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Strange Creatures

Strange Creatures
By: Memory Dragon
Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who, nor do I make any claim to.
Characters:  Third Doctor, Brigadier, Jo, Benton
Warnings: Hm...  It's a bit introspective.  That's it, really.  Also, I'm completely disregarding the whole Looming thing for this fic. 
Notes: So, there was this Asexual Awareness week two weeks ago.  While I'm not asexual myself, I do have a few friends that are, so I decided to write fic for it.  Except, I was rather in the middle of something at the time and wanted to finish that first.  And then that something started getting really long.  Finally I just decided to take a break from that fic before things got angsty and wrote this one instead.  Because really, I needed more Brigadier in my life.  So here's my humble contribution, even if it's two weeks late (it would have been one week, but I got distracted by dancing and then sick, so I'm a bit late in actually posting it).  Hopefully it doesn't offend anyone who is actually asexual. 
Thanks: Many thanks to nemaline for the beta.  Yes, you know this was written for you.  And I do love you.  <3

~

Humans were among the strangest creatures that the Doctor had ever met. And he'd met a lot of strange creatures over the course of his travels - Yeti, Cybermen, Ice Warriors, the Zabi, and Daleks didn't even begin to describe the many races he had met. More often than not, he'd met the strangest of the strange that the universe had to offer, yet nothing could top these bipedal aliens that on the outside looked exactly like him.

As fascinating as they could be, however, there were sometimes that they really tried his temper. "Brigadier, I have work to do. Take your ridiculous bureaucracy elsewhere."

"Doctor," the Brigadier said reasonably - as reasonably as he could manage while biting down on his own temper, anyway. "It's one meeting and it's to justify government spending on the last incursion you insisted UNIT become involved with."

"And I'm tell you I can't be bothered," the Doctor said, already in a foul mod. The temporal stabilizers had blown in the last test of the TARDIS and he wasn't in the mood to deal with frivolous meetings. "I'm sure you enjoy the meetings, but I have more important things to do than convince a room full of elderly imbeciles that the world was in grave danger and needed saving."

"You're the only one who knows what exactly was going on while you were hooked up to that machine," the Brigadier said, his tone quickly losing what little patience he had left. "And since you won't explain it properly to any of us or write it up on a report, I must insist that you explain it in person."

"Brigadier, it's bad enough I'm expected to jump to save your planet any time you think there is a threat, but I'll remind you that I'm here on sufferance only, not because I need to be." That was childish of him and the Doctor realized he was taking out his frustrations on the Brigadier. However, that didn't stop him. On the rare occasion they did actually start hurting each other, they had both learned to just storm off and apologize later once they had cooled down. Usually though, they just got frustrated with each other, which was where this argument was headed. So the Doctor didn't bother to stop it.

"But you're willing to use our funds," the Brigadier said. "If you think-"

"Brigadier," the Doctor said in his most authoritative voice. "I'm tired of your reports, meetings, constant questions, and betting pools, and I would like to actually get some real work done. If you want the funding, get it done yourself!"

Instead of flying off the handle as the Doctor expected him too, the Brigadier frowned. "Betting pools?"

Had that slipped out? The Doctor paused, thinking over his words. It had. "Well, those I don't mind so much," he admitted. Technically, he wasn't supposed to know about them. He had come up behind Jo and Yates hurriedly passing money around with low whispers. It didn't take the Doctor long to find out that half of UNIT was betting on whether or not he was having/had sexual relations with the Master.

Never one to be embarrassed over such things, the Doctor immediately started dropping hints to both sides just to shake things up. In fact, it had been a rather fun pasttime over the last few months, though he was beginning to get tired of the whole thing.

When the Brigadier arched an eyebrow, the Doctor explained in a huff.  This wasn't the argument he wanted to be having.  "The rest of UNIT is very intrigued in my affairs. Since they can't seem to understand I'm not interested at all in sexual relations of any sort, there is some speculation on my past and current relationship with the Master."

