The idea for this AU comes from this dreamwidth post: . . Basically, you take the Doctor and their most iconic companion (Seven and Ace in this case), and swap their roles. That means now the First Doctor looks like a young 15 year old girl, and her grandfather Theta is her companion. The Second Doctor wears a kilt, while James plays a recorder. The Eleventh Doctor is a Scottish redhead, and her companion wears a bowtie, etc. (More details at link) I often like to thnk about what makes the Doctor "the Doctor", and I think this is a great way to stretch my creativity, so I'm gonna be writing quite a few short fics in this universe. Anyway, enjoy, and tell me how well I did (or didn't do) in characterization
The Circus beyond the stars was a lovely attraction. Colonized in the year 2089, it housed all sorts of various creatures—the tight-rope walker known as Spinner, who was a spider-human hybrid known for making her own web and then climbing across it; The Three Clowns of Goert, who were a series of three symbiotic beings who, upon coming to the circus, decided unanimously to become a clown; Hurneta, the Latina woman who had the ability to eat anything, and many other different acts. The best of the best in entertainment came here to practice in front of galactic crowds. If they were really lucky, they might get fame and acclaim for centuries. At the very least, they might get a free drink at the local pub.
And then there was Oscar. This particular Earthling would have been a wonderful jester, had he been on Earth. Unfortunately, he had crash-landed on the best Circus in the galaxy, and so was rather out-classed. He had tried to put this to his advantage, claiming to be an "old-school" sort of act. Right now, that act had gotten him free beer, but not much else.
He sat on a soft lawn chair on the sunny day, observing people moving back on forth. He was a small man, who wore a panama hat, a white jacket, and currently had on his question pullover he used as his jesting costume. On his knee was a question mark umbrella, his newest edition to his act. Pondering his schedule for tomorrow, he was suddenly interrupted from his deep thoughts when a brunette girl sat down in the chair opposite him.
Oscar stared at this girl for a second, then looked widely around. Surely he was being pranked somehow. This girl took out a digital watch from her blue jacket (which was covered with stickers) and looked at it intently. Oscar noticed that this watch was extremely primitive—it appeared to use buttons, as opposed to the touch screen every other watch Oscar had seen.
"Ahem," Oscar said, trying to catch the girl's attention. The girl didn't look up, and Oscar decided to let the girl be and return back to thinking.
"Ahem, what?" said the girl suddenly. She still wasn't looking at him.
"Not to be rude, but why are you sitting here?" asked Oscar, as politely as possible.
"To be honest, it's really none of your business," said the girl. He could see her counting down the seconds silently.
"Well, you're disturbing my work," said Oscar.
The girl finally put the watch down, and looked at him. She looked probably around teenage years (though with de-aging treatments, you could never tell), and her face was soft, with cropped brown hair. There were both frown and laugh lines on her face, and Oscar got the impression he was looking at someone with a whole lot more experience than him. Her black jacket reminded Oscar of some of the neo-80s street gangs that hung around the circus. She didn't look to happy to be interrupted.
"Listen, mate. You weren't doing any work. You were just staring off into space. Probably thinking about your next meal, or your family, or your next day working at the circus. Either way, you weren't doing anything important. So just keep on thinking, and leave me to my work of waiting for the explosion," said the girl.
"How do you know I work at the circus?" said Oscar. "And what's that about an...explosion?"
The girl, who Oscar was starting to consider very rude, said "I know you work at the circus because of the "free beer for circus acts" mug you have, and by the way, the beer they serve here sucks. I drunk some in my fifth body, and still remember how crummy it tasted, The explosion is from the spaceship that's going to land here any second now. Well, in exactly 99 seconds,". The girl paused, then added "I'm the Doctor, by the way."
Pranks, as this clearly was, were not fun to Oscar. "I think that either you are a deluded young girrrl, or a very cruel one. Either way, I have had my fill of you. Oh, and you look like no Doctor I've ever seen." Oscar privately felt embarrassed, as he had started rolling his r's like he always did when he got mad.
