Jessa L'Rynn's January Challenge 1: The Year in Review Challenge. Go through your old fics or anything you've written in the past year and find the best line you've written. Take that line and make a new fic based only on that one line and anything new that pops into your imagination. Hey, it was a fantastic line: too good not to reuse!
Jessa L'Rynn's February Challenge 2: Involve the character or characters of your choice in a search for something lost, missing, or stolen. Someone must be called "snarky", a previously inanimate object must do something completely unexpected, and someone must make a reference to Sherlock Holmes. Bonus points this time for an appearance by, reference to, or inclusion of Donna Noble.
Title: Not The Reunion I Was Hoping For
Story Summary: The Doctor wasn't expecting a blonde woman in a suit to burst into the TARDIS and tell him he was real. Reunion fic, kind of.
Setting: After series two of New Who, ignoring series four. Takes place in Pete's World.
This is a response to two of Jessa's challenges – I've taken a line from an old fic and used it as starting point for a new one, written to the specifications of the 2nd February challenge. It was gonna be a one-shot, but there'll probably be more, because I like this.
NOT THE REUNION I WAS HOPING FOR
The Doctor was minding his own business when a blonde in a grey suit burst into the TARDIS and stared at him wild-eyed.
"Can I help you with something?" he asked. "D'you normally go barging into police phoneboxes that aren't yours?"
"It's you!" the blonde blurted. She gaped at him. "You're real!"
"'Course I'm real," the Doctor scoffed. "What do you think I am, Freudian imagery? Don't answer that." He stared at her from under frowning brows. "Have we met before?"
But her eyes were now riveted on his coat. Scarlet, with brass buttons, an old-fashioned military coat.
"Since when have you worn that coat?" she demanded, a bit unsteadily.
"Since always," he replied, seriously puzzled now. "Do you want to tell me what's going on?"
The blonde's face made an attempt to crumple, but she valiantly held herself together.
"I was looking for the Doctor," she said sadly, "and you're one of 'em, yeah, the snarky Northern one, but you're not him."
And she burst into tears.
As he watched, she gave great gulping sobs, tears spilling over and tracking their way down her face in a mess of mascara.
The Doctor stared in concern and consternation.
"Hey now, that's enough of that," he said, striding forward and putting an arm around her. "Come on, I'm not sure quite what you're on about, but I'm sure we can sort it out."
She shook her head.
"I've met you before," she said, "this you," and she poked him in the chest, but you always wore a leather jacket and you knew me."
She put a fist up to her face and stuck her knuckles in her mouth in an utterly distraught gesture.
"What you need is a cuppa tea," the Doctor decided, steering her to the hallway and mentally asking the TARDIS to bring the kitchen close, "an' then you can tell me all about it. That alright?"
She nodded silently, tears still pouring down her face. She wasn't making a sound any more, but the tears just kept rolling.
She wrapped trembling fingers around the mug he gave her and sipped at it, clearly trying to pull herself together.
"You must think I'm mad," she said finally, when she was a bit more composed.
"Nah, not really," he disagreed cheerfully, "I've met mad, me, and trust me, you're not it. I do find you intriguing, though. What's your name?"
"Rose," she said. "Rose Tyler."
"Good name, Rose. Now, d'you want to explain, maybe in a bit more detail this time?"
"I used to travel with you," Rose began, "this you, you see. All snarky and Northern and 'I-don't-do-domestic,' 'cept you wore a black leather jacket, yeah, and were kind of…" she trailed off, clearly trying to put her finger on how to describe it. "Sort of like, a wounded soldier, yeah, but you, you're more like a soldier on the march."
Her eyes suddenly widened.
"That's it," she said wonderingly. "Soldier. War. Doctor," she asked urgently, "you once told me Time Lords could only exist in one universe, yeah?"
"I told you that?" he repeated, mildly astonished.
"Yeah, you told me lots of things. Listen, whatever it was that did that, stopped the Time Lords having other selves in different universes, did it survive the Time War?"
The blue eyes turned so dark as to be almost black at her mention of the war, but as he realised what she'd said he paused, arrested.
"No," he said slowly. "Don't s'pose it did. You saying there's another version o' me wanderin' about in another universe?"
"The one I came from," she explained. "I was trapped here, when we were dealing with the Cybermen an' the Daleks –"
"Daleks?" he hissed. Instantly his mind was only on one thing –
Rose held up her hands in a 'stop' motion, eyes wide at the way his own burned with vengeance and murderous intent.
"Yeah, Daleks, but it's fine, we sent them into the Void," she said, slowly and clearly. "So you don't have to worry about them, alright? Or rush off an' kill 'em, or whatever it was that you were gonna do."
"Kill 'em slowly," the Doctor replied, eyes glinting. "Go on. So you used to travel with the other me from the parallel world, but got stuck here?"
"Exactly," she nodded. She drew in a long breath.
"Guess that explains why there's one o' you running around in this regeneration." Rose gave him a tremulous smile. "I'm really sorry to have bothered you."
She made for the door. The Doctor watched her go.
It was at this point that in a totally unprecedented and unexpected move the toaster flung itself across the room at the Doctor's head.
Rose stopped and turned at the yell of pain and flow of curses, to see him rubbing his head and staring at the toaster in bewildered indignation.
