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Showing Who's in Charge (Doctor Who, 11th)


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Title: Showing Who's in Charge

Fandom: Doctor Who

Disclaimer: The Eleventh Doctor (http://i42.photobuck...esofVenice.jpg) isn't mine, despite any wishes to the contrary.

Summary: A late night in the TARDIS console room is interrupted by an unexpected problem.

This little oneshot was an idea I had almost immediately after seeing series 6's "The Curse of the Black Spot," aka The One Where the Doctor Touches Alien Bogeys and Later Sneezes into a Handkerchief. Who could resist? I've been working on a couple longer pieces in recent weeks, but since it's been an age since I posted anything new, I thought I'd finally write up this idea. Happy reading!

The Doctor was alone in the console room, having successfully hustled Amy and Rory off to their bedroom. They would get some of that sleep which humans need so much of, or they might possibly get up to those other human things they got up to in their bedroom. That was the more likely option, probably, since Rory had only just escaped being killed, and they had a rather particular way of celebrating instances like that.

Whatever they were doing, the Doctor was glad to have the console room to himself. There were important pressing matters to attend to. The scan he’d taken of Amy alternately read “pregnant” and “not pregnant,” and unless she was incubating Schrodinger’s cat, those result boded all sorts of badness. The Doctor prepared for another night spent poring over the data.

Before he could get to his important pressing matter, however, he was confronted by another that, if not as important, was just as pressing. “Ah-heh…” Though he rummaged as well as he could through his pockets, he couldn’t produce his handkerchief until the hitch in his breath had already got the better of him. A loud “CHOOOO-iuhhhh!” echoed through the console room.

Since he’d gone to the trouble of getting out his handkerchief, the Doctor dabbed lightly at his nose, the way one might mop up a small puddle of milk. He gave an absentminded sniff and returned his attention to the scanner, rubbing his nose with his finger.

The Doctor hadn’t got very far when he realized his nose was still troubling him. It seemed to be leaking – “running,” as the humans called it – and keeping his upper lip dry required regular sniffling. What’s more, he noticed at that moment a discomfort in his throat. It felt rather like he was unsuccessfully attempting to swallow a prickly golf ball. He thought he’d give clearing his throat a try, but it didn’t make any difference.

He was so absorbed in this business that the “Hih-ih-SHUUHHHH!” was halfway out of him before he realized he needed to sneeze again. It was a real corker, this one, and when it was over, the Doctor found himself staring at the glass floor round the console – the force of the sneeze had either bent him double or broken him in half.

Luckily, it turned out to be the former. The Doctor righted himself and made a pretense of straightening his wild brown hair. “Sneeze nubber three,” he murmured to himself – he was counting the original sneeze on the spaceship, the one that had led to his nearly being charbroiled by an angry Siren. “Dot exactly encouraging.”

Three sneezes and a prickly golf ball in his throat. The Doctor had the feeling this was eerily similar to the colds caught by humans and the like. It was possible, he supposed. Those aliens on the spaceship had contracted a human disease of some sort, and the alien bogeys they’d left behind suggested running noses. If a cold virus had mutated to fit the biochemistry of those creature, it might have changed into something a Time Lord could catch. It was a bit worrisome that the aliens on the spaceship were all dead, but the Doctor reasoned that he was made of sterner stuff that they were. If his human companions could withstand the occasional cold, of course he could manage.

Not that it was going down without a fight. “Hah-SHOOOO!” the Doctor sneezed again, cupping his hands over his mouth. Sniffling, he roundly denied that his head was beginning to throb.

Now, what to do about a cold, assuming that’s what it was? Rory would probably say all kinds of boring things about blankets and rest and chicken soup. This was, of course, entirely wrong. He was the Doctor, the Oncoming Storm, and he wasn’t about to be bested by a little cold. No, the thing to do was show it who was in charge, and that most definitely meant not going to bed.

The Doctor returned to the scanner, ready to analyze data – or, at least, very insistent that he was. Though his fingers were drowsier and clumsier than usual, they did their best to dance about the controls. He sifted through the available information on Amy, trying to ignore the spreading ache in his temple and convince himself that his eyelids were by no means drooping. A “SHOOO-iehhh!” caught him off guard and sprayed droplets on the scanner; hastily, he wiped it clean with his handkerchief.

The data drive was being interminably slow. The Doctor gave the scanner a swat. “What’s the batter with you?” he asked, sniffling. The prickly golf ball had started to grow spines, and he was possibly a bit cross about that.

Much to his surprise, an error message appeared on the scanner. “Instability in the data drive,” it read in delicate Gallifreyan script. “Repairing…” The image of a sundial traced itself across the screen, its dial spinning as a tiny sun revolved around it.

“Blibey,” the Doctor muttered. “You steal a ship, take good care of her, add 700 years later…” He paused to bury a “Hih-SHUUUHHH!” in his shoulder. “…She goes to pieces od you.”

A new message popped up beneath the sundial graphic: “Approximately 9 hours remaining…”

“Dine hours!” the Doctor cried, his irritation sending him into a cough. “That’s ridiculous! First of all, you’re a tibe bachine – dine hours has to be a pretty relative codcept for you.”

“Approximately 9 hours remaining…” stared impassively out of the screen at him.

“Secodd,” the Doctor went on, “that is a preposterous legth of time to wait. What ab I supposed to do until thed? Aby add Rory are doh help; they’ll be aslee-“ And then, having understood, the Doctor decided it was as good a place as any to end his sentence.

“Approximately 9 hours remaining…” The words kept unraveling and redrawing themselves across the screen. All the while, the sun kept spinning round the sundial.

“You’re not addy fun at all,” the Doctor announced to the TARDIS. This was resolutely untrue and they both knew it, but the whole episode wasn’t doing a thing to help the Doctor’s crossness. He considered sitting in front of the scanner for all nine hours, thoroughly overestimating the span of his attention.

The script redrew itself once more. “Approximately 10 hours remaining…”

“All right, all right!” the Doctor exclaimed, glowering at the scanner. “You dod’t play fair.”

Within moments, the time remaining had ticked back down to nine hours. The Doctor was about to unceremoniously drag himself out of the console room when an unexpected hissing sound caught his attention. He turned rounded and walked about the console, looking it over for the source of the noise.

He traced it eventually to a blinking light, small and blue. Beside it, hot tea ran from a little spigot into a mug sitting below. The Doctor lifted the mug to his face and breathed in the steamy scent. He gave the console an affectionate rap. “See you id dine hours,” he said softly. Blowing on his tea, he disappeared down the corridor to his bedroom.

Hope you like!

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Awww, the poor Doctor. I love how the TARDIS fusses. She's wonderful. :) Lovely story, thank you lots for sharing. :)

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D'awww. Ever since Doctor's Wife, I have a serious soft spot for fics where the TARDIS looks after her Doctor. And possibly more Whofic to come? So excited!

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I'm glad people like it!

Even though I didn't actually write the story down until recently, let the record show that I had the plot mapped out before I saw The Doctor's Wife. :-)

ohlala8, only one of my current works in progress is a Whofic, but I think it's shaping up nicely. I'd say it's probably about halfway done.

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Oh, this is lovely, lovely, lovely.

I've always wanted some sort of fic after that episode, and something without much Amy/Rory care taking, and this is all of that in one and alskakskadl

Honestly, brilliant job!

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