Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who. One day though, one day...
The rain was just drizzling. It was a dirty December day and the normally charming looking campus was dank and untidy looking. There were fallen leaves everywhere, making pathways slippery and potentially treacherous. Puddles had appeared in all the most inconvenient places, as they are wont to do. There were only a few people around outside, students who had the misfortune to have lectures very late in the day and were only now heading home.
The only place where lights could be seen through the windows was the Library, a multistory building of concrete and (just recently) steel and glass. The more dedicated learners were in its upper floors and they gave the building that particular type of silence which when perceived by the mind, is so very noisy. The hushed sound of many minds at work while their bodies sit silently at desks. Apart from the occasional scrape of a turned over page or the tap of fingers on the keyboard of a laptop, all was quiet. Until the sound of someone dropping a particularly heavy pile of books on their foot broke the silence.
"Oh SHIT!" The exclamation rang out across the silent room, causing it's originator to turn red when she remembered where she was. Heads turned towards her curiously for a moment, making the already red-faced girl do a spectacular impression of Mr. Tomato Head, even as she glared defiantly at the room, daring anyone to gawk. The last head turned back to what it was doing and the girl gathered up her pile of books and departed the room as quick as was possible without breaking the 'no running' rule.
Stepping into the lift and pressing the ground-floor button, the girl let the slight hum of the lift wash away her embarrasment, relieved that this late in the day, there was no one sharing the lift with her. The lift pinged when it reached the ground floor. Putting in her earphones she switched on her iPod, found her favourite track and strode out of the Library confidently, the Indiana Jones theme playing in her ears.
On her way out the girl saw a tall, thin man in a suit and converse trainers entering through the second door. She noted him only because his hair was sticking up wildly and appeared to have so much gel in it that it could be a fire-hazard. It reminded her of David Boreanaz's hairstyle in 'Angel' gone horribly, horribly wrong.
The man saw her glance at him and grinned back. It's a slightly flirty look, but such things are so completely alien to her that all he gets in return is a confused second glance, and then she's outside the Library doors and striding away much faster now to get away from the guy in the pinstripe suit who gave her such a weird look.
The pile of books safely in her backpack, the library now out of sight, the girl slowed in her stride and walked the few hundred meters to her college accomodation at a more sedate pace. Arriving at her apartment, she pulled the doorkey from the bottom of her bag and opened the door. She avoided her flatmates in the kitchen and headed to her room. Locking the door of her room, she dropped the heavy book-laden bag on the floor with a sigh of relief. Still wet from the rain, she glanced in the mirror to see if anything needs to be fixed. Predictably her hair has turned to frizz. Wet frizz. Grabbing her brush, she pulled it viciously through the wet hair, scowling at the reflection in the mirror.
The reflection in the mirror is that of a seventeen-year-old girl in jeans, a college hoodie and oft-worn trainers, with short brown hair cut off at her chin. Dull green-grey eyes set in a round, slightly chubby face, peered at the world from behind thin metal framed glasses. The girl is about five and half feet tall, but she moves like someone who has spent their life feeling very short. Like her face, the rest of her is slightly too big, a size that the crueller girls at secondary school had proclaimed 'totally fat'. Very slightly overweight and having spent her life unable to find stylish clothes in her size, the girl has a lifelong dislike of both fashion designers and those fortunate enough to be naturally skinny.
The girl's name is Samantha Sullivan. In less than two days she is going to help save the university. Maybe the rest of the world too.
The Doctor pulled at another switch on the TARDIS console. Sighing to himself, he glanced briefly at the beeping monitor and promptly frowned.
"Well now, that's not right. What are you doing that for eh?" The monitor declined to answer and continued beeping. The Doctor scowled at the screen and began to throw more switches, dashing around the console to hit various coloured buttons and using a foot to a pull a lever back.
"What are you beeping for eh?" he inquired of the monitor. "If I'd wanted you to beep I'd've given you a beeper. But I didn't so you shouldn't be!" The monitor ignored him and continued to beep. He scowled again.
"A signal? All right, where's it from this time? London? No? Cardiff then, gotta be Cardiff, honestly you'd think Jack could handle these things himself without bothering m- oh . . . Not Cardiff? Cork? As in, city in the west of Ireland, Cork? What's an anachronistic signal-thingy doing in Cork? There's no rift there. No residual time energy from TARDIS landings either, which is the case with London. . ."
He stopped and cursed himself. He'd been doing it again. Saying all his thoughts out loud as if there was someone else here who needed an explanation. And there wasn't. Not anymore. . . There was no need to talk out loud like an idiot, like some . . . some dumb human. He was a Time Lord, he was above that. And he had better things to be doing than standing around like an idiot. Abruptly, the TARDIS shifted sideways nearly sending the Doctor flying. He glared at his ship.
"Oi! What was that for? And they are dumb. Spend all their short lives eating chips, find out you're a different species and they either try to shoot you or dissect you! Bloody apes!" He stopped again realizing he sounded just a bit too much like his previous incarnation. That was never a good thing. He'd been too bloodthirsty then. The Doctor's expression softened when the console whined slightly. He sighed. "I know, I know," he said, stroking the console. "I miss her too."
The ship began to shudder into a landing and the usual groaning, wheezing noise filled the air. The Doctor grabbed his coat from a railing and bounced towards the door. Throwing the TARDIS doors open, he took a deep breath. . . and got hit in the face with an unusually large amount of water.
"Well of course," he muttered, "this is Ireland, known for it's green fields, quaint fairy tales, alcohol exports, and rain." Pulling out the sonic screwdriver, he began to fiddle with it's settings so that it would track the anachronistic signal that the TARDIS had detected.
Taking a look around, the Doctor realised he was in a college of some sort. Probably the city's university, he thought. Nice looking place too, sort of an old cloisterish feel to it. The sonic scewdriver's loud buzz brought him out of his reverie. Signal located, the Time Lord thought. It was coming from a building across from him. Looked like a library.
Heading through the doors, he saw a brown-haired girl going the opposite way give his hair a funny look. He gave her his best 'charming grin' back and blinked in surprise when she looked at him as if he was mad and rushed through the exit. Making a mental note to find a mirror and check if there was something on his face, he continued onwards, following the trail of the strange signal. It was coming from the upper floors of the building and he still had no idea what kind of signal it was, only that it didn't belong where and when it currently was.
Catching the lift, he did a brief sweep with the screwdriver. To his surprise there was an echo of the signal lingering in the lift. As if the source of the signal had been in here recently. He jabbed the button for the top floor and leaned against the wall, trying to think. He'd seen a signal like this before, he was sure of that, but for the life of him he couldn't remember where. Not on earth though.
"No, definitely not on earth. Other side of the galaxy maybe?" This time he didn't curse. He just sighed. He could almost hear what she'd say: You're talking to the walls of a lift! What are you like? You great, big, space dumbo! You need therapy, sunshine! The lift pinged. He'd arrived at the top floor. The Doctor stepped out of the lift, alone.
So, prequel to 15 things. Chibi!Doctor asks you to read and review.