Just how many romance novels could there possibly be in the world? John asked himself as he heaved another box full of books featuring half-dressed damsels and ridiculously muscled heroes on the covers. The used books store seemed to have every single copy that was ever published. The only things it had more of were dust bunnies. Sherlock had sent John on, what he felt was, a wild goose chase, looking for some book that he could now only remember half of the title. Hitchhiker’s Guide-No. That’s not it. Lamplighters? …Nerd fighters? Oh, cor.
Once again, John grumbled about how Sherlock was not beside him, sifting through stacks of dusty old books. The case was a 2, Sherlock claimed. But they had taken it on because funds were reaching dangerously low levels at 221B, and Mrs. Hudson had threatened on no uncertain terms bodily harm if they were late with the rent…again. And of course, Sherlock would never stoop to ask Mycroft.
So there John was, alone, on a Friday afternoon. His only plan for that night was maybe a documentary on historical medical practices, if he didn’t fall asleep first.
Two boxes later, John stumbled across a book, literally. He had to catch himself on another precarious pile of boxes to prevent him from falling all the way to the floor. He stooped down to pick up the book, which was actually a journal with a leather strap wrapped around it. He knew that it wasn’t the book he was looking for, but John paused to open it anyway.
A Journal of Impossible Things was scribbled on the front page. The following pages were filled with the same messy handwriting, describing fantastical stories. The stories, and pictures, reminded John a bit of the books he used to read when he was younger. Memories of hiding in the garden and reading 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and War of the Worlds on lazy Sunday afternoons drifted to his mind. He smiled and put the book in one of his overly large pockets. At least there would be something mildly interesting about that night.
“Did you get the book?” Sherlock asked, from his perch in the kitchen in front of his microscope. This would have been normal except John had already been home for several hours, and was just settling down with the journal. But John had long ago gotten used to Sherlock being oblivious to his comings and goings. John shifted around in his chair to look at his flat mate.
“No. Couldn’t find it.” He turned back around and unwrapped the journal. “Might be able to find it quicker if I had some help.”
“I never leave the flat for anything less than a seven.” Sherlock hadn’t turned away from the scope.
“Well, let me know when the seven pays the rent because right now it’s the twos and threes that are keeping the lights on.”
“Mrs. Hudson would never evict us.” Sherlock reasoned.
“She seemed pretty adamant last time we were late with the money. Kept threatening to bring in her nephew-”
“Her nephew is a wannabe aeroplane pilot who lives in Fitton and works for a barely surviving charter plane company. I don’t think there’s much to be worried about.”
“Fine.” John said, not wanting to argue and wanting to read his book. Sherlock wrote down a few notes and the only sound in the flat was the scribble of Sherlock’s pen and the flip of the journal pages. Normally, John turned in around eleven on Friday nights, but that night he stayed up till two in the morning. The story of the mysterious Doctor and his time-travelling blue box enthralled John. Since it was a journal there was no over-arching plot, but the wonderings of the author, who claimed that they were all dreams, was story enough. It was all so fantastic, yet felt like it might really happen…if there was such a thing as aliens, John was quick to add.
John reached the last page of the journal and the story abruptly stopped, like the author was intending to continue writing but he never got to it. John puzzled for a little bit about what may have happened to John Smith, the author of the book. In 1913, it could have been something as simple as the flu. Or perhaps a Dalek. John mused, putting the book on the shelf and smiling a bit at the ridiculous thought.
“Night, Sherlock.” John said, not expecting a response, as he drifted off to his room. His dreams that night were filled with flying blue boxes, but in the morning they were forgotten.
A few months passed and the rent was due again. Things had been quiet at Scotland Yard and they hadn’t had any sevens or above for months. Lately, John and Sherlock were lucky to encounter a five. Sherlock could almost be classified a hermit, rarely daring to leave his cave of 221B.
The journal had joined its place with the many other books on the shelves and remained mostly forgotten, except when John would take it off the shelf and flip through the pages. Had he been a more creative man, he may have dared to add to the pages. But somehow he didn’t feel right adding to the imagination it contained.
