A Hot Day in New London

Chapter 8

by Casey (Jedi at aemail4u.com)

General Disclaimer

Sorry, it's a bit late, Mary. I was going to put it up earlier this weekend just for you but things just kept piling up. Enjoy. (Hehe...I can't wait to post chapter 10.....I'm having so much fun writing it.) Eh, a bit short, but the next chapter makes up for that.

The two in the front of the hovercar had been in a muted conversation for quite some time, talking in tones low enough to be just barely distinguishable from behind. 'Yeah,' Josh thought to himself, 'I can still hear you.' Not like he was hearing anything new. He heard her announcement. Yet he already had known; they had both had a peanut-butter and jelly commemorative sandwich to celebrate their letters last night. Both remembered the sweet-sticky taste from their earlier American days at the Technologies -- many times foregoing Friday lunches to allow them both to leave early.

He understood how she felt. Leaving America had been hard enough for him, even with nothing left, but never could he compare that to what she must feel about returning. Returning would mean giving up all that she’d created: the friendships, the hardships, her new life. Much more than he had.

He began another deep scribble through a previous error and suddenly a sharp sting pervaded his grip. He inhaled reflexively and glanced up momentarily to check if either had noticed. Nope. Still in their own conversation.

Putting his worn pencil down for a moment, he glanced at his right hand, which had previously been scribbling ideas, strains of thought, and theories into his equally worn notebook. His eyes opened slightly wider and his jaw became loose, but never dropped. ‘Just when did that get there?’ Two dark parallel slits of blood had appeared on his palm.

Looking closer at it, he pieced together the pain. Two hardened scabs had become saturated with sweat, and the constant rubbing of his pencil had been all too happy to rub the miniature wound open. ‘Guess now I really understand the salt in the wound concept,’ he thought comically to himself, before remembering the single object that had made those tiny engravings in his palm.

Suddenly grimacing, he thought, 'I guess no more writing for me, at least until it closes up again....'

From clear skies to dreary weather, Fenwick plowed through the air. Instead of flying at higher altitudes that would allow for a speedier return, he had stayed low, determined to stretch his time out as much as he could before returning to Moriarty. Patience was a virtue, or so it was said.

After inspecting his hands, the young engineer leaned lazily against the door, having long since removed his seatbelt. Finally, without his work to distract him, he lifted his face to stare out of the window at the other side of the hovercar. It was Holmes’ side, and through the windows he could see grey skies.

"Grey skies?"

"Huh?" a tired voice said next to him.

Turning his head so that he could face the back of the inspector’s seat, and noticing Holmes had turned towards him as well, he continued from what he had meant to keep in his thoughts, unable to back out. "I’m definitely seeing grey skies again, right? I mean, this place is looking more like New London than New London does."

Rubbing his chin, Holmes interjected, "Why, yes, it does. And from the internal map, we should be approaching the northern shores of Britain within the hour."

Josh frowned, resting his chin on his propped up hand, already sinking back into contemplation.

Struggling to keep her eyes open, Lestrade slowly answered through clenched teeth, "And if Fennie here goes any slower I’m going to personally break every digit twice over...." But then she grimaced. "From a ‘stealthy distance,’ of course. I guess Moriarty does have some marginal compassion for his followers."

"I don’t believe compassion is the right word, Lestrade," Holmes said knowingly. "'Use' would fit perfectly in that assumption."

"Well, whatever it is. I might need to get closer, anyways. It looks a bit stormy up ahead...."

Nodding slightly, eyes fixated out the opposite window, Josh softly murmured, "Uh-huh...."

Outside the hovercar, the wind picked up unpredictably, gently buffeting the car onwards.


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