Author's note: This is a project I've been working on for almost four years and many different copies. I came up with this story after reading the original stories and asked what would Sherlock Holmes do if he had found himself caring for a child? This is what I believe would happen, there will be times when Holmes is a little OC, but when any adult is around children, there is a different side no one really sees.
Disclaimer: I only own, Cassandra and any other unfamiliar characters. Everything else belongs to Sir Doyle. Reviews are wonderful, while flames are only used for the fireplace.
"If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder without any such gift from the fairies, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in."
I was left in a basket in the rain when I was over a year old. That is when my guardian, Sherlock Holmes found me, and has been caring for me ever since. As unbelievable as it seems, it is the truth. I knew him before he even met Doctor Watson. Sherlock Holmes is not the unfeeling calculating machine, that everyone is led to believe. This is the first part of my story, my life where I lived with him.
For the first few years of my life, I was kept a secret. His work was too dangerous, and he did not want to take any risk with someone finding out that this man had a child, even if I was not his. No one would ignore the fact that there was a way to seek revenge on him. Precautions had to be made and set to pervert such actions. Few people knew about me, not even his brother knew about me until years later. I never went out into the city, at least not alone.
The one thing, that was the hardest about my childhood, was not being able to go outside, as much a child should have. I was always kept in for the most part. Not only because of my health, which was always on changing. Some days I was in perfect health, while others I had to stay in bed for a few weeks. The other reason was because of my guardian's profession in life to keep me safe.
I knew at a young age that I was not his child. He had told me the truth when I was four. I had seen small family and asked him why I did not have it. He told me that he was on his way home when he heard crying, and he found me out in the rain in an alley. When he could not find my mother, he took me inside. That is another thing about my guardian; he always told me the truth.
He said that he only took me in because I was so sick. To this day, I have always been a sickly child, I could easily become sick, and I often did. Most people would not want to have to have to do all of this care for me. However, Sherlock Holmes did not think that way. As he had told me, he did not want me just to go to an orphanage where I would most likely die after he spent all his earnings from the case before, paying the doctors. I knew that deep down; it was only part of the reason. Not that he would ever admit anything else. He may never admit it aloud, but we both knew.
Now, my story begins when I was five. At the time, we were living in Monloge Street. The flat was older and more run down. There was a small room served as the sitting room, which we were in luck if we had enough room to walk through without tripping over anything. Another room, narrower, was the bedroom we shared.
There was only room for a bed and I had a corner with blankets. The roof leaked, the window in the bedroom did not close all of the way, which we stuffed newspaper thought the crack, and the landlady was not the best. Holmes, by this time, was so fed up with that place. He had found rooms in Baker Street, but he could not afford them alone, the solution to that problem, he would have to find a roommate.
It was a cold January evening. I was sitting in a chair in the sitting room, reading a book, when the landlady, Miss. Frost walked by carrying a tray. "Wot 're you doin' out 'ere?"
"Reading." I answered, not looking up from my book.
"Oi, you can't read."
"Holmes taught me."
It was true. Holmes did teach me how to read when I was young. I could read well enough, some words I had trouble with, but not many. Another thing was that I never called him father, papa, or any of those things. I only called him Holmes, and I think he preferred it that way.
"Won't be cleaning' in 'ere 'en." She said.
"Not that you do." I muttered.
"Oh nothing." I said calmly.
She glared at me. "Don't be so cheeky. I do look after you."
"You do not look after me, you only drink your gin all of the time." I muttered into my book.
She slammed the trey down, hard, nearly turning everything over. She stared at me as she marched over and raised her hand as if to strike me. I crowed behind my book and closed my eyes, preparing for the inventible, when a voice broke out.
"Thank you, Miss. Frost, that will be all."
She walked out of the room muttering things, slamming the door behind her. I opened my eyes and placed my book in my lap as I looked up. Holmes stood his six inch height as he folded his arms over his chest, his lean frame looming over me. His black hair was wet from the rain and his grey eyes stared at me.
"Wonderful, Cassandra, now you've done it," He said.
"You've been looking on an experiment." I said noticing his chemical stained fingers, as he drummed them on his arms.
"Don't change the subject." He said. "You know that you are not to start anything with her. Now, what happened this time?"
"I only muttered a few things, but I never thought she could hear them! I did not mean for…"
He sighed tiredly. "I know, but please do not anger her. She will raise the rent money higher then this place is worth. Try not to give her a reason to bother you. Next time, continue with your reading and ignore her."
Holmes just nodded. "I know, Cass." He said as he took his jacket off. "Now, why don't we eat?"
We sat down and ate the watery strew Miss. Frost made. We sat in silence, something that was quite common. It was the comfortable silence that I grew up with, that is when Holmes was not working on anything, which some times one wished for that silence.
"What was the experiment?" I asked my guardian.
He paused for a moment as he looked over at me. "What experiment?"
"Holmes." I groaned. "I see chemical stains; you were at the lab again."
"They could be ink stains." Holmes said with a tinkle in his eyes. He silently laughed at my annoyed look and held out his hand to me. "Tell me what you observe, child. Ink or chemical stains? Apply the methods."
I frowned as I took his hand and stared at his fingers. I turned it over and took the other hand, doing the same thing. For moment, I thought that it may be ink, but then I noticed something, "No, it's not ink, it is chemical. Your fingertips are red. It means that you used a chemical that irritated them, ink wouldn't have effect." I said with full confidence.
