Medium: Doctor Who
Characters: The Eleventh Doctor, Doctor 10.5
Disclaimer: Yeah, they're not mine.
Word count: Around 824.
Author's Notes: Written for a prompt on Babbles in the Fictorium's "Rewriting History" comment fic meme (Eleven, 10.5, 0.5 went with the Doctor instead of staying in the alt universe with Rose). Enjoy!
Summary: Out with the old, in with the new.
The Doctor dances up the stairs to the console, does a twirl, smooths down his tweed jacket, and grins expectantly before his audience, arms wide. “Result?” He asks confidently.
“You look daft,” his companion snorts, leaning insolently against the console with his hands stuffed in pinstripe pockets.
“I look amazing.”
“No, daft. Seriously, a bow-tie? I’m reduced to wearing a bow-tie now?”
The Doctor twirls around the console, adjusts his bow-tie and smirks at his past-self-hand-generated-facsimile traveling companion. “Bow-ties are cool. Better than pinstripes.” He adds, with a sniff and a nod towards John’s own brown suit. “Anyway, at least I don’t look like a used car-salesman anymore.”
John -- after a long and lengthy process of debate about who got to be called ‘Doctor’, involving much shouting, they’d eventually settled on ‘John’ for him as a way of keeping the peace -- merely rolls his eyes and snorts. He’d thought it bad enough having to relive the memories of all the fashion disasters he’d had in the past, but it was even worse having to stand by and actually watch a new incarnation careen right into a new one. Bow-ties. And tweed. It was as if he’d suddenly forgotten what ‘cool’ was after two incarnations of tentatively inching towards it. Almost enough to make him wish the Doctor had dumped him in the mirror-universe rather than deciding to keep him around to teach him a lesson.
Still, at least this Doctor looks happier. He has a spring in his step as he scampers around the console, and a glint in his eye where the past Doctor’s had only held pain and regret. And at least their frequent arguments wouldn’t be about who got to wear the pinstripe suits anymore.
“I love the choice of theme, by the way,” the Doctor remarks as his hands dance over the console, briefly lingering over the keys of the typewriter (honestly, did the old girl have to draw on a shed when she was rebuilding herself?), looking around approvingly. “Very nice. Very... orange.”
John shrugs. “Can’t say it’s my favourite, but the old girl seemed to like it. Seemed appropriate. Out with the old, in with the new.”
It’s why he chose it, after all, while he was repairing the TARDIS and waiting for the Doctor’s new incarnation to sort himself out (which, fittingly, involved saving the world yet again). Time for a change, in more ways than one. The old console room held too many memories. Too much pain. Too much regret. Time to wipe the slate clean, try something new.
The Doctor smiles, as if he knows what John is thinking (which he probably does, come to think). “Quite. Speaking of...” he reaches under the console and produces a package, wrapped in brown paper and string. “A little something for you. To say thank you.”
John quirks an eyebrow, but nevertheless tears the package open. And stares at the neatly folded rectangle of battered, light brown suede within.
“Consider it a gift,” the Doctor murmurs. “Or a bequeathment, if you like. I know that’s how he -- I would have felt. Either way, we -- I -- want you to have it.”
John carefully unfolds out the long, familiar coat. He and the old Doctor had had a lot of arguments about this coat. About who got to wear it. They’d both loved this coat. Janis Joplin had given him -- had given the Doctor -- this coat. He’d always wanted to wear it (again? For the first time? He’d never been sure about the correct term), just once. Just to feel like he’d simultaneously never felt before and yet had gotten used to feeling.
Just to feel like the Doctor again. Just once.
He shrugs it on over his pinstripe suit, smoothes it down, feels a little glow of contentment. A little more secure. A little more like the Doctor.
He grins, a huge toothy grin. “Thank you.”
The Doctor smiles. “It suits you.” He says quietly.
They stand in mutual, companionable silence for a moment, each sizing the other up. The Doctor as he once was, and the Doctor as he now is. It does, John has to admit, feel a bit strange.
“You still look like a used car salesman though,” the Doctor says casually after a moment, turning back to the console.
“Oi. Watch it, space-boy.”
“Now now -- no time to argue about how terrible you look,” the Doctor is fiddling with the console, setting coordinates. “Quick hop to the moon, run her in, and then to business.”
The Doctor looks up, grinning, as the new time rotor rises and falls smoothly, for the first time. “I’ve found us a mystery.”
John grins back. “Oh yeah?”
“Yeah,” the Doctor looks up as the TARDIS engines grind away, reinvigorated and new. “You’ll like her. She’s called Amy.”
And by the time he’s finished the sentence, they’re on the moon.