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Doctor Who: This Used To Be My Playground [Fanfiction]

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This Used To Be My Plaground

The Doctor was seated at the head of the table, on an ornately carved high-backed chair. Ohila of the Karn Sisterhood sat at the opposite end, observing the activity.

Assembled before her were The Doctor, having regained the office of Lord President from the deposed and disgraced Rassilon, and The General, chairman of the Gallifreyan War council.

Their agenda this day was to discuss the malicious and misguided actions of the former President, his intent to confront the prophecies regarding the nature and impact of the mythical hybrid that would come to claim Gallifrey and stand amongst its ruins.

The choices made by Rassilon had left The Doctor alone, without a friend, without a reward, and with nothing to lose.

“If you wanted to know about the hybrid, why didn’t you come to me? You’ve summoned me home before”

“We dared not risk bringing the hybrid here, you claimed it was you in your message to the young boy you dispatched to the capital”

“So being time lords and knowing not to cross hairs with the web of time, you ensured you couldn’t just force my TARDIS back here because you heard a remark from me in your present”

“And this very admission from you was what prompted Rassilon to take action and to seal you within the confession dial, so you would be given a chance to elaborate”

“And face a just punishment in the process of working out a means to escape” The Doctor replied.

“Your companion, Ms. Clara Oswald, was not intended to be a victim of your interrogation, please believe that Doctor”

“Clara did a very human thing, she tried to one-up me, and she got herself killed. I can’t turn the clock back on that as much as I want to. Rassilon laid out the mines, but she was the one who stepped on them”

“Then you forgive us?” The General asked.

“The Doctor tore out the weed at the core of Gallifrey’s arrogant bout of paranoia, no one else is to blame but Rassilon himself” Ohila said, chiming in.

The Doctor tilted his head upwards, his eyes fixated on the large oval window atop the building, trying his best to make up distant suns glistening across the bright and burning orange skies of his homeworld.

“When I said the hybrid was ‘me’, I didn’t mean myself, I meant someone I had turned into a hybrid, a human who’s life I prolonged indefinitely using a piece of alien technology. She had a name, but as time passed, everything that name was associated with withered and died around her, so she abandoned it, she became singular, unattached. She identified only as ‘Me’. That individual was the crude she-devil you arranged a deal with on Trap Street”

“How does she come to Gallifrey?” The General asked.

“You’re Time Lords, can’t you decide when it is time to see for yourselves?” asked Ohila

“Well, perhaps time has already decided for us. Rassilon made the deal with her to keep her street safe, she knows our race exists, and she’s got all eternity to wait for the universe to run out of breath. A heat death means plenty of sun, and you picked a fine spot to deposit this old nursery in, ideal conditions for a final, fateful vacation”

“All prophecies are not clear on what shape the hybrid will come in, it is possible this girl is but one of many diversions” The General argued.

“You mean your prophecies aren’t even clear on what colour it is? They’re not trying to offend anyone on the P.C spectrum are they?”

“This is no time to play the fool. Doctor”

“It’s the end of the universe. It’s the only time I’ve got. And you want me to keep you all safe”

“Can you?”

“I’ll need help obviously”

“Gallifrey is at your command”

“Oh, not from you lot. No, you’d cramp my style. Look at your hats. I’m going to need the use of an extraction chamber, to request a favour of someone”

Many years earlier, at Bannerman Road, a familiar scenario played out

A young boy, Luke Smith over excitedly, chats on his phone with his friend Clive over the events of Christmas 2009, the day the world became one man everywhere.

“That was the maddest Christmas ever, Clive. Mum still doesn’t know what happened. She got Mister Smith to put out this story saying that Wi-Fi went mad all across the world, giving everyone hallucinations. I mean, how else do you explain it? Everyone with a different face ”

Luke crossed the road without looking, only for the Doctor, a much younger Doctor, dragged him off the road before he could be struck down by a speeding car.

“But it’s you! You’re…”

The Doctor walked back to his TARDIS.

“Mum! Mum!” Luke said, heading towards his mother, Sarah Jane, as she stepped out of the house to check on him.

“What? What is it?”

“It’s him. It’s the Doctor”

The Doctor waved goodbye, Sarah smiled.

Then she noticed something wrong.

