Still Not Ginger

Disclaimer: Nothing is mine except that I wrote it. DW is BBC, Hakuba Saguru and Kuroba Kaito are Aoyama Gosho.

AN: Thrown at Hydok.

The latest regeneration had been.... strange. He hadn't been on an alien planet, and he hadn't even been in the United Kingdom at all. It had happened in Tokyo, Japan, and a few hours later things still weren't quite making sense. Such as why the suit that should have fitted still at least somewhat was now nefariously loose on his form, and how everything seemed that tiny bit... taller.

If the Doctor was anything, it was Not Amused. Especially since, right at this moment, there was something suspicious already heading right – over – there -!

He ran into the shop as fast as his (shorter) legs could carry him, waving the sonic screwdriver about furiously. Oh, that wasn't good. Not good at all. He ran further in, and hopefully he wasn't too late. That particular wavelength the screwdriver was buzzing at usually only occurred when. . .

He never had the chance to finish the thought. Distracted, he'd forgotten to look where he'd been going and hike up the embarrassingly long trousers, despite the fact that they had suspenders, because the suspenders were also too loose. And now? Now, he was flat on his face. Not the most useful place to be.

He got up slowly, not because he wanted to but to make sure that he didn't just trip up again.

The Doctor looked around, and grinned. Clothes store! Perfect. The thing he'd been after might've gotten away by now, but he wouldn't be able to go after it again if he couldn't run properly. Running properly was very, very important. There was an awful lot of running to do in life, as far as the Doctor was concerned.

In need of at least some idea as to what size he was now, he found and took a look in the mirror that was conveniently placed close by.

"Er... Mister? Can I help you or something?"

He only spared a passing glance at the shop assistant, a messy haired boy of around sixteen to seventeen years. The rest of his – slightly horrified, mostly morbidly curious – attention was on his reflection, wherein a Japanese-English teenager of about the same age as the boy who'd talked to him looked back at him with the exact same expression on his face, exact same screwdriver in his hand.

The worst thing was, the Doctor could tell intrinsically that it wasn't just a trick.

"Seventeen," he muttered. "I'm seventeen. And. . ."

"Er, Mister? You all right there?"

"Blond. Why did it have to be blond? I mean, it's not too bad, but still – blond? I was starting to like brown. Sort of." He sighed, picking at the slightly wavy blond locks. "Still isn't ginger, though. Wish I could've been ginger for once..."

"Oi, are you even listening to me?!" A pause, and the Doctor used it in order to see what kind of expressions this new face could pull. "Hey... didn't you come in with that weird thing?"

Weird thing? What weird thing? The Doctor's attention instantly reverted back to the direction the boy was staring in – where he'd been headed before tripping up. He grinned.

"You. What's your name?"

"Er, Kuroba Kaito. Why?"

"Because, Kuroba Kaito, I'm telling you to run. Run, and don't look back. Go back to your fish and chips – or sushi and noodles, if that's what you like. Go back, and forget that any of this ever happened."

An even longer pause than before, but the Doctor didn't dare take his eyes or the screwdriver off of the thing in front of them.

"...You're mad, aren't you. Insane or something."

"Oh, yes," replied the Doctor, remembering Grace, amazing Grace, who had caused his death and saved the world and gone on to do such wonderful things, and remembering Amelia, the little girl who had grown up to become a remarkable young woman who called herself Amy. But he'd always remember her as little Amelia Pond. "Completely. Madman in a box, that's me. Now - didn't I tell you to run?"

Kaito was moving away, but not very fast. Not exactly running.

"That thing looks dangerous."

"Of course," said the Doctor.

"And you're not doing anything other than stare at it with a weird-looking penlight."

"Nope."

"Right... so, who are you?"

"I'm the Doctor," said the Doctor, still grinning as the thing started to move again. "Pleased to meet you – now, let's run!"

Maybe he still liked brown, and he would've preferred ginger, but the Doctor thought he could get used to blond.

AN: OH YES. I kept thinking of how the Doctor wants ginger, and how that came up every time he regenerated, and how his companion in the Dressing Room is a Kaito who got his job blown up by the Doctor. Wondered how that happened, but every time I think about it, it reminds me of Rose. The episode, not the character. So – wanted to include elements of those things. Ended up being vague as to monster of the week 'cause I don't know enough about making up Whoverse monsters.