Fandom(s): Doctor Who
Characters: Fourth Doctor, Eighth Doctor, Leela
Word Count: 595
Summary: Murderous robots hard on their heels, the Doctors and Leela flee whilst trying to find the TARDIS.
Author's notes: Written for the "Wit" drabble challenge at who_contest. This is an interpretation of a scene from "The Light at the End", and the dialogue is Nicholas Briggs', not mine. It's an attempt at something like a novelisation of an existing episode.
The moment the two men burst through the door, they stopped in their tracks, Leela nearly crashing into them. With no thought for her, they peered at the display cases and stands arrayed about the cavernous room.
“Some kind of museum,” murmured the Doctor, his scarf trailing behind him as he strode further in.
“A military museum,” corrected the Doctor, pointing at a laser rifle. He swept his long dark hair out of his eyes. “Look at that.”
Leela slipped past them, to an exhibit of primitive weapons. “This is a good crossbow!” She plucked the weapon from its stand and began cinching the string back with the lever. Three sharp bolts sat in sconces next to the stand, and in a moment, there were only two, as Leela fit their companion into the flight groove.
The tall Doctor favoured Leela with a condescending smile. “And in working order, I see. Careful with that, Leela.”
Leela straightened with a haughty toss of her head. She was highly skilled with knife, spear, bow, and especially crossbow and posed no threat to anyone in this room with this prize in her hands. Those outside of this room, however…
“We will need it. The metal things are not far behind us,” she reminded him. How could he forget the mortal peril from which they had been running? This large chamber had no other exits and soon, they would be trapped. But they had come here for a reason and she must also remind them of that. “Other Doctor, have you found this TARDIS you seek?”
Inspecting a cannon, the Doctor in the green coat whirled at her address and began scanning the room with his screwdriver.
“It’s in here somewhere,” he murmured, rotating slowly on the spot. A few seconds later, he stopped and turned back a bit, training the tip toward one corner. “Wait a minute, wait a minute... There!”
The Doctor grinned an impossible number of teeth. “It’s disguised as a military tank.”
“Can’t belong to us, then,” the Doctor mused, “unless one of our future selves bothers to fix the chameleon circuit.”
“Could we really become that vulgar?”
Leela scowled. Here the Doctor was again, in great danger, moments from battle, and he concerned himself with propriety, with appearances? Had he not yet learnt from her to regard their enemies with proper respect? Worse yet, this second version of him here - he’d called it “ree-jeh-neh-ray-shun” - he was no better than the first. Only she could keep her wits about her. No matter. As always, she would protect them both until they finally focussed on the matter at hand. She hefted the crossbow, aiming at the open door. “They are here,” she growled. “I can smell them.”
Two shiny robots floated into the room. “You-will-be-detained-for-questioning.”
“Doctors,” she called over her shoulder, “you had better find a way to get this TARDIS open.”
The other Doctor tugged at the tank’s hatch. “It won’t open!”
“Get back, metal ones,” Leela shouted, “I am warning you!”
“Put-down-the-weapon,” the first robot was screeching. “Put-down-the -”
Leela fired. The bolt pierced the machine through and it crashed to the ground. As she began winding the weapon again, the second robot advanced. “You-will-now-be-treated-as-hostile.”
“Quickly!” she called. “I cannot reload fast enough!” But, she noted with satisfaction, it had been sufficient. The two Doctors huddled around the metal machine, arguing with each other on how to break its lock. She had done her job, pointing them toward the goal, and they would solve the problem… at the last second, she was sure.