Sherlock watched the blonde…brunette actually, but she'd bleached her hair. Many times. He barely noticed John's concern. That didn't matter. What mattered were the things he didn't know.
Usually…no…most of the time…no…all the time with a few exceptions, very few, he could tell everything about someone just by observing, but this woman, this blonde was a mystery.
There were things he could tell. Status. Posh. Background. Working class. Daily Life. Workaholic. No pets. She'd lost someone close to her, but he couldn't tell who. Brother? Parent? Significant other? He could tell that she worked, too much, but he wasn't sure what she did for a living. She was from money. He could tell that from her clothes, but her shoes…trainers with the soles wore down. There was a mobile in one pocket and something else in the other. Thin lamp? Tool of some sort?
Then there was the whole mystery of where she came from, how she got in their flat, how she landed on the side table. Because she did land on the side table. As if she had been thrown, but there was no one else in the flat. So, if she was thrown…who threw her? The front door wasn't her point of entry. He would've heard it or, at least, he thought he would have. The windows were all closed and nothing was disturbed near them. He was sure he would've heard her break in. The only other conclusion was that she appeared in the room landing on the side table, but that couldn't be the case. Case! She was a case. Not exactly a case, but a mystery nonetheless.
The door opened. He glanced at Mrs. Hudson as she walked in the room. "Boys," she said, insistently. "What's all the…oh, who's this then? A client?"
The blonde's laughter had almost completely subsided. John's hand was on her shoulder, gazing at her in concerned. Sherlock took in the what's-going-on-here-then look Mrs. Hudson wore. So, she hadn't seen the blonde, which validated his belief that the girl hadn't come up the stairs.
"This is…" Sherlock began and then realized he didn't know the blonde's name. Not that he concerned himself with names, but he couldn't introduce her as the blonde.
"Rose," the blonde said. "I'm Rose Tyler-"
"This is Rose," Sherlock cut in.
"Rose?" Mrs. Hudson asked.
She wanted to know why the blonde was there, which was something he wanted to know as well, but Mrs. Hudson was asking for a different reason. She wanted to know the blonde's relationship to them, especially with the way John was treating her, hand on shoulder, a bit more intimate than someone he just met. Of course they had just met her, but if Mrs. Hudson found out about the broken side table she'd probably want to do something that ordinary people did like send her to the doctor, but he couldn't let the blonde leave until he sorted who she was, how she got there. He had to give her a reason to be there and one that wouldn't keep Mrs. Hudson lurking in their flat while he worked out what was going on.
"She's John's sister," he decided.
"His sister?" Rose asked.
"My sister?" John inquired at the same time, eyeing him.
Don't be an idiot, Sherlock thought eyeing John back.
"Oh, right my…um…my sister. Rose," John said.
"I thought your sister's name was Harriet?" Mrs. Hudson asked.
"This is his other sister," Sherlock said.
"I didn't know you had two sisters."
"Neither did I," John said.
Mrs. Hudson gave John a confused look while Sherlock shot him a glare and that's when the consulting detective realized his mistake. Rose's last name was Tyler and John's was Watson. That could be explained through marriage, but she wasn't wearing a wedding ring.
"She was adopted, been looking for him for years, finally tracked him down through his military records. Isn't that right?" Sherlock glanced at Rose who seemed to have fully recovered from her bought of laughter. He wasn't sure if she'd catch on, most people were generally slo… She smiled knowingly.
"Oh, yes. If he hadn't been in the military I might've gone on looking for years before I found him," she said.
"You found him through his military records?" Mrs. Hudson asked, a bit skeptically.
She could be sharp when she wanted to and that wasn't a good thing at the moment. Sherlock started to formulate a believable response, but the blond was faster.
"I have this friend. Aaron. He works in one of the records offices. When I found out John had been in the service I asked Aaron to look him up. Technically, he wasn't supposed to, but you wouldn't believe all the paperwork I had to fill out. Practically wanted my blood and you know how slow the government can be," she explained then a very believable look of having said something she shouldn't have crossed her features. "You won't tell anyone will you? About Aaron I mean, technically he wasn't supposed to give me John's address and all, but I'd been looking for him for so long."
She was quick. Not entirely ordinary. Did she make Aaron up or was he real? Did she know someone named Aaron who worked in a government records office? Did she work in a government office?
"Of course I won't dear," Mrs. Hudson said, giving her that motherly look. "Now I can see it."
"See what?" John asked.
Sherlock had to press the side of his hand to his mouth to keep from laughing. Ordinary people always see what they're told to see. Introduce them to someone and tell them they're related and they start to see similarities where there aren't any.
"The…" John looked at Rose "…no, I don't see it."
"You see it don't you Sherlock?" Mrs. Hudson asked.
Sherlock coughed to keep himself from laughing and then pulled himself together before answering.
