"Well," the Doctor said. "After that I'm looking forward to a nice, quiet
evening..." He pushed the door of the Round open, and tailed off.
"Doctor," Rory said. "What's going on?"
"Looks like a party," Amy said cheerfully. "Is it someone's birthday?"
"Almost certainly." The Doctor took a cautious step into the pub. "But that
wouldn't explain all this."
He took a few more steps into the room, and looked around. Not only was
there a party in progress, and not only did it seem to have a wild, piratical
air to it, but a number of the louder and more boisterous guests were people
he'd never seen in the Round before.
"Pirates?" Amy wondered out loud. "That was last week."
"No," the Doctor said. "Not pirates." He advanced on the closest one of
the newcomers: a huge man, with dark curly hair, tanned skin and an impressive
beard, who looked as if he might have been a blacksmith. In one hand, he was
holding a foaming tankard; his other was supporting Lucie Miller, who was
sitting on his lap, laughing at some joke he'd just made. Her sequinned
eyepatch added to the piratical impression.
"You," the Doctor said, addressing the man. "You're supposed to be dead."
"I'd hoped for a warmer greeting than that, Doctor!" the man shouted
cheerfully back at him. "Are we not old comrades, brothers in arms?"
"Doctor, who is this?" Rory asked.
"I'd have thought that was obvious. Excuse me a moment, dearest." The man
extricated his arm from around Lucie's shoulders, and held it up, the
Ouroboros tattoo plain to see.
"The Corsair?" Amy said.
The man bowed his head. "At your service. I'm afraid I'm taken for tonight"
-- he pulled Lucie a little closer to him -- "but perhaps one of my other
selves will buy you a drink."
"He's right, though, isn't he? You're supposed to be dead."
"But in this place, all that matters is that we have lived!" The Corsair
drained his mug, and waved at Adric. "Potboy, more ale! And another Brass
Monkey for my charming friend."
"Hang on a sec," Lucie said. "One more of those and I'd be anybody's."
The Corsair looked at her, and quirked an eyebrow.
Lucie giggled. "OK, I'll have two."
The Doctor raised his hands as if to remonstrate. "You are just..." He
glanced around, and noticed Amy in conversation with a richly-dressed,
Falstaffian figure wearing a horned helmet. "And what do you think you're
"He's another one of the Corsair, silly," Amy said. "And he's going to buy
me a drink. Can't be bad."
"I know who he is, but-- Amy, you're married!"
"Don't worry, he's not my type. I know all about what's allowed and what
isn't." She pulled a face at him. "Kissogram, remember? You ought to relax a
"This isn't a good idea. Rory, you tell her-- Rory? Rory?"
"Sorry, Theta, you're too late this time." A grinning, Cornish-accented
woman in motorcyling leathers linked her arm firmly with Rory's. "I'm going
to show him my tattoo -- and 'twouldn't be much of a surprise for you, would
it? You've already seen where 'tis." She put one finger to the Doctor's
lips. "Look, if you got nothing to do, be a darling and go back to that
planet for my arm. And keep it handy next time you're regenerating, know what
"That wouldn't work--"
But she had already gone. The Doctor spun around in frustration, then darted
across the Round to a corner table, recognising another of the Corsair's
incarnations. A blond, handsome rogue in a white doublet, he was involved in
a passionate kiss with Sarah Jane Smith, but broke off as the Doctor hurried
"That's my companion!" the Doctor spluttered. "What are you doing to my
"If you don't know /that/, it's no wonder you haven't had any for seven
hundred years!" the latest Corsair riposted.
The Doctor facepalmed. "I should have known better than to ask."
"If you don't ask, you don't get, do you? Woof!"
"And that's still no way to treat my companion."
Sarah pushed her hair out of her eyes. "Well, I'm not complaining," she
said. She might have added more, but her new drinking companion didn't give
her the chance.
"This isn't right! I was in *mourning* for you--"
The Doctor broke off as a beefy hand clapped him on the shoulder.
"Doctor!" King Yrcanos boomed. "What a joy it has been to meet your friends!
Men of action-- not forgetting the women, of course. I agree with you
"Agree? Agree about what?"
"'One of the good ones,'" you said. "I would go further. This Corsair is one
of the BEST ones!"
A roar of approval greeted this sentiment from all corners of the Round.
"Yes, I did say that, didn't I?" The Doctor shook his head. "But I've got a
feeling a little of him's going to go a long, long way."
Thinks: This is what a nice clean life leads to. Hmm, why did I ever lead one?
-- Bluebottle, in the Goon Show