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Eve of Something New

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"Finally!" Evangeline Miller called, looking at the clock. "2pm! I'm out of here!"

"Have a nice weekend," Valerie, one of her co-workers, said with a smile.

"Trust me, I will," Evangeline said with a smirk.

"Oh," Valerie said, smirking as well. "Got a date?"

"A very special date," Evangeline replied. "I got no homework for the weekend so I'm doing a Doctor Who marathon."

Valerie rolled her eyes. "Why not go to a bar tonight?" she asked. "Meet a nice boy – or girl. Have some fun."

"I will have some fun," Evangeline retorted as she put on her earphones and grabbed her bag.  "Just me, my computer, and my lovely Doctor."

"If you say so," Valerie shrugged, turning away to help a costumer.

Most of Eva's co-workers didn’t like the early shift on Saturday morning, saying that it ruined the weekend to wake up so early. Evangeline disagreed with them. In her opinion, it was a good way to close the week with the feeling of doing something, so she was a regular, much to her boss' pleasure.

She smiled at the costumer before going to the back room and logging off the system. She then headed outside, knowing that she had about fifteen minutes before her bus arrived. She took out a cigarette and smoked it to pass the time while checking her mailbox to make sure no last minutes assignments were added by any of her professors to ruin her weekend plans.

By the time the bus arrived, she was smiling with the satisfaction of knowing that there wasn’t anything to disturb her weekend. She entered the bus, greeting Jeffery, the regular driver, and sat towards the back of it, Fall Out Boy blaring into her ears.

Less than half an hour later, Evangeline was home, and after checking what was for lunch, she headed towards her sister's room.

"Hi," she said. "How's it going?"

"They're fighting again," Nyssa said, nodding her head upstairs without taking her eyes off her cellphone.

"Nothing new, then?" Evangeline asked, earning herself half a smile from the younger girl. "Where's Mike?"

"Out," Nyssa said.

"Lucky him," Evangeline muttered before turning away and walking up to her room.

She paused as she passed her parents' room, trying to figure out what the fight was about this time but eventually moving on with the knowledge that it didn’t really matter. Even if the cause of the fight miraculously solved itself, they'd just find something else to fight about later today – and if not today, then tomorrow.

She threw her bag on her bed and headed back downstairs, grabbing a plate with chips from the oven to take with her outside and eat while she smoked. By the time she finished, her mother was downstairs, acting as if she hadn’t just screamed her throat hoarse.

"You smoke too much," she said.

"So do you," Eva retorted, not sparing her mum a second glance as she went back to her room and closed the door behind her.

She debated for a moment before deciding to start the marathon with the Eleventh Doctor, the first one she ever saw. Inserting a CD into her computer, she leaned back and sunk into a world where she knew no fight will last and the good will always win.

If only real life were ever that simple.

EMH

Evangeline didn’t know when it was that she closed her eyes, other than the fact that it was around the beginning of series seven. She must have fallen asleep at one point, since she heard voices around her, pulling her back into consciousness.

"How did you get aboard?" a male voice asked. "Transmat? Who sent you?"

"Doctor," a second male voice said. "That's my dad."

There was a short pause before, "Well, frankly, that's outrageous."

"Doctor?" a new voice, female this time, said.

"What?" the male voice asked.

"You think you can bring your dad along without asking?" the Doctor asked, beginning to sound outraged. "I'm not a taxi service!"

"Doctor!" the female voice called again.

"You materialised around us!" the male voice called out.

"Oh," the Doctor said, clearly surprised. "Well, that's fine then, my mistake."

"Doctor!" the female voice called, shocking them all into silence. "Eva's here."

Evangeline slowly opened her eyes, seeing the Eleventh Doctor, Amy, Rory, and Rory's dad, Brian, crouching around her.

"So that's when I fell asleep," she muttered. "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship."

"What?" the Doctor asked.

"Oh, sorry," Evangeline said. "Not there yet, are we? Give it a couple of minutes."

The Doctor smiled softly and reached out, helping her to her feet and kissing her forehead before turning around, her hand tightly grasped in his.

"Hello, Brian, how are you?" he asked, shaking the man's hand with his free one. "Nice to meet you. Welcome, welcome! This is the gang," he said, marking around them. "I've got a gang – yes! Come on then, everyone!"

"Tell him something, quick," Amy told Rory as she ran after the Doctor and Evangeline. "All right, where are we?" She looked up at a loud thudding noise. "And what is that noise? And hello!" she added. "Ten months!"

"Orbiting Earth," the Doctor said. "Well, I say orbiting, more like pre-crashing on a spaceship. Don't know, and hello, Pond," he said with a smile, letting go of Eva for just long enough to pull Amy into a hug before holding her hand again. "Ten months, time flies." He frowned. "Never really understood that phrase. This is Neffy, this is Riddell," he added, marking at Queen Nefertiti and John Riddell. "They're with me."

"With you?" Amy repeated. "They're with you, are they the new us? Is that why we haven't seen you?"

"No, they're just... people," the Doctor replied. "They're not Ponds! I thought we might need a gang, not really had a gang before, it's new."

The group paused, looking at the lift descending and Evangeline smiled, knowing what's coming next.

"It's coming down," the Doctor said.

"What is it?" Riddell asked.

"No idea," the Doctor replied. "I'm pretty sure Eva knows, though."

"Don't ruin the fun," Evangeline whispered, watching with the rest of them as the lift doors opened.

"Not possible!" Brian called.

"Run!" the Doctor said, though he didn’t move an inch.

"Doctor!" Amy called.

"I know!" he replied, looking at Evangeline as she started pulling him back. "Dinosaurs! On a spaceship!"

"In here!" Neffy called, running into a side passage with the rest following behind.

The Doctor pushed Evangeline in before joining them, breathing heavily.

"I could take one of them," Riddell said. "Short blow, up into the throat."

"Or not," the Doctor said. "We've just found dinosaurs, in space. We need to preserve them."

"And who's going to preserve us?" Riddell questioned.

"Shhh!" Eva whispered as the dinosaurs passed by, unaware to the group hiding from them.

"Okay, so, how?" Rory asked. "And whose ship?"

"There's so much to discover," the Doctor said. "Think how much wiser we'll be by the end of all this."

"Sorry," Brian said. "Sorry. Are you saying dinosaurs are flying a spaceship?"

"Brian, please!" the Doctor said, rolling his eyes. "That would be ridiculous. They're probably just passengers. Did I mention missiles?"

"Missiles?!"

"Didn't want to worry you," the Doctor said. "Anyway, six hours is a lifetime."

"Not literally a lifetime," Eva said, making the Doctor smile at her. "That's what we're trying to avoid."

"Well, we're all really clever!" the Doctor said. "Let's see what we can find out. Come on."

He pulled Evangeline towards a computer nearby, wiping the spider cobs off it.

"How many dinosaurs do you think are on here?" Amy mused.

"Oh, well done, whoever you are," the Doctor said, ignoring her as he let go of Eva's hand once more, pointing his sonic screwdriver at the screen. "Looking for engines. Thank you, computer. Look at that," he marked at the screen."Different sections have different engines, but these look like the primary clusters. Where are we now, computer? We need to get down to these engines –"

Eva smiled as he disappeared, knowing he was now down at the engines room with Rory and Brian.

"What happened?" Neffy asked.

"Teleportation," Eva said with a smile.

"Oh, great!" Amy called out, stomping away with the other three following in toe.

"There are clearly more than just two of those creatures," Neffy said as Riddell took out a flask.

"Hey, put that away," Amy said, taking it away from him. "I need you sober – Hey!" she called as Eva took the flask away from her.

"What?" Eva asked. "It's not like I can get drunk or anything."

"What do you mean you can't get drunk?" Amy asked, and Eva was about to answer her when Riddell spoke.

"It's medicinal," he said. "And I don't take orders from females."

"Then learn," Neffy said. "Any man who speaks to me that way, I execute."

"You're very welcome to try," Riddell said.

"Sorry, what was your name again?" Amy asked.

"Lady of the Two Lands," Neffy said. "Wife of the Great King Amenhotep."

"Queen Nefertiti of Egypt," Evangeline completed with a small bow.

"I'll be damned," Riddell muttered.

"Oh, my God!" Amy said. "Queen Nefertiti! I learned all about you at school. You're awesome! Big fan, high-five!"

"Yeah," Eva said, smirking. "A bit behind on that."

"You're really famous," Amy went on.

"Shhh!" Riddell said. "Listen."

The four of them stopped, listening to the sound of rumbling snorts.

"Look down," Eva offered, averting her eyes from the other three to see a dinosaur sleeping on the floor.

"Okay," Amy said. "At a guess, T-Rex. Not yet full size. We're in the middle of a dinosaur nest."

"I propose a retreat," Riddell said, starting to move back to where they came from before stopping at the sound of more dinosaurs. "Or perhaps forwards."

"Agreed," Amy said. "Just don't wake the baby." She looked at Evangeline as Riddell did his best to pass above the dinosaur without waking him. "Couldn't you warn us sooner?" she asked.

"Where would be the fun in that?" Eva questioned with a smile, and Amy huffed.

"Who are you, anyway?" she asked Riddell.

"John Riddell," he replied. "Big game hunter on the African plains. I'm sure you've heard of me, too."

"No," Amy replied shortly.

"You clearly have some alarming gaps in your education," Riddell said.

"Or men who hunt defenceless creatures just don't impact on history," Amy said. "Face it, she's way cooler than you."

"They're both equally hot, though," Eva said, causing them to pause and look at her. "What? I'm not lying."

Riddell smile and Neffy rolled her eyes as they resumed their walking.

"And you, Amy, Evangeline?" Neffy asked. "Are you also queens?"

"Yes," Amy said, nudging Eva at the side as the two women smiled at each other. "Yes, we are."

EMH

"Bit of weed killer wouldn't go amiss in here," Amy said as they entered a new room.

"Whoever was running this vessel left in a hurry," Riddell said.

"Maybe a plague came and took them," Neffy theorised.

"No, there'd be corpses and bones," Riddell replied.

"Unless the animals ate them," Neffy retorted.

"Whoa, Chuckle Brothers," Amy huffed as Evangeline neared one of the keyboards. "Lighten up, would you?"

Just as she said that, Evangeline pressed a button and the computer hummed into life, turning on the lights as it did.

"How did you know how to do that?" Neffy asked.

"Spend enough time with the Doctor and you know whenever you enter somewhere new, press buttons," Amy replied.

"What else have you learned from him?" Neffy questioned as Amy took a white orb and pushed it into the machine.

"Don't stop at button-pressing," she replied.

"One hundred and seventeen years," the computer said.

"Data records," Amy said.

"Ship's owners?" Riddell asked.

"Could be," Amy replied. "Come on, help us out..."

"...Will remain cryogenic... space sleep... I will continue to work..."

"How about a picture?" Amy asked. "Come on, for me!"

"...far beyond our mapping..."

Amy hit the machine, making the picture slowly appear.

"Look!" Neffy said. "It's beautiful."

"I can't tell how far we have come," the creature who appeared on screen said. "Far enough to avoid the destructive impact forecast for our planet. Far enough for me to feel a profound sense of loss."

"What is that?" Riddell asked.

"Silurian," Amy replied, her voice low and grave.

"Of the 50 species loaded, only one has had any difficulty in surviving," the Silurian went on. "All the others are thriving and we expect them to be able to repopulate."

"We're on an ark," Amy said. "A Silurian ark."

"Lizard people herding dinosaurs on to a space ark?!" Riddell asked. "Absolute Tommy-Rot."

"Only an idiot denies the evidence of their own eyes," Neffy told him.

"Egyptian queen or not, I shall put you across my knee and spank you," Riddell retorted.

"Oh, Lord," Amy muttered in despair, but Eva couldn’t help but smile.

"Try and I'll snap your neck in a heartbeat," Neffy replied.

"Well, they certainly bred firecrackers in your time," Riddell said.

"Aw, no, no, no," Amy called. "Please, don't start flirting. I will not have flirting companions!"

"You can flirt with me," Eva said, looking between the two of them.

"No!" Amy called. "What are you doing?"

"If the Doctor trusts Amy, so do I," Neffy said. "Stop doubting her."

"If this ship was built by..." Riddell started.

"Silurians," Eva provided.

"Where are they?" Riddell questioned.

Amy looked up. "Surprisingly good question," she said, before looking back at the screen. "Display life signs for homo reptilian," she ordered, the computer coming back with nothing. "But where have they gone?"

"Perhaps they found another world, left the ship," Neffy offered.

"Why are the dinosaurs still on board?" Amy questioned. "And why is the ship coming back to Earth? It doesn't make sense." She eyed Evangeline. "I don’t suppose you'll help?"

"Nope," Eva said.

"What's changed between then and now?" Amy said, huffing as she looked back at the screen. "Wait - computer, show me the ship at launch with all life signals." She looked at the picture for a second before adding, "Now show me the ship today with all life signals. Thousands less. But why? Show me both images, then and now, side by side."

"What are you looking for?" Riddell asked.

"OK, two images," Amy said. "Spot the difference. What changed? What happened to the Silurians?"

"The centre," Neffy said.

"Computer, zoom in to the centre," Amy ordered. "Oh, no."

"What is it?" Riddell asked.

"Another spacecraft," Evangeline replied with a smile. "This ship's been boarded before."

Amy rolled her eyes. "You're enjoying this way too much," she said.

"I'm enjoying this just the right amount," Eva replied.

"An adventurer," Riddell said, smirking. "I like it."

"No," Amy ordered, looking at Eva. "Stop it. What is it with you today?"

"Never mind that," Eva said. "The Doctor already met the Pterodactyls, the Triceratops and the rude-friendly robots who took him to Solomon." She smiled. "Time for you to call the husband."

"So," Riddell said as Amy stepped aside to call Rory. "I don’t think I got your name."

"Evangeline Miller," Eva said.

"And where are you from?" Riddell asked, kissing the back of her hand.

"Earth," Eva said. "2015."

"Stop flirting," Amy scolded, putting the phone back in her pocket. "The Doctor's on his way."

"Now these are what we need," Riddell said, grabbing three rifles. "Dinosaur protection."

"No weapons!" Amy called as Riddell pushed one into her hands and gave another to Eva before handing them a cartridge each.

"Anaesthetic," Eva said. "These are stun guns."

"You're almost clever," Amy told Riddell.

"Enough to make a dinosaur take a nap," Riddell replied. "Even the Doctor couldn't object to that."

"You and the Doctor," Neffy told Amy. "Are you his queen?"

"No, no," Amy said quickly. "I'm Rory's queen. Wife," she quickly corrected. "I'm his wife." She looked at Evangeline. "Please don't tell him I said I was his queen - I'll never hear the end of it."

"You are so his queen," Eva said, smirking.

"And the Doctor," Neffy went on. "Does he have a queen?"

"I thought you had a husband," Amy said, sending a quick glance at Eva's direction.

"A male equivalent of a sleeping potion," Neffy replied.

"You clearly need a man of action and excitement," Riddell said as he charged his gun. "One with a very large weapon."

"So, human sleeping potion or walking innuendo," Amy said. "Take your pick."

"Walking innuendo," Eva said. "Any day."

"Stop!" Amy said. "What is it with you?"

"That's very bad indeed," a voice said from behind them and the four turned to see the Doctor, Rory and Brian appearing on one of the screens. "Completely unhelpful."

"Doesn't this ship have any defence systems installed?" Rory asked.

"Good thinking, Rory!" the Doctor said, pulling Rory into a kiss. "Computer, show us weapons and defence systems." He frowned as the computer showed no results. "Well, that was a waste of time, wasn't it? Getting my hopes up like that."

"What ship doesn't have weapons?" Rory asked.

"The ancient species, Rory," the Doctor said. "Still full of hope."

"What about the control deck?" Brian asked. "You said we should go to the control deck next."

"It's too late," the Doctor said. "It won't make any difference."

"We could at least try!"

"It won't work, Rory," the Doctor said. "The missiles are locked on."

"So, what?" Rory questioned. "We're just giving up?"

"I don't know," the Doctor said. "I don't know."

"You were telling the truth, Doctor," Solomon said, appearing in front of him. "Earth has launched missiles. This vessel is too clumsy to outrun them, but I have my own ship."

"You won't get your precious cargo on board, though," the Doctor said. "It'll just be you and your metal tantrum machines."

"We do not have tantrums!" one of the robots said.

"Shut up!" the other added.

"You're right, Doctor," Solomon said. "I can't keep the dinosaurs and live myself. But I had the IV system scan the entire ship and it found something even more valuable. Utterly unique."

"What's he talking about?" Neffy asked.

"Wait for it," Eva said, starting to get excited.

"I don't know where you found it," Solomon went on. "Or how you got it here, but I want it."

"I don't know what you're talking about," the Doctor said.

"Don't you?" Solomon asked. "The Omniscient."

"What?" Eva asked with a frown, feeling Amy stiffen next to her. "That's not how it should go."

"Omniscient?" the Doctor asked, feigning ignorance. "Doesn't ring a bell."

"Oh, I think it does," Solomon said. "I know she's here. Evangeline Miller."

Eva's eyes widened as she stared at the screen, oblivious to the three people who turned to look at her.

"What?" she asked.

Chapter Text

"What?" Eva repeated. "No, no, no. This isn’t how it goes. This is so not how it goes."

"Eva?" Amy asked.

"Give her to me and I'll let the rest of you live," they heard Solomon say through the computer.

"Alright, I figured it's different than usual," Eva said, looking around. "I mean, usually, the characters answer my flirting, and I don’t have the craving for a smoke –"

"Wait, you smoke?" Amy asked.

"But the storyline still sticks to the script!"

"No," the Doctor said.

"You think I won't punish those who get in my way?" Solomon asked. "Whatever their worth?"

"Tricey," Eva muttered, hearing the dying screams of the triceratops. "God, I... I forgot."

She looked at the screen, ignoring the stares in her back as she watched the Doctor lean next to the dying beast as it took its last breaths. The Doctor shook with anger as he walked back to Solomon.

"You must be very proud," he said.

"Bring her to me," Solomon ordered yet again. "Or the robots will make their way through your corpses. Bring her now," he repeated.

"No," the Doctor said again.

"Take me there," Eva ordered, the Teleport sending her to the room where the Doctor stood with Rory, Brian, Solomon and the robots.

"What are you doing?" the Doctor asked.

"I demanded to be brought here," Eva replied, stepping forwards.

"No, no, no, no," the Doctor said, holding out a hand and stopping her from stepping forwards. "No way."

"It isn't your choice, Doctor," Evangeline told him, remembering what Neffy said in the original episode. "It's mine."

"Listen to me, if you go with him, I can't guarantee your safety," the Doctor tried explaining, but Eva heard none of it.

"It's just a dream, Doctor," she said. "He can't hurt me."

From behind her, Amy's eyes widened in silent understanding.

"This is not good," she whispered to Neffy and Riddell. "This is definitely, absolutely not good."

"He can," the Doctor said. "He can, and he will. Please, Eva."

"Don't worry," Eva told him. "I'll wake up soon."

Rory's head turned to look at Amy. "Is this what I think this is?" he asked.

"I hope not, but it sure seems that way," she replied.

Eva released herself from the Doctor's grasp, stepping forwards towards Solomon.

"He'll sell you to the highest bidder, Eva!" the Doctor called. "Eva! Eva, no!"

Riddell readied his gun. "Take her, I shoot you," he threaten.

"Put it down, John," Evangeline said. "It's okay."

"Do it, boy," Solomon teased, and Riddell hesitated, sending a quick glance to Neffy, who nodded, before taking the gun down. "My bounty increases," Solomon said, reaching out a hand to touch Eva's check. "And what an extraordinary bounty you are."

Evangeline slapped the hand away from her face. "Don't touch me," she threatened.

Before she even comprehended what was happening, she was flung against the wall, the sharp end of Solomon's cane pressed to her neck.

"I like my possessions to have spirit," he said. "It means I can have fun breaking them." He took the cane off, but Eva was still pressed against the wall. "And I will break you in, with immense pleasure."

The Doctor was barely breathing now, leaning on Rory for support, and the smile Solomon gave him didn’t help. "Thank you, Doctor," the trader said. "Computer? Take us back to my ship."

With a flash of blinding light, Eva found herself on Solomon's ship, the old man roughly pushing her into a chair.

"Stay," he said mockingly, then smiled as she remained frozen. "Good girl."

Eva reached out a hand to her neck and stared at the blood on it. She was so certain this was a dream, much like many others she had had, but it all seemed too wrong. Her dreams always remained with the script of the show, she always had to introduce herself to the Doctor and she couldn’t get hurt.

After all, you're never hurting on dreams. Never craving a smoke, never bleeding.

Only now, she was all three.

"Come on, come on," Solomon said. "We're not moving."

Eva blinked out of the state she was in. "He's magnetised us," she said. "We can't move away."

"You better hope we'd be able to soon, dearie, or you'll suffer like you've never suffered before," Solomon threatened.

"You can't hurt me," Eva said determinedly. "I'm going to wake up any minute now."

"Still think you're dreaming, are you?" Solomon questioned with an evil grin. "Well, sorry to tell you, princess, but if you're dreaming – this is a nightmare."

"Hello!" a voice called behind them and Eva turned to see the Doctor. "Having trouble leaving?" He electrocuted the robots, making them dysfunctional before flashing a grin at Solomon and Eva. "Ship's still magnetised, couldn't bear to lose you."

"Release my ship, Doctor," Solomon said, aiming a weapon at Eva's throat. "Or I kill this precious little object."

The Doctor took a small step forwards, looking worried, but before he could do anything Eva kicked Solomon's cane from underneath him and used it to pin him to the floor.

"Who's nightmare is it now?" she asked. "Stay," she added, pressing the cane to his neck when he tried to move. "Good boy."

"Don't mess with Eva, Solomon," the Doctor said. "I hope you've learnt that now."

"What're you doing?" Solomon asked, turning his head as much as he could to look at the Doctor pressing buttons on his ship's control panel.

"Disabling this ship's signal and replacing it with the one from the Silurian ship," the Doctor said. "I send this craft off emitting the signal they're looking for, the missiles will follow. Hopefully Silurian ship safe, dinosaurs safe, everybody safe. Bit tight for time though, shouldn't really be chatting." He looked at Eva. "You good there?"

"Always," she replied.

"Let's go," he nodded, before stopping and laying a yellow object on the panel. "How remiss of me, almost forgot - the thing about missiles, very literal, this is what they latch on to." He marked at the object and took out his sonic screwdriver as Eva walked out of the room, not keen on staying to watch Solomon's fate. "Now, one press on this and the ship's demagnetised."

"Doctor," Solomon said, "Whatever you want, I can get it for you, whatever object you desire."

"Did the Silurians beg you to stop?" the Doctor asked coldly, looking at the screen. "Look, Solomon. The missiles. See them shine. See how valuable they are. And they're all yours."

"You wouldn't leave me, Doctor –" Solomon started, but the Doctor cut him off.

"You hurt Eva," he said. "Now, if you know one thing about the Omniscient, you should know that people who hurt her usually end up dead. She can protect herself, more often than not, but this is early, so early that I don’t even know how early, so the dirty work's up to me." A dangerous look crossed his face. "Enjoy your bounty."

"Doctor!" Solomon called as the door closed off behind them. "Doctor!"

EMH

Evangeline was standing on the fake beach, slowly smoking a cigarette. Her mind was racing with so many thoughts that she couldn’t make sense of, so she focused on the simple task of inhaling and exhaling. She didn’t turn when she heard a voice behind her.

"It's odd," she said. "Usually, I wake up by this point."

"What makes you so sure this is a dream?" Amy asked.

"Because you're here," Eva replied simply.

"I don’t understand," Amy said, moving forwards to stand next to her. "Since when do you smoke?"

"You know, that's a weird question to ask someone," Eva said. "Since when are you ginger?"

"It's different," Amy said. "I was born ginger. You chose to start smoking."

"Well, I'm smoking," Eva said. "Got it, Ginger?"

"God," Amy sighed. "I didn’t know it started this early."

"What does that even mean?" Eva asked. "None of this makes sense. I should be awake by now."

"Eva..." Amy said carefully. "This isn’t a dream."

"Of course it is," Evangeline said. "You're here, after all."

"What does that mean?" Amy asked.

"It means you're not real."

Amy stared at Eva for a moment. "Ginger not following," she finally said. "Ginger very, very confused. I am real."

"No, you're not," Evangeline said. "You're a character in a TV show. Or an actress, if you choose to look at it that way."

"Eva, I'm real," Amy insisted. "This is not a dream."

"You never know a dream when you're in one," Eva retorted, throwing the stub on the ground and stomping the burning end if it. "You should know that, come on. How long has it been since Amy's Choice?"

"Eva..." Amy sighed. "I think it would be best if we went back inside."

"So," the Doctor said, smiling at the sight of the two women approaching. "Dinosaur drop-off time."

"Actually," Amy said, "We think home for us."

"Oh," the Doctor said, clearly disappointed. "Fine. Of course."

"Not forever," Amy quickly added. "Just a couple of months."

"Right, yes," the Doctor said. "Eva and I are pretty busy anyway. I mean, we've got to drop everyone back –"

"About that," Brian cut in. "Can I ask a favour? There's something I want to see."

Half an hour later found Brian sitting at the doorway of the TARDIS, looking down at planet earth while eating his lunch. Eva sat beside him, resting her head on his shoulder as she took in the magnificent view, the two unaware of the fact that Amy and Rory stood behind them and watched the stars.

None of them saw the worried look on the Doctor's face as he looked at Evangeline, knowing that something was wrong.

EMH

After dropping everybody back home, the Doctor flew the TARDIS away, sending worried glances at Eva all along.

"So," he started, his voice light but his eyes worried as he ran around the console, pulling levers and pressing buttons. "Where were you?"

"Well, that's an odd question," Eva huffed.

"Really?" the Doctor asked, coming to a stop in front of her. "Why?"

"Because I'm sleeping," Eva said, growing tired of explaining it time and time again. "This is a dream and I'm about to wake up."

The Doctor swallowed hard. "Eva," he said carefully. "You're not dreaming."

"Of course I am," Eva replied. "Otherwise, why would you be here?"

"Why wouldn’t I be here?" the Doctor asked, offended. "This is my TARDIS too, you know!"

"Yeah," Evangeline said. "Your TARDIS. The Doctor's TARDIS. Only the Doctor is a made up character out of a TV show."

"A TV show?" the Doctor asked. "Oh, that's so cheating. That's like, eight levels of cheating. Don’t know why I didn’t think about it sooner."

"Cheating?" Eva asked. "Cheating on what?"

"Hmm?" the Doctor asked, pulling different levers of the TARDIS console. "Nothing."

"Doctor," Eva said harshly. "Cheating on what?"

The Doctor shifted uncomfortably. "Cheating on knowing my life," he said. "It's not fair if you've already watched it all on the telly, is it?"

"What do you mean, cheating on your life?" Eva asked.

"Eva..." the Doctor said. "My beautiful, brilliant Evie..."

"My name is Evangeline," she said.

"For me, it was always Eva," the Doctor said. "My Eva. This isn't a dream, and you're not about to wake up. This is real, I am real. You're in this world now. For me, you've always been. You travel around my timeline, popping out here and then and joining on adventures, always knowing everything that was going to happen. I never knew how... until now." He stood in front of her, worried as he saw the empty look in her eyes. "I'm sorry, but you're far away from home, and you're not going to return. Not for a while, probably not ever. Eva?" he asked when she still didn’t respond, and her eyes started widening.

He took a step towards her, but she backed away. As he reached out to touch her shoulder, she all but ran backwards, her back pressed to the wall as she slid to the ground and closed her eyes.

Slowly, she reached out a hand and pinched her arm, before opening her eyes again to see she hadn’t moved. She closed her eyes again and pinched herself once more before opening them and looking around.

She resumed this, unaware that the Doctor was watching her, growing more and more stressed as she went on. When she started hyperventilating, he ran back to the console, flying the TARDIS away to the one person he knew always managed to calm her down.

EMH

Captain Jack Harkness was sitting in his flat in Cardiff of the 34th century, drinking a beer as he looked through various news channels, looking for something interesting. He closed the TV, sighing at the knowledge that there was, for once, no threat against humanity and had just started pondering over the possibility of going to a bar that night when he heard the TARDIS materialize.

A smile popped up onto his face at the thought of seeing Eva after almost a year, but it slipped off when he saw the ridiculous bowtie wearing Doctor running out of it in panic.

"What is it?" he asked. "Is everything alright?"

"Yes," the Doctor said. "Well, no. Well, yes. Well... it's Eva."

Jack froze. "What happened?" he asked, knowing that if the Doctor hurt her in any way, he probably won't be able to stop himself from hurting him.

"She's young," the Doctor said. "Like, really young. Not de-aged, either, she's just young!"

"What do you mean, she's young?" Jack asked.

"She, she just arrived," the Doctor said. "She thought it was a dream, and I tried explaining it to her, and now she's hyperventilating."

"Arrived from where?" Jack asked, confused.

"Home!" the Doctor replied. "Well, sort of home. Her home, her old home." He swallowed. "She only just arrived from the other universe."

Jack's eyes widened and he reached out, grabbing his coat and running into the TARDIS. Once there, he looked around, seeing Evangeline in one of the console room's corners, repeatedly closing her eyes, pinching herself and opening them once more.

As he stepped closer to her, he could hear her muttering something unclear under her breath. He kneeled down next to her and grabbed her pinching hand, causing her to look at him.

"Eva," he said carefully. "Do you know who I am?" Slowly, she nodded. "I need to hear you say it."

"Jack," she said. "You're Captain Jack Harkness."

"Yes," Jack said, smiling at her like one would smile at a little kid answering a question correctly. "Do you know who he is?"

"The Doctor," Eva whispered, "In his eleventh incarnation."

"And do you know where you are?"

"In the TARDIS," Eva said, starting to hyperventilate once more. "But I can't be. You can't be them, this can't be the TARDIS, because this isn’t real – none of this is real!"

"Not in your universe," Jack nodded. "But it's real in here. All of it is real. All of the adventures you know had really happened, and you were there."

"My..." Eva muttered. "My universe?"

"You're not there anymore," Jack said. "I'm sorry."

"But... But..." Evangeline looked up at him. "How?"

Jack reached out a hand and held up Evangeline's necklace, "Where did you get this?" he asked.

"I..." Evangeline frowned. "My dad gave it to me."

"Can you remember it?" he asked. "Can you remember him giving it to you?"

"Well... No."

"I didn’t think you could," Jack nodded. "At a matter of fact, I don’t think you remember anything before the age of four, do you?"

"Who does?" Eva asked.

"It's different with you, Evie," the Doctor said softly. "You don’t remember because you can't remember."

"You were right saying your dad gave you that necklace," Jack said. "But it's not just a necklace." He pressed his finger against the side of the pedant and it opened. "It's a locket."

Eva paused, looking at the two pictures the locket held, and her breath hitched. On one side, was her. It was an older her, her hair was shorter and the lines around her eyes told Eva that a lot had happened in the years between her present self and this future one, but she was smiling and laughing as the Doctor – the Tenth Doctor – hugged her from behind. They looked happy, and Eva wondered what happened to make them that way.

On the other side, was a picture of a baby with a mop of brown, curly hair. Eva somehow knew it was her, as well, but she couldn’t think of a way that would be possible. At least, nothing other than what Jack said, as ridiculous as it may sound. She furrowed her brows at the picture, noticing that someone was holding her. It was hard to see who it was, as they were cut off the picture, but the Vortex Manipulator on their hand was unmistakable.

"You knew my dad?" she asked Jack.

"You could say that," Jack replied, avoiding a direct reply to her question.

"Who is he?"

The Doctor and Jack exchanged worried glances. The question caught them off guard, and they both knew that was not how Evangeline found out who her father was.

"Now isn’t the right time for that," the Doctor tried, but Eva was having none of it.

"You don’t get to decide when the right or wrong time is, Mister!" she said. "I have just found out that I'm adopted, from another universe that I only knew about thanks to a bloody TV show and that everything I thought I knew about myself wasn’t real!" She looked down at the pedant, seeing it glowing with a golden light. "And now I'm glowing," she added. "Why am I glowing?"

"I'm sorry," Jack said, closing the pedant and pressing a kiss to her forehead. "I'm so sorry, but you have to leave now."

"What do you mean, I have to leave?" Eva asked.

"Evie, I promise I'll explain everything," the Doctor said. "I just... don’t know when. Probably haven’t been there, yet."

"Haven't been where?" Eva asked, starting to freak out when Jack and the Doctor stepped away from her. "Jack? Doctor? What's happening to me?"

She screamed as she was engulfed by a golden light, closing her eyes and only opening them when the brightness subsided somewhat.

"Old-fashioned heroes only exist in old-fashioned story books, Clara," she heard a Scottish voice saying.

"And what about you?" Clara asked.

"Me?" the Twelfth Doctor questioned.

"Yeah, you and Eva," Clara replied. "You stop bad things happening every minute of every day, that sounds pretty heroic to me."

"Just passing the time," the Doctor said. "Hey, what about Mars?"

"What?!" Clara asked.

"The Ice Warrior Hives!"

"You said it was my choice," Clara reminded him.

"Or the Tumescent Arrows of the Half-Light!" the Doctor offered. "Those girls can hold their drink!"

"Doctor," Clara sighed.

"And fracture 15 different levels of reality simultaneously. I think I've got a Polaroid somewhere..." he trailed off for a moment. "Eva always wanted to go there, maybe we should wait for her."

"I'm here," Evangeline called, her nervousness leaking into her voice as the two of them to turned to look at her. "And you did say it was her choice."

The Doctor turned to look at Clara, who smiled. "Robin Hood," she said. "Show me!"

"Very well," the Doctor said, turning around and walking towards Evangeline. He stopped about two feet away from her and frowned. "Oh, you're young!" he called, pulling a face. "I don’t like it when you're young! You're all nervous and smelling of cigarettes! Where did you come from?"

"Why do I get the feeling I'll hear this question a lot?" Evangeline muttered. "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship."

The Doctor paused midway to the console. "Oh," he said. "Very young."

"You said you'll explain," she said.

"Not now," the Doctor said. "Clara wants to see Robin Hood." He flipped a couple of switches, making a picture appear on screen. "Earth. England. Sherwood Forest. 1190's...ish," he shrugged, looking at Clara. "But you'll only be disappointed."

"Don't care!" Clara called, taking Eva's hand in hers and running to change clothes.

Chapter Text

"So," Clara said as she tried to pick between a red and a green dress, eventually picking the red one and handing the green one for Eva to wear. "What did the Doctor mean by saying you're young?"

"I don’t even know," Evangeline sighed. "I mean, this is weird. This is so weird. I fall asleep on my bed back home and end up in this universe where everybody acts like they know me, and Jack tells me I'm from this universe originally and then a golden light coming from my locket pulls me to a future Doctor."

"Oh," Clara said, surprised. "I think I understand what he meant."

"So could you please explain?" Eva asked. "Because nothing makes sense to me."

"That's what he meant," Clara said. "Nothing makes sense to you, you're confused..." She turned around to see Eva wearing a blue dress, different than the one she was given. "And this dress has way too much cleavage. Are you purposely trying to make the Doctor jealous?"

"What's that supposed to mean?" Eva asked. "Can't I just wear a dress without it having something to do with him?"

"What's wrong with the green one?" Clara asked.

"It's green," Evangeline said, as if it was obvious. "Never mind. Do you want to see Robin Hood or not?"

"I thought the Doctor said he wasn’t real," Clara noted.

"Yeah, well, I know more than he does," Eva retorted, heading outside just in time to follow the Doctor as he walked out of the TARDIS.

The small patch of forest the Doctor decided to land in was absolutely beautiful.  The trees were a hundred different shades of green, and a river passed by, giving a sense of calmness to the place.

"No damsels in distress," the Doctor said. "No pretty castles, no such thing as Robin Hood!"

Evangeline smiled as an arrow flew past by them, hitting the TARDIS, and looked to the point where she knew Robin Hood stood, smiling arrogantly and winking at her.

"You called?" he asked, causing the Doctor to frown as the two started moving towards each other, Eva not far behind. "Very, very nicely done with the box, sir," he said, nodding at them as the Doctor ran back to the TARDIS, taking the arrow out of it before patting the spot where it sunk until it healed. "I saw a Turk perform something very similar at Nottingham Fayre. It's a trick with mirrors, no doubt?"

"A trick?" the Doctor asked.

"A good jest," Robin replied, chuckling.

"This is not a trick," the Doctor said. "This is a TARDIS."

"Whatever it is, you bony rascal, I'm afraid I must relieve you of it," Robin told him.

"It's our property, that's what it is!" the Doctor called as Robin started walking on the log that connected the two shores of the river.

"Well, don't you know all property is theft to Robin Hood?"

The Doctor looked between Robin and Evangeline, silently cursing himself for not noticing her knowing smirk sooner. "You're not serious," he said.

"I'm many things, sir, but I'm never that," Robin said. "Robin Hood laughs in the face of all."

He started laughing aloud, and the Doctor reached out and held Eva's hand, as if he knew she was about to start walking towards him.

"And do people ever punch you in the face when you do that?" he questioned.

"Not as yet," Robin replied.

"Lucky I'm here then, isn't it?" the Doctor asked, starting to head forwards just as Clara exited the TARDIS.

"Might be a little bit much, but Eva said it's fine... What do you reckon, Doctor?" she asked, coming to a halt at the sight of Robin.

"By all the saints!" Robin called. "Are there any more in there?"

"Is that?" Clara mumbled.

"No," the Doctor replied.

"Oh, yes," Evangeline said, looking Robin up and down, much to the Doctor's displeasure.

"Oh, my God!" Clara called, barely containing her excitement. "Oh, my God! It is, isn't it? You found him." She smiled. "You actually found Robin Hood."

"That is not Robin Hood!" the Doctor called.

"Yes, it is," Eva said.

"Well," Robin said, smiling at Eva before turning to look at the Doctor. "Then who, sir, is about to relieve you of your magic box?"

Robin took out his sword and pointed it at them, causing the Doctor to push Eva behind him as he stepped forwards.

"Nobody, sir," he replied mockingly, going up on the log, as well. "Not in this universe or in hers," he added, with a small movement of his head towards Eva.

"Well, then draw your sword and prove your words," Robin taunted.

"I have no sword," the Doctor said, turning around to show Robin the truth of his words. "I don't need a sword. Because I am the Doctor. And this... is my spoon! En garde!"

"Is he serious?" Clara asked as Robin and the Doctor started duelling.

"Surprisingly, yes," Eva said. "Luckily, this is one of the only times when it actually works for him."

"You're amazing!" Clara said, looking at the Doctor with shock as he hit Robin's head with the spoon.

"I've had some experience," the Doctor shrugged. "Richard the Lionheart! Cyrano de Bergerac! Errol Flynn! He had the most enormous... ego!"

"Takes one to know one," Evangeline muttered.

"Oh you!" Robin muttered, shaking his head as the Doctor hit his backside with the spoon.

The Doctor smiled, looking at Eva, and she realized what was going to happen a moment before Robin struck.

"Doctor!" she called out. "Get back!"

The Doctor looked at Robin and, seeing what he was going to do, narrowly avoided the blade aimed at his chest. He stopped and stared as one of the buttons of his coat was cut off. The Doctor raised his hands in surrender, and Robin aimed to strike only for the Doctor to push the blade away with his spoon and push Robin into the river.

"Like I said," the Doctor said, smiling smugly as Clara and Evangeline ran towards him. "My box."

"Doctor?" Clara asked worriedly, looking at the water and waiting for Robin to show up. "Doctor?" she repeated when he didn’t.

"Wait for it," Eva said, smiling as she looked not to the side of the log where Robin said, but to the side he had just emerged from, winking at her.

He pushed the Doctor into the water and Eva burst out in laughter, for the first time since she arrived to this universe. Robin climbed back on the log, he and Clara laughing alongside her as he put an arm at her waist, sending a victorious glare to the angry Doctor as he did.

EMH

"So," Eva said as they walked through the woods and towards Robin's camp. "Robin Hood, are you?"

"The one and only," Robin replied.

"Rumour has it that you're the best archer in Sherwood," she said, oblivious to the Doctor's scowl. "In all of England, really."

"I'd hate to show off," Robin said, "But the rumour is true."

"Oh, I bet you'd love to show off," the Doctor muttered.

"Maybe you can teach me?" Evangeline asked. "Bow and arrow 101?"

"With pleasure, Milady," Robin said, holding out a hand and assisting her in crossing a small stream in their way. "And, if I may add, that dress looks absolutely stunning on you."

Evangeline smiled and blushed as they continued to move forward, her hand still wound with Robin's.

"Let me introduce you to my men," Robin said as they arrived to their hiding place. "This is Will Scarlet. He is a cheeky rogue with a good sword arm and a slippery tongue."

"My lady," Will said, bowing slightly. "Argh!" he added angrily as the Doctor took a couple of hairs and checked their authenticity with his sonic screwdriver. "What do you want with my hair?"

"Well, it's realistic, I'll give you that," the Doctor muttered.

"And this is Friar Tuck," Robin went on, sending a sideway glance at the Doctor as he did. "Aptly named for the amount of grub he tucks into!"

"You skinny blackguard!" Tuck said, lightly punching Robin's arm before turning around when the Doctor took his sandal. "What are you doing?"

"This isn't a real sandal!" the Doctor exclaimed.

"Yes, it is," Evangeline told him, causing him to sniff it.

"Oh, yes, it is," he muttered, throwing it down.

"This is Alan-a-Dale," Robin continued with an eye roll. "He's a master of the lute, whose music brightens up these dark days."

Alan smiled as he started singing. "Stranger you are welcome here," he sang, "In Sherwood's bonny glade – Ow!"

"Sorry, sorry, sorry," the Doctor said, sounding anything but. "Blood analysis."

"Doctor!" Eva called angrily.

"Oh! All those diseases!" the Doctor ignored her. "If you were real, you'd be dead in six months."

"I am real," Alan said weakly.

The Doctor grimaced. "Bye," he said, moving on.

"And this is John Little," Robin said, marking at the biggest man of the group. "Called Little John. He's my loyal companion in many an adventure."

Clara looked at Eva, raising a brow at her knowing smile. Before either of them could say anything, the real John Little jumped from behind the big man, surprising Clara and making everybody other than the Doctor laugh.

"Works every time!" Robin said, smiling.

"Not on me," Eva smirked. "You can't surprise me, Mister."

"That's a challenge I'd be more than happy to stand up for," Robin replied.

"Oh, I cannot believe this!" Clara said, smiling. "You really are Robin Hood and his Merry Men!"

"Aye!" Robin said, pointing at her. "That is an apt description. What say you, lads?"

"Aye!" they all called, laughing once more.

"Stop laughing!" the Doctor called out, his eyes focused on the way Robin was still holding Evangeline's hand. "Why are you always doing that? Are you all simple or something?" He turned around and grabbed a goblet, emptying it before marching towards Robin. "I'm going to need a sample."

"Of what?" Robin asked, pushing Eva behind him.

"Excuse me," Clara said, running forwards as she pulled the Doctor back. "Sorry."

Eva watched as the Doctor and Clara talked, sending not-so-hidden looks in her direction every now and then. At a certain point, the Doctor walked back towards them, forced Eva and Robin's hands apart and grabbed her aside.

"What do you think you're doing?" she asked.

"I could ask you the same thing," he said.

"In case you missed," Eva started, annoyed, "I was talking to Robin Hood."

"You were flirting," the Doctor accused. "With a fake Robin Hood."

"For your information, he isn’t fake!" Eva said. "And even if I was flirting, so what? You're not the boss of me."

"I bet you like it, don’t you?" the Doctor asked. "The whole beard thing with the long hair and the bow. Need I remind you that he tried to steal the TARDIS?"

"Need I remind you that he didn’t steal her?" Eva questioned. "Besides, at least he pays me attention."

"I pay you plenty of attention," the Doctor dismissed.

"Do you, now?" Eva asked. "I clearly remember being promised an explanation. Are you going to give it?"

"Eva..." the Doctor sighed.

"In that case, I will go there and continue flirting with Robin Hood!" Eva told him, turning around and coming to stand next to Robin. "The best archer in all of England," she said. "Care to show me your tricks?"

"Before you do that," the Doctor cut in, annoyed. "What time is it, Mr Hood?"

"Somewhat after noon," Robin replied.

"He means the time of the year, dear," Eva explained, taking extra joy at the way she managed to annoy the Doctor using just a single word.

"Oh," Robin said. "Dame Autumn has draped her mellow skirts about the forest, Doctor. The time of mists and harvest approaches."

"Yeah, all very poetic," the Doctor said. "But it's very green hereabouts, isn't it? Like I said, very sunny."

"So?" Clara asked.

"Have you been to Nottingham?" the Doctor questioned.

"Climate change?" she offered.

"It's 1190," the Doctor said.

"You must excuse me, my darling," Robin said, letting go of Eva's hand and turning to his Merry Men. "The Sheriff has issued a proclamation and tomorrow there is to be a contest to find the best archer in the land. And the bounty... it's an arrow made of pure gold."

"No!" Clara quickly called. "Don't go! It's a trap."

"Well, of course it is!" Eva said, looking at Robin. "But a contest to find the best archer in the land?"

Robin and the Merry Men started laughing.

"There is no contest!" he exclaimed.

"Right, that isn't even funny," the Doctor said, pointing at Robin. "That was bantering. I am totally against bantering."

"Since when?" Eva asked with an eye roll, allowing Robin to take her aside and teach her bow and arrow without another glance at the Doctor.

EMH

"You hold the bow like this," he guided her, putting a hand on her bicep. "And... hold the arrow like... I can't do this."

He stepped away from her, burying his head in his hands. Evangeline sighed, looking around at the clearing they were in to make sure there was nobody listening.

"Is it because of Marian?" she asked.

"You..." Robin looked shocked. "You know of Marian, as well?"

"I know many things," Eva said. "It's a talent of a sort."

"A seer?" Robin questioned.

"Not... exactly," Eva said. "But I do know enough to tell that by the time we'll be gone, you will be reunited with her."

"In that case, you understand why I cannot continue this," Robin said.

"Why not?" Eva asked. "It's not like it means anything."

"It..." Robin started. "It's not?"

"You belong with Marian," she said. "I know it. Clara knows it. Heck, the Doctor probably knows it. I'm just doing this to rile him up."

"The Doctor," Robin started cautiously. "Is he your betrothed?"

Eva's eyebrows shot up. "I beg your pardon?"

"The way he's looking at you," Robin explained. "Like he's jealous. I know I would have looked and treated that way anybody who Marian spoke to the way you speak to me."

"Not betrothed," Eva said. "Definitely not betrothed. He's just bitter because I'm mad at him."

"Do you want to talk about it?" Robin asked.

"No," Eva said, smiling. "What I do want is to learn how to shoot a bow and arrow. Seems to me like I might need the skill in the foreseeable future."

"Very well, My Lady," Robin said, returning his hands to where they rested on Eva's arms, his stomach pressed to her back. "Now, you gently pull... keep your hands steady... and let go."

The arrow shot away from them, hitting right at the centre of the target drawn into the tree.

"I did it!" Eva called. "I actually did it!"

"A natural talent," Robin said with a smile.

"Takes one to know one," Eva replied. "No, come on. I want to try again."

"You'd like that," a bitter voice said from behind them. "Wouldn't you?"

"What are you doing here, Doctor?" Eva asked.

"Admiring your skills," the Doctor replied.

"More like interrupting a private conversation," she retorted.

"Perhaps I should leave," Robin offered, trying to back away from the intimate position he and Eva were currently in.

"No," Evangeline said harshly. "Stay right where you are."

"If you don’t back away soon, I'll find something bigger than a spoon to hit you with," the Doctor threatened.

"Who do you even think you are?" Eva called, finally letting go of Robin. "I don’t know why it bears repeating, but you are not the boss of me."

"Just because I'm not the boss of you doesn’t mean you can throw yourself on every man within your sight," the Doctor said. "First, it was Riddell, now Robin Hood – have you got a... a thing for deadly men?"

"Don't you know, Doctor?" Eva taunted, knowing it would rile him up. "I can't resist the bad boys."

"I think I'll just go now," Robin muttered.

"Don't move!" both Eva and the Doctor called, not tearing their eyes off each other.

"You are so childish," the Doctor muttered.

"No, because you're the poster boy of a grownup person," Evangeline retorted. "Face it, Doctor. You can't control me, and you hate it."

"Whether I can control you or not doesn’t matter, since if we're going to stay for the competition tomorrow, you'll have to stay the night in the TARDIS."

"I disagree," Eva all but sneered at him, before turning to Robin. "Is there a spare bed at your camp?"

"I don’t think this will be a good –"

"Great," Evangeline said before he could finish the sentence. "Looks like I'm having a sleepover."

EMH

"In the contest for the golden arrow," the herald called, "After ten rounds, the battle is between our Lord Sheriff, and the stranger known as Tom the Tinker!"

Eva and Clara, who stood by "Tom the Tinker", smiled when the crowd only cheered for him. They, and probably most of the crowd, knew that it wasn’t a stranger at all, but Robin in disguise.

"Take your places!" the herald told the two.

"Shall we make the contest a little more interesting, my Lord?" Robin offered. "The targets seem a little close. What say you? Another twenty paces?"

The Sherriff smiled. "Why not?" he asked, marking the stewards to move the middle target of the five in front of them. He aimed and shot, hitting the target right in the middle of it. "Now, Tinker," he said. "Let us see thy true face."

Evangeline smiled as she handed Robin an arrow, watching him as he aimed and took the shot, splitting the Sherriff's arrow in two.

"Ye Gads!" the herald called. "He has split the arrow!"

"I knew you could do it!" Eva said, smiling brightly at him.

"Truly, he is the finest archer in all England! Come forward, Tinker, and claim your prize."

Robin smiled as he stepped forwards to claim his prize, but just as he touched the golden arrow, another one flew by them all.

"I forgot he did that," Eva muttered, as every head turned to look at the Doctor holding his own bow and a sheath of arrows after successfully splitting Robin's arrow in two.

"I am the Doctor," he said. "My skills as a bowman speak for themselves. I claim my reward."

The herald marched towards him and handed him the arrow, which the Doctor threw away almost as soon as he picked it up. "A mere bauble," he said. "I want something else."

"Name it," the Sherriff said, not seeing the arrow Eva handed to Robin, who nodded in understanding.

"Enlightenment," the Doctor stated, just as Robin's arrow cut into his.

The Doctor frowned, taking a second arrow and making it bounce off a guardsman's armour before travelling back to the target and splitting Robin's arrow once more. Eva quickly handed Robin another arrow, which he shot without even looking.

"This is getting silly," the Doctor said, looking directly at Evangeline as he pulled out his sonic screwdriver, making the target explode just as she knew would happen.

"Very mature, Doctor," she told him angrily. "Did you honestly think that would impress anybody?"

"Fascinating." Her head turned around to look at the Sherriff who seemed to be quite impressed. "Seize him!"

The guards and Robin took out their swords, and Eva grabbed one of the ones closest to her, as Clara took a javelin from a stand nearby.

"What are you doing?" the Doctor asked them. "Put that down!"

"I'm fine!" Clara said. "I take Year Seven for after school tae kwon do."

"Which part of 'you're not the boss of me' wasn’t clear?" Eva asked.

"Do you even know how to use this thing?" he Doctor asked.

"Nope," Evangeline replied. "But I think now would be as good a day as ever to learn."

"Don't worry, Doctor!" Robin called, running to them. "I'll save you!"

"I don't need saving!" the Doctor called.

"Your honour is safe!" Robin told him.

"I know!" the Doctor retorted.

"For I am Robin!" he said as he took off his hat, letting his hair loose. "Robin Hood!"

He ran towards one of the guards, duelling with him as Evangeline headed towards another.

"Eva!" the Doctor called. "What are you doing? Come back here!"

"You don’t get to tell me what to do, Doctor!" she called back, pushing the guard into a puddle nearby and making it electrocute. "See?" she asked, smiling in triumph. "I told you I got this!"

Her head turned just in time for Robin to cut off the arm of the guard he was duelling, revealing it to be a robot arm. Eva smirked at him as the Doctor ran, not towards the robot as she expected, but at her direction.

"Eva!" he called out, panicking.

Eva felt a piercing pain at her abdomen and looked down to see that a sword cut her from behind. Apparently, the robot she fought was still functioning and had managed to put one fatal blow before shutting down.

She fell to the ground, her feet no longer holding her. The Doctor was there before she fully hit the ground, holding her and brushing away the tears from her face.

"It's okay," he said. "It's going to be okay?"

"Really?" she asked. "Cause I know I don’t have much medical experience, but it looks like I'm dying."

"You are," Robin said softly, leaning next to her.

Eva smiled softly at the Doctor. "Robots of Sherwood, eh?" she asked. "The adventure of a lifetime. Come on," she added. "That must have been just a little bit funny."

"No," the Doctor said, shaking his head. "Not one bit."

"Well, I guess now I'll know if this was just a dream," she said. "If it is, then I'll just wake up in my bed." Tears ran down her cheeks. "I'm not sure what I'd prefer."

"It's okay," the Doctor said. "Everything will be okay."

"No, it won't," Eva told him, closing her eyes as darkness started filling the edges of her sight. "But that's fine."

And with that, she closed her eyes and let the darkness overtake her.

Chapter Text

Evangeline woke up, gasping for breath and tied in chains, something solid and warm pressed against her back.

"Good," the Doctor said, and she realized it was his back pressed against hers. "You're back."

"I..." Eva muttered, looking around at the dark cell around them. "I was dead."

"Yes, you were," the Doctor confirmed. "And now, you're not. Moving on." He turned to look at Robin. "I saved your life."

"I had the situation well in hand," Robin replied.

"I came back to life," Evangeline stated.

"Long-haired ninny versus robot killer knights, I know where I'd put my money," the Doctor said, ignoring her.

"If you had not betrayed me, I would have been triumphant!" Robin exclaimed.

"I was just dead, and now I came back to life," Evangeline said. "Am I the only one who is bothered by this?"

"You get used to it," the Doctor told her, before turning back to Robin. "You would have been a little puff of smoke and ashes! You'd have been floating around in tiny little laughing bits in people's goblets."

"Balderdash!" Robin said. "Ha!"

"How did I come back to life?" Evangeline asked.

"You just sort of... do that," Clara provided unhelpfully.

"Oh, right, here we go," the Doctor said, undoubtedly rolling his eyes. "It's laughing time!"

"Well, you amuse me, grey old man!" Robin said, resuming his laughter.

"Guard!" the Doctor called. "He's laughing again! You can't keep me locked up with a laughing person."

"Oh, I find that quite funny," Robin said. "Do you know, I feel another laugh coming on.
Ha-ha-ha!"

"Guards, I cannot remain in this cell!" the Doctor called again. "Execute me now!"

"You heard him - execute the old fool!" Robin called.

"No, hang on, execute him!" the Doctor retorted.

"I do not fear death, so execute away!"

"Execute him!"

"I'd like to see if his head keeps laughing when you chop it off!"

"Oh, Robin Hood always laughs in the face of death."

"Yes, rolling around the floor laughing, I'd pay good money to see that!"

"Oh, you two, SHUT UP!" Clara called. "Do either of you," she started slowly, "Understand in any way at all, that there isn't actually a guard out there?"

"How am I alive?" Eva asked.

"I'll explain later," the Doctor said.

"That's what you said last time," she reminded him. "Look how well that turned up."

"I'll really explain this," the Doctor promised.

"Oh, but you won't explain the rest of it? Never mind," she added, feeling that he was going to retort with another unhelpful answer. "The Doctor and Robin Hood locked up in a cellar.
Is this seriously the best you can do? You're determined to starve to death in here, squabbling."

"Well, I'll tell you one thing," Robin muttered. "I'd last a lot longer than this desiccated man-crone."

"Really?" the Doctor asked.

"Really," Robin replied.

"Well, you know what?" the Doctor questioned, not noticing the desperate look Eva was sending Clara behind his back. "I think you'll find I have a certain genetic advantage."

"It is not a competition about who can die slower," Clara said, pulling the chain that connected her to the Doctor.

"It would definitely be me, though, wouldn't it?" he asked, earning himself a smack from Eva.

"There was supposed to be a plan," she said.

"Do either of you have a plan?" Clara asked.

"Yeah, of course I have a plan," the Doctor said.

"I too have a plan," Robin said quickly.

"Okay," Eva said. "Robin, you first."

"Why him?"

"Doctor, shut up," Clara snapped. "Robin, your plan."

"I am..." Robin started, "Biding my time."

Eva couldn’t help but roll her eyes. "Thank you, Prince of Thieves," she said sarcastically. "Last of the Time Lords?"

"Yes, I have a plan," the Doctor stated proudly.

"Can you explain your plan without using the words sonic screwdriver?" Clara asked. "Because you might have forgotten that the Sheriff of Nottingham has taken your sonic screwdriver, just saying."

The Doctor said nothing and Eva sighed. "It's always the screwdriver."

"Okay," the Doctor said. "Let's hear Robin's plan first."

"Oh, for God's sake!" Clara exclaimed, sighing as the door opened.

"See?" Robin asked. "There was a guard. There was guard listening the whole time, I knew it."

"The Sheriff himself commanded me to listen," the guard told them. "To find out which of you is the true ringleader."

"Ah, so he can do the interrogating," the Doctor said. "Very wise."

"Excellent," Robin said. "He will get nothing from me!"

"No, no, no," the Doctor said. "He will get nothing from me, because interrogation, that's where I always turn the tables. You see, that's my plan."

"Just hurry up and take me to him," Robin said.

"No, no, chop-chop, come on!" the Doctor called, turning around to see the guard uncuffing Eva and Clara.

"Seriously?" Clara asked.

"Seriously," Eva said with a smile. "Come on."

"I sure hope at least you have a plan," Clara told her.

"I do have a plan," Eva confirmed. "Well... one tenth of a plan. I'm counting on the Doctor to fill in the rest."

"But the Doctor doesn’t have a plan, either," Clara noted.

"Oh, haven’t you learned already?" Eva said, rolling her eyes. "The Doctor never has a plan."

EMH

"Eat, my Ladies," the Sherriff said, looking at Clara and Eva who sat across from him in front of a table filled with food. "Eat. Let it not be said that the Sheriff of Nottingham is a poor host."

"I had a bag of crisps this morning, thanks," Clara said.

"Your words are strange, fair one," the Sherriff told her.

"What am I, then?" Eva asked.

"A mystery," the Sherriff replied. "The woman who came back to life. Would you care to teach me you secret?"

"Not even if I knew it," she replied.

"I like you," the Sherriff told them. "You are refreshingly... direct."

"You can take the girl out of Blackpool..." Clara muttered.

"Taken from your friend's strange tunic," the Sherriff said, picking up odd objects even Eva didn’t know their purpose. "An intriguing gallimaufry. Including... this wand." He raised the sonic screwdriver. "Evidently a thing of awesome power. Tell me..." He leaned towards them. "Are you from beyond the stars?"

"You're the one with the robot army," Eva said, leaning back in her chair. "You tell us."

The Sherriff raised his brows, standing up. "But enough of tawdry matters," he said. "Let us talk of softer sweeter things."

"What?" Clara asked.

"Good, yes, I was hoping we'd get round to that," Eva said, ignoring the brunette.

"You were?" Clara and the Sherriff asked.

"Mmm," Eva nodded. "For I have known I was destined to draw the eye of a great and powerful man for a long time, ever since I saw those mysterious lights in the sky."

"What are you doing?" Clara hissed.

"You saw them too?" the Sherriff asked.

"And those strange mechanical men, with their promises," Eva went on, feigning bemusement.

"I too have experienced this," the Sherriff said.

"Really?" Clara asked, wearing a mask of interest as the Sherriff turned to look at her. "Well, I would never have guessed."

"Tell me your story," Eva asked, putting a hand on his knee.

"Tell me yours," the Sherriff retorted.

"Oh, no, no, no, no," Clara said. "But you have to go first."

"Why so?" the Sherriff questioned.

"Because great men always precede," Eva replied, moving her hand to his thigh.

"You have a point," the Sherriff said with a small smile.

"Your story, then?" she asked again.

"Once upon a time, there was a brave and clever and handsome man..." the Sherriff started.

"I can almost picture him," Eva told him, looking into his eyes and trying not to gag. "I don't even have to close my eyes."

"Unappreciated by his royal master!" the Sherriff went on, standing up.

"Prince John?" Clara asked, following his lead with Eva not far behind.

"The very same," the Sherriff replied.

"Then, came the lights in the sky," Eva told him. "And everything changed."

"The sky ship came to Earth in a fury of fire!"

"I'd almost call it a crash," Eva said.

"I remember it well," Clara added.

There was a distant look in the Sherriff's eyes. "A craft from the heavenly spheres, bedight with twinkling lights and miracles beyond imagining! The most beautiful thing the brave and handsome man had ever seen."

"And I suppose the mechanical men saw you as their natural leader?" Eva asked, looking at Clara from the corner of her eye.

"It was I and I alone to whom the mechanical men then imparted their secrets," the Sherriff replied. "Shortly, I shall be the most powerful man in the realm. King in all but name, for Nottingham is not enough."

Clara looked back at Eva, distress in her eyes. "It isn't?" she asked weakly.

"After this... Derby!"

"Right," Clara let out a small breath.

"Then... Lincoln," the Sherriff went on. "And after Lincoln..."

"Worksop?" Clara asked hopefully before jumping in fear as the Sherriff slammed his dagger into the table.

"The world!" he exclaimed, causing Clara to hold on tight to Eva's hand.

Evangeline nodded at her, letting go of her hand and nearing the Sherriff.

"So what are you hanging around here for, then, Your Majesty?" she asked. "Why are you bothering to squeeze the pips out of the peasants if you've got a sky ship on stand-by?"

"Enough questions," the Sherriff said. "I'm impatient to hear your story."

"Oh, but we do not have one," Eva told him. "I was lying."

"Lying?" the Sherriff asked.

"Yeah," she shrugged. "People are so much better at sharing information if they think the other person has already got it."

"Oh, that's very clever," the Sherriff said, looking between the two of them.

"Thank you," Eva smiled, going back to stand next to Clara.

"You'll do very well," he went on.

"For what?" Clara asked.

The Sherriff neared them, and Eva pushed her behind as the Sherriff leaned in, almost kissing her. "Doesn't every king require a consort?" he asked.

"Right," she said, avoiding him and stepping aside, making sure she remained as a barrier between the Sherriff and Clara. "You do that again and you'll regret that!"

The Sherriff's expression turned into one of fury, and he stepped forwards, grabbing the two women and pulling them away.

"Where are you taking us?" Clara asked.

"To the Doctor, very conveniently," Eva said.

"Was this a part of your plan?" Clara asked.

"Can you honestly tell me you wouldn’t have done the same if I weren’t here?" Eva asked, not waiting for an answer as she allowed the Sherriff to take them away.

EMH

"Surrender, outlaw!" the Sherriff called as he walked into the spaceship, Clara and Eva dragged alongside him.

"Very good," the Doctor said.

"Oh, shut up," Eva told him.

"Kill him," the Sherriff ordered. "Kill Robin Hood!"

"You can drop all that stuff now, Sheriff," the Doctor said.

"Doctor?" Clara asked.

"He is not what you think he is, this is all play-acting," the Doctor explained.

"No, it isn’t, you idiot!" Eva called.

"We can't just let them kill him!" Clara exclaimed, running to help Robin just as Eva knew would happen.

"You're not fooling anyone, Sheriff," the Doctor went on, turning around just in time to see Robin hold Clara and fall through a hole one of the robots blasted in the hole. "No! Clara!"

They looked out of the hole just in time to see something sinking into the moat, not rising back up.

"Yeah, sorry about the girl, such a pretty thing," the Sherriff said. "What a queen she would've made. Luckily, I have a spare."

"Stay away from her," the Doctor said, standing between the Sherriff and Eva. "And stop pretending. You and your fancy robots. I get it, I understand."

"Oh," the Sherriff said. "So you, too, know my plans?"

"You and your robots plundering the surrounding countryside for all it's worth Gold," the Doctor snarled before clicking his fingers as understanding came to him. "Gold! Of course! Gold! You are creating a matrix of gold to repair the engine circuitry!"

"This is the scheme the Mechanicals have devised," the Sherriff confirmed. "Soon this sky ship will depart. Destination... London. There I will obliterate the King and take my rightful place as ruler of this sceptered isle!"

"It won't work," Eva said. "There's not a chance."

"She's right," the Doctor said. "I've seen the instruments. There's been too much damage. You are stoking up a gigantic bomb!"

The Sherriff put a finger to his lips and marked the Doctor to look to his right. As soon as he did, one of the robots hit him unconscious and he fell down.

"I honestly don’t know if I'd rather stay with him or you," Eva said. "And, yes, you should be offended."

"Worry not, my dear Queen," the Sherriff said, pulling her away. "Soon, we shall rule together."

EMH

"Mine!" the Sherriff said, marking a dot on the map of England. "Mine," he declared, marking another one. "Mine."

"Are you just going to keep doing this?" Eva asked, rolling her eyes from where she sat, her arms crossed. "There are plenty of cities in the world, you know."

"Engine capacity at 75%," a robotic voice declared as a beeping sound was heard.

The Sherriff moved the map aside, revealing a footage of the Doctor and the other prisoners fighting the robots. "Who will rid me of this turbulent Doctor?" he asked, turning around and punching one of the robots.

"He'll win," was all Eva told him. "I may hate him right now, but he'll win, and you'll lose."

"We'll see about that," the Sherriff said, pulling her to her feet and pulling her away. "Come," he ordered the robots, who obediently followed.

"Everyone, quickly, get out!" she heard the Doctor's voice call as they neared the room where he was held captive. "Quickly!"

"You've saved us all, clever one," a girl Eva knew to be Marian said, going on her tiptoes and kissing the Doctor's cheek. "Thank you."

"Engine capacity at 82%."

"You are indeed an ingenious fellow, Doctor," the Sherriff said. "But do you really think your peasants' revolt can stop me?"

"I rather think you're the revolting one around here," the Doctor retorted.

"Banter!" Eva said in a singsong voice, causing one of the robots to hold her back.

"Banter," the Doctor repeated, looking at the robot's hand. "I'm bantering. Listen to me!" He looked at the Sherriff. "You don't have enough gold content to seal the engine breach. If you try and take off, you'll wipe out half of England."

"Liar!" the Sherriff called. "From my sky vessel, my Queen and I shall rule omnipotent."

"You pudding-headed primitive, shut down the engines," the Doctor told him. "What you're doing will alter the course of history."

"I sincerely hope so," the Sherriff said. "Or I wouldn't be bothering."

"Listen to me!" the Doctor pleaded. "It doesn't have to end like this. Shut it all down, return Clara and Eva to me and I'll do what I can."

The Sherriff turned to look at him. "I don't have Clara," he said.

"Robin's one of yours!" the Doctor called.

"Here we go again," Eva muttered.

"What did you say?" the Sherriff asked.

"He's one of your tin-headed puppets," the Doctor said. "Just like these brutes here."

"Robin Hood is not one of mine," the Sherriff said.

"Of course he is," the Doctor replied. "He's a robot, created by your mechanical mates."

"Why would they do that?"

"To pacify the locals, give them false hope," the Doctor explained. "He's the opiate of the masses."

"Would you listen to yourself?" Eva called out. "Why would they create an enemy to fight us? What sense would that make? That would be a terrible idea."

"Yes!" the Doctor said, still not quite getting her point. "Yes, it would! Wouldn't it?" He frowned, looking away from Eva and back at the Sherriff. "Yes, that would be a rubbish idea. Why would you do that? But he can't be... He's not real. He's a legend!"

"Too kind!" Robin called out, appearing at the upper floor. "And this legend does not come alone!"

"Hiya!" Clara said, appearing behind him.

The two sat on the railings and Robin took out his knife, sticking it into the flag and sliding down along with Clara.

"You all right?" he asked her.

"Hell, yeah," Clara replied.

"Good!" Robin said, turning his eyes to Eva. "You?"

Eva looked at her hand, still grasped tightly by the robot's hand. "Had my better days," she shrugged.

"Fair enough," Robin nodded before turning to the Sherriff. "My men have taken the castle. Now I'm going to take you."

The free robot started heading towards him and Robin took out his sword, ready to fight when the Sherriff called out.

"No!" he said, pressing a button and shutting both robots down, unknowingly allowing Eva to get her hand free. "This one's all mine! What do you say, outlaw? A final reckoning?"

"Oh, yes," Robin replied, moving forward to fight him.

"Are you okay?" the Doctor asked, rushing towards Eva.

"Not thanks to you," she huffed.

"Clara?" he asked.

"Fine, yeah," she replied.

"Good," the Doctor said. "We don't have long."

The castle started to shake and Clara looked up.

"Doctor," she said.

"I know," the Doctor said. "The whole castle's about to blow."

"You have long been a thorn in my side," the Sherriff told Robin as they fought.

"Well, everyone should have a hobby," Robin said. "Mine's annoying you."

"I'll have you boiled in oil at the castle by sunset," the Sherriff threatened.

"Can we make it a little earlier?" Robin asked, cutting one of the ropes and using its momentum to get onto the upper railing. "Cause that's a little past my bedtime!"

"I'm too much for you, outlaw!" the Sherriff told him, doing the same. "The first of a new breed. Half man, half engine! Never ageing. Never tiring –"

"Are you still talking?" Robin asked, distracted just long enough for the Sherriff to cut into his arm, his sword falling on the ground in front of them.

"Bow down before your new king, you prince of knaves!" the Sherriff said, raising his blade for a final blow.

"You know what to do, Robin," Eva muttered.

Robin looked down at her, and smiled. He bowed before the Sherriff only to step aside when the latter neared him, pushing him off the railing and into the giant cauldron filled with melted gold.

"Sorry," Robin said as he came back down. "Was that, er... Was that showing off?"

"That was amazing!" Clara said.

"Incredible," Eva added. "And we will definitely talk about it later, but now we need to get outside."

"It's never going to make it," the Doctor said when they stood outside, watching the spaceship try to fly. "Not enough gold. It'll never make it into orbit. Where is it?" he suddenly asked. "Where did it go?"

"Where did what go?" Clara asked.

"The golden arrow!" the Doctor called.

"Tuck!" Robin called, and Tuck arrived, handing the arrow to the Doctor, along with a bow.

"You took it?" the Doctor asked.

"Of course we did," Tuck replied. "We're robbers."

"I love you boys!"

"Doctor, what are you suggesting?" Clara asked.

"Golden arrow," the Doctor replied. "It might just be enough gold content to get the ship into orbit and out of harm's way."

He made a move to hand the bow and arrow to Robin, who shook his head. "It has to be you," he said. "My arm is injured."

The Doctor started taking an aim at the target, only for the arrow to slip away from him.

"You're good at this!" Clara exclaimed. "I saw you! You won the tournament!"

"I cheated," the Doctor admitted, and Eva took the bow and arrow off his hands.

"He made a special arrow with a homing device," she said, making her aim. "Luckily, I knew this was going to happen." She winked at Robin. "You didn’t think I asked for bow and arrow lessons just because you're good looking, did you?"

Evangeline let the arrow fly and watched as it hit its target, allowing the spaceship to fly away and out of danger. Everybody cheered, and laughed. Will Scarlet even went as far as lifting Eva into a hug, spinning her around in the air.

"Not a damsel in distress," she said when he put her down. "Got it, Doctor?"

All the Doctor did was frown in respond.

Chapter Text

Eva was waiting inside the TARDIS for the Doctor to finish his last goodbye to Robin Hood. She had already said hers, right after smoking a much needed cigarette and ignoring the Doctor's frown at the smoking fag. Clara walked into the TARDIS about a minute ago but the two hadn’t said a word, instead looking at the console.

The Doctor stepped inside and closed the door, walking past Eva and towards where Clara was standing.

"Admit it," Clara told the Doctor, breaking the tension in the room. "You like him."

"Well, I'm leaving him a present, aren't I?" the Doctor asked.

"What?" Clara asked. "What present?"

"Marian," Eva said. "They're reunited, at last." She looked at the Doctor. "Pity not all stories have a happy ending."

Clara nodded, looking at them. "I think I'll leave the two of you alone," she said. "Good luck. Don’t kill each other."

She disappeared from sight and Eva continued looking at the Doctor expectantly. "Well?" she asked. "Are you going to say something?"

"Let's go somewhere new," the Doctor said, turning away from her. "Orient Express, maybe? We hadn’t been there yet. Or maybe ice-skating on a frozen moon? I'm sure you'll love it! And there's a planet, with a restaurant, with the best burgers you'll ever eat..." he trailed off. "I'm not going to be able to avoid this one, am I?"

"No," Eva said. "You promised me an explanation, and I will get one. I don’t understand what was your problem with telling me in the first place!"

"Don't you?" the Doctor asked.

"No," Eva said. "I don’t."

The Doctor sighed. "You were flirting with Riddell," he said. "And with Robin. You keep thinking this is a dream and that you'll wake up in your bed, back home." For the first time since she met this version of him, the Doctor looked her in the eyes. "I was scared that if I told you how you got here, you'll look for a way to reverse it and go back."

"It wasn’t your decision to make," Eva told him, shaking her head. "This affects my life –"

"And you affect mine!" the Doctor called out. "Two thousand years, Eva! Two thousand years that would be rewritten if you were gone! Can you honestly say that you don’t want to go back home?"

"Yes!" Eva all but screamed, shocking the Doctor into silence. "Do you know what I did today?"

"I was there," the Doctor said.

"Today, I shot a golden arrow at a spaceship," she went on. "Yesterday, I met Robin Hood and his Merry Men. The day before that, I talked to Queen Nefertiti and saw dinosaurs on a spaceship." She paused, looking at him. "Do you know what I did the day before that?" she asked quietly.

"What?" the Doctor asked impatiently.

"I worked the Saturday morning shift."

The Doctor paused and looked at her. "What?" he asked, failing to understand the point she was trying to make.

"When I died and woke up, I thought for a moment that it was all a dream and that I woke up back in my bed at home," Eva told him. "And I was terrified. This small taste of the wonderful, crazy life I could have here was enough so that I didn’t mind being dead if it meant it was real. If I didn’t have to go back to my boring, mundane life."

"Even if you had no control over your life?" the Doctor asked. "Even if you just pop up in different points of my life with no control over where you'll end up or what me you'll end up with?"

"I wouldn’t trade it for the world," Eva stated. "If you explain everything to me."

The Doctor sighed, running a hand through his hair.

"Your locket was forged using time energy," he said. "I don’t know exactly how it works, but all I know is that it sends you to different points of my timeline."

"You and Jack said that my father gave it to me," Eva said.

"He has," the Doctor confirmed.

"And..." Eva hesitated for a moment before resuming, looking for every hint of lie in the Doctor's face. "Jack said he knew my dad."

"No," the Doctor said. "Jack said that you could say that he knew your dad."

Evangeline looked at the doctor, confused. "I don’t understand," she said.

"Never mind," the Doctor replied with a sigh. "You'll understand later on."

"No," Eva said. "You're going to explain, and you're going to explain right now."

"Sorry," the Doctor said. "I can't do that."

"Why?" Eva questioned. "Because that's not how or when I find out?"

"No," the Doctor replied. "Well, that too. But mostly because your locket is glowing."

"Does that mean I'm gonna pop away?" Evangeline asked.

"Yes," the Doctor said. "You're supposed to meet the one with the hair, if I remember it right. Which reminds me..." He took a deep breath. "Please remember that I'm only doing this right now because you told past me that I did," he muttered, taking two long strides to close the distance between them and pulling Eva into a kiss.

She pushed him away almost immediately, and barely managed to hear him utter an apology before she disappeared. She blinked and found herself standing in front of Ten, who was smiling brightly at her.

"Eva!" he said happily. "You're here!"

Her hand collided with his cheek loudly, the slap echoing around the console room.

"Eva!" Donna's voice called out, shocked.

"The one with the hair," Eva repeated mockingly. "What the bloody hell were you thinking?" She paused for a moment as she remembered that the kiss was still in his future. "Will be thinking?"

"Something I haven’t done yet, I suppose?" he asked, rubbing his cheek.

"I don’t understand," Donna said, confused. "What did he do?"

"He kissed me!"

A look of understanding crossed the Doctor's face. "Oh, you're a young one."

Eva stepped closer to the Doctor, making him back away and his back to hit the console as she looked at him with murder in her eyes.

"I dare you to say that again," she said. "Because I warn you – next time it won't be just a slap."

"Okay," Donna said, stepping forward and putting a calming hand on Eva's shoulder. "Let's just breathe deeply and relax."

Eva stepped back, doing as she was told but still looking at the Doctor angrily.

"Good," Donna said, sending a worried glance at the Doctor's direction. "Now, when was the last time you ate or slept?"

"Does dying counts?" Eva asked bitterly.

"Er... no," Donna replied.

"Fine," Eva sighed, trying to remember. "Saturday, I think."

"Well..." the Doctor started, looking uncomfortable, "About that."

"Let me guess," Eva said. "Wibbly Wobbly, Timey Wimey?"

"Kinda," the Doctor said. "Sorry."

Eva frowned. One day with the dinosaurs and two more at Sherwood meant... "Three days ago," she stated.

"Three days with him and no sleep?" Donna asked. "No wonder you're cranky."

"Tell me about it," Eva muttered.

"Go to your room," the Doctor instructed. "Sleep, we'll have breakfast when you wake up and we'll see where we go next after that."

"My room?" Eva asked, surprised. "I have a room?"

"Of course you have a room," the Doctor said, frowning. "How early are you?"

"Three days," Eva replied. "Three days ago, I was in my universe."

The Doctor's eyes widened. "No wonder you're like that," he muttered. "I bet future me wasn’t the most understanding about it?"

"That's an understatement," Eva replied. "You were unbearable, disrespectful, annoying –"

"Will be," the Doctor corrected, putting a hand on the small of Evangeline's back and directing her to her room. "Will be unbearable, disrespectful and annoying."

"Yes, but you're the one here right now, so –"

Eva stopped mid-sentence, looking at her room, shocked. It looked almost the same as her old room, back home, except that the walls were dyed TARDIS-blue rather than the pale shade she was used to, and covered with pictures of her with the different companions.

"It's..." she muttered. "I..."

"Do you like it?" the Doctor asked carefully.

Instead of a reply, Evangeline wrapped her arms around his neck and started weeping, breaking down in his arms.

EMH

"Better now?" the Doctor asked her an unknown amount of time later, after she slept, ate, and smoked three cigarettes in success.

"Much better," Eva said.

"Going to slap me again?" he questioned.

"Haven't decided yet," she replied. "Depends."

A smile broke on the Doctor's face. "Depends on what?" he asked.

"On where you take me next," Eva replied.

"Good," the Doctor said, flying the TARDIS away. "Because I know something that you always love, young or old."

"Really?" Eva asked sceptically. "And what is that?"

"Books!"

Eva froze. "What?"

"People never really stop loving books, and my Evie most of all," the Doctor said, heading out of the TARDIS. "51st Century. By now you've got holovids, direct to brain downloads, fiction mist, but you need the smell. The smell of books, Donna," he added when he saw the ginger wasn’t following, opening the doors that led to the Library. "Deep breath."

"The Library," Evangeline said as she looked around, wide-eyed. When she saw the Library on TV, she hadn’t quite managed to wrap her head around it's size. A whole planet, the Doctor said, but that didn’t even begin to describe the stacks of books that filled every room top to bottom.

"So big it doesn't need a name," the Doctor added with a small smile. "Just a great big 'the'."

"It's like a city," Donna said, amazed.

"It's a world," the Doctor told her. "Literally a world. The core of the planet is the index computer, biggest hard drive ever. And up here, every book ever written. Whole continents of Jeffrey Archer, Bridget Jones, Monty Python's Big Red Book. Brand new editions, specially printed. We're near the equator," he added, licking his finger and raising it in the air. "So... this must be Biographies! I love biographies."

"Yeah, very you," Donna said. "Always a death at the end."

"You need a good death," the Doctor said. "Without death, there'd only be comedies. Dying gives us size."

Donna reached out to take a book, but the Doctor immediately snatched it away from her.

"Oi!" she called angrily.

"Spoilers!" the Doctor told her.

"What?"

"These books are from your future," the Doctor said. "Don't read ahead - spoil all the surprises. Like peeking at the end."

"Isn't travelling with you one big spoiler?" Donna questioned.

"I try to keep you away from major plot developments," the Doctor said.

"Which, to be honest, he seems to be very bad at," Eva added. "This is the biggest library in the universe. Doesn’t something seem a bit off to you?"

The Doctor looked around, a frown forming on his face. "Biggest Library in the universe," he repeated.

"So?" Donna asked.

"So," the Doctor said, "Where is everyone? It's silent," he said, heading to a nearby computer and using his sonic screwdriver to start it up.

"The Library?" Donna asked.

"The planet," the Doctor said. "The whole planet."

"Maybe it's a Sunday," Donna offered.

"No," Eva said. "He never lands on Sundays."

"Why would I?" the Doctor questioned. "Sundays are boring."

"Well..." Donna said, trying to think of another explanation. "Maybe everyone's really, really quiet."

"Really?" Eva asked. "That's the best you could come up with?"

"They'd still show up on the system," the Doctor said, typing on the computer. "Now, that's interesting."

"What?" Donna asked.

"Scanning for life forms," the Doctor replied. "If I do a scan looking for your basic humanoids - your book readers, few limbs and a face - apart from us..."

"Let me guess," Eva said. "You get nothing."

"Zippo, nada, see?" The Doctor marked at the screen to show Donna the writing on the screen.

Scanning for humanoid life forms: 3.

"Nobody home," the Doctor said. "But if I widen the parameters to any kind of life..."

"The computer gave up after a million millions," Eva read out from the screen.

"A million millions," the Doctor repeated.

"But there's nothing here," Donna said. "There's no-one."

"And not a sound," the Doctor added. "A million millions life forms..."

"And silence in the Library," Eva said.

The Doctor turned to look at her. "I suppose you already know?" he asked.

"Yup," Eva replied.

"And I don’t suppose you'll tell me?"

"Do you really have to ask?"

"But there's no-one here," Donna cut them off. "There's just books. I mean, it's not the books, is it?" she asked, panicking as she turned to look at Eva. "I mean, it can't be the books, can it? I mean, books can't be alive?"

She turned to look at the Doctor, whose expression was worried and thoughtful. He and Donna turned to look at the books, both of them reaching out to touch one. Just as they did, a voice was heard and they jumped.

"Welcome!"

Eva burst out laughing, leading the way to where she knew the computer was talking. "That came from in here," she said.

They walked back to the room where they parked the TARDIS, seeing a Node wearing the face of a black woman.

"I am Courtesy Node 710/aqua," she said. "Please enjoy the Library and respect the personal access codes of all your fellow readers regardless of species or hygiene taboo."

"That face, it looks real," Donna said.

"Yeah, don't worry about it," the Doctor dismissed.

"But a statue with a real face, though!" Donna went on, before raising her brow at the Doctor. "It's a hologram, isn't it?"

"No," the Doctor replied. "But really, it's fine."

"There follows a brief message from the head librarian for your urgent attention," the Node said. "It has been edited for tone and content by a Felman Lux Automated Decency Filter. Message follows. 'Run.'" Donna and the Doctor exchanged worried looks as the Node continued in a monotone voice. "'For God's sake, run. Nowhere is safe. The Library has sealed itself, we can't - Oh, they're here. Arg. Slarg. Snick.' Message ends. Please switch off your mobile com units for the comfort of other readers."

"So that's why we're here," the Doctor muttered, earning a confused look from Donna and a roll of eyes from Eva. "Any other messages, same date stamp?"

"One additional message," the Node said. "This message carries a Felman Lux coherency warning of 5,0, 11 –"

"Yeah, yeah, fine, just play it," the Doctor told it.

"Message follows. 'Count the shadows. For God's sake, remember, if you want to live, count the shadows.' Message ends."

"Donna, Eva?" the Doctor asked.

"Yeah?" Donna asked.

"Stay out of the shadows," he ordered, starting to walk deeper into the Library.

"Why, what's in the shadows?"

"Nothing good," Eva replied, following the two of them.

"So..." Donna started, catching up to what Eva knew all along. "We weren't just in the neighbourhood."

The Doctor looked at Eva worryingly.

"I know you lied," she said. "Nice attempt, but you should know better than try to lie to me. It only makes me angry."

"So you know what happens here?" the Doctor asked.

"Yes," Eva said.

"What is it?" the Doctor questioned.

"Nothing good."

The Doctor sighed, turning to look at Donna. "I got a message on the psychic paper," he said, taking it out of the pocket and showing it to the duo.

"The Library," it said in a handwriting that was all too familiar to Eva, even though she had never met the person it belonged to. "Come as soon as you can. X."

"What do you think - cry for help?"

"Cry for help with a kiss?" Donna questioned.

"Oh, we've all done that," the Doctor told her.

"Who's it from?" she asked.

"No idea," the Doctor replied.

"Not telling," Eva said. "Although..."

She looked to the side of the isle, as the lights started turning off one by one.

"Donna, Eva," the Doctor said, following Eva and looking at the lights go off.

"What's happening?" Donna asked, worried.

"Run!" Eva called, starting to run away.

The Doctor turned to a door, trying to open it but it wouldn’t move.

"What, is it locked?" Donna asked.

"Jammed!" the Doctor replied. "The wood's warped!"

"Sonic it, use the thingy!" Donne said, imitating the sonic screwdriver with her hands.

"He can't, it doesn't do wood!" Eva told her, frustrated.

"If I can vibrate the molecules, fry the bindings," the Doctor started thoughtfully. "I can shatterline the interface –"

"Oh, get out of the way!" Donna called, pushing him back and kicking the door open.

The trio ran inside, the Doctor and Donna shutting the door behind them. The Doctor quickly grabbed a book and used it to hold the door closed as Eva pulled Donna into a hug.

"Donna Noble, you are absolutely amazing!" she told her, ignoring the Doctor's frown as the three of them turned to see a silver ball flying in the middle of the room.

"Oh, hello!" the Doctor said, smiling. "Sorry to burst in on you like this. Okay if we stop here for a bit?"

The ball fell to the floor and Eva knew that somewhere in the computer's library, CAL opened her eyes.

"What is it?" Donna asked.

"Security camera," the Doctor replied. "Switched itself off." He leaned down next to it, pulling out his sonic screwdriver and using it to perform tests on the ball.

"Stop it!" Eva called out, reaching out and grabbing the screwdriver from his hands. She could still remember the girl's pain-filled expression from when she saw the episode. "You're hurting her."

"Hurting who?" the Doctor asked.

Eva swallowed hard, knowing that this day won't get any easier as they moved on. "Spoilers."

The Doctor rolled his eyes but said nothing, choosing to focus on Donna instead. "Nice door skills, Donna," he remarked.

"Yeah, well, you know, boyfriends," Donna shrugged. "Sometimes you need the element of surprise." She paused, looking thoughtful. "What was that, what was after us? I mean, did we just run away from a power cut?"

"Possibly," the Doctor replied.

"No," Eva said at the exact same moment.

Donna looked between the two of them worryingly. "Are we safe here?" she asked.

"Course we're safe," the Doctor replied, taking his screwdriver back from Eva, much to her protests. "There's a little shop." He pointed the screwdriver at the ball a bit longer before calling out triumphantly. "Gotcha!"

Eva's eyes widened as she rushed forwards, looking at the ball. Words appeared on its small screen.

"NO STOP IT NO!"

She hit the Doctor over the head, causing him to call out. "I told you to stop!" she said. "Now look what you've done!"

"Ooh, I'm sorry," the Doctor said, looking at the ball. "I really am, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry. It's alive," he told Donna, explaining what he just understood and what Eva already knew.

"You said it was a security camera," Donna said.

"It is," Eva told her. "It's an alive one."

"OTHERS ARE COMING," the ball said.

"Others?" Donna asked, looking at Eva. "What does it mean, 'others'?" When Eva didn’t reply, she walked over to the Node at the corner of the room. "Excuse me, what does it mean, 'others'?"

"That's barely more than a speak your weight machine," the Doctor told her. "It can't help you."

"So why's it got a face?" Donna questioned.

"This flesh aspect was donated by Mark Chambers on the occasion of his death," the Node replied, causing Donna to turn and look at the Doctor and Eva, shocked.

"It's a real face?" she asked them.

"It has been actualised individually for you from the many facial aspects saved to our extensive flesh banks," the Node went on. "Please enjoy."

"It chose me a dead face it thought I'd like?" Donna asked, disgusted. "That statue's got a real dead person's face on it!"

"It's the 51st century," the Doctor told her. "That's basically like donating a park bench."

"It's donating a face!" Donna called out, starting to back away but Eva stopped her.

"Wait!" she called out, as the Doctor held Donna back.

"Oi!" Donna called. "Hands!"

"The shadow, look," the Doctor said.

"What about it?" Donna asked.

"Count the shadows," Eva reminded her.

"One," Donna said. "There, I counted it, one shadow."

"Yeah," Eva replied. "But what's casting it?"

"Oh!" the Doctor called out, making the two women jump in surprise. "I'm thick! Look at me, I'm old and thick! Head's too full of stuff, I need a bigger head!" He pounded his hands against his head, walking towards one of the isles as the lights flickered.

"Power must be going," Donna said, looking at it.

"This place runs on fission cells," the Doctor said. "They'll out burn the sun."

"Then why's it dark?"

"It's not dark," Eva said.

Donna turned to look at her and froze, her hand reaching out and grabbing the Doctor's sleeve. "That shadow," she told him as he turned around. "It's gone."

