The Moment had rather enjoyed being carried in the sack. It was really rather comforting. Swaying gently back and forth as the strange man trudged along. Listening to the man’s voice was just as relaxing. He sounded troubled, but there was an element of calmness to his voice. Not at all what the Moment was used to. The voices it usually heard was that of fear. Then again, couldn’t really expect anything else when you happened to be the most destructive weapon in existence.
Usually the Moment, ironically enough, never stayed in the moment. When you could see all of space and time it was often hard to concentrate on the now. This was one of its most beloved moments however, and it wanted to stick around for it. The Moment knew what was to come, and it was glorious. The look on the man’s face. The beautiful symmetry between moments. The fact that it could save rather than destroy. It was a privilege to be part of it.
When the Moment first became a form, it was very unusual. Having a body and a mind dwelling inside that body felt odd, but not unpleasant. And seeing the man’s face when the form appeared was priceless.
Doctor. That’s what was in his head. The Doctor. So many saying so much. All of them kind. All of them dangerous. This Doctor was so much like the Moment, it was the first time it didn’t feel alone. And two words circulated more than any other.
The Doctor was determined to use the Moment to destroy. But this was no crazed killer. Not deep down. Any life he took, he remembered. And that is why the Moment chose to talk to him. The first conversation it ever had. It was all very sentienty, and the Moment loved it.
“I have no desire to survive this.” The Doctor had said.
The Moment already knew of course, and knew he was sincere. The Doctor was destined to survive though. And the Moment had to ask one of the most important questions.
“How many children on Gallifrey right now?”
“I don’t know.”
“One day you will count them. One terrible night. Do you want to see what that will turn you into?” The Moment nudged the Doctor playfully. “Go on, aren’t you curious?”
The Moment reached forth inside and opened the portals. This was the start. The story that will turn a good man great. It smiled gently at the thought.
“I’m opening windows on your future. A tangle in time through the days to come, to the man today will make of you.”
The Moment ran through this instant a thousand times in its consciousness. The fez. It all started with the fez. The Moment would pretend to be surprised and the story would begin. Any minute now. The fez. It had to. It was the future, it always was. It was late. It shouldn’t be late. It had to arrive. But it didn’t. Nothing arrived. The portal span and the Doctor looked on. And the Moment felt something it had never felt before.
“Hello, I’m looking for the Doctor.”
When the Doctor and the Moment crossed through the portal, for the first time, the Moment wasn’t sure what would happen. Yet, everything looked like it should be. The forest was there and the bow tie one was there. But that’s when the familiarity ended. The bow tie one seemed younger somehow. And the hair one was missing. Instead a terrifying man glowered. His eyebrows alone would be enough to send anyone running, but there seemed to be a rage inside him unlike the Moment had ever felt before. Whatever this man had been through, it burned throughout his very core.
“What are you doing here?” The scary one demanded. His tone said that he wasn’t in the mood for messing around.
The Doctor squinted at him, studying his face. “Are you…?” He stroked his beard thoughtfully. “You certainly give off the right attitude. Doctor?”
The scary man pulled out a whirring device. This seemed to satisfy the Doctor. The Moment lingered back, studying the man. This regeneration wasn’t meant to be here. Not now, not in this timestream.
“My, you certainly are an imposing chap, aren’t you?” The Doctor looked over at the bow tie one. “And this must be your companion.”
The bow tie one looked appalled. He stammered over his words in protest. When his tongue failed him, he resorted to pulling his own whirring device out angrily and whirring it in the Doctors face. The Doctors face fell as the truth dawned on him.
“You better believe it, gramps.” The bow tie on tucked his device back in his jacket. He turned to face the scary one and sighed. “It’s like night of the barely living dead in this forest.”
The Moment had to agree.
“Enough of this.” The scary one took a menacing step towards the Doctor. “I won’t ask again, what are you doing here?”
The Doctor didn’t seem to like being talked to in this way. He straightened his jacket and arched his back, trying to seem taller.
“I go where I want. And right now I want to be here.”
“You don’t belong here. Not in this time period.” The scary one growled.
“OK chaps.” The bow tie one rubbed his hands together nervously. “Technically none of us belong here. Can we tone down the contest and just agree we’re all equally intimidating?”
The two older ones looked at him, eyebrows raised. “We?” They synchronized.
