The Doctor was completely ready to follow suit to Martha's hurried exit from Shakespeare's end of the inn's landing. (He was beginning to suspect that this entire fiasco with supposedly mystical deaths, the fear of history threatening to be rewritten for the worst intentions, and the constant needling from a randy historical figure with a bad case of political incorrectness was starting to weigh down on her.)

But he hesitated when the playwright spoke up, sighing wearily between his interlocked fingers pressed to his face and sliding down past the small rings in his pierced earlobes.

"It is the twelfth night, Doctor, that I have felt the most unsettled in my thoughts…"

As if a brilliant light switched on mentally, Shakespeare paused to glance down on his writing table that could only have been a helter-skelter slew; half-dried ink bottles and half-formed ideas; scribbling something on a scrap of paper with furious intent. The Doctor could not help but only halfheartedly fight his blatant amusement, licking his lips.

"Maybe you should go on an evening stroll," he suggested, twisting his long, Time Lord mouth contemplatively, "you know… clear your thoughts and escape the stifled rooms of this inn."

The playwright looked up at him, presenting his arm with a handsome, fleeting grin. "Care to join me then, Doctor?"

"Oh no… I should really be getting to bed with Martha—"At Shakespeare's slowly raised eyebrow, the Doctor grimaced at how his statement was taken out of context, reprimanding, "—Not like that."

"That's a shame. She is a true item of beauty." When the Doctor did not acknowledge that offhanded remark, the human man came around the table and laid a benevolent hand on his shoulder, ""I feel if I were to ask you, you would not tell me who you really are," he said, clear gray eyes staring perceptively into his profile.

The Doctor did meet them after a moment, emptily, and gave a slight nod. "You're good."

"Oh thou, my lovely boy," Shakespeare murmured, touching the back of his hand to his now politely bewildered guest's cheek, "who in thy power; Dost hold Time's fickle glass, his sickle, hour…" (1)

"…...Oh no…"

"Who hast by waning grown, and therein show'st; Thy lovers withering—"

"Alrighty, Shakespeare…," The Doctor interrupted him, cautiously removing the offending, warm hand that crept from stroking his cheek to the line of his neck. A stab of terror and marvel; incandescent; consummating; jolted straight into his gut at the revealing and oddly telepathic nature of this man. "You should let that sort of inspiration strike you sometime later. Maybe ten years from the present moment. Yes, I would say ten years. I really should be going to Martha…"

With a dramatic and fashionably irritated sigh, the playwright went back to his table chair, buckled boots clomping on the hardwood. "I must work. I have a play to conclude. I'll get my answers tomorrow, Doctor, and I'll discover more about you and why this constant performance of yours…" (2)

The Doctor found himself again hesitated at the carefully crafted words of this powerful figure. He whispered, absently eyeing the nearest wall in the doorway he stood in (perhaps to filter away his already exposed disposition), "All the world's a stage…"

"Hmmm…" Shakespeare seemed to have liked the quote, not surprising, "I might use that." He lowered his voice to a softer tone, as if sensing the Doctor's agitation, "Goodnight, Doctor."

Soulful, old brown eyes could not resist the temptation of peeking at him one last time—eyes that did more than just read—did more than just observe. "Nighty night, Shakespeare."


Doctor Who isn't mine. Or I would have made Matt Smith's fanfiction canon. And since he IS the Eleventh Doctor and wrote adventures about traveling with Einstein… it IS freaking CANON.

Not an impressive oneshot but I wanted to try writing some ambiguous Ten/Shakespeare. And then the Sonnets idea popped into my head. It is always fun to rewatch "The Shakespeare Code". You should be able to spot where the lines of series dialogue is and chunks of Shakespeare's Sonnets. Is it just me or does Sonnet 126 weirdly sound Doctor-ish? Even a little? It might be just me.

Anyway, I hope you had a riot reading or just thought I was mad. Either way. Reviews always welcome. I don't mind if you tell me I am mad. :DD

(1) start of Shakespeare's Sonnet lines.

(2) start of lines from "The Shakespeare Code".