Epilogue: Almost a Love Song

by Myshawolf (myshawolf at

General Disclaimer

Myshawolf walks out in an 80's outfit with a pillow case of candy thrown over her shoulder:

Trick or treat.
Smell my feet.
Give me something good to eat.
If you don't,
I don't care.
I'll pull down your underwear.

Nightmare walks out munching on some candy: Where the hell did you learn that?

MW: My sister. I love Halloween.

Nightmare: I do too. There is so much fear in the air. It's wonderful. Speaking of which, I have to visit Auron again.

MW: Haven't you done enough damage?

Nightmare: Nope. How is Monty working out with Jaka?

MW: Pretty good, I guess. Oh, reviewers! Hi. Nightmare and I are winding down from Halloween. Here is the last chapter of Masquerade. Please read the note at the end. I would love some feedback. The song is from the play Victor/Victoria. Anything else?

Nightmare: Not that I can think of. Except you need to be flattered that you have inspired North Star.

MW: This is true. I can't wait to read her new stuff.

Nightmare: Me neither. Anyways, on with the show.

Epilogue - Almost a Love Song

Lestrade slid behind the crate, hoping it would provide some cover. She glanced over to see Holmes crouching down behind one, as well. It seemed someone'd tipped off Moriarty that they were coming. Lestrade stared at Holmes until she caught his eye. They nodded to each other. Lestrade knelt up and began to fire at their attackers.

Holmes took advantage of the cover fire and left the safety of his crate. He needed to reach the power box and cut power to the warehouse. Backup would be arriving in moments. He and the inspector needed to survive until then. His body jerked when an ioniser blast grazed his arm. He stumbled for a bit but kept running. Holmes reached the circuit box to realize something very startling.

There were no more ioniser blasts. The warehouse was silent except for a scream. Lestrade heard it, too. She was standing up and trying to see what happened. Holmes stepped away from the box and toward the bad guys' hiding spot. A smile touched his lips to see them all either tied up or knocked unconscious. A small gleam caught his eye and stepped towards it. Lestrade was reading them their rights when he saw the white half-mask sitting on a crate with a red rose lying next to it.

"My dear Lestrade, take a look at this," Holmes called to his partner. Lestrade walked over and gasped.

"That's Erika's mask," Lestrade stated. "Does this mean she....?"

Suddenly Watson burst in with the needed backup. They noticed that they really weren't needed. Watson was about to say something when an annoying beeping was heard. Watson blushed and checked his comm link.

"Oh dear, Holmes, someone has set off the alarm at 221b Baker Street," Watson remarked. "I do believe someone has broken in."

Lestrade and Holmes glanced at each other and stated, "Moriarty."

They ran for the door. Watson followed on their heels. No one noticed that the mask was now gone. Only the red rose remained.

What we have here
Is almost a love song
I'm perfect for you
You're perfect for me.

Everything they sing about
We have in profusion
The same sense of humor
A romance more than
Mere illusion

So why are we
Almost a love song?
Why aren't we
The song of the year?
Does the moment go by?
Are we frightened to try?

Fenwick hurried through the Underground. Ahead, Moriarty strode confidently and slowly. Fenwick was worried about his creation. Ever since they left Paris, his master seemed to be sulking about. Moriarty wasn't eating or reading. He would sit around staring into space. Fenwick knew what was wrong. It was a Cherie named Erika Noir.

Fenwick sighed. He was once in the same boat as Moriarty. It's hard to forget someone who touches your life. While Moriarty never acknowledged that he liked the singer, Fenwick could tell he did. Too bad; they will never be together. She didn't fit in their world of crime. Moriarty seemed to acknowledge that after the incident at the Opera. Such was life.

Fenwick trudged on. He didn't notice a shadowy figure was following him. The figure whispered something into a communicator before continuing on.

If we are, more's the pity
Oh, the idea seems so pretty.
To be almost a love song
You owe me a love song
So where is my love song,
My dear?

One thing is clear
We're almost a love song
He's so good for me
I'm no good for him.

I saw somebody
Who'd look at things my way
We'd travel life's highway.
Whatever the weather.
I wonder whether
The two of us should be together

Lestrade drew her ioniser as she and Holmes approached the open door. Watson hung back to watch for any escape attempt by the burglar. He noticed a beautiful woman dressed in black watching the apartment with interest. She stood by a hovercar, waiting. Watson looked to see where her eyes were focused.

Lestrade looked around the apartment for anything out of place. A soft mewing caught her ears. She looked towards the couch. Laying on it was a lilac point Siamese cat. Lestrade holstered her ioniser.

