Sequel to Hidden Meanings
A Shirley Holmes Fan Fiction
by peaseblossom
May / June 2003        


Sequel to Hidden Meanings : Chapter One : Old Acquaintances

Christmas was coming. Shirley Holmes sat in a big chair in her attic, wearing a thick, warm sweater, her legs curled up underneath her. She spent more time in this place than her bedroom and was reading a book with a thick spine and tiny words. Her eyebrows curved, all of her thoughts were on the book she was reading, and she seemed oblivious to the sound of footsteps coming up the attic stairs.

Suddenly, everything went black as two big hands covered her eyes, forcing her the gasp.

"Guess who?" Shirley didn't need to because she knew who it was automatically. She had become very familiar with those hands in the last few weeks.

"Dad?" Shirley guessed purposely.

"Nope," said a deep voice from above.

"Mom?" She tried again.

"Nope," They repeated.

"Bart?"

"No," a little more fierce than the other replies. The owner of the big hands and deep voice leaned down and kissed Shirley lightly on the lips.

"Watson?" Shirley teased, forcing the owner to take his hands off her eyes and pull her up to face him.

"Bo!" she said, acting surprised, "I should've known!" Shirley laughed, which had been doing a lot more lately. Bo then wrapped his arms securely around her waist and gave her a real kiss. When they separated, he leaned down and picked up the book which was wedged into the chair next to Shirley's bent knee.

"‘The Latest Theories of the Criminal Mind', sounds interesting," Bo said, slightly sarcastically.

"It is," Shirley replied, taking the book, scooting her legs off the chair, and walking towards the bookcase where a big empty space was, waiting for the volume to fill it once more.

"Is this the fourth or fifth time you've read it?" Bo grinned, sitting down on the couch comfortably.

"Sixth, actually," Shirley said, also sitting down on the couch, leaning so that she was facing her boyfriend.

"Is it still the latest edition then?" Bo asked.

"The latest latest edition comes out in a couple of weeks," Shirley informed him.

"Now I know what to get you for Christmas," Bo joked.

"Speaking of, I think we need to discuss our plans for Christmas. I mean, it's our first Christmas together, and since we haven't told anyone about us yet, I was wondering how you planned to go about it," Shirley said in a formal sort of way that made Bo grin.

"I haven't really thought about it. Saying as I'm not the one who is so embarrassed to go out with me, they don't want anyone to know," Bo teased, but Shirley cut him off.

"You know that it's the most sensible thing to do. It's better for the both of us if my parents aren't involved. They would never let us spend half the time we spend alone together if they knew," Shirley said reasonably.

"Yeah, logically it's better, but yesterday in science was pretty close," Bo said.

"Too close," Shirley replied, remember how Bo had leaned into kiss Shirley on the cheek before going to his next class, which he quickly turned into whispering something in her ear.

"Do we really have to throw Alicia a surprise birthday party now that she thinks that's what we were ‘talking' about?" Bo sighed.

"Hopefully she'll forget by her birthday," Shirley said, shaking her head.

"Hopefully everyone will know about us by her birthday," Bo mumbled.

"Bo, I-" Shirley began.

"Shirley, I know, it's fine. We won't tell anyone until you're ready," said Bo, and he meant it.

"Thanks," Shirley smiled, reminded of how lucky she was to have Bo as a boyfriend and a best friend.

"I think we should just find some day during the holiday to spend together so that we can give each other our real gifts and stuff," Bo said.

"Sounds good," Shirley said.

"So, are we gonna check out that music shop this afternoon?" Bo asked after a few moments of content silence.

"I checked the times and they're not open today, but I was studying the sheet music and found two partial fingerprints," Shirley said, getting up and walking over to the table which had all of her lab supplies placed on it, picking up the plastic covered sheet music and examining it cautiously again. "And they belong to two different people, but neither of them match the fingerprint we found on the door,"

"What do you make of that?" Bo asked, following Shirley over to the table.

"I'm not sure, but I do know that Mrs. Jackson wasn't being completely honest," Shirley said.

After a few seconds of looking at the sheet music, Bo asked,

"So what do you want to do today?"

"I don't think there's anything we can do until tomorrow after school," Shirley said, disappointed that her sleuthing skills weren't needed that day.

"I can think of a few things," Bo said, grinning mischievously.

"Bo," Shirley said in a warning tone, "My parents and Gran are down stairs," but couldn't help but smile as he then put his arms around her waist once more and pulled her into a kiss. Shirley hung her arms lightly over his broad shoulders and gave into him.

Footsteps.

"Shirley!" Her grandmother called as she came up the stairs. The two separated quickly as a woman in her early seventies appeared, wearing a vibrant shall, wooden sandals, and big circular earrings, at the top of the stairs.

