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WHOLOCK chapter 1: The Story Begins
I sigh as I hear the familiar whoosh of the TARDIS. It’s been getting more frequent. I get out of bed and look out my window. There it is. Smack dab in the middle of everything.
“Why do I have to suffer this torture?” I wonder. I pinch myself, but that doesn’t do it. I decide that I might as well go down and see who it is. Am I meeting ten, eleven, or maybe even twelve? Or am I about to address David Tennant or maybe Matt Smith? I would suspect Cumberbatch, but he never arrives in the TARDIS. He usually shows up outside my gate to my house. I am at the back door, and I wrench it open. I don’t bother being quiet. I try to convince myself to enjoy this, but I figure as soon as I start having fun it will end. I look wistfully at the TARDIS before opening its familiar doors. I grin, despite myself. There he is, standing with his hands in his pockets and one of those signature looks on his face. The face of David Tennant stares back at me. My heart melts a little, because I still can’t resist that face. I decide to talk first, especially because I have to figure out which he is, just to know how to treat him. After all, ten and Tennant are completely different.
“So, which are you tonight? Tennant or the Doctor?” He just continues to stare at at me, this time with one of those looks that says, ‘It’s obvious. Why can’t you tell?’
“Well, I’m the doctor of course! And now, if I may, allow me to follow up with a similar question. Which are you?” I don’t know what to say. I’m not as star-struck as I was the first few times this happened, but I still have trouble talking to that face.
“That depends on what you mean. Are you asking my species? Let me guess, the TARDIS didn’t go where it was supposed to?” He is still looking at me with a curious expression.
“Will you stop staring at me?!?!?” I didn’t mean to yell, but it came out that way anyway. The Doctor quickly diverted his eyes.
“Sorry.” He mumbles. He says something else, too, but I can’t hear what. I feel a twinge of guilt when I see his guilty look.
“I’m sorry too. I didn’t mean to yell. It’s just… well, I’m tired of all this. But yet, I love it at the same time.”
“All what?” He looks genuinely confused. Of course he doesn’t know. I sigh again. He is supposed to be a genius. I can’t explain it to him. He wouldn’t understand. I decide to surreptitiously change the subject.
“So… you said you wanted to know my species? Well, I’m human and American, in case you can’t tell by the accent.”
“That’s not quite what I meant. I meant…” I cut him off.
“So why are you really here? Where was the TARDIS supposed to be?” I swear, if looks could kill, his stare would be deadly. It’s like he’s staring into my soul. Ten’s stare has a tendency to do that to people, I think to myself. I suddenly realize why he’s probably staring at me. This version of ten wouldn’t know how I know about the TARDIS or that there are aliens out there.
“You didn’t say it.” He says, and suddenly his face changes to expectancy.
“You know, the thing. You didn’t say the thing.”
I roll my eyes as I realize the real reason he was staring at me. He wanted me to say that it was bigger on the inside.
“I’m not going to say it. It’s pointless.” His face drops down in disappointment. I grin. That face was hard not to smile at. What he had said earlier suddenly dawns on me.
“Hey, why did you ask me which instead of what?”
Now it is his turn to grin. You know the one. The one where everything else melts away and all you can do is stare at his face. I don’t like the grin this time though. It’s mischievous.
“Well,” he said, starting to wander in circles around the TARDIS council, hands rammed into his pockets,
“It appears we are at a crossroads. You have information that I want, and I have information that you want. Why don’t we exchange information and call it an even trade?” He leans against the TARDIS council and gives me one of those looks that I normally loved. I let out a little groan of frustration. I always loved watching him persuade people with his charm and wit, but now that he is doing it to me, it isn’t so fun.
“No fair!” I complain,
“You were going to tell me about it before I interrupted you!”
“Exactly! You interrupted me, so now you don’t get to know unless you tell me what I want to know!” He has me on that one. It was my fault for interrupting. I am stuck on what to do. I really want to know what he meant, and I know spoilers won’t do anything for him anyway. Plus, its really hard to resist that face. So I decide to tell him. I sigh. Sometimes I hate how persuasive ten can be.
After I explain everything, he looks at me contentedly, but also with contemplation. I can practically see the gears turning in his head, putting all the pieces together. There seems to be a shadow of trouble on his face too, though.
“Well that makes more sense.” he says
“There’s just one tiny problem. miniscule really, but it’s still a problem, and I don’t like problems. Well, you know, problems can be really fun, too. Well, not fun I suppose, but sometimes it’s nice to have a problem to get your brain working. Well, not really working, your brain can't really work because work is defined as physical effort. Well, I suppose it can be mental too. Well, that depends on your definition of effort and... " I cut him off from his little babble, because I know if I wait, he will just keep going and going, kind of like the energizer bunny, I think to myself. I grin, because I think of how often my friends compare me to ten for just that reason. Sometimes I babble too. I say sometimes, but really it's more like all the time. But right now I want to know what the problem is, so that's why I cut him off.
"Can you please get to the point? What is the problem?!?!"
"Well, it's just... After your explanation, my job has become a whole lot harder."
"Your JOB?" I ask suspiciously,
"I think you need to add that to your list of things to explain to me."
"Well, I suppose. After all, you told me everything I wanted to know, so its about time I return the favor." I snicker at his unintended pun. I also can’t help but look into his eyes. I am careful not to let him touch his hands to my head, because I know what happens if I do. He might think that I told him everything, but that isn’t the truth. I know so much more. I just told him what he thinks he wanted to know. I feel bad for being so manipulative, but I also know it is for his own good.
"I think I’ll begin with your last question. See, I need your help." I can’t help but snort. Of course he needs my help. He always needs my help.
