Title: The First Adventure
Fandom: Criminal Minds/Doctor Who
Universe: Time of Your Life (Part Two)
Characters/Pairing: The Eleventh Doctor, Spencer Reid, Emily Prentiss - gen
Summary: Reid is a little thrown by the Doctor's way of doing things. The Doctor is a little thrown by all of Reid's questions. Emily just wishes they'd stop arguing long enough to avoid getting eaten by the giant squid.
Author's Note: By popular demand, part two. I will probably start bringing in more characters at one point, so tell me who you'd like to see, and I'll take it into consideration. As a side note, I have fic up for bidding at thepurpledove (link on my profile page)– it's for a good cause, so please consider it.
As far as Reid could tell, the TARDIS had come to a complete stop. 'That's it?' he asked, frowning slightly.
'"That's it?"' the Doctor echoed. 'You just travelled four thousand years into your future to a planet on the other side of the Universe, and all you can say is, "that's it?"' He adjusted his tweed jacket. 'Can't take you anywhere, can I?'
'Four thousand years,' Emily said, unable to hide the tone of wonder. 'We've been dead for centuries.'
'Not just you,' the Doctor added, in the tone of voice that made it sound as though he'd made this speech several hundred times before. 'Everyone you've ever known or loved. Your entire country is gone – for a good few years now. There's a whole new Universe out there that you've never even imagined before. Arcturus - third planet of the Perseron system, in the Dionysus Cluster, 6242. Just outside that door.'
Reid frowned. 'Should we get changed?' he asked. 'To blend in.'
'Where's the fun in that?' The Doctor pushed the door open, and Reid could see the smallest sliver of the world outside.
'What's the atmosphere?' Reid queried, and the Doctor gave him a look.
'Mostly Nitrogen and Oxygen, with the slightest hint of trace elements.'
'That's the same as Earth.'
'Why do you think they live here?'
'How long is the orbital period?'
'Reid,' Emily interjected, before the Doctor could say anything. 'How about we just go outside and take a look, instead of asking questions?'
Reid hesitated, and he didn't know why.
He'd never even been overseas before, and here he was, billions – billions of billions – of years from home.
Realistically, he should have been bounding outside, ready to take his first step onto a new planet. Every episode of Star Trek, every new discovery of extra-solar planets, every journal article about the possibilities of light-speed travel, or wormholes in space…
Reid stepped outside.
It didn't matter that he was in an artificially constructed environment, or that it looked far too similar to Earth. What mattered was that he on another planet, in another star system, in another galaxy, far, far away. Maybe so far that the star couldn't even be seen from Earth. So far that the planet was nothing more than a distant memory, existing only in books and in brief flashes of mental imagery.
By all accounts, it was impossible.
'Fantastic,' Emily breathed, stepping out beside him. She gave him a nudge. 'Check it out – two suns.'
'Binary star system,' Reid offered. 'Two stars orbiting around a common center of mass.'
'You might want to put on sunscreen,' the Doctor added, closing the door of the police box behind him. 'If you think it's bad on Earth…'
The two stars shone brightly, one blue, one orange. The effect gave the sky an almost purplish tinge. Surely the planet had its own books, its own encyclopedias that would explain it all.
His eyes dropped lower, taking in a magnificent panorama of skyscrapers. It far surpassed the New York skyline which, up until today was the only major one that he'd ever really seen. Emily had no doubt seen more, in her globetrotting childhood, but the look of awe was no less on her face.
'The city of Icarus,' the Doctor announced. 'Obviously intended by the founders of the city as some challenge of fate, but as irony would have it, the city remains catastrophe free. Fifty-four million citizens – around a third of them human, by any sense of the word.'
Emily frowned. 'What do you mean "by any sense of the word" ?'
'Creatures – especially humans – seem to take great pleasure in furthering themselves. In evolving. Bigger cities, bigger brains, bigger guns.'
