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Back in Time for Tea

Chapter Text

1

There’s a small tea shop on the sandwiched between a boutique and a grocery store. It’s brick red with a bluebird roosting in the first ‘A’ of their sign which read ‘Per Aspera Ad Astra’, The inside is painted a soft, warm red and is decorating toe to tip with fairy lights that twinkle like the stars, there were only four people at the time when the blonde walked in.

“Oh, this’ll do fantastic! ” she announced, stumbling over herself slightly, “Early days…” she mumbled.

“Ma’am?” said a barista holding a box of lavender, regarding her with a friendly eye, “What can I get ‘cha?”

“Ooo!” she scanned the menu, completely forgetting her reason for being there, “Could I get a…they put that into tea? Ain’t that weird, aye?”

The barista laughed but seemed antsy to return to what she had been doing. The blonde stared at the menu for another minute before her mind reminded her what her purpose was, she gasped sharply, startling the barista who spilled a bit of the lavender.

 “Booking!” she remembered, she recomposed herself, “Do you offer booking for a party? Well not really a party, really it could be called an intervention. With party hats. No, no, no party hats that’s silly…he would enjoy it, though. Okay, we’ll put a pin in the party hats.”

The barista looked at her with a face that was half-exasperated/half-intrigued―a face the blonde was awfully used to. “Uh,” the barista began, “yes we do…how many?”

“Well,” the blonde laughed, “there’s an awful lot of things I still have to get in order. I have to pop a bubble universe, mess with four time machines, talk to a fish about a paradox, topple ten…wait, no…fifty governments, and send my wife a lovely reality pistol that technically could get me in trouble with the Shadow Proclamation. Fatal trouble. To be completely honest.” the blonde ran a hand through her dyed locks as she quickly listed her chores to the increasingly confused barista, “But, if everything goes to plan, about fifteen people.”

“...Okay. When?”

“One week.”

The barista’s eyes widened, “You’re gonna get all that done in one week?”  

“You’re right, losing my edge in my old age.”

The barista rolled her eyes subtly but she continued to schedule the party. “Is that all, ma’am?”

“One last thing.” she drummed her fingers on the table, “You and your barista friends need to be far, far away from here on that day. Paradox, not pretty when they go wrong.”

“Well, I-I’m sorry, ma’am but the staff…needs to be here.”

The blonde smirked, “Let’s make a deal.”

So, 20,000 dollars and three secrets of the universe later, she had gotten the entire staff to agree to not show up a week from now. The blonde happily headed towards the door waving goodbye to the group of people before the same barista, who was now wearing a necklace from a galaxy made completely from diamonds, stopped her,

“Wait, ma’am, we need a name for the party.”

The blonde smiled, “Put down: The Doctor, thirteenth.”

“The Doctor?”

“Yup!” she set one foot out the door, “One week!”

The blonde disappeared and the tea shop tried to return to usual business only for the blonde, the Doctor, to reappear in the shop behind them seemingly coming from the kitchen accompanied by an odd grating sound. The group jumped as she suddenly spoke,

“Nope, nope, changed my mind; take the pin out, it's a definite yes on the party hats.”  

Chapter Text

2

 

“Doctor, there’s nobody here.” Rose said finally from her seat after a few minutes of watching her friend, the Doctor, search the small tea shop. She glanced over to the Doctor who was standing on the other side of the shop and hadn’t seemed to hear her, the nineteen year old’s expression turned concerned at his obliviousness. Although, she had gotten kind of used to the Doctor rambling on or going completely silent for seemingly no reason, this was different. Ever since that Dalek fiasco in Utah, he had seemed either on edge to a point where Rose dropping a pen made him jump or so lost in thought that Rose could’ve sworn he had leaned against the TARDIS console for days without a second glance at her. “Doctor,” she said again, he finally looked at her, “there’s…there’s nobody here.”

“Right, right.” the Doctor replied, “That’s odd, innit?”

“This is probably the least odd thing I’ve seen this week.” Rose admitted, the Doctor chuckled.

“Fair point.” He slipped his sonic screwdriver out from his coat and began sonicking the entire shop top to bottom, “There’s no teleportation energy residue, nothing alien. Just…nothing.” He returned the sonic to his coat and joined Rose at the table. “But the message―” he reopened the message he had gotten on his psychic paper,  “―told us to go here. Monday, in June, in 2008.”

Rose raised an eyebrow, “Right day?”

“Yes”

“Right month?”

“Mmm…yes.”

“...Right century?”

“Rose.” he scoffed, a smile growing on his face.

She smiled as well, “What?”  

“I’ve been travelling since your ancestors were in diapers.”

“Alright…” she faked coughed, “Cardiff, 1869.”

He laughed, “Aw, shut it.”

Rose flashed her smile, a bit of tension lessening from seeing him laugh, “So, what’s the plan?”

He leaned back, “Wait until whoever sent this message gets here.”

“Do ya know who sent it?”

“Not a clue, it’s a friend though.”

“How do you know?”

He presented the message to Rose again, it read:

Hullo Doctor, Please meet here on Monday, June 9th,  2008.

x

He drew her attention to the ‘x’ signing off the letter, “Only friends end messages to me like that.”

“With a kiss?”

“Or a hug,” he took the message back, “depends on who.”

“Wonder why they sent us to this tea shop.” Rose pondered, she looked around, “It is rather pretty, very kitch.”

“Yeah.” the Doctor agreed, “It is. Wonder who wants us here.”

“I’ve been to this place before!” Bill noted as she approached the shop, “I used to go here on break.” she walked backwards to face her tutor-slash-friend-slash-space dad-slash-time and space guide who had brought both herself and Nardole to some random tea shop in 2008.

“Me too, only once though,” Nardole said, “the stuff they put in teas, I tell ya.”

“I think they’re rather good. Also, there’s this lady who works there called Laura; she’s got a nose ring and freckles. She gives me extra foam.”

“Awesome.” the Doctor replied.

“That wasn’t an innuendo.”

He raised his brows that peeked over his sunglasses, “Oh, good, I didn’t get it.”

The trio reached the doors and Bill noticed the duo who sat at one of the tables in the seemingly empty shop. One was a blonde woman with big brown eyes in an outfit that obviously wasn’t recent, old things were in fashion, she supposed. The other was a man with close cropped hair wearing a leather jacket who was facing away from Bill. They didn’t seem to be dating but merely waiting. All together―not threatening in the slightest, but why did Nardole stiffen at the sight of them.

“Oh, Doctor, Bill!” he announced loudly, he grabbed the Doctor’s arm, “How bouts we go to a Starbucks? They’re just about everywhere this year, right? Right.”

The Doctor slipped his arm out of Nardole’s weak grip and pushed into the tea shop followed by Bill; Nardole frowned and crossed his arms but walked into it too.

“Oi, you lot.” called the woman at the other table, “Nobody’s in, we’re just waiting for a friend.” she had a South London accent,

“So are we!” Bill said, looking to the Doctor. Her smile fell when she noticed the stoic, tense face he was pulling. He kept the face as he went to a chair, he adjusted his glasses before sitting without saying a word. The duo exchanged confused looks had what looked to be a quick, silent conversation before the man in the leather jacket turned to face them with a seemingly friendly look on his face,

“You three sure you’ve got the right place?”

“Not anymore.” the Doctor replied with a confused edge to his voice, something Bill rarely heard. Nardole pulled a not-so-subtle anxious face while he joined the Doctor at his table. Bill felt a bit weird still standing in the middle of the shop with the eyes of both groups on her,

Say anything! she thought, Anything!

“Bill!” she announced then immediately regretted, she could basically feel the Doctor scoff at her weak attempt to break the awkwardness, “I’m…my name’s Bill.”

The blonde girl laughed, “Rose.”  

I’m so gay , Bill thought for the tenth time that day. She sat next to the Doctor with a blush on her cheeks. She was so caught up in her own feelings that she failed to notice the Doctor and Nardole whispering furiously above her head.

“Am I at the other table?” the Doctor asked with both eyebrows at full attack mode. “And Rose Tyler?”

Nardole nodded, “Yes.” He looked to the other table where the past Doctor and Rose Tyler had carried on with their own conversation.

“How is this possible?”

“This has happened before, yes? Meeting yourself?”

The Doctor sighed, “Yes, it has, but these timelines don’t make sense. Nothing in any timeline has me meeting him.”

“None?”

“None.”

“Well,” Nardole shrugged, “I suppose we go now.”

He stood only to be immediately brought back down by the Doctor which garnered a strange look from Bill.

I feel like this is important., ” the Doctor spoke in a language only he; Nardole;  his wife, River; and seven colonists knew.

He was using his ‘Serious Time Lord’ voice, Nardole noted as he sat with his arms crossed. Bill looked between the both of them,

“Anything I should know?”

“No.” both the Doctor and Nardole said.

The Time Lord adjusted his blackout sunglasses as he looked at his past self and his past companion, the computer within his glasses confirmed what he couldn’t, it was definitely his ninth regeneration and Rose Marion Tyler. A slight nostalgic smile graced his face at the sound of Rose excitedly talking about outer space; she was always so bright.

“Whatcha lookin’ at?” Bill asked quietly.

“Nothing.”

“You’re being weird.”

“I’m always weird.”

She laughed, “Yeah, but weirder than usual.” she looked over to the couple, “Is it them?”

“What?”

“You heard me.”

“Oh! Them?” Bill nodded, the Doctor continued, “It’s nothing. The man looks like a U-Boat captain, that’s all.”

“So everything’s normal?”

“Everything’s normal.”

Bill believed him for just a moment, it’s not always hostile aliens or killer robots or really pretty water girls, sometimes it’s just something weird, nothing special, just weird. But then, in truly not-normal ( totally the Doctor) fashion, Bill was suddenly blinded by a bright light that exploded in the center of the shop. Next thing she knew everybody was yelling, the Doctor was standing, and Bill was surrounded with some of the prettiest girls she’s ever seen.

“Where are we!?” asked a redhead, her Scottish vibrato ringing. “Where’s the Doctor?”

“Right here.” said both the Doctor and the man the Doctor had described as a ‘U-boat captain’. They both looked at each other, the Doctor shrugging and the other man sighing,

“No.”

“Yeah.” the Doctor returned. “Long time, no see.” he smiled, “Rose Tyler! How are you?”

The blonde girl with the big eyes replied, “I’m…fine…” she raised an eyebrow, “Why did both of you say you’re the Doctor?”

“They aren’t the Doctor!” retorted an older redhead, “The Doctor’s this daft pipe-cleaner with ey―wait, did you say ‘Rose Tyler’?” she and a black woman in a uniform whipped their head around to face Rose, “Are you Rose Tyler?!”

“Yeah…” Rose’s face was red from the sudden attention of the room, “why?”

The two women who had questioned her exclaimed, “He’s been looking for you, the Doctor!”

Rose’s brow furrowed, she looked to the man besides her who was still staring down the Doctor, “But he’s right―”

“I thought you were dead!” exclaimed the woman in uniform.

The redhead interjected, “He’s always talking about you!”

“He said he lost you!”

“Oh, this is brilliant!”

“STOP!” Rose shouted, “ Why is the Doctor looking for me, what happened to me?!”

“Rose.” the Doctor said, the room’s attention turned to him, all confused on what exactly was happening. “Martha, Donna.”

“Why do you know our names?” the three women asked.

“I’m the Doctor.”

“No, you aren’t! ” the Scottish redhead said, she grabbed the hand of the gangly man besides her, “We travel with the Doctor, so if you two” she glared at both the Doctor and the U-Boat captain. Bill noticed a sly smile on the woman with hair larger than the sun behind her, “are tryin’ to pull somethin’, it won’t work. I know what the Doctor looked like.”

“But this is the Doctor!” Bill assured. “Doctor, what’s going on?”

“Yeah!” came a voice in the kitchen, a man emerged, wearing a dark purple overcoat and a dark purple bowtie, “I would much like to know myself.”

“Doctor!” exclaimed the redhead and the man.

“Amelia!? Rory!?” the man dressed in purple returned, his eyes wide, pushing through the crowd to embrace the two. They pulled apart, “How are you back!?”

“There was this teleport thing!” the man, Rory, explained, “We were home and we thought it was you but it just brought us here and―”

“Got you out of the ‘30s!”

Both Amelia’s and Rory’s expression turned into confusion rather than happiness, “No? 2012. Why would we be in the ‘30s?”

“The Angels in Manhattan, and the zappy, and Rory was…you don’t know what I’m talking about, do you?”

The duo shook their heads, the man coughed, wiping his eyes. “Don’t worry about it, I’m happy to see you two.”

“We’re happy to see you too, Doctor…” Amelia trailed off. She turned, her hostile expression returning, “These guys were pretending to be you, they teleported us here.”

“No, we didn’t.” the U-Boat captain said.

“You!” Bowtie exclaimed, his emotions changing in a split second, “Thought I’d never see you again and Rose Tyler! How are you!”

“Confused.”

