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Escape

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 “Oh good, you’re awake!” the voice that exclaimed happily to her left, as Bill slowly came to, had drawn her attention first. Her eyes blinked open wearily, still drowsy from whatever had sent her under in the first place and a blurry figure standing over her came slowly came into focus. The man was smiling, friendly looking with dark hair flopping over his face, in a bowtie and tweed jacket, “I was hoping I wasn’t gonna have to break out of here on my own, always more fun with company.” He held out a hand for her to take and when she hesitantly sat her palm in his he hauled her to her feet.

“Where am I?” she asked him, coughing when her voice came out hoarse sounding, as though it hadn’t been used in a while, and she looked around at the room they were both inside. It was relatively small. Prison cell were the first words to come to mind. It was white. Very white. Almost blindingly light and she frowned as she looked around, eyes landing warily once again on the man across from her.

“No idea.” He told her, looking entirely too happy about the prospect of not knowing that information, “just woke up here, just like you.” He whirled back around and headed towards one of the walls where, now that she was looking, he’d managed to pry open a panel in the wall and had returned to fiddling with the wires inside and she left him to it as she took in a few deep breaths to try and rid herself of the nausea she was still feeling. She’d started to wonder where the Doctor was when he spoke again making her jump, “What’s your name?”

“Bill. Bill Potts.” He whirled around to her, wonder on his face as he grinned.

Bill Potts? That’s an amazing name, Bill Potts. You know, I have a friend called Amelia. Amelia Pond and Bill Potts.” He spread his hands out in a rainbow shape, like he was painting a picture of something in the air and Bill managed to smirk in amusement with a small huff of laughter.

“Sounds like some kind of kids book characters.”

“Yes, it does.” He beamed at her then quirked an eyebrow at her, “so where did you come from then?”

“I was in the TARDIS, with the Doctor and… oh god, how am I even here?” he was suddenly blinking at her owlishly, eyebrows drawing together in confusion as he looked her over.

“In the TARDIS?”

“Yeah?” She quirked her head, a confused smile on her face at his confusion.

“With the Doctor?” he prompted like something should have been obvious and she gave an exaggerated nod of her own back.

“Yeah.” She paused, “wait, do you know the Doctor?” he gaped at her, looking somewhat offended at her question and she frowned.

“Do I know the Doctor?” he scoffed in disbelieve, “how do you not know then? You’re travelling with the Doctor and you don’t know?” His question was said like a prompt, a prompt for her to understand something that she just wasn’t grasping.

“Yeah?”

“The Doctor, Time Lord, travels in the TARDIS around the universe, Doctor?”

“Yes.”

“But…” he trailed off, gaze running over her, his face slowly expressing mild horror as something seemed to dawn on him and she was quick to continue speaking, thoroughly confused now.

“What? It’s the Doctor. Time Lord. Old guy who’s grumpy and Scottish with the, you know, eyebrows.” The horrified expression dropped from his face and was quickly replaced by blankness. His hand raised to his own near non-existent eyebrows for a moment and it was like his brain had blue screened over the information she’d given him. “You alright?” she tried, and he only nodded dumbly, still staring off into nothing as he tried to work something out. “So… who are you? Do you have a name? Or, can I just make one up?” she tried a smile along with her joke, but he just blinked at her.

“Well… I’m the Doctor and… I’m very confused, because as far as I knew I was the last possible incarnation of the Doctor. And I’ve never been anything like what you just described.” The two gaped at one another, visibly puzzled by each other and eventually Bill shook her head with a disbelieving scoff.

“No, you’re not the Doctor. You can’t be. You’re English, and you’ve genuinely smiled more in the past five minutes that the Doctor has in the entire time I’ve known him!”

“Oh, well that sounds worrying. Where did you meet him? Me, Same person, I just apparently haven’t met you yet.”

“That doesn’t make sense.”

“Yeah, ignore that it doesn’t make sense, answer the question.” He stepped away from the panel on the wall, reaching into his pocket and pulling out something that Bill would assume might be a sonic screwdriver but it was green tipped, longer than the one the Doctor she knew had and she jerked back as he began to move it over her as he scanned her.

“What’re you doing?”

“Scanning you, checking- well, doesn’t matter.” He huffed as he looked back over the data he recorded and found nothing irregular about her, just a normal human girl. “So, where do you meet me?”

“Not you. The Doctor.”

“And I’m the Doctor. Time Lords, we change when we die. But we’re meant to have a capped limit on the amount of regenerations we have and I’m the last one so… who have you been travelling with?” Bill gaped at him, brain racing at the question for a second over the identity of the Doctor but only for a second before her resolve solidified and she frowned at the man in the bowtie.

“He’s a lecturer at the university I work at. A girl I liked became a puddle and he helped me cause she followed me to the end of the universe. He took me there, to prove it. Helped me get rid of her.”

“A lecturer? He has a job? Well then now I know that it’s not me. I don’t do jobs.”

“He’s there to guard the vault. I think he just does the lecturer thing as something to pass the time. He’s not really supposed to be taking me places, says he had a job to do looking after the vault, but he cheats off sometimes, leaves Nardole to watch things.”

“Nardole? Who’s Nardole?”

“The Doctor’s assistant? I dunno, Nardole said the Doctor made him.”

“My assistant? Made him?” he scoffed once more before shaking his head with a heavy sigh, hands waving about next to his head for a moment, “no, hang on. This isn’t all that important right now. We should get out of here first, then deal with all this while on the way.” He whirled back to the wall, hands working double time and then he stopped again, face scrunched up in annoyance, “why would I be working at a university?!”

“I dunno!” Bill tossed her own hands up in reply, “there’s a vault underneath it that he said he was guarding.”

“A vault? What’s inside of it?” he leaned towards her and she shrugged.

“Missy.”

“Missy? Who’s Missy?”

“Old enemy slash friend of the Doctor’s.”

“What? Who?”

“I dunno, he said they grew up together. Really old friends.” She watched once more as his brain tried to come up with the answer to his questions and something seemed to click but he said nothing about it and let out a quiet hum then turned back to the panel in the wall, this time actually ripping out a few of the wires and a therebefore unseen door at the end of the cell slid open and he turned back to her.

“Bill Potts, I say that we escape and find this future version of me and my friends.”

“You suddenly believe me?”

“If who I think is in that vault is actually the person in the vault then it makes total sense for me to be a university lecturer. Passes the time, like you said. I’ve always enjoyed teaching people things. I wanna meet him, come on.”

“Hold on, can you even meet a future version of yourself? If you are him. Isn’t there, like, rules against it?”

“Yeah, probably. Come on. Let’s find out where we are.” He jogged towards the door with a skip in his step and Bill watched after him for a moment in total bemusement then hurried after him before he left her behind, hoping that they would indeed find the Doctor once they were out.

Chapter Text

“He’s waking up.” Rory’s eyebrows furrowed against the spinning in his head as he heard his wife’s voice through the fog of unconsciousness. “Rory? Hey, come on, you’ve got to wake up.” His eyes flickered opened and he immediately shut them once more with a hiss against the harsh white light of whatever room they were in. It was white. Blindingly light. At least from the short glimpse he’d gotten.

“Amy?” he asked and felt his wife’s hands on his arm, a comforting weight against the worrying fact that they were no longer in the TARDIS and he had no clue how they had gotten where they were.

“I’m here. Just take it slow opening your eyes.”

“He alright?” an unknown male’s voice came from somewhere to their right and Rory struggled into an upright position. One of his hands came up to thread his fingers through one of Amy’s hands whilst the other reached up to rub his eyes before he could finally, hesitantly, blink them open and get a lay of the land, so to say. His head spun as he sat up and he took in a heavy breath, appreciating the comfort his wife was trying to give with a gentle squeeze of his hand.

“Yeah.” Amy paused for a second before frowning, her eyes drawing his around to the other person who had spoken. It was a man, in a tight-fitting pinstripe suit and he had a panel in the wall open, somehow (it was all just a wash of white with barely visibly edges), and his back to them.

“Good.”

“Where’s the Doctor?” Rory asked, head swivelling as he searched the somewhat small room for their son in law (still weird as hell to think) but he found him nowhere and looked back to his wife.

“Right there, apparently.” She motioned her head to the man in pinstripes and Rory’s eyebrows furrowed in deep confusion and he looked once more to the stranger who turned his head around to give Rory a friendly smile before turning back to what he’d been doing before, gritting his teeth as he reached in for an apparent fiddly wire.

“What?” he looked back to his wife, trying not to look at her like she was crazy, but this was clearly not their weirdo in a bowtie. Nowhere close to it.

“Rory, look at his suit.” Her voice dropped to a near whisper and while he frowned at her words he did as she asked and looked back to the man, taking a closer look at his clothing and it took him a couple seconds but it finally hit him. An entire childhood spent dressing up in pinstripes rushed back to him and he gasped, opening his mouth to freak out at his wife but she sat a hand over his mouth and fixed him with a very serious expression. “Don’t. He doesn’t know us yet. Hasn’t become the him we know yet. We can’t say much, and you freaking out won’t help. He knows that we know a future him, that’s about it.”

“Amy, what… what is our life that this makes sense?” he whined and then smiled with a huff of good natured disbelief as Amy grinned in amusement at him and the two began sniggering between one another, drawing the Doctor’s attention over to them.

“Something funny?”

“Oh, just our life.” Rory informed him with a soft groan of effort as he pushed himself to his feet, ignoring the sudden feeling of vertigo in favour of helping his wife up to her feet and it only lasted for a few second.

“Transmat teleportation.” The Doctor explained to him, seemingly picking up on the disorientation, “nasty travel type, leaves you with a hell of a head rush. Someone wanted us here, badly enough to design a transport beam that would get through the TARDIS’s defences. It’s only happened once before that I can think of but that time, I’d had the shields down. They were up this time. And if you two are here that means they did it more than once. Question is,” he turned to them, a frown on his face as his brows furrowed in thought, “why split us up? Where’s your version of me? And where’s Rose? Why put us with unfamiliar faces?”

“Maybe to throw us off? Bound to cause some confusion and missteps, right?” Amy tried, shrugging one shoulder.

“Rose has been through regeneration before. Happened right in front of her. And neither of you seem to be taking it very hard and I don’t think either of you knew my face before today.”

“Nope. But the Doctor, you I suppose, told us, well me and I told Rory, about regeneration. Passing comments here and there about the men he’s been before. Plus, I…” she trailed off and the Doctor raised an eyebrow at her.

“What?”

“I recognise your suit.” Her voice was quiet, almost apologetic and it took the man only a few seconds of confused silence to understand and his features softened then saddened before he nodded in understanding.

“Ah.”

“Yeah. Fell out of the sky, broke my shed, climbed out of the TARDIS soaking wet cause it landed on its side and I was 6.”

“Yeah, that sounds like me.” His face scrunched up for a second and then he smiled once more, “I never asked your name, sorry.”

“Amy.”

“I’m Rory.” Rory piped up with an awkward wave, “I’m her husband. Our last name is Williams. Maybe if I tell you now, you’ll stop calling us Ponds.” He sighed wearily and the Doctor raised an eyebrow in question, glancing to Amy who just smirked in amusement and rolled her eyes as she explained.

“My maiden name is Pond. My full name is Amelia Pond. The Doctor thinks it sounds whimsical and refuses to refer to me as Williams. And since I married Rory that makes him a Pond, which is exactly how it works.”

“Not legally.” Rory grumbled and Amy just sniggered, leaning in to press a kiss to his cheek as the Doctor grinned.

“Amelia Pond. It is a good name.” she grinned back at him and just as Rory started to get a little uncomfortable with how long it went on, the man whirled around and pulled out a fist full of wires out, seemingly giving up on being specific. A doorway opened up anyway and he beamed. “There we go! Molto bene. Come on, allons-y!” he shoved his hands into his pockets and took off towards the door calling over his shoulder for them, “come on you two.” The two humans shared a look with one another and then raced after him.

Chapter Text

“Ryan? Come on son, time to get up.” The light slaps against his cheeks and his grandad’s voice were enough to rouse Ryan out of the black murkiness of unconsciousness and he opened his eyes to a blinding light then squeezed them shut again almost immediately with a groan of protest. His hands shot to his eyes, holding his palms over them like they might block out the light around him. “Come on, sit up.” Graham’s hands reached for his shoulders to help ease him upright and at once Ryan was hit with a wave of nausea and let out another soft groan of discomfort as his head swam. “It’ll pass, don’t worry.” One of Graham’s hands moved to his back, rubbing up and down softly and Ryan finally chanced opening his eyes again. He winced at the brightness of the room they were in but this time he managed to keep them open to allow them to adjust.

