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Third Doctor Drabbles

Chapter Text

Liz slipped and fell, landing with a splash in a calf-deep stream. Grateful that she’d worn her knee-high boots, she listened closely for any indication of which direction the Doctor had gone. But all she heard was the slow dripping of moisture from the cave roof into the water below.

She would just have to pick a direction using the most scientific method available.

“Eenie, meeny, miney, moe,” Liz began, then froze at a spluttering noise behind her. Turning slowly, she walked toward the sound, painfully aware of how loud her every movement seemed.

“Doctor?” she whispered. “Is that you?”

Chapter Text

“Not that the drive wasn’t relaxing,” the Doctor began when he spotted the Brigadier, “but Stegmoor off season isn’t scintillating and your summons was hardly illuminating.”

“I think what the Doctor’s asking,” Liz interjected with a smile as she picked her way along the beach, “is why are we here?”

The Brigadier shook his head in fond annoyance. “Local man, Daniel Gregson, reported seeing an alien spaceship.”

Liz looked around. “Where?”

“Here. On the beach.”

“But there’s nothing here?”

“Or at least, nothing we can see currently.” The Doctor rubbed the back of his neck. “Brigadier, I’ll need my TARDIS.”

Chapter Text

Mike Yates yawned. It’d been a strange night and he felt grateful to not be courtmartialed at the end of it. Time roaches, a Lord Byron lookalike, his cat-suited Girl Friday, and a time machine went far beyond anything he’d expected when he joined the army.

Now there was a new mystery: a fighter jet had disappeared and UNIT was coming to investigate. The group captain seemed grimly amused when he’d assigned Lieutenant Yates as their liaison officer. But surely it was a coincidence that both the man he’d met last night and UNIT’s scientific advisor were called "the Doctor?"

Chapter Text

The helicopter followed the coastline of Scotland along the same path the Doctor’s plane had taken moments before. It’d been an uneventful trip thus far and the Brigadier wondered if he’d overreacted. But he’d known the Doctor a long time - the man needed rescuing more often than he’d admit.

Sgt. Benton’s voice interrupted his thoughts. “Greyhound One, come in.”

“Greyhound One here.”

“Sir, the two soldiers guarding the stone circle were found unconscious a few minutes ago and…” Sgt. Benton hesitated.

The Brigadier felt an overwhelming sense of foreboding. “Go on, Sergeant.”

Benton cleared his throat. “Mike Yates is missing.”

Chapter Text

“You know I’m doing this under duress.”

Mike folded the road map and frowned. “Sir, we have our orders-”

“Blast your orders!” The Doctor waved a small device at Mike. “What good is finding more Silurian nests if the Brigadier is going to blow them up?”

Taking a deep breath, Mike tried again. “I have no orders to blow up anything-”

“Yet,” the Doctor interrupted sullenly.

“We’re just marking them so no one else stumbles across them.” He seemed unconvinced, so Mike changed tactics. “Doctor,” he pleaded, “this is my first command as part of UNIT. Will you help me?”

Chapter Text

“Captain Yates?”

“Yes sir?”

The Brigadier walked past Yates’ desk holding a printout, his tone stiff and distracted. “I need to get to Germany ASAP. Arrange it for me, would you?”

“Of course, anywhere in particular?”

Mike expected either biting sarcasm or laughter as the Brigadier realized his omission, but he received neither. “Kreigskind,” his superior replied without inflection. Mike frowned worriedly and, picking up paper and a pencil, followed him.

“Just you, sir? You don’t want me or Benton-“

“No, that’s not necessary. I’m going at the behest of an old friend, no need to bring an entourage along.”

Chapter Text

Mike ducked into the workroom. There was no sign of the Doctor, but several loud bangs came from inside his police box.

Liz Shaw glanced up from her work and smiled at him. “Everything alright?”

“I was going to ask you that.” He lowered his voice. “Heard there was a dustup between the Doc and the Brig.”

Liz raised her eyebrows. “You could say that. Things were a bit tense, now I think they’re avoiding each other.“

“That won’t be hard, the Brig’s in Germany-“

“Looking for more species to annihilate, I’ll wager,“ the Doctor grumbled, emerging from the TARDIS.

Chapter Text

After the attack, the Brigadier helped where he could, but it was clear his presence wasn’t welcome. Eventually he went back to his room in the castle tower. Sitting on his bed, he pulled out the signaling device the Doctor had given him months ago and sent a message:

“Doctor, need your help at Kreigskind. Base cut off, besieged by ghost-like creatures appearing as Roman legionaries. Communications with the outside world restricted on orders of acting base commander, Major Schrader. Several dead, more wounded. More attacks likely.”

“Hopefully he’ll answer,” the Brigadier sighed. “Given our last conversation, however, who knows?”

Chapter Text

“Where are you going?”

“To save the Brigadier from his latest disaster.” The Doctor grabbed his cape off the coat stand and, twirling it dramatically, settled it over his shoulders. “Preferably before he blows something else up.”

“Don’t you want me with you? Or Mike-”

“I need you here.” He took her hand and smiled. “Our tests are at a critical stage, I need someone I trust to oversee them. As for Mike, he’s in charge of UNIT HQ while the Brigadier is gone, he can’t run off to Germany. No, I’m sure I can handle whatever it is myself.”

Chapter Text

“Any luck?”

“I need more time.”

“Time is against us, Doctor, literally.” The Brigadier gestured toward the lab’s door through which they heard the sounds of battle. “Warriors from throughout history are attacking now. Nazis, barbarians, knights, and whatnot - all disintegrate into dust when we shoot them, but they always come back.”

“You’d better leave me to my work then, hadn’t you?” The Doctor dropped the component he was working on and glared at the Brigadier. “When will you learn that science leads?”

“That’s your area.” The Brigadier unholstered his gun. “I’m off to do what I can in mine.”

Chapter Text

“I know the Doctor said he wanted a break,” Liz paced the lab, “but he was supposed to return a week ago. Where is he? Why has no one seen or heard anything from him?”

Benton shrugged. “He’ll turn up, miss. He always does.”

“But what if he doesn’t?”

“Didn’t he say he was looking for property? Some place to set up as a vacation home to get away from the city,” Benton cleared his throat, “and other things.”

Liz grinned. “Like the Brigadier? Yes, he did.”

“So there’s your answer! He’s exploring the countryside. It’ll probably do him good.”

Chapter Text

“Look at this.” Liz grabbed Benton’s sleeve to get his attention and pointed at the newspaper article with her other hand. “Here’s another one. Avery Jenkins, a thirty-five year old shopkeeper disappeared in 1963. Last seen in Scotland.”

“People go missing all the time, miss, for all sorts of reasons that have nothing to do with,” glancing around the library, he lowered his voice, “aliens.”

“Yes, but one thing these disappearances have in common is all of these people disappeared near Cartle Muir, the same place we found map references for in the Doctor’s notes. That can’t be a coincidence.”

Chapter Text

“I’ve found them.”

Benton leaned toward the phone receiver. “Found who?”

“Everyone.” Liz sounded excited. “There are dry patches on the grass, you see.”

He frowned. “No, not really.”

“It was raining and yet the grass was dry. Something was there, but I couldn’t see it or touch it. Someone or something was altering my perceptions in Cartle Muir. I don’t know how-“

“Alien technology?”

“Most likely. There’s a man running a pub called the Wayward Traveler. He knows more than he’s saying.”

“Right, I’ll be there in ten minutes. Please miss, don’t do anything until then.”

Liz sighed. “Fine.”

Chapter Text

Benton leaned the rifle on his hip. “Settle in. Dr. Shaw will return soon and we’ll see what’s what.”

“Will we?” Matthew smiled. “Just seems wrong sending a wee lass on her own. Who knows what lives in Cartle Muir? Are you sure she can handle it?”

“She’s very clever, I reckon she can handle most things,” Benton replied, which was true but he was still nervous for her. Worriedly, he glanced back towards the road.

Matthew leapt at him, knocking the rifle out of his hands. Then something hit the back of Benton’s head and he sagged into unconsciousness.

Chapter Text

“Good trip?”

“Informative.” The Brigadier returned Benton’s salute before addressing Liz. “Captain Yates and I brought back some equipment I’d like you and the Doctor to analyze. Is he in?”

Liz suppressed a grin. “Not until tomorrow.”

“Fine. I hear there was an incident with an alien assassin while we were gone. Situation report?”

“All secured, sir.” Benton nodded to Liz. “Nothing there we couldn’t handle.”

The Brigadier sat down facing them, his eyes twinkling. “Was it anything to do with the disappearances at Cartle Muir?”

Liz’s poker face was better than Benton’s. “No,” she deadpanned, “just a complete coincidence.”

Chapter Text

Liz hurried into UNIT Headquarters. It was quiet inside, most of the staff having gone home for Christmas, and her footsteps echoed.

“Hello?” Sgt. Benton leaned into the hallway. “Oh it’s you, miss. Must’ve drawn the short straw too to be here on Christmas Day.”

She shrugged. “Mom’s visiting my sister and her family. I could’ve gone, but…”

“You wanted to keep the Doc company?” Benton’s eyes twinkled.

“Something like that.” She paused. “He’s going to cook Christmas dinner later. Would you like to join us?”