"We need to get back to the TARDIS," the Doctor said.

"Why?" Donna asked.

"Because that shadow hasn't gone," Eva said. "It's moved."

"Reminder – the Library has been breached, others are coming," the Node said. "Reminder – the Library has been breached, others are coming. Reminder – the Library has been breached –"

They jumped back as an explosion was heard, followed by a blinding white light. Through the door that had just opened, someone wearing a spacesuit walked in, followed by five more. The first person walked straight to them, and reached out a hand to a button at the back of their mask.

Eva couldn’t help but be both relieved and afraid when the face of River Song was revealed, a smirk growing on her face as she looked between Eva and the Doctor.

"Hello, sweetie."

Chapter Text

"Get out," the Doctor said almost immediately.

"Doctor?" Donna asked.

"Get back in your rocket and fly away," the Doctor ignored her. "Tell your grandchildren you came to the Library and lived, they won't believe you."

"Pop your helmets, everyone," River said. "We've got breathers."

"How do you know they're not androids?" one of the women asked as everyone took their helmets off.

"Cause I've dated androids," River replied. "They're rubbish."

"Who is this?" the man Eva knew to be Lux asked River. "You said we were the only expedition, I paid for exclusives."

"I lied," River said. "I'm always lying. Bound to be others."

"Miss Evangelista, I want to see the contracts," Lux ordered.

"You came through the north door?" River asked. "Much damage?"

"Please, just leave," the Doctor said. "I'm asking you seriously and properly, just lea –" he paused, turning to look at River. "Did you say expedition?"

"My expedition," Lux said. "I funded it."

"Oh, you're not... are you?" the Doctor asked. "Tell me you're not archaeologists."

"Got a problem with archaeologists?" River asked him.

"I'm a time traveller," the Doctor replied. "I point and laugh at archaeologists."

"I don’t!" Eva called out, causing River to turn and look at her.

"Eva!" River called out. "It's been too long!"

"It always is, isn’t it?" Eva smiled at her, pulling her into a hug.

"You know her?" the Doctor asked.

"Doctor, let me introduce a past-future friend," Eva said, marking at River. "Professor River Song. Archaeologist."

"Nice," the Doctor said, peeling River's arm off Eva. "Maybe you can convince her to leave, and perhaps set up a quarantine beacon. Code-wall the planet, the whole planet. Nobody comes here, not ever again." He turned to see one of the women walking around. "Stop right there!" he told her. "What's your name?"

"Anita," she replied.

"Anita, stay out of the shadows," the Doctor ordered. "Not a finger in the shadows 'till you're safely back in your ship. Stay in the light. Find a nice, bright spot and just stand. If you understand me, look very, very scared." Everybody seemed to look at least a bit stressed, except for River who smiled at him. "No, bit more scared than that," he said, waiting for them to comply. "Okay, that'll do for now."

"Don't mind him," Eva told River. "He's... well, you know. The Doctor."

"Oh, trust me, I know," River muttered.

"You," the Doctor said, marking at one of the men. "Who are you?"

"Er, Dave," he replied.

"Okay, Dave –"

"Oh, well Other Dave," he said. "Because that's Proper Dave the pilot, he was the first Dave, so when we –"

"The way you came," the Doctor cut him off. "Does it look the same as before?"

"Yeah," Other Dave said. "Oh, it's a bit darker."

"How much darker?" the Doctor asked.

"I could see where we came through just a moment ago," Other Dave told him. "I can't now."

"Seal the door," the Doctor ordered.

"We're not looking for a way out," Lux said. "Miss Evangelista?"

"I'm Mr Lux's personal... everything," Evangelista said.  "Sign these contracts agreeing that your experiences inside the Library are the intellectual property of the Felman Lux Corporation."

"Right, give it here," the Doctor said, and Evangelista handed the three of them forms to sign.

"Yeah, lovely. Thanks," Donna muttered before she and the Doctor tore their forms in sync.

"Well, that was rude," Eva muttered.

"Are you going to sign?" Evangelista asked hopefully.

"No, sorry," Eva said, handing her back the form. "But I won't tear it up."

"My family built this library," Lux said. "I have rights."

"You have a mouth that won't stop," River said, looking at the Doctor. "You think there's danger here?"

"Something came to this library and killed everything in it, killed a whole world," the Doctor told her. "Danger? Could be."

"That was a hundred years ago," River said. "The Library's been silent for a hundred years. Whatever came here is long dead."

"Bet your life?" Eva asked, smiling as she already knew what River was going to say.

"Always."

The Doctor marched forwards, grabbing Lux's torch and using it to light one of the darker areas in the room.

"Almost every species in the universe has an irrational fear of the dark," he said. "But they're wrong. Cause it's not irrational."

"It's Vashta Nerada," Eva said.

"What's Vashta Nerada?" Donna asked.

"It's what's in the dark," the Doctor replied.

"It's what's always in the dark," Eva added.

"Lights!" the Doctor called. "You got lights?"

"What for?" Lux asked.

"Form a circle," Eva said. "A safe area, big as you can, lights pointing out."

"Do as she says," River ordered.

"You're not listening to them?" Lux asked.

"Apparently, I am," River told him, before turning back to Anita. "Unpack the lights. Other Dave, make sure the door's secure, then help Anita. Mr Lux, put your helmet back on, block the visor."

"Proper Dave, find an active turmoil," Eva said. "I want you to access the library database, see what you can find about what happened here a hundred years ago. Doctor!" He looked at her. "With us."

"Professor Song," Lux said. "Why am I the only one wearing my helmet?"

"We don’t fancy you," River and Eva said together.

"Don't let your shadows cross!" the Doctor said as he walked to where River and Eva said. "Seriously, don't even let them touch. Any of them could be infected."

"How can a shadow be infected?" Other Dave wondered.

Eva sat next to River, giving the Doctor a death glare when he moved to sit by her side. He sighed, sitting in front of River and examining her.

"Thanks," she told them.

"No problem, dear," Eva said.

"For what?" the Doctor asked, not following their conversation.

"The usual," River shrugged. "For coming when I call."

"That was you?" the Doctor asked.

"You're doing a good job, acting like you don't know me," River commented, causing the Doctor to exchange a worried glance with Eva. "I'd assume there's a reason if not for the fact that Evie's normal."

"There is," the Doctor said. "A fairly good one, actually."

"Okay, shall we do diaries, then?" River asked, opening her TARDIS cover diary. "Where are we this time? Going by your face, I'd say it's early days for you, yeah? So, er... Crash of the Byzantium, have we done that yet?" She looked at the Doctor's indifferent face. "Obviously ringing no bells. Right, Picnic at Asgard. Have we done Asgard yet?"

"River..." Eva said softly.

"Obviously not," River muttered. "Blimey, very early days, then. Life with a time traveller - never knew it could be such hard work." She smiled slightly before looking at the Doctor's face. "Look at you!" she said. "You're young. The both of you, so, so young."

"I'm really not, you know," the Doctor said.

"No, but you are," River told him. "Your eyes. You're younger than I've ever seen you."

"River..." Eva repeated, but the Doctor cut her off.

"You've seen me before, then?"

River froze. "Doctor," she said. "Please tell me you know who I am? Eva," she added, turning to her friend. "Please tell me this isn’t..."

"Who are you?" the Doctor asked her.

Eva put a hand on River's, trying to comfort the other woman but only making her turn her head.

"Do you know me?" she asked.

"Of course I do," Eva told her. "I know all about you, River Song."

"But have we met yet?" River questioned. "Have you met me?"

Slowly, Eva shook her head. Tears shone in River's eyes as she opened her mouth to reply, only to be stopped by a beeping noise. The Doctor immediately stood up.

"Sorry," Proper Dave said. "That was me. Trying to get through into the security protocols, I seem to have set something off. What is that?" he asked. "Is that an alarm?"

"Doctor," Donna said. "Doctor, that sounds like..."

"It is," Eva said, standing up as well but not letting go of River's hand.

"It's a phone!" the Doctor said.

"I'm trying to call up the data core, but it's not responding," Proper Dave said. "Just that noise."

"But it's a phone!" Donna protested.

"Let me try something," the Doctor said, typing on the keyboard. "Okay, doesn't like that, let's try something else. Okay," he said as he managed to get it to work. Here it comes. Hello?" he asked.

A picture appeared on screen, of a young girl sitting and drawing in a living room. She raised her eyes, and looked right at them. "Hello," she replied. "Are you in my television?"

"Well, no," the Doctor said, bewildered. "I'm... I'm sort of in space. I was trying to call up the data core of a triple-grid security processor."

"Would you like to speak to my dad?" she offered.

"Your dad," the Doctor said. "Or your mum, that would be lovely."

The girl nodded, turning away before turning to look back at him. "I know you!" she said. "You were in my library."

"Your library?" the Doctor repeated.

"The Library's never been on the television before," the girl said. "What have you done?"

"Ah," the Doctor mumbled. "I... I just rerouted the interface –"

The screen shut down, leaving them all staring at the symbol of the Library again.

"What happened?" River asked. "Who was that?"

The Doctor typed some more, but all that happened is a message saying, "ACCESS DENIED," popped up.

He looked at Eva thoughtfully for a couple of moments before saying, "I need another terminal," and moving to one of the other screens.

"Keep working on those lights," Eva called out as she ran after him. "We need those lights!"

"You heard her, people," River said, following the duo. "Let there be light."

The Doctor opened the new terminal screen, trying to get it to work again. From the corner of his eye, he could see River's diary, and he almost reached out for it when Eva grabbed it, handing it to its owner.

"Sorry," she said. "You're not allowed to see inside the book, it's against the rules."

"What rules?" the Doctor asked.

"Eva's rules," River replied, grabbing her diary and walking away.

"You know, don’t you?" the Doctor asked Eva, not taking his eyes off the screen. "You know who she is to me. Who she will be."

"In general," Eva said. "I know some things, but there's no way to tell how my presence here will change things."

"What do you mean?" the Doctor asked. "Evie..." he started, but she cut him off.

"Don't call me Evie," she said sharply.

"Then tell me what do you mean," the Doctor retorted.

All Eva did was smile sadly. "Spoilers," she whispered, just as a book flew away from one of the shelves, followed by another and then a third. It wasn’t long before books were flying all around the room.

"What's that?" the Doctor asked. "I didn't do that," he said. "Did you do that?"

"Not me," Proper Dave said from where he was standing next to the first terminal.

The Doctor tried to enter the computer system and check what was causing it, but the system wouldn’t budge. "CAL, ACCESS DENIED," showed up, and he frowned.

"What's CAL?" he called out, turning to look at Eva when nobody replied. "Eva, if you don’t tell me what's going on, people might die."

Eva closed her eyes, taking a deep breath. On the one hand, if she told the Doctor what happened, she might change his future, River's past and possibly not be able to save all of the people trapped inside the Library's computer. On the other hand, if she didn’t tell him... it wasn’t a case of 'People might die'. People will die – five out of the nine in the room at the moment.

She opened her mouth to tell him, but was disturbed by River calling for her.

"Evie!" she said. "I need you here!"

"How come she's allowed to call you 'Evie'?" the Doctor grumbled.

"Cause she likes me better," River retorted, as Eva neared her.

"You wanted me?" she asked quietly.

"Yes," River said. "Don't listen to what the idiot tells you. That was a low-blow, and he knows it."

"But I know what's going to happen," Eva said. "I can... I can save people."

"No, you can't," River replied. "Well, sometimes, you can, but not always. Not when the change is too big."

"This is a big change," Eva said. "People are going to die."

"And how many are going to live?" River questioned. "More, I suppose."

"Yes," Eva replied. "But –"

"He had no right to ask you for answers," River said. "You're not here to magically solve every problem."

"Then what am I here for?" Eva questioned, causing River to smile brightly at her.

"Spoilers."

More books flew away from the shelves, and River looked up.

"What's causing that?" she asked.

"The little girl," Eva replied, confident that she could tell them that much.

"But who is the little girl?" the Doctor asked. "What's she got to do with this place? 'You're hurting her', that's what Eva said... How does the data core work?" he questioned. "What's the principle? What's CAL?"

"Ask Mr Lux," Eva told him, and the Doctor turned his head.

"CAL," he said. "What is it?"

"Sorry," Lux said. "You didn't sign your Personal Experience contracts..."

"Mr Lux," the Doctor said, coming to stand right in front of him. "Right now, you're in more danger than you've ever been in your whole life. And you're protecting a patent?"

"I'm protecting my family's pride," Lux said.

"Well, funny thing, Mr Lux," the Doctor said, not sounding nor looking the slightest bit amused, "I don't want to see everyone in this room dead because some idiot thinks his pride is more important."

"It's not his pride!" Eva said. "And it's not a patent, either."

"Then tell me what is it and we can all get out of here," the Doctor said.

"She can't, and you know it!" River cut in. "And you should be ashamed of yourself for even asking her."

"Okay, okay, let's start at the beginning," the Doctor said. "What happened here? On the actual day, a hundred years ago, what physically happened?"

"There was a message from the library," River said. "Just one. 'The lights are going out'. Then the computer sealed the planet and there was nothing for a hundred years."

"It's taken three generations of my family just to decode the seals and get back in," Lux said.

"Um... excuse me –" Miss Evangelista started, looking at the door that opened at the corner of the room.

"Not just now," Lux cut her off.

"There was one other thing in the last message," River started.

"That's confidential," Lux told her.

"I trust this man and woman," River told him ."With my life, with everything."

"You've only just met them," Lux protested.

"No," River replied. "They've only just met me."

"Erm..." Miss Evangelista said. "This might be important actually –"

"In a moment!" Lux told her.

"This is a data extract that came with the message," River said, showing it to the Doctor.

"4022 saved," he read out, Eva moving her lips in sync. "No survivors."

"4022," River repeated. "That's the exact number of people who were in the Library when the planet was sealed."

"But how can 4022 people have been saved if there were no survivors?" Donna questioned.

"That's what we're here to find out," River told her.

"And so far, what we haven't found," Lux said. "Are any bodies."

Silence fell on the group for a couple of seconds before Miss Evangelista's scream was heard, just as Eva knew would happen. The Doctor immediately grabbed a torch and ran towards the source of the sound, River following him with Eva's hand clasped in hers and the rest following not far behind. They walked into the study room of the Library to find a skeleton wrapped in a torn spacesuit.

"Everybody, careful," the Doctor said. "Stay in the light."

"So you keep saying," Proper Dave said. "I don't see the point!"

"Who screamed?" the Doctor asked.

"Miss Evangelista," Eva whispered, the tears welling in her eyes.

"Where is she?"

"Miss Evangelista, please state your current..." River stopped as she heard an eco of the words she was saying. "Please state your current position..." she said, nearing the suit and taking Miss Evangelista's com out. "It's her," she whispered. "It's Miss Evangelista."

"We heard her scream a few seconds ago," Anita said. "What could do that to a person in a few seconds?"

"It took less than a few seconds," Eva told her, turning around and leaving the room with the knowledge that Miss Evangelista's death was on her.

Chapter Text

Eva sat on the balcony right outside the room where they had all gathered in earlier, thinking, and occasionally taking a drag of her cigarette but mostly watching it die.

The rest of the group had returned to the room now that they had parted with Miss Evangelista. But Eva couldn’t help but think of the young woman she let die, couldn’t stop her mind from bringing up the hopeful look she wore when she thought Eva was going to sign the contract.

She was dead now, eaten away until there was nothing left but her skeleton. And Eva knew that would happen. She had known, and she didn’t even try to stop it.

She put the cigarette to her lips, inhaling deeply and letting the smoke burn her lungs.

She should have done something. She should have saved her. The Doctor was right.

It wasn’t until she sensed someone nearing her that she looked up, but she said nothing as Donna sat down next to her. They sat in silence until Eva finished her cigarette, deciding against another as she stomped the burning end of it with her foot and threw the stub into a nearby bin.

"You know," Donna said, breaking the silence between them, "You travel through all of time and space and getting into trouble with the Doctor. How do you even have the time to buy cigarettes?"

"The TARDIS gave this pack to me, actually," Eva replied. "I found it on my night shed this morning when I woke up. A good thing, too, since the last one ran out last night."

"I bet the Doctor wasn’t happy about that," Donna remarked.

"As if I care what he says," Eva scoffed. "I'm a smoker. Deal with it."

"You don’t have to tell me," Donna said. "He has no right interfering with your life."

"Preaching to the choir, honey," Eva muttered.

"But," Donna went on, "When he is trying to interfere with your life, he usually does so because he cares about you."

"He's trying to convince me to tell him what I know," Eva told her.

"I know," the red haired woman replied. "And you shouldn’t tell him."

"People will die," Eva said. "Miss Evangelista already has."

"And it's not your fault," Donna said, getting to her feet and pulling the other woman to eye-level. "The only one to blame is whoever or whatever killed her. Got that?" Eva nodded uncertainly. "Good. Now come back in."

The Doctor, who was having a quiet conversation with River, looked up when he saw the two come back in.

"You're here," he noted with no real emotion to his voice. "Good. I'm going to need a packed lunch," he told the rest.

"Hang on," River said, leaning down next to her bag and drawing things out as she searched for food.

"What's in that book?" the Doctor asked as she took out her TARDIS notebook.

"Spoilers," she replied.

"Oh, I bet you got that from Eva..." the Doctor muttered. "Who are you?"

"Professor River Song, University of –"

"To me," the Doctor said. "To us. Who are you to us?"

"Again, spoilers," River said with a sigh, opening her lunch box and handing it to the Doctor. "Chicken, and a bit of salad. Knock yourself out."

The Doctor stared at her for a long moment before talking. "Right, you lot," he said, standing up. "Let's meet the Vashta Nerada!"

He leaned down next to a table, trying to use his sonic screwdriver to check for Vashta Nerada while holding River's food but barely managing.

"Eva, could you come here?" he asked.

"Do I have to?" Eva asked, causing him to stop and look at her.

"Please."

She sighed, moving to sit next to him as she did nothing but hold the food, a task that, in her opinion, the floor could do just as well as she could.

"Are you okay?" the Doctor asked, surprising her.

"What do you care?" Eva asked.

"I care," he said. "I always care when it comes to you."

"You didn’t act like it before," Eva scoffed.

"Well, River knocked some sense into me while you were out," the Doctor shrugged. "Literally knocked it in. That woman has a mighty slap. Proper Dave, could you move over a bit?" he asked as he reached the table Proper Dave was sitting on.

"Why?" Proper Dave asked.

"Just move," Eva bit out, causing him to walk away, rolling his eyes. "I have a feeling you will get quite acquainted with River's slaps soon," she remarked to the Doctor.

"Will I, now?" the Doctor muttered. "Looking forward to it. Is she important?" he added. "In my future. Is she important?"

"You know I can't tell you," Eva said.

"I know," the Doctor quickly told her. "Sorry."

"What are you talking about?" they heard Donna say. "Are you just talking rubbish? Do you know them or don't you?"

"Donna, quiet, I'm working!" the Doctor said.

"And, for the record," Eva added. "She knows us better than almost anybody else."

"She does?" the Doctor asked.

"Shouldn't you be working?" Eva asked.

"Right," the Doctor said, going back to looking for living Vashta Nerada. "Back to it."

"You are so immature sometimes," Eva scoffed.

"Of course I am," the Doctor said. "Why wouldn’t I be?"

"I don’t know," Eva said. "It's just all of those different you, getting lost in my head."

"Okay!" the Doctor called out to the group instead of replying to what Eva said. "We've got a live one. That's not darkness down those tunnels," he told them all. "This is not a shadow. It's a swarm. A man-eating swarm."

Eva took one of the chicken legs and threw it through the shadow, letting them all see the way it was stripped down to the bone before it even touched the ground.

"The piranhas of the air, the Vashta Nerada," the Doctor said.

"Literally 'the shadows that melt the flesh'," Eva added. "Most planets have them, but usually in small clusters."

"I've never seen an infestation on this scale, or this aggressive," the Doctor mused.

"What d'you mean, most planets?" Donna asked. "Not Earth?"

"Earth, and a billion other worlds," Eva said. "Where there's meat, there's Vashta Nerada."

"You can see them sometimes, if you look," the Doctor added. "The dust in sunbeams."

"If they were on Earth, we'd know," Donna said.

"Nah, normally they live on road kill," the Doctor told her. "But sometimes people go missing. Not everyone comes back out of the dark."

"Every shadow?" River asked, looking around.

"No," Eva replied. "But any shadow."

"So what do we do?" River asked.

"Daleks - aim for the eyestalk," the Doctor said. "Sontarans – back of the neck. Vashta Nerada..."

"Run," Eva said, swallowing hard. "Just run."

"Run where?" River questioned.

"This is an index point," the Doctor said. "There must be an exit teleport."

"Don't look at me," Lux said. "I haven't memorised the schematics!"

"Doctor, the little shop!" Donna said. "They always make you go through the little shop on the way out so they can sell you stuff."

"You're right!" the Doctor said, looking into the shop. "That's why I like the little shop!"

"You and your bloody shop," Eva muttered.

"Okay, let's move it," Proper Dave said, moving towards it.

"Actually, Proper Dave," Eva said, her voice trembling. "Could you stay where you are for a moment?"

"Why?" Proper Dave asked.

"I'm sorry," she said, knowing it was one more person she was unable to save. "I really am. But you've got two shadows."

"It's how they hunt, they latch on to a food source and keep it fresh," the Doctor explained.

"What do I do?" Proper Dave asked.

"You stay absolutely still," the Doctor replied. "Like there's a wasp in the room, a million wasps."

"We're not leaving you, Dave," River quickly said.

"Of course not," the Doctor told him. "Where's your helmet? Don't point, tell me."

"On the floor, by my bag," Proper Dave said, and Anita moved to fetch it.

"Don't cross his shadow!" the Doctor warned her, making sure she was extra careful as she walked. "Thanks," he said, putting the helmet on Proper Dave's head. "Now, the rest of you, helmets on and sealed up. We'll need everything we've got."

"Doctor, we haven't got any helmets," Donna noted.

"We're safe anyway," the Doctor brushed her concern off.

"How are we safe?"

"We're not," Eva said. "That was a clever lie to shut you up. Not working, by the way."

"Eva, you're the safest person in the room right now," the Doctor told her.

"Why?" Eva asked. "Because I can't die?"

"No," the Doctor said. "Because I'd rather die than let anything happen to you. Professor, anything I can do with the suit?"

"What good are suits?" Lux questioned. "Miss Evangelista was wearing one, there was nothing left."

"We can increase the mesh-density, dial it up 400%," River offered. "Make it a tougher meal."

"Okay," the Doctor said, taking out his screwdriver and doing as she said before making a move to pass it to her.

"Got one," she said, showing him her screwdriver.

"What's that?" the Doctor asked.

"It's a screwdriver," River said.

"It's sonic," the Doctor said, shocked.

"Yeah, I know," River told him. "Snap."

She turned to the others, increasing the mesh-density and the Doctor looked at Eva with a quizzical glance. Her face remained stoic, and he sighed, taking Donna to the shop where Eva knew she would be sent away. He returned a minute later and grasped Eva's hand, but she shook her head.

"No way," she said. "I know what you're trying to do and it's not going to work on me, Mister."

"The Vashta Nerada –" the Doctor started.

"Can't kill me," Eva replied. "I can't die, remember?"

"You're not invincible," the Doctor told her.

"I'm not a damsel in distress, either," she retorted. "You're stuck with me. Deal with it."

"Doctor!" River called, causing the two of them to turn around, and the Doctor to tighten his grasp on Eva's hand.

They looked at Proper Dave, who was standing exactly the same as before, only one shadow less.

"Where did it go?" the Doctor asked.

"It's just gone," Proper Dave said. "I looked round, one shadow. See."

"Does that mean we can leave?" River asked hopefully.

"I don't know why we're still here," Lux muttered.

"I don’t know why you're still talking," Eva retorted. "Shut up."

"Did you feel anything?" the Doctor asked. "Like an energy transfer?"

"No, no, but, look," Proper Dave said as he turned around to show the Doctor. "It's gone."

"Stop there, stop moving," the Doctor called out. "They're never just gone. And they never give up." He let go of Eva, leaning down to check the shadow that was left. "Well, this one's benign," he muttered.

"Hey, who turned out the lights?" Proper Dave asked, and Eva took a shaky breath, knowing he was gone.

"No-one, they're fine," the Doctor said, looking up at him.

"No, seriously, turn them back on!" Proper Dave said.

"They are on," River said, and Eva reached out and pulled the Doctor back.

"I can't see a ruddy thing," Proper Dave told them.

"Dave," the Doctor said slowly. "Turn round."

"What's going on?" Dave asked, turning around and allowing the rest of the group to see nothing but darkness inside his mask. "Why can't I see? Is the power gone, are we safe here?"

"Dave, I want you stay still, absolutely still," Eva said, knowing what was coming next.

Dave twitched in pain, and a sickening sound was heard from inside the suit.

"Dave, Dave?" the Doctor asked, constantly pushing Eva behind him only for her to step forward and push him back. "Dave, can you hear me, are you all right? Talk to me, Dave."

"I'm fine, I'm okay, I'm fine," Dave said, though Eva knew he was anything but.

"I want you to stay still, absolutely still," the Doctor instructed.

"I'm fine, I'm okay, I'm fine," Dave repeated. "I can't... Why can't I? I... I can't... Why can't I? I... I can't Why can't I? I..."

"He's gone," Eva said, looking at the flickering light in his collar. "He's ghosting."

"Then why is he still standing?" Lux asked.

"Hey! Who turned out the lights?" Dave asked. "Hey! Who turned out the lights?"

"Doctor, Eva, don't!" River said as the Doctor leaned closer to Dave and Eva pulled him back once more.

"Dave, can you hear me?" the Doctor asked, and Eva barely managed to push him back in time for Swarm-Dave to attack her and not him.

"Hey! Who turned out the lights?" Swarm-Dave asked as he put his hands around her neck, the skeleton moving inside the suit. "Who turned out the lights? Hey! Who turned out the lights?"

"S'cuse me!" River said, running forwards and electrocuting him until he let go.

"Back from it, get back, right back!" the Doctor said, pulling Eva away.

"It won't do," Eva said. "It can move now."

"Doesn't move very fast, does it?" River asked.

"It's a swarm in a suit," Eva told her.

"But it's learning," the Doctor said, looking at the shadows extending from the suit.

"What do we do? Where do we go?" Lux asked.

"See that wall behind you?" River asked.

"Duck!" Eva called, pulling the Doctor down with her.

"Squareness gun!" the Doctor said appreciatively.

"Everybody out!" River said, running through the hole she created in the wall. "Go, go, go!"

The found themselves in a corridor, and River looked around.

"You said not every shadow," River said.

"But any shadow!" the Doctor replied.

"Not this one, though," Eva said, reaching out for River's hand with the one that didn’t hold the Doctor's. "Run!"

EMH

"Trying to boost the power," the Doctor explained once they reached a new corridor, everybody other than him breathing heavily. "Light doesn't stop them, but it slows them down."

"So what's the plan?" River asked, taking her screwdriver and finishing what the Doctor spent several good minutes working on in just a couple of seconds. "Do we have a plan?"

"Your screwdriver..." the Doctor said. "Looks exactly like mine."

"Yeah," River said. "You gave it to me."

"I don't give my screwdriver to anyone," the Doctor replied.

"She's not anyone," Eva said.

"Who are you?" the Doctor asked River before looking at Eva. "Who is she?"

"Plan," Eva said. "Have you got one?"

"I teleported Donna back to the TARDIS," the Doctor said. "If we don't get back in five hours, emergency program one activates."

"Take her home," River nodded. "We need to get a shift on."

The Doctor frowned, looking at his screwdriver. "She's not there," he said. "I should've received a signal, the console signals me if there's a teleport breach."

"I'm sorry," Eva said.

Both the Doctor and River turned to look at her. "What for?"

Eva sighed, heading to the nearest Node. "There's a Donna Noble in this library," she told it. "Do you have the software to locate her?"

The Node turned and the Doctor froze as he saw it bearing Donna's face.

"No," he whispered.

"Donna Noble has left the Library," the Node said. "Donna Noble has been saved."

"Donna!" the Doctor called out.

"Donna Noble has left the Library. Donna Noble has been saved."

The Doctor turned to Eva. "You knew, didn’t you?"

"Donna Noble has left the Library. Donna Noble has been saved."

"You knew and you let her die!"

"Hey!" the group jumped as Swarm-Dave appeared at the open edge of the hallway. "Who turned out the lights?"

"Doctor, I'm sorry, but now is not the time," Eva said.

"Hey! Who turned out the lights?"

"Doctor, do something!" River called out.

"Donna Noble has left the Library. Donna Noble has been saved."

"I can't believe it," the Doctor said, shaking his head at Eva with undisguised disgust.

"Hey! Who turned out the lights?"

"I promise I'll explain, just nor now," Eva said.

"Donna Noble has left the Library. Donna Noble has been saved."

"Doctor, what are we going to do?" River asked.

"Hey! Who turned out the lights?"

Eva looked up at the dead end they were in, knowing what was supposed to happen next but unable to look any of the others in the eye. As far as they knew, Donna was dead.

"Donna Noble has left the Library. Donna Noble has been saved."

And as far as the Doctor was concerned... it was her fault.

Chapter Text

"Hey! Who turned out the lights?"

"Donna Noble has left the Library. Donna Noble has been saved."

"Hey! Who turned out the lights?"

River moved aside, shooting with her squareness gun at the nearest bookcase.

"This way," she told the group. "Quickly, move!"

"Hey! Who turned out the lights?"

Nobody needed to be told twice, and instead they just ran through the hole River created, moving on to other corridors in an attempt to escape the swarm.

"Okay, we've got a clear spot," River said as they entered a new room. "In, in, in!"

"Right in the centre, in the middle of the light, quickly!" Eva called. "Don't let your shadows cross."

"Oh, you help them but not Donna," the Doctor muttered.

"Doctor..." River said warningly.

"I know," the Doctor said, using his sonic screwdriver to scan the surroundings. "I'm doing it."

"There's no lights here," she said. "Sunset's coming, we can't stay long."

"Have you found a live one?" Eva asked.

"Maybe," the Doctor said, not bothering to look at her. "It's getting harder to tell." He hit his screwdriver a couple of times as it worked on and off. "What's wrong with you?"

"We're going to need a chicken leg," River said. "Who's got a chicken leg? Thanks, Dave," she said with a grateful smile as he handed it to her before she passed it to the Doctor.

"Okay," he said, throwing it through the area he tried to scan. "Okay, we've got a hot one. Watch your feet."

"They won't attack until there's enough of them," Eva said. "But they've got our scent now, they're coming." The Doctor moved aside, trying to understand if there are any more Vashta Nerada in the room and Eva neared him. "Doctor, can we talk?"

"No," he said coldly.

"Doctor..."

"You know, I somehow – somehow – managed to understand why you let Miss Evangelista and Proper Dave die," the Doctor said. "String of events, people you barely know and all of that. But Donna?"

"Doctor, if you'd just let me explain –"

"But that's just the problem, isn’t it?" the Doctor asked. "You don’t know Donna – not yet, not like future you used to. So she died, and you let it happen, all because you're young –"

Eva's punch hit the Doctor square in the jaw, sending him backwards.

"What the hell was that for?" he asked.

"I warned you not to call me young like that again," Eva said. "Now, you're going to listen to me, and you listen carefully, Mister. Just because I'm young, and haven’t experienced everything you have, doesn’t mean I don’t have a conscious, or that I'm heartless. Maybe it's too much for you to understand but I, unlike some, don’t like playing God."

"And I do?" the Doctor asked.

"You tell me," Eva retorted.

"Kids!" River called out. "We have bigger problems at the moment than your lovers' quarrel. Behave."

"It's not a lovers' quarrel," Eva said, empathizing the words in disgust. "Nor will it ever be."

"Eva, believe it or not, I know you –"

"I don’t know who it is that you think you know, River," Eva said. "But if she puts up with this." She looked the Doctor up and down. "Then it sure as hell isn’t me."

The Doctor huffed, trying to detect something in his sonic screwdriver and Eva stepped away from him and towards the group.

"So," Anita said, looking at where River was talking to the Doctor. "How do you know Professor Song?"

"We're best friends," Eva said.

"She said you never met her before," Dave said.

"Oh, I haven’t," Eva told him. "But I know myself, and I know her, and I know there's no way on Earth I won't make her my best friend."

"But how do you know her?" Anita pressed.

"I just know," Eva said. "I know... almost everything. I know how things are going to end, for better and for worst, and I'm not allowed to change it. Mr. Hair over there is having trouble accepting it."

"Oi!" the Doctor called. "Mr. Hair?"

"Have you looked in the mirror recently?" she bit out.

"Bigger problems!" River called out. "Use the red settings."

The Doctor looked at her. "It doesn't have a red setting," he said.

"Well, use the dampers."

"It doesn't have dampers."

"It will do one day," River said, showing him her own screwdriver

"So some time in the future, I just give you my screwdriver," the Doctor said.

"Yeah," River replied.

"And why would I do that?"

"She didn't pluck it from your cold dead hands, if that's what you're worried about," Eva said. "Though if you keep going this way, she just might."

"How can I trust you?" the Doctor asked. "Currently, I have no idea why should I trust either of you."

"Listen to me," River said. "You've lost your friend, you're angry, I understand. But you need to be less emotional, Doctor."

"I'm not emotional," the Doctor muttered.

"Yes, you are and you're taking it out on Eva for no reason whatsoever," River said harshly. "There are six people in this room still alive, focus on that. Dear God, you're hard work young."

"He's not that much better old, either," Eva muttered.

"Young?" the Doctor questioned. "Who are you?"

"Oh, for heaven's sake!" Lux cried out. "Look at the three of you! We're all going to die right here, and you're just squabbling like an old married couple!"

"Doctor," River said slowly. "One day I'm going to be someone that you trust completely, but I can't wait for you to find that out. So I'm going to prove it to you. And I'm sorry." She turned her head to look at Eva. "I'm really very sorry." River leaned in to whisper the Doctor's name in his ear, and for some reason Eva couldn’t understand, it bothered her. "Are we good?" River asked when she leaned back. "Doctor, are we good?"

"Yeah," the Doctor said distractedly, sending a quick glance at Eva's direction and swallowing hard. "Yeah, we're good."

"Good," River said, taking back her screwdriver and walking away from him.

The Doctor stayed where he was, shocked as he looked between Eva and River. A minute or so passed and Eva knew they didn’t have time, so she decided to give him a clue.

"Doctor?" she asked. "Here's something interesting about your screwdriver. Very hard to interfere with, nothing's strong enough. Well, some hairdryers are..." she added with a smile.

"I'm working on that," the Doctor muttered. "I knew you did that on purpose."

"You're missing the point," Eva said. "There is a very strong signal coming from somewhere, and it wasn't there before, so what's changed?" She looked around. "Come on. What's new? What's different?"

"I dunno, nothing," Dave said. "It's getting dark."

"It's a screwdriver, it works in the dark," the Doctor retorted.

"Doctor," Eva said. "Stop being rude and look up."

Everybody did as she said and the Doctor's eyes widened with understanding. "Moonrise," he muttered, turning to look at Lux. "Tell me about the moon," he said. "What's there?"

"It's not real, it was built as part of the Library," Lux told him. "It's just a Doctor Moon."

"What's a Doctor Moon?" the Doctor questioned.

"A virus checker," Lux explained. "It supports and maintains the main computer at the core of the planet."

"Well, it's still active, it's signalling, look," he showed the group the readings on his screwdriver. "Someone somewhere in this Library is alive and communicating with the moon"

"Or possibly," Eva said with a smile, "Alive and drying their hair."

"No, the signal's definitely coming from the moon," the Doctor replied. "I'm blocking it, but it's trying to break through."

He listened to the screwdriver, trying to understand the signal, when a hologram came out of it.

"Doctor!" Eva and River called, and he turned just in time to see the woman standing in front of them.

"Donna!" he barely managed to say before the hologram disappeared.

"That was her, that was your friend," River stated.

"Yes, it was," Eva said, looking right at the Doctor as she spoke. "Donna Noble is alive and well. She didn’t die. She has been saved."

"Can you get her back?" River asked. "What was that?"

"Hold on, hold on, hold on," the Doctor said. "I'm trying to find the wavelength. I'm being blocked."

"Professor?" Anita said with a shaky voice and Eva's head whipped around to look at her.

"Damn it," she muttered. "Oh, I'm sorry – I forgot."

"Just a moment," River said, oblivious to what Eva just said.

"It's important," Anita told her. "I have two shadows."

Everybody paused in the middle of what they were doing except for Eva, who walked to the side and brought Anita her helmet.

"Helmets on, everyone," she said as she put it on.

"It didn't do Proper Dave any good," Anita retorted.

"Just keep it together, okay?" River said.

"I'm keeping it together," Anita replied. "I'm only crying. I'm about to die, it's not an overreaction."

"Hang on," the Doctor said, swiping his screwdriver in front of Anita's suit.

"Oh, God," River said as the visor darkened, like Proper Dave's had when he died. "They've got inside."

"No, he just tinted her visor," Eva explained. "Maybe they'll think they're already in there, leave her alone."

"Do you think they can be fooled like that?" River questioned.

"Maybe," the Doctor said. "I don't know. It's a swarm, it's not like we chat."

"Yet," Eva added, her remark not going unnoticed by the Doctor.

"Can you still see in there?" Dave asked.

"Just about," Anita said weakly.

"Just... Just stay back," the Doctor said, feeling uncomfortable with how close to the shadow Eva was standing. "Professor, Eva, a quick word, please."

"What?" River asked as Eva and the Doctor kneeled down.

"Down here," the Doctor told her.

"What is it?" she asked, leaning next to them.

"Like you said, there are six people still alive in this room," the Doctor started.

"Yeah, so?"

"So," Eva said slowly, looking behind them, "Why are there seven?"

"Hey! Who turned out the lights?"

"Run!" the Doctor said, grasping Eva's hand and sprinting away.

"Let go of me!" she called, yanking her hand away.

"Hey! Who turned out the lights?"

"What do you think you're doing? " the Doctor asked.

"I'm mad at you!"

"Hey! Who turned out the lights?"

"Is this really the time for this?" the Doctor questioned.

"Yes, it is!" Eva called, quickening her pace to get away from him.

"Hey! Who turned out the lights?"

They ran for a while before the Doctor paused, allowing the rest to go past him.

"Professor, Eva, go ahead, find a safe spot," he said.

"It's a carnivorous swarm in a suit, you can't reason with it," River protested.

"Yet," the Doctor said. "That was what Eva said when I told you we don’t chat. Yet."

"That's right," Eva told him. "And I'm staying with you."

"Eva!" both the Doctor and River called.

"Five minutes," Eva said. "It'll be fine."

River huffed, annoyed. "Other Dave, stay with them," she ordered. "Pull them out when they're too stupid to live." She turned back to the Eva, who made sure to stand a good two feet away from the Doctor. "Two minutes, Evie," she said before running away.

"Hey! Who turned out the lights?" Swarm-Dave asked.

"You hear that?" the Doctor asked him. "Those words? That is the very last thought of the man who wore that suit before you climbed inside it and stripped his flesh. That's a man's soul trapped inside a neural relay, going round and round forever. Now, if you don't have the decency to let him go, how about this? Use him. Talk to us."

"It's easy, neural relay," Eva said, moving closer. "Just point and think."

"Use him," the Doctor repeated. "Talk to us."

"Hey! Who turned out the lights?"

"The Vashta Nerada live on all the worlds in this system, but you hunt in forests," the Doctor went on. "What are you doing in a library?"

"We should go," Other Dave said. "Doctor!"

"In a minute," Eva told him, her heart clenching as she knew what was coming for him.

"You came to a library to hunt, why?" the Doctor questioned. "Just tell us why?"

"We... did not," Swarm-Dave said.

"Oh, hello," the Doctor said, sighing in relief.

"We did not," the swarm repeated.

"Take it easy, you'll get the hang of it," Eva said. "Did not what?"

"We... did not... come... here."

"Well, of course you did, of course you came here," the Doctor said, not understanding what the swarm meant.

"We come from here."

"From here?" the Doctor repeated.

"We hatched here," the swarm said.

"But you hatch from trees, from spores in trees," the Doctor said.

"These are our forests," the swarm replied.

"You're nowhere near a forest," the Doctor insisted. "Look around you."

"These are our forests."

"You're not in a forest, you're in a library," the Doctor said.

"Think, Doctor," Eva said. "Trees in a library."

"We should go. Doctor!"

"Books," the Doctor said. "You came in the books. Microspores in a million millions books."

"We should go. Doctor!"

"Oh, look at that," the Doctor said, looking out the window. "The forests of the Vashta Nerada, pulped and printed and bound. A million millions books, hatching shadows."

"We should go. Doctor!"

"Doctor," Eva said, marking her head at Other Dave, now nothing other than bones.

"Oh Dave!" the Doctor sighed. "Oh, Dave, I'm so sorry."

"Hey! Who turned out the lights?" Swarm-Dave went back to saying.

"We should go," Other Dave repeated. "Doctor!"

"He's stupid, he talks too much, this gob doesn't stop for anything," Eva told the swarms, marking at the Doctor's mouth. "But, do you want to know the only reason he's still alive?" She grasped the Doctor's hand and he smiled, taking out his sonic screwdriver and pointing it at the trapdoor they were standing on.

"Always stay near the door," they said together, freefalling down but just managing to hang on the railings and move on.

"So," the Doctor said after they were almost halfway through. "Donna's alive."

"I'm still mad at you," Eva said.

"You have every right to be," the Doctor said. "Donna's alive and I yelled at you for killing her."

"You..." Eva paused for a moment before moving on. "You really think that was my problem?"

"Wasn't it?"

Eva rolled her eyes. "Never mind," she muttered. "It doesn’t matter."

"No," the Doctor said. "It's bothering you, of course it matters."

"Wrong," Eva said. "It would have mattered if it would have been an older me."

The Doctor looked at Eva, shocked. "Is this what it's about?" he asked. "You think I care less just because you're young?"

"No!" Eva called out. "Yes. You know what, I..." she sighed. "The way you're feeling when you talk to me, like I'm not cooked yet, not ready – that's how River feels when she looks at you."

"Figured as much," the Doctor replied. "What does that have to do with anything?"

"Think about how you feel when she says you're young," Eva told him. "Think about how you feel when you know all she wants is an older version of you. That's how I feel."

"I..." the Doctor didn’t know what to say. "I'm sorry."

"Don't be," Eva bit out. "Just move on so we can get back to Anita, River and Lux, save everybody and I could have a cigarette."

"You know," the Doctor started. "You really smoke a lot..."

"Do remember that we're hanging hundreds of miles above ground," Eva said sharply.

"Note taken."

Chapter Text

"You know when you see a photograph of someone you know, but it's from years before you knew them?" the Doctor and Eva heard River say as they walked towards where she was waiting with Lux and Anita. "It's like they're not quite... finished, they're not done yet."

The Doctor cast a quick glance at Eva, but said nothing.

"Well... yes, the Doctor's here. He and Evie came when I called, just like they always do. But not my Doctor and my Evie. Now, my Doctor... I've seen whole armies turn and run away. And he'd just swagger off back to his TARDIS and open the doors with a snap of his fingers. And Evie... she really is my best friend, you know. Just like she said. Best friends with my folks, too. Been to their wedding and all – pretty sure she kissed each of them at least once. And when she's angry... oh, you better stay back. The Doctor and Evie, in the TARDIS. Next stop - everywhere."

"Spoilers!" Eva called as they walked into the room. "I've been to the wedding?"

"Nobody can open a TARDIS by snapping their fingers," the Doctor said. "It doesn't work like that."

"Of course it does," Eva said. "I know of at least two people who can do it."

"Counting yourself?" River questioned with a smirk.

"Really?" Eva asked, excited. "Okay, three!"

The Doctor ignored them, heading for Anita. "How are you doing?" he asked.

"Where's Other Dave?" River asked.

"Not coming," Eva said sadly. "Sorry."

"Well, if they've taken him, why haven't they gotten me yet?" Anita asked.

"I don't know," the Doctor admitted. "Maybe tinting your visor's making a difference."

"It's making a difference all right," Anita retorted. "No-one's ever going to see my face again."

"Can I get you anything?" the Doctor asked.

"An old age would be nice," Anita told him. "Anything you can do?"

"I'm all over it," the Doctor said, about to turn back.

"Doctor," Anita said, stopping him in his tracks."When we first met you... you didn't trust Professor Song. And then she whispered a word in your ear, and you did. My life so far... I could do with a word like that. What did she say? Give a dead girl a break," she added, seeing the Doctor's hesitation. "Your secrets are safe with me."

"Safe," the Doctor repeated.

"What?" Anita asked.

"Safe," Eva repeated, beaming at the Doctor. "Figured it out, didn’t you? You don't say saved," she explained aloud. "Nobody says saved, you say safe."

"The data fragment!" the Doctor called out. "What did it say?"

"4,022 people saved," Eva quoted. "No survivors."

"Evie?" River asked, confused.

"Nobody says saved, nutters say saved, you say safe," the Doctor said.

"But you see," Eva said. "It didn't mean safe, it meant – it literally meant – saved." She walked to the nearest computer and uploaded the diagram. "See, there it is, right there," she marked at the screen, allowing the rest to see. "A hundred years ago, massive power surge, all the teleports going at once."

"Soon as the Vashta Nerada hit their hatching cycle, they attack," the Doctor carried on the line of thought. "Someone hits the alarm, the computer tries to teleport everyone out."

"It tried to teleport 4,022 people?" River questioned.

"It succeeded," the Doctor replied. "Pulled them all out, but then what happened?"

"Nowhere to send them," Eva said. "Nowhere safe in the Library. Vashta Nerada growing all over the place. 4022 people beamed up and nowhere to go. They're stuck in the system, waiting to be sent, like emails. So what's a computer to do? What does a computer always do?"

"It saved them," River said, smiling, as the Doctor ran towards the table, drawing a circle to mark the planet.

"The Library," he said. "A whole world of books, and right at the core, the biggest hard drive in history. The index to everything ever written, backup copies of every single book. The computer saved 4,022 people the only way a computer can. It saved them to the hard drive!"

Suddenly, alarms started beeping around them

"What is it?" Lux asked. "What's wrong?"

"Autodestruct enabled in twenty minutes," a mechanic voice said.

"What's maximum erasure?" River asked, looking at the screen.

"Twenty minutes, this planet will crack like an egg," the Doctor said.

"No!" Lux said. "No, it's all right, the Doctor Moon will stop it. It's programmed to protect CAL."

As if on cue, the screen shut down.

"And that was CAL turning Doctor Moon off," Eva said.

"No!" the Doctor said, hitting the screen ."No, no, no, no, no, no!"

"All Library systems are permanently offline, sorry for any inconvenience."

"We need to stop this," Lux said, and Eva nodded.

"We've got to save CAL," she said.

"But what is it?" the Doctor asked, looking between Eva and Lux. "What is CAL?"

"We need to get to the main computer," Lux said. "I'll show you."

"It's at the core of the planet," the Doctor said.

"Well, then," River said. "Let's go!" She pointed her screwdriver at the circle in the middle of the room, causing it to open up. "Gravity platform!" she said with a smile.

"I bet I like you," the Doctor said, coming closer.

"Oh, you do!" River and Eva said together, smiling at one another as they walked inside.

"You know what's going on in the computer's core, don’t you?" Lux asked.

"I do," Eva said.

"What's happening?"

"Well, CAL is currently going through a panic attack," Eva explained. "And Donna just found out her kids aren’t real."

"Kids?" the Doctor asked.

"Long story," Eva sighed. "Not mine to tell."

The Doctor nodded, taking her hand again as they ran.

"Autodestruct in fifteen minutes."

"The Data Core!" the Doctor said when they finally reached it. "Over 4,000 living minds, trapped inside it."

"Yeah, well they won't be living much longer," River said. "We're running out of time."

They moved to another room so the Doctor could log into a terminal.

"Help me," a voice said emotionlessly. "Please, help me."

"What's that?" River asked. "Was that a child?"

"Computer's in sleep mode," the Doctor said. "I can't wake it up. I'm trying."

"You won't be able to," Eva told him. "It's not just a sleep mode, she's dreaming."

"She is dreaming," Lux repeated, "Of a normal life, and a lovely Dad, and of every book ever written."

"Computers don't dream," the Doctor said.

"No," Eva agreed as Lux opened the door that led to the room where a Node with CAL's face stood.

"Help me," she said. "Please help me."

"But little girls do."

"Please help me," CAL repeated. "Please help me."

"Oh, my God," River whispered.

"It's the little girl," Anita said. "The girl we saw in the computer."

"She's not in the computer," Eva told her. "In a way, she is the computer."

"The main command Node," Lux said. "This is CAL."

"CAL is a child!" the Doctor called. "A child hooked up to a mainframe?" He looked between Eva and Lux. "Why didn't you tell me this! I needed to know this!"

"Because she's family!" Lux called out. "CAL. Charlotte Abigail Lux. My grandfather's youngest daughter. She was dying, so he built her a Library, and put her living mind inside, with a moon to watch over her, and all of human history to pass the time, any era to live in, any book to read. She loved books more than anything. He gave her them all. He asked only that she be left in peace."

"A secret, not a freak show," Eva told the Doctor. "I told you he wasn’t protecting a patent. He was protecting her."

"This is only half a life, of course," Lux said. "But it's forever."

"And then the shadows came," the Doctor said.

"Shadows," CAL said. "I have to... I have to save... Have to save..."

"And she saved them," Eva said. "She saved everyone in the Library, folded them into her dreams and kept them safe."

"Then why didn't she tell us?" Anita asked.

"Because she's forgotten," the Doctor said. "She's got over 4,000 living minds chatting away inside her head, it must be like being..."

"You?" Eva offered, and the Doctor shrugged.

"So what do we do?" River asked.

"Easy!" the Doctor said, running to the room they just came from.

"Autodestruct in ten minutes."

"We beam all the people out of the data core, the computer will reset and stop the countdown," the Doctor explained.

"Difficult, Charlotte doesn't have enough memory space left to make the transfer," Eva said.

"Easy!" the Doctor replied. "I'll hook myself up to the computer and she can borrow my memory space!"

"Difficult!" Eva and River said.

"It'll kill you stone dead," River told him.

"Yeah, it's easy to criticise," the Doctor muttered.

"It'll burn out both your hearts," Eva said.

"And don’t think you'll regenerate!" River added.

"I'll try my hardest not to die," the Doctor told them. "It's my main thing."

"Doctor!" River called.

"I'm right, this will work, shut up!" the Doctor told her, "Now, you and Luxy-boy, back up to the main Library. Prime any data cells you can find for maximum download, and before you say anything else, Professor, can I just mention, shut up!"

"Ha!" River huffed, turning to the exit. "I hate you sometimes!"

"I know!" the Doctor said.

"Mr Lux, with me!" River ordered. "Anita, if he dies, I'll kill him! Eva?"

"I'm staying," Eva told her in a voice that left no room for argument and River nodded as she ran outside.

"What about the Vashta Nerada?" Anita asked.

"These are their forests," the Doctor said. "I'll seal Charlotte inside her little world, take everybody else away. The shadows can swarm to their hearts' content."

"So you think they're just gonna let us go?" Anita asked.

"Best offer they're gonna get," the Doctor replied.

"You're gonna make 'em an offer?"

"They'd better take it," Eva said. "Cause right now, he's finding it very hard to make any kind of offer at all. You know why?"

The Doctor paused, looking at the suit and nodding at Eva when he saw the distance she was keeping from it.

"I really liked Anita," he said. "She was brave, even when she was crying, and she never gave in. And you ate her." He used his sonic screwdriver to reveal the skeleton inside the suit. "But I'm gonna let that pass. Do you know what I won't let pass?" Eva's head turned to look at him, not understanding until he spoke again. "Evie's got two shadows."

Slowly, Eva looked down to see that she does, indeed, have two shadows.

"I..." she said. "I didn’t notice."

"I very much hope so," the Doctor told her. "Because if I find out that you knew and hid it from me, the first thing I'll do after saving your life is killing you."

"I can't die," Eva said.

"Yes, you can," the Doctor said. "It's just harder than most. Now, as to you," he turned back to the Vashta Nerada, "I promise I'll be kind... if you'll be."

"These are our forests," the Vashta Nerada told him. "We are not kind."

"I'm giving you back your forests, but you are giving me them," the Doctor said. "You are letting them go – letting Eva go."

"These are our forests," the swarm repeated. "They are our meat."

"Don't play games with me," the Doctor told them, taking a step closer. "You just killed someone I like, and you are threatening the person I love most, and that is not a safe place to stand. I'm the Doctor, this is the Omniscient and you're in the biggest library in the universe. Look us up."

For a moment, Eva held her breath and then she felt an energy transfer and looked down to see her second shadow was gone.

"You have one day," was the Vashta Nerada's final warning before Anita's body fell to the ground, dead.

"Eva," the Doctor said, "You and I are going to have a very long talk about what just happened, but it's going to have to be later."

"You'll have to live for that," Eva said, leaning on the wall for support. "Which won't happen if you do what you're planning!"

"Anita!" River's voice called, and Eva knew why she was back, and what she was going to do.

"I'm sorry," the Doctor said. "She's been dead a while now, I told you to go."

"Lux can manage without me," River said. "But you can't."

With two long strides, she closed the difference between them and punched him unconscious before turning to Eva.

"No," she said. "No way."

"Evie..." River started.

"You'll die."

"There isn’t another option," River said, trying to knock her unconscious, as well.

"Yes, there is," Eva said. "I could do it. I can't die."

"Yes, you can," River told her.

"Maybe," Eva shrugged. "But I've got better odds than you do."

"Even if the odds are one in a million, I won't let you do this," River said, aiming at her again. "If you'll die –"

"I won't," Eva repeated.

"I'm sorry," River said. "But I can't take that chance, and I think you've forgotten how I was raised." She hit Eva over the head, making her fall to the ground and sighed as she looked at the two unconscious forms. "I'm sorry, my love."

EMH

"Oh, no, no, no, no," the Doctor said as he woke up and saw River wiring herself into the computer. "Come on, what are you doing? That's my job."

"Oh, and I'm not allowed to have a career, I suppose?" River retorted.

The Doctor looked at his hand, cuffed to the wall and his eyes landed on Eva who was laying, still unconscious, next to him.

"Why are we handcuffed?" he muttered to himself before looking back at River. "Why do you even have handcuffs?"

"Spoilers!" River said, looking nervously at Eva, who was slowly regaining consciousness.

"This is not a joke," the Doctor told her. "Stop this now, this is gonna kill you! I'd have a chance, you don't have any."

"You wouldn't have a chance, and neither do I," River stated. "And I'm sorry for hurting Eva, but she would have tried to do it herself."

"River..." Eva muttered.

"I'm timing it for the end of the countdown, there'll be a blip in the command flow," River said. "That way it should improve our chances of a clean download."

"River!" the Doctor called out. "Please! No!"

"Funny thing is, this means you two have always known how I was going to die," River told him. "All the time we've been together, you knew I was coming here. Eva probably knew today, as well..."

"River," Eva said, her voice steady. "I wanted to stop it, I wanted to –"

"I know," River said. "And I know that if I would have let you, the Doctor would have killed me."

"Let her do what?" the Doctor asked.

"Connect herself to the machine," River replied. "But it was always me, in the end. The last time I saw you, the real you, the future you, I mean - you turned up on my doorstep, with a new haircut and a suit, and Eva with a dress. You took me to Darillium to see the singing towers. What a night that was!" she sighed, tears in her eyes. "The towers sang and you cried. You wouldn't tell me why, but I suppose you knew it was time. My time. Time to come to the Library."

"River, please don’t do this," Eva begged.

"You even gave me your screwdriver," River went on, ignoring her. "That should've been a clue."

The Doctor looked at the two screwdrivers that sat on River's notebook and tried to reach them, but they were out of his reach.

"There's nothing you can do," River said.

"You can let me do this!" Eva called. "I can't die!"

"Yes, you can," River said. "And if you die here, it'll mean I've never met you, and it'll mean the Doctor never has, either."

"Yes, you will, because I won't die! I'll survive this!"

"It's okay," River said. "It's okay, it's not over for you. You'll see me again. You've got all of that to come. The Doctor, his Evie and me, time and space." She smiled sadly. "You watch us run!"

"River, you know my name!" the Doctor called. "You whispered my name in my ear." He looked at Eva, worried. "There's only one reason I would ever tell anyone my name. There's only one time I could –"

"Shh, now," River whispered. "Spoilers."

The countdown reached zero and River connected herself to the machine.

"No!" Eva cried, feeling like a piece of her heart was torn out as blinding white light filled the room.

Chapter Text

The Doctor and Eva stayed in the room for a couple more minutes before Lux came in to set them free. They went upstairs, where they reunited with Donna but Even after Eva told the Doctor the reason he gave River his screwdriver, she couldn’t stop crying.

She knew River was happy in the world CAL built for her – a world with Miss Evangelista, Anita and both Daves. A world where she lived her life, built a family and had two little kids to take care of. But, still, it didn’t feel like enough.

Hours later found her sitting in a small garden the TARDIS created for her, a cup of tea in one hand and a cigarette in another.

"What was the date when you left the other universe?" the Doctor's voice asked from behind her.

"Why do you want to know?" Eva asked.

"Just... remembering something you told me a long time ago."

Eva sighed. "November 28th," she said.

"And it's been three days since?" the Doctor inquired.

"More or less," Eva shrugged.

"Okay," the Doctor said slowly. "So, assuming it had been three days, what would the date today be?"

The cigarette fell from Eva's hand to the ground. "Oh my god," she muttered. "It's... but it can't be, can it?"

"It is," the Doctor replied. "I should have realized it before, but I didn’t." He stepped closer and pulled her into a hug. "Happy Birthday, Evie."

Eva shut her eyes tight, not returning the hug. "This birthday sucked," she said.

"I know," the Doctor said. "And I'm sorry, but it's not going to get any better soon."

Eva frowned, opening her mouth to ask what he meant when she saw the glow coming from her necklace.

"Where am I going?" she asked him.

"1971," he replied. "I'm going to be quite bitter, but I'm pretty sure that's more because of my nose than it is because of you."

"Will things ever get better?" Eva questioned.

"Yes," the Doctor said. "But they'll also get worse. And sometimes they'll be both."

"That's not very comforting," Eva said, looking at the Doctor as he took a step back.

"I know," he said. "But that's the best I can offer."

Eva closed her eyes, letting the locket take her away and opened them to see Jo opening a box.

"Stop her!" she heard a voice calling as smoke came out of the box. "That's a bomb!"

A man rushed forwards to stop her, but Jo hit him, sending him to the ground.

"I've got to open it!" she muttered, turning back to the box. "I've got to!"

"Of course I arrive when a bomb's about to go off," Eva groaned.

"I've got to open it!" Jo repeated. "I've got to open it!"

Another man rushed forwards and grabbed Jo, pulling her away from the box as a third grabbed the box and threw it out the window just before it exploded.

"There's going be some complaints about that, you know, Doctor," the second man – Sergeant Benton, as Eva now recognized – said.

"My dear Sergeant, if that box hadn't been tied, you wouldn't be here to receive any complaints," the third man said, turning around and allowing Eva to recognize him as the Third Doctor.

"Yes, sir," Benton said. "I mean, no, sir."

"What gave you the idea it was a booby trap, Doctor?" Yates questioned.

"She did," Eva stated, making the men in the room aware of her presence.

"What's wrong with her?" Yates asked.

"Almost certainly post-hypnotic alienation," the Doctor said, before turning his eyes to stare at Eva. "Decided to show up, have you?"

"Not the perfect timing, is it?" Eva asked. "Then again, when is it?"

"She's been hypnotised?" Yates asked.

Eva rolled her eyes. "Well, of course," she said. "Why else do you think she'd try to blow you all to pieces?"

"Come on, my dear," the Doctor said, taking Jo and leading her away. "Come and sit down over here."

"Get a chair, Captain Yates," Eva suggested, causing Yates to look at her questioningly.

"Do as she says," the Doctor instructed before turning back to Jo. "Come on, come and sit down here. Good. Just sit down here."

"But," Yates started, "I understood that under hypnosis it was impossible for –"

"You thought that under hypnosis it was impossible for a subject to be persuaded to do anything that was against his nature?" the Doctor questioned.

"That's right," Yates said.

"Well, it's a fallacy, Captain," Eva told him, leaning against the table. "The Master can completely control the human mind."

"Why am I not surprised you know what's happening?" the Doctor questioned.

"Why am I not surprised you're being rude to me?" Eva retorted.

"So he can just take over anyone he likes?" Benton questioned.

"No, not quite," the Doctor said. "No, some minds are stubborn enough to resist hypnosis."

"In any case, it doesn't last," Eva said. "Does it, Doctor?"

"No," the Doctor confirmed. "Away from the Master's influence, the mind struggles constantly to free itself."

"Is she in some sort of a trance?" Yates asked.

"I think the current jargon is schizoid dissociation," the Doctor said. "It's because she was forced to do something against her will and her conscious mind refuses to accept the fact. The result is a deep trauma."

"Jo, where's the Master?" Yates questioned.

"She won't remember that," Eva said, just as the Doctor had done the same.

"But she might," Yates insisted, not bothering to look at either of them. "Jo! Where is the Master?"

The Doctor sighed, looking over at Eva. "Got any suggestions, or are you planning to keep standing over there like a flowerpot?"

"I can see what you meant now about being bitter," Eva muttered. "Though the nose isn’t nearly bad enough to warrant this."

The Doctor's hand jumped to his face. "What's wrong with my nose?" he asked.

"Nothing," Eva said. "Haven't you been listening? And if you talk to Jo enough it'll pull her out of the trance."

"How do you know it will work?" Benton asked.

"The way she always does," the Doctor said, looking at her with something almost akin to anger. "She simply does." He moved a chair closer to the one Jo was sitting on and sat down. "Jo, wake up," he said. "Wake up, Jo. This is the Doctor. You're amongst friends."

"It's no good," Yates said. "I think we're just wasting –"

"Do be quiet, Captain," Eva said. "With all the respect, the Doctor is in the middle of something and you're disturbing."

"Thank you, my dear," the Doctor said. "Though you are quite disturbing me, as well. Be quiet!"

"Doctor?" Jo asked.

"Yes," the Doctor replied.

"Doctor?" Jo repeated.

"Mmm-hmm."

"Doctor!"

"All right, all right," the Doctor said as Jo all but jumped out of her chair. "Calm down, Jo. Calm down. We're quite safe."

"Quite," Eva said with a small, victorious smile at Yates' direction.

"There was an explosion!" Jo said.

"That was a long way away," the Doctor replied. "Believe me, that was a long way away. Now, we're all quite safe. Look around you. See for yourself."

Jo did as she was told and relaxed a bit before her eyes landed on Eva. "Who is she?" she asked.

"That's Eva," the Doctor replied. "She's... an old acquaintance."

"Acquaintance?" Eva repeated. "I know you better than you know yourself, Mister!"

"Well, considering as I am here all of the time and you just pop in and out whenever you wish, I'd have to disagree," the Doctor retorted.

"The box," Jo said. "I had to open it! There was a voice."

"Yes, well, that voice," the Doctor said, looking away from Eva. "Where were you when you heard that voice?"

"A room," Jo replied. "I don't know where."

"Yes," the Doctor said encouragingly. "What sort of a room?"

"There was a desk," Jo said.

"Yes," the Doctor nodded.

"A telephone," she added.

"An office," Eva cut in. "It was a factory office."

"Yes!" Jo called out. "Yes, an office."

"Yes, well, where was that factory?" the Doctor asked, not bothering to look at Eva. "Do you know the name of the factory?"

"No," Jo said.

"Well, try and remember," the Doctor bit out.

"Give the girl a break!" Eva said. "She's just gone through quite the trauma."

"You'd know, wouldn’t you?" the Doctor asked. "Why don’t you pop out and come back when you won't be so annoying?"

"That's what you think happens?" Eva asked. "I just pop in and out whenever I wish?"

"Isn't it?"

Eva gave the Doctor a long, hurt look before heading to the door.

"Eva!" he called. "Isn't it?"

"Does it matter?" she asked, not sparing him a glance.

EMH

The Doctor found her twenty minutes later, smoking the fourth of a string of cigarettes. He sat down next to her, wrinkling his nose at the smell.

"So, you're smoking now?" he asked.

"Apparently," Eva replied dryly.

"Quite a lot, too, by the looks of it," he noted.

"Is this another conversation about my smoking habits?" Eva asked. "Because, frankly, I'm getting quite tired of those."

"No," the Doctor said. "This is an attempt to understand what you said earlier."

"Oh, so you care now?" Eva bit out.

"I always care," the Doctor said with a frown. "It may not always appear that way, but I care."

"Is that why you never bothered to ask how am I travelling around your timeline?" Eva asked. "Or where am I originally from? I know you haven’t," she added." Because if you had, then you wouldn’t have told me to 'pop out'."

"How do you do it, then?" the Doctor questioned. "Where are you from?"

"You wouldn’t believe me if I told you," she muttered.

"Try me."

Eva took a long drag of her cigarette before replying. "I'm from another universe."

The Doctor's eyes widened. "Impossible!" he said.

"I told you," Eva muttered. "You don’t believe me, so what's the point?"

"No, no," the Doctor quickly said. "I meant... Extremely unlikely. And yet quite possible, apparently, or otherwise you wouldn’t have said that."

"Well, originally, I'm from here," Eva told him. "But, somehow, I ended up growing up there. This locket is all I have left of my father. It was forged using time energy –"

"I know that," the Doctor said. "But are you saying you don’t control it?"

"Have you ever encountered metal forged using time energy before?" Eva asked, and the Doctor shook his head. "Me neither. It's kind of foreign territory here."

"So how do you know where you'll end up?" the Doctor asked.

"I don’t," Eva replied. "I just appear."

The Doctor was silent for a moment. "I apologize for what I said earlier," he said.

"Apology accepted," Eva said. "I expect compensation later but for now, let's go and take care of the Master, shall we?"

"With pleasure," the Doctor said, helping Eva up and into the lab.

EMH

It was a unique experience to watch the Doctor work. Even though Eva didn’t understand almost anything he did, the way he inspected the different parts of whatever it was he was building showed he understood – something she didn’t find often in his later regenerations.

She was so distracted by his work, that she didn’t notice the door opened until the Doctor greeted the woman who came in.

"Hello, Jo," he said. "Are you feeling better?"

"Yes, I'm fine," Jo said politely. "Thank you."

"That's good," Eva said with a soft smile.

"I just wanted to say how sorry I am," Jo added.

"What on earth for?" the Doctor asked, confused.

"The bomb!" Jo called. "I might have killed you all."

"Oh, that was nothing to do with you, my dear," the Doctor replied. "That was the Master."

The door opened once more to reveal Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart.

"You're supposed to be on sick leave, Miss Grant," he said.

"I'm okay again now, sir," Jo told him.

"Oh," the Brigadier said, "So you've recovered your memory, then?"

"No, I'm afraid I haven't," Jo replied. "I've tried and tried to remember."

"Don't," Eva instructed. "It'll only make things worse. Leave your mind alone. Something may pop up of its own accord."

"Yes..." the Brigadier said slowly, turning to look at her before his eyes widened. "Eva?"

"You know her?" the Doctor asked, surprised.

"Why wouldn’t he know me?" Eva asked, confused.

"Well, he never met you with me, that's for sure!"

"You..." the Brigadier muttered. "What are you doing here? I saw you just a couple of hours ago, at –"

"Spoilers!" Eva quickly called out, making the Brigadier frown in confusion. "Time travel," she shrugged. "I don’t always meet people in the right order, so the Me you saw a couple of hours ago is still in my future. Sorry for the confusion."

"But..."

"I think it would be best not to say anything else, Brigadier," the Doctor cut in. "We wouldn’t want any of you accidently telling the other something you shouldn’t. For now, I think reintroductions might be in order for Eva's sake."

"I know who you are," Eva told the Brigadier. "Sorry. It's complicated."

"Well," the Doctor said slowly, glancing at Eva once more before turning to the Brigadier. "i don’t believe there is anything you need to know about her other than the fact that I demand her to be treated with the same level of respect you show me."

"Wait," Eva said, frowning. "How come he didn’t see me with you?"

"Well, that might have something to do with the fact that this is the first time I've seen you since I was sent to Earth," the Doctor replied.

"What?" Eva asked. "The first?"

"I started thinking you gave up on me already," the Doctor said. "Or, perhaps, that you don’t want to be with me anymore now that I don’t have the ability to take you anywhere other than the park and back."

Eva paused at that. "I'd love you to take me to the park and back," she said. "And I would never give up on you."

"Can the two of you have that conversation later?" the Brigadier asked, shaking himself from the shock of seeing Eva. "We're short on time as it is and we can't just sit about waiting for something to pop up from Miss Grant's mind or for the two of you to settle your differences. If my agents don't turn up something soon, I'm going to surround and search every factory on that list."

"You know, Brigadier," the Doctor started. "Your methods have all the refined subtlety of a bull in a china shop."

Eva covered her smile with her hand, and the Brigadier opened his mouth to reply when the door opened and Yates walked in.

"Any news?" the Brigadier asked, choosing to focus on that, rather than the Doctor or Eva.

"Well, it's a bit tenuous, sir," Yates said.

"Well, out with it," the Brigadier ordered.

"You know the field where we found Professor Philips' car?" Yates asked. "Well, Sergeant Benton noticed that the turf was all churned up. So he did a bit of checking and he found that a circus had just left."

"Oh?" the Doctor asked. "Where's the circus now?"

"Tarminster."

"I'll get some of my men down there with photographs of Philips," the Brigadier said. "Someone at the circus may have seen him."

"I haven't been to a circus for years," the Doctor said. "I think I'll go myself."

"All right, Doctor," the Brigadier nodded. "I'll get you an escort."

"No, thank you, Brigadier," the Doctor said, taking Eva's hand. "Eva is the only escort I need. Don't want a lot of soldiers crashing about, do we?"

"Can I come?" Jo asked.

"Er, no, Miss Grant, I don't think so," the Doctor started cautiously.

"Not just yet," Eva told her.

"But I'm fine now," Jo protested.

"Miss Grant," the Brigadier said warningly.

"I'll need some photographs of that man Philips," the Doctor said, heading towards the door.

"Oh, they're in my office," the Brigadier replied. "But I still don't see why you don't want members of my company to come with you."

"Very simple, Brigadier," the Doctor said, heading outside. "I don’t need anybody else when I have my Eva."

"Flattery won't help you," Eva stated.

"Well, we'll see about that," the Doctor said. "An investigation in a circus. Quite better than the park and back, don’t you think?"

"Quite," Eva agreed, holding his hand tight as he led her to the car.

Chapter Text

The Doctor parked the car at the circus, hurrying out to open the door for Eva.

"I can do it on my own," she said as he helped her out.

"I know you can," the Doctor replied. "Doesn't mean I shouldn’t help you."

She smiled, walking around the place with him as he showed different people the picture of Professor Philips. They travelled the circus for almost an hour, finding nothing, before Eva tapped the Doctor's shoulder and marked towards one of the horseboxes.

The Doctor slowly neared it, marking Eva to stand back as he reached out a hand to open it. Before he could, however, two men arrived and grabbed them, taking them to an office and tying them up.

"This is outrageous," the Doctor said. "Let us go at once!"

"You've got some hopes," one of the men – Rossini – said, before looking at the other one. "All right, Tony, they're no elephant. What's your name?"

"Smith," the Doctor said immediately.

"Smith?" Rossini asked. "You've got no imagination. Maybe your friend will be better, Mr Smith."

"Doctor, actually," Eva commented.

"Horse doctor, maybe?" Rossini mocked.

"You're an insulting ruffian, aren't you?" the Doctor asked, causing Rossini to exhale all the smoke from his cigar on his face.

"Why were the two of you so interested in my friend's horsebox?" Rossini asked.

"What's your friend's name?" Eva asked.

"His name's none of your business, Missy," Rossini retorted, causing Eva to chuckle.

"Sorry," she said. "Inside joke." She looked at the Doctor before adding, "You'll get it later."

"If you say so," the Doctor remarked, looking uneasy with how close to her Tony was standing. "How long's the horsebox been here?"

"Shut up!" Rossini called. "I'm asking the questions! Tony."

At the mention of his name, Tony grabbed Eva's arms and twisted them behind her back.

"Ah!" she called out in pain.

"He'll snap her arm like a twig," Rossini warned. "Tony don't talk much but he's strong."

"All right, my dear chap," the Doctor said quickly. "There's no need to do that. I'm perfectly prepared to answer all your questions." Tony let go of Eva and the Doctor sighed in relief before frowning. "And, uh, what was the question?"

"My friend's horsebox," Rossini said. "Why were you so interested?"

"I was listening," the Doctor replied.

"What for?" Rossini inquired.

"Certain vibrations."

"I don't think my friend's going to like you," Rossini muttered.

"I'm sure of it," Eva said. "Where is he?"

"Away," Rossini said, not bothering to look at her.

"How much are they paying you?" the Doctor questioned.

Rossini laughed humourlessly. "Come, come, Doctor," he said. "Gentlemen don't discuss money."

"Nonsense," the Doctor replied. "Gentlemen never talk about anything else."

"Besides," Eva remarked. "Hurting a Lady to achieve your goals? You're hardly a Gentleman."

"Not now, Eva," the Doctor said warningly, looking at Rossini. "Now, listen to me. If you're prepared to forget that you've ever seen me and let me go, I will reward you very handsomely."

"Is that so?" Rossini questioned. "Let's have a look, Tony." Toni searched the Doctor's pockets until he found his wallet. He handed it over to Rossini, who opened it and revealed it empty. "Oh, pity."

"I can get money quite easily," the Doctor said.

"Eccentric millionaire, eh?" Rossini asked, turning to look at Eva. "Or, perhaps, we could discuss other ways of payment."

"Not even in your dreams," Eva snarled.

"We'll see," Rossini muttered, looking at the Doctor's wallet and taking out Phillips' picture. "Hello."

"Do you recognise that man?" the Doctor questioned.

"Maybe," Rossini replied.

"That is a photo of a missing government scientist," the Doctor said. "If you've had anything to do with concealing him, you are in very serious trouble."

"Someone's in trouble all right, Doctor," Rossini said, looking between him and Eva. "But it isn't me. You don't give very good answers, my friend."

"Maybe you're not asking the right questions," the Doctor retorted, causing Tony to grasp Eva's arms again.

"No, Tony, don't break her arms," Rossini said before adding coldly, "Yet. I think I'll tell my friend you've arrived. He'll know what to do with you." He went to the desk and poured himself some whiskey before chuckling. "You know, Doctor, the cost of meat is exorbitant. Maybe my friend'll let me feed you two to the tigers."

"You've got a very distorted sense of humour, haven't you?" Eva asked.

"All right, Tony, watch him," Rossini said, grasping Eva's arm. "I'll take her with me."

"Doctor," Eva said carefully, trying not to let Rossini see how much he frightened her.

"Don't worry, my dear," the Doctor said, his voice calm and steady as he glared daggers at Rossini. "I'll come for you."

"You better!" she called, as Rossini all but dragged her out of the room.

EMH

"Well, well," the Master said as he looked Eva up and down. "Aren't you a pretty thing? Tell me, how did the Doctor managed to snag something like you?"

"I am not a thing and I don’t like being talked about as such," Eva retorted. "And he didn’t snag me."

"Interesting," the Master said, looking her up and down. "You're wearing clothes from the 21st century and carrying around cigarettes that won't be sold on this planet for another fifteen years. You are not of this time, so the question is – what are you doing here?"

"Good question," Eva said. "I really should be someplace else, shouldn’t I? How about you let me go and I'll go there?"

"I don’t think so," the Master replied. "I think it's going to be much more fun seeing the Doctor when he understands you're supporting me, now."

"You wish," she bit out.

"And so shall happen," the Master replied, reaching out a hand for Eva when the door opened.

"Colonel?" Rex asked. "Colonel, the Autons that were sent to recover the bodies of the Doctor and the girl –"

"Have returned without them," the Master said, not looking away from Eva. "I know."

"And you're not angry?" Rex questioned.

"Because the Doctor's escaped again?" the Master chuckled. "No. He's an interesting adversary. I admire him in many ways."

"But you still intend to destroy him," Eva said.

"Of course," the Master told her, as if it was obvious. "And the more he struggles to postpone the moment, the greater the ultimate satisfaction."

"You'll fail," Eva warned him. "Time after time after time."

"No, I won't," the Master replied. "Because I now have a secret weapon, one that the Doctor would never harm."

He put two fingers to her head, starting to erase any thought in her head other than his orders to her.

"Me," she whispered in understanding.

"Yes," the Master confirmed. "Do you understand your orders, Evangeline Miller?"

The two parts of Eva's mind were at war – one telling her to relax and do as the Master said, while the second called out the Doctor's name repeatedly. Slowly, the voice calling for the Doctor died out, and Eva's mind cleared.

Distract the Doctor, the Master's voice said inside her head. By any means possible.

"Yes, Master," she said, walking out of the door.

EMH

Eva arrived at UNIT's headquarters and entered the Doctor's lab just in time to hear him arguing with the Brigadier.

"Something must be done!" he called out.

"We can't be reckless now, Doctor," the Brigadier said. "If we just barge in there without knowing what to expect –"

"We'll have Eva in less than an hour's time!" The Doctor paced back and forth in front of his table. "I don’t like the thought of her alone with him."

"None of us do, Doctor," the Brigadier said. "If what I read in the reports is true, then –"

"Reports are rubbish!" the Doctor exclaimed. "You're only worried of what he could do with her by his side. I'm more worried about what he would do to her to get her on his side!"

"And what would that be, Doctor?" Eva asked aloud, causing the two men, along with another soldier and Jo, to turn and look at her.

"Eva!" Jo called out, rushing to her. "You're alright! Oh, how did you escape?"

"Yes," the Doctor said worriedly. "How did you escape?"

"Still got a few tricks up my sleeve," Eva said, nearing the Doctor. "Would you like to find out some of them?"

"Sir," the soldier said cautiously, "Is that..."

"Evangeline Miller," Eva said, not taking her eyes off the Doctor. "In the flesh."

"I wouldn’t count on that," the Doctor said. "How did you escape?"

"Distracted Rossini long enough to get out of his grasp," Eva told him. "Aren't you proud of me, Doctor?"

"I would be if that was true," the Doctor said. "But whoever you are, you're not Eva."

"Really?" Eva asked, reaching out and showing him her necklace. "Then how do I have this?"

"For all the time when I've known Eva, she had not once introduced herself as Evangeline," the Doctor stated. "You must've taken the necklace from her and I guarantee you that if she had been hurt in any way –"

"I didn’t take the necklace, Doctor," Eva said. "I was given it, many years ago. Long before I even remember. You can run any test you want on me, you'll find I really am your Eva." She smiled. "I like it when you say I'm yours."

"Definitely not Eva," the Doctor retorted, walking towards her and grasping her hand. "Not plastic, though."

"Doctor?" Jo said. "The Master can control the human mind, can't he?"

"Yes, well, Eva isn’t human," the Doctor said. "At least not completely."

"She doesn’t have to be human," the Brigadier noted. "She only has to be human enough."

"Can you stop talking about me as if I'm not here?" Eva asked, though her voice lacked the bite it would have had if she wasn’t under the Master's effect. She placed her hand on the Doctor's chest and leaned to whisper in his ear, "I'd much rather be doing other things."

"Not Eva," the Doctor said, backing away. "Definitely not Eva."

"Er..." Jo said slowly. "What's going on?"

"If I'm not mistaken," the Brigadier said, "And I don’t believe I am, Miss Miller is trying to kiss the Doctor."

"Have I told you it's my birthday today?" Eva asked. "Or maybe it was yesterday. It's so hard to keep track of time."

"Right it is," the Doctor said. "Why don’t you focus on that?"

"Would you give me a birthday present, Doctor?" Eva asked. "A birthday kiss?"

"Would any of you nitwits stop gawking and help me?" the Doctor asked as he and Eva turned in a circle, her trying to get closer to him and him trying to get away.

"With all the respect, sir," the soldier said, "I don’t know many men who would refuse an offer like this from a woman looking like that."

"She's hypnotized, you fool," the Doctor bit out. "She haven’t got full control over her actions – it would be like kissing a drunk girl, and she would regret it afterwards."

"Do you know that for certain, Doctor?" Eva asked. "Have you tried kissing me before? Come on," she added, seeing the look on his face. "How long have you known me for? A hundred years? Two hundred? Three hundred? Didn't you ever wonder how it would feel like to kiss me? How would my mouth feel like, pressed against yours? How would I taste?"

"Doctor, if I may interfere –"

"Interfere away, Brigadier!" the Doctor called.

"Perhaps you should just kiss her?" the Brigadier offered.

"Forget that," the Doctor said. "Don't interfere. Never interfere."

"Listen to me for a moment," the Brigadier pressed. "If what I read about Miss Miller is true – and I believe it is – then if you kissed her without her wanting to, she would snap out of the hypnosis, even if only in order to slap you."

"Do you really think it'll work?" the Doctor asked.

"Have you got a better choice?" Jo questioned.

"Not really," the Doctor shrugged, finally stepping towards Eva and capturing her lips with his own.

For a moment, her lips were limp against his own. She didn’t push him away, but she didn’t pull him closer to her, either, nor did she move in any way that indicated she was even aware of being kissed. Only when the Doctor started pulling away she awoke, moving closer to him and resting her hands on his chest.

Neither of them knew how long it had been before they pulled apart, but the Doctor seemed pleasantly surprised and Eva's cheeks burned red.

"You..." she muttered. "You kissed me."

"That I have," the Doctor nodded.

"Against my will?" Eva asked, as if uncertain herself.

"In all fairness, Miss," the soldier said. "You did ask him to. Repeatedly."

"Eva," the Doctor said slowly. "Are you going to slap me?"

"I'm not sure yet," Eva said. "I think I need a moment to decide."

"Is she back yet?" Jo whispered in the Brigadier's ear right before Eva passed out, falling to the ground.

"Oh, she's back," the Brigadier said with a smile, watching as the Doctor lifted Eva up and laid her across the sofa at the corner of the room.

EMH

When Eva first woke up, she didn’t know where she was. The room she was in gave her a sense of calmness, yet notified her that something was definitely wrong. That was not where she last remembered herself to be.

The last thing she remembered was Rossini taking her to the Master. Then, she spoke with him and he laid his hand on the side of her head...

She groaned as she understood what happened. The Master brainwashed her into doing something – and she wasn’t sure what she did under the influence of his mind control. Seeing as she was currently on a sofa in the Doctor's lab, she guessed it was him that knocked her out of it, but she didn’t know how, or who did she hurt before he has.

"Finally woke up, I see," the Doctor's voice said, and she sat up, almost knocking her head against the window. "Easy, dear," the Doctor said, coming to sit next to her. "Don't stress yourself."

"I..." she muttered, looking at him. "The Master..."

"I know, I know," the Doctor said softly. "What do you remember?"

"He hypnotised me," Eva said. "I don’t know... did I hurt anybody?"

"No, no," the Doctor quickly calmed her down. "You didn’t harm anybody. Don’t you remember what happened?"

"No," Eva replied with a frown. "Should I?"

"No," the Doctor said. "I... No, I don’t suppose you should."

"Doctor?" Eva asked. "What happened?"

"Do you remember what the Master told you to do?"

Eva concentrated on the last moments before her mind was wiped of all clear thought. "He told me to distract you by any means possible," she replied.

"Well," the Doctor said, scratching his chin. "That does explain some things..."

"Doctor," Eva said slowly. "What did I do?"

"What?" the Doctor asked, snapping out of his thoughts. "Oh, nothing. Nothing at all."

"Don't you try to lie to me, Mister," Eva said angrily. "You tell me right now – what did I do?"

"Doctor?" Jo asked, opening the door to his lab. "Are you there?"

"Jo!" the Doctor called, standing up. "Great timing. Absolutely marvellous timing. Eva had woken up."

"She had?" Jo asked happily. "Oh, how wonderful! I suppose you told her already?"

"Yes, well," the Doctor started. "No, not really."

"Told me what?" Eva asked, causing Jo to look between the Doctor and her worriedly.

"I'm not sure if I should tell," she said.

"I don’t believe you should," the Doctor said.

"I disagree," Eva retorted. "You really, really should."

"Don't drag me into your fights!" Jo said. "You know what? This is none of my business. If the two of you want to kiss – go, kiss!"

The Doctor closed his eyes, taking a deep, desperate breath before looking cautiously at Eva, who sat frozen, staring at Jo.

"Kiss?" she asked, touching her lips.

"And you shouldn’t be mad at him!" Jo added, looking at her. "He tried not to kiss you, he really had! And not many other men would have, had they been in his position!"

"We... kissed?" Eva questioned.

"Apparently, when the Master told you to distract me," the Doctor explained, "Your mind decided that the best way to do so was to try to kiss me."

"Did it work?" Eva asked.

"To a certain extent," the Doctor said. "You passed out right after."

"The Brigadier offered he'd kiss you to snap you out of the trance," Jo explained. "He said that if you didn’t want him to kiss you, your mind will clear enough to slap you."

"I don’t remember that," Eva muttered. "Did I?"

"Did you what?" Jo asked.

"Slap him."

"No, you didn’t," the Doctor replied. "Now can we please move on?"

"No, I don’t think so," Eva said. "I didn’t slap you?"

"Is that so much of a surprise?" the Doctor questioned bitterly.

"Considering the fact that I slapped you the last time you kissed me, yes, it is," Eva replied.

"Well, I apologize for forcing you to do this," the Doctor bit out. "Don't worry yourself – I won't do it again."

"I..." Eva looked at the Doctor, realizing what she just said. "I'm sorry."

"You have nothing to apologize for," the Doctor retorted. "I believe you have made yourself quite clear on the matter."

"Not for you, though, have I?" Eva questioned. "You haven’t kissed me before."

"And I won't again, apparently."

"You will at least once," Eva said. "You kissed me in the future. In your future."

"And I will apparently get slapped for it," the Doctor said. "As I said, you've made your intentions quite clear."

"She haven’t slapped you yesterday, though," Jo noted. "She would have if she didn’t want you to kiss her, wouldn’t she?"

"She was hypnotized, she wasn’t aware of her actions and she doesn’t even remember it," the Doctor told her.

"Can you stop talking about me as if I'm not here?" Eva asked angrily. "I may not remember it, but it doesn’t mean my feelings don’t matter!"

"Are you saying you were fine with me kissing you?" the Doctor questioned.

"I don’t know!" Eva screamed. "I don’t know half of what is going on in my life right now, other than the fact that it somehow seems to revolve around you!" Jo and the Doctor silenced as they looked at her. "I used to wish I was with you in this world," she said. "Going on adventures with you... meeting you... I used to wish I could kiss you. What fangirl doesn’t? But now... now I'm here, and there are people that want to sell me to the highest bidder, or make me their queen, or simply using me to get to you and there is so much hurt, so much death." Her voice broke at the last word, and she swallowed hard.

"It's going to be okay," the Doctor said, reaching out and taking her hand.

"Is it?" Eva questioned. "Is it really?"

"You keep forgetting that I met you in your future," the Doctor said. "I've seen you, and you're just fine."

"Am I fine?" Eva asked. "Or am I just better at holding it together?"

Chapter Text

During the next week, Eva slowly pulled herself back together. Part of her recovery involved entering the TARDIS and going back to her room, the one that looked and felt like home. The walls had pictures of herself with the First and Second Doctor's companions, along with a couple more of just the companions or the Doctors on their own, but they still weren’t as filled as they had been in his tenth regeneration.

Occasionally, when the Doctor sunk into his work to distract himself from the lack of progress in anything concerning the Master, she'd go to her room and lay on the bed, pretending – if only for a couple of minutes – that she was back home, and that Nyssa or Mike would barge through the door any moment and ask her to do something. She wished nothing more than to hear her parents argue, to know that she was back in the world that she knew, but at the same time she didn’t.

It was a constant battle inside her mind between all of the wonderful things this world could offer her and all of the terrible things it held within it. And it was a constant battle inside her mind between all of the things she knew the Doctor could offer her, and the fear of how being with him would change the world – and if he even wanted her, something she doubted very much.

It was during one of those times, as she lay on her bed and wondered what should she do, that her locket started glowing.

"Doctor!" she called, running out. "Doctor!"

"Eva!" the Doctor called back, rushing to her. "Are you alright?"

"I don’t want to go," she cried. "I don’t – I can't do this, not right now."

"It's okay, Eva," the Doctor said. "It's okay."

"It's not, it's really not," Eva said. "Please, I don’t want – I want to stay – please!"

"It's time for you to go now," the Doctor told her. "You know it."

"It's not fair," Eva cried. "I need more time, I can't – I can't face another you right now."

"I'm sorry," the Doctor said, kissing her forehead. "You'll see me soon."

"No!" Eva called as the light engulfed her. "No! No!"

She blinked, opening her eyes to find herself standing in the middle of an unknown room.

"No!" she cried. "No, no, no."

"Evie?"

She looked up, blinking through her tears to see Jack looking at her. He was older than she remembered him to be – his salt and pepper hair making him look mature – and she couldn’t help but think he aged well. Not that it was really a surprise when it came to Jack, but still.

He stepped towards her, taking her hand in his while using the other to wipe away her tears.

"What happened?" he asked.

"I... I thought..." Eva couldn’t even finish a sentence. She was completely torn between wanting to go back to the Doctor she was just with and being relieved at not meeting another one.

