“Sorrow compressed my heart, and I felt I would die, and then … Well, then I woke up.”
I have no skill with swords, but that does not mean that I do not dream of riding to King’s Landing and wrapping my hands around Cersei Lannister’s white throat and squeezing until her face turns black.
I’ll go with you.
John sat on the edge of St. Bart’s, looking down at the people below, drumming his fingertips on the cold concrete of the ledge. Nobody had noticed him yet, which was good. He swung his legs slightly, his mind going back years and years to when he was a boy, being pushed on a swing by Harry, begging to go as high as possible. He had deluded himself into thinking he could catch the clouds in his small hands and weave them into dreams.
Tilting his head back, he looked up at the sky, clear and without a single cloud. It was sunny and beautiful and dreamless. He was tired of dreaming. Of waking up screaming and panting and aching. John Watson was a tolerably patient man, but his patience was now growing thin.
He turned his attention back to the street below.
“Did I look that small to you?” he asked, keeping his gaze fixed on the people meandering their ways through their oh-so-busy lives. What was the point of it all? “Did I look that insignificant?”
He laughed slightly, getting to his feet, letting the tips of his toes extend beyond the ledge. It just took one step. On tiny step and he’d be in a place where the dreams would plague him no more.
He would be with Sherlock.
Wait for me, Sherlock. -JW
Lestrade ran a hand across his face, trying to comprehend what Sally had just told him.
“Are you sure?” he said, trying in vain to clutch onto some sort of hope that it was a mistake.
“Sir, he fell from the top of St. Bart’s. If the freak…if Sherlock Holmes couldn’t survive that, I don’t know if John Watson could, either, tough as he was.”
They were both silent for a moment when Sally dropped a plastic bag containing John’s phone on Lestrade’s desk. It landed with a dull thud, faintly echoing the sound of its owner slamming against the pavement.
“There’s one unread message, sir.”
Lestrade opened the bag quickly, completely disregarding the fact that he was tampering with evidence. With one trembling finger, he clicked the phone and read the text.
I’m still alive. -SH
John screwed his eyes shut as he felt the air rush past him, bracing himself for the inevitable pain. SPLASH. Instead of hitting the pavement he found himself surrounded by water. Was this it, was he dead? It hadn’t hurt as much as he expected. Before he had a chance to feel relieved that it was finally over he felt strong arms grasping and tugging him up. Spluttering, he broke the surface of the water. John wiped the water from his eyes and looked around, dazed. A… library? No, impossible. Swimming pools didn’t exist in the middle of libraries.
“Hello” said a voice behind him. “I’m the doctor. I’m here to help”
(OH MY GOD THIS IS PERFECT. BUT BUT BUT I NEED MORE. I NEED MORE NOW. AHWRGOIAREHG;OI)
John looked up to find a rather young looking man wearing a pinstriped suit and an bow tie that was an alarming shade of purple.
“I…where am I? Am I…dead?”
“If you were dead, you wouldn’t be able to hear me,” the man said, letting go of John and letting the army doctor stumble toward a wall and lean against it, panting.
This couldn’t be real. It couldn’t possibly be real, could it? John screwed his eyes up, squeezing them shut before opening them again. No, it was definitely real.
“How would you know? Have you ever been dead?”
“Something like that, yeah,” the man mused, the smile on his face widening. “But, it’s not your time to fall, Doctor John Hamish Watson. Not yet.”
“And what gives you the right to say that? I WANTED TO DIE, DAMMIT!” John yelled, his voice echoing through the room. A normal man, even Sherlock Holmes, would have flinched, but the Doctor in the Bow Tie seemed completely unfazed by John’s outburst.
“You wanted to die because you believed Sherlock Holmes was dead, correct?”
John froze for a second before nodding.
“So, hypothetically speaking of course, if Sherlock Holmes was still alive then…”
John let out a humorless laugh before stalking past the man and heading for the door, trailing water behind him. “I really don’t need this right now. Now, if you’d excuse me, I need to finish my suicide, thanks.”
“And, hypothetically speaking again, if he was…here…then what?”
John froze, his hand still on the handle of the door. “Sherlock Holmes is dead,” he said, his voice fragilely calm, like a layer of thin ice. “I saw him fall. I know the truth, and I would love it if you would just let me get back to what I was doing before.”
He swung the door open and made to stalk out, only to slam into someone.
“Sorry,” he said, making his way around the person, but the man held him back. He groaned. Was everyone trying to keep him from doing what he should have the moment Sherlock had been pronounced dead?
Somewhere in the back of his mind, he felt something akin to an electric shock and it travelled to the very surface of his mind, coursing through his veins until he was trembling.
He looked up slowly, not daring to believe it, but it was true.
John reached up as if to touch Sherlock’s face, stopping mere centimeters away as if he were afraid of shattering the illusion. Sherlock, however, was having none of that. He slipped John’s hand into his own and pressed it against his cheek.
“I’m real,” he whispered. “I’m real, and I’m here.”
“You…you…you utter bastard!”
Sherlock reeled backward as John’s fist connected with his jawbone, but it didn’t stop there. John continued to punch and hit Sherlock, even sneaking in a bite or two.
He felt two strong arms drag him away from Sherlock, whose face was now bruised and cut up. Twisting to look behind him, all he got was a mouthful of fluffy blonde hair.
“Now, now, sweetie,” he heard a woman coo in his ear. “No need for that.”