“Same here.” said Amelia

“Me too.” added the older redhead.

“Yeah.” Bill confirmed.

“Oh, it’s like a birthday party, y’know if I ever remember when my birthday is I’d want it to be exactly like this well with the exception of you, sorry Leather but timelines and all that.” Bowtie rambled, throwing his hands around like a kid, “Oh, it’s like ‘This Is Your Life’. What are you lot doing here?”

“Who are you!?” snapped the woman in the uniform.

“The Doctor.” Bowtie replied. Most in the room groaned, including ‘Leather’ as the supposed Doctor put it. “Second in the room, I suppose.”

“Third.” Bill’s Doctor corrected, watching the room with the same amusement as the yet-to-be-introduced woman with the curls.

“Oh, hell. Are you next?” Bowtie asked, the Doctor nodded. “I didn’t want to be old!”

“Tough.”

“Sunglasses inside what are yo―Wait, no. How are you even here?”

“Spacey-wacey things.”

“Oh, please say we aren’t doing the fake words again.”

“When did we start?” Leather asked, leaning against the wall.

Bowtie snapped his fingers, “After you, Nine.”

“You’re not after me? Which are you two?”

“Eleventh.” Bowtie said.

“Twelfth or Fourteenth, depends.”

“But that’s impossible!” both Leather and Bowtie gasped, the Doctor shrugged.

“The question is,” the Doctor began, “where’s the Tenth?”

The bell above the door rang, everybody in the room turned to see a man with snow on his shoulders, wearing a long brown coat walk in. His face was red, as if he’d been crying, and his hair in disrepair.

“Doctor?” the older redhead and the woman in uniform asked, concern laced in their voice.

“Martha?” he gasped, his eyes softened“...Donna?”

“What’s wrong?” Martha asked, the same tone of voice as a mother consoling her child.

He sniffed and wiped his eyes, replacing his distraught look with a fake smile, “Nothing! Nothing’s wrong, but, uh, what are you two doing he―Rose.”

Again the attention went to Rose who shifted, “Yeah?”

“I thought you were with the metacrisis.”

“The meta-what-now?”

The man’s brows furrowed, “Bad Wolf Bay.”

“What’s that?”

His face fell, “Do you know who I am?”

“No…? Am I supposed to?”

“Not yet, I suppose.”

The silence in the room was deafening, Bowtie coughed to break it. “Ten.”

“What?” Coat lifted his head, his eyes widened as he finally looked around, “No.”

“Yeah.”

“Yup.”

“Yes.” came the voices of the three supposed Doctors.

“This shouldn’t be possible.”

Bill’s Doctor scoffed, “Yeah, we’ve already come to this conclusion, you’re a bit late to the party.”

“Which are you, now?”

“Twelfth, or Fourteenth, and yeah, yeah, that’s not possible.”

“And you, River Song.” Coat pointed at the curly haired woman, “You’re dead.”

“So are you.” she retorted, “You sure were a pretty boy, wasn’t he dear?” she said, looking to Bowtie, ignoring the sudden joy on Bill’s Doctor’s face.

“Eh,” Bowtie replied, “I don’t know.”

“Don’t you think you’ve let everyone be confused for long enough?” she asked.

Bowtie shrugged, sharing her same wicked smile, “Probably, but these are always so fun.”

“Do you know what’s going on?”

“Not a clue.”

Bill shouted, “Yeah! Same!”

“C’mon, let’s explain it.” Bill’s Doctor said, he pointed to a corner, “Ten, you start.”

Ten, who was about a foot away from where the Doctor was pointing, groaned, “Why me?”

“You love looking smart. Here’s your chance.”

“Fine, might as well.” he went to the center of the room, hopping up on top of the table. “Well, hello, everyone!”

The few that knew him returned, “Hi.”

“You’re probably confused, I know that because I’m awfully confused right now and I’m 31% of the people in here.”

“What do you mean?” Martha asked.

Coat, or Ten, as the Doctor called him, clicked his tongue, “Well, oh, uh―”

“We’re all the same person.” Leather, or Nine, interrupted, “You were stalling.”

A chorus of confusion and shouts filled the room.

“Fingers on lips!” Ten shouted, he mimed what he had said and slowly the room followed him, with the exclusion of the supposed Doctors. “Okay. Nine is right, we are all the same person. I’ll explain.” he insisted before the shouts could start again. “There’s this trick Time Lords use―”

“Regeneration.” Bowtie, or Eleven, said.

“Right. Basically, if I’m dying, I can…change. Completely and in totality. New everything, new new Doctor.”

“So,” Bill turned to her Doctor, or Twelve, “you die but don’t?”

Ten confirmed, “Correctamundo!”

Both Twelve and Eleven groaned, “We said we’d never use that word again.”

“We also said we wouldn’t wear bowties again.” he said, pointed to Eleven who retorted,

“They’re cool.”

“No, they are not!” the other Doctor’s objected.

Amelia butted in, “Wait, wait, no, stop. You were calling each other numbers, why were you doing that?”

“Observant, Amelia.” Eleven beamed.

“Amy.” she corrected.

“Well,” Eleven continued, “the numbers are our place in the line.”

“Of what line?” Donna quired, crossing her arms.

“Of Doctors.” Ten answered, he hopped down from the table. “I’m the Tenth Doctor.”

“Ninth Doctor.”

“Eleventh!”

“Twelfth.”

Rory stared incredulously, “There’s been twelve of you?” the Doctors nodded, “How many times can you do the Regeneration thing?”

Nine spoke, “Thirteen times, after that…”

“You’re dead.” Bill finished, “Forever.”

“Correct.”

She turned to her Doctor, “And you’re the Twelfth? You’ve only got one more go?”

“I’m the Fourteenth, Bill, technically.”

Bill marveled, “So, you’re supposed to be dead.” she lightly punched his arm, “Don’t die again!”

“I’ll try.”

“Do all these people know you?” she said, quietly while the other Doctors continued to talk.

“We used to travel.”

“What? All of them?”

“Mmhm…what?”

Bill whistled jokingly, “And I thought I liked girls.” Nardole who had previously been silence with his arm crossed, watching the situation unfold snickered.

“Shut up, both of you.”

Bill mimed zipping her lips and Nardole held up his hand in a ‘Scout’s Honor’.

“Introductions!” Eleven shouted, jumping. “We haven’t done introductions! Uh…Amelia, you start!”

“Okay, uh, I’m Amy Pond. Nobody really calls me Amelia except the Doctor…the Eleventh Doctor.” she specified. “This is my husband.”

“Rory Williams.”

“Pond.” both Amy and Eleven corrected.

He sighed, exasperated, “That isn’t how it―I’m Rory Pond.”  

“Name’s Donna. Noble.” she waved, missing the pained look that passed over Ten’s face.

Martha smiled, Bill thought she looked rather nice, “Martha Jones.”

“Rose Tyler.”

“Bill Potts.”

A minute of silence passed until Bill finally nudged Nardole,

“Ow!” he whined, rubbing his shoulder.

“He’s Nardole.” Twelve said.

“River Song.” River purred, smiling wickedly. Again, a smile crossed Twelve’s face, which didn’t go unnoticed this time, she strolled over, her heels clicking, “What? Happy to see me?”

Twelve bent over and kissed River’s hand, “You have no idea.”

River was caught slightly off-guard as was the rest of the room, who was suddenly very interested in River. Bill gasped, finally realizing why she was so familiar,

“You’re the woman in the picture, oh!”

“What picture?”

Bill pointed to Twelve, “In his office, he’s got this picture of you on his desk.”

“A picture…of me? Why?”

Twelve smirked, “Spoilers.”

A small cough interrupted the duo, all attention was brought to a small girl who had gone completely unnoticed until she spoke. She was dressed in a blue waitress uniform and had what Bill could only describe as an oxymoron of happiness on her face, “Clara Oswald.” she introduced, quietly. “I’m Clara Oswald.”

“Do we know you?” Twelve asked, an eyebrow lifted.

Clara looked like she wanted to say something to him, by the pained look on her face that Twelve didn't seem to notice, but instead said, “No. I-I work here. I didn’t know we were supposed to be out today.”

Eleven said, “This must be rather weird for you, eh?”

She shook her head, “I’ve had weirder, believe me.”

“You can go, if you want.” Ten said, head gesturing towards the door.

“No!” she exclaimed, “I mean, no, I don’t really have anything else to do today. I’ll hang out with you guys.”

“Cool!” Eleven beamed.

Ten challenged, “Are you sure?”

“Absolutely.”

Nine shrugged, “Welcome to the team, then.”

“Glad to be here.” she breathed, a weak smile on her face.

“So, am I!” a new voice exclaimed, bursting into the room with a woman dressed in Victorian garb and two men in tow.

“Jack!” exclaimed Ten.

“Mickey!” groaned Nine.

“Missy!” shouted Nardole with urgency.

The woman grinned, “Oh, so you’ve gotten all acquainted, then? Fantastic! I thought I’d take so long!

“You do seem to drag on when you’re talking to yourself.” the Victorian woman, Missy, said.

“Who are you?”

“The Doctor!” the woman exclaimed.

You could hear a pin drop, all of the companions turned to look at their respective Doctor who was frozen in shock. Suddenly, Twelve shouted, “Finally!”

“Right!?” The woman Doctor exclaimed, “Thirteen, or fifteen if you count some things, bodies and just now I’m a woman. Well, was I ever a man, that’s a good question.” she smiled, “Hullo, everybody! I’m Thirteen. This is Captain Jack Harkness, Mickey Smith, and Missy! Say Hi,”

“Hi…” Mickey said.

“Howdy.” the Captain smirked.

"Don't start!" Ten, Eleven, and Twelve snapped.

“Pleasure.” Missy put in, her eyes fixed on Ten with a devilish smile.

“We’re friends!” Thirteen continued, “Well, you’re my friends as well but they’re closest to me. Oh, this is absolutely fantastic, I hope you all know how hard it was to get all of you here, teleports and letters, ah! Took the whole day. It's quite hard to send a letter to a time machine, y'know.”

“It was you!” Martha accused, unsure of what to make of this Doctor.

“Mmhm!”

“Why?” the whole room asked.

Thirteen twirled about the room, “I’ve been awful lonely for the past few decades. Travelling alone, not good for me! You’d know about that, right Ten?”

Ten paled, “N-No, why would I.”

“Yes, you do! C’mon Pretty Boy, Water on Mars! Adelaide Brooke!” she puffed her chest out, “‘The laws of time are mine and they will obey me!’” she said, imitating Ten with a scary look on her face. Ten looked down, his eyebrows knitted together. “I remember that, Ten. That’s why you’re here.”

“You didn’t have to say that.” Ten said, his voice low.

“Oh, yes I did. Cards all out on the table. That’s why you’re all here. You!” she pointed to Nine, “You just saw the first Dalek since the Time War, I’m sorry but it’s not the last. Rose needs to know what happened in the Time War.”

Nine’s face fell, “B-But―”

“Bowtie!”

“Thirteen, please…”

“Amy and Rory are dead.” she said, Amy and Rory gaped, “You haven't accepted that yet. You aren’t saving people anymore. How long have you been alone?”

“They aren't…”

“How long?” she repeated sharply. 

“45 years.” Eleven admitted causing the Ponds to turn their shocked expressions towards him.

“How long has it been since you went around, saving people," she stood in front of Eleven looming over him even though she was a few inches shorter, "seeing the stars.”

“45 years.” Eleven said, his eyes down. 

Thirteen whipped around with an accusatory finger pointed at Twelve, “And you, Twelve, you’ve been blind for two weeks.”

“What!?” Bill shouted. “You’re still blind, I-I thought―”

Twelve shook his head, taking off his sunglasses, he stared blankly at Bill, “It didn’t work.” tears brimmed in Bill’s eyes, she grabbed Twelve and held him close.

“Why are you doing this!?” Ten barked.

Thirteen smiled without any happiness on her face, “I am nearly three thousand years old and I’m not sure how long I can hold on anymore. I just…” she pulled her hands down her face, shaking her head, “...I can’t keep pretending to be fine, I can't, and neither can you.”

The room was quiet yet again, companions looking at their Doctor's with either shock, confusion, or both. They all knew the Doctor hid things from them but...this was something else, what did Thirteen mean with 'I’m not sure how long I can hold on anymore'? They didn't want to find out, the companions concluded in their own private, internal conversations.

Thirteen sighed, “Okay, now that that’s done, we can start having fun. Welcome back to team TARDIS everyone,” she smiled, clapping her hands together, “I’m so happy to see you again. Oh, by the way,” she pulled a TARDIS blue party hat out of her pocket, strapping it on, “I found some!”

Chapter Text

3

 

Amy had quite a few words to say to the Doctor (the blonde one, Thirteen, the one Amy did not like), none of them particularly nice or ladylike but that’s what she deserved. Those words were halfway out of her mouth, blazing with Scottish fury, before her daughter lead her behind the counter along with the other companions and that Clara girl. She glanced back to the Doctors who were all silent, in a complete stalemate but looking ready to pounce at any moment, she offered one last smile to her Doctor who smiled back in return.

