A/N: Just a strange idea I had for a oneshot a while ago... It might seem odd but, hope you all enjoy. I'm not sure my characterization is right. Please tell me what you think!


Danger Nights

It was late. London was still very much awake, but out by a lake, where one John Watson sat, other than the sounds of insects, rustling leaves, and rippling water, all was silent.

Until, that is, that silence was broken by a whooshing, grinding sort of sound.

To accompany this odd sound, a blue box began to materialize a few feet in front of John as he sat on a bench by the water. Slowly, the box solidified and, after a moment, the door opened and a tall, thin man with wild hair stepped out, head bowed. John could see, from the light of the moon and the light of the small bulb perched on top of the box that the man wore a pinstripe suit, a long tan coat, and, of all things, red trainers. "But, why bring me here?" the man muttered grumpily, seemingly to thin air. "If something else has gone wrong I want no part of it."

The box rumbled.

"I don't need someone's help," the man growled, as if in answer to the box, still not looking up.

The box thrummed again.

"I don't want to meet anyone else!" the man shouted with sudden vehemence, wheeling on the box and glaring up at it. His posture was stiff as stone for a moment, but then, he sagged, as if defeated. "It always ends the same," he said, now speaking in a near whisper. "They always leave or…or…"

The box hummed once more, very softly. If John hadn't known better he would have said sadly.

The man slumped further. "I know," he said, putting a hand on the door of the box. "I'm sorry. It's not your fault."

Silence fell then, for a few moments. So far, John's only responses to these events were that he sat up straighter, his eyes got wide, and his eyebrows climbed steadily toward his hairline. As John sat, trying to assimilate what he was seeing, the man turned and looked up at last. His eyes fell on John for the first time, eyes that shimmered suspiciously in the moonlight. He caught sight of the army doctor and his face flushed. He swiped his sleeve over his eyes.

"H-how long have you been there?" the man stammered.

"Since before you got here," John found himself answering, though he didn't know how, since be was still trying to process the fact that a police box had appeared in front of him out of thin air and a man had stepped out of the box and begun…talking to it.

The man's blush deepened and he turned on the box again, whispering accusingly, "You could have told me he was right behind me!"

The box gave a light, chirping sound. Almost like laughter, John thought.

The man turned back to John, a half-smile on his face, but the light it spread was short-lived. The man let out a breath and walked slowly to the bench on which John sat.

"Mind if I sit?" he asked.

John shook his head.

"I'm the Doctor, by the way," the man added, extending a hand.

John shook it slowly. "Just 'the Doctor?'"

"That's me," the Doctor answered, sitting.

"Hmm," was John's only reply. He wondered why he was accepting this so easily, how he was carrying on this conversation. Maybe he was hallucinating? In shock? He'd thought he was just getting past the worst of the grief and now this. Besides, if grief was making him hallucinate, why in the world would he hallucinate something like this?

They sat in silence for a few moments. Then, the Doctor said, "You must have questions."

John smiled sadly. This introduction seemed similar to another. Then, he asked, "How did you…get here?"

"The TARDIS," the Doctor answered simply, gesturing to the police box. "It's my…spaceship."

"Your…spaceship," John repeated slowly. "So, what? You're an…alien?"

"Yep."

"And you're here to…?"

"Well, I'm not here to take over the world, if that's what you think," the Doctor said, as if it were the craziest assumption ever. He paused, then added, "Sorry, I'm being rude again, aren't I?"

John shook his head. "It's fine. So, why are you here then? And why in a police box?"

The Doctor smiled fondly. "It's bigger on the inside." His smile vanished again as he added, "She seems to think you can help me. Not that I want anyone's help," he added under his breath. "I'm fine on my own, thanks."

"She?" John asked, changing the subject.

"My ship. She's sentient."

Silence, as the army doctor tried to process this new, equally insane, information. But, hallucination or not, the pain John had seen in the other man's eyes was all too real, all too familiar.

"Well," John said at last with a small smile "as long as you're not invading the Earth or anything like that I'd be happy to help if I can."

The Doctor returned his smile before looking down again. "She thinks I need someone else to talk to but…it's sort of personal."

"Oh," John answered slowly. "Well, of course, you don't have to tell me."

Silence fell once more. Then, suddenly, the Doctor began speaking hurriedly, as if he had to get the words out quickly, before he lost his resolve.

"I've just…" he began, then started over. "See, I travel all over and sometimes I would bring someone with me. But, I'm not like humans. I'm over 900 years old. Every time I travel with someone, they leave, or get taken from me, or…" He swallowed "die." The Doctor slumped once more, adding in a whisper, "It's always the same. I just don't think I can take it any more."

"So, that's what you meant," John said in a low voice. For whatever reason, he decided to accept the story of the seemingly mad man sitting next to him, at least in general. His belief of the details was a different matter.

Maybe it was because he was used to madmen. He gave another sad smile, saying, "Well, I can certainly understand what it feels like to lose someone."

The Doctor looked up, the question clear in his eyes.

"A friend of mine," John answered slowly. "He died, about six months ago."

"I'm sorry," the Doctor said, understanding in his gaze, not sympathy or pity, just the look of someone who knows the pain of such a loss.

"It's alright," John said, sniffing and swallowing hard. After a pause, he added, "I mean no offense. but...you sort of remind me of him. He was a bit mad, the biggest pain in the neck you ever saw. But, he was a good man. My best friend."

The Doctor flashed the shorter man a brief smile at this description.

There was another, longer pause before the army doctor spoke once more, more softly. "He used to have "danger nights," a bit like this. Sometimes he would get depressed for what seemed like no reason, curl in on himself and start to just shut down. Maybe...your ship is just making sure you don't do that. Don't give up."

So it was that the two doctors ended up sitting and talking, hour after hour, as the breeze grew cold, the moon rose and fell, and a fog rolled in. They shared stories of their insane adventures and their quirky companions until the sun started to rise. It didn't matter if half of the stories that were exchanged were hardly believable. The benefit to the two men was the same.

"Oh," John said at last, stretching frozen muscles and yawning widely, "I have to be at work in a few hours. I'd better go."

"Of course," the Doctor answered, getting to his feet. "Sorry to keep you up all night."

John dismissed the apology with the wave of a hand "It's fine," he said, yawning again. And hey," he added, standing as well, "if you ever need someone to talk to, I come here often."

"Thank you," the Doctor said, shaking John's hand again. A smile had returned to his face, one that reached his eyes. "Maybe I could show you the TARDIS sometime."

John smiled in return. "Maybe."

Then, one Doctor turned to his "spaceship" while the other began walking toward his apartment. However, a moment later, the Doctor turned back and cried, "Oi! I never caught your name."

"John Watson," John answered.

The Doctor turned to the TARDIS again, opening the door slowly. "John…Watson?" he said to himself. Then, he shouted to the army doctor, "Could I ask your friend's name?"

"Sherlock Holmes!" was the reply.

The Doctor paused in the door of the TARDIS. He had read all of the "Sherlock Holmes" books. There was one… Could it be? A slow, wide smile crept over the Doctor's face as he entered the TARDIS. Maybe he would come back here later. About two and a half years from now…

XxX

Meanwhile, not far away, a man in a dark coat and blue scarf turned to leave the park, looking perplexed, but with a small smile on his lips. A short distance away from him, a blonde girl had watched the night's events as well. Now, she faded away, like a hologram.


A/N: So, the way I see it, obviously this takes place before Sherlock's and Rose's respective returns. I'd probably put it right after "Voyage of the Damned," since that wasn't such a good day for the Doctor.