A STITCH IN TIME – Part 1

It took more than several steps and an embarrassing moment of apparently talking to herself before Rose Tyler realised that the Doctor was no longer walking alongside her. Looking back she could see him, hands on his hips, feet planted firmly shoulder width apart staring upwards with a childish enthusiasm in his eyes. She found herself forced to push against the tide of pedestrians, which parted around the Doctor like the Red Sea, to get back to him.

“Doctor…” she began,

“Now, this is how we’ll get to Geneva” he interrupted, taking a moment to stare intently at her, grinning, before turning his gaze back to the huge Gothic building before them.

Rose followed his eyes taking in the impressive structure; all arches and leaded windows, before understanding she was looking at a railway station.

“Train? We’re going by train?”

“Yes”

“To Geneva?”

“Yes”

“But, I thought, we’d…” Rose frowned “well, we’d take the Tardis”. She vaguely pointed back the way they had both just come and shrugged.

The Doctor turned to look at her again “Ah, no” he began, “the tear in the Time Vortex means the closest we can get, in both time and space, is here.” He made a sweeping theatrical gesture to the imposing station, “We shall travel the rest of the way, First Class!”

“Right” said Rose gathering herself, “let’s get on with it” and started towards the huge doors and the chaos beyond, only noticing the Doctor turn on his heel and begin crossing the cobbled street at the very last moment. “Hey, where are you going?” she called out from behind him, battling in frustration against the swirling crowds. He turned, an island of calm in the pressing mass of people, but with a slight edge of irritation to his voice.

“To find a bank,” he called back  “we just can’t go getting on trains without paying. Do you know what they do to fare dodgers?” His teenage companion had finally battled to his side, “No, what?” The Doctor shrugged, jutting his lower lip “Dunno, and I can’t really be bothered to find out either.” He grinned “coming?” She smiled back and the pair pressed on across the road.

It certainly wasn’t a 21st Century bank; it was almost as quiet and solemn as a church and with even more wood panelling. Rose felt as if both staff and customers were looking down on her, judging her for daring to walk in. They looked up from their hushed twos and threes, appalled by the loud man in leather and his confused companion. The Doctor was, of course, trying to draw attention to himself. A slightly overweight man, old before his time, scuttled over to the pair of them. “Can I help?” he flustered, wiping his half moon spectacles on a rather dirty handkerchief.  “Are you the manager?” asked the Doctor tilting his head inquisitively, “because I need to see the manager, right now, don’t I Rose? So, are you then? The manager?”

Much to Roses surprise the manager was not only available but he immediately invited the pair of them into his office and plied them with fresh coffee. Herr Khol was an elderly man, wiry and full of nervous energy. He listened to the Doctor intently, twitching as he made innumerate notes onto the yellowing pad that sat square in the centre of his leather topped desk. Abruptly Herr Khol leapt to his feet “There are forms Doctor Smith.” he announced “No problems, just forms, one moment, please.” With that he swept from the room. The Doctor seemed to count briefly in his head before rising and absently begin flicking through the private and personal records that were stacked neatly on the manager’s impressive desk.

“Doctor?” Rose enquired, “You told me you didn’t have any money”

Distracted from his nosing the Doctor span to face her, a quizzical look on his face. “Well” he said “I don’t carry money, tried it once, not such a good idea.” Rose frowned. The Doctor continued “Imagine all the planets with intelligent life and how many of those have a form of currency, and many forms of currency those planets may actually use, and through how many periods of it’s history.” The Timelord’s eyes took a distant look as if he was actually imagining all those worlds, “You just can’t imagine the pockets I needed. Huge, capricious pockets, voluminous, and really not all that practical.”

Rose considered this, slightly worried “So instead you are going to rob them? With your slightly psychic paper and a confident smile?” The Doctor frowned, screwing his face up, this hadn’t even occurred to him.

He sat down again, crossed his legs and folded his arms, leaning back. “A long, long time ago,” he began “I used to like to meddle a bit.”

“No surprises there,” Rose interrupted.

“Hah!” continued the Doctor failing to look shocked, “No, really meddle, history changing meddle, time paradox meddle, that kind of meddle.” He stopped her indignant interruption with a wave of his hand. “So I set up bank accounts, on key planets, at key points in time. I even used to own property.” He sat back with a vaguely proud and partially confused smile. As Rose started to speak he interrupted again “So, I just need my slightly psychic paper as a form of ID to gain access to my own money. Alright?”

Rose began to speak for a third time but this time was interrupted by the return of the twitching, angular Herr Kohl, so she sat back trying not to feel guilty for sulking.

When it came to completing the pile of forms and additional paperwork the Doctor was a marvel to behold. Like a street magician his eyes appeared to be focussed anywhere but on his hands, which were a blur of movement. Sometimes he wrote his illegible scrawl with his right hand, others with his left and all the time he kept up a stream of apparent small talk with the bewildered bank manager.

Part two>>>