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Live A Life Less Ordinary (Incomplete)
MissEmilyDickenson asked if I could add what I have for this fanfic so far, so here it is! Sorry it isn't great, but I suck at romance AND mystery, which is what this is... so... Well, whatever, read it anyway. Sorry it's incomplete:)
Blood. Blood, and pain, and terror, and confusion. Everything around me whirls with unnatural colors and darkness and horror. Thick liquid drips down my face and over my lips, seeping into the cracks and filling my mouth with the bitter, metallic taste of pennies. Screams echo in my ears; I don't know they're mine until my throat aches and I sputter, blood scattering across the wall in front of me. I start to black out, my mind sinking into oblivion. Then red-hot fire sweeps across my vision and the screams start anew, bouncing of the walls and filling the small room with the sounds of pain and despair. My head snaps forward, my forehead bouncing off the wall, leaving new scrapes of crimson dragged on the concrete. I whimper, my eyes rolling back in my head. Burning liquid drips into my hair and down my back, leaving trails of agony as it falls towards the ground. A heavy weight hits my back from behind and I buckle underneath it, my spine crunching. More weight hits my side, my head, my arm. I hold back a blood-curdling scream, gasping for air. Some of my ribs are cracked, my hair is matted with blood, and I can feel my arm break beneath the weight. Every time I start to give up, start to collapse into darkness and accept that I'm to die, more alcohol is poured onto my wounds and fresh pain yanks me back into reality. I can't breathe, can't do anything but sit there and hurt and hurt and hurt and hurt. I can't even remember a time when there wasn't this much suffering, when blood didn't splatter my jeans and my thoughts were filled with anything but how much I wanted to just hurry up and die. A meaty hand grips my hair and jerks my head back; I squint at a stubbly face with blurry vision, my mind only barely functioning enough to process that there's anyone there. A silvery glint is held up to my neck, a deep, scratchy voice working its way into my ears and past the misery.
"Where is it?" He growled, the knife inching closer to the soft skin underneath my skin. I whimpered, twisting away as tears form in my eyes. "Where is it? Tell me or I swear to God I'll flay you alive!" He wrenches his wrist, the knife cutting a shallow line into my shoulder. I scream, struggling desperately against the ropes typing me to the chair. He laughs hollowly.
The door behind me slams open, the room filling with light from a world I hadn't seen since I was kidnapped four days earlier. My assailant straightens, the knife passing dangerously close to my cheekbone, and curses fiercely, whipping out a gun. He raises it but is too late; a bullet sails over my head and buries itself in his chest.
"I wouldn't be swearing to God if I were you," A cold voice, somehow familiar, says, and I hear a clatter as the gun that had been responsible for the man's death clatter to the ground. Footsteps cross the concrete ground quickly and warm hands fumble with the knots behind my back. "I'd be too busy praying to him." More footsteps, slower and more calculating than the first, come towards me. A dark blob appears to my right and walks in front of me, revealing a dark cloak and, as the man lowers himself to my hunched height, an angular face. In my dazed state, his alabaster skin appears surrounded by a halo of light, bright against his dark hair and the fuzzy background of blood and gore. I blink slowly and feel my bonds fall from my hands, releasing my arms from the position they'd been locked in for so long. I pitch forward into the man's arms, shadows licking at the edges of my vision. "Oh! Er- hello." Warm arms hesitantly wrap themselves around me. The last thing I feel is his hot breath on my cheek, then I sink into unconsciousness.
A hand shakes me awake, gently pulling me back into reality. Convinced I'm still stuck in the room being tortured, I wake swinging, my fist connecting with a jaw. Someone cries out and I hear a thump as they're knocked to the ground. I hurriedly throw the covers off of my legs and am halfway to the door before a hard body slams into me. I struggle, and someone chuckles. I recognize the voice and freeze, my elbow halfway to their side, poised for a swift smash in the ribs. As my muscles relax, so does his grip on me, until I'm standing on my own once more.
