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My own foray into cake...



The day, when it last came had dawned a like any other, the Doctor was rattling around his ship feeling a bit glum and listening to music Martha may have dubbed emo when someone knocked on the door of his TARDIS. This was very strange for two reasons, the first being that most people were fooled by the perception filter and didn’t even notice the TARDIS, the second being that the Doctor was happily floating loose in the vortex at the time the knock occurred. His slightly off-key voice didn’t realise how startled the rest of him was at first and instead continued singing.

“And all the bridges you burn, leave you trapped…oh, blimey, the door!” The Doctor opened the door without realising how extremely odd the knocking had been, to his surprise he found only a small square cake box left in the doorway. Its packaging was a pristine white cardboard tied with a deep blue satin ribbon and the Doctor frowned in concentration. He wasn’t sure which bit of his now very disturbing morning worried him the most. Was it the fact that someone had found him in the vortex? Was it that they had taken him by surprise? Or was it the fact that someone had been able to survive the vortex in order to find him? This faceless being had risked death, and for what? To leave a cake box on his imaginary stoop? Unless it wasn’t a cake at all, he fished hurriedly through his pockets removing half a package of crisps, a broken slinky, a pen and a few gum bands before triumphantly extricating his stethoscope from the crowded left pant pocket. Cautiously, he approached the box, careful not to set anything waiting inside off, he gently listened to the package and was shocked to hear: absolutely nothing. The box was silent and a bit heavy, as if it actually contained a cake and the Doctor’s worried frown deepened and creased his brow.

The music played on, now having moved to another song but the words were distant and tinny sounding in the Doctor’s ears. “Your song is almost done,” he could hear Ood Sigma’s words in his mind drowning out all other sounds and his suddenly over dry throat clicked loudly when he swallowed. There was no reason to get so hung up on a cake box when there was an entire universe outside his door awaiting his arrival. Yes, he had rescues to manage and planets to save; surely he didn’t have time for histrionics regarding cake. No matter how odd the cake box was, no matter how loudly Ood Sigma’s voice echoed in his mind, no matter how hard his hearts pounded in his narrow chest, he hadn’t time for such dramatics over a simple gift. With renewed purpose and vigour the Doctor spun the controls of the ancient time ship sending them both spinning through the vortex. The vortex which now seemed ominous to him and for the first time teeming with pathways he was loathe to explore. Instead he had set the coordinates for somewhere nice and safe; somewhere nobody could slip in and out delivering messages of death disguised as confectionary delights. His stomach growled as he thought and his eyes hovered briefly over the cake box before returning disgustedly to the half package of crisps he had freed from the confines of his pocket.

“Couldn’t hurt to just have a look see, could it?”
The question was clearly rhetorical as he promptly opened the box and felt his mouth water in response though his eyes narrowed in the same. It looked like any normal cake, it didn’t tick and he was suddenly hungrier than he had been in ages. Quickly, he slammed the box lid closed, sealing himself from the temptation within and likely damaging what may have been a perfectly ordinary chocolate cake aside from the strange circumstances surrounding its arrival. The TARDIS bumped and groaned wheezily announcing their arrival to both himself and whoever happened to be about outside the doors of the ancient vessel, not that it mattered who was outside those doors because he had set the controls somewhere safe, somewhere no stranger could leave a gift unannounced. He had set the controls for UNIT HQ.

The Doctor stepped out of the lovely ambient lighting of his TARDIS and into the crackling almost strobe-like fluorescent lighting that all government buildings on Earth seemed to have. The too thin carpeting made his trainer-clad footsteps click nearly as much as did the booted soldiers. The Doctor shuddered at the similarity and headed straight toward his old lab. He passed two different desks before anyone had asked after his credentials and quick flash of psychic paper had silenced them. Apparently he was not John Smith today, which failed to strike him as odd in spite of how very odd this fact actually was. Had he noticed he may have been more prepared for what he found in his office, instead the Doctor continued his near frenetic pace heading back to the room that had at once time served as his home. He found the halls happily deserted and briefly worried he’d come all this way unhindered only to push open the door and see Malcolm now occupying the space that was meant to be his. These worries proved unfounded however when he opened the door and found himself staring himself in the eye.

