DISCLAIMER: None of these fandoms belong to me nor do the characters mentioned except for Olivia. I wrote this for love and not profit.
I fell into my over-sized and wonderfully comfy bed, closing my eyes and looking forward to a good night’s sleep. That didn’t last for long as my dachshund, Clyde, rushed to the end of the bed, barking and baying at another imaginary intruder. The previous day, he thought he had saved the universe from the murderous mailman and defeated my villainous cat, Bonnie.
“Cool it,” I mumbled, sinking deeper in to my fluffy pillows and snuggling deep into my thick duvet, looking forward to sleeping in late on Saturday morning. “No one’s there.”
Then, the doorbell rang several times in rapid succession. I think I cursed a silent blue streak longer than a city block as I rolled over, squinting to see the alarm clock across the room. It flashed 2:30 a.m. and I rose slowly from my bed. Putting on my slippers, I padded through my dark house to see no one on my front porch.
However, there was an Redbox kiosk sitting in the middle of my front lawn.
What in the Hallelujah was a Redbox doing in my front yard? Damn, I knew I shouldn’t have eaten those sea salt and vinegar chips dipped in guacamole. Somewhere, I’d fallen asleep between Rose Tyler and River Song, not knowing when one episode had melted into another during my private Whofest.
“Criminy,” I muttered, running my fingers through my unkempt, tussled hair. I thought this was my subconscious warning me to return the Doctor Who DVDs before I racked up late charges. The last time that I’d seen a Redbox that close to me was when I had hit my head on one a little over two years prior and had dealt with some hallucinations and a nasty concussion because I had failed to tie my shoes.
“Okay, if I’m dreaming or hallucinating, why not roll with it?” I asked aloud. I opened the door, wondering which incarnation of the Doctor would greet me. Would it be Nine dressed in his leather jacket and his large ears or, perhaps, Ten, with his Converse sneakers, stylishly wrinkled suit and crazy hair that made my heart flutter? I wasn’t keen on Eleven, but he made bowties cool and I prayed to the Powers-That-Be that my psychotic break didn’t bring up Twelve.
“Hello, Darling,” came a voice from my left. I glanced to my left, I saw a tall, lithe figure silhouetted in the dark. No “Rose Tyler” or “Hello, Sweetie.” He said words a Doctor never said, “Hello, Darling.”
Since when did the Doctor had a dark, sexy voice and a stare that turned me into a tropical rain forest? Mamasita! I didn’t recognize this Doctor. I’d heard the rumors that Jodie Whittaker was the first female doctor, but my fangirl instincts told me this was a future Doctor after number 17.
Somehow, I recognized that voice, knowing it didn’t belong to any of the Doctors with whom I knew. I had watched every series since the show’s revival in 2005 and this one didn’t look like any of them. I attended the cons, wrote the fan fictions and collected some of the memorabilia. Early that night, my tribe and I had done a British telly-thon with them. We had watched Thor and while my besties fawned over Chris Helmsworth, I was rather smitten by Tom Hiddleston who played Loki.
We hadn’t stopped there. We all watched the last episode of Series 4 Sherlock and had thrown in a few episodes Doctor Who from Series 1 – 10. I had watch the Hobbit and started Doctor Strange after the girls left for the evening, but my desire for all things British and sexy couldn’t outlast my need for sleep.
I flipped on the porch light and felt my jaw fall slack. This person I didn’t know, but he was a strange amalgamation of every movie or television episode I had watched that evening. Lithe and sculpted, a man with black curly hair with gray streaks at his temples with clear green eyes who stared through me. The tall part was a nice complement to dark-haired and handsome part and those cheekbones of his were sharp enough to cut glass.
I studied him carefully. He wore a Belstaff 'Milford' Coat, had a red scarf wrapped style around his pale, British neck and I thought. “Oh, boy, no more salt and vinegar potato chips for me.”
“Darling?” I scoffed. “Hardly. Sorry, Dude, but I don’t know you.”
“Olivia,” his deep baritone made me shiver. “It’s been too long.”
“I’ve never met you before in my life,” eyeing the Doctor who looked a bit like Benedict, had a hint of Hiddleston and a smidgen of Tom Ellis. I knew this lucid dream was going to be trouble of the best kind.
“We have met, but I was a tad different,” he chuckled. “My offer still stands, I’m still in need of a traveling companion.”
“I’ll pass,” I held up a hand to stop the man who looked like sex on two legs. “You are just the manifestation of my midnight acid reflux and an odd, but sexy dream.”
“You need a Doctor,” he purred. “I have just the remedy for whatever ails you.”
