Erin awoke to the smell of bacon,
freshly cooked it smelled so sweet and there was also the delicate promise of fried eggs and toast to accompany it. She pulled her dressing gown on and also her slippers and left her room.
She followed her nose and was somewhat surprised when it didn’t take her to the dining room, but rather to the
control room. The smell was coming from outside.
Had they landed somewhere? Certainly the Doctor wasn’t known for
her cooking skills, the cornflake incident was a nightmare best forgotten and the less said about that curry the better she’d
feel about loosing her favourite pair of jeans the next day. However the bacon
smelled too good to ignore and she left the TARDIS to discover what the situation was.
She was somewhat surprised to find some old guy in a frilly pink apron hovering over the frying pan.
“Good morning. You must be Erin.”
“Er, yes I
am.” Erin replied.
“What’s going on?”
dropped by last night. She said she had something important to do and that I
should cook you something nice for breakfast. I’m Ian Chesterton by the
way. Take a seat; it’s almost ready to serve.” Ian pointed towards a small table that was just enough for the two of them.
“There’s plenty of tea in the pot, help yourself.”
took a seat and poured herself a cuppa. “I’ve never had this drink
before. Is it like coffee?”
better.” Ian said with a smile. “It’s
smoother and mellower. No bitter after taste.”
not quite my drink though.” The Doctor said casually as she breezed into
the kitchen, a takeaway cup of coffee in one hand and a copy of The Times in the other.
“I’m not one to complain but they do make the questions far too simple these days.”
Ian looked at the
crossword, all the answers were correct, except one. “Doctor, humans didn’t
land on the moon until 1969.”
“We were there
that hardly counts though, does it? Besides you said we had to stay on the dark
side, so no one would ever see our footprints.”
“I know, and
I still have the photos that Susan took.” The Doctor frowned. “Here’s a copy of tomorrow’s Times.”
got this wrong, 1974 is wrong.”
book says 1974.” The Doctor put her library card down on the table. “I’ve been busy. Earth’s
history has been changed.”
looked out of the window. “Cool, you never said they had floating cars.”
“Well we don’t.” Ian replied. “Not for a long time
“Exactly.” The Doctor smiled. “We’re
time travellers; we’d notice such a change. Someone or something has changed
the past and that could be potentially fatal.”
Ian sat down. “Is there anything you can do Doctor?
I know you said you just wanted to catch up with an old friend, but if there’s anything I can do to help. Ever since Barbara went and I lost my job, well I’ve been pottering about with
a houseful of memories and no-one to share them with. I’d like to be useful
again; I’m not a complete write-off yet.”
The Doctor nodded. “I’ve always valued your opinion Ian.
You question everything and never take anything at face value. I do have
a task you can help me with. How are you at surfing the web?”
not a dot com millionaire or an e-whiz kid but I did do an IT course or two in my time.
I may be getting on but I reckon I can google with the best of them.”
The Doctor finished
off her cheap and tasteless coffee. “I need you to find out the exact moment
history went off course. I’d use the TARDIS but Erin and I have somewhere
else to go in the meantime.”
had breakfast.” Erin muttered as she rammed her
fifth slice of toast into her mouth. “This stuff is fantastic.”
The TARDIS landed
with its customary lack of grace, on the side of a mountain no less. Erin
was first out, she looked about to see a landscape of peace and tranquillity below.
It was like seeing paradise or somewhere from the movies, where everything looked impossibly clean and tidy because
it was done by a computer and wasn’t really real. Real places were dirty,
they were lived in, they were worn by the feet of a million people and the building covered in soot and dirt and badly washed
by men who overcharged you for their ‘cleaning’ service.
“Ah, the planet
Prospero.” The Doctor smiled at the view.
“They rose up in the year 85674 to defeat their aggressive neighbours the Darakians.”
is it now?” Erin asked.
The Doctor pulled
her dateifier out of her pocket and looked at the calendar. “Oh dear, this
is not good. It’s 85674.”
