The Past Is Never Just the Past
by Jennifer Grenier (jengreni at cyberbeach.net)
A Few Days Later
Beth closed up her duffel bag. She was finally finished
packing. Another surprise for Sherlock Holmes was to find Lestrade in
blue jeans and a tank top. As she was putting the last box of food in
the back of her hovercar, Watson and Holmes pulled up and landed
behind her. The friends had decided the day before to take separate
vehicles due to the recharging station that was needed for Watson.
Holmes watched as Beth reached up to close the trunk. That was
the first time he truly noticed how in shape she was. Her arm muscles
were well defined. She was still very feminine but strong. He powered
down his window.
"All set, Lestrade?"
"Just have to lock up. Now, Watson, you have the directions
just in case we get split up?"
"Yes, Lestrade, I have the instructions. I am a compudroid. I
will get Holmes and myself there, don't worry," responded Watson.
Lestrade sprinted up the stairs to her apartment. After pulling
on a sweater, she contacted Chief Inspector Grayson to inform him of
where she would be, just in case something major came up. He thanked
her and wished her a safe trip, and for her and Holmes to have a
After making one final check of her apartment, ensuring
everything was turned off, she locked up and went to her hovercar.
"Okay. It's about a three hour drive, Watson."
"Right. Well, then, let us get on our way."
Holmes smiled at Lestrade, who let out a light laugh as she
climbed into her hovercar. Just as they were leaving, a man came out
of the shadows.
"Zed. Where is she going? And who in zed is that gentleman in
the second car with that droid?"
The stranger was angry. He went to his hovercar parked in the
alley. Using the communication device in his car he contacted Scotland
Yard. He asked for Inspector Lestrade and was promptly told that she
was unavailable as she was on vacation for the next three weeks. He
disconnected the call and slammed his fists on the dashboard.
"This is not happening. You are not getting away this time.. No
one makes a fool out of me twice. I did not do this to have you
get away. You will become involved, Beth, if it's the last thing
The stranger started his hovercar and flew away.
New London Apartments
It was an uneventful drive out to Beth's family cottage in
Plymouth. She had contacted the property caretaker and had him mow
the law and make sure that the electricity was turned on. As the two
cars came to a safe landing in the driveway, Holmes studied the
cottage. It was a remarkable sight. The Lestrade cottage was a
stonewalled two storey building with climbing ivy across the front.
All the windows had old-fashioned style shutters, and there was a huge
pine tree in the front yard.
Everyone climbed out and stretched. Keys in hand, Beth made her
way to the front door. Upon unlocking it, she found that the
caretaker's wife had put a vase of fresh cut flowers on the
entrance table. She opened up the note and read it.
Welcome home, Miss Elizabeth.
She smiled. She was truly happy here.
"Are we going to unpack now, or later?" asked Watson.
She came back out towards Watson and Holmes. "Sorry about that,
Watson. I was a little distracted there. We can unpack now. Holmes,
your room is on the second floor, at the end of the hall on the left."
Holmes grabbed his bags and made his was into the cottage and
towards his room. Lestrade looked at Watson.
"We will put you on the main floor. The recharging unit would
be more stable there."
And with that the friends set up and got settled in.
Holmes looked out the window in his room. He had a perfect view
of the lake. It was truly a beautiful sight. On the mantel over the
fireplace in the room there were some pictures. Most of them were of
Beth and who could only be her parents, but there was one very old one
that caught his eye. Upon taking a closer look, the photo brought
tears to his eyes. The old photograph was of himself, John Watson and
Inspector George Lestrade, taken at John Watson's wedding.
John Watson had surprised him when he said he was getting
married. But when Watson asked Holmes to be his best man and to stand
up for him, he was honoured. Over the years, Mary Watson proved to be
a strong woman, perfect for John. She always supported John when
Holmes came calling with a case. Mary always prepared a great table
and would welcome him for dinner with a welcoming smile and a sisterly
embrace. It had taken some time for Holmes to get used to that kind of
affection as the sibling rivalry between himself and Mycroft, his
older brother, showed respect but no brotherly affection. In time the
three were good friends.
Beth was bringing Holmes a few extra blankets when she saw him
wipe away a few stray tears that hand rolled down his cheeks. The
noise of someone entering the room startled Holmes out of the
memory of the past.
"Oh, Holmes, Zed, I forgot to see if there were any photographs
out. The last thing I wanted to do was upset you."
Holmes, surprised by his sudden emotional reaction to the old
photos, responded, "It is okay, Beth. May I have.,..?"
