Figlio Perduto

Chapter 3: An Angel Arrives

by Myshawolf (myshawolf at yahoo.com)
(11/17/03)

General Disclaimer

Myshawolf: (slides out from the margin) Hi, I don't have long, since Nightmare is out for my blood right now. Here is chapter 3. A few people had questions about Lestrade's and Holmes' relationship and what is up with that? Well.. They are seeing each other and know they love each other, but they want to keep it a secret so no one uses it against them. Holmes has come to the conclusion that Lestrade is the one for him and is trying to work her up to something more...permanent, we shall say. So it's in transition right now. *hears someone coming* Yikes, I hear the raging Mistress of Fears right now. See ya all next week. *pulls out a wand and makes herself disappear.*

Nightmare: (storms out covered in pink paint) MYSHAWOLF!!!!!!!!!!! YOU ARE SO DEAD WHEN I GET MY HANDS ON YOU!!!! *storms off*

Myshawolf: (pops back in) Enjoy this chapter and on with the show.

Nightmare: THERE YOU ARE!!!! *Myshawolf runs off with Nightmare in pursuit*


Chapter 3 - An Angel Arrives

The phone beeped incessantly over on Baker Street. Lestrade dropped her suitcase and walked over to the phone. Holmes was outside talking with the Irregulars. After punching a few buttons, Nadir's smirking face appeared. Lestrade smiled warmly at the Arabian.

"Bonjour, Inspector. I wasn't expecting your beautiful face." Nadir beamed. "It is a nice surprise and pleasure."

"Stop it, Khan, before Danesh thinks you have become straight," Lestrade joked. "Sherlock will be here in a moment."

"I wish I could wait but I must make a few more calls. I have a tip on who took the Professor."

"Really? What do you have?"

"A description. He is a young white man in his thirties with black hair with a beard and mustache. Very deceptive yet quite knowledgeable about medicine," Nadir supplied. "Erika wants his blood."

"I can imagine. How is she holding up?"

"She hates feeling helpless, so her temper is showing. I don't know if I can keep her in Paris for long."

"Just keep her safe. Moriarty may not harm her when he is in control, but remember he will more dangerous with no inhibitions."

"Duly noted. I will let Erika know about your concern." Nadir smiled, "I must go. My other call waits. Stay safe, Inspector."

"I will, Khan. Au revoir."

The phone clicked off as Nadir hung up. Lestrade examined her feelings about the whole thing. Erika was a loyal friend to both sides. Lestrade used to worry that she might have to decide which side she would be on. Or at least she did until she saw firsthand how sweet Moriarty was with Erika during the pageant. Lestrade had a hard time with her dearest friend seeing her mortal enemy. Erika never begrudged Lestrade her feelings on the matter. In fact, both friends had steered clear of the subject once Lestrade vented to her.

Lestrade turned to see Sherlock enter the room. Lestrade smiled at him. Sherlock seemed delighted that she was going to be nearby. Beth shook her head; now she was imagining things. Sherlock walked over to her.

"I thought I heard Nadir out here," Sherlock asked.

"Yeah, he just called. They got a description."

"I hope it didn't cost Erika too much money."

"Well, if she is willing to pay it, who is going to stop her?" Lestrade shrugged. "Moriarty was spotted meeting a young man about thirty years of age, white, with black hair, beard, and mustache. Nadir thinks he was a doctor."

"That would make sense." Sherlock nodded as he turned everything over in his head, "Moriarty's symptoms are similar to the one that you expressed when you were under the influence of nano-bots."

"And Culverton Smith escaped from prison earlier this week," Lestrade realized. "He would know how to use them on the human body."

"I think we should warn Fenwick about Culverton in case Culverton tries to capture him too," Holmes suggested. "He may be the only other person besides Erika who can cure Moriarty."

"Must we?" Lestrade sighed.

Sherlock smiled. "A human life may be in danger as well as our friend's heart. Despite what we think of Moriarty, he makes Erika happy. He hasn't pressured Erika in any way to betray her friendship with us. That, my dear Lestrade, speaks volumes about who he has become."

"He is still a criminal genius."

"And that's a fact that no one has forgotten. But I would sooner deal with Moriarty when he has limitations then without. Or did you forget your escapades when Culverton controlled you?"

