A Solid Lead
Author's Note: This was written to answer BuffyCharmed challenge. This takes places after season two of Sherlock and season two of Buffy. It is AU from then on out. A major shout-out and thank you to BuffyCharmed first for posting this challenge, since it inspired me to write, and secondly making all the bad parts of my writing good. BuffyCharmed is a fantastic co-writer and beta. Now, hopefully everyone will be inspired to write more Buffy Sherlock BBC crosses.
Disclaimer: I do not own Sherlock. BBC does. I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Mutant Enemy does. I am not profiting off of this in anyway.
It was her, he was sure. Not his only unsolved case, a that sounded suspiciously like his flatmate chimed in his head. It was, however, the most important. The one with absolutely no leads. The one case that truly stumped Sherlock Holmes.
Except now, after all this time, he had an idea. More than an idea, a solid lead.
He had spent years resenting Mycroft, over a lifetime's worth of issues, but this had always been different. There was more to their relationship than resentment over this particular thing, too personal for both for it to be that simple, but it did hold a lot of weight. Mycroft resented Sherlock for refusing to let go, holding onto a hopeless case with no leads because he wouldn’t give up on her, even when the reminder brought the family so much pain. Sherlock, in turn, resented Mycroft because he had given up on this even though it was so clear, so bloody obvious, that she wasn’t dead.
It was more than a point of contention, more than some juvenile grudge for him. If there was one person he'd thought he could trust to observe when the idiotic masses were too blind, it was the elder Holmes. Sherlock knew that the their youngest sister was quite obviously not
dead, and even with the British government in the palm of his brother’s hand, Mycroft would not look for her.
It infuriated him.
The ache that pressed down upon him when he thought about her was gone. It was yet another reason he couldn't tolerate boredom. His thoughts would always, inevitably, turn to her. How he couldn’t find her even though he tried everything
in his power to get one scrap of information about her.
Sherlock remembered a little after his mother first brought Buffy home from the hospital. He was fourteen at the time and really wanted nothing to do with her. The infant was always squealing and crying whenever anyone held her, even Mummy, but that wasn’t much of a surprise. Their mother was many things, but none would describe her as the‘loving’ type, as shown by her demeanor towards her two sons.
The nurses said that Buffy was a perfectly healthy baby, despite being so small, and she was probably just having trouble adjusting from the hospital to the home environment. A nanny had called in sick, and his mother had to do something-or-other of little importance and shoved a sleeping Buffy in his arms until the replacement nanny came. Of course, he was going to complain - he didn’t do infants, Mycroft was more then capable - and then Buffy opened her eyes.
Holding her was nothing special until Sherlock saw her scrunch up her nose, as if she was going to cry, and he closed his eyes and braced himself for the assault on his ears with a defeated sigh.
After a beat, he realized there was silence. Slowly, he cracked open an eye and saw Buffy was looking at him very curiously, or as curiously as a one month old could manage, and cooing.
And, annoyingly enough, Sherlock felt himself smile back at her, a strange warmth filling him from head-to-toe.
From then on, Buffy had always reserved her best moments for Sherlock. Her first smile, her first real smile, had been to Sherlock. Her first displays of mobility had been to get to Sherlock. Her first word had been some brutalization of Sherlock’s name.
And even though he would never admit it, not even with his dying breath, Buffy made him feel special. Buffy made him feel loved in a way his family life had never allowed him to feel before.
That’s why it was so devastating when Buffy had never made it to nursery school. The car that was bringing her to school had simply vanished, never to be seen again. It was never found abandoned, resold, or impounded. The three people within the car: the nanny, the driver, and Buffy, had never been found and were declared missing-presumed-dead.
So, if one took into account the police opinion, this girl in the photograph should not exist. Of course, that was according to the police, his mother and father, and Mycroft. By them, she was missing-presumed-dead thirteen years, three hundred and forty five days and twenty-seven minutes ago.
Buffy Anne Holmes, forever a quandary.
Only not anymore.
