This idea came about after I did a picture of Basil and Olivia in a Valentine's-related theme. She is a child in the picture, therefore, it's symbolizing their friendship rather than romance. Valentine's Day can be celebrated for the people you care about, it's not only for lovers. That is how I see them when she's a child: as friends! I decided when making the scene that a short story should go behind it. Basil, Dawson, Olivia and Hiram Flaversham are © Eve Titus / Disney while the rest belong to me. This story is rated K+ which means "Suitable for more mature children, 9 years and older, with minor action violence without serious injury. May contain mild coarse language. Should not contain any adult themes." Only one curse word is used. You have been warned!
The famous detective in all of mousedom would do anything to solve a case even if it meant attending an event of one he least desired. St. Valentine's fell on a cold, rainy Monday, a day usually spent sleeping or moping around with his beloved Stradivarius. Still, Basil of Baker Street could easily be lured out of the sanctity of his home. If he knew he was on the right trail of catching a band of misfits, he would leap at the chance to put a halt in their devious plots. A missing child was his current case, but after some slumming around the streets, it became known the child was not missing. He was, in fact, a runaway with a bad reputation. Dressed as a bum near the school grounds, Basil received valid information that the child was in a gang of street urchins who were notorious for pick pocketing and stealing food directly off of vendor's carts. The mother of the child pleaded to Basil in finding him and bringing him home safely. The detective, who never lost a case yet, vowed to do just that.
The next move of the boy and his gang was pinpointed to an arrival at the same social gathering Basil and his associate, Dr. Dawson, were unexpectedly invited to. The host was a wealthy toy maker and good friend to Hiram Flaversham. Thaddeus Oliver York was a bit on the strange side. He chose to adorn his enormous home with all sorts of lavish colors and loud pieces of furniture. A boisterous yet often befuddled mouse with a lisp on each of his 's' words, he would not take no for an answer when the detective was considered a praised citizen to the community. As it was, Basil was on the hunt for the young boys and could easily slip out of the party room once he got word of when they were robbing the residence and where exactly. Two inspectors from Scotland Yard were called upon to attend the event and dress formally to blend in with the crowd. Much as it was a regret wearing monkey suits, the same applied to the two bachelors of Baker Street. If Basil had it his way, he would arrive wearing his comfortable robe and bedroom slippers.
The two arrived to the event at around seven in the evening, an hour after it officially started. The illness started to set in as the detective panned the large room of the eccentric toy maker. The decorations of red, pink and white were an eyesore, not to mention the sight of lovers holding themselves as they danced began to churn his stomach. He calmly straightened his burgundy cravat, allowing him a chance to look downward and away from the scene he wish he could escape from at a moment's notice. His partner, however, wore a positive and gleeful expression that meant he was far from wanting to be in the involvement of the case. Basil finally decided to say something to break the silence between the two.
"I am exceedingly nauseous. I wish to leave."
Dawson look to him with surprise. "But, we just got here."
"That is why I am nauseous." He pursed his lips as a young couple danced past him with smiles from ear to ear. "And add puzzled to the list. No matter how much of a genius others have dubbed me, there is one thing I will never understand, and it is love. The way it makes everyone act so...doltish and...enamored." His voice turned deeply theatrical on the second word. Dawson huffed a quiet laugh and briefly shrugged. "Honestly, I have spent countless hours trying to come to some sort of explanation, but I just cannot fathom the idea of it."
"There shouldn't be any explanation for it, Basil." Dawson replied. "Love is an inner feeling, it comes from the heart and soul, and no amount of deep thought will ever give you a straight answer." He tried not to catch a curled upper lip of disgust. "Trust me, you will know you have found love when the time comes."
"If the time comes, old chap." He corrected. Before he spoke again, he felt a hard slap to his thin back and almost fell face down. Had he not stepped a single foot outward for balance, his nose would have smacked into the hard wood floors.
"Well, if it isn't the famous Basil of Baker Street!" Mr. York suddenly appeared with his mouth opened wide enough to show both the upper and lower rows of his perfect, white teeth. Basil thought his own teeth would fall out when the mouse began shaking his hand with incredible force. "I am so thrilled you and Dr. Dawson could make it! I was almost going to cross your names off the dinner list and such a thing would be so dreadful for the misses and I. Are you enjoying the festivities?"
