Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who *Yet*. I own Summer.
Sometimes I really hate my job. Day in and day out it's the same thing over and over. When I was at school, I couldn't imagine a life at work, it seemed so far away and so surreal. When you're at school, you have no responsibilities. You don't have to worry about paying rent and bills, or doing your own washing and cleaning. Life was easy back then, all you cared about was what you and your mates were doing at the weekend. The things you worried about were so trivial compared to life after school.
Now I know just how hard life really is, and how much parents do for us all. I work 6 days a week, earning just enough money to pay the rent and bills. I can't afford to go out, or treat myself to anything. Some days I struggle find enough money for food, it's always worse at the end of the month, before payday. That's when its time to be creative with whatever food is left over in the fridge and cupboards.
My mother died before I had even left school. She hadn't been well for some time, and it seemed everyone knew but me. She had been battling with cancer, and she lost her fight. She was a wonderful woman, and she was my best friend. When she told me that I was adopted, I didn't care. I had no desire to find my birth parents, why would I when I had a wonderful mother and father?
After she died, my father turned to alcohol and gambling for comfort. He became violent as well, thanks to the alcohol. He would be out drinking from dawn, some nights he never made it home. I tried to help him, talking to him and get him to seek some real help, but he always refused, said he was in control. When he died, he was no longer the man I knew to be my father. He wasn't kind anymore.
My inheritance came in the form of all his debt. I had to sell the house I had grown up in, as well as my car, to pay off his debts. There were no savings, he had gambled away all my mothers money after she died. That's how I ended up living in a damp, dreary, unloved flat. It was all that I could afford at the time, and it still is now.
During the winter months, I have no heating. I survive by putting on layers and layers, jumper after jumper, to keep myself warm. The landlord doesn't care that I have no heating, he says if I want to have it working, I can pay for it. I've tried to get help, but no one is interested. I just carry on, I work, eat, and sleep. I don't live, I just exist.
Everyday it's the same routine. I wake up, get the bus to work, spend 8 hours organising a store full of books, then it's home to eat and sleep. Some days are good at work, if it's quiet I might be able to read a little. I love reading, I always have. I went to university and studied history and English, I always wanted to be a teacher, and those were the only subjects I had ever enjoyed. Things never worked out that way. In the end I couldn't afford to go on to the next course I wanted to do, the fees were too expensive.
So this is me, Summer Richards. I work in a bookshop, as I have done for the past 3 years since finishing university. I don't live, I purely exist in the world. I have no friends nor family anymore, it's just me, in my one bedroom flat. I dream that one day, things will change, and I can do something more with my life. But until then, I carry on.
Finally, Saturday, the day I have waited for since Monday. The week seemed to be dragging on, every hour passing so slowly. I don't wish my life away, but when you're bored out of your mind all day, with nothing to really pass the time, you do wish for the day to end. The shop had been quiet all week, the usual customers coming in, but nobody new or interesting. There weren't even any new or interesting books around to pass the time.
The day was actually passing surprisingly quickly, the morning delivery had been slightly larger than normal so it was taking more time to check it and place the new stock on the shelves. I was happy with the amount of new history books that we had in. I love history, sometimes I wish I had been born on a different era.
"Excuse me, do you work here?" A mans voice asked from behind me.
"Yes, can I help you at all?" I asked the man, getting myself up off the floor and almost knocking over half the new stock. Luckily I was quick to react and managed to catch the side of them, stopping them all from tumbling over. Once I was satisfied that they weren't going to topple over I turned to look at the man. He was tall, very tall, with a mess of dark hair on his head. His eyes were wild, just like his hair.
"Ah, I was just wondering if I could have at look in your storeroom." He asked, he sounded a little nervous. Well, I would be nervous if I was asking to look in the storeroom of a bookshop.
"I'm sorry, staff only." I told him, watching him very carefully. I was curious about why he would want to even look in there, it's not like we kept anything in there. Only some old, damaged stock that we couldn't sell.
