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The Chamber of Cumberbatch

Chapter Text

The Many Faces of Batch

 

When all were in attendance, fifty five moons lit up the night sky. The moons were blessed with heterochromia, each a different shade of blue, grey, and green with occasional brown speckles thrown in. There was significance in these moons for the Council of Cumberbatch. Each moon symbolised a character by Benedict Cumberbatch; the more in the sky, the more in attendance in council chambers. That night, so far a grand total of 11 moons hung in the sky.

Each of these characters played a vital role in Benedict’s portfolio of work; there was Khan, the Star Trek villain, valued amongst the women for his physical prowess and skills, Christopher Tietjens the broody idealist of Parade’s End, and Smaug the dragon, mainstay of the Hobbit trilogy. The man who never lived, but would never die, Sherlock Holmes was there under protest, but there all the same, with his companion, John Watson.

As the mumbling died down, Cumberbatch himself was the first to speak, calling order to the meeting. The jaguars walking around the room returned to their pet beds, and the cellist in the corner stopped playing immediately.

“First order of meeting, that magazine interview,” he started nervously.

“Yes, well done Cumberbatch,” Sherlock, sitting at the end of the table wrapped in a bed sheet, spoke up “You’ll give us all a bad name at this rate,”

“Why aren’t’t you dressed?” Cumberbatch queried.

“Never mind him, late out of bed,” John Watson leapt to his defense.

“And what are you doing here Watson?” Cumberbatch added.

“Sherlock insisted, wouldn’t come at all if I didn’t,” John answered for him.

“Yes, we’ve heard that about you two,” Cumberbatch smiled, “And when are we getting more episodes, Sherlock?”

“When I’m good and ready,” Sherlock huffed, “Next.”

Before the meeting could continue, attention was drawn to Watson staring towards the back of the room. John looked at Sherlock, then to Smaug, then back to Sherlock, an uneasy recognition crossing his face. Smaug shrugged, and snagged a cup of tea from Tietjens with a delicate claw. Tietjens stared on, most miffed as his tea disappeared down the dragon’s hatch.

“Wait, where do I know this guy from?” Watson pointed at Smaug, hunched over at the end of the table.

“Really John, you read far too many fairytales,” Sherlock rolled his eyes, and adjusted himself on his chair.

“No, Sherlock, really, where do I know him from?”

“Been on any grand adventures lately?” Cumberbatch offered.

Watson rested back into his chair, confused. He exchanged furtive glances with the dragon for the next ten minutes, until the room was drawn to the sound of breaking china. Not only had Smaug drunk the tea, he’d eaten the tea cup.

“This is preposterous,” Tietjens snapped, “The Groby tree was cut down quicker than tea is served around here,”

As if on cue, Mrs. Hudson, a Baker Street regular, appeared pushing a trolley cart, the top shelf covered in tea cups and tea pots, with the bottom shelf arranged with an assortment of toast, jam, and biscuits.

“Where did she come from?” Patrick Watts, a Starter for 10 quizmaster, broke his silence.

“Don’t mind her, it just... happens,” Sherlock dismissed with a wave of his hand.

“Impossible. Things do not just happen,” Stephen Hawking interjected.

“Yes, well, you’d know,” Sherlock bit back.

“Relax, relax, I’m sure it’ll be fine,” Watson tried desperately to calm the situation as toast was placed in front of him.

“Bite it,” the voice of Paul Marshall echoed darkly across the table, no Atonement sought for his creepy manner.

“Excuse you?” Watson looked at him.

“Bite it. You need to bite it,”

“Thank you very much,” a now discomforted Watson smothered his toast with jam and bit into it; while awkwardly trying to avoid eye contact with Paul Marshall.

“Right, where were we?” Cumberbatch cleared his throat, “Really need to stop going off on tangents,”

“I’m not sure why I’m here, actually,” Khan spoke up.

“You’re here so you can give us an update on the next Star Trek film,” Cumberbatch rolled his eyes.

