’d ever joined the army, and the two of them began to chat about their time on deployment together, swapping stories about how they’d been shot, and discovering the various astonishing similarities and differences until they both drifted off to sleep somewhere around three in the morning.

***

I awoke bright and early to the sound of voices in the living room, the same two booming voices I had fallen asleep to only a few hours earlier. I felt as though I had had little rest at all and yet was undoubtedly fresher for it, and eager to get up and begin what was already promising to be an exciting day for Holmes and myself.

I roused my namesake from his sleep on the floor and within a few moments the two of us were making our way out into the main quarters to find that Holmes and Holmes were still in the exact same position we had left them, only this time surrounded by a cloud of smoke so thick I thought the whole damn place was on fire, and a stack of notes, papers and books piled high around the armchairs.

I realised that Holmes had spent the evening talking his younger counterpart through all our old cases together and neither of them had had a wink of sleep.

They both seemed rather cheerful too, and fresh as daisies considering their lack of rest. “Watson!” My Holmes cried as I walked in.

I coughed and waved away the smoke, rushing to fling open the window. “The atmosphere is intolerable in here, Holmes! Really!”

The younger Holmes chuckled and I saw that he too had a pipe in his hand, merrily puffing away, a sight which did not sit well with young Watson, who rushed up and snatched it from his fingers with a disappointed and angry expression.

“Sherlock!” he ejaculated. “You’re supposed to have quit!”

“Oh relax, John, we’re on holiday. Sort of.”

“Watson, ring for Mrs Hudson and request breakfast for everyone!” Holmes looked to me. I nodded and picked up the bell to call our long suffering housekeeper.

“Not for me,” said the curly haired Holmes. “I never eat when I’m working.”

“Never?” Holmes raised an eyebrow. “I sometimes do the same, but Watson won’t hear of it. He says I simply must feed myself.”

“Mm, John tried to do that but I think he’s given up. You know what doctors are like.”

“Indeed,” chuckled Holmes.

I could see the two of them were getting along famously, which was both baffling and amusing for me to observe.

After Watson, Moffat and I had feasted on a hearty breakfast of meat, eggs and bread, with Holmes managing to be persuaded to eat a boiled egg and the other Holmes abstaining altogether save for an extremely strong coffee, it was agreed that our visitors needed to be dressed in suitable attire if they were to spend the day mingling with our society without drawing unnecessary attention to themselves.

As Watson and I were of the same size, I was easily able to lend him a suit, and Mr Moffat too, although the sizings were considerable more difficult on the latter. Holmes provided curly Holmes with a bow tie and waistcoat that blended in just fine with the suit he was already wearing, and although his tail coat was a little unusual, he insisted on keeping it with him, tugging the collar high to his neck as the five of us went out together for a morning stroll, young Holmes very insistent that he wanted to see London.

The two Holmes’ led the party, walking side by side at the front and chatting amiably to one another, with Watson and myself just behind them and Moffat behind us. The three of us, for the most part, kept silent, and I for one was listening in on Holmes and Holmes’ conversation.

“Who’s your arch enemy?” the younger Holmes asked with a twinkle in his eye. “Come on, everyone has one. A criminal or a nemesis who’s particularly wiley and evil and always manages to escape your clutches.”

“Mm, well actually,” Holmes began, but was interrupted by the eager youngster.

“Moriarty,” he continued. “That’s mine. He’s an incredibly clever, charming Irishman who – “

But Holmes had stopped walking.

He was looking at his curly haired counterpart with an expression of astonishment and barely concealed excitement. “Moriarty,” he said in a whisper. “You know Moriarty?”

The other Holmes stopped walking too. “Yes. Do you?”

Holmes grabbed Holmes by the hand and pulled him into a quiet alley and the rest of us followed suit, all eyes on my friend as he began to explain, looking at me first.

“I suppose, Watson, you have never heard of Professor Moriarty?” said he.

"Never."

"Aye, there's the genius and the wonder of the thing!" he cried. "The man pervades London, and no one has heard of him. That's what puts him on a pinnacle in the records of crime. I tell you, Watson, in all seriousness, that if I could beat that man, if I could free society of him, I should feel that my own career had reached its summit, and I should be prepared to turn to some more placid line in life. But I could not rest, Watson, I could not sit quiet in my chair, if I thought that such a man as Professor Moriarty were walking the streets of London unchallenged. There is no one who knows the higher criminal world of London so well as I do. For years past I have continually been conscious of some power behind the malefactor, some deep organizing power which for ever stands in the way of the law, and throws its shield over the wrong-doer. Again and again in cases of the most varying sorts - forgery cases, robberies, murders - I have felt the presence of this force, and I have deduced its action in many of those undiscovered crimes in which I have not been personally consulted. For years I have endeavoured to break through the veil which shrouded it, and at last the time came when I seized my thread and followed it, until it led me, after a thousand cunning windings, to ex-Professor Moriarty of mathematical celebrity. He is the Napoleon of crime. He is the organizer of half that is evil and of nearly all that is undetected in this great city. He is a genius, a philosopher, an abstract thinker. He has a brain of the first order. He sits motionless, like a spider in the centre of its web, but that web has a thousand radiations, and he knows well every quiver of each of them. He does little himself. He only plans. But his agents are numerous and splendidly organized. Is there a crime to be done, a paper to be abstracted, we will say, a house to be rifled, a man to be removed - the word is passed to the Professor, the matter is organized and carried out. The agent may be caught. In that case money is found for his bail or his defence. But the central power which uses the agent is never caught - never so much as suspected.”

