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Eleventh Doctor Drabbles

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Everything was wrong. The TARDIS was exploding and falling and nearly hitting Big Ben, but it was the first three minutes of his life in this incarnation so at least it was all new.

“Right,” he ran to the console despite the fact that it was smoking and slightly on fire, “need to land. Somewhere less populous than London.” He hit a button and it dinged. “Leadworth? Where is that?”

The TARDIS tilted and he was falling again, through endless corridors until he landed with a thump in the library. Five seconds later, the contents of the pool followed him.

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Amy was not in the best of moods.

“So it’s a bit dull,” she grumbled, sorting through her Kissogram costumes. “Dull is…fine. Normal. No one believes in adventures or fairy tales, not really.” She was so focused that she missed the phone box landing in her garden. But she couldn’t ignore the man breaking into her home and running up the stairs.

“Prisoner Zero is here!” the Doctor called, standing in front of the door no one could see.

“Oh my God,” Amy whispered, peeking out from her bedroom. She grabbed a cricket bat and sneaked up behind him.

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Rory knew he’d seen the coma patients out walking in the village. Of course that was impossible, his supervisors were happy to reiterate that point in great detail, and yet it was true. So why did no one else notice?

“Focus on the job,” he muttered as he walked through the coma ward. “Keep your head down, keep working-“

“Doctor?”

Rory turned slowly. He was alone except for the patients.

“Doctor?” the woman closest to him repeated. Soon she was echoed by others throughout the room, until the ward rang with a cacophony of voices all repeating one word.

“Doctor!”

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“We are not!”

“Are not what?”

“In space,” Amy insisted.

“You want proof?” The Doctor danced around the console, pushing buttons. As he pulled a final lever, the door opened onto darkness broken up by stars and nebulas.

Amy approached the door cautiously. “How are we not getting sucked out?”

“I did a thing!”

“A thing?”

“A clever thing. You could go outside if you wanted, as long as you had something keeping you from floating away.” The Doctor held out his hand with a grin. “Do you trust me, Pond?”

Eyes wide, Amy took his hand and stepped outside.

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The child fell down the hole, screaming into the darkness until he landed in something squishy and warm.

“Hello?” Trembling, he stood up. “Won’t someone help me? I…don’t know where I am. I’m scared.”

Ahead of him the light grew brighter as a barrier with sharp, jagged edges like teeth opened. Tentatively, he stepped through.

A man in dark robes smiled at him. “What’s your name?”

“Timmy” The boy eyed him warily. “What was that?”

“Our greatest treasure and our deepest shame.” The man held out his hand. “Let’s get you cleaned up. You’ve a new life to begin.“

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“You know Winston Churchill?”

The Doctor shrugged. “I know lots of people.”

“If I’m meeting someone famous, I’ll need clothes.”

“You’re wearing clothes.”

Amy gestured at herself. “I’m in my nightie!”

He looked her up and down. “Fair point. There’s a wardrobe,” the Doctor waved vaguely, “somewhere. New internal architecture’s moved everything around a bit, but it shouldn’t be too hard to find.”

Walking in the direction he’d indicated, she eyed him shrewdly. “Why would you have clothes in my size?”

“The TARDIS knows what we need and makes it happen.” Under his breath he added, “Most of the time.”

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“Keep buggering on,” Amy repeated, following the Prime Minister. “Okay, but there’s got to be some way we can help the Doctor.”

“I don’t see how.” Winston puffed on his cigar. “The Dalek vessel is too far away for any of our weapons to reach it. However, there will undoubtedly be a German air raid tonight and that is our first priority.”

“But the Doctor-“

“Is hardly helpless!” He smiled at her. “I’ve know that man for quite a long time and through many faces. Though he may often sound like a fool, he isn’t one. Have faith, my dear.”

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Amy laughed. “‘Hello, sweetie?’”

“Step away from the case,” the Doctor sighed resignedly, “and get ready to run.”

“Why?” She looked around the museum. “Is there trouble here?”

“There’s going to be.” He pulled his sonic screwdriver out of his pocket and aimed it at the display. “I’m about to steal the Home Box.”

