The Blonde

Escalation

Sherlock knelt down, examining the back alley. A wolf. Why a wolf? He wasn't sure what he was expecting to find. It has to have something to do with her, but what? There weren't any prints. Not that he expected to find any.

He pocketed his magnifying glass as he stood up. John was talking to Lestrade. He needed to speak with Rose. She held the answers, but he wanted to speak to her without the aid of his friend. He had to find something to occupy John's time.

His mobile chimed. He pulled it out. Mrs. Hudson? She rarely called him. He answered.

"Mrs. Hudson?" he asked.

"Sherlock. Thank God. I didn't know who else to call. I only went to the market and back. I went down to bring her some tea, but then I noticed the door."

She was upset. Barely holding it together.

"What happened?"

"Someone broke in to Rose's flat."

He felt a sensation that he hadn't felt since the Baskerville case. Fear.

"Where is she?" he demanded.

"Isn't she with you?"

"No. I…" He sent her back there. Sent her to her flat because he was angry with her for not telling him about Moriarty. His mouth went dry. What if she…? No, he couldn't think about that. Couldn't allow that thought…He hung up, pocketing his mobile. He raced out of the alley, hailing the nearest cab.

"Sherlock!" John called, but he barely registered his friend's voice.

He opened the door and jumped into the seat.

"221B Baker Street," he instructed.

Moriarty had been in her flat twice. Sherlock was down there and he hadn't seen a sign, but then he wasn't looking for them. If Mrs. Hudson noticed…and as upset as she was…He tried to keep the images from flooding his mind. Images that hadn't bothered him before, but now…Every crime scene, every woman became her. Murder. Over two hundred scenarios.

As they neared the building he didn't wait for the cab to stop. He pulled the money from his pocket, threw it at the driver, and practically flew out of the cab, up the steps, and through the door. A quick jaunt down the hall and he was descending the steps.

Her door had been forced open, hanging by a single hinge. The living room had been tossed. He stepped into her flat and gazed around the room. If there had been any signs of a struggle it blended in with the ransack. All the furniture had been tossed, clothes strewn about the room. A glance into the kitchen told the same story. Someone had come here intent on finding something.

A noise from the other room drew his attention. His eyes trained on her open bedroom door. Someone was in there. Mrs. Hudson? He dismissed the idea. His landlady had been upset when he spoke to her and although she might be calm by now she wouldn't venture back in there until he finished with his search and she didn't even know he was there.

He assumed the culprit was gone, but perhaps he was still there. Sherlock silently strode across the room. As he neared the doorway he could see her. Rose. She was pulling her dresser out as if she was searching for something. Relief swept through him. A strange emotion. One he felt when he removed the vest wired with explosives that Moriarty had strapped to John. Not quite happy and not quite sad, but left him with a sort of emptiness that was filled with laughter then, but this time anger swept in to fill the void.

He'd been worried over her the entire trip back to the flat, but had she been kidnapped? Murdered? No, she was there. In her flat. Searching for something. Why hadn't anyone called him?

He closed the distance between them in a few steps. Her back was to him the entire time. He resisted the urge to yell at her, even though he really wanted to.

"Lose something?" he asked.

She spun around and her eyes gave him pause. Fear. She was usually so held together, but his sudden appearance made her mask slip. It was back in place a moment later and if he didn't have a photographic memory he would've thought he imagined it. She slapped his arm.

"You scared the hell out of me," she snapped.

That makes two of us, but he chose not to voice that. Instead, he untied his scarf and slipped out of his coat, tossing them on the bed that had obviously been searched.

"I must say you're doing a brilliant job," he replied.

"Sorry?"

"This taking care of yourself lark."

Anger flashed in her eyes.

"I know Mrs. Hudson called you, but that doesn't mean I have to put up with your piss poor attitude!" she yelled stepping toward him.

"Maybe if you asked for help instead of running directly into danger like some idiot with a death wish this," he indicated the tossed room, "wouldn't have happened!"

He knew his anger was misplaced, but he didn't care. Her hand almost connected with his face, but he caught her wrist in the last moment.

"So, what? It's all right for you and John to put yourselves in danger, but if anyone else does they're an idiot with a death wish?"

No, just you, but he held that back. Kept that safely tucked away.

"Yes," he snapped.

"Do you realize you're being a complete arse?"

She was infuriating! Moriarty had been in her flat twice and now it'd been tossed. Was she incapable of seeing the danger she was in or did she relish driving him mad with worry?

"You put yourself in danger, made yourself a target to save a man you didn't even know!"

"You save people you don't even know every day!"

"I solve puzzles! I'm not a hero, Rose! Heroes don't exist!"

"Neither am I!"

Her pulse was elevated, but was that from her anger or something else? He gazed into her hazel eyes. She was furious, he could see that, but there was something else. Or was he searching for something else? This blonde. This woman. She drove him mad!

"Why?" he asked, more to himself than her.

The anger in her eyes ebbed, just a bit.

"Sorry…what?" she asked.

"Why do you distract me?"

"What are you talking about?"

He pulled her closer, searching her eyes for the answer. Even when dealing with Ms. Adler he could hold on to some semblance of control, but this blonde. This infuriating woman who ran toward danger as if it was some game, drove him to distraction. She made him feel…human. He couldn't afford that. Wouldn't allow it!

"You are a distraction! I can't afford distractions!"

"Neither can I!"

He glared into her eyes, trying to banish emotions that he'd gone without until her presence drew them from the darkness. He wanted to hate her, loathe her, but he knew it was a battle he'd already lost. That didn't mean he was going to go quietly.

"I am not this man," he growled as his mind battled his body for control. "I have always been able to divorce myself from feelings. Keep myself distant."

Her face was inches from his and her eyes, angry, but there was something…something so distracting…something that whispered to him. He didn't fall prey to the chemical defects of sentiment and love, but here was this woman. This bewitching blonde who had somehow managed to do the impossible.

He heard the front door open, a distant noise down the hall followed by John's footsteps as he entered the building. Sherlock was aware that he had seconds, moments. Before he knew what he was doing his hand brushed her cheek. He wanted to push her away. To continue to deny his feelings, but his body betrayed him because somewhere along the way he'd lost the game. His head inclined. He expected her to pull away, hell part of him wanted her to, but she allowed the invasion. His lips brushed hers and all of his reservations fell away. He pulled her closer, tasting the hint of raspberry on her lips as his hand tangled in her blonde hair. A moment later her arm wrapped around his waist.

A cough from the doorway startled her out of the kiss and, although, he didn't want to, he allowed her to pull away. He turned his attention on his flatmate who was standing outside her bedroom with a half stunned, half confused look on his face. Sherlock eyed him, devising the many ways he could get back at John for his many interruptions.

Standard Disclaimer.

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