His smile was different, Amy noted.

“Okay,” River began, closing the door behind herself. She had taken them into a kitchen that smelled strongly of mint and chocolate. The others all stood in a circle, wearing a party hat, “this is quite the surprise.”

The room hummed in agreement.

“I just can’t get my head around this.” Rose said, taking off her pink and yellow hat to anxiously mess with her hair. “They’re all the Doctor, all my, er, our Doctor?”

Amy heard that waitress woman mumble under her breath, “Same software, different case.”

“I’ve heard about regeneration at work but it’s just weird to see how different they all are.” Martha said taking off her own ruddy red one, she seemed to be talking more to herself than to anybody else, “I would’ve never guessed that those other ones were the Doctor if I passed them on the street, especially the bowtie one, Eleven.”

Amy and Rory snorted, thinking of their Raggedy Doctor. “Really? I would have never guessed that Nine was the Doctor. Too punk rock.”

Rose cracked a smile, “C’mon! You can’t say mine is too punk rock when Twelve is there! The sunglasses, the coat, the hair!

“Oh, just you wait!” Bill added with a toothy grin, “He’ll be playing his electric soon so he doesn’t have to listen to any of us!” Nardole chuckled in response,

“‘Specially me.”

The room paused, “No…” Donna drawled, “Spaceman does not play guitar.”

“I have proof!” Bill hopped down from her seat on the counter, the companions gathered around Bill as she took out her phone. Rose’s eyes widened at the sight of it,

“What’s that?”

Bill raised an eyebrow, “...A phone?”

“That’s your phone?” Donna, Martha, and Rose chorused.

“Blimey, it’s big!” Donna exclaimed.

“Yeah,” Bill laughed, then paused, “sorry, this may be a weird question but, what year is it for you lot back home?”

“2005?” Rose said.

“2006.” Mickey added.

“2008.” Martha, Jack, and Donna said.  

“2012.” Amy said, pointing to herself, River, and Rory. “You?”

“2017.” Bill finished, all the companions exchanged looks. “You know…it’s weird, for some reason the fact that there’s gaps between all of us kind of makes this less awkward.”

The companions hummed with agreement, “It’s like when somebody breaks up with you,” Rose explained, “it hurts a lot less to see him years later with somebody else than it does when he just moves on in, like, a day.”

The Victorian woman, Missy, snickered, “So you’re all the exes of the Doctor?”

“...I guess we are.”

A slightly awkward lull fell over the room, Bill piped up, “The proof!”

The excitement returned with all of the occupants speaking in mumbled excitement to see Bill’s proof, Bill happily pressed play on the video that showed herself in a big room, a fancy office:

“Hello, mum!” Bill smiled, waving at the camera, “Hope you’re having fun in Berlin! I’m here with” she turned the phone to face Nardole who was sat eating crisps leaned against the TARDIS “Nardole, and I’m about to go finish some tutoring with the Doctor an―”

Interrupting Bill’s message for her mother was a guitar riff shaking the room, an amused grin split Bill’s face as she stood and ran to the source of the sound. She held the phone steady as she pushed open the room and let loose the loud chords that sounded suspiciously like Soft Cell’s ‘ Tainted Love’ . “Hey!” Bill shouted, “Heeeeeeyyyyy!” The Doctor stopped abruptly, turning to the door with his sunglasses hanging on the bridge of his nose and his black-and-white guitar hanging on his shoulders. “I’m tryin’ to send a video to my mum.”

“And?”

“Guitar’s loud.”

“Is it?” he replied, sarcasm dripping.

“Oh, shut up. Aren’t we supposed to be studying?”

“Who asks to study?” he raised his eyebrows, “Amateur.”

“Oh, you piece of sh―”

The video cut off and Bill was applauded by uproarious laughter from the others, even Clara who seemed to be a bit brighter after the video. Jack wiped tears from his eyes,

“Never thought I’d see Doc play the guitar, he always seemed like a more classical type of guy. Like piano and stuff like that.”

“They play.” Missy said, “Played all the time back in one of their curlier-haired bodies.”

Amy noticed River’s eyebrows perk, but nothing came of it

“He seems to have changed a bit, more―”

“Coordinated.” Amy adds, bluntly. “The Doctor, um, Eleven, I mean, could never play guitar.”

“Pretty Boy would break his hand.” Donna said, Martha agreed. They continued to swap stories of their own respective Doctor: Rose about her Doctor trying to get out of paying for chips (“I don’t think I can go to that store again, ever!”); Martha about her Doctor eating a pear for the first time (“First time I’d seen him properly angry.”); Rory happily telling the story of the Doctor crashing his bachelor party (“Made one of my mates give his sweater to this girl”); and Bill and Nardole taking turns talking about the time their Doctor broke into Bill’s foster mum’s house to get her for an adventure while making Nardole distract Bill’s mum (“Like, I have a cell phone and so does he!”).

The uproarious laughter from the group, even from Clara (who Amy had to admit was taking this very weird thing incredibly well), was suddenly interrupted from somebody outside the room shouting something, the laughter went silent.

Bill whispered under her breath, “Yikes…”

“Trouble in paradise.” Captain Jack said, “Five Doctors in the same room,” he clicked his tongue, “sounds like a good time.”

Martha shoved him playfully but keep a concerned look on her face, “They looked like they hated each other.”

“Well,” Rose began, “I wouldn’t be too pleased if I met myself five years ago.”

Others agreed, laughing at themselves. The light, warm feeling of the room was broken as the group listened carefully to the tense conversation happening, only bits and pieces were coherent through the wall.

“You don’t know!? ” Eleven snapped, an edge against his voice that made a chill run down Amy’s spine. More talking, completely too fast for anybody to understand.

“Shut up!” Twelve interrupted.

The Doctors talked over each other, some of them slipping into some musical language―obvious still insulting each other.

“It’s like listening to your parents fight, kinda.” Mickey squirmed, “This is just uncomfortable.”

River sighed, “They’re always like this whenever they meet themselves,” she rolled her eyes, “Had to drag Eleven off their Third self once before they killed each other.”

Missy groaned, “Tell me about it.”

The two women turned to face each other, there was something they understood about each other but Amy didn’t know what. She raised an eyebrow, “River, do you kno―”

“Hush!” Donna said, everybody paused looking to her. “They’ve stopped talking.”

The companions jumped as Thirteen swung the door open, “Are you lot okay?”

Amy noticed the expression change of the some of the other companions, they liked her just as much as Amy did. “We’re fine.” Amy snapped.

Thirteen frowned slightly, “I-I couldn’t hear any of you anymore, thought something may of happened.”

“We’re fine.” Amy repeated.

“Okay…” she shook her head and regained her positive demeanor,”We had a chat and decided we need to get to know each other a bit better.”

“Really? ‘Cos all we heard was a fat lot of shouting.” Donna cocked her head to the side.

A light blush appeared on Thirteen’s cheek, “Sorry.”

Bill, one of the few who seemed indifferent over Thirteen hopped off the counter where she had sat, “No problem, Doctor. Do you want us out there?”

Her smile brightened, “If you would be so kind, Ms. Potts.”

Following Thirteen’s orders, they filed out into the dining area. The tension so thick Amy felt as though she had to swim through it. She and Rory sat next to the real Doctor, Eleven,

“You okay?” she asked, he nodded. But his eyes followed River who sat next to Twelve along with Missy, Bill, and Nardole. She whispered something to Twelve who cracked a smile in return.

Thirteen sat alone at the front of the room, standing on a chair next to a flower vase Amy could’ve sworn wasn’t broken when she left, “So, um, hello again.” she looked nervous, the confidence she had when she called out the other Doctors gone, “You know when you’re a kid and the teacher has you all stand in a circle and introduce yourself to the class and it’s very awkward because you absolutely know those other people do not like you in the slightest?” She spoke fast in a Yorkshire accent, but nonetheless; mumbled yeses affirmed her statement, “Alrigh’, brill. We are trying very, awfully hard to avoid that so, any ideas?”

It was silent, a moment passed and Rose quietly lifted her hand in the air, Thirteen nodded in her direction. “Well, just an idea but, my friends and I used to play this game where you asked a person a question and they had to answer it truthfully or they took a shot. Like Truth or Dare, almost. It was daft and all but it was fun, so…”

“I like it!” Martha smiled, Rose reciprocated it, “I like that!”

Rose looked around, “Wouldn’t peg this place to sell alcohol, though.”

“There’s tea.” Clara said, speaking for the first time in a while, which drew eyes to her “Loads of it.”

Thirteen shot up, “That’ll work! Give me a mo’.” she dove into the kitchen. A minute later (surprising given the absolute ridiculous amount of tea in her hands) Thirteen returned carrying tea in one hand and cups in another. “Alright, let’s get started.” she said distributing tea to everyone.

“Shots with tea.” Clara chuckled, taking a sip, “Proper British.”

“Now, we just need someone to start!” Thirteen twirled around, reminding Amy of her Doctor. “How about…!” she stopped, a bright grin on her face, “Okay, you lot, any of you got a question for Ten?”  

Chapter Text

4

 

Ten paled, caught off guard  “Wh-Why me?”

Thirteen shrugged, “Because you were the person I chose, Drama Queen.”

“‘ Drama Queen’ ?” he repeated incredulously, sneering slightly.

She smiled, “C’mon, you gotta admit, accurate nickname.”

Ten looked around, pouting when he saw Eleven and Twelve’s looks of agreement, “Really? Drama Queen?”

Donna snickered, “Got him figured out, yeah.”

“Why am I Drama Queen?” he persisted. Twelve leaned over to pat Ten on his head, nearly knocking over a photo of the shop’s staff in the process,

“Because you’re the only one who’d react like this to being called Drama Queen.”  he explained, smirking.

“Oi!”

“Just let someone ask a question, Spaceman!” Donna ordered, crossing her arms. Martha noted a fleeting smile pass Ten’s face.

“Alright, alright.” Ten leaned back, “Shoot.”

Rose’s hand shot up, Ten flinched and his two successors inhaled sharply through their teeth, “Where am I?”

“Oi!” Thirteen interrupted as Ten took a huge gulp of tea, “Spoilers, Tyler.”

Rose’s eyebrows furrowed, “What does the universe implode if he tells me?”

“No, but knowing your own future is never a good idea―can’t have you off trying to prevent it.”

“Wait,” Amy said, nudging Eleven, “isn’t this just a big seeing-your-future-thing for you, Doctor? Shouldn’t this be a paradox or something?”

Eleven shrugged, “Probably.”

“This happens a lot really.” Twelve offered, “I run into myself all the time. Actually saw my fourth self at Tescos like a week ago.”

Bill straightened up, eyes shining, “You mean―oh my god, that man with that insane scarf? And all the curly hair?”  

“Teeth and curls, yeah.” Nine nodded.

Bill fell out, laughing and draping herself on Twelve’s side.

Thirteen, cracking a smile, waved her off, “Alrigh’, Potts, shut it.” she joked, “Let Rose ask another question.”

“Oh, um, okay, well…were you jokin’ when you said you’ve never been slapped?”

“No!” Ten and Nine exclaimed, “I’m 909 years old and Jackie Tyler was the first to ever slap me! Well, then came Donna.”

“Sometimes you just have to.” Donna defended.  

Amy snorted, “You got slapped by her mother?”

Eleven threw his hands about, “To be fair, I did technically “kidnap” her for a year.”

You WHAT?! ” shouted every companion other than Rose and Mickey.

“And got me put on the murder suspect list!” Mickey added, pointing an accusatory finger. Another shout of disbelief followed directed

River turned to Rose, “Rose, darling, what’s your mother’s name again?”

“Jackie.”

“Good on Jackie, I’ll need her number, we’ll have tea.”

Amy nodded, “Ooh, River, I’ll join too.”

Martha continued, “And me.”

“‘Jackie Tyler,” Jack clicked his tongue, “never got to meet her, sure we’d have fun. Count me in.”

This continued until everyone with the exception of the Doctors had signed up for River’s little field trip to congratulate Jackie Tyler on slapping them.

“I apologized! ” Nine defended, “And I meant to get her back in twelve hours, it was a mistake! I don’t kidnap people.”

Twelve raised his eyebrows, “Barbara and Ian.”

The other four Doctors inhaled sharply through their teeth, “Okay,” Ten said, “Can’t defend that one.”

“Do we even want to know?” Bill asked. Twelve shook his head.

“Wait,” Clara sat up in her chair, “Barbara and Ian Chesterton? That Barbara and Ian?”

Eleven smiled, “Yup! How’d you know?”

“I used to work at Coal Hill, they’re like the stuff of conspiracy theories for the kids. Apparently, they just disappeared some day with this one student and when they came back they were dating and different. ” she scoffed, “That was you ?”

