of the Revolution
long live the Doctor
PG, gen, humour. In which Rose gets a fright, Jack
accidentally gets married and the Doctor meets a familiar curly-headed
A stranger crashed through the outside door, skidded to a halt,
swung around and declaimed to no-one in particular, “I don’t live here!”
Rose was the only person in the console room. She jumped up, shrieking a little
in surprise, and he turned to stare at her. She stared back.
“Who are you?” they asked simultaneously, and there was a brief burst of
confusion when they tried to tell each other at once, and then silence. Rose
held up a wagging finger. “Stay here!” Hoping he would, she ran down into
the corridors of the TARDIS, yelling, “Doctor!”
For some reason, the ship seemed more labyrinthine than usual; after the second
wrong turning, she’d lost sight of where she was going and then cannoned
straight into him. “What?” he asked. “Who’s died?”
“Some bloke just came into the TARDIS,” she said breathlessly. “From
“What’s he look like?” asked the Doctor as she dragged him along.
Rose paused. “He’s really tall and he’s got curly hair.”
The Doctor stopped dead. “Sort of like Toulouse-Lautrec on LSD?”
He started walking again. “Never mind.”
But she’d taken too long. When they got there, the console room was empty and
Rose sighed. There was no sign of her intruder.
“All quiet on the Western Front.” The Doctor picked up his sonic screwdriver
from the console and started playing with it.
“He was here.” Rose turned in a full circle, as though expecting him to leap
out from somewhere. “He was. I wouldn’t imagine something like that!”
“Of course you wouldn’t,” said the Doctor soothingly. “I believe you. I
suppose someone came running in trying to make a phone call, and has now
promptly run out again.”
“Yeah, I guess.” Rose was still doubtful. “Aren’t we on an alien planet?
Do aliens need to make phone calls?”
“I’m not human, and I go round in a telephone box,” the Doctor pointed
out. “What were you doing in here, anyway?”
Rose held up the book left on her chair. “Just reading.”
“Try the cloisters,” he suggested. “Much better for your eyes, natural
“Yeah, okay.” Rose frowned for a moment, then tramped back across the room.
“Aren’t you coming?”
“I will,” he promised. “Just give me two minutes, I’ve got one or two
things to sort out in here.”
She nodded and ran off. A minute passed in the room, broken by two sets of
breathing and the faint creak of the outside door.
“I know you’re there,” said the Doctor. “You can come out now.”
There was silence for a few moments, and then the softest of noises. He came
quietly, step by step, with the lights of the console playing over his face. His
voice, when he spoke, was familiar whilst remaining alien. “How did you
The Doctor smiled a little. “I was you. I remember it.”
“Ah.” He sat down on the floor beside the Doctor and peered around the room,
his eyes flickering across the outside door and the plunging time rotor.
“Which means you would be” – he stumbled over the words – “the
“Yes,” agreed the Doctor, “I am, and you’re a ghost.”
He was sitting beside the Doctor now, his long scarf trailing across the floor.
Catching the Doctor’s eyes on it, he lifted it and placed the fraying ends
into the Doctor’s hands. “I don’t think so, not yet. I don’t feel like a
The Doctor held the rough wool, noting the texture, the muted colours, the sheer
normality of it, and presently found himself gripping it loosely as not to let
it drop. “No,” he conceded finally. “You don’t.”
“I’m very glad to hear it.” He smiled, and the Doctor realised he had
never seen that smile, not really, just as he had never paused to look, really
look, at the scarf, and with a slight smile of his own, began to wonder why so
many people found him unnerving.
“Let me guess,” he said. “You’re about to offer me a jellybaby.”
“I will admit, the thought had crossed my mind,” said the other, “but I
don’t believe I have any at present.” He felt in his pockets and drew out a
paper bag, shaking out its contents into his hands. “Ah, two left. Just enough
– unless of course, you have any companions?” He looked around the room, as
though expecting them to leap out from behind a pillar.
“I have two,” the Doctor told him. “You gave Rose the fright of her life a
second ago. I’ve sent her back inside.”
“And the other?”
“Jack accidentally got married last night. He’s off getting it annulled.”
“Ah, understandable. Red or green?”
“Green, please,” said the Doctor, taking it. The taste of it was surprising;
sweet and familiar like a half-forgotten tune. When he looked up the other one
was lying back and staring reflectively at the ceiling. “You know,” said the
Doctor, “you talk a lot less than I remember.”
He was treated to that smile again. “Doesn’t make for scintillating
conversation, this paradox. You know everything I know, and well, I’m not
allowed to know anything you know.”
