The Past Is Never Just the Past

Part 1

by Jennifer Grenier (jengreni at cyberbeach.net)
4/28/02

An Estate in Old London

A strong-looking man stood hunched over at a long table. On the table were blueprints of an old building. The title on the prints stated they were of the New London Historical Armory. The man flipped through the numbered pages looking for something in particular.

The man smiled when he found what he was looking for. The title across the top of that page said "Security System Wiring Schematics." He took that page and went over to the desk in the room and he sat down at it.

On the top of a wire basket there was a memo from the museum board of directors announcing the arrival of some late 20th century, early 21st century armaments and ammunition. The memo also stated which of those armaments were to be destroyed. The man picked up the memo and studied it. Looking at the calender on the desk, he realized he had a few days to finish studying the blue prints.

There was a knock on the door to the room.

"Yes. I said I didn't want to be disturbed."

The voice on the other side of the door responded, "I know, sir, but your father called to remind you of the Board of Directors' meeting at the Armoury this afternoon."

"Thank you."

The man listened to see if there was going to be a response from the voice. There wasn't, so he continued to study the wiring diagrams. As his right hand came across the paper, there was a flash of light as the light reflected in the stone in the ring on one of his fingers. A large stone set in a family coat of arms ring. The family name across the bottom of the crest said "Webber".

"Well, then, my father needs my input as to what to do with those antiques. They are worth a fortune on the black market, and with my family connections I would be protected from prosecution if I were to take a few. What would that do? How much trouble would that cause? And would it bring out the fair Beth to investigate the crime and bring me to justice?"

As he moved over to a fireplace in the room, he picked up a picture from the mantel. It was a picture of Beth Lestrade before she became an inspector with New Scotland Yard.

"Well, my darling Elizabeth, I am back now and I am going to make you come to me this time and we will never be apart again."

Then with a laugh, he put the picture back on the mantel and went back to the blueprints to study them. What was he planning? What could he mean by he and Beth Lestrade never being apart again? One could only wait and see what this man was up to.

 

New London Apartments

Beth Lestrade input her entrance code for her apartment. Upon going in she made her way to her bedroom. She took off her uniform and placed it at the end of her bed. Grabbing her bathrobe, she went to her bathroom and took a quick shower.

After her shower, Beth dressed in a black summer dress that had spaghetti-style straps and a hem just above her knees. Beth dried her hair and put it up in a french twist. A touch of makeup and she was finished.

Beth examined herself in the mirror.

"Perfect," she stated.

Just then her video link started to buzz., indicating an incoming call. It was her friend Alice Presbury.

"All ready, Beth?"

"Just about. I'll meet you at the restaurant in 20."

The two friends said their goodbyes and Beth went to her closet and grabbed a summer shawl. Catching a glance at herself in the mirror again, Beth did not look like an inspector with Scotland Yard. A pair of high heeled sandals and a pair of diamond studded earrings finished her look. Beth picked up her clutch purse and left the apartment.

As she left the building and climbed into her hovercar, a man was watching her from the shadows across the street. He came out of the shadows as Beth lifted off. A strikingly handsome man dressed impeccably. There was something disturbing about the way he stared at the hovercar as it left the area.

"Soon, my beloved Beth, soon," he said with an evil smile.

The stranger looked up at the windows to Beth Lestrade's apartment, he smiled again and disappeared into the darkness of the alley. Who was he and what did he want with Inspector Lestrade?

 

At the restaurant, Beth Lestrade and Alice were having a very good time playing catch up.

"So Beth, how's the Yard?"

Beth put down her glass of wine.

"It's all right. Quiet right now, which is great. I'm getting caught up on my paperwork. But it's driving Holmes crazy."

"Speaking of Sherlock Holmes, how is he adjusting to the 22nd century?"

"Well, let's just say he's adjusting and leave it at that."

Alice glanced over at her friend.

"What is the matter, Beth?"

"Alice, you have to promise that this never goes anywhere but here. You must never repeat a word of this to anyone. Not to your husband or to Edith."

"Beth, You are starting to worry me."

