Special Effects

A Doctor Who one shot by Andrew Joshua Talon

DISCLAIMER: This is a non-profit fan-based work of prose. Doctor Who is owned by the BBC. Please support the official release.

Just a short one shot over something that bugged me...

Captain Carter of the Teselecta found miniaturized repairs just as tedious and difficult as large sized ones. Even with the antibodies along to help. Actually, make that especially with the antibodies along to help.

"Would you mind moving?" He asked one of the robotic defense drones, a touch of irritation in his voice, as it floated right in front of a panel he had to get to.

"This unit is designed to assist with repairs... Handsome," it said. Carter frowned.

"I'm sorry...?"

"Do you have problems with your hearing? You have such lovely ears," the antibody continued. Carter scowled, and backed away. He looked around the corridor.


"Carter," the Time Lord said, popping out of an adjacent corridor with a grin. "Oh! The flattering one, I love the flattering one! You found it!"

"You programmed it," Carter accused. The Doctor shrugged.

"Just a bit of fun. I do get bored, even when I'm cheating death," he said. He rubbed his oft remarked on chin as he walked up to the captain, and laid a hand on his shoulder. "By the way, something I've been meaning to talk to you about..."

"If you want us to keep quiet, don't worry Doctor, we will," Carter said earnestly. He sighed. "I know you don't have the same respect for me I do for you, but-"

"No, I don't," the Doctor said, his jaunty tone suddenly becoming a bit grim. "A favor to me like this? That's gotten you off the list of enemies, but I don't like torturers. I don't like sadists..." He tilted his head and shrugged. "Well I like my wife but that's entirely different."

"Right," Carter said, smartly nodding. The Doctor rubbed his face again.

"That's not the issue I was talking about. The little... Fireworks display, that's the issue."

"Pardon?" Carter asked, blinking quizzically. The Doctor threw out his hands.

"The... Regeneration effects," he said. "You know, when big me got shot by River? Why'd you add those?"

Carter blinked. "Well... You're a Time Lord. That's what you do," he said. "Regenerate. It can be interrupted but-"

"But, there is the fact that this is technically my last body," the Doctor confided. Carter's eyes widened, and the Doctor nodded. "Yeah, not a fact I like to get around but anybody keeping score would know I'm technically thirteen, not eleven. But I like eleven, eleven is good. Two ones standing right up, very symmetrical, love symmetry."

"Ah, well... We didn't know that," Carter said. "But isn't that a good thing? Less people know about you, the better?"

"Mm, true," the Doctor said. He scratched his cheek and sighed. "That is the whole point of this... Just me being an old man, I suppose. Seeing mortality around the corner..." And the Doctor's eyes became very, very old indeed. "Death keeps following me around, but I've avoided meeting him myself..." The Time Lord chuckled a bit. "But then... All things must come to an end, hm?"

Carter stared at the Doctor in wonder, awe, and not a little bit of confusion. "I... Why are you telling me this?"

The Doctor started, and looked at Carter. He shrugged. "A man like me... Who has changed so often... Who's to say you won't become someone I'll respect later on? But you need more than hero worship, Carter. You need to meet the ones you admire, see them for what they are... So you can see yourself." He smiled a bit. "Who knows? You might get it right... In time for me to see it." He adjusted his bowtie. "Well... I need to be off. The fire has died down and River'll be expecting me. So long."

The Doctor walked off, Carter watching him go with tight lips. He felt like he'd gotten something special, something new... Something, potentially, life changing. Was this what a religious experience felt like, he wondered? To be given a glimpse into something terrible, yet magnificent at the same time?

"The repairs will not finish themselves, studmuffin," the antibody said. Carter sighed.

The Doctor, a corridor away, just smiled and closed the door to the TARDIS, before it faded away into the time vortex.

Sometimes, the smallest jokes were the best.

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