"Seems like a false alarm, Holmes. It's only a cat," Lestrade stated as she reached for the animal. Holmes turned and studied the creature before realization hit him.

"Beth, didn't the Phantom own a cat very similar to this?" Holmes asked.

Beth furrowed her brow as she looked at the cat. She wasn't surprised by Sherlock's use of her Christian name. In fact, he used it quite a lot since their return from Paris, in private of course. The cat began to purr, bringing Lestrade out of her thoughts.

"Ayesha, is that you?" Lestrade asked.

Ayesha purred louder at the sound of her name. Then Ayesha leapt from Lestrade's arms and wound herself around Holmes' legs, before leaping up to the mantel over the fireplace and a large package. An envelope faced the two detectives. In a neat and flowing handwriting were their names. Lestrade touched Holmes' arm, afraid of what was in the envelope. Holmes placed his arm around her waist as he reached for the letter.

As he picked it up, he could tell that it carried two small objects within it. Carefully he tore open the top and pulled out a letter. He read the letter twice. A smile touched his lips as he handed it to Beth. Beth grabbed the letter from him and read it quickly. She let a cry of relief and hugged Holmes.

"She is alive. Erika is okay." Lestrade wept happily.

Holmes smiled as he tipped over the envelope. Lestrade heard the click of two pieces of metal hitting each other. She looked to see two gold rings gleaming on the table. Holmes picked one up and slid it onto Lestrade's right ring finger. Beth looked at him questioningly.

"Erika gave these as a show of friendship. So long as we wear these rings, she will help us in any way she can," Holmes explained, "Except in the pursuit of Professor James Moriarty. I can understand her motives."

"Why wouldn't she help us?" Beth asked, curious.

Holmes smiled. "They love each other. I noticed it during those last few days, just as she knew that we loved each other. She refuses to take sides. I can respect that."

"So can I," Beth nodded as she thought about it. Gently, she wrapped her arms around his neck and laid her head against his shoulder, "I don't have to like it."

"I think she will allow you that much."

Ayesha began meowing loudly as she began to nudge that larger package. Holmes noticed it. Lestrade broke away from him so he could grab the box. His heart stopped as he noticed the outline of a violin case. He unwrapped the brown paper to see an old violin case. Reverently, he opened it to see his old Stradivarius sitting there. Sherlock felt his throat close up as he lifted it up. A beautiful song drifted into the room. Ayesha's ears picked up. She left her perch and trotted to the door. Lestrade noticed and grabbed Holmes' arm to follow.

Watson watched as a cat trotted pass and leaped into the woman's arms. The woman smiled at him, and he realized that it was the same lady he had talked to at the Opera House. He watched as she turned to the waiting car. Lestrade and Holmes stepped out on to the street to see a smiling, healthy Erika step into the car. Before anyone could react, the car took off.

Erika turned to Madame Giry and Buquet. "Did Nadir check in yet?"

"Oui, Mademoiselle Phantom. He is waiting for us." Buquet smiled.

"Good, let's go."

So why are we
Almost a love song
Instead of the
Song of the year?
We are a good one, I fear

Will the moment go by?
Will I lose you?
Are we frightened to try?
I mustn't lose you
If I do, then it's tragic
We have too much magic
To be almost a love song

And we might as well face it
You owe me a love song
I could never replace you
So where is my love song,
My dear?

Moriarty was slumped in his chair. His gray eyes gazed into the fire. In his mind he wasn't in the damp hideout. He was back on the roof of the Opera House with Erika, gazing at the Paris night. At the sound of crashing , he opened his eyes. He fixed Fenwick with a pointed glare that said several things. Fenwick gulped and skittered away. Moriarty sighed. His henchman meant well; it was just that Moriarty wasn't in the mood for anyone. He wasn't sure if Erika was alive or not. He'd snuck down to the underground house only to find it empty even of her cat. Moriarty'd searched all over Paris, but nothing was found. No one was talking -- as if she'd never existed. Moriarty often wondered if it was a dream -- that he dreamed up the whole thing, and Erika. He closed his eyes, hoping to return to the dream.

Suddenly the alarms went off. Moriarty turned to see Fenwick run back into the room. Fenwick glared at the computer monitor. He started cursing in French as he banged on the monitor, which failed to bring up a picture. Fenwick looked up at his master.

"Don't worry, master," Fenwick assured an annoyed Moriarty as he inched to the door. "It's probably some zed rat. I'll check it out."

