Same Old Story

Sherlock's mobile is ringing. It's not a new occurrence by any means, and neither is it strange for Sherlock, bent double over a malodorous experiment in the sink, to shout for John to answer it. It's not unusual for John to complain, toss aside whatever newspaper or book he'd been halfway enjoying and pick up Sherlock's mobile from across the table. He's not used to hearing Amy Pond on the other line.

"Sherlock? I can barely hear you, Sherlock, are you there?" Amy's voice weaves in and out of static.

John brightens immediately, standing tall. "Amy!" This even brings Sherlock to attention, eyes bright over the wall of beakers. "It's not Sherlock, he couldn't be arsed to—"

And Sherlock is across the table lightning quick, crawling over it like an animal and managing to somehow avoid all the delicate glass instruments. He snatches the mobile from John's hand and presses it to his own ear. "Amy," he says, voice brimming with barely contained mirth as he crouches catlike on the table.

"Look, I don't care which one of you I talk to, as long as I've got one of you around," she snaps. John would have laughed. Sherlock's mouth turns to a serious line.

"What's wrong?" he asks calmly. John's happy expression darkens immediately.

"The Doctor—" she begins, but her voice is lost to interference.

"Amy?" Sherlock calls, suddenly straightening in what John recognizes instantly as fear. He doesn't see it often, but he knows it when he sees it in Sherlock's normally unreadable face. "Amy, quickly, tell me what you need me to do."

"Sorry, sorry," comes Rory's voice this time when the static levels out. "We're getting interference from the high-levels of... time energy... vortex... stuff. Sorry, sounds like something he'd say."

"What happened to the Doctor?" Sherlock asks.

"Put it on speaker, for God's sake," John snaps, and after a quick apology, Sherlock does just that.

"He just left!" Amy cuts in. "Said he had something important to do, and he set coordinates or something before he just left us!"

"And now I'm pretty sure we're just floating around in the vortex," Rory adds apprehensively.

"She hasn't landed?" John asks, and his shoulders are tight with tension. The Doctor's never done anything like this before. Told them to stay in the TARDIS, yes, but never forcibly sent them anywhere while he did something stupid and dangerous (because it was always stupid and dangerous with the Doctor).

"No," Amy frets, and there's a horrible screeching noise from somewhere on their end, and Rory gives a shout. "And I don't know what to do, and you're the only other person I can think of who can help."

Sherlock's eyes dart in his skull in rapid thought, and John doesn't realize he's squeezing his husband's wrist until he feels his own fingernails digging into pale skin. "Amy," Sherlock suddenly prompts. "Hold the receiver up to the console. I need to hear what she's doing."

John and Sherlock listen together for a full twenty seconds to the sad chiming of the TARDIS, the way she groans and bellows. "She sounds sick," John laments, turning his sad eyes to Sherlock (begging him to not only help the two trapped in the vortex, but the beautiful blue ship that all of them will never stand to lose).

"You're in a holding pattern," Sherlock says into the mobile quickly. "Rory, I need you to grab hold of the lever with all the lights on it. It should be opposite the zig-zag plotter. Amy, after he turns it to the left—"

"To the left?" he hears Rory shout in a panic from where he's moved to the other side of the console. Something sparks, and Amy gasps.

"Yes, to the left," Sherlock continues, if not peeved by the interruption. "Amy, after he does that, I need you to type in our coordinates."

"I don't know your coordinates!" she nearly screeches, and the TARDIS gives a bellow.

"Rory, don't pull the lever yet!" Sherlock shouts, now as loud as they are in the rumbling time machine.

"Sorry!" Sherlock barely hears over all the noise on the other end.

