Amy Pond yawned, blearily pulled back her hair to inspect her face in the mirror, and sighed. It was a big sigh. She looked about three hundred years old, but still, given that she felt about four fifty, four sixty, it could've been worse.
It'd been a horribly long day, which she suspected was because the Doctor had been trying to change the clocks to account for Daylight Saving and had accidentally given them an extra week or so. Maybe it was Daylight Saving on Alpha Centauri.
There was an odd
...but oddness was par for the course on the TARDIS. She ignored it, for now. If she started getting worried about every single metaphysical infarction she'd never get any sleep. At least the loo hadn't spoken to her lately. That had not been a good day.
She took a hair elastic out of the cabinet and stuffed her hair into a messy ponytail, then brushed her teeth. Still looked terrible, but at least she was cleaner. She washed her face, and padded back out to the bedroom. Only Rory was there. Presumably the Doctor'd be in later, if he actually decided to sleep tonight.
Amy slipped back into the tiny bunk bed next to the giant violet anemone, and rolled over. A contented sigh, pretty much mutual. She backed into it, and felt a frond settle across her stomach as she pulled the blanket up over both of them.
"Amy? What is it?"
She erupted from bed like an avenging angel, well, one in Winnie the Pooh pyjamas. And no wings. The Rory-anemone followed behind her on anxious squelchy tentacle things. "Amy? What's wrong? What is it?!"
Amy turned at the door, and near roared at him, "You! That's what!"
"Did -- did I leave crumbs in the bed again?"
"No, you silly little man! You're seafood, and our frond has done -- I mean our friend has done something, and we need to fix it!"
The anemone looked around obligingly, a confused little expression on the frondy tentacle things around his... well, no, it didn't really HAVE a face. "I can't see food anywhere...?" he interrogated, but in his polite 'I know you're about to combust and I'd really prefer you not jam a stapler up my nose, or indeed any type of office supplies into any orifice in my body, but I need to clarify what you mean' voice.
Amy huffed, and tugged at a tentacle. She wasn't even sure that he had any orifices like this. He shouldn't be so scared. "You. Are. An anemen- an anomaly- AN ANEMONE," she finished at last, rallying herself and trying not to feel like her tongue had turned itself inside out. "The Doctor's done something, and I suspect it's that damn backed up reality device thing again because I'm almost certain that we don't have a Little Mermaid poster and I used to have human feet!"
She said something unprintable under her breath, frowned down at the duck feet which had replaced her orange slippers -- huh -- then turned and opened the door.
"It's not my fault!" the Doctor called cheerily. His bottom stuck out from the bottom of the console, and his legs and feet were sort of flapping.
...ah. Yes. His top half was over by the railing, tethered by a bit of string, like a balloon. Amy undid the string and towed him back over to the rest of himself, which started jumping up and down excitedly. It was difficult walking like this. Waddling, really. "How exactly is it not your fault, Doctor?"
"It is not my fault, because," he looked down at her feet. "Duck, Pond? ...oh, that's clever. Duck pond! And how about Rory? Found Nemo yet?"
"Ha ha. Ha. Ha. Really. Ha," Rory grumbled somehow. Amy still wasn't sure about his orifices, which wasn't a nice thing to say about one's husband. "How is it not your fault?"
"Because I don't remember the password for the reset," he said triumphantly.
Rory slithered over, leaving some kind of briny wet on the floor -- Amy really hoped it was just seawater -- and helpfully tried to restrain the Doctor's bottom half. "I don't think that's good enough, Doctor." His voice was as firm as a voice can be when it's emerging from parts unknown.
Amy held onto the Doctor's hips and tried to slide him back onto himself. His bottom half kept jerking and jumping about, and his top half kept trying to float up towards the ceiling. It was getting quite annoying, but then there was a --
-- and everything changed.
The Doctor was back together again, but he was some kind of dolphin. Walking on his tail. He looked at his flippers and said, "Bother, this is going to make typing quite impossible!"
The console was decorated in a kind of pink and green stucco with tendrils of fake seaweed. Fake... moving, seaweed. Amy spared a moment to wonder if all of the marine elements were coming from Earth.
"I can type for you, Doctor," Rory said in his best serious voice. Amy flashed a glance at him. He was human again, and was helpfully waggling his fingers. He was also about ten years old, in a little blue swimsuit with a sunflower on the bottom, carrying a bucket and spade. "I know you didn't do this on porpoise."
Amy sighed, and did her best to ignore that. She also did her best to ignore that she seemed to've sighed out of some kind of blowhole on the top of her head. Right now she really didn't want to know what she looked like.
"Doesn't it take vocal commands anyway?"
"Yes, but it's not responding to 'oh stop it you silly git' like it did last time," the Doctor explained helpfully. He flapped a flipper at the little box hooked into the underside of one of the panels. "The password was something along the lines of three rules for something. Or three, um directions. North, south, east..."