“I see. Who are you then?” His younger self asked him, clearly startled. The tenth Doctor merely grinned and raced to where his third incarnation stood. After pumping the other man’s fist enthusiastically up and down several times the tenth Doctor again grinned, a sideways “Aren’t-I-ever-so-cheeky”.

“It takes a while to explain, but more or less, I’m you, just much much older, where’s Sarah, Doctor, is she here?”

“Are you feeling alright, old chap?” The younger queried.

“No, had a bugger of a day, hey, you can do the analysis, you’re more familiar with this place than I am anymore, I haven’t been here since oh, right, since the Sontarans-“
“Doctor, I think it may be best for all involved if you just managed to quiet down a bit, yes? Now where is Jo with that tea? I do believe we could both do with a cuppa, yes?”

“Jo Grant, BLIMEY! I haven’t thought of her in,” the Doctor caught the quiet warning look in his younger’s eyes and grinned, “Right, spoilers, you’d do well to learn that term a few years early.”

The Doctor turned to leave, he was surprised by how very much he wanted to see Jo and more surprised by quickly he got his wish. The tenth Doctor crashed solidly into a small feminine blond form, sending the tea tray fly from her hands, effectively covering both himself and the floor with tea and jam; he leapt up from the floor and nearly lost his footing, sliding forward to regain his balance he instead crashed into a wall.

“Hot, hot, hot, hot, I need to change. Let me go my TARDIS. Great to see you, Jo,” he called as he rushed from the room, Jo, for her part looked mildly amused and highly confused. She had managed to avoid the tea soaking and turned anxious eyes to her Doctor.

“Doctor?”

“Don’t mind him, Jo, he’s me, it seems. Sorry about the tea, seems he’s having an off day, well I hope it’s an off day, I’d hate to see myself turn into such a ham-fisted fool on a permanent basis.”

Jo set herself to picking up the serving pieces that lay scattered about the floor while the Doctor returned to working on his ship, still convinced changing this one part would free him of his exile. Neither noticed the silent soldier slipping in. Their failure to notice him ended abruptly as the aforementioned soldier pulled a much too futuristic gun from his UNIT holster.

“That’s not regulation, old son,” The Doctor murmured as the man motioned for the pair to sit closely together, “Best do as he asks, Jo.” The pair shuffled over to the corner as the sound of a materialising TARDIS filled the room. The rogue UNIT soldier suddenly began tearing at his face, as if to rip it off and JO screamed.

The tenth Doctor was changing his clothes when the scream erupted from outside of where his TARDIS had just landed, not bothering to finish dressing he raced out the door only to slip in the spill, his arms pin wheeled as he fought for balance, knocking down the lovely cake box and managing to smear chocolate across his naked form. The Doctor landed on his bum hard enough to make his teeth clatter together and quickly he jumped to his feet and raced out the door only to find his younger self and his old flame being tied up by the Master, but not his suave and unsettling Master, no his old friend and nemesis pointy beard of evil and all.

“Well, Hello! Don’t tell me a daft rubber mask got you past security, how could I forget that?”

“Who the bloody hell are you and why are you naked? Really, Doctor, I’d expect a bit more class from you, though he is trim…”

The Third Doctor glanced up red-faced from the embarrassment he felt both for and because of his elder self.
“It’s not what you think, he’s me”

“Really? Mastur-“

“Master, really! I haven’t time for this sort of nonsense, why not get to the bit where you tell us all about your evil plan,” interrupted the third Doctor before the Master could say anything more. And further the embarrassment of the two Doctors.

