Figlio Perduto

Chapter 8- The Lost Found

by Myshawolf (myshawolf at yahoo.com)
(1/1/04)

General Disclaimer

A sign is hanging from the traffic light. It reads: Currently recovering from New Year's Eve. Enjoy the chapter. I should have the next one out by this weekend. Only two more left, everyone and I'm done for now. Remember to review, be it good, bad, or annoying cute.

~MW

P.S: On with the Show


"What!?!" Erika cried, causing Fenwick to cover her mouth.

"You heard me, cherie. I don't want the detectives to know right away." Fenwick smiled as he removed his hand.

"Why?"

"Simple; they'll try to change the plan to take that into consideration. I'm tired of arguing with them. Besides, you're still in the early stages and should be fine."

"I guess." Erika sighed, "James doesn't even know yet."

"Don't worry." Fenwick patted her hand in a reassuring way. "You'll get the opportunity to tell him. Now, you need to rest up for your opening in two days. I will excuse us for the night."

"What will you tell them?"

"Something that they will believe, trust me."

Fenwick walked into the kitchen area, leaving Erika alone with her thoughts. Erika looked at her tea. Pregnant, she thought to herself as a small smile spread across her face, with James' child. She felt a small warmth in her stomach. Instinctively she placed her hand on her stomach as if to protect her unborn child. Silently, she vowed that she would get James back for their child's sake.

She didn't see a pair of mad eyes watching her from the window. The eyes narrowed on her. The evil siren can't have a child. Her line must die with her. Just as the eyes were prepared to make his move, Fenwick walked back into the room. The eyes turned away. Soon he would make his move and he would be avenged. For now, he went to seek comfort where he would be welcome. Silently, he began to move towards the New Albany Hotel.

The opening came quickly for everyone involved. Erika walked confidently through the backstage, ignoring the glares from Madame Umberto. Lea walked with Erika and the two talked of many things. She was happy her new friend was safe. When they reached Erika's dressing room, Lea finally decided to ask about her disappearance.

"Erika, is it true that you have a stalker?" Lea blurted out.

Erika looked at the young girl and sighed, "Yes, I have a very dangerous one on my trail." Then she smiled, "But I have an angel watching from above. So don't worry, my friend."

Holmes and Lestrade climbed high in the rafters. After an exhaustive two hour search, they had found nothing out of place. Lestrade rested on the catwalk as Holmes climbed back.

"Maybe he won't try it this way." Lestrade suggested.

"Maybe, but what about those report of strange figures in the flies then, Lestrade?"

"But nothing looks cut or severely severed."

"Have you considered the idea of kidnapping Erika right from the stage and use the upper stage as an entrance and exit point?" Holmes proposed, "I know from talking with Nadir that Erika was teaching Moriarty how to get around the flies quickly."

"That would make sense with what Erika told us that Culverton told her when he had her. He wouldn't risk coming here again."

"So he'll send Moriarty. Holmes what are we going to do with him when we free him?"

"Nothing. Surely you can't blame him for what he has done under another's control." Holmes teased her as he moved closely.

Lestrade smiled at him. "I guess not. But what are we going to do then?"

"As I said before, absolutely nothing. I think Erika and Fenwick should be allowed to disappear with him," Holmes smiled as he led her down the stairs.

Lestrade followed him closely. She missed a step and began to fall forward. Sherlock heard her gasp and turned around to catch her. With their bodies pressed against each other, Sherlock gave in to the temptation to kiss her thoroughly. Lestrade was surprised he would do so in such a public setting. When they pulled apart, they stared at each other in amazement.

"Holmes?" Lestrade queried uncertainly.

"I'm not going to apologize for that. I have been meaning to kiss you out in public." Holmes whispered reverently. "After we have captured Culverton, I have something to ask you."

Lestrade nodded silently, afraid to trust her voice. The two continue to climb down to the main stage area. Fenwick waved to them before continuing to Erika's dressing room. Erika was pacing nervously as the time drew closer to curtain. Fenwick stepped into the room with some flowers. Erika jumped and turned. Her whole body relaxed at the sight of a friendly face. A thankful smile spread across her face.

"Doctor Fenwick, I'm so glad to see you," Erika greeted.