“Right, well, no news on that,”

“And can you do something about your clothing? I’m sick of shelling out money for new clothes every week. Just ... stop it,”

Khan sat at the end of the table, at a loss as to how to respond. Dressed in his regulation issue Starfleet uniform; black boots, very well fitted pants, and top, his skin was alabaster fresh, eyes wild and all the colors of the ocean, hair silky smooth and jet black. He often joked his pants were so tight you could tell his religion; null and void of course, he was an augment with no religion, but he laughed all the same.

“Can we do something about the pants? They’re too tight, and they -,”

“No, no, you can’t, all part of the marketing; the girls love it,” Cumberbatch ignored him and pressed on, “How are you going down there, Tietjens?”

“My tea has gone cold,” he sulked, “And we’re out of toast.”

“I’ve got chocolate,” Paul Marshall interjected, the words oozing darkly into the room, “Would you like chocolate?”

“Where did Mrs. Hudson get to?” Tietjens ignored Marshall and continued to sit there stoically, the brooding romantic lead that he was.

There was a clear division in the table; Julian Assange, of the Fifth Estate who had managed to be spirited away from the Ecuadorian embassy, placed himself with Steven Ezard, no stranger to government secrets in The Last Enemy, both talking wildly about conspiracy theories. Hawking and Alan Turing, with Patrick Wattsclose by quizzing them mercilessly. Sherlock and Khan sat apart from others, discussing strategic weaknesses in both the room and attendees.

“Will someone tell me what is going on here?” Watson had returned from the bathroom, “There is a wolf in the sodding bathroom!”

“Oh, that’s Classified,” Cumberbatch waved his hand, “It’s fine,”

“It is not fine!” Watson’s fists were balled up, “Why is it classified?”

“No, no, that’s his name, Classified,” Cumberbatch offered, “Calm down John, we’ve got a bit to get through today,”

Watson sat back down next to Sherlock, aware of the rooms’ attention and Smaug still watching him. Nobody mentioned that the detective's hand had moved to unobtrusively rest on the Doctor's thigh

“Is Richard III coming today? I thought he was going to be here?” Cumberbatch looked around the table, “Let’s give him five minutes, there’s still a few of us missing,”

“I make a fabulous chocolate martini,” Paul Marshall rose from his spot and disappeared to a back room, returning with a tray of drinks.

As if summoned, there was a knock at the door; Richard III had arrived.

%MCEPASTEBIN%

Chapter Text

The door to the chamber swung open with a creak and Richard III rode in on the back of a large black horse. He wasn’t alone; seemed he’d picked up some ‘historics’ on his way through. Joining Richard III were Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, Amazing Grace’s William Pitt, Creation’s Joseph Hooker, William Ford of 12 Years a Slave, Van Gogh, National Theatre’s Rosencrantz, Edmund Talbot who had found the end of the earth, William Carey of The Other Boleyn Girl, and Major Jamie Stewart, a relic of War Horse. Major Stewart’s face brightened on spotting Tietjens, a man of his own time, and made a beeline for him, immediately comparing notes on English Breakfast tea and the correct way to steep it before drinking.

Pitt, Hooker, Carey, Ford and Talbot pulled up chairs in a tight circle near each other, seemingly gaining comfort from the familiarity. Meanwhile, Richard III and Hamlet began a very vocal power struggle near the centre of the room.

“Harken all, I am here!” Richard announced, still astride his horse, which clopped around the room.

“Yes, well, that's excellent, can you get off the horse and sit down, please,” Cumberbatch was exasperated, “Any more late comers?”

“Make way for the Prince,” Hamlet strode to the head of the table, pushing roughly past several others as he stalked past.

“Listen, I outrank you, I’m a King, get in line,” Richard tied up his horse at the back of the room. The horse shifted uneasily, Smaug eyeing it off as if the afternoon catering had just arrived.

“Move,” Richard shoved Hamlet from the chair.

“If we’re going to compare ranks, I outrank the lot of you,” Titania, Queen of the Fairies pushed her way into the room, “Queens outrank Kings in Fairyland,”

The volume continued to escalate as an on-flow of theatre characters arrived; Danny Boyle’s Victor Frankenstein and his Creature, followed by David Scott-Fowler from After The Dance, and Hedda Gabler’s George Tesman. The theatre types all congregated in a corner and started their own meeting, comparing notes and costumes.

