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Hard Day's Night


 

Um.  Well.  Ah.  This is going to be unashamedly fluffy - overly fluffy - crazily fluffy, so turn back now if that's a problem for you.  I figure if I'm the only one writing Mycroft/Lestrade (which, to the best of my knowledge, I am at this point, though I would LOVE WHOEVER WROTE SOMETHING ELSE FOR THEM FOREVER  ;D), I might as well write the cliches, so that later fic-authors have things to rebel against and laugh at.  So, yeah.  Mycroft/Lestrade fluff, with a vague attempt at saving the fic and keeping Mycroft in character at the end.  Yeah.
Also, again, it fits a prompt on the meme: this one, here.
And the title is, of course, stolen from the Beatles song/movie (yes, I've seen it, and it was kind of good and made me not dislike Ringo, which is always good, right? ;D).
The faint hints of Sherlock/John, which are very, very faint, are also very, very intentional, I promise, really. ;D
Anyways.  *is trying to stall to avoid embarrassment* ... oh, to heck with it, here goes ...


 

Hard Day’s Night



            There were times when Lestrade really, really hated his job.

            Oh, not usually. Not when he was out there solving murders (though during his first year on the job, so very long ago, he began to question his own sanity when corpses and blood began regularly featuring in his dreams), or when he was chasing after criminals (though occasionally when he came home aching and exhausted, with his knees skinned from tripping and falling and his clothes stained dark with gutter filth, he had no idea what he could possibly have been thinking when he joined the police), or even when he was investigating a crime scene (though sometimes, when he caught himself looking at doors and classifying them based on how hard it would be to force them open and whether or not he would assume forced entry or assisted entry if he saw them at the scene of a crime, he wondered what the hell he was doing, pretending that being a detective was only a job). Most of the time he knew he was helping people, protecting them from criminals; making the world a safer place.

            But when it was ten p.m. and he hadn’t slept for a solid two days and the heating system at the station was broken so he had to decide between being freezing cold or wearing a coat that stank of sweat, fear, and blood and Sherlock was still chemically analyzing results and John was glaring at Anderson and Donovan, who were alternating between insulting Sherlock and flirting with each other, God, he wanted to quit.

            Well, all right, maybe not quit. But definitely take a long vacation somewhere else, preferably somewhere where he didn’t have to babysit a group of grown-up children who had all probably driven their respective kindergarten teachers crazy when they were younger and now had been let loose on the world, God alone knew why. (Lestrade himself had always been a good, solid student who had worked hard, though he had once gotten into trouble at age four for beaning the neighborhood bully over the head with a large, Lego construct.)

            He sat there in put-upon silence instead, listening as his computer whirred away, attempting to search the criminal databases he had access to for any references to a man named “Leonard Strangely”, which was probably a pseudonym that would garner no results anyways. His head snapped up when he heard the faint boom of an explosion in the distance; then smoke came pouring out of the office that Sherlock had re-appropriated as a temporary workspace, and he looked back at the blank screen his computer was displaying. Sherlock was just blowing things up – fine, great, brilliant. Life as normal. Then he groaned softly, because that was Jones’s office, and he was going to have to apologize to him tomorrow morning and get a new room for him and get the old one cleaned up. With his luck, Sherlock had probably been testing poisonous chemicals, too, and the entire station was going to have to be ventilated ...

            “Freak probably blew that up out of spite,” Donovan said, and glared in the general direction of Jones’s office. “It’s not like he doesn’t know how to prevent explosions, being an intelligent psychopath, after all.”

            John suddenly frowned. “You’re right – Sherlock wouldn’t do that by accident.” Anderson snorted, but didn’t say anything. John shook his head. “He would only –”

            Sherlock himself appeared at the door, his eyes alight, possibly with pride about his own cleverness. “It was sugar – just sugar, all of it!” He paused, then added, “Don’t you see what that means?” upon seeing their vacant faces. “Dear god, you’re dense. If the activating agent was sugar, then the poison itself must have been in the cake, meaning it was certainly – certainly! – the aunt. Who else had access to sugar? But wait,” he frowned, “the aunt – no, the aunt would have had to have – she would have needed an accomplice, and that was – the sister! Oh, of course, the sister – biotech, remember, biotech! The sister works in biotech! So she could design the catalyst in the poison so that it would activate when cooked into the cake, but would be completely harmless otherwise – even when the cake itself wasn’t at that particular stage of cooling, and that was why ... You’re not understanding this at all, are you?” he asked, when none of them looked like they were blown away by his brilliance. “All right, let’s try this with simple words. The victim’s sister made a poison that would only work when in the cake, and only then when the cake itself was at a particular temperature. The aunt brought the cake to the victim. She ate a slice, she died, the aunt and the sister split the property the victim’s mother left her, end of story.”

            “How did you think of that?” John asked, awe clear in his expression, right as Lestrade asked, “Can we prove it, though?”

            Sherlock ignored Lestrade’s query in favor of John’s; turning to the doctor, he said, “It simply occurred to me that the bonding in the poison seemed to have recently been degraded by heat, and from there, well ... It was quite simple.”

            “Then why did it take you so long?” Donovan demanded.

            “I had to test it myself – I made my own poison-cake dough.”

            “So now you’re making weapons with murderous intent inside the police station?”

            “I was simply testing a –”

            “Yes, all right, you two can have at it later,” Lestrade cut in, because blast it, he was in charge here and all he wanted to do at this point was go home and whine at Mycroft about his irritating little brother and then sleep with his limbs all tangled up in his boyfriend’s. That would be nice. “But, in the interests of actually getting a case together for the lawyers: can we really prove that in court, Sherlock?”

            “Yes, of course,” Sherlock said. “Just keep the cake as evidence – make sure that you don’t let it get eaten through your usual incompetence.” He paused, as if he’d had a thought, then added, “Though the affects of the inactive poison would be interesting to study ...” He shook his head. “No, too risky. Well, it’s been an interesting few days, and I believe I’m off home now. Coming, John?”

            John nodded, and hastened over to Sherlock, who was fixing his scarf so that it would stay about his neck. John pulled on his own coat and then the two of them headed over to the door, Lestrade calling after them, “Hang on, you can’t just –”

            “I’ll be by tomorrow to give you the final details,” Sherlock said, turning back for a moment. “Don’t clean up my work – I’ll need most of that as proof.”

            Lestrade sighed and rubbed at his eyes, partially because he was tired but mostly because the last thing he needed right now was for his superior’s to be on his back about making messes at the office.

            “Right, then I’m off,” Donovan said, passing him an overtime slip on her way out. Lestrade nodded his thanks distractedly – really, he was grateful that she’d stayed extra hours to help finish this thing sup, he just didn’t have the energy to say so – and managed to mumble something appropriate at Anderson when he followed her out the door. Then Lestrade was alone in the station and he really just wanted to go to sleep here at his desk with his coat for a pillow, but instead he forced himself to put on the smelly coat and lock up behind himself, and then travel home by Tube, carefully not looking at the other people on the subway late at night, because he was off-duty now, dammit, and he wasn’t going to go around being Mr. Justice.

            When he reached his flat, the lights were all off; he turned them on, at “dim”, in the living room for a moment, hanging up his coat and taking off his jacket. A brief search of the kitchen yielded up no leftovers that could be warmed up in the microwave and ready in less than a minute, and, honestly, he was much more tired than hungry; he’d eat in the morning. He headed over to the bedroom, but caught a whiff of his own smell before he reached the door: he hadn’t showered in over a day and had spent the last forty-eight hours on duty, and as a result he smelled like city streets and sweat and cheap food. Not a smell he’d want to inflict upon a bedmate, then, particularly not when Mycroft would be already annoyed at being woken up from a comfortable slumber when Lestrade crawled into bed. He considered the bathroom for a moment, but shook his head. He just wanted to sleep, for God’s sake. He’d deal with showering and everything in the morning. The sofa would do for the night.