'And your species doesn't?' Emily asked, in a mildly accusatory tone.
The Doctor didn't answer.
The profiler in Reid said that there was something deeper there, but it also said not to dig, so he didn't.
'There is something…' The Doctor sniffed the air, and then stuck out a finger, as if to see which way the wind was blowing. '…not quite right.'
'How can you tell?'
'Well for one thing,' the Doctor said, gesturing behind him. 'There isn't supposed to be a giant squid on Arcturus.'
Emily turned, and the Doctor wasn't even remotely joking.
An enormous, many-tentacled creature was wrapped around a building at the far end of the city, like some kind of King Kong/Watchmen hybrid, only there were no airplanes trying to shoot it down and no giant naked blue men.
'Shouldn't a giant squid be in the ocean?' Reid frowned.
'Well obviously it's not in the ocean,' the Doctor said, adding, with his own frown, 'Perhaps it's a land squid.'
'Is there such a thing?'
'It's the 63rd century, Spencer Reid, there are lots of things. The question is – what is it doing, and how do we stop it?'
'A tactical approach would be impractical,' Reid said decidedly. 'Even if it did have a weak spot of some kind, the risk of civilian casualty is too high.'
'No killing,' the Doctor added, as if he'd forgotten it earlier. 'I don't like to kill.'
'And "land squid" doesn't fit into any unsub categorization when it comes to negotiation,' Emily added. 'At least none that we know of.'
'Perhaps we should take a closer look,' the Doctor said, and Emily found the smile on his face rather disconcerting. As though he'd just suggested they strap targets to their chests, and walk into a shooting range, and was positively gleeful about the whole thing.
The building with the giant squid was further away than it looked, but apparently the 63rd century had far more reliable public transport than the 21st.
Instead of heading towards the bay of elevators, as Emily had expected, the Doctor marched right up to the reception desk (nudging aside a two-headed alien with a polite, 'Excuse me, I'm sorry) and said, 'Did you know that there's a giant squid on your roof?'
'Excuse me, sir? Would you like to make a reservation?'
'No, I'd like to ask you about the giant squid that has currently wrapped itself around your upper floors.'
'Some of our rooms have padded walls, thanks to a joint venture with the Icarus Sanitarium,' the receptionist continued.
'No, it's quite alright,' the Doctor waved her off. 'Now,' he said, returning to the fray. 'Nobody knows about the giant squid wrapped around the building – you think that's the kind of thing that would draw quite a bit of attention. So either it has some kind of perception filter, or perhaps it's psychically altering the memories of the entire city…'
'Or we're under-going a shared mass hallucination,' Reid concluded.
The Doctor clapped Reid on the back, which caused him to stiffen slightly. 'Now you're getting the hang of things.'
'So what now?'
'Now? Now we go and talk to it.'
'Are you sure that's a good idea?
"Absolutely not," turned out to be the understatement of the century. Or millennium rather, considering the fact that they were four-and-a-bit thousand years into their future.
Upstairs, on the top floor, the whole area seemed much darker than it was supposed to. Probably because of the "squid covering the windows" thing. The Doctor knocked on the first door he came to. A young man opened the door – at least, he looked like a young man. He also happened to be a young alien man, which made it hard to tell.
'Hello.' The Doctor flashed what looked like some kind of badge at the man, who looked rather startled at what he saw.
'Are you really—'
'I am whatever it says I am,' the Doctor interrupted. 'Now if you'll excuse me, my colleagues and I need to examine this hotel room. The man stepped out of the room, and the Doctor stepped inside, Emily and Reid following him.
'So what now?' Emily asked, walking towards the window to get a closer look. 'Can you convince it to just walk away?' She frowned. Could a squid like this even walk?
'That's a very good question,' the Doctor said. 'Let's find out, shall we?'
But before any of them could even think, a tentacle smashed through the window, and Emily barely had the presence of mind to realize that she was the closest one to it, before it grabbed her around the waist.
