Author's Note: This story takes place mostly during the time between "Voyage of the Damned" and "Partners in Crime."It mainly involves the tenth Doctor with brief cameos from nine and eleven. I've tried to make the story as "this could have happened between episodes in the show" as possible.
—A lifetime shown in interludes…mostly in the proper order—
1. In which the Doctor introduces himself and Alice melts an alien.
Alice is typical, but not stereotypical. She is attractive-looking enough without being attention-grabbingly beautiful. She did well on her exams, so she is intelligent; at least, she likes to think so. She likes to help people, and she likes to figure things out, but she often misses obvious things. She gets teased a lot, but people mostly mean well.
She has one tattoo, dead center between her shoulder blades, so she feels that she strikes a good balance between rebellious and sensible. She's obviously creative and brazen enough to mark herself, but she's chosen a prudent location so she can keep the design easily covered. She likes it, though, her tattoo. Feels it really explains her.
Alice tends to be a bit too straight-forward most of the time. Perhaps that's why she's still single. She doesn't care, though. She's got a decent enough job, a few friends, though no family to speak of, and can do whatever she wants with her free time. She's completely happy.
She also isn't fooling anyone.
Of all the places in the world (or elsewhere), she meets him in a bar. She's been stood up, and he is alone.
She will come to learn later that he is almost always alone. She will also learn that he believes he is always alone.
He seems so empty and dejected at that moment, someone so much more miserable than herself, that she can't help but want to cheer him up. He's not right just then, she knows it, and she has to fix him.
From the first moment with him, it's instinctual for her.
She offers to buy him a drink, says a cheesy line meant to make him smile, and he does, and the sun rises at midnight for Alice.
"Have we met before?" She asks. She has the strangest feeling about him. His smile brightens a fraction.
"I thought you already delivered your line."
She holds back a smile, but just barely. There's something so…
"It's just that…I don't know, you feel familiar to me. Like something that hasn't happened yet." She realizes the absolute absurdity of what she's just said as he lets out a short, genuine laugh.
She gives a reluctant half-smile, embarrassed. "That doesn't make any sense, does it?"
"You have no idea how much sense it really makes. I'm the Doctor, by the way, and you are?"
And then a…thing…bursts in from the back, some monstrous shape too large, too horrid, and too absolutely wrong to exist. But it does, and there it is.
And it's coming right at them.
The Doctor is shouting at the thing, and she thinks he's actually trying to reason with it. It lunges at the nearest table of people, and someone nearby is shrieking in pain.
Apparently it's not in a terribly reasonable mood.
And then she sees someone spill something on it, some random drink that smashes against its skin as it literally tears its way through the crowd. The thing shrieks, already-disfigured skin sizzling, and she doesn't think as she grabs the nearest, largest bottle of alcohol and chucks it straight at the thing's head.
There's a shriek from nowhere of this world as smoke—actual smoke—gushes from the creature's face and skin where the alcohol is dripping down.
Then she's outside, looking down, and he's got her by the hand, and this wonderful man is asking her— her— if she's all right. She feels as if she could stand here with him like this for the rest of her life. Or as if she's been doing it her whole life already.
Or both. Something like that.
He natters on about something that she knows is probably vitally important, but her head is spinning, and she's wondering how many people inside won't be getting back up.
"How'd you know to do that, then?"
She shakes her head, still trying to wrap her mind around the last five minutes.
"I saw someone spill a drink. The thing…it reacted badly, so I thought…y'know…" She trails off, capability of coherent speech draining away the longer he stares at her.
She knows right then that she is a lost cause when it comes to the Doctor.
He eyes her speculatively for a moment longer, then grins.
"You never did tell me your name, by the way."
"Technically, you didn't tell me yours, either, Doctor."
"I did, I'm called the Doctor. Just Doctor, nothing fancy."
"Alright, Just Doctor, I'm Alice Evans."
"Well, Alice Evans, you have a knack for this! That's exciting…no, that's brilliant!"
She can't help but return his smile. Is he always this enthusiastic?