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THIS TIME ROUND: A FISTFUL OF HOMICIDAL MANIA
"Looks like it's just us two for tea, eh?" Harry Sullivan nodded
genially to his sole customer. "That'll be a Screwdriver, then, Old
It was strange, but if anyone else had called Tegan -- a very libera-
ted and independent '80's woman -- 'Old Girl', they'd have been
taking their meals through a straw for some weeks. With Harry,
though, it just seemed the natural thing for him to say. There was
no condescension in it, just that invincibly irreverent affection for
people in general that was as much a part of him as his supposedly
(according to the Doctor) empty head.
"Am I really so predictable, Harry?"
"Only to those who know and love you," he replied impishly. "To
all others, you're as changeable and enigmatic as..." He paused to
think for a moment. "...As an Australian."
"But I _am_ an Australian!"
"Well, there you go, then!" he answered happily.
Tegan shook her head resignedly. "Sometimes, I think the Doctor
is right about you..."
"About me being an imbecile?"
Tegan's jaw dropped and she began to stammer, "Ummm... how
did you... he didn't say... that is..."
Harry laughed good-naturedly, making her feel a bit better. "Relax,
Old Girl. It's no secret. Hell, he's shouted it into my ear before. So,
a Screwdriver, then?"
"No. I think I'll be all enigmatic and changeable and have a Bloody
Mary Sue instead." To help assuage her conscience, she added, "Get
yourself something, too."
As he poured and mixed, Harry asked, "So, what brings you in this
early in the afternoon? Just being changeable and mysterious?"
Before she could answer, a UNIT soldier came up to the bar, ex-
changed salutes with Harry, and ordered four pints of Bass Ale.
"Four?" asked Harry skeptically. "You won't be fit for duty tonight."
"Not all for me, sir," the soldier replied. "I've three mates out front.
We were gonna drink out there, if that's alright with you." At that
moment, a chorus of raucous laughter and what might have been
hoofbeats sounded from near the parking lot. "That'd be them now,
Harry duly poured out four pints, which were paid for and taken out
by the soldier. "Anyway," he said, "you were telling me how come
you're in so early."
"Oh, that." Tegan leaned onto the bar. "As you may know, Adric is
still dead at the moment, and won't be back for a while."
"Ah. Celebrating, are we?" Harry said knowingly.
Tegan shook her head. "No, no. Let me go on. With Adric out of
the picture, Nyssa has had nothing to do. That is Fact One. Fact
Two is that the Doctor finally had cable TV installed aboard the
Harry seemed taken aback. "Really? I thought he hated television."
"Most of it, he does. But he really wanted that channel -- what's the
one that rich American guy owns? You know, he's a Southerner,
and daft as a stone boat."
"No. Richer and dumber. Married that exercise lady... What's-her-
name... Fonda! Ted Fonda! That's him! He wanted Ted Fonda's
TV channel so he could watch 'Babylon 5'."
"And --" he prompted.
"Fact Three," she continued, "is that the Fonda Network is showing
Clint Eastwood movies all week."
"Ah," nodded Harry. "Who's he, then?"
"What do you mean, 'Who's he, then?' Haven't you ever seen 'High
Plains Drifter' or 'The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly'?"
From out front, there came growling fragments of a conversation.
"... mule doesn't like folks laughin'... ...gets the crazy idea they're
laughing at _him_... ...know you'll do the right thing and apolo-
gize..." Tegan shuddered.
"I don't watch movies much," said Harry, shrugging. "So, what
does Nyssa being bored, the TARDIS having cable, and this chap's
movies being on have to do with you being here?"
There was a sudden blast of gunfire outside, followed by a deadly
silence. Into that silence, a hoarse voice said, "My mistake. _Four_
Harry stood dumbfounded as the door opened and a mysterious pon-
cho-clad figure entered, holstering a smoking revolver and chewing
on the stub of a cigar. He looked closer. "Uhh... Nyssa?"
"Starting to get it now, are we?" Tegan asked sardonically.
"An Adric's Demise, barkeep," growled Nyssa as she swept off her
cowboy hat. "And be quick about it."
Harry fumbled nervously through the mixing process and presented
her drink, giving her the little Adric-shaped ice cube to drop in,
when suddenly the little Trakenite's face lost its murderous East-
wood glare and took on a look of utter misery. "It's just not the
_same_," she whined softly. "Even with four, it's not the _same_."
She looked at the little frozen Adric for a long moment, and almost
smiled as she seemed to relive some private memory. A moment
later she dashed the ice cube to the floor and stared wildly about.
"How dare you run off and hide from me, Adric!?!" she shouted to
the ceiling. "When you get back to life, you are going to be _so_
_dead_! Do you hear me, you little weasel!?!" Eyes shining wetly,
she fled headlong from the pub, still cursing the Alzarian's absence.
Harry and Tegan looked at the Adric's Demise, at the broken ice
cube, and then at each other. "Tell you what, Old Girl," Harry said
at last, "I think things just got a whole lot weirder around here..."
Doctor Who is property of the BBC, who are at least nice enough to not have
sued me yet.
This Time Round is the creation of Tyler Dion.
Certain lines were lifted, though not verbatim, from the movie 'A Fistful of