“Right, okay, you know what. I’m calling break time. Clearly everyone’s turning up late. Thirty minutes and we’ll reconvene. I need an Aspirin,” Cumberbatch stood up and left the room.

Over the course of the next half hour Rory Slippery from Fortysomething arrived, hastily stepping aside as Shere Khan from Jungle Book growled and pushed past his legs into the crowded room.

 

Cumberbatch took a look around the room and shook his head. Historic characters sat together, most arguing with each other, particularly Richard III and Hamlet. Rory had gravitated towards Patrick Watts; Shere Khan was chasing Classified around the room while Smaug thumped around after them. An uncontrolled swipe of his tail brought a light down from the roof in a rain of shattered plastic and glass onto the main table below.

“Right!” Cumberbatch shouted, “This is getting ridiculous! Everybody shut up!”

Sound and movement in the room ceased as all eyes turned to him. Smaug had Shere Khan in one clawed talon, and Classified in the other. Very quickly, and gently, the dragon placed both on the floor; as though he were a cat eating leftovers from plates he knew he shouldn’t be touching.

“Animated characters, this corner, right now,” Cumberbatch pointed, “Take a table; you can all sit there,”

Very quickly, they shifted and sat, as best they could, around the table.

“Historics, opposite corner. Richard III, Hamlet, get on or get out, we haven’t got all day,”

“Well, we’ll all go over here,” the Creature started moving two tables to another area, the other theatre characters following after him.

“Geniuses over here,” Cumberbatch directed Hawking, Turing, and Watts into another corner.

Sherlock stood to walk over to them.

“No, no you don’t, you stay there Holmes.” Cumberbatch stopped him.

“I’m a genius,” Sherlock huffed

“Yes, and you can stay there anyway,” a finger pointed to the chair Sherlock had just risen from, “Stay right there with John.”

“I’m really confused, I don’t understand what’s going on,” John Watson mumbled to Sherlock.

“Character meeting, career planning, can’t think for himself, usual idiot,” Sherlock replied.

“Tietjens, Stewart, you two can stay there. I’m sure we’ll have more joining you shortly,” Cumberbatch looked at his watch, “Right, now, let’s get started. Are we all happy?”

“I’m hungry,” Smaug’s nostrils flared.

“Have another teacup,” Tietjens scoffed.

“I’m not a fluffy toy,” Smaug argued, “I need food,”

“Yes, yes, caterers will be here soon, calm down,”

"Mmmmm caterers." Hissed the dragon and licked his scaled lips.

There were now twenty seven moons hanging brightly in the sky, surrounded by stars in the shape of Oscar, the Academy Award burning bright gold in the sky. Cumberbatch disappeared into the hallway quickly to check for any more latecomers, arriving back to find Richard III dragging Hamlet by the ear back to the table.

“What the hell is going on now?” Cumberbatch sighed heavily.

“He wants to leave. He’s not allowed to leave,” Richard’s armour chinked as he walked along.

“Contract’s been signed, you’re not going anywhere, sit down,” Cumberbatch responded.

“Come on Mr. Puffy Pants,” Richard pushed Hamlet back to his seat.

Standing at the front of the room, Cumberbatch was quietly confident he could continue and so began the meeting.

“Titania, notes please,”

“Why? Because I’m wearing a dress?”

“No, because you have lovely handwriting,” Cumberbatch argued with her, “Start writing. First order of the meeting is Bond, James Bond,”

A collective gasp arose from the room.

“You’ve been offered Bond?” Classified spoke up, “Was I not secret agent enough for you?”

“Of course you were,” Cumberbatch rolled his eyes, “This is a different type of secret agent,”

“No it’s not,” Classified looked put out.

“Shut up or I’ll eat you,” Shere Khan snapped.

A volley of shots rang out in the hallway outside, sending chills through the room. Heavy footsteps on the ground stopped at the door, which swung open for another interruption. Wallace of Little Favour, chest heaving as if taking on the world.

“Wallace, so lovely to see you,” Cumberbatch puffed in annoyance.

“These two guys, down the hall,” he panted, “Twins, they’re after me,”

“Come, stand up the front. Everyone, Wallace is armed. So shut up and listen,” Cumberbatch demanded, “So, Bond, yay or nay?”