“And bad pick-up lines. I need some sleep,” I snorted. “Let me guess. You’ve got the coat. The red scarf, what’s that for?”
“That’s the scarf of levitation,” he explained, speaking as if addressing a small child.
“Doctor Strange meets Sherlock meets Doctor Who,” I couldn’t help but grin at my mind’s imaginative combination. “Any Lucifer or Loki in there, too?”
“How much would you like, Darling?” the Doctor took off his scarf to reveal his smooth neck. I’d read the fanfics and I couldn’t resist asking.
“Doctor, what color is your shirt?”
“Purple, just for you.”
Damn that purple shirt of sex! “Figures,” I pointed at the metal, round device that he held in hand attached by a chain to his waistcoat. “Which is it, a sonic screwdriver or a magic wand, Harry?”
“Neither, it is a Gallifreyan pocket watch,” he said smugly. “I can’t expect you to know that.”
“Great, my hallucination has a smart attitude,” I couldn’t resist rolling my eyes. “And the Belstaff 'Milford' Coat?” I pointed out. “The Doctor doesn’t wear that. Trust me, that is exclusively Sherlock. So, I must have tripped over something again and hit my head.”
“I evolved enough, Darling, that I’ve developed better taste in dress than trainers, bracers and bow ties.”
“I liked Ten’s sneakers, Eleven’s suspenders and bow ties,” I folded my arms, nearly sneering. “Not impressed.”
“I’m the seventeenth Doctor, your Doctor.” he murmured, gently taking my elbow and guiding me inside my house. “I don’t want you getting a chill, Olivia.”
“Well, I’m going back to bed and when I wake up tomorrow, I want this delusion to be gone.” I glared at walking sex appeal on two legs. “The last time I had a hallucination like you, I ended going to Urgent Care the next day and paying three hundred dollars to be told I had a concussion.”
“I promise I’ll take good care of you, Olivia.”
“I can take care of myself,” I snorted.
“Sleep, now, and we’ll discuss this in the morning,” the Doctor urged me.
“On one condition,” I stood akimbo in my living room in my pink flannel pajamas. “What is your name? They never reveal it on the show.”
“You couldn’t pronounce it.”
“Try me,” I dared him.
He quirked one dark brow, amused by my challenge. The Doctor leaned forward and I felt his warm breath tickle my earlobe as he whispered, "Why don't you name me, Olivia?"
"You tell me your name and I'll give you one," I countered. "Deal?"
"If I tell you my name, there are obligations that go with it," his grave statement seemed out of character for the flirt slash spaceman. "A name for a name, Olivia. I tell you mine and then you must give me one."
He whispered a slew of syllables in my ear, slowly and carefully, and I paid rapt attention to each one. "Again."
"Only once, Darling," he said softly.
"Again," I demanded, grabbing his tie and pulling him closer. "Say your true name again for me."
He did. It came out barely more than a whisper and I committed it to memory as a sacred prayer. I also know the Doctor lies, so who knew if he were telling the truth?
He started at me with those green-blue eyes with an intensity somewhere between a volcano and a hurricane. A Doctor is presumed innocent until proven guilty and I had the feeling that I'd insult or wound him if I questioned the validity of his name. "You're right, you know. Your name is too long to say in conversation."
"Name me, Olivia," his deep voice resonated in my ears and my mind. I experienced an emotion, an urgency inside my mind that I instinctually knew wasn't mine. "Please."
I pulled back, looking at the man with the aquamarine eyes and the wavy curls of black hair. I took in the porcelain, alabaster skin and those cheekbones so sharp that they'd cut glass. I heard four beats in constant rhythm, realizing they were my heart, but both of his pounding in his chest. I inhaled deeply of scent: shampoo, a hint of cologne and tea with a smidgen of mint. I saw his eyes darken with an emotion I couldn't name. What did a Librarian call the Oncoming Storm, the Destroyer of Worlds, the Valeyard? The Doctor was hated by billions of Daleks and Cybermen, but adored and loved by countless others. He was a feeling or expression of happiness and triumph, a celebration of good over evil, impressively beautiful, elaborate, or extravagant; striking. My epiphany came to me in that moment and I whispered my name for him in his ear, "Jubilificent."
"Again, Darling," I couldn't ignore the urgency in his voice.
"Jubilificent," I whispered. "Jules for short. Only I get to call you that name. Deal?"
"You already have a name," I stated, looking at the man with unusually bright eyes filled with a wetness that I couldn't explain. "This is just me spiraling into madness. Why do you need me to give you one?
“I'll explain everything tomorrow, I promise you. Good night, Olivia,” his voice resonated quietly, making my stomach flutter. "Pleasant dreams."
