The Case of the Desperate Nation

by Annie Magee

Part 8: The Alternate Ending

by Jaka Ray

A/N: Hello again, everyone. After speaking to Jaka Ray, a reader, it was agreed that the ending chapter of this story was not a strong as the other chapters. So she came up with an alternate ending for it. Here it is.The story starts at one part of chapter 8. BTW: I would like to thank the two reviewers of my last chapter. I appreciate it.

"You're under arrest, Moriarty, and don't EVEN give me that crud about not having any authority in the Underground. I have a special warrant for YOU." She pulled out her ionizer, knowing that it would be a difficult arrest.

Moriarty kicked the gun from her hand, knocking it from her. They leapt for the weapon, but Beth got her hand around it first. They fought for possession of her gun. It was a hard fight, but it ended in Beth knocking the Napoleon of Crime unconscious with her gun. She moved closer to look for the antidote, but whirled around to find Fenwick charging her with a yell. Timing her attack carefully, Beth Lestrade sent a kick to Fenwick's middle, causing him to crash into his master and turning his ankle. "Give me the antidote, Fenwick!!" she snarled, "I don't wanna waste time searching for it. Give it to me now or else." Lestrade raised her ionizer threateningly.

"Do your worst, Yardie!" Fenwick spat out as he grimaced in pain and slowly stood.

"Fine!" she smiled bitterly. "A brain for a brain, eh, Fenwick?" and aimed at Moriarty.

"Your wimpy ionizer won't do any good! Especially against James Moriarty!" the slimy Fenwick shouted triumphantly, edging carefully to the weapon on the table nearest him.

"Don't move, you lowlife lizard! And this is not ordinary ionizer," her smile broadened, then set into a grim line as she realized every second was precious for Sher- Holmes, she corrected herself. Lestrade continued, "Oh, no. I don't think that's good enough for the likes of you! I took the liberty of adding some of that poison of yours in my cartridges. Giving you a taste of your own medicine!!" She took careful aim at the body of Moriarty.

Fenwick cried out and launched himself at Lestrade. In surprised self defense at Fenwick's loyalty and stupidity, Lestrade pulled the trigger. The poison was ejected into Fenwick and there was nothing she could do. As he crumpled senseless on the floor, Lestrade rummaged quickly through Moriarty's clothes. She found several vials, but only one which matched the description Sir Evan had vaguely surmised.

"Guess this is it." Lestrade packed the vial away in her pocket, and to be safe took the others as well. And then she dashed back to save Holmes.

As soon as she got to Holmes's Baker St. lodgings, she took the stairs 3 at a time and almost flattened Watson into the wall.

"I've got it! The real thing!" She flushed triumphantly, holding the antidote up. Watson blinked. "But you're too late."

Horror washed over Beth Lestrade like a wave. "Oh zed...Not it can't be!" Tears filled her eyes. I never got to tell him how I felt.... She turned away from Watson. Like Holmes, she prefered to hide her feelings from others..........

Watson, concern in his voice, stuttered, "Why, Lestrade, you shouldn't be sad! You should be overjoyed that he-"

Lestrade interuppted, furious at Watson's unthoughtfulness, "I thought I programmed you better than that, Watson! You're supposed to be his dearest friend! If he's dead"-it was so painful to admit!-"you should be mourning too!" Tears streamed down her face. She couldn't take it anymore and broke into silent sobs. She would've left out to the streets, but Watson's bulk was blocking her way to the door. She turned her back to the door, the door to Holmes' body..

Watson's eyes registered suprise, "No! No no no, it's not like that! You- you don't- you don't understand! You-"

"-were too late with the antidote." interrupted a quiet voice behind her. Lestrade turned to the door behind her to find herself face to face with Sherlock Holmes.

"What? Zed, I- what is going on?!" Lestrade had never been more puzzled and overjoyed at the same time.

She turned to Watson for an explanation. She was even more puzzled to find she didn't get one, for Watson seemed just as shocked as she was. "What in all of New London is going on here?!" she cried, exasperated and regaining some of her old self. "How did you-" She now looked to Sherlock Holmes.

He smiled. "Eyes and brains, my dear Lestrade."

Zed, that sounds good, Lestrade thought to herself.

"It's true that you were too late with the antidote, because the good Sir Evan came up with one, moments before you were so good as to reduce our stairs to pieces with your rush..." His eyes twinkled mischievously. It was obvious he was back to his old self.

"But Watson-" Beth Lestrade was still confused. How could Watson have been so shocked at Holmes' appearance?