He shook his captor off and stumbled forward, turning around to find a woman with a halo of curly, golden hair grinning at him. The Doctor still seemed quite unfazed.
“Were they having a little domestic?” she asked the Doctor.
“I wouldn’t call it little,” he replied. “Nothing like ours, anyway.”
“Oh, you know I always win, darling.”
“I let you.”
“Will everybody just shut up?” John hissed. It was too much. This was really too much.
The Doctor raised his eyebrows before taking the woman by the arm. “I think this is our cue to leave, my dear,” he said. The woman looked like she wanted to stay, but one look from the Doctor seemed to convince her to leave.
“I’ll leave you to it, then,” he said, flashing them a small smile before closing the door.
“Save it,” John spat. “I waited for you, Sherlock. I waited for three years. Did it never occur to you that maybe—”
“Of course it occurred to me, John,” Sherlock replied, a trace of irritation in his voice. “Do you really think that I would have kept you in the dark without a reason?”
John scoffed. “Let’s hear the reason, then,” he said, crossing his arms. Sherlock moved forward, reaching out as if to take John’s hand, but John avoided him, still glaring.
“That day…when I fell…that wasn’t really me. I mean…it was me…but not. The Doctor came to me the night before when you were working and told me that it was the wrong day for me to die and the next moment, I was somehow…inside myself. I had shrunk somehow and…the body that fell wasn’t mine,” he finished lamely.
John frowned. “Wait, so let me get this straight. A strange man appeared to you, told you that you couldn’t die yet, shrunk you, and put you inside of yourself? You expect me to believe that?”
“John, you have just jumped off of St. Bart’s and ended up in a swimming pool in a library. Given the circumstances, I would have thought anything would seem believable.”
“You still could have let me know. Just so that I had peace of mind. I died that day, Sherlock. I was going to kill myself today, but the truth is, I was dead the moment your body hit the ground. I was just getting rid of the body today.”
Sherlock suddenly strode forward, taking John’s face into his hands. “Look at me, John. Look at me. I’m real. I’m here. You punched me and the bruises serve to prove as evidence of my survival. I know we can’t go back to how we were before, but—”
“Damn straight we can’t,” John said, his voice still hard, but losing some of its edge. Sherlock pressed his forehead against John’s, closing his eyes.
“Please believe me that if I could have let you know, I would have. I was going to come back to you right after it was over.”
“I could have helped, Sherlock,” John whispered. “You didn’t have to go alone.”
“They would have killed you.”
“Does it look like I care?”
“I do. I always have.”
John laughed slightly, realizing with some surprise that he was crying. He looked up to meet Sherlock’s eyes only to find tears in them, too. He reached up and wiped the tears away, his fingers brushing over the bruises that were now forming on Sherlock’s face.
“No, I deserved it.”
Neither of them knew who moved first, perhaps they moved together, but in a second, they were kissing. Not hard…not desperately…it was a chaste kiss. Just lips against soft lips, warm, comforting sensations. They stood there for what felt like eons, but was only a few seconds, before John drew back. Sherlock’s head moved forward instinctively, missing the warmth of John’s mouth on his own instantly.
“Welcome home, Sherlock,” John whispered.
“Well, isn’t someone getting comfortable quickly!” John heard another girl hiss from behind a bookshelf. A chorus of “shhh”s followed immediately.
“Do they honestly think we can’t hear them?” he asked Sherlock incredulously.
“They’re odd people, John,” replied Sherlock, with a comfortingly familiar sigh. “And it’s an odd place.”
“Yeah, that part I got. Swimming pool inside a library inside a—“
“Inside the TARDIS!” cried the mad Doctor, stepping out excitedly from behind the bookcase and blowing everyone else’s cover. “I’ve got a spaceship.”
“Yes, a spaceship,” sighed the woman with the hair. Everyone seems to be exasperated with this guy, John thought. “Time-and-relative-dimension-in-space TARDIS.” She stuck her hand out jauntily. “Professor River Song. Pleasure to meet you, Dr. Watson.”
“Ooh, we are a professor this time,” cooed the other girl, extending her hand to John. “Amy Pond, at your service.”
“Amy,” warned the Doctor.
“What, can’t I say hello?”
“No, apparently not! I have to keep better watch on you sometimes than on Captain Jack! You are taken, he is taken, and for crying out loud—“
And so Amy shoved the Doctor right into the swimming pool, inviting a chorus of laughter from Professor River Song and another voice, still behind the bookcase. “Rory!” she called to the voice. “Will you come out?”
“You’d really think she’d be more…reserved, what with her entire family here and all,” Sherlock purred in John’s ear.
Coughing and sputtering, the Doctor emerged from the pool and practically leaped onto the edge, shaking his hair out like a dog. “Right. That’s enough time in the library, I think,” he decided, walking towards the door. He missed it by at least a foot, hitting first the wall, then the ground.
“Oh, Doctor,” said the man called Rory, moving swiftly to his aid.
“No, no, I’m fine,” the Doctor assured him, popping back up wobblingly.
“Odd people,” John affirmed under his breath.
“And they just get odder,” Sherlock promised.
What is this, a control room? John thought as the crazy group led him into a sparkly, roughly circular… place. This can’t really be a spaceship, can it?
“And this is the control room,” announced the Doctor. “Of my spaceship.”
“Sometimes he pretends he doesn’t like having new people in here,” teased River. “But this is his favorite part.”