"How about I'll make us a cup of tea?" Jack offered. "We can sit down and talk about anything you want. Or not, if you prefer."

Eva nodded weakly, letting Jack lead her into the kitchen. She sat down, watching him as he prepared the tea carefully, as if preparing for a ceremony, and but the kettle on fire.

"Where are we?" she asked.

"Cardiff, 31st century," Jack replied.

"Still Cardiff?" Eva questioned.

"Always Cardiff," Jack replied with a smile. "I got a weakness to the city ever since I spent a hundred years waiting in it."

"Isn't it a bit suspicious, though?" Eva asked. "Staying in the same place all the time when you're not aging? Well..." she looked at the small wrinkles around his eyes. "Almost not aging."

"I sometimes disappear for about twenty years," Jack shrugged. "When I come back, I say I'm my son and that passes me about fifty years. Not that many people notice," he added. "I barely have human contact most of the time."

"That's... awfully sad," Eva said.

"Yeah," Jack said darkly. "The curse of being immortal. You visit quite often, though."

"Yeah, well, I've got an immortal life to pass, as well," she shrugged. "You know... Apparently."

"How long have you been doing this?" Jack asked.

"Two weeks," Eva said. "The Doctor gave me a calendar to keep track of time, but..."

"You lose yourself when you travel," Jack nodded understandingly. "I used to get that feeling all the time, back in the days."

"Back in the days," Eva repeated. "God, you even talk like an old man. How old are you?"

"Roughly 1200," Jack said. "Sometimes it feels like less, but sometimes..."

"Like much, much more," Eva nodded understandingly. "I guess I'll feel that, too, one day."

"You will," Jack said sadly. "But for now... where have you been?"

"Well," Eva said. "I saw dinosaurs on a spaceship. And Vashta Nerada in the Library. I met Robin Hood."

"You told me about that one," Jack smiled. "Nice bow and arrow skills."

"And the Master," Eva went on. "With the Third Doctor, back in the seventies. I... He... He hypnotized me, and under the effects of the hypnosis I kissed the Doctor."

"Wow," Jack let out a low whistle. "That was your first kiss with the Doctor?"

"His first kiss," Eva said. "My second. He kissed me after the whole Robin Hood thing."

"And...?"

"And I slapped him for it," Eva said. "A past him. He's just... He's insufferable," she said. "He keeps saying how young I am, and commenting on my smoking habits. And he just... it's like he doesn’t care what I'm feeling."

"Of course he cares," Jack said. "Ever since I first met the two of you, the Doctor always cared for you."

"He sure doesn’t act like it," Eva scoffed. "I just – At times, I'm terrified. He doesn’t get it, and I don’t think you do, either, but even though I can't die, I feel like I'm constantly in danger. I know what's going to happen, I know what monsters we'll face, I know who's going to die. I know how everybody's stories end."

"Everybody?" Jack asked.

"I know yours," Eva told him. "I know Martha's to a certain extent, and I know everybody else's... well, except mine and his."

"You need to make this one," Jack said. "You need to live it."

"Live it how?" Eva questioned. "He kissed me twice, and I don’t know what it means... if it even means something."

"It meant a lot," Jack said. "The question is, are you going to do something about it?"

"Don't you already know?" Eva asked.

"I'm not going to tell you," Jack said. "You need to make the decision yourself, because that's what you want to do. Not because that's what you should do."

"But how am I supposed to know if I'm making the right choice?"

"You're not," Jack said plainly. "Of course you don’t know. You're not supposed to know. All you need is to make that choice."

"You make it sound so easy," Eva huffed.

"Oh, I never said it was easy," Jack told her. "I said it was necessary." Eva opened her mouth to reply when the doorbell rang. "Excuse me, I need to answer this."

He walked out of the kitchen, opening the front door.

"Mr. Harkness," a female voice greeted in a friendly tone. "I brought Linny over."

"Thank you, Lucy," Jack replied, his smile evident his voice. "And I told you a million times to call me Jack."

"Not gonna happen," Lucy replied.

"One day," Jack retorted. "You're coming over tomorrow night, right?"

"I forgot to tell you," Lucy said. "I have a family event. Could you manage this one without me?"

"Just this once, I don’t want you to make a habit out of it," Jack warned playfully. "You know how hard Wednesdays are."

"I'm sure you'll manage," Lucy replied. "See you on Thursday, then?"

"See you on Thursday," Jack agreed. "Say goodbye, Linny."

"Bye-bye," Eva heard a child saying, sparking her curiosity.

She carefully neared the door, eavesdropping the conversation that was happening on the other side of it.

"Daddy's got a friend over," she heard Jack saying. "So how about you go upstairs and pick something to wear, and then I'll help you get dressed and the three of us could go to the park?"

"Okay!" the girl said happily, footsteps following her statement as she ran upstairs.

Eva backed away from the door, sitting on her chair just as Jack walked in. She tried to keep a straight face, but her surprise must have shown since Jack sighed.

"How much did you hear?" he asked.

"All of it," Eva replied. "You have a daughter?"

"Linny," Jack said. "She's three years old and... she's my everything."

"Why didn’t you tell me about her?"

"It's complicated," Jack said. "She's complicated. Her mother left less than five minutes after she was born, all of my other children are long dead, and..."

"She's all you have," Eva said understandingly.

"I'm scared for her," Jack admitted. "I just keep waiting for something to happen and take her away from me."

"Why do you think something'll happen?" Eva asked.

"That's what happens to everybody else I get close to," Jack replied.

"It doesn’t mean it will happen to her," Eva added.

"But it will anyway," Jack said.

"You can't know that," Eva insisted.

"Can we not talk about it now?" Jack asked. "Please, I..."

"Daddy!" Linny called from upstairs. "I picked clothes!"

"Don't choose pink with pink again!" he called.

"Okay!" Linny replied.

"Not pink with purple, either!"

There was a moment of silence before Linny whined, "Daddy..."

"I should go upstairs," Jack said, shaking his head fondly.

"I'll make sandwiched," Eva offered. "Does peanut butter and jelly go?"

"Jam," Jack corrected. "Not jelly."

"I like her already," Eva smiled, looking at Jack's back as he walked upstairs.

Captain Jack Harkness, a family man. Who'd have known? She knew, of course, that he had other children – Alice Carter being an example of one of those, in addition to the assumption that a man with Jack's flirtatious nature, combined with the fact that he had lived so many years, was bound to have an accident here and there.

But to hear the way he was with her, to see how he talked about her... it was clear that this girl meant more to him than the rest. Possibly, as he said, because he had already lost the others and was scared to lose her, as well.

Eva thought about it as she made sandwiches and packed them in a bag, washing a couple of apples to snack and just adding three bottles of water when Jack and Linny walked in.

"Oh, honey," Eva sighed, looking at the child's clothes. "Pink and blue would never do."

"It was either that or pink and pink with pink on top," Jack said. "Trust me, we got off lightly today. Linny," he added, "I want you to meet Eva, an old friend of mine."

Linny hid behind Jack's leg and Eva smiled.

"It's very nice to meet you," she said. "Do you want to go to the park?"

Linny blushed and nodded before running outside.

"Well," Eva laughed. "That was absolutely adorable."

"It will get better once she gets used to you," Jack promised. "She's a little shy at first, you should have seen how she was like with Lucy, at first."

"And Lucy is...?" Eva started, raising her brow.

"The babysitter," Jack replied. "Don't get anything into that dirty head of yours."

"My head is dirty?" Eva questioned. "Have you met yourself?"

"Shut up," Jack laughed, offering her his arm. "Shall we?"

"We shall," Eva said, taking his arm with hers and following the three year old outside.

EMH

"So," Jack said as they sat on a bench in the park, keeping an eye on Linny. "The Doctor."

"The Doctor," Eva repeated with a sigh. "I don’t know what to do."

"What do you want to do?" Jack asked.

"I don’t know!" Eva replied. "If I do something... I might change everything."

"You need to remember that the world you know from the show isn’t the world you're in right now," Jack said. "The other world didn’t have you. Things are different here."

"But what if I change things too much?" Eva asked. "What if I change things so much that I'll change the future I know?"

"You can't live your whole life like that," Jack replied. "You have to start actually living."

"Is that what you're doing?"

"That's different," he said. "I'm currently living in a world that, as far as I'm concerned, should belong to history lessons."

"Well, I'm currently living in a world that, as far as I'm concerned, should belong to Comic Con," Eva retorted. "I think my situation is worse."

"You..." Jack started, before shaking his head. "You know what? I'm not gonna fight you about this."

"Why?" Eva asked. "Because you know I'd win?"

"No," Jack said harshly. "Because this is not a game. There are our lives, and –"

He paused, looking at the swings before jumping to his feet and running towards the playground. Eva looked after him, trying to understand what caused him to act that way, when she noticed Linny.

The girl jumped from the swing she was on and was currently mid-swing, floating in the air for a moment before descending quickly. But she flew too high and fell too fast, the momentum of the fall too much for her to deal with. She crushed to the ground with a scream, the ground scrapping her knee when she hit the ground.

"Daddy!" she cried, holding her leg.

"It's okay," Jack said, raising her into his arms. "I'm here. Daddy's here."

He brought her to the bench, taking the bottle of water Eva offered him and using it to clean Linny's leg.

"It burns," Linny whimpered.

"I know," Jack said, wiping the tears off her face. "How about Daddy will do some healing magic and fix you up?"

Linny nodded and Jack smiled sadly, glancing at Eva for a moment before moving his hands in the air above the child's knee. Eva gasped when she saw skin forming across the wound, healing it in a matter of a minute or two.

"Better now?" Jack asked.

"Better," Linny nodded, turning to look at Eva as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened. "Can I have a sandwich?"

EMH

"She's speed-healing," Eva stated later that evening while Linny was in the shower, getting ready for bedtime.

"Yes," Jack said as he washed the last dishes from dinner. "She gained certain aspects from me being a fixed point and all."

"Did any of your other children have that, as well?" Eva asked.

"No," Jack replied. "Just her."

"Why?" Eva questioned. "And... to what extant? Did you consider having the Doctor take a look at her?"

"Oh, he looked," Jack muttered, before adding quietly, "More than I'd like to admit."

"What did he say?" Eva asked, not hearing the last part.

"He's not sure," Jack sighed. "All he could say for certain is that she's not a fixed point."

"But will she die and come back, like you do?" Eva pressed. "Or is she just healing? How long will she live? How fast will she age –?"

"It's complicated," Jack cut her off. "And now's not the time to talk about it."

"But –"

"Evie," Jack said. "She's coming."

As if on cue, Linny ran through the door and jumped into her father's hug.

"Goodnight, Daddy," she told him.

"Goodnight, honey," Jack replied, kissing her head before letting go as Linny turned to Eva.

"Goodnight, Evie," she said.

"Goodnight, Linny," Eva said, leaning in to hug the girl but jumping back as soon as they touched, holding her hand as if she'd been burnt.

Linny's eyes widened with wonder and she reached out for Eva once more, smiling when Temporal Energy was created between the two before looking at her father.

"That's so cool!"

Chapter Text

"My life is so fucked up."

Immediately following Linny's statement, Jack picked the girl up and took her away from Eva. He carried her upstairs and put her to bed before coming back down to Eva, who still hadn’t moved an inch.

Three shots of tequila later, the two were sitting on Jack's couch as Eva muttered the first words since she found out Linny and her were the same person.

"Yup," Jack said, pouring them a fourth shot.

"So freaking fucked up," Eva repeated. "I'm a time traveller somehow stuck to the Doctor's timeline, born in the 31st century but raised in the 20th and 21st – and in another universe – and my biological dad is Jack bloody Harkness."

"Yup," Jack repeated.

"How the hell did that happen?"

"I don’t know," Jack said. "I'm trying to understand that, as well."

"Oh, I wasn’t asking you," Eva muttered, downing her drink.

"Who were you asking, then?" Jack asked.

"Well, any celestial bring that is willing to explain, really," Eva shrugged. "God, Jesus, Allah, Odin... Flying Spaghetti Monster. Anything will do, at this point." She paused, glancing at Jack from the corner of her eye. "I don’t remember."

"What?" Jack asked, confused.

"I don’t remember this," Eva said. "31st century, Cardiff, Lucy, you... I don’t remember any of this."

"I know," Jack said.

"Why don’t I remember?"

"I don’t know," Jack sighed. "That's what scares me so much. At a certain point, most likely around your fourth birthday, something happened that erased all of your memories and moved you to another universe. And, in about a year…"

"That something is going to happen for Linny," Eva said in understanding. "If she's me, then –"

"Then I won't get to raise her," Jack said. "I won't walk with her on her first day of First Grade. I won't scare off potential boyfriends, or send her off to her prom. I'm going to miss every important event in my kid's life – from first kiss to first heartbreak, and when I'll finally get her back… She'll be all grown." He looked at Eva before correcting, "She is all grown."

"I…" Eva sighed. "I don’t know what to say."

"There's nothing you can say," Jack replied. "It wasn’t your fault. At least, I don’t believe it was."

"I'd do anything to change it," she told him.

"Would you?" he questioned. "Would you really? All of the memories from your life in the other universe, would you really delete them all just for my own sake?" She was silent and he sighed. "Didn’t think so."

Eva blinked back tears, leaning on Jack. He put his arm around her shoulders, holding her tight for a moment before taking a deep breath.

"You're glowing," he said.

"I wish I could stay," she told him honestly.

"I know," Jack replied, closing his eyes as she disappeared.

Once he felt no presence next to him, he stood up and headed for Linny's room, where he just sat and looked at his little girl, hoping she wouldn’t disappear on him the way Eva had.

EMH

Eva opened her eyes to see nothing but snow stretching out for miles and miles ahead. Sighing to herself, she picked a random direction and started walking.

Unbeknown to her, at that very same moment a man named Jaffrey Sabbath had woken up from his sleep by a beeping machine.

EMH

"What in the name of…" he muttered, pushing his blankets away as he turned to the machine. "Why didn’t anybody tell me they were sending scouts?"

He quickly changed his clothes, wiping the sleep off his eyes as he pushed his head out to the corridor and walked to his station.

"Why the hell are you sending scouts at three in the morning?" he asked, causing his Commander to look at him, confused.

"We're not," he said.

"What do you mean, 'you're not?" Jaffrey asked. "I've got heat signatures noticed on my scanner."

"That's not us," the Commander shrugged. "Maybe it's broken."

"It's not broken," Jaffrey said. "It's working perfectly."

"Well, then good luck to whoever's out there," the Commander said, walking away. "They're going to need it."

"The scanner isn’t broken," Jaffrey muttered to himself, putting on his headphones and starting to type on his computer. "There's someone out, there, at…" He gawked when he saw the coordinated of the mysterious person. "No freaking way."

EMH

Eva rubbed her arms, wishing she would have brought a coat. The coldness started to hurt her skin several hours ago, and she knew she wouldn’t be able to handle it much longer. Cold wind blew on her face and she breathed into her hands in order to relief at least some of the pain in her lungs.

Not letting her legs a moment to stop in fear of them stopping to work, she moved on.

EMH

"Don't be ridiculous," the Commander said, looking at Jaffrey with disbelief. "Nobody could appear out of nowhere."

"Apparently, someone could," Jaffrey replied. "Seven hours ago, at 2:53 AM, a heat signature was noted on Area G. That area hadn’t been visited in decades – we don’t even have cameras there."

"Where are they heading?" the Commander asked.

"In our general direction," Jaffrey said, looking at the screen. "It's not the fastest course, but they should reach Area F in a bit more than a day. We've got cameras and microphones there, for a small patch, so if they pass through it I'll be able to guide them to a straighter line. All in all, they should be here in a week to ten days."

"Don't fool yourself," the Commander said. "They'll be lucky to reach Area F alive, but there's no way they'll survive in the storm for a week. Nobody else has."

"Nobody else appeared out of nowhere," Jaffrey retorted. "They're gonna make it, I know it. I can feel it."

"Lie to yourself if you want to," the Commander said. "But don’t come running to me when they die. I've warned you."

"They're gonna make it," Jaffrey said as he turned to his screen. "You're gonna make it. I just know it."

EMH

Eva lost count of how many times she died and was revived during her walk. She kept moving, wiping snow away from her eyelashes before it stuck to it and hoping to come near a civilization any time soon.

She didn’t know how long had passed, since it felt like ages, but her stomach started cramping with hunger about three or four deaths ago. Occasionally, she'd drink some of the snow to keep herself from getting too dehydrated, but it did nothing to help with the constant hunger she felt, and there were no trees or plants around.

She saw a snow-covered sign not long ago, stating she was entering Area F, but she saw no people of aliens of any kind. She had nothing to do but walk. Walk and hope someone would find her.

EMH

Jaffrey looked at the screen, trying to understand the readings from the night before. According to the scanner, the pulse of whoever was out there had ceased several times in the past couple of hours.

Every time, there would be a small movement, more than likely indicating the person fell to the ground. Then, they would stay still for a minute or so, their body temperature descending, before the pulse would pump back and the person pulled themselves to their feet and moved on.

He knew that if he told his Commander about it, he would say the scanner malfunctioned, and suggest the possibility that it never stopped malfunctioning since nobody could survive the storm for so long, but Jaffrey knew he was wrong.

The scanner worked just fine, the person out there was alive and heading forwards. They were just occasionally dead, as well.

They just barely missed the surveillance patch of Area F, but hopefully they'll hit the surveillance patch of Area E, and he would finally be able to talk to them.

He hoped he would.

EMH

Each step was harder than the one before it. Eva felt like she was fighting her way through every inch she progressed, which was more than likely true.

She realized it not so long ago, that thing that was impossible but so true. The reason why the Doctor would undoubtedly come across this place sooner or later. She only hoped it would be sooner, rather than later, since she didn’t think she would be able to last much longer before she had given up all hope.

The only thing she could do now was keep moving on, in the hopes that she will stumble across someone – anyone – that would save her of this hell-hole.

"Er… hello?"

Eva jumped in fear, looking around in an attempt to see who was talking to her but not managing to see more than a couple of feet ahead. Shaking her head out of what must have been the hallucination, she took another step.

"Miss?" the voice spoke again.

"Are you talking to me?" she asked, her voice hoarse from lack of use.

"Do you see anybody else?" the voice asked.

"Well, I don’t see you, either," she said. "You might as well be an invention of my mind. In which case, I'm talking to myself, which is weird enough on its own."

"I can assure you that I am real," the voice told her. "My name is Jaffrey."

"Well, Jaffrey," Eva said. "If you're real, then where are you?"

"There's a camera about three feet to your left," Jaffrey said.

Eva moved there, wiping her hand across a snow covered object to reveal an old-looking camera.

"You're… You're real," she muttered.

"And now I can see you," Jaffrey said. "Not exactly dressed for the weather, are you?"

"Sorry, nobody warned me I'm gonna land in the middle of a snow storm," Eva retorted. "Any clues as to when will it pass?"

"Never," Jaffrey told her. "The storm has been going on for over a hundred years."

"That's comforting," Eva remarked dryly. "So, what options do I have if I ever want to get out of here?"

"You are currently in Area E," Jaffrey said. "I'm in the middle of Area A. You've been slowly heading our direction, but you were a bit off sided. Now that we can talk, I can guide you to us."

"Couldn’t you tell me earlier?" Eva asked.

"You had to be inside a surveillance patch," Jaffrey said apologetically. "There are only several of them in each Area, scattered around the perimeters."

"So the moment I start walking again, you'll be gone?" Eva asked.

"Until you reach Area D, yes."

"How long does it take to pass between Areas?" she questioned.

"About a day," Jaffrey said.

"A day," Eva repeated. "So if I'm in Area E, that means…"

"At least four days until you reach us," Jaffrey confirmed. "I'm sorry."

"You have nothing to apologize for," Eva said.

"I still feel like I should," Jaffrey replied.

"Don’t," Eva said, sighing. "I better start going," she added. "See you in a day."

"Wait!" Jaffrey said. "What's your name?"

"Eva," she said quietly. "I'm Eva."

EMH

Jaffrey kept monitoring Eva from his computer as she moved on. Her progress turned slower and slower as time went by, but that was to be expected, considering what her body was going through.

"I ran out of cigarettes today," she told him when she reached the surveillance patch of Area C. "I tried to save them up, only smoking when I couldn’t bear it anymore, but I ran out."

"Maybe you could use the opportunity to quit," he offered.

"No way," Eva laughed. "The first thing I'm going to do once I reach the base is to smoke."

"If you reach the base," Jaffrey added quietly. "Nobody survived the storm, so far. I'm shocked that you've made it so far."

"It won't kill me," Eva said. "It can't kill me."

"I know you're trying to hang on to hope, but we've got to be realistic –"

"I am realistic," Eva told him. "I can't die. Every time I do, I just get dragged back to life."

"That sounds... painful," Jaffrey admitted.

"It is," Eva said darkly. "Every fibre of my body is burning every time I come back to life. Though that can be the frostbite, as well."

"I'm sorry."

"You know, you really ought to stop apologizing," Eva said with half a smile. "I'm just glad to have you here to talk to. It keeps me from going mad, as well as giving me something to look forward to."

"Glad I could help," he said honestly. "You should keep moving. Acceleration should hit Area C in less than a day, and it would be best if you were out of it by that time."

"I'll get going, then," Eva said. "Until next time."

"Until next time," Jaffrey replied, shutting the camera off.

The conversation was quite helpful, at least on his side of the camera. He now understood the heat signature's ups and downs, as well as the readings indicating a lack of pulse. Eva occasionally smoked, raising the temperature in her area, and every time the exhaustion and cold were too much for her body, she'd die and resurrect.

It also explained how she had survived what nobody else had before her – she had no choice.

He wasn’t sure if it was better or worse.

EMH

Jaffrey paced back and forth in front of the gate, holding his portable scanner in his hands. Eva was due to arrive any moment now, as was an Acceleration in the storm. If she wouldn’t be inside the gates by the time it hit... he wasn’t sure if even she would be able to come back from this.

He called up a few favours from one of the guards on duty to keep the gates open until there was no other choice or until Eva arrived – the first to happen – and now he was looking at the white horizon, hoping for everything he had that she'd arrive before it was too late.

"Fifteen minutes," the guard said. "I can't keep it open longer than that."

"She'll be here," Jaffrey said confidently. "I know she will."

The guard sighed, shaking his head as he walked back to his station, monitoring the Acceleration. He – and everybody else in the perimeter – didn’t believe the girl would live to reach the base, but Jaffrey knew better.

"Come on," he muttered. "Where are you?"

As if hearing him, a slim figure appeared, slowly walking towards them. She was only five minutes away, but as she took another step Jaffrey saw he stumble and fall, undoubtedly dying once more.

"Tough luck, mate" the guard said, moving to close the gates but Jaffrey stopped him.

"Ten minutes," he said. "All I need is ten minutes."

"She's dead," the guard said.

"No, she isn’t," Jaffrey replied, running out into the storm.

He could barely see anything that was in front of him, and the wind was blowing out on his face, drying his eyes, but he kept moving straight forwards to where he knew Eva was. It wasn’t long before he lost track of time, but he was certain it took him more than the required five minutes to reach her and scoop her into his arms.

He understood now what the sole survivors said moments before they died of hypothermia or malnourishment. It really was alive.

The way back was harder than it was before, partly because he was already tired and partly because of the extra weight he was now carrying. He eventually made it, the gates closing behind him almost instantly.

"You're crazy!" the guard said. "You almost died for a dead chick!"

"She's not dead," Jaffrey said, wiping the snow away from Eva's face. "Come on, wake up. Wake up for me, Eva."

She gasped as she was thrown back into life, grasping him like an anchor.

"Jaffrey?" she asked.

"That's me," Jaffrey replied.

"It's alive," she said. "It's alive."

All Jaffrey could do was nod before the two lost consciousness, laying together on the cold ground.

EMH

"Random?" Rose asked. "What do you mean, 'Random'?"

"What d'you think I mean?" the Doctor asked.

"I think what you mean is that you're going to throw us flying with no destination," Rose replied.

"Exactly!" the Doctor called.

"Isn't that a bit dangerous, though?" Rose asked.

"Oh, very," the Doctor replied.

A smile popped onto Rose's face. "Bound to be interesting, then?"

"Oh, certainly," the Doctor replied, laughing as he pulled a lever and sent them into the Vortex. The TARDIS shook for a couple of moments before stabilizing as it landed. "We're in the 43rd century," the Doctor said, looking at the scanner. "The human race is scattered around the galaxies by this time, but they're always coming back to the things close to home. A hundred and fifty years ago, a human colony settled on Titan."

"Wait," Rose said. "I know that name. Isn’t this one of Saturn's moons?"

"It is," the Doctor confirmed. "The only moon with an Atmospheric Shell in this Solar System. Of course, you lot added a mix of some more gasses to make it liveable and changed the temperature on surface from 93 Kelvin to around 200."

"And in human language?" Rose asked.

"70 degrees Celsius below zero," the Doctor replied, looking her up and down. "Better dress up."

"No shit, Sherlock," Rose muttered, heading to her room. "See you in a bit."

EMH

"Sir?" a guard said, walking into the Commander's room. "There had been a breach in security."

"What breach?" the Commander asked. "We're in the middle of a snow covered moon with no life on it."

"Well, it seems like somebody just appeared out of nowhere in the middle of the base," the guard told him. "I'm not sure. I don’t really understand Sabbath's equipment."

"He's still at bed rest," the Commander said. "Where did the signal originated from?"

"The engine room, sir," the guard replied.

"Take me there," the Commander ordered, following the guard out of the door.

EMH

"Are you ready yet?" the Doctor called out.

"I'm coming, I'm coming," Rose muttered, walking into the Console room. "Gosh, aren’t you impatient?"

"We're in the middle of a human settlement on Titan," the Doctor reported. "Go ahead and tell me you're not excited."

"Of course I'm excited," Rose muttered. "Well, out we go then."

"Out we go," the Doctor said, opening the TARDIS doors only to meet the wrong end of several guns. "No, no, no," he frowned. "No guns. I don’t like guns."

"Who are you?" the man who looked like he was in charge asked. "How did you get here?"

"I'm the Doctor and this is Rose," the Doctor said. "Who are you?"

"High Commander Mike Jefferson," the man said. "Now answer my question – how did you get here?"

"Well, we landed," the Doctor shrugged. "I think that's pretty much it."

"I told you," one of the gun-holding men said. "They just appeared out of nowhere, like the other one."

This sparked the Doctor's curiosity. "What other one?"

"I'm asking the questions here," the Commander said.

"And I've answered them," the Doctor retorted. "Your turn. What other one?"

The Commander hesitated before replying. "Two weeks ago, a heat signature appeared on the moon's surface, out of nowhere. Slowly, it started moving towards the base."

"Impossible," the Doctor said. "Even with the Atmospheric Shell, nothing can survive more than a couple of hours, at most."

"That's what I said," the Commander nodded. "So imagine my surprise when, nine days later, they reached our base."

"Where are they now?" Rose asked.

"In the Infirmary," the Commander replied. "Along with Sabbath, one of my technicians. He ran into the storm to help her pass the last couple of feet and the two of them passed out almost as soon as they reached the base."

"Are they okay?" Rose asked worriedly.

"Sabbath woke up two days ago, but he's still in bed rest," the Commander replied. "The girl hasn’t woken up yet, and I doubt it if she ever would."

"Take me to them," the Doctor said.

"Do you think you can just order me around –?"

"Haven't you been listening, Commander?" Rose asked. "He's a Doctor. Take us to them."

"If you wish," the Commander replied. "But I warn you – it's not a pretty sight."

He started walking towards the Infirmary, the Doctor and Rose following close behind. As they neared the room, they heard someone calling out.

"Somebody!" Jaffrey called. "Anybody! Come on, somebody!"

The Doctor immediately broke into a run, bursting through the door but freezing when he saw the small figure on the bed.

"Eva..." he muttered.

"Her stats are changing," Jaffrey said. "I don’t know if it's good or bad, but her stats are changing."

The Doctor zapped back in, using his sonic screwdriver to scan the girl.

"She's waking up," he stated, trying to ignore the list of damaged organs he saw. "She's gonna wake up."

"I told you," Jaffrey told the Commander. "I told you she'll make it."

"But..." the Commander said, shocked. "But it's impossible."

"Nothing's impossible to her," Rose said.

"Do you know her?" Jaffrey asked.

"He does more than I do," Rose said, marking at the Doctor who was holding Eva's hand. "He's her... I don’t even know what he is to her."

"Shut up," the Doctor said. "She's waking up."

All of the people in the room froze as Eva's eyes fluttered open. She started panicking, her heart rate rising to levels it shouldn’t reach in her state, but all the Doctor did was press her hand in his.

"I'm here," he said. "I'm here, Evie."

The look of panic on Eva's face drifted away and a small smile appeared on her features as her eyes locked on the Doctor.

"Hello, Dumbo."

Chapter Text

Eva was awake for barely a minute before falling asleep, though this time is was a natural one, rather than a coma. The Commander showed the Doctor the ripped and torn clothes she was wearing when they found her, and the Doctor recognized it immediately.

"So that's where you ended up," he muttered, remembering how scared she was when she left in the middle of the whole Autons and Master deal on Earth, back in his third body. "I'm sorry."

"Who are you to her?" Jaffrey questioned from the bed next to hers.

"I don’t know yet," the Doctor replied. "She's too young."

"Who is she to you, then?"

"She's..." the Doctor sighed. "She's my everything."

Jaffrey was silent for a moment before talking again.

"She spoke about you," he said. "She said that the thought of seeing you was what kept her going. At the time, I thought she meant a regular doctor, but now I understand... it was you."

"I let her down," the Doctor said quietly. "I should have come here sooner. I should have saved her."

"She's fine now," Jaffrey said. "She's here, and she's safe, and she's alive. But we have bigger problems. It's alive."

"What?" the Doctor asked. "What's alive?"

"I have no idea," Jaffrey replied. "I just know it is. It was clear in my mind when I was in the Storm, and Eva said it a couple of times, too. It's alive."

"It's alive," the Doctor repeated. "Well, then. Let's meet it."

"Whatever 'it' is," Jaffrey added, watching as the Doctor left the room.

EMH

"It's alive," the Doctor quoted as he and Rose walked into the Commander's office.

"What?" the Commander asked.

"We asked around," the Doctor said. "It's alive, that's what all of the people who spent time in the Storm said. It's alive."

"Yes," the Commander said grimly. "I'm afraid it does seem that way." He sighed. "It was a rumour passed from one High Commander to another, starting with the Storm. They say the Storm is alive, and that it's devouring the people who die in it. At first, I thought it was nothing more than ghost stories, but as the time goes by, it seems more and more true."

"How could that be?" Rose asked. "It's a storm. How can it be alive?"

"You'd be surprised," the Doctor told her. "Though it might not be the Storm itself, as much as the particles in it. The ice, the wind... even the snow. Snow remembers."

"Remembers what?" the Commander asked.

"What was here before," the Doctor replied. "Before you lot popped up and changed the Atmosphere. There was a stable Ecosystem on this planet and you disturbed its balance. You hurt the planet, and now –" He paused as he realized. "Now," he said slowly, "The planet is fighting back. Commander, how long ago did you settle on this moon?"

"One hundred and forty five years," the Commander replied.

"And how long ago did the storm hit, for the first time?" he inquired.

"One hundred and thirty nine years."

"Doctor?" Rose asked. "What is it?"

"It's alive," the Doctor repeated. "They didn’t mean the Storm. They never meant the Storm, none of them. They meant the moon. The moon is alive."

"Titan?" the Commander asked. "Are you saying Titan is alive?"

"Just the name of it," the Doctor muttered. "The naming of all of the moons was after Titans, Titanesses and Gods. Just this one, this one alone was named 'Titan'. Didn’t you ever wonder why?"

"Herschel named the moons," the Commander said. "Why should I know how a man who died several millennia before I was born thinks?"

"Because it matters," the Doctor said. "You lot settled in here, wiping the place with your scanners, and cameras, building buildings and digging into the shell of a living organism. And it took it a while to fight back, but eventually it did. And it won't ever stop."

"If what you're saying is true, then this living organism killed hundreds of people," the Commander said. "It's a murderer."

"It was protecting itself," Rose said. "You changed the gasses of the Atmosphere, adding in Oxygen and CO2... this creature lived on this planet most likely lived off Nitrogen."

"Then how isn’t it dead?" the Commander asked. "It lived a hundred years just fine without it."

"It's a living being that is literally the size of a moon," the Doctor snarled. "It'll take hundreds of years for it to die, and it suffers through it slowly."

"It's taking us down with it, that's what it does!"

"He."

The three turned to see Jaffrey standing at the doorway, looking at them.

"You should be in bed rest," Rose said worriedly.

"He does," Jaffrey repeated. "Not 'it'. He."

"You felt him, didn’t you?" the Doctor asked. "In your mind, while you were in the storm."

"He's angry," Jaffrey said. "And in pain."

"Angry and in pain," the Doctor muttered. "That's never a good combination."

"So he lashed out," Jaffrey went on. "Could you really say he was wrong?"

"Yes!" the Commander replied. "It's killing us for decades."

"And we were slowly killing him." Jaffrey swayed, leaning on a wall so that he wouldn’t fall down.

"You need to rest," Rose said, hurrying to him and letting him use her for support.

"No," Jaffrey said. "We need to end this. I'll rest later."

"You need to lay do –"

"Are you sure?" the Doctor asked, cutting Rose in the middle of a sentence.

"Never been so sure of anything in my life," Jaffrey replied.

"It's not gonna be easy," the Doctor warned.

"When is it ever?" Jaffrey asked, allowing Rose to lead him out of the room.

EMH

"Open the gates," the Doctor said as they headed towards the guards.

"Don't you dare!" the Commander said. "The Acceleration hadn’t passed yet."

"Acceleration?" the Doctor asked.

"That's what we call it when the Storm gets worse," Jaffrey said. "This Acceleration started in Area G about two weeks ago, and it slowly headed towards us. It arrived here when Eva did, I barely managed to get her into the gates in time."

"Arrived with Eva," the Doctor repeated. "What are the odds?" He looked at the rest of them before explaining, "If I'm right – and I usually am – and this Moon is sentient, then it's probably not very happy that somebody lived through its Storm."

"It's after Eva," Rose said in understanding.

Jaffrey took a deep breath before pulling out a gun from an inside pocket in his robes and aiming at the Commander. "Open the gates or I shoot him," he said.

"Not guns," the Doctor muttered.

"Will you really kill me?" the Commander asked.

"If we don’t solve this mess, the Storm will kill us all," Jaffrey said.

"No, it won't," the Commander replied. "It's only after the girl. If we just hand her over –"

The Doctor took two steps, taking the gun out of Jaffrey's hand and aiming it at the Commander himself.

"I really don’t like guns," he said. "But if you even think about mentioning it again, I will shoot you." He looked at the guards. "Open the gates."

"Yes, sir," the guards said, moving aside and opening the gates for them to pass.

The Doctor marked for the Commander to go first, knowing that if they went out without him, he'll lock them outside. He was so busy watching the Commander that he didn’t notice Jaffrey was walking too far away from the rest of them, wind engulfing him.

"Jaffrey!" Rose called out.

"Stay back," the Doctor said, holding her down before stopping and aiming the gun at the Commander. "Don't move."

"Who are you to march this land?" Jaffrey asked, though his voice was different, deeper. "To walk on my skin, the man who appears out of nothingness?"

"Is that..." Rose started.

"It is," the Doctor turned to Jaffrey once more. "I am the Doctor. Who are you?"

"I am Titan."

"That's how we call you," the Doctor said. "How they call you. But who are you?"

"I am Titan," the planet repeated, speaking through Jaffrey.

"Oh," the Doctor said. "The humans thought they named you after the Titans from their Mythology, but it was the other way around, wasn’t it? They named them after you."

"I am Titan," Titan repeated.

"How do you do this?" the Doctor asked. "You're speaking through him, but how do you do it?"

"His body is weak," Titan said. "And so is his mind. He has come to me of his own free will twice. He will not survive a third."

"I know you're hurting," the Doctor said. "I understand it, and I promise you that if you just let me help you, these people will go away. They'll leave you alone."

"Why would I want them to leave me alone?" Titan asked. "Their bodies are so warm... they taste so good... why would I ever want them to leave?"

"What?" the Doctor asked.

"For years, I was asleep," Titan said. "The ice and cold and darkness covered me for so long, that it had become a part of me. And then, they came. The humans, with their light and their air, waking me from my slumber."

"And you repaid them by killing them," the Doctor said, sounding disgusted.

"So warm," Titan repeated. "So tasty. Why would I want them gone?"

"It's a murderer," the Commander said. "It was killing us for all of those years, for fun."

"For food," Rose corrected.

"Like sheep at the slaughterhouse," the Doctor muttered.

"My Storm is too strong for any ship to land," Titan said. "I will devour everybody on my surface, one by one. Starting with you."

"I don’t think so," the Doctor said, pulling out his sonic screwdriver and using it to make the Storm back away. "If you kill us all, there will be no food left for you, because nobody will return here if everyone were dead."

"If I let you live, you'll tell everybody to never come back here," Titan retorted. "What's in it for me?"

"What do you want?" the Doctor asked. "Tell me what do you want to let these people live, and I'll see what we can do about it."

The wind around Jaffrey subsided for a moment before coming back as Titan spoke through him for the last time.

"A survivor of the Storm."

Jaffrey fell to the ground as Titan's presence left him, raising his hand as if to tell them he was alright.

"A survivor?" Rose asked. "What does he mean?"

"The Storm... it isn’t just a storm," the Doctor said. "It's Titan's way of preparing his food. One last meal, that's what he's asking for."

"A sacrifice," the Commander spat. "That's who you're protecting."

"Maybe you missed it," Rose said, "But from the moment Titan said he was eating you lot, the Doctor stopped protecting him and started protecting you."

"But how much is he willing to sacrifice?" the Commander questioned. "Because right now, the only survivor of the Storm is your little girlfriend, Doctor."

"No," Jaffrey said, pulling himself to his feet. "Not the only one."

"No!" Rose called out. "You can't."

"That's the only way, right?" he asked the Doctor, ignoring her. "The only way to end this thing and keep Eva alive."

"We'll find another way," the Commander said.

"Doctor?" Jaffrey asked.

"We might find another way," the Doctor said cautiously.

"But while we're looking for it, more people will die," Jaffrey stated.

"I... Yes," the Doctor admitted.

"Then there's no other choice," Jaffrey said. "It's been an honour meeting you, sir. Tell Eva I'm sorry."

"We won't forget you," the Doctor promised.

"Just get everybody out of here before Titan will change his mind," Jaffrey instructed.

"Stop right now!" the Commander called. "That's an order, Sabbath!"

"I'm sorry, sir," Jaffrey said. "But after what I've seen today, you're not my commander anymore."

He turned away from them, running into the Storm as the Doctor pulled Rose back into the gates, dreading what he'll tell Eva when she woke up.

EMH

"Doctor," Eva muttered in her sleep, tossing and turning. "No... No... Doctor... Doctor!"

She sat upright, her muscles tense and her eyes wide as she saw the unfamiliar room. She flinched as a hand touched her but calmed down when the Doctor's voice reached her ears.

"I'm here," he said. "Everything's okay. I'm here. I've got you. You're safe now."

"The planet," she muttered. "The planet, it's alive. It's eating the people."

"I know," the Doctor said soothingly. "We've taken care of it and everybody already evacuated."

"No, it wouldn’t let them," Eva shook her head. "The planet, it will kill them all."

"It won't," the Doctor promised. "I talked to him and we cleared things up."

"It's okay?" she asked.

"It's okay," he repeated. "We're the only ones left... I wanted to wait until you woke up before going back to the TARDIS."

"Jaffrey," Eva said. "He came into the Storm to save me. He... is he okay?"

The Doctor swallowed hard before starting to speak cautiously. "The planet's ultimatum for letting everyone go was one last meal," he said. "He wanted a survivor of the Storm, and –"

"No," Eva shook her head, tears welling in her eyes. "No, no, no –"

"It was either him or you," the Doctor told her. "He ran into the Storm. I'm sorry."

"No!" Eva cried. "He couldn’t have! He, he was only a survivor of the Storm because of me. If I wasn’t here, then –"

"Then Titan would have kept killing people," the Doctor said. "You saved them. You saved them all."

"No, I didn’t," Eva said. "Jaffrey saved them all. I only killed him."

"You did more than you can imagine," the Doctor said. "Just like you always do. You have an impact on so many lives... So many people are alive now only because of you."

"But how many are dead now, only because of me?" Eva asked.

"Not nearly as many as the people who are only dead because of me," the Doctor told her and Eva silenced, knowing he was thinking about the Time War. "Let's go to the TARDIS. You need some rest, it would do you well."

"I..." Eva said, wiping the tears off her cheeks. "I can't..."

"Shh," the Doctor said, taking her in his arms and carrying her away. "Go back to sleep, Eva."

"I don’t want to," she said. "Nightmares..."

"I'll keep the nightmares away," the Doctor said, kissing the top of her head absentmindedly. "Don't worry. They'll have to go through me, first."

Eva was already half asleep, unable to talk, but the words she wanted to say still ran across her mind, clear as day.

That's just what I'm afraid of.

Chapter Text

Eva blinked as she slowly let her eyes get used to her new surroundings. She was standing in the middle of an empty Console Room. The place was white and bright, and Eva tried to remember the Doctor to which it belonged. She looked around, her eyes landing on a cricket bat.

"Oh, dear lord," she muttered, right before somebody swept her into their arms.

"Eva!" the Fifth Doctor called, spinning her around in the air. "Hadn't seen you in a while."

"Right," Eva said, unsure what to do with her hands as the Doctor hadn't put her down yet. "How long?"

"Not since Nyssa left," the Doctor replied, putting her down and planting a kiss on her lips. "Where did you come from?"

"The TARDIS," she replied, touching her lips. "Why did you –"

"You're always coming from the TARDIS," Tegan said, stepping towards her and pushing the Doctor aside. "Oh, it's been too long, Evie."

"Yes," Eva started. "About that –"

"Did I hear right?" Turlough's voice came from the corridor as he walked in. "Eva's here?"

"Listen, guys –"

"Come on," he said, looking at her expectantly. "I don't get a hug?"

"Guys," Eva said, unsure of how to break it to them without hurting them. "This is my first time meeting you."

Turlough's face fell. "You don't know us?" he asked.

"I do know you," Eva said quickly. "Of course I know you. I just..."

"Never saw us before," the Doctor completed.

"Not looking like that," she said, eyeing him up and down. "A celery stick?"

"What's wrong with a celery stick?" the Doctor questioned, frowning.

"Nothing," Eva said innocently, causing the Doctor to smile and peck her on the lips. "Why are you –" she started, but he cut her off.

"Well, we were just on our way to... well, we're not sure yet," the Doctor smiled. "But we were on our way there."

"Something interesting, he promised," Tegan said. "Let's see if he can keep his promise."

"Something interesting," the Doctor said, flying the TARDIS away with much more grace than Eva expected, considering his future regenerations. "There we go."

Turlough looked at the scanner.

"Planet Earth," he stated, looking quite disappointed.

"So it seems," the Doctor nodded.

"You didn't set the coordinates for here, by any chance?" he asked.

"No," the Doctor said.

"When is it?" Tegan asked.

"March the 4th, 1215," the Doctor said, causing Eva to freeze on her spot. If she remembered correctly...

"Is it England?" Tegan questioned.

"Yes, it is," Eva said, swallowing hard.

She didn't want to be there – in fact, she wanted to be anywhere but there, but she also knew she couldn't convince the Doctor to turn around and leave. The Magna Carta was on the line this time, and the Doctor had to save it.

Even if it involved Eva meeting the Master so soon after the last time.

"Could this be a Black Guardian trap?" Tegan asked.

"I don't think so," the Doctor said, looking at Eva worriedly. He had noticed her distress, and was intent to find out what's causing it. He turned to the coat rack and grabbed his hat, handing Tegan her coat as he did. "But something certainly isn't right."

"You're not going out there?" Tegan asked.

"Just for a moment," the Doctor said, taking Eva's hand.

"That man looks distinctly unfriendly," Tegan noted, looking at Sir Gilles, who was sitting on a horse.

"So he does," Eva muttered, allowing the Doctor to lead her outside, much to the shock of the crowd.

"My liege," a man said as he rode his horse past them. "I have no need of aid from Lucifer."

"Lucifer?" the Doctor asked, curious.

"Is that the King?" Tegan asked, marking at one of the men.

"Without a doubt," the Doctor replied.

"Small doubt," Eva muttered quietly, though not quietly enough so that the Doctor wouldn't hear.

"Damn you cringing captives," the King called, looking at the villagers. "We tell you, there's naught to fear. Do our demons come to visit us? Bid them attend us."

"Demons?" the Doctor repeated. "Very odd, indeed."

"It makes a nice change for you not to take everything in your stride, I must say," Tegan commented.

"Must you?" the Doctor asked.

"Too right," Eva replied, earning a smile from Tegan.

"He even seems pleased to see us," the Doctor said, ignoring the two. "A king welcoming demons."

"Which king?"

"Oh, Tegan," the Doctor sighed. "1215, King John, of course."

Not quite, Eva commented to herself once more, though this time she was able to stop herself from saying it aloud as she turned to close the TARDIS doors.

"The one who lost something in The Wash?" Tegan asked.

"Well, could put it like that," the Doctor shrugged. "This particular shirt turned out to be the Crown Jewels. But that's next year. We're still three months away from Magna Carta."

Two guards approached, leading the small group towards the king and his men and Eva shuddered.

"Are you okay?" the Doctor asked.

"Yes," Eva nodded. "Just a bit chilly."

The Doctor smiled softly before taking off his coat and putting it upon her shoulders.

"Do I get your hat, too?" Eva asked.

"Oh no, you don't," the Doctor muttered. "I plan to kill this habit before it grows."

At that, Eva's eyes widened and she smirked as she opened her mouth to reply only to be interrupted by the King.

"Welcome, our demons," he told them. "Name yourselves." He looked at Tegan before wondering, "Can this be Lilith?"

"Her name is Tegan, Your Majesty," the Doctor explained. "This is Turlough. Besides me is Eva and I am the Doctor. We are not demons."

"You're too modest, Lord Doctor," the King said. "Come, rejoice with us in a trial by combat. Come," he repeated, sending chills through Eva's spine. "Make way for our demons. Let them be seated by us."

"Still cold?" the Doctor asked.

"No," Eva replied. "A bit nervous."

"Something to worry about?"

"Isn't there always?" Eva shrugged, forcing a smile upon her face as they sat to watch the combat.

The champions wore their helmets once more, going to positions. The King gave his mark and they rode towards each other, the King's champion managing to hit the other and push him off his horse. He got off his horse and neared him, sword raised and ready to hit. Eva closed her eyes and held the Doctor's hand.

"Your Majesty," the Doctor said quickly, sensing Eva's distress. "If I may make so bold..."

"Hold," the King ordered his champion before turning to the Doctor. "Lord Doctor?"

"If this is trial by combat, Your Majesty," the Doctor started, "There's clearly a victor and a vanquished. Must blood be shed?"

"We take your counsel, O Demon," the King said, turning back to his champion. "Spare him."

Eva let out a sigh of relief, leaning her head on the Doctor's shoulder while trying to ignore the fact that the King's champion was looking straight at the two of them.

"Thank you," she whispered.

"Of course," the Doctor replied quietly, kissing her on the lips again before standing up to follow the King away and leaving her only more confused.

EMH

Eva followed the Doctor with Tegan and Turlough as they walked into Sir Ranulf's castle, seeing Ranulf's wife, Isabella, heading towards the losing champion, who turned out to be her son.

"I am dishonoured," he declared.

"You are alive, my friend," the Doctor told him.

"No friend to you!" he called, storming away.

"Heed him not, whoever you are," Ranulf said. "I am grateful. You are welcome at Fitzwilliam Castle."

"Thank you," Eva told him, with a slight bow of her head.

"Soon, we shall sit at meat," Ranulf told them. "Betimes you may wish to withdraw. Conduct my guests to their chamber," he ordered one of the guards.

The Doctor looked at Eva with a small smile, taking her had before following.

"Are you better now?" he asked.

"A bit better," she nodded. "Aren't you cold without your coat?"

"You need it more than I do," he shrugged.

"How can they live in such cold?" Tegan asked.

"By eating lots of food," the Doctor said, passing through yet another corridor before entering a room. "Thank you," he told the guard, before looking around. "Where's Turlough?"

"Stopped to look at something," Tegan said distractedly. "Look at the size of that bed."

"Hmm," the Doctor said, feeling the fabric. "Another way of keeping warm."

"What are we doing here, anyway?" Tegan questioned.

"We were invited for a meal," the Doctor said.

"You know what I mean," Tegan frowned, as the Doctor handed her a blanket.

"Here, put this around you," he told her, before looking at Eva. "Do you need one, as well?"

"I've got your coat, haven't I?" Eva asked.

"How long are you planning to stay?" Tegan asked angrily.

"Do you know, it's just sunk in," the Doctor said, an odd look crossing his face. "March the 4th, 1215."

"So?" Tegan asked.

Another shiver crossed Eva's spine as she spoke. "There's something very wrong here."

"The King takes the oath today," the Doctor said, nodding at Eva as Tegan took a seat by the bed.

"What oath?" Tegan asked.

"To take the cross as a crusader," the Doctor replied. "But he did that in London."

"Who says?"

"The history books," Eva replied.

"Perhaps they got that bit wrong," Tegan offered.

"No, no," the Doctor shook his head. "Too well documented."

"Oh, who cares?" Tegan sighed.

"We care," Eva said.

"All I care about is getting back to the TARDIS, where it's nice and warm," Tegan said. "No wonder they forced him to sign Magna Carta. Bet there was something in it about under-heated housing."

"He wasn't," the Doctor commented, nearing Tegan and leaning next to her.

"Wasn't what?" she asked.

"Forced into signing Magna Carta," the Doctor explained. "He was as much for it as anyone."

"Now look, Doctor, I know my history –" Tegan started.

"Do you?"

Tegan huffed, looking at Eva as the latter stretched on the bed.

"Are you saying King John was a good man?" she questioned.

"Well, given the times he lives in, yes," the Doctor nodded.

"But don't take his word for it," Eva told her. "You'll be able to judge for yourself." She sat up and looked at the other woman. "Nobody forced Magna Carta from him. He could have crushed that rebellion as easily as that."

"How do you know so much?" the Doctor asked.

"I was doing my History Major before I met you," Eva shrugged. "I must say, though – it's far more interesting to live it."

Just as she said that, the door burst open and Ranulf ran in, pulling out his sword.

"What have you demons made of the King?" he asked, aiming a sword at the Doctor. "He is bewitched. First, he takes my whole fortune. And now he has made my lady a hostage. How can he question my loyalty? There is none more loyal than I."

"We are not demons," the Doctor said. "And we've done no harm to the King or to anyone, nor do we intend any."

"Whence come you?" Ranulf questioned.

"From an outer province," Eva replied, causing the Doctor to come stand closer to her.

"And this strange attire?" he asked, marking at the Doctor's coat, that wasn't exactly fitting neither the time period they were in nor the woman it covered.

"Yes, well..." the Doctor started. "Please believe that we are friends. If you're in trouble, I would like to help if I can."

Ranulf hesitated for a moment before putting his sword back in its sheath. "Leave us," he ordered the guards that came with him. "And fetch warm vestments." He turned back to the Doctor, Eva and Tegan. "You were four," he noted.

"Yes, yes, we seem to have mislaid Turlough," the Doctor said before frowning at Ranulf. "How long has the King been here?"

"Since yesterday," Ranulf replied. "He is not himself. He's not as I know him."

"Why, could he be ill?" the Doctor offered.

"In rude health," Ranulf replied. "He rode from London yesterday and then to a stag hunt to bring down the only kill."

"This... Sir Gilles," Eva started, steering the conversation to the direction she knew it should go.

"I like not this man," Ranulf said.

"Oh, I can't say I care for him much myself," Eva commented before informing the Doctor and Tegan, "A French knight."

"Is he the only Frenchman with the King?" the Doctor questioned.

"I know not," Ranulf sighed, sitting on the bed. "He has never favoured Frenchmen before this. Even renegades from the King of France."

"Could Sir Gilles be bringing some pressure, some influence on the King?" the Doctor asked.

"The King is influenced by none," Ranulf declared. "The King I know is resolute and firm of purpose."

Eva swallowed hard, avoiding the Doctor's eyes in fear that hers will show what she was too afraid to admit aloud. It is not the King he knows.

"When does he return to London?" the Doctor asked, glancing at Eva in an attempt to understand her odd behaviour.

"I know not," Ranulf replied. "And no word from the city. My cousin was summoned there by the King a week since, and he's not returned. Why?" he called out. "And why no word concerning him?"

"Your cousin was summoned to London?" the Doctor asked.

"To take the Crusader's Oath," Eva supplied.

"Aye," Ranulf agreed.

"Today," the Doctor said. "March the 4th."

"What say you, my lord Doctor?" Ranulf asked.

The Doctor looked at Eva, awaiting her nod before resuming his line of thought. "What if your guest was not the King?"

"Not the King?" Ranulf asked, standing up. "Then who?"

"An impostor," Eva said.

"But I have known and served my sovereign lord for many years," Ranulf said. "No impostor could be so like."

"I'll be vigilant, my lord," the Doctor said. "I suspect things are not what they seem."

Ranulf started backing towards the door, reaching for his sword. "You are a sorcerer," he told the Doctor before turning to Eva. "And you, a visionary!"

"No, no," the Doctor quickly said. "And we ask you to trust us, please."

"You can trust us," Tegan added.

Ranulf took a deep breath. "You will join my household at meat," he declared.

"Thank you," the Doctor said. "We would be delighted."

"When it pleases you," Ranulf added, leaving the room.

"Well," the Doctor sighed. "That could have gone better."

"I'd say," Eva muttered. "A visionary?"

"It is fitting," the Doctor mused. "Since you always seem to know what's going to happen, who can be trusted and who can be saved."

"I don't know everything," Eva told him.

"But you know most of it," Tegan commented.

"You know almost everything," the Doctor summed, pecking Eva on the lips once more. "Sometimes, I wonder how."

"You'll find out one day," Eva said, quickly stepping away from him and touching her lips once more. Why wasn't she angry at him? Last time he did something like that, she was – and he only kissed her once after the whole Robin Hood ordeal, she wasn't sure how many times he kissed her since she arrived to this incarnation of him. "For now, I'd like to get ready for dinner," she declared, hoping to keep her mind off things by distracting herself.

"Get ready?" Tegan asked.

"Well, we're in 1215," Eva replied with a small smile. "I don't know about you, but I'd like to dress up to the era!"

And with that declaration, she headed towards the closet room, leaving the Doctor and Tegan for their conversation.

Chapter Text

Eva walked out of the closet room a couple of minutes later, wearing a regal-looking green dress, not unlike the blue one she wore when the Doctor took her and Clara to meet Robin Hood.

"What do you think?" she asked the Doctor and Tegan as she walked out. "I'm not a fan of green, but all of the other dresses looked ridiculous."

"It's beautiful," Tegan told her.

"It really is," the Doctor said, pulling Eva into a kiss. "You look lovely."

"Can I ask you a question?" Eva asked him.

"Of course," the Doctor said. "Always."

"Promise you won’t be offended, though."

The Doctor and Tegan exchanged looks. "Should I be offended?" he asked.

"No," Eva said quickly. "At least, I don’t think so."

"Okay," the Doctor smiled. "Ask away. I promise I won't be offended."

Eva hesitated a moment before asking, "Why do you keep kissing me?" The smile slid off the Doctor's face and Eva shook her head. "No, no, no. See? You're offended now!"

"I'm not," the Doctor said. "Not offended, really. But... why wouldn’t I be kissing you?"

"I don’t know," Eva shrugged. "Why would you?"

"Well, we are dating," the Doctor said. "Isn't that what people do when they date? Kiss, and all of that?"

"We're..." Eva was shocked. "We're dating?"

"Yes," the Doctor confirmed.

"Why?"

"Well," the Doctor started, "I asked, and you agreed."

"Not that," Eva sighed, a blush starting to appear on her cheeks. "Why... Why would you want to date me?"

This time, the Doctor seemed surprised more than anything else.

"You really don’t know, do you?" he asked. "You honestly believe there's no reason for me to date you."

"I'm nothing special," she mumbled.

"Only you are," the Doctor told her. "You're brilliant, you're clever..." He tilted her head so that she would look at him, rather than at the ground. "You're beautiful. So I kiss you, and I date you, and you kiss me back, and date me back, and make jokes about my celery stick... If you want to."

Eva smiled. "I'll always want to make jokes about your celery stick," she said teasingly.

"What about the rest?" he asked worriedly.

“I…” Eva hesitated. “I think I need to think about it, if that’s okay.”

“Of course it is,” the Doctor said, though the smile on his lips looked forced and tense. “For now, though, we have other matters to think of.”

"Like finding out why King John isn’t King John?" Eva offered.

"You know me too well," the Doctor smiled, turning to Tegan. "Come on, then. We have a dinner to attend."

EMH

"Ah, demons," the King said as the trio walked in, curtseying in front of him. "Welcome. Come join us."

They nodded, moving to sit down besides Ranulf.

"Trust me," the Doctor told him, and Ranulf nodded nervously.

"What about Turlough?" Tegan asked, leaning over Eva to talk to the Doctor.

"Stop fussing," the Doctor said as a reply, faking a smile before leaning closer to Eva. "If he's not the King, who is he and why?"

"You know I can't tell you," Eva told him, drinking from her goblet.

"Why didn't he react like everybody else?" the Doctor went on. "Why wasn't he scared? And why are we his demons?"

"Could he be the devil?" Tegan asked, causing both the Doctor and Eva to look at her incredulously. "I only said 'could'."

As the King started singing, the Doctor leaned towards Eva once more.

"Are you okay?" he asked.

Eva tried to ignore Sir Gilles' eyes on her. "Fine," she muttered. "You?"

"Could have been better," the Doctor replied. "Is Turlough safe?"

"Relatively," she replied. "He'll be fine once it's all over."

"And I don’t suppose it will be over soon?"

Eva smiled grimly. "When are we ever that lucky?" she questioned just as Gilles stood up.

"And now, sire," he said, "For some... uh... additional entertainment."

He clapped his hands and four guards walked in, carrying an iron maiden. The crowd started muttering, wondering what was this all about.

"Bravo, our champion!" the King said in delight. "And who is to delight in her embrace?"

Gilles clapped again, and this time two guards led a chained man in.

"Geoffrey!" Ranulf said, standing up. "Sire, this is my cousin Geoffrey de Lacy, a loyal knight.
You summoned him to London but a week since to take the Crusader's Oath."

The King looked slightly surprised, but was quick to cover it up. "So we did," he said slowly. "Indeed we did. And he has seen fit to disobey that summons."

"Not so!" Geoffrey called. "I left Your Majesty in London four hours since. You must remember!"

"Must?" the King questioned.

"You lie," Gilles said. "The King has been here since yesterday. Now, let the maiden reward such mendacity. Prepare her!"

"Sire, be merciful, I beg you!" Ranulf called.

"Your cousin is guilty of less majesty, my lord," Gilles sneered.

"Your Majesty!" the Doctor called out, standing up.

"Our demon," the King said. "You, too, would beg for mercy?"

The Doctor swallowed, looking at Eva who almost unnoticeable nodded him to continue. "Oh, indeed no, sire," he said. "But surely such a fate is too mild. Would not boiling in oil be a more fitting end?"

Tegan, Ranulf and Eva all turned their heads to look at the Doctor in disbelief.

“You do realize this is not better, don’t you?” Eva hissed angrily.

"Ah!" The King smiled. "It must be a decade, our champion, since we boiled in oil. We accept your counsel, O Demon."

"I thank Your Majesty, but I was not suggesting alternative retribution," the Doctor said, stepping away from the table and towards Gilles. "My interruption was provoked by shock."

"Shock?" the King asked.

"Yes, I was quite shocked at Sir Gilles' monstrous lack of good taste," the Doctor said.

"Who dares to question my good taste?" Gilles questioned.

"Well," the Doctor said, "In my view, it is the worst possible taste to even think about following the King's own quite remarkable performance. One just can't follow that."

"I am insulted!" Gilles said, challenging the Doctor to a duel as the Doctor took off his coat, causing Eva, Tegan and Ranulf to stand up.

"Are you mad?" Ranulf asked. "He is said to be the best swordsman in France."

"Well, fortunately, we are in England," Eva commented, taking the Doctor's coat for keep.

"May I?" the Doctor asked, and Ranulf handed him his sword. "Thank you. I hope I don't disgrace it. In case of accidents –"

"Doctor, don't do it," Tegan all but begged.

"In case of accidents, find Turlough," the Doctor instructed, turning to Eva. "A kiss for good luck?"

"I'll give you one when you get back here safely," Eva told him.

"How about we make this even more interesting?" Gilles asked. "The winner gets to keep the lovely Lady."

"She is not an object to be passed around," the Doctor said.

"The winner gets the Lady!" the King called. "What a remarkable idea."

"Eva..." the Doctor started.

"You better win, Celery," she told him, smiling nervously. "I know you can."

"Are you seriously letting him do this?" Tegan questioned. "You must be mad!"

"I don’t really have much choice unless I want to offend the King," Eva said. "Besides, I have seen the Doctor win a duel with nothing but a spoon in his hand, and I know he's going to win this one."

"Well!" the King called in delight as Tegan grasped Eva's hand nervously. "Our champion and our demon! Have a care, Sir Gilles. Has our demon mortal life to lose?"

"I fear no hellhound," Gilles growled.

"Then set to!" the King called, and Gilles stepped forwards and struck.

The Doctor backed away, blocking the strikes one after the other. He tried hitting Gilles but the latter pushed him back, about to stab him only for the Doctor to move just in time. He elbowed the Doctor, who grunted as his back hit the wall but managed to escape another blow, Gilles' sword hitting the iron maiden.

That didn’t stop the knight as he pursued the Doctor once more, causing him to fall on the stairs. Tegan's hold of Eva's hand was stronger than ever, and Eva herself felt her heart clench but it wasn’t long before the Doctor kicked Gilles back and stood up.

Gilles aimed three strikes in a row and the Doctor blocked them all, but then Gilles pushed him back, throwing him on the dining table. Gilles raised his sword to strike but the Doctor rolled away, causing the knight to fall forwards with the momentum of his own sword.

Gilles turned back to attack the Doctor but missed once and was blocked twice before the Doctor managed to step on his sword, pressing the blade of his own weapon to Gilles' neck.

Tegan and Eva let out a simultaneous exhale of relief, though only the latter knew it was far from over.

"Bravo, our demon!" the King called out, but the Doctor wasn’t listening.

Sir Gilles took out a device of some kind and the Doctor took a step back as the other man's features changed to fit the Master's. The Master chuckled and the Doctor sent a worried glance at Eva's direction before looking back at him.

"You escaped from Xeriphas," he stated, shocked.

"Oh, my dear Doctor," the Master said, "You have been naive."

"Not at all," the Doctor said. "You may disguise your features but you can never disguise your intent." He glanced at Eva before adding, "Either of them."

"And you can't approve," the Master stated.

"You know I can't," the Doctor replied.

Tegan gasped and rushed towards the side of the table, Eva's hand still clasped in hers.

"Tissue Compression Eliminator," she muttered, looking at the Master's device.

"You've always been my greatest stimulation, my dear Doctor," the Master said, ignoring her. "But now, you inspire me."

Tegan threw a knife at the Master, but he caught it without even looking. Slowly, Eva let her hand slip away from the other woman's grip and walked closer to the Doctor.

"Your first slip, my dear Doctor," the Master said, before presenting the Doctor with both the knife and the Eliminator. "Would you care to make a second?" The Doctor hesitated before taking the Eliminator and the Master called out. "And now a third! This is useless in your hands. You have moral scruples."

"Come!" the King called out. "What is this discourse? Consummate the victory."

The Master let the knife drop from his hand. "Come, kill me," he dared the Doctor. "Fault my little game."

"Kill him!" the King called out.

"It is sufficient, Your Majesty, that your champion is disarmed," Eva stated, standing by the Doctor.

"Not for us," the King stated, looking at the Doctor's unwillingness to kill the other Time Lord and noting his and Eva's intertwined hands. "In sooth this is but a puny demon that has no stomach for it. So be it. Let the maiden embrace the vanquished."

"Your Majesty, no!" the Master called as a couple of guards grabbed him and led him in. "Have mercy! I beg you! No!"

"Sire!" the Doctor said, stepping forwards. "I must intercede. As victor, I beg you to be merciful."

"We are not merciful, our demon," the King stated.

"Your Majesty!" the Doctor called out.

"Hold!" the King say. "We give you the choice, our demon. But the choice is presented to your beloved." Eva swallowed hard, knowing what's coming next. "The maiden shall embrace this snivelling wretch," he said, marking at the Master, who was by now pushed into the iron maiden, "Or Sir Geoffrey. Choose, she-demon." Ranulf stood up and stepped closer to the couple, who was looking at the King. "Come, the lady waits, impatient to lavish her warm favours. Come, she-demon."

"I'm sorry," Eva whispered to the Doctor before taking the sword away from him and handing it back to Ranulf.

She buried her head into the Doctor's shirt as the Master's screams echoed in the background, and he held her tight, closing his own eyes. Suddenly, a whooshing sound was heard and the Doctor's head turned to see the iron maiden disappear.

"Behold, our demons," the King said. "We, too, have tricks."

"You knew he wasn’t going to die, didn’t you?" the Doctor asked Eva quietly as he stepped to where the Master's TARDIS once stood.

"I did," Eva nodded. "But more than that, I knew that was the choice you would have done."

The Doctor wrapped his arm around Eva, letting her rest her head on his chest. The crowd was still murmuring but the Time Lord and the Time Jumper were silent, knowing it was far from being over.

"What is the Master up to?" Tegan asked.

"He's using that impostor to bring the real King John into disrepute," Eva said, still tucked into the Doctor's embrace.

"And now he thinks he's trapped us into doing his dirty work for him," the Doctor muttered.

"Our demon shall be our champion," the King stated. "Accoutre him."

Eva stepped away from the Doctor so that he could dress in proper champion attire.

"Do you trust me?" she asked Tegan.

"What?" Tegan asked.

"Do you trust me?" Eva repeated. "Do you trust that I know what I'm doing?"

"Only about fifty percent of the time," Tegan replied.

"Fair enough," Eva sighed. "I'm going to do something that would more likely than not turn out to be incredibly stupid, and I'm going to need you to lie to the Doctor about it if he asks. Tell him I've gone back to the TARDIS."

"Why?" Tegan asked. "Where are you going?"

"I can't tell," Eva replied. "But there's a fairly big chance of the Master coming after me."

"Why?" Tegan questioned. "What does he want with you?"

"Not a clue," Eva replied. "But it can't be good."

Before Tegan had the time to ask anything else, Eva sneaked out of the room, using the Doctor's momentarily distraction to get past without him noticing.

Chapter Text

Eva wandered around the maze that was the castle, trying to pass the time until the Master was going to leave the dining room where he sat with Ranulf, his wife and his son.

She had only met the Time Lord once in person, and that experience was somewhat traumatizing for her. It was over two weeks ago for her, and with that fact came the realization that it had been nearly a month since she arrived here. She shook the thought out of her head.

She needed to focus on one thing, and one thing alone – what had happened since the first time the Master met her and until this point in time that he no longer wanted to use her simply as a weapon against the Doctor, but wanted her all to himself?

"Hello, she-demon."

Eva jumped, turning around to see the King – no, fake-king – standing behind her.

"Kamelion, wasn’t it?" she asked allowed, hoping she didn’t get the android's name wrong.

"My Master would like to see you," he said. "I will take you to him, now."

"I don’t suppose I have much of a choice, do I?" Eva muttered.

"Not quite," Kamelion replied, marking her to start walking.

"Where are we going?" she asked.

"My Master will meet us in my chamber."

The King's chambers, Eva thought. That's good.

If she remembered correctly, the King's chambers was where the Doctor saw Kamelion's true form. If that was where they were heading, it wouldn’t be long before the Doctor would come.

Almost as soon as they walked into his chambers, Kamelion took off his disguise and sat on a chair. Eva looked around the room, noting the lack of personal items as she tried to decide what she should do next.

"Sit," the Master's voice said, and she looked at the bed, seeing him marking at a spot next to him.

"I'm fine," she said stiffly.

"I must insist," the Master said. "And I believe it would be smart to do as I say, considering I have at least one of your friends."

Eva paused, trying to remember what happened at that point of the episode.

"Which one?" she finally asked.

"The funny-looking one who isn’t the Doctor," the Master replied. "Turlough," he added when he saw she wasn’t following.

"He isn’t funny-looking!" Eva protested. "Besides, look who's talking."

"What is that supposed to mean?" the Master asked.

"Have you taken a look at a mirror lately?" she muttered.

"The Doctor looks like a baby," the Master retorted.

"He doesn’t insult others over their looks," Eva replied. "Why did you want me here, anyway?"

"Don't act as if you don’t know," the Master rolled his eyes.

"It's kind of hard when I really don’t know," Eva said. "Why did you want me here?"

The Mater’s eyes widened for a moment before a smirk settled on his face. "Oh, no," he said. "I think it would be much better to let you find out on your own."

"Then leave me alone," Eva stated, stubbornly remaining standing.

She looked around the room once more and her eyes fell on the lute. Remembering what happened in the episode, she lifted it and handed it to Kamelion.

"Play for me?" she asked with a soft smile, and the android started singing the song from the meal once more.

"We sing in praise of total war
Against the Saracen we abhor
To free the tomb of Christ our Lord
We'll put the known world to the sword..."

In the middle of the song, the door opened and the Master pulled Eva into the shadows. Kamelion looked up at the newcomer and stopped playing.

"Welcome, my demon," he said.

"Your Majesty seems in need of a doctor," the Doctor commented.

"Allow me to introduce Kamelion," the Master told him, not letting go of his painful grasp on Eva's arm.

The Doctor looked at Eva, surprised. "Tegan told me you were going to find the TARDIS," he said.

"I asked her to lie for me," Eva replied, trying not to wince as the Master pressed his hand even tighter around her arm.

The Doctor turned to the other Time Lord. "Your work?"

"Alas, modesty forbids such a claim," the Master sighed, moving forwards and dragging Eva along with him. "Kamelion is a tool of an earlier invader of Xeriphas. And instrumental in my escape from that benighted planet."

"This is your King John?" the Doctor asked.

"Look again," the Master instructed. Kamelion began to change and within moments, the fake-king was sitting on the chair.

"Impressive," the Doctor noted as Kamelion put his lute aside.

"A weapon used by the invaders of Xeriphas," the Master explained. "A decoy, capable of infinite form or personality."

"Interesting," the Doctor muttered, his eyes jumping to the Master's hand on Eva's arm for less than a moment, and Eva knew he was trying to plan a way to get her away from him.

"Well said, my demon," Kamelion said. "We are a complex mass of artificial neurons."

"And controlled by?"

"Nothing more than simple concentration and psychokinetics," the Master replied. "Look again."

This time, as Kamelion changed, he took the image of the Doctor.

"Can anyone play?" the Doctor asked.

"Please," the Master replied.

The Doctor concentrated and it wasn’t long before a Master duplicate sat on the chair.

"Quite masterly," the duplicate said.

"As if one isn’t enough," Eva muttered.

"You flatter me," the Master said. "How about..."

Kamelion changed again. When the changes settled, Eva saw herself sitting on the chair, wearing the same dress as she was now, only with a significantly bigger cleavage. She coughed, and the Doctor changed Kamelion into himself once more.

The Master sighed. "I prefer bad King John," he said.

"So, Kamelion, here, is bad King John," the Doctor said.

"Aided and abetted by you, his demon," the Master said. "And your blue engine."

"It's cunning of you to confirm the superstitions put about by the monks," the Doctor commented.

"Irresistible," the Master shrugged. "Your arrival here was most timely."

"A gift," the Doctor said.

"But not as pretty as this one," the Master said, pulling Eva closer only for her to try fruitlessly to pull away.

The Doctor swallowed before talking, wandering around the room yet not taking his eyes off Eva for a moment. "The King turns the barons solidly against him, he is killed in battle or deposed, possibly in favour of King Phillip of France," he said. "He cannot therefore, offer Magna Carta. What do you think of it so far?"

"I couldn't do better myself," the Master said.

"Thus, the foundations of parliamentary democracy," the Doctor said as he cleaned a spot on Kamelion's head, "Will never be laid."

"Brilliant," the Master summed.

"You cannot be allowed to alter the course of history, even indirectly," Eva told him.

"How do you propose to stop me?" the Master questioned the two of them.

"I shall have to give it some thought," the Doctor mused, confirming Eva's fear that he still didn’t know how to get her away from the Master.

She made a small movement, indicating her intention to kick the Master and get away, but the Doctor slowly shook his head. This will do nothing more than annoy the Master, and that result wouldn’t do either of them – nor the world – any good.

"You haven't much time," the Master said.

"And you haven't your compressor," the Doctor noted.

"I still have my wits," the Master retorted, and the Doctor looked at him.

"So do I."

The Master smiled. "You would do well, my dear Doctor, to ponder that you played directly into my hand," he said.

"And into ours," Kamelion said.

"He has a mind of his own?" the Doctor asked, surprised.

"Indeed," the Master nodded.

"But highly susceptible," Eva added.

"Dominated by our demons," Kamelion said.

"You will know that the King and his dead brothers are believed to be the devil's work," the Master told the Doctor. "Your interference here with your dreary TARDIS has only confirmed this. You are, dare I say so, discredited demons. And as such you make a unique contribution to altering the course of history." He smiled slightly. "Hoist on your own petard."

"And where will you take your toy next?" the Doctor asked.

"Does it matter?" the Master asked. "You'll not be there to greet me."

"He wouldn’t need to," Eva said. "You forget, Kamelion does have a mind of his own."

"He obeys only my will," the Master waved her comment off.

"Yes," she agreed. "But for how much longer?"

"For as long as I command it," the Master said. "Kamelion will not turn on me."

"No?" the Doctor asked, turning to the android and focusing.

As nothing happened, the Master started laughing. "You're getting old, Doctor," he said. "Your will is weak. It's time you regenerated."

"You won't win," Eva told him. "Not ultimately, and not at all."

"You're mistaken," the Master told her. "With Kamelion's unique ability at my command and with you at my side, it's only a matter of time before I undermine the key civilisations of the universe. Chaos will reign, and I shall be its emperor. And you will be there at my side to see it happen."

That sentence pushed Eva over the edge and she raised her leg and stomped on the Master. He hissed and his grasp on her arm weakened for less than a second. It wasn’t long, but it was all Eva needed to get free and allow the Doctor to put his arm around her, keeping her away from the angry Master.

"The Earth is a primitive planet," the Doctor told the Master. "You won't succeed so easily elsewhere."

"Where I cannot win by stealth, I shall destroy," the Master stated. "That way, I cannot fail to win."

"You'll never succeed," Eva snarled.

"You'll see," the Master told her before turning to the Doctor. "Unfortunately, you will not be alive to find out. Which reminds me," he looked at the Doctor expectantly. "My compressor."

"Safely in my TARDIS," the Doctor said, pulling Eva even closer.

The trio jumped when loud banging was heard from the door.

"Your Majesty!" Ranulf's voice called.

The Master changed Kamelion back to the King's form and the android called, "Enter."

Through the door came Ranulf and his son, followed by two guards who were holding Turlough.

"Sire –" Ranulf started, pausing at the sight of the Doctor and Eva. "You have them."

"We have them," Kamelion corrected.

"Sire, they have slain my kinsman," Ranulf said.

"Such perfidy must not go unpunished," the King said. "We would have boiling oil. See to it."

Ranulf and his son nodded, satisfied, and left the room.

"Doctor..." Turlough said.

"Yes," the Doctor said, turning to look at the Master and Kamelion. "Yes. I'm not a demon for nothing."

"Very well, my dear Doctor," the Master said, watching Eva as the Doctor pushed her behind him and she walked to Turlough. "Your will against mine. So be it."

The Master and the Doctor concentrated, each of them trying to be better than the other and gain control of Kamelion.

"Everything will be alright," Eva told Turlough quietly.

"I know," Turlough said. "If only because if the Doctor loses, you'll get hurt and he'll never let that happen."

"Also in order to save you, Tegan and, you know, the bloody Earth," Eva muttered.

"That, too," Turlough agreed with a small smile. "But mostly to save you."

Eva smiled as the Ranulf walked back into the room but didn’t listen to the conversation that was going on, instead choosing to focus on the spot where she knew the TARDIS should appear at any moment.

She smiled as it had, turning back to the Doctor who had managed to gain control of Kamelion and changed him to look like Tegan, pulling the duplicate into the TARDIS.

"I've had quite enough of you, whoever you are," Turlough said, breaking free of the guards that held him. "So don't try me too far."

"Turlough, Eva," the Doctor said, and Turlough entered the TARDIS.

"No!" Eva heard the Master call as she turned to the TARDIS. "I've had enough of this. If I can't have you, neither could he!"

It felt like time slowed down. Eva could see the Doctor's eyes widening as she felt something akin to a sting in her chest, and a small gasp of surprise left her lungs. Black spots started to appear in Eva's view as she fell into the TARDIS, and suddenly the world went back to its normal speed.

She heard the Doctor scream and someone close the door as she started seeing blood pooling around her. The pain in the chest came quickly and at once, when somebody touched the sword the Master stuck in her back.

"No," she heard the Doctor mutter, pulling her into his arms. "No, she's too young! Turlough! Fly the TARDIS away. I'm taking her to the med-bay."

"I'm coming, too," Tegan declared, and the Doctor picked Eva up, running through the halls of the TARDIS.

The blur of colours that was the corridors' ceiling as they ran was the last thing Eva saw before blackness overcome her.

EMH

She woke up in the Med-Bay. Well... woke up might be the wrong term, but there really wasn’t any way to properly describe the feeling of being pulled over gravel, every cell in her body protesting as she was thrown back into the world of the living.

Looking at herself, she saw that she was still wearing her bloody dress. As much as she wanted to change out of it, she also knew that she had much important things to do at the moment.

She stood up, her bare feet touching the cold ground and headed towards the door. She saw a glimmer of gold on a table and reached out for it, putting her necklace back on.

She only hoped it wouldn’t activate before she had the chance to see the Doctor.

As she walked towards the Console Room, she could hear voices speaking.

"What are we going to do with him?" she heard Tegan's voice asking.

"I don't know," the Doctor replied. "Don't particularly care, too."

"Do you trust him?" she heard Tegan's voice asking.

"Yes," Turlough replied.

"It seems you're outvoted," the Doctor said, though his voice lacked the emotion this statement should have had.

"I'm very grateful, Doctor," Kamelion's voice said. "Where will I be quartered?"

"Well, you can have my room, for all I care," Tegan muttered.

"As you wish," the Doctor said impassively.

"What are you doing?" Tegan asked.

"I'm taking you home," the Doctor replied.

"Home?"

"Your own time," the Doctor explained. "I assume that's where you prefer to be."

"Don't you dare, Doctor," Eva managed to let out, causing one woman, two aliens and an android to turn and look at her with shock.

"But..." Turlough muttered. "You were dead!"

"Wouldn't be the first time," Eva said. "And I suppose not the last one, either."

"How is that possible?" Tegan asked. "People don’t just die and gets brought back again."

"No, they don’t," Eva agreed. "But I do." She spread out her arms to show them her body. "Wounds healed, any bleeding I had stopped and I'm good as new." She looked at the Doctor, frowning when she saw him pointing his sonic screwdriver on her and scanning. "Doctor?"

"Shh," he said, continuing the scan. "I don’t know who you are, but you can't be Eva. I saw her die. I held her as she died and she is not you."

"Would anybody but me know that you already set the coordinates to the Eye of Orion?" she asked. "Or that you think I smoke too much? Would anybody else know that the first time we kissed from your point of view was when the Master brainwashed me into distracting you, any way I can?"

"Eva died," the Doctor said, his voice breaking.

"Yes, I did," Eva said. "And it sucks, and, to be honest, quite painful. But it's not the first time, and it's not the tenth either. If I'm right, it should be something around the fiftieth," she added, remembering how many times she died while on Titan. She took a step towards the Doctor, knowing what the scans in his screwdriver were showing him. "It's me."

"Evie?" the Doctor asked, his voice heartbroken as he stopped scanning.

"It's me," she repeated, raising a hand to his face and wiping away the tears. "It's me."

The Doctor pulled Eva into a tight hug, holding her as if he was scared that she would disappear as soon as he stopped. Which, considering everything, was a legitimate fear.

"It really is you," he whispered. "You're alive. You're here."

"I am," Eva replied. "And I'm sorry, I'm really, really sorry."

The Doctor closed his eyes. "You're going now, aren’t you?"

"Yes," Eva replied. "But you'll see me again, soon." She took a step back and smiled at Tegan and Turlough before her eyes fell on the Doctor again. "Yes," she said.

"What?" the Doctor asked, confused.

"Yes, I'll date you." She smiled. "I did tell you I’ll give you an answer, didn’t I?"

A small smile crossed the Doctor's face when the white light took Eva once more.

Chapter Text

"What d'you think of this?" Rose asked, walking into the Console Room and showing the Doctor her short, torn overall, with a pink dress underneath and black tights.

"For the late 1970s?" the Doctor asked, eyeing her up and down. "You'd be better off in a bin bag. Listen," he added, turning away from her and pressing some keys on the console making 'Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick' play our from the speakers. "Ian Dury and the Blockheads. Number one in 1979."

A smile appeared on Rose's face. "You're a punk!" she announced playfully as the Doctor sang along. "That's what you are, a big old punk, with a bit of rockabilly thrown in."

The Doctor smiled before asking, "Want to go and see him?"

"You mean in concert?" Rose asked, shocked.

"What else is a TARDIS for?" the Doctor shrugged. "I can take you to the Battle of Trafalgar, the Antigravity Olympics, Caesar crossing the Rubicon, or..." He smiled. "Ian Dury at the Top Rank, Sheffield, England, Earth, 21st November 1979, what d'you think?"

"Sheffield it is," Rose replied, and the Doctor pulled a lever.

"Hold on tight!" the Doctor called, sending the TARDIS flying into the Time Vortex, the sounds of Ian Dury playing in the background. "Ahhhh!!!" he screamed, hitting the console and causing the two of them to fall to the ground as the TARDIS landed.

They looked at each other for a moment before bursting to laughter.

"1979!" the Doctor called out, jumping to his feet and taking his coat. "Hell of a year. China invades Vietnam, The Muppet Movie, love that film. Margaret Thatcher, urgh! Skylab falls to Earth, with a little help from me. Nearly took off my thumb, and I like my thumb," he added, walking out of the TARDIS. "I need my thumb, I'm very attached to..." He looked up to see a group of guards pointing their weapons at him and raised his hands. "My thumb," he sighed. "1879. Same difference."

"You'll explain your presence," the one in charge said before marking at Rose, "And the nakedness of this girl."

"Are we in Scotland?" the Doctor asked with a smile.

"How can you be ignorant of that?" the Captain asked, a stern expression on his face.

"Oh, I'm dazed and confused," the Doctor said, immediately pulling on a Scottish accent. "I've been chasing this wee naked child over hill and over dale. In't that right, ye... timorous beastie?"

"Och, aye," Rose said, making the Doctor cringe. "I've been oot and aboot."

"No, don't do that," the Doctor muttered.

"Hoots mon?"

"No, really," the Doctor said. "Don't. Really."

"Identify yourself, sir," the Captain ordered.

"I'm Dr James McCrimmon, from the township of... Balamory. I have my credentials, if I may," he added, marking at his coat, and the Captain nodded. "As you can see," the Doctor said, showing them his psychic paper. "A doctorate from the University of Edinburgh. I trained under Dr Bell himself."

"Let them approach," a voice called from the carriage behind the guards.

"I don't think that's wise, ma'am –" the Captain started.

"Let them approach," the voice repeated.

"You will approach the carriage," the Captain ordered. "And show all due deference."

The Doctor and Rose approached as a guard opened the carriage door, revealing a woman dressed in regal clothing and looking at them sternly.

"Rose," the Doctor said, awestruck, "Might I introduce Her Majesty Queen Victoria, Empress of India, and Defender of the Faith."

"Rose Tyler, ma'am," Rose said as she curtsied. "And my apologies... for being so naked."

"I've had five daughters," the Queen said, waving the apology off, "It's nothing to me. But you, Doctor - show me these credentials."

The Doctor handed out the psychic paper and the Queen reached out for it, only to be cut off by a familiar voice.

"May I?"

The Queen nodded curtly and a delicate hand appeared from within the carriage, taking the psychic paper.

"Why didn't you say so immediately?" the voice asked. "It states clearly here that he has been appointed by the Lord Provost as my assistant in protecting you, My Queen." She leaned forwards, revealing herself to the Doctor and Rose. "He's a bit late, though," she added pointedly.

The Queen nodded, but neither Rose nor the Doctor was able to do anything but stare at the woman, wide-eyed. Finally, the Doctor managed to find his voice, though it was nothing more than a shocked croak.

"Evie?"

EMH

"Your Majesty," Eva curtsied, trying not to appear too nervous. Then again, she was standing in front of Queen Victoria. She probably earned the right to be nervous.

"Stand up, child," the Queen said, looking the girl up and down. "Why have you brought her here, Captain?"

"The girl appeared out of thin air, Your Majesty," the Captain explained. "A guard saw her in one of the inner gardens. She is clearly a part of another assassination attempt."

"I would never," Eva snarled, but a single glance from the Queen made her silent.

"I sure hope not," the Queen told her, before turning back to the Captain. "No one can appear out of thin air."

"I thought so, too," the Captain said, stepping towards Eva. "Then again, no one can do this, either."

He took out a knife and quickly slashed Eva's arm, making her cry out in pain as she clutched the wound. The Queen rose to her feet.

"What are you doing, Captain?" she asked, enraged that one of her guards would hurt an innocent, defenceless girl.

"Show her," the Captain ordered, ignoring the way Eva was glaring daggers at him. "I said, show her!"

"Step away from the girl, Captain," the Queen ordered. "Come here, child," she told Eva, who complied silently. "Would you mind showing me your arm?"

"Of course, Your Majesty," Eva said quietly, moving her hand away and revealing a nearly-healed cut.

The Queen eyed the skin, touching it to make sure she wasn’t imagining.

"What's your name?" she asked.

"Eva, Your Majesty," Eva said. "Evangeline Miller."

"Captain, please take Miss Miller to one of the guestrooms," the Queen ordered. "Call a maid to assist her and tell the cooks she would join me at my table for supper."

"Thank you, Your Majesty," Eva said quietly. "You're too kind."

"Nonsense, girl," the Queen told her. "Oh, and Captain?"

"Yes, Your Majesty?"

"If word would get to me of anyone who had hurt the girl, they would be thrown out of these walls before they knew what hit them," the Queen said. "Are we clear?"

"Yes, Your Majesty," the Captain said before leading a very confused and tired Eva away.

EMH

Eva was angry. Not just pissed, or annoyed, but proper angry, fuming, about to rip the Doctor's head off. The Doctor was mostly surprised, though slightly scared. He quickly shook himself off, looking back at the Queen and Eva.

"Right," he said quickly. "Then let me ask, Miss, why's her Majesty travelling by road, when there's a train all the way to Aberdeen?"

"A tree on the line," Eva replied simply.

"An accident?" the Doctor questioned.

"I am the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland," the Queen told him. "Everything around me tends to be planned."

"An assassination attempt," Eva explained.

"What, seriously?" Rose asked. "There's people out to kill you?"

"I'm used to staring down the barrel of a gun," was the Queen's only reply.

"Sir Robert MacLeish lives but ten miles hence," Eva said, looking at the Captain, who nodded.

"We've sent word ahead," he told her. "He'll shelter us, then we'll reach Balmoral tomorrow."

"This doctor and his... 'timorous beastie' will come with us," the Queen said.

"Yes, ma'am," the Captain nodded.

"We'd better get moving, it's almost nightfall," Eva said. "And there are stories of wolves in these parts."

"Fanciful tales, intended to scare the children," the Queen dismissed. "But good for the blood, I think. Drive on."

The carriage doors closed and they resumed moving, and the Queen turned to Eva.

"Is this the Doctor you've spoken so often about?" she asked.

"Yes," Eva replied.

"Then I suppose you'll be leaving my guard soon."

"You will manage without me, My Queen," Eva told her. "You will live for many more years, I simply know so."

"If you say so, my All-Knower," the Queen nodded. "But for now, let us head to Torchwood Estate."

"Yes," Eva nodded, leaning back before turning back to the Queen. "Just thought I should warn you, Rose – the blonde – bet against the Doctor that she could make you say 'I am not amused'."

"Well," the Queen huffed. "I suppose her attempts would be very not amusing as they are."

"They would, My Queen," Eva nodded, leaning back once more. "But I still thought you needed to understand her odd behaviour as we went on."

"And I am very grateful for that," the Queen said. "As I am for anything else that you had already done."

"Don't mention it, My Queen," Eva nodded at her, hoping that by the time the night ended, the Queen won't hate her like Eva knew she hated the Doctor. "It was an honour, and a privilege."

EMH

As the carriage arrived to Torchwood Estate, a guard opened the door to let the Queen out. Eva followed shortly after, but not before she made sure her bow and sheath were concealed by the robe she wore.

"Your Majesty," Sir Robert said, coming towards the Queen and bowing.

"Sir Robert," the Queen told him. "My apologies for the emergency. And how is Lady Isobel?"