“Hmhm.” Twelve nodded, “First people on my TARDIS: Barbara Wright, Ian Chesterton, and my granddaughter, Susan.”

Rose choked on her tea, “Granddaughter?!”

“Alrigh’, alrigh’, next question.” Thirteen instructed, “Ten, choose somebody.”

“River.” he said immediately. All eyes turned to her, River just smirked and crossed her legs.

“Yes, Pretty Boy?”

Ten and Donna tensed, sharing looks.

“Who are you?” Ten blurted out.

“You know who I am, darling.”

More eyebrows raised, Missy popped her head out from the other side of Twelve.

“Darling?” Donna repeated, she clicked her tongue, “Are you two…?”

River sat back, “For him, no. For us, very much so.” she grabbed Twelve’s hand, lacing her fingers in his. She paused when Twelve squeezed her hand, an indescribable emotion passing her face.

“What?” Rose’s head whipped around to stare at Nine, “You two are, what, dating?”

“Married actually.” River corrected. The shocked silence made Twelve crack a smile, Thirteen beamed at her wife.

Married!?”  Martha offered a shocked grin, “You two are married? Oh, my God, River Song, you are a legend .”

Jack snapped his fingers, “You got to him before me, damn!”

Mickey chuckled, “How was the wedding?”

“Oh!” River waved him off, “As traditional as it could be.”

“The universe was falling apart.” Twelve interjected.

“My mum and dad were there.” River quickly looked to Amy and Rory,

“Hello!” Rory said, putting his hand up, “W-We’re the parents.”

“Huh!?” Ten exclaimed, “What?!”

“Then after the wedding I shot him to death.” River finished with a smile.

Eleven sighed with a fake dreamy expression, “Remember it like it was yesterday.”

“You looked lovely, dear.” Thirteen smiled, River placed a melodramatic hand over her heart.

“I have three questions.” Nine said, “One: Universe Ending? Two: How in the hell are Amy and Rory your parents? And three, and a very big three: Shot to death??”

Eleven raised one finger, “One: A big thing involving my death and 5:02pm.”

Twelve raised two fingers, “Two: A very convoluted timeline I don’t really understand myself; River and I meet in the wrong order, but, in a nutshell, time-travel, the Silence, and Demon’s Run.”

Thirteen raised three, “And three: You’ll find out yourself.”

“You know…” Ten began, “sometimes I think I’ve seen the weirdest thing, the most nonsensical, impossible thing…but then this happens.”

“Ooh, Doctor,” Bill smiled, “just you wait! Living floorboards.”

Twelve nodded, “And Bill’s favorite group―Little Mix.”

“Doctor!” she shoved him, “They’re not my fav―”

“Whole playlist.”

“Shut up!”

“She’s sings them all the time.” Nardole butt in.

“Stop!”

“I can hear it in my sleep.” Missy added.

“This is bullying!” Bill shouted, trying to keep a stern face but breaking into a grin.

Nardole crossed his arms, “You can’t say I’m bullying you―you and the Doctor harass me. And Missy, too.”

“Shut up, Nardole.” Bill, Missy, and Twelve chorused.

“I like the other yous.” Nardole huffed.

“Oh, shut up, Nardole.” Thirteen said.

Nardole made a half-choking noise in response, looking around at the other companions and Doctors. Mickey chuckled,

“Been there, mate.”

“The Doctor’s your son-in-law…” Rose whispered, slowly catching up. “ The Doctor is your son-in-law!”

“I know.” Amy said, “I had a lot of wine then I was fine with it, honestly.”

“Can we…get to another question,” Rose asked, massaging her temples, “this is too much.”

“I actually have one.” River implored, legs crossed and hands still intertwined with Twelve’s.

Thirteen smiled, “Go ahead, sweetie.”

“Missy.” River craned her head to look at her, “I have a hunch on who you are; however, it’s very impossible seeing as you are incredibly dead.”

Everyone snapped to attention, curiosity peaked.

“Am I?” Missy questioned, “Somebody should’ve told me, tell me, River, who am I then?”

“The Doctor’s friend―his oldest friend.”

“And enemy, don’t forget that.”

“But it’s truly impossible for you to be here.” River raised an eyebrow, “Naismith mansion, 2009.”

Eleven sucked in a sharp breath, nearly choking. His eyes were suddenly both sharp and incredibly soft. “No…”

“Oof,” Missy smiled devilishly, “ The Nutty Professor caught on, let’s see how long it takes for the rest of ‘em, hey dear?” she nudged Twelve who’d began to fidget with his velvet coat. “Say my name, River, it’ll make this much faster.”

“No, no, no.” Nine put his hand up, “I really don’t understand, that’s new for me.”

“Oh, my God! You’ve gotten too easy with age, y’know! Back in the 70s you’d find me out in a second, no matter what…actually, wait, was it the 80s?” Nine and Ten stiffened, realization dawning. “Now, I’ve got to spell it out before it gets boring! Rassilon, fine, I’ll say it slow: I…am…the…Master…!”

A cup shattered, Twelve tentatively looked towards Martha who’s happy, peaceful expression had been replaced with tense horror mixed with anger. “Get out.” she demanded.

“Martha Jones! How’s the family?”

“Get out of here!” she repeated tersely.     

“We burned your body.” Ten said, sitting frozen. “ I burned your body.”

The Master, Missy, rolled her eyes, “C’mon, do I look like somebody who dies?”

“How’d you survive the War?” Nine queried, his mind visibly racing.

“How did you?”

“No, wait, sorry.” Donna interrupted, “Who exactly are you?

“A Time Lady, sweetheart! Straight from good ol’ Gallifrey, pride of the Prydon chapter.”

Twelve scoffed, Missy looked scandalized, “What!?”

“‘Pride of the Prydon chapter’ since when.”

She playfully swatted at him, “Since you ran away, stupid.”

“Okay, sure, but like I’m still number one.”

“We both know that’s the Rani.”

“Damn.” Twelve clicked his tongue, “Right.”

Martha suddenly stood and left the room followed by Jack, both spared one last spiteful look before shutting the door to the kitchen behind them. Amy’s eyebrows perked up, “What’s that about.”

“Oh, that,” Missy waved dismissively, “they’re just upset about what happened a few years ago.”

“And what was that?”

Ten finally snapped out of his trance, “She, er, he became Prime Minister kidnapped me and tortured Martha’s family and Jack for a year.”

“Prime Minister…?” Bill squeaked out.  

“Which one?” Amy asked, “‘Cause if you’re like the Doctor you can do that face thingy.” Her eyes widened, “Oh, my god, were you Cameron?”

“No, Saxon. Harold Saxon, landslide election. Not too shabby.”

Saxon!?” the companions (and the ever so quiet Clara Oswald) chroused, accompanied with scattered shouts of “I voted for you!”

“Like I said―not too shabby.”

“You would be his friend, eh?” Donna commented. “Now, it’s soundin’ like you hurt Martha and Jack so why are you so chummy with the Doctor still? He damn near burned a place down when I stubbed a toe on a desk so why do you get a pass?”

Because! He cares about me and I care about him―ever since Prydon, ever since he stole the Moon and the President’s wife, ever since he was a little girl!” she sat back smugly, “One of those was a lie, any guesses on which one?”

“It was his daughter, not his wife.” Clara said suddenly followed by a quick, muffled gasp.

“How’d you…know that?” Eleven asked, turning to her. Clara’s face was getting a bit pink and her eyes huge. “It’s Clara, right? Clara…why’s your voice familiar?”

“I just got one of those voices!” she explained quickly, her voice an octave higher, “You know, I’m always getting confused for somebody else!”

“You said you worked here, right?” Nine interrogated.

“Mmhm!”

“You’re wearing your uniform?” he gestured to Clara’s sky blue dress with her apron.

“...Yes…?”

Nine looked to Ten, “You, Drama Queen, hand me that picture.”

“I’m not―”

“Oi! Just do it.”

“I was pushy!” Ten commented, handing the picture besides him to Nine. He examined it then looked back to Clara, it was like watching a Tennis match―the onlookers’ eyes going back and forth, back and forth.

“Clara, this is a picture of the staff,” he flipped the photo around, showing the happy photo of the tea shops staff posing ridiculously, “you’re not in it―and their uniforms are green.” The silence seemed to disregard all that had been said before this revelation.

“You’ve been taking this a bit too well, Clara.” Ten added, “You’re in a room with six aliens―five of whom are the same person. People who’ve time travelled. A woman who’s older than her parents. And you have barely batted an eye. So, tell me, who are you?”

Clara sighed, “You wouldn’t believe me, Doctor―trust me.”

“Try me.” Eleven said.

“No, Doctor, really you wouldn’t―”

“Oswin.” Thirteen whispered under her breath, Clara froze like a deer in headlights. “Clara…Oswin...Oswald.”

Tears began in Clara’s huge eyes, “Doctor…?”

“Wait. Oswin?” Eleven said.

“Clara Oswin Oswald,” Thirteen slowly got off of the table she’d sat on, “you were a nanny for Angie and Artie then you taught at Coal Hill, I used to pick you up every Wednesday after school.” she walked towards Clara, “We saw a mummy on the Orient Express and went to the end of the universe together; you dated a P.E.―”

“Maths.”

“Maths teacher who was a soldier and we did not get along…blimey. We went to meet Jane Austen and you two…got along really well. You’ve got 101 places to see. Your favorite color is blue and you had a crush on Belle from Beauty and the Beast when you were seven.” she finally stopped, barely an inch away from Clara, “Sorry, Clara, head’s a bit weird with regeneration and all, you know how it is.”

“Oh, you know I do.”

“Give the girl a medal, no dinosaur this time!”

“Oh, Doctor!”

Clara happily embraced Thirteen, burying her head into her shoulder. The two of them stood hugging and laughing, leaving the rest in the dark.

“Um, ‘cuse me,” Rory began, “but what’s going on?”

“Very, very long story, Roranicus Pondicus. I did something very stupid―”

Amy snickered, “Not unusual.”  

“and it was a ton of confession dial, time travel, Gallifrey, Time Lords, end of the universe, an immortal named Me related things afterwards, complicated. Boring.” Thirteen said, still hugging Clara. “Oh! Clara, I’m a hugger now!”

“No, wait, sorry but” Ten raised a finger, sharing the same confused expression as Nine and Eleven. “did you say ‘Gallifrey’?”

Nine joined, “Followed by ‘Time Lords’?”

Eleven waved his hands about, “‘Confession dial’!?”

“Oh, yeah, I was stuck on Gallifrey for a bit―nothing important.” Thirteen explained dismissively.

“YOU WERE ON GALLIFREY!?” Nine, Ten, and Eleven as well as the other companions before Twelve shouted.

Thirteen looked confused, looking to Twelve as if the others had gone insane. She gasped softly, “Oh…we never said…” she playfully smacked herself on the forehead, “Gallifrey’s fine.”

HUH!????? Nine, Ten, and Eleven exclaimed, all making a series of noises that were probably meant to be words but didn’t quite make it.

“Meant to say earlier, sorry.”

Ten sighed, running his hands through his hair. He stopped and sat back, suddenly recovered from the bombshell. He smiled, “Hey, Thirteen?”

She brightened, finally letting go of Clara, “What?”

“Fuck off.”

 

 

Chapter Text

5

 

Thirteen gasped dramatically, placing an affected hand over her left heart―she wasn’t sure if she was more shocked that he’d said that or that he’d said it in Gallifreyan. The other Gallifreyans in the room snickered,

“You’re the rude one, Pretty Boy.” she replied in Gallifreyan, “There’s children in the room!”

“They can’t even understand us.” Ten defended

Thirteen rolled her eyes, blowing a raspberry.

“How old are you―five?” Twelve interjected.

“2, 153, thank you very much.”

Nine raised an eyebrow, “What, really?”   his successor nodded, “I’m 903, how the hell are you 2,153?”

“Timey-Wimey.” Thirteen explained.

Timey…what?”

Ten leaned over, “No idea where she gets that stuff.”

“Pardon me.” coughed Clara, “Something you’d like to share with the class?”

“No, ma’am.” Thirteen smiled, she abruptly frowned, “Oh, no…”

“What?”

“Oh, no…!”

“Doctor, what!?”

“Clara…I’m not that much taller than you now.” she frowned, “I used to be like…” she turned around,

“Twelve, stand up!”

Begrudgingly, he obliged. Thirteen stood next to him, “I use to be like this ” she gestured to Twelve’s height. “to you.”

“Thirteen, you’re still taller than her.” Rory implored.

“Haven’t been this short since my seventh body! I thought I was done with that.” she huffed, heading back to her seat. As she hopped up on the table she patted the seat besides her,

“You can seat here with me, Souffle Girl.”

Clara smiled without noticing the confused look on Eleven’s face deepen.

“Can we play something different?” Rose asked, rubbing her temples. “Like Truth or Dare or Never Have I Ever? This is givin’ me a headache.”

Mickey raised his hand, “I vote for Truth or Dare!”        

