"I can hear you alright!" Shouted the Doctor when the Closter bells sounded once again.
By now, he was almost standing on the console, trying to regain control of his uncontrollable TARDIS. Something had disturbed the temporal matrix and the ship was spinning around in space, desperate to find a grip on time.
Losing patience, the Doctor vanished under the console and fumbled with the complex circuitry until he pulled a shiny blue cable and disconnected it from the console. The Bells went silent. The TARDIS slowed down. The Doctor sighed in relief.
"Ah, that's better."
He smiled and the whole tension from earlier vanished from his features. He jumped on his feet and checked on the scanner. His smile grew even bigger and he hopped to the door, peering outside to confirm his readings.
"Why, hello Victorian London!"
He closed the door of his TARDIS and took a few steps in the small passageway where his ship had materialised. There was nothing extraordinary about the place; in fact there was no one to be seen. A dense fog soon started to surround him and the Doctor couldn't ignore the fact that he might have been forced to land here by another party. Just as he remembered that the shiny blue cable was part of the emergency air conditioning system...
He stumbled on something and fell on the ground, remaining there as his mind was getting as foggy as the fog outside. He had time to make a silhouette leaning over him and his eyes opened wide when he saw the gas mask. Then he fell asleep.
The Rani stared at the Time Lord who was sitting against the stone wall. He had changed again and she had to admit that he was quite handsome now. He was slowly waking up, so she knew that he could hear her.
"To which of your incarnations belongs this face? 9th? 10th? 11th?"
"10th," he grumbled then opened his eyes.
It took him less than three seconds to recognise her.
"The Rani! You haven"t changed!"
Did he actually seem happy to see her?
"I can't say the same about you, but it was probably for the best. You look good, Doctor."
"Thank you, likewise! Now, on to business?"
She smiled. Even with a new face, she would have recognised his style.
"I need your assistance."
"As always. Which planet do you intend on conquering to experiment on its inhabitants this time?"
The Rani started laughing.
"Oh Doctor, don't you guess?"
He had already guessed, he simply didn't want to acknowledge the horrible truth.
"Earth is off limits!" He said icily.
"No it's not. Not if you're willing to do everything for the woman you love more than anything."
Before he could even start to worry, she had left, using a concealed door in the wall. The Doctor looked up and saw that he was at the bottom of some kind of pit. Light was coming from above, bathing him in a grey and depressing atmosphere.
He stood up, relieved to see that the effects of the anaesthetic had worn off and tried to operate the secret door, with no luck. He then remembered that he had left his sonic screwdriver inside the TARDIS. This was not looking good.
It became worse when he heard the Rani's voice over his head. She was standing at the opening of the pit.
"We are about to start a whole new chapter of our history," she said and he could hear joy in her voice.
"What have you planned?" He asked.
There was nothing he hated more than not knowing what to expect.
"Let's just say that you are about to fall madly in love... Do you remember those fairytales from this planet you're so fond of? Let's just pretend I'm the sorceress who cooked a potion that ensures love at first sight..."
She threw something inside the pit and then quickly closed the opening, throwing the Doctor into darkness. He could hear glass shattering near him and he backed up against the wall. But there was no point in trying to escape. Whatever gas had been released started to choke him and he fell unconscious once again.
He ran inside the abandoned building, closed the door behind him and tried to catch his breath.
"Where are you when I need you most, Watson?"
He already knew the answer. His friend and colleague was enjoying a (belated) honeymoon in Brighton, while he - the great Sherlock Holmes - was fighting crime. Right now he was running away from a crime to happen, his own murder, if he couldn't escape the bullies he had pissed off rather incidentally.
He carefully backed up from the door, looking for a good hiding place. The building was an old warehouse that had been obviously used for various sorts of repairs, judging by the decaying machines it was still housing. When he stumbled over some pieces of junk, he knew that the noise had betrayed his position. Indeed, it wasn't long before he heard the bullies shout near the door. He decided to make a run for it, ignoring the potential dangers that could be met inside such a place. When his foot went through a rotten floorboard, he realised his mistake. He tried to free himself but stopped when he heard a worrying cracking sound. Suddenly he was free, but not in the way he had hoped for. He was falling freely. His mind racing, he tried to analyse his rather desperate situation. He took in the walls made of stone and determined that he was falling in some kind of pit. If he was lucky, he would land in a pool of water. If he wasn't, then he was more likely to break his neck on the dry stones... He briefly remembered another fall at Reichenbach before he crashed. Everything went suddenly dark.
He was quite surprised to wake up. He was laying on a cold floor. His head was resting on something soft and warm. Someone was gently brushing his hair. Whoever the person was, she seemed to care a great deal for him and he remained there, enjoying the moment, before said person spoke.
"You got me very worried. You weren't breathing anymore after you crashed..."
It was a male's voice. Holmes tried to sit and felt a spinning pain in his head.
"There, there, don't move too fast. You must still be shaken..."
Sherlock managed to turn around, coughing as a strange substance in the air got inside his lungs. He saw a man smiling at him. The poor light that came from above allowed him to see he was quite handsome and was wearing a concerned expression upon his face.
"You broke my fall," stated the detective.
"I had to; I couldn't let you fall to your death..."
They remained silent, staring at each other for a while.
"I'm the Doctor."
"I'm Sherlock Holmes."
The detective was trying to get his mind working but he found it almost impossible. All he could think about was how comfortably he had rested and how he missed the Doctor's hands brushing his hair. The thought should have been disturbing, but he found himself unable to come to that conclusion. He didn't have time to ask any questions. A concealed door opened in the wall nearby and a woman stepped in.
"So, my love, what..."
The words died in her mouth when she saw the stranger.
"Who the devil are you?" She asked angrily.
"I'm Sherlock Holmes and you're under arrest for kidnapping."
"What? Oh no... Doctor?"
The Time Lord smiled shyly:
"Please meet the greatest detective in London and possibly on Earth, my sweetheart..."
"Oh, dear..." The Rani sighed before she left, closing the door behind her.
To be continued...?