"Ah, right, yes." I watched him as he reached into the pocket of his jacket. His dress sense was a little strange, he was wearing a bow tie and a tweed jacket. Not forgetting the bracer's clipped to his rather tightly fitted black trousers and over his slightly pink tinted shirt. He eventually pulled out a leather wallet and flipped it open in front of me.
"There you go, I am staff, first day and all that." He had a strange grin on his face.
I looked at the paper, then up at the man. "Sir, that paper is blank, and you are not staff." I kept my eyes firmly locked with his. The man's mouth fell open as his eyes widened.
"Okay, that's interesting." He said to himself as he turned the wallet around and looked at the paper himself. "Hmm, okay, that really is interesting. What's your name?" I pointed to the name tag pinned to my shirt. "Hello Summer. I'm the Doctor, and I really need to get into your storeroom."
I folded my arms across my chest. What was so important about that storeroom that a man would try to lie to get his way onto there? "I don't think so."
I kept watching him as he ran a hand through his floppy hair. "Please, it is very, very important that I get in there." The man, the Doctor, pleaded.
There was something in his tone that really made me think about my answer, I was on the verge of saying yes when I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I turned away from the man and started walking over to what I had seen. A blue wooden police box. "When then hell did we get that?" I asked myself, not realising that the man had followed me.
"Sorry, that's mine." I quickly turned to look at him. How could he have brought that into the shop?
"Oh. Well that's okay then, isn't it." I said to him sarcastically.
He just smiled at me. "Good. Now, about that storeroom..."
I let out a sigh. What was so damn important about the stupid storeroom? "Look, whoever you are, you're not going into the storeroom. Now I'd like you to leave. And you can take this thing with you." I pointed to the box.
"I told you, I'm the Doctor. And I really can't leave until I check what's in your storeroom." He was starting to sound rather desperate but I had had enough.
"Sir, I am asking you to leave. Now if you won't cooperate and leave of your own accord I shall have to call the police." I told him, as politely as I could.
He studied me carefully, I just wanted him to leave. It was clear he was mad and had problems. "What's your last name, Summer?"
"Richards." Why did I tell him that? I don't even know him. I didn't even think, I just told him. He's a complete stranger, and a mad one at that.
He only smiled at me. "Well, it was nice to meet you, Summer Richards. I hope to meet you again."
"Yeah? Well I don't." I told him harshly. Meeting him once was enough for me.
When I looked at him, just really looked, he seemed sad. There was something about him that told me he was alone, and just very very sad. I suddenly felt guilty for being so rash with him, but I didn't get a chance to apologies. He was already halfway through the door of the blue box. I wondered what he could possibly be doing, it was a box, did he think that he could just hide away in there?
Suddenly I heard this strange noise, a noise I could have sworn I had heard before. It was a rough grinding noise, and then I noticed the breeze. How could there be a breeze when the doors and windows in the shop were all closed? I looked around and saw the books on the floor blowing open, the pages turning rapidly from the wind. Then I stepped back, as the blue box began to fade right in front of my eyes.
I could not believe it. Did that really just happen? I swear there was a man, who stepped into that box and then they both disappeared. That's impossible, it really is. There was no way that could have happen, is there?
My boss brought me back to my senses. He was yelling at me, as always. Telling me how useless I was and how I daydreamed too much. Maybe that's all it was, a daydream, a way for me to escape this boring existence of mine. Either way I was now stuck there to lock up on my own. It wasn't the first time I had been left to man the shop alone, in fact it happened often. Only now, I was feeling a little anxious about it.
It was finally time for me to go home. The last customer had been over an hour ago and I had already done the nightly tidy and clean. I had just locked the back door and was walking past the storeroom when curiosity hit me. That man had been very interested in what was in there, and now, thanks to him, so was I. It had been a while since I had been in there, it was to store away some books that had been damaged when the roof leaked during a nasty storm.
I put the key in the lock and turned it slowly. I was breathing as quietly as I could, something was telling me not to do it, but I was going to open it and see that there was nothing inside. It was all that mad mans fault, he had planted ideas in my head. I was getting paranoid because of some stupid man who has a box that disappears.