“You’re lucky.” The Doctor said it before he was able to catch himself,
and he gripped reflexively at the scarf, hoping its owner hadn’t caught the
“I daresay I am.” He licked his lips clean of sugar and settled back. “No,
please don’t explain, I’m sure you’ll only depress me. Incidentally, why
do you sound like you’re from the north?”
The Doctor laughed. He couldn’t help it. “Straight to the point, as always.
I don’t think you ever knew how annoying you were.”
“I wonder if that’s a compliment. Upon deliberation I think not.” He stood
up and began to pace around the console room, seemingly unaffected, but the
Doctor knew better than to underestimate his intellect; he would have caught the
slip into past tense without a doubt. “I’m interested to see what you’ve
done with the place.”
The Doctor grinned, remembering. “You don’t have to tell me – you don’t
“It’s different, certainly.” He had paused, a hand on the controls, and
the Doctor got to his feet and moved so he was directly behind his former self,
looking over his shoulder down at the console.
“That’s the analogue osmosis dampener,” he said, guiding his hands. “You
know, the one you could never find.”
This close, there was no suggestion of his being a ghost. The Doctor could feel
his body heat now, and felt his other hand drifting naturally towards the
other’s leonine hair. The weight and warmth of another living, breathing Time
Lord seemed suddenly the only thing that mattered in the world; the Doctor
thought he could feel the reassuring murmur of another double heartbeat.
“So it is.” He shifted, his hands moving back over the console. “Romana
“How is Romana?” asked the Doctor, falling back. They were facing each other
again now, a metre apart. Inconsequentially, the Doctor noticed they were
wearing the same pair of boots.
“Currently very well indeed, as she and K9 are conspiring to throw me out of
my own TARDIS. Something about a slight accident I had some time ago and
something else about the destruction of the universe as we know it, same old
story. In any case, it’s most unfortunate but nothing to worry about.”
The Doctor smiled back at him, taking in his bright eyes, unruly hair and
twenty-foot scarf; off to save the universe with his faithful companion, robot
dog and bag of jellybabies. To the Doctor’s eyes, he seemed inescapably young.
“And how’s the revolution going?” he asked.
“Oh, as well as can be expected. That’s the thing about sudden-onset
democracies – nothing ever gets done. Talking of which, I must be
going. I might have been gone long enough for Romana to worry. I hope.” He
grinned, and paused as he opened up the outside door. Off the Doctor’s look,
he added, “Don’t worry, I’ll try to forget this ever happened.”
“Oh, and...” He still lingered on the threshold, and his voice took on a
tinge of the melodramatic. “‘Though I walk through the valley of the shadow
of death, I will fear no evil...”
The Doctor nodded. His own voice was far more familiar to his ears, quiet and
speaking only truth. “For you are with me. I remember that. Goodbye,
“Goodbye.” The door closed behind him.
The Doctor laughed for a moment. “Yes, goodbye, you curly-headed lunatic,”
he said quietly, and was surprised at the note of affection that had crept,
unnoticed, into his voice.
A short while afterwards, Jack arrived bearing an ornate certificate and a
triumphant expression. “Got everything sorted out okay, but there’s some
sort of commotion going on outside,” he reported. “It was all right when I
went, but on the way back I saw a funny man in a funny hat and this girl... ah,
the girl.” He smiled. “Really lovely girl, lots of blonde hair, weird
taste in men... where was I?”
“About to be slapped.”
“And they’re at the head of some sort of revolutionary parade and there’s
a military coup – was there this much social unrest last night, or was I just
too busy to notice? – and there’s chanting and fireworks and the army are
throwing down their weapons and from what I can tell it’s all because of this
one guy and his girlfriend. Sorry, what did you just say?”
“Nothing,” said the Doctor. “Do go on.”
But before he could, Rose had stamped in. “What happened to you, Doctor?”
she demanded. “I thought you just had one or two things to take care of.”
“Yes. Jack, for example,” said the Doctor mildly.
“Oh, you’re back! Did you get it?” she asked, and Jack waved the
certificate at her.
“All hail the revered and most honoured sanctity of divorce. As I was saying,
Doctor, there’s a workers’ revolution, peace and goodwill to all, and
don’t you think we ought to go out and help them?” Jack asked. “Seeing as
how toppling governments in one night is usually our job.”
The Doctor strolled to the door, opened it and peered outside. “No,” he said
after a moment, and grinned. “I rather think they’ll be just fine on their