The Perfect Fitz
Disclaimer: These people belong to the BBC. Alas.
"Hi. I'm a traveller in the fourth dimension. You're really hot. How about it?"
"That's crap," said Anji.
Fitz sank down into the chair across from her and lifted his feet up onto the table, ignoring her annoyed glare. People from her time were far too hygiene-conscious. It couldn't be healthy.
"No wonder he never gets any dates," he said, pulling a pack of Marlboros from his pocket.
"Well, I expect he has better chat-up lines that that."
Fitz snorted dismissively and searched his pockets for a
lighter. "Don't worry, it's bigger than it looks?"
"You're sick, you know that?"
"Thanks. That means a lot coming from you."
Anji stirred her tea and leaned back in her seat. "He's got a
"Can't say I've noticed," lied Fitz.
"A sort of? boyish charm."
"He says they have a thing for non-threatening men when you come from. Probably explains why I can never get any chicks then."
"I think the fact that you refer to woman as `chicks' probably has more to do with it," she said, coolly. "Besides, I don't find you threatening."
"Not even a little bit?" He grinned triumphantly as the back pocket of his jeans yielded a black Cricket lighter.
"But I'm a hard-bitten rough diamond struggling to make my way in the Universe, no time to stop and worry about girly things like emotions." He lit a fag and stared at her, squinting slightly.
Anji raised an eyebrow. "Actually, I think you're very sweet."
"Sweet?! I've killed men for less."
"No you haven't."
"Well, I could have. You never know with me. I've been around, I've seen things men were never meant to see."
"I hope you're using men in the generic, there, Kreiner."
Fitz frowned and moved on to maintain his slipping grip on the
conversation. "All I'm saying is, I'm tough. I'm an anti-hero. Like Harrison Ford in that film."
"I'm sure that's very nice for you." Anji pushed her empty cup
towards him. "Pour us another cup."
He picked the teapot up in one hand, gesturing with the other. "See, that's why the Doctor needs me. I do things he wouldn't. I'm like? I'm like?"
Anji watched the tea pouring into the cup, "You have self-perception issues. Pass the sugar."
He sighed. "You've never found me even the slightest bit
She stirred the sugar into her tea and considered the
question. "Well, there was that time in the console room when you'd just got up and your hair was in a right state. I thought something had sucked all the style out of the Universe. That was a bit scary."
"You're welcome. Milk."
"If you were a man I'd fight you right now. That'd show you. I'd break your arm."
"Fitz, I'd have you unconscious before you could throw your first punch."
She looked up from her tea, looked him straight in the eye. "Try me."
Fitz shrugged, "Nah, I don't hit girls."
"Morning, all. How is everyone today?"
Anji looked up and smiled at the Doctor. "Fitz is worried that he scares people."
"Oh, you're not frightening, Fitz. You're very?"
"Non-threatening?" suggested Anji.
"Yes, that's it exactly." The Doctor sat down and coughed
significantly. Fitz took his feet down from the table and tried to look nonchalant.
"Anji threatened to beat me up," said Fitz.
"No I bloody didn't!"
"Children, please." The Doctor picked up the teapot and took the empty cup that was sitting in front of Fitz. "Sometimes I have no idea why I let you two travel with me."
"Because you can't find London, 2001. I don't know why you keep Fitz though."
"Hmm. I suppose I've got used to him. He's like part of the
"I'm sitting right here," said Fitz.
"Yes, so you are. Pass the milk."
"I'm just here to pass the milk, aren't I? I've got no?"
"Role in life," provided Anji.
"That's not true, Fitz," the Doctor looked at him,
concerned. "You're very useful on our travels. You're very down to Earth, for want of a better phrase."
Anji translated for him, "He means you stop him getting himself killed all the time."
"Good, that's that settled. Now, I've been thinking?"
"That's a change," muttered Fitz.
"I thought we could do with a bit of a rest. Somewhere nice and quiet, no life-threatening situations to sort out. It'll be nice and quiet."
"Not now you've said that it won't be," said Fitz.
"There'll be monsters, won't there?" sighed Anji.
"Oh, ye of little faith."
"Oh ye of not learning from experience," Fitz lit another cigarette and stared up and the ceiling.
Anji sniffed the air and winced. "I wonder what we'd all be like
without our daily dose of passively-inhaled nicotine."
