Well - it's been a while, hasn't it? (Apart from you, Em, I talk to you all the time, but still. :P ) So, This is my interpretation of what might have happened assuming that Lemony did meet Beatrice II after she gave him that last note in The Beatrice Letters. Enjjjjoyyyy! :)
The Unbelievable Inevitable
'If you are anything like me, no doubt at least once in your life you have been offered tea spiked with an opiate.'
Beatrice smiled, and tapped her teaspoon against her glass.
'Well, it's good we're drinking root beer, isn't it?'
Lemony said nothing, but took a sip of his own root beer float. To Beatrice it seemed that he didn't really taste what he was drinking. Or at least that he didn't much want to drink at the minute, but was searching for something to say and using his float as an excuse to remain silent.
Growing impatient, Beatrice cleared her throat and spoke again.
'We need to talk.'
Beatrice sighed, and dropped her teaspoon with a clatter.
'Didn't you read my letters?'
Lemony took another gulp of root beer. Beatrice had to force herself not to grind her teeth in frustration; he took such an infuriatingly long time about everything he did.
'Yes. Of course I did. I read them all several times. I read them from beginning to end and from end to beginning. I read them upright and upside-down. I read them standing up and lying down. I read them while holding them in front of me, and once holding one behind me – I used a mirror to see it and read it in reverse. I have read your letters in opera houses and in synagogues, in libraries and cheese factories, under desks and on top of chandeliers, in museums and at the bottom of swimming pools,' here Lemony paused to draw breath and Beatrice, guessing if she didn't say something soon he would go on for several more minutes, hastily intervened.
'Yes, so surely you know what I want to talk about? And how come my letters didn't get wet, if you read them at the bottom of a swimming pool, of all places?'
'The pool in question was disused,' admitted Lemony after a short pause, 'there wasn't any water left in it by the time I arrived, though there was a considerable amount of ash, some dry leaves and a book of a singularly unpleasant nature, describing the terrible events the Baudelaire orphans experienced at Lake Lachrymose.'
'You mean 'The Wide Window'? The book you wrote?'
'That would be the one.'
'What was it – never mind that now. You're still avoiding my other question, Mr Snicket. Surely you know what I want to talk to you about?'
Lemony frowned at his companion, idly stirring the dregs of his root beer float with a straw. An unpleasant scraping noise issued from the bottom of the glass. Lemony sighed.
'Listen, I'm just going to get another drink. Then we'll talk, OK?'
'You haven't finished your first drink yet,' pointed out Beatrice. Lemony gave her a rueful smile.
'I know. I'm afraid the soda jerk here has a somewhat unpleasant habit of putting tacks in my drink. I tend to avoid the dregs.'
Lemony turned and walked to the bar, while Beatrice stared after him, wondering why he continued to come here if the service was so unpleasant, and if she was ever going to get any of her questions answered.
After what seemed like an age, Lemony returned to their table. Before Beatrice could speak, Lemony turned to her and for the first time looked her straight in the eye.
'I owe you an apology. No. I owe you several apologies. I'm sorry I didn't respond to your constant attempts to contact me; at first I wondered – as you so rightly guessed I would – whether you might not be an enemy of mine. I was suspicious, I admit it. However, before long I knew that you were in fact you; it became so obvious I could no longer deny it.'
Here Lemony paused, and looked away from his niece. Beatrice waited, uncharacteristically silent.
'Once I had accepted this, I'm afraid I really had no decent excuse for persisting in my silence. And yet I did. I did because – because – ' Lemony's voice sounded choked, constricted.''Because I once knew a woman whom I loved – whom I still love – very much, and I lost her not once, but twice. Once to another man, and once to fire. Her name was – '
'Beatrice,' said Beatrice, 'Beatrice Baudelaire. I know, Mr Snicket. I've read your works. I've researched your life. It's OK. What's done is done, you're here now. And I'm sorry for interrupting. It's a fault of mine.'
