Sunday, March 7, 2010

SPEC rewrite with Mycroft

I've managed to add onto my third-person rewrite of SPEC again, but it's just how Roylott bruises Helen Stoner's wrist. This scene bridges between Helen packing her bags and Holmes knocking up Watson.

I also wrote a post-SPEC sketch in which Mycroft discourages Sherlock's interest in Helen Stoner. Sorry that I couldn't fit any slash with Watson this time around.


Fandom: Sherlock Holmes
Story: partial chapter 6 of DIM
Pairing: Holmes/Helen Stoner
Warnings: hetero, PG

While she was still packing, she heard footsteps in the corridor, and her stepfather angrily burst into the room. "Helen!"

She jumped and backed away from him.

Wearing his dressing gown and slippers, his imposing figure took up most of the doorway. "You're supposed to be sleeping in the other..." Then he saw her bags and noticed that she was fully dressed. His wrinkled face hardened even more. "Where do you think you're going at this hour?"

She tried to steel herself. "I-I'm moving in with my aunt."

"Your aunt?" He scoffed. "Don't lie to me. You're trying to elope with Percy."


"You cannot go, after all the money I've already spent preparing for your wedding." He stepped nearer menacingly. "You'll stay here the full six weeks, or there won't be any wedding at all!"

"I'm not eloping! I just need to get out of this house. I cannot stay in the same room where my sister died!" How dare he force her into such a thing?

"She did not die in there!" he insisted. "She died in the corridor, and you use that every day."

She fumed. "I will not stay here!" She gestured to the holes pierced in the outer wall. "There is no progress on the repairs. I shall not get any sleep for worrying about the animals getting into the house."

"They won't get in so long as you lock your door and bolt your window as always. Besides, you cannot go until I hire another servant. You know that Mrs. Beale cannot manage this house alone."

She felt a twinge of guilt about leaving poor Mrs. Beale alone with him, but still she could not stay another night. "I know, but--but you're going to London to hire someone today, aren't you? Ask the agents to send someone immediately."

[This is based on ACD's 1910 play. Roylott's reason for not being home that afternoon was that he had a 2 o'clock appointment to meet with some agents and hire a replacement butler. Holmes comes in disguise as the new butler Peters, along with a "daughter" Amelia played by Billy the page.]

"On such short notice?"

It did sound doubtful, considering all the servants that he'd managed to frighten away over the years. Or kill. "Well, perhaps you can hire one of the gypsies temporarily, since they already care for the animals."

"No. You impudent girl! You were trying to sneak out of this house before I woke up. Just disappear without any notice."

"I-I would have left a note." Actually, probably not.

He said scornfully, "You're not giving your aunt any notice either. She's probably not even awake now, and you're just going to show up there with all your things?"

"She won't mind me there. I-I can send a telegram from Leatherhead."

"Saying what?" There seemed to be some strange look of suspicion in his eyes.

"That I cannot sleep in Julia's room! It shall drive me mad!" She attempted to pick up her bags and go around him to the door.

However he yanked the bags from her. "No! I forbid you to go."

Helen tried to take them back from him but he snatched her wrist and squeezed, bruising her. "Ah!" As she struggled to free herself, he moved as if to grab her other arm and shake her.

She screamed loudly, and he finally let go. She stumbled back breathlessly, and her heart pounded.

He glared at her, startled by the fierceness of her resistance. "You'll have woken Mrs. Beale," he said with a pretence at restraint.

Without a word, she simply ran out the door without her bags. Then she turned to the right, going out the side door at the end of the curved wing. Once outside, she still feared that Dr. Roylott would try to follow after her, so she kept running across the lawn to the park wall. Her hands shook as she unlocked the gate, and then she ran across the road to the Crown Inn.

Thank God it was 6 o'clock now, and the innkeeper was awake. She had managed to escape with her small pouch of money, so she was able to hire the dog-cart and leave immediately. As they rattled on the muddy road, she kept looking back, and to her relief, her stepfather was not driving after her in his own carriage. He may have been held back explaining the row to Mrs. Beale, or he may have been slowed down by the fact that he wasn't dressed yet.

But he would try to catch her on the next train, surely? Well, what if she didn't take the train directly to Harrow? What if she went to London instead, and saw that private detective first? Yes, surely, her stepfather would not know to find her there, and then after consulting Sherlock Holmes, she would check with her Aunt Honoria to see if it was safe to come there. Or else she might have to beg refuge with Honoria's friend Mrs. Farintosh.

Helen took the folded note out of her purse and looked at the address again. "221B Baker Street."

Brotherly Advice

Fandom: Sherlock Holmes
Story: sketch from chapter 7 of DIM
Pairing: Holmes/Helen Stoner
Warnings: hetero, PG

Holmes visits his brother in Pall Mall, and tells him all about the Speckled Band case. Then asks Mycroft semi-seriously if Helen Stoner is like "the most winning woman I ever knew."

"No, Sherlock, she is not a poisoner of little children."

He rolled his eyes at the sarcasm, then pleaded more earnestly, "Are you sure there is no resemblance at all? She is clever and perhaps she has deceived me."

"Sherlock, do you not trust my judgement of the facts?"

"Yes, yes, Mycroft. But you only know the facts that I can tell you. Perhaps my observations were faulty. My deductions certainly were." Still can't get over the snake-milk blunder. Pacing around. "Perhaps I should borrow Watson's case notes to show you? But his account will be romanticised, and I fear that he too may have been blinded by her... charms."

"On the contrary, I believe that your friend Dr. Watson was perfectly correct. You didn't have enough sleep that morning or afternoon, and it made your logical faculties weak. You instead relied on some kind of irrational intuition to solve the case. That is the only explanation."

Sherlock insists desperately, "But--but it wasn't just that day in April! Weeks later, after the coroner's inquest, I saw her and..."

Mycroft dismissed it all with a shrug. "So she lied elaborately to save her family's reputation. A great many people do so, whether in society circles or in international politics. It does not make her exceptional, but mundane rather. I see nothing in her postponing her wedding either. She may have only been engaged out of desperation to marry and leave the house. Now she is free to leave the house and has the money to support herself. Moreover, the horrific murder plot and the death of her stepfather is surely enough to make any young lady afraid of men for a while. She will either recover herself on her travels or she will retire and become a poor little nun."

Sherlock sat down and blinked, slowly absorbing his brother's words.

Shaking his head, Mycroft wonders why Sherlock is acting so distracted and strange; to him, Miss Stoner seems quite an ordinary spinster and damsel in distress. If she were truly clever, she'd have devised a way to leave her stepfather for her aunt long ago. If she were evil, she would have lied plausibly about Julia's locked door, to put the blame firmly on her stepfather. But no, the evidence clearly showed that she was quite irrational, emotional, and blind for the past eight years, let alone the past two.

Helen Stoner does not seem capable of inspiring such infatuation, and yet here's Sherlock rambling about her like a bumbling idiot. Well, he is still young and fallible; he has succumbed to emotion, due to his mistakes in reasoning. So Mycroft firmly told his little brother, "She is nothing. I suggest that you forget about her immediately."

Sherlock stared at him, then finally swallowed and rose to go. He whispered, "Thank you, Mycroft," then departed.

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