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sam_storyteller ([personal profile] sam_storyteller) wrote2005-07-17 10:20 am

The TARDIS House Rules; Doctor Who, PG

Title: The TARDIS House Rules (Sequel to The Rules Of Torchwood Three)
Rating: PG
Summary: Life with the Doctor is both simple and complex, but fortunately Nicholas and Donna have the Whenkipedia to guide them.
Warnings: None.
Spoilers: Through the finale of Season Four.

Now available at AO3.

First posted 6/9/2008

***

No guns. No, really. No guns.
Edit, CJHarkness: No shortage of bananas, though.


Nicholas didn't tell anyone that he was going with the Doctor. He'd made the decision almost before the Doctor had finished offering, but it didn't do to show too eager, he'd found. Besides, the Doctor had seemed like he could use a bit of good old-fashioned discipline and Nicholas knew, as all trained servants know, that the tyranny of the employer is nothing compared to the tyranny of his keeper.

So he'd decided to go and he hadn't told anyone -- and still Jack knew, because Jack always knew.

To be fair and in Jack's favour, he'd given no free advice or kindly warnings, didn't ask him if he'd come back, didn't tell him to be safe. The only thing he'd done was appear at Nicholas's door one night, the last night Nicholas would spend on Earth for a while, and tell him one thing.

"No guns," he'd said. "The Doctor doesn't like them."

Nicholas had looked down at the bag he was packing, a simple backpack with some underwear and socks and a couple of granola bars. He'd reached inside and taken out the Torchwood-issue sidearm he'd carried as a field agent and offered it to Jack, grips-first.

Jack had taken it, gripped his wrist with his other hand, drawn Nicholas forward, and kissed him on the forehead. It was the same benediction he'd given Gwen's daughter Bethan the day she was born.

"I'll tell the others," he said, and then he left.

***

It is petty and beneath a Companion to be jealous or snide regarding previous Companions.
Edit, MJones: Even if they deserve it.


When Donna comes on board, Nicholas is in the kitchen, frying an egg. He's decided to sit this one out; it sounds like boring recon, and it's twenty-first-century Earth, and Nicholas has been there and done that.

There's a thudding noise as the Doctor enters the TARDIS and then, like coming home, a familiar shout.

"NICHOLAS! A BIT OF HELP!"

Nicholas sighs, puts his egg in the oven to stay warm, and emerges, wiping his hands.

There is a woman in the TARDIS control room, older than Nicholas, long pretty hair and terrible, terrible taste in clothing.

"Just coming, Doctor," Nicholas says. "Hallo miss."

"Who're you then?" she demands.

Oh, this is going to be interesting.

"Donna, Nicholas, Nicholas, Donna. She'll be traveling with us for a while," the Doctor says, and Nicholas tries not to grin at the sight of his Doctor, hero of many galaxies, staggering under the weight of Donna's luggage. "You two ought to get on like a house on fire."

"Allow me," he says, easing the top layer off the Doctor's arms, hooking one of the suitcases on the floor into his hands with a foot.

"Well, he's flexible," Donna observes.

"Shall I show you to your room?" Nicholas asks.

"He didn't tell me he kept a butler. Where were you hiding last time?" she asks Nicholas, as he lugs the bags down a corridor.

"I'm a recent acquisition, ma'am," he says.

"Donna's fine. Donna Noble."

"Donna it is," Nicholas dumps the bags in one of the rooms, two doors down from his own. "You've traveled with the Doctor before, then?"

"Oh, briefly," she says, and he can tell she's trying to sound sophisticated and accustomed to all this.

"Then I'm certain you've packed good running shoes," he says.

***

You can't fix the Doctor. It's all right. We couldn't either.

Nicholas has seen many wonders in his time at Torchwood, and he's seen a handful with the Doctor as well. It's only fair, really, to step back a bit and let Donna have her time in the sun. Besides, after six months of brilliant adventures and lots of running, Nicholas finds himself pining a little for the good old days in Cardiff, where the evil came to them instead of them actively seeking it out.

And he likes to see them together, working things through, the Doctor and Donna. As his father would say, he does for the Doctor, and it's no pain to do for Donna as well -- make sure her terrible clothing is clean and pressed, keep them both in tea and snacks, be the one who putters about fixing cocoa after they break out the Ood (giant brain, oh god, giant Oodbrain, why aren't they as freaked out as he is by the giant brain?).

He likes to look after people. And there is a certain reward in it too, when he fixes the tea properly and the Doctor gives him that one expression, as if Nicholas understands a part of him that nobody has for a long time. The Doctor hurts, and there's nothing he can do about that, but the Doctor essentially likes to look after people too. He just does it on a cosmic scale, with rhetoric and wits and a sonic screwdriver, and Nicholas does it with hot drinks. It works for them.

And they do see such things. Oh, such wonderful things.

***

You're not allowed to take on extra companions as pets. It just doesn't end well.

The day the Doctor gets a call from Martha, Nicholas feels perhaps that he himself is acting a little less than professional, really, but he can't entirely be blamed. It's Martha, after all. He tags close behind the Doctor, pulling rank and experience on Donna for once, but when the Doctor becomes wrapped up in metaphorically crusading against global warming he also sees the signs of trouble and, though the Doctor would be angry if he knew, Nicholas dials Torchwood.

"Jack," he says, when Jack answers the private line in his office. "What's Martha doing with UNIT?"

"Good to hear your voice again too," Jack drawls. "She's on loan. How long have you been out?"

Nicholas puzzles over what he means for a second until Jack adds, "It's only been two weeks for us."

"Oh -- oh! Six months, give or take. Also, you need to come to UNIT headquarters right now."

"Okay," Jack says, just like that, and hangs up.

There are advantages to knowing how to blend in, as Nicholas proves while he's waiting for Torchwood to arrive. He's heard of the Sontarans from the Doctor; while he isn't any flashbang with a pistol he knows how to hit a blatantly obvious weak spot when he sees one, and by the time UNIT is pulling their pants up he's taken out five or six Sontaran soldiers. Now is no time for the Doctor's squeamishness about guns, and it should be pointed out that while the Doctor doesn't do any shooting, a lot of the time others will do the shooting for him whether he grants permission or not.

Nicholas isn't the Doctor. He isn't even close. He isn't Jack either, but he was trained by Ianto and Ianto knows all about how useless martyrdom can be.

He's rustling up some more guns from dead UNIT soldiers -- poor sods, but they won't miss their sidearms -- when he hears a muffled moan.

One of the soldiers isn't so dead as he first appeared.