The Doctor seemed frozen, locked in position, no longer moving a muscle.

She looked all around her, and everyone else was the same. Luke, the cars, the people going about their business on the road, all motionless.

A shimmering light emitted from just behind the TARDIS, Sarah felt compelled to investigate, etching closer and closer towards it.

She saw a hand beckoning her, an unfamiliar voice calling her name.

Sarah stepped into an all-white room, with operatives also dressed in white. The only colour are their faces, the General, the Doctor, and Sarah, and some blue computer panels.

“Where am I? What is this?”

“Hello Sarah Jane” The Doctor said.

“Doctor? Is that you” Sarah said, pricking the front of him with her finger.

“It is, and to answer your question Sarah, this is home”

“Home? Your home?”

The Doctor nodded.

Sarah felt her confusion give away to untempered elation.

“You found it”

She placed her right hand warmly against The Doctor’s right cheek and stroked it tenderly.

“Doctor, oh Doctor welcome back”

The Doctor reached out and held Sarah’s hand as it remained attached to his cheek, he felt its searing warmth, he wanted to wrap himself in it, he had missed it.

He had missed her; he had missed everything about her.

The General urged The Doctor to get on with the matter at hand.

“Sarah, this isn’t a house call”

“I just saw you, you were saying goodbye, like you always do, but something was different about it…it was like you knew you weren’t coming back, not as I knew you, not as you knew yourself”

“And you would be right, that version of me died Sarah, not long after bidding you adieu, that wasn’t even my previous form”

“You had a whole other life I missed out on?” Sarah asked, her hand disengaging from The Doctor’s face.

The Doctor grabbed her by the shoulders.

“You’ll come to know the self that succeeded him in time, that’s all it takes, time”

Sarah did not fully understand, but trusted the words of the man before her. She gave him a light smile, trying to hold back tears as she processed the news of the tenth incarnation facing his mortality.

“You’ve gotten old” she said.

“I’m probably only a couple of years ahead of you in appearance”

“Ah, so you’re finally keeping up with me”

“Ms. Smith, the lord president has requested your presence on this planet for as long as he deems proper”

“Oh I can’t stay; I have a son to look after”

“They’ll keep, don’t worry, you’ll be returned to this precise spot and moment when we’re done”

“Doctor, are you sure it is wise to use the extraction chamber in this fashion? There could be unforeseen side effects…”

“What side effects? Tell me”

“Sarah, I think we should go topside, it’s almost nightfall”

Before Sarah could utter another word, The Doctor grabbed her hand and escorted her to one of the lifts which took them up to the top of the capital citadel.

Atop the citadel, Sarah and The Doctor sat atop the roof, kicking their feet back and staring out at a few crimson stars as they ignited one by one and descended into the wild lands of the planet.

“I hope none of those areas are inhabited” Sarah said.

“No, no Gallifrey has specific defences, magnetrons that pull the falling strands away from any habitable area and into harmless dunes”

“Even at the end of everything, your people still cling to survival skills” Sarah replied.

“Sarah, I have to ask something of you, and you can say no any time you like”

“Tell me, just as long as you speak truthfully about the side effects of this extraction chamber of yours” Sarah insisted.

“The chamber is usually only used for people at the very end of their time stream, we take the person at the moment of their demise, and when they have provided us with the necessary information, they’re returned to see out the rest of their remaining seconds”

“Was I fated to die then?” Sarah asked.

“No, no we misused the chamber this one time. You have much more life left in you Sarah, and that’s why I need you for what lies ahead”

“Why not extract me at a later stage in life? When I’ve met your previous self?”

“That’s still to come for you, but this is you at your peak Sarah, this was when you had just earned your second chance and you revelled in it, this was the woman I knew could keep the earth in line even as I stepped over it myself. I was tempted, very tempted, to abuse the chamber in a different way, to bring a good friend of mine back from the brink of death, and keep her where I needed her to be. I wanted to be naughty Sarah, a very naught boy indeed. This, all of this, used to be my playground and the Time Lords the spoiled elders I wanted to mock in front of the unruly sorts, my aim was to be a champion amongst the unruly and strike out on my own”

“You succeeded at that, and more so you proved wiser than the so-called elders, you proved to them straying from home did more good for the universe than ruling out intervention” said Sarah.