“Where are we? What happened?”

“Dunno, and dunno.” Graham’s voice was good naturedly humorous, but Ryan just frowned in concern.

“So, you’re sure that this is gonna work?” Yaz’s quiet voice sounded from somewhere behind him and he twisted around to find her, his confusion only deepening when he found her stood with an older man near an open panel in the wall. He glanced around for the Doctor but found no trace of the Time Lord.

“Of course it’s going to work, this is child’s play this is, just got to find the right wire to fiddle with until it opens the door. Whoever put us in here is either very stupid or they want us to get out because there’s no other reason to put the internal electrical panel inside the prison cell you want to house people in.” the gruff Scottish accent threw him for a moment and he watched the older man throw Yaz a quick grin, the smile itself unsettling for some reason, “we can only hope it’s the first, eh?” Yaz cracked a smile back though, and Ryan turned to Graham, keeping his voice quiet as he spoke.

“Where’s the Doctor?” Graham hesitated for a split second before pointing towards the older man and Ryan’s eyebrow raised, “What?”

“Our version of the Doc ain’t here. But… don’t you remember? White haired Scotsman.” It took Ryan a long moment to cast his mind back far enough to the first night they’d met the Doctor. A whole year ago on that train in Sheffield. Her words echoed in his mind for a moment as he took in the figure next to Yaz, ‘sorry, half an hour ago I was a white-haired Scotsman’.

“He’s the Doctor?”

“Yes, I am. Blimey, doing this with every single one of you.” The man grunted out, halfway turning towards Ryan for a split second and with the movement Ryan spotted the red silk inlay on the inside of his black coat. One that sparked another memory of the Doctor that first night they’d met her and the clothes that she’d been wearing. The same coat.

“Sorry.” Ryan managed to mumble, still coming to terms with the information in his head. Being told that the Doctor used to be a man was one thing. Being faced with said man was another thing entirely. The Doctor’s eyes softened for a split second before he whirled back around to the panel once more to continue working.

“So,” Yaz started up first after a quick silence fell over the room, “what happened? What brought us here?”

“Transmat beam. Don’t know who’s behind it. It’s also what tells me they might not just be stupid like we’d hoped. That took a very powerful beam to bring us here, twice over if you lot are here too. Two TARDISs with their shields up and they just reached through that shielding. It’s intriguing. Scary, but very, very, intriguing.” Ryan couldn’t help but continue to stare at the man, and the staring brought the man’s attention back to him and he sighed heavily, raising an eyebrow, “what is it?”

“Sorry,” Ryan stumbled over his words, “you just… you look really… different.”

“Yes, well, regeneration. You become a completely different person. Never know what you’re going to get.”

“Yeah.” He nodded, wondering, since this was a past version of the Doctor, how much was he allowed to share. How much had Yaz and Graham already shared? Did this Doctor know that he was going to be a woman in the future? Should they tell him if he didn’t know? There were so many rules to time travel and the Doctor tended to spout out new ones wherever they went, sometimes it could get overwhelming. This was a situation that she’d still not shared the rules to with them yet. How to talk to a past version of herself? How hadn’t the Doctor known them already when she met them on that train if she had already met them whilst she was this bloke? He was going to have so many questions to ask her when they finally saw her again, until then, however, Ryan felt it best to keep his mouth shut. Normally his big mouth tended to get them into situations that they wouldn’t be in if he’d just kept it closed.

“Aha!” the Doctor let out a triumphant sound, hand, which had been elbow deep inside the panel, left said panel as a previously unseen door slid open, “told you, child’s play.” He grinned another strangely unsettling grin at them and then strode forward out of the door leaving the three of them to catch up with him as quickly as they could. Before the other two could step out though Ryan quickly hissed out to keep them in place for a moment longer.

“Hang on! What do we do? How much can we tell him? Do we tell him that he becomes a woman? What have you two already told him?”

“Just that we travel with the Doctor, not anything about what said Doctor looks like. He said he’s gonna have to forget all this anyway, so I don’t think it’d matter if we did tell him?” Yaz answered him, eyes glancing towards the door with a concerned frown, “now come on, before we lose him.” And with that she hurried out of the room, Ryan and his grandad hurrying after her.

Chapter Text

“You’re alright, just take it slow.” A gentle Northern sounding woman’s voice was there to rouse Rose back into consciousness. Her head was spinning. She tried to sit up but that only served to make it worse and her hands came up to cradle her head as she sucked in a few shaky breaths, eyes flickering open only to immediately shut once more with a wince as she was met with a harsh white light blinding her. “Like I said,” the voice continued, good naturedly teasing, “just take it slow.” It was female, but it reminded her of her first Doctor, all northern sounding. It was comforting, even if Rose didn’t know who the woman was. Or where the Doctor was. Because if this woman was doing the comforting that meant that the Doctor wasn’t here.

“Where am I?”

“Dunno, I haven’t figured out where yet. Was waiting on you waking up before I got us out of here to find out. Hard to tell from just a cell.” Rose tried once again to get her eyes open, taking it slower this time until she managed to get them open to allow them to adjust to the whiteness of the room. Her eyes finally landed on her cell mate. The human looking woman was crouched next to her, concern on her face along with a flash of something else that Rose couldn’t understand. She had blonde hair, just slightly shorter than Rose’s own, and was dressed in a rainbow t-shirt and a very light blue jacket, so pale it almost looked grey. Her trousers stopped mid shin and her boots covered most of the space between her ankles and the end of the trousers whilst she was crouched.

“I’m Rose.” Rose introduced herself with as good of a smile as she could manage, her head still spinning. It reminded her of the trans-mat beam that had brought her to the game station, the same kind of spinning and disorientation that it left her suffering from.

“I’m know.” The woman told her quietly and Rose’s eyebrows furrowed in confusion. “It’s me, Rose.” It took her a moment. Longer than it should have considering she’d already been through this before, but she liked to think she could be excused because this was the Doctor as a woman. She hadn’t even been aware that could have been an option.

“Doctor?” the word came out as a near whisper, a soft wonder in her voice as her wide eyes searched the other woman’s. The Doctor smiled, the expression still sad beneath the surface and at once Rose tossed her self at the woman, springing to her feet and wrapping her in a tight hug and seemingly catching her off guard. It didn’t stop the Doctor from hugging her back, however, once she came around to the fact that she was being hugged. “Oh god, what happened? What have I forgotten now?” Rose pulled back, eyes still wide and worried, “you’re not gonna be in a coma for hours again are you? Cause we don’t have my mum or Mickey here and I don’t know what use I’ll be to you. How comes you never said you could become a woman?!” the words rushed out and a startled laugh from the Doctor caught her off guard and Rose frowned, “what is it?”

“Nothing. I’m the Doctor but I’m… I’m a lot older than your version of me, Rose. Been a long time since you, for me.” It took a moment of obvious confusion but understanding dawned on the blonde and her eyes widened and she took a step back.

“Oh. God, sorry.”

“What are you apologising for?”

“So… for you I’m… gone?” there was a hesitation before the Doctor answered, plastering a smile on her face as she tried to keep the mood higher than it would inevitably sink to with that question.

“Such a downer, Rose Tyler, what sort of question is that? You know time is relative anyway.” Rose could see the pleading in the woman’s eyes that she not broach this topic and she let her shoulders slump slightly, feeling the same that she didn’t actually want that question answered.

“You’ve gone northern again.” She piped up with instead and watched the humour swim back into the Time Lord’s eyes as she shrugged.

“Lots of planets have a North.” The Doctor quipped back and both women grinned at one another. Rose reached over, giving her shoulder a light poke.

“So, you can become a woman?”

“Yeah.”

“Didn’t think to mention that when you were explaining it all to me?”

“Didn’t wanna freak you out any more than I had. Also, wasn’t planning on regenerating any time soon after that one, didn’t think it would be a thing you would have to worry about. And, to be fair to me back then, it really wasn’t.”

“So, we…” Rose trailed off and the Doctor raised an eyebrow at her, Rose’s cheeks starting to go red as she shook her head.

“What?”

“Nothing, you said not to ask.”

“What is it?”

“Really, it’s nothing”

“Alright.” The Doctor paused, eyes lingering on her for a moment, something dazed in them, like she couldn’t really believe that Rose was here. Then she grinned, “ready to get out of here?”

“And find my version of you?”

“Rose Tyler, you wanna get rid of me already?” she spoke with a mock offense and Rose laughed, nudging her arm.

“Shut up, get the door open.” The Doctor beamed, stepping away from her to reach into a panel into the wall. She pulled at something inside and an until now unseen door in the wall behind them slid open.

“Let’s get a shift on then, figure out what’s going on.”

Chapter Text

“So, you can just, like, change your face?” Bill asked the Doctor, thankful that the space outside of their cell wasn’t nearly as white and blinding as the cell itself. He had rushed on ahead towards a computer terminal that was sat between the doorway to their cell and another line of doors down the corridor.

“Yeah, well, I don’t get to choose, so it’s only to be done in extreme circumstances,”

“What kind of circumstances?”

“Dying, normally.” His tone was strangely light as he said that, as though that were a casual comment that you just said in normal conversation. Bill startled at the thought of the Doctor dying. Ever. He’d always seemed so indestructible. Even when blind he’d faced the threat with his head held high and the expectation that he’d win anyway. She’d opened her mouth to ask another question about how he changed but he’d already began moving quickly down the hallway, seemingly frustrated when he could get nothing out of the terminal he’d been playing with.

“Doctor?” she called after him, rushing into a light jog to try and keep up with him, “do you know where we are?”

“Uhhh, no. Not quite yet. I’ll figure it out.” He waved her off slightly, walking passed a series of doors before he skidded to a stop and took a few steps backwards to the last door he passed and Bill almost walked into his back, she managed to stop herself before she tripped face first into him.

“What is it?”

“Just got a feeling about this door is all. Doesn’t usually happen that. I’d’ve picked one at random but I like the feel of this one.”

“And what’s behind it?”

“It shut. How do I know?” he tossed her a bemused look and reached out. She went wide eyed as soon as his fingers almost touched the door and reached up to grab his hand and stop him.

“Wait!”

“What?”

“What if it’s a trap? Like the door’s booby trapped or something? You see it in movies all the time. Could be like Indiana Jones.” He blinked at her, looking slightly confused at the reference but still amused all the same and she sighed, giving his arm a soft nudge in slight annoyance, “have you just never watched any movies?”

“Who needs movies? You can live it!” he beamed and used his other hand to shove the door open and stepped through it, using her grip on his arm to pull her through with him before she could stop him. There were no traps. But the room they’d stepped into was nothing like the faceless metal shell they’d just left. It was as though they’d stepped into someone’s home. An opulent one but a home all the same. They had stepped into the front foyer. A large dramatic wooden staircase in front of them that was large enough for three people to stand side by side on each step that curved up the side of one wall. The top couldn’t be seen from their position. A large fireplace was built into the wall to their left and the area beneath the staircase was clearly meant to house visitors or to at least let people wait there with seats and pretty decorations and flowers. There were two hallways leading off in different directions on both sides of the room and a doorway that led in under the stairs.

The door they’d come through swung shut behind them and they got to see that on their side the metal door was now wooden with an intricate diamond design with a stain glass window at the top that depicted a silver tree. An identical one right next to it showed it was a large front entrance door.

“Where are we now?” Bill asked, the two of them turning on the spot for a moment to look around, “did we get teleported away again?”

“No. We’re still on the ship… I think.” The Doctor fished the sonic out of his pocket and ran a quick scan, raising his eyebrow at the result, “definitely still on the ship. This whole room is just a projection. Like a video playing.”

“What’s that about?” she scoffed a little in amusement with a smile, “nothing’s moving. Have they got it on pause? Someone just wanting to see home?”

“Maybe.” He shrugged and started moving towards the staircase. He’d gotten up just four of the steps when a small boy suddenly came racing down it. He was young, looked maybe 6 or 7 with vibrant ginger hair and pale freckly skin. He was beaming excitedly, casting quick glances back up the stairs and over his shoulder for something as he scrambled down the stairs. The Doctor had jumped out of his way, forgetting momentarily that as a projection the child would likely just flicker through him, rather than causing any damage physically. A few seconds later an older girl, maybe around 12 or 13 came racing furiously down after him. Her hair was more strawberry blonde than out and out ginger like the boy’s, but it was clear the two were related. Her face was scrunched up in anger and she stumbled down the steps after the boy. She was opening her mouth like she was calling out after the him, but the Doctor and Bill could hear nothing. A fact that was solidified when the boy tossed his head back to laugh and no sound came out.