Amy joined him, “Me too. I need to get dirt on Rory, it’s the foundation of our marriage.”

“Damn, well,” Rory raised his hand as well, “‘til death do we part.”

Eleven flinched slightly.

Soon, everybody voted except the Doctors and Missy had voted.

“Wait,” Ten raised his hand, “what’s this…game, is it a game?”

“You don’t know what Truth or Dare is?” Donna asked incredulously.

Ten pointed at himself, “Timelord. Gallifreyan. Alien. Barely know what a ‘Terminator’ is. I’m just kinda touch and go.”

“Oh!” Bill smiled, happily slapping Twelve’s shoulder, “We just watched that movie. I love it.”

“It’s a cool film.” Twelve agreed.

“That still doesn’t tell me what a Truth or Dare is.” Ten said, after a brief explanation he seemed somewhere between intrigued and horrified. The other aliens looked the same, Ten smiled, “So are we playing, or what?”

Bill raised her hand, “Shouldn’t we get Martha and Jack before we play?”

The Doctors exchanged looks, all visibly unwilling to go talk to them. Finally, Twelve exhaled, “I’ll do it.”

Amy raised an eyebrow, “Do what, exactly?”

“Apologize.” Twelve got up carefully, holding onto the temple of his glasses. “Never really did.”

Missy stood besides him, looping her arm in his. Twelve turned to her giving her a confused expression, “You want me to be turn good. So, I’m coming with you.”

“Are you sure?”

“Oh, not at all, but let’s go before I change my mind, grandad. Also, I don’t want you walking into the wall―even though it’d be hilarious.”

Twelve smiled and the two Gallifreyans walked arm-in-arm, hand-in-hand into the kitchen.

Rose coughed, she tucked a lock of hair behind her ear, “Were you two like…a thing?” She asked sheepishly.

The Doctors sputtered, “What!? ‘Course not! We were never a…a—“

“I mean back in school, yeah totally.” Thirteen said suddenly, all the Doctors went red.

Amy snickered at their faces while River just shook her head, “Daft.” She whispered.

“Alright!” Eleven clapped loudly, “Truth or Dare!”



The anger in the room almost had a taste Twelve found. He wasn’t the best at recognizing emotions and all in this regeneration but he’d have to be even more blind to not realize that his two past companions were quite upset at the moment.

“Pinstripes didn’t want to talk to us himself, huh?” Jack huffed.

“I am him, just older.” Twelve said, leaning against what he assumed was a counter.

“Why’s she here?” Martha hissed, Missy sighed. He could hear her icy blue eyes roll,

“To apologize , silly!” She defended. Martha laughed any twinge of humor,

“You think a little ‘I’m sorry’ will make up for the fact that you tortured my family?”

Jack added, “And killed me, like, three hundred times!”

Missy faux-gasped, “Two hundred eighty-nine times, actually, you think too little of me, Harkness.”

“Missy…” Twelve warned, he gently squeezed her hand. She squeezed back, her finger tracing something on his skin. Slowly, he realized what she wrote: ‘Help’.

“She’s trying to apologize, Martha, Jack.”

“Well, she should try again. And why are you two holding hands? How long did it take you to forgive her, how long did it take until our friendship took a backseat, Twelve?” Martha spat.

“Martha, it hasn’t been the same time for me as it has for you.”

“Doesn’t matter, Twelve.”

“Martha, it’s been nearly five billion years.”

Both of them froze, Missy turned towards him,

“What do you mean?” She whispered.

Jack came closer, “He, our Doctor, Ten, he’s only 906…how has it been…”

“You lot weren’t in there,” Twelve pointed to the main room where he could hear them all laughing, “I found Gallifrey.”

“Whoa, really!?” Martha exclaimed, “W-Well, that’s great, right? You’ve got your people back, Twelve.” Her smile faded as she studied his face, “What happened?”

“I was trapped in this…Time-Lord version of a will.” He began to explain, “I teleported there for answers, my friend…well, Clara…she was killed. On my watch, under my protection, she died right in front of me.” Nobody could see his eyes behind his glasses but they knew they were trained on the ground, “I blamed this woman who was the Mayor—shouldn’t have, she didn’t intend on anybody to die. She just wanted me there, she took my TARDIS and just gave me co-ordinates and a teleporter. So I went.” There was a pause, Missy was glued to him, she muttered something under her breath. “In this place, like a castle, there was this thing chasing me. It never stopped, I could just slow it down and try to figure out why I was there. The only way I could stop it was to confess something, anything. But the thing just kept coming; no matter what. But soon I found my way out, back to this old place I used to go as a kid and I discovered that the Time-Lords had trapped me there.”

Jack pushed his hair back, “That couldn’t have been billions of years, Doctor. It—“

“I started to remember the whole thing once I was out. There were too many clues in there—just things written on the wall, my coat hanging on a chair, a…a portrait of Clara. I felt like somebody else was there, helping me. And none of the stars were right, they were shifted, about 4.7 billion years. See there was this wall of diamond over the gateway to Gallifrey, and by the time I got there it only took one good whack to break it. Somebody else had done all of the work for me. Soon it made more sense, there was never anybody else—just me. The teleport was a time loop, bringing me in over and over then killing me over and over then bringing in another me. Five billion years of dying. That’s how long it’s been for me.”

There was silence, both companions’ vision were blurred by tears while Missy began to feel a fury in her chest directed at any and every Time-Lord who did that to her best friend.

“Doctor…” Martha began, she rushed forwards enveloping the Time-Lord in a tight hug, “I’m so sorry.” Jack followed suit, pulling Twelve in tightly.

“Don’t be, Martha Jones. Five billion years gives you a lot of time to think.” He chuckled, “In this regeneration, I’ve been wondering if I’m a good person or not,”

“Shut up, Doctor, of course you are.”

“No, I’m not—I’ve done so much that you lot don’t even know about; Ten just became something that every regeneration of mine has feared, just for a moment, but he nearly burned a hole in reality, I was horrible to River as Eleven, and, of course, I never truly appreciated you two.” He pulled back, staring at both Martha and Jack, “Too blinded from losing Rose to realize that you two were the best people I could’ve had in my TARDIS.” He sighed, “So I’m making up for it in this regeneration. I’m to right as many wrongs as I can, Bill’s fantastic and so’s Nardole—never ever told him I said that—I’m trying to help Missy. I’m doing all of this to try and make up for all the lives I’ve ruined. So, I’m sorry, Martha Jones and Captain Jack Harkness.”

“I’m sorry, too.” Missy added. “Really.”

Martha and Jack shared a look, tears in both of their eyes. They slowly wrapped their arms around Twelve, Martha extended her arm out to Missy. The four of them stood in a group hug, silently.

“You two are complete rubbish at hugging.” Martha commented. They all laughed softly.

After awhile they all separated, “Are they playing Truth or Dare out there?” Jack asked, Twelve nodded causing Jack’s face to brighten, “Window of opportunity, Doctor! I’m about to kiss one of your former selves!” He bolted towards the door, “Any recommendations?”

“Eleventh.” Missy advised.

Jack saluted her, walking away.

“He never changes does he?” Martha chuckled.

“51st century guy.” Twelve shrugged, “C’mon, you two, I need to get some type of dirt on Bill other than Little Mix.”

 

Ten stiffened when everybody returned. Nobody looked upset but he noticed streaks in Martha’s makeup and Jack’s red face—had they been crying? The room seemed to pause as both Martha and Jack walked towards him, he stood, steeling himself for the argument of a lifetime. Instead, to his surprise, they both just hugged him.

“You’re a good person, Doctor.” Martha said softly before they both broke apart and returned to their seats. Confusion rattled around in his head.

“You two look like you’re taking prom pictures!” Rory laughed, Ten turned to see Twelve and Missy holding hands inside the doorway—looking like a proper couple. His mind went back to when they were kids causing another blush on his face.

“What would the theme be?” Amy began, “Magician and Mary Poppins?”

“Oi!” Both Missy and Twelve snickered.

“I knew I wasn’t the only person thinking he looked like a magician!” Donna exclaimed, “It’s the coat!”

“Nah,” Martha joined, “It’s the hair. All punk rock.”

“Punk rock magician space grandad.” Bill concluded, causing the room to explode with laughter.

“Are you lot gonna keep making fun of my outfit or are we gonna keep playing?” Twelve asked, sitting back besides Bill.

“Yeah, yeah.” Mickey said, “Umm…Missy!”

“Oh, joy.” She said with a flat expression.

“Truth or Dare?”

“Let’s go with Truth for now.”

“Tell us…a story when you and the Doctor were kids.”

“Ooooh….” the room whispered, Missy thought for a moment.

“Okay, so…how about the time we burned down Rani’s lab?”

Nine interjected, “Accidentally!”

Eleven added, “Mostly accidentally.”

Twelve joined, “Drax dropped the molotov. So, yeah, technically…accidentally.”

“I’ve never been more excited to hear a story.” River smiled, leaning forwards. “I’ve heard great things about the Deca, if one of you aren’t in jail by the end of the story then it’s too tame.”

Missy grinned devilishly, “Try all ten.”

“Wait, what’s the Deca?” Rose asked.

“My group of friends when I was younger, we were all in the same dorm and we tended to get into trouble.” Nine explained quickly.

“Okay, cool, something mild for once.” Rose sighed, “Well, get on with the story, Missy!”

“So, it started when the Doctor and I missed class…”

As Missy continued with the story, Thirteen found herself without the deep gaping hole in her chest that had plagued her for days. She laughed, gasped, interjected her own remembrance of the story; she was really, properly happy. A smile graced her face, she could surely get used to this.

Chapter Text

6

 

The game had somewhat deteriorated as the afternoon slowly turned to night, no longer a game of ‘Truth or Dare’ but just a group of friends swapping stories. Rory had learned that Rose had a bronze in gymnastics, Bill was in love with a puddle, and the Doctor was barred for three or seven planets because of some antics their eighth regeneration had gotten up to. The whole experience had taken him back to when he was a kid, sharing what he’d done over the weekend with Amy and Mels (aka his daughter, weird, right?).

Speaking of his daughter, she was finally at the end of the retelling of some escapade she’d embarked on, “...and eventually I put the gun down, of course, Cleo’s charm, pretty face. Kept the handcuffs, though...those we used later.” inside Rory cringed, he knew that his daughter was 200 or so years old but he’d frankly rather die (again) than hear about her intimate life. Amy looked the same, pulling a face,

“Melody.” she grumbled.

The others looked shell-shocked, “So, let me get this straight,” Donna began, rubbing her temples, “you broke into Cleopatra’s palace…held her at gunpoint…and then you shagged?”   

“Missing a few key points but yes.”

“You would be his…her…their wife.”

The Doctors mumbled in response, all finding their own way of avoiding eye contact.

“Do you have any normal parts of your life, Doctor?” Martha joked, “Like anything?  

“Yeah,” Nine sipped his tea, “‘course.”

“No way,” Mickey insisted, “your entire family are probably space heroes.” Almost like a reflex the Doctors and Missy snorted, “What?”

“My family was…” Ten began, wide-eyed with a slightly annoyed look, “well, they weren’t—“

“They wouldn’t like me now.” Eleven finished.

Twelve scoffed, “They didn’t like us then.”

Donna furrowed her brows, she knew all too well about family hating you. The Doctor had always been so supportive of her and she never really questioned it; guess he’d been there too.

“Do you think…” Nine whispered, “since Gallifrey apparently is fine then…

“Then maybe they’re still out there?” Twelve guessed. “Yes, I’d suppose so.”

Eleven crossed his arms, “You didn’t check?!”  

“Busy.” Thirteen excused.

“Besides, did you really think they’d want to see us?”

Ten lifted an eyebrow, “Us or Missy?”

“And.” Missy corrected.

“Okay…” Mickey drawled, clearly surprised with what he’d gotten “More The Real World than The Avengers .”

“My mum just thinks I’m straight.” Bill said. “Yours…is worse, I’ll give you that.”

“My mum was fantastic!” Each Doctor gasped.

The quiet curiosity in the room elevated, the companions were happy enough to get vague, sort of info about the Doctor’s family but to actually hear about their mum was a whole other story. Even if their family apparently wasn’t, their mother had to have been the most badass Time-Lady in the galaxy.

“She was the best, my mum, Pen―”

An alarm interrupted Eleven, he fished around in his pocket and pulled out his wallet of psychic paper. His expression changed slightly, something akin to concern and confusion, he looked up sharing a look with the others Doctors who all shared the same expression.

“Are you okay?” Amy asked, “Doctor…?”

“I’m fine!” he shut the wallet, he stood, “I parked my TARDIS in the alley, I’m just gonna…” he inched towards the exit, “move it…be back before you can say ‘where’s he gone to now?’.” he slipped out, his coat billowing in the last night breeze.

“That was strange.” Rose commented.

Martha nudged Ten, “Do you know what that was?”

“Uh…nope.”

“Doctor…”

“Martha…” he mimicked.

