foreverwarrior: (Miranda (Guinevere))
As requested by [ profile] rude_not_ginger

Tourney days were always the highlight of summer. Crowds filled Camelot lands, dotting the landscape with brightly-coloured tents. Merchants brought their wares, farmers sold their crops, and the scents of roasting meat, baking bread, and bubbling pies filled the air.

She loved walking amongst the everyday crowd. To that end, she had slipped out of her rooms and donned a more humble dress. Only her dragon-crested ring marked her as anyone out of the ordinary.

She wasn't simple enough to think that her disguise was foolproof. Many of the stall-keepers and some of the other gentry knew her on sight. Most tolerated her strange behaviour with a small nod of acknowledgement, and she knew that any stall where she paused would see an influx of business within moments of her departure. Everyone wanted to know what she had said, or bought, and the merchants would be busy for the rest of the afternoon. She had just complimented a fabric merchant on a particular bolt of fine blue velvet when someone caught her eye.

He was unlike anyone else she had seen. His close-cropped brown hair stuck up at odd angles, and a most interesting suit of brown clothes hung from his wiry frame. Over the suit, he wore a strange, sleeved robe. What intrigued her the most was his manner of speech.

"Brilliant! Would you look at that?" he muttered to himself with all the wide-eyed enthusiasm of a small boy. "I've always wanted one of those!"

She approached him curiously. "Sir? Are you quite well?"

"Never better!" he exclaimed with a wide grin. "I must say, the things you humans have managed to create without electricity is absolutely fantastic!"

If she hadn't had half the conversations with Merlin as she did, she would have been utterly confused. As it was, she wondered if he was another wizard. She had just opened her mouth to speak when he spotted a jeweler’s stall and began walking towards it. Several people gasped as he turned his back to her.

"What? What is it? What happened?" he asked turning his head, looking around for the object of their chagrin.

She cleared her throat with a mild, wry smile. "My name is Guinevere Pendragon."

"Blimey! Are you really?" he asked, astonished.

"And you are?" she prompted, holding out her hand for him.

"The Doctor," he grinned, pumping her hand enthusiastically.

A few people looked at him in consternation, but she simply smiled, not letting his behaviour bother her. In fact, she found it rather charming.

"Well, then, Doctor. How do you find our little tourney?" she asked politely as they continued to walk down the row of stalls.

"Oh, I didn’t find it," he replied. "The TARDIS did. Simply mentioned I fancied a bit of jousting and here I am. Brilliant, ay?"

"TARDIS?" she repeated, confused. "What is that?"

"She, actually," he answered, almost distractedly.

"Alright, what is she?" Guinevere asked, curiously.

"Time And Relative Dimensions In Space," he muttered. Then his eye landed on a nearby fruit cart. "Gutted! No bananas! I mean, there wouldn’t be would there? They haven’t been discovered yet, have they? By Western Europeans, I mean."

"The TARDIS. Is that your…" she paused looking for the right word. "Ship?"

"Not really, no," he replied evasively and quickly walked to a glassmaker’s stall. "Hello! What have we here?"

He promptly picked up a multi-faceted prism nearly the size and shape of an apple. Holding it up to the sunlight, he was quickly covered in small rainbows.

"Do you know what this is?" he asked excitedly.

"A prism," she replied simply.

"Well, yes. Besides that," he answered. She shook her head in confusion. "I’ve been looking for one of these for ages! It’s a Multi-Beam Refractor Unit, and it’s exactly what I need to fix the TARDIS’ chameleon circuit! Brilliant!"

He then prattled on about the faulty circuit and its repairs. She quickly realized she had absolutely no understanding of half the things he said. Perhaps Merlin…

"Well! This has been interesting, but I need to be off," he grinned, and quickly started walking in the other direction.

"What about the jousting?" she called after him, most unladylike.

"Some other time!" he replied with a wave and disappeared into the crowd. "Nice meeting you, though!"

She stared after him, equal parts confused, amused, and indignant. It wasn’t often that someone rendered her absolutely speechless. Gathering her skirts, she walked quickly back to the castle to have a word with Merlin. Maybe he could explain the odd man’s even stranger behaviour.

{And thanks to [ profile] handysparehand for the beta/review! *G*}


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October 2010

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