Parallel Worlds and Clones
John was sitting in his chair staring at the door more furious than he'd been in a long time. It'd been over two hours since Sherlock dropped him at 221B, but there was no sign of his friend, which meant he'd gone after Rose on his own.
John had sent Sherlock at least twenty texts, tried to call him five times, and not one call was picked up nor text returned. For all he knew they were both lying dead somewhere. He phoned Lestrade, but without a location there was little the police could do.
"Tea?" Mrs. Hudson asked, handing him a cup.
"Damn the tea!" John shouted and then regretted it a moment later when his landlady nearly dropped the cup. "Sorry. Sorry, Mrs. Hudson. It's just…he's an idiot. Sherlock that is."
"I understand, dear. He gets that way. I know."
The door opened and Sherlock stepped inside followed by Rose. John shot up from his chair, eyeing the detective.
"Where the hell have you been?"
"Out," Sherlock replied, untying his scarf and then slipping out of his coat.
"You know where I was, John."
Sherlock tossed his coat and scarf on the sofa and then flopped down in his chair. He was in a mood, but, at that moment, John didn't care.
"And you couldn't have answered one of my texts or calls?"
"I was busy."
Busy? Was he serious?
"While you were busy I was left sitting here thinking you were lying dead in some building somewhere. Lestrade's got half of the police force out looking for you."
"Okay, one or two, but that's not the point! You left me here to go confront Moriarty on your own…AGAIN!"
"And I succeeded," Sherlock said, gesturing at Rose as she sat down on the sofa, but without looking at her.
"You're an arse!" John fumed, returning to his seat.
"I'm just going to go now," Mrs. Hudson said, slipping out the door.
"Are you finished?" Sherlock asked.
John wanted to punch him. He really did, but he'd run out of steam and a glance at Rose told him something was going on.
"Good," Sherlock said and then glanced at Rose for the first time since they walked in. "Well?"
"Hang on," John said. "Is someone going to tell me what happened?"
Sherlock rolled his eyes.
"I worked out where she was being held. A warehouse in the low rent district. I met with Moriarty to make the exchange. He was shot. There were two explosions. We escaped. There. Happy?"
He was definitely in a mood.
"He was shot? By who?"
"Some friend of his. Never caught the name, but he appeared to know her quite well," Sherlock gestured at Rose.
Her? Something must have happened between them. That would account for his mood, depending on what happened.
"Who was it?" John asked.
She fidgeted. There was something different about her. Something in her eyes. Fear. Was it from their escape? Or this other person?
"James," she revealed.
Sherlock bolted to a sitting position. He focused his calculation gaze on her.
"You said he died," the detective accused.
"He did…at least, I thought he did." She sighed and John could tell she really didn't want to talk about it, but she plunged ahead anyway, focusing her attention on anything other than the two men in the room. "There was an accident in one of the outside buildings. Torchwood has these side buildings that they use for putting together machines that are too big to work on in the labs or for experiments that might have a tendency to become unstable."
"What sort of experiments?" Sherlock asked.
"One of the ones I worked on was a Dimension Cannon."
"Dimension cannon?" John asked wondering what the hell that was. It sounded very…science fiction.
"It's basically this device that can allow someone to travel between dimension."
VERY science fiction.
"Between parallel worlds," Sherlock deduced.
"Exactly," she said.
John eyed Sherlock. He didn't believe her…did he? No, he couldn't.
"Anyway, James was working on one of his experiments and something happened. I'm not sure if it became unstable or if he wired something wrong, but there was an explosion. The entire building was destroyed."
Her voice was steady, but her eyes betrayed her.
"Was his body recovered?" Sherlock asked.
John shot him a glare, but the detective ignored him.
"There wasn't even enough left for identification. Later we discovered that there were three techs missing too, but there was no way to tell who was who."
John moved to the sofa and took her hand. She kept her eyes averted, but she didn't resist his attempt to comfort her. He looked at Sherlock who glanced at their hands and then back to her without betraying any hint of emotion. What the hell happened between them?
"I thought he was dead. We all did. Otherwise…"
"You would've looked for him," Sherlock said.
"And this is the man the Doctor left you with?"
She caught his eye and from John's vantage point he could see the pain and loss in her eyes…and something else…guilt?
"No?" Sherlock asked, confused.
"That man…the one in the warehouse…the one who killed Moriarty…that wasn't James. At least, not the one I knew. He would never do that. Kill someone like that."
"Moriarty was holding you hostage."
"I know, but-"
"And pointing a gun at me."
"And he had someone else training a gun on you. He wasn't an innocent victim."
"You don't understand!" she yelled, obviously frustrated by his interruptions, which, John knew, was Sherlock's way of getting to the truth. "He would've given him a chance. One chance. That's what the Doctor did. One chance to change their mind. To do the right thing."
"The Doctor? I thought we were talking about James?" Sherlock asked.
"Yes…no…we are, but they're the same."
"The same person?"
"Yes, but not like you think."
"You said James was his twin."
"Because I didn't think you would believe the truth."
"And what's the truth?"
She averted her gaze.
"James is…a clone. I guess. In a way."
"A clone?" John asked. Other dimensions and now human clones? Part of him thought she was mad, but another part believed her or maybe wanted to believe her.
"A clone of this doctor?" Sherlock asked.
"The Doctor and Donna."
"Donna? Who's that?"
"She traveled with him."
"I thought you traveled with him."
"I did, but after we were separated he traveled with her."
"Hang on," John interrupted. "While you were trapped he found someone else to travel with him?"
"Yes, but its fine. I didn't want him to be alone."
No, that wasn't fine. That was anything, but fine. She had been trapped and instead of finding a way to rescue her this bloody doctor went off and found someone else. John's free hand clenched into a fist and he would've liked nothing better than to punch the Doctor in the face.
"Is that why he left you with James? Because he found someone else?" Sherlock asked.
"Sherlock!" John snapped.
What the hell was he thinking?
Rose glared at the detective.
"No, it wasn't like that. He couldn't take James with him."
"Because he didn't trust him," Sherlock replied.
"Because he did something that went against everything The Doctor stood for."
"What exactly did he do?"
Rose sighed, as if resigned. John thought about ending the discussion there, but one glance at Sherlock told him the detective wouldn't let this go.
"I'll tell you, but there are some things I need to clear up first. Things you need to know to understand. If you understand. You're probably going to think I'm completely mental. I would if I hadn't lived through it."
John was beginning to worry about her. She'd already been through a lot and now Sherlock was pushing her for answers. Answers that were obviously hard for her to give.
"Why don't you take a minute while I get you a cuppa?"
She nodded, but didn't reply. He stood up and headed into the kitchen, shooting his flatmate a warning glare before leaving the room. He wasn't sure what went on between them, but Sherlock had his defenses up, which could turn him into a real prick.
Thank you to all my brilliant readers!
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