As he lists off the coordinates and Amy punches them in, Sherlock turns to John and says they need a space cleared immediately in the sitting room. John dashes out, throwing books and papers and abandoned takeaway containers into the corners. Puts all his strength behind him as he shoves the chairs up against the wall. Probably pulls something when Sherlock's chair snags on the carpet, but he does it anyway. This doesn't sound like it's going to be a smooth landing in any way, shape or form. John just hopes they don't appear halfway through a wall or in the middle of traffic, or something even worse his mind doesn't care to contemplate. He gives Sherlock a shout to announce the work is done, and he bounds into the kitchen again just as Sherlock gives the order for the buttons to be pressed in the correct sequence.

"Do not mess this up, Amy," Sherlock says in his most grave tone, and John is glad that everyone is aware of just how dire the situation is, or else Amy would be verbally boxing Sherlock about the ears for the abuse.

"Here goes nothing, anyhow," Amy says with a brave exhalation.

And then the line goes to static.

"Oh God," John groans, running both hands down his face. Sherlock angrily ends the call, nervous fingers running through his hair.

"She can do this," he breathes through his teeth, his eyes never leaving the landing space John's made in the sitting room. "Come on, Amy."

Then, it seems as though the entire building vibrates. John almost loses his footing, if not for the fingers that are clamped so hard with his. And then there's a sharp breeze, and a familiar wooshing noise that seems to take all fear and apprehension from the air around them. Sherlock holds his breath. That sound, it's like a sigh. So welcome and wonderful, the TARDIS breathing as she settles in to 221b Baker Street. Albeit slightly askew, but she's there and she's safe.

Sherlock gives a victorious laugh and leaps from the table toward the box, pulling John along after him in his enthusiasm. They've landed the TARDIS. The door is facing the windows and there's hardly room for the Ponds to escape. She's tilted diagonally, leaning against the mantel above the fireplace, and she groans as she settles in, but everything is in one piece. And when Amy and Rory emerge safely (their knees shaking and Rory looking more than a little peaky from the experience), Sherlock is the first to swoop in and grab the unexpected pilots into his arms. He kisses Amy soundly on the head and grabs her face in his hands, both of them flushed in the excitement.

"You were brilliant," he says, grinning.

"Yeah, well, business as usual," she answers, matching him. "You were a bit brilliant, too."

Sherlock shrugs. "Business as usual."

"Oh, shut up, you big idiot." She then plants him a light kiss on the mouth.

"Three years and you call us for a bloody emergency landing," John says with an unsteady laugh as he helps Rory to one of the supplanted armchairs. "All right, mate?"

"Give me a minute," the nurse says, sinking his head between his knees.

Sherlock has barely given the Ponds their time to recover from the shock before he rushes into the TARDIS (without righting her, he leaves John and Rory to that—and they give him no pity when they rock her to sit normally and Sherlock gives a surprised shout as the console room tosses him aside in correction). And then they all pile back in to join him. Sherlock and John still in their pyjamas as they circle the console and try to figure what had happened.

"What's he doing?" Amy asks as she leans into John's ear.

"Deducing," John answers. "Not like him to miss a mystery, even if it happens in deep space."

"Rory," Sherlock calls, straightening from where he'd been crouched over the controls. "Where were you before the Doctor wandered off?"

"Oh, um," Rory begins, begging his brain to recall. "Market on Antigone. He'd accidentally touched a weird fruit thing, and they asked him for his eye. So we wandered around for a bit looking for a color to match his old one, got as close as we could manage, and then he just—"

"I think he saw someone," Amy provides. "We went right back to the TARDIS and that's when he locked us in." She gives a loud huff and crosses her arm. "You think you know a Timelord..."

Sherlock doesn't even give them warning before he sets the coordinates and begins circling the console to set the TARDIS in flight. John grabs hold of Amy as they take off quite suddenly, and asks over the noise of the time machine in flight: "Where are we going?"

"To find the Doctor, naturally," Sherlock replies easily. "He's done for us, I think it's our turn to repay the favor. Rory, flip that switch, won't you? And besides," he continues, slamming his fist on the bell until it peals to fill the console room, "he really shouldn't have left these two on their own, he should know better."

"The trouble they could get up to," John adds, a grin growing on his face.