The picture was a year old, at best. A school photo, printed in America, given the company’s name emboldened on the back, which narrowed things down quite considerably. Nothings special, save for the startlingly familiar face staring back at him.
Her skin was sun-kissed, her hair dyed from its natural color to a light blonde, and her clothes were stylish. Actually, they were recently stylish, but not at the height of fashion anymore. Her position was that of carefree high-school girl, but there was something off about the image. Her clothes were moderately worn, judging by the photograph, meaning she either didn’t have the means of affording new fashionable clothes, something that most people wore on a picture day, or she didn’t care as much as she once used to.
She looked too thin. Obviously, she was a small young woman, but there wasn’t enough weight on her. There was more muscle definition then there typically should be on an average young woman of middle to lower class economic background, but it was possible that she played sports. Buffy Summers
, SD California.
It was no secret that is was hard for Sherlock to get attached. He had never really had a friend before John Watson, nor had he particularly desired one. The tight bond between himself and his then three-year old sister had been the closest he'd come prior to meeting the good doctor. Yet, it went somewhat deeper than that, and wasn’t quite the same. His sister loved him so unconditionally. Loved him no matter what. She just sat there as he talked about Carl’s death and nodded solemnly even though she was too young to understand. She looked at him as if he was the only thing that mattered in the whole entire world, even if he was in one of his moods, which were admittedly frequent. Buffy trusted him so completely, thought he would always be there to rescue her, the one who thought he was a hero - even if she was ultimately wrong, even if her trust was misplaced, she mattered. Perhaps, when she grew older, their relationship would have become more complex. It would grow out of pure mutual sibling love and would have become something closer to a friendship. Something so foreign compared to the tenuous relationship he had with rest of his family, untainted by the thousands of accumulated "childish feuds" between he and Mycroft.
To think, that was part of the reason he liked John so much. John believed in him. He knew Sherlock and his moods, but he still believed in Sherlock to do the right thing. Still believed that even when Sherlock didn’t care, he could
care. That’s why, he realized, John got so upset when Sherlock knew that caring was futile. John believed in his ability to function as a more emotional being.
John’s laptop was lying on the table. Sherlock reached for the device and opened it quickly, guessed the new password in less than ten seconds, and opened a browser.
“Sherlock! I've got the shopping -what the hell are you doing?” The blonde man shouted as he stepped into the flat, hands loaded with shopping bags. The sitting room was a mess, even by their questionable standards, which was saying something. Clothes were everywhere, most of them Sherlock’s, and his suitcase was lying on floor empty.
“What does it look like John? Even you can figure this one out.” There was a mad grin on Sherlock’s face, the likes of which made John restrain a groan. He knew that grin. That one was usually reserved for typically challenging murder cases, one’s that actually didn’t bore Sherlock. Christ.
“Why the hell are you packing-is that my bag?” His friend hardly spared him a glance, only continued his flurry of motion.
“Obviously. Hurry up, we’re leaving in an hour. Warm clothes.”
“Wait a minute!” John’s voice raised, frustration setting the inflection with a steely edge. “Where the hell are we going, why are we going, and why did you think I can come? I have a job you know!”
“Texted Sarah, told her it was important, and you’d be taking five days off.”
“Wha-?" Realization struck him as he felt his empty pockets. Of course. "You took my phone again, didn’t you?” The time, a groan of frustration did escape from John’s throat. He should have known better.
“Quite. Now, do hurry up. This is important.”
“Just tell me where the hell we’re going!” Already, John felt himself moving through the motions of packing. Why Sherlock had his laundry was a mystery to him. Then again, most of what Sherlock did was a mystery to him.
Sherlock merely pointed to John’s
laptop, open to a poorly designed website. “Sunnydale?” John’s eyes quickly skimmed over the page in confusion. “Sunnydale, California? Why are we going to America?”
“Time is of the essence John.” Time is of the essence John.
He couldn't help the exaggerated eye roll, but otherwise followed Sherlock's lead as he always did. If nothing else, he looked forward to whatever insane explanation his flatmate had for leaving the country on such short notice.
For the third time that day, John Watson groaned.