“What happened? They leave it on mute?” Bill asked before frowning as she saw the Doctor staring intensely at the small boy, now stood on the bottom step with a hand loosely on the decorative handrail end next to him, “Doctor?”

“Hm?” he jumped, like her words startled him from his thoughts and then raised an eyebrow at her, “sorry?”

“I asked if the projection was left on mute. Are you alright?”

“Fine.” He frowned at the boy then sighed, “always wanted to be ginger. Jealous of the hair.” Bill laughed at that, turning to look at the child now who had taken to hiding behind a large white couch, still visibly giggling despite his sister who was furiously trying to catch him, “wonder what he did?”

“Who knows?” he cast one last glance over his shoulder to the boy with another frown then shrugged, “come on Bill, let’s get out of here.” She nodded and jogged over to him, following him up the stairs.

“Do you think my version of you is here somewhere?”

“Maybe. No way of knowing until we find out where we are at the very least. I can’t imagine the point in bringing you here if he wasn’t.” he paused, glancing to her, “no offence.” She scoffed in amusement and shot him a little grin.

“None taken.” They reached the top of the stairs and as quick as blinking the landscape changed. Gone were the fancy surroundings of the large house and they’d stepped into a half-destroyed forest. There were fires all around them, trees at the edge of the forest entrance about 30ft ahead of them had been destroyed. Like something had blasted through them or crashed passed them. Bill gaped, wondering exactly how any video playing system could transition quite so seamlessly into another picture like this. When she whirled around, she even found that the stairs they’d just climbed up seconds before were gone. Replaced by solid, muddy, ground that stretched on and on and was streaked with red and black that she didn’t want to really think about what they might be. “Where are we now? This still a video?”

“Yeah.” The Doctor had the sonic out, already checking that exact thing and he seemed relieved at that fact. “No idea where this is though. Seems to be some kind of war zone. Dunno which war. Dunno why anyone would want to relive this but,” he trailed off then reached for her hand to tug her with him as he began walking towards the clearing up ahead, “come on, let’s keep going.”

Bill stared down at their hands for a moment, bewildered over the fact that the Doctor was voluntarily touching her like this. The Doctor she knew was kind but hated most physical contact if it could be avoided. Taking her hand was only to be done in the most dire of circumstances where they needed to get out of somewhere fast and he didn’t want to lose her if she started to trail behind while they were running. Out of habit her heart began to race and her eyes began to dart about for trouble and she took a step closer to him.

“What is it? What’s wrong?”

“In general, or right now? We just need to keep moving.” He shot her another bemused look at her frantic tone and Bill quirked an eyebrow and smiled in confused amusement, her steps coming to a slow stop and he turned back to her with his eyebrows drawn, “What is it?”

“There’s no, immediate danger then?”

“Not right this second, I don’t think.”

“And you’re holding my hand?”

“Yes?” he frowned, glancing down to where he was still holding her hand then blinked, dropping it quickly, “sorry, should’ve checked you were okay with that. Normally people are fine with it.” He looked apologetic and Bill let out a soft laugh and shook her head.

“No, it’s fine. It’s just… the you I know, not as big on the casual affection. Taking my hand is normally kept for circumstances of ‘if you slow down, you’ll be killed, so come on’. Plus,” she paused, nose scrunching up at the thought, “he’s basically my teacher so it’d be kinda weird.”

“Really?” he looked surprised, sounded it to, “to the not the no affection thing, hand holding I’ve always done- not the teacher. Though the affection thing is more a companion to companion thing on whether they do that sort of- I’m making this worse the longer I talk.” He sighed heavily, by the end of his ramble Bill was grinning in amusement. “If you don’t wanna hold my hand then that’s fine. Just a habit of mine.”

“It’s fine. It’s just an automatic response to it now. If you wanna take my hand then you can.” He’d just started to smile back sheepishly when movement in the distance over his shoulder caught her attention and she straightened her posture to try and see. It took only a second for the familiar figure to be made out, followed by three unknown ones and Bill’s face lit up as she called out, “Doctor!”

Chapter Text

“You’re married?” the Doctor glanced up, eyebrow raised at Graham’s question and the human gave an awkward smile and motioned towards the wedding ring on the Time Lord’s left hand as the three of them made their way down the unremarkable metallic looking corridor they’d stepped out into. Yaz and Ryan were trailing behind the two older men and neither seemed to hear the question he’d asked, both absorbed in their own hushed conversation.

“Oh,” the Doctor’s fingers moved to toy with the gold band on his finger, almost absently, his focus darting briefly to Graham’s face as he stopped in front of a small screen embedded in a part of the wall, lifting the sonic to see if he could hack into it at all, “yes.”

“Doc’s never mentioned being married before.” There was a moment of silence. The Doctor frowned, looking back to the screen in front of him. Graham was quick to try and placate any hurt he might have caused, “but I mean, we never really asked. I’m sure I’d have gotten that answered if we’d asked.

“Doesn’t have the ring still?” Graham blinked, eyebrows furrowing as he tried to cast his mind back to his version of the Doctor, to see her hand to check if he’d just missed there being a wedding band there for the past year that they’d been travelling together.

“I don’t think so,” at the deepening frown on the other man’s face, Graham yet again tried to quickly placate with a forced huff of amusement and he pointed down towards the Doctor’s hand, “be fair though, your hands are twice the size. Maybe it just gets carried it around, Doc has everything in those pockets.”

“Right.” The Doctor, seemingly not finding anything on the screen ahead of him, slid the sonic back into his pocket and continued down the hallway, expecting that Graham and the others would catch up. Graham frowned, thinking that he may have just offended the man somehow by mentioning his future self’s lack of a ring but how was he to have known? They kept walking for a while until the Doctor stopped abruptly in front of a seemingly unassuming looking door. The metal plain with studded bolts around the top and bottom, same as every other door they’d passed on their way down this corridor.

“What is it?” Yaz asked, peering up at the man before looking to the door, “there something in there?”

“No idea. Just feels like I should go in there.” He pointed briefly to the door before his hand dropped to his side once more, a deep frown on his face over the apparent pull he felt towards it.

“A good ‘kind of feels like you should go in there’ or ‘this will probably be a trap’ feels like you should go in there?” Ryan deadpanned from the back of the group and the Doctor’s lip twitched upwards, just for a moment before he rolled his eyes.

“Only one way to find out.” Before any of them could stop him he simply reached forward and pushed the door open. He stepped through, leaving the Fam with no choice but to follow through after him. Said door slid shut behind them but the four of them were too busy gaping around in confusion at the apparent library they’d just stepped into. The Fam were just confused at the sudden jump in design, as though they’d stepped through into an entirely different place. The Doctor pulled out the sonic, running a quick scan and his confusion only deepened at what he found.

“Doctor, where are we?” Yaz asked him, taking in the lines and lines of enormous bookshelves which stretched up and up, towards an even higher ceiling, and seemingly went on for miles in each direction. At the centre of the room, just ahead of them, were a collection of long wooden tables. All of them empty apart from one, at which a young man sat looking only to be around fourteen or fifteen, with dark skin and shaggy black hair that fell around his face as he leaned over a notebook. He was scribbling into it frantically, seemingly desperate to get something written down. He was dressed in a deep red tunic and darker yet trousers. The Fam shared glances with one another, then to the Doctor who was watching the boy with a raised eyebrow but who made no attempt to say anything or call attention to them.

“Hello?” Ryan called out hesitantly. The boy didn’t so much as flinch to acknowledge them.

“Don’t bother.” The Doctor spoke up and the three looked to him for an explanation as the man began stepping closer to the table the boy was sat at, “this isn’t real. Just a recording, of sorts. Like a projection. Or a fancy virtual reality.”

Graham reached out a hesitant hand to the bookshelf beside him, frowning when his hand made contact with the seemingly solid feeling shelf and the worn leather of the books on the shelf itself. He looked back to the Doctor, pointing to his own hand on the shelf while he spoke.

“Oi, Doc. Feels plenty solid to me.”

Very fancy virtual reality then” he didn’t seem to be paying them much attention as he called back. He rounded the table towards the boy, reaching out a slow hand as though to sit it on his shoulder but it simply moved through him and the Doctor let out a breath he hadn’t been aware he was holding, “see?” he raised an eyebrow towards the Fam who all stared right back.

“Who is he? Where are we? Did we get transported off of that ship?”

“No, still on the ship. Don’t know who he is. And… I mean I would say this was the great library at the Academy, but all the shelves are in the wrong place and the ceiling’s not got the mural either, so… maybe I’m wrong.” He shook his head, bringing himself out of whatever thought reverie he’d disappeared into, “It has been literal millennia since I last stepped food into that room so, I’m most definitely wrong. Lots of libraries out there in the universe.”

“What’s the Academy?” Yaz asked.

“School.” He cast her a quick glance before looking back to the boy, clasping his hands behind his back for a moment, “my school. Where you go to learn to be a Time Lord.”

“I thought that was your species?”

“It is.”

“Then how do you learn how to be one if you are one?”

“Because you might be born with the abilities of a Time Lord, that doesn’t mean you know how to use them. Nor do we have an inherent knowledge of the rules of time and space. Those are taught to us. No point running around without the rules of time travel, you never know when to break them.”

“Hey, there’s other people coming in.” Ryan pointed to a spot behind the Doctor and the man turned around, ready to face down their captors but the stance relaxed as he saw two more young people in similar tunics enter the library from another door on the other side of the room. The boy at the table had his back to them and didn’t seem to realise that they were there. One of the two was a boy, slightly older looking, tall with slicked back brown hair and a cocky smirk on his face as he and the blonde Hispanic looking girl next to him snuck up behind the boy. They crept up, both barely holding back giggles and the blonde slid into the seat next to the boy, catching his attention to one side as the other boy grabbed the notebook from off the table, ignoring his hands as they reached for it back. It was then they realised that there was no sound from them. “Why can’t we hear them?”

“Maybe it doesn’t have sound? Left it on mute?” the Doctor shrugged, standing back to watch the three figures in front of him, the game of keep away now over as the brunette boy hopped up on to the table and the three leaned over the notebook. All apparently friends despite the teasing before. Suddenly something drew all three’s attention over to the door the other two had come through. The Doctor and others could see nothing, but the kids all looked wary. The boy in the middle of them, with the shaggy dark hair, the most. He’d gone slightly pale, sliding his notebook discreetly behind their backs over to the blonde girl who took it without a word, keeping it hidden behind herself as the boy got to his feet. He cast them one last shaky reassuring smile over his shoulder then squared his shoulders and trudged towards the doors.

“What was that about?” Yaz wondered aloud, moving to the Doctor’s side. He startled slightly out of watching the boy disappear out of sight and looked around to her.

“No idea. Come on.” He motioned his head and began moving towards the same doors the boy had just left through. Internally hoping that he might be able to continue the story they’d just watched for some reason. Instead though he stepped through into a near destroyed forest. Fire flickered through gaps in the trees and a large muddy clearing could be seen up ahead. The Fam stepped through behind him and the door slid shut once they were through. He noted the red streaks throughout the mud on the ground and grimaced slightly. They’d stepped into a projected warzone. Not that he could tell which war, quite yet.

“Where are we now?” Ryan asked.

“No idea. I think-”

“Doctor!” He was cut off by a familiar voice shouting out his name and his head snapped around trying to locate the source as he called back out.

“Bill?!”

Chapter Text

“I know you said eyebrows Bill, but that’s just ridiculous!” The Doctor in the bowtie smirked as they all came to a stop across from one another, glancing from his future self to Bill who just rolled her eyes with a smile and a raised eyebrow.

“They were making up for lost time. Better to have too much than none at all.” The Eyebrows Doctor deadpanned and raised an impressive eyebrow of his own to his past self.

“Ugh!” the Doctor in the bowtie jerked back in clear offence, hand flying to his own eyebrows for a moment as his face scrunched up in annoyance to his future self, words stumbling around in his mouth as he tried to come up with a retort. “Shut up,” finally fell from his lips and his future self just smirked in amusement and turned to Bill, face softening slightly.

“Bill, are you alright?”

“Fine. Just, had a lot of being informed that you shouldn’t exist.” She shrugged at him and he rolled his eyes towards his past self.

“Shouldn’t we all?” she grinned in amusement at his teasing airy tone and looked around.

“Where’s Nardole?”

“Guess he got left behind. Good, he can keep an eye on the vault.” He paused and then motioned to the group of three behind him, “this is other future companions, apparently.”