“Hey, don’t let my outward appearance deceive you. I’m just as intimidating.” He frowned deeply and turned on the Doctor, his voice lowering to a growl. “What are you doing here?” After a pause he snapped back to his usual, bouncy self. “See? It’s all in the delivery.”
Suddenly, an army burst forth from the forest. They surrounded the three men and pointed spears at them. The Moment felt an odd sense of relief. This was familiar. Of course, the three Doctors still weren’t, but this was still sort of going the way it was meant to.
“Which of you is the Doctor?” One of the men demanded. “The Queen of England is bewitched, I would have the Doctors head.”
“Well, this has the all the makings of your lucky day.” The Doctor quipped.
The portal hissed menacingly, catching the soldier’s attention. They coward slightly at the sight of it.
“That thing, what witchcraft is it?”
This was the bow tie one’s cue. He was meant to burst forth with his “wicked witch” plan. The Moment quickly realised, however, that this was a younger bow tie one. He wouldn’t have met the girl yet. And come to think of it, the Moment didn’t hear the girl speak. This was very troubling. Instead, the scary one turned to the other two, seemingly completely ignoring the soldiers threatening spears.
“We don’t have time for this. Three of us being here at once, it can’t be good.”
“You dare turn your back on me?” The soldier spluttered angrily.
“Excuse me, I’m having some me time, do you mind?” The bow tie one said nonchalantly. “I agree, we need a plan of escape. Or a plan of temporarily not being here so we can figure out what the heck is going on.”
“If you have any ideas, I’m all ears.” The Doctor whispered. “You’ve had longer to plan than I have technically.”
“You know it doesn’t work like that.” The scary one growled. “I say our best option of escape is to get captured.”
The other two looked at each other. The bow tie one gave a hearty thumbs up. “I like it.” He spun around to the baffled soldier, his arms high above his head. “I surrender. I mean, we surrender. Either one.”
The three men stumbled into the cell, some more gracefully than others. The Moment was waiting for them, hoping against hope that they would be put in the correct cell. Fortunately, this part of the future seemed to be on track. It was almost as if time was trying its best to correct itself. The Moment could only hope that things went the way they were supposed to.
“Well then.” The bow tie one said, dusting himself off. “What next, eh?”
The scary one walked slowly around the cell examining every inch. “I had the last idea, I say it’s your turn.”
The bow tie one laughed sarcastically. “Your last idea was to get captured. I’d say it was less of an idea and more of a lead up TO the idea.”
The Doctor sat down next to the Moment wearily. He leant in and whispered to it. “I’m going to assume that only I can see you right now?” The Moment nodded, deep in thought. “Well, I hope you have some kind of point with all of this. Right now, I’m not seeing it.”
The point, of course, was to show the Doctor another way. Show him his future and remind him of who he was. To save Gallifrey. But that was with two very particular versions of his future self. This new regeneration might not be what they need right now. The Moment couldn’t see what was to come, and that was something that seemed far too risky.
“I think it’s time you did some explaining.” The scary one turned on the Doctor. “What are you doing here?”
The bow tie one rubbed his hands together. “I hate to agree with Derren Brown here, but he has a point. We need information.”
“And you know more than you’re letting on. “I’m looking for the Doctor”? You knew we’d be there. Well, one of us at least. How did you…” The scary one stopped mid thought and turned to the bow tie one. “Derren Brown?”
“Yeah, what’s with the magician get up?”
“It’s not…It’s minimalistic.”
“It’s very…” The bow tie one made jazz hands. “Ta daaaa.”
“That’s rich coming from Bill Nye.” The scary one snapped.
“Ooh, how is he?” The bow tie one asked chirpily.
The scary one frowned, but a small smile crept on his face. “Still a sore loser when it comes to monopoly.”
“Sounds about right.”
The Doctor watched the exchange with faint amusement. It was good to see that he was still easily distracted, especially since sharing the fact he was talking to the physical form of a future companion who was really the most powerful weapon in the universe and only he could see it might not be the best thing right now. He decided to try and distract them further by offering a possible means of escape.
“You know, it’s possible I could use my sonic to tap into the molecular frequency of this door and disintegrate it.” It was impossible, the Doctor knew, but any distraction would do.
“In theory, yes.” The scary one said. “If we happened to have a couple of centuries to kill.”
“Well, I have no plans for the immediate future.” The bow tie one said.
“Other than turning into eyebrows over there.” The Doctor quipped.
