A/N: inspired in part by "La Vie Boheme" from RENT which I've never actually seen and which should have an accent over the first 'e.'
Disclaimer: This story includes references (however obvious or vague) to the following: Tomorrow Never Knows by the Beatles; La Vie Boheme from RENT; The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis; Nicolas Courtney's one-eyebrow-raised 'wtf?!' face; the end of Planet of the Spiders; most of Tom Baker's episodes but especially Robot and Logopolis; a throwaway line from The Pirate Planet; Plato; various philosophical discussions from my Paideia 1 class (College First Year required English, basically); a documentary in the extras of the Logopolis DVD; Tom Baker's hair, hands, and face; tiny bits from the episodes Hand of Fear, Genesis of the Daleks, Talons of Wen Chiang, and Invasion of Time; my biology class; Shakespeare; Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (i.e. Ford's conscious decision to go mad); something Elton says in Love and Monsters; Rich Morris' brilliant cartoon The Ten Doctors (dubya dubya duby DOT comics DOT shipsinker DOT com); Exodus of the Daleks on whofic and a resulting idiotic discussion between myself and my sister; William Faulkner; Don Quixote; and that 'lonely god' b.s.
La Vie Boheme
2. The Viking, the King, and the clown outfits are all jokes. He knew what he was going to wear—roughly—from the beginning. He just wanted to see the Brigadier's face and so puts on the farce. No one else is in on the joke because Sarah Jane is not around, but it doesn't matter: somewhere, somewhen the stars spell a very dirty word which is funny even if no one ever sees it.
He is glad to turn in ruffles (such a bother to get tomato sauce stains off of) for a riot of patterns in earth tones. And he can't believe this is the first time he's gotten the scarf off its shelf—although it would probably be a good idea to stay away from deserts for awhile, he thinks he shall get a perverse pleasure in refusing to dress for warm weather.
The moral is that he is very pleased with his choice of clothing.
But he kind of liked the horns.
4. "…and then there are all the organisms which exhibit budding. I can't begin to imagine how awkward it would be to be having to break it off because your offspring just started growing on you. Of course, they can probably control it, to some extent. And don't even get me started on the Psychmotins—they reproduce mentally—the entire process! I've got no idea how that's supposed to work although they say—"
"Doctor?" interrupted Sarah in the sweet tone of voice that meant listen.
"Stop talking. I don't think Harry's particularly interested—"
"Of course not, he's not my type."
"—in xenobiology." She blinked. "Wait, what?"
He grinned like a loon because he could and because he wanted to.
To days of inspiration,/Playing hooky, making something/Out of nothing, the need/To express-/To communicate,/To going against the grain,/Going insane,/Going mad
5. The Doctor hummed to himself as he messed with the TARDIS controls. Leela looked at him like he was utterly mad. He returned with an exaggerated stare.
"Come on, Leela! It's about time I introduced you to the Beatles—well, not formally, of course---where did I put those 45s?" He headed down the hall, still talking and perfectly aware that Leela had no idea what he was waffling on about.
8. He spends a week lying on the consul room floor, playing chess with K9 and losing every single game. The main upshot of it is a crick in his lower back and the workings of a new strategy.
He decides to read "The Republic" again and only takes a break to start a revolution on Jianjing when he went out to stretch his legs.
Then he goes to the opening of Macbeth 13 times, darns his socks, writes half a novel on the walls of the library, ruins a perfectly good cravat by falling into the pool, lets himself get drunk just to see what it's like, stands in front of a windmill and watches it for five hours because he can.
He composes a symphony for accordion and dog whistle, goes pike fishing in the Thames, and gets a sunburn on his nose.
After all, the universe isn't his responsibility. He wishes that Sarah Jane were around (or maybe Jamie) so he could prove that he doesn't go looking for trouble: a group of angry Mayans were the only ones this whole month who tried to sacrifice him!
7. He decides to go mad for a while, just to see what it's like. What better place to do so than Gallifrey?
9. When Romana decides to stop being so superior given that the real world is so much madder and sillier and better than the little bubble that is Gallifrey and the Academy, he starts introducing her to some of the finer aspects of different societies. If he spends more time on Earth, well, who's counting? He tries to explain that pictures don't have to be accurate and poems and songs don't have to tell true stories. That rain storms can be just as nice as a cloudless, sunny day.
4.5 Forget you? Don't be so absurdly daft? How could I?
10. On some flower-covered hillside somewhere, they discuss philosophy. They argue about questions: while she maintains that the point of a question is the answer, he insists it is in the asking.
"If you can't know the answer, what is the point of asking?"
"The point is understanding that the question needs asking—What is justice? Who knows? But if there's no definition, surely there's no point?"
Incensed at being mocked, she abruptly changes the subject: "What about on Skaro—the first time? Why didn't you destroy the Daleks?"
"But they were Daleks!"
"So?" he snaps, sharper than he intended. "Who was I to pass judgment on them? Hitler was evil. Omega was evil! But look at all the good things they would never have achieved had they been killed as children! Leave the judging to some higher authority, don't expect me to do it!"
In a huff, he falls back on the grass and watches the clouds. She's probably aware that he's trying to convince himself as well as her, but she mercifully doesn't point this out. They're both silent for a while.
"What higher authority?" she asks finally—it's not a challenge, just a question.
