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One Day in a Million

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"You're imagining things," David remarked with a dismissive shake of his head, his eyes fixed on the web of circles and lines stretching across the screen in front of him. They shimmered and morphed as his fingers flew across the buttons and levers that controlled his temporal experiment.

"I'm not. The TARDIS hates plants. I'm sure of it," Will insisted. He leant against the edge of the perdamporal frenambulator to watch David work.

David's eyes twitched toward him for a moment. "Get off of that. You might set it off," he warned. Will hopped back to his feet as David continued. "He does not. The arboretum and the orchard are progressing nicely. Granted, they only have a handful of plants apiece, but they're all healthy."

Clenching his jaw, Will crossed his arms over his chest with a huff. "He killed my cactus, David!"

David didn't even look up. "He did not. You simply didn't water it enough."

"It's a cactus, mate!" Will squeaked. "It doesn't need watering. It shriveled up and died, in just two days!"

David shrugged as he moved to adjust the optic gravitron, peering into the eyepiece as he stepped on the pressure plate and spun the three dials on the front. "Localised temporal acceleration."

Inhaling sharply to launch into an invective, Will quickly bit it back and paused to collect his temper. "You mean," he finally pronounced in a low, calm voice, "it aged to death in two days."

"Aye. About sixteen months passed. I told you: you didn't water it enough," David explained in an utterly reasonable tone as he continued to fiddle with the dials.

"And that doesn't prove that the TARDIS hates my cactus?"

With a sigh, David stepped back from his work and regarded his friend without apology. "Well, you have to admit, it is poky," he explained, the Scottish 'o' of the last word exaggerated through pursed lips.

Will blinked. "The TARDIS doesn't like poky plants?"

"Would you if you dropped it on your foot?" asked David. At Will's confused frown, he elaborated, "You dropped the thing while you were repotting it. It hurt."

Will's jaw dropped open, and he sputtered, "It hurt? It's a spaceship! The floor's made of..." Looking down at his feet, he toed and stamped on the material beneath him. "...Whatever it's made of! How can it hurt?"

David just looked at him.

Will rolled his eyes. "Oh, all right. No more cactuses, mate."

David couldn't keep it in anymore and smothered his laugh with a hand. "It's okay, Will. He got his revenge on your cactus and that's all he wanted. You can get another one and he won't do anything to it." At the rise of Will's sceptical eyebrow, David added, "I promise."

"I don't believe you," Will growled.

Though he'd schooled his expression back to neutral, David's eyes were still shining with amusement. "Okay, I admit that I can't control his whims, but right now, I assure you he has no designs on any future cacti you might procure."

Will snorted. "We'll see."

David nodded as he turned back to his work. "I'm sure we will."