Most spectacular, invigorating stories start with 'it was a dark and stormy night'. Funny enough, this one starts the same way. Well, not really. This story starts with "most spectacular, invigorating stories start with 'it was a dark and stormy night." But, for the sake of storytelling, delete this starting paragraph from your memory, so if you care to share this story with your family and friends and your neighbour's dog, you may tell it without a rather awkward and not very capturing beginning.
It was a dark and stormy night as John Watson shuffled into 221B Baker Street, absolutely soaked to the bone. He simply could not wait to curl up in his armchair by the fireplace upstairs, because he was absolutely freezing. Plus, he was fairly certain that his flatmate's older brother had stolen his umbrella. Shaking his head like a wet dog, John huffed loudly.
"JOHN!" a loud voice echoed from the flat upstairs.
The doctor sighed, running a hand through his damp, blond hair.
"You better have a good reason for calling me from surgery," he grumbled as he started up the staircase. Before he could go past the third stair, there was a frantic knocking at the door. John groaned, slowly turning back around to go answer it.
"Who is it?" his flatmate called from the floor above.
John shook his head, not even bothering to humour Sherlock Holmes with his childish means of communication. Instead, he threw open the door, and was absolutely shocked to see what was lying on the step in front of him.
The first thing that John noticed was that the man perhaps had too many limbs to deal with. He was very gangly. With his tweed jacket and the crooked bowtie, he would've reminded John of a university professor - if not for his floppy hair and boyish looks. The second thing that John noticed was that the man was clutching his side, and blood was streaming from between his fingers.
John let a small gasp of shock, and immediately his medical training kicked in. John grabbed the man and pulled him inside Get him out of the rain, or he'll catch his death, a small voice in his head ordered. The man let out a faint "ouch" but let John do his thing.
"Careful now, keep pressure on that - SHERLOCK!" John called upstairs, pushing his hands on the wound at the man's side.
"There's no point in that," the man said impatiently, waving the doctor away.
"Just shut up. What the hell were you doing?" John scolded the stranger, "Couldn't you have called a hospital or something?"
"No point in that," the man repeated, "It'll fix itself up. I just needed to get inside - it's really cold out there!"
"Yeah, no kidding," John muttered under his breath. The stranger looked like he was about to say something about it, his mouth gaping so he looked like a fish. But before he could reply, there was shuffling on the floor above, and soon enough, Sherlock Holmes appeared on the landing. He looked frustrated - The impatient bastard, John thought - and as his gaze landed on the wound that John was trying to keep under control, a look of confusion crossed his face.
"Who're you?" Sherlock asked.
"Are you kidding me Sherlock!" John said, "Call for help!"
"Sherlock Holmes!" the man crowed cheerfully, and winced as John jabbed his wound, "I've heard all about you! River told me, slip of the tongue, which is strange because she's usually really good at keeping quiet. I had to learn about you after - oh, will you stop with that!" The stranger pushed John's hands away.
John was absolutely speechless, "But-"
"It'll fix itself!" Despite his outburst, the man let out a gasp of pain, clutching at his side again, "But I'll admit, it usually doesn't take this long-"
"Who are you? How do you know me?" the consulting detective demanded, moving to go down the stairs.
"No, stay there! Dr. Watson, I'd recommend you join him far away, bound to get-ah!" the man yelped, his body flopping like a rag doll. John moved forwards to help, but the stranger waved him away, "Go!"
John would have refused, but suddenly Sherlock was at his side and tugging him up the stairs.
"Sherlock!" John protested.
"Give him space, we have to give him space," Sherlock warned.
Look John, look!"
John stopped struggling and watched the man. He was suddenly glowing, light streaming out of him like dust in the wind. A relieved smile crossed his face as he held his hands out to examine.
"Thank god," the man sighed, "I was worried there for a second,"
"I remember you," Sherlock breathed. John glanced over at his friend, but Sherlock was staring in awe at the glowing man. The man grinned up at him.
"Little Sherlock Holmes, not so little any more. Maybe I'll be as tall as you! I don't know, we'll see," the man giggled to himself. More light was coming from him, and he was no longer slumping in pain. He stood tall and proud, a childish grin growing bigger on his face.
John stuttered out, "Wait, hold on, you said you didn't know him, and you said you heard about him. What's-"
"Rule number one, the Doctor lies," Sherlock snarled, glaring down at the man. The man grinned in a rather cocky way, not too unsimilar to a certain curly haired twit that John knew.
"If you have to go back into the flat, I won't blame you," the man continued on, ignoring Sherlock's statement, "It gets a bit destructive sometimes. I can never tell - always changes. There was a point in time when it wasn't all explosions and such. It was about after the ninth time. Or was it eighth-"
"Destruct-" John started, but the stranger cut him off.
"Don't worry, nothing too bad. Maybe," the man chuckled again, "We'll see,"
"Sherlock, what's going on?" John demanded.
The man cried out again, and the golden light burst from him. He stood with his arms out, and it might have been beautiful, if it not for the screams that came from him. John flinched at the noises, but he couldn't look away. He found himself clenching Sherlock's sleeve, staring in fascinated horror. His heart was pounding - bloody hell, what was happening?
And suddenly, it was all over. The man slumped forwards, hanging his head, gasping for breath.
A silence over came 221B Baker Street. John briefly wondered where Ms. Hudson was in all this, before remembering that she was off on vacation. How convenient, he thought sarcastically. Finally, Sherlock was slowly walking down the staircase towards the man. He reached his hand out to touch the man's shoulder. At the consulting detective's touch, the man straightened up. No - it couldn't be! It wasn't even the same man any more. Those playful green eyes were now a sparkling blue, blinking, getting used to the change. His floppy hair was darker, and wavy - almost like Sherlock's, but not quite. Despite the man's wishes, he wasn't as tall as Sherlock. The stranger grinned over at Sherlock, and patted Sherlock's hand clumsily.
"W-what are you?" John stammered out.
The man beamed over at John, looking slightly exhausted, "I'm the Doctor."
He didn't even sound the same. His voice was more…Scottish, John decided. Wait - no! How could John think that reasonably! A complete stranger, who was practically dying on his doorstep, was now completely different, and-
"This is itchy. Too much itchy. How the hell did I deal?" the man scowled, his hands ducking under his tweed jacket as he scratched himself.
"Wait-wait," the man paused, his hands paused in their exploring, "Oooh, I need to go see! Sorry, new face and all, very exciting,"
The stranger raced for the staircase, taking two at a time - before tripping over and landing smack dab at John's feet. He lifted his head, blinking innocently up at John. Quickly, he scrambled to his feet, and pushed past John.
Sherlock finally climbed up the stairs to join John's side. Catching the bewildered look on his flatmate's face, Sherlock sighed, "It's a long story."
"I'll bet," John choked out.
"Bloody hell, still not ginger!" the man's new voice came from the flat.
"A really, really long story."