The bow tie one stifled a laugh, and the scary one glowered at him. For the first time in a long time, the Doctor felt a smile creep on his face. How long had he been fighting the Time War? It almost felt like there were no time to smile. The smile didn’t go unnoticed by the scary one who gave him a sneaky smile back.
“Laugh all you want.” He motioned towards the bow tie one. “THAT’S what you have to look forward to.”
The three exchanged glances. The bow tie one shrugged dramatically.
“Sorry about that.”
If the smile was unexpected enough for the Doctor, laughing was a down right miracle. And yet, here he was, stuck in a cell laughing at himself three times in a row. It felt good. Yet, he felt guilt deep inside him. Right now, in his timestream, every living thing was suffering. Dying and being reborn to die again, over and over. The children on Gallifrey, crying for it to stop. And here he was, laughing. It didn’t feel right. So, he was the first to stop laughing. That didn’t go unnoticed by the other two. The bow tie one approached the Doctor and sat beside him.
“You know, it gets easier. Laughing.”
The Doctor looked up at the scary one, who had put his serious face back on. “Doesn’t look so easy for you.”
The scary one looked pained. He hid it well, but not well enough from himself. The bow tie one gave him a quizzical look. It was obvious he wanted to ask what his future held. What would cause him that much pain. But he thought better off it and remained silent. Instead, he turned his attentions back to the other old man.
“I don’t know exactly where you are in your life, but I know wherever you are you’ve been through a lot, and it feels like you’ll never be able to laugh guilt free again.”
The Doctor looked at the young face. “Do I ever stop feeling the guilt? How could I?” The important question finally came back to him. The reason he was here. “How could I, if I ever counted?”
The bow tie one frowned for a second, but then he realised what he was asking. He stood up abruptly and walked away, almost as if he wanted to run. The scary one, however, still seemed confused.
“Counted what?” He asked.
The bow tie one shot him a look, and finally the other two realised what he meant by being deceived by his outward appearance. The storm was coming through. “Really?” He walked up to the scary one, although it was hard to tell which was which at this point. “The children.”
Finally, the scary one understood. He stared the bow tie one down, but his expression seemed softer. “I’m over twelve hundred years old.” He said, as if that answered everything.”
The bow tie one shook his head. “How do I become you? What could possibly have happened to me to make me regenerate into someone so cold?”
The scary one scowled. He opened his mouth, as if to answer him, but no words came out. His face scrunched up, a mixture of pain and confusion crossing his face. “I…I don’t know.”
An uncomfortable silence filled the cell. The Doctor looked around for any sign of the Moment. Is this really what it wanted him to see. What was the point in all this? There was no sign of it anywhere. Had he been abandoned in this time period? Was that its plan all along?
The Doctor was brought back to the cell after hearing a whirring noise. The scary one had done what the Doctor always did when things got to real. He ignored it and went back to looking for an escape. He was walking around the cell scanning every inch with his…
“Is that my sonic?” The Doctor asked, eyes transfixed on the green device in the scary one’s hand.
“Upgraded, but yeah.” The scary one said, not breaking a stride in his scanning.
A thought entered the Doctors mind. It was strange. It felt like it should always have been there. It felt right, unlike most of this situation. It hit him like a tonne of bricks. He shot up and pulled out his own sonic looking at it with excitement.
“Centuries.” He whispered to himself.
The other two looked over at him with confusion. The Doctor walked up to the door, and slowly began scanning it.
“Thought we agreed that would take…” The bow tie one stopped, and the idea hit him as hard as it had hit him before.
“Centuries.” The Doctor said, louder.
The scary one looked down at his own sonic, and the idea finally hit him too. He turned the sonic on and listened intently. He looked up to his past selves and smile spread across his face, three times.
“Damn, we’re good.” He said excitedly.
The scary one pointed his sonic at the door and buzzed at it. Slowly, the door shimmered and from the top down, slowly disintegrated. The three men stood at the doorway and looked through. There stood a red-haired woman. It was hard to not recognise her. The Queen of England, or something that looked like her, stared at the three men with a dark smile on her face.
“You know,” she said “it wasn’t locked.”
The Moment watched from a distance as the Queen of England lay out the Zygons whole plan. It was strange, this all seemed so different, and yet things were still heading the way they should. There were three Doctors, the Zygon plan seemed to be correct, the Queen was really the Queen. Yet, one important thing was missing.
The Moment looked at the scary one and frowned. If he was indeed the oldest, then why wasn’t the girl with him? The one who could convince the Doctor to choose different? Without her, could this even work? The Moment didn’t like the odds. It had to find out what happened.