"It keeps him happy," said the Doctor, diplomatically. "I've offered to cure his addiction more times than I can remember." He shrugged. "Well, I suppose it gives him something to do with his hands." He turned to Fitz, "Have you ever tried knitting?"
Fitz lowered his head to look at the Doctor, "How about I pretend you never said that, and you tell us what hell-hole you're taking us to this time?"
"Deal." The Doctor took a sip of his tea. "There's an art exhibition on Velos. I've always meant to go, but I never seem to have the time." He drank another mouthful of tea and added, "Which I suppose is quite ironic, all things considered."
"I like art," said Anji. "And it doesn't sound too dangerous."
"Unless all the paintings come alive and eat people." Fitz was
slumped in his chair, contriving to look as unimpressed as possible.
"Oh, I hope not," said the Doctor. "Have you ever considered writing science-fiction?"
"I'm more of a wartime adventures man myself."
"Well, we're none of us perfect. So, what do you think about that art exhibition?"
"Knowing you, we're there already and you're just trying to talk us into wanting to see it so you can feel benevolent."
The Doctor twitched slightly. "Of course not," he said, a little too quickly.
Fitz looked incredibly smug. "Alright then, but you're paying us
Anji didn't know much about art, but she knew what she hated.
"That's crap," she said.
"I think it's very nice. And it's won a lot of awards."
She looked at the Doctor sceptically. "So what is it then?"
"Oh, well, it's? It's a? Look, you don't have to know what it is to be able to appreciate it."
She smirked and turned away to look for Fitz. "Where's the chimney?"
"What? Oh, I'm sure he's around here somewhere."
"A fiver says he's been arrested."
The Doctor looked at her sternly. "Anji Kapoor, that wasn't fair. Fitz might be a bit rough around the edges, but he's a very kind, very sensitive person. And law-abiding, more or less. He's probably admiring some of the artwork."
"Or some of the local population. Unless you think that's an unfair assessment as well?"
"Well, he can be a bit?"
Anji jumped as a badly-digitised rendition of the Rainbow theme started blaring from her jacket.
"You were supposed to switch that off," he said, as people around them started to glare.
"Sorry," she mumbled, and retrieved the phone from her clothing. She'd asked the Doctor what he'd done to get reception on it so far from anywhere with a Vodaphone aerial, but hadn't understood him past the word `well'.
"It's Fitz," she whispered, unnecessarily. She hit the call button and lifted it to her ear.
"?does this thing?oh, hello. It's me."
"It said so on the phone."
"Oh, right. Umm?"
She listened intently, glancing up at the Doctor every now and then.
"OK," she said, "We'll be right there."
She hung up and turned back to the Doctor. "You owe me five quid," she said.
Fitz was seriously beginning to consider getting some sort of
loyalty card for being arrested. Or maybe some sort of system where you could get stamps from every different planet you got arrested on and sent off for a free gift when you had enough different ones. The loyalty card seemed like a good idea, but he'd never get arrested enough by the same people to build up enough points. Besides, what would the reward be? You get beaten up less on your hundredth arrest?
These people hadn't actually tried any police brutality on him
though, which was a change. And they'd let him phone Anji when he'd demanded his one phone call. He'd thought about adding that in his culture it was traditional to just let the prisoner go free after a few minutes, but reckoned that nobody was that gullible. The Doctor could have gotten away with that one, of course, but he was? well, he was the Doctor.
He'd phoned Anji precisely because the Doctor would have gotten himself freed by now, and would have wasted the entire call demanding to know what he'd done this time. But Anji understood the failings of mere mortals, and wouldn't have expected him to have escaped by now using a piece of sting and some chewing gum he'd found in his pockets.
Just in case though, he turned out his own pockets. The guards here were actually quite lax, and if he'd been anything other than the arrestee he'd probably have complained about them by now. Still, it meant he had his stuff, even if they had taken the phone away from him after that. So? one lighter, black; one packet of fags, Marlboro Reds, eight remaining; one elastic band, small; one jelly baby, deceased; fourteen coins of various types and denominations; one bus ticket, return to Glenrothes, now out of date.
He bet the Doctor would have had a skeleton key and a lump of plastic explosive, the smug git.
He looked up, shoving the array of junk back into his jacket
pockets. "That's Kreiner."
"You're getting out."