"Oh, like the four of us are any better," Rory interjects, taking his wife back from John.

Sherlock smirks, and then they land.

The Market on Antigone is the universe's largest open-air marketplace (at least so far as the Doctor knows), where they sell everything from instant meals to slaves to that really nice blouse that Amy has been eyeing since they came here two months ago to pick up a delivery for the Doctor's old friend Jo (they're the only market that carries the brand of contacts she likes at a price that can't be beat). It's a maze of shops and stands and podiums and peoples and things of all sizes, and people have gone days being lost in the twists and turns. But not Sherlock. If ever there were a human bloodhound (and it wasn't genetically engineered in the slime pools of Gervania Seven), it would be Sherlock Holmes. His dogged determination winds them through the service arm of the Market, running hot on his heels. They don't question him, not for a second.

Sherlock skids to a halt as they hit a sunny patch where light manages to stream through the multiple layers of awnings and banners, where a last vestige of nature is attempting to keep root on the planet's surface. A patch of grass and a tiny tree. But even that's been soiled. In the center of that patch, there's a hardly perceptible depression. The others would have run right by it. Sherlock couldn't have missed it.

He crouches down an instant later, inspecting the depression at his new eye level. Running his fingers over the edges, thinking rapidly.

Amy opens her mouth once, but John quiets her with a hand on her wrist.

Sherlock sits up, straightens. "There's been another TARDIS here."

Rory gives a single laugh. "You are joking. Right?"

"There's only one TARDIS," John says, and it sounds almost angry.

"Another TARDIS," Sherlock muses, ignoring them, and he steeples his fingers at his lips. "Another TARDIS, another Timelord."

"Wait a second," Amy says. "The Doctor said he's the last of his kind. That can't be right, Sherlock."

"We walked into another TARDIS," John suggests. "Maybe it's, y'know, the Doctor. But a different him." He makes a vague motion to his head, mimicking the wild spikes of hair they'd met by accident.

Sherlock almost manages to hide his fond smirk. "The question is," he continues, "whether the Doctor went with this other Timelord by his own choice, or whether he was..."

"Forced," Amy drops, looking pale.

"Bribed," John suggests, more hopefully.

Sherlock finds a happy medium with, "Coerced." Then, there's a light in his eye—a light they all know by now. Like a dog caught a scent, the look of the man before he bursts through the shutters and crows EUREKA! Instead, all he says is a breathless "Oh!" before he's taking off again. Running as fast as his long legs will take him, and the others follow after.

He's at the controls when the rest of them arrive exhausted in the console room, flying around the console as he slaps buttons and flips switches, slamming a lever down as the door shuts behind them.

"Rory," he says, wasting no time. "Under the console, pull out the blue wires when I tell you to."

"Wh—" Rory begins, exasperated. "All the blue wires?"

"Only the blue ones," Sherlock says, spinning in place to get his bearings. "Amy! At the scanner, don't stop reading. John, hold down this lever."

"A lever? Really? Couldn't get the wire job?"

"It fights back," Sherlock says tersely, and his hand is replaced by John's (and a tight "bloody hell!" when John finds that it really does fight back).

Amy is grinning. "Oh, if the Doctor could see you now."

Sherlock fixes her with a glare. "Why? No, don't interrupt me," he interrupts himself, dashing off to the opposite side of the console. "We're going to track the other TARDIS."

"Er," says Rory from underneath. "How?"

"I'll explain later," Sherlock says. "Amy?"

"Nominal," she reports.


"Nothing I can't handle, but hurry it up, won't you?"

"Good. Rory—" One of Sherlock's arms rises from his side, the other hovering over the flashing red button. And as soon as his raised arm drops, he shouts, "Now!"

There's a shower of blue sparks from below as Rory does as he's told, and the nurse gives a surprised shout. The TARDIS groans, but suddenly, Sherlock's other hand slams the last button, and they're off. The ship shudders and cries out, but the central column rises and falls just as it should.

