"Here you go," John said, handing Rose a cuppa.
"Thanks," she said, blowing on the top before taking a drink.
She hadn't been up for very long. She probably would've gone on sleeping if the kettle hadn't woke her.
"Sleep all right?" he asked.
"The sofa isn't very comfortable."
"I've slept on worse," she said, thinking about all those times she'd wound up stuck on some alien planet or distant spaceship because the Doctor thought it was more fun to not know where they were going.
He raised his eyebrows, but didn't push her to elaborate, something she was grateful for because she didn't want to lie to them, but at the same time she didn't want them to think she'd lost her mind.
"Damn!" Sherlock shouted from the kitchen, slamming his hand on the table.
"He all right?" Rose asked.
"He does that," John dismissed.
"What's he doing in there?"
"Analyzing the ink from the picture."
"Still on that then?"
He started going over the picture last night. Checked it for prints, then the paper compound, rattled off everything he could tell from the writing. She wondered if he got any sleep.
"I'm sure something will turn up," she said.
"That's what I'm afraid of."
"What do you mean?"
"Last time Moriarty went after Sherlock I watched my friend jump off a building."
That must have been horrible. She couldn't help reaching her hand out to give his a reassuring squeeze.
"I don't think Moriarty's going to kill him."
"No, he already tried that and it didn't work. Now, he's going to burn Sherlock's life. I'm afraid of what Sherlock will do to stop him."
"What does he have against him? I mean, I know Moriarty's a criminal and all, but why him?" She nodded toward the kitchen.
"It's like he thinks Sherlock's the only one who could stop him."
At that moment John's phone chimed. He picked it up off the side table and read the text. His eyebrows drew together in annoyance.
"Everything okay?" she asked.
"Yeah, just Mycroft," he replied, typing a message.
John went to set his phone down, but it chimed again. He read the text and let out an exasperated sigh.
"What is it?"
"Mycroft. He wants to talk to me."
"Who knows. With him I can never tell. Probably something to do with Sherlock."
"I thought you two were supposed to have a look round the auction house?"
"He'll have to go without me," John said, taking a drink of his tea and then he seemed to consider something. "What's on your schedule for today?"
"What do you mean?"
"I'm sure you have to get back to your…family?"
She held back the wince that wanted to come. It was easy to forget that she was marooned on a parallel world and she'd likely never see her family again.
"John," Sherlock chastised as he stepped into the room. "And you say I'm insensitive."
"What?" John asked.
"Isn't it obvious?"
"Isn't what obvious?"
"She hasn't tried to contact anyone since she appeared in our flat. Hasn't spoken about her family. Hasn't spoken about anyone from her past with the exception of a few questions I asked."
"Meaning she's on her own," Sherlock deduced, flopping down on the sofa.
"On your own?" John asked, looking at her with a mixture of shock and concern. "What happened?"
This was not the conversation she wanted to have. How could she explain that she'd had to jump through a crack in reality to save them? That she was now stuck on a parallel world alone?
"I…had to leave."
"They were in danger and the only way to save them was for me to leave."
"What sort of danger?" Sherlock asked.
"It's…not something I can talk about," she lied, knowing there was no way to explain the situation without coming off sounding like a complete nutter.
"Was someone after you?" John asked.
"No, nothing like that."
At the moment Mrs. Hudson entered the flat. Rose was grateful for the interruption.
"John, there's a car for you," Mrs. Hudson said.
"A car?" Sherlock asked as John stood up.
"Mycroft," John said. "I'll meet you at the auction house."
"The auction house?"
"Stolen painting, remember?"
"I'm far too busy for that," Sherlock dismissed.
"You best get un-busy. I'm not covering for you again and after last night you owe me."
"Fine," Sherlock snapped. "Oh, Mrs. Hudson?" She'd been about to walk out the door, but she turned around. "Ms. Tyler would like to rent the basement flat."
"She would?" Mrs. Hudson asked.
"I would?" Rose asked at the same time.
"She's in need of a place and I'm sure John would like his sister close by, wouldn't you John?"
But John had already left. Rose rolled her eyes. Eventually someone was going to figure out that she wasn't John's sister. She wondered what story he'd make up when that happened.
"I can show it to you if you want to have a look," Mrs. Hudson offered.
"That's an excellent idea," Sherlock said. "I have to go have a look round an auction house, but I'll be back in a few hours."
He stood up and Rose followed suit. She did need a place to stay and at least she'd be in the same building as the only people she really knew here. As Sherlock passed her on his way to the kitchen he leaned close to her ear.
"Keep an eye on her, would you?" he asked.
She knew for all his talk about only having one friend he cared about Mrs. Hudson and now that Moriarty was back he worried that his nemesis might go after her.
"I will," Rose promised. "Basement flat, is it?" she asked, following Mrs. Hudson out the door.
Thank you to all my brilliant readers!
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