by Paul Gadzikowski
DOCTOR WHO series characters and concepts copyright BBC tv
THIS TIME ROUND concept by Tyler Dion, after Kielle

"Sex, sex, sex. Over and over again. What ever happened to deadly
Sarah Jane wasn't unsympathetic to Peri's complaints about the subgenre
of fanfiction in which the American coed usually appeared, but they had
achieved the status of white noise at the 'Round. Sarah's attention had
wandered to people-watching the other denizens of the tavern.
Adric was tending bar. Nyssa had dropped a 16-ton weight on him the
night before, so he was safe for a few days and at relative ease, except of
course for the trips to the restroom frequently imposed on him by his rapid
Polly was waiting tables tonight and had expelled Professor X on the
grounds that there'd been no X-Men movie crossover on alt.drwho.creative yet.
Professor X had left politely, but shortly afterwards Captain Picard had
stopped by ... in a wheelchair.
All the author original characters were congregating in the same corner
tonight - the Badlands cast, Varne and his gang, some King Arthur in Space
and Time knights. Sarah got some entertainment trying to pick out the author
insertion characters. Usually they were the ones who drank more than anyone
else but never lost their coordination.
Here was something odd: When initially arriving at the Dostors' usual
table, Doctor Thirteen (the Lumley Doctor from "Curse of the Fatal Death")
had instantly been set upon by the other Doctors present, the eight BBC
official Doctors. It was nothing unusual for the Doctor to gang up on himself
(or in this case herself), just more TTR white noise. But then Doctor
Thirteen had left the table in a huff, had forcibly resumed a cheerful
demeanor, and ever since had been working her way through the tavern talking
to each of the female companions present. She had now spoken to all of them
but Peri and Sarah Jane at the bar. Now she was approaching Peri.
Now she was walking past Peri.
Doctor Thirteen sat on the stool the other side of Sarah from Peri and
said, "Sarah Jane, may I ask you about something?"
Doctor Thirteen didn't take any heed that she was interrupting Peri's
beer-lubricated diatribe. But neither did Peri. "Ask me what?" said Sarah.
"Now that I'm female," explained Doctor Thirteen, "I'm going to be
getting chatted up. Like at the end of 'Curse'."
"And you want to know how to get rid of a guy?"
"Actually I was wondering how it is a girl knows when a fellow's
sincere," Doctor Thirteen said casually.
Sarah blinked, taken aback at the thought that any Doctor might want to
respond to a come-on. God knows *she'd* tried. "Well," she said, hauling her
concentration back to the topic, "the guys I like best are the ones who don't
try to pressure me into anything."
"No pressuring," said Doctor Thirteen, as if adding to a mental
checklist. "... Is asking for a date pressuring?"
"Er ... depends on how shy you are, I suppose. Some girls might feel
pressured, if it came out of the blue."
"How do you keep it from coming out of the blue?"
Sarah blinked again. Now it sounded as if Doctor Thirteen's interest
wasn't in the receiving end of the exercise. "I don't know. You spend time
together first, not ... on dates. In a group, perhaps."
"In a group," Doctor Thirteen added to her list.
"Lots of times when kids start out at this, they just invite the object
of interest along on some large group outing."
"When starting out," Doctor Thirteen repeated. She went a little
glassy-eyed when she was emphasizing these highlights to herself - but now
she came to herself and pressed Sarah's hand with a cheerful smile. "Thank
you so much, Sarah, that was just what we needed."
"'We'?" said Sarah. But Doctor Thirteen was headed back to his/her/their
table, and didn't hear or didn't care to explain.
Doctor Five passed her midway, heading for the bar. Sarah thought he was
just after another screwdriver, but instead of going up to Adric he went up
to Peri.
"Say, Peri, I was wondering," he started. "Peri?" he started again. As
with Doctor Thirteen, Peri was crying (or bitching) into her beer too deeply
to take notice of minor interruptions. Telling herself she was taking pity on
Doctor Five, and not just curious as to what he had to say oh no, Sarah poked
Peri in the ribs.
"Yes. What," said Peri, sitting straight up on her stool with false
"I'm having a little do in my TARDIS tomorrow evening," said Doctor
Five. "A sort of companions' reunion - you, Turlough, Tegan, Nyssa, Adric.
Would you be free?"
"Sure. See you then," said Peri.
"Good. Thank you." Doctor Five nodded and returned to his table ...
where the other seven hims (Doctor Thirteen had vanished by now) greeted him
with backslaps and handshakes and even a high five.
Sarah turned back to the bar before they could observe her watching. "I
wonder what it would be like," she said, "dating eight men at once."
"There was one story I was in," Peri started ...