"Sherlock!" Amy cries, holding onto the scanner as the TARDIS throws them about. "What do the flashing blue numbers mean?"

"It means we've found a trail to follow," Sherlock calls back, rapidly working a crank to steady the time machine. "Rory, you've missed a wire!"

"What? No I haven—Oh, there it is."

And the crackle of blue sparks leaps again, rocking the craft and everyone in it. Sherlock is laughing, long and bright, gripping the TARDIS for a solid hold as he keeps her on course.

"Look at you!" Amy shouts. "You look just like him!"

Sherlock's pout is cut short by their crash landing. Rory manages to climb up the stairs, and Sherlock has to crawl off of John where they've landed in a pile to ask: "Amy, what does the readout say?"

Once she claws herself back to standing before the monitor, Amy replies, "Castrovalva. Ever heard of it?"

"Rings a bell," John answers, cradling his bad shoulder. "And the Doctor's out there—with this other Timelord?"

"I'm telling you," Amy says, tending to the bleeding scalp wound Rory's sporting, "there aren't any Timelords left."

"Amy, you know how I feel about you," Sherlock begins.

"Love you, too," she says, the 'idiot' implied.

"But do you ever listen to the Doctor?" the detective continues.

"Can't all be Doctor's Pet," John interjects.

They very rarely get to see Sherlock's ears go pink, so they all take the time to enjoy it. "Shut-up," he retaliates. "Everyone knows he likes you best."

"Can we save the rivalry for later?" Rory asks with a sigh. "Thank you," he adds when no one fights back.

"If you would have listened," Sherlock starts again (Amy rolls her eyes), "there's one man who always manages to work his way back into the Doctor's life; no obstacle too obtrusive, death routine."

"Who, me?" Rory asks (John laughs so hard he's sure he pulls something).

"Let's go meet him, shall we?" Sherlock prompts, and they're out the door all together. As a unit, because they know exactly how all of the others will fit in beside them. John takes point, gun at the ready.

The place is maze-like enough, with stairs seeming to bring them back down to where they began, but it's not hard to find the biggest room, with the fireplace and the columns. It's there they find the Doctor. Tied up and under cover from some sort of weapon in a stranger's hand, but the Doctor nonetheless.

"See, told you they'd come anyway," the dark-haired stranger boasts, an unsettling grin on his face. "They always do. They're so predictable, the people you get to follow you around. Tell them what not to do, and they go ahead and do it. Makes my job easier. And don't think about firing, Soldier Boy," he adds, nodding at John. "Been a while since you picked up any soldiers, Doctor! Oh, those were the good old days, weren't they? I've been thinking of growing a beard again, what do you say?"

As John dutifully lowers his gun to his side, his eyes never leave the Doctor. "You all right?"

"Fine, fine," the Doctor sighs. "You know, one of these days I'll be able to say 'stay in the TARDIS' and someone will listen to me."

"Not likely," Amy says, smiling nervously.

"You stuck them in a recursion loop," Sherlock says blandly, though there's the keen look of plans running behind his eyes. "Aren't you going to introduce yourself?" He addresses this to the stranger.

"No, I think I like the suspense," the man says.

"This is my best friend," the Doctor says after a moment. "Well, my worst enemy. One of them. Sometimes both. John, Sherlock, Amy and Rory, I'd like you to meet the Master."

John can't help the immediate burst of laughter that springs from him. "What, the Master, really? That's your name? What are you, some kind of sex maniac?"

The Master cocks an eyebrow. "Is this the kind of company the brand-new-you attracts, Doctor? Do they pair off on their own, or do you induce mating?"

"Stop it," the Doctor snaps.

"My dear Doctor," preens the Master, "you're really not in the position to make demands."

"Oh yeah?" Rory challenges. "You're outnumbered."

"By one soldier, his geeks, and a girl?" the Master scoffs. "Then again, I was killed by a girl, the once. And almost, time before that. Do you remember Peri, Doctor?"