I held my breath as I opened the door, slowly, very slowly. I cringed as the hinges squeaked at the movement. It felt like someone was dragging their nail across a chalkboard, it went right through me and put me even more on edge. I refused to open the door full, just enough for me to glance inside.
A glance was all it took for me to realise that something was wrong. There were no books in the room, it looked nothing like it did the last time I was there. It was illuminated by the flashing lights coming from the machine that took up most of the room. It was huge, I had never seen anything like it before.
I hurriedly shut the door and locked it before running up the few steps and towards the front door, grabbing my bag as I passed the counter. I didn't breath properly until I had locked up the shop and was halfway home. I didn't bother to get the bus, I decided that a walk would do me some good.
My mind was racing, that man knew something, otherwise why would he want to see what was in there? I quickly pushed all those thoughts to the back of my mind and picked up the pace, I just wanted to get home, to the flat that I hated so much.
As soon as I was in my wretched flat I locked the door and let out a sigh of relief. I was finally home, and I didn't have to be back at that stupid shop until Monday. Tomorrow was all mine. I pulled open the door to the fridge and took out the salad that I had made before work. It wasn't much, but it was food.
When I sat down on the sofa I realised just how exhausted I was. I usually done my best to stay up as late as I could on a Saturday night, since it was the only time I knew I didn't have to get up for work the next morning. But after being home for only an hour I was ready for bed.
I got changed into my favourite pyjamas, the blue ones with the swirly patterns on. I curled up in my bed, it was warm and comforting and it didn't take me long to drift off into a rather restless sleep.
I woke up in a cold sweat, my chest was pounding and I was struggling to breath. I tried to get myself out of my bed, to get some water or something, I didn't know what to do. I didn't make it very far, as soon as my feet touched the cold floor I collapsed into a heap. Then I heard something, I didn't know what it was, all I could hear at first was the blood pounding in my ears.
Then I heard a vaguely familiar voice. "Summer? Summer can you hear me? You need to calm down." Well I already knew I needed to calm down I just didn't know how. I tried to stand up and felt a pair of hands under my arms, trying to help me. They didn't help much as my legs just gave way again and I landed back on the floor.
"Summer, you really need to listen to me, just take a deep breath, trust me. Deep breath and everything will get better."
I tried to nod at the man, not sure if he understood me or not. I took a deep breath and everything started spinning, even with my eyes tightly shut. I let the air out slowly before taking another large gulp of air. After that I did start to feel a little calmer. The thumping in my chest had eased and my breathing was getting easier as well.
I heard this strange buzzing noise and thought that there was something else wrong with my ears now instead. "That's better, how are you feeling now Summer?"
I was still huddled up on the floor with someone's arm around me, my eyes still slightly shut. "Awful." I managed to mumble. I heard the man laughing lightly at my answer. Now that I was feeling slightly better, I was starting to come to my senses.
"Who the hell are you and how did you get into my flat?"
"I'm the Doctor, we met earlier, at the bookshop. You wouldn't let me see what was in the storeroom."
I groaned a little. It was that mad man again. "And I guess you got in by using your blue box."
I didn't see the man's reaction, I didn't want to open my eyes in case everything started spinning again. "Yes. Parked her in the living room, hope you don't mind." His voice sounded cheerful, but concerned at the same time. It was like he was trying to lighten the mood.
"Why would I mind? It's only a box that can disappear and then materialise somewhere else." I said sarcastically. I remembered being sarcastic to him back at the shop, he thought I was being serious. There was a moment's silence and I thought that maybe he had gone.
"I think it's safe for you to open your eyes now. All your vitals have returned to normal. How's your head?" The man asked softly.
"Still attached to the rest of my body as far as I'm aware."
I heard him let out a sigh, he didn't seem to like my sarcasm much. "Summer, I want to make sure you're okay. So tell me, how does your head feel?" There was concern and seriousness in his tone.
"It feels a little... Weird. It doesn't hurt, I just feel a little dizzy I think." I felt his arm move from around my shoulders and to my hand.
