A roll of his eyes and a smile were his response to her statement but he acquainted to the subject change that she wanted, figuring that he’d made his point and there was no use harping on and on about it. “Well as it so happens I do bring tales from a far away land. Dragons and wizards and shinning white knights off to rescue damsels in distress.” He grinned as he sat back, turning a bit to face her, relaxing even more at the change of subject. “Oh I wish. Nothing much new. I have a few new rookies in my team so that’s always a headache, but they’re good chaps. Had to basically take them by the hand for a few weeks there.” He chuckled to himself as he remembered some of the questions and assumptions they’d made. Sherlock would have probably murdered them for their cheer incompetence if he’d seen them. “Apart from that work and work and work. Same old, same old. I got a chance to ride my bike the other day, and damn did I miss it.” It had been way too long since he’d ridden just for the fun of it. “But see? Nothing interesting I’m afraid. You know me, boring ol’ Greg.” He quirked an eyebrow and smirked slightly in the worst attempt at innocence he’d ever given.
“You are so strange.” She laughed shaking her head at his contrived fantasy based invention. “And in any case,” Emily scrunched her nose. “Knights were hardly the most effective warrior’s when you look at the whole of history, too heavy too slow.” When he mentioned his newest hands around the Yard she slid him a look of sympathy. “As long as they mean well I’m sure they’ll get better, but yes, I’ll bet it’s been a little bit taxing. Still they couldn’t ask for better help.” Greg was a very patient person, Emily had every confidence that he could work his new employees into competence…preferable before they had to interact with someone rather less understanding, though as long as they possessed a thick skin and basic common sense they would likely prove passable. She nodded approvingly when he mentioned that he had been able to get out on his bike. She knew he loved the thing and it was good for him, but the look he had attempted just after elicited a narrowing of the eyes from her. “You’re not ‘boring’ Greg just maybe, sort of, the tiniest little bit, predicable.” She shrugged fiddling with her necklace as she did so. “One doesn’t necessarily imply the other, though some people may disagree with that.”
“Thank you. I just don’t want you to get hurt.” Greg felt some of the tension and worry he’d felt vanish as Emily took his hand and told him that she wouldn’t go again. Good, he thought to himself. Seeing the honesty in her expressions and voice reassured Greg and made him believe that she really meant what she was saying. Greg couldn’t help but feel as though a lump in his throat that he wasn’t even aware of having disappeared. Emily truly had become part of his family and just entertaining the possibility of what could happen to her at that place was enough to send a shiver of dread through him. And so he shook his head and smiled slightly. “Nope.” He popped the ‘p’ with a slight quirk of his lip. “You’re right. There is absolutely no use in telling me not to worry so much.” He grinned as he uncurled his fingers and and brought his other hand to lock Emily’s between his. It was his turn to smirk teasingly. “I’ll make sure to tell you then. But don’t worry, my dear Emily, I will be discreet and make sure no one knows of that little flaw of yours.” His smirk grew and his eyes shinned with mischievousness.
As always his humor was well matched to her own. She let out a sigh tilted her head back in slight exaggeration. “Well I’ll probably give it a try again sometime in the future, perhaps a distraction? ‘Oops I completely forgot to worry about my favorite 23 year old with pretty brown eyes and occasionally poor impulse control.’” She threw him a smile coupled with her most innocent expression, gave his hand a final affectionate squeeze, then released it so she could turn and rest her back against the couch corner a little. Greg could worry all he liked, as long as he didn’t do anything stupidly heroic or drastic about it.
Emily had never met her own father. In that moment she wondered if he would have been anything like the man sitting across from her now, or if he would have been more upset, or less upset or- “really though I was ready for a subject change before you even got here, you perfect angel of medical supplies, so anything new? If not I give you full creative license to invent something interesting. Ready set go.”
Greg rolled hie eyes even as a smile sprung to his face at Emily’s at her initial response, although it vanished as she continued speaking. “That is a horrible comparison.” He frowned. “Yes you could get hurt making dinner but there is a huge different between accidentally getting cut and deliberately going out and doing something you know will get you hurt.” He sighed and shook his head. “I get you get bored. I know I would too. It’s just…” Here he struggled to find words. “It’s just… I’d really rather you don’t do anything that would purposeful harm you. I know I can’t really nag you about it, or tell you to not do it again- though God knows I want to- I just…” He gave up and in desperation just waved his hands. “Yeah…” He trailed off lamely with a sad attempt at a grin.
