Dance With Me

The man in the brown coat pushes through the crowd. This room is full, far more than he'd expected. Perhaps this isn't such a good idea ... for he knows that beneath the humanoid exterior, many of these people are just as 'out of this world' as he is, and surely they'll recognise him? He must have run into them at some point before.

The music pulses through his mind. I'll just stand here, he thinks, leaning on the bar. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be allowed.

"Can I get you anything?" The barman is looking his way.

"Um, hi," he says, unsure of how to behave.

"Haven't seen you around. What's your name?"

He hesitates. "They call me the Doctor." Playing for time, he feels in his pocket for some money and discovers a piece of string and some paperclips.

"The Doctor, eh? Not heard that one before. Still, you get all sorts in here." The barman gives him a sharp look. "You look like you've had a rough day."

"Yeah, well, I generally look like that," he says. "What do you fellows drink around here, anyway?"

"New in town?" The barman grins and points to the shelves. "We've got all sorts. And we need them. There are folk that come here that will just sit and drink for four hours straight, 'til we chuck them out. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but you don't look like the type for that."

"I'm not," says the Doctor, and looks at the bottles again. "Whatever. Surprise me. I could do with a drink anyway." He's not had alcohol in a long time - it helps to keep his mind clear - but he's sure that this place is safe. After all, he asked the TARDIS to bring him somewhere for a break, and she's not let him down before.

With a grin, the barman hands him a small glass. He groans inwardly. If it's in a shot glass, it's bound to be strong, at least in his experience. But he tips it back and gasps slightly as the alcohol stings his throat. As he hands back the glass, the man names the price.

"I'll pay by, uh, card," he says, and waits for the little machine to be brought over. Then it's only a matter of waiting until the barman turns his back so that he can point hsi sonic screwdriver at the device until it clicks and says card accepted

"You done?" The barman takes the reader away and immediately loses interest, so the Doctor turns back to face the crowd. They're dancing, he notices, over in the middle of the floor. Couples whirl each other around, the ladies in rather tight, glittery, low-cut dresses. Well, if that's what they like...

Intrigued, he plunges his hands into the pockets of his long coat and discovers that they not only have hidden depths, they have hidden pains too. "I knew it was a mistake to keep needles in my pocket," he says to himself. It had seemed like such a good idea at a time; one never knew when one might need to sew.

"Talking to yourself, m'sieur?" says a voice. He turns and sees a woman, her auburn hair loose around bare shoulders. "You don't want to do that around here. People will start to think you're mad."

"Well, people often do." Despite himself, the Doctor is intrigued. After all, it's not every day that a woman in such an interestingly cut green dress comes up and talks to him, and certainly not when there's this sort of music going on. "Now, if you'll excuse me..." With great effort of willpower, he begins to move away. She pouts.

"You can't just disappear," she says. "I found you. I claim a dance."

"A dance?" Despite what he told Rose, the Doctor does not often dance. "I'm not sure that's a good idea. I - I'm just passing through. Looking for an old friend, you know how it is. But have a nice evening..."

She grabs his arm. "I said I claim a dance." She grins. "What, you've never been a club like this before? Don't you know the rules?"

The Doctor swallows. "Rules? I don't - I don't generally bother about rules, to tell you the truth."

"I found you. I spoke to you. You can't leave without dancing with me." She gestures to the dance floor. "Your shoes are hardly the most elegant, but you look like the sort of man who can move..." They look together down at his converses, and the Doctor ruefully admits to himself that they're not dancing shoes. "Come, I'll have them play my song."

"Your song?" he says stupidly, but she has already reached the band and is evidently making a request. She knows what she's doing. She's a regular here. Perhaps I could ask her about those people outside? Grateful that this unexpected direction might actually lead him to where he wanted to go, the Doctor takes her arm. "A dance, my lady?"

Her teeth flash in the lights as she smiles. "I thought you'd never ask."

The End

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