Lestrade had the decency to blush as she remembered the horrible feeling of being out of control. She almost hurt those closest to her. It was a horrible experience that she didn't wish on anyone, even Moriarty. Holmes hugged her close. Lestrade's heart froze as she remembered lunging at Holmes, intent on killing him. What if Moriarty tried it on Erika? If Holmes was right, he would be crushed if he knew that he'd harmed her, and possibly be even worse than before. Lestrade returned the hug. She knew that for the greater good she would need to swallow her pride, and work with her enemy to save her worst enemy, in order to help her best friend. Lestrade mentally groaned. God, that made no sense.

Lestrade heard the Irregulars on the steps and pulled away from Sherlock. Sherlock didn't seem too happy about it, but Beth really didn't care. The last thing she needed with all the turmoil she was feeling was their ribbing about her and Mr. Holmes. She flashed Holmes a smile before ducking into the spare room just as the Irregulars appeared. Deidre snapped her fingers in frustration, causing Holmes to laugh quietly before telling them of the new information.

Erika listlessly moved over the stage to a meeting that the managers were holding. She hadn't had a good night's sleep in two days when James disappeared. Something wasn't right. Erika could feel it as she plopped down on a group of crates on the stage. Buquet sat on one side of the tired prima soprano. Nadir took the other side, while Krissi slumped down to the stage in front of them. Erika smiled as her family closed rank around her.

Ayesha trotted out of the stage, meowing loudly. The whole company chuckled softly as Ayesha wove through the company, receiving rubs and scratches from everyone. Ayesha jumped into Erika's lap and lay down to hear what the managers had to say as well. Madame cleared her throat to gather the company's collective attention. The crowd quieted down.

"Friends, we have called you here because we have received an important invitation for a member of our company," Madame Firmin began. The company began to murmur among themselves.

Monsieur Firmin smiled at the interest, "The New London Arts and Cultural Society is hosting a concert to raise funds for the World Health Organization. They want it to be an international affair with representatives from all the famous opera companies and orchestras."

Madame Firmin grinned widely. "After all the press received since Erika's return to Paris, we received an invitation. As a company we needed to pick our representative."

Erika leaned against Nadir as she began to doze off. She would love to go to New London, but she had promised to wait until she was summoned. She dreamed lightly that she was walking down the foggy streets of New London. Suddenly James loomed out of the foggy darkness and reached for her. Erika awoke when Nadir pinched her. Erika looked up at her old friend.

"You have been chosen to go," Nadir growled quietly.

Erika slowly registered her friend's words as she stared at the smiling company. Erika smiled brightly, realizing that she had found a way to get to New London. Several company members shook her hand as Erika walked to the managers.

Erika smiled at them. "So when do I leave?"

Wiggins quietly walked Montague Street. He thought he'd seen someone who matched Moriarty's description come this way. Soon he spotted two men walking together. One was slightly shorter with black hair, while the other was taller and had a white streak in his black hair. Wiggins smiled and radioed the other Irregulars.

"I got the gents that Mr. Holmes is looking for. I'm over on Montague Street," Wiggins reported.

Deidre smiled. "I'm on my way."

Tennyson nodded and beeped that he was coming as well. Wiggins nodded. "Someone should tell Mr. Holmes."

Deidre shook her head. "We should find out where they are going first. I'll follow your signal, Wiggins."

Deidre cut the link as did Tennyson. Wiggins sighed to himself. Younger kids were so reckless. He turned and began to follow the two villains. He got close enough to hear the two gents' conversation.

The shorter one said softly, "First we need to see what kind of security they have at the Inspector's complex. Wouldn't do to be caught so soon, now, would it?"

The taller man's voice was deeper but sounded mechanical, "No, sir."

"That's right. I have plans for those two nosy detectives. And with your influence I can get away with it. Those two detectives won't know what hit them. No one will ever suspect."

"Yes, sir."

"Tonight you will remove the female detective from the equation. We will use her for bait against the world's greatest detective. I'll have my revenge after two years of imprisonment. Do you understand my orders?"

"Yes, sir."

