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Chess. For Serenber6The door to the boys' dormitory opened quietly and shut again a few seconds later, leaving its two remaining occupants once again in the dark.
"Dean?" Seamus called tentatively.
"Yeah?" the other boy replied from his own bed.
"Good you're up." Seamus sat up and crawled to the edge of his bed, looking across to his friend who had also sat up. "They left again."
"I know." Dean said. "I wonder where they go. And where's Neville?"
Seamus smiled. "Probably forgot the password again."
"Think we should go find him?"
"Nah. No use all of us being caught out of bed."
Dean nodded in agreement. "So what now? I can't go back to sleep."
Seamus thought for a moment before grinning. "We could play wizard's chess."
"We don't have a chess set." Dean pointed out.
"No." his friend conceded, still grinning. "But Ron does!"
He climbed out of bed and scrambled over to the absent boy's trunk while Dean lit the room. "I'm sure he won't mind." he said, digging through the trunk's unorganized contents.
Nursery Rhymes Are Deadly 11Little Tommy Tucker
"What do you think it means?" John asked when they returned to the flat. He was still too shaken to go to bed despite the late hour. Instead he sat down in his usual chair, taking in all the warmth and comfort he could from it.
Sherlock didn't respond. Instead he went into the kitchen and put the kettle on for tea. He knew John would want some as much as he did. He was still in shock after what had just happened. The fear of losing John, the horror of possibly being the one to kill him, the joy of having him be alright and the comfort of holding the other man in his arms all twisted and swirled in his head like a hurricane. At at it's center, a growing hatred and respect for Noel that he couldn't seem to separate and catalog.
"It could mean a dozen things John! I've never heard the damn thing before! You can't expect me to analyze a rhyme and compute the exact crime its directing us too in one hour. Not after you were almost dropped to your death.
MiscommunicationJohn had been acting strangely. Ever since the incident at the pool with Moriarty he had been skittish. He might have thought Sherlock didn't notice but of course he did. Every time they were in a room together John would make an excuse to leave. He would be sitting in his chair when Sherlock would come into the room and sit down on the sofa. Within minutes John would start twitching, his hands would clench and unclench and he would start looking over his shoulder. Then he would rise and go up to his room or leave to do the shopping. Or just leave, no excuse given.
At first Sherlock thought it was just normal nerves. The man had been strapped to a bomb, it was normal not to want to stay still for too long. Movement made you harder to catch. But he seemed to have no trouble staying still for long periods of time when the consulting detective wasn't within his range of vision. He knew because he'd followed him one day and watched him sit on a park bench for an hour and a half.
Nursery Rhymes Are Deadly 10Hickory Dickory Dock
Sherlock sat in the back of Sally's car in total silence all the way back to the flat. He felt weirdly shaken by what he had just witnessed. He had tried to imagine who they were chasing a number of times but had always left the face blank. Seeing him like this was sort of a shock. He was so young, so thin, so....human. He hadn't been nearly so surprised by Moriarty who at least looked the part of a criminal even if his obnoxious attitude had been hard to swallow.
But this man, this Nursery Rhyme Murderer, he didn't fit. How could some kid, who couldn't even feed himself pull off such elaborate and perfectly timed crimes?
They pulled up to the flat and Sally stopped to let them out. Sherlock said nothing but climbed out of the backseat and went inside. John was about follow when Sally called after him.
"Hey, Doctor Watson?" she said
"Yeah?" he asked, turning back to look at her.
"Is he going to be alright? I've never seen the freak so quiet."she asked.
Nursery Rhymes Are Deadly 9Little Miss Muffet
"Little Miss Muffet.... Historical reference John?" Sherlock asked, thinking quickly.
"None that I know of." the doctor replied.
"What could it mean then?" Sally demanded.