“Exactly!” the other Holmes cried in excitement, grabbing my Holmes by the shoulder. “He’s exactly the same man. John, this is incredible!” He turned to his own Watson with a wide grin on his face. “We have to find him, here, in this time! We have to defeat him! If we can defeat him here, perhaps he won’t exist in our own time!”


***

Story continued in the next post...

Last edited by ukaunz (July 17, 2016 10:53 am)


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July 17, 2016 5:50 am  #22


Re: Marvellous Midyear Fics 2016 - read them here!

John had been experiencing a lot of ‘incredible’ things in the past twenty four hours, but the idea of coming into contact with a dastardly Victorian version of Jim Moriarty wasn’t one of them, and it wasn’t something he was feeling particularly excited about, especially after their last run in.

“I thought the point of this case was finding out why we’re able to time travel, not figuring out how to beat Moriarty,” John impatiently reminded Sherlock, bringing him back down a peg or two from his excitement.

“Yes…” He frowned slightly. “Yes, yes, you’re right, of course.”

“But if we could put our two minds together,” said Holmes. “I feel certain that we could finally overcome this adversary.”

“Exactly!” Sherlock cried, right back on the idea again.

Both Watsons rolled their eyes in unison, and the two Holmes’ strode off again, leading the way to Simpson’s In The Strand for tea and a comparison of notes on their various Moriarty cases although as neither of them apparently had any means of contacting the master criminal, it was questionable how they were going to get close enough to defeat him, and were chasing at dead ends for the time being, with no clear leads to follow.

After a pleasant lunch, John and Dr Watson decided to take a ride over to St Bart’s together, with John eager to see the differences between his own time period and Victorian London. The two Sherlock’s took a meander through London, walking and chatting to one another with Moffat in tow, finally ending up back at Baker Street where they duetted together on the violin and drove poor Mrs Hudson up the wall.

As midnight approached, it was clear that everyone in the party was both nervous and excited at the prospect of what might unfold before them. There was less talking, particularly between the two Sherlock’s, whom John felt had been pretty much at it all day, and driving him mad in the process.

Now, the pair were silent and contemplative, both sat on the small chaise longue in Baker Street, side by side, mirror imaging one another with their fingers steepled underneath their chin, surrounded by a cloud of smoke as they occasionally puffed on their respective pipes, ‘Holmes’ having decided to gift Sherlock with one of his own. It was going to be hell trying to get Sherlock to quit again after this, John thought to himself as he watched the two of them together.

He and Watson were both sat in the armchairs by the fire, Watson was reading the newspaper quietly and John was just observing everyone else around him, including Moffat, who was stood by the window anxiously.

At quarter past eleven, it was Holmes who stirred first and announced that they should ‘depart’, and so they all roused themselves and headed down to Waterloo Bridge for the latest experiment. By the time they arrived, both Sherlock’s were almost hyperactive with energy, but Holmes more so than his younger, curlier haired counterpart, simply because he hadn’t travelled in time before whereas Sherlock had.

As soon as Big Ben began to strike for midnight, they all stood in the same spot and clasped onto the ball, their hands and fingers merging on top of one another but everyone making sure they had at least one finger touching the ball directly.

They were not to be disappointed.

The exact same thing happened in reverse, and they were all sent spiralling back to the present.

***

I felt a sudden rush and a sickness in the back of my throat and the very depths of my chest, as though my stomach itself was getting turned upside down and thrust upwards, threatening to escape my mouth. For a good moment or two I concerned myself with the worry that I might empty out the contents of my half digested luncheon, but my constitution managed to uphold itself and it wasn’t long before I landed in a most ungraceful position on my posterior, in a heap on the cold ground of the bridge.

I hastily jumped to my feet and looked around me in confusion, astonished to find that we were in a London so unfamiliar to me that it might have been a dream or some weird and wonderful foreign land.

Holmes was up on his feet too and jumping around in near delirium, a delighted expression on his features.

“By jove, Watson!” he ejaculated, seizing me by the wrist in his vice like grip. “Have you seen?”

“I have,” I answered in an excited whisper.

