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Doctor Who: State of Play [fanfiction]

DOCTOR WHO:

State of Play

The Doctor couldn’t resist any longer.

Resistance was useless in a situation such as this.

All those eras she had lived through, ruthless pirate captains, horned nimons , manipulative space/time traps, all of it paled to the persistent conundrum of the very irritable human presence in front of her as she sat rather impatiently within the waiting rooms of the local medical clinic.

A young human girl, approximately five years of age, playing with a large red beach ball, repeatedly bouncing it across the edge of the wall and back to her. Five seconds worth of peace and quiet between each shot.

The Doctor could read a room like it was the history of everything you could ever find, she could gauge reaction and emotion just from seeing the faces of all those around her. Some burying their heads in an old magazine, forcing themselves to focus on the text, staring blankly at the celebrity snaps. Some twitching, some coughing loudly as if hoping it would put the young girl off the activity or allow her parents to ‘get the message’ and directly intervene.

But perhaps the most tragic and telling of the reactions was a teenage lad forming a small pistol with his right hand and taking ‘aim’ at the girl and mimicking gunfire noises. Unfiltered, as loud as he could.

The Doctor realised this was taking it too far. Why couldn’t any of them just talk to the girl?

This menace had form, but not yet, to her knowledge, a name.

She would ask her of it.

“Hi, young lady, don’t mind me asking, what’s your name?” she said.

“Annabelle” the girl replied.

“You seem a little distracted, well, a lot, where are you parents?”

Annabelle pointed over to a corner of the room where her mother was occupied with chatter on the phone.

“Oh, got noone to play with but the wall then?” said The Doctor.

Annabelle persisted with knocking the ball against said wall, the Doctor could tell she was indulging more aggressive in the activity.

“Those people around us, they’re getting to you aren’t they?” she said.

“They’re scared. Scared of what I can do”

“Really? And what exactly can you do?” The Doctor asked quizzically.

“I can anger them” Annabelle said.

“Oh that’s smashing, because between you and me, humans are very easy to anger, it takes the tiniest bit of pressure, but they thrive on it. This kind of anger you’re producing? It feeds on their morality, their very right to be angry, because they don’t know how to best express it to an innocent”

“So I do have power? Over them?” Annabelle said, excited to think she had such an influence.

“Nonsense, you’re an innocent, and power isn’t innocent, power puts fear into others. None of those surrounding us would dare use their power to hurt a child directly, with what they’re capable of with their own two hands, or their words, no, they’ll let the fear do all of that for them. A gesture, a glance, a telling smile, they’ll communicate that way. You’re picking up on that fear aren’t you? That’s why your state of play is more aggressive, you’re trying to make them fear what they could do if it continues. Do they have the right to lash out? What kind of monster would they become in the eyes of others as well as themselves as they did? It’s best not to wield any such power around them; they’re terrified enough as it is”

“Are they scared?” Annabelle asked.

“They’re already scared, they’re all here because something’s wrong with them, you’re here because something’s wrong with you, and you’re scared”

“Are you scared?”

“I’m scared for someone I care about, he’s been feeling a bit unwell, we’ve been up here twice already, once to take the test, and this is to find out the results”

“I hope he gets better”

“Me too” The Doctor replied

An older man with kind but exhausted eyes strolled into the waiting room, his hands in his pockets, glancing up at the bright lights before glancing in the Doctor’s direction; she immediately got up and dashed over to him.

“How’d it go?” The Doctor asked.

“Negative, the results, they came back negative” Graham O’Brien said, sighing with relief.

“You’re shaking” an observant Doctor nodded, holding his hand steady, checking his temperature with her eagerly warm free hand.

“The fear is still there” Graham replied, his eyes watering

“You’re also inflating” The Doctor replied.

Graham chuckled; he knew the Doctor was referring to his tears

“Oh, these waterworks? Don’t worry Doc, its just relief”

“Bit strange to cry when it’s nothing but good news” The Doctor replied.

“Yeah, well, you were a bit strange when I brought up my cancer anxiety to you”

“Are you ever going to let that go?” The Doctor said.

