Send me a song and I’ll try to write a Doctor/Rose one-shot based on it.
A/N: Based on the fact that NASA said the Curiosity Rover sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to itself on its first ‘birthday’. I pictured 11, here, especially considering the years of Matt’s seasons fit in with when Curiosity landed on Mars, but any works, as well as any companion. Please enjoy.
Don’t argue specifics of this story. Specifics are boring. ;)
Title: Curiouser and Curiouser
Summary: The Doctor doesn’t believe anyone deserves to spend their birthday alone. Including Rovers on Mars.
A coincidence, really.
Was anything ever a coincidence?
Mars was an interesting place. The red planet. Yes, it was a desert, practically nothing, but all planets had been practically nothing at some point. It was quiet, though. He liked those planets. Quiet planets where he could walk among the dust and think to himself. His thoughts were loud enough as it was. Add the whirring and buzzing of the TARDIS and he often found himself overwhelmed. Which was frustrating, because it was only him there.
But Mars… Mars was quiet. The kind of quiet that puts you at ease for a while and makes you forget anything troubling on your mind. Maybe it was only quiet because he wanted it to be. Maybe the red reminded him of home. He didn’t know. But what did it matter?
There was a day in particular that he liked to go to Mars. Pretend he was walking along a vast crimson beach toward an ocean he couldn’t see, hands in his pockets, footprints behind him that would soon be wiped away by the dust storms. A shame. His footprints were still on the moon and would remain there long after he was gone. Why couldn’t Mars be the same?
The crimson beach. He’d gone to plenty of beaches. All golden, grains winking in the rays like a billion tiny gems. He’d gone once with… someone. Or maybe he hadn’t. It was a long time ago.
As he’d said – or thought, rather – Mars was quiet. If ever there was a sound, it was the rumbling of a distant storm or the occasional whispering of a light breeze. But… in all his years… in all his life… he had never heard, nor heard of, a humming on Mars.
He’d stopped, lifted his head, and knitted his eyebrows together in a flurry of confusion. His hands were out of his pockets in an instance, fumbling for his sonic in another of his pockets, because noise on Mars isn’t normal.
He expected the humming to stop, but maybe that was just a wish, because he definitely didn’t feel like spending the day fighting Martians.
It continued, though. A strange… buzzy – was that a word? – humming. He narrowed his eyes, squinting into the distance – it was times like these he wished he had his glasses, but who thinks of bringing their glasses with them to Mars? – and pointing his sonic just an inch ahead, holding it out in a conflicted manner.
The humming was getting louder, but he wasn’t moving, staying in one spot, pointing his screwdriver. God, his screwdriver. He really did depend on it for everything, didn’t he? May as well switch titles. The Screwdriver and Sonic Doctor.
Narrowing his eyes even further he began to make out the image of… something… in the distance ahead, and it was getting bigger. And bigger. And he stayed in one spot and one position, trying to work out what it was, as it continued to get bigger and bigger.
He couldn’t deny his confusion, yet also intrigue as he soon realised it to be a car of some sort. He’d had half a mind to race back to the TARDIS and check he’d input the right date, just to ensure he hadn’t yet reached the point in time in which humans colonised Mars… which was, of course, spoilers.
Nevertheless, something ticked in his brain as he got a closer look at the strange thing, and his eyes widened in delight. “Oh!” he blurted out, “oh, I heard about you! Curiosity Rover… wondered why I’d never seen you before, but then Mars is a big planet, isn’t it, and you only landed… hm, what, a year ago? A year ago exactly, if my calculations are correct.” He smiled widely as the Rover halted, supposedly to pick up some of the dust. “What’ve you been up to, then, eh? Roving about?”
It was then he realised the humming hadn’t yet stopped. Strange he hadn’t paid more attention to it instead of rambling on about the Rover’s daily activities, considering the humming was what had caused him to pull out his sonic in the first place.
He listened intently as the humming drew to a close, the last few ‘notes’ playing out, and his eyes fell, deflating, utterly, completely. A sadness glinted in them. “You sad little thing,” he whispered to himself, before speaking louder, as if the car needed to hear. “It’s your birthday, Curiosity, isn’t it? It’s your birthday today. You’re singing Happy Birthday to yourself.”
The Rover didn’t reply. It was quiet again, now, save for the little squeak of its wheels and the mechanical noises as it moved its arms with the pot of red dust and sent it to analyse. He wondered if he liked it better when it hadn’t been so quiet.
After a few moments, Curiosity roved on, and the Doctor followed. He followed for a long time. He talked to it, stopped and sat on red rocks when it had to take samples. He spoke about a lot of things, because he could, and because Curiosity could neither complain nor tell anyone else. And then he said good bye, walked the few miles back to the TARDIS, and flew away.