"Hello, sunshine," Nicholas says, skidding to his knees next to the half-conscious man in the ubiquitous red beret. "Lucky man. They must have winged you."

"Doctor," the man mumbles. "Said don't fire..."

"He always forgets to warn people to run, though," Nicholas sighs, and eases the bloke's arm around his shoulders, heaving him upright. "I'm Nicholas. What's your name?"

"Said not to fire..."

"Yes yes. Name, rank, serial number?"

The man looks at him, eyes hazy. "Umm. Ross. Ross Jenkins," he ventures.

"Oh well. Nice to meet you, Ross," he says, and that's when a pair of hands clamp down on his shoulders.

He screams, of course, but he doesn't let go of Ross the Hot UNIT Guy, and when he turns around with Ross slung against his shoulder Ianto Jones is standing in front of him, smiling.

"Nice hat," Ianto says to the soldier, who tries groggily to salute. "Hello, Nicholas. Come along, they're closing down the building, we can't do anything more here."

Nicholas mutely hands over his gun, says "Anything that moves, shoot it in the back of the neck," and stumbles after him.

"Didn't know you had a hot brother in UNIT," he adds, as they emerge into a smoky morass outside.

"I don't," Ianto replies, but he's still smiling. The SUV is nearby; Nicholas eases the UNIT man into the back seat.

"I brought you a present," he says to Jack, who is turning around from the front passenger seat. "I know how much you like men in uniform."

Jack takes in the red beret, the pale face, the strong, loose-limbed body. He grins.

"I'll unwrap it later," he says. "Coming home?"

"Not just yet, but hold my parking space for me, would you?"

"How are you finding life in the blue box?"

"Brilliant," Nicholas says, and fights the urge to give a sudden retraction, to beg to be taken back to Cardiff. He isn't done with the Doctor, not yet -- he doesn't know how he knows this, but he does. "I found your hologram."

"Hah! I'd forgotten about that. Hope he's helpful."

"Really he is," Nicholas says, and then blurts, "I miss you."

Jack ruffles his hair affectionately, then turns back around. "Gwen?"

Gwen smiles at Nicholas and guns the engine as he slams the door shut. Ianto is already clambering in the other side, and John Hart gives him a hasty wave from the back, where he's bent over a computer and working furiously. In a moment they're out of sight, hidden behind a screen of noxious chemicals.

Nicholas sighs and turns back to the warehouse. Better find the Doctor; that's where all the action is.

***

We think with our brains and no other part of our anatomy. If we don't think with our brains, we don't survive long.
Edit, CJHarkness: Even me.


On the planet of the Crazy Cloned Supersoldiers, Nicholas falls in love. Predictably.

The chase through the tunnels takes a long time, shorter in his memory than it actually was. They stop at one point, when they're far enough ahead of the human soldiers to feel safe, and rest and drink from Nicholas's canteen. Nicholas watches Jenny -- Genny? Gennie? G/Jenny? -- tip her head back as she swallows, then takes the canteen from her and sips a few mouthfuls of tepid water himself.

Jenny wanders back over to where the Doctor -- her father -- is studying a schematic he's found somewhere, peering over his shoulder as naturally as if she's been raised by him.

"She's pretty," Donna says conversationally. Nicholas grunts, because in his head he's already picturing their children. Actually, he started out picturing their children, and then he pictured what the Doctor would have to say about his child taking up with a human, and then he pictured being thrown out of the TARDIS in prehistoric Africa, and now he's staring at her hair because that seems safest, really. "And she seems nice."

"Huh," Nicholas agrees, aware that this is just depressingly pathetic. He knows that when they get out of here and get back to the TARDIS he's going to follow Jenny around like a puppy.

"D'you fancy her? You do, don't you?" Donna asks.

"I do not!" Nicholas protests.

"You fancy her rotten."

"So? She's -- I mean look at her, have you spoken with her at all? No right-thinking man wouldn't fancy her."

"D'you know, it's a funny thing," the Doctor says to Jenny, his voice echoing loudly across the room. "You'd think with all this advanced technology we'd let the machines do our sensing for us, but all five of my senses are still remarkably sharp. I have tremendously good hearing. How about you, Jenny?"

"Tremendously good," she agrees, and she's grinning at him, oh god, he's going to die on a plain somewhere in Africa and really confuse some poor forensic anthropologist millennia later.

"Come along, then, we're nearly there," the Doctor says, and gestures them down a narrow passage. Donna follows directly behind the Doctor, seniority of age if not experience, and Nicholas follows Donna; Jenny smiles at Nicholas and walks next to him, twining her fingers in his.

Nicholas isn't fooled. Her other hand is still holding the gun.

***

It's better not to ask about his past. In case he actually tells you.

Donna proves to be far better at working the patchwork human-TARDIS interface than Nicholas, scratching around in the basecode of the Whenkipedia as if she's made for it. Nicholas chalks it up to natural intelligence pressed into the mould of a capable temp, able to learn any system or program within a day of working. She builds his profile for him, maintains the records, monitors his alterations, and leaves scathingly brilliant commentary on any planet and time they visit, whether there's already an entry for it or not. Future companions of the Doctor will thank her, and probably make themselves sick laughing (as Nicholas did, ruefully) over her description of the time Nicholas got caught out in a Tarkasian courtship ritual.

With him and Donna at the helm of the Whenkipedia, it soon goes from Jack Harkness's part-time hobby to a full-on research module.

And then Donna comes to find him one day while he's doing a fry-up to balm his grieving heart and she says, "You have got to hear this."

There's a little console in the corner that he thought was mainly for turning the oven on and off, but she pushes three buttons and turns a crank and crackling static fills the air.

"But you had all of America to knock around in without getting strange looks," says a female voice. "Why choose London during the air raids? You could have been killed."

"So could you,"
a masculine voice, and Nicholas nearly sets himself on fire.

"That's Jack!" he says, over the woman saying, "Yeah, but I was just visiting."

"So was I. Besides, you know how it was -- air raids, perfect for getting incriminating evidence blown up."


"Must be this Rose girl," Donna says. "She doesn't half sound chavvy, does she?"

"Well, it was my homeland, sort of," Jack again. "My great-grandparents were Earth stock, my grandparents were colonists. Guess where they came from."

"Can't possibly."
It sounds like Rose's mouth is full -- it sounds almost like Jack is drinking, or drunk.

"Liverpool, yeah," Jack says, in a terrible thick accent that he probably learned off the Beatles.

"Never!"

"Absolutely. Besides, I read about the Blitz. I took a ton of history classes. Most of the Time Agents didn't bother, they just studied where they were going next on the fly, but I loved it. Loved history. I wanted to see it all. And I had the training, anyway, I just needed that Agency spit and polish."

