The Past Is Never Just the Past

Part 4

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

Holmes and Watson entered Grayson's office. A distraught Grayson was standing, looking out his office window.

"Holmes...." he started to say.

"What happened?" asked an angry Holmes. "This burglary was a setup to get Lestrade."

Grayson explained what Lestrade had found and what had happened while they were discussing it. Holmes reached into his coat pocket and took out the evidence tube with the signet ring in it. He also placed Lestrade's badge on Grayson's desk.

"Where would he take her, Holmes, and why?"

When Holmes realized it was Bryan Webber who had taken Beth, he also realized he was correct in his earlier assumption at the museum that the robbery was a setup. He knew that Webber was dangerous and could hurt Beth. Holmes was also at a loss. He did not know where to start an investigation of this sort. Watson confirmed that the DNA traces that they had found at the site where Lestrade had been taken were indeed those of Bryan Webber, Jr. Watson moved over to the mainframe access in the office. Holmes explained to Chief Inspector Grayson the Webber connection to Lestrade, leaving out the more violent parts for now. Grayson would hear of them soon enough.

Grayson had some other information. It seemed that Mr. Bryan Webber, Sr. was on the Board of Directors for the museum. That would explain how Bryan Webber, Jr. knew about the arms that were going to be destroyed and how to disarm the security system so he could take them. But it didn't explain why he would want to kidnap Lestrade.

"The Webber family still owns the largest industrial park in New London. It has a few empty warehouses. Mr. Webber may have taken her there. The park is close to the museum," Watson found on the mainframe and informed them.

Grayson acknowledged the new information from Holmes and Watson. As he started to get the other inspectors and constables on a grid search of the area, Holmes motioned to Watson.

"Watson, contact Mrs. Presbury."

"Holmes?"

"I need to know more about what happened between Beth and this Bryan Webber, and Alice Presbury would know."

An hour later, Holmes, Watson and Alice Presbury sat in Chief Inspector Grayson's office. Holmes was visibly upset.

"Mrs. Presbury, Beth has told me some of her history with Bryan Webber but I have a feeling that she was holding back."

"Yes, what can you tell us?" questioned Grayson.

Alice glanced over at Holmes. She saw the unconditional love that was there in his eyes along with the fear that Lestrade was in danger. She took a ragged deep breath.

"First, Mr. Holmes, call me Alice. You have to know, Mr. Holmes, that Beth hated keeping this from you."

"I know, Alice, but right now all of the information we have can only help up find Beth."

"All right. Well, Beth and Bryan met while we were all in first year college. Bryan was a charmer and Beth was swept off of her feet. You have to understand Beth never dated much. She was always studying. But with Bryan things changed. At first it was nice. She was happy but after a while she was withdrawing from her friends. She started to wear dark glasses."

Grayson and Holmes looked at one another with disgust.

"He hit her," stated a somber Grayson.

Alice nodded.

"Yes, but Beth always said he was apologetic afterwards. Because of that she felt she had to accept when he proposed marriage to her. Then the worst beating happened. She went to a presentation put on by New Scotland Yard. It intrigued her. She changed her major to criminology. Reading Dr. Watson's journals reenforced her determination. When she told Webber her decision he blew up at her. She left him alone, thinking that was the end of it. But it wasn't. That night she was packing for a trip to Edith's estate with Edith and myself. It was a break before finals. Webber broke into her room, forbidding her to go and to go into law enforcement. When she refused he attacked her viciously. She tried to stand up for herself but it only made him more angry. He realized he couldn't control her."

Holmes closed his eyes. Beth had left some details out. He had already heard about the final beating but he was about to get another surprise because Alice was about to finish the story.

"He broke her cheekbone, jaw, and a few ribs and he ruptured her spleen. Her eyes looked like raccoon eyes, they were so black and blue. He almost killed her. Beth was in the hospital for three weeks. She pressed charges but his father bought the judge and he got off but as he left the court, he told Beth he would be back and they would be together always, because he knew what was best for her. He said that in front of the presiding judge and nothing was done. It was a clear case of stalking and abuse and nothing was done, and he walked away."

Grayson was upset. "Now, Mrs. Presbury," he interjected.

Alice glared at the Chief Inspector. She wouldn't hear it. "He walked despite the overwhelming evidence. He had family connections. The last we heard, Bryan Webber was working and living in the United States."