And it certainly seemed to be. The Doctor was spinning and twirling and running about the room, trying to explain to John about the “wibbly lever” and the “pully-pushy one” and the one that “makes a really loud noise; don’t push that one.” John looked at Sherlock for help, but Sherlock had reclined himself on what looked like a pair of bus seats as far away from the action as possible.
“Has anyone seen my—“ Amy started, striding into the room.
“Deck below, on the floor,” Sherlock droned. “Your daughter and your husband were playing catch with it yesterday.”
“Hang on, you weren’t even here for that,” Rory accused.
“Yeah, that’s just a thing he—“ John tried to explain, but he got distracted. “Hang on, you weren’t here yesterday?”
“No, just since this morning.”
“THREE YEARS, SHERLOCK. WHERE WERE YOU?”
“It’s a time machine,” Sherlock tried to explain to John’s fuming face. “They picked me up about twelve hours ago, if I were to count, but the timestreams got a bit fuzzy and—“
“Wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey,” mumbled the Doctor.
“In other words, these two geniuses made a mistake,” River corrected.
“Ah,” John said, struggling to keep a straight face. “And that… mistake, it caused me three years of misery.”
“Erm,” Sherlock started. John was just beginning to enjoy the rare squeamish look on his friend’s face when a knock came at the door.
“Doctor, was that—?” Amy asked cautiously.
“I think it might have been.”
“Sorry, but we’re in deep space,” River Song asserted.
“So we are.” The Doctor was already at the door, preparing to open it. ”We were last time, too.”
“I am so out of my element here, it’s not even funny,” John confessed to Sherlock.
“I’m still figuring it out, myself,” was the reply.
“Doctor, what is knocking on the door?” River asked again.
The Doctor opened it, and a glowing white box flew inside and right onto Sherlock’s lap. River looked at the Doctor, who looked right back and said, disgustedly, “We’ve got mail.”
Sherlock’s phone sighed erotically.
“No way,” said John.
“Seems to be true. We’ve got mail in space, and Irene Adler is texting me from home.”
(( YES. PERFECT. AND MORE. And please don’t be intimidated! I’m probably one of the least intimidating people you’ll meet. I’m actually quite intimidated by everyone else on tumblr <3 ))
“Let me see that,” the Doctor said, swooping down and snatching the cube away from Sherlock. “Now, what are you doing here?”
“It’s a white cube, what’s so special about it?” Sherlock asked, looking down at the text. How on earth was he getting signal in deep space (if they were in deep space, anyway).
However, nobody paid attention to what he had said (much to Sherlock’s chagrin), turning their attention instead to the small white cube in the Doctor’s hands. As much as Sherlock would hate to admit it, the little cube piqued his interest, as well. He walked forward, standing next to John and looking over the Doctor’s shoulder.
“Not just a white cube, Sherlock,” the Doctor said. “A hypercube. Little devices that transfer messages between time lords, much like the texting you lot use to communicate with each other, only this is much more profound, much deeper. It carries the very thoughts of the sender to the sendee, who just so happens to be me. Thing is, these are used in times of extreme emergencies. Questions?”
“What’s the message?” Amy asked, eyeing the box warily.
The Doctor nodded and listened to the message, his smile slowly disappearing only to be replaced by a frown.
“That can’t be right…” he murmured, looking down at the box, utterly bewildered.
“What is it?” River asked, placing a hand lightly on the Doctor’s arm. He jumped at the touch, yelping.
“He’s…he’s still alive…” the Doctor said, his frown deepening.
“Who is, Doctor?” Rory urged. A strange tension had suddenly settled over them like a stifling blanket.
“You never met him…but he was supposed to have disappeared with the rest of them…I don’t understand how…”
“DOCTOR!” Amy bellowed, jerking the Doctor out of his reverie and causing everyone else to jump violently. “Who is it?”
The Doctor turned to her. “He’s…well, another time lord…”
“The Master,” the Doctor said after a moment, speaking as if he hardly dare believe what he was saying, himself. “It’s the Master.”
“Who’s the Master?” Rory asked, breaking the silence that had fallen inside the TARDIS.
“Another Time Lord,” Sherlock said swiftly, glancing at the young man irritably. “Honestly, weren’t you listening?”
“Oi! Don’t start on him!” Amy said, firing up. “That’s my husband you’re talking to!”
Sherlock’s lower lip curled into a small sneer, at which Amy rushed forward and pushed her face in front of Sherlock’s.
“You know, I don’t care if you’re a genius or a detective or what have you, but you do not talk to my husband like that,” she hissed. Sherlock merely regarded her with mild amusement, which only served to incense her farther.
“Now, now,” the Doctor said, coming between them and tugging Amy away. “We’re in deep space of to find another Time Lord. Now isn’t the time to be arguing.”
Amy allowed herself to be led away, slightly flushed. John shot her an apologetic look, but wasn’t sure if it was received as such. However, the Doctor and River immediately rushed to the controls, pushing buttons and pulling levers until the TARDIS suddenly jerked about as if somebody had plucked it up and started shaking it. John fell back into Sherlock, and the two of them landed in a heap, Sherlock holding onto a piece of machinery with one hand, the other wrapped around John. Amy and Rory were clinging to the stairs and the only ones who seemed able to keep their balance in the chaos were River and the Doctor.
Finally, they shuddered to a stop.
“We’re here!” the Doctor said cheerfully, leaping toward the door.
