Thank Sam Tyler had only gone down to the basement of Hunt's to turn in the day's income. He needed to get out of there quickly; he had a date scheduled with Annie tonight. He knocked impatiently on the door of Skelton's office, but there was no answer. Then, he heard a door slam.
What? The blondish-brunette in the black hoodie raced to the double doors at the end and tugged hard at the handles. But the doors didn't budge. "Are you kidding me?" he muttered in annoyance, but with a touch of panic in his voice. Would he be locked in overnight?
It was then that Sam heard a loud creak from behind him. He whipped his head around, but saw no one. "Is that someone mucking about?" he called, trying to sound composed. If there was someone down there, he really didn't need to let them know he was scared.
He was met with creepy silence. Sam took a few tentative steps forward. "Who is it?" he demanded. Sam looked around, but still saw no one. It was just him and the plastic mannequins the store had down here in storage (why did Hunt's need so many dummies anyway, he wondered). Still…Sam had the eerie feeling that he was being watched.
Over his shoulder, Sam heard another loud creak. He turned around again.
A dummy, wearing dark jeans and a black pinstripe shirt, standing in the corner, had turned its head. Its blank, terra cotta eyes were boring into him.
The dummy then began moving, walking toward him. Sam gave a nervous chuckle. "'Kay. You got me, very funny."
But the dummy kept coming. "Right, I've got the joke," he said, a bit louder this time. He backed away from the walking plastic. "Whose idea was this?" he called as more mannequins began slowly stalking him. "Is it Ray's? Is it? Ray, is this you?"
Sam tripped over a box. He picked himself up quickly. Now, most of the mannequins in the room were creeping toward him. This here, this is the stuff of nightmares, thought Sam, and felt his back press up against the concrete wall. Oh no.
The mannequins stopped. The dummy directly in front of him raised his arm, about to strike. Sam gasped and squeezed his eyes shut.
Suddenly, he felt someone take his hand. Someone human. Sam's eyes popped open and looked up at the owner of the hand.
"Run!" said the man.
Sam didn't need to be told twice.
Sam and the mysterious man ran out of the basement, hand in hand, the plastic creatures hot on their heels. They made it onto the lift, and the man quickly pressed the "close door" button. One of the mannequins managed to get his arm through, and the man wrestled with it. The man pulled the arm off, disconnecting it from the rest of its body. The doors of the lift rolled shut.
Sam didn't quite know what to say after all that had transpired in the last five minutes. So he said what came to his mind first: "You pulled his arm off."
"Yep," replied the other man with a Manchester accent. He tossed it to Sam. "Plastic."
"Very clever, nice trick," said Sam, drudging up a weak laugh. His breath was still heavy from the sprint they'd made to escape the mannequins. His heart was racing. "Who were they, then? Students? Is this a student thing or what?"
"Why would it be students?" asked the other man.
"I don't know," said Sam, shrugging.
"Well, you said it. Why students?" the man persisted.
"'Cause…to get that many people dressed up and being silly, they've got to be students," Sam replied, trying to rationalize it all.
The man finally turned around, and Sam saw his face properly. He was tall, about six foot, and had broad shoulders and short dark hair, like a soldier or something. His clothes were dark: a black leather jacket, a maroon jumper, and dark jeans. His nose was beak shaped, and his ears were rather large. However, the man was nonetheless attractive; his eyes were a pleasant shade of blue, and when he turned around, he was grinning. "That makes sense," said the man. "Well done."
"They're not students," said the man.
"Well, whoever they are, when Skelton finds them, he's gonna call the police," said Sam.
"Who's Skelton?" asked the man.
"Skelton's dead," said the man, as the door to the lift opened. The man got off, and Sam followed. Who the hell was this guy?
"That's not funny, that's cruel, mate," Sam began to say, but the other man cut him off. "Hold on, mind your eyes." He reached into his pocket and whipped out a strange looking metal pen or something. At least Sam thought it was a pen, but then the man pushed a button on it and it emitted a bright blue light and a weird, high-pitched whirring noise. The man pointed it at the lift call button.
The pen (or whatever it was) caused the button to put off a shower of sparks. Sam leapt back in surprise. With that, the man rushed away, with Sam staring after him in disbelief. "Who is it then?" he called, but the man ignored him. "Who's that lot down there? I said, who are they?!"
"They're made of plastic, living plastic creatures," said the man, when Sam followed after him. "They're being controlled by a relay device on the roof, which would be a big problem if I didn't have this-" The man stopped just long enough to flash Sam a strange looking apparatus making beeping and booping noises, then continued walking. Sam had to practically jog to keep up with the man; he had longer legs and therefore, a faster pace. "So, I'm going to go upstairs and blow it up. And I might well die in the process, but don't worry about me, no. You go on. Go on, have your lovely beans on toast." The man gently pushed Sam through the back door of the shop and out into the night air. "Don't tell anyone about this, because if you do, you'll get them killed," he added, and on that enigmatic note, he slammed the door shut, leaving Sam outside to ponder what the hell had just happened.
Then, to Sam's surprise, the door reopened. "I'm the Doctor, by the way, what's your name?" said the man.
"Sam. Sam Tyler."
"Nice to meet you, Sam." The Doctor shook the bomb cheerfully. "Run for your life!" And then he slammed the door shut again.
Sam, plastic arm still in hand, was utterly bewildered by the whole ordeal, but figured that if this eccentric man had advised him to run, he should probably run.
Roughly three minutes later, Hunt's Boutique exploded.
Later, after Sam arrived at his flat in the Powell Estates and ate dinner, he changed into his pajamas and took a Tylenol. He couldn't take regular aspirin, he was allergic to it. For some reason, after all that had transpired that day, he had a migraine headache. Not the usual migraine however. More like a dull drumming in his head. One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four.
That night, Sam dreamed of the Doctor.
It was an odd dream. Because the Doctor in his dream was not only the man he'd encountered today. He had other faces. The Doctor in Sam's dream was an older man with puffy grey hair, like it had been permed, and rather flamboyant clothes, sometimes even a cape.
And there were others, too: a curly haired, bug-eyed Bohemian in a wide-brimmed hat and an extremely long knit scarf; a young, blonde Edwardian in a cricketer's uniform, with a stalk of celery pinned to the lapel of his long beige jacket; a clownish looking fellow in a rainbow checkered coat; a dark eyed chap with an umbrella and a sweater vest donning red question marks; and a man with long, rich, curly hair, dressed in Victorian garb. And of course, the man with the leather jacket and the big ears was there too.
But this wasn't the strangest aspect of the dream. The strangest part was that all throughout the dream, Sam was pitted against the Doctor. Always trying to kill him, or imprison him, or hurt him in some way or another. Dream-Sam hated the Doctor with a passion, and made himself the Doctor's mortal enemy.
However, Sam also observed that his dream self had a certain fondness for the Doctor, which Dream-Sam hated to admit to himself. Like the Doctor was a brother. Or an old friend, perhaps. Yes, that was it. An old friend. A best friend, even. Or…or even…
Oh. The dream took an odd turn.
Sam's dream self had become a teenager, and so was the Doctor. They were lying on their backs in soft orange grass, gazing up at the sky. Holding hands.
Sam rolled over to look at the Doctor. The Doctor looked back at him and smiled adoringly. Sam moved his head to where their foreheads were pressed together, and the tips of their noses brushed. The young Doctor stroked Sam's hand with his thumb. It sent pleasant shivers down Sam's spine. "Koschei," the Doctor breathed, and Sam knew it was his name, his real name. It made his hearts beat madly.
"Theta," he murmured back, lovingly, and gently pressed his lips to the other boy's. Theta kissed him back, releasing Sam's hand and cupping his cheek.
Sam woke up abruptly, sweating like mad. What the bloody hell was that?!