"Are you sure you're licensed to do this sort of thing?"
"'Course I am. Are you questioning my credentials?"
"No, no, of course not, I'm just…questioning how you came by those credentials."
"Do you want me to help you or not?"
"Then just tell me about your problems."
"Can't you at least…I don't know, form yourself into that Huff fellow or something, it's a bit disconcerting, talking to a penguin about my issues. A penguin in a trench coat. Why are you wearing that?"
"I've got a Private Eye Union meeting in twenty minutes, I gotta wear the uniform."
"You have a Union?"
"Got a problem widdat?"
"Nope. Just…a union, really?"
"Just stick to the topic at hand. Your problem is that you're lonely."
"Yes. Yes, that's…how did you know that?"
"That's always your problem when you come to see me. It's all right, I've gotten used to it. I'm your default Doc-is-lonely companion. Ain't so bad, really."
"Well, you see…I've lost my previous companions. They keep…running away from me, leaving me. I spent a year without one---"
"'S that while Earth was quarantined?"
"How do you remember that?"
"I got my ways, Doc. 'Sides, if I tried to tell you everything, it'd take away from the mystery that keeps you coming back."
"Who's left you this time? Last I heard you were traveling with…Benny?"
"Benny's gone. Been gone a long time."
"And you're all changed, now. What regeneration're you on?"
"Tenth. Do you want me to answer the first question, too?"
"About the companion that left me."
"Oh, that question. Yeah, of course. I was just practicing with my follow-up questions."
"Shooting them in a bit early, aren't you, Frobisher?"
"Just a bit. Anyway, companion?"
"She's going to be a doctor."
"She's going to be like you?"
"No, a doctor doctor. A medical doctor."
"Well. Not my favorite profession, but I have been known to be fans of certain Doctors. Why did she leave?"
"That year, Frobisher. That year was so hard for her. She couldn't take it. Couldn't take what she saw."
"Sounds like she needs backbone insurance. Can't she get it replaced, bein' a doctor and all?"
"A whole year with the planet eradicated? I know how she feels, needing to run. You should have a bit more compassion."
"No, I remember you tellin' me about that Compassion person. I don't want a thing to do with her. No siree."
"She's not a penguin, I don't think she'd be your type at all."
"You see? Cold-hearted---a trait I normally love in a dame---but no sense of style. The black fins are in this year, Doc."
"Back to Martha?"
"Yeah, yeah, back to Martha."
"Right, and so she's left because of that. And…because of this issue. She fancies me, which is something…it's not exactly subtle, you know? Like when Clarisse would look at you?"
"Oooh, that obvious? Let me guess, you pretended you didn't notice? Didn't want to ruin what you two had by makin' a move that was wrong? Or was there another girl in that dark mysterious past of yours, Doc? That dark mysterious past of which you never speak?"
"A bit of all of the above, I think."
"Poor girl. She should spend some time with Peri. I think the two of them woulda got along pretty well."
"Why do you think that? Martha isn't into botany."
"Yeah. Uh. Yeah. Anyway, Doc, tell me. Why are you here?"
"I…I'm lonely, Frobisher. And you, well. I heard about your divorce, I'm sorry, by the way, and I thought you might fancy a trip? Take your mind off psychoanalyzing before your big Union—"
"You know, Doc, I thought you'd never ask. When do we leave? Can we leave right now?"
"Great, cause this new chair doesn't do well for the back flippers. I heard you remodeled. Did you remodel? I gotta see this. Didn't mess up my room, did you?"
"Nope. Left it just as it was."
"You know, Doc. This looks like it'll be the continuation of a beautiful friendship."
"You've said that before, you know."
"Yeah, well, it was good then, it's good now."
"Can't argue with that."
"No, you can't! I'm the therapist here, Doc. Don't wanna argue with me."
Muse: The Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 729