Fenwick slipped out of the secret door. Moriarty sighed in exasperation as he stood up and walked over to the screen. Fenwick meant well but he was clueless when it came to computers. Moriarty leaned over the keyboard and began to type. Soon he had the monitors back on-line. Absently, he heard the door open back up. At first he thought Fenwick had returned until he saw Fenwick stroll across the monitor. So he had a visitor. Moriarty reached for the ioniser hidden under the hutch that the computer system sat on. He whirled around ready to fire, only to be surprised to see who his visitor was.

Standing right in front of him, dressed in black leather pants, a sapphire shirt and leather trenchcoat, was a healthy Erika Noir. Her hair was down and framed her face beautifully. Her blue eyes gazed at him, waiting for a response. Moriarty felt his heart get lodged in his throat and begin to beat wildly with joy. He took a step towards her. Erika's eye darted warily to the gun in his hand.

"Hello, Professor," Erika greeted him. "Could you please put the ioniser down? I have had enough of firearms to last me quite a while."

Moriarty realized he still held the gun and turned to drop it in the chair. He turned back around and smiled, "It's a pleasure to see you alive, Mademoiselle Noir."

"A pleasure to be alive." Erika smiled, relieved yet still sad, "I'm sorry for worrying you. Nadir heard you were paying a high price for any information on my condition."

"Oui. The Underworld in Paris was strangely quiet on that."

"For good reason. The Count has friends who may try to finish what he started. I still have a long way to go before it is finished."

"You could stay here with me. I can protect you."

Erika smiled sadly at him. "If it was only that easy. No, Professor, I can't get you involved -- just as I can't be involved in your crimes."

"Don't think I will let you go now that you are here."

"You once said you would do as I suggested. You still haven't done it."

"I could do it now. You have walked into my home now," Moriarty realized as he walked towards her. Erika stood her ground, refused to give an inch. Moriarty cupped her chin and whispered, "You constantly amaze me, Erika."

"And you do the same to me, Professor. It's sad that we can't be together," Erika whispered back, "We are almost a love song."

Moriarty brushed his lips over hers and said, "The only thing stopping us is our own doubts."

"I don't belong in your world, Professor, and you don't belong in mine. I wouldn't force you to, because it would change who you are. Can you do that to me?"

Moriarty paused as he considered her words. "No, I can't. But I'm not going to lose you."

Erika smiled lovingly at him. "I wouldn't want you to."

Moriarty let go of her chin and turned away. This was an impossible situation. He knew he couldn't let her leave his life again. She had once and he was a wreck over it. He looked at Erika who watched him with concern. In her eyes reflected what he was feeling. They stared at each other for a few minutes until one of them spoke.

"We have a problem then. I don't think I could live with you," Erika whispered, "I swore I wouldn't fall in love again, not after the Count's betrayal and my father's death. Yet somehow you broke down my defenses."

"Yet you can't live in my world. We would constantly be on the run," Moriarty remarked, "There is also your friendship with the Inspector. I can assume that you don't want to put that in jeopardy."

Erika shook her head. "I will stand by you in everything except when it involves the two detectives."

Moriarty smiled. "They are involved in everything that I do. But I understand what you are saying. I'll let you leave today with a promise from you."

Erika smiled as she stepped towards him. Moriarty pulled her close to him. To hell with his breeding. He'd watched Holmes and Lestrade kiss several times since their return from Paris. Moriarty captured Erika's lips passionately. He pulled away and held her close.

"I want you to promise that you will come here again. I didn't think I could survive without you, either," Moriarty breathed into her hair. The scent of jasmine filled his nostrils and Moriarty was transported back to his first time at the Noir grave and his assailant. He tilted Erika's head up. She was the one who attacked him. A smile touched his lips. Who would thought that he would have found her? He asked her, "Do you promise?"

Erika smiled gently, "Oui, if you come to see me in Paris."

Erika kissed him gently and with unspoken love. She slipped a golden ring onto his left ring finger. When she pulled away, she walked to the door. Before she walked out the door, she turned to him. Moriarty took in her beauty before saying, "I promise. Someday, Erika, I will catch you and keep you forever, once I achieve my goals."

Erika smiled wickedly. "I will be waiting for you, James; catch me if you can."

She was gone in an instant. Moriarty smiled. The old fire that he'd had before had returned to his eyes. He turned and began to plan. He had a lot of work to do. He stopped as he heard Erika sing in the tunnel. The song was true to their situation. Moriarty grinned to himself. Not if he had anything to do with it.

So where is my love song,
My dear?

The End (For Now)

MW: Currently toying with the idea of doing either a prequel (one-shot) or a sequel. What do you think?

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