“Hello, I’m also the Doctor!” the Bowtie wearing one skipped forward, thrusting a handout in front of them for them to shake it. The eldest man in the group was the first to hesitantly reach forward and shake it, offering a friendly smile despite his confusion.

“How many of you have there been?”

“Well, I’m the last of this cycle, so at least 13 when it comes to me. If you count old eyebrows over there and whoever yours is, then 15 I suppose.”

“Blimey.”

“What’s your names then?” he looked expectantly at them, and it was Yaz who spoke up to answer.

“I’m Yaz, that’s Graham. He’s Ryan.”

“Well, nice to meet you all. So, what’s this Doctor of yours like? We getting back into the habit of big groups for companions then?”

“You’re better off just asking her when we find her.” Graham piped up and both Time Lords came to a stop. They whirled around to look at him, both of them staring with wide eyes.

“Did you say her?” Bowtie Doctor asked, voice low and slow, his eyes wide with hopeful wonder and when Graham nodded both Time Lords broke out into brilliant grins. He began slapping a hand excitedly against his future self’s chest as he basically began bouncing on the spot in sheer excitement. The Other Doctor was properly grinning, a sight Bill rarely saw unless something extremely exciting had happened. “Finally happened!”

“Only had to wait two whole millennia and then some.” Eyebrows Doctor deadpanned before grinning once more.

“By all that is- That is a wholly unfair amount of time for anyone to have to wait for that to happen.” He whined to his future self who shrugged in agreement.

“Sorry!” they both turned Bill who’d interrupted, her face the picture of bemusement as she looked between them, “someone wanna tell me what you’re both so excited about?”

“He said her.” Eyebrow Doctor pointed over to Graham, looking puzzled that she would ask or be confused about that. At her continued confusion, Bowtie stepped forward and sat both his hands on her shoulders, beaming down at her.

“That means Bill Potts, that the future us that these lovely folks travels with,” he pointed to the Fam briefly, “is a she. Future us is a girl!” he stopped suddenly then quickly rushed out his next few words, “woman! I mean woman!” he glanced around to his future self, “blimey, a whole new lingo, that’s gonna take a minute to get used to.”

“So, wait,” Bill shook her head slightly, still processing the information, “you in the future is gonna be a woman?”

“Yes! Finally! I went through a whole regeneration cycle and it never happened! I was so disappointed”

“Usually you get at least one per cycle. We were one of the unlucky ones who it just didn’t happen for.” Eyebrow Doctor continued.

“But! Now, it finally happens.” The Fam were all grinning from the side-lines at this exuberant conversation and Yaz was the one to pull out her phone and speak up.

“We have pictures, if you wanna see her.” She offered and the two men glanced to one another, both visibly conflicted over this request. Bowtie him bounced around for a moment, pacing in a quick circle before throwing out his hand towards Yaz’s phone.

“Yes!” then he pulled it back again as though burned, “no! Wait, yes. No. Ah.” Eyebrows Doctor reached forward and sat a hand on his past self’s shoulder to make him stop and looked to Yaz.

“I think we’ll wait and see her in person. Makes it more fun. Don’t let him see, he’ll only regretted it.”

“Alright.” Yaz was grinning but began to move the phone back towards her pocket.

“Hang on! Forget them, I wanna see.” Bill protested before Yaz had a chance to put the phone away, reaching out quickly for it and Yaz laughed softly and handed it over. Bill pulled it up close to her face, taking in the blonde woman stood with her arm around Yaz grinning into the camera. “Wow,” she spoke up before she was able to stop herself, the words falling from her lips and she didn’t realise what she’d said before she’d said it, “Doctor, you get hot.” Once she’d said it, it dawned on her and her face went scarlet. Graham and Yaz both sniggered under their breaths, glancing down at their feet in second-hand embarrassment for her. Ryan smirked but something in the distance, through the trees, caught his attention. He glanced back to the Doctors but figured they were adequately distracted right now and began taking a few steps off between the trees, unseen by the rest of the group.

Get hot?” Eyebrows Doctor asked, his tone dry and questioning and Bill just gave him a deadpan glare, her face still burning.

“We don’t ever talk about this.” She paused and her gaze turned pleading, “please don’t tell future you that I said that.”

“I dunno.” The bowtie wearing Doctor teased with a grin on his face, “might end up being the first thing I tell her.”

“I will kill you.” She told him, and her own Doctor smirked with a shrug.

“I’m sure I’ll be flattered Bill, no point in being embarrassed. Thank you very much.”

“Stop it” her face deepened to an even darker red and she pressed the heels of her palms into her eyes with a heavy groan.

“You might wanna get over here!” they all turned at Ryan’s frantic call, taking off towards his shout. As they finally made it past the trees into the large clearing, they all came to a stop at the sight of the crashed vessel lying there. The humans taking in the destruction it had caused around it but the Time Lords both just looked shocked. Both men went silent in awe over the vessel. It was beat up, gone through hell and no longer seemed flight worthy but regardless of that fact, just seeing one this close up was a marvel in and of itself.

“Is this what I think it is?” Bowtie Doctor sounded breathless as he stumbled towards the flaming ship, glancing to his future self with bright eyes.

“Yes. I think it is.” Eyebrows Doctor’s voice was quiet with disbelief.

“What is it?” Ryan asked, looking between the two Doctors in confusion.

“It’s a Bowship.” Bowtie Doctor explained without really explaining anything and Ryan’s face went blank in annoyance when neither man went any further with the explanation.

“And what’s a Bowship?” he inquired, throwing his hands up in a questioning shrug.

“It’s ancient, is what it is. From closer to the beginning of time than it is to now. It’s Time Lord. Old Time Lord. Ancient Time Lord tech. This belongs in a museum. No, more than that, this should belong in a museum but there were no leftovers of them. Nothing this complete. It’s like finding ancient pottery fully intact from the era of Cavemen on Earth.”

“Well, I thought you said this was a projection. So, someone just has a random video lying around of really ancient Time Lord tech?” Bill questioned with a raised eyebrow and both Time Lords finally seemed to register this fact with matching concerned frowns.

“You’re right.” Eyebrows Doctor mumbled, “this is… it’s part of the projection playing.” He sat his hand on the edge of it, “Feels solid enough but everything in here is just made to look real. Still though, it’s like finding a cave painting on an alien spaceship.”

“Did you see a different projection before coming here?” Bowtie Doctor asked him, eyes still fixed on the ship in front of them.

“Yeah.”

“Little ginger boy?”

“Older looking, 14, maybe 15. That is if they’re human. Darker skin, long black-haired boy.” He paused, “if this is here though,” he pointed both hands to the ship momentarily before rubbing a hand over his mouth in thought, “maybe he wasn’t human?”

“You think Time Lord?”

“I thought the last one we saw was in the great library in the Academy. Just thought it looked wrong. Maybe it’s just from a very long time ago?” Both men looked to one another, both trying to sort through their thoughts for reasons of these projections to be here. Everyone jumped when there was a sudden hissing noise and all eyes moved to the glass looking dome on the top of the craft. It was cracked but intact and slowly it was pushed open. The figure inside struggling to push their way out.

Chapter Text

The woman was tall, Korean looking in decent, and bloodied and clearly injured as she struggled to make her way out of the craft. There was a gash through her shoulder that was making it difficult for her to climb over the edge of the craft where the edges were raised. The Eyebrows Doctor moved first, hands raising to help her.

“Careful now, watch yourself.” His hands moved through her. He stepped back, staring at her. They all were. She slipped from the edge, in a move that made them all wince sympathetically, tumbling with her injured shoulder against the wing before rolling off onto the ground with what they assumed to be a cry of pain. Not that they could hear it. Still the videos were muted.

“Who is she?” Yaz asked, taking a hesitant step closer to the woman as she lay on the ground, clutching at her shoulder with her face contorted in pain.

“I don’t know.” Bowtie Doctor mumbled, crouching down next to her, his hand reaching out as though to help her with her shoulder and his own shoulders slumped in sadness that he couldn’t do anything for her.

“Why can’t we hear anything still?” Bill asked, looking to her version of the Doctor and he grimaced in response.

“We don’t know what kind of systems we’re working with. Different civilisations have different systems to produce something like this. One on switch for one system might blow it for another. It’s safer at this moment to just let it play out.”

They all looked around when another Bowship began landing on the other side of the clearing. The ship larger than the woman’s, far less damaged and was still fully functional. They thought, for just a moment, that someone was coming to help. Then the woman noticed the ship and she began to panic. Her eyes widened and she struggled to get to her feet but through the mud and her injuries she wasn’t managing it. The glass dome raised. A man inside left first, sliding easily down til he could land on his feet on the ground. More men followed him out, all of them wearing the same type of armour as the woman. The first man, however, had a long flowing cape attached by golden pins on his shoulders and his face was alight with a sneering victory as he approached her. Stomping across the mud until he was standing before her. She’d only just struggled to her knees when his hand shot out and a back hand to her face sent her flying backwards into the mud once again.

He man stood over her. The Doctors and Co could only watch in equal amounts of horror as he held out a hand for a spear to be placed in his palm by one of the men who had followed him out of the ship and moved into a semi-circle around them. He grinned, the smile unnatural and wicked looking, lofting the weapon over his head. As he did so the woman’s eyes narrowed, her skin beginning to glow golden. There was a split second as the spear began to come down when the woman brought both arms up in front of her and the regeneration energy exploded from her like fire. Right towards the man above her.

It was like a fireball tearing through him. The spear fell from his hands, rolling across the ground next to them as he screamed. They couldn’t hear it but the agony on the man’s face as pieces of him peeled away under the force of the regeneration energy made it clear. When the man finally dropped the energy turned on the guards surrounding them, expanding in one last final blast until everyone fell to the ground. Dead or at least unconscious.

The woman fell back against the ground, the only one still conscious. She was now white, her hair dark and messy. Her body was slightly larger than before, the torn armour protesting the bulkier form now inhabiting them, but Time Lord armour was made to adjust to a person’s changing form so she would be fine. Her face was pale when she finally sat up woozily. She took in the form of the man who had been standing over her before, who’d been trying to kill her, and her face contorted in a momentary grief. Her hand came up to her mouth, probably to hold back a sob if they could hear. Then she forced herself to her feet, stumbling unsteadily in towards the trees.

Suddenly, there was a roar in the distance, and everyone tensed because they’d heard that. The woman stumbled to the side against a tree, horror dawning on her features. It took only a moment before she began moving at a faster pace, feet sliding in the mud and knocking her off balance. As she landed on her knees, she bodily jolted, a mist of regeneration energy coming from her mouth and floating away up into the air. She was still silent but whatever creature was coming from the woods after her could be heard. She looked up, she froze. Then forced herself onto her feet to stumble back towards the still working ship, snatching up the spear that had been dropped as she went. She held it in front of her as she backed towards the working Bowship, her knuckles white with the pressure with which she was holding it. She eventually threw it down hard, letting its head stick into the ground so it was standing upright, then turned and scrambled into the ship, clambering awkwardly up onto the wing and into the ship. As the dome atop it came down the figures in the projection melted away and they were left alone once more in the wooded area.

“What was that?” Bill asked, her expression horrified, just as the Fam’s were as well, and she looked to the Doctors for answers.

“Definitely Time Lord. But is it the same one?” Bowtie Doctor asked, looking to his future self who shrugged, the movement shaky.

“That’s the question.” They all froze once again at the sound of another roar. This time closer and the two men took steps closer to the trees as movement in the distance caught their eyes. Their eyes only widened as they realised what was approaching and they backed up a few steps.

“What is that?” Yaz asked, the creature was drawing into the clearing. It was tall, limbs elongated, and it had a lot of sharp looking teeth. Somewhat humanoid, in the way of seemingly being a bipedal creature. The two Time Lords alongside them went pale, continuing to slowly back away and hold out hands for the others to do the same.

“It’s… it’s a Yssgaroth.” The Bowtie Doctor stumbled out and they all looked to him in confusion but did as they were motioning for them to and continued backing away. The Eyebrows Doctor took the moment to pull out his sonic screwdriver and point it at the creature, running a scan as it persisted in stalking forward towards them at a similar pace as to their backing up.

“What’s that?”

“A Vampire.”

“A what?” Bill asked, eyes wide.

“There’s no such thing as vampires.” Graham stuttered out; eyes fixed on the creature as its contorted limbs continued making its way towards them as it began to snarl.

“Yes, there is.” The Doctor responded quickly.

“They’re just stories, aren’t they? Tell me they’re just stories.”