"Hey Gran," Shirley said, slightly breathless. Her Gran's bright blue eyes traveled slowly from Shirley to Bo, and the sides of her mouth went up in a grin. "What's up?"

"I just wanted to tell you that your mother and father and I are leaving for the theatre now. Are you sure you two wouldn't like to join us? The embassy gave us extra tickets," she said in a calm, articulated tone.

"Thanks, but we have a lot of work to do on this science project," Shirley said.

"All right. Your father will have his cell phone on vibrate if you need anything," She said, her eyebrows slightly raised,

"Bye,"Bo said, as she went back down the stairs.

"Speaking of too close," Bo said, when they heard the front door shut.

"I hate lying to her!" Shirley said aggravated.

"I know," said Bo softly, putting a sympathetic arm on her shoulder.

* * * * *

The next day the sky was clear, but the ground was still covered in pearly white flakes. Bo decided to pick Shirley up from school because it would be too hard for her to try to ride her bike on the slippery sidewalks and roads.

When they were to the great doors of Sussex Academy, a few minutes before the first bell, Shirley realized that she had forgotten a book in Bo's car.

"You go onto class, I'll go get it and be back in a sec," Shirley told Bo.

"No, I'll go get it," Bo said.

"Bo, I can get it myself," Shirley objected.

"You're the one in a skirt remember? Besides, that's my job," Bo added more quietly.

"I'll wait here for you then," Shirley said.

"You are too stubborn, you know that Shirley. Go inside, it's freezing out here. I'll meet you in Howie's," Bo said sternly.

"Fine," Shirley said reluctantly, taking the path of least resistance, but staying by the inside of the doors, wanting to stand some of her ground.

"Shirley!"

Suddenly she heard a familiar voice. When she turned to investigate the owner of the voice, she came face to face with someone she hadn't seen in a while.

"Matt?" Shirley exclaimed.

"Surprised to see me?" He said grinning.

"Wh, what are you doing in Redington?" Shirley asked, shocked.

"That's the welcome I get?" Matt asked.

"I'm sorry, I'm just really surprised to see you. Still haven't mastered that phone thing yet?" Shirley said, still shocked.

"I like the element of surprise," Matt smiled a smile that made Shirley slightly uneasy for some reason.

"So, uh, how have you been?" Shirley stammered.

"Great, mostly. You look good," Matt said, again, making Shirley's stomach turn.

"Uh, so do you. So, what are you doing here?" Shirley repeated, feeling uncomfortable, but still smiling.

"Always right to the point City," Matt laughed, "Actually, I came because I need your help with something Shirley," he said more seriously.

"What is it?" Shirley asked.

Right then Bo walked through the doors.

"Matt!" He said, just as surprised as Shirley but not as kindly.

"Bo, how are you?" Matt asked.

"What are you doing here?" He asked.

"That seems to be the question of the hour actually. I was just telling Shirley that I need her help with something," But he was cut off by the sound of the bell ringing.

"Uh, I guess you two gotta go. Shirley, can you meet me at the Quazar after school? So that I can explain things?" Matt asked.

"Sure. I'll see you then," Shirley said.

"Ok. See ya Bo," Matt said, exiting through the double doors.

"Hmmm," Bo mumbled a good bye.

"What's he doing here?" Bo asked Shirley as they walked to their first period history class.

"Your guess is as good as mine. He just said that he needs my help with something," Shirley told him.

"And are you going to help him?" Bo asked, slightly bitter.

"Why wouldn't I?" Shirley asked.

"I mean, he just shows up after just leaving you, after not have called you for like a year, and then expects you to help him? Where has he been? And why does he only want you to come?" Bo asked sitting down in his usual desk.

"I'm assuming that's what we're going to discuss this afternoon, and maybe the matter's private or something," Shirley replied.

"Like you won't tell me everything afterwards," Bo sneered.

"I don't tell you everything! Just a lot," Shirley said.

"Yes you do," Bo said.

"I didn't tell you about Molly's involvement with Oath when I first found out," Shirley said, giving an example.

"Yeah, but that was to protect me," Bo said.

"Jealousy doesn't become you Bo," Shirley smiled.

"I'm not jealous Shirley, I'm just suspicious."

Shirley raised an eyebrow.

"At least he's not on somebodies hit list," Shirley said quietly.

"Hey, that was a totally different situation, and you don't know that for sure. Plus we weren't together at the time," Bo whispered.

"I know. I just wanted to see your forehead wrinkle," Shirley whispered back.

"Oh, I see how it is," Bo said, as the class began.

* * * * *

"I don't suppose you could give me a lift to the Quazar?" Shirley said as the two walked toward Bo's car after school that day.

"I'm heading there anywhere," Bo said, his eyes determinedly forward.

"Bo, Matt asked me to come, not you," Shirley said firmly.

"Shirley I'm just looking out for you. I don't want him to hurt you like he did last time," Bo said as stubborn as me made fun of Shirley for being.