“I brought a turkey sandwich.” Benton considered for a moment, before smiling. “Why not?”

Chapter Text

“Doctor!”

The Doctor pauses in the hallway, pocketing the small device he was studying. He eyes the Brigadier cautiously as he approaches. Their relationship has been somewhat rocky, but lately they’ve maintained a fragile truce. “Yes, Brigadier?”

“I need your help with something-“

The Doctor brightens. “Of course, I’d be delighted-“

“My godson is staying with me while his parents are in Aberdeen, and it’s rather dull for a young boy to be stuck in meetings and whatnot. So I wondered if perhaps you’d watch him for awhile?”

The Doctor looks at him in horror. “You want me…to babysit?”

Chapter Text

Liz steps out of the TARDIS. “I wonder where he’s gotten to?”

She leaves the lab and walks quickly down to the offices where she spots Mike Yates speaking to a junior officer. “Hullo Liz!” His grin fades as he notices her expression. “What’s wrong?”

“Have you seen the Doctor? He’s been in a bit of a mood-”

“When isn’t he,” Mike laughs. “No, I haven’t. If you’d like, I’ll radio Benton or the Brigadier-”

Liz’s face lights up. “Oh, I bet that’s where he is!”

“Where are you going,” he calls as she hurries from the room.

“The zoo!”

Chapter Text

The wind whipped her hair around as they sped towards the crash site. Not for the first time, Liz wished she’d remembered to bring a scarf to tie it back with before getting into Bessie. “Are you sure we should be going so fast,” she yelled to the Doctor.

“Absolutely!” he yelled back. “That object the radar tracked could be anything! Can’t have potential alien technology lying about in an English field unattended, creating mischief and scaring farm animals.”

“It’s just…we left the UNIT troops behind ages ago.”

“That’s hardly my fault, Liz. The Brigadier should buy better vehicles.”

Chapter Text

The Doctor watches Liz make notes, measuring the size of the crater and recording any little detail that may reveal clues to the ship’s trajectory, speed, or origin. She has such a brilliant scientific mind, he can only imagine what she’d be capable of if she weren’t hamstrung by the limited resources of this backwater planet.

Soon his attention is drawn back to the crashed ship. It’s a familiar design, definitely interstellar, which means a technologically advanced species. The possibilities have him practically giddy. This could be what he’s been waiting for: an escape from his undeserved exile and imprisonment.

Chapter Text

Captain Yates hands Liz a mug. “This will help.”

The coffee is overly sweet and strong, but she sips it gratefully. “I doubt it’ll wash away that awful…stench.”

Mike hands mugs to Benton and Sgt. Marshall. He’s the new boy on the team and still getting a feel for unit dynamics. “They don’t look happy about it either,” he replies, indicating the Doctor and Brigadier talking quietly at the end of the hallway.

“At least nothing jumped out,” Benton shares a look with Marshall, “that’s the usual way with these things.”

Yates arches an eyebrow. “There’s a usual way?”

Chapter Text

So stupid! Why did he act so carelessly?

The Doctor runs down the corridor toward his lab, ignoring Liz’s astonished cries and the questions yelled by the young soldier he’s left behind to keep her safe. He’s made a terrible mistake, but it’s not to late to fix it. He rips off his contamination suit, retrieves the TARDIS key, and lets himself into his ship.

The pain overwhelms him before he reaches the console. Mimetic tissue explodes from his arm and he falls unconscious.

“Thank you, Doctor,” the Mim duplicate says coldly as it steps over the fallen Time Lord.

Chapter Text

Robin holds tightly to Liz’s arm, pulling her through the crowd of soldiers running towards the battle.

“I can run for myself,” Liz snaps, trying to pull away, but Sgt. Marshall doesn’t respond. He finds a Land Rover and, opening the door, shoves Liz unceremoniously inside. “Do you mind?”

“You heard the Brigadier’s orders,” Robin gets behind the wheel, “if we can’t find the real Doctor, you’re our only hope to stop that Mim thing.”

Liz looks back to where the huge purple monster is demolishing the UNIT troops and wonders if Benton and Yates are among them. “Some hope.”

Chapter Text

Liz’s hair is damp from her shower, but otherwise she appears her usual, professional self. She joins the others and notes Benton and Yates among the familiar faces. They, like all the other men present, won’t meet her eyes; instead they steal worried glances at her, turning away when she stares numbly in their direction.

Everyone looks as exhausted and miserable as she feels.

Benton stands suddenly and, raising his mug, toasts, “Robin Marshall.”

“Robin Marshall,” other voices echo. Liz blinks and for a moment she sees Robin - tangled in Mim tentacles as he pulls the hatch shut, saving everyone.

Chapter Text

“Ready, Dr. Shaw?”

“As I’ll ever be. How is the Doctor?”

“Still in a coma.” The Brigadier frowned. “I can send some of my men with you-“

“No,” Liz said emphatically. “I’ll appear less threatening alone. Besides, you’ll have enough to do as it is.”

“If you’re sure.” He nodded. “Good luck.”

Stepping into the lift, Liz pressed a button for the sub-basement. The doors soon opened again and she walked forward cautiously. About halfway down the corridor, a voice ordered her to identify herself.

“My name is Liz Shaw and I'm here to stop the end of the world.”

Chapter Text

Liz leaned against the door, the wood feeling cool against her skin. The phone receiver was propped between her neck and shoulder as she waited for the call to be transferred.

“Liz!” The Doctor sounded happier than he’d been when she’d last seen him. “The Brigadier and I just finished lunch - a bit of cheese sandwich really, but the vintage port was splendid-“

“Doctor,” Liz marveled at how calm her voice was, “you need to come to Cambridge. Something…has happened.”

“I’m already on my way. Lethbridge-Stewart mentioned something about missing scientists.” He paused. “Liz, what’s wrong? Are you alright?”

Chapter Text

“Sir?” Mike Yates approached the trio, giving the Doctor and Dr. Shaw a quick smile. The Doctor grinned back at him, but Liz seemed preoccupied. “We’ve had news-”

“A body,” the Doctor asked.

“I’m afraid so. It’s being reported as a suicide. We’ve moved the body to the railway station, but our people say there’s something odd about it.”

The Brigadier frowned. “Odd how?”

“They say he’s…blue.”

“Interesting.” The Doctor rubbed the back of his neck, considering this new information. “What do you think, Liz?” When she didn’t answer, he turned and studied her face with concern. “Liz? Liz!”

Chapter Text

The Doctor drew Yates aside. “Keep an eye on Liz for me, Mike. The disappearance of her friend has rather unsettled her.”

“Of course,” Mike replied, failing to contain his excitement. “I’ll help any way I can.”

The Doctor patted his shoulder. “Good man.” Then he jogged outside to join the Brigadier.

Mike found Liz kneeling beside a mangled mass of metal. “Can I help, Dr. Shaw?”

“You could if I knew what I was looking at,” she sighed.

“It’s a chair, I think.” With a finger he eagerly traced the shape. “I saw something similar sitting in the kitchen.”

Chapter Text

“Here’s the address you wanted.” Mike leaned forward to study the sign. “A dentist’s office, huh?”

“Apparently.” Liz stared at the building, reluctant to get out of the car. It was pouring rain outside and she hated dentists.

“I could drop you off out front,” Mike glanced at her, “or better yet, why don’t I walk you inside?”

That brought Liz back to herself. “No thank you, Captain,” she replied sharply. She liked Mike, but his puppyish enthusiasm reminded her painfully of Robin. “I don’t need an escort.” Opening the door, she stepped onto the sidewalk and walked briskly away.

Chapter Text

“I should have stayed with her,” Yates paced worriedly, “but she was insistent-“

“I can imagine,” the Doctor replied ruefully. “Very independent is our Liz.” He was interrupted by a ringing telephone. Leaning through Bessie’s window, he grabbed the device. “Yes? Ah, Sergeant Benton. You have? Excellent! Give me the address.” Hanging up, the Doctor grinned. “Liz’s former tutor found her several blocks from where you left her.”

“She’s alive?”

“Yes, but a little woozy. I’m going to her now.”

Mike’s expression hardened. “I’ll get some men together and search the dentist’s office. We’ll find out what happened to her.”

Chapter Text

Liz woke to a comforting weight on her shoulders. Looking up, she realized she was cuddled into Sgt. Benton’s side. Benton removed his arm from around her shoulders and smiled, although his eyes remained worried. “Feeling better, miss?”

“Where am I?” She gazed in confusion at the wall they were sitting against. “Weren’t we inside a minute ago?”

“We were, miss, but you had some kind of epileptic fit and tried to eat a book.”

“Eat a book!”

Benton nodded. “The Encyclopaedia Britannica, I think.”

“All of it?”

“No, just one volume.”

Liz rubbed her eyes. “That’s something, at least.”

Chapter Text

The Doctor awoke slowly and groaned. His head hurt where Liz had hit him and he reached up to rub it, only to realize his arms were strapped securely to his sides. Looking around, he saw rows of coffin-like devices; most of them were empty, but about fifteen were occupied by humans in various stages of Cyber-conversion.

“Liz?” She was laying unconscious in a device to his right. Although she was restrained as well, he couldn’t detect any signs her conversion had begun. “Other than that blue filling,” he muttered to himself, “which is having a worrying effect on you.”

