The Blonde

You're Not Asking The Right Question

He was good. She had to give him that. The remark about Cardiff took her by surprise and she might've overlooked his mistakes about James if it wasn't for that smug look on his face. Almost exactly like the Doctor when he wore a leather jacket. And if I'm clever and I'm more than clever… She could almost hear him. Sherlock was brilliant, but that self righteous smile made her want to take him down a peg.

"That was amazing," she said. His smile widened. The smugness deepened. "How could you guess all that?"

"I don't guess." He leaned forward. "Your clothes are much too expensive for a working girl, but your trainers give you away. Their only a few months old, but the soles are wore down, which indicates you're on your feet a lot…working. Although your clothes indicate a higher status your earrings couldn't have cost more than ten pounds. Anyone born into wealth wouldn't have given them a second glance, which means that you either still shop at some of the same places or you bought them before. There are slight dark circles under your eyes that indicate you either don't sleep much or not for very long. You've tried to cover them up with make-up, but they're still visible."

He was brilliant, but she kept her awe in check. She couldn't let him see it. If he did she'd never get away with putting him in his place.

"And James?"

She was able to keep the emotion out of her voice. When Sherlock said his name she hadn't been expecting it, but this time she was ready.

"His name's in your phone under your list of contacts, but there aren't any calls to or from him in your history. Plenty of calls to your family and something called Torchwood, but nothing to James. Then there's the ring on your index finger. Diamond. Judging from your earrings and lack of any other fine jewelry it's not something you'd buy yourself, which means that someone else purchased it for you. Probably as a gift. You're wearing a necklace and from the weight I can discern that there's something a bit heavier than a pendant hanging from the end. A ring, I'd say. A ring on a necklace usually indicates a promise or loss. Since you haven't had any contact with him in a long time I'd say loss."

He sat back, that smug smile returned.

"That was brilliant…only…"

His eyes snapped to hers. He sat up in one fluid motion.

"Only?"

"Only it's completely wrong."

The smile slid from his lips.

"Wrong?" he asked as if he didn't understand what she meant.

Rose pulled the chain from the dip in her shirt. Dangling on the end wasn't a ring. It was key. The TARDIS key.

He stared at the key as if he'd never seen one before. She smiled. She couldn't help it.

"A key?" he asked.

"It is important. Well, it is to me and in a way it's connected to James, but we were never engaged. We might've been, but…" she slipped the key back under her shirt. He watched the key disappear. "…sometimes things don't work out."

"But he died."

"Sherlock," John chastised.

"Yes," Rose agreed.

"Suddenly?"

She pushed the memories aside when they threatened to come.

"Yes."

"And he bought you that diamond?"

She lifted her hand and gazed at the ring. A Christmas present. The only one he was able to give her. To make up for all the time they lost. Only they hadn't lost any time. It was the Doctor she lost time with.

"Yes."

"And that's his key."

She caught his eye.

"No."

"But he gave you the key?"

"No."

She could almost hear the gears turning in his mind as he tried to work out how the key could be connected to James if it wasn't his and he didn't give it to her.

"You said it was connected to him."

"In a way."

"How could it be connected to him if he didn't give it to you and it wasn't his?"

"Because it is."

"Because it is? Because it is isn't an answer," he snapped.

"Sherlock," Mrs. Hudson snapped as she walked in the room. She was carrying a tray with little cakes, a pot, and three cups of tea. She sat it on the table between them then turned to Sherlock. "You shouldn't fight with John's sister."

"I wasn't fighting with her," he protested.

"I could hear you two clear downstairs."

"I was not-"

"If you need anything just let me know," Mrs. Hudson said turning to Rose and cutting Sherlock off.

"Thanks," Rose said, picking up a cup. "The tea looks brilliant."

She felt Sherlock eyeing her, but she ignored him.

"Thank you, dear." Mrs. Hudson turned to the boys. "I'm going to be out for a bit. I have to pick up a few things at the market."

She turned and walked toward the door.

"If you're going to the market would you-" Sherlock began.

"I'm not your housekeeper," Mrs. Hudson called as she walked out the door.

"If you need anything," he growled under his breath.

"What was that?" John asked.

"Nothing," he snapped, picking up a cake and examining it as if he thought there might be something wrong with it.

Rose watched him for a moment. Maybe she'd gone too far. She wasn't on her world. Not anymore. She'd jumped through a crack in reality and now she was on some parallel world. Stuck on a parallel world and they were the only people she knew. They might be fictional characters where she was from…where she was originally from…but they were real here and if she put them off she'd be alone. Not that being alone was bad, but being alone on a parallel world that might as well be an alien world for all she knew about it was definitely not good.

Sherlock sat the cake down and reached for his cup. He had that same sulky look the Doctor got when things weren't going his way.

"So," John said, picking up his own cuppa, "why exactly did you come here? Not that I'm not enjoying your company."

"Oh…um…" she looked at him. He wanted an answer, but what could she tell him? I didn't exactly mean to come here. I jumped through a crack in reality to save everyone and I landed here. On your side table to be precise. Yeah, that wouldn't work. It was the truth, but they'd never believe it.

