The Doctor regarded the dark haired girl carefully, but she seemed to be human enough, from her messy hair to her bemused expression. She was tiny, and carried a light air of insanity that the Doctor immediately liked.
She looked, he thought, like a mad munchkin.
He paused before speaking further- the girl looked rather shell-shocked, and they did have a tendency to faint.
"I like your bow tie."
That was possibly the last thing the doctor expected to be hearing from a possibly alien girl in Mad Cow pyjamas, but he beamed all the same.
"Bow ties are cool!"
The girl visibly bit back a laugh, her brown eyes twinkling with mirth.
"I'm Diana. Call me Di, Dia, Ana. Anything except darling." She held out a hand for him to shake.
"Di it is." The doctor shook her hand firmly, and noted with a small smile that it was a good handshake. In his experience, a good handshake was typically a sign of a good person.
"You here about that vampire thing?" She asked, and the Doctor observed she had an accent. He wasn't sure what type, though he knew it wasn't Scottish. She didn't remotely look like the only Scottish girl he'd met, though they shared a look- it was a look that said answer my question or I will hit you.
"Oh, urh, yes. I suppose. Vampire thing?"
Di clicked her teeth, a sound that the Doctor guessed was mental munchkin for 'tut'.
"Big hair." She indicated a volume of hair that would impress an afro wearer.
"Big teeth." She did what seemed to be an impression of a rabbit.
"And weird eyes." She didn't bother acting out that last one, and the Doctor was almost disappointed. He shrugged that away, and began scanning the ground, the light of the sonic screwdriver casting an eerie glow round the dark street.
It gave a sharp buzz, and the Doctor crouched down to read the results, leaving Diana stood there, a little lost.
The Doctor whistled slightly, standing up and pocketing the screwdriver before turning to Di with an apologetic expression.
"Um…Well, how to phrase this….."
Di crossed her arms over her chest and glowered.
"You're in grave danger?" The Doctor winced, expecting the flood of tears.
Di's eyes widened. She took a deep breath.
She sounded delighted.
The Doctor nodded. "Most definitely! Big, scary space monsters trying to kill you! Yay!"
"Yay!" She agreed, though he could detect a note of sarcasm now. Diana's expression shifted and she folded her arms across her chest, tilting her head to the side and regarding the Doctor with something like curiosity.
"Why are you here, then?" She asked, raising an eyebrow. "I don't need saving."
The Doctor smiled slightly- there was something about independence he loved. It was frankly refreshing to be told not to save someone. In this case, however…. Diana had no idea what was happening around her, and her life was at risk. The Doctor hesitated before answering, and Diana tapped her foot on the pavement in a gesture of impatience. The impact was somewhat lessened when she stood her bare foot on a piece of gravel and swore out loud, hopping as she did so. The Doctor stifled a laugh and waited for her to stand still before replying.
"Well….erm…That thing that attacked you…"
The Doctor talked faster as Diana began tapping her foot again, wincing every now and then.
"They're called Rippers. As in, Jack the Ripper. They're an alien species, and they're commonly used as….as search and destroy machines. Assassins." The Doctor blurted. Diana may have seemed cheerful, but that could have been shock. Besides, Rippers were no joke. Madame Vastra had killed the notorious Jack years ago- hundreds of years ago, judging by the street lights and Diana's clothes- but the more domesticated version of the species were still used as strategic killing machines.
Which begged the question why an alien assassin was after a seemingly harmless human woman.
Throughout this whole train of thought, Diana had remained silent. She seemed a little taken aback, and perhaps worried- the playful look that'd been in her eyes since the Doctor first met her was gone.
"Why….why would they want to kill me?" Her tone was incredulous, and the Doctor was just as baffled. He glanced Diana up and down- not like that, just checking for a tail or scales or some other tell-tale sign she was an alien. There didn't seem to be anything, and her eyes were normal human brown-
Diana screamed something incredibly rude as the Ripper threw itself towards them, appearing from the shadows as though it had teleported. The Doctor jumped back and the creature turned to Diana, grinning a terrifying grin. Any other girl would have screamed and ran, but it seemed Diana was brave. Senselessly so, but brave all the same. She raised a fist as though to punch the creature, twisting with it as it circled her like a shark circles a swimmer.
The Doctor's eyes flickered between the girl and the monster, and without a second thought he drew the sonic from his pocket and threw it through the air, towards Di. She had to jump to catch it, but she caught it all the same and brandished the screwdriver at the Ripper. The Doctor could have laughed- she hadn't turned it on.
"Diana!" he called, his shout echoing in the near empty street. Diana glanced up, meeting his gaze, and seemed to understand the unspoken instruction. The light flickered on and the Ripper shied away. Diana glared at it; holding the screwdriver like a gun, and the creature ran into the shadows. The Doctor held his breath for a moment, but the street was empty. They were safe.
The silence hung in the air for a second, punctuated only by the faint buzz of the streetlamp. Diana glanced around, her shoulders hunched against the cold, until she finally spoke.
"Why are those things after me?" He voice was small, but her eyes didn't seem wary. The Doctor struggled for an answer, avoiding the short girl's gaze. The truth was, he didn't know, but he wouldn't like to admit that.
"I...er...I'm going to find out." He replied, settling for the most confident answer he could give. Diana's eyes lit up, and her lips stretched into a well-worn grin.
"Then I'll find out too."