"Yeah, that took real well,"
Rose drawls, and Nicholas laughs.

"I think I'd have liked to meet this Rose," he says.

"I think I'd like to meet this Harkness," Donna replies.

"He'd love you. He likes -- " Nicholas stops suddenly. Donna flicks the crank to pause the playback.

"He likes?" she prompts, looking wicked.

"Uh. Women with. You know."

"Big tits?" Donna asks dangerously.

"High tempers!" Nicholas blurts.

"Did you just say -- "

"He doesn't care what people look like, not really. He just likes people. But he likes extraordinary people best," Nicholas says hurriedly. Donna stops, closes her mouth, and nods. She gives the crank a twist.

"I don't notice you complaining about my shining boots and erect carriage," which is pure Jack all over.

"But really, Jack, why London? Why the Blitz? You could have chose any manner of other, safer destructive time."

There's a contemplative silence.

"America was all about sitting home, wishing the boys overseas good luck, baking cookies," Jack says finally, and Nicholas is never going to stop teasing him about baking cookies. "It's human nature to fight back when we're attacked. It gets the blood flowing. Someone takes a bite out of your home and you straighten up and you roar back at them and you swear you'll go under with the country before you let those assholes see you beat. All the art and science and literature in the world, you can't measure that up against the fury of a human scorned. It's terrible, it's evil, but it's so basic. And there was so much dignity about it in London. There was sex and dancing and rationing and the Home Guard and the uniforms -- kissing your boy and sending him off to fight."

Another silence. Nicholas clears his throat.

"I've been through war. My best friend was tortured to death and I hated that war. But. Part of me still loves it. It makes people see how human they are by measuring against how inhuman they are."

"That makes no sense, Jack,"
Rose says, but even without visual they can both tell she's trying to be light and failing. "No more whiskey for you."

"No,"
Jack says mournfully. "Where's the Doctor?"

"Off somewhere. Puttering, I suppose."

"Give me a kiss, Honeysuckle Rose."

"Incorrigible Captain Jack,"
Rose replies, and the recording blips out.

"Who archived that?" Nicholas asks carefully.

"RTyler," Donna answers.

"Why, do you suppose?"

Donna shrugs. "I don't know, to put in his profile maybe. What war was he in?"

Nicholas shakes his head. "What war wasn't he in? Jack's...elemental. There are Jacks in every war. Considering all he's been through, it hardly matters."

"We're not exactly Rose and Jack, are we?"

Nicholas laughs. "Did the Doctor want another Rose and Jack? He took me in because I wasn't impressed by him. He took you in because you're brilliant, and anyway I wasn't enough for him. No, it's all right -- he needed you," he adds, when he sees Donna start to protest. She's a good sort that way. "Maybe with Rose he...needed Jack. Or Rose needed him. It doesn't matter, Donna. Here and now, we're his. Give us a kiss, Donna Immaculata," he adds, grinning.

"Give us a slice of fried bread," Donna retorts, and Nicholas obliges with a plate of bread and bacon and egg.

"Anyway, you'll meet Jack one day, then you'll understand. When the Doctor takes me home, I'll make sure he hangs about long enough for me to introduce you."

Donna gives him an odd look, but she smiles anyway, and Nicholas knows she'll love his friends.

***

Betting on events you have prior knowledge of is completely forbidden.

Nicholas is thoroughly unimpressed with Agatha Christie, but that's all right.

"Lord or servant?" the Doctor asks him, as they emerge into the sunlight, and Nicholas casts his eye over the manor house, the gardens, the uniformed men and women moving to and fro. He gives the Doctor a hungry, puppy-dog grin in reply. "Really?"

"Please?" Nicholas is totally not above begging. "Pretty please? It'll be just like Upstairs Downstairs."

"More like Jeeves and Wooster," Donna remarks.

"Off with you then, have your fun," the Doctor smiles indulgently, and Nicholas hurries off to the kitchen to present himself to the butler as the Doctor's personal valet.

It's brilliant, every bit as brilliant as he'd thought it would be -- he's just high enough in the ranks that he isn't required to do any of the heavy lifting, and just low enough that he's accepted into the camaraderie of the kitchen and allowed to flirt with the housemaids. He drinks in the gossip as he gallantly assists the cook in kneading the bread and helps to butcher the meat for dinner, and it's in the midst of this that the Doctor and Donna appear, flinging things around, downing ginger beer and anchovies, kissing and belching toxic gas and generally being their wonderful selves.

Nicholas watches in amusement, mainly, until they're gone again and all eyes turn to him. Formerly he was the mildly interesting valet of one of the visiting guests; now he's expected to provide suitably lurid explanations for all this madness.

"Oh, he's a strange one, is my Doctor," he says with a conspiratorial lean, enjoying himself hugely. "Not mad, you understand, but a bit on the..." he tilts his head.

"Where's he from?" asks the cook.

"Foreign parts," Nicholas says impressively. "He was born abroad. He's been traveling probably his whole life, I reckon."

"Oo-er! And you travel with 'im?"

"The things I could tell you if I'd a mind!" Nicholas stage-whispers.

"Oh, do," says the scullery-maid, then looks suitably chastened for having spoken without being addressed.

"Well," Nicholas says, adjusting times and locations on the fly, because the Babel Tower of New New New York won't exist for a few millenia, "I've been in the tallest building in New York City on the very top floor."

"I'd die!" says the housemaid.

"Lots of people get sick," Nicholas informs her gravely. "And we've gone boar-hunting in Greece -- " (mostly true, except it was the Caledonian boar hunt) " -- and hiking in Tibet, the land of Shangri-La."

"What's Shangri-La?" one of them asks.

"It's a mythical thing," Nicholas says, backpedaling.

"He must be just a little bit mad, mustn't he?" says one of the other valets. "Never settling down like that. Unless he's a missionary."

"Not mad, just unhappy," Nicholas replies. "He's...seen a lot of sadness. He feels suffering deeply."

"Bad thing in a doctor."

"Perhaps, but it makes him a good man. I suppose he is a missionary, in his own way."

"Who's the woman with him, Miss Noble?" one of the housemaids asks.

"Traveling companion, sort of an amanuensis," he replies.

"Bit on the side, you mean," one of the footmen grunts. Everyone looks to Nicholas to see if the thrown gauntlet will be taken up.

"If you don't know the meaning of amanuensis you've only to ask," he says loftily.

"Don't need to. Lady like that, traveling with a wealthy bloke like the Doctor -- "

"Just because you'd hire one if you could doesn't mean he does."