The lock popped, the lid to the case slid open, and the whir of the screwdriver was drowned out by blaring security alarms. Grabbing the box, the Doctor pelted toward the TARDIS. “At least I parked close by,” he yelled as Amy hurried to keep up.

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“This all appears to be in order,” Father Thaddeus said, reviewing River’s statement regarding the crash of the Byzantium. “I can’t promise anything, but it could go a long way toward your release.”

River nodded, satisfied. “I’m sorry about Father Octavian and his men.”

“They knew their duties.” Thaddeus stood as a cleric entered. “Per agreement, you’re allowed one personal item while we travel back to Stormcage.” The cleric handed River a box. “I believe that’s it?”

She smiled. “It is.”

River waited to open it until she was alone in her cell, then she carefully removed the vortex manipulator.

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Amy tried to keep busy. But once she’d piled blankets around the sleeping Doctor and Rory, she was left alone with her thoughts and the Dream Lord’s words in the dark, silent TARDIS.

‘Choose,’ he’d said, as if Amy hadn’t already. She was going to marry Rory in the morning whenever they got home - until then, there was plenty of time for fun and adventures. The Doctor offered all of space and time, so why not enjoy it?

But what if she never stopped wanting to travel with the Doctor? Could she ever truly be happy with an ordinary life?

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The pressure on Amy’s ankles tightened as something pulled her further into the earth. She looked up at the Doctor with tears in her eyes. “Tell Rory,” she began, but found she couldn’t finish the sentence. The dirt shifted around her, speeding up her descent. Amy took a last, shaky breath as her hands slipped from the Doctor’s grasp. Within seconds, her head disappeared below the surface.

For a moment she heard him yelling, but then the ground seemed to seal itself above her. A sound like an electric pulse vibrated the soil around her and she slipped into unconsciousness.

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“Rory!” The Doctor ran up to him practically vibrating with excitement. “I’ve seen one.”

“One of the things that took Amy?”

“If my guess is right they’re not things, they’re people but cold-blooded. Get it?”

Rory tilted his head. “No, not even remotely.”

The Doctor sighed. “The Meals on Wheels van! It has cold storage in the back. It’ll keep them slow and incapacitated.”

“Great, how do we get them in there?”

“I stand around as bait and you hide inside the back of the van waiting to throw them in.”

Rory looked horrified. “You’re serious?”

“Absolutely! It’ll be great!”

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One minute he was dying and the next he’d never existed at all.

Then Rory woke up.

“Asleep centurion?” a nearby voice asked. “Better not let the commander see that.”

Rory blinked. “Sorry…won’t happen again.” He was standing in a field near a tent encampment. His clothing felt heavy and, when he looked down, he realized he was wearing the armor of a Roman soldier. Makes sense, he thought, because I’m a Roman and always have been.

But he remembered another life: Amy, the Doctor, Leadworth, dying in a cave before his wedding day…

“What’s going on?” Rory whispered.

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Technically it was against the rules, but River had never cared much for those.

“Hello!” She smiled disarmingly at the bewildered man in front of her. “Congratulations on your marriage.”

“Thanks.” Rory looked as if he couldn’t quite place her face. “I’m sorry, it’s been a busy day. You are?”

River slipped her diary into his hand. She’d had to time this perfectly for a moment when Amy was busy elsewhere. “Please give this to your wife. ‘Something borrowed, something blue,’ remember?”

Rory studied the book. “That’s very kind. Thank you Ms.-” But when he looked up, she was gone.

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“This is more like it,” Rory sighed, laying back on the beach. “No exploding spaceships, no monsters or imminent death-”

“It’s alright,” Amy admitted. She grinned as a group of shirtless men jogged by. “Nice scenery, I’ll give it that, but don’t you think it’s weird the Doctor brought us here?”

Rory thought a moment. “Seems like a perfectly normal holiday destination to me.”

“That’s what I mean! When has he ever done anything remotely normal?”

“Fair point.”

Shading her eyes, Amy looked out toward the Aegean sea. “The Doctor’s just swimming around out there, like he’s looking for something.”

