LOVE'S LABOURS 1/1 TTR, TDF, the author's Peri arc
by Paul Gadzikowski
DOCTOR WHO series characters and concepts copyright BBC tv
THIS TIME ROUND concept by Tyler Dion, after Kielle
TO DIE FOR cycle fostered primarily by DBKillings and BKWillis
Brad Willis and S. Daniel Wilson between them originated the premise that
Tegan has her eye on Turlough when she hangs at the 'Round (according to
"Come along, Adric," said Doctor Five. "Time to go."
"Are you mad?" said Adric.
Preoccupied with something - Even a little nervous? - Doctor Five
charged a few steps toward the This Time Round exit before comprehending
Adric's reply and turning back. Apparently, when speaking to Adric the night
before, he had presumed Adric's positive response to the invitation to his
TARDIS tonight. Erroneously. "Beg your pardon?"
"Me go to a party where Nyssa is?"
Doctor Five rolled his eyes, then returned to Adric's position where he
put one arm around the boy and began leading him off. "She's not going to
"You can't guarantee that."
"I can," said Doctor Five with uncharacteristic certainty.
"What?" said Adric, pulling to a halt. "How?"
"There's been an arrangement made."
"You can't trust her, you know."
"Not with Nyssa. With -" Doctor Five bent to Adric's ear and whispered,
"with the present author."
"Who-o-a." Adric was impressed despite himself with the Doctor's clout.
"You remember - he was the one writing TTR when *you* got to kill
*Nyssa* once? With Peri's help," Doctor Five added, smiling suddenly and a
little stupidly. [http://members.iglou.com/scarfman/round19.htm] "He resents
the whole TDF arc because TTR was supposed to be for *not having*
"Right. You can tell by all his laughs of resentment whenever Doug or
"You have authorial guarantee that Nyssa will not kill you during this
story," Doctor Five repeated.
"Well ... can't argue with that," said Adric, allowing himself to be led
off after all.
Sarah Jane sat down next to Peri at the bar. "Surprised to see you
"Where else would I be?" said Peri. Her high enunciation level suggested
that the beer she was nursing was her first.
Sarah Jane remembered the condition Peri had been in last night. "You
don't remember, do you? Last night the Doctor invited you to a party in his
TARDIS. The young one," she added.
"He did?" said Peri, obviously not surprised that she might have
forgotten her previous night at the 'Round.
"Said it was a companions' reunion. You back through Adric were
"Did I say I'd go?"
Peri looked over at the Doctor's' usual table. Sarah Jane looked a
moment before Peri did, soon enough to catch all the Doctors present looking
away as if they hadn't been watching Peri. Both women noted that one through
eight were present, failing only five.
"Guess I'd better head out then," Peri said. As she rose from the
barstool Sarah Jane offered her a hairbrush. "Thanks," said Peri, brushing
for a moment in her reflection in the mirror back of the bar before she left.
Sarah Jane was certain she saw looks of giddy relief on the Doctor's
faces as Peri left.
Adric was certain he saw a look of giddy relief on Doctor Five's face as
the boy approached TARDIS Five in the parking lot. He had nothing to which to
attribute the Doctor's behavior, though. But Nyssa, in Tegan's company, was
approaching from the other direction; perhaps Doctor Five was pleased at the
prospect of for once having a friendly evening even, or especially, with her
and Adric combined. But he wasn't looking at either of them.
"Doctor," greeted Nyssa as she and Adric converged on the Time Lord.
"Nyssa," Tegan muttered warningly.
"Nyssa," Adric nodded, feeling no need to respond in kind, not tonight.
"Splendid!" said Doctor Five, seemingly *before* realizing the three of
them were there. Then he looked at them. "... Splendid that you've arrrived!
Do go in; Turlough is already here so I'll just wait for Peri."
Adric noted again that Doctor Five seemed to have his mind on something
else tonight. But he was looking forward to an evening free of attempted
murder so he gave it no thought.
When Turlough saw Adric and Nyssa enter the TARDIS together, he shot for
the interior door.
"Wait!" Tegan shouted. "There's a truce on."
Turlough paused with his hand on the door.
"Nyssa agreed to behave," said Tegan. Turlough relaxed and joined the
trio at the exterior door.
"Well, actually," said Nyssa, "what I said was, I probably couldn't do
anything anyway, since the TARDIS exists in a state of temporal grace wherein
weapons can't be used."
"Well, I wasn't there," said Adric, "but didn't the console get damaged
by a Cyberweapon during 'Earthshock'? Didn't the Doctor say in 'Arc of
Infinity' that the temporal grace was on the fritz in this era?"
"You know," said Nyssa with mock revelation, "he did. Shall we test it?"
With an ability derived from numerous appearances in fanfiction by
authors who are also anime fans, Nyssa pulled a napalm thrower out of her
sleeve and trained it on Adric.