Chapter Text

The Doctor carried Liz from the crashed Cyberman spaceship to Jean Baisemore’s cottage. Captain Yates arrived at nearly the same time and opened the door for him. “Is she-“

Hurrying to the lounge, the Doctor lay Liz on the sofa. “She’ll be fine, assuming you did as I asked and got the college labs to synthesis the new version of the antidote.”

Mike handed him a vial followed by a handful of syringes. “Wasn’t sure how many you’d need, this isn’t exactly my area.”

“Good work, Mike!” The Doctor filled a syringe and gently pushed the needle into Liz’s cheek.

Chapter Text

“I can’t do this anymore.”

The Doctor knelt beside Liz and placed his hands over hers. “Don’t make any snap decisions. You’re upset about your friend, which is understandable-“

“It’s not just about Jean.” She pushed him away. “It’s Robin and all the people I’ve watched die. It’s what almost happened to my mother and me. I nearly became a Cyberman, remember?”

“Yes,” he replied sadly. “I’m sorry.”

“I know.” She sounded less angry, but more exhausted. “I never wanted to join UNIT, really. I only stayed…because I loved working with you. I’m just not sure that’s enough now.”

Chapter Text

“I’m sorry.” Liz looked up to find Yates standing in the lab doorway. “If I’d gone with you to that dentist-“

“You would’ve ended up with a blue tooth too.” She left packing and walked towards him. “This was a long time coming. It’s not your fault.” She held out her hand. “I’ve enjoyed working with you, Mike.”

He shook it, grinning. “Likewise.”

Benton joined them, glancing at Liz shyly. “I’ll miss you too, miss…er, Dr.-”

To his pleased embarrassment, Liz hugged him. “I’m not leaving the planet, you know. I insist you both visit me, once I’m settled.”

Chapter Text

Benton knocked quietly. “Sorry to interrupt sir, but there’s a young lady to see you.”

“Ah, Miss Grant.” The Brigadier held out his hand. “Ready for your first day?”

Grinning, Jo shook it. “Yes sir, I can’t tell you how exciting this is.“

“I’m sure. Sergeant Benton you’ve met-“

“Hello miss.”

“And this is Captain Yates.”

Yates nodded in acknowledgment. “What group are you assigned to?”

“Josephine Grant is the Doctor’s new assistant.” The Brigadier hid a smile as Yates and Benton exchanged surprised glances. “His lab is right down the hall. Why not introduce yourself to him, Miss Grant?”

Chapter Text

“Don’t try, Miss Grant,” Jo sing-songed in an imitation of Mike Yates’s voice. “Take it easy, love.” She rolled her eyes. “Honestly, it’s like they think I need a fainting couch or something. I’m a trained UNIT agent!”

Hearing familiar voices, she paused in the corridor. “So the Doctor hasn’t left to investigate the circus yet? If only he’d see that I’m perfectly capable-”

Then she had an idea.

Jo raced out of UNIT headquarters and climbed into the Doctor’s car. Hiding herself under a blanket, she chuckled, “Show don’t tell, isn’t that what they say? Well, I’ll show them.”

Chapter Text

“The man is insufferable!” The Brigadier stormed into his office. “If the Doctor were anyone else-“

“But he isn’t, sir.” Mike lowered his eyes as the Brigadier glared at him.

“Obviously.” Sitting down behind his desk, he sighed. “Spare me from temperamental geniuses and cheeky UNIT captains. What do you suggest for our next steps, Yates?”

“Start canvasing plastics facilities. If the Master and the Autons have a base, it’s likely near one of them.”

“Agreed, but we need to narrow it down. Put someone on researching anything related to plastics that has been in the news recently.”

“Yes sir!”

Chapter Text

“One minute the Doctor was complaining about the Brigadier, the next he was defending him quite fiercely to Mr. Brownrose.”

“The Doc and the Brig argue and insult each other but woe betide anyone else who tries it.” Mike leaned closer to Jo. “They’re not unlike a married couple, just don’t tell them I said that.”

“Captain Yates?”

Jumping like guilty children, they turned to face the Brigadier.

“Shouldn’t you be checking leads? And Miss Grant, I’m sure the Doctor needs your assistance.”

Mumbling their agreement, they hurried in opposite directions. The Brigadier watched them go and chuckled to himself.

Chapter Text

“Come along.” The Master gestured with his TCE. “We’re going to your ridiculous vehicle.”

Putting himself between the weapon and Jo, the Doctor held up his hands. “Dare I ask why?”

“According to Miss Grant, my Autons associates are in danger. We are going to warn them.” As they walked outside, they passed the shrunken bodies of two UNIT soldiers. The Doctor put his arm around Jo as she cried out. “How touching,” the Master sneered.

“You have such a brilliant mind,” the Doctor paused in front of Bessie, “if only you’d use it for something besides cruelty and evil!”

Chapter Text

The Master looked around his cell. Shift change was in five minutes, plenty of time to double check his preparations. If all went as planned, he would never see this place again.

The items on his bed wouldn’t raise any suspicions among the prison guards watching him. To their primitive minds the materials would look like scrap, but to someone of his brilliance, they were a means to transfer his consciousness to the closest…moderately acceptable receptacle.

“I wonder what you are doing right now, my dear Doctor,” the Master touched the device, “I suppose I’m about to find out.”

Chapter Text

“It’s fine, Jo-“

“No, it isn’t!” Jo stomped angrily around Mike’s office, an action made somewhat comical by the fact she was barefoot and wearing a bikini covered in tassels. “The Doctor has no right to treat you so appallingly. You were just doing your job.”

“Yes, but we all know the Doc is…prickly sometimes-“

“That’s no excuse, Mike! Besides, he’s been more beastly to you than normal lately.”

“I’m a UNIT officer, I can handle it-”

“You shouldn’t have to!” Slipping on her oversized sunglasses, she marched out. “I’m going to give him a piece of my mind.”

Chapter Text

“Hi-yah!” The Doctor aimed a Venusian Aikido chop at the nearest warder and the man fell into the cell’s ankle-deep water. Turning to the other three guards, he shrugged the Master’s shoulders. “I apologize, but needs must. I’m really not who you think I am.”

“They all say that.” The largest guard swung at him with his truncheon, but the Doctor ducked before landing four quick blows.

Alerted by the noise, other warders rushed toward the cell. Soon the Doctor was pinned to the wall. “You don’t know what you’re doing,” he yelled. “He’s..out there-“

Then everything went black.

Chapter Text

Jo lay curled up on the couch, her head cushioned against Mike’s thigh. Benton was sprawled in a nearby armchair. All three of them were sound asleep.

Smiling, the Doctor shut the door quietly.

Eventually he found the kitchen, but it wasn’t empty. The Brigadier sat nursing a mug of coffee as he reviewed a stack of files at the kitchen table. “Still awake, Brigadier? Tomorrow will likely be a long day.”

“Something about this situation bothers me. I won’t be able to sleep until I figure it out.”

The Doctor joined him. “I know the feeling. Want some help?”

Chapter Text

Jo slipped the Blue-Shift Detector into her pocket as the Doctor and the Brigadier argued. She’d almost sneaked out of the building when a voice behind her said, “Going somewhere, miss?”

Jo cringed, thinking she’d been caught, until she saw who it was. “Sgt. Benton,” she grinned with relief, “don’t you look swish!”

“I’m off duty.” Benton replied, looking dashing in his jacket and flared purple pants.

“I’m tracking down a Mrs. Killebrew.“ Jo shifted nervously. “It’s quite important, really.”

“Need a lift?”

“If you’re offering-“

“Glad to help.” Benton held the door for her. “My car’s this way, miss-“

Chapter Text

“What’s this about,” Benton asked on their drive to Marleybone, “and why are you on your own?”

Jo sighed. “Remember when the Brig lectured me about missing those training courses?”

“Spy school,” Benton said, quoting the Doctor.

“Exactly. Then Mike…Capt. Yates called me ‘Jemima Bond?’”

“The Captain ribs everyone, I wouldn’t take that to heart-”

“But it’s typical! I’m the youngest, the only woman, and no one takes me seriously. So I’m going to prove to everyone that I belong in UNIT by solving this mystery.”

“Don’t try too hard, miss. It’s easy to get out of your depth.”

Chapter Text

“Lean on me, Sergeant,” Jo offered. “How’s your bullet wound?”

“I’m fine,” Benton replied, but he clearly wasn’t as he almost walked into a group of young women jogging backward down the sidewalk. “The sooner we escape this backward-flowing time, the better,” he muttered as Jo steadied him.

“The Doctor will know what to do, we just need to reach UNIT headquarters.” Jo frowned. “Mike’s duty officer today. We were going out to dinner later. What will he think if I don’t show?”

“Hurry up you two,” the Brigadier called ahead of them. “Those dogs could catch up any minute!”

Chapter Text

Jo lay asleep on the floor of the bandstand. But the doll, the creature known as HannaH who’d taken over her body, was very much awake. Even the Doctor found the arrangement creepy.

“Now that I have you alone,” HannaH said using Jo’s mouth, “I have questions.”

“Are you interviewing me?”

“Just a friendly chat. First, why do you surround yourself with such mundane, shallow people as Miss Grant here?”