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Once he was sure the Ponds had gone to bed, the Doctor programmed in the coordinates for England in the 1890s.

“Time to fulfill a promise, don’t you think Old Girl?” He patted the console and pulled a rusty harmonica from his pocket. “Old George had quite an arm on him, chucked you right into a coral reef. Now let’s see, what else do I need?” He grabbed some juggler’s balls and slipped them into his pocket beside the harmonica. Then he spotted something and grinned.

“Definitely cool.” Placing the fez on his head, he sauntered out of the TARDIS.

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“Shouldn’t we have heard something already?”

“Quiet Pond.” The Doctor focused on the important task of balancing his sonic screwdriver on his nose. “Time is relative.”

She snatched the device from him. “What does that even mean?”

“In this case, since Rory is in the past, everything he’s done has already happened.”

“So again, shouldn’t he have signaled by now if they’d found the ship?” She started pacing. “How long do we wait? What if he’s in trouble?”

“We’ll go and check.” The Doctor hopped to his feet and began setting coordinates. “Then you’ll see there’s nothing to worry about.”

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As Amy hurried through Foxton, one thought kept repeating in her head: “They’ve arrested the Doctor. They’ve arrested the Doctor!”

The two of them had gone back to 1917. They’d seen Rory and Emily Bostock, acting far too chummy for Amy’s liking, walk into Swallow Wood. Everything had seemed to go as planned so they’d returned to 2011. But as soon as the Doctor had stepped out of the TARDIS, he’d been arrested for kidnapping.

Everything was a mess and Amy needed to fix it. She had to find Jess before her disappearance into the woods somehow triggered Foxton’s destruction.

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“A happy ending for everyone.” The Doctor smiled, watching life in Foxton progressing normally.

“Wonderful, but I was promised chocolate and a picnic.” Amy nudged him. “So let’s go.”

“Back to Swallow Woods?” Rory asked.

“No. The timeline should have repaired itself, but I may still be wanted there.” The Doctor ran around the console flipping switches and pushing buttons. “Besides, we can do better than that, Mr. Pond.”

Amy took Rory’s hand. It felt like years since she’d seen him. “Okay, where?”

“How about,” the Doctor twirled dramatically, “lunch in New York City? Central Park! I’ll pack the picnic.”

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“You promised me a picnic.”

“I know, Pond, but-”

“A picnic! With chocolate! In Central Park!”

“You did,” Rory chimed in. “I remember it distinctly.”

Amy gestured around them. “Does this look like New York?”

All three of them looked at the desolate landscape. Nearby, robot combatants fired at each other from the ruins of abandon buildings.

“No,” the Doctor admitted, “not even on a bad traffic day.”

“Doctor!”

“Amy. Rory. I promise I will take you to Central Park and we will have a picnic.” The robots had noticed them and were starting to approach. “But, not today. Run!”

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“Are you wearing that?”

Rory looked down at his shirt and jeans. “Why? What’s wrong with it?”

River tutted. “We’re going to NASA on the morning of Apollo 11’s launch. It will be crawling with security, so you should try to look the part.”

“We don’t usually bother with that,” he replied, frowning. “Most people don’t notice.”

“They will today.” She walked toward the wardrobe. “Come on! I’m thinking something blue, maybe-”

Rory groaned, but did as he was told. “Is the Doctor changing?”

River laughed. “NASA in 1969 is perhaps the only place his clothes would actually fit in.”

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“That’s it!” The Doctor snapped his fingers. “River, stop examining the spacesuit. Rory, stop…brooding. Time to go!”

“Go where?” Rory stood and pocketed the blinking recorder that was his only link to Amy.

“To rescue your wife, of course!”

“I thought you were trying to decide what to do next?”

“No! I’ve known what to do for a while, just needed to edit some video and make sure the technology I put in Apollo 11 was working.”

“What technology?” River asked skeptically.

The Doctor grinned and tapped her on the nose. “You’ll see. Come on, and bring your gun.”