Chapter Text

Excited chatter suffused the room; Bond was a big deal, a massive franchise. Much like Sherlock Holmes, or The Hobbit Trilogy, or the Star Trek franchise, the Bond films had a massive following and fan base, and Cumberbatch was keen to explore the character; he’d narrowly missed being the voice of Bond in a video game some years earlier.

“Alright, what I need is for each table to come up with a list of reasons for and against this role, you have five minutes,” Cumberbatch walked over to a whiteboard, scribbling some notes on the top.

The noise level in the room rose again, voices mixing and mingling, sharing the same timbre and rich tones and making it impossible to tease out any single thread of conversation.

The chamber door opened as yet more attendees appeared, and more moons bounced skywards. Joe and Charlie, the twins, were inseparable. Little Charles had left August: Osage County as a special trip. Charles smiled, sitting down next to Khan who turned and gave him a withering look.

“Don’t sit with him,” Cumberbatch shook his head, “Go sit with Tietjens, he’ll be up your alley,”

“Both complete idiots,” Khan whispered under his breath and then grinned as Sherlock gave him a high-five.

Tietjens swung a look towards them both, before gesturing for Charles, Martin and Bernard, on leave from Small Island,to join his table with Maj. Stewart; a regular gentleman’s club. Clutching a stuffed sheep, and looking a vision in his Cabin Pressure uniform, Martin Crieff also sat with them.

The Necromancer looked around before heading over to a spare seat at the table that seated Smaug, Classified and Shere Khan. David from Wreckers stood at the door and watched Little Charles move away cautiously towards the front of the room. Peter Guillan, known for his work with Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, chose not to sit with the table of suited men and, instead, opted to sit with Sherlock, Khan and John, taking David with him. A detective, Luke Fitzwilliam had left Mrs. Marple alone long enough to attend, thought it his place to sit at this table also.

Cumberbatch eyed the number of tables and attendees and made note that a larger venue would need to be booked next time, considering there were others yet to arrive, and more projects happening in the next twelve months.

“To all of our late comers, welcome...again,” Cumberbatch was on the verge of walking out; why could nobody ever be on time? Well, he thought, he never was, so that probably explained a lot; the more characters there were, the more this trait was likely to be replicated within at least some of them.

“Okay, who wants to begin?” he asked.

“What are we doing?” Little Charles asked.

"Idiot." Muttered Sherlock

"And late." added Khan, the two of them grinning at each other.

"Knock it off you two or I'll separate you. John, can you keep him in line please?"

John shrugged helplessly.

“Pros and cons of doing James Bond,” Tietjens slipped a piece of paper forward on the table, which Martin and Little Charles studied intently.

“I’d do James Bond,” Titania’s smile was sardonic, not the answer Cumberbatch was looking for.

Turing nodded in silent agreement.

“So would Tietjen’s wife,” Rory piped up, the room descending into riotous laughter.

“Yes, well it is James Bond,” Martin finally offered, “I say do it simply for that reason, that’s a pro in itself. And think of the suits.”

Sherlock and Peter nodded appreciatively.

“Maybe he’ll be tasty,” Shere Khan offered.

“Definitely tasty,” Titania added.

“Medium rare,” Smaug let out a small roar of laughter, which was accompanied by a tiny flame, laughter filling the room at his joke.

“I'll teach him my secret agent moves,” Classified offered.

“So long as he doesn’t try to kill any more of my family,” Hamlet stood.

“No, I’ll do that for you,” Richard sneered.

“Is there enough room in the sky for more moons?” Sherlock baulked, “With the sheer volume of movies coming out in the next twelve months,”

“I can assure you, space has plenty of room for more moons,” Hawking corrected Sherlock.

“Good to see we have at least two ‘proper genius’’ among us,” Sherlock rolled his eyes in response.

“Sherlock, he’s correct. I mean, you didn’t even know that the earth -,”

“Right, yes, point taken John,” Sherlock quieted his companion and adjusted his sheet which had begun to gape alarmingly.