“And what did it cost me? A friend, my Clara, oh I can tell myself she was to blame for her own demise, but had I not let slip that nonsense about the hybrid and Me the moment I got here, Rassilon wouldn’t have had the impetus to try and snare me in the past…it’s only now I realise this isn’t my playground Sarah, it’s my penance. I have to rule over Gallifrey, I have to prepare them for the hybrid, whatever form it takes, and I’m more scared that I may face it alone”

“And that’s why you summoned me…the absolute best version possible, to spend the duration of your presidency at your side…to keep you in line”

“I’m scared, and alone, and hell bent on succeeding, will you stand in the ruins, you, myself, and the one who only goes by Me, at the end of it all, and confront the riddle of the hybrid once and for all?”

“Oh Doctor, even if there were no stars left, I’d gladly light your path any day. Come on, we’ve got work to do”

The Doctor and Sarah climbed down from the edge of the roof and laid their heads down, clutching their hands and squeezing them tightly. They watched more stars descend from the burning sky.

“I suppose when I get back, I’ll have a few extra years on me”

“All of that will be covered when you realign with your correct timeline”

“And I’m sure I’ll need my memory erased”

“I’m not putting myself through that again”

“But if you do let me remember, when I see your earlier face, I’m not supposed to say anything?”

“Even if you hear of my ‘untimely’ death from a couple of vultures”

“It’s not like you to leave me a preview of what’s to come”

“Sorry, just trying to keep the timeline spoiler-free for myself”

“Hmmph, spoilers, reminds me of a woman I crossed paths with just a couple of days ago, my time anyway”

“Did she say anything about me?”

“Just that you never leave her any tin dogs”

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Doctor Who-A Door Once Opened [Fanfiction]

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A Door Once Opened

The Doctor paced up and down the TARDIS, his mind troubled, he watched as Donna Noble, full of spirit and hope, dashed around the consoles, flicking switches and observing the arrangement of solar systems on the display screens.

“Picked a spot yet?” The Doctor asked.

“I thought we could try the planet Felspoon. Just because. What a good name, Felspoon. Apparently, it’s got mountains that sway in the breeze. Mountains that move. Can you imagine?”

“How would you know that?”

“Because it’s in your head. And if it’s in your head, it’s in mine.”

The Doctor walked over to her, calmly as he could, as if he were approaching the eye of a wild storm.

“And how does that feel?” he asked

“Brilliant! Fantastic! Molto bene! Great big universe, packed into my brain. You know you could fix that chameleon circuit if you just tried hotbinding the fragment links and superseding the binary, binary, binary, binary, binary, binary, binary, binary, binary, binary, binary, binary, binary, binary…”

Donna gasped for breath, The Doctor reached out for her, but she pushed him back, insisting she was in good health.

“Nah, never mind Felspoon. You know who I’d like to meet? Charlie Chaplin. I bet he’s great, Charlie Chaplin. Shall we do that? Shall we go and see Charlie Chaplin? Shall we? Charlie Chaplin? Charlie Chester. Charlie Brown. No, he’s fiction. Friction, fiction, fixing, mixing, Rickston, Brixton”

Donna reeled back; this time collapsing backwards into The Doctor’s waiting arms. This time, Donna could feel a burning sensation course through her mind, her temperature rose and fell, a mixture of hot and cold, all the while her head experienced a dizzying spell.

Miraculously, she staggered to her feet, The Doctor gently supporting her.

“My god, I feel just like Susie Harper when she caught wind of her husband’s car crash in Swansea” she said.

“Donna, are you aware of what’s happening to you?”

“Yeah”

“There’s never been a human time lord metacrisis before now, and you know why”

“Because there can’t be” she said, fresh tears beginning to run down her face.

“I want to stay” she said.

The Doctor couldn’t help but afford himself a wry smile.

“Susan used to say that, a long time ago now, she’d seen every sweeping sort of change there is in this universe, yet she never wanted things to change for herself. Change is good, they say, change is evolution. What happens when the change is too great though? What if you cease to be the person we all know you to be? That’s what she was afraid of; she wanted to belong somewhere, in one place, in one time. I always told her that was an impossibility”

“And now?” Donna asked, barely holding it together.

