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[personal profile] jesterladyfic
Title: Chuck Cunningham Syndrome
by Jesterlady
Rating: PG-13
Characters: The Ninth Doctor, Cordelia Chase, Logan Echolls
Fandom: Doctor Who, Angel, Veronica Mars Red Dwarf, Toy Story, Road to Avonlea, The Middleman, Step by Step, Family Matters, Roseanne, The West Wing, Star Trek: The Next Generation, All My Children, Happy Days with special appearances by X-Men, Pirates of the Caribbean, Are You Being Served and a great deal of the cast of Saved by the Bell and Boy Meets World
Summary: The Doctor is just minding his own business when Cordelia Chase and Logan Echolls pop into the Tardis, now they're off on a tv trope adventure to find out what's disrupting reality. If only fictional characters would stop dropping by.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of these fandoms, especially DW, ATS or VM. I owe a great deal to www.tvtropes.com and all of the chapter titles are a play on tropes found there. Written for the [livejournal.com profile] scifibigbang 2011.
A/N: Many thanks to my beta, [livejournal.com profile] exmanhater and to [livejournal.com profile] rainyrocket for her artwork.





Chapter Two: Commuting From a Dimension Hopper

Once the laughter had subsided, the Doctor had to figure out what to do.

“Right,” he said, rubbing his hands together, “I'm going to look at all the scans I
haven't had time to look at yet because I keep getting bombarded with fictional people.”

“And Cowheads,” Logan corrected solemnly. “Never forget about the Cowheads.”

“No,” the Doctor replied, knocking a feather off his chest. “How could I possibly?”

“Well,” Cordelia said from her position by the door, “aren't we going to run scans?”

“I'm going to run them,” the Doctor said. “You are going to try not to rip reality
apart anymore.”

“I don't get it. Doctor, what is so wrong about us being here?”

“Look, I haven't got time to explain basic universe mechanics to a bunch of people that
don't exist!”

“Make time!” Cordelia said, eyes flashing. “Or I will reality rip to my heart’s
content!”

“What she said with less bitchiness,” Logan chimed in. Cordelia swatted his shoulder
which Logan rubbed with a wounded look on his face.

“They're not real,” the Doctor said to himself and made his way to the control room.

“Stop saying that!” Cordelia said, following him. “I swear you're worse than Angel.
Can't you just admit we're here and we're not going anywhere? Maybe we could help you figure
out what to do if you'd stop being so prickly.”

“You might at that,” the Doctor said, without acknowledging anything else she'd said.
“Come on, you too,” he threw over his shoulder at Logan. “We'll go investigating!”

They took up positions around the scanner that the Doctor plugged the screwdriver
into.

“It's in some weird language,” Logan said.

“Gallifreyan,” the Doctor answered shortly. “Only language the Tardis won't translate
for you.”

“The ship translates languages?”

“Anywhere in the universe. What, did you think that cow was speaking English?”

“What else were we supposed to think?” Cordelia said, rolling her eyes. “Honestly,
just explaining a little bit would make everything easier on everyone.”

“Right, do my best,” the Doctor said, gritting his teeth and wishing for a few Cybermen
to deal with. “Now, with your permission?” he asked in mock servitude.

“Proceed,” she said with all the regality of a princess.

“You two appear human, or something like it, on a basic level, but the scan here says
that you're covered in particles, reality particles to be precise. The whole of space and time
is covered in a layer of reality, making it possible for things to exist. You shouldn't be
here, somehow you've come through that layer, tearing it in the process and covering yourself.
You're quite filthy looking, actually.” He didn't bother hiding his smile at Cordelia's
glare. “You got here somehow and I was hoping that the scans would show where and we could go
get this sorted out. However, because you've come blank out of nowhere, there's not too much I
can do with you two. The holes were too tiny, not leaving enough of a trace. The cow came
from a physical place and was only connected to non-reality through a tenuous link. The rip
was on this side of reality for him. Therefore, I can trace the source of the rip and that's
what I'm hoping to do if you would condescend to it, Your Ladyship?”

“Tell her, Doctor,” Logan cheered him on, gaining another swat from Cordelia.

“I haven't started with you,” the Doctor said. “Let's get something straight. I might
have to put up with you, but this is my ship and I'm real and what I say goes.”

“Just treat us like real people,” Cordelia said, “and I'll follow you to the ends of
the earth to get back to my life and away from him.”

