Title: The Doctor's Doctor
Fandom(s): BBC Sherlock, Doctor Who, Sherlock Holmes (canon)
Characters: John Watson, Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock Holmes/The Thirteenth Doctor, various
Finished Word Count: 43K+
Genre: AU, gen, friendship, Rebooted ACD canon
Warnings/Spoilers: Spoilers for general Sherlock canon, Who canon (though knowledge of Who canon isn't necessary to understand the story), specific spoilers for the ACD story The Six Napoleons. Material taken or adapted from 6NAP and A Study in Pink is footnoted, and anything else you recognize from ACD or BBC canon is not mine. Liberties taken with Whoniverse fanon for the purpose of this fic, so don't shoot me if my opinion differs from the mainstream.
Disclaimer: BBC's Sherlock and Doctor Who,their characters and plot lines, belong to the BBC and the writers and producers of those amazing shows. The characters of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson are out of copyright but were originally created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Summary: John Watson, late of Her Majesty's Army and specifically a tour in Afghanistan, is drifting in London, alone and without purpose, until he meets two very remarkable people who will test his loyalty and change his life forever. Written for LiveJournal's sherlockrebang, summer 2012.
A/N: Loyal thanks to my friend, fellow fan, past collaborator, and primary beta, Protector of the Grey Fortress, who was the first person to introduce me to The Doctor (Christopher Eccleston = 3) and to later assure me that despite my initial misgivings I would love the BBC Sherlock fandom. More thanks to Pompey, for her gracious doing of my dirty work to research for possible poisons used in ASIP and ACD-verse Maiwand and Afghanistan historical accuracy. Both are two of my oldest and dearest cheerleaders in the original Holmes fandom, and I appreciate them both very much. And thirdly, a big giant bow of gratitude to the fantastic donutsweeper, who performed the arduous task of straightening my dialogue from the abysmal fandom hodgepodge it originally was, fixing my catastrophic commas, and giving valuable feedback for a fandom I've never before written.
A/N2: Special thanks to my talented artist, naripolpetta, whose lovely work inspired me to finally write that Wholock fic I've been itching to ever since I discovered the first similarity between the shows' scripts. Please visit the corresponding Master Post page at my LiveJournal (kcscribbler, and the Homepage link is in my profile) to see the artwork.
John Watson was a very ordinary man.
Like so many before him, he had been torn as a young man between loyalty to country and to morality, and had decided to satisfy both portions of those forces by becoming an Army medic - and an exceptionally good one - in the British Army years ago. He'd served several tours in Afghanistan and one in Iraq by the time Fate and just shoddy luck landed him with a wound from an exploding IED bad enough to immediately necessitate his honourable discharge. After recovering physically, he was sent back to England to recover mentally and emotionally, given a tiny bedsit and a pat on the back by the government, and basically shoved out into the great cesspool of London to otherwise fend for himself.
Four weeks back, he was running short on funds and patience, with his own inability to find purpose in life fueling a sudden desperate bid to find a niche in a world he had left behind as a civilian over a decade before. The unpredictable tremor in his dominant hand made certain he could not apply for and would not be accepted as a surgeon in medical circles, and while his qualifications were certainly above average, his physical appearance was less than intimidating at present, given that he was still fighting off the horrors of war and the handicaps from said war.
Oddly enough, it was a chance encounter with an amiable busybody that set his feet on the path to purpose. Mike Stamford was a genial, harmless, but quietly intelligent man he vaguely remembered from his medical school days, and after a coincidental meeting in St. James's Park one day he began to occasionally meet up with Mike and a few of his friends for a pub night once a week. It was barely a fortnight later that his new acquaintance dropped the bombshell, John's war-honed gallows humour mentally supplied the pun.
"Not looking for a job just yet by any chance, are you John?" Mike questioned over their latest round.
John looked up quickly, and spoke above a sudden burst of noise from a raucous table to their left. "Doing what?"
"Police coroner, actually." Mike swigged the remainder of his drink and plunked the glass back on the bar. "I've a friend at Bart's morgue who's occasionally in touch with the boys at Scotland Yard on the odd case or two. Said their primary coroner is getting ready to retire and they're looking for a replacement. Just thought of you, is all. Don't need a steady hand for a y-incision, now do you?"
Pleased that he was being treated with matter-of-factness rather than pity, John smiled, a bit ruefully. "Don't civil servant positions usually hire from the inside?" he asked.
"No idea." Mike shrugged easily. "But I can introduce you to Molly, she can probably give you more details. Can't hurt to look into it, at least; God knows your CV is certainly up to snuff for it, and even if it's a total wash the benefits have to be worth the job, eh?"
It was a thought, certainly, and John nodded before the conversation drifted into other channels. The next day, he met Miss Molly Hooper, who gave him an email address of a department head at the New Scotland Yard. On a whim, he submitted his application and qualifications, citing his referral and references, and thought no more about it until later that week, when he received a reply telling him to report to the NSY for an interview.
He was not much of a believer in Fate, because it had done a crap job on his life lately, but someone had to be smiling upon him for he landed the job with a minimal amount of fuss. The fact that his interviewer had a son in Iraq and a daughter in Afghanistan probably had something to do with it, though he would never use his service as a crutch or leverage to land himself special privileges. Either way, within the week John Watson found himself installed as a police coroner, on what looked to be a nearly full-time basis.