“Jo is much more than she appears,” the Doctor said frostily. “And given she’s why you’re able to survive in our reality, I’d expect you to show her some respect.”

Chapter Text

Mike helped Jo into her coat. “I heard you had a busy day-”

She smiled proudly. “I saved myself, the Doctor, the Brigadier, and Sgt. Benton and sent home creatures from a parallel reality.”

“All in one day?”

“Two days, actually - I’ve lived today and yesterday twice.” Jo frowned. “It’s funny, I remember them both ways: forward-running and backward-running. Wouldn’t you think they’d cancel each other out?”

“No idea.” He opened the door for her. “Ready for dinner?”

“Yes, please! Prawn cocktail, Steak Diane, and Black Forest gateau!”

Mike chuckled. “That’s oddly specific, but I’ll see what I can do.”

Chapter Text

Dartford, England.

There was pandemonium today as the press got their first look at the witness to the mysterious death of noted race car driver, Samuel Pierce. Josephine Grant, niece of UN official Jack Canning, was led away from the inquest proceedings by Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart of UNIT and a man only identified as “the Doctor,” who claimed to be a family friend. Few details are known about the events surrounding Mr. Pierce’s death and all inquest participants refused to comment publicly, however it seems he died under suspicious circumstances.

More information on this story as it becomes available.

Chapter Text

“Doctor! I want you and Miss Grant to attend a meeting the British Army are holding-“

The Doctor didn’t look up from his tinkering. “The one that fool General Wiley is holding on better ways for you humans to destroy each other?”

“They talked about that on the news.“ Jo looked horrified. “Surely UNIT doesn’t support creating more weapons and wars?”

“Quiet please. I want you two and Captain Yates to attend with open minds.” The Brigadier’s eyes twinkled. “If you find something wrong with the General’s plans, then I’ll do all I can to put a stop to them.”

Chapter Text

“Doctor,” Jo glanced over her shoulder at the creature following them, “we must do something!”

“You saw what happened to Sterling and Oaks. If we tried to escape, the Mega would have no compunction about killing us too.”

“We could leave some sign for Mike-“

“Looks like we’re going on a boat trip,” the Doctor said loudly. He gave her a meaningful look. “Your shoes were hardly meant for sailing. Why not leave them here?” As she took them off the Doctor casually shuffled his feet, leaving marks on the muddy ground. He hoped Captain Yates remembered his Morse Code.

Chapter Text

The trip to UNIT headquarters was awkward. Jo felt the weight of the lie she and the Doctor had told like a millstone around her neck.

Mike Yates tentatively touched her shoulder. “Are you okay?”

Jo jumped, then looked guilty. “I’m…fine. Just fine, Mike. Don’t worry about me.”

“You don’t look it.” His usually smiling face was serious now. “You know you can trust me, don’t you? Whatever it is, you can tell me.”

Jo sighed miserably. “I could…really use a hug right now.”

Yates grinned and wrapped his arms around her. “I can always help with that.”

Chapter Text

Jo looked nervously around the airplane. “What are we doing? We don’t have our real passports-“

“Hush-“

“We’re supposed to be at the forensic labs in Croydon. How’s it going to look to the Brigadier when he finds out we’ve left the country?”

The Doctor raised his eyebrows and lowered his voice. “If the man has any sense, he’ll know we’re following a lead.”

“But he doesn’t even know,” she too lowered her voice, “aliens were behind the assassination. We should’ve told him the truth!”

“I have my reasons.” He patted her hand. “You’ll just have to trust me, Jo.”

Chapter Text

Mike struggled to keep his face expressionless as General Franks lay into the Brigadier.

“…Your pet scientist has landed us in it again! What were you thinking trusting that treasonous pacifist? Who knows how many of our secrets he’s stolen under your very nose-“

Lethbridge-Stewart took the rebukes calmly. Mike, however, sunk his fingernails into the palms of his hands to prevent himself from angrily defending his commander, the Doctor, and Jo. The general’s reaction was understandable, given the Doctor’s recent activities, but he didn’t know the man like UNIT did. Mike was sure that the Doctor was no traitor.

Chapter Text

“Break it up you lot!” Benton yelled, running toward a group of looters. “Get on home where you belong!”

Movement nearby caught Mike’s eye. A group of angry-looking men were closing in on a young boy. “There you are,” Mike said cheerfully, striding through the crowd to grab the boy’s hand, “your mum’s looking everywhere for you.”

“Get outta the way,” someone grumbled. “Foreigners like him killed the Prime Minister!”

With one hand on his gun, Mike led the boy away. “I was in the studio when that happened and trust me, this child had nothing to do with it.”

Chapter Text

“Stay in the shadows and get home as fast as you can,” Mike advised. The boy nodded once and sprinted away. Mike debated following him to make sure he made it safely, but he heard a cry behind him. Sgt. Benton was facing off against two men armed with metal pipes. Benton’s gun was nowhere to be seen and one of his arms hung limply at his side, likely broken. Mike fired a warning shot into the ground near their feet and they scattered.

“Sorry sir,” Benton gasped, “they got the jump on me. There’s just too many of them!”

Chapter Text

“Those images on the screens in the Prince’s control room,” Jo whispered, “all the damage - was that London?”

The Doctor glanced at the Mega but none of them were paying any attention. “I think so. Which is why it’s desperately important that we get the heliograph working so we can signal UNIT.”

“Do you think he suspects?”

“No. Prince Cassie seems happy enough to let us do what we like as long as we’re being useful and not actively resisting his orders.” His eyes twinkled. “I say we take advantage of his good mood for as long as it lasts.”

Chapter Text

“We can’t let them execute the Brigadier, sir.” Magee swore quietly. “He’s no more an enemy to the state than I am.”

“My thoughts exactly.” Mike glanced at the guard on the door. “What we need is a jailbreak.”

Escaping the room was a bit too easy Mike thought, but he had no time to worry about it. He led Magee and a few other UNIT soldiers through the building. When they reached the room where the Brigadier was being kept, he paused. “You lot clear a way for us out the back. Magee and I will handle the rest.”

Chapter Text

“Any word?”

“No Captain.” The Brigadier’s face was somber. “Only twenty minutes until the deadline and five until the missiles take out Cassie’s castle.”

“Maybe the Doctor and Jo aren’t there. They could’ve escaped-“

“All our sources say they’re there.” Lethbridge-Stewart gave him a sympathetic look. “I’ve seen the Doctor do some incredible things. Until we know for sure, I won’t give up hope.”

Yates nodded and wandered off on his own. The waiting would be easier if he had something to do, but he was surplus to requirements. He could only stare into the darkness and think about Jo.

Chapter Text

The Doctor settled into his first-class seat and sipped his wine with satisfaction. “This is a vastly superior vintage than on our trip over.”

“It helps that we’re flying under our own names and at the Prime Minster’s expense.” Jo looked back to where Yates and Benton sat with the Brigadier. “It’s a shame the others aren’t closer. I’d like to hear how things are at home.”

The corners of the Doctor’s mouth twitched. “Shall I have a word and have Mike sent up here?”

Jo blushed. “I’m perfectly capable of asking him to sit with me myself, thank you!”

Chapter Text

When the Doctor arrived back at UNIT Headquarters, he found Jo and the Prime Minister’s personal secretary, Jason Sinclair, still looking groggy.

“What did we miss?” Jo asked, rubbing her eyes.

“Nothing very interesting.” the Doctor sat down at his workbench and began tinkering. “Just some particularly aggressive weapons peddlers. Don’t trouble yourself, Jo. They won’t bother us again any time soon.”

“But where is the Prime Minister?” Jason asked. “Surely nothing happened to him?”

“No,” the Doctor replied icily. “Although we had a difference of opinion so I left him there.”

Jason turned pale. “Left him where precisely, sir?”

Chapter Text

Once they helped Meredith inside, Jo made tea for the overwhelmed woman while the Doctor stared gloomily at the rose garden in an effort to determine their next steps.

Mike couldn’t help with that, this science was beyond him, but he could find other infestations. Leaving the vicarage to gather his men, he approached the gate only to find himself stepping back inside the house. A strange dizziness nearly overwhelmed him, just like when he’d tried to pick a rose for Jo earlier. He tried again and again, but always with the same results.

Slowly he realized they were trapped.

Chapter Text

“What does it do?”

The Doctor snatched the device from Mike’s hands. “It detects energy spikes and is very delicate.”

Jo giggled. “The Doctor’s convinced something alien’s going on in London.”

“He may be right,” the Brigadier said coldly from the doorway.

Sensing something was wrong, Mike stepped away from the Doctor’s workbench. “Another freak weather disturbance, sir?”

“More than that. We’ve received word that half of Hyde Park has frozen solid-”

“But it’s summer!”

“Precisely, Miss Grant. Plants, people, pets - all frozen in an instant.” He looked at their astonished faces. “Get your gear. We leave in three minutes.”

Chapter Text

One minute she was part of Diamond Jack’s act, the next she was somewhere cold and dark. “Mike?” Jo called. “Is that you?”

“No,” Jack chuckled, sounding nearby. “Would you like to see him, Jo? He’s so worried about you.”

Suddenly Mike was in front of her. She screamed his name but her voice made no sound.