"Nyssa!" Tegan screamed. Turlough just screamed, and ducked behind the
Adric faced her down calmly. "It's not going to work."
"There's ony one way to find out!" Flaming death spurt across the
Adric's composure faltered slightly as the heat went by him - but it did
go by him. "You see? You can't kill me tonight," he said.
Nyssa gaped. Then: "We'll see about that!" She fired again.
In a flash of insight - or of passing napalm - Adric saw the flaw that
Doctor Five had not mentioned (probably had not perceived, what with his
curious preoccupation) in his "arrangement". Maybe Nyssa couldn't kill Adric
in this story - but she wasn't being prohibited from trying! And if anything
she threw at him actually connected, *without* killing him -
Adric ran. And, not thinking quickly enough, instead of running for the
TARDIS exit he ran deeper inside.
"Oh no," said Tegan. Grabbing Turlough's hand and pulling him behind
herself, she ran after Nyssa as the diminutive figure dove deeper into the
"Ah, Peri," said Doctor Five brightly. "Please come in."
(Back in the 'Round Sarah Jane noticed, and correctly deduced the
cause, that what minimal conversation which had resumed at the Doctors' table
when Peri left now died away.)
"Thanks," said Peri graciously. One thing having a rich bitch mother is
good for is learning party manners.
"Everyone else is here already," Doctor Five said as they crossed the
threshold into the TARDIS, "so ..." He trailed off as they entered a console
room entirely devoid of fellow partiers.
"Where did they go?" Peri asked.
"You don't suppose Nyssa's chasing Adric around, and Tegan and Turlough
are trying to stop it?"
"Can't be," said Doctor Five. "I made sure of that."
"Well, I guess it's just you and me until they decide to turn up."
Doctor Five smiled stupidly. "Splendid!"
Adric careened past the bathroom into the herbarium. There would be some
cover there. He cast about wildly for a hiding place.
"Stop!" he could hear Nyssa's voice approaching. "It's inevitable! I'll
be quick about it, you know that!"
Adric lept into what looked like a large hedge.
Through the greenery in whose midst he was ensconced, Adric saw her
trot into the herbarium. Her nose wrinkled, in consternation no doubt at the
large potential for hiding places. Adric brushed a tendril of branch away
from his leg. Such a pretty nose too, he pondered ... He cut off that line of
thought by pointing out to himself that the nose was attached to the same
body as those hands carrying the destructive power of Vesuvius in convenient
As he was watching, she slipped the napalm thrower back up her sleeve in
the same impossible manner by which she had removed it, bringing out instead
a simple crossbow. Probably didn't want to risk setting all the foliage on
fire in her attack on Adric ... how considerate.
Adric felt another vine creeping around him. In fact, it was positively
groping him. Suddenly he remembered which serial this plant, this whole room
was from: "Invasion of Time". When the Sontarans wandering the TARDIS had run
afoul of a man-eating plant.
Something bit him in the bum.
Adric howled and shot out of the "hedge". Nyssa spun toward him,
bringing the crossbow up to aim instantly, but Adric dived around the
carniferous and into the first corridor he saw; and the chase was on again.
There was a table with soft drinks and snack food in the cloister room.
"Ooh! Cheese Waffies!" Peri descended on a bowl filled with tiny
sandwiches made of waffle-gridded crackers enclosing an orange paste of
supposedly dairy product origin. "How did you know?"
"Oh, they're a favorite of yours, are they?" said Doctor Five
carelessly. "I picked them up at the convenient store up the street from the
"Quite a spread," Peri acknowledged, filling a paper plate with the
cheese food snacks and opening a plastic bottle of cola.
Doctor Five nodded. "All things being equal, the others should turn up
here eventually. Adric at least, since there's food."
"Well, we've lost them," said Tegan, finally stumbling to an exhausted
"Good riddance," Turlough muttered. "I don't fancy wandering though
interminable passageways whilst missing all the action." He'd got his fill of
that in "Terminus".
Tegan turned to face him. "Really? What action?"
Turlough shrugged, handicapped somewhat by that Tegan had never let go
of his hand. "There must be some kind of action going on, even if Nyssa never
nails the kid. There always is in the TARDIS." Tegan was looking at him
oddly. Speculatively. "Why? What kind of action did you think I meant?"
Tegan let go of his hand, and she showed him what kind of action she
had thought or perhaps just hoped he'd meant, in such a manner that she would
not have been taken in by any attempt he might otherwise have made to feign
unresponsiveness. "Like aggressors, do you?" she said after a moment.
"There are types of aggression I prefer to avoid," Turlough said. "But
what you're doing now ..."
"I think that room with the four-poster was a few doors down on the
left," said Tegan.
"... I never saw Dad again after that," Peri continued. She was on her
fourth eight-ounce paper cup of Coke, and despite her best intentions was
going to leave no Cheese Waffies for the others, if they didn't show up soon.