“Now I’ve learned a few things…what do you want Donna?”

“I want to belong Doctor, but with you, here, in the TARDIS, exploring galaxies , learning all I can from you, facing the faceless, staying true to who I am, but being an equal, you and me, the Doctor Donna”

The Doctor graced her tearful cheeks with a tender touch and rubbed it smoothly.

“We had the best of times” he said, pressing his fingertips gently against the sides of her temple.

“No, no Doctor, please I want to stay, I don’t want to go back”

“Donna, when you travel with me, there is no going back”

“So what is this?” Donna said as The Doctor gently closed his eyes and concentrated.

“Stay still” he said.

Donna ceased pleading and stayed as composed as she could, The Doctor tensed up, his body shook, she felt something move within her mind, her temperature stabilised, but now it was The Doctor that was becoming cold to the touch, then hot again.

The Doctor’s eyes snapped open and his right leg gave out, he knelt to one side, leaning onto the console for support. Donna cradled him, trying to get him back to his feet.

“Doctor? My head, it’s getting clearer, what did you do?”

“I experimented, just a little, call it an original recipe if you will” The Doctor said, short of breath, he grabbed his chest and tried to pump his hearts back into a regular pattern, as they were both beating a bit too rapidly.

“You took advantage of my personal crisis to conduct an experiment? Oh that’s wizard, I’ve gone from teacher’s pet to lab rat” she replied.

The Doctor couldn’t help but laugh at Donna’s tenacity.

“Look at you, not one second off of avoiding a meltdown, and here you are having a meltdown”

Donna was initially peeved at the sheer cheek on display, but The Doctor’s smile and the relief her crisis had been avoided was enough to get her to think differently, and she soon joined in the merriment with a fresh giggle of her own.

“Alright Frankenstein, you’ve got one shot at an explanation before I take a shot at your ribs for that one, so let it out”

“A few years ago, when I travelled with Rose, I came across Madame De Pompadour, uncrowned queen of France, fantastic gardener. She was being stalked by some robots who wanted her body parts to power their ship and she was feeling very perturbed about that, so I peered into her mind trying to uncover exactly why they specifically chose her…and then something extraordinary happened, she peered into my own head. Two-way telekinetic symbiosis between Time Lord and human. She observed all my memories, could see them as clear as I could see myself”

“Did you ask her how she could do this?”

“All still a bit of a mystery to me, but I never forgot what she said. She told me ‘A door once opened can be stepped through either direction’, that’s when it struck me, a door, a back door, that I could use to deposit all of your experiences with the meta crisis, pouring it into my own head, and leaving the telekinetic link open so everything else your tiny human head observes and absorbs from this moment onward can reside in a tidy little corner of my own mind, dormant and asleep”

“Who are you calling tiny?” Donna said, winking.

The Doctor hummed a little melody to himself as his hearts began to beat regularly, he felt a spring in his step, but he couldn’t yet let go of Donna.

His hands clung on to her own; he looked into her penetrating eyes.

“Our minds will stay linked, every pain in your path will be shared by me, you need not fear overheating, you need not fear fits, you need not fear anything…but it does mean your ordinary life is over, this means you can’t go back to temp jobs and traffic jams, this means you have a place where you belong”

“Just say this means forever Doctor”

“You and me. For as long as we live”

Donna clung to the Doctor tightly; The Doctor cradled her in his arms.

“This feels a bit less platonic…nice though” he said.

“Well, maybe Dalek Cann had a point; maybe this was always fated to happen” Donna said.

“Hope you’re well prepared then, because there’s something else I shared with Madame De Pompadour” he said, and leaned in to give Donna a mesmerising kiss.

Doctor Who-Waiting For A Wounded Soldier [Fanfic]

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Waiting For A Wounded Soldier

 

At Belle Vue Park, Sarah Jane Smith approached the TARDIS. A glistening monument in a beautiful grove.

As she stared at the door, she was hesitant to knock.

It had been an emotional and draining couple of hours for her, reuniting with the traveller that she had spent much of her young adult life, seeing things no other journalist born to Planet Earth had the fortune to see, only to be unceremoniously deposited back on Earth. No farewell, no meaningful conversation.