"I must say, Mr. York, you certainly know how to light up a room." Basil pulled his still shaking hand free to cup them safely together. With a low mumble to Dawson, he added, "Of course, lighting it on fire wouldn't be a bad idea, either." Dawson covered his mouth to hold back the snickering. He had a point; the garish colors around the room would cause poor Cupid to pierce himself in the chest with one of his own heart arrows. Doing a double take to the dining area in the adjoining room, Basil noticed its walls also wore horrid shades of red, pink and white colors. Squinting harder, he could see bits of laced hearts within them.
"I certainly do when I collect every issue of home and gardening!" Mr. York beamed. Basil rolled his eyes over at Dawson once more with a look of either wanting to run as fast as his legs could carry him or strangling their host to death. "Now, gentlemen, I came over to ask your preference for the dinner tonight."
"Uh, dinner?" Dawson looked bewildered.
"Preference?" Basil added with brows lowered.
"I thought this was a party with just a small spread of sample foods?" Dawson asked.
"Oh, no, you must have not read your invitations correctly! My dear wife, Patty, could not fill up her guests with just simple hors d'oeuvres!" He flashed his two rows of teeth again and Basil suddenly had visions of using a gun on them for target practice. He shook his head to remove the devious thought and resume a pleasant stare as his host continued. "This was also a dinner party and we are expected to dine with all of our guests along with their children at nine. Now, then, will you be having the chicken or the sea bass?"
"This means we will be eating in that dining room across the way, correct?" Basil thumbed backwards without looking in the direction.
"Yes, indeed!" Mr. York shouted with his annoying lisp even though they roughly stood three feet apart.
Basil looked worriedly to Dawson before giving an answer his associate had to go along with or suffer dire consequences. "Well, Mr. York, seeing as I have important work to do at home, we didn't plan on staying long enough for the dinner hour--"
"Oh, but, gents, you must stay for dinner!" Mr. York looked slightly hurt. "Could you perchance have something light and then be on your way?"
Basil began to think up a quick reply. "Er, well, I suppose we could, but I would prefer something as simple as soup and maybe a green salad--"
"Soup and salad? Just soup and salad? All right! Soup and salad it is, then!" Basil blinked and wiped his cheek when he was sprayed with all of those 's' words. "That's quite all right! I should not be surprised of your early departure with your line of work." Still smiling, Mr. York turned to Dawson. "And for you, Doctor?"
"Oh, the same for me, please. We both cannot stay long, unfortunately." Dawson said after receiving a minor bump to the ribs. Basil finally grinned with arms placed behind his back as Mr. York wrote down the order on a small notepad. "We're usually light eaters to begin with, Mr. York. No hard feelings, I hope?"
"None whatever! It pleases me alone that you both have come to our humble home!" Basil chose not to argue that his home was far from humble and was more glad to see him starting to back away. "Well, I will see you both a little later! Do enjoy the rest of the party!" Mr. York almost danced away from the two and towards the kitchen area of the house.
"Hmph, more like you're the light eater, Basil." Dawson said with a huff. "Now, I'll have to fill up on those appetizers so that I don't starve the rest of the night."
"Oh, for goodness sakes, Dawson. If you are that hungry, then go ahead and put in an order of...I don't know...sea bass." Basil said with a groan.
"I'd rather have the chicken--"
"Fine, then, have the chicken!" Basil waved his hands upward, wishing he had not shouted so much.
"Sea bass is highly seasoned in tomato broth, it gives me heartburn." Like any other pointless drivel, Basil chose to ignore him and began massaging his temples. "I wonder what the soup is anyway?" Dawson turned to Basil questionably whom still rubbed both sides of his face. "We didn't even ask."
"It's a large bowl of something hot and something quick to digest." Basil grumbled. "Less food means less time spent here, Dawson. Besides, I was wondering more how that mouse could possibly be a friend of Flaversham's. They are as opposite as night and day. And this blasted tie is not going the way I...ohh..." Fixing his cravat for a third time, he turned to the left and lifted his eyes. There he caught a familiar face on the other side of the room standing next to another he immediately recognized. "Quand on parle du loup."
"What?" Dawson frowned.
"Speak of the Devil. They're both here. Look straight ahead-- no, don't wave! Drat." Basil lowered his face into his palm when one of the pair came rushing over. He was not partial to many headaches, but all of a sudden, one seemed to slowly creep up on him. Dawson chuckled as his friend lost a bit of air from the strong waist hug.
