Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Fic: A Strong Swimmer [Elementary]

Title: A Strong Swimmer
Fandom: Elementary
Rating: G
Characters: Sherlock Holmes, Joan Watson
Length: 585
Alternate Link: AO3
Author's Notes: Written for the watsons_woes JWP 2015 Prompt #15: That Old Saying. Episode tag to 'The Diabolical Kind'. Unbeta'd.
Summary: Due to ethical constraints, the 'nature versus nurture' debate vis-à-vis human children will never be rigorously investigated.

When Joan came downstairs, she found Sherlock staring at dozens of head shots of two young women, with a variety of hair colors and styles, splashed across the screens in his media room.

"Are they sisters?" Joan asked. "They look familiar."

"No," he replied, "but there is a distinct family resemblance. See if you can place it," he suggested.

Joan stepped closer and studied the photos. There was something artificial about them all, as if they'd been photoshopped or altered. Suddenly she realized where she'd seen that kind of computerized distortion before – in the files of long-term missing persons cases.

"They're pictures of the same girl, altered to change her age," Joan told Sherlock. "And they looked familiar because they remind me of Moriarty."

Sherlock took a break from scanning the photos to make eye contact with Joan. "Well done," he complimented her. "These are projections of Kayden Fuller to the ages of eighteen and twenty-five. A contact in the FBI created them for me. Study them, Watson. We need to be able to recognize her in an instant, from any angle."

"She's just a little girl," Joan said.

"At the moment, yes. In a few years, she will become this," he said, gesturing to the pictures displayed on the screens in front of them. "Due to ethical constraints, the 'nature versus nurture' debate vis-à-vis human children will never be rigorously investigated. However, ابن الوزّ عوّام."

"What's that?" Joan interrupted, startled by Sherlock speaking a language she couldn't even identify, never mind understand.

"An Egyptian saying – 'the son of the goose is a swimmer'. Moriarty tried to give the girl a stable, loving childhood home, but her intentions have been thwarted. The trauma of Kayden's abduction, of her father's murder, the forced relocation away from everyone and everything she has ever known. How will these events affect her?"

"There's been a lot of research into the effects of trauma on children," Joan said. "Changes in the cognitive and limbic systems are common. But with intervention and support, those effects can be minimized. Kayden still has her adoptive mother to look after her."

"Yes, but reactions to stressors like these are notoriously unpredictable," Sherlock said, frustration clear in his voice. "She might display increased empathy or emotional numbness, even complete dissociation. And so the question remains – will Moriarty's daughter be a 'swimmer'? Will she become a genius, an artist, a criminal mastermind? There is no way of knowing!"

"So … she's pretty much like every other kid in the world, then," Joan said gently.

Sherlock gave a short huff of laughter and shook his head.

"You know, we could try to track her down," Joan offered.

"No," Sherlock replied. "No, the deeper Kayden is buried, the safer she'll be. And, given the lengths Moriarty has proven she will go to protect those few she holds dear, the safer we all shall be. But do study the photos, Watson. Whatever Moriarty's daughter may become, I am certain she will be extraordinary."

Joan nodded, and Sherlock turned back to his fierce examination of the young woman on the TV screens. Joan wondered how he felt, unable to save the child of a woman who he clearly still admired, and had once thought he loved. She perched on the arm of Sherlock's chair, resting a hand on his shoulder for balance as she looked at the pictures of the woman that little girl would someday grow to be.

And Sherlock let her do it.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 16th, 2015 05:08 am (UTC)
Lovely story - and nice use of the prompt proverb.
Jul. 16th, 2015 06:10 am (UTC)
Thank you! There aren't many children in any of the Sherlock canons I'm familiar with, so Moriarty's daughter immediately sprang to mind when I read the prompt.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )