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Doctor Who AUs

Chapter Text

Barbra tapped her fingers nervously on the steering wheel.

“First day at a new school Barbra,” she said to herself, “You can do this. Ignore the fact that the last history teacher quit in a fit of rage.”

Taking a deep breath she got out of the car and made her way into the building. She wasn’t supposed to teach today thank goodness. Polly had told her they would just be showing her around and introducing her to the rest of the staff, including the elusive headmaster Mr. Smith.

The office was near the entrance and she opened the door to see Polly, the secretary, in heavy conversation with a blond man.

“Oh Barbra you’re here!” Polly said, leaping out of her chair. Barbra couldn’t help but notice that her cheeks were red, “This is Ben Jackson, the PE teacher.”

“Nice to meet you Ms. Wright,” Ben said, shaking her hand.

“We’ll introduce you to the rest of the teachers later, Ben was just here to…”

“Pick up some papers,” Ben said, grabbing a stack that was clearly math worksheets, “I’ll see you both later.” He quickly left the room.

Polly smiled at her, “So I was going to show you around, but then some students found out and volunteered to give you a tour instead. They should be here-”

She was interrupted by a knock on the door and three girls entered the room. Two of them had short dark hair and looked like they could be sisters, while the third had blond hair in pigtails.

“Ms. Wright, meet Susan Foreman, Vicki Pallister, and Dodo Chaplet.”


The tour was one of the most entertaining Barbra had ever had, mostly due to the running commentary the girls provided. “That's the gym, we caught Polly and Ben kissing in their one time.” “That’s Mrs. Klingon’s classroom, she’s scary.” “That’s Steven’s locker, he keeps a stuffed panda in there, it’s like the school mascot.” “That’s my grandfather’s office.”

Barbara did a double take, “Your grandfather is the headmaster?” From what she’d heard about Dr. Smith, he was grumpy, stubborn, and rude. In other words the exact opposite of Susan.

Susan nodded, “Yes, but don’t worry, he’s really not as bad as everyone says he is.”

“He really is quite sweet once you get to know him,” Vicki added.

“He can be scary when he’s mad though,” Dodo pointed out.

“Yes, his face when we set fire to the chemistry lab was terrifying.”

Barbra was about to ask what that meant when the bell rang and a student came barreling around the corner slamming into them.

“What the hell Steven,” Vicki groaned.

“Sorry,” the boy said, helping Barbra to her feet, “I’m in a bit of a rush."

“What did you do now?”

“Well…”

“Steven Taylor!” a voice yelled.

Steven paled, “I gotta go.”

A man came around the corner just as Steven disappeared.

“Hello Mr. Chesterton.”

“Hello Susan,” the man said wiping his brow, “Mr. Taylor came through here I’m guessing?”

Vicki nodded, “What did he do now?”

“He replaced my periodic table with one that spelled out swear words. I didn’t notice until halfway through the class.”

Barbra couldn’t help the laugh that escaped her. Mr. Chesterton looked at her as if noticing her presence for the first time. 

“Sorry it’s just, well it is rather clever isn't it?”

Mr. Chesterton gave a small laugh, “Yes I suppose it is.”

“This is Ms. Wright, the new history teacher,” Dodo explained.

“Nice to meet you, Mr. Chesterton.”

“Nice to meet you too,” he said, “Please, call me Ian.”

The handshake lasted a moment too long. 

“You girls can go on to class if you want, just don't set anything on fire again,” Ian yelled at their retreating backs.

“The students at this school are quite something,” Barbra said.

“They’re good kids really, just a little… enthusiastic,” Ian said, “You’ve got to watch out for those three though. They seem innocent but they’re really quite devious. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was Susan who gave Steven the idea for that prank.”

“What did my granddaughter do now hm?” A voice came out of nowhere.

Ian and Barbara both jumped and turned to see an old man standing behind them.

“Er Dr. Smith, I didn’t see you there.”

“Well don’t blame me for your poor eyesight Chatterton.”

“It’s Chesterton,” Ian mumbled, but Dr. Smith took no notice and turned to Barbra.

“You must be Ms. Wright, welcome to Coal Hill.”

“Good to be here Dr. Smith,” Barbra said, bemused. It seemed she was destined to meet all sorts of odd people today.

“Now what’s this about Susan, Chesterfield?”

“Er… well.”

As Ian began to cover for Susan, several things happened at once. There was a loud crash from the Chemistry room and a few screams. The fire alarm went off as smoke and students began pouring into the hallway. Then the sprinklers began going off causing the entire student body to begin shrieking.

“So,” Ian said, holding his coat over the both of them in a useless attempt to keep them dry, “What do you think of Coal Hill?”

Barbra looked around at the panicking students, Dr. Smith who was just standing there looking amused, and a very guilty looking Susan, Vicki, and Dodo.

“I think it’s going to be quite the adventure.”

Chapter Text

“Doctor, he’s here,” Zoe warned as the customer entered the shop.

“Oh my giddy aunt,” the Doctor said nervously, flattening his apron and combing his hair, “How do I look?”

Zoe refrained from saying “a gay mess” and just said, “You look fine Doctor.”

“Right. Good, that’s good,” the Doctor said, moving to the cash register. Zoe saw Victoria lurking behind the espresso machine and moved to join her. 