“All stories and folklore spring from some kind of truth. The Great Vampires of old. The Time Lords were meant to have wiped them out in this universe. I killed the last one, trapped in E-Space. This is…”

“I mean, this is part of the projection, yeah?” Bill asked, “so we don’t actually have to worry about it. It can’t touch us; we can’t touch it.”

“About that.” The Doctor with the Eyebrows grimaced, quickly sliding the sonic back into his pockets, “we should run. Sonic is saying we’re no longer dealing with projections.”

“Oh. Fun. So much fun.” Bowtie Doctor snapped and grabbed onto a hand each of Bill and Yaz, tugging them into a run alongside him, calling over his shoulder, “come on you lot! We need to move!”

“We don’t have to hold your hand, right?” Ryan questioned the older Doctor warily and the man rolled his eyes and growled out his response.

“Just run.”

Chapter Text

“So, where do you think we are?” Amy asked the Doctor as they stepped out of the cell, peering both ways down the metallic but generic looking corridor they’d stepped into. The Doctor paused in front of her, looking around with a frown. He eventually made a face, visibly frustrated, at the lack of recognisable markings around them. Normally he could tell by the cell alone.

“Not quite sure, nothing identifiable around here. It’s like it’s been scrubbed clean. Someone’s clearly gone to a lot of trouble to make sure they can’t be identified.”

There were doors all the way down the corridor. All equally spaced out from one another and all equally plain looking. The Doctor moved down the corridor, hands stuffed in his pockets and his gaze moving from door to door as he tried to figure out which way to take them.

“Do you think all these doors are cells as well?” Rory asked, he and Amy both keeping up with him, just a few feet behind him.

“Nah. Well, maybe. I hope not. Well, maybe we should check. Giant prison complex? Doesn’t look it though. The cells looked more like transmat arrival bays, but let’s just check.” He stopped at one of the doors suddenly, head tilting as he suddenly looked intrigued by it.

“You okay?” Amy asked and he startled slightly and nodded to her.

“Yeah, just…. Gonna go through here, I think. I like this door. It calls to me,” He said the last part teasingly, motioning his head towards it and gave her a little grin. He reached out to push at it, chancing that first before he’d try with the sonic. To his surprise it slid open without much effort needed. He stepped through first and the Ponds followed in behind him.

All three of them looked around in complete confusion when the room they stepped into found them seemingly a world away from the bland metallic looking corridor. The door slid shut behind them. The room was some kind of lab. Large and actually looked rather homey as far as labs went. Wooden looking cabinets and pale-beige granite tabletops. Beakers and holders with test tubes were strewn around the room. A clean blackboard covered the entire wall at the back of the room. Books were strewn around, in piles and on shelves and lying on counters, as if lay there ready to be picked up at any moment.

“Where are we?” Rory asked.

“I…. I’m guessing still on the ship; they just have a… lab on board like this.”

“Hey,” Amy’s urgent voice had them both looking to her, but her eyes were somewhere behind them and she pointed, “someone’s coming in.”

“Oh, hello.” The Doctor whirled around, clasping his hands behind his back with a friendly grin as he rocked back momentarily on the heels of his feet, “sorry, didn’t mean to be in your lab. Just sort of wandered in by mistake. We’re-” he cut himself off, eyebrows suddenly furrowing as the man that entered just walked right passed the three of them without acknowledging them in anyway. He turned on the spot, his eyes following him as the man walked towards an aged looking notebook, that had more pages stuffed into it than actual pages from the notebook it seemed now. He pouted for a second in thought then meandered over towards him, reaching out a hand as if to poke him in the back. His finger simply moved straight through him, “he’s a projection.” He announced to the two humans in the room, a bemused smile appearing on his face before he reached into his pocket for his glasses and then his inside one for his sonic.

“He’s a what?” Amy asked, moving to his side to also reach out and touch the man only for her hand to pass through him, “woah. Weird. Why is there a projection of this random person on this spaceship?” she glanced up to the Doctor with a raised eyebrow, “I mean, who is he?”

“No idea.” He started a scan with the sonic and when it gave him back the results his eyebrows raised in surprise, “oh. Oh. It’s a projection.”

“You said that.” Amy said.

“No. Not just him, the whole thing. This entire room is a projection. None of it’s real.” He turned around in a slow circle, the hand not holding the sonic pointing in a lazy circle, “it’s like…” he struggled to find the comparison for a moment, “virtual reality. That’s what it is. Virtual reality.”

“Uh,” Rory spoke up, knocking his hand against the lab table top in front of him, then he reached for the taps at the sink and turned one on, “if it’s virtual reality, how can we touch things?”

“Well, maybe it’s a very high tech one. Or, the room underneath the layer of projection is just shaped entirely like it is inside the projection. Like a fixed space. I dunno.” He scratched at his jaw for a moment then slid the sonic back into his pocket. “Doesn’t explain who our friend here is.”

“So, we’ve got a projected room and what’s essentially a video playing of a random guy that we don’t know, on a random spaceship of who we don’t know is in charge.” Amy summed up and the Doctor nodded with a little grin thrown her way.

“Yeah, but probably not that important of a projection.”

“Important enough that they’d build a teleport beam strong enough to snatch us from out the TARDIS.” She countered, “and you said you felt drawn to the door. So, probably something.”

“Yeah,” he frowned, “actually, you’re probably right.”

“So, you’re saying you’re wrong?” Amy smirked and he immediately shook his head, backtracking slightly.

“No, not saying that.”

“But you just said that I was right, therefore what you said was wrong.”

“Well, I might still be right. We don’t know.” He sniffed, stuffing his hands into his pockets as he leaned around the side of the projected man to get a glimpse at the notebook. Amy shook her head with a withering sigh.

“Yep, definitely the Doctor. You don’t change, do you?” he just tossed her a smirk and a wink over his shoulder then went back to looking at the notebook.

“Ooo.” He went to reach for the notebook, letting out a frustrated sound when his fingers simply passed through it as well, “that looks impressive though.”

“What is it?” Rory came to the other side of the man, peering down at the notebook as well. He found nothing he could understand on it though. It was all equations that he had no hopes of ever grasping.

“That,” the Doctor pointed to one of the equations, “is the velocity of a dying star. And that,” he pointed to a different one, “is to calculate the force necessary to block in a black hole before it develops.”

“That’s impossible.” Rory frowned, then glanced to the Doctor, “isn’t it?”

“If I didn’t know any better I’d say that this was…” he trailed off as the man turned the page in the notebook and this time, rather than numbers and equations, on the page were a bunch of symbols and circles, some of which Rory recognised this time and pointed that fact out.

“That looks like the circles the Doctor has on the monitor in the TARDIS.”

“It’s Gallifreyan.” The Doctor mumbled quietly; eyebrows drawn together in confusion.

“And the other symbols?”

“Also Gallifreyan. Old High Gallifreyan. It’s even more of a dead language. Even by my time on Gallifrey it was… unused. Dates back to the times of old. To the times of Rassilon and the Omega.”

“Who and who?” Amy asked, coming to peer over Rory’s shoulder curiously.

“Two of the founders of the Time Lords. And the Omega was said to have been killed during the creation of the first Eye of Harmony. That’s what those equations were putting me in mind of.”

“Harmony? That sounds okay.” Rory suggested in a mumble, glancing to the Doctor.

“Not if you were Omega. Rassilon organised to have him killed during the creation of it.”

“And what is it?”

“It’s a Black Hole. Frozen on the point of collapse and its harnessed energy could power something for the rest of eternity. It’s what’s powering the TARDIS.”

“Ah, okay. Not ‘okay’ then.” 

“No, not especially.”

“So Rassilon sucks then?” Amy inquired.

“They both did.” He mumbled his words, his good mood seemingly dissipated and instead he just looked worriedly confused. He cast the projected man one last glance, eyes running over him intently before he started making his way towards the door at the other end of the room, “come on, let’s keep moving.”

The next room they stepped out into was huge. A large grand hall, a throne room with huge walls and a high ceiling with a painted mural that was really too far up to get any details from but looked impressive all the same from down here. At the top of the hall, on a raised platform was a throne, for lack of a better description. On the way up to the hall there were little alcoves evenly spaced out across both walls, little semi circles, smoothed out and each had its own little painted mural depicting a different scene of battle or discovery. Different little figures depicting a new scene that all looked completely different from one another. Within these alcoves were plinths and atop those stood large statues of figures. Each with their backs turned, facing the inside of the alcoves with their forms hunched over in different poses. It gave Amy an uneasy feeling, being unable to see their faces but her attention was quickly pulled from them when a voice rang out across the hall and she caught sight of two blonde figures stood on the raised platform further up, both having just walked through another doorway off to the side. One of them positively beamed, her smile bright even from the other end of this massive room and she took off running towards them almost immediately.

“Doctor!”

Chapter Text

“So, where are we?” Rose asked, following the Doctor out of the cell, peering up and down the long plain looking corridor that they stepped out into. The Doctor paused in the middle of it, turning back and forth, her mouth opened slightly, and face scrunched up in thought before she pouted in annoyance.

“I hate it when I can’t tell from a glance. Just means someone’s gone out of their way to make sure I don’t know where I am.”

“So, you don’t know where we are?”

“Not yet, no.” She heaved out a sigh and motioned for Rose to follow her as she started to make her way down the corridor, “let’s go have a look about then.”

“What’s in all these rooms?” Rose caught up to walk along at her side, “are they cells as well? Do you think my version of you’s in one of these?”

“Nah, probably not. I don’t even think they were proper cells. Transmat loading bays are more likely. Besides, I think if he were here, he’d have gotten out just as quickly. Better that we just keep going until we find something that tells us where we are.”

“The usual then?” Rose grinned, her tongue peeking out through her teeth for a second and the Doctor all but beamed back at the sight of that grin.

“Course.” They walked a few doors down before the Doctor stopped dead in front of one of the doors. Rose stopped next to her, noting the Doctor’s fixated gaze on the door and glanced between the woman and the door with a concerned confusion.

“You alright?”

“Yeah. Yeah, sorry. Just, like the look of this door. Come on.” She reached for the switch at the side of the door and it slid open. She ushered Rose in ahead of her and followed her inside. The door slid shut behind them and they both turned to look at it before back to the room they’d stepped into. There were lines of incubator type glass cases spanning the room in equal spaces apart from one another. Inside were sat little capsules, all of them of a similar size, all with tendrils that were growing up, wrapped around a centre pole that was keeping them upright.

“Where are we?” Rose asked.

“Dunno.” The Doctor’s answer came absently, her focus on the incubators and the room around them. It was large, spanning a long distance with high ceilings and plain white walls and floors. It reminded the Doctor of the extraction chambers back on Gallifrey. The medical looking room. Less blinding than their cell had been previously but still.

“What are these things?” Rose asked but before the Doctor could answer movement caught both their eyes from further down the large room and they both turned at the sight of a figure down the end of the room. A young woman was stood, leaning over one of the incubator boxes, her hand reaching into one of the boxes, with a gentle smile on her face. Inside the box the capsule inside’s tendrils were reaching up towards her, stretching as far as its limited stature would allow it to.

“Hello?” The Doctor called out hesitantly, reaching out a hand to Rose’s arm to keep the other woman from stepping forward. There was no response and the Doctor frowned, concerned and began walking down towards the other woman who hadn’t even looked up from the incubator, “hello? You alright there?” She came to a stop right next to the woman and still there was no reaction. She reached up, waving a hand in front of the woman’s face and her own posture slumped when the woman didn’t so much as blink. She moved her hand, reaching to poke her shoulder only for her hand to go right through her. She waved the hand about for a moment inside the woman’s shoulder, her head tilting in thought.

“Woah.” She nearly startled when Rose’s voice came from suddenly beside her, the other blonde sticking her hand out to push it through the projected figure as well, “s’weird. What is it? Some kind of hologram?”

“Mm, yeah. Hologram, or projection. I’m leaning towards projection.” She reached into her pocket for her sonic, using it to run a scan of the room to figure out what was going on and she blinked in surprise at the results, “oh, definitely a projection. This whole thing is.” She lifted her head to look around the expanse of the room, “everything’s a projection.” Rose frowned, her hand moving from the woman’s figure to reach for the glass casing of the incubator. Her hand pressed up against it and she looked back to the Doctor.

“I can touch it?”

“Probably a layer underneath, just the image projected over it. I don’t know why though?” The Doctor moved to one of the other incubators and started to reach in a hand towards the small capsule inside.

“You sure that’s safe?” Rose asked and the other woman merely shrugged.