I tug on a lock of my hair, embarrassed. "Sorry, I-" I keep my back to him, my head turned away. I stare at my scuffed red converse, noticing with repulsion that there's a spot of blood despite the fact that they were tucked under the chair the entire time I was trapped. He still doesn't talk; I can feel his eyes burning a hole in my back. Finally I turn, slowly raising my eyes to his eyes. They're a startling shade of blue: dark around the edges and a bright, icy blue inside, marred by a green-brown spot on each pupil. They seem to peer right into my soul, sorting through and absorbing every little detail they find there. I have to look away, looking back to the ground instead of at him.
"It's all right, I'm quite used to getting hit in the face by women. Seems to happen to me a lot, I'm afraid." I glance back at him, my eyes wide. He cracks a fleeting half-smile. "Right, well, they're all waiting for you outside, so if you'd like we'll just hop off, and- What's that face for?" I startle; I hadn't realized I'd been making a face. I struggle to make my face impassive, but my emotions are so overwhelming that I simply have to turn my body away from him. I can still feel his eyes on me, but he has the decency to let it go. Instead, he opens the door and holds it for me, raising an eyebrow. I lock my eyes on my feet and shuffle out of the bedroom, into a living room covered in a strangely patterned wallpaper. A bluish streak pulls my eyes to the corner of the room; turning my head, I see a white and black skull painted onto a blue canvas. The empty sockets of the skull hold my gaze, my pulse picking up. I try several times to tear myself away, but only manage to do so when the man opens another door, leading into a dark staircase. I'm hesitant to envelop myself in the dark, but I 'm also reluctant to show my fear to the man and only pause for a moment before making my way to the bottom. Another door is in my direct line of sight, standing loud and white and mysterious. Footsteps pound down the stairs, then a pale hand reaches around my immobile form and twist the doorknob.
Harsh light streams into the dark, blinding me. When my eyes finally adjust, a crowd of unfamiliar faces jars me. Their smiles are friendly, but as I watch they morph into something else, something sinister. I whimper, taking a step backwards, and my back sinks into something soft. I spin around, and the singular face of my rescuer has been replaced by the empty face of the skull painting. I scream, and his arms jerks, slamming the door. I hear a slam, echoing steps, then a hand grabs my elbow and wrenches me away from him, into another warm body. Not wanted to see anything else, I squeeze my eyes shut and let myself fall into someone's arms.
I wake up on a couch, facing the pale man with dark hair. Standing beside him is a shorter man with blonde hair, holding a cup and saucer. I sit up, and he offers it to me. The pale man starts to say something, but the other elbows him in the side, shaking his head. I take small sips of the tea, letting the steam roll onto my cheeks and into my hair. They watch me, eyes unwavering, until I sigh and lower the cup.
"Do I know you? Because, honestly, I have no idea." My voice seems to startle them out of their respective thoughts, and the second man looks down, embarrassed. For once, I feel strong enough to look the first in the eyes, no longer afraid of his piercing eyes after seeing his face distorted into the gaunt features of the skull. He stares back at me, his lips pursed.
"Amnesia." He says, his voice resonating in the smallish room. I blink.
"Amnesia." He sighs. "A deficit in memory caused by brain damage, disease, or psychological trauma. In your case, probably both the former and the latter." My hand gropes unconsciously at my head. Blood doesn't mat my hair anymore, but I can still feel the unnatural stickiness, even if it's just my imagination. "You might regain your memories, but I honestly doubt it."
The second man groans and rolls his eyes. Our eyes leave each other and flick to him. "In other words, he's Sherlock." He glares at the first man, who shrugs. "I'm John Watson, and this is Sherlock Holmes."
"He's the blogger." Sherlock earns himself another glare, which he ignores. "And I'm the consulting detective."
"Consulting detective?" My voice is incredulous, while on the inside my insides are in turmoil. If I'd known them before, they wouldn't be introducing themselves like they are. So if I didn't know them… what am I doing in their house? "I don't think-"
"He made it up." John says, sitting hesitantly on the couch beside me. I scoot over, not realizing I'd done it until it'd been done. Habit, or a precaution? I can't say for sure. "Nothing that already existed suited him, so he simply created a career for himself. Typical Sherlock, you'll get used to it."