I said nothing as I turned my back to the perfect masculine beauty standing in my front yard. When I reached the front porch, I glanced at this hodge-podge Doctor. “By the way, Doctor Who doesn’t travel around in a Redbox Kiosk. It’s a blue Police Call Box called a Tardis: Time and Relative Dimension in Space. At least, get that part right."
“In this case, this is your Time Inter-Dimensional Exploration. Ride the Tide, Ollie.”
“Smart ass,” I muttered as I stepped inside and locked the door. I swore that I heard the stranger mutter, “Indeed.”
The next morning I woke up with the sun streaming from the east through my bedroom window. I put on my glasses, looking at the alarm clock which read 9:30 a.m. I didn’t hear any noise and I gave a long sigh of relief that my dreams from the previous night had been nothing more than that. I thought I was late for work, but then remembered it was Saturday.
I arose from my bed, deciding to peek outside just to sooth my anxiety. I saw a US Postal Service mailbox, large and blue, sitting at the front northwest corner of my front yard. When did USPS put a mailbox in my front yard?
I concluded this was "Bad Dream: the Sequel." I felt fine. I didn’t remember tripping over anything the previous night or eating anything worse than the salt and vinegar chips with guacamole. Oh, crap, the delusion continued. I turned around, ready to return to bed and pull the covers over my head until I regained my lost sanity. Dear Reader, I promised the Powers Above that if the hallucination stopped, I’d never write another cheesy, lemon fan fiction as long as I lived. I vowed to quit spending all of my disposable income on traveling to cons, memorabilia or new DVDs.
Jules poked his head through the kitchen entrance. “Darling, how do you like your eggs?”
“I don’t,” I replied. “I"m allergic.”
“Well, thank goodness there was a little international market not far,” he gave me a wide grin. “I looked in your pantry and your lack of nutritious food is abysmal. So, I determined what you need is a proper English breakfast.”
“How about a steak and cheese bagel from Mickey D’s?” I yawned. “No more hallucination. I’m going back to bed.”
Then I smelled something utterly delicious, the flavorful aroma wafting from the kitchen. Carefully, I poked my head around the corner to see one of my Fiesta ware plates filled with English bacon. I saw beans on my plate and I looked at Jules as if he was the one who had lost grip on reality. I mean, who eats beans for breakfast? Did I see tomatoes on my plate? I ate cold Pizza, maybe, but beans? Not so much.
“No fried bread?” I asked, a bit disappointed.
“No lard,” he shrugged. “I made do with what was available. We are in the middle of the States, after all.”
“Why is there a USPS mailbox in my front yard?”I asked, peering out my living room window.
“Less conspicuous than a 1960s British Police Box,” he grinned. “I updated the chameleon circuit with software from the planet Sillifron and it seems to work smashingly well.”
“Hmm,” I didn’t know how else to respond. We both seated ourselves in the breakfast nook and began eating our breakfast in silence. I murmured a thank you and he gave an accepting nod. “Any tea?”
“Hot or iced?”
“Hot," he smirked.
“Yes, please,” he replied.
“Hot and sweet,” I replied.
“Exactly how I like my companions,” he smiled at me. “Hot and sweet.”
Since when did the Doctor know how to flirt? I knew I needed to find a psychiatrist ASAP and see if I had completely lost my mind. “Careful, Doc. In this day and age of political correctness, some might consider that a harassing comment.”
I refused to answer that question.
“Okay, Jules, spill it,” I demanded after I stabbed a piece of bacon with my fork. “Why are you here? You promised me answers.”
“I’m looking for a companion,” he said, looking too innocent for that statement to be true.
“You don’t exist,” I ranted at him, taking a bite of the bacon, salty and crunchy in my mouth. I pointed at him with my fork. “You are a British television character and you don’t exist in the real world.”
“In whose universe?” he asked, looking at me through thick lashes, cutting his bacon with precise motions and taking small bites. “But, when is today?”
“When? October 31st, 2020.” I answered. “Why?”
“Let’s continue our breakfast, Darling Ollie, and I shall explain as we wash dishes,” he flashed me a grin of perfect teeth. So much for that stereotype being true.
Any man who cooks me breakfast, then offers to help with dishes catches my attention.
Doctor Jules had opted to wash while I dried. My hallucination was gentlemanly, charming, cheeky and an absolute fancy man. I half-expected him to pull out his rod of whatever and exclaim, “Scourgify!” So much for that part of my fantasy coming to life. I had to be content with doing dishes by hand.
