A/N: This has been sitting on my computer since the summer of 2012. It has no relation whatsoever to The Doctor and The Lady Summers, except that they were written around the same time and in the same pique of writing inspiration. This is also not the first story that was written for this particular piece, its sequel that I'll post eventually was written first. The issue is specifically that sometimes I'm just not that courageous when it comes to my writing, and I kept feeling like it needed more, but I've finally accepted that this is exactly where this should be. If I don't post the sequel in the next month, please feel free to poke me. I'm realizing these days that I shouldn't post a multi-chapter story until it's finished (which doesn't happen often, because I get too epic and run out of steam) and I write a lot more single chapter stories than I think I do, so I'm going to start trying to share more. (Also, the aforementioned unrelated store DOES have more parts written, I just ran into writers block for the sad bits that need to be done and this new Doctor change isn't helping.)
Edit to add: The second part is up, it's called "Out of Time".
Disclaimer: I don't own anything, Joss and BBC do, I'm just manipulating them for my own entertainment.
The decision to take Dawn's place and close the portal was a surprisingly easy one. She'd known for so long now that their blood was the same. Dawn was made of her, her blood flowed through those veins. The was only one thing she could do. Death was her gift.
As she stared at the portal below though, her hand found in her pocket the old watch from her mother's belongings. It had whispered such comforting words, she'd kept it close, as reminder. Death was her gift, not her curse. She held the watch tightly in her hand as she ran for the edge and jumped off from the tower with a leap and for a moment she was flying. Then in the darkness she was falling, a golden light filled her vision.
It was the sound of drumming that brought her back to consciousness. The fingers tapping out the sound only a cheap facsimile of the pounding sound of an army of drums thudded out in the back of her head.
"And that word is Doctor
," a defiant voice called out.
And she could hear it, almost everyone in the room, voices from the planet down below, so many voices saying that one word. The power of a word almost tangible around her. Soon she could feel it scratching out from her own throat, her body not yet responsive, but everything, all of her, drawn in to helping, the instinctive pull down in her soul.
When she woke again she heard one man begging another to regenerate, her mind confused momentarily before the words came into her head, she knew, she knew everything, what they were, what she had become, what she had always been, their thoughts, one of compassion the other of hatred, filling her mind.
"How about that? I win," the nasty voice grunted in triumph, a dying man's words.
"No," she groaned, they were her and she was them. "Not alone, never alone."
As she spoke one of the two sets of hearts that had stood out so clearly slowed to it's last beats.
"Will the drumming stop?" he asked, his focus on neither she nor the other man, as his breathing came to a stop.
Then, there were just two of them, with two hearts beating apiece. Using all of her energy, she rolled to her side, turning towards where the only other living Time Lord held the body of another in his arms. In the silence he stared at her, a look of awe and amazement on his face.
"It stopped," she gasped, her mind quiet of the maddening sound for the first time since she'd woken here, and the darkness consumed her again.
"Who is she?" Martha asked, coming to the Doctor's side.
"I don't know," he shrugged for a moment, still processing through, figuring things out.
"She fell out of the sky, they brought her in just before you," Tish fill in for him. "He tried that age thing on her, but nothing happened."
"Time Lord, just a child," he finally said, his voice full of emotion.
"She fell out of the sky?" Martha asked. "I hadn't heard anything."
"In California, a couple days ago, he made sure no one heard about it, it was a dimensional rift," he told her, he'd been the fly on the Master's wall for so long, the tortured soul forced to watch.
"A dimensional rift, that's one way of staying free of the paradox machine," came Jack's voice behind him.
Jack's voice seemed to be enough to finally reach through, and he realized just how much he needed to get done in a very short period of time. Sadly time travel wouldn't be helpful for this.
"Right then, how bad does the TARDIS look?" he asked Jack, standing up after carefully placing the Master on the ground.
"Not good, but shouldn't take too long. At least not with help," the American grinned. "What do we do about him? And her for that matter?"
"She's in a healing coma, safest place for her is the TARDIS," he nodded, keeping his mouth shut as Jack lifted her up easy as could be. "Right then."
"You could stay," he offered, hands in his pockets, head dipping.
"Nah, I can't. You don't need me," Martha shook her head, smiling because she cared about him, no matter how sad this moment was.
"Course I do, baby Time Lord, all kinds of mischief to be had, hasn't ever been to this dimension before," he tried again. "Gonna be a handful, I could use a hand or two."
"Doctor, I love you, and you don't need me, you're in love with a girl in another world and now the last female of your kind has appeared. You're not alone anymore," she told him, so serious, so certain of her decision. "You don't need me, but they do, my family needs me. This last year has shown me I can make a difference."
