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Study of Running
Who Fic: The Console 
Sunday, March 20, 2011 at 19:23:00
Title: The Console
Characters: Mickey, Ten, Rose
Rating: Everyone
~1700 words
No spoilers as it's just set in some vague part of early series 2.

Summary: Mickey thought the console room needed more console. The Doctor almost objected, until Mickey added, "The princess is blonde." This was the result.


"It's completely ridiculous, of course."

The Doctor said this out of the blue. He and Mickey had been sitting wordlessly in the console room, waiting for Rose to rejoin them.

"What is?" asked Mickey, not even looking up.

"That," said the Doctor. He pointed at the screen on the console, which had Mickey's full attention, and the small grey box attached to it. Mickey could just see the gesture on the edge of his field of vision.

"I don't see anything ridiculous about it," he said.

"Well think about it. You mean to tell me the only way to rescue her is to jump up onto a series of increasingly difficult to reach platforms while being chased by improbably fast turtles, and the only person capable of doing it is an overweight plumber?"

"Him and his brother, yeah."

"And what's his obsession with coins? There he is, princess to rescue, monsters to drive away, and he's spending all his energy searching the world for coins. I can understand being a collector, but they're all identical!"

"You see, well, I guess...they're just shiny."

"Oh," the Doctor said slowly, understanding beginning to make its impact at last.

- - - - -

Three quarters of the way through the level, killed by fireballs. Again.


Mickey threw the controller at the TARDIS console and earned a scornful look from the Doctor. It was undercut by how the Doctor was sticking his head out from under the floor, where he was repairing something or other, but still.

"What? I've seen you hit that thing with a mallet before."

"Well yes. But lovingly," the Doctor said as he climbed out. He inspected the switches and knobs where the controller had landed. Apparently satisfied that they hadn't been thrown off course, he turned his attention (at last) on Mickey. "Why exactly are you throwing things at my TARDIS?"

"Timing puzzles," said Mickey. "Hate 'em."

"Timing, huh?" The Doctor picked up the controller.

Mickey was skeptical.

"Are you trying to help?"

"I was thinking more along the lines of showing off."

Mickey remained skeptical.

"Alright, time lord, let's see how long you last."

"Oh, all the way to rescuing the princess, I'm sure."

"Right." And then something occurred to him. "You wanna bet?"

- - - - -

"I find it disconcerting that this game knows how many lives I have left."

Mickey decided not to ask.

- - - - -

"Two-hundred seconds remaining!" The Doctor looked joyfully up at Rose.

She raised an eyebrow at him.

"Well," she said at last, "at least you're not throwing that thing at the TARDIS this time."

This was not the reaction he'd hoped for.

"Two-hundred," he repeated. "That's really good!" He paused. She stared at him. He set the controller aside, reluctantly, and stood up. "Alright. Where should we go next?"

Rose thought about it for a moment.

"A beach," she said. "With seashells. And sunsets."

- - - - -

Mickey had an inkling things might have gone too far when he caught the Doctor trying to play the Overworld Theme on a pair of Weilaian singing shells. After having explained that they were carnivorous. And venomous.

- - - - -

Rose was drawn to the console room by the sound of the TARDIS materializing somewhere. It took her a couple minutes to get there — she'd been a ways away and in the middle of getting dressed — and apparently in that time, the Doctor had gone back to playing that game of Mickey's. At least that meant Mickey himself was unoccupied.

"So, what's out there?" she asked, nodding toward the doors.

"Dunno. Er, 'Beddaja' or something," said Mickey.

"Bedãja. It means 'the large castle of very good sonic insulation.' How do you pause this thing?"

Mickey reached over and pushed the start button on the Doctor's controller.

"That's really what it means?" asked Rose.

She crossed the room to the doors, opened them, and stuck her head out. It was indeed very quiet. There were some vents through which she could hear the rhythmic whump of what were probably fans, but otherwise, nothing. No voices, footsteps, no activity at all. She turned back into the TARDIS where, it seemed, the Doctor had also learned how to unpause the game.

"There are people out there, right?" she asked.

"Of course," said the Doctor.

"So does that mean they haven't heard us arrive because it's so well insulated, or they have heard us because it's so quiet?"

"No idea," said the Doctor.

"Right, well, feel free to join me later," Rose said under her breath. Then, unseen by the Doctor, she left to find out.

To his credit, Mickey caught up with her a minute later.

- - - - -



The Doctor stared bemusedly at the text.

"Why do they always have to wander off?"

- - - - -

"Doctor. Doctor!"

Mickey pounded on the door until it opened and the Doctor appeared and asked, "What?"

"It's Rose! They've taken Rose!"


"She's been kidnapped. We've gotta go find her."

