[Doctor Who/Sarah Jane Adventures] The Time Lady and the Lamp
Sunday 24th December 2017
Summary: Missy loses a genie in a flower shop.
"Once I lost a genie in a flower shop." Missy took a sip of her tea. It was all very civilised: tea and fairy cakes. It was almost enough to make her forget she was locked in a vault. Almost.
"Hmm?" The Doctor plucked a fairy cake from its case. It had blue icing on it.
She was determined to carry on with her story regardless of whether he was listening or not. "I remember, it was called Bloomin' Lovely. Typical humans, no sophistication. They even think genies live in lamps!"
"Some of them do," he said, around a mouthful of cake.
She shrugged. "There was a woman in the shop. Not one of your pets."
He didn't react to her choice of words. She didn't react to his lack of reaction.
"I suppose the genie offered her three wishes," he said disdainfully.
"Not offer, no." She sighed.
He raised his eyebrows.
She slowly and deliberately chose a cake with green icing and hundreds and thousands. The cake was fluffy and melted in the mouth. "It ran into the shop," she said, when she judged he'd reached the limits of his patience. Which was almost as limited as hers. "There was only the proprietor inside and she tried to have a conversation while I looked for the genie."
"Oh, hello. I'm Gita and welcome to my shop!" She spread her arms to encompass the little flower shop. "Can I help you with anything? Let's see, I think you like lilies, am I right?" She laughed a little. "You have my undivided attention: things have been slow today. And all week." She sighed. "On days like this I wish business was busier."
Despite Missy paying Gita no attention, she carried on talking, so Missy was glad when a couple walked into the shop and Gita abandoned Missy to greet them. It gave Missy the opportunity to poke around the shop, looking for the genie. Except the couple hadn't entered by chance.
"Five minutes later the shop was full of people. Really, humans should know better than to wish for things." Missy had another sip of her tea.
The Doctor turned his piercing gaze on Missy. "And what did you wish for?"
She leaned towards him. "That would be telling," she said whispered.
"Let me guess." He didn't lean back. "You used the people in the shop as a distraction so you could slip into the back."
"Give the man a medal." She pointed at the Doctor and sat back in her armchair.
The genie was lurking among some greenery. Missy didn't care enough to know what it was, just that it was green. "Come here, you." She lunged for it, but it made itself semi-transparent and slipped through her fingers. Wishes were the only way to hurt a genie, but she'd already used two. After the third it would teleport elsewhere and she'd have to track it down again. She opened her mouth to wish for its capture, when Gita's words carried from the front of the shop.
"I do wish I had a nice, cup of tea right now."
Missy found herself unable to control her limbs, as she went over to the small kitchen and put the kettle on. She at least had control of any part of her not involved in making tea, so she turned to the genie. "What did you do?" But it had gone. Genies were well-known for having a mean streak and not interpreting wishes quite like the wishee expected. Which Missy had learnt to her cost when she'd wished for world domination and found herself stuck with the paperwork. She'd had to use her second wish to reverse the first.
She was tempted to forget her original wish and make her third something to hurt the genie. However, once she'd passed Gita the tea, Gita followed her to the back of the shop.
"I'm sorry, my darling, but you can't be back here." Gita did sound genuinely sorry, which confused Missy.
Missy waved an arm at Gita. "Quiet." She raised her voice so it would carry to the genie, wherever it was. "I wish--"
The Doctor smiled a little. "Let me guess, she interrupted you."
"Well, yes," Missy said a little testily. It was far too obvious a conclusion. "Otherwise I'd be ruler of the Earth by now." After all, there was no reason to include only one thing per wish, if she chose her wording carefully.
He shook his head. "I don't know why you want Earth."
Missy stared at him. "Why do you?"
He coughed. "What did she wish for?"
"Peace and love." Not those exact words, but close enough for the genie to interpret the wish that way. Missy sighed.
All of Missy's previous feelings toward the genie and Gita had gone. She even hugged Gita! Missy made her way out of the shop, where the customers were making flower crowns for each other. Once outside she returned to her normal self, but it was too late.
"The genie was gone," she said, despondently. She'd only found it by accident in the first place and that was on a far smaller, less populated planet.
"Perhaps I should find the shop and thank her." He picked the teapot up, then poured some more tea into both of their cups. "Are you sorry you did it?"
She finished her tea as she thought about the question. "No," she concluded, putting the cup back on the saucer. "No one was hurt. And it benefited the proprietor: everyone in Ealing is buying flowers from Bloomin' Lovely. And there's peace and love inside the shop." Humans surely loved that.
"So all's well that end's well." Although he didn't sound quite like he believed it.
Missy smiled and nodded. There really was nothing to regret. Which was why she'd told the story in the first place: to make herself look good.
After a sip of tea, he asked. "And what if the genie ended up in the hands of an evil dictator?"
She shrugged. That would hardly be her fault.
He leaned closer. "And how did the genie get here in the first place? They're not native to Earth."
She knew what he was insinuating, but wasn't going to be drawn. "It's so hard to say," she said airily. "They're really not good at answering questions."
"Hmm." He leaned back, but he couldn't prove anything.
It was dangerous to land the TARDIS in Ealing - there were too many people here who knew what it was. But he wouldn't need to be here too long. He was hoping to be lucky.
He parked half in a hedge around the corner from the high street. It was the end of the day and the flower shop was about to close. He slipped in as another customer left, and found himself the only customer in there.
"Be with you in a minute, my darling." The woman behind the counter smiled at him and then returned to her phone conversation.
He looked around at the mostly bare shelves and listened in, as a feeling of joy and restfulness washed over him.
"I'm so sorry, my darling, I'm rushed off my feet these days. I still have deliveries to do and goodness knows when I'll get to the ordering. You and your dad will have to fend for yourselves this evening."
He'd heard enough, despite the relaxed tone. He slipped out of the shop, changing the sign to 'Closed'. Back in the TARDIS, he crouched beneath the console. "I wish--"
"No, no wishes." The genie gripped the bars of its temporary cage. "Please."
"Just two." The genie looked resigned to it. "One," the Doctor counted on his fingers, "is I wish for you to reverse all your previous wishes. All of them," he emphasised.
The genie sighed. "Fine. What's the other?" he asked grumpily.
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