gracie_musica: Detective Conan/Magic Kaitou (pull any prank)
[personal profile] gracie_musica
Title: Second Fiddle (2/10)
Date Written: 4/21/11
Rating: PG-13/T for later chapters
Word Count: 2,229
Fandom: BBC's Sherlock/Doctor Who
Disclaimer: Not mine, property of their respective owners
Characters/Pairings: John Watson/Donna Noble (yes. you read that right), Sherlock
Spoilers: None, really
Warnings: None
Author's Notes: I blame [profile] midassa_in_gold for this, completely, utterly, and entirely. All of this. Thanks, as always, to my betas: [personal profile] totally4ryo, [profile] k8stamps, and [personal profile] gingerlr. And thank you, dear readers, for your kind comments! Next chapter will be out Monday, since I'm going to New Orleans this weekend.

Donna closes the door to the TARDIS behind her, then leans against it, physically and emotionally drained. She takes a deep breath, then another, before gathering up the strength to push herself away and walk across the control room.

The Doctor is sitting on the jumpseat, trainer-covered feet propped up on the console, reading a
leather-bound book. Donna peels her jacket off and slings it over a rail before collapsing next to him.
"Waiting up for me?"

"I was not," the Time Lord protests, looking at her over the black plastic rims of his specs. "I was
getting caught up on my reading."

"Is that so?"

"Yes it is."

"You read upside down, then?"

The Doctor snaps the book shut and looks at her. "I'm allowed to worry about you."

"That's adorable, Dad, it really is." Donna smiles to show that she isn't really mad at him.

The Time Lord scowls at her anyway. "So. How did things go with our dear Doctor Watson?"

"It was... nice."

John opened the door for Donna at 221b Baker. His smile was wide and slightly nervous on the edges. Donna smiled back. She could see Sherlock at the desk over his shoulder, absorbed in his latest case. "Ready?"

"I need to grab my mobile and my coat. Two ticks."

The doctor disappeared into the flat, heading to his room. Sherlock shuffled some of the papers on his desk, long violinists fingers picking up a crime scene photo. Just when Donna has decided he's not going to acknowledge her, he spokes. "Curry."

Donna blinked at him. "Beg pardon?"

"John's taking you out for curry."

"And drinks after," she confirmed. No use hiding it; he'd suss it all out anyway.

"Well, it's better than the cinema, but still so..." He looked over at her, blue eyes intense. "Boring. Predictable."

"Well, yeah," Donna agreed. "Which is why that's more of a third, fourth date type thing." At Sherlock's raised eyebrows, she continued. "By then, we've at least kissed good night, so it's okay to ignore the boring, predictable movie and make out like teenagers in the back row."

The consulting detective sighed heavily and turned back to his work. As if summoned by the exhalation, John reappeared, pulling on his jacket. "Ready to go?"

"Of course." She gave Sherlock a little wave. "Don't wait up!"

Sherlock's shout of "Predictable!" was heard through the flat's door.

"Just nice?" The Doctor asks.

"Of course. Nice and quiet. Dinner. Drinks."

"No entertainment."

"Nah. Well, not much."

They were just about finished with dinner -- a fantastic little curry shop about a block away from Baker Street -- and discussing where they'd like to go for drinks after when they were interrupted.

"John! I've cracked it. Come on."

The ex-soldier smiled apologetically at Donna, not taking his eyes off her. Donna winked in response and reached for her water glass. "Sherlock. I'm a little busy. It can wait."

"No it can't!"

"Not everything has to be right this bloody minute, Sherlock!"

"This does! Don't you see, John?" The medic looked at him blankly, and the consulting detective sighed heavily. "And you're the one who says I miss the primary school stuff. Red!"

The look John shot him spoke quiet volumes concerning Sherlock and the doctor's opinion on his sanity. "Yes," he repeated slowly. "Red. Primary color. What of it?"

"All of the victims had been wearing something red when they were last seen, but they were all missing a piece of clothing when the body was found.”

"So what, do you think it's some sort of gang thing?"

"Nothing so obvious. Think, John. Trainers off one victim, trousers off another..."

