The deep silence of the Tardis library, mixing up with the odour of all the old, probably ancient books it held, plus the distant humming of the Tardis itself never failed to make Lucie Miller feel safe and sound. She loved to run with the Doctor and the buzzing around throughout time and space. But, in the end, she was only human and needed a bit of sleep here and there.
She felt so safe that she used to doze off while relaxing and resting quietly in one particulate wide and comfortable armchair that stood close to one of the many shelves in the library.
The light dimmed, Lucie’s head rested against a pillow that came with the armchair. Her body slightly too small for the gracious armchair, her feet rested on the matching pouffe while she was once more about to fall into a peaceful slumber. The library had become her little hideout.
Then, suddenly a thud. And another. First in the distance, then coming closer. A dull sound mixing up with mumbling, groaning and a familiar voice that was complaining compassionately about something Lucie couldn’t grasp at that moment, making her pop up one eye unsure what to expect.
Making out the Doctor, who was pacing up and down one of the long corridors between the old brown shelves. He was groaning and pointing with both hands toward a particular shelf, “I am very sure I put it back there!"
Opening both eyes now, Lucie gave the situation a soft sight. There is no rest for adventurers — only sometimes. Watching him ruffle his outgrown curly hair while pressing his eyes shut, she began to wonder what it was about this time.
The man never not amazed her, she thought and stood up to wait by the chair for him to recognise her.
"Also, the chance is given he sorted it to a whole different section!" there was a short moment of panic in the eyes of the Doctor before he grabbed another book, reading the title with a furrowed brow, only to throw it angrily behind him.
It landed with the known thud on the floor and only then Lucie saw the trail of books the Doctor had left while searching.
“Who?” she asked a bit drowsy and also annoyed, walking up to him, as he still hadn’t taken any notice of his companion.
The Doctor paused in his ruffling and throwing, thinking something through, but not looking at her, "Me! Three regeneration ago!” a realisation hit him that made his eyes go wide, “That's probably 300 to 600 years ago,” he groaned again, stomping on the spot as if it would help to put the thoughts in his brain into the right place, “Oh, I wish I could remember!"
Then he turned to his companion with an ecstatic movement, "Lucie!"
“What is happening?”
Not in the mood to answer or just believing once again she was psychic as he was, he turned away again and with his turn, three other books got thrown over his shoulder down to the floor. Thud. Thud. Thud.
It was either too early or too late, Lucie decided while trying not to get hit by the flying paper and followed down the path the Doctor had laid out.
Reaching for one book, Lucie shook her head over the Doctors behaviour. It had happened before, it would happen in the future — she knew him well enough by now. Here and there he did have his loony five minutes.
Reading over the title, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows? Can you recommend it?”
The Doctor stopped, turning around and leaned slightly forward so he was able to read the cover himself.
"See!” he took the book from her with a swift motion. “They are all missorted! I mean why would you-” he abruptly stopped in his words and behaviour, his eyes suddenly wide awake. The train of thoughts now interrupted, he shoved the book away into a free spot in the shelf, with the letter W, without looking, ”Oh!”
Lucie noticed that the Doctor had fixed a point right behind her. Visibly confused she turned to it but was unable to locate the point of interest. Before she could turn back, the Doctor grabbed her by the shoulders to make her perch down with him. By now she knew that those loony five minutes were something special.
"Doctor?” she noticed the down shelves were gathering dust. “Why are we almost sitting on the library floor?"
The Doctor placed a finger on her lips, shushing her and a slight panic arose in Lucie, unsure what was going on. A danger? And if so, how dangerous? Or was the Doctor still just being a bit strange? She followed his frowning look once more.
It was one of the books that laid on the ground, it must be because there was nothing else. As there were so many she didn’t know which one it was about.
"What? What is it? Is it the book you were looking for?" for an unknown reason she was now whispering.
Then, out of the blue, the Doctor lunged forward snatching a book from the floor and with it making Lucie almost fall backwards. She tried to prevent it by whirling her arms like a windmill, only to be failed by her balance.
The Doctor sat on the ground flicking harshly through the pages. First slow, then with every page more hectically, "This can't be good. Look!"