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At Luna University River studied archeology and everything she could find on the Doctor, but she didn’t limit herself to just those specialties. Instead she explored a diverse range of interests, including disasters, invasions, time travel devices, astronomy, historical weaponry, lost treasures, and alien species. But the topic that fascinated her the most were ship wrecks throughout time, particularly those that carried vast riches and were, as far as history knew, still undiscovered.

“Such a varied selection of subjects,” her tutor commented, somewhat perplexed. “Why is that?”

“A girl’s got to make a living,” she replied with an enigmatic smile.

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“Christmas at home,” Rory eyed the holly decorations, “is that too much to ask?”

Nearby the Doctor hastily typed at a computer terminal. “How’s it look, Pond?”

“Get a move on,” Amy replied. “There’s a bunch of those glowy-men-”

“Infinite warriors?”

“Whatever. They’re getting closer and they don’t look happy.”

“My dad would be there,” Rory continued. “You'd like my dad.”

The Doctor leapt up. “I promise, if we survive this, I will take you to Earth for Christmas.”

Rory grinned. “Really?”

“Of course! Now, go help your wife while I,” the Doctor waved his hand vaguely, “do something clever.”

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“You’ll stay the night?” Rory asked, filling River’s wine glass.

“Well-“

“Of course she will.” Amy waved off River’s protests. “That’s a vortex manipulator on your wrist. Wherever you have to be, you can still make it on time no matter how long you stay here.”

River gave her a pleased smile. “True.”

“One thing I don’t get,” Rory sat down across from his wife and daughter, “if the Doctor was inside the Teselecta, how did the two of you touching restart time? I mean, it wasn’t actually him you kissed.”

“Just go with it,” River said, patting his hand.

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Outside it was cold and snowing. Inside the holiday music played while Rory and Amy moved around their kitchen preparing Christmas dinner.

“Do you think he’ll come?” Rory asked as he handed her the roast potatoes.

“Maybe.” Amy carried the plates through to the dining room. “I’ve set a place for him as usual, just in case.”

“What about River?”

“She said she’d try, but you know how she is.”

Rory was about to reply but the doorbell rang. “Oh no-”

“If that is more carol singers,” Amy began, grabbing her water pistol.

“Amy, come on,” he sighed, “it’s Christmas-“

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Rory watched a movie while Amy typed idly on her laptop. Nearby, River curled up, engrossed in a book titled Revenge of the Warpwrights of Phaidon.

It was a tranquil Saturday in the Pond household. The Doctor hated it.

“I’m…popping down to the TARDIS for a moment,” he called from the foyer. “Just to make sure there’s no alien invasions going on.” He waited a few seconds for a response which never came. “Anyone…want to come with me?”

River rolled her eyes. “If we don’t go, he’ll just start sulking.”

“Right,” Rory clicked off the TV. “Come on.”

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“This is actually nice.”

The Doctor tossed an apple at Rory, who caught it neatly. “Don’t sound so surprised.”

“An apple orchard on an alien planet.” Rory gestured around them. “Who knew there were alien apples?”

“Only on the Earth colonies,” the Doctor grumbled.

Chuckling, Amy took his arm. “Remember when we first met? The apple with the face?”

“Of course-“ They heard a moan and the sound of someone falling.

“Rory,” Amy cried, rushing to her unconscious husband. “What’s wrong with him?”

“It’s the apple.” The Doctor held it up to show the bite marks. “I think it’s poisonous!”

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“Whoa!” yelled Amy. A tentacle snared her ankle and pulled her backward.

Rory looked around for something to fight it with but found only an umbrella and a hatstand. Grabbing the umbrella, he stabbed at the tentacle rather ineffectually.

“Not. Helping!” Amy said between gritted teeth. She kicked at the appendage with her other foot.

“Here.” Rory handed her the umbrella and picked up the hatstand. Holding it in front of him like a battering ram, he ran at the door controls. There was a crash and fizz. An instant later the door slid shut, shearing the tentacle in half.

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Amy turned in time to see her husband trip on the edge of the ship’s ramp and land hard. The Prokarians were close behind and soon one loomed over him, reaching towards his face. “Rory!” she cried.

Sound exploded to Amy’s right as Celeste fired her gun at the attacking creatures. Sensing an opportunity, Amy rushed forward to grab Rory’s arm. The Doctor reached him at the same time and they dragged him up the ramp to safety.