"She's..." Sir Robert sent a quick glance to the bold guards behind him. "Indisposed, I'm afraid. She's gone to Edinburgh for the season. And she's taken the cook with her, the kitchens are barely stocked," he added hurriedly. "I wouldn't blame your Majesty if you wanted to ride on."

"Not at all!" the Queen said, oblivious to his nervousness. "I've had quite enough carriage exercise, and this is... charming. If rustic. It's my first visit to this house," she explained to Eva for what seemed like the hundredth time. "My late husband spoke of it often. The Torchwood Estate."

"Shall we go inside?" Eva asked, looking at the guards and stewards and counting them, storing the information in her head for later use.

"My apologies, Miss," Sir Robert said, "But you are...?"

"My Ward," the Queen said. "And I expect you to treat her with the proper respect."

"Yes, Your Majesty," Sir Robert nodded.

"And please excuse the naked girl," the Queen added, nodding at Rose's direction.

"Sorry," the girl muttered shyly.

"She's a feral child," the Doctor explained. "I bought her for sixpence in old London town. It was her or the Elephant Man."

"Thinks he's funny, but I'm so not amused," Rose said. "What do you think, ma'am?"

The Queen exchanged a look with Eva, who smiled knowingly, before replying. "It hardly matters," she said. "Shall we proceed?"

Sir Robert nodded nervously, following the Queen inside while trying to avoid eye contact with the stewards.

From the corner of her eye, Eva saw Rose lean closer to the Doctor and whisper, "So close."

"Mackeson and Ramsay," she said aloud. "You will escort the property, hurry up."

"Yes, ma'am," the guards said, taking out a box from within the carriage.

"So what's in there, then?" the Doctor asked.

"Property of the Crown," Captain Reynolds said.

"Or, in other words," Eva added, "None of your business. The rest of you, go to the rear," she told the guards. "Assume your designated positions."

"You heard the orders," Captain Reynolds repeated. "Positions!"

The Doctor and Rose exchanged a glance before looking at Eva, but she was already walking into the Estate, ignoring their existence. The Doctor swallowed hard, knowing something was wrong, and the duo followed.

EMH

"This, I take it, is the famous endeavour," the Queen said as she followed Sir Robert into a room containing an enormous telescope.

"All my father's work," Sir Robert said. "Built by hand, in his final years. It became something of an obsession. He spent his money on this, rather than caring for the house, or himself."

"I wish I'd met him," the Doctor commented. "I like him. That thing's beautiful, can I...?"

"Help yourself," Sir Robert said, and the Doctor approached.

"What did he model it on?" he asked.

"I know nothing about it," Sir Robert admitted. "To be honest, most of us thought him... shall we say, eccentric. I wish now I'd spent more time with him," he added, and Eva glanced at the bald stewards once more. "And listened to his stories."

"It's a bit rubbish," the Doctor commented, and Eva stepped forwards, knowing what was coming next. "How many prisms has it got? Way too many! The magnification's gone right over the top, that's a stupid –"

Eva smacked him over the head to make him shut up. "Rude!" she hissed.

"But it's pretty!" the Doctor quickly said, rubbing his head. "It's very pretty."

"And the imagination of it should be applauded," the Queen added, stepping closer to it as well.

"I thought you might disapprove, Your Majesty," Rose commented, and Eva sighed. "Star gazing. Isn't that a bit fanciful? You could easily... not be amused, or something." The Queen looked her up and down disapprovingly. "No?"

"This device surveys the infinite work of God," the Queen said, and Eva smiled.

"What could be finer?" she asked. "Sir Robert's father was an example to us all. A polymath, steeped in astronomy and the sciences, yet equally well versed in folklore and fairytales."

"Stars and magic," the Doctor said with a smile. "I like him more and more."

"Oh, my late husband enjoyed his company," the Queen said with a sigh. "Prince Albert himself was acquainted with many rural superstitions, coming as he did from Saxe-Coburg."

"That's Bavaria," the Doctor whispered in Rose's ear.

"When Albert was told about your local wolf, he was transported," the Queen went on.

"What's this wolf, then?" the Doctor asked.

"It's just a story," Sir Robert said, glancing at the stewards.

"Then tell it."

Sir Robert took a deep breath. "It's said –" he started, but the head-stewards almost immediately cut him off.

"Excuse me, sir," he said. "Perhaps her Majesty's party could repair to their rooms. It's almost dark."

"Of course," Sir Robert said, forcing a smile. "Yes, of course."

"And then supper," the Queen added. "And could we find some clothes for Miss Tyler? I'm tired of nakedness."

"It's not amusing, is it?" Rose tried.

"Please, stop," Eva said with an eye-roll. "Sir Robert, your wife must have left some clothes. See to it."

"We shall dine at seven, and talk some more of this wolf," the Queen announced. "After all, there is a full moon tonight."

"So there is, ma'am," Sir Robert said, and the group walked out of the room, Eva staying the longest.

As she was about to pass through the doorway, the head-steward grabbed her arm.

"You are awfully lacking manners, as the Queen's Ward," he hissed at her.

"I think you'll find out I'm more than just a simple Ward, Father," she told him, yanking her arm out of his grasp and walking out.

EMH

It was Candlemas day, and the Queen hosted an event in her court to celebrate. Candles lit the garden Eva was in, their light shining off the dress she wore. Several men had already asked her for a dance but Eva declined them all, knowing that in these times a dance was always something more than simply a dance.

The last thing she needed was to accidently get engaged while she was here.

It had already been three months since the Queen decided to take her as a Ward, and Eva's nerves were wrecked. She now knew how to sew, play the piano and weave – all of which were skills she doubted she would ever need.

Thankfully, the Queen also agreed for bow and arrow lessons, so the skill Eva had learned briefly from Robin Hood became not only something she was very good at, but also a means of escape from the etiquette lessons and the explanations of which fork was to be used at which course of the meal.

She looked at the people, a glass of simple drink in her hand as the Queen entered the garden. She, along with everybody else, stopped what they were doing and bowed respectfully, but Eva saw from the corner of her eye a man who hadn’t.

A man who was holding a gun and aiming it at the Queen.

This was wrong, she knew it was. There weren’t supposed to be any attempts on the Queen's life in this year. If she remembered correctly – and she was certain that she was, as she took a course on Queen Victoria's reign while studying History at university – the next assassination attempt was due only in a couple of years.

"Her Majesty!" she called out, causing the Queen and several guards to turn and look at her. "Duck!"

She grasped a bow and arrow that were laid in the garden as decoration and shot the man, making him drop to the ground but not before a bullet escaped his gun. She looked at the Queen just in time to see a guard moving her out of the way and getting hit by the bullet himself.

Not wasting a moment, she ran to him.

"Where were you shot?" she asked him, cutting straight to business. There was no time for courtesies when life was on the line.

"My... My chest," the guard muttered.

"Chest," Eva repeated, looking for the gunshot wound. "You're lucky," she told him when she found it. "It's more shoulder than chest, so it most likely didn’t fracture your lung. The main danger right now is blood loss."

"The Queen," the guard said through ragged breaths. "Is the Queen safe?"

Eva looked up to see a guard escorting the Queen to safety as another called for a doctor.

"She's safe," she told him, ripping the hem of her dress and tying it around his shoulder. "Were you hurt anywhere else?"

"No, Miss," the guard said before laughing weakly. "I survived the war in Afghan, only to be shot in the Queen's garden."

"You survived the war in Afghan to save the Queen's life," Eva told him. "Is there a greater cause?"

"I didn’t think I was that important," he replied. "My entire unit was killed and I was the only survivor. I came back and married my beloved Mary. She's pregnant now."

"That is also a great cause," Eva told him with a smile.

"We have to ask you to step away, Miss," a voice said from behind Eva.

"Just a moment," she replied, not taking her eyes off the guard as she asked, "What's your name?"

"John," he managed out.

"Get better, John," Eva told him. "You have one amazing story to tell your child."

"We really need you to step away, Miss,"

"Alright," Eva nodded, standing up before turning to the doctor. "This man just saved the Queen's life. Take good care of him."

"Of course," the doctor nodded, and Captain Reynolds pulled Eva away.

"Were you hurt?" he asked, scanning her worriedly.

"No," Eva replied. "It's... It's John's blood."

"John?" the Captain asked before realization dawned over him. "Oh, Guard Anderson."

"He has a wife, Mary," Eva went on. "She's pregnant with his child."

"I'll send someone to call for her," the Captain said immediately. "For now, I'll call a maid to your room to help you wash over. The Queen asked me to tell you she wanted to talk to you when you're done."

Eva nodded silently, allowing him to lead her away as she wondered what the Queen wanted her for.

Chapter Text

"A drink, Miss?"

Eva looked at the bald man who offered her a glass, pausing on her way to the Dining Room.

"No, thank you," she said, resuming her walk.

"Please, Miss," the man said. "I must insist."

"And I must insist not," Eva retorted.

A hand grasped her shoulder and Eva shook it off, reaching out for her bow and preparing an arrow in one swift motion.

"I said, no," she told him. "Shouldn't you know what it means when a Lady refuses?"

"You are no Lady," he hissed at her.

"Got that one right," Eva said. "A Lady wouldn’t shoot you. I will."

"Rumours of you reached even here," a new voice said and Eva turned her back to the wall, her bow trained at the Father for a moment before back at the other man. "The Queen's Ward, the All-Knower."

"I wouldn’t go as far as to say an 'All-Knower'," Eva shrugged, though her bow didn’t weaver. "A 'Most-Knower', maybe."

"You will come with us," the other man said.

"Yeah, I don’t think so," Eva said. "What I think is that I'll go to the Dining Room, eat with the Queen, Sir Robert and the Doctor, and forget to mention Rose, Lady Isobel and most of the staff are chained in the basement."

"And if we disagree?" the Father asked.

"Then I'll shoot you both dead right now," Eva said simply, aiming her bow at his heart. "Would you really want to test my courage?"

The Father hesitated, and Eva knew she won.

"If I hear a hint of a mention about the people in the basement, I will shoot you, Sir Robert and the Doctor dead on the spot," he warned.

"Don't worry," Eva told him, taking down her bow and hiding it back into her robe. "I will have the pleasure of killing you later."

"Your companion begs an apology, Doctor," the Father said as he followed Eva into the Dining room. "Her clothing has somewhat delayed her."

"That's all right, save her a bit of ham," the Doctor said, looking at Eva as she sat – not next to him but to the Queen's left.

"The feral child could probably eat it raw," the Queen commented.

"Ha!" Captain Reynolds laughed nervously from his place at the Queen's right. "Very wise, ma'am! Very witty!"

Eva bit the inside of her cheek so that she won't burst into laughter at the absurdity of it all, and the Doctor looked at her with a soft smile.

"Slightly witty, perhaps," the Queen said dryly. "I know you rarely get the chance to dine with me, Captain, but don't get too excited. I shall contain my wit in case I do you further injury."

"Yes, ma'am," the Captain muttered. "Sorry, ma'am."

"Besides," Eva said, trying to steer the conversation away from the matter for Reynolds' sake, "We're all waiting on Sir Robert."

"Come, sir," the Doctor said, smiling. "You promised us a tale of nightmares."

"Indeed," the Queen nodded. "Since my husband's death, I find myself with more of a taste for supernatural fiction."

"You must miss him," the Doctor said, glancing at Eva's direction once more.

"Very much," the Queen said sombrely.

"But that's the charm of a ghost story, isn't it?" Eva asked her, and the Queen smiled sadly.

"Indeed," she said. "Not the scares and the chills, that's just for children, but the... hope of some contact with the great beyond. We all want some message from that place. It's the Creator's greatest mystery, that we're allowed no such consolation. The dead stay silent. And we must wait."

Eva looked at the Queen she learned to care for during the past months and decided to pull her out of her sad mood.

"Come, begin your tale, Sir Robert," she said. "There's a chill in the air, the wind is howling through the eaves. Tell us of monsters."

"The story goes back 300 years," Sir Robert started. "Every full moon, the howling rings through the valley. Next morning, livestock is found, ripped apart and... devoured."

"Tales like this just disguise the work of thieves," Captain Reynolds said. "Steal a sheep, blame a wolf, simple as that."

"But sometimes a child goes missing," Sir Robert said, his voice shaking. "Once in a generation, a boy will vanish from his homestead."

"Are there descriptions of the creature?" the Doctor questioned.

"Oh, yes, Doctor," Sir Robert said. "Drawings, and wood carvings. And it's not merely a wolf," he added. "It's more than that. This is a man who becomes an animal."

"A werewolf?" the Doctor asked as he leaned on the desk, interested by far more than he was up until now.

"My father didn't treat it as a story," Sir Robert went on and Eva glanced at the Father, reaching into her robe and grasping her bow. "He said it was fact. He even claimed to have communed with the beast, to have learned its purpose. I should have listened. His work was hindered. He made enemies. There's a monastery in the Glen of St Catherine. The Brethren opposed my father's investigations."

"Perhaps they thought his work ungodly," the Queen offered as the Father started muttering to himself.

"That's what I thought," Sir Robert said. "But now I wonder... what if they had a different reason for wanting the story kept quiet?" The Doctor glanced at the Father, seeing him looking through the window as he prayed.

"What if they turned from God and worshipped the wolf?" Eva added, knowing it was all that was needed for the Doctor to realize what Sir Robert was trying to tell them from the moment they walked through his doors.

"And what if they were with us right now?"

Captain Reynolds took out his gun, aiming it at the Father.

"What is the meaning of this?" the Queen questioned.

"Sorry, Your Majesty," Sir Robert said, his voice shaking. "They've got my wife."

"And Rose," Eva added, not looking at the Doctor. "They're in the basement right now." She swallowed hard before adding, "With the wolf."

The Doctor ran towards the doors, Sir Robert quick on his heel.

"I need you to get out of here, My Queen," Eva said through gritted teeth.

"Tell me, sir," the Captain said, moving to allow the Queen to pass behind him and towards Eva. "I demand to know your intention." The Father continued muttering. "What is it that you want?"

The Father turned around and looked at Captain Reynolds. "The throne," he stated before taking the gun out of the Captain's hands and knocking him unconscious.

"My Queen!" Eva called out. "Behind me!"

The Queen didn’t move, instead looking at the Father.

"I take it, sir, that you halted my train, to bring me here," she stated.

"We've waited so long for one of your journeys to coincide with the Moon," the Father told her.

"Then you have waited in vain," Eva told him.

"The girl is right," the Queen said. "After six attempts on my life, I am hardly unprepared."

"Oh, I don't think so, woman," the Father said, stepping towards her.

Eva pulled out her bow and aimed it at him. "The correct form of address is 'Your Majesty'," she informed him before releasing the arrow that hit him in the heart. "I told you I'll get to kill you," she muttered before looking at the Queen. "My Queen, we need to get out."

EMH

Eva and the Queen ran away, stopping only to take the box that held the Koh-I-Noor before resuming their pace, Eva aiming her bow at any noise they heard.

"Your Majesty?" they heard Sir Robert calling. "Your Majesty!"

"Sir Robert?" the Queen asked, rushing towards him. "What's happening? We heard such terrible noises."

"Your Majesty, we've got to go," Sir Robert told her. "But what of Father Angelo, is he still here?"

"I took care of it," Eva said, raising her bow for him to see.

"Since when do you have a bow?" the Doctor asked.

"You were late," Eva told him. "I had to get along."

"I can see that," the Doctor said. "Queen Victoria's Ward, you have a bow and arrow, and any fool could see you are the one really in charge of her guard and not Captain Reynolds."

"Like I said," Eva shrugged. "Had to get along."

"Eva," the Doctor said, grabbing her arm as she made a move to walk past him. "How late was I?"

"Six months," Eva replied, shaking his hand off her. "You know, for a lord of time you're not very precise. My Queen," she added, looking back. "The front door is blocked and there are men outside ready to shoot us if we try the window."

"They want us to stay inside," the Doctor muttered.

"Do they know who I am?" the Queen questioned.

"Yes, that's why they want you to stay inside," Eva told her.

"The wolf's lined you up," Rose explained. "For... a biting."

"Now stop this talk," the Queen said. "There can't be an actual wolf."

Just then, the wolf howled and they all ran to the other room, watching as the door slowly broke.

"What do we do?" Rose questioned.

"We run," Eva said.

"Is that it?" Rose asked.

"Got any silver bullets?" Eva asked her.

"Not on me, no."

"There we are, we run," the Doctor said before turning to the Queen. "Your Majesty, as a Doctor I recommend a vigorous jog. Good for the health."

And with that he grabbed her hand and led her away, Rose and Sir Robert following with Eva in the back, bow at the ready.

"Come on! Come on!" the Doctor said when he saw her behind the rest of them, staying back to make sure she made it through one of the doors in time.

He held her hand as they ran, the wolf slowly gaining on them. Just as he launched at the two, ready to kill, a shot was fired and Eva raised her head to see Captain Reynolds holding a gun.

"I'll take this position and hold it," he said. "You keep moving, for God's sake. Your Majesty," he said, turning to the Queen. "I went to look for the property, it was taken. The chest was empty."

"I have it," the Queen said. "It's safe."

"Then remove yourself, ma'am," Reynolds told her, preparing to protect them.

"Captain," Eva said breathlessly. "It'll kill you."

"Then I'll be dead," Reynolds said. "Remain at her Majesty's side at all times, Miss, and do as you should. Doctor, you stand as Miss Eva's assistant. And you, Sir Robert," he said with undisguised disgust. "You're a traitor to the Crown."

"Bullets can't stop it," the Doctor warned.

"They'll buy you time," Reynolds told them. "Now run!"

Eva rushed forwards, grabbing the Queen's hand and pulling her into a close room. Behind them, the sound of bullets echoed in the corridor before there was a snarl and a scream, and it stopped.

Eva pushed aside all and every emotion she felt at the death of someone who had become close to her during the time she spent at the palace and moved on. She was here to save the Queen, first and foremost.

Anybody else she managed to save was nothing more than an added bonus.

EMH

"Barricade the door," the Doctor ordered and he, Sir Robert and Rose went straight to the task as Eva checked up on the Queen.

"This is the man you wished so hard would come?" the Queen questioned her. "He, the man of blasphemy and death?"

"He is the man that is going to save your life tonight," Eva told her.

"Is he?" the Queen questioned. "And who would save our souls?"

"Wait a minute, wait," the Doctor said, pausing as he looked at the door. "It's stopped." He leaned closer to the door, pressing his ear to it and Eva knew he was hearing the wolf growl quietly before retreating. "It's gone. Listen..."

Eva prepared her bow as she heard the wolf move around the room, stepping sideways so that the Queen was behind her at all times.

"Is this the only door?" the Doctor whispered.

"Yes, sir," Sir Robert said before calling out, "No!"

He and the Doctor ran and blocked the second door, stopping the wolf from coming in. The wolf crashed against it but then stopped, only sniffing, growling and hissing.

"I don't understand," Rose whispered. "What's stopping it?"

"Mistletoe," Eva replied. "The Brethren had to control him somehow."

"Tell you what, though," Rose muttered to the Doctor.

"What?" the Doctor asked, turning to look at her.

"Werewolf," Rose said, a smile jumping onto her face.

"I know!" the Doctor called happily before pulling her into a hug. "You all right?"

"I'm okay, yeah," she said.

"Eva?" the Doctor asked.

"Bit shaken," Eva replied.

"Not enough for a hug, apparently," the Queen said dryly.

"Your Majesty," Eva sighed, "With all due respect – and you know there is plenty to spare – I would very much appreciate it if we could keep my personal matters both personal and mine."

"I was only thinking about the fact that he seemed to have a Scottish accent earlier," the Queen told her.

"My Queen," Eva said. "Please."

"I'm sorry, ma'am." Their conversation was cut short by Sir Robert, who sat on a chair at the room's corner, his head in his hands. "It's all my fault. I should have sent you away."

"You tried," Eva told him. "You tried to suggest something was wrong."

"I thought you might notice," Sir Robert told the Doctor. "Was there nothing strange about my household staff?"

"They were bald, athletic," the Doctor noted. "Your wife's away, I thought you were happy."

"I tell you what, ma'am," Rose said. "I bet you're not amused now."

"Do you think this funny?" the Queen lashed out.

"No, I'm sorry," Rose said, ashamed.

"What, exactly," the Queen started. "I pray, tell me someone, please, what, exactly, is that creature?"

"You'd call it a werewolf," Eva told her.

"But it's more of a lupine wavelength 'haemovariform'," the Doctor completed.

"Should I trust you, sir?" the Queen questioned. "You, who change your voice so easily? What happened to your accent?" she asked.

"Oh, right," the Doctor started. "Sorry –"

"I'll not have it," the Queen declared. "No, sir, not you, not that thing, none of it. This is not my world."

"What about me?" Eva asked, making the Queen look at her. "Do you trust me?"

"I've only known you for six months," the Queen said.

"But do you trust me?" Eva pressed. "Do you trust me when I tell you that by the end of the night, you will be safe and the creature will be gone?"

The Queen looked at Eva evenly. "I do," she stated.

"Alright, then," Eva said, turning to look at the Doctor. "Mistletoe. In the walls."

"Mistletoe," the Doctor repeated, looking at the wall before licking it, much to everyone's disgust. "Viscum album. The oil of the mistletoe, it's been worked into the wood like a varnish. How clever was your dad?" he asked Sir Robert with a smile. "I love him! Powerful stuff, mistletoe, bursting with viscotoxins," he explained to the rest.

"And the wolf's allergic to it?" Rose asked.

"It thinks it is," Eva said. "Like I said, they had to control it somehow."

"Nevertheless, that creature won't give up," Sir Robert said. "And we still don't possess an actual weapon."

"Your father got all the brains," the Doctor told him.

"Being rude again," Rose told him.

"He meant that one," Eva informed her before turning to the shelves. "You want weapons? We're in a library."

"Books!" the Doctor declared. "Best weapons in the world. My Evie loves them, as well, but that's just an added bonus," he said with a wink at her direction and she smiled.

"Now, let me see," Eva said, looking through the different books until she found the big, brown one she was looking for and handing it to the Doctor, who had already put on his 'Brainy Specs'. "You'll find everything you need in here."

"Ooh!" the Doctor said, looking at the page Eva opened up for him. "Look what your old dad found. Something fell to Earth."

"A spaceship?" Rose asked.

"Shooting star," Sir Robert told her, before reading from the page. "'In the year of our Lord 1540, under the reign of King James V, an almighty fire did burn in the pit.' That's the Glen of Saint Catherine, by the monastery."

"That's 300 years ago," Rose said. "What's it been waiting for?"

"Only a single cell survived," Eva said. "Adapting slowly, down the generations, it survived, through the humans, host after host after host."

"Why does it want the throne?" Sir Robert asked.

"That's what it wants, it said so," Rose said. "The Empire of the Wolf."

"Imagine it," the Doctor muttered. "The Victorian age, accelerated – star ships and missiles fuelled by coal and driven by steam... leaving history devastated in its wake."

"Not on my watch," Eva growled.

"Sir Robert," the Queen started, "If I am to die here –"

"Don't say that, Your Majesty," Sir Robert quickly said.

"I would destroy myself, rather than let that creature infect me," the Queen said with disgust. "But that's no matter. I ask only that you might find some place of safekeeping for something far older and more precious than myself."

"Hardly time to worry about your valuables," the Doctor told her.

"Shut up," Eva told him.

"Thank you for your opinion, Doctor," the Queen bit out. "But there is nothing more valuable than this." She pulled out the diamond from her bag, causing the Doctor and Rose's eyes to widen.

"Oh, Your Majesty," the Doctor muttered, shocked.

"Is that the Koh-I-Noor?" Rose asked in disbelief.

"Oh, yes," the Queen replied. "The greatest diamond in the world. Given to me as the spoils of war. Perhaps its legend is now coming true. It is said that whoever owns it must surely die."

"That's true of anything, if you wait long enough," the Doctor commented, before reaching out towards her. "Can I?" The Queen hesitated before handing it over to him. "That is so beautiful."

"How much is that worth?" Rose asked.

"They say, the wages of the entire planet, for a whole week," the Doctor told her.

"Good job my mum's not here," Rose muttered. "She'd be fighting the wolf off with her bare hands for that thing."

"She'd win," the Doctor and Eva said together, glancing at each other with a small smile.

"Where is the wolf?" Sir Robert questioned. "I don't trust this silence."

"Why d'you travel with it?" the Doctor asked.

"My annual pilgrimage," the Queen explained. "I'm taking it to Hellier and Carew, the royal jewellers, at Hazlehead. The stone needs recutting."

"But it's perfect," Rose said.

"My late husband never thought so," the Queen told her.

"There's a fact," the Doctor said. "Prince Albert kept on having it cut down. Used to be 40% bigger than this. But he was never happy. Kept on cutting and cutting."

"He always said the shine was not quite right," the Queen said. "But he died with it still unfinished."

"Unfinished..." the Doctor muttered. "Oh, yes! There's a lot of unfinished business here. His father's research," he said, marking at Sir Robert, "And your husband, ma'am, he came here, and he sought the perfect diamond. Hold on, all these separate things, they're not separate at all, they're connected. My head!" he called out before stepping closer to the Queen. "This house, it's a trap for you, is that right?"

"Obviously," Eva snorted, though she wore a small smile, knowing the Doctor was catching on.

"You see, that's what the wolf intended," the Doctor said. "But what if there's a trap inside the trap?"

"Explain yourself, Doctor," the Queen demanded.

"What if his father and your husband weren't just telling each other stories?" the Doctor asked. "They dared to imagine all this was true. Laying the real trap, not for you, but for the wolf."

"Er... Doctor?" Eva asked, cutting off the Doctor's line of thought as they heard growling. "Now might be a good time to look up."

The Doctor's eyes widened as he saw the wolf walking on the ceiling's window. "Out! Out! Out!" he called out, pushing the rest of them towards the door. "Gotta get to the observatory!"

They ran out once more, Eva leading the way with her bow at the ready, prepared to shoot if needed. She turned around at the sound of a growl, seeing the wolf jump on Rose only for it to be attacked by burning water.

"Good shot!" the Doctor called, looking at Lady Isobel and the servants.

"It was mistletoe," Isobel breathed.

"Isobel..." Sir Robert said as Eva leaned down to dip the tips of her arrow into the mistletoe-water. When she stood up, she saw the two of them kissing before Sir Robert broke the kiss for long enough to tell her to get back downstairs, and Lady Isobel ran down with the maids.

"The observatory's this way," Sir Robert said, sending them running once more.

"No mistletoe here," the Doctor muttered when they reached the observatory. "Cause your father wanted the wolf inside. Is there any way of barricading this?"

"Do your work, and I'll defend it," Sir Robert said.

"If we could bind them shut..." the Doctor muttered.

"I said, I'll find you time, sir," Sir Robert told him sharply.

"Not on my watch," Eva said. "You are not dying here, sir."

"Eva," the Doctor started.

"My arrows have mistletoe on them," Eva said. "I'll hold him off longer."

"It'll kill you," Sir Robert said.

"My All-Knower has the habit of not staying dead for long," the Queen told him.

"She's not untouchable," the Doctor said.

"She's here with you," Eva cut him off. "And I have made my choice. My Queen," she said with a small bow. "It had truly been an honour."

"You are very brave, child," the Queen told her.

"Eva, don’t," the Doctor all but begged.

"Doctor..." Eva sighed, pulling him into a short kiss. "I'm sorry, but we don’t have time for this." She smiled sadly. "Until the next time."

"Eva, no!" the Doctor called, but Eva had already closed the doors behind her.

The wolf growled and snarled as it came closer and Eva readied her bow, prepared to shoot it as soon as it was within her sight.

"Why do I have the feeling I’m going to regret this?" she muttered just before she saw him appear and released the arrow.

It hit its mark, sending the wolf back for a moment before it charged forwards once more. Eva quickly set another arrow, and then another, each of them managing to buy a little more time both for her and the Doctor.

She didn’t even notice her locket was glowing until it started pulling her away and let out a deep breath, knowing that a moment later and the wolf's jaws would have closed over her head.

The bow and arrows fell from her hand as she disappeared into a world of lights and sounds, losing consciousness as soon as she arrived.

EMH

"Is she dead?"

"Don't be silly, of course she isn’t dead."

"She doesn’t look like she's sleeping."

"That's because she isn’t asleep. She's unconscious." There was a pause, and then, "Are you really set on going to Gallifrey?"

"Yes."

"Oh. I think she's starting to wake up." She heard a movement next to her and slowly opened her eyes. "Slowly, now," the Fourth Doctor told her. "I think that was a rough one for you."

"They're all rough," Eva muttered, allowing him to pull her into a standing position. "When am I?"

"The Doctor was just about to take me to Gallifrey," Adric told her, before looking at the Doctor. "That is where we're going, isn't it?"

"One of the questions I was just pondering," the Doctor told him. "There's bound to be an awful lot of fuss about Romana. Why she stayed in E-Space, official investigations, that sort of thing."

"The Time Lords won't approve?" Adric asked.

"What?" the Doctor asked, turning to look at him. "She has broken the cardinal rule of Gallifrey. She has become involved, and in a pretty permanent sort of way. I think that the three of us should let a few oceans flow under a few bridges before we head back home."

"So we don't get to go to Gallifrey?" Adric asked.

"Yes," the Doctor told him.

"Let me put another question to you," Eva told the two. "I have a place in mind that we could go to."

"Really?" the Doctor asked.

"Really," Eva nodded. "It's my home, and your home away from home."

"What is it?" Adric asked, looking between Eva's mysterious smirk and the Doctor's interested face.

"It's called Earth," Eva told him. "It's where I was born and where I grew up. And it's also where the Doctor always comes back to, eventually." She smiled at his direction before looking down at her dress, now half-torn and dirty. "Though perhaps I should change first."

"Go to your room," the Doctor told her. "We will be waiting for you here."

Eva smiled, standing on tip-toes to kiss his cheek before walking away, unaware to how shocked the simple action left the Time Lord and the teenager behind her.

Chapter Text

"Earth's the planet with all the oceans, isn't it?" she heard Adric ask the Doctor as she came back to the room, dressed in a simple jeans and t-shirt.

"That's the chap," the Doctor confirmed.

"Wet," Adric commented.

"Britain is," Eva said, joining the conversation. “Nothing’s better than a cup of hot cocoa on a rainy day.”

"That's the one place where we can find these blue boxes," the Doctor added.

"TARDISes?" Adric asked.

"Yes, but they're not," the Doctor told him. "The space is a combination of things that don't even time travel, just elementary Earth communications devices. And more or less obsolete by the time we'll be arriving there. There's some in the North that are still in use."

"But we've got communications devices," Adric said, not understanding.

"But not a police box," Eva said as if it were obvious.

"A police box?" Adric questioned.

"Yes," the Doctor said. "What the mathematical model of a TARDIS exterior is based upon."

At that, Adric frowned. "I'd like to see Earth," he said. "But why go all that way... just to look at something that looks like the TARDIS?"

"Because I want to measure it," the Doctor explained.

"Whatever for?"

"Block transfer computation."

"Never heard of that."

"I'm not surprised," the Doctor muttered. "Logopolis is a quiet planet."

"Logopolis?" Adric asked. "But I thought we were going to Earth."

"That, too," Eva said. "We go to Logopolis afterwards."

"You mean we're going to measure Logopolis, too?" Adric asked, confused.

"No, no, no," the Doctor said. "It's all to do with the chameleon circuit problem. One I blame you for, by the way," he added, pointing at Eva.

"Me?" Eva asked. "Why is it my fault?"

"Well, considering you were the one to break it in the first place –"

"I did that?" Eva asked, a smile building on her face. "But you never let me fly the TARDIS!"

"And now you know why," the Doctor muttered. "We measure the police box on Earth then take the measurements to Logopolis," he told Adric, leading him to the door. "Come on, I'll show you –"

A bell was heard, and all three people in the room paused. The Doctor walked to the centre of the room before stopping to listen.

"What is it?" Adric asked.

"The Cloister Bell," the Doctor told him, walking out of the room with the other two in tow.

EMH

The Doctor, Adric and Eva walked in the corridors, trying to reach the Console Room when the ringing suddenly stopped.

"It's stopped," Adric said.

"Thank you, Captain Obvious," Eva muttered.

"What does it mean?" Adric asked the Doctor, ignoring her.

"Well, nothing when it's not ringing," the Doctor said.

"But it did ring," Adric said. "Is there a wild catastrophe?"

"Apparently not," Eva shrugged.

"Well, something must have made it ring," Adric rationalized.

"Yes," the Doctor agreed, taking them through a new corridor. "Unless it's our old friend, entropy, nibbling away at the system circuitry. Let's take a look."

"But you were saying about the chameleon circuit..." Adric called after him.

"Well, the exterior of a TARDIS still exists as a real space-time event," Eva told him as they moved to catch up with the Doctor's pace.

"But mapped onto one of the interior continua," Adric completed.

"Precisely," the Doctor said, impressed with their knowledge. "That's very good."

"So you can change it into anything you like," Adric said.

"Theoretically," Eva snickered.

"Again, you fault," he said, pointing at her.

"That's a sore point," Eva told Adric knowingly.

"According to the handbook, yeah," the Doctor said. "Because the outer plasmic shell of a TARDIS is driven by the chameleon circuit, or so theory runs."

"In practice..." Eva said in a singsong voice.

"I always meant to ask Romana to help me to fix it one day," the Doctor shrugged.

"Why?" Eva asked. "I like it the way it is."

"Really?" the Doctor asked sceptically.

"Really," Eva said. "The mad man and his blue box."

"Our blue box," the Doctor corrected.

"No," Eva shook her head. "The TARDIS was always yours."

"You were there right from the start," the Doctor said. "It's yours as much as it is mine, if not more."

"Is this argument really important right now?" Adric asked.

"I suppose not," Eva shrugged, moving forwards.

"It is," she heard the Doctor mutter behind her, but paid it no mind.

"So, the chameleon circuit's stuck?" Adric asked.

"Yes," Eva said.

"In Totter's Yard."

"In a totter's yard," the Doctor corrected, walking into the Console Room. "Anyway, it was ages ago, it doesn't matter. Eva broke it right after I borrowed her."

"Borrowed," Eva snorted. "Right."

"Do you have a retort for everything I say?" the Doctor questioned as he leaned down under the console.

"Yes," Eva retorted.

"Wait," Adric said. "I thought the TARDIS was yours."

"Well, on a sort of finders-keepers basis, yes," the Doctor said. "Anything happening up there?"

"No," Adric said. The Doctor pulled a string and a keyboard came out of the console. "Yes."

"Good," the Doctor said, standing up again.

"What do these numbers and letters mean?" Adric asked, looking at the keyboard.

"Well, it's an early version," the Doctor said. "The instructions have to be punched in by machine code."

"Oh, how boring," Adric muttered.

"Boring?" the Doctor called out, typing. "In theory, we should be able to do things like this." A pyramid appeared on screen. "There. You have a door there."

"Yes, I suppose that's useful," Adric said.

"We've gotta be able to get in and out," the Doctor said as if it was obvious.

"He meant being able to change like that," Eva said with an eye roll. "And say what you want, but even a space station won't compare to this one beautiful police box."

"Someone's got attached, don’t you think?" the Doctor questioned. "But the change can be useful. That's how the Master hid from us on Traken... Anyway, if this worked, I'd just have to punch a few buttons like this, and we'd be a pyramid," the Doctor said as he hit the buttons.

The pyramid on screen disappeared and a blue police box appeared in its stead.

"Told you," Eva said victoriously.

"It's very distinctive," Adric commented.

"Yes," the Doctor said. "I'm not sure we should be distinctive."

"Why?" Adric asked. "Who's looking for us now? You've disposed of the Master."

"Yes," the Doctor said. "But since we left Traken, and Eva appeared, and then the Cloister Bell..."

"Wild catastrophe?" Adric asked, and the Doctor hummed in agreement. "Man the battle stations?"

"Yes," the Doctor said sombrely, though he was shaken out of it moments later when a sound came out of the console.

"Earth," Eva declared with a smile. "Nearly there."

EMH

"Were you really born on Earth?" Adric asked as the Doctor did whatever he was doing to land the TARDIS.

"Born and raised," Eva confirmed. "Though it happened in two different time-eras."

"How's it like?" Adric questioned.

"Amazing," Eva replied. "I had friends who lived in the west, by the beach. We used to watch the sunset together... all of those colours on the water." She shook her head. "But that was before I met the Doctor."

"Aren't you in touch with them any longer?" Adric asked.

"They're quite unreachable," Eva said sadly. "They'd never believe me if I told them everything I've been through."

Adric opened his mouth to ask something more when the sound of the TARDIS landing was heard. The Doctor stepped towards an empty spot, looking around it and touching the air.

"We've missed," he declared.

"What's supposed to happen?" Adric asked, checking the air where the Doctor was moments ago.

"Well, it isn't supposed to be a miss, but I thought just for once we might materialise on the right coordinates," the Doctor said.

"You never materialise on the right coordinates," Eva said. "And if you do, you miss on the year. Occasionally, you miss on both."

"2.6 meters off target, what a landing," the Doctor sighed as he opened the scanner.

"It's not bad for the TARDIS," Adric said.

"That's what he just said," Eva told him with a smile. "What a landing."

Adric reached out towards the console and the Doctor pushed his hand aside.

"No, don't open the door," he scolded.

"Aren't we going out there to measure it?" Adric asked.

"There's no need to draw attention to ourselves," the Doctor said. “There's a simpler way, if I can just organise it. The TARDIS and I are getting rather better at these short hops."

"The TARDIS was always good at it," Eva laughed. "It's you who got a problem driving it."

"Quiet, you," the Doctor said, though there was no real anger in his voice. He pushed a couple of buttons and the TARDIS moved, making a blue police box appear inside of it.

"It's just like the TARDIS!" Adric called moving forwards to look at it.

"I hope not," the Doctor said. "That could produce some unpleasant dimensional anomalies. No, it's just an ordinary police box, around which we've materialised with considerable finesse, I hope you've noticed."

"Yeah, right," Eva laughed as Adric started reading from the box.

"Police Telephone," he said, taking the phone in his hand. "Free for use of –"

"No, no, no, leave it alone," the Doctor scolded. "It's a communications device. Adric, take down these dimensions. I've been meaning to do this for centuries."

"Why?" Eva asked. "What's wrong with the TARDIS as it is?"

"It's a police box," the Doctor said.

"I know!" Eva called, frowning as she saw the Doctor measure it out. "You won't change your mind, will you?"

"No."

Eva frowned, turning on her heel and walking towards the corridor. "Spoilsport!" she called out behind her.

All the Doctor did was chuckle in response.

EMH

About an hour later, Eva walked back into the Console Room to see the Doctor and Adric still standing there.

"Honestly!" she called. "I ate, showered, changed my clothes, had a smoke and the two of you are still here?"

"I was just explaining Adric what will we be doing on Logopolis," the Doctor told her. "Still smoking, I see?"

"Got a problem with that?" she asked, daring him to reply with a positive.

"Not at all," the Doctor said.

"Why do we have to go to Logopolis if the theory is as simple as you say?" Adric asked, hardly bothered by Eva's return to the room as he laid on top of the police box.

"Because the actual working out's incredibly tedious," Eva said. "And he's lazy."

"Much better to leave it to the Logopolitans," the Doctor defended. "They do it standing on their heads."

"Not with a computer?" Adric asked, causing Eva to laugh.

"'Standing on their heads' is an expression," she said.

"Oh," Adric said, slightly ashamed.

"As a matter of fact, they don't use computers," the Doctor told the duo. "They use word of mouth."

"Is that another expression?" Adric asked.

"No," the Doctor replied.

"They speak it?" Adric asked.

"Mutter," the Doctor said. "Intone."

"Intone the computations?" Adric asked, shocked.

"Yes," the Doctor said.

"Why?"

"I've wondered that myself," the Doctor mused. "Never quite had the nerve to ask them."

That line of thought was cut off by sounds coming from the console. Eva, the Doctor and Adric neared it, the Doctor pressing buttons before looking at one of the screens.

"Another instrumentation failure," he said.

"A gravity bubble?" Adric asked.

"No," the Doctor said.

A series of beeping noises played and Eva rolled her eyes. "Definitely a gravity bubble," she said.

"Yes," the Doctor said. "Pretty local, too, by the look of it."

"Is that dangerous?" Adric asked.

"Well, we better not dematerialise till I've investigated," the Doctor told him. "I have a feeling I'm overlooking the obvious again."

"That's because you are," Eva retorted.

"Are you going to help me out?" the Doctor asked her.

"Nope," she said, smiling.

"Then stay quiet," he ordered, heading towards the door. "Back in two shakes."

Adric rolled his eyes, heading towards the police box that stood in the middle of the TARDIS and trying to open the door. When he failed, he started picking the lock, Eva coming to stand closer to him.

"What are you doing?" the Doctor asked from behind them and Adric turned to look at him.

"I thought it might have something to do with the gravity bubble," Adric said.

"What?" the Doctor asked, pulling him back.

"I'm afraid you're right," Eva said as the police box's door opened. She and Adric made a move to enter it, but the Doctor pulled them back.

"No," he said. "Better leave this to me."

"You wish," Eva muttered, following him inside with Adric right behind her.

They walked into a Console Room, and the Doctor swallowed hard.

"Get back to the TARDIS," he ordered.

"But this is the TARDIS," Adric said.

"A TARDIS, perhaps," the Doctor replied.

"It looks just like yours," Adric said.

"Down to the last detail," Eva muttered.

Adric turned to do as the Doctor told him but was stopped when the Doctor called out.

"No, wait, wait," he said. "This could be terribly dangerous. You'd better stay with me."

"Never planned otherwise," Eva said with a nervous smile, taking the Doctor's hand in hers.

"So it is another TARDIS?" Adric asked.

"It's too early to tell," the Doctor replied. "There are other things that can cause this sort of dimensional anomaly."

"See if you can do that again," Eva told him, marking at the door of the police box inside the TARDIS.

Adric picked the lock and the trio walked inside, only to find themselves in yet another TARDIS.

"How many more of these are there?" Adric asked. "It couldn't be an infinite regression, could it?"

"I hope not," the Doctor said. "Because if it is, we'll never get out of it."

"Adric, could you?" Eva asked, marking at the police box in the middle of the room.

Adric sighed, taking out his lock pick kit when a bell started ringing. "Listen," he said.

"Someone's trying to get in touch with us," Eva muttered.

"We can't go back now," the Doctor said.

Adric hesitated before picking the lock. "Done it," he muttered.

"We must be getting near to the nucleus of the bubble," the Doctor commented.

"What's causing it?" Adric asked.

"Another TARDIS," Eva replied.

"What?" Adric asked. "Materialising around the police box just as we plan to do?"

"Yes," the Doctor said. "And someone's been here before us. Stay here, Adric, Eva."

"What part of I'm staying with you isn’t clear?" Eva muttered, not letting go of his hand as she walked into the police box with him.

The Doctor blinked as they found themselves outside.

"Ah, good morning," a detective said, coming closer to them.

"Good morning," Eva said, and the Doctor nodded in acknowledgement.

"This your vehicle?" the detective asked.

The Doctor looked around, confused. "Which vehicle?" he asked.

"The sports car," the detective said.

"No," the Doctor said.

"Ah," the detective said thoughtfully. "I just wondered how you come to be here. There is only the road, after all."

"It isn't easy to explain," the Doctor told him.

"Well, while you're trying to work that one out, perhaps you'd like to explain this," the detective told the duo, marking them to come closer to the car.

The Doctor looked inside and his grasp on Eva's hand tightened as they saw two miniature dolls, one of an officer and one of a woman Eva knew to be Tegan's aunt.

"So he did escape from Traken," he muttered.

"I think you'd better come along with us," the detective said, noticing the Doctor knew something they didn’t.

"But he's still about somewhere," the Doctor said.

"He, sir?"

"The Master," Eva replied.

"Now, just a minute, Officer," the Doctor said. "You don't realise what's going on here."

"No, sir," the detective agreed. "And I don't want to have to go into detail. You want to think yourself lucky that I don't have to be the judge."

"Me, lucky?" the Doctor asked. "You don't think that I... You do think," the Doctor said, shocked.

"I'm not paid to have opinions, sir," the detective said. "I'm paid to do my duty."

"Well, we do have opinions," Eva said.

"This is the calling card of the most evil genius in the universe, and I have to tell you gentlemen I've got to get after him," the Doctor said.

"Now if you'll just help me to create a diversion?" Eva asked, loud enough so that Adric, who had in the meanwhile walked out of the TARDIS, could hear.

"I think you just better come along to the station with us, sir," the detective said. "Miss."

"We'd love to," the Doctor said.

"Just to assist us in our enquiries," the detective told them, leading them towards the car.

"Would you mind awfully if I stopped and telephoned our solicitor?" the Doctor asked, marking at his TARDIS.

"You can do that back at the station," the detective said.

"It seems we're going to be awfully busy at the station," Eva noted. "Isn't that a telephone box?"

"That's a police box, miss, not for –"

"That would do fine, don't you agree?" the Doctor asked.

"Look, sir," the detective said sharply. "If you want a formal arrest –"

"No," the Doctor quickly said, letting Eva into the car before entering as well, the detective right behind them.

Chapter Text

"Help!" a voice called. "Help me, please, quickly!"

Eva smiled at the Doctor as she opened the door next to her, jumping out and running towards the TARDIS, the Doctor's hand in hers.

"Help!" Adric called from underneath a pair of bicycle he had just found. "Please help!"

"Davis, get them!" the detective called, and Davis helped Adric from underneath the bike. "Not that one, you fool. The other one!"

Eva opened the TARDIS' doors, running inside with the Doctor hot on her heel. Not a moment later, Adric joined them and the three listened to the Cloister Bell ring.

"The box is gone," Adric noted.

"It could be anywhere in the TARDIS," the Doctor told him.

"Battle stations?" Adric asked.

"Absolutely," Eva said.

"The Cloister Bell," Adric started.

"A choice of emergencies," the Doctor said. "We'd better dematerialise first."

He pressed a couple of buttons, then frowned.

"What's the matter?" Adric asked.

"The TARDIS is very sluggish," the Doctor said, glancing at Eva worriedly. "We may not have any choice at all. It's dragging us back."

"We'll have to find some more power from somewhere," Eva said.

"The Cloister Bell," Adric repeated.

"Shut the door, then," the Doctor instructed. "There must be some way of simplifying this." He circled the console thoughtfully.

"Architectural configuration," Eva supplied.

"That's the one," the Doctor said with a small smile.

"What's that?" Adric asked.

"Interior allocation of space," the Doctor explained. "Adric, Eva, I'm going to jettison Romana's room."

"Are you sure?" Adric asked worriedly.

"This is life," the Doctor said. "Nothing's sure."

"I'm sorry," Adric started. "I just –"

"Do you want a quick decision or a debate?" the Doctor called.

"Sorry!" Adric defended, slightly wary.

"You see," the Doctor said once the deed was done and the TARDIS was working. "There's no need to shout."

Eva hit him over the head. "That was rude, and unkind," she told him sternly.

"I have no time for this," the Doctor muttered.

"Well, make time," Eva instructed.

"We're moving," Adric stated.

"Yes," the Doctor said.

"So that other TARDIS really has gone," Adric said.

"Somehow I rather doubt that," the Doctor muttered. "Come on, Adric."

"But aren't you going to answer the Cloister Bell?" Adric questioned.

"Why don't you answer it?" the Doctor asked. "Go on. Go on," he repeated, seeing the teenager's hesitation.

"What was that for?" Eva asked the Doctor once Adric was out of reach.

"What was what?" Adric asked.

"Your rudeness," Eva replied. "As used to it as I may be, it normally doesn’t reach those levels."

"Well, normally the Master isn’t here," the Doctor retorted.

"You can't use him as an excuse for your behaviour," Eva scolded.

"I can, and I will," the Doctor replied, just before Adric came back.

"Doctor, it stopped," he said.

"Yes," the Doctor said. "So now we know."

"Know what?" Adric asked.

"The message was very faint," the Doctor replied. "It was from Traken."

"Traken?" Adric asked, concerned. "How's Nyssa?"

"Nyssa?" Eva repeated, confused for a moment before she remembered Nyssa was a companion of the Doctor's.

"Nyssa's all right," the Doctor said.

"Tremas?"

"Vanished," the Doctor replied. "The Master must have had a second TARDIS hidden away somewhere."

"The Master's escaped from Traken?" Adric asked. "But why take Nyssa's father?"

"To renew himself," the Doctor replied. "He was very near the end of his 12th regeneration."

"He's taken over Tremas?" Adric asked.

"Yes."

"Can a Time Lord do that?"

"Well," the Doctor said, "Not just a Time Lord by himself, but with some of the powers of the Keepership still lingering, and I was so sure, I was so sure... He must've known I was going to fix the chameleon circuit."

"He read your mind?" Adric asked.

"He's a Time Lord," Eva said. "In many ways, they have the same mind. And I told you fixing the chameleon circuit was a bad idea!"

"Not now, Eva!" the Doctor called out, making Eva jump back.

Adric looked between them, worried. "Are we still going to Logopolis?" he finally asked.

"No," the Doctor said sharply. "How can we with the Master in the TARDIS? They're retiring people. They like a quiet life. There's no telling what a creature like that would do on Logopolis."

"So how do we flush him out?" Adric asked.

"And there's no saying what that might do to the TARDIS systems," the Doctor joked, before turning serious once more. "Can you swim?"

"Yes," Adric replied.

"Eva?"

"Do I want to know why you're asking me this?"

"Eva!"

"Yes, I can swim!" she called out. "And if you'll keep treating me like this I just might swim out!"

"Materialise the TARDIS underwater," the Doctor mused, ignoring her. "And open the door." He opened the scanner, uploading a picture. "That's the River Thames. We'll put down there."

"And water sluices in and floods out the whole TARDIS," Adric said.

"Yes," the Doctor confirmed.

"London in 1981," Eva mused. "I even have a place to go to."

"Don't be silly," the Doctor retorted. "Where do you have to go?"

"My life doesn't revolve around you, you know!" Eva called out.

"Really?" the Doctor asked. "So you don’t just pop in and out of my timeline?"

"I'll just wait until I pop to a different you," she told him. "The last one I've been with ignored me almost completely and he was still better!"

"And what would you do in the meanwhile?" the Doctor questioned. "Where will you stay?"

"With my father," Eva said determinedly.

At that, the Doctor paused. "Your... father?" he repeated.

"I must have told you I was born in this universe," Eva said. "A single call to my father and he'll pick me up. I could stay with him until I'm pulled away again."

"Don't," the Doctor quickly said.

"Why not?" Eva asked. "I'm clearly not wanted here."

"You are," the Doctor told her. "You always are."

"Then start acting like it!"

"It's because of the Master," the Doctor explained. "I don’t like the thought of you being anywhere near him."

"Deal with it," Eva told him sharply. "I don’t know how many times I'm going to have to say this, but I'm not a china doll, nor am I a damsel in distress! I can protect myself – I have done it before and surely will do it again. You can't use the Master as an excuse for your behaviour. Now stop acting like a child and start acting like the 700 year-old man that you are, Scarfy!"

By the time she finished, Eva was slightly out of breath and tears threatened to fall from her eyes. The Doctor neared her and pulled her into a tight hug.

"I'm sorry," he whispered in her ear.

"You should be," Eva told him. "Now go and drown your TARDIS."

"Our TARDIS," the Doctor corrected with a smile. "Scarfy?"

"It fits you," Eva shrugged.

"I missed you calling me that," the Doctor admitted before looking away from her. "Adric, shut down everything. Fold back the Omega configuration."

"Folded back," Adric said.

"Good," the Doctor nodded at him, pulling and pressing on the console. "Exponential cross-field?"

"Halted."

"Good. Pathways to conditional states 7 to 17?"

"Closed."

"Excellent. Main and auxiliary drive?"

"Ended."

"Good," the Doctor looked at Eva. "Now, we're partially materialised so there'll be a slight jolt. Are you ready?"

"If you are," Adric replied.

"What?" the Doctor asked. "Well, I'd feel more confident if you just said yes."

"Yes," Eva said, coming to stand next to him.

"Good," the Doctor said. "Here we go, then." The TARDIS shook and the Doctor looked at the scanner. "A gentle splash-down," he muttered, right before there was a hit that made the trio fall to the ground. "We must've touched bottom!" he called, standing up.

"Touched bottom?" Adric repeated.

"Good thing that the water was there to break our fall," the Doctor said.

"That was after the water broke our fall?" Eva questioned, rubbing the spot on her head where she hit herself falling down. "You know, sometimes I think it really will be better if I was the one to fly the TARDIS."

"Not gonna happen," the Doctor said shortly, moving towards the door. "Careful now," he said. "The water pressure could send all three of us flying. Ready?" he asked Adric, who was standing at the ready with the button to take down the exterior shell of the TARDIS.

"Yes," Adric nodded, as Eva moved closer to the Doctor.

"Now!" the Doctor called.

Adric pressed the button and ran forwards, ready to help the Doctor hold down the doors. Eva hid a small smile as she remembered the scene and watched the Doctor work out what had happened.

"That's odd," he muttered. "There's no pressure on those doors at all."

"Perhaps we aren't down very deep," Adric offered.

The doors opened and the trio walked out to find themselves standing on a boat in the River Thames.

"Ah," the Doctor sighed. "I thought there'd be a perfectly simple explanation."

"Nearly got it right," Adric said, trying to lighten the Doctor's mood.

"Nearly, but not quite right," Eva commented.

"There's something not quite right about all of this," the Doctor said.

"The Master," Adric said.

The trio turned to look at a white figure standing on the bridge and looking at them, its hand raising as if to acknowledge their presence.

"Nothing like this has ever happened before," the Doctor said.  "I've got to get to the bottom of this. You stay here."

"Ahem?" Eva cleared her throat questioningly.

"You can come," the Doctor quickly said. "Or stay. Whichever you want to do."

"I'll stay," Eva told him. "But only cause you asked so nicely."

She couldn’t help but smile as the Doctor rolled his eyes.

EMH

As soon as the Doctor came back, he rushed into the TARDIS with Eva and Adric hot on his heel.

"Door!" he ordered.

"Who was that?" Adric asked, complying. "Doctor, who was that?" he repeated sternly when the Doctor said nothing.

"Set," the Doctor said.

"Where are we going?" Adric asked.

"Logopolis," the Doctor said.

"What?"

"I've just dipped into the future," the Doctor said darkly. "We must be prepared for the worst."

He flew the TARDIS away and moved closer to Adric and Eva.

"So that was the Master?" Adric asked.

"How do you deduce that?" the Doctor asked him.

"I just guessed," Adric shrugged.

"Never guess," the Doctor said. "Unless you have to. There's enough uncertainty in the universe as it is."

"But we can help you, can't we?" Eva asked.

"In the ordinary way, yes," the Doctor told her. "This is something far too serious."

"What sort of something?" Adric asked.

"A chain of circumstances that fragments the law that holds the universe together," the Doctor told them.

"Logopolis?" Eva asked.

"Yes," the Doctor said. "That aerial's a recent addition."

"Are we going to be staying long?" Adric questioned.

"You are," the Doctor replied.

"What?"

"You and I have to part company," the Doctor said. "I'd prefer Eva to stay with you, but I doubt it would happen."

"That's the first smart thing you said about me all day long," Eva told him.

"Look, if you're going after Nyssa, I'm coming, too," Adric said determinedly.

"Adric, don't argue," the Doctor said tiredly.

The door that separated the Console Room from the rest of the TARDIS opened and Tegan ran inside, looking shaken and distressed.

"I demand to see whoever's in charge of this ship!" she said, causing Adric and the Doctor to look at each other worriedly.

"That would be him," Eva said, marking at the Doctor.

"Traitor," he muttered.

"Be nice," Eva told him, kissing his cheek before walking away. "I'll make some tea. It seems we're all quite in the need of it."

EMH

Eva hummed to herself as she put the kettle on. She knew what was going to happen right now, and honestly couldn’t bother with it.

The Doctor would ask Tegan a couple of questions and she'd answer them – at least until it all became too much and she'd demand he'd take her back to earth and her aunt. The Doctor would then realize her aunt was the woman from the car and tell her she's staying with them.

By then, Eva should be back with the tea, calm Tegan down and they could head out to Logopolis.

Eva put the tea and teacups on a tray and took it to the Console Room. She expected to hear Tegan talking to the Doctor and demanding he'd take her home, but was surprised to be met with silence. The Console Room was empty.

"Seriously?" she muttered to herself, stabilizing the tray on a nearby chair and heading for the door. "Would it have killed him to wait for me?"

She pressed on the button on the console that was supposed to open the door, but nothing happened. Frowning, she pressed the button again. Again, nothing happened.

Eva walked to the door, pushing it slightly only to find it locked.

"Doctor?" she asked. "Doctor, let me out. Doctor!"

She banged on the door, anger building up inside of her.

"Doctor!" she called. "Doctor, open this door right now!"

She kicked the door, frustrated, before turning her back to it and slipping to the floor. The odds that the Doctor was still close enough to the TARDIS to hear her were slim and she knew that even if he could hear her, he wouldn’t open the door.

For the first time since she appeared in this universe, Eva wished she was with a different Doctor – a New Who Doctor. Not because she thought they wouldn’t lock her in the TARDIS – she knew that it was more than likely that they still would – but because at least the Doctor's companion would have a cell phone she could call.

Not that she knew any of their numbers.

A thought occurred to her and she jumped to her feet, running to her room. Standing in the middle of it, she looked around.

She was young, as the Doctor reminded her all too often. That meant there were plenty of older versions of her who had travelled the TARDIS before, and knew what had happened here and now.

"If I were an older me," she muttered to herself, "Where would I leave myself a note?"

Probably in the first place you'd look in, a small voice replied and Eva rolled her eyes.

She walked towards the desk, opening the top drawer and smiled at the sight of a note bearing a telephone number. Walking back to the Console Room, she used the phone that was stationed there to make a call, and waited.

It wasn’t long before she received a reply.

"Eva," Martha said happily. "How are you?"

"Been better," Eva replied. "Can you pass me the Doctor?"

"Of course," Martha said. "Doctor! Eva's on the line!"

"Evie!" the Doctor called as he took the phone from Martha. "How are you?"

"Pissed," Eva replied. "You'll never guess where I am."

"Where are you?" the Doctor asked cautiously.

"Logopolis."

"Oh," the Doctor said in understanding, swallowing nervously. "Have the TARDIS shrunk yet?"

"Not yet," Eva said bitterly. "Guess I have a lot to look out for."

"Yeah, sorry about that," the Doctor sighed. "It was back when I was paranoid about the Master getting to you."

"Well, it's my third time meeting a young you and my third time meeting the Master and this is the worst you've ever been," Eva told him.

"Yeah, I may have overreacted on this one," the Doctor admitted.

"You think?"

"But that's the worst I've ever done!" he added quickly. "I've never locked you in the TARDIS afterwards."

"You better have not," Eva said. "I think I just might kill you if you attempt to do this again."

"Noted," the Doctor replied, but Eva could hear the smile in his voice. "Well, I've got to go now, we're going to check an abandoned house in London. See you soon!"

"See you soon," Eva replied, hanging up the phone and looking around at the empty Console Room.

What was she supposed to do now?

Chapter Text

Eva was smoking a cigarette. In the middle of the Console Room.

She felt slightly bad about it, since the smoke was probably bothering the TARDIS but since the machine herself had provided her with an ashtray, she supposed she was on her side this time. The Doctor hated the smell of cigarette smoke, in all of his incarnations, and now the room he spent most of his time in was smelling of it.

She was just thinking of what she was going to say to him when she saw him again when he walked through the doors, heading straight to the console without sparing her a glance.

"Doctor!" she called angrily, leaving the still lit cigarette in the ashtray and marching towards him.

"Not now, Eva," he said, typing the data the Logopolitans gave him.

"Don't you 'Not now' me, Mister!" she called. "You locked me in here!"

"That I have," the Doctor nodded. "Now, if you'll excuse me –"

"I will not!"

"I have some things quite more important to handle at the moment, Eva," the Doctor said sternly. "We could deal with your tantrum later."

"My what?"

Eva was shocked by the Doctor's disrespect, staring at him as she tried to understand whether or not he actually meant what he had just told her. Using his moment of peace, the Doctor finished typing in the data before raising his head.

"What is this dreadful smell?" he asked.

"I had a smoke," Eva told him.

"You smoked in my TARDIS?!"

"I thought it was our TARDIS," Eva sneered. "And, for your information, our TARDIS had produced an ashtray in the middle of the Console Room, so I don’t believe she minded much about my smoking."

"You smoked in my TARDIS!" the Doctor called.

"Yes, I did!" Eva all but screamed. "Deal with it!"

Just then, the TARDIS shook, causing both the Doctor and Eva to fall down, Eva's head hitting the Console before she fell to the ground.

"Must dematerialise," the Doctor muttered half-coherently, reaching out a hand to press a button on the console. "Dematerialise." He looked at the scanner only to see they hadn’t moved. "Nothing working," he muttered. "Nothing."

"Doctor?" Eva asked.

"Eva," he mumbled, reaching out a hand to grab hers. "Are you okay?"

"I'm fine," she muttered, pressing his hand in reassurance. "We'll be fine."

"What's happened?" he asked.

"There was a problem in the calculations," Eva said. "The TARDIS had shrunk – not just her exterior. Everything's shrunk."

"It's okay," the Doctor said, pulling Eva closer to him. "Everything will be okay."

"I know," Eva told him honestly. "I trust you."

The Doctor started pulling himself to a sitting position. "They've arrested the dimension spiral," he said. "Things are looking up."

He tried pulling himself up further but fell almost immediately.

"I'll do it," Eva said, reaching out and grabbing the paper of data the Doctor was holding earlier. "There it is."

"An error in the dimension subroutine," the Doctor said, looking at it. "Somewhere here. I will not be beaten, I simply will not be beaten." He put a hand to his forehead before looking at the scanner. "But we could certainly do with a little more help from outside. Give me that," he added, marking at something that was placed on the console.

"What are you doing?" Eva asked as she handed it over to him.

"The cheese board is the world, and the pieces the phenomena of the universe, as my old friend Huxley used to say," the Doctor replied before shaking his head. "Cheese board?"

"Chess board," Eva corrected fondly. "And the opponent makes no allowances for mistakes, nor makes the smallest concession to ignorance."

"I'm an ignorant old Doctor," the Doctor sighed. "And I've made a mistake. There's only one direction help can come from now. I'll just have to sit here and wait."

"Or," Eva offered, "You could just look at the scanner."

"What?" the Doctor asked, doing as she said and seeing Tegan holding the page of correct calculations to him. "Ah, yes!" he called, leaning forwards and pressing the correct buttons on the Console.

"You'll have to explain to me what you're doing here one day," Eva muttered.

"Or not," the Doctor shrugged. "Probably not."

He pressed one last key and the TARDIS shook again, this time reverting back to her normal size. Eva almost slipped again but a strong hand caught her, and the Doctor pulled her close once more.

"I've got you," he murmured.

"Don't you always?" she retorted with a smile. "Tantrums?"

"I may have overreacted," he admitted.

"And locking me in the TARDIS?"

"You haven’t missed anything of importance," the Doctor shrugged.

"That's not for you to decide, Doctor," Eva told him harshly. "Don't you dare do it again."

"Don't worry, I won't," the Doctor promised.

"Alright," Eva said with a smile, helping the Doctor to his feet. "Let's head outside."

"Yes," the Doctor nodded. "Let's."

He headed towards the door, walking out and closing it after him almost immediately.

"Doctor?" Eva asked. "Doctor, don’t you dare!"

"I'm sorry, Eva," the Doctor said. "It's for your own protection."

She heard the sound of the sonic screwdriver and knew that the door was locked once more.

"Doctor!" she called out. "You promised!"

There was no response from the Doctor, but another small voice in her head – that sounded all too much like River – spoke up.

Rule One: The Doctor lies.

EMH

Eva was smoking a cigarette. In the middle of the Console Room.

She didn’t even feel bad about it.

She had tried calling Martha again, but received no response. Supposedly she and Ten were in the middle of saving the world once again, along with a different, older Eva.

Older...

For the second time that day Eva jumped up and headed towards her room. Opening the night shed's drawer, she saw a second note bearing a second telephone number and headed back to the phone in the Console Room.

"Eva!"

"Hand the Doctor over," she said impatiently. "Now, Ginger!"

"Alright, alright," Amy muttered. "Somebody's cranky today. Doctor! It's Eva!"

"Evie!" Eleven said happily.

"Shut up," Eva bit out. "Because I swear I am that close to ripping your throat off."

"Let me guess," the Doctor said with a sigh. "Logopolis?"

"Bloody Logopolis."

"Would it help if I said I'm sorry?" the Doctor asked.

"Not really, no," Eva retorted. "You locked me in the TARDIS. Twice."

"I had a good reason!" the Doctor defended.

"Really?" Eva asked. "And, do tell, what was the reason? And I swear, if you're going to say 'The Master' I will set your hair on fire."

"It was to protect you," the Doctor said tiredly.

"Protect me from…" Eva pressed, and the Doctor muttered something unclear. "Sorry, didn’t get that."

"From the Master," the Doctor sighed. "Please don’t set my hair on fire."

"I'll think about you," Eva replied. "Well, gotta go. Things are going to get interesting here soon."

"Have fun," the Doctor said. "Try not to murder me."

"I make no promises," Eva said, smiling as she hung up the call. "And now," she told herself as she lit another cigarette, "I wait."

EMH

Eva leaned on the door, pushing it and trying to make it open.

"Come on," she muttered to herself. "The Master released entropy into the entire universe. That's got to be enough to open up the lock of a single door."

She pushed again, before heading to the console and pressing the button to open the door. She smiled as it finally worked, and walked out of the TARDIS, narrowly missing a piece of stone as it fell down in front of her.

"Doctor!" Eva called, heading out of the room she was in. "Doctor!"

She ran without looking where she was heading, almost running right underneath a stone when a strong hand pulled her out of the way. She closed her eyes, breathing heavily against a chest with two heartbeats.

"Doctor?" she asked.

"Not quite," a familiar voice said and Eva's eyes darted open.

"Master," she breathed out, right before another hand pulled her away – this time the Doctor's.

"Stay away from her," he barked at the Master.

"Let go of me," Eva said, shaking the Doctor's hand away.

"Without me, she'd have been smashed under a piece of rock," the Master said.

"Without you, there would have been no pieces of rock falling from the sky to begin with," Tegan retorted. "This will teach you to meddle in things you don't understand!"

"We are beyond recriminations now," the Monitor said. "Beyond everything."

"Not quite," the Doctor said, pulling the Master aside. "We must pool our resources."

"The creature that killed my father –" Nyssa started.

"I can't choose the company I keep!" the Doctor called.

"An alliance with you, Doctor?" the Master questioned.

"In the circumstances, yes," the Doctor confirmed.

"If we do cooperate, there'll be no question of you ever returning to Gallifrey," the Master noted.

"If we don't cooperate, there'll be no question of Gallifrey," the Doctor replied.

"Doctor, what are you doing?" Tegan asked.

"Please," the Doctor said, raising his hand to signal her now was not the time. "As Time Lords, you and I have special responsibilities."

"Give me one good reason why should I care," the Master said.

"Because if everything is gone then so will Eva," the Doctor retorted. "And if there's one thing that is true for the both of us is that we'll never deliberately hurt her."

Eva wanted to note that it wasn’t true, since the Master stabbed her last time they met, but decided it was probably best not to since the event was still in both the Doctor and the Master's futures.

"Together, then?" the Master asked, reaching out his hand for a shake.

The Doctor made a move to take the hand when Nyssa interfered.

"But, Doctor –"

"I've never chosen my own company," the Doctor said. "Nyssa, it was you who contacted me and begged me to help you find your father. And, Tegan, it's your own curiosity that got you into this. And Adric, a stowaway. And Eva, my Evie..." He turned to look at her. "Eva, who appears from thin air in different times of my life, never seeing me in the same order as I see her."

Everybody stared at the Doctor, shocked, when the familiar whooshing sound of the TARDIS was heard.

"The TARDIS!" Tegan called.

"It's followed us from the Central Register," Nyssa said.

"How can it get here when there's no one in it?" Adric asked.

"Who said there was no one in it?" Eva asked, knowing that the man they saw on the bridge earlier – the Watcher – was in it.

"It must be the man who brought me to Logopolis," Nyssa said in understanding.

"I don't want any further argument," the Doctor said, marking at Tegan, Nyssa, Adric and Eva. "One, two, three, four, into the TARDIS. Quickly."

"Look, we want to help you –" Adric started.

"It's impossible," the Doctor said. "My friend in there will look after you. I'm collaborating with the Master. Now, go on. Battle stations."

"The man's a murderer –"

"Come on, Nyssa," Adric said, realizing it was a lost battle. "He means it."

"Eva?" the Doctor asked.

"No," Eva said. "I've had enough of it. I am sticking with you, whether you like it or not, and you should start getting used to it by now."

"But the Master –"

"I don’t care," she said sharply. "I'm staying."

The Doctor sighed, walking closer to the Master.

"Together?" the other Time Lord asked, offering his hand for a shake.

"One last hope," the Doctor agreed reluctantly, taking the offered hand. The Master put his arm around him but he shook it off, walking back to Eva. "And you stay away from her," he warned.

"Monitor?" the Master asked, ignoring the Doctor.

"He's gone," Eva said.

"You do realize he has no chance of survival without our help?" the Master asked.

"The Monitor wouldn't abandon us," Eva said. "He's trying to salvage the research team's work."

"He must have gone to the Central Register, yes?" the Master asked.

"Yes, maybe," the Doctor said. "It was the last addition to Logopolis. He might be the last one to survive."

"We need his knowledge," Eva told the other two, though she knew they probably realized it themselves. "Come on."

She started walking, knowing the other two would follow closely behind her.

None of them noticed her hand slightly fading away before turning back to normal.

EMH

"The rot is spilling outwards into the universe," the Doctor said as he pulled Eva away from a collapsing rock. "After aeons of constraint. Come on," he added, helping her around the wreckage. "Let's collect the Monitor and get out."

"In my TARDIS?" the Master asked.

"There's no other way," the Doctor replied.

"You're assuming a lot, aren't you, Doctor?"

"Yes," the Doctor retorted. "Aren't I?"

"Monitor," Eva said as they walked into the room, rushing towards him when the Master's hand stopped her.

"Logopolitan maths on a computer?" he muttered in disbelief, watching the Monitor.

"Monitor, the stability –" the Doctor started.

"This is the program we were developing to take the burden from our own shoulders," the Monitor said, handing a paper to the Doctor. "A series of data statements, to keep the Charged Vacuum Emboitments open of their own accord."

"What, do you mean the advanced research project?" the Doctor asked.

"The computer holds a complete log of the research," the Monitor said.

"Then the answer's here," the Master said, nearing the printer.

"Take care!" the Monitor warned. "The research is far from complete."

"Monitor, were you on the right track?" the Doctor asked. "You must tell us about the project in every detail," he added, not waiting for a reply.

"There is nothing to tell," the Monitor said. "It's all there for you to read. Now, I must get on with my work." He kept working for another minute or two before standing up. "I've done what I can, with the Registry in ruins," he said. "We must now re-align the aerial, beam the program out to space. There was a CVE close by. We might still be able to re-open."

"Doctor!" Tegan called, rushing through the doors.

"Here," the Doctor said, not bothering to look.

"Doctor," Tegan repeated, coming to stand next to him.

"Tegan, I told you to get out of here," the Doctor sighed.

"And since when do we listen to you?" Eva asked. "Of course she'll be staying with you – you're her ride back home."

"Doctor, we must form a plan," the Master said. "I propose, one, we withdraw to a position of temporary security. Two, we reconfigure our two TARDISes into time cone invertors. Three, we create a stable safe zone by applying temporal inversion isometry to as much of space-time as we can isolate –"

"Look!" Tegan gasped, marking at the Monitor.

Eva turned to see him fading away, disintegrating before their eyes. It was a sickening sight, and Eva reached out a hand to lean against the wall only for it to fall right through. She stared at it for a moment, horrified as it disappeared for a few seconds only to reappear again. Swallowing hard, she put what used to be her hand in her pocket and hoped that none of the others saw.

"Horrible!" the Master muttered.

"Hardly more horrible than shrinking people," Tegan told him.

"No," the Master said, heading to the door. "Do what you like, Doctor. Logopolis is yours."

"Doctor, stop him," Tegan demanded. "He's getting away."

Eva looked between the Doctor, who was talking to Tegan, and the door before heading outside after the Master.

"Master!" she called out. "Master!"

"I never thought I'd live to see the day you came running for me," the Master said. "I thought I'd enjoy it more than I do now."

"Shut up for a moment and listen," Eva said. "I can't go to the Doctor about it because he'll be so distracted that he'll only make matters worse, so I need your help."

"With what?" the Master questioned. Slowly, Eva took her hand out of her pocket.

"Interesting," the Master said, looking at it. "Your hand is disintegrating and reappearing repeatedly."

"Yes, I understand what's happening," Eva said. "What I need to know is why."

The Master smiled darkly. "The odds that the two of us would become the people we are today and would come to stand here in this scenario are negligible," he said. "The current year, if translated to Earth years, is 1981. How many of the things that could change your immediate presence here have happened past this year?"

Eva thought for a moment. It was only in 2005 that the Doctor met Rose, and without her he wouldn’t have met Jack. If that never happened, Jack never would have become immortal and she wouldn’t have been born – not to mention the fact that there was over a millennium until that happened, and that Jack himself was only born in the 51st century...

"All of them," Eva whispered. "I'm... Am I fading away?"

"It appears so," the Master replied. "If we manage to solve this ordeal, it would more than likely be fixed."

"Solve it, then," Eva said, trying to collect herself as she walked towards his TARDIS, with him close behind.

Not a moment later, a rock crashed down upon them and the two lost consciousness.

Chapter Text

"I thought I told you to stay away from her."

It was the Doctor's voice that pulled Eva back to consciousness, and she opened her eyes to see him and Tegan standing above her and the Master.

"I came looking for him," she muttered, trying to push away the rock that was blocking both hers and the Master's airways.

The Doctor and Tegan leaned down, pushing it off them before helping them to their feet.

"Watch your step," Tegan said as Eva almost fell back, her leg disintegrating for a moment.

"Thank you," Eva said, leaning on her for support.

"I'm very grateful," the Master said, leaning on the Doctor.

"Earth, please," was the Doctor's only reply and the Master nodded, letting them into his TARDIS.

The flight was quick and stable, and Eva spent all of it seated on the Captain's chair of the Master's TARDIS. When they landed, the Doctor and the Master headed out immediately, and Eva made a move to follow but fell down.

"Are you alright?" Tegan asked, leaning next to her.

"I'll be fine," Eva promised. "It's just a bit hard to stand up. I'm slightly dizzy."

She reached out a hand, intending to lean on the console to pull herself up but seeing nothing.

"That's – That's what happened to the Monitor!" Tegan gasped.

"Yes, well, the universe is dying," Eva said. "I'm just a bit more affected by it then you are."

"But... Why?"

"If the universe dies right now, there is no future," Eva said. "Everything will collapse, the speed depends on how much are we dependent on the future."

"How much are you dependent on the future?" Tegan asked worriedly.

"Quite a lot, I'm afraid," Eva said, managing to stand up at last. "Did I mention the fact that I was born in the future?"

"Here, I'll help you," Tegan muttered, allowing Eva to lean on her. "Would you prefer if we stayed inside?"

"No," Eva said quickly. "I think I just might drive myself mad. Let's head outside."

Tegan nodded, helping the other woman out of the door and into the Pharos computer room. The Doctor was crouching next to a man on the floor, and Tegan rushed to him, leaving Eva to lean on a wall.

"He's unconscious," the Doctor told them.

"Never mind," the Master said. "I feel we've been spared a very difficult conversation."

The Doctor and the Master immediately went to business, doing... whatever they were doing to feed the program into the Project's computer. Eva stumbled towards the chair, sitting on it and marking Tegan not to say a word about her situation while the Doctor was in the room.

"What makes you think this program of the Monitor's is going to work, Doctor?" the Master asked, though he was looking at Eva as he spoke.

"Oh, I don't know," the Doctor sighed. "It's a sort of vague faith in the nature of things, I suppose."

"It's in the very nature of things for entropy to win," the Master noted.

"Yes, well, it's the age-old battle, isn't it?" the Doctor questioned. "Entropy versus structure. Still, while there's life, it's six of one and a half dozen of the other."

"Woolly thinking, Doctor," the Master noted.

"Yes, it's very comforting when worn next to the skin," the Doctor replied, not taking his eyes off of the machine for a moment.

Eva hissed silently when a sharp pain burnt through her chest, looking at the two Time Lords in a silent plea for them to hurry up.

EMH

"The dawn's coming up," Tegan told them some time later. "There are security guards outside."

"Any good?" the Doctor asked the Master.

"It's still not running," the Master sighed. "The program's useless. It's time to abandon this line of reasoning."

"Of course," the Doctor said, snapping his fingers. "The program's not been fed into the core."

"Well?" the Master asked.

"We start again," the Doctor said.

"Do we really have time for this?" Eva asked, an edge of worry to her voice.

Her leg underneath her knee had disappeared completely, and had stopped blinking back into existence.

"We will," the Doctor replied. "Don't worry."

"Kind of hard not to at the moment," Eva muttered.

"It's running," the Doctor said.

"If you call this alien gibberish a program," the Master muttered.

"We'll just have to wait till the data reaches the CVE," the Doctor replied.

"First we must reach the transmitter and connect up the light-speed overdrive," the Master retorted.

"What about the guards?" Tegan asked.

"I suggest we use your TARDIS," the Doctor said.

"Impossible," the Master replied. "The light-speed overdrive's disconnected."

"We've still got to get across to the antenna control room," the Doctor said.

"I agree."

"I agree, too, for what it's worth," Tegan interrupted.

"And so do I," Eva said.

"Good," the Doctor nodded, heading towards the door.

Eva made a move to follow, only to fall on the floor, the Doctor rushing to her. He pulled her up and looked at her, seeing for the first time her missing leg and flickering arm.

"You're disappearing from existence," he said, shocked. "Why didn’t you tell me sooner?"

"You'd have only worried," Eva replied.

"Of course I would have worried!" the Doctor called, turning to Tegan and the Master. "Did you know?"

"Doctor," Eva sighed.

"You did know," the Doctor said, outraged. "And you didn’t tell me?"

"I told them not to," Eva said sternly before shaking her head. "We don’t have time for this now."

"You do not hide these things from me!"

"Doctor!" Eva called. "We don’t have time for this. We'll talk about this later."

"We better," the Doctor warned, raising her into his arm, bridal style. "Come on."

The group walked out of the room, the Doctor and Eva in the back, stopping for a moment to look out of the window. Through it, they saw the man from the bridge and the Doctor sighed.

"You know who he is, don’t you?" he asked.

"I do," Eva said.

"I know you can't tell me much," the Doctor started. "But... will everything be okay?"

"Eventually," Eva replied softly, and the Doctor nodded before moving on.

They ran outside, trying to avoid the guards to the best of their ability. Eva felt bad for holding them back but every time she offered they'd just leave her, the Doctor shut her up. They reached a spot close to the transmitter, and the Master raised his Tissue Compressor Eliminator to kill the guards, but the Doctor stopped him.

He grabbed the device from his hand, throwing it back, and the sound of the device hitting the ground made a guard turn at them.

"Intruders!" he called. "After them!"

"Sentimental fool," the Master said when they finally escaped them. "Thanks to you, we're now weaponless."

"Shh!" the Doctor hissed at him, looking down at Eva in his arms. "Are you alright?"

"I can wait for later," Eva replied.

"No, you really can't," the Doctor retorted.

They heard the sound of a conversation going on behind them, and looked to see Adric and Nyssa distracting the guards. Tegan quickly joined them, allowing the Master, the Doctor and Eva to escape.

The Doctor ran, not looking back until he reached the transmitter. He gently put Eva on the ground, kissing the top of her head.

"I'll be right back," he said.

"I know," Eva told him, trying not to wince at a sharp pain in her chest. "Hurry up, please."

He climbed up the transmitter and Eva rested her head on its side, having nothing to do other than sit and wait. It wasn’t long afterwards that the pain ceased, and she looked down to see both her legs and both her arms were where they should be, stable.

The only problem was that she knew from now on, things would only get worse.

EMH

"Peoples of the universe, please attend carefully," the Master's voice transmitted. "The message that follows is vital to the future of you all. The choice for you all is simple. A continued existence under my guidance, or total annihilation. At the time of speaking –"

Eva looked up at the sound of the Master's voice transmitting. From the corner of her eye she could see Tegan, Adric and Nyssa approaching, and ran towards them.

"What's going on?" Adric asked.

"What do you think is going on?" Eva asked. "The Master is trying to take control over the universe."

"Are you okay?" Tegan asked worriedly.

"I'm fine," Eva said. "The Doctor will take care of it."

"The Doctor is falling off the dish," Nyssa told her, looking up.

"Everything will be okay," Eva muttered to herself. "Eventually."

It was the worst experience Eva had ever been through. Looking at the Doctor and knowing he would succeed, but with a cost. She gasped as he slipped, holding on to nothing more than a cable, hundreds of feet above ground.

He swung aside, trying to hold on to the transmitter itself, instead of the cable, but even that didn’t work for long. Eva saw him fall, as if on slow motion, and ran to him.

"Doctor!" she called, falling to her knees next to him with Tegan, Adric and Nyssa following closely.

"Doctor?" Tegan asked worriedly.

"Doctor?" Nyssa repeated.

"Doctor," Adric said desperately. "Doctor!"

The Doctor smiled at him. "It's the end," he said. "But the moment has been prepared for."

Eva let out a strangled noise. She couldn’t do it. She couldn’t watch him die, even if he regenerated. This was harder than she thought it would be, she should have been fine, she saw it on screen dozens of times.

But as the Doctor looked at her, smiling, she couldn’t help but feel that this was different.

"Eva," he muttered.

He reached out a hand and the man from the bridge approached.

"The Watcher," said Adric, as the Watcher and the Doctor became one.

"He was the Doctor all the time," Nyssa said in understanding.

For a moment, the Doctor glowed in the golden regeneration light. Through it, Eva saw the face of the Watcher before the light faded and the Fifth Doctor sat upright, beaming at them.

EMH

Adric and Tegan were carrying the Doctor to the TARDIS, Nyssa following closely behind with Eva, alarms blaring as they ran. The Doctor passed out, falling to the ground and taking Tegan with him and Eva leaned down, holding his hand.

"These are secure premises!" one of the guards said, finally catching up to them. "Now, you lot have got some explaining to do."

"But the Doctor –" Tegan started.

"He'll be taken care of," the guard said, leaning down and grabbing Eva harshly.

"Don't touch me!" she hissed. "I know people in places you don’t even know exist, and I am staying with him or so help me God, I'll personally make sure you will not hold your position tomorrow."

The guard eyed her before nodding and marking his friends to grab the rest.

"Look, will you let me go?" Adric asked.

"Look, take your hands off me, this is an official uniform!" Tegan called.

"Leave me alone!" Nyssa cried out in pain.

"I'm sorry," Eva muttered to the unconscious body next to her. "I need to stay with you. I need to..."

A golden light started engulfing her and her breath hitched in her throat.

"No, no, no," she called out. "No, the Doctor needs me! Not now! Not now!"

"And then we discovered it wasn't the robot king after all, it was the real one," the Doctor was saying as Eva appeared. "Fortunately, I was able to re-attach the head."

"Do you believe any of this stuff?" Rory asked.

"I was there," Amy replied, spotting Eva. "She was there, too," she said with a smile, looking at the Doctor expectantly as he realized what she just said.

"Eva!" he called happily. "Where did you come from?"

"No," Eva muttered. "I need to get back there. How do I get back there?"

"Get back where?" Rory asked.

"1981," Eva replied, looking at the Doctor. "Right after Logopolis. You regenerated and I... I need to go back."

"Oh, I was fine," the Doctor shrugged. "A different you came back before I even woke up."

"You don’t understand," Eva told him. "I need to go back!"

"I didn’t even know you were gone until now," the Doctor went on.

"You really are an idiot, aren’t you?" Amy asked. "This isn’t about you. This is about her."

"Eva?" the Doctor asked.

"It's the first time I see you regenerate," Eva told him. "I need to be there for you. I need to help you through it!"

"You'll have plenty other chances," the Doctor told her, stepping forwards and holding her hands in his. "Don't worry. You were brilliant every time."

Eva frowned, opening her mouth to reply when she was disturbed by a knock.

"What was that?" Amy asked.

"The door," the Doctor said, turning to look at it. "It knocked."

"Right," Rory said. "We are in deep space."

"Very, very deep," the Doctor said, walking towards the door with Eva's hand still in his. "And somebody's knocking." He opened the door, smiling as he saw a bright box floating in front of him. "Oh, come here," he muttered. "Come here, you scrumptious little beauty!"

He reached out but the box flew inside, making Amy jump as it passed next to her and came back. Eva ducked out of the way and the box hit the Doctor right in the chest, knocking him down.

"A box?!" Rory asked in disbelief.

"Doctor, what is it?" Amy asked.

"I've got mail!" the Doctor called out happily.

"Time Lord emergency messaging system," Eva explained as the Doctor walked around the console happily.

"We'd wrap up thoughts in psychic containers and send them through time and space," he said excitedly. "There's a Time Lord out there, and it's one of the good ones!"

"You said there were no other Time Lords left," Rory said, confused.

"No Time Lords left in the universe," the Doctor agreed, throwing the box to Amy. "But the universe isn't where we're going, is it, Evie?"

"No," Eva said, by far less excited than the Doctor as she knew what was going to happen.

"See that snake?" the Doctor asked, marking at a snake painted on the container. "The mark of the Corsair. Fantastic bloke. He had that snake as a tattoo in every regeneration. Didn't feel like himself without the tattoo. Or herself, a couple of times." He frowned for a moment, looking at Eva. "The two of you flirted way too much when she was a girl."

"Looking forward to it," Eva smirked. "Always wanted to meet the Corsair."

"I noticed," the Doctor muttered, pulling a lever and sending them all flying, holding on to the console in order to stay standing.

"What's happening?" Rory called out.

"We're leaving the universe!" the Doctor called back.

"How can you leave the universe?" Amy asked.

"With immense difficulty!" the Doctor called back.

"He's burning up TARDIS rooms," Eva explained, as the Doctor pushed buttons.

"Goodbye, swimming pool," he said. "Goodbye, scullery, sayonara, squash court seven!"

The TARDIS landed, making Eva fall to the ground as she was the only one who didn’t have the time to grab the console.

"You okay?" the Doctor asked.

"I'm fine," she grumbled, pulling herself to her feet.

"Where are we?" Amy asked.

"Outside the universe," the Doctor said. "Where we've never, ever been."

The lights went off around them, and Rory frowned.

"Is that meant to be happening?" he asked.

"It's the power," the Doctor said. "It's draining. Everything's draining! But it can't. That's... That's impossible."

"What is that?"

"It's as if the matrix, the soul of the TARDIS, has just vanished," the Doctor explained. "Where would it go?"

Eva sighed, realizing she wasn’t going back to the Doctor she just came from any time soon.

Chapter Text

"So what kind of trouble's your friend in?" Amy asked as they walked out of the TARDIS and into a scrap yard.

"He was in a bind," the Doctor said, "A bit of a pickle, sort of distressed."

"He doesn’t know," Eva said, making sure to stay close to the Doctor.

"But what is this?" Rory asked. "The scrap yard at the end of the universe?"

"Not end of, outside of," the Doctor corrected.

"How we can we be outside the universe?" Rory asked. "The universe is everything."

"There are other universes," Eva said. "Parallel, Different-Parallel, pocket universes."

"How can they exist?"

"They just do," Eva shrugged.

"How do you know they're real?" Amy asked. "I mean, I know the theory but how do you know it's more than just that?"

"I grew up in one of them," Eva replied.

"Wait, what?" Rory asked.

"Imagine a great big soap bubble with one of those tiny little bubbles on the outside," the Doctor started.

"Okay," Rory said hesitantly.

"Well, it's nothing like that," the Doctor muttered, causing Rory to sigh as he looked at the TARDIS. "Completely drained, look at her."

"So we're in a tiny bubble universe, sticking to the side of the bigger bubble universe?" Amy clarified.

"Yeah," the Doctor said. "No. But if it helps, yes."

"Just think about it like that," Eva sighed. "You'll get nothing better out of him."

"This place is full of rift energy," the Doctor said. "She'll probably refuel just by being here. Now this place, what do we think, eh?" He took a pebble from the ground and threw it up. "Gravity's almost earth-normal, air's breathable, but it smells like..."

"Armpits," Rory provided.

"Armpits," Eva agreed.

"Where did this stuff come from?" Rory asked, looking at what seemed to be a plate.

"There's a rift, stuff gets sucked through it," the Doctor said. "A plughole. Not a bubble, a plughole. The universe has a plughole and we've fallen down it."

"Thief!" a voice called. "Thief! You're my thief!"

The four turned to see a woman running towards the Doctor.

"She's dangerous!" a man warned. "Guard yourselves!"

"Look at you!" the woman said, jumping at the Doctor. "Goodbye! No, not goodbye, what's the other one?" she pressed her mouth to him, and the man pulled her back.

"Watch out!" the man said.

"Careful, keep back from her!" a second woman said.

"Welcome, strangers, lovely," the man said. "Sorry about the mad person."

"Why am I a thief?" the Doctor asked. "What have I stolen?"

"You're going to steal us," the first woman said. "No, you have stolen us. You are stealing us?"

