Chapter 14: He Had It Coming

by Myshawolf (myshawolf at

General Disclaimer

A handwritten note hangs up on the screen. It reads:

Dear Readers,

This chapter will be short due to the kidnapping of Myshawolf in response to her birthday being October 25th. We should hopefully have her back in time to post the next chapter if Present doesn't get us lost again. We suggest you enjoy and remember that Nightmare is in charge while Mysha is away. Thank you and live it up!
The Disclaimer Crew (see Bio for details.)

Nightmare: (walks in) No one is here, huh? I guess I'll see what Jaka and Monty are doing and met Haldir. On with the show. (evil laughter.)

Chapter 14- He had it coming!

Slowly, the sounds of muffled voices reached Sherlock's ears. It started as a low buzz and gradually grew louder; Sherlock's mind began to play over the events before his world became black. Erika had knocked out the Count and then them. Sherlock was certain that she wasn't going to harm them. Or at least he was until he saw Moriarty walk through the door. If Erika had teamed up with Moriarty, why weren't they dead? At least Sherlock thought he wasn't dead yet. There was only one way to find out. Sherlock gritted his teeth and opened his eyes.

Moriarty stood in front of the mirror. While his eyes gazed at his reflection, they were trying to see beyond it down the tunnel to the Phantom's lair. At his feet was the lilac point cat Erika called Ayesha. She watched him with a worried look.

Moriarty ignored the cat as he waited. Erika was down there, possibly dying slowly, and he couldn't help her. When he'd entered the room, he was expecting to see Erika and the Phantom with the Count begging for mercy. What he really saw surprised him.

He could hear voices arguing when he'd stepped out of the secret passageway into a beautifully decorated bedroom. The bed was covered with satin sheets in red and black. He noticed the Victorian design of the room, right down to the vanity and chairs. Moriarty was reminded of the various female dwellings he used to visit in his day and realized that this was Erika's room.

His heart stopped when he saw a pool of blood and Erika's costume off to the side. His eyes noticed the bloody handprint by an open closet. Apparently Erika had changed her clothes after being possibly shot again. Moriarty turned to the open door. Erika's voice floated to him as she argued with Sherlock about what to do with the Count. He walked to the door.

"But I can do it better if you aren't here," Erika said gently, and then he heard glass shatter. Moriarty walked to the door and watched as Sherlock and Lestrade collapse in a cloud of white smoke. Sherlock and he locked eyes as the detective passed out. He looked over to see Erika collapse against a piano in pain. Ayesha jumped to her owner's side.

"I have to get them out of here, Ayesha," Erika groaned as she tried to stand up. "Get Nadir, he can take them to the surface."

Moriarty watched as she began to cough in obvious pain. He was at her side in an instant, holding her up. Erika looked at him over her shoulder in surprise.

"Professor? How did you get here?" Erika questioned.

"I followed your trail of blood. You need a doctor. Where is the Phantom?" Moriarty said firmly.

Erika smiled at him softly as she turned to him. "You are looking at her. Disappointed?"

"I'd be lying if I said yes. In fact, this clears up several inner conflicts that I have been having." Moriarty smiled brightly as he pulled her close. "I'm taking you to a doctor."

"No. I have to finish this," Erika remarked as she pulled away and leaned against the piano. "I have to stop all of this insanity."

Moriarty watched her in silence. He noticed she had a few more wounds than he'd remembered. Around her neck hung the gold ring on a chain; it winked at him. Moriarty remembered the old accounts of the Phantom giving a plain gold band to his students to claim them as his. Moriarty reached for it. It was possibly her father's, given to her as he was dying in her arms. A deathbed promise to be the Phantom.

Moriarty dropped the ring and brushed her cheek. It was cold to his touch. Erika closed her eyes at the touch. A single tear rolled down her cheek and onto his hand. Moriarty pulled away. She would be the Phantom first, which was her destiny.

"Please, Professor, could you take them to the surface and to safety? I can't do it. I'm too weak to," Erika asked.

Moriarty looked at her. It was on the tip of his tongue to demand her allegiance in return, but she looked so fragile. Instead he said, "I will. I give my word as a gentleman."

Erika smiled, "Thank you. Ayesha will show you a safe way back."