"For years I thought he hated me, but then I decided I couldn't know for sure
because with Mom's money she could have kept him away from me if she wanted,
and that's just the sort of person she is ... Listen to me babble! Must be
the sugar high."
"No no, go on," said Doctor Five. "No doubt you listened to me 'babble'
about myself often enough while we traveled. Fair's fair."
"Yeah." Peri grinned at him. He could be charming when he wanted; any of
him. "Anyway, when I turned eighteen I hired a private detective behind Mom's
back to try to find Dad for me, but that was just before Lanzarote and I
don't know if anything turned up. But back to when I was nine - Mom's second
husband was this newspaper and TV mogul ..."
Adric took a moment to wonder between gasps what possessed a TARDIS to
configure itself an unending series of loading docks.
"In my first episode," Peri said, washing down the last Cheese Waffie
with a swig of Coke, "the camera panned from my head to the bag at my feet
and back again while I just happened to be wearing a bikini. In my first
Decalog story I got made the villain's sex slave. In my first MA appearance I
got flushed naked through the corridors of the TARDIS because I was
skinnydipping in the pool when a gravitic anomaly just happened to hit.
"I'm not *surprised* to be fanfiction's sex object. I'd just like
*sometimes* to have more backstory than my front."
"Speaking of which," said Doctor Five, "you've dropped some crumbs."
"Thanks." Anyone else would have embarrassed her saying something like
that, but this was the Doctor. "You know, you're the one saving grace about
it. You're so disinterested and safe. Once I'm back in the TARDIS the
"Well," said Doctor Five. If it had been anyone else, or if the subject
had been anything else, Peri would have taken his tone as affront. "We have
had *some* ... 'action' scenes together in these fanfictions."
"Yeah, but it's not usual," Peri insisted. "Aside from the whole
traditional asexual Time Lord thing, I'm mostly thought of as Doctor Six's
companion and he's so fat."
(Back in This Time Round, Sarah Jane wondered what was going on in
TARDIS Five that the Doctors all let out a cringing groan.)
"Well, now you're engaging in precisely the sort of prejudice based on
looks - sterotypically American it is, too - that you were complaining of
moments ago! You've just reversed it, that's all!"
"I'm sorry," Peri stammered. Doctor Five was suddenly really teed off at
her, when he'd been so mellow up until now. "I didn't mean it that way. I was
talking about the stories."
Doctor Five made that visible effort for control of his temper that was
usually as close as the Doctors could bring himself to an apology. "In fact,
I don't think there's one of me who hasn't ever appeared in an 'action
"Wow." Peri was careful to sound admiring rather than surprised, and
really was intrigued.
"I'm sorry if I snapped." Hey, a real apology!
"Not your fault," said Peri, patting his arm. "You were right - I have
the same prejudice. It comes from growing up in a crowd where the boys all
have athletic club physiques and the girls all look like models, just cuz
they have the money. But I'm getting better, aren't I?"
"Yes." Humor had returned to his eyes. "But only because I drew it out
of you by regenerating into such a boor."
("What!" cried Doctor Six.)
"I have heard it said," said Turlough, "that, discounting minor
variations, there are only seven different sexual positions."
"What are the other three?" asked Tegan.
"It's too bad everyone else disappeared like that," said Peri as she and
Doctor Five crossed the parking lot back to This Time Round.
"Yes, pity that," said Doctor Five, back to his sprightly self of
earlier in the evening. "Can I buy you a drink?"
Peri shook her head. "Naw. I should be getting home." As there needed to
be something to break the resulting silence, she stuck out her hand. "I had a
great time, though."
"So did I," said Doctor Five, simply.
"See you around." Peri turned and walked off.
Sarah Jane noted the return of Doctor Five to the 'Round. He walked over
to the Doctors' usual table, where the other seven of him awaited him in
pregnant silence - until he sat down when a loud, vitriolic, and
incomprehensible (perhaps even to each other) argument broke out between the
lot of him. Several people left the tavern before Francois the Ogron
bartender went over to that table brandishing a cricket bat.
Adric stumbled into the TARDIS console room from the interior door, a
crossbow bolt through one calf. He'd been unable to make a chance to remove
it since its initial acquisition, and now his accelerated metabolism had
healed his leg so well around it that he couldn't have got it out if he
tried. Nyssa had been gaining on him steadily for half an hour, and now he
could barely walk for the agony. Adric could see only one way out any more.
"Let the story finish," he whimpered, limping toward the exit. "Then she
can kill me and end it all." He collapsed against the door.
Nyssa strode into the room, spotted him in in a pile of limbs on the
floor, sauntered over, and trained the crossbow on his heart.
"Go ahead," Adric gasped. "Get it over with."
Nyssa hesitated. Then she frowned. Then she lowered the crossbow.
"You can't *want* it!" she said. "It's no good if you *want* it!"
"Please," Adric said. Tears overran his eyes. "Please ..."
"Oh, stop whinging," said Nyssa, taking aim and firing.