The other three in our party seemed a good sight less impressed by what had occurred, although Sherlock, Holmes’ younger more arrogant self, had a rather pleased expression on his face as he began to lead us along the bridge in the direction of Westminster.

Although it was late at night, I was surprised to find there were still a good number of people around, and vehicles so fantastical the like of which I had never seen before, with lights and roaring engines, dashing so quickly back and forth, faster than horses at a gallop.

On more than one occasion I felt near to getting knocked over by one of these vehicles as we were crossing the roads and making our way to Baker Street, and Holmes had to grab my arm and yank me back. He seemed much calmer about everything than I was; taking it all in his stride and accepting the evidence of his own eyes, striding on ahead to fall into step next to Sherlock and ask him pertinent questions about the various buildings, shops and roads we passed along the way, getting to know as much about this new London as he possibly could.

“May I look at the ball?” He then asked, turning to Moffat.

The nervous young man nodded and held out the mysterious device.

I watched as Holmes turned it over in his hands and examined it very carefully.

“How can one ball have the ability to do this?” He looked at Sherlock
excitedly.
“I don’t know,” his counterpart admitted lowly.

“And what do these markings mean? I’ve never seen them before. Is it a language you know of, Holmes? A newer, more modern language I am perhaps unfamiliar with?”

Sherlock shook his head, his annoyance at not knowing quite clear on his scrunched up features. “I’m familiar with every language in the world to some extent and I’ve never seen these markings before.”

“Unless it’s some brand new language then,” suggested my younger self, the one who liked to call himself ‘John’. “Or some language that’s not even been invented yet. Y’know, like, from the future or something.” He shrugged.

I thought it was a rather fantastical and far fetched fanciful idea myself, but Sherlock seemed to get very excited by the concept, stopping in the middle of the street and turning to his companion with an eager expression. “I knew there’d be a benefit to you watching all those awful sci-fi shows.”

“What? What are you talking about?” John looked at him, clearly as confused as I was.

“You’re a genius, John!” The detective cried. “Think about it…what technology do we have that can send people back and forward in time, or help people hop between different dimensions and alternate universes?”

“We…uh…well…there isn’t any,” the baffled John replied.

“Exactly! There isn’t any. It’s impossible.”

“Once you eliminate the impossible whatever remains, however improbable, must be true,” my Holmes interjected, to the delight of Sherlock who clicked his fingers and pointed at him.

“Precisely, my good friend!” He laughed. “So, in this case…what’s impossible? Time travel in either my time, or your time. Eliminate that. Therefore, it can’t have come from either my time or your time, therefore, no matter how improbable this sounds, it MUST have come from some other time!”

“A time where the technology to perform these kind of feats HAS been invented,” Holmes supplied, catching on to where Sherlock was going with this, as were the rest of us, slowly.

“Yes! Exactly that! The future! The future, John.” He smiled as he turned to his companion and clapped him on the back.

“But how does that help us?” John asked. “The device only seems to send us back and forth between these two particular time periods.”

“Because it must have been set that way. We need to examine the device itself in more detail, try and figure out how it works.” At that point, he raised his arm in the air and yelled out, “Taxi,” one of the strange fast moving vehicles stopping right in front of us all.

Sherlock opened up the door and he, John and Moffat piled inside.

Holmes and I looked at one another, shrugged, and followed.


***

Molly Hooper was in for quite the shock. She’d been expecting a quiet night in the morgue filling out some paperwork for the latest John Doe that had just arrived and now she found herself face to face with two versions of Sherlock Holmes, two versions of John Watson, and a hastily thrown together story about time travel, multiple dimensions, alternate universes and some kind of magical black ball, a ball that was quickly thrust into her hands by an impatient looking Sherlock, as he whipped off his scarf and jumped up onto the counter, his legs swinging carelessly back and forth, heels banging into the cupboards and creating quite a racket.

“Bit different from in my day…” Dr Watson murmured to himself as he limped around the lab, his old war wound apparently playing up, even though John was fairly sure he was supposed to have been shot in the shoulder. Did his other self have a psychosomatic leg wound too? Fascinating.

“I’m not entirely sure what you want me to do with this, Sherlock…” Molly scrunched up her nose as she looked at the ball, confused.

“Test it! Scan it, X-Ray it, anything, just do something!” Sherlock snapped.

“But don’t break it!” Holmes added, removing his hat and placing it on the table next to Sherlock’s scarf before jumping up and sitting on the work surface next to his other self, the two of them like peas in a pod.

“No, whatever you do, don’t break it,” agreed Sherlock.

“Watson and I need it to get back to our own time.”

“And it could be very important.”

“No doubt, my dear Holmes. It is of the greatest importance.”

“The greatest importance, Holmes.”

Molly looked back and forth between the two of them, her mouth slightly agape and already starting to develop something of a crush on the second Sherlock. He was so gentlemanly, smart, intelligent. And those eyes…and that hair. She shivered a little then she managed to close her mouth long enough to turn round and face the X-ray machine, putting the ball inside and pressing the button to start the process.

