Chapter One: Molly Shae Callaghan
The week had gone terribly well for Molly Callaghan, until the multitudes of marching metal monstrosities had burst from behind the act curtain at the auditorium. She smiled at the alliteration despite herself, then returned to double-deadbolting the heavy metal door. She whipped around, throwing her back against the door and splaying her hands across it as if they'd offer any extra protection.
"You're a handful," she said from between teeth gritted in anticipation.
His mouth dropped open a notch as he ran the screwdriver down the seal of the door, the grinding noise still piercing in her untrained ear. "I'm a handful? You're downright cracked!"
"Sticks and stones, Doctor." She grinned disarmingly.
Molly's day had started several hours earlier, mostly devoid of robots and aliens in pinstripe suits. She'd woken two minutes before her alarm again, and was up and ready in only ten minutes, a warm Poptart hanging between her teeth. She worked early on Wednesdays and she was determined to foil her boss's plans to purloin her microwavable pastry.
The fall air was crisp, plucking at her coffee-colored turtleneck and soft, brown leather jacket. She liked to think that her few extra pounds kept her warm in the colder months, like a walrus, but when the wind turned down and brought the skittering brown and orange leaves with it, she knew that the world was changing. She wrangled her long, wavy, dark-auburn hair up in a ponytail, pushed her square glasses up the bridge of her nose and stepped out of the dormitory.
The sun was barely up and the wind was barely alive. Which is why she was surprised when, from the back alley behind her dorm, a gust of wind appeared with an echoing vwoorp vwoorp sound. She pondered over the onomatopoeia for a moment then trucked on toward work.
A moment later, footsteps sounded behind her in a light jog. The more exercise-savvy students always ran in the dim hours of morning and dusk, so she payed them no heed. When they slowed as they approached behind her, she stiffened and turned immediately.
"I know Tae-Kwon-Do!" she shouted, holding up bladed hands.
The man behind her looked windswept and travel-worn, a brown pinstripe suit on a paper-thin frame covered by a long duster. He held up his hands in surrender, his eyebrows almost up into his wild hair. She felt an instant impulse to ruffle it.
"Sorry," he said, his accent recognizably British. "Sorry, I just wanted to know what day it is."
Molly lowered her hands slightly. "Wednesday, November 5th, 2008," she answered.
The man dropped his hands as well, mouth bobbing speechless for a moment. "That was... refreshingly accurate. Thank you."
"I seriously know Tae-Kwon-Do," she reminded him, fisting her hands again.
"I'll keep that in mind," he said, shifting his weight and cutting in with a sharp breath. "Listen, is anything... unusual going on here?" Even his voice felt as if this might be a stretch.
"It's Bateman," she replied. "There's always something weird going on." One finger rose from her side and she pointed vaguely to her teeth. "You got a little something-something."
"What?" His eyebrows drew down comically fast, one hand headed for his mouth.
She grinned. "Gotcha."
Molly turned away, knowing now that she would lamentably be only ten minutes early for work. She'd have to book it before she was on time. The footsteps picked up again from behind her, and the man fell into step beside her.
"What was your name?" He asked as if she'd already told him.
"Molly Shae Callaghan," she replied.
"Again, nice and specific. And what is it that you do, Molly Shae Callaghan?"
"I'm a writer." She looked proud of the fact. "And who are you?" Her tone was easy, as if she'd forgotten that she'd threatened him with deadly martial arts.
"I'm the Doctor," he replied, pulling out a small wallet and flashing an ID at her. "Investigative journalist. I'm doing a bit on writers in college. Mind if I follow you around for a while?"
"All right. Do I have to sign anything?"
"Nope." He popped the P enthusiastically.
"Sweet." She paused in speech, her eyes on the ground. "Your shoes are awesome."
He looked down and grinned, showing off a row of perfectly white teeth. "Are they?"
"Can I have them?" Her eyes were big and round as they met his. His eyebrows turned down again.
"I'm wearing them," he responded.
"What would I wear?"
"I have some man boots."
"I don't want your man boots." The last two words came out drawn and exaggerated.
"Fine." She shrugged her shoulder bag up. "Your feet probably smell funny anyway."
As Molly stood behind the circulation desk at the Music Library, the Doctor sat in the office directly across from her, sitting in a far-too-small swivel chair and running a hand up and down his weary face.
I'm desperate. Sooo desperate.
You don't have to pick the first human you come across. Tell her you forgot something and run off.
She caught his eye, smiled brightly and waved, mouthing the words 'I'm at work!' He smiled back, weakly.
I've already picked someone. So she's a little eccentric, who says you aren't? Picking someone else could be an even bigger mistake.
At the desk, Molly laughed loud and bright and ended with a sound almost like a hiccup.
The Doctor almost whimpered. Sooo lonely...