Mid-morning on a Wednesday, John was henpecking another blog entry. Mainly it was asking for any mysteries his readers had. But John also included a few more insights on the life of Sherlock Holmes, which the readers enjoyed and drove Sherlock up the wall, so it was a win-win for John. He posted the entry and sat back in his chair, waiting for the expected acerbic response.
“ ‘Mostly he spends his days in his dressing gown, sulking, when he’s not tearing apart the kitchen with seemingly purposeless experiments’?” Sherlock demanded from the kitchen. John smirked a little. Sherlock entered the living room, fully dressed for the first time in days, his phone in one hand and a bubbling test tube in the other. “They’re not purposeless.”
“Uh huh.” John said, picking up the paper. “And what will that prove?” He gestured to the tube that was turning a sickly green color and emanating a strangely bitter aroma. But before Sherlock could answer, the doorbell rang.
“Client.” They said at the same time. John hopped out of his chair and almost ran down the stairs, so thankful for any distraction.
“Please be a seven, please be a seven,” John chanted quietly as he opened the door. “Please be a sev-” he stopped when he saw the person behind the door. She almost belonged in a television show she was the perfect image of a little girl. Blonde hair was pulled back in a French braid, but wisps of curly hair had escaped. She had a denim dress on that brought out her blue eyes. There was a red balloon in one hand and a leash in the other, attached to the other end was a corgi puppy.
“You’re John Watson?” she asked. She was even missing her two front teeth. John glanced up and down the street, expecting to see a harried nanny running after the little girl. John just looked down at the little girl, and blinked a few times. He began to feel like someone was playing some sort of trick on him. The little girl sighed and asked again, “You’re John Watson, the blogger?”
John blinked a few times more then answered, “Yes.”
“Is Sherlock Holmes here?” The feeling of being tricked set in a little more deeply. John glanced up the street, now expecting to see Lestrade or Donovan sitting in a car, snickering at him.
“…Yes, he’s here.”
“I have a mystery.” She said, matter-of-factly. As if to emphasize her point, the little dog at her feet barked, but yipped or squeaked may have been a better description. John’s brow furrowed and he knelt down next to her.
“Where is your mum?”
“She’s not here.” The girl shook her head.
“Won’t she be worried about you?”
“I need to see Sherlock Holmes.” She said, adamantly. Perhaps it was the serious expression on her face or the complete lack of cases, but John somehow found himself saying,
“Alright. Come in.”
Sherlock raised an eyebrow but was silent when John brought in their newest client. He remained quiet as the little girl accepted a cup of tea and several biscuits.
“My name is Suzie Smith.” She introduced herself. Sherlock nodded stiffly, still not speaking. “I have a mystery.”
“Why else would a seven-year-old seek out a detective?” he commented dryly.
“Sherlock.” John warned, not wanting to have a crying seven-year-old girl on his hands. But Suzie was not deterred.
“My brother is sick.” Her hands were folded in her lap and her feet swung between the legs of the dining chair.
“What’s wrong with him?” Sherlock asked, casually leaning an arm on the mantelpiece.
“He’s been acting strange.”
“What do you mean?” John asked, leaning in from his spot in his chair.
“Something’s wrong with him.” Suzie continued. “There’s a strange look in his eye.”
“Take him to a doctor. Case solved. Phone her mum.” Sherlock leveled a look at John then walked into the kitchen.
“No!” Suzie hopped off her chair and followed after Sherlock and her corgi followed after her. “Only you can help.”
Sherlock looked down at the little girl, a mixture of annoyance and confusion in his eyes. Why wouldn’t this little girl leave him alone?
“No, I can’t.”
“You’re Sherlock Holmes.” She put a strange emphasis on his name, like it was holy or supposed to mean a great deal. Sherlock, however, was unimpressed.
“You’re this world’s only consulting detective. You know everything.” She insisted. John laughed from his spot in the doorway.
“Please, don’t flatter him. Come on, Suzie. Let’s phone your mum.” John tried to take her hand, but Suzie was going to have none of that.
“You can’t!” tears began to well up in her eyes. John sighed and looked to Sherlock who had already mentally checked out of the conversation, leaving John, once again, to clean up his mess.
“Fine. We’ll take you home. Where do you live?”
Suzie blinked a few times, and wiped at her nose. This was more what she wanted to here. “Sherlock Holmes has to come too.”