It took Jo a moment to realize the body she was looking out of wasn’t her own. “Our minds are linked, you see,” she heard Jack say. “She’s calling out for you, Mike. Right now - screaming through my mind. And she’s so scared-”

Chapter Text

Mike stared at the calling card. It was clearly a trap, but it was also the only clue to Jo’s whereabouts.

He had to go - however, he wasn’t going alone. “Greyhound Two to Greyhound One,” he called sharply into his radio. “I’m chasing one more lead on the ice storms-”

“Those aren’t your orders, Captain.” The Brigadier pointedly put extra emphasis on his rank.

“I know, sir. But please, would you and the Doctor meet me there? 47 Honor Oak Park.”

“Of course.” It was the Doctor this time. “And is Jo going with you?”

Mike paused. “Yes,” he lied.

Chapter Text

Mike sat beside the hospital bed and cleared his throat nervously.

“Jo? Can you hear me?” Her eyes remained closed and the heart monitor kept its slow, steady beat. “They say I should talk to you, that it might help you wake from the coma. You haven’t missed much over the last week. We’ve moved Jack’s spaceship out of the cemetery. The Doctor and the Brig are bickering about what to do with it-”

Still no reaction. He reached out and took her hand. “Come back to us, Jo - please. Even if you don’t remember me, just…please come back.”

Chapter Text

“So,” Jo grinned, “have you gotten it working again?”

“Not reliably.” The Doctor lay under the console, surrounded by wires and bits of equipment, but he smiled back at her. “Although…I think I’m getting a bit closer.” Suddenly the TARDIS doors swung shut and the central column began to move. “What’s this?” Leaping up, he stared at the controls. “Did you touch anything, Jo?”

“I wouldn’t know where to begin.” She grabbed onto the console to steady herself as the TARDIS jolted violently. “What’s happening?”

“Someone has hijacked my ship,” the Doctor exclaimed, “and I expect I know who-“

Chapter Text

The Doctor hurried Annie back inside the hospital. “Jo! Jo?”

“Here Doctor,” she called. “Did you find the patient-”

“Yes…and no.” The Doctor shook his head sadly. “We spotted Private Taylor, but I lost him in the fog. We can only hope that he’ll return on his own-”

“He won’t.” Nurse Grantham sniffled, trying to stop herself from crying. “Didya not see his face? Like he was weary of living.”

“I did.” The Doctor met Jo’s eyes. “And I think what we need now is a cup of tea.”

“Which means,” Jo sighed, “you want me to make some.”

Chapter Text

“Don’t worry,” Jo put an arm around Annie’s shoulder and hugged her tightly, “the Doctor will find a way to fix this. It’s what he does, really.”

“How?” She leaned against Jo, grateful for the comfort. “It’s this war. It takes good men with so much promise and hope and grinds them down until they’re naught but broken shadows of themselves.”

“I think that’s what most wars do,” Jo replied quietly. “But what’s happening with your patients - the ones wandering off to die just as they seemed to be getting better - the Doctor will get to the bottom of that.”

Chapter Text

The door slammed in Jo’s face.

“Be that way,” she grumbling, hurrying on. “It’s fine for the Doctor and Annie, off to Sarajevo to see how Archduke Ferdinand survived, but what about me-”

“Is that you, Miss Grant,” Private Campbell called from his hospital bed.

“Sorry if I woke you.” Jo collapsed wearily into the chair beside him. “It’s just…the Doctor asked me to do something, but he didn’t leave any ID to prove who I am,” she shrugged, “so no one will talk to me.”

“That’s alright miss,” Campbell gave her a cheeky grin, “I’ll vouch for you.”

Chapter Text

“Must we do this,” Annie pleaded. “He’s a sweet lad, never a cross word-”

“Annie,” the Doctor knelt and took her hands, “it’s not him. Time energy has possessed his body. Private Campbell probably doesn’t even realize what’s happening. Do you really want to leave him like that?”

“No, of course not.”

“And if we don’t do this, more people will be driven into suicidal despair.” He stood. “I can’t stand by while that happens, can you?”

Jo held her breath and waited for Annie’s reply.

Annie shivered but looked up, a determined expression on her face. “No, I can’t.”

Chapter Text

Jo slid as far towards the middle of the car as she could, but she was still getting soaked. “Are we almost there?”

“I should say so-”

“It’s just…it’s getting dark-“ The car slowed and she looked at him in confusion. “What’s wrong?”

“I think we should have taken that last right. We better head back.” Putting Bessie into reverse, the Doctor began turning the car around. But while the wheels spun rapidly, the vehicle didn’t move.

“Great!” Jo huffed. “A creepy private hospital in the middle of nowhere and we run into trouble before we even get there!”

Chapter Text

The clinic’s Chief Administrator lit an expensive cigar. On a security monitor, a white-haired man in a luxurious velvet jacket badgered Dr. Kurdi, dropping names like “UNIT” and “the ministry” without a shred of evidence that he belonged to either.

The Administrator chuckled and picked up his phone.

“Kurdi.” She sounded annoyed.

“Why are you keeping our visitors standing in the lobby? Show them to the guest rooms-“

“But surely-“

“Trust me, if you don’t let them stay they’ll just make a nuisance of themselves.” The Monk paused, considering. “Besides, the Doctor could be the solution to our little problem.”

Chapter Text

“No Dr. Kurdi, I’m afraid I can’t agree.” The Doctor lounged in his chair as if he’d just finished a gourmet meal rather than the poor, tasteless fare the hospital had served them. “Good food, fine wines, simulating conversation, and travel - these things are part of what makes life worth living.”

“Utterly ridiculous,” she spat at him. “The human body was meant to be perfected not wasted in frivolous hedonism!”

“Perfected to what end?” he pressed.

“The betterment of the species, what else?”

“I’ll happily stay a lesser mortal,” Jo muttered, “if it means shopping trips and fish and chips.”

Chapter Text

With his most problematic patient safely secured, only one problem remained: perfecting the experimental treatments. He could just ask for the Doctor’s help, but the Monk knew how he’d react. What he needed was leverage.

While Dr. Kurdi tended to the head wound of the Doctor’s young friend, the Monk retrieved a sample of alien virus from his TARDIS. Incurable, debilitating almost immediately, but taking days to kill its victims, it was the perfect tool of persuasion. Adding the virus to a glass of water, he tipped an analgesic onto his palm and handed both to Jo with a smile.

Chapter Text

The Brigadier wasn’t fond of meetings in Geneva, which were inevitably political minefields. But with age and experience he’d gotten better at navigating the competing interests to get the resources or approval UNIT needed to function effectively.

He had just finished a particularly divisive budget meeting when a young lieutenant flagged him down. “Yes Luthra, what is it?”

“Sir,” she began breathlessly, “we’ve had an urgent request for backup from Dartmoor.”

“Isn’t that where the Doctor is?”

“That’s just it, sir. They’re saying the Doctor is dead.”

“What?!” The Brigadier paled noticeably. “I want a flight back to London ASAP!”

Chapter Text

“We should call someone.”

“I’ve already left messages for Marian. Who else is there?” Gusta sorted through the inventory of the last supply ship. “No one cares about this place anymore.”

Chad frowned and played a cheerful tune in an attempt to brighten her mood. “We could bury them at least. The crew.”

“You wanna touch those bodies not knowing what killed them?” She glared at him. “Go right ahead.”

There was a noise outside. Moments later, a heavily armed man burst into the saloon. “Hollisen Grier,” he said grimly. “I need to know if you’ve had any visitors lately.”

Chapter Text

“Greer reporting to BCR Corp from Burnt Salt. Target not yet located. I’ve interrogated the locals: Gusta Pardo, a saloon owner, and Chad Caramel, a musician. Both their stories check out. There’s an academic research facility a few hours from here, so they say. I haven’t been able to reach anyone down there yet despite multiple attempts. If need be, I’ll commander a vehicle and check it out in person. But for now, I’m staying in Port Anvil. My gut tells me that the Leveler is here…somewhere. If it is, the Cybermen will come for it soon. End report.”

Chapter Text

Jo glanced around nervously. “Come on, Chad. I’ll help you up.”

His voice, when it came, sounded oddly emotionless. “Must. Remain. Wait for…collection.”

“Collection? Chad, Gusta’s gone and I’m sorry, I know you’re ill from that Cyber Smoke, but I have to get you back to the Doctor.” Taking his hand she pulled him to his feet. “He said you were very important.”

“There is no logic in that statement.”

“Maybe not, but the Doctor usually has a very good reason for everything he does.” Jo slipped Chad’s arm over her shoulders. “Lean on me. We have to hurry!”

Chapter Text

The Doctor helped Jo into the vehicle’s cargo hold. “Bundle up under a few coats and you should be quite snug.”

“Don’t fuss,” Jo replied, grumpy and exhausted.

“Nonsense! Someone needs to keep an eye on the TARDIS while I try to get more information out of Hollisen.”

“Be careful, Doctor. He frightens me, and after what happened to Chad-”

“Now who’s fussing? I’m fine. As for Mr. Grier, he’s been fighting a war that has cost him so much. It’s made him cold, angry, but I think he’s fundamentally decent. We may just need to remind him of that.”