“He’s here?” Victoria asked.

Zoe nodded, “Yep. Fifth time this week, I think the Doctor is going to combust.” They watched as a young man in a kilt approached the counter and asked for one black coffee, same as always.

“Does it bother you?” Zoe asked as they watched the Doctor accidentally spill coffee all over the counter. He really was a disaster.

“Not really, he always cleans it up.”

Zoe rolled her eyes, “Not the coffee. Your boss trying to flirt with your older brother.”

Victoria laughed, “It doesn’t bother me nearly as much as Jamie trying on turtle-necks for half an hour asking me which color is more flattering.”

“So it’s definitely two-sided then,” Zoe said, watching as Jamie helped the Doctor clean up the coffee. The two accidentally touched hands and turned bright red.

“Oh yes,” Victoria said as the two jumped apart and the Doctor began making the coffee again. Thankfully they only had two other customers.

“We’ve got to do something about this,” Zoe said as the Doctor waved Jamie goodbye and stared after him with a dreamy look on his face.

“Oh can we? I can’t take this much longer.”

Zoe nodded, “It’s gotten to the point where we have to interfere for their own good. They’re both too nervous to make the first move.”

“What do we do?” Victoria asked.

“We go to an expert.”


Zoe led Victoria over to the booth in the corner, “Polly we need your help.”

“You’ve come to the right place,” Polly said, setting down her cup of tea, “I assume this is about the Doctor?” They nodded “I know just what we need to do.”

“And you’re sure we should be interfering?” Victoria asked.

“Oh absolutely, those two are hopeless.”

“I leave for five second and come back to a war council,” a voice said. Zoe looked up to see Ben standing there with two cups of coffee, “What’re you three ladies up to?”

“We’re getting the Doctor and Jamie together,” Polly explained, moving over so he could sit down.

“Oh thank god, those two have been driving me insane.”

Polly laughed, “What did they do now?”

Ben rolled his eyes, “They won’t shut up about each other. I watch the football match with Jamie and all he talks about is how smart the Doctor is. I talk to the Doctor and it’s all about how kind Jamie is. It’s driving me up a wall.”

“Well all our troubles will soon be over,” Polly assured him.

“We could write the Doctor’s number on Jamie’s cup, then maybe Jamie would take the initiative and call him,” Victoria suggested.

Zoe shook her head, “I’m pretty sure that only works in fanfics.”

“Girls, trust me,” Polly said, “I have a plan.”


When Jamie arrived at the coffee shop it was completely empty. The sign on the door claimed it was open for three more minutes, but inside the chairs were stacked on the tables and the counter gleamed, ready for the next day. 

He looked at his phone frowning. Zoe and Victoria said they would be here.

“Oh, Hello Jamie, I didn’t see you there.” 

He looked up to see the Doctor coming out of the back room. He willed his face to stop turning red.

“Er, Hello Doctor, I’m just here to pick up Zoe and Victoria.”

The Doctor frowned, “But they left hours ago.”

“Really?” Jamie looked at his phone, “They said they wanted to go to dinner.”

The Doctor shrugged, “They told me Polly and Ben were taking them home.”

Jamie sighed, “All right, guess I’ll be going then.”

“Want a cup of coffee before you go?” 

The Doctor really needed to stop being adorable. 

“Sure.”


When Zoe came in the next morning she found the Doctor and Jamie asleep in a booth with two empty cups of coffee. They were holding hands.

 

Chapter Text

“Alright everyone, this is it. The biggest challenge of our lives, the moment we’ve all been waiting for-”

“Jo, it’s just Dad’s birthday.”

The Doctor stifled a laugh as Jo paused her dramatic speech to glare at Benton. For someone normally bright and cheerful Jo could be terrifying when she wanted to.

“It’s not just his birthday John,” Jo protested, “It’s our chance to give him the celebration he deserves.”

Yates raised his hand rather awkwardly, “Er, yes I understand that, but Sarah and I don’t even live here.”

“You’re Benton’s boyfriend and Sarah is my best friend, Dad is this close to adopting both of you.”

Yates didn’t know how to respond to that and lowered his hand. 

“So Jo, what's the plan?” the Doctor asked. She still hadn’t explained anything, just dragged all of them down into the basement for an ‘emergency family meeting’ and was now standing in front of an old projector she got from who knows where.

Jo clicked on the remote to reveal a picture, “Behold, Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart”

“Yes we know who he is,” Yates muttered before Sarah Jane elbowed him.

“This man has never had a decent birthday party,” Jo continued, “And we are going to fix that.”

“Jo, I highly doubt that,” Liz protested, “What about last year?”

“Benton broke his arm and we spent the whole day in the ER.”

“The year before that?” Sarah asked.

“Stomach bug, we were all sick, remember?”

“Before that?”

“The Doctor blew up the basement.” 

The Doctor winced at that. It hadn’t really been his fault, he had been trying to make the heater more efficient.

“The year before that Kate got sick, before that there was a tornado, before that there was a work emergency, and the point is, something always happens. I want his birthday to be good this year.”

“So what do we do?” Yates asked. They were getting excited now, the Doctor included. Alistair had done quite a lot for him, it would be nice to return the favour.