Someone approached from behind, further back in the office, and the Doctor turned accordingly. The man was almost tall, hidden somewhere behind massive glasses, thinning hair and a loud Hawaiian shirt. This must be The Boss.
"Can I help you?" he asked. He smiled helpfully. The man must have lived to help people.
The Doctor thought quickly, as he was wont to do. "No. I mean, no, I'm waiting on Molly."
"She doesn't get off for another hour. Are your sure you don't need anything?" He seemed insistent. The Doctor considered giving the man the name of an obscure composer and asking for his life's work.
"Actually," the Doctor said, standing, "have you noticed anything out of the ordinary? Objects falling from the sky, atmospheric disturbances?"
The Boss pondered. "There was this strange mass e-mail prank a couple days ago. Didn't seem very important, kids get ahold of e-mail addresses and pissing a handful of people off. But this went out to so many people..." The Boss trailed off, looking over the Doctor's shoulder as if to look for anyone who might have a library need.
"Do you remember what the e-mail said?" This could be interesting.
"Something about Grapes of Wrath being imperfect and..." He thought deeply. "Something about eliminating it?Exterminating it?" The Doctor stiffened, but The Boss pondered on. "No, deleting it. That's it." He shrugged. "I thought the play was pretty good. They made it rain on stage and everything."
"SNICKELFRITZ!" Molly growled from the front desk after a book had dropped on her finger. "Sorry! Sorry. Library voice."
Molly watched the Doctor deep in conversation with her boss, her heart glowing with pride. He was interviewing her boss about her. Her coworker reappeared beside her, tall and thin with shaggy black hair and a prominent nose.
"Snickelfritz?" he asked. She nodded plainly.
"I'm trying to cut back on cursing, so I'm coming up with interesting euphemisms." She grinned giddily. "Danny, guess what."
"What?" He asked, reshelving a CD on the shelves behind the desk.
"That sharp fella talking to Greg back there is interviewing me. Or followng me around. He's kinda like a stalker." Her smile was a long line curled up at the corners like a cat's mouth. He didn't seem as enthusiastic at the news.
"I bet he weighs less than you."
"He's taller than me, that's not fair."
They paused, a pause thick with backstory. She smiled again, a bit more awkwardly.
"Hey Danny, I've got two tickets to Grapes of Wrath tonight." She looked up over the top of her glasses. He shuffled the papers superfluously.
"I've got a sinus infection," he replied. "I don't want to get anyone sick."
Her smile fell. "Those aren't communicable," she said solemnly. After another pause heavy with exposition, they moved apart.
The Doctor appeared at the desk, smirking with a bounce in his step. "Your boss is interesting. I had to get him to look up P.D.Q Bach's biography before he'd leave me alone."
"We think that strangeness is a prerequisite for working here," Molly said. "You'd fit in."
"What? What makes you think I'm strange?"
"White chucks with a brown suit? Awkward!" She jumped as if goosed. "Oh! Doctor, I haven't introduced you to Danny! DANNY!"
He jumped and turned, white-eyed.
"Danny, this is the Doctor. He's an investigative journalist and in no way a creepy stalker."
The Doctor nodded, extending his hand enthusiastically. "Nice to meet you, Danny."
Molly grinned fanatically. "He's British," she whispered loudly. "Isn't that boss?"
Danny cautiously shook hands with the Doctor, whose smile stayed absolutely the same for near on a minute. Danny turned to Molly, halfway to saucer-eyed.
"I think I'll shelve books now," he said. "Good luck with your stalker."
"Oy," the Doctor called after Danny's retreating back. "I'm not a stalker! I'm a completely legitimate investigative journalist!" He turned back to Molly, leaning on the circ desk and returning his full grin to his face. "So, I hear you've got an extra ticket to the play tonight."
AN: .... Okay, hello there :D I'm new to writing for the Doctor Who fandom, soooo, hello all you new people out there! Everyone who has me on their Author Alerts and has no idea what Doctor Who is, I'm sorry! Oh, and get on that! It's a fantabulous show! Anyway, I wanted to point out that YES, Molly is based on me, but that's the point. If the Doctor gets desperate and picks up any random girl as a companion, she's not gonna be the best of the bunch. I've also tried to toe the Mary-Sue line with her, making her eccentric enough to not be labled as such, but still able to be pigeon-holed there for the sake of the fic. I've had this idea ever since Journey's End (WHYYYYY???!!?!) and I wrote this bit between stuff for NaNoWriMo. I'd like some feedback on it, and I'm definitely thinking of continuing it if anyone is interested in the misadventures of the Weirdest/Worst Companion Ever. Please no flaming, it's meant to be humorous, but const. crit is welcomed and appreciated. Thanks for reading so far, leave us some love, and stay awesome!