"Mr. Basil!" The child squeaked. "I didn't think you would be here!"
"Neither did I..." Basil lifted a mere smile of a greeting yet still slid a silent look to Dawson's direction that seemed to say, get her off of me!
"How nice to see you again, Miss Flaversham." Dawson calmly pulled her aside to receive an identical waist hug only children could do best. Fortunately for her, she didn't catch Basil rolling his eyes and looking relieved with another fix to his cravat. "We have not seen you and your father in quite a while. How is everything?"
"Good." She replied, smiling back at Basil. "Are you enjoying the party?"
"Oh, it's more than I can bear!" He chuckled slightly, leaning over to Dawson with, "And I do mean that seriously..." Dawson bit his lip and shook his head. Basil's amusing risibility had to stop or else Dawson's reaction might slip at the wrong time and perhaps in front of the wrong mouse. "Are you...enjoying yourself so far?"
"Oh, yes!" She smiled happily. "I've been dancing the most...say...would you like to dance with me?" Basil suddenly felt a cold, nervous sweat appear as he blinked rapidly before her. He heard the question, it went straight to his message center inside his skull, and yet, he stood with a baffled stare.
"Dance? Uh..." Basil looked at Dawson again for a life boat of a distraction. With a betraying silence and a smile to match, he quickly turned back to her with a nervous grin and a shake to the head. "I...um, sorry, my dear, but no, thank you."
"Uh...because, um...detectives don't dance." He shrugged and pulled at the string of his cravat.
"It's only a two-step. Please, dance with me. Please?" The child stepped closer and gripped his waist, smiling upward.
"No, I simply can't..." He paused and frowned to her sad expression. "Uh, besides, do you not have anyone else who is better skilled?"
"I did, but I lost my partner, and Daddy is too tired to dance some more. Please, just one dance?" By this time, Dawson was chuckling to the typical amount of pleas whenever a child wanted something bad. Clearing his throat, he tried to make his laughter as soft as possible. Basil looked desperately in his direction, surprised to hear his response.
"Come on, Basil, it's just one dance."
"Who's side are you on?" It was a whispered question intended only for the good doctor's ears, but she heard it clearly and backed away with her head lowered. Basil, now feeling like a heel, could sense the disappointed gaze upon Dawson without looking. Not too far from there, the child's own father started to look over with concern. "Uh, wait, young lady." Miss Flaversham looked back as he reached her side. "Please, do not take what I said out of context. The truth is I am not here for the festivities, no one could pay me enough to endure all of this 'love' nonsense. Dawson and I may have been invited, but I did not come for the food, the drinks or, Heaven help me, the dancing. I came here because I am on a case."
"Is it about Tom Lid-- oh!" Miss Flaversham gasped and covered her mouth. Basil looked agape at her.
"How did you know that?" He asked sharply, almost forgetting he was addressing a small child. Miss Flaversham suddenly felt the room getting warm and her heart starting to pound with fear. She was originally facing someone she looked up to, but after the slip of a revelation, she found herself stuck on a path she could not turn back on.
"What do you know about him?" Basil's face remained gentle, but with his form much taller in height, he seemed like a frightening tower before her. Now, her own cold sweat began to form upon her. Basil could see she uncovered something that was meant to be a secret, for her eyes also began darting around the room as if she was afraid they were being watched.
"I can't tell you..." She whispered while taking a step closer to his side. "I can't...not here..."
"Come with me...quickly..." Basil took her by the hand and led her out of the room and into a dark corner of the hallway. He, too, did a quick eye movement of scanning the hall before dropping his voice several notches down. "All right, no one is around. Please, my dear. Tell me all that you know, it is very important that you do and with the utmost haste."
Sighing, she mumbled, "Y-you never heard me tell you this--"
"Absolutely not, this conversation never happened." Basil swore with one flat hand briefly raised. Within the seconds of saying those words, Miss Flaversham turned ghostly pale and began to tremble. It was plain obvious she wanted to help him in any way that she could, but at the risk of what might happen to her and her father, the thought alone frightened her half to death.
"He danced with me earlier and said something about Mr. York keeping a locked safe in his room and brought with him one of those...you know...things to open it?"
"A lock pick." Basil quietly said.
"Y-yes, that's it." She nodded. "Also, h-he found out Mrs. York has s-some jewelry on her table..." Sighing, she shook her head. "I'm sorry, I wish I knew more..." Basil knelt down to see her at eye level and tapped one shoulder.