Chapter Text

Skippa ran through the forest to her mother’s house. Climbing the nearest tree, she leapt through the infirmary window. “Friend Doctor,” she whispered, shaking him, “wake up!”

“Jo?” he gasped, his eyes fluttering open. “No…one of the Lemuria?”

“Hurry! The silver men are coming!”

“Cybermen?” Groaning, he sat up. “I’ve slowed the Cyber particles but they’re still working their way through my system-”

Skippa nodded. “Poisoned. Come now! Mother locked Friend Jo and Angry Man in the Observation Room.”

“Angry man? You mean Grier?” The Doctor laughed. “Yes, that’s an apt description of him. Lead the way, young lady.”

Chapter Text

They fought side by side as the other Lemuria gathered around and above them. “That’s right,” Grier yelled, “try to keep out of their reach. Let the laser lance do most of the work.”

A Cyberman screamed as Skippa sliced through it. “Aye-eeeeee-yay! We will drive them from our home! Our world!”

“Don’t get too far ahead of yourself, kid. There’s still a lot more of them than there are of us.” He looked up into the trees. “Any chance we can persuade your sisters to fight?”

“They don’t understand. It’s too much.”

“Yeah,” he replied sadly. “It always is.”

Chapter Text

Grier sat alone, surrounded by Cybermen. He’d tried to stop them from taking Skippa down to the Leveler, but he’d failed.

All of this was his fault. If he hadn’t persuaded her to fight, she and her sisters could’ve escaped. Now the Cyber Fog was attacking his mind, soon he’d be converted. Perhaps that was the inevitable end to a life fighting the Cybermen?

There was buzzing nearby. One Cyberman screamed, followed by another. Soon all his guards were dead and Skippa stood triumphantly over him. “Friend Grier! We still fight, yes?”

Grier grinned back at her. “You know it.”

Chapter Text

“It’s silly,” Gusta complained, her eyes wet, “Chad’s body isn’t even here.”

Jo took her hand. “But we are, all the people who cared about him. You aren’t alone.”

Grier approached, clearly uncomfortable. He usually left before the funerals began. “Gusta, I’m-“

“Don’t apologize, Mr. Grier. You didn’t kill Chad, you saved him from his worst fear: becoming a Cyberman.” Howling erupted from the remains of the forest and she twitched. “What’s that?”

“A lament.” Marian kept her distance, mindful of her role in this tragedy. “The children are mourning their friend and their sisters who died in his defense.”

Chapter Text

“Do you have to leave?”

“I’ve warned BCR about the Cybermen fleet. They’re scrambling what resources they have, which includes me.” Grier studied Jo’s face. “How’s the Doctor?”

“Sleeping,” she sighed. “Marian thinks he’s as resistant to the antidote as he was to the Smoke, but he’ll recover. He’ll be sorry to have missed saying goodby to you and Gusta-”

“Maybe we’ll meet again.” Grier turned to speak to Skippa but she silenced him with a hug.

“Friend Grier, I will miss you! Please, stay safe.”

For the first time, Jo saw him genuinely smile. “You too, sweetheart, you too.”

Chapter Text

As Bessie sped towards Cambridge, Jo turned her attention from the lovely summer day to their destination. “Tell me about Liz.”

The Doctor smiled. “Dr. Elizabeth Shaw. Brilliant woman, degrees in medicine and physics, as well as several others. Foremost expert on meteorites.”

“Gosh! She sounds impressive.”

“She is. She’s also compassionate, highly principled, and can hold her own even against the Brigadier. I think you’ll like her.”

“Hopefully she likes me.”

“Honestly Jo, who doesn’t like you?”

“There are some,” Jo began.

“No one who’s a friend of mine,” he assured her, “so you have nothing to worry about.”

Chapter Text

“I didn’t exactly volunteer to join UNIT.”

Jo looked surprised. “You didn’t?”

“No,” Liz laughed, “not my thing at all. ‘Little green men and invisible ink?’ The Brigadier…requisitioned me, as it were, and I was none too happy about it.” Liz smiled. “Then the Doctor showed up-”

The Doctor rubbed the back of his neck, embarrassed but pleased. “It was fortunate for both of us. Liz helped me get through my frustration at being exiled here. I doubt I would have remained with UNIT if she hadn’t be around.”

Liz lifted her wine glass in a toast. “Likewise, Doctor.”

Chapter Text

“Speaking of the Brigadier, how is he?”

“Same as always.” The Doctor put down his glass. “He was rather disappointed not to be invited with us.”

Liz turned to Jo. “Do he and the Doctor still argue like an old married couple?”

The Doctor looked scandalized, but Jo giggled. “Sometimes.”

“And how are Mike Yates and John Benton? Still with UNIT?”

“Yes,” Jo nodded. “They’re both at HQ while the Brigadier-”

“No,” the Doctor interrupted, “no shop talk, I insist. We’re on vacation.”

“Famous last words,” Liz winked at Jo, “as if your work doesn’t follow you everywhere you go.”

Chapter Text

“Sit down, Private.” The Brigadier arched an eyebrow. “We won’t bite.”

“No sir,” Callahan flushed, “I mean, yes sir! Sorry sir-”

“Good grief man, don’t keep apologizing. We’ll be here all day-”

“What the Brigadier means,” Jo guided him to their table, “is we’re happy to share lunch with you.”

“I should get back to base-”

“That’s exactly what we want to speak with you about-”

Callahan looked ready to bolt, so Jo patted his hand. “We’re worried about you, you see-”

He blinked. “You are?”

“You seemed…so distressed when we met you at the gate. Can we help?”

Chapter Text

“Yes,” the Doctor muttered, studying a sample through the microscope, “it is really remarkable. Liz has come so far with this suppressant. Between the two of us, we should have a totally effective cure by the end of the day.” He winced and stood up. “If this headache doesn’t interfere. Infernal thing is very persistent. Right, where’s that sample?”

The pain increased, forcing the Doctor to clutch the counter for support. In his agitated state, he knocked several slides to the floor where they shattered. “My head-” He glanced around, confused. “Liz? Where are you? Something’s wrong…I need help-”

Chapter Text

The Doctor sat up from the hospital bed. “What precisely would you like me to do?”

Liz smiled, noticing his change of manner. “General Sharp wants me to alter the Primord virus so the infected die within an allotted time.” She sneered. “Can’t let your weapons spread beyond the target zone, after all. I want them made impervious to bullets and, eventually, resistant to the cold. But I doubt we’ll have time for the latter, Sharp is getting impatient. I need to accelerate my plans.”

“Which are?”

She lay a hand on his shoulder. “Making all of humanity like us.”

Chapter Text

“Going somewhere, Callahan?”

Billy jumped as Captain Hall stepped in front of him. “Just headed to Stores, sir.” Turning, he saw three soldiers cutting off any path of escape. “Something wrong?”

“Wrong?” Hall laughed maliciously. “Met some new friends at the pub, didn’t you?”

“What-”

“And you smuggled them into the base. Don’t bother denying it, we caught Miss Grant and Lethbridge-Stewart snooping around the hanger.”

Billy’s eyes widened “Are they okay?”

“I wouldn’t worry about them.” Hall nodded and the other men grabbed Billy. “You know what happens to traitors here.”

“No,” Callahan cried. “Please sir, anything but that!”

Chapter Text

Jo pushed a library cart loaded with buckets of ice and bags of frozen vegetables. “Lucky the kitchen was stocked, given the summer holidays.”

The Doctor didn’t look up from his test tubes. “Place the ice in front of the fans. Put the rest,” he shrugged, “wherever you think best.”

Jo wrapped a few bags of frozen peas in the Doctor’s cape, tied off the ends, and draped the whole thing over his shoulders. “That should help. How’s the cure coming?”

“Slowly.” A noise from outside interrupted him. “I just hope the Brigadier buys me enough time to finish it.”

Chapter Text

“Primords,” Liz grinned, “take the others. Leave him for me.”

The creatures attacked the remaining UNIT soldiers while ignoring the Brigadier. Horrified, he watched as his people were turned into more Primords. Dropping the empty fire extinguisher, he placed himself between Liz and the door leading to the Doctor. “Doctor, that's it I’m down,” he yelled into his communicator. “You’d better be ready-”

“Shhhh.” Liz stalked forward and took it from his hand. “Time to join the winning side, Brigadier.”

"No," he pushed himself flat against the door, “keep away from me-”

Liz touched the Brigadier’s face and kissed him.

Chapter Text

The Brigadier staggered upright. “I’m,” he stared at his hands which appeared unchanged, “still here.”

“But different, yes?” Liz leaned against a nearby wall, watching triumphantly. “It’s the same thing that happened with me and the Doctor: I infected you, so your blood contains the same suppressant as mine. You’re too useful to lose.”

“Did you kiss him too?”

“No.” She smiled. “Time is pressing and a more direct application of the virus was needed in your case. Soon the three of us will lead an entirely new species.” She touched his face again. “Tell me…where is the Doctor?”

Chapter Text

"Will she be alright?”

The Doctor followed Jo’s glance to where Liz sat alone. “The man she loved was killed today, on top of all the rest. Still, Liz is made of strong stuff, she’ll recover.” He looked around. “It would help if the Brigadier hurried up with his debrief so we could get her away from this place.”