“So long as you never let go of me” he said, and planted a small tender kiss on her lips that held for what seemed like a blissful eternity

The Doctor, still locked in the kiss, gave Annabelle thumbs up. Annabelle nodded in approval.

This right there was a power she wanted to share with someone one day.

Annabelle’s mother finally got off the phone, her daughter sat besides her watching the Doctor depart with Graham, arm in arm.

“Who were you talking to dear?”

Annabelle smiled.

Who indeed.

 

 

Doctor Who: Three Months [Fanfic Prompt]

 

I can distinctly remember her face being full of tangible, unavoidable and radiant joy when she came in with it.

Its tail wagging, its tongue wet with the stain of saliva, the patter of its paws as it was placed down on the floor gaining speed. It headed towards me and begged me to life it up.

“C’mon” The Doctor said, applauding the efforts of the little tyke, encouraging me to embrace it.

Her enthusiasm died down when she realised I was keeping one eye out for sign of a collar.

“Doc, you sure it’s a stray?” I asked.

“Came charging at me after I dropped the bag of essentials, before I could pick ’em up, he’d eaten all of them, then he followed me home”

“Into the TARDIS?”

“Into the TARDIS. Nice to have a puppy darting about the place again, usually they’re all made of metal. I haven’t had a proper animal besides cats”

“So that rumour was true then? The one making the rounds from Yaz and Ryan?”

“What have they been saying now?”

“That you had a cat on the ship”

“Oh they must have looked at photos of me and Wolsey back in the day, those were lifetimes, and several manhoods ago. Really shouldn’t leave photos around the place. So, what do you reckon?”

“You want to keep it?”

“Can we leave it with you? Is that a thing we can do?”

“I don’t know Doc, I have friends who aren’t so keen on animals, one of them, Gabriel has a real phobia. One time we were taking a gander around where the estates were being built and one just leapt off its lead and charged straight at him. He flew around the street like a chicken, begging the owner to restrain it. It broke my heart, it’d break yours”

“Probably just the one, the other would be feeling a mite sorry for him”

“Look, just give it a week, it’s not of any real age to start misbehaving, he’ll be on his best behaviour I promise”

“I’ll hold you to that Doc”

Now it was The Doctor’s turn to come charging at me, giving me a spell-binding hug and a kiss around the collar.

“Right, I’ll nip on over to get more essentials, you can get acquainted with-with-oh what are we going to call him?”

“We’ll figure it out when you get back” I said.

The Doctor headed back out the door, and in the hours that ticked by, the little one’s energy was unrelenting. It had a spark about it, a taste for adventure that matched mine and The Docs’. I could envision walks across alien moons, its scent picking up all kinds of new sensations, tugging him, pulling him towards the unknown. He could be strapped up in the most adoring of spacesuits and play fetch across the Milky Way.

And maybe he could be just the kind of therapy dog Gabrielle needed, it’d be trained well, taught to cause as little fuss as possible, just give it an essential, and it can be fashioned into an essential.

And then inspiration came to me.

That’d be his name. Something not all together common in regards to actual names, but a title often used in conversation, or thought of every day.

It was then that The Doctor came in, carrying bags of supplies; she looked a little more drained, haunted almost by an inconvenient reality that had just hit her.

“You Ok Doc?” I asked.

“Yeah…yeah everything’s fine. You got a name for him?”

“Yeah, you’ll love it, we’ll call him Essentials”

“…That fits, that really fits” she said.

I went over to her and stroked her hair, I tried reading her face, it was clear she was hurting.

“Doc, what’s wrong”

“Graham…when I nipped off to get essentials, the actual essentials, I didn’t tell you how far I was going for them…”

“…How long?”

“Three months ahead”

“Well, that’s great, unless you’re going to tell me the food gets scarcer…”

“I spotted you, me, we were on a park bench, there was an empty lead in your hand, and you said something to me, and I said something to you. I couldn’t hear, but we both looked at each other, there was distance in our eyes, we glanced up at the sky, we blew it a kiss, and we just sat there…this look of naked raw loss on our faces”

I took a gander at the little fury tearing into the carpets, surely not? Surely there was nothing at fault…I’d barely begun to plot out its future, our future, what we’d do together.

