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Sherlock Fanfic: The Case of the Infelicitous Innocent - CaffieneKittySpace
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Sherlock Fanfic: The Case of the Infelicitous Innocent
Title: The Case of the Infelicitous Innocent
Fandom: Sherlock (BBC)/Edward Gorey, sort of?
Rating/Content: PG-13. Unrealistic depictions of boarding schools, lawyers and small children. Also Edward Gorey so disturbing themes.
Word Count: 1000-ish
Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters or their respective worlds.
Summary: All manner of clients come to ask for Sherlock's help; some get it and some don't.
A/N: Written in about an hour (O.o) for watsons_woes July Writing Prompt #25: Edward Gorey Challenge. I have a slight confession. I've never actually read any Edward Gorey really, just seen bits here and there. However, I found this video post of one of his books tonight, so I'm working off that. My sincerest apologies if I've goofed up the Gorey. May be revised without warning later. [LJ-Only]

The Case of the Infelicitous Innocent
by Caffienekitty

The child's small voice quavered. "There was a man. He came up to me in the street and he stole my locket."

John could tell just from looking at the girl that she needed help. She had scuffs and scrapes on her hands and knees, common enough in many children, but the slackness of the skin on her cheeks meant she'd lost significant weight very recently, and very fast. In a child this young, that was never good. No one was looking after this girl, at least not properly.

"Petty theft. Boring."

John scowled. "Sherlock..."

"Please, Mr Sherlock!" the girl gasped. "It had the only pictures I have of my mum and dad in it."

"Check the pawn shops in a few days, if it was worth anything it'll turn up. If it wasn't worth anything, it'll be tossed in a skip. And it's Mr Holmes, not Mr Sherlock." He stuck his face back into his microscope.

John watched as the girl's face fell further, her breath shuddering as she exhaled. He frowned at Sherlock, then turned his back to him and crouched down next to the girl.

"I'm sorry, he's just-" John sighed. He had a hard enough time trying to explain Sherlock's behaviour to adults. "What's your name?"

"Charlotte Sophia. Dad used to call me Charlie, but he died."

"I'm so sorry. Is your mum...?"

"She died too. And my uncle. He was hit on the head by some masonry."

John thought he might have heard a snort from the area of the microscope and shot a glare in that direction before turning back to Charlotte.

"Where do you live then?" he said quietly. "Who's looking after you?"

The girl sniffled and wiped her nose on her sleeve. "The lawyer put me in a boarding school. It's horrible. They punish me for things I didn't do, and the other students killed Hortense!"

Sherlock prairie-dogged up from his microscope. "Someone was killed?"

"My doll!"

"Oh," said Sherlock. He began to dip his head back to the microscope before catching John's increasingly stormy expression. "My condolences," he muttered, then sank back to the microscope.

John clapped a hand over his face and shook his head with a sigh before turning back to Charlotte. Before he could open his mouth, he found small hands clutching at his jumper.

"Please, please, don't make me go back? I hide as much as I can all day, I don't sleep, I just cry all night, I had to run away! But now I've got nowhere to go at all, and someone's stolen my locket and the on- only pictures I have of mum and dad, and n- no one will hel- help meeee!" She crashed face first into John's chest and began soaking his jumper with great heaving sobs.

Out of the corner of his eye, John thought he saw Sherlock's head rise from the fascination of the microscope, but he was rather busy with an unexpected armload of distraught child at the moment so he dismissed the thought.

"There, there-" John said, awkwardly patting her back. "What about this lawyer, then? If the school is so horrible, maybe he can find you a different one?"

"No!" She pushed back from John. "No, he's mean! He's supposed to be trusty, but he's not!"

"Do you mean 'Trustee'?" Sherlock's slow, considering voice came from the kitchen.

John blinked and looked up at Sherlock, who strode into the room to loom over little Charlotte like a 'Stranger Danger' advert come to life.

"Y-yes." Charlotte rubbed her red face and looked up at him. "He's my Trustee, but I don't trust him. He's got all mum and dad's money, and Uncle Bertie's too. I'm supposed to have it, but I'm too small so he's keeping it until I grow up."

"Excellent!" Sherlock clapped his hands together, making John and little Charlotte jump.

"Sherlock!" John snapped, scrambling to his feet.

"I'll take the case."

"You- what?"

"Oh thank you!" Charlotte bounced on her toes and clapped her hands.

"But-" John looked down at Charlotte's wide grin and tear-streaked face. "Well. Good, yeah, of course we will. But why?"