“And…where exactly is here?” John asked, getting to his feet shakily and pulling Sherlock up.
“That’s what we’re about to find out,” the Doctor replied. “Probably one of the best bits of landing somewhere new. You never know where you are.”
“I would have thought that was a bad thing,” Sherlock said under his breath. John simply gave Sherlock’s hand a squeeze before walking forward, pulling Sherlock along with him. They stepped out of the TARDIS only to find themselves standing on a floor made completely out of glass.
“Won’t we break it?” John wondered, pressing his foot against the shining surface tentatively.
The Doctor turned to look at him before jumping up and down, making quite an effort to bang his feet against the glass as hard as humanly (or, more appropriately, time lordly) possible, but the surface remained unscratched. “I should think not,” the Doctor replied before turning around, taking in the surroundings, his eyes stopping on a lone figure standing a few meters away.
John jumped back slightly at the sight of the creature. It was like nothing he had ever seen, its head dome shaped and ending with a bunch of writhing tentacles where its mouth should have been. it wore some sort of suit and carried a shining orb in its hand, which seemed to be connected to its head by a long rope like extension of skin and muscle.
“Ah, an Ood,” the Doctor said, waving at the creature. The creature remained stoic, simply watching them unblinkingly.
“An…Ood?” John repeated, watching the creature warily.
“Yes, quite harmless…most of the time,” the Doctor said, walking forward confidently. He stood there with the Ood, speaking and nodding before turning back to the group. “Come along, you lot,” he said, waving his hand.
They followed him warily, trying hard not to slip on the glass surface. John looked down, trying to see through the near opaqueness of the thick glass beneath his feet.
“It’s no good,” Sherlock said. “The glass is quite thick. You won’t be able to see anything.”
“It’s actually about three miles thick,” the Doctor called over his shoulder.
After about an hour of walking, they stopped in a spot that seemed no different from the rest of the planet. The scenery had not changed at all and the stars hung in the sky, cold and distant. The Doctor spoke to the Ood again before bending and pressing down on the glass. The glass moved aside, almost like some sort of trap door, to reveal a dark tunnel that seemed to plunge straight through the glass.
“This should be fun,” the Doctor said, looking down the hole and turning back to the rest of the group. “So, what do you say? Shall we go down the rabbit hole?”
River stepped forward. “I’ll go first,” she said, checking that her gun was securely fastened.
The Doctor nodded, stepping aside. She sat down, swinging her legs so that they were dangling in the black abyss. “See you in a tick, sweetie,” she said, glancing at the Doctor with a flirtatious smile before pushing off the ledge and sliding down the hole in the glass.
After a moment, they heard a small shout to let them know that she had landed safely. Amy went next, closely followed by Rory and then John. Only Sherlock and the Doctor remained now.
“Are you ready, Sherlock?” the Doctor asked.
“I…yes,” he replied. He wasn’t too fond of heights, not after his last experience of jumping off of a ledge. The Doctor laid a reassuring hand on his arm. “Trust me,” he said. “It’s going to be fine.”
Sherlock rolled his eyes. He didn’t need reassurance. Instead, he sat down and swung himself down the hole, plunging himself into the darkness. He could see nothing, only hearing the whoosh of air whipping past him as he hurtled down the tunnel at breakneck speed. It leveled out, however, and he soon slid out of the darkness and landed in a heap on the floor, closely followed by the Doctor, who got up and brushed himself off.
“See? That wasn’t so bad,” he said, stumbling forward. “Bit dizzying, but we’re in one piece.”
“Please come this way, sirs and madams,” a voice said from somewhere to their right. They turned to find another Ood waiting for them, its head slightly tilted to indicate that they should follow it. The Doctor took the lead again, walking alongside the Ood, speaking very quietly and nodding when the Ood answered. Finally, they arrived at a large door carved from the glass that was on the surface. However, the glass here seemed much more beautiful. There was something different about the way it glistened in the weak light of the corridor they had been walking through.
The Ood opened the door and stepped aside, its head bowed reverently as they passed into the room, which was very large and very flamboyantly designed, with statues of ice and glass surrounding them, almost like the pieces of a chess game.
“You’ve come at last, have you?”
Sherlock’s blood ran cold. The last time he had heard that voice, he had jumped off of a building. He could feel John go slightly rigid at the silky voice that seemed to come from the far end of the room. The Doctor seemed to have gone slightly white, as well.
“…Master?” the Doctor called tentatively.
A man stepped forward from behind one of the statues, seeming to almost glide and slither his way to them. The lighting accentuated his high forehead and almost soulless, black eyes.
“Oh, I love it when you call me that, darling,” the man cooed, winking at the Doctor earning himself a small hiss from River, which went unnoticed by the man.
“What do you mean, Master?” Sherlock said, staring at the man. “This is—”
“Oh, Sherly pie! What a surprise,” the man replied, his thin eyebrows arching in an almost demonic look of amusement. “My, my, my, two of my favorite men together. What a treat,” he said, licking his thin lips with an almost hungry look in his eyes.
The Doctor frowned, turning to Sherlock. “Wait, how do you know him?”
“Moriarty,” Sherlock hissed, his hands clenching until the knuckles were white.
“Wait…this is the Moriarty you were telling us about?” River asked quickly.
“Oh, my, you’re all so adorable when you’re confused,” the Master/Moriarty said, leering at them all.
“Why did you call us here?” the Doctor asked.
