“Doctor?” Marissa was calling.
“What?” he answered from underneath the console, where he was tinkering with the mechanisms of the TARDIS. He heard her enter the console room, and he moved so that he could see her clearly. “What?” he repeated.
“Doctor, I have nothing to wear. And when I say nothing, I don’t mean the typical teenage girl way of “nothing that particularly suits my fancy today.” I quite literally only have the clothes I am wearing.” The Doctor realized that she was right. All of her clothing had been incinerated in the fire that had also destroyed her home. And thanks to his sonic screwdriver, she didn't even have a sweatshirt anymore.
“Oh, yes,” he said. He pulled himself out from under the console so to better direct her. “If you go to your right, and take the first staircase you see, you’ll end up in the wardrobe room.” Most of the clothes in there were his, and wouldn’t possibly fit her, but he knew that some of his companions in the past must have left some articles of clothing she could wear. “You should be able to find something.”
“Thanks!” she replied, and headed off in the direction he indicated.
It couldn’t have been that long before the Doctor became aware of laughter echoing from the way she had gone. For a bit, he tried to ignore it, but as it grew louder and more frequent, he decided to see what she found so amusing. Pulling himself to his feet, he set off after her.
He found her seated in the middle of the room, holding a very familiar article of clothing, and he realized what must be causing her laughter.
“Doctor?” she asked, trying to hold back the laughter. “Why do you have a twenty foot scarf?” He took it from her indignantly.
“That was mine…from a while ago,” he replied, reshelving it gently.
“You actually wore it?”
“Yes! It saved my life a few times too.” She only nodded, and got to her feet.
“What about this?” she gestured to a rather Victorian-looking jacket which he instantly recognized. “It looks like a Halloween costume.”
“That’s, um…” he was suddenly at a loss for words. “That’s because it is. One time when I regenerated, I woke up in a morgue, and I needed clothes.”
“So you stole someone’s costume. I remember you telling me that. But how long, pray tell, did you wear this costume before getting real clothes?” The Doctor didn’t reply. He knew that he’d made some fashion mistakes in the past, but having them paraded in front of him like this was not his idea of fun.
“Oh, but this!” she said, disappearing among the racks of clothing. “This takes the cake.” The Doctor hoped she wasn’t talking about what he had a nasty suspicion she was talking about. “Please, Doctor, for the sake of the universe and everything in it, please tell me you never wore this outside of the TARDIS.” She emerged holding a very familiar coat aloft. Its rainbow hues were as vibrant as the day he’d selected it, and he winced.
“Oh for goodness sakes, you DID?”
“Maybe…once or twice…” he said, staring at the coat, trying to remember what it was he’d seen in it. Shaking her head, Marissa hung the coat back on a rack.
“Aren’t you supposed to be looking for clothing for yourself?” he demanded. “Instead of rummaging around in my clothes?”
“Yeah, um, I tried that. For one thing, not much fits. Evidently I’m younger, or smaller, than your average companion. And for another…” she disappeared into the clothing again, and emerged holding a shirt that resembled the top of a bathing suit more than an actual article of clothing. “I’m not sure this is my style.” The Doctor tried not to show his embarrassment.
“That was a friend of mine’s…Peri…”
“Well, I didn’t think it was YOURS!” she retorted. “And what about this?” This time, an article of clothing resembling a leather bikini emerged. Leela’s. She held it up to herself. “Oh, yes, I think this is very much me.”
“Marissa…” She looked at him, eyebrows raised. “I didn’t think of them that way, honestly. I don’t think about clothing much…”
“Well, that’s obvious,” she said, with a nod towards the coat. “Doctor, I’m just messing with you.” She flashed him a smile.
“Did you find anything you could wear?” he asked.
“Some things,” she said, picking up a small pile of clothes that had been sitting on the floor. “But we may need to make a stop in the 21st century at some point, to pick up some more.”
“Fine,” he agreed, trying not to think about how much he hated shopping. On the other hand, he couldn’t expect her to wear the same clothes every day.
She headed for the door, then turned back to him.
“I’m very glad your fashion sense has improved through the years,” she said. “But just so you know, I can handle 20-foot scarves. I can handle costumes. But if I ever see you in that coat,” she nodded towards the offending article of clothing, “I will get off at the next planet, no matter what occupies it.” With that, she was gone.
The Doctor shook his head and looked around him. Living with a teenage girl on the TARDIS was going to be interesting, to say the least. Though, he thought as he took one more look at the coat, she may have a point.
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