"The good thing about making up your own job," Sherlock waves his hand. "Is that you're never out of work. How can you be, when you're the only one there is?" I stare at him, wide-eyed. "But, enough. Twyla, I need to ask you a few questions."
Something inside me clicks, and it takes me a few moments to realize what it was. My name. Before, I hadn't even figured out that I'd forgotten it, simply going along with whatever. The little snippet of my past leaves me aching for more, wanting to know more, more about me, more about who I was before. Before. Before what? Before the pain? Before is something mysterious; before is something I can't remember. Will I ever?
Sherlock's deep voice yanks me out of my reverie, and I stare at him blankly. He starts to repeat himself, but I interrupt. "Wait… please… what's my name? Where am I from? Who am I? Who the hell am I?" I take a halting, gasping breath, then start to cry. John wraps an arm around me and pulls me into his side, awkwardly patting my hair. I curl and uncurl my fist, shuddering.
I calm enough to look up from John's side and am met with Sherlock's icy blue eyes, staring into my own. He nods once, tersely.
"Shock," He says. "Only to be expected."
I grit my teeth and lean towards him, extending my arm. My palm connects with his cheek and he falls backwards.
I sit hunched over their table, staring at the steam rolling from my tea. Sherlock sits across from me, his cheek red and marked by my hand, and stares, the questions he has practically visible on his tongue. John leans against the fridge, watching both of us warily, ready to intervene if either of us act rashly.
I clench my fingers into a fist, glaring down at my knuckles. Neither Sherlock or I have apologized; I steadily refuse to unless he does first. My face is tight from the tears that have dripped, on and off, down my face for at least an hour, depending on how hard I'm trying to remember. A laptop lies on the table between us, but I've been too scared to open it and see the files they have on me. I'm still not even exactly sure who they are, except for the few facts John has managed to get in between Sherlock's cold observations about my blood pressure and bruises and such. I can't even bring myself to look at him, he disgusts me so. Everything about him is emotionless and removed, it hurts.
And yet, it's a welcome relief. I could do without emotions, today. I'm racked by waking nightmares, scared out of my mind and confused about everything. I don't know anything, nothing of importance anyway. I set my jaw and reach for the computer, flipping the top open.
A picture of me pops onto the screen, all smiles and movement. Everything about me screams alive: reddish-brown hair falls in waves to my shoulders, my hand is raised to push a stray lock away from my forehead, my cheeks are flushed, a deep dimple stands to the right of my wide grin, and my gray eyes glint with laughter. My body is turned like I'd just spun to face the photographer, the black sweater dress hanging attractively on my hips twisted in a spiral around my legs. I'm standing on tiptoe, like a bird poised to fly, with the same red converse as on my feet now on my feet then. A lump forms in my throat- I look so happy, so pleased to be breathing and living. And I don't even remember it.
I take one last long look at how I used to be and click away. A birth certificate slides onto the screen, the birth certificate of a certain Twyla Jane Emerson, born September 7th of 1990 at 8:43 am, daughter of Lane Joseph Emerson and Adalynn Reece Abram-Emerson. I swallow hard, blinking away the tears forming in my eyes, and click. Another picture pops up, again of me. I'm curled up in a big armchair, my skinny-jean clad legs tucked under me (and, of course, my ever-present red converse), holding a thick book. An almost completely brown Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with a few white splotches is cuddled up beside me, its head resting on my leg. I'm sticking my tongue out at the photographer playfully, almost as if they'd caught me by surprise. The dog stares straight at the camera, its head raised enough that its collar is visible. I zoom in on the tag: Amber Emerson. I smile, and click.
Dentist records, birthday pictures, first-day-of-school nametags on tacky dresses… I click past them all, absorbing a life I lived and can't remember and crying over memories I wished I could remember. And then I come to the newspaper articles.
Missing: Twyla Jane Emerson, aged 20. Red-brown hair, gray eyes, 5' 5", skinny. Reported missing from her parent's home 12-27-12. No signs of break-in or struggle. Last seen wearing a black headband, purple and black shirt, boot-leg jeans, and red converse. May have a ribbon around her wrist.