“So, explain why I am going stark raving mad, Jules?” I asked, handing him one of the plates to dry. With his purple shirt of sex, he had his sleeves rolled up to his elbows to keep them dry. He toweled the plate before putting it in the dish basket.
"Olivia, you're going anywhere but mad," he held the turquoise Fiesta ware plate in one hand while drying it with the dishtowel. "You are one of the billions of beings in the universe who is sensitive to the Amalgamation.",
"So much for being special," I mumbled. "So, I'll bite. If I'm not going mad, then what does that mean?"
"No, you're not going made," he gave me a smile. “This is the day when the veil between dimensions is thinnest. You can refer to your regular Cartesian Philosophy and his Theory or Vortices conjectured the walls between worlds were matter in various states, opening doors or whirling vortices.”
He spoke fluent fangirl. “So, either trans-dimensional wormholes or fissures in the space-time continuum are occurring and I'm genetically predisposed to be attuned to them much the way animals can sense an oncoming storm or earthquake.”
“Precisely, Darling,” he grinned. “Oh, you are a clever minx, aren’t you?”
<"It's just because it's Halloween," I said, disappointed. "The walls between worlds are always thinnest on that day."
"Partially, also true"
“First, my name isn’t ‘Darling,’” I started. “It’s Olivia. Secondly, don’t patronize me and third, you’re telling me that because of the thinning veil between worlds, realms, whatever, that you’re able to cross over to my universe, world and time, right?”
“Exactly,” Jules’ perfect grin grew wider if that was possible.
"You've explained that I'm not mad and how you arrived here," I stood akimbo. "Now, please tell me why you are here. Why me? Why here? There are thousands of rinky-dink parallel dimensions in this big, wide multiverse. Of all of them, why did you have to come into mine?"
"I will explain it to you, Ollie," he placed the plated into the drying rack. "But, not today."
“Look,” I shrugged. “It isn’t possible. I want to test a theory. Humor me, alright?”
“Surely, Ollie,” his solemn reply barely did nothing to hide the mirth twinkling in those bright green eyes. I wondered if he knew that Benedict Cumberbatch was a ginger.
“Been there,” he said. “Didn’t like the White Witch, cold ice shrew that one was.”
“Majestic,” he said in a reverent whisper.
“Rather curmudgeonly, but magically adept.”
“Absolute prick, but excellent taste in clothes. Can’t say much for his mate, John. Those jumpers of his are hideous.”
“That’s a matter of opinion,” I retorted. “Here in America, jumpers are called ‘sweaters.’ What about Ross Poldark?”
“Clever fellow, defiant, dashing and too stubborn for his own good.”
“Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz?”
“A-ha!” I poked his chest in triumph. “Dorothy wasn’t British.”
“No, but she is an extraordinary Time Lady,” he winked.
“Wait, you’re supposed to be last of the Time Lords!” I countered.
“Time Lords, yes.” the Doctor left the words dangling in the air.
“But Time Ladies still exist?” I asked.
“So, her ruby slippers?”
“Not all Tardises are blue boxes, Ollie. Silver slippers, actually. One of her companions wrote about several of her adventures and named all of the worlds ‘Oz.’”
I handed him a glass to dry. “Who knew?”
“Did you know the Wardrobe was a Tardis?”
“Aslan was a Time Lord?” I asked with held breath.
“Oh, no!” the Doctor dried the glass with the hand towel before putting it in the drainer to dry. “But, C.S. Lewis was.”
I slowly returned my Fiesta ware plate into the dishwater, feeling queasy and disoriented. “I think I need to sit down.”
“I think you should, Darling,” the Doctor’s merriment melted into a look of concern. He poured me a tall glass of water. “Drink this and breathe slowly.”
I looked around my house and reexamined everything I knew. Was I going bonkers, stark raving mad or completely insane? Was Jules telling the truth? I didn’t know what to make of it all. Either I had experienced gustatory mind trips, phantosmia and auditory hallucinations. along with the visual ones or what he was saying was the truth. As Sherlock had said in at least one episode, "It is an old maxim of mine that when you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. "
The Truth had a wicked right hook and bricksmacked me into considering reality is more than perception.
“I need a moment,” I stammered, rushing out of the kitchen into my bedroom. I stared at myself in the mirror, seeing my self dressed in pink pajamas, fuzzy slippers and a bad case of bed head. My parents had died while in my early twenties, no siblings, but I had a steady job as a Librarian and a nice on-again-off-again-boyfriend named John, currently off. I had my fur babies, Bonnie and Clyde, but nothing else to keep me where I was. The last time that I had encountered a Redbox kiosk and the Doctor, that incarnation (Ten) had left me behind because I took too much time deciding where I wanted to go.