Lemony gave a weak smile.
'We all have our faults.'
'Indeed ... ' Beatrice leant suddenly forwards, searching the gaze of the man she had tracked for so long . 'Mr Snicket, will you help me? You are, as you very well know, my last hope of finding my family. I need them back, Mr Snicket, and I need to know their story. Your story. My story. The story of V.F.D. Will you help me?'
Once again, Lemony sighed.
'Beatrice,' he paused, looking half-surprised. It was as if he hadn't known he could even say that name any more, even though he had not gone a day without thinking it for many years. 'Beatrice,' he tried again, 'I don't know that I can help you. All I know of the Baudelaire orphans is recorded in A Series of Unfortunate Events. I gather you've read my books.'
Beatrice nodded, trying not to look crestfallen.
'You haven't finished though. You've got one book left – you've always said there'll be thirteen books. You've published twelve.'
'Yes. But what then? What will you do when book the thirteenth is published?'
'Ask you more questions. I have at least twelve, and each of those will probably lead to at least a dozen more questions, ad on infinitum.'
'And when I run out of answers?'
Beatrice didn't say anything for a few moments. When she spoke, her voice sounded tired and sad.
'Then I guess I'll search for my own answers using the information you've given me. That is,' she paused, glancing at her uncle, 'if you won't help me continue to research the Baudelaires' lives. Please, Mr Snicket. Please try to help me. I need them now more than ever. I believe you know what it is like to feel all alone in the world. I have been feeling this way almost as long as I can remember.'
Lemony closed his eyes briefly, as though stealing himself for something.
'Very well. I will attempt to help you. 'Attempt' is a word which here means – '
'I know what the word 'attempt' means. To try something. And in this case I hope it means you will give it your all.'
Beatrice took another slurp of root beer, then said, 'Let us start at the beginning. Or at least, the end of the beginning. When Violet, Klaus, and Sunny left the island with me – yes, I remember the island – I know that we were separated. I know little else. What happened on that boat, Mr Snicket? How did we become separated?'
There was a pause, then – 'I see.'
'There was a storm, and during the storm, you were parted from them.'
'But – Sunny at least reached land, didn't she? I have heard her on the radio.'
'I believe they all reached land, although I cannot be certain they all arrived on land at the same place or time. Violet reached Briny Beach, I know that much.'
Beatrice nodded slowly.
'Thank you. That is a great comfort – I have never allowed myself to even consider the possibility that they aren't alive, but – well. It is indeed comforting to know they all reached land safely.'
'I do not know much else – for more information, further research would be needed.'
'And – will you do that research?'
Lemony looked at his neice.
'I may. But I don't know how much I can help. You are your last hope. Remember that.'
'When can we meet again?'
'A week, a month, maybe never.'
'Don't be so melodramatic.'
'Fine then. I will meet you five months and three days from now in the Café Kafka. By that time Book the Thirteenth should have been published. We can discuss it, you can ask me questions, we can hide from the waiters.'
Lemony tipped his hat and before Beatrice knew it, he was gone.
She stayed at her table for a little while, finishing her drink. When she had done so, she tipped the remainder of Lemony's drink on to the saucer that had come with it. A small puddle of root beer dribbled out, accompanied by five or six tacks, their sharp ends coated in melting ice-cream.
'Unbelievable,' said Beatrice Baudelaire, and without further ado, she left the bar. 'Unbelievable, yet inevitable.'
Hope you liked that. :) Also, I'm just going to do a quick bit of self-advertising here - any of you lovely reviewers read The Night Circus? If you haven't you really should it's great, it's by Erin Morgenstern and it's wonderful. Go get. ;) Anyway, that wasn't the self-advertising. The self advertising was that, if any of you have read it, then you might like to check out a little collaborative story I'm writing with my friend emgem2000, and we've posted it under the username TabsEmSemble. :) So, there. Self and other people advertising done. Goodbye! :D