"You are so brilliant, Martha Jones. You can change the world," he smiled his solemn smile and gave her a nod.
"And I will," she nodded, "here."
"Doctor! A little help here!" Jack's voice rang out through the TARDIS as he stepped back inside. The tone in Jack's voice shook him of his somber mood, leaving the burning body of the Master on the pyre and chasing deeper into his home for the man who was supposed to be watching his newest charge. "Doctor!"
"Coming!" he yelled back, his feet pounding on the TARDIS flooring, the room seeming so much further away than it had when he'd left them there hours ago.
"False man," a striking harsh voice rang out, has he came to the door way. "You do not belong. Outside the circle, a false existence."
"Oh, Doctor, thanks for joining us," Jack grinned, from his position against the wall immediately beside the door, looking quite a bit worse for wear.
"What happened to you?" he asked, surprised at the sight of the man clinging to the wall and the petite blond down standing fiercely in front of the bed, danger and pain and anger radiating from her.
"False immortality, all beings can die," she growled.
"She's definitely been trying to make it stick," Jack grinned at him, but his pain was evident.
"Alright, no attacking anyone on my ship," he glared, his voice commanding.
"And who are you to order one such as I?" Power and darkness seemed to fill the room around her.
"I'm the Doctor, and who are you to possess a Time Lord?" his own power radiating out.
"I am the Primal, the protector, I am from the beginning," she told him in a tone that could command universes, except he wasn't just anyone. Then with disdain, she observed him. "You are a child of time, you are as she is. She is the Slayer and we are one, the same and different."
"Really, the slayer of what? And why aren't you letting her speak for herself?"
"The slayer of all that should not be." An arm lifted and pointed at Jack accusingly. "The slayer of that which will destroy all."
"Hey, I'm a lover, not a fighter, not here to cause any harm, was just making sure you were ok," Jack responded, holding his hands up and smiling.
"Silence! You are a rock in the river of time, causing the flow to change, leaving a wake after your presence."
"She's actually right about that," the Doctor agreed quietly. "But I'm not quite so sure that's as bad as I thought it was. Anyways, what's important is that she's a Time Lord and you're in her mind, and that's problematic."
"We are one, she is mine, we were joined when she was human. Her power tied us far more deeply then the ones before her," and her tone was protective, defiant, and full of conviction.
"So you just jump around from person to person and take over their bodies?"
"We are one, we are together, we are part of each other. I do not speak for her, she speaks for me."
"Then why are you the one I'm speaking to?" he tried again, still not quite certain of the kind of possession taking place before him.
"She is weak, she is learning. She would die without me, a child with the mind of an adult being forced into her head. Your kind are brutal, shoving the minds of your dead into the heads of your young. Her gift is death. It will not take her."
"Well that's not right, there used to be a connected memory, gone now, but we don't put the minds of the dead into anyone, ever, don't need to, we regenerate when we die," he shook his head, just barely catching sight as she threw something at him.
"A weak mother trying to live eternal through her daughter."
"Is that what I think it is?" Jack asked, looking at the silver fob watch in his hand.
"But if this isn't hers, how's she receiving the memories? If she's her daughter from after the ark reactor went into effect, she'd be human through and through, and memory return is particular, they can only go into a Time Lord, no one else would have the capability. It would be dangerous even for an untrained Gallifreyan," he rambled, staring at the now empty ark reactor.
"The weak mother, who let her daughter suffer because she was afraid
," she spoke the word 'afraid' as a curse, a word of deepest disgust and contempt.
It was then that he realized what the Primal was trying to tell him. This was the daughter of a Time Lord, not the daughter of a human, she would only have been a Gallifreyan, strong and amazing in her own right, except she was currently being filled with her mother's memories, the memories of a Time Lord. If she could survive, she would be a Time Lord in her own right, with all the same knowledge gained through the Academy and an untold lifetime of experience.
"Please, I can help, let me show her," he whispered, hoping that the Primal would trust him.
"And why should I trust you?"
"We're the last of our kind, it only benefits me for her to survive," he told her matter-of-factly.
She stared at him, stared into him, and then he felt her, slide into his mind, gentle and careful as could be. A ribbon of silk, the touch so soft, but deep, so terribly deep. That was no small feat.
"You are the Oncoming Storm, the Destroyer of Worlds," she said aloud, her voice echoing softly in his mind. "We are the Darkness in the Shadows. We are what drives one to take arms and do what is needed to save their loved ones, the world, the universe. We are a protector of the weak, and I see that so are you."
