Summary: Picard is strangely calm about the sudden appearance of a blue box on the bridge.
Notes: Written for quailfence
The sudden appearance of a blue box on the bridge had Worf drawing his phaser and Riker jumping out of his seat. Picard waited until it had fully formed and the noise had stopped before standing.
"A police call box was a device used in the United Kingdom in the 20th century. It was used for police before the invention of mobile communication."
Picard held up a hand and Data stopped talking. Picard gave his uniform a tug and strolled over to the box, which had parked beside his ready room door.
"Captain?" Riker asked, a warning in his voice.
"You do not know what the purpose of this box is," Worf said, forcefully.
But Picard did, though he'd never tell any of them the real reason he knew. And when the white-haired man in a velvet coat stepped out of it, Picard knew who he was too.
"Doctor, I presume." Picard held out a hand.
The Doctor shook it. "You appear to have the advantage of me."
Wary of the eyes on him, Picard said, "I'm Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Come into my ready room and I'll explain." He waved a hand at the door on his left.
"Captain," Worf warned, coming around to stand beside them, "he could be--"
Picard shook his head. "He's harmless. We have nothing to fear from the Doctor. Quite the opposite in fact."
The Doctor had a curious expression on his face, but he stepped into the ready room regardless. Picard could feel everyone's eyes on him, so he turned for a moment. "Scan that blue box," he said to Riker, "find out all you can about it."
As far as he knew, no scanners could penetrate a TARDIS. But this was an old Type 40, so maybe Starfleet's could. Besides, it would give everyone something to do besides worrying. And potentially coming up with a plan Picard wouldn't approve of.
"Aye, Captain." Riker sounded happier at least, so Picard nodded and headed into his ready room.
The Doctor was standing beside the desk, waiting. Picard let him wait for a little longer while he procured two cups of tea from the replicator. He sat, passing one across the desk. After a moment the Doctor sat too.
Only then did Picard say, "You'll have heard of me by the name Philatenax."
The Doctor's eyes widened. "But I thought... I heard you'd died. Permanently."
Picard smiled. "I did fake my own death. I much prefer this life to the one I had on Gallifrey And can you blame me?" He sipped at his tea. It was perfectly hot, as always. "Have you come to take me back? Because I won't go quietly."
"No," the Doctor said quickly, picking up his cup. "Actually, I think I've gone off course somewhere. I intended to land on Thixao in the 30th century."
Picard raised his eyebrows. "You're on the wrong side of the galaxy and six centuries out."
The Doctor sighed. "At least this is good tea."
"One of the best things about this time." Picard smiled. "It seems the stories about you are true."
The Doctor narrowed his eyes. "What stories have you heard?"
Before Picard could answer there were shouts from the bridge. They both rushed to the door and found a young woman standing by the door of the TARDIS. And the crew pointing phasers at her.
"Doctor," she said, "why is it wherever we go people point guns at us?"
"Sorry, Jo, I thought you were behind me." He rubbed at the back of his neck.
It seemed that the stories about the Doctor were more true than he knew. Ignoring the stares from everyone around him, Picard laughed.