Sunday, March 16, 2014
The Client: Part II
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Here is the second half of the fanfiction begun yesterday. Enjoy!
Once again, all credit goes to the copyright holders. :)
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John Watson was coming. I could not very well cancel the appointment; not when it had gone so far. All I could do was rush about my office preparing myself as best I could.
Joddy must have been confused over my reaction, but I imagine he dismissed it as a fangirl's nerves. He knew that I read John's blog regularly, and doubtless he thought that I was flustered at the prospect of meeting someone who might as well be a celebrity.
Looking at myself in the mirror, I forced myself to take deep, calming breaths. I knew that I could play my part. Over six years of drama classes before I left home had given me some experience in becoming another person. Besides, I acted as Ivy Meshle so often that she had become a part of me.
“There now, Enola,” I said aloud to myself, quoting Mum's favorite piece of advice, “you shall do very well on your own”.
Enola. Alone. My name spelled backwards. I would indeed to very well on my own.
Or so I hoped.
At that moment, I heard the quaint bell sound as the door to Dr. Ragostin's receiving room opened.
I spun around and grabbed a pen and notebook, taking my seat near the fire place. I could hear Joddy greeting John and directing him to my office.
“...Miss Ivy Meshle, Dr. Ragostin's personal assistant, will receive you.” he was saying.
Oh goodness, this was it. My life was ended.
Of course I knew why John had come. By now he must surely know that Sherlock was searching for his younger sister, and why else would he come to a perditorian unless he intended to ask for Ragostin's assistance?
I could not very well search for myself, but how on earth could I turn John down without a good reason?
The door to my office opened, and the doctor himself walked in. He looked just as he had three days ago, when I saw him last. A dark shirt, leather jacket, a kind face. I rather liked him, and wished that my nerves would allow me to feel more comfortable than I did.
Still, I managed to remember my manners as he entered the room.
“Hello, er... Dr. Watson. Please, take a seat!” I welcomed him. I had glanced at my papers to make it appear as though I was reminding myself of his name. It was vital that I should behave as a perfect stranger.
John nodded his greeting and sat down. “Thanks.” he said, wringing his hands in a nervous manner.
“My name is Ivy Meshle, personal assistant to Dr. Ragostin. I handle all of his clients.” I explained. “Would you be so good as to fill me in on the details of your case?”
John was clearly unsure of himself. I wondered why he seemed so uncomfortable.
After a moment, John took a deep breath and nodded. “Right.” he cleared his throat. “I'm here on behalf of a friend of mine. Sherlock Holmes is his name.”
I nodded, pretending to scribble on my notepad.
John continued. “About three months ago, his young sister went missing. Her name is Enola Holmes, and she's about sixteen-and-a-half years old by now. We understand that she's been hiding in London, but neither Sherlock nor the authorities have been able to find a trace of her.”
“Oh?” I said. “Could you describe the circumstances surrounding her... flight?”
John complied, telling me his own version of the story I knew quite well. Sherlock had given him quite a detailed account, but of course it lacked the details that only I myself knew. The manner of my escape, the route I had taken, the source of my finances...
I realized, despite my precarious situation, that this was a useful visit. By hearing John's story, I was able to determine how much my brother knew about my situation. It seemed that despite his best efforts, I was still eluding him quite effectively.
At last, after John finished, I thought for a few moments.
“Forgive my asking, Dr. Watson,” I said, “but I have heard of Mr. Holmes, and I know his reputation. If he is as good as they say he is, why ever would he need- much less ask for- Dr. Ragostin's help?”
John shifted uncomfortably. “Well, that's just it, “ he said, “he wouldn't. Sherlock didn't ask me to come here... I came on my own.”
My heart skipped a beat. Sherlock had not sent him?
“I came because I'm getting worried about him. He's stuck on this case, and he can't find any clues to help him. I think it's too close to him, and that's why he's having such difficulty.”
John sat forward in his chair, leaning his elbows on his knees. “He's not eating, not sleeping... he's practically living on tea and coffee. He sits despondently in his chair all day. It's either that, or he's sprawled across the sofa in sort of a daze. I'm concerned for him as both his doctor and his friend. If he-”
John stopped suddenly, choking a little with emotion. “-If we don't find something on Enola soon, I hate to think what's gonna happen to him.”
I tried to mask my dismay. My brother? Wasting away on my account? It seemed impossible. Mother had told me... I'd seen his medical papers. The psychiatrists agreed that Sherlock exhibited sociopathic tendencies; emotion was either foreign to him, or severely repressed.
My heart felt dark, and heavy at the thought that he was... suffering, because of me. As much as necessity called for me to fear him, I dearly loved my brother. I looked up to him, and admired him so much. If circumstances had been different, I would have loved to get to know the brother who'd been out of the house before I was old enough to read.
Clearing my throat, I tried to keep my voice level. “Would you say that Mr. Holmes is in any... umm... physical danger?”
“Yes, I would say so,” John said grimly.
“I see.” I nodded I adjusted my glasses and took a deep breath. “Well, I shall take your case to Dr. Ragostin, and I am sure he will consider it very carefully. If he can help, I assure you that he will. Is there an address by which I can contact you?”
“Address..? Oh! Yes. Here it is.” John scribbled an email address onto a sheet of paper and handed it to me. I smiled graciously and rose, shaking his hand.
“Very good. I'll notify you should any progress be made.” I told him.
“Good. Great!” John said, smiling and nodding. “Ah... how much do I owe you for the visit?”
“No charge for consultation.” I replied. Opening the door, I escorted him out.
Once again, he thanked me and shook my hand. As he left the building, I felt myself sighing in relief.
My immediate danger was gone. And yet... I found that my heart was no lighter. What was I to do? I knew I could not help John or Sherlock... but... I could not let my brother continue to agonize over the case he could not solve.
I shut myself in my office and leaned against the door. Slumping to the floor, I crossed my arms over my knees and rested my chin on top.
Oh Sherlock... how can I help you?