"And that’s exactly why I said my job would be harder. After what you explained, well, it’s going to be fun really. I’ll consider it a bit of an added challenge. I have to convince you that this is reality."
"Yeah," I say, "And that’s going to be a tough job. Even if this isn’t reality, I suppose I can help. But first, who was your last companion? Since you are so sure this is reality, I wouldn’t want to spoil anything for you."
"Well, thats part of why I need your help. See, I can’t remember."
"Part?" I ask.
"Yes, but I’ll get to that. My, you sure like to pull out the little words instead of the big picture. Well, I have to answer your other questions first before I get to that. It’s only fair."
"Fine." I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve sighed since I got out of bed.
"But you can’t skip over that. I won’t forget." I know how sneaky ten can be, and I’m pretty sure he wants me to forget about it. "Well, go on!"
"Let’s see, I was explaining that I can’t remember who my last companion was and… going backwards we end up at the question about my word choice, is that correct?"
"Yeah. Now get on with it! I want to know!"
"Ok, Ok, hold your horses. Speaking of horses, I rode one once and it was lovely. Well, I wouldn’t say lovely, it was to save a famous royal’s life and, well there’s really a lot more to it. Well, I wouldn’t say a lot more..."
"Stop it!!! I don’t care that you snogged Madame de Pompadour! I want to know why you said ‘which are you’ instead of ‘who are you.’ Now stop procrastinating and get to it!"
"Fine." He starts to say something else, too, but now he stops and looks at me.
"Did you just say ‘snogged?’ That’s no American word."
I blush. He’s right. I couldn’t help but pick up his accent, and accompanying slang. I don’t do it on purpose, it’s just that whenever I hear an accent I accidentally accumulate it at least partially. I hurriedly explain this to him, then say,
"Well, keep it going. My accidental accent is no excuse for you to stop your explanation."
"Ok, fine. WHat I meant before was similar to your question about whether I was that actor, Tennant, I think you called him. Well, I was asking because I’m not sure which of these you are. Are you Amber, Abigail, Hazel, Annie, or Annabelle?" I gasp. He just named all the pseudonyms I have ever used to put myself in one of my stories. But what’s weirder is that I haven’t published all my works under those names yet. Mostly they are just names I use in my unfinished stories in a red notebook on my dresser. How could he know them?
"I’m… I’m Abigail." I don’t know if he can tell I’m lying or not by my face. It’s not technically a lie. Abigail is my writer’s pseudonym. At least, that’s how I justify it. I don’t know why, but I can’t bring myself to tell him my real name. He looks at me suspiciously, but doesn’t say anything about it. Instead, he continues with his explanations.
"Now I have to go back to your other question momentarily. The one about my job. It’s really the whole reason I’m here."
"Right. You mentioned that before. But you also said that part of the problem was you couldn’t remember your last companion. But I haven’t forgotten that you said ‘part,’ so get on with it! And don’t forget to mention how you know all my pseudonyms, even the ones I haven’t published yet. In fact, I’ve only published one so far, and that one is Amber!”
“Oops.” he mutters.
“Spoilers,” I say. He looks at me sort of sadly, like he remembers River--And worse, what he did to her--but the sadness quickly dissipates from his face and his grin reappears. I decide to ignore this and press him further.
“So, you know my pseudonyms. I guess I can look past that, but I still haven’t forgotten about your so-called job or that you can’t remember your last companion. But before we get to that, I need you to answer another thing. You want me to believe this is real, right? So explain to me one thing. Why would you come to me, out of all the whovians in the world?”
“Spoilers,” He says, and the grin on his face stretches even further.
I stare at him across the TARDIS console room. I patiently wait for him to continue his explanation, but after he said ‘spoilers’ he sat down across from me and started staring right back at me. I decide not to say a word until he finishes his explanations. It is a battle. It feels like a game, where whoever talks first loses. I am determined not to lose. We sit for what feels like hours, though I don’t know how long it actually is, and finally, he says,
“Okay, you win. We both know I can’t keep a secret for long anyway. Well, that depends on what you call long. Well, I’m not going to ramble any longer. So, here goes. I’m about to tell you everything, Ms. Abigail Read.” He pauses and looks at me, like he expects me to correct him, but I don’t let him fool me. I just give him a look that says, go on and he continues.
“Where were we anyway? I already answered about your pseudonyms, and no, I’m not going to tell you more about that. I believe we have arrived at the issue of my job--don’t interrupt!” I open my mouth to say something, but those two words stop me in my tracks. He continues,
“Listen, I need your help, and I need you to trust me. Usually it’s hard to trust someone you just met, but I think we both know that you have really known me for a long time; you know you can trust me. But I need to hear you say it.” He looks at me, hope filling his eyes.
“Okay. I. . .I trust you.”
It takes all my strength to say those few words aloud.
“Okay.” He says, looking up at me, “Are we good?”
“Alrighty then! Let’s get started, shall we? I’ll explain more on the way. Allons-y!”
He pushes some buttons seemingly at random, and then we are off. I am officially flying away in the TARDIS with the tenth doctor. I sigh once again. If only this were real.
“Alrighty then, let’s try this one more time, shall we?” He grins at me. How many times has something interrupted his attempts to explain things to me? Now, he really has no choice but to tell me what is going on, because whatever it is, we are on our way into the middle of the action.
“So, where are we headed? And what is your job? This time I’ll do my best not to interrupt.”
It’s my turn to grin at him, staring expectantly.
“Okay.” He says.
“Let’s go back to the very beginning.”
And with those words, he begins to spin a tale that seems a bit crazy, even for him.