            He turned off the lights and sat down on sofa, taking off his shoes, socks, slacks, and dress shirt before stretching out, dressed only in a pair of boxers, to sleep. He sighed in contentment when lying down eased a few of the aches that his body had developed over the last few days, a small smile making its way onto his face.

            He’d only had his eyes closed for five minutes, though (five blessedly quiet, comfortable minutes) when the lights came back on. Lestrade screwed his eyes shut and mumbled incoherent disapproval at this development, then buried his head underneath a pillow. A moment later, footsteps made their way across the room over to him, and a body sat down on the couch next to him.

            “And how was your evening, Inspector?” Mycroft asked, pulling the pillow away from Lestrade and instead methodically running his hands, with their carefully trimmed nails, through the other man’s short, silvery hair.

            Lestrade sighed and then rolled sideways so that he was looking up at Mycroft, who was currently dressed in flannel pajamas, which rather undermined the whole “I am a sinister evil genius” look Mycroft usually had, though he did manage to look surprisingly powerful and enigmatic for someone who was only wearing dark blue pajamas.

            “Terrible. God save me from children who think they’re grown-ups.”

            “Work was particularly hard, then, was it?” Mycroft frowned and wrinkled his nose. “You smell terrible.”

            “Yeah. Didn’t want to inflict the smell on you, so ...” Lestrade gestured with one hand to the comfortable, green sofa he was lying on.

            “Foolish. You could just have showered.”

            Lestrade groaned. “That would take effort.”

            Mycroft waved an airy hand. “Not too much. We’ll discuss the possibility later.”

            “Oh?”

            Mycroft smiled so that all his teeth showed. “Exactly. Now, what precisely were you doing today, to gain such an offensive odor?”

            “We had a murder, last ...” Lestrade realized he had no idea what day of the week it was, so instead continued, “yesterday. Yesterday morning. Young heiress who had a sister who didn’t like her and an aunt who’d had a falling out with the victim’s mum. Both thought they should get the money, so – murder. The trick was proving it. Your brother was trying to duplicate the poison they’d given her and figure out how it worked. Tell me,” he added, remembering the train of thought he’d had earlier, “was he always like that? Did his kindergarten teacher complain of headaches?”

            “Constantly,” Mycroft replied, with an amused smile. “His first kindergarten teacher actually quit after the first two months – Sherlock’s analysis of the anachronistic flaws in the costumes all the other children wore during their week of studying Ancient Rome probably had something to do with that.”

            “God, really?” Lestrade asked, chuckling slightly. “I think they were all that way – Donovan, Anderson, your brother, Watson. Their kindergarten teachers should form a union.”

            Mycroft raised an eyebrow. “What, even the esteemed Dr. Watson?”

            “Definitely him,” Lestrade said, remembering the way John had been glaring at everyone who’d dared poke fun at Sherlock. The good doctor’s presence certainly had not improved the strained atmosphere. “Sometimes, he and Sherlock just ... It’s like diplomacy, trying to make sure that they don’t all kill each other or pull each other’s hair or, I don’t know, steal each other’s toys, but worse.”

            “Really? You’d be surprised at how some ambassadors think they can act ...”

            “Not after dealing with those four I wouldn’t be,” Lestrade said darkly.

            “So, all in all, not the easiest day.”

            “Yeah.”

            “You did catch the criminal, though,” Mycroft said, his fingers stilling in Lestrade’s hair for a moment.

            “You know that already.”

            “Yes, I can see it in your –”

            “My left big toe or something,” Lestrade said, swatting away Mycroft’s hands and sitting up. He wasn’t actually very cross with Mycroft, though; somehow, the other man had managed to alleviate his frustration and annoyance during their conversation. Mycroft played people like Sherlock played violins; deftly and carefully, always achieving his intended results. It was no surprise to Lestrade that Mycroft had learned to defuse his own bad moods so well. After a moment, he leaned back against Mycroft’s shoulder. “God, you Holmeses ...”

            “Actually, I was going to say your coat,” Mycroft said, nodding at the black coat, which was currently hung on the hat stand near the door. “It’s not very wet.”

            “Yeah?”

            “If you hadn’t solved the case, you would have walked home and tried to puzzle it out. You always take walks when you’re trying to think. Your coat would be soaking; it’s been raining heavily all evening. As it isn’t, I know you took the Tube, so you must have had nothing in particular to think about. Ergo, I can be sure you solved the case.”

            Lestrade frowned. “Do I really always walk when I think?”

            “Yes.” Mycroft stood up, pulling Lestrade up too a moment later. “Now, I believe a shower was mentioned at some point – I mentioned it, in fact.”

            “Yeah.”

            “Well, then.” Mycroft said, with a slight, fond smile. “Into the bathroom we go. I believe a bath may be in order ...”

            “I thought you said a shower,” Lestrade said, following behind him.

            “Use your imagination,” Mycroft said, opening the bathroom door for Lestrade and then stepping in behind him and shutting the bathroom door, flicking the lights off in the main room with a tap of the switch.

            The next morning, Lestrade did indeed get a day off of work; an email early in the morning informed him that he’d received an unexpected vacation bonus for “services rendered” or something along those lines. He didn’t say anything to Mycroft, but the other man’s smug smile was quite telling. And, really, he could do with a day when he didn’t have to act like a surrogate kindergarten teacher.


General Disclaimer

So, I kind of just realized that I've been very remiss in posting one of these, and, to avoid all legal trouble for a given value of legal trouble (not that any lawyers would ever really end up going after little-ol'-me, but, well, better paranoid than sorry, yes?): I own none of the characters or worlds in which I write fanfiction.  Anything tagged with any sort of tags that indicate that the entry contains fanfic is /not mine/.  I don't claim it, I don't legally own any of it, and I'm only doing it for fun and no profit.

There, glad that's all settled. ;D

Never Look Away


So, this fic also fits this prompt over at the sherlockbbc_fic comm.  Moar MYCROFT/LESTRADE.  Oh yes.  It /happened/. ;D
Again with the bonus Sherlock/John pre-slash, because that also just sort of happens without me meaning it too, really, promise. ;D



Never Look Away

            There were very few people in the world whom Mycroft Holmes cared enough about to keep an eye on.

            One of them would be his younger brother, Sherlock Holmes, self-proclaimed sociopath and world’s greatest detective. Sherlock tended to get himself into all manner of ugly scrapes, and, upon occasion, he had needed Mycroft’s help (i.e. the assistance of various secret agencies the British government controlled) to extricate himself from particularly sticky situations. To guard against the possibility of one day having to explain to Mummy that Sherlock had been harmed by one of the many powerful people he’d managed to annoy, Mycroft kept near-constant tabs on his little brother’s whereabouts and safety. (His concern for Sherlock might also have been predicated upon the same sentiment that caused older siblings at playgrounds to beat up bullies after telling them that only they were allowed to talk like that to their younger siblings, though he’d never say as much to Sherlock.)

            Another would be John Watson, doctor and longtime companion of Sherlock Holmes. After the incident at the pool with Moriarty last year, Mycroft had come to the conclusion that monitoring John Watson’s safety was just an extension of monitoring Sherlock’s, because if John was hurt, Sherlock was definitely bound to be in danger, too. Sherlock had even expressed (grudging) gratitude after Mycroft’s surveillance had kept Dr. Watson safe when a suspect in one of Sherlock’s cases had attempted to off Watson near the end of September, and “thank you” was not something Sherlock said lightly. It was only brotherly to make sure that John Watson was safe at all times, after all.

