?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Don't you want me? (3/4)

BBC Sherlock

Rating 15 (nudity, non-explicit femslash)

Summary: It's time for Anthea to tell the truth to Sarah, but her methods are unexpected.

Sequel to Working practices, Do you want to know a secret? and What's love got to do with it?
No Series 2 spoilers and not compatible with it.

Betaed by the very helpful Greywash.

Part 1, Part 2




"Why am I here?" Sarah asked Sherlock, when she got to Baker Street twenty-four hours later.

"To find out about Anthea," he replied, smiling down at her. "More precisely, you're here because there will be highly classified information involved and I have access to secure communication links. I'll also tell you now that the inside of this flat isn't bugged and that John isn't here. Given his prejudices against Anthea, I thought his presence would be unhelpful. So I found an excuse to send him out."

"What excuse?" She never ceased to be amazed at the havoc that Sherlock could cause on an everyday basis; she wanted advance warning if John was likely to end up under arrest again.

"A comment about the current state of his abdominals did the trick. He'll be back from the gym about nine, and he'll be delightfully hot and sweaty by that point, so if we could wrap your matter up by then, it would be handy. I have a sex life of my own to maintain, after all."

"You just love manipulating people, don't you?" she said, with irritation.

"Yes," he replied, still smiling, "but you're my client, so I'm not trying to manipulate you this evening. You need information and you need to know it's reliable; you don't need coddling or pretence. If we're going to do this, we should get a move on." He led her through the clutter of the flat to the table by the window, where two laptops had been placed amid a jumble of other high-tech boxes.

"Scrambling equipment," said Sherlock. "What you'll see will be the equivalent of an internet chat session, but on a secured line. I wondered about audio and video, help in the lie detection perhaps, but there's so much cryptographic processing involved that I was concerned about the time lag. Right, let's get started. You are on this laptop, I'm on the other one."

 He started to type and the words appeared in a window on her screen:

SH: We're ready at this end. Is AZ ready to talk?

AZ: AZ here. The first info dump is being prepared.

SH: Before we start, some advice. If you lie, I will spot it, even if Sarah doesn't. And I will also recognise if Mycroft starts trying to play tricks. So I suggest you tell him to get his fat fingers out of this particular pie right now.

"Your brother's involved in this?" Sarah gasped.

"Releasing this much confidential data, he has to be."

She had somehow signed herself up for a three-way, no, four-way mindfuck with Anthea and both Holmeses. She felt a sudden urge to leave and find John at the gym, because at least she'd know where she was with him. No, she told herself, I am going to do this. I just need to work out what the hell I'm doing.

"How...how do I know it's Anthea at the other end of the line?" she asked.

"A good question," Sherlock said. "I suggest you ask for information from your past that no-one else would know."

She thought for a moment and then typed:

SS: Why did you leave the room you were renting in Streatham and move in with me?

AZ: I found Rigsby was spying on me in the bathroom.

Anthea wouldn't have talked about that to anyone else, so it was her. And then more words appeared on the screen:

AZ:  I've had last night's tape from the surgery securely destroyed. Though I wanted to keep it, because you're still gorgeous, Sarah.

"Now that," said Sherlock, "is not Mycroft. Mycroft's attempts at complimenting women are painful to hear." A moment or two later the next message appeared.

AZ: Initial infodump now completed with pre-Civil Service files on AZ.

"Click on the file icons, and take a look," said Sherlock. Sarah started to open them.

"What’s all this?" she asked, gazing at the documents revealed.

"Scans of her birth certificate, academic transcripts, medical records. That's a good base to start from."

"Why is she sending these?"

"Last night, you asked Anthea to tell you about herself, reveal herself to you. Well, she's doing that in the most systematic way possible."

"I didn't mean...I don't need all this information."

"Yes, you do," he said, his pale eyes scanning her, scanning through her. "For one simple reason. If Anthea or Anne has being lying to you all along, the evidence will be in here. So see if this data contradicts anything she's ever said to you."

Sarah started looking through the images. How on earth could she remember what Anne had said all those years ago? But as she worked her way slowly through the files, some of it came back.

"Her date of birth's certainly right," she said, "and when I met her she'd just come back from a year studying in Syria, so that fits."

"Good," said Sherlock. "Anything else?"

"The one bit of the course at SOAS she really didn't enjoy was having to study Sufism."

"No, I can't see Anthea having a taste for mystic theology. And that's the only module in which she didn't get a first. She was an exceptional student, presumably?"