"You okay?" she asked curiously.
"Oh, I'm fine," the doctor replied, still staring at the toaster where it lay innocently on the floor, "never been attacked by a toaster before, though."
What'd you do that for? he demanded of the TARDIS mentally.
Letting her walk off, she replied silently. I like this girl. And I can do more than toasters.
Rose bit her lip not to laugh.
The Doctor noticed.
"You can hear her?" he asked, incredulous.
"Have for years," Rose agreed. "The other TARDIS, anyway," she corrected herself. "But yeah, I heard." She caught her tongue between her teeth and gave him a cheeky grin.
The Doctor had to admit, the TARDIS wasn't the only one who was charmed.
"D'you want to stay then?" he asked her seriously. "You heard the TARDIS, she's happy."
"Are you, though?" Rose asked, just as seriously.
He grinned at her.
"Blonde in a suit walks into my TARDIS, knows who I am, solves a problem before I do and can hear my magnificent time ship in her heard? I think it's fantastic."
Rose beamed at him.
"Fantastic, then," she agreed. "I'm just gonna get some things from home, yeah? No vanishing on me while I'm gone," she warned.
"Tell you what, I'll give you a key," he offered. "Official TARDIS resident, with a key."
She smiled, eyes bright with sudden tears, and tugged on a chain around her neck. A small key was lifted out from underneath her shirt.
"Guess I'll wait here, then," he said.
While she was gone he crossed his arms across his chest and asked the TARDIS what was going on.
She's special, his ship said simply, and refused to say any more.
While the Doctor was mulling things over a youngish bloke in a smart suit and with a devilish smirk walked inside in a swaggering way that subtly announced taa-daa!
"Thought I left you in a 22nd century prison," the Doctor observed without much surprise, eyeing him with disfavour.
The other man just grinned.
"Did you think a bunch of humans was too much for my intelligence and brilliance? Face it, Doctor, without me, you'd be lonely. Why else do you leave things so easy for me to escape?"
At this moment the doors opened and Rose walked in, carrying a full backpack.
"You got everything you need in only half an hour?" the Doctor asked in surprise.
"It's like the scouts, 'be prepared' and all that." She frowned at the Master. "You a Time Lord?"
"Ooh, this one does tricks," he said appreciatively. "Where'd you pick her up?"
Rose's eyes narrowed.
"No insultin' my companions." The Doctor's tone was acerbic, but he said it like a well-rehearsed line.
"No?" The Master gave him an innocent, pleading face.
"Try it and I'll show you why even Time Lords learnt to watch it round me an' my Mum," Rose told the Master. "Only warning you're gonna get."
The Master looked at her with interest. A little smile played at the edges of his mouth as he looked deep into her eyes.
"I am the Master, and you will obey me."
"Not bloody likely," Rose said, glaring at him. "I'm gonna pick a room," she told the Doctor, hoisting her backpack onto her shoulder and leaving the console room.
"That'll teach you, the Doctor commented, to a still-startled Master.
"Doctor, her timelines are shrouded. I saw them for an instant, and they're like nothing I've ever seen."
The Doctor looked as startled as the Master expected. Then he grinned.
"The TARDIS said she was special. Guess I'll find out how, eventually."
He went to check that she was finding a bedroom without any trouble.
"You right in here?" the Doctor asked. Rose whirled; he'd crept up on her.
"Fine," she said. "Who's the bloke who thinks he's God's gift to humanity?"
"Calls himself the Master," the Doctor explained. "Kind of the Moriarty to my Holmes. Well he was at least, but we sort've lost the point o' fightin' all the time when we were the only ones left."
Rose looked thoughtful at that, as though it explained something.
"Nice to see he can't hypnotise you," the Doctor added, "it's a right pain in the neck having him hypnotise my companions all the time. They're always helping him build doomsday devices or drugging me or helping him conquer the Earth, it gets annoying after a while."
"Right," Rose said uncertainly.
"I'll let you get settled," the Doctor said and left her.
Happy now? he asked the TARDIS.
Very. If she were humanoid, she would have been smiling. You can expect great things from our Rose.
Our? he inquired.
But she just felt smug and went all silent on him.
(for now, anyway)
The line I used from another fic I've written was this bit:
"'Course I'm real," the Doctor scoffed. "What do you think I am, Freudian imagery? Don't answer that."
It's from a fic I've only written one chapter of, but that chapter really is too good not to post up eventually. It's got a dream sequence for Rose with all the previous Doctors in it, playing cricket. Heck, maybe I should just type up the dream sequence and leave it at that.
Other lines I considered as candidates for January Challenge #1 included one from reunion/baby fic:
She smiled, torn between laughter and tears as she realised that the Doctor was reading Stephen Hawking to her daughter like a bedtime story.
The second was a Former Companions Club story that invalidated itself, where the companions had this conversation about Jack Harkness:
"Well, I mean he hit on the Doctor, and the Doctor didn't bat an eye, and you know what he's like…"
"Running screaming into the distance at the prospect of romance or commitment? Yes, I do," said Sarah Jane, whose own attempts at forcing the Doctor to commit some years ago had not gone well. "It's rather like nailing jelly to a tree."
"Irritating and messy and difficult to clean?" Tegan asked sarcastically.
There was a pause while they considered this.
"Thank you for that image."