            Detective Inspector Lestrade, one of Scotland Yard’s finest detectives (or at least the best of a bad lot, according to Sherlock), was the third person Mycroft had monitored at all times. He’d almost decided not to place him under surveillance, at first, because that felt ... different. Sherlock knew that Mycroft was watching him, and John Watson felt more like another part of Sherlock than anything else, but Lestrade ... Mycroft wasn’t sure the detective understood everything a relationship with the-man-who-was-the-British-government entailed, and he felt almost guilty about keeping an eye on him. A few days of worrying about what exactly Lestrade was doing and whether he was in danger at any given time, though, had cured him of his initial hesitance; Mycroft had placed Lestrade under surveillance less than half a week after they became involved.

            He usually only checked up on those three once every few hours while he was at the office – often enough that he was reassured of their safety, but not so often that his private life became a distraction from his work. He made sure to keep a reasonable boundary between work and home. It was just that he was used to having any information that he wanted at his fingertips, so it was simply a matter of course, for him, being able to check up on his brother, his brother’s flatmate, and his own boyfriend every so often.

            So it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary when, after finishing a memo that would later be sent to the Prime Minister, Mycroft tapped a few buttons on his computer and found himself looking at security camera footage of Sherlock and John. The two of them were in a library somewhere in London, Sherlock holding two copies of the same leather-bound book and looking back and forth between the two of them while John sat in a chair next to him and waited, watching him expectantly. Mycroft spent a few moments lip-reading, piecing together their conversation. They were bantering (flirting, really – and was Sherlock ever going to figure out what all this was between himself and John Watson? Really, this whole “oblivious-to-love” thing was starting to get very tedious), as per usual.

            Mycroft clicked on a different window, and a live video feed of Lestrade, who was currently sitting at a desk at the station, came up. He looked at Lestrade for a moment, then frowned. Something wasn’t right ... He tapped a button and the camera zoomed in, so that Mycroft could see that the dark splotch on the left side of Lestrade’s face that he’d initially assumed was just shadow was actually a large, ugly bruise.

            Mycroft’s lips thinned; after a moment more of looking at Lestrade, who was filling out paperwork, propping himself up above his desk with one hand (which he was very carefully not allowing to brush against the left side of his face), he tapped another sequence of buttons, and video files of Lestrade throughout the day popped up on his laptop. A quick browse through today’s surveillance of Lestrade revealed the cause of the bruising: a suspect in the recent burglary of a jewelry shop had gotten violent when confronted and had attacked the nearest police officer – who, it just so happened, had been Lestrade. The police had managed to subdue the burglar and bring him in, but Lestrade had been knocked out for a few minutes and the red mark on his face had begun blooming into an enormous bruise by the time he’d woken up.

            And then of course he’d decided that the best thing to do was to continue working without even icing it or anything. Honestly, sometimes Mycroft wasn’t sure if the entire rest of the world wasn’t just completely insane. Was he really the only person in the world with any common sense?

            He heaved a long-suffering sigh and then, after making a few quick calls to ensure that the jewelry store thief’s stay in jail was as unpleasant as possible, got back to work. He was going to see Lestrade in a few hours, anyways; it didn’t make sense to go haring off to the police station, when he’d see the man at half-past seven in his (well, their, for the time being (though Mycroft hoped that Lestrade would eventually agree that Mycroft’s perfectly suitable house was much more comfortable)) flat.

            At 7:47 that evening, just as Mycroft was starting to get annoyed, Lestrade pushed open the door to the flat and came in, shedding his soaking-wet, black coat and letting it fall on the floor almost immediately in a pile of wet fabric. Mycroft frowned – he always did hate messes – but he supposed that he could let things slide this once; it was far more important that he deal with Lestrade himself first. Besides, Mycroft prided himself on being the Holmes brother who actually knew how to compromise and get along with people, unlike someone else he could name.

            Then he got a proper look at Lestrade’s face and all thoughts of how he was the better brother flew from his mind. Lestrade had, at first, been attempting in a somewhat obvious fashion to keep out of the light; he’d also turned his face at an awkward angle so that Mycroft, sitting in the armchair in the center of the living room as he was, couldn’t get a proper look at him. But Mycroft just craned his neck, twisting so quickly that Lestrade didn’t have time to adjust, and – and then he saw that the side of Lestrade’s face that had been bruised an ugly, dark purple before was now several shades lighter and pasty-looking, because he was wearing some sort of makeup to hide the bruising.

            A sudden, irrational anger reared its ugly head in the pit of Mycroft’s stomach, so that he felt himself getting to his feet and circling around a decidedly uncomfortable-looking Lestrade before he even knew what he was doing. He was about to launch into a withering stream of observations that would let Lestrade know exactly how much of a failure his attempted cover-up was (and would have been, even if Mycroft hadn’t already known exactly what was going on), when he stopped himself short and reminded himself that he wasn’t Sherlock, that he did have social graces, and that he needed to figure out why Lestrade didn’t want to talk about the injury before he did anything else.

            So he sat back down in the red armchair and simply said, “You’re late.”

            Lestrade shrugged, a fleeting look of relief making its way across his face, and sat down on the sofa opposite Mycroft. “Yeah, well, you know how it is. Work.”

            “Yes.” Mycroft paused, then got up and went into the kitchen. When he came back, he had a dark blue icepack in his hand. He tossed it to a confused Lestrade, then said, his voice too casual, “I presume you’re in need of this.”

            Lestrade sighed and made to rub at his eyes, then winced when one of his hands came into contact with the left half of his face. “How did you know?” he asked, accepting the icepack and pressing it against the side of his face.

            “It was simple enough to figure out, really,” Mycroft said. “The makeup only drew attention to it.”

            Lestrade shook his head. “You and bloody Sherlock. I swear, I’ll never ...” he trailed off, then looked Mycroft full in the face and sighed again. “I didn’t want you freaking out and killing someone.”

            “I had him relocated to a much more unpleasant facility,” Mycroft offered. Lestrade only groaned softly once he realized that Mycroft did, indeed, know everything. “I’d only have had him ... ah, disappeared, if he had actually killed you,” Mycroft continued. “Any major injuries would just have landed him in prison for life. Minor injuries ... well, live and let live, as they say. He won’t be much worse for the wear, certainly, though things might have gone better for him had he chosen a different policeman to attack.”

            “You consider this sort of thing often?” Lestrade asked with a mirthless grin.

            “Of course.” Mycroft allowed himself a satisfied smile. “I do hate it when people think they can disturb what’s mine.”

            He stood up and crossed over to the sofa where Lestrade was sitting while the detective protested, “Hey! I’m not –”

            “But you are,” Mycroft said, silencing him with a light hand on his arm. He slid onto the sofa next to Lestrade and peered closely at his face, then nodded, satisfied, having ascertained for himself that the injury wasn’t any more serious than it looked.

            “I’m a –” Lestrade began, but that was as far as he got, because this time Mycroft silenced him with a quick kiss. When they broke apart, Lestrade sighed, then leaned into him, resting his head against the taller man’s shoulder. For a few moments, neither of them said anything, until at last Mycroft stood up.

            “I’ll call in for dinner,” he announced. “You can go wash the makeup off your face. When I get back to this room, though, I expect to see you using that icepack.”

            Lestrade grumbled, but stood up and walked over to the bathroom, and Mycroft headed into the kitchen to call a local Italian restaurant (Sherlock was not the only one who knew all the good restaurants in London, after all). Within ten minutes a good meal was on its way to their home, Lestrade was applying the icepack his face, and all was right with the world. Mycroft allowed himself a slight smile at that thought; of course all was right with the world. He’d made it so himself, hadn’t he?