"-Thought he was still resting in bed!" remonstrated the droid. Holmes smiled his dazzling smile. A little weak, perhaps, but it was the same dazzling smile which lit up his eyes and the one Beth Lestrade found herself falling for....

Days later, Sherlock Holmes was making a full recovery, although Sir Evan insisted he stay in his rooms at Baker Street to rest. And to make sure no further attacks would be made on him while his body was still recovering from the first poisoning. Holmes had consented reluctantly, on the condition that everybody visit him. "And bring presents, too," he joked.

So Lestrade visited him on the third day after the antidote was produced. She had spent the last few days preparing and going over what she would say to him. How would he take the tears she had shed when she believed him to be dead? She brought him flowers to hide her face behind in case she got too red..

She found him pacing his room impatiently. He smiled when he saw her.

"Ah, Lestrade!" he cried. "There are precisely five apples, two peaches, and fifty-two grapes in the fruit basket Grayson has sent me." He motioned to a large basket on the table. "I was about to count the stitches in the basket when you came, but now I shall count the petals on your delightful roses." And with that he gripped the flowers and set them down next to the basket before Lestrade could say otherwise. She was without cover now....

Holmes plopped himself down in his chair and waved to another one for her. Lestrade sat down slowly, afraid to speak. There was an awkward silence which almost made Lestrade wish for an injection of poison before Holmes started, "So tell me about your little meeting with James Moriarty!"

And so she did. When she finished, Holmes nodded thoughtfully. "I have no doubt that, although he may have a blistering headache when he awakens, Moriarty is still at large. And Fenwick must've managed to get one of the numerous antidotes they must've had in their posession. It would be of no use to check the building now. The birds have flown their coop and it was most likely only a temporary one."

Another awkward silence began. It was again broken by Holmes, who said quietly, "And I thank you for the concern you showed for me. It won't be forgotten." Lestrade raised her eyes from the ground. Her face was only a foot away from his. John H. Watson's stories depicted his eyes as a watery gray. But as Beth Lestrade looked into those same eyes, she realized with a thrill they were blue, with only flecks of gray. Watson evidentally had never been this close to his friend before. But the writer had been right in one respect. Sherlock Holmes' eyes were watery. But only because he was crying.

Beth Lestrade was taken aback to find Sherlock Holmes crying. She didn't know what to do. It would be a confession of how she felt if she were to reach for his hand....

She was pondering doing this until Holmes muttered, "I do apologize, but I'm exhausted.. er. I'm sure you can show yourself out?" And with that he laid down on his sofa, being careful to turn his head toward the wall.

She knelt beside the sofa and looked down at Holmes, whose eyes were closed. "Holmes?" she whispered.

"M-mmmm?" was the response.

"I'm glad you're all right." There was silence, and then she continued "Holmes?"

He did not answer.

"I love you." She kissed his forehead tenderly, and headed for the door. Beth looked one more time at him before she called for lights off and shut the door behind her, leaving the silent room.

After she left, Holmes sat up abruptly, the full power of what she had just done sinking in, giving his stomach a flip and his body an uneasy feeling... He stayed still for a moment before standing and making a move to the door.

But before he could do so, all of New London was shaken by four large blasts.

Lestrade rushed back through the door, and into Holmes' arms. They stayed so for just a moment, and stepped apart.

"Zed, what was that?!" Lestrade's eyes were full of fear.

"If I'm not mistaken, my dear Lestrade, I just hugged you," Holmes said, confused that she didn't realize it.

She shook her head violently, smiling to herself, "No, no, the explosions!"

Holmes flushed crimson and gained control of himself. "Moriarty's threat! I had forgotten it!"

Lestrade paled. "But he said it would level all of New London," she whispered in horror.

"That would include us, my dear Lestrade. And I can say with assurance that we are not dead." He swooped up his cape and cap, turning to Beth Lestrade. "Nothing that Sir Evan Hargreaves could say would keep me from investigating." And he strode to the stairs and out the door, his Scotland Yard companion close on his heels.....

Hello, all. Bad news, boys and girls: That last chapter will be the last one for this story. SORRY!

However, a sequel to 'Desperate Nation' is in the works via my friend, who so generously provided the alternate ending.

Also, if you liked this fic, then I suggest MY sequel, A Les Miserables/SH22nd x-over, "The Case of The Past Inspector."

Till then, bye!


On to "A Hard Look into the Future" by Annie Magee (formerly "The Case of the Past Inspector")

On to "Bedbugs and Broomsticks" by Jaka Ray!


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