"It's all right. That's more than enough information for me to use. I should hire you as an undercover agent." He smiled a little before looking serious once more. "Now, please, listen carefully to me. Go back to your father and stay with him until I return. If he asks if there is anything wrong, tell him no. He does not need to know any of what you told me, such knowledge might cause him to react rashly and make others suspicious. Do you understand?" She nodded slowly. "Good. Once you get there, promise me you will not leave the room or speak to anyone."
"I promise, Basil." With an additional shoulder tap of condolence, Basil started to rise to his normal height when she tugged at his coat. "Please, be careful. I think one of his friends has a knife."
"Child, if I can outwit a giant rat on a clock tower, surely I can handle a small rascal wielding a knife the size of a toothpick." Basil winked with a grin.
To his great relief, he and Dawson could now briefly escape the offending lower rooms to capture the young housebreakers. The thrill of the hunt began to rise and Basil felt more like his old self despite wearing formal evening clothes and not his usual attire. The two inspectors eventually met up with them at the bottom of the staircase.
"Parents brought quite a few of their children tonight." One of the inspectors began. "We did a head count and received a number of fourteen in both genders. Many lingered a lot in the main room and we tried to see if any acted suspicious, attempting to slip away without being noticed."
"I received a tip-off these boys were going to Mr. York's chambers." Basil spoke quietly. "He has a locked safe while his wife left some jewelry on her table. We need to find that room above all others. Oh, and gents, the rooms will be dark and quiet. Use your eyes and ears carefully and don't let yourselves get caught."
"Yes, Mr. Basil." The inspector nodded and the four began to climb the stairs to the second level. At the top landing, the path parted in two directions. Basil motioned the two inspectors to go one way while he and Dawson took the other path. The shame of the doctor's overweight caused him to wheeze and take in shorter breaths after climbing the stairs. Basil paused and tapped his arm in a bit of a concern.
"Dawson?" He received no answer but soft wheezing. "All right, my friend, find a shady spot to catch your breath."
"Sorry, Basil." Dawson sighed and placed a hand to his chest.
As Basil stated, these portions of the mansion were dark and quiet, telling him the slightest movement or sound meant he must have been on the right track. While moving slow and looking in to each room, Basil managed to find two of the boys near Mr. York's chambers, one of which did pull a knife on him in defense.
"Don't come any closer!" The boy squeaked with the knife exposed and pointed towards his chest. Basil tried to hold back a smile as he raised his hands half-way to show that he was unarmed. They were both incredibly young, around Miss Flaversham's age, and yet they already bore a harsh level of angry, distorted features upon their small faces. They were definitely street dwellers for many years, since birth perhaps, and the life they led made them wary of others as well as tough.
"I don't want any trouble." Basil said with his hands still in view.
"Yeah, well, you're going to get some for sticking your big nose into our business!" The boy exclaimed in the deepest of voice he could muster. It started to become painful not to laugh at him, yet, Basil maintained his chuckles to stay focused on any sudden moves. He then eyed the weapon. It was a standard paring knife normally used for cutting fruit and found in a kitchen. The blade itself was small, not to the size of a toothpick, but the point was known to be extremely sharp. As Basil began a few careful steps forward, he spoke in a more softer, coaxing tone.
"Come now, lads, you don't want to do this. You know you can't win this round. We can do this the easy way or the hard way, it's your choice--" The knife wielder sliced the air with a gasp and Basil backed away slightly. He could see the fear in both of their eyes, but he knew if it came down to it, the boy would stab him with full force.
"I said don't come any closer!" He sliced a third time and Basil finally shouted to him by name.
"Now Franklin, that's enough!" The knife holder's eyes suddenly turned to the size of saucers. "That's right, I know who you are. I've seen you the most at Reubens on Baker Street snatching food from their vendor cart. It's wrong to steal and is against the law, but it's also wrong to starve out there, that is why I never apprehended you. But, to come here into someone's home and rob them of their possessions is something I cannot and will not allow."
Franklin froze and began to tremble with fear. He never thought he was being watched by a famous mouse all of those times he took food. Basil noticed the knife also began to shake in his grasp when the boy was suddenly forming faint tears. He was surprised he never seized him for stealing, but food was a source of survival, and while it disappointed the detective, he let him go repeatedly.
