The Blonde

Capturing the Queen

John sat in his chair drinking the tea Mrs. Hudson offered after she came up to straighten things, which he knew was more about keeping herself busy than anything else. Sherlock spent the entire night at Rose's flat. He wasn't sure what had gone on, and some things he'd rather not know, but the police hadn't been called. He hoped that was a good sign.

The door opened and Sherlock stepped inside. John gazed around his friend, but he was alone.

"Where is she?" he asked as his flatmate closed the door.

Sherlock had been pretty adamant about not leaving her alone.

"Getting dressed."

John raised his brow.

"Dressed?"

"Yes. I took your advice and did that…compromising thing you talked about."

"Well," John smirked, "sounds like it worked out."

Sherlock crossed the room and sat down in his chair. A moment later Mrs. Hudson appeared with a cup of tea for the detective.

"Thank you," Sherlock replied.

John raised his brown again. Must have worked out VERY well. He smiled.

"What?" Sherlock asked, eyeing him.

"I'm just…glad you two are getting on so well."

"Yes." Sherlock took a drink of his tea and then glanced at John again. "We had a nice chat."

"Chat?"

"And came to an understanding."

"Is that all?"

The detective eyed him.

"What do you mean by that?"

"You seem…" Happy, well, happy for Sherlock, which most people wouldn't consider happy, but he wasn't brooding, yelling, throwing things, and he'd actually thanked Mrs. Hudson. Not that he hadn't done that before, but those were usually special occasions.

"Seem what?"

"Different."

"Different?"

A knock at the downstairs door interrupted their conversation.

"I'll get it," Mrs. Hudson said, crossing the room and heading out the door.

John continued to watch his friend. A chat? That's all? No, that couldn't be all. Something happened. Footsteps on the stairs drew his attention. The door opened and Mrs. Hudson led Lestrade inside.

"Lestrade," Sherlock greeted, standing up…Hang on, was that a smile?

"Sherlock," Lestrade returned. "I've been trying to get hold of you."

"Yes, I received your texts. About the murder, correct?"

"Yes, I wanted to know if you found anything."

"I'm following up on a lead…" At that moment Rose stepped through the open door. "Hello," Sherlock said focusing his attention on her and…another smile? All right, that one John half expected.

"Morning…again," Rose said, returning his smile as she handed him…his scarf? "Found this on my sofa. Yours, yeah?"

"Yes." Sherlock took the offered scarf. "Thank you."

John, like Lestrade, gazed from Sherlock to Rose. Yes, something definitely changed. A chat? There's no way all that was from a chat. John stood up.

"Morning," he greeted.

Rose looked at him and seemed to realize there were other people in the room.

"Morning, John," she greeted and then turned to Lestrade. "Hello."

"Morning," he replied as if he was trying to figure out what the hell was going on. Then he turned to Sherlock who was watching Rose. "Left that at her flat?"

Sherlock turned to Lestrade and then glanced at the scarf in his hand.

"Yes."

"On the sofa?"

Sherlock cleared his throat dawning a bit of that clinical detachment. He tossed the scarf on the chair.

"Yes," he replied. "As I was saying I'm following up on a lead."

Lestrade smirked, but went with the topic shift.

"Care to share this lead?"

"Not at the moment, but I'll fill you in later."

"It looks like they're going to be a while," Rose said.

John turned his attention from Sherlock and Lestrade to her.

"Most likely," he replied.

Lestrade was starting to argue with Sherlock and that usually lasted for a good ten to twenty minutes, sometimes longer. John glanced at Rose. He wanted to ask her what went on between the two of them, but he wasn't sure if it was his place. There were things she didn't know about Sherlock though. At least, not unless his friend told her, but he doubted that. Sherlock wasn't exactly an open book. Not even close.

"Do you want to come with me?" she asked.

"Sorry?" he inquired, thinking he must have missed something.

"If they're going to take a while I thought I'd grab a bite at the shop around the corner."

"Oh…sure."

He grabbed his coat and pulled it on. Sherlock glanced at them. Rose gave him a smile.

"Just going to pop around the corner to grab a bite."

"I'll take a coffee, two sugars," the detective said and then, as an afterthought, "If you don't mind."

John paused, staring at his friend in shock. If you don't mind? Had he actually said that? Lestrade was also giving Sherlock a did I just hear what I think I heard look.

"Of course not," Rose replied as she headed out the door.

John followed, glancing at the detective who had fallen back into his argument with Lestrade. He shook his head as he trailed her down the stairs and out the front door. She laced her arm through his as they started down the road.

They walked in silence for a few minutes before curiosity got the better of him.

"So…you two had a chat last night?" he asked.

She glanced at him, giving him a smile.

"Yeah…and I wanted to thank you," she replied.

"Thank me?"

"Oh, come on, I know you're the one who talked to him. He was being a self-righteous git and then suddenly he wants to talk." She laughed. "It doesn't take a genius to figure out what happened."

"Right. Well. I might've said a thing or two," John said, giving her a smile, glad that someone finally noticed he was the one who talked sense into his friend, who, for a genius, could be a real idiot sometimes.

"You're a good friend."

"Yes…I always thought so."

She laughed, giving him a playful shake and that's when everything changed. He felt the blow to the back of his head and went down, hard. What the hell? Rose screamed, but in a startled, surprised way.

"Get off me," she yelled.

Rose! He pushed himself up, his hand going to the back of his head. It was moist. Blood, but that was something to think about later. He heard a door slid open. Van door most likely. He looked toward the noise, but everything was blurry.

"ROSE!" he yelled, taking a step and stumbling.

"Get off." She growled. "John!"

