purple_bug: (Screw canon)
[personal profile] purple_bug
Title: Time Lords in Floppy Hats
Rating: G
Warnings: None
Words: ~1500
Characters: Time Lords #1 and #2 from the Unbound audio, Exile.
Summary: The Doctor has escaped the justice of the Time Lords and hidden away on Earth. Two agents from the Celestial Intervention Agency are sent to retrieve him, but it's not all fun and games searching for a renegade on an alien planet.
A/N: Written for the [livejournal.com profile] who_like_giants Minor/Original Characters Ficathon. Many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] agapi42 for her brilliant help. The names of the Time Lords are not canonical, I came up with them myself. Tavin is the one played by David Tennant, and Norlow is played by Toby Longworth. Also, I would recommend listening to Exile if you like silliness and aren't squicked by vomit noises. Honestly, it's really funny if you fall into that category. And this will make a fair bit more sense, although I think it's fairly accessible to those who haven't heard it yet.


“Earth currency certainly is very strange.”

“In what way?”

“See this?” Tavin held out a note and waved it about. A rip on one side caused half of the note to flap about in the breeze, and the paper was overall rather shabby. “It’s so flimsy. How do they keep these in circulation if they’re so easily damaged?”

“Rassilon knows,” Norlow agreed. He had sorted through the money they’d, ahem, acquired, and a fair bit of it was in a similar state.

“How much is there?” Tavin asked, handing back the note.

“About two hundred and fifty pounds, if I’m counting correctly.”

“Is that a lot?”

“I don’t know, do I?” Norlow snapped. “We’ll just have to go and get supplies and find out. The price of basic foodstuffs should give us a reference point.”

“We’ll need somewhere to stay as well.” Tavin looked around at the park by the embankment, where it was just starting to rain again.

Norlow sighed to himself and stowed the currency in the pocket of his flared trousers before getting to his feet.

“Come on, get up. We won’t get anywhere with this assignment if you spend it mooning at the local wildlife.”

“But look, it’s eating with its hands – okay, fine, I’m coming…”


Tavin had solved their cooking problem. No more burnt baked beans and corned-beef. No more lard with yoghurt. He’d stumbled upon something called a ‘take-away’, and he couldn’t fault these Earthlings for their simplistic language, because that’s exactly what this place let you do. You asked for food, you paid, and you took it away. They laughed at your floppy hat while you were doing so, but Tavin liked his hat, and was keeping it on, so there.

He prodded buttons on the heating machine thing and stepped back, enjoying the hum of electricity and waiting for the pleasing ‘ding’ that meant the food was ready.

“Is it supposed to crackle like that?” Norlow asked, appearing at his shoulder.

“I suppose so.”

“Are you sure? It sounds rather alarming.”

Tavin peered through the door of the machine and saw flashes of light sparking rapidly back and forth.


“It’s on fire, turn it off!” Norlow barked, opening a window hurriedly.

Tavin did so, and gingerly opened the door. A thin, foul-smelling smoke filled the air as the flames flickered out, and he wrinkled his nose in disappointment.

“Didn’t you read the sticker?”

“What sticker?”

“This one!” He jabbed a finger at the door of the machine. “It says right here, don’t put metal objects inside it!” Norlow snatched the slightly blackened container from the machine, dropping it with a yelp when he realised it was hot. “This is made of metal foil!” Norlow divided his glare between Tavin and the metal container. “What is it, anyway?”

“It’s called a ‘curry’. Apparently they’re quite popular.”

He continued to glower, but prodded at the curry curiously. “It doesn’t look too badly burned.” He tipped it carefully out onto a plate and put it back into the heating machine. “Let me know when it’s ready to eat, and try not to blow up the microwave again.”

As the plate revolved behind the mottled glass, Tavin leaned on the counter and sulked.


Their first night on Earth, both Time Lords had been exhausted by all the walking, not to mentioned getting dropped into the river by that bitch of a Time Vector Coordinator, so the day had ended with them both collapsing on the fold-out bed.

The second night on Earth, Norlow couldn’t sleep. He was still pretty excited about his plan, and couldn’t wait to see the news bulletins the next day. “Aliens Planning to Invade!” they’d say, and the Doctor would run along to help out, and then they’d catch him and take him back to Gallifrey. Simple.

Tavin snored loudly in his ear and snuggled closer into his side.

Norlow sighed, the excitement fading behind the annoyance of the immediate situation. He shoved at Tavin’s arm, but he just hugged tighter and murmured something in his sleep.

“Get off, you soppy, half-brained -”

“Good pigrat, good boy, go to sleep…”

Norlow really, really missed his single-berth accommodation on Gallifrey.


After a refreshing three hours’ sleep, Tavin was bored because Norlow wasn’t up yet. He made a really comfy pillow, but Tavin couldn’t just lie there not sleeping and wait for him to wake up. He had to find something to do.