Discoveries

So, this fic fits this prompt over at the sherlockbbc_fic comm.  Mycroft/Lestrade: IT NEEDS MORE LOVE.  Also, with bonus!shipper-meta afterwards AND pre-slash Sherlock/John.  Watch me reel you in with good things and then make you read my ship! ;D



Discoveries

            The minute he reached the crime scene, Sherlock knew that something wasn’t quite right. Actually, he could identify several things that weren’t quite right – for instance, Anderson’s inhuman levels of stupidity, the fact that the murder had, in fact, been part of a failed burglary, not an attempt to silence the informant who’d been killed, the cabbie across the street who was watching the crime scene with a little too much interest – but there was only one thing that was inexplicably wrong. Lestrade wasn’t there.

            Lestrade had told Sherlock to go to the crime scene, which was in a downtown area of the city that had been rather out of Sherlock’s way, and then hadn’t shown up himself. Sherlock could tell at a glance; he didn’t even have to look around for the shorter man, or listen for his distinctive voice – just by the way all the other coppers were standing around, more relaxed and less efficient than they usually were, he knew Lestrade was absent.

            Donovan was there, though, and she stepped out to greet Sherlock and John when they exited their taxi and stepped out onto the pavement. She approached them and made some scathing remark (Sherlock didn’t bother to listen); John replied in kind. Then the two of them were at it, again, John making some sort of misguided attempt to defend him – possibly seeking to justify his role in their crime-solving relationship by “bringing something to the table”, as it were, or maybe arguing with Donovan was an emotional outlet to help him deal with the stress of living with Sherlock? Sherlock had thought of several explanations for John’s odd behavior over the last few days, but, at the moment, rather than gather valuable data that would help him test his conclusions, he was instead attempting to figure out where Lestrade was – to gather data that would help him solve that riddle.

            About a minute later (before Sherlock had managed to solve the Case of the Missing Detective Inspector, though), Donovan took them into the house where the crime itself had occurred, an old, three-storey, brick home that looked like it was liable to fall down at any moment. She led them up a flight of creaky stairs to the landing and indicated which room the crime had taken place in, seemingly reluctant to go back in there herself, and then left the two of them there, with one last “Freak probably gets off on it.”

            Sherlock pushed through the white door she had gestured towards, John following behind him; both of them stopped short at the sight of the corpse.

            “Well. That’s a lot of ... blood,” John said at last, his voice slightly too tight, looking down at the body on the floor in front of them. Clearly, whoever had killed the man lying on the ground hadn’t been worried about making a clean job of it. Blood was splattered on the walls and ceiling and floor, staining the light green carpet an ugly brown color and marring the flower-pattern of the pale green wallpaper. The window was smashed, but from the shards that remained, it looked like the window glass, too, had been covered in blood.

            After a moment, Sherlock realized that it might make John feel slightly more at ease if he were to make some remark in kind; another few seconds of thought led him to reply with a noncommittal, “Yes, exactly.” John’s posture relaxed slightly, and Sherlock congratulated himself on (yet another) job done well, then turned back to the body.

            A few more minutes confirmed his original hypothesis: the killing had been unpremeditated; the man (whom, he also discovered, hailed from somewhere within Greater Manchester (the small blue-and-gold Manchester City Football Club pin on his shirt revealed that), had been in a long-term relationship for the past five years (judging by his haircut), had recently been taking an art class (the distinctive ink stains under his fingernails were a giveaway), and had just come back from a vacation in Hawaii (his tan and the settings on his watch made that clear enough)) had been killed by a robber who’d planned to burglarize his home while he was out, and then had been frightened enough to kill him when the would-be thief discovered he was still home.

            Sherlock stood up and dusted off his knees, about to launch into an explanation of everything he’d learned about the dead man (hopefully eliciting a few complimentary remarks from an amazed John, though John had been being stingy with praise recently, leaving Sherlock frustrated and confused about why exactly he was frustrated), when a car pulled up at the curb below. He glanced out the window and – it was one of his brother’s government cars.

            He took the steps two at a time, not bothering to explain what he was doing to the gawking John whom he’d left behind (John would just eventually follow him downstairs – he always followed him, and Sherlock was just beginning to wonder why, because occasionally some things John did didn’t make sense to him, and he wanted to understand).

            By the time he reached the bottom floor, the black car was pulling away, leaving a rumpled-looking Lestrade right outside the crime scene yellow tape. The detective inspector began walking towards them, and even at this distance, Sherlock could catalogue the things that were different. Lestrade had actually run a comb through his hair this morning, something he didn’t usually bother to do, and he had shaved within the last two days. He even looked less sleep-deprived than he usually did. Something was going on, and Sherlock was absolutely sure there was some connection between Lestrade’s “new look” and Mycroft, because when Sherlock’s brother got involved in things he tended to meddle rather distressingly.

            “What’s wrong?” John asked, slightly out of breath from racing down the stairs after Sherlock.

            “Why would you assume something is wrong?” Sherlock asked, turning to look at the other man.

            “You’ve got that face on – the one that says something’s bothering you and you’re trying to deduct what it – trying to deduce it.”

            “Lestrade is nine minutes late,” Sherlock said after a moment, opting not to reveal that his brother was somehow involved, because John tended to bristle and mumble about “some people having a bit of a strange family” whenever Sherlock brought up his brother. Apparently, John hadn’t enjoyed Mycroft’s surprise kidnapping, and, for some reason, he blamed Sherlock for it.

            “Hmm,” John said, and Sherlock wondered what possible reason John could have for saying something so intentionally vague, conveniently forgetting that he had done the same thing himself only a few minutes ago. Having a selective memory was useful.

            Lestrade’s being late, though, was a rare occurrence, because Lestrade was usually at the scene of a crime ten minutes before everyone else and he usually left ten minutes after everyone else, because someone had once told him that he could do anything if he applied himself and he had managed to convince himself that this piece of advice meant that he could solve crimes despite his intellectual handicaps (i.e. not being half as clever as Sherlock himself) if he were only to be the most determined copper there was. Which, in point of fact, seemed to work out for him generally, at least according to the records from the police station Sherlock had read (possibly after filching) – except for during those cases which required a genius, when Sherlock could solve everything in ten minutes and Lestrade was left glaring at the body and trying to make two and two add up to five. So it was rather unusual that he was late. Sherlock was about to explain this all to John, possibly along with some choice epithets for whoever had taught Lestrade how to be a detective, when Lestrade himself cleared his throat behind Sherlock.

            “So, what have you got for me?” Lestrade asked, and then sighed, seeing the light in Sherlock’s eyes. “You’ve got it all figured out, haven’t you.”

            “That would be a correct assumption, yes,” Sherlock said, and then proceeded to explain why the murder definitely hadn’t been a killing intended to silence the victim, who’d been a police informant, but a burglary-gone-wrong. He was particularly pleased to see Anderson glowering out of the corner of his eye during the explanation – he’d be willing to bet significant amounts of money that Anderson had been the person to suggest it was a revenge- or silence-killing, because Anderson was always the one who had the stupid ideas.

            When he had finished, Lestrade sighed. “All right. Got anything to go on about the killer, then?”

