Title: Impounded, or Can I See Your License and Registration Please?
Characters: Tenth Doctor, Rose
Spoilers: Vagueish first part of season 2
Summary: The Doctor really shouldn't double park the TARDIS.
Rose decided that the fifty-first century couldn’t be very different if she could still get chips. She and the Doctor sat in open-air café in New Paris enjoying a rare quiet moment. The sky was a perfect blue, and it was warm but not too warm. The Doctor had explained several times about the environmental dome and weather control, but Rose’s eyes crossed every time. All she cared about was that she was in Paris with the Doctor on a perfect spring day. New Paris counted, didn’t it?
Plus, the TARDIS was right across the street, so at the first sign of trouble they could be gone. Rose looked over towards the TARDIS and blinked.
The vision didn’t go away, so she blinked again. “Doctor?” Rose said in a worried tone. “What are those two men doing to the TARDIS?”
The Doctor looked up from his crossword puzzle, which he was filling out in pen. “What do you mean what are they doing to my — hey! Stop that!”
Rose almost snickered as he nearly fell over two chairs and a table trying to get across the street to the TARDIS. She followed, wondering what they were attaching to the TARDIS.
“What do you two think you’re doing to my TARDIS?” The Doctor stroked the TARDIS, and Rose swore he would break out into baby talk any moment. “They didn’t hurt you, did they my beautiful girl?” He petted the TARDIS more.
Rose rolled her eyes.
One of the men, a dark haired man in his thirties, looked the Doctor and Rose over. “We’re impounding this illegal time travel device. Which is also illegally parked, I might add. Don’t you know not to leave things like this in the middle of the sidewalk?” He flashed at badge at them. “So this is your TARDIS, sir? Can I see the registration?”
“Of course she’s mine, and she’s certainly not illegal or illegally parked.” The Doctor muttered. “See my registration? Do you know who I am?” He peered at the man’s badge ID. “Agent Tancredo?”
Tancredo smiled. “The man with the un-registered time travel device. I’m sorry, sir, but the Time Agency requires all time travel devices be registered at the main office. Plus regular inspections are required, once every decade.”
“Give or take.” The shorter brown hair man chuckled. “Heard of one ship that was inspected a thousand times in a day.”
Tancredo shot him a look.
“So that means you two are glorified meter maids?” Rose asked, laughing.
“We provide a valuable service. Laws don’t uphold themselves you know. Unless they’re cyber ones.” The shorter man grinned. “Great twenty-first century lingo. Bet you blend right in.”
Rose shrugged. “Well, when you… hey that was an insult wasn’t it!”
“Ooh, she’s got brains too.”
“Bolt it, Martin.” Tancredo snapped.
The Doctor grabbed Rose’s hand and dragged her behind him. “And you collect a finder feed for ever impounded machine and ship you bring in unless the owner of the said ship pays you for looking the other way?”
“That’s horrible!” Rose exclaimed. “That’s racketeering.”
Tancredo shrugged unapologetically. “It’s a living. Now you don’t happen to have proof of license and registration, do you, sir?”
“My name is the Doctor.” The Doctor said in a quite dangerous voice.
“You’re both horrid. You’re the cops, and you’re taking money from people!” Rose railed on.
“Only those already breaking the law, moonbeam.” Martin leered. “Or maybe you can offer something else instead of payment?”
“Not in your dreams.” Rose spat. She glanced over at the Doctor wondering why he hadn’t brought out the psychic paper. That should get them out of this fix, shouldn’t it? The Doctor instead was staring intently at Tancredo, who seemed to be avoiding his eyes.
The Doctor eyes narrowed and Rose took a step away from him. “You don’t register a type-40 TARDIS.” He spoke low.
Rose shivered and glanced between the two men. “Doctor?”
Tancredo still wouldn’t meet his eyes. “I thought it was.” He said softly. Rose wondered if he knew he’d spoke aloud.
“Tancredo?” Martin said trying to get his partner attention. “Russ?”
“Come on, Martin. We’ve taken up enough of their time.” He pushed a button on the device on the TARDIS and took it off. He handed it to the Doctor. “Doctor, Miss, enjoy the rest of your day.”
Rose watched as he walked away, Martin scrambling after him. She frowned and looked at the Doctor who was looking at the device. He pushed a few buttons and threw it behind him. It gave a loud pop then disincarnated.
“Doctor? Who was that?” Rose asked, following the Doctor as he unlocked the TARDIS.
“No one.” The Doctor said, stepping into the TARDIS.
“Doctor?’ Rose asked again. He had his back to her, and she watched as he stroked the TARDIS. She thought she saw his lips move but didn’t hear anything.
“Just a man with a good survival instinct, Rose.” He turned and gave her a wide smile. “After all, think of all the explaining he’d have to do for impounding something of which every one of its kind is supposedly destroyed.” He started flipping switches and turning knobs, sending the center column into motion.
Rose nodded. “Make sense, I think.” Then she gasped.
The Doctor frowned. “What now?”
“You forgot your cross-word puzzle! You’d almost finished it too,” Rose said woefully.
The Doctor laughed. “Don’t worry Rose. I’d already done that one. About three hundred years ago, I think.”