John found himself outside Cardiff's Millennium centre just as it began to rain. He sighed and zipped up his jacket, shivering slightly, relaying the previous night in his head like a B-rated movie. Sherlock had told him to come here. Specifically here. And here he would meet someone called Martha Jones, last known to have military contact with the Doctor. He pulled out his phone and checked his texts, nothing new.
John turned and saw the woman who was on the DVD. She had changed a little since then, her hair braided into thin locks and she looked exhausted, as if something was draining the life from her.
"Yes, hello," John held out his hand to shake hers. Martha didn't move.
"Mycroft Holmes called," She said. "Told me I had to meet you."
"Must thank him for that," John said.
"I'm under TORCHWOOD protection," She said, calmly, folding her arms. "I have to warn you that any attempt to harm me or the organisation will be seen as treason."
John opened his mouth and closed it, nodding. "Fair enough. I wasn't going to, but thanks for letting me know."
Martha nodded stiffly.
"I'm actually working on a case, with my friend Sherlock Holmes,"
Martha's demeanour changed again. "I know that name."
"Yes, we've been on the news quite a few times," John said. "Anyway, we were hoping that you could help us find the Doctor."
"We need to ask him questions."
"I gathered. Why?"
"Well," John cleared his throat. "I'm not sure really. But there's a house in Western Drumlins that has a fetish for angels. A lot of people have disappeared over the last couple of years. And Sherlock's been called to help out with the investigation."
Martha sighed, pursing her lips. "Dr Watson. I urge caution. That place… It's a bad place. Full of evil creatures."
"I live with Sherlock Holmes," John smiled, cracking a joke. "I think I can handle a little bad from a scary house."
"You're not getting me," Martha said. "Look, I travelled with the Doctor. I saw wonders beyond imagination, but the weeping angels…" She shook her head.
"You're talking as if they're aliens." John said.
"You could hardly not have noticed." Martha said. "Christmas invasions?"
John looked at her blank.
"Cyberman? Battle at Canary Wharf? Harold Saxon?" Martha tried.
"I got back from Afghanistan almost 14 months ago." John replied stiffly.
"Well, look up the news. Sherlock's an observant man. He surely noticed it." Martha said. "What about the months that no one died?"
"Was a lot of hard work trying to find cases we could solve," John replied. "I wasn't able to buy jam for weeks."
"Sherlock didn't pose a theory?"
"He said boring and proceeded to smoke a lot." John replied. "But then it was fixed and he went straight back on the nicotine patches."
"Like I said, Sherlock would have noticed, it's logical for him to think it. Billions of galaxies, stars, suns, planets? It would be arrogant to believe that we are just coincidence."
"Explains why he was so quick to believe in the possibility of aliens." John said.
"He's a smart man. Either he and the Doctor will get on exceedingly well," She held out a silver flip phone. "Or, the Doctor will hate him."
John took the phone from her. "Thank you," He nodded,
"Please don't contact TORCHWOOD again," Martha told him. "No more favours. I can't protect myself without Jack."
"Who's Jack?" John asked, observing her wedding ring. "Your husband?"
"No." Martha replied. "Jack is a friend. He's probably dead. But if I know him, he 'll find a way to survive. Now go. I don't want to hear from you again." She began to walk off.
"Who do I call?" John shouted after her.
She turned. "Just look under TARDIS!"
John flipped open the phone and began to scroll through the contacts. "What the bloody hell is TARDIS?" He looked up, but Martha Jones had completely disappeared, though there was nowhere for her to go.
"So, what did Martha Jones say?" Sherlock asked as John boarded the train, his phone in between his ear and his shoulder.
"Not a lot actually," He replied. "The same as Sparrow and Nightingale. A lot about aliens."
He imagined Sherlock pacing the room slightly then Lestrade's voice rang out.
"Aliens? Jesus god Sherlock, is this a conspiracy case?"
"Don't know yet." Sherlock replied.
"I don't think it is." John said. "Could I get a coffee please?" He asked one of the attendants who nodded.
"We just need to find the Doctor." Sherlock muttered.
"Well, Jones gave me a phone," John said. "Apparently the Doctor's number is on here."
"Recite it to me."
"Sherlock, don't you want to get a pen or something?" Lestrade asked.
John heard Sherlock snort slightly.
John cleared his throat and read out the number. "She says she hasn't seen him in over three years. Not properly anyway, so it might be a bit of a bust. Especially if he changes his face every so often,"
"We still have to try," came Sherlock's reply.
"Okay, I'll be back home soon. Do we have anything in?"
"I wouldn't know," Sherlock said.
"Can you not check?"
"I'll do it," Lestrade said.
"Thank you," John said leaning back and pressing his fingers on his eyes. From across where he was seated a young red-headed woman in a short mini-skirt nudged the man in a body-warmer who sat beside her.
"You have some lasagne, two cans of beer, and six cat eyes," Lestrade said.
"Okay," John said. "I'll get some stuff delivered from Tesco. Thanks Greg. Phone me with any new breakthroughs."
John hung up and put his phone down on the table. The woman and man stood up and were suddenly opposite him.
"Hi," She said. "You don't know us and you probably won't see us after this meeting. But we have something to give you,"
John frowned. "What?"
"This," The man pulled from his body warmer a DVD case and handed it over. "Keep it on you. You'll need it at some time in the future."
"When?" John asked. "And you know… Why?"
"Have you called the Doctor yet?" the woman asked.
John frowned. "Not me, personally, but I suspect my friend has already done it. Anyway, who exactly are you?"
"Friends." The woman replied.
"God I hate it when people say that," John muttered. "Of the Doctors?"
"Yes," the man replied. "Only we don't travel with him as much anymore."
The woman nudged the man in the ribs. "We have to go." She gave him a dazzling smile before grabbing the man's hand and taking off. John looked at the DVD. Things were getting weirder by the second.
Sherlock hung up the phone after leaving his name and address. The Doctor had not answered. He leaned back and closed his eyes, his fingertips together.
Ms Hudson came in. "Hello love, I just got some shopping for you. Don't want you starving on the case."
Sherlock gave no reply as she bustled into the kitchen and began to sort food out, ignoring the obvious mess on the counters. A slight wheezing sound as if keys were being dragged on the chords of a grand piano filled the air.
"What's that noise?" Sherlock asked, his eyes still closed.
"I don't know," Mrs Hudson said. "I suspect its leaf-blowers. Silly."
"In Summer?" Sherlock's eyes shot open and he got off the couch and climbed over the table towards the window. He looked out. There was nothing unusual that he saw, save an old Police Box that they used to have in the sixties. "Mrs Hudson?"
Mrs Hudson wandered over.
"Is there anything unusual that you see?" Sherlock asked.
She looked out onto the street. "Not that I can see dear." She said. She gave him a pat on the shoulder and began to leave just as the doorbell rang. Sherlock frowned. It was too soon for it to be John. And why would he ring. It wasn't a half-pressured ring, they had been too excited by the noise and kept pressing it every three seconds before Mrs Hudson opened the door. Not a client, nor John. And obviously not a child, since it was getting late. Foot-falls indicated a clumsy but thin person, not a female. Sherlock turned and saw a gangly young man, with brown hair a dark expression on his face and wearing a tweed jacket and blue bow tie.
"Hello Sherlock Holmes," He said. "I'm the Doctor."