Sherlock ignored her, the gears in his mind working at full power. Little Miss Muffet....a child? Maybe. Seemed unlikely, he'd avoided bringing children into the rhymes so far. Most people avoided dragging children into things like this. At least he still had some humanity left to him. Sat on a tuffet. What the bloody hell is a tuffet? Did it matter or was it only important that she was sitting on it? Curds and Whey, she was eating something. Could it be a restaurant, a cook? Was the spider some sort of metaphor? A clue about poison or was it an indicator of the criminal himself?
"Who's taking over the case?" Sherlock asked.
"I am." Sally told him.
Sherlock nodded. Suddenly it all clicked into place.
"We have to get to Bart's. Now." He said, moving quickly back towards the crowd of onlookers
Omnipresent 4Love-a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection
John awoke, warmer than he could remember being in a long time. Eyes still closed he realized the cause of this new found warmth was the body his arms were currently holding against his chest. The body was thinner than his and longer but surprisingly soft.
He smiled as the memories from the previous night came rolling back and opened his eyes to make sure it had not been a dream. Yes this was certainly not his room and if the mop of black curls in front of his face was any indication the person he was holding was most definitely not Sarah.
He sat up slowly so as not to wake Sherlock and ran a hand through his short blond hair. This was bad. What was he supposed to tell her? Sorry I didn't take you out last night I was too busy shagging my flatmate? I was going to take you out for Valentine's Day but I ended up going on a date with Sherlock instead?
"You're thinking too much." a voice behind him said.
I Can'tI can't be your fallback
I won't be able to hold you up
I'm strong but unstable
A statue without a base
You want me to be there
Ready to catch you
But every time you fallback on me
I end up crashing to the ground
Mrs. Lovett and Lucy"Come now love you can't just sit there forever." Mrs. Lovett said, bustling about Lucy's flat while the blond woman lay in bed, eyes wide and staring. In response she only turned her eyes away.
Mrs. Lovett sighed and looked about. She always felt out of place here. The flat, though it now carried a certain coldness, was always bright and cheerful. Full of sunlight and soft colors. Her home below was a stark contrast. Everything downstairs in the pie shop and her entire wardrobe consisted of red, black and brown. Not very pretty but she had never been able to pull off the softer colors Lucy made look so flattering. Another sigh escaped her as she arranged some fresh daisies in a vase on a nearby table.
"I don't know how you can stand it love, I really don't. Husband gone, child to care for and what that horrid man did to you...Well I suppose you're just stronger than I am. I could never have lived through it." the baker said moving over to the babe's cradle. "And how is little Johanna
Nursery Rhymes Are Deadly 8Jack Be Nimble
"And you want to know who 'Jack' is?" John said, trying to keep the sigh out of his voice as he sat down in his chair. He also tried to ignore the body on the floor and was not entirely surprised to find this last easier to accomplish. Must be a side-effect of living with Sherlock, building up a tolerance to having human remains, intact or otherwise, scattered about your home.
"Jack means nothing. It's a name. Don't be stupid John, even you're more clever than that." though Sherlock's eyes were closed John was sure he had rolled them.
It may have been mid-afternoon but for John it was still too early to start an argument so he conceded and asked instead, "Have you made any headway?"
"I have several theories though they each seem somewhat unlikely." Sherlock responded. "Is there any historical background to this story?"
"From what I've heard it means almost exactly what it says. Jumping over candles used to be a sort of sport. People originally jumped over fires bu
The BeginningHe told them, of course. He told those idiots everything, the whole damn story, including the blunder he'd made, and its consequences. Looking back on it later, he realized he had probably been in shock the whole time. It made sense, anyone would have been.
Soph was about twenty years old, and he'd been that way for a couple of years already, ever since the Hoarde had started attacking humanity from the past. Every day that passed, they ate at another day in the past. It sickened him. Those creatures had absolutely no regard for proper time and causality protocols.
It didn't seem to affect anyone else that way, though.
The Hoarde was the result of a human creation, of course, like everything bad in the world, though no one else knew about them. Then again, no one else had undiluted access to the power of creation. Even he didn't know much about the Hoarde, only that they appeared through some tear in The Fabric of The World and started killing people off. They appeared at some point in
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