Sparrow and Nightingale
Being the continuing life and adventures of Sally Sparrow and Larry Nightingale, shop owners and alien investigators extraordinaire.
Episode One – Sparrow and Nightingale
Sally watched the retreating back of the Doctor, and thought how strange life was. a year after she had come in contact with a DVD extra he had left her from 1969, she was finally meeting the man. And he was meeting her for the first time! All that wondering how he had gotten the information about the Weeping Angels, and it was her after all.
Larry squeezed her hand, smiling down at her.
"So, that was finally him," he said, after a long moment of silence, in which Sally continued to stare at the place where the Doctor and Martha had vanished into the crowd.
Sally nodded. A slightly hysterical laugh bubbled up from her lips.
"He didn't know me. I was the one who told him about me. My past, his future."
"Wibbly-wobbly," Larry quoted.
Sally laughed, and shook her head.
"What do we do now?"
"Well," said Larry. "We could mind our shop."
Sally looked back at the front of their shop, and then nodded.
Larry put his arm around her shoulder, and guided her to the door.
Sally looked up from her inventory.
"Larry? I'm back here," she called.
Larry wandered into the store room.
"Do you want something to eat?" he asked. "I've got some sandwiches."
Sally stretched, and Larry's eyes wandered to where her shirt rode up on her hips. He quickly looked away.
"How's the inventory coming?" he asked.
Sally smiled, and took a sandwich from the plate he held.
"Not bad. Not bad at all. We're doing alright for orders, and our suppliers for rare DVDs are steady."
"Good," Larry said. "We've had a couple of people in the store this morning, and our online sales are doing pretty well."
"Looks like we got ourselves a business, Mr. Nightingale."
"Looks like," Larry said. He smiled at her, and was suddenly aware of how close they were standing to each other. Sally realized it at the same moment that he did, and looked away, awkwardly. Larry opened his mouth to say something, but just then a bell tinkled, indicating that someone had entered the shop.
"I should… ah…." Larry waved his hand, indicating the storefront.
"Um, right," Sally said, turning slightly pink.
Larry moved away, glad to get out of the awkward situation, yet profoundly disappointed. The truth was, he was deeply attracted to Sally, and thought there was the possibility of something more between them. The only trouble was, she seemed skittish every time he brought it up. Girls were weird, he decided as he walked into the shop from the back.
Larry slid in behind the desk, and smiled at the customer.
"Hi," he said.
The man was tall and angular, with a wide mouth and sleek dark hair that was pulled back into a horsetail at the base of his neck. He looked up from his browsing of the shelves, and smiled at Larry.
"You have quite the collection here," he said.
"We specialize in rare DVDs and books," Larry answered.
The man nodded.
"I'm somewhat of a connoisseur myself," he said, his eyes slipping back to the shelves.
"Well, call me if you need anything," Larry said, knowing that he was losing the customer's interest in conversation.
The man nodded absently, and went back to browsing.
Sally walked out of the storage room, dusting her hands off on her jeans. The greatest thing about owning her own shop was that she didn't have to dress up. She usually tried to look nice, but today she knew she would be spending most of her time on her knees in the storage room, so she had worn her oldest, rattiest jeans.
She walked out of the small storage room, and into the back of the shop, where there was a table, a fridge, and a bookshelf filled with catalogues. At the back of the room was a desk with a computer. Sally dropped her clipboard onto the table, and grabbed a glass from off the shelf. She filled the glass with tap water from the sink, and took a long draught.
"Thirsty?" Larry asked, coming up behind her.
"Nothing tastes better than water when you're thirsty," she agreed. She glanced at her watch.
Larry nodded, grabbing his own mug and filling it with coffee before returning to the computer desk.
"Water is for wimps," he quipped. "Real men drink coffee."
"Good thing I'm not a man," Sally laughed. "What're you up to?"
Larry beckoned, and she came to stand behind him. On the computer screen was a website forum, with the words "Egg-stras" written across the top.
"It's the Easter Egg forum that I used to chat on," Larry explained, with a sad look in his eye. "I check it from time to time."
"Don't you ever post anything?" Sally asked.
Larry shook his head.
"I can't, can I? It makes me sort of sad. I know the truth, and I can't share it with them. They're all debating what it means when he talks about the angels on this thread, whether that's a religious statement about Heaven and Hell or not, and I know the truth. I know that he actually means that some angel statues have his actual physical phone box."
"Why don't you just tell them?" Sally asked.
"I thought about that at first," Larry said. "Right after we got back, I couldn't wait to post. I had the other side of the transcript, your part, and I couldn't wait to share it with everybody. But then I realized that I can't just go blabbing it. For one thing, they would think I just made it up. And that would sort of degrade what happened. And for another, I don't think the Doctor likes to be talked about."
"That's it, isn't it?" Sally said with a sad smile. "We know the truth about the Doctor and time travel and all that, and we can't tell anyone."
Larry sighed, and clicked off the site.
"No point in going on there any more, if I can't post. But sometimes I like to check out what's going on."
Sally laid a hand on his shoulder in silent support, and then walked back to the table. She sat down on one of the wooden chairs, and picked up her clipboard. With precision, she began organizing the notes she had just made, putting them into categories and making sure the information was in tidy rows.