Sherlock twirled out of his bathrobe and into his coat. "Don't you see, John? The lawyer, trustee for the Estate has the girl's inheritance and guardianship until she reaches majority. He puts her in a horrible boarding school-" He turned to Charlotte mid-speech, "-they broke my grandfather's slide rule at the boarding school I went to, among other things, cretins-" before continuing, "-where she is mistreated and neglected, so of course she escapes. No ID, no phone, no money, no one to even report her missing if the school's been bought off, she's bound to end up living on the street."

"Or worse," John said quietly, resting a hand on the bewildered child's shoulder.

"Exactly, she could've-"


Sherlock looked at John who was shaking his head, then down at Charlotte, meeting her hopeful and slightly confused eyes. "Hm. Yes, well. At that point the only thing identifying her as Charlotte Sophia Whatever, heir to the no doubt considerable amount of funds held in trust for her, is that locket and her word. Locket gone? Who's going to believe a child living on the street claiming to be a wealthy heiress?" Sherlock grinned.

"You're saying the lawyer did this? To get her money?"

Sherlock's grin grew broader.

Charlotte gasped and stamped her foot with a thunderous scowl. "I knew he wasn't trusty!"

"Yes!" Sherlock wrapped his scarf around his neck, then bent down to offer little Charlotte his hand. "He may still even have your locket. Let's go give him a surprise, hm?"

"Hooray!" said Charlotte, wrapping herself around Sherlock's whole arm with both of her own. John smiled at the momentary look of alarm on Sherlock's face at the small human limpet suddenly attached to his person before glancing at John with a significantly raised eyebrow.

A lawyer willing to consign a child left in his care to a nasty brutal end scared and alone on the streets might well require the presence of some ballistic persuasion to counter whatever actions he'll take when confronted. "Ah. Right, I'll bring the, um. That." John went to fetch his gun.

"Quickly, John! We'll teach this untrustworthy lawyer not to mess with a hapless child!"

They left 221B and piled into a cab, Charlotte Sophia giggling happily all the way.


Post A/N: ...because, see, I read/watched "The Hapless Child" and the Lawyer totally set the whole thing up. And I wanted to give Charlotte Sophia a happy ending, where the lawyer is found out and brought to justice just in time for her father to show up not dead and read all about it in the papers and have no trouble at all finding his daughter, safe and well. Which means I probably really did screw up the Gorey. XD

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11 comments or Leave a comment
ariadnechan From: ariadnechan Date: July 26th, 2013 08:10 am (UTC) (Link)
i love it!!

i also did a case fic!

and i read a lot of Edward Gorey yesterday to find something, and the story of the girl was so sad, and you are right, why nobody said anything when she disappear? his father returned too late.
so i'm happy that instead of the other criminal she could find Sherlock Holmes adress.
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: July 27th, 2013 06:11 am (UTC) (Link)
It's a very suspicious series of events in that story. There had to be some plotting involved.
ciaranbochna From: ciaranbochna Date: July 26th, 2013 03:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Love the image of Sophia hanging from Sherlock's arm, and "trusty"..lol
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: July 27th, 2013 07:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Sherlock interacting with kids is a recipe for disaster.
methylviolet10b From: methylviolet10b Date: July 26th, 2013 07:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
On the contrary, I think you did splendidly. :-) A much more satisfying end for Charlotte Sophia, and Sherlock reacting to the child-limpet is a wonderful bonus!
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: July 27th, 2013 07:44 am (UTC) (Link)
I can't help but feel like I've written a fix-it fic for The Hapless Child. XD
noirrosaleen From: noirrosaleen Date: July 28th, 2013 11:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's awesome, so who cares? :D
pompey01 From: pompey01 Date: July 26th, 2013 11:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Awesome! Plus, so IC of Sherlock not to be interested until there's a case behind it.
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: July 27th, 2013 07:45 am (UTC) (Link)
He does have his priorities.
shadowfireflame From: shadowfireflame Date: July 27th, 2013 01:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I’m so glad you gave this hapless child a happier ending than Gorey did (but children in his stories never get happy endings. In fact, I don’t think anybody does). I loved Sherlock’s interactions with Charlotte Sophia.

I dissolved into giggles at Sherlock saying “My condolences” about Hortense. Very sweet (even if he was only saying it to placate John).
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: July 27th, 2013 07:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Charlotte deserved a fair chance. :-)
11 comments or Leave a comment