“You okay?” she asked, hugging him tightly and feeling slightly dizzy.

“Yeah, I’m fine,” he replied, rubbing his shoulder. "Clumsy but fine.”

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For two days after witnessing the destruction of Nadurniss, Rory retreated into himself. Overwhelmed by the horror of so many deaths and Amy’s illness, he wandered through the TARDIS barely aware of his surroundings. Periodically the Doctor showed up nearby, claiming to search for various tools while actually keeping an eye on his silent companion. Although he’d deny it if anyone asked later, he made sure Rory was comfortable and cared for.

The Doctor also kept working on a plan to cure Amy. The answer was hidden somewhere in the planet’s past, he just needed to find the right moment.

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The fog lifted and Rory felt himself again. It helped that he had something to do now.

They settled into a regular routine. Every morning, Rory would get up, eat breakfast, and take a quick shower. Then he would weave his way through the remains of the Doctor’s “projects” from the night before and take a seat near the TARDIS console. He’d spend the day there, monitoring the signals coming from Nadurniss. Once Rory got tired the Doctor would take over, alternately pacing and tinkering as he listened for mentions of “Mordax the Fool.”

Two weeks later they found something.

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Amy opened the box’s lid to reveal a jumble of Christmas decorations.

“Found it in a cupboard near the library,” Rory said excitedly.

“I haven’t seen those in ages.” The Doctor crouched down to get a better look. “Lucie bought them for the Christmas party for Susan and Alex.”

“Who?” Amy asked.

Absentmindedly, the Doctor picked up a dark blue bauble and turned it in his hand. “My family. All long gone now.”

Amy leaned against him “You’ve still got a family, ya daft old man.”

“Too right,” agreed Rory.

The Doctor replaced the bauble and smiled at them sadly.

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“Why are we still here,” Amy grumbled.

“She’s right.” Rory ran to join the others as they climbed the hill. “We’ve sorted the problem, the planet is safe - usually we’re gone by now.”

The Doctor grinned. “What year is it?”

“2020.”

“Exactly! And we’re near Cwmtaff, Wales.” He hopped in place. “What else happened here?”

“The Silurians,” Rory remembered. “I died here!”

“Well yes, there was that. But you also saw your future selves waving from a hill. This hill.”

Amy and Rory shared an astonished look. Then, laughing excitedly, they raced each other to the top of the ridge.

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Rory ran up the steps to join his wife at the TARDIS console. “So where are we this time?”

“I don’t know,” Amy frowned, “the Doctor’s being very secretive. I heard him chuckling and talking to himself in the kitchen this morning, but when I went in he just shooed me out again without an explanation.“

“He shooed you?” Rory raised his eyebrows.

“I know! Something’s definitely going on.”

“Come along Ponds!” The Doctor breezed past them carrying a large wicker hamper. “I believe someone was promised,” he opened the door with a flourish, “a picnic in New York City.”

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He stumbled down the street, his face creased with confusion and the air around him fizzing with temporal energy. Following him from a safe distance, she watched for signs of a trap; after all, he certainly didn’t belong here and now. After two blocks she picked up her pace, closing the distance between them so he’d noticed her. As he turned she saw the fear in his eyes and she smiled warmly to reassure him. “So exactly what do you think you’re doing here?”

Rory swallowed hard. “I just went to get coffees for the Doctor and Amy. Hello, River.”

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“That’s ridiculous.” Amy hugged her daughter. “He’s been alive for hundreds of years. He must have grown old himself many times in different bodies. Why would aging bother him?”

River hugged her back for a moment before twisting away. “The Doctor doesn’t like losing people, but he knows he always will. He’ll live…if not forever, then millennia after we’re all dead and he can’t do anything to stop that. When he tries to stop it, stop death, that’s when awful things happen.” She gave Amy a pleading look. “He could burn worlds to save us. We can’t let him.”

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“Not again,” he sighed. Rory was standing in the same cemetery, but the TARDIS, Amy, and the gravestone with his name were all gone. “What do I do now?” he wondered aloud, taking a few tentative steps up the hill.