“Here’s the plan,” Jo said, clicking the projector again to reveal a complicated looking spreadsheet, “John and Mike, you’re on decorations.” They nodded. “Since that hopefully won’t take too long, Mike will also help with transportation since he’s the only one who can drive.”

Mike looked pleased at his role, but the Doctor frowned, “I can drive.”

“Yes Doctor, but we need you for something else,” Jo explained continuing with her presentation, “Sarah Jane and I will make the cake and get the snacks.”

There were several worried glances and Jo sighed, “I mean Sarah will bake the cake and I will get the snacks.”

There was an audible sigh of relief, “I’m not that bad!”

“Jo my dear,” the Doctor said gently, “You have many gifts, baking is not one of them.”

“I know…” Jo sighed.

“What about me?” Liz asked, distracting them from memories of Jo’s failed baking attempts.

“You’re in charge of finding out what Dad wants for his birthday since he never tells anyone.”

“And me?” the  Doctor asked.

“You,” Jo said, eyes gleaming, “Are the distraction.”

The Doctor couldn’t help but be a little offended, “That’s all? I could help bake the cake if-”

“NO!” the room choursed.

“Doctor, your job is the most important. You have to keep Dad from figuring out what we’re up to. Kate can help you.”

“Kate’s a baby.”

They all looked at the tiny bundle who was watching them very curiously from her stroller.

“That’s why she’s such a good distraction,” Jo finished, “So, are we all ready?” The troops nodded, “Then let’s get to it, we’ve got two days.”

“Are you sure this is going to work?” the Doctor heard Sarah ask as they filed out of the basement.

“Nope.”


“What kind of decorations do you think Jo wants?” John asked, staring at the shelves in desperation. The birthday aisle was larger than anticipated, though most of the decorations were more fit for a five year old than a grown man.

“Erm… these maybe?” Mike guessed, pulling some blue paper plates from the shelf, “Your dad likes blue right? Do plates even count as decorations?”

“How should I know?” Benton asked. He still didn’t know why Jo had asked them to do the decorations. Mike was good at that kind of thing but he was pretty much useless.

“Right, I guess we’ll get those and balloons and... streamers?”

“What do people even use streamers for?” Benton asked, struggling to reach them.

Mike shrugged, “They hang them on walls and stuff. For my cousins party we threw some at him when we yelled ‘surprise.’”

“Oh yeah Dad’ll love that,” Benton muttered. As he threw the streamers in the basket he noticed something on the bottom shelf, “Hey Mike look at this.”

The Banner was a simple one that said “Happy Birthday” in bold letters, but it was surrounded by tiny ufo’s and aliens that reminded him of the stories Dad would tell them when they were kids.

“It’s perfect,” Mike said, kissing him, “Come on, let’s get this home before Jo has a heart attack.”


“I got the snacks,” Jo announced proudly, “How’s the cake coming?”

“Better than the one the Doctor tried to make last year,” Sarah said, “Although the bar is very low.”

“Why we ever let that man in the kitchen is a mystery to me.”

“Did your Dad ever explain to you who he was?” Sarah asked as she took the cake out of the oven.

“Nope, just came home from work one day and said, ‘This is the Doctor, he’s going to be staying with us for awhile,’ and then he never left.”

“Weird,” Sarah said, “By the way, where should I hide the cake?”

Jo shrugged, “Put it behind the mushrooms Cliff gave me, hopefully he won’t notice.”


Liz groaned as she entered the Doctor’s office.

“Bad day?” the Doctor asked, not looking up from his recent experiment.

“That man is impossible,” Liz proclaimed, “I tried every variation of ‘what do you want for your birthday?’ without point-blank asking him and nothing!”

The Doctor shrugged, “Alistair doesn’t like to bother anyone if you haven’t noticed.”

“I just don’t know what to do,” Liz sighed, "What do you think I should get him?”

The Doctor frowned in concentration, “Alistair doesn’t really like material possessions, maybe a vacation or a day off? But I doubt he would take it.”

Liz’s eyes brightened, “I know just what to do.”


For once it seemed that Alistair’s party was going smoothly. The Doctor had managed to distract him with a ride in Bessie while the kids set up. The decorations were set up and all Alistair's favorite snacks were set out with Sarah’s cake as the centerpiece. He had loved the present they presented him with (a ride in a helicopter) and it looked like for once things would turn out well. 

“Are you behind all this?” Alistair asked, joining him in the corner.

The Doctor shook his head, “It was all Jo.”

Alistair smiled, “Of course it was.” They watched as Jo and the rest of the kids played some party game while Kate looked on and laughed.

“Thank you Alistair,” the Doctor found himself saying, “For giving me a home here.”

Alistair smiled at him, “You’re welcome.”

“Time for cake!” Liz called.

They moved towards the table as Liz began to light the candles.

“Is all this really necessary?” Alistair asked.

“Yes.” Jo said in a tone that brokered no augment.

“Very well.”

Before Alistair could blow out his candles something happened.

Kate, from where she sat in her high chair had noticed a string. Naturally she pulled on it unaware that it was connected to the banner. Her tiny fist tugged at the knot until it came undone. The banner fell as if in slow motion, right into the candles. 

Paper  is very flammable.

