"We're too big for a night time story," the one with all the moles, Donna was pretty sure his name was Stiles, said and crossed his arms in front of his chest and glowered at her. The other one, the one that looked a bit peaky, Scott, looked like he maybe wanted to disagree but he was going to side with his best friend.
"Well, I suppose since you're both too old for that sort of thing you'd have no tolerance for any proper recollections about planets where it always snows, but the wind is never cold,”Donna said, making a point of observing her nails and continued. “Certainly not for planets with two suns and cherry red grass and for aliens that always sing.
“I won’t bother telling you about time machines that are bigger on the inside and the color of dark, warm blue and worn wood on the outside that sometimes even have a pool if she's not moved it again. And since you are so ancient and worldly at the grand old age of 11, you clearly have no patience for me to recount the silence that had befallen the library nor for professors of archeology, especially who was kind of a know-it-all, but spoilers" Donna rolled her eyes at that, trying to give her best unimpressed look while fighting a smile. Stiles looked deeply skeptical at all that she had to say.
"You're making all this up. Everyone knows that aliens don't exist," Stiles countered, defiant tilt of his chin.
"Am I? Because as you know, there's an awful lot of sky for there to be no one in it. It'd be an awful waste of space if you asked me." Donna lifted an eyebrow.
"Well, that might be true," Stiles hedged, "But I've never met an alien."
"You know that bloke that walked me here? One with the pinstripe suit and converse?" Donna asked.
"Yeah?" Stiles lifted an eyebrow.
"He's an alien. Got two hearts and everything," Donna answered.
"But he looks human," Stiles protested, face scrunched up in a frown.
"And we look Time Lord," Donna shrugged. "Really, only space aliens would think it was cool to wear trainers with a suit."
"You know, I don't think she's wrong," Scott chimed in and Stiles glared at him. Scott looked at him with these ridiculous puppy eyes and Stiles sighed, leaning back into his pillows.
"Okay, so tell us about this library," Stiles said and Donna did.
Okay, yeah. He knew he shouldn’t have flipped a chair, certainly not where the substitute could see. He just didn’t need to sit here for an hour after school wasting time for something so pointless and not with the endless patrol he’d have to run when he got home.
“Oh trust me kiddo, I don’t want to be here either,” Ms. Noble had said with crisp English accent and promptly slouched on her desk, propping her head on her elbows and blowing a long breath.
“Then why don’t we leave?” Derek hedged, trying for charming.
“Because you have anger issues and I have to wait for the Doctor anyway,” Donna pinned him with a look. A very unimpressed look. She looked like she could give his mom lessons in looking that unimpressed with his bullshit.
Derek turned his face to look outside and not at her piercing eyes. She had this air of ditziness, but Derek didn’t doubt for a minute that it was completely and totally an act.
“Wanna talk about it?” Donna asked, sounding genuinely curious. “I mean it’s either that or you do homework. Or maybe you’ve noticed anything strange to do with the woods? Like any strange whisperings in a forgotten tongue? Or any portals leading to the great beyond? Strange orbs of light that seem to float only to blink out?”
“What kind of teacher are you?” Derek asked incredulous. What kind of questions were these? Who the hell was this woman? Maybe she was a little more unstable than he’d previously thought.
“Oh I’m just a temp.” Donna waved her hand dismissively. “You sure you’ve not seen anything weird in the woods? Other than any of the normal weird things?” She made actual finger quotes and lifted an eyebrow. Like she knew about werewolves. Derek bristled.
“Donna, had a good day I hope?” a man wearing a long brown trench coat and a pinstripe suit asked, seemingly to appear out of thin air. Derek hadn’t even heard him walk up. He bit back a growl.
“Fine,” Donna clipped. “Had fun gallivanting the woods? Alone? Like a moron?”
“It was alright,” the guy shrugged. “I take it she’s asked the usual questions about seeing anything in the woods, yeah?” The guy was looking at Derek now, eyes sharp and so much older than Derek expected.
“Yes, she did,” Derek answered.
“And you’ve not? Seen anything, I mean? Nothing out of the usual bounds?” the man asked.
Derek shook his head to the negative.
“Nothing to do with an old tree’s roots perhaps?”
How the hell did this man know about that place? Derek stilled, trying his best not to give anything away on his face.
The man clucked his tongue and made a thoughtful sound. Donna lifted an eyebrow at him. “What?” the man sounded slightly chastised.
“You know what.” Donna frowned. The man bristled and let out a long breath.
“Yeah, I probably do.” His shoulders climbed up toward his ears then all at once he straightened out, eyes cast down the hall. “Talia.”
“Doctor,” his mom greeted. “Derek, get your things.”
Derek shoved his binder into his backpack and went to the door to follow his mother out.
“Oi, Derek,” Donna called. Derek froze and turned his head to look over his shoulder.
“Yes Ms. Noble?” Maybe assuming he was allowed to leave was taking too much liberty.
“Remember to not be so serious or be so hard on yourself, yeah?” Her face was firm, but there was a softness in her eyes that almost made him flinch. Something so earnestly sincere that he couldn’t ignore it.
“I’ll try,” he answered, frowning.
“Trying is the hardest part, but it will be worth it.” Donna gave him a little wave. The Doctor shut the door behind Derek, but he could still hear him down the hall.
