f: Doctor Who RPF
p: Matt Smith/Karen Gillan
s: The problem with the world actually ending for real is that there isn't anything good left to say; it's all been written before.
n: [Title from The Phoenix by FOB; guess what I’m listening to on a loop today.] I’M SO SORRY THAT THIS HAPPENED OKAY. I found a note in my iphone from last October that just said: The world ends. Matt is bemused. Karen wears heels. and apparently decided that I should actually write it. So. Ahahahaha.
"This means I get to steal the hotel dressing gown, right?" Karen says, when the world explodes around them.
Matt leans against the windowsill, squints out at the world, then twists to grab his sunglasses before he looks again. Karen stays where she is, shoes kicked off on the carpet, television screaming brand-new static.
It's not true, but a small part of her is like: oh, not again.
"I bet Steven planned this," Matt says, fingers flying over the screen of his phone, half the Doctor already, and Karen wants to remind him that he doesn't have anything sonic and there's no back-up and people are doing real actual dying, except that a weird part of her is actually kind of... excited.
Anyway, if anyone's caused this, the chances are it's Steven.
"He's not picking up," Matt mumbles to himself, while Karen shoots off a it would be cool if you weren't horribly dead text to Arthur, belatedly wondering if Broadchurch is still filming and he's therefore dealing with Tennant, who she's pretty sure would slip back into the role at the first sign of fire.
"Aha!" Matt murmurs, and presses his phone to his ear. "Ben? Yeah, are you okay? Can you get hold of Steven?"
"...is that Benedict Cumberbatch?" Karen asks, while Matt flaps a hand at her. "Do you have Benedict Cumberbatch's number? Why do you have Benedict Cumberbatch's number?"
"Yeah, we're fine," Matt says into his phone, "but then I thought well, Ben will have seen Steven recently, right?"
"Should you be calling him 'Ben'?" Karen wonders, and Matt does the flappy hand thing again.
It's not her fault she's not playing a super iconic male role, and apparently didn't get to join the club that came with that.
Is this Steven's fault? Arthur asks, a moment later, her phone buzzing in her hand.
The smell of burning is filling the hotel room, and they're probably going to have to try and make an escape in the next few minutes. Karen's pretty sure her shoes are in no way practical for this situation, but she's willing to give it a go anyway.
Probably she sends back.
They find a Starbucks that's still mostly standing, and find a table in the corner where you can't see bodies anywhere. There are a lot of bodies everywhere, and it's all a bit more BBC Three than Karen really wants to deal with; after all, there was only so much you could get away with at teatime on a Saturday. Now her elbows are scraped raw and her hair smells like burned skin and every time she closes her eyes she can only picture blood.
"Is Jenna-Louise okay?" she asks, watching Matt sending what feels like his billionth text.
"Her boyfriend is in Game of Thrones," he replies distractedly, "she'll be fine."
Karen considers this for a moment, while she drinks an abandoned americano from the table next to them. It's still just about warm.
"I don't think that means what you think it means," she says at last.
"Aliens, global warming, world war three, terrorism, aliens, something to do with nuclear weapons and/or power, a plague..." Matt ticks possible causes off on his fingers while they walk, pavements cracking from heat beneath their shoes. Karen's Louboutins are leaving a blister on her left heel, but she isn't going to say anything. "Did I say 'aliens'?"
"Twice," Karen tells him. "You didn't say 'robots' though."
"Is robots an option?" Matt asks; he sounds almost excited.
Karen shrugs. "Maybe. You're the one still working in sci-fi."
This was much easier when it was on a greenscreen, with someone telling her how to act, where to look, who to shoot. The problem with the world actually ending for real is that there isn't anything good left to say; it's all been written before.
Don't suppose you have any dialogue suggestions, she sends to Steven, who still isn't replying. Karen can't work out if this is a bad sign, and if it is, what kind of bad sign it is.
"Ooh," she says, "zombies!"
"Zombies?" Matt echoes. "Really, Kaz?"
She steals his sunglasses, pushes the sleeves of her shirt up her arms. "Zombies," she says firmly. "It would be the mainstream thing to do."
"Do we need weapons?" Karen ponders aloud.
"You are so Scottish sometimes," Matt says, half-wondering, half-amused. "World ends, you just want to hit something."
"You're not actually the Doctor, you know," Karen reminds him. "You get to damage shit if you want to, now. Maybe you'll have to."
"It's not zombies," Matt says, long-suffering.
"It could be anything," Karen reminds him. "If it's Steven, it's probably convoluted."
It still all feels a bit too much like something she used to do for a living, and she has to keep reminding herself that Matt isn't going to fix everything because Matt doesn't have a plan and isn't a Time Lord; he's wearing socks with polka dots on them and has a cut across the bridge of his nose and a jumper so hideous it's kind of gorgeous rolled up to his elbows. He's not a reassuring image, and she really shouldn't be glad that she's seeing the end of the world in with him, because, well, he probably isn't going to be any good at it.
"Alex said to keep our eyes open for plot twists," Matt agrees, and Karen briefly wonders if the only people left alive are people in science fiction TV shows, and, if so, what that's going to mean for society.
So, she tweets, as this occurs to her, this isn't how I thought my Tuesday was going to go.
"I refuse to be the damsel in distress," Karen tells him, just so they can get the gender roles clear now, in case there isn't time later.
"I'll practice my shrieking," Matt promises.
They're on the rooftop of an abandoned building when they spot the first helicopter; Matt leaps to his feet, all limbs and relief, and he still looks ridiculous.
"I bet zombies can fly helicopters," Karen says, stays where she is, sprawled on warm concrete.
"Steven will have made it so our email addresses have eaten us or something," Matt points out, sits back down beside her. He sighs, shoulders slumping just a little.
"We'll get rescued," Karen reminds him. "And then we can, I don't know, rebuild the world or something. Wait for our new alien overlords. Change our choice of footwear."
Matt smiles, turns to her. "I kind of thought I was going to get to snog Barrowman, if the world was really going to end."
"He's probably busy," she points out. "He probably has, like, a queue." She narrows her eyes. "Or was that you trying to get me to snog you?"
It wouldn't be the first time, and she's going to be an optimist and say it won't be the last either. They're not dead yet, after all.
"Bit of both," Matt shrugs, grinning, charming and wonky and that's him all over; limbs like bent paperclips, talks at a mile a minute, hair flopping in his eyes, impossible to say no to.
"You're ridiculous," she informs him, but leans in a little, fingers brushing his cheek, smudging the dirt. He curls long fingers in the ends of her hair, familiar, affectionate.
Matt's phone rings; they both jump, and he grabs it out of his pocket, smile edging sheepish at her. "Steven? Steven. What the hell have you done this time?"