“He’ll fit well on our table, dressed like a gentleman and all,” Maj. Stewart gesticulated to the men sitting around him, Tietjens still wearing a scowl on his face.

“This world has gone to hell, it needs more gentlemen,” Tietjens offered.

"Anyone have any negatives?" Cumberbatch asked, glancing around the numerous tables, “Van Gogh, you’ve been very quiet, any thoughts?”

“I’m sorry?” he looked around, Patrick nudging him, “Sorry, I didn’t hear you,”

“Thoughts on James Bond?” Alan leant in.

“Well, here’s my artistic impression of what you would look like as Bond,” he stood to show the room the tattered sketch book he carried everywhere with him.

“Hmm, well that looks good,” was the collective answer.

"Another species of Cumber-fan." Turing suggested quietly, appalled at the thought of even greater crowds. There were nods of agreement from the more introverted in the room.

"We could get type-cast as some sort of suit-wearing toff." Rory shouted and the room erupted into laughter and applause.

“OK, OK," Cumberbatch motioned for quiet, "So, we’re okay, everyone? I’ll sign the contract for Bond?” Cumberbatch held his hand up for a vote.

A unanimous ‘yes’ arose from the voices and Benedict made a note in his diary to accept the iconic role, one bound to propel him into further heights of stardom and admiration from men and women the world over.

“Do the thing!” Rory called out.

“What thing?” Cumberbatch’s eyed him in confusion.

“The Bond thing!” Patrick urged.

“Oh, right,” Cumberbatch straightened his shoulders, turning on an angle, “The name’s Bond, James Bond,” his voice dropped almost a full octave, to thunderous applause.

Cumberbatch looked at the room full of assorted characters around him; it really was a madhouse and bound to get worse in the next two to three years. He was thankful, again, he hadn’t played Doctor Who, the last thing he needed was a TARDIS popping in and out of his life for the fun of it.

“Okay,” he clapped his hands together to garner the attention of the room again, “Does anyone have any General Business they need to bring up?”

A weak knock at the door signalled another attendee.

“James, our Third Star, come in,” Cumberbatch smiled warmly, not wanting to draw attention to James’ noticeably thinner and paler complexion.

“Sorry everyone, bit late, was at the doctors’,” James offered as Rory waved him over to his table, everyone offering him a pat on the back on his way through to his seat.

Chapter Text

The room settled after James’ arrival. Fond glances were exchanged, and Cumberbatch took heart at the friendships and alliances formed over the years as he looked around the room. His characters weren’t 'nearly all alike', as some in the media made out; just looking at the variety of personalities at the tables would tell anyone that.

“Finally, quiet,” he groaned in relief.

A deep, wet rumble echoed out across the room.

“Sorry, I’m hungry,” Smaug offered his apologies.

Checking his watch, Cumberbatch sighed again, “Anyone would think you skipped breakfast. Why don't we adjourn to the cafeteria? We can continue general business down there.”

The noise level rose again as people moved to relocate; Rory piggybacked James down the hallway; Trying to assert some level of authority, Richard gave Khan a rather playful nudge on the way through, only to find himself sprawled on the floor several feet away and regaining consciousness as Van Gogh gently lifted him to his feet. Turning and Hawking eventually made their way to a table, set well back from the crowd, busily discussion formulas and theories.

Chairs shuffled, scratched and echoed against the concrete floors as everyone took their places, excited chatter settling again as food started being delivered.

“I’d just like to point out, I’m ovo-lacto vegetarian,” Khan spoke up as steak was placed in front of him.

“Ovo whatso now?” Little Charles looked over at him.

“What’s wrong, Khan? Don’t believe in the killing the innocent?” Tietjens smiled.

“Yes, something like that,” Khan smiled sardonically, “Though for some, I’d make an exception,”

“I can’t have eggs,” Smaug complained as he moved a number of chairs aside to accommodate his girth.

“No, we don’t need you eating eggs. You with gas is something none of us want to experience again” Cumberbatch mumbled to himself.

“This is all too much for me,” Little Charles looked confused with what was happening around him as Major Stewart passed him some sandwiches.

Mrs. Hudson reappeared, this time pushing forward a trolley full of assorted sweets.