"Tenses are difficult, aren't they?" Eva asked, earning a smile from the woman.

"My Beauty!" she called. "Oh, he hasn’t stolen us yet for you, has he? I guess that means all tenses are right!"

"Oh, we are sorry, my dove," the second woman sighed. "She's off her head. They call me Auntie."

"I'm Uncle," the man said. "I'm everybody's uncle. Just keep back from this one, she bites!"

"Do I?" the woman asked. "Excellent." She grabbed Eva and bit her ear. "Oh, biting's excellent!" she called when she finally let go. "It's like kissing, only there's a winner!" She leaned in to kiss Eva only to be pulled back by Uncle and Auntie.

"Sorry," Uncle said. "She's doolally."

"No, not doolally," the woman said. "I'm... I'm It's on the tip of my tongue." Her eyes lit up. "I've just had a new idea about kissing," she called out, heading towards the Doctor. "Come here, you!"

"Idris, no, no!" Auntie called, pulling her back.

"Oh, but now you're angry," Idris said. "No, you're not. You will be angry. The little boxes will make you angry. It already made my Beauty angry, didn’t they?" she asked, turning to Eva.

"Sorry?" the Doctor asked. "The little what? Boxes? And why is Evie angry?"

Idris chuckled. "Your chin is hilarious!" she called out before turning to Rory. "It means the smell of dust after rain."

"What does?" Rory asked, confused.

"Petrichor," Idris replied.

"But I didn't ask," Rory said.

"Not yet," Idris replied. "But you will."

"No, Idris," Uncle said. "I think you should have a rest."

"Yes, yes, good idea!" Idris called. "I'll just... see if there's an off switch."

She fell into Eva's arms and Eva slowly put her on the ground

"She dead now," Uncle said. "So sad."

"She's still breathing," Rory told him.

"Nephew, take Idris somewhere she cannot bite people," Uncle ordered, making the group turn towards Nephew.

"Oh, hello!" the Doctor called happily.

"Doctor, what is that?" Amy asked.

"It's all right," the Doctor said. "It's an Ood! Oods are good, love an Ood. Hello, Ood. Can't you talk?" He looked at the translator ball. "Oh, I see, it's damaged. May I?" he asked. "It might be on the wrong frequency."

"Nephew was broken when he came here." Auntie said, making Eva shiver. "Why, he was half dead. House repaired him. House repaired all of us."

The Doctor fixed the translator and it immediately started transmitting, sending out the cries of help from the different Time Lords House had killed. The Doctor grasped Eva's hand and she pressed it, trying to comfort him to the best of her ability.

"What was that?" Rory asked when the voices stopped.

"The reason I'm angry," Eva said.

"Was that him?" Rory went on before the Doctor could respond to what Eva said.

"No, no, it's picking up something else," the Doctor said, though it was clear to see he was uncertain. "That's... That's not possible. That's... Who else is here?" he asked, turning to look at Uncle and Auntie. "Tell me. Show me! Show me!"

"Just what you see," Auntie said, marking at herself and Uncle. "It's just the four of us, and the House. Nephew," she called. "Will you take Idris somewhere safe where she can't hurt nobody?"

"The House?" the Doctor asked as Nephew did what Auntie told him to. "What's the House?"

"House is all around you, my sweets," Auntie said. "You are standing on him. This is the House. This world. Would you like to meet him?"

"Meet him?" Rory asked.

"I'd love to," the Doctor said quickly, raising a finger to mark Amy and Rory to stay quiet.

"This way," Auntie said, walking away. "Come, please. Come."

"What's wrong?" Amy asked. "What were those voices?"

"Time Lords," Eva said darkly.

"It's not just the Corsair," the Doctor said, trying to hold back his excitement and worry. "Somewhere close by there are lots and lots of... Time Lords."

He started walking away, Eva's hand still in his and Amy and Rory followed as she tried to brace herself for what was going to happen and the way the Doctor's heart was about to break once more.

EMH

"Come," Uncle said as they walked into a room. "Come, come. You can see the House and he can look at you and he –"

"I see," the Doctor said. "This asteroid is sentient. We've encountered one before."

"Cause that ended so well," Eva muttered.

"We walk on his back," Auntie said. "Breathe his air. Eat his food –"

"Smell its armpits," Amy muttered.

"And do my will," House spoke via Auntie and uncle, not unlike how Titan used Jeffrey to speak. "You are most welcome, travellers."

"Doctor," Amy said cautiously. "That voice, that's the asteroid talking?"

"Yes," the Doctor said. "So you're like a sea urchin. Hard outer surface. That's the planet we're walking on. Big, squashy, oogly thing inside. That's you."

"That is correct, Time Lord," House said.

"Ah!" the Doctor said. "So you've met Time Lords before?"

"Many travellers have come through the rift, like Auntie and Uncle and Nephew," House informed them. "I repair them when they break."

"So there are Time Lords here then?"

"Not anymore," House replied. "But there have been many TARDISes on my back in days gone by. I must admit I have never seen anything like your friend."

"Which one?" the Doctor asked.

"The one Idris called, 'Beauty'."

"Well, there won't be any more after us," the Doctor quickly said. "Last Time Lord. Last TARDIS. And Eva is one of a kind."

"A pity," House said. "Your people were so kind. Be here in safety, Doctor. Rest, feed, if you will."

"We're not actually going to stay here, are we?" Rory asked.

"It seems like a friendly planet," the Doctor said. "Literally."

"That's what you thought about the last one," Eva muttered.

"Mind if we poke around?" the Doctor asked.

"You can look all you want," Auntie said. "Go, look. House loves you."

"Come on then, gang," the Doctor said worriedly, eyeing a sign on Auntie's hand. We're just going to... er... see the sights."

The Doctor all but ran out of the room, pulling Eva behind him.

"Why are you angry?" he asked as soon as they were away from Uncle, Auntie and Nephew. "Idris said you are angry, why are you angry?"

"What happened the last time?" Amy asked. "Eva said there was a last time, what happened last time?"

"Shh," Eva said, hearing the faint sound of Idris' screams.

"So as soon as the TARDIS is refuelled, we go, yeah?" Rory questioned.

"No, there are Time Lords here," the Doctor said. "I heard them and they need me."

"You told me about your people and you told me what you did," Amy started.

"Yes," the Doctor said, "But if they're like the Corsair, they're good, I can save them!"

"Then tell them you destroyed the others?"

"I can explain," the Doctor said, though Eva could see he wasn’t so sure. "Tell them why I had to."

"You want to be forgiven," Amy said, looking at the Doctor's back.

"Don't we all?" Eva asked, and Amy nodded.

"What do you need from me?"

"My screwdriver," the Doctor said. "I left it in the TARDIS. It's in my jacket."

"You're wearing your jacket," Rory said.

"His other one," Eva said. "Yes, he has two of those," she added before Rory could respond.

"Okay," Amy said with a sigh. "I'll get it, but, Doctor, listen to me. Don't get emotional because that's when you make mistakes."

"Yes, boss," the Doctor said with a small salute.

"I'll call you from the TARDIS," Amy said. "Eva, Rory, look after him."

She turned and walked away and Eva looked at Rory. "Rory, look after her," she ordered, following the Doctor.

EMH

The Doctor and Eva were walking silently, looking for Idris. Neither of them said anything as the Doctor didn’t know what to say and Eva wanted to let him be the one to break the silence.

He wished it was an older Eva with him here – preferably one who had already seen the Time War and understood why he had to do what he had to do. Eva, on her behalf, wished for a younger, less complicated Doctor.

The Doctor's phone rang and he answered it. "Yeah, it's around somewhere," he said in response to something Amy said, as Eva took out the sonic screwdriver from one of his pockets. "Have a good look."

Eva used the sonic screwdriver, following the logic of pointing and thinking to lock Amy and Rory inside the TARDIS.

"It's for their safety," the Doctor muttered, having planned to do the same thing himself.

"It's for their safety," Eva repeated, trying to help the Doctor feel better.

"Come on," the Doctor muttered, looking around. "Where are you? Now where are you all? Where are you?" He closed his eyes, concentrating for a moment before leading the two of them behind some clothes. "Well, they can't all be in here."

Eva silently opened a cabinet next to where they stood, watching the Doctor get angrier as he saw what was in it.

"Just admiring your Time Lord distress signal collection," he said when Auntie and Uncle came to stand behind him. "Nice job. Brilliant job. Really thought I had some friends here..."

"This is what the Ood translator picked up," Eva said, fury rising within her at the monster who gave the Doctor hope only to take it all away. "Cries for help from the long dead."

"How many Time Lords have you lured here, the way you lured me?" the Doctor questioned. "And what happened to them all?"

"House," Auntie said. "House is kind and he is wise."

"House repairs you when you break," the Doctor said angrily, "Yes, I know. But how does he mend you?" He took out his sonic screwdriver and scanned them. "You have the eyes of a 20 year old."

"Thank you," Uncle said.

"He means it literally," Eva said.

"Your eyes are..." the Doctor muttered. "Your ears don't match, your right arm is two inches longer than you're left, and how's your dancing? Cos you've got two left feet," he finished, his voice shaking. "Patchwork people. You've been repaired and patched up so often, I doubt there's anything left of what used to be you. I had an umbrella like you once."

"Oh, now," Auntie said, "It's been a great arm for me, this."

The Doctor grasped it, looking at the snake tattoo. "Corsair," he muttered.

"He was a strapping big bloke, wasn't he, Uncle?" Auntie went on.

"Big fella," Uncle agreed.

"I got the arm and then Uncle got the spine and the kidneys," Auntie said.

"Kidneys," the Doctor muttered in disbelief.  "You gave me hope, and then you took it away. That's enough to make anyone dangerous. God knows what it will do to me!" Auntie and Uncle exchanged looks and Eva had to hold the Doctor's hand in order to stop him from killing them on the spot. "Basically..." he muttered. "Run!"

Auntie ran off but Uncle stayed behind, looking at the Doctor. "Poor old Time Lord," he said. "Too late. House is too clever."

The Doctor's phone rang and Uncle used the distraction to run away, the Doctor letting him as he answered the phone. Eva looked at his face, trying to decipher his thoughts.

"Needed you out of the way," the Doctor told Amy, looking at Eva. "'The boxes will make you angry'," he quoted. "'They already made my Beauty angry.' How could she know?"

"I'm sorry," Eva said. "I should’ve told you."

"Yes, you should have," the Doctor said, shaking. "Stay put, stay where you are," he told Amy before hanging up the phone and looking at Eva.

One look of his face was all she needed before she held out her arms. The Doctor hesitated for a moment before Eva grabbed his hand and pulled him close, allowing him to cry on her shoulder at the thought of his dead friends.

EMH

Eva and the Doctor found the cell Idris was held in, Eva having to force the Doctor back from running to the other woman.

"How did you know about the boxes?" he asked. "You said they'd make me angry and that they'd already made Evie angry. How did you know?"

"Ah," Idris sighed happily. "It's my Thief and my Beauty."

"Who are you?" the Doctor questioned.

Idris smiled, ignoring his question. "It's about time," she said.

"I don’t understand," the Doctor said. "Who are you?"

"Do you not know me?" Idris asked, offended. "Just because they put me in here? My Beauty knows me."

"They said you were dangerous," the Doctor told her.

"Not the cage," Eva said. "In there."

"They put me in here," Idris said, marking at her body. "I'm the... Oh, what do you call me?" she sighed in frustration. "We travel. I go..." She started making the mechanical noise the TARDIS was making and the Doctor looked at her, shocked.

"The TARDIS?" he asked in disbelief.

"Time and Relative Dimension in Space," Idris said. "Yes, that's it. Names are funny. Don’t you think, Beauty?"

"Of course they are," Eva said with a soft smile.

"It's me!" Idris called out. "I'm the TARDIS."

"No," the Doctor said. "You're not! She's not," he added, looking at Eva. "You're a bitey, mad lady. The TARDIS is up and downy stuff in a big blue box."

"Oh, honey," Eva sighed. "Up and downy stuff?"

"Yes, that's me," Idris nodded. "A type 40 TARDIS. I was already a museum piece, when you were young, and the first time you walked through my doors, you said –"

"I said, 'You are the most beautiful thing I had ever known'," the Doctor whispered, making Eva smile softly.

"Then, you looked away from Eva, patted my console, told me I wasn’t bad either and called me 'Old Girl'," Idris said, making Eva choke on air. "And then you stole us. And we stole you."

"I borrowed you," the Doctor protested.

"Borrowing implies the intention to return the thing that was taken," Idris told him. "What makes you think we would ever give you back?"

"You're the TARDIS?" the Doctor asked.

"Yes."

"My TARDIS?"

"My Doctor," Idris replied. "And my Evie. Oh!" Her face shifted into a look of surprise. "Care to do the honour, Beauty?"

"With pleasure," Eva said, turning to the Doctor. "We have now reached the point in the conversation where you open the lock," she informed him.

The Doctor complied and Idris walked out, nearing the two and looking at them with undisguised curiosity.

"Are all people like this?" she asked.

"Like what?" the Doctor questioned.

"So much... bigger on the inside?" Idris asked. "I'm... Oh, what is that word? It's so big, so complicated." She looked at Eva. "It's making my Beauty sad."

"But why?" the Doctor asked. "Why pull the living soul from a TARDIS and pop it in a tiny human head? What does it want you for?"

"It doesn't want her," Eva told him.

"How do you know?" the Doctor asked.

"House eats TARDISes," Idris said.

"House what?"

"It's something I heard you say," Idris informed him.

"When?" the Doctor asked.

"In the future," Idris said simply.

"House eats TARDISes?" the Doctor repeated.

"There you go," Idris said before frowning. "What are fish fingers?"

"When do I say that?" the Doctor asked.

"Any second," Eva and Idris said together.

"Of course!" the Doctor said quickly. "House feeds on rift energy and TARDISes are bursting with it. All lovely and cooked, processed food, mmm, fish fingers."

"Do fish have fingers?" Idris asked.

"But you can't eat a TARDIS," the Doctor said, pausing and looking at Idris. "It would destroy you. Unless, unless..."

"Unless you deleted the TARDIS matrix first," Eva said, and the Doctor laughed darkly.

"So it deleted you."

"House can't delete a TARDIS' consciousness, that would blow a hole in the universe," Idris said quickly. "He pulls out the matrix, sticks it in a living receptacle and feeds off the Artron energy. You were about to say all that," she told the Doctor. "I don't suppose you have to now."

"I sent Amy and Rory in there," the Doctor said, reaching out to his pocket and taking his phone. "They'll be eaten. Amy! Amy! Rory, get the hell out of there!" he called, running away.

"We should probably follow him," Eva said, reaching out to hold Idris's hand.

"So that's how it feels," Idris said thoughtfully.  "I know now why you like it. 84 percent," she added.

"What?" Eva asked, confused.

"You'll ask this later," Idris told her. "The answer is eighty four. At least for now."

"Okay," Eva said, running after the Doctor. "I trust you."

"You always do, don’t you?" Idris asked. "Also, ten years."

"If you say so," Eva nodded, quickening her pace.

Hopefully, this will make sense later on.

Chapter Text

They lost the Doctor fairly quickly but it wasn’t long before he came back, angry and frustrated.

“It’s gone!” he called out.

“Eaten?” Idris asked.

“No,” Eva said, studying the Doctor’s face carefully. “It left.”

“Not eaten, hi-jacked,” the Doctor nodded. “But why?”

“It’s time for us both to go, and keep together,” Auntie said from behind Eva, startling her.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” the Doctor said. “Go? What do you mean go? Where are you going?”

“Well, we’re dying, my love,” Auntie said. “It’s time for Auntie and Uncle to pop off.”

“I’m against it,” Uncle informed them.

“It’s your fault, isn’t it, sweets?” Auntie asked. “Cos you told House it was the last TARDIS. House can’t feed on them if there’s none more coming, can he?”

“So now he’s off to your universe to find more TARDISes,” Uncle said.

“It won’t,” the Doctor said.

“Oh, it will think of something,” Auntie said, before dropping off dead.

The Doctor rushed towards her as Uncle stood up.

“Actually, I feel fine,” he said, before falling as well.

“Not dead,” the Doctor said determinedly, though he knew he was lying to himself. “You can’t just die!”

“We need to go to where I landed, Doctor,” Idris said. “Quickly.”

“Why?!”

“Because we are there in three minutes.”

“We need to go now!” Eva said, pulling Idris only to be stopped as the woman-TARDIS put a hand to her abdomen.

“Ow!” she called out, looking at the Doctor. “Roughly, how long do these bodies last?”

“You’re dying,” the Doctor said, scanning her.

“Yes, of course she’s dying,” Eva said. “She doesn’t belong in a flesh body.”

“I could blow the casing in no time,” Idris informed him. “No, stop it, don’t get emotional. That’s what the orangey girl says.”

“Amy,” Eva provided.

“You’re the Doctor,” Idris went on. “Focus.”

“On what?” the Doctor asked. “How? I’m a madman with a box, without a box! I’m stuck down the plughole at the end of the universe on a stupid old junkyard!”

“Dear god,” Eva muttered. “Has your bowtie cut off all of the blood supply to your brain? Twenty seven, remember that?” she asked Idris.

“Oh, I do!” Idris called happily. “It hadn’t happened to him yet, has it?”

“It hadn’t happened to me, either,” Eva shrugged. “I still remember it.”

“Don’t you start ganging up on me!” the Doctor warned.

“Us?” Eva asked. “Ganging up on you? We would never! Right, dear?”

“Of course we would,” Idris said, confused. “We always gang up on him.” Eva gave her a look and Idris’s eyed widened. “Oh, you wanted me to lie!”

“What do you mean, twenty seven?” the Doctor asked.

“Think, you idiot,” Eva said. “Look around you. It’s not just any junkyard.”

“What is it, then?” the Doctor questioned.

“Look around you.”

“Oh,” the Doctor said, his eyes widening.

“Oh, what?” Idris asked.

“Not a junkyard,” the Doctor said. “Don’t you see, it’s not a junkyard!”

“What is it then?” Idris asked.

“It’s a TARDIS junkyard!” Eva called out.

“Come on,” the Doctor said, rushing past her. “Ooh, sorry, do you have a name?”

“Seven hundred years, finally he asks!” Idris muttered.

“But what do I call you?” the Doctor asked.

“I think you call me... Sexy.”

The Doctor looked around, embarrassed. “Only when we’re alone!” he muttered.

“We are alone,” Idris noted.

“Eva’s here,” the Doctor said.

“Eva doesn’t count,” Idris retorted, and the Doctor smiled, one of his hands holding Eva’s as the other grabbed Idris’s.

“Come on then, Sexy,” he smiled, running away.

EMH

“A valley of half-eaten TARDISes,” the Doctor said as he scanned the junkyard. “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”

“I’m thinking that all of my sisters are dead,” Idris said darkly. “That they were devoured, and that we are looking at their corpses.”

“Ah,” the Doctor said. “Sorry. No, I wasn’t thinking that.”

“No,” Idris agreed. “You were thinking you could build a working TARDIS console out of broken remnants of a hundred different models. And you don’t care that it’s impossible.”

“It’s not impossible as long as we are alive,” the Doctor said. “Rory and Amy need us.”

“Okay,” Eva said. “We’ll build a TARDIS.”

The Doctor smiled, kissing the top of her head before running off to scavenger whatever he could to build a TARDIS and Eva smiled at Idris.

“Ask him,” Idris told her.

“Ask him what?” Eva asked.

“You know what,” Idris said. “And I know that you’re going to ask him. So ask him.”

Eva sighed, moving closer to the Doctor.

“Can I ask you something?” she asked.

“Technically, you just did,” the Doctor noted. “But, yes. Always.”

“You told House I was one of a kind,” Eva said.

“That I did,” the Doctor nodded.

“But I’m not,” Eva said. “There are more immortals. Jack, and... people you haven’t met yet.”

“Well,” the Doctor muttered, “I can’t say much for people I haven’t met yet but I know you and Jack are different. He registers as human.”

Eva stared at the Doctor, shocked. “And I don’t?”

“No,” the Doctor said. “Well, yes. Well... partly.”

“What do you mean partly?”

The Doctor sighed, moving closer to Eva and taking a couple of her hairs, scanning them with his screwdriver.

“Here,” he said, showing her the scans. “Part human.”

“How much?” Eva asked.

“84 percent,” the Doctor replied, causing Eva to glance at Idris.

“What are the other 16 percent?” she asked.

“Er...” the Doctor started worriedly. “Does it really matters?”

“Yes,” Eva said sternly. “What are the other 16 percent?”

“Unknown,” the Doctor admitted. “700 years and it’s still unknown.”

EMH

“Bond the tube directly into the Tachyon Diverter,” Idris said, picking up a piece off the ground.

“Yes, yes,” the Doctor said, pulling a big... something towards where Eva said, bored out of her wits. “I have actually rebuilt a TARDIS before, you know. I know what I’m doing.”

“You’re like a nine-year-old trying to rebuild a motorbike in his bedroom,” Idris said. “And you never read the instructions.”

“I always read the instructions!” the Doctor protested.

“You threw the instructions away, didn’t you?” Eva asked, a mischievous smile on her face.

“There’s a sign on my front door,” Idris said. “You have been walking past it for 700 years. What does it say?”

“That’s not instructions!” the Doctor huffed.

“There’s an instruction at the bottom,” Eva noted. “What does it say?”

“Pull to open,” the Doctor replied.

“And what do you do?” Idris questioned.

“I push!” the Doctor called out.

“Every time,” Idris said, rolling her eyes. “700 years. Police Box doors open out the way.”

“I think I’ve earned the right to open my front doors any way I want!” the Doctor said, giving up on the piece he was pulling.

Your front doors?” Idris asked. “Have you any idea how childish that sounds?”

“You are not my mother!”

“And you are not my child!”

“You know,” the Doctor said in frustration, “Since we’re talking, with mouths, not really an opportunity that comes along very often, I just want to say, you know, you have never been very reliable.”

“And you have?” Eva snorted.

“She didn’t always take me where I wanted to go,” the Doctor said.

“No,” Idris admitted. “But I always took you where you needed to go.”

The Doctor paused, turning to look at her. “You did!” he said happily. “Look at us. Talking. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could always talk? Even when you’re inside the box?”

“You know I’m not constructed that way,” Idris said. “I exist across all space and time, and you and Evie talk and... run around and... kiss and... bring home strays.”

She fell down, and the Doctor quickly caught her. “You okay?” he asked.

“One of the kidneys has already failed,” Eva said, coming closer to them.

“It doesn’t matter,” Idris said. “We need to finish assembling the console.”

“Using a console without a proper shell,” the Doctor sighed. “It’s not going to be safe.”

“This body has about 18 minutes left to live,” Idris said. “The universe we’re in will reach Absolute Zero in three hours. And Eva travels through the Vortex unprotected all the time. Safe is relative.”

“Then we need to get a move on,” the Doctor said, holding the rope and pulling once more. “Eh, old girl?”

“Is there anything I can do?” Eva asked.

“Watch her,” the Doctor instructed. “And... make sure she’s not alone.”

Eva nodded silently, walking towards Idris and holding her hand. Idris smiled and pressed Eva’s hand in reassurance, a troubled look on her face.

EMH

“You’ll need to install the time router,” Idris said.

“How is this going to make it through the rift?” the Doctor asked, putting one of the last pieces into place. “We’re almost there. Thrust diffuser. Er, Retro scope. Bluethingy.”

“Do you ever wonder why we chose you all those years ago?” Idris asked him.

“I chose you,” the Doctor said. “You were unlocked.”

“Of course we were,” Idris huffed. “We wanted to see the universe, so we stole a Time Lord and ran away. And you were the only one mad enough.”

“Right,” the Doctor said, jumping to her side. “Perfect. Look at that.”

“Yes,” Eva said sarcastically. “What could possibly go wrong?”

A piece disconnected from the console and fell to the floor. “That’s fine,” the Doctor said quickly. “That always happens.”

“Really?” Eva asked.

“No!” the Doctor called, picking up a hose of some kind. “Hang on! Wait!” He gave it to Idris who connected it to the TARDIS and smiled, pulling Eva closer. “Right. OK, let’s go.”

“Follow that TARDIS!” Eva said with a smile, and the Doctor pulled a lever.

“Ah no, come on!” he called as sparks came out of the console. “There’s rift energy everywhere, you can do it. OK, diverting all power to thrust. Let’s be having ya!” The console nearly exploded and the Doctor pushed Eva behind him to protect himself. “No, no, no, no!”

“What’s wrong?” Eva asked.

“It can’t hold the charge,” the Doctor said. “I can’t even start it. There’s no power! I’ve got nothing.”

“Oh, my beautiful idiot,” Idris said with a small smile. “You have what you’ve always had – you’ve got me.”

She put a finger to her lips and then touched the console, sending time energy to it and making it start, the noise Eva loved so much ranging through the air, making her smile.

“My beautiful, brilliant TARDIS,” she said with a smile as they flew away.

“Whoo-hoo!” the Doctor laughed happily, clinging to the console.

“We’ve locked on to them!” Idris called out. “They’ll have to lower the shields when we’re close enough to phase inside.”

“Can you get a message to Amy?” the Doctor asked. “The telepathic circuits are online.”

“Which one’s Amy?” Idris asked. “The pretty one?”

“Just send the message!” Eva called out, trying not to fly outside.

“Hello, Pretty!” Idris said.

“Don’t worry,” the Doctor said, coming closer to her and talking to the screen. “Telepathic messaging. No, that’s Rory.”

“You have to go to the old control room,” Idris said. “I’m putting the route in your head. When you get there use the purple slider on the nearest panel to lower the shields.”

“The pretty one?” the Doctor asked in disbelief.

“He is pretty, in his own way,” Eva said, making the Doctor pout. “Oh, don’t worry. For me, you’re always the pretty one.”

“You’ll have about 12 seconds before the room goes into phase with the invading Matrix,” Idris went on. “I’ll send you the passkey when you get there. Good luck!”

“How’s he going to be able to take down the shields anyway?” the Doctor asked. “The House is in the control room.”

“I directed him to one of the old control rooms,” Idris said.

“There aren’t any old control rooms,” the Doctor said, confused. “They were all deleted or remodelled.”

“I archive them,” Idris explained. “For neatness.”

“You’ve got about 30 now, don’t you?” Eva asked.

“What?” the Doctor asked. “But I’ve only changed the desktop, what, a dozen times?”

“So far, yes,” Idris nodded.

“You can’t archive something that hasn’t happened yet!” the Doctor called.

You can’t!”

“Keep going!” the Doctor called. “You’re doing it, you sexy thing!”

“See,” Idris called. “You do call me that. Is it my name?”

“You bet it’s your name!” Eva laughed. “Send Rory the pass key!”

“Crimson,” Idris said, transmitting to Rory. “Crimson. Eleven. Delight. Petrichor.”

Eva grabbed onto the console, waiting for Amy and Rory to figure it out and open up the passage. An image transmitted into her head and she smiled.

“They did it!”

“Shields down!” Idris declared. “We’re coming through,” she informed Rory. “Get out of the way or you’ll be atomised. I don’t know,” she added in response to something he said.

“It’s not going to hold!” Eva cried out as the console exploded.

The Doctor grabbed her and pulled her to the ground, just as they materialized into the TARDIS. She looked up when the explosions stopped, standing up.

“Doctor!” Amy called, running towards him and pulling him to a hug.

“You did wonderful,” Eva said, hugging Rory. “It’s fine now.”

“Not good,” Idris muttered. “Not good at all.” The Doctor rushed towards her and helped her stand up. “How do you walk around in these things?”

“We’re not quite there yet,” he said. “Just... hold on. Amy, this is... Well, she’s our TARDIS.”

“Except she’s a woman,” Eva said. “She’s a woman, and she’s his TARDIS.”

Our TARDIS,” Idris corrected. “That’s what he says. And he’s our Doctor.”

“I can’t be in both groups,” Eva rolled her eyes.

“Oh, you and I both know you play both groups,” Idris told her with a smile.

“She’s the TARDIS?” Amy asked.

“And she’s a woman,” the Doctor nodded. “She’s a woman and she’s the TARDIS. What?” he asked at the odd look on Amy’s face.

“I’m trying to decide whether it was you or Eva who wished really hard.”

“Oh, shut up, Ginger!” Eva laughed.

“Not like that,” the Doctor said.

“Hello,” Idris said, smiling. “I’m... Sexy.”

“Yes, you are,” Eva laughed.

“Still shut up,” the Doctor told Amy.

“The Environment has been breached,” House said. “Nephew, kill them all.”

“Where’s Nephew?” Rory asked nervously.

“He was standing right where you materialised,” Amy said.

“Well, he must have been redistributed,” the Doctor said.

“Meaning what?”

“We’re breathing him,” Eva said, disgusted.

“Another Ood I failed to save,” the Doctor muttered.

“Doctor,” House said, clearly surprised by his presence. “I did not expect you.”

“Well, that’s me all over, isn’t it?” the Doctor asked. “Lovely old unexpected me.”

“The big question is, now you’re here, how to dispose of you?” House asked. “I could play with gravity...” They all fell to the ground. “Or I could evacuate the air from this room and watch you choke.”

Around Eva, everybody started chocking and anger and fear rose within her as she crouched next to the Doctor.

“Stop!” she screamed. “Stop it!”

House stopped, and Eva could have sworn even though he had no form, he was looking at her with undisguised interest.

“You should have died,” he told her.

“Yeah,” Eva said. “Heard that one before.”

There was a moment of silence, and then, “Why shouldn’t I just kill the rest of you now and keep you for myself?”

“Because then I won’t be able to help you!” the Doctor called. “Listen to your engines. Just listen to them. You don’t have the thrust and you know it. I’m your only hope for getting out of your little bubble, through the rift, and into my universe. And mine’s the one with the food in!” he added.

“You just have to promise not to kill them,” Eva said. “That’s all, just promise.”

“You can’t be serious,” Amy told him.

“I’m very serious,” the Doctor said. “I’m sure it’s an entity of its word.”

“Doctor, she’s burning up,” Rory said from where he was next to Idris. “She’s asking for water.”

“Oh, no,” Eva said, rushing to her. “Everything will be okay, dear. Everything will be okay.”

“Hang in there, old girl,” the Doctor told her. “Not long now. It’ll be over soon.”

“I always liked it when he calls me old girl,” Idris told Eva.

“I know you did,” Eva replied. “You still do. You will.”

“You want me to give my word?” House asked. “Easy. I promise.”

“Fine,” the Doctor said. “Okay. I trust you. Just delete... 30% of the TARDIS rooms, you’ll free up thrust enough to make it through. Activate sub-routine Sigma-9.”

“Why would you tell me this?” House asked.

“Because we want to get back to our universe as badly as you do,” Eva said. “And he’s nice.”

“Yes...” House said slowly. “I can delete rooms, and I can also rid myself of vermin if I delete this room first. Thank you, Doctor, very helpful. Goodbye, Time Lord. Goodbye, little humans. Goodbye, Idris.” There was a short pause before he added, “I’ll see you soon, Eva.”

The room burnt in a bright white light as it was deleted. Eva held on to Idris, scared to let go in fear of ending someplace else, but it wasn’t long before she found herself back in the familiar Console Room she learned to tell was this Doctor’s.

“Yes,” the Doctor said, looking up. “I mean you could do that, but it just won’t work. Hardwired fail-safe. Living things from rooms that are deleted are automatically deposited in the main control room.”

“But thanks for the lift!” Eva called out happily.

“We are in your Universe now, Doctor,” House said. “Why should it matter to me in which room you die? I can kill you just as easily here as anywhere. Fear me. I’ve killed hundreds of Time Lords.”

“Fear me,” the Doctor said darkly. “I’ve killed all of them.”

“I don’t understand,” Rory muttered in response to someone Idris told him. “There isn’t a forest in here.”

“Yeah, you’re right,” the Doctor said as he took Eva’s hand and brought her to her feet, moving a stray curl from her face as he did. “You’ve completely won. Oh, you can kill us in oodles of really inventive ways, but before you do kill us allow me and friends Eva, Amy and Rory to congratulate you on being an absolutely worthy opponent.” He pulled Amy to her feet and marked the two girls to clap.

“Congratulations!” Amy said shakily.

“Well done,” Eva bit out.

“Yep, you’ve defeated us,” the Doctor went on. “Me and my lovely friends here at last but definitely not least the TARDIS Matrix herself, a living consciousness you ripped out of this very control room and locked up into a human body and look at her!”

“Doctor, she’s stopped breathing,” Rory muttered.

“Enough!” House said. “That is enough.”

“No,” the Doctor said, holding Eva so tight it hurt. “It’s never enough. You forced the TARDIS into a body so she’d burn out safely a very long way away from this control room. A flesh body can’t hold the TARDIS Matrix and live. Look at her body, House,” the Doctor repeated.

“And you think I should mourn her?” House questioned.

“No,” Eva said, a smile starting to form on her face. “I think you should be very, very careful about what you let back into this control room.”

Idris moved once more, breathing out golden time energy that started filling the room.

“You took her from her home,” the Doctor said. “But now she’s back in the box again and she’s free!”

“No!” House said. “Doctor, stop this!” he called out in pain. “Stop this now!”

“Oh, look at our girl,” the Doctor told Eva. “Look at her go! Bigger on the inside! You see, House?”

“Make it stop!” House said.

“That’s your problem,” the Doctor continued as if House said nothing. “Size of a planet, but inside you’re just so small!”

“Make it stop!” House repeated, and Eva smiled, not a hint of mercy in her features.

“Finish him off, girl,” she said, and House’s cries of dying filled the room.

When they stopped, a warm light filled the room.

“Doctor? Beauty? Are you there?” The two turned around to see Idris standing once more. “It’s so very dark in here.”

“We’re here,” the Doctor said, walking to her.

“I’ve been looking for a word,” Idris said. “A big, complicated word, but so sad. I’ve found it now.”

“What word?” the Doctor asked.

“Alive,” Idris said. “I’m alive!”

“Alive isn’t sad,” the Doctor said, bemused.

“It’s sad when it’s over,” Eva told him.

“My Beauty understands,” Idris said with a small smile. “I’ll always be here. But this is when we talked and now even that has come to an end.” She paused, before adding, “There’s something I didn’t get to say to you.”

“Goodbye?” the Doctor asked quietly, tears shining in his eyes.

“No,” Idris said. “I just wanted to say... hello. Hello, Doctor. It’s so very, very nice to meet you.”

Idris started disappearing and a tear fell on Eva’s cheek.

“Please!” the Doctor said, his jaw shaking. “I don’t want you to... Please!”

But Idris burnt away, and they were left alone.

Chapter Text

Sometime later, the Doctor finally snapped out of the trance he was in, and kissed Eva’s forehead.

“When did you last sleep?” he asked.

“I...” Eva muttered. “I don’t remember.”

“Try to,” the Doctor told her.

“Well...” Eva stretched her mind. “Before here, we went to Logopolis... and I came there after Tooth and Claw.”

“Tooth and Claw?” the Doctor repeated.

“Queen Victoria and a werewolf,” Eva replied. “Which reminds me...” She hit him over the head.

“Ow!” he called out. “What was that for?”

“Six months with Queen Victoria!” Eva called out. “Because you were late.”

“Technically, I arrived just when I was needed,” the Doctor said. “It was you who showed up early.”

“Do you really think it’s a good idea to argue with me right now?” Eva questioned.

“Er... maybe not,” the Doctor said, pecking Eva on the lips. “Amy! Go with Eva to check if she still has a room. House deleted all bedrooms, but I’m not sure how protected hers was.”

“I can go on my own,” Eva said.

“I know you can,” the Doctor said. “But you haven’t slept in about three days, during which you fought a werewolf, a homicidal planet and... and faced him. Wouldn’t want you to fall asleep in the corridor now, would we? Might be a good idea to take a shower, too,” he added thoughtfully.

“Okay,” Amy said, cutting in. “Let’s get you to your room before the Doctor can say more things that can be interpreted the wrong way.”

“What do you mean, ‘Might be a good idea to take a shower’?” Eva called out as Amy dragged her away, and the Doctor’s face lost all trace of colour.

“Nothing!” he replied, grateful that Amy cut in when she did, and smiling at Eva’s angry mutters as she walked to her room.

The room was thankfully still in place, protected from House’s doing, and Eva took a long, warm shower to calm down her nerves. She didn’t want to admit it, but the past couple of days – the last six months, really – had affected her more than she could describe.

As she dried herself, she thought about Four’s regeneration into Five. Eleven told her everything was okay and that she was back before he even noticed she was gone, but she still felt restless, needing to know he was fine and that it went well. She remembered it to be a rough regeneration but was too tired to remember why.

She put on her pyjamas, smoked one last cigarette before bed and fell asleep as soon as her wet hair touched the pillow.

EMH

The War Doctor was walking around the TARDIS – his home for the past hundreds of years. He still remembered the day he first walked through his Old Girl’s doors, as if it was yesterday, and saw his beautiful Eva for the first time.

The memories led him into the depth of the TARDIS, until he stood in front of a light blue door. He still remembered a time when her door was nearly always dark blue, back in his second body, or when it was travelling between red and green in his fourth. He was always intrigued by it, and it took a while before he found out it was related to her mood.

He was expecting a grey door, which meant absence, but this light blue door meant she was there – relaxed, calm and, most importantly, safe.

He carefully opened the door, revealing the view of the young woman sound asleep in her bed. She probably arrived in her sleep, and he was scared to find out how tired she must have been not to notice she was travelling.

His hand reached out, brushing a stray curl from her eyes and the girl stirred in her sleep.

“Doctor?” she muttered.

“Evie,” he breathed out, his voice gruff from age and lack of use.

The woman rubbed her eyes, turning to look at him. “When’d I get here?” she slurred, still not completely awake.

“I don’t know,” the Doctor replied. “I just came in and you were here.”

“Do you do that a lot?”

“What?” the Doctor frowned in confusion.

“Coming into my room when you don’t know if I’m here,” Eva said. “Do you do that a lot?”

“Lately?” the Doctor asked. “More often than not.”

Eva leaned on her elbow, taking in the sight of the man in front of her. It was the first time she was meeting the War Doctor, but she could see it had been quite a while for him in this body already.

His features were marked by lines of worry and dirt that sunk into his wrinkles. The brown coat was slung over his shoulders, covering several layers of clothing, and the scarf around his neck was loose and torn.

And, most of all, she could see the pained look in his eyes whenever he looked at her. She could almost feel the way he held back, forcing himself to not forcefully hold on to her and never, ever let go.

“When was the last time you saw me?” she asked.

“Ten years,” he said gruffly.

“84 percent,” Idris told her minutes before the Doctor revealed the number as the percentage of human in her. “Also, ten years.”

“Come here,” Eva said, moving to the side of her bed.

“What?” the Doctor asked.

“Come here,” Eva repeated, patting the bed.

Hesitantly, the Doctor took off his boots and lied down next to her. She grabbed his arm, wrapping it around her abdomen and snuggling closer to his chest.

It wasn’t long before their even breathing filled the room, the duo sleeping better than they had in far too long.

EMH

Eva spent two whole days with the War Doctor.

At first, she was worried. After all, the Time War was raging outside and this Doctor was the Warrior, the one who fights and refuses to refer to himself by his chosen name. When she found out he wasn’t planning on leaving the TARDIS for as long as she was there, they had their first fight – in her timeline, at least.

“There is a war going on outside!” she yelled. “There are people dying!”

“I know,” the Doctor said, his voice even but his eyes tired and sad. “Which is why there is no way I let you step foot outside of these doors.”

“I can’t die, Doctor,” she all but sneered, and he winced at the sound of his name.

“There are worse things that can happen to you in war than dying,” he told her.

The discussion never rose again.

She sat him down and all but forced him to watch movies with her.

‘The Princess Bride’. ‘Avengers’. She introduced him to Disney, telling him to pay close attention as she asked the TARDIS to put on ‘Dumbo’.

He held her tight, not once complaining about her choice of films and stealing kisses every time she went to the kitchen for more popcorn.

After that, she went to swim in the pool, swatting him on the arm as he looked her up and down when she came out of her room wearing nothing than a bathing suit and splashing water at him when he refused to enter the water.

Later, as he took a shower, she went to the library, where the TARDIS procured her a book that was due to come out a couple of months after Eva left her universe. It was the fifth of a series, and she was so invested in the plot she didn’t even notice the Doctor came out of the shower and sat down beside her until she turned the last page and put it down.

He sat by her side as she smoked, even though she knew he hated the smell. He said he didn’t mind it, and while she knew something deeper was hiding beneath the surface, she didn’t push it.

At night, the fears arrived and under the covers of her bed, the Doctor told Eva he was starting to believe there really was only one way to end this war – by killing all sides involved. She ran a hand through his grey hair and told him that no matter what he decided to do, she fully supported him.

She knew how the story ended – knew that he didn’t really kill all of the Time Lords but instead locked them in a pocket universe – but she also knew that it would be a long time before he found out the truth. Time filled with guilt and regret, times when he questioned the reason he survived in the first place, times that he thought it wasn’t even worth it, since the Daleks survived.

She knew he’d need someone to support him during those moments. And seeing as she was the only thing constant in his life other than the TARDIS, she fully intended on being that person.

But those days of peace and solitude came to an end, as all good things do. Eva was standing in the kitchen, cooking breakfast as the Doctor sat next to the kitchen table and looked at her when her necklace glowed.

The frying pan fell from her hand, cluttering on the floor, and Eva looked at it for a moment before raising her tear-filled eyes to meet the Doctor’s. It was ten years since he last saw her and who knew when would be the next time. She opened her mouth, not even knowing what she wanted to say, but the glow swallowed her before she could think that far.

When the light subsided and Eva blinked, she found herself standing in the middle of the Torchwood Hub.

The place appeared to be empty, and she looked around, silently trying to recognize when she ended up. A sound from behind her made her turn and she saw Jack looking at her.

She smiled, taking a step at his direction but he pulled a gun out and aimed it at her.

“Jack?” she asked worriedly.

“Who are you?” Jack asked. “How did you get in here?”

“Jack, it’s me,” Eva said, confused. “It’s Eva.”

“How do you know me?” Jack questioned.

“I... I travel with the Doctor,” Eva muttered. “It’s not your first time meeting me, is it? It can’t be...”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Jack spat out. “Now tell me, how do you know me?”

“We know each other,” Eva said. “You travelled with me, and with the Doctor.”

“Doctor?” Jack repeated, a look of confusion on his face. “Doctor who?”

Eva’s eyes widened for a moment, and the next thing she knew Jack pulled the trigger of his gun and the bullet hit between her eyes.

EMH

When she came to, Jack was tying her up on one of the cold storage cells. His face twisted in anger and surprised when he saw she was awake.

“I shot you,” he muttered. “How can you be alive?”

“Jack, please,” Eva said. “You met me before. I know you have. You travelled with the Doctor – don’t you remember? He’s the reason you stopped being a con man.”

“I remember the Doctor,” Jack said. “I remember him leaving me. I remember him flying away, abandoning me in the year 200,100. That’s what I remember. I don’t remember you being there.”

“Then trust me,” Eva begged. “Trust me when I say that even if I wasn’t there, I’m a friend. I’m not here to hurt you.”

“You’re an alien,” Jack stated. “I checked. Eighty three point six percent human, the rest unknown.”

Eighty three point six? Eva repeated in her mind, before shaking her head. She had no time to think about this right now.

“You need to be contained,” Jack said coldly. “And this is the only way.”

“You trust me, Jack!” Eva called out as he started pushing her cell in. “Please, believe me! How... how else would I know that you grew up in the Bohemian Hemisphere? You told me that! Jack! Jack, please!”

An old memory of a nightmare Eva used to have as a child came back into her mind.

The darkness, the cold, the inability to move. The feeling of being lowered somewhere, and then the sand covering the coffin she was in.

“Jack, please listen to me! Don’t do this! Please, don’t do this!”

Calling out for help but nobody can hear her voice. Or worse – they hear her and ignore. She screams until her voice goes hoarse.

“Jack!” Eva cried, starting to hyperventilate. “Jack, please help me! Please!”

There is nothing but darkness and silence, and then she wakes up crying.

The words found their way into her mouth before she even comprehended the fact that she was saying them.

Dad, please!”

And, as simple as that, the magic was broken. Jack stopped pushing the cell in, and instead looked at her with recognition and... was that regret?

“Evie...” he muttered. “Oh, Evie, I’m so sorry.”

He removed the restraints he put over her and pulled her out, his arms holding her in a tight embrace.

“Y-You...” she stuttered. “You were going t-to...”

“I know,” he sighed into her hair. “And I am so, so sorry.”

He tried to block out anything other than the woman in his arms as he held her tight, but as often happens in times like this, he couldn’t help but think about the last thing he wanted to think of.

A cloud of smoke extracted from Eva’s mouth as she sat next to him. The Doctor was sulking in one of the other rooms, and neither of them knew where Rose was but it didn’t matter.

“Tell me something about you,” she suddenly said.

“What?” Jack asked.

“This is my fourth time meeting you, and even though I know a lot about you I still don’t know much,” Eva told him, taking another drag of her cigarette. “Tell me something about you. Something nobody knows.”

Jack stopped, thinking for a moment. There was a lot about him that nobody knew, but most of those things had a very good reason to be kept secret. After about a minute of thought, he settled on a piece of information that didn’t bring up bad memories.

“I was born on Earth,” he admitted. “I don’t remember it much, since my parents moved to the Bohemian Hemisphere when I was a year old, but I was born here.” He caught the small smile on Eva’s face. “Your turn. Tell me something even the Doctor doesn’t know.”

Eva hesitated for a moment before admitting, “My greatest fear is being buried alive.”

Being buried alive. Crying out for help but having nobody saving her. And he was so close – too close – to making that fear come true.

“I’m sorry,” he muttered. “I’m so sorry.”

“How?” Eva asked. “How c-could you not remember m-me?”

“I don’t know,” Jack sighed. “Probably the same way Gwen didn’t remember Rhys.”

“Gwen didn’t remember Rhys?” Eva repeated, understanding dawning on her.

“Yes,” Jack replied. “Is that important?”

“Adam,” Eva muttered.

“What?”

“Adam,” she repeated, louder. “This is all because of Adam.”

“Jack,” a voice whispered, and Eva and Jack broke apart to see Ianto barely holding himself up, his legs shaking and his face stained with tears.

“Ianto,” Jack said, walking towards his lover. “What’s wrong?”

“You have to put me in the vaults,” Ianto choked out. “Lock me up. I killed three girls,” he admitted. “Strangled them.”

“Stop kidding around,” Jack muttered.

“I’m serious,” Ianto said. “I murdered them, in cold blood. I took their bodies, and –” There was a bang and he jumped to his feet, looking around. “You have to lock me away... before I turn on you.”

“That’s not going to happen,” Eva said. “It’s all in your head.”

“None of you are safe,” Ianto said, making a run for it but Jack grabbed his arms.

“Hey, hey!” he called out. “Come here. Come here,” he repeated, pulling him into a hug. “What’s happened to you?”

“I’m a monster,” Ianto whispered, and Eva decided to take action.

“No, you’re not,” she said harshly.

“Eva, I murdered them,” Ianto said.

“You murdered them just as much as Jack never met me before today,” Eva retorted. “Something – Someone is messing with your memories. You got too close to the truth so he planted false memories into your head to make you focus on that, rather than him.”

“Who?” Ianto questioned. “Who can do that?”

“Adam,” Eva replied coldly. “He made Gwen forget Rhys and Jack forget me. He made you think you’re a murderer. He took away everything that makes Owen who he is. And I’m pretty sure he and Tosh are having sex as we speak.”

“It’s not fake,” Ianto said. “These memories are real.”

“Wanna bet?” Eva muttered, going to one of the computers and uploading the security camera’s recording of Adam and Ianto.

“All human record is a lie,” a voice said from the speaker and the screen showed Ianto on the floor. “You crave flesh. Remember this,” the voice said, and a hand was placed on Ianto’s forehead. Adam’s hand.

Eva moved to another footage, this time one showing Adam and Tosh.

“A year ago today,” Adam said, putting a hand to Tosh’s neck. “You remembered.”

“Who the hell is this?” Gwen asked looking at Adam.

“Just cos that’s what I said to you on your first day,” Adam said, touching her shoulder. “Remember”

“Come here,” Jack said, pulling Ianto towards the screen and putting on the first video again. “Just look, look.”

“Remember it,” Adam said, and Ianto screamed when foreign memories entered his brain. “Remember it, remember it, remember it.”

“Where’s Adam’s blood sample?” Jack asked, going through the different vials as Ianto headed to the computer.

“Everything’s in order here,” he said, looking at Adam’s file.

“Check when it was last updated,” Eva ordered.

“24 hours ago,” Ianto whispered in fear, finally starting to believe that what Eva told him might be true.

Chapter Text

All of the sudden, the lights were on and Jack put a hand around Eva’s waist as Ianto exited Adam’s file, taking a folder and looking through it. Owen came in, carrying flowers and he barely did more than nod at the three of them before putting the flowers on Tosh’s desk and heading away.

Tosh and Adam walked in and Eva held Jack tighter, but his arm didn’t waver and he didn’t move. They watched silently as Owen came back, apologizing to Tosh about something that happened and Tosh smiled at him, but not with the usual warmness Tosh held within her.

Gwen arrived, saying that things were better with her and Rhys and as Adam hugged her, Eva’s hands trembled.

He hurt them. He hurt Jack’s family and, by extension, her family. She wanted to make him suffer.

She pulled the gun out of Jack’s belt and took off the safety, aiming it at Adam’s head.

“Talk to us, Adam,” Jack said, his arm still around her. “If that’s even your name.”

“What?” Adam asked, a nervous smile on his face.

“What is she doing, Jack?” Gwen asked. “Who is she?”

“You know who she is,” Jack said. “You met her, we all met her. You just don’t remember.”

“He’s not who you think he is,” Eva said, her voice shaking. “He’s been feeding himself into your memories, by touch. That’s why you forget.

“Is this some kind of sick joke?” Tosh asked.

“He didn’t exist until two days ago,” Jack said.

“Can somebody tell me what’s going on, please?” Adam asked.

“Jack, we’ve known him for years,” Owen said. “He is part of the team.”

“No,” Eva said. “He just made you think that.”

“Come on, love,” Adam said, reaching out a hand only for Eva to back away, fixing her aim.

“If you touch me I will fucking kill you,” she threatened. “An hour ago I was making breakfast for my boyfriend and half an hour ago, my dad tried to kill me, because of you. Think twice if I’m a girl you want to annoy right now.”

“Jack,” Adam said, turning to the man in question. “You know me. You recruited me three years ago.”

“When I think of my team I see you there,” Jack admitted. “But I don’t feel anything for you. Quite the opposite of what happened with Evie. No pride, no warmth... You, the one who I can confide in, the one who unburied the dead.”

“Jack, maybe you’ve forgotten him,” Gwen offered. “Like I did with Rhys?”

“No,” Jack said. “Because I now know how that feels. And Eva knows how Rhys feels, only worse, a hundred times worse. I nearly killed her,” he whispered. “I was halfway into locking her up in the cold storage cells when she called me, ‘Dad’. That kind of emotion can’t be faked. And if Evie says it’s because of you, I believe her.”

“By making you think you know him, he disturbs your real memories,” Eva explained. “Changes you. Makes you forget.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about –”

“We’re taking him to the vaults,” Jack ordered, pulling Adam into a standing position.

“Jack, this is ridiculous –” Gwen started, before stopping at the sight of Tosh aiming a gun at Eva.

“Go ahead,” Eva mocked. “Shoot me and I shoot him. Or we can just lock him up, and nobody would be harmed.”

“Why should I believe you?” Tosh asked.

“Tosh,” Jack said, “Tosh, we can talk about this.”

“Drop the gun, bitch!” Tosh called out, ready to pull the trigger when Ianto took the gun from her hands.

“Get off me!” Tosh called out.

“This is what you’ve done to us,” Jack told Adam, pushing him away. “Move.”

EMH

“Don’t kill me,” Adam said from within his cell. “I had to become part of your memories in order to survive. I didn’t mean any harm.”

“You’ve changed us,” Jack said.

“For the better!” Adam told him. “You didn’t remember who you were. You were feeling so much guilt. I helped you. Look at Owen, all his cynicism gone. He’s a different man now. Selfless, happier. And Toshiko, too – she’s never been this confident.”

“How did you come here?” Jack asked. “Why us?”

“All of you have such unique memories,” Adam said. “Especially you, Jack. All those extraordinary memories you hold – some hidden, some absent. Your singular mind,” he concluded. “That’s what drew me here.”

“Good job,” Jack said, putting a hand on the glass between them. “It’s what we do best... wipe out aliens.”

“You can’t shoot me!” Adam called out. “You made me live.”

“I didn’t,” Eva said. “And I’ll have no problem killing you right now.”

“I deleted the memories that caused you the most guilt, Jack,” Adam said, ignoring her. “Why does you own daughter, your own flesh, make you feel so guilty?”

Jack looked at him emotionlessly.

“Spoilers,” he said before pulling Eva out, protecting her like a lioness protects her cubs.

EMH

“Our memories define us,” Jack told his team as they all sat in the conference room. “Adam changed those memories... changed who we are. Now I have to help you all go back, find a memory that defines you. Rediscover who you are. If I’m wrong,” he said, looking at Tosh, “He’ll still be here when we’ve done this.”

“You’re not wrong,” Eva said from where she stood. “I know so.”

Jack nodded at her before turning back to his team. “Let me take you back to before we all met,” he said. “Feel around for anything that makes you what you are... the hidden and the forgotten. Tell me where you are.”

“The college canteen.” Gwen was the first to speak. “Rhys is sitting opposite me, telling stupid jokes.”

“It’s my birthday,” Owen said, and Eva’s heart broke, knowing what he was going to say. “I’m ten. Mum spends the whole day screaming, ‘I love you because you’re my son... but that doesn’t mean I have to like you’.”

“Maths club,” Tosh whispered. “Something so reliable about maths... always the right answer.”

“Meeting Lisa,” Ianto remembered. “Falling in love, never felt so alive.”

“I turn 16.” Owen again. “She packs my bags. That is the nicest thing you’ve done for me in years, Mother.”

“Kissing him in the supermarket,” Gwen remembered. “The look on his face.”

“My first flat,” Toshiko said. “I don’t have a flat-warming. There’s no-one I want to invite.”

“Losing Lisa,” Ianto said in a shaky voice. “Like the world had ended.”

“The way he looks at me sometimes,” Gwen muttered. “As if he’s scared of what he feels for me. I love him.” She turned to look at Jack. “But not in the way I love you.”

“Take this,” Jack said, handing her a Retcon pill.

“Knowing there has to be more to life than this,” Tosh said. “Knowing I’m special, waiting for someone to see it.”

“We see it,” Eva said, giving her a Retcon pill as well.

“You save one life,” Owen whispered. “A hundred lives but it’s never enough. Who’ll save me?”

“I will,” Jack said, giving him another pill.

“Coming here gave me meaning again,” Ianto said, looking at Jack as Eva slipped a pill into his hand. “You.”

“You each have a short-term amnesia pill,” Jack explained. “It’ll make you forget Adam. We have to wipe out the last 48 hours from our memories. Go back to who we were.”

Ianto was the first, obediently reaching out for his pill and taking it without hesitation. Gwen was next, taking her pill with a sense of determinism, wanting to remember Rhys again. Owen’s hands were shaking, his eyes never leaving Tosh as he took off the ridiculous glasses he was wearing and swallowed his pill.

Tosh opened up the security footage of Adam’s cell, looking at him as he shook.

“I’m going to lose so much,” she cried.

“None of it was real,” Eva told her softly.

“He loved me,” Tosh said. “And I loved him. It’s no different from real memory.”

“He forced it on you,” Jack said. “You have to let it go.”

Toshiko sent one last look to the screen before sitting down, taking her pill.

“Goodbye, Adam,” she whispered, laying down her head and closing her eyes.

Eva looked up from the tear-stained face and at Jack, who reached out a hand for her.

“We’re not done yet,” he said.

“We’re getting there,” Eva said shakily, accepting the offered hand and allowing him to lead her downstairs.

EMH

“Just us left.”

Adam was sitting in his cell, his body covered in cold sweat and his eyes haunted as he looked up at Eva and Jack.

“I know what it’s like not to exist,” he told them with a shaking voice. “Please don’t send me back there.”

“We have to,” Jack said, and Adam took a shaky breath.

“What are you going to do?” he asked.

Eva and Jack each raised a pill for Adam to see.

“This will wipe out the past two days for me, and the last twelve hours for Eva,” Jack replied.

“Well, you’ll still keep the bad memories,” Adam said. “Because they were always yours. But what about the good times, Jack? What about the last good memory of you and your dad?” He turned to look at Eva. “What about your childhood, the things erased from your memory?”

“It’s lost,” Eva said sternly.

“I can help you find it,” Adam told them. “I can take you back there. Before I die.”

“Why would you do that?”

“I was in the void for so long, the colours of this world almost blinded me, Jack,” Adam replied. “It was so beautiful after the darkness and the stench of fear. You gave me that. Let me do this for you.”

“Or,” Eva said shakily, “You’ll just implant yourself into our memories, making it so that as long as we remembered it, you were still alive.”

Jack looked at Eva, shocked, before raising his pill.

“I don’t want to die!” Adam called out. “You take that pill and you will lose everything. No more hope for memories of your father. He will cease to have existed for you.”

“No, he won’t,” Eva said. “Because I already know the story, and it’s not something I’ll forget.”

She held hands with Jack as they both raised the pill to their lips.

“Goodbye, Adam,” Jack whispered.

The father and daughter simultaneously took the pill, watching as the man in the cell blinked out of existence. Jack sunk to the floor, and Eva sat next to him, resting her head on his shoulder.

Moments later, they were asleep.

EMH

Eva’s eyes fluttered open, her body screaming at sore muscles and tired bones. She cranked her neck, feeling the pressure subsiding before looking around her, trying to understand where she was.

The last thing she remembered was being with the War Doctor, cooking them breakfast, when her locket glowed. Did she hit her head when she arrived?

She looked to her side, seeing Jack blinking back into awareness. She was in Torchwood, then. The only question was when she ended up.

“Evie?” Jack muttered. “When did you get here?”

“No idea,” Eva replied. “What happened?”

“Not a clue,” Jack shrugged. “But whatever it was, we ended up next to the locking cells.”

“If it were anyone but me, I’d have told you to make sure the cameras didn’t record whatever happened here,” Eva snickered.

“Shut up,” Jack said, slowly standing up. “There must be a couple more.”

“Like whom?” Eva questioned, taking the hand Jack offered her and standing up.

“I don’t know,” Jack shrugged. “Martha. Francine. Clyde.”

“Oh, shut up,” Eva laughed. “You’re telling me that if the opportunity ever presented itself...?”

“Well...” Jack shrugged. “Maybe Martha. It’s different with Francine and Clyde, because of... well, you know.”

“Right,” Eva said, remembering the three, along with Tish, had spent the Year That Never Was aboard the Valliant with the Master. “I haven’t been there yet,” she admitted. “I know I’d have stopped it if I could.”

“You tried,” Jack said tiredly. “You really did, but... there was nothing we could have done. Let’s head upstairs,” he added, shaking off the memories, and Eva smiled, placing her hand in his.

“Jack,” Gwen said as soon as she saw him. “How have we lost two days?”

“What do you mean?” Jack asked.

“The last 48 hours,” Ianto said. “None of us can remember a thing. Eva,” he greeted. “When did you get here?”

“Probably during the past forty eight hours,” Eva shrugged. “Have you got nothing on it?”

“The system’s blank,” Tosh said. “The CCIV’s been wiped. What’s been going on? What’ve we been doing?”

“I... don’t know,” Jack admitted. “Eva?”

Eva strained her mind, trying to remember when was it that the Torchwood team lost forty eight hours of their lives. The only thing she could think of was... but if she was right, then...

“There’s a reason you can’t remember,” she said cautiously. “You made yourselves forget.”

“Great!” Owen bit out sarcastically. “That’s two days of my life that I’ll never get back!”

“Looks like Toshiko got herself a secret admirer, though,” Jack said, nodding at the flowers next to Tosh.

“‘To Tosh,’” the woman read aloud. “‘Love and apologies, Owen.’ They’re from you!” she exclaimed.

“In your dreams, Tosh,” Owen said with an eye roll. “I think someone’s winding you up, darling – No, I don’t do flowers... and I definitely don’t do apologies.”

“What was that about?” Jack muttered as he watched him walk away.

“You’re better off not knowing,” Eva replied with a sigh.

“But you know?” Jack questioned.

“Yes.”

“How is that fair?” Jack questioned.

“I never said it was,” Eva retorted. “Deal with it.”

“Not for me,” Jack sighed. “It’s unfair to you. You just know all of these things, everything.”

“Well, there isn’t much I can do about it, is there?” Eva questioned. “I’m travelling around – perhaps not knowing where I’ll end up, but once I’m there I know what’s going to happen. I’ve learned to deal with it.”

Jack frowned. “How long have you been here?” he asked.

“Seven months, give or take,” Eva shrugged. “Though during six of them I was stuck in Victorian London.”

“I remember that story,” Jack smiled. “Thanks to you, I have a job.”

“Well, thanks to the Doctor, the Queen probably hated me,” Eva replied. “I still can’t believe she built an entire organization destined to keep him out of Britain – and I knew it was going to happen before I even met her.”

“How?” Jack questioned. “How do you know all of these things?”

“I’m pretty sure it counts as spoilers,” Eva sighed. “Sorry.”

“It’s okay,” Jack told her. “I understand... sort of. Well, do you want to go to your apartment?”

Eva stopped, turning to stare at him.

“I have a flat?” she asked.

“You have quite a few,” Jack replied. “One here, in Cardiff, one in London, one in Leadworth – god knows why – another in Iowa, of all places, and a summerhouse in Greece.” Eva gaped at him, and he shrugged. “I saved up quite a lot of money during the past century, and I like buying you things. Though I do believe most of these were strategic, because you made certain that both the one in Iowa and the one in London were under one of our names before 1969.”

“Four flats?” Eva asked, shocked. “Four flats and a summerhouse?”

“You’re my daughter,” Jack shrugged. “I’m allowed to buy you things.”

“Yes, but these are expensive things,” Eva said.

“Well, I rent most of them nowadays,” Jack said. “It’s good money.”

“It better be,” Eva muttered.

“I already earned back their worth and more,” Jack told her. “Don’t let it bother you. Now, do you want to see your apartment?”

Eva let a small smile slip onto her lips. “Definitely,” she said, linking arms with her father.

“Alright,” Jack said, smiling. “Off we go.”

Chapter Text

The flat Jack purchased for Eva in Cardiff was amazing, but the young woman hadn’t managed to do anything other than make herself a sandwich before her locket glowed and she was pulled away, sandwich still in hand. When she landed, she found herself standing in the middle of the Console Room.

“Eva!” a voice called. “Just in time! Peri here wants a vacation.”

Eva looked up from her sandwich to see the Sixth Doctor looking at her.

“What are you holding there?” he questioned.

“An albino tiger,” she retorted sarcastically. “It’s a sandwich,” she clarified.

“Why?” he questioned.

“Why?” Eva repeated.

“Why are you holding a sandwich?”

“Well, I was planning to eat it,” Eva said. “Currently I think of simply throwing it at your face. I heard avocado’s good for your skin.”

The Doctor frowned, and Peri laughed.

“Oh, it’s so good to see you again, Eva,” she said with a smile. “How’ve you been?”

“Had my better, had my worse,” Eva shrugged. “You?”

“Pretty much the same,” Peri replied.

“Well, are the two of you going to stand there chatting all day?” the Doctor questioned. “Peri had requested a vacation and I know the very place.”

“Doctor, if you’re about to suggest the Eye of Orion, don’t,” Peri sighed. “I’ve heard all about that elusive place once too often. No one lives there and few visit, apart from you.”

“But such a beautiful moonset,” the Doctor protested. “An ideal tonic for the weary time traveller.” At the twin unenthusiastic looks from Eva and Peri, he sighed. “But if that doesn’t appeal, as I’ve said, there’s always Andromeda.”

“Oh, really?” Eva asked with a smile, knowing where this conversation was heading towards. “And what’s out there?”

“Some of the most magical sights in the entire universe,” the Doctor said, looking at something beyond the sight of the two women. “Astral starbursts creating a myriad celestial bodies against timeless royal blue backdrop.”

“Very poetic,” Peri said, rolling her eyes at Eva. “But that’s the exact description you always give of the Eye of Orion.”

“It is?” the Doctor questioned.

“Word for word,” Eva said, smiling.

The Doctor frowned at the duo. “Does nothing please you?” he asked them.

“Yes!” Peri called out desperately. “Purposeful travel. Not aimless wanderings.”

“Aimless?” the Doctor asked, looking at her. “You see our time together as aimless?”

“No, not exactly,” Peri admitted. “I guess not.”

“I should hope not,” the Doctor said sternly. “Or perhaps you’re trying to tell me you’ve had enough. In that case, I can easily set the coordinates for Earth, 1985 –”

“Oi, Fozzie!” Eva called out. “Don’t you dare!”

The Doctor smiled, taking a step towards her. “What the Lady wishes, the Lady gets,” he said, pecking her on the lips and putting her sandwich away.

“What’s that?” Peri suddenly asked, looking at the colourful squares that appeared on screen.

“Looks like your suit,” Eva commented to the Doctor.

“Oh, hush,” the Doctor scolded. “That is a Kontron tunnel. Put more colloquially, it’s a time corridor in space.”

“Didn’t the Daleks have one of those?” Peri questioned.

“It doesn’t matter whose tunnel it is,” the Doctor muttered. “We’re heading straight for it and there’s nothing we can do about it.”

“So?” Peri asked. “You’ve always said the Tardis is indestructible.”

“Well, that’s beside the point,” the Doctor brushed the comment away. “Colliding with a time corridor is something one tries to avoid.”

“Well, what will it do to us?” Eva questioned.

“You can never tell with a time tunnel,” the Doctor muttered. “Ah!”

“Are you in pain?” Peri asked, worried.

“Found out where the corridor is going,” the Doctor said. “You’re in luck. It’s Earth. It’s a period you call 1179 AD.”

“Oh,” Peri said excitedly. “I’ve never been to 12th century Earth.”

“I was,” Eva sighed. “Twice.”

“As I seem to keep saying, that’s beside the point,” the Doctor told them. “Once inside a time tunnel, the Tardis may undergo an adverse Kontron effect.”

“Is that bad?” Peri asked him.

“Bad?” the Doctor repeated. “Bad?!”

Both Peri and Eva covered their ears at the sound of the Doctor’s yell. He moved to another part of the console, pressing a couple of buttons. Eva and Peri shared a look before simultaneously taking down their hands.

Bad?!” the Doctor called out again, making the two girls cringe. “You don’t seem to realise the effect that time particles colliding within a multi-dimensional implosion field can have!”

“Hardly,” Peri muttered, making Eva giggle.

“Well,” the Doctor said, looking between the two of them. “The short answer is ‘Pow!’

Eva and Peri cringed again, and Eva neared the Doctor.

“In case you haven’t noticed, we’re in quite a tight space,” she said. “There’s no need to yell.”

“I wasn’t yelling,” the Doctor brushed the comment off.

“Of course not,” Eva muttered. “And I’m actually a penguin in disguise.”

“Stop with this nonsense,” the Doctor muttered. “Peri, do you see the screen next to you?”

“Yes,” Peri said. “There’s this sort of curve on it.”

“Keep an eye on it,” the Doctor ordered. “Eva, with me.”

“What are you doing?” she asked as he started to take out all sorts of colourful wires.

“I could try to explain, but I don’t believe you’ll be able to understand half of what I say,” the Doctor replied.

“So you have no idea, and are just bidding your time until we can find a solution?” Eva questioned. “That sure clears things up.”

“I am not bidding my –”

“Doctor?” Peri asked. “Eva?”

“Yes, dear?” Eva asked.

“That curve on the screen you told me to keep an eye on, it’s now straight,” she said. “Is that bad?”

“Bad?” the Doctor asked. “No, it’s disastrous!”

“You do know that being a bit more understanding isn’t going to kill you, right?” Eva asked.

“It’s not my fault she asks stupid questions,” the Doctor replied.

“It’s not our fault we don’t know as much as you do in TARDIS maintenance,” Eva replied. “Though, let’s be honest, you don’t know much either.”

“I know plenty!” the Doctor protested, pulling out more and more wires as he spoke.

“I can hardly see you now, and you say you know plenty?” Eva questioned.

“Oh, be quiet!” the Doctor retorted. “How’s that line? “

“It’s starting to break up,” Peri said.

“Is it still on the screen?” the Doctor asked.

“Just about.”

“If any part of it leaves the screen, let me know immediately,” he ordered, pulling some more wires.

“Of course you know what you’re doing,” Eva muttered sarcastically.

“Do you mind?” the Doctor asked. “In case you haven’t noticed, I’m trying to work!”

“‘Trying’ would be the keyword here,” Eva retorted, earning herself a glare from the Doctor and a giggle from Peri.

He let go of the wires, opening a chest Eva didn’t knew existed and starting to look through it. Eva smiled as she saw a hat that looked similar to the one the next regeneration was going to wear, and the waistcoat she remembered the Eight Doctor wore. After a couple of moments of searching within the chest, he pulled out two belts and handed one to Peri.

“Belt up,” he ordered.

“Where did you get these?” Peri asked.

“Does it matter?” the Doctor questioned.

“Well, we’ve never had to use belts before,” she noted.

“We’ve never had to negotiate a Kontron tunnel before,” the Doctor replied.

“What I really want to know, is why did you take out only two belts,” Eva said. “There’s three of us.”

“I don’t have a third belt,” the Doctor said. “You’ll have to belt up with me.”

“That is the worst excuse I had ever heard,” Eva said, though she was smiling as she buckled up with the Doctor. “If you want to be so close to me, you can always just ask,” she whispered in his ear.

“Is now really the time?” he questioned.

“Apparently so,” Eva replied with a laugh.

The room started to shake and Eva held on tight to the Doctor’s back as he held the belt that connected them to the console.

“Oh, Doctor!” Peri called out, barely managing to connect herself to the console.

“Peri, it’s starting!” the Doctor called back, and Eva’s hands tightened around him, hugging his waist. “Well, I know that the circumstances aren’t the best, but I sure can’t complain,” he told her.

“Let’s just try to get out of this with all of our limbs where they should be, alright?” Eva asked.

“I sure intend to attempt so,” the Doctor said, as the TARDIS shook again and they were thrown to the right. “Hold on,” he told them. “We’re seconds from impact.”

“Just another trip in the TARDIS with you, isn’t it?” Eva joked, right before they were all thrown at the console.

“It worked!” the Doctor said, looking around. “We’re still in one piece.”

“You can sound less surprised, you know,” Eva muttered.

“You know you don’t have to hold on to me so tight anymore, right?” he asked her.

“I don’t exactly trust my legs to keep me standing,” she replied. “Are you complaining?”

“Not in the least,” the Doctor said, winking at her.

“I feel as though I’ve been put through a blender,” Peri muttered.

The faded image of a woman crossed their eyes and the trio blinked.

“What was that?” Peri stuttered. “Or did I imagine her?”

“No,” the Doctor said. “No, she was real enough.”

“Well, anyone important?”

“Didn’t get a chance to ask,” the Doctor muttered, releasing both himself and Eva from the belt that was holding them.

“Great,” Peri muttered. “Do you expect any more uninvited guests?”

“No,” the Doctor said.

“Not yet,” Eva muttered.

“Not at all,” the Doctor corrected. “Both the Tardis and the time corridor have now fully stabilised.”

“Was she travelling down the time corridor?” Peri asked.

“Yes,” the Doctor said. “I only hope she wasn’t banking on reaching 12th century Earth. The Tardis is bound to have deflected her path.”

“Then we must help her!” Peri declared.

“We can hardly help ourselves,” the Doctor said, as sparks came out of the console. “Velocity override!”

“I thought you said the worst was over!” Peri called out.

“Oh, since when does he have a clue as to what he is talking about?” Eva questioned.

“She’s attempting to materialise,” the Doctor said, ignoring the duo. “We must be near the source of the time tunnel.”

With one final shake, the TARDIS materialised and the Doctor opened the scanner.

“A reception committee,” Peri said, looking at the three men who were before them.”Well, they look friendly enough.”

“So they should be,” the Doctor said. “We’ve been here before.”

“We?” Eva asked. “This is my first time here.”

“Well, I’ve been here before,” the Doctor corrected. “You will be here before.”

“And where’s here?” Peri asked.

“Karfel,” both the Doctor and Eva replied.

“I was here a regeneration or three back,” the Doctor said.

“Well, if you’ve been here before, then no problem.” Peri said, relaxed.

“Except that time corridor,” the Doctor said. “Karfel should be centuries from such technology.”

He walked towards the door, Eva and Peri following close behind.

“Doctor –” Peri started, reaching out towards the lever that opened the door.

“No!” the Doctor said, hitting her hand lightly.

“Doctor!” Eva scolded.

“Now don’t go wandering off until I’m certain this place is clear,” the Doctor said, ignoring her.

“Yes, sir!” Peri muttered sarcastically, rolling her eyes.

Eva sighed, taking the other girl’s hand as they followed the Doctor out of the TARDIS.

“Welcome, Time Lord,” a man said as he saw them.

“Hello,” the Doctor said. “I’m the Doctor.”

“And I’m Tekker,” the man said. “Maylin Tekker. We are honoured that you have decided to visit us again, after all this time.”

“Don’t,” Eva advised. “It all goes straight to his head.”

“Indeed, you are,” the Doctor said.

“Told you,” Eva sighed. “This is Peri,” she said, marking at the girl next to her. “And I’m –”

“The Omniscient,” Tekker said. “Again, very much honoured.”

“Eva’s fine, too,” Eva said, but the man already returned his attention back to the Doctor.

“Only the three of you?” he asked.

“Yes, travelling light this time,” the Doctor said. “Besides, so difficult to recruit good staff these days, don’t you agree?”

“Ahem,” Eva coughed, attempting to remind the Doctor she was there as well, and that she was most certainly not his ‘staff’.

“Maylin.” Clearly, it didn’t work. “About this time corridor in space –”

“All in good time, Doctor,” Tekker said. “All in good time. Please enjoy our hospitality first. Have you been travelling long?” he asked Peri, leading her away.

“Well, it’s hard to say really,” Peri said. “Time just flies when you are in the TARDIS.”

“You know, you’re quite rude in this regeneration,” Eva noted to the Doctor quietly as they followed behind Tekker and Peri. “And not very nice, either.”

“Would you like me to stop?” the Doctor asked.

“No, I kind of like it,” Eva said. “What I do want is for you to find me something to eat. I don’t remember the last time I put something that wasn’t a cigarette in my mouth.”

“Oh, you’re a young one,” the Doctor said.

“Is that a problem?” Eva asked, raising a brow at him.

“Not at all,” the Doctor said. “It’s just that the younger versions of you usually aren’t so... casual in my presence.”

“Hmm, I wonder why,” Eva said sarcastically. “What did we have so far? In your third body, you were rude and arrogant, I was less than a week in this world and was brainwashed by the Master –”

“Our first kiss,” the Doctor mused. “I remember it well.”

“On your fourth body, you locked me in the TARDIS,” Eva went on as if he didn’t interrupt. “Twice.”

“And you smoked in the Console Room,” the Doctor said. “Twice.”

“And in your fifth body, we were dealing with an imposter to the King of England when the Master tried to prevent the Magna Carta from being signed.”

“So this is the first time you meet me without the Master being involved in one way or another?” the Doctor questioned.

“So far, for you,” Eva replied. “I met future versions of you, as well.”

“Well, let us all hope he isn’t involved this time,” the Doctor muttered.

“He isn’t,” Eva replied. “Why does it matter? Why is he so interested in me?”

“At first, he used you in order to get to me,” the Doctor said. “Quite effectively, though I’m not very proud of it. And at a certain point, he simply got obsessed with... well... you.”

“But why?” Eva pressed.

“Spoilers,” the Doctor said simply.

“Oh, no, Mister!” Eva said. “You don’t get to ‘Spoi- oomph!” she called out angrily as he kissed her. “That’s not going to make me shut up, you know.”

“I promise I’ll explain everything,” the Doctor said. “Later.”

“I’ve heard that one before,” Eva muttered.

“And did I explain?” the Doctor asked.

“One near-death experience and about eight hundred years for you later, yes,” she replied angrily.

“But I did explain,” the Doctor said, planting another small kiss on Eva’s nose. “For now, let’s try to figure out how the Karfelons have a time corridor.”

“Oh, this discussion is so not over yet,” Eva muttered, following the alien away.

EMH

“Please come in, Doctor,” Tekker said as the group walked into a room where a blue droid stood with a tray of drinks.

The Doctor looked around, raising a brow at a security camera as Peri accepted a drink from the droid.

“Oh, our security system,” Tekker said, following his gaze. “There have been a lot of changes since you were last here.”

“So I see,” the Doctor said, declining a drink.

“No, thank you,” Eva said politely as the droid turned to her, and it walked away.

“Oh, what unusual plants,” Peri said, looking at purple and green flowers at the corner of the room.

“Peri is a bit of a botanist,” the Doctor explained.

“She’s a student for botany,” Eva corrected. “If you’re taking down of your companions’ respect, at least do so accurately,” she told the Doctor.

“Indeed,” Tekker said.

“Most unusual,” Peri said, looking at the closely.

“Maylin, I’d like to talk to you about this time corridor –”

“Ow!” Peri called out, disturbing their conversation and they turned to see the droid tore off her necklace. “Hey! That’s mine! I... What’s all that about?” she asked, turning to look at Tekker.

“I’m terribly sorry about that,” Tekker said. “I do hope it didn’t frighten you too much.”

“Well, I’m more concerned about losing my St Christopher,” Peri muttered.

“Yes,” Tekker said slowly. “I think the android was trying to warn you away from this plant. Although it is a very beautiful specimen, it has the nasty habit of ejecting an acidic fluid into the face of the admirer.”

“Well, I’m surprised you have them on display,” Peri replied.

“I think perhaps a little re-potting is in order,” the Doctor said.

“And reprogramming,” Eva said. “Can’t forget about the reprogramming...Don’t you agree, Maylin?”

“Yes,” Tekker said in a tone that suggested he thought the exact opposite. “You could be right.” A red light next to the security camera started blinking, a beeping sound played in accordance to it. “Excuse me for a moment, will you?” Tekker asked, not waiting for a response before shoving the vase into Eva’s hands and walking away.

Eva quickly put the vase aside, making sure to avoid the acid it started to eject.

“Charming fellow,” the Doctor commented dryly.

“He pushed an acidic plant into my face,” Eva said. “Real charming.”

“Have you been hurt?” the Doctor asked worriedly.

“I’m fine,” Eva muttered, as the Doctor moved her face from side to side, looking at it. “I said I’m fine, Fozzie.”

“I heard you,” the Doctor said. “But I just like looking at your face.”

“Oh, stop it,” Eva said, a blush starting to form on her face as she playfully hit the Doctor.

“Never,” the Doctor said, sitting down on one of the couches and pulling Eva on top of him, planting a kiss on her mouth.

“Is now really the time for this?” Peri asked.

“Oh, it’s always the time for this, Peri,” the Doctor informed her as she sat down on the other couch. “Although... The place has certainly changed. There’s something missing,” he muttered. “What is it?”

“It’s so dull,” Peri commented.

“Bored already?” the Doctor questioned, rolling his eyes.

“It’s literally dull, Fozzie,” Eva said, standing up in sync with Peri. “It lacks... sparkle.”

“There’s no reflection,” Peri added.

“It’s all so matt and lifeless.”

“Even the goblets don’t shine!”

A messenger entered the room, making the two of them quiet down as he handed a paper to Eva, before bolting out of the room.

“Hey, wait a minute –” the Doctor started, but the man was already gone.

“What does it say?” Peri asked her.

“Sezon at the Falchian Rocks,” Eva read out.

“I beg your pardon?” the Doctor asked, confused.

“Sezon at the Falchian Rocks,” she repeated. “A message.”

“An odd message,” Peri muttered, looking at it.

“I have arranged a short tour of the Citadel,” Tekker said as he walked into the room, making the trio jump.

“Splendid,” the Doctor said, smiling brightly as Eva hid the message in her pocket.

“For your assistants,” Tekker clarified.

“Oh, sounds great,” Peri said, sharing a worried look with Eva. “But we’d rather not, if it’s all the same to you.”

“But it’s all arranged,” Tekker said. “Councillor Brunner is waiting outside to escort you, and I have so much to talk to you about, Doctor. The time corridor was a brilliant stroke of luck.”

“Oh, the Maylin is absolutely right,” the Doctor said. “You go and have a look around. We’ll join you when we’ve had a little chat.”

“Doctor,” Peri started, “In the TARDIS you distinctly said –”

“Never mind what I said in the TARDIS,” the Doctor said. “Off you go. The Maylin and I have important things to discuss. Don’t we, Maylin?”

“Yes, Doctor,” Tekker agreed.

Peri looked at Eva in a silent cry for help, and the time jumper sighed.

“Let Peri stay with you, Doctor,” she said. “I don’t believe she’s in the mood for wandering around.”

“But –”

“I’d love to have a look at the place,” she added, forcing a smile on her face. “After all, unlike you, I hadn’t been here yet.”

“Please, Doctor?” Peri asked.

“Oh, fine,” the Doctor sighed, much to Tekker’s disappointment. “But you better not interrupt us.”

“Never,” Peri said brightly, smiling at Eva as the other woman walked out of the room, to where she knew the Councillor was waiting.

Eva swallowed hard. She knew she shouldn’t mess with time, and that what she was doing was changing the course of known events. But she also remembered how terrified Peri was in this episode, and she didn’t want to force her friend to live it, if she had a choice.

Everything would be fine in the end, that much she knew. All she had left now was hoping she wasn’t changing too many things.

Chapter Text

“This is the west corridor of the central Citadel,” Councillor Brunner told Eva as they walked through yet another white corridor.

“Incredible,” Eva forced herself to say, even though all of the corridors looked exactly the same to her. “Oh, look at these flowers. Peri would have loved it.”

“It was you who convinced the Doctor to let her stay,” Brunner noted.

“She’s not feeling her best,” Eva lied. “I fear this tour would have done her more damage than good.”

“You can never know,” Brunner said.

“Actually, I can,” Eva said, still looking at the flowers. “Do you know the tales of when the Doctor and I were here before?”

“The tales are forbidden to speak of –”

“Nowadays,” Eva completed. “But it wasn’t always that way, was it? You must have heard some of it.”

“I have,” Brunner confirmed.

“Did the tales tell of my nickname?” Eva asked.

“They did,” Brunner said. “The Omniscient.”

“Did the tales tell why I was nicknamed that way?”

“No,” Brunner replied. “Why?”

“Because, more often than not, I know what’s going to happen,” Eva said. “If I’m not mistaken, Maylin Tekker is blackmailing the Doctor as we speak. Telling him that I would die unless the Doctor does his will.”

“Is he?” Brunner asked.

“Soon, you’re going to make up some excuse about being summoned elsewhere,” Eva went on. “You already marked the guard to come for me, and I suppose any attempt to escape would not end well for me, would it?”

“No,” Brunner said. “It won’t.”

“Alright,” Eva nodded, turning around. “I’m still not gonna go down without a fight.”

Grabbing two of the plant pots, she threw one on Brunner’s head and the other on the guard that came to arrest her. Turning around, she started running as fast as she could.

As she heard the android had joined the chase after her, she turned the corner and reached a white door with a blue triangle in its middle. Knowing where the door was leading, she started twisting the triangle and pushing the door until it opened.

She ran inside, closing and locking it after her. Looking around, she saw she was standing in the middle of the Morlox’s cave.

God, she hated maintaining the timeline sometimes.

Going back meant guards and androids after her head. Moving forwards meant a deadly Morlox and untrusting rebels. She’d take her chances with the rebels any day.

Slowly and carefully, she started walking deeper into the cave. The walls were beautiful, and she might have stopped to appreciate them if it weren’t for the danger she knew she was facing.

She moved on, barely paying attention where she was going other than the fact that it was deeper and deeper. It wasn’t until her leg hit something soft that she realized her mistake.

“This is bad,” she muttered as he Morlox awoke and noted her as his next meal. “This is really, really bad... Help!” she called out, backing away. “Help!”

Just as the Morlox was about to attack, three people – two men and a woman – ran in. The men immediately started shooting at the creature, distracting it, as the woman grabbed Eva and pulled her away.

They started running away from the monster, only for their way to be blocked by a burning android.

“What is it?” the woman asked, looking at it.

“Android,” one of the men replied. “Quick, away from here.”

He grabbed her tightly, his pull much rougher than the woman’s as they ran away. After a couple of minutes, he paused and Eva barely had time to calm her breath before one of her hand was tied to the wall.

“Who are you?” he asked her.

“My name is Eva,” she said. “Who are you?”

“She doesn’t look like a spy,” the woman said. “In fact, she looks familiar...”

“I’m not a spy,” Eva said. “Please, believe me –”

“I say we kill her,” the man said, nearing the woman. “She must be working for those in the Citadel. She came here to trap us. You saw the android,” he added.

“I also saw that it was on fire,” the woman said.

“So their plan went wrong,” the man tried to explain. “Kill her!”

“I’m not a spy!” Eva repeated, almost desperately. “I can explain, I promise you. Just give me a chance.”

“Katz, we’re wasting time,” the man said, preparing his gun.

“Wait!” the woman – Katz – said, stopping him and nearing Eva. “You’re going to have to tell us everything you know or he’ll insist on killing you.” She sighed. “Look, I don’t want any violence. I would be willing to let you live if you just told us who sent you.”

“You’ve got 15 seconds,” the man said, aiming his gun at Eva’s head.

“Look, if you’re not from the Citadel, where are you from?” Katz asked.

“Originally from Earth,” Eva said. “But I’m travelling with the Doctor.”

“The Doctor?” the man asked.

“That’s right,” Eva replied.

“She must think we’re fools,” the man said. “Five seconds!”

“Wait!” Katz said. “What did you say your name was?”

“Evangeline,” Eva said. “I’m Evangeline Miller.”

At that, even the man with the gun stopped.

“Impossible,” he whispered.

Katz reached out towards her neck, taking out a locket. “I knew you looked familiar,” she said as she opened it. “This was given to my grandfather by the Doctor. Do you know who these women are?”

“Of course I do,” Eva replied. “The one on the right is Jo Grant. I’ve only met her once... but what a time that was. And the one on the left... well, the hair’s a bit shorter but you can still tell it’s me, can’t you?”

“You’re right,” Katz said, turning to look at the man. “This is the Omniscient. According to legend, she can’t be killed. But if you still don’t believe either of us... you can always try.”

The man looked between Katz and Eva before finally taking his gun down.

“Thank you,” Eva breathed out, much calmer now that she wasn’t at risk of dying. “I have one, too,” she said, marking at her own neck. “Would you like to see it?”

Hesitantly, Katz reached out to Eva’s locket and opened it.

“On the right side, you can see me,” Eva said. “I think this version is a bit more like the one in your locket.”

“Who’s the man with you?” Katz asked.

“The Doctor,” Eva said. “An older version of him than the one here at the moment. On the left, is a picture of my father holding me. He’s also a friend of the Doctor... or will be, anyway,” she added as an afterthought. “Can you untie me, by the way?” she asked, moving her hand. “This is getting uncomfortable.”

EMH

Less than ten minutes later and Eva was starting to become best friends with Katz, much to the man ‘s disappointment. They were sitting one across the other, drinking an odd mixture out of a dirty-looking cup.

“This stuff tastes okay,” she commented.

“Enjoy it,” the man, who still refused to give Eva his name, said. “It may be our last for some time.”

“Why do you hide down here?” she asked Katz.

“Because of our ruler,” Katz replied. “The Borad.”

“Through his lackey, Maylin Tekker, he’s provoked war with the Bandrils,” the man said.

“Why?”

“I don’t know,” Katz sighed.

“If the Bandrils use a bendalypse warhead, I shudder to think of the consequences,” the man said. It’s a missile so powerful it can destroy anything with a central nervous system, yet leave all buildings standing.”

“Let me guess,” Eva sighed. “It won’t kill the Morlox.”

“Do you think the Doctor would help us?” the man questioned.

“Of course he would,” Eva said. “We just need to get to him.”

“Sezon, you’ve got to find a way,” Katz said, and Eva’s eyes widened.

“How could I forget?” she asked. “This place is Falchian Rocks, right?”

“Yes,” Katz said. “Why?”

“I had a message,” Eva said. “Sezon at the Falchian Rocks.”

“It must be from one of our people in the Citadel,” Sezon said in understanding.

“That’s right,” Katz nodded.

“I didn’t understand why he gave it to me, but... oh, no,” she whispered.

“What is it?” Katz asked, just as an armed guard ran into the cave, holding a gun at Sezon’s head.

“I wouldn’t do that,” he said when Sezon attempted to aim at him.

“I dropped it,” Eva said in defeat.

“Obviously,” Sezon said, shooting her a dirty look.

He didn’t believe her, she knew it... and from the betrayed look on Katz’s face, she didn’t believe either.

EMH

This day was definitely entering the top ten worst, Eva realized as the guards separated her from the others, more than likely preparing her as a meal to the Morlox. She thought it even entered the top five, removed from the top three only because she chose this course of events to happen to her, in order to save Peri.

“You know, this is pretty rude,” she told the guard as he dragged her away using a metal collar, wincing at the pain. “This is certainly not a way to treat a Lady.” As he said nothing she sighed. “Then again, you certainly are not a gentleman.” He pulled harder and Eva cried out in pain. “Where are you taking me?” she questioned.