"Bit around the mouth and the nose," he said, gesturing toward them.
"Exactly. I'll leave you to it then, but I'll be back in a bit with some cakes and tea, if you want."
"Tea would be lovely, thank you," Rose replied.
"Yes. Tea. Later," Sherlock said with a dismissive wave.
The door closed and Rose eyed him.
"Rude," she chided.
"Rude? Me?" He might've been a bit short, but he wasn't…
"Rude," she repeated.
He turned to his friend.
"John am I…?"
"Yes, very," John said.
Niceties weren't something he thought about. There wasn't time to think about that with everything else going on. Besides, that was something he left to people like…well, like John and Mrs. Hudson.
"So, you're Sherlock Holmes and you're…" Rose turned to John. "Dr. Watson?"
"Yes, technically, but everyone calls me John not Dr. Watson."
"We've already established this," Sherlock said, waving his hand impatiently. He wanted to get on to other things…fill in all those blanks he was drawing when he looked at her.
"Being rude again," she said, but she was smiling in a…strange sort of way. "Which makes you a detective."
Detective. Yes. He caught her eye. No, not detective…
"Consulting detective," he corrected.
His lips began to curve up, returning that smile she was giving him. Wait. What the hell am I doing? He forced the smile away. He didn't indulge in that sort of behavior.
"Consulting. That's right because you don't actually work for anyone you've just decided you're a detective."
"Decided I'm a…I did not decide I was a detective. I am a detective."
"You took classes then?"
"You were taught to be a detective?"
"Decided you were a detective."
"I…" Oh she was infuriating. How dare she…wait…she was giving him that smile again.
"I think what Sherlock is trying to say is-" John began.
"And what are you then?" he asked, cutting his flatmate off.
"I'm…hold on aren't you supposed to be this brilliant detective?"
"Brilliant detective?" John asked.
Brilliant. Yes. That was more like it. He smiled, but allowed it this time because she was right. He was brilliant. No, more than brilliant, but that would do.
"I thought Sherlock Holmes was supposed to be able to tell everything about someone just by looking at them."
"Observing," he corrected.
"He's actually very good at it," John added.
"Very good," Sherlock scoffed. "I specifically recall you saying astounding, at one time."
"Okay then, observe. What do I do for a living?"
"You…" Shirt. Two hundred pounds. Pants. Three hundred. Trainers. Thirty, no forty. Earrings. Ten. Diamond ring. Index finger. Twelve hundred. Not married. Not engaged. Kept? Maybe. No, she wouldn't be wearing the trainers. Mobile, hidden. What is that thing in her other pocket? Necklace. Gold chain. No not gold. It's…what is it? She touched it. She'd done that a few times, absentmindedly. The necklace was important, but he couldn't see what was hanging from it because it was concealed under her shirt.
He glanced at John who was giving him a confused look. No help there then.
"Can I see your phone?"
She was smiling. A bit smug. Well, he would soon fix that. What was he…? She pulled her mobile out. Oh, yes, the phone. He took it. New. Scuff marks on the back a small scratch on the front. Not new. A couple months old at least, but it. He touched the screen. It was…the technology was newer than anything he'd seen. Not even Mycroft had a phone like this. He read through her contacts. Mum. Dad. Tony. James. Torchwood. Torchwood? He'd never heard of it. Lots of calls from Torchwood and to Torchwood. That must be where she worked, but he had no idea what it was, which didn't give him a clue as to what she did. James. The name was there, but no calls to or from him. An ex? Perhaps. The Doctor. Her doctor? Why would she save the name The Doctor? No calls to or from this doctor either. No Aaron.
He handed her phone back.
"I…don't know," Sherlock admitted.
"Sorry, what?" John asked as if he couldn't believe what he heard.
"You heard me, John," he snapped.
"You don't know?"
"No, I don't know what she does for a living," Sherlock scowled. He didn't like not knowing. He liked figuring things out. That's what he did. He glanced at her. She was smiling again, which infuriated him. "I'll tell you what I do know," he said, leaning forward.
"Go on then," she said.
"You grew up poor. Working class poor. Cardiff I'd say. You grew up poor, but you're not poor now. In fact you came into…no, your parents came into quite a bit of money, but you haven't been wealthy for very long. I'd say a few years. You work too much, which worries your mother, but you have to work because it's the only thing that keeps you from thinking about James."
"James?" she asked, toying with the necklace. Whatever hung from it was still hidden, but it had to be a ring. Married? No.
He could hear the loss in her voice. He knew he should stop there, but smugness won out. "You two weren't married, but you were engaged. You lost him. I'm guessing he died, rather suddenly. Your mother wants you to move on, but you haven't. Instead, you poured yourself into work, sleeping only a few hours a night."
He sat back, a satisfied smile on his face, waiting for the inevitable shocked awe.
Thank you to all my brilliant readers! Reviews are always welcome. :)