A/N: First things first, I am aware this is a crossover, but I'm putting it in one fandom at a time for maximum exposure.
This is the first Dresden fic of any sort that I have written, so please take that into consideration, though I have written several Doctor who fics before. Anything you recognise, I do not own. It's unbeta'd but if anyone wants to offer, PM me.
It had been a normal day. I had got up, fed Mouse, who was taking a break from guarding my daughter, who for understandable reasons, I was avoiding, and Mister, who had accepted my return from the dead with total equanimity, the latter performing his usual ritual of eating some of Mouse's food, tipped the bowl over, and then retreated to his own bowl with the unique haughtiness only found in cats. And White Court Vampires. An uncharitable person (me) with a suspicious turn of mind (also me) would speculate that the two were somehow connected.
However I had more important things to do than mull over the possible connections between cats and White court vampires. Though, late Madeline Raith had reminded me a lot of a spoilt Persian. Lara reminded more of a recently fed lioness. Beautiful, deadly, and not too interested in killing you right now.
The previous week Captain Luccio had called me and said that a mysterious blue box had been seen around the world near the homes of wizards. Rather more helpfully, the Paranet had noticed the same thing, and actually taken photos of the thing, which Elaine had passed on to me one evening last week at Mac's. I sat back, holding a cup of the liquid ambrosia that is coffee, and remembered that night.
I was sitting in Mac's enjoying some that holy liquid which is his home brewed beer. Unfortunately it was warm, but I think Mac might have killed me if I had suggested serving it cold. I made do with creating a very small fireball from the heat in the beer. Hey, I'm an American, we like our beer cold, and the design of Mac's tavern meant the spell soon dissipated.
Ok, it scorched one of my eyebrows, but it had been a long day. I could have used my Winter Knight ice powers, but after 5 months of being resurrected I still wasn't entirely used to them, and didn't totally trust them. Besides, I wanted a cold beer, not a beer-sicle.
Chasing demons into the sewers to retrieve a small child they had taken is hard work, especially when one wrong spark could have set the foetid air alight. Me being me and having the worst luck known to wizard kind, it did. Another set of clothes ruined. The kid was fine and of course decided my hair was a good thing to pull. It is hard to play dignified wizardly hero when you smell like char grilled sewage and have a kid pulling your hair. I really have to get a hat. A really cool hat of course.
Elaine had dropped me a line saying she had a lead in what I had privately termed 'The wild blue box chase'. I eyed the door as it opened, admitting a pair of very shapely legs and their owner a moment later. I regarded the legs appreciatively, and then let my eyes move up her body to her face, a very pretty face which sported a wry smile and a cocked eyebrow.
"Have you finished staring, or are you going to buy me a drink and get down to business?" She asked dryly.
"One moment." I dropped my gaze again, examined her body once more (and very nice it was t-I should really stop doing that) then looked up at her face again. "All done." I replied. She swatted me round the head gently, then glanced pointedly at the bar. I took the hint and got up, wandering over to the bar and bought two beers.
I sat back down and examined the photos that I immediately deduced with my uncanny PI skills she had spread on the table while I was at the bar. The pictures depicted a largish blue box, about 8 feet tall, and made of wood. What was puzzling was that one picture had managed to catch the box fading away.
Elaine tapped the photo and said, "The Paranet says that they've seen it appear and disappear, making a sort of loud wheezing noise as it does. And," As she said this she laid a final photo on the table. "These three were seen nearby it each time. This one was taken by a low level practitioner in New York in Central Park. She's an amateur photographer." The photo depicted two young men, one dressed normally, the other wearing a ¾ lenth brown leathery coat and a bow tie of all things, and a pretty young woman with fiery red hair and legs that put even Elaine and Susan's to shame- I veered away from that thought, my eyes tearing up momentarily.
I wiped my eyes and took in the details. It was a good photo, presumably down from reasonably close with a long zoom. The red head and the normally dressed young man with the largish nose stood together in a manner seen in loving couples all over the world. There was one sparkle each on one of the couples 'hands, wedding rings by the looks. They looked happy I thought, the man looking slightly protective, and the woman not minding it as long as it didn't get in the way. When your survival depends on judging body language, you become fluent fast.