“Doc, you normally don’t tell us the future this far in advance…~

“Maybe it’s essential we know what’s ahead so we can give little Essentials here the best life it can possibly know before…before…it all slips out from under us. From under him”

“Just three months?”

“Just three months” she said.

Finally, after hours of activity, little Essentials knelt down to sleep, safe in the knowledge we were here for it. For the rest of its days.

The Doctor sat beside it and just stared, stroking its furry body.

I knelt down beside her and let her rest her head on my shoulder.

“There’s got to be an answer to all this” I said.

“Sometimes I just never know the answer when it’s important” she said.

Doctor Who-Can You Hear Me? Excerpt [Script Fanedit]

 

INT. TARDIS – DAY

 

GRAHAM O’BRIEN

— I worry.

(Beat)

About getting sick again. About the cancer recurring.

(Beat)

I don’t know who to say that to. So I thought I’d said it to you.

(Beat)

Seeing as you’re a Doctor. (Beat)

Once you have it, it’s with you all the time. Not quite a shadow.

I mean, my check-ups are all fine. But it made me think.

(Beat)

I thought I should talk about it. Cos, those nightmares, made me realise, that fear’s still there..

The Doctor nods. Beat. She walks towards Graham-she reaches for both his hands and places them in her own-she smiles

CUT TO:

THE DOCTOR

I should say a reassuring thing now, shouldn’t I? About life, maybe just a little about death. Does life sound like just the thing for you?

GRAHAM O’BRIEN

Yeah. Probably.

THE DOCTOR

Thought so

 (Beat)

They say the fear of the unknown is a lot worse than when it actually arrives-when it does-no, if it does-you won’t give in to it, you’ll stare it dead in the eye, the face of death itself, and you’ll say ‘you come and find me, and you drag me away, but I won’t contribute’-because you’re strong Graham, the strongest man I know, I meant every word of that-the fear is there, but here you are too. Standing still while the tide threatens to wash over you, refusing to be pulled in. Promise me you never will.

GRAHAM O’BRIEN

I can try Doc

(Beat)

The Doctor leans forward and gives Graham a soft kiss on the cheek

THE DOCTOR

       Glad you heard me

GRAHAM O’BRIEN

OK

(she moves away)

(whisper)

I love you too Doc

 

Also added a couple of extra moments of dialogue, have fun looking out for them

 

DOWNLOAD FULL SCRIPT HERE

 

Excerpt From “Chess With An Ostritch & Other Thraham Prompts” (Coming Soon)

Chess With An Ostritch

Thought I’d share a story from my forthcoming free anthology e-book “Chess With An Ostritch & Other Thraham Prompts”, a collection of Doctor/Graham stories that I was requested to write from a fellow author and fan of mine on Archive of Our Own called ‘Vgault’. Expect it to drop sometime this weekend or next week.

***

Yaz stepped out of the Taxi as delicately as she could, the baby bump doing its utmost to keep her pressed down on the seat, Ryan hoisting her out holding both her hands. She tipped the driver his money and the cab hastily sped off.

Yaz and Ryan made their way towards Graham’s house and looked at one another. There was love present between the two, but also a lingering sense of uncertainty.

They had faced many hardships together in the years that led them through their gradual courtship, but now as the reality of their new life loomed, nested in a physical cocoon ready to break free any day now, the question of how to best go forward compelled them to process their options.

This was not a safe world. Not any longer.

They knocked on the door, and Graham answered, a toothbrush lodged in his mouth.

“What are you doing Granddad?” asked Ryan.

“I’m taking my temperature” said Graham

“With a toothbrush?” asked a bemused Yaz.

“Yeah, it was the Doc’s idea”

“We’d like to see The Doctor if you don’t mind” said Yaz.

“She doesn’t want visitors. She thinks something’s after her. It’s got her proper spooked”

“So why did you open the door then?” Ryan asked.

“Because I don’t agree with her”

Yaz called out for The Doctor.