I glance down at my arm. I can see a paler area on my wrist in the long, thin shape of a ribbon, but there's not one there. I can tell without looking that the headband is long gone, and since waking up in Sherlock and John's house (the second time…) I've changed into one of Sherlock's long-sleeve white button up shirts with the sleeves rolled up to my elbows. My jeans are ripped and bloodstained, my shoes have one or two odd splatters of scarlet, my hair is tangled and wild, I'm unnaturally pale… the girl from the pictures is gone. She left when she gone beaten half to death and lost her memories. But if she's gone, who am I? I stare, my gaze unseeing, at today's date. Then a weight falls on my shoulder and a pale finger points at the numbers, the hand on my shoulder squeezing and disappearing. The chair across me creaks as Sherlock settles back into it. I glance at him, and he nods. His emotionless façade has faded a little, letting something that looks distinctly like pity shine through. If even Sherlock is showing emotion over a couple numbers, obviously it's got to be pretty bad. I bite my lip and let my eyes fall back to today's date.
For a moment, I don't even process what he was trying to show me, then my eyes flick between the kidnapping date and today's. I moan, dropping my head into my hands. My hair slips over my face, and I let warm tears drip between my fingertips onto my jeans, leaving little spots of moisture. Two pairs of shoes appear on either side of me, and I slowly raise my head. John cocks his head and looks at me with concern, and Sherlock stands on the other side with guarded eyes, his lips pursed. I sniff, then shoot out of the chair and run to the bedroom, sobbing. The chair clatters to the ground, and John hollers my name, his footsteps echoing after me.
I slam and lock the door, collapsing onto the bed with a pillow hugged to my face to hold back the gasping whimpers that slip past my lips and into the air. John yells for me to let him in for a few moments, then his voice recedes and I hear pacing in the living room. I take deep, shuddering breaths, rocking.
I didn't know I'd fallen asleep until a soft knock on the door startles me awake. I roll off the bed and fall to the floor, still grasping the pillow. The knock sounds again, soft but insistent. I blink, groggy, and push myself to my feet. I unlock the door and swing it open, catching Sherlock with his hand raised. Two spots of pink appear on his cheekbones, and he lowers his arm. I glare at him, fully aware of how curls stick to my cheeks and a pillow is clutched to my chest. He pretends not to notice, but if I know anything about Sherlock Holmes, it's that nothing gets past him.
"Er- John told me to wake you." A film of non-feeling falls over his eyes, and he goes back to the cold, unfeeling man he pretends to be. Or, maybe, he's pretending to be the emotional one, and this icy façade isn't such a façade after all. "It's morning, and he was wondering if you-"
I gasp and my hand shoots to my hair. "Morning?!" I curse and slam the door, my eyes quickly skimming over the room. Then I open the door again, blushing, and give him an embarrassed half-smile. "Erm… do you have any clothes I could wear?"
I yank a hairbrush through a particularly tangled knot of hair and wrestle with the unyielding snarl for a few moments before finally giving up, throwing the brush down on the nightstand and glaring at myself in the mirror. Mrs. Hudson, their sweet elderly landlady, had gone shopping last night, after I crashed, and picked out some clothes based on the things I'd worn in the pictures, and had refused my sincere thanks, saying that she was glad to finally have another woman around. After finally taking a shower and getting rid of the awful blood stains, I could see once and for all just how bad my wounds were.
A long scratch stretches from my right cheekbone around my cheek and along my jaw, leaving a red streak that throbs every time I accidently tap it with something. My shoulder had to be wrapped up because of the deep knife wound I got right before Sherlock and John found me, but even with multiple layers of gauze blood seeps through when I wiggle too much. I'm covered in innumerous scrapes, bruises, and rashes.
I sigh and unwrap my towel, hastily pulling on my underclothes before I get cold. I yank a black tank top over my head and straighten it, then I inch deep red leggings up my legs. I hesitate between two shirts, then pick up a thick long-sleeve black and white sweater dress and drop it onto my shoulders. It settles over my hips and I cast a quick look in the mirror again.