"… An outfit. Someone's killing people over their clothes?"

"I've known the urge," Donna interjected.

John looked over at her, and Donna caught the flash of guilt that crossed his face. He was getting distracted. "So call Lestrade. That's what he hired you to do."

"I have," Sherlock sighed. "But there's apparently some fashion show or whatnot going on – " He cut himself off mid-sentence. "OH!"

"Would you keep your voice down?" John hissed, acutely aware of the stares they were attracting. Across the table, Donna was grinning up at Sherlock, watching the detective tug at his dark curls.

"The fashion show, John!"

"It's a benefit for a heart disease charity," Donna explained to the ex-soldier. "All red clothing."

"And you know the murderer will be there?"

"It's a diplomat's teenaged daughter, and it's a fashion show," Sherlock said slowly. "Yes. She'll be there. Come on."

"Still busy, Sherlock. You never really need me anyway."

The younger man paused, considering something. Finally, he sighed heavily. "All right, fine. Bring her along, then."

Both John and Donna looked up at the curly haired man. "What?"

"You obviously can't bear to leave her behind. And anyway, she's working for us. Sort of. So come along."

And then he'd gone, coat sweeping dramatically behind him. John opened and closed his mouth a few times before managing to say, "I'm out with an employee?"

"I've dated bosses before," Donna reassures him, swiping her finger through the remaining sauce on her plate before licking it clean. "You're doing better than quite a few of them."

"Is that supposed to be reassuring?"

"Not really."

Sherlock was making a scene at the door, shouting for both of them. Patrons were staring, and the wait staff was starting to look annoyed. Obediently, the two of them rose to their feet.

"I don't have any cash for the tab," John muttered, looking into his wallet as if money will magically appear in it.

"I'll get dinner then." The ginger-haired woman tucked enough money under her plate to not only cover the tab but placate the workers. "You get the drinks we'll definitely need later."

John grinned and gestured toward the door. "Ladies first."

"Nice, quiet dinner, drinks afterward. Nothing of note. Sounds like a great night. Great night indeed."

Donna nods, kicking her feet up as well. "You were watching CCTV feeds, weren't you?"

"What?" The Doctor actually looks offended at the suggestion. "No! I would -- would never... Totally. Totally did."

"That. Is. Disgusting. Perverted. Sorta stalker-y. I think I need an adult. Should I get a restraining order?"

"Like I said, I am allowed to worry about you. You're my Companion, my responsibility. I wanted to make sure you'd be okay."

"Doctor, I was as safe with John Watson as I am with you. Safer, even, because I'm only worrying about what humans will do to me."

"Oh, and that makes me feel so much better," the Doctor mutters darkly. He reaches over and takes her left hand, looking down at the large bandage covering the heel of her hand. "So, so much better."

"This always happens. Always, always happens."

"Well, I'll admit that you know how to show a girl a hell of a time," Donna joked, then hissed. John had poured a capful of peroxide over her scraped hand to clean it. He holds it steady in both of his larger ones as the disinfectant bubbles.

He had slight calluses on his fingertips. Donna wondered which life they'd developed in; the doctor's life, the soldier's life, or the blogger's life.

"Sorry, should have warned you." He leaned down and blew softly over her palm. The pain lessened, and he dabbed carefully at the excess liquid with a piece of gauze.

"It's fine. Just stung for a moment."

John shakes his head. "That's not what I meant." He pressed the gauze down over the scrape, his movements gentle and precise. "It's like -- any time I try to do something normal, he turns up and I just can't."

Donna looked over her shoulder at Sherlock, busy in the living room, typing at his laptop. They were back in the kitchen of 221b Baker Street, feet sore from the running, adrenaline starting to leave their bloodstream. Sherlock had a plaster over his right cheek and a spot of dried blood on his chin.

Donna had insisted that John take care of his flatmate first, her way of saying thanks. Sherlock had been the one to push her down when the bullets had started flying. All they'd ended up suffering were minor sidewalk scrapes because of him. "It's like you're a pair of magnets," she agreed before looking back at John. "You're just drawn to each other. Sometimes you repel away, but then one of you slides over just a fraction and you're stuck together again. Trouble's just the iron filings, attracted to you both." She grins at the stunned look on the doctor's face. "There's no use fighting it, John. You're... I don't know, two halves of the same coin, that sort of thing." She waggled the fingers of her free hand. "Fated."