"You're not asking the right question, John," Sherlock said.

"Not asking the right question?" John asked.

"Yes."

"And what would the right question be?"

She knew what Sherlock was getting at. It wasn't in the why it was in the how.

"How did I get here," she said, then took a drink of her tea.

Sherlock's eyes snapped to her. They widened for a moment, almost indiscernibly.

"Precisely."

"How did you get here?" John asked, as if he didn't understand the question.

Sherlock sighed, setting his cup down. "I was in my room when I heard the crash. I came out to find…" he trailed off and glanced at her.

"Rose," she supplied. He was as bad with names as the Doctor had been when he wore a leather jacket.

"Rose, lying on the broken side table. She didn't come in through the door and the windows were all closed."

"How do you know she didn't come in through the front?"

"I didn't hear the door open."

"Do you know how many times I've left and you kept on talking to me…didn't even hear me go out?"

"Mrs. Hudson was surprised to see her," Sherlock explained as if that should answer his question.

"So?"

"So, that means she didn't come in through the front. If she didn't come in through the door or a window how did she wind up in our living room on top of a broken side table?"

Rose knew how, of course. She jumped through a crack and landed on their side table, but how was she going to explain that to them. They'd think she was a nutter.

"Then how did she get in?"

"The answer, of course, is that she didn't get in, at least not by ordinary means."

She eyed him.

"What?" John asked.

"She appeared in our living room, landing on the side table."

He sat back, giving John a couldn't-you-have-figured-that-out look.

"Appeared?"

"Exactly," Sherlock said obviously under the impression that John was finally on the same page, which…Rose glanced at John…he wasn't.

"What do you mean appeared?" John asked.

Sherlock sighed and sat up.

"She was there and then she was here," he said, gesturing with his hands.

"That doesn't make any sense, Sherlock."

"John, how many times have I told you that when you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable must be the truth?"

Rose almost laughed when he quoted his most famous line, but covered it up with a cough at the last minute. He gave her a questioning look.

"She appeared?" John asked humorously. "From somewhere else?"

"Yes."

"Where?"

"Only she can tell us that," Sherlock said, looking at her as if he was waiting on the answer.

He was right. Of course he was right. She couldn't believe he figured it out, more than that, that he believed that's what happened.

John laughed and shook his head.

"Just ignore him. He's obviously-"

"Right," she admitted.

Sherlock smiled.

"Sorry…what?" John asked, confused.

"He's right."

"Of course I am," Sherlock said with that air of superiority that made her want to smack him.

"But…that's not possible."

"No matter how impossible, John," Sherlock said without taking his eyes from her.

She took in John's disbelieving look and smiled.

"I know what it sounds like…how impossible it sounds and, believe me, a few years ago I would be right there with you, but I've seen things and…well, as an old friend once said There are more things in heaven and earth," she replied.

She caught the not-what-I-expected-from-you look Sherlock was giving her and she couldn't help shooting him a smile. She liked surprising him. It made her feel the same way she felt when she surprised the Doctor.

"So," John said, trying to wrap his mind around what she said, but failing, "you just appeared in our living room?"

"Basically."

"What, like magic?"

She laughed.

"No magic." She found her eyes drifting toward Sherlock. "Science."

His eyes widened, almost imperceptibly. She smiled then took a drink of her tea.

"Science?" John asked.

She looked at John and was about to elaborate when Sherlock's mobile rang. He pulled it from his pocket and answered.

"Sherlock Holmes."

As she watched that air of superiority that was always present strengthened. The smugness returned.

"We're on our way," Sherlock said before disconnecting and sliding the mobile back into his pocket.

John sat his tea down.

"A case?" he asked, standing up.

"Possibly." Sherlock strode to the door. Rose stood up, not sure where she was going to go now, but then Sherlock turned and eyed her. "Coming?"

"Yeah," John replied.

"Not you…her," he said, pointing at Rose.

"Not me?"

"Yes, you, of course you, and her too."

"Me?" she asked.

It wasn't that she didn't want to go with him. This was Sherlock Holmes after all and he was going on a case. There was no doubt she wanted to come along, but why did he want her to come?

He strode toward her then stopped, looking her over in that calculating way. "You told me that you've seen things."

"Yes," she said, gazing into his strangely colored eyes.

"Things ordinary people would find impossible."

"Yes."

"But not in a while."

"How did you-"

"Your trainers."

She glanced at her shoes.

"My trainers?"

"I got them wrong. They're not a couple months old. They're a year old, maybe two. The soles are worn down from before. You still work a lot, but inside. You've been taken out of the field, as it were."

"Blimey, you're good."

He smiled.

"Would you like back in?"

She returned his smile.

"More than anything."

"Come along then," he said, turning, but not before she noticed the smug smile.

She chose to ignore it as she followed him out the door with John trailing behind. A case. Sherlock Holmes. Murder most likely, could be blackmail or theft, but she was putting her money on murder. She'd seen death before, traveling with the Doctor at first then working for Torchwood, but this was going to be a whole lot different than what she was used to.

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