Notes: The characters aren't mine, and the story is! This is the first in a series of "slice-of-life" vignettes/TARDISodes that showcase the lives of Two and Jamie during their moments of downtime in Season 6B. As such, these will be varying in subject material and timeline placement, and will be updated as and when I get the inspiration.
This first vignette was written for a tumblr buddy.
"Doctor, can ye just tell me one thing?"
"How could ye lose the TARDIS? How?"
The Doctor sighed, glancing up at the sky.
"You're not letting this one go, are you?"
"Ye lost the TARDIS!" Jamie said, indignantly. "Ye lost our home!"
"I did not lose the TARDIS!" the Doctor insisted. "The HADS activated, and the TARDIS moved herself to… somewhere."
"Ye lost the TARDIS," Jamie insisted. "And, of course, ye don' have the Stattenheim remote control because ye di'n think to bring it."
"No…" the Doctor sighed. "We were only taking a short walk; how was I to know that something would come along and activate the HADS?"
The duo stared at a perplexed driver standing a few feet away; his car had a badly dented fender, and he was trying to explain to a policeman about how he had skidded off of the wet road and collided with a blue police box, which had then proceeded to vanish before his eyes.
"Five hundred years of travel through space and time, and I assure you, Jamie, that this has never happened before," the Doctor insisted.
"Aye, and it won' happen again," Jamie said. "Ye know why? Because I will be carrying the Stattenheim in my sporran from now on!"
"Now, Jamie… the Celestial Intervention Agency will hardly approve of that; I only just got you back. I don't want to lose you again."
"So ye lost the TARDIS instead? Aye, I see…"
"No…" the Doctor said, facepalming. "I… Oh, never mind! Let's just find the TARDIS and spend some time away from the madness of Earth!"
"That goes without saying…"
Jamie shook his head, but followed the Doctor as they cut across the landscape, keeping their eyes open for where the TARDIS had gone. The sky was overcast, threatening to unleash more rain, and Jamie was hoping they'd find the TARDIS before that happened.
As they walked, Jamie winced as he heard his stomach rumbling; he hadn't eaten since that morning, and their little jaunt across the countryside, done so that the Doctor could attain some fossil samples ("Important research," the Doctor had claimed), had not included a meal; though the Time Lords' punishment had only been a few days' separation for Jamie, it had been fifty years of traveling alone for the Doctor, who, in that time, had apparently forgotten that humans required nourishment multiple times a day.
It was out of sheer hunger, therefore, that Jamie stopped in his tracks as they passed a small pond, staring at gray goose sitting on a nest by the water's edge. It took the Doctor a moment to notice that Jamie had stopped; the Time Lord turned around in time to see the Scot slowly sneaking towards the waterfowl.
"Jamie!" the Doctor hissed. "Jamie, what do you think you're doing!?"
"Getting supper fixings!" the piper quipped. "Now shush; ye'll scare her off!"
"Jamie, get back here!" the Time Lord said, frantically waving to the Scot. "You don't know what you're doing!"
"Och, Doctor, please! Alexander McLaren and I used to catch geese for our meals when we were in the mood for it. We've got a system; one of us startles the goose and gets it to flee while the other one of us will be right behind it to catch it!"
"Jamie, just answer me one question," the Doctor said, eyeing the fowl nervously. "Did either yourself or Alexander ever attempt this with a nesting female?"
"No, but it cannae be too difficult; they ne'er leave the nest. Now, Doctor, I need ye to approach the goose from that side."
"Not a chance!" the Doctor scoffed. "You're on your own for this crazed endeavor, Jamie. And once it fails, don't say that I didn't warn you."
Jamie gave the Doctor a dark look, but then crept towards the nesting goose. He was within three feet of the fowl when she turned and glared at him with beady, black eyes. Jamie cursed; he had lost his element of surprise, and now he would have to make his move.
He lunged at the goose just as the bird hissed and then flew directly towards him—an unearthly set of noises emitting from her bill. Jamie's look of annoyance now changed to a flash of fear—he had expected the bird to stay still or flee, not attack!
It was the Doctor's laughing that added insult to injury as Jamie scrambled frantically away. A split-second's decision to contemplate on which way to run was all it took; Jamie headed directly for the Doctor as the goose pursued him.
The Doctor's laugh faded in an instant as the Time Lord realized what Jamie was doing.
"Jamie, no! Don't lead that thing over here! Jamie—oh, my word!"
Jamie veered off to the side; as he'd hoped, the bird continued in a straight line towards the Doctor. The Time Lord fled with the fowl in pursuit.
Jamie hadn't sicced the goose on the Doctor simply out of vengeance; if he couldn't get the goose, he could at least get the eggs. The piper now scrambled back towards the nest; his hand had closed around an egg when he heard a loud splash.
"No…" Jamie said, groaning.
He knew what he would see when he looked out onto the water; sure enough, the Gallifreyan had fallen back on crocodilian instincts, seeking refuge under the surface of the water. The goose now turned back towards her nest… getting a full view of Jamie with his hand in the nest.
Jamie released the egg and ran, running along the bank as she gave chase. Eventually, she was convinced that there was enough distance between Jamie and her nest and returned to it.
The Scot now stopped to catch his breath as the Doctor swam up to the bank of the pond and clambered out.
"Well," the Time Lord said, calmly. "Have you learned anything from this, Jamie?"
"Aye," Jamie said. "Ne'er go after a goose if I have a partner who will only complicate the matter."
"Yes—no. Jamie… Oh, never mind. I suppose it is my fault for not remembering that you need to eat more often than I do."
"Well, I'm nae really hungry anymore," the piper sighed. "Something aboot nearly getting mauled by a bird tends to ruin your appetite."
"And we're still no better than we were before," Jamie added. "We're still lost, withoot any idea of where the TARDIS could be." He gave a wan smiled as he looked at the Doctor, who was soaking wet from his dip in the pond. "I suppose the only consolation is that I'm nae the one drenched."
It was as that moment that a rumble of thunder filled the air, and a torrent of rain began to fall from the clouds. Within moments, Jamie was drenched, as well, silently turning to glare at the Doctor, who was shaking with suppressed laughter.
"I am still blaming ye for all of this."
"Oh, Jamie…" the Doctor said; the Time Lord's voice was a slightly higher pitch on account of the laughter threatening to break through. "I truly am sorry."
"No, ye're nae."
The Doctor doubled over, laughing for the first time in the fifty years since the tribunal. Oh, it felt good to laugh again! But even better than that was the sound of Jamie finally cracking and laughing, too. That was what the Doctor had missed most—that treasured sidekick, companion… family.
"I really have missed you," the Time Lord stammered, in between laughs.
Jamie couldn't reply; he was laughing too hard, as well. And for several minutes, they leaned against each other as they cackled.
Several yards away, the goose watched them with careful eyes, silently dismissing the both of them as utterly mad.