She was more angry than scared. He shook his head. His sight cleared, but his head began to throb. He ignored the pain, focusing on the two men in ski masks who were dragging Rose into a black van. He ran toward them.

"Tell him not to give it up!" she yelled, struggling with the men.

He made it to the door. She could tell him herself because there was no way in hell he was going to let them take her.

"Let her go!" he insisted, trying to climb inside after them.

One of the men kicked him. The man's booted foot connected with John's face. He stumbled back, landing on the road. The door slid closed. He scrambled to his feet, but the van raced down the street before he was up. No! Oh, God no! He ran after it a few feet before he realized how futile that was. He bent over, breathing hard, the image of her struggling with the two men still fresh in his mind.

Sherlock! He turned around and ran back to the flat. Those men must be working for Moriarty. They had to find her before he enacted whatever twisted plan he had in store for her.

He reached the building in record time and flew through the front door, not even stopping to throw it shut before racing up the stairs. Lestrade and Sherlock were still locked in their argument, but the moment he ran inside silence fell over the flat.

"What the hell happened?" Lestrade asked.

John knew he was in a state. The back of his head throbbed and the right side of his face burned with pain where he'd been kicked, but he focused on Sherlock.

"He took her," John revealed.

Panic flashed through his friend's eyes, taking John by surprise. He'd seen fear back at Baskerville, but this…this was different.

"Show me," Sherlock insisted, grabbing his coat and heading out the door.

"They're gone," John said, racing after his friend.

Sherlock ignored him and bolted out the door.

"Sherlock!" He ran after his flatmate and finally managed to catch up, but only because his friend slowed down, seeming to realize he didn't know where he was going. "It was over here," John said, leading Sherlock to the scene. "But they're gone, like I said."

Sherlock examined the scene for a few minutes, during which Lestrade caught up to them. The detective finally seemed to give up and advanced on John.

"Tell me what happened," Sherlock demanded.

"We were walking and someone hit me from behind," John explained, indicating the wound on his head.

"You should get that looked at," Lestrade interrupted.

"Shut up, Lestrade," Sherlock yelled before turning back to John. "And then what happened?"

"I went down, didn't see what happened next, but I heard her scream." Sherlock's brows drew together. Anger. John had seen that before. "I stood up and saw them dragging her into a black van."

"They?"

"Two men wearing ski masks."

"Can you describe them?" Lestrade asked.

John watched his friend shoot the inspector a shut the hell up or I'm going to deck you look. One reserved for occasions when he was having a particularly hard time controlling himself, rare, but John had seen it before.

"I made it to the van, but one of them kicked me hard enough to knock me back. By the time I got up they took off."

"Is there anything you remember? Anything significant?"

"About?"

"The van, the men, anything?"

"No. It was a black panel van and as I said the men were wearing ski masks."

Sherlock began to pace.

"Black panel van. What year?" the detective asked.

"I don't know. Might have been ten years old, maybe less," John replied.

Sherlock growled in frustration.

"There's something else," John said, not sure if he should repeat it, but it seemed important to her.

"What?" Sherlock asked, focusing his full attention on John as if his next words were the difference between life and death.

"She…she said, tell him not to give up."

"Not to give up?"

"Yeah."

Sherlock got a look that usually meant he was trying to work something out.

"Are you sure?"

"Yes."

"Tell him not to give up? Why would she…Oh!" Sherlock smiled.

"Oh?" John and Lestrade asked at the same time.

"Don't you see?" he asked, looking at them. "No, you wouldn't. You don't know about it. She didn't want them to know, but she wanted to make sure I knew, but, oh, that was clever."

"What are you talking about?" John asked, confused.

"It was a message. For me."

"A message?"

"She didn't say tell him not to give up. She said tell him not to give it up."

"It?"

Sherlock pulled something from his pocket. Her sonic! He had it? Why did he have it?

"This is what she meant."

Lestrade leaned over and looked at it.

"What is that?" the inspector asked.

"Haven't you ever seen a screwdriver before?" Sherlock asked, giving Lestrade a smile.

"That's a screwdriver?" the inspector asked in a there's no way that's a screwdriver voice.

Sherlock flipped the sonic in the air, caught it, and then slipped it back in his pocket.

"Now we wait," Sherlock said.

"Wait for what?" John asked.

"Once he realizes she doesn't have it he'll call."

"He?" Lestrade asked.

"Moriarty," Sherlock replied, glancing at the inspector.

"How can you be so sure?" John inquired.

"Because I have something he wants."

"Hang on," Lestrade interrupted. "Moriarty? But he's dead. You said you watched him commit suicide."

"And John watched me jump off a building."

"You think he'll trade for her?" John asked, bringing the topic back to the present situation.

"Yes," Sherlock replied.

"Why?" Lestrade glanced at the pocket Sherlock had slipped it into. "What is it and don't give me any of that it's a screwdriver nonsense."

"In the wrong hands it's capable of being the most powerful weapon on Earth."

"What? And you're just going to hand it over to that psychopath?"

"We can't let him kill her," John insisted, even though the thought of Moriarty getting his hands on her sonic…if Sherlock was right, and he knew his friend wouldn't have said that if it wasn't true…was terrifying.

"Still, I can't let you-"

"Come, John," Sherlock said, running down the street before Lestrade could finish his thought. "Don't worry inspector. I have a plan," he shot back.

John followed his friend around the corner and into the nearest cab. A plan? Instead of making him feel better, the idea of Sherlock having a plan made John's brow draw together in worry. Sometimes his friend's plans tended to go a little…sideways. Well, he'd definitely need to retrieve his gun from the flat.

Standard Disclaimer.

Thank you to all my brilliant readers!

If you have time reviews are always welcome. :)

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