"Don't mean he don't, either."

"The Doctor's private business is his own," says the butler, coming into the room, and everyone immediately falls to their appointed tasks, Nicholas returning to his mopping of the spilled anchovies. "Nicholas, are the Doctor and Miss Noble's rooms to their satisfaction?"

"Eminently, thank you," he replies, relishing every minute of this little roleplay. God, what he wouldn't give to wait at table during the dinner.

He thinks it's a tribute to how well he's been trained by Ianto and the Doctor that he hardly bats an eye when the giant wasp shows up.

***

It isn't nice to tease the Doctor.
Edit, CJHarkness: Speak for yourself.
Edit, RTyler: Fine, it isn't EFFECTIVE to tease the Doctor.


"We're stuck," the Doctor announces.

"Stuck in what?" Donna demands. Nicholas does love that Donna always gets straight to the point.

"Gravity?" the Doctor ventures, studying one of his little readout screens. "We've been momentarily pulled into artificial orbit around Ksthnt Five."

"You know what the universe needs more of?" Nicholas remarks, feet up on the rail, mouth half-full of an orange slice, enjoying the quiet for once. "Vowels."

"Nah!" the Doctor is kicking levers and banging hammers on things. "Just a more equal distribution. Ooh, sometime I'll take you to see the ruined palaces on Aaooeii i Eaoi."

"I think I've been there, isn't it near Swansea?"

"Excuse me, can we get back to 'stuck'?" Donna asks pointedly.

"No problem! We'll pick up speed a bit and slingshot right off. Two, three days max," the Doctor beams.

"Might be nice to catch up on sleep," Nicholas says. "And you've been promising us a guided tour of the TARDIS."

Privately, he also thinks it'll give him time to work on a USB port for the TARDIS, so that when he leaves he can take the Whenkipedia with him. It'll be a nice present for Jack. A year with John Hart has taught him a lot about hybridised technology.

"So we're stuck in the TARDIS for three days?" Donna asks.

"We'll keep busy," the Doctor insists. Donna looks petulant. "I think I have some board games around here somewhere. Isn't that what humans like? Board games when you're stuck inside on a rainy day and-or because of the artificial gravity generators of Ksthnt Five?"

"I'm quite good at Scrabble," Nicholas offers.

"Too soon for Cluedo?" the Doctor ponders aloud.

"Doctor," says Donna, and Nicholas knows that evil look. It's the look Donna gets when she's about to pull a fast one. The Doctor can't see it, because he's busily rummaging in a wall-panel, apparently attempting to locate his board games.

"Yes, wha -- oh, I've been looking for that," the Doctor says, tossing aside what looks like a gnawed-on stuffed toy with Meccano-set prosthetic limbs.

"Have you ever played Mornington Crescent?" Donna asks. Nicholas has to bite his lip quickly to suppress a chortle.

"Mornington...?" the Doctor asks, leaning out again. There's dust in his hair.

"Mornington Crescent."

"Isn't that a stop on the Northern Line?" the Doctor asks, looking between them in confusion.

"My team went to the junior Nationals when I was fourteen," Nicholas beams.

"Brilliant," Donna beams back. "Do you want to open or shall I?"

"Not a card game, is it?" The Doctor is still looking lost.

"The goal is go along naming Tube stations until you get to get to Mornington Crescent," Nicholas answers. "You can start, Donna, that's only fair."

The truth is that Mornington Crescent has no rules. It's a ruse of a game, meant to amuse and confuse whoever's watching. And while normally they're trailing a step behind the Doctor, when it comes to sheer human perverseness Donna Noble leaves the Doctor well in the dust.

"Just follow along, you'll get the hang of it," Donna says. "All right, I'll open: Euston Square."

"Aldgate," Nicholas says promptly.

"All Saints!"

"Upminster."

"Temple."

"Ah! St. Paul's."

The Doctor's head is flicking back and forth like a dog watching a ball being thrown.

"Stepney Green."

"Moorgate."

Nicholas sucks in a breath through his teeth. "Maybe we should have set the rules beforehand, but are we playing straight or International rules?"

"Intergalactic I should think," Donna replies. "Why?"

"Well, it's just, you can't play Moorgate from Stepney Green in the straight rules, it's on the Circle Line."

"Yes you can," the Doctor says unexpectedly, and they both look at him. "Because it's on Northern as well, and it's a Tuesday."

Nicholas sees Donna's jaw drop. He's well aware that his own face must betray his surprise.

The Doctor beams at them. "You two ought to learn you can't put one over on me. I played internationally for Scotland in 9340. Don't look so amazed, this sort of game never really goes out of fashion. Now," he adds, holding up a deck of cards. "Rummy?"

Donna kills them both at cards, until Nicholas gets up to make them some tea and comes back to a furious game of Egyptian Ratscrew that doesn't end until the Doctor breaks a finger and Nicholas has to splint it for him.

They're almost a family, him and the Doctor and Donna. The Doctor reminds him at once of his father and his younger brothers, and Donna would definitely remind him of his sister if he had a sister, and Nicholas feels also a little bit sometimes like a mum or dad himself, looking after their scrapes and cooking and such.

Until the library, after which Donna kicks him out of the kitchen and is the only one allowed to cook their meals for like three weeks. The Doctor lets her.

Nicholas doesn't always understand those two.

***

"Don't wander off" is really more of a guideline than a rule.

Actually, Nicholas often thinks the TARDIS likes him better than it likes Donna.

He doesn't think the Doctor does, the Doctor is supremely impartial about his companions -- well, most of them, he's read the Whenkipedia entry about Rose -- but the TARDIS, maybe, it likes Nicholas. It takes them places that Nicholas would like even when the Doctor says he's taking them places Donna will like. He was in heaven in the manor house, and now -- and now! Instead of a boring sunny beach like Donna wanted, they're in a library.

He wanders a few steps, towards one of the high dark bookshelves, stunned by what the Doctor is telling them -- this is The Library, the biggest library in the universe, no name, just a big old "the".

"You two have fun," Nicholas says, aware that normally the reaction he's having is only in response to naked people. The biggest library ever. An entire planet of library. "I'm going to ramble."

"What have I told you about rambling?" the Doctor demands. Nicholas gives him a patient look.

"Doctor, this is a library. I took my degree in library science."

"Three thousand years ago!" the Doctor retorts.

"Yeah, but I can still find my way." Nicholas examines one of the books. "We're in the religions section."

This gives both Donna and the Doctor pause.

"How d'you know that?" the Doctor asks. Nicholas holds up the book.

"Good old Library of Congress call numbers," he says. "Nice to see some things don't change."

