The first time was forgettable.
The autumn day was warm, John was walking past St. Paul's, and there was Mike, waving from an outdoor cafe table.
John came over just as Mike's dark-haired companion walked off, mobile to his ear, calling back, "Won't be a moment Mike, must berate my brother more directly this time."
The two doctors caught up briefly, made plans for dinner. By the time Sherlock's 'moment' was over, John was long gone.
The second time was forgettable.
"I think it was your recommendation that clinched it, Mike."
Standing in St. Bart's courtyard, Stamford chaffed his hands warm. "Well this old pile is lucky to have you, John. I'm glad you're here."
A trio of pathologists walked past, trailed by a dark-haired man in a long coat. "I didn't know, Molly, I noticed—" Sherlock nodded at Mike without breaking stride in his stride or harangue. "—and if you'd take my word as gospel you'll find post mortems will move along more quickly."
As the group clattered off John checked his watch. "Damn, I'm due in outpatients." Stamford nodded. "And I'm late for a lecture. We'll get a pint soon."
The third time, in Bart's cafeteria, was mostly forgettable.
"I wouldn't even know what to do at this point."
"I've never heard John Watson decline a date with a beautiful woman."
"You've never talked to a John Watson who's had a string of six truly awful first dates. I'm sure your cousin's lovely Mike, but I couldn't pull right now if you gave me a rope and a winch. Coffee?"
"Things'll change soon, just you wait. Uh, an Americano please, I've got to mark papers tonight."
John went to fetch coffees and dither over cakes. In the end he returned with a slice to share and in time to see a vaguely familiar dark-haired bloke drop a twenty pound note in front of Mike and, without breaking stride call back, "And yes that one's clean of pus and fecal matter."
John shrugged at Stamford, who shrugged back and pocketed the note. "He's always like that."
The fourth time, nearly twelve months after the first, was unforgettable.
John could do with more of these sorts of jobs. Just as with the locum work, the good doctor had Mike to thank for this, and this was a damn sight easier than giving two dozen kids their booster jabs, being puked on by two of them, and berated by the parents of three.
Yes, for this little moonlighting gig all John had to do was wear a tux and tie, hold a flute of something fizzy and non-alcoholic, and keep a doctorly eye on the famous pretty people as they got rat arsed and gave one another some sort of TV award.
It wasn't until a dreadfully dull two hours in—and they'd only just got to best supporting production assistant to the executive editing producer or something similar—that John noticed the dark-haired man circling the edges of the gathering.
John knew that face, he knew that face, he knew—ah! Mike's friend.
As they got to the award for best theme music in an advert of over fifteen seconds but less than thirty, a bored silly John wandered toward the dark-haired man, ready to strike up a conversation.
He never got the chance. Instead of introducing himself, John took hold of the big man's arm and said, "Mate, you look terrible."
Sherlock Holmes turned, he frowned at John. He knew that face, knew that face, he knew—gaaaaaaaah!
Sherlock vomited all over John's shoes.
In the end, the good detective survived his poisoning, courtesy of Dr. Watson.
In the end the poisoner was caught, courtesy of Mr. Holmes.
And in the end the TV producer who had been the real target of the dastardly deed was unharmed. She would go on to have an extensive and busy career producing a great many sitcoms, too much reality TV, and a long-running night-time soap.
However, the thing for which she'd be most proud, a dozen years hence, would be an award-winning, two-part documentary about a detecting duo she met at a little awards ceremony one long ago night in east London.
They had been, even then, unforgettable.
I was offered a wonderful prompt that was something like: "What if John and Sherlock met…and at first it wasn't anything special?" If you were the one who gave that prompt please do tell! Also, thank you Artemis Fortune for your favourite episode quote (take my word as gospel).