            “I’d imagine it would be that cabby over there,” Sherlock said, indicating the man standing by the black taxi on the other side of the street with a nod of his head. “He’s been watching the police’s actions over here with particular interest since before you showed up.” And that would be the perfect segue to demand that Lestrade tell him what he’d been doing with his brother (because it was his brother, dammit, and it was driving him insane not to know what was going on), but Lestrade was already discreetly calling his men over to inform them in low voices that they were to proceed over to that taxi driver on the other side of the street in a casual fashion and arrest him, and John was tugging on Sherlock’s sleeve in a very recognizable let’s-get-out-of-here-now,-I’ve-been-involved-in-too-many-dangerous-situations-already-this-month gesture, and Sherlock had to resign himself to not knowing exactly what was going on until later. He followed John away from the crime scene; before they’d walked a minute, they could hear shouting behind them, but they both ignored it and continued on home.

            “So, could you tell who the lucky person was?” John asked, after a few more minutes of silence. “That was the one bit I couldn’t quite figure out ...”

            Sherlock frowned. “What are you talking about?”

            John turned his head to look at him as they paused at a crosswalk, waiting for a light to change. “You mean you didn’t notice?” he asked incredulously.

            “Didn’t notice what?” Sherlock demanded as they walked across the street.

            “You mean you ...” John began to smile, the crow’s-feet by his eyes crinkling up in a manner Sherlock found rather pleasant. “It was obvious as anything. Sherlock, sometimes –”

            Sherlock scowled. There had been a distinct lack of compliments and adoration earlier when he’d revealed everything he had deduced about the victim to Lestrade, and now John compounded it with direct insults. “Yes, what did I miss?”

            “Lestrade’s got himself a girlfriend – or, well, a boyfriend, if he’s so inclined,” John said, and Sherlock felt everything fall into place all of a sudden.

            Mycroft had been unusually amiable in his recent texts, almost genial. Lestrade had been practicing some form of actual grooming lately. Lestrade had shown up in one of Mycroft’s cars, which meant ... Which meant Sherlock was putting two and two together and getting a four that looked so unlike any other four he had ever seen in the entire universe that he wondered if it wasn’t really a letter, or perhaps a shape, or maybe even some sort of animal – an octopus, squid-y thing – not a number.

            John, Sherlock realized after a moment, was calling his name. “... Sherlock? Sherlock? Sherlock, is there something –?”

            “No, it’s – it’s not a problem,” Sherlock said tightly. “I just – nothing.”

            They continued their walk back to the flat in companionable silence, their feet making the leaves on the streets of the autumnal city crackle like so much colorful, dry paper when they stepped on the pavement. They reached home before Sherlock realized that John had made him forget about catching a taxi (John had been trying to wean Sherlock from his habit of riding taxis everywhere lately, because he said the exercise was good for him, and also possibly because long taxi rides were expensive) and that they didn’t have anything for dinner. He pointed this last fact out rather expectantly, and, after a moment, John sighed and said that he would go get Chinese takeaway and he’d be back in a few minutes.

            The instant he reached the second floor flat, Sherlock pulled out his mobile and began typing out a text to his brother. After a moment, he shook his head, deleted it, and then tried again. Seventeen minutes later, when he heard John open the door, he decided to just send off the form of the message he had now to his brother, and poked the send button, then fell down on the sofa dramatically, so that he was reclining there when John entered the room bearing food.

            “Have received information indicating you are involved with DI Lestrade. Confirm/deny? SH” his text had read.

            A few moments later, he received a return text; he managed to check his phone covertly while John was in the kitchen. For some reason (possibly because it was his brother and DI Lestrade involved in some sort of illicit relationship), he was hesitant about telling John about all this.

            “You should have been able to solve the case today just by seeing the outside of the house – you didn’t really need to see the victim, did you? Mycroft Holmes.” his brother’s text read.

            “You would know, then, seeing as you saw it from car. SH” Sherlock sent back.

            “Are you doing something, Sherlock?” John called from the kitchen.

            “No,” Sherlock began, and then realized that John was going to try to rope him into helping warm up the food/clean plates, glasses, and utensils of whatever was growing on them so that they could be used for dinner/locate condiments in the fridge or on the counters and amended that to, “I mean yes, I’m very busy.”

            He could practically feel John’s glare, but he ignored it in favor of his phone – and sure enough, less than a minute later, another message from his brother popped up: “Of course. Mycroft Holmes.”

            He thought for a moment, and then, the beeping of the microwave indicating that John was about to be done reheating food and was going to come back into the room, typed a quick text and sent it to his brother before pocketing his phone.

            “For everything you say about John, at least I didn’t have to abduct him with a government car to facilitate any sort of relationship. SH”

            As he ate Chinese takeaway with John and ignored the multiple annoyed text messages Mycroft was sending his way, Sherlock found himself grinning unconsciously. It was always nice when he figured out things he could hold over his brother’s head. He remembered being eight and figuring out that his then-fifteen year-old brother fancied the girl who lived next door and how fun that had be, and then considered how amusing this was going to be, seeing as Mycroft was now also the British government and had even more of an ego now than he’d had back then. This was going to be excellent.

 

 




And now, the promised shipper-meta:

            So, why would I possibly slash Mycroft/Lestrade, two people who haven’t (yet) met in canon and don’t, at first glance, seem particularly compatible?

            Well, I’ve two main reasons, if you want to bear with me and listen. ;D

            First off (and more shallowly), they’re both just awesome ;D Lestrade is awesome. Mycroft is awesome. ;D Two awesome things together: it just makes sense. ;D It’s like peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches (though actually, I don’t really like peanut butter (shh! Don’t tell!), so maybe that isn’t the greatest metaphor ;D).

            The second reason is slightly more complicated, I think, and I’m probably going to verbalize it badly, but here goes. I’m going to assume that a lot of you reading this ship Sherlock/John, seeing as that was one of the background ships in the fic and tends to be quite common in fandom, so y’all probably understand the shipping dynamic there, amirite? (And there I go again with the “y’all”. I’m from New England, I promise! It’s just that English lacks a proper second person plural pronoun, darn it. ;D) It’s sort of ordinary-person-who-is-somewhat-impressed-with-extraordinary-person-but-can-also-ground-the-extraordinary-person-and-understands-emotional-social-dynamics-well/extraordinary-person-who-is-extrememly-clever-and-therefore-powerful-but-doesn’t-really-understand-social-emotional-dynamics-well. And I see Mycroft/Lestrade as being sort of another permutation of that, with Mycroft playing Sherlock’s role and Lestrade playing John’s. Only there are some differences – Mycroft being much better at social dynamics (I mean, he’d have to be able to understand people, to attain his role as the British government), Lestrade being slightly more determined/dependable than John (he’s a policeman, without the whole inverse-PTSD thing John has), Mycroft having more power than Sherlock does (at least on a visible, quantifiable level), both of them being quite responsible, both being less obviously twisted/screwed-up then Sherlock and John are – and, for me, those make the ship interesting.

            Also, come on. Don’t you want to see Mycroft being all protective about Lestrade, too? Because protective!Mycroft rocks. ;D And Lestrade occasionally needs someone to look out for him – to make sure he doesn’t get all the really ugly serial-murderer-who-kills-puppies-and-small-children cases. ;D

            And then you think about it from Sherlock’s POV, and he now has something else to tease his brother about. Younger siblings always need that sort of thing. ;D

            So, in conclusion: Mycroft/Lestrade – the PB&J sandwich of the Sherlock fandom!


EDIT: Have fixed the Man U-referenfce to being about Manchester City.  Thanks to pudupudu for the Britpick/heads-up! ;D

Some Friendly Advice

A/N: So, this is for this prompt over at the sherlockbbc_fic comm, because Mycroft is awesome and Sherlock (both the series and the character) is awesome, and awesome things are good.