The shorter man stopped and noticed Wiggins following. He frowned. How much had the boy overheard? He pulled out a handheld remote and pressed a button. Moriarty's mind was filled with a loud buzzing. His eyes glazed over completely. The shorter man smirked, "But first bring me that little spy."

Moriarty's eyes locked on Wiggins. Wiggins gulped; he was caught. He turned to run. As he raced down Montague Street, he could hear Moriarty give chase. Wiggins picked up his pace. He knew they should have informed Holmes. Up ahead he saw Deidre and Tennyson coming. He had to warn them.

"Turn around!" he shouted, "He's after me!"

Deidre turned herself around and began to run. Wiggins easily caught up with her and pulled her along. Tennyson turned into an alley. Wiggins followed, hoping it was a shortcut. Wiggins groaned when he saw it was a dead end.

"Tennyson, I thought this was a shortcut," Wiggins groaned.

Tennyson whirled and beeped out his apology. Wiggins turned to see a tall dark figure step out of the fog. Moriarty gazed at the kids in a blank way, which unnerved them more than anything else he could have done. Wiggins shoved Deidre behind him and took a defensive boxing stance. Moriarty approached with mechanical movements.

"I'll distract him while you warn Mr. Holmes and the Inspector. Whoever is controlling Moriarty is after them as well," Wiggins whispered to Deidre as he watched Moriarty for an opening. Deidre nodded, understanding her job.

Wiggins steeled himself as he ready to attack the nearing madman. Suddenly a figure in black dropped down in front of him. The black trenchcoat flared out as the brownhaired figure held Moriarty at swordpoint. Moriarty's eyes flashed with a look of recognition. A smooth female voice spoke loudly.

"I cannot allow you to harm any innocents, James," the female stated clearly with a French accent.

Wiggins pulled out of his stance. The glazed look was starting to recede. Moriarty's eyes flicked over the lady's face as he tried to think of something. Suddenly a look of pure pain flashed over his features, and he grabbed his head. The woman lowered her sword and took a step forward. Moriarty looked up at her and ran away from the alley, as if he was trying to put distance between them. The lady sighed as she sheathed her sword and turned to them.

Wiggins was pinned by a pair of startling blue eyes framed by flowing brown hair. The lady looked over each of them. As she clicked the sword in place, Wiggins noticed how much it resembled a cane.

"Is everyone all right?" she asked.

"Yes. Thank you for the help." Wiggins grinned sheepishly.

Then she pinned him with her gaze. "Children shouldn't play with fire," the lady remarked solemnly. "You will pay a price that you may not want to."

"Say, who are you?" Deidre asked.

"A ghost in the night, young lady," the lady smiled mysteriously as she walked away. "A phantom and nothing more."

The lady disappeared into the fog at the mouth of the alleyway. Wiggins, Deidre, and Tennyson watched her leave before deciding to follow her. They raced out to find Montague Street empty. Wiggins turned to the others.

"Come on, we have to tell Mr. Holmes," Wiggins stated as he ran down the street. Deidre and Tennyson eagerly followed their leader as he led them to Baker Street.

Wiggins knocked loudly on the door of 221b Baker Street. Watson opened the door and smiled at the out of breath Irregulars. He stepped to the side to let them in. Holmes looked up from his armchair and excused himself from his guests. Lestrade smiled at Holmes, turned to her friends and explained what they had been up to. Wiggins smiled at Holmes.

"I saw him, Mr. Holmes," Wiggins blurted out. "Over on Montague Street. They are planning on attacking Lestrade's apartment tonight."

"But Wiggins was spotted and Moriarty chased him into an alley," Deidre added helpfully. "And some lady saved us."

Tennyson beeped from his spot, causing the Irregulars to gape at him as he called the lady an angel. Holmes smiled and glanced at a snickering Lestrade. He turned to the kids again and asked, "What did she look like?"

"She was dressed in black and carried a cane," Deidre answered.

"Her hair was a deep brown and she had deep blue eyes," Wiggins remarked as he remembered. Tennyson beeped his remark about the angel again, causing Watson to laugh as well.

"I wonder who she was," Deidre pondered. "She seemed to have an effect on Moriarty. He seemed to fight back the control when he saw her."

"She would be a helpful ally," Wiggins nodded.

