Sherlock parked at the edge of the forest, opposite from the side the police were searching. He glanced at Mrs. Pond. If they wrapped this case up in the next five minutes it wouldn't be soon enough for him. He'd be glad when he and Rose were headed back to London, leaving Amy far behind.
"You said you know the forest, yeah?" Rose asked, glancing at Amy.
"Yeah…well…" the girl trailed off.
His eyes narrowed, catching the way she shifted uncomfortably.
"You lied," Sherlock surmised.
"No. Not really. I know the forest…the one outside my Leadworth, but this-"
"Isn't your Leadworth, yeah?" Rose finished.
"Brilliant!" he exclaimed.
"Look," Amy began, glaring at him.
Rose needed to diffuse the situation before it got out of hand. She needed her team to focus on the situation, not argue. She took Sherlock's hand and caught his gaze, giving him a smile.
"She just wants to help." She noted the way his eyes softened. "It's hard, living a normal life after…everything. You can understand that, yeah? Your life hasn't exactly been ordinary."
"I…" he cleared his throat, his voice having come out low. "I suppose."
She grinned and he returned her smile. Amy cleared her throat.
"If you two are done with the flirting we have kids to find," the girl said.
He rolled his eyes.
Rose retrieved two tranq guns from the back and handed one to him. Not rifles like Amy's. Handguns. Lighter and easier to handle. Then she led them into the forest using the device she turned into a radar for psychic energy.
"You know," Amy whispered, bending down next to Rose as they walked. "If you'd just kiss him he'd probably stop that whole jealousy act."
She raised her brow, taken back by the girl's words.
"I'm sorry?" she asked.
"Awww, come on. It's as clear as day."
Rose glanced back at Sherlock who appeared to be watching them, but he was too far back to hear their whispering voices. At least, she hoped so.
"I don't know what you're talking about," she insisted.
"Seriously?" Amy sighed. "You both like each other."
Amy laughed, drawing Sherlock's attention. He wasn't sure what they were talking about, but he could tell from Rose's posture she wasn't comfortable with whatever the girl was saying.
"Could've fooled me."
"Amy," Rose snapped, but at that moment the psychic field detector beeped, indicating they were close. She paused, reaching into her coat pocket and pulled out three small devices that looked like earpieces. "These will keep the fairies from controlling our minds." She handed one to Amy and the other to Sherlock. Then demonstrated one in her ear. "Only shoot if they try to attack, let me try reasoning with them first."
"Do you think that's possible?" Sherlock asked, disbelievingly.
The creatures had made off with three children and they still didn't know why or if the children were still alive. She would be putting herself into a very dangerous situation and he didn't like that idea in the least.
"I don't know, but I have to try. They might not understand what they did was wrong."
"Give them a chance to change their minds," Amy said.
"Exactly," she agreed.
Sherlock rolled his eyes. In his world if a criminal broke the law they didn't get a second chance. They were captured and punished, but then this wasn't his world and, even though he hadn't known her that long, he trusted Rose.
"All right," he replied, earning a grin from her that he returned.
"See?" Amy said, catching Rose's gaze, which seemed to make her uncomfortable.
They advanced into a small clearing. Sherlock assessed the situation. There was a boy lying on the ground. His coloring was off, he was suffering from hypothermia. Three children were dancing around, almost as if playing a game of Ring Around the Rosie as small fairy-like creatures flew around them. Four children. Four?
He heard Rose gasp as she caught sight of the boy lying on the ground, but Sherlock grabbed her arm before she could run across the clearing toward him. He locked gazes with her, telling her with his eyes to wait. She seemed to get the message, relaxing in his grip, but she wasn't happy.
He turned back to the children who had stopped. Two collapsed to a sitting position. The girl's coloring wasn't as bad as the boy lying down, but it was close. The other boy seemed all right, but the third. There was something about his eyes…they were green, but not typical eye color green, electrifying, brighter than they ought to be.
"You said, aliens with this ability can control people's thoughts," he said.
"Yeah," Rose verified.
"Can they create delusions?"