A tall soldier brushed by them; it took Jo a second to recognize Sgt. Benton.

He knelt by Liz. “I’m so sorry, miss. Is there anything I-” Liz looked up with tears in her eyes and threw her arms around him.

Chapter Text

“I was in the woods with my recording equipment running and I heard something…like a bunch of people talking at once. But there was no one around, unless you count my dog, Maurice.”

Benton frowned as he spoke into the CB. “Strange.”

“Next thing I know there’s this roar like hundreds of people screaming. Scared me half to death.”

“I don’t doubt it.”

“Thing is, when I played the recording back there weren't anything there.”

“Huh.” Benton paused. “Hey, there’s a scientist at the place I work who explores things like this. Want me to run it past him?”

Chapter Text

“…but it still doesn’t make any sense-”

“I can’t help that,” Professor Caldicott yelled. “This is groundbreaking work. There are experienced scientists who wouldn’t understand it, much less,” she gestured at Jo, “assistants who clearly only fetch coffee.”

Jo folded her arms “I don’t like your tone.”

“Neither do I.” The Brigadier stepped behind her. “You claim you’ve created a mobile telephone, Professor, but all we’ve heard your device deliver are earsplitting screams. I can’t in good conscious report to Geneva-”

“Oh report whatever you like!” She dismissed them with a wave. “Just get out of my lab right now.”

Chapter Text

The Brigadier knocked again on the door of the house, but there was no answer. “Just like at your friend’s-”

“Bob Ellis,” Warren supplied. He put his ear to the door. “Yep, static. Must be coming from the TV.”

“No,” the Brigadier peeked through the mail flap. “I can see it from here, it’s off. Probably a radio. Let’s try the next one.”

They walked together down the streets of Bilbrey and passed no one. “Is the village usually this quiet?”

“No,” Warren looked around worriedly, “by this time, people should be hurrying home for tea. This is just…eerie.”

Chapter Text

Armitage screamed. It felt as if his molecules were being scrambled and hastily reassembled. Suddenly he was back, standing solidly in Bob Ellis’s front room. “What…just happened?”

“Search me.” Bob squinted at him. “Here, what’s wrong with your voice?”

“My voice?” Armitage listened. “Both of our voices sound wrong…like we swallowed static.”

“I don’t know, but whatever’s going on it’s probably the fault of that professor of yours.”

“Now hold on-” He was interrupted by screams from outside. They both ran into the yard and stared. Ghost-like figures were snatching Bob Ellis’s neighbors off the street and disappearing.

Chapter Text

“Pull yourself together, woman.” Professor Caldicott rubbed her temples. “Maybe Armitage is right, too many nights at work and not enough sleep.” Clearing her throat, she sat down in front of her equipment again. “I’ll figure out what’s wrong with the receivers and head out.” She turned everything back on. “Whatever it is, it isn’t-”

“Voices?” The voice on the phone line laughed. “We are here. We control sound and thought.”

“What…are you?”

“We are Vardan. We control everything. Obey control.”

“Control.” Caldicott shook her head, trying to clear it. “Me? Obey? Do you know who you’re talking to?”

Chapter Text

The first Vardan locked Warren’s manacles in place. “The last of the humans is secure. Which is the leader?”

“This one.” The second Vardan passed Benton to hover in front of the Brigadier. “His thoughts dwell on one he thinks can defeat us.” The Vardan tilted his head. “A Time Lord called the Doctor.”

“Time Lords,” the third Vardan asked. “They are trouble.”

“Or opportunity. We wanted this world, but what if we could have all of space and time?” The Vardan placed his hands on the Brigadier’s head. “His knowledge will be ours, then we will find this Doctor.”

Chapter Text

Jo listened to the voices on the radio. “Good old Doctor. Keep the aliens talking while I finish,” she turned to the device she was building, “this thing. Hope I copied everything the Doctor said correctly,” she picked up a screwdriver, “without forgetting anything.”

Maurice barked.

“Thanks for the vote of confidence, Maurice. At least Osgood thought I was on the right track and he’s ever so clever, despite what the Doctor says.” She stepped back to survey her work. “Being UNIT’s scientific advisor is tiring, but I think I’m ready to save the world. Just need the Doctor’s signal-”

Chapter Text

“Dear Liz,

Guess who I’ve spent the last two days with: the Doctor! He’s changed his face; I suppose the spider thing the Apocalypse Clock predicted has happened, poor man. This version is practically Bohemian, with a long scarf and such a lot of teeth. His current companion calls herself Leela and is every inch an Amazon. I like her immensely.

If you hear St. Matilda’s College has exploded, please don’t worry. It’s quite true, but we were able to get all the students and teachers to safety. The Doctor sends his love and so do I.

Talk soon,

Mum”

Chapter Text

“Thank you for coming, Dr. Shaw.”

“I almost didn’t,” Liz eyed the young UNIT officer, “but your Brigadier Bambera is a persuasive woman.”

“She is indeed, ma’am. This way.” He led her down the corridors of UNIT’s former Whitehall headquarters. It was an eerie trip down memory lane. The building, always so busy when UNIT was stationed here, was now mostly abandoned. “It started looking human a few days ago-“

“It? Don’t you mean he?”

“That’s the point, Dr. Shaw, we don’t know. We hoped you could help us find out.”

“I will, but only on my own terms. Agreed?”

Chapter Text

“Never met the man! He has a passing resemblance to the unfortunate Bret Vyon-“

“Delightful fellow. Did I tell you about the time we both suspected each other of being behind the Yeti?”

“We would have gotten along far better if the man hadn’t tried to blow up so many innocent aliens. What’s that Jo? Well…yes, I suppose we did have our moments-“

The Brigadier sighed. “Isn’t there some rule of time to prevent all the Doctors from attending my retirement party?”

“Evidently not, Sir,” Benton said straight-faced as Yates giggled. “There’s at least ten more waiting to speak.”

Chapter Text

“Those were the days. You, me, Benton, the Brig, and the Doctor fighting aliens and saving the world!”

“Good memories,” Jo’s smile faltered, “mostly.”

“What’s wrong?”

She slid a card across the table. “I found this in my uncle’s attic. Jack must’ve saved my memories there. The moment I touched it, everything came back.” She looked close to tears. “I’m so sorry, Mike.”

Mike turned the Jack of Diamonds over in his hands. “It wasn’t your fault, Jo.”

“I forgot you! Us! That must’ve been awful for you-”

“It was difficult,“ he smiled sadly, “but we got through it, right?”

Chapter Text

“Would it have mattered…to us, I mean…if you’d kept your memories?”

Jo blushed. “Mike, I don’t know how to answer that-”

“Maybe it’s an unfair question.” His expression brightened. “But I’ve seen how happy you’ve been with Cliff. And back then…well, I had a lot of growing up to do still. I just didn’t know it yet.”

“I think you’re being too hard on yourself.”

He shrugged. “Maybe. But you shouldn’t let this worry you.”

“Mike-“

“I’m fine, Jo - really.”

“Okay.” Smiling, she slipped the card back into his hands. “You keep it. For old times’ sake.”

Chapter Text

Mike wasn’t fine.

He couldn’t talk to Jo about it. She was a kind, decent person and she’d feel responsible, which he didn’t want. Benton had his family and business to worry about and Sir Alistair, while he’d gladly talk about the old days, was uncomfortable discussing emotions.

Mike turned the card over in his hands. It was alien technology, he couldn’t just throw it away. But maybe there was something he could do.

“Hello,” Mike said as he walked into the UNIT office, “I think my name’s still on your records somewhere. Mike Yates. I used to work here-”

Chapter Text

“John and Margery Benton are retiring to warmer climes. Before a new brewery takes over the White Hart, they invite you to one last knees-up on Saturday at 7 PM. Join us to celebrate the good old days with old friends-”

Mike lowered the invitation and smiled. “Retiring at last, Sergeant? Wouldn’t miss it for the world.” Picking up his phone, he dialed a familiar number. The call went straight to voicemail, but that didn’t surprise him. “Jo? It’s Mike Yates. Are you and Cliff in the country right now? If so, I’ve got a party you’ll want to attend-”

Chapter Text

Kate opened the kitchen door. “Our barricades are holding so far. Osgood, how long will it take to set up your trap?”

She shrugged. “Depends what’s available?”

Benton struggled to stand and Mike steadied him. “What do you need, miss?”

“Ideally? A barbecue, a bedspread, and two bottles of vodka.”

“We should have all that-”

“Good. Mike, round up the resources and, while you’re at it, see if you can lay a trail leading our Silurian friends upstairs.”

“Right.”

Benton leaned against a cabinet, favoring his wounded leg. “What will we being doing?”

Kate grinned. “Preparing our escape, Mr. Benton.”

Chapter Text

Carefully, Kate peered outside through an upstairs window. “I see…yes, three of them. They’re all leaving.”

“Thank goodness.” Benton hobbled to a bar stool and sat down. “Do you think we scared them off?”

She hurried to join him. “Doubt it, don’t you?”

Benton laughed ruefully. “Most likely, unless this lot are far less hardy than the Silurians we met back in the Brig’s day.” His smile faded quickly. “Poor Terry…and Anne.”

“I’m sorry about Sgt. Warring, but don’t give up on your other friend just yet. Once Osgood and Mr. Yates bring reinforcements, we’ll check on her.”