He looked startled, glanced over her shoulder at Sherlock, then back to her. "I don't -- God, why does everyone think we're a couple?"

"If I'd thought you were on the other bus, I would have left well enough alone." She shrugged. "It's the same way with me and the Doctor, sometimes. We just fit. It's fun; the intrigue, the running -- "

"The getting shot at. Donna, that girl’s accomplice had a gun."

"So did you." She reached over and patted the bulge in his coat pocket.

"That's different."

He turned to dig through the first aid kit, dismissing her argument. She wanted to continue, though, argue that no, it's really not all that different, but decided on another tract. The Doctor's been good for her. He makes her think outside the little blue box. "This has happened before."

John huffed in amusement. "Are you a detective now too?"

"You said 'always happens'."

"The first time I went out on a date after I started living with him," he paused to nod at Sherlock, who still hasn't moved past typing, "my date and I ended up kidnapped and then almost killed with a crossbow by Chinese smugglers. We tried for a redo, but she was so busy looking over her shoulder, I didn't have the heart to ask for a third date. Couldn't put her through that again. She's still a good friend, though."

"So what, you just gave up the idea of a relationship with her? Made the decision and expected her to toe the line?" John blinked at her questions. "How is that any better than what Sherlock did tonight when he interrupted our date?"

"This life is dangerous, Donna."

"John Watson. I have been shot at, almost blown up, been to a Clue-style murder mystery dinner where actual murders took place, and been offered up as a human sacrifice to ancient pagan gods. All before I met you." She tugged on his hand, pulling him closer. "And I'm not scared."

His eyes searched her face, not as intensely as Sherlock would have, but close. For a moment, Donna thought that he would kiss her. Then he broke off and bent to finish tending to her hand.

"Besides," she said softly. "If I do get into trouble, I'll have at least one dashing man sweeping in to save me."

The comment made John laugh. "Two for the price of one, eh?"

"Never one to skip a bargain, me."

John chuckled, smoothing the big square bandage over her palm. They fell silent, the quiet a little awkward. It was like the doorway farewell at the end of the night. Do you kiss? Hug? Shake hands?

He was still holding her hand. His thumb stroked over her palm.

"She is only looking at you, John," Sherlock oh-so-helpfully called out from the other room. The typing didn't even slow down.

"Yeah, thanks, Sherlock," the other man called back.

"And you owe me drinks, Doctor Watson," Donna agreed. "We were at Scotland Yard so late, last call came before we realized."

"Good point, Miss Noble." She beamed and he helped her off the chair, walked her to the door. "Any chance of meeting up after work tomorrow?" His tone was light and teasing.

"Well, I have these horrible slave drivers for bosses," she teased back. "But I'll see what I can do."

"Tomorrow, then."

There was another moment's hesitation after John helped her into her jacket. Sherlock rolled his eyes loud enough to be heard across the room. "Either kiss or close the door."

Donna laughed and leaned up, pressing her lips against his cheek and leaving a trace of lipstick on his skin. "Good night, John. 'Night, Sherlock!"

"Boring!" the consulting detective called out in response as the door shut behind her.

It's sweet, really. He liked her.

And Sherlock was coming around too.

"I'm going to bed," Donna announces, standing. "I'm taking a long, hot bath, and then I'm going to bed." She points a finger at the Doctor. "And I'm going out with John Watson again tomorrow, and all the grounding in the world won't stop me from sneaking out to see him."

"I bet you were an infuriating teenager," the Doctor accuses as Donna heads deeper into the TARDIS.

"Who says I stopped being infuriating in my teen years?" she hollers back.

The Doctor grins at the TARDIS console. "Humans! Love 'em," he announces to the empty room. The tingle in the back of his mind tells him that the TARDIS wholeheartedly agrees. "Can't wait to see tomorrow's date."
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