John nodded, the perfect excuse to get him out of the house. Sherlock hadn’t left the flat in several days, which John had decided could not be healthy.
“I agree. Sherlock, you’re coming.”
“No, I’m not.”
“Yes, you are. You haven’t left the flat in weeks!”
“I left the flat when Mycroft intruded.” Sherlock had attempted to leave before his brother had even arrived, but Mycroft had managed to corner Sherlock long enough to give him their grandfather’s old fob watch. It was very old, so old it wouldn’t even open, and had a strange design on the cover, overlapping circles. Sherlock had kept the watch in his pocket ever since.
“That was the Tuesday before last. Get your coat, you’re coming.”
That was how John ended up in a cab with a pouting seven year old. However, Suzie was quite content, sitting between the sulking Sherlock and the slightly annoyed John. Her little corgi had found a very comfortable place on John’s lap, shedding fur on his jumper. John scratched the little corgi behind the ears, thinking how nice it would be to have a dog.
“What’s your dog’s name?” he asked Suzie.
“He doesn’t have a name.” It seemed strange that a little girl wouldn’t name her puppy but John brushed it off, perhaps it wasn’t her dog.
“We’re not getting a dog, John.” Sherlock said, obviously tracking John’s train of thought.
“Just think how nice it would be-”
“No.” Sherlock said, adamantly. John sighed and looked down at the puppy, which had a look of stupid excitement on its face. Strange he doesn’t have a name… Whatever the reason for the nameless puppy, the cab ride was going to be immensely expensive. Suzie lived all the way in the outer reaches of London; at least the cabbie was happy, John thought to himself.
But when the cab pulled up at the address, John frowned. It must have been the wrong address. The house was very old and appeared to have been abandoned. The dark sky and approaching thunderstorm didn’t help the exterior to look less imposing. John looked back to Sherlock, who had a look of curiosity on his face.
“Is this your home?” John asked Suzie, who nodded and hopped out of the cab. John and Sherlock followed and the cabbie drove away. For some reason, a wary feeling settled in the pit of John’s stomach.
Suzie walked up the path towards the dark house. The corgi waited at John’s feet as he stood with Sherlock near the fence edging the front of the property. Suzie paused and turned around.
“Come on. My brother is inside.”
Sherlock started walking down the path and John followed. He tried to see if Sherlock was having the same dreadful feelings but he didn’t appear to be. Perhaps it was the spooky old house, the kind that the local kids were sure to tell stories about how it was haunted. The army doctor steeled his nerve and banished any negative feelings, but they came rushing back when Suzie opened the door to the house and went inside.
It had obviously abandoned for many years, a thick layer of dust over everything. Suzie disappeared behind a dark corner. The corgi wouldn’t enter the house, but sat whining on the porch.
“Come on.” John coaxed it as he followed Sherlock inside. But the puppy refused to move.
“Brother.” Suzie’s voice came from the depths of the house. “I found them.”
A strange gurgling noise filled the halls, like the sound a sink makes when it’s become clogged.
“Yes, Sherlock Holmes is here. He will help us.” Sherlock and John walked down the hall the way Suzie had disappeared. It ended in a room that was seemingly empty; Suzie was nowhere to be seen. But Sherlock touched John’s shoulder and pointed to one of the darker corners. At first John didn’t see anything, but then he made out what could only be described as two balloons that appeared to be made of stone. They hovered about four feet above the ground, moving a little in the drafts of the room.
“What is it?” John whispered to Sherlock who moved a little closer.
“We need your help, Sherlock Holmes.” Suzie’s voice echoed in the room, but the little girl was not there.
“Where’s Suzie? What have you done with her?” Sherlock asked, glancing about the room but keeping a close watch on the stone balloons.
“I am Suzie.” A large glowing yellow cat eye opened on left balloon. “We need your help, Sherlock Holmes.”
The two men stood frozen for a minute, trying to comprehend the image in front of them. So many preconceptions about life beyond their world evaporated in one second.
“Wait, so Suzie isn’t human?” John asked, stepping up beside Sherlock. Both balloons laughed, though the right balloon sounded rather hoarse.
“Of course not. Now hold still, Sherlock Holmes.” Suzie-balloon said, sounding suddenly very serious.
