Timelines & Bylines: Beginnings.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. DC, Warner Brothers, the estates or what not of Siegel and Shuster, the CW, and the BBC own everything. Doesn't it suck?
Summary: Lois Lane, meet the Doctor.
Spoiler Warning: Depending on your point of view, there could be poilers for S4 of Doctor Who. So be warned.
Notes: This is a series of stories involving Lois Lane and The Doctor. This is my cracked way of explaining why Lois is only seen 13 episodes out of season of Smallville even when plots should have her in it for logical means. This spins off after the finale of Season/Series 4 of Doctor Who. (As in New Who.) There may be 'rewrites' (rather, modified versions) of DW events to mesh the two into one reality.
Notes 2: This is from Lois's point of view.
I guess you could say that it started the summer of 2005. It was the summer after the second meteor shower in Smallville. I had just been 'ordered' by the general to find my sister Lucy. It hadn't taken me long considering the fact she found me first. Oh, I tried to get her to own up to her mistakes and to come home. (Wherever home was these days.) Naturally she wouldn't and she ran off again. At least this time I was left with a general idea of where she was. The question was what would I do with the information? Against my selfish and protective judgment I followed orders. I wasn't Lucy's keeper and I loved her, but I couldn't do anything else for her at the moment. So I handed the intel over to the general. What did I get for my troubles? A verbal reprimand and the equivalent of a court martial in my family.
So there I was, stuck in London. I could have gone back to Smallville, but according to Chloe's emails, Clark and Lana were pretty hot and heavy. The last thing I wanted to do was watch them have sex with their eyes. I'd die of a diabetic coma. I felt bad for leaving Chloe alone to deal with the toxic shock, but that pretty picture wasn't for me. So instead of heading back to Kansas for the rest of the summer, I opted to explore London for a bit. I had limited funds, but I knew some people and I liked to think I was pretty self-sufficient. So I got myself a job at a shop while staying at a friend of a friend's flat. Yeah, it was a bit 'six degrees of' but it worked and the couple was pretty nice. They weren't nearly as sugary as I could imagine Smallville and Lana being. Plus they both had better taste in everything. Not a speck of plaid in sight.
I was well into my second week of working the counter of the shop when the man who would change my outlook on life as I knew it walked through the door. The first time he came in, I barely noticed him even though his entrance caused the bell to ring. He explored the shop and I glanced at him every so often. He was tall and thin, a kind of lanky guy who probably needed to be fed more. It was kind of hard to tell since he wore a large light brown overcoat over what looked like a brown pinstripe suit and white Chucks. As he perused the contents of the shop, I spent my time flipping through a copy of the Sun. It was the most unreliable tabloid I'd ever seen and I could only shake my head and wonder who would ever want to work for a rag like that. But I was bored and a girl needed something to read. Eventually the tall man found his way to the counter where he simply placed a bag of Jelly Babies in front of me. He'd wandered the store for over an hour and all he ended up with was that? It brought up questions, but I just couldn't bring myself to care much, but then I was still slightly moody from the Lane family drama.
I rang it up and gave him a shifty look. But he just smiled politely, paid up and left. Not long after I'd heard this strange sound. At the time I thought that was the end of it. I was wrong. For the next week he kept coming into the shop at the same time every day. Each time an hour. Each time the Jelly Babies. It got to the point where I wondered if he only wore one suit, because it was always the same brown one. Each time after he left, I'd hear that same echoing sound from somewhere down the street.
Finally I couldn't take it anymore. I usually spoke my mind a hell of a lot sooner, but something about the guy kept me holding my tongue at each register interval. It was the eyes. I'd seen those on soldiers when the general uprooted me from base to base. He was someone who had seen too much. Done what they never wanted to do. He had war stories in that mind of his. But even with that knowledge my control only lasted so long. Saturday came and for once he didn't show up at his usual time. I couldn't help but wonder what had happened to him. I was tempted to ask for a break to go look around for the guy but where would I go? I knew nothing about him. We'd never spoken a word to each other. (Shocking, wasn't it.)