"You've got the entire Library of Congress call number system memorised?" Donna asks.

"Nope, but we used to joke about the religions section," Nicholas says. "The call lettering for religions is BS."

Donna giggles. The Doctor looks faintly amused.

"Regardless," he says sternly, "You're coming with us."

"But Doctor -- "

"Heel, Nicholas!" he calls back at him, as he leaves the room.

"Yes, Doctor," Nicholas sighs.

"And put that book back!" the Doctor calls. Nicholas looks at the book in his hand and puts it back -- not on the shelf, not on the shelf, on a shelving cart where taken-down books belong.

He wants to bite his tongue, because that's what Nicholas does, but he can't quite keep himself from objecting a second time when the Doctor takes a book out of Donna's hands and refuses to let her read anything -- he throws around the word "spoilers" casually, but there's a dark sharp edge to his voice that Nicholas doesn't like.

"Doctor," he says, trying to be patient.

"What?" the Doctor asks, leaning on the railing and gazing at the mile on mile of library below.

"You brought us to the biggest library in the world and we can't read any of the books?" he asks.

"Yeah, but you can...see...sights...and such," the Doctor replies airily.

"Biggest library in the world. Can't read the books," Nicholas repeats.

"You don't want to spoil the ending, do you?" The Doctor turns and narrows his eyes. "Oh lord, you do. You're one of those people who flips right to the ending to see what happens, aren't you?"

"I don't mind knowing what's going to happen," Nicholas replies. "It doesn't spoil anything for me, I still enjoy the story for its own sake. Books are like -- they're life, Doctor."

"Oouw, now, that's not exactly true, is it?" the Doctor asks, gesturing around him. "That's my point, really, I mean, books aren't life, life is life, and here we are, in life, being alive. With books nearby. So they can't be life, can they?" He frowns as Nicholas waves this off. "Are you telling me you think everything you've seen, all the wonders I've shown you, you could get from a book?"

"Are you telling me we could have got to see them without books?" Nicholas retorts. The Doctor narrows his eyes again.

"You are getting a bit fidgety, aren't you?" he asks. "Humans, I never know..."

Nicholas and Donna share a look of affectionate despair for their Doctor. Really, sometimes he has all the social skills of a brain-damaged beagle.

The Doctor taps his fingers against one of his pockets, the soft whap of the fabric against the leather wallet of his psychic paper loud in the silence.

"All right. Make you a deal. You," pointing at Nicholas, "wander around if you're so inclined, but try not to get too far away. Don't touch, I'll know if you read any of the endings. We'll call you over the PA when we're ready to leave. Donna, with me?"

"Course," Donna says, as Nicholas crosses his arms and lifts his chin, aware that he's behaving like a teenager who just got the keys to Dad's car but has to have it home by eight-thirty.

"Well?" the Doctor asks Nicholas.

"Fine," Nicholas says. "If you need me I'll be in Extribuli."

"Exwhat?" Donna asks.

"Look it up!" Nicholas calls over his shoulder, wondering actually how many volumes the OED now runs to. Extribulum -- ex, out from; tribulum, a machine. The opposite of the incunabula. Works that exist in electrical form, at the cusp of the rise of the e-published book.

This is not Nicholas's first visit to the fifty-first century.

The section on Extribuli is a huge room filled with screens, many of them cracked or dead. Nicholas spends a pleasant afternoon studying cover art and titles and authors who are now long since dust, people who were writing and working in the time he originally came from. He spends a bare hour there; after a while the room full of glowing gaptoothed rows of screens is rather eerie.

Library computers have got to be more user-friendly now than they were in the twenty-first century, considering it would be pretty difficult to be less user-friendly than that. Besides, this is what he was trained for, before he chucked having a normal life for service school, and butlering, and Torchwood, and the Doctor.

He steps up to a functioning terminal and keys in a search for life-forms, narrowing it to life-forms not carrying a library card, male. When the screen flickers and wipes black he sighs, but after a second a new image appears --

"You're not the Doctor," he says to the freckled woman in the space suit in the computer.

"No, I'm not," she replies.

"Sorry, I'm looking for -- "

Is that Nicholas? a voice calls, somewhere very distant. Tell him to stay in the light!

"Ah," Nicholas says, before the woman can relay the message. "So we've found trouble, have we?"

"Flesh-eating shadows," she confirms.

"Splendid. I don't suppose you might put the Doctor on?"

Five minutes! Have you got another chicken leg?

"Or Donna?" Nicholas asks hopefully.

"Stuck with me, I'm afraid," the woman says. "You've no idea who I am, do you?"

"No, miss. Ought I?"

She shakes her head, smiling -- a slightly smug smile, and one that immediately grates on his nerves.

"I know you, that's all," she says. "You and the Doctor. But we won't meet for years. You look young."

"Er...thanks?"

Ask him if he's in the computer!

Nicholas looks around him. "No, I think I'm still in the library."

Brilliant!

"Rather," Nicholas says drily. The woman's smile increases slightly. "Shall I go back to the TARDIS, Doctor?"

No! Stay there!

"Easily enough done," Nicholas says. "I'll let you get back to...er. Whatever it was you were doing."

He spends the rest of the afternoon and well into the evening extremely confused. There are moments when lights flash and books fly about on their own; sometimes the Doctor shouts cryptic instructions over loudspeakers and he isn't certain if they're meant for him or if he's just overhearing them. At one point the face of a horribly disfigured woman flashes on the computer screen. Down the hallways, he can hear echoes of voices, some of them repeating the same unintelligible words over and over again.

It occurs to him to dive into the databases and see what he can pull up on the Doctor. He manages to locate the fifty-first century equivalent of Lexis-Nexis and Jstor, but when the first article up is by Ianto Jones, in the recently-declassified Journal of Xenosociologic Studies, he immediately blanks the screen. There are things about Torchwood's future he doesn't need to know.

On the other hand...

A search under "Author" in the main catalogue for Harkness, J, nets him ten thousand hits. He narrows it to Harkness, Jack which brings the hit count to the low four thousands, and then further narrows it to English-only books, which only drops him by about two hundred hits.

He hesitates, then counts on Jack's vanity and adds "Captain" to the mix.

Five hits.

Nicholas closes his eyes and thinks about Retcon, about forgetting this, about biting his tongue when he goes back to Torchwood. He thinks about the smug smile of the woman who knows the Doctor but isn't known to him.

Virtue is so annoying sometimes, he thinks, as he closes the search engine down.

