Rory and Amy were still kissing in triumph after the trio’s latest escape/saving of the world, laughing in the entryway of the TARDIS as the Doctor swept around setting the controls in motion. But as the TARDIS jerked suddenly sideways, the Doctor reached for a handle on the console and was plucked away, stumbling into the crash bars around the main room. Rory grabbed at the nearest thing, which happened to be the coat-rack, and he and Amy found themselves fighting off several coats which were more or less sentient, before the TARDIS stopped. A faint ringing sound lingered in the air, like the TARDIS phone had been called with an urgent message.
“Well, then! Been a while since that’s happened,” the Doctor said, dashing toward the entrance, once there pulling off a stubborn coat from Amy’s hair. “Behave, you!” He hung the suitably chastened coat up, and turned to Rory and Amy. “Let’s see what’s out there!” And he flung the doors open.
A tall, thinnish man with dark, curly hair - a crop to rival the Doctor’s own - stood before the doors and showed not a blink of surprise as they opened. “Bigger on the inside, of course. It’s a reasonable deduction,” he said to someone Rory couldn’t see. “What would three people be doing inside a police box if it were just a police box?”
“Oh, it’s you!” the Doctor said gleefully. “Sherlock Holmes, the Earth’s very best consulting detective.”
“Sherlock who?” Rory said.
“And of course it’s you,” Sherlock answered. “Welcome back to Baker Street, Doctor.”
“Doctor who?” a slightly annoyed voice asked, and a man with sandy hair, wearing a cable-knit sweater, moved to Sherlock’s side. “Who are these people, and why are they in a box?”
Sherlock grinned at the newcomer. “It’s not a box, John. It’s a spaceship. And he’s the Doctor. Not ‘a’ doctor, just ‘the’ Doctor.”
The Doctor stepped out, followed by Rory and Amy, who glanced around. “Oh, we’re in London!” Amy exclaimed.
“Pretty contemporary London too,” Rory said. “This is” - he peered up at the sign on the building across the road. “Baker Street, actually. Huh.”
Sherlock and the Doctor had already moved down the street, talking over each other, where a gathering of Yarders and a police cordon could be seen. The man Sherlock had called ‘John’ lingered behind. “Hi,” he said. “I’m John Watson. Um. Doctor John Watson.”
Amy put out a hand, which John shook. “I’m Amy, he’s Rory.” Rory reached his hand out as well, and John shook it too.
“You should know,” John said after a slightly awkward pause, “Sherlock. He’s a bit, well, unusual.”
“We arrived in a spaceship, and we’re with the Doctor,” Amy said. “We’re used to unusual.”
John Watson was having a very interesting day. There was a ticking bloody bomb less than twenty meters from the door of his flat, for the second time in a month. Then a police box appeared right in front of him without accounting in any way for how it got there. And the worst of it was that Sherlock was being so completely, happily, smug about it all, secure in the knowledge that he knew things John didn’t about the situation.
It had all started ten minutes ago, with as usual, Lestrade banging on the door. Only this time the banging was slightly more urgent than normal, and John, sitting on the sofa trying to write in his blog, found himself rushing to answer the door. Apparently a bomb had been placed in plain sight just down the street, and was counting down from half an hour. They couldn’t possibly get a bomb disposal robot there in time. Could Sherlock...?
Well of course Sherlock could. But he’d spent the last five minutes completely ignoring the bomb in favour of making a single phone call from the street, and waiting sturdily, unmovable, for something to arrive.
When it finally did, John lost patience. “How can a police box help us? What’s in this little square box that could possibly help us?”
“So aside from the fact that you two are recently married, you’re a nurse, and you took her name instead of the other way ‘round - very egalitarian of you - and that you’ve all recently escaped from some sort of dungeon with a faint scent of a chemical I don’t know, oh, and you haven’t cut your hair in over five years, and you once shot - and killed - her, I can’t figure out much else about you. Obviously neither of you two are from London, and of course the Doctor’s obviously not human, does he not realise how absurdly obvious it is when your body temperature is several degrees cooler than normal and you have two heartbeats?”
“Sherlock, could you maybe do your magic a little more on the ticking bomb and a little less on the happy couple?” John said, sounding more irritated than he felt.
“Doctor’s got it,” Sherlock said with a wave of his hand to indicate the space behind him. “I’m more worried about the giant rat.”
“Rat?” Rory said, looking around. “Oh. That rat.” Amy stepped forward to look more closely, but hastily stepped back again.
The rat was in the middle of the street, growing larger and larger until it was truly giant. John thought he had never seen anything quite so terrifying, except perhaps Sherlock pointing a gun at a bomb.
“Sumatraaaaa!” The Doctor yelled as it rose into the sky, dwarfing the building next to it. “Come out, come out, wherever you are!”