“Why?” he demanded, taking a quick step back.
“We need to use your mind.”
“We told you. We need help.” It didn’t take a mind as brilliant as Sherlock Holmes’ to realize that this was not a good situation to be in.
“John, I think we should run now.”
“Couldn’t agree more.” The two quickly turned around and ran out of the room, slamming the door shut behind them. The door did little to stop Suzie-balloon or her brother, sickly though he may have been. Sherlock was first to reach the front door, but the handle wouldn’t turn. John ran up the stairs, with Sherlock quickly pursuing. Suzie-balloon calmly floated after them.
“Tell me that you have your gun.” Sherlock said when the reached the landing above. John felt for it in its usual spot.
“When we left the flat, we were just dropping off a little girl so I didn’t think it was necessary to be armed. I didn’t know we would be running into ET’s angry cousins.” They ducked into a bedroom and slammed the door behind them. “Do you think we’ve been drugged? Like someone slipped us something, a hallucinogen, and now are testing the effects of the drug?”
“No. That would be inhumane.” Sherlock reasoned, crouching near the door. He pressed his ear to the door and listened for any sound from the…thing, he wasn’t quite ready to use the word alien. “And we’ve been experiencing no other symptoms.”
“Sherlock, can this really be happening? Aliens?”
“I don’t know, John. Given the large number of planets and galaxies beyond our own, it’s a little implausible to assume we are completely alone. Wait.”
“I haven’t heard Suzie in a while.” They tried to hold their breath and strained their ears. But instead of hearing creaking or footsteps, they heard a strange noise coming from outside. It was beautiful and frightening at the same time, and was decidedly not of this world. John slowly crept to the one window in the room and snuck a glance at the lawn. His eyes widened at the sight.
“Sherlock, you don’t recall there being a blue police box on the front lawn when we walked up?”
“There wasn’t one.”
“There is now.”
Sherlock went to the window and gazed at the police box on the lawn.
The door to the police box opened and a man in a brown suit and red trainers walked out onto the lawn. He tucked his hands in his pockets and surveyed the house. A woman with bright red hair poked her head out of the box and stood in the doorway.
“It’s bigger on the inside.” Sherlock whispered, blinking quickly as his mind struggled to figure out how it worked. It seemed impossible and yet there it was as plain as day before him. John’s brow furrowed and he repeated, ‘bigger on the inside’ to himself. Somehow it seemed familiar, where had he heard it before? Maybe it was from a television show?
Suddenly, Suzie-balloon smashed down the door.
“We need help, Sherlock Holmes.” She insisted.
“Look out, John!” Sherlock said, grabbing a broken chair and sending it through the window. John quickly climbed out the window and dropped onto the roof of the porch below. The trees in the yard were beginning to sway as a strong western wind was blowing a storm into the area. The man and woman from the box ran into the house at the sound of Sherlock’s shout and the glass breaking.
Sherlock dropped onto the roof behind him and they picked their way across the shingles, the whole time John was praying that it would hold the both of them.
They reached the end of the roof, a rather long drop in front of them, and Suzie-balloon behind them. But John looked behind them and she was hovering at the broken window.
“Why isn’t she following us?” Sherlock asked, pausing for a minute to attempt to deduce her actions.
“Oh, who cares? How do we get down?” John spun around trying to find a way down. All he wanted to do was leave the area and attempt to forget the whole affair.
“Here,” Sherlock said, sliding onto a rickety trellis on the side of the house. “Hurry, John. The man from the box is downstairs.”
“But so is Suzie!” John insisted, as Sherlock hopped to the ground.
“Come on, John.” He said, moving back towards the house.
“Oh, cor.” He grumbled, grabbing onto the trellis. He made it down a few feet then slipped and fell the rest of the way. Sherlock quickly helped him up and they ran, John limped, back to the house. But when they entered the house was deathly quiet.
Sherlock stood in the foyer, listening for any sound. From the depths of the house, door creaked and a soft shh sounded. Sherlock quickly started off after the sound with John following wordlessly behind. They went through another parlor and a dining room, which led to a large glass room. At one point there may have been plants growing in the room, but they were long dead. One of the double doors swung on its hinges, giving off a quick creak with each movement.