I wouldn’t make the same mistake this time, but he may have already left. I may never receive another chance. Insanity or inter-dimensional travel. I knew what I wanted, but I had to ask for a few conditions. I left my bedroom and found the Doctor sitting at my kitchen table. That Sherlockian face with the Loki eyes looked at me as his thumbs were a moving blur, texting wildly to someone. “What are you thinking, Ollie?”
“Promise me that you won’t erase my memory, let me die or trap me in some parallel dimension,” I said.
The Doctor’s face became one showing heartbreak, surprise and hurt all in one expression. “I won’t let you fall, Ollie, I promise.”
“If I go with you, can I take Bonnie and Clyde with me?”
The hurt expression softened slightly into a hint of a smile. “You have to clean Bonnie’s litter box and clean up any messes that Clyde makes.”
“Agreed,” I nodded. “Do I have time to take a shower and pack a bag?”
“We have the entire day, Darling, and I can have you back by sunset. We can travel from the dawn of time to a hundred universes, the past or future. We’ll go to wherever you want to go, my feisty Ollie, and somewhere else that you’ve never been.”
“Why me?” I asked.
“For some reason, I keep running into you, so why not you?” he asked. “Do try to keep up, Ollie. The universe has given us serendipity.”
“The game is on?” I raised a brow in question.
“Something like that,” The Doctor or Jules as I like to call him nodded to me. “Now, go pack your bag, your books, your movies and anything else you want to take. This time I promise to wait for you.”
“And you’ll have me back by tonight?”
It only took me an hour to shower, pack my bag, pick a few belongings and put together things for Bonnie and Clyde. I packed my favorite books including my Harry Potter Series, the Twilight Saga, a couple of Star Wars novels and my Bible. The dark-haired Doctor with those mischievous green eyes caught my gaze as I entered into the living room.
“I’m ready, Jules.”
“You’re the only one to name me, you know, and I quite like it.”
“Good,” I grinned, pointing to the heavy box. “Can you give me a hand?”
“Did you pack your entire house?”
“Sans the kitchen sink,” I chuckled.
He removed his red scarf from around his neck and let it float through the air until it settle on one of my boxes, its ends wrapping around the cut-out hand grips. I watched in awe as the box hovered in the air and entered the door of the Tardis.
I didn’t know which amazed me more, the Red Scarf of Levitation or the fact that a blue Police Call box sat in my front yard. No more mailbox or Redbox, just a blue box that I recognized. The scarf returned from the Tardis and repeated the same action with my second box of books and DVDs and I followed with Clyde on his leash and Bonnie in her carrier.
“Doctor,” I asked, “do I have to be a companion? Couldn’t I be your blogger or your Librarian?”
“Hmm, having a writer depict adventures for Dorothy provided her companion with fun. I have no trouble if you want to do the same.”
“Let me lock the door and I’ll be off,” I felt the giddiness rise inside me as I fumbled with my keys to fit the right key into the lock.
For the first time, I didn’t step on a constructed set of a Tardis at a convention or have my photo taken by a cardboard stand-up. I truly stepped through the doors of the police box and onto the walkway. I stood in front of my little two bedroom house in my red velvet ankle lace-up boots, with my dog and cat and my suitcase. Did I tell you that I’m originally from Kansas?
Then, I knew what came next. “I have to say it, Doctor,”
“Please, don’t,” he groaned.
“It’s bigger on the inside,” I whispered in awe, looking around at the dome-shaped chamber. I went to the main station where lights flickered, things moved up and down and the station made buzzing and whirring sounds. “It really is.”
“It is, Darling Ollie,” he said softly, taking my hand.
“Why me?” I asked again.
“Why not you?” he leaned forward, begging my question with a question. I felt the his warm breath tickle my earlobe and his lips nearly brush my temple. Taking my hand in his, he laced his fingers in mine. “There is so many places I want to take you, show you and things I want to tell you. All in good time, we have plenty of it. Where do you wish to go first?”
“The U.S.S Enterprise NCC-1701, stardate 3842.3,” thinking how fun it’d be to see some classic Star Trek up close and personal.
“So, a bit of Captain Kirk, then?”
“I want to meet Uhura and Spock,” I answered. “Now there is my OTP.”
“Oi,” my dark, sexy doctor shook his head, looking to the skies. “How will I keep up?”
“One catchphrase at a time, Jules. Come on,” I motioned him to the station. “Adventure awaits.”
“Indeed,” he murmured softly, giving me a gentle look bordering on something I couldn’t quite name. Affection? Tenderness? Time would reveal all. Nothing stays secret long inside a Tardis.