When Rose walked through the door of the Round, she found the place pretty
much empty. Apart from the Eleventh Doctor and Rory, who were engaged in
lugging a bulky, dust-covered machine up the steps from the cellar, the only
person present was Jamie. It took her a moment to recognise him, dressed as
he was in a tuxedo, with trousers rather than his usual kilt.
"Going somewhere nice?" she asked him.
Jamie nodded. "It's a fancy dress party."
"That'd explain it. Why you're dressed as James Bond, I mean." She
straightened his bow tie. "You want to be careful with that. Whenever my
fella wears one of those something dreadful happens."
The Eleventh Doctor dropped his end of the machine he was dragging, and
looked up. "Bow ties are cool," he said firmly.
"Actually, I'm sort of with Rose on that one," Rory said, setting his end
of the machine down rather more gently. "You wear a bow tie all the time,
and... wherever you go, things get all disastrous-y."
"So who else is going to this party of yours?" Rose asked.
"Oh, all the lassies. They're just changing now. Look, here's Isobel."
"Now there's a familiar sight," Rory said, as Isobel descended the Round's
staircase. She was wearing a 1970s police uniform-- or rather, a 1970s
equivalent of Amy's favourite costume, for it certainly wasn't aiming at
"Hi, everyone," she said. She gave Jamie an appreciative glance. "You
certainly scrub up nicely."
"Where are you all going?" Rose asked, as a blushing Jamie mumbled his
"Some space cruiser in the year 2537," Isobel said. She fished a piece
of paper out of her pocket. "On board the /Orchid Spray/. Apparently it's
the party of the millennium. The Doctor got us tickets."
"All right for some, eh?"
Isobel shrugged. "I've lost count of how many times something I've been to
was supposed to be the party of the century. It usually means cheap fizz in
a dingy basement, and some poser trying to sell you horrible artworks." She
smiled, self-deprecatingly. "And once or twice, that poser was me."
Gia chose that moment to join the group.
"Wow," Rose said, looking at her costume. "Red Riding Hood?"
"That's right. What do you think?"
"I think you're gonna be beating off big bad wolves with a stick."
"You've got legs," Rory added, sounding a little stunned. "And arms. And...
"Actually, just stand next to Jamie a moment," Isobel said. She held up her
fingers, as if framing a photograph. "You'd make quite a good Bond girl,
dressed like that."
"Except James Bond's supposed to be taller than the girl," Rose pointed out.
"Well, that's hardly Gia's fault, is it?" Isobel glanced at her watch. "And
talking of short people, where are the other girls?"
"They're a bit behind time," Gia said. "They had some trouble finding
costumes that fitted."
"Where's Victoria?" Samantha asked.
"Martha said she'd got a costume she could borrow. They're about the same
"Yeah, but they're nothing like the same *shape*. Anyway, what did you
manage to get for us?"
"They only had one costume in our size. I thought you could wear it, and
I could improvise something." Zoe unzipped the plastic bag, pulled the
costume out, and held it up. "Here it is. There's a wig that goes with it."
Samantha grimaced at the costume. "No way I'm wearing that."
"Well, I suppose it would fit me. But then what would you go as?"
"Can't we swap? I mean, you said just now you could get your hands on
another outfit. Why I couldn't I wear that?"
Zoe looked dubious. "I suppose you could."
"Come on, then. Where is it?"
"Could you turn your back, please?" Zoe waited until Samantha had turned
away, then took a deep breath.
"Wheel in Space Power, make up!" she chanted, pronouncing the words as if
she didn't know what they meant.
"What do you think?" Victoria asked timidly.
"Jadzia Dax to the life," Rory said. "Even down to the spots. How long did
it take to paint all those?"
"Long enough." Victoria cautiously touched the leopard-like pattern on the
side of her face. "But Martha said it was important for the full effect."
Rose grinned. "She's such a Trekkie. So who's left?"
"Just Sam and Zoe," Gia said.
"Don't tell me. Sam's gonna be Queen Victoria."
Isobel shook her head. "Not a chance. She's had enough of Queen Victoria
jokes by now." She attempted to imitate Samantha's Liverpool accent. "'We are
"No," Rory said thoughtfully. "No, I can see that."
"Zoe's just coming," Samantha said, as she joined the party. "She's still
Isobel looked her up and down, noting the sailor fuku, tiara, gloves and
high-heeled boots. "Let me guess," she said. "You're a Sailor Scouse, right?"
"Oh, very funny." Samantha turned her back on Isobel. "Hey, what's Gia
supposed to be?"
"Red Riding Hood," Gia said.
"Give over." Samantha gave her a closer look. "Well, maybe. I mean, it's red
and there's a hood. It's just-- I was expecting there'd be more of it."
"You sound like--" Gia began, and broke off. Her jaw dropped, and she burst
out in uncharacteristic laughter. Samantha turned, to see what she was looking
at, and couldn't help joining in.
"Miss Violet Elizabeth Heriot!" Isobel gasped, before joining in the general
Zoe descended the stairs, scowling, her pink ruffled dress and elaborate
auburn curls the focus of everybody's attention.
"What's happened to her hair?" Jamie asked. "Is that a wig?"
"Her normal hair is, isn't it?" Samantha said. "Well, a hairpiece anyway.
But yeah, that one came with the costume."
"Don't be horrid to the poor little girl," Isobel said. "You'll make her
cry. Or thcweam and thcweam until she's thick."
"I can see this is going to be a long evening," Zoe said. "Oh, well. Are
we all ready?"
The other members of the party nodded.
"Right." The Doctor opened a panel in the machine he and Rory had been
trying to move, and extracted a handful of gold-coloured discs, each about
an inch across, covered with Gallifreyan writing. He handed two of these to
"Recall devices," he explained. "Keep them on you, and I'll lock on and
bring you back when you're ready."
"How do you know when we're ready?" Victoria asked.
"Touch the centre of one with the edge of the other. So it's best if you
don't keep them in the same pocket." He waited until the party had bestowed
the recall discs about their persons. "Rory, how are you getting on?"
"There's a socket over here," Rory said. "Will that do?"
"Should do." The Doctor unhooked a coil of flex from the back of the
machine, threw it to Rory, and waited while he plugged it in and switched it
"Is it broken?" Rory asked. "I don't think being dropped did it any good."
"Shouldn't think so. It's Gallifreyan technology. Tough as old boots." He
gave the machine a kick, and winced. "No. Tougher."
He delved in his pockets, producing, in rapid succession, cycling clips,
a rolled-up parchment, an Auton arm, a banana, and finally his sonic
screwdriver. Returning the other junk to his pockets, he aimed the
screwdriver at the machine. "That's more like it."
Pale light flickered inside the machine, and it gave a rusty groan, like a
tractor badly in need of oil. A black, glassy tetrahedron shimmered into
existence around the six partygoers, rose slightly, and bore them away.
"Have a great night," Rose called after them.