Author's Note: I got the idea that the 10th Doctor and Mels would work amazingly well together as a Tardis team. If he had no idea who she was. I'm calling it "The Christmas Assassination," because it was 2005, Mels was 17, and the Prime Minister was on national TV calling for anyone who knew the Doctor...
"If anyone knows the Doctor, if anyone can find him..."
Mels whipped around in the hallway, her eyes staring at the TV screen. There was the Prime Minister, on national television, asking for the Doctor.
She gripped the change of clothes she'd snuck into the Pond's house to get for Amy. Her hearts hammered.
He was in London.
She could see the ship floating over the city long before she roared into the environs. She'd boosted Jake's Ferrari again. He was going to be pissed.
And she'd been following the reports on the radio. There had been sightings of a swordfight on top of the ship. Two figures, seen from a distance by the news helicopters.
She'd triangulated the sightings, and found his landing site. She stared at the furrow of earth plowed down the side of a hill in a public park.
The furrow was empty. She crouched and fingered the overturned earth, her gun pointing down at her side. Her eyes followed the tracks that led away, shedding dirt in their wake.
She set off to track him.
She found him at the corner of a council estate, lurking at the side of a building, eyes glued on a stairwell access door across the way.
The door pushed open and out walked a man in slippers and blue striped pajamas, a blue robe belted haphazardly over his lanky frame, his hair sticking up.
A Raggedy Man indeed.
The figure at the side of the building stirred. The lanky man strode off, looking around and grinning, sauntering as if he owned the planet.
She felt her hackles rise at his attitude. She ratcheted it down. Ire wasn't going to help her succeed in her mission. She followed.
The pajama clad man grinned at the milling bystanders, everyone clustering together, talking about their experience, one Mels hadn't even been aware of in early morning Leadworth, until she started listening to the news reports.
Amy and Rory were still sleeping off their first adult Christmas party at Rory's house. Mels had been woken up when several of the others got up and left. She knew Amy didn't like wearing grubby clothes, so she'd taken the back alleys and snuck into the Ponds' to get her mother a change of clothes.
She never saw anyone on the rooftops. But then, it was Leadworth.
The skinny man turned down an alleyway, Mels followed. She melted into the shadows on the other side of the concourse. She looked past him, to the abandoned lot at the far end.
Ah, he was heading for his ship. She could see the familiar blue box sitting in the square behind the abandoned buildings. Looking exactly like her training, and Amy's toys, had predicted.
The tall, red-robed figure she'd been following leapt out at the slender man. The man whirled, surprised, boxed in by the Sycorax Leader on one side, and a dumpster on the other.
The Leader raised his sword and plowed forward.
Mels stepped out of the shadows and shot the sword out of his hand.
The leader hissed and turned, holding his bleeding hand.
"Not on my watch, pal," she said, perfectly calm. If anyone was going to kill the Doctor, it was her.
The Doctor's eyes widened in delight. It had been a shock to see the Sycorax Leader bearing down on him, but the sight of the girl stepping out of the shadows was a complete delight.
She was as calm as a lake in winter, sidestepping into the alleyway to maintain a clear shot. She had beautiful creamy brown skin, silky curly black hair, striking eyes the color of brandy and a dead level professional grip on her oversized gun. She was younger than Rose.
He bounced on his toes, leaning forward. "Hello! Who might you be?"
The Leader snarled.
The girl cocked her head mockingly at the enraged alien. "Try it."
The leader gripped his bleeding hand, stood up straight, then lunged forward. He barreled right through her, knocking her aside. She fell, but got off a shot anyway, burning a hole through his flying cape. He ducked sideways and pelted out of the alleyway into the street.
Civilians yelled, tires screeched. There was the sound of a crash.
"Now now, language," the skinny man said, offering her a hand up, grinning at her like she was his new best friend. Her stomach twisted, her hands went clammy. He was so close!
She moved to bring her gun hand up, and he grabbed it and helpfully pulled her to her feet.
When he let go, he was holding the gun. She stifled the instinctive lurch to snatch it back.
He studied it casually, "Time Agent?" he asked, looking up at her with those deceptively innocent brown eyes.
"What makes you think that?" she asked, resisting the urge to rub her palms dry on her miniskirt.
He grinned, and casually handed the gun back. "The training, the ray gun, the attitude." He grinned, he swiveled on his heels. "You remind me of a friend of mine."
In fact, standing there glaring at him, her young face overly serious, she reminded him forcibly of Ace. "I didn't realize they started recruiting so young," he said. "What are you, 16?"
She glared, and gripped her gun. "I'm older than I look."
He nodded, "Know the feeling."
A scream echoed from the street, more cars crashed, there was the groaning scream of a light pole falling.
"What?" His head came up, as if he'd just noticed the sounds. "Yes! Sycorax! Come on!"
Somehow she found her hand tucked in his as they ran down the alleyway toward the commotion.