It was a green covered book he held out to her. Old edition by the status of the spine. The title was pressed into the thick cover and Lucie felt it out with her fingers, "Sherlock Holmes."
Of course, Lucie knew Sherlock Holmes, she hadn't read all the stories but as the famous sleuth was sort of pop culture, she knew a lot about him and the stories. This particular book was a copy of “A Study in Scarlet” she did hear of, nevertheless, she gave the Doctor a quizzical glance.
"Look at the first page."
Slightly unnerved Lucie opened it, giving the first page a glance, then the Doctor who awaited her reaction with his usual excitement.
"Property of Old Swansea Central Library, 1897."
Robbing over to her side he peered down at the page, "What? Just-"
"-Oh, Doctor! What is it?"
"Look, Lucie!" he took the book from her and flicked through the pages in front of her, "Look!" The word stretched. The pages were empty. Creme white paper but not a single word.
"You stole a faulty book from a library in 1897, is this all about?"
The Doctor made a grimace at his companion and then jumped up. Pacing down the floor he rummaged around in a few different shelves, only to return a few seconds later, a couple of other books in his arms, "Exactly as I thought! Look! Look, look, look!" he threw them into her lap and Lucie wasn’t particularly pleased with it. Nevertheless, she flipped through the pages. All were Sherlock Holmes books and they were all empty. Just the last one was still having some words in it.
The Doctor sat aside Lucie again, showing her a page where the text was about to vanish and now she understood. The words were fading. Letter by letter. "The story disappears. How?"
Finally an appreciating smile, "What do you think? How can all those stories just disappear?"
Lucie's eyes went huge and the ideas went wild in her head, "Oh my god, someone has travelled back in time to kill off Arthur Conan Doyle, so he won't write his Sherlock Holmes novels?"
For a second the Doctor looked at Lucie as she usually looked at him, "don't be ridiculous. No one is killing Doyle. It's way worse!”
“What can actually be worse, as to be killed off from history?”
The Doctor made an apologetic expression, realising once more his companion wasn’t as wise as he was.
“Someone is making him forget,” he then began to explain. “Those stories are written, and now they vanish. Letter by letter. Those once, were - are - all stories in Conan Doyle’s head. He is forgetting. Unable to write them, the most important sleuth of literature history ceases to exist."
"This is bad!" Lucie shuffled the books aside. “So, what are we going to do about it?”
That’s what he liked about Lucie, he thought while holding out his hand to her, always ready to save the world once more.
“Come on, Lucie Miller!" he tucked her with him to the control room. "The game is afoot!"
Quickly the Doctor began his usual routine in the console room. Pressing a button here, pressing a button there. Ordering the Tardis into motion through time and space. It didn’t take long, and she announced the landing with a hollow sound.
Akin to find out where they had landed, the Doctor and Lucie went to the door, pushing their heads to the outside. They stared in wonder at the circumstances that surrounded them.
In the middle of a cobblestone street that was busy with people and horse carriages, the Tardis had chosen to stand slap happy right on the paved way that was next to a shop that sold hats. People passing by the police box, men in frock coats, women, being ladies, wearing out their best garment — all unphased by the blue box. The streets were buzzing with life.
“Gee, must be a Saturday or something,” the Doctor stepped out to take in the environment, rubbing his hands in anticipation.
Lucie followed and watched a carriage drive by, “This is London, isn’t it? What year?”
“It should be 1886,” he locked the door, shoving the key into the side pocket of his coat.
Walking over to the store to watch first the hats in the window, and then herself in the reflection she turned at his words, “It should be?” The Doctor only shared a meaningful smile with her, waving Lucie with him down the street. “So you know where we do find Conan Doyle?”
For a second he stopped, looking around, across the busy street, wishing briefly for a zebra crossing, “I have absolutely no idea,” he grabbed for Lucie’s hand, dragging her with him right across the street through the dirt made out of the water, horse droppings and old newspapers. By the three carriages that almost dared to overrun them, “Also, when I am not mistaken,” he stopped them in front of a black door, an entrance to one of the many gentleman’s clubs that London once had, “this is the place to be!”
