This is the first silly story I've written in years and boy was it fun! I got the idea earlier today, and I just had to write it. XD
And before anyone asks, no, the court scene described is definitely not an accurate represantation of a court scene as seen anywhere on Earth and it was written that way on purpose. :P
A very special thanks to Moiranna who was kind enough to leap into the role as a beta as quickly as she did. HUGGIES!
Now, please enjoy, read and review. :)
Kicking the Bucket
Rose squirmed, trying to make herself comfortable on the hard, wooden seat. One of these days she was going to learn she needed to make the Doctor check the monitors for what bloody planet they'd landed on, no matter what he said. This time, they'd only just taken a step outside before she'd been arrested on suspicions of singing, whistling and skipping. At the same time.
Unable to keep her amusement a secret when she heard the charges, she had, without more ado, added 'uncontrolled giggling' to her list of crimes as well.
"'Perfectly safe planet', you said. 'Absolutely nothing to worry about'," she said, giving his shoulder a soft bump, as she sent him a cheeky grin.
The Doctor shrugged, a sheepish smile on his face. "Jixibuurko – Juniduuro…it's an easy mistake to make. The coordinates are practically the same. We're only a few thousand light years away from target! Besides, it's not my fault you decided become a felon."
"Yeah. Just couldn't help myself, could I?" she replied. "Woke up this morning and thought 'you know what, I'm going to get myself arrested for a couple of crimes I don't even know about'."
He waggled his eyebrows. "Very cunningly done of you, too – couldn't have done a better job if you'd tried. Well, I always did say you were jeopardy friendly."
She just managed to hold back a giggle at that. "Pot?" she chirped. "This is kettle. You're black."
The Doctor shot her an affronted look as he opened his mouth to reply, but before he'd had the opportunity to say anything, a loud voice rang through the room, breaking him off.
"Judge Firdook of Blirrtah has arrived. All rise!"
They stumbled to their feet, watching as a blue gelatinous blob waddled…his-? her-?-its, Rose decided to settle on, way to the podium in front of her.
Firdook wobbled up and down in its seat a few times before allowing its eyestalk to sweep around the room. "You may all seat yourselves," it said and they all rushed to comply. The blob's voice, Rose was surprised to note, sounded a far deal raspier than what could be expected from a figure that looked like something that had escaped a package of jell-o. "We have gathered here today to follow through case 65 slash piney four. The individual Rose Tyler has been charged with suspicions of singing, whistling, skipping as well as uncontrolled giggling."
Loud gasps rang out among the gelatinous people sitting in the audience of the courtroom.
"Who stands as the individual's defence?"
The Doctor raised his hand. "I do. I'm the Doctor," he said, giving the room a happy little wave. "Hello!"
Firdook, for a lack of a better word, nodded before continuing. "The Great Gimmelshtump, witness to both the crimes as well as the arrest, has appealed for the sentence of The Bucket-" Another set of loud gasp echoed through the room. "-And as the crimes are indeed great, I am inclined to agree. How does the individual plead?"
The Doctor raised an eyebrow. "Sorry, did you say 'The Bucket'?"
"As in 'The Bucket of Sordid and Prolonged Death'?"
A wide grin spread itself over his face. "Brilliant! In that case, she pleads guilty. Definitely guilty. Absolutely no remorse either. Isn't that right, Rose?"
Rose gaped at him. "What?" she squeaked, receiving a well aimed elbow in her stomach for her trouble. "Uh, I mean…yeah! 'Course. I'd do it again if I could. It's a stupid and pointless law anyway – why do you need laws against skipping when you don't even have legs?"
"Ooooh, good one!" the Doctor cheered into her ear as the audience started to cry out in scandalised tones.
"I hope you know what you're doing," she grumbled back.
He pouted. "What? Don't you trust me?"
She rolled her eyes, deciding to not even bother with replying. Of course she trusted him; she always did and he was very well aware of the fact.
He beamed at her before returning his attention towards Firdook as silence had settled itself over the courtroom again. "There you have it!" he called. "I'm afraid you have no other choice but to rule in favour of The Bucket."