"Newton's three laws of motion?" Rory piped up.
The Doctor clapped his flippers together. "That's good! But no. I tried that. I tried the five laws of library science! I tried the seven habits of highly ineffective librarians, the three rules of cometary motion, and the eighteen reasons why Kirk is better than Picard. The eighteen reasons why Picard is better than Kirk were similarly hopeless. The reality rebackerator just sits there and smirks at me!"
"How does a box smirk, Doctor," Amy asked rhetorically, but she took a second look at it. There were no distinguishing marks on it whatsoever but it did kind of look like it was smirking. Oh, dear.
"Why did you attach it in the first place? I knew I should've asked that last time!"
The Doctor clapped Rory on the shoulder, nearly sending him face first into the floor. He harrumphed wetly and helped right Rory back onto his spindly little legs. "It was an automatic upgrade," he said, voice as mournful as if he'd arrived at a bow tie shop five minutes before it shut only to find that it'd shut early. "I knew I should've turned those off."
"Well, yes. What you really need is some kind of robot to take care of all that for you. Preferably one that doesn't go mad with power and decide to eject us all from the TARDIS overnight." Amy thought this was quite a clever idea, really. "Someone who actually knows how to fly this thing, too. Someone with a nice accent, maybe, just for the halibut."
It'd been far too long without a fish pun.
The Doctor drew himself up to his full outraged dolphinly height. "No, no, no, Whale Amy," he scoffed. "That would be completely... no, I mean yes. Yes! Yes!"
"You're going to get a robot."
The Doctor shook his head. "No! I mean yes! But no!" He started counting on his flippers, and only got to two before he grumbled. "Rory, hold up a finger."
Rory did so.
"Rory WILLIAMS." Amy couldn't help grinning.
Rory held up a different finger instead. "This one better?"
"All right. And I hope you don't kiss your mother with that finger. So. A robot may not injure a human being, or through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. Next finger, Rory."
The box whirred. "Why didn't you just write the password down somewhere, Doctor?"
"Because I taped it on a bit of paper next to the stupid thing and it promptly.txtinerated it," the Doctor told her dolefully. "Not very secure. A robot must obey any orders given to it by human beings -- this is so humanocentric -- except where such orders conflict with the first law. Third finger, Rory."
The box whirred again.
The Doctor began to sweat, and Amy wasn't sure how she could tell, especially with her eyes on opposite sides of her head now, but he WAS. "You've forgotten, haven't you."
"It was something about pancakes...?"
"A robot must......." Rory prompted.
"A robot must, a robot must, a robot must.txtrease its bust?" Amy was starting to lose what was left of her patience. She just wanted to sleep. Preferably not in a tank.
The box was whirring at a higher pitch. The Doctor's little fishy eyes widened. "Don't whale at me, Pond! It's about to redo us again... it's a failsafe when you take too long to enter the correct password, or you enter an.txtorrect one too many times..."
"What does 'redo' mean?" Rory asked cautiously.
"Anything. We could lose or gain anyone. You remember Cousin Oliver from the last time all this happened and we were all disco-themed for some reason?"
Amy blinked. "Who was Cousin Oliver?"
"PRECISELY." The next words came out in a triumphant gabble. "A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the first or second law!"
The machine popped.
It... pffted, sort of sadly? It seemed weird that a machine could pfft, but given that it'd smirked before, maybe it wasn't THAT weird.
.....there was a
............and everything was back to normal.
"Well! That's all right then!" the Doctor said gladly, adjusting his bow tie with a little wiggle that was either.txtredibly sexy or .txtredibly dorky, or possibly both.
"Any chance we could build those laws into you?" Amy enquired, wrapping an arm around his waist. Rory, in complete accord with her, did the same from the other side.
"What? Me? No, I'm perfectly safe. It wasn't my fault the silly old thing went off, anyway!"
Rory started pulling them all towards the bedroom, while Amy pushed. "Why did it go off again, then? I thought we disabled it last time!"
The Doctor gulped, and Amy paused for a moment as Rory went through the bedroom door ahead of her. There was something... "I might've smacked something when I was playing Words with Friends," he admitted in a small voice. "Apparently it doesn't recognise 'Kasterborous'."
Amy sighed. "You've been a bad boy. A very, very bad boy."
Rory climbed into bed, and Amy inhaled, then shoved the Doctor in after him. Rory yanked at his jacket. "Take your shoes off, and go to sleep," Rory said sternly. "And if we snore on top of you, bad luck. You're not allowed to complain."
Amy closed the door, and slipped out of her grey slippers, which had reappeared. Apparently no worse for wear. She padded across the room to the bed and slid under the covers next to the Doctor. "No complaining," she agreed, as she arranged the Doctor's arm under her to her liking. She rested her head on his shoulder, and reached across him for Rory's hand.
Amy wasn't going to complain about Rory's tiny little duck tail, either. If they tried to fix it, who knew what might happen. And besides.
It was cute.