I know, I know, I should be editing the kiriban (note the word editing, I've actually finished the core of it, I simply have to do some major editing now! :D), but yesterday was the anniversary of Nicholas Courtney's death and I just HAD to do something.
Okay, so this started out as a Brigadier tribute, and somehow, it turned into a Brigadier AND Ace tribute. I suppose Ace is just that awesome, because she randomly managed to get herself and Seven in there for no logical reason. :P I hope I got them in character...
The quoted part in here is from the very end of Inferno, which I haven't actually watched, apart from that scene, which is absolutely hysterically funny. The Brig's face when Three calls him a 'pompous, self-opinionated idiot'...XD Even if I had to cut the epic dialogue between the Brig and Liz, which is a shame because Liz/Brig is the best pairing that never happened but really really should have. :P
A wheezing sound filled the previously still graveyard and with it came a mysterious wind that caused the crumpled leaves on the barren ground to fly in whirling circles. A blue police box appeared in the corner of the lines of gravestones, and a young man in tweed and a bowtie stepped out with a stuffed toy clutched in his hands. He seemed to be concentrating and paid no attention to the two people who followed him out of the box; a young woman with flaming red curls for hair and a slightly-too-short skirt, and a somewhat awkward looking young man with sandy hair and a less attractive vest over his long-sleeved shirt.
"A graveyard…" Amelia Pond eyed her surroundings with distaste and scepticism before breaking into a short run to catch up to the Doctor, who had not hesitated in walking away already. "Why are we in a graveyard?"
A remorseful look from the Doctor made her eyes widen and her lips immediately pursed as she tried to think of something to say that would make up for her ignorance. She felt Rory's hand slip into hers and she shot him a forced smile as they walked faster along the path to keep up with the man in tweed.
"Is that why you have that stuffed bear, Doctor?" Rory called out, and the Doctor spun around to stare at Rory with an expression of disgusted indignation.
"Stuffed bear?" He repeated it as though the word was poisonous. "Come on, Rory, it's an abominable snowman! Or Yeti, that's a better name for them, really."
"Alright, Yeti then." Rory conceded. "But who are we visiting?"
The Doctor didn't reply; he had stopped in front of a large grave with a lot of writing on it and was regarding it with a strange kind of sorrow as he rubbed his thumb over the fake fur of the Yeti, he didn't seem to realise that he was doing it. Then, he bent and placed the stuffed toy at the foot of the grave. Amy and Rory sidled closer until the inscription on the grave was coherent from where they stood.
Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart:
Beloved Brigadier, Husband, Father, and Friend.
Amy's eyes flicked between the grave and the man standing in front of it several times before she plucked up the courage to ask her question.
"What was he like? Your friend?" She had taken a few steps towards her best friend and he looked at her with grief-filled eyes and a set jaw.
"He was the greatest man and leader I've ever known. Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart, the defender of the Earth." The Doctor said quietly. "He's probably the oldest friend I have." There was a long pause. "Had." The added word was a whisper and prompted Amy to take his hand in hers as a form of support.
"And he was in the Army, yeah?" She stared at the gravestone again while Rory also came to stand next to them.
The Doctor shook his head. "He was the head of the Unified Intelligence Taskforce, a military group which worked under the United Nations to combat extra-terrestrial threats. But sort of an army, yeah."
"You being best friends with an army leader…I can't really picture it," Rory said slowly. "Did you get along? You and guns don't really mix."
The Doctor felt his lips twitch. "Most of the time. We had our…disagreements." He frowned slightly before fighting the urge to laugh after remembering one of the more humorous situations between himself, the Brigadier, and Liz Shaw.
"Goodbye, Liz. I shall miss you, my dear. But I've had about all I could stand of this pompous, self-opinionated idiot here."
...ten seconds, 200 yards east and a rubbish tip later…
"Where did you go?"
"A few seconds forward in time, and a few hundred yards due east in space."
"The rubbish tip?"
"The rubbish tip."
"Er, Brigadier, my good fellow, I wonder whether I could borrow a couple of your stalwart chaps to give me a hand bringing the TARDIS back? It's landed in rather an inaccessible position."
"…..Pompous...self-opinionated...idiot, I believe you said, Doctor?"
"Yes, well we don't want to bear a grudge for a few hasty words, do we? No, not after all the years that we've worked together. Now come along, my dear fellow, put on a smile. Just remember all…"
The Doctor chuckled to himself as he remembered how Liz had laughed at the two of them and their bickering. Yes, he would miss his old friend, no matter how irritatingly human and trigger happy he had been at times. Despite his faults and their disagreements, he was still one of the best human beings to ever live, and to protect the Earth. He was about to turn and leave when a voice with a slight Scottish accent called out to him.
