A Doctor Who/ House crossover, because I had to. I don't own any of the characters.
Note: TOO MANY TIMES while watching the fifth Doctor's era, I've noticed moments when he looks EXACTLY like Robert Chase from House, give or take a few details. Has anyone else noticed this? O.o
Robert Chase hated seminars.
Not all things about seminars were displeasing. He liked listening to the lectures of his mentors and peers, liked learning new things about the world of medicine, hoping to pick up something that his boss, Gregory House, didn't know, so that when he returned to Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital, he might have a small chance of one-upping the sarcastic rogue. No, it wasn't the seminars themselves he hated. Chase disliked were the milling crowds that unavoidably lurked alongside.
The discomfort on his boyish features was plain for anyone looking hard enough, despite the polite smile on his lips. The low din of the conference hall was just enough white noise to make his head hurt – the hum was penetrating, yet indistinguishable as separate voices, broken occasionally by a louder-then-most laugh or the cheery twang of a greeting to someone across the room. He tugged on his dark blue, pinstriped tie to loosen it and sighed softly, nodding to a familiar face here and there as he maneuvered his way towards the doors. Maybe some good old homeland air would clear his head.
The bright Australian sun made his sky-blue eyes crinkle, even behind his sunglasses, and he breathed a deep lungful of warm air, sticking his hands in the pockets of his cream colored trousers. It wasn't unpleasantly warm; a beautiful day, by standards. He glanced at his watch to check the time: two hours to kill until he had to return. With a renewed bounce in his step, finally out of the stuffy atmosphere, he started ambling down the sidewalk, on the hunt for an ice cream, or a good cup of coffee.
Tegan Jovanka was having the strangest day of her life.
No, she amended; the strangest day of her life had been years ago. The day a headstrong and curious child on her way to her first day of work had stepped into a Police Box on the side of the road that wasn't a Police Box at all. And she was fairly certain there had been stranger days after that.
The Kin'da world and the Mara, the Cybermen and prehistoric Earth, meeting the Doctor's former selves and running rampant through the Death Zone, to name a few instances…the thought gave her a moment's hesitation to shudder, and she warmed the chill on her skin with a sip of coffee, and returned to her book. The Time Machine, she reflected with amusement. Yes, that had been part of her strange day. First, the radio in her car, before she'd gotten a flat tire on the way into town, had merrily sung several songs in a row about time, old friends, and reunion. No Police Boxes on the side of the road this time, though. The book she had found under the seat while she was searching for the tire-iron. And she could've sworn she'd heard the melodic wheeze of TARDIS engines as she rode the elevator up several floors on her way to her new job interview.
Complete and utter coincidence, she decided, shaking off the uncanny sense of déjà vu and taking a studying glance around her table as she took another drink of coffee.
What she caught sight of was enough to make her choke on that sip, and she spent several minutes coughing before she twisted about, to watch with disbelief and awe the fair-haired young man at the counter ordering his drink.
"I'll have a…medium coffee please, light cream." Chase decided, after a few moments ponder over the chalkboard menu in the small little shop, digging in his pockets for the necessary cash. As he took the warm cup from the pretty brunette behind the counter, he flashed a thankful, charming smile, and turned to go.
Chase turned his head out of habit, looking for the speaker. She wasn't hard to find; a young woman, maybe thirty, thirty-five years old, staring at him from a table in the corner with a hopeful, disbelieving look. He paused in step and returned her studying gaze. She was rather pretty, though perhaps a tad too old for him. Her hair was dark, cut very short, and he could see fire in her eyes that spoke trouble. But it was her sudden crestfallen look that drew his full curiosity.
"I take it…I'm not the 'doctor' you were hoping for?" He remarked in his rich Australian tones, tilting his head lightly with an apologetic smile as he crossed the short distance. She sat back and shook her head quietly.
"No…my mistake. I'm sorry."
As the young man at the counter turned at her voice, his gentle blue eyes meeting her own, Tegan felt her heart sink. The fair hair, relaxed posture, and penetrating calm gaze were so alike to her Doctor, but she knew better. It wasn't even him in a new, remarkably uncanny regeneration and she didn't need to feel his pulse or hear his voice speak to know that. It was the eyes; despite being familiar and soft, they weren't deep pools of wisdom, age, and time. Those eyes she had gotten lost inside and they had swept her off her feet and drowned her in excitement. This young man, for all his similarity, was not the Doctor, and she could feel her hope crushed underfoot.
"No… my mistake. I'm sorry." She apologized, feeling somewhat foolish for staring, and filling the uncomfortable silence with a sip of her drink.
"Nah, no worries," The man smiled. "May I?" He gestured to the chair before him, and she nodded, after a moment's pause. He slid it out and settled himself in, then offered a hand to her.
"Robert Chase. Doctor Robert Chase, which is why I suppose I turned around when you asked." He smiled his charming smile. Tegan returned it sadly and shook his hand firmly.
"Tegan Jovanka. And I really am sorry. You just looked so much like someone I…knew, once."
"A doctor as well, I take it?" He raised his cup to his lips, watching her with curiosity. Tegan laughed softly.
"Of a sort. Of course, he'd argue that he was…the definitive Doctor. The genuine article. He traveled the un…world without as much as a care, like a little kid. Save the universe and be home in time for tea." She smiled, fighting tears that threatened to prick the corners of her eyes at the memory.
"So what happened?" She looked up sharply and inhaled a soft sigh, smiling sadly.
"The adventure wasn't my taste anymore. So I left. I just wish it had been on better terms." She shrugged her shoulders and brought her cup of coffee to her lips again, gazing sadly out the window. There was a couple across the street in her line of sight, a dark-skinned girl and a scruffy looking man in a khaki duster and brown pinstriped suit, who seemed to be discussing something heated for a few moments before they moved out of sight.
"I'm sorry. Is there anything I could do?" Chase asked gently, before his beeper made him start. He hefted a sigh and checked the number. "Blast. I'm sorry Miss Jovanka. I'm needed back at the convention center." He smiled. "Here, let me at least pay for your coffee." Tegan blinked, but before she could protest, he'd tugged the remains of his change and left enough to pay her back for her drink on the table. He pushed back, standing and shaking her hand gently.
"It was a pleasure, Miss Jovanka." Chase's charms weren't lost on her. The woman smiled faintly and nodded. "Please, call me Tegan. The pleasure was mine, Doctor. It's not often complete strangers drop in to chat."
The man smiled quirkily, nodding a goodbye before he picked up his cup and left the shop, heading down the sidewalk and out of sight. Tegan sighed gently, and picked up her book from the table. It had been a strange day, but she still couldn't help wishing that the one strange thing she hoped for would happen.
"The Time Machine." A man's voice remarked from over her shoulder, in a warm, London-borne accent. "Very ironic. I recall it took me two lifetimes to finish that book, not withstanding the whole Koschei-collapsing-the-universe incident." Tegan gasped, startled, and she twisted about in her chair, meeting the crinkled brown eyes and freckled features of the man from across the street. His hair was dark and scruffy, he wasn't as tall, and his accent wasn't the same, but her heart still skipped a beat as he smiled, his eyes lit with the swirl of time and rich cocoa.
"Brave heart, Tegan. You look like you've seen a ghost."
Well, Tegan reflected, as she leapt from her chair and embraced the new body of a very old friend in a warm hug, stranger things had happened.