He keeps himself busy by inventing his own titles for books Jack would have written, if indeed those five books are by him and not some other Captain Jack Harkness. He starts with bodice-ripping romances and works his way through what kind of murder mysteries an immortal would write and whether maybe they're history books before wondering if Jack simply penned a five-volume autobiography and sold it as science fiction. Or bodice-ripping romance. Hard to say, with Jack.

He dozes for a short while, until Donna's voice wakes him.

"Nicholas?"

He starts up, turns to the screen. "Yes? What? I'm here!"

"Come back to the TARDIS," she says, and her eyes are infinitely sad. Worse than the time with the Ood, even.

Nicholas makes them all hot mulled cider and curls up with Donna's head on his shoulder and one arm around hers, and they sit in the control room like that for hours, watching the Doctor muck about with maintenance as they fling themselves through space and time towards an unknown destination. He doesn't ask why Donna is so upset, or who the smug woman was; from the Doctor's distracted mutterings and his cold untouched cider it's obvious she died, and probably in the service of saving the galaxy or something, which is after all the Doctor's specialty.

Turning the woman's words over in his mind, he comes to a handful of conclusions. Either he has years to go before he returns to Torchwood, which he doesn't think likely, or some day in some distant future the Doctor will come back for him again. The Doctor doesn't take up again with Companions once he's left them behind, the Whenkipedia has made that blatantly clear, but perhaps he'll -- need someone. To look after him.

Because lord knows few enough companions have seemed to think about the care and feeding of the Doctor.

***

Life with the Doctor is meant for living hard and running fast. If you can't keep up, get out before it kills you.

The odds on the Whenkipedia of Nicholas or Donna remaining with the Doctor long (or surviving to old age) aren't necessarily impressive.

Jack and Martha both did some homework on the passengers the TARDIS has carried over the centuries; while it isn't complete, they at least have stubs on seventeen other travelers with the Doctor, before Jack and Rose came around. Most of the early information was input by a mysterious user named Polly long before the creation of the Whenkipedia -- Jack's notes credit a digital journal she left behind, but Nicholas is buggered if he can find the journal itself. Polly is an enigma, but was probably a companion herself, and her reports combined with Jack's research aren't precisely pretty.

Ian and Barbara are the first listed. They lost two years between leaving with the Doctor and returning home, and Jack's rummaging on Earth turned up the sad fact that Ian killed himself pretty quickly after and Barbara lived a solitary life. Dorothea Chaplet may or may not have been a companion, but her psychiatric medical file (uploaded by Martha) seemed to indicate that the TARDIS changed her for the worse, as it did to Tegan Jovanka.

Katarina, apparently human but of uncertain historical origin, died at some point -- there's a little plaque to her in an out-of-the-way area of the TARDIS.

Jack actually got to speak with one of them, Victoria Waterfield, a Victorian woman who jumped a century and ended up in the 20th. He said she smiled a lot and was quietly, desperately homesick. Martha found records on a woman named Jo who worked with UNIT while the Doctor was there and then chucked it all to go live in the Amazon where she died of malaria. Rose met Sarah Jane, who was still bitter years later that the Doctor abandoned her. Rose herself is trapped in a parallel existence with Mickey, though apparently she didn't die, which is something. Ben Jackson, a colleague of the mysterious Polly, made it to Admiral on Earth before he died, but either he didn't travel with the Doctor long or he covered his absence remarkably well. Martha's doing all right for herself, but Nicholas knows she lived through hell and now she's with Torchwood, which is nobody's idea of sanity.

Vicki simply disappeared.

Steven simply disappeared.

Zoe, who apparently added information to Polly's journal, simply disappeared.

Harry simply disappeared, though perhaps because he was working on top-secret NATO plans.

Turlough -- probably, apparently, an alien -- disappeared.

"Ace", gender unknown, disappeared.

Adric died before his eighteenth birthday (another plaque).

Jack can't die at all.

So Nicholas lies in bed one night when he can't sleep and knows Donna is reading and doesn't want company, and he reckons out his chances.

If you count Jack's existence as "normal", which only a life in the TARDIS could possibly allow, Nicholas and Donna's odds of returning to Earth unscathed are level with their odds of dying -- 15% or so. Odds of going crazy are pretty much hovering at 25%, especially if you also count Jack's existence as crazy, because really Jack can be a bit mad at the best of times.

He misses Ianto's mathematical skills, because his head starts to hurt calculating his likelihood of disappearing, which hovers around 40%. For all he knows this might mean going home and living happily ever after, but he sort of doubts it.

There's a knock at his door.

He sits up and flicks the lights on with a wave of his hand, walking to the door to open it -- Donna's seen him in worse than a pair of boxers and a t-shirt, and the Doctor doesn't pay much attention to modesty.

The Doctor is standing on the other side, looking forlorn.

"Do you want tea?" the Doctor asks.

"Do you want me to make you some tea?" Nicholas replies. The Doctor nods.

In the kitchen, which is cleaner since Nicholas came on board though he says it himself, he puts the kettle on and leans against the counter. The Doctor rubs the back of his head, as if he's trying to work a thought out of his brain.

"I can hear you, you know," he says finally. "Not usually, just -- when it's quiet. I can hear you and Donna. Especially when you dream, but even when you're awake. You have wonderful dreams," he adds. "Most humans I know don't -- dream so nicely as you do. All about...chasing the stars. Donna's the same. Even Rose -- " his mouth twists painfully. "Even Rose dreamed about terrible things, often. She stayed on for me, really, in the end. You and Donna stay on because you love it here."

"Memory's a tricky thing," Nicholas offers. "Seems to me like Rose loved it too."

"Ah yes -- your little research project," the Doctor mutters. Nicholas didn't know he knew about that. "Of course I knew. I've told you, it's hard to put one over on me. And you've been thinking of nothing else for hours. All those numbers slotting around slowly in your head."

"I'm no good at maths," Nicholas says.

"I'd noticed. S'all right, not everything is maths. Well, actually, everything is maths when you get down to it, a whole universe of maths, but not the kind of maths you're thinking of, and anyway it's a depressing thought."

Nicholas just nods. He's used to the digressions. They drive Donna absolutely bats.

"If you want to go home, you can," the Doctor says.

"Not yet."

"You always say that."

"It's always true. Do you want me to leave?"

"No."

"Well, then." Nicholas pours the hot water into the teapot. "It's only...I wonder about the price one pays, that's all. As if there's some kind of debt gone into, when you become the Doctor's man. And if so I was already pretty deeply in debt when I started."

"If it's any consolation, the ones you think disappeared -- most of them left me willingly," the Doctor says, and he looks even more unhappy than he had before. "Most of them are happy, somewhere. Or were, or will be, time being what it is."