"Why are people always saying I don't look like a doctor? Is it the bomber jacket?" asked the Doctor.
"It's probably the age," said Oscar brusquely, and got up to walk. Quicker than he could see, the Doctor had gotten up and was blocking his way. Her face now looked seriously.
"Please get out of my way," said Oscar.
"I wouldn't do that, mate. Ship's about to crash. Trust me, you don't want to be below it when it lands," said the Doctor. Oscar realized with horror he was talking to a crazy woman.
"Listen. There is no ship coming through. There are alarms set to let us know when-" started Oscar.
Then he was cut off by the sight and sound of a large ship , some distance away, crashing down from the sky, and into the ground.
Oscar blankly looked at the wreckage several yards away from him. Then he looked back at the girl.
The Doctor smiled wide, and said "You were saying?"
And then the Doctor walked away, in the direction of the flaming wreckage, a panama hat on her head.
Oscar sat down in the lawn chair for a moment, contemplating what he had seen. Then he decided to just take the opportunity by the horns and go after the girl. Also, he realized she had stolen his hat.
A few minutes later, Oscar was still running in the direction of the wreckage. He hadn't seen any sign of the girl, and had received several odd looks from people as he wandered around. Just as he was about to give up, he saw the white hat, and ran to it.
Indeed, the Doctor was there, and arguing with the local police. "What do you mean, it's restricted?"
"We understand that you're very interested, young lady. But we're not allowing anyone access until our scanners have analyzed the situation," said the officer, who sounded tired of arguing.
"Your scanners couldn't even sense the ship. What makes you think your old systems are gonna even scan anything right?" said the Doctor. Despite the fact that the Doctor was so young, she seemed to think she was an equal, or maybe even better than these men. Oscar figured she was some rich girl, probably used to getting what she wanted. Fortunately, he was here to help.
Just when he got to the arguing pair, the Doctor turned around and saw him. She didn't look surprised, or guilty. If anything, she seemed pleased to see him.
Oscar opened up his mouth to introduce himself, but the Doctor beat him to it. "Didn't you say you wanted to talk to a circus performer? Today's your lucky day. Hello, this is my friend..." She looked at him.
"Oscar," he said without thinking.
The Doctor nodded "Yeah. He works in the circus here."
The officer brightened up, and said "Really, you actually perform! I wanted to perform, but never got the skill to do it. Tell me what's your act."
"Er, well," stammered Oscar. This wasn't exactly going the way he planned. "I do perform. But I go for the more classic acts—juggling, putting ferrets down my trousers, disappearing tricks, that sort of thing."
The officer raised his eyebrows. "Ferrets down the trousers?"
"It's not that bad, once you get used to it," said Oscar. He looked around. "Where'd the girl go?"
"Uh, that's not good," said the officer.
Oscar saw the girl running in the distance, and went after her. What was she thinking? Was she just curious, or did she have motive? And how did she know the ship was gonna crash here?
As Oscar got closer to the ship, he saw more details. It was mostly a mess of machinery and wiring, but Oscar could see some colorful patterns on the outside, hinting that it was originally very beautiful. The ship had a circular top, that was very reflective, almost blinding. He could see the Doctor standing in front of the ship, rummaging for something in the sand.
"She's not here, she's not here..." said the Doctor. She kicked the hull of the ship, and began jumping around in pain.
"What are you looking for?" said Oscar.
"Someone who's lost, and alone, and afraid. And if I don't find it, things could get pretty darn sticky," said the Doctor. Gone was the rudeness. Now she had a sad, wistful look on her face.
"Maybe it's still in the ship," offered Oscar, and then he tried to figure out why he was helping a girl who was both a thief and an intruder.
"No. Look, there's tracks in the sand," said the Doctor. She pointed at the ground, and indeed there was a slight curving shape in the beach. It looked nothing like footprints, though.