“And while I just love the constant bruising,” Logan said, “I'd like to get home too.
So, let's get on with it.”

“Glad we got that settled,” the Doctor said, wondering if anything had really gotten
settled, and set coordinates to follow the slight trail he'd gotten from the Cowhead. The
Tardis made its usual shifting noises and shakes and the Doctor found himself thinking he might
just take care of this sooner than he thought when the Tardis stopped suddenly, having lost the
signal.

“No, no, no!” he cried out, dashing around. “I was so close!” Logan and Cordelia
exchanged glances which the Doctor ignored. Before he could continue his rant, more warning
bells sounded and another person materialized in the Tardis. The Doctor squinted and then
sighed.

“Another one?” Cordelia asked.

“A worse one if possible.”

The character in question shifted uncomfortably in his shiningly bright aviator jacket
and tried to toss back a strand of gorgeously highlighted hair with ease, somehow managing to
catch it on his eyebrow.

“Ace, I presume?” the Doctor asked.

“I suppose you want some help trimming your Christmas tree, or perhaps a princess needs
rescuing and/or a tyrant overthrown? Whatever the case, I'd like to get it out of the way as I
have a lot of cowering behind boxes to do afterwards.”

The Doctor raised an eyebrow.

“You've gotten a lot less heroic, or maybe more heroic, eh, Arnie?”

The stranger started in surprise, then narrowed his eyes.

“How did you know that?”

“Look, do I really have to go into it all again?” the Doctor asked the unresponsive
universe. He didn't wait for the answer and launched into an explanation that Logan and
Cordelia interjected a lot of comments into.

“This isn't a great big hoax?” Rimmer asked suspiciously.

“Nope, I wish it were.”

“I'm not real then?”

“No.”

“I'm not Ace?”

“No.”

“Not even Arnold?

“No and don't ask again!”

A look of almost pleasure came over his face.

“Well, this changes everything then. Thank all that's holy that I don't have to go
swanning around the universe as a topshot spacepilot who couldn't get out of his closet fast
enough.” His voice had changed entirely, becoming more and more weaselly.

He dumped his space helmet on the floor and took off his aviators and his hair and
threw them unceremoniously on the floor.

“That was...unexpected,” Logan remarked.

“Please don't take off anymore,” Cordelia pleaded.

“Let's all keep our respective pants on,” the Doctor said. “Rimmer, how's about we
find out where you came from?”

Before he could answer, there was a loud sound and the ship started to rock.

“If I'm not real, I can't be killed, right?” Rimmer shouted.

“You're a hard light hologram,” the Doctor shouted back, lurching to the controls.
“Protect your light bee and stop being a nuisance.”

Logan and Cordelia must have been somewhat used to the unexpected commotion by now
because they simply each took one of Rimmer's arms and held him steady while grabbing a hold of
a coral strut with their other arms. The Doctor didn't stop to be impressed because he was too
busy pulling up the scanner.

“We've got ourselves a ship outside,” he said. “Someone must have followed us.”

“Not from Moonfola 5?” Cordelia asked.

“Reality Hurts 5: Revenge of the Feather Pillow,” Logan said, grinning.

“Nope, someone after him,” the Doctor pointed.

“Me? Why is it always me? It's not like anyone really cares,” Rimmer complained. “I
might have helped that barber with the roach problem with the teensiest bit of insurgence, but
it was all very hush hush. Being Ace isn't worth this.”

“Shut up and let me pilot away,” the Doctor said. “Or I could just give you to them.”

“How do you know they're after him?” Logan asked.

“Oh, the ape has questions,” the Doctor groaned. “Listen, it's the only explanation
considering we stopped short of our destination in the middle of nowhere and then he shows up
and then they do, alright?”

“I yield to your wisdom,” Logan said mockingly.

The Doctor raced around the console, pulling levers and moving them through space.

“I thought we wanted to find out who was behind this,” Cordelia pointed out. “You're
running away.”

“Ever seen Empire Strikes Back?” the Doctor asked.

“What, that trumped up, sad excuse for space exploration of a trilogy?” Rimmer asked.
“It's been banned on Earth for years, ever since it caused that riot when people at a
convention started arguing over who was better, that little green puppet or the big, hairy
creature.”

Logan burst out laughing and even Cordelia cracked a smile.

“Boy, am I glad that's not real,” Logan said.