“Won’t know until I try.” She continued to reach in and frowned when her hand ended up moving through the creature inside as well. She pulled her hand up, “maybe full projections are only done for living things?” She turned around when the projected woman behind them finally moved, stepping back from the incubator to reach for a weathered looking notebook that had been sat to the side and began making quick notes. The Doctor moved to try and peer over her shoulder at what was being written down but all she got was a glimpse before the notebook was closed over. It was enough of a glimpse though. Old High Gallifreyan symbols. She visibly startled and Rose reached out a hand to her arm.

“You alright?”

“Yeah.” The Doctor swallowed, giving a quick nod. Her mind was racing with possibilities and she looked around the room next with more of a clarity, searching for any more clues that might show this as Gallifrey. When the medical blankness of the room gave nothing else away, she looked back down to the incubator the woman had been stood at, peering down at the little capsule that had been reaching out to her before. It had settled back into the same position as all the others now that the woman had stepped away. The Doctor stepped in closer to it, reaching out a hand to the creature inside and she was surprised when this one began to uncoil and stretch out towards her. She stopped before it could touch her and took a few steps back, taking in a few deep breaths because the air felt intense to her. The projected woman began moving towards a doorway, about to leave and the Doctor called out, hurrying after her, “wait!”

As the woman stepped through the door she disappeared and the Doctor all but stumbled out into the next room. Rose hurried out after her and the door slid shut behind them. The Doctor took a look around the room they’d stepped into and blinked in surprise. It was huge, long, with a throne like chair near them on the raised platform they were stood on with steps that led down to the rest of the long hall. It was lit by torches all the way up the room. The raised platform was better lit than the back of the room. Alcoves with statues all facing away and painted murals with depicting different scenes. Movement caught her eye further down and Rose seemed to realise first that they were there because she broke out in an excited grin and called out happily before taking off down the steps.

“Doctor!”

Chapter Text

“Doctor!” He whirled around at the sound of Rose’s voice and when he saw her racing towards him, he broke out in a big grin and met her race towards him with a few long strides of his own and she threw herself into his waiting arms as soon as they finally met each other somewhere in the middle. Her arms around his shoulders and his arms wrapped around her waist as he lifted her off of her feet, swinging her slightly. He took a few seconds to just appreciate that she was here and back with him, a grin pressed into her shoulder before he sat her down on her feet. She pulled back, still in his arms, her hands sliding to his shoulders as his slid to her waist. “Hello,” Rose’s tongue peeked out through her teeth and the sight of that smile made his own grin widen as he replied.

“Hello,” They fell into a momentary silence, both just grinning at one another, when an obvious cough brought their attention from one another and he glanced back around to Amy and Rory who were watching both of them with raised eyebrows. He stepped backwards, his grin turning slightly flustered as he motioned to Rose, “sorry. This is Rose, who I’m travelling with, right now.”

“Who’re they?” Rose asked, giving the Ponds a questioning smile.

“Future companions.”

“Amy, he’s Rory.” Amy held out a hand and Rose stepped forward to shake it before falling back into line beside the Doctor.

“Nice to meet you both. Is yours the Doctor up there?”

“What?”

“Hello, Ponds.” They all turned as a voice spoke up from behind the Doctor and Rose, looking to the other blonde woman who’d made her way down towards them at a much slower pace. Everyone but Rose was in astonishment. Amy and Rory in utter disbelief that this was the Doctor because she was a woman. The Doctor was staring, mouth opening and shutting as he gaped like a fish a few times.

“You- you- you’re…” he stopped, visibly trying to school himself into some semblance of normal. He stuffed his hands into his pockets, brushing his jacket back so he could do so. “Still not ginger, then?” he tried weakly and his future self merely rolled her eyes with a small smile and brushed her hair back from her face, tucking it behind her ear before she waved a hand towards him flippantly.

“Go ahead,” with permission given he broke out in a bright grin and hopped back and forth onto his heels for a second, pulling his hands from his pockets as his hand moved out in big gestures over her as he looked her up and down.

“Finally! What’s it like? Is it different?”

“Not that different. More a difference in how everyone treats me,” she huffed, face scrunching up for a second, “still though, it does have its benefits at certain times. Something about me being a woman people tend to trust more, which is nice.”

“Doctor?” Amy finally exclaimed, confused and her eyes fixed on the female Doctor who turned her attention to her with a gentle smile.

“Amelia,” Amusement sparkled in her eye as Amy took a few hesitant steps towards her, reaching out a hand to nudge her shoulder gently.

“How… how are you him? How do you become this?”

“I’m almost certain I explained regeneration to you, even in passing.”

“Oh, I see you learned from experience,” Rose murmured sarcastically to her own Doctor, the man smirking with a roll of his eyes before he hushed her so they could let Amy and Rory grasp this.

“Yeah, but… you never said anything about being able to turn into a woman!”

“Yeah, but… to be fair to him, he also thought he was on his last regeneration. As far as he knew, one wrong move and kch, game over. Didn’t think there’d be anyone else coming after him, let alone more than one.”

“Right,” Rory muttered, mostly to himself. It was then something seemed to click in Amy’s head and her eyes narrowed.

“Hold on a minute. He thought he was the last one?”

“Yeah?...” The female Doctor murmured.

“And he still did all that stupid self-sacrificing stuff?” there was a hesitant pause before the Doctor in rainbows replied.

“He gets a lot worse before he gets better. Have I just got my past self in trouble then?”

“Oh yeah. You’ve got yourself in it too. How could you be such an idiot?” the next nudge to her shoulder was less gentle and the Rainbow Doctor rubbed at the spot with a pout.

“Hey!”

“Okay,” Rory sat his hands on his wife’s shoulders and pulled her gently back towards him, “alright, enough.” He looked to the Rainbow Doctor and smiled awkwardly, “it’s… good to see you Doctor.”

“And you, Rory.”

“Anyway,” the pinstripes wearing Doctor spoke up after the following moment of silence dragged on for a second too long, turning on the spot to look around the room, “you wouldn’t happen to know where we are, would you?”

“No idea, I was hoping that you’d have a clue.” Both Time Lords made matching faces of displeasure and heaved out sighs, “No markings or anything for you? Nothing to give any clues?”

“Nothing but the projection, and that gave nothing away. Except the notebook that bloke was writing in. He was writing in-’

“Old High Gallifreyan” the two of them spoke in unison for those words and stared at each other.

“You saw him too?”

“Her. We were in some kind of birthing farm, full of incubators. Dunno what was being grown. She had this old notebook, looked well used. Was writing in Old High Gallifreyan, taking notes. I didn’t get to see what was being written down before she moved on.”

“We were in a lab, he came in, made some notes about the velocity of a dying star and other calculations on black holes.” She raised an eyebrow at that, head tilting in thought.

“You don’t think it’s…”

“No… probably not. Hopefully not. Let’s just… put that thought in the back pocket until we know more.”

“You’re right.” Movement at the back of the room near the throne caught the attentions of both the Ponds and in their heads moving to look the other three noticed and all turned as well. A man in armour was dragging a woman in elaborate red robes and an intricate head piece, that spread out like webs from the back of her head, towards the centre of the platform. A look to their left, from where they were all stood showed a collection of girls in much simpler looking red robes huddled in a terrified looking group at the back of the room. All of them had matching white paint on their face in similar looking designs that were all being taken off by the tears running down their faces.

The woman being dragged near the throne was forced to her knees and the man; his armour shrouded by a long flowing cape attached by gold pins to his shoulders, stood over her. He was clearly making some kind of speech, large hand gestures and threats towards the woman at his feet, with the occasional glance towards the other girls huddled in the corner. As he went on the group watching started to make their way up towards them.

“This another projection?” Amy asked and got two nods in response.

To her credit the woman on her knees steeled her gaze and squared her shoulders and was showing no fear as she glared up at him as he rounded her like a predator circling its wounded prey.

“Who are they?” Rory asked next.

“Dunno.” The Doctor in pinstripes answered him with a forcibly casual shrug as he climbed the steps up onto the platform and stood looking down at the woman before glancing towards the man who was spitting a muted vitriol of what seemed to be hate and anger and disgust. The companions all watched the figures up on the platform, so it was the rainbows wearing Doctor who noticed movement back towards the other end of the room and she was the only one who saw what was happening.

A figure in a black cloak appeared, stood behind the group of cowering girls and seemed to be quickly and calmly ushering them out of the room whilst the man was distracted with his target on the platform. The girls all hurried out, casting tear stained glances back up towards the woman who kept her eyes on the man above her but who probably knew and was keeping his attention. Once the last girl was hurried from the room the figure in the cloak turned their own head back to the room and allowed the Doctor to see their face. Their very familiar face.

The Doctor startled, the reaction unseen by anyone else in the room and she gaped back at the figure who pulled her cloak’s hood further down over her face and turned away once more. It was Ruth. It was her. It was the Doctor.

The Doctor in rainbows took a few stumbling steps towards her, knowing that calling out would do nothing but wanting to all the same. At the same moment behind her, up on the platform, the man gave a victorious grin and raised a fist into the air above his head before bringing it down in a dramatic gesture and at once all the torches on the walls and around them went out, casting the room into darkness. The Doctor ceased her movements in the darkness and even backed up a few steps, confused as to what was happening.

“Doctor?” Rose called out as her own Doctor reached for her hand to give it a reassuring squeeze.

When the lights finally flickered back on the figures were gone. What also had happened was that every statue on every plinth in the long room had turned around, frozen in place once more now that they were seen, their hands moved away from their face and held out, curved in crooked gestures reaching out towards them.

“Oh god.” Amy whimpered, reaching for the rainbows wearing Doctor as she got near to rush her up onto the platform with them.

“What are they?” Rose asked.

“Are they Weeping Angels?” Amy asked, “Is this still a projection?”

The Doctor in rainbows was quick to fish out her sonic to check as the lights began flickering once more, the statues on the plinths now caught half-way in their processes of getting down off of them. Her faces paled and she was quick to stuff the sonic back into her pocket and held out her arms to motion Amy and Rory towards the door she and Rose had come through at the edge of the platform.

“Nope.” She quickly rushed out and looked to her past self, “I’d suggest running. Now.” The lights flickered out once more and the group took off in a run towards the door.

Chapter Text

The door slid open right as the lights finally went out, the two Doctors ushering their companions out the door ahead of them, the sounds of the statues shifting forwards in the darkness could be heard. They reached to close the doors behind themselves right as the statues finally made it into the light shining in from the hallway. It slid shut in their faces, stony snarls inches away from them before a metal door came between them.

“How are there weeping angels here? They didn’t look like normal angels, but those were definitely angels, right?” Amy’s words came out frantic, her eyes still on the door as they all backed up further down the hallway. They were back out in another blank looking metallic corridor, similar to the kind both groups had found themselves in when leaving their initial cells. There was no way of knowing if it was the same one as one of them but either way, there were no angels in it for now and all the lights were on.

“They behaved the same, toying with lights, moving when not seen. So, definitely angels.” The female Doctor answered her.

“I don’t think they’re getting through those doors.” The Doctor in pinstripes tried only to get fixed with sharp looks from everyone else in the group around him, “what?”

“Don’t jinx it.” Amy gave his arm a nudge, “you say stuff like that and then all hell usually breaks loose.”

“Aren’t we gonna try and stop them?” Rose asked, eyes lingering worriedly on the still closed door, a fact at which earned a relieved sigh from others after the pinstriped wearing Doctor’s verbal faux pa.

“With what?” The Doctor in rainbows spoke up, “we’re on a ship or in a station where nothing in the rooms seems to be real, or at least we can’t see what’s real, except for the Weeping Angels. We have nothing to fight them right now. Also, we seem to be the only actual people here, so, my vote is that we leave them here for now and we come back later.”

“Is that door gonna hold them?” Rory asked.

“No idea. We can only hope.” The Doctor in pinstripes told him, “I’d suggest we don’t hang about to find out.”

“Sounds like a plan.” Rose agreed, tugging on the bottom of her shirt before squaring her shoulders and looking down the seemingly endless corridor, “so, which way then?”

“Well….” The Doctor in pinstripes looked back and forth for a moment and started to motion down one way, only to find his future counterpart had already started walking down the other way and stopped in front of a door four down from the one they were stood at, “that way then I guess.” He moved until he was stood next to her, “what is it?”

“Dunno. Got this feeling from the door we went into before. Just…”

“Feels like you should go in? I got that feeling before as well.” He sighed then shrugged, reaching forward to activate the door controls at the side, “come on then.”