Sherlock pushed open the door and walked into the room. Many panes of the glass had been broken and the storm outside was pushing a steady breeze through the area.
“What kind of man has a police box that magically appears in places and is bigger on the inside?” Sherlock mused, looking around the dark room. The whole situation continued to grow foggier as Sherlock applied more logic. Meanwhile, John blinked a few times as the proverbial light bulb flicked on in his mind.
“Sherlock. The journal!” he said.
“What about it?”
“It talked about a man with a blue box that traveled through time and space. It was bigger on the inside. What was his name?” he ran a hand through his hair as the memories from the pages flooded his mind. The TARDIS, Rose, traveling through time and space fighting Daleks and protecting earth, fire and ice and rage and ancient and forever. “The Doctor!”
“How do you know my name?” a voice came from behind them. They spun around to see the man from the box-or the Doctor-standing there a concerned look on his face. John glanced to Sherlock then back to the Doctor. Sherlock blinked a few times, as if trying to make certain that he was actually seeing the man from John’s book.
“I-ah, read it in a book. A Journal of Impossible Things.”
The Doctor’s rather severe look immediately changed to a large smile. “Oh, that’s brilliant. John Smith, right? You can come out Donna.” He laughed and looked behind him.
“It was your idea for me to stay behind the dusty chair.” She said, standing up and brushing dust off her shirt. She strode over and stood next to the Doctor. “Donna Noble, it didn’t mention me in the book, did it?” she introduced herself. John slowly shook his head and Donna raised an eyebrow at the Doctor. “Thought so.”
“Anyway,” The Doctor quickly cut her off and walked closer to John, glancing at the rather quiet Sherlock. “Who might you two be?”
“I’m Dr. John Watson and this is-”
“No. It can’t be.” the Doctor interrupted. He ran over to Sherlock and looked at him closely. “It is! Donna! It’s Sherlock Holmes! Oh, this. Is. Brilliant. It’s an honor, a real honor.”
“How do you know my name?” Sherlock asked. A man who had a police box that was bigger on the inside was one thing, but knowing his name, that was something entirely different.
“Who?” Donna asked.
“Oh, come on! Sherlock Holmes, everyone knows who Sherlock Holmes is. He’s the detective the one who solved the Reich-wait. What year is this exactly?”
“2010.” Sherlock said, looking the Doctor up and down. He was obviously trying to deduce something about him but wasn’t coming away with much and it was frustrating him greatly. The Doctor’s eyebrows leaped up.
“Ohhh. So you haven’t…?” he looked back to John and nodded. “Right.”
“Haven’t what?” Sherlock asked, feeling hot under the collar. It was the way the Doctor said his name, he decided, that bothered him. He said it like it really meant something, like the way you’d say the name of a famous person from the past.
“Sorry. Spoilers. But may I just say that you, sir, are brilliant. The most brilliant man on earth, well, besides me.” The Doctor grinned and John barely stifled a snort. “What brings the world’s only consulting detective and his blogger out here on a night like this?” A large lightning bolt struck across sky, as if to emphasize his point.
“Didn’t you see them? The…stone balloon things?” John asked, pointing back towards the rest of the house.
“You followed stone balloons?” Donna asked.
“She was a little human girl, then she became the…other kind.” Sherlock quickly explained, sounding rather peeved. This un-deducible Doctor was putting off his temper.
“Oh, of course!” The Doctor proclaimed, smacking his forehead. “The Nizshne-mollomek.”
“The fish-free what?” Donna asked, her eyebrows crunching together.
“Nizshne-mollomek, or, ah, Happy Rock in English.”
“They didn’t look very happy.” John muttered under his breath.
“In 2010 earth years, their solar system’s main star collapses, swallowing the whole planet. It’s thought that no one escaped, they must be the only ones.” His voice grew quiet as the short tale concluded. “Did they say they needed to use your mind?” he asked Sherlock. Sherlock nodded stiffly. “Makes sense, they’d need a brilliant mind, but yours wouldn’t do them much good. Not for what they’re looking for. Well, allons-y then!” The Doctor practically leapt out of the room.
“Is he always like this?” John asked Donna as they fell into step next to each other. She chuckled.
“You should see him at Christmas. You’d think he’s five.”