Moriarty snapped out of his trance at Ayesha mewing. That was only an hour ago. Now he stood and waited for Erika to return or Holmes to wake up, whichever happened first on this long night. Moriarty sighed and turned around to see Holmes watching him curiously. Moriarty sighed as he turned fully around to face his nemesis.

"I promised her I wouldn't harm you or the Inspector," Moriarty said first.

"Where is she?" Holmes asked as he sat up a little straighter, still alert for any danger.

"Down there with him," Moriarty answered as he turned towards the mirror. Holmes noticed that for once his nemesis was worried. Moriarty stared at the mirror, not seeing his reflection. "She is injured badly."

Holmes nodded as he observed Moriarty. "I know. Why did you bring us up?"

"She asked me to. I couldn't refuse her. She doesn't want anyone around while she deals with the Count de Chagny," Moriarty informed him.

"What is she going to do?"

"Kill him, perhaps -- but I doubt it. She isn't a murderer, Holmes. I hope she succeeds in whatever she does." Moriarty grinned sadly. "I have been debating going down and helping her."

"She won't be there. Not that everyone knows how to get there," Holmes pointed out.

"I know. For now I suggest we call a truce," Moriarty suggested, "Until we know what's happened to them."

Holmes nodded, then felt someone move next to him. He looked over at a sleeping Lestrade. Holmes admired her for a moment. Gently he brushed a strand of loose hair from her face. Sherlock glanced behind him to see Moriarty standing near the mirror.

Sherlock understood what his archenemy was feeling. It was hard to watch as someone whom you respected put themself at risk. When the Count threatened Lestrade, Holmes was never more scared or angry at anything in his life. Holmes gently brushed her cheek before leaving the cot they laid on. Holmes stretched his back as he stood up. Moriarty had turned around to say something when an inhuman cry ripped through the Opera House. Both men paled before leaving the dressing room.

Lestrade's eyes fluttered open. She looked around to find herself in Erika's dressing room. How did she get here? She swung her legs over the side of the bed to see Ayesha blink up at her. Lestrade smiled. Erika hadn't harmed them. She knew Erika wouldn't do it. The smile faded when Lestrade thought about the Count. What of him?

Suddenly Lestrade noticed the mirror. A ripple passed over the glass. Lestrade blinked in shock. Glass didn't ripple. The mirror took on a liquid quality. Lestrade stood up and waited for her visitor to emerge.

Nadir stepped through carrying a pale and unconscious Erika. Lestrade's heart stopped at the deathly pallor to Erika's olive skin. Nadir stared at Lestrade in surprise, than smiled. He walked towards her.

"At least it's you, Inspector, and not the Professor. I would have had a fight on my hands then," Nadir said with relief.

"You mean Moriarty?" Lestrade asked.

"Oui. Erika told me he brought you and Monsieur Holmes up here to safety. She told me he was stubborn about leaving her down there."

"Is she?"

"No. She has lost a lot of blood. I must hurry to save her, if I can." Nadir frowned.

"And the Count?"

"I think you should head to the stage area for that answer. Hurry."

Lestrade headed for the open door. She took a quick look back at the two best friends before running to the stage area.

Nadir smiled after the running lady. Oh yeah, the Inspector was a lot like Erika. He continued on his way.

Lestrade heard shouting when she reached the edge of the stage. She spotted Holmes standing with -- Moriarty?! What was going on? Moriarty wore an amused expression as he commented to Holmes. Lestrade pulled out her ioniser and tried to sneak up. Moriarty spotted her and commented to Holmes, "Your zealot wakes."

Holmes turned and beckoned Lestrade to them. "We have a truce for now, my dear Lestrade. Come and see what Erika did."

Lestrade stepped forward to see the Count running from an invisible enemy. His brown eyes were wide with a deep fear as he screamed at his foes to get away. Finally he curled himself up and began to babble to himself. Lestrade spotted her uncle command a team to capture him. Lestrade stepped forward to help. The Count saw her and shouted loudly.