"I can see that." Fenwick smiled as he handed her the small bouquet of flowers. "This is for you."

"Merci, doctor." Erika smiled brightly as she took the white roses, "I must confess that I am scared for tonight."

"I am too. But we must trust the Yardie and Holmes on this. How are feeling otherwise?"

"Very well, considering." Erika laughed lightly.

"Just don't let him get hold of you, cherie. All you need to do is distract him as best you can."

"I will. Please trust in me, Monsieur."

"I do. Remember, you are carrying what is technically my grandchild."

"I won't do anything foolish. I promise."

Fenwick shook his head as she had said that last part a little bit too innocently. Somehow, he didn't think she would be as careful as he would prefer. Fenwick was about to say more when one of the makeup people appeared at the door. Instead he kissed her hand and left after giving her a warning glance. Erika simply smiled at him causing Fenwick to chuckle softly as he walked away.

Holmes and Fenwick waited in the wings of stage right as they watched Erika perform. The two never said much to each other and each seemed to be off in their own world as they watched the backstage area for anything suspicious. Holmes noticed Lestrade standing over by a slightly nervous Erika. Holmes smiled at his partner who smiled back before returning to her conversation with Erika.

Soon the stage manager came over to ask them to be quiet as the curtain opened on the first scene of The Scarlet Pimpernel. Holmes smiled as another book came to life before his eyes. He often enjoyed these shows since his time in Paris with Lestrade. A smile touched his lips as Erika made her appearance in a beautiful wedding gown. She looked like an angel who had come down from heaven just to sing for them. He looked across the stage at Lestrade, who was watching the scene enthralled. He smiled, as he could easily see her in a gown of white of her own.

Then he noticed a figure up on the catwalk, watching the scene as well. He turned and Fenwick saw him as well. Holmes motioned for the henchman to stay where he was and Holmes moved away. He walked to the entrance ramp that led upstairs. Looking across, the figure was still there. Holmes took a deep breathe and began to climb up.

Fenwick watched the man closely hoping to confirm his suspicions. The man gave no clue but stood there silently watching Erika move around the stage as Marguerite. Soon Holmes returned to Fenwick's side.

"I can't get a clear look at his face without tipping him off. But there are two very odd characters running around in the very backstage area," Holmes reported.

"One must be Culverton. And the other?"

"Possibly Ruelle," Holmes deduced. "Damn, there are too many players in this game."

"Hopefully, we will be able to knock one of them out of the equation."

"Hopefully."

Culverton scowled at the back of Holmes. What was he doing here? After the car bomb, he should be holed up somewhere. No matter, his mind slave should provide enough confusion that Culverton could easily recapture his prize. He wasn't sure how she escaped but he would make sure she never did so again. Smiling he patted his pocket and returned among the hustle and bustle of the stage crew, as they prepared for the second act.

Erika changed quickly into her blue gown and black cloak for the next scene, with some help for Lestrade. Lea rushed over to help as well. Erika smiled gratefully at the singer. Lea quickly tied up the back of the dress.

"The directors are very pleased with how the performance is going," Lea whispered softly.

"I think the audience likes it too," Lestrade added as she took a step back.

"Lea, this is an old friend, Inspector Lestrade of New Scotland Yard."

Lea bowed to the Inspector and turned to Erika. "Signora Umberto is upset that you are performing tonight. In fact, she hasn't stayed backstage for too long. She always disappears into her dressing room."

"I wonder why," Erika remarked sarcastically as she adjusted her cloak.

"I walked by when the door was open. There is a man in there. He looked scary, like his mind wasn't all there." Lea informed Erika.

Both Erika and Lestrade froze. Erika recovered first and asked urgently, "Was he a blonde man, dressed in fine clothes?"

"Yes, he was. Why do you ask?" Lea stammered.

Lestrade was already on her comm unit requesting a unit to guard all exits. Erika's eyes hardened as she thought about all the trouble her nemesis had caused in the last few years. Erika turned to Lestrade.

"I want you to steer clear of him," Erika ordered darkly. "I'll let you arrest him but I don't want you to confront him. He has done enough damage to you and Holmes."

With that said, Erika walked back to the stage for her entrance, where her character makes one final plead for her husband to return to her. She waited for the stage to get dark before going to her spot. As she waited for the lights to go up, suddenly all the lights go down.