Emily reached for his hand. “Of course you can. Greg you’re my friend, you’re like family and just now I’ve been impulsive and foolish and you’re not wrong for wanting to call me on it.” Her expression serious but empathetic she may not like it all the time it but his opinions mattered. “I won’t go back. It isn’t really me anymore. Not that senseless part of it anyway but I had wondered…I needed to see.” Squeezing his fingers she smiled weakly. “I’ll find other ways to stay light on my feet and to keep from getting bogged down in the university shelves, I promise. To be honest I don’t even have to look for the best ways anymore they all end up here for the most part. It’s brilliant.” Glancing down at his hand she turned it in both her own. “I do wish I could tell you not to worry so much but I can’t, I know that.” Gently she folded his fingers in onto his palm. “Thanks anyway, and you can always tell me when I’m being an idiot. As much as I like to vehemently deny such things, occasionally my spur of the moment decisions get the best of me.” She narrowed her eyes smirking at him teasingly. “Don’t tell anyone though. Pretending to be flawless is hard work.”
Greg could see that Emily was being honest when she apologized and when she admitted that she’d made a mistake, and even though he wasn’t happy with her choices he sighed and deflated a bit. “You shouldn’t be sorry you upset me. I’m not-” There he stopped himself. “Okay I am upset, but it’s more because of the fact that you got hurt. That you did something that you knew would get you hurt. I just worry about you and this,” He waved a hand to indicate her hands. “Doesn’t help.” How could he say that he didn’t want to see her hurt, especially when it was because of something she’d deliberately done.
“I should hope I can be sorry over whatever I’d like, still I see your point.” Emily nodded. “I was restless, even I get tired of my texts and papers and the archives at times and things have been a bit slow around here as well.” The young woman glanced around the flat. “Yes I got hurt but accidents happen Greg. I could get cut making dinner but I don’t see you snatching away the cooking utensils.” She added gently. “Though the comparison is a bit weak I’ll give you that.”
Greg said from where he’d sat himself on the couch. He was sitting straight up, listening to Emily’s tale with a disapproving raised eyebrow. Emily could snap at him as much as she wanted, she was still going to have to explain. “And yet here you are.” Bleeding all over your flat, Greg finished in his mind even as he pointedly glared at her. “What in God’s name possessed you to think going to this was a good idea?” Greg’s voice was harsh as his spoke, not at all happy with Emily right now. Some part of Greg scolded himself, knowing that he really didn’t have any right to get mad at Emily over her life decisions. And yet another part was telling him that he cared for Emily and just wanted to protect her. “And what in the bloody hell made you think going back was even an option?”
It had been all wrong anyway, she thought. The whole time she had been there she had also been thinking about all the reasons she shouldn’t be there, her head wasn’t in it. At least not until her opponent had landed a hit. That had snapped her into cold focus, but trying to argue that the injury had been worth it since she had won wasn’t going to fly and she knew it. “I made a mistake,” She said quietly. “I knew it was a mistake but I went ahead anyway. I just wanted-” What had she wanted? To feel like she hadn’t given up so much for all of them? But Emily didn’t regret changing her lifestyle. On the whole it had been more than worth it. She adored them, her pseudo family, these people for whom she had adjusted and this was the final step. Admitting to herself that she had in fact changed. She shook her head. “It’s only a cut, barely that it’s a scratch but I hate that I’ve upset you Greg, please I’m so sorry.”
Sherlock wondered what stories his hand might tell the girl sitting next to him. A palm could tell a lot. People tend to believe that it would tell them the truth, when in all honesty it was more like a gate to their past. If you were a good observer, at least. He wasn’t afraid of Emily reading some secrets from his hands he hadn’t intended to share. Not because he didn’t have such but because the girl could have been bright, still not observant enough to realise these things.