“I’m stuck,” the Master/Moriarty replied, sweeping his hand up and down his torso as if to emphasize the fact that he was stuck.
“And?” Sherlock asked harshly. He wanted nothing more that to leave Moriarty here. The Doctor, however, seemed to regard him with a contemplative air.
“Doctor, you’re not seriously considering—” Sherlock began heatedly.
“Come now, Doctor,” the Master/Moriarty cooed. “Surely you remember all those…good times we’ve had together. You don’t want to be the last of the Time Lords forever, do you?”
“Oh, not her,” whined the Master. Sherlock flipped out his phone and showed it to John, who was really just grateful for the familiarity of it all, Moriarty included. The Ood with the tentacle-mouth wasn’t helping, and neither was Moriarty/the Master’s namelessness in John’s mind. From now on, John decided, he’d be M.
Sherlock, now this is Mycroft. This is important.
“No,” John said, surprised. “Not her. Mycroft.”
“Getting the whole family back together, are we?” M drawled. “Isn’t that just wonderful?”
“Yes, it would be wonderful to have the entire British government on your heels, wouldn’t it?” Sherlock said absentmindedly, tapping out a reply to his brother.
“You’d do well to remember, Sherlock,” the Doctor warned, “that we’re not in Britain anymore. We’re not on Earth anymore. We’re not—where are we, Master?”
John looked around, suddenly aware that the crazy Ood creature had disappeared. “Hey, what happened to—“
Slam. Metal walls came crashing down around them. A chorus of “What the—“s and “Omigod!”s followed, and the spazzing out didn’t stop—wouldn’t stop—couldn’t stop—until the Doctor used his crazy laser pen to drown them out with a horrible wailing buzz. “Where are we, Master?”
“I really don’t know. Prison, it seems. I left Earth, was hailed by a passing spaceship, went on for a drink, got knocked out, and woke up here.”
“You died. You shot yourself through the mouth!” Sherlock cried.
“Yes, and I’m sure John’ll tell you how they found my body, won’t you, John?”
M shrugged at Sherlock as if to say, Couldn’t you have guessed? “I healed the wound and I ran off while you were… distracted. But I have to say, Sherlock, you’re really disappointing me here. You might not even be ordinary. Humans are so dull.”
“Oh, just getting settled in,” Sherlock replied with the little dance of confidence John knew so well. “Bit of a shock, you know, seeing all this all of a sudden. John’ll tell you that I’ve deleted most of this stuff about space—“
“Why is everyone using me as a reference today?”
“Don’t worry,” Rory replied tiredly. “They usually pile the dirty work on me.”
Simultaneously, John and Rory got little kisses of apology from their respective partners. John turned beet red, and so did the Doctor, who looked entirely out of place not participating in the conversation. He’d been shifting from one foot to the other, playing with his crazy metal laser-pen thing while River stood to the side, laughing at him internally.
“You’re doing beautifully, Sherlock!” the Doctor exclaimed, grappling for a foothold in the conversation.
“Well, hang on; I’m not finished yet,” Sherlock replied. The Doctor’s face fell, causing a peal of laughter to escape River. She smothered it and reached for his hand. “It’s a bit of a shock to be seeing this all of a sudden, wouldn’t you say, Master? All of time and space running through your little head… just a child. You should know.”
As both the Master and the Doctor stared in shock, Sherlock’s phone pinged, and he held it up for everyone to see. “Found us.”
“Brilliant,” John exclaimed. Sherlock shot him a grateful glance.
“What do you mean, found?” River asked.
“I mean that we’ve got connections, and they’ve just locked on to us. Now, let’s see what else Mycroft’s found…” he continued under his breath, reading from the phone. “Yes, Time Lord, planet Gallifrey… my my, you two do go way back….”
“Yes, well, before you delve any deeper into my personal history!” the Doctor interrupted.
“And it is a long one, I must say,” Sherlock answered, with no intention of stopping.
“He doesn’t really have a concept of privacy,” John apologized.
“Can you at least tell me who’s coming?” sighed the Doctor.
“Captain… Harkness. Jack Harkness. Alone, it looks like. He should be around by now. I expect any minute.”
“Know him well?”
“I must say, Sherlock, you’re not making a complete fool out of yourself,” M allowed.
“Right, for John’s sake, can we get him tied up?”
Before Sherlock finished his sentence, River had M (John supposed now he should call him the Master) in a headlock. Smoothly, she pulled her ray gun out of its holster and pressed it against the Master’s temple. “Like this, Mr. Holmes?”
Sherlock had hardly opened his mouth to answer when the steel walls rose suddenly and a man, ragged with clothes in tatters, panted his way into the room.
“Yeah, just like that,” said Jack Harkness. “Except I think that’s my gun.”
((Guys. Guys. This is insanity. What are we doing? This is actually the most fun I’ve had in ages.))
(( Oh my god THERE’S MORE. WHICH MEANS MY I-CAN’T-RESIST-ADDING-ON-TO-THIS TENDENCIES HAVE CROPPED UP AGAIN. Fuck, I’m sorry to everyone who’s dashes are being clogged up by this. Still. Wholock. I need it like I need air. THIS IS SO MUCH FUN I MIGHT ACTUALLY SOB AND EXPLODE FROM HAPPINESS ))
The entire company stared at the man in silence, taking in his battered appearance. He, however, simply grinned widely and raised an eyebrow at the Doctor.
“Now, now, no need to talk all at once,” he smirked.