Holmes opened his eyes. They were glassy-looking. Alice moved over to Holmes and sat beside him. Taking one of his hands in hers, she said, "Mr. Holmes. Beth worked very hard to learn to trust again. She is so stubborn. Beth won't let Webber win."

Holmes let a small smile cross his face. After thanking Alice for the information, Holmes, Watson and Grayson joined the grid search of the industrial park. Grayson had contacted Mr. Webber to inform him of the arrest warrant out for Bryan Webber and to get the family's permission to enter any suspicious building without a search warrant to look for Bryan and Lestrade. The senior Mr. Webber, who had come in to the Yard hoping beyond hope that the theft at the museum had nothing to do with his family, agreed begrudgingly and went off to contact the family lawyers.

 

Webber Industries Industrial Park
Building 4

Beth had a headache. She tried to move but she quickly found she was restrained at her hands and feet.

"Elizabeth Lestrade. I told you we would be together again," said a voice in the shadows.

She slowly opened her eyes wider. Staring at her was her worst nightmare, Bryan Webber.

"It's Inspector Lestrade, you monster," she said with venom in her voice.

Bryan laughed. "You will no longer play detective, Miss Lestrade."

Beth was scared. Bryan Webber was dangerous. She relaxed her arms to try and get free. She was surprised to notice there was a little play in her bindings. Lestrade knew she had to keep Webber talking, distracted, so the Yard had time to find her before he did his worst to her, again.

"Why the guns, Bryan?"

"Why not? They are rare and valuable. Especially to the right people. But it was designed to bring you out. And look, it worked."

"They're dangerous. That's why they were outlawed and marked for destruction."

"Just like me, huh, Elizabeth. Do you know what your charges did to me? They ruined me. I had to leave my home," Bryan yelled at Lestrade.

Lestrade moved her arms trying to see how tight she was tied up. Webber was overconfident. Her arms were loosening up. Looking around where she was being held, Lestrade realized where she was. The room was the office in an old building in the Webber Industrial Park.

Was he that sure of himself? It was just a coincidence that she had told Sherlock about her past with Bryan last night. He'd brought her to the one place were Holmes would have Grayson start the search, now that Holmes knew her past with Bryan. Beth could only pray that Holmes found the ring and connected the dots, the way only Holmes could do.

"Oh, Sherlock, please hurry," she pleaded to herself.

Lestrade watched Bryan as he walked around the office with no apparent direction. He was clearly insane with rage and revenge for what he saw as a betrayal by her so many years ago. Consumed by the rage, he made mistakes. The biggest was bringing her to a family-owned property. This would for sure be one of the first places the Yard would investigate. Well, she hoped. At any rate, she was sure he had made mistakes after taking her and she could only hope her scream had alerted Holmes and he would soon find her.

Bryan interrupted her train of thought.

"Well, my dearest Elizabeth. Are you going to tell me who you left town with? Is it someone special to you? Well, it doesn't really matter anymore. He doesn't really matter anymore. You are here with me now and forever. We are starting over."

"Bryan, we are not starting over. There is nothing to start over. You destroyed whatever we had the first time you hit me. We are finished."

"Oh, that is where you are wrong. I only hit you to control you. You don't know what you want or need. I will tell you that from now on, my sweetest Elizabeth. Now I am going to get us some food. I will be right back," he said sadistically.

Bryan put a piece of tape across Lestrade's mouth and he left the room. He locked the door and Lestrade heard a hovercar take off and leave.

Beth worked on her bindings and quickly they gave way. Once she had her hands free, she took the tape off her mouth and untied her feet. Trying to stand up resulted in her becoming dizzy. He had given her a concussion when he hit her over the head after she screamed. She looked around for something to defend herself with and looked over at the door. She saw that the lock on the door was loose. Summing up all of her strength she gave the door a hard kick. It gave but she had no idea how long Bryan had been gone and when he was coming back. She had to move quickly.

Overcoming the overwhelming dizziness, she ran to the door. In her hast to leave, Beth had not heard the hovercar come back. She heard a noise behind her. Bryan was back. She got a surge of adrenalin and ran for her life.

"Elizabeth, no!!" he screamed at her as she ran.