Slowly the present faded as the Moment went to the scary one’s past. To find the reason for the girl’s absence. Back and back it went, through the many adventures that had transpired. They flew by faster and faster, every flash from the past showed the scary one alone. This wasn’t right. How could he be alone? The Doctor rarely was alone. At one point it seemed like a ginger girl might join him, but she was left behind. She waited and waited, but the Doctor never returned to her. This wasn’t even the right girl, the one the Moment searched for was brunette. And she was nowhere to be found.
In an instant, the scary one disappeared and the bow tie one popped up. How far back was this? He was tied to a chair and looked distressed. In front of him there was a man lying on his back. The Moment could tell he wouldn’t last long, his very life force was failing him. As his energy broke away from him and faded into nothingness, the Moment scanned his face for any connections. It was undeniable who this was.
The Moment had seen this face before. It was so important in regard to its plan. But how? Did he have something to do with the girl? Whatever it was, the Moment was certain of one thing. This is not where he was meant to die. Yet here he was, dying. And that seemed to have had a knock-on effect. Is this what had gone wrong with time? But how?
As the Moment watched the Master fade into nothingness, some chilling laughter caught its attention. Turning to face the source, the Moment saw a woman.
“One less Time Lord.” She said.
Who was this? The Moment struggled to read her. She didn’t seem to be in any of the Moments memories, not in this form at any rate. Whoever this was it would appear that she was the cause of the divergence.
The Moment turned to leave. As it zipped away from this time, the Doctor could be heard begging to someone. Asking them not to do it. This was of no consequence to the Moment however. Only one thing was important.
Find that woman.
The Doctor walked into his future TARDIS with a mixture of excitement and disdain. Every time this happened, he thought his future self would pick something better, yet every time he seemed to go for something tacky or over the top. At least, he assumed this happened every time since he found it very hard to retain these memories. If this time was anything to go by, he never learned.
The TARDIS was dark and grimy. The Doctor found it hard to figure out what would possess him to purposefully make the TARDIS look dirty. Or perhaps his future self was just a slob. The bow tie one seemed blissfully unaware of the Doctors disapproval as he pranced around the console, so the Doctor decided to let him know.
“You let this place go a bit.” He murmured.
“Typical midlife crisis.” The scary one said. “He’ll grow out of it.”
The bow tie one looked offended for a second, but then he glanced around his TARDIS and seemed troubled. Usually at this point he’d leap into defensive mode, but the bow tie one never did. The Doctor noted this, but there were more pressing concerns at the moment.
The whole interior of the TARDIS seemed to shift underfoot, and the grunge faded around them to be replaced by a familiar sight for the Doctor as his trusty console room shimmered around them.
“Desktop’s glitching.” The bow tie one pointed out the obvious.
“Three of us together, it’s trying to compensate.” The Doctor joined in.
The scary one looked around the room with a small smile on his face. “Aah, I remember this design.”
“The round things.” The bow tie one nudged the scary one and pointed.
“I see them.” The scary one turned to the Doctor. “I know you probably won’t remember this, but don’t forget where you put those things.”
The TARIDS whined loudly and the scary one walked casually up to the console. He flipped a switch and suddenly they were standing in, what the Doctor could only describe as a neon nightmare. The scary one, however, looked around lovingly.
“Oh, you’ve redecorated.” The bow tie one said. He opened his mouth to say give his usual critique, however he seemed to falter. He frowned slightly as he glanced around.
“Yes.” The scary one said, studying the bow tie ones face curiously. “Right then, National Gallery here we come.”
He pressed a few buttons and took the TARDIS into land.
The cloister. All three of them looked up at the console with concern. With a frown, the scary one pressed the button again.
The bow tie one walked over to check the monitor. “Problem?”
“She’s not letting us land.” The scary one said. He leant in and whispered to the console. “What’s wrong?”
The bow tie one let out a sigh and pushed the monitor towards the scary one. “It would appear the Zygons are no longer in gallery. And neither are the humans.”
The scary one stared at the monitor and lowered his head. “The Black Archive.”
The Doctors heart sank. It had been a while since he had ben to earth since being sucked into playing a part in the Time War, but even he recognised the name. If they were both in the Black Archive, the whole of London would be in danger. Security protocol would ensure the destruction of everything in the Archive. That alone would please the Doctor since it was filled with some rather unfavourable items, however this would also mean the destruction of London.