Well this is new, was her first thought. Oh, fuck, was her second.
'Well that's not good,' the Doctor said, staring at the spot where Emily had just stood.
'We have to do something.' Reid looked around for something to help his friend, but he was grounded by a crippling realization – the realization that he was so far out of his depth that it wasn't funny. He was used to dealing with human beings, and reading books filled with information that he could reconcile with the world around him.
A giant squid had just swallowed one of his friends, and he had absolutely no idea what to do about it. But apparently, the insane, impulsive man with the time machine did.
He pulled something out of his pocket. 'Sonic screwdriver. Vibrations to the tongue can make him vomit her out. Hopefully before she's broken down by stomach acid.'
'Will that work?'
'It did last time,' the Doctor shrugged.
'The last time you tried to make a land squid vomit?'
'Well,' he said. 'It was a star whale. Sea creature not in the sea. Almost similar, but probably completely different.' He grinned, and then ran towards the window, jumping into the wide open mouth. Reid stared in disbelief.
Perhaps this wasn't even really happening. Perhaps he'd been drugged by an unsub, and was currently undergoing an intense, lucid hallucination. In the scheme of things, it was significantly more likely than the idea that his former colleague had taken him on a journey with her newly acquired time-traveling friend to a distant galaxy four thousand years in the future where she was promptly swallowed by a giant land squid.
A river of liquid burst through the broken window, the Doctor riding out first – with a somewhat triumphant look on his face – followed by Emily, who was soaked in what looked like a mixture of bile and saliva.
'Emily.' Reid rushed to her side, hand on her shoulder as she coughed out the liquid in her mouth. 'Are you okay?'
She stared at him, expression a mixture of horror and disbelief. 'Let me get back to you on that one.'
The Doctor was standing by the window, hand pressed into one of the squid's suckers.
'What are you— ?'
'Shhh,' the Doctor said. 'I am attempting psychic communication.'
'Of course,' Emily muttered. 'Why didn't I think of that?'
Several slow minutes passed, during which nothing happened – and maybe that was a good thing. Finally, the Doctor pulled his hand away.
'He was just resting,' the Doctor announced. 'Thought we were here to harvest his tentacles, so he reacted appropriately. He's leaving now,' he added, somewhat unnecessarily, as the room began to vibrate, and the squid pulled away from the window.
'Squids can fly now, too?'
'Well they might as well go the full distance.' He clapped his hands together. 'We saved the day – not that it needed saving – and it's not even lunch yet.'
'I think I need a shower,' Emily said, voice laced with disgust. 'And I think maybe we should go somewhere a little less…squiddy.'
'Well, I did warn you about the seafood.'
They made it back to the TARDIS quickly, thanks to Emily's overwhelming desire to clean off the bodily fluids.
'Down the corridor, third turn on the left, just past the aquarium,' the Doctor called out after her. 'Wardrobe is the size of a football field, take whatever fits.' He looked back at Reid. 'Did she seem upset to you?
'Well, she did get eaten by a giant squid. Near death experiences make her a little grumpy.'
'It was just a squid,' the Doctor rationalized. 'She was never in any real danger. Now if it were a sky kraken…'
'We're law enforcement officials,' Reid said, and maybe that was a little non-sequitur, but the Doctor didn't understand, and he needed the Doctor to understand. 'We're used to highly structured environments. You didn't even have a plan, did you?'
'It was a work in progress.' But the look on his face said that he knew that it wasn't a good enough answer. 'Spencer,' he started.
'Doctor,' Reid corrected. The Doctor stared him.
'I have three Ph. Ds. I'm a Doctor.'
'Oh, terribly sorry. Doctor Spencer. I am not an amateur. Well…I am an amateur, but I've been one for a very, very long time. My plans might not always be there when they're supposed to be, but I know the universe well enough that things usually work out in the end.'
'And what happens when they don't?'
Once again, the Doctor didn't answer.