Disclaimers and Stuff:
This little piece is tagged to chapter 26 of Brownbug's fabulous fanfic, "Return to The Valiant" (ID 6441335), and is part of the 'verse created in my own "Time and Time Again: The Bloopers" (ID 5947196). Basically, the 'verse is based around the premise of creating fanfiction with the aid of the fictional characters (not the actors) involved, all working around the events and canon of the fanfiction.
All in fun, of course - and yes, I do have the approval of Brownbug to bring you this quick glimpse behind the scenes of her fanfiction.
"Where are they?" Idly picking at her nails with the corner of the Doctor's psychic paper, Amy leaned against the edge of a desk and fixed the Doctor with a peevish glare. "You said they weren't going anywhere."
"I said they weren't going to a place, Pond," the Doctor replied matter-of-factly. "Not nowhere, but not quite somewhere either. Not an easy place to film a fanfiction."
"So why couldn't we have gone?"
"Well, technically you could have gone..."
"...which would have made the waiting that much more bearable for the rest of us, I'm sure," the Master interrupted as the Freecell cards on the screen of the Torchwood computer flew into their cells. He pushed off the desk and rolled across the Hub on his chair, spinning slowly until brought up short by a sharp kick from Jack.
"And you can stay put," Jack growled, fingering the gun warningly. "This isn't a prop, you know." The Master rolled his eyes, leaned back in the chair and began to revolve slowly on the spot, glancing at Jack every now and then with a barely-disguised grin. With the danger posed by what was contained in the cells below the Hub, the health and safety inspectors of FanFiction HQ had deemed it necessary to seal off their entire set until the Director and the Author returned from the other set.
"Suppose someone needs to keep an eye on you boys," said Amy with a wink at Jack. "So. Doctor. Why am I the only one who could've gone to the other set, then?"
"For the same reason the Director could only go as a holographic projection," the Doctor explained. "Females only. The next scene takes place inside the hive-consciousness of Legion."
"So...hang on a minute." Jack suddenly seemed particularly attentive, even taking his eyes off the Master for a moment. "You're saying that out there somewhere is some sort of nether-world with a whole bunch of..."
"Hallucinating, emotionally-vulnerable women," the Doctor finished. "Yes, Jack - one of whom is my daughter."
"And one's my wife," the Master put in, possibly more to remind them of his presence than out of protectiveness over Lucy.
"THE MANY GROW IMPATIENT," Legion's voice thundered through the reinforced door suddenly, startling everyone in the Hub.
"Oh, shut it, you," the Master snapped, thumping on the door with his fist.
"YOU WILL BE THE FIRST, TIME LORD," the demon returned, its rasping voice raising the hairs on the back of Amy's neck. "WE DO NOT DELAY FOR THE TRIVIAL CONCERNS OF FANFICTION. WE WILL DRINK YOU DRY..."
"Like to see you try, Sparky," the Master called. There was a howl of inhuman fury and then silence. "Sulking," the Master muttered, kicking off a railing to resume whirling on the chair.
Penetrating the deathly silence that hung over the dreamscape, a bitter wind was carrying the sound of raised voices through the rolling mist.
"I won't do it!"
"Lucy, just calm down." Sporting a silver "H" emblem on his forehead, the Director was the only one of the crew not clad in a thick, woollen overcoat and wellington boots. "You just have to walk past them with everyone else."
"But they're-" Lucy's voice ended in a terrified squeak as she dared steal a glance at the rows of black-clad skeleton figures. "They're dead!"
"Oh, well done Mrs. Saxon!" Gwen exclaimed. "Ten out of ten!" The camerawomen exchanged glances, but another icy wind fluttered the veils over the bleached skulls, giving them a momentary glimpse of hollow eye-sockets and lipless grins that set them shivering even in their warm clothing.
"They...they are dead, right?" Tish asked nervously. "I mean, they're not going to...spring to life or anything when we walk past, are they?"
"Hm?" The Author glanced up from her manuscript, pen in hand. "Sorry - won't be a minute, just finishing this paragraph..." She reabsorbed herself in her writing, leaving the group of women to edge apprehensively away from the kneeling skeletons.
"Oh, for goodness sake," Francine snorted, and broke away from the huddle the characters had formed to stride up to the nearest skeleton. "They've been dead for centuries."
"I really don't think we should touch them, all the same," said Tejana warningly, and the other characters - along with the camerawomen - fervently nodded their agreement.
"The sooner we finish this scene, the sooner we can get back to FanFiction HQ," Francine replied, raising her hand towards the motionless figure. "I'm dying for a coffee. It's a prop. Look - just..."
"No!" There was a collective gasp from the entire crew and characters.
"...bones." With a dry clatter, the skeleton, undisturbed for time outside time, collapsed into a ramshackle heap of bones, beads and crumbling cloth. "Oops."