Duel Personality (Hornblower/Dr. Who Crossover)
Lieutenant William Bush, dressed in his blue navy uniform approached
the mirror and
brought up his hand in which he held a pistol. He pulled the trigger. Click. The hammer hit
the pan harmlessly. It was unloaded. He lowered his arm.
"Have you ever fought duel before?" asked the only other person in the room.
This was the Doctor, who by combination of coincidences was the very image of the
lieutenant. He was dressed in his usual ensemble of velvet jacket and fawn trousers.
"I've never had cause to," replied the lieutenant. "You think it's a bad idea don't you? I can
"Your love of danger unnerves me."
"You can talk. Destiny told me about some of your adventures, not exactly a sedate walk in
the park from what I hear."
He brought the pistol up again and fired, this time slower, more deliberate.
"I don't go around asking to be shot at people just tend to use me as a target."
The Doctor smiled.
"You love it just as much as I do. The rush you get when you look down the barrel of a
pistol or face a blade. Thanks for agreeing to be my second."
"I still think you should let me take your place. No one would be able to tell the
"I would know the difference. It's my honour that's been insulted not yours."
"You could just sacrifice a little pride and apologise to the man."
"That's not an option-,"
"You have to admit it could have looked a trifle suspicious from his point of view."
"What are you saying? That he's right?"
"I'm trying to say look at it through his eyes."
"I tried to explain that daughter's honour is still intact, but the fool won't see sense or
take my word for it."
"It's your fault for letting yourself get into that situation. Will you be wearing your uniform
on the day?"
"Why do you ask?"
"No, reason," replied the Doctor, rocking back onto his heels, hands in his pockets.
"You are not taking my place and that's an order."
On the field the two combatants took their place. They both
fired. The lieutenant's shot
missed, going wide. The other duellist unfamiliar with a pistol fired wildly. The bullet
missed. It all was over. Lieutenant Bush leant towards his second.
"You did something, I know you did," he whispered. "What was it?"
"I didn't do anything," replied the Doctor, coyly.
"Yes you did. I'm a crack shot, that bullet should have hit him but it went wide. I ask you
again, what did you do?"
"Both your honours are satisfied, now isn't that enough?"
"No if you weighed the duel unfairly."
"I didn't, I swear. And don't even think of challenging me," the Doctor lowered his voice,
threateningly. "Because you really don't want to do that. You don't know what I am
capable of and neither do I."
The lieutenant shuddered. There was something deeply unnerving about the way the Time
Lord pronounced those words.
"I believe you are right. I don't want to know your wrath."
"That's settled then. I'd better be off now. There are worlds waiting to be saved. See you
The Time Lord walked off into the distance disappearing over the horizon. Once he was
out of sight the Doctor took the small cube from his pocket. It was a holographic
projector. He had managed to arrange for the other duellist to fight at another location an
hour previously -taking on the lieutenants identity- recorded it and played it back to
Lieutenant Bush. He smiled at his cleverness and stepped into the TARDIS.