The Crime of Loving is never paid off
"A James Moriarity Story."
By John Pirillo
"The crime of loving is never paid off. It will last until your undying days." Sir William Shakespeare.
Those words echoed in the chamber of his mind over and over as he remembered her. The Elf Princess who had nurtured him and salvaged his damaged body and soul. Every since he had spotted her that one time on Baker Street, he'd never been the same. So as he stood in that same window, like most of us do when striving to bring back our dear lost ones, hoping beyond hope that they are not dead, but still live...as he stood there, those were his hopes and desires. To bring her back into his life. To reclaim his investment of emotions and happiness once more.
But such was not to be.
"Pound for your thoughts, James."
James turned to eye Watson, who was giving him a close look, almost as if he could read his mind. "Rather expensive gesture."
"Not at today's rates. A pound is swiftly becoming as useless as a penny has long been."
James smiled. Watson might be gruff and emotional at times, but one thing was certain. His friendship. He could see why Sherlock...the new one...clung to the friendship so closely. A friend was the only true treasure in a man or woman's life. All the glitter and gold of life were nothing but vain gestures to claim happiness, never brought it.
Watson came to the window and looked out. "March is always cold and dreary."
"I've seen worse." James said without thought.
Watson gave him a distressed look. "I didn't mean to dredge up those old memories again."
James put a hand on his friend and partner's shoulder. "One thing you may never be, Watson, even if you are so many other things and that is unkind."
Watson relaxed beneath the grip and turned to look out again.
"We're a funny pair of buggers now, aren't we?"
"Yes. I looking for a lost love and you a friend, who is not lost, but because he has chosen to remove himself far away, could very well be."
Watson sighed. "We know each other too well."
"Never." James replied whole heartedly. "Friends can never know each other too much. Speaking of knowing...our friend Chenay has invited us to a dinner social at Byron's."
"Conan would love to go to that, I suspect."
"Already on his way to meet us. We should be hearing his taxi humming up right about..."
A Tesla Cab turned nearby and came humming to a stop out front. Conan stepped onto the floorboard of it, then down to the sidewalk. He looked up and waved.
James and Watson smiled at him.
"Amazing, when you think of how much all of us have been through, that we can still adapt so easily to so much variance in our lives."
"Variance is what we were born to serve." James uttered, remembering words that Captain Nemo had spoken to him on the cruise they had been on at one time, a long time ago.
"But of course."
"Heard from him?"
"Usually the only time we hear from him or he from us is when there is a major world destructive event about to happen or already doing so."
Watson chuckled. "Indeed so."
Mrs. Hudson was heard downstairs opening the front door and greeting Conan, who gave her a loud greeting in return, and then the both of them came up the stairs, talking softly to one another. Conan entered first, and then rushed over to shake hands with both men.
Mrs. Hudson lingered at the stairs, giving Watson a look. A smart man. He left the others and descended the stairs with her, soon lost to their view, had they been looking.
"Conan." He greeted his friend.
Conan motioned to a chair and James sat, with Conan sitting opposite him. "I have bad news."
James felt his throat tighten in despair. Only one thing could strike him so hard. He became breathless with anticipation as Conan measured him with his eyes, and then finally spoke again.
"The Elf Princess you have sought is in grave danger."
James almost wept with relief. Now he knew she was alive, but the news was horrible. "I shall leave at once to rescue her."
He started to get up, but Conan was faster and put a hand on his shoulder, restraining him. He started to push against it.
"Let me finish!" Conan said fiercely, his eyes sparkling with purpose.
James relented, but still kept the option open for fleeing to help once he knew the full circumstances.
Conan waited a moment, and then seeing James had capitulated, he sat down again. "Sherlock and Professor Challenger are there even now to succor her."
"Where is this...there?" He asked, the menace barely hidden in his voice.
Conan looked at his friend's eyes and shuddered. He prayed that she lived, for if not, a war of proportions never before seen just might erupt.
"The Queen's Black Tower."
James shot up, his face red with indignation. "How dare her! After all we've done for her and this blasted kingdom."
Conan remained immovable, waiting for the inevitable next question, which came. "Why?"
"For her safety."
James felt some of his anger ebb and flow away, but his face still remained flushed with hope and a violent kind of anger that refused to vanish entirely. "Who?"
Conan was used to his friend's form of questioning and replied at once. "The Hollow Man."
James was confused for a moment. "But why would he seek to harm her? She wasn't even known to this kingdom until she rescued me. He fretted with his coat's lapel, using the distraction to try and gather his thoughts, seek an avenue of understanding that made sense. But even with that, he could feel his heart breaking. He wanted to rush to her rescue her, hold her in his arms, and keep her safe!
"James, it's complicated."
James sighed. "Isn't it always?"
"Yes. But this time more so. You see the Hollow Man has made a pact with someone we have sought to keep away from our kingdom over and over, and yet he returns more powerful and eager to destroy than before."
James knew instantly. "Hyde!"
"Yes. That beast."
"But how has he escaped this time?"
"No one is certain. Wells and Jules, even as we speak, are enroute to the vessel that was his jail cell near the moon, but we won't necessarily hear more than what we've already figured out."
"That she knows something about their plans."
"Then she should speak of them at once." James said. "That's the logical thing to do."
"What more could there be?"
"Her father has gone missing as well."
Then James knew what was going on. He stiffened his resolve and rose again. "We must go to her side at once."
Conan nodded and rose. "I knew that would be the case, but I wanted you to know everything before you took on this case."
"Yes." Conan said.
"You see, not only is the father missing, but so is the Queen's brother."
"That complicates things."
She sat in the dark cell, several lit candles illuminating the book she read. "Good Night and Dreams," by William Shakespeare. It was a play similar to Romeo and Juliet, but had a happier ending. Queen Mary had a personally signed copy of it, which had been loaned to her. She was grateful for its comfort now, as she missed the daylight tremendously, but knew she had to remain as hidden as possible, even if it meant being in the deepest dungeons of the Black Tower.
"How art thy eyes like that of the morning sun
Lighting my brow with warmth and love
Thy words are like song birds that come
With calls of greeting from high above."
She read aloud, then stopped and began to sob. Tears wet her eyes and she rubbed at them. She thought she heard something move outside her cell, but then it became still again. She sighed and raised the play again to read further, but before she could a man's voice came into the cell.
"And how much more so, the touch of your hand
The light of your comely eyes,
The caress of your words without need or plan
That lifts me up with great surprise."
"JAMES!" She uttered frantically and jumped to her feet. She raced towards the opening cell door and leapt into the arms of the huge man whose face had become her sun and moon, whose words her song, and whose thoughts her calm.
"James!" She wept.
Conan stood framed in the doorway, his form seeming more like a wisp of smoke, than a real person as he stepped back into the shadows, turned and walked away.
James gently pressed her from him and looked into her wet eyes.
"Quoth the Raven." She answered.
James leaned over and kissed her on her lips and for those brief moments of electricity, their souls blended and heaven and hell both vanished in a sea of peace known only to those whose love enfolds the universe in its grasp.