Lucie couldn’t help but eye the door, seeing nothing special in it, “It’s just a door?” it’s not like she was very familiar with the London of the 19th century — she wasn’t even familiar with the London of her time.
The Doctor took out a fob watch, “wait for it,” and within the second the door opened and a young man with a familiar moustache stepped out, putting on a bowler hat, not paying any attention to them.
The sight made Lucie grab the Doctor’s arm, tugging at it in excitement, “It’s him, isn't it?” she remembered a portrait in one of the books they had looked at earlier. The Doctor confirmed with a hum. “He looks so young.”
“Well,” they started to follow the man down the street, “he was 27 when he wrote A Study in Scarlet.”
“How did you know he would come out that door?” Lucie halted in a sudden movement. “Luck,” was the answer but Lucie didn’t let it count. “Oh, come on!”
“Listen, Lucie, let me tell you about Arthur Conan Doyle a bit,” he started moving again, afraid to lose the writer in front of them, taking in a deep breath of air, “Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle, born May 22nd 1859, died July 7th 1930, was a British writer best known for his detective fiction featuring the character Sherlock Holmes . Originally a physician, in 1887 he will publish A Study in Scarlet , the first of four novels about Holmes and Doctor Watson . In addition, Doyle wrote over fifty short stories featuring the famous detective. The Sherlock Holmes stories are generally considered milestones in the field of crime fiction .”
Instead of marvelling about all the knowledge, because he probably had committed it to memory from somewhere, she stopped him once again, “What has this to do with the door? Doctor!”
With an annoyed expression, he relented to her tugging, “Nothing! I was hoping you simply forget about it, over it.”
“I never guess!” he protested.
Over their quarrel, neither Lucie nor the Doctor had given any attention to Arthur Conan Doyle who now was out of sight. The Doctor paced around a near corner, "Where did he go? No!"
"I beg your pardon!" a harsh voice made them both turn around startled, facing the young writer they just had lost a second ago. The expression of his wasn't friendly, "May I inquire why you two are following me?"
"We are not!" Lucie answered quickly and the Doctor shook his head in agreement.
"You do!" Doyle made a step toward them, making the others step back. "You are following me since I left the club. I demand to know why!"
The Doctor reached into the inside of his pocket pulling out a little leather map, holding it folded up toward him. Unsure what to expect, Conan Doyle furrowed his brow a little while reading what was presented to him, only to furrow it a bit more when having read it, "Consulting Detectives?"
The Doctor looked at the psychic paper only half in surprise about the result, "The only ones in the world."
It earned him a bump with the elbow from Lucie.
The man in front of them had lost his soft aggression, now looking into the distance, obviously marvelling about something, "Quite a coincidence I must say."
"Why?" Lucie knew it was a good way to indulge him into whatever would become a problem of the empty books later.
He gazed at her for a second as if he wanted to say something, only to decide otherwise, "Oh, never mind," he was about to step away but the Doctor was quick-witted, taking his arm.
"Because it's something you thought about yourself? Like a story in your head that needs to be written down? A writer."
His eyes widened in shock, "How on earth do you know?"
"I… deduced it," he pointed at the fingers of his opposite, pointing out spots of ink on them. Doyle fell silent. "Arthur?"
"Who the hell are you?" he cried fighting for a bit more composure. “How do you know my name?`”
"I am Lucie," she held out her hand and Arthur took it, having a clear question mark over his head. "And this is the Doctor."
"Doctor? Doctor Who?"
"Exactly!" without hesitation he grabbed the man's arm and pulled him to a nearby pub. "Come on, we need to talk, I’ll explain, but not here."
Arthur Conan Doyle neither had the will nor the confidence of his later being to decline in any form. He let the unknown man and his strange dressed companion pull him into the bar, toward a corner where a round table was. The room wasn’t filled with many people and those who were there not paid any attention to the group.
“Pray, take a seat, Arthur! Tell me exactly how it began, don’t leave anything out, even the smallest detail can be important,” then he winked at Lucie, proud of himself. “Oh, I always wanted to say that!”
“I bet!” Lucie rolled her eyes at him, then sat aside Doyle encouraging him to do as the Doctor had said.