"Now, come on, Franklin." Basil said with the return of his soft voice. "Give me the knife--"
"Nice try, snooper!" The second boy snatched the knife from Franklin and started moving forward, slicing and thrusting it in a crazy maneuver.
"Jake, no!" Franklin pulled at his friend as Basil resumed his raised hands.
Dawson chose this perfect moment to arrive and create a distraction. With their heads turned, Basil jumped to separate the two boys while grabbing for the knife. Handling two children was still nothing compared to battling Ratigan, however, the knife being loosely tossed around worried Basil that one of them would get stabbed. Catching view of the handle, Basil seized the knife and raised his arm as high as he could while using his free hand to grip the coats of both boys. Franklin gave up the fight and fell into Basil's chest while Jake broke free and started to run. Dawson had an easy advantage when he headed in his direction and moved forward to grab him with both hands. Basil gently released Franklin yet blocked the path with his body so that he could not escape.
"Where's Tom?" Basil hissed while looking between the two boys. Both remained quiet. "You will tell me or you'll be in more trouble than you are now!"
"Mr. Basil!" The two inspectors soon jogged over to he and Dawson. "The opposite end is empty. We can't find the other boys."
"How many were there of you?" Dawson asked to Jake. He said nothing.
"Answer him, boy!" Basil snapped with growing impatience. Jake glared with much hatred and went to spit in Basil's face. He saw him prepare to do so and backed up to avoid getting hit. He missed his face, but some of the spray fell upon the front of his coat. "Hey!"
"I don't answer to nosy detectives..."
"That's it." Basil turned to one of the inspectors to pass him the knife. "Here, Inspector. They had their chance. Take them away from my sight. I will not tolerate such insolence." Basil returned a glare far deeper and more disgusted to the one who tried to spit in his face. "As for you, you vagabond, I could have given you a lighter sentence, but without any cooperation as well as your disrespectful actions, consider yourself prison bound."
"Oh, piss off, you bastard!" Jake shouted. His voice echoed in the hall and died down on the last bit of that terrible word. The two inspectors and Dawson gasped in shock while Basil, whom was solely given that horrible insult, stiffened in his spot. His eyes soon intensified to full anger and he moved forward to stand facing him directly.
"This is going to hurt me more than it'll hurt you."
Basil quickly waved a swift flat hand and slapped it across his cheek as hard as he could. Both boys flinched and gasped as the others stared at the detective wide-eyed. Dawson had seen him mad before, but never to this extent. He also had never seen a child call him such a vile name. Basil sighed and dropped his hand to his side. Feeling eyes upon him, he turned to Dawson.
"Please, don't give me that look, doctor. Let's go."
"Wait, Mr. Detective..." Franklin perked up, making all four adults dart their eyes to him. "Only Tom is left, sir, and he's not armed. Not sure where he went, though."
"Thank you, Franklin." Basil said, dropping his voice to one of the inspectors with, "Go easy on him. Come on, Dawson!" He then made a quick turn on his heel to run down the rest of the dark hall. Dawson sighed when he saw him choosing a faster speed and tried to keep up. Basil had no idea where to go and had to rely on his senses in the dark.
With movement in the corner of his eye, Basil rushed down another hall and chased the last thief into Mr. York's work room. A room with no other doors meant he was trapped. His trackers were forced to try and locate him somewhere behind the rows of shelves filled with strange-looking toys. It did not help when no lanterns were illuminated to guide their path better. With nowhere else to go, young Tom was easily found and taken to Mr. York for questioning. Along the way, he reached out to grab Basil's coat to get his attention.
"Wait, wait. I just wanted to say I didn't do anything wrong."
"Oh? You don't think snooping around the premises of someone's home without permission is wrong?" Basil pointed to him. "Might I add you would have done something very wrong if you and your friends got into Mr. York's personal quarters. Planning to make a few withdrawals from his safe as well as pocketing his wife's priceless jewels is not my idea of doing anything wrong." The boy sighed and shamefully bowed his head. "You may be eleven, but you are old enough to be tried as an adult, not to mention you are old enough to know better that crime doesn't pay."
