A/N: Okay, I've been working on this fic for months, and I'm finally posting it xD It is half finished, so it's not going to be another of my abandonment stunts. I guess I've been working up to this, cos it's a combination of a lot of things I've been writing recently (people who have been following all my stories will probably recognise random names and personalities xD). I had to get back into Doctor Who though, and the only way I could do it was with a brand spanking OC. She's not that new though. Well, she is, but just a bit xD



The Routine

'You know,' Elliott Tallulah Bentham mused aloud with one narrowed eye. 'I think this is probably the most intriguing substance on the whole planet. I mean… just look at it. It's fascinating.'

Her companion looked at the substance in the small, clear pot with a lot less enthusiasm than her and wrinkled her nose. 'Comes from cow's hooves, doesn't it?'

'That's another point,' Elliott nodded, pointing her spoon at her. 'Who came up with the idea of using cow's hooves to make such a delicious snack? I suppose they knocked about with the same kind of people who first realised they couldn't lick their elbows or could bite their toenails.' She prodded thoughtfully at the red substance. 'It's amazing what man can come up with.'

'So,' Taylor Marie Bentham, the older of the two, sighed uninterestedly, shifting in her seat. 'Does this mean that we have a new thing to add to the list of best ever manmade objects? It's probably goes something like concrete, plastic, sliced bread, bubble wrap and jelly.'

'Strawberry jelly.' Elliott corrected. 'Hartley's strawberry jelly.' She peered into the tub again. 'I mean, it's just… it's not solid, but it's not a liquid. Tip the tub and it looks like it hasn't set, but take off the lid and it's just the right jelly texture. Just amazing. I think it can even go before bubble wrap.'

Taylor sighed dramatically and made a big show about looking at her watch. She did that when the conversation wasn't directly about her. That was the thing about Taylor; she liked to be the centre of attention. In her world, if the subject didn't involve her in some shape or form, it wasn't worth talking about.

'Well I would just love to sit here all day talking about the wonderfulness that is Hartley's strawberry jelly, but I actually have a job to get to.'

Elliott shot her a defensive frown. 'Why do you say that like I don't have a job? I have a job.'

Taylor just snorted and stood up out of her seat. 'Twenty hours a week in a pub. Yeah, you've got a great career going on there.' She grabbed his baby blue scarf from the back of the sofa and wrapped it around her neck in one swift motion. 'I don't know how we would pay the rent without you.'

Elliott's eyebrows drew even closer together. 'I pay my half. Don't twist your face at me because you got a stupid job. I told you that you would hate it there. You remember Ryan Carter? He worked there for three years before he went mental and crashed his car into the Post Office. I'm telling you, call centres drive people insane. It's a fact.'

'Is it really?' Taylor replied uninterestedly. 'Fabulous. Well if you're not too busy writing love poems to your jelly then you can sort out the kitchen. It's starting to stink.'

Before Elliott could try and persuade her that the mess was nothing to do with her, she had strode out of the room and was thumping around in the lobby. Elliott contemplated following and arguing her case, but she was comfortable and… well, frankly she was just too lazy. She returned her full attention to the ingenious creation that was strawberry jelly, and took her time finishing it off.

Elliott had not always been so lazy. It had crept up on her in her late teens and before she had even realised what was going on it had nestled quite comfortably into her personality and refused to budge. She had a strong feeling that it had a lot to do with her brief dabbling with a certain illegal relaxing herb between the ages of fifteen and seventeen, but in all honestly it didn't matter where this unexpected languor had sprouted. The fact was that it was there, and it was probably going to be around for a while. Until at least Mr Motivation returned to give her a well needed kick up the jacksy.

But for the moment she was content. A crappy job in a pub that provided her with just the right about of money to pay her rent and procure the occasional DVD from the bargain bin in the chemist. What else would a twenty-three year old university dropout ask for? Apart from a lifetime's supply of Hartley's strawberry jelly, of course. It had occurred to her that she was more than likely going to end up like the lonely, miserable, jobless alcoholics she served every other day at work, but that was probably a long time away. She had plenty of time to sort her life out before she got to that point.

With the jelly gone, she figured it was high time that she actually got up and did something. It was one o'clock now and she didn't start work until five, but if she remained in that armchair a moment longer she would either get too wrapped up in the Jeremy Kyle Show or end up falling asleep. If either of those things happened then she probably wouldn't even make it to work. Jeremy Kyle had the same effect on her as a sudden high dose of morphine would.

When she reached the kitchen her nose immediately told her that Taylor hadn't been lying. She looked for the source of the putrid smell and eventually found the two black, decaying bananas festering away in the fruit bowl on the window ledge. Why the hell did Taylor insist on buying bananas? She never ate them and Elliott didn't like them. They made her tongue tingle. With a wrinkled nose, Elliott picked them up with the tips of her thumb and forefinger and allowed the putrid bananas to lead the way to the bin. Only when she got there, the bin was currently housing no space for moulding fruit.

'No room at the bin.' she muttered, and then instantly felt bitter that there had been no one around to hear her quip.

Elliott felt cheated. This is why she didn't approve of tidying or cleaning, because you always started off with something small and innocent; throwing away ranking bananas for instance – but it always turned into a bigger and smellier chore than you had originally intended it to be. She knew for a fact that the bin hadn't been emptied for over a week, and she also knew that the bin bag inside was ripped from where she had stuffed a pizza box inside yesterday. That meant as soon as she pulled it out her feet would be drenched in stinky rubbish juice and the smell would no doubt linger on her all day, no matter how much she washed. It didn't take her long to decide that it was probably Taylor's turn to take the bin out anyway, and instead she went out the back to dispose the bananas in the green wheelie bin out the back gate. When she returned from the perilous trek through overgrown weeds and shrubs that made their back garden look more like a part of the rainforest, she cast a quick glance over the pile of dirty dishes and decided they could wait.

Anyway, she was pretty sure Jeremy Kyle was starting.

One of the most irritating ways to be woken up is by the sound of your mobile phone vibrating noisily on a hard surface. Elliott jerked awake, teeth already gritted in annoyance and fumbled for the infuriating source. She blinked blearily at the screen and then accidentally pushed the button depicting the little red phone receiver.

'Balls.' She muttered, squinting in a mole-like fashion as she searched for the person who woke her in her missed calls list. As she searched for the most recent call her mind slowly began to rearrange itself in a relatively normal order, which meant that by the time she found her last caller she had realised who it had probably been.

Penny. Bollocks. Work. Uber bollocks.

Elliott shot out of the comfy armchair and blundered towards the door, not bothering to check her face or, more importantly, her outfit, and ran out. She got half way down the garden path before she realised that she was still in her pyjamas.