The two John’s and Sherlock’s watched and waited eagerly, with Mr Moffat having been sent back home prior to their arrival, with orders to wait for Sherlock’s phone call with any further instructions or requests. He had been reluctant to part with the magic ball, but Sherlock could be incredibly persuasive when he wanted to be.

After running various tests, Molly was able to give them some kind of report back.

“Well, it’s made out of tungsten…the markings are drawn on with a waterproof white paint.”

“Brand?” Sherlock demanded.

“I…don’t know. It’s just…white paint,” she shrugged apologetically. “Other than that, there appears to be some kind of circuit inside of it…look here, on the X-ray.” She showed them the image. “But obviously we can’t get in it and take a closer look without breaking the ball, which first of all you didn’t want me to do and secondly seems pretty impossible anyway, considering it’s made out of the strongest metal going and doesn’t have any kind of switches or flaps or anything…” She frowned and turned it round in her hands, pulling and twisting.

“There must be some kind of special machine or device that opens the ball…that you can put the ball in to and programme it,” said Sherlock.

“Where?” Molly asked, seriously confused by this point.

“In the future, of course!” the detective cried, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world, and causing Molly to look even more confused.

“Just ignore him,” John waved his hand and gave Molly an apologetic shrug. “It’s complicated. Right now we’ve got lots of theories and ideas, but no real proof of anything. Only that this thing takes us back and forth to two different realities and has been made by technology that hasn’t been invented yet, so therefore has to come from the future, or some other alternate universe where they have more advanced tech.”

“Ah. Well, that does seem like a bit of a problem,” said Molly cheerfully, coming on board and getting a little excited by the whole thing, in contrast to the two Sherlock’s, who by now had miserable, glum expressions on their faces, frustrated at not having any clues.

“What do you normally do when you’re stuck on a case, Holmes?” Sherlock asked, looking to his compatriot for advice.

“Sit in a darkened room and smoke a good few ounces of shag.”

“Sounds perfect.”

“Sherlock,” John warned him testily. He didn’t want Baker Street in a haze of smoke like the Victorian one had been.

“Unless you want me to pick up a few ounces of heroin instead, I’d suggest you agree, John,” Sherlock replied with a smirk, jumping down off the work surface and knowing he’d win with that one.

“Now that does seem like a good idea,” replied Holmes, following suit. “Perhaps you know somewhere we could purchase some high quality product?”

“Actually, I have a man in Islington who – “

“Holmes, no!” Watson protested.

“Sherlock!” John cried at the same time.

“Stop encouraging each other!” Molly snapped. “Neither of you are having any drugs!”

Both Sherlock’s immediately began to pout, but their respective Watson’s grabbed them by the shoulders and spun them round, leading them back out towards the door.

“You can smoke if you really must,” John huffed as the four of them piled into another taxi outside St Bart’s. “Just make sure you leave the windows open. I want to be able to breathe in there.”

***

“Holmes, I really must protest! I simply cannot breathe in here!” I ejaculated some hours later, when the intolerable atmosphere of the room had become increasingly unbearable to the point where John and I were considering leaving the building altogether, with even the small kitchen and our separate bedroom upstairs not free of the thick smoke from the cigarettes Holmes and Sherlock were continually puffing on.

On the way home in the ‘taxi’, they had stopped at a local modern shop known as Tesco’s and purchased a large amount of cigarettes. It was a fascinating place; very bright inside almost to the point where I was dazzled with the white of the lights, and bustling with people all carrying strange wire baskets and putting items off the shelves into them.

For the most part, we were ignored, but I felt the eyes of one or two on us as we wandered the rows, with John choosing some items of food and then getting very frustrated once it came to leave and a machine began talking to him. Some strange man even commented that he liked our ‘cosplay’, whatever that meant. I found the entire experience to be both bizarre and interesting, but not particularly one I would care to repeat. This new world that Sherlock and John occupied would take some adjustments, certainly for myself who was, by that point, rather set in my ways.

Thankfully, I would not have to endure it for too much longer, only for the duration of the case, or however long Holmes decided to stay here before returning home. For that time, I decided to throw myself into the situation and tackle it head on, taking each hour, each day, as it came to me, and accepting this strange place for what it was.

Baker Street itself was immeasurably different from our own. I was surprised to see that it had a kitchen, and that we were expected to cook our own meals rather than have them prepared by Mrs Hudson and brought up for us. In fact, Mrs Hudson very specifically stated that she was “not our housekeeper”, a sentiment I found most distasteful although John apparently didn’t object to cooking.

It was late when we arrived, and both John and I decided we would head straight to bed and attempt to get a few hours sleep before continuing with our work in the morning. After assisting John with ‘unpacking’ the food and having a quick peruse around the new Baker Street, I was shown upstairs to the private bedroom that John occupied and I took up residence on the floor. Although he was quite insistent that I should have the bed, I was quite insistent on the opposite. After all, he had slept on the floor at my version of Baker Street; it was only fair that I should do the same at his.