And a little old man with greenish skin and pointy ears came out of the building next door, laughing with insane glee. “Don’t you know you’re meant to chuck that in its mouth?” he said, indicating the still-ticking bomb which the Doctor held. “Blood and guts all over the city, ha ha ha! My favourite! It’ll rain blood for days once I’m done with you!”
John immediately revised his standards of terrifying and tried not to think about what a giant rat exploding would do to the crowded masses. There would not only be the initial destruction. There would be the infections and the disease, and the smell of rotting rat for months. His hand went to his mouth at the very thought, and he was an old campaigner, not a green soldier with a weak stomach.
The Doctor scrambled, frantic, with the bomb, almost losing his hold on it a couple of times. “You listen to me,” he yelled, pulling the little old man up by the scruff of his shirt. “This planet is under my protection. Get your own where you can blow up giant rats in peace!” He released the little old man’s shirt, chucked the bomb at Sherlock, who caught it easily, and stalked around to have a look at the rat, which had ceased growing and was just sitting there, kind of stunned looking.
Lestrade gestured to his team, who quickly grabbed the little old man and locked him in handcuffs.
Sherlock’s fingers were deftly undoing the fastenings of the bomb’s case, and by the time John reached him, he was already peering inside.
“Easy. Boring,” he said, glancing up at the little old man. “Couldn’t you at least have made it a challenge for me?”
The little old man sputtered. “I am Sumatra, bringer of challenges! I will defeat you yet!”
Sherlock rolled his eyes. “Sumatra,” he said very slowly, like he was explaining it to an idiot, “If you disconnect the energy source from the timer, it’s amazing how your bomb no longer works.” He yanked at a wire, and the bomb went dead.
“…Oh,” said Sumatra, shoulders slumping. “You’re no fun at all.”
“Quite a lot of fun, actually,” John put in. “Just not for crims, alien or not.” He smiled briefly in a deadly way at Sumatra as he was led away in handcuffs.
The Doctor was talking to the rat. “And he was feeding you this Huge Growth Formula. Ooh, I bet it tasted disgusting! Did it taste disgusting?”
Sherlock and the Doctor were in the TARDIS chemistry lab - “I didn’t know it had a chemistry lab, Doctor!” Amy said, “She really likes me,” Sherlock answered - mixing up a Reverse Huge Growth Formula to be able to send the rat back to the sewers.
John and Rory were bonding in a manly my-spouse-drives-me-crazy-but-I-love-him/her-a-lot way.
“And then Amy goes, ‘Get you!’ and just kicks the Hartension right in the balls. Right in the balls! I asked her later how the hell she knew where its balls were. She just smiled mysteriously.” He slipped into an imitation of the Doctor. “I wear a cup now. Cups are cool.”
“This one time, Sherlock sent me a text telling me to get him some cornflour,” John said, and with a shrug, “for an experiment or something, I don’t know. I was in New-fucking-Zealand at the time, though. He sent me six texts before he realised. Still, that’s better than the time he made me come all the way across the city to hand him his mobile phone, which was two feet away. We’d only just met then.”
A test tube started fizzing slightly in its holder, and suddenly turned bright green, catching everyone’s attention.
“Doctor, what the hell did you add to the formula?” Sherlock rounded on the Doctor, eyes bright.
“A pinch of daring, a dash of spice, and a thimbleful of danger,” the Doctor said, rubbing his hands together with glee. “Let’s see if it works!”
Amy gingerly lifted the test tube out of the row and poured the contents into a syringe, very slow and careful. Rory watched her in her lab coat and goggles.
“My wife,” he said to John. “Probably the fittest woman alive.”
John considered. “Yeah, I’d say so,” he agreed.
“See you later, Sherlock.”
“Saw you already, Doctor.”
John was half-lounging on the sofa, laptop on the armrest, staring at a blank entry page for his blog. He made several false starts before finally, quickly, writing one sentence.
“The world is not ready for this.”
The cursor, hand-shaped, lingered over the ‘Post’ button for several seconds before there was a final, definitive click. As an afterthought, John went back and tagged the post: ‘cryptic’ and ‘life with Sherlock’. Downstairs the door to the entryway closed loudly.
He looked up, shutting the laptop and setting it on the coffee table as Sherlock entered the flat. Sherlock didn’t look at him for a few seconds, and then, as if he couldn’t help himself, glanced over, giving John a brief smile.
John gestured with his head, an invitation to come and sit next to him. Silently, and surprisingly, Sherlock obeyed, sitting down sideways to look at John, one leg tucked under himself. John leaned over, and Sherlock was there, hands curving around him as if he were some precious object d’arte.
John relaxed into Sherlock’s touch, and they sat together, silent, as outside the rain began to fall.