Firdook sighed. "Very well. I, Firdook of Blirrtah, set the verdict as guilty of all charges. Does the individual have any last pleadings before we set the sentence?"
"Yeah," the Doctor drawled, leaning back in his chair, "set the sentence as soon as possible. We're in a hurry, you see."
"As you wish. The sentence has been set as The Bucket, to be carried out immediately." Firdook's eyestalk wandered over the crowd. "Those who do not wish to see its execution are recommended to leave now."
Rose gave the Doctor a soft nudge in the side, watching as most of the audience decided to leave, leaving the benches bare and empty. It seemed as if only a handful few were brave enough to stay and watch. "What now?" she whispered.
"Nothing," he responded. "We wait for your sentence to be carried out." He nodded towards one of the blue blobs moving about in the room. It appeared to be holding a goblet of some kind in, what Rose assumed was, its hands.
A few moments later, the cup had been placed before her and she peered inside. It was filled with a cheerful, yellow liquid – if she hadn't known better, she would have assumed it was a goblet filled with pineapple juice. Firdook wobbled his way to them. "The individual Rose Tyler. You have been sentenced to execution by The Bucket of Sordid and Prolonged Death. Your sentence begins now."
"Err…okay?" Rose's eyes flickered between Firdook and the Doctor. What was she supposed to do now?
The Doctor, catching her confused gaze, mimicked a drinking motion and she gripped the goblet with her hands. "Right. Cheers, then!" In one swift movement, she'd tipped the goblet and its contents into her mouth. As she swallowed, she was pleased to note that the fluid – whatever it was – had a nice, fruity taste and she almost wondered if she'd been served their version of a glass of juice.
The Doctor beamed. "Well! That's that. We're off – very nice meeting you all, but we now have a long, painful death to experience. Cheerio!" He waved, and she couldn't help but think he looked far too cheerful for having witnessed her supposed execution. He gripped her hand, leading her out with a merry little whistle.
"Doctor." She gave his hand a light squeeze. "What was that all about? Why d'you insist on me getting 'The Bucket'? Doesn't it have an effect on humans, or something?"
He chuckled. "Oh, it has an effect on humans, all right. Despite how different you look, humans and Juniduurans are similar enough for it to work. It does exactly what it's supposed to – it kills you slowly."
She froze in her tracks. "But-"
He shook his head, a small smile pulling at his lips. "You see, the people of Juniduuro live for centuries – they can live to around an age of five hundred if the circumstances are right. The Bucket is the hardest punishment they have as it condemns the drinker to a death of immeasurable torture. The beverage is designed to slowly soften their gelatinous bodies, making it almost impossible for them to move properly. Also, it short circuits the natural aging mechanism in their bodies – instead, they'll age in accordance to the aging triggers engineered in the drink, allowing the poor soul a life of approximately a hundred and fifty years of suffering, no matter the age of the person. In fact, The Bucket even goes as far as to fend off most diseases and prevent illnesses that cause brain damage in order to ensure that the death is as slow and painful as possible. To add salt into the injury, the sweet, fruity taste is considered the worst flavor in the world."
Rose stared at him, her eyes wide and her face pale.
The Doctor laughed, his eyes crinkling in happiness. "Except you're not from Juniduuro, are you? For a human… For a human, the taste is pleasant and the chemical used to soften a gelatinous body is basically a wonderful treatment against arthritis, thus keeping joints and ligaments healthy and resilient. Also, as mentioned before, it'll push aside your natural aging aside; forcing you to live until you reach about a hundred and eighty…and you're guaranteed to be free of most age related diseases too."
She gaped at him. "Are you saying…"
"That you just got your life expectancy pretty much doubled and graceful aging guaranteed? Yep!" He waggled his eyebrows. "In fact, Rose Tyler, it'll be a long time until you 'kick the bucket'. Imagine all the things you can add to your bucket list!"
She groaned. "A hundred and fifty years more of those puns. I'm starting to think it's a punishment after all."
They dashed into the TARDIS together, hands still joined. A moment later, the blue box was gone; the only evidence of it ever having been there being the echo of their joyous laughter reverberating in the air.