The scary one ran around to the other side of the console and tweaked some buttons.
“Space-Time…?” The bow tie one started.
“…Telegraph, exactly.” The scary one finished.
The Doctor remembered giving the Space-Time Telegraph to the Brigadier a long time ago. Was he the one stuck in the Black Archive with the Zygons. It would be a joy to see him again.
The console fizzed into life as they were patched through. “Kate, are you there?” He asked sharply.
The TARDIS was filled by a female’s voice. “Doctor?” Not the Brigadier then. Shame.
“I leave for a few hours and you plan to blow up London?”
“It’s the only way.” The lady said. “Turn it off, Osgood.”
“Listen to me.” The bow tie one jumped in. “What you are planning on doing, it’s not something you will ever be able to undo.”
“It will haunt you forever.” The scary one added, looking up at the bow tie one with a knowing look.
With all the excitement, the Doctor had almost forgotten why he was there. But that brought him back to reality. Was this what the Moment wanted him to see? That he would live to regret his decision? He had always known that, yet somehow seeing it in person made it all the more real. He looked around. Where was the Moment? If this is what it wanted him to see, why wasn’t it back? Instead of seeing the Moment, the Doctor saw something else. And an idea hit him like a tonne of bricks. The kind of idea that almost made him feel like his old self again.
As his future selves argued about the best method to gain access to the Black Archive, the Doctor walked up to the console and picked up his plan. He cleared his throat.
“Gentleman.” The two turned to look at him. He held up the stasis cube. “You two fancy a trip to Gallifrey?”
The Doctor cupped the tea in his hands, enjoying the warmth it brought. The Black Archive wasn’t exactly a warm, cosy place, so he was thankful when the bow tie one had pulled a thermos out of his pocket and poured the three Doctors a cup each. “Always like to celebrate with tea after saving the planet.” He had said with a smile on his face. The Doctor found himself agreeing and began to wonder if this is where he first got the idea. From himself. When it came to bootstrap paradoxes, he found it was best to just go with the flow.
He looked over at the doubles. They were gathered around the table chattering and snapping at each other. Zygons and humans, discussing things on equal ground. The Doctor smiled to himself at the thought. He couldn’t deny that he had his doubts about his future regenerations. The fool and the fury. He saw them and saw the two extremes of what he was capable off. Care free idiot bumbling through time causing havoc without a second thought. And the controlling Time Lord who was so close to standing above all others with his superior attitude. The Doctor saw both these things, and he hated both.
Once they had gained access to the Black Archive, however, something amazing happened. They stepped through that painting, confronting the humans ready to destroy all, and the Zygons who were ready to burn for their future. And the bow tie one, the silly, hand flapping fool, took control. He confronted them all. He told them all that this is something they can never take back. And something that they couldn’t ever live with. The Doctor saw that he cared, deeply. That when the stakes where truly down, he was capable of being the Doctor.
The scary one did something even more amazing. He whirled a chair around, put his feet up and talked to them all on their level. The two of them changed roles. Or had they always been like that? It seemed to lower everyone’s guard. For the first time since he had arrived, he saw the Doctor. And he saw double with him as well.
Of course, the Doctors were genius enough to use the memory erasure technology to their own advantage. When you take away the pettiness of being different species, it really did come down to everyone just wants to live. The detonation was stopped, the ceasefire began, and everyone lived.
The Doctor took a sip of his tea. “Where have you been?” He said without turning around.
“Here and there.” The Moment stepped out from the shadows.
“I was beginning to feel lonely.” The Doctor turned to her. “I’m ready.”
“Well, you wanted a big red button”
The Doctor stood in front of the Moment. He seemed calm, but the Moment could tell inside he was terrified. They were back in the barn where they had started their journey. The Moment had opened itself up and revealed the glowing, red button to the Doctor. Despite everything that was going on, the Moment was still a weapon. It couldn’t just deny being used. Destruction was the last thing it wanted, and it was certain there was a way to prevent this.
“Are you sure about this?” The Moment asked.
The Doctor stared, unblinking at the button. “There is no other way.”
The Moment knew what it was meant to say next, but did it even make sense now? It had spent its entire existence with nothing but certainty, but now it wasn’t sure what it was meant to do. What the right course was. The Doctor reached up and placed a hand on the button. It had to do something.
“You know, if there’s one thing I’ve learnt about you, Doctor, it’s that changing your mind is one of the most impossible tasks in the universe.”