“Sherlock’s the same way when we’ve got a good case, hardly eats or sleeps, and is always running.”
“The running!” Donna proclaimed, laughing. “Always running everywhere. Don’t they know how to walk?”
“Exactly.” John laughed. Sherlock blew past the two of them, tossing his collar up and walking as fast as he could without actually running. It reminded the two companions that they were actually in danger and they were quiet when they joined the Doctor and Sherlock in the foyer.
“What’s her name?” the Doctor whispered.
“Suzie.” Sherlock said, looking around the area.
“Suzie?” the Doctor called out.
“What do you want, Doctor?” Suzie’s voice came from the room where they had found them before. The group walked back to the empty room.
Suzie floated in the middle of the room, and her brother hovered just above the floor. His eye was barely open, something was definitely wrong with him. The Doctor slowly approached and knelt down beside him. He pulled his sonic screwdriver from his jacket and scanned Suzie’s brother.
“What happened to him?” Donna whispered.
“He’ll be fine, just needs to rest in a safe place.” Doctor diagnosed, reading his screwdriver.
“This world is not fit for us.” Suzie-balloon explained, floating more towards her brother’s head.
“The planet of the Nizshne-mollomek has no wind, so they aren’t blown into anything and…popped, for lack of a better term.” The Doctor explained, gently running a hand over the brother.
“We cannot live in such a turbulent world.” She stated, turning back to Sherlock Holmes. “We seek a better place, but cannot find it on our own.” Suzie-balloon said as she floated closer to Sherlock, who took a quick step back. The Doctor hopped up and stepped between the two.
“Sorry, Suzie. Sherlock Holmes cannot help you.”
“He is a brilliant mind. The network told us so.” She insisted.
“Network?” John asked.
“She means the Internet. Happy rocks were also telepathic beings, using minds to communicate and gather information. The invisible net of information surrounding this planet probably drew them here and it told them about Sherlock Holmes.”
“We need a new home, Doctor.” Suzie asked, sounding very pitiful indeed.
“I know you do.” He whispered. “And I’ll help you find one.” He held out his hand. Suzie touched the area above her eye to his palm, and for a minute they were both frozen. The Doctor couldn’t move as Suzie efficiently searched through his knowledge of planets and galaxies. It was a strange feeling, seeing dozens of facts and figures of worlds beyond brought to mind then discarded without using his own will.
Finally, she found one, a small planet called Noitad-nuof. The Doctor staggered back a few steps and shook his head when she released him. Donna grabbed the Doctor’s shoulders to steady him.
“Thank you, Doctor.” Suzie said, almost appearing like she was smiling. In a brilliant flash of light, the brother and sister were gone.
“Are you hurt, Doctor?” Donna asked, looking him over. He shook his head again and said,
“Oh, I’m fine. And they’ve found a home.”
“So they weren’t angry?” John asked, looking around the place they had just been. There was no mark to show that they had even been there.
“No. They were just children, lost children looking for a home.” He was solemn for a minute, and then snapped out of it. “Well, it’s been a pleasure, Doctor.” He pumped John’s hand then turned to Sherlock, who was still trying to figure him out. “So, what have you deduced, Mr. Holmes?” he cracked a grin. Sherlock was still firm.
“I don’t know.” He said, finally. The Doctor smiled even bigger.
“Well, perhaps you’ll get another chance.”
“Do you know that for certain?” Sherlock asked. The Doctor only smiled.
“Come on, Donna. Allons-y.” Donna waved bye to John, took one last long look at Sherlock and followed him out of the house. However, Sherlock wasn’t quite finished questioning the Doctor and ran after him.
They reached the outside and Suzie’s little corgi scampered up to them.
“Oh, hallo, there.” The Doctor said to the dog as he made his way to the TARDIS. The corgi quickly found Sherlock and sat himself down at his feet.
“DOCTOR!” Sherlock bellowed as the TARDIS disappeared. Sherlock huffed as the silence ensued, he didn’t like being left with questions. John looked around, feeling strangely chuffed. His favorite book was real. It was a wonderful yet odd thought.
“Well-” John began, but was interrupted by the TARDIS reappearing on the lawn. The door opened and the Doctor poked his head out.
“Right. Two more things. John, love the blog. Sherlock, what was your great-grandfather’s name?”