"Fancy seeing you here!" It was a voice the Doctor was never going to forget, because it was one that had come out of his own mouth for decades. He turned to see the short man with the umbrella striding towards him, with a girl in a bulky motorcycle jacket in tow. Seeing the girl made his insides churn with nostalgia but he forced a smile.
"You shouldn't be here," The older Doctor said with grave simplicity. The shorter one bristled.
"The same could be said of you. I was simply coming past to drop something off for him; an old picture I thought he would appreciate." The Seventh Doctor reached into his coat and pulled out a photograph which he then held out to his other self, who took it and smiled.
It was a photo taken at a sort of party for most of the UNIT workers, with a large entourage of people. The Doctor and Jo, inseparable as usual, along with Mike Yates, Sergeant Benton, and of course, the Brigadier himself.
Amy peered over her Doctor's shoulder curiously. "Who are all those people? When was this taken, anyway?"
"Oh, just some old friends…that's the Brigadier, there," The Doctor pointed the man out, "And this must have been, what, 1972?" He glanced inquiringly at the other man, who nodded curtly before taking back the photo and putting it on the grave next to the Yeti.
"So, you two know each other?" Rory asked for clarification as he looked over the two new arrivals and the Doctor's unsurprised face.
"You could say that," Rory's Doctor replied vaguely as his eyes once more settled on the young woman with her light brown hair tied back in a harsh braid.
"It's a real shame, him being gone, that Brigadier," The girl in the jacket said glumly, "He was a real nice bloke, no nonsense, got straight down to business. Even if he did call me 'the latest one'. Like I didn't know that about the Professor already."
"The Brigadier didn't mean it like that, Ace…he's simply met an awful lot of my friends. And none of them are at all like you. Where would I be without an Ace to take on a battle squad of Dalek's single-handed?" The man with the umbrella tapped Ace's nose fondly while she reluctantly grinned. He then wandered off in the direction of the cemetery exit, tipping his hat politely at his other self, Amy, and Rory, but Ace stopped and looked towards the other Doctor, who had yet to take his eyes off her.
"What're you staring at, Bowtie?" She asked with a raised eyebrow, but not unkindly.
He blinked, and then said quietly, almost to himself, "Well, I've said one goodbye today, might as well make it two." Then he looked up and smiled. "Ace…do you know who I am?" His green eyes lowered to meet her defiant ones as she stared up at him with a surprisingly calculating gaze, and shock briefly shot across her features before acceptance settled there instead.
In the distance, the man with the hat had stopped to call out to his companion.
"Come along, Ace!"
She abruptly called over her shoulder, "Just a minute, Professor, I'll catch you up!" Looking back at the tall man in tweed, she grinned coyly. "Yeah, I don't know why, and I sure as hell don't know how, but do you really think that I don't know your eyes when I see them?"
"That's my girl," The Doctor said with a proud smile, "Now, in case I don't see you again…permission to hug?"
Ace grinned with obvious fondness. "Sure thing, Professor." The two of them shared a embrace as tight and tender as any that Amy herself had shared with the Doctor, and the Doctor kissed Ace's forehead as she pulled away.
"Goodbye, Professor. 'Til the next time." Ace said as she began to walk away.
"Until the next time, Ace," He raised a hand in farewell, but couldn't resist adding, "And be careful! That Nitro-9 is powerful stuff, try not to blow things up unless it's necessary, will you?"
"It's always necessary for me, Professor," Ace retorted with a beaming smirk, "And I'm always careful!"
"I wish," Came his reply. She snorted and soon was out of his sight.
Amy stared after her with slightly wide eyes. "Who the hell was that?" Her voice was slightly awed, and her husband wore a similar expression.
"Old friend of yours, Doctor?" Rory inquired and the Doctor nodded as if he were not actually paying attention.
"Old friend from way back…" He said quietly, "You two go into the TARDIS, I'll be there in a minute." The humans did as they were told and soon were out of his sight as he looked back at the grave he was still standing in front of.
"Goodbye, Brigadier. It was fun, eh? Maybe I'll still see you 'round. Anyway, until the next time. If I had a hat, I would take it off to you, but I don't because River keeps shooting them, so you can blame her for that…I wish you could have met her…you'd have liked her, her method for fighting aliens is much more up your alley than mine ever was…anyway…goodbye, old friend." With that, he turned and walked away, but paused when he reached the TARDIS and turned around to stare at the gate that his old companion had disappeared through.
"Goodbye, Ace. There never was anyone quite like you." He whispered to the air, and with a sad sigh, he opened the door of the TARDIS and plastered on a large smile to avoid Amy and Rory's questions.
Because with time travel, it was never truly goodbye, and yet it always was. Yet another curse of the Time Lords.
So what did you think? It's quite different from what I've written before - the lack of romance is a major factor - apart from the angsting, of course. :P Still, it was nice to write something different, you know?
So let me know what you thought, and whether they were all in character, in a review, please!