“Sorry I’m late,” she cooed, “Got stopped by this chap on the way in, says his name is Will Parker from Broken News, and wanted to do an interview. At this rate, I’m going to be late, you know. I have to be at the club by nine tonight,”

“Something about exotic dancing?” Paul Marshall smiled in her direction; disgusted, she turned on her heel and left.

“Glad food’s here, muggins here keeps looking at my sheep,” Martin gestured at Smaug.

“And my horse,” Richard scoffed.

“Your horse, your horse,” Hamlet mocked.

“It would make a fine toothpick,” Smaug grinned, bearing his teeth. "Now him...." the dragon turned, giving John Watson an avaricious leer.

"Get behind me John, best not tempt him." Sherlock began pulling his chair to shield his blogger.  

“For pity’s sake,” Cumberbatch grumbled, “Mrs. Hudson, if you see Will on your way out, please tell him he’s due in here. Seems he still thinks he’s reporting Broken News,”

Food and drinks, allergies and dietary requirements sorted, Cumberbatch was finally able to talk to everyone without interruption, excepting the occasional whine from Smaug about not being able to hold sandwiches within his clawed talons, although a line was forming to have some toasted by him. Classified and Shere Khan had no trouble eating directly from their plates, no hands needed.

“While everyone’s quiet, let's tackle the next order of business. It’s been suggested we need to get some of our friends from the audio books into the meetings. What does everyone think about that?”

“I spoke to Casanova the other night,” Martin spoke up, “Perhaps he could represent all the audio books. I mean, he’s the first one that gets looked up, isn’t he? Very busy man,”

"Particularly at night, if you know what I mean," Rory winked and nudged James next to him.

"There's no need for that sort of gutter humour," Tiejens grimaced.

“Yes, well, so long as Martin doesn’t bring that pillock, Arthur again,” Sherlock waved his hands, “Lowered the IQ of the entire street,”

“Sherlock,” John warned, “Be nice,”

Khan had already high-fived him again.

“Hey Martin, catch!” Edmund threw a lemon from the drinks tray at Martin, and the room descended into laughter again.

Cumberbatch thumped the table to catch the attention of the room, “People...a bit of attention please, we're nearly finished. So we’re okay with Casanova? He’ll represent the audio books? Martin can you call him and see if he can get here this afternoon? I’ve really had enough today, you lot are testing my patience.”

“Now you know how we felt with a baying mob,” Victor Frankenstein piped up, the Creature nodding in agreement.

“We’re going to have to hold these meetings by phone in if everyone can’t settle down,”

“You could just invite us all to your house,” the room finally heard from William Carey, “I’m sure it has all the creature comforts,”

"And a Jacuzzi." Classified added appreciatively.

“Because wet dog smell is what we all want," William Ford pointed out.

“Mr. Paparazzi out the front of my house? No thanks,” Cumberbatch motioned to the hallway where Will Parker was still standing.

“I’m sure I could organise something to take care of him,” Guillam piped up.

“That will hardly be necessary,” Cumberbatch thanked him nevertheless and continued on with lunch.

A glance down at his watch revealed it was only 2pm, still 4 hours left of the meeting. Cumberbatch rubbed his temples and hoped for the best. Surely they’d settle down after lunch.

Chapter Text

Once the crew was properly satiated, Cumberbatch herded them back to the meeting room. Gathering the last of the stragglers, discussion resumed regarding the current state of the various fandoms and an argument over who was the current most popular character. Richard was convinced he had that in the bag, being the newest and brightest star until Sherlock pointed out that he and Khan still held sway on Facebook, and added that he virtually dominated Tumblr. A very recent trending hashtag appeared to be something referred to as #waxbatch and a knock came at the door just as Cumberbatch was explaining that it referred to the Madame Tussaud’s likeness due to go on display in London shortly.

“Come in,” Cumberbatch sat at the front of the room, appreciating the relative calm now everyone was well-fed; Classified and Shere Khan were curled up in a corner with the jaguars, Smaug not far away, dozing quietly.

The rattle of a flat-bed trolley carrying a large wooden box woke the dragon, and he returned to his table, heavy feet thumping on the floor.