"Alice, try as I may to deny it or stop it, I am developing feelings for him."

Alice tried to look shocked and surprised but it didn't work.

"Oh, hon, You are starting to let yourself feel again. Beth, I am so happy for you."

Beth smiled through glassy, tear-filled eyes. "Oh, Zed. I never thought I would feel this way again. I honestly thought Brian Webber destroyed that part of me for good. Zed, I put up so many walls after him so no one would ever get that close to hurt me again. But without even trying, Sherlock Holmes has dismanteld them, brick by brick."

Alice reached across the table and grasped Beth's hand.

"Beth, You are a strong, independent woman. You have a successful career. A strong connection with a few close friends that think of you as family. You are so ready for this and we will all support you. Even give you a friendly but firm push every now and then."

"But how do I know if he feels the same way about me? I mean, Holmes comes from a time where women were considered second- class citizens. He didn't even trust women. I got that information from Dr. Watson's journals. Sometimes I feel like he only tolerates me. Oh, Zed, I am confused."

Alice let out a laugh.

"So he's a little set in his ways. I will let you in on a tidbit of information, when you were at my place for my wedding, his eyes lit up when you entered the room."

Beth played with her napkin.

"Now, are you going to open up the family cottage this year?" asked Alice.

"I was going to take a few days next week to head up and open it. I have been told by the Yard that I have to take some of my banked vacation time or risk losing it. I have too much banked for Grayson's liking," responded Beth.

"Invite Holmes to come up with you to Plymouth. Tell him you're going out to the country for some fresh air. It would be the perfect chance to see how he really feels."

Beth smiled.

"You don't think it would upset his Victorian ideals to go away with a woman?" she giggled as she played with her wine glass.

"Tell him to bring Watson. That should ease some of the tension. Ask him tonight. Go there right after dinner, dressed like that; that should get his attention."

Both friends let out a stream of giggles. Just then, their dinner arrived and they started to eat. A little over an hour later, the friends were finished and they left the restaurant. Alice hugged Beth. "Call me and let me know how everything turns out."

"I will, and I will see you and the Professor in a few weeks for his birthday."

They said their goodbyes and Beth Lestrade climbed into her hovercar. She made her way to Baker Street and landed. The light was on in Holmes' living room and his hovercoach was parked out front.

Beth gathered up her courage and went into the building at 221 Baker Street. After climbing the stairs to 221B, she straightened her dress and she knocked on the door.

Inside the apartment, Sherlock Holmes had noticed the hovercar as it had landed, Having never seen Lestrade's personal transport, he did not know it was her that he saw exiting the vehicle as she did not look like her normal self. He did make note that the female occupant was beautiful and impeccably dressed. Upon hearing the knock upon the door, the compudroid calling himself Watson, entered the room.

"Holmes, are you expecting anyone this evening?" asked Watson.

Sherlock made his way to the door.

"No, but then I have learned never to expect anything." he responded.

When he opened the door, the woman's back was to him. As she turned to face him, Holmes was taken aback. The beautiful woman who had caught his eye outside of his apartment window was none other than Inspector Beth Lestrade. Holmes was momentarily speechless.

"Lestrade, you look lovely this evening. Do come in."

"Thank you." she responded as she entered the room.

As Holmes closed the door, he took that moment to compose himself. Beth Lestrade looked stunning. Her hair swept up, a jet black summer dress, a bit of makeup and she was wearing high-heeled sandals. Holmes caught himself staring at her legs.

How Bohemian of me, he thought.

"Well, what brings you by? Out on a date, were you?" he questioned.

That question almost became caught in his throat. Holmes couldn't believe it; he was actually jealous. Before she could answer, Watson entered the room.

"My, Lestrade, you look lovely this evening."

"Thank you, Watson."

Holmes guided her over to the lounge to sit down.

"Alice Presbury came into the city and we went out for a girls' night out. Dinner and gossip, as Alice likes to call it. We were catching up.

Holmes relaxed. Lestrade was out with a friend, not on a date.

