Dean pulled the Impala up to the motel room parking lot. Sam was bleeding from a gash in his scalp and Cas was nursing what was probably a broken left wrist. Dean had gotten off relatively unscathed, but still, the Apocalypse sucked.
As they got out of the car, there was a rumbling, grinding sound. Immediately Dean started looking around for the threat. A moment later a blue box appeared in front of them, and all he could think was Can’t we ever get a break?
The door opened and Sam trained his gun on it, although the blood in his eyes meant he wouldn’t be able to hit anything. Dean did the same.
Whatever they were expecting, it wasn’t what they got. The door opened and a skinny guy in a suit and long coat bounded out. He was wearing sneakers, his hair looked like he’d stuck his finger in a light socket, and he looked altogether too perky. “Hello!”
Dean lowered his gun, cautiously. “Who the hell are you?”
“Me? I’m the Doctor.”
“Doctor who?” Sam demanded.
“Just the Doctor. You couldn’t tell me what year it is?”
Sam blinked. “Uh…2009?”
“Hm. Missed the mark by a few months,” he muttered.
“OK, back to my question, who the hell are you?” Dean demanded.
“I told you, I’m the Doctor,” he repeated, sounding impatient.
“Yeah, you did, and that tells me exactly squat. In case you haven’t noticed I have a gun, and I’ve had a really shitty year.”
“Dean…” Castiel began.
The Doctor held up his hands. “OK, OK. Don’t do anything rash! By the way, am I in America? You sound American.”
“Where else would you be?” Sam wanted to know.
“Well, I just left Rezalphin Prime actually, if you want to know.”
“Rezalphin…” Sam repeated.
He nodded enthusiastically. “Great place! Beaches of purple sand! Magnetic nebulae.”
“OK, yeah, nice to have met you, but we have to go now,” Dean said, grabbing hold of Cas and steering him away.
“Oh, don’t go yet! I don’t even know your name.”
“Robert Plant,” Dean responded without thinking.
“I don’t think so. I’ve met him, and you don’t look like him.”
“You’ve met the lead singer of Led Zeppelin,” Dean repeated, turning back. His first impression was right. The guy was definitely crazy.
“Yeah. Saw him at the Albert Hall in 1970.”
“Good for you. We’re leaving now.”
“Hold on,” Sam said. “What is that?” He gestured to the box.
“What, this? It’s my TARDIS.”
“Time and Relative Dimensions in Space. It’s how I travel.”
“In that?” Dean demanded. “How do you fit?”
The Doctor grinned, opening the door. “Come see.”
Reluctantly, Dean went inside. Sam and Cas followed him.
Sam gaped at the huge room they found themselves in, wiping the blood out of his eyes. “It’s impossible! It’s…”
The Doctor grinned. “Bigger on the inside than the outside, yeah.”
Sam went back outside, presumably to try and figure out the trick. Trick… Dean turned to Cas. “He’s not the Trickster is he?”
Cas shook his head. “No. Although I’m at a loss as to exactly what he is.”
“Me? I’m a Time Lord,” the Doctor said, overhearing.
“What the hell’s that?”
“I’m from Gallifrey.”
“And where’s that?”
The Doctor’s face suddenly became mournful. “Nowhere anymore. It’s gone.”
Sam came back in, looking like he’d had the rug yanked out from under him. “How…?”
“Dimensionally transcendent technology,” the Doctor said dismissively.
Dean yanked Sam and Cas over to a corner of the room. “OK, I dunno what the hell’s going on. I thought he was the Trickster, but Cas says he’s not.”
Cas shook his head. “I have never encountered anything like him before.”
“What?” Sam protested. “But you’re an angel!”
Cas shrugged, looking uncomfortable. “Nevertheless, he is something outside my experience.”
“Which means we assume he’s dangerous until we find out otherwise. Although getting a straight answer out of this guy seems impossible.”
Sam nodded. He walked over to a large pillar in the center of the room, where the Doctor was fiddling with knobs and levers. “Excuse me.”
The Doctor looked up and beamed at him. “Hello! Sorry, I don’t think I caught your name?”
“It’s Sam. Sam Winchester. That’s my brother Dean, and this is Castiel.”
The Doctor nodded. “Pleased to meet you! I always like meeting new people.”
“This…TARDIS?” Sam asked and the Doctor nodded. “What does it do?”
“It’s my ship. My home. It travels through time and space.”
“Wait, time travel?” Dean demanded. “You’re not with Zachariah, are you?”
The Doctor looked confused, but Cas said, “No, Dean, he’s not an angel.”
“OK, not an angel, most likely not a demon, are we ever going to find out what he is?”
“I’m an alien,” the Doctor said. “Technically. Although I don’t like that term.”
“There’s no such thing as aliens,” Sam protested.
“Where’ve you been?” the Doctor asked him. “Don’t you remember the Daleks and Cybermen a few years ago? Or the ATMOS?”
Dean shook his head. “We’ve been kinda busy with the Apocalypse.”