No closure.

He’d tried a few times to make it up to her, an attempt to attend a Jazz session at the Royal Albert Hall led to an adventure with the insect-like Kalik who were abducting passenger trains, intending to feat on the occupants. She and The Doctor succeeded in thwarting the attack.

And then, she forgot. It seemed he forgot too.

She wondered why that was the case, perhaps forgetting had been an adventure all its own.

Perhaps it didn’t matter at this point.

He was here. Now. The Doctor had come back.

And in the wake of his return, great tragedy had been averted, and personal loss had occurred.

The greater tragedy involved the enslavement of children in an attempt by the Krillitane race to crack the code necessary to rewrite all of universal creation; they were thwarted by the heroic acts of her loyal robot dog K-9.

The personal loss had come with K-9 selflessly sacrificing himself to level the school and kill all the Krillitanes inside.

Sarah now stood before the primitive majesty of the TARDIS, completely humbled and emotionally broken, eager to see The Doctor one last time before he departed.

She wondered if he could even face her after forging her dog into a weapon to use against the enemy.

She was fine with that, she understood.

An apology wasn’t what she was hoping for.

Finally, The Doctor stepped out of the TARDIS doors; he froze as Sarah approached him, her hands shaking, her face raw with longing and a need to communicate.

“Oh yes, right, hi, spot of tea?” The Doctor asked.

“Oh god yes” she said.

As she entered the ship for the first time in decades, observed by Rose Tyler and Mickey Smith, who were already inside awaiting their next adventure, she took note of its majestic coral appearance; it was as if she’d flown into a honeycomb.

“You’ve redecorated” Sarah said.

“You don’t like it?” The Doctor asked.

“Oh on the contrary, I love it, it’s just, not what I was used to from our time together”

“You don’t know how many times my old selves have critiqued my desktop choices”

“I thought you told me once that time lords can’t retain memories of meeting your other selves?”

“I take notes” The Doctor remarked.

“Really?” Sarah asked, excitedly curious.

“Notes. Pen to paper, like leaving reminders on the fridge. Rose, does the TARDIS have a fridge yet?”

“Mum won’t let me install the one we’ve got” Rose admitted as she made the tea.

“Oh she probably just hasn’t defrosted anything yet, give her time” The Doctor remarked.

“Did I hear you right? You’ve met other versions of you?” asked Mickey Smith.

“Tolerated would be a better word” The Doctor replied.

“Of course, it’s so simple, leaving notes to pick up on later; I wonder how much of your future you’ve learned?” Sarah inquired.

“Reminders for a time traveller are a bit like a spaghetti junction, lots of bends and turns that you need to navigate carefully otherwise you’re going in non-linear circles. What I did twenty years earlier may just be what I’m about to do tomorrow. It’s best me and the others stick to yesterday and compare what we did then with how we handle the here and now” The Doctor explained.

“Tea’s ready” said Rose as she headed back with a tray of hot mugs.

“Oh that hit the spot, thank you” said Sarah as she took a sip.

The Doctor downed his mug’s contents in one long gulp.

“Sure your throat won’t be too toasty?” said Rose.

“Nah, I’ve got a high tolerance for heat, I once survived the molten temperatures of the gravel pits of pavilore pits while hopping. Oh, and I also survived the angriest whopper from Burger King”

Sarah and Rose both giggled, The Doctor and Mickey both beamed at this.

“Yeah, that shows you’re cooking mate, you warmed both the ex and the latest both up to you, that tin dog may be gone, but you’re out of the doghouse” said Mickey.

The laughter stopped and all three of them stared coldly at Mickey.

“Oh, sorry” said Mickey, realising he’d been inappropriate.

The Doctor glanced over at Sarah.

“We’re about to head off now, but you could come with us, see the universe all over again with wiser eyes, maybe mentor Rose, give even Mickey the idiot a telling off that could last a lifetime”

Sarah’s eyes lit up, but the spark quickly faded as her sense of mortality kicked in.

She took one look at Rose and realised this was a sport for the young. There was no place for her.

“No. I can’t do this anymore. Besides, I’ve got a much bigger adventure ahead. Time I stopped waiting for you and found a life of my own” she said.

