The Doctor got to his feet and smiled at each of the guests sitting around the long, rectangular table adorned with food and drink from the best restaurants throughout the universe. They had all been through a lot over the years and deserved the very best.
He cleared his throat, adjusted his blue bowtie, and flicked his fringe from his face before speaking. 'Gentlemen,' he said, as ten attentive faces looked back at him. 'I'd like to thank you all for coming today, on this very special occasion.' He paused and waved a flamboyant arm to the banner behind him, cellotaped to the TARDIS interior. Blue and sparkly it read: Happy 1500th Birthday Doctor! 'I didn't do that, by the way. The banner, I mean. It was - well, it was someone else,' he said, with a grin. For a moment, he seemed to drift off into a daydream. Then, with a shake of the head, he snapped out of it and resumed his speech. 'Anyway, enough about that. So, we've reached a millenium-and-a-half. Well done us, eh?'
'Hear, hear!' agreed the blond-permed guest in the loud coat, helping himself to a iced pink doughnut.
'And I thought that we should all celebrate together,' the Doctor went on. 'It's not often we get to do this and since it is our birthday, I thought "why not?"'
'A very nice gesture,' said the man with the mop-top hair.
'Thank you,' said the Doctor. 'You can get your flute out later. Give us all a tune.' His smile turned to a grin as the man pulled out a small, black flute from his jacket pocket and gave it a little wave. 'So,' the Doctor continued, raising his glass of orange juice. 'Here's to us, and to another 1500 years!'
Ten glasses, cups and tumblers were raised. 'To us!' chorused the ten guests before each to a sip of their drink of choice.
'Oooh,' the Doctor said, putting his own glass down. 'I almost forgot. I've made badges!'
The man sitting next to him frowned, and leaned precariously back in his chair. 'What do we need badges for?' he asked, in a near-cockney accent. 'I think we all know who we are.'
The Doctor, who was halfway down the table, a bundle of laminated name-badges in his cupped hands, paused and looked back at his previous incarnation. 'Well, obviously but we can't all call each other Doctor, can we? It'll just get embarrassing and silly.'
He reached the youngest guest, sitting at the other end of the table. His walking stick leaning against his chair. His black felt hat still fixed upon his head. The Doctor dumped the badges on the table then sifted through them. 'Ah, here's yours,' he said, lifting up a badge then gently pinning it onto the man's top.
The man's white eyebrows dipped and he twisted the badge round to read it. 'The Runt. The Runt?' he queried, looking up at his latest incarnation. 'I'm not quite sure I like the sound of that.'
'Well, you're the youngest,' explained the Doctor. 'It was either that, or Baby.'
The man untwisted his badge and tried to look unconcerned. 'Fine, fine. The Runt it is, then,' he sniffed.
'Good,' said the Doctor, sifting through the badges again. 'This is your one,' he said to the flute-player, handing a badge over.
'Under Seige? I..um... well, I don't quite understand, I'm afraid,' said the second incarnation, sticking the badge on, nonetheless.
'Well, the amount of times you and the gang used to find all these bases under attack from aliens, I just thought -' the Doctor's voice trailed off at the disapproving look he was receiving from the dark-haired man.
The Doctor, once again, delved into the bundle of badges and handed one to the next man, a silver-haired, tall fellow with an impressive cloak. This man peered at his name tag with an arched eyebrow. 'Bessie?' He looked up at the Doctor then started to chuckle. 'Well, I can see why you chose that name.'
Grinning, the Doctor moved onto the next guest who was already wearing a toothy grin. 'And what do you have for me, I wonder?' the man asked, eyes twinkling. The Doctor handed the badge over and the fourth incarnation laughed when he saw his name. 'Jelly Baby' he read aloud. The laughing stopped abruptly and Jelly Baby gave the Doctor a concerned look. 'You do have some here, don't you?' The Doctor looked up the table and signalled for the man at the end to pass along the red ceramic bowl in front of him.
As the bowl was passed down the table, the Doctor picked up another badge and handed it across to the next man. This incarnation was much younger in appearance than most of the guests. He was dressed in Edwardian clothing and wore a stick of celery, like a brooch, on his lapel. 'I'm afraid to read mine,' the man said, nervously taking the badge. 'Blondie.'
The man sitting next to him, the one with the adventurous coat, peered at the badge. 'I'm blond, too, y'know,' he said. 'Or hadn't you noticed?'
The Doctor quickly handed his sixth incarnation his badge. The man took it, read it, then gave the Doctor an unimpressed look. 'The Coat? Is that the best you could come up with?'
'Well,' shrugged the Doctor. 'I also thought of Argumentative, Arrogant, Rude and Bossy. But I decided to go with The Coat.'
'Makes me sound like some East End gangster from the 20th century,' The Coat muttered, pinning the badge to his lapel.
'Scottie?' The next incarnation had a hold of his badge. His knitted jumper with the question mark pattern was already stained with a sliver of gravy. 'What made you come up with that name?' he asked, genuinely puzzled.
'Your accent,' the Doctor said. 'It's Scottish.'
Scottie looked around the table in surprise. 'Oh, is it? I always thought it was Irish,' he remarked, pinning the badge onto his jumper. He noticed the gravy stain and gave it a brief wipe with a handkerchief from his pocket.