I took the photos and put them away in my new coats pockets. I felt a pair of hands hold my unoccupied hand gently. When I looked up, Elaine was regarding me sympathetically. She hadn't missed the tears in my eyes, and she had probably guessed why. Damn all intuitive exes. Especially magical ones.
"I'm…so sorry for your loss Harry." She said, at first at a loss for words, like most humans in such a situation. Like most humans she stuck to the formula. Like most humans, she left immediately afterwards. And there I was drinking alone in a bar, stubbly and most morose. Go gadget drama cliché.
I shook myself mentally, cudgelled my brain into action and do what I did best. Find things and blow things up. And get some sleep. Though that requires less cool magic and explosions.
Back in the present, I wandered down to the basement of my new apartment (somehow I had managed to find one that matched my old one almost exactly. I briefly wondered whether Lea, my psychotic Faerie godmother, had also moved, and how she had managed to move her giant centipede things. I dismissed the thought. Wondering about the real estate habits of one's Axe Crazy Faerie Godmother was not healthy, even by my standards), grabbing my robe as I went, having been rendered coherent by the miracle that is coffee.
"Wakey-wakey Bob!" I carolled. Note to self. Find lower caffeine version of coffee. When you get to carolling short of an adrenaline high, you know you're drinking something odd.
"Ugh, you never used to be this much of a morning person. What do you want?" Was the surly reply from my resident factotum and skull bound minion. A rather grumpy factotum and skull bound minion because when I had reacquired him from Butters, he had been denied a 24/7 free access pass to all the Internet porn in existence. Much of the grumpiness had abated when I gave him a blow by blow account of my, ahem, encounter with Mab, when I became the Winter Knight. That and buying a stack of old Playboy back issues. However he still resented me a little for all that, and didn't let me forget it.
"We're tracking a big blue box that materialises and dematerialises at will." Bob's skull swivelled around to face me fully, eyelights brighter than usual, denoting extreme interest.
"A big blue police box? Says Police Public call box on it?" I checked the photo's then nodded, rather taken aback at his enthusiasm. Last time he had displayed this level of enthusiasm had been when my half-brother had put me onto a case where the client was a porn film director. I shuddered to think what would spark such interest that could possibly be hidden in a blue box.
"What do you know about it?" I asked, guardedly.
"If you let me out, I can tell you." If he had been human, Bob would have been bouncing up and down. If he were human he would also have been an absolute nightmare to deal with. As it was, his skull bounced gently up and down on the spot.
"All right. For this job, and this job only, you can leave the skull." Since I had been, temporarily, a ghost, I understood and sympathised with his desire to get out more often. Just not enough to release him without lengthy restrictions.
The last time I had released him had been on Valentine's day, about 2 months after I got back, when I had been feeling a tad guilty about denying him his free access internet and rather more charitable towards his circumstances. Cue mass gang bang in the main park. Cue chaos and paroxysms of laughter from Molly and Thomas when they found out, as well as literal howls of laughter from Murphy. They had not let me forget about it. I get no respect.
The cloud of orange mist that was Bob's physical form outside the skull, flowed over the pictures that I had left on the table.
Bob flowed back into the skull and I got the impression of an unusually grave disposition, mixed in with academic interest in the challenge at hand, and, dare I say it, a reasonable amount of fear. Since Bob once provided a mental shield for Murphy who was temping as an Archangel possessed Knight of the Cross (I had yet to work out which one, but theoretically it could have been any of them. Uriel was more subtle, but took a great interest in the Earth and its inhabitants, and it wouldn't be entirely out of character, so it was probably him. Michael was the General and certainly capable of something like that, but took less interest in the Earth, apparently. Gabriel and Raphael were Messenger and Spiritual champion, so I hadn't ruled out either. Murphy had had no idea which one had possessed her, I'd asked. As post coital conversations go, it's an odd one. She also thought it hilarious that I had nicknamed an archangel 'Mr. Sunshine') against the Red King of the Red Court of Vampires, now non-existent, a being that had masqueraded successfully as a powerful god for Millennia. When he was scared of something, it was generally very dangerous.
