Categories > TV > Doctor Who0 Reviews
A crossover with "Are You Being Served?" set after Season Two of Doctor Who.
But it wasn’t easy knowing what to wear, and a flicker of self-doubt wormed its way to the surface when she surveyed her wardrobe, tossing clothes across her bed. Her clothes were all new, and none of it had been bought cheap, but none of it was right. She felt dissatisfied with herself for not owning the right stuff, realizing too that this was yet another change. Not so long ago she wouldn’t have noticed the difference, or cared.
She ploughed through her mum’s wardrobe just as destructively, heaps of impractical, shiny, youthful dresses accumulating around her feet. Jackie had wasted no time spending some of that lovely money, but there wasn’t a thing here you could wear to work, not if you wanted to be taken seriously.
Over tea she saw it, a smudged little ad in the back pages of the newspaper, loyally proclaiming that its shop could be counted on for timeless elegance and style. Anyone other than Rose would have dismissed the plucky little advert’s claims, since so much went against them: the size, the location, the cheap print job. But Rose, absentmindedly toying with her blonde hair, felt a pang of compassion and took it at its word. “Timeless,” she said out loud. “That sounds exactly right.” She clipped the ad and shoved it in her pocket.
Mr. Mash had just made his deliveries to the first floor; slightly behind schedule as usual, but what did they expect when he had to deliver such flamin’ bulky objects? These were three of the ugliest items he’d ever dragged off a lift, and that was saying something. No one in maintenance had been able to get them to do anything, either. Far as he could see, they just sat there taking up room. He’d left one in gents’ ready-made, one in the ladies’ department, and one standing in the centre of the room looking like an idiot. Mash grinned at this last one. “Company for you, Brother,” he said cheerfully, under his breath.
The shop’s name hadn’t roused her suspicions at all--there was at least one real chain bearing that name in every universe parallel to Rose’s own--and when Mickey dropped her off, nothing about the front of the building jogged her memory either. It wasn’t until she’d made her way inside that things began to feel wrong. It was just a slightly dingy department store, so why was her skin tingling with alarm? For a moment she wished she’d accepted Mickey’s offer to come shopping with her, but she hadn’t wanted company--not his company. She walked past bath salts and tins of powder and retro-looking salesgirls wielding spray bottles, and she kept having to look over her shoulder, because she felt braced for something to happen. And even so, she was startled into jumping when a set of lift doors slid open just as she was passing them.
“Ground floor, perfumery,” began the familiar calm voice.
“Oh, no,” said Rose to herself. “This place can’t be real.”
“I am not a point of sales display!” the thing said shrilly, interrupting the conversation.
“Of course you’re not,” Mrs. Slocombe said soothingly, and waited. “Well, what are you then?” she demanded.
“Perhaps it’s a customer,” said Miss Brahms, ever hopeful. “Can I interest Madam in our Naughty Knickers?”
“Really, Miss Brahms, I don’t think it has any need of those,” sniffed Mrs. Slocombe.
“Well, what does it need, then?” asked Miss Brahms. The thing blinked and beeped, and extruded a couple of appendages. Miss Brahms squealed and jumped back; Mrs. Slocombe raised her eyeglasses and squinted thoughtfully.
“Whisks and plungers,” she said haughtily, “may be located in kitchenware. You want the ground floor.” The thing blinked several more lights at her, looking perplexed, and then unhelpfully shut itself down.
“Now you’ve gone and insulted it,” said Miss Brahms reproachfully. "And it's a right pretty colour, too." Mrs. Slocombe condescended to agree. The object was a sort of pinkish-gold, as though something copper had decided it would be happier as a blonde, and had also felt an affinity for pink.
“I can’t use that to display overcoats,” Mr. Grainger sputtered. “It’s far too short and stout.”
“Lot of that going around,” chortled Mr. Lucas, and Mr. Grainger quelled him with a look.
“Still, it’s got a nice long turret,” said Mr. Humphries admiringly. “And I don’t want to hear one word out of you,” he added before Mr. Lucas could speak. He turned back to the object, eyeing it carefully. In the cracks and joints, small bits of copper gleamed through. “Your roots are showing,” Mr. Humphries told it, but kindly. “You want touching up.”
“We. Are. Superior. Beings,” stated the display unit sitting at the centre of the floor.
“Quite so,” answered Captain Peacock absently, almost allowing himself to smile.
The lift doors opened, and a young person stepped out cautiously and walked slowly down the stairs. A blonde female of Miss Brahms’ class, Captain Peacock noted swiftly and accurately. Still, when he spoke barely a trace of this judgement showed in his voice and demeanour. “Are you being served?” he asked.
“What?” she asked distractedly, and then realised what he must have said. “Sorry, no. Um... is that...?” She pointed behind him, and he turned his head just enough to confirm that the customer was staring at one of the new display units.
“May I be of assistance?” he asked patiently. She stared past him dazedly, thoughts tumbling into place.
That was a Dalek, that was, standing right here in the middle of a department store that shouldn’t exist--a timeless department store, Rose thought, joy and hope rising up inside her like a tide. And that meant, didn’t it, that the universe was still a strange and wonderful place, full of fantastic possibilities, and after all: the Doctor wasn’t omniscient, was he? Course not. He got things wrong, in spite of all his technology and experience. There was a Dalek, right here, where there shouldn’t be any, and if the Doctor had that wrong maybe he had other things wrong. Maybe there were still Daleks back in her universe, too, and maybe there were still Time Lords. And that would mean maybe you could still get from one universe to another after all, right?
“Yeah,” she answered finally, smiling up at the guy who’d spoken to her. “Yeah, who knows, I think maybe you can.” Her smile lit up her whole face, and Stephen Peacock--never one to resist a pretty girl no matter how lower-class her accent--found himself smiling back.