Chapter Text

“So…what’re they like?”

Leaning against the passenger-side window, Osgood sighed. “Honestly Josh, it’s been a long day-”

“Oh come on. You just met two former UNIT officers who worked with both the boss’s father and the Doctor.” He grinned at her. “You even fixed Bessie! Tell me you aren’t dying to talk about any of that.”

She flustered. “Of course I am, but I’ve also done a bit more running than I’m used to. Not all of us have your advantages.”

His grin widened. “Eyeing my assets again, Osgood?”

“No.” Osgood’s mouth twitched. “Exhaustion aside, it really was amazing.”

Chapter Text

“Sure you want her for this job?” Josh shrugged. “Aren’t she and her husband…eco-crusaders?”

“Eco-crusaders,” Osgood gasped indignantly. “Clifford Jones won a Nobel Prize for his work with DNA synthesis-”

“Thank you, Osgood,” Kate began.

“And his wife is the Jo Grant, former assistant to the Doctor and completely amazing in her own right. You should read her file-”

Josh held up his hands in surrender. “I stand corrected. But where is she?”

“Jo is both Cliff’s wife and his publicist.” Kate turned around her laptop to show an ongoing protest. “She has lots of experience getting people’s attention.”

Chapter Text

“…and that’s how we stopped a polluting manufacturing company and saved an endangered species of hippopotamus all in the same day!”

Osgood grinned admiringly at Jo, all her worries about the flight forgotten. “That answers one question.”

“What’s that, darling?”

“Before we met, I wondered if you missed working with UNIT…and the Doctor, of course.”

Jo smiled sadly. “I’ll miss the Doctor, MY Doctor, for the rest of my life. And I miss the Brig, Benton, Mike, and the others, but I don’t miss the military.” She laughed. “I always did have a bit of a problem with authority.”

Chapter Text

Jo squinted at the door lock. “Any luck with the intercom?”

“Hmmmm…yes.” Osgood pushed her hair out of her eyes. “Turing it into an SOS pulse will definitely work. I just wish I knew how long it’ll take us to get where we’re going.”

“Any idea where that might be?”

“No. None of this makes any sense. Burmaster was incredibly loyal, he’d have no reason to hijack an experimental submarine. Plus, UNIT officers are trained to resist mind control-”

“Trust me, darling, it can happen to anyone. Have I told you about my first day working with the Doctor?”

Chapter Text

“Just be safe, Jo-”

Jo laughed as the one-man submersible hurtled towards the Sea Devil base. “Safe? Never! If I did, I’d have died of boredom years ago.”

“Right.” Osgood smiled worriedly. “You’ll probably lose communications fairly soon so…good luck.” She sighed. “So many ways this could go wrong. On the plus side, there’s every chance the Sea Devils will kill us all before Kate realizes what I’ve done and fires me.”

“None of that now!” Osgood could barely hear her through the static. “If Kate’s anything like her father, she may yell a bit but she’ll understand…eventually.”

Chapter Text

When Mike arrived at the Tower of London, the UNIT base was in disarray. Every few seconds a soldier ran past him with a harried look and there was a general sense of panic in the building.

“Hello,” Mike approached group of soldiers, “I’m Mike Yates, Captain, retired. The Chief wanted to debrief me-”

“Yates.” A young man checked a tablet. “Got you. If you’ll wait over there sir, someone will be with you shortly.”

“Is something going on? Maybe I can help-” But the soldiers had already moved on. “Perhaps not.”

With a sigh, Mike sat down and waited.

Chapter Text

Osgood eyed the mini-sub. “Have I mentioned my feelings about small spaces recently?”

“It’ll allow you to sneak past the blockade of sea creatures,” Kate began.

“Which we have to do to get in transmat range.” Osgood nodded. “Assuming I can repair the device. Wait…I’m not piloting this myself, am I?”

“No, that’s my job.” Josh hopped inside and held out his hand. “Think of all the cozy, quality time we’ll have together.”

“Just be quick,” Kate chuckled as Osgood made a face. “Mike, Benton, and Ms. Jones will need you in London to put an end to this.”

Chapter Text

“In charge again, sir? It’s just like old times.”

Mike accepted the mug of coffee with a grin. “I’m just surprised they had uniforms to fit us. Where’s Jo?”

Benton nodded towards a door. “In Operations, trying to make sense of those holographic displays.”

“We best join her.” A soldier saluted and Mike pause to skim the report she handed him. “Thank you, Corporal Bakshi. Please see that the order to initiate bird flu protocols is relayed to all UNIT troops and bases in England.”

“Yes sir!”

“We should update Kate. Come on Sgt. Benton, we’ve got work to do.”

Chapter Text

“Stop pushing me.” Jo glared at the Silurian warrior escorting her through Parliament. “I’m moving as fast as I can.” When she didn’t respond, Jo tried again. “Do you realize what Jastrok is doing? He has attacked and killed your own kind, enslaved those gorgeous dinosaurs and brainwashed them into attack people. He’s a monster.”

The warrior gripped Jo’s arm, forcing her to stop. She then climbed onto the back of a large Terrorsaur and manhandled Jo into the saddle in front of her.

Jo grinned despite her circumstances. “Aren’t you glorious,” she cooed, patting the dinosaur on its neck.

Chapter Text

“I’m off.” Benton shrugged into a coat. “Ms. Stewart’s asked me to see the air reptiles back to their nests.”

Mike held out his hand. “It was good working with you again, John.”

Benton clasped his hand and shook it. “Likewise sir.”

“‘When shall we three meet again?’” Jo laughed as she hugged first Benton and then Mike. “I’m off to South America to join Cliff…and I’m taking a few new friends with me.” She looked at them both fondly. “Please take care of yourselves.”

Mike smiled. “You too, Jo. Let’s meet again, preferably without an invasion next time.”

Chapter Text

“Excuse me, are you Jo Jones?”

Jo shook her head, trying to clear the haze she’d been in since hearing of Nancy’s death. She looked up to see a very handsome man in a dark coat holding out an ID.

“Captain Jack Harkness of Torchwood.” His accent was American, but there was something else underneath. “I’m sorry to do this at a funeral, but I’ve a few urgent questions to ask you.”

“Torchwood?” She handed the ID back. “Is that anything like UNIT?”

“Not exactly.” His smile was a bit condescending for her liking. “But we do similar work, sometimes.”

Chapter Text

Jo clutched her seatbelt as Jack took a hairpin turn at high speed. “What evidence do you have that the maggots are back?”

“A local farmer reported several of her sheep had been eaten by giant flies.”

“Oh.”

He glanced at her. “The UNIT files say you’ve seen these things before.”

Jo sighed. “Definitely.”

“They also say you traveled with the Doctor.”

She brightened. “You know about the Doctor?

“From personal experience.” He caught her quizzical look. “I traveled with him too. Briefly, but still-”

“Really? Which one was yours?”

“Mine,” he grinned, “were the U-boat captain and the spiff.”

Chapter Text

“Okay,” Jack turned to Jo, “here’s the plan: you’re going to wait for me in the car while I investigate this mine shaft-”

“Oh no!” Jo unbuckled her seatbelt, stepped out of the car, and slamming the door behind her. “You’re not leaving me here.”

When Jack caught up with her, Jo was already inside. “It’s dangerous-”

“I’ve traveled the world! Chained myself to factory gates to protest polluters, faced Daleks and Cybermen, negotiated peace with Silurians, and for years I was the only woman in UNIT. Do you honestly think anything in this old coal mine could scare me?”

Chapter Text

They slogged through the underground watering hole. “Keep going,” Jack yelled when Jo faltered, “you’re almost there!”

Glancing over her shoulder, she spotted two maggots converging on him. “Watch out,” she cried, but her warning came too late. Jack was dragged under the water. For several moments she couldn’t see him, but at last he resurfaced. Aiming his gun shakily, he shot one maggot and bashed the other against the cave wall.

“I’m so sorry,” Jo began.

“Let’s go!” Jack stumbled after her, completely unaware of the bite on his leg or the venom working its way through his body.

Chapter Text

“Jack,” Jo cried as he collapsed to the floor. A crane swept past her to gently picked up and drop him into a chute in the wall. Jo jump after him and found herself on a conveyor belt moving slowly through a large, open room.

Leaping down, she ran to him. His skin was glowing a brighter green now. She shook him, but got no response. Up ahead, she saw large mallets pounding the maggots on the conveyor belt into pulp.

“I have to stop this!” Jo wrenched a pipe off the wall and jammed it into the system’s gears

Chapter Text

They sat side by side, Jack eating his roadside hotdog while Jo sipped a milkshake. “Did you ever meet the Brigadier,” she asked.

“Yes, but I don’t think he liked me.”

“Because he yelled a lot?”

Jack nodded.

Jo smiled. “Did his eyes twinkle when he yelled?”

He glanced at her. “Sometimes?”

“That means he liked you. He did the same to the Doctor.”

Jack shrugged. “That’s what Yates said.”

She grinned. “You know Mike Yates?”

“A soldier and a gentleman.”

“Indeed.”

Jack winked. “And a hell of a kisser.”

“Yes-” Jo agreed, then did a double take. “Wait…what?”