“Doctor? It’s us, if you don’t want us in, I can understand, social distancing and all that, but we’ve been through the worst of it you know…the toll’s gone down since Easter, that’s what they’ve said”

The silence from the interior of the house was deafening, and gave Yaz a shudder as the disquiet only worsened her existing apprehensions.

“Doctor…we wanted to talk to you just a bit, it’s our baby, will it be safe? Do you know something you’re not telling us?”

Graham walked into the house, handing Yaz the moist toothbrush. He climbed up the stairs and into his bedroom, where he spotted The Doctor, hung over the edge of the bed, her boots off, clutching a stuffed teddy bear. A photograph of a strangely alluring and quizzical young lady with a short haircut distinct to the 1960s. The photograph looked like it had been taken in a junkyard, and it was in black and white.

The Doctor grabbed the photo and tenderly stroked the features of the girl with the tips of her fingers, she bit her lip anxiously.

She spoke to the photograph, even though she was aware of her living audience of one beside her, as Graham sat himself down to comfort The Doctor.

“They’ve still got all you’re going through yet to come, how do I prepare them for that? For all I know, this is what sets it off now, what weakens humanity, what readies them for the days where they lose everything, the days I left in your care” she said.

“Who are you talking to the Doc?” asked Graham.

“The past I left in your future” The Doctor spoke, wanting to apologize for the riddle but was sure Graham wouldn’t mind a bit of bamboozlement.

“Doctor?” Yaz called again.

“You’ve got to answer her sometime Doc” Graham said.

The Doctor put the photograph down and curled up in his arms, wrapping her right arm warmly around his head.

“We’re living through an uncertain time Graham, one I can’t spoil, in case you lot try to rewrite every line.  This is one time I’m going to have to heed my wife’s warnings….and take my first selves’ advice. Oh why do our minds wander so far from how they were in our youth?”

“When we’re young we look at it all very unclearly, we’re lost in the arrogance of it all, the audacity of it, it’s only when we’re older that we look at life a bit clearer, or when we’re faced with something that makes us take it less for granted. Strangely enough, those of us that see it all too clearly are still on some level afraid we’ll be amongst those who vanish”

“I’ve been a lifetime of older people Graham, and all those lives are among the vanished, footprints in the sand on a warm beach, just like that, we’re gone”

“As long as we’ve got today, we’ve got each other, we’re family, and it’s about to get even bigger once the baby comes calling”

“She wants me to be its godmother, but what kind of God would I be exactly?”

“I don’t think you should take it so literally Doc”

“I’ve played God for so long Graham, and it still doesn’t keep anyone together. They vanish, they all vanish, and I linger on. I can speak baby, but what else can I say to them other than try to not get themselves killed by an invisible killer?”

“Tell them there’s a visible hand holding theirs, tell them to trust in a healer that will do their best to make them feel better, tell them to be brave, tell them to trust you”

“You know how socially awkward I am”

“I know you can learn Doc, I know from how much you talk about your wife that you learned to love, and, hey, you fancy me a little don’t you?”

The Doctor giggled.

“More than a little you big lolly” she said.

Graham kissed The Doctor on the forehead.

“This kid has a whole world of love waiting for him Doc, don’t deny him it, don’t count him among those who’ll vanish tomorrow, remind him how special he is today, and for every tomorrow, because every tomorrow becomes today”

The Doctor grinned, pressing her lips against Grahams’, she then quietly pricked his nose with her finger  got up, put on her boots, and dashed down the stairs to give Yaz the best possible advice she could.

She would reassure Ryan and Yaz that their baby would be safe as long as they worked hard to keep him so.

Because every day is a struggle, regardless of how sick the earth makes us, the perseverance against the illness, the will to survive, is what makes the human race ultimately win each tomorrow as it comes.

Sometimes she lets that slip her mind as she walks through eternity, sometimes she forgets. It’s up to the blessings in her life, the Rivers, the Susan’s, the O’Brien’s, the fam, to remind her that those still privileged  to dare tomorrow should never be made to feel as if they count amongst those who vanished yesterday.