"I didn't know anything about her subject, but even I could tell she was brilliant."

"What about the medical records?" Sherlock asked. "Bold tactic of hers to include those, you're most likely to spot any discrepancies there."

Sarah worked her way rapidly through the familiar jargon. "I do remember her saying that she had asthma as a child and that she broke her wrist ice-skating," she said, after a while.

"What about more recently?" Sherlock asked. "She's included current records as well. Anything odd there?"

"She had a scar on her left elbow she didn't have when I knew her before," Sarah said, scanning the file again. "She said she'd broken her arm a couple of years ago, had to have it operated on."

"And?"

"Page 10 of the records. She sustained a gunshot wound which fractured the ulna."

"I see. An evasion, rather than an outright lie. Anything else major?"

"I...I can't see any blatant untruths."

"Good. Well, as I said, this gives us a baseline. She's not a fantasist or a compulsive liar, though I suppose it's unlikely Mycroft would have employed either. And if the files have been tampered with it, it's been done exceptionally carefully. Do you need more time to analyse these, or shall we go onto the next set of files?"

"This isn't real," said Sarah. "I can't...a month ago I was talking to this charismatic woman I'd loved when she was a teenager. And now I'm inspecting her medical records in case she's lied to me."

"If it makes it easier," Sherlock said, "think of it as a Turing test. Your job is to determine whether at the other end of this connection there is a real human being, or whether Mycroft has replaced Anne Zimmerman with an android."

"You do mean that metaphorically, don't you?" Sarah said, horrifying images suddenly crawling in her head.

"Not even Mycroft has access to technology that sophisticated," Sherlock replied calmly. "Now, if you're ready, we should get onto the interesting stuff. The secret information."

SH: Initial material received and analysed. SS still prepared to listen to you. What's next?

AZ: I'm sending the vetting file from when I joined the Civil Service.

SH: Good. We'll check through that and then report back to you.

"This," said Sherlock, "is where the lying starts. I gather Anne didn't want the vetters to know she was gay."

"No," said Sarah, "so she asked me not to say about our relationship. I don't think she was out to her family, either. She always wanted to spend her vacations in London, so she didn't have to go home to them."

"Let's see what else she lied about," Sherlock said, as a 'ping' announced the arrival of the file. "Take your time and see if you can spot anything funny."

***

Sarah was used to checking CVs, and this was similar, except with far more detail, a young woman's life laid bare on the screen. How strange it must have been to have your youthful behaviour pored over like that. Results of interviews with referees, and there she was, saying how Anne was an intelligent, studious young woman, who had been no trouble to her erstwhile landlady. She didn't drink to excess, she didn't take drugs – Sarah was a doctor, she'd have spotted that. As for Miss Zimmerman's sex life...

"They'll notice if you find their questions awkward," Anne had said all those years ago, warning her about the interview. "So can you just sound as if you're prudish generally?"

How had Anne known so early on how to mislead people? But it had worked. Dr Sawyer had said that she really didn't know about Miss Zimmerman's private life, but she had asked her not to have boys stay at the flat overnight, and she'd been good about that. And somehow, this embarrassed Dr Sawyer had fooled the vetters; in all the weight of reports they'd accumulated about Anne, the Civil Service hadn't realised that side of her.

"You lied to protect her," Sherlock said, steepling his fingers. "Curious. Especially since you must already have known that she was abandoning you."

"I'd always known it wasn't going to last," Sarah said. It was odd to say out loud what she'd thought so often. "She was twenty-one, too young to be settling down. And joining the FCO, of course she would be overseas for extended periods. She was right to point that out, rather than pretend. If I'd tried to make her stay it would have wrecked her career prospects, and she'd have ended up resenting me." She paused. "At least, I presume it would have harmed her career." Or had that just been an excuse to end the relationship, she suddenly wondered.

"They'd have been very cautious even if they took her on, severe restrictions on her postings. As it was, they were still worried. Have a look at the final recommendation, page 32."

Sarah started to read through the page. Strong recommendation for Miss Zimmerman to be accepted, no major issues of concern, the only minor issue was...she stopped and read the paragraph again:

Miss Zimmerman is an extremely attractive young woman, but has no steady boyfriend. While there is no available evidence of any tendency to promiscuity, this is a possible concern and monitoring may be necessary. In particular, caution should be taken in assigning her to any male-dominated section.

"She didn't have a boyfriend, so they thought she might be a slut?" Sarah demanded. "How could they say something like that?"