“Figures.” Erin replied. “So
these people will get wiped out, unless we help them?”
very likely.” The Doctor went back into the TARDIS.
you going?” Erin shouted inside the spaceship.
The Doctor emerged
again a moment later. “There’s no need to shout like that. It’s very unlady-like.”
how you shout.” Erin muttered.
“Exactly.” The Doctor replied. “I’m
an unlady-like lady. Manners are everything.”
making less sense than usual Doctor.”
The Doctor frowned? “I am? Then it must be working.” She set off towards the city below. “Come
on then, last one there has to kiss a really ugly guy.”
not doing that again.” Erin called out. “Anyway how can you walk down the side of a hill in those shoes?” Erin pointed at the Doctor’s stiletto heeled shoes. “They should dig into the ground and make you fall over.”
“I have a
perfect sense of balance.” The Doctor replied. “I studied at Madame Borusa’s Finishing School for Time Ladies.”
me last week you ran away from school when you were a kid.”
past should be a mystery.” The Doctor replied enigmatically. “And I have a perfect sense of balance, plus they make my legs look sexy.”
“As if that’s
important.” Erin replied. “Comfort’s more important that looks, unless you really want to score with a guy of course. Oh my god, are you on the pull?”
not.” The Doctor replied. “Seduction
is only one tool in my arsenal.”
“I bet all
they think of is your arsenal.” Erin giggled, but
stopped when she saw a serious scowl on her best friend’s face. “So
what’s the story with you and Grandpa Ian?”
just a friend. One of my first if you must know.
Before Susan and I decided to settle down on Earth for a while, I was something of an angry youth. I kept people at a distance; I was aloof and proud of it.”
“I knew a
few people like that.”
“I was a fool. Despite all my bluster and protests to try and isolate myself he and Barbara broke
down my barriers and we became firm friends.”
“He was married
to this Barbara?”
“Not at first,
but I think I helped them along that path. Before I accidentally whisked them
away across time and space they were headed to a bad Christmas party, a night of drunken sex and an appointment with an unsympathetic
back street abortionist, Barbara would have died and Ian lived a life of regret and shame.
Instead thanks to me they found real love for each other.”
a happy story.” Erin smiled.
“In its way
I guess. I only really stopped at the planet to hide a doomsday device and indulge
Susan’s fascination with the natives. I never expected that over the years
it would become a home away from home, of sorts. I have so much to thank them
for, they tempered me in ways I never expected and they also inspired me to see truth and justice served, no matter the sacrifice
or cost. If it hadn’t of been for them I’d probably have turned out
like the Master, or worse, the Rani!
they’re both dead now. Well he is.
She just ran away from everything when she realised that death was coming to claim her.
Such a pity, she had a great singing voice. She could have been a great
The city was everything
it looked from a distance, only better. There was an air of calmness and serenity
in the air. A feeling of peace and tranquillity than transcended Erin’s
soul into a level of calm she had never known since the Doctor had destroyed her planet (for it’s own good of course)
and she had almost forgotten what inner peace felt like. “This place is
so beautiful. I love the streets, the road, the people, the flowers, the dog
doing strange things to my leg and of course you Doctor, my dearest and bestest friend ever.
I love you.”
The Doctor took
a step back as Erin tried to hug her. “Are you feeling
“Never better.” Erin replied.
a dog on your leg.” The Doctor tried not to look at it. “I’ll get some cold water.”
care.” Erin replied.
“I feel so connected to everyone. I love everyone. I want to love everyone.”
The Doctor slapped
Erin. “Snap out of it. It’s not real Erin, obviously something’s affecting you.”
not important.” Erin replied. “Look, there’s a nice man over there. I’m
going to share my love with him.”