Some Friendly Advice

            John wasn’t even surprised when the payphone next to him started mysteriously ringing the moment he passed it; he just sighed and entered the phone booth. The voice he heard when he picked up the phone was exactly whom he suspected it would be, too.

            “Ah, John. So good of you to –”

            “I know you know I’ve a phone,” John said, interrupting Mycroft. “You’ve used it to get in touch with me before.”

            “Yes, but anything so ludicrously easy to trace is completely out of the question at the moment, John. Now, I expect you know what to do when the black car pulls up to the corner in a moment?  Good.”

            The phone went dead.

            John sighed and walked over to the curb, getting into the black car – a different black car from the one last time, but still the same in the essentials (i.e., being something he could imagine someone who was a Torchwood fanboy had once thought would be a really clever idea for an easily-disguised, ominous-looking vehicle) – without a fuss. In some respects, this sort of thing had become what was normal for his life, after he met Sherlock.

            Anthea was sitting in the backseat, just as she had been last time, holding her Blackberry in her hand exactly the same way, giving John a nice sense of déjà vu. This time, at least, he felt no immediate urge to ask her out. He currently had a steady (well, for a given amount of steady, anyways) relationship, thank you very much. He was no longer quite so desperate.

            He gave her a perfunctory smile instead, and sat down. “Do you do this kind of thing often?” he asked, both trying to make small talk and genuinely curious, as the car sped off into the midday London traffic. “Picking up random people for Mycroft, I mean.”

            She smiled at him, the same insincere smile as last time, too. He wondered if she practiced it often. Possibly in mirrors. “It happens.”

            “I see.” He nodded. His mobile buzzed in his pocket, but the look Anthea shot him when he reached to answer it made him reconsider.

            “Can I –?” He indicted the ringing phone.

            She smiled. “No.”

            He said nothing. It was probably Sherlock, anyways, texting to tell him that he had accidentally blown out the windows again doing an experiment, and John needed to pick up some sheet glass on his way home. Alternatively, they had a new case, and while John hated it when Sherlock went off and put himself into needlessly dangerous situations on his own, the crime scene itself usually wasn’t so deadly (well, for anyone other than the victim, obviously), and John could certainly do with a few less dismembered bodies in his life.

            They pulled up to an office building – an office building John remembered, in fact, because he had visited it during the affair with the Bruce-Partington plans. Which meant that the whole car thing had been completely pointlessly dramatic – not that that fact had ever stopped Mycroft from doing anything in the past. John sighed as he got out of the car.

            Anthea led him into the building, and John was tempted to press the button for her in the elevator, just to prove that he knew where they were, but decided to refrain from actively antagonizing her. Instead, they ascended to the tenth floor in silence. She led him down the hallway, before leaving him by himself in front of an unmarked door – not the same unmarked door as it had been last week, John realized, but one directly across the hall from the unmarked door behind which Mycroft’s office used to be. Maybe he liked changing the scenery outside the window, or maybe he just liked being mysterious.

            He knocked, and then let himself in when he realized the door was open. Mycroft was standing by the side of the desk, holding the receiver of a phone in one hand and listening to whoever was speaking; he gestured silently to the chair, then continued his conversation. This time, John sat.

            After five minutes of listening to Mycroft saying things that made so little sense John had given up even trying to guess what they meant (and ignoring what were presumably six more texts from Sherlock), John happened to glance at the screen of the laptop perched on the desk in front of him. It was turned slightly toward him, he realized, at an angle that made it just possible for him to see everything on the screen, while still allowing Mycroft to plausibly deny that this had been his intention all along. It was clear though, as the first photo of Mycroft’s screensaver flashed across the screen, that he had intended John to notice it. John’s eyes widened in shock for a moment as his own birth certificate appeared on the screen, watching in fascination as that changed into a few baby photos of him, before switching to a photo of his family on vacation in France when he was six (his mom, tall and willowy, was kissing his dad, tall and stocky, while he and his sister, tall and skinny, were running around like mad ragamuffins (honestly, he’d no idea how he’d ended up short, because everyone other than himself in his family was tall – it just wasn’t fair)), and then a succession of photos from school yearbooks over the next few years. Driver’s license – prom photos – graduation photo – some pictures he and his roommates had taken of them fooling around during the first week of school – him on the football field – him in the hospital (he’d caught a ridiculously bad strain of influenza during his first year of uni) – him in the lab ... By the time this impromptu slideshow of his life reached scans of his enlistment papers, Mycroft had finished his phone call; now he just stood behind John in mute silence, watching the other man see his life flash by on Mycroft’s laptop screen.

            At last, they reached photos from the last three months – him and Sherlock, running, ducking, getting shot at, nearly getting blown up, getting strangled (multiple times, in Sherlock’s case), eating at various restaurant, watching Bond movies together, and, most damningly, in the last photo, kissing in an antique bookshop.

            John remembered that last one – it had been just last week, when they were on a case and John had managed to solve things by figuring out that the copyright date on one of the killer’s very rare, first edition books was wrong, and Sherlock, caught up in the moment and very, very proud of John, had kissed him in front of the very surprised proprietor of the bookshop. It wasn’t the type of thing you forgot, your first kiss with Sherlock Holmes.

            Mycroft at last swept around to the other side of the desk, sitting down opposite John. He moved the laptop out of the way, resting his elbows on the edge of the desk and steepling his fingers.

            “Now, I hope we can come to a proper understanding, John,” he said at last.  “Sherlock is, as you know, of course, my younger brother.”

            John nodded.

            “And, as we both know, Sherlock is ... unused to emotional matters. He does not understand intra-personal affairs; he can barely comprehend relationships. He cannot accurately predict the emotional blow that would be dealt to him should things go ... wrong.”

            John’s mobile went off, and he pulled it out to check it before Mycroft could say anything to stop him, frankly annoyed at this point with Sherlock for – well, everything. Sending him too many texts. Having an insanely powerful older brother.

            “Assuming you’re with Mycroft,” the text read. “Ask him how diet is going. Pick up a dozen white roses, red carnations, and pink tulips before coming home. Need them for case. SH.”

            “Sherlock wants to know how the diet’s going,” John said, looking up at Mycroft.

            “It’s fine,” Mycroft said, the irritation in his tone audible. “As I was saying, I would hate to be you if anything went wrong with Sherlock, because ... well, with modern technology, there are so many things that can happen to a man who happens to get on the black list of the British government, aren’t there? Documents are so easy to forge – and even easier to get rid of. People can just,” he paused, as if searching for the word, and then, with a bloodless smile, continued, “disappear. I don’t think I have to explain everything to you in detail – I wouldn’t want to bore you, John – but I believe you understand exactly what I mean.”

            “Quite clearly, yeah,” John said.

            “Sherlock is my younger brother,” Mycroft said again. “Rest assured that I will blame anything that happens to him on you, Dr. Watson.”

            “Thanks for that.”

            “I trust you can see yourself out,” Mycroft said, and then picked up the phone on his desk and began dialing. John stood up and walked out, nearly knocking over the umbrella resting on the wall by door on his way out.

            Now, by a dozen, had Sherlock meant a dozen of each type of flower? Or a dozen in general? If a dozen in general, how many of each did he want? Buying a dozen of each seemed like the safest recourse ... John had already located the nearest florist with his phone by the time he left the building. Things like this, too, had become everyday for him since he became involved with Sherlock Holmes.


