The Unexpected Guest by Ariana Deralte



Summary: It was a quiet evening at home, until a stranger knocked on the door and brought trouble with him.
Rating: All Ages
Categories: Eighth Doctor
Characters: Other Character(s), The Doctor (8th)
Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama, General
Warnings: None
Challenges: None
Series: None
Published: 2003.10.11
Updated: 2003.10.11


The Unexpected Guest by Ariana Deralte
Chapter 1: One-shot
Author's Notes: A/N: This was written on a whim and is meant to stand on its own. Please forgive me if it is not exactly canonically accurate. My knowledge of the eighth doctor is confined to the few Doctor Who novels I have read with him in it.

Disclaimer: Doctor Who doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to the BBC. The Bugrum’s name was taken from the anime El Hazzard, which also doesn’t belong to me.



Alex spread the butter on the bread. She sliced herself some cheese and finished making her cheese sandwich. The sandwich went on a plate on the table, while she returned the simple ingredients back to the fridge.



A glass of water later, she was sitting at the table eating her dinner. A cheese sandwich was not really her idea of a full meal, but she was watching her weight so she could fit into that mini-skirt she wanted. Once she had the money to buy it that is.



The sandwich was gone in a few bites, and Alex decided that half an apple wouldn’t upset her diet. She took it with her into the living room and switched on the
television.



Static on every channel. Alex frowned. The set was old and had a tendency to come un-tuned, but not on every channel. She tried the channels again. Nothing. No BBC 1, BBC 2, Channel 4, ITV or even Channel 5. Not that they got Channel 5 anyway. She turned the TV off in disgust.



Alex checked the clock. It would be time for Neighbours soon and she was going to miss it. Maybe she could get on the internet later and find out the story. If she didn’t, then she would be lost tomorrow when all her friends were talking about it.



She wandered about the house rather aimlessly. Her parents were away on holiday, leaving her free to do what she wanted. She could go out, but then there would be no mini-skirt on Friday. With a sigh, she turned on the computer in the corner and collapsed onto the couch to wait for the old thing to load.



She must have dozed because the next this she heard was the ring of the buzzer, coupled with heavy knocking on the door. She sat up and saw that the room was dark, illuminated only by the computer.



It took her a moment to find the light switch. She blinked in the brightness before making her way hesitantly to the door. The buzzer had stopped, but the knocking continued to a tune it took her a moment to recognize as The Bridge over the River Kwai.



Alex peered through the peep hole. A man with long, brown hair smiled at her and winked as if he knew she was looking through.



“Sorry to bother you, Miss. Pellington, but letting me in right now would be rather advisable,” he called through the door.



Alex didn’t think that would be a good idea. “My father’s just upstairs,” she called back, hoping he would go away.



“You and I know that isn’t true, Alex.”



A surge of fear went through her. How had he known her name?



“Alex. We don’t have time. I can open the door on my own, but I’d rather you let me in,” he said in a reasonable voice, that had only a slight note of panic in it.
Somehow that panic transferred itself to Alex and she found herself opening the door.



He stood there beaming at her. His clothing was odd and very out of fashion, but somehow it suited him.



“How did you know my name?” she blurted out. He held out a pile of mail she had neglected to collect.



“There’s a postcard for you,” he said cheerfully, and plopped a bright postcard from Cyprus into her hand as he walked into the entryway. She stared at it for a moment, then took a second to look out at the deepening darkness before shutting the door.



 



*****



 



The man was sitting at her computer, typing like mad, but when she made her way around to see what he was doing, the computer shut off. The lights went out as well. Alex screamed.



“They’ve cut off all communication now,” said the man calmly from somewhere in the middle of the room.



Alex had no idea how he had gotten there since he’d been in the chair in front of her a second ago.



“Who are you? What’s happening?” she was still screaming. Hands grasped her shoulders in the dark and held her firmly.



“I’m the Doctor, and we’re under attack by the Bugrum.”



“The Bugrum?” It sounded rather silly, but standing in the dark house with a total stranger made it believable. A sudden scratching noise, like claws running against the walls, confirmed it. She tried to run, but the Doctor held firm.



“I need your help, Alex. Bugrum eat electricity and with the lights and everything out, we are the only source of electricity in the area. They blocked my way to the TARDIS but they aren’t fast. If we can get out of here and to my TARDIS, everything will be all right. Do you have any lettuce?”



“What are you talking about?” asked Alex stupidly. She was scared to death, and he was babbling about lettuce. The main door slammed open.



“No time!” said the Doctor. He grabbed her hand, and found his way unerringly to the kitchen, despite the dark. There was the sound of the fridge door opening and she could hear him rummaging around inside.



