Disclaimer: I own nothing; I merely borrow and put back nicely in the BBC archives.
Notes: It was one of those wild ideas that only come up between two and six in the morning, because at any other time you'd know better than to write it. And if you like, leave a review commending me on the multiple ways to differentiate between two Doctors.
Well, That Shouldn't Have Happened...
The Doctor was shoved into the room, the guards behind him watching his every move before allowing the door to slide closed after him. He glanced quickly around, adjusting his yellow frock coat, and saw only one other person in the room. He stopped in shock. "You!"
The Doctor looked up and said inquiringly, "Do I know you, old chap?"
* * *
The fifth Doctor paced the cell, muttering to himself. The fourth Doctor was still sprawled against one of the walls, his hat covering his face, appearing to snore. The blonde Doctor had, to his irritation, tripped over his other self’s scarf at least two times already.
The younger-looking Doctor stopped moving and scowled down at his predecessor, rather like a younger brother would glare at an annoying older sibling. "The least you could do is help me come up with a way to escape this place," he said testily.
The other Doctor pushed the brim of his hat up, so he could look up at his other incarnation. "My dear chap," he said slowly and grinned, that big, infuriating grin his other self remembered with self-loathing (of a sort), "what can we possibly do? I don't have my sonic screwdriver on me--do you have yours?"
"No," said the other Doctor through gritted teeth. "The Tereleptils destroyed it, and I haven't gotten around to making another one yet."
"What?!" Now the brown-haired Doctor jumped up. "You let those idiots destroy the sonic screwdriver?!"
"I didn't let them," his other self answered defensively. "I couldn't stop them!"
The fourth Doctor looked at his future self in pity, shaking his head. "I would never have let that happen."
The fifth Doctor scowled again. "No, of course not," he said spitefully. "You would have stopped the Tereleptils using only a teacup and some chewed gum before they even had a chance to burn London down, let alone get their grubby little digits on the sonic screwdriver."
"Well, I would have let them burn London anyway," the other Doctor answered modestly. "After all, that is a part of established history."
The fifth Doctor sighed impatiently. "All this is beside the point," he said. "We need to get out of here."
"Oh, quite, old chap," said the fourth Doctor, grinning and sitting back down, lowering his hat over his face again. "Don't worry; I'm sure between the two of us we can figure something out."
The fifth Doctor heaved out a breath, then also sat down, on the other side of the cell. Pacing was only draining his energy reserves. And his predecessor obviously had some plan cooking; he remembered he used to think best when he put his hat over his head like that. It helped him concentrate.
The scarf-encircled Doctor propped the hat up again on his wild curls to stare thoughtfully at the cricketer across the room. "So you're my future self," he said thoughtfully.
"Yes," answered the other man shortly. "Immediate future."
"Hmph. Not much to look at, are you?"
"We can't all wear scarves and have curly brown hair, now can we?" answered the other sarcastically.
"No need to get defensive," the fourth Doctor said. "It's just I expected my future self to be...well, not like you really."
"Oh yes? And what did you expect your future self to be?"
"Oh, I don't know," answered the fourth Doctor. "A chap with a bit more presence, I suppose. Don't you get ignored a lot? And you look so young. I don't see how you can get any respect."
The fifth Doctor managed to contain himself with some difficulty.
"Care for a jelly baby?" the fourth Doctor continued brightly, holding out a crumpled white paper bag.
"No thank you." The man with the celery on his lapel paused, then went on in a studied casual manner, "How's the yo-yoing coming along then?"
"Yo-yoing? It's coming along fine; why?" the other Doctor stared at his future self suspiciously.
"Well, I just seem to remember having some difficulty with it, that's all," answered the other Doctor with wide-eyed, boyish innocence.
"Difficulty? Difficulty?! Never!" his predecessor was utterly affronted and insulted. "What rubbish!"
The fifth Doctor hid a smile. "Sorry I mentioned it," he murmured.
"At least I can keep track of my sonic screwdriver!"
The cricketer glared. "At least I'm clever enough not to have to resort to tripping people with a scarf!"
"Hey! I think that's a very clever trick," said the other, caught out.
"It's childish and silly," his future self shot back.
"You're just jealous because you don't have a scarf," the brown-haired Doctor said. "Anyway, can you yo-yo?"
"No," answered the other stiffly. "I've never felt the need to try."
"Oh, you really should," said his other self, immediately cheerful and grinning again. "It does wonders to relieve stress. Here, I might have a yo-yo on me..." He went shuffling through his capacious pockets.
"We should be trying to think of a way to escape!"
"Oh? Yes, I suppose you're right." He settled back against the wall again and closed his large blue eyes, seeming to fall asleep. His other self knew better and waited as patiently as he could, racking his own brain to think of some plan.