Almost immediately he found himself standing in a desert, the sky was dark, but the colors seemed a familiar red. A strong wind was rippling through the desert and he could feel the sand hitting him, each grain containing untold pain and horror, which he only just managed not to absorb through the strength of his own psychic shields.
"She does not wish to be found," the voice of the being the Primal spoke, and he found it embodied in the facade of another young woman, this one even more out of time and place than the girl whose mind they currently were in. "But I know where she hides, you will come with me."
They walked for hours, days, weeks, months, and years. Time passed and stood still. They existed on a plane that no others could occupy, the kind where a person could grow old and stay young forever. Eventually they came upon a house, a small thing pulled out of some American suburb, any
American suburb. The Primal pointed towards the door, but stopped at the front stoop.
When he climbed the front steps, he contemplated the decision between knocking and just entering. He'd always told people to just create a door in front of what they didn't want him to see, but he was afraid of what might happen if he didn't reach her. So close to not being alone, so far from reaching her. Thankfully the decision ended up not being one he needed to face, as he reached it, the door swung open and an older woman stand there staring at him.
"Who are you?" she asked, glaring at him. "You shouldn't be here."
"I'm the Doctor, I'm here to help," he offered up as sincerely as possible.
"You're a Time Lord," she observed, stepping aside, allowing him into the house.
"So are you."
"I am Mercy, weaver of the looms," she told him. "Are you here to help me? She's up there, trapping me in here with her. They never said that the arch would risk the fake personality taking over."
"She's not fake, she's as real as can be." Delicacy was needed here, he would have to be very careful.
"Well, yes, but she should've been absorbed." Anger, pain, fear. "This is my body, I need to live again, we've opened the watch, it's time."
"Except it isn't. You didn't open the watch, your daughter did."
"I don't have a daughter, I've never had children."
"You don't remember your time as a human do you?"
"No, but that's because she's up there not integrating properly."
"You have a daughter, a Gallifreyan daughter, and she opened the watch, not you."
Pain and fear and hurt. Screaming, from everywhere and nowhere.
"You died," a quiet voice spoke. "I found your body. You were still warm, but you were dead and I couldn’t save you. Mom, you died."
There she was, at the top of the stairs, the girl who'd appeared from the sky, the very last of the Gallifreyans.
"That's not possible, I did everything right."
"Course it's possible, chameleon arch makes you human, humans die."
"You had a brain tumor, they did surgery and you died of an aneurysm."
"Show her, this is your mind, you can show her, -- what's your name?" he asked, trying to find a way to reach her better.
Her eyes seemed to go cold, her body shifted, and he was immediately reminded of the manner the Primal held herself with.
"Slayer," she answered coldly.
"Alright, Slayer, show her, think about it, remember it. This is your mind, you control things," he told her, trying to keep himself as upbeat as possible.
The lighting changed almost immediately. Gone was the red sky, replaced by the single Earth sunlight, streaming in through the living room window, perfectly lighting the body laying on the couch. It was the same woman that stood between them, still as could be.
"That's not possible, it can't be, but I'm here," the memory of the deceased Time Lord shook its head, backing away from the living room.
"The only reason you're even here is that you died and I found your stupid watch," the petite blond started, holding head high. "And today, when I realized that the only way to save my sister, save the world, save the universe, save every single universe out there was to jump to my death off of a very tall tower, I wanted a part of my mother, Joyce Summers, who loved me and took care of me and never would have tried to kill me by trapping me in my own mind, I wanted something of my mom with me in my last moments."
He was once again in his own mind in the TARDIS before any time seemed to have passed. She still stood stalk still in front of him.
"Slayer?" he attempted, quietly.
"They're all dead, aren't they?" she asked, her voice her own, not that of the Primal.
"Yes, I'm sorry. I was the only one until now," he answered sadly.
"Chosen one kind of thing?"
"Not really, I blew the bomb."
"Ok." The word hung there, almost seeming to understand that there wasn't anything else to say. Finally a perky happy voice filled the room, "Well then, are you going to show me how cool all of space and time is, or are we just gonna stand here?"
"Oh, you're brilliant," he grinned, grabbing her hand and dragging her off to the console room.
Almost the exact moment they entered the console room, she had Jack lifted off the ground and was glaring.
"He's wrong, can I kill him?" the words almost sounded innocent.
"No. Doesn't matter, it wouldn't stick anyways, but we don't kill people, at least not on purpose and definitely not without giving them a choice first, and it still really can't be violent, that's not really ok, at least we should try to make sure it's not too violent," he rambled, trying to figure out how to explain his way to her. Obviously with a name like Slayer she had a learning curve ahead of her.
"Immortal?" she asked Jack, after she'd set him down again.