The next year, he came back. And he walked with Curiosity, until the humming started again, and he sang the words while the Rover played the tune. Then they – he – talked again, for hours, and walked back to his TARDIS, and flew away, and returned the year after.
And the year after, and the year after, and the year after.
And then, a year and a day after.
“Curiosity! Curiosity, friendo, I’m so sorry, I’m late!” He came racing out of the TARDIS, following after the Rover when he didn’t stop, stumbling over rocks and his own feet. “You see, I was with someone, a friend, another friend! And- and we spent yesterday together, and it was really nice, we had chips, you’d like chips, and sat by the sea, and it was- it was brilliant! Absolutely brilliant. But, you see, I forgot about coming here, and I couldn’t use the TARDIS to go back because then it wouldn’t really be your birthday, not properly, anyway, would it? So, I didn’t. But I came today! I’m here, now, and that’s alright, isn’t it?”
Curiosity stopped, its mechanical arm leaning down to scoop up a pile of dust. The Doctor apparently took that as a sign that he’d been forgiven. He stepped forward and kneeled down. “Oh, Curiosity,” he said after a short while, “I am sorry. I’m so terribly sorry. Because, you see… I don’t think I’m alone anymore.” He reached an arm out and placed his hands on the dusty wheels. “Her name… well, it doesn’t really matter what her name is, does it, old friend? The point is… I have someone, so I don’t think I need to come back here anymore…” He sighed. “But I wanted to thank you, Curiosity, for helping me not feel alone on my birthday. Our birthday. It is the one day of the year I look forward to with all of my hearts, old friend, it really is.”
He stood to his feet and twisted on his heel, staring up at the midnight sky, eyes catching sight of the bright star he knew was Earth. “The thing about curiosity,” he said, whether to himself or the Rover, he didn’t know, “is that if you always have it, then you’re never disappointed. You know there’s something – something good, something you’ve waited for – at the end. You could all do with a little more of it. Life’s too short to just sit there and accept what you’re given.” Perhaps that was why… perhaps that was why. He wasn’t so curious anymore. He’d seen a lot. Almost all.
Curiosity was a Rover. A space car. An inanimate object. And here he was, talking to it. Was it surprising? No, not really. How could it be? He was The Doctor. He spoke to himself more times than he cared to admit.
Maybe he felt drawn to it somehow. This little Rover… roaming around an isolated planet, alone, never stopping, never giving itself time, spending its birthday alone. What good was two people – or objects, it didn’t matter – spending their birthdays alone when they could spend it together?
But, he wasn’t alone anymore.
He didn’t have to spend his birthday alone.
He had her.
It started up again, driving off, and The Doctor twisted back around. But he didn’t follow it. Instead, he called out, “hey, Curi! I’m leaving you a present to apologise for yesterday! You look after it, now, alright?” He lowered his voice. “Look after yourself… lonely traveller.”
He never visited Curiosity again. At least not on his birthday. They weren’t two people - or objects - celebrating their birthdays alone. Not anymore.
But he’d still hover his TARDIS over the little thing, following it as it drove along the same old scarlet paths, testing and sampling and doing its job, but happier, clearly happier. And he’d smile, his long legs hanging over the edge of his spaceship, his companion prattling about and burning toast in his kitchen, and wonder at the joy of curiosity.
“You go, old friend,” he said to himself, and he really wasn’t that old of a friend. Or a friend. “Don’t stop. Never stop. Keep being curious. The world’d be boring without it.”
And he’d get up and take a final glance down before shutting the door, as the red sun set over Mars and the Rovers – two of them, because The mad Doctor was the alien who built another Rover so Curiosity never had to spend its birthday alone again – left their tracks in the dust.
They remained there much longer than any footprint, side by side, curiouser and curiouser.
Okay real talk what would happen if you took a sledgehammer to a weeping angel?
Due to this quarantine I realize something about Star Trek voyager
I both love and hate Tom with all my heart, like his job description is the adorable tall bastard.
I relate to B’Elanna way too much… an emotional serious bitch who’s dad left.
Both seven of nine and Harry kim are captain Janeway’s babies.
If it wasn’t for Tuvok and the Doctor… the voyager would of all died due to tom and Janeway.
Chakotay is B’Elanna’s dad. I know she has a real dad but Chakotay is her dad, he probably threaten to fight Tom when he found out his sweet angry ray of sunshine was dating Tom
I know people either love or hate neelix… but he knows his aliens… from the culture to the food they like to even what resources they can provide
I know people think Kes is a Mary Sue… but I thinks she’s just too soft,young, and curious… I kinda wish they had her and Harry be an adorable couple and kept that around
Janeway give off the vibes of I fought god and lived. I believe we should only be shipping her with two things… guns and coffee… fight me on that one
Does anyone know how to make a gif? I really want to make them.
Some more of this lovely lady! Can’t wait for the next series (MORE JACK PLEASE, CHIBBERS!!)