He had tried to explain to Jo once, but she assumed that he was just trying to put her off the scent and he hadn't bothered correcting her. Liz had also known, but that hadn't been so much speculation as Liz simply trying to get him out more. After the third 'blind date' she had set him up for, he took her aside and explained things to her.

"Not interested at all?" the Brigadier asked, faint surprise in his voice. Out of all the things that would surprise the Brigadier, it amused the Doctor that it was his lack of sexuality. "Are all your people like that?"

"Good heavens, no. The Time Lords would be extinct if that were the case. No, there are just a few, like me," the Doctor said, curious to how the Brigadier would take the information. The Doctor was more than used to standing out in a crowd, even among his own people. He'd stood out so much there, his sexuality had hardly been remarked upon. In fact, the Time Lords had counted that among one of his few virtues - he hadn't been joking when he'd said without a sex drive, Time Lords would probably go extinct for all the passion they liked to show. The Doctor had been almost disappointed when he wasn't interested, if just because that was one less thing he could buck the customs for and scandalize everyone in the process. In the end, he left those sorts of scandals up to Koschei and Drax.

The Brigadier frowned slightly. "Surely your people are advanced enough to fix something like that?"

"It's not a problem to fix," the Doctor seethed, remembering suddenly that they were in an Argument. This was a perfect reason to resume yelling at the Brigadier again and that sort of attitude did make him angry. "Just because it's outside your limited and idiotic comprehension doesn't mean that it's wrong, Brigadier."

Instead of rising to the bait, though, the Brigadier raised an eyebrow. "It's hardly any of my business, Doctor," he said, looking at his watch, then back at the Doctor thoughtfully. "The meeting is at five."

Again, the argument oddly diffused and the Brigadier was now distracted, so the Doctor nodded and hid his confusion. That didn't mean he was going to the meeting, but rather he knew when to make himself scarce. Why hadn't the Brigadier continued their Argument? It was like he was hardly aware of it now and he left after another long glace that only baffled the Doctor more.

While the Doctor was slightly disappointed in the Brigadier's reaction, part of him did appreciate that it wasn't made into a big deal like most people were inclined to do. Aside from the bit about 'fixing the problem' the Brigadier had just accepted it with his usual aplomb and stalked off. Not one of the worst reactions by far, if a little narrow minded, and really, the Brigadier hadn't meant it maliciously. The Doctor had just been itching for a fight.

The Doctor thought that would be the end of it. He was therefore surprised to have six people stop by and apologize for the betting, including Jo. "Just what did the Brigadier tell you?" he asked, wondering what had sparked it. Was this why the Brigadier had looked so distracted earlier? The Doctor thought back over the exchange and realized that perhaps he had come off as a trifle upset when he'd tried to restart the argument.

"He gave us all a very stern lecture on respecting the privacy of our friends and co-workers," Jo said, puffing herself up to mimic the Brigadier. Then she dropped all joking for a meek look. "I am sorry though. I mean, it was all in good fun really, but that doesn't excuse the betting does it? We should have thought about your feelings."

"I didn't mind so much, to be honest," the Doctor admitted. "But others might have. For once, I believe the Brigadier might have a point."

Jo grinned sheepishly at him and he patted her back fondly. "As long as you've learned your lesson, it's quite alright. I rather enjoyed it for a time."

Again, the Doctor thought that would be the end of it. Two weeks later, he found out differently.

There were a few new recruits from the regular military. The Doctor always enjoyed seeing new faces to help with his boredom of being stuck in one place. Also, he wasn't above playing tricks on the new recruits to 'break them in.'

He quickly hid as he saw Sergeant Benton with one such new face. Listening in for a moment, the Doctor was realized with no small amount of glee that the Sergeant was giving the lad The Talk. It was mostly boring things like not to flip out upon seeing something strange, not to flirt with Corporal Bell as her boyfriend was very jealous and very big, or that the Brigadier was a fair man so long as you worked hard and wasn't as scary as he seemed.