The Doctor was the first one to shake out of the reverie, creeping forward until he was about a foot from Jack, poking him gingerly in the chest.
“We’ll have more time to touch and feel later, Doctor,” Jack said, winking, before craning his neck to grin at everyone else. “Right now, I see some new faces. Lots of them.”
John could feel his head starting to hurt. He was still getting used to seeing people pop out of seemingly nowhere and joining their increasing group. He caught the strange man’s eye, and immediately looked away, shifting uncomfortably.
“Hello there,” Jack said, eyeing John with a flirtatious gleam in his eye, causing Sherlock’s hand to automatically close possessively around John’s wrist.
“Stop it,” the Doctor said, rolling his eyes and turning to the rest of them.
“I was just—”
“Yes, and we all know where that usually ends up going.”
Jack laughed heartily, his voice echoing through the room. “Anyway, I’ve been sent to bring you back. Or bring those two,” he gestured at Sherlock and John, “back anyway. Looks like your big brother’s getting worried about you.”
Sherlock rolled his eyes. “No, he just has something he wants me to do. Probably something boring.”
Amy gazed at the glass statues that surrounded them longingly. “Couldn’t we stay for a bit?” she asked. “Doctor, you know it’s a new planet. We could—”
“We need you, too, Doctor,” Jack said, interrupting Amy.
The Doctor frowned. “Me? What for?”
“I don’t know, they just said that they needed you. It sounded pretty urgent, though,” Jack shrugged. “Anyway, shall we?”
The Doctor looked back at the statues and the room, torn between wanting to explore the planet and going back to save the Earth (again). Honestly could he not leave the planet for a bit without it being invaded by some alien species or another? After a few moments, he sighed and nodded. “But we’re taking the TARDIS,” he said.
“Good. My vortex manipulator’s broken. No wonder, I suppose. This is probably the farthest it’s ever taken me,” he said, taking out a shattered metal bracelet from the depths of one of his destroyed pockets.
“Hence the tattered clothing,” Sherlock observed. “Ripped by the friction, I believe.”
“Probably, but I think I like it better this way. It has a shipwrecked look to it.”
Sherlock rolled his eyes before turning to the Doctor. “How do we get back out, then?”
The Doctor opened his mouth before falling silent. “Right…that, erm…might be a bit of a problem. I don’t think we can go back the way we came.”
“Where did that…Ood thing go?” John asked, looking around.
“The Ood?” Jack said. “I saw him going off that way,” he pointed toward the door through which they had entered the room.
“Well, what are we waiting for?” River asked impatiently, heading for the door and grasping the handle, rattling it.
“Oh, god, don’t tell me…” Rory groaned.
“Locked,” River confirmed, turning to the Doctor. “Now what?”
The Doctor approached the door, sweeping his winking screwdriver like instrument over the door.
“What is that, anyway?” John asked.
“His screwdriver,” Amy replied.
“Sonic screwdriver!” the Doctor added. “See? Makes a noise. It’s sonic. There, try it now, River.”
River tried the door once again, creaking it open. The Doctor turned to the others with an exasperated look. “You’d think they’d learn not to lock me up anywhere,” he said.
“You don’t seem to have a problem when I do it,” River muttered. The Doctor let out a small strangled squeak.
“Not here, darling!”
River rolled her eyes and walked out the door, closely followed by the Doctor and the rest of the group.
“So now what?” Rory asked.
“If you ask nicely, I might just tell you,” the Master said in a bored tone, examining his fingernails.
River pointed her gun at the Master, her eyes glinting. “Nice enough for you?”
The Doctor, however, placed a hand on the gun, moving it downward, whispering something into River’s ear. She looked at him as if she wanted to argue, but he whispered something again and she fell silent. He then turned to the Master.
“If you show us the way out, you could come with us,” the Doctor said, taking a step toward the Master.
“What? No!” Sherlock exclaimed angrily.
“Tut, tut, Sherly,” the Master said, eyeing him over the Doctor’s shoulder. “Let the big boys talk now.”
Sherlock glared at him, but remained quiet.
“That’s better,” the Master said softly. “So, if I help you get out, you’ll take me with you? Do you really want me inside that lovely spaceship of yours?”
“TARDIS,” the Doctor said. “Not a spaceship. And yes, if you behave.”
“When have I ever behaved?”
“If you don’t we could just tie you up.”
“Ooooh bondage? Never thought you were into that sort of thing.”
Jack nudged John slightly. “I think I like this one,” he muttered.
“I like you too, darling!” the Master called out. Jack straightened up and grinned.
“I can take care of him, Doctor,” Jack said.
“I don’t know…”
“Trust me. You do trust me, don’t you?”
“I—yes, of course, it’s just that—” but the Doctor couldn’t seem to come up with a good enough reason to refuse. “Fine, just…keep a close eye on him.”
“Oh, I will.”
The Master smirked before sidestepping the Doctor and heading off ahead, closely followed by Jack, who seemed keen on getting into conversation with the other time lord. Sherlock immediately turned toward the Doctor, almost seething with anger.
“Are. You. Insane?”
“Most people think so, yes,” the Doctor said lightly.
“But this is—”
“We can’t leave him here,” the Doctor said firmly. “Besides, he’s the only one who knows the way out.”
Sherlock searched for another excuse, but upon finding none, fell into an sullen silence.
