Time slowed as the Handbots' sedative took effect. Amy's vision faded as she fell down, but she could still hear the TARDIS engines taking off. I wonder if I'll still be in existence when they inject me. Damn it, I hate him. Oh, but I did get to see my beautiful Rory one last time.
Amy woke up to the TARDIS engines cycling. Her face was numb from lying on the cold metal floor.
“Ugh, what happened?”
She rolled over, attempted to rise, and collapsed back. Not just her face, but half her body was numb. She was having trouble bringing things into focus, but she thought the TARDIS looked wrong. It was sparse, just metal walls and glass consoles.
“Doctor? Where are you? The last thing I remember was the handbots and...”
and you leaving me. You taking my Rory and young Amy and leaving me to die. You left me for 36 years and then you left me again.
“He always leaves. You think you're the best of mates, going to tear across all of time and space forever, but he always leaves you.”
It was a woman's voice. Amy squinted at the console and propped herself up with her good arm.
“Who are you? I'm warning you, I have a sword, er, somewhere. And a sonic probe!”
“Is that what this is?”
Amy heard the sound of sonicing.
“I thought it was just a cobbled together sonic screwdriver.”
“It is,” Amy muttered under her breath.
“As for your sword, I left it back on Apalapucia. Didn't really want a disoriented drugged woman running around with a big knife.”
Amy was getting feeling back in her other arm and managed to lever herself into sitting upright. The room spun for a moment,then came back in clearer focus. The TARDIS was empty and colorless. It was an octagonal room with a closed door in every other wall. The console looked small and sterile compared to the Doctor's, just uniform switches and harsh white lights. Standing behind it was a woman with reddish brown hair that was starting to gray. She wore a battered maroon leather jacket buttoned tightly, black slacks, and white trainers. She was staring intently at the console, flipping switches and occasionally waving Amy's sonic probe at it. Amy figured she was in her mid-40s.
“You drugged me?”
“No, those handbots did. They sedated you, as the Doctor took off, remember?”
Oh god, how I remember.
“They were going to inject me. And hold on a minute, the Doctor saved me, old me, I mean, young me. I shouldn't exist. How do I exist?”
“It'd be difficult to have two people from the same time-stream in a TARDIS without shorting out the paradox inhibitors, but two TARDIS with an Amy in each, far from each other in space and time, can maintain the paradox without a problem.”
Sparks popped from the panel beside her.
“Well, without too many problems.”
“So this is your TARDIS? Are you a Time Lord then?”
“He always said there weren't anymore Time Lords.”
“He's very dramatic like that.” She affected a haughty voice. “Last of the Time Lords, ooohhhhhoooo.”
Amy stifled a giggle.
“Yes, he was the last. Except for the Master, who ran from the war. And the Rani, who was hiding her presence on Earth. And all the other time-locked Time Lords, who almost escaped until he drove them back. And me. Part human. Part Time Lord.”
“So what, you're like his daughter then?”
“Ew, no! I'm a human-Time Lord metacrisis caused by interaction with regeneration energy. He also got a fully human clone out of it, but I think I got the sweeter part of that bargain.”
She set the sonic probe down on the console and walked over to Amy and offered her her hand.
“I'm Doctor Donna. Let's get you up. I think I have some nanogenes around here that will clean up the rest of that sedative in your bloodstream.”
“So, you've a TARDIS, yeah? How'd you manage that? And why's it so ugly?”
Amy and Donna stood at the console, sharing a cup of tea. The tea was from a thermos that Donna had in her purse, this TARDIS apparently not having a kitchen.
“It's a long story, but the short answer is grew it from a piece of the Doctor's TARDIS. Normally that takes thousands of years, but I'm brilliant, so it didn't. As for why it looks so boring, as near as I can tell this is the factory default setting. My first trip was to pick you up, and between that and maintaining the paradox of your existence the batteries are being a bit slow to recharge.”
Donna slapped the console.
“Don't worry though, eventually it'll be fueled up and we can customize it however we like!”
She leaned in conspiratorially.
“It even has a working chameleon circuit!”
“What, so it won't look like a phonebox?”
“Nope, not one bit!”
“Doesn't seem quite right not to be a big blue box.”
“Do you really want to open the doors every time and have that split second where you expect to see him waiting there again, like nothing had ever happened?”
“No. Never. No.”
“Then no blue boxes for us.”
“You know, I was ready to kill him when I regenerated and got my memory back. The Doctor, I mean.”
Donna and Amy stood on either side of the console, now a disconcerting shade of orange, twisting knobs in concert to adjust the height of the ceiling.
“I understand the impulse, but he'd just regenerate, wouldn't he?”
Donna shook her head.
“No, I had my time lord knowledge back, and he was drugged and bound. It would have been easy. But then he looked at me.”
Donna looked down.
“He looked so sorry. And I still would have done it, but he opened his mind to me. And I looked in and I saw everything that had happened since he locked me away.
“I saw his regeneration into the Doctor you know. After fighting with his nemesis and all the returning Time Lords I saw what it took to bring him low.”
“He died to save my grandfather. An 80-year-old man, but still worth giving his life for. And for all that I hated him and still hate him, for that I loved him more than ever.”
She looked up at Amy.
“And I saw him leave you. Over and over and over again. And I swore I would save you. I would save everyone he abandoned for being inconvenient to keep around, for being too hard or too painful to rescue, for being a reminder of his failure.”
She rubbed her temples where the Doctor had touched her as he locked away her memories.
“He isn't god. He's a stubborn old man and he makes mistakes. And if I have to spend the rest of my life following in his wake I will not let him abandon another Donna or Amy.”