Fortunately, this year they were ready and had a fire extinguisher nearby, and Benton was able to stop the house from burning down. The cake wasn’t so lucky.



Chapter Text

“Name?”

“Sarah Jane Smith.”

The bored looking receptionist tapped at her computer while Sarah Jane stood there awkwardly. Eventually the woman handed her a badge with her picture and the word ‘Visitor’ stamped across the top.

“Third floor, elevator is down the hall and to the left.”

“Thank you.”

The Gallifreyan Times was much smaller than Sarah thought it would be, considering how famous (or infamous) the paper was. They were well known for exposing corrupt governments and bringing down businesses. All that from a 3 story building in Aberdeen.

The elevator opened to reveal a large, open office with desks scattered around and a-

“A dog?” Sarah Jane wondered as the animal ran over and began to sniff her shoes.

“Sorry!” A voice called as a young woman ran over, “I was meant to be taking him out for a walk and he got out. He does that a lot, Don’t you K9?” 

K9 wagged his tail happily as if to say ‘yes I got out, what’re you gonna do about it?’

“K9?” Sarah asked.

The girl rolled her eyes, “It was my coworkers idea. He found K9 on the side of the road one day and brought him here. We all kind of adopted him as our mascot.”

“Tegan, where is K9?” 

Tegan groaned, “Coming Adric!” She turned to Sarah, “I’ve got to go.”

“Wait, I wanted to ask… where Romana’s office is,” Sarah sighed.

“I can show you.”

“Leela!” The two hugged, “It’s good to see you.”

“Good to have you here, you ready to start?”

“Can’t wait.”

“Come on, Romana’s office is this way, I’ll give you the tour.”. I’ll give you the tour.”

The tour ended up lasting about five minutes since most of the important stuff was in one large room and Leela just stood and pointed. Notable features included the copier (it breaks down three times a day), the interns (Adric, Nyssa, and Tegan. They argue constantly but they get the job done), the coffee machine (the most important thing in here), and finally Romana’s office.

“There’s actually two Romanas” Leela explained as she introduced Sarah to Romana, “One is the one you know, the head of the paper, and this is her sister, the lawyer.”

“Basically I’m just here to keep you all from getting sued,” Romana explained. Sarah was trying to figure out how anyone knew which Romana people were referring to when Leela dragged her off to the other Romana’s office. 

“Ms. Smith,” Romana said, rising to greet her, “Good to have you with us. This is Mr. Sullivan.”

“How do you do?”

Sarah shook his hand, “Are you a reporter Mr. Sullivan?”

He laughed, “No, I’m actually a doctor.”

Sarah frowned, “Why does a newspaper need a doctor?”

“Because of the Doctor.”

“What-”

At that moment came a crashing sound and a tall, bushy-haired man with a monstrosity of a scarf burst into the office.

“Romana! I have discovered who caused the Baker street fire!” The man looked as if he had been inside a fire himself. His clothes were covered in soot and his hat was smouldering (The hat also had a hole that looked suspiciously like a bullet hole.

Romana put her head in her hands, ”Doctor, how many times have I told you to wait on the police?”

The Doctor looked offended, “I’m an investigative journalist, I don’t need their help.”

“That’s not-” Romana sighed, “Harry, make sure the Doctor isn’t injured and ask Nyssa to contact the police and make sure he didn’t do anything illegal.”

Harry failed to hide his smile, “You got it.”

The Doctor meanwhile, was ignoring Romana and had noticed Sarah for the first time, “Hello, I’m the Doctor.”

“Sarah Jane Smith.”

“Doctor. Medical office. Now.”

The Doctor left and Romana turned to Sarah, “Are you sure you want to work here?”

“Absolutely.”

Chapter Text

“Why is it when something happens it’s always you four?” Alistair asked to no one in particular as he examined the students in front of him.

“I don’t know Professor, ask them, they’re the ones who dragged me into this,” Adric said looking smug. Then again he always looked smug. Tegan looked angry and Smith was trying (and failing) to look as innocent as possible. Nyssa was the only one who looked even remotely repentant.

“We dragged you into this?” Tegan asked incredulously, “You’re the one who suggested it!”

“Well I only suggested it because Peter asked, plus you were the one who-”

“Quiet both of you,” Alistait sighed, rubbing his temple. This was not what he wanted to do today, “Mr. Smith, I assume you have a very good explanation for why the slytherin common room is now completely overrun by Cornish pixies?”

“Oh a very good one sir,” the hufflepuff said.

“Let’s hear it then.”

“Ainley is an asshole.”

Ailstair looked up to see John smiling at him while Tegan had her face in her hands and Adric was trying very hard not to laugh.

“Would you care to elaborate on that?”

“He’s a bully, sir,” Adric broke in, “He picks on everyone.”

“He was bullying a friend of ours,” Tegan added.

From the way they were all resolutely not looking at her, Alistair guessed that friend was Nyssa. 

“Be that as it may, as I told you in the case of Mr. Turlough, if someone is acting in a way that hurts you or another student you simply tell a teacher. You do not prank them and disrupt half the school.”

“Right first off what happened to Turlough was all Tegan’ fault,” Adric said, ignoring Tegan’s cry of indignation, “And secondly it was an accident.”