They walked for what felt like ages. John knew that Sherlock was watching the Master (who he still referred to as Moriarty) extremely closely, almost hoping for him to mess up somehow. But they soon came to what looked like a closet. The Master opened it up to reveal that it was some sort of pulley lift.
“Not the safest thing,” Rory said hesitantly.
“It’s the only way out,” the Master yawned. “Take it or leave it.”
“I’ll go first,” the Doctor said, striding forward and using his sonic screwdriver to examine the lift. “Doesn’t seem too dangerous.”
He stepped into the platform and looked around. “Oh, they’ve even got buttons. That’s convenient,” he said, pressing one of the buttons. At once, the shutters slammed closed and they heard the unmistakeable sound of the Doctor whooshing upward with a yelp. Within a minute, the door sprang open again, the platform now empty.
One by one, they entered the lift and shot upward until all of them were standing in a huddled group next to the TARDIS.
“Wait, do you mean to tell me that this was here the entire time?” Rory asked in disbelief. “We could have taken the lift! Not that stupid slide!”
Amy rolled her eyes. “Oh, shut it,” she said, walking over to the TARDIS and taking out her key.
“Just how I remember it,” the Master said, looking around. “I see you’ve made some alterations, though.”
“Yep,” the Doctor said, grinning. Even under the circumstances, he did love to gloat about his beloved TARDIS. “We have bunk beds now!”
Amy and Rory both let out exasperated sighs simultaneously. “Hate those,” Rory muttered.
“No you don’t,” the Doctor said without batting an eye before doing a headcount. “Right, we’re all here. No missing heads as far as I can tell. River, would you like to do the honors or shall I?”
“I’ll do it this time, sweetie,” River said, flashing him a warm smile and heading for the controls. “Right, hold on tight sweethearts,” she said, pressing quite a lot of buttons and pulling the levers. “Next stop, London!”
John managed to clutch onto the railing just before the TARDIS shook erratically, tossing them back through space and time to London.
((OOC: Hey, sherlocked-inside-the-tardis, is there anywhere we can put this? Because there’s no way I’m going to stop writing it, but it’s really obnoxiously long. Also, I think I’m subconsciously just introducing every character, so maybe I’ll make it conscious? SO MUCH FUN.))
“Left the brakes on just for you, sweetie,” River cooed.
“Thank you, dear.”
“Ooh, Doctor,” teased Captain Jack. “What’ve we been getting up to lately?”
“Oh, stop it,” he replied to a background of River’s laughter.
“Can’t you do something about this insanity, Professor River Song?” Sherlock accused. “What are you doing bringing this madman back to Earth?”
“Everything’ll be fine, Sherly. Torchwood is on the case,” Captain Jack assured, taking the Master by the collar and putting a gun to his temple. “And, Miss Song—“
“—I really did like that gun.”
River smiled and tossed it to him. Captain Jack dropped his old gun and caught the new one swiftly, making a little bow and glancing at John. “If I don’t see you again,” he said, “call me.”
“No, wait!” River cried as Captain Jack Harkness pulled the unflinching and oddly willing Master out through the TARDIS door. “Environment checks!”
“Oh, come on, River,” Amy whined. “It’s the TARDIS, and it’s London. How bad could the “environment” be?”
“No one will even have noticed,” Rory assured her, following Amy out the door. “When do they ever?”
“How the hell do they not notice a spaceship in the middle of London? John had been able to suspend his disbelief for this long, but having taken the long walk from the swimming pool in the library to the control room, there was no way he was going to believe that this gigantic spaceship could just park outside St. Bart’s without being noticed.
“John, think back. You saw the outside of the TARDIS. In the glass prison, remember?” purred Sherlock. “Did it look like a spaceship?”
“N-no,” John stammered. He hadn’t been paying much attention, what with the Ood and Moriarty and the alienness of it all, but it was true—he’d walked through the door of a blue box and had ended up here.
“No, or course not,” Sherlock pressed on. “It’s a TARDIS. Type 40, last one in the sky, and it’ll always—always—be bigger on the inside because it’s got a broken chameleon circuit! Brilliant, isn’t it?”
“I didn’t tell him any of that,” the Doctor whispered to River in awe. The two of them had silently retreated to the door to give the boys of 221B their space. River elbowed him in the ribs to shut up.
“You also didn’t tell me that you call it ‘Sexy.’”
“Oi! Only when we’re alone!”
“That was fantastic, Mr. Holmes,” praised River.
“Thank you, but really, it was nothing,” Sherlock began, jumping on the chance to show off. “It was just that—“
“Sherlock,” John warned, gaining a bit of his confidence back.
“Oh, come on, John’ it’s been ages!”
John relented and waved Sherlock off to display his singular set of kills for a new group of people. He went gratefully, babbling on about fingerprints and the way the Doctor touched the console, but before he’d gotten ten paces, he stopped. But more than stopped, he ceased. He ceased, and he turned back to John, and he kissed him. “I’m sorry,” Sherlock said simply, then, “Come on out when you’re ready.” Then he went right back to explaining his thought process regarding how the arrangement of the levers on the console led him to believing it was the last one.
John slumped a little in his spot when they left, not knowing quite what to think. It had been a long day, and it certainly hadn’t gone as planned. If it had done, John wouldn’t be standing in the TARDIS. He wouldn’t be standing anywhere, and he wasn’t even sure yet whether he’d rather have hit the ground when he jumped. He’d been planning for weeks that he’d wait for the anniversary. May 4th, he’d take his own life—or dispose of the body, as he’d told the Doctor at the beginning of this mess. Sherlock Holmes had taken John’s life, too, when he jumped off of that foof, and for what? Moriarty was still alive and well, while John had watched three years go by the slow way, and it seemed as if he’d done so from the bottom of a well.