“You’ll see,” was all the guard said, pushing Eva into a cell and connecting her collar to the bars.

“Where are you going?” she asked as he turned away, but he didn’t respond. “Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me.”

She tried sitting down, but the collar on her neck wouldn’t let her. She fidgeted, moving around and trying to relieve at least some of the pressure it put on her neck, but nothing happened.

At a certain point, someone came in and strapped some sort of contraption to her chest. He hit her when she tried to fight him off, sending all of the air out of her lungs, and said nothing when he was done.

In the meanwhile, Eva had found a way to sit – albeit uncomfortably – on her toes in order to give her body some rest. Her stomach started reminding her of the sandwich she didn’t eat, and she was starting to be sorry for not having it when she had the chance.

It felt like an eternity before the guard walked back in.

“Finally,” she said. “You know, I’d like to complain about your room service. It can do with a bit of an improvement. Perhaps include dinner, or lunch, or the meal that fits whatever part of the day we’re at.”

The guard didn’t respond, unfastening the collar from the bar and dragging Eva away.

“Ow!” she called out, starting to follow him. “Could have asked nicely, arsehole.”

He sharply pulled the collar again, and a string of curses left Eva’s mouth.

“Where are you taking me?” she asked.

“You’ll see,” he replied, turning a corner towards the Morlox’s cell, and Eva sighed.

“Son of a bitch,” she muttered, earning herself another sharp pull. “I’m coming, I’m coming!” she called out angrily, falling into rhythm behind him.

Several minutes later, as the two of them reached the Morlox’s cave and the guard fastened the collar to a post, turning to leave, fear finally settled into Eva.

What if she changed things too much? What if the Doctor won’t arrive in time to save her? What if the Borad’s plan will work, and she will be turned into a half-human, half-Morlox creature like him?

“Don’t leave me here,” she begged the guard as he turned to leave. “Please, don’t leave me here! Help me!” she called out as the Morlox got closer and closer. “Help! Doctor, where are you?” she asked. “Help me!”

The Morlox appeared from behind a corner, and Eva’s eyes widened.

“Not you!” she called out angrily.

Definitely a top three day.

As if someone heard her words, the collar around her neck unfastened allowing her to run away.

“About bloody time, she muttered, knowing the Doctor could see and hear her as she headed to the escape, only for the Morlox to block her way. “Oh, for crying out loud!” she called desperately. “Help! Help!”

A man ran into the room, taking a burning torch and using it to scare the Morlox away.

“Quickly!” he said, pulling Eva by the arm and dragging her back to the Citadel.

“Get it off me,” Eva muttered once they were back inside. “Get it off me, get it off me!”

“I’m trying,” the man said, starting to pick the lock.

Eva closed her eyes, wishing for this day to be over and done with when she heard footsteps approaching.

“Eva!” the Doctor called.

“Doctor!” Eva cried back, barely managing to hold back the tears.

The man managed to pick the lock at the canister and as it fell down, Eva threw her arms around the Doctor’s neck.

“I’m here,” he said holding her tight. “I’m here.”

“I wanna go home,” she said, her body shaking. “I just wanna go home.”

“I... okay,” the Doctor said, sadness evidence in his voice. “But not yet. We’ve got to get back to the Inner Sanctum quickly.”

“I wanna go home,” Eva repeated.

“I know,” the Doctor said softly. “But we’ve got a war to stop first.”

EMH

“What’s happening?” the Doctor asked as they walked back into the room where they landed, his hand not once letting go of Eva’s.

“Too late,” Vena said. “The Bandrils have fired their missile.”

The Doctor stepped forwards, using the communication panel.

“This is the Doctor,” he said. “I say again, this is the Doctor. Please connect me with the Ambassador. ”

“They don’t reply,” Vena said.

“They better reply,” the Doctor bit out. “Eva’s been hurt and I’m angry. They do not want to face that anger. You must respond,” he told the communicator device. “I am a Time Lord. I am, in fact, President of the High Council of Gallifrey. Destroy me, you’ll have more than a petty war on your hands. Ah, there you are,” he said as the ambassador appeared on screen.

“Can you prove that you are a Time Lord?” the ambassador asked.

“There’s no time for that now,” the Doctor said. “You must call off your attack. Karfel has been in the hands of a dictator. That dictator has now been overthrown. You must destroy your missile.”

The ambassador turned from them, speaking to someone off the screen.

“How close is the missile?” Peri asked.

“Too close,” the Doctor muttered, pulling Eva closer.

“We accept what you say,” the ambassador said, turning back to them, “And require only sight of the Borad as proof of your goodwill.”

“Well, that might prove a trifle difficult,” the Doctor said.

“Then there is little we can do,” the ambassador said, turning the communication off.

“Ambassador!” the Doctor called out.

“Oh, terrific,” Peri muttered.

“Wait here,” the Doctor said, running to the TARDIS.

“Where are you going?” Peri asked, following him in.

It didn’t seem like either of them were aware of the fact that he was still holding Eva’s hand.

He let her go as soon as he entered the TARDIS, and she all but fell on the chair that stood next to the console.

“Doctor!” Peri called out, walking in right before the doors closed.

“I told you to wait with the others,” the Doctor said, opening the doors once more.

“Well, I’d rather stay with you,” Peri said.

“It isn’t practical,” the Doctor informed her.

“What does that mean?” Peri questioned.

“Practical? Advantageous, useful, productive, efficacious, effective.”

“Sure, desirable,” Peri said, rolling her eyes. “What are you going to do?”

“He’s going to stop the missile,” Eva said, making the Doctor turn to look at her.

“When did you enter here?” he asked.

“With you,” Eva said. “You held my hand.”

“Oh,” the Doctor said. “I did, didn’t I? How are you feeling?” he added, coming closer to her.

“Had my better,” Eva replied. “Not so sure about the worse.”

“You shouldn’t have let Tekker send you away if you knew you’d be in danger,” the Doctor scolded.

“It was either me or Peri,” Eva said. “I made my choice.”

“Peri,” the Doctor said, turning to his companion as he remembered she was still there. “you must leave.”

“But... what you’re doing sounds dangerous,” she said.

“The only dangerous thing about it is having you on board to distract me,” the Doctor said, working on the console once more. “Are you still here?”

“Yes!” Peri said. “Look, I’ll keep out of your way.”

“You don’t know how,” the Doctor retorted.

“I’m coming with you,” she insisted.

“Peri, every second we waste now brings Karfel into even greater danger,” the Doctor said tiredly.

“Well then, let’s go!”

“That’s what I want to do,” the Doctor said. “But alone. Or just with Eva. Now go back to Vena and the others, Peri. Please?”

“I can’t,” Peri said. “I don’t trust you. You’re being too reasonable.”

“Then I shall be unreasonable,” the Doctor said, picking Peri up and carrying her to the door. “Get out! Why will you never cooperate?”

“Because I worry,” Peri said. “It’s my caring nature.”

“Peri, I shall be gone for but a minute,” the Doctor said. “Now, if you want to fuss over someone, may I suggest that Herbert would make a much more eager recipient. ”

“What if something happens to you?” Peri questioned. “We’d be stuck here.”

“If I don’t go now, there won’t be anywhere for you to be stuck to,” the Doctor said. “The planet will be destroyed. Now, will you go, please?”

“Well, take care of yourself,” Peri sighed, before walking out of the door.

As soon as she was out, the Doctor closed the doors once more and resumed pressing buttons on the console.

“I know you don’t like it when I ask you this,” he told Eva, “But... will everything be okay?”

“It will,” Eva replied, and the Doctor stopped for a moment, taking a deep breath before kissing Eva softly.

“So I need you to leave,” he said.

“Doctor –”

“You say everything will be okay,” the Doctor said. “I’ll come back to you. But for the smallest chance the TARDIS won’t make it... Eva, I can’t put you at risk. In any of my former bodies, I’d have kicked you out and departed before you could return...”

“Don’t you dare,” Eva threatened.

“I won’t,” the Doctor nodded. “I’ll never, ever kick you out. So I’m asking of you right here and now, leave. Stay safe.”

“Doctor –”

“Please?”

Eva sighed, closing her eyes. “You better come back to me, Fozzie,” she warned him.

“Always,” the Doctor promised, letting go long enough for her to get out of the TARDIS so he could close the doors.

He had work to do.

Chapter Text

“Are you okay?” Vena asked when she saw Eva walking out of the TARDIS.

“Not in the slightest,” Eva replied. “But it will have to do.”

“Do you need anything?” Mykros asked, worried.

“Just... is there a smoking area anywhere here?” she asked.

“You –”

“Yes, I smoke,” Eva bit out, cutting Peri off. “Deal with it.”

“There should be a balcony out there door and immediately to the right,” Mykros said. “Do you need help...?”

“I’ll handle it,” Eva said, going where he said and lighting up a cigarette as she looked at the city.

The calls of fighting could be heard quite clearly, and Eva couldn’t help but think of all of the innocent people who had nothing to do with this fight, and whose life were now in danger – all because of the Borad.

It angered her sometimes, how the simple actions of just one or two people could cause hurt to so many...

She shouldn’t mind that now.

They were going to win the battle, the missile would explode and the Doctor would be back, unharmed. And then, she was going to take a long shower, go to sleep and hopefully wake up soon enough to have a nice, not life threatening trip with this Doctor and Peri.

Just maybe.

As she finished the cigarette, she walked back into the room just in time to hear Katz informing the rest that the battle was won. On the screen, the Bandril ambassador showed up, demanding to speak with the Maylin.

“You are speaking to the new Maylin, Ambassador,” Mykros said, moving to stand before the screen. “Please go ahead.”

“The Doctor has done a brave but foolish thing,” the ambassador said. “The missile has been destroyed, but so has his Tardis.”

“Doctor,” Peri whispered, turning to look at Eva, who was barely holding herself together.

“We shall make our apologies to the High Council on Gallifrey,” the ambassador said. “Furthermore, in honour of the Doctor’s unselfish act, and as a token of our goodwill, may I suggest we send down a diplomatic party?”

“Yes, of course, Ambassador,” Mykros said, his voice shaking. “I look forward to receiving you.”

The screen turned black once more and Peri leaned on a wall for support.

“Oh, Doctor,” she whispered.

“I’m very sorry, Peri,” Mykros said, before turning to Eva. “Eva, please accept my condolences.”

“I-I think we just need to be alone right now,” Eva muttered, passing him and going to Peri, who separated herself from the group. “Everything will be okay,” she told her. “You know the Doctor. Do you really think he’ll let something as simple as a missile –”

She let out a scream as something resembling a hand grabbed her by the throat and held her close.

“Oh, Mykros!” Vena called out. “What is it?”

“Dear god!” Peri yelled, backing away from the creature.

“Give me your weapon,” Mykros said, all but tearing a gun out of Katz’s hands. “Give me your weapon!”

“That will be of little use, Mykros,” the Borad said.

“Who are you?” Mykros asked. “What are you?”

“I am the Borad,” the creature declared.

“Never!”

“I am the Borad,” he repeated. “And you will do as I command if you value your friend’s life.”

“What do you want?” Mykros questioned.

“Capture the Bandril ship,” the Borad ordered.

“Don’t you dare –” Eva started, only for the hand to clasp tighter around her throat.

“If you refuse, she dies,” the Borad warned.

“One life cannot be bought at the cost of a whole planet,” Mykros said, sending a sorrowful look at Eva’s direction.

She sent him a rather distorted smile in return, letting him know she understood.

“Then I shall kill her.”

“That’s not a very good idea,” the Doctor said, walking through the doors with Herbert hot on his heel.

“Doctor!” Mykros called out, surprised.

“Besides, it’s not a very nice way to treat a lady,” the Doctor went on. “Especially one as beautiful as this one. You okay?” he asked Eva.

“Could’ve been better,” she replied hoarsely.

“Doctor, we all thought you were dead,” Vena said.

“As I thought the Borad was,” the Doctor replied. “So why aren’t you?”

“I must have forgotten to mention the other experiment I have been engaged in,” the Borad said.

“Ah?” the Doctor hummed in surprise. “Not like you to pass up the opportunity to boast. What is it?”

“The reproduction of living matter, cell by cell.”

“Oh, cloning,” the Doctor nodded. “Oh, you are a clever clogs. And how very astute of you not to risk your own rotten neck. Speaking of which, shouldn’t you release your grip on Eva’s? By the way, dear, did you know he wants you for his bride?”

“Sorry, but I’m quite taken at the moment,” Eva croaked out.

“That you are,” the Doctor agreed with a smile. “I’ll make a deal with you, Borad. Show yourself to Eva. If she doesn’t scream, the wedding can take place.”

“Doctor,” Mykros said warningly.

“What is this foolishness?” the Borad questioned.

“I don’t think you’ve got the nerve,” the Doctor stated.

“I know he doesn’t,” Eva said.

“The woman will accept me once she is as I am,” the Borad declared.

“Make up your mind,” the Doctor said, rolling his eyes and sending a wink at Eva. “Do you want her dead or as your bride? If the latter, then show yourself to her.”

“No.”

“Doesn’t she have a say in all this?” Peri asked.

“Of course not, be quiet,” the Doctor replied, before realizing what he just said, “I’m going to get in trouble for this, aren’t I? Oh, well,” he shrugged. “Why won’t you?” he asked, turning to the Borad once more.

“I shall when I am ready,” the Borad declared.

“As I thought,” the Doctor nodded. “You’re afraid.”

“Of what?”

“Rejection,” the Doctor said simply. “You can alter Evie’s outward appearance, but you can’t change the brain in her head.” A dark look crossed his face. “Whatever you do, she will always find you repulsive.”

“Then I shall put out both her eyes,” the Borad declared, tightening his grip on Eva.

“Are you bloody kidding me?” Eva questioned.

“That’s hardly an elegant solution,” the Doctor tutted, nearing them. “And the way you’ve been carrying on, you’re not going to win her over with your charm.”

“Stay back,” the Borad warned.

“You really are afraid,” the Doctor said, sounding almost amused.

“My last warning, Doctor.”

“The possibility of perfect companionship,” the Doctor went on, “Shattered because of your grotesque, ugly, excuse for a body.”

“Yet I have the power to kill you both,” the Board said.

“I don’t think so,” the Doctor said, walking around the duo until he reached what seemed to be an old drawing of himself in his third body, with Eva by his side. “You obviously haven’t read the writing on the wall,” he said, taking a chair and using it to smash through the drawing and reveal a mirror.”Now, this’ll be an improvement.”

Eva couldn’t help but scream. Even though she already knew how the Borad looked like, seeing him on the telly wasn’t even close to what he was like in real life. Half of his face swollen and looking like a Morlox, while the other didn’t quite seem to catch up to the change.

At the sound of the scream, the Borad let her go and she all but fell into the Doctor’s arms.

“I told you she’d scream,” he told the Borad, almost mockingly.

“Destroy it!” the Borad called out, trying to get away from the mirror and nearing the Timelash. “Smash the mirror!”

“What,” the Doctor asked, “No power to do it yourself?” He neared the Timelash control box and pressed a couple of buttons. “You’re nothing, Borad,” he told him, walking away from the control box and nearing the Borad. “Just a self-degenerating mutation. You’re finished, Borad. Your reign of terror’s over. Nobody wants you. Nobody needs you. Nobody cares! ”

And with that, he elbowed the Borad, making him fall into the Timelash with a scream.

“But haven’t you sent him back to Earth?” Peri asked, nearing the Doctor and Eva.

“Yes, to the twelfth century,” the Doctor said, before turning to Herbert. “Where exactly did we pick you up?”

“The Highlands of Scotland,” Herbert replied. “Not far from Inverness.”

“Ah,” the Doctor said, tightening his grip on Eva’s waist unconsciously. “Thought I recognised the landscape. He’ll be harmless enough there. At least he’ll have somewhere to swim for the next thousand years.”

“But won’t he be seen?” Peri asked.

“From time to time,” the Doctor shrugged, sending a grin Eva’s way. “Right, take cover, everyone.”

He threw something into the Timelash before making sure everyone were down behind the Council chairs. As the Timelash exploded, he covered Eva’s body with his own, making sure no debris hurt her.

“Are you okay?” he asked, looking down at her.

“Never better,” she said shakily, her hands grasping the soft fabric of his shirt. She rested her head on his chest and sighed. “I just want to get back to the TARDIS and go to sleep.”

“That... might have to wait,” the Doctor said, a sad look on his face.

“What?” Eva asked, confused, before looking down. “Oh, bugger.”

“You’ll be with me in no time,” the Doctor promised.

“I’m going to hold you to this one,” Eva warned, before taking a step back. “See you soon, Fozzie.”

“See you soon,” the Doctor said, not even blinking as she was engulfed by the light and taken away.

EMH

Eva groaned as she reappeared, wondering briefly if she even got used to it before looking around at her surrounding.

She was in a city – she didn’t know which, or what time period she was in, only that it looked human. There was nobody in the street other than her, probably duo to the late hours she more than likely appeared in, if to judge from the dark night sky.

She didn’t have long to think about it before the alarm started.

Her legs moved before her brain comprehended what was going on, and she broke into a run. She looked around, trying to find a place to hide when light from the planes up above shone upon the street she just turned into.

Eva stuck her back to the nearest wall, hoping the shadows could hide her enough so that she wouldn’t be targeted.

The beam of light moved a little more before coming to a stop, revealing a small boy, no older than ten years old, who was hiding between two dumpsters. If Eva ever wondered what a deer caught in headlights looked like, now she knew.

She hadn’t even realized what she was doing until her hand grabbed the young boy’s hand and she realized she ran all the way from her side of the block to his.

“Run,” she said, not waiting for a response before she all but dragged him along with her. “Do you know a place we could hide around here?”

“I... I don’t know,” he whispered, his voice shaking. “I... I’m scared.”

“I know,” Eva whispered back. “But listen to me – we are going to survive this, okay? Repeat after me.”

“We are going to survive this,” the boy said. “There should be a Cathedral nearby.”

“Can you lead me to it?”

“I... I think so,” the boy nodded, turning right.

And just like that, their roles switched. Suddenly, the boy was dragging Eva towards the Cathedral, and she looked around in fear, hoping that she’ll be able to keep her promise to the boy.

Soon enough, they reached the Cathedral and rushed inside, only to be greeted by a dozen or so bodies. Eva picked the boy up, carrying him around the dead as he buried his face in her shoulder, silent tears dropping on her shirt. She went downstairs, finding her way to the crypt before stopping and putting him down.

“What’s your name, honey?” she asked the boy.

“R-Rick,” he replied.

“My name is Eva,” she told him. “Listen to me, Rick. I know this is going to be hard, but I need you to be brave for me. Can you do that? Can you be brave for me?”

“I t-think so,” Rick said.

“I knew you could,” Eva smiled, pulling him into a hug.

“E-Eva?” the boy asked worriedly.

“Yes?” Eva asked.

“What do we do now?”

Eva swallowed hard, trying to ignore the sound of bombs dropping on the city above her.

“Now, we wait,” she said.

It was the longest night of her life.

EMH

In the morning, Eva raised a sleeping Rick into her arms, carrying him through the dead and out of the Cathedral. He fell asleep about an hour before dawn and as sunlight started leaking into the crypt, she decided it would be best not to force him to go through the dead bodies once more.

She started making her way through the city, stopping at every sound and looking around worriedly, scared to see someone who might wish harm to herself or, worse, to Rick.

A young woman alone, carrying a small child in the middle of London during the Second World War... it was safe to say there were better scenarios she could think of. She sneaked into a ruined house and grabbed a metal rode, weighing it in her hand as Rick slowly woke up.

“Eva?” he asked.

“I’m here,” Eva said. “Good morning, honey.”

“Good m’rning,” Rick muttered. “Where are we?”

“I’m not exactly sure,” Eva admitted. “What year is it, exactly?”

“1941,” Rick replied.

“Okay...” Eva took a deep breath, trying to think of a safe place for the two of them to stay. “I think I know what to do... we just need to find someone.”

“Find who?”

“A young woman leading a group of homeless kids here in London,” Eva said. “All I know is that her name is Nancy.” She propped Rick back in one of her arms, grasping the rod in the other. “Ready?”

“Not really,” Rick admitted.

“Neither am I,” Eva sighed, going back to the street.

They wandered around the city all day long in the attempt to find Nancy. They asked every other kid they found in the streets if they knew of her, but it wasn’t until the late hours of the afternoon that a young boy said he was just heading towards her.

Rick drifted back to sleep several times during the day, tired of the fear and hunger being awake brought upon him. When they reached the small camp Nancy built up in one of the side alleys of a deserted neighbourhood, he woke up, blinking until the world came back to focus.

Eva stopped, allowing a boy nearby to go to Nancy and tell her strangers had arrived. Because that was what she and Rick were, from the others’ point of view – strangers. Nancy slowly approached the two of them, her eyes darting to the rod in Eva’s hand before looking at the way her shaky arm held Rick close.

“Brother?” she asked, nodding at the boy. Eva shook her head and Nancy’s eyes widened slightly. “Son?”

“We only met last night,” Eva told her.

“You’re very protective of him for someone you only met last night,” Nancy noted.

“Spending a night in a crypt does that to you,” Eva retorted.

“Evie saved my life,” Rick said. “She’s a hero!”

“I’m sure she is,” Nancy said, smiling at the child softly. “And who are you?”

“I’m Rick, and I’m 8,” Rick said.

“Eva,” Eva introduced herself. “19.”

“Nancy, 21,” Nancy said. “My brother Jamie’s over there,” she added, nodding at a young boy who slept on another’s shoulder. “He’s five.”

“You have quite the group around here,” Eva said, looking between all of the boys. “Need another pair of hands?” Nancy hesitated and Eva sighed. “I’m willing to work for our food. I don’t mind helping you if you want. But if you say no, that’s okay with me. As long as you take Rick.”

Rick’s eyes widened in fear at the thought of Eva leaving, and he grasped her shirt tight.

“You can’t leave!” he said. “Please don’t make her leave, Miss Nancy.”

Nancy sighed, her stern expression softening once more as she looked at the young boy before turning back to Eva.

“Another set of hands can always help,” she said. “Especially if I’m bringing another boy in.”

“Thank you,” Eva said, tears starting to form in her eyes. “I promise, you won’t regret it.”

Chapter Text

The Doctor watched as an alarm started and a family entered their shelter, the husband calling out and cursing all along. He didn’t seem fazed by the alarm, and neither did a young woman who climbed out of the bushes and entered the house.

She stayed inside for about a minute or so before going out and giving three low whistles. Almost immediately, a group of kids led by another girl neared the house. She was carrying a boy in her arms, and as the group entered the house and turned to the right, she leaned to tell one of them something before taking the boy to the left.

Curious, the Doctor followed the group inside.

“It’s got to be black market,” he heard one of the kids say. “You couldn’t get all this on coupons.”

“Ernie, how many times?” the woman asked. “We’re guests in this house! We will not make comments of that kind. Washing up!” she added, making the group laugh and the boy groan.

“Oh, Nancy!” he protested, and she turned to look at one of the boys.

“Haven’t seen you at one of these before,” she noted.

“He told me about it,” the boy said, nodding at the boy next to him.

“Sleeping rough?” she asked sympathetically.

“Yes, Miss.”

“All right, then,” she sighed, starting to pass the plate of meat around. “One slice each,” she warned. “And I want to see everybody chewing properly.”

As the plate passed around, each boy politely thanked Nancy for the food and the Doctor sat down.

“Thank you, Miss.”

“Thanks, Miss.”

“Thank you, Miss!”

“Thanks, Miss!” the Doctor said as the plate reached him, making all heads in the table turn to him and some boys stand up.

“It’s all right, everybody stay where they are!” Nancy called.

“Good here, innit?” the Doctor asked. “Who’s got the salt?”

“Back in your seats,” Nancy said, ignoring him. “He shouldn’t be here either.”

One by one, the kids sat down and resumed eating in silence. The Doctor looked between them and was just about to say something when the woman from earlier entered the room, a young boy in her hands.

“I changed the bandage on Ricky’s leg,” she told Nancy. “If I’d have waited a day it would have gotten infected. Told you we’d find what we need in this house,” she added, looking at the table appreciatively. “Oh, hello,” she greeted the Doctor with a smile. “You’re late again.”

“Do you two know each other?” Nancy asked.

“I know him better than he knows himself,” Eva said, sitting down next to the Doctor and propping Ricky next to her. “And I suppose he can say the same about me.”

“What are you doing here?” the Doctor asked as Eva grabbed the plate of meat and served a piece to herself and another to Ricky.

“I told you already,” Eva said, digging into her food at the speed of someone who hadn’t had a proper meal in a while. “You’re late.”

The Doctor eyed her oddly as she cut Ricky’s meat into smaller pieces, before focusing on the problem on hand once more.

“So, you lot,” he said, looking at the group. “What’s the story?”

“What do you mean?” one of the boys asked.

“You’re homeless, right?” he questioned, “Living rough?”

“Why do you wanna know?” a second boy questioned. “You a copper?”

“Course I’m not a copper,” the Doctor huffed. “What’s a copper gonna do with you lot anyway? Arrest you for starving?”

The group laughed and he looked at Eva from the corner of his eye, satisfied by the smile on her face.

“I make it 1941,” the Doctor said, looking between the kids. “You lot shouldn’t be in London. Should’ve been evacuated to the country by now.”

“I was evacuated,” one of the boys said. “Sent me to a farm.”

“So why’d you come back?” the Doctor asked.

“There was a man there...”

“Yeah,” another boy nodded. “Same with Ernie. Two homes ago.”

“Shut up!” Ernie muttered.

“Not everyone has people who care enough to evacuate them,” Eva said, wiping food from the corner of Ricky’s mouth. “And it’s better on the streets anyway. It’s better food.”

“Nancy and Evie always get the best food for us,” Rick told the Doctor.

“So that’s what you do, you two?” the Doctor asked, looking between Nancy and Eva.

“What is?” Nancy asked, annoyed.

“Soon as the sirens go, you find a big family meal, everyone’s down in the air raid shelter, and – bingo – feeding frenzy for the homeless kids of London! Pudding for all!” he called, before looking at Eva disapprovingly. “As long as the bombs don’t get you.”

“Beggars can’t be choosy,” Eva said. “We make do with what we’ve got, and in the middle of a worldwide war, when the Germans are bombing the city, it isn’t much.”

“Something wrong with that?” Nancy asked, daring him to tell her there is.

“Wrong?” the Doctor asked. “It’s brilliant. I’m not sure if it’s Marxism in action or a West End musical,” he added, making the kids look at him with confusion.

“Why did you follow me?” Nancy questioned. “What d’you want?”

“I want to know how a phone that isn’t a phone gets a phone call,” the Doctor said. “Normally, I’d have asked Evie but she wasn’t there and probably wouldn’t have told me even if she were. So you seem to be the one to ask.”

“I did you a favour,” Nancy said. “I told you not to answer it. That’s all I’m telling ya.”

“Great, thanks,” the Doctor said sarcastically. “And I wanna find a blonde in a Union Jack. I mean a specific one, I didn’t just wake up this morning with a craving. Anybody seen a girl like that?”

Eva looked at Nancy, who nodded towards the Doctor’s plate, and sighed. She stood up, taking the plate from him and handing it to Nancy.

“It was a joke!” the Doctor protested. “Evie...”

“You took two slices,” Eva shrugged. “I didn’t make the rules, and it’s not my fault you broke them.”

“No blondes,” Nancy said tightly. “No flags. Anything else before you leave?”

“Yeah, there is, actually, thanks for asking,” the Doctor said, taking a piece of paper from his pocket and starting to draw on it. “Something I’m looking for. Would’ve fallen from the sky, but not a bomb. Not the usual kind, anyway. Wouldn’t have exploded. Probably just buried itself. And it would’ve looked something like... this,” he finished, showing the group the paper.

Eva could feel Nancy’s eyes darting to her, and resisted the urge to look back as she raised Ricky to her knees. The entire group jumped as somebody knocked on the window.

“Mummy? Are you in there, Mummy? Mummy?”

“Who was the last in?” Nancy questioned.

“Him,” Ernie said, pointing at the Doctor.

“No, he came round the back,” Nancy shook her head. “Who came in the front?”

“Me,” the new boy said shakily.

“Did you close the door?”

“I don’t...”

“Did you close the door?!”

“Mummy? Mummy? Mum-my!”

Eva raised Ricky into her arms as she ran after Nancy and the Doctor to the hall, where Nancy shut the door down and locked it.

“What’s this?” the Doctor asked. “Never easy being the only child left out in the cold.”

“I suppose you’d know,” Nancy muttered.

“I do actually, yes,” the Doctor replied.

“It’s not exactly a child,” Eva cut in. “I’ll take the kids away.”

“Mum-my!”

“Eva, I –”

“Not now, Doctor,” Eva bit out. “I’ll meet you later.”

“How will you know where?” the Doctor asked.

“I always know where,” Eva replied, turning away and entering the kitchen.

“Mummy? Mummy? Please let me in, Mummy. Please let me in, Mummy.”

“Everybody, out!” Eva called out into the kitchen. “You know where we’re going. Pair up, I want each of you to know where your pair is.”

She started ushering them out of the house, vaguely noticing the Doctor looking at her as he spoke to Nancy. With the last of the kids out, she shut the door and ran away, her arms holding Ricky tightly.

During the past couple of weeks, she had managed to muster the art of running while carrying an eight year old boy in her hands, but she didn’t think she’ll ever be able to get used to watching over a group of panicked kids.

It didn’t take them long to reach the alley where they lived, and Eva put Ricky down carefully before turning to Ernie.

“I need to go,” she said, collecting her little belongings. “I need you to stay here and take care of the rest, can you do that for me?”

“Where are you going?” Ernie asked.

“The man who was in the house,” Eva explained. “I know him. He’s a good friend of mine and he’s going to fix everything.”

“Eva?” Ricky asked. “Evie?”

“Not now,” Eva sighed. “I’m going to go help him, and I’ll return after that to say goodbye before I leave.”

“You’re leaving?”

“I always said I won’t stay forever,” Eva reminded him.

“Evie? Evie?

“But that’s what I have you for, Ernie,” she added. “You’re going to help Nancy take care of the rest of them, won’t you?”

“Evie?” Ricky’s slightly distorted voice said. “I need to ask you something... Are... Are you...?”

“What?” Eva asked, turning around to glare at the boy only to stop when she saw the gas mask on his face. “Ernie?” she asked.

“Yes?” Ernie asked nervously.

“Are you my mummy?” what used to be Ricky asked.

“Take the kids and run,” Eva ordered. “I’ll see you later.”

“Are you my mummy?” a small voice asked behind her as she ran away, tears burning in her eyes. “Are you my mummy?”

EMH

Eva ran. She ran hard, and fast – faster than she remembered she could, as carrying an eight year old boy usually slowed one down. Once or twice, she paused, looking for Ricky, but every time she remembered what happened it hit her like a punch to the guts.

The Doctor will fix it, she knew that much. Even if she hadn’t watched the episode, she knew the Doctor will fix this because he had to fix this.

She couldn’t bear the thought of losing Ricky, not like this.

At a certain point, she realized she ran into a building and stopped. Slowly falling to the ground, her back against a wall, she curled up and finally let the tears flow as she cried for the young boy she had grown attached to during the past month and a half.

“Eva?” she heard a confused voice calling. “What are you doing here? Evie?” The voice was closer now, and the person it belonged to had surely seen her weeping on the floor. “Evie, what’s wrong?”

A soft hand reached out to move away the curls that stuck to Eva’s face, wet with tears, and she wrapped her arms around the Doctor’s neck, crying into his shoulder.

“It’s okay,” he whispered, rubbing circles on her back. “I’m here now. Everything’s gonna be okay.” He kept this, whispering comforting words into her ear until she calmed down enough to speak before asking, “What happened?”

“R-R-Ricky,” Eva cried. “He- He asked if I’m his m-m-mummy...”

“What?” the Doctor asked, confused. “No, you haven’t been here nearly that long...Why would he think you’re his mum?”

“N-No,” Eva said, backing away enough to look at the Doctor. “He- He asked if I’m his mummy.”

Realization crossed the Doctor’s face as the meaning of Eva’s words finally filtered through. “Oh, Evie...” he muttered, hugging her again. “I’ll fix this. I’ll fix this, and I’ll fix him. I promise.”

“O-Okay,” Eva sniffed, allowing the Doctor to help her to her feet. “Where... Where are we?” she asked, looking around.

“You don’t know?” Eva shook her head. “We’re at the hospital. Nancy brought me here to meet the doctor.”

“Oh,” Eva said, wiping tears off her face. “O-Okay.”

“How did you even get in here?” the Doctor asked, thinking about how he had to break in using his screwdriver.

“There’s a back door,” she replied, as if it was no big deal. “And a hole in the fence.”

“Alright then,” the Doctor said. “Do you want to wait here, or...?”

“No,” Eva said determinedly, grabbing the Doctor’s hand in hers. “I wanna come with you.”

The Doctor smiled, pulling Eva closer to him for a kiss before starting to head deeper into the hospital. Eva didn’t think he was aware he even said it out loud, but she still heard the mutter under his breath.

“Fantastic.”

Oddly enough, that out of place mention of his familiar catchphrase made her feel just the tiniest bit better.

EMH

The door squeaked as Eva and the Doctor walked a room. The Doctor looked around at the people in the cots, examining them in confusion and curiosity.

“You’ll find them everywhere,” Dr. Constantine said, walking into the room. “In every bed, in every ward. Hundreds of them.”

“We saw,” Eva said, and Constantine’s gaze turned to her.

“Eva,” he said fondly. “How’s little Ricky?”

“Like them,” was all Eva supplied, and it was enough to make the smile drop from his face.

“Why are they still wearing gas masks?” the Doctor asked.

“They’re not,” Eva and Dr. Constantine said together.

“Who are you?” Dr. Constantine asked, looking the Doctor up and down.

“I’m...” the Doctor started hesitantly. “Are you the doctor?”

“Dr. Constantine,” the medical doctor replied. “And you are?”

“Nancy sent me.”

“Nancy?” Constantine repeated. “And you’re wandering around with Eva... That means you must have been asking about the bomb.”

“Yes,” the Doctor confirmed.

“What do you know about it?”

“Nothing,” the Doctor said, looking at Eva with confusion at Constantine’s weird behaviour. “That’s why I was asking. What do you know?”

“Only what it’s done,” Dr. Constantine replied, marking at the room.

“These people,” the Doctor said, looking around once more. “They were all caught up in the blast?”

“No,” Eva said quietly. “None of them were.”

The Doctor opened his mouth to ask something, when Constantine burst into a fit of coughs, all but falling into a chair.

“You’re very sick,” the Doctor stated.

“Dying, I should think,” Constantine replied. “I just haven’t been able to find the time! Is he the doctor you spoke about?” he asked Eva.

“He has his moments,” Eva shrugged.

“Have you examined any of them yet?” the medical doctor asked.

“No,” the Doctor said, heading towards one of the beds.

“Don’t touch the flesh,” Constantine warned.

“Which one?” the Doctor asked.

“Anyone.”

The Doctor raised a brow but said nothing more as he headed towards the nearest bed, using his sonic screwdriver to scan the patient in it.

“Conclusions?” Constantine asked.

“Massive head trauma, mostly to the left side,” the Doctor listed. “Partial collapse of the chest cavity to the right. Scarring on the back of the hand. The gas mask seems to be fused to the flesh but I can’t see any burns...”

“Examine another one,” Eva instructed.

Again, the Doctor raised a brow but did as he was told, stopping as he saw the identical scar on the back of the second patient’s right hand.

“This isn’t possible,” he muttered.

“And examine another,” Constantine said.

“This isn’t possible!” the Doctor said, after checking a third patient, only to get the same results.

“No,” Constantine agreed.

“They’ve all got the same injuries.”

“Yes,” Eva said.

“Exactly the same!”

“Yes.”

“Identical, all of them, right down to the scar on the back of the hand.” He turned around, looking between Constantine and Eva. “How did this happen? How did it start?”

“When that bomb dropped, there was just one victim,” Eva said.

“Dead?” the Doctor questioned.

“At first,” Dr. Constantine replied. “His injuries were truly dreadful. By the following morning every doctor and nurse who had treated him, who had touched him, had those exact same injuries. By the morning after that every patient on the same ward, the exact same injuries. Within a week, the entire hospital. Physical injuries...” Dr. Constantine said. “As plague. Can you explain that?” The Doctor didn’t respond, and Dr. Constantine went on. “What would you say was the cause of death?”

“The head trauma,” the Doctor replied almost immediately.

“No.”

“Asphyxiation?”

“No.”

“The collapse of the chest cavity.”

“No.”

“All right,” the Doctor said, annoyed. “What was the cause of death?”

“There wasn’t one,” Eva said, inching closer to the Doctor and holding his hand.

“They’re not dead,” Constantine agreed, slamming his walking cane at the floor and making every patient in the room sit up. “It’s all right, they’re harmless,” he said in dismissal as the Doctor backed away from the beds and Eva neared him. “They just sort of sit there.”

“There’s no heartbeat,” Eva said. “No life signs of any kind. They just... don’t die.”

“They’re just left here?” the Doctor asked. “Nobody’s doing anything?”

“I try and make them comfortable,” Dr. Constantine said. “What else is there?”

“Just you?” the Doctor questioned. “You’re the only one here?”

“Before this war began I was a father and a grandfather,” Constantine said, a pained look in his eyes. “Now I’m neither. But I’m still a doctor.

“Yeah,” the Doctor muttered, holding Eva closer. “Know the feeling.”

“I suspect the plan is to blow up the hospital and blame it on a German bomb,” Constantine sighed.

“Probably too late,” the Doctor muttered.

“I know,” Dr. Constantine said. “There are isolated cases...” he added through coughs. “Isolated cases breaking out... all over... London.”

“Ricky,” the Doctor said and Dr. Constantine nodded before breaking into another fit of coughs.

“Stay back!” he said when the Doctor moved closer to him. “Stay back! Listen to me. Top floor, Room 802. That’s where they took the first victim, the one from the crash site. And you must find Nancy again.”

“Nancy?” the Doctor asked, confused.

“It was her brother,” Eva explained, inching away from Dr. Constantine.

“She knows more than she’s saying,” Constantine said. “She won’t tell me, but she m...” Constantine paused, looking as if he was about to puke. “Mum-meee...” Eva inched closer to the Doctor, whose expression darkened. “Are you my... mummy?”

Eva stared, shocked, as the gas mask came out of Dr. Constantine’s mouth before the metallic looking skin started appearing. It wasn’t long before Dr. Constantine looked just like the rest of the patients in the ward, up to the scar at the back of the hand and the way his body was limp on the chair.

“Did that happen to Ricky?” the Doctor asked, shocked.

“I suppose,” Eva muttered. “I... I didn’t really see it happening. I just... saw him after.”

“I’m sorry,” the Doctor said.

“Well, sorry isn’t gonna bring him back,” Eva muttered.

“Hello?” a voice called from the hall before either of them could say anything else. “Hello?”

The Time Lord looked at the woman next to him before taking her hand and going to the corridor. Two figures neared them, and it was impossible to fail to notice Rose’s blonde hair or Union Jack shirt, but the other man was unfamiliar – to him, at least.

“Good evening,” he said, shaking the Doctor’s hand and looking Eva up and down. “Hope we’re not interrupting. Jack Harkness. I’ve been hearing all about you on the way over.”

“He knows,” Rose said, making the Doctor’s eyes jump to his hairline and Eva to stifle a small laugh. “I had to tell him... About us being Time Agents.”

“And it’s a real pleasure to meet you, Mr Spock,” Jack said, making Eva snort. “And who might you be?”

“I’m Eva,” she said, reaching out a hand for him to shake.

“It’s a pleasure,” Jack told her, bringing up her hand to his lips, and making Eva snort with laughter once more. “What is it?” he asked, confused.

“Nothing,” Eva said. “You’re just... inside joke,” she said with another small laugh.

“Two steps away from each other, please,” the Doctor said, extracting Eva’s hand from Jack’s. Jack raised his brow, moving on, and Eva laughed again as the Doctor turned to Rose. “Mr. Spock?”

“What was I supposed to say?” Rose asked. “You don’t have a name. Don’t you ever get tired of ‘Doctor’? Doctor who?”

“Nine centuries in, I’m coping,” the Doctor muttered. “Where have you been? We’re in the middle of the London Blitz, it’s not a good time for a stroll!”

“Who’s strollin’?” Rose said with a small wink at Eva’s direction as the trio started following Jack. “I went by barrage balloon. Only way to see an air raid.”

“What?” the Doctor asked, confused.

“Listen, what’s a Chula warship?” Rose asked, moving on without waiting for a reply.

The Doctor looked at Eva, confused. “Chula?”

Eva smiled, leading him towards the room where Rose sat, looking at Jack as the former Time Agent scanned the people in the cots.

“This just isn’t possible,” he said. “How did this happen?”

“What kind of Chula ship landed here?” the Doctor asked, eyeing Jack with mistrust.

“What?”

“He said it was a warship,” Rose said. “He stole it, parked it somewhere, somewhere a bomb’s gonna to fall on it. Unless we make him an offer.”

“What kind of warship?” the Doctor pressed.

“Does it matter?” Jack questioned. “It’s got nothing to do with this.”

“This started at the bomb site,” the Doctor said. “It’s got everything to do with it. What kind of warship?” he repeated.

“An ambulance!” Jack called out, before sighing and uploading a hologram of the vehicle. “Look, this is what chased you through the time vortex,” he said. “It’s space junk. I wanted to kid you it was valuable. It’s empty,” he clarified. “I made sure of it. Nothing but a shell. I threw it at you. Saw your time-travel vehicle – love the retro look, by the way, nice panels – threw you the bait.”

“Bait?” Rose questioned.

“I wanted to sell it to you, then destroy it before you found out it was junk,” Jack sighed.

“You said it was a warship.”

“They have ambulances in wars,” Eva noted, making Jack look at her in a desperate attempt to make them understand.

“It’s a con,” he said. “I was conning you. That’s what I am, I’m a con man! Thought you were Time Agents,” he added, looking them up and down. “You’re not, are you?”

“Sorry, honey,” Eva said, looking truly apologetic.

“Just a couple more freelancers,” Rose told him.

“I should’ve known, the way you guys are blending with the local colour! Flag Girl was bad enough, but U-Boat Captain?” he asked, looking at the Doctor. “Pretty Thing here is the only one close to looking in place.”

“Wait, what?” the Doctor asked, looking at the Captain with alarm.

“Anyway, whatever’s happening here has got nothing to do with that ship,” Jack finished, ignoring the other man.

“What is happening here, Doctor?” Rose asked.

“Human DNA is being rewritten,” the Doctor said. “By an idiot.”

“What do you mean?”

“I don’t know,” the Doctor sighed. “Some kind of virus converting human beings into these things. But why?” he asked, looking at Eva. “What’s the point?”

“You know I –” she started.

“Yes, yes, I know,” The Doctor said. “You can’t tell me anything. But a little help still would’ve been nice.”

He didn’t seem angry at her, not like he was angry at Jack. More than anything else, he seemed desperate, and just a bit disappointed. Eva wasn’t sure if it was better or worse.

Mummy!” Suddenly, all of the patients sat up. “Mum-my! Mummy?

“What’s happening?” Rose asked, scared.

“I don’t know,” the Doctor replied, looking at the patients as they sat up and headed towards the four time travellers.

Mummy! Mummy!

“Don’t let them touch you!” Eva warned, stepping closer to the Doctor.

“What happens if they touch us?” Rose asked.

“You’re looking at it,” the Doctor said.

Mum-my! Mummy! Mum-my!

“Doctor, now would be a great time to do something,” Eva said, looking at the Doctor who stood in place, frozen.

Mummy! Mummy!

“Doctor,” she repeated.

Mummy! Mummy!

“Doctor!”

Chapter Text

Mummy! Mummy!

“Dumbo, do something!” Eva screamed, and the Doctor finally came to his senses, stepping forwards.

“Go to your room!” he said. “Go to your room!” he repeated, louder. “I mean it. I’m very, very angry with you. I’m very, very cross. Go. To. Your. Room!”

Slowly, the patients went back to their beds and Eva let out a breath she didn’t know she was holding. She looked at Jack and Rose and saw equal amounts of surprise and relief on their faces.

“I’m really glad that worked,” the Doctor breathed out. “Those would have been terrible last words.” Eva let out a small laugh and the Doctor turned to look at her. “Are you okay?”

“Not in the least,” Eva said. “But I’m a bit better now.”

The Doctor held Eva’s face in his hands, bringing her lips to his in a kiss, as if the feeling of him close to her would tell her what he couldn’t say out loud, not with other people in the room.

I’m here. I’m watching over you. And I will fix this.

“Why are they all wearing gas masks?” Rose asked, falling into one of the chairs.

“They’re not,” Jack replied, copying her actions. “Those masks are flesh and bone.”

“How was your con supposed to work?” the Doctor asked, looking away from Eva but still holding her close.

“Simple enough, really,” Jack shrugged. “Find some harmless piece of space junk, let the nearest Time Agent track it back to Earth, convince him it’s valuable, and name a price. When he’s put 50% up-front, oops, a German bomb falls on it, destroys it forever. He never gets to see what he’s paid for, never knows he’s been had. I buy him a drink with his own money and we discuss dumb luck. The perfect, self-cleaning con.”

“Yeah,” the Doctor said sarcastically. “Perfect.”

“The London Blitz is great for self-cleaners,” Jack went on, not noticing the edge the Doctor’s voice held. “Pompeii’s nice if you want to make a vacation of it, though. But you’ve got to set your alarm for Volcano Day.” He laughed at his own joke, looking up to see the Doctor and Rose glaring at him, and Eva smiling sadly. “Getting a hint of disapproval.”

“Take a look around the room,” the Doctor said. “This is what your piece of harmless space junk did.”

“It was a burnt-out medical transporter,” Jack protested. “It was empty.”

“Rose!” the Doctor called, turning away from Jack and starting to head to the door, Eva’s hand still in his.

“Are we getting out of here?” Rose asked hopefully.

“We’re going upstairs,” the Doctor said.

“I even programmed the flight computer so it wouldn’t land on anything living!” Jack called after them. “I harmed no-one! I don’t know what’s happening, but I had nothing to do with it.”

“I’ll tell you what’s happening,” the Doctor bit out. “You forgot to set your alarm clock. It’s Volcano Day!” he pulled Eva after him once more, and she pulled back. “What?”

“You’re hurting me,” she said quietly.

The Doctor’s eyes widened and he immediately let go of her hand, swallowing hard as a second siren started.

“What’s that?” Rose asked.

“The all clear,” Eva explained.

“I wish,” the Doctor muttered, looking at Jack with disapproval before going through the door.

Rose immediately followed, but Eva stayed back, reaching out a hand to Jack. “You coming?”

“You don’t hate me?” he asked, surprised.

“Why would I hate you?” Eva asked.

“Your friends do,” Jack muttered.

“Let me tell you something about myself,” Eva said. “I know everything. Well, almost everything,” she added with a small smile. “But I know more than I probably should, and definitely more than I can tell. But I can tell you this,” she grabbed his hand and looked up at him, the former Time Agent towering a good five inches above her. “You’re a good man, Jack. Better than you even realize.”

“No I’m not,” Jack said, shaking his head.

“Yes, you are,” Eva informed him. “And I don’t want to hear anything else on the mater. Now, are you coming, or are we gonna stay here forever?”

“I could think of a couple things I wouldn’t mind doing if we stayed,” Jack said suggestively, and Eva laughed.

“Oh, you’re so going to regret all of this later.”

EMH

Even though she knew where the Doctor was headed, she and Jack still ran after Rose, making sure the blonde was in sight at all times.

“Doctor?” Rose asked.

“Dumbo!” Eva called.

“Evie!” the Doctor called happily.

The trio turned back, retreating their steps until they could see the Doctor turning away from the door he was looking at.

“Where did you disappear to?” he asked, before his eyes fell on Jack, and the smile turned into a sneer. “What are you still doing here?”

“I brought him with,” Eva said before Jack could say anything. “You got a problem with that?”

“Yes,” the Doctor replied.

“Too bad.”

The Doctor sighed, looking at Eva for a moment before turning his eyes back to Jack. “Make yourself useful while you’re here,” he bit out. “You got a blaster?”

“Sure,” Jack replied, quickly following the Doctor as the Time Lord broke into a run once more.

“The night your space junk landed, someone was hurt,” the Doctor said, coming to a stop. “This is where they were taken.”

“What happened?” Rose asked.

“Let’s find out.” The Doctor turned to Jack. “Get it open.”

“What’s wrong with your sonic screwdriver?” Rose asked quietly as Jack took out his blaster and aimed it at the door.

“Nothing,” Eva replied with an eye roll as Jack made the lock disappear and the door opened up.

“Sonic blaster, 51st century,” the Doctor stated. “Weapon factories of Villengard.”

“You’ve been to the factories?” Jack asked, surprised.

“Once,” the Doctor said shortly.

“They’re gone now,” the Captain said. “Main reactor went critical - vaporised the lot.”

“Like he said,” Eva said with an exasperated sigh. “Once.”

“There’s a banana grove there now,” the Doctor said, smiling as he walked into the room. “I like bananas. Bananas are good.”

“Nice blast pattern,” Eva said, winking at Jack as she walked into the room.

“Digital,” Jack supplied.

“Squareness gun,” Rose stated.

“Yeah.”

“I like it.”

The blonde smiled, entering the room and staring in shock as Jack turned on the lights and the four saw the destruction in the room. Eva kept a distance from the Doctor, choosing to stay close to Jack instead. Judging from the annoyed stare in the Doctor’s eyes, he didn’t miss it.

“What do you think?” he asked.

“Something got out of here,” Jack said.

“Yeah,” the Doctor sighed. “And?”

“Something powerful,” Jack added, going towards the entrance to the inner room. “Angry.”

“Powerful and angry,” the Doctor repeated, not sounding impressed in the least.

Jack and Rose looked into the room, looking at the drawings on the wall and the broken toys on the floor. Rose followed him inside, staring in an equal amount of shock as the captain before the duo turned to look at Eva and the Doctor.

“A child?”

“Jamie,” Eva said. “He’s Nancy’s brother... just a couple of years younger than Ricky.”

“Who?” Rose asked, confused. “And who? And who again?”

“I’ve been here a month and a half,” Eva shrugged, trying not to make a big deal out of it and missing the way the Doctor cringed. “I’ve gotten to know people.”

“I suppose this explains ‘mummy’,” Jack muttered as an afterthought.

“How could a child do this?” Rose asked, marking at the torn apart room and the broken glass window as the Doctor played with the controls of the recorder, making a tape play.

“Do you know where you are?” Dr. Constantine’s voice asked, making Rose jump in surprise.

“Are you my mummy?” Jamie replied.

“Are you aware of what’s around you?” Constantine went on. “Can you... see?”

“Are you my mummy?”

“What do you want? Do you know what –”

“I want my mummy! Are you my mummy? I want my mummy. Are you my mummy? Are you my mummy? Mummy? Mummy?”

“Doctor, I’ve heard this voice before,” Rose muttered, scared.

“Me too,” the Doctor muttered.

“Mummy?”

“Always, ‘Are you my mummy?’” Rose said. “Like he doesn’t know.”

“Mummy.”

“Why doesn’t he know?” Rose asked.

“Are you there, Mummy? Mummy! Mummy? Please, Mummy? Mummy?”

“Doctor?” Rose asked when the Doctor remained silent.

“Can you sense it?” the Doctor asked.

“Sense what?”

“Coming out of the walls,” the Doctor said. “Can you feel it?”

“Mummy?”

“Funny little human brains!” the Doctor called out. “How do you get around in those things?”

“When he’s stressed, he likes to insult species,” Rose explained to Jack.

“Rose, I’m thinking!”

“Cuts himself shaving, he does half an hour on life-forms he’s cleverer than,” she went on. “Right, Evie?”

“He walked into the doorframe once,” Eva said, trying to hide her nervousness from knowing Jamie was currently in the room with them, and the tape was going to end at any moment. “I got a lecture on the ten worst engineering species in the universe.”

The Doctor paused, turning to look at her. “When was that?”

“Er...” Eva paused, trying to remember. It was right after everything that happened with House, which meant... “Spoilers.”

The Doctor sighed before moving on.

“There are these children,” he said. “Eva spent some time with them. Living rough, round the bomb sites. They come out during air raids looking for food.”

“Mummy, please?”

“Suppose they were there when this thing, whatever it was, landed,” the Doctor went on.

“It was a med-ship,” Jack called out. “It was harmless!”

“You keep saying harmless,” the Doctor muttered, sending him a nasty look. “Suppose one of them was affected, altered. Am I close?”

“Jamie,” Eva nodded.

“Altered how?” Rose questioned.

“I’m here!” the voice in the background said and Eva swallowed hard, noticing the ticking noise in the background.

“It’s afraid, terribly afraid,” the Doctor said. “And powerful... it doesn’t know it yet. But it will do.” He laughed half-heartedly. “It’s got the power of a god and I just sent it to its room!”

“Doctor...” Rose said worriedly.

“I’m here! Can’t you see me?”

“What’s that noise?”

“End of the tape,” Eva said, swallowing hard. “It ran out about 30 seconds ago. You sent him to his room,” she told the Doctor.

“This is its room!” the Doctor said in understanding, and the four turned around to see Jamie standing behind them.

“Are you my mummy? Mummy?”

“Doctor?”

“Okay,” Jack said slowly. “On my signal, make for the door...”

“Mummy?”

“Now!”

Jack pulled out a banana from his holster, aiming it at Jamie and the Doctor smiled, taking out Jack’s blaster and aiming it at the wall and creating a hole for them to go through.

“Go, now,” he ordered. “Don’t drop the banana!”

“Why not?”

“Good source of potassium!”

“Give me that!” Jack said as soon as they were all out, taking his blaster and bringing the wall back to place. “Digital rewind,” he explained before tossing the banana to the Doctor. “Nice switch.”

“It’s from the groves of Villengard,” the Doctor said, waving the banana at him. “Thought it was appropriate.”

“There’s really a banana grove in the heart in Villengard?” Jack asked.

“Yup,” Eva replied.

“And he did that?”

“Bananas are good,” the Doctor said, eyeing the close distance between Eva and Jack worriedly before grabbing Eva’s arm and pulling her closer, making sure not to accidently hurt her.

He stroked her face lightly, searching for any cuts or bruises before kissing the top of her head. From the corner of her eye, Eva could see Jack rolling his eyes and Rose pretending to puke, before a crash was heard and a crack appeared in the wall they just passed through.

“Doctor!” Rose called out.

“Come on!” the Doctor replied, grabbing Eva’s hand and running away.

They turned into a corridor, only to see patients coming their way and turn away. Going into another corridor, a door opened to reveal more patients after them, and as they ran from these, they found themselves back where they started.

“Mummy!”

“It’s keeping us here till it can get at us!” the Doctor said.

“It’s controlling them?” Jack asked.

“It is them,” The Doctor replied. “It’s every living thing in this hospital.”

“Okay,” Jack nodded. “This can function as a sonic blaster, a sonic cannon and it’s a triple-enfolded sonic disruptor. Doc, what you got?”

“I’ve got a sonic, uh...” the Doctor took out his sonic screwdriver and swallowed hard. “Never mind.”

“What?” Jack asked.

“It’s sonic, Okay?” the Doctor asked. “Let’s leave it at that.”

“Disruptor, cannon, what?”

“It’s sonic, totally sonic, I am sonic-ed up!”

“A sonic what?”

Screwdriver!”

Jack paused, looking back at the Doctor with shock and Rose huffed, grabbing his blaster and aiming it at the floor.

“Going down!” she and Eva called as the blonde activated it and the floor disappeared from underneath their feet, making them fall down to the room below. Jack aimed his gun up, closing the hole in the ceiling before letting out a shaky breath.

“Doctor, are you okay?” Rose asked.

“Could’ve used a warning,” the Doctor muttered. “Evie?”

“I’m fine,” Eva said, watching in the dimmed lights as a cut on her arm healed itself before the rest even noticed.

“Oh, the gratitude!” Rose muttered.

“Who has a sonic screwdriver?” Jack asked, dumbstruck.

“I do!” the Doctor called back.

“Lights?” Rose asked, starting to search for a switch.

“Who looks at a screwdriver and thinks, ‘Oh, this could be a little more sonic?’”

“What, you’ve never been bored?” the Doctor asked.

“There’s gotta be a light switch,” Rose said.

“Never had a long night? Never had a lot of cabinets to put up?”

Rose, who finally found the light switch, turned it on. All around them, patients sat up in their beds.

“Mummy!”

“Door!”

“Mummy? Mummy? Mummy?”

“Damn it!” Jack called as his gun failed to work. “It’s the special features, they drain the battery,” he explained.

“The battery?” Rose asked as the Doctor opened the door using his screwdriver. “It’s so lame!”

“At least it works on wood,” Eva commented as she walked through the door, missing the annoyed look on the Doctor’s face.

“I was going to send for another one,” Jack said, making sure the windows were closed. “But somebody’s gotta blow up the factory.”

“I know,” Rose chuckled. “First day I met him, he blew my job up.”

The two turned to look at Eva, and the time jumper shrugged.

“Blew up the spaceship of the man who tried to kidnap me?” she offered.

“That’s how he communicates,” Rose concluded.

“Okay, that door should hold it for a bit,” the Doctor said, desperate to change the topic of conversation.

“The door?” jack asked. “The wall didn’t stop it!”

“It’s got to find us first!” the Doctor retorted. “Come on. Assets!”

“Well, I’ve got a banana and in a pinch you could put up some shelves,” Jack retorted. “Evie?”

“General knowledge of the city and the future,” she said. “Nothing we can actually use.”

“Will you ever stop surprising me?” Jack questioned, shaking his head.

“I’m pretty sure we switch roles at some point,” Eva told him.

“Window?” the Doctor asked.

“Barred,” Jack said.

“Sheer drop outside,” Eva added.

“Seven storeys.”

“And no other exits,” Rose said.

“Well, the assets conversation went in a flash, didn’t it?” Jack summarized, sitting down.

The Doctor chuckled lightly before nodding at Rose. “So where’d you pick this one up, then?”

“Doctor!”

“She was hanging from a barrage balloon, I had an invisible space ship,” Jack replied, smiling. “I never stood a chance. You?”

“Oi!”

“Well, she usually picks me up,” the Doctor retorted, smiling at Eva.

“Do I?” she said, surprised. “Good to know.”

“Okay!” the Doctor called out. “One, we’ve gotta get out of here. Two, we can’t get out of here. Have I missed anything?”

“Yeah,” Rose said, shocked. “Jack just disappeared.”

“Of course he did,” the Doctor sighed, sitting down. “Why would he stay?”

“Do you really think so little of him?” Eva asked.

“Yes.”

“Okay,” Rose said slowly, desperate to stop the duo from fighting. “So he vanished into thin air. Why is it always the great-looking ones who do that?”

“I’m making an effort not to be insulted,” the Doctor muttered.

“I mean... men.”

“Okay, thanks,” the Doctor said sarcastically. “That really helped.”

“Rose? Doctor? Evie?” the radio turned to life, carrying Jack’s voice through. “Can you hear me? I’m back on my ship... used the emergency teleport. Sorry I couldn’t take you,” he added as the Doctor looked at the cables of the radio, seeing they weren’t connected to anything. “It’s security-keyed to my molecular structure. I’m working on it.”

“How are you speaking to us?” the Doctor questioned.

“Om-Com,” Jack replied. “I can call anything with a speaker grill.”

“Now there’s a coincidence,” the Doctor said.

“What is?”

“The Child can Om-Com too.”

“It can?” Rose asked, surprised.

“Anything with a speaker grill,” Eva said. “Radio, PA systems... Even the TARDIS phone.”

“What, you mean the Child can phone us?”

“And I can hear you. Coming to find you. Coming to find you!”

“Doctor, can you hear that?” Jack asked.

“Loud and clear,” the Doctor replied darkly.

“I’ll try to block out the signal,” Jack said. “Least I can do.”

“Coming to find you, Mummy.”

“Remember this one, Rose?” the captain asked, and Moonlight Serenade started playing through the speakers.

“Our song,” Rose explained, in response to the Doctor’s raised brow.

“Always liked that song,” Eva commented, sitting down with a smile.

Once again, she missed the Doctor’s annoyed look as she closed her eyes and enjoyed the music.

Chapter Text

“What you doing?” Rose asked some time later, looking at the Doctor as the alien pointed his screwdriver at the window.

“Trying to set up a resonation pattern in the concrete, loosen the bars,” the Doctor replied.

“You don’t think he’s coming back, do ya?”

“Wouldn’t bet my life,” he muttered.

“I would,” Eva said, making the Doctor stop and look at her.

“Well, you shouldn’t,” he bit out.

“Why don’t you trust him?” Rose questioned.

“Why do you?” he retorted.

“Saved my life,” Rose shrugged. “Bloke-wise, that’s up there with flossing.”

“He’s a good man, Doctor,” Eva said. “You just need to let yourself see it.”

“I trust him cos he’s like you,” Rose added. “Except with dating and dancing.”

The Doctor looked her way for a moment before rolling his eyes and turning back to the window.

“What?” Rose asked.

“You just assume I’m...” he trailed away.

“What?”

“You just assume I don’t... dance,” the Doctor finished lamely.

“What?” Rose asked. “Are you telling me you do dance?”

“Nine hundred years old, me,” the Doctor said. “Been dating Eva for about half that time. I’ve been around. I think you can assume at some point I’ve danced.”

“You?” Rose asked in disbelief.

“Problem?”

“Doesn’t the universe implode or something if you dance?” she questioned.

“Well, I’ve got the moves and I took Evie a couple times, but I wouldn’t wanna boast.”

“Did you now?” Eva asked, standing up. “Prove it.”

“Evie, I’m...” the Doctor muttered. “I’m trying to resonate concrete.”

“You don’t need to,” Eva shrugged. “Jack will be back. He’ll get us out. And you got a point to prove.”

“Go on,” Rose prompted, turning up the volume. “The world doesn’t end cos the Doctor dances.”

The Doctor rolled his eyes, turning to Eva.

“May I have this dance?” he asked.

“Always the gentleman,” Eva smiled. “Of course.”

She took his hand, leading him to the middle of the room where he put his free hand on her waist and she put hers on his shoulder.

“So,” he started. “A month and a half. What did you do?”

“I found Nancy on my second day in,” Eva replied, smiling as the Doctor barely moved around. “I knew it was only a matter of time before you arrived, so I stuck with her.”

“And Ricky?”

“First night here,” Eva said. “The alarm started and he was frozen. We hid together.”

“You two seemed close,” the Doctor commented.

“We are,” Eva said, determined not to use past tense when referring to the young boy she all but adopted as a younger brother. “A night hiding inside a crypt below a Cathedral filled with dead bodies can do that to you.” She paused for a moment, resting her head on his shoulder before adding, “I told him of you.”

“Did you?” the Doctor asked, surprised. “What did you say?”

“I told him about a man who could never die,” Eva explained. “He lived for hundreds and hundreds of years, and was the last of his kind. He travelled from far away to further away, and no matter where he reached, he helped people. Saved them.”

“I don’t save everyone,” the Doctor reminded her.

“But you save everyone you can,” Eva told him. “And that’s what matters.” Again, there was a short pause before she spoke. “You should be nicer to Captain Jack.”

“We’re calling him Captain Jack now?” the Doctor muttered, backing slightly away from her.

“Well, his name’s Jack, and he’s a captain,” Eva retorted.

“He’s not really a captain, Eva,” the Doctor bit out.

“Yes, he is,” Eva said. “I don’t think he is, yet, but he is. You can keep dancing, you know,” she added.

“If ever he was a captain he’s been defrocked,” the Doctor retorted.

“Whatever you say,” Eva said with a fond smile. “Dumbo.”

“Actually I quit,” Jack said, making the Doctor jump away from Eva and look at where the captain stood next to Rose, eyeing the couple. “Nobody takes my frock. Most people notice when they’ve been teleported,” he added, winking at Eva. “You guys are so sweet. Sorry about the delay. Had to take the nav-com off-line to override the teleport security.”

“You can spend ten minutes overriding your own protocols?” the Doctor asked. “Maybe you should remember whose ship it is!”

“Oh, I do,” Jack retorted with a sigh. “She was gorgeous. Like I told her, be back in five minutes.”

He went back to the pilot’s seat and the Doctor looked around as Eva leaned against a wall.

“This is a Chula ship,” the Time Lord stated.

“Yeah, just like that medical transporter,” Jack informed him. “Only this one is dangerous.”

The Doctor clicked his hand, and nanogenes appeared around his hand.

“They’re what fixed up my hands up,” Rose said. “Jack called them, um...”

“Nanogenes,” Eva supplied.

“Nanogenes, yeah,” Rose nodded.

“Subatomic robots,” the Doctor said. “There’s millions of them in here. See?” he asked, turning his hand around. “Burned my hand on the console when we landed. All better now. They activate when the bulkhead’s sealed, check you out for damage, fix any physical flaws.” He waved his hand, making them disappear, and looked at Eva thoughtfully for a moment. “Remind you to check you for them later,” he said.

“Nanogenes?” Eva asked. “You think that would be it?”

“Wouldn’t hurt to be sure,” the Doctor shrugged, turning back to Jack. “Take us to the crash site. I need to see your space junk.”

“Soon as I get the nav-com back on line,” Jack said. “Make yourselves comfortable.” He smiled at Eva’s direction. “Carry on with whatever it was you were doing.”

“We were talking about dancing,” the Doctor said quickly.

“It didn’t look like talking,” Jack teased.

“Didn’t feel like dancing,” Eva replied. The Doctor huffed and she smiled, moving closer to him. “When did you take me dancing?” she asked.

“A couple of times,” the Doctor said. “First time was with Nosey, but I don’t think he counts, Scarfy, too, once or twice… doesn’t count, either, and the time after that was with Shorty.”

“Shorty?” Eva repeated.

“Body... seven, I think it was?” the Doctor shrugged. “Only one to be shorter than you.”

“Haven’t met this one yet,” Eva told him.

“Oh,” the Doctor said, surprised. “You’re a young one.”

“Is that a problem?”

“Not at all,” the Doctor replied. “It just means you have more experiences with me to have.”

Rose rolled her eyes at the two, turning to look at Jack.

“So you used to be a Time Agent, and now you’re trying to con ‘em?” she asked.

“If it makes me sound any better, it’s not for the money,” Jack said.

“For what?”

“Woke up one morning when I was still working for them,” Jack said. “Found they’d stolen two years of my memories. I’d like them back.”

“They stole your memories?” Rose asked.

“Two years of my life,” Jack said. “No idea what I did. Your friend over there doesn’t trust me,” he said, nodding at the Doctor’s direction. “And for all I know, he’s right not to.”

“He isn’t,” Eva said. “I trust you, and that should be enough for him.”

“About that,” Jack said, turning to look at her. “Why do you trust me?”

“Spoilers,” Eva winked.

“I knew a girl who used to say that,” Jack said. “Got a killer body...”

“Hair that never ends?” Eva asked, smiling.

“Lethal with a gun?” Jack retorted.

“And a hallucinogenic lipstick!” Eva said. “Oh, I know her parents.”

“Do you?”

“Been to the wedding.”

“Ahem?” the Doctor asked, bringing the attention back to him.

“Right,” Jack nodded. “We’re good to go! The crash site?”

The Doctor nodded, and Jack turned back, flying the ship away.

EMH

Jack parked his ship, and the four time travellers walked out, heading in the direction of the bomb site. The Doctor made sure to have Eva’s hand in his at all times, keeping her close while sending dirty looks in Jack’s direction.

“Is everything okay?” she asked him, quietly enough so that the other two won’t hear.

“Yes,” he replied, just a bit too quickly. “Why wouldn’t it be?”

“Because you’re scowling,” Eva replied.

“Well, there it is,” Jack declared before the Doctor could respond, oblivious to the conversation that took place behind him. “Hey, they’ve got Algy on duty. Must be important.”

“We’ve gotta get past,” the Doctor stated.

“Are the words ‘distract the guard’ heading in my general direction?” Rose asked, a small smile climbing unto her features.

“I don’t think that’d be such a good idea,” Jack said with a smirk. “Don’t worry, I can handle it. I’ve got to know Algy quite well, since I’ve been in town.”

Eva’s face echoed the smile on Jack’s. “I don’t think you’re his type,” she summed it up, making Rose’s eyes widen.

“I’ll distract him,” Jack said, heading forwards. “Don’t wait up!”

“Relax,” the Doctor said in response to the glance Rose sent his way. “He’s a 51st-century guy. He’s just a bit more flexible when it comes to dancing.”

“How flexible?” Rose questioned.

“By his time, you lot are spread out across half the galaxy,” the Doctor explained.

“Meaning?”

“So many species, so little time,” Eva replied in a singsong voice.

“That’s what we do when we get out there?” Rose questioned. “That’s our mission? We seek new life and... and...”

“Dance!”

The trio watched as Jack walked right to Algy, a confident smile on his face. They stared as Algy fell to the ground and Jack stared, and started running towards them when a gas mask came out of Algy’s mouth.

“Stay back!” the Doctor called, running towards him.

“You men, stay away!” Jack told the other soldiers.

“The effect’s becoming airborne,” the Doctor said. “Accelerating.”

“What’s keeping us safe?” Rose questioned.

“Nothing,” Eva said, her head shooting up at the sound of alarms.

“Ah, here they come again,” Jack muttered. “All we need!”

“Didn’t you say a bomb was gonna land here?” Rose asked.

“Never mind about that,” the Doctor said. “If the contaminant’s airborne now, there’s hours left.”

“Till what?” Jack questioned.

“Till nothing,” the Doctor said darkly. “Forever, for the entire human race, and can anyone else hear singing?”

“Oh, no,” Eva muttered. “Nancy... I totally forgot. Screwdriver!” she told the Doctor. “Give me your screwdriver.”

The Doctor quickly complied, a confused look on his face, and Eva took off towards the office where Nancy sat, singing Hush-a-Bye Baby to one of the guards that were transformed into... whatever these things were. When she saw Eva, she marked at her handcuffs and Eva nodded, kneeling next to her.

“Point and think,” she muttered to herself as she aimed the screwdriver at the cuffs. “Point and think.”

The cuffs’ lock opened and Eva let out a breath as she dragged Nancy out of the cabin and pulled her into a hug.

“Oh, thank god you’re okay,” she muttered.

“Same here,” Nancy said, holding the other woman. “The kids told me... about what happened to Ricky.”

“It’s okay,” Eva said. “The Doctor will fix this. And he’ll fix Jamie, too.”

“Hello there,” Jack said, walking towards them. “Care to introduce?”

“Not now,” the Doctor said curtly. “We need to solve the problem you created.”

EMH

“You see?” Jack said as they stood next to the wrecks of the ship he tried to sell. “Just an ambulance!”

“That’s an ambulance?” Nancy questioned, staying close to Eva.

“Of a sort,” Eva shrugged, unsure how to explain it to her.

“They’ve been trying to get in,” Jack muttered, looking at it.

“Of course they have,” the Doctor snorted. “They think they’ve got their hands on Hitler’s secret weapon. What are you doing?” he asked when he saw Jack starting to work on the ship.

“When you see this thing is empty you’ll know I had nothing to do with it,” Jack said, just as sparks came out.

“Oh!” Rose called in surprise.

“Didn’t happen last time,” Jack said worriedly.

“It hadn’t crashed last time,” the Doctor bit out. “There’ll be emergency protocols.”

“Doctor, what is that?” Rose asked, stepping forwards before turning around at the sound of movement behind her. “Doctor!”

“Captain, secure those gates,” the Doctor ordered.

“Why?”

“Just do it!” the Doctor called out. “Nancy, how did you get in here?”

“Cut the wire,” Nancy replied.

“Show me where,” Eva said. “I still have the sonic.”

“Setting 2428-D!”

“I’m not going to remember that, Dumbo!” Eva called as she and Nancy ran. “My way is simpler!”

The two young women reached the fence and Eva took a deep breath as she pointed the screwdriver at the wire.

“Pont and think,” she muttered as Nancy held together every two parts of wire that were supposed to be held together. “Point and think.”

“Who are you?” Nancy asked when she saw the wire reattach. “Who are any of you?”

“It’s... It’s complicated,” Eva sighed.

“You showed up out of nowhere two months ago,” Nancy said. “There’s a tube out there and you call it an ambulance. People are running round with gas mask heads calling for their mummies, the sky’s full of bombs. Do you really think anything’s not complicated?”

Eva sighed, not looking at Nancy as she spoke.

“Remember how I knew where the big bombs will drop?” she asked. “And where are the best places to get food... It’s because I’m from the future. All of us are. We’re time travellers.”

“Mad, you are!” Nancy muttered.

“The Doctor has a time travel machine,” Eva went on. “Really,” she added at the look of disbelief on Nancy’s face.

“It’s not that,” Nancy said, shaking her head. “All right, you got a time travel machine, I’ll believe ya. Believe anything, me... But what future?”

Eva smiled softly. “I grew up in Careby,” she said. “That’s about two hours’ train ride up north from here. It was also in the early 21st century.” Nancy’s eyes widened and Eva went on. “Rose – that’s the blonde – she was born here, in London, in 1986.”

“But...” Nancy started. “But you’re not...”

“German?” Eva asked with a small smile. “They don’t win, Nancy. I really shouldn’t tell you that,” she said as she reattached the last pieces of wire, “But guess what? You win.”

“We win?” Nancy asked in disbelief.

“Damn right,” Eva nodded. “Come on, we should go back,” she added, looking behind her shoulder.

“It’s empty,” the two heard Jack say, finally opening the ship. “Look at it.”

“What do you expect in a Chula Medical Transporter?” the Doctor asked, crossing his arms and looking at Jack. “Bandages? Cough drops? Rose?” he asked when the Captain hadn’t replied.

“I dunno,” Rose muttered.

“Yes, you do,” Eva said, marking at her hand.

“Nanogenes!” Rose said in understanding.

“It wasn’t empty, Captain,” the Doctor said, sending the other male a look of disdain. “There were enough nanogenes in there to rebuild a species.”

“Oh, God,” Jack muttered.

“Getting it now, are we?” the Doctor bit out. “When the ship crashes, the nanogenes escape. Billions upon billions of them. Ready to fix all the cuts and bruises in the whole world. But what they find first is a dead child.” Eva reached out, grasping Nancy’s hand. “Probably killed earlier that night. And wearing a gas mask.”

“And they brought him back to life?” Rose questioned. “They can do that?”

“What’s life?” the Doctor questioned. “Life’s easy. A quirk of matter. Nature’s way of keeping meat fresh. Nothing to a Nanogene – heck, Eva does it about once a week.”

“Oi!” Eva called out.

“One problem though,” the Doctor went on, ignoring her. “These nanogenes, they’re not like the ones on your ship. This lot have never seen a human being before. Don’t know what a human being’s supposed to look like. All they’ve got to go on is one little body, and there’s not a lot left. But they carry right on, they do what they’re programmed to do – they patch it up. Can’t tell what’s gas mask and what’s skull but they do their best. Then off they fly, off they go, work to be done! Cos you see,” he said, “Now they think they know what people should look like. And it’s time to fix all the rest. And they won’t ever stop. They won’t ever, ever stop.”

“Doctor,” Eva said warningly.

“The entire human race is gonna be torn down and rebuilt in the form of one terrified child, looking for its mother,” the Doctor called out. “And nothing in the world can stop it!”

“Doctor!” Eva called out angrily, glancing at Nancy from the corner of her eye. The other woman was trying to hold back tears, and Eva pulled her close. “Stop it.”

“I didn’t know,” Jack muttered, obviously ashamed of his actions.

The Doctor didn’t spare him more than a look of disapproval before kneeling next to the ship. Rose made a move to get closer to him, but Eva shook her head, marking at Jack who clearly needed comfort right now.

“Eva?” Nancy asked, and Eva turned around to see people approaching.

“Mummy, Mummy, Mummy, Mummy.”

“Doctor,” Eva muttered, and the Doctor looked up for less than a second before looking back at the ship.

“The ship thinks it’s under attack,” he said. “It’s calling the troops. Standard protocol.”

“But the gas-mask people aren’t troops!” Rose said.

“They are now,” Eva said.

“This is a battlefield ambulance,” the Doctor explained. “The nanogenes don’t just fix you up, they get you ready for the front line. Equip you, programme you...”

“That’s why the Child’s so strong?” Rose questioned. “Why it could do that phoning thing?”

“It’s a fully-equipped Chula Warrior, yes,” the Doctor replied. “All that weapons tech in the hands of a hysterical four-year-old, looking for his Mummy and now there’s an army of them.”

“Mummy, Mummy, Mummy!”

“Why don’t they attack?” Jack asked.

“Good little soldiers,” the Doctor bit out. “Waiting for their commander.”

“The Child!” Jack said in realization.

“Jamie.”

Chapter Text

“What?” Jack asked, confused.

“Not the Child,” Nancy said. “Jamie.”

“So how long until the bomb falls?” Rose asked in a small voice.

“Any second,” Jack said nervously.

“What’s the matter, Captain?” the Doctor asked, nearing Eva and Nancy. “Bit close to the volcano for you?”

“Is now really the time?” Eva bit out.

“He’s just a little boy,” Nancy cried.

“I know,” Eva said, turning back to the other woman.

“He’s just a little boy who wants his Mummy...”

“I know,” Eva repeated. “There isn’t a little boy born who wouldn’t tear the world apart to save his Mummy.”

“And this little boy can,” the Doctor finished.

“So what are we gonna do?” Rose asked.

“I don’t know,” the Doctor admitted.

“It’s my fault,” Nancy cried.

“No,” Eva said. “Don’t say that. It isn’t your fault.

“It is,” Nancy insisted. “It’s all my fault.”

“How can it be your...?” the Doctor started before the mask people cut him off.

“Mummy, Mummy, Mummy!”

“It’s time, Nancy,” Eva said. “You can’t keep it hidden any longer.”

“What are you talking about?” the Doctor asked, as Eva hugged Nancy even closer.

“Nancy,” she said softly, “Do you mind telling them your age?”

“I... I can’t...”

“You told me you were twenty one,” Eva told her. “They would never have guessed it – you’re older than you look.”

“You always knew, didn’t you?” Nancy questioned.

“Doctor, that bomb...” Jack started. “We’ve got seconds!”

“You can teleport us out,” Rose said.

“Not you guys,” Jack shook his head. “The nav-com’s back on line, gonna take too long to override the protocols.”

“So it’s Volcano Day,” the Doctor said coldly. “Do what you’ve got to do!”

“Jack?” Rose asked hopefully, and even though Eva wasn’t looking, she knew Jack sent her a sorrow filled look before teleporting out.

“How old were you five years ago?” the Doctor asked Nancy.

“Old enough to give birth,” Eva confirmed. “He was never your brother.”

“Teenage single mother in 1941,” the Doctor said. “So you hid. You lied. You even lied to him.”

The gates opened revealing Jamie standing up front, leading the army of gas-mask people behind him.

“Are you my mummy?”

“He’s gonna keep asking, Nancy,” Eva told her. “He’s never gonna stop. You need to tell him.”

“Nancy, the future of the human race is in your hands,” the Doctor said.

“Shut up,” Eva bit out at him. “Nancy, do you trust me? After the past month and a half, everything we’ve been through, do you trust me?” Nancy nodded slowly. “So tell him.”

“Are you my mummy?” Jamie asked, stepping towards them. “Are you my mummy? Are you my mummy?”

“Yes,” Nancy said, walking to him. “Yes, I am your mummy.”

“Mummy?” the boy asked again.

“I’m here,” Nancy said.

“Are you my mummy?”

“I’m here.”

“Are you my mummy?”

“Yes.”

“Are you my mummy?”

“He doesn’t understand,” the Doctor said. “There’s not enough of him left.”

“Shut up,” Eva muttered, looking at the exchange between mother and son.

“I am your mummy,” Nancy said. “I will always be your mummy. I’m so sorry,” she said, pulling him into a hug. “I am so, so sorry.”

“What’s happening?” Rose asked. “Doctor, it’s changing her, we’ve...”

“Shut up!” Eva said, letting out a breath of relief. “The Nanogenes are clever – clever Nanobots! She’s the mother – superior DNA.”

Jamie let go of Nancy, who fell to the ground and Eva rushed forwards to take his gas mask off.

“Oh, come on!” the Doctor muttered next to her. “Give me a day like this! Give me this one!”

Eva pulled the gas mask off, and smiled at the little boy it revealed.

“Ha-ha, ha-ha!” the Doctor called out, lifting Jamie and turning him around in the air. “Welcome back! 20 years to pop music, you’re gonna love it.”

“What happened?” Nancy asked.

“The nanogenes recognised the superior information,” the Doctor said. “The parent DNA. They didn’t change you, because you changed them. Mother knows best!”

“Jamie...” Nancy whispered, hugging her son.

“Doctor, that bomb...” Rose said once more.

“Taken care of it,” the Doctor dismissed.

“How?”

“Psychology.”

They all looked up as the bomb neared them, only to be stopped moments before it hit by a stasis beam.

“Doctor!” Jack called out.

“Good lad,” the Doctor said fondly.

“The bomb’s already commenced detonation,” Jack said. “I’ve put it in stasis, but it won’t last long!”

“Change of plan!” the Doctor called back. “Don’t need the bomb. Can you get rid of it, safely as you can?”

Jack nodded before turning to look at the two girls. “It was good to meet you, Eva,” he said. “Rose?”

“Yeah?” the blonde asked.

“Goodbye!” The beam disappeared for a moment before reappearing. “By the way... loved the t-shirt!”

The Doctor smiled, stepping forwards and shaking his hands until Nanogenes came to him.

“What are you doing?” Rose asked.

“Software patch,” the Doctor replied. “Gonna email the upgrade. You want moves, Evie,” he said, winking at her. “I’ll give you moves!” He pushed the Nanogenes at the gas mask people, making them all fall to the ground. “Everybody lives, Evie. Just this once! Everybody lives!”

The people stood up, none of them wearing gas masks anymore and the Doctor smiled at the women next to him, who smiled back.

“Evie?” a scared voice called out.

“Ricky!” Eva called out, breaking into a run.

“Eva!” the Doctor called after her.

“Ricky!” Eva yelled.

“Evie!”

As soon as the boy was in her sight, Eva started pushing people aside to get to him, lifting him up in her hands.

“You’re safe,” she whispered. “I’m here... you’re safe now.”

“Did the Doctor save everyone?” Ricky asked.

“He did,” Eva nodded, slowly starting to head back. “He sure did.”

“Right, you lot, lots to do,” the Doctor called out, standing on the ship as he spoke. “Beat the Germans, save the world, don’t forget the welfare state! Setting this to self destruct soon as everybody’s clear,” he added, leaning down. “History says there was an explosion here. Who am I to argue with history?”

“Usually the first in line,” Eva said, walking towards him with Ricky in her arms. “Doctor, Rose, I want you to meet Ricky.”

“She’s my sister!” Ricky stated happily, wrapping his arms around Eva’s neck.

“I sure am,” Eva replied with a smile. “Ricky, I want you to meet Rose, a good friend of mine, and the Doctor, my boyfriend.”

Almost immediately, Ricky frowned. “You never said he was your boyfriend,” he said.

“What else would I be?” the Doctor asked, kissing the side of Eva’s head.

Ricky’s frown turned into a scowl. “I don’t like him anymore,” he declared, making Rose let out a sort of strangled laugh.

“Why not?” Eva asked.

“Because you’re my sister,” Ricky said as if it was obvious. “And that means you’re supposed to love me best!”

Eva’s eyes widened and the Doctor’s eyebrows shot up in surprise. The combination of the scowling boy, the surprised Time Lord and the blushing woman in the middle of the two’s attention made Rose fall to the floor, rolling with laughter.

EMH

“Take good care of him, will you?” Eva asked as she hugged Nancy goodbye, getting ready to go back into the TARDIS. “Both of them.”

“I will,” Nancy promised.

“And you two,” Eva said, turning to Jamie and Ricky. “Take good care of her, as well. I want you both to do as you’re told and be good for her.”

“Will I ever see you again?” Ricky asked sadly. He always knew that Eva wasn’t going to stay forever, but that didn’t mean he was happy about his big sister leaving.

“Only if I’m lucky,” Eva told him, kissing the top of his head before turning around and followed Rose and the Doctor in.

“The nanogenes will clean up their mess and switch themselves off cos I just told them to,” the Doctor was saying. “Nancy and Jamie will go to Dr Constantine for help, ditto. All in all, all things considered, fantastic!”

“Look at you,” Rose said with a smile as Eva closed the door behind her. “Beaming like you’re Father Christmas!”

“Who says I’m not? Red bicycle when you were twelve,” the Doctor said.

“What?” Rose asked, turning to look at Eva.

“I’m 99 percent sure he cheated with that one,” Eva told her.

“Did I, Bratz doll when you were eight?” the Doctor asked.

“Wait, what?”

“And everybody lives!” the Doctor said happily, pulling Eva into a hug. “Everybody lives! I need more days like this!”

“Doctor...” Rose said carefully.

“Go on, ask me anything,” the Doctor told her, spinning Eva in the air. “I’m on fire.”

“What about Jack?” Rose questioned, making the Doctor pause. “Why did he say goodbye?”

“Almost everybody lives,” the Doctor said quietly. “I’m sorry, but he took the bomb... we can’t save him.”

Eva paused, taking a step back so that she could look at the Doctor. “What do you mean, ‘We can’t save him’?” she asked. “I know for a fact that we can.”

“Not enough time,” the Doctor told her.

“You have a time machine,” Eva reminded him.

“There are laws.”

“And I bet everything that you can do this without breaking them.”

“Why are you so keen on saving him?” the Doctor asked. “He’s a conman!”

“He’s willing to die in order to save us,” Eva retorted. “That gives him good points in my book. And I thought it would in yours, too.”

“Well, you thought wrong,” the Doctor bit out.

“Apparently,” Eva muttered. “What is it, eh? What did I change this time?”

“What?” the Doctor asked, confused.

“I know for a fact that if I weren’t here, you’d have gone to save him without hesitation,” Eva stated. “So, what did I change? Is it because he flirted with me?”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” the Doctor rolled his eyes.

“Then what is it?” Eva questioned. “Is it because I let him?” The Doctor looked away and Eva’s eyes widened. “It is, isn’t it?”

“Stop it,” the Doctor said.

“No, I will not stop it,” Eva said, stomping her foot. “And you will look at me when I talk to you!” The Doctor turned to her, a cold look in his eyes. “You will go, now, and you will save that man because he deserves nothing less.”

“And if I don’t?” the Doctor asked.

“Then I will shove you aside and do it myself.”

“You can’t drive the TARDIS,” the Doctor said.

“Wanna bet?” The Doctor didn’t reply, his gaze locked on Eva’s hand. “What is it?” she asked, looking at it and seeing nothing out of the ordinary.

“I’ll save him,” the Doctor said.

“What?”

“I said, I’ll save him,” the Doctor repeated. “But I’m not happy about it.”

“Never asked you to be,” Eva muttered, leaning back as the TARDIS flew away.

EMH

The TARDIS parked and Eva opened the door, allowing the sounds of “Moonlight Serenade” to filter out into Jack’s ship as she went to fetch the Captain. Behind her, Rose just managed to make the Doctor allow her to teach him how to dance despite the Time Lord’s insistence he knew already.

“Anyway,” Eva heard Jack say with a sigh, “Thanks for everything, computer... it’s been great.”

“Are you going to sit there and sulk or are you coming?” she asked with a small smile.

“What?” Jack asked, turning around and Eva held out her hand.

“Come on, then,” she said. “I’m not gonna wait forever.”

Jack all but jumped out of his seat, taking Eva’s hand and letting her lead him inside.

“Okay,” Rose told the Doctor, stepping back a bit. “And turn. Okay, try and spin me again,” she said after the failed attempt, “But this time, don’t get my arm up my back! No extra points for a half-nelson.”

“I’m sure I used to know this stuff,” the Doctor muttered, sending half a glance at the direction of Eva and Jack, his eyes lingering on their intertwined hands. “Close the door, will you? Your ship’s about to blow up, there’s gonna be a draft.”

Eva laughed softly, letting go of Jack’s hand and closing the door behind them.

“Welcome to the TARDIS,” she said.

“Much bigger on the inside,” Jack noted.

“You’d better be,” the Doctor replied with a wink.

“I think what the Doctor is trying to say is... you may cut in,” Rose said, taking Jack’s hand and leading him forwards.

“Evie!” the Doctor called out happily. “I’ve just remembered!”

“What?” Eva asked as the TARDIS changed the background music to something with a better beat.

“I can dance!” the Doctor called out happily, stepping towards the trio while doing a ridiculous sort of dance. “I can dance!”

“Actually, Doctor, I thought Jack might like this dance,” Eva said with a smirk.

“I’m sure he would, Evie, I’m absolutely certain,” the Doctor said before winking at the Captain. “But who with?”

Eva laughed, stepping towards her boyfriend and taking his hand in hers, allowing him to lead her for a short while before looking up.

“Old girl!” she called out. “Could you put a song for me?”

Almost immediately, a pop tune started playing, making Eva laugh.

“What’s that song?” Rose asked, looking at Eva with confusion written all over her features.

“It’s an Earth song from 2009,” Eva replied. “I was thirteen when it came out and I absolutely loved it. Hadn’t heard it in years,” she added thoughtfully.

“You grew up in the 21st century?” Jack asked.