A/N:  So, more Eleven, because I really can't get him out of my head. ;D   And the bow tie thing is shamelessly stolen inspired by a conversation on Best Enemies, in which it was discerned that yes, Ainley!Master was wearing a bow tie in Survival. ;D
Also, a question to be posited to all kind souls who read this: what episode would you recommend showing to someone who's never seen old school Who before?  My thirteen year-old little sister has deigned to watch an episode with me tonight, finally, after I've begged her for a week - leaving me to realize that I've no idea what to show her.  She likes things that are plot-driven and also fun to watch, humorous, and, occasionally, intellectually stimulating.  Avoiding bad special effects would be a plus, because I'm shallow like that and don't want her turned away by shaky walls/rubber aliens.  She loves Ten and like Nine and Eleven, though she doesn't like the high ratio of character-driven Eleven episodes this season.  I've (basically) all the Master episodes downloaded, so those are my options.  Suggestions? ;D  Thanks!



Coffee and Tea, or, a Prelude to What Promised to Be a Very Interesting Future

            They were eating breakfast together. The Doctor took a moment to try to wrap his head about it, then gave up. He needed a hot (make that scalding) cup of tea before he thought about anything – that had been the reason he’d come to this café in twenty-third century New York in the first place: he had many fond recollections of their tea’s miraculous powers of restoration. He’d spent the last two days straight running through a seemingly endless series of identical quarries as he navigated the warren that second century Raxicoricofallipatorians called a royal palace, searching for the king so that he could stop the grand vizier (who was, distressingly enough, one of the Slitheen clan’s ancestors – was there something about that family that made them predisposed towards evil?) from blowing up the planet.

            The Master had entered the café about two minutes after the Doctor had, and had done a double-take, blinked at him for a few moments, and then walked over and sat down next to him. At closer quarters, he looked almost as blearily exhausted as the Doctor felt, though he, at least, had a fully-tied bow tie. The Doctor’s had gotten untied at some point during the last forty-eight hours and he hadn’t had the energy or motivation to do it back up.

            “Bow ties are cool,” the Doctor mumbled, trying to think of something to say to this man who was the obviously not-dead future incarnation of his best enemy, suspicious goatee and dark blue eyes and black suit and all.

            “Yes,” the Master replied, nodding in agreement, which made the Doctor feel quite righteous about his bow tie. After all, the other Time Lord agreed with him. Which meant all the Time Lords in the universe considered bow ties a smart fashion choice. And obviously, if anyone was going to be right about sartorial decisions, it would clearly be a Time Lord, as Time Lords were genetically predestined to have good fashion sense (the Doctor’s mother had told him so when he was a young Gallifreyan and refusing to wear the stupid robes, anyways, and the Doctor had believed it for eleven regenerations and wasn’t going to start doubting it now).

            They sat there in silence until the waitress, who was wearing an annoyingly bright outfit, with a jester’s cap with many too many bells (apparently all the rage at this point in Earth history), appeared. The Doctor ordered tea. The Master ordered coffee.

            After the waitress jangled away, the Doctor raised an eyebrow, hoping it conveyed his distaste and surprise that the Master would order coffee, as well as, possibly, a general “what are you doing here?” vibe.

            “Not everyone is quite as obsessed as you are with mimicking the customs of the British members of this benighted planet, Doctor,” the Master said, catching at least the first meaning behind the raised eyebrow.

            “If it’s so ‘benighted’, what are you doing here?” the Doctor asked at last, giving up on the eyebrow option.

            “Obviously, I am not here by choice,” the Master replied.

            “Then what are you doing here?” the Doctor asked, wishing desperately that the waitress would come back with the tea so that he could think properly and possibly figure things out without having to rely on questions with embarrassingly obvious answers he just couldn’t think of right now. It was probably the Master’s coffee that was taking so long, anyways, he thought irritably.

            “What does it look like?” the Master replied, the irritation in his voice belying his attempt to present a nonchalant front. “I’m marooned here for the moment – though, I assure you, it’s only a temporary inconvenience. You ought to be along very shortly to pick me up.”

            “What do you mean, I ought to be along very shortly to pick you up?” the Doctor demanded, feeling like the answer should be obvious. Only, of course, it wasn’t. Tea, where was the tea?

             The Master paused, looked him in the eyes, and then spoke very, very slowly, as if the Doctor were still an Academy student in his first regeneration. “You – as in, you from the future – will be along very shortly to pick me up. It appears that your TARDIS has broken down again, though, so it may take you some time. Really, you must start taking better care of her. It would save me a great deal of trouble, as well as unnecessary meetings with past versions of yourself, which are quite dull when compared to spending time with the real you.”

            “I’m the real me,” the Doctor replied indignantly.

            “No, I’m afraid you aren’t yet,” the Master replied easily. “You’re not half so interesting yet.”

            “I am very interesting!”

            “I’m sure you think so,” the Master said, his voice highly condescending. The Doctor scowled, but without much feeling; he was too tired to dredge up the energy required for complex emotions.

            The Doctor was attempting to come up with a witty riposte when the familiar vworp vworp of a TARDIS dematerializing sounded throughout the room. It definitely wasn’t the Doctor’s TARDIS, which was parked in the back of the room, which meant …

            Right on cue, the Master stood up. “That would be me,” he said, to no one in particular. And then, “I’ll be seeing you soon, I believe.” He leaned down, and, with the perfunctory air of one who has kissed a significant other before leaving a hundred times before, brushed his lips against the Doctor’s. The Doctor nearly fell off his chair in surprise, but the Master merely turned and left the café, closing the door carefully behind him. The Doctor watched him as he walked away down the street, then turned a corner and was lost to view.

            It wasn’t until the waitress arrived with both coffee and tea that the Doctor realized the Master hadn’t paid for his beverage, and wasn’t going to be consuming it, which meant not only was the Doctor forced to pay for him, the whole thing was going to waste.

            “Git,” he mumbled, but without much heart, as he sipped his tea and tried to explain this morning’s events away as some sort of really weird fluke of alternate universe time. Or something.

            The words “I’ll be seeing you soon”, though, rang in his head, long after he left the café and settled down for a much-needed rest (screw trying to wake up with a cup of tea) in his room in the TARDIS.

            The future looked like it might be interesting.


 

The Lodger (Reaction Post)

I wasn't even going to make a reaction post, but then I realized that there were several things I wanted to say about the episode, and they were long and boring and I should not inflict them casually on other people. ;D  Ergo, a reaction post.

For some reason, I wasn't able to really enjoy the episode until I split it into three parts: the good Eleven parts, the bad plot parts, and the simply inexplicable parts.

The good Eleven parts were numerous and lovely and I loved them.  Chef!Eleven!  Soccer!Eleven!  Showering!Eleven!  Building-Alien-Tech-in-His-Room!Eleven!  Encouraging-People-to-Pursue-their-Dreams!Eleven!  Matchmaking!Eleven!  (You get the idea ;D).

The bad plot parts unfortunately kicked in at the end with a vengeance.  They were setting it up so well through the episode, with the creepy AI asking people to come in through the door, and the flickering lights and stuff, and then ... it all seemed like it fell to pieces at the end.  They spent too much time on the good Eleven parts and the interesting character parts with Craig and Sophie, and then the ending just seemed like a confusing, badly-done remake of The Girl in the Fireplace.

Then there were a few things that seemed slightly inexplicable.  Eleven now doesn't understand human customs, despite practically all of his last companions being from this century?  Amy piloting the TARDIS?  The ear-communications device?  Fridge Logic (and then occasionally Fridge Brilliance, when things made sense after a bit of thinking) hit after the episode.

Though, as a side note, I should add that I found the post-ending lead-in to the next episode was spectacular and awesome.

So, overall, while I enjoyed it, there were things about it that seemed quite flawed.

