Dresden Meets a Doctor
I have no idea how I got myself into these situations. I mean, Aliens? Really? Stupid as hell aliens too. Who thought sending mechanized doom bots against wizards was a good idea? Two "Exterminate"s later and they had already annoyed me into jinxing the lot of them.
"Wow, that was...how did you do that? Was it some kind of localized EMT burst?" The lanky man next to me began to babel. His blue suit was slightly ripped up one leg and he had lost his glasses during the running portion of the evenings events. I shook my head.
"Any more where those came from?" I asked, peering into the darkness to check.
"Ah! Well, yes. Most definitely." He replied grinning. I frowned. This guy was creepily happy.
"We should get out of the open. I know a place near by." I turned toward the mouth of the alley and started walking.
McAnally's Pub was mostly empty this time of day, seats taken only by people getting a head start on drowning their troubles. Lazy afternoon light drifted in from the sunken windows and illuminated the 13 carved columns. The great thing about McAnally's is that it's recognized as a neutral zone for all the supernaturally inclined. Whether that extended to the E.T. crowed I had no idea.
Mac nodded a greeting at me from the bar. I nodded back. I led my new friend to an empty table at the back. I sat with my back to the wall, Mac's may be neutral but that didn't make it safe. The new guy twirled one of the chairs till it faced backwards and plopped into it.
"So" I said. "Uh"
"Yes! Introductions! I'm the Doctor." He held out his hand.
"Yeah and I'm the Za-Lord" I replied sarcastically. A grunt came from the bar and I went to grab our beers. By the time I got back, The Doctor had switched seats and was now building a castle out of salt packets. "So, aliens. Thought they'd be greener." The Doctor giggled. Actually giggled! His fringe of hair dropped into his eyes and I had to resist the urge to sweep it back. It was more of a mess than mine could ever hope to be.
"To be fair, about 40% of sentient life is in some shade of green. The tracnids of Bet-larma actually encompass the entire spectrum, depending on how you look at them. Don't look from above, it's not a pretty hue." He grinned an impossibly large grin.
"Right." I said and passed him a beer. He took a sip and set it aside to finish his salt castle. I sat down.
He didn't take his eyes off the table when he asked me "you wouldn't happen to have a pocket watch, would you? Broken is fine."
"No." I said slowly.
"Pity." he said. He abandoned the castle when he ran out of packets.
We sat in silence till our food was ready. I fetched it from the bar as the Doctor played with some weird metal gadget that had started shooting sparks when he turned it on. He had it in pieces on the table in seconds but when I set down the steak sandwiches he pushed the pile to the side. He made happy moaning noises as he ate. It was weird and a little uncomfortable with all the looks we were getting. Shrugging it off, I ate my own food. It had been a while since I had gotten a good meal, I gave my own little moan then coughed to cover it. The Doctor just grinned at me.
", Who is your new friend?" Marcone asked. I startled at his voice and swallowed a bit of fry down the wrong pipe and coughed roughly.
"Doctor." I coughed out.
"You're still breathing, I don't think you need the hospital yet." Gentleman Johnny said. He gave me a rough pat on the back.
"Oh no. I think he means me." The Doctor grinned and extended a hand. "I'm the Doctor."
Marcones eyes widened but he shook the offered hand.
"My, my, Harry. You do make the most interesting friends." Marcone and his goon Hendricks took the empty seats at our table and continued to stare at the Doctor. I growled at his use of my first name. Things with Marcone were always strained but things had been calm for a while now. I was loath to call us friends but there wasn't a word for what we had.
"What do you want Marcone?" I asked. The Doctor sat up straighter.
"Well well well. Gentleman Johnny Marcone and Harry Dresden in one room. How exciting!" the doctor enthused to himself. He gathered up the pieces of his toy and pored them in to his pocket.
"I don't want anything Harry" Marcone said smoothly. "unless you've reconsidered my offer?"
"Nope." I folded my arms over my chest.
"Shame." he stood and extended his hand. I shook it reluctantly. He smiled a toothy smile and left.
I turned to the Doctor who was again fiddling with his toy.
"It's not going to work around me no matter how much you play with it." I told him. He just grinned up at me through his floppy hair. I wanted to brush the hair back. I finally understood why Molly was always playing with mine. There was just something that made you want to instil order to the mess. Then he pressed a button and the thing turned on and gave a high pitched hum. I stared in shock.
"Good old sonic screwdriver. Just needed a random particle degenerator, to counter act your energy field." he explained. Then he pointed the sonic screwdriver at me. He frowned and hit the screwdriver against the table. "And maybe a bath."
"Promise not to try to kill me and you can use mine." I offered.
"Pinky promise." he held out his right pinky. I shook it. "I think this is the beginning of a lovely adventure."