“How do you know? My point is,” the Doctor said, “that I'm not running away, just
turning the tables. We're going to follow them.”

The banging and shaking stopped and the passengers relaxed.

“Now, just sit tight like good children and we can be on our way.”

“I don't suppose my dimension jumper came with me?” Rimmer asked hopefully.

“No, it didn't and stop trying to get out of helping.”

“Per Spacecorp Directive - I guess those aren't real either?”

“And you'd only get it wrong.”

“I'll have you know I've been studying up on them since I set out to save the world.
What else is there to do? I mean, sure, the universe needs a brave, heroic bloke running
around saving it-”

“Thanks very much,” the Doctor interrupted while Logan chortled into his arm.

“-but all the same,” Rimmer said, glaring at the Doctor, “it's amazing how short a
supply there is for someone in my line of work. How much waiting there is between world
saving. And it's not like I can just jolly around my ship since it's a bit of a tight squeeze
as it is. I was of much better use back with the slobbiest human in the universe. A man so
physically repellant that his own socks were banned in five systems that we passed through and
finally condemned to death by beheading.”

“I get it,” the Doctor said knowingly. “You miss Lister and Red Dwarf - sorry, Starbug
- and being universally chastised.”

“Smeg off,” Rimmer said shortly. “As if I would miss that lot. Miss a hovering robot
with two separate groinal attachments, a feline evolutionary cockup with more clothes than an
entire country's worth of department stores and a slobby, pathetic bum of a man who - well, we
already went over the socks. Miss them, I laugh at them, struggling to find a mis-parked rusty
ship where nothing works. They deserve it, the lot of them. I, I've moved up that ziggurat,
lickety split.”

“He misses them,” Cordelia said to Logan.

“Like his mother's arms,” he agreed.

“Probably not, considering her,” the Doctor said. “But right on the missing part.”

“Leave me alone,” Rimmer snapped. “I didn't ask to be made not-real and get stuck with
you.”

“Nor we you,” Logan muttered. Cordelia smiled. The Doctor shook his head. Either
they were having a bad influence on him or he was having a bad influence on them. He couldn't
tell which.

“Look, now that I've got myself some definite coordinates, I don't need you,” he told
Rimmer. “I can send you back. You might not be the right Rimmer, per say, but it's not like
the show was ever continuous anyway. We'll just skip right over the eighth season and put you
Back in the Red.”

“I can practically see those capital letters,” Rimmer said. “You just said an episode
title, didn't you?”

“Guilty. Now, will you go nicely?”

“What about that lot?” he said, waving his hand at the other two. “Why don't they have
to go?”

“This lead might turn out to be a bad one. Besides, I still haven't figured out where
exactly to send them and how. They were the first. You, you're easy. The rip's practically
gigantic by now. I can see it with my bare eyes. I know exactly where to send you. The
designation's practically written all over your face like a big fat H.” The Doctor might be
exaggerating just slightly, but luckily only he knew that.

“But what if it doesn't work? What will happen to me?”

“I know what I'm doing.”

“He does,” Logan assured him.

“Practically a genius,” Cordelia confirmed.

“Oh fine,” Rimmer conceded with the air of a martyr. It looked to the Doctor like he
was relieved to go. He probably was. Rimmer wasn't the best in dicey situations and he was at
his happiest when he was insulting Lister and being driven nuts by him and no one could
remotely be considered in authority over him. And the Doctor highly doubted he could tolerate
Rimmer's presence on the ship for much longer. The man was a weasel even if he was extremely
amusing to watch.

“You don't suppose they threw out my shoe trees?” Rimmer asked as the Doctor started
calibrating. “Of course they did.”

“All will be jim dandy when you get there,” the Doctor said, waggling his fingers.
“Bye now.”

“Bye.” Logan and Cordelia waved in unison. Rimmer straightened up and started doing
his customary salute which the two not acquainted with him watched in fascination. He
disappeared a few seconds later.

“Remind me to watch that show when I get back home,” Logan said. “I think I'd like it.”

“Trust you to,” Cordelia said. She turned to the Doctor. “Now what?”

“It looks like we'll be landing soon,” the Doctor said. “I'm pretty sure I know what
you are, but not why. Let's find some answers.” He grinned at them and they grinned back.

More lights and alarms lit up the Tardis and the three of them turned to see the
distinct figures of Nightcrawler from X-Men and Anamaria from the Pirates of the
Caribbean
movie.

“Or not.”

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