After another moment of doubt, Arthur decided ‘whatever’ and began to tell his odd story, “I am a writer as you obviously know, not that I have published anything, but I have an idea. Not a bad one, but…”
“How can I say, Doctor, I used to be someone, when he has an idea, I am very eager to write it down, without a problem,” Doyle by then had lost all his resentments, “I make a draft, and work from there. Building up the story and the dialogue. Without praising myself, but I know how to write, how to go from a draft to a final product.”
It dawned on Lucie that writing was hard work, and for him, it suddenly was even harder, “and now?”
“Now? I am lost!” he cried out. “Dialogue. Scenes. Names. Everything! And from one second to another. Gone.” Arthur’s fingers tapped relentlessly against his temples, “It’s quite odd, I can’t even put it in words,” Doyle traced with his thumb and forefinger over his moustache, searching for a way to explain, “Do you know what I mean?”
The Doctor was just about to shake his head, when Lucie who had listened to Arthur and his explanation in awe, sympathised with him, “Absolutely.”
His eyes lit up, in hope for a solution, “You do?”
“Happens to me all the time! I mean, it’s not like I am writing a novel that will change the world,” she glanced at the Doctor, who looked dumbfounded at her, “at least not that I know. But yeah, it does happen. The keys as an example, when you have forgotten where you have placed them just a minute ago. Or the wallet, you’ve been so sure you have put back on the shelf the night before, but then it is missing and you can’t remember where it is. Or...”
“...Or the word you have at the tip of your tongue,” the Doctor gathered, “One second having it right in front of you, but unable to speak.”
“Yes!” both turned to the Doctor, expecting an explanation now.
Instead, he stared at his companion for the longest time, then his hands came up, “Lucie ‘Bleedin’ Miller!”
“You. Are. Brilliant!” with that he grabbed her by the shoulders and kissed her on the forehead, leaving her with a puzzled expression.
“Why? I mean, I know, but why?”
“Doctor?” Arthur asked worriedly. “What is it then? Something serious?”
“I can’t say yet, but there is hope,” the Doctor reached for Doyle's hat, giving it to him, and then waved them both out of the bar. “Lucie is right, those little happenings, memories getting lost from one second to another. Words missing, trains of thoughts ending nowhere. It’s happening all the time indeed, but it’s not a coincidence or a blackout of the brain.”
“What is it then, Doctor?” Arthur and Lucie exchanged quizzical looks, while the Doctor hurried down the street. “And where are we going?”
“Arthur, you are a writer, have you ever had one of those brilliant ideas late at night?”
“Of course, I had,” he answered. “Every writer has so far I know.”
“And the next day, or even the next minute, you sat in front of a blank page unable to fill it, didn’t you?” the way the Doctor smiled, Lucie knew he was close to a solution, but not ready yet to share it with them.
“Yes,” Arthur thought about it. He had spent countless nights with ideas that never came to paper, because the words were lost, trains of thoughts going nowhere. “There were evenings when I doubted my ability to put letters to words, words to stories! That’s a classical writer's block! I have a writer’s block then?”
When the Doctor was about to go up some stairs to a house, he turned on his heels, “There is nothing like a writer’s block! It doesn’t exist!”
“I can assure you, Doctor, it does!” Doyle protested, realising then it was his house they stood in front of. “And how do you know where I live?”
“Oh, you better don’t ask,” Lucie advised quickly, way too eager to know what it was all about. “Can’t you just tell us? If it is not a writer’s block, what is it then?”
The Doctor reached out, placing one hand on each shoulder of Arthur and Lucie, making them come close, “It’s what it always is! It’s alien!” a wide grin spread over his face, not shared by the others. “But! It is a capital mistake to theorize in advance of the facts. Arthur, I need to see the room you are writing your stories in!”
Slightly unsure why that was so, Arthur nodded after a moment of thought, “Oh, well, when you think it'll help.”
The house was small but beautiful, old and classic, as Lucie had seen pictures of in an old magazine her mother once read. Arthur let them into a smaller room on the first floor. With a fireplace and many shelves filled with books. On the left side toward the wall a wooden desk, filled with papers, pens, ink and a stylograph. Certain chaos, that one day would lead to success.