"It was probably only prejudices like that that stopped them realising Anne was lying about her sexuality," Sherlock said. "She wasn't anything like careful enough. But then she was still an amateur at deception at that point." He paused and then added: "Was there anything else she mislead the vetting team about?"

"Not that I can see," Sarah said. "She wasn't...wild in the way that some students are." She had a sudden, vivid memory of Anne lying on the bed in Sarah's flat in a T-shirt and knickers, long legs stretched out behind her, as she thumbed through a copy of Time Out, circling things she wanted them to go and do. And herself sitting down beside her, smiling, and stroking her hair and saying: "There are only twenty-four hours in a day, remember that, and I'd like a bit of time just alone with you."

"She was addicted to London, I suppose," she added. "But I'm not sure that's a recognised problem."

"There was worse places to be in love with," Sherlock said quietly. "I wonder if her overseas postings came as a shock. She had just under four years in the FCO, so probably on her second tour when Mycroft headhunted her."

"She said something about getting into trouble when she was at the embassy in Moscow."

"That would have been her cover story, once she'd been recruited. A surprising number of Mycroft's minions aren't officially working for the Security Service. In fact, I once met one who was supposedly on long-term sick leave from the Department of Health. Well, whatever she was up to at that point, Mycroft would have found out. So the next stop is his vetting of her." He began to type again:

SH: Initial vetting reports read and digested. You were lucky to get away with your lies that time, Anne, but you didn't fool Mycroft, did you?

AZ: Is Sarah still there?

SS: I'm here. I've read your reports. What else do you want to tell me?

SH: What we *want* now is the vetting report done by Mycroft's lot from 2005.

AZ: I've never seen that myself. I can't give you access.

SH: You can and you will. You get it authorised right now or the deal's off.

"Deal?" said Sarah.

"I said I'd act as intermediary," Sherlock said, "ensure that all the data's securely deleted at this end. It's the only way Mycroft was prepared to release it."

"What's he doing?" said Sarah. "Am I just some piece in a grand plan of his?"

"We all are," said Sherlock. "Anthea started this, not him, but he just can't help interfering."

"Like you?"

"You asked me for help. But you can say right now: I want this case dropped, I want to be left alone, and it will happen."

"And I'll never see Anthea again?"

"You can't half-know about her. Well, you can, but three months down the line something else will blow up, Anthea's lies will metastasise. Whatever you did last night was thorough. It seems a waste not to be thorough now." He turned back to the laptop.

SH: Got your clearance yet, Anthea?

AZ: File being sent. One-time read only, please do not attempt to copy. Password will be sent separately by rights-holder.

"Is that the high-tech version of 'This tape will self-destruct in five seconds'?" Sarah asked, and then remembered that Sherlock didn't do popular culture.

"It is advance warning that we're about to get a call from my brother. Bring the file up on screen, first of all, and then–" Sherlock's phone began to ring and he passed it to Sarah.

"Good evening, Dr Sawyer," a posh, vaguely familiar voice said. "Can I first please confirm your identity?"

"I...how do you do that?"

"Can you please repeat the following sentence: 'The budget figures for this year are not looking hopeful'?"

"The budget figures for this year are not looking hopeful."

"The voice print matches, which is reassuring."

"Have you been listening in on our practice meetings?" Sarah demanded. "God, you must have died of boredom."

"Ask Anthea about possible efficiency savings via better scheduling of vaccinations, she may have useful ideas on that. Now, Dr Sawyer, do you have the file in front of you? Then please input the following sequence, exactly as given. Uppercase Q, one, zero, lowercase t, six, six, three, eight. Has the file opened?"

"Yes."

"Good. Please don't pass on the information inside to anyone else, or there may be...consequences. Good evening."

Sherlock was already eagerly looking through the file, but Sarah just sat there, staring at the cover: Confidential vetting report (Special Purposes). Subject:  Zimmerman, Anne.  D.O.B. 21/11/80. It would all be in there, wouldn't it? More of Anne's secrets, including the biggest one of all, which Sarah herself had given away. But not the real secret of Anne, Anthea. Not the person underneath all those facts and statements. Not that woman, the one she loved. If she was still there. Sometimes when the wrappings fall, there's nothing underneath at all.

"Your guilt is misplaced," Sherlock announced.

"What?"

"You're feeling guilty because you inadvertently outed Anne. You shouldn't be. Mycroft found two other ex-girlfriends of hers and her headmistress went a lot further than 'youthful high spirits' this time. Have a look at the picture on page 14. Though I'm not quite sure of the significance of the costume."