"Apologies won't help in the matter either, I'm afraid." Basil snapped with the wave of a hand. "You are in a lot of trouble and there is nothing I can do to get you out of some form of punishment. Since you are a minor, the judge might go easy on you--"
"Wait, I really am sorry, please..." The begging began to play on Basil's sympathetic side, making him pause and listen to him. "My family is very poor, did my mother tell you that? We live in a one room flat, my father died when I was very young. He was the only one who brought in a small income. Please, I wouldn't have done it if we had money. Mr. York is rich and can't take it all with him! If we had a little extra, I wouldn't be stealing it!"
Basil thought for a moment before speaking again. "As I stated, you are a minor, therefore, the judge might go easy on you. As for your story, I will also talk to the judge and see if he can carry out a lighter sentence...on one condition." Basil pointed again. "You will go back to school, you will do good in your grades, and you will never run away from your mother again. Are we clear on that?"
"Very clear, sir. I promise." Nodding, Basil started to leave again, but the boy grabbed for his coat a second time. "Wait, do you know who Olivia Flaversham is?" Basil only stared in return. He did not wish to confess he knew the girl. Connections with former clients was something he often wanted to keep to himself mainly for safety reasons. "If you're going back to the party, can you see that someone gives this to her?" It took some hesitation, but Basil finally accepted the heart-shaped paper with the boy's name written upon it. Tom Liddell, just like his mother said to him the week before when he had gone missing.
Dawson also looked down to the paper and crossed his arms to it. "So, you were her dance partner." To say such a reminder made Tom twinge a little with extra guilt for slipping away to try and steal some things from his host. He merely shrugged to the statement and it was almost an effort to nod his head.
"Then, she should be easy to find when that dreadful room is full of nothing but couples." Basil said tartly, still pretending not to know her.
The dancing began to wind down by the time the detective and the doctor returned to the lower level. Much of the guests were beginning to move into the dining room to find their seats for the nine o'clock feast. Basil plopped down into a chair of the hallway to catch his breath and straighten his cravat one last time. By then it was greatly askew and in need of a repair. Although he was exhausted from running around so much, he never felt more enlightened and full of energy from it all. He never wanted to give up this chosen career path, not for all the money in the world. It was the adrenaline that kept his blood pumping, that made his heart flutter with delight. If he knew finding the right one to fall in love with had the same sensations as that, he probably would not consider it as silly nonsense after all.
"Are you all right, Basil?" Dawson asked as he approached to sit in another chair next to him.
"Never felt better!" Basil exclaimed, his face suddenly deflating as Miss Flaversham made her way towards them. "Perhaps, I spoke too soon..."
"Oh, be kind to her for once!" Dawson snapped angrily. "She lost her dance partner tonight, the least you could do is be civil. Besides, that boy Tom wasn't just her dance partner. They're school mates, one she took a strong fancy to." Basil's eyes widened a little in slight pity. "I would not be surprised if he hurt her feelings, not only by leaving her side, but proving to be someone she could never trust again."
"You are correct about that, old chap." Basil answered softly. "She has had quite a damper of an evening and I am partially to blame." Taking in a long breath, he turned to him with a serious gaze. "No one deserves such treatment, especially someone like her."
"No, indeed." Dawson looked to more guests heading to the dining room and could feel his stomach rumbling with hunger. "Well, we should go find our seats for our 'soup and salad' meal, Basil." His friend turned briefly silent as if he went into a small trance of thinking and staring outward in deep thought. "Basil?"
"In a moment, Dawson." Basil said as he straightened up in his chair and adjusted the collar of his coat.
Miss Flaversham was now in earshot range, making the two cease their talking and look her way. With a dull shade of pink around her eyes, the detective quickly deduced she had a minor episode of fallen tears and quite possibly, a broken heart. This made Basil's own heart sink deeper in sympathy. She was hoping to have a night full of fun and entertainment. Instead, it lead to a dance rejection from her hero as well as her date being hauled away by two inspectors from Scotland Yard. Such events would make any young girl weep a bit in despair.
"Hi, Basil. Dr. Dawson..." The child shyly stated as she approached the two.
"Hello, my dear." Basil smiled in return and Dawson nodded once in acknowledgment.
"Is...everything...all right?" She looked to him in concern.
"We had a bit of a tight scratch, but nothing too serious for you to fret over." He reached up briefly to tap her arm. "By the by, I never had the opportunity to thank you for the tip-off. I can definitely consider this 'missing child' case closed." She lifted a small smile to that while he looked to her a bit solemnly. "I realize it was not easy for you to turn in a school mate, but you knew it was inevitable in order to prevent a crime from happening. For that I am very proud of you."