It wasn’t the uncomfortable nature of the floor itself that kept me awake that night though, but rather the smoke which seemed to billow up the stairs from the living room as Sherlock and Holmes filled their lungs with the poison. Finally, it became too much for John to endure too, with the two of us tossing and turning, until we both decided to go down there and intervene. I occasionally enjoy a smoke myself, but this was a step too far.

“Sherlock, I thought I told you to open the windows,” John protested as we waved our hands through the haze. “You’re going to set the bloody smoke alarms off at this rate!”

“Smoke alarms?” I looked at John quizzically and he shook his head.

“Forget it.”

“We’re trying to think, John,” Sherlock protested, reluctantly getting up from his armchair and going to open one of the windows.

“And how’s that going for you?” asked John with his hands on his hips. “We’re trying to sleep. Perhaps you should try that.”

“Psshh...” Holmes waved his hand dismissively and reached for another cigarette. “Perhaps in an hour or two some rest might be advisable.”

Sherlock jumped back in his armchair and picked up the black ball, tossing it from hand to hand carelessly. “Not tired.”

“Why don’t you let me make you a cup of tea?” John offered. “It might make you feel sleepy.”

“You’re not my mother, John!” Sherlock snapped.

But make tea he did, and very good tea it was too. It was surprising to me to see a man so able in the kitchen although he assured me it was fairly normal for his time period, even telling me about some famous male chefs.

After enjoying a warm, milky cup with a dash of sugar, I most definitely felt sleepy again and, with the window open and the smoke beginning to clear, John and I returned to our rooms and were able to get some well deserved rest at around four in the morning.

I drifted off to the sounds of Sherlock and Holmes talking, and most probably still smoking, but I awoke to silence and assumed that even they too, had fallen asleep.

I stayed lying on my back for a few minutes more, waiting until John had awoken too, and then the pair of us talked for a while before getting up and going downstairs, with John kindly offering to make breakfast for us all.

It both amused me and brought a kind of warmth to my heart to see the two Holmes’ asleep in their respective armchairs, their heads back and mouths open, the coffee table strewn with cigarettes.

“Huh. It’s a good job they didn’t fall asleep smoking,” John remarked as we looked at them. “Set the whole damn place on fire.”

“Should I wake them?” I offered.

“Nah. Let them sleep a while longer,” smiled John. “I’ll make the breakfast.”


***

John was the king of cooked breakfasts and pretty soon the place was smelling of fried mushrooms, eggs, fresh toast, and other scrumptious delights for Sherlock and Holmes to wake up to, which happened sooner than expected when Watson managed to turn on the TV and Jeremy Kyle came blasting on nice and loud.

Sherlock gasped and jerked awake; Holmes following suit a moment later.

“Huh…we must have fallen asleep after all, old boy,” said Holmes with a smile, stretching up his long arms like a cat and yawning, looking and sounding fresh as a daisy after his two hour nap.

“Ugh, yes, we must,” Sherlock muttered with disgust, as if unimpressed with himself.

John carried the breakfasts through and put them on the desk by the window, just in time to see Sherlock beginning to freak out, standing up and pulling out all the cushions on the armchair then rushing over to the sofa and doing the same there.

“Where is it…where is it…” He was muttering to himself.

“Where’s what?” John snapped impatiently.

“The ball!” Sherlock cried, hurling cushions around and tugging at his hair, Holmes soon catching on and beginning to help him look.

“The ball?” Watson frowned. “But…you had it in your hands last night.”

“A few hours ago,” John corrected with a sarcastic mutter.

“Exactly! And now it’s gone! It’s not here!”

“That’s impossible,” said John. “It has to be here somewhere.”

“No,” Holmes said very solemnly. “No. It doesn’t.”

At his tone of voice, everyone turned to look at him.

He was standing by the door that led into their flat, and held a piece of paper in his hand. “I found this,” he said by way of explanation, and everyone rushed to crowd round him as he read it out.

When I discovered the ball had been taken, I knew it must have been you, it’s always you. Thankfully, my good friend Jim was able to assist me in breaking into your quarters, knowing your hours all too well. Soon there will be three of us…and you won’t be able to stop us, ever.

Yours cordially,

Doctor Moriarty.


“Doctor Moriarty?!” all four of them seemed to cry at once, looking at each other with baffled expressions for a moment, before both Sherlock’s seemed to reach the same conclusion at the same time.

“Future Moriarty!” they cried.

“He’s the one who invented the ball!” added Sherlock.

“The only one who knows how it works,” said Holmes.

“What does he mean by ‘soon there will be three of us’?” Watson asked, looking decidedly worried.

