"Sherlock! I was wondering when I'd run into you again!" That tone was, in John's opinion, far too exuberant for anyone beside himself to be using to address Sherlock. And John didn't really count because he was flatmates and best friends with a dragon who, in a past life, tried to kill him and a good number of his friends, so John was clearly insane. On the other hand, after looking at him, John was willing to concede that this man with the general… bounciness of an excited toddler, the clothes of a stodgy university professor, and some of the oldest eyes John has ever seen, might possibly be insane too.

"Doctor," Sherlock said. "I see you got rid of that ridiculous scarf."

"Yes," the doctor agreed, seeming somehow even more enthused than he had before. "I wear a bow tie now. Bow ties are cool."

Privately, John rather doubted that, which was probably really saying something, given that John tended to wear jumpers that looked like they 'belonged to someone's grandfather, honestly John.' Sherlock also made a skeptical sort of noise, but other than that he ignored the statement. Instead he turned to John and announced, "This is John, my –"

"–friend," John finished. Sherlock hadn't tried to introduce him as his treasure to anyone yet, but John really wasn't looking forward to trying to explain it on the day that he did.

"The famous John! Lovely to meet you. I'm the doctor," the man said, grabbing John's hand and pumping it up and down. Then, just as suddenly as he'd started, he stopped, tilting his head to the side and regarding John with a curious expression. "Did you know you have a timehead? Just a bit of one."

John froze. He knew he should have put his foot down; the case had just seemed so innocent, or at least as innocent as any case that required Sherlock's help could be. But Cardiff. John had no business getting anywhere near Cardiff, especially if things were strange enough to bring the Doctor to town. (He might look fairly different from how John had heard him described, but a 'doctor' running around talking about timeheads could really only be one person.) Because if the Doctor was in Cardiff then it was only a matter of time until–

"Johnny!" Right on cue.

Jack looked the same as he ever did, though that was hardly a surprise. There was nothing in his appearance to suggest it has been almost ten years since the two of them had had a conversation, and only a slight hesitancy in the edges of his smile that betrayed that said conversation was less of a conversation and more of a massive row. Still, a decade was a reasonably long time even by John's standards, and looking at the man now he didn't feel a returning rush of anger, just resignation. Jack will be Jack and it probably was childish of John to expect otherwise. It wasn't that surprising either then, that when the Doctor exclaimed, "Jack Harkness!" Jack willingly let himself be intercepted into a hug.

"Doctor," Jack said, letting it out with a delighted laugh. No, John wasn't surprised, or disappointed. In fact, John was about to suggest he and Sherlock go ahead to Torchwood – John had never been, but he was relatively certain he could find the front entrance at least. That way Jack and the Doctor could catch up while John and Sherlock got any information they needed on whatever aliens or space-time things were involved in this case.

So John was completely not expecting it when, after just a few seconds, Jack disentangled himself from the Doctor and threw his arms around John. "Johnny! You know, you don't make it easy on a guy to apologize." Jack released John from the hug and made an aborted motion with his hand as though he wanted to ruffle John's hair. "I had the whole speech, but now that you're here I think I just want to say I was wrong, you were right. Forgive me?"

It was hardly the first time Jack had apologized to John about his obsessions and screwed up priorities, relying on blue eyes and a winning smile to earn forgiveness. And John did forgive him, if begrudgingly, every single time because Jack always meant it, in the moment. The moment never lasted, though, and they had always found themselves going through the same cycle all over again. Love made people insane like that. But this time was the first time since probably the first time that John actually believed that he meant it for not just this moment, but all the future ones as well. It was astonishingly easy, then, to shrug and say, "Well, since we're stuck with each other anyway…"

Jack grinned, recognizing the same thing he used to say to John when John had made mistakes. This time he really did ruffle John's hair, which John allowed, but only because he knew that any protests that he was really too old for this kind of thing now would fall on deaf ears.

It was then that John very abruptly realized that the Doctor was staring at the two of them with undisguised interest, which wasn't particularly worrying, and that that deep rumbling sound was Sherlock, growling, which was. It wasn't that Sherlock didn't want John having social connections with other people; he just preferred it when those connections were really shallow, or those people had been pre-approved by Sherlock as being unlikely to try and steal John, or, ideally, both. And Sherlock really didn't like to be surprised – John seriously doubted that Bill Murray would ever 'just drop in' on anyone again.

"Sherlock," John said, carefully extracting himself from out of Jack's outflung arm, and placing one of his hands on Sherlock's shoulder. "This is Jack Harkness. My Dad."

"You have a son?!" the Doctor asked Jack, sounding a strange mixture of horrified and delighted.

"Twins actually," Jack corrected. "There's Harry – short for Harriet – and my Johnny here."

Sherlock growled again, his eyes flashing orange, at the possessive pronoun. John briefly closed his eyes and prayed they could get through this without anyone being burned alive. Mycroft had assured John, on numerous occasions, that Sherlock couldn't actually breathe fire anymore, but John wasn't convinced that Sherlock would let a little thing like a physical impossibility stand get in the way if properly motivated. Of course, this wouldn't be the first time Jack got burned alive, but john didn't get the impression that it was a pleasant experience worth repeating.

Jack laughed, clearly (well, most likely) unaware of the mortal(-ish) peril he was in. "Harry told me you'd got yourself a possessive boyfriend."

"Still not gay," John said, because it was equally as true as and considerably less embarrassing than 'actually he's more like my possessive platonic husband,' and John really didn't feel like going into the dragon thing at the moment.

"John, this man" – and oh yes, those two were going to get on like a house on fire, that is to say with a lot of people screaming and running for cover – "isn't old enough to be your father."

"Just how old do you think Johnny here is?" Jack asked, grinning smugly.

"Dad's a lot older than he looks" John interrupted. Because, just like there was a time and a place to tell your dad that your, for lack of a better word, life partner was a dragon, there was a time and a place to tell said life partner that you were secretly one hundred and forty-two years old and, due to the current lack of stress-induced aging caused by living in a warzone and an impossibly efficient ability to heal, were technically getting younger. "It's a long story."

Sherlock made an exasperated noise. "I don't have time for a long story. We have a case." John just stared back impassively because, attempts at stalling aside, it really was a long story and trying to shorten it would probably just raise more questions than it answered anyway. Finally, Sherlock huffed and turned away to stalk off in the direction they had been heading before the Doctor and Jack had waylaid them. Of course, he only managed a few steps before looking back at the three of them – the irritating and probably not intentionally endearing expression of superiority firmly in place once again – and demanding "Well, are you coming?"

"A case with Sherlock Holmes, John Watson, and Jack Harkness?" The Doctor clapped his hands in delight. "Lead on!" Sherlock took off again, the Doctor hot on his heels. John and Jack exchanged a glance, and then followed as well.

John figured the revelation that his blog wasn't exactly the first time he had written about the adventures of a humanoid lizard detective could probably wait until later too.


Next part is "Re(ve)lations" (Story ID: 10835485)