Amy, Rory, and River stood, Amy stretched, “I don’t know what he got but I do know he’s about to leave.”

Clara groaned, “He did that to you too?”

“All the time. Well, you lot, get up! We’ve got maybe two minutes to catch him.”

The companions stood, reluctantly joined by the Doctors, the entire group chased after Eleven (looking too much like the Scooby-Doo gang) until they reached the wonderful, bluest blue, ‘borrowed’, astonishingly old and brand new, space-time machine―the TARDIS.

“The blue’s different.” Jack commented.

“We don’t have time!” River said, snapping her fingers causing the doors to swing open.

“Whoa!” Nine marveled, “Since when did she do that?!”

River rolled her eyes, “You really are oblivious.”

The gang rushed into the TARDIS, taking a second to take in the new desktop.

“He really is a five-year-old.” Ten whispered, flicking something that stuck out of the console, “How can he focus in here?”

Thirteen shrugged, “Clara says I have Attention...uh…”

“Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.” Clara finished, “I used to work with high schoolers, I’m used to it.”

Donna leaned against the railing, pulling a tweed coat off the hook, “Where’s Eleven?”

“They’re probably avoiding us.” River said as Amy asked Donna if she could take the coat off her hands. “They’re quite good at that.”

“Under the console.” Thirteen informed, she was proven right by a loud groan emitting from below them.

“This is why I hate having myself on board!” Eleven shouted, stomping upstairs with cords in his hands, he leaned in towards Thirteen, “I never know when to shut up .”

Thirteen, unbothered, pointed at the cords, “Are you about to do something stupid?”

“When isn’t he?” Ten sighed.

Eleven tried to hide the cords behind his back, “No!”

“If I’m right,” Nine said, “and I often am, I’d say you’re trying to break down a wall in the universe.”

“Well you’re wrong…I’m trying to shatter a wall in the universe.”

“Mind telling us why?” Ten asked.

Eleven dropped the cords, picked up a singular deep blue wire and inserted in into the console, the action was accompanied by a shower of sparks. “You two,” he said, pointing at Nine and Ten, “you remember saving Gallifrey. It’s almost completely faded but it’s there, in the back of your mind. We just thought it was something we made up but it’s true so tell me, what did we do to freeze it?”

“I don’t remember anything.” Nine admitted, obviously uncomfortable with the constant mention of Gallifrey.

Ten walked closer to Eleven, “Why can’t we just ask Grumpy?”

“Oi!” Twelve snapped.

Eleven threw his hands about, “Because, this would be a lot easier if we all remember.”

“What will?” Nine questioned, “What did that message on the psychic paper say?”

“C’mon, Sandshoes!” Eleven pleaded, “Oh! I called you that, when we did it, I called you Sandshoes.”

“They’re not Sandshoes!”

“And you said that! C’mon, what happened next?”

“Well, how should I know!” Ten exclaimed, “I’d just snogged a clone of Queen Elizabeth and Clara was pretending to be a witch, a lot of stuff was going on…” his eyebrows shot up, “Oh…!”

“Remember now?”

“Oh, yes!” he grinned, “Whatta bout you, Leather?”

“Not a thing.” Nine rolled his eyes.

Twelve coughed, “...Calculation…” he coughed again.

“Oh, oh!” Eleven jumped up and down, “Check your screwdriver! There should be a calculation, it’s been running since we left home and you have no idea why we started it.”

Nine checked his screwdriver and by his expression change, Eleven was right. “And?”

“Why did we start it?”

“We have to escape the London Tower.” Nine replied immediately.

“Gotcha!” Eleven twirled around.

Thirteen beamed, “All on the same page then?”

“It’s absolutely fantastic watching them all together,” Martha whispered, catching the companions interest.

“Like a box of puppies.” Bill added.

“A box of genius puppies.” Rory said.

“Amy!” Eleven shouted, “Hold the button that does that thing down!”

“Spectral stabilizer.” River clarified, “Purple, has a light on it.”

Amy followed the instructions, “Why am I holding it?”

“Because we’re cross out own timeline.” Eleven happily threw a lever down, “Five times over!”

Nardole furrowed his brow, “That’s insane.”

“Says you.” Ten said with a manic grin.

“Well can we at least know why?” Nardole asked, “I’d prefer to know why I’m dying if I have to.”

Twelve slipped past him, carrying a box of gold cables, “Just a tick.”

The Doctors zipped around the console; throwing levers, pressing buttons, and talking faster than the speed of light. The companions had been roped in, ordered by their respective Doctor to hold something, press something, jump up and down. For the first time in a while, the type-40 TARDIS belonging to a certain renegade Time-Lord had a proper crew..

“Alright!” Eleven shouted suddenly, stepping back. Everybody stopped, “Give her a couple hours, she’s gonna need time to sort out all the paradoxes. So, everybody get to bed, I think I saved everybody’s bedrooms and she probably added the others so...goodnight.”

“Eleven, where are we going?” Donna questioned. He tossed her his psychic paper, she opened this, “I don’t understand this.”

“That’s right!” he grabbed the wallet back, “‘Cause that’s Old High Gallifreyan, a language completely lost in time. Well, ‘cept me. Old High Gallifreyan and co-ordinates.”

“So, a Time-Lord sent this?” Rose asked, tying her hair back. Eleven nodded. “Do you know which one?”

“Of course I do.” he fidgeted, “Family.”

“Family!?” echoed the group.

“Yep.”

Nine stiffened, “Bowtie. What does it say?”

Eleven took a deep breath and pushed back his hair, for a moment he looked his age. He looked down at the wallet, “‘Please help.’” he read, “‘Penelope Gate’s youngest son is missing.”

Chapter Text

7

 

Who’s Penelope Gate?

The question was right on the tip of Martha tongue but was cut off by Ten suddenly shoving her and the others out the console room.

“Goodnight! See you lot in the morning.” he said with a fake, plastered on smile. Before anybody could get a word in the copper doors slid close leaving Missy and the Doctors in the console room and the companions kicked out into the halls.

“Alright, River,” Donna said immediately, “Who’s Penelope Gate?”

River began walking down the hall, “How should I know?”

Mickey lifted an eyebrow, “You’re their wife.”

River paused, she turned around, subtle pain in her expression, “Yes, I’m their wife.” she looked down, “That doesn’t mean they trust me.”

An awkward pause hovered over their heads, something in Martha’s stomach twisted. She could relate; the Doctor was something complex, something wonderful, something awful. Of course, she was over her more-than-small crush on her Doctor but she’d never forget how it felt to think he loved her.

“I know where to look.” Clara said, “If we want answers.”

“Where?” asked the group.

Clara motioned for them to walk deeper into the hall, they walked in silence until they reached a door with ‘Clara Oswin Oswald’ written on it in neat lettering. She opened it and invited them to join her inside.

Clara’s room was cozy, with burgundy walls and hardwood floors. A bookcase filled with Jane Austen and Emily Dickinson; a comfy looking bed made neatly and piled high with fuzzy pillows; behind it, a pink-purple-blue flag tacked up with pushpins. Martha’s eyes surveyed the room landing on the dresser covered in sticky notes with three framed photos on top. One was of Clara and Eleven, both dressed quite nicely, smiling and holding cocktails on what looked like the Moon. Another was Clara and Twelve; neither had taken the picture, obvious from the candid nature, but they seemed locked in conversation, eyes sharp and dangerous. The last again featured Clara but, instead of one of the Doctors, she was with a young, handsome, black man who was planting a loving kiss on her cheek― a small ring, a flower, and a note reading ‘I’m sorry’ was sat beneath it.

“His name was Danny.” Clara whispered, appearing behind Martha. “Danny Pink.”

Martha jumped slightly, “Boyfriend?”

“Yeah.”

“What happened?”

“Missy killed him.”

Martha whipped around, “What!?”

“Mhm,” Clara’s eyes were misty, “ran him over. I was on the phone, couldn’t even do anything about it but that’s how it is sometimes. All you can do is watch.”

“That’s not how the Doctor works, though. Did the Doctor―”

“Did he do anything about it? Oh, yeah, he did everything he could do all it took was me betraying him. I’ve only met your Doctor once but the difference between him and my Doctor would make your head spin.” Clara sighed, “I’m too much like him, even in death.”

“Even in…?”

Clara offered Martha her wrist, “You’re a doctor, right? A real, proper one?”

Martha took her wrist, “Yes, I am. Are you sick, are you…” she froze, her fingers pressed against Clara’s skin―no pulse.

“A little pass sick.” Clara joked, taking her wrist back.

“But…how…?”

Clara turned her back, “Told you, I’m too much like him.”

Martha, reeling, seemed fixed to the spot. She really had to know―what the hell had the Doctor been up to. Twelve had mentioned Ten, her Doctor, becoming something terrible; what if that was the starting point? What if she could fix whatever is going on with her Doctor and stop him from becoming like Eleven and Twelve. Her gaze fell on Mickey, Jack, Rose, and Donna―they knew him, they had to do something.

“Okay! You lot!” Clara clapped her hands, leaping onto the bed. “We have to be quiet, they could hear us.”

“You said you know where to find out who Penelope Gate is.” Rory recalled, “Is it here?”

“No, it’s down the hall, two lefts, and a right.”

“So, why are we here?”

Clara folded her fingers together, “Because, the TARDIS would let them know we were there before we could do anything.”

Rose sat in a chair nestled in the corner, “How d’ya know that?”

“Well, back when I travelled with Eleven I sort of stumbled upon a book recapping the entirety of the Time War.” the entire room sucked in a breath, “Yeah, and said book happened to have the Doctor’s name.”

“His name?” echoed Bill, eyes shining. She really is a delightful person , Martha thought. “What is is?”

“No idea. He wiped my memory the moment he could, well, he had to because of this thing happening on the TARDIS.”

A groan followed, “God,” Jack mumbled, “you’d think his name would split the universe.”

A slight sad smile crossed Clara’s face, she quickly regained composure, “I only remember the book because I wrote it down, but the Doctor’s clever, he knows that I’d try to go back to read it again and so,” she threw her hands up, “alarm.”

“What can we do then?” Amy asked.

Clara held up a finger, then knelt down to slip a notebook from under her pillows. She flipped open the last few pages, “The alarm shuts off around four a.m., since he doesn’t really sleep he used to go out for extra adventures while I slept. He doesn’t leave it on because he doesn’t think there’s a reason to. Found this out by accident, trial and error type of work. We only have fifteen minutes but I think it’s enough time to at least get some clue on this Penelope Gate.” She closed the book, throwing it to the side, “So, get to sleep, meet back here at four. Good?”

“Wow…” River whistled, “I can see why he liked you.”

Clara blushed slightly, with a light pink on her cheeks she concluded with, “Alright, team, see you in the morning!” 


 

It didn’t take long for Martha to find her room but she was still waiting to fall asleep. All of the sudden she was just drowning in worry; Twelve had said that he was making up for thing he’d done but he never said what he’d done. Sure, her Doctor was harsh sometimes but what if the other Doctors were 10x worse. It really hurt her to say but she just doesn’t know what the Doctor was capable of. She’d always seen him as some friendly space kid helping people and saving planets but there were moments when she travelled with him, moments when the gleam in his eyes was just too manic and she was the only thing that seemed to be able to stop him. Thirteen had said that Eleven had been without a companion for forty-something years. He had nobody there to stop him for forty year―what the hell did he get up to?

The Master, Missy, was (is, she corrected, still with an edge of anger) their best friend so they had to have had something in common. In the story Missy had told them the Doctor as a kid was far too compliant to set a building ablaze, he had insisted. What if that was what he was like alone, just some kid who wants to set everything on fire?

Gallifrey , she whispered. But no, they had saved it. She clenched her hand, Thirteen said that they’d done something stupid on Gallifrey, what if they had become that arsonist kid again? The effects of being back home.

Martha let out a long sigh. She needed to help the Doctor. Save them from becoming the thing Twelve was making up for. Someway or another.


 

She wasn’t sure when she’d fallen asleep but she was suddenly awoken by the alarm besides her. Groggily, she tilted the clock to face her―3:45, it read. Martha sat up and slipped her feet into her slippers she’d gotten from some alien planet (they were fuzzy, blue, and unusually cozy), it was very nice to be back on the TARDIS, she’d forgotten how fantastic her bed was.

Gingerly, she cracked open her door and slipped out. Donna, doing the same, smiled with such excitement that Martha couldn’t help but return it.

“Are you ready?” Donna whispered as she tied her hair up.

“Always.” Martha replied.

The duo crept down the hall, soon joined by Rose, Amy, and Rory. The latter pair looked like they hadn’t slept at all, red rimming their eyes and their hair disheveled. Their hands, however, were intertwined.

“Clara’s room’s down there, yeah?” Rose asked, Martha nodded. Rose glanced at her, something obviously on her mind but nothing coming out of her mouth. “Okay.” she replied, it wasn’t what she was thinking about.

When the reached Clara’s room the door was cracked open; soft, orange tinted light flooded out from the crack and bathed the whole hallway once Donna pushed it all the way open.