"Harry, leave this one alone." Yup, scared. Not good.
"Who is it Bob? And why are you scared of them?"
"The one in the long coat is The Doctor. The other two are probably his companions." Bob had gone more than 30 seconds without a wisecrack. I was worried.
"The Doctor? Doctor Who? What is his real name? What's the deal with the box and companions?" I pressed.
"His real name is unknown. Even the Archive wouldn't know it. And he isn't human. He's the last of the Time Lords." Bob had gone a minute without a wisecrack. Make that very worried. "He picks up companions here and there. People seem to gravitate to him like you to a Burger King. The machine is a time travel device known as a TARDIS." Ah, back to normal.
"What is a Time Lord, anyway? I've never heard anyone mention them."
"They're extraterrestrial. Aliens. Or were, all save him and maybe a couple of others. I don't know much about them, only what I picked up when DuMorne left me behind in Edinburgh by accident in the 90's and I got to explore a bit and what I picked up on the net when I was with Butters. Even so, most of the information about them was locked down tight. And they were time travellers."
That shocked me. Bob knew pretty much everything about anything I had encountered, Summer Fae excepted. And I had never heard of anyone time travelling before. The possibilities were too horrible to contemplate. What shocked me the most was the Bob had done something other than surf porn sites when given access to the internet. Mind you, Bob was an information junkie, so maybe I shouldn't have been entirely surprised.
"But, the 6th Law-"
"Harry, even Mab is scared of him!" Bob cut across me sharply. That shut me up.
"Even if she'd never admit it." He continued quietly. "The White Council wouldn't stand a chance. From what I've heard, he's even more unpredictable than he used to be, by mortal standards. The British Government created an entire top secret agency to stop him. You remember the stories in the newspapers, 'The Battle of Canary Wharf'? "
I nodded slowly, dimly remembering the papers describing it as a: 'New 9/11 in the UK'. That and the Paranet, which was going international, had picked up a lot of odd things going on in Britain. Particularly in Wales, for some reason, which was a bit odd, since most of the Ley lines converged in Edinburgh. Possibly because the locals had nothing else to do, other than watch the local visitors from the Spooky side of the spectrum. It was watching them or watching the sheep apparently. Mind you, much of my information was from Steed, who was nothing if not English and thus nothing if not biased.
"He was the one who stopped it. And when there was that worldwide poisonous fog around. And much more." Bob looked at me slyly, insomuch as a skull with pinpoints of light for eyes can look at anyone slyly. "He makes your world saving antics look amateurish." Here he sniffed. "At least he occasionally takes credit for it." Yep, Bob was back to normal. "And he surrounds himself with gorgeous women."
At that point things went downhill. Molly had been taking lessons on things like potions and thaumaturgy from me, because while Lea had taught her ruthlessly efficiently on the subject of evocation, she was well behind the curve when it came to potions and thaumaturgy, two of the things I was good at. So when she arrived for a lesson that I had forgotten about, made a beeline straight to the basement door and opened it, Bob went, "Hello gorgeous!" in his most lecherous tone of voice.
In the silence that followed, I debated melting Bob's skull, having failed to find my beloved claw hammer in the boxed possessions found in the wreckage of my old home, while Molly stared at Bob.
"Harry, since when did that thing speak?" She asked tentatively, in a am-I-going-mad-boss tone.
"Since I saw a sexy thing like you around!" continued Bob, ramping up the lechery to cheesy levels I had not previously thought possible. I whacked him with my staff.
"Bob, you were supposed to be an inanimate knick-Knack until I said so." I said harshly, as the skull swivelled to glare at me. I ignored him and turned to Molly. "He's an air spirit, a spirit of intellect, he learns really fast and never forgets anything. He's also powerful; knowledge equals power and all that. Remember the halo Murphy had at Chitchen Itza? That was him. Unfortunately he's also sex obsessed, and yes, when you ended up topless in the lab, he was watching." As Molly looked shocked, Bob broke in again.