"Then, young man, you have your wish," the lady's voice floated from the other armchair as she stood up. A smile graced her lips as she walked over to Holmes's side. Lestrade stood next to her. The lady turned to Holmes after she studied the children's shocked expressions, "So these are the famous Baker Street Irregulars."

"Yes. They are my ears and eyes in place I can't easily go," Holmes replied. "I think some introductions are in order."

"Too right, Mr. Holmes." Wiggins snapped out of his trance.

The lady gave a small bow. "I am Mademoiselle Erika Noir of the Paris Opera Company."

She smiled gently as the Irregulars gave a small bow back. Wiggins stepped forward first, taking up his role as the leader. He held out his hand, which Erika took and gave a confident shake.

"I'm Wiggins." Wiggins smiled before pointing out his companions, "That's Deidre and Tennyson."

"A pleasure," Erika remarked.

"Now that everyone has been properly introduced, I have a few questions for you, mademoiselle," Holmes interjected.

"I can answer one right off the bat. My company picked me to represent them at the international fundraiser for the World Health Organization," Erika answered.

"Where will you be staying?" Lestrade piped up.

Erika flashed her a smile, "The Firmins reserved me a room at the New Albany Hotel."

Deidre spoke up as everything clicked into place. "I heard of you! Your company is protected by the Phantom of the Opera, isn't it?"

"Oui, he is a dear friend," Erika confirmed, "Due to circumstances being as they are, he is here as well."

"Is it true that he is terribly disfigured?" Deidre asked eagerly. She'd grown up on stories of the heroic Phantom.

Erika smirked at her eager audience. "The original Phantom was. However, the resulting generations have not been blessed with his unique traits, Deidre."

Deidre blushed at the easy use of her name. Normally people called her kid. Tennyson beeped and whizzed causing everyone to laugh but Erika, who just smiled brightly.

When everyone calmed down, Erika stated gently, "Thank you, Monsieur Tennyson, But I don't need an escort right now. But when I do, I will ask for you."

The whole room laughed at Erika's comment. After a few minutes, the Irregulars headed home since the next morning was a school day. Erika lingered for a few minutes more, leaving her contact information with Holmes and Lestrade. She too left, having her first practice in the morning. Holmes and Lestrade were left alone. Holmes collapsed into his armchair. Lestrade moved back to hers.

"I hate to say this, but this situation is getting worse," Lestrade said after a while.

Holmes glanced at her. "No more than I expected. Erika isn't one to stand by and do nothing while someone she loves is in danger. She would have come here sooner or later."

"Now she may be in danger, too."

"No more than Fenwick is. Right now, my dear Lestrade, we are the targets. Culverton has already declared that," Holmes reminded her before realizing, "Erika may be the key to breaking his control. Maybe not completely, but long enough to stop Moriarty from doing anything he might regret."

"Wiggins did say that when Erika showed up, he was trying to fight back against it," Lestrade observed. "Plus, with her expertise in medicine, she may be able to develop a chemical to neutralize the nano-bots."

"Right now, we just have to keep her from Culverton," Holmes said in a final way.

Erika stood on the corner of Baker Street as she tried to flag down a cab. She stood deep in thought as she made a motion to a passing cab. The cab kept going and she sighed. She hated trying to get a cab in New London. It was tempting to go to Moriarty's hideout and crash there with Monsieur Fenwick. It was closer than her hotel. Erika stopped in mid-motion. She couldn't go there, not after seeing Moriarty in the state of being controlled. Fenwick had described it to her that first night, but that was nothing like seeing his beautiful grey eyes blank and lightless.

Erika suppressed a shiver. She needed to get back to her hotel and examine her feelings there. In the middle of Baker Street was not the best place. Out of the corner of her eyes she spotted a hovercab slowing down. She waved to it, unaware of a pair of grey eyes which were watching her with curiosity. Erika was about to enter the cab when she heard someone whisper her name. She turned to look behind her, only to see the London fog swirl around. Erika shrugged it off and entered the cab. While giving the driver the address, she spotted a form standing on the edge of the fog. Her throat went dry as she recognized who it was. Before she could move, the cab took off. The figure watched her go with relief.

On to Chapter 4!

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