The Doctor let out a ragged sigh as he walked along the foggy streets of Victorian London. It was December 31st, 1891. He'd only been in Victorian London for a few months, trying to escape the pain of losing Amy and Rory, determined to retire from the life of a time traveler and live his very, very long life on his adopted home world.

To his annoyance, his friends Vastra, Jenny and Strax kept pestering him to be the Doctor again, coming to him with silly trivial things that he had no interest in. He knew they meant well but he was tired of the constant attempts to lure him back to fighting baddies and aliens.

Tonight though, he was by himself, strolling the streets and enjoying the night and the people who were still out at this hour. There was going to be New Year's celebrations but not on the scale of the twentieth and twenty first centuries. He briefly considered going back to the twenty first century to enjoy the fireworks and insane partying that was typical of that century but he thought better of it and decided to stay put.

While he stopped for a moment on a corner to let a horse drawn carriage go by, he heard someone clearing his throat behind him.

"Good evening, sir," said a gruff voice.

The Doctor rolled his eyes. Strax. Shoulda known he'd get no peace tonight. He turned slowly, figuring that Vastra and Jenny were with him but he was by himself. He thought it odd, then figured that Vastra and Jenny were probably ringing in the new year in their own special way.

"Good evening, Strax," the Doctor said politely.

"Permission to speak, sir!" Strax said with a salute.

The Doctor rolled his eyes again.

"I'm not your commanding officer, you don't have to salute me," he said again for the millionth time. "What do you want?"

"I understand that tonight is an Earth holiday, sir," Strax said.

"It is indeed," the Doctor said, thinking at the same time that Strax looked odd and ridiculous in Victorian clothing, almost as odd as a bra on a Dalek, if such a thing existed. "Tonight is the end of the old year and the beginning of the new."

"And this is significant?" Strax said with a frown. "It is merely the simple passing of time. Why should that be a cause for celebration?"

"Actually, I agree with you. Except humans love to party and any excuse for a party will do. I gather that Sontarans don't party much?" he said to him.

"We do not party, we fight!" Strax said proudly.

"Yeah, perhaps that's your people's problem," the Doctor muttered. "Didn't Vastra or Jenny tell you about any of this?"

"Any of what, sir?"

"New Year's Eve and what it means," the Doctor said.

"Well, I asked about it and Madame Vastra told me to come and talk to you about it because she and Jenny are busy. I believe they are mating again, sir."

"Yeah, I don't doubt that," the Doctor said, trying not to imagine a human and lizard having hot Victorian sex.

"I located you by your scent, sir."

The Doctor frowned at that. Strax watched while he sniffed himself.

"My scent?" he finally said to Strax. "What do I smell like?"

"Like Time Lords, sir."

The Doctor gave him a long, hard look.

"I do not lie, sir," Strax said. "You smell like Time Lords. The smell is different from Sontaran or Silurian or human so I followed the scent and found you. I have excellent tracking skills, sir."

"Mmm," the Doctor said, not really caring. "Well, I don't know what Time Lord smells like and how it's different from a human, but well done for your tracking skills."

"Would you like me to tell you how a Time Lord smell differs from a human's, sir?"

"No, no, that's alright. I'm not in the mood," the Doctor said.

"Bit foggy tonight, sir," Strax said, looking up.

"Yup, it is," the Doctor said, nodding.

"How will the humans know when the old year has gone and the new year has passed?"

The Doctor gave him another long, hard stare.

"They have clocks," he finally said.

"Ah, clever. Very clever," Strax said, trying to nod his head and failing miserably.

"You lot really were engineered for brawn and not brains, weren't ya?" the Doctor said.

"We were bred to fight and nothing else, sir. In battle, I was known at Strax the Unquenchable because I had an unquenchable thirst for battle. I once faced 300 Rutans and helped kill them all without any pity or remorse. Those were the good old days."

"Mmm," the Doctor said, wishing he could dig a quick hole and bury the talking potato by his side.

"Then I showed cowardice at the Battle of Malfortan when I refused to die with my combat unit. And I was demoted to nurse and disgraced. And now I am here on Earth, living as a human. I believe I have succeeded in that, sir."

The Doctor gave him a withering look but Strax either didn't see it or didn't care as he slapped his large hands together.

"So…does this "New Year's Eve" celebrations involve random killing?" he said lustily.

"No, it involves people having a good time," the Doctor said, rolling his eyes. "Good time generally means no killing."

"Indeed," Strax mused. "I have always thought the humans odd; their unwillingness to kill each other is strange to me."

"Oh, I don't know. They seem to have no problem with killing each other," the Doctor said. "But generally, the refrain from killing during holidays."

"I see. Another part of my human training. Thank you, sir, for correcting me."

The Doctor nodded.

"I have an idea," Strax said.

The Doctor inwardly groaned but kept on being polite to the little spud.

"Yes, Strax, what is your idea?" he said.

"I shall invent a new human tradition. When the New Year begins, I will take a gun and shoot a few humans in celebration. There are millions of them so a few dead won't matter. What do you think, sir?"

"I think if you do that, Strax, I will find a piece of dog poo and clog your probic vent with it," the Doctor said, eyeing him.

"Then that is a negative, sir?"

"Unless you want to digest dog poo…yes, it is," the Doctor said.

"I see. Only contributing to the culture of Earth, sir."

"Yeah. Why don't you do less contributing and more fitting in," the Doctor said.

"I see, sir. I will, sir."

"And please stop with the sir, I hate that!" the Doctor said.

"Very good, sir."

The Doctor sighed.

"Right, going home now," the Doctor said, turning around.

"Shall I accompany you, sir?" Strax said, turning with him.

The Doctor was about to tell him to buzz off before images formed in his mind of a Victorian potato strafing other Victorians with laser fire and he realized perhaps Strax was better off being with him tonight.

"Yeah, come along," the Doctor said, beckoning to him.

"Very good, sir. Happy New Year, sir."

The Doctor smiled at that.

"Happy New Year, Strax," he said before the two of them headed back to the TARDIS ladder.


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