A cautious experiment with the television yielded results of a most interesting nature. Programming at this time of morning seemed to be of an educational nature – very different from the things they had seen while fiddling with the machine before broadcasting their ‘alien invasion’ message. Norlow hadn’t let him watch that intriguing ‘Red Shoe Diaries’ programme on the fifth channel, and had insisted that the pages of text on the second channel were much more important, since he had neglected to read the information packs before coming to this planet. All Tavin could gather from the static pages of news was that there was something called the Olympics happening in a place called Sydney, where it was apparently getting quite hot. It must have been on the other side of the planet, he figured, from the fact that the current season in England was cold and wet. Lucky devils.

At six in the morning, though, the television was quite a bit more fun. There were brightly coloured puppets, and songs about shapes, and Tavin learned quite a bit about how to count money, and how to use a bus. He couldn’t wait to show off his new knowledge. Norlow would be surprised when he stated his destination and gave the bus driver exact change.

Tavin really hoped that they would need to use a bus in the next day or two.


Okay, so Tavin had more sense than Norlow had previously given him credit for. The man might be hopeless in the kitchen and clueless about alien cultures, but he’d come up with the idea of using the etheric beam projector to detect objects the shape and size of a police box. Thank goodness the Doctor was so predictable.

Earls Court was their first stop, and a dead end.

“I didn’t know they still used actual police boxes,” Tavin said.

“I don’t think they do,” Norlow replied. “It appears to be maintained for the sake of historical significance.” He jiggled the handle of the small door set into the front of the box. “See, you can’t even access the telephone.”

“Oh. Well, there are still a few other options on the scanner.”

Pinewood Studios was also not the right place.

“Why would he be hiding at a television studio?”

“He isn’t.” Norlow gave the box a kick. “It’s a prop.”

“A what?”

“A prop! For a television programme! They must be making something with police boxes in it.”

“Like what?”

“I don’t know! Historical drama or something, probably.”

Longleat was the strangest experience yet.

“Seems to be some kind of exhibit.”

“What for?”

“I haven’t the faintest clue. I asked the woman at the desk if she knew anyone by the name of ‘the Doctor’, and she just laughed!”

“These humans just get ruder and ruder.”

“Inside the exhibit, there’s just a bunch of badly-made figures in strange costumes. What did you find?”

“Well, there’s a police box over there,” Norlow said, nodding over to the blue box near the entrance, “but it seems to be part of the exhibit.”

“Do you think they’ve found out about the Doctor on this planet? Made some kind of tribute to him?”

“I wouldn’t be surprised. He does spend an awful lot of his time here. Earthlings may be dim, but they’re not totally stupid.”

Various museums around southern England gave them no further leads, just historical displays about the police force, and conflicting reports on whether the boxes were for detaining criminals or for policemen to have a rest in.

Finally, the etheric beam projector gave them a hopeful result. Why would the people of this planet have constructed a police box, for historical purposes or otherwise, in the middle of a field? There was no logical reason for it. Norlow speculated that the Doctor was losing his faculties if he thought they weren’t going to find him.


“Is this the only thing these Earthlings drink? It’s awful!”

“At first, yeah. After a few, though, it starts to feel sorta… nice.”

Tavin’s eyes were rather glazed. “Maybe you should slow down,” Norlow suggested.

“Nah, it’s fine.” He swayed a little on his bar stool. “Gotta practice this, or we’ll never convince the Doctor we’re locals. If he turns up.”

“I’m serious, ingesting large quantities of alien intoxicants could have Rassilon knows what effect on your system.”

“So far, I just have to use the loo a lot more than usual.”

Norlow rolled his eyes. “Okay, but don’t come crying to me when your stomach lining starts corroding.”

Tavin’s alarmed expression was even more unsettling when he was tipsy. “Is that what happens?” he gasped.

“Possibly. I don’t know for sure yet. If it happens to you, then we’ll know.” Norlow stared at the empty pub and unmoving front door. “Is this blasted renegade ever going to show up?”

Tavin studied his half-emptied glass with a suspicious eye, before getting distracted by the foam on the sides. “Hey, hey, Norlow - look! Don’t you think these bubbles look a bit like Omega?”


Date: 2010-03-31 11:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] garpu.livejournal.com

“So far, I just have to use the loo a lot more than usual.”

Thanks for this! I needed a good chuckle.

Date: 2010-03-31 11:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] purple_bug.livejournal.com
Thanks! Glad I could help bring the laughter :o)

Date: 2010-03-31 11:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dbskyler.livejournal.com
This really made me laugh. I've never heard "Exile," but now I want to. My favorite part was Tavin learning how to use the bus from watching children's television.

Date: 2010-04-01 12:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] purple_bug.livejournal.com
I've never heard "Exile," but now I want to. Mwahaha, mission accomplished :o)

Man, it was difficult to find info on early morning telly. I was 13 in 2000, when this fic is set! I vaguely remember some of the programmes, but not enough to be anything more than vague, to avoid anachronisms. I really wanted to include 'Come Outside', which is about an old lady and her dog flying around Middlesex in a tiny plane and learning how stuff is made and such, but it finished in 1997, so I couldn't :o( But I remember the general educational stuff well enough to know that that's the type of stuff they taught you then :o)

Anyway, thanks for the lovely comment, I'm happy that you enjoyed it (and will now search out 'Exile') :oD

Date: 2010-04-01 12:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] papilio-luna.livejournal.com
EEEEEeeeeEEeee!!!! This was my prompt! :D After I first heard Exile my first thought was, "There must be fic of this! How can there not be fic of this?" But alas, I was never able to find any (though my friend [livejournal.com profile] fid_gin did wind up writing some because she had the same thought as me).