Outside on the street, Scotland Yard inspectors and constables were scouring the industrial park looking for any evidence of Bryan Webber or Inspector Lestrade. Holmes and Watson were making their way toward a warehouse marked Building 4 that had showed indications that someone had been there recently. They heard a door slam from the side of that building.

Just as they ran to the side of the building, Lestrade ran out of a door. She saw Holmes and Watson running toward her.

"Lestrade," yelled out a relieved Holmes.

"Run, Holmes, run," she screamed with terror.

As she cleared the building, Bryan Webber ran out behind her. He reached behind his back and pulled out the Sig Sauer and took aim at Lestrade as she was running. Watson did not have his ionizer out but as he pulled it out Webber was able to get a shot off. Just as he shot, Watson fired his ionizer. It was instantaneous.

"No!!" yelled Holmes.

A pained look went across Lestrade's face. Her back arched, then she went down. As this was happening, Watson's ionizer burst captured Bryan Webber. The rest of the inspectors arrived on the scene and took Webber into custody. Holmes ran over to Lestrade and turned her over.

There was blood on her chest, indicating an exit wound.

"Sherlock... I hurt," she whispered.

She coughed and blood ran down her chin. Holmes gathered her up in his arms. He didn't know where to start to try and stop the bleeding. He wiped the blood from her face.

"I know, Beth, Hang on. Help is coming."

Sherlock was scared. He had never seen so much blood. His chest was covered from the blood coming from the entrance wound in Beth's back. Watson was kneeling beside Holmes as he supported Beth in his arms. He was scanning her to find out the extent of her injuries but Holmes in his state of shock was impeding his ability. Lestrade was getting weaker and she was having trouble breathing. Before she passed out,

"I love you, Sherlock, Please know that."

Watson was finally able to scan her. "Holmes, she is losing a lot of blood. The bullet punctured her lung on its way out."

Holmes looked up at his old friend. He had tears running down his cheeks. "Please...Watson...save her."

Watson put her in a stasis field to try and stabilize her blood pressure for the paramedics before they arrived. He had to do that or she would die before the paramedics finally got to her. Watson pleaded with Holmes who would not let go of Lestrade once the ambulance had arrived. He had a death grip on her.

"You have to let them take her," he pleaded with Holmes.

Grayson, who had witnessed the declaration of love from Lestrade to Holmes, put his hand on Holmes' shoulder. Grayson was horrified. Gunshot victims hadn't happened in over 100 years and Lestrade didn't look good, and a compudroid can only do so much for a wound of this magnitude.

Holmes backed away and let the paramedics take Lestrade away to the hospital. He couldn't lose her now. Not now, when they had just discovered how they truly felt towards each other. He watched the ambulance pull away and he let Watson guide him to their car to follow.

 

New London Mercy Hospital

Holmes paced in the waiting room.

Beth had been in surgery for three hours. The doctors had said her heart had stopped in the ambulance but they had managed to get her back. Holmes stared at the wall clock. It felt like time was standing still. Every second was going by with painful slowness.

The Irregulars had heard and they were here with their parents. A call had gone out to Beth's friends Edith and Alice Presbury and they had arrived here a short time ago. Deidre was holding Tennyson's hand, quietly telling him everything would be okay, but it didn't seem like she believed it.

After the fourth hour, the doctor came into the waiting room.

"Mr. Holmes, Chief Inspector Grayson. Inspector Lestrade, Beth is holding her own. It was touch and go at the beginning. She had lost a lot of blood. The bullet did a lot of damage but it was reparable. It will take a while but she will make a full recovery."

Holmes let out a breath he hadn't realized he had been holding. Chief Inspector Grayson shook the doctor's hand.

"When can we see her?" asked Holmes.

"She will be in recovery for an hour and after that she will be in ICU. Usually only immediate family can see her in there but we will wave that. We'll come and get you once she is settled," responded the doctor.

Again, Grayson shook the doctor's hand. Everyone in the waiting room started to hug each other. Holmes talked with the Irregulars' parents and they took the children home. They would be allowed to see Lestrade once she was out of ICU and in her room.

After an hour, the doctor kept his word and he brought them up the ICU. When they entered, Sherlock was shocked by what he saw. Lestrade was hooked up to machines. There was a machine that seemed to be breathing for her. Holmes was confused. His eyes were telling him Beth couldn't breath on her own but the doctor said she was doing okay. He glanced over to Watson for help.