The curtains were drawn as usual, and Doyle went to light a lamp, “Now what?”
Scanning the room with critical eyes, the Doctor hummed and Lucie guessed he had already collected some clues she wasn't able to see, “So, Sherlock, what's next?”
He chuckled and began to search something in the pockets of his jacket, “I have this device,” he changed the pocket he was rummaging through, “somewhere,” he got annoyed with it, “I am sure it is in here!”
“That's some deep pockets, you got there, Doctor,” Arthur remarked, looking at Lucie who he guessed would tell or show him of how to take all the behaviour, as she seemed to be with him for a while now.
“One could say that, Arthur,” he got more grumpy, padding up and down his chest, “How many pockets has this jacket?”
“Try the left breast pocket,” Lucie suggested.
“There is no left breast pocket!”
“On the inside, Dumbo!”
The Doctor did so, and immediately his face lit up, “Ah! Of course! Thank you!”
He pulled out a little something, a greyish cube, no bigger as a box of matches. He could embrace it fully with his hand while holding it inside his palm. On one side there was a round hollow pit, a button. Going for the middle of the room the Doctor held the device in front of himself, giving the room and his companions a last observing look and then pressed with his thumb down the button.
Rays of bright light escaped the cube followed by a high pitched sound, bathing the room in glaring white. Arthur and Lucie had to cover their eyes, both gasping over the aching feeling in their visual nerves. Even the Doctor needed to cover his eyes with his forearm.
After a few seconds, the light dimmed down, fading. Like a match about to die and with a last glow the cube faded back to its usual grey tone.
Uncovering her eyes, Lucie looked first at the Doctor before a movement in the corner of her eye caught her attention, “Doctor! Look!”
They all turned to the direction she pointed. By a bookshelf close to the curtain of the window hung something in the air. At first not moving, like a deer in the headlights, but then quick erratic movements went through it. Like the gadget in the Doctor’s hand before, it was glowing — shimmering. With tentacles and a shapeless roundish body, it looked like an abstract jellyfish, hovering in the air. It was thick and fat, the head, or whatever it was almost too huge for the tentacles. It made convulsing movements when it realised the attention it attracted.
“Oh my god, Doctor! What is it?” Arthur’s voice betrayed how terrified he was, but he was too perplexed and curious to look away.
“Exactly as I’ve thought!” quickly he pulled out his Sonic Screwdriver, pointing at the creature that still twitched and moved from left to right, up and down, looking for an escape that wasn’t there. “Don’t even try! My little gadget here has sealed all ways to escape.”
With the announcement it stood still as if to consider the words and the situation, only to fly with a sudden movement, soundless through the room toward the group.
Arthur and Lucie couldn’t help but grab each other's arm, not even feeling embarrassed, only staring at the thing in front of them.
It stopped in front of the Doctor, shining its glow at him before giving a deep hissing. The grip between Arthur and Lucie intensified, while the Doctor didn’t intend to yield before the lifeform. He only raised his chin an inch, “I know who you are, and what you are!”
“Doctor?” Lucie whispered, attracting attention for a moment, but the Doctor stepped in the creature’s way and it turned back to him.
“Misu!” the Doctor leaned slightly forward. Hearing the word, the creature wobbled back. “Their name is Misu, Lucie. An alien entity, old as memories and spread in the universe like weed. It’s usually rather harmless.”
“Harmless?” Arthur asked, not daring to take his eyes off the Misu being. “Didn’t you suggest it was accountable for my misery?”
“It is,” the Doctor scanned it with his Sonic. “The Misu are exactly what Lucie explained before. The reason you forget where you put your keys or why you sometimes sit in front of a blank page, besides having had the story perfectly in your head the night before. A creature, usually invisible, feeding of ideas, thoughts and memories. Little bits, no one is really missing.”
“Wow,” it escaped Lucie, “it basically lives on love and air.”
“Yes,” the Doctor laughed. “The thing is, from time to time, one of them gets greedy. Little bits are no more enough, it wants more. Writers, Philosophers, Painters, mostly artists are the perfect target. A writer’s block indicates such a thing. Delicious ideas to nourish from, ain’t I right?”
