by Mary Christmas (unicorn_76010 at lycos.com)
Tom moaned as Tennyson won another round of checkers.
"Okay, I quit; you're too good for me," Tom said.
Tennyson grinned and Tom grinned back. This was just like when
it was just him and Beth. He sobered up at the thought. He hated having
her in danger, but Holmes had been right when said she would make
everyone's life miserable if she couldn't go. He looked at his watch
again, but of course only five minutes had passed since he last looked
at it. That was another thing he hated: waiting while someone he loved
was in danger.
Using the keyboard, Tennyson asked if Tom was okay.
Tom shook his head. "No, I'm not okay. I'm worried...I know I
shouldn't be, that Mr. Holmes'll keep her safe, but I just can't help
it. She's more like a daughter to me than a sister."
Kristen stood up from where she had been talking with Deidre,
Watson, and Wiggins, and came over beside him. "Don't beat yourself up
about it, Tom. I'm a mom. I understand exactly what you're feeling."
"Yeah," Deidre put in, "The part about knowing Mr. Holmes will
keep her safe, too." She grinned. Then, serious, she said, "I wish
you had been my dad."
Tom stared at the girl for a moment, before replying, "I wish I
had been too, Deidre. And I'm sure Beth would have loved being an aunt.
For all her bluster, she has a very big heart."
Kristen smiled sadly. "Some things just weren't meant to be."
"What do you mean?" Deidre asked, "Aren't you together now? I
think it's destiny."
Tom laughed. "Think your daughter's trying to tell us something?"
he asked wryly.
Kristen smiled back. "Yes, in her usual subtle manner."
Wiggins, who had been watching this exchange with interest
suddenly asked, "Isn't this the part where you get down on one knee, Mr.
Tom grinned. "Excellent suggestion, my good sir." He quickly
got down on one knee and took Kristen's hand in his. All signs of
levity were gone.
"Kristen, will you marry me?"
Everyone in the room applauded.
"Good show," Watson said, "It is too bad Lestrade and Holmes were
Kristen suddenly laughed. "That reminds me." She turned to
Tom and asked, "Do you remember that dream she had, the one on the
first night I met her?"
Tom looked at her blankly for a moment, then grinned. "I still
have to beat him up, don't I?"
"Beat who up?" "What are you talking about?" "What dream?"
came at the same time, and Kristen and Tom started shaking with laughter.
"B...Beth dreamt.. that...haha...she...haha...." Tom tried to
say, but was laughing too hard.
Kristen recovered before him and said, "She dreamt that she got
The four other people still looked confused, but Tom and Kristen
would say no more about it.
At that moment, the door was blasted open, and two burly men
came in, followed by a disfigured man and a man dressed in Victorian
On to Part 12!
Back to the prologue,
part 9, and
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