"What are you doing?" she demanded. He had her gun hand. They emerged onto the street to find cars piled up, injured people littering the sidewalk, a metal light pole lay crushing the top of a car, and the red flash of the Sycorax Leader's cloak disappearing around a corner.
"Well, we can't very well let a dangerous alien run loose, can we?" he asked, looking down at her.
Her jaw clenched, staring at him, all her training reared up, pushing at her, making her tug at her gun hand, "No," she agreed, growling in a voice almost not her own.
"Well then, come on. He went that way!" He dropped her hand and sprinted across the road, skirting traffic and broken glass, a gangly man in slippers and pajamas, his robe flying.
She clenched her teeth, forced herself calm. First things first. The Sycorax, then the Doctor...
She caught up with him at the corner, he was staring, "He's up there!" He pointed to the facade of the building beside them. The Sycorax Leader was climbing the side of the building like a spider.
He tumbled into the rim of a concrete balcony. When he popped up, he was aiming the muzzle of a large rifle. He started picking off bystanders.
"Where the hell did he get that!" the Doctor yelled.
With those robes? He obviously had no concept of how to carry a concealed weapon. She, on the other hand, should have expected it.
The Sycorax Leader was ranting from his perch, screaming obscenities and blame, obviously mad in the wake of his ship's destruction.
The Doctor's eyes went supernova as a young man fell under the Leader's barrage.
"Get down!" the Doctor yelled to the crowd, his voice cutting through the screams. He tackled a teenage boy just as a bolt screamed past, and dragged the terrified youngster behind a car.
"Oh, not on my planet, bub," Mels muttered to herself. She shoved her gun in her shoulder holster and ran for the building. With a leap, she grabbed the fire escape stairs and swarmed up.
She leapt from balcony to balcony on the adjacent side of the building, higher each time.
"What the hell are you doing?!" the Doctor yelled.
"Just keep him busy!" she yelled back.
The Doctor's eyebrows rose in surprised admiration as she swung herself up onto the roof, mere seconds after leaving the ground.
He shrugged and charged out into the street. "Down here!" he shouted, waving his arms, making himself a target. "You call this honor?!"
"You murdered my people!" the Leader screamed back, shooting. The Doctor dodged, hopping as chunks of asphalt were blown out from under his feet.
Mels nodded in agreement with the Leader as she crossed the roof, she couldn't see them, but she could hear them. Mass murder was the Doctor's normal M.O.
There was another blast, and she heard the Doctor yelp. She looked over the edge of the roof. The Doctor had ducked behind a streetlamp for shelter, it wasn't the most intelligent defense, but skinny as he was, it was better than nothing.
She looked down, the Sycorax Leader was in a concrete balcony, two stories down. She judged the distance, and the landing space.
Suddenly the leader whipped his head to the side with an "Aargh!"
Mels looked out to see the Doctor had ripped the side-view mirror off of a car and was using it to flash light into the alien's eyes.
It was keeping the Leader from shooting. Now was her chance.
The Doctor angled the reflector, waving bystanders into the alley with one hand as he kept the Sycorax busy. "Go! Go!"
He looked up, and went pale. "What? No!" He screamed just as the girl jumped. She calmly stepped off the rim of the roof and dropped two stories, straight down into the Sycorax's nest.
The Leader shot the mirror out of his hand.
That girl, alone up there, with a madman twice her size. His hearts beat like mad and he looked around frantically for something, anything else, he could use to help her.
The Leader roared. The Doctor looked back up just in time to see the tall Sycorax swing his gun down like a club in the close quarters.
The girl, black curls shining in the sun, calmly blocked, stepped aside, grabbed, twisted on her hip, and flipped him against the stem wall.
He hit, bounced, tilted, and fell over.
He screamed as he fell, an inhuman sound, and landed with a crunch of external bones on the concrete river embankment below. The sound cut off. He slid down the slope into the river.
The water closed over him, flowing sluggishly.
The Doctor ran to the railing and looked over, scanning the water. He turned back just in time to see the girl land, a four story drop that she absorbed through her whole body. Landing in a crouch, then standing up unconcernedly and trotting over.
He really was going to have to find out how they trained time agents.
She stopped at the railing, looking over the turbid water. They watched for several minutes.
"I doubt the fall killed him," she said, mouth puckered sarcastically, bright eyes flashing here and there, quick, observant.
"No," he agreed. She radiated heat beside him, vigorous, athletic. "If he survived the fall from his ship, that little distance wouldn't have phased him," he nodded up at the building.
She turned those flashing brown eyes up at him, her thoughts hidden, cloaked in brightness. Somehow mesmerizing in their calm blankness.
"It's the bones," he finally said. The sound of the river sucked against the embankment, a branch swirled against the steep slope, scraping, then washing away. "Sycorax can't swim."
She walked with him back through the crowds. Police and emergency personnel were already gathering, taking care of the wounded, untangling the crashed cars, putting things to rights.
