"Tick tock, Johnny boy; it's almost showtime. Can you imagine dear Sherlock's face when he sees how I've dressed you up?"
He smirks as he tightens the vest across John's chest. John doesn't shrink back when Moriarty runs a finger down his cheek, but his stomach rolls ove(more)r in his abdomen.
Sherlock's voice echoes through the other room, bouncing off tile and water. Moriarty gives John a small push.
"Smile big for the cameras," he whispers too close to John's ear. "Make Daddy proud."
John falls back on his military training and retreats into himself. Sherlock will get him out of this, and that thought is enough to make him step in front of his best friend while strapped to semtex with the devil in his ear. (less)
Caleb was used to living in the stables. He was more comfortable there than in a strange house, so he headed outside without a second thought when he was dismissed for the night. The flicker of a torch indicated he wouldn't be the only one sleeping outside tonight.
"Hello?"(more) he called. The light cascaded down the ladder to the upper level, and Caleb instinctively followed it.
"Up here!" The voice was decidedly female, and Caleb paused his ascent.
"A girl?" Mel whispered. "What's a girl doing in the stables this time of night?"
Caleb shushed her and continued to climb. "I'm sorry," he said, emerging into the dim lamplight, "I thought I'd be the only one out here."
"Oh, it's perfectly alright," the girl responded. She might've been pretty if she didn't *look* like she lived in a stable -- dirty blonde hair, round green eyes that sat too far apart. She seemed young. "I'm Phoebe."
"Caleb," he responded. "My family just arrived today -- I can find space in the main house...."
"Don't bother." Phoebe smiled. "Mrs. Cartwright has been trying to get me to move inside for years. I'll just let you get settled in. Apparently it's not proper for a young lady, even a servant girl, to sleep out here, so she'll be pleased. I'll wake you in the morning for breakfast." She spoke quickly as she gather a few belongings, giving him no time to respond.
As she disappeared over the edge of the ladder, Caleb glanced at Mel. She looked as bewildered as he felt. (less)
Caleb crowed with excitment when he realized their new home was next to a lake. As the family approached the top of the hill, the early morning sun glinted off the water. It took everything he had to keep himself from sprinting to the shore.
(more) "Mel," he whispered, gently pressing his hand against his shirt pocket. "You're gonna like it here."
His Companion peered out of her resting place just as a lost duckling crossed their path. She grinned. "Wake me up when we can go swimming." (less)
Caleb and Beatrice are as different as two people can be. Beatrice wanted nothing more than to stay in one place, to be normal -- she never wanted a Companion. She saw it as a brand, as something that would never allow her to fit in. Caleb always says(more) that Pan ended up choosing her instead of the other way around.
Pan's not around any more. Beatrice doesn't mind.
Mel watches him as he frowns at his sister and tucks herself a little deeper into the shirt pocket.
My therapist says that I need to continue to blog, especially now that he's gone. She's been keeping up with it, despite the fact that I haven't been in to see her for eighteen months -- she says it shows promise. I correct her -- it showed progress; it's(more) all been ruined by that afternoon at Bart's.
What do I write about now? My writing was about our cases, about the adventures we had, about... him. I can't...
Writing is a way for me to remember, but I don't want to remember now. The betrayal -- the loss -- it's all something that I'd rather sweep under the mattress. Nothing happens to me now that he's gone, and I certainly don't want to write about what happened. My nightmares are bad enough as it is.
Maybe... maybe if I write *to* him, instead of *about* him. It could be as if nothing has changed, as if he's simply moping on the sofa in his dressing gown. Right... you can do this, John.
Caleb can see his sister up ahead, her arms flung out to the side as she twirls up the trail. She hasn't been this happy since they left Cumberland Estates. It is her tenth birthday, and with that comes the gift of the Prescott family. She can see them(more) now. The Companions.
Cora hasn't chosen hers yet, so she will be accompanied by a dozen until she can make her decision. They dance with her, weaving in between her legs and around her arms as she moves through the fast fading light of dusk. Caleb smiles, aware of his own Companion tucked comfortably inside his shirt pocket. Mel's been with him for nine years.
The Prescotts keep quiet about their unusual friends. Eight inches tall and invisible to most humans, the Companions keep to the shadows and cause mischief. It's why they have to keep moving so much -- those that can't see them are afraid, and Caleb's family has been accused of witchcraft on more than one occasion.
"She's certainly enjoying herself," comes the small voice from Caleb's pocket. Mel pulls her form up to Caleb's shoulder where she can perch as they walk.
"Can't say I blame her," Caleb replies. "She's been looking forward to this since Miles chose." He adjusts the pack of belongings on his back and glances at Mel. "Is it -- is it as much fun for you as it is for us?" He's unsure how the creature will answer -- having a Companion is an honor for humans, but he's never considered the other side of it.
"It's... satisfying." Mel frowns, as if she hasn't considered her own opinion either. "I suppose it gives us purpose. Mischief is fun, but this--"
Cora's giggle interrupts their conversation, and they share an easy smile. (less)