Rory and David helped remove it from the trolley and jimmy the front of it off. Once open, the other three sides dropped easily, revealing the Madame Tussaud’s waxwork in all its glory.

“I'd like to make sure we’re all happy with it before it goes on display,” Cumberbatch offered his instructions, “Personally, I don’t think I stand like that, looks like I have a stick up my backside,”

“It does look a bit stiff,” Joe joked, Charlie’s laugh rumbling up his throat.

“And not much of a conversationalist, so they got that part wrong,” Julian was quick with a jibe.

“Do you think it can say penguin?” Martin queried.

Cumberbatch rolled his eyes, “It’s a dummy, it’s not meant to talk,”

“Dummy, did they call him Tietjens?” Khan looked over at the waxwork.

Tietjens scowled, finishing his fifth cup of tea for the day, a loud, angry clatter as he set it back on the table. Sherlock’s face crinkled up into a laugh, while John again reminded him to adjust his sheet.

“His eyes make it look a bit vague,” Edmund offered, “Otherwise, surprisingly okay,”

“Well, if he’s vague, they must’ve modelled it after King Dick over here,” Hamlet gestured to Richard on his right side.

“Does he know he’s dead?” Rosencrantz was suddenly alarmed.

“Yes, alright everyone, calm down,” Cumberbatch was holding control by a thread when Casanova traipsed through the door, looking every bit the wanton lothario.

“Gentleman,” he scanned the room, “And dear lady, I apologise for my grievous tardiness. Mr. Crieff alerted me that my presence was indeed needed and requested,”

“Good, he can check and see if we’re anatomically correct, he knows a good.....” Rory piped up to the laughter of the room.

"Yes...THANK you Rory, that's enough." interjected Cumberbatch.

Casanova proceeded to walk over to the waxwork, unzipping its pants, “In any case, it is not the size, but the - well, hello there,” he smiled.

The room applauded, laughed and wolf whistled, Classified doing a particularly good job, while Smaug looked uncertainly down to his lap; Titania looked down her bodice, confused by what lay underneath her dress, and played with the tulle of her skirt.

Rory came racing over, a sudden urge to see what the fuss was about. “Ha! He’s even wearing underwear!”

“What ones are they? Are they the grey boxer briefs? They’re my favourite!” Titania excited for an answer.

“Seriously, Titania!” Cumberbatch was exasperated, “Though, I don’t usually dress to that side,” he remarked, “Anyone else want to comment? Come on, feel free to come over and have a look.”

Slowly, the rest of the crowd got up and milled around the wax statue in the corner. Benedict sat back and observing while everyone pored over the likeness. There were comments, vulgarity and hilarity.

“They’ve done a rather lovely job of getting the measurements correct, haven’t they?” ever polite, Turing looked over at Cumberbatch for a moment.

“They have, maybe the hair needs work though,” Tietjens offered.

“Actually, I think this looks more like you, Tietjens,” Bernard mumbled quietly.

“Hmmm,” Tietjens stood back and looked again, “Looks better from the side,”

“Much like most of us then,” James gave him a tap on the back and a cheeky smile.

“Maybe we could borrow it to create diversions for the paparazzi." Watson joked.

“Not such a bad idea, actually,” Cumberbatch agreed with a nod.

“They did an admirable job on the skin tone,” Van Gogh was up close and looking at the paint job now, “It even has two ears,”

“I reckon your wife will try and have a go at it,” Casanova mumbled at Tietjens.

“Pardon?” Cumberbatch looked at them confused.

“He slept with my wife,” the reason for Tietjens’ anger suddenly laid bare for the room to see.

“Yes, but who hasn’t?” Major Stewart asserted, as if it would somehow sooth the issue.

The room now silent, all that could be heard was Sherlock laughing wildly.

Chapter Text

Cumberbatch rolled his eyes, “Is that really relevant anymore? When we last spoke, you were with Valentine, were you not?”

“Well, yes,” Tietjens admitted.

“Alright, well let it go then, yeah?” Cumberbatch was thankful the meeting was soon coming to a close.

“Conceal, don’t feel,’ Titania sang.