“Timothy Holmes.” He answered, an eyebrow rising. The Doctor nodded and smiled.
“Take good care of my watch then. And stay off of hospital rooftops. Good-bye.” The door closed again as Sherlock attempted to ask another question.
A few days later, Sherlock was sitting on the couch in the flat of 221B. The coffee table in front of him had been cleared off and his great-grandfather’s fob watch sat in the middle with Sherlock staring intently at it. The case of the happy rocks may have started out a 2, but it ended up being unclassifiable. Sherlock had spent almost every waking minute trying to figure out how he could logically explain the Doctor, but every time he thought he had found something, it just gave him more questions.
“You still trying to figure out that thing?” John asked, settling down in his chair with toast and the newspaper.
“ ‘Take good care of my watch then.’ That’s what he said, John. How could it be his watch? Great-grandfather got it in 1913 from his teacher John Smith.”
“I told you the TARDIS travels through space and time.”
Sherlock scoffed and went back to studying the strange overlapping circles on the watch, as the corgi trotted into the room. John patted the space beside him and the corgi happily leaped up on his lap instead.
“You know you could just wait till we see him again and ask him then.” John suggested, scratching the corgi behind its ears.
“I need answers now, not when he chooses to show up again. Wait on his whim, who knows what he could be thinking or planning, do you know how infuriating that is?” Sherlock asked.
“Yes.” John said, opening the paper. There was a few minutes of peaceful silence.
“John, the dog.” Sherlock said, staring at the watch. John had managed to keep the dog and was hoping that Sherlock wouldn’t notice till everyone had become so attached to him that they had no choice but to keep the dog. However, he didn’t appear to be that lucky.
“Can’t we keep him, Sherlock? It’d be nice to have some companionship.”
“It’s an idiot.”
“It’s a dog.”
“It’s an idiot dog.” Sherlock insisted, finally looking up at John. John looked down at the dog, which wasn’t the most intelligent to be honest but it was endearing. “You might as well turn Anderson into a dog.”
“Oh, come on. He’s not that much of an idiot.”
“He cannot stay.” Sherlock said as his phone buzzed. He picked up the phone and glanced at the text from Mycroft.
“Fine, I’ll take him to the shelter today.” John frowned as he continued reading the paper. He didn’t want to give the dog away, but Sherlock was adamant and would make life miserable until the dog was gone.
“I’m going to Belarus today.” Sherlock said, standing up and walking towards his room.
“What-why?” John called after him.
“Mycroft has some idiot on death row that I need to interview.”
“And you’re going?” John stood up and followed after Sherlock with the dog happily following John.
“The exact text says there’s a black car outside that is for me. I already knew about the idiot in Minsk.”
With Sherlock gone, the corgi stayed around the flat for a few more days. But John reluctantly dropped the dog off at a shelter the day before Sherlock was due to return. His mind drifted back to the Doctor and the Nizshne-mollomek, or Happy Rocks, on the cab ride to the shelter.
“Oh, what a cutie!” the teenage girl who was manning the counter exclaimed, seeing the corgi in John’s arms.
“Yeah.” John said, giving the dog one final scratch behind the ears. “Afraid he can’t stay in the flat.” He explained.
The girl nodded in an understanding manner. “It’s alright. He’ll be put with a very loving home in no time. Corgis are very popular.”
John nodded, his mind drifting back to how he had found the silly dog. What an adventure.
“What’s his name?” she asked. John paused, looking at the dog’s excited face, and then said,
“Gladstone?” the girl asked, writing it down.
“Well, Gladstone the corgi. I’m sure whoever adopts him will love him in spite of the unique name.” she said. John nodded a few times and after paying Gladstone’s bill, he left the shelter, silently wishing the dog the best of luck with its new owner.
Many years passed and much changed for Sherlock and John, but a few things remained constant. The Journal of Impossible Things remained on the shelf of 221B, except when someone took it off to look through the pages. And Sherlock took very good care of his great-grandfather’s watch, following the Doctor’s order in spite of himself. But they didn’t see the man himself. Not until one rainy Sunday afternoon when the doorbell rang. John opened the door to find the Doctor standing there. He smiled and said,
“Hallo. I have a mystery.”