When Bill Potts ordered a takeaway, she hadn't envisaged the delivery being made by a woman clad almost entirely in some kind of Victorian get-up, save for a small baseball cap with a bold logo for 'GLORP'S GALACTIC KITCHEN' on the front.
And yet, here she was. On her doorstep. One hand resting on a hip as the other offered a small delivery bag to The Doctor's latest bewildered companion.
"Your delivery, dearie," The woman prompted, with a cheeky wink to boot, "I think you'll find it very much to your liking."
"…Right," Bill replied, rather uncertainly, taking the delivery bag and peering inside.
An awkward pause. The contents of the bag were, unquestionably, not of the takeaway pizza variety as Bill had hoped. She glanced up to the woman, who raised both her eyebrows and gave a suggestive click of the tongue, as if Bill should be thoroughly impressed with this particular delivery.
"Don't get to feast your eyes on that every day now, do you?" The woman said, not without a small amount of pride.
How best to explain that, whilst the contents of the bag were glowing most delightfully and impressively, Bill had, in fact, ordered a pepperoni pizza?
"I, uh…I'm sorry but this isn't my order. I think you've made a mistake," Bill began delicately.
"Oh! I do apologise!" The woman replied, placing a hand theatrically over her heart(s) in shock, "Did you not ask for the Antimatter Bacon, Radioactive Worms and a side of Nucleoslaw?"
"Nucleo-what? No, I ordered a pizza-"
"Well, this does put us in a wee spot of trouble, doesn't it? Never mind, never mind, I'm sure you'll find it to your tastes despite appearances."
Another pause. Bill stood, a slight frown on her face, as the glowing delivery bag began to wriggle gently in her hands. The woman now had her hands clasped together almost nervously, smiling politely as if she hadn't just delivered a radioactive galactic takeaway to the wrong customer at all.
"…It's…moving," Bill said slowly and deliberately, hoping the woman would at some point understand the grave insanity of the whole situation.
No such luck, however, as a very faint scowl began to settle across the woman's features. "Am I not going to get a tip?"
"A tip. Am I not going to get one?"
"You brought me the wrong order," Bill said, "and it's glowing and alive."
"Very rude, I must say. Very inconsiderate. You might as well call yourself Clara at this rate-"
"Did you know," The woman interrupted irritably, "did you know, I've had to work my way up the entire galactic fast-food career ladder just to ensure I could deliver this very nice meal to you, today, personally, by my very own hands, which are worn to the bone might I add from all the deep-frying and burger-flipping-"
"Galactic fast-food?" Bill echoed, eyebrows raised.
"Do you think it was easy having to work with Glorp the Inexorable Chef?" The woman continued, undeterred, "Known as such because his kitchen literally never stops – stuck in its own time loop no less – have you ever flipped five thousand burgers, one after the other, without stopping for so much as a cup of tea – I was parched, parched!"
A small, knowing smile was beginning to tug at the sides of Bill's mouth. She briefly gave the strange woman a once over before glancing at the wriggling delivery bag again. There was only one explanation for this particularly bizarre moment in her life.
"You know The Doctor, don't you?"
The woman gave a long-suffering groan, closed her eyes and took a moment to pinch the bridge of her nose, as if undergoing a very severe bout of flashbacks. "You know just once, just once, I would like to deliver a bag of radioactive worms to someone without them making it all about some bushy eyebrowed otter, I really would."
"Always thought he looked more like a penguin," Bill said with a grin, "Have you seen him run?"
The woman lowered her hand from her nose and peered at Bill, a mischievous glint in her eyes and a faintly amused smile beginning to appear on her lips. "Well, well, well, this is a surprise. Maybe we will get along after all, my wee billy goat gruff."
So…didn't know you had a girlfriend
07:39pm / DoctorWHO
There was a confusing business with an Astro Jellyfish awhile back
Had to go into hiding for two hundred years
All smoothed over now though
Sometimes I still think I see a tentacle out the corner of my eyes
Right, you need to explain that whole story to me later
Cos it's not ok to just slip tentacles into a conversation
But first there's someone sat at my table
Eating glowing worms
And saying she's your girlfriend
Any idea who it is?
07:42pm / DoctorWHO
I'm very popular, Bill
Very in demand
It could be anyone
Ask her what her name is
She says you know who it is
Then she winked
And ate a worm suggestively
07:43pm / DoctorWHO
How can you eat a worm suggestively?