“Future Moriarty has come back from the future, teamed up with Present Moriarty and now the two of them are going to the past to collect Past Moriarty and team up with him, of course,” Sherlock rattled off the explanation quickly. “Isn’t it obvious?”

“Well, what are we going to do?” John demanded. “He’s got the ball. We can’t do anything without it. We can’t go back into the Past and stop him. For all we know, he could have already gone.”

“Not if he has to leave at midnight on Waterloo Bridge. That’ll be midnight tonight,” said Holmes.

“We don’t even know if the ball works that way. He could have changed it. If the guy who invented it has his hands on it again, he could in theory do anything he wanted and alter the way it works or…or something,” said John, pondering the theories.

“Yes, indeed,” muttered Sherlock. “But I know a man who might be able to help us.”

“Who?” the other three asked together.

“My brother.”

“Mycroft?” Holmes scoffed, somewhat derisively.

“Oh, you don’t like him either? Excellent.” Sherlock seemed rather please with that.

“Well, he’s certainly intolerable at times,” admitted Holmes. “I simply fail to see how he can help, unless you’re about to tell me that this current version of my brother has invented time travel.”

“You never know,” Sherlock narrowed his eyes as he grabbed his coat, the breakfast completely forgotten about.

John gave and exasperated sigh and hurriedly shoved some eggs and beans into his mouth, trying to get as much down him as possible before the last second that they had to leave. Watson saw him in and quickly joined in as the two Holmes’ got their things together and rushed down the stairs.

“We’d better go,” John rolled his eyes.

“I suppose we better had,” Watson agreed, and the two ever patient companions chased after their respective detectives.

***

An hour later and the four of them were sat in a darkened room with Mycroft Holmes, staring up at a TV screen showing video footage of 221B Baker Street.

After some confusion on Mycroft’s part and a few astonished words about how thin he was from Holmes, the government man had accepted what was going on with a surprising amount of ease and was getting straight on with the task Sherlock had requested of him, perhaps realising the potential seriousness of the situation. Three Moriarty’s would definitely not be a good outcome.

“How did you know I still had cameras set up?” Mycroft asked his younger brother with a slight quirk of the eyebrow.

“Because it’s you,” Sherlock scoffed. “Now get on with it.”

“Ah…here we are..” Mycroft hit pause and pointed at the screen.

The timestamp was marked 5:45am.

Two men could be seen on the doorstep of 221B, one of them – the very recognisable Jim Moriarty – bending forward and picking the lock like an expert and the other, with slightly wild bright orange hair and an unusual looking futuristic white suit, standing guard.

“Well, a guy dressed like that could hardly go unrecognised in London,” John pointed out. “Especially with that hair, bloody hell. He’s even weirder than you, Sherlock.”

“Thank you, John,” Sherlock rolled his eyes. “Where did they go next.”

A few moments later, they emerged back outside with the ball tucked under Doctor Moriarty’s arm, and the two of them got into a black car with blacked out windows.

Mycroft clicked to another camera and managed to zoom in on the registration plate.

“I need you to track that vehicle all over the city,” Sherlock demanded.

“Already on it,” Mycroft muttered, his fingers flying over the keyboard and inputting data, bringing up several different cameras on the multiple screens in front of them, showing the same car at various stages of the journey and at different times during that morning.

“Looks like it went to this location in Greenwich.”

The final screen showed the car parked up outside a large warehouse.

“Abandoned warehouse,” muttered Sherlock. “How Moriarty.”

“Come!” cried Holmes. “The game is afoot!”

On,” corrected Sherlock.

“Afoot,” frowned Holmes as they walked out the door together.

“Nobody says afoot anymore. You’re simply drawing attention to yourself.”

“Nobody says ‘the game is on’ either, Sherlock,” John rolled his eyes and followed after them both with Watson. “Loser.”

***

On the journey over to the warehouse, I was beginning to get the thrill of the chase coursing through my veins, and a rush of adrenalin to my head that sent me dizzy with excitement. I smiled to myself slightly and took out my notepad and pencil to begin furiously scribbling some notes down about the case and how everything had progressed so far, just as my compatriot John took out his new fangled device and began punching letters into it with his fingers. He informed me it was known as a ‘mobile phone’. Fascinating.

I no longer felt too out of place in this world. Although my clothes were still from another time and I occasionally witnessed the stares from other members of the public, I was far too embroiled in the adventure to worry myself with their opinions for now there were high stakes involved. It was imperative that we get to the two Moriarty’s and stop their dastardly plan from going ahead, as well as reclaim the ball so that Holmes and I could return to our own world. Perhaps then it might just do as well to destroy such a ball so that no one like Moriarty could get their hands on it again, and I suggested as much to Holmes as we journeyed together.

“I’m inclined to agree, Watson,” he nodded, running his delicate fingers through his hair, having opted not to wear his hat for our little outing that morning, enabling him to blend in better with the others. “No one should have that much power.”