'No, definitely Scottish,' said Under Seige. 'I travelled with Jamie MacCrimmon for quite a while, and I can definitely detect a Scots accent when you speak.'
'Oh,' said Scottie. 'Well, it's true what they say. You do learn something new every day.'
The man sitting next to Scottie, leaned forward in his seat. 'I'm intrigued to know what name you've given me,' he told the Doctor, in his smooth, educated voice. 'Velvet,' he read, once the Doctor had given him his badge. 'Because of my jacket, right?'
'And that voice of yours,' grinned the Doctor. 'Oh, the ladies loved the sound of your voice.'
'I really don't know what you mean,' Velvet remarked, putting on his badge and avoiding the Doctor's eyes.
'What have you called me, then?' asked the next man, with a close-crop, leather jacket and Northern English accent. 'Big Ears? Big Nose?'
'Give me more credit than that,' said the Doctor, pretending to be offended. He gave this man his badge and stood back, awaiting the reaction.
'Fantastic,' said the man with a wide-grin, as he pinned the badge onto the jumper underneath his jacket. He looked back at the Doctor. 'Fantastic.'
The last man still sat leaning back on his chair, idly throwing half a dozen Smarties into his mouth. Chomping on the multicoloured sweets, he casually held out a hand and took his badge from the Doctor. Reading his name tag, he began choking on the Smarties. He shoved his chair back with such force, it clattered onto the floor. Fantastic and Velvet stood up and both took turns to whack him on the back, until a single, whole Smartie launched from his mouth and landed in the middle of a plate of cheese sandwiches.
The other guests looked on, with mild interest. These old folk, always wanting to be centre of attention.
'What's on your name tag?' asked Fantastic, noting the badge gripped in the tenth incarnation's hand.
'Chaos?' said the previous incarnation to the Doctor. 'What's that all about?' he said, in between breaths. Composing himself, he stood up straight.
The Doctor pursed his lips together then looked at his younger self, like a headmaster about to scold an unruly schoolboy. 'You didn't see the state you left the TARDIS in when you regenerated,' he began. 'Flames everywhere, things breaking apart. I almost fell out of the thing twice! The poor girl had to have a make-over.'
Chaos looked sheepishly at the other guests. 'Still, Chaos is a bit much, isn't it?'
'No, not at all,' declared the Doctor, sitting back down in his chair.
The party continued, and after everyone had filled their bellies, Under Seige took out his flute and played several tunes. Each of the other incarnations took a turn at dancing to the music, though Fantastic was quite reluctant to do so, at first.
Finally, it was nearing the end of the party. The machine the Doctor had tinkered with to be able to interact with his previous incarnations was almost out of power. They were all sat back at the table again, finishing off their drinks and talking about past adventures and companions.
'We'll have to do this next year,' the Doctor decided. 'Every year. It's nice to see you all once in a while.'
'Maybe bring a companion along, too,' suggested Chaos.
'I don't see why not,' replied the Doctor. 'We can always alter their memory afterwards so they forget meeting the other incarnations here. Who would you bring?' he said, looking at The Runt.
'Susan. Most definitely Susan,' the youngest guest replied to general murmurs of approval from the rest.
'I think I'd bring Jamie,' said Under Seige. 'He could show us all how to do the Highland Fling.'
The Doctor smiled warmly. 'What about you, Bessie?'
'I would have to bring Jo, I think or I'd never hear the end of it if I left her. Perhaps the Brigadier, too.'
'He said "one companion",' remarked The Coat.
The Doctor waved a hand, dismissively. 'The Brigadier would be Guest of Honour. Okay, so you would bring Jo. What about you, Jelly Baby? Who would you bring to the party?'
Jelly Baby wore a solemn look as he looked upwards for inspiration. Then he smiled his toothy smile. 'Sarah Jane Smith, of course.'
'I have so many to choose from,' said Blondie, worriedly. 'I think I'd bring Nyssa.'
'Well, I would bring Peri,' said The Coat, sneaking a small cake into his pocket. 'She would be intrigued to meet you all.'
'Well, she's already met me,' said Blondie, reminding him that Peri was his companion first.
'Obviously,' said The Coat, rolling his eyes.
'Ace, for me,' said Scottie. 'I think she'd get on with you all.'
'As for me?' began Velvet. 'I'd have to bring Lucie Bleedin' Miller,' he paused and chuckled. 'She likes a party.'
'Rose,' said Fantastic and Chaos together, then frowned at one another. 'No, I'm bringing her,' Fantastic said. 'You must have travelled with other people.'
'Well, yeah,' Chaos started. 'I suppose I could bring Martha...dunno. Couldn't bring Donna,' he said in a quiet voice.
The Doctor placed a gentle hand on Chaos's brown suit sleeve. 'You could always bring Wilf?'
Chaos began to smile at this suggestion. 'Yeah. Wilf, he'd love it.'
An alarm began to ring out from all around them. The Doctor's face fell a little. 'Time to go, gentlemen,' he said, with a hint of sadness in his voice.
'What about you?' asked Velvet. 'Who would you bring, Doctor?'
The Doctor sighed. 'I think I'd bring my wife,' he declared as ten astonished faces faded before him.