”Found out anything you haven’t known before about me?” he asked the girl with a slight smile. “I’m not bad” he lied. “I just find all this extensive socialising pretentious and useless. People don’t like each other half as much as they show, and they are willing to waste their time on acting kind just so strange or rude.”
The odd feeling left and she returned his expression easily “Nothing I hadn’t already picked up, bit sad though.” Emily added truthfully, though this had been coming across in more than just his palm from time to time. Something in his eyes and in the way he moved, subtle but there all the same. As the cab proceeded, she listened as he explained in more detail his aversion to the pretense of normal social behavior. “Some of that I do have to agree with. Too much time spent with unfamiliar people is… well actually I’ve been known to retreat into coat closets rather than be stuck too long in an overwhelming crowd.” A thoughtful frown accompanied what she said next. “But on the other hand I can’t exactly say that I think kindness is a waste, kindness isn’t always easy but it’s not a waste.”
Greg glared at Emily’s attempt at- well it better had not been humor- and sighed as she let out her ows. What the hell had she gotten into to end up with that cut? Knowing that she’d deliberately done something stupid wasn’t as surprising as it should have been, but still a part of Greg was annoyed at her, annoyed but mostly just worried. How stupid were we talking about here? Now that was the question he wanted to know. He wanted to know if he had to go after someone for this. “Of course.” He said as he set about applying the tape where Emily had indicated. Once that was done he leaned back against the counter, once more crossing his arms, as he watched Emily rinse the sink. He sighed and nodded. “Yes. Sitting is a good idea. Lead the way, my lady.” He indicated with a wave of his hand. “After all I believe you owe me an explanation.”
This was mistake. God damn it, if she was going to do what she had done than she should have been quiet about it. Why had she texted Greg anyway? “Oh for god’s sake, I promised didn’t I?” Emily muttered irritably walking out into the sitting room, and curled onto the couch, chastising herself for snapping at him when he was only trying to find out what happened. What she said next was much cooler, the edge in her voice had gone away. “First of all this is nothing that I didn’t invite. I was at a sort of event…like a pickup football match but with more bruises and no footballs.” Greg expression was telling her there was no use beating around the bush with this so she pressed forward. “Basically it’s two people going at one another, while a bunch of mostly intoxicated friends watch, cheer and make various judgment calls based on some loose regulations. Wining is simple in theory. Just bleed your opponent three times. Nothing like this usually-” She lifted her wrist. “-mostly little cuts that wouldn’t even scar. You can bet on yourself but not against for obvious reasons. Anyone who bets on you and makes money is obligated to give you 25% like a tip.” Emily had explained the whole thing rather calmly, and as matter of fact as she could. “I had someone tell me about them in January, I tried it, went a few more times February to March but then decided I wasn’t going anymore.”
“I will admit that it is quite a bit smarter than keeping everything on a smart phone.” He teased, knowing that she’d been mostly unimpressed with Miss Adler- just as the older woman had been with her. “And I’ve been curious as to what exactly your coding system is.” He slipped in, wondering how she would react to a blatant declaration of his own curiosity.
Mycroft Holmes had one of the kindest smiles when it was genuine. Which was a rare it was true, but when the expression reached his eyes he had the kind of face that transformed. Emily laughed when he mentioned Adler’s system and shook her head. “We all have preferences. That wasn’t the only thing about her system that I would have been exceedingly uncomfortable with.”
Sex was not a new way of gathering information to sell but Emily knew personally that she couldn’t ever have done it, just wasn’t her style. Occasionally there had been offers, she had simply never gone that way. “I’d guess you’re not alone in wondering that.” The young woman was torn. There was not much in it he didn’t already know, as he had told her before. But the code was the last thing she had from that life she had built for herself, by herself. It belonged to her in that way.
Still, she couldn’t deny that things, that her life, had changed. The code itself was less tied to her survival as it was a reminder of what she had worked so very hard for. “Just occasionally,” she said quietly, her tone reflecting traces of her uncertainty but also gentle teasing. “Do you ever get tired of getting exactly what you want?” She offered it over for his inspection. Waiting, and feeling unnaturally calm, to answer any questions he might have.