"Now the reason for the visit. I have a summer cottage in Plymouth. It's on a small lake and I am going up to open it up next week. I'll be there for a few days or so."

"And you would?" asked Holmes,

"I would like you and Watson to come out with me. Get out of the city for some fresh country air."

Holmes was not prepared for the rush of emotions that came forward at the prospect of spending a few days in a cottage with Beth Lestrade.

"And to put your Victorian mind at ease, there are 4 bedrooms," she teased.

Holmes glanced over at Watson. He could see the smile forming on the face of his old friend. It made up his mind.

"That sounds like a glorious idea, Lestrade." he said with enthusiasm.

Beth stood up and made her way to the front door. Holmes followed her over.

"Great. Now it's early in the season so it still gets cool at night. Pack a few warm sweaters. This is an old cottage. We will be heating with firewood and there is no video screen for news."

"What if the Yard needs to get ahold of you?"

"I will have my portable with me, but that's it. The cottage is full of old books and there is an old stereo for music. The cottage is for no interruptions. Basically to get away from it all for a while."

Holmes smiled. "Sounds perfect."

"Okay, then. I'll call you with the details. Let me know what you would like to eat so I can do the grocery shopping before we go."

"That sounds like a wonderful idea. Now all you have to do is convince Chief Inspector Grayson to give you the time off."

"Already done. He let me know today in his usual brisk fashion that in no uncertain terms I had to use some of my vacation time or lose it. I have the next three weeks off barring any major Moriarty activity, and I am going to take full advantage of it."

Holmes was surprised at how much time Lestrade was taking off, but after quickly going over the past year in his head, he realized that she needed some recuperatiing time. He also realized he could use some recuperating time as well. The 22nd century can take a lot out of a Victorian era detective.

"Beth, thank you for the invitation."

She was surprised to hear him use her first name.

"And before you leave, you do look very lovely." he finished extremely sincere.

"You are welcome for the invite. And thank you for the compliment, Sherlock. I guess I will see you later."

Holmes gently closed the door after Lestrade left. He leaned up against the door.

"Holmes, are you alright?" questioned Watson.

"To be completely honest, old friend. I am really not sure."

"Holmes?"

Sherlock made his way back to his chair. Watson sat down in the window seat.

"Watson, back in my original day, I will admit my opinion of women was low. I always felt they could not be trusted."

"Holmes, you do not have to explain that to me. I was there, well in a way."

"Yes, but now in this time where women have accomplished so much. Where a woman was able to have me rejuvenated to help her with a criminal mastermind not of her time. A woman who is a force of nature in herself."

"Holmes, my friend, are you saying what I think you are saying?"

Sherlock Holmes stared directly into Watson's eyes. "Inspector Beth Lestrade is like no woman I have ever met or will every meet. She is an extraordinary woman who is smart and beautiful."

"A beauty we have not seen. Well, at least not until tonight," remarked Watson.

Holmes got out of his chair. He appeared to be lost in thought, mulling Lestrade's unexpected invitation over in his head.

"I am going to bed, Watson."

Holmes was not prepared for this conversation so he ended it. Watson bade his friend goodnight.

As Watson plugged himself into the recharge unit he couldn't help thinking, Sherlock Holmes is falling in love with Beth Lestrade. And with that last thought, he shut down for the night, with a smile across his face.

 

Meanwhile, at the Armory Historical Arms Museum

The alarm system was turned off with ease. A cat-suited figure entered in through a side window that had been forced open. The figure made its way toward the secured storage area. With the handheld computer that was used on the alarm system, the alarms were deactivated on the storage bins. The figure glanced at the signs on the bins. The contents were marked for meltdown.

"These will draw her out.", laughed a male voice.

He reached into a pocket and pulled out a signet ring with a distinctive family crest. He laid it down in a corner, not obvious to the naked eye. He took the canvas bag that was strapped to his back and he began to fill it with the contents of the bin. In the dim light of the storage area he thoroughly looked over the last item before placing it in the canvas bag. It was a pistol circa the late 20th century. He grabbed the ammunition for it and as quickly and as quietly as he entered the museum he was gone.

On to Part 2!

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