Result! He scrambled to his feet and sauntered calmly through the now open door. He vaguely considered getting a stamp for his loyalty card before remembering that he'd invented that in his head five minutes ago. Never mind, maybe next time.
The guard took him out to a small room where the Doctor and Anji sat waiting for him.
"I wanted to leave you there for a few days," said Anji, "But he was dead set on getting you out."
"I'll remember that for the next time you get locked up." But she was smiling, and looked relieved.
"I explained that you didn't mean to start the fight," said the
Doctor. "How were you to know that starting a fire was highly
offensive on that man's world?"
"It was only my lighter. Did you get my phone back?"
Anji handed the Nokia to him and he crammed it into his pockets, feeling the fag packet crumple slightly under the new weight. "Right then, let's get out of this place."
The Doctor shook his head. "We have to wait for the curator to turn up and give us a form to sign. In triplicate," he said,
dismayed. "Why is it always in triplicate? Don't people trust a
verbal agreement these days?"
"Not if you're the one doing the talking, they don't."
The Doctor looked pained, "Fitz?"
"Ah, you must be the? you!"
"Do you know this man, Doctor?" Anji had a very bad feeling about this, and mentally kicked herself for unconsciously referencing Star Wars. She really had to get out more.
"I don't think? oh."
"Oh?" The curator had turned bright green, which probably wasn't good, as he'd started out blue.
"This isn't about that? thing, is it?"
"Oh, bollocks," muttered Anji.
"That `thing' was the pride of our Centauri collection!"
"Ah, but it wasn't actually yours, now was it?"
The curator gave him a look. A dangerous look, reckoned Fitz, though he couldn't quite tell, what with the scales and all.
"You stole an antique, inestimably valuable statuette from our
"You did?" Anji looked very worried and slightly impressed.
"Well, `stole' is a very subjective term. I prefer to look at it is
returning a misplaced object to its original owners."
"Oh, so you sold it then." The curator beckoned to the guards and Fitz started to back away from the argument.
The Doctor looked confused, "Why would I want to sell it? I just gave it back to them. They were very grateful."
Fitz put a hand on Anji's arm and pulled her away, "Whatever he's done, it's nothing to do with us."
"Shh! There's no point us getting into trouble as well."
The Doctor backed him up, "They had nothing to do with this. They were on Earth at the time."
Anji frowned, "We were?"
"Yes, we were in Blackpool. And I slipped off to the TARDIS to do some repairs. And then I had to test the repairs, and?"
"You said you'd only be gone five minutes!"
"Well, I was. In a way."
The room fell into silence for a moment. Finally, Anji said, "I
don't suppose you've got a good lawyer, Doctor?"
They sat in the cafeteria, staring into cooling cups of tea.
"I can't believe they actually arrested him."
"I can," said Fitz, "On account of being there to see it happen."
"And you just left him!"
"Yeah, but how were we supposed to rescue him if we were locked up too? Besides, he's probably escaped by now."
Anji looked around the empty cafeteria. "Oh, yeah?"
"Anyway, they were quite keen on the idea of paying them
compensation. Very capitalist of them. You should get a job here."
"Oh, very funny, Fitz. Shame we haven't actually got any money, isn't it?"
He flinched slightly at the icy tone and shrugged. "Well, it's a
start. Besides, we don't really need to pay them, I was just
stalling for time."
"Time to do what?"
"Well, rescue him, obviously."
Anji stared at him. "I work in finance, and you're? well, you. How exactly are we qualified to rescue anyone?"
"We've seen it done often enough."
"Yeah, we've seen him rescue us. That's not really very helpful right now, is it?"
"I," said Fitz, without a trace of irony, "Have a cunning plan?"
They stared at the TARDIS console for a full ten minutes before either of them spoke.
"Right," said Fitz. "He stands here and then he? umm?"
"Fitz, you don't even have a driving licence, what makes you think you can work a space-time machine that occasionally hides rooms?"
"It can't be that hard. I don't think the Doctor really knows what he's doing half the time."
Anji wandered over to the fireplace and sank into the red armchair dejectedly. "Well, at least he'll get out in a couple of years. Probably. They don't kill people for art theft, do they?"
"Do we really want to find out?" Fitz stared at the levers and
switches and flipped one experimentally. The lights went out. "So, not that one then." He turned the lights back on and stared tapping his fingers on the edge of the console. "That one's the doors, I know that much. And we've established that that one does the lights."