“Just what was that, Donna?” The Doctor sounded dangerous.
“What was what?” Her tone was flippant.
“You know what.”
“So, how was the woods then?” A pause. “There’s no use frowning. I haven’t broken any of your ‘rules’.”
“Derek.” His mother gave him a look. So much for eavesdropping.
As they walked out into the parking lot and into the afternoon sun, Derek forgot all about it.
“Hey, I remember that box,” Stiles said. “I think. But it was just a story.”
Derek just frowned that much deeper. “I haven’t been expecting company.”
“Wait, space aliens are actually real?” Stiles asked, remembering all those years ago. Donna, that baby sitter when he was 11 told him and Scott about a blue box once. A box that was actually a spaceship.
Stiles wanted to walk up and knock on the door. Because spaceship. Besides, if it was absolutely terrible and horrifying the experience would have nothing on being possessed Junior year.
“Space aliens? What are you talking about?” Derek glared at him, incredulous. But Derek actually looked like he thought that wasn’t so far-fetched, especially after the last year they’d had, which had included many terrifying, unspeakable things.
“Donna Noble said that the dude she was with was a spaceman and when he showed up at my house all those years ago. She told me a about a box like this being a spaceship. It has to be the same one,” Stiles explained, remembering. They were close enough to touch it now. Stiles itched to reach out with his fingers and Derek looked like he was afraid to let Stiles.
“Wait, Ms. Noble? English and a redhead and the guy she called Doctor?” Derek said just as Stiles reached out, fingers brushing the wood of the door. The wood was faintly warm and worn smooth in places. He'd almost say that it felt friendly.
To both their surprise, the door opened inward with a creak.
“Dude,” Stiles grinned.
“No,” Derek argued. “No, you have seen horror movies. You know you shouldn’t go places you aren’t welcomed.”
“But the door is open. It opened for us,” Stiles said and grabbed Derek’s arm. “C’mon. When are you ever gonna get the chance to say that you were on a spaceship again?”
“Hopefully never?” Derek asked but kept close behind Stiles.
Stiles knew he could easily stop Stiles, but maybe he was just a little bit curious, too. And seriously, it’s an alien craft from space. This was clearly just seriously cool. Derek had to think so. It’s like a rule when faced with probably friendly spacecraft and aliens.
Instead of a tiny box, the inside of the police box was enormous. A giant core stood in the middle of a console and rooms branched off to the sides.
“I wondered how long you two would just stand out there,” a man said. He was wearing a bowtie and suspenders and scuffed up boots. He didn’t look like the man that Stiles remembered at all.
Derek let out an involuntary growl for being taken by surprise and Stiles reached over and squeezed his shoulder. Derek’s face remained normal so Sties figured that the guy might not smell that much different. Stiles would have to ask later. Or maybe in a minute. Seriously, how was this room so huge?
“It’s bigger on the inside,” Stiles said mouth wide and grinning. “Derek, how cool is that?”
“It’s a little cool,” Derek allowed and held on to the back of Stiles shirt so he didn’t wander off into another even more cavernous room never to be seen again. And Stiles, really did want to explore.
“A little cool? It’s a lot cool. Spaceships are cool, just like bowties,” the man said.
“You’re different than you were before,” Stiles said, taking a guess, Because this guy must be the Doctor. The blue box was just too distinctive to be a coincidence. Stiles was pretty sure the universe wasn't built on coincidence.
“And you are a lot taller. Same moles though,” the man observed.
“You’re younger and with a different face but you still smell mostly the same,” Derek frowned, confirming Stiles suspicions. Yay for avoiding potentially awkward scent questions. “How?”
“Time Lord trick. I’m the Doctor, in case you forgot,” the man adjusted his bowtie and gave a wink. “This is my TARDIS, short for Time and Relative Dimension in Space and the universe is at our fingertips lads. Well, with a few exceptions, but I’m pretty sure you already know what those are.”
“Wait, are you seriously offering to take us somewhere?” Stiles asked, gleeful at the prospect.
“If he is, he’s incredibly insane. You’ll get into trouble in the first five minutes,” Derek said, voice long suffering and experience filled. In Stiles defense, Derek got into equally as much if not more trouble, but those were mere details.
“It’s good that you’re here then, sourwolf,” Stiles beamed and Derek’s eyebrows looked even more put out about the whole thing.
“I am indeed a madman with a box,” the Doctor gestured grandly around him.
“You know we’re do for an adventure,” Stiles said. “Nothing exciting has happened for three whole months.”
“That’s true,” Derek allowed, but there was a hint of a smile underneath. “I guess we’re due for some excitement. Hopefully without vampires, though.”
“Don’t worry,” the Doctor said, “I’ve only ever had a problem with vampires in Venice. Any where else in particular?”
“Surprise me,” Stiles challenged.
“In that case,” the Doctor grinned. “Geronimo.” He flipped a lever and the whole ship pitched sideways.
He knew they’d have to ask about Donna later because Stiles oddly missed her. He was also certain that they would probably end up running for their lives, but they were good at that. Stiles was positive Derek was thinking about just how much he was going to regret this whole thing and cackled. For now, Derek smiled at him and Stiles was sure that this would be something they’d never forget.