"Yeah, something like that. Super strong woman?" he asked in return, straightening himself out, a grin slipping its way onto his face.
"Yeah, something like that."
"Ok, this is probably a good time for you to drop me off at home, I've got my own team waiting on me, and you two really don't seem to need me around." He suggestively twitched his eyebrows at them, and the Doctor found himself both glaring and blushing at the same time.
"Brilliant idea, allon-zy!" the Doctor grinned finally, hitting what appeared to be random buttons and then pulling the lever to send the TARDIS into time and space.
"Lords, what did you do to this poor ship?" she asked, her eyes seeming to dart everywhere, as she ran to the console and started flipping switches. "You can't treat a Type 40 like this, they need a gentle touch if they're going to last."
Her ministrations led to the whirring sound disappearing and the ride becoming incredibly smooth.
"Haha, looks like the kid can teach you a thing or two," Jack grinned, patting the Doctor on the back, as they watched her petting and mumbling to the TARDIS, which was responding quite positively to the young time lady, every surface seeming to hum.
"Have you ever even taken a driving lesson?" she asked pointedly glaring at him, when he attempted to approach the console.
"Graduated with honors, more than you can say," he replied, his lips pursed and his eyebrows raised.
"And which regeneration are you on?" she lobbed back.
"Maybe I should leave you two to play for a while," Jack tentatively spoke. "How much longer till Cardiff?"
"Oh, we landed ages ago," she shrugged.
"Yeah, almost immediately after she started messing with things," the Doctor agreed.
"Messing with things? I fixed it, you had this poor ship running with the breaks on, why else would she make a noise like that? Of course everyone thinks it takes a while to time travel," she shot at him. Then to Jack added, "If he'd been doing it right, we would've been there the moment he pulled the lever."
"If I'd been doing it right? What's that supposed to mean?" he roared back.
"Wow, just a few hours and you're already like an old married couple," Jack laughed, earning glares from both of them. Throwing his hands in the air, he continued, "Alright, alright, I'll get out of here, leave you two love birds alone."
"Not if he was the last -"
"Not if she was the last -"
The words died in their throats, and the Doctor moved forwards, walking with Jack out of the TARDIS, while she busied herself with resetting all of his carefully set controls.
"Don't waste this Doctor," Jack said, as they stepped outside. "Me, I'm the only one of my kind, but you, after all these years, you get another chance."
"No, no, she's a child. On Gallifrey, she'd practically still be in the cradle," he shook his head and shuffled his feet.
"That girl's a warrior, not a child in the nursery, and if you treat her like one, you'll just push her away."
"Face of Boe," he muttered, walking back into the TARDIS, "can't be."
"What can't be?" a perky voice asked from the rafters.
"What are you doing up there?" he asked in return, surprised to find her perched in the TARDIS's choral like branches.
"Making myself at home," she grinned, deftly jumping from one pillar to the next.
"'Course you are," he replied, not quite certain about this new Time Lord running around his home.
"If you don't want me here, I can leave."
"And how would you do that?"
"With this," there, dangling from her hand was Jack's vortex manipulator. "Thought it might come in handy sometime."
"You're a thief, that's what you are," he suppressed the smile pushing its way onto his face.
"Takes one to know one," she grinned, patting the pillar she leaned against before jumping down, a knowing look on her face.
"And what would you know about that?"
"You told me, just now. You really need to use stronger walls," she shook her head.
"This is why you're still supposed to be in the classroom, not out in the world, no control over anything," he found himself snapping a bit. He hadn't for a moment thought that hearing another set of hearts beating would mean he'd have to play teacher to a brand new Time Lord. It hadn't crossed his mind that she could be anything but an adult, how else would she have survived? Instead she was a mix of adult experiences wedged into a child's body.
"Child? Really? That's what you're going with? A bit late for that game," she snapped, then, in a movement that was fast even to his eyes, her hand was on the side of his head he felt himself being dragged into her memories.
Scenes of her fighting for her life flashed around him, her terror, her strength. The sword lunging at her."And that's everything, no weapons, no friends, no hope. Take all that away, and what's left?"
"Me," she replied, catching the sword in her hands.
She was clinging to a younger girl, precariously high in the air."The hardest thing in this world... is to live in it. Be brave. Live. For me."
"You're walls are weak," she told him, dragging him startlingly fast back into the real world, the TARDIS. "You're out of practice."
"I have very good walls thank you," he snapped.
"Maybe back in the day before the war, but even back then, I guarantee you never came across someone as strong as I am. So next time you shout something, don't blame me for hearing you," she glared, brushing past him back down the TARDIS hallway.