“Sort of,” Eva shrugged. “Parallel Universe. My life is complicated.”

“Well, nobody but you knows this song,” the Doctor said. “Old girl, can you put something else?”

Nothing happened, making Rose laugh. “I think she likes Evie better,” she said.

“Everybody likes Evie better,” the Doctor pouted, though his expression turned curious when the chorus started and Eva sang along.

So I put my hands up, they’re playin’ my song and the butterflies fly away,” she sang, raising her hands in the air. “I’m noddin’ my head like Yeah! Movin’ my hips like Yeah!

“How did he get her?” Jack asked when Eva swayed her hips in accordance to the lyrics.

“I have no idea,” Rose replied, all but gaping at the couple.

Got my hands up, they’re playin’ my song, and now I’m gonna be okay,” Eva sang, oblivious to the conversation going on between the Doctor’s companions and pressing her back to his chest as he neared her from behind. “Yeah! It’s a party in the USA!

“You have terrible taste in music,” the Doctor informed her.

“I have fantastic taste in music,” Eva told him, mimicking his tone.

“As if,” Rose snorted. “You probably liked Tokio Hotel.”

“And if I did?”

“One Direction?” the Doctor questioned, bringing the confused expression back up Rose’s face. “Taylor Swift? Justin Bieber?”

“No!” Eva called out. “Not Justin Bieber. But there’s nothing wrong with liking any of the others.”

“Leave her alone, guys,” Jack cut in. “Everyone likes whatever they like and that’s okay. Even if none of us knows any of that music.”

“Oh, please,” Eva rolled her eyes. “I grew up on Queen, Beatles, Rolling Stones... Elvis.”

“And you like Miley Cyrus?” the Doctor questioned.

“First of all, there’s nothing wrong with liking Miley Cyrus,” Eva said. “Second of all, this music makes me happy, and that’s enough for me. And third of all...” A small smile started making its way up her face. “I never said ‘Party in the USA’ was Miley Cyrus.”

“I...” the Doctor started. “Well, it’s... it was... I should take you to a Queen concert some time.”

“Smooth,” Jack snorted.

“I’ll hold you on to that one,” Eva said. “We’re about two months away from my birthday.”

“Oh!” Rose called with a smile. “How old will you be?”

“Twenty,” Eva replied. “My nineteenth was less than a week after I arrived here. Third trip with the Doctor.”

“Was it a good birthday?” the Doctor asked.

“It started good,” Eva said, her tone lowering as she remembered the Library. “Turned bad and ended worse.”

“What happened?”

“Spoilers.”

“You can’t leave us hanging like this!” Rose said. “Come on, give us something.”

“Well...” Eva hesitated.

There wasn’t much she could tell the Doctor without risking to rip apart the fabric of the universe by mistake, and even less she could tell Rose and Jack without trying to explain why they weren’t there. She opened her mouth, certain she could find something, when the TARDIS started playing a new song and she smiled.

“Shot through the heart, and you’re to blame, darling, you give love a bad name!”

“Did I forget to mention I’m a sucker for Bon Jovi?” Eva asked, taking Jack’s hand and all but forcing him to dance with her as the Doctor looked up at the ceiling and huffed in annoyance.

Smooth.

EMH

A couple hours later found Eva wandering around the TARDIS in her pyjamas. The Doctor said he’d show Jack his room and Rose offered to join, so Eva used the time to take a much needed shower.

If she had to point out the biggest downside of travelling with the Doctor, it would be the lacking of normal, daily showers. It didn’t even have to be a hot shower – just the feeling of water pouring on her skin, taking off weeks of grime and sweat was enough.

Of course, this was the TARDIS, and the machine knew exactly how warm Eva liked her showers, what lotions she used and even how soft she liked her towel.

After the shower was done and over with, and Eva smoked the first normal cigarette she had in six weeks, she headed out in the search of company and dinner. She wandered around, half aimlessly as she was certain the TARDIS will lead her where she needs to go, when she heard two voices talking from one of the side corridors.

“Tell me, what have you done?” the Doctor asked angrily.

“I already told you!” Jack’s voice replied. “I didn’t do anything!”

“There is absolutely no reason for her to trust you,” the Doctor said. “No reason for her to want to save you. You’re just a con man, and your actions nearly ruined the entire human race!”

“It was an accident!”

“When I didn’t want to save you, she started to disappear.” Eva’s breath hitched in her throat and she moved closer. “Her hand started to disappear. Last time I saw it happen, the universe was on the edge of collapsing into itself because of too much entropy. So I’ll ask you again, and I’m not asking nicely anymore. What did you do to her?

Jack cried out in pain and Eva jumped forwards, seeing the Doctor holding the other man against a wall by his collar.

“Doctor!” she called out, making the Time Lord let go the other man. “What the bloody hell do you think you’re doing?”

“He nearly killed you, Eva!” the Doctor called out. “This hasn’t happened to you since Logopolis!”

“That wasn’t him, that was you!” Eva called out, kneeling next to Jack and making sure he was alright. “Jack saved my life. In the future, he saved my life more times than I could count. If he died today, I would never have been born.” She fixed the Doctor a hard glare as she and Jack stood up. “I trust him, because he’s a good man. Better than you, at the moment,” she added, linking her arm with the man who would be her father and walking away.

“You didn’t have to say all of that about me,” Jack said quietly.

“I never said anything that wasn’t true,” Eva told him. “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Jack – you are a good man. And once you start seeing it, everybody else will, too.” She let out a sigh, leading him into one of the corridors.

“Where are we going?” he asked.

“I need a smoke,” Eva said.

“You smoke?” Jack asked, surprised.

“You got a problem with it?”

“Not at all,” Jack smiled at her. “Women who smoke are hot.”

“Okay, rule one,” Eva said, pushing Jack through a door and into a room that looked like a park. “No hitting on me.”

“Are there any more rules I should know about?” Jack questioned.

“Don’t worry,” Eva said. “I’m sure I’ll think of more as time goes on.”

EMH

It was hours before Eva finally fell asleep. She laid in bed, tossing in turning as she thought of what happened that day.

Almost losing Ricky, even knowing everything would turn out to be okay, scared her more than she wanted to admit. And saying goodbye later on, having nothing to assure her he was going to be okay, left a strain on her body and an ache in her heart.

And the happiness of seeing the Doctor again, quickly replaced by anger at him and the way he was treating Jack. It wasn’t the former Time Agent’s fault that the Doctor was annoyed by him hitting on Eva, and it wasn’t Eva’s fault that the male flirted with her. He flirted with everyone, and even if he didn’t, it wasn’t like anything was going to happen between the two of them.

Just the thought made Eva feel slightly sick. He was her father, for crying out loud!

Not that she’d tell him that. It was only his first time meeting her, and that wasn’t the sort of things you throw on someone that only met you less than twenty four hours ago.

And she didn’t have plans on telling the Doctor, either. Let him wallow in his pettiness for a bit. She will probably tell him later on, but not for a while and definitely not before he apologized to Jack – something the Time Lord refused to do when the father and daughter passed by him on their way to their respective rooms.

The Doctor. At the end of the day, it all came down to him. To his mistrust, something she thought was only reserved to his older versions because of her youth. His anger, that she never thought would be directed to her.

Hours after she entered her bed, when the TARDIS was so quiet you could hear the engines running, Eva finally managed to find comfort in sleep, only to be awakened less than thirty minutes later.

“Eva!” a stressed voice called out. “Eva, you’ve got to wake up!”

“I’m sleeping,” she muttered, wrapping herself into the soft blanket, not very keen on moving from her current position. “Leave me alone.”

“It’s the Doctor!”

Eva opened her eyes to see Jack standing next to her, wearing nothing but his boxers and a shirt and looking more scared than she ever saw him.

“Rose is with him,” he said. “But he... we don’t...”

“Take me to him,” Eva said curtly, all but jumping out of bed.

Jack nodded going out of her room and running down a corridor Eva never used before. It wasn’t long before they reached what Eva assumed was the Doctor’s room, and she walked inside without hesitating.

Rose stood by the Doctor’s bed, trying to calm the kicking and thrashing Time Lord down but to no avail. Eva pushed her aside, not even bothering to apologize before she leaned down next to the Doctor, taking his hand in hers and whispering soothing words into his ear until he woke up.

“It’s okay,” Eva whispered. “Everything’s okay now. I’m here.”

“Eva?” the Doctor asked, his voice at the edge of tears. “Is it you?”

“Who else would it be?” she asked with a small smile.

“Please don’t leave me,” he whispered. “Please... I don’t – I can’t –”

“I’m not going anywhere,” she promised. “I’m here until you get tired of me, Dumbo.”

The Doctor didn’t smile, only pulling Eva into a tight hug. “Please don’t leave me.”

From over his shoulder, Eva marked Rose and Jack to leave the room, clinging closer to the Doctor as the companions complied.

“I’ll never leave you,” she vowed. “I’m here, Dumbo. And I’m here to stay.”

Chapter Text

When Eva woke up, the Doctor wasn’t in bed with her and the water was running in the shower. She smiled to herself, thinking the Doctor had already woken up and decided to take a shower as she closed her eyes again, snuggling into the comforts of his bed.

Who knew a man who slept so little had such a nice bed?

She breathed in and out evenly, slowly lulling herself back to sleep when a voice called out in surprise.

“Eva?!”

Her eyes opened wide and she sat up, taking in the sight of the Sixth Doctor in front of her wearing nothing but a towel before quickly closing her eyes.

“Oh, god,” she muttered, half to herself and half to him. “I’m sorry, I fell asleep and... I must’ve arrived here just minutes ago...”

“What were you doing in my bed?” the Doctor asked, sounding just as embarrassed as she felt.

“You... you were having a nightmare,” she said quietly, a warm blush creeping up her throat and onto her cheeks. “I came and... we fell asleep... nothing happened,” she said quickly. “It’s just... you just... you had a bad dream.”

“Oh,” the Doctor said. “Well... ahem... perhaps we should... you should... leave?”

“I gladly would, if it weren’t for the fact that you’re a bit too close to being naked for my comfort and what I wear under this blanket is a bit too short for your comfort,” Eva replied. “I didn’t exactly plan on sharing a bed with you last night.”

“Right,” the Doctor said. “Then I’ll go back to the bathroom so you could leave without making this situation even more embarrassing than it already is.”

“Good plan,” Eva nodded, waiting with her eyes still closed until she heard the bathroom door close behind the Doctor.

As soon as it did, she all but ran out of the room, heading straight to her own room to change before smoking a cigarette.

“Couldn’t you warn one of us?” she asked, looking up. “I don’t know... lock the door to the Doctor’s bathroom so that he couldn’t leave? Making sure I woke up as soon as I arrived so that I could have been gone before the Doctor realized I was there?” The TARDIS hummed softly and Eva glared at it. “Do you have any idea how embarrassing this was?”

“Eva?” a second voice said and the young woman looked up to see Mel looking at her. “When did you get here?”

“About ten minutes ago,” Eva replied. “Right into the Doctor’s bed.”

“I... did not need to know that,” Mel said, rubbing her temple.

“Nothing happened, alright?” Eva asked. “He was having a nightmare. I stayed with him. Travelled in my sleep and woke up to a different Doctor coming out of the shower.”

“Right,” Mel nodded, though it was clear she didn’t believe the time traveller. “If you say so.”

“Shut up,” Eva muttered, slapping her playfully on the arm. “Let’s go to the Console Room,” she added, putting off her cigarette in the ash tray.

“What’s in the Console Room?” Mel questioned.

“I dunno,” Eva shrugged. “But the Doctor always ends up there right before interesting things happen.”

“Fair point,” Mel laughed, and he two walked to the Console Room where, unsurprisingly, they found the Doctor.

“Hey,” Eva said, deciding to act as if she didn’t simply appear in his bed just minutes ago. “What’s up?”

“I’ve just been trying to understand exactly that,” the Doctor said, pressing buttons as he looked at the scanner. “There’s an energy heading our way, and I can’t understand if it’s friendly or not...”

The beam of energy hit the TARDIS, making them all fall to the ground and Eva called out as she hit her head at the console.

“Just guessing here, but I don’t think it’s friendly,” she said, rubbing her forehead and trying to ignore the fact that she was seeing double.

“Don’t stand up,” the Doctor ordered, his voice weak. “I’ll fix this in a second...”

“Doctor?” Eva asked. “Is this what I think this is?”

The Doctor followed her gaze to the scanner, where a planet could be clearly seen.

“Lakertya...” he muttered, before wincing. “Where’s Mel?”

“Passed out,” Eva said. “Doctor, my head hurts...”

“Must be the radiation,” the Doctor muttered.

“Radiation?” Eva asked, just as the TARDIS was hit again and both she and the Doctor were thrown around again. “Doctor?” Eva asked, slowly nearing him to see him lying unconscious. “Doctor!”

The TARDIS landed roughly, making Eva wince again at the impact. She looked up to see a woman she couldn’t place in her mind entering the TARDIS, a creature following her.

“Leave the girls,” she ordered. “It’s the man I want. Take him to my laboratory.”

She walked out and the creature neared the Doctor and Eva, forcing the first out of the latter’s grip and turning him around just in time to see him regenerating into the Seventh Doctor.

“No,” Eva muttered as the creature took the Doctor away, right before black clouded her vision. “Doctor...”

She could vaguely register the TARDIS door closing behind them, before the world turned black.

She was brought back at the sound of the TARDIS door opening again, and a figure walking in.

“Doctor?” she muttered, blinking her eyes open to see... a green man?

A Lakertyan, she realized, starting to pinpoint what episode she arrived into. The Doctor had just regenerated and taken into... someone’s laboratory to fix... something, and this was a rebel Lakertyan... who was just looking at her helpless form, thinking she was working with... with whom?

“Who are you?” he asked, his eyes darting to the still unconscious Mel for a moment before returning to her.

“I’m Eva,” she said, making a move to stand up but stopping at the sight of him tensing. “I’m not an enemy of yours...”

“I’ll be the judge of that,” he said, taking out a piece of rope and quickly tying Eva’s hand together before raising Mel and putting her over his shoulder. “Come,” he said, roughly pulling the rope.

“You could’ve asked nicely,” Eva muttered as she was dragged forwards. “I would have come.”

“And be quiet.”

Eva rolled her eyes but complied, walking after the Lakertyan for a couple of minutes obediently. She used the time to look around, taking in the landmark she was certain could have been beautiful if only someone paid the time to do so, before being torn out of her thoughts as Mel woke up, kicking and twisting in the Lakertyan’s arms until he fell to the ground, taking Eva with him.

They looked, seeing Mel run away until she was met with another Lakertyan, this time a girl who seemed to be just as scared as Mel was. The girl looked at her for less than a moment before changing course of her escape, which led her right into a trip wire.

Eva looked up at the sound of a scream, to see the girl trapped inside a spinning bubble, flying through the air and bouncing off a cliff before crushing into another and exploding. Mel, who followed the sight, looked at Eva worriedly before glancing at the other Lakertyan.

Slowly, Eva shook her head.

The Lakertyan kneeled next to the body of his fellow, before looking up at Mel with anger.

“Go on,” he said, “Run. Run! The area’s full of traps, as well you know.”

“Me?” Mel asked. “Why should I? This is insane.”

“Don’t play the innocent,” he snarled at her. “Your friends set this trap.”

“Look, it’s all very well being upset –”

“Upset? Another of your obscene murders takes place –”

“Stop it, both of you!” Eva said. “I told you already, we are not enemies.”

“Lies!” the Lakertyan said. “If I didn’t need you as a hostage, you’d be dead.”

“A hostage?” Mel asked. “For what?”

“To exchange for our leader,” he replied. “Your friends took him prisoner.”

“Why do you keep calling them friends of ours?” Mel questioned.

“You arrived from outer space, as they did,” he said as he grabbed Eva’s rope and used it to tie Mel, as well. “Now they can have you back. On my terms.”

EMH

“Will you listen?” Mel asked for the umpteenth time as they moved down a slippery hill. “How many more times do I have to tell you I’m not your enemy. Look, can we start from scratch? My name’s Mel and this is Eva. We come from Earth. Your turn.”

“This is no game,” the Lakertyan said.

“I know it’s something with an ‘I’,” Eva muttered to herself, trying to remember his name. “Ir... Iv...”

“All right, let’s try another tack,” Mel said. “You claim Eva and I were alone when you found us.”

“Oh, don’t go on about this Doctor again,” he said, rolling his eyes.

 ”I have to.”

“In... Ik...”

“There was no one else in the strange box” the Lakertyan said. “If he exists, he must have left you.”

“No way,” Mel said determinedly. “Even if he did leave me – which he wouldn’t have – The Doctor would never leave Eva.”

“If he has any sense he would,” he muttered.

“It’s not even up for discussion,” Mel exclaimed.

“Good,” he said. “I shall enjoy the silence.”

“Ikona!” Eva called out. “That’s your name!”

Ikona turned to look at her, shocked, and nearly tripped on a trip wire in the process.

“Watch out!” Mel called out, pulling him back just in time to stop him from getting trapped in the bubble, which flew away and exploded on a cliff side.

Ikona swallowed hard, looking between the two women worriedly.

“Now will you accept that we’re not your enemies?” Mel asked desperately and Ikona nodded shakily.

“We must hurry,” he said, untying their wrists. “The Tetraps will come to investigate.”

“What made you think we were in league with them?” Mel asked.

“You’re not Lakertyan,” Ikona said. “You don’t belong on this planet.”

“Then they’re human, like me?” Mel asked.

“No, not like you,” Ikona replied, looking the two up and down. “Although almost as hideous.”

“Aren’t you a charmer?” Eva muttered, though there was a smile on her face as they started heading forwards.

They walked for a couple of minutes, close to no words exchanged between the trio before Mel stopped, leaning on a rock for support.

“Hold on,” she said. “I need a breather.”

“We must keep moving,” Ikona told her, but the human didn’t move.

“What happened to the rest of your people?” she asked instead. “Won’t they help?”

“No, they’ve been completely subdued,” Ikona waved the suggestion away.

“We could at least try.”

“The only one they listen to is Beyus, our leader,” Ikona informed them.

“And I understand going to him isn’t an option?” Eva asked.

“He’s the hostage I wanted to exchange you for,” Ikona admitted, before pausing at the sound of rocks falling nearby. “Shush. Listen.”

The two humans strained their ears, managing to hear movement not far from them.

“Quickly!”

“We can’t go that way,” Mel protested. “It’s completely exposed.”

“For once, don’t argue,” Ikona told her before running away once more.

“Come on,” Eva sighed, taking Mel’s hand in hers and running after him, until they reached something that looked like a sewer pipe and hid inside.

“Hopefully they’ll think we doubled back to stay undercover,” Ikona said, coming to a halt.

Mel looked around distastefully. “Always providing they don’t flush us out first.”

“We need to get to the Doctor,” Eva said, looking at her companions.

“Again with this Doctor?” Ikona asked.

“He’s in trouble,” Eva said. “He’s been captured by... someone,” she said, rubbing her eyes. “Damn it, I can’t remember.”

“You did hit your head on the console when we landed,” Mel said. “I’m sure everything will come back to you soon.”

“I don’t have time for that,” Eva said. “He’s regenerated and he’s alone. I need to find him.”

Mel nodded, looking out of the pipe. “No one about,” she said, nodding to the other two. “Come on.”

“No!” Ikona said, stopping her. “It’s too soon.”

“Not for us,” Eva said. “We’re going to find the Doctor.”

“If he’s been captured, he’s as good as dead,” Ikona told them.

“All right,” Eva said. “We’ll find him without you.”

Mel nodded. “One thing about the Doctor, you can’t miss him in that outfit,” she said.

The two walked out of the pipe, heading towards the big building they saw. Even though her back was turned to him, Eva could still hear Ikona’s sigh and all but see him roll his eyes before the sound of him following behind them were heard, though from a distance.

Eva led the way, climbing up and down the hill side in order to get to the Doctor. Mel followed behind, not a single sound of complain leaving her mouth, though Eva supposed she must have many. The two were so engrossed in their journey that neither of them saw the trip wire until it was too late.

Eva understood what was happening a moment before Mel, pushing the other woman aside and ending up trapped in the bubble alone. Fear filled every single one of her features as she flew up in the air and the bubble bounced off a cliff.

“Help!” she called out. “Help!”

The bubble bounced again, this time landing in a nearby lake. It didn’t explode, but Eva was still trapped and screaming.

“Help! Help me!”

“Be quiet and don’t move,” she heard Ikona say, and looked up to see him approaching the bubble carefully, with Mel following close behind.

“Have you...” Mel started, “Have you done this before?”

“No, this is the first time,” Ikona admitted. “But if you don’t stop interrupting me and she won’t stop squawking, it’ll be the last.”

Eva took a couple of deep breaths as Ikona started tinkering with the base of the bubble – where she knew the explosives were – and slowly twisted something. She closed her eyes, hoping he would succeed and trying to calm herself down from the knowledge that if he didn’t, the three of them would be dead.

She wasn’t a stranger to death, of course. She had died more times than she could count, and that was only less than a year after she discovered that newfound ability. It still didn’t make life or death situations seem not as bad, and the whole process of dying and being brought back to life hurt enough so that she’d do her best to avoid it.

Not to mention the fact that there were two other lives on the line other than her, and she was never blown up before and didn’t know if she’d come back.

She wasn’t overly keen on finding out.

Ikona made a sharp movement that made Eva’s breath catch in her throat before she noticed there was a piece in his hand and that the bubble was no longer trapping her. He threw the piece to the lake where it blew up, sending water everywhere.

“Eva!” Mel called out, pulling the other woman into a hug. “Oh, thank god you’re okay!”

Eva nodded, still too shaken with fear to do anything as she hugged her friend back. When the human let go, Eva turned to look at Ikona.

“Thank you,” she said, knowing that her words would never explain just how grateful she was.

Ikona nodded at her, before starting to make his way forwards once more, with the two women quickly following behind.

None of them saw the creature following them from up the hills.

EMH

The trio kept walking for hours upon hours, yet only small pieces of Eva’s memory returned.

She knew they were dealing with the Rani, but she didn’t remember what the Time Lady was trying to do. She also remembered something about the Rani pretending to be Mel so she could fool the Doctor into doing what he wanted, but she didn’t remember why she couldn’t do it on her own, or what did the Doctor do to help.

It wasn’t uncommon, that she forgot small details about stories – after all, it’s been over a year since she last saw most of the episodes – but she always remembered the important things, and she had a feeling there was something very, very important she was forgetting.

They were just climbing down another hillside, moving from behind one rock to another, when Mel spoke.

“Any sign of the, what did you call it?” she asked.

“Tetraps,” Ikona replied before adding, “No. Come, keep moving.”

“Look,” Mel started once more. “Look, I’m grateful for your help, of course, but gratitude isn’t going to turn me into a puppet.”

“I’ve already come to that painful conclusion,” Ikona muttered.

“Well then, tell me, are we just running scared or are we heading for somewhere in particular?”

“Mel,” Eva said, wishing they could stop so that she could have the cigarette she’s been craving ever since she stepped on the trip wore. “In case you somehow failed to notice, the answer to both questions is yes.”

“She’s right,” Ikona said. “Now can we go?” he pointed to an opening near the top of one of the cliffs around them. “Wait here,” he ordered before rushing forwards.

Eva sighed, pulling a pack of cigarettes from her pocket before lighting one.

“You know, I read an article that said these things will kill you,” Mel told her knowingly.

“Yeah?” Eva asked, taking a long drag into her lungs. “Well, I’m not that easy to kill.”

She looked up at the cliff, where they could barely see Ikona’s figure anymore.

“Oh, I wish he would hurry,” Mel sighed.

“I can’t help but feel I’m forgetting something,” Eva muttered. “Something important...”

She finished off her cigarette and just turned around to put it out when she saw the same creature that dragged the Doctor away earlier heading their way.

“Mel!” she called out, just in time for the other woman to turn around and see the creature.

She let out a scream and Eva used the moment of distraction to pull her out of the way, just as a noise could be heard from above them and Eva looked up. It seemed like Ikona found what he was looking for – a gun of some kind – and was now using it to shoot metal fragments at the creature.

“Come,” Eva said sharply, pulling Mel after her as she started climbing the cliff to where Ikona was.

“What was that thing?” Mel asked.

“I’m guessing that was a Tetrap,” Eva replied. “It must have been following us for a while. Damn it, I can’t believe I forgot.”

“Eva, you’ve got to stop beating yourself up over this,” Mel said. “This isn’t helping anybody, and it’s only making you feel worse. You’re under a lot of stress and you want to find the Doctor – I understand. But you need to give yourself a break.”

“Right,” Eva said, taking a breath as she reached the top of the cliff. “I just... he’s with the Rani, and I hate the thought of him being helpless against her.”

“Everything will be okay,” Mel said, putting a comforting hand on her friend’s shoulder. “We’ll fix this.”

EMH

“That’s where they’ve set up headquarters,” Ikona said some time later, as they reached the entrance of a building built into the mountain.

“Well then,” Mel said. “That’s where the Doctor must be.”

“You can’t be sure,” Ikona warned.

I can,” Eva said, not looking away from the entrance. “That’s where he is.”

“Look, you don’t know the Doctor,” Mel told him.

“If he’s in there, I probably never will,” Ikona commented.

“There’s no if about it,” Eva said. “He’s in there, and he needs us.”

“Any idea what the central ramp’s for?” Mel asked, looking at some sort of construction above the main entrance.

“No,” Ikona replied. “All I know is that building it cost the lives of many Lakertyans.”

“Something must have gone terribly wrong,” Mel muttered, half to herself.

“The logic of that escapes me,” Ikona said, confused.

“They kidnapped the Doctor,” Eva said. “I don’t believe I’ve ever met anyone quite as unpredictable as him, they must be desperate to try and use him.”

“That, and everybody knows Eva and him will do anything to get back to each other,” Mel commented. “Separating them is never a good idea.”

“Come on,” Ikona said, nodding his head to mark the two women they were moving closer.

Eva grabbed Mel’s hand in one of hers, and Ikona’s in the other.

“We should probably stay close together,” she said as an explanation and Mel smiled softly, squeezing her hand before worry took over once more.

They started heading forwards once more, slowly and carefully, until a figure approached and Ikona freed his hand from Eva’s grasp, ordering the two girls to wait before heading to speak with the other Lakertyan.

“Who’s that?” Mel asked quietly.

“I...” Eva looked around, trying to remember when her eyes fell on the remains of the Lakertyan girl that was killed earlier from one of the wire traps.

Could they really have been walking in circles for so long? Were they really so close to the TARDIS, to Rani’s Headquarters and, most importantly, to the Doctor, only to turn away and walk the other direction?

“If I’m not wrong,” she said slowly, marking at the remains sadly, “I think they’re somehow related.”

The two girls watched as Ikona spoke to the woman, though they were too far away to hear what was being said. It wasn’t until the woman started heading away from Ikona and towards them that they started hearing parts of the conversation.

“I can’t accept he’s right to collaborate,” Ikona told the woman.

“He is being held hostage,” the woman replied sternly. “He has no choice. It’s the only way that Beyus can save the rest of us from destruction.”

“He didn’t save her, did he?” Mel asked, jumping out of where they were hiding and making the woman take a hesitant step back.

“It’s all right, Faroon,” Ikona said. “She’s not with the Tetraps.”

“You said her?” Faroon asked Mel, and Eva pulled her friend back, knowing what news were coming next.

“Yes,” Mel said, though her voice was less accusing. “Well, she was running away from something.”

“You saw what happened too, Ikona?” Faroon asked, turning to look at him. “You’re not usually so reluctant to air your thoughts. From which direction did she come?”

“I’m sorry,” Eva said, making Faroon turn and look at her for the first time. “She was trying to run away from the Tetrap headquarters.”

Faroon turned her gaze back to Ikona, who reluctantly answered the question that hung in the air.

“It was Sarn,” he said.

Faroon’s eyes widened, as she slowly turned to look at the skeleton. She neared it, looking at the remains sadly.

“Who was Sarn?” Mel asked quietly.

“The daughter of Faroon and Beyus,” Ikona replied quietly.

Mel’s hand fell from Eva’s as she stepped forward, nearing the grieving mother.

“I’m sorry,” she said. “I didn’t realise.”

“I...” Faroon started, though the words stuck in her throat. “I had to be told.”

“There was nothing to be done,” Ikona said as he and Eva stepped closer. “She stepped on a trap.”

“Yet another victim,” Faroon snarled, tears streaming on her face. “I must go to Beyus.”

She turned away, starting to walk towards the Headquarters with Eva and Mel in tow.

“Where are the two of you going?” Ikona asked them.

“If Beyus is collaborating then he must be in the Tetrap headquarters,” Mel said.

“That’s where the Doctor is,” Eva added. “We must get to him.”

They turned around and resumed their walking, and Eva could, once again, hear Ikona’s sigh before he started walking as well.

EMH

Eva, Mel and Ikona hid behind one of the rocks as they watched Faroon walking up to the entrance, the Tetrap guarding the doors letting her in easily.

“You’re still determined to get in?” Ikona asked.

“No matter what the risk,” Mel said and Eva nodded.

“The Doctor is worth it,” she stated.

“Madness,” Ikona muttered before a small smile rose on his face. “It must be contagious. I’ll draw him off.”

Eva and Mel exchanged looks of equal surprise as the Lakertyan ran out of their hiding spot, effectively distracting the Tetrap. Not wasting a single moment, Eva and Mel broke into a run as soon as the entrance was clear, managing to enter the building without being spotted.

“What now?” Mel asked.

“Now, we find the Doctor,” Eva said, starting to lead her friend through a corridor until she found a door that was unlocked. “Ready?”

“As I’ll ever be,” Mel replied, and the two walked into the room.

It was an odd looking room, big and wide with two sets of doors to enter from – the one the two came from and another, with a keypad, right across from them. There were stairs leading to another door with a keypad, and a big, rectangle table in the middle. There were also four pyramids, one at each side of the room, and tinkering noises could be heard from one of them.

The two carefully neared it, spotting a man working on the machine.

Eva couldn’t help but smile at the sight of the Doctor. Newly regenerated and already in his signature suit, the Seventh Doctor wore his hat and coat with an ease that could only be attributed to him.

Mel, on the other hand, wasn’t so relaxed.

“Who are you?” she asked, making the Doctor turn around. He smiled at her for a moment before his eyes fell on Eva, who was still smiling at him.

“You!” he said accusingly. “Where’s Eva?”

“Where’s the Doctor?” Mel questioned.

“Step away from her, Mel, she’s not who you think she is,” the Doctor said, and the smile dropped from Eva’s face as he pushed Mel behind him. “What have you done with her?”

“Stay away from me!” Mel called out. “What have you done with the Doctor?”

She grabbed his arm and threw him at the floor, holding his arm behind his back.

“Now we’ll get to the truth,” she said. “What have you done with him, you brute?”

“Mel, stop it!” Eva called.

“He’s here!” the Doctor called out.

“Where?” Mel asked mockingly. “Under the carpet?”

“It’s me, you washer woman! Me!”

“Never!” Mel called out. “You’re nothing like him. He would have never thought Eva to be anybody else!”

“Stop it, the both of you!” Eva called out, nearing them only for the Doctor to free himself from Mel’s grip and grasp her instead.

“Doctor, stop!” she called out. “It’s me!”

“Stay away, Mel, she’s nothing but a liar!” the Doctor called out, carrying Eva as far away from his companion as he could.

“Put me down, now!” Eva called out and the Doctor complied, though the look of hatred didn’t leave his eyes.

“Drop the melodramatics,” he said. “Your pathetic impersonation doesn’t fool me at all. Incidentally, that wig’s not you,” he added, pulling some of Eva’s hairs and making her cry out.

“Stop it, you idiot!” she called out. “I’m just as much Eva as you are the Doctor!”

“As if!” the Doctor called out. “I knew you weren’t finished, Rani. I told Eva as much.”

“You told her?” Mel asked, marking at Eva.

“No, I told Eva!” the Doctor said.

“I am Eva!” Eva called out, getting angrier and angrier as the conversation went on. How dare the Rani pretend to be her? How dare she make the Doctor think she was a fake?

“Who’s the Rani?” Mel asked.

“Look right there,” the Doctor said, pointing at Eva, “At the face of evil.”

“I’ve had enough of it!” Eva called out. “Check my pulse, and she’ll check yours.”

“What?” Mel asked, confused.

“Time Lords have two heartbeats,” Eva said. “If I am Eva, then I’ll only have one, and if he’s the Doctor, he’ll have two.”

“Offering yourself up?” the Doctor asked. “Your fraud will be revealed soon, Rani!”

“He doesn’t even talk like the Doctor, the miserable fraud,” Mel bit out.

“Feel his pulse!” Eva said. “And he’ll feel mine!”

“That I will,” the Doctor said. “Pulses, I should say. Two of them. One for each heart.”

“You’re a raving lunatic,” Mel accused.

“Yes, perhaps I am,” the Doctor agreed, “Because if she’s the Rani, I’m dicing with destruction.”

“And if I’m Eva?” Eva asked.

“Well, then I’m in for a lot worse than some destruction,” the Doctor muttered. “Eva will kill both me and the Rani if she thought I believed someone else when they pretended to be her.” He paused for a second. “How did I know that?”

“Well, perhaps the real Doctor told you,” Mel said. “He knows not to mess with Eva!”

“Oh will you stop running in circles already?” Eva yelled. “He regenerated, Mel! New looks, new personality, new everything! And as for you,” she said, turning to the Doctor, “You’re damn right you’re in trouble for believing the Rani when she pretending to be me, and the only thing that might save you right now is the fact that you’re suffering from post-regenerative amnesia. So just check the bloody pulses so we can all move on already!”

“Fine,” the Doctor said, turning to Mel. “You feel my pulses, I’ll feel hers.” He reached out his hand from where he was standing on the opposite side of the table. “I’ll lean across here with my arm behind my back, if you want proof I’m a Time Lord.”

“Come on already,” Eva prompted impatiently and Mel carefully did as they told her, before her eyes widened.

“A double pulse,” she whispered. “Then you really are the Doctor.”

“Cause why listen to me when I said it?” Eva muttered angrily.

“Don’t think you’re getting away so quickly,” the Doctor said. “Your turn.”

Eva reached out both her wrists for the Doctor to check so quickly she almost hit him with them. He checked one, frowning before turning to the other only for the same result.

“Done yet?” Eva asked, making the Doctor swallow as he looked up.

“Evie?”

Her hand collided with his cheek so fast the look of shock was still on his face after he recovered from the blow.

“Took you long enough!” she yelled at him. “The Rani? Really?”

Chapter Text

“But you’re completely different,” Mel said not long after, walking around the Doctor as she inspected him.

Eva stood at the corner of the room, scowling at the two of them.

“Nothing like you were,” Mel went on. “Face, height, hair... everything’s changed.”

“Yes,” the Doctor agreed. “And I’ve become more of a fool too, it seems.”

“True that,” Eva muttered, though she made sure to speak loud enough for the Doctor to hear.

“Doesn’t bode well for my seventh persona,” the Doctor went on. “Being so completely taken in by the wretched Rani.”

“Taken?” Eva asked, turning to look at him. “What do you mean taken?”

“Only that she fooled me, Eva,” the Doctor said. “I already said I’m sorry! What more would it take for you to forgive me?”

“Quite a lot,” Eva bit out. “The Rani, of all people? The Rani managed to convince you she was me?”

“The Rani?” Mel repeated. “Is that who hijacked the TARDIS?”

“But what does she want with me?” the Doctor mused. “Eva, I know you’re mad but if you could just tell me –”

“I can’t,” Eva bit out.

“I don’t know how sorry must I be for you to –”

“I can’t because I don’t remember,” Eva told him. “I hit my head on the console when we crashed and I don’t remember much about what’s supposes to happen here.”

The Doctor slowly neared Eva, reaching out to her forehead. “There doesn’t seem to be a cut,” he said, “But remind me to check it when we get – Ow!” he called out as Eva hit his hand. “What was that for?”

“Don’t touch me,” she snarled at him, walking to the other side of the room.

The Doctor sighed, going back to where Mel was waiting by the table and activating the screen, searching for clues on the Rani’s plan.

“Strange matter,” he muttered when he found what he was looking for.

“Never heard of it,” Mel said.

“You should have,” the Doctor retorted. “A Princeton physicist discovered it in your Earth year 1984.”

“She studied computers and I studied history,” Eva told him. “None of us are exactly nuclear physics experts.”

The Doctor sighed before turning back to the screen. “It’s an incredibly dense form of matter,” he said. “A lump the size of this would weigh more than your planet Earth.”

“Well, what can the Rani’s interest be?” Mel asked.

“An astute question,” the Doctor commented. “If that asteroid exploded, it would send off a blast of gamma rays equivalent to a supernova.”

“And then it’d be goodbye, Lakertya,” Eva said.

“And everything else in this corner of the galaxy,” the Doctor added. “When the Rani dabbles, she dabbles on a grand scale. Evie, come here,” he said as he led Mel to the staircase.

“No.”

“Just...” he sighed. “Just come here and listen,” he said, handing Mel the improvised stethoscope before stepping back, allowing Eva to join their companion without having to be next to him.

“It’s weird,” Mel said, handing Eva the stethoscope.

“It’s like a giant heartbeat,” Eva muttered, listening closely.

“Yes,” the Doctor agreed. “But why, why? What is she up to? It starts here,” he said, going to the other locked door in the room.

“Oh, forget it, Doctor,” Mel sighed. “Let’s hightail it back to the TARDIS and get out of here.”

“And leave the Lakertyans to the machinations of the Rani?” the Doctor asked. “Impossible! Given time I’ll work out the combination.”

“Nine five three,” a voice called out, making them all pause.

“Did you hear a voice, or am I hallucinating?” the Doctor asked.

“You might be hallucinating regardless, but I heard the voice, too.”

“Nine five three,” the voice repeated.

“What are you waiting for?” Eva asked. “None of us knows how to read this keypad! Nine five three.”

“Who’d have thought she’d have been so obvious,” the Doctor said as he typed. “That’s my age. And the Rani’s.”

“Is it?” Eva asked, annoyed. “Because in your future you told me you were just over nine hundred.”

“I...” the Doctor muttered as the door opened up. “Well...”

“Save it,” Eva said, walking past him and through the door.

“Faroon,” she said with a small smile. “And you must be Beyus.”

“Hypatia,” Mel read out, travelling from one storage cabinet to another. “Einstein!”

“Names which are meaningless to us,” Beyus said.

“Geniuses,” Eva said. “They’re all geniuses.”

“The Rani’s collected together the most creative minds and the most powerful matter in the universe,” the Doctor said thoughtfully.

“She’s a murderess,” Faroon said. “Sarn was not her first victim. There’ve been many.”

“The scope of her imagination is breathtaking,” the Doctor commented.

“You sound as though you admire her,” Beyus said, his voice close to accusing.

“Not admiration,” the Doctor said. “Fascination. And sadness. If only the Rani could have redirected her incredible talents for good.”

“Maybe you’d have dated her, then,” Eva muttered.

“How many times do I have to say it?” the Doctor asked. “I thought she was you! I never would have even looked at her twice if I didn’t!”

“And I bet you looked at her a lot, didn’t you?”

“The fascination’s mutual,” Mel said from where she stood next to one of the cabinets. “She’s reserved this one for you.”

“Oh, no,” Eva muttered, her anger rising to the surface once more. “Over my dead body.”

“What is it I can contribute these other geniuses can’t?” the Doctor wondered.

“You’re a Time Lord, moron,” Eva bit out.

“With a unique conceptual understanding of the properties of time,” the Doctor added in understanding.

“Took you long enough,” Eva muttered, turning around and getting back to the laboratory.

The Doctor followed her quickly, trying to reach out for her hand only for her to pull it out of his reach.

“Eva, please look at me,” the Doctor said. “I’m sorry. I never meant to hurt you.”

“We look nothing alike, Doctor,” Eva said. “Even if she wore my clothes, I’m at least three inches taller than her, and our face structure and features are completely different. You’ve known me for hundreds of years. How could you not have noticed?”

“I’ve just gone through regeneration,” the Doctor said. “I’m not in the right mind.”

“Clearly not if you think it would be that easy for me to forgive you,” Eva told him, sitting down on the stairs.

The Doctor sighed, turning back to Beyus and marking at the top of the stairs.

“Do you know what’s behind that door?” he asked.

“I’ve never been permitted to see,” Beyus replied.

“Pity,” the Doctor sighed. “Beyus, why have you assisted?”

“Collaborated is the word that you are avoiding, Doctor,” Beyus sighed. “I’ve no choice.”

“She’s coming!” Faroon called out, running into the room and closing the door to the other room behind her.

“Take Mel and Eva,” the Doctor ordered.

“I’ll take them with me,” Faroon nodded.

“Doctor, you can’t stay,” Mel told him.

“There’s no way I’m leaving you with her for a single moment,” Eva spat.

“There will be no point in arguing, will it?” the Doctor asked, and Eva raised her brow. “Mel, go!”

Eva ran to the other side of the room, hiding behind a pyramid completely opposite of where the Rani would come from as the other three left. The Doctor went back to the pyramid he was fixing just as the Rani returned.

As she looked at the Time Lady, Eva had to admit her costume was good. She wore the same slightly torn jeans and loose t-shirt as Eva, wore the same shoes, and even went as far as to put a wig to cover for the differences in their hairstyles and wear a fake necklace. She was still not similar enough to justify the Doctor’s confusion, but if someone didn’t know her as well as he did, they might have fallen for it.

She handed the Doctor a sheet of some material Eva didn’t know, and he faked a smile.

“Ah yes, yes,” he said. “Let me see. Polyethersulfone. Excellent. How clever you are, Eva. Where did you find it?”

“In the store room,” the Rani said in what was a terrible attempt to fake Eva’s voice. “Doctor, why was the monitor on?”

“On, is it?” the Doctor asked. “Oh, yes. I was trying to jog my memory. No luck though. Hold the other end, Evie.”

Anger rose inside Eva at the casual usage of her nickname, used by the Doctor on someone who clearly wasn’t her. She watched as they tried to slide the sheet into the pyramid, constantly missing the spot.

“You’re not concentrating,” the Doctor accused. “Hold it steady. We’ve got to manoeuvre it into position.”

“Quite adept at manoeuvring, aren’t you, Doctor?” the Rani asked when they finally succeeded, and Eva clenched her fists angrily.

“Yes, well, where there’s a will, there’s a Tom, Dick and a Harriet,” the Doctor replied and one of Eva’s fist moved into her mouth to stop her from laughing.

“Do I take it the machine’s now operational?” the Rani asked.

“Oh, no, no, no,” the Doctor quickly said. “There’s some information I simply must have before I make the final delicate adjustments.”

“Such as?” the Rani questioned.

“Ideally,” the Doctor started, marking at the door at the top of the staircase, “What’s behind that door?”

“Less ideally?”

The Doctor quickly reached out and swiped his hand over something at the top of one of the pyramids. “The identity of this rather interesting substance.”

“The information’s essential, is it?” the Rani questioned.

“Crucial,” the Doctor nodded.

“So if I told you its chemical composition,” the Rani said, reaching out a hand towards the table, “I could do that.”

“No, stop!” the Doctor called, but it was already too late. The Rani pressed the button that activated the machine, and the pyramids started flashing as the lights in the room dimmed.

“You know, don’t you,” the Rani stated, more than asked, as she took off her wig to reveal her own hair. The Doctor swallowed nervously, his eyes widening in fear as he saw Eva getting out of her hiding spot and nearing them. “But your usefulness is not yet over. You have another role to play.”

“Oi, you bitch!” Eva called out, making the Rani turn around just in time for her fist to hit the Time Lady’s mouth. “Stay the hell away from my boyfriend.”

“Come on,” the Doctor said, grabbing Eva’s hand and running away, out of the room and past Beyus.

They ran down the corridor, only stopping when the Doctor pulled Eva into some sort of an underground chamber and pushed her behind a stone before hiding behind her and taking off his hat.

“I’m still mad at you,” she hissed at him.

“I know, I know, but can it wait?” the Doctor whispered back.

“She looked nothing like me!”

“And you can tell me all about that later just please, be quiet now.”

Eva huffed but stayed silent nonetheless, waiting patiently for the danger to pass. She was suddenly very aware of the Doctor’s body pressing against her back, and inched closer to the stone to get away from it, only for him to inch closer to her once more.

The Rani entered the chamber after them, looking around for a minute or so before deciding they weren’t there, walking out and closing the door behind her.

“That was close,” the Doctor breathed out, walking out of their hiding place and readjusting the hat on his head. “Almost too close,” he added, starting to look for another exit.

“Doctor,” Eva said, moving closer to him for the first time since she saw him earlier. “I don’t think the danger passed yet.”

Just as she said that, a Tetrap jumped from one of the shadows and started advancing towards them. The Doctor made a move to push Eva behind him only to find a second Tetrap there, and two more coming closer and closer.

“Doctor,” Eva said shakily, “Now would be a good time to do something.”

“I say,” the Doctor started, looking between the Tetraps as he pulled Eva closer. “I mean, we may not see eye to eye. Try and see it my way. I’m trying not to be personal. I mean, after all, a bat may look at a Time Lord...”

A weird gurgling sound was heard and suddenly, the Tetraps were backing away from the Doctor and Eva and moving towards their food.

“Doctor, Eva, hurry,” Beyus said, and the duo needn’t be told twice.

They quickly rushed out of the room, climbing up the stairs and back to safety, holding on to each other. They ran through the corridor, trying to find a way out only for Beyus to stop them.

“No,” he said hurriedly. “You’ll have to escape through the laboratory. The Rani went that way.”

The Doctor quickly pulled Eva into the laboratory, only to run back out at the sound of a voice speaking.

“Mistress Rani?”

“Come here,” Eva said, pulling the Doctor into the cabinet with his name on it and marking Beyus to close the door behind them.

“Quite tight in here, isn’t it?” the Doctor asked, smiling softly at her.

“Shut up,” Eva hissed.

“I have to say, we seem to be in a lot of tight situations lately –”

“Shut up unless you want us to get caught!”

“Alright,” the Doctor said, staying silent for only a couple of moments before speaking again. “Do you believe me when I say I didn’t know she weren’t you?”

“Really?” Eva asked. “Now?”

“I’m sorry, I really am,” the Doctor said again. “What do I have to do to make you believe it?”

“I know you’re sorry,” Eva said. “But that doesn’t change what you did. You’ve known me for centuries, Doctor. Heck, you dated me for a good couple of hundreds. Do you really not know me well enough to tell me from a fake – a rather bad one, at that?”

The Doctor’s smile slipped off his face. He looked at her sadly, opening his mouth to say something only for Beyus to open the cabinet’s door before he could.

“I can’t say I share the Rani’s taste in pets,” the Doctor said, climbing out.

“The Tetraps are nobody’s pets and you’d be wise not to forget it,” Beyus warned.

“This is what I’ll never forget,” the Doctor said, looking around. “Unique talents every one of them. The Rani’s roamed the universe plucking these geniuses out of time, at the height of their powers and reducing them to the status of laboratory specimens.”

“Doctor, we need to go,” Eva said, pulling his hand.

“Time, the concept of time,” the Doctor muttered. “I’m sure that’s at the heart of what she’s up to. Otherwise why reserve a place for me, a Time Lord, in this abysmal parade.”

“If you’re still here when she gets back, you’ll find out from inside the cabinet,” Beyus warned.

“Which you will help her put me in,” the Doctor stated.

“If she catches you, yes,” Beyus nodded.

“You know, Beyus,” the Doctor sighed, starting to head towards the laboratory, “Your collaboration with the Rani’s difficult to understand.”

“My people are under threat,” Beyus told him. “If you do manage to escape, go to the Centre of Leisure. You will find the reason there.”

“We’ll go there,” Eva said. “Now hurry, Doctor.”

“Be careful,” Beyus warned. “The grounds outside are a minefield of traps.”

“Nothing outside compared to this,” the Doctor said, showing up the image of the strange matter on screen once more.

“A harmless asteroid?” Beyus questioned.

“It’s composed of strange matter, Beyus,” the Doctor said. “A devastating force. With the right trigger, that harmless asteroid, as you call it, could incinerate your planet and anything else in this corner of the galaxy. And what does the Rani keep behind there?” he asked, looking at the door at the top of the stairs once more. “Oh, all good things come to a bend.”

“Doctor, let’s go,” Eva said, trying to pull the Doctor towards the exit only for him to free himself of her grasp and head to the pyramid he fixed, taking something out of it and making the lights go back to normal.

“Microthermistor,” he said. “I doubt if she’ll have a spare.”

“She won’t need one,” Beyus said. “You’re going to put it back.” The Doctor quickly shook his head and Beyus stepped forwards. “Give it to me.”

“Seriously?” Eva muttered as the Doctor and Beyus started struggling for the component. She walked around them, grabbing the Doctor’s umbrella from where it laid nearby and using it to trip Beyus, making him fall down the stairs.

“We had no intention of hurting you,” the Doctor said, making sure he had the component secured in his pocket.

“Now will you come already?” Eva hissed at him, and he smiled as he grabbed her hand.

“Let’s go,” he said, running out of the building and Eva huffed in annoyance.

“I swear, I’ll kill you one day.”

EMH

Eva led the Doctor towards the mountain, starting to climb it carefully as she avoided loose rocks and trip wires. The Doctor followed behind her, paying less attention to where he placed his feet but not trailing far behind.

“Stop!” a familiar voce called. “Don’t take another step.”

“Here’s a turn up for the cook,” the Doctor muttered, though he did as told. “A rock that talks.”

Eva rolled her eyes at him, but she couldn’t help but smile as a familiar figure revealed himself.

“Ikona!” she called out in relief.

“Eva!” Ikona replied. “I see you found your Doctor?”

“You bet it,” Eva said. “Doctor, this is Ikona. He saved my life earlier today.”

“Not before you saved mine,” Ikona replied. “Eva, I’m sorry to dampen the mood, but you need to be very careful otherwise you won’t have your Doctor for much longer.”

“That bad?” the Doctor asked.

“Look down,” Ikona said and the Doctor and Eva complied, seeing the Doctor’s toe right beneath a trip wire.

“Damned thing,” Eva muttered angrily.

“Step back,” Ikona ordered. “Very slowly.”

The Doctor did as he was told, managing to get his leg free just as a Tetrap showed up behind him.

“Doctor, be careful!” Eva called out, but Ikona was quicker.

He fired his gun again, using it to distract the Tetrap long enough for the Doctor to push it at the trip wire. There was a bright light and a loud sound, and the Tetrap was suddenly stuck inside the bubble as it flew up, exploding on a Cliffside.

“That was very close to being you,” Eva told the Doctor in response to his horrified face. “Now will you please be more careful?”

The only response she got was a smile from the Doctor and a sympathetic sigh from Ikona.

EMH

Eva refused to speak to the Doctor until they reached the Centre of Leisure, settling instead on speaking only to Ikona. She wasn’t as angry as she was before, but she was still hurt by him and his actions, and didn’t feel like forgiving him so easily.

“No restrictions for movement,” the Doctor noted when they reached their destination, looking at the people who walked in and out of the building. “The Lakertyans can come and go freely, then.”

“Provided they obey the instructions of Beyus and don’t try to get into the laboratory,” Ikona added, looking at them with unhidden disapproval before he walked into the building, touching a rock by the entrance as he did.

Eva and the Doctor exchanged curious looks before copying his actions and following him inside, looking around curiously as they did.

“The Centre of Leisure,” Ikona said, not bothering to hide the venom in his voice. “The Centre of Indolence.”

“Not a favourite haunt of yours, I take it, Ikona,” the Doctor commented.

“No,” Ikona said shortly. “I can’t imagine why Beyus told you to come to this place.”

“He said we’d find the answer to his subservience here,” Eva said, looking around.

“From these spineless pleasure seekers?” Ikona questioned.

“Why not?”

“It would require effort, that’s why, Doctor,” Ikona said, rolling his eyes. “They’ve become spoon-fed drones. There’s no need for them to strive. An indulgent system provides all. Well, didn’t Beyus give you any clue as to what to look for?”

“He was too anxious for explanations,” the Doctor said with a frown. “But whatever the threat, it must be considerable. Do you see anything that’s different? New?”

“Only that,” Ikona said, pointing at something that resembled a disco ball. “Another pointless embellishment.”

“No,” Eva said, rubbing her temples. “It’s... I don’t remember why, but it’s dangerous.”

“Don’t stress yourself over it, dear,” the Doctor said, rubbing a hand over Eva’s back. “You’re doing all you can. Couldn’t we ask someone, you know, if –”

“We’ll be interrupting their pleasure,” Ikona said mockingly, turning to a couple in one of the alcoves. “Could you tell me what that globe’s for?” he asked them, only for them to completely ignore him. “I did warn you,” he said, turning back to the Doctor with a shrug.

“There’s none so deaf as those that clutch at straws,” the Doctor commented.

“If you say so,” Ikona said, confused, before noticing someone across the room. “Lanisha!” he called out, running to him and greeting him.

“Ikona,” Lanisha said, greeting Ikona back reluctantly.

“Lanisha,” Ikona said, marking at the ball. “Can you tell me what that globe’s for?”

“We’ve been forbidden to have anything to do with you, Ikona,” Lanisha said, shaking his head.

“You would ignore your own brother?” Ikona asked in disbelief.

“I obey the orders of Beyus,” Lanisha said, turning away without noticing just how hurt he left his brother behind him.

“Ikona,” Eva said, uncertain what she wanted to say.

“Don’t,” Ikona said sharply.

“But –”

Whatever it was that she was going to say, she was cut off by the screams of the Lakertyans around her as the disco ball opened, shooting out something green and glowing that killed whoever it came in touch with.

“Look out, they kill!” someone called out, and the Doctor leaned next to one of the victims, checking him.

“Killer insects!” Ikona called out. “Come on, Doctor, Eva.”

“Damn it!” Eva said as she ran towards the exit. “I should have known – I should have remembered.”

“Don’t do that to yourself, Eva,” the Doctor said.

“If I remembered, they wouldn’t be dead,” Eva said. “So don’t you say anything to me right now.”

“Do you still insist that Beyus should not count the cost of resistance, Ikona?” a voice said from behind her and she turned to see Faroon standing near the exit. “If every cell in the globe were opened, there wouldn’t be a Lakertyan left alive.”

“Killer insects,” the Doctor repeated thoughtfully, looking around the room.

“Doctor,” Faroon said, making him turn to look at her. “I have a message for you.”

Eva’s eyes widened as a part of her memory came back, knowing what the Rani’s message was.

“Mel,” she whispered in fear, and the Doctor’s eyes darted to her.

Chapter Text

“I changed my mind,” the Doctor said for the fifth time since they decided to take the Rani’s deal. “We’re not doing this. You’re too worthy.”

“Shut up,” Eva said, looking across the flat area they were standing on as the Tetrap who was the Rani’s assistant took his place with Mel at his side. Mel waved and Eva smiled softly as the Doctor took off his hat in greeting. “If I remembered, we wouldn’t be in this situation to begin with.”

“How many times do I have to tell you it’s not your fault?”

“It is my fault, Doctor,” Eva said. “The deaths of all those Lakertyans... I refuse to be responsible for another death today. Now hand it over.”

The Doctor sighed, handing her the microthermistor and watching her walk forwards.

“Let Mel come towards me,” he said. “I’ve kept my side of the bargain. You’ve got what you want.”

The Tetrap nodded his head and Mel all but ran forwards, sending a sad smile to Eva as they passed one another. The Tetrap followed closely, locking his claw around Eva’s wrist as soon as she was close enough.

“Don’t touch me,” she snarled, pulling her hand out of his grasp. “I can come on my own.”

“So stupid,” the Tetrap laughed. “You are not a worthy opponent for the Rani.”

He marked Eva to start walking and she did, looking behind her only once, right before they took a turn and just in time to see the Doctor opening his arms to greet Mel.

She was safe, and it was all that mattered. Even if the Doctor was having a hard time believing it.

Eva kept her head high as she walked into the Rani’s Headquarters. Even as she met the Time Lady herself, she wasn’t intimidated as much as she was pleased by the bruise that was starting to form on the woman’s cheek.

“Urak,” Rani said and the Tetrap that escorted Eva raised his head. “Bring the other one.”

“The other one?” Eva asked. “What other one?”

“Hand me the microthermistor,” the Rani ordered, reaching out her hand.

“Not until you tell me what other one,” Eva said, holding the piece close to her.

“Beyus,” the Rani said impatiently, causing the Lakertyan to force the small tube out of Eva’s grasp and hand it over to the Rani. “Good,” she said, smiling smugly at the look Eva gave her. “As soon as the machine is operational, increase the brain stimulation.”

“But that would take it above the danger level,” Beyus protested.

“I’m in danger of missing the solstice,” the Rani said. “Which is far more important.”

“The computer control needs constant monitoring,” Beyus tried. “I can’t manage alone.”

“So I’ve anticipated,” the Rani smirked. “And I’ve got just the expert for you.”

She motioned her head towards the corridor and both Eva and Beyus turned to see Urak carrying Mel towards them and putting her down.

“No,” Eva whispered. If this was Mel, then the entire plan – the plan she convinced the Doctor to agree to – had failed. Not only did Rani have all of the parts she needed to complete her machine, but now she had not one, but two hostages to use against the Doctor. “No!” she called out angrily, rushing towards the Rani.

“Restrain her,” the Time Lady ordered coldly and before Eva could make more than two steps forwards, Urak grabbed her arms and held them painfully behind her back.

She called out in pain before forcing herself to be silent, not wanting to give the Rani the satisfaction of knowing she hurt her. Instead, she looked as the Rani broke some sort of capsule underneath Mel’s mouth, bringing her back from the frozen state she was in.

“Mel!” Eva called out. “Ru- argh!”

“Quiet,” the Rani told her, turning back to Beyus. “Beyus, she’s your responsibility,” she stated simply.

“Mine?” Beyus asked in disbelief. “But I can’t govern her. She’s not a Lakertyan.”

“Just make certain she understands the penalty for non-cooperation,” the Rani told him before entering the laboratory once more, Urak dragging Eva behind her and throwing her at one of the room’s corners.

“You won’t win,” she said. “The Doctor will stop you.”

“Will he, now?” the Rani asked. “Well, I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see about that. Oh, and before I forget...”

She crouched near Eva, grabbing her hand and twisting it. Eva bit her lip at the attempt to remain silent, the pain getting more and more intense until...

Crack!

Eva let out a scream of pain as her wrist snapped, and the Rani smiled in satisfaction as she stood up.

“Punch me again and I will do something much worse than breaking your wrist,” she warned.

All Eva did was whimper as she held her hand to her chest, tears streaming down her cheeks and clearing trails in the dirt on them.

EMH

Eva wasn’t sure what happened in the minutes after the Rani left her on the floor. She had never broken anything before and even after everything she had gone through, her pain tolerance was nearly nonexistent.

It was about five minutes before her crying calmed down, and another ten minutes before she managed to think through the pain clear enough to comprehend what was going on around her.

When she did, she saw Urak entering the room – when did he leave? – and approaching the Rani.

“All went as you planned, mistress,” he said and Eva felt like puking – whether from the pain in her arm or from the adoration in his voice, she didn’t know.

“Good,” the Rani said, smiling before turning back to Eva. “The Doctor fell right into my trap, as expected,” she explained. “All it took was one little human and he was running into my gates, ready to sacrifice himself. And sacrifice he had.”

“No,” Eva coughed out. “You’re lying. The Doctor would never –”

“Only he had,” the Rani cut her off. “Everything and everyone, including him, are right where they should be. If you don’t believe me, you’re welcome to see for yourself,” she added, marking at the door.

Eva glared before starting the process of standing up without using her broken hand. Her cheeks burnt red as she nearly fell, her sight blurry from tears and pain. She slowly made her way to the door, doing her best to keep her head high as she did, only to fall to the ground again when she saw the Doctor’s cabinet was indeed occupied.

“No!” she cried out, stumbling towards it and putting her hand on the glass, as if it made her closer to him. “Doctor...”

“Just as I said,” a voice said from behind her and Eva turned her head to the Rani gloating.

“I’ll kill you for this,” Eva whispered. “I swear I’ll kill you.”

“I’d love to see you try,” the Rani replied. “How far have you got?”

“I need to realign the final calibrations before he can be connected to the main input<“ Beyus replied, and Eva sent a hate-filled glare at him, as well.

“Make certain that the levels are kept stable,” the Rani ordered.

“If you’re hoping for any positive results, you’re going to be disappointed,” Mel informed her. “The Doctor won’t collaborate.”

“I’m sure, were he able, he’d express his appreciation of such unstinting confidence,” the Rani mocked. “As soon as the activity indicator reaches eight point one five, increase the stimulation.”

With that, she turned around and entered the lab. Through the open door, Eva could see she opened the secret chamber and walked into it, and from the corner of her eye she saw Mel looking between it and her, torn.

“Go,” Eva told her. “I won’t be any use in my state as it is.”

“As soon as the Doctor will come back, he’ll fix you,” Mel said.

“I know,” Eva said, looking through the glass again. “Now go.”

She leaned against the cabinet, the cold glass wiping some of the sweat that appeared on her forehead. The pain wasn’t as sharp as it was right after the Rani broke her wrist, and Eva knew it was already starting to heal, but she didn’t know how long will it take nor how good will it be.

Injuries like this needed to be fixated in order to heal properly, and Eva dreaded what would be the consequences if her bone mended wrong.

“Beyus!”

She jumped as she heard the Rani’s voice calling out, Mel’s screams in the background. How hadn’t she heard them earlier?

“Yes?” Beyus replied.

“Is the Doctor connected to the main input?” the Rani asked, dragging Mel back to the corridor.

“Everything is ready,” Beyus confirmed.

“Then switch on!”

“No, Beyus!” Mel called out. “For once don’t do as she –”

Urak put his paw over her mouth, muffling her screams. Beyus looked at her worryingly, before glancing at Eva, who was too weak to move, before doing as the Rani said.

“The Doctor’s well-being is in your hands now,” the Rani warned. “Remember that.”

She turned back to her lab as the Doctor started shaking and Eva felt helpless, unable to do anything but look at him through the glass and too afraid to hurt him if she tried tinkering with the machinery.

Behind her, Mel screamed through Urak’s paw until the Tetrap couldn’t bear it anymore.

“You, Lakertyan,” he told Beyus as he threw Mel to the ground next to Eva, “You will be responsible for this creature’s behaviour.”

“Are you okay?” Mel asked.

“No,” Eva said, tears burning in her eyes. “I know that the Doctor will be okay in the end, but... but it’s pretty hard to believe it right now. Did I change too many things?” she asked. “Did I mess up the whole timeline because I don’t remember enough to stay safe?”

“No,” Mel said determinedly. “No, Eva, don’t ever think that. The Doctor will sort this out.”

“How?”

“He’ll find a way. He always does.”

EMH

Time passed, but Eva had no idea how long has it been. She felt movement behind her and she was certain Mel and Beyus were talking occasionally, but she was blind and deaf to anything and everything but the Doctor, lying unconscious with his brain connected to the Rani’s machine.

She looked at him, smiling slightly when she saw his lips moving. He was still trying to interfere. If he couldn’t do anything to physically stop the Rani’s machine, he could still stop it from doing its purpose!”

“Quickly, disconnect the Doctor,” the Rani said, running to the corridor and Eva smiled. She must have reached the same conclusion. “The fool has provoked multiple schizophrenia.”

Eva looked up, a victorious glare in her eyes as the Rani disconnected the Doctor.

“Congratulations,” Mel mocked as Eva started trying to open the Doctor’s cabinet. “You brought us here.”

“And I shall dispose of you,” the Rani said, turning her attention to her wrist computer. “This will rid me of the three of you.”

With a grunt of pain, Eva stood up, pressing the keypad and opening the door to the Doctor’s cabinet before falling to the floor once more. The Doctor quickly stood up, grabbing the Rani.

“Quick, Mel, don’t just stand there, help me!” he called out.

“Let go of me, you interfering maniac,” the Rani called back, trying to escape only to trip over Eva and fall into the cabinet.

Mel rushed forwards, pressing the keypad and closing the door behind the Time Lady.

“Give her a taste of her own medicine,” she said. “Shall I switch on?”

“No, Mel,” the Doctor said, shaking his head. “Two wrongs don’t make a left turn.”

“A right,” Eva breathed out. “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

The Doctor frowned, kneeling next to Eva and inspecting her hand. “What happened?”

“The Rani,” Eva said through gritted teeth as pain hit her at the Doctor’s touch. “And apparently, I have no pain tolerance.”

“You had a sword in your stomach but you can’t function with a broken wrist?” the Doctor asked.

“Nobody expected me to function with a sword in my stomach,” Eva said. “I was dead.”

“Dead...” the Doctor said. “Eva, your fever, the shivering, your weakness... these aren’t pain symptoms. Did you eat anything the Rani had given you?”

“No, of course not,” Eva said. “I’m not stupid.”

“Drink anything?”

“It’s not like she played host, Doctor,” Eva said. “All she did was come up to me, break my arm and later tell me she captured you.”

“She didn’t approach you again?” the Doctor questioned.

“Not that I noticed,” Eva shrugged. “Then again, I was a bit busy dealing with my broken arm. Why?”

“Because these aren’t pain symptoms,” the Doctor said, looking Eva up and down before apparently finding what he was looking for, moving a bit of hair from her shoulder.

“Is that...?” Mel said worriedly.

“A needle,” the Doctor said. “Eva, it seemed that you’ve been poisoned.”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” Eva said. “Why would the Rani poison me?”

“Because she knew when I found out, I’ll be too distracted taking care of you to stop her plans.”

“She thought,” Eva corrected.

“What?” Mel asked. “Thought what?”

“Thought the Doctor will be too distracted by me to stop her plans,” Eva replied. “You don’t get to play to her hands, Doctor. You need to stop that brain, save Lakertya and stop the Rani for good. I’m not important.”

“Eva,” the Doctor started, “If I don’t help you now, you’ll die.”

“Been there, done that,” Eva shrugged. “I’ll go back to the TARDIS. You handle things here.”

“Go back to the TARDIS?” Mel asked in disbelief. “Eva, you can barely stand!”

“Stop that brain, save Lakertya, stop the Rani,” Eva said, forcing herself up. “And tell Ikona I said good luck.”

“Eva, I must insist you let me take care of you!” the Doctor said, and Eva turned to look at him.

“Stopping the death of one woman who can be brought back to life isn’t more important than all the lives that will be lost if the Rani succeeded,” she said, before turning and resuming her slow pace, trying her hardest not to think of his next words.

“It is when that woman is you!”

EMH

Eva was brought back to life painfully, as usual. There was a weird feeling in her chest and her arm was itchy, but it wasn’t as bad as it was before. She blinked a couple of times, trying to determine her surroundings before noticing the people who stood in a circle around her.

All at once, her memory came back. She managed to get back to the TARDIS right before she died, falling on the cold white floor with her last breath. Death by poison was clearly not a pleasant one.

And the people around her – they were all the geniuses the Doctor managed to save – which meant he managed to stop the Rani in time and save the Lakertyans! And they were all currently looking at her with different levels of curiosity.

“Intriguing,” one of them said. “Is that a trick of the eye or a trick of the mind?”

“Impossible,” another muttered. “I checked her pulse myself and determined it nonexistent.”

“She was dead, and now she’s alive,” a woman said, walking around her. “How could she have done that?”

Eva frowned as they kept looking at her like she was a part of an experiment, trying to bring herself up only for the world to spin around her.

“Careful, dear,” the Doctor said, walking into the TARDIS. “I believe you might be dehydrated. This way, ladies, gentlemen, others,” he added, opening the interior door. “I’ll get you back to where you belong. Hopefully.”

The geniuses sighed but did as they were told, all except Einstein who looked at the console. The Doctor sighed, taking his arm and leading him after the others.

“I’ll explain how it works later,” he said. “It’s all relative.”

“Can you help me up?” Eva asked as he closed the door behind them.

“You need to rest,” the Doctor frowned.

“I need to say goodbye,” Eva said. “I’ll rest later.”

“Promise?”

“Promise.”

The Doctor smiled slightly, helping Eva to her feet and allowing her to lean on him as they walked out of the TARDIS, enjoying the smile that jumped to her face at the sight of Ikona.

“Ikona,” Eva said, raising her hand in the Lakertyan greeting.

“Eva,” Ikona said, mimicking her action. “I’m glad to see you are well.”

“Likewise,” Eva said, before turning to Faroon. “I’m sorry for your loss,” she told the woman.

“It’s okay,” Faroon said. “He died trying to stop the Rani.”

“Goodbye, Faroon,” the Doctor said. “When I think of Beyus I shall remember with admiration the sacrifice he made.”

“He must have been convinced that it was the only way to be certain of saving the rest of us,” Faroon sighed.

“He’ll not be forgotten,” Ikona said and Eva nodded determinedly.

“I’ll make sure of that,” she declared.

“Nor will you, Doctor,” Faroon said, and the Doctor smiled, turning slightly away from her.

“Well,” Mel said, seeing the look on the Doctor’s face. “Cheerio, Ikona.”

“I wish I were coming with you,” he said, raising his hand to greet her the same way Eva greeted him.

“No one will credit this, least of all you,” Mel said with a smile, “But so do I.”

“I do have another regret,” Ikona sighed.

“What’s that?” the Doctor asked.

“After all the suffering she’s caused, the Rani has escaped to freedom in her TARDIS.”

“Trust me,” Eva said, “The Rani’s getting just what she deserves.”

“Memory like a dromedary,” the Doctor said, snapping his fingers before taking a small bottle out of his pocket. “An antidote against those killer insects in the globe. The Rani always takes out an insurance policy.”

He handed it over to Ikona who took it, only to pour the liquid inside onto the ground.

“You’re impossible,” Mel said. “Why did you do that?”

“Tell her, Faroon,” Ikona said, and Faroon smiled softly.

“Ikona believes that our people should meet their own challenges, if they are to survive,” she explained.

“You really are something special,” Eva said, unable to stop herself anymore as she jumped on the Lakertyan, hugging him tightly. “I’ll come and visit, if I can,” she said. “See how you lot are getting along.”

“I’ll look forwards to it,” Ikona replied, awkwardly hugging her back.

“Well,” the Doctor said, drawing Eva’s attention back to him, “Time and tide melts the snowman.”

“Waits for no man,” Eva corrected with a laugh.

“Who’s waiting?” the Doctor asked. “I’m ready.”

“You’re certainly going to take a bit of getting used to,” Mel smiled.

“He’ll grow on you, Mel,” Eva told her. “I know he grew on me.”

As they headed back into the TARDIS, the Doctor didn’t bother to hide his smile.

EMH

A couple of hours later, after all of the geniuses were put back into their appropriate place in time, the Doctor went looking for Eva. He walked around the TARDIS half-aimlessly, trusting the machine to lead him to his girlfriend if she wanted him there – and knowing she would keep him away if he was unwanted.

It took about thirty minutes, but eventually the TARDIS led him through a door and into what appeared to be a garden. Eva sat there, looking at the horizon as the sun slowly set and he placed himself on a chair next to her, trying to ignore the cigarette smoke in the air.

“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” she asked, not looking at him. “I always liked looking at the sunset from here.”

“It... It’s very pretty,” he said, noting in his mind the way the last rays of sun in view cut through the clouds, colouring the skies in shades of red, orange, pink and yellow. “Where is ‘here’?”

“The backyard of the house I grew up in,” Eva said. “I think it’s the TARDIS’s way to help me with me homesickness.”

“You’re feeling homesick?” the Doctor asked, surprised.

“Always,” Eva replied. “It’s easy to forget about, most of the time, but it’s been months since I last saw them. Months since I arrived here.”

“You have new people here,” the Doctor noted.

“But I don’t have the people I left behind,” Eva said. “My parents... well, adoptive parents, apparently. My brother and sister, my cousins. All of my friends, just... gone. In a moment.”

“I’m sorry,” the Doctor said truthfully.

“It’s okay,” Eva shrugged. “I love the life I have here. It’s just... it’s hard sometimes.”

The Doctor said nothing, looking at the sunset once more. There was nothing he could do to help her. He couldn’t take her to meet with the people she loved, because they didn’t know her. She never existed here – not in the way she had in the other universe.

Eva finished her cigarette, getting up and stretching.

“It’s been a long day,” she said. “Let’s get back inside.”

“Wait,” the Doctor said. “I wanted to talk to you. About... about what happened earlier, with the Rani.”

Eva sighed. “Look, it’s okay,” she said. “I overreacted.”

“No, you didn’t,” the Doctor insisted. “I should have recognized it was the Rani, and not you. I should have known better.”

“Are we seriously going to do this now?” Eva asked. “The whole, ‘this is my fault!’, ‘no, this is my fault!’ thing?”

“Only if you insist on saying it was your fault,” the Doctor replied, and Eva smiled.

“It’s on both of us,” she said. “You should have known it was the Rani, and not me, and I shouldn’t have overreacted like I had. Are you fine with that?”

“Not really,” the Doctor muttered.

“Too bad,” Eva retorted, turning to walk away once more.

“Eva!”

Eva turned to look at him once more, an amused smile tugging at her lips. “Yes?”

“I...” he started. “Well, I’ll understand if you said no, but I still thought I might ask. And I know we haven’t done this before – well, I haven’t done this before, not so sure about you – but if you’re okay with it, I thought maybe...”

“Maybe...?” Eva prompted.

“I often have nightmares after I regenerate,” he said. “And I know you helped me with nightmares in the future, but...”

“Yes,” Eva said simply.

“I’m sorry?”

“Yes, I’ll share a bed with you tonight to help with the nightmares,” Eva said. “Just give me a couple of minutes to brush my teeth and change to my pyjamas.”

“Okay,” the Doctor nodded. “I’ll see you in my room?”

“I’ll see you in your room,” Eva nodded, turning to leave for the third time before stopping, this time of her own accord.

She turned around, all but jumping at the Doctor as she pulled him into a kiss he returned happily. Her arms ran up and down his chest before moving to his back, his arms, his shoulders, his hair. It was as if she was trying to memorise his being – no, not memorise.

Get acquainted.

Just as he reached this conclusion, Eva pulled back, a light pink blush to her cheeks and her breathing heavy.

“Sorry,” she said softly. “It was just... now body, new personality, new everything... I’ve been wondering how you kiss now.”

“And the conclusion?” the Doctor asked, out of breath himself.

Eva smirked, a mischievous glint to her eyes. “Wouldn’t you like to know?” she asked before turning around once more, leaving him alone in the garden.

Chapter Text

It was a beautiful day, Eva thought to herself as she lied in a patch of sun, her head resting against the Doctor’s thigh.

They’d been like this for the past hour or so, birds chirping and chatting above their heads and cool breeze making the summer day feel not as hot as they waited for Mel to climb her way out of her medieval clothes and into something more 1980s-appropriate.

“Don’t you need to change, too?” the Doctor asked Eva as Mel headed deeper into the TARDIS.

“Nope,” Eva replied simply, taking off the outer layers of her 16th century dress and revealing the shorts and tank top she wore underneath. “I’ve learned the hard way to always be prepared.”

The soft silks were left in a messy pile on the Console Room’s floor and Eva grabbed the basket the TARDIS provided for their picnic before heading out, the Doctor quick to shake away his shock and follow her.

After that, the two picked a nice spot at the park and set up their picnic before settling down to wait.

It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining, yet it wasn’t too hot. The wind blew, but it wasn’t too cold. The grass was green and Eva was certain she saw a squirrel running around before she closed her eyes.

It was almost a perfect day.

Almost.

“Stop scowling,” she muttered.

“What?” the Doctor asked.

“You’re scowling,” Eva replied. “Stop it.”

“I’m not scowling,” the Doctor responded.

“Yes, you are,” Eva said. “You’ve been scowling when we got back to the TARDIS, scowling when we decided to have a picnic and scowling all the way here. I don’t even have to open my eyes to know you’re scowling now, too.”

“Am not,” the Doctor said, undoubtedly rolling his eyes.

“Do too,” Eva replied.

“Am not!”

“Do too!”

“Not!”

“Do!”

“Not!”

“Do!”

“Not!”

“So if I’d suggest going back to see Henry VIII –”

“Absolutely not!” the Doctor cried out. “You will stay away from him! You will not see him again!”

“It wasn’t that bad –”

“He tried to marry you, Eva,” the Doctor said. “Henry VIII tried to marry you.”

“But he didn’t,” Eva noted.

“And now you’re wanted for treason for the better part of the 16th century –”

“So?” Eva asked. “We know it was gone by the 19th century. Queen Victoria loved me.”

“Oh, don’t start with that again –”

“You know you love hearing that story –”

“I know that you love telling it –”

“Just admit that you’re jealous, Doctor,” Eva laughed.

“Never!” the Doctor replied, smiling at the sound of Eva’s laugh. “You know, I had a really good time these past couple of days... excluding the whole Henry VIII ordeal.”

“Me, too,” Eva smiled. “Including the whole Henry VIII ordeal. I just wish Mel would hurry up already – how long does it take to put on clothes? Remind me why are we waiting again?”

“You said it was the right thing to do since she’s our friend,” the Doctor said. “You could eat now, if you’re hungry.”

“No,” Eva said, quickly brushing his concern aside. “She’s our friend, and we should wait. I’ll be fine.”

“Eva,” the Doctor started slowly, “When did you last eat?”

“Yesterday, I think?” Eva replied, a tone of uncertainty to her voice. “Not so sure, actually. It’s pretty hard to keep track of days.”

“Does that happen often?” the Doctor questioned. “You going on days without eating?”

“Sometimes?” Eva shrugged. “It’s no big deal, really.”

“Yes, it is,” the Doctor told her harshly. “What about sleep? Do you sleep properly?”

“Why is it important?”

“Your health is important, Eva,” the Doctor said.

“Why?” Eva asked. “It’s not like I can die. And anyway,” she added in response to the Doctor’s frown, “It’s not like there’s anything I can do about it. I can’t know where I’ll end up. I don’t always show up at a convenient time to sit down for a meal or go to sleep. You know what that’s like – you sometimes go on days without sleeping.”

“That’s different,” the Doctor said. “I’m not human.”

“Neither am I,” Eva reminded him.

“Only partially,” the Doctor retorted.

“But still enough,” Eva bit out before sighing. “Can we not do this right now?”

“No!” the Doctor replied. “We can’t! Just because you’re not entirely human or can’t permanently die does not mean you should neglect your health!”

“I’m not neglecting anything!”

By this point, Eva already sat up, looking at the Doctor as tears mixed with the anger in her eyes.

“You know what?” she asked. “I refuse.”

“You refuse?” the Doctor repeated.

“Yes,” she said, pushing herself to her feet. “I refuse to have this conversation.”

“Where are you going?” the Doctor asked as she headed away.

“To the TARDIS,” Eva replied. “I’ll come back either when you decide to drop the subject or Mel will be ready. I’m betting on the second,” she added bitterly.

“Eva!” the Doctor called after her, but she had already reached the tree they hid the TARDIS behind and slammed the door.

Who does he even think he is? How dare he imply that she wasn’t taking care of herself? She was doing everything she could, considering the situation, and it wasn’t her fault the situation wasn’t very good to begin with!

Though she may have overreacted, now that she was thinking about it... a frown settled on her face as she considered her options. She could go back outside and face the Doctor, which would lead to an interrogation she really didn’t think he had any right to conduct, or she could stay in here and mope, acting like a five year old.

Neither option seemed very good in her eyes, and she leaned on the console, uncertain what should she do as a third option popped into her mind. She could go find Mel and urge her to get arranged faster. That way, she could enjoy the rest of the afternoon outside, and the Doctor won’t be able to ask unwanted questions.

She smiled, intent on doing just that but barely managing more than two steps before bright light came out of her necklace and engulfed her, blinding her for a moment. As it died down, Eva found herself standing in the middle of a crowded street.

Immediately, her mind started analysing the situation.

Earth, or at least somewhere that seemed that way. Everyone around her was either human or human-looking, and dressed in a manner she couldn’t quite pinpoint, other than it being post-WWII but before the 70’s. That left her with nearly two and a half decades, but it sure was better than what she had before.

She looked around, seeing a poster announcing the newly opened Dartford Tunnel. That was something she could go with. She remembered her father – well, adoptive father – telling her he was a child when his parents took him to see the official event declaring the opening of the two-lane tunnel. They lived right next to it, and his mother allowed his older sister to take a day off school for the occasion.

His brother wasn’t born yet, and he wasn’t in school but still old enough to remember, which put it in the early to mid-60s.

A small smile made itself apparent, showing the pride she felt for not only remembering these details, but also being able to pull them out of her memory when they were needed. Shortly, though, the smile slipped off her face as she realized she still didn’t know exactly where or when she is, or who she knows in this time and place.

She started walking, hoping to see something that would help her remember when a newspaper caught her eye. The headline said it all, and Eva didn’t even need to look at the date printed on the top of the page to know the exact date.

DAILY MIRROR: KENNEDY ASSASSINATED – Jackie holds dying husband.

November 23rd, 1963, exactly a day after Lee Harvey Oswald shot and killed John F. Kennedy. And, as her mind reminded her as soon as it overcome the shock of holding in her hands a newspaper clipping she only ever saw in pictures, the day “An Unearthly Child” aired on TV for the first time.

This was it – she had gone back to the point in time and space when it all started – London, 1963. She could hear a clock bell ringing to mark the hour as five in the afternoon, and realized what she needs to do next.

“Oi!” Eva looked up to see a man looking at her, the look in his eyes as he took in what in this time period could be considered as nothing less than a severe state of undress travelling between shock and hunger. “Are ya going to buy this or not?”

“I’m sorry, but no,” Eva said, making sure to keep a safe distance between herself and the man. “I’m afraid I don’t have any money on my person.”

“I’m sure we can find an alternative way of payment,” the man said, looking her up and down once more. “What d’ya think?”

“I’m afraid I’ll have to pass,” Eva said curtly.

“Are ya sure?” the man asked. “Cause I’ve gotta tell ya, I’d love to –”

“Ma’am? Is this man bothering you?”

This time, Eva almost jumped in surprise as for the second time in mere minutes, a man she hadn’t even noticed was there spoke to her. She turned around to see a police officer looking between her and the newspaper man.

“I’m fine,” Eva replied. “But thank you for the concern. Now, if the two of you will excuse me, I need to go.”

She turned around and started walking away, only for the police officer to call after her again.

“Ma’am!” he said, making her stop as he quickened his pace to reach her. “I apologize for disturbing you, but seeing your state or dress – or lack thereof – I feel obliged to ask... did anyone else... bother you earlier today?”

Heat rose to Eva’s face at the implication and she cleared her throat, trying to think of an explanation to her clothes, which may have been the top of fashion in the 1980s, but were considered something less than fitting a young woman in the 60s.

“I sleepwalk,” she blurted out before she could stop herself, her face turning an even deeper shade of red. “I walk, in my sleep. I’m visiting family that live in the city, I must have sleepwalked out of their house when I took a nap earlier today.”

“Are you certain?” the officer asked and Eva nodded. “Well, in that case, I must insist on escorting you back to their house. A young woman such as yourself wandering around the city in this clothing... might give someone the wrong idea.”

Well, that just wouldn’t do. The Doctor and Susan currently lived in 76 Totter’s lane, and even though she assumed and hoped it was close by, it was nothing more than a junkyard. There was no actual house in there, but the TARDIS, and she was certain the officer wouldn’t let her stay there. Add that to the fact that this Doctor hated strangers...

But the officer wasn’t going to let this go any time soon, if the look on his face was anything to judge by, so she decided to compromise.

“Actually, I’m supposed to pick my cousin up from school,” she said. “Perhaps you can escort me there? I’m sure once we’ll be together I’ll be safer.”

For a moment, she could see the officer debating with himself before he nodded and stepped back, taking off his jacket.

“What are you doing?” Eva asked, confused.

“It’s November, and even if you weren’t in such a severe state of undress, you are clearly freezing.”

Almost as soon as the words left his mouth, Eva felt herself involuntarily shivering. With all of her attempts to pinpoint when and where she arrived to, she hadn’t even noticed how cold it was outside. And now that the officer noted it, she couldn’t help but freeze. He softly placed his jacket over her shoulders before stepping back.

“Where do you need to get to, ma’am?” he asked.

“Coal Hill School,” Eva replied, pulling the jacket tighter around herself. “And, please, call me Eva.”

“As you wish, ma – Eva,” he quickly corrected. “Sorry I didn’t introduce myself before. I’m Officer George O’Connell. What did you say your cousin’s name was?”

“Susan,” Eva replied, a small smile tugging at the edge of her lips. “Susan Foreman.”

EMH

It took some convincing – and help from the unsuspecting guard that watched over the school – but eventually Eva had managed to convince O’Connell that she would be fine on her own from this point on, and that there really was no reason for him to stay with her any longer. He did, however, insist that she’d keep his jacket, claiming that he had plenty more and that she clearly needed it more than he did.

And so Eva found herself walking around the school corridors, dressed in shorts, a tank top and a police jacket and looking for the History Class. Eventually, she thought of asking the janitor, and he directed her to the third door on the left. Carefully, Eva neared the door and listened.

She could hear music playing, a tune she knew all too well, and voices talking, though she couldn’t make out what they were saying. As the music died down, she decided to knock on the door, a surprised “Come in!” answering her from the inside.

“Hello,” she said, letting only her head into the room. “Sorry to interrupt, but I’m here to collect Susan Foreman.”

“Eva?” Susan asked, surprised.

“Susan, you know this young woman?” the man Eva would always recognize to be Ian Chesterton asked.

“Yes, Mr. Chesterton!” Susan said. “This is Eva. She’s...”

“I’m Susan’s cousin,” Eva introduced herself, finally entering the room and ignoring the way both teachers’ eyes widened at the sight of her. “I hope you’ll forgive my appearance. I’ve only just arrived to town and I’m afraid I was robbed.”

“Oh, dear,” Barbara muttered. “I do hope you’re alright, dear.”

“I am,” Eva said with a smile. “But I don’t really know my way around the city so well, so I thought Susan could help me find my way back to her house.”

“Of course,” Susan quickly said. “We’ll be leaving shortly. I just...”

“I was just lending Susan a book about the French Revolution,” Barbara explained. “Are you interested in History, Miss Foreman?”

It took Eva a moment to realize the question was directed at her, but when she finally did she couldn’t help but laugh. “It’s Miller, actually,” she said. “And yes, I am. It was my favourite subject at school.”

“Well, maybe if you have time while you’re in London you could come over and I’d lend you a book or two?” the older woman offered.

“I’m afraid I’ll have to decline,” Eva smiled, knowing full well that Ian and Barbara would join the Doctor and Susan in their travels later that evening. “I don’t plan on staying in town very long.”

“It’s a shame,” Ian said. “Oh, where do you live, Susan? I’m giving Miss Wright a lift. I’ve room for the two of you, as well.”

“No thank you, Mr. Chesterton,” Susan said. “I think it would be nice to have a walk today. Eva and I have a lot to catch up on.”

“Well, the two of you should make sure to be careful,” Barbara said. “There’ll probably be fog again tonight and what with Miss Miller’s... unique clothing at the moment, you wouldn’t want to attract the wrong kind of attention.”

“Don’t worry, ma’am,” Eva told her. “I’ll make sure we stay safe.”

“Right,” Barbara said, looking up and down Eva’s appearance once more before turning to leave. “See you in the morning, Susan.”

“I expect so,” Susan replied. “Good night.”

“Good night,” Barbara echoed.

“Good night, Susan, Eva,” Ian said and Eva replied with a polite nod at the teachers as they left the room.

As soon as the door closed, Susan turned to Eva. “What are you doing here?” she asked. “And why are you dressed like this? Does Grandfather even know you’re in town? And why did you show up at my school?”

“One question at a time, Susan, please,” Eva said, though the smile was still on her face. “As I said, I came to visit you and the Doctor. I’m dressed like this because the trip wasn’t exactly planned, and I jumped out of the 80s twenty years backwards with no time to change my clothes. No, the Doctor doesn’t know I’m in town yet since I don’t know how to get to Totters Lane, so I came to the school so you could help me find my way to the TARDIS – and, most importantly, to a wardrobe.”

“Grandfather isn’t going to like this,” Susan muttered.

“The Doctor doesn’t like a lot of things,” Eva retorted. “Never stopped me before. Now, let’s go. You can read this at the TARDIS, as well, and I’m dying to know how it’s like to live in 1963.”

“Oh, it’s amazing, Eva!” Susan called out happily, all worries forgotten. “The cars, and the people, and the music, and the clothes...”

The young Time Lady went on and on as she collected her belongings into her bag and Eva smiled as the two walked hand in hand out of the classroom. Even though this was the first time she met with Susan, she always liked her as a character and was certain they would get along in real life, as well.

As for the First Doctor and his tendencies of being sombre and sometimes even cold... well, she supposed she’ll just have to wait and see for herself.

Chapter Text

“Much better,” Eva said as she walked into the Console Room, her clothes fresh and fitting the time she was in and her hair still wet from the shower she took.

She was pleasantly surprised to see she had a room of her own in the TARDIS. Of course, she knew the Doctor and Susan had met her before – and that they got along, if Susan’s behaviour was anything to judge by – but to know she was in the TARDIS before for long enough to decorate her room the way she liked it...

Let’s just say she wasn’t certain she would be so trusted so early along the way.

“How’s the book?” she asked Susan.

“Terribly inaccurate,” Susan replied. “One more proof that one shouldn’t be allowed to write a history book unless they saw how things happened with their own eyes.”

“That hardly seems fair,” Eva smiled. “Not everyone can travel in time whenever they wish, you know.”