You know what never mind
What does she look like?
You're not giving me very much to go on here, Bill
Alright keep your eyebrows on!
She looks like she's wandered off the set of
A steampunk version of Downton Abbey
07:44pm / DoctorWHO
I'M ON MY WAY
KEEP AWAY FROM THE MAD WOMAN AND HER GLOWING WORMS
That's…definitely a sentence I never thought I'd read
07:44pm / DoctorWHO
Yeah alright! I'm steering clear!
Bill Potts was not steering clear.
Completely against her better judgement, she found something deeply captivating about the strange Galactic Victorian Fast-Food Courier who was sat at her kitchen table, slurping up the last of the glowing worms, and found herself sitting opposite her as the woman opened her mouth to speak.
"Quite a delicacy, quite the pièce de résistance, far superior to soufflé's, although I suppose…" The woman trailed off and gazed somewhat forlornly at Bill before turning her attention back to the delivery bag, which was continuing to wriggle most merrily across the table, "…still, it can't be helped. She would always go rushing into danger, you know, quite devoid of any brain that one. As are most of you, I mean it has to be said, you're barely more evolved than the contents of this bag. Not to say you don't taste as wonderfully, though."
Another devilish wink. God have mercy.
"Sorry but…who are you, really?" Bill asked, quite unable to stop herself.
The woman grinned. "Who do you think I am? Go on, I'm curious to see what your little pea brain comes up with."
Trying not to take too much offense to the woman's latest remark – she was possibly The Doctor's girlfriend after all – Bill peered uncertainly at the baseball cap atop her head.
"A…galactic fast-food delivery driver?"
The woman looked briefly as though she were about to black out before she managed to compose herself once more. "Oh, oh yes, I see, I've conquered entire civilisations, blown up at least twenty planets, and once took a wrong turn down a supermarket aisle and ended up in the sixth circle of hell and lived to tell the tale, but 'Galactic fast-food delivery driver', she says. You just can't make it up, really, you can't get the companions these days, why do I bother, I mean what is the point?"
"You asked!" Bill retorted defensively.
"'You asked', she says. Who do you think I am? 'A galactic fast-food delivery driver', no – it's fine, it's fine. I don't know why I thought you'd have something intelligent to say. A wee error on my part, let's not fall out over it. Not when you were just about to make a spot of tea."
"I never said-" Bill spluttered.
"Thank you, poppet, I'm still very parched after all the burger-flipping," Missy replied, promptly swinging two feet onto the table, and eyeing Bill in very much the same way a notorious intergalactic serial killer might. Which is, of course, exactly what she was.
"You're meant to be in the vault," The Doctor stressed adamantly.
"You were meant to be bringing me a daisy chain," Missy said indignantly, "as a token of our friendship."
"I never said that – when did – what are you talking about?!"
"A daisy chain," Missy hissed through grit teeth, getting to her feet with a mug of tea in hand, "to go on my wrist, for me to wear fo' 'yay all the livelong day."
The Doctor glanced nervously at the potential weapon in the Time Lady's hand. "Put down the tea, Missy."
"Oh, you'd like that, wouldn't you? You'd like me to see me die of thirst before you'd offer me friendship bracelet. How cold, Doctor, how very cold-"
"Sorry – what exactly are you both going on about?" Bill mercifully interrupted, gesturing in Missy's direction, "Like…I don't even know who this is, Doctor."
"A very dear friend-" Missy began.
"It's complicated," The Doctor finished, rather hurriedly, gawkily moving forwards to grab the mug of tea out of Missy's grasp.
Unfortunately, Missy had been looking forward to this particular mug of tea with a level of emotion that rarely featured in her life (excluding incinerating entire planets, which could delight and entertain her for days at a time). It was for this reason that The Doctor found himself engaged in a rather unfortunate predicament, which involved two aspects:
An Unstoppable Object: The Doctor, meeting with;
An Immovable Force: The Mug of Tea, clutched tightly in Missy's grasp.
The two Timelord's tugged at and struggled over the mug for a few seconds, glaring furiously at one another.
"Give me the mug of tea, Missy," The Doctor demanded.
"Say something nice," Missy ordered.
"You're spilling the tea everywhere," Bill noted.
"I haven't got time for your little power games," The Doctor continued, patience wearing well and truly thin, "give me the mug of tea and I'll take you back to the vault."
