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There was something about the woman who called herself Dr. Smith that struck him as…unusual. She was brilliant. That wasn’t what struck him as unusual. No, it was the way she was brilliant. It was how she somehow always had just the piece of information he needed to solve his case, the obscure nugget of information to make everything side into place. It was how she just happened to be exactly where he needed her to be when he needed her to be there. It was how she always how she seemed to be exactly what he needed exactly when he needed it, like she was a jack of all trades.

She was an even greater mystery than the murders he was tasked by Scotland Yard to solve, to be quite honest.

And so he began his attentions towards her. But oh, she was craft. It appeared she didn’t want her secrets to be found out. He’d get close and then somehow he was blocked, one way or another. It was as though forces beyond his control were keeping him from finding out the truth, and that greatly aggravated him. It was a craw in his teeth, he would rant to his flat mate, John Watson. But there seemed to be nothing he could do about it. Something was keeping him from finding out the truth.

And then there was the invasion from above, and all hell broke loose.

The city…no, the world at large…was invaded by these beings that insisted they were cybernetically augmented humanoids called Cybermen, that they were there to “upgrade” humanity. He had surmised rather quickly that they were to convert humanity by removing the brains of humans and putting them in the cybernetic suits of armour they inhabited to protect the information in the brain. To them, things such as emotions were useless. All that mattered was the information housed in the brain.

They had come after him fairly quickly, as he had been seen as a prized specimen. They had caught an associate at Barts he had been with and he had witnessed firsthand a conversion. He had been horrified at what he had seen. He knew he himself had prided himself on suppressing his emotions and relying on his brain as a computer but this…this was too much. He had watched the vibrant young woman emerge from the process no longer human, instead now a faceless machine and knew he was next. He prayed, for the first time in many many years to a God he didn’t believe in that if he was able to escape he would change his ways.

And then she was there. His Doctor Smith was there, her silly long pink and blue scarf that he used to mock her for trailing behind her, her ponytail bobbing as she ran, and he had never been more glad to see her in all her glory with her brown knee dress over the turquoise short sleeved dressy shirt with the cap sleeves. If she got him out of this mess he would never again tease her questionable fashion sense. “Let him go!” she called out, leveling something in front of her, a slim knobby silver contraption with a green light at the end.

“You’re here,” the Cyberman closest to Sherlock said.

“Why yes. Yes I am,” Doctor Smith said. “And you’re going to unhand him or you’ll have bloody hell to pay.”

“He is compatible. He is intelligent,” the Cyberman said.

“I know he is. I haven’t helped him because he’s a clod," she said. “I like him. I’m a fan. Have been since I was a wee one.” She leveled the silver apparatus at him. “If his friends have done what I told them to do soon it won’t matter. Soon it will all be over and you’ll all be off from whence you came. You should know better than invading Earth. This planet is under my protection. Has been for thousands of years now. Always will be, till the last man and woman walk the face of it, if I can help it.”

“You need not exist. The Doctor need not exist,” he said.

“The Doctor should always exist, to stop the likes of you,” she replied as red lights suddenly began to flash and sirens began to wail. The Cyberman looked around for just a moment before he stiffened. “Sherlock! Move away!”

He pulled away from the Cyberman as smoke began to come from the head of the Cyberman. Doctor Smith moved to him, grabbing his arm as he stared in shock, and pulled him away, running through the corridors of the facility he had been brought to. Moments later they were joined by John and his girlfriend Mary Morstan, and they ran as fast as they could to the freedom of the outside but even then they didn’t stop until Doctor Smith led them to a blue police box. Sherlock had no idea why or how they would all fit inside but she snapped her fingers and the doors opened and she stepped inside with John and Mary following. After a moment he did the same.

And immediately stopped in his tracks and stared in wonder.

There was no way this was possible. The inside of the room was huge. It was a console room of some sort that was huge. He stared for a few moments, then stepped back outside the police box, walking around the box. He then walked back inside. “It’s smaller on the outside,” he said quietly.

“You owe me twenty quid,” Mary said, holding out her hand to John with a smirk.

John shook his head, pulling his billfold out of his back pocket. “I thought for sure he’d say ‘it’s bigger on the inside,’” he said, pulling out some money and putting it in his girlfriend’s palm.

“What is this?” he asked, moving to the console, where Doctor Smith was flitting about.

“My home. It’s called the TARDIS, which stands for Time And Relative Dimension In Space,” she said. “I travel through time and space, you see. Fixing wrongs and protecting people and…well, doing good. It’s a calling.” She gave him a bit of a shy smile. “I’ve been stuck on the slow path for a little while now. I can travel through space, just not time. Something’s wrong with my old girl, you see. I’ve been trying to fix her. But I studied up on you and so I know a lot and…well, I wanted to help. I’ve tried to help.”

“Thank you,” he said, trying to put as much gratefulness in those two words as he could.

Her smile grew much warmer and much brighter when she looked up more. “I could take you somewhere, if you’d like. Anywhere at all. I mean, not through time, obviously. But any place. Any place at all.”

“Oh, could we go into space?” John asked. “Some alien planet?”

“Or maybe go up in the stars and look at them up close?” Mary asked.

“We could do both!” Molly said cheerfully, turning to them both. “But Sherlock gets to pick first.” Then she turned back to Sherlock. “Where do you want to start?”

He looked at her, giving her a small smile. His prayer had been answered, and he supposed he should start living up to the promise he had made. And he supposed there were worse ways to start living up to it than with a woman such as this. “Whatever you want, Doctor Smith.”

She grinned and then reached over for his hand, taking it in hers and holding it gently for a moment. “Just call me Doctor,” she said with a warm smile before squeezing it. Then she let go and began dancing around the controls, pulling levers and pushing buttons and pressing keys. Finally she pressed a big red button and they lurched and the TARDIS began to hum, and he smiled a bit more. This, he realized, was the beginning of a new chapter in his life, a new adventure.

And he couldn’t wait to see what happened next.