"Well, done, Cassandra." He smiled. "You were correct, I was at the lab."
"Doing what exactly?"
"I was working on this idea I had." He replied.
"To find out if something is blood or if it may be mud or even ink or whatever. It is a very common mistake and I am in the middle of emitting the mistake. It is a rather good test and I believe that it will be finished soon."
"Did it work?" I asked.
"So far the outcome has been rather successful, I may run one more test or two to be positive." He said.
"Will people use it do you think?"
"You're full of questions tonight." He looked at me, raising his eyebrow.
"I want to know things, Holmes."
"You are turning into a cat. You are becoming very curious."
"You always told me to ask questions."
He smiled. "Touché, little cat, and yes. I believe that people will use it, Cassandra." He said pushing his bowl away.
"Do you think Scotland Yard will actually use your experiment?" I asked him.
"If they are wise, they will."
"Homes, why don't you work in Scotland Yard?" I asked. "You are good at things like this, so why don't you work there?"
"Isn't time for bed?" He said dismissing me.
"You didn't answer my question."
"You need to get ready for bed."
I stood up and looked at him before going into the room. "Is it because you know that they won't listen to a word you say?"
"No, I do not work for them because I do not want to trouble over trifles that do not interest me." He called out "And I am not required to tell you everything, Cassandra!"
Later, I was dressed in my nightgown and was reading on Holmes' bed when Holmes walked in. "Can I have a few more minutes?" I asked. "I am nearly done with this chapter."
He did not answer as he walked over and sat on the edge of the bed. "Cassandra, there's something we need to discus."
I sat up and looked at him. "I swear I don't know any thing about the mouse in the cupboard where Miss. Frost keeps her gin."
He looked at me in a bit of surprise. "What mouse?" He let out an annoyed sigh. "We will talk about that later."
"Then what is it?" I asked closing my book.
"Stamford stopped by today when I was in the hospital lab working, and he had a friend with him."
"His name is Dr. John Watson, and he is looking to room with someone." He said.
"He told you that as soon as you met him?"
Holmes chuckled. "No, Stamford told him about how I was looking at the rooms. They both came to see me this afternoon when I was in the lab. The good doctor and I talked, and now I'm showing him the rooms in Baker Street tomorrow."
"What?" I exclaimed. "You agreed? What is he like? Will he tell someone about me? Does he even know? Do you know anything about him? Is he nice? Wait… you did say he was a doctor didn't you? Is he-
Holmes grabbed my shoulders to keep me still. "Cassandra, calm down."
I took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "Well?"
"To your first question we only agreed to look at the rooms. Nothing is set in stone. To your second question, from what I observed he seems to be good enough, trustworthy."
"Does he know about me?" I asked.
He shook his head. "No, of course he doesn't know."
"Why not?" I asked.
"I need more data before I can decide whether or not I can tell him. Until then, you will be hidden." Holmes explained. "He will not know about you, you will never be seen by him.
"Will he ever know?"
"Perhaps, but I would not dwell on it." He paused for a moment. "There is something that you must understand, Cass."
"What is it?"
"He just came back from the Afghan war as a medical surgeon. He was wounded and it left his left leg a bit lame."
"Lame?" I asked him.
"He walks with a limp; it is something that happened because he was wounded. He walks a bit off balanced." Holmes explained to me. "He may be inside for quite a while still, but he seems to want to get back to work soon. You would have to stay it the bedroom at all times."
"So we are moving?"
"I told you before, Cassandra, we shall have to see." He said. "Now, its time for bed."
"You have to read a story first." I said leaning my back against the pillow.
"Please, Holmes?" I asked.
He sighed annoyed. "Oh very well, what story shall it be tonight?" I smiled as I held up the book I had been reading. "You've heard that a thousand times, no doubt you have it page by page memorized." He said.
"Very well. Where were you at in the story?"
"The day that Arthur pulled the sword from the stone."
Holmes nodded his head as he found the page. He started reading in a loud clear voice and I leaned against him listening. I could have read the book if I wanted, but I found that it was always better when Holmes read it to me. After a while, my eyes grew heavy and I leaned more against my guardian.
"Is this boring you already?" He asked.
"No, King Arthur is my favorite. The fighting, the magic, the knights of the round table…"
"Cassandra, none of it is real. You should not fill your head with such…romantic nonsense. You will become foolish."
Holmes was not being cruel when he said this, by no means was he. It was a matter of fact, and he spoke it as such. He usually realizes this and apologizes. I do not hold it too much against him, sometimes I do, but it will never change because that is just how he sees things.
"I know, but it still is a good story." I said.
He nodded his head as he stood up and placed the book on top of a pile of other books. "I agree, but remember it…"
"Is only a story that was written a long time ago. I know, Holmes." I said in a bored tone. "You only tell me that whenever you read it to me."
"Now get into bed."
I stood up and crawled into my pile of blankets on the ground. "Holmes, do you really think that it was nonsense?" I asked in a quiet voice.
He looked over at me. "It is possible that some of it is right. Not the magic, mind you, but perhaps it is about the chivalry in the story."
I smiled. "Then there is some truth in it after all."
"Yes, but I have kept you up long enough. We will talk about it another time, you need to sleep."
He nodded as he turned the gas lamp down. "Good night, Cassandra."