"But don't you find life very hard?" asked the fourth Doctor abruptly after a moment, without opening his eyes. The fifth Doctor glanced over at him in surprise, his own blue eyes narrowing. "You seem to take everything so seriously. And you're so petulant."
"Do be quiet and think!" his future self commanded.
"There you go again," said his incorrigible past self. "And you're calling me childish. Ha!"
"Look, it's not easy being your future self, all right? And you're not helping, telling me I should be a chap with more--presence!" the blonde Doctor rasped out in a strangled voice.
"Eh?" the older Doctor sat up and stared at his other self. "Not easy being my future self?" he repeated.
"Yes," snapped the cricketer. "Do you have any idea how annoying it is to go to a new planet, where the people need help, and those same people look you up and down and say, 'We didn't want you; we wanted the other chap, the big tall one with the scarf.' Do you have any idea?!"
"Well I'm sorry, but I really can't help my reputation preceding myself," said the Doctor in the scarf, preening.
The other Doctor rolled his eyes. "I don't know how I ever stood being you," he said wearily.
"And you're so much better, are you?" flared the fourth Doctor sarcastically.
"People find it much easier to relate to me than they ever did you," the blonde placidly told the curly brown-haired man.
"Yes, they probably also find it easier to ignore you than they ever did me," retorted his past self.
"Which just gives me an advantage in the element of surprise!" shot back his future self. "They don't expect me to do anything so they're utterly shocked when I do!"
The two Doctors paused and looked at each other warily out of the corner of their blue eyes. "This is silly," they said in unison.
The fourth Doctor continued alone. "You're right; we should be thinking of an escape plan."
The fifth Doctor was nodding agreement, about to speak, when the door slid open. The two incarnations of the same Time Lord glanced up, both on their guard, but instead of the prison guard they had expected, it was an administrator with an apologetic look on his face.
"We're terribly sorry," he said. "We thought you were the Master and his companion. We didn't realize it was you, sirs. It's all been a horrible mistake; we hope you'll forgive us and enjoy your time on our planet. You are, of course, free to go now." He stood away from the doorway, allowing them room to leave, looking faintly embarrassed.
The two Doctors exchanged long, considering glances, neither daring to ask the question that was uppermost in their mind. Which one of us did he think was the Master? Which merely the companion?
They mutually decided it would be better not knowing. Both the scarved and the celeried Doctors stood up and stiffly left the cell, neither deigning to look at the crestfallen administrator. They walked down the corridor together, left the building, and paused on the street outside, looking around and not catching each other’s eye.
"Well," said the Doctor, adjusting the celery on his yellow- and red-trimmed lapel. "It was...nice seeing myself again."
The Doctor vigorously shook his future self's hands, surprising said future self. "Lovely meeting you, old chap," he grinned, blue eyes wide and brown curly hair wild. "Do try the yo-yoing. I'm sure it will help you immensely."
His other self considered himself. "You know, one of us has to leave this planet now. It wouldn't do for both of us to be found here. The Time Lords would have a fit."
"Well, I'm certainly not leaving, which means you have to," said the fourth Doctor reasonably.
His future self scowled, an expression that didn't suit his young face at all. "No," he answered slowly, "I don't have to leave. You should; I don't even remember being here before."
"I've lived a long life; I can't remember everywhere I've been. Besides, you didn't remember meeting yourself, did you?"
The fifth incarnation of the Doctor was losing his patience again. "Have you any idea how infuriating you can be?" he asked through gritted teeth.
"Have you any idea how infuriating you can be?!" shouted his past self.
"At least I have better manners than you ever will!" yelled back his future self. "Believe me, I remember how bad yours are!"
"At least I didn't let those idiot Tereleptils destroy the sonic screwdriver!"
The fifth Doctor suddenly looked dangerous. "Always coming back to that, are we?" he said quietly, but in a tone anyone other than himself would have feared.
"It's not my fault you can't hold onto very important objects!" the fourth Doctor taunted.
"You almost lost the Key to Time!" hollered back the slighter Doctor in extreme aggravation. "Many, many times!"
"Oh, right, drag up ancient memories, why don't you!"
The two incarnations of the same man were facing off each other in the street, directly in front of the prison they had just left. They were attracting a large crowd with their shouting match. A massive, formidable prison guard broke through the crowd, efficiently dispersing it, and came up to the two Doctors.
"Will you both come with me, please?" he said briskly and expressionlessly. He stood behind the slighter, blonde-haired Doctor, while another guard took position behind the brown-haired Doctor. The two incarnations of the same Time Lord glared at each other, breathing heavily. "You are both under arrest for disturbing the peace. If you will go into the building directly in front of you..." He and his partner started shepherding the Doctors back into the prison.
"Now look what you've done," groused the fifth Doctor sourly.
"What I've done! You were the one who started it!"