Then again, my ambivalence towards the episode may be simply because I watched it crowded around a laptop in an overheated room with three younger siblings at 1 AM. ;D


Timelines

A/N:  See, I really want Eleven/Master slashfic.  Because this season has made me love Eleven so much.  But I have been terribly busy with exams and all that, and now when I try to write Eleven, it comes out wrong.  Also, I don't want to spend a long time writing an epic fic when I a) suck at Amy's voice (the fic you will read/are skipping this author's note to read has been a painful reminder of that) and b) we've not even met a regenerated!Master for Eleven (and seriously, considering it, I want a new Master for Eleven.  Despite loving Simm!Master, I feel like he ought to regenerate before dealing with Eleven), so I don't want to spend forever writing fic for a complete OC who will resemble some weird cross of Delgado!Master and Simm!Master and then will be dashed to pieces by actual canon in a year or two.  So!  To compromise, I have written Eleven/Master fic cleverly disguised as Ten/Master fic! ;D  Which still did not come out so well, because it is 1:30 here and my sixth grade teacher is coming over to visit tomorrow, making me all nervous and stuff.  So, to conclude an unnecessarily long author's note: here is my Eleven!fic.  Spread the Eleven love.  Also, be inspired to write actual proper Eleven/Master fic and then tell me where it is. ;D
(Also, relevant Eleven icon!  It is badly done, but I undestand not this "icon-making" process. ;D)



Timelines

             When Amy decides that she wants to visit her home, the Doctor agrees to take her there almost immediately. She then suggests that they visit a bit earlier than when she left because, in her own words, “I don’t want to know what happens! Where would the fun in that be?” She laughs, and he smiles with her and wishes that he was always able to accept that and avoid “spoilers”.

            Five minutes later, they arrive in London.

            “This doesn’t look much like Leadworth, Doctor!” she says, stepping out into the midafternoon city outside. He follows her out, though, and they are both almost immediately drenched by the pouring rain. They duck under a shop awning, across the street from the TARDIS, to avoid the rain.

            “It’s a time machine,” he replies. “We can go anywhere, anywhen and still be home by supper. How do you like that, Amy Pond?”

            “Well – all right, then.” Amy grins again and seizes his hand impulsively, and then the Doctor instinctively reaches out his other hand for Rory, before he remembers that no one else remembers.

            “That way,” he says, covering the unintended gesture by turning it into a direction.

            “What’s over here?” Amy asks, as they walk down the street, darting from awning to awning as they try to stay dry.

            “No idea,” he says, with an easy, reckless grin. “Let’s find out.”

            They walk down the street, hand in hand, the rain muffling the sounds that the few other pedestrians who are braving the rain make. The blaring of car horns and the swish of tires as they roll down rain-slicked streets seems dulled; everything feels detached.

            At a whim, Amy pulls him down a random alley – around a corner by the back door to a theater, past a wall plastered with posters for ill-fated theatrical ventures, and then suddenly they turn a second corner and there they are.

            The Doctor rather suddenly remembers what happened today, a few relative years ago in his personal timeline.

            He’d forgotten, he supposes, what it was like to be in London in the rain. He must have come there to enjoy the misty, falling rain and the dull, muted world and all the brilliant, brilliant humans, hurrying home or ducking away under awnings (like he did this time) to escape the rain, hurtling along in their daily lives with a hundred minor cares and worries. His last regeneration had been prone to sentimentality and frolicking in equal measure, and a rainy, autumnal London would have been his idea of the perfect place to go to take a short rest.

            The memories rush back as he sees himself.

            He remembers wandering the streets for a while, long brown coat protecting his body from the cold and the rain, occasionally turning his face skyward so that the rain poured down his face, while he smiled with delight. His hair had been thoroughly drenched; he remembers seeing his reflection in a car window and thinking, at the time, that he looked like a drowned rat, with his beaky nose and soaking, dark hair.

            He’d just stopped in the alley for a moment, wondering if he could possibly get a ticket for a show tonight, when he strode around the corner, purposefully walking towards the Doctor. He hadn’t recognized the other man then, though; still too early in his own timeline.

            “Hello,” he’d begun, with a smile. “I’m the Doctor. I was wondering if you could tell me if there’s a –”

            The other man had launched himself at him without any explanation. The Doctor had panicked, expecting an attack, and tripped backwards over his own feet and fallen over, until his back hit the brick wall at the end of the dead-end alley. Instead of an attach, though, a body pressed up against his own, and there were hands twisting his damp hair, a mouth on his … It had been a startling, electrifying kiss this man – this strange, crazy-eyed, blond-haired man – had given him. Achingly familiar, but somehow not quite identifiable …

            “You’re – you – I know who you are,” he had said, as they broke for air briefly. “I just can’t remember it.”

            “And you won’t,” the other man had said, with a terrifyingly sane smile. “Don’t bother yourself about it, Doctor. Someday you’ll be able to figure it out without overstressing your brain. For now, though …”

            Dark eyes had met his own eyes, and for a moment he hadn’t been able to tell where he ended and the other man started. The he was being kissed again and he had no idea what was him and what wasn’t him and what was going on …

            The Doctor – the current Doctor – watches himself be kissed by the Master and feels … jealous? Angry? Frustrated that he hadn’t realized what had been going on at the time, that he still hadn’t put together the dots even months later on the Valiant, that somehow a scruffy beard and hair dye and the desperation in the Master’s eyes had served as a successful disguise, that by the time he’d had a chance to compare the man in the alley to the Master, he’d been too busy thinking about his own troubles to realize what had happened?

            He watches himself be kissed and kiss back and concludes that while he may never have understood what was happening, whatever it was had been important – essential – vital for the Master.

            “Ah – Amy – I think we should leave those two alone,” he says at last.

            She looks at him, grinning mischievously. “Oh, let me guess, Doctor: where you come from they don’t even discuss non-straight relationships?”

            “Not – it’s – let’s just leave them be,” he says, turning.

            Amy grins at his back, attributes his reluctance to stay and watch the show to all the wrong reasons, and follows him.

            Behind her, the Doctor revitalizes the Master without even knowing what he is doing. In front of her, the Doctor himself is revitalized, now aware of what happened. It’s a non-linear symbiosis, but, difficult and convoluted as it is, it works.


... and it's over.

Graduation (for Seniors) today.  Which makes me a sophomore.  Um.  Please to be going back to being a freshman now? ;D

Still, I'm extremely grateful this year is over, ridiculously satisfied with end of year grads and exams and such, and overall simply contented to discover it's summer.

... unfortunately, I still have to write a speech for debate.  And do several other things I've been procrastinating from ...

All right, it's officially summer tomorrow.  For today, though, I believe I'm going to have to get back to school stuffs for a while longer.

Fic tomorrow, maybe, then?  I have an extraordinary urge to write 11/Master.  I DUN KNOW WHY IT JUST HAPPENED. :D
AKA, not studying for my Bio SAT when I should be.  Yes, I know humans are evil.  But oh, noes!  We kill lakes with eutrophication (alternatively, we kill students by making them stay up to ridiculous hours and then read textbooks and try to learn a) what eutrophication is and b) how to spell it).  I also just got to reading about Killer Honeybees.  We're all going to die? ;D
... and we're also studying global warming.  I live in a coastal city.  Paranoia now? ;D
(Well, actually, that came with An Inconvenient Truth ages ago.  But still. ;D)

I'm also 90% done with the first chapter of a new fanfic.  A long multichaptered one.  Which will mean I will need a beta to prod me because I am a bad, lazy person.

Now, sleep or fanfic?  That is the question.  Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of writers' block or to stand against a sea of troubles, and, by falling asleep, end them.
(I'm tired.  Judging on my propensity for misquoting/adapting Shakespeare right now, I would say sleep? ;D  Five-hour sleep cycle FTW. ;D)