“Get over there” the Master motioned for the tenth Doctor to join the third and Jo and he did so reluctantly, somehow this was not anything like he had imagined many years ago when thinking of being naked in Jo’s presence.

“I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, I’m the Doctor by the way, your Doctor. Only not and please don’t take any of this personally or to heart.”

Just then the Master too slipped in the tea mess accidentally firing his TCM. He watched horrified as the shot went wide and hit the naked man square in the chest, the Master was furthered horrified when the naked man began to regenerate into an even younger naked man proving his claim of being the Doctor true. The newly regenerated Doctor ran a finger down his frosting smeared chest and stuck in mouth.

“Mmm, death by chocolate,” he murmured.

And so it was that Ten died, naked, covered in cake and chained to the third Doctor.

And He is Happy Now

He has been happy. He knows this. He has been wildly happy, he has abandoned himself to joy, and he hearts-brokenly acknowledges that fact. It is, in fact, those very joys that haunt each time he stops to think that perhaps the universe could be a bit fairer. After all the good he has managed, the suffering he has been privy to, on all sides. The suffering he has endured, the suffering he has witnessed, and the suffering he has caused all come to his defence, each time he wonders what might be in it for him aside from countless more deaths.
Still, he has been happy. There was Jo Grant, for instance. Dear, sweet Jo Grant and although she had left him, in the end, she had left him in hope; she had left him with her innocence intact (…”only human”...wasn’t that what she had said to him?). Nor was Jo the only time, no indeed, before her there had been Jamie. Jamie, who, for all his bluff and bluster had been an extremely frightened and extremely apt pupil. Jamie who sought to protect his fey friend from a world that Jamie himself did not understand. Jamie, who never had a chance to know what it was that he had lost.
Yes, he has been happy. There was Sarah Jane, wouldn’t do to leave out dear Sarah. Sarah, with her compassion-filled eyes and compelling questions; it was Sarah, who had taught him to trust again, after that abysmal mess with Jo. Moreover, it was Sarah he had left, stranded and far from home; his lips stained with glib promises, his eyes bright with unshed tears. Yes, there was Sarah…and there was Romana. Romana, who, for all her academic wisdom, was so desperately naïve. Romana who had taught him the value of fact; Romana, whom he had taught the wisdom of rebellion. And who can say which the better off for having known the other is? He can.
And yet, he has been happy. He knows this. There was Teagan, strange sort she. Lovely, brittle Teagan, who more than once brought his cruelty home to him; Teagan who insisted he understand. Teagan with her tears and indignant fury, that had accomplished what all the countless angry mobs had not been able to. Teagan who had insisted he consider the man he was. And if Teagan had made him real, than Ace had made him whole. Ace, with her oh-so-tough-exterior and her oh-so-desperate-need; Ace whose trust had been violated and whose heart had shattered, and all in the name of what? Ace, whom he had nearly broken and Ace who had broken him.
But, he has been happy. There was Rose. Beautiful, yellow Rose. Rose had who brought back the wonder of it all. Rose who had reminded him of why he had “liberated” the TARDIS in the first place. Yes, there was Rose and there was Donna. Brave, beautiful Donna, who alone had the wisdom and experience to comprehend what it was that she had done in helping him push down that lever in Pompeii. Lovely, intuitive Donna, who would never fail to point out the elephant in the room. Donna who had known it wasn’t the time for words after that incident on Midnight. Donna who had paid the ultimate price for saving the multi-verse: absolute anonymity.
Oh yes, he had been happy and he paid for it nightly with pieces of his soul, if he had such a thing left. He had been happy, and he remembers this each time he wants to plead for mercy from the cosmos; each time he knows that he can take no more, he remembers that he has been wildly, desperately happy and can ask for nothing more.

