Lorne continued reading from his crib notes. “Number two, this is from Xander. Hermione and Ginny are checking the duty roster against any one showing up at Nights, Luna is doing the same at Caritas. Any students attempting to sneak in while on duty, or ordering alcohol underage or before work will be on dishwashing duty for a very, very long time. If you are working tonight, and come after you are off, first drink is on the house, and the cover charge is waived for the upstairs deck. If you'd rather have the full boxed meal, let Ginny or Mary know, and it will be delivered to the school cafeteria – half price.”
Grayson grumbled at the producer, “What has this got to do with anything?” His producer shrugged.
“Finally, Buffy wants to reiterate that she is quite pleased with the number of volunteers for the new boot camp at the school. But, if anyone wants to volunteer for the extra-special kick-butt no-dropout early-rising version of the boot camp with Adam and Duncan, just feel free to shirk duty tonight.” Adam nodded from his stool next to Wilson as he tipped his beer to his lips, and Duncan smiled cheerily out at the audience, raising his glass, and leaving Rudolf with a frightening chill down his spine, further souring his mood. Lorne stepped away from the microphone, and Rudolf again contemplated his menu.
“A moment, please.” Bert stepped away from the table, having spotted a couple coming into the bar. “Billie!” Bert strode to the front door and enveloped Rose in a hug. “If it isn't little Billie Piper! All grown up. You didn't tell us you were coming for the party.” Rose looked over Bert's shoulder and mouthed 'Billie?' at the Doctor. The Doctor shrugged with a good-humored grin that Rose knew all too well. “Mary! Come here! It's our Billie. Turn around, let me see you.” Rose was released from the stranger's arms and stepped back.
“Well... Billie... turn around.” The Doctor motioned 'go ahead' with one hand, a smirk on his face, and eyes twinkling merrily as he played along.
“You must be Chris, so glad to meet you.” Bert shook hands cheerily with the Doctor. “I hear from Billie's mum that congratulations are in order.”
“Quite right. Thank you,” the Doctor answered.
“Billie, you look quite fetching, my dear. I do approve.” Mary drew Rose into a gentle, affectionate hug. “Come, come, we must sit down and catch up. Dobby, do be a dear and fetch a pot of tea and some scones.” Mary led Rose by the hand to a table near the stage. Rose bumped into Andrew as she passed by.
“It's you.” Andrew looked at Rose as she passed by. “Oh, and you.” Andrew's voice dripped with scorn. He elbowed Ed, who was hooking up some wires to one of the cameras. “Ed, look what the cat dragged in. The pale imitations. I saw the two of you filming Tri-B down by Westminster Palace.”
Andrew poked at the Doctor. “Aren't the two of you ashamed of yourselves?” The Doctor and Rose shrugged and looked at each other. “I understand the appeal of monetary compensation, but really, Tri-B? The 'Big Blue Box'? That's just... Disturbing.” Andrew stood up, his hands on his hips. “Certainly Hartnell, Troughtwell, and Pertwee had something. And a bit of an excuse – they predated 'A New Hope'.”
“Tom Baker was sorta cool,” Ed added affably.
“But anything 'Big Blue Box' did after 'Star Wars' came out was just silly, amateurish.” Andrew snarked. “As if Daleks are in the least bit scary. I mean, Darth Vader, there's a true villain. Jabba the Hutt, he's scary. But an oversized salt shaker? With a toilet plunger?”
“Embarrassing,” Ed agreed. “How about those metal men with the headphones? What were they called? Can't remember. Oohhh. Scary...” Ed dropped the wires he was working with to waggle his fingers at the Doctor.
“Humiliating.” Andrew concurred. “I mean, you've done Hamlet. I rode the train all the way up to Leeds just to see you. And you,” Andrew pointed at Rose, “You are nothing but a two-bit pop singer. Do you honestly think you can top Elizabeth Sladen? Please!”
“A spaceship that looks like a police call box, ridiculous!” Ed pointed out. “The Millenium Falcon was called a bucket of bolts, but it was still way cooler than that dumb blue box.” Clearly this was a point of ongoing discussion between the two men.
“And a sonic screwdriver, who wants one of those when they could have a light saber?”
“What the difference between a sonic screwdriver and a light saber?”
“One of them is actually useful!” called out one of the girls in the crowd. She waved her hand as if brandishing a sword.
Ed snorted. “Oh, how the mighty have fallen.”
“Honestly, I'd rather die.”
“Now, don't go dissing my sonic.” The Doctor reached in his pocket and pulled out the sonic screwdriver with a smile.
Andrew snatched it from his hand. “What? The prop from the filming?” He looked at it and waved it around. “Girls, look, Chris here brought the prop! Is this the stupidest looking thing you've ever seen?” He spun a few of the dials, looking mildly interested. “Hey, it's articulated.”
“Watch where you point that!” the Doctor called in alarm as he tried to reach past Ed to recover the sonic screwdriver from Andrew.
“It's a prop!” Andrew pointed the sonic towards the bar. A blue beam of light shot out of the end and hit Wilson in the back, continuing through his body to explode the beer glass in his hand. Wilson slid clumsily to the floor from his chair. “Oops?”