The door slid open and the group of five entered. They stepped into what looked to be a museum. It was dimly lit, the main lighting over each of the evenly spaced out platformed tables. None were behind glass, but some were held up on stands for display. A sword, glimmering and recently shined and buffed, held up sideways. What looked to be a transport bracelet, but where it was from, they had no idea. A war axe laying on its side. It was ornamental looking but far more advanced looking than anything else in the room.

There was also a notebook, a withered looking notebook with more pages stuffed into it than actual pages from the notebook. A notebook which they’d all seen before when making their way through the projections. The Doctor in pinstripes was first to walk forward towards it and reached out for it, all of them surprised when he could actually pick it up. A reach towards the sword on the next platform’s handle told him that it seemed all the exhibits were actually there.

“Interesting,” he muttered softly then looked down to the notebook which he flipped open only to look up when his future self let out a shaky huff of disbelief as she stepped forward from next to him, moving passed all the other objects on display towards a seemingly unremarkable looking clock. It was only about 8 inches in height. Made of some kind of a scuffed looking brown wood with gold trims and handle. The face of the clock itself was gold, with the numerals in a bright blue and the hands in black. There was a little decal in blue and silver near the bottom that he couldn’t make out from where he was standing. But he was far more interested in her reaction to it as she reached out a shaky hand to lift it from its plinth.

“Doctor, what is-” he reached out a hand, motioning quickly for Rose to be quiet when she stretched up and tried to whisper to him for an explanation. His future self turned the clock over in her hand, slowly – as though terrified of what she might find – and the noise she let out at what she found sounded like someone had just knocked all the air out of her with a particularly harsh punch to the gut. She all but dropped the clock back onto its display table and whirled around to them once more. Her eyes wide and terrified.

“We need to get out of here.” She started to hurry passed them, speaking volumes about how freaked out she was that she didn’t even try to drag their companions with her. She wanted out and fast. He grabbed onto her arm to try and stop her, just for a moment, his other hand sitting the notebook down on the platform next to him.

“Why? What is it?” she turned to him, eyes still wide and pleading for him to, just this once, just let it go and listen to her. It made his hearts stutter slightly, at the prospect of ever being this scared of something. To be this scared that she didn’t even bother to try and hide it.

“I don’t know where we are,” she started, “but I know who’s behind it now. And we cannot stay here.”

“Who is it?” there was a moment where she hesitated, staring at him, then she looked back to the clock.

“Look at it.” He dropped her arm, slowly as he worried she might just bolt and leave them in the dust the second he let go. She stayed where she was and watched as he made his way over to the plinth and picked up the object in question. The decal at the bottom had nothing of interest on it but as he turned it over his whole body tensed at another appearance of Old High Gallifreyan on a small silver plaque at the bottom of the wood. It took him a moment to decipher, being as it had been years since he’d last seen any Gallifreyan that wasn’t the swirling data of the monitor in the TARDIS, but he managed.

For Services To The Division

He didn’t know what it meant. What it was in reference to. Maybe this future version of himself did but either way if the Time Lords were involved and she was right to be worried.

“What is it? What’s the Division?”

“It’s…” she made a face, “I’ll explain properly once we’ve found whatever other versions of us are here, because this is too long and complicated and far too unbelievable for me to say right now, but I think it’s the Time Lords.”

“The Time Lords? They’re all dead.” He reminded her and she all but rolled her eyes at him.

“Not from now. Look at that, look at the notebook. Old High Gallifreyan. This is the Time Lords from a long, long time ago.”

“And what could they possible want with us? How would they even do this?”

“Like I said,” she said after a moment of tense silence, “better to tell when everyone’s together, but our past isn’t what we think it was.”

“What?” his eyebrows furrowed in confusion.

“We’re being watched.” Her attention was suddenly somewhere behind him and she pointed up towards the camera hidden in one of the grooves in the wall in the corner. He stood a little straighter at the prospect. She took a step towards it, lifting her arms and spreading them out as she raised an eyebrow, looking directly up into it, “get a good enough show? Who are you?” they both waited, for something, anything, to happen. Nothing did. She eventually dropped her arms with another scowl into the camera and turned and walked away. “We’ll find them.” She spoke confidently, “they’ll explain.”

“What’s going on?” Amy finally spoke up, looking between the two Time Lords with a questioning expression on her face.

“She seems to think it’s the Time Lords, somehow.” The Doctor in pinstripes answered, watching as his future self began to pace impatiently.

“But that’s impossible isn’t it?” Rose asked him and he could only throw his arms up as an answer. He reached for the notebook once again and flipped it open.

“What does it say?” his future self asked, her pacing pausing as she looked over to him. He flipped through it, finding lines and lines of equations, other notes made in a younger hand that he couldn’t decipher until he got to the pages that he’d seen before.

“Undecipherable until it gets to the sections on black holes.” He flipped further through it and stopped at another page that seemingly could be understood. It took him a second to understand it, his words coming out slow and broken up as he read it aloud, “The first Type 40s are… I think this is talking about TARDIS growth.”

“Type 40s?” both Time Lords shared a look, their own TARDIS was a type 40.

“Is that what those things were? In the tanks?” Rose asked, stepping closer to the Doctor in rainbows who looked back to her, head tilted in consideration.

“Maybe.”

“What did you see?” the Doctor in sandshoes looked to his future self, “show me.” She hesitated for just a second before closing her eyes and murmuring out one word.

“Contact.”

“Contact.” He repeated it back, his own eyes closing, and they linked minds to share the images of what they’d seen, what the projections had shown. He saw the incubators with the little capsules and the one that had reached out. She saw the man scribbling incessantly in the notebook in the lab.

“What’re they doing?” Rory leaned in to whisper to his wife who just threw him a confused shrug and looked to Rose who looked just as confused back.

“Mind meld?” Amy suggested and both Time Lords cracked open an eye each in response to her words.

“Mental contact.” The Doctor in rainbows explained first.

“Time Lord trick. We are a telepathic race.” The other continued.

“So, mind meld. Gotcha.” The Doctor in rainbows cracked a smile this time, warmth sparking in her hearts at Amy’s joke because it’d been so long since she’d been around the redhead. She’d missed her. She’d missed them all.

“Pretty much.” She agreed with a little shrug and her past self opened his mouth to argue but seemingly gave up on the fight before he even started with a heavy sigh.

“Yeah, alright.”

“Alright then, what now?” Amy asked.

“We find our other selves, and my Fam.”

“You think there’s more than just our version of you?”

“Well, there’s one between me and him, wouldn’t make much sense to skip one.”

“But why bring us all here?”

“Like I said, I’ll explain what I think is going on once everyone’s together.” She looked back over to the clock sitting on its mantle and took in a shaky breath before being the first to head back to doors, “bring the notebook,” she called over her shoulder and her past self did as she said, sliding the notebook into one of his jacket pockets before following after her.

Chapter Text

The creature roared from somewhere behind them as they ran. It was a bellowing, guttural type of roar that they could feel through the very ground every time their feet hit it and it only inspired them to keep going. The Doctor in the bowtie’s eyes darted ahead, searching for any signs of a doorway or an exit, somewhere that they could go to escape. It wasn’t like there was anything here that was real for them to be able to use against the ancient vampire. It could only be killed by a metal rod through the heart and the one ship that had one back there was both 1. Busted and 2. (most importantly) not real. Running was their only real option.

Yaz was keeping pace with him rather well, Bill just slightly lagging, but his grip on their hands ensured they kept up with him. He didn’t risk glancing back and slowing them down, knowing that his future self would be watching out for the other two. Finally, he spotted a doorway that stuck out against the forest that still seemed to go on forever beyond it.

“Get ready to hit that door button!” he called out to Yaz who nodded despite her desperate gasps for breaths. She hit it near perfectly once they reached it and those three fell through first. They looked back for the other three and saw them close behind.

When they finally stumbled through the set of doors, they all but spilled out, most tripping over their own feet, panting in the air that their constant running hadn’t allowed them to get. The door slid shut behind them with one last outraged roar from the Great Vampire as it was shut out. When the Doctor in the bowtie lifted his head, however, he caught sight first of the Ponds, then of Rose Tyler and the version of him with the sticky uppy hair and the pinstriped suits and- dear god he was skinny back then. A flash of blonde and blue caught his eye next and his gaze finally turned to the other woman who’d whirled around when they’d come crashing through the door and he’d leaped to his feet, hurrying to fix his bowtie as he took in this future version of himself. He stood, almost visibly vibrating with excitement, a million things going through his brain that he wanted to ask about, but as he took a quick glance around the room, he saw that he was the only one so visibly hyped. Suddenly flustered and slightly embarrassed at this realisation he did the first thing he could think of and threw Bill under the bus to save himself face.

“Bill thinks you’re hot.” He blurted out before darting towards Amy as Bill visibly startled from where she was behind him helping Graham to his feet.

“What? No!” she cried out, beginning to stalk towards him, embarrassed fury in her eyes as she lifted a fist, “I’m gonna beat the sh-”

“Bill.” The Doctor with the eyebrows was grinning in amusement as he reached for her elbow to stop her, right as the one in the bowtie beamed in amusement and darted behind Amy with a laugh in response to Bill’s reaction. It was when Bill finally took in a breath and relaxed her annoyance with the bowtie Doctor that she looked to this female version of the Doctor and she realised that the woman was staring at her intensely, a glint of something in her eye that Bill couldn’t identify. She looked heartbroken. Water gathering in her eyes before she quickly blinked it away once she noticed Bill was watching her, schooling her expression back into something vaguely happy as she smiled at her.

“Hello Bill.” Bill smiled back, surprised slightly at the Sheffield accent. She didn’t know why she was mind you, she was still focused on the expression that had been on the woman’s face beforehand.

“Don’t listen to him, by the way, dunno what he’s talking about.” She motioned to the bowtie Doctor, her face red with embarrassment. The female version of the Doctor smiled in clear amusement and nodded.

“Oh of course,” she was clearly teasing though and the blush on Bill’s face only deepened as she let out a groan of frustration and hid her face in her hands as she turned away.

“Go away.” Bill pleaded and the female Doctor chuckled softly and finally looked to her companions.

“Hello Fam, you alright?”

“Yeah. What about you?” Yaz asked her but Graham was quick to interrupt, the older man still in last effects of catching his breath.

“We just had to run from a bloody vampire. You never said those were real!” She looked to him in confusion and Ryan piped up next.

“Doctor, we think all the projections in here were showing another Time Lord.” Her gaze snapped to him; her eyes wide.

“What?” she looked to her past selves who had just joined them, swallowing thickly, “what’d you see?”

“I’m assuming you got shown stuff as well,” the Doctor with the eyebrows asked and she nodded, motioning to the notebook that the Doctor in the pinstripes had pulled from his pocket.

“Bunch of stuff, yeah. And… I think I know who brought us here, and why.” The female Doctor told them, at their expectant faces she sighed heavily and continued, “this is going to be easier to show you. We can explain to them later,” She motioned her head towards their companions and then closed her eyes, reaching out her mind towards her past selves, “contact.”

The other three repeated the phrase and followed her mentally towards the shared space created. First, they showed one another all the projections that they’d viewed. The small boy being chased by the older girl, the children in the academy, the man in his lab and the woman with the incubated TARDISs. Then the woman regenerating being attacked by the man in the red cape, they were shown the same man in the large room with the woman on her knees and the statues that he had attack them at his apparent command.

It was then the oldest version of the Doctor showed them what she’d seen, with Ruth saving the crying girls at the back of the room. Then she showed them where she’d met Ruth. Showed them how she’d said she was the Doctor but had no knowledge of who that version of the Doctor was, how she didn’t use a sonic screwdriver yet, and then showed them the Time Lords hunting her down. She showed them the Master’s destruction of Gallifrey, much to their horror and confusion, she showed them his video that he’d left for her, his mention of the Timeless Child. She showed them the memories he’d shown her whilst he had her trapped in the Matrix, showed them how they were so much older than they thought. The memories of being a child, of Tecteun and their experiments, of how Time Lords got their ability to regenerate from the Doctor. As the final piece of information flooded the shared space there was a clear feeling of being overwhelmed that flooded after it.

“No.” the Doctor in pinstripes snapped, pulling out of the mental connection and physically stumbling back as he stared at his most future self with wide eyes filled with horror and disbelief, “no. What you’re suggesting is impossible.”

“If we had a whole life before hand, we’d know.” The Doctor in the bowtie tried to demand, the female version of them could only sigh heavily.

“I’m just showing you what I’ve found out. What I’ve been shown. What was in the Matrix.”