Someone gasped behind him. Rory spun in time to see Amy appear and catch her as she stumbled forward. “Are you alright? How’d you get here?”

“The same way you did.” Wiping her tears away, she hugged him tightly. “One last Angel sending us both into the past.”

“The Doctor will find us.”

“No,” she smiled sadly, “not this time.”

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With nowhere else to go, they made their way to Central Park, back the rock where they’d picnicked with the Doctor.

“Will picnic,” Rory corrected himself. “In what? Seventy-some years?”

Amy sat beside him. “If you start thinking like that you’ll go mad.”

“It’d be something to do. I mean seriously, what can we do in the 1930s? We’ve no IDs, no past, nothing-”

“Rory and Amy Williams?” They looked up to see a young man walking toward them.

“Who’s asking,” Amy replied cautiously.

“Sam Garner, private detective.” He pulled an envelope from his coat. “I’ve a package for you.”

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“Some broad paid me to deliver it to you at this exact time and place.” As Amy took the envelope from him, Sam eyed both of them. “Described your clothes to a T.”

Rory narrowed his eyes. “A broad? Did she have big, curly hair?”

“Yeah, said her name was Melody Malone.” Sam laughed. “Sounded made-up to me, but what the hell? The money was good.” With wry wave, he left them.

Amy opened the envelope. Inside was a key, which she handed to Rory, and a letter. Taking a deep breath, she unfolded the paper and read it aloud.

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“Dear Mum and Dad,

If I’ve timed things right, you’ve just arrived in the 1930s. I’m sorry I can’t deliver this in person, but there are rules even I don’t dare break. The Doctor misses you terribly. I’ve told him not to travel alone, but he’s not listening. Maybe you can convince him, Amy, if you write the afterword for our book?

The manuscript is in a safety deposit box at the address below; please see that it’s published. I’ve also left you some money and IDs, enough to get you started.

Please take care of each other.

Love,

Melody”

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Amy stared out the window. “It’s tempting-“

“What is?” Rory sat buttering toast at their kitchen table. It was one of the rare mornings when he didn’t have to be at the hospital first thing.

“In two years the Battle of Britain starts. We could book passage to England, wait until me and the Doctor show up to see Winston Churchill, and-“

“We can’t.” He looked up at her. “You know we can’t.”

“Who says?”

“The Doctor-“

“He says lots of things-“

“And River.”

Amy sighed and took a piece of toast. “I know, but it can’t hurt to dream.”

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The Doctor exited the TARDIS cautiously. He was alone on this trip - Amy and Rory were…gone, River was off doing whatever she did when he wasn’t around, and Clara was “busy,” although he suspected she was cross with him. Pulling the tracker from his pocket, the Doctor followed the signal through the Bodleian and out onto the streets of Oxford.

He’d detected the time anomaly a while ago, but had gotten distracted with other things. Now it had his complete attention, so much so that he wandered into the path of an oncoming cyclist.

“Look out!” Alice yelled, swerving.

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“Alice?” Professor Chivers called out from behind them. She heard the confusion in his voice.

“Will he be alright?” Alice asked breathlessly, running to keep up with the Doctor’s long strides.

“The Creevix need him to finish the time machine,” he replied as he weaved through the Saturday morning crowds. “Until that’s done he should be safe.”

“And afterwards?”

“Hopefully I’ll have found a way to stop whatever they’re doing by then so it won’t matter.”

“But they said you couldn’t stop them.”

“They all say that. Honestly, you’d think megalomaniacal world-conquering aliens would come up with a better schtick.”

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The landscape was barren, lifeless. The Creevix had tricked him into creating the paradox that had allowed them to eat everything, even the stars. The Doctor’s mind raced as he tried to come up with a plan. The Time Lord hypercube was the key - a means to get messages to his previous selves, recruiting them to set causality in motion.

First he need a distraction, a small but meaningful change to keep the Creevix blind to everything else he was doing. Suddenly he remembered Professor Chivers - Cedric, Susan’s childhood friend all grown up - and wondered if he liked Bob Dylan.