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I Am Clever


A Fine Line - Between Chaos and Creation

Everybody seems to think I'm lazy; I don't mind, I think they're crazy...

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UNIT!100 - 015. Blue.
I Am Clever
Title: Spanner in the Works
Fandom: Doctor Who
Characters: Third Doctor, Mike Yates, John Benton, Brigadier
Prompt: 015. Blue.
Word Count: 1297
Rating: K
Summary: She had only wanted to help.
Disclaimer: I own nothing but my own OCs, should I create any for these stories.
Author’s Note: Here I go with yet another AU. Inspired in part by a section of the novel The Face of the Enemy, which reads:

Benton stood as Yates approached, but Yates waved him back to his seat.
“Have you got a tool kit in there by any chance?”

Benton nodded. “In the back. Shall I get it?”

“Don’t bother.” Yates went round to the back of the Land Rover, and dug out a small tool box and an ammunition crate. “These things never left this vehicle, if you see what I mean.”

“Understood. Can I ask what you’re not going to do with them, sir?”

Yates grinned. He and Benton had worked together for so long now that they could almost read each other’s thoughts. “I’m not going to take these things over to the wreckage and I’m not going to grab something for Chesterton to take back to the Doctor’s lab.”


She hadn’t meant to injure them. Her species was a peaceful one, adept at finding and strengthening natural bonds between others, and she had thought she had mastered the technique. Apparently she hadn’t, though, (or as least not as well as she thought she had) as the two young men she had been attempting to help had merely cried out in pain, clutching at their heads before collapsing on the floor.

Had she killed them? She moved over to the slighter of the two men, thinking that he might not have been strong enough to handle what she had done. Thankfully, he was breathing, though he was unconscious and still had a pained look on his face. A similar glance at the larger man proved he was the same; alive, but unconscious and in some degree of pain.

She turned around at the sound of footsteps running towards the room. There were three more figures there now: another man dressed similarly to the two unconscious men on the floor, another man dressed in some sort of formal wear, and a young woman. She resisted the urge to try and tamper with the bond between the fancy man and the girl, worried that she would cause them the same amount of pain. Just then, she realized that the uniformed man was pointing some kind of weapon at her and shouting, but she couldn’t understand what he was saying.

“I’m sorry! I don’t understand! I was only trying to help them!” she wailed, but the man and the young woman only looked at her in confusion. Thankfully, the fancy-dressed man seemed to understand, barking something at the uniformed man that caused him to put his weapon away.

Then he turned to speak to her, crouching so he was on her level. “Rather far from home, aren’t you?”

If her species had been capable of blushing, she was sure she would have gone very red. “I was exploring,” she said shyly, ducking her furred head. “I just wanted to see some of the universe before I was too old to leave the planet. All the adults on our planet have jobs to do, and can’t ever leave. I wanted to see what was out there.”

He gave her a small smile. “I can understand the urge to go travelling, but you can’t stay here. And what have you done to Captain Yates and Sergeant Benton, there?” He gestured over at the two still-unconscious men.

“I was trying to help them. You must understand. My race is peaceful; we would never try to deliberately harm others.” She was starting to panic again.

“All right. I believe you.” He held up a hand, stopping any more protests she might have had in her defence. “But what did you do to try and help them?”

She explained as best she could; how her species could sense bonds between people, and had the ability to strengthen those bonds. She had only tried to strengthen the one that already existed between the two men, but she must have done something wrong, as people never usually reacted like that.

Just then, the recall feature built into her collar went off, and she felt herself begin to dematerialize. She realized that the Elders had undoubtedly noticed her disappearance and were recalling her back to their home world, most likely for a stern lecture. She apologized again for the trouble she’d caused, and hoped that the young men would be all right.

Then she was gone, leaving the Brigadier to observe: “Well, Doctor, I don’t believe we’ve ever been invaded by an alien guinea pig before.”


Yates and Benton had come to shortly afterward, both complaining of awful headaches. Thankfully some paracetamol had gone a long way towards alleviating that, and nothing else had been found wrong with them. Whatever the alien had attempted to do, it must not have worked. No one thought much of the incident after that.

Several weeks passed, and everything was running smoothly at UNIT under Yates’ and Benton’s supervision. Smoother than smooth, actually. If he didn’t know better, the Brigadier would have sworn something suspicious was going on.

He’d spoken to both Yates and Benton about it separately, but neither of them seemed to think anything out of the ordinary was going on. He had almost convinced himself that he was just getting paranoid about things as the years went on, when he caught sight of it. It had been brief; only a split-second, really, but he could have sworn he saw Yates’ eyes glow a brighter blue, shortly before the Captain politely excused himself to go deal with some trouble elsewhere on the base.

What had that been all about?


He would have just written that odd instance with Yates’ eyes off as a trick of the light, if he hadn’t seen the same thing happen with Benton a few days later. The Doctor had been attempting to negotiate with the Master, and had warned the Brigadier not to interfere, as he had things well in hand.

However, the Doctor had been taken hostage shortly afterwards by the alien race the Master had allied himself with, and the Brigadier decided that enough was enough. He’d turned to Yates and Benton, telling them to mobilize some troops to break the Doctor out, regardless of his non-interference directive.

The two men had merely nodded, and as they were walking out of the HQ tent, Yates had pointed out: “When have we ever listened to the Doctor’s rule to not interfere? He always seems to need our help.”

Then he’d turned to Benton, who had grinned and added “I’ve always thought it was more of a guideline, anyway, Sir.” And their eyes had both done that unearthly blue flash again, just before the tent flap had closed behind them.

This was just odd, now.


He’d confronted the two of them about it after the matter was all settled, not content to let the matter lie. “Care to explain what that was all about?”

They had both seemed genuinely confused. “What what was about, Sir?” Yates had asked, brow furrowed.

“That…thing you did earlier. When we were talking about rescuing the Doctor. Your eyes glowed for a moment.”

The two men had exchanged glances for a moment, then surprisingly, Benton spoke up. “Honestly, Sir - we’re not sure what it is, either. All we know is that we can somehow hear each other’s thoughts now. We think it might have been caused by that alien that attacked the Captain and I a few weeks back.”

“And you didn’t think to tell me this before, Sergeant?” His eyebrow twitched.

“It never came up, Sir. We thought it might go away on its own, and if it wasn’t bothering anyone…”

He frowned. “In future, Benton, I want to know if anything like this pops up, regardless of whether it’s bothering anyone or not. For all you know, Torchwood could have easily snapped you up, and I would have had no idea why.”

They had both paled at this announcement, knowing full well what Torchwood did to alien beings and objects that they couldn’t immediately understand. Neither of them had the inclination to become just another set of experiments, and Yates nodded slowly. “Understood, Sir.”

“In the meantime, I suggest you both get the Doctor to look over you, and find out what exactly is going on and whether it will prove to be harmful to your minds. Then we’ll sort out how to proceed from here. Dismissed.”

Once Benton and Yates had left his office, the Brigadier rubbed his temples, feeling a headache of his own coming on. This situation had really thrown a spanner in the works.

How was he supposed to explain this one to Geneva?

X-posted to FF.net, Teaspoon, AO3, and unit_family.