“John? I might have to go back on what I said. We need you out here now.” Sherlock’s terrifyingly calm and steady voice snapped John out of his reverie. That was the voice he used in the face of true danger, and just hearing a few words in it was enough to dissipate the clouds that John had gathered around himself.
As he straightened up like the soldier he was, John realized he’d been crying. He laughed at himself. John Watson, army doctor, crying of sadness because he was still alive. It made no sense.
From then on, he vowed, he’d be happy. Like it was before. He pushed open the door.
Click. A red dot appeared on his chest.
John looked at Sherlock for help, but he seemed to be in the same situation. Everyone was. They were surrounded by two miniature armies, and they were faced by none other than Mycroft, his face betraying his disappointment in everyone involved.
“Torchwood,” he said, gesturing to his right, “and the Master’s human web,” gesturing to his left. I’d like to see how you fix this one, you geniuses.”
n. the realization that the plot of your life doesn’t make sense to you anymore—that although you thought you were following the arc of the story, you keep finding yourself immersed in passages you don’t understand, that don’t even seem to belong in the same genre—which requires you to go back and reread the chapters you had originally skimmed to get to the good parts, only to learn that all along you were supposed to choose your own adventure.
I’ll go with you.
NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO
no no no no no no no no no no no no
FUCK YOU. NO.
Wait for me, Sherlock
John sent the text with a trembling hand, toes poking out over the edge of St. Bart’s roof. The wind was cold against his ears, making them numb, and his coat flapped weakly against it. He stared down at the ground below, unnoticed, just like his life before Sherlock. He shifted his stance a bit, a sharp stab of pain in his leg making him grimace. He had tried, he really had, to move on. To live a life without Sherlock Holmes, to just be John Watson and not a tag-along. He had tried dating, then lost interest. The last girl, Mary, was almost perfect. But he was always comparing her to Sherlock. An unfair comparison
He had realized, far too late, that not only was Sherlock his best friend, but that he was his rock. His essence. And no, John Watson wasn’t gay, wasn’t homosexual. But he loved Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock Holmes, who was beautiful, inside and out, and so perfect. He wasn’t gay, because he didn’t want to fuck him. Not now, maybe not ever. He didn’t know what he wanted to do with Sherlock, but he knew he loved him. Completely loved him. And he felt like a widow, stuck and alone, cold and hurting in more ways than one. But not for much longer, not longer at all.
Somewhere behind him a door shut, but he was already stepping forward, foot sinking into thin air as his body followed.
And then stopped.
He was dangling off the side, something shaking above him with the strain of holding him. He was confused, thinking he caught his coat on something, but when he looked up his eyes went wide and his face pale.
His hair was quite a bit longer, and a scruffy beard was over his face. His eyes were tired, eyes sunken in, lips chapped. But it was unmistakably him.
“Sherlock,” John managed, voice tight.
“John,” was his reply, just as strained.
And then the soldier remembered he was dangling over very hard, very unmerciful concrete, and reached up to grasp at the ledge and pull himself up.
He felt a lot of things — anger, confusion, relief, and a surge of that damned love he had discussed internally earlier. He wanted to do so many things because of it. Punch Sherlock, throw him off the roof for real, hug him tightly, confess everything… maybe all of it. He noticed Sherlock’s phone grasped weakly in one nearly grey hand, shaking and clammy. He barely recognized the man, now that he had the chance to look. He looked dead.
“I’m sorry, John,” he stammered, words falling over each other. ”I needed to, I- there was no way around it. I didn’t want to hurt you, never, never, John, but I had to or you’d die, and then I’d never forgive myself, and I- I love you, John, I always did, and-“
And all at once, he did. He stared at John with wide eyes, glassy and wet.
“I know, Sherlock.” John didn’t want to forgive him, he mustered all the anger he could, but Sherlock looked so pathetic. He lost the weight that he had managed to pile onto Sherlock after meeting him, and then some. He was obviously living rough, and there were a few bruises visible on pale skin. Sherlock’s ability let John know that he had been in very serious conflicts to earn those, and was probably lucky that was all he got. ”I forgive you. You definitely don’t need me to be mad at you on top of…”
And that was just so… Sherlock, that John had to laugh. Everything ended in that one word, that one dismissive word, and all of John’s feelings bubbled forth in an uncontrollable and slightly manic giggle.
“You too, Sherlock.”
“I love you too.”
And they stood for a moment, staring at each other for the first time in what felt like a lifetime, and thought of those words. And then, like some invisible wire was cut, they fell upon each other in a tangle of arms and stifled sobs.
Because they realized exactly what everyone had known all this time, and it was all Sherlock could do to laugh through his tears.
“For better or for worse?”
“I certainly hope we managed for worse.”
And Sherlock was the one to lean down for that first kiss.
oh my god ohhh my god oohhm yoghdp sa[afnsjgiaqanvj ss crying omg i cant stop you beautiful person oh my god i love you8 hjasuoianhbdjfb
Gwyneth Paltrow’s life is a 24/7 juice cleanse detox bootcamp. The Iron Man suit must have been a walk in the park compared to her everyday workout regimen. Gwyneth Paltrow can probably lift RDJ with her abs.