Disclaimer: I don't own "Doctor Who" or "Twilight", and the essential details of the original concept of this fic came from a video posted on YouTube by heroesdwtw- which has unfortunately now been taken off YouTube- and is used with their permission
Feedback: Much appreciated
AN: As promised, a change of pace from the last story, as the Doctor and Bella visit a certain business that the Doctor set up on a distant planet in his fifth incarnation...
As the door opened on our destination, I briefly wondered if the Doctor had made a mistake; the current location seemed like a very inhospitable environment that was totally at odds with his promise that he'd found us somewhere to have a quick break. The snowstorm in front of us was beautiful in its way, but even after the mines of Arkheon I would have preferred somewhere where I could relax in a warm sun rather than this; it wasn't like I had to worry about sunlight...
"I know it's not much from here," the Doctor said, walking up behind me where I stood in the TARDIS's door, "but I just needed to park us a short distance from the destination to avoid attracting much attention; we're going over there."
Looking in the direction that the Doctor had pointed, I could just make out a few faint lights from what looked like a decently-sized building a few dozen metres away, but it was hard to be sure; given my limited knowledge of the local geology, I might have mistaken it for a natural light formation if the Doctor hadn't drawn my attention to it.
"What is it?" I asked.
"You'll see when we get there," the Doctor replied, smiling reassuringly at me before he started walking towards the light, leaving me to grab a thick coat from a nearby coathanger and follow him (How he was able to walk around in just that suit and coat I didn't know, but I was putting it down as a benefit of his alien physiology).
As we approached the source of the lights, I was surprised to see that it was pretty much exactly what it had appeared to be from a distance; a decently-sized building, probably a bit larger than the Cullens' house back in Forks, with an infinity symbol on the windows around the building and a sign saying 'Tempus Fugit' above the main door.
"Huh?" I said, looking at the Doctor inquiringly. "What is this place; a time museum or something?"
"Nope," the Doctor replied, smiling back at me. "It's my old restaurant."
"You owned a restaurant?" I said.
Somehow, it was hard to imagine the Doctor actually working anywhere...
"Well, it was a matter of necessity really; I'd been separated from the TARDIS during a crisis involving time-travelling restaurant the Crystal Bucephalus that let diners eat in the most famous restaurants on various planets, and the only way to get it back was to set this place up and make it the kind of restaurant that would attract the Bucephalus to me so that I could get back to it," the Doctor explained. "Complicated bit of work, I admit, and it took me five years to get any response from the Bucephalus, but it all worked out in the end; I even managed to defeat a notorious criminal mastermind who'd set up an entire religion to save himself from the moment of his own death..."
"Huh?" I asked.
"Long story; I'll explain later," the Doctor said, waving a hand dismissively as he walked up to the door, pulling a small black wallet out of his pocket and walking up to the door of the restaurant. As he opened it, I tried to restrain the urge to jump at the sight of the massive creature covered in white fur that awaited us on the other side- it almost seemed to be as large as Jake in wolf form, even if it was more obviously humanoid than he'd been-, the creature looking at us with what looked like its equivalent of a polite smile.
"Can I help you?" the creature asked.
"You certainly can, my good man," the Doctor replied, nodding back at the creature as he showed it the wallet he'd pulled out earlier. "My grandfather opened this restaurant a few decades back; I understand he left orders that a booth or two was to be set aside each night in the event that he or any members of his family ever wanted to come here for a meal?"
"Wha-?" the creature said, studying the wallet in front of its face- I hated to refer to it as 'it', but I couldn't tell what gender it was- before its mouth spread in a smile. "Of course, Doctor Smith; this way, please..."
"Table for two, please; my... student, Miss Swan, will be dining with me," the Doctor added, briefly indicating me with his right hand.
"Of course," the creature repeated, smiling at me before it walked out from behind its desk and through a door behind it into the main restaurant, leaving the Doctor and I to follow it.