"Just don't touch any red ones," called Anji.
"You could help, you know."
"I'm trying to think of a sensible plan, actually."
"What have you done now?" Anji walked over and saw Fitz hugging his left hand under his arm.
"He hits it. It always works when he hits it." He looked at his
hand, wincing. "Bastard thing bit me."
"Electric shock more likely. Didn't your mum ever tell you not to play with electricity? Or didn't they have that when you were a kid?"
"Oh, ha bloody ha. I'd like to see you do any better."
Anji looked dubiously at the controls. "He could at least have shown us the basics. You know, `Here's how to make the thing move so you can rescue me when I inevitably get myself into potentially life-threatening trouble.' That sort of thing."
"Probably scared you'd take out a mortgage on it. Hang about."
"I've had an idea."
"Two in one day? Isn't that a record for you?"
"Nah, listen, this one's brilliant."
Anji contemplated murder. "Alright then, Giles, what have you got?"
"It's? never mind, just spill the plan."
"Well, what would the Doctor do in this situation?"
"Save the Universe with a toothpick."
"Apart from that. Think about it. What's the one thing that he's really, really good at?"
Fitz placed the object on the curator's desk and grinned
The blue man looked up and frowned. Probably frowned. "And this is??"
"Compensation. A genuine second dynasty artefact from?err?"
"Tatooine," provided Anji.
"Never heard of it," said the curator.
"Not many people have," admitted Fitz. "Which is what makes it so special. The ruins of the capital city were only discovered last year. And this is the seal of the Emperor who founded that city."
"What are those? bits?"
"Those are the charred remains of the Emperors who reigned before him," said Fitz, warming to his subject. "Traditionally they were cremated and kept on public display. But these fragments were incorporated into the seal to show that the dynasty was legitimate."
"And this is worth??"
"Oh, it's priceless. You couldn't buy this anywhere. This is the
"Do you mind telling me how you came by it?"
"Yes, actually." Fitz tapped the side of this nose, a gesture that was almost certainly lost on the alien. "Have to protect our sources, you know. Can't have anyone offering them more than we do."
The curator sat back in his chair and considered the object on his desk. "I'll have to have it authenticated."
"By all means," said Fitz, magnanimously, "But in the meantime, if you could see your way clear to letting our friend out for a day or two, just to set some things in order."
"I couldn't possibly?"
Fitz picked up the item of incredible value, "Alright then, we'll
take it somewhere else." He headed for the door, nodding to Anji to follow him.
"Wait." The curator drew a scaly hand over his own head. "Perhaps? just for a day or so?"
"Pass the milk."
Fitz handed the Doctor the carton, refusing to let menial tasks deflate his aura of smug triumph.
Anji stirred her tea absently, "Well, I was impressed. Really."
The Doctor shrugged. "A bit amateurish. But, yes, I am grateful. And no, you can't pilot the TARDIS next time. I don't think she likes you very much at the moment. You didn't do anything to upset her, did you?"
"Who? Me?" Fitz lit a fag and grinned. "I only want the one lesson," he added, hopefully.
He shrugged. "Still, you can't call me useless any more."
"I never said you were useless. Sugar."
"And you owe me a new ashtray. I was thinking maybe solid gold this time."
Anji suppressed a smile. Best not to let Fitz get too convinced of his own amusement value. "He was just like you, Doctor. Well, not quite as convincing."
The Doctor made a non-committal noise.
"You're still moping aren't you?" said Fitz.
"I," said the Doctor, with surprising dignity, "Do not mope."
"Bollocks," said Anji, earning a stern look from the Doctor, "You've been moping ever since we told you what an excellent liar you are. And we did rescue you, after all."
"With an ashtray," the Doctor shook his head, bewildered.
"My ashtray," said Fitz. "And you do lie. All the time."
"No, I don't!"
"'Yes, Anji, I can find London in the year 2001. No problem.'"
"That's not so much a lie as?"
"A gross exaggeration of your own abilities," said Anji.
"And if you didn't tell so many ridiculous lies, I would never have got the idea to rescue you. With an ashtray." Fitz drew in another lungful of nicotine and leaned back in his chair.
"A priceless ashtray from a lost alien dynasty," corrected Anji.
The Doctor sighed. "Fitz?" he said.
"Put the kettle on again."