The Doctor assured me that the effects of the trans-bodation ray were temporary, that they’d wear off in a few days, but I wasn’t so sure. I could hear the quaver in his voice and it bunched me up inside. It was hard to think that the rest of my life I might be stuck in one form. That said, if I had to be stuck in a single body, I’d choose the Doctor’s any day. It’s not bad as far as bodies go — I’ve switched into it a few times myself, when I still was myself. But, being stuck in one fixed form, that’s suffocating. And worse, I had to watch the Doctor in my body.
Poor sap. He kept trying to shift into a copy of his Time Lord body, but he lacked the skill of a born Whifferdill.
“Just stick to the penguin template,” I urged him, “fingers are tricky, flippers are easy, and the form should be easy to retrieve.”
Of course, he refused. He was rambling about how he wouldn’t be a fish-breathed Spheniscinae. That it was undignified, and unfit for a Time Lord. Personally I thought that a bit harsh, and I told him that penguins are very dignified; they wear tuxedos.
The Doctor made another attempt at shifting into his Time Lord body. He messed up on the coat though and the end result was a body looking like a mix between a five year old’s finger painting and a pile of something the cat brought up.
“Just stop! Doctor, come on and listen. You’re going to hurt yourself.”
“I will not!” the Doctor croaked. And next thing I knew, he was a rainbow painted 1968 Chevrolet Sportvan.
“Very nice,” I said, slightly surprised that he managed such a complex shape, even if I didn’t think he chose it on purpose.
The Doctor honked his horn. I got in and he drove us back to the TARDIS.
Once there, there was a bit of explaining to do for Peri’s sake. It didn’t help matters when the Doctor realised that he couldn’t shift out of his vehicular form. I tried to talk him out of it, step by step, but it was no use. He parked himself beside the TARDIS to wait for the ray’s effects to be reversed.
Anyway, after that, one thing led to another. The Doctor was in a right sulk and not talking to either of us, so it was up to me to keep Peri occupied while we waited. She didn’t seem very interested in my stories about being a great detective, but I noticed how she kept stealing little glances at me.
Now, I’m extremely perceptive, and I’d noticed (before this whole trans-bodation ray mess) that Peri was often giving the Doctor these little glances. The Doctor, not half so observant as me, apparently never spotted it.
Anyway, I noticed, and being stuck in the Doctor’s body, I figured I’d confront Peri about it. Turns out she’s sexually attracted to the Doctor (not that he’d notice or care). Since I’m sexually attracted to Peri this wasn’t a bad situation (well, the whole body switching bit was bad, but we were going to make the best of it. I’m an opportunist. I don’t let little things like trans-bodation rays spoil my mood).
It was a bit awkward at first (I’m not used to all of the Doctor’s bits. Everything runs much smoother when you’re a penguin), but I quickly gained skill. There’s great chemistry between our bodies, well, Peri’s body and the Doctor’s body. She’s warm, he’s not, and they slid together like ice cream and hot fudge. Perfect complements.
She liked the Doctor’s hair. She liked tangling her fingers in it as we — ahem. I wasn’t so hot on that because sometimes she pulled too hard and it hurt but I wasn’t complaining.
A week passed, maybe two. Peri told me all her secrets, about her life on Earth, about her family (I bunched up my fists real tight when she told me about her scum-bag step-father), about her real feelings for the Doctor…
It was good while it lasted, but I started to feel guilty. It wasn’t me Peri loved, not really, it was the Doctor. I was just the flesh.
I told Peri and she acted guilty and sheepish, but she knew it was wrong too. I told her that she had got to tell the Doctor how she feels. That she can’t just keep everything bundled up inside herself.
She agreed, but she was scared, and the Doctor hadn’t been talking the past week or two. He was still stuck as a 1968 Chevrolet Sportvan.
We went see him. Peri climbed inside him and I followed. He doesn’t have the details of a van inside; it was all pink and kind of mushy. There was something round-ish that might’ve been a steering wheel, but not much else.
“Doctor?” said Peri. He didn’t respond, and she started pleading with him, confessing her love. And I felt… jealous. I wished she could love me like that. Me, me. Not just the flesh I wore.
The Doctor honked twice, and I didn’t know if he was saying yes or no.
I told Peri that I love her, and I meant it. I said it in a husky, dry-voice, not because I was nervous but because… okay, I’ll admit to being nervous. Which was strange. How is it that it’s easy to have sex with Peri, but hard to say “I love you”?
Might have something to do with us sitting inside the man she does love.
It’s okay, though, because her face ended up buried in the cleft of my neck and shoulder, and she was crying? But that was okay, and we hugged. And then it turned into a bit more than a hug. Her fingers went pulling at my (the Doctor’s?) hair again, too hard, but I didn’t mind. I was just about to slip into her when I felt a slight fuzziness.
The world blurred. I felt Peri, a soft breath against my chest hair. Warm. Sweet smells. So bright.
Peri blurred, and I blurred, and there was a terrible pain in my head that got worse and worse as we made love. She looked concerned, poor girl. I knew what was happening, and it wasn’t dangerous. Funny thing was, I thought I’d have been happier.
Next thing I knew, I was the 1968 Chevrolet Sportvan and it was the Doctor and Peri in a sweaty tumble inside of me. The change in perspectives was jarring, to say the least. I told them to get out immediately or risk being trapped inside the belly of a very dignified penguin.
So… that’s that. Things are awkward between me and Peri now. I could take on the Doctor’s body, of course. I have a few times since, but it isn’t the same. Her and the Doctor are getting on better now too. I think they might be having sex, but they’re discreet. I’m not jealous or anything. It was fun while it lasted, and I knew it wouldn’t last.
I think I might be moving on again soon.