The Doctor followed the path, and Oscar followed her. Despite himself, he was rather curious what this girl was up to. Noticing the hat still on her head, he swiped it off and placed it back on its rightful throne .
"That's how you get head lice, you know," the Doctor said. The brief sense of wistfulness was gone, and she was back to being rude.
"You weren't worried about lice," Oscar pointed out.
"Yeah, but I'm not human," said the Doctor.
Oscar chose not to respond to that.
Eventually, Oscar saw something up ahead. It looked like it was wering black armor, and had sharp claws. Instead of feet, it had a long tail behind it, and was moving forward by dragging itself, with some effort. He could hear it hissing.
"What sort of lizard is that?"said Oscar.
It turned around, and Oscar saw it was no lizard, but clearly an alien of some sort. He guessed it had crash-landed with the ship. Its red eyes looked at both Oscar and the Doctor warily.
"Who are you?" asked the creature.
"I'm the Doctor, and this is a friend of mine, called Oscar," said the girl. She showed no fear, just determination.
"You are not the Doctor. The Doctor wears a kilt, and is a man," said the creature.
"Oh boy. Listen, I'm a Time Lord. Ever heard of regeneration?" said the Doctor. When the creature still seemed unconvinced, she continued "I know you, Rodrin. Years ago, your people were nearly killed when the Cybermen, and you were the last few survivors. You were sent on cryo-sleep to a distant planet, and in 100 years time, you would awaken. I know, because I helped you escape in my second regeneration, and promised to be there when you woke up. And I try to keep my promises."
Rodrin seemed to relax. Looking around, its face seemed to crinkle and it shook its head. "Why does this planet not look like Brydon?"
"Places change. Same planet, but a whole lot is different," said the Doctor. She reached out and placed a hand on Rodrin's armor. Rodrin flinched, but did not move the girl's hand.
"Are there any more of my kind?" asked Rodrin.
The Doctor shook her head. Oscar felt sad, despite having never met Rodrin before.
"Well, you never know. There are all sorts of creatures in the galaxy. If it's been a century, maybe there's a few of your kind scattered around."
"Why don't you come with me and find out? I've got a box that can take you wherever you want to go. Might help you recuperate," said the Doctor.
Rodrin considered, then nodded. "Alright, I would like that."
"Wicked!" said the Doctor. "When you're ready to get going, just let me know."
As Rodrin sat in thought, the Doctor walked up to Oscar.
"Sorry about stealing your hat. Needed to have some sort of distraction for the guard," said the Doctor.
Oscar shrugged. "Are you going to report this to the authorities?"
The Doctor snorted. "They wouldn't know what to do. Or they would try to study her. Or worse. Are you gonna report this?"
Oscar thought, and said "No."
"Good man" said the Doctor.
"So, you're leaving now?" asked Oscar.
"Yep," said the Doctor. "Better get outta here before the officer comes around. Plus, I want to go to Paris. Haven't been there since my trip with Romana."
"You do know how far away Earth is from here, right?" said Oscar. The Doctor rolled her eyes.
"Good thing I have a machine that travels through time and space free of charge," said the Doctor proudly and fully serious.
"That's impossible," said Oscar.
The Doctor leaned toward Oscar, and said "Come with me, and I'll take you to see it."
Oscar felt an urge to take her up on her offer, but suppressed it. He had went through enough weirdness for one day. "No thank you."
"Okay-dokey. Your loss," said the Doctor with a wide shrug. "Ready, Rodrin?"
"Yes," said the scaly alien. It briefly looked at Oscar, nodded, then walked forward in the direction of a blue box up ahead.
"See you later, Oscar," said the Doctor. She walked off, and opened the box. Rodrin and her entered it.
Oscar scratched his hair, wondering what was up with the girl.
Then he realized she had taken his hat again.
Running up the hill, he entered the blue box. It was much bigger than he was expecting.
The Doctor was at a center console. Turning around, she looked at him with a smirk and said "Knew you'd come back. Ready for Paris?"