Pit Stop

(Doctor Who/Stargate: Atlantis)

If there was one thing John Sheppard had learnt since he’d come to Atlantis, it was always to expect the unexpected…but there was such a thing as stretching believability too far.

“Is that what I think it is?” he asked, out of the corner of his mouth.

“If you think it looks like a British police box that’s escaped from the 1960s, then yes, you’re right…we’ve both gone completely mad,” Rodney muttered back.

“Rodney, John, you know what this is?” Teyla asked softly.

“You could say that,” John said reluctantly. “It’s an…Earth thing.”

“Ah, I see; then that is normal?”

John’s eyes followed the direction of her finger and eyed the cable trailing from the box. “No, that is definitely isn’t normal,” he said, a small, grim smile appearing on his face.

“What the – oh no, no, no, no, no,” Rodney wailed, almost dropping his P90 as he hurried to the console the cable was connected to.

“Calm down, McKay, it can’t be that bad…can it?” John asked warily, one eye still on the blue police box.

“It’s draining power,” he yelled. “Of course it’s bad!” He pulled his fingers through his hair. “Wait a minute, I think I can…yes, I’ve disconnected it.” With a grin of relief, Rodney waved the cable. “Another crisis averted.”

John tapped his com. “Elizabeth?”

Have you discovered the problem?”

“Well, we’ve discovered what was draining the ZPM but—” The police box’s door creaked and John hastily trained his gun on it.

John, are you still there?”

I’ll get back to you, Elizabeth.”

First came a hat, which barely covered a thick thatch of curls; then came a Cheshire grin followed by a scarf. Lets not forget the scarf. “Pardon me,” he boomed cheerily, pushing the fedora off his forehead with a finger. “I don’t suppose you could plug us back in, could you?”

Shepherd’s eyes narrowed. “No, I don’t suppose we could,” he drawled.

“Oh…why not?”

“Because it’s stealing!” Rodney burst out, unable to contain himself any longer. “And while I’m at it, give us back what you’ve already taken!”

“Don’t be ridiculous, man, Atlantis has been abandoned for over ten thousand years, who would I be stealing from?” he asked.

“Yeah, well it’s not abandoned anymore.”

“What? Got it cheap at the local shop, did you?” the stranger said, with more than just a smidgen of sarcasm.

John rolled his eyes. “How we ended up here doesn’t matter. What matters is that this is our ZPM.”

The stranger grinned. “Romana, darling, you have to come and hear this,” he called over his shoulder. “I’ve just been accused of stealing.”

“Really? How quaint!” Dressed in what looked disturbing like a school uniform, a petit blonde popped her head out the door. “Ooh, humans, how spiffy; are they going to drag us away in chains?”

“Spiffy?” Rodney echoed. “Quaint? Great, it’s Masterpiece theatre.”

John caught his eye and pulled a face before lowering his weapon. They seemed harmless enough. “Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard,” he said, by way of introduction. “And this is Doctor Rodney McKay, Teyla Immagen, and Ronon Dex.”

He hadn’t thought possible, but the grin became wider. “Pleased to meet you, this is Romana and I’m the Doctor.”

“Doctor who?” Rodney asked, frowning.

“Just the Doctor,” he said. “I say, pardon me for asking, but what are a bunch of humans from Earth doing in the Pegasus galaxy?”

John sighed. “Long story…you?”

“Oh, I was just passing through and thought I’d pop in for a quick boost; you know how it is,” he said breezily. John didn’t know, but he let the comment pass in the name of sanity.

“Yeah, well, the pump is closed,” Rodney snapped. “I have enough problems keeping the lights on without freeloaders draining our power supply.”

“Ooh, freeloaders,” Romana said brightly. “I’ve never been called one of those before.”

“New one for me too,” the Doctor agreed. “Well, sorry to have interrupted you…”

Bemused, John watched them retreat into the box and shut the door. “Anybody get the feeling we’ve landed in the twilight zone?” he asked rhetorically as the police box began to fade away.

Suddenly, the box became solid again and the door clattered open. “Oh, by the way,” the doctor said, popping his head out. “You do realise that this galaxy is overrun by a predator species called the Wraith?”

“We got the memo,” John said dryly.

“Jolly good, carry on!”

And, with a whine, the police box disappeared; this time, for good.