"Why?" he asked.

The doctor noticed Holmes' confusion.

"The bullet punctured her left lung. We repaired the damage but to ensure proper healing we will keep her sedated for a few days and have the respirator breath for her. This will ensure the lung will expand and work normally. In a few days we will wean her off the respirator and allow her to breathe on her own."

This was another part of technology that surprised Holmes. The wonders of 22nd century medicine. Holmes nodded that he understood. Watson found a high-backed chair in the hall and placed it beside the bed. Holmes sat down. He reached forward and took Beth's hand in his. The room was quiet except for the sounds of the machines that were helping Beth to recover from such a traumatic injury.

Holmes turned around at a noise at the entrance to the ICU. There stood Beth's friends Alice and Edith and hanging onto Alice was Deidre. She hadn't gone home with the other Irregulars.

Holmes went over and Deidre went to him. She was crying. He hugged her and kissed the top of her head.

"Oh, Mister Holmes," she cried.

"Easy there, Deidre. Look. She's doing fine. The doctor has explained to me that the machines are just helping her."

Alice went over to the bed and she leaned over to whisper into Beth's ear. "Hon. You have a bunch of people pulling for you. Sherlock's here. They won't be able to drag him out of here. Get better quick. You have a keeper here with him. He loves you."

She gave Beth a gentle kiss on her forehead. Moving back towards Holmes, she touched his arm.

"The hospital is letting you stay. I told them you are as close to family as she has."

"Thank you, Alice. Would you take Deidre back to her parents and let them know how Beth is doing?"

While they were talking, Edith went over to the hospital bed and gave Beth a gentle kiss on the forehead as well. After that, she and Alice went back to the Irregulars and left Holmes alone with Beth and his thoughts.

Holmes sat back down in the chair and took Beth's hand back in his. He absentmindedly stroked the back of her hand with his thumb. Chief Inspector Grayson watched the unfolding scene. In his hand was the report from the Yard. This time Bryan Webber was not going to walk away. He was charged with attempted murder and kidnapping of a police officer, a serious offense.

There was not going to be a crypnosis treatment for Bryan Webber; there was going to be a trial. Bail had been denied. Grayson heard that Webber was dragged out of the court kicking and screaming. His father just hung his head, ashamed of what his only son had become.

Every constable and Inspector in the Yard was making sure all the I's were dotted and all the T's were crossed. The attack was on one of their own and they were doing everything to make sure Webber would pay for his crime.

Chief Inspector Grayson also was very hopeful that Lestrade would recover quickly and completely so she would have the chance to explore the new relationship that was developing between herself and Holmes. He would never admit it out loud but he cared a great deal about Lestrade, and had promised her guardians that he would always take care of her and that was the reason why he was always so hard on her. Grayson gently and quietly closed the door and left Holmes alone with Beth.

Holmes sat there holding her hand for a couple of hours. Watson stood guard outside the ICU. Every twenty minutes the nurses were working around Holmes as they checked Beth's IV and her temperature. The nurses only asked Holmes to leave the room when they had to change her bandages. Even with his Victorian background, he did not want to leave Beth alone for any time longer than was necessary.

After two days the doctor decided to take Lestrade off of the respirator as she was getting stronger and was fighting the machine. The doctor took her off the sedative and was allowing Beth to wake up slowly on her own. Everyone waited.

A few hours later, as Holmes, Grayson and Watson were discussing the Webber trial, there was a groan from the bed. Holmes moved quickly over to the side of the bed.

"Beth, Beth, open your eyes. Come on, open your eyes," he said quietly.

He took her hand in his and with his other hand he gently touched her face. Beth groaned again. Grayson turned the lights down in the room so they would not hurt her eyes. She coughed and that movement caused her to groan in pain.

"Sherlock...." she whispered but did not open her eyes.

"I'm here, Beth. Grayson turned down the lights. Try to open your eyes. Please, Beth." he gently pushed.

Slowly Beth opened her eyes. The first person she saw was Sherlock Holmes. She smiled.

"Thirsty. Can I have a drink of water?" she asked.

Just then the doctor entered the ICU.

