The Masked Swordsman
AN: Did anyone ask for Zorro!lock Sherlolly?!
Heart racing, he leapt down the stone wall, black cape fluttering behind him, and slipped under the arch just as the shouts and footsteps of the guards sounded above. Leaning back into the shadows, he felt the cold, hard steel of a handle and, to his relief, found the door to be unlocked. He slipped inside and was immediately hit by the scent of hay and manure. It appeared he’d stumbled upon side entrance to the stables.
Though still trapped on the grounds, his token was still safely stored in his belt and he breathed a sigh of relief for a moment’s reprieve to formulate a new plan of escape.
Until, that is, he felt the cold blade of a sword at his throat.
Turning slowly, he raised his hands. His eyebrows went up behind his black cloth mask at seeing, not a guard, but a tiny spitfire of a woman.
His mark’s niece stood before him clad only in her corseted undergarments and a loosely tied dressing gown. Her long, brown hair was pulled back in a loose plait and shimmered with golden strands as the sun filtered from the gapes in the rafters above. Her features were rather singular, almost elfin in appearance, but strong of character.
He eyed her stance and deduced instantly that she was not putting up a farce. Her form was impeccable and there was not a tremble along the deadly blade in her hand. With righteous fire in her deep brown eyes, she was an enchanting sight.
“Give it back,” she spat.
Sherlock smirked. “Give what back?”
She narrowed her eyes at him and looked down his body. He carefully did not make a motion toward the papers stashed under his tunic at his waist. “Whatever it is you have stolen from my uncle. Do not insult me by denying it.”
Slowly, Sherlock stepped sideways and edged toward the middle of the room. “Very well.”
She raised an eyebrow in challenge. “You’ll give it back?”
He crossed his arms, feigning nonchalance despite the sword at his throat. “No, I’m just not denying I took it.”
She huffed angrily and pressed the tip of her blade harder into his throat, not yet piercing the skin. “Give. It. Back.”
There was no time for this. Easily, Sherlock ducked out of her reach and unsheathed his own sword, executing a complicated twist of his wrist to catch it, raising it protectively in front of himself just in time to deflect her attack.
His arm trembled slightly as she bore down and he found himself impressed by her strength. It was, of course, no match for his own, but she was clearly a trained swordsman whose ability already surpassed that of the guards he’d escaped from.
“Thief,” she accused and pulled her sword from the tangle of his and whirled about, swiping the blade in a horizontal arc as she did so. He leaned back just in time only to jump out of the way as she lunged forward and pierced the air where he’d been standing. Bringing his blade around, he swiped at her, not with intent to kill. An act she easily parried.
Back and forth, they attacked and deflected, his mocking smirk fading to a determined scowl. Somewhere in the process, Sherlock lost his hat and Molly’s hair had come completely undone, flying about her rosy cheeks as they dueled. For a moment, Sherlock did wonder if she would succeed in disarming him. Her ability was far greater than he anticipated and he found himself distracted by the sight of her passion.
But ultimately, her passion was her downfall and when she let her guard down with an enraged shout, Sherlock locked their blades together. Reaching around, he caught her free hand and held it captive behind her back. She struggled to free herself, breathing heavily, the bosom of her corset rising and falling rapidly. He couldn’t help but notice the appreciation in her eyes, though she tried to fight it, as he held her against himself.
“You’ll never get away with this,” she declared.
As he looked down into the eyes of this woman who had broken every expectation he’d made, for the first time in nearly a year thoughts of revenge against the man who had murdered his brother weren’t at the front of his mind.
“Perhaps,” he admitted. His jaw clenched. “But I will die trying.”
She stilled. Her brow furrowed and an almost soft, sympathetic look washed over her face.
She was an innocent in this whole sordid mess, he had known that from the beginning. It was her uncle, or rather the man who claimed to be her uncle, who was a murderer and blackmailer. Sherlock assumed she was ignorant of her uncle’s dealings. But as she looked up at him, he got the unsettling feeling that she knew; and she knew what he was going to do. A silent war was waging within her and he felt her body slowly relax, her grip on her sword slackening. And as Sherlock stared down at her, he promised himself he would make sure she was unharmed and without blame when all of Magnussen’s dealings came to light.
Heedless of the fact that the guards were closing in, Sherlock unlocked their blades and, in a show of trust, slowly backed away and sheathed his sword.
Molly lowered her sword, that same look on her face that made him wonder if she could see beneath his mask, beneath his caped façade, to the broken heart he guarded. Uncomfortable with the idea, he put his confident swagger back in place and swept down in a mocking bow with a smirk. “Until next time, Molly Hooper.” Picking his hat up, he dusted the hay off of it, and placed it back upon his head, running his hand along the brim.
He was about to escape the way he’d come, his hand on the door, when she spoke behind him.
“I look forward to it.”
He stilled. Pulling his hand back, he looked at her over his shoulder.
Suddenly spinning around, he strode over to her and cupped her face with his gloved hands. Her eyes were wide and her lips parted just as he leaned down and stole a kiss, a rather passionate kiss as she was just as eager as he. Her sword clattered to the ground as her hands gripped his waist and her mouth met his, challenging him in their kiss as she’d challenged him in swordplay.
Oh, this complicated everything.
Breathless and flushed, Sherlock pulled back and let his fingers trail over the soft skin of her cheeks. Her eyes were closed and her lips pleasantly plumped from his attentions. She leaned forward, following him. He resisted the temptation to steal those lips again and backed away.
With a wink, he slipped out the back and sprinted away, just as the guards burst into the stables from the other entrance.
Until we meet again, Molly Hooper.