On page 14, a very young, very drunk Anne had her arm round a taller girl in a black wig and armour.  To Sarah's experienced eyes, Anne was one drink away from throwing up messily, but for now the excitement and happiness were winning out.

"I think," she said, "they're supposed to be Xena and Gabrielle." Sherlock lifted an eyebrow.

"Ask John about them." Sarah said hastily. "And the other girl was one of her schoolfriends. Nicki somebody? I met her once."

"Captain of the hockey team, according to this report, which I suspect is why Anne and she didn't get expelled when they caught in a rather embarrassing situation in their dormitory. Though they were  told firmly to behave like ladies in future."

"Poor Anne," said Sarah. "Just wanted to have fun and she got herself into trouble. I behaved terribly the first year at medical school. Good job no-one's ever needed to vet me."

There was an ominous silence from Sherlock.

"Right," said Sarah. "There's a file out there on me, with all the dubious things I did when I was sixteen. And twenty-six and thirty-six. Fine."

"Someone I know once compared Mycroft to God," Sherlock said casually, "Unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden. It's maddening, but you learn to live with it. Would it help if I told you embarrassing secrets about him?"

"No," said Sarah firmly, because this was turning into enough of a fucked-up version of Truth or Dare as it was. "I...I don't want to read this stuff. If Anthea wants to tell me things, that's fine, but reading things even she's not seen is getting creepy. Unless there's anything that you think I have to know."

"Only one thing," said Sherlock. "Look at Mycroft's comments on the file. Page 58."

She read slowly through Mycroft's clear handwritten note, as it noted Anne's intelligence, organisational skills, resourcefulness under pressure. The familiar praise for someone with her exceptional talents.

"I don't see anything," she said.

"Look at the last paragraph."

Normally, her having lied persistently about her sexual orientation and  relationships to the vetting staff would be cause for dismissal, and would certainly make her unsuitable for work with any sensitive material. However, in this case, I consider that her concealment can be overlooked, and that there should be no formal reprimand on her public record. I do not feel that her sexuality will cause any problems within the role proposed for her, especially given the wide range of liaison duties involved. Indeed, there may even be ways in which Ms Zimmerman's personal background is an asset to us.

"What does that bit about liaison duties mean?" Sarah asked.

"That she wouldn't try and seduce DI Lestrade. Mycroft's always been very possessive of him, even though it took him forever to reveal his interest."

"Presumably after he'd investigated the poor man to within an inch of his life?"

"Well, there are some things even Mycroft misses," said Sherlock cheerily. "But it's the final sentence that you need to consider carefully. 'Indeed, there may even be ways in which Ms Zimmerman's personal background is an asset to us'."

"I don't see the significance," she said.

"Sarah," Sherlock said calmly, "I think you should realise, given that statement and the recent medical records, that we can deduce one of the probable ways in which Anthea is an asset to Mycroft."

Recent medical records? Sarah looked back through that file on the screen. Nothing unusual there apart from the gunshot wound, healthy overall, sensibly had herself regularly tested for HIV...oh. Woman to woman transmission was theoretically possible for that, but unlikely.

"Sex with men?" she said. "Unprotected sex with men? I can't believe Anthea would–"

"Mycroft has a beautiful lesbian to hand, as it were. I'm sure she could make some men do anything for her, and there's no danger of her being attracted to them. He wouldn't demand she slept with them, but if he’d suggested it was useful, she might well have volunteered. But this is hypothetical. Let's get some better data." He started to type again.

SH: When was the last time you had sex with a man as part of your job?

AZ: My last honeytrap was June 2009: the man was Robert John Dugdale. I've now had myself removed from the operational pool for such activities.

"Dugdale," said Sherlock. "Well that makes sense."

"Who is he?"

"He was one of the biggest arms dealers in Western Europe. He's now in HM Prison Dartmoor, I suspect thanks to Anthea. Mycroft was trying to put him away for years; I wondered how he'd finally managed it."

She really shouldn't mind that Anthea had done something like that, Sarah told herself. She knew Anthea had never enjoyed sleeping with men, she'd probably have hated seducing this criminal, whoever he was. And wasn't she showing double standards? Did she stop finding James Bond a turn- on just because of all the women he'd been with?

All the women he'd been with...Sherlock had been quite specific in his question, hadn't he? Had he not thought of the alternative, or had he hoped Sarah wouldn't think of it? With trembling fingers she typed in:

SS: Have you ever slept with a woman in the course of your duties?