“No, no, no,” Rory started, “There is no place for that here,”

Everyone made their way back to their seats, in much the same formation as they had taken for the entire day as Cumberbatch started on a closing speech; the room finally captivated and listening.

“So before we disappear again for the year, thank you. Thank you for your hard work and efforts this year. I would like to set some challenges though, if I may, for the upcoming year. Sherlock, I want to see some Setlock pictures as soon as you can; getting thoroughly sick of being asked when that’s happening, so make it happen,”

“Yes, good, fine! I’m bored! John, I’m bored!” Sherlock huffed.

“Sherlock,” John tapped his leg, “That’s fine, we’ll get onto that Mr. Cumberbatch. We need some new cases anyway,”

“Khan, I want you to find us a new meeting venue, this one will be too small come next year,”

“I could ask J.J. Abrams if we could borrow the Galactic Senate Chambers,”

“The what now?” Tietjens shot him a look.

“Well, the Galactic Senate Chambers are on Coruscant, you can see them in Star Wars,”

Rory snorted, “Star Wars isn’t real,”

“Oh, yes, yes it is,” bellowed Tietjens, “Just like the neutron cream, it’s all very real” finally, his turn to hit back and he was met with stifled laughter throughout the room.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do with you two next year, really, couples counseling or something,” Cumberbatch shook his head, “Anyway, we have a lot of projects coming out soon. Alan, all the luck in the world to you; I want to see everyone supporting him and lending a hand. His story needs to be told, so if he calls you and asks for help, then you help him,”

“I’ll help you,” Hawking offered, “Just call and we will get everything done,”

“Thank you,” Turing smiled politely at the both of them.

“Classified, Smaug, Shere Khan, as none of you can hold a pen, Khan and Tietjens have volunteered to help sign some autographs for you; the two of you can hold back an hour or so with me to make sure that’s done,”

Two very distinct, audible groans could be heard at opposite sides of the room, “We have?”

“You have,” Cumberbatch said firmly.

“Come fly with me, let’s fly, let’s fly away…” Martin sang out.

“Of course! Martin! It’s our Captain’s last flight this Christmas, everyone please congratulate Martin, he’s done a wonderful job the past six years,”

Applause rang out, congratulatory handshakes and remarks coming from every corner of the room before settling down just long enough to continue.

“Rory, you’re probably good with computers. Can you get the inbox cleaned up please? We’re lagging a bit behind in that department,”

“Will do, Patrick, do you want to help?” Rory turned behind him.

“Of course, we can quiz each other while we do it,” he agreed.

“Are we getting on Facebook this year?” Rosencrantz queried with a finger in the air.

Cumberbatch groaned, “No, we are not getting on Facebook,”

“Twitter?” Luke had been quiet all afternoon, but finally made his presence felt.

“No, no Twitter either. I think we’re all busy enough without adding those distractions on top of everything. Just to finish off, I want to tell you all how much I appreciate the efforts put in by each and every one of you over the past months and years; I really wouldn’t be doing any of this without any of you. You’ve all been carefully selected and once you’re part of the family, well, you can’t get out of it. So, let’s see everyone helping out Alan, Martin, Classified and Smaug, who all have films out this Christmas, get over the festive hump. We’ve got you guys looking after emails, you lot doing autographs. I’ll give each of you a call over the next week or two for some feedback. Thank you again, and I’ll see you in the New Year,”

Cutting through the silence and signalling the end was Wallace, who let out an almighty “Booyah!”

Chairs shuffled and scratched as everyone but Khan and Tietjens scrambled for the exit.

“And don’t forget, cups, plates and rubbish all need to go in the bin, Mrs. Hudson isn’t your housekeeper!” Cumberbatch yelled over the top of everyone as the room quickly emptied.

The cello music resumed, Smaug having made off with the jaguars. Titania and Casanova flirted wildly with each other as they made their way out the door, and Cumberbatch grabbed Khan by the collar and dragged him over to the table occupied by Tietjens.

“Right, the three of us, 1000 posters. We aren’t leaving until it’s done. You complain, we’ll do 1000 more,” Cumberbatch dropped the bundle on the desk with two pens with a smile, “Now, shall we begin?”

Five minutes of silence followed, before Khan broke out, “That’s my line,”