Warnings: Missing Scene, Character Study, Silliness, Introspection
A/N: Written for who_at_50 for the prompt: Second Doctor/TARDIS. This one is comprised of the usual ramblings, a tad too much silliness and a hit-and-miss with the thinky. Wandery-blithery-silly within (youse has been warned), with a tad of *headdesk* and 'O RLY?' thrown in for good measure. Accuracy to character was aimed for, but likely missed...sorry about that. As always, mostly unbeta'd and written in one go, so please forgive any mistakes and/or blatant vagueness. I apologize for any repetition, misspellings, sentence fails, grammatical oh-noes and general horridness. Unbeta'd fic is overly-thinky/blithery and unbeta'd.
Disclaimer(s): I do not own the scrumptious Doctor or his lovely companions. That honor goes to the BBC and (for now) the fantastic S. Moffat. The only thing that belongs to me is this fiction - and I am making no profit. Only playing about!
It was quiet – night had essentially 'fallen' in the halls of the TARDIS and the Doctor was left with nothing (really) to do. He had no desire (for once) to play a melody, he had no interest in reading (he couldn't find anything but technical manuals here of late), and his dear Companions were sleeping – so there were no diversions to be found there.
Oh, he was quite sure he could find something to do, but really it was no fun adventuring (or running around and getting himself into trouble, as Zoe would indelicately put it), when one was by oneself. He had run out of his favorite tea (and scones), he could think of nothing to write in his diary and the nebula they were drifting in…well, he could swear they had passed the same point at least three times.
That in itself should have been intriguing, but instead he found it…boring. He didn't like being bored. He actually didn't do being bored. But with a silent TARDIS, snoozing Companions (really, humans did require a lot of sleep it seemed), and a library that insistent on throwing technical manuals at him (that volume of Quantum Bi-Folds and Singularity Circuitry was quite thick – and was it necessary to make the cover out of dwarf-star metal?!) – it seemed boredom was the thing to do.
So he did the only thing he could: he made a tutting sound (more of a gruff 'hmph' than a tut in his opinion), pulled his handkerchief out of his breast-pocket and rubbed fastidiously at something resembling a scorch mark on the TARDIS console. He really had no idea how it got there – and for some strange reason, it was really bothersome.
No matter how much he rubbed, it didn't seem to want to go away. On closer investigation, it appeared to have been caused by the relay two centimeters above it – which was odd, as anything that could scorch the outside layering of the console was firmly tucked inside.
Or was it?
He rubbed at the sore spot on the back of his head and tutted again, wincing when he touched the slightly raised bump the Quantum Bi-Folds and Singularity Circuitry manual had left when it bounced off of his skull (dwarf-star metal…really) – and wondered how the circuits inside the console could burn the outside of the console. And with a mark like this, it could have been going on a long time – you'd think he would have noticed.
The TARDIS hummed at him and he patted Her dash absently, musing on the problem at hand – and half pleased that there was something (at least) that would stave off the terrible boredom he had been succumbing to.
"There's a Girl," he muttered soothingly. "We'll get it sorted. I'll just have to figure it out won't I?"
He nodded unconvincingly and started to inspect other areas around the console that might be the problem – only to trip on something in his path and nearly go sprawling across said console.
"What the devil!" The Doctor wheezed, more caught off-guard than anything, hopping about on the uninjured foot while peering underneath the Old Girl's dash to see what had nearly broken his toes. Likely Jaime had left something under there. Or gosh knows Zoe was always poking at things she shouldn't – and wouldn't it just be fitting if she left a panel loose and –
It was the blasted Quantum Bi-Folds and Singularity Circuitry Manual (made of dwarf-star metal, in case he forgot to mention) – and no wonder he had almost broken his poor old foot against it. His brogues weren't up to the stern stuff like that and…how in Rassilon's name did the damned thing get there? Last he saw of it, he had tossed it back on the shelf it had fallen from (rather handily and a tad more enthusiastically than what was probably necessary, with words he preferred to not recall uttering), feeling satisfied when it landed with a thunk on something other than his aching head.
He had stopped hopping (feeling slightly embarrassed), but was still unconsciously rubbed the sore spot on his head when it all came together…the scorch marks…the same nebula (like they were going in circles)…the technical manuals –
His TARDIS needed fixing. His TARDIS needed fixing right now which was all rather convenient – as he was just the gent to do it. Maybe. Hopefully.
He had made a screwdriver that could unlock anything and could cook eggs from forty feet away (with the right concentration, that is). How hard could a multi-dimensional quantum machine be?
"Should have told me you needed a tune-up," he groused, digging through a side-chest near the doors. "I mean, if you are in such a state you have scorch-marks on your console…"
The TARDIS groaned reproachfully at him and he paused mid-rummage to shoot a contrite (almost sheepish) look over his shoulder at the Time-Rotor.
"Well…I guess you did do your best, dear," he amended with a small smile. "Next time, I'll be sure to listen…keep a weather eye out. Though I do both things quite well without a headache. Better without a headache, actually. Ah, here we are! The tool-kit!"
The TARDIS made a sound between a chuckle and a chide and he bobbed his head complacently, setting the tools down with a careful 'thunk' just under the part of the console with the scorch-mark. He balefully eyed the QBaSC manual before giving in with a dramatic sigh, hefting the book up with both hands as he settled (comfortably) into a chair his Old Girl thoughtfully provided.
And there was tea. And scones. His favorite kind.
Seemed his Girl had saved some back for him after all.
He turned to the index page with a mild cough, knowing it was going to be a rather long night, but not in the slightest put out by it. He had tea, he had some…light…reading material, he had his tools – and he had his TARDIS. In the end, what kind of man could want for more?
"Well, my dear," he said with a cheery smile (and an equally cheery sip of tea). "You are always taking such good care of me, even when I don't realize it. Think it's about time I do the same for you."
There was another humming noise (that sounded almost like agreement) and he gave the sore spot on his head another pat before settling in for a night of studying and tinkering. Maybe he would learn something new. He certainly wouldn't be bored. And if he got lost a little along the way, he knew She would set him right again.
It was true, after all – She was always taking such good care of him. Without question, complaint or after-thought. It was only fair that he do his bit in return – and treat Her as She deserved – and if this was what was required, he would do so and gladly. He could only hope he succeeded half as well as She did in the end.
But truly, only Time would tell.