Clara was lying on her side, head resting on the keyboard of what looked like a laptop.

“Wow…” Rose marvelled, “that’s really how laptops look in ten years? That’s amazing!”

“Everythin’ gettin’ bigger” Donna commented, “Did you see Bill’s phone?”

Rose smiled, “I hope I have one…” her face fell, “wherever I am in ten years…”  

Martha inched closer to Clara, catching a glimpse of what she was doing. The desktop was a picture of herself and Danny, snuggled up on the couch with their fingers locked together and a video was in a window was paused on what looked like Eleven’s face covered in glitter.  

Reliving old memories, Martha guessed.

“Oh, we’re late.” Martha heard Bill whisper from behind her.

“Don’t worry,” Donna assured, “Clara’s asleep.”

Mickey stumbled in shortly afterwards, “I had to sleep in the cupboard.” he hissed, straightening his back out, “I never travelled with him…well, other than the one time but―nevermind, anyway, cupboard. Why’s he got so many cricket bats?”

“They never fully clean up after a regeneration,” River said, appearing behind Mickey and closing the door, “I bet you can still find a recorder or a pocket watch in his bedroom.”

“Where is his room?” Rose asked.

“Where I just came from.” River smirked.

Rory and Amy grimaced.

“It’s almost four,” Martha noted, checking her watch, “shouldn’t we wake Clara?”

Amy raised her hand, “On it.”

“Wait, Amy,” Rory grabbed her hand back down, “not how you wake me up.”

Amy blew a raspberry, “C’mon, Williams, I don’t even have a glass of water. I’m just gonna…” she gently patted Clara on her head,

“Hey, Oswald, wakey-wakey.” she didn’t say it in a mothering way but more of how Martha’s old uni flatmate would’ve said it.

Clara stirred, her eyes slowly opening, “...Ashildr?”

“It’s Amy.”

She shot up, “Oh! Damn! What time is it?!”

“We have time! We have time! Don’t worry!”

Clara flung herself out of bed, pushing down her wild, shoulder length hair, “It’s four, c’mon!”

The team raced out of Clara’s room, they paused―the walls weren’t smooth metal with deep green lights like they had been just a moment ago but textured and drowned in light blue  

“Whoa!” Bill exclaimed, “It’s like our TARDIS, Nardole!”

“She’s trying to compensate for all the Doctors.” Clara explained, “Happened last time a bunch of them were together, usually she picks to newest one.”

Bill nodded, understanding.

The group moved together, following Clara,

“Clara, do you know where we’ll find something on Penelope Gate?” Jack asked, his good looks replaced by grogginess for once. “That library is enormous.”

“He has this” Clara yawned, “this, uh, little room filled with stuff he doesn’t like to think about. I call it his ‘Don’t Talk About It Room’ because when I brought it up once I regretted it immediately.”

“Why?”

“He shut down on me then took me on this incredibly dangerous trip, like even more than usual. It’s how they deal with any type of human emotion, I think―trying to suffocate it as quickly as possible.” A cold silence lulled over the team, they knew Clara was right but it still wasn’t right. “But yeah, if this Penelope is family like they said, it’s in that room.”

“How do you know all this stuff?” Rory questioned, bewildered by all the information he hadn’t known during his time on the TARDIS.

She shrugged, “I was wondering around during this adventure and all, just stumbled upon it.” she laughed, “There’s this little thing, it’s the cutest, it’s this milk carton painted to look like the TARDIS. It’s surrounded with a bunch of these kids toys, too.”

Amy froze, she buried her head“Oh, my god.”

“Amy?”

“I made those.”

“Really!?” Clara’s eyes widened.

“I was seven, give me a break.”

“You’ve travelled with him since you were seven!?”  Donna exclaimed, “How can you stand it?”

“Well, it’s complicated but, I met him when I was seven. He crashed the TARDIS on my shed, I went to go check then I made him food because he looked sick. He…he told me that he’d take me with him and that he only needed five minutes, then he disappeared for twelve years.”

“Twelve!?” the group sans River and Rory echoed.

“Actually, fourteen. He popped in at some point to save the world, typical Doctor stuff.”

“He left you for fourteen years?” Donna recited, slack-jawed, “I’m gonna kill Chin Boy.”

Amy shook her head, “He made up for it, don’t worry.”

“Be careful with excusing him.” Clara warned, “You’ll get used to it.”

The bitter edge in Clara’s voice surprised Martha; she seemed to get along so well with Thirteen and she’d been watching a happy video of Eleven― What about Twelve?   Martha couldn’t help but wonder.

Soon enough they reached a door that Martha would’ve easily confused as a wall; Clara hooked her finger into the small divot and carefully pulled the door open, ushering the others inside. The room was cluttered yet cozy, two red couches with a mountain of things on top of them; a bookshelf with hundreds of folders and books stuffed in; and two baskets with knick-knacks, loose papers and Amy’s paper mâche TARDIS inside.

“Twelve minutes.” she informed, they all nodded then set to work.

Martha joined Donna in searching the bookcase,

“They’re all hoarders, tell you that.” Donna said, pulling out a armful of books. “Can’t even understand it, it’s all his language.”

“He’s 906, er, well our Doctor is 906. Can’t be that old and still be neat.” Martha suggested, Donna looked over her shoulder as to make sure nobody was listening,

“Is it just me or do the other Doctors give you the creeps?”

Martha blew a raspberry, “I don’t know. They’re just so different and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing…” she took a break from leafing through a leather bound book, “Donna, I had an idea.”

“About?”

“Well, look, Twelve told me he’s making up for mistakes but he mentioned that our Doctor just did something that changed him.”

“What?”

“I don’t know. He did say it almost burned a hole in reality, so I’m guessing it was nothing good.”

“No, no, wait, he couldn’t have. I was there. I’m not gonna let that streak of nothing do something stupid.”

Martha thought for a moment, a heavy thought slipping out, “Are you sure you were there?

“Yeah! ‘Course!” Donna opened another book, forgetting about the previous one, “I’m gonna travel with that dumbo forever.”

Amy and Rory didn’t know you, Martha wanted to say but instead she got back to her plan, “All I’m saying is you, me, Mickey, Jack, and Rose should talk to him. Maybe we can…I don’t know, maybe we can change who he becomes.”

“I’m all for it.” Donna said, “Kindergarten Cop and Gramps look at me like I’m in my knickers and whatever I can do for that to stop, I’ll do.”

They continued to search through all the files, searching for anything about Penelope Gate.

“Y’know,” Donna began, loud enough for the room to hear this time, “Penelope Gate doesn’t sound like a Gallifreyan name to me.”

“She has to be.” Nardole stated, lazily reading a report, “The Doctor said she’s family.”

“Yeah but is all your family English?”

“I’m a cyborg, I don’t really have family.”

“Really?” River queried, “Where’d he find you?”

“You were there.”

She held a finger to her lips, “Spoilers.”

“Wait, back to the point, not everybody’s family is from the same place so maybe…” Donna turned, searching the bookcase.

“Maybe she wasn’t Gallifreyan?” Amy finished, throwing aside a photobook.

The older ginger scooped a few books off the shelf, “Tell me, if you hear Penelope Gate from anybody other than the Doctor―Where would you assume she’s from?”

“Earth.” everybody assumed. Looks of understanding appeared on their faces.

“The Doctor’s got family on Earth?” Jack laughed, “Oh, he probably hates it. A little human cousin! Hilarious!”

“Good thinking, Donna.” Clara acknowledged, “We’ve got nine minutes, everybody look for anything written in English. If this woman is on Earth then her records are in an Earth language.”

The hunt began, Martha frantically grabbed files and threw them against the floor. Groaning when she discovered them to be in Gallifreyan. Jack overturned a couch, looking for any hidden records. Bill dug in the cushions of the other couch.

Suddenly, Mickey gasped, “I found it!”

Everybody left their own area and crowded around Mickey who held a small red notebook, Mickey cracked it open to show something written inside the cover, it read: This book is property to P. Gate. London, 1854.

“Victorian.” Rose noted.

The notes were scribbled in black ink, mostly lists and small reminders (some crossed out, some left untouched). There was an abrupt change in the middle of the book―Pages and pages filled, a diary.

Amy pointed, “Read that one.”

“Okay, erm,” Mickey cleared his throat, “‘23rd November 1861: I’ve fallen in love. In complete and total love. This man is everything I ever want. He says he’s from a different planet, one that I can only dream about. I dream of his home almost as often as I dream of him―Whenever he visits he tells me more about it. Oh, I strive to be there, not only to see the sloping hills and twin suns he speaks of but so I no longer have to share his time with that world and mine. He tells me this is impossible, but I’m not a woman content for just possibilities. Tomorrow, he’ll come in his wonderful machine and I’ll be damned if I do not join him in his return.’”

“She fell in love with a Timelord.” Bill summarized breathlessly.

“Know how it feels.” Rose grumbled under her breath.

Mickey flipped ahead, “There’s more. Um, ‘8th May 1862: Been quite a while since I’ve written in this daft thing. So, I believe an update is in order: I convince Ulysses to take me to his home planet, Gallifrey. I was just as beautiful as I could of ever imagined, it’s strange to me how these people share such a striking resemblance to my own species. ‘Humans look Timelord’ he explained’”

Jack chuckled, “Doc says that.”

“‘I met Ulysses’s child, he is called Braxiatel. Quite the clever young man he is, he is not that fond of me but I must assume it’s because of my relationship with his father as well as my home. I hope that I can be a good mother to him despite it. I adore being with the both of them, it’s so much better than my life back on Earth. On Earth, my interest in the sciences are taken for nothing but a joke but here I join other women in experimentation, it’s quite wonderful. Oh, and on last thing, I’m pregnant!’”

“Whoa!” Amy exclaimed, eyes shining, “Really?”

“There’s just a bit left, ‘This will be the first natural birth in Gallifreyan history, Ulysses said. We are not sure on how this will turn out but nonetheless, I have nothing but joy in my heart at the thought of our first child.’”

“Her youngest son!” Martha explained, “Her ‘youngest son’ is missing!”

Clara glanced at her watch, “Five minutes.”

“Hold on, there’s a picture.” Mickey carefully removed a photo from the binding of the book―it was of Penelope herself, with dark red hair in a long ponytail and warm brown eyes dressed in a white cloth dress; a man, Ulysses, with salt-and-pepper hair and deep blue eyes, his rugged hands clasped tightly in Penelope’s; an older boy, Braxiatel, tall and thin with neat, formal black hair and apathetic green eyes that were out of place in the happy family photo; then, finally, a young boy who had to be Penelope and Ulysses’ child―His hair was cornsilk blond and sticking up every which way, his face was covered in freckles and adorned with a manic grin, his eyes matched his father’s but somehow Martha knew he got the smile from his mother. “They look happy.”

“That’s the missing kid, right?” Donna poked the photo.

“I guess so.”

“So, Doc just has some family member who’s human? That’s the whole secret?” Jack asked, underwhelmed. “Well, okay, let’s just plug into the TARDIS and find the kid.”

“Yeah,” Mickey stood, “Where do I do that?”

“Oh, give it here,” Clara took the photo and placed in against the wall, suddenly a whole holographic display came to life, “did this one time when we went to meet Jane Austen.” she faced the wall, “Okay, TARDIS, where is that boy right now?” she asked, circling the blond boy’s face. She stood back, “Give it a moment.”

“So, what do we do after this?” Bill asked, “Just tell the Doctor?”

“Uh, I guess! The message told them to find him and we did, so.” Clara played with her hair, yawning, “We’ll just give ‘em the news in the morning.”

The display beeped, the group hushed, “Subject located…” it spoke, “Seven feet away.”

“What?” Clara groaned, “C’mon,” she circled the face, “this kid. Penelope Gate’s kid.”

“Confirmed. Penelope Gate of London’s child, seven feet away.”

“But that doesn’t make sense.”

“I think you’ll find it makes quite a bit of sense.” came Thirteen’s voice from behind. They all whipped around, startled.

“D-Doctor!” Clara stammered.

“Your watch is off, Clara.”

“How long have you been there?”

“Long enough.” she waltzed in, still dressed in the dark hoodie despite the time, “Never trust humans to stay out of locked doors.”

“But this doesn’t make sense!” Martha shouted, “This thing said that Penelope Gate’s son is seven feet away…”

“I was more eight feet but…” she shrugged, “let’s not get caught up in the technicalities.”

“Oh, my god.” River gasped softly. “It’s you.”

“It’s me.” Thirteen confirmed, she sighed, “Hello, I’m the Doctor―the first half-human hybrid in Gallifreyan history.”

Chapter Text

8

 

Donna didn’t even have time to be shocked as Thirteen sharply hunched over, coughs racking her frame. By instinct, Donna found herself at her side. Her Doctor was always sick it seemed like, sometimes not physically, and she’d grown accustomed to being there for him at the slightest sign of a shutdown. Thirteen sighed and as she did a wisp of shimmering golden light escaped her lips; Donna stepped back, that was new.