I look like I'm trying to be someone I'm not.
I scowl at myself and flip my hair off my shoulder, silently repeating one phrase over and over: Twyla Jane Emerson. It's who I am, even if I can't remember it, and I sure as hell am going to fit the part. If I have to put up with a few misgivings for the next couple weeks, so be it.
I slip my feet into my new red Converse (Mrs. Hudson figured it wouldn't do to have bloody shoes), but they don't feel right, so I just shrug and pull on the original pair. Besides, you can only see the blood if you look reeeeeeally closely. I pause by the door, take a deep, shuddering breath, and open the door.
Sherlock stops bouncing his ball against the wall and looks up at me, his eyes glazed with boredom. "I tried to go and eat without you," He says. "But John wouldn't hear of it." He raises an eyebrow. "Can we eat now?"
I glare at him and ignore his rudeness, pushing past him into the kitchen. John grins at me and pulls a chair out from the table, offering it to me. I hesitate, but sit, and he pushes into the table for me, reaching around my shoulders to place a heaping pile of many different types of breakfast foods on the wood surface.
I hadn't realized how starving I was until I get a whiff of the food. I shovel pancakes into my mouth and eat as quickly as I can, not bothering to try and savor anything until my last couple bites. I sigh contentedly and lean back, my eyes half-shut.
John raises his cup of coffee at me from where he leans against the counter and takes a sip, his eyes creased from the smile that twists his lips. I turn and see Sherlock hunched on the big chair, glaring at the ground with his feet tucked under him and his arms crossed. Despite the early hour, he already has on a large black trench coat and a scarf.
He looks up at me, his blue eyes lit up, and the edge of his mouth barely turns up in a twisted imitation of a smile. He says something, his lips moving quickly, but I'm still too dazed from the sudden onslaught of more food than I've had in at least a month to hear him correctly. John does, however, and I hear him bark something in a loud, angry voice. Sherlock's grimace turns around and he scowls at us, then growls under his breath and disappears into his room.
I shrug and ask for some more breakfast.
I'm watching television absentmindedly, staring at the screen but not really seeing the scene, when a hand claps down heavily on my shoulder. I startle and immediately slap it off, tensing and spinning around with a deep scowl on my face. Sherlock holds his hands up and raises an eyebrow, grinning slightly. I frown at him and turn back to the telly. "What the hell do you want?" I say, crossing my arms and sinking farther into the cushions. I hear him cross from the back of the couch and he plops down beside me, one of his legs propped on the other. He shrugs.
"I'm going out, to work on a tiny little case." He frowns. "And John said I had to take you along. Something about it being unhealthy for you to sit inside and watch television all day like you have for the past three days. Personally, I have to agree- you've already started gaining weight, and-" I growl and slap a hand over his face, giving him my best don't-mess-with-me-I'm-already-pissed glare. He rolls his eyes and pulls my fingers off. "Anyway, are you coming, or not? Lestrade says everyone's dying to meet the 'mystery girl'-" He wiggles his fingers. "And I'm sure Anderson can't wait to get in your pants, but-"
"Sherlock?" I say, sweetly. I tilt my head and give him a blinding smile. "Shut the hell up before I shove a stick up your arse." He closes his mouth, then raises an eyebrow as if to ask me a question that I don't know the answer to. Should I go with him? Can I even handle going outside, seeing people other than John, Sherlock, and Mrs. Hudson? The last time I tried to go outside I hallucinated and collapsed; can I do that again? Honestly, I don't think I'm even strong enough. "Yes," I sigh and set my jaw. "I'll go with you." He makes a weird face, sort of a mix between a scowl and a smile, then straightens his scarf and stands, stopping his moment of silence and launching into a detailed account of the murder we're off to solve.
I pull my hood over my head and hunch over, unconsciously scooting closer to Sherlock. I may not like him much, but at least I actually know him- and his coldness, in a way, is comforting. Never thought I'd stoop so low as to say that. He glances down at me and pulls me into a side alley, leading away from the crowds of London.