"What?! Where were you when it happened?"

"I'll show you."

Mickey turned and ran. The Doctor ran a few paces after him and then stopped. He looked regretfully back at the TARDIS.

"I really wish that thing could save my progress," he said.

- - - - -

"That's cheating. Just so you know, you've lost the bet by cheating."

"What? No it isn't."

"Yes, it is."

"No, it isn't."

"Yes, it is."

"No, it isn't."

"Yes, it—really? Look mate, sonicing the NES automatically voids all bets on it."

"Aha! So the entire bet is void, and I don't owe you anything."

"Wait, that's not what—"


"Hey! I—"

"No, really, shut up. Do you hear that?"

There were footsteps approaching. Mickey spotted a dark corner where another hallway branched off from the one they were in, and pulled the Doctor into it. They waited there until the people had passed.

"That's them! The ones that took Rose! Let's follow them."

"Shh! Mickey, look around you. Every wall in this castle is covered in insulation." The Doctor poked a finger into one of the soft, foamy walls to make his point. "Hardly any sound can escape from one room into the next. Why do you think that is?"

Mickey shrugged and guessed, "Privacy?"

"No. It's because they're very very sensitive to sound, and if you don't keep your voice down, they will find us."

"Are they really?" said Rose.

"Rose!" They said it in unison, the Doctor shouting her name in surprise while Mickey nearly whispered it.

"How did you escape?" asked the Doctor.

"Lazy jailer," said Rose.

The Doctor wrinkled his nose in disapproval. "Back to the TARDIS, then."

"Not so simple. I tried that already when I was looking for you. There's a bunch more of them right outside where we parked."

"Maybe there's a back way," Mickey suggested.

"Let's find out," said the Doctor.

- - - - -

"Well, I can see why they wouldn't bother guarding it," said Rose.

The three of them stared ahead at the only other path they'd found. By going to the one place loud enough to drive away the locals, they'd found a single unguarded passage leading in the direction of the TARDIS: the heating system. Short stairs lead down to a series of massive fans turning slowly, each one glowing orange with heat and covered in ridges to act as a radiator. This was the whump Rose had been hearing through all the vents, as the fans heated the air and pushed it out into the rest of the castle. And beyond this gauntlet, a service exit which would probably lead to the TARDIS.

After a few moments where they all just stared, silently weighing their options, Mickey spoke first.

"Timing puzzles," he said.

"Hate them," added the Doctor.

Then the Doctor stepped forward, eyes closed, his breathing slow and deliberate, his body tensing. He was focusing, finding just the right moment to run through the fan. But after only a few seconds, he just shook his head and stepped back.

"I used to be good at these," he said. Rose wondered if he meant before he changed.

In response, Mickey squared his shoulders and stepped forward himself.

"Well maybe you're no good at this, but I've been practicing," he said.

Rose hoped he didn't mean in videogames. She stopped him with a hand on his chest.

"Or, you'll die horribly."

Then finally she stepped forward, down the first two stairs, and started tugging on the handrail.

"Help me with this, will you?"

The handrail was metal, but thin and not very strong or well-secured. With the three of them pulling at once, they were able to first pull one end out, bending the the handrail into a hook by doing so, then free the whole thing from the wall, bending it even more in the process. At last it fell to the floor.

Rose told the others to stand back, then picked up the twisted line of metal in both hands and aimed for the first fan.

"Er, Rose?" Mickey. She twisted to look back at him over her shoulder. "I only see two rails. There's more than two fans."

The Doctor agreed. "If we could bend that with our bare hands, how likely is it that you can jam a whole fan with it? Think about it. That motor must be very powerful."

Grinning, she just turned wordlessly back to the fans. She counted the timing, carefully, tapping one foot. Then she threw the rail into the fan, where it caught around one of the blades. The blades kept spinning, dragging the rail against the round outside of the fan and making a horrible, high screetching sound.

Covering her ears, Rose ran back up the stairs, shouting "Run for it!" as loudly as she could.

They ran back the way they came, the screetch chasing them the whole way through the vents. The kidnappers, incapacitated by the noise, barely noticed the three running past them and into the TARDIS.

- - - - -

The Doctor never did pay up.

Monday, March 21, 2011 at 12:04:46 (UTC)
I cannot express in words how much I love you right now.

I'll just give you chocolate instead.
Monday, March 21, 2011 at 23:06:56 (UTC)
Aw, thanks! :D
Saturday, March 26, 2011 at 02:53:00 (UTC)



The Doctor stared bemusedly at the text.

"Why do they always have to wander off?"

LOL classic!!! XD
Saturday, March 26, 2011 at 02:56:27 (UTC)
Thank you! :)
and now there is nothing to hide our real world behind