The Blonde

The Only Person She Fooled Was Herself

Rose crouched in the building's shadow. She could see Moriarty in the parking lot. He leaned back against his black sedan, or it might've been Mycroft's sedan. She wasn't sure.

She glanced at her watch. Five after ten. He was early, probably laying in wait for her. She'd come up the back, hoping to avoid being detected.

"Come out, come out, wherever you are," Moriarty called, his eyes darting to her hiding place.

Brilliant! The only person she fooled was herself. She should've known he'd be watching every available entrance. There was nothing for it. She stood up and stepped into the empty parking lot.

"So good of you to join us," he said, giving her a smile.

"Where's Mycroft?" she asked.

"He's here," Moriarty patted the rear window before straightening and taking a step toward her. "I thought we could have a little chat first."

"I want to see him."

Moriarty sighed. "Fine." He opened the back door. Mycroft was sitting in the seat with his hands tied and tape over his mouth. He looked at her and his eyes narrowed as if he was trying to figure out why she was there. Moriarty bent down next to him. "That tape's really going to hurt when you pull it off, but it really couldn't be helped." He stood up and gazed at Rose. "He was doing a whole lot of this…" He mimed chatting. "And it was either the tape or a bullet to the head and, although, I really was considering the bullet I thought that might put a damper on our little chat." He stood up and closed the door.

"I'll talk to you after you let him go," she insisted.

"Um…" He looked up as if he was thinking about her request. "…no. First we'll talk and then I'll consider letting him go."

"You agreed to let him go if I came down here."

"No, I offered to trade him for you."

"Then trade."

He stuffed his hands in his pockets and walked toward her, looking her over.

"I'm not sure if I want to."

"What?" she asked in disbelief.

He was the one who sent her the offer. She was there so obviously she was willing to go through with it and now he was changing his mind? She watched him. No, he was toying with her. Trying to get a rise out of her.

"Why don't we start our little chat with you telling me about yourself?"

"Why?"

"Because I'm interested and that doesn't happen very often, but I'm interested in you because you, Rose Tyler, don't exist. Not simply your name, but your image. No camera footage, no pictures, nothing. It's as if you popped into existence yesterday."

I did pop into existence yesterday, at least, on this world. She couldn't say that. She definitely couldn't say that. He'd either think she was a complete nutter, which wouldn't bother her in the least, or…he'd believe her and that would be bad. Very bad.

"What do you want to know?"

"Everything," he replied with a gleeful grin, one that made him seem like a shark about to devour his prey. "You're from Cardiff, mid to late twenties, with a working class background, but other than that you're a complete mystery and I must say that doesn't happen very often. Not to me." He walked around her, looking her over. "So, tell me what do you do for a living? I want to say soldier, but that's not quite right."

"I work in a shop."

"No…" he shook his head. "…no…DON'T LIE TO ME…unless you want to see Sherlock's brother with an extra hole in his head because, you see, my driver has a gun pointed at his head. All I have to do is snap my fingers," he lifted his fingers and put them together for effect, "and he's dead. Now, try again."

"I…worked for a company called Torchwood."

"Torchwood? Never heard of it, but it has an interesting ring. What did you do?"

"I went out on assignments."

"Oooh, assignments. That does sound interesting. What sort of assignments?"

"Recovery."

"Recovery of what?"

"Artifacts." Alien artifacts, but she didn't want to say that.

"Artifacts?" he repeated as if it was the most boring thing he'd ever heard. His gazed wondered over her. "No, there's more to it than that." He gazed into her eyes. She held his gaze even though it made her skin crawl. "Oh," he said as if he'd suddenly discovered something interesting. "You have."

"Have what?"

"I was going to ask if you've killed anyone, but I can see that you have. Well, that is something, isn't it? I wonder if he knows." Moriarty smiled. "He doesn't, does he?" His smile turned gleeful. "My, my, my Ms. Tyler. Keeping secrets from Sherlock Holmes. That is naughty."

She was tired of his games. Did he bring her there to question her? He could've taken her at any time if that's all he wanted to do. There had to be some point to this and she didn't want to keep this up for the next hour or so.

"Why don't you tell me what the hell this is all about?" she snapped.

He leaned in next to her ear.

"Can't you figure it out?" he whispered.

A revolted shiver ran down her spine. What was it about? Not questioning her. It wasn't about taking Mycroft either. It wasn't even about the trade. If it had been Mycroft would be free and she'd be in the car with her hands bound.

He sent the text to her. Not Sherlock or John. She made the choice to come. It was about her choice.

"You wanted to see if I'd actually show up. On my own. That's why you sent the text to me. I was the only one who knew, which meant it was entirely my choice."

"Good. Very good." He stepped closer, smiling. "You could've left him with me and no one would've ever known. Not even Sherlock. He probably would've found out eventually, but you could've claimed you had no idea who I was talking about and really, no one would've blamed you. I am who I am."

"I wouldn't do that."

"No, you wouldn't," he said, sounding disappointed. "You suffer from the same weakness as all those ordinary people."

"There's something you ought to know about me."

"What's that?"

As he circled her again she tackled him and in the next moment he was lying on his back on the ground and she was sitting on top of him with her knees bent, pinning his arms to the ground and her forearm against his throat.

"I'm not ordinary."

"Oh, good. Very good," he laughed.

The car door opened and his driver climbed out, gun in hand, pointed at her, but she pulled her sonic and in the next moment the driver's gun sparked, he cursed, and it was lying on the ground.

"Now, that is interesting," Moriarty said. "What is it?"

She pointed her sonic at the driver, ignoring Moriarty.

"Open the door and let him go," she demanded. The driver glanced at Moriarty. "Don't look at him. He can't help you. Let him go or you're going to find out how many volts I can shoot through your body."

She couldn't actually do that, but what he didn't know wouldn't hurt her. He quickly opened the door and helped Mycroft out.

"Oh, I'm really liking you," Moriarty said.

"Mycroft, I know you don't trust me, but right now you only have two choices…me or them," Rose explained.

He nodded and she took that as an agreement that he was on her side…for now, at least.

"You, over there," she said to the driver, motioning to the front of the car. When he started moving she glanced at Mycroft. "Grab his gun and then come over here."

He walked over to the gun, bent down, and after a couple attempts finally managed to hold onto it with his tied hands. Then he walked over to where she was. Rose turned her attention on Moriarty.

"Now, I'm going to get up-"

"Do you have to? I rather like it down here."

She ignored his comment.

"You're not going to try anything or you're going to get a shock and I don't mean a small one."

She stood up, slowly, making sure to keep her attention on Moriarty. She waited for him to stand.

"You realize I'm not going to let you leave."

"Get in the car," she ordered. "You too." She motioned toward the driver with her sonic. "I'd like to say it's been a pleasure, but you didn't want me to lie."

She gave Moriarty a smile, which, to her surprise, he returned.

"Oh, but it has been a pleasure and we'll be seeing each other again. Very soon."

He climbed into the back seat and closed the door. She waited until the driver's door closed then she changed the setting on her sonic and used it to lock the doors. She could hear the driver yelling. She changed the settings again and used her sonic to disable the engine. It let out a loud snap and a bit of smoke. Then she grabbed Mycroft's arm, gave him a smile, and started running toward Baker Street.

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