Alistair raised his eyebrow, “How do you accidentally turn someone’s entire body bright green?”

“Well it was only supposed to be his hair but the spell went a little farther than imagined.”

“And I’m guessing that’s what happened this time?”

The teenagers shifted around guiltily.

A thought popped into Alistair’s head, “Adric you’re in Slytherin.”

“Yes.”

“Why would you prank your own common room?”

“Well it’s like you said sir, it got out of hand. The pixies were only supposed to destroy Ainley- oof!”

He was cut off by Tegan elbowing him in the gut.

“What Adric means is that whoever did the prank was probably after Ainley, because like John said, he’s an asshole.”

“Look. I understand wanting to get justice, but this isn’t the way to do it. And Smith,” John’s head snapped up, “I expect this behavior from first and second years but not a seventh year, and certainly not from the head boy.”

“Sorry sir,” Smith said, lowering his head. For once he actually looked remorseful, but Alistair figured that had more to do with the innocent students that got affected rather than the original prank.

“It’s my fault sir,” Nyssa said, “They only did all this because Ainley was teasing me.”

“It’s not your fault Ainley is an asshole,” Tegan said, gripping Nyssa’s hand, “I’m the one who insisted we do something.”

“Well I’m the one who encouraged it and helped Tegan capture the pixies. And as head boy really I should take the blame,” John insisted.

“Hey the pixie thing was my idea,” Adric said, “I should be getting in just as much trouble as the rest of you!” He paused, “Wait I didn’t mean it like that.”

Alistair was close to laughter at this point. At any other moment the house unity here would have impressed him, a gryffindor, a slytherin, a hufflepuff, and a ravenclaw all working together. If only it hadn’t destroyed an entire common room.

“Don’t worry, you’re all equally in trouble,” Alistair assured them, “Since you’re all in different houses taking away points is pointless,” he paused to see if they would acknowledge his pun, but they just stared at him, “You all have detention on Tuesdays and Thursdays.”

“For how long?” Adric asked.

“For as long as it takes to repair the damage done by the pixies. Which if you put in as much effort to as you do your pranks shouldn’t be very long.”

Adric began to groan but was silenced by a look from Tegan. Alistair stifled a laugh, that girl was a true gryffindor.

“You may go,” Alistair said. He watched as the students shuffled out of the room, an unlikely group of friends if there ever was one. Perhaps more than friends, he thought to himself, noting that Tegan and Nyssa were still holding hands. He wouldn’t be too hard on them in detention, he decided. After all their hearts were in the right place. And they were right, Ainley really was an asshole.

Chapter Text

“Damn it all!” Dr. Colin Smith said, slamming his notes onto his desk.

“Bad day?” Mel asked, not even looking up from her computer.

The Doctor glared at her, “How’d you guess?”

“Don’t mind him,” Rani said striding into the office, “He’s just jealous that he lost to us again .”

“You really should be a better sport, Doctor,” Masters said following behind her.

“Be a better sport? You defended a businessman who scammed thousands of people-“

Allegedly scammed,” Rani said leaning against his desk, “If you will recall, since you lost.”

“Get out of my office.” The Doctor growled.

Rani shrugged and left, waving at Mel as she went by. Masters winked at the Doctor before following her.

“I’m guessing you lost to that new lawyer again,” Mel said sympathetically, handing him a glass of carrot juice.

“Yes,” the Doctor sighed, “Perpugilliam Brown. What kind of name is that?”

“Anything I can do?” 

The Doctor shook his head, “No, I’m just going to go home. Maybe I’ll wake up and this will all be a dream."


The Doctor spent most of the walk to the bus stop thinking over the past few weeks. Ms. Brown had joined Masters & Rani two months ago and had been making his life miserable ever since. Five cases lost. 

The bus pulled to a stop in front of him and he got on, sighing when he saw how crowded it was. He made his way to the back, muttering apologies to the people he bumped into. The bus lurched forward and sent him crashing into a young woman.

“Sorry ma’am,” the Doctor muttered as he helped her gather her groceries, “I didn’t… you!”

Perpugilliam brown was looking back at him, “You!”

The two stared at each other for a second before the bus lurched to a stop again and sent them crashing back to the ground.

“Here,” Ms. Brown said, handing him his briefcase that had slid across the floor.

“Thanks,” he muttered.

They stood there, awkwardly pressed together because of the crowd. Occasionally the Doctor opened his mouth to say something, but he always changed his mind and closed it. There really was no good way to say ‘sorry for crashing into you but you’ve been making my life miserable these past few weeks so could you please stop being so good at your job.”

“So,” Ms. Brown said after a few minutes of awkward silence, “Got any plans for the weekend?”

“Nothing much, I might visit my brother,” he replied, “What about you?”

“Oh nothing really, just reading.”

This piqued his interest, “What are you reading?”

“Romeo and Juliet.”

He couldn’t help the scoff that escaped him.

Ms. Brown glared at him, “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“What’s what supposed to mean?”

“That noise!”

“Well it’s just… it’s not my favorite,” he said.

“You don’t like Romeo and Juliet?” Ms. Brown asked him in disbelief.