"Don't you dare," the Doctor growls.

"She had a spark to her, too. I liked her. Where's she now? Still happily married?" The Master grins.

"Wait a sec," John says without thinking. "Peri? The Master? You mean the Planet of Fire?"

An identical look of confusion passes between the Doctor and the Master. "I mean what?" the Master presses.

John immediately runs through several looks of embarrassment. "That's... what I called it. When I wrote it down. For me, or... or for the Doctor. I wouldn't share it," he assures the Doctor.

But the Timelord is starry-eyed and ignoring the dire situation. "Brilliant Doctor Watson. My biographer. Ha!"

Strangely, the Master seems ruffled. "The Doctor?" he says to back himself up. "More like the Storyteller. Don't you ever get tired of telling everyone how great you are?"

"You're one to talk," the Doctor retaliates. "If you monologue at me one more time, I swear it's the Sandman for me."

"But yours are full of sunshine and daisies," the Master protests, puffing himself up. "You need a good evil monologue every now and then."

"You nearly got crushed by a size five-and-a-half," John scoffs. "That's not evil, that's… fiendishly non-threatening."

"You told them about that?" the Master murmurs hurriedly.

"The shape-shifting robot and the shrinking and the failing to kill me? Again? Yeah, I told them about that." The Doctor pauses. "What? It's a good story!"

Sherlock has been unusually quiet since they arrived, fingers steepled at his lips and gray eyes bright and intense as he watched and he listened. It's only now that he speaks up, and it's in a quiet inquisitive voice that, regardless, seems very loud.

"You brought the Doctor here for a reason. Not to kill him, or you wouldn't have bothered. No, you wanted him, and you wanted us to follow him. It can't be something as simple as wanting to bump us off, you could have found us and done away with us in almost half the time we've taken chatting each other up." Sherlock's eyebrow quirks up as the idea hits him. "You want all of us together because we work so well together. You need something from us."

The Master doesn't deflate. He doesn't admit defeat and give up the ghost. He straightens (almost imperceptible, but somehow it's a proud move), and he half-turns to face Sherlock and the others.

"I need," and the Master pauses to make perhaps the most disgusted face any of them can remember recalling, "your help." It comes out almost like a dry heave, like the words themselves are vile in his mouth.

"Oh, good," the Doctor says, escaping his bonds as easily as shaking them off, and hopping to his feet. "I was hoping you'd say that. Otherwise, that might have been embarrassing."

Sherlock refreshes Amy's memory as the two Timelords crowd around the TARDIS console and fly her off together. The Master, Timelord, archfiend and brilliant friend (and it's not strange to the Doctor that the two terms are not mutually exclusive). He'd gone to the Academy with the Doctor, back when Gallifrey was still a bright spot in the sky. They'd got up to all sorts of trouble together, a right frightful pair. And then the Doctor had run off. And so did the Master. One turned to good, and the other found that the combination of domination and near insanity pleased him better. Mostly, they clashed over whether or not to destroy all life in the universe, but sometimes they found it in themselves to help one another. Help being, at best, a relative term.

Like now, for example. The Master had done something Really Not Good (like create an ever-imploding matter conductor that, if not disassembled, could conceivably destroy all matter in the known universe), and wanted the device to cease existing, and couldn't do so without assistance. No one else in the known universe about to be destroyed would work with the man. Besides the Doctor, who would always, no matter what, put the known universe first.

Rory can't stop sending hateful sideways glances in the Master's direction. John finally asks him what the problem is.

"I can't believe we're helping someone like him," he answers spitefully. "Everything he's done to the Doctor."

"It's a bit of a personal priority in this case, I think, Rory," Sherlock murmurs, though his own eyes are anything but kind upon the new Timelord. "Unless you would rather be atomized."

"No, but," Rory protests.

"I know," Amy says, smoothing her husband's hair calmly. "But the Doctor's not alone. Even if he wanted to be. We've got his back."

