Being submerged up to his elbows in a crack in the fabric of spacetime was an interesting feeling. Sort of fuzzy and there-not-there. Bands of hot, cold, temperate, and indescribable climates played across his arms as he crossed between universes. The crack was every crack, every moment of every possibility folded over like the invention of a schizophrenic origami artist.
Finally, deep in the heart of it, he felt something. So far into the impossible, so concentrated on keeping himself from dissolving into another state of being entirely, he couldn't possibly guess what it was. It was solid, and that was enough. He pulled mightily, bringing the object into his own reality.
As the object from the crack came free, he tumbled to the ground, going head over heels in a puff of dust. He bounced to his feet, cleaning his tweed jacket with brisk strokes, running his hand through his hair in a futile attempt to calm it.
"Doctor?" That was Amy, her voice oddly strained. "What on earth—"
"Ah, but it is most likely not from Earth," he replied, still absorbed in straightening his bowtie. "Do not be alarmed Amy, if it were hostile I doubt my limbs would still be intact."
"Doctor." Her tone was insistent, and so he glanced up.
Time Lords saw many strange things in his time, and as the eleventh incarnation of an extraordinarily well-traveled one, the Doctor had a very high tolerance for absurd thingamajiggers. But this particular thingamajigger threw him for a loop.
It was his tenth incarnation. Unmistakable, with his large brown eyes even wider than usual in shock, his equally untamed hair nearly standing on end. This was not what the Doctor was unprepared for. He had met his past self before.
But this was his past self completely naked, strapped to a chair. He recognized that chair—it was Joshua Naismith's, the one which had at different times been used to restrain the Doctor and the Master—but he had certainly never been devoid of clothes in it. Nor quite as . . . excited . . . as this version appeared to be.
Of course, the larger surprise was the Master himself, equally bare, seated in his past self's lap. That was a reality which, as far as the eleventh incarnation was concerned, had only occurred at the Academy and a few of his dreams—when he took the time to sleep, that was.
The Master, blond, lean, and unassumingly good-looking, quirked an eyebrow at him. "Well, this is unexpected," he drawled.
Amy chose this moment to speak up again. "Doctor, for god's sake, what is this?"
"Doctor? Well, that's a bit more interesting," the Master laughed. "And really, girl, you look a bit too mature to be an innocent." He stared pointedly at her rather short skirt.
She adjusted it self-consciously. "He promised us Rio," she grumbled. "Again."
At this point, the incarnation in the chair seemed to have had enough. He said something, which was entirely inaudible due to the ball gag in his mouth. The Master tutted softly and removed it, adjusting his position in the Doctor's lap just enough to elicit a moan. A fierce blush rose in the Time Lord's cheeks, and words spilled out as soon as he was free to talk.
"Listen, I'm not entirely sure what has happened here, but I apologize for anything and everything and I don't know if you're actually me in the future or past or some alternate timeline, but I have no explanation for this and as brilliant as I'm sure the technology you used was, could you put us back now and forget all about this? That would be ideal."
The eleventh Doctor, finally recovering a bit from the stunned surprise which had kept him immobilized and silent so far, coughed. "Yes, well, the only plausible explanation is that the crack crosses between alternate universes and so when I attempted to find some fragment of evidence in it, I was pulled toward the thing most similar to myself: my most recent incarnation."
"Hold up for just a moment." This was Amy again, who seemed to have recovered somewhat and now was eying the two naked Time Lords more than a bit lasciviously. "You mean that this was actually a possible outcome for you, Doctor?"
"Oh, well, you know, when every possibility is made real, there's really no limit on what happens, so the unorthodox becomes a matter of course—"
"Rassilon, would you stop dithering?" The Master rolled his eyes. "The Doctor has been in denial about us since the Academy, but what you see isn't exactly far-flung. Put us on the same TARDIS and he could only resist me for so long." As though to prove his point, he wrapped his arms around the tenth incarnation's neck and gave him a thorough kiss. The other Doctor turned beet red, unable to push him away due to the leather straps still tightly about him. When the Master pulled back, he was grinning.
Amy had turned to the eleventh Doctor and was giving him an incredulous look. "And here I was convinced you were asexual," she deadpanned.
Eleven shrugged, expression apologetic. "Sometimes I am."
"And let me tell you, those incarnations are even less fun than usual, impossible as that sounds."
"That's unfair," the tenth Doctor protested.
The Master turned to him, smiling slightly. He leaned forward, putting his lips beside the other Time Lord's ear.
"Do you need another whipping?" he whispered.
At this point, the last member of the thoroughly dysfunctional group regained his voice. "Oh God, the Doctor's kinky," Rory muttered, looking shell-shocked.
Ten blushed again, the Master simply grinned, Eleven stared determinedly at the ground, and Amy laughed. "This is better than I could have hoped," she giggled. "Like, chains and everything?"
The Master snorted. "Oh please, that's practically unoriginal."
"You know, I've always been interested—"
"AMY!" This was Rory and Eleven, their eyes wide with panic.
The redhead turned to them, hands planted firmly on her hips. Her chin went up defiantly and she raised her eyebrows at her fiance.
"Are you objecting?" she asked, her tone dangerous.
Rory swallowed hard. "Uh . . . erm . . . no. Not really."
"You would look good in leather," the Master remarked. "If the Doctor has good taste in anything, it's companions." He turned his gaze on Eleven. "It's certainly not clothing. Really? Tweed? And a bowtie?"
The Doctor straightened the offending article. "Bowties are cool," he insisted.
"Yes, well, I prefer you . . . less fully clothed. Speaking of which—" he faced Ten again, "—your next incarnation is rather attractive. What do you say we try snuff next?"
"NO," both Doctors replied, equally horrified expressions on their faces.
The most awkward of pauses followed. Finally Ten cleared his throat. "As fun as this has been, could you send us back now? A few more minutes and we might well bring about a paradox."
"And the keys to the chair are back there," the Master added, smiling wickedly.
"Yes, yes, of course," Eleven babbled. "Let's see, since I was drawn to something connected to myself, we can only assume that you would be drawn back to your universe, and a complicated space-time event would actually close the crack, which would serve our purpose well. So I should do a thing, I suppose."
"A thing?" This was the Master again, his lips curling in scorn. "Your vocabulary has degenerated, I see."
"Right, here goes," the Doctor continued, ignoring him. "Good luck." He gave the chair a shove, sending it tumbling back into the crack along with the two Time Lords. The anomaly snapped shut, the white light disappeared, and he turned back to Amy and Rory, dusting his hands with a look of satisfaction.
That look vanished when he saw the expression on Amy's face. "You're never going to live this down," she announced.
"But that was an alternate timeline!" he protested.
"Doesn't matter. It was you. And I need to get my comedy somewhere. As for you—" she turned to Rory, one eyebrow raised suggestively "—we have some new things to try."
He gulped, nodded, and followed her into the TARDIS, leaving Eleven looking bemused. The Doctor sighed.
"I never cease to be amazed," he mumbled.