He stops, grabbing my elbow. "Twyla…" His voice is aberrantly soft, tinged with something sweet and very, very un-Sherlock-y. "Are you alright? Do I need to take you back home?" He blocks my view of the street; I peek around his shoulder and stare at the passing people with wide eyes, then shake my head. I'm incapable of speaking, so I start walking back towards the sidewalk, trembling slightly but still moving forward. There's a quiet swoosh behind me, then Sherlock appears beside me and his arm flashes towards me. He hesitates, then twines his fingers in mine and pulls me closer. I jump and glance up at him, but he keeps his eyes forward, though his cheeks have turned a little pink.
We reach the end of the alley and he looks down at me for a moment. "Focus on my voice, okay?" He says, his voice low. "Just listen to my voice, and you'll be okay. I promise." I gaze into his eyes, my own huge and terrified, and nod. He smiles slightly, and starts randomly talking about the people around us, pointing out little things on them and their belongings and how he uses them to figure out their lives. I stare either up at him, at our clasped hands, or at the ground unfailingly, only occasionally looking at those around us when he points something out. Only half of me listens to him; the other marvels at the twist of his lips, the way he talks, how our hands fit perfectly together, the warmth radiating from him to me, the clear and perfect skin on his wrist. He smiles down at me, and I suddenly have an urge to feel his thick hair. I shake myself out of my strange, unbidden thoughts and instead walk a little closer to him, so his coat swishes against my bare legs. He gives my hand a reassuring squeeze.
We stop outside the police station and he releases my hand quickly, brushing invisible dust off his coat. The cold air fills in the places where his fingers had fit so perfectly. I blush and look away from him, pulling my dress down a bit and tugging at a lock of hair. He glances at me one last time, then sticks the hand that had been in mine in his coat and holds the door open for me.
The room he leads me into with a hand in the small of my back fills with whispers and creaks as I enter, Sherlock two steps behind me. A man with gray hair nods tersely at Sherlock and holds out his hand to shake. I can tell he's kind- laugh lines surround his eyes and mouth, his clothes are professional but comfortable, and a wedding band, shiny and well-worn, sits on his left hand like it probably has for twenty or more years- yet I can't bring myself to take his offered hand. I shrink backwards into Sherlock, grasping the side of his coat, and force a smile. Sherlock shakes his head at the man. "Twyla, this is Lestrade. Lestrade, Twyla, the girl John was telling you about." Lestrade lowers his hand and smiles, acting like my rejection hadn't confused, and probably insulted, him, but I can see it in the way his eyes flick across my face. The darker-skinned woman behind him is not so quiet about her disprovable; she wears it on her face like the hairspray in her hair. She notices my eyes on her and her frown deepens.
Sherlock notes this, too, and he stiffens beside me. His hand presses harder on my back, protectively. "Hello, Sergeant Donovan." She scowls at him, crossing her arms. "Oh, you-"
Lestrade clears his throat. "Sherlock-"
"-have been sleeping-"
"-with Anderson again-"
"SHERLOCK!" Lestrade glares at him and motions for Donovan to leave. She uncrosses her arms and stomps away, her frizzy hair swinging.
Sherlock lowers his mouth to my ear. "Her knees are scuffed. Happens every time- and no matter how many times I point it out, she never learns." His hot breath tickles my ear, and I suppress a grin, elbowing him in the side. He smirks and straightens. "So, Lestrade, you said you had a case?"
Sherlock squats down beside the dead woman and scrapes his eyes over her body, muttering to himself. He stands and holds his hand out to Lestrade, still looking at the body. He places a file in his hand, and he flips through it before handing it to me. I pause, then open it and glance over the documents.