As a little boy he'd always been fascinated by police dramas, and so he found himself enjoying his job rather well as the first few days passed. He had little trouble with the people he encountered in his work, cloistered away as he was in a police morgue, and found himself out of sheer curiosity fine-tuning his observational skills, testing them on the people who came in and out of his domain.
There was Detective Inspector Dimmock, who appeared to be a decent sort, if a bit dim at times (John wondered how he could mistake the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning for arsenic poisoning, but he supposed every man has his own specialities). He was usually shadowed by a psychological profiler named Hopkins, an enterprising young man with an obvious aim of making Detective Inspector as fast as he could claw his way to the top. There was a Sergeant Anderson, who was an absolute genius at what he did in forensics but had all the personality of a doorknob, and a young biometrics assistant named Morse who was obviously just out of uni and still full of wide-eyed wonder at the newness of his job. John's personal favourite was a polite, genial DI named Lestrade, for the man appeared to both have a brain in his head but also be able to take John's opinions into account when the coroner's instincts differed from an established hypothesis. Lestrade was a good sort, and John wondered why he hadn't been promoted long before now, judging by his age and competence. Probably a bit of a rule-bender, he surmised with interest, and as such had to work harder despite delivering better results.
His life had narrowed a bit after three months of his new employment, to encompass little more than his work and his half-hearted attempt at blogging (there were only so many autopsies he could write about before he started losing already scant readership). Still, he persevered under his well-meaning therapist's advice, and began branching out a bit; occasionally going to a museum, attending the odd pub quiz, and even attempting to have a monthly lunch date with Harry (his sister was suspicious of his motives, but would not turn down a free luncheon as well as the chance to affectionately interrogate her baby brother). It was a less-than-spectacular existence, but it paid the bills and kept him out of the mental hospitals and off the antidepressants - which was an improvement upon many of his fellow veterans, and so he could hardly complain.
Yes, John's life, whilst uneventful, was still a sight better than it had been - but there still existed that yawing chasm of utter mundane mediocrity which threatened to swallow his adrenaline-craving nature in its maw.
Until one evening, everything changed.
He had been working with DI Lestrade on a bizarre murder case (he was leaning toward ritual execution, though Lestrade had dismissed his theory as too melodramatic when there was no real evidence other than the neatness of the killing to suggest it), and was wrapping up an unrelated post-mortem one night when he received results back from the labs on the contents of Lestrade's murder victim's digestive tract.
Somehow, he rather thought the DI would think differently about it being an execution, when he learned that a piece of microfilm was discovered in the dead man's stomach.
He was so elated at his discovery (so much more interesting than just the dead man's last meal!) that he was taken entirely by surprise when the lights to the lab were cut, plunging him into the sickly red glare of emergency lighting. However, John Watson was a soldier, and a good one; he had more than recovered by the time three men in black entered the morgue, pulling weapons as they did.
John had learnt long ago that however sacrilegious it might seem, a dead body was quite an effective shield and preferable to stopping a bullet one's self; the unfortunate drowning victim he'd just finished dissecting served to stop the projectile that sped toward him from the first man's gun. He heard a short pop, indicating either a silencer or that it was an anaesthetic dart rather than a bullet, which was just lovely as it would not bring anyone in at the sound of gunshots.
Well, then, he could always do it the hard way.
Heaving the corpse onto the first oncomer was harder than it sounded, though he managed well enough, and then he ducked behind the autopsy table and came up swinging with a drill blade, just in time to deflect the second man's aim and ram the blade into his stomach, followed by a kick to the side of the knee and a knockout punch to the jaw as the man dropped with a shout of pain. He dropped and rolled as instincts screamed a warning, hearing something ping off the drawer above him, and swept a leg under the next man's legs, following up with a wrench of the man's arm, popping it out of socket with ease. The gun skittered across the floor and he dove for it, hauling it upright and in one smooth motion flicking off the safety and firing its contents at the last gunman, who was rifling through the lab's test results. The man didn't drop, confirming John's suspicion that it was a dart gun, and he wasn't going to shoot a double dose of an unidentified drug at a man who had not tried to kill him outright.
That did not, however, stop him from chopping the back of the man's neck and watching impassively as he slid to the floor.
The doors burst open at this juncture, followed by a gleam of powerful searchlights as a squad of officers stormed the room, headed by a wild-eyed Greg Lestrade.
"I rather think I was right about it being a ritual execution," John drawled, indicating the third gunman who was moaning on the floor, clutching the bag containing the microfilm.
Lestrade's eyes (and those of his men) bulged out of his head at the state of the room and John's attackers. He gave a long, low whistle. "Are they still alive, then?" he asked, glancing at the man clutching the drill blade in his stomach. "Just got word from MI-6 that this guy's a wanted spy and he has probably a dozen people after that film."
"I would never have guessed," John replied dryly, beginning triage on his attackers and directing a white-faced morgue assistant to apologetically restore the body he'd been autopsying back onto its table.
Lestrade took him out for a drink after they finished for the day, and he felt the beginnings of a tentative friendship form, one born of mutual respect and appreciation for the work. John returned to his bedsit that night slightly low on adrenaline, but feeling better than he had in ages.
Across London, Mycroft Holmes slowly lowered a sheaf of papers to his immaculate desk, and steepled his fingers pensively in front of his lips.
Yes, John Watson, he thought. You will do very nicely indeed.