"You're welcome." Her voice remained small and quiet. "Daddy and I weren't staying for the dinner. I just wanted to come say goodbye--"
"Goodbye?" Basil stood up and looked down at her. "But, the party isn't over yet."
She sighed and looked away. "It is for me."
"Well, it isn't for me." Basil placed his hands to his hips. "I haven't had the chance to dance yet...never really had a partner all evening...until now..."
Her eyes turned upward. "I thought you said detectives don't dance."
"Er, we don't." Basil shrugged and looked over to Dawson whom was smirking the whole time. "That is, we don't dance when we're on a case...and at the moment, my slate is clean...along with my dance card." Her own smile started to lift higher. "Uh, unless, of course, if you and your father were leaving, I can always find a wandering stray who--" Basil felt another loss of oxygen as she slammed into his waist. "Oof! I'll consider that a yes..." Dawson snickered loud enough for Basil to turn and give him the evil eye. "You had better not record any of this in your diary logs."
"That won't be necessary if the local newspapers decide to print an article instead." Dawson answered with a laugh as the child eagerly dragged him to the middle of the floor. The act looked as though he was being dragged relentlessly to a death contraption, namely the gallows. However, judging from his expression, Basil would rather take his chances at being hung than seeing a photo in the newspaper of himself dancing at a party. His cravat alone gave him a strangling sensation nearly half the night.
"Doctor?" Mr. Flaversham approached Dawson as he silently watched the two move out to join the small crowd of remaining dancers. "Olivia was supposed to say goodbye to you both. It's time for us to leave. Did she not tell you this?"
"She did, but Basil offered one last dance to make up for her lost partner."
"Oh, I see. How very kind of him!" Flaversham beamed. "My poor little girl was feeling a bit down earlier. Your friend must really care for my daughter."
"Yes, he does." Dawson nodded. "More than you know."
A/N: End of story, I hope you enjoyed it! No, I don't plan to write further on this story, however, the OCs I created were very fun to do, so I might reuse them in the future. I wanted to mention some notes about the OC names and how I came up with them. Whenever creating new characters, I try to look up names that are fitting in the Victorian era and what seem to fit the characters themselves.
The first OC I thought up a name for was the eccentric toy maker. I literally used a site with a list of eccentric names and both Thaddeus and Oliver were listed. Just to be funny, I made York his last name and all three spelled out TOY. When writing him so crazy and flamboyant, I kept hearing Big Gay Al's voice from South Park with a lisp. Just picture: "I'm thuper! Thanksth for asthking!" Mr. York is not gay, but his personality could fool anyone. I wanted to make him married when I got another joke with his wife. I named her Patricia, or Patty for short, hinting on York Peppermint Patty. The two thief boys named Franklin and Jake were randomly chosen. I remember Franklin used to be the quiet, shy boy from Peanuts while I was thinking of Jake being one syllable, short to say and fitting for a short-tempered kid. Lastly was Olivia's date, Tom Liddell whom almost sounds like Tom Riddle! He's nothing like from Harry Potter, though. Again, I was name playing and found Liddell is English and sounds close to Little, and another word for that is Petty. That's appropriate for a thief status. I then chose Tom as his first name to hint on singer Tom Petty because Olivia's date ends up being...well...a heart breaker. Anyone who knows Tom Petty knows he has a group by that name.
The confrontation scene between the two boys and Basil was one I wanted to extend so that the reader could be better absorbed into the story. Beforehand, the full chase of the thieves was in one block of a paragraph and no dialogue. I also wanted to build up the scene more to further expose what we like to see Basil do best: hunt down criminals. I debated back and forth on using a curse word and upping the rating, but it really did fit with the attitude of the boy. Credit goes to Mlle Relda for greatly helping me out with the scene.
Other then that, the plot came up through various ideas such as "Thief: The Dark Project" ("The Sword" level with Constantine's crazy mansion) and hunting around after treasure thieves. Being that it was based on Valentine's and Olivia is a child, I did not want to write romance with Basil at all. I like writing him when she's young because he's still very much like his film self and that's fun to do. Here, he's being exposed to so much love nonsense, I channel his thoughts with Sherlock Holmes and he's become increasingly ill. What he wouldn't do to solve a case! I figured in the end, however, he does care about Olivia's feelings, and seeing her get hurt by Tom upset him enough to give in and do a quick two-step per request.