"The Phantom! He sent you, didn't he? To take me to my grave? He would send a vile woman to bring to him. I killed all his other pawns. His wife was my greatest victim, you know. I slowly poisoned her. He tried to save her. Him and his bastard daughter. I tried ruining her. The little bitch fought back. Nearly killed me, so I shot her and the Phantom. But he came back. He always comes back. So I killed the little singer to get rid of him. It didn't work; he kept coming back. He always comes back," the Count rambled, as he stared at Lestrade with hollow, empty brown eyes.

Lestrade stepped back. Holmes put his arms around her to protect her from the Count's madness. The Count noticed this and jumped up; his voice got higher as he talked.

"Just like all the bitches that fall for the Phantom. They are corrupted and tainted. I had to kill them to purge Paris of their filth. Christine Daae started it all. She could have loved the Count but chose the devil, even after Philippe killed her husband. She spurned him and the de Chagny name. He tried to love her, tried to show her. Yet she still followed his evil tune and gave herself to him. Gave her soul and blood to him. She had to pay. They all must pay," the Count shrieked at Lestrade and Holmes.

Holmes noticed that several of the company watched in horror at the confession of a madman. He glanced at Moriarty to see suppressed rage in his eyes. The Count had tried to ruin Erika. Granted, he failed, but Moriarty didn't care. Holmes knew in that instant that Moriarty loved Erika Noir just as much as he loved the Inspector.

He felt someone brush up next to him and saw Frany and Krissi with a net. They looked at the two detectives.

Frany spoke up first. "Monsieur Holmes, we are going to help subdue him. Will you help us? We need someone to distract him."

Holmes smiled as he formed an idea. "Of course. But be careful. I may make him angrier."

"We can take him, Monsieur Holmes. Have no fear."

Holmes nodded and took a step towards the Count with Lestrade by his side. His blue eyes bore into the Count's face, holding the madman's attention. Holmes began to talk as the police and the company started to sneak up on the Count. Moriarty stood to the side, ready to jump in if he were needed. The Count stared at Holmes, captivated, as Holmes began to piece together the past. He didn't react when ten people dogpiled on top of him. Holmes stopped talking; then Ayesha scampered across the stage and leapt on top. Holmes turned to Lestrade when he noticed her sad gaze towards the dressing room. Nadir watched them for a moment. In his arms was Erika's limp form. He turned and left. Holmes pulled Lestrade close as she cried. He looked to Moriarty only to find that he had disappeared.

The next day, Lestrade sat in the hovercab while Holmes checked them out. Her uncle was going to meet them at the shuttle station. Nadir refuse to discuss Erika's condition, but everything in his demeanor indicated that it wasn't good. The Count was locked up in an institution. Whatever Erika had given him, not even crypnosis could reverse its affects. The Count was declared insane and would be locked up for a very long time.

Lestrade sighed; her Paris adventure was over with. Soon she would be back in New London and at her usual job. But what about her and Holmes? After this, could they continue on as normal? Their masks were gone and they saw how they felt for each other quite plainly. How could anyone ignore that? Lestrade jumped when Holmes sat next to her. He placed his arm around her as the cab took off. They'd both felt a sense of loss as they watched Nadir walk off with Erika's body. Soon they would be in New London and Paris would become nothing more than a memory.

Lestrade stared out the window and spotted the Opera House in the distance. She narrowed her eyes when she noticed a figure high on top of the Lyre. There was no black cloak, but someone was up there. She craned her neck to keep it in sight until the Opera House disappeared behind a set of buildings. She settled her head against Holmes' shoulder. Maybe she was seeing things.

At the shuttle station, Leroux waited with the entire opera company. Buquet gave both of them a hug and asked that he be invited to their wedding. He promptly earned a smack upside the head from Madame Giry, who hugged Lestrade goodbye. Frany blushed as she hugged them goodbye, while Krissi and Shawn proceeded to tell them that the company was coming to New London. Star North waved to them while ignoring Auron, who was telling her all the things that needed to get done. Areku and Iara promised to visit when they came to New London. Holmes told them that he knew some people who could show them around. They waved goodbye as they boarded the shuttle for home. A pair of blue eyes sadly watched them leave from her seat in the back.

"Au revoir, detectives. We will meet again." The owner smiled as her escort wheeled her away.

A note from Mysha: I'll be back hopefully next week with the Epilogue. One question: Should Erika join Moriarty or should she stay neutral?

On to the Epilogue!

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