The Doctor glanced over to Rose, whose demeanour had surprisingly changed; she gave the Doctor an interesting look back, one that was apprehensive and remorseful, the Doctor’s eyes dug deep into her own, almost apologetically.

“Can I come? No, not with Ms. Smith, I mean with you lot. Because I’m not the tin dog, and I want to see what’s out there” Mickey added.

“Oh, go on, Doctor. Sarah Jane Smith, a Mickey Smith. You need a Smith on board” Sarah said.

“Alright fine then, only at your request, not his insistence. Rose, you on board?” The Doctor said.

“Rose, is that okay?” Mickey asked.

“No, great. Why not? “Rose replied, acting almost as if her day couldn’t get any worse.

Sarah smiled.

“Well, I’d better go” Sarah said.

“Catch you later” Rose muttered. Sarah wasn’t sure what she meant.

The Doctor and Sarah made their way out of the TARDIS, away from the prying eyes of envious companions and overexcited newcomers.

“Is Rose alright? She looked kind of…distant”

The Doctor stretched his arms and felt a tense tingle in the back of his neck, he scratched it slightly.

“Pure intuition I imagine. Knows what’s coming”

“Is what’s to come that bad?” Sarah asked.

“She’s ready, knows where she stands, that makes it a little easier”

“Make what a little easier?” asked Sarah.

“I’m really not good at this” The Doctor remarked as he fidgeted with his right trouser pocket.

“Don’t tell me you lost your key” Sarah said, laughing.

“No, not the key, something just as important, though frankly if I found myself stuck here, this would be even more easy to get through, because then I wouldn’t always have to say goodbye”

Finally, The Doctor pulled out a studded blue diamond ring. It had four sharpened edges, resembling a miniature star.

Sarah’s eyes widened in astonishment as The Doctor got down on one knee.

“When I told you my other selves and I wrote ourselves little reminders, we stuck to dealing with yesterday, all our regrets and how to make up for them. This was always at the top of my to-do list”

He held Sarah’s hand tightly and squeezed it; his eyes stared intensely into hers.

“I came back for you one time, in my seventh body, to say how sorry I was for abandoning you, we were going to listen to Jazz together. When I was drafted into the time war, I took that previous moment of reconciliation from you to keep you from worrying about me, so you wouldn’t be kept waiting for a wounded soldier…but seeing how far you’ve come, seeing how you’ve coped with my absence and how, through all of that, still willed yourself to move forward, I knew now was the time Sarah, to ask you to keep the faith, and to keep waiting, because I will come back. I will return from my weary travels and I will come home to you. Tried and true you. Your song is the only one I want singing me to my inevitable sleep”

Sarah could do little to hold back her humbled tears or to keep the bravest man she ever knew from coming apart at the seams, all she could offer was the simplest answer to the question all men ask when reach this point of the procedure.

“Sarah Jane Smith, there’s only way I can make this promise mean something, will you…” he began

“Yes, you crazy old wonderful man, yes” she said.

“My Sarah Jane” The Doctor remarked, his face a mix of sadness and content joy, he got up and whisked her up in his arms, cradling her in an ecstatic embrace.

The pair stared at one another, transfixed by their mutual love and admiration, trapped in a single moment in time neither wish would slip away from them

A faint purring sound from the TARDIS engines prompted The Doctor into action; he carried Sarah over to the doors and urged her to let him carry her over the threshold. Sarah held firm on her intentions from earlier.

“I meant what I said Doctor, you’ve got the legs for eternity, I’m not that spry, but if there’s anything that needs handling on home soil while you’re not here to clean it up, I’m game for that. I’ll keep my neck of the woods safe, you keep whole worlds from toppling, go bedazzle dimensions and glue together cracks in time, just know when the time is right to come home. We’ll make this work, I know we will”

“Go get ’em Tiger” said The Doctor, kissing Sarah on the forehead and putting her down before charging through the TARDIS doors.

As Sarah watched the TARDIS dematerialized, she spotted a familiar metal dog come into view as it faded from sight.

“K9” she said.

“Mistress” said K9.

“But you were blown up”

“The Master rebuilt me” K9 confirmed.

“Yes, he does that. He rebuilds. Come on you, we’ve got work to do, my world needs to look it’s best for my soldier when he comes home”