There was a long pause and then the message appeared:

AZ: Three partners

SH: Give details of the last encounter.

"Sherlock!" Sarah protested.

"You either know or you imagine it. I say better to know."

AZ: Female surveillance target (non-criminal), February-March 2010

SH: Name?

AZ: It's not relevant.

SH: Is here where the lying starts, Anthea? I thought you were giving that up? Name.

AZ: Clara Watson

"Now that," Sherlock grinned, "I hadn't expected. I think we can see Mycroft's fine Italian hand in that one." He typed rapidly again.

SH: Care to tell us more, Anthea?

AZ: M needed to check on her after she and Harry split up. He asked me to do it because I wasn't involved with anyone and he thought I could do with a date. So I went out with her for a month or so but it didn't work out.

"Told you it was Mycroft’s doing," Sherlock smirked. "He has this appalling habit of wanting everyone neatly in line. Staggeringly tedious. Anthea doesn’t need anybody."

"That doesn’t stop her wanting someone, does it?" Sarah protested. She waited for some crushing retort, but he seemed to be taking her conversation seriously this evening.

"No, I suppose not," he said after a pause. "It is surprisingly positive being in a successful relationship."

"Surprisingly positive?"

"The pleasures of having someone close to you outweigh the inconveniences that result from caring for someone. While I think of it, do you want tea?"

 "You’re offering to make me tea?" she asked in surprise.

"You’ve just had a shock; it might help you. Well, doubtless it’s what John would recommend. I’d simply ask you to consider what prior sexual history you’d find acceptable in a partner." He leant back in his chair, steepling his fingers.

"If I say yes to a cup of tea, you’ll expect me to make it myself, won’t you?" she said, and got the expected half-smile.

***

She ended up in the kitchen, cautiously making tea, because it probably was a sensible suggestion, even if it was Sherlock’s. It gave her a few minutes to stand back, think about what was happening. She’d asked Anthea to be honest, hadn’t she, and in her own way she was doing that. If Sarah didn’t like the answers, wasn’t that partly her problem? It wasn’t as if she’d never slept with men for the wrong reasons. But why Clara, she thought, as she stood in the kitchen and sipped the steaming tea.

"Why Clara?" she asked, as she went back into the living room.

"You’ve met her, then?" Sherlock said confidently.

"Once. She's very nice, but–"

"She's a sweetly amiable butch and Anthea is a floral-patterned razor blade, is that what you're trying to say?"

"I–," She broke off. She didn’t know who Anthea’s type was, except apparently her. Seven years older, and mostly straight, and completely unremarkable.

"Clara was safe. Mycroft and Anthea would have recognised that."

"Safe?"

"Loyal. Mycroft values loyalty particularly highly, I suppose because he’s such a treacherous bastard himself."

"Don’t you think–" she began, and then Sherlock suddenly gave a crack of laughter.

"Oh yes," he said, staring at the laptop and almost bouncing with glee, "we’ve got her on the run now."

"What’s going on?"

"I knew that was the way," he said, "reverse the normal information asymmetry. Don’t you see? Anthea’s used to being able to observe the other person, openly or covertly, know more about them than they do about her. Remove that information deficit, and she’s immediately less sure of her ground, especially in a case where’s she emotionally involved."

None of that made sense, but maybe if she looked at her screen...

She sat down, and there it all was. Beneath Anthea’s statement on Clara there was no reply from Sherlock. He’d been distracting Sarah with the tea, but Anthea hadn’t known that, didn’t know what was going on at 221B. She’d had to try and guess:

AZ: Did you receive my last message?

AZ: Please respond to confirm receipt of previous message.

AZ: I’ve tested the comms link and it’s working. What is happening at your end?

AZ: Are you still there?

SH: I’m here

AZ: Is Sarah still there? What is going on?

AZ: Please, tell me. Is Sarah upset about all of this?

AZ: Sarah, what do you want me to say?

AZ: You wanted me to tell you the truth.

And then the last message currently on the screen:

AZ: Clara didn't mean anything to me, Sarah. I swear she didn't. None of them meant anything to me, till now. You can say whatever you like, I deserve it. But I can't go back, I can't unsleep with them, I can't not be who I am.

Anthea was panicking and what the hell could Sarah say in reply? She couldn't think of how to explain what was going on, and as her fingers stumbled over the keyboard, Sherlock was rapidly inputting something more. And, oh God, it was getting worse:

SH: Have you ever killed anyone?

