Curls in Space

Bill walked into a room of the TARDIS, pretty knackered after a romp across Awkwafinalia, the water planet. The Doctor said he was taking her home, but the TARDIS was pretty waterlogged — it had been sitting at the bottom of a pool for the 12 hours they were there. So the TARDIS sluggishly drifted through space. It would be a long road before Bill got home. 

She still couldn’t believe she was in a spaceship. That was also a time machine. That was also just a blue box. That was also infinite. She’d wandered the halls for three hours, because the Doctor had told her “you’ll know your room when you find it,” and nothing so far had spoken to her. This room, however, with its slightly ajar door, definitely seemed to call to her. The door was purple. Prince purple. The carpet was a plush blue and the bedspread had a rainbow design similar to her favorite tank top. There were posters all over the walls (Moira had never let her put any up) of her favorite bands, her celebrity crushes, and a few ones that were clearly from other planets. Maybe the TARDIS thought she’d like them. This was definitely her room. 

Over on the dresser was a framed picture of her mother, as taken by The Doctor. Bill walked over and picked it up, gently running a finger over her mum’s curls in the photo before placing it back down.

“Are you trying to impress me?” she said aloud. She didn’t expect the TARDIS to hum in response. 

Bill’s eyes found the mirror on the dresser, and she frowned at the sight of her hair. Water on Awkwafinalia was breathable but that didn’t stop it from making her hair look shrunken and lifeless. The space water had washed out all its natural oils and shine. Bill tugged at a few coils, trying to figure out what she could do with it while in a magic police box floating through space. But the TARDIS hummed a little louder and she looked down at the dresser, seeing the triptic of products on the opposite end of the dresser. 

Nebula Naturals’ Moon Milk Shampoo, Coconut Cosmos Conditioner, and Spiral Galaxy Curl Control Leave-In. 

Not from any contemporary (to her at least) brand she’d ever heard of. And some of the writing was in a different language… a non-Earthly language. But even as she blinked it began to read as English. That translation matrix was wicked handy, wasn’t it?

“Okay, you’re definitely trying to impress me,” she said, looking around the room. Sure enough, off on the opposite wall was the door to an en suite bathroom. Time to go play. 

Doing her hair was one of Bill’s favorite activities. Making sure it had just the right balance of moisture and product. Finding fun accessories to put in it. Buying combs and brushes to experiment with different ways to style it and fluff it up. When you just work in the uni caf, you had lots of time to play with your look. So it was with a little skip that Bill jaunted over to the bathroom to use her new products.

The directions said all she needed was a “chondrile-sized” amount of liquid. She didn’t know what that meant, but went with a small size to start. But when she squeezed out a dime size and started to lather it on, it really measured out to her whole head. That was… impossible. She had too much hair. She usually pressed out half the bottle. And she could feel how clean her hair was when she was done rinsing it out. Every piece of algae and the salt of the planet’s water was gone. She didn’t even have to scrub.

And the conditioner. It tingled. And she could feel each coil brightening up. Like drinking a shot of espresso… but for her hair? She raked her fingers through her wet curls, expecting to have to detangle it, even a little. But her fingers passed through with not one tiny curlie cue dangling on it. She looked down at her feet and saw that the tub was empty of black ringlets. She wasn’t even shedding! She washed the conditioner out of her hair and stood dripping in her towel, looking in the mirror. It… never looked like this from mere washing. It was already drying, her curls plumping up to her favorite style, a full and fluffy fro. At this rate, she wouldn’t even need the leave-in. But she picked it up from the counter and read the mission statement of the brand on the side. 

Nebula Naturals will give you the perfect twist out, every time. Developed at Luna University in 5025, our product scans your mind for your ideal base style and energizes your curls to follow suit. Add our leave in for more defined results. Want the curls of a twist out without the work? Want Bantu knots that will hold for days? Our leave-in provides perfect styling and guaranteed hold for four days. No flakes, no crunch, no hard curls. Return within 70 moons if not satisfied for a money-back guarantee. 

Bill looked at herself in the mirror, considering what style to do. She decided to really test it. Cornrows back, with the back out. She slicked the conditioner into the front of her hair and watched as her hair cornrowed itself. Right to the spot she had in mind. Excited, she squeezed out more leave-in and massaged it into the back of her hair, watching the curls dance a little, but remain coiled to her exact desire. 

“Wow,” she breathed.

Bill dried herself off and went to find the Doctor, wearing her original Prince shirt and black pants that the TARDIS left on her bed, clean and completely dry. 

“Your TARDIS is AMAZING,” she said, nearly running into the Doctor at the sleepy controls. He seemed to be tinkering with something but let the TARDIS take her time back to 21st Century Earth. The Doctor looked at Bill for a moment, frowning even as he took in her new do. 

“She must’ve been holding that for you all this time. She gave that to Rose once and her hair was tangled for a week. She revealed it too early.” 

Bill beamed. This was going to be the start of a beautiful friendship.

The TARDIS hummed one last time in response.