“Pasta salad. Orange juice. More Orange Juice.”



“That’s Pineapple.”



“Why so it is. Cheese. Milk. Lettuce!” he shouted triumphantly.



Alex could hear the scratching again. It sounded like it was coming from the living room.



“Iceberg. My favourite. Quick! Rip it apart and throw it on the floor.” He handed her half the head of lettuce, and she did what he said, for lack of any alternative. “Now! Up you go!”



She felt herself lifted on top of a chair that had been mysteriously placed by the door. The Doctor let go of her, and she was alone in the dark with the scratching and the
chittering.



“Doctor!”



“I’m right here on a chair across from you. We jump over them once they see the lettuce. They still can't resist those old urges. Quiet now,” he ordered rather sharply. Alex closed her mouth since she had been about to speak. The chittering seemed to surround her. This wasn’t fair. She wanted her lazy night on the computer back.



A faint glowing light began to illuminate the kitchen. Alex could see the Doctor, standing on a chair across from her, his head tilted to listen. Her attention focused on the next room as the glow grew brighter. The chittering was nearly deafening.



Two giant beetles crawled into the room. Their huge carapaces were covered in small glowing pustules that provided illumination. Their heads swung about, but they didn’t’ seem to see the two people on chairs. Instead, just as the doctor said, they headed for the lettuce.



“Now!” cried the Doctor as he hurtled over the closest Bugrum. Alex gathered herself and did the same, glad that she was wearing trainers and not the platform shoes that she usually wore.



She didn’t know how they made it to their feet and through the next room, but she found herself following the Doctor to the front door, grinding to a halt against him when he stopped suddenly.



A quick peek around him revealed that the area in front of the door was already occupied by three more of the Bugrum creatures.



“What do we do now?” she whispered.



“Get ready to run,” he said, then took a step towards the Bugrum. He took a step to the right, and two of them turned to follow him. Another step. They still followed, but Alex was sure the remaining Bugrum’s eyes were fixed on her. Another step, but the last Bugrum was still blocking the door.



The illumination increased for some reason, and the last Bugrum turned towards the Doctor. Alex did so as well. Was it her imagination, or was the Doctor glowing slightly?



“Alex!” he yelled. She turned back and saw that the doorway was empty. With a last look at the glowing Doctor surrounded by the chittering Bugrum, she ran.



Down the path and over the garden wall. She ran faster than she had ever thought possible, following the road. The moon was out, but it was impossible to see anything beyond the hedges on either side.



Which was why she screamed when a hand clasped her hand that had been flung back while she was running. She calmed down as the Doctor came even with her. He smiled reassuringly at her.



“This way!” The Doctor veered off into a small gap in the nearest hedge. Alex followed and winced as she heard her thirty pound top rip on an outstretched branch.



They stumbled through the field on the other side. The Doctor headed towards a tree at the far end. The moon shone on something blue and box like. Was that an old police call box?



The Doctor reached its side and opened the door with some sort of key, than slipped inside. Alex followed, though she thought it would be rather cramped inside.



It was a bit of a shock to enter a dark grey room that couldn’t possibly fit inside the call box. Some sort of console took up the middle of the room. The Doctor approached it and immediately began flipping levers and stabbing buttons.



“Close the door,” he said without looking up. She did so, then approached the console. She pointed to a button he had just pressed.



“What’s that do?” she asked.



“I have absolutely no idea,” he replied cheerfully.



“Well, how did you escape the Bugrums? You were glowing.”



“I simply made myself more attractive to them. It was just a matter of electrical concentration, as was my escape,” he explained. He went back to his adjustments.



Alex had had enough. Now that she was safe and in a lighted area, the Bugrum were beginning to seem like a bad dream.



“Look, I need to get back to my house. My parents will be home in a few days, and they’ll be expecting me.”



He beamed at her.



“And you will be home in a few days. Just not in a lateral fashion,” he said. She was very confused, but he continued speaking. “In fact, you have a choice. I can take you forward in time a few days and drop you off. The Bugrums will be gone by then. Or you can come with me on a little adventure, and I’ll still drop you off in time to buy that mini-skirt.” Had she told him about the mini-skirt? She couldn’t remember.



His request had awakened something inside her that she had thought lost. The little girl who used to play in the mud regardless of her clothes, and eat what she wanted, when she wanted. The little girl who used to have great adventures just by wandering through the garden.



“I’ll go with you,” she heard her voice say. He nodded.



“That’s good because we’re already there,” he said without a hint of shame.



“Where?” she asked.



He walked over to the door, and held it open to the outside.



“Come and see.” He smiled, and she followed him out the door.

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.

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