Regeneration Denied


There was a pair of them—a scrawny sort of man in a grey suit and scuffed tennis shoes, and a fluffy-haired young woman in a pair of oversized jeans and a bleach stained hoodie—and they were running. In order to suppress a massive spoiler, what they were running from will remain a mystery. All that's important is that they were running and while doing so almost slammed in to a vegetable stand on the side of the road.

"Are you trying to get me killed!?" the Doctor shouted, dodging the array of beets, carrots and leeks. "Death by vegetables. What a brilliant way to end the worst day of my life!"

"Shut up and run," the young woman responded, speeding up. "Unless you want to regenerate, that is."

"I did want to regenerate!" The Doctor was quick to catch up. "And you ruined it!"

"Well, maybe I didn't want you to regenerate. I like the man you are now: rude and not ginger."

They rounded a corner and turned into an alley. A chain link fence greeted them at the end of it. The Doctor intertwined his fingers with the corrugated metal and frowned.

"Now what?" he asked.

"I don't know," she replied. "You're the one who is always running. You figure it out."

The Doctor released the fence and cocked his eyebrow. "So you're going to save me from a near-death situation only to leave me in a near-death situation? That seems a little counter-intuitive."

"Your face is counter-intuitive."

"That doesn't make any sense!"

"Your face doesn't make any sense!"

The Doctor counted his breaths. He'd been tethered to this girl since spoiler and she'd been nothing but an unhelpful priss ever since. The Doctor had thought of ditching her in Cardiff, but he couldn't leave her behind to get caught; it wasn't in his nature. So, after the spoiler he'd spoiler spoiler-ed and the two were off. At first the escape was going well—she was a fast runner and was able to keep up with him quite nicely, but this fence thing had him stumped. How were they going to get past it? Climb? But it was far too tall to get over before they were caught. Dig underneath?

Wait, what? Don't be an idiot, Doctor, how can you—well, maybe if he dug really hard

"Oh, look," the girl said, pulling him from his thoughts. "There's a door. Fancy that."

He slapped his forehead. "How on Earth did I miss that?"

"I don't know but, like, I'm pretty sure we should go through it before those spoiler come to spoiler."

Opening the latch, the Doctor pushed the door open and allowed the young woman to squeeze through first. He quickly followed and the two were off again.

Several blocks later they reached the TARDIS and, as the coast looked otherwise clear, the pair stopped to catch their breath.

"Whoo!" the girl said, inhaling deeply. "That was a hoot!"

"Oh, sure, a real riot, that was," he replied. The Doctor placed his hands on his knees and bent over slightly. He didn't want to admit it, but the chase had been slightly fun. Not wanting to encourage her further, he suppressed a grin and stood upright.

"Something's been bothering me since you found me," he said. "Why exactly were you there, at that exact moment, right when I was on the verge of regeneration?"

She dusted off the sleeves of her hoodie and casually replied, "Scavenger hunt."

"I don't believe you for some reason."

"You don't need to," she replied. "Now let's go on one of those adventures you're always having with your companions. I'm eager to meet some Daleks or visit the Ood Sphere!"

"How is it you know so much about me?" he asked, taking in another hurried breath.

"That's simple enough," she smiled and squinted her eyes, "I just so happen to be the editor of your fan-zine."

"I have a fan-zine?" he asked. He had to admit he did like the prospect…

"Indeed," she replied. "And it's one of the reasons I didn't want you to regenerate. Do you know how much of a bitch it is to change your picture on the newsletter? It's near impossible to get a proper photo of you!"

His cheeks sunk. "Glad you were so concerned for my welfare. Thanks."

"Welcome!" she said with a smile. "Now then, where are we going first?"

"What do you mean, 'Where are we going first?'" he replied. "We aren't going anywhere. You are going home and I am going…well…somewhere. I haven't figured out just where yet. But I will! And when I do, it'll be awesome!"

"See, that's why I want to go with you!" She walked over and slapped his arm a bit too hard. "Because you do awesome things and I want to be a part of that. I'd be an excellent companion, you know. I'm quite funny and such. People tell me all the time how much they love my antics. Besides, I just saved you by, like, finding that door and all. You owe me at least one ride in your time box!"

The Doctor took a step back. She had just saved him with that awesome door trick. Maybe she was smarter than she acted? And she was quick-witted. It might be fun to have her around—at least for one trip.

"I suppose I owe you that much," he mumbled. Opening the door to the TARDIS, he ushered her in.

With a squeal the young woman ran inside. "Yes! Do you know how long I've wanted to take a ride with you? This is awesome!" She ran around, staring at this device and that. "So, boss, where are we going first?"

He shooed her away from a lever that would turn the TARDIS into a pop-tart and said, "Your flat."

She whipped around. "What do you mean, my flat? What about my magical adventure! Lying sod! I should break something in this stupid box just to spite you. You in your Pee-Wee Herman suit and your smug freckles and your stupid hair—you do know you look like you were just mailed here from the 80s with that hair, don't you?—and your…your…well…whatever else is lame about you!"

Dodging the kick directed at my shin he grabbed her shoulder and shook. "Would you listen to me? We're going to your flat because you'll need a change of clothes or two if you're going to be traveling with me."

Her eyes grew so wide it looked as if he could pop one of them with a pin. Maybe he should…

"You mean it?" she beamed. "Oh, thank you, thank you! This is going to be so super fun, I promise! Now then, for our first mission. Let's go someplace awesome. Take me to the Dallas, Texas area, boss!"

"Texas?" he asked. "I thought you wanted to go someplace awesome."

"Hey, man! Don't tread on Texas. They have those cool bulls with the long horns. What are they called again?"

"Long horns."

"Right, those! Besides, we need to pick up our straight guy."

"What!?" The Doctor stomped his foot. "I most certainly am not gay! Not that there's anything wrong with that…"

"No, not that kind of straight guy," she wandered over to one of the bright blue spheres on the TARDIS' far wall and knocked on it. Putting her ear up to the wall she knocked again, then turned around and shrugged. "A straight guy. See, the problem here is that you're the most ridiculous guy there is."

"Gee, thanks."

"Don't interrupt me. The other problem is that I'm the most ridiculous girl there is. We need a straight guy to balance out all the craziness that's about to ensue. And I know the perfect person for the job."

As she dragged her ear along the floor and knocked in several places the Doctor considered her comment. She had a good point. He'd once tried to use a banana as a telephone—he wasn't the most 'regular' character out there. And she was a bit nutters, herself—what with how she was sniffing around the TARDIS as if trying to find a hidden hot spring of chocolate gummy bears somewhere all the while singing some song about laundry day and its relation to freeze rays…Maybe not being alone with her was a solid plan.

"All right, I'll bite," he said. "Where are we going again?"

She stood and raised a finger to the air. "To the Bat Cave!"

"The bat what?"

"Err…I mean…to Texas! Let's away!"

The Doctor grinned the way he always did when about to get into loads of mischief. He ran to the TARDIS' controls, pushed on this lever and that and, with a laugh and an "Allons-i!" the two most ridiculous people there were traveled on to new and exciting horizons. What would await them when they next opened the blue box's doors? He didn't know. But whatever it was, it would be better than being alone.