River joined her at Thirteen’s side, “Oh, sweetie, how long has it been?”

“Uh, ten, twelve hours?” she coughed.

Her expression turned somber, “Then something’s wrong.”

“I know, I know.”

Donna placed a hand on Thirteen’s back, going through the list of comfort techniques she used with Ten, “Wait, why is she…what’s wrong?”

“Typically,” River began to explain, “they’re regeneration sickness wears off after a few hours, isn’t that right mother dearest?” she turned to Amy who shared the same worried expression as her daughter.

“What?” Amy asked, “What do you mean?”

“You met your Doctor twenty minutes after he’d regenerated from Pretty Boy, how long was it until he was stable and normal…well, normal for his standards.”

Amy sighed heavily, “I-I don’t know he left me, he said it was just five minutes, though, so, twenty-five minutes, I’d guess.”

River nodded, she turned, “And you―Mickey, is it?”

Mickey, spooked by the sudden attention, stammered, “Uh, yeah, definitely. I mean, yeah, I am.”

“You were there when Ears regenerated, yeah?”

“Well, Ten passed out on me.” he explained, “After crashing into Jackie’s flat..”

“He did what? ” Rose crossed her arms.

River stood, taking Thirteen’s hands, “How long was he out?”

Mickey furrowed his brow, “Three hours, give or take.”

“You said twelve hours?” Martha recalled. “What does it mean if it’s taking too long, Thirteen?” Thirteen blew a raspberry,

“Hell if I know.”

“What?” Martha questioned.

“Look, Martha, Martha, Martha. I’m not supposed to exist. Bowtie was supposed to be it, I should be—“ she mimed a line across her neck with an accompanying ‘ksh’ “—dead. Twelve was pushing it, but me? I’m burning the rule book.”

Bill’s eyebrows knitted together, “Are you gonna be okay?” She whispered.

“Yeah! ‘Course! You all know me, I’m always okay.” She didn’t look like she believed it. Rory huffed, moving to stand besides Thirteen.

“Doctor, give me your wrist.”

Thirteen blanched, “Why?”

“I’m checking your heart rate, we’ve been with you for nearly a decade—I know when you’re hurt.”

“Roranicus Pond…!” she grumbled, “Let’s not kill the mood with medical talk.”

“I just found out my wife and I are gonna die quite soon and that you, my best friend,   are gonna spend 40-odd years alone then die…twice.” he let the statement hang in the air for the moment, “I think that finding out whether or not the thirteenth version of my friend is or is not sick would be the highlight of my day.”

Thirteen was silent, for a moment her age showed. She willingly gave Rory her wrist without saying a word, she waited for Rory to finish his examination. The room’s atmosphere was terse, everybody had learned something they’d rather have not known throughout the day but the whirlwind of the Doctor had swallowed any of their time to process it.

“It’s fast.” he frowned, “Doctor, how did you…”

“I die?” Thirteen finished, “Spoilers, Pond.”

“Then give me the least spoiler-filled version.”

She clicked her tongue, “So...there were quite a bit of…aliens…and then” she mimed an explosion, “and then…then I woke up.” her voice sombered, “In the TARDIS but it was too late, I was regenerating, again. It didn’t feel right, though. I finally felt like the Doctor again just for me to die. And now I have to start over. I just wished that I would finally just stop.” the fog that had slowly been gathering over her eyes cleared. She stood up abruptly and bolted out of the room.

“Doctor!” the companions yelled.

“Thirteen!” Amy yelped.

The group stepped out of the room in hopes to catch Thirteen before she disappeared into the veins of the TARDIS but was only greeted with dark, empty hallways.

River swore, “Goddamnit!”

“How’d she disappear like that?” Nardole groaned.

“When the Doctor doesn’t want to be found, they aren’t going to be found.” Clara explained, pinching the skin between her eyebrows.

“She’s getting bad again…” Donna whispered, flashbacks of many tearful, dark nights played in her head. She whipped her head around to face the two who’d travelled with Twelve, “Bill, Clara―what’d she mean by saying that she ‘felt like the Doctor again’.”

“I don’t know…” Bill’s never-enigmatic face was in disarray.

Clara pushed her hair back, “He didn’t think he was ‘the Doctor’ when he regenerated from Eleven. Thought he was just some pale comparison, I think.” she sighed, “I sure didn’t help that.” she said under her breath.

“But they got better then died.” River concluded, filling in the blanks. She shook her head, “Okay, everybody go back to bed. We’ll talk to her in the morning.”

“At least we know who Penelope Gate is.” Rose rationalized.

Jack laughed hollowly, “Funny. We haven’t even reacted to the fact that Doc’s half-human yet.”

“No, my mind’s still imploding about that.” Martha joked, “We’ve got a lot to talk about, seems like everytime we learn something new they add another wall.”

Donna released a low breath, “That’s human.”


Artificial sunlight filled Donna’s room, turning the quite lavish bedroom that she’d received from the TARDIS into a golden wash. She spread out onto the bed, stretching her body until the grogginess of sleep had gone away. The TARDIS wasn’t moving, she noted, tying her silk robe around her, they must’ve landed while she was asleep.

She rehearsed what she planned to say to the Doctor’s once she saw them:

Hi!

No, too cheery. Not right to start out a conversation about her best friend’s painful past and deep-set identity issues with a ‘hi’.

Hey, Doctor.

Better.

I know that your mum was a human named Penelope Gate from London in 1854 and that she fell in love with your dad and that you were her youngest son.

Ugh. Too much.

I know that Penelope Gate was your mum and we don’t think of you differently because of that but I just want to know if you’re okay.

Nice. Bit preachy, but nice.

She reached the kitchen with that sentence replaying over and over in her head but forgot it the moment she stepped inside.

Instead of the bleak, tense, quiet atmosphere she’d expected regarding last night she found the literal opposite: Music was playing; Eleven and Nine were making breakfast; Ten was playing a loud game of checkers with Mickey; Twelve, Missy, River, and Jack were conversing politely over coffee while Twelve quietly added too much sugar to his cup; Amy and Rory were setting the table while Bill filled cups of orange juice and Nardole ate crisps; and Martha, Rose, and Clara were happily dancing along to the music.

It was as if the night before had been a dream.

“Donna!” Ten greeted, putting his trademark style on her name. “How’d ya sleep?”

“Fine…?”

Eleven furrowed his brows, “Are you okay?”  

“Yeah, yeah, I’m stellar. But…” she momentarily locked eyes with River who shook her head slightly, “It’s nothing,” she grabbed a glass of orange juice and pulled a smile, “where are we?”  

“Berkeley, California!” Eleven smiled, “The United States!” he added with a frankly terrible accent.

“About 4:19pm.” Nine said.

“And we’re having breakfast?” Donna lifted an eyebrow.

“Time machine, Donna Noble.”

Clara stopped dancing for a moment, “So when are we heading out?”

Twelve shrugged, “Whenever.”

“Is Penelope Gate’s son in California?”

“Maybe.” Ten said, “This is where we’ve landed.”

“Do you…” Rory set down a fork, “know who this kid is?” Amy slapped his side while the Doctors all shook their heads.

“Nah.” Ten denied, moving his checker piece.

Donna looked around in confusion, so nobody was going to acknowledge what happened last night? She thought about tearing her prepared statement to shreds.

“Donna,” Eleven clicked off the stove, “have you seen Thirteen?”

She tensed slightly, “Uh…no, why?”

“Just asking.”

Something terrible filled her chest, Thirteen had accidentally let other people in to how she was really feeling and had bolted because of it. Even with the obvious changes in looks and personality, Thirteen was still her Doctor. And she had to do her role as the Doctor’s Donna.

“Excuse me for a moment,” she set the orange juice down, “I’m just gonna—“ She stepped out of the room, sighing heavily as she traversed the TARDIS halls.

“Hey, girl.” She said to the TARDIS, “I don’t know how long it’s been for you but I’ve missed you, love. I think that daft alien is in trouble and, trust me, I know that she’s already told you to keep us away but, please.” She wrung her hands together, “ Please just let me talk to her.”

And like magic she turned the corner to find a single door with a line of circular symbols carved into the wood.

“Thank you.”

Donna pushed the door open to the surprise of Thirteen who sat half-buried in a mountain of clothes.

“Donna!” Thirteen gasped, her voice was hoarse. “How did you find me?”

“TARDIS.”

“Of course.”

Donna closed the door behind her, sitting quietly on Thirteen’s bed. “Are you okay?”

“‘Course, yeah.” She threw a suit jacket to the side.

“No, you aren’t. You brought us here to get some things off your chest, so don’t pretend to be fine.” Donna reprimanded, “Can you at least tell me what you’re doing?”

“Clothes.”

“I can see that, dumbo.”

Thirteen cracked a small smile, “Oh, Donna…”

Donna smiled along with her, she knelt down besides her in the clothes, “Whatcha doin with the clothes, spacema-er—is spaceman still okay with you?”

“Champion.” Thirteen nodded, she held up a shirt against her chest, “I’m looking for an outfit, I haven’t had a chance to change out of this —“ she gestured to the tattered sweatshirt, “and I feel like changing out of this will make me feel better? I think?”

“That makes sense.” Donna scanned the pile and pulled out a blue blouse, “How ‘bout this?”

Thirteen shook her head, Donna tossed it aside.

Okay, she thought, think ‘the Doctor’. Think absolutely bonkers.

Her hands found something that no normal person would ever think to wear: loose petrol blue pants and sunshine yellow braces.

Perfect .

“Thirteen, how about this?”

The alien’s eyes lit up, the stars in her eyes nearly blinding.

“Donna Noble, you are a star!” She happily seized the clothing from her hands, pressing them to her chest.

“Okay! We’re getting there!” Donna couldn’t stop herself from beaming, “So, we need a shirt.”

“And a coat!” She exclaimed.

“And a coat.”

“And shoes and oh! Oh! Socks, those fuzzy ones that feel like blankets.”

“Okay…a shirt, coat, shoes, and fuzzy socks that feel like blankets.” Donna tied her hair back, “Let’s get to work.”

It didn’t take long to find the shirt (navy blue with rainbow stripes), the socks were buried under a stack of bowties, Donna had the fortunate pleasure of pleading with Thirteen to wear a sports bra, the boots were found underneath the bed, but the coat was yet to be found.

“Try all that on, Thirteen. We’ll find a coat later.” Donna assured, abandoning another failed option.

Thirteen stood, pulling off her sweatshirt and to Donna’s surprise, she was not wearing a shirt beneath it.

“Whoa! Whoa!” Donna shielded her eyes.

“Turn around if it embarrasses you.”

She turned herself around, busying herself with looking at the wall while Thirteen tried on the entire garish ensemble they’d put together.

“I’m done!” she announced cluing Donna in to turn back around. Donna did, and immediately beamed. The outfit, however tacky it was (and it was), looked right at home on Thirteen. She opened her mouth to give praise but her eyes landed on something peeking out from the pile―a powder blue trench coat. Triumphantly, she grabbed the coat and tossed it onto Thirteen’s hands.

“Try it.”

Gingerly, Thirteen slipped the coat on, pausing once it finally hung from her frame. “Donna…”

“Looking good, Doctor, perfectly you.”

Another blinding smile lit up Thirteen’s face as she spun around, fully flaunting the strip of rainbow lining in the coat. “C’mon, Donna, let’s show everyone!”

She offered Donna her hand and suddenly Donna was back at Adipose Industry, ready to take on the trip of a lifetime.

“Allons-y!” Donna exclaimed.

The kitchen was about thirty seconds closer than before―even the TARDIS was excited to show everybody. Thirteen and Donna slid into the kitchen, Thirteen making a big show of swishing her coat,

“Hello!” Thirteen greeted, snapping her braces.

“Hey!!” Amy happily rushed forwards, examining every little thing, “You have no idea how to dress yourself still!!”

“Oi!” Eleven shouted, he clicked his fingers, “Nice braces, though.”

“Nice coat!” Ten smiled.

Nardole nodded in approval, "Typically garish."

“I love it!” Bill exclaimed, she tilted her head, “Is that my shirt?”

“Yeah…” Thirteen rubbed her neck sheepishly, “Rainbows gave it away?”

“Definitely.” Bill gave Thirteen a hug, whispering ‘I’m glad you’re okay’ into her ear.

Clara chuckled, “Bit different. Very Doctor-y.”

“What qualifies as ‘Doctor-y’, Miss Oswald?” Nine asked, Clara shrugged,

“Anything a color-blind clown would wear.”

“Oh, thank God,” Martha breathed a breath of relief, “she’s wearing a sports bra.”

A wave of compliments kept coming, Donna could feel Thirteen’s whole demeanor change. That sunshine-puppy feel she’d given off the entire time had felt forced, just some mask to help her face everybody, but this time this was her―the Doctor. She’s the Doctor, and Donna thought that for once, Thirteen thought so too.