Thankfully my boss, Jared the human looking weasel (Or was it weasel looking human?), gave me the out I needed. He poked his head out his office door. "I need to close the shop for bit. So why don't you go on and get some lunch then come back in a couple of hours?"
I shrugged and went with it. I tried to avoid most interaction with the guy, considering the vibe on him screamed slimy. But a job was a job at the moment. I grabbed my jacket and keys, exited and locked the door behind me, then headed down the street. I thought about going to look for the weird one in the suit or just going to grab a burger. It was a tough choice so I decided to check my wallet to make the decision for me. Unfortunately, my pockets were empty except for my keys. I swore and realized I must have dropped it in the shop. So I sprinted back only to find the lights dim. I frowned, wondering what was going on. I was getting ready to unlock the door when I realized it was already unlocked. I knew for a fact that I'd locked it. I pushed the door open but the bell didn't greet me either.
Something was wrong. That thought was only amplified by the strange lights I could see between the cracks of the floor boards. What the hell was going on? I headed for the back room stairwell that led to the basement, pausing only to grab my wallet that I'd spotted on the floor near the counter. I'd been told the basement was for storage purposes, but that brought to mind on what kind of storage. The door to the basement was slightly ajar, light streaming through the crack. Once I safely made it through the door I quietly crept down the stairs and found that voices echoed the chilled basement.
"You have no idea what you're doing!" The yelling voice sounded like Jared.
"Oh, I know exactly what I'm doing. Do you? Because it looks like you're trying to build yourself a time dilation detonator for a bio weapon targeting human dna. An even better question is why."
I frowned. Who was Jared talking to and what the hell was he doing with a bio-wait, what? Time dilation? Too much Star Trek or what? My head was starting to hurt. As I got closer to the bottom of the stairs, the arguing continued.
"You have no idea what you're talking about. I'm merely-"
"What, building a light show for the local carnival? Oh, no no no. I somehow doubt that. Look at you! You've got the genetic programmer right there on your desk!"
"It's a paper weight!" Yeah, Jared, that sounded real convincing. I already knew I worked for an idiot, but this was just a little pathetic.
"You really are bad at this, aren't you." The other voice sounded almost disappointed by that thought.
"..Well, I never was good at cover stories. So, what, we fight to death now?" Was Jared nuts?
"What?" Apparently the mystery man was just as baffled as I was. "Why would we fight to death?"
"Because you're trying to stop me. Isn't that how it goes?"
"No!" The mystery man was quiet. "Well, sometimes." There was a hint of bitterness in the tone. "But there's usually running first."
The light grew brighter and there was a snapping and crack sound as I covered my eyes. The light dimmed to nothing and all was quiet. Crap. That was never a good sign.
"Oh, there'll be running all right," Jared said. "But it'll be by me. You'll just be dead." I heard his footsteps and he was moving... toward me and the stairwell.
I swore and managed to reach the door before he reached the stairs. I hid beside the door where he couldn't see me and listened to his footfalls while he muttered something in a language I'd never heard. As soon as he reached the top of the stairs, I stepped into view.
"What are you doing here?" Jared stared at me in surprise, but what was important was that he held a strange looking device in his hands with flickering lights. I could only assume that was this so called bio weapon. Or maybe it was the time dilation thing. Honestly? It looked more like one of those Simon toys.
Jared was still staring at me and one of hands moved toward the amped up Simon device. "I forgot my wallet." I said honestly. He seemed to relax a bit and the moment his hand moved away from his super Simon toy, I slammed the door in his face sending him tumbling down the stairs. The device went flying and I ran down the steps to catch it. It almost slipped from my grasp and I was unbalanced on the steps, but I had it. "Touchdown." I muttered as I steadied myself.
I heard the familiar sound of a gun cocking. Crap. At the bottom of the steps was Jared, looking worse for wear, and with a Glock in his hand. Well, damn. He had a glowing lightshow of doom and a gun? I was starting to miss Smallville. (The place not the person.)
Jared looked edgy and desperate. "Hand it over and you won't have to get hurt."