"But I wasn't in love with someone else last time Bo! There's no way he can hurt me in the same way because I'm with you now!" Shirley said.

"We have to go to the music shop afterward anyway, so I might as well come," Bo said fiercely.

"Don't you trust me?" Shirley said loudly.

"Yes, Shirley, but I don't trust him!" Bo said.

"You have no reason not to! I doubt he's even interested in my that way anyway, and even if he was, nothing would happen," Shirley said, irritated by the sudden fight.

"I'm still coming Shirley," Bo said, his eyes cold and temper high.

"You're being unreasonable Bo!" Shirley pleaded.

"I am not! I'm just being a good friend!" Bo spat.

"The only reason you're suspicious of him is because of the fact that him and I were involved at one point!" Shirley said angrily.

"Yeah! And I don't trust him!" Bo shouted.

"If I didn't trust every girl you've gone out on date's with, I'd never be able to let you talk to anyone!" Shirley said loudly.

"You know what, just go! It's obvious that you'd rather be with him than me right now anyway," Bo said, getting in his car and leaving Shirley alone in the cold snow.

* * * * *

"Thanks for the ride Alicia," Shirley said as the two walked into The Quazar Cafe. Smears of red and green lights were strung about the cafe in celebration of the upcoming holiday.

"No problem, what are friends for? I have to work until six anyway which means I'm not going to get to the mall until six thirty and the sale ends at eight. Talk about speed shopping. I'm glad I wore my comfortable platforms today," Alicia said, her ankle buckling slightly in the four inch shoes.

Shirley just shook her head.

"Why didn't Bo give you a ride?" Alicia asked going behind the counter in which Shirley sat in front of on one of the stools.

"We got into a fight," Shirley said.

"I swear, men are complete idiots, so ungrateful. It's so obvious that he's like in love with you Shirley, and I've said it once and I'll say it again, you have to make the first move, he never will, no matter how much he drools over you," Alicia said in her usual fast paced tone.

Shirley just shrugged it off, hiding the pain in her stomach.

"Oh. My. God. You will not guess who just walked through the door," Alicia said suddenly.

"Hey Matt!" Alicia called. "Speaking of drooling over someone," she whispered to Shirley as Matt came to the counter.

"Hey Alicia," He said politely.

"When did you come back to Redington?" Alicia asked, fluttering her eyelashes.

"This morning actually," Matt answered. "You wanna get a booth Shirley?"

"Sure," Shirley said, sliding off the stool as Alicia raised her eyebrows at Shirley and gave her the thumbs up.

"So what's going on Matt?" Shirley asked, setting her backpack next to her.

"Why don't we order," Matt said signaling to another waiter. "Hot chocolate good?"

"Great," Shirley said, starting to feel uncomfortable.

"So, we didn't really get to catch up earlier," Matt began after placing their order, "How have you been?"

"Fine, I mean great, I mean good. You?" Shirley answered, wanting to seem casual.

"Pretty much the same. Those school policies that I helped place have all been successful. It was hard work, but I think we've made sure that nothing like the Zeus stuff will happen again," Matt said.

"I'm glad to hear it," Shirley said, not knowing what else to say. Her instincts told her that Matt was holding something back.

They both looked into their laps for a minute.

"Shirley I gotta tell you something," Matt said.

"Ok," Shirley replied calmly, looking up.

"Things haven't been the same for me. Ever since I left last time I haven't been able to stop thinking of you,"

"Matt," Shirley started.

"No, let me finish. I didn't leave things well, and I've regretted it ever since. I pushed things, did things wrong, and I'm sorry for it,"

"It wasn't," Shirley started again.

"Listen Shirley, I know I may have hurt you and I apologize, but I was wondering if there was anyway that we could, maybe, start over," Matt said.

"I don't think,"

"I don't want you to change your life for me, or anything about your life, or yourself. I was so stupid, and you're so" He continued.

"I'm seeing someone Matt," Shirley blurted out.

"What? Who?" Matt said, his face pain stricken.

Right then Alicia came with their hot chocolates.

"Here you go!" She said brightly, looking at Shirley poignantly.

"But that doesn't mean I can't still help you Matt, I want to help you," Shirley said honestly.

Matt stared at his mug.

"I don't know why I assumed that you'd still be... I mean, I thought...maybe you had...waited..." Matt mumbled.

Shirley fell silence.

"Do you love him?" Matt said suddenly.

"Matt," Shirley began.

"I'm sorry, that's none of my business," He said quietly.

"What do you need help with?" Shirley asked, trying to move the conversation forward.

Matt didn't answer.