Again the Misu hissed, this time they all understood, the Tardis translating, “Hungry! More!”
The Misu focused now on Arthur about to float toward him, but the Doctor held it with his Sonic, "No!"
"More!" it sounded desperate, not unwilling but unable to sustain its own hunger.
"You can't feed off one single person," the Doctor began. "I am sure you know the consequences. It's also not your natural behaviour. You have taken this man so many thoughts, you are about to erase future history."
Its glow began to flicker softly and the body sunk down a bit, so it was under the eye level of the others. A sound like a sigh escaped it, "I know."
Lucie cocked an eyebrow, "It sounds so sad."
The Doctor nodded in agreement, "Why did you do it then?"
The Doctor had lowered the Sonic and the Misu floated over to Arthur who backed away slightly. Realising the creature wouldn't attack and only wanted to look at him - aside not having visible eyes - Doyle relaxed.
"So good!" where the words and it made the Doctor laugh up gently.
"I don't," Arthur commented.
"I think I do," Lucie turned toward him. "You are too good of a writer. It likes those bits and pieces about Holmes and Watson so much it can't stop. Besides being totally overweight already!"
"Oh," it escaped him, slightly flustered. "I see, I guess I should feel honoured, but…," he turned to the Misu, "if you take all of my ideas away, I will never be able to write more."
Now the Misu sunk to the floor completely, "I know."
A moment of silence passed in which the Doctor walked up and down a nearby bookshelf when an idea came to his mind, "it would be easy to put you on a diet, but…"
"Ever heard of the Yo-yo effect, Lucie?" he grinned. "It would be a bit of a torture, taking away the favourite food. The Misu are reasonable creatures but not very hard willed. No, I have a better idea. A way better idea."
The overweight jellyfish shot up to eye level again, "More?"
"Way more, but not from Arthur," the Doctor pulled out his Sonic once more. "I'll send you where you have more variety, not needing to feed off a single person. This doesn't make me a good diet coach, but I see no real harm. Ready?"
"Yes," the Misu was now enthusiastic, twitching again.
Pressing the button on the Sonic Screwdriver, a short beam escaped, hitting the Misu, before it vanished into thin air.
"Where did it go?" Lucie exclaimed.
“Magic,” Doyle mumbled.
The Doctor turned around at the word, “Magic? Quiet close, Arthur. And to answer your question, Lucie, well, I sent it, where it can’t do harm, at least not by erasing a whole thread of important human literature from existence. Also, when we get lucky we get spared from 50 Shades of Grey.”
“Doctor!” she never would get used to his wandering off the topic. “Where did you send it?”
“2012? Why exactly?”
“Around that time the figure of Holmes will rise to new popularity. Television and cinema will bring the famous sleuth into the 21st century,” the Doctor explained excitedly. “Humans will connect over this, and bring in their own ideas. Art will happen, writing will happen, and much more. Millions of ideas will happen. That’s enough food for eternity!”
“Million of ideas?”
Lucie and the Doctor turned toward Arthur. The words had sounded uneasy and Lucie gave the Doctor a look, “We can’t tell him, can we?”
“Tell me what?”
The Doctor pondered for a moment, “What Lucie suggests is, your idea for this little novel you are planning, will touch many, many lives. You will be brilliant as a writer.”
Conan Doyle's eyes widened while he pointed at his head with both hands spread, “But the creature has stolen all my ideas! Maybe not all of them, but most.”
“The ideas that still are there, will bring back the others,” the Doctor explained. “Just do what you have learned. Write a draft.”
Arthur sighed, “Yes, yes, I might better write down quickly what I have already in mind!” he went to his desk, reaching for a pen.
“Are you sure, he will remember, Doctor?”
The Doctor watched Conan Doyle write down eagerly all his ideas, “Let me ask you a question. When you have forgotten something, unable to remember, what are you doing then?”
For a moment she mused, “I would maybe try to remember what day it was. If there has been something else occurred when I misplaced or forgot the thing. I would try to… How would you say?”
“You would try to recreate it,” he smiled mildly at her. “One is often able to recreate the missing part by the hole it has left.”
At that moment Arthur clapped loudly, a sign of success, “I think I have it again,” with a boyish grin he wove around with a couple of papers, “the story and the many ideas. Back in my head!” He tapped his temple, “Sherrinford Holmes and Doctor James Watson!”
“What?” Lucie glanced at the Doctor, quickly doubting his wise words about recreating missing ideas. “No!”
With a furrowed brow Doyle looked down at his many notes, unsure who made which mistake, “Yes!”
The Doctor walked over, sharing a look at the papers, thinking it through, “How about… Sherlock and John, mh?”
Arthur looked at both of them in a short moment of disbelief, then Lucie offered, “Has a better ring to it, don’t you think?” and he began to repeat the names again and again, till he was satisfied. Raising one finger, he turned around to the desk again to replace the names, and Lucie and the Doctor couldn’t help but High Five each other.
“I think it’s time to go,” the Doctor announced, “he’ll manage from here, I am certain.”
“75 per cent.”
“75 per cent! That’s actually not a rate Sherlock Holmes would be satisfied with, wouldn’t he?”
With a shrug of his shoulders, a huff escaped the Doctor, “Maybe it’s 85 per cent, who can tell. Maybe there are some minor errors. We’ll actually never know.”
“Reality changes all the time, without us noticing,” he knew it was hard to explain to a human, “little things that won’t affect the big things, the big meanings. We go back and read those books again, we won’t remember if those stories and names have been the same as before this adventure. It was important to make him write it, no matter if John Watson has wounds from the war in his knee or his arm,” he winked and then Arthur stood in front of them.
“Doctor, Miss Lucie, I have to thank you both for bringing those ideas back to me. I have a good feeling about this story.”
“There is no need to thank us,” the Doctor grabbed the hand that was offered. “We just helped to find something, that always has been there.”
“I can’t wait to read what you will make of it,” Lucie blushed slightly when Doyle bowed for a brief kiss onto the back of her hand. “I have the sincere feeling, you are up for something great with this fictional duo.”
“Goodbye, my friends,” the young writer blushed, quickly shoving his hands into his trouser pockets.
“Bye!” the duo smiled and left the house, going back to the Tardis.
“I hope it works,” Lucie strolled lost in thoughts down the streets. She still remembered a few stories, so he must have been successful, on the other hand, obviously, time was a complicated construct.
“That’s easy to find out!” the Doctor tugged at her the sleeve and quickened his pace. “Let’s get to the Tardis Library!”
Lucie beat the Doctor, reaching the spot where he had pulled out the many books earlier that day. They still all laid on the floor, where they had left them and Lucie picked one up randomly, “Look!”
Letters softly reappeared, first slow then more quickly and within a minute the book was full again.
The Doctor nodded, visibly happy about the success, “Good job, Arthur.”
Lucie regarded the old chair she got so fond of, feeling the eyes of the Doctor lay on her, “So, 2012, you say. A good year for Sherlock Holmes then?”
He had picked up a few books, having decided to clean up the mess he had left, “The last time I’ve been there, it was.”
A smirk appeared unseen by him on her lips, “The last time? When was that?”
One hand in the air, he made vague circles in front of his nose, “a few faces ago, I guess.”
Her finger trailed absently over the soft leather by the backrest, “so, you can’t be sure then?”
“Lucie Miller,” he had put back the bulk of books he had in hand turning to her, “for the protocol, when I am sure, I am— ” their eyes met and he understood the grin she was giving him, “oh!”
“Being sure, doesn’t mean you are right, does it?”
“One can put it like that,” his fingertips rubbed against each other, feeling anticipation crawl up his spine. “You are suggesting what then?”
Without hesitation she lunged forward to grab his hand, pacing out of the library with him, “I am suggesting, the game is afoot, Doctor!”
“You are sure?”
“Of course, I am!” she hurried him toward the console lever.
“Why?” his hand was already placed on it, he wouldn’t decline her wish for another adventure, another peek into a future time of her own. It was only curiosity.
“I’d dare say, it’s elementary, my dear Doctor,” she laughed, “because the game is always afoot somewhere, isn’t it?”
“It is!” he pushed the lever down. “2012 — here we come!”