Beth went into the room and placed the blankets she had been
carrying on the bed. She went over to Holmes and gently touched his
arm. "Yes, Sherlock, you can have this photograph. We should try to
get up into the attic this trip. I'm almost positive there is a lot
more stuff up there."
"Thank you, Beth," responded Holmes quietly.
Beth left the room so Sherlock could get his thoughts together.
She went to the kitchen to unpack the groceries, and to put dinner
in the slow cooker. A good home-cooked meal wold set the relaxing
mood of this trip.
Sherlock quietly made his way to the kitchen to help. He stood
in the doorway and watched Beth as she worked.
The cleaning of the room had made Beth very warm so she removed
the sweater she had put on at her apartment. Beth thought Holmes was
still upstairs getting settled. She was still very careful with how
she dressed around him. She did not want to shock or offend him in any
way. Sherlock always kept his Bohemian side in check and even though
Beth as a 22nd century woman, she always kept the fact that Holmes was
a Victorian era man front and center in her mind.
"Lestrade, where do you want Watson and I to start?"
Beth gasped and jumped. "Zed, you startled me, Holmes."
"Sorry. Didn't mean to sneak up on you," he gently laughed.
Holmes stared at Lestrade. He was a little awestruck at the
state of dress of Lestrade. She was showing more skin than he had
ever seen her do -- well, that was before she showed up at his
doorstep in a stunning black summer dress.
Lestrade noticed that Holmes was staring at her and she started
to blush. She spoke up to break the mood. "Okay, then, well, I think
you and Watson can go and get started on the living room so we can
have a place to relax after dinner."
"Right, well then, we'll get right to it." responded a
Beth watched as Holmes turned and left the kitchen. A flustered
Holmes met up with Watson in the living room. The two of them started
on the cleaning and airing of the room.
Holmes started by pulling the dust throws off some of the
furniture. Watson opened the windows to let in some of the fresh
air and to let the dust escape. Holmes kept thinking about
Lestrade in the kitchen.
When did Lestrade become so strikingly beautiful? he
thought. My word, Beth has always been beautiful. I have
just been blind to it.
Watson was folding the sheets and noticed Holmes was
preoccupied. He smiled to himself, as he knew that Holmes had walked
in on Beth as she was cleaning the kitchen. As a compudroid he had
seen Lestrade in various states of undress, mostly after her workouts
in the Yard's gym, but Holmes had only ever seen Lestrade in her
uniform or some casual clothes -- well, at least he had before the
night that started this little adventure to the country. Watson could
tell that this was going to get increasingly more interesting as the
day progressed. Watson smiled as he continued with the cleaning of the
Beth finished cleaning the kitchen. She made a pitcher of
lemonade and placed it on a carrying tray with two glasses filled with
ice cubes. Upon making her way into the living room she watched as her
two friends worked quietly, dusting and organizing the room. Beth
watched Holmes working extremely hard.
Zed, he is a handsome man, she thought. Out loud she
said, "Holmes, would you like a glass of lemonade?"
"What a wonderful idea," responded Holmes as he took the
offered glass of refreshment. They sat down on the sofa.
"Well, Holmes, the only thing left to do down here is to bring
in some firewood for the fireplace for tonight. Oh yes, also to
bring in and get set up Watson' recharging station."
"Lestrade, Holmes, I will bring in those required items.
Lestrade, you are supposed to be on vacation."
Beth and Holmes let out a laugh.
"Okay, Watson, if you insist. Thank you. Now, Holmes, if you
would like to get cleaned up, you can go first. The shower is on the
second floor just down the hall from your bedroom."
Holmes placed his empty glass down on the tray on the coffee
table. "I will take you up on that offer. Won't be but a few minutes."
Holmes had taken off his shirt while he was working. As he was
leaving the room he picked it up, suddenly aware of his state of
undress in front of Lestrade. He also heard something he never heard
before; Lestrade was giggling.
"Holmes, Holmes, wait." she called out after him.
"What is it, Lestrade?" questioned an embarrassed Holmes.
"Holmes, Sherlock, we have to relax. This is 2104, not 1894.
Clothing has changed. People are more comfortable about the
human body, and besides, the work we have been doing is
hard, dirty and hot."
Holmes leaned against the hallway wall. "This is going to be
hard, Beth. I am from a time where modesty was to be praised in a
"I know, but we are friends, Sherlock. You can relax around me.