I love this! And what is it with Time Lords and childrens telly? And I love love loved the meta about all the police boxes! I definitely felt the characterisations for Tavin and Norlow were very hilariously true to form.

Thanks so much for taking this prompt on! It turned out great!

Date: 2010-04-01 01:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] purple_bug.livejournal.com
I was so hoping I'd get a comment from you! I didn't know who you were, the prompts being anonymous, but I was really hoping :oD

I was nervous about the meta, so I'm glad it went over well :o) And keeping the two in character without going overboard into too grumpy or too naive was tricky, but I'm glad I seem to have managed it :o)

Thank you so much for prompting it! It really jumped out of the list at me - Exile was one of the first BF audios I ever heard, so I'm very very fond of it, plus I've listened to it a million times, so it was the perfect prompt for me :o) I'm so glad you like it, thank you for the lovely feedback :oD

Date: 2010-04-01 02:06 am (UTC)
nonelvis: (DW blue TARDIS)
From: [personal profile] nonelvis
Clearly I am going to have to listen to Exile, because this was hilarious.

And the line about Earl's Court made me laugh out loud, because I knew exactly what they were going to find there. (I have my own geeky tourist photo of that police box to prove it.)

Date: 2010-04-03 08:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] purple_bug.livejournal.com
*nods* Clearly you must.

Yeah, the meta TARDISes was a fun bit to write, even if it did involve quite a bit of Google research :o)

Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it :oD

Date: 2010-04-01 07:58 am (UTC)
ext_3965: (DT Hiding His Face Playfully)
From: [identity profile] persiflage-1.livejournal.com
Just brilliant! You've got DT's character's voice pitch-perfect... I love Exile - have listened to it a few times because it's just so damn funny - one of my favourite Unbounds, so it's great to have this "missing scenes" fic.

Date: 2010-04-03 08:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] purple_bug.livejournal.com
Hee, thanks :oD I always worry about character voices, and then people tell me I'm spot on, so I should really stop worrying :o)
I'm pleased that Exile is other people's favourite too, rather than just being 'that questionable one' that I'm terribly fond of that nobody else really likes (eg Minuet in Hell).
Anyway, I'm glad you liked it, thanks for the lovely comment :o)

Date: 2010-04-03 09:21 am (UTC)
ext_3965: (Gallifrey)
From: [identity profile] persiflage-1.livejournal.com
I think perhaps you could stop worrying, yes! :D

Exile is such a brilliant take on the Time-Lord-commits-suicide. And the two TLs who come to find the Doctor are simply hilarious because they are so clueless - I think I'd have enjoyed them even if one hadn't been David Tennant.

And I enjoyed this fic so much I've decided I need to re-listen to Exile as soon as I get the chance. So yays all around!

Date: 2010-04-01 07:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jadekirk.livejournal.com
LOL! I was giggling all the way through this. It sounded very true to form for the characters.

Date: 2010-04-03 08:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] purple_bug.livejournal.com
Thanks :oD I aim to bring the giggles. Glad you liked :o)

(Hey look, he's ginger! What's that icon from?)

Date: 2010-04-03 08:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jadekirk.livejournal.com
*grins* It's an icon from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire but I photoshopped in the red hair.

Date: 2010-04-03 08:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] purple_bug.livejournal.com
Ahh, I was thinking he looked like Barty, but I didn't remember him being so ginger, so that makes sense :o)

Date: 2010-04-03 12:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jupiter-star.livejournal.com

...I'm sorry, this whole thing was awesome but the main thing that stuck in my head was OMG HE'S WATCHING SQUIRRELS IN THE PARK THAT IS ADORABLE SQUEE!!! I...get oddly fixated on small furry woodland creatures that may or may not be minions of evil.

Date: 2010-04-03 08:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] purple_bug.livejournal.com
:oD Squirrels are awesome. Even if I'm also unsure of their allegiances.

You liked the audio then? Didn't I tell you that 1970?/2000! scene had perfect comedic timing? :o)


Date: 2010-04-05 01:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pitry.livejournal.com
This was brilliantly hilarious!

Especially the Tardis seeking bit. And the curry. And okay, all of it! Brilliant! :D

Date: 2010-04-05 09:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] purple_bug.livejournal.com
Thanks, I'm glad you liked it so much :oD

Date: 2010-04-06 03:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] maypanic.livejournal.com
Hee! Very fun. And yes, early morning tv programming supposedly aimed at children is undoubtedly actually for the purpose of assimilating and amusing visiting aliens.

Date: 2010-04-06 05:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] purple_bug.livejournal.com
That it is. I was frequently suspicious of it when I was growing up. I was sure kids couldn't actually be as thick as the programmes made them out to be :o)
Glad you liked :oD

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