“But there’s a whole perspective just being ignored!” Susan protested. “They don’t even try to cover it up!”

“There’s a human saying,” Eva started, “History is written by the winners. Of course a whole perspective’s being ignored – the winners will only show you their side of the story.”

“Well, that’s just ridiculous!”

“Yup,” Eva said, popping the word out. “Remind me to tell you about human history writing sometime,” she added as an afterthought. “And archaeology. I think you’ll find it interesting.”

“How do you know so much about it?” Susan asked, putting her book down.

“I used to study History,” Eva said. “Almost finished my first semester.”

“Why did you stop?” Susan questioned.

“I think it’s a lot more fun to live History than learn it from a textbook, don’t you?” Eva replied with a small smirk. “Besides, it’s pretty hard to go to classes or find the time to revise when you keep jumping around.”

“Was it worth it?” Susan asked, and Eva paused.

It’s been a while since she asked herself this question – was everything she was going through and everything she lost worth the good parts of travelling with the Doctor? Last time she thought about it was back when she just started, back when she first met the Master. Her answer then was immediate.

No, it wasn’t worth it. She missed her friends, she missed her parents, she missed fighting with her sister and even the small conversations she had with her brother, however short they were. She wasn’t going to see them again, and knowing she didn’t get the chance to say goodbye hurt more than she thought anything could ever hurt.

But now... perhaps it was coming to terms with the situation, or maybe the ache just dulled as she learned to deal with it, but she didn’t have any hesitation about her answer when she spoke.

“Yes,” she told Susan, feeling warmth in her heart as she thought of the Doctor and everything they had done together. “It was worth it.”

Susan smiled back, reaching out and grabbing Eva’s hand before both of them simultaneously turned to look at the door.

“Did you...?” Eva started carefully.

“I did,” Susan replied. “You, too?”

“Uh-huh,” Eva said, taking a step towards the door. “There’s someone out there.”

“Could it be Grandfather?”

“Maybe,” Eva muttered, knowing full well it wasn’t. “Well, if it is him, we’ll just have to wait for him to enter, don’t you think?”

“We – I – yes, of course,” Susan finally said. “I’ll just... go back to reading, then.”

She turned back to her book, though there was a troubled look in her eyes. Eva kept looking at the door, hiding a small smile as it opened slightly.

This is where the real fun begins, she thought to herself, absently wondering when did the arrival of an alien a couple of centuries old – one who was about to kidnap two unsuspecting humans, mind you – was what she started defining as fun.

“There you are, Grandfather!” Susan called out, looking up from her book once more and the door shut almost immediately. Susan’s brows furrowed in confusion. “What was that about?” she asked.

“I suppose we’ll find out very soon,” Eva replied.

Susan frowned, looking her friend up and down. “Why do I get the feeling you know more than you let show?” she asked worriedly.

“You’ll get used to it,” Eva replied instead of answering, turning to look at the door once more.

Susan followed suit, looking at the door with anticipation. A minute passed, turning into two and three until Susan put her book on the console and headed to the part where the door controller was. She flipped the switch and took a hesitant step in the door’s direction.

“What are you doing out there?” she called out.

“She is in there!” a familiar male voice called out.

“Close the door!” a second voice called but Susan was frozen in place, fear and confusion taking over.

“Barbara!” the first voice called out and before Susan or Eva could make a single move, a woman ran into the TARDIS.

Barbara looked around in shock, taking in the change in the TARDIS’ apparent size. Susan stared back at her, unable to move an inch as Ian and the Doctor followed inside.

“Close the doors, Susan,” the Doctor said, but Susan was still frozen in place. As Eva made a move to close the door herself, the Doctor stepped forwards. “Not you, Eva. Forgive me, but I still don’t completely trust you after the last time you tried to pilot.”

“I may not know how to pilot, but I know how to close the door, Doctor,” Eva retorted, smirking at the amused twinkle in the Doctor’s eyes as she flipped a switch and the door closed.

The Doctor nodded in approval before turning to Susan. “I believe these people are known to you,” he said, nodding at Ian and Barbara.

“They’re two of my schoolteachers!” Susan said, a frightened expression on her face. “What are you doing here?”

“Where are we?” Barbara asked, looking around and still not quite aware of what was going on around her.

“They must have followed you,” the Doctor replied in her stead. “That ridiculous school – I knew something like this would happen if we stayed in one place too long.”

“Doctor,” Eva warned. “It’s not her fault.”

“Then whose fault is it?” the Doctor questioned. “Theirs?”

“Why should they follow me?” Susan muttered, half to herself.

“Is this really where you live, Susan?” Barbara asked, seeming to remember the presence of her student in the room.

“Yes,” Susan said quietly, as the Doctor immediately lashed out.

“And what’s wrong with it?” he asked, daring the teacher to note anything in response.

“Doctor,” Eva sighed. “Stop it.”

“Or what?”

“But it was just a telephone box...” Ian muttered.

“Perhaps,” the Doctor replied mysteriously, though with less bite to his tone than he most likely would have had if not for Eva’s glare.

“And this is your grandfather?” Barbara asked.

“Yes,” Susan said.

“And Eva...”

“Just a family friend, I’m afraid,” Eva replied.

“Well,” Barbara started, turning to look at the Doctor angrily. “Why didn’t you tell us that?”

“I don’t discuss my private life with strangers,” the Doctor bit out.

“But it was a police telephone box,” Ian muttered, still staring at the TARDIS interior. “I walked all round it! Barbara, you saw me!”

“You don’t deserve any explanations,” the Doctor said, slowly heading away from Susan and towards Eva. “You pushed your way in here, uninvited and unwelcome. Not you, my dear,” he added, looking at Eva. “Though when and how you arrived is still a mystery to me...”

“I think we ought to leave...” Barbara muttered.

“No, just a minute,” Ian replied, heading towards the Doctor and Eva.

“How long have you been here?” the Doctor asked Eva.

“I arrived earlier this afternoon and picked Susan up from school,” Eva replied, doing her best to ignore Ian’s staring.

“I know this is absurd,” the Science teacher said.

“And how did you know she would be at the school?” the Doctor questioned. “Or which school she will be in, for that matter?”

“But I feel... I walked all around it!”

“Oh, you wouldn’t understand at all,” the Doctor said, not bothering to look at Ian as he walked back to the console.

“But I want to understand!” Ian called out.

“Yes, yes, yes,” the Doctor muttered, taking off his cloak and scarf. “Perhaps a future version? Or maybe she met a future version? Oh, by the way Susan, I’ve managed to find a replacement for that faulty filament. Bit of an amateur job, but I, I think it’ll serve.”

He took something out of his pocket and inserted it into the console, doing... something that Eva didn’t quite understand.

“It’s an illusion,” Ian said. “It must be...”

“What is he talking about now?” the Doctor asked.

“What are you doing here?” Susan questioned once more.

“You don’t understand, so you find excuses,” the Doctor said before turning back to look at Ian. “Illusions, indeed? You say you can’t fit an enormous building into one of your smaller sitting rooms?”

“No,” Ian said as if it were the most obvious things – which, if Eva was completely honest with herself, it probably was considering how the Doctor explained it.

“But you’ve discovered television, haven’t you?” the Doctor questioned.

“Yes...” Ian said quietly, starting to understand what the Doctor was saying.

“Then by showing an enormous building on your television screen, you can do what seemed impossible, couldn’t you?”

“Well...” Ian started, “Yes, but I still don’t know…”

“It’s not quite clear, is it?” the Doctor asked. “I can see by your face that you’re not certain. You don’t understand,” he added, laughing. “And I knew you wouldn’t! Never mind. Now then, which switch was it?” he asked, looking back at the console. “No, no, no... Ah, yes, that is it!  The point is not whether you understand,” he added, turning to the teachers once more. “What is going to happen to you?  They’ll tell everybody about the ship now,” he told Susan.

“The ship?” Ian asked, confused.

“Yes, yes, ship!” the Doctor said impatiently. “This doesn’t roll along on wheels, you know.”

“You mean... it moves?” Barbara asked, shocked.

“The TARDIS can go anywhere,” Susan said.

“TARDIS?” Barbara questioned. “I don’t understand you, Susan.”

“Well, I made up the name TARDIS from the initials,” Susan started.

“Time And Relative Dimension In Space,” Eva added, reminding the two humans and two aliens in the room of her presence. “I’d thought you both would understand when you saw the different dimensions inside from those outside.”

“Let me get this straight,” Ian said, looking right at Eva. “A thing that looks like a police box, standing in a junkyard... it can move anywhere in time and space?”

“Yes!” Susan called out.

“Quite so,” the Doctor added.

“Was it not obvious when the three of us said it the first time?” Eva asked.

“But that’s ridiculous!”

Susan sighed, turning to the Doctor once more. “Why won’t they believe us?”

“Well, how can we?” Barbara asked.

“Now, now, don’t get exasperated, Susan,” the Doctor said. “Remember the Red Indian. When he saw the first steam train, his savage mind thought it an illusion too.”

“You’re treating us like children!” Ian accused.

“Am I?” the Doctor asked. “The children of my civilisation would be insulted.”

“You are not helping here!” Eva said, taking two steps closer to the Doctor. “Insulting them wouldn’t get us anywhere in this discussion!”

“Your civilisation?” Ian repeated.

“Yes, my civilisation,” the Doctor replied, not tearing his eyes away from Eva. “I tolerate this century, but I don’t enjoy it. Have you ever thought about what it’s like to be wanderers in the fourth dimension? Have you? To be exiles? Susan and I are cut off from our own planet, without friends or protection. But one day...” he added with a longing sigh. “We shall get back. Yes, one day…one day....”

“It’s true,” Susan said. “Every word of it is true. You don’t know what you’ve done coming here…” she added, her voice shaking as she turned back to the Doctor. “Grandfather, let them go now, please! Look, if they don’t understand, they can’t... they can’t hurt us at all! I understand these people better than you... their minds reject things they don’t understand...”

The Doctor finally looked away from Eva and at Susan. It was almost visible how he considered the options, assessing how much threat the teachers could be. But it was clear, even without Eva’s foreknowledge, what his answer would be.

“No.”

“He can’t keep us here...” Ian muttered.

“Susan, listen to me, can’t you see that all this is an illusion?” Barbara asked, noting the younger girl as their biggest helper at the moment. “It’s a game that you and your grandfather are playing, if you like. But you can’t expect us to believe it.”

“It’s not a game!” Susan called angrily.

“But, Susan…”

“It’s not!” the Time Lady insisted. “Look, I love your school. I love England in the 20th century. The last five months have been the happiest of my life...”

“But you are one of us,” Barbara insisted. “You look like us, you sound like us...”

“I was born in another time,” Susan informed her tightly. “Another world.”

“Now look here Susan, you...” Ian shook his head before taking Barbara’s arm in his. “Oh come on, Barbara, let’s get out of here.”

“No,” Susan said, shaking her head with tears in her eyes. “You two can’t get out. He won’t let you go...” A thought popped into her head and she turned around, hope making itself apparent in her features. “Eva... you could talk to him.”

Eva swallowed hard, suddenly well aware that both Ian and Barbara were looking at her, and that even though the Doctor was tinkering with the console, he was also listening.

“Susan...” she started slowly.

“Please, Eva,” Susan said. “You – You can talk to him. You’ll be able to convince him, I know you will!”

Eva sighed, closing her eyes for a moment. Even if she would be able to convince the Doctor to change his mind – something that she doubted very much – she wouldn’t even try it. The kidnapping of Ian and Barbara was an important event in the Doctor’s timeline. They were the first companions, the ones who started it all, and without them, who knows if the Doctor will ever take more?

The Doctor’s companions were what build up his love for Earth, made him a better person and, more than once, saved his life and countless others. Without the companions, who’s to know if the Doctor will still be able to win all of the battles he fought? And then what would happen? If the Doctor didn’t win against the Daleks, the Cybermen, the Autons...

And that’s without even considering the fact that if the Doctor didn’t take companions – more specifically, didn’t take Rose and Jack as companions – Eva will never have been born in the first place, which would mean she could never be here to stop the Doctor from kidnapping Ian and Barbara, which would lead to the Doctor taking Rose and Jack as companions after all and Eva will be born...

If she tries to change the Doctor’s mind right now, she’ll either destroy the universe, create a paradox or do both at the same time.

“I’m sorry,” she whispered, opening her eyes and trying to ignore the heartbroken and betrayed look on Susan’s face. “But I can’t. It’s for the best, I promise. You... You’ll understand later on.”

“Do you see?” the Doctor asked his granddaughter. “Even Eva understands.”

Ian looked at Eva for a moment, a disbelieving look on his face, before he turned to the console.

“He closed the doors from over there,” he said, pointing at the general area and looking over it. “I saw it... Now which is it? Which is it? Which control operates the door?” he asked the Doctor.

“You still think it’s all an illusion...” the Doctor noted amusedly.

“I know free movement in time and space is a scientific dream I don’t expect to find solved in a junkyard!” Ian bit out.

“Oh, your arrogance is nearly as great as your ignorance!” the Doctor laughed.

“Will you open the door?” Ian asked. “Open the door!” When the Doctor didn’t reply, he turned to Susan. “Susan, will you help us?”

“I mustn’t!” Susan muttered, half to herself. “I mustn’t!”

“Very well then,” Ian sighed. “I’ll have to risk it myself.”

“I can’t stop you...” the Doctor said slyly, his hand moving to the console as Ian tried to press a button and Eva remembered what he was trying to do.

“No!” she called out, pushing Ian aside and taking the electrical shock herself. She let out a gasp of pain, falling to the floor and hitting her head on the console as she went down.

“Eva!” four distressed voices called out at the same time, and she could feel someone help her up.

“Eva?” Barbara’s voice asked from somewhere very close to her. “Miss Miller?”

“Ow...” Eva muttered, coming back to her senses as her eyes opened once more now that the pain was gone.

“Eva, are you alright?” Susan asked.

“Now, look what you’ve done!” Ian told the Doctor angrily. “You could have killed her!”

“The shock was never meant to kill,” the Doctor replied. “Only stop you from touching things you know nothing of. Eva,” he added, stepping closer to the young woman, “Are you alright?”

“You… are an idiot,” Eva breathed out. “Fine, I get it, you’re kidnapping them. But kidnapping them means you’re going to be stuck with them for god knows how long now. Is that really the way you want to go at it?”

“I never meant for –”

“For me to get hurt,” Eva finished the sentence for him. “But I come and go while they stay. They are, at the moment, guests here against their will. I’m not saying they should have followed Susan and I here, but don’t expect me to stand besides every stupid thing you do, Doctor.”

“Sit down,” Barbara told Eva, pulling her back from the Doctor. “You’re bleeding.”

“I’m fine,” Eva said, rubbing the spot on her head where she hit the console and feeling the wound close as she touched it.

“No, you’re not, I saw...” Barbara trailed off as she saw nothing but a small amount of dried blood where there was a cut just moments before. “But I saw...”

“It’s just a little scratch,” Eva said sharply. “I’m fine.”

“Grandfather, let them go now!” Susan all but begged. “Please!”

“And by tomorrow we shall be a public spectacle,” the Doctor retorted. “A subject for news and idle gossip.”

“But they won’t say anything…”

“My dear child, of course they will,” the Doctor said, putting his hands on Susan’s shoulders. “Put yourself in their place. They’re bound to make some sort of a complaint to the authorities – or at the very least talk to their friends. If I do let them go, Susan, you realise of course we must go too.”

“No,” Susan whispered. “Grandfather, we’ve had all this out b –”

“There’s no alternative, child,” he insisted. “Even Eva understands it.”

“I want to stay!” Susan called out. “Look, they’re both kind people. Why won’t you trust them? All you’ve got to do is ask them to promise to keep our secret and…”

“It’s out of the question,” the Doctor sternly informed her.

“I won’t go, Grandfather,” Susan said. “I won’t leave the 20th century… I’d rather leave the TARDIS and you!”

At that, the Doctor paused. Eva took a step closer to him, putting a comforting hand on his shoulder as he took a deep breath before talking once more.

“Now you’re being sentimental and childish,” he said, but Eva could hear the hurt and fear in his voice.

At the end of the day, Susan was all that he had, and he wouldn’t let anything take her away from him… not even herself.

“Susan, maybe you need to think it more thoroughly,” Eva stated carefully.

“No,” the girl replied. “I mean it.”

“Very well,” the Doctor said curtly, coming to a decision. “Then you must go with them. I’ll open the door.”

“Doctor?” Eva asked quietly.

“Hold on to something,” he replied, starting to... starting to fly the TARDIS away.

“Are you coming, Susan?” Barbara asked, unaware of what was happening behind her.

“Oh, no,” Susan muttered in lieu of a reply, understanding what the Doctor was doing. “Grandfather, no!”

“Eva,” was all that the Doctor said and Eva pulled the young woman away, forcing her to hold on to a railing that was connected to the wall.

“I’m sorry,” she told Susan. “Don’t let go.”

“No!” Susan called out.

“Don’t let go!” Eva repeated sternly before heading to Ian and Barbara and, fighting against the shaking TARDIS, led them to other railings they could hold on to. “Keep a tight grip,” she said before stumbling back towards the Doctor, who was holding on to the console. “Where are we going?”

“I... I don’t know,” the Doctor said. “It’s as if the TARDIS has a destination of her own. She won’t let me pilot.”

Eva glanced at the screen, watching as what she assumed were Gallifrayan numbers changed constantly as the machine travelled through time. The TARDIS shook once more and she almost slipped before the Doctor reached out and grabbed her.

When the shaking died down and the TARDIS landed, Eva knew exactly what year they arrived in, even though she knew the yearometer broke.

100,000 BC.

Chapter Text

Eva shook her head as she looked around the TARDIS. The Doctor stood next to her, her hand still clutched in his and a worried expression on his face. Susan was still holding the railings, but Ian and Barbara were thrown away – Barbara landing on a nearby chair while Ian wasn’t as lucky and fell to the floor.

The Doctor made a move towards Susan before realizing he was still holding Eva’s hand. He looked at their intertwined fingers for a moment before letting go and going to check after his granddaughter. Eva’s hand fell to her side and she looked back at Ian and Barbara just as the woman came back to and kneeled next to her co-worker.

“Ian?” she asked, shaking him gently. “Ian?”

“I’m alright,” Ian groaned, slowly sitting up. “Oh... I must have hit my head. The movement’s stopped,” he added in surprise, looking around.

“We landed,” Eva said, nodding towards Susan and the Doctor, who were checking the console’s controls.

“The base is steady,” Susan said.

“Well, sand, rock formation...” the Doctor added. “Mm, good.”

“We’ve left 1963,” Susan stated.

“Oh yes, undoubtedly,” the Doctor nodded. “I’ll be able to tell you where presently.” He looked at the scanner, frowning at the number he saw there. “Zero? That’s not right. I’m afraid this yearometer is not calculating properly... Well, anyway, the journey’s finished.” He looked down, noticing Ian as if for the first time. “What are you doing down there?”

“What have you done?” Barbara asked.

“Barbara, you don’t believe all this nonsense?” Ian asked.

“Well, look at the scanner screen,” Susan replied.

“Yes, look up there,” the Doctor said as Ian and Barbara stood up, pointing to the screen. “They don’t understand, and I suspect they don’t want to,” he added to Susan. “Well, there you are. A new world for you.”

Ian’s brows furrowed in disbelief, yet he still did as the Doctor told him to and looked at the screen. “Sand and rock?” he asked.

“Yes,” the Doctor said, “That’s the immediate view outside the ship.”

“But where are we?” Barbara muttered.

“You mean that’s what we’ll see when we go outside?” Ian questioned.

“Yes!” Susan said proudly. “You’ll see it for yourself.”

“I don’t believe it!”

“You really are a stubborn young man, aren’t you?” the Doctor mocked.

“All right, show me some proof!” Ian called out. “Give me some concrete evidence! I’m sorry Susan,” he added softly, “I don’t want to hurt you, but… it’s time you were brought back to reality.”

“But you’re wrong, Mr. Chesterton…” Susan sighed. When will they finally realize that this was real?

“They’re saying I’m a charlatan,” the Doctor stated. “What ‘concrete evidence’ would satisfy you, hmm?”

“Just open the doors, Doctor Foreman,” Ian replied, and Eva had to cover a smile with her hand.

“Doctor who?” the Doctor asked, confused. “What’s he talking about?”

“They’re so sure, Ian...” Barbara said quietly.

“Yes, I know…”

“And remember the difference between the outside of the police box and the inside…”

“Yes, I know, but…” Ian sighed, turning to the Doctor once more. “Are you going to open the doors or aren’t you?”

“No.”

“You see?”

“Not until I’m quite sure it’s safe to do so,” the Doctor finished, looking at the console and scanner. “Well, the air’s good, yes it is, it’s good, excellent, excellent... You’ve got the radiation counter over there. What’s it read?”

“It’s reading normal, Grandfather.”

“Splendid, splendid,” the Doctor nodded. “Well, I think I’ll take my Geiger counter with me in any case. So you, er, still challenge me, young man?” he asked Ian smugly.

“Well, just open the doors and prove your point,” Ian replied.

“You’re so narrow-minded, aren’t you?” the Doctor asked. “Don’t be so insular.”

“Doctor, do you know where we are?” Eva asked, trying to draw the fire away from the teacher.

“Yes,” the Doctor said, pleased as always at the chance to show off. “We’ve gone back in time, all right. One or two samples and I shall be able to make an estimate. Rock pieces and a few plants... But I do wish this wouldn’t keep letting me down,” he sighed, looking at the console. “However, we can go out now.”

“Just a minute,” Ian said, making the Doctor pause. “You say we’ve gone back in time...”

“Yes, quite so.”

“So that when we go out of that door, we won’t be in a junkyard, in London, in England, in the year 1963...”

“That is quite correct,” the Doctor replied before adding, “But your tone suggests ridicule.”

“But it is ridiculous!” Ian called out. “Time doesn’t go ‘round and ‘round in circles! You can’t get on and off whenever you like in the past or the future!”

“Really?” the Doctor questioned. “Where does time go, then?”

“It doesn’t go anywhere,” Ian replied as if it were the most obvious thing. “It just happens, and then it’s finished.”

“Oh...” the Doctor laughed, turning to look at Barbara. “You’re not as doubtful as your friend, I hope.”

“No,” Barbara replied quickly.

“Barbara,” Ian started, “You can’t…”

“I can’t help it!” Barbara called out. “I just believe them, that’s all!”

“If you could touch the alien sand and hear the cries of strange birds – and watch them wheel in another sky… would that satisfy you?” the Doctor asked Ian.

“Yes.”

The Doctor pressed the button that opened the door, marking at the desert that waited outside. “Now, see for yourself,” he said.

“It’s not true!” Ian whispered in shock. “It can’t be...”

“Only it can,” Eva said with a smile. “And it is.”

“That’s not on the screen!” Susan declared in triumph.

“Well, I’ve no more time to argue with you,” the Doctor stated. “I must get some samples, Susan.”

“Do you mind if I join in?” Eva asked.

“Not at all, dear,” the Doctor replied, collecting his bag. “But we must get going immediately.”

“Be careful, Grandfather,” Susan said.

“Don’t worry,” Eva said, smiling as she followed the Time Lord out of his blue box. “I’ll keep an eye over him.”

She walked out, the heat of the desert surprising her as she stepped on the sand. It was easy to forget sometimes that when she was living through an episode, she was feeling the weather, too, and she shivered thinking of the cold night that was more than likely coming.

“It’s still a police box,” the Doctor muttered. “Why hasn’t it changed? Dear, dear, how very disturbing...” He looked aside, noticing Eva standing next to him. “Oh... Oh, my... could it be?”

“Could what be?” Eva asked.

“When we met you, before –” the Doctor started, but Eva quickly cut him off.

“Spoilers!” she warned. “Hadn’t been there yet.”

“Hadn’t been where?” the Doctor asked.

“When you met me, before,” Eva replied. “Now, don’t you have some samples to collect?”

“I...” the Doctor hesitated for a moment before nodding. “Yes, I do. Come along now, you can look at the sights later.”

“Sights?” Eva repeated, walking next to the Doctor as he headed away. “What sights?”

EMH

“So,” Eva said, sitting on a stone nearby as the Doctor looked around and started pulling things out of his bag. “What were you doing in 1963 while Susan was at school?”

“Nothing much,” the Doctor replied.

“Okay...” Eva said slowly. “Care to elaborate?”

“There’s not much to elaborate on.”

“But there’s still something, isn’t there?”

“Well,” the Doctor started. “I studied the society, learned more about the city...”

“Wandered around?” Eva asked. “Got lost? Ate bad food from street shops?”

“No,” the Doctor said.

“Then how can you enjoy the city if you hadn’t done those things?” Eva asked. “That’s part of being a tourist.”

“We weren’t tourists,” the Doctor said sternly. “We were temporary residents.”

“Tourists,” Eva repeated. “And tourists need to do tourists stuff. Which, of course, you didn’t do.”

“Why would we?”

“Not you as in you and Susan,” Eva shook her head. “Susan had school, she couldn’t have been a tourist. Just you.”

“You are being ridiculous.”

“You love it and you know it.”

“I need to take samples,” the Doctor said, shaking his head. “And I need you to stop bothering me.”

“Alright, alright,” Eva smirked. “Stopping to bother.”

She reached into her pocket, taking out her cigarette pack and a lighter.

“Oh, no,” the Doctor muttered, looking at her. “You smoke?”

“You got a problem with it?” Eva asked, a daring tone to her voice.

“I have a problem with the smell,” the Doctor replied. “Honestly, the more I learn about you the more I wonder why Susan and I like you.”

“You like me?” Eva asked. “Really?”

“Is it really that surprising?”

“I don’t know,” Eva shrugged. “I told you already, this is the earliest I met you. I don’t exactly know what was the impression the older me made.”

“About that,” the Doctor said, frowning as Eva lit her cigarette. “I wanted to ask, what did you mean by not being to when Susan and I first met you?”

“I don’t really understand what’s unclear,” Eva said. “The question pretty much answers itself.”

“No, no,” the Doctor said. “I’m asking why – and, almost as importantly, how – did you not simply –”

Eva jumped to her feet in fear when the Doctor dropped to the ground, revealing a caveman who stood behind him with an axe in hand. Her cigarette fell from her hand as she stared at him, trying to find a way to get both her and the Doctor to safety but finding none.

“Girl come,” the caveman said.

“W-What?” Eva asked, her voice trembling.

“Girl come,” he repeated. “Or Kal kills old man.”

“Kal?” Eva asked “Is – is that your name?”

“Girl come!”

“Okay,” Eva quickly said. “I – I’m coming.”

Kal lifted the Doctor on his shoulder and started walking away before stopping and staring at Eva. “Girl come,” he repeated. “Girl will make fire.”

“Okay,” Eva said once more, slowly starting to walk after him in the opposite direction from where the TARDIS was.

This was not going to end well.

EMH

Eva swallowed hard as she followed Kal into the cave, feeling the eyes of the tribesmen over her. Kal placed the Doctor on a large rock and Eva quickly rushed to him, checking him over to make sure he was okay.

She jumped back as one of the men neared her, but didn’t let go of the Doctor’s hand.

“These are strange creatures...” the man stated, looking at the two of them.

“Is Za, son of the firemaker, afraid of an old man and a girl?” Kal asked. “When will Za make fire come from his hands?”

“When Orb decides it!” Za replied with confident.

“Orb is for strong men!” Kal said before marking at Eva. “Orb has sent me this creature… to make fire come from her fingers! I have seen it! Inside, she is full of fire! Smoke comes from her mouth!”

“As lies come out of yours!” Za mocked.

He took another step towards Eva, only for Kal to step between them, guarding her protectively as if the other man was going to take her away.

“They wear strange skins...” Za muttered.

“Za is afraid,” Kal said with a smirk. “There was a strange tree. The creatures were in it. Za would have run away, had he seen it.” Eva gasped as Za aimed a punch at Kal’s face, only for the latter to jump back in time to avoid it. “When I saw fire come from her fingers, I remembered Za, son of the firemaker!” he said. “And when the cold comes, we will all die if you wait for Za to make fire for you! I, Kal, am a true leader! We fought, like the tiger and the bear. My strength was too much for them! He laid down to sleep, and I, Kal, carried him here so that the girl will make fire for you!”

“Why do you listen to Kal?” Za questioned.

“Za has many good skins,” another, older man said. “He has forgotten what the cold is like.”

“Tomorrow, I kill many bears,” Za promised. “You will all have warm skins –”

“I say tomorrow, you will rub your hands together and hold them to the dry sticks, and ask Orb to send you fire,” the man said. “And the bears will stay warm in their own skins.”

“What I say I will do, I will do!”

“Bah!” Kal called out, waving in dismissal. “The firemaker is dead! You all carry dry sticks with you! But tonight, I make them burn! I am leader!”

Eva felt a tightening in her hand and looked down to see the Doctor’s hand moved. She leaned closer to the Doctor and let out a relieved sigh when she saw his eyes fluttered open. Unfortunately, she wasn’t the only one who saw it.

“The creature has opened its eyes!” a woman called out and the crowd gasped.

Eva carefully helped the Doctor sit up as he regained consciousness.

“Where’s my...” he tried to say. “Wha...”

“Shhh,” Eva said softly. “Take it slow. You’ve received quite a hit.”

“Do you want fire?” Kal called out to the tribe, “Or do you want to die in the cold?”

“Fire!” the crowd called out. “Fire!”

“It is cold...” Kal said. “The tiger comes to our caves again at night... Za will give you to the tiger!! Za will give you to the cold! Za rubs his hands and waits for Orb to remember him! My creature...” he said, grabbing Eva’s arm and pulling her towards him, “Can make fire come from her fingers! I have seen it. But I, Kal, brought her here. The creature is mine!”

“She is just a girl in strange skins!” Za called out, pulling out his axe. Kal copied the movement, pushing Eva behind him once more. “Kal has been with us too long. It is time he died!”

However, before either man could strike, the older man placed himself between them.

“I say there is truth in both of you!” he called out. “Za speaks truth that fire cannot live in girls, and Kal speaks the truth that we die without fire.”

“Will my father listen to a woman?” the woman who saw the Doctor was awake asked. “If this old man can make fire come out of his fingers, let us see it now!”

“I say what is to be done here,” Za called out angrily. “Not old men and women!”

“Za tries to talk like his father, the firemaker!” Kal mocked. “Za does not want to see fire made! But I, Kal, am not afraid of fire! I will make my creature make fire!”

Eva felt herself nearly fall to the ground as, once again, someone pulled her hand. Another hand grabbed her and stopped her from falling and she saw the Doctor looking between her and the tribe worryingly.

“Can you make fire for them?” he asked.

“No,” Eva whispered.

“Have you lost your lighter?”

“No,” Eva said. “But I... they can’t have fire now. I’m sorry.”

“They’ll kill us,” the Doctor whispered.

“No, they won’t,” Eva replied. “They’ll just... try to kill us.”

“I will take them to the Cave of Skulls,” Za said. “And she will tell me the secret!”

The Doctor stood up, making everybody around him and Eva step back in fear.

“You don’t have to be afraid of me,” he said. “I’m an old man, and Eva’s just a girl. How can an old man and a girl harm any of you?”

“What does he say?” Za asked.

“Fire!” the older man called out. “He says they can make fire for us!”

“When did I say that?” the Doctor asked quietly.

“Selective hearing?” Eva suggested, grasping the Doctor’s hand tightly.

“She makes it for me, and I give you fire!” Kal called out. “I am firemaker!”

“She will make it for me,” Za said threateningly.

“So you can’t make fire?” the Doctor asked. “Mind if I ask why?”

“Timeline Continuum,” Eva replied.

The Doctor frowned. “Why do you know about Timeline Continuum?”

“You taught me.”

“Why did I teach you?”

“Doctor,” Eva breathed out, “I promise I will tell you everything you need to know, as soon as our lives won’t be in danger. Alright?”

“She is Kal’s creature,” Kal stated. “She makes fire only for Kal.”

“Alright,” the Doctor said quietly, before looking up at the tribe. “Take us back to our ship, and we will make fire for you! All the fire you want!”

“This is more of your lies...” Za said. “The girl cannot make fire!”

“There was a tree...” Kal said. “The creatures came from in it... and the fire... it came out of her fingers...”

“You ought to be strong like Za, son of the great firemaker!” Za called out, jumping on the rock the Doctor laid on earlier. “You all heard him say that there would be fire. There is no fire! Za does not lie! He does not say, ‘I will do this thing,’ and then not do it! He does not say, ‘I will make you warm,’ and then leave you to the dark! He does not say, ‘I will frighten away the tiger with fire,’ and then let him come to you in the dark! Do you want a liar for your chief?”

“Make fire!” Kal called out, pulling Eva away from the Doctor once more and shaking her frantically. “Make fire!”

“You are trapped in your own lies, Kal!” the woman said, laughing.

“Oh, great Kal, who is afraid of nothing!” Za mocked. “O great Kal! Save us from the cold! Save us from the tiger!”

“Make fire...” Kal repeated, rubbing Eva’s hands together. “Make fire come from your fingers, as I saw…”

“I can’t!” Eva cried out in fear. “I’m sorry, I can’t!”

“Make…”

“I can’t! I can’t make fire!”

“Let the old man and the girl die,” Za said, placing himself between Kal and Eva. “And we’ll watch ‘The Great Kal’ as he kills his strong enemies!”

Kal let out an enraged scream, taking out his knife and placing it at the Doctor’s neck.

“Make fire,” he called out. “Make fire, or I kill him now!”

“Eva,” the Doctor said evenly, “Don’t.”

“Or we’ll keep them to take hunt with us!” Za laughed. “It’s good to have someone to laugh at!”

“Doctor...” Eva whispered.

“Grandfather!” a voice called out from behind her, and Eva turned around to see Susan running towards Kal, beating him and forcing him to let go of the Doctor, who quickly grabbed Eva and pulled her towards him.

Ian and Barbara quickly joined, fighting with the cavemen. One of them managed to pull Ian to the ground and Eva quickly reached into her pocket and grabbed her lighter and a cigarette.

“Is now really the time?” the Doctor asked in disbelief.

“Trust me,” Eva replied, managing to light up the cigarette just as a caveman raised his axe to smash Ian’s scull. She took a long drag and let it out with a scream, making all of the fighting cease as cavemen and companions alike stared at her.

“Fire...” Kal breathed in disbelief.

“I am Eva, Breather of Fire and Smoke!” she said, glancing at the Doctor for a moment to see him nodding for her to go on. “If any of my... tribe people dies, there will be no fire!”

She took a step towards Kal, making him let go of Barbara who clung to her as soon as her arms were free.

“You...” Kal muttered. “You made fire!”

“Let them go,” she ordered darkly, taking another drag of the smoke as she spoke. “Let us back to our... cave, and we will make fire for you.”

“Liar!” an old woman called out. “Liar! She cannot make fire, only breath it in! Kill her! Kill her!”

“Take us back to our cave!” Eva called out, her voice trembling. “Take us to our cave and we will make fire!”

“I will take the fire you breathed,” Kal said, grabbing Eva’s wrist. “And I will be leader.”

“No!” Za said, grabbing Eva’s other wrist. “I will be leader!”

“I, Kal, will bring the fire!”

“No, I, Za, will bring fire!”

The cigarette fell from Eva’s hand and was quickly stomped at by the arguing men.

“There is no fire,” the old woman said. “There will never be fire.”

Kal cried out in anger, raising his axe to hit Eva. The time traveller cowered away from it and closed her eyes. She knew what would happen – the axe would hit her and she would die, and later she would be revived and her secret revealed.

It didn’t mean she was very keen on having her scull smashed.

“Wait!”

Eva slowly opened her eyes to see Za stopped Kal, who grumbled angrily.

“When Orb gives fire back to the sky, let him look down on them,” Za said. “Then that is when they die! And Orb will bring us fire!”

For a moment, Kal did nothing but stare at Za angrily. Then, he glanced at the crowd and put the axe down. Eva let out a relieved breath that didn’t last long as Za pulled her to her feet.

“By morning, you make fire,” he said. “Or they all die. Take them to the Cave of Skulls!” he ordered the tribesmen, who did as they were told, making a move to grab Eva.

“You try to touch me, I will breath fire on you until there is nothing left but ashes,” she threatened, holding her head high as she walked into the Cave of Skulls and, for lack of anything better to do, allowed herself to be tied down with the rest of the group.

Now, how were they going to get out of this?

Chapter Text

Eva sat with her back to the wall, dozing off as Ian tried to saw away the rope around Barbara’s hands using a small rock. The Doctor sat next to her, alternating between looking at the teacher’s failed attempts and watching over the exhausted time jumper.

None of them were certain how long it had been since they were thrown into the cave were they found several sculls smashed open, but they all knew if they didn’t start making progress soon they won’t be out in time to run away.

“I’ve found another piece with a rough edge...” Susan said, crawling towards Ian and Barbara.

“Oh, thank you,” Ian sighed, taking the rock from her hand before groaning and letting it fall to the ground. “Oh, it’s no good! It keeps crumbling...”

“Oh, it’s hopeless,” the Doctor sighed. “Hopeless. Even if we do get free, we shall never move that stone.”

“There’s air coming in here from somewhere...” Ian said, looking around.

“Yes, there is!” Barbara agreed. “I can feel it on my face!”

“It may only be a small opening,” Ian quickly said. “Don’t count on it.”

“Oh, you obviously are,” the Doctor muttered.

“Well, of course I am!” Ian protested. “Any hope is better than none! Don’t just lie there criticizing us, do something! Help us all to get out of here.” He lifted the rock from the ground, trying at Barbara’s bonds again before throwing it away once more. “Oh, the stone’s no good!!”

“Well don’t give up, Ian,” Barbara said softly. “Please.”

Ian sighed, looking at his co-worker silently for a moment before speaking again. “All right,” he said, searching the ground for another stone.

“Use my lighter,” Eva offered. “Maybe we can burn the ropes away.”

“No, that would be too dangerous,” Ian quickly waved the idea off. “We might accidently burn Barbara’s hands.”

“Then burn my ropes,” Eva told him, knowing if she got burnt she would heal in a matter of minutes at most. “I can deal with a few small burns.”

“We’re not going to do something that might hurt you,” Barbara said.

“Well, if we don’t get out of here, we all die,” Eva told her. “I think a burn on my wrist is the least of my problems at the moment.”

“Stop being foolish, Eva,” the Doctor told her sternly. “We are not attempting to burn your hands. Try those bones,” he added, turning to Ian. “They may… they’re sharper, perhaps.”

“That’s a good idea,” Ian said, surprised.

“Oh Grandfather, I knew you’d think of something!” Susan said in relief.

“We must all take it in turns and try and cut his hands free,” the Doctor said.

“But surely we should get the girls –”

“No, no, no,” the Doctor cut Ian off. “We’ve got to free you first! You’re the strongest, and you may have to defend us.”

“I’ll go first,” Eva offered.

“You can barely stay awake,” the Doctor said. “How do you expect to be able to cut the ropes?”

“I don’t expect any of us could cut the ropes on their own,” Eva told him. “I’d rather my turn be before I fall asleep.”

The Doctor thought for a moment before nodding, and Eva grabbed a sharp piece of bone and moved to sit next to Ian, slowly starting to cut his ropes. They sat in silence for a couple of minutes, Eva cutting while Ian moved his hands occasionally to allow her clear access to the rope without fear of hurting him before he spoke.

“That was a brave thing you did out there,” he said. “Drawing all of the attention to yourself.”

“Would have been better if it actually worked,” Eva muttered, adjusting her grip on the bone she used to cut the ropes.

“It did work,” Ian told her. “You saved my life.”

“Well,” Eva said, moving the bone from hand to hand and she rubbed her aching wrists, “Considering the fact that we’re still here, bound, and that they’re planning on killing us come morning, I wouldn’t talk so soon.” Her hand shook, and she dropped the bone. “Sorry.”

“Eva,” Ian said slowly, “How long has it been since you last slept?”

“Oh, I don’t know,” Eva sighed. “A couple of days. My, er...” she laughed humourlessly. “My lifestyle isn’t exactly one that allows me to rest at normal times.”

“By lifestyle, you mean travelling with the Doctor and Susan?”

“No,” Eva sighed. “I don’t travel with them all the time. I just sort of... jump in and out of places. Been doing it for almost a year. I can’t really control it,” she added, “But I get to meet a lot of people along the way, and I go on such amazing adventures so I think it’s worth it.”

“You go on adventures... with the Doctor?” Ian asked.

“A different Doctor,” Eva said, glancing at the man in question from the corner of her eye. “An older one. It’s alright, though. Got used to it fairly quickly.”

“How old are you, Eva?” Ian questioned.

“I’ll be twenty in a couple of months.”

“You’re far too mature for your age,” Ian said. “You’re at the prime of your youth. You should be hanging out with friends, maybe even study. Not travel with an old man.”

“I don’t have a choice,” Eva admitted. “I told you, I can’t control when I travel or where to, it just happens. My family...” she sighed. “They don’t exist in this reality. None of my friends know who I am. Believe me, I checked.”

And she did.

She didn’t think she could ever forget the day she convinced the Doctor to check about her life in the other universe. Her father was an accountant here – he never dropped out of university like he did back in her universe, never moved to the city and never met her mother. Her mother, on the other hand, did exactly what she did back home – only she married her high school sweetheart, and had a family with him.

Nyssa and Mike were never born. Neither of her parents ever knew anything about her. And when she walked through the town she grew up in and stumbled across Diana, one of her best friends... the other girl looked right through her. She never met her.

“I love my life, Ian,” she found herself saying. “Even if only because it’s better than living a life I hate. Can someone take over, please?” she added, louder, for the rest of their group to hear. “My hands are getting tired.”

“Hand over the bone,” the Doctor told her, shuffling forwards, and Eva did as she was told before backing away, resting her head against the wall of the cave.

Perhaps a bit of sleep would do her some good.

EMH

Eva woke up to the sound of someone crying in alarm. She opened her eyes, blinking sleep away, to see Susan staring at a hollow in the cave’s wall. She shuffled closer, trying to see what captured the young Time Lady’s attention when the branches were pushed aside and the old woman from earlier appeared, staring at them.

“You...” she started, breathing heavily, “Will not... make fire.”

Eva swallowed hard, her eyes darting around the room and finally focusing on the small, sharp rock in the woman’s hand.

“I will set you free,” the woman said, “If you will go away and not make fire. Fire will bring trouble and death to the tribe.”

Slowly, the Doctor nodded. “There will be no fire,” he promised, and the old woman cut the cords on his hands.

He flexed his wrists as she moved on, making quick work of the ropes that bind the rest of them before marking at the secret entrance she came from.

“Hurry,” she said. “Hurry! You must go across the top and into the trees...”

Eva looked at the Doctor, the two of them exchanging a look of understanding before the Doctor marked Susan to go through. She was quickly followed by Barbara, and then the Doctor, before Eva marked Ian he was to go next.

“I couldn’t possibly –” he started, but Eva cut him off.

“Do you trust me?” she asked and he nodded. “Then go through already. Now isn’t the time to be a gentleman.”

Ian swallowed hard but complied, Eva close on his heels. As she pushed herself through the hole, she heard a noise behind her and turned around just in time to see Za and Hur run into the cave.

“Go!” she told the group. “What are you waiting for? Go!”

Barbara didn’t need to be told twice before she started making way into the forest, Ian walking behind her and helping Susan and the Doctor and Eva bringing up the rear. As Eva looked up, she saw the moon already started descending, meaning there were only a handful of hours left before morning came.

This was going to be a long night.

Hours later, they were still running through the woods. Now that they were away from the cave, the adrenalin that kept Eva up and moving was starting to fade, replaced by dizziness and aching muscles.

She felt like she was going to vomit and pass out, not necessarily in that order, and was almost grateful when the Doctor stopped, leaning on a tree. She didn’t dare asking the others to stop, unsure if she’d be able to keep moving once she did.

“Stop…” the old Time Lord muttered. “Stop... just a minute... let me get my...”

“We can’t stop here!” Ian called out angrily.

“Just a moment...”

“Look, we’ve got to go further on!”

“I know,” the Doctor replied. “I know that but I must get breath... I must breathe...”

“Try, try!” Ian called, before sighing when he saw the Doctor didn’t move. “I shall have to carry you.”

“Oh, there’s no need for that!” the Doctor snapped and even with her blurry mind, it was clear to Eva that Ian had hurt the Doctor’s pride. “Don’t be so childish - I’m not senile - just let me get my breath for a moment...”

“I think we could all use some rest,” Eva said, swaying on her feet for a moment before leaning on a tree. She wanted nothing more than to sit down and rest, but knew that if she did she wouldn’t be able to pull herself back up.

She closed her eyes, blocking out the sounds of Barbara talking to Ian and Susan trying to help the Doctor and when she opened them, she found out she couldn’t even see without black starting to fade in the corners of her vision.

“Eva?” someone asked. “Are you okay? We need to move on.”

“‘Mfine,” Eva muttered, taking a step away from the tree only to sway once more. “I’m fine,” she repeated, knowing she didn’t sound any more convincing.

“Eva?”

“I’m fine,” she said again, trying to walk towards the voice only to find out her legs couldn’t hold her any longer, sending her to the ground.

“Eva!”

“I’m fine,” she said one last time, right before the darkness finally took over her.

EMH

The sounds of an argument escorted Eva back into consciousness, doing nothing to help with the aches that pounded from the inside of her head.

“– what they’ve done!”

“– come on!”

“– think he’s dead… there isn’t any danger.”

“– heaven’s sake!”

“No!”

She groaned at Barbara’s sharp tone, finally letting the others know she was awake.

“Eva!” Ian called out in relief, while Barbara used the moment of her colleague’s distraction to run deeper into the woods. “Barbara!” he called out after her, picking Eva up with ease and following her.

“I’m going too…” Eva could hear Susan say, but as she couldn’t hear the Doctor’s protest, she turned to Ian.

“What...” she started before cringing at the sound of her voice, like gravel in her ears. “What happened?”

“You collapsed,” Ian said. “I don’t know what have you put your body through in the past couple of days, but it had apparently decided enough was enough.”

“I didn’t really eat... or sleep... in the past week or so,” Eva admitted.

“Well, seeing as you wouldn’t give your body a rest, it did so on its own,” Ian replied, turning behind a tree to see Hur leaning over an almost fatally-wounded Za.

“No,” she called out as Ian laid Eva down and tried to near her. “Keep away!”

“Let me look at him,” Ian said.

“No!”

“I am your friend, you understand?” Ian asked her. “Friend. I want to help you.”

An odd look crossed Hur’s face.

“Friend?”

“I want water,” Ian told her softly.

“Water...”

“Go and fetch some water for his wounds,” Ian said, and for a moment Hur looked conflicted before pointing behind.

“Water is there,” she said.

“Please, show me,” Barbara asked her, before turning to Ian. “Give me your handkerchief.”

“There you are,” Ian said, handing it over to her and Eva smiled.

“And who said chivalry was gone?” she muttered, leaning back against a nearby tree.

She was so tired... but she couldn’t sleep, she knew she couldn’t. She had no idea how long she was out, but she knew dawn must be near... and with dawn, they will return to the caves and another day of fearing for their lives would start...

She wasn’t sure if she was more grateful or exasperated when her necklace started glowing, signalling her time in this time was coming to an end.

“Eva!” she heard Susan calling, and turned her head to look at the young Time Lady.

“What’s happening?” Ian asked.

“I’m going now...” Eva said, closing her eyes. “I’ll be back later... a different me...”

“Eva, please stay!” Susan called out, finally reaching her friend.

“I’m sorry...” Eva replied as the bright light swallowed her. “I’m sorry...”

“Eva?” a new voice asked and Eva couldn’t help but smile.

“Martha Jones...” she said, though she was too weak to speak any louder than a hoarse whisper. “Just when I needed a doctor...”

“Doctor!” Martha called out. “Eva’s here and she’s – Doctor, come quickly!”

“I’m not feeling too well...” Eva muttered, and the dark swallowed her once more.

EMH

Eva blinked back awake to the bright white light of the TARDIS’s Med-Bay. She was wearing a light robe that did very little to stop her from shivering at the chillness of the room.

She tried to look around but as soon as she moved her head, her vision started spinning, making her lean over the side of the bed and retch. Acidic fluids burned their way up her throat and onto the floor, leaving her coughing and shaking.

A soothing hand rubbed circles on her back as she calmed down and she closed her eyes when another hand appeared in front of her, cleaning the corners of her mouth with a soft tissue.

“There you go,” a voice said. “It’s all out now. All better.”

“Doctor?” Eva croaked out, opening her eyes and managing a small smile at Ten’s worried face. “What got you so worked up?”

“Eva, this isn’t funny,” he said sternly.

“I puked all over your converse,” Eva retorted. “I think it’s at least amusing.”

“No, it really isn’t,” the Doctor insisted, all but ignoring Eva’s attempt at a joke.

“Not even a little bit?”

“Eva, you were unconscious for three days.”

What?”

Eva sat upright, making the whole world spin around her. She put a shaking hand to her mouth, determined not to vomit again as she looked at the Doctor.

“Take it easy,” he said, holding her arms to stop her from falling to the floor. “Your body’s gone through some difficult things lately, give it some rest.”

“It rested for three days,” Eva said, trying – and failing – to push the Doctor away so she could stand up. “Let go of me,” she added as angrily as her tired body had managed.

“No,” the Doctor said. “Eva, you need to calm down – you need to rest – Eva, please, stop!”

Eva stopped moving, but still didn’t lean back on her pillow. The Doctor’s grasp on her arms was so tight she was certain it was going to leave marks, but she was focused on the Time Lord’s face.

“I thought I lost you, Eva,” he whispered.

“You can’t lose me,” Eva replied. “Not ever. I can’t die, Doctor – you know that.”

“You were unconscious for three days,” he said again. “Even with your body repairing itself faster than it should, it took you three days to heal. The only time that happened before was on Titan, and you spent nine days in a living storm back then. I’ve seen you heal from broken bones and gunshot wounds faster.”

“I really don’t want to know why I even had broken bones and gunshot wou –”

I thought you were dead for good!” the Doctor called out. “I thought you were gone! I thought –”

“Well, I’m not!” Eva called out angrily. “I’m fine, and awake, and alive, and I would really appreciate it if you stopped yelling at me!”

The effect was almost immediate. The Doctor calmed down, anger and despair leaving his eyes even though he still held her arms.

“Where did you come from?” he finally asked after several long moments of silence between the two.”

“100,000 BC,” Eva replied. “You kidnapped Ian and Barbara and cavemen kidnapped us.”

“I remember that,” the Doctor mused. “Spent half the time wondering what you knew, how did you know it and why you were so calm, and the other half worrying about your health. But you were already in a pretty bad state when I saw you in the TARDIS,” he added thoughtfully. “Where were you before?”

Eva looked away sheepishly, knowing the Doctor wasn’t going to like he answer.

“Evie?” the Doctor asked again, making her cringe slightly at his nickname for her. “Where were you before?”

“Henry VIII,” she muttered and she could see his face fall as his grasp on her loosened. “Doctor, don’t –”

“It’s my fault,” he said.

“No, it’s not,” Eva insisted.

“I shouldn’t have let you go without food or proper rest –”

“You couldn’t very well stop me from being dragged across time –”

“I should have tried harder –”

“You tried and I didn’t let you –”

“You exhausted your body into near-death,” the Doctor said. “And that says a lot, seeing as you can’t really die.”

“I know,” Eva said simply. “And when you tried to stop it when it was still early enough to do so, I walked out on you.” She raised a hand to his face, forcing him to look at her. “I’m fine now,” she said before adding a cheeky wink to the mix. “You’re not getting rid of me that easily, Hair Boy.”

“Hey!” a new voice called out and Eva turned her head to see Martha walking into the Med-Bay. “I sure hope you’re not disturbing my patient, Mister!”

Your patient?” the Doctor asked. “What about me?”

“Unless you’ve gone to Med School since I last saw you two hours ago, she’s my patient. How are you?” she asked Eva before the Doctor could protest. “Are you in pain? Dizziness, nausea, anything?”

“I feel fine,” Eva replied, pulling away from the Doctor to allow Martha to check on her. “I’m pretty hungry, but I’m not tired anymore. Not in pain, but I was dizzy earlier.”

“She vomited,” the Doctor added. “Didn’t even have time to clean it up.”

“Do I even want to know what were you doing that you didn’t have time to clean up?”

“I’ll have you know that the Doctor was a perfect gentleman,” Eva said.

“Why do I find that hard to believe?” Martha muttered.

“I was!” the Doctor protested as Eva laughed. “Really, I was!”

“So, what’s the diagnosis, Dr. Jones?” Eva asked. “Am I dying?” She frowned at the less than amused looks Martha and the Doctor sent her way. “Too soon?”

“Considering you woke up less than ten minutes ago?” the Doctor asked. “Yeah, I’d say it’s too soon.”

“Alright, alright,” Eva said, rolling her eyes. “Seriously, though, what’s the verdict?”

“You seem fine to me,” Martha shrugged. “Apparently, spending three days in a coma was just what your body needed to heal almost completely. You’ll need to be on a very strict diet for a while,” she added, and you might feel weak for the next couple of days, but as long as you don’t push yourself I don’t see why you have to stop living like you’re used to.”

“Really?” Eva asked excitedly. “That’s better than I hoped for. Can we go on a trip?” she asked, turning to look at the Doctor. “Please? Please?”

“Not before you eat,” the Doctor said. “And only at the condition that you stay close to me while we’re out there.”

“Deal,” Eva smiled, leaning back on her bed and wondering where they might travel to next.

EMH

A couple of hours later, after she ate, took a shower and had a much-needed cigarette, Eva stood by Martha in the middle of the Console Room, watching as the Doctor flew the TARDIS away.

“So,” she said, “Where are you taking us?”

“An adventure you’ll never forget,” the Doctor promised. “Just need to make a quick stop first.”

“Where?” Eva asked, confused.

“Cardiff!”

“What?” Eva asked.

“Cardiff,” the Doctor repeated as they landed.

“Cardiff?” Martha clarified.

“Ah, but the thing about Cardiff,” the Doctor explained, “It’s built on a rift in time and space, just like California and the San Andreas Fault, but the rift bleeds energy. Every now and then I need to open up the engines, soak up the energy and use it as fuel.”

“So it’s a pit stop,” Martha said in understanding.

“Exactly,” the Doctor nodded. “Should only take twenty seconds. The rift’s been active.”

“Wait a minute,” Martha started, “They had an earthquake in Cardiff a couple of years ago. Was that you?”

“Bit of trouble with the Slitheen,” the Doctor said thoughtfully. “A long time ago. Lifetimes. I was a different man back then. Finito,” he added, “All powered up.”

He glanced at the scanner, an odd look crossing his face before he tried to take off only for the TARDIS to fly away on its own. Both Eva and Martha flew to the side, only being kept from falling by the Doctor reaching out to grab Eva, who held the other woman’s hand.

“Whoa!” Martha called out. “What’s that?”

“We’re accelerating into the future,” the Doctor said, looking at the scanner as Gallifreyan numbers ran on it. “The year one billion. Five billion. Five trillion. Fifty trillion? What? The year one hundred trillion?” he muttered in disbelief. “That’s impossible.”

“Why?” Martha asked. “What happens then?”

The Doctor swallowed hard, glancing at Eva before replying. “We’re going to the end of the universe.”

Chapter Text

“Well,” the Doctor said as the TARDIS stopped shaking, “We’ve landed.”

“So what’s out there?” Martha asked.

“I don’t know.”

The medical student let out a short-lived, nervous laugh. “Say that again,” she told the Doctor. “That’s rare.”

“Not even the Time Lords came this far,” the Doctor muttered. “We should leave. We should go. We should really, really go...”

He looked at Martha before glancing at Eva, swallowing hard at the odd look on her face. Before he could stop it, his face broke into a grin and he grabbed his coat, throwing it on as he took Eva’s hand in his and ran out.

Martha quickly followed the two, looking around at this odd new planet before spotting someone on the ground next to them.

“Oh my God!” she called out, leaning next to him and putting a hand to his neck. “Can’t get a pulse,” she muttered before looking at the Doctor. “Hold on. You’ve got that medical kit thing!” she exclaimed, running back into the TARDIS.

The Doctor sighed as he looked down at Jack’s lifeless body.

“You knew he’d be here, didn’t you?” he asked Eva, who couldn’t bring herself to do anything but nod. “Oh, I’m sorry.”

“Here we go,” Martha called out as she ran out of the TARDIS again, medical kit in hand. “Get out of the way. It’s a bit odd, though,” she commented. “Not very hundred trillion. That coat’s more like World War Two.”

“It is,” Eva managed out somehow, her voice shaking and not from the chill of the night. “He came with us.”

“How do you mean, from Earth?” Martha asked in disbelief.

“Must have been clinging to the outside of the TARDIS all the way through the vortex,” the Doctor said. “Well, that’s very him.”

“What, the two of you know him?” Martha asked, looking between the Time Lord and the Time Jumper and not missing the look on the latter’s face. Was that fear she was seeing on her friend?

“Friend of ours,” the Doctor replied. “Used to travel with us, back in the old days.”

“But he’s...” Martha started. “I’m sorry, there’s no heartbeat. There’s nothing. He’s dead.”

As if hearing her words, Jack gasped as he came back to life, sitting up and grabbing Martha.

“Oh, so much for me!” she called out. “It’s all right. Just breathe deep. I’ve got you.”

“Captain Jack Harkness,” Jack said, smiling as the woman in front of him came into focus. “And who are you?”

“Martha Jones.”

“Nice to meet you, Martha Jones.”

“Oh, don’t start,” the Doctor said, rolling his eyes.

“I was only saying hello,” Jack replied.

“I don’t mind,” Martha said, helping the immortal stand up.

“Doctor,” Jack said tensely.

“Captain,” the Doctor replied, his tone echoing Jack’s.

“Good to see you,” Jack said.

“And you, the Doctor said. “Same as ever. Although... have you had work done?”

“You can talk,” Jack snorted, nodding at him.

“Oh yes, the face,” the Doctor said, remembering everything that happened since he last saw the other man. “Regeneration. How did you know this was me?”

“The police box kind of gives it away,” Jack shrugged. “And Evie only adds to it. I’ve been following you for a long time...” There was silence for a moment before he added accusingly, “You abandoned me.”

“Did I?” the Doctor asked. “Busy life. Moving on.”

“Just got to ask,” Jack said. “The Battle of Canary Wharf. I saw the list of the dead... It said Rose Tyler.”

“Oh, no!” the Doctor said, all tension lost from his voice. “Sorry, she’s alive!”

“You’re kidding,” Jack breathed out in disbelief.

“Parallel world, safe and sound,” the Doctor said with a smile. “And Mickey, and her mother.”

“Oh, yes!” Jack called out happily, pulling the Doctor into a hug before pulling back and turning to Eva. “Come on,” he said. “I know it hasn’t been as long for the two of us but I’d say I still deserve a hug, don’t I?”

“Of course,” Eva said, her voice shaking. “Let’s do that back in the TARDIS, yeah?”

“Evie, we’re at the end of the universe,” the Doctor said. “Don’t you want to go out there and investigate?”

“Nope!” She didn’t need to investigate to know what was out there. She knew exactly what was out there – the Silo, the spaceship and Professor Yana. The fob watch. The Master. “We could go explore somewhere else! You said once that you wanted to take me to an underwater city on some planet,” she told the Doctor. “We could go there!”

“Evie...” the Doctor started carefully, but Eva ignored him.

“Or the Eye of Orion! I know you love it there, and I didn’t get a chance to see it yet. Or Andromeda! You wanted to take Peri and me there, right before the Timelash.”

“Eva.”

“How about Barcelona?” Eva asked, her voice turning frantic. “The planet Barcelona! They have... they have dogs with no... with no...”

“Eva?” Jack asked carefully, nearing the young woman and making her turn to look at him.

“Please, don’t make me,” she whispered. “Please, don’t make me do this, please...”

“Is this going to end badly?”

Eva closed her eyes at the Doctor’s question. Their trip here, at the end of the universe, will end with the Master returning and regenerating. He’ll become Harold Saxon, win the elections and The Year That Never Was will start. From this point, in their timeline, it will only be three days from now. And she couldn’t do it.

She always knew she would be forced to live through The Year at one point. She never expected to be able to change it. But she thought she’ll be older than she is now, she was certain that she’ll have time to prepare herself for what was going to happen.

She never wanted it to happen in the first place, least of all not now.

“Please,” she whispered. “I can’t go through it, I just can’t. Please, I don’t want it to happen, please, let’s... let’s just go back into the TARDIS. Fly away. Please...”

“Do you know about it because of your foreknowledge?” Jack asked.

“I only know about how things would have happened if I wasn’t here,” Eva said. “Maybe... maybe this is one of the things we can change. Maybe we can stop this from happening.”

“Eva...” the Doctor sighed, leaning down next to her. “Did something in any of our pasts happen because of this?”

“It hadn’t happened for me yet,” Eva cried. “Maybe I – maybe I could still change it!”

“Did any of us, in our future, tell you about this?”

Tears were streaming openly from Eva’s eyes by this point. “Jack,” she whispered. “Jack told me. He...” She looked at the man who didn’t know he was her father yet. “You said there was nothing we could have done to change it.”

“Eva,” the Doctor sighed. “I’m so sorry.”

“Please, don’t make me go through it,” she all but begged. “Please.”

“I’m sorry,” the Doctor said, pulling her into a tight hug. “Oh, Evie, I am so, so sorry.”

It took about fifteen minutes for Eva to calm down, and even then it was only after a combined effort of both Jack and the Doctor, whispering soothing words into her ear until she ran out of tears. Understanding that they now had no choice but to go out to see where they were, the Doctor offered Eva would stay in the TARDIS.

“No,” she said quickly. “No – Don’t – Don’t go away. Please, don’t leave me.”

“I won’t,” the Doctor promised, taking her hand in his as they started walking. “I won’t ever leave you.”

They didn’t walk in any particular direction, mostly trying to enjoy the views as they went. It didn’t work so well for the Doctor, as he was too worried about Eva, but it seemed like it worked just fine for Jack and Martha, who were chatting happily.

“So there I was,” Jack was just saying, “Stranded in the year two hundred one hundred, ankle deep in Dalek dust, and they go off without me. But I had this,” he added, marking at his wrist. “I used to be a Time Agent. It’s called a vortex manipulator. He’s not the only one who can time travel.”

“Oh, excuse me,” the Doctor said, rolling his eyes. “That is not time travel. It’s like... I’ve got a sports car and you’ve got a space hopper.”

“Oh ho,” Martha said, smiling at Eva. “Boys and their toys.”

The smile drifted away from her face as she saw the scared, tense look on the other woman’s face and she silenced once more, allowing Jack to go on with his story.

“All right, so I bounced,” he said. “I thought 21st century, the best place to find the Doctor, except that I got it a little wrong. Arrived in 1869, this thing burnt out, so it was useless.”

“Told you,” the Doctor said, hoping to make Eva laugh – or smile, or scold him for his rudeness, or anything – but to no avail.

“I had to live through the entire twentieth century waiting for a version of you that would coincide with me,” Jack told him. “Don’t know what I would’ve done if it wasn’t for Eva dropping by to visit every now and then.”

“But...” Martha said slowly. “That makes you more than one hundred years old!”

“And looking good, don’t you think?” jack flirted, making the Doctor roll his eyes. “So I went to the time rift, based myself there because I knew you’d come back to refuel. Until finally I get a signal on this detecting you and here we are.”

“But the thing is,” Martha started, “How come you left him behind, Doctor?”

“I was busy,” the Doctor replied.

“Is that what happens, though, seriously?” she asked. “Do you just get bored with us one day and disappear?”

“Not if you’re Eva,” Jack said, smiling at the woman in question before frowning when he saw none of what they said affected her at all.

“You two!” the Doctor called out. “We’re at the end of the universe, all right? Right at the edge of knowledge itself and you’re busy blogging! Come on,” he added, heading towards a cliff nearby and looking at the sight that was revealed to them.

“Is that a city?” Martha asked.

“A city,” the Doctor nodded, “Or a hive, or a nest, or a conglomeration,” he stretched out the word, frowning again when Eva didn’t react. “Like it was grown. But look, there. That’s like pathways, roads? Must have been some sort of life, long ago.”

“What killed it?”

“Time,” the Doctor sighed. “Just time. Everything’s dying now. All the great civilizations have gone. This isn’t just night. All the stars have burned up and faded away into nothing.”

“They must have an atmospheric shell,” Jack noted, looking at the sky. “We should be frozen to death.”

“Well, Martha and I, maybe,” the Doctor said. “Eva... debatable. Not so sure about you, Jack.”

“What about the people?” Martha questioned. “Does no one survive?”

“I suppose...” the Doctor sighed. “We have to hope... life will find a way.”

“Well, he’s not doing too bad,” Jack said, nodding at a man who was running on the land underneath the cliff.

“Yes, he is,” Eva muttered just as a group of... somethings rounded the corner. “That’s a hunt.”

“Come on!” the Doctor called out, starting to run and pulling Eva with him.

“Oh, I’ve missed this,” Jack laughed as they ran, picking up his pace until he was the first to arrive to the man. “I’ve got you.”

“They’re coming!” the man called out. “They’re coming!”

“Jack, don’t you dare!” the Doctor called out as Jack pulled out his gun, making the immortal change his aim and fire at the air, the noise making the tribe stop.

“What the hell are they?” Martha asked.

“Futurekind,” Eva replied, hanging on to the Doctor as her head started spinning again.

She was supposed to calm down, to relax, to rest... and instead she was running for her life from human-eating monsters.

“There’s more of them,” the man said. “We’ve got to keep going.”

“I’ve got a ship nearby,” the Doctor said. “It’s safe. It’s not far, it’s over there...” he trailed off as more Futurekind came from the area they came from. “Or maybe not.”

“We’re close to the Silo,” the man said. “If we get to the silo, then we’re safe.”

“Silo?” the Doctor asked.

“Silo,” Jack nodded.

“Silo for me,” Martha added, and the Doctor only needed one look at Eva’s terrified face to know he was going to get her to safety – and if that meant Silo, then that’s where they were heading.

They started running again, the man leading the way until they reached a metal gate.

“It’s the Futurekind!” he called out. “Open the gate!”

“Show me your teeth!” a guard ordered. “Show me your teeth! Show me your teeth!”

“Show him your teeth,” the man instructed, and they were all quick to obey.

“Human!” the guard said. “Let them in! Let them in!”

The Doctor pushed Eva in first, allowing the rest to follow before going in himself. The gates closed behind them and Eva all but fell to the ground, her vision spinning.

“Evie!” Jack called out. “Is she okay?”

“She should be resting,” Martha said. “She shouldn’t be stressing herself.”

“Humans,” one of the Futurekind said. “Humani. Make feast.”

“Go back to where you came from,” the guard said, aiming his gun at the tribe. “I said, go back. Back!”

“Oh, don’t tell him to put his gun down,” Jack muttered.

“He’s not my responsibility,” the Doctor replied.

“And I am? Huh, that makes a change.”

“Not now,” Martha scolded. “Eva needs you, and you can’t be there for her if you’re too busy fighting.”

“Kind watch you. Kind hungry.”

Slowly, the tribe backed away, leaving the group of five alone with the guards.

“Thanks for that,” the Doctor muttered.

“Right,” the guard nodded before looking at Eva. “Is she alright?”

“She will be,” Martha replied. “She just needs rest.”

“Okay,” the guard said. “Let’s get you inside.”

“My name is Padra Toc Shafe Cane,” the man they came with said, rushing towards the guard. “Tell me. Just tell me, can you take me to Utopia?”

“Oh yes, sir,” the guard said proudly. “Yes, I can.”

EMH

It took Eva a couple of minutes to regain her breath, and several more before her vision stopped spinning. By that time, they were already inside the Silo and Jack stood with his hand around her waist, keeping her close as the Doctor spoke to the guard.

“It looks like a box, a big blue box,” he said. “I’m sorry, but I really need it back. It’s stuck out there.”

“I’m sorry, but my family were heading for the Silo,” Padra said. “Did they get here? My mother is Kistane Shafe Cane. My brother’s name is Beltone.”

“The computers are down but you can check the paperwork,” the guard told him. “Creet!” he called out and a young boy popped his head into the room. “Passenger needs help.”

“Right,” Creet said. “What do you need?”

“A blue box, you said?” the guard asked the Doctor.

“Big, tall, wooden,” the Doctor nodded. “Says Police.”

“We’re driving out for the last water collection,” the guard nodded. “I’ll see what I can do.”

“Thank you,” the Doctor said, replacing Jack before starting to head after Creet and Padra. “Are you okay?” he asked Eva quietly.

“No,” she replied.

“Well, the crazy flesh-eating monsters are already behind us,” Jack commented. “How much worse can it be?”

Eva didn’t reply and the Doctor and Jack exchanged worried looks, both of them wondering what could possibly be worse than nearly getting eaten.

“Kistane Shafe Cane!” Creet called out as they walked between rows of people sleeping on the floor. “Kistane Shafe Cane? Kistane and Biltone Shafe Cane? We’re looking for a Kistane and Beltone Shafe Cane!”

“The Shafe Canes, anyone?” Padra asked. “Kistane from Red Force Five? My name’s Padra!”

“Anyone? Kistane and Beltone Shafe Cane? Anyone know the Shafe Cane family? Anyone called Shafe Cane?”

“It’s like a refugee camp,” Martha muttered.

“Stinking,” Jack said, unfortunately just as a man stood in front of him. “Oh, sorry. No offence. Not you.”

“Don’t you see that?” the Doctor said, pulling Eva closer as he looked around in astonishment. “The ripe old smell of humans. You survived. Oh, you might have spent a million years evolving into clouds of gas, and another million as downloads, but you always revert to the same basic shape. The fundamental humans.”

“Kistane Shafe Cane!”

“End of the universe and here you are,” the Doctor went on. “Indomitable! That’s the word. Indomitable! Ha!”

“Is there a Kistane Shafe Cane?” Creet called out again, this time making a woman stand up.

“That’s me,” she called out.

“Mother?” Padra asked in disbelief.

“Oh, my God. Padra!”

“Beltone?”

“It’s not all bad news,” Martha commented, smiling slightly at the family reunion.

Eva closed her eyes, unable to return the smile. They were all going to die. Every single person in this room was going to die – and not in the regular “Everybody knows that everybody dies” way. They were going to fly away to Utopia only to find out there was nothing there but darkness. They were hanging onto hope, but soon they will become the Toclafane.

And there’s nothing she can do to stop it.

The Doctor let go of Eva, handing her over to Martha as he started working on the keypad next to a door they passed on their way. Even though the feeling of another human being was comforting, Eva couldn’t help but think of everything that other woman was going to go through – everything her family was going to go through.

She wanted to be anywhere but here.

“Captain Jack Harkness,” Jack told someone behind her. “And who are you?”

“Stop it,” the Doctor told him. “Give us a hand with this. It’s half deadlocked. I need you to overwrite the code. Let’s find out where we are.”

They worked together on opening the door, finally managing after several moments. The Doctor smiled, taking a step forwards and Eva’s eyes widened as she remembered what was behind that door.

“No!” she called out, letting go of Martha to grab the Doctor by the back of his coat, making him fall backwards on her. Still, she thought as he rolled off her, making sure she was alright, it was better than going forwards and falling several dozens of feet.

“Now that is what I call a rocket,” Martha said in shock, looking at the giant spaceship in front of them.

“They’re not refugees, they’re passengers,” the Doctor said, pulling Eva closer to him once more as he looked the ship up and down.

“He said they were going to Utopia,” Martha recalled.

“The perfect place,” the Doctor said. “Hundred trillion years, it’s the same old dream. You recognise those engines?” he asked Jack.

“Nope,” the other man replied. “Whatever it is, it’s not rocket science. But it’s hot, though,” he added as they closed the door once more.

“Boiling,” the Doctor agreed. “But if the universe is falling apart, what does Utopia mean?”

Before any of them had a chance to reply, a man ran to them. He looked for a couple of moments between the Doctor and Jack before focusing on the latter.

“The Doctor?” he asked.

“That’s me,” the Doctor said.

“Good!” the man – Yana – called out, grabbing the Doctor’s hand and pulling him away, Eva dragging behind them. “Good! Good. Good. Good. Good. Good. Good. Good. Good.”

“It’s good apparently,” the Doctor laughed and Eva let out a shaky breath.

No, it wasn’t good, she thought to herself. It really, truly wasn’t.

Chapter Text

Eva looked around, partly in curiosity and partly in worry as Yana dragged them into his lab.

“Chan, welcome, tho,” the alien Eva remembered to be named Chantho said as they passed her.

“Now, this is the gravitissimal accelerator,” Yana told the Doctor. “It’s past its best but it works.”

“Chan, welcome, tho,” Chantho said once more and Eva turned around to see Jack and Martha walking into the lab, as well.

A small tug released her arm from the Doctor’s grasp and she walked to Jack, making sure to stay away from Yana, who kept explaining things neither she nor the Doctor understood.

“And over here is the footprint impellor system. Now, do you know anything about endtime gravity –”

“Hello,” Martha said politely, looking at Chantho. “Who are you?”

“Chan, Chantho, tho.”

“You okay?” Jack asked quietly, pulling Eva closer.

“No,” Eva whispered back, making Jack’s grasp on her shoulder tighten as he pulled her closer.

“But we can’t get it to harmonise –”

“Captain Jack Harkness,” Jack said, smiling at Chantho and the Doctor’s head turned to look at him, though his expression turned less annoyed when he saw the other man was making sure Eva was safe.

“Stop it,” was all he said.

“Can’t I say hello to anyone?” Jack questioned.

“Chan, I do not protest, tho,” Chantho said.

“Maybe later, Blue,” Jack told her with a wink.

“Eva, come here,” Martha said, marking at the sofas at the corner of the room. “I want to give you a more thorough check-up.”

“So, what have we got here?” Jack asked, letting go of Eva and coming to stand by the Doctor, who looked at the systems curiously.

“And all this feeds into the rocket?” he asked.

“Dizziness?” Martha asked, and Eva shook her head. “Nausea? Headaches?”

“Yeah,” Yana replied, “Except without a stable footprint, you see, we’re unable to achieve escape velocity. If only we could harmonise the five impact patterns and unify them, well, we might yet make it. What do you think, Doctor?” he asked hopefully. “Any ideas?”

“Well,” the Doctor started, “Er... basically... sort of... not a clue,” he admitted, scratching the back of his neck.

“Nothing?” Yana asked.

“I need something to check your blood pressure, or at least heartbeat...” Martha muttered. “Reckon Jack’s got something in his bag?”

“I’m not from around these parts,” the Doctor said. “I’ve never seen a system like it. Sorry.”

“No, no,” Yana sighed. “I’m sorry. It’s my fault. There’s been so little help.”

“Oh, my God!” Martha called out as she opened Jack’s bag, pulling out a jar filled with blue liquid and... “You’ve got a hand?” she asked Jack. “A hand in a jar. A hand in a jar in your bag.”

“But that, that...” the Doctor stuttered, staring at it. “That’s my hand!”

“I said I had a Doctor detector,” Jack shrugged.

“Chan, is this a tradition amongst your people, tho?”

“Not on my street!” Martha exclaimed. “What do you mean, that’s your hand? You’ve got both your hands, I can see them.”

“Long story,” the Doctor said, moving closer to her. “I lost my hand Christmas Day, in a swordfight.”

“What? And you grew another hand?”

“Er, yeah, yeah, I did,” the Doctor smiled at Martha as he raised his hand and waving it slightly, making Eva laugh. “Hello.”

“Might I ask, what species are you?” Yana questioned.

“Time Lord,” the Doctor said. “Last of. Heard of them? Legend or... anything? Not even a myth? Blimey, end of the universe is a bit humbling.”

“You could do with a bit of an ego knockdown,” Eva said and the Doctor beamed at her, happy that she was once again responding.

“Chan, it is said that I am the last of my species too, tho,” Chantho said.

“Sorry, what was your name?” the Doctor asked.

“My assistant and good friend, Chantho,” Yana introduced, causing Chantho to blush slightly – as much as it was possible for someone blue to blush. “A survivor of the Malmooth. This was their planet, Malcassairo, before we took refuge.”

“The city outside, that was yours?”

“Chan, the conglomeration died, tho.”

“Conglomeration!” the Doctor called out. “That’s what I said!”

Eva stood up, slapping the back of his head.

“You’re supposed to say sorry,” she hissed.

“Oh, yes,” the Doctor said, rubbing where she hit him. “Sorry.”

“Chan, most grateful, tho,” Chantho replied, and the Doctor smiled.

“You grew another hand?” Martha asked, still disbelieving something like that was possible.

“Hello, again,” the Doctor said, waving his hand once more. “It’s fine,” he told his companion, taking her hands in his. “Look, really, it’s me.”

“All this time and you’re still full of surprises,” Martha laughed.

“Chan, you are most unusual, tho,” Chantho told him.

“Well...” the Doctor said, faking modesty but winking at Eva when the others weren’t looking.

“So what about those things outside?” Jack asked, steering the conversation back to the land of helpful information. “The Beastie Boys. What are they?”

“We call them the Futurekind,” Yana told him, “Which is a myth in itself, but it’s feared they are what we will become, unless we reach Utopia.”

“And Utopia is...?” the Doctor asked.

“Oh, every human knows of Utopia,” Yana said. “Where have you been?”

“Bit of a hermit.”

“A hermit with friends?”

“Hermits United,” the Doctor supplied. “We meet up every ten years and swap stories about caves. It’s good fun, for a hermit. So, er, Utopia?” he asked.

Eva let out a small laugh once more, but it died as soon as Yana marked them to get closer to one of his screens.

“The call came from across the stars, over and over again,” he explained. “Come to Utopia. Originating from that point.”

“Where is that?” the Doctor asked, putting on his specks.

“Oh, it’s far beyond the Condensate Wilderness,” Yana replied. “Out towards the Wildlands and the Dark Matter reefs, calling us in. The last of the humans scattered across the night.”

“What do you think’s out there?” Eva asked, her voice shaking.

“We can’t know,” Yana told her. “A colony, a city, some sort of haven? The Science Foundation created the Utopia Project thousands of years ago to preserve mankind, to find a way of surviving beyond the collapse of reality itself. Now perhaps they found it. Perhaps not,” he added solemnly. “But it’s worth a look, don’t you think?”

“Oh, yes,” the Doctor replied, smiling. “And the signal keeps modulating, so it’s not automatic. That’s a good sign someone’s out there. And that’s, oh, that’s a navigation matrix. So you can fly without stars to guide you. Professor?” he asked when he saw the scientist wasn’t listening to him. “Professor? Professor,” he all but called out, snapping Yana from his trance.

“I, er, ahem,” Yana muttered as he came back to focus. “Right, that’s enough talk. There’s work to do. Now if you could leave, thank you.”

“You all right?” the Doctor asked, and Eva’s eyes focused on the cob watch in Yana’s hands.

“Yes, I’m fine,” Yana snapped. “And busy.”

“Except that rocket’s not going to fly, is it?” the Doctor asked, making Yana pause. “This footprint mechanism thing, it’s not working.”

“We’ll find a way.”

“You’re stuck on this planet,” the Doctor went on. “And you haven’t told them, have you? That lot out there, they still think they’re going to fly.”

“Well, it’s better to let them live in hope,” Yana defended.

“Quite right, too,” the Doctor smiled. “And I must say, Professor... what was it?”

“Yana,” the Professor supplied.

“Professor Yana,” the Doctor started, “This new science is well beyond me, but all the same, a boost reversal circuit, in any time frame, must be a circuit which reverses the boost. So, I wonder, what would happen if I did this?” he asked, using his sonic screwdriver on one of the cables and making power surge through the machines.

“Chan, it’s working, tho!” Chantho said in disbelief.

“But how did you do that?” Yana asked.

“Oh, we’ve been chatting away, I forgot to tell you,” the Doctor beamed, winking at Eva again. “I’m brilliant.”

EMH

Some time later, Eva was curled up to a ball on the couch. Martha had ordered her to rest as much as she could – which meant she was doing nothing while the others ran from one corner of the room to the other.

The Doctor stopped by one of the wires, sniffing it slightly.

“Is this?” he started in disbelief.

“Yes, gluten extract,” Yana explained. “Binds the neutralino map together.”

“That’s food,” the Doctor said. “You’ve built this system out of food and string and staples? Professor Yana, you’re a genius.”

“Says the man who made it work,” Yana replied, brushing off the compliment.

“Oh, it’s easy coming in at the end,” the Doctor told him. “But you’re stellar. This is, this is magnificent. And I don’t often say that because, well... because of me.”

“Rude!” Eva called out, sticking her tongue out when the Doctor rolled his eyes at her.

“Well, even my title is an affectation,” Yana sighed. “There hasn’t been such a thing as a university for over a thousand years. I’ve spent my life going from one refugee ship to another.”

“If you’d been born in a different time, you’d be revered,” the Doctor said. “I mean it. Throughout the galaxies.”

“Oh, those damned galaxies,” Yana joked. “They had to go and collapse. Some admiration would have been nice. Yes, just a little,” he said, the smile falling off his face. “Just once.”

“Well, you’ve got it now,” the Doctor told him. “But that footprint engine thing. You can’t activate it from on board. It’s got to be from here. You’re staying behind,” he said in realization.

“With Chantho,” Yana nodded. “She won’t leave without me. Simply refuses.”

“You’d give your life so they could fly?” Eva asked, an odd feeling crossing her.

This wasn’t the Master – not yet, at least. The Master was nothing more than a consciousness trapped inside a watch right now. This was Professor Yana, a human, a good human who was willing to scarify himself for others.

“Oh, I think I’m a little too old for Utopia,” Yana shrugged, and Eva allowed herself a small smile. “Time I had some sleep.”

“Professor, tell the Doctor we’ve found his blue box,” a voice came from the speakers.

“Ah!” the Doctor called happily.

“Doctor?” Jack asked.

“Professor,” the Doctor said, “It’s a wild stab in the dark, but I may just have found you a way out!”

Soon enough, the TARDIS was brought into the lab and the Doctor pulled cables from his ship out to Yana’s machine’s and back.

“Extra power,” he explained. “Little bit of a cheat, but who’s counting? Jack, you’re in charge of the retro feeds.”

“Oh, am I glad to see that thing,” Martha said as she walked into the room, smiling at the TARDIS.

“Chan, Professor, are you all right, tho?” Chantho asked worriedly, noticing the Professor seemed to zone out again.

“Yes, I’m fine,” Yana said. “I’m fine. I’m fine,” he snapped when she didn’t let go. “Just get on with it.”

“Professor?” Eva asked carefully. “Are you sure you don’t want to take a break?”

“You don’t have to keep working,” the Doctor added. “We can handle it.”

“It’s just a headache,” Yana dismissed. “It’s just, just noise inside my head, Doctor,” he said, looking into the air as if he saw something the others didn’t. “Constant noise inside my head.”

“What sort of noise?” the Doctor asked, glancing at Eva worriedly and noticing the nervous way she was playing with her necklace.

“It’s the sound of drums,” Yana said. “More and more... as though it’s getting closer.”

“When did it start?”

“Oh, I’ve had it all my life. Every waking hour. Still, no rest for the wicked,” he added, smiling at Eva slightly.

“I sure hope I’ve been good, then,” Eva said, breaking the tense atmosphere. “I’m exhausted.”

“Well, Martha did say you needed to rest,” the Doctor said. “Go to sleep.”

“I’ll be fine,” Eva tried to dismiss, but a single look from the Doctor shut her up.

“That’s what you said last time,” he told her. “How well did that go? Go to sleep, Evie,” he said again, kissing the top of her head softly. “I’ll be here when you wake up.”

“Promise?” Eva asked, already resting her head on a cushion behind her.

“Cross my hearts,” the Doctor promised and Eva closed her eyes.

Things may go downside very quickly soon but for now, everything was okay. She’ll just take a short nap, and the Doctor will wake her up soon. He’ll be there when she woke up. He promised.

EMH

He promised.

These were the first words that crossed Eva’s mind when she woke up to an empty laboratory. Or, rather, almost empty.

From the corner of her eye, she could see Chantho looking at Yana with worry visible in each and every of her features. Yana was standing in the middle of the room, looking at his watch. There was no Martha. No Jack. And no Doctor.

He promised.

“Chan, Yana, won’t you please take some rest, tho?” Chantho said carefully. Yana pressed something on his watch and golden energy streamed out of it, making Eva’s breath hitch in her throat. “Chan, Professor Yana, tho?”

Chantho might as well have been talking to the wall. There was no Professor Yana anymore, the man who stood in the middle of the room wasn’t Professor Yana – he was the Master. And the Doctor wasn’t here.

But he promised.

Slowly, Yana reached out a hand, pulling a lever, and even though the screens weren’t working, Eva knew what happened.

“Chan, but you’ve locked them in, tho.”

The Master looked at her for a moment before turning to look at Eva. An odd look crossed his face and Eva shuffled back on the couch, trying to stay as far away from him as possible.

“Not to worry, my dears,” he said coldly. “As one door closes, another must open.”

He pulled another lever, and Chantho rushed forwards.

“Chan, you must stop, tho,” she said. “Chan, but you’ve lowered the defences. The Futurekind will get in, tho.”

The Master ignored her, stepping closer to Eva and grabbing her hand. He pulled, jerking her up and looking at the TARDIS with something that could only be described as hunger.

“Chan, Professor, I’m so sorry, but I must stop you. You’re destroying all our work, tho.”

Eva and the Master looked up to see Chantho holding a gun, and Eva’s insides lurched as the Master smiled.

“Oh,” he laughed. “Now I can say I was provoked.” He pushed Eva behind him, making her fall on the floor. She looked in horror as the Master grabbed a live cable, slowly nearing the woman who was his assistant for almost two decades. “Did you never think, all those years standing beside me, to ask about that watch?” he asked. “Never? Did you never once think, not ever, that you could set me free?”

“Chan, I’m sorry, tho,” Chantho cried, the hands that held the gun shaking with fear. “Chan, I’m so sorry –”

“You, with your ‘chan’ and your ‘tho’ driving me insane!”

“Chan, Professor, please –”

“That is not my name!” he exclaimed. “The Professor was an invention. So perfect a disguise that I forgot who I am.”

“Chan, then who are you, tho?” Chantho asked in fear.

“I am the Master!”

He thrust forwards, the live cable touching Chantho and electrocuting her. Eva let out a small scream but the Master quickly grabbed her, putting a hand over her mouth.

“Shh,” he whispered in her ear as he grabbed the jar with the Doctor’s hand and started dragging Eva towards the TARDIS. “Wouldn’t want anybody to think there’s something wrong, would we?”

As if he heard him, the Doctor’s voice came through the door.

“Professor! Professor, let me in! Let me in! Jack, get the door open now! Professor! Professor, where are you?! Chantho, are you there? I need to explain. Whatever you do, don’t open that watch. Eva? Eva, can you hear me? Eva!”

The Master pulled Eva to the TARDIS, stopping only to take a piece out of the circuits before disconnecting the cables from the TARDIS.

“Open the door! Open the door, please! I’m begging you, Professor, please listen to me! Just open the door, please!”

There was a buzzing sound and the Master doubled back as he was hit with a shot from Chantho’s gun. The assistant fell on the floor, now truly dead, just as the door opened.

For a moment, Eva looked at the Doctor in fear, as he stared back in shock. She opened her mouth, no longer covered by the Master’s hand, but no words came out. Then, the Master pulled her into the TARDIS and locked the doors, all but throwing her on the floor as he headed to the console.

“Deadlocked,” he said, flipping a switch and even though Eva was sure the Doctor kept talking, she could no longer focus on his words.

“Killed by an insect,” the Master said. “A girl. How inappropriate. Still, if the Doctor can be young and strong, then so can I. The Master reborn,” he said, smiling as golden energy flowed through him, changing him to the man Britain will soon know as Harold Saxon. “Ha, ha!” he laughed. “Ha, ha, ha! Now then, Doctor – Ooo, new voice. Hello,” he said in a high tone. “Hello,” he tried again in a new one.

“No,” Eva whispered. “No, no, no.”

She was here in the TARDIS with the Master while the Doctor was out. She was too scared to move – almost too scared to breathe – and the only hope she had was that her locket would take her away.

“Hello,” the Master said once more. “Anyway, why don’t we stop and have a nice little chat while I tell you all my plans and you can work out a way to stop me, I don’t think!”

“I’m asking you,” the Doctor said. “Really properly. Just stop. Just think!”

“Use my name.”

For a moment, there was nothing but silence. Then, the Doctor spoke.

“Master,” he breathed out. “I’m sorry.”

“Tough!” the Master called out, running around the console.

Doctor!” it took Eva a moment to hear the scream, and another moment to realize it was coming from her throat. This couldn’t be happening, she couldn’t be stuck here, with the Master – the Doctor promised he’ll stay with her! He promised he’d keep her safe! “Doctor!” she called out again. “Doctor, please! Please!”

Eva’s locket started glowing and she almost breathed out in relief when the Master noticed it, too. “Oh, no you don’t!” he called out, all but tearing the locket from her neck. “End of the universe. Have fun. Bye, bye!”

“Eva!” the Doctor called out, banging on the TARDIS’s doors as the ship dematerialized. “Eva!”

“Doctor!” Eva called out in fear as the TARDIS shook, throwing her from side to side. “Doctor! Doctor!”

A sharp turn made her fly halfway across the Console Room, hitting her head on the railings when she landed upside down. For a couple of second, the whole world seemed blurry.

After that, came the darkness.

To Be Continued...