"Sandra Lou, half-Chinese immigrant daughter of the Chinese restaurant on 100 Walworth Road." Anderson drones from behind us, sounding bored. "Dragon Castle. Her mom owns it; her dad was from Ireland. He left when she was six, went and married another Asian woman. She was 36, had a boyfriend and a nineteen-year-old son named Charlie. He lives with his dad and stepmum, only sees her about once a month, when his dad forces him to hang out with her for a while. Bruises around her neck suggest choking-"
"Strangling," I interrupt, looking at a picture of Sandra and Charlie. He looks seriously upset to be stuck with his mom, who's smiling widely to make up for her son's deep frown. "It's choking when from the inside, strangling when from the outside. Any idiot knows that."
He coughs, embarrassed. "Right, er- bruises around her neck suggest strangling, and there are marks on her hands that suggest she put up a fight. We'll know more when we do the autopsy."
Sherlock and I glare at him at the same time and he shifts uncomfortably under our gazes. "So you brought us out here for a case you've already solved?" I say, my voice strained. I can't believe that I braved the crowds of London for something like this, and frankly, it pisses me off. Sherlock looks just as disgusted. "Why the hell do you need him for, then?"
Lestrade clears his throat for the millionth time, motioning for Anderson to back down. "Actually, we haven't solved the case yet. There are multiple, seemingly insignificant scratches across her stomach- but we're sure that they aren't insignificant in the least. First of all, there are no other cuts on her body, besides the few on her hands from grasping at her attacker. Second-"
Sherlock speaks up from his spot crouched on the ground, where he's lifted up Sandra's shirt with gloved fingers enough to reveal strange markings drawn in incisions and blood across her stomach. "Second, they look deliberate." He stands and pulls off his gloves with a snap. "Third, they were cut after she died." He pauses and looks at me seriously, a spark of pity in his eyes for a moment before dissolving as he returns his gaze to Lestrade. "And fourth, the same marks were found written in Twyla's blood on the wall of the basement we found her in."
Everyone's jaws drop, but none more so than mine. I gasp and my hand flies to my mouth, tears filing my eyes as memories of pain and horror fill my head. Blurry flashes of red on dirty white concrete swim across my vision, and I think I can make out the same six slashes on the wall as are on her stomach. I stumble backwards until I'm far behind everyone gathered around Sandra's body, then turn and run away, sobbing.
I stop beside a tree outside the dump where Sandra was found and lean against the rough bark with salty tears dripping down my cheeks and over my lips. Every part of me aches, like I'm feeling the aftershocks of all of the many wounds I got while captured. I struggle to calm myself down, my body trembling uncontrollably. Then warms arms wrap around me and I'm pulled into someone's chest, twisting as I do so my face is against their shirt. Sherlock strokes my hair and makes soothing noises, holding me close to him as I cry. I clutch as his coat and shake, my tears soaking the front of his shirt.
I cry until I'm unable to anymore, and my hands release Sherlock's shirt from their clenched fist. He rubs my arms for a few seconds, then one of his hands snakes into my hair and the other wraps around my chin and raises my eyes to his. Their clear blue has softened, and I lose myself in their depths, swallowed up in his sudden show of unfathomable emotions. I'm so lost in his eyes that I don't notice his head lowering until his soft lips press against mine and his eyelashes shut over the colors.
I stiffen, then relax into him. He pulls me into an embrace with his hands in my hair and around my waist and I wrap my arms around him, my eyes fluttering closed. He kisses me softly, sweetly, his lips tenderly exploring mine like the hand that's tangled in my hair. He pulls back first, leaning his forehead to mine with his eyes still closed. I study the lines and contours of his face while he stays still against me. Then his eyes slowly open and he stares at me with half-lidded eyes, his gaze gentle and filled with emotions I would have never accused him of having. A light smile dances across my lips and my cheeks are flooded with color, just as his are. I touch his porcelain cheek delicately with the tips of my fingers, and he turns his face sharply to press his lips to my palm. My skin buzzes where his meets it.
"Twyla…" He says, his voice so filled with love it makes my heart skip. I'm confused as hell, but giddy happiness pushes it to the side to make room for itself. "I don't ever want to see you cry." He kisses me once more, delicately, then gently pulls away just as my eyes close. There's a swish, and when I open my eyes again he's striding away.
I hold a hand to my lips and savor the tingling feeling, only smiling now.