"And if anything happens," John adds.

"Nothing's going to happen." It's Sherlock who says it, and it surprises them. The ferocity—there's something protective they're not used to seeing in him, not when it's directed at anyone but John. John finds it very attractive (and the sooner they stop the universe from imploding, the sooner he can get Sherlock back to Baker Street and out of his clothes).

"Destroying universes isn't something new, for you," the Doctor says as they navigate space together at the console.

"I've got rather good at it, haven't I?" the Master replies proudly.

"What's so different about this time?"

The Master tries to shift a toggle, and the Doctor swats his hand away. Recoiling, the Master replies, "Well, you've always stopped me. And the one time I'm not really sure I want the universe to end, you don't even show up. Bit rude."

"I was busy," the Doctor defends himself.

"Busy shopping," the Master scoffs.

"It's Rory's birthday!" the Doctor shouts, indignant.

"It is?" John whispers.

"Well, probably not now," Rory answers, scratching his head. "Or it might be again. Bloody... time travel."

The Master directs them to a little place outside the Invidia Galaxy, just 'round the corner from Pollux (watching two Timelords at the controls is fascinating, and Sherlock's eyes watch their movements like he's watching a crime scene unfold). It's an old watch station from the 28th century, back when the humans had thought they'd try to populate this arm of the universe, but they found it a bit too inhospitable for their terraformers—at least in this time, they'll get to it eventually, the Doctor says. The planet (moon, the Doctor corrects them) outside is raging with a windstorm, and the entire abandoned facility rocks with each violent breath of wind. The Master has been using it as a discreet testing facility outside the reach of any of those pesky jurisdictions or laws or anything up that street.

And that's when they fall into his trap.

It's nothing glorious, like a cage made of lasers or a gas that paralyzes them on the spot. It's a trigger on the floor that sweeps them up into an old-fashioned wire-mesh net. They go up shouting, a jumble of limbs dangling a good seven feet off the floor—Amy tries instantly to struggle her way out, kneeing John in the gut and nearly digging her fingers into the Doctor's eyes. The joyous victory dance the Master wiggles out only adds insult to their injury.

"I can't believe it," the Master wheezes around his laughter, actually laughing and pointing to the group caught in the net. "I can't believe you fell for the old matter condenser trick! We used that one at the Academy!" His laughter dies almost immediately, replaced with a low, sly grin. "You're getting old, Doctor."

The Doctor gives a self-deprecating groan and ceases struggling (facing the Master upside-down and practically piled upon Rory). "You honestly thought up this completely convoluted plan just so you could trap us and kill us? Why? Isn't that a little... needlessly complicated?"

The Master laughs again, the barking of a dog. "If a plan's not needlessly complicated, I don't want anything to do with it! Now," he says, clapping his hands together in preparation, "for that condenser."

"I thought you said the condenser was a trick," Rory points out, trying to shove the Doctor off of him.

"Wait, where's—" the Doctor begins, only now doing a headcount of his companions (this is why he never has so many at a time, they're so impossible to keep in the same place).

Sherlock isn't in the net. John tries to remember if Sherlock even came out of the TARDIS with the rest of them. They've all been so occupied with the Master and the possibility of the universe imploding that they hardly thought to keep an eye on the world's only consulting detective. So when the man with the dark curls reappears beside the Master, it's a bit of a surprise to everyone.

"How—?" the Master begins, and he reaches for the TCE that had, up until then, been in his pocket. Sherlock smirks, lightly tossing it and catching it again in one hand.

"Please," Sherlock scoffs playfully. "I remember everything the Doctor ever taught me about you. That even if he should trust you explicitly, you are never, on any account, to be trusted." He points the weapon at the Master, who takes an unsure step back. "Oh yes, I know what the TCE does. Didn't you know I spent a year as a pickpocket? Now, if you don't want to be crushed under my size thirteens, I suggest you tell me where the release mechanism is."