As I walked into the restaurant, I had to admit that I was actually rather impressed. In contrast to the cold temperature outside, the interior was really rather warm, while not being at a particularly high temperature- most likely out of deference to the fur of the creature at the door, which I presumed was an example of this planet's native species-, and various booths and tables scattered around the interior. As the creature took us through one of the doors off to the side, I was surprised to find myself in a room with an elaborate mosaic floor, elaborately knitted wall rugs, and a table made of what looked like antique marble.
"Hold on; the Benefactor's Booth?" the Doctor said, looking over at our guide with a surprising expression of indignation. "My grandfather left specific instructions-"
"The benefactors' descendants are visiting relatives for the next fortnight, Doctor Smith; they contacted us before their departure in case of a situation like this," the creature said with a reassuring smile. "I assure you, if we thought that there was a chance that they would be present here, your grandfather's wishes would be paramount, but as it is, they are not, and we feel that this is an appropriate venue for you to see what we have done with your grandfather's legacy."
"Ah," the Doctor said, nodding in understanding, the slight tension in his shoulders fading as he took in the explanation. "Well, that answers that; sorry about the assumption."
"No worries, Doctor Smith," the creature said with a smile, before he assumed a professional stance common with waiters the universe over. "So, what do you and Miss Swan wish to dine on?"
"Just... bring us the menu and we'll take it from there," the Doctor said.
"Of course," the creature nodded, before it turned around and left the room, leaving me to look inquiringly at the Doctor.
"Benefactor's Booth?" I asked.
"This part of the restaurant was set up to be used in perpetuity by the descendants of the Hroth couple who saved my life after I initially arrived here; I wasn't exactly dressed for the weather when I arrived, and I wanted to show them that I appreciated it," the Doctor explained, shrugging slightly as I looked back at him. "Bit of an odd thing to do, I know, but they'd given me a lot of help working on something that may not have even been a success in the first place; after it worked out, I felt like it was the least I could do."
"Ah," I said, smiling slightly at the Doctor as I sat down. "Always making sure your friends are safe, huh?"
"When I can," the Doctor said, his expression turning dark for a moment before he shook his head and smiled at me. "Anyway, enough of the past; for the present moment, what would you like to eat?"
"That depends," I said, looking at him with a slightly uncertain smile. "Is there anything on this menu that I should be... aware of?"
"Oh, no worries, I wouldn't run anything that had a 'Dish of the Day' equivalent-" the Doctor said.
"A what?" I asked.
"Oh, there's this one restaurant I know where the 'Dish of the Day' is a sentient creature that was bred to want to be eaten and was capable of offering suggestions on how you eat it before it went off and killed itself," the Doctor clarified.
"It what?" I said, unable to believe that anyone could do something like that; what kind of society created a creature that told you how to eat it?
OK, it might not be 'cruel'- at least the creature wanted it to happen-, but it was still so... disturbing...
"Anyway," the Doctor said, clapping his hands together to draw my attention back to him, "enough of that; just go over anything you like the look of on the menu and I'll let you know what's in it."
Despite the fact that I hadn't been out for dinner with anyone in longer than I could remember- Charlie and I didn't eat out much, and going out anywhere with Edward would have been pointless since he wouldn't have enjoyed it the same way I would have-, it was surprisingly easy to settle into the chair and talk over my culinary options with the Doctor (I particularly enjoyed a few of the exported dishes the restaurant provided; Peladonian vegetables alone were definitely interesting).
The planet itself might have a simple history- there was only so much that you could do on an arctic world that had limited contact with the rest of the universe-, but the meal itself was one of the most remarkable I'd ever eaten.
Here I was, Bella Swan, eating with the last of the Time Lords in a restaurant a few thousand years in Earth's future, on a planet thousands of light-years away from Earth itself, momentarily without a care in the world beyond when the next course was going to be here...
The Doctor had been right; after the stress of the last few days dealing with the Daleks, this had definitely been just what we needed...
AN 2: For those who want to know, the events the Doctor describes here took place in "The Crystal Bucephalus" in his fifth incarnation; I thought that the Tempus Fugit would make a good place for he and Bella to relax after what they went through on Arkheon.
Coming up next, it's back to Earth for an incident with a particularly interesting bus...