The Doctor threw
the bucket of water over her companion. “I think you need this more than
Romeo Rex on your leg.” She aimed the sonic screwdriver at the dog and
slid the settings into the ultrasonic, the dog quickly left.
coughed and spluttered. “What did you do that for?”
about to go and play easy to get with that guy over there.” The Doctor
replied. “I had to save you from yourself.”
affecting me.” Erin replied. “That guy’s worse than the dog.”
threw your out of your funk.” The Doctor looked around. “To save the world, we have to piss it off.”
we just destroy these Drakes?”
and no we can’t. History says that these people rise up. Well I’ve always wanted to get a rise out of history.”
is sooooo lame.” Erin replied quickly.
I predict a riot.” The Doctor picked up a fruit that looked like a tomato
but was purple and squashier. She threw it at a nearby guy. “Ooops.” She threw another one at a group of preening
bimbos. “They just deserved that.”
She threw more fruit.
not working.” Erin replied. “They must be immune to anger.”
funny, I used to upset people just by looking at them. Am I now too pretty to
cause offence? Maybe? Probably. Maybe I should try jealousy instead? I
can be a pouty lipped sex object. It certainly worked for Helen.”
not that pretty.” Erin joked, mostly. “What we need is some really big event. Like a stampede
or a fight. Maybe we can go into a bar and get some guys to fight over us?”
not some sort of pouty lipped sex object.” The Doctor muttered.
not what you said a minute ago.” Erin said sharply. “Maybe I should just punch you? To
get the fight going?”
“No, I spent
hours on my hair last night. It takes longer these days but the results are worth
it. There’s a guy over there giving me serious looks.”
heart.” Erin encouraged the Doctor. “Leave him a crying mess of pain and misery.”
not a heart breaker. Now his nose on the other hand…no, that’s already
been done.” The Doctor looked around.
“Maybe I can just send bad thoughts out?”
not telepaths.” Erin replied.
“I am.” The Doctor said with a smile. “Well
not much. The women of my race still retain some vestigial psychic traits, like
empathy and guessing and of course I can try seduction if they don’t work.”
you said you weren’t going to be a pouty lipped sex object.”
“I can be
anything I like.” The Doctor looked around.
“However today I am going to be a rumour monger. I love spreading
gossip, almost as much as I love spreading my…”
think there’s time for that.”
no time to spread our net over the fishery of information?”
you were about to slut it up with some random guy I didn’t think that was what you were going to say.”
“Is that how
you see me? Just because I like to be playful and am not averse to sending myself
up, you take me seriously? My husband may be dead, but our vows were for life. I could never betray his memory. Besides
I’ve never slutted it up in my life ever, ok just that once, but I was under chemical influence and he never took advantage
of me, pity.”
you saying?” Erin asked. “You’re some sort of tantric love goddess?”
“Hardly. I get less action than a nun on a planet full of eunuchs. Besides it’s a lifetime of celibacy and mourning for me.”
The Doctor looked at a gorgeous guy. “On second thoughts, it couldn’t
hurt to just talk to a nice guy and if we happen to end up in bed together and I get lucky six or seven times then what’s
a Doctor to do?”
worse than my friend Maida, she just wanted to get married and have a baby. She
was completely obsessed. She thought that a woman who didn’t want to be
married and pregnant by sixteen was insane. That’s what led to the slapping.”
slap a pregnant woman, did you?”
not. I slapped her husband; he was trying it on with me.”
ok then.” The Doctor frowned when the gorgeous guy was gone. “Shame, I was going to let him see my knickers on the first date.
At least this planet isn’t getting to me. I have a sudden urge to
undo my blouse buttons and show off my bra.”
you mar arse.”
“I told you
I’m not inclined that way, although you’re very nice and I think we should just be friends.”
“I mean you’re
so affected by this planet.” Erin looked around
to see the Doctor removing her bra. “Put that back on!” She slapped the Doctor, well ok, it was a punch. “Snap
out of it!”
“What happened?” The Doctor sat up. “Why was I lying
down on the road?”
“I had to.”
“Nice punch. I just hope there’s a steak in the fridge when we get back to the ship.”
helped the Doctor back to her feet. “Shouldn’t we just start this
riot, before we both end up naked and pregnant?”