"Maybe we should meet some other,"

"No. Now's  fine. Um," Matt cleared his throat and sipped his hot chocolate. "About six months ago I got involved with a corporation called Adjacent Incorporated. They were partners with K-On Electronics. They were the ones that funded their schools blindly, unaware of what they were supporting. They were lead to believe that they were endorsing the donation of computers and computer classes in under privileged schools, not a zombie camp. When K-On was discovered, they went under too, and I've been helping them re-design their company to gain back the respect they once had,"

"What's the problem?" Shirley asked, listening intently to Matt's words.

"Well, two months ago the founder and CEO of the company went missing in the Grand Caymans," Matt said.

"The location where K-On originates,"

"Exactly. I've done as much investigating as I could. Andrews, the founder, was last seen on his villa at approximately three twenty on a Saturday afternoon. I have some surveillance footage from his security cameras, and he was last scene wearing a black satin robe. For some reason the police aren't putting much effort into locating Andrews, and I met him several times and he's a good guy. I want to help him but I can't without you," Matt finished. He had reached into his bag and handed Shirley a manilla envelope with the pictures in it.

"Why was he still in a robe at three thirty in the afternoon?" Shirley asked, looking at the photographs intently. A tall, bald man with a thin figure holding a glass of what looked liked orange juice was in the picture.

"I don't know, I never really thought about it," Matt said. "I knew you'd see another side to it." He smiled slightly.

"And the orange juice. I premise that we had just woken up when this picture was taken. What was his schedule the night before?" Shirley asked.

"I haven't been able to hack into his secretaries files yet. The police are keeping them under lock and key." Matt answered.

"Medical records?" Shirley asked.

"Those too,"

Shirley sat, thinking.

"There may be away to get a hold of those records," Shirley said. "It may take some...maneuvering though,"

The two looked at the pictures for a few seconds and then Shirley looked at her watch.

"Um, I completely forgot. I have some errands I need to run," Shirley said. "Could you meet back here in an hour?"

"Sure," Matt nodded, taking the pictures back.

"Ok, I'll see you then," Shirley said, reaching into her pocket to retrieve some money for the hot chocolate. "And I'll see if I can get on those medical records,"

"Let me get it," Matt said looking at her money, but Shirley slipped a few dollars under her mug anyway and left the cafe.

She walked up the steps and onto the snowy sidewalk, and went carefully toward the bus stop. She planned on going over to Bo's house, try to work things out. But to her surprise, there he sat on the bench of the bus stop, waiting for her.

"Hi," Shirley said when she approached the bench.

"Hey," Bo replied, not looking up at her.

"May I sit down?" Shirley asked.

"Of course," He said, brushing off some of the snow so that Shirley could sit down beside him.

Silence.

"I hate fighting, with you especially," Bo said.

"Me too," Shirley replied.

Silence once more.

"Listen, I"

"I'm sorry,"

The two started to talk at the same time.

"You first," said Bo.

"No, after you," Shirley said.

"Shirley, I had this whole speech prepared, to apologize for leaving you in the snow and for being a jerk, but now that I'm sitting here with you, it just feels weird," He mumbled the last part.

Shirley knew that they were both still adjusting to the transition from best friends to boyfriend and girlfriend, and not wanting the awkward moment that had settled between them to last one more second, she said,

"Apology excepted," Shirley smiled, leaned over, and kissed Bo on the cheek.

"I think that was our first fight," Bo laughed out relief.

"Hardly! How about the time you were working at the race track, the time I endangered Louisa that immigrant, when I investigated Oath,"

"I mean as a couple, Shirley," Bo said.

"Oh. Then yeah, I guess it is," Shirley nodded.

Then after a few seconds.

"You were right though,"She said.

"What do you mean?" Bo asked.

"Matt still has feelings for me,"replied Shirley.

"He said that?" Bo said angrily.

"Yes, but I told him that I was with someone and he respected that," Shirley said, taking Bo's hands. He seemed to relax a bit more. "I still am, aren't I?" Shirley asked, smiling.

"I told you Shirley, you're never going to get rid of me," he said seriously, leaning in, and kissing her. The two stood up and Bo looked around before taking her hand. They were walking toward his car when Bo asked,

"Do you want to go to the music shop now?"

"The music shop! I completely forgot! I agreed to meet Matt back here to help him with his case. I wanted to come find you so that we could talk things out, before you needed to be at the fish shop," Shirley said.

"Ok," Bo said, holding back anger, "I'll just go home and do some homework or something, dad doesn't need me today anyway,"

"No, come with me. I think the only reason Matt didn't want you to come earlier was because he wanted to tell me how he feels, and since it's just about the case now, it's ok. We have forty-five minutes until I said we'd meet back. Do you want go inside and get something to eat?" Shirley said, pointing at the Quazar.

"Is Alicia working?"

"Yes," Shirley said, wondering why he wanted to know.

"Then let's go someplace else," Bo said, squeezing her hand.

"Ok," Shirley said simply, and the two walked to Bo's car, their hands locked.

to be continued