STRANGE BEDFELLOWS 1/1 TTR
by Paul Gadzikowski
Bits of this work may derive from properties of the BBC, Fox,
Paramount, et al., but it's non-profit and in no way intrudes on
THIS TIME ROUND concept by Tyler Dion, after Kielle
The character Number One created by BKWillis
KING ARTHUR IN TIME AND SPACE is mine.
The Valeyard dropped into the other seat of Number One's booth at This
Time Round with all the successfully deceptive casualness of Ted Baxter. "We
need to talk," he hissed, in a whisper that could only be heard two tables
"Yeah?" said Number One. "What have *I* got to say to a loser who's a
villain 'cuz he's only half a man?"
Number One doubted that the Valeyard was subtle enough to perceive that
the jibe was actually a double entendre alluding to the Valeyard's origin.
But he *did* discover that the Valeyard was subtle enough to rejoind by
wordlessly threatening to dump his martini on Number One's head, alluding to
Number One's curse. "Fine. You have two minutes."
"I need a partner for an enterprise. You need protection, now that
you're no longer with the Brethren."
"Wait - how do you know about that?"
The Valeyard smirked. "You never knew the leader's name, did you?"
"Do you know my name?"
Number One frowned at that for only a second. "You know it because,
since you're in so little a.dw.c fiction, you have more than enough time to
read it all."
The Valeyard shrugged it's-a-fair-cop and continued. "Doesn't matter how
I know it. My organization can keep you safe."
"Can it? What if Willis writes different in his upcoming TDFs? You know
he's going to."
"What if? This place is Outside Continuity, idiot. This author has
written anti-TDF before [http://members.iglou.com/scarfman/round19.htm]."
"All right. What's the job?"
"You know that this author considers the Doctor to be the author avatar
in his fanfiction."
"Yes, and that makes you the author anti-avatar," said Number One in the
tone screen characters use when the other guy is recapping exposition.
"Exactly. Presently, I'm an amalgamation of all the author's insecurity
that posting his 'King Arthur in Time and Space' stories ticks people off
because they don't agree the stories are on-topic for a.dw.c."
Number One looked over at the bar. Several KAITAS characters were
present. Lancelot and Guenevere were making moon eyes at each other. Merlin
and Nimue were making moon eyes at each other. Arthur and Francois the Ogron
bartender were arguing the fine points of sword combat (Francois that a fine
point on the sword was sufficient). "And?" said Number One.
The Valeyard's face convulsed in a paroxysm of rage. No, sorry, a parody
of rage. "I want that bunch of shiny-arsed public-domain cliches out of this
tavern and off this newsgroup!"
"Do you really think you can win?" Number One asked skeptically.
The Valeyard dropped his histrionics like Arthur Dent holding whale
meat. "It's possible. If there were greater traffic on the newsgroup than
there is now - and if there were overwhelming negative response from real
readers - he'd pull the reposts. Of course, I don't *really* want that to
happen, because then this TTR story arc is over and I have to go back to
wishing Jeri Massi liked Doctor Six." Number One tried to imagine that, and
failed utterly. "What do you say?"
"Deal," said Number One. He put out his hand, then - once the Valeyard's
was out - spit in his palm and shook hands before the Valeyard could pull his
back. Now the Valeyard was truly committed. "You say your organization can
keep me safe from the Brethren?"
The Valeyard wiped at the palm of his black glove with a napkin. "Yes."
"Who've you got?"
"Up to you," said the Valeyard. "Your first task is recruitment. Who
better to pick people to hold off the Brethren than an ex-member?"
Number One rolled his eyes. "Shoulda known. Well, I'll do it offstage -
Gadzikowski's already done one 'Shock Value' sendup."
"How did it go?" the Valeyard asked as Number One slid into their booth
drink in hand the next day.
"Well, having learned from the Bradleyard's mistakes," said Number One
lighting up, "instead of settling for the supporting characters' supporting
characters who lurk around here, I took a well-trafficked PLOT hole near here
to a planet of warriors I know of and made an alliance with their king."
"Not bad," said the Valeyard, impressed. "What planet?" As he spoke the
tavern's overhead lighting was eclipsed by something. Someone. Some huge one,
also carrying a drink and pulling up a chair to their booth. No, two chairs.
"You!" cringed the Valeyard.
"You!" bellowed Yrcanos.
In their sole previous (recorded) (so far) (that I know of) meeting at
the 'Round, the Valeyard had entertained Yrcanos for most of half an hour
with his inability to defend himself. Yrcanos had lumped the Valeyard in with
the Time Lords who'd conspired to allow Peri and Yrcanos to die on Thorus
Beta, and was taking revenge. Before the present meeting could devolve into a
similar scenario, Number One pulled out his pistol and shot a round into the
ceiling. It got their attention, not to mention startling everyone in the
place. But Adric immediately ran for cover, leaving no staff to raise any
objection but Francois, who only grinned. "Mirror-eyes man know how to
"Siddown, both of you," Number One growled.
Yrcanos settled for emitting one of his loud hisses. These are actually
Krontep Battle Language, and what he was saying was, "I'll drink with you
because you're a friend of this burning-leaf-inhaling son-of-a-bitch, but you
won't leave this table unless we need you or unless I drink too much and
forget to kill you."
"Are you crazy?" the Valeyard snapped to Number One. "This ham-fisted
numbskull's queen just married all eight Doctors in the author's other 'Round
arc! That(ose) interfering idiot(s) is/are certain to get involved! What the
hell were you thinking?"
"Two things," said Number One. "First, now that Peri and the physical
manifestation of multiple personality disorder are married and living happily
ever after, their arc needs a new direction if it's to continue. Second, you
wanted another shot at being the villain of that arc."
"Yes, the villain! The villain! Not an ally!" said the Valeyard,
sounding very like Basil Fawlty. "Assuming the Doctor(s) do/es/n't try to
stop this war we're fomenting, t/he/y'll join up on the side of hier's wife's
"Exactly," said Number One, then took a drag to make the Valeyard wait
for it. "In *order* to make Peri and the Doctor join in, you'd have to
convince them first that you and I are the good guys and the Round Table are
the bad guys. That's pretty villainous, aint it?"
The Valeyard mulled that over. "But I wanted to be the villain of two
arcs." He was pouting, but Number One could tell he'd won him over. But then
the Valeyard turned to Yrcanos. "What about you? We're about to double-cross
your queen and the ma/en who stole her from you - you good with that?"
Number One admired the Valeyard's spin control but it hadn't been
necessary. Yrcanos slammed the Valeyard genially on the shoulder. "Bugger
that! Sounds like a good war's brewing! Count me in!"
"Then it's settled." Number One put his gun away and raised his glass.
"And if I'm lucky maybe I'll get through this all without losing my cojones,
like I have so far."
"That's what a codpiece is for," said Yrcanos helpfully.