"Summer, just open your eyes. Open your eyes and look at me." I thought I could now hear the sound of desperation in his voice. If he hadn't been there for me, helping me to calm down, I don't know what might have happened. Maybe I owed it to him, to open my eyes.
I made sure to lower my head, before slowly opening my eyes. My vision was blurred at first but then the sight of my pyjamas started to swim into focus. I couldn't help but let out a sigh of relief as I saw the swirls.
"Okay, now look at me, Summer." Slowly I started to raise my head, it still felt weird and fuzzy, but my sight was clearing and at least I didn't feel sick. My eyes finally met his and a smile spread across his face. "Hello again."
I couldn't help but smile back at him. There was something about him, something unexplainable. "Hi."
"Can you remember what happened?" I frowned at him, why was he so concerned about me?
"Not really, no. I was asleep, I was a lot more tired than I thought I was. I think it was some dream I was having or something, but I really can't remember any of it." I didn't break eye contact with him. His eyes were so different to anyone's I had ever seen before. He was so young but his eyes told a different story.
"How did you know where I lived? And why did you show up when you did?" There was so much I wanted to ask him, the obvious being about his box and how it moved, but I thought I'd do better to start small.
"I looked up your address. Summer isn't a very common name you know." He was still smiling at me, and it was infectious. I had to keep smiling back. "And well, I guess I just showed up at the right time." That's when I saw it, something in his eyes was telling me otherwise, that he wasn't telling me the truth.
I let out a sigh, why did people always insist on hiding the truth from me? "You can't have looked me up, I'm not in any address books. And I can tell by your eyes that you're lying. So why don't you start telling me the truth."
"It's complicated, Summer."
I was fed up, he wasn't going to tell me anything, especially not the truth. "Right, well you better get back in your box and leave then. I've had enough of people messing around with my life, so if you aren't going to tell me the truth then you should just leave." That's when I finally tore my eyes away from his, took back my hand and managed to pull myself back onto my bed. I sat on the edge, and rested my head in my hands, expecting the strange mad man to leave. But he didn't.
He sat next to me on the bed. "Summer, I want to tell you the truth, honestly, but you wouldn't believe me and it would put you in danger." There was something in his voice that made me want to believe him, and not ask any more questions. But there was something scratching away at the back of my mind telling me I needed to know.
"Then leave. But you won't find out what's in that storeroom without me." That seemed to grab his attention. He was looking at me, it felt like he was trying to work out if I was telling him the truth.
"Summer, I really don't want to drag you into any of this. Like I said, it's dangerous, I don't want you to get hurt." He pulled both my hands away from my face. "Look at me, Summer." Reluctantly I lifted my head and turned to face him. "The people I meet, my friends, they always end up getting hurt. I destroy their lives in the end."
"My life was destroyed when my mother died." I whispered, thinking back to the day I found out. I cried and screamed and ran away from everything. I sat in the park for hours until a man approached me, he asked me if I was all right and I just blurted everything out to him. I didn't even ask him his name, but he did ask me mine. He even walked me home, to my drunken father. I saw that man again, just the once.
My father was blind drunk, and he turned so violent. He was hitting me, kicking me, I thought that he was actually going to kill me. But then, out of nowhere, that man charged through the front door and pulled me out of his grip. He didn't recognise me at first, but I recognised him. When I first met him, my hair was long and red, I always used to change my hair colour, trying to be someone else. The second time I had blonde hair, and it was much shorter than before.
He wanted me to go with him, he wanted to protect me, to keep me safe. I refused. No matter how drunk and violent my father got, we were all each other had left. After he died I so badly wanted that man to return for me, but he never did. I will never forget that man. The skinny man in the pin stripe suit and the long brown coat.
I felt the man's arm around me and that shook me out of my thoughts. "Oh, Summer. It's okay. We all lose people we care about. And it's tough, I know it is, but over time, it starts to get a little more bearable." That's when I realised that I had been crying.
"No it doesn't." I said as I wiped the tears away with my arm. "For me it only got worse."