"Not before you give me a pretty little daisy chain like you promised," Missy retorted.
"I promised no such thing."
"I've made you one."
"You've – what-"
"Oh yes, a tip of the hat to you, sir."
Awkward silence. A mug in the grip of two of the most powerful beings in the universe. Bill Potts, sat at the table, mouth ajar in disbelief at the embarrassing display unfolding before her.
The Doctor seemed uncharacteristically at a loss. "A…a tip of the hat…to me?"
"To you, good sir," Missy confirmed, with a nod and a wink.
"What…what are you-"
"A tip of the…cap," Missy corrected helpfully, with another wink so theatrical it caused her entire body to dip slightly, "you could say."
Bill and The Doctor exchanged glances.
Bill slowly pointed at the baseball cap atop Missy's head.
The Doctor shook his head. Surely not.
Bill jabbed at the air again. Take a look, grandpa.
Missy was waiting, all winks and flirtatious smiles and clicks of the tongue. The Doctor hesitantly let go of the mug and raised both hands to slowly lift the baseball cap off Missy's head.
There, sat atop the Time Lady's head all this time, was a solitary handcuff.
"That's...not a friendship bracelet," The Doctor stated awkwardly.
"Then why is it on my head, Doctor?" Missy replied, as if she were making perfect sense, as if everything she did made perfect sense, as if it made sense that she should be here, now, instead of the vault, having flipped five thousand burgers and delivered a bag of glowing worms to Bill Potts, all the while keeping a handcuff nestled in her hair to present to The Doctor as…an olive branch? A token of friendship, she'd said?
"I'm not going to put that on my wrist," The Doctor explained, as delicately as he could.
"Are we not friends?" Missy asked, eyes all of a sudden wide and pleading.
"I'm…" The Doctor faltered, eyeing the handcuff warily, "…no…not yet. Maybe not ever."
Silence descended once more. Missy, in an extremely surprising turn of events, looked as though she were making a brief acquaintance with Her FeelingsTM, which seemed a rather foreign and harrowing experience judging from the expression on her face. The Doctor took the opportunity to awkwardly remove the handcuff from her hair while she was…'rebooting', twirling it in his hands for a few moments as he watched her.
"Are you alright?" Bill asked from her seat at the table. She hadn't known Missy very long but it wasn't hard to tell the Time Lady was battling with some kind of deep, intense emotions or maybe like a severe brain malfunction or something. Maybe the two were the same thing for her.
"You know," Missy began, softly this time, with none of her usual spark or theatrics, "just once I'd like to deliver a bag of radioactive worms to someone without it all being about a bushy eyebrowed otter."
Missy was on the TARDIS.
Correction: Missy was in the arse-end of the TARDIS, blowtorch in hand as she welded some kind of strange looking wiring together.
Bill Potts was watching from a distance, terrified and amazed and worried and slightly in love all at once.
"We'll just see how it goes, you know," The Doctor was saying beside her, all hand gestures and nervous smiles, "see how she gets on. She's been very lonely, I think."
"Been very murdery, you mean," Nardole commented, "this is a big mistake, Doctor, and I have to protest most passionately-"
"Nardole, Nardole," The Doctor interrupted, waving his hands exasperatedly, "we've been through this. It's happening. Get used to it."
"Still," Bill said, not quite able to take her eyes off the Time Lady (who was now wielding the blow torch with one hand as the other dunked a biscuit in a nearby cup of tea), "we should probably be careful, right? If what you've said about her is true, I mean."
"Oh, it's true alright," Nardole said, "The Belgian's are still very upset. Did you hear about Belgium? She de-materialised and re-materialised the entire-"
"Nardole," The Doctor interjected again, giving his companion a hard stare, "go and make yourself useful."
With a huff, Nardole shuffled off, still muttering and grumbling to himself about Belgium and giant metallic eyeballs in the sky.
"Bill," The Doctor said, placing a hand very gently her arm, "as irritating as he is, Nardole does have a point. Missy can be very…enchanting, but she's not be trusted. Not completely. This is a test run, you understand? We'll see how she does."
"Yeah, sure thing," Bill nodded, giving The Doctor a grin, "you don't have to worry about me. I'll steer well clear just like you said."
Unfortunately for everyone involved, including a particularly petulant Warp Pig, it would soon transpire that Bill had about as much ability to steer clear of Missy as Clara did.
That meaning: None At All.