Or this will be a stressful vacation and we will not get
Holmes nodded in agreement. Lestrade went to the linen closet
and handed Holmes a couple of clean towels. "The shower here is
different than the one at Baker Street. You have to manually set the
water temperature. Just like the original baths."
Holmes took the offered towels. "Beth, I thank you for being so
patient with me. Just when I think I am over one 22nd century hurdle,
another one is there to take its place."
"Sherlock, I will be here as long as you need me to be," she
Holmes went into the bathroom and closed the door. After
setting the towels Lestrade had given him on the counter top, he
reached into the shower stall. "Oh, I have to have this set up at
221B. This is so much more convenient."
Out in the hall Lestrade took a shaky deep breath and she
slowly released it. "I am getting too close to letting him know. Zed,
why now? I am not ready for this. I am not ready to admit that I have
fallen in love with him." Lestrade went into her bedroom and laid down
on her bed. She toed off her shoes and a few moments later she was
What Lestrade had no way of knowing was that Holmes had opened
the door to the bathroom to ask her about the shower when he overheard
her talking to herself. Holmes sat down on the edge of the dressing
table in the bathroom. He was in a state of shock.
In the last week he had seen different sides to Lestrade. This
side was the one that the great detective was unsure how to handle.
How does one respond to an overheard declaration of love? Do you
ignore it? Holmes knew he could not ignore it. He knew this because
he was feeling the same way. His friendship with Lestrade was strong
but his heartfelt feelings towards her were growing stronger. He
decided to talk to Watson about Lestrade after he finished his shower.
As soon as he was finished in the bathroom, Holmes went to
Lestrade's room to let her know that she could go and get cleaned up.
What he found was Beth, asleep on the bed. Her face looked so innocent
in sleep. Holmes gently covered her with a blanket. He swiped a piece
of hair from her eyes and he watched her sleep. After a few minutes
Holmes left the room and went downstairs to the living room. There he
discovered Watson had found an old book and was reading.
"Holmes, when did you get blue jeans?" asked a surprised Watson
at Holmes' kind of dress.
"I asked Wiggins last weekend, when you were in at the Yard
getting your upgrade, to take me shopping."
They suit you, old friend."
"Thank you, Watson."
"Where is Lestrade?"
It was starting to get cool in the cottage so Holmes went
about starting a fire. "Watson, I need to ask you a question."
"I am listening."
"What do you think about Lestrade?"
"Well, she is a strong-willed woman. Very independent but also
Holmes sat down on the sofa.
"Holmes, why are you asking?"
"Old friend, are you developing feelings for Lestrade?"
Holmes took in a deep breath.
"Yes. I believe I am."
"Holmes, I am so happy for you. Beth is a wonderful woman."
Before Holmes could respond, they heard the floorboards
creaking above them.
"Beth is awake," stated Holmes.
Beth grabbed a clean blouse and a pair of jeans and went down
the hall to the bathroom. She decided against having a shower but
instead decided upon drawing herself a bath in the old fashioned
clawfoot-styled tub. Beth poured into the running water a generous
quantity of vanilla bath gel. She undressed and then climbed into
the bath and relaxed back in the water. Beth closed her eyes.
Thinking about Sherlock Holmes brought a smile to her face.
Holmes and Watson heard water running. Assuming she was taking
a shower, Holmes went to the kitchen to see if the dinner that
Lestrade had started in the slow cooker was ready. It was so he made
his way to set the dining room table. Holmes heard the water stop. Now
he knew she was taking a bath in the old-fashioned style tub that he
noticed in the bathroom. Holmes smiled. He heard the water running
down the pipes as he heard the tub drain. Just as Lestrade made her
way downstairs after her bath, Holmes had began to serve dinner.
"This is nice, Sherlock, thank you."
"Well, I was getting hungry so I assumed you were as well."
"You assumed correctly. Now let's eat."
As Beth walked by, Holmes caught a whiff of vanilla, Holmes
swallowed sharply. The two friends sat down at the table to eat
dinner. Watson also joined them for the conversation and the laughter.
Even though he didn't eat dinner, Watson cleared the table and did the
dishes. Lestrade and Holmes retired to the living room.
"What else is there to do to get the cottage ready for the
"Not much. Just a bit of yard work. We did get a lot
Holmes and Beth sat quietly on the sofa drinking their coffee
and watching the flames in the fireplace. Once Watson had finished
washing the dishes, he excused himself to go and recharge. Beth
decided to be strong and brave about her feelings and she moved closer
He was holding his coffee mug in one hand, resting it on the
arm of the sofa; his other arm rested at his side. Without thinking,
he moved that arm and Beth moved to lean against him. Sherlock draped
that arm across her shoulders and the two friends sat in the silence,
each thinking about the changes that were happening to them and
towards each other.