“Another one? Look, I’d love to help, really, but I’m going to die any time now.”
Dean opened his mouth, shut it, stared, and threw up his hands in disgust. “You’re nuts.”
The Doctor grinned. “You’re not the first one to tell me so. But, seriously, the Apocalypse? What happened?”
“The sixty-six seals were broken and the devil’s walking free,” Dean said, not wanting to get into the details with the guy. “Lucifer’s trying to get my brother to agree to let him possess him, the only way to stop him is for me to agree to be a vessel to Michael, we’ve got demons and angels breathing down our necks, and he’s the only one who’s not a dick,” he gestured to Castiel.
“You’re an angel? Really?” The Doctor’s face lit up, and when Castiel nodded he enthusiastically pumped his hand. “I’ve never met an angel before! Usually it’s all aliens, although, as I said, I don’t like that term. Nice people, most of them, although on Orroris Three they have a tendency to have bad body odor.”
Castiel stared, and extricated his hand with some difficulty, moving to stand next to Dean.
Dean gave Sam a look. He shrugged helplessly in return. He’d only understood about a quarter of the stuff this ‘Doctor’ had said, and hadn’t believed any of that.
“You don’t look so good,” the Doctor said suddenly.
“Yeah, well, fighting demons will do that to you,” Sam said dryly.
“Really demons? I’ve met things that claimed to be demons, but they were always something else.”
“Really demons,” Dean said. “Holy water, exorcisms, the whole nine yards.”
“Well, anyway, you’d better come along to the medbay.”
Dean looked at Sam. He shrugged. “We do need to get patched up.”
“OK, fine,” Dean agreed reluctantly. “But we meet McCoy, I’m outta here.”
They followed the Doctor through a hallway, down a flight of stairs, past what looked like a bedroom, along another hallway, through what looked like a library, at which Sam stopped and gaped, up more stairs…
“Just how big is this thing, anyway?” Dean muttered, as the Doctor stopped and looked around.
“Hmm,” he muttered.
“What’s wrong?” Sam asked.
“Nothing, nothing! Just seem to have got a bit turned around.”
“You don’t know your way around your own ship?”
“Of course I do, just…Ah! This way!”
The “medbay” didn’t look like anything out of Star Trek. It looked more like a combination between a garage and an office. The Doctor (what does he do, travel around the galaxy healing random people?) took out a rod that glowed blue and hummed and ran it over Sam’s forehead. Dean started toward him, but before he could do anything the Doctor had moved away, still talking. “Nasty gash, but no concussion. I can fix that in a tick.”
“If you’re an alien why do you sound English?” Dean demanded.
“I spend most of my time in England when I’m on Earth,” the Doctor said absently, picking up a round flat metal thing off a table and setting it on Sam’s forehead. “Leave that there until it beeps,” he said as Sam automatically reached for it.
Next he turned to Cas, running the blue humming thing over his wrist. “Hairline radial fracture…crushed scaphoid…but it looks like it’s already begun to heal.”
Cas actually looked defensive. “I am an angel.”
“Right, right, sorry! But would you like some help with that? It won’t hurt.”
Cas blinked at him, opened his mouth, closed it and shrugged.
The Doctor went to what looked like an ordinary wall, which swirled and revealed a storage space. He rummaged around in it for a few moments. “Hmm, where did I…ah, there you are!”
He put what looked like a plastic and metal half-bracelet on Cas’ wrist, then turned to Dean, who put his hands up.
“I’m fine. I don’t need your alien technogadgets.”
“I’ll be the judge of that,” the Doctor said and took out the humming thing again.
“What is that?” Dean demanded.
“Sonic screwdriver,” he replied absently, then, before Dean could comment, added, “Well you’re right. Nothing but a few scrapes and bruises. You should be fine.”
Told you, he though sullenly.
Sam had taken the thing off his head and was looking around curiously. Dean took that as his cue to leave, before his geek brother started asking questions that had answers with six-syllable words.
“Well, thanks for patching us up, but we really need to be going.”
“Oh, really?” The Doctor actually looked disappointed. So did Sam.
“Yeah, love to stay and chat, but we have an Apocalypse to stop and all.”
“Oh, that’s right. I’ll show you out.”
“But–” Sam said, but the Doctor was moving again, and not listening to him.
Outside the TARDIS (which still looked like a blue phone booth, dammit) the Doctor shook their hands until they’d almost come off.
“Well, good luck with the Apocalypse, hope you stop it, I’ve always rather liked this planet. I might pop in again later to see how you got on, but you can never really tell with the TARDIS.”
“Uh…okay?” Dean said.
Then the door closed and a moment later there was the same grinding sound and it faded out.
Dean looked at Sam. “Did we just meet an alien?” he asked, just to make sure.
“With a blue box?” he persisted.
Dean turned to Cas. “And did he fix your wrist?”
“And Sam’s head?”
He nodded again.
Dean made a decision. “Who wants to get drunk?”