Bickering

She had said he was a hard man. She had accepted that as truth. What she hadn’t expected, what she hadn’t been ready for, was how very much she was the same. She glared at the alien whom she called husband from across the cell.
“You just had to ask after his mum, didn’t you? Couldn’t just walk away, oh no! Not you, never could do. You. Just. Had. To. Ask. After. His. Mum.” Her voice rose and cracked on that last syllable, as if the very mechanics of her body recognized it as the crux.
On the other side of the small bench the man sat almost completely still. If you didn’t know any better you would think he was sleeping. She, however, knew better, knew much better actually. He was biding his time, waiting for the last possible moment to implement his plan. A plan certain to be chock-full of needless derring-do and histrionic heroism. She bit back the angry barrage of accusations when he stirred, lazily opening one eye in that droll, intelligent way he had. That droll, intelligent way that she usually found so fetching. But not today. Not on a hostile planet filled to bursting with large goobery aliens wielding pointy flashing sticks that were far less harmless than they appeared. And certainly not in a cramped jail cell on the aforementioned Planet of the Goobers.
“How was I to know he was a mummy’s boy from way back? Honestly, River, I’m good, I’m not a god. Besides, I give you my personal guarantee no mother would be pleased hearing those sorts of phrases issue from the mouth of their beloved Walford, we-ll, the sheer scope of his vulgarity is astounding even for me, and that’s saying quite a lot, six billion languages I speak. Regular intergalactic dictionary, me-” catching the woman’s frightful look, a look that meant she had nearly had it with his prattle, he wrapped up “But, clearly this isn’t about me at all.”
He flashed her his most brilliant smile, his million pound smile, the smile that screamed “I kissed the universe and made it cry”, the smile she had fallen in love with. She glared back at him and crossed her arms tightly over her narrow chest.
“Not havin’ it, Doctor. Not at all.”
“Not at all? Really? Not even a bit? Come on, that’s just cheating.”
“Not in a sporting mood I find.” River stood and walked the three steps to the jail door, trying again to shake it free of its hinges. She could feel his amused grin beaming out at her. As if she were a toddler, again pulling on the cupboard locks, again hoping they would work, in spite of all laws of physics.
“Won’t work, love, they’ve sealed it at the molecular level. Nothing at all can pass through that door, not even me.”
“Not even you?” She tossed his words back at him bitterly the taunt in her tone forcing him to remember his earlier declaration. The one insisting he wasn’t a god.
“Nope, not a chance.”
“So that’s it then? We’re stuck? Here on the Planet of the Goobery-things? Cos, I’ve got a dig, mate, and you promised, you promised, this was a quick-one-shot-River-you-absolutely-must-see-this-amazing-thing-a-majig-so-I-can-impress-you-with-how-I-live-where-you-work-trip.” She fell silent at his hang-dog expression and sighing, resigned herself to sitting beside him for eternity.
‘Oi! Hang on a tick, did you truly just say stuck to me? Me? River Song, have you met me? Cos, I’m the Doctor and I’m brilliant”
“So then we’re not stuck?”
“Never”
“So you’ve a plan then?”
“Never”
“Right then, what, we just sit here?”
“We-ell” he played with the word turning into some polysyllabic equivalent of a pregnant pause, “That and wait, yeah.”
“Wait? Wait for what?”
The door in front of them slid open with an audible click and the man bounded to his feet, a cheeky grin that daren’t show on his lips dancing in his gaze.
“For that, love, for that.”
“I hate you, you are aware, yes?”
“Mmm, quite, you’ve told me at some rather inappropriate times, mind this isn’t half so bad as that time on Asguard.”
“What now then?” she interrupted, glancing askew at the open door
His outstretched hand flipped palm side up whilst the fingers it housed waggled an invitation.
“Now we run and you love it.”
“Yeah, reckon I do.”
She had said he was a hard man. She had accepted that as truth. What she hadn’t expected, what she hadn’t been ready for, was how very much she was the same.

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donna's grandfather, bernard cribbins, doctor who, wilf, wilfred mott
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