Even after Holmes moved to put more wood on the fire or when
Beth put the coffee mugs in the kitchen, they went back to that
position. Anyone who would have entered the room would have thought
they were cuddling.
"You know, I don't really know very much about your life before
Beth shifted her position. Holmes felt her rest her head on his
chest. He wrapped his arms around her a little tighter.
"Beth, if this upsets you in any way...."
She looked up into his eyes. Beth saw something there that she
never thought she would ever see again -- unconditional love.
"I think you should know, Sherlock. I need for you to know."
He let Beth sit up straight. She moved so her back was up
against the arm of the sofa. Tucking her legs up underneath her body,
she rested her hands in her lap.
"What I am going to tell you is upsetting. It will probably
make you angry. But I want you to listen to the story entirely."
He reached over and took her hands in his. Looking at her face,
Holmes saw a single tear roll down her cheek.
"You need to know, Sherlock."
Holmes wiped away the stray tear.
"You know that I was raised by my grandparents after my parents
died. Despite being moved to New London I had a happy childhood.
When I graduated high school and started college I met Alice and
Edith. We became fast friends. And then I met Bryan Webber."
Beth got up off the sofa and started to pace. Holmes noticed
the fear that came across her eyes when she said the name.
"Sherlock, he swept me off my feet. Took me places I had never
been. Fancy restaurants, country club dances, and to the opera.
I felt like I was loved. Or at least that was the illusion. One
day when I had made plans to go home to visit my grandmother,
Bryan got very angry. I had never seen him angry but I thought
nothing of it. When he told me he did not want me to go I told
him no, and he hit me. Bryan immediately apologized and said it
would never happen again. And like a fool I believed him."
Beth sat back down on the sofa. Holmes reached over and took
her hand in his.
"Beth, you don't have to tell me. If this brings back too many
"No, I'm all right. I want you to know. I need for you to know
all of it."
Beth moved so she could lean against Sherlock. He wrapped his
arms around her and hugged her. For him to do that seemed so natural
that there was no afterthought.
"He had me convinced it was my fault. Bryan was so possessive.
I didn't really know how much until Edith had invited Alice
and myself out to her family estate for a quiet weekend
before finals. As I was packing he kicked in the door to my
room, screaming at me. He was forbidding me from going. I had
finally had enough and I told him we were finished and to
leave. Bryan wouldn't hear of it and that is the last thing I
remember until I woke up in the hospital two days later.
Alice was sitting beside me. I have a broken cheekbone, my
jaw was broken and wired shut. I had four broken ribs and my
spleen had ruptured and it had to be removed surgically."
"Oh my God.... What happened to this Bryan Webber?" Sherlock
was taken aback by the extent of her injuries.
Beth wiped her eyes. "He was arrested and charged with assault.
He beat the charges and the last I heard he was living in the States."
Sherlock hugged her tight and gently touched her hair.
"Beth, you survived that. Now I understand how you could have
so much strength and how you don't like people protecting you.
That attack made you an extremely independent woman."
"I know that but thank you for telling me. I really needed to
hear that from you."
Holmes pressed his lips to her forehead for a light kiss. Beth
closed her eyes and softly sighed at the soft kiss from Holmes.
They sat there staring at the fire. After a few hours of just
sitting there and enjoying the comfort of each other, Sherlock
noticed that Beth felt a little heavier against him. That was when
he realized that she had drifted off to sleep. Holmes gently
maneuvered himself so he could carry her up to her bedroom. He
gently laid her down and took her shoes off. Grabbing the blanket
from the foot of the bed, he covered her with it.
"Goodnight, Beth. Sweet dreams," he whispered.
Feeling a show of emotion would not be inappropriate, he kissed
her forehead and then he left the room and gently closed the door.
After securing the cottage for the night, Holmes himself went
to bed. His heart was heavy from the painful story Beth had told him
about her past but his soul brighter because his relationship with her
was changing. The once-confirmed bachelor had found someone who was an
equal, and it only took a second chance at life.
New Scotland Yard
"What do you mean, gone? How can a crate of guns and ammunition
just disappear?" screamed Grayson at the Curator of the Armoury.
Chief Inspector Grayson's Office
On to Part 3!
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