This is it, Erika thought, and she grasped the syringe in her cloak pocket. In the dark she could feel several presences move around. Soon she felt one drop down behind her. She stood still as he got closer. Now, her mind screamed. Erika's body obeyed as she quickly spun around and stabbed him with the needle. Erika braced herself for the blow.

Instead she heard him hiss in pain as he gently shoved her away. Erika stumbled away. Her foot got caught up in her gown and she fell to the floor. She heard the syringe get flung away and pulled herself up in a sitting position despite the weight of her dress. As she tried to focus on her assailant, a pair of arms picked her and placed her on its shoulder before climbing back up into the flies.

Erika looked down as several people swarmed the stage far below. She held on to her captor tightly as they went higher and higher above the stage. She watched as three figures raced to the catwalk area. Ah, the cavalry comes, Erika thought as they jumped onto a catwalk, I guess I should try to reach him.

"James," Erika whispered, "put me down."

"No," James stated firmly.

"Why ever not?" Erika growled. "This isn't the most dignified position to be in."

"I'm sorry, but I have my orders," James stated.

"Please put me down, James. I want to talk with you before we go to him," Erika whispered sadly, "Please, Professor."

James could feel his heart break at the sound of sadness in her voice. He knew what his master had in mind for her. Why should he turn her over to him? Didn't she ultimately prove that she belonged to him when she let him touch her? James stopped moving waiting for the flood of pain to hit him whenever he rebelled mentally for too long. Nothing came. Experimentally, he decided to openly rebel and changed directions, moving away from the meeting point. Still nothing came.

James began to move towards the roof entrance. There they could talk until his master came. That would give her protectors time to save her. Quickly he hurried to the rooftop. Holding her tightly, he jumped from the roof to the next one and the next one, until he reached the bell tower of a small old church. As he climbed in, he looked over his shoulder to be sure that anyone could see them from the theater's roof.

Gently he set Erika down on her feet. Silence reigned as they stared at each other.

Neither knew what to say. Finally, Erika moved to him and tenderly touched his cheek. Love swarmed in her eyes. She knew that this wasn't in Culverton's plan and she was grateful. James fell into her eyes as she gently caressed his cheek. Still neither spoke.

Holmes and Lestrade burst onto the roof of the theater only to find it empty. Frantically, they searched for some clue as to where they could have gone. Beth feel her heart close up, knowing that if they lost Erika now, then Culverton would have a second slave in his possession who could do a lot of harm.

"Where could they have gone?" Lestrade asked, frustrated.

Holmes spotted them a ways away in the belfry, "There they are. I don't think that was the original meeting place."

"Why do you say that, Monsieur Holmes?" Fenwick grumbled as they ran back towards the stairs.

"Because Culverton was here at the theater still when the lights went out," Holmes smiled as they hurried to the rescue.

"Let's just hope we beat him there," Beth huffed as she slid down the railing of the stairs.

"What did you want to tell me?" James spoke after a few minutes.

Erika smiled softly. "I have so much to say to you. So much to tell you. First I want to tell you that I love you, James. And no matter what I always will."

James didn't speak but his heart began to beat faster. She'd told him that once before, on the night he went to her and stayed. Every time he heard it, he felt his heart swell with feeling. Gently he reached out and brushed a few loose curls from her face. Smoothly he slid a hand behind her neck and pulled her closer to him. Erika gently stepped towards him.

"I know." James whispered, "You never ran from me. Not once did you ever run when I came for you."

"How could I? I waited my whole life for you. I refuse to lose you now."

"I feel the same way. When he had you, I couldn't let you stay there and be hurt by him. You were mine. Somehow I knew that. Even when I saw you in Paris, I was drawn to you."

A tear rolled down her cheek. "You can break free of this, James. I can help. The serum only has one more part left. It can help."

"I want to. I have been trying for you." James looked away, "I can't get free."

"Then do it for our child," Erika pleaded as she grabbed his face and brought it to look at her. "Fight for our unborn child. Please fight for us."

James stared at the truth in her eyes. She was pregnant and it was his. One night had given them a miracle. If he wasn't sure about handing her over before, he damn well wasn't going to do it now. They needed to move before Culverton found them. He grabbed her hands and pulled her with him as he moved to the stairs.

