Chapter Four

The Doctor continued to walk through the forest, confident with each passing moment that he could beat the gauntlet and find Clara at the end of it. As he walked, he heard someone clearing his throat above him and he looked up to see the Sun had moved overhead.

"Hello there," he said to the Doctor.

The Doctor found he like the Sun, at least for the moment. The Sun wasn't in his face, chirping away or kissing him on the lips or trying to be annoying. It had a cartoony face but the Doctor figured he could live with that after the heaps of rainbow birds.

"Hello, Mister Sun, enjoying the day?" the Doctor said.

"I am. Are you enjoying the outing?" the Sun said.

"I am now that I know I can beat this little game and find my friend. Is she still sitting on the bench?"

"Yes. She's unharmed."

"Good. Hope it stays that way. Well, gotta get back to getting to her so if you don't mind…"

"Not at all, enjoy your walk."

The Doctor smiled when the Sun floated away.

"See, you can be cute without being in your face cute," he muttered to himself as he carried on down the path.

He walked for another ten minutes when the next obstacle came into view. He stopped short when several multicolored unicorns came out of the forest on both sides and blocked his path. Unlike the birds, the unicorns were different colors but not rainbow colored. All of them had golden horns and hooves and snow white manes and tails. The Doctor and the unicorns stood about ten feet apart from each other, sizing one another up.

"Could you lot go away, I'm trying to walk here," the Doctor finally said.

The unicorns nickered and snorted but remained put. The Doctor sighed and shook his head.

"No one has learned that it isn't wise to mess with me," he said as he walked towards them.

He stopped when the unicorns began to prance around him in a tightly formed ring. He watched them for a moment and then suddenly, he leapt onto the back of a purple colored one and wrapped his arms around its neck while the horse whinnied and tried to kick him off. The Doctor held on for dear life, vaguely aware that the other unicorns had stopped and were now off to the side, watching what was going on but not interfering.

"Come on, My Little Pony, cooperate with me!" the Doctor yelled as the unicorn spun around in a circle and bucked its back legs.

"Finally, after a few minutes, the unicorn began to tire and slowly came to a stop while the Doctor breathed a sigh of relief and slid off its side. The horse was looking back at him, whinnying softly but it was not fighting him or trying to escape. The Doctor patted its neck.

"Okay, Secretariat, you are going to help me since you didn't clear the path," he said to the horse. "I am going to ride you and you are going to tolerate it or I'm going to turn your sorry carcass into purple glue, that understood?"

The unicorn nickered and the Doctor hoped that meant yes as he bent underneath briefly to check the sex of the animal.

"A girl, eh?" he said. "Okay…let's see if you'll let me ride you then, madam."

He clambered onto the unicorn's back and waited for a response when he was settled in. The unicorn whinnied a moment, seemingly in protest, but didn't fight him. He glanced over and noticed the other unicorns were standing off to the side, watching but not interfering in any way.

"So," the Doctor said, turning his attention back to his mount, "what's your name then?"

The horse whinnied and the Doctor made a face.

"Sparkle Dancer? Ugh, I need a bath after this just to get all the cuteness off of me. But we have to work with what we have so…forward, Sparkle Dancer, take me to Clara."

Since there were no reins, the Doctor held on to a bit of the mane and hoped for the best as the unicorn turned and headed away from the rest of the herd. Riding the animal proved to be soothing and he found he didn't mind the garish rainbow colors as much once he got used to the clippity clop rhythm of his new mount. As he rode, he heard chirping behind him and he shifted to look what was there and groaned when he noticed the shoulder bird was now riding with him, perched near the tail while it chirped.

"You just don't give in, do ya?" he said to the bird. "Alright, you can stay but the moment you land on my shoulder, I'm ripping your beak off your body, got that?"

He faced the front again and even though the bird was chirping behind him, he found that he could ignore it by concentrating on the rhythm of the unicorn's stride. But just when he thought he was in the clear, he noticed a flock of birds was flying overhead and coming his way. They were carrying a rainbow flower garland in their talons and the Doctor let out a frustrated sigh when they dropped it on his head and it slipped down around his forehead and formed a cute flower halo.

"I hate this place," he muttered to himself.


The Doctor breathed a sigh of relief when five minutes later, they were at the edge of the forest and he could see green hills beyond it. The Doctor was surprised he could see the green since he figured that there'd been so much rainbow color over the past half hour that it would take him months to see anything else but. But as they headed out of the forest, he noticed two small chubby, female, cherublike urchins were standing by the side of the road, looking up at him with anime sized eyes. Both of the little girls were dressed in impossibly white, non soiled dresses and had long flowing blonde hair that rippled in the breeze.

"Please come and play…" one of the girls started to say.

"Sod off," the Doctor said, silencing her as he rode past them.

A couple of gray mice wearing pretty pink bows around their necks scampered on two feet onto the path.

"Hello!" they squeaked at him in high pitched voices as they waved to him.

"Shove off and die!" the Doctor said as he rode past them.

Strawberry Shortcake appeared in a flash of white light in front of him.

"I'm berry, berry pleased to see you…AAAAAAAAH!" she screamed when the Doctor urged Sparkle Dancer to speed up and she had to run off the path to avoid being stampeded.

The Doctor slowed his horse back to walking speed when he passed her and smirked as Strawberry Shortcake hurled curses at his back. Then there was another flash of light and Rainbow Brite and Twink the Star Sprite appeared at the side of the path.

"Help us," Rainbow Brite said to the Doctor as he neared her. "We need to spread rainbows all around the world and bring joy and happiness to people who need it most!"

The Doctor stopped Sparkle Dancer beside her and looked down for a moment in disdain while Rainbow Brite smiled cheerfully at him.

"Hey, is that your handiwork back there?" he said, pointing back to the rainbow forest. "Because you must have been dead pissed when you did it. You get drunk often, do ya, Rainbow Girl?"

"But you don't understand," Rainbow Brite said as she and Twink walked behind him once he urged Sparkle Dancer to move on away from her. "We have to make the world a better and more cheerful place and you have to help us."

The Doctor sighed. He shifted slightly on the horse and without warning, seized Shoulder Bird in a tight grip, choking off its incessant chirping, and sneered at it before he threw it at Rainbow Brite's face.

"Here, help this loony creature be less annoying so it'll stop landing on shoulders and giving people headaches with its nonstop cheeping!" he said to her before he turned back around. "I have better things to do than to help you and besides, this place has enough rainbows to last for centuries. Use some of them and leave me out of it!"

"Fuckface!" Rainbow Brite screeched at him.

"And proud of it!" the Doctor yelled cheerfully over his shoulder as he kept on going.

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