"Right. Because handing over a mysterious toy out of a science fiction novel to an obvious nutcase is always a better plan." I stepped backward and up the steps only to cause Jared to pull the trigger. I didn't cry out at the shot, I was made of stronger stuff than that, and it hit the wood paneling of the stairwell. My eyes narrowed as did his. Ok, maybe being a smart ass wasn't a good idea right now. "I had better aim than that by the time I was seven." And yet, timing or not, it didn't stop me from talking.
"Give. It. To. Me." Jared hissed.
Let's see, possible weapon of untold means in the hands of my psycho no doubt soon to be ex boss or death by a nine millimeter. Huh. Tough choice. My options limited I did what anyone should have done in my position. "I may be a lot of things, but one thing my dad didn't raise was an idiot." I took another step back.
There was a strange high pitched whirring sound just as Jared pulled the trigger this time. I instinctively ducked and dodged to the left as much as I could, only to realize that nothing happened. Confused as I was, I looked at Jared who was staring at something out of my line of sight in the basement.
"But you-" He seemed horrified at whatever he saw and he threw the gun at what he saw before pressing a button on his shirt. He seemed to flicker and fade from sight just as that mystery man's voice filled the room.
"Oh, nonono." Jared vanished and mystery man came into view as he grabbed for the air where Jared once stood. "Blast! Now I-" He turned to look up. He noticed me and stared. A moment later he smiled. "Oh, hello again!"
It was the man in the brown suit. Color me shocked. I tilted my head at him, giving him a silent once over.
"I don't suppose I could have that." He said, gesturing to the device. I opened my mouth to reply; only he didn't give me a chance. "No, probably not. So how about... ah. Got it." He was fiddling with some weird pen like object in his hand. He pointed at me, or rather the device, when I got ready to move. He pressed a button and the tip began to glow a bright blue and it made that strange sound from a moment ago. A second later he turned it off and resumed smiling. "Ah, there we go. Much better. Now it really is a paper weight at the moment."
Would it be a surprise to say that I didn't believe him? "What the hell was that about?"
"Oh, that all depends," He said and tilted his head while his hands slid into the pockets of his long brown overcoat. "What did you hear?"
"Do the words 'time dilation bio weapon' mean anything to you?" I snapped as he started up the steps. I stood my ground. If he got too pushy I'd just shove him down. I had the high ground.
"Well, yes. What do they mean to you?" He asked as he pulled out a pair of rectangle framed glasses and put them on. He stood in front of me and was giving the device a once over in my hands. "If he weren't so unstable, I'd compliment the craftsmanship on this. I mean, really. Most of this is thirtieth century components, but he managed to incorporate modern circuitry without much energy waste in the output… It's even got Windows 95 and that's a miracle in technology if I ever saw one…"
Did he forget I was even there? "Those words mean that I should probably call someone, like oh, the military."
He winced at that and shook his head. "Oh no. Bad idea. That just means more guns and to be perfectly honest I don't like guns all that much."
"Yes, well who does?" I muttered. I clung to the device and pulled it closer. "I think I deserve an explanation."
He sighed and looked unhappy about it. "Fine... Apparently your employer was a refugee that fell through a rift in time and space, I'd suggest Cardiff, but he probably wouldn't have made it this far then. He settled here, decided to build himself a weapon that would wipe out the human race and then he was going to sell the planet to the highest bidder as an economic resource. I've been trying to get him cornered and with his guard down so that I could stop him." He waited for my reaction.
I arched an eyebrow at him. "Right. So that means he couldn't be human if it wouldn't affect him. So what, you run around saving the planet from people like him?"
"Something like that." He gave me a confused look. "You're taking this rather well, aren't you."
I shrugged and handed him the device. I liked to think I had a good judge of character at times. There was just something about him that made me think I could trust him. "I lived in Smallville, Kansas for the past few months."
"Meteor capital of the world." He murmured. Much to my shock the device went into one of his coat pockets without even making a bulge. "Well, at least for the next... but that's beside the point." He looked back at me. "What?"
"You fit that in your pocket." I said, stunned. My lack of vocabulary was apparent. "How did you do that?"
"Bigger on the inside." He grinned as if it were perfectly normal.
It was funny how something so small compared to what had happened not long ago could be what made me almost lose my composure. "Who are you?"
