“Student Driver” (Flash Fiction)

Written for my dear online friend, Celestine Foreman.  We sometimes wonder if she’s really Susan Foreman, Doctor Who’s granddaughter, fob-watched.

Student Driver

(by Allison in the TARDIS)

Professor River Song watched as her granddaughter – er, step granddaughter – moved her hands through the jumble of controls in the TARDIS’s dashboard.  Sweetie had taught her all those years ago … before he’d known about the brakes.

River, Celestine, and the TARDIS.  (The artist apologizes that Celestine looks like Jennifer Lawrence.)

River, Susan/Celestine, and the TARDIS. (The artist apologizes that Celestine looks like Jennifer Lawrence.)

“Oh, this isn’t fair!”  Susan, who now called herself Celestine, wailed.  “These controls have been rearranged since I last used them!”  She kicked futilely at the TARDIS in her frustration.  “And I named you, TARDIS!”

River chuckled.  “He doesn’t call her that anymore, sweetheart.”

Celestine looked momentarily hurt.  “What does he call her?”

River told her.  Celestine blushed.

“I bet that’s why she doesn’t like him anymore, always bursting fuses and gaskets like that….”  Celestine began petting the control board endearingly, her mood completely different.  “Poor, poor TARDIS.”

The Doctor was stretched out in a hammock that they’d tied between two railings for him, fast asleep.  River wanted to show Celestine the ropes without his interference.  A bit of Romulan ale in his afternoon tea did just the trick.

“Now, Celestine,” River began, clearing her throat and smoothing down her mop of curls, “it’s time I show you how to control this thing … properly.”

Celestine’s brow wrinkled.  “What do you mean?”  she asked, perplexed.

“Well, I suppose we ought to start with the brakes….”

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