"Delusions?" She glanced at the fairies. "You mean like holograms. Oh! Yes, yes they could."
"There are four children," he said, glancing at the kids.
Rose followed his gaze.
"Wait," Amy said. "The boy? You think it's the boy?"
"Oh, oh god," Rose exclaimed, her entire demeanor changing. She took a step, but he still held her arm. She caught his gaze. "It's all right."
He knew exactly what she was planning. She didn't see the boy as a threat, she only saw a boy.
"He might be a child, but he's dangerous," he insisted.
Yes. He knew about fear. What it could do.
"And that can make people dangerous."
She covered his hand with hers.
"He's afraid and alone. I have to help him if I can."
He knew she wasn't going to let this go. This was who she was. Caring, compassionate, kind. The woman who ran toward a noise because she thought someone might be hurt. He sighed, releasing her, but he wasn't happy about it.
She picked up her gun, showing the boy and then dropped it, lifting her hands to show that she meant him no harm. Sherlock watched her make her way toward the boy, slowly.
"Hi there," she said in a soft voice, almost as a mother might speak to their child. The boy focused his startling green eyes on her. "I'm Rose. Are you lost?"
In the next moment the boy bolted and Rose right after him. Bloody hell!
"Amy call for an ambulance, take care of the children," he said and raced after Rose before the girl could protest.
He dodged trees and jumped brush as he tried to catch up with her. His chest tightened in panic, panic that he was unable to push aside. Out of it and his inability to control it anger surfaced. This sort of thing never happened with John. His friend never took off like that and as soon as this case was solved he'd be having a long talk with her about that very thing. She left her weapon back in that clearing and took off after the boy without a second thought. He cursed under his breath.
His long legs easily caught up with her. Panic and anger merging as he grabbed her arm and yanked her to a stop.
"What the hell are you doing?" she demanded, glaring at him as he held her in place.
"My thoughts precisely," he snapped.
"I have to help him."
She drove him mad. She wasn't thinking about the possible danger. He wanted to drag her back to the SUV and lock her inside to keep her safe from herself.
"You're being an idiot."
Her eyes narrowed to slits.
"What the hell did you just call me?"
"You're running into a situation without assessing the danger, alone and completely unarmed," he yelled, trying to make her understand.
"This isn't my first time. I know what I'm doing," she shouted back.
Who the hell did he think he was? She'd been chasing down aliens for years. The boy wasn't dangerous. He was alone. She could see that and she had to help him. If Sherlock couldn't accept that's who she was then she didn't see how they could be friends. Her friends trusted her.
She reached out to slap him, but he grabbed her hand as if he caught the movement through his peripheral vision. She tried to pull away, but he pulled her close to keep her in place. Part of her wanted to scratch his eyes out, but another part of her…she pushed those thoughts aside. He was being a prick.
"Sure about that are you?" he asked, his voice coming out low as his body reacted to their close proximity.
"Yes," she insisted, or tried to, but the sound of his voice…the way it changed ebbed her anger. God she hated him.
"How did he get here?"
"What?" she asked, confused.
"He's alien, meaning not of this Earth, so how did he get here?"
"I…" She tried to clear her mind that had gone a bit fuzzy from their closeness and the sound of his low voice and the way his eyes held her. "I don't know."
"He appears to be the same age as the children he coaxed away from their homes. Do you think he came here on his own?"
Damn him! He was right, of course. The boy must have come with someone. He seemed to be on his own now, but that meant there were others and they might not be friendly.
"No," she admitted, hating to admit that he might have a point about her running off on her own. "But I still have to help him."
"I agree," he said, surprising her. "But not on your own. You're not alone, Rose…you don't have to be."
She could sense some underlying meaning in his words, but before she could reply a voice drew her attention.
"Seriously?" Amy asked. "You two stop in the middle of a chase for a snog?"
"Amelia," Sherlock replied disdainfully. "So glad you could join us."
He released Rose and she stepped back, glancing at the girl.
"Oh, I'm sure," the girl said sarcastically. "So, which way?"
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