A/N: The Chibi's Are Stalking Me, Cordelia-Lear, GSRgirlforever, Isis the Sphinx, Jessa L'Rynn, Kathryn Shadow, NewDrWhoFan, Olfactory-Ventriloquism, Rynne, SilverWolf7 and TardisIsTheOnlyWayToTravel are proud to present the Second Annual Doctor Who October Project.

Each author has one character assigned, in the mode of the Canterbury Tales. Jessa L'Rynn edits.

Disclaimer: If we owned Doctor Who, we wouldn't be spending our time on this little project, now would we?

The Companionable Tales

Chapter 1: In the Beginning

Today's Author: NewDrWhoFan

The room was made of shadows and warmth, heavy upholstered armchairs and a grand, rock-lined fireplace that was open on all sides. The carpet was thick and dark, the wood work heavy and dark, the chairs a contrast, being soft and pale. The decorative touches were plentiful, vivid, and soulless, their colors lending neither the room nor themselves any spirit of any kind. The plants were lush, abundant, and fake.

"Looks like a hotel lobby," observed the man who had just arrived, dark eyes flicking over the room with a quiet curiosity and a detached sort of analysis. He took in everything with his rapid perusal, even the small and startled looking woman who hovered near the fire.

"Oh, thank heavens!" the woman exclaimed, and moved toward the man, her arms akimbo and her eyes over-bright. "I was afraid I'd be all alone in this horrible place."

The man blinked. "Doesn't look too horrible," he said, looking like he considered his words carefully before he said them. "I've been in much worse, believe me." The woman gave a small sound, almost like a giggle, and the man fought off a twitch at the corners of his lips. "Mickey Smith," he added, and offered a hand.

The woman took his hand with a smallish, very warm one. "I've heard a lot about you," she said with a brilliant grin. "Mickey Smith. You used to travel with... erm. With my friend."

Mickey frowned, then. "Mutual friend, then?" he said. "Sit down, what's your name; tell me how you got here."

The girl nodded gratefully and sank into a chair in front of the fire. Mickey took one near her and dragged it a bit closer. "I'm Isleen. I was traveling. Well, the last thing I remember was... I think the Doctor and Bob were..."

Mickey stopped her. "Take a deep breath, you're a complete wreck," he said. "Are you always this jittery?"

"Well, no, but the Doctor's not here, I've looked. And he's always around when there's trouble, only he isn't this time. And this place just goes on and on, no changes whatsoever. It's completely dull." The woman frowned then, and looked up at Mickey. "It reminds me of Bob's room on the TARDIS. I was on the Bridge with them - the Doctor, and Bob, I mean. I think they were arguing."

Mickey tapped a finger to his lips, thoughtfully. "All right. Something doesn't sound quite right. Why don't you tell me about this Bob person?"

"It wasn't too long after I'd first met the Doctor, we went to—well, I shouldn't really say, should I?" She laughed a bit uncomfortably. "Okay, well, it was a beautiful planet to look at from the TARDIS. Not the planet itself, but the sky. You could see the stars during the day, because there was hardly any atmosphere. It had been ripped away, he'd said, by a meteor...."

Isleen was amazed. It was sunset, and there were the usual clouds catching the light. But in between were constellations and galaxies.

"How far out can we go?" she asked the Doctor.

"Just a few feet," he answered, "but don't worry. The TARDIS will tell you before you go too far."

They stepped out onto the surface of the planet. Isleen was surprised at how dusty the ground was. But the view was spectacular.

The Doctor was trying to show her where her home was in the stars, but he stopped suddenly. His eyes were scrunched up like he was in pain.

"What's wrong," she asked.

He held up his hand as if he were listening, then gasped as his eyes flew open. "Someone's here," he told her. "Someone who shouldn't be, and they're in trouble."

Isleen followed the Doctor back inside the TARDIS, watching as he steered the ship, following the mental call. He rushed to the doors as soon as they landed, hardly sparing his companion a glance, so urgent the force in his mind must have been.

The Doctor stopped after only a few paces beyond the TARDIS threshold.

They were in a cavern. It was lit by artificial light, but Isleen guessed they were underground on the same planet. And they were by no means alone. At least a hundred green, humanoid aliens were gathered there, surrounding what looked like an operating table.

Isleen hid behind the Doctor, hanging onto his cloak. She knew she'd already been seen, but she felt like she needed his protection.

"Doctor, what is it?" she asked. "It feels… it feels strange."

"They're psychic," the Doctor told her. "It's a psychic attack, and it's all being directed there."

Aside from those closest to the TARDIS, the aliens were focused intently on the table. Isleen could see a lone figure there, seemingly human, weakly struggling against his shackles.

"Can you do something?" Isleen asked the Doctor. Granted, she didn't really know the situation, but the odds just didn't seem fair.

"I am doing something," the Doctor told her. He hadn't moved or spoken a single word to the aliens, but they were gradually turning away from the table to focus on him. "Get in the TARDIS and shut the doors," he said quietly, handing Isleen his TARDIS key.

"Watch the scanner, and don't open the doors again unless I come alone. Or, just me and him," he added, nodding towards the table.

"…I waited in the TARDIS for what felt like hours," Isleen said, staring at the floor, lost in her memory. "From what I saw, the Doctor didn't say a single word the entire time he was out there, but eventually the green aliens moved aside for him and just let the Doctor take their prisoner away."

She shook herself, and looked around at the dull but comfortable room. "Well, anyway, that's how we met Bob," she said. Then, laughing, added, "That wasn't his real name, of course. But he'd never had a spoken name before. 'Bob' was the Doctor's idea, and it stuck.

"They never did tell me what happened, how the Doctor saved Bob. But the Doctor must be an amazingly powerful psychic." Isleen looked at Mickey with a question in her face, as if seeking confirmation. "Bob was raised on a world of psychics, but even he was no match for his captors. The Doctor faced them all on his own."