Happy Endings

by Paul Cornell

The Doctor, Chris, Roz, Benny and Jason sat around a small table, examining a sheaf of papers.
    The Doctor tapped the manuscript into shape, satisfied, and placed it in the middle of the table. He folded his hands into a spire. 'Well?'
    'Definitely,' Benny nodded. 'This time. This is the one.'
    'That's what you said last time,' the Doctor reminded her. 'But last time that man was in the way.'
    'What man?' Chris asked, perplexed.
    'Terrance Dicks.'
    'Shhh!' Jason leapt to his feet.
    'You're taking the name of a deity in vain! On some of the planets I visited, there are gigantic sculptures of Terrance Dicks. They make human sacrifices to them.'
    'Even the aliens?'
    'That's what UFO abductions are about. Meat for Terrance. Do you know that the name Terrance is the most common one in the whole Milky Way? It's considered lucky. Benny, you cannot fault this man, you cannot count on him not to get between us and this.'
    'But he hasn't got a book out this year!' Roz protested.
    'Yeah,' Jason sat down again. 'He's that good.'
    'Well, I don't want to slight him, but I just thought I did particularly well in Human Nature,' Benny opined. 'I emoted. I lived that part.'
    'The bloomer scenes are available on the Internet,' Jason grinned.
    'And I thought we should have won the DWM poll,' Benny finished.
    'Well, there was Set Piece...'
    'And our book!' Roz looked at Benny accusingly. 'What about our book?'
    'All right, all right...' The Doctor quietened his companions down.
    'This time we've put everything but the kitchen sink in.'
    'Cruk, not No Future again...' whispered Jason.
    'This time, we've employed other writers to come in and help.'
    'So no change there...'
    'This time I've taken out three thousand seperate subscriptions to DWM!'
    The others slapped hands with him. 'Oh, well...' Jason sighed, leaning back with his hands behind his head. 'You should have said before. Now nothing can go wrong...'

Bernice woke with a start. She turned to the man sleeping beside her. 'Oh, darling, I just had the most outrageous dream.'
    'Really?' said Terrance Dicks, picking up the pad that sat on his bedside table. 'Tell me all about it.'

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