He looked at me, his eyes were so full of sadness. "Why? Tell me, Summer. Why did it get worse?"
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, I may as well tell him. "My mother died, my father became a violent drunk. He died and left me with nothing but debt. I had to sell everything that I could to pay it all off, the house, my car, it all went. Then I had to move miles away to find somewhere I could afford to live, to get a job that leaves me with no money after paying the bills. I don't live, I exist."
"Summer Richards..." He said softly. "Do you still want me to tell you the truth?" I looked at him and nodded. Just once I wanted someone to talk to me and treat me like a person. "Right, but first, I need you to tell me something." I studied him carefully, waiting for his question. "Is that your natural hair colour?"
I looked at him blankly. What did my hair colour matter? "Um, yes. I can't exactly afford hair dye."
All he could do was smile at me. "Well I like it how it is. A lovely golden brown. It suits you. I'd keep it how it is."
I couldn't help but frown at the man. "Thanks, I guess."
"Come on then, you want to know the truth then I will tell you the truth." He held a hand out, waiting for me to take it. I let out a sigh and took his hand and he pulled me quickly off the bed and into the living room. "This box, isn't just an ordinary box."
"I know. I managed to work that one out at the bookshop."
I watched a mad grin spread across his face. "Do you want to know what it is?"
"Is it... A time machine?" I couldn't help but smile at his grin, there was something so different about him.
"It's a time..." His face dropped. "How did you know that?"
"Just a guess. Clearly it travels through space as well since you brought it from the shop to my living room." His face fell even further.
"You are brilliant. First the psychic paper and now this. You're brilliant, Summer Richards. It's called a TARDIS..."
"Time And Relative Dimension In Space." I said. Not even thinking.
He gave me a strange look, like I had just told the world his biggest secret. "But, how did you work that out?"
I shrugged my shoulders. There was something at the back of my mind, telling me to say that, so I did. "Lucky guess." He seemed speechless, and I started to worry that something was wrong with him. "Are you okay?"
"Yes, I'm fine. Now, Summer, would you like to see inside?"
I shook me head at him. "No. Not until you have answered my questions and told me the truth."
He threw himself on to my old, worn sofa and smiled at me. "Come on then. Ask away."
I sat down next to him, wondering what I should ask him first. "How did you know where I lived?"
I frowned at him, was that all he had to say about it? "Okay, why are you so interested I what's in the storeroom at the shop?"
"Because I'm trying to find something, something that is messing with time. There is a machine out there somewhere that is trying to break into the time vortex. And I need to find it and stop it. I managed to track an energy signature, which led me to the bookshop. But you wouldn't let me see if it was there." he frowned at me.
I didn't feel guilt, at the time I didn't trust him and had no idea what was going on. "I had every right not to let you see."
"True. But what about now? Would you let me see what's in there now?"
"I'm still asking questions, thank you. You will have your turn so wait." I told him, making him sulk a little. It was rather funny. "You have something that can travel through time and space, you're not human, are you?"
He had another shocked expression on his face. It seemed I was doing well at surprising him. "No, I'm a Time Lord." Something sparked at the back of my mind, Time Lord, where had I heard that before? I was sure I recognised that.
"Okay, sure." I said, pushing myself off the sofa. He looked at me blankly. "What? You want to see what's in the storeroom. You asked me if I would let you see it now. I'm saying yes. There is a machine in there, I saw it myself, and I guess that's what you are after. So come on, let's go."
That mad grin returned to his face and he jumped off the sofa. He pulled a key out of his pocket and turned it in the lock of the blue box. "Summer Richards, prepare to be amazed."
I smiled at him as he stood aside to let me into the box, the TARDIS. I was amazed.
A/N: So that is the first chapter, and I hope you all enjoyed it. Please review, reviews are good.
The way I am working this story is throw in my OC and then bring in the Ponds (Series 5). I already have a lot of ideas but I'm always open to suggestions from the readers. Next chapter should be up in a few days.
Again, read and review. Thanks!