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Staying by your side

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Beatrice didn't really remember when she had stopped crying. She just knew that it was dark outside, the dark of the night, not the usual darkness of London. And her head was resting against the doctor Watson's arm. He was standing by her side ankwardly, not quite hugging her, but not quite not hugging her. Anyway, they were touching. Beatrice could still feel the salty taste of her tears, even if they had dried on her face and on her hands. Hastily, she got up from her seat, breaking any and all contact with John Watson. She erased the last traces of tears on her face with the back of her hand, but it was a bit useless. She could feel her eyes still burning, and she knew they probably looked red.

“I didn't cry,” she said.

You tell anyone you saw me cry, I will murder you, she meant.

“I have no idea what you're talking about,” answered the doctor.

“Good,” she said.

The doctor didn't stop looking at her, but he didn't say anything more. Beatrice could never tell what he was thinking, but she was quite certain it was time for her to leave. She took her plate, her fork and her knife so she could have something to hold in her hands.

“I'll drop that in the kitchen,” she said. “And then I'll go.”

She didn't wait for an answer. It took her only a few seconds to get rid of everything and she was back in the main room.

“You're leaving ?,” asked John.

She nodded. And then went for the door.

“Beatrice.”

She turned around.

“You know...”

He stopped.

“Yes ?” she said.

“I meant it when I said that I'm not going anywhere.”

She looked at him without saying anything for a few seconds.

“Right,” she finally said. “Do you want me to thank you ?”

“No,” said John, “but...”

She raised an eyebrow.

“You need something from me. That's why you pretend to care about me.”

She should have known. She really couldn't trust anything people said.

“No,” said John. “I mean yes. But no.”

“It's getting a bit confusing there.”

“I don't pretend to care about you,” promised John. “I'm serious. You will not get rid of me.”

She couldn't stop herself from having a little smile.

“Right. But you need my help.”

“Yes. You and your friends.”

“I warn you, we've saved the world, so now we have a certain standard for the cases we accept.”

“It's not a case.”

Beatrice thinked for a moment. But she really had no idea about what he might want.

“Then what is it ?”

John didn't answer instantly.

“What is it ?” she asked a little bit more loudly.

“I need your to help to clean... his room, and his things,” he sayed quickly.

Beatrice saw the hurt on his face as he said that. Asking her for that was admitting he couldn't do it, at least not alone. And she understood exactly why. Because she knew that she would not sleep again where Leo used to sleep. She didn't even want to look or think about the places she had seen him at the most often.

“Can't you just lock his room, and never use it again ?,” asked Beatrice.

John shook his head lightly.

“I might need it.”

“For what ? It's not like...”

She did not finish.

“It's not like I have friends ?,” finished John calmly instead of her.

“Well... yes.”

Beatrice hoped it wouldn't offend him too much. But it was true.

“I thought you might want to use it.”

“What ?”

Beatrice looked genuinely surprised.

“It's too big for a man alone,” justified John. “It was too big for two men.”

Beatrice smiled, a genuine smiled.

“Thank you. But I like our little cave. It's our home.”

John looked a bit disappointed at this answer.

“Well... you can have both.”

Beatrice hesitated for a moment.

“We'll help you clean out first,” she said. “Tomorrow.”

She was not sure she really wanted to stay in 221B Baker Street. And more than that, she was not sure Jessie would want to.

“I'll wait for you.”

He raised his finger.

“And you better come.”

Beatrice chuckled.

“I'm sorry. But you're not menacing anymore.”

“Oh, really ?”

“Yes.”

And withou adding anything more, she turned around and left.

When she told to the others what the doctor had asked them to do, nobody emitted any protest. So in the afternoon, the four of them were standing in Sherlock's room.

“It doesn't smell like piss, it doesn't smell like vomit, it somehow smell like both and neither at the same time,” said Spike who was watching them pick up everything that was scattered on the floor.

“If you want to figure out what it smells like, why don't you put your hands in it like the rest of us ?,” said Beatrice, raising his head towards him.

“Yeah, you're not doing anything,” added Billy.

“I'm supervising,” said Spike.

But at the same time, he picked up papers Jessica was about to pick up herself.

“See, he helps,” she said.

“Wonder why,” muttered Beatrice.

They kept working for two hours before the room finally looked like a viable room again.

“It's a nice place,” said Jessica, looking around.

She went to sit on the bed. They had throwned out the sheets and pillows but kept the mattress who still looked decent.

“We could stay here from time to time, Bea,” she said, looking at her sister.

“You don't mind that it was...”

She didn't needed to finish her sentence. Billy and Spike were suddenly very silencious.

“No,” answered Jessica, looking her sister in the eyes. “It's... really, it's a stranger's room.”

Beatrice smiled at her. A sad smile.

“We stay here tonight ?”

Jessica nodded.

“Us too ?,” asked Billy.

“You can do what you want,” said Beatrice. “I'm going to say to doctor Watson we finished.”

And she went out of the room. As she was going down the stairs, she heard her sister's laugh. She supposed Spike was responsible of that. And it made her smile.

Doctor Watson was seated behind the desk, as usual, and looked like he was doing nothing but waiting for them to finish.

“I hope we'll get a good pay for that,” said Beatrice, slumping in the chair in front of him.

“You've already been paid.”

She frowned, because she was quite certain she hadn't.

“What ?”

“I paid your rent to Mrs Hudson for the next six months.”

Beatrice looked him straight in the eyes.

“You didn't needed to do that.”

“But I wanted to.”

Beatrice thinked for a moment. Piecing the puzzle pieces together. And she came to the conclusion that he really was a lot like her.

“You're scared.”

John crossed his arms.

“I'm never scared.”

“You're doing everything because you're scared we're going to leave.”

The absence of any answer told her she was right.

“Doctor Watson.”

He looked at her.

“I'm not going anywhere,” she said.

He didn't smille, but she could swear she saw his eyes lit up.

“Thank you, Beatrice.”

“You can call me Bea you know.”

John seemed to think for a moment.

“No,” he finally said.

Beatrice chuckled. She expected this kind of answer. She felt strangely comfortable talking to him. It was not the same as talking with her friends, it wasn't better, just different. He understood her. On a different, much deeper level than her friends did, or even that her sister did.

“Anyway,” said Beatrice, “we'll need new things for our bedroom upstairs like...”

She stopped, seeing the look on John's face. Then she realised.

“I meant... the bedroom.”

The corner of John's mouth twitched a little.

“No you didn't,” he said.

If Beatrice thought he was capable of that, she would have said that his tone was almost happy.

“Maybe I didn't. And we're staying here tonight, Jessie wanted to.”

“The four of you ?”

“Always the four of us.”

John shrugged his shoulders.

“As long as you don't make too much noise.”

Beatrice rolled her eyes.

“I'm sure if we make noise you'll join us,” she said. “I'm going to explore the house.”

And before he could answer her, she was gone. As soon as she was out of view, he smiled.

This night, 221B Baker Street was noiser thant it had ever been in decades. And when all of its occupants were finally tired out, five people fell asleep all agaisnt the other, in a bed without sheets.