“Seems a shame to destroy it,” muttered Sherlock, the first time they had really disagreed about anything.

“Ignore him,” said John. “He just wants it for himself so he can go and solve the Jack The Ripper case.”

“Not even I could – “ began Holmes.

“Mm, perhaps not, but I bet I could.” Sherlock interrupted, his eyes twinkling.

“You really think Mycroft is gonna let you keep the ball?” asked John. “Now that he knows about it, he’s going to want it for himself.”

“We can’t let Mycroft get his grubby hands on it,” insisted Sherlock.

I watched the whole interchange with some amusement until it was finally agreed by all that the ball should be destroyed once Holmes and I had made it back to our own time, with Sherlock still pouting about Jack the Ripper as we arrived at the warehouse.

Sure enough, that same car we saw on the funny screens in Mycroft’s office was parked outside, and it seemed as though it wasn’t as abandoned as we might have originally thought.

As we got out of the taxi and approached the door, we could see flashing lights from inside through the frosted over, dirty windows, and hear the sounds of two men bickering with each other.

Sherlock and Holmes led the way, then Holmes looked back at me.

“Watson, did you bring your revolver?”

“I did, Holmes,” I answered with a nod. “And yours too.” I got out both weapons, handing him one.

Sherlock again, pouted. “How come Victorian me gets a gun and I don’t?” He looked at John, expecting him to provide an answer.

“Because gun control wasn’t as tight back then, Sherlock, you know that,” John sighed and took out his own revolver.

“So, you three have guns and I’m just here with my fists? Great.” Sherlock rolled his eyes dramatically. “Fine. I’ll do the talking, you lot do the shooting.”

He held his hand for silence and pressed his ear to the door, listening to the conversation inside.

The rest of us crowded in and did our best to do the same.

“I invented the device, therefore I am the one in charge!”

“Sweetie, you wouldn’t have the device if it wasn’t for me getting you into Sherlock’s flat.”

“I have the most advanced technology.”

“Perhaps. But you frankly look like an idiot. You need me. I’m the public face of this operation. I’m the one in charge.”

“I’m the one in charge!”

“I am!”

“I am!”

“Holmes,” I whispered to my companion in a hush. “Perhaps we can use their own arrogance against them.”

“Just what I was thinking, dear Watson,” my good friend gave me a delighted smirk back, and Sherlock nodded in agreement before losing his patience with waiting, raising his right leg, and kicking down the door.


***

The two men inside obviously hadn’t been expecting company, both of them ceasing their bickering and turning round.

There was a large machine in the centre of the room, emitting a bright white flashing light; a fantastical contraption with the magic black ball seeming to float in mid air on a sparkle of electricity.

For a moment, the four new arrivals gazed at it in astonishment, then all hell broke loose as the two Moriarty’s realised their game was up.

Jim immediately pulled a gun from the inside pocket of his Westwood suit and pointed it at them, while Holmes, Watson and John all simultaneously raised theirs. Doctor Moriarty, on the other hand, had a completely different weapon; a strange futuristic silver gun with a purple liquid floating around inside it.

“Well, well, well,” the mad doctor chuckled. “It appears we have some company, Jim.”

Jim rolled his neck from side to side, the crack echoing round the relatively quiet warehouse. “It appears so. Don’t worry, I can take care of this lot.”

In the middle of the stand off, Sherlock, the only one without a weapon, strolled forward casually, glancing Jim up and down then looking at the electrical contraption with the floating black magic ball. “So…this is how it works, is it?” He asked coolly. “Brought this back from the future with you, did you?”

“Mm yes, it folds into a suitcase, very handy, you know?” Dr Moriarty chuckled evilly.

“And what do you intend to do once you’ve united all three Moriarty’s?”

“Why, rule the world, of course. We can do anything! Anything we want! And you can’t stop us!”

Jim sighed and rolled his eyes slightly, glancing at Sherlock and muttering in his soft Irish accent. “Don’t mind him, will you? He’s…” He raised his other hand and twirled his finger in a circle round his temple. “…insane.” Then he leaned forward and whispered. “I’m actually the one in charge.”

Unluckily for him, Dr Moriarty apparently had a good pair of ears on him, and he swung round his silver and purple gun and pointed it at his suaver, younger self. “I am the one in charge!” He barked.

“If this ruins my suit, I’m going to blow your head off, Doctor,” Jim muttered, then grabbed Dr Moriarty’s wrist and yanked it up in the air while he punched him in the stomach.

Jim’s gun went off, the sound of the bullet booming through the cavernous walls of the warehouse and lodging itself in the wall opposite while everyone else ducked instinctively to avoid it, all hell breaking loose a split second later.

Alarmed and distracted by the sound of the gun, the two Moriarty’s were temporarily caught off guard, especially with the Doctor having received a hefty punch to the guts. Sherlock took the opportunity to leap on the mad scientist, grabbing his gun arm and knocking him to the ground with him on top.