"I don't know. I haven't met it, yet." He puts his hat over his eyes. "But we'll see…"
To loving tension, no pension/To more than one dimension,/To starving for attention,/Hating convention, /hating pretension,/Not to mention of course,/Hating dear old mom and dad
6. Leela complained about the dull corridors of the majority of the places they visited. "Take me someplace outside," she insisted. "Someplace I would like." The Doctor let the TARDIS choose.
They ended up on Xenon, a small planet boasting three and a half moons and the galaxy's highest cliffs. Leela was out of the doors in a minute and leaning perilously over the cliff edge the next, squinting down at the winding river below, miniscule at that distance, though unmistakably pink.
"Doctor, look! Why is the river pink? Doctor?" She turned to find him standing about ten meters away from the cliff's edge. "Why are you not interested?"
"Different levels of light wave absorption, I expect. Hm, what?"
"I said, are you not interested?" Leela repeated with irritation. "Come and see! We are so high there are clouds down there!"
The Doctor looked slightly off-color. "I expect so: these cliffs are several kilometer high…Did you know this planet has three and a half moons? I've always wanted to know how there can be half a moon—why don't we go take a look?"
"No, we shall stay here," Leela insisted, marching over to him. "You make me live in your strange box and learn about your science—so come and see my pink river." She grabbed his arm and tried to drag him forward.
"I'm sure it's gorgeous," protested the Doctor, "but I'm sure you'll like the moon just as much…"
"Ah," said Leela, finally giving up on tugging at him. "I see. You are afraid." She smirked in a self-satisfied way.
If this was supposed to goad him into coming with her, it didn't work.
"Oh and I suppose you're utterly fearless, hm, savage?" he grumped.
Leela rolled her eyes. "Of course not. But I do know to confront my fears."
"Last time I tried that I ended up dead," he grumbled.
"Nothing, nothing," he muttered bad-temperedly, but followed her carefully closer to the raving until they stood within a few feet of it.
"You are not looking," Leela informed him.
"Are you interested in the damage a fall like that can do to a person?"
"I'll tell you anyway—" he was cut off by Leela tugging him forward and forcing him to look over the edge.
"What do you know—it is pink. That is really, very interesting…" at which point he succumbed to vertigo and Leela had to drag him back to the TARDIS.
The next day they landed in five especially dull quarries and Leela refused to talk to him for a week.
11. He finds himself thinking about death more than he used to. Not that this body's unsatisfactory or even really wearing out, he's just feeling morbid and tired and all the burgundy and skinny ankles really don't help.
He's curious about how he'll go this time and figures he's due for something heroic for once, only he'll probably just be brain-fried or something lame. He notes he's also getting more cynical.
He wonders what he'll be like next time: maybe he can get off the old man template again, if he's lucky. Young man would be nice, though rather unimaginative. Woman, any age, would be interesting, to say the least. He also considers cacti, parrots, otters, and cockroaches.
"Suppose I come back as a rock? That would be interesting: granite or limestone?"
"You're going to regenerate as a humanoid male and you know it. What's the point in speculation?"
This earned Romana an aggrieved glare: "I know that, but what's wrong in hoping for something different, eh?"
Emotion, devotion, to causing a commotion,/Creation, Vacation…/Compassion, to fashion, to passion/When it's new…/To apathy, to entropy, to empathy, ecstasy
1. He really likes this body, he decides right away. Of course, he always likes himself the way he is, but usually it takes a little longer. This one is…interesting. For instance, he's got big, strong hands this time around, but that's counteracted by the fact that (so far as he can tell at this point) he seems to be quite clumsy. Also his face is a dubious combination of features, but they come with a brilliant grin. And the hair is rather magnificent, isn't it? He's never been properly curly before and never so young, either.
Not that he really cares. What do aesthetics matter in something one can't change?
More important is the face that he's full of all sorts of energy and wants to visit a thousand places at once; whether he's fully recovered or even fully dressed are immaterial.
12. "Well," he thinks, "if it had to be anywhere, at least it was dear old planet Earth…" His palms are burning on the tube and his grip is sliding. There's a support there if he can—just—reach—
But it's not near enough and he can practically feel his shoulders about to dislocate. He doesn't spare the Master a glance (he's not important. Not anymore) and instead looks down over his shoulder at the dewy grass below.
He doesn't think over his choices and his life doesn't flash before his eyes. He's already lived it all—why do so again? It wouldn't change. He does spare one thought for the friends he had this time around: "Goodbye," he thinks, though he's not sure who to because it makes no difference.
(He doesn't even mutter something like: "Newton gets his revenge," because that would be an awfully silly thing to say. But he can't help thinking it.)
He lets go and just falls.
3. "Brigadier, do you know, I think I'm a bit different this time."
"Really, Doctor? I'm sure I hadn't noticed."
"No need to be sarcastic. Have a jelly baby?"
"Certainly. Are you planning on, erm, sticking around with us, then?"
"Sticking around with—No, certainly not! No, I think I'd like to do a little exploring rather than settle down just yet, old chap."
"Will you ever?"
"Oh, I should think so. But only when I'm someone else, which hopefully won't be for a very long time."
and hate /May mourn the dead /It is believing /It is believing
But listen to the /color of your dreams /It is not living /It is not living
Or play the game /existence to the end /Of the beginning /Of the beginning…
C'est le fin.