She couldn't take him here. Too many witnesses.
"So," he said, shoving his hands in his pockets, that irritating "Lord of All I Survey" saunter back in his stride. He should have looked like an idiot. He did, but then, half the people on the streets were still in their pajamas.
"I don't see a vortex manipulator on you," he observed as they turned down the alley. "How would you like a ride back to your own time zone?"
She looked up at him. He was a head taller than her, and that lanky body was probably heavier than it looked. Take him in his time ship. Yeah, no body to have to explain that way. Nice and neat.
And once her job was done, she'd be free. And what could be freer than all of space and time? Why bother stealing Ferraris when she could have a time ship? She bet she could figure out how to fly it, she'd been trained in how to fly similar ships. She shook her head, pushing away the half formed memories. The images she could never quite place.
"No?" he asked, mistaking her headshake. He gave her his best grin. He stopped in front of his battered blue box. "How about coming with me, then? It'd be brilliant!" He leaned down, right in her face, grinning like a loon. "You and me, time and space..." he offered, eyes bright.
She shook her head, he was such a fool. "So you're a time traveler too?"
"Yup!" He grinned, popping the "p." Standing up straight and preening. "The original you might say!" He flourished the key and stuck it in the lock.
"Don't you already have someone traveling with you?" she asked, sounding him out, he usually had companions. "We usually work in pairs," she said, going along with his idea she was a time agent.
His cheerfulness slipped a bit. He rubbed the key, "Yeah, if she still wants to travel with me."
She leaned a shoulder on the Tardis, then looked up surprised, it hummed.
He grinned at her reaction. "Come on, come with us. Rose'll love you. She can be like a big sister!"
She shrugged, putting a deliberately noncommittal teenage look on her face. "I'm based in this time, I'll have to go back to base and pick up a few things..."
"Great!" he grinned, looking like a delighted schoolboy and turned the key, shoving inside. Really, who would have guessed one of the biggest monsters in history would have freckles?
She stepped inside the Tardis and stopped. He was watching her, rocking on his toes, waiting her reaction.
She looked around, deliberately cool. She'd been told about the Tardis, that it was bigger on the inside, she even understood some of the mechanics. He was obviously waiting for her response.
"Impressive," she said. He grinned and bounded for the console starting to slap at the controls.
She surreptitiously shut the door behind her. And locked it.
"Where to?' he caroled out, standing over his machine like a mad concert pianist, robe ties flying.
She told him. She watched closely as he input the coordinates for Leadworth. The activation. The time rotor beginning to pump.
She could feel the time energy swirling through the ship. A subliminal whispering echoed just beyond hearing, it was making her brain itch, but she could get used to it. The controls seemed simple enough, even basic.
She grinned, a sly foxy grin that he didn't see. This would be so easy.
They landed with a thunk. He clattered down the ramp, pajama legs flying, and stuck his head outside. He didn't seem to notice the door had been locked.
He looked out into Amy's back garden. His face fell. He turned back to her. "Here? Are you sure? It looks a bit boring."
She shrugged, putting the last touches on her lipstick. She capped the tube and waved it at him. "That's the point, we time agents don't want to draw attention to ourselves."
He nodded. "That's a point." He looked back outside, then back at her. "You don't happen to know a time agent named Jack?"
"Jack who?" she asked, as she strutted down the ramp toward him, innocent bright pink lipstick on her dusky face.
He laughed. "If you have to ask that, you don't know him."
That itch in the back of her head was getting louder. She ignored it. Her heartbeats pounded in her chest. This was it! Her whole life's work. Right now.
She drew up beside him. "We're going to have such fun together," she enthused, doing the "impressionable teenager" schtick. She laid a hand on his arm, as if she was about to leave. "I'll just be a minute..."
She reached up to give him an "impulsive" smooch goodbye. Her lips got nearer, the itch in the back of her brain intensified.
It all came down to this...
Just as her lips touched his, the world exploded. She was knocked backward, flung clear out of the the doors to land sprawled on her back in the garden.
The door slammed. And the Tardis dematerialized, with a suspiciously laughing wheeze.
She lay there, cold prickly grass under her back, staring at the spot where it had faded away.
She slammed her fists on the ground.
Inside the Tardis, the Doctor lay sprawled on the grating of the ramp. His eyes blinked open. The soothing thrum of the time rotor in flight sounded in his ears.
He sat up, just as the Tardis dinged and landed. He frowned and ran his hand through his hair. He looked around at his empty ship. "What was I doing?"
He glanced down and saw he was wearing Jackie's boyfriend's pajamas. The very idea had his skin creeping. "Yes, right. Clothes!"
He jumped up and trotted off for the costume room.
Mels lay sprawled in the cold winter garden, cursing silently in every language she could think of. Some Christmas this had turned out to be.
"What are you doing down there?" a bewildered voice asked.
She opened her eyes and looked up to find Amy standing over her.
"I fell off the roof."
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