"I got bored! Besides, you haven't got any action since Luccio, and that was at least 3 years ago now. It's time to branch out! Rediscover your mojo! Get some hot student on teacher action!" I didn't know what was more worrying, Bob's speech, which sounded like a cross between a motivational speech for a self-help video and the blurb of a porn video, or the fact that Molly was eyeing me up speculatively, having got over her shock alarmingly quickly.
"Actually -Bob was it? - He has had some action since then. With Murphy." Molly was now eyeing me up and grinning evilly at the same time. This was something I categorised as very worrying, especially as I had expressly asked all those who had heard/been present at the time and been aware of Bob's existence, to whit, Will and Georgia, Thomas (who had punched me, then hugged me as soon as he saw me. It's a guy thing) Butters and Mortimer, all of whom had been very surprised/pleased to see me back, though none so…emphatically as Murph had been. Turns out she hadn't found that reasonably healthy male, and, I quote, "I'm not letting you out of my sight this time". I had asked Molly to keep it quiet on general principles later. This was why.
"Wow! You got with the sexy cop chick! Way to go stud! Get with the apprentice, then and complete the kinky friends with benefits circle!" Bob was now ecstatic, his skull rattling. Molly was grinning at me and I felt got at. And then, with timing that I suspected was more due to divine intervention than anything else, the phone rang. I sprinted out of the basement with the sort of acceleration that put 100 metre sprinters to shame.
"Yes?" I barked down the phone. No, not like that, that's what I have Mouse for. Speaking of which, he was lying on the floor looking at me with a doggy grin that suggested his distinctly superior to canine intellect had worked what was happening and he was therefore having a good laugh at my expense. Mister was curled up on top of him, and spared me a disdainful look before going back to sleep.
"Harry?" Came Thomas's slightly bewildered voice. No sniggering at the back.
"Yeah, it's me." I said, less violently.
"Why are you upset man?"
"Molly found out about Bob. And she told him about Murph and me." I muttered.
Cue roars of laughter. Sometimes I hate my brother, I thought, as I tried not to hex the phone into oblivion. Perhaps I should explain a bit about my half-brother. He's a vampire of the White Court, and an incubus, meaning that he looks like the missing Greek God of Body Cologne and he knows it. Even the guys want him when he turns on the come-hither mojo.
Aside from giving him a physique that would have Michelangelo begging to sculpt it, and supernatural (literally) sex appeal, his vampire nature gave him the ability to move far faster than an ordinary human, be stronger, more agile and heal faster. Once, when he used the full extent of his powers, I saw him go through a pack of ghouls, which are very, very hard to kill, like they weren't there with nothing but my staff. On the deck of a boat.
However there was a trade-off. Every so often he had to top up the vamp tank, feeding off someone through sex, or more accurately intimacy, taking a bite out of their life force (it grew back, but it made the victim more vulnerable to another vampire, depending on how much had been taken, meaning they were at risk of enthrallment). As far as I could see, he had an arrangement which involved messy threesomes with two very attractive women, one of them his true love, Justine (the third person was there to prevent the true love of Justine burning Thomas). Yes, I was ever so slightly jealous of him.
He had decided to reopen his hair salon, complete with faux French accent and Camp Gay persona, and something Justine had given him-a lotion discovered by yours truly (all right. Bob. But I made it) to prevent love burning him temporarily, thus preventing accidents and customers thinking they were being snubbed- which he had closed after an unfortunate incident with a skinwalker (think millennia old shape shifting demi god of sadism), and was having the time of his life. After I had arranged my own assassination (long story) he had insisted on being nearby me at all times, and helping me on cases.
Like Mac, people almost forget he's there (or think he's deaf) so relax and gossip like nothing on earth, which had provided useful information in the past. I had shown him the photos when we had coffee two days ago. If he had heard something, it was probably important and worth listening to, I told myself. No matter how annoying he was being.
Between splutters of laughter, he managed to tell me what he had called me for. A long legged and gorgeous red head (his words, not mine, though I must concur) had come into his salon with two men in tow, one who looked like an awkward husband who was profoundly aware he was in a place that was not the domain of most men, and the other was young but dressed like an eccentric university professor looked thoroughly distracted, wielding an object that glowed, buzzed and looked like a vibrator, all told, causing scandalised giggles to emanate from every corner of the room. The husband had gone beet red, while the other had looked confused until the husband type had whispered in his ear. The odd man had put his vibrator thing in his pocket and grinned brightly at the patrons, then looked awkward while the red head had finished having her hair done.