However, the Doctor had learned that a large portion of The Talk was devoted solely to warnings about him. He was vain enough to enjoy listening and then to toy with the new recruit's mind by jumping out right after the worst of the warnings and before the reassurances. Military minds were ridiculously easy to mess with.

"-and don't let him bully you," Sergeant Benton went on. "He sometimes gets in a bad mood, but he's got a good heart. Two of them, actually."

Bullying? He'd never. It was their own fault for trying to bother him when he was fed up with this planet and its people. Most of UNIT learned to stay clear of the lab when they heard raised voices from behind the doors. Even the Brigadier knew to send Jo or Benton in such cases that he couldn't come himself. The Brigadier made it a point not to ask his soldiers to do anything he wouldn't, and braving the Doctor's temper wasn't an enviable job.

Usually, this was the end of the speech, and the Doctor felt a little disappointed that it was already over. Still, he could make a dramatic entrance and impress the new recruit, which was always enjoyable. He was just about to turn the corner when he heard Benton go on. "One more thing about the Doctor. Don't bother him about the Master. If he brings it up and wants to talk, then it's fine, but we're to respect his privacy and not pry, understand?"

Well, that was a new development. The Doctor felt a little stunned by the admission, but in a good way. He was surprised at how much he appreciated it being a closed subject. Humans, it seemed, would never stop surprising him.

"Is that so, Sergeant Benton?" the Doctor said as he turned the corner. He had meant to sound gruff and annoyed, but he was much too amused to really put much effort into it. "You'd think I'm worse than the monsters we go up against, with all your warnings."

The new private followed suit as he saw Benton salute the Doctor, and there was just a small amount of overwhelmed fear in his eyes. Pity that the Doctor was in such a good mood. It would be fun to mess with this one.

"Hullo, Doc," Benton said with an impish grin. "Just letting the new recruits know that your bark is worse than your bite."

"Worse than my bite, indeed," the Doctor said, this time managing a bit of huff. "I'm not a man to be trifled with, Sergeant Benton."

"No, sir, of course not," Benton said as he dismissed the private. The lad quickly scampered away when he realized he didn't have to deal with his first alien encounter, which amused the Doctor to no end.

Amused or not, he was quite interested in the conversation though. "What's all this about not mention the Master?"

At this, Benton looked sheepish. He had been one of the people to come around to apologize personally. "The Brigadier doesn't want a repeat of what happened, Sir. He told a few of us about what you'd told him, and asked us to make sure it didn't happen again."

He certainly didn't need a defensive barrier like that, not when it really didn't bother him, but the Doctor couldn't muster the heart to tell them he was more than capable of defending himself. They knew that, but wanted to do it anyway, and that in itself was kind of nice. It honestly hadn't bothered him too much, but the fact that they were willing to go to such lengths for him was to their credit. "Tell me, Sergeant, does the Brigadier do this with everyone or am I just a special case?" he asked.

"Actually, just last year we did a bit of the same for Private Thompson."

The Doctor blinked, trying to recall the face. "Short, blond man with a fondness for guitars?" he asked. "Didn't he transfer back to the regular military after that mess with the daemons?"

"Yeah, that's him. Poor chap. I don't think he was quite cut out for aliens." Benton grinned at the Doctor and was given a stern glare for the cheeky implication. "He was bullied by a few of the lads when they suspected he wasn't quite straight. The Brigadier put a stop to it as soon as he found out though. He said a person's merit comes from their work, and he wasn't about to judge other people's affairs, nor let it effect daily routine."

Affairs. So that was it, was it? The Doctor was one of the very few people who knew about the Brigadier's extramarital affair. Given how discreet the man was, the Doctor doubted he'd have even guessed if the Brigadier hadn't gone to the Doctor for advice. Not that the stubborn fool had taken it, but he knew how guilty the Brigadier still felt over the whole thing.

He'd never have thought the Brigadier would be so open minded on sexuality, but the guilt from what he'd done... That the Doctor could understand. He wouldn't judge because he was afraid to be judged. Perhaps the Brigadier was more open minded than the Doctor gave him credit for.  Enough to insure that no one else would pester the Doctor after he'd assumed that it upset him.

