I tugged on the lead of Jess the Border Collie, she was being a complete pain in the arse and would not do anything that I told her to do today. Hoping that I wouldn't be seen, I pulled her back to me by her collar and firmly told her off, hissing right in her face. She got the idea, and shrunk down to the ground in surrender. I straightened up, wondering what a life without her would be like. Sometimes, I think it would be great to not have to get up at the crack of dawn. But other times, I think it would be lonely. Maybe even a little bit sad.
"What are you doing here?" I snapped. Sherlock was sat on my doorstep.
"And good morning to you too."
"Okay, so where are my family? You can't just sit on my doorstep if they are inside!"
He studied the porch step for a moment before speaking. "Your family aren't here. Your mother and father have gone to visit your brother, and your sister, Helena, is out with her friend."
"How did you know that my sister's called Helena?" I asked, the annoyance slipping out of me.
"Easy. She has a letter."
"Have you been reading our post too?" The annoyance was threatening to creep back in.
"No, this girl came and asked me to pass this invitation onto your sister." He held out a piece of black and silver card. I took it and scanned over the content.
"She's going to a party, hmm... Interesting."
"Why is that interesting?" Sherlock asked.
"You're Sherlock Holmes. You should be able to work it out." I grinned at him, before unlocking the front door and leaving him slightly bewildered on the porch steps.
"You can come in!" I called back over my shoulder, before unclipping Jess' lead. Jake, our other Border Collie, bounded down the hall and planted his paws on my shoulders. "Get down!" I snapped, but still attempted to suppress a giggle.
"Oh, my goodness! I don't think your canine was this excitable yesterday." I heard Sherlock's surprised voice exclaim from the entrance hall, clearly Jake had discovered him. "Oh, hang on a minute. Get down, please. I don't wish to have dog breath in my face." Sherlock's voice converted to sounding frustrated, so I turned back to the hall to rescue him.
"Jessica. Jacob. Come here." The two dogs immediately stopped licking Sherlock's hands, and bounded back to me. "Basement. Now."
The dogs shrunk down to the ground, all the excitement vanishing in an instant. I pulled open the door to the basement and flipped the light switch. Jess and Jake ran down the stairs and to their beds. I pushed the door closed, but not completely shut.
"Sorry about that." I turned to apologise to Sherlock, but he had completely disappeared. "Arsehole." I muttered.
"Excuse me?" Sherlock's voice came from the kitchen.
"What are you doing? I thought you'd gone."
"I'm making tea. Just because I'm a consulting detective, doesn't mean that I am incapable of making tea." I raised my eyebrows. "Okay, it's a rare occurrence."
I laughed under my breath, and turned to finish putting my coat away.
"Do you know whether the Doctor is coming?" I asked, coming back to the kitchen, just as Sherlock was finishing.
"Yes, probably." He replied, handing me the cup of tea.
I took it just as the doorbell rang. I froze and looked at Sherlock for confirmation.
"It's him. You can answer it." Sherlock said, examining his tea.
Two and a half cups of tea later, and Sherlock, the Doctor and I had come to a decision. There was an awkward silence enveloping the living room. I heard a faint scratching from the basement door and was relieved to leave the awkwardness and rescue the dogs. Jake darted out of the door as soon as there was a gap wide enough, and shot to his blanket in the living room. Over Jake's panting, I heard Sherlock urgently whisper something to the Doctor. I pretended not to hear anything and softly called Jess from the basement. She slunk past me and went to lie beside Jake.
"So, um... what now?" I asked, breaking the silence that had fallen again.
Sherlock and the Doctor looked at each other, the only sounds coming from the panting dogs.
"I think that we should discuss this." The Doctor tried, hesitantly.
"What is there more to discuss? She has made her decision. It is final." Sherlock uncharacteristically snapped.
I stared at him in disbelief. "What is wrong with you?"
"Me? Nothing. I'm fine."
"Yeah, that's all you ever say because you can't stand to be reliant on people. Come on, Sherlock. Grow up, already. 'I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high functioning sociopath' Yeah, okay, Sherlock. Do everything your way." I glared at him, silently pleased with my mockery.
"Okay, fine. Do this your way. I was merely trying to help, but forget it. Sort it out yourself." Sherlock snapped, thumping back into the sofa cushions.
"Now, Sherlock. Don't be like that, we will talk over this together. Okay?" The Doctor said patronisingly.
"You sound like Mrs Hudson." Sherlock mumbled.
"Who is Mrs Hudson?" The Doctor asked.
"She's not your housekeeper, she's your landlady." I intervened, poor Mrs Hudson was always being mocked by Sherlock.
Sherlock just glared at me and sunk back into his grumpy silence.
"Right, now he's pissed off, we shall talk." I turned to the Doctor, "so, um... Shall I go pack?"
"Yeah, sure. I'll just wait here, the TARDIS is just outside."
I sprinted up the stairs, a thousand thoughts and emotions buzzing through my head.
The Doctor's POV
The girl clattered down the stairs, dragging a suitcase and rucksack after her. She dumped the suitcase and rucksack on the floor, before running back up the stairs. A few moments later, she came back down with another suitcase and a messenger bag. It had created an extraordinary pile at the bottom of the stairs.
"So, is this all of your stuff?" I asked her.
"Yeah, everything that I should need." She had a very nervous voice, very shaky.
I looked her up and down, trying to rack my brains. I had completely forgotten what her name was.
"I'm sorry, but could you remind me what your name is?" I asked, embarrassed.
"Hailey." She answered, not showing a slight bit of annoyance that I had forgotten her name.
"Oh, yes, sorry Hailey. Lovely name by the way." Compliments always made a situation better.
"Er... thanks." Hailey looked away, she was clearly not one who got complimented very much. "So, I'll go and say goodbye to Sherlock."
"Okay, I'll wait here." I replied, I didn't want to ruin their private time.
I couldn't really believe it. I don't like not understanding, but this was something that I didn't understand. Why would she choose that Timelord over me? I didn't understand her reasons. I mean, I had John, sure, but she would be a great extra to our flat on Baker Street. I saw from what she was wearing that she was a fan of my TV show. 'I am Sherlocked' t-shirt. Blue scarf. Long, black coat. Casual, but smart outfit in general. Then again, I could also tell that she was a fan of the Doctor's show too. A Doctor Who wrist band and TARDIS necklace told me that she was clearly a fan of his show too.
It was an odd consequence that we would both knock on this door on the same night, both after a new companion. That was another thing that I didn't understand, and I don't like not knowing.
"Sherlock?" Hailey's voice broke my thoughts.
"Yes?" I replied, maybe a little short, but she did choose the Doctor over me.
"I've come to say goodbye." She was nervous, and... sad?
"Why are you sad?" I noticed something else. Hailey was crying. "Why are you crying?"
"Because I don't want to leave you. I don't want to leave one and go with the other, it's not fair. I want to go with you both." She sniffed, so I silently handed her a tissue from the box next to my shoulder.
"You do know that you can join me at any time you like?" I offered, I'm sure it wouldn't hurt to be a little bit nice for once.
"Really?" She looked up, with red eyes and tear stains on her cheeks.
"Thank you so much. It wouldn't be too much to ask for a hug would it?" Hailey asked, her expression looking a little more positive.
"A hug?" Not many people wanted one of those from me.
I contemplated for a moment, "I suppose you could."
Not long after I had answered, than I had two arms wrapped around my chest, with a damp face pressed against my coat. Startled, I held my arms up for a moment, before giving in and hugging her back. Hailey stepped back from me, gave me a curt nod and turned to the hallway where the Doctor and her bags were waiting. I stared after her, long after she had vanished in the TARDIS.