"This is good to see. Hello, Inspector." stated the doctor.

"Hello, doc," she whispered.

"Well, you can have some ice chips. Your throat is irritated from the tube that was helping you breathe for a few days."

After checking her over, the doctor left the room. Holmes gently gave Beth an ice chip. As she tried to move, Beth winced in pain.

"Ow, Oh, zed, I hurt."

Holmes helped her to adjust the head of the bed so she could see everyone in the room and sit up a bit.

"Do you remember what happened?" Holmes asked.

"Yes. Bryan Webber shot me in the back," responded Beth, flatly. Beth had tears in her eyes. "Sherlock, what happened to Bryan?" she questioned quietly.

Holmes quickly realized that she feared Webber was on the run.

"Oh, Beth. You need not worry about him hurting you anymore. Watson captured him and the rest of the inspectors took him into custody. Bail has been denied and there is going to be a trial. You're safe, Beth, finally safe."

Beth visibly relaxed in the bed.

"So he's not free," she stated, more to herself then to anyone in the room.

As soon as she had said that, Beth fell asleep. Holmes smiled a relaxed smile. Beth felt safe enough to sleep but she did not release Holmes' hand.

Lestrade's Family Cottage
4 weeks later

"Beth, where are the dry teatowels?"

"In the drawer near the dishwasher, Alice."

Beth looked out at the lake from her deck chair. It had been four weeks since the shooting and in that time she had only been out of the hospital for one week. It felt great to be out of the hospital. She never could sleep in one, as the nurses were always coming in to check blood pressure and her IV. Besides, Holmes was almost collapsing from exhaustion from never leaving her side.

Alice had came with her out to the cottage for some much-needed fresh air. Four weeks since her relationship with Sherlock Holmes had changed. Thinking back to when she had asked Holmes if he would like to help her open the cottage for the season, Beth smiled. During the weeks that she was hospitalized they had talked, really talked. They were closer and that made Beth feel secure in the relationship. Lost in thought, she did not hear her name being called.

"Beth."

"Oh sorry, lost in thought," she said as she struggled to stand up.

She may have been out of the hospital but she still had a long recovery ahead of her. Her chest screamed out in pain as she stood up and fought the urge to stretch. When she got to her feet and turned around she smiled a huge smile. For the person who had been trying to get her attention wasn't Alice, but Sherlock Holmes.

"Hey, I was just thinking about you. I wondered where you had gotten off to."

Holmes went over and gave her a kiss. They had been taking it easy as Beth was still very much off her feet. They spent most of their free time cuddling on the couch in the cottage when Holmes would come out after working on a case. Taking it slowly was also good because they were both trying to feel their way into the new relationship.

"Sorry, Beth, I had to go into town. There was something I needed to pick up. Something for the future."

That was very cryptic for even Holmes. Beth was intrigued. From his coat pocket he took out a tiny black box. Beth gasped in surprise. Sherlock Holmes dropped to one knee. Alice glanced out from the kitchen window. She smiled and was extremely happy to see what was transpiring out on the deck.

He opened the black box, revealing the beautiful one caret diamond with the Kavanagh design for the never-ending circle of love. He took her hand in his and said, very quietly and extremely sincerely, "Beth, when we first came out here I felt our lives had come full circle. I almost died when I saw you get shot. When you told me you loved me I didn't get the chance to return the sediment but now I do. We both have received a second chance at happiness. I know we said that we would take it slow but...."

Beth had tears falling down her cheeks. Holmes continued.

"Beth Lestrade would you do me the honour of becoming my bride? Will you marry me?"

"Oh god, Sherlock, yes..yes..yes.." she responded enthusiastically.

Sherlock took the engagement ring from the box and gently slid it onto Beth's finger. He stood up and looked directly into her eyes.

"I love you with all my heart, Elizabeth Lestrade."

"I love you, Sherlock Holmes."

They sealed their proclamation with a passionate kiss.

Behind them Alice and Watson yelled their congratulation. It was a dream come true for Lestrade. Happy and in love with a many who truly loved and respected her. Holmes had received a second chance at life when an eager Scotland Yard inspector had him regenerated. Who would have know the second time around would be so much better? For the both of them. The past was now just the past and they had their future ahead of them.

Fini
{But what about Moriarty?}


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