Once the red head had finished having her hair done, she had crooked her finger at the husband who sighed and handed over the money for the hair cut. He looked a lot happier when she snogged him, though. Thomas had previously explained this as the remnants of his vampire mojo acting on the clients and those close to them, which had caused the odd man to give him a distinctly calculating stare, before putting his arms round the couples shoulder, and strode out, talking about "This great tavern I heard about. All the odd crowd go there, we should fit right in."
"Mac's?" I asked by way of confirmation.
"Mac's." He affirmed. "I'll be there in 20 minutes."
He hung up before I had time to protest. Stupid over-protective older brother.
I grabbed my new duster, Mouse's lead and yelled down into the basement, where Molly and Bob were having a good laugh at my expense, "Grasshopper, I've got a case. Bring the skull up from the basement will you?"
As they walked out of the coffee shop/hairdressers, which Rory had lamented was hideously expensive, the Doctor, steered them down the street, ostensibly towards the bar. A couple of blocks further on, he turned them left into an alley. As soon as he did that, he turned to Amy and asked, "Amy, how do you feel?"
Amy who had been smiling happily all the way down, suddenly looked puzzled. "Like I'm sexy, beautiful and wonderful. And I want to f-"
Rory, displaying commendable presence of mind, snapped his hand across to cover Amy's mouth.
"Yes, that's quite enough Pond," The Doctor said distractedly as he used his sonic screwdriver then stared at the read out, astonished. Then he looked very hard at Amy, and signalled Rory to remove his hand.
"Amy, did you notice anything in particular about that hairdresser?"
"He was really good looking, very attractive and so very, very gay." She replied, leaning over to snog Rory senseless. Again. This time he gently detached her, wondering where the Doctor was going with this.
"What was he Doctor?" Rory asked pointedly.
"An incubus." The Doctor replied, "But not an ordinary one."
"How so?" Rory asked, impatience tingeing his tone.
"He wasn't actively trying to seduce Amy. And he was mostly human. Most succubae and Incubi are not human, some alien some not, but one thing they all share in common is that are obsessed with one very human thing most of the time, even if it is unconsciously. All this one did was leave enough of his psychic energy behind on Amy to make her feel good and…" The Doctor waved his sonic screwdriver at Amy to make his point.
"…want to fuck Rory?" Amy added brightly, causing the Doctor go bright red, as a white sports car whizzed past, going unnoticed by any of them.
"More importantly, why is an incubus running an internationally renowned hair dressers and not actively trying to seduce the patrons? And why the horrible French accent?" Rory added, still a little unhappy of the fact an incubus had been up close and personal with his wife.
"Oh Rory, you have so much to learn," Amy said hugging him round the shoulders. "No one will pay that much money to a local hairdresser and everyone thinks male hair dressers are gay."
"Exactly Amy! And that is what our friend the incubus is relying on. Come along Ponds!" The Doctor said, striding ahead, leaving Amy and Rory to follow in his wake. Rory let out a long suffering sigh as his wife dragged him behind like a balloon, following the Doctor, who had just stopped and grasped his head in agony.
Rory and Amy dashed up to him, and Amy held him up while Rory examined him quickly, and asked calmly and firmly, "What is it Doctor?"
"Something's touched the TARDIS! She reacted against it!"
"So?" said Amy, wondering how the TARDIS affected the Doctor by striking at something else.
"Telepathic link with the TARDIS! Connected me to both, feel pain of both!" The Doctor yelled in between bouts of writhing agony. Suddenly it stopped, and the Doctor leaned against a nearby wall and panted. Then he shook his head and sprinted off towards the odd pub and where he had left the TARDIS, Amy and Rory giving chase. Something was going badly wrong. Meanwhile, in the shadows, a long, prehensile metal set of strips that had been set to strike retreated with a slithering noise. Something was definitely very wrong in the city of Chicago.