“What is it?” Bill asked softly to her version of the Doctor who’d gone very quiet. He just ignored her, looking to his future self as he asked another question.

“So, you’re saying that we were there at the start of it all?”

“Apparently? I know, only what I’ve shown you.”

“So… that projection of the academy, I was right. It was from a very long time ago?”

“Seems so, yeah.”

“And that… with the Yssgaroth, and whoever that was in the cape?” The bowtie Doctor asked gravely and again she could only shrug and take a guess in response.

“Maybe we were there? During the wars against the Yssgaroth. Maybe that’s where things started to fall apart? That version I met, who had to turn herself human, she was on the run from them. Had to have done something to make them want to wipe our memory.”

Suddenly, before any more questions could be asked the lights dimmed somewhat in the room and a thin looking pillar raised from the ground with a screen on top.

Show; Home.” An automated, robotic sounding, voice spoke up and the four Time Lords glanced to one another as they thought about what it meant. A print of a hand showed up on the screen next, clearly meaning for them to use it to do as it asked.

“Well, if you think it’s the Time Lords…” the Doctor in pinstripes stepped forward towards the screen, sitting his palm on it and closed his eyes to think. The image of Gallifrey was projected around them. The citadel standing proud and strong in the distance, backdropped by a red sky with twin suns shining in the distance. Red sand beneath their feet, the mountains of Solace and Solitude feeling like they towered above them on either side. It was a harrowing feeling, to go from the relative smallness of the room they’d been in before to what appeared to be a vast endless expanse. All the humans were looking around in wonder at the beauty of the planet before them.

“Is this Gallifrey?” Amy asked her version of the Doctor and the man nodded to her, eyes lingering on the citadel with his grief clear on his face.

“Yes.” He told her.

Then suddenly the picture flickered before disappearing entirely, the screen and other lights in the room flashing red as the robotic voice spoke up once more.

Error. Show; Home.” The Doctor in pinstripes frowned in confusion, lifting his hand from the screen as he looked to his other selves, wanting to know if they knew what to do next.

“Maybe it needs something more specific?” the Doctor in the bowtie wondered aloud, stepping in closer to the screen to sit his palm down on it. An image of the House of Lungbarrow, standing tall and strong on the side of one of the mountains southern to the citadel. It was huge, intimidatingly so, almost castle like from the front, stone with spires on either side and large stain glass designs in the windows. Large flags and banners in orange and scarlet hung from the roof, all showing the symbol of both the Prydonian chapter and the seal of Rassilon. The garden that they were stood in was stunning, carefully trimmed to perfection with a large statue of a figure pointing the way outward a few feet ahead of the large staircase that led to the equally huge double doors that were the entrance to the house.

The image didn’t even last for a second. As if it were offended at the very thought of it being the Doctors home, the image disappeared. Nothing flickering. Just barely allowed to be seen before the room was flashing red once again.

Error. Show; Home.” The voice spoke once more.

“Maybe… maybe we don’t lie about it.” The Doctor with the eyebrows suggested gently and sat his hand down next. An image of the TARDIS interior filling the space around them. The companions that weren’t Bill all looked around in surprise.

“It can be changed?” Rose exclaimed in surprise. The image lasted longer this time than both the one of Gallifrey and of the House of Lungbarrow, but it too flickered away, and the lights flashed red and the robotic voice spoke up once again.

Error. Show; Home.” The Doctor in rainbows took in a heavy breath and squared her shoulders as she took her turn stepping in front of the screen and held her palm over it for a moment.

“I don’t know if this will work. But I can’t think of anything else. I don’t know where we came from apart from this.” She sat her palm down on top of it and closed her eyes. The image that appeared next was something like a snapshot of a video, shown in almost slow motion of a young girl in strange robes stood in front of two towers space evenly apart with a bright light at the top. The young, dark skinned, girl whirled around, as though turning to face something that they couldn’t see. At once there was the sound of something powering up and the image faded away as the lights and screen lit up green.

Accepted.” The screen and its plinth were lowered back into the ground and the Time Lords all stepped back in a slight semi-circle as they waited for something to happen afterwards. They weren’t disappointed. There was a flash of blue light and when the companions were able to open their eyes, after having shielded them from the light, they found that all four Time Lords were now gone.

Chapter Text

Hands were already grabbing for each of them before they’d even fully gotten passed the nausea that transmat technology hit you with. Each forced to their knees by two pairs of strong hands each and when they opened their eyes, they were met with the sight of a giant seal of Rassilon on the wall across from them. Soldiers dressed in, what were for the Doctor, ancient armour of their people lined the walls and stood behind them, keeping them all down. A feminine voice spoke up, a figure approaching with the click of shoes against the gleaming marble flooring they were held on.

“Bring me her, the rest didn’t know anything, but she seemed to.” The woman was clad in deep red robes. The colour of blood. With a gold armoured shoulder piece across her chest in an intricately laced design. It went up around her neck and it looked as though another piece may slot into it, but she wasn’t wearing that piece right now. The robes were hemmed in gold, ancient Gallifreyan sewn into the clothing itself. There was a man further back in the room as well, they didn’t know his face, but he was dressed in fine robes with a large red cape around his shoulders, attached by golden pins. The Doctor in rainbows was shoved forward by the guards behind her, stumbling onto her feet in front of the woman who had a good head and a bit in height on her and looked down upon her like she was nothing more than something stuck to the bottom of her shoe. “What reminded you? What brought the memories back? If the council is to agree, it must be perfect. How do you know?” The Doctor’s face changed only a minuscule amount, a flicker of confusion breaking through the hard mask she’d schooled her expression into, but the woman seemed to see it. Her eyebrow raised, a delighted amusement spreading across her pretty features, “You don’t know, do you?” she laughed, her lips pulling back as she grinned, a shine of something in her eye, “it seems it will work better than I could have imagined.” Her hand raised, gripping the Doctor’s face in a harsh grip before the Doctor could even think of pulling away, and she turned the smaller woman’s face, looking into her eyes, “you have no clue who I am. Maybe there’s some recognition on some level but you don’t know. Remarkable.”

“It will work Peylix? Shall I give the order?” the man at the back of the room stepped forward, his eyes on the woman who all but rolled her eyes at his eagerness and held up a hand for him to stop.

“Give me longer than one second to check. Calm yourself, clearly we succeed.” She motioned a hand towards the woman in front of her and the man stepped back with an impatient scowl.

“Peylix? I don’t know that name. Who are you?” The woman paused, head tilting as she looked the Doctor over in thought.

“I suppose by your time after, my true name is forgotten. As it should be. The names we all chose shall be what lives on. Apart from yours, although, it seems ‘The Doctor’ as a title lived on somewhere in the depths of your mind. Even with our attempts to wipe it from all records.”

“What name did you choose, then?”

“You may call me Omega.” A manic grin spread across the woman’s face, triumph in her eyes as she watched horror and understanding spread across the Doctor’s. Across all of the Doctors’ faces. “You know that name.” she looked around to the Doctor in pinstripes, her mouth drawing into a thin, unhappy line, “you’ve spoken it.” She looked back to the Doctor in rainbows. “But, in the end it doesn’t matter what you do know. Only what you don’t remember.”

“And what don’t I remember? Better yet, what do you want me to not remember?” The Doctor in rainbows stepped in closer to the taller woman, a frustrated frown on her face.

“We made you forget for a reason. If you think I would just tell you, then you’re sorely mistaken.”

“What did I know? I imagine it was something dangerous.” The two women began to slowly circle one another, the Doctor’s face like thunder and the Omega’s staring down with a taunting smirk that slowly transformed into a snarl the longer the Doctor spoke, “Was it something about you? About you both?” The Doctor looked to the man at the back of the room, “Rassilon, I presume?” he scowled but kept his mouth shut, the Omega drawing the Doctor’s attention back to her as she spoke once again.

“It’s not important.”

“Course it is. You wiped my mind because of it.” There was a moment of heavy silence and the Doctor squared her shoulders, “I will find out. And when I do, I’ll make you pay. I promise you that.” The Omega just smirked, her tone taunting as she replied.

“How will you get your revenge when, by your own word,” she pointed towards the version of the Doctor in pinstripes, “we’re all gone by your time?”

“My retribution will be knowing. Knowing that I will know everything that you made me forget. Knowing what you did to me. Knowing that I managed to stop you, while not even knowing who you are.” Omega’s eyes flashed, a sneer of fury crossing her pleasant features and the smack from the back of her hand connecting with the Doctor’s face echoed around the room. The Doctor, who had still been unsteady anyway from the transmat teleportation, had stumbled to the floor, landing on her backside and on her forearms to prop herself up. She blinked up at the woman above her, eyes narrowing as she glared openly right back at her.

“You’re nothing.” The Omega snarled, “you’ve always been nothing. Who do you think you are? Talking to me like you have any control over your future or past?”

“I’m the Doctor.” A dark grin spread across the Doctor’s face as she sat upright, “sorting out fair play across the Universe. Stopping evil and doing what’s right.” The Omega snarled once more then paused, her eyebrow raising and her face evening out into a smirk.

“Is that what you think you are?” she hummed softly in amusement, “you shouldn’t mistake my mercy in letting you live as a kindness Doctor, but perhaps I did you a favour in not letting you remember.”

“What?” the smile fell away from the Doctor’s face at the woman’s words and she frowned in concern and confusion. The woman’s evil smile only grew, and she seemed to be holding back laughter as she finally stepped back and waved a hand flippantly to the guards still holding the other versions of the Doctor back. The two that had been holding the Doctor from before stepped ahead again to haul her to her feet.

“Send them back, wipe them of this whole thing. I have what I needed, and I know that the memory strip will work. We proceed.”

“Wait.” The Doctor struggled against the guards grip, her eyes wide as she called after Omega’s now retreating form, “’will work’? It hasn’t happened yet. You haven’t done it yet?”

“I had to ensure that I wasn’t wasting my time and the high council’s expenses,” The woman peered over her shoulder with a smile, “now I know I’m not.” She spoke ahead to the guards at the doors, “bring him to me once you’re done here. Send them back.”

“No!”

“Your companions will be back in your TARDISs,” Rassilon brushed his cape out of the way with a smirk and a mocking bow, “timelines fixing themselves should leave you all unable to remember any of this. Thank you for the first-hand knowledge, Doctors.” He sent a smirk towards each version of the Doctor and then turned, following after the Omega. The large double doors they’d stepped through closed behind them, an unknown marking on the doors that none of the Doctors could recognise.

There was another flash of light, forcing them to close their eyes, and when the Doctor in rainbows opened her eyes again she was back in her TARDIS console room and the Fam were quick to surround her and help her when she swayed suddenly. She caught herself, fisting a hand into Ryan’s shirt as she blinked hard, thoughts racing as they hurried to piece everything back together before it disappeared.

“Doctor! Are you alright?” Yaz asked her, but there was a sudden pinging noise from the console and the Doctor quickly pushed passed her companions to check on it. A flick of a button later and there was a link up for different versions of the TARDIS from her last three incarnations.

“How could we just forget an entire lifetime?” The Doctor in pinstripes asked, “it’s not like just forgetting a name or a face, you’re talking about forgetting centuries of information, maybe even millennia.”

“I know.” She sighed heavily, running a hand over her face, “I’ve been looking, trying and searching everywhere but what was in the Matrix was all that was there. I didn’t even know about Omega and Rassilon…”

“Now the timelines are starting to fix themselves.” The bowtie Doctor spoke up softly, “not like we’ll even be able to remember this.”

“They shouldn’t for me though,” she told them, frustrated, “timelines only correct themselves if there’s a present danger for you knowing something, if it affects future timelines. And… it won’t.” She paused as a thought suddenly occurred to her, a smirk dawning on her lips as she let out a huff of amusement, “they didn’t know that.”

“What?”

“Well, think about it, back then, the days before even Omega was dead, they were still open to giving other civilisations the secrets of controlling time. They didn’t fully understand the consequences back then. It wasn’t until their handouts backfired on them that they took a step back and became more passive. They don’t know that I’ll remember.” She grinned then gripped the edges of the screen as her face steeled suddenly, her tone going fierce as she spoke, “I promise I’ll figure this out. I’ll find out who we were, who we are.” There was a moment of silence before the Doctor with the eyebrows spoke up, his voice gentle and trusting.

“The truth of our past in your hands. Good luck, Doctor.”

“All my love to long ago.”

“To days to come. Good luck.” The Doctor in pinstripes spoke last and with a final beep the connections severed, and the Doctor let out a heavy breath, her head lowering until it pressed against the screen for a moment. She had a lot of work to do.