"Sir, we’ve been expecting you." The young corporal saluted John and Sherlock as they walked through the restricted area. "Mister Holmes is rather unhappy… you were due an hour ago."
Sherlock didn’t even spare a glance to the soldier, “Then he shouldn’t send a car at half five in the morning.” He groaned childishly.
"Yes, Sherlock requires at least an hour of primping time before he goes out. Picking an outfit, styling his hair, the whole lot of it…” John listed casually.
Sherlock frowned and looked to his companion, “I don’t primp. It comes naturally.”
"Uh huh…" John’s eyes were taking in the government base as he ignored Sherlock. "What’s this all about, anyway?" He turned back to the young corporal.
"Mister Holmes will be along to brief you shortly, Captain Watson. He insisted on explaining the details to you himself." Stopping outside a set of heavy, white doors, the soldier swiped his pass card; the doors hissed smoothly as they slid open. "Mister Holmes will arrive in the conference room shortly. Please." He gestured them inside.
Sherlock strode past them both without missing a beat, leaving John to follow as the doors slid shut again behind them.
The ‘conference room’ was sleek in design; flawlessly white and crisp, like it had never been touched before. All sorts of equipment and computers lined the walls… many of which John had never seen before. Then again, they were in a restricted government area - wouldn’t be garnished with things available to the everyday public, he reckoned. In the center, there was a long, glass table with multiple chairs situated around it.
Hearing Sherlock’s voice, John turned away from his admiration of the room to realize there was someone else in there. A young man, who appeared to be around Sherlock’s age; sitting lazily in a chair with his feet up on the pristine glass table.
"Unfortunately." The other sighed.
John looked back and forth between his friend, and the stranger. “Sorry, who are you?”
"…A doctor. A time traveller. Alien." He answered.
John scoffed, “Alright mate, no need to be sarcastic… just making conversation.”
"My brother’s ominous summon wouldn’t have anything to do with you, would it?” Sherlock enquired, observing the room at his own pace; hands behind his back, gliding around like some kind of black swan (John smirked at the comparison).
The Doctor huffed and shifted in his seat, “You wish.” He lulled his head against the back of his chair. “You’re late. We’re just overlapping now.” Pausing, he looked toward John. “You’re his companion, then?”
"More like his sitter." John replied dryly.
The Doctor giggled, “Yes, he’s a handful, our Sherlock, isn’t he?”
"No point in speaking to him John, he’s irrelevant. Off the map. Not our problem.” Sherlock interrupted.
"Oooh, alright then, calm yourself or you”ll spurt." The Doctor held his hands up in the air. "Blimey, you’ve gotten chilly, haven’t you?" He looked back to John, "I knew ‘im when he was little. Before the big coat and adventures. Still got the same pout on, though…"
John furrowed his brow, and looked back and forth between the two, “Hang on… you… knew him when he was little? Did you go to school together?”
"Oh no. No, no, no. I taught Sherlock everything he knows, didn’t I? Gave you that ‘hunger’ for solving mysteries. Never could figure ME out, could you? You and your git of a brother…" The Doctor smiled cheekily.
The ex-army doctor looked between Sherlock and The Doctor. “You… that doesn’t make sense.” He frowned, “Sherlock?”
Before another word could be spoken, the secure doors opened once more, and Mycroft stepped through.
"Ah… so glad you could finally make it, Sherlock. Doctor Watson.” He greeted, making a show of looking at his pocket watch. “Late. As always.” Mycroft’s eyes flickered over toward the Doctor. He raised a brow, and made a point of staring at his feet, which were still propped up on the table.
The Doctor quickly sat upright and set his feet back onto the ground.
"I’ll deal with you in a moment. Come along, you two. The faster I brief you, the faster I can move on to more… important matters." He eyed the Doctor again. "Stay put. Won’t be long."
As Mycroft began to lead Sherlock and John out another set of doors, John couldn’t help but glance back toward the mysterious stranger… who, when making eye contact again, gave John a friendly (albeit somewhat cocky) grin and a wave.
The doors slid shut behind them.