"It appears I've misjudged the Brigadier," he said aloud without quite meaning to. Alistair, you sentimental old fool.

"I'm sure he's gotten used to it, Sir," Benton said with another, more easy going smile.

"And what's your opinion on all this, Benton?" the Doctor asked.

"Well, Doc, if you don't mind me saying, you're pretty alien to begin with," the Sergeant said. "But you're our alien, so we should at least make a few allowances for your eccentricities. Besides, when it comes to you, I don't think anything could surprise me anymore."

Benton still hadn't seen the inside of the TARDIS, but the Doctor didn't mention that. 'Alien' wasn't quite the word for it either, not when there were humans who were the same way, but the Doctor supposed the humans were at least trying.  Though they were limited in their mind sets, they were willing to accept it, which was a start.

It was strange, but the forced exile had done him a few favors. The Doctor still resented what the Time Lords did more than anything, but he'd never really fit in on Gallifrey anyway. He thought that he simply hadn't needed to, standing out instead of fitting in. Here, he still didn't exactly fit in, but he received an acceptance he hadn't realized was important to have.

Humans were among some of the strangest creatures he had ever met, but he was prepared to accept them so long as he had a home here.

~FINI~

Mem: So I could have sworn I wanted a quote from Fruits Basket for this one, but while I can find the depressing one about Tohru saying that she should have known there was no place for an onigiri in a fruits basket, I thought there was a happier one for when she realizes that even she has someplace she belongs.  Sadly, not that I can find.  Still.  The mental image is there.  You don't know how hard it was not to reference that at the end. 

Except now I'm thinking of Three as a rice ball and this is a thought that is probably better left unthought. 

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
narwhale_callin
Nov. 8th, 2011 04:48 am (UTC)
It amuses me to no end that the Doctor was sabotaging the betting pool. XD

The Doctor was one of the very few people who knew about the Brigadier's extramarital affair.

What?! What?! When did this happen?! I must've missed that one!

"But you're our alien"

Awwwwwww. <3 I feel like this calls for a UNIT family hug. :D

But overall, very nice! I love the UNIT family bonding times! Yaaayyy!

Except I hope the betting pool is revived in the future.
dragonofmemory
Nov. 8th, 2011 12:35 pm (UTC)
You know he would. He'd be all 'Oh, look, they're obsessed with me! I need to mess with them!'

Well, the affair thing is actually from a comment by Nicholas Courtney, not anything canon. It was his personal head canon that his first marriage ended badly because of an affair, possibly with Doris. And who am I to argue with Nicholas Courtney?

I'm game for group hugs. XD Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for the comments!
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dragonofmemory
Nov. 9th, 2011 08:58 pm (UTC)
YOU WROTE ACE DOCTOR FIC!

That was almost exactly Cy's reaction, word for word. Except I think she said "YOU WROTE ME ACE FIC." An added word. XD

Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it! I was hoping you would. <3

I honestly don't remember where I read this, but at some point Nicholas Courtney was talking about his personal head canon for the Brigadier's past. And his reasoning for the Fiona (first wife) to Doris (second wife) switch was that the Brig had an affair. And ya know, if it's good enough head canon for the actor, it totally works for me. <3 When I'm not shipping him with Persephone (yes, that Persephone. Oh, Deadly Reunion and your crack that magically makes you ship it).

Thanks for the comments. I am really glad you liked it. I was writing it with you and Cy in mind, after all. <3
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dragonofmemory
Nov. 13th, 2011 03:30 pm (UTC)
<3 Glad it was satisfactory then.

It was something that was really hard for me to see at first, to be honest. It was really hard for me to ship the Brig with anyone (aside from my crack shipping of Brig/TARDIS), much less see him having an affair. But I figured I might as well try it for this fic.

Weeeeeeeeeeell, she didn't quite go for that whole Queen of the Underworld thing, but Hades was not happy with the Brig. The Doctor should obviously go and rescue him, if the Brigadier hasn't already rescued himself.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )