The Past Is Never Just the Past

Part 2

by Jennifer Grenier (jengreni at

A Few Days Later
New London Apartments

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 relaxing time.

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 I do."

The stranger started his hovercar and flew away.


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."

"All right."

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 flustered Holmes.

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 living room.

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 civilized society."

"I know, but we are friends, Sherlock. You can relax around me. Or this will be a stressful vacation and we will not get anything done."

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 responded sincerely.

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 asleep.

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 very loyal."

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 season?"

"Not much. Just a bit of yard work. We did get a lot accomplished today."

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 to Sherlock.

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 the Yard."

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 bad memories...."

"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
Chief Inspector Grayson's Office

"What do you mean, gone? How can a crate of guns and ammunition just disappear?" screamed Grayson at the Curator of the Armoury.

On to Part 3!

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