Larry let out a yell that startled her, making her draw a crooked line all over her page.
"What?" she asked, a little crossly.
"Sally! You have to come see this!" Larry yelped.
Sally jumped up, and hurried across the room to the computer.
"What?" she demanded.
Larry pointed silently to the screen, and Sally's eyes widened in surprise. On the screen was a blurry photograph of a stern looking man with big ears and a big nose and a leather jacket. At the top, in large black writing it read "Doctor Who?" Underneath it said "Have you seen this man?"
"I googled 'The Doctor', just to see," Larry said, "And this is what came up."
"But, that doesn't look anything like the man we met," Sally objected.
Larry shook his head.
"I know. But there can't be two men who are called the Doctor who save the world on a regular basis, can there?"
"Click on the link," Sally said breathlessly. "Maybe there's more."
Larry clicked on the link at the bottom of the page, and a new screen popped up.
"Look, there he is!" Sally squealed. Under a banner that proclaimed 'Defending the Earth' was a picture of the Doctor they were familiar with, complete with brown pinstripe suit and converses.
"This guy, Mickey Smith, he seems to think our Doctor and the other leather jacket fellow are the same person."
"Is that even possible?" Sally asked.
"I don't know. But then, I didn't used to believe in time travel either."
"True," Sally acknowledged. She grabbed a wooden chair from the table, and pulled it beside Larry. He scooted over so she was better able to see the screen. He clicked on every link, and they slowly read all the information there.
"So this guy, Mickey Smith, figures that the Doctor kidnapped his girlfriend," Larry summed up.
"And he thinks the Doctor is bad news," Sally added.
"Well," said Larry thoughtfully. "He was there for the Weeping Angels thing."
"That was hardly his fault," Sally replied.
"Blimey," Larry said, scrolling through the gallery. "There are pictures of this leather jacket Doctor everywhere. On the Titanic. In World War Two. With Charles Dickens?"
"Time traveler," she said, the words sounding strange and foreign on her tongue.
Larry shook his head in wonder.
"We really are part of something bigger, Sal. We're just two of hundreds of people whose lives have been touched by the Doctor."
"He travels around in space and time and rescues people."
"Although," said Larry. "You could argue that we rescued him."
"You still looking at that website, Sally?" Larry asked. He had found it two days ago, and Sally was still going through all the old logs. "You're getting obsessive again."
Sally sighed, and stood up from the computer, stretching her arms above her head.
"You're right. Sorry," she said. She knew she had a tendency to focus too much on things, like when she had obsessively gathered information about the Weeping Angels for a year after they had sent the Doctor's phone box back to him.
Larry shook his head at her, and continued to look out the front window of their shop, cupping his coffee mug in one hand while holding the handle with the other. Business in the store had been particularly slow today.
Sally came to stand beside him, leaning towards him a little. Larry took advantage of her nearness, and placed an arm gingerly around her shoulder. He nearly held his breath, hoping that she wouldn't shy away.
Sally didn't shy. In fact, she smiled at him and leaned in more, looking dreamily out the window. The sky was a beautiful clear, cloudless blue and the afternoon sun was shining brightly, but Larry wasn't looking at that. He was too busy admiring Sally, the way she smelled like strawberry shampoo and the way the sun glinted off her golden hair.
Suddenly, Sally jerked away from him.
"Did you see that?" she asked.
Larry looked away from her quickly.
"See what?" he asked.
"That streak in the sky. Look!"
Sally pointed out the tall store front window, up into the sky. A bright streak of something was leaving a white trail across the clear blue of the sky.
"Were we expecting a meteor shower today?" Larry asked.
"I don't think so. What is that?" Sally asked.
They watched the object as it made its descent. It careened closer and closer to the earth, and then disappeared into the tree line.
"Wow," Sally breathed. "That's really close to us!"
"Yeah," said Larry, his curiosity roused. "I bet we could find it if we looked."
"It looks like it landed in the direction of Wester Drumlins," Sally said. Her eyes were shining with mischief, and the corners of her mouth were pulling up in a smile.
Larry looked at her with growing alarm. This plan was getting away from him.
"No," he said, anticipating her question. "No, absolutely not."
Sally turned to him, her beautiful face pleading.
"Come on! We should go check it out!"
"No," Larry reaffirmed. "The last time we went near that house we nearly got killed. Those things are still in the basement. There's no way we're going back."
"Are you chicken?" Sally goaded.
"We're not going back there," Larry answered, a little weakly.
"Yes we are," Sally said briskly, pulling at his arm. "Come on! Don't you want to know what that was? We can close up the shop early. Let's go." She was tugging on his arm and smiling her best, most charming smile. "Where's your sense of adventure?"
Larry felt himself caving.
Author's Note: Yay, I've finally actually started this!! This is going to be a 13 episode season of the spin-off Doctor Who series "Sparrow and Nightingale". Each episode will have 5 acts (chapters) just like a real episode.
Seriously, I can't believe this isn't a spin off already! If Sarah Jane and Jack get their own show, Sally and Larry should too. Sally was as good as any real companion, don't you think?