She started to type: You don't have to answer *his* questions, when Anthea's answer flashed back:

AZ: Yes. Do you need details?

"Stop it!" she yelled at Sherlock, and then realised it was no good yelling, because Anthea couldn't hear. Was there any way of ending the chat session, she wondered. But when she clicked on the window it didn't close, and it was too late anyway, because the words were already appearing:

AZ: Francis De Moncy, working for Russians. Died in July 2008

A new line appeared beneath:

SH: How did you kill him?

How could anyone type that fast?

AZ: Cyanide.

And Sherlock gave a little lift of his chin, as if he'd logged the data, and then said to Sarah: "If you need me to confirm the details–"

"Just stop this!" she yelled again, because yet more messages were spilling onto the screen, so fast now that even Anthea's skilled fingers were mistyping:

AZ: I'm sorry sarah I'm so sorry, not what you want to hear. can't we pretend this didn't happen, but you wanted me to tell you the truth, and sherlock probably guessed anyhow. there are things you probably shouldn't know. this is what my life is, this is why I hide away. I will send the files on de moncy and myabe you'll understand then

AZ: Or maybe not

AZ: because what I do is scary sometimes

"Stop her now," Sarah demanded, wondering if she could somehow smash the computers. "I'm not having her do this to herself."

SH: Stop talking and listen

Sherlock pushed down the lid of the laptop to scrutinise Sarah. "Well?"

"Tell Anthea," Sarah said with determination, "that on my first date with John Watson, he killed a man in front of me. With a crossbow. Dead people don’t scare me. You type that, because I have someone else to deal with." She reached for Sherlock's phone on the table beside her and hit the redial button.

"Hallo, again, Dr Sawyer," came Mycroft's unctuous tone. "I do hope you're getting the information required."

"If you ever make Anthea commit murder again, I will track you down and throttle you," she shouted. "Do you understand me?" It had been his doing, it had to be, manipulating people the way the Holmeses always did.

"I think, Dr Sawyer, Sarah, there may have been some misunderstanding. Ms Zelig is my PA, not an assassin."

"She's just told me she poisoned Francis someone, with cyanide."

"Ah. That was a mistake."

"A mistake?"

"My mistake. She and I went to confront a former colleague of ours, and the situation got out of hand. We were captured and...threats were made. I thought it very likely I might be imminently forced to reveal valuable information. I keep cyanide capsules on my person for such an occasion. However, Ms Zelig was able to point out a more constructive use for them."

Anthea was working for a boss who kept cyanide capsules handy. And who sometimes asked her to sleep with arms dealers. But then, Sarah had nearly got herself killed by a woman looking for a million-pound hairpin last year. Her life had somehow taken this turn.

"Are you still there?" Mycroft enquired, after a while.

"Yes," she said.

"I would prefer not to have to discuss the details of De Moncy, or release the files to you, unless it is strictly necessary. Not one of the Service's finest hours. We knew he was one of theirs, but we thought he was also one of ours. But unfortunately we were wrong."

"I–"

"May I just add, Dr Sawyer, that it is generally unwise to make any threats against me, however aggrieved you may feel. But I do appreciate your concern for Ms Zelig, so we'll overlook the matter on this occasion. Good evening." He hung up.

Sarah was just about to throw the phone at the wall when she remembered it was Sherlock's. And, oh, God, he was still on the chat program to Anthea. Lines of text scrolling up, phrases flashing past:

SH: Captured by a *Russian* agent?

AZ: that's what we chose john watson for, to protect you.

SH: What do you mean, chose?  I don't need that interfering pillock picking my friends.

And then another line appeared:

AZ: how could you do that to sarah?

Sherlock snorted and his hands raced over the keyboard:

SH: Well if we're going to point fingers, Ms Zimmerman, what about Operation Zebra?

"That's enough," Sarah said out loud yet again, and hastily typed in the one thing that could, perhaps, make it stop.

 SS: Come to 221B now



Part 4

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
fengirl88
Apr. 28th, 2012 08:50 pm (UTC)
She had somehow signed herself up for a three-way, no, four-way mindfuck with Anthea and both Holmeses.

poor Sarah - she seems fated to get into terrible situations, though she's handling this one admirably. I hope that consolation is coming her way soon.
zauzat
Apr. 28th, 2012 10:09 pm (UTC)
Another lovely chapter. you have a wonderful hand with details.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )