“And anyways, I was right!” he asserted. “Here you are, flying around in one piece, not even a nibble off you! Absolute sweetheart, she was, just a bit…hyper and distracted, that’s all. Knew you could handle ‘er just fine, no need to get your wings in a twist.”
“Wings in a- Pray to a rock!” Bowman blurted, irate in spite of how well the situation had gone.
The Doctor simply smiled at her. “It’s alright,” he said softly, a phrase the creature was quickly becoming familiar with. With slow, careful movements, he approached her with a gentle hand extended for her to sniff. Neither his scent or his demeanor raised any major red flags for the creature, so she relaxed a hair. That was all the Doctor needed.
“I’m the Doctor,” he introduced himself, looking the dragon straight in the eye. “And I’m gonna take you home.”
Bowman’s eyes widened and he actually took his eyes off the creature to twist around and look the Doctor in the face. “You’re not serious,” he blurted, almost demanded to be true. But there wasn’t a sign of a joke in the Doctor’s expression, and Bowman threw him a look that said if things weren’t so dire, he’d be bopping him right on the forehead that second.
“Look, I don’t see any other option–” the Doctor cut himself short when he caught sight of Bowman approaching. He waved him over with a huge grin. “Ah, Bowman! Perfect timing! I need to ask you for a favor.”
“No, you don’t!” Zepheera emphasized.
“Yes, I do!” the Doctor shot back, keeping his upbeat smile where it was.
“Bowman, pull up!” he called, cupping a hand around his mouth with his right hand to save Zepheera from the worst of the shout. “Lose ‘er in the canopy and meet us outside the TARDIS!” With that, the Doctor hurried back the way they’d come.
“We can’t leave him alone with her!” Zepheera protested even as she flattened herself to the Doctor’s shoulder for stability.
“Oh, he’ll be fine! He’s got the fastest wings in Wellwood, remember?”
“That’s why we keep traveling,” Zepheera remarked, running her fingers along the silky up-curve of the bell. “Watch history unfold right before us, see all kinds of things you’d never get to see back home…”
“Oh, I don’t think you’d be too shabby,” she put in encouragingly. “Even with your wings, there’s loads of places you could–”
A SLAM cut her sentence short and caused Bowman’s wings to flare out entirely as the Doctor burst back into the TARDIS, followed by him rushing around the console flipping switches and throwing levers on the way.
“Fell through the rift again,” he explained shortly, teeth clenched in concentration as he worked the controls. “Came pretty close this time, though! I think we can beat that time! Hang on to something, you two! Allons-y!” Bowman stared at him in confusion and shock.
“John,” Sherlock greeted, sparing a glance in his flatmate’s direction. That split second was more than enough for Sherlock to register the confusion, utter shock and disbelief fighting for attention on the doctor’s face as he stared.
At the sound of the second human coming into the room, Dean backed himself against the far wall of the jar. He pulled out his hook, wielding it as a backup weapon and knowing it wouldn’t do much if he needed to defend himself. That didn’t matter; if he was going down, he was going down fighting. There was no way to know how this human would react. The first one’s reaction was bad enough.
Sam could feel the weight of the gaze on him double in intensity, and he tried to make himself seem smaller. He put his hand on his own weapon, using the feeling of the hilt in his hand as an anchor. If they tried anything, he could defend himself. It didn’t matter if it was useless, it was better than being trapped in a beaker or a jar.
Dean jabbed his hook in Sherlock’s direction. “Just because we’re trapped like rejects from Land of the Giants doesn’t mean we’ll answer your questions like good little captives,” he growled, refusing to show any weakness in front of the new giant. “Now let my brother go.”
John blinked hard, trying to force the hallucination out of his sight. It had to be that, or Sherlock drugged his tea again… But no. One of the little figures spoke quite harshly to Sherlock. At the mention of a brother, John’s eyes darted to the large beaker. He’d almost missed the other person entirely, curled as he was into a ball of stress and fear.
“Oh God,” he breathed. These were people. Much smaller than average, but people all the same.
He walked numbly forward, a million questions flying around his head at once. The more pressing one stuck out just as he came to stand next to the seated detective.
“Sherlock, what have you done?” he demanded, his attention split between his sociopathic friend and his captives.