Soon they entered the main hall of the church. A sense of panic gripped Erika and she pulled on James's hand. He turned to her. Erika stared into his eyes trying to tell him her fears without words. Quickly James grabbed her and spun her around just as the shot rang out.

Erika tried to scream but she found James's lips on hers as he set her down. She stared at him in shock. James merely smiled before turning around. Erika's eyes widen to see the wound on James's right shoulder blade. Thinking fast, she ripped off a piece of her petticoat and pressed it against the wound hoping to soak up some of the blood seeping out. An insane laughter rang through the church causing a shiver of terror to go down Erika's spine.

"How dare you betray me!" Culverton shouted as he walked to them, pulling the remote out of his pocket. "I control you. Have you forgotten that?

James didn't speak but focused on the remote in Culverton's hand. Culverton noticed where Moriarty's eyes went and smiled as he turned up the power. A grimace flashed across Moriarty's features. Satisfied that he still had control over his slave, Culverton boosted up the power even more.

vJames screamed in pain, causing Erika to jump. She watched in horror as James fell to his knees. Worried and terrified for his health, she rushed to his side. Culverton, full of confidence in his place as the one in control, walked towards Erika. He pulled a syringe from his jacket and was ready to grab her.

Holmes and Lestrade rushed into the church just as Culverton reached for a distracted Erika. Fearful for their friend, Lestrade took aim while Holmes rushed forward in case she missed. Culverton's hand brushed Erika's hair, causing her to turn and gasp at his proximity to her.

Suddenly, James shoved Erika out of the way and grabbed Culverton by the throat. Culverton dropped both the remote and syringe in surprise at his former lackey's sudden recovery. James felt a sharp and sudden pain in his right shoulder, causing him to drop Smith and fall to the ground. Erika turned to see a shocked Lestrade holding a smoking ioniser. Erika groaned as she hurried to the downed Moriarty's side; such wonderful timing.

Culverton got up to see Lestrade get over her shock. And take aim at him again. To his left was Holmes coming towards him. It was time to cut his losses and escape. Culverton gripped his gun tightly and fired a shot at Lestrade, causing her to dodge. He then turned and fired one at Holmes while running out. Holmes dodged it and looked at Erika.

"Go. Don't let him escape," Erika cried out. Holmes nodded and gave chase.

Lestrade ran up to Erika, "I'm sorry."

Erika growled as she ripped off a few more pieces of her petticoat, "We are fine. I can handle this. Your detective will need some help. Hurry."

Lestrade nodded and ran after her partner. Erika watched them go before turning to the man in front of her. Sighing heavily, she quickly worked at getting his shirt off. James looked at her through the haze of intense pain. Gently she pulled him into a sitting position and exposed his wound to her sight.

"Lean on me." Erika whispered in his ear. James smiled as he did so. Turning his face to her neck, he breathed in her scent before he slipped into unconsciousness. Erika wrapped the makeshift bandage around his broad shoulders. After she was done she held on to him, thankful that this part of the nightmare was over.

"I hope I'm not interrupting anything," Fenwick said as he approached her.

Erika shook her head as she let go of James and gently laid him back down. An idea hit her. Standing up she began to take off her petticoat while Fenwick injected the last part of the serum into his blood stream. Folding up the undergarment, she slipped it under James's head.

"That should make him more comfortable," Erika spoke softly. "I told him. That's what helped him break free."

"You know he is going to insist that you marry him now," Fenwick informed her.

Erika changed the subject, "Did you bring my cane?"

Fenwick sighed as he produced the cane. Erika smiled as she took it. Pulling out the sword hidden within, she turned to Fenwick.

"I'm going to go and help the detectives. I'll meet you at the underground," Erika stated firmly.

"Is there any way that I can persuade you not to do this?" Fenwick asked, knowing the answer.

Erika's eyes flashed and Fenwick knew she was doing this as the Phantom, not as Erika. Erika smiled as she moved away. "None."

Soon she was gone, following the direction that Holmes and Lestrade went. Fenwick sighed to himself, feeling much like a certain Arabian who was currently in Paris.

"I'm getting too old for this," Fenwick groaned as he returned to his fallen son's side.

On to Chapter 9!

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