As he did so, he inadvertently sent them both crashing into the side of the futuristic contraption he had brought with him. The whole thing toppled over, the black ball dropping to the floor and the sparkle of electric light it had been floating on suddenly ballooning upwards and outwards.

WHOOSH!

It spread over the whole warehouse like a lightning fast mushroom cloud effect, engulfing everywhere and everything in a split second gust of blueish white.

It didn’t hurt, but John felt himself being knocked to the ground with the force of it, and instinctively shielded his eyes against the bright white glare, ducking his head down between his arms as he fell and scrunching up his eyelids.

When he raised his head and opened them again a few moments later, blinking a few times as his normal vision slowly returned, he realised there were a few people missing from the warehouse.

Holmes, Watson and Doctor Moriarty were no longer there, and the futuristic time travel device had switched itself off, leaving an eerie silence in the room and a soft sizzling sound as it buzzed and then died down, Sherlock and Jim both slowly sitting up too and looking around them.

“Where’ve they gone?” John asked, getting up first and then offering Sherlock a hand, which the detective promptly took and hoisted himself up, readjusting his collar and glancing round.

“I have absolutely no idea…back to their own universes?” Sherlock raised a quizzical eyebrow, then leaned down to examine the device, beginning to pack it away and obviously fully intending to take it with him back to Baker Street.

“Not so fast, Sherlock,” Jim’s familiar lilt came followed by the click of gun as he pressed it to the back of the detective’s head. “I’ll be taking that, thank you.”

“No you won’t.” John replied, raising his own gun and pointing it at Jim’s. “Shoot him and I’ll shoot you. Back off, Moriarty.”

Jim sighed quietly and slowly took a step away.

Sherlock quickly grabbed the futuristic cyber gun and pointed it at Jim.

“Do you even know what that does?” the master criminal asked with a smirk.

“Not a clue. Do you?”

“Nope. Willing to find out? Shoot me, Sherlock. I know you want to.”

“Mm. Tempting, but no.”

“You’re under arrest, Moriarty.” John said firmly, still pointing the gun at him.

Jim gave a haughty laugh. “Under what charge? Where’s your evidence?”

John glanced at Sherlock, who shook his head slightly. “Let him go.”

“But Sherlock!” John protested.

“He’s right. Just…let him go. We have the device. That’s the most important thing right now.”

Jim smirked and ducked underneath John’s gun, not phased by it in the slightest as he brushed down his suit and slowly swaggered away. “I’ll be seeing you, Sherlock. You may have the device now…but it won’t be yours for long…”

And with that, he disappeared out the door of the warehouse.

A moment later, they heard the car engine starting and then retreating into the distance.

John sighed angrily. “I can’t believe we just let him…walk out of here!”

“You try explaining this to the idiots at Scotland Yard, John. None of it would stand up in court. He’d walk free.”

“What about all this?” He pointed at the device as Sherlock continued packing it away in the suitcase Dr Moriarty had brought it in. “There’s your evidence!”

“If we used that as evidence, we’d have to give it up. Moriarty knew I wasn’t willing to do that.”

“You’re not going to give it to your brother then?”

“Perhaps when hell freezes over, John. Or maybe when pigs fly. Or when the Easter Bunny becomes real. Or when – “

“Alright, alright, I get the picture.”

Sherlock put the gun on top of the folded contraption and the black ball, and snapped the suitcase shut, then stood up, holding it in his hand as he walked towards the door and flung it open, letting a stream of daylight in. “Let’s get out of here.”

“Back to Baker Street?”

“Back to Baker Street.”

John nodded and followed him outside.

“Don’t know what you brought that thing for,” Sherlock muttered disdainfully as he glanced at John, watching him put the gun back in his jeans.

They both smirked at one another, and then walked off into the distance, their steps in perfect sync.



The End…?


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July 24, 2016 1:06 am  #23


Re: Marvellous Midyear Fics 2016 - read them here!

June 20 – Starry Night, Oil on Canvas, June 1889 was written for Lilythiell by

SusiGo

June 23 – Thunder and Explosions was written for Yitzock by

kgreen20

June 26 – Insomnia was written for nakahara by

stoertebeker

June 29 – Sick Leave was written for stoertebeker by

Yitzock

July 2 – First Time was written for Vhanja by

Schmiezi

July 5 – Apollo and the Aluminium Crutch was written for dioscureantwins by

nakahara

July 8 – A day at the beach – the Baker Street way was written for SusiGo by

Vhanja

July 11 – A Case of Identity, or: Life is a Masquerade was written for Schmiezi by

Lilythiell

July 14 – Horsed was written for Sherlock Holmes aka The Boss by

dioscureantwins

July 17 – Two Holmes Are Better Than One was written for kgreen20 by

Sherlock Holmes


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