“I never said that. It’s just there are many other examples of romance in Shakespeare's works that are far superior yet everyone seems to focus on the angsty teenage tragedy. Much Ado about Nothing for example-”

The rest of the ride was spent debating Shakespeare, atopic they were both surprisingly passionate about. Somewhere along the way they found two empty seats and he began calling her Peri instead of Ms. Brown. (It’s much easier). 

She was good at arguing he had to admit, and midway through discussing whether or not Hamlet and Horatio were in love he realized that he was actually enjoying himself.

Eventually the conversation turned from Shakespeare to more personal matters. He told her about how stressful work had been lately (it turned out running your own law firm was hard) and she admitted that she really hated working for Rani, but needed the money to get away from her step-father.

By the time they arrived at his stop, the Doctor realized he was actually sorry to go.

“Well, until next time Peri,” He said, rising to leave.

“Wait,” she said, rummaging in her purse and writing something down.

“Your number Ms. Brown? So soon?” he teased

“It’s my email,” Peri said smiling and handing it to him, “So I can keep educating you on Shakespeare.”

“I look forward to it,” he said, smiling broadly.


The following Monday he arrived at the office more cheerful than he’d been in a while.

“Mel, how would you feel about hiring a new lawyer?”



Chapter Text

“Can we fight a dragon?” Ace asked. It was a mark of how well the Professor knew her that he didn’t even react, just kept turning the pages of whatever ancient book he was reading. Ace continued, “I mean, when we first met, you said we would be fighting a dragon, but then it just turned out to be an illusion made by Kane. All the time since then and we still haven’t fought a dragon, or even seen one.”

Ace had always loved dragons, although her mother had claimed they weren’t real. Giant flying lizards who breathed fire? Wicked.

The Doctor gave her a long-suffering look, “Ace, you don’t just fight a dragon. They’re highly intelligent creatures, far smarter than you or I. They should be respected and reasoned with, not hunted like animals.”

“Alright, can we meet a dragon then?”

“Shouldn’t you be working?” the Doctor asked, ignoring her question.

“I’m trying but this book is making magic sound boring . I didn’t even know that was possible.”

“There’s more to magic than blowing things up,” the Doctor said, tapping her on the nose.

“I know,” Ace sighed. She turned the page to reveal yet another diagram about how certain leaves affected spells. 

Normally it would be easier to pay attention, but today the sun was shining and the wind was blowing and Ace just wanted to run. 

The Professor seemed to take pity on her after a few minutes though, because he closed his book and grabbed his cloak, “Come on then.”

“Ace!"


Ace waved to Benton and Yates as they exited the castle, “Where are we going Professor?”

“To see a dragon of course.” he said, continuing down towards the forest.

Ace frowned. There couldn’t be a dragon this close to the castle, could there?

When she had first started living with the Professor he had given her strict instructions to not enter the forest unless someone else was with her. It was too dangerous, he claimed, fair folk, centaurs, and goblins lived there so it was no place for an untrained wizard. Naturally this meant Ace snuck into the forest whenever possible.

She wasn’t stupid, she usually dragged Mel along with her and always had her Nitro handy. The forest really wasn’t too bad if you stayed on the wider paths. Now though the Professor was leading her deep into the undergrowth, down one of those tiny trails that were only used by deer. (and strange Scottish wizards with no sense of self preservation)

Ace was about to ask the Professor if they were almost there when he suddenly stopped and she crashed into him. 

“Professor-”

“Shhhh,” he said, moving some vines aside with his cane, “In here.”

The vines revealed the entrance to a narrow cave.

“Have you been practicing your light spell?”

Ace nodded.

“Go ahead.” 

Ace took a breath and closed her eyes in concentration. When she opened them a tiny flame danced in her palm, “It worked,” she said in amazement. Noticing the Professor’s look she corrected herself, “I mean, of course it worked. I know what I’m doing.”

“Of course you do.” the Doctor said, summoning his own ball of light, “On we go.”

The cave was narrow, brushing against Ace’s shoulders as she followed the Professor farther into the darkness. The light they carried cast eerie shadows on the walls that danced when they moved. She thought about asking the Professor where they were going, this didn’t seem like the kind of place you would find a dragon, but decided to let him be mysterious this time

Then the Professor turned a corner and disappeared.

“Professor?” 

A hand reached out and pulled her into a room.

“Woah.” The cave transformed from a narrow tunnel to a room so large her tiny flame did nothing to penetrate the darkness.

“Watch this,” The Professor did some complicated looking motion with his staff and sent his ball of light flying into the center of the room. It exploded outward to reveal-

“Dragons,” Ace breathed. 

Hundreds of tiny dragons swarmed around the room, startled by the sudden light. 

One of the braver ones flew over Ace’s head, so close she had to duck. The dragons' wing brushed the top of her head. She laughed, “This is incredible!”

The Professor just watched her and smiled.


They were almost back to the castle when a figure came running towards them.

“What’s the rush Mel?” the Doctor asked as she reached them.

“Hi Mel.”

“Hi Ace,” she said struggling to catch her breath, “We’ve been looking for you two everywhere. Alistair needs you to go to this village, people have been disappearing and there’s rumors of demon cats or something.”

The Doctor frowned at the scroll Mel had handed him, “Well Ace, looks like we’re going to Perrrrrivale.”