"Oh, I'm the Doctor." He took off his glasses and they vanished into his pocket too. "And you are?"
I put my cool back into place and decided if he was going be so vague and grin; I could at least match it with my own stellar personality. "Lois. Lois Lane." I said with a grin of my own.
He seemed pleased at my reaction. "Well, then, Lois, Lois Lane, you just helped save the world. What are you going to do now?"
"Put an end to reality television. If I see another season of 'Farmer Wants a Wife', I'm getting out the napalm." He gave me a blank look so I rolled my eyes and smirked. "And then I'll go to Disney World."
The Doctor was staring straight ahead, I'd have said he was staring at me but I had a feeling I almost didn't exist for a few moments as his mind seemed to be somewhere else. His eyes finally locked back onto mine and he looked as if he'd come to a decision. "Oh, I could do one better." He sidestepped me and left me standing alone on the stairs wondering what he was on and I heard him call out from the shop. "Well, come on now!"
What was a girl to do? Follow him of course. He led me out of the shop, (yes I grabbed anything else of mine first... no, I didn't take any of the chocolate covered coffee beans we sold. Ok, maybe I did) down the street and to a nearby ally where an old blue police box stood. You know, one of those old call boxes where they'd hold a criminal until the police came or they'd ring the cops up.
"Why am I here?" I asked. I had started to wonder if I was putting my trust in a crazy person. Who was I kidding? Of course I was.
He leaned against the doors of the box and rapped his knuckles on the blue wood. "How would you like to go on a trip?"
I folded my arms across my chest. "In a box."
"Yes. No!" He corrected himself. "It just looks like a box. It's my ship."
Up went the eyebrow. "Your ship is a police box."
"It's a TARDIS." He took note of my expression and must have decided to clarify. "Time And Relative Dimension(s) In Space."
I braced myself and strode forward to get a better look. "Time? As in a time travel?" I circled the box with a frown. He couldn't be serious. "A ship that travels in time and space?" I placed a hand on the box and it felt like ordinary wood to me. A ship made of wood. Maybe I had gotten shot in the shop and this was all a hallucination from blood loss.
"Oh, you catch on quick, Lois Lane." I dared to glance at him to see he had the door open and was standing in the door way. He held out a hand. "What do you say?"
I could have scoffed at him. Maybe I should have. But the look on his face... maybe it was the eyes. Older than he looked. Older than anyone I'd ever met, including the general. Older, sadder. Lonely even. Loneliness I could understand, though I'd never admit it to anyone.
I took the hand and as soon as he pulled me through the doors, I knew things would never be quite the same again. "If this is a put on-" I began only to find myself speechless once inside.
The police box was small on the outside, not much bigger than a phone booth really. The inside however... It was huge. I had found myself in an impossibly large dome shaped room. Not impossible in normalcy, but impossible to fit in such a small box. There were organic looking columns and in the center of the room was a large circular pedestal with all sorts of controls of various designs divided into several sections. In the middle of it was a central column that went straight to the ceiling and was glowing green as were some of the panels on the pedestal.
I walked forward to get a better look; barely registering the fact the Doctor had closed the door. I ran my hand along the side of the pedestal, after deciding that it was a control console, and I swore I could feel it hum as if it were alive. Still looking around, I noticed a corridor that apparently led to other areas and I turned my attention to the Doctor who had slung his overcoat over one of the railings near the exit door. He had his hands in his pockets and I was almost positive it seemed like he was looking for approval.
"Bigger on the inside?" I asked with a grin.
"Noticed that did you?" He was grinning again like a kid with a new toy. He joined me at the console and began flipping a few switches. "So where would you like to go?"
"Surprise me." I said. If I was going to jump in, I may as well jump in head first.
That grin of his widened. "That... I can do." He flipped one more switch and the TARDIS began to shake. I had to hold on to the edge of the console to keep from falling. I noticed that the Doctor did too and I wasn't sure if it was comforting or not.
The strange sound I had heard each time he'd left the shop filled the ship and I realized each time I heard it, it was him leaving. Whatever I had gotten myself into, I had just signed on for one wild ride. I could feel it.
But hey, at least it would beat the usual summer vacation by any means.