Fanfic written for a contest in the Tapuz forum. The theme was “How the new Doctor met his new companion”.
It won 2nd place, tied with another story. My other story won 1st 🙂 (out of 6) [link]
Two thoughts crossed the Doctor’s mind simultaneously. “This is the last time I fix this circuit in the TARDIS.” And “hanging from the TARDIS in mid-air is scary, but falling off must be scarier.”
Right when that thought finished crossing his mind, he lost his grip.
And fell –
And almost –
But the TARDIS plunged right after him, under him, and turned around with its doors facing upwards, ajar. The Doctor fell through them, past the console room, through a corridor or five, past the library, another corridor, and out through the back door.
“Oh,” he thought, “apparently it has a back door.” And crashed against the pavement.
It was late at night, and the street was too empty for the surge of light to attract the attention of any passers-by. Perhaps it’s best that way? No explanations needed this time. Perhaps it’s worst that way. Because regeneration is not a change of outfit, it is not death either. Regeneration is drainage, it’s breaking down. Nobody should regenerate alone.
The flash died out. The Doctor passed out on the sidewalk.
Night had turned to day by the time he regained consciousness. He saw the sunlight through his new eyelids when he tried to open them for the first time.
“Do you think he’s alright?” he heard a young girl approach him.
“He looks so young. It’s hard to get over such injuries that young.” A boy’s voice came from right besides her.
Young again? He thought. AGAIN?
“Is it even a he or a she?”
Gosh, this new body is going to give him so much trouble. He just knew it.
The girl shouted behind her, “Hey, look, check out what happened to that ginger here…”
Suddenly the Doctor felt a whole lot better!
He finally opened his eyes. The girl approached at him. “It’s okay,” he tried to calm her down, “it’s–”
“Ohmygod!” she screamed and they fled.
He looked around him. The end of an alleyway in the middle of nowhere, full of rubbish and mould and stench. In the corner, near the overflowing trash bin, was an old mirror somebody threw away. How convenient, coming across a mirror by pure chance just when you need one, like somebody fixed that up. He crawled a little to see his new face.
And didn’t like what he saw.
He shook his head and looked again. He shut one eye and the image in the mirror shut one eye. Turned his head, and the image turned its head. Wiggled his moustache – and so did the image. One last test –
He lifted his paw and drew his claws.
And so did the image in the mirror.
While he was still coming to terms with the news, he heard growls behind him. The TARDIS did not translate. The defence circuit – the one he just tried to fix – apparently sent it to another time, too. Bloody hell.
The growls turned into angry meows. He tried to calm them down. “Kitty, kitty, kitty…” but then remembered how humans around there might react to a speaking cat.
He also recalled that he’s fluent in Cat, so he listened.
“What are you doing here? That’s our bin!”
“Meow, meo– I was just passing by. I’ll be on my way.”
“Lies. You’ve stayed here for too long. Come here, I’ll show you how things work around here.” With his sharp senses he heard claws drawing, patter of paws coming closer and closer and saw tails rising. Should I draw my claws too? I’m… still a pacifist, right?
More paws were heard in the distance. A fast run. The cats growled. The paws grew closer and closer, and a creature stormed right through them. The Doctor flipped over from the blow, the other cats ran away. The creature ran right into the bin and turned around.
The Doctor flipped right back to estimate the danger.
“I’m a corgi!”
A small corgi dog looked at him and wagged his tail. He approached him for a quick sniff and barked again.
The Doctor barked back in Dog. “Corgi?”
“Corgi! I’m a corgi!”
“Hello, corgi. I am the Doctor.”
“I’m a corgi! And you’re a cat! And you bark! So maybe you’re not a cat? Hang on… Maybe I’m not a corgi?”
“You’re a corgi.”
“I’m a corgi!”
“I’m glad we’ve reached an agreement. Are you lost, corgi?”
“I’m lost corgi!”
“Do you need help getting back home?”
“I’m lost! Since I was this big!” The corgi gestured at a height even shorter than his.
“Then you are a stray dog.”
“I’m a corgi!”
A strong, thick hand grabbed the Doctor and the corgi by the back of the neck. “A barking dog? It must be sick. Lucky I got here in time.” A large man with animal control logo was the one who picked them up. This time the Doctor didn’t lose his wits – he switched to English.
“I am a talking cat. Run!”
The man stared at the cat and shook his head. “What’s wrong with me today? Eh, I’ll toss these two into the lorry and call it a day.”
“Corgi!” Barked the dog. “I’m a corgi!”
“Yes, you are a c– wait, what? Okay, something is seriously wrong with me.” Said the man and let them go. “I need to get some sleep.”
“Wait,” said the Doctor, “did he just understand you?”
“Look! A talking human! A talking cat and a talking human in the same day!”
“And you understood him.”
“And I understood him! Is that bad?”
“No, dog, it’s good. It’s a very, very good sign.”
The Doctor looked at the suit that was still lying in the alley from before his previous form. Something in its pocket began glowing. The TARDIS key! He picked it up by his fang and muttered: “Look, puppy, a stick!” and gestured towards the sonic screwdriver. “Go, fetch!”
“Not a stick!” replied the corgi, “it’s a complex device from out of this world that can move objects in the subatomic level using sound wave resonance.”
The Doctor stared at him, his jaw dropped and the key dropped from it.
“And besides, I’m not a puppy – I’m a corgi!”
The Doctor shook his head and picked up the key again.
At the end of an alleyway in the middle of nowhere, around midday, a ginger cat carrying a key and a corgi dog carrying an odd stick trotted towards a blue box that appeared out of nowhere.
“Blimey, why did I never install a pet door?”