Ace bit back a groan, she had hoped to never go there again, “No rest for the weary,” she said smiling at Mel, “See you when we get back?”

“Definitely.”

“Come on Ace!” the Professor said, putting his arm around her shoulder, “We’ve got work to do.”

 

Chapter Text

The Doctor claimed that everything in his workshop was organized. Anyone besides the Doctor would look in the workshop and think that a tornado had just gone through and caused mass chaos. Charley wouldn’t call it organized, but to her it did seem to have a kind of magic to it. Giant fans circled lazily above them, filtering out the steam that spewed from the pipes and machines around the room. Worktables were scattered about, covered in bronze wires and gears and half-finished bits of machinery. The workshop was beautiful, but it was also chaos incarnate, which was why Charley was currently searching through piles of junk trying to find the scrabble board.

She opened a drawer to find a pile of broken light bulbs and gave up, “Doctor!”

“Yes Charley?”

“Where are the board games?”

“In the history section,” the Doctor yelled over the sound of whatever he was working on.

“Why are they in the- never mind.” The Doctor’s mind worked in unusual ways and Charley had learned to just let some things go.

She made her way to the library in the back of the workshop, careful not to bump any of the precariously balanced piles of metal and machinery. The scrabble board was wedged in between two books on the history of board games.

“That explains it,” she muttered, taking it from the shelf.

She was about to head back when she noticed a tiny model hanging from the ceiling. A r101. It was carefully carved out of bronze, complete with miniature engines and lights.

She reached out and tapped it, watching as it twirled around.

She had met the Doctor on an airship like this. She had wanted to escape, to explore, so she had dressed as a cabin boy and snuck on board. Something had gone wrong with the engines. She still remembered the fire swirling around her, still woke up some nights feeling the heat from the flames. The Doctor had saved her. They had shoved a parachute in her arms and helped her jump away from the crash. 48 people had died, but Charley wasn’t one of them.

“Charley? Did you find it?” the Doctor called.

“Yes, I’m coming,” she yelled back, turning away. 

She paused before entering the main area to make sure the Doctor wasn’t about to set something on fire. (It always seemed to happen right as she entered the room). She wasn;t entirely sure what their job was exactly, they seemed to her like a mad scientist, inventing things that challenged people’s way of thinking and broke multiple safety laws.

They also had a tendency to cause explosions which is why everything they owned smelled like smoke.

“Ah good,” the Doctor said, spotting her, “Ready for me to finally defeat you?”

“Considering I’ve won the past 20 times, no,” Charley said. She was pretty sure they let her win. There was no way anyone was that horrendous at scrabble.

She sat down at their usual table, the only one not covered in metal and wire.

The Doctor flipped a switch and the workshop quieted down. The fans slowed to a stop, the machines stopped billowing steam, and the whirring and clicking noises ceased.

“I have a good feeling about this game,” they said, pulling up a chair beside her.

“You said that last time,” Charley reminded them.

“I’m an optimist,” the Doctor said, dividing up the tiles.

Things quieted as they both examined their letters.  

Charley went first with ‘question’.

The Doctor followed and made ‘one’ off of her o.

He was definitely letting her win.



Chapter Text

“Smith!” The general’s voice was harsh and unyielding, “My office!”

Lieutenant Colonel John Smith groaned internally, but did as his officer commanded. Even though the ‘office’ was just a threadbare tent that did nothing to shield against the cold.

“I want to attack,” the general said as soon as he entered, “Tomorrow.”

John paused, “But Sir, that’s Christmas Eve.”

The general glared at him, “And?”

“Well it’s just… it’s Christmas,” John said weakly.

The general slammed the table, “This is war Colonel! We can’t afford to waste an opportunity just because you want to stand around building snowmen. I want you to lead the troops to attack tomorrow!”

“Yes Sir,” John said, ignoring the pit in his stomach.


The trenches were bitterly cold, providing barely any shelter from the wind and snow. Some men sat and played cards or wrote letters back home while huddling together for warmth. Gunfire echoed in the distance.

John couldn’t sit still. He kept pacing, wandering the trenches with no destination in mind. Then he heard something. Something that wasn’t the sound of gunfire or bombs or the cries of injured men. It was music. He got up in the lookout post and looked at the enemy lines. There was a flickering light from a candle and voices. The words were unfamiliar but the tune he knew.

Silent night.

“Beautiful isn’t it?” 

John almost fell over. He turned around to see a young blonde woman, a nurse, staring at him.

“They play most nights,” the nurse continued, nodding towards the trench, “Heard them singing amazing grace once, almost joined in.”

She sat down beside him on the cold earth.

“What’s a girl like you doing in a hellhole like this?” he found himself asking. He dimly thought about how his mother would scold him for cursing in front of a lady but decided it didn’t matter.

The woman shrugged, “Always wanted to be a nurse, then all this happened and I thought ‘now I can really help people.’ I’m not sure I’m doing any good though.”

There was a pause, “What about you?” she asked.

John laughed, but it was cold and bitter, “I wanted to be a Doctor believe it or not, but my father always wanted me to join the army. I thought, ‘Alright, I’ll join up, do my time just to please him, can’t be too bad.’” John paused, rubbing his hand together. This place was too damn cold. “Then of course this bloody war started, and now…” he trailed off.