“Omega, yes.” The Doctor fastened her blouse back up. “That
was so embarrassing. Thanks for saving my modesty.”
The Doctor glared
at the big bully. “I said you’re ugly and your mother smelled of
you!” The bully shouted and swung a clumsy punch.
The Doctor avoided
the fist easily. “I could have eaten a bowl of soup quicker than that punch
took you to throw. You’re ugly and your friends agree with me.”
The bully looked
at his friends, who all backed away. “Is that so?”
“Oh yes, he
said that your girlfriend makes you wear a mask while she sleeps with you, otherwise she’d kill herself. That’s why she sleeps with your friend because she likes a real man.
I’ve been with him myself and I can say he’s great in bed, I can see why she cheats on you.”
The bully punched
his ‘friend’ and the others jumped on top of him. The riot had begun.
with my Roger?” Sue shouted. “You
tramp!” She tried to slap the brunette tart.
The Doctor avoided
the angry trollop easily. “Must go, bye.”
me!” Eric called out. “I
never slept with anyone, I think.”
The Doctor looked
around the streets as more and more fights broke out. “Isn’t it glorious?
A new age is dawning. The people will cast off their plodding solitude and go
out into the universe to embrace life and live it to the full. She took hold
of Erin’s hand. “We have to dance.”
The Doctor laughed. “What better way to celebrate the fall of civilisation than dancing?”
joined in both laughing and dancing.
only us.” The Doctor said to Ian.
“I got you a prezzie.” She put the large Prosperonian statue
down next to the pedal bin.
found the biscuit tin and selected a chocolate digestive. “Mmmm, yum-yum.”
add inches to your waist young lady.”
pass me one too. I have a fast metabolism anyway.
The only time I’ll ever go up a dress size is when I’m in the club, up the duff, avec enfant, mit kinder,
hanging a doughnut.”
your kids.” Erin laughed.
Ian walked into
the kitchen. “I thought I heard the TARDIS.”
“Did you find
anything?” The Doctor asked Ian.
“Yes. It wasn’t 1974 as you thought. History
actually started to go wrong on November 23rd 1973.”
ten years to the day since I met you and Barbara.” The Doctor dipped into
her handbag and pulled out her 3000 year diary. “Here: Met Ian Chipperfield
and Barbara Wright. He’s a bit pushy and she’s rather bossy but they
both seem to respect my authority.” The Doctor laughed. “If only.”
Ian smiled. “You just needed someone closer to your own age, relatively speaking, to bring
you out of your shell.”
of the problems with travelling with my granddaughter. Even though we were so
close, we were so far apart at the same time.”
“And you had
to hide a doomsday device.” Erin added.
dealt with now.” The Doctor replied.
“Like all weapons, it went bang. So, it’s 1973 then? Good grief, I wore the most awful shirts back then.” She looked at Ian. “How would you like another trip
inside the TARDIS?”
a little old for that sort of thing now.” Ian said with a laugh. “Besides you have enough help with Erin.
I’d just get in the way.”
“Oh, ok.” The Doctor looked at the TARDIS. “We’d
better be going then. It was good to meet you again Ian.” She shook his hand and was somewhat surprised when he kissed her.
take good care of her.” Erin said quickly. “Don’t kiss me though.” She
shook Ian’s hand. “Thanks for breakfast too, it’s was delicious.”
Ian watched as the
TARDIS dematerialised. “Goodbye Doctor.”
“Who was that?” Barbara asked, as she walked into the kitchen.
Doctor.” Ian replied.
“Oh, did I
miss her?” Barbara asked. “She’s
such a nice girl, much nicer than that grumpy one with the silly coat.”
Ian held Barbara’s
hand. “The Doctor gave us the best gift imaginable.”
Barbara smiled. “I know, she gave us each other.”
She looked at the statue. “Is it solid gold?”
make our pensions go a lot further if it is.” Ian smiled too. “Good old Doctor.”
The front door opened
and Susan walked in. “Did I miss Grandma again? Oh never mind.”