The Master huffs (he's a bit like a child, too), crosses his arms. "And I suppose now you're going to monologue about how clever you are?"

Sherlock scowls. "No," he says tersely, and just like that, his fist flashes out and cracks hard against the Master's nose. The Timelord is down in a second, and it takes Sherlock all the work of a handful of seconds to find the release switch.

They hit the floor rather ungracefully, but they're free. While the Doctor rushes off to dismantle the matter condenser, John just stares wide-eyed at his husband, murmuring "I bloody love you," as he rushes to meet him in a full embrace. John finds Sherlock's knuckles split from the impact of hitting the Master so hard, shakes his head fondly, and does what he can to patch the detective up.

Making sure that the Master is secured so he doesn't wake and start plotting all over again, Amy and Rory drag his prostrate and bound body to the console where the Doctor is powering everything down. And then they chance a glance to the detective and his doctor. Amy nudges the Doctor's elbow.

At first, he doesn't know why, and he asks (very loudly), "What? Amy, why are you nudging me? Ow!" He cries when Rory stamps on his toes. "What?"

And then, looking between the two, the Doctor finally sees Amy nod harshly in Sherlock's direction. (John is nursing the detective's knuckles carefully, lovingly, and Sherlock's eyes are downcast and his posture positively sunken.) Rory waves the Doctor on, and his wife insistently drives the Doctor forward with a shove. They are not subtle about it at all, but neither Sherlock nor John are paying them any attention anyway. The Doctor frowns, but he does sidle up alongside the two of them. John looks up first, and the Doctor sways in indecision; Amy gives a harsh hiss and he stays in his spot.

The Doctor clears his throat, and Sherlock finally looks up. The Doctor waves a hand vaguely. "You flew the TARDIS."

"I did," Sherlock answers. "I don't see how that's remarkable."

"It's not." Another hiss, and the Doctor winces. "Sherlock, you flew the TARDIS tracking the huon energy given off by the Master's TARDIS. You flew her through the barrier to an imaginary world created by the Master. You beat a Timelord and were a part in keeping the universe from going boom. I'd say that's remarkable." The appreciation blooming like dawn in Sherlock's eyes is almost too much, so the Doctor turns away. "So yes. Thanks."

John also clears his throat, nodding to the detective's hands trapped in his own. The Doctor holds up a finger as if he's just remembered.

"And punching him. That was good, too."

When Sherlock laughs, it's a low chuckle, and he ducks his head to hide from it. "Quite right."

They drop Sherlock and John safely back at their flat a good three minutes after they left it, just time enough to see Mrs. Hudson make her way up the stairs to see what the commotion is about.

"Oh, it's you again," she says with a tired smile, looking from the Doctor to the Ponds bemusedly. "Should I put on the kettle or are you running off again?"

"Just back," John says, rubbing his hands together eagerly. "Cup of tea sounds fabulous."

"Save the universe, cup of tea," the Doctor says, grinning. "Good old Doctor Watson."

Mrs. Hudson circles the TARDIS once the boys have said their goodbyes, crossing her arms and tutting at the thing in the sitting room. "I can't tell you how many suppers have gone cold because of this thing. What is it that's so exciting that takes those two away at all hours?"

The Doctor's eyes are full of centuries of mischief. "Would you like to see?"

AN: I can't leave these kids alone. Someone stop me! Or don't, because I seriously enjoy doing these things. Mostly because I love writing in their voices, but also because they all just fit together so well in my head. Like Sherlock and John have always been on the TARDIS, and they always will. Also, I may or may not revisit this Mrs Hudson idea, I have no clue at present but the idea CRACKS ME UP. Oh, and about the Master in this... I imagine him still as John Simm, but maybe his trip to Gallifrey freed him of the torment of the drums, so he's back to his good old nefarious self. I will admit that Ainley was my very favorite Master, and I tried to weave a bit of both of them into this representation. Well, let me know what you think! Thanks so much for reading, lave us some love, but most importantly don't forget to STAY AWESOME!