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Rise From the Ashes

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Crystal knew it was him. It had been a few years, but she knew it was him. He was standing on the floor of Sparrow and Nightingales perusing the selection of books that she now helped to run while the owners were away. He was older she sensed, but unlike the last time, where she had sensed that he was near his last life. the fire within was burning bright again. He looked up suddenly and looked straight at her, she looked away quickly.

He caught the shop assistant looking at him a bit funny. He usually never liked coming back to an old spot, but just up the way he had met Sally Sparrow. A few years later he was nearly sure that he had visited again, but he only remembered as far as walking up to the local cafe before his memory got fuzzy. He picked up the copy of the book he was looking for, Jane Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice'. He never got his copy back from...back from who? He couldn’t remember. The sting of the memory which meant nothing to him now flashed in front of his eyes for a moment, before he was brought back to his senses by the distinct smell of sulphur.

"Sir, can I help you?" the shop assistant. "Ah, yes. I was wondering was this the only copy of 'Pride and Prejudice' that you had in stock?" he asked her. "What type of edition were you looking for Sir" she asked him. "It's Doctor. And I was wondering did you have anything in a hardback edition" he asked her. "Oh, I think we have a few in the back. Let me just check." Crystal told him. He felt it when she left his side, she was giving off a large amounts of energy, unfelt by humans, but something that only a Time Lord could pick up.

Crystal found the edition that he wanted, then scrambled around for a piece of paper and a pen. Wrote a quick note and placed it in at page one of the book before going back to him.

"Found it" she told him with a smile. He didn't respond only looked at her curiously. "Is everything ok Sir?" she asked him. "Hmm, oh yes. Yes of course. Ah, that looks to be the one" he told her. "Great, I'll just bring it to the till.." she replied.

A little later he was back on the TARDIS. The unopened edition of the book was left on the TARDIS console. He reached over and held it in his hand. He opened the book and a piece of paper fell to the floor. He picked it up and stared. The two letters he read were ones only his close friends knew about, something he never spoke of since Gallifrey:

ΘΣ (Theta Sigma)

He quickly put the coordinates of where he had just been back into the TARDIS. He was a bit off though, the TARDIS had landed just after dark. The shop was closed, but a light in the back was enough of an indication that the shop assistant was still inside.

He knocked on the door. No reply. He knocked again. The shop assistant that had served him earlier peered out. He motioned at her to come nearer. "I'm afraid sir we're closed. Come back tomorrow" she replied. "I need to talk to you about this" he replied gruffly holding up the note. She opened the door and let him in. "I suppose I need to give you an explanation" she told him.