“Not too late,” the woman said, “Could still be a Doctor when this is over.”

“When this is over,” John wanted to laugh. This war didn’t seem like it would ever end, “Even then, after all I’ve done, I think I’ve lost all right to be a doctor.” How could he take an oath to never do harm when he had killed and killed. When tomorrow the general expected him to attack german soldiers who sang silent night.  

“Who did you lose?” the woman asked after a while.

“My granddaughter,” John said, “Bombs fell in London.”

“I lost my mum,” the woman whispered.

“I’m sorry.”

There was a pause as they remembered.

“The general wants me to attack tomorrow,” John said. He didn’t know why he was telling her, or why it felt like a confession. “Two years ago, my family sat around the fire. I gave Susan this new-fangled sewing machine. She was so excited, said she was going to make me the biggest scarf I’d ever seen,” he cleared his throat, “I know we’re in a war but…”

“But it’s Christmas,” the woman finished.

“It’s Christmas,” he agreed. And it didn’t seem real that the dirt and blood surrounding him was a part of the holiday he used to celebrate. There’s no time for Christmas in war. The general’s voice echoed in his head.

“So don’t do it,” the woman said, “Don’t attack.”

John stared at her, “The general…”

“Isn’t the army,” the woman said, “If the soldiers won’t fight then what can he do?”

John felt something like hope stirring inside him and shoved it down, “It’s still technically treason.”

“I’ll bet you’ve done crazier things.”

John stood up. He was excited now. He could go to Alistair, get the men on his side. They could have a peaceful Christmas. All thanks to…

“What’s your name?” he said, turning around, but the woman was nowhere in sight. Mystified, he shook his head. Had he imagined it all? He couldn’t worry about that right now, he reasoned, he needed to get to Alistair.

He set off down the trench, humming quietly as Silent Night played on in the darkness.

Chapter Text

“Hey Doc, she’s awake.”

John turned to the man standing in the doorway, “Jack, I’ve told you a thousand times, it’s Doctor. I did not suffer through medical school for you to call me Doc.”

Jack shrugged and gave him a winning smile, “Someone’s gotta keep you humble.”

John rolled his eyes, “What room is she in?”

“Room 901.”

John looked at the chart Jack had given him as he walked down the hall. There had been an explosion at Hendriks. Most everyone had already left the building but one girl had been left inside. John shuddered remembering when she first came in, it had been touch and go for awhile, but now she looked like she would make a full recovery.

“Rose Tyler,” he read as he entered the room.

“That’s me,” she said weakly.

“Nice to meet you properly, Rose,” he said, “I’m Doctor John Smith.”

“I would shake your hand but…” she nodded to her hands which were covered in bandages.

The Doctor nodded, “You sustained some second and third degree burns on your arms. Ankle is sprained and you possibly have a mild concussion. We were waiting till you woke up to check that last part.”

She opened her mouth to ask something but began coughing. John rushed to grab her a glass of water, “Also the smoke damaged your lungs.”

“Lovely,” Rose said after she gulped down the water, “Did anyone else besides me make it out?”

John shook his head, “As far as I know you’re the only one they found.”

Rose closed her eyes, “So Wilson’s dead.”

“Probably,” John said. He probably could’ve phrased it better.

“Anyone ever told you you have a terrible bedside manner?”

“All the time.”

Rose was about to say something else when her eyes widened, “Oh my god, mum.”

“What?”

“My mum!” she said sitting up too fast, “She doesn’t know! She’s going to be worried sick. I told her I’d come right home and now... How long was I asleep? Oh she’s probably gotten half the estate on the lookout. Where is my phone?”

“Right here,” John said as soon as Rose paused for a breath, “But don’t worry, we contacted your mother when you first got here, about eight hours ago. She’s down in the lobby, raising hell from what I hear,” he said smiling. Jack had gone to calm her down and returned with a red handprint on his face.

“Why haven’t you let her up yet?” Rose asked.

“We wanted to make sure you were stable first,” John explained, “Now will you please lay down for the sake of my sanity.”

Rose smiled and nodded. The Doctor began checking her heartbeat and blood pressure as well as making sure she didn’t have a concussion. 

“Well Rose Tyler I think you’ll be right as rain in a month or two,” he said, “We’ll keep you overnight at least just to be safe.”

“Thank you.”

“No problem,” he said, sending a quick message to Jack to let Rose’s mother up.

“No, not just for this,” Rose said, “You saved my life.”

John shrugged feeling uncomfortable, “I’m just doing my job.”

“Still. Thank you.” She took his hand. He was about to do something stupid like ask her out when he was unceremoniously shoved away from the bed.

“Rose!” A blonde woman who he assumed was her mother began fussing over her. John looked over at the doorway to see Jack shrugging apologetically, apparently nothing could hold Mrs. Tyler back.

“Best to just step away and let her do her thing mate,” a voice said.

“Who are you?” John asked.

“I’m Mickey, the boyfriend,” he explained.

“Right,” the Doctor said, ignoring the sinking feeling in his stomach, “I’ll give you all an update later.”

He paused in the doorway, looking back at Rose whose mother was hugging her and crying. She met his gaze and smiled, and he couldn’t help but smile back.