"It is. D'you mind if I tell Donna?"

The Doctor shakes his head. Nicholas checks the tea.

"They left because they realised it's a bit horrible sometimes -- or they found someone they...loved. Some of them left for love."

"Someone they loved more than you, you mean."

The Doctor doesn't answer, and Nicholas pours the tea. A touch of sugar. He offers it as a gift, as always.

"We're only human," Nicholas says, and the Doctor snorts a laugh. "I mean it. There's only so long anyone can go before they realise that they haven't got hundreds of years to go knocking around the universe with you. We're taught to want things. People. A place in the world that isn't defined by the walls of the TARDIS. Really I think Jack would be best for you, but then he wouldn't go, and you won't have him. I'm not a Time Lord, I don't pretend to understand. Don't need to really."

The Doctor sips his tea, and his shoulders slump down a little.

"We do love you, Doctor," Nicholas says. "Now, drink your tea and let me go back to bed."

The Doctor is ancient and alien, and no human will ever properly know him, not really. He hears the stars and can taste magic. But even a short-lived human man like Nicholas can make the Doctor smile, and one of those smiles is worth any payment Nicholas will one day have to make for being a companion.

Life could not be more wonderful than this: making tea for the Doctor in the middle of the night, drifting through the universe, when all gods and all kings and all good children are asleep.

To Be Continued...

Notes: Mornington Crescent, the game, comes from I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, a long-running radio comedy quiz show. It doesn't have any rules there, either. It just pretends it does.

Yes, the religions section, or at least a portion of it, really is filed under BS in the Library of Congress call-number system.

I totally invented the word Extribuli and I hope that you will all find some way to use it so that I can have everlasting fame.

As for the litany of Companions that Nicholas goes over in his head -- obviously some are missing, but I chose to leave out those least likely to be known to others updating the records. I took the rest from Wikipedia, though some of the details are purely made up by myself.

Chapter Two Here.
trinity_clare: howl at the moon (if only)

[personal profile] trinity_clare 2008-06-10 02:01 am (UTC)(link)
I've never watched a minute of this show and I'm still a little teary.

[identity profile] sam-storyteller.livejournal.com 2008-06-10 02:27 am (UTC)(link)
I'm glad it has impact, but I imagine you're teary and also VERY CONFUSED. :D

[identity profile] demotu.livejournal.com 2008-06-10 02:13 am (UTC)(link)
*sighs in contentment*

Nobody does wit like you. I loved the "vowels" part especially, I was giggling to no end, and Nicholas being thrilled at getting to pretend to be the Doctor's Valet. So lovely and charming and funny. I quite adore Nicholas and his eccentric but understanding ways.

[identity profile] sam-storyteller.livejournal.com 2008-06-10 02:26 am (UTC)(link)
Aww, thank you :D I was pleased with myself over the Vowels remark, actually *grins*

[identity profile] revieloutionne.livejournal.com 2008-06-10 02:20 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, this is gorgeous. I'm really not sure there's much else to say.

[identity profile] polaris-starz.livejournal.com 2008-06-10 02:22 am (UTC)(link)
I love how you posted this RIGHT AFTER I finished rereading The Rules of Torchwood Three. Literally.

Nicholas is love, and I made happy noises when he saved Ross. The Whenkipedia is brilliant and your fates for the companions breaks my heart a little (are they canon? from the books? I don't remember them from the show. Ian killing himself makes me sad) but is really plausible. And I loved the bit in the library and resolutely not looking up Torchwood things. Can't wait for more. :D

[identity profile] sam-storyteller.livejournal.com 2008-06-10 02:25 am (UTC)(link)
Hee! You got the full Nicholas experience, then :D

The fates of the Companions are not always from the show. Most of the "disappearances" are explained by X or Y falling in love, or getting left somewhere, or running off. Ian and Barbara consciously chose to return to Earth, but as far as we know Ian didn't kill himself, just as an example. Ace really did "disappear" but only because she was the last companion before the show went on Hiatus and there was never any wrapup :D Jo ran off to the Amazon but I made up the bit about dying of Malaria. Dorothea really did have a nervous breakdown, according to sources outside the show itself if I recall.

You can look them up, if you like -- wiki "doctor who companions", there's a file on each of them. :)

[identity profile] k-leeny.livejournal.com 2008-06-10 02:23 am (UTC)(link)
Nicholas is amazing. I love that he was annoyed by River. Really didn't like her.

This made me want to go back and watch the entire show from the beginning. *headdesk*

[identity profile] merucha.livejournal.com 2008-06-10 02:37 am (UTC)(link)
AAAH, Nicholas. It's a evil world in which the BBC doesn't come knocking at your door and asks for Nicholas, pretty please... And the Doctor. So much sadness yet so much joy.

[identity profile] dissident.livejournal.com 2008-06-10 02:54 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, doctor.

[identity profile] jazmin-firewing.livejournal.com 2008-06-10 03:13 am (UTC)(link)
This fic is perfect, but now I have to go read The Rules of Torchwood before I go to bed so it'll make sense in my brain.
But even at this moment, having just finished it and being a tiny bit confused, the story made me want to travel with the Doctor even more than I usually do, cost and all.

[identity profile] redstapler.livejournal.com 2008-06-10 03:17 am (UTC)(link)
<3

[identity profile] musicianatheart.livejournal.com 2008-06-10 03:17 am (UTC)(link)
oh, I really do love nicholas to a ridiculous degree. ♥

[identity profile] flamingsword.livejournal.com 2008-06-11 11:35 pm (UTC)(link)
*nodnod*

He's a sweetie.
(deleted comment)

[identity profile] sam-storyteller.livejournal.com 2008-06-10 02:25 pm (UTC)(link)
I still sometimes think "I wonder if we'll see less Gwen in season three now that she has Bethan..."
marginaliana: Buddy the dog carries Bobo the toy (Oodbusters)

[personal profile] marginaliana 2008-06-10 04:00 am (UTC)(link)
I like the way you capture both the joy and the loneliness of the show. And yet at the same time this is very much your work, Nicholas is so obviously your creation to me. There's a stamp on the character that's very you.

It's weird because I generally don't think I have a very good sense of "writing style" when I read someone's work; I don't often notice thematic elements beyond very obvious ones. But I think I do over time get a sense of how certain writers see the world through the lens of the show/book/whatever. You're one of those writers for me, and I think it's part of why so many people are drawn to your writing and your journal. Obviously every writer reveals something about himself or herself in their work, but I feel like it doesn't always come through so clearly.

Also, you make me laugh until I choke on my own spit, so that's good. Ooh, sometime I'll take you to see the ruined palaces on Aaooeii i Eaoi. Hee hee hee!

[identity profile] sam-storyteller.livejournal.com 2008-06-10 02:24 pm (UTC)(link)
Aww, thank you! I have a lot of fun with Nicholas, I like the cut of his jib :D

I wish I knew how I was making myself show through in the work, I'd do it more *laughs* I suppose it's instinct...

[identity profile] bluejeans07.livejournal.com 2008-06-10 04:19 am (UTC)(link)
*siiiiiighs* Me so haaaappyyy~

[identity profile] sam-storyteller.livejournal.com 2008-06-10 02:23 pm (UTC)(link)
*pats and grins*

[identity profile] thette.livejournal.com 2008-06-10 04:24 am (UTC)(link)
You made the Doctor a genius at Mornington Crescent! Of course he is! *love*

[identity profile] pipsi-pirate.livejournal.com 2008-06-10 05:14 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you for saving Ross :D

[identity profile] sam-storyteller.livejournal.com 2008-06-10 02:06 pm (UTC)(link)
Everyone wants Ross to be saved. :D
ext_14845: betta fish (Default)

[identity profile] fish-echo.livejournal.com 2008-06-10 05:23 am (UTC)(link)
"You know what the universe needs more of?" Nicholas remarks, feet up on the rail, mouth half-full of an orange slice, enjoying the quiet for once. "Vowels."

For the win!
Oh, that is awesome... I wasn't going to quote lines, but I couldn't resist this one. It manages to poke fun nevermind at Torchwood but at a fundamental construction of the entire field sci-fi :)

I really like your Nick, and your ability to show characters (both in small snippets and in larger stories). I've not seen very much Torchwood or Dr. Who (I'm a bad dork, I know...), but I still manage to follow and enjoy your fanfics in this world.

Also, you've written the Doctor-Nick-Donna interactions well. I feel I understand how they work fairly well, but not completely, which is nice-- it keeps me thinking and analysing.

Also, I am ridiculously amused by Nick-as-actual-valet, for no earthly reason. If you're ever searching for random fanfic prompts, you should totally write a fic like that.

Also, I'm overusing 'also' today. Eh, well.

[identity profile] sam-storyteller.livejournal.com 2008-06-10 02:06 pm (UTC)(link)
Glad you enjoyed it! I have a lot of fun with Nicholas and it was a little easier to be edgier about character interaction in Doctor Who for some reason -- not sure why, perhaps because the Doctor himself is so high-energy. :D

Nicholas would love to be a traditional valet, but he wouldn't give up Torchwood for it.

(no subject)

[identity profile] fish-echo.livejournal.com - 2008-06-11 06:19 (UTC) - Expand

[identity profile] darthhellokitty.livejournal.com 2008-06-10 05:24 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, I so love your Nicholas! I'll be expecting to see him in the show... the idea of the Whenkipedia makes me smile, that could be very useful reference for companions!

[identity profile] ysabet.livejournal.com 2008-06-10 05:27 am (UTC)(link)
**gibbers** Um-- sorry, would comment, but brain is too full. wstfgl;;! **falls over sideways**
jo02: scared-kitty (Default)

[personal profile] jo02 2008-06-10 06:23 am (UTC)(link)
Words fail me as to how happy was when this came up on my flist this morning!

Don't tell Jack or Ianto, but I think I may love Nicholas even more than I love them.

And I had this most wicked thought - when Nicholas has finished traveling with the Doctor this season, how hysterical would it be to drop him in Gene Hunt's lap in Life on Mars? He at least would be able to offer some time-traveling advice/consolation to poor Sam, letting him know he's not really gone insane.

[identity profile] sam-storyteller.livejournal.com 2008-06-10 02:03 pm (UTC)(link)
LOL! Somehow I don't know that there's a place for Nicholas in LoM. It's a bit too...gritty, I suppose.

[identity profile] kel-reiley.livejournal.com 2008-06-10 07:09 am (UTC)(link)
Egyptian Ratscrew

hah! i love that game

[identity profile] butterflykiki.livejournal.com 2008-06-10 07:15 am (UTC)(link)
*hopes Ian & Barbara didn't really end up like that, but how can we know?*

*loves this lots*

Love the Donna & Nicholas interaction, and Nicholas & the Doctor. Because yeah, some people are born to be in that slot, of seeing all and hearing all and helping out and finding it infinitely fun just to be onstage with the stars, and Nicholas strikes me as one of those, who'd find it daft to be the Hero with a capital H. *hugs him for that*

And somewhere sometime somewhen somehow G/Jenny comes back, at least. Someway.

[identity profile] sam-storyteller.livejournal.com 2008-06-10 02:02 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm totally torn, because Nicholas and Jenny would be awesome, but Nicholas and Ross would ALSO be awesome...

[identity profile] dragley.livejournal.com 2008-06-10 07:31 am (UTC)(link)
"You know what the universe needs more of?" Nicholas remarks, feet up on the rail, mouth half-full of an orange slice, enjoying the quiet for once. "Vowels."

"Nah!" the Doctor is kicking levers and banging hammers on things. "Just a more equal distribution. Ooh, sometime I'll take you to see the ruined palaces on Aaooeii i Eaoi."


Quite possibly the best exchange in the history of Dr. Who, including canon. You win. :)

[identity profile] sam-storyteller.livejournal.com 2008-06-10 11:13 am (UTC)(link)
LOL! Thanks :D

[identity profile] thkya.livejournal.com 2008-06-10 08:01 am (UTC)(link)
Awww Sam :( I'm in the process of watching all the old Who I can find, and I'm currently watching the story where Ian and Barbara go home (I can't help peaking ahead a leeeettle sometimes, just to find out when companions are coming and going). And, and, I LIKE Ian :(

Yay for rescuing Ross, though! :D

And yay for a completely lovely story, of course. Nicholas is a wonderful addition to the Whoniverse.
ext_199561: (Calligraphy)

Wow.......

[identity profile] euruaina.livejournal.com 2008-06-10 08:02 am (UTC)(link)
That was... beautiful. Amazing. Funny, a little sad, and so wonderful, fantastic even. And so very human. I'd say this is one of your better works (short(ish) pieces anyway... )
I loved it!
Your characterization was spot on, I could totally see this happening, could hear especially, the Doctor's voice, facial expressions and body language throughout the whole thing.
Keep on writing, as we all know you will!
ext_73208: (lurker)

[identity profile] dimestore-romeo.livejournal.com 2008-06-10 08:32 am (UTC)(link)
<3 <3 !! (And then the reintroduction of Rose Tyler...)

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