The Doctor smiled. “I’ve been told that before.” He said sadly.
“Fortunately, I think I found the perfect person. One person who can convince you to do the right thing.”
The groaning was distant at first, but soon enough it filled the barn. The Doctor turned slowly to see his blue box materialize in front of his eyes, twice. The doors creaked open, and out came the bow tie and the eyebrows. They seemed cautious, but as the Doctor always did, they covered it up with that confident swagger.
“Well then,” The bow tie one said. “talk about deja-déjà vu”
The Doctor frowned at them. “What are you two doing here?”
“I was hoping you would tell us.” The scary one said. “You left without saying goodbye.”
“To be fair, we do that a lot.” The bow tie one piped up. “Never knew how annoying it was before.”
“You shouldn’t be here.” The Doctor snapped. He turned and scowled at the Moment, who had perched itself on a piece of farming equipment. It gave him a little shrug.
“We’re aware of that.” The scary one said. He walked up to the red button, staring at it. “So, this is it?”
The bow tie one joined him. “This is the moment we did it.”
The three exchanged looks. It was a knowing glance yet filled with sorrow. One, knowing what he must do. Another, still feeling the after effects of having done it. And finally, the old man, who had tried so hard to forget, having the experience dragged back up. The Moment watched each of them experiencing their own pain, and yet the same. Despite everything, it was fascinating to watch. The Doctor lowered his head.
“I think you two should go.” He reached his hand up and placed it on the button.
The two men didn’t move. The kept their eyes on the button. The Doctor glowered at them, the look he reserved for his companions when they wouldn’t take orders. The two men just stared him down. Without saying a word, the bow tie one reached his hand up and placed it on top of the Doctors. The scary one followed right after. And so here they were. The three Doctors, ready to press the button. All that remained was that voice. The one who would change their mind. Yet the Moment knew it wouldn’t come. The girls voice was lost in time somehow. And so, it did something crazy. Something it knew it shouldn’t do. It spoke.
“You know, I’d expect better from you Doctor.”
The Doctor looked up at her. Not just once, but three times. All three Doctors glanced in her direction, and the look on the other twos face was priceless. Seeing the Doctor stunned not once but twice was poetry in motion. Or it would be if either of them could move. They were frozen in place, staring at the Moment. Finally, the scary one spoke up.
“Rose?” He said in disbelief.
The Doctor turned his head. “Wait, you can see her as well?”
The Moment smiled and hopped down from her makeshift seat. She walked slowly up to the three idiots.
“They see if I want them to see. And right now, I want.”
“How did…?” The bow tie one took a step toward the Moment. “This must be a projection, right?”
“Right on the money, chinny.” The Moment fiddled with his bow tie. “I thought it was best I cleared up a little confusion. Allow me to introduce myself. I’m the Moment. The thing you’re about to use to destroy billions of innocent lives.”
The scary one took a step forward as well. “How dare you use the face of someone I care about?”
The Moment raised an eyebrow at him. “You think no one cared about that face before you got it?”
“What is this?” The Doctor asked. “Why are you showing yourself now? Why wait this long?”
The Moment sighed deeply. “Because, like I said, I expected better.”
“This has to be done.” The Doctor insisted. “There is no other way.”
“No no, not that.” The Moment waved an impatient hand. “I expected your maths to be better.”
The three exchanged confused looks.
“Did I say there were TWO people to convince you to do the right thing?” The Moment strutted away from the three Doctors. “I said one. And I think it’s about time for a reunion.”
The Moment faded from sight. From behind the three men, a familiar voice came from nowhere. “Doctor Doctor Doctor. When I talk about the death of Time Lords you lecture me.”
The three men turned. Standing between the two TARDIS was the Time Lord formally known as Donna.
The Doctors stared at Donna, each with a different expression. The first was utterly lost. Who was this woman and why did the Moment bring her here of all people? The second was felt guilt. Here stood the friend he had transformed into an unfeeling monster. He hadn’t given up on saving her, but what he did to her, he couldn’t forgive himself. The third felt nothing but anger. He stormed forward and for a second it seemed like he might actually hit her. Of course, he didn’t though.
“What are you doing here?” He spat in anger.
“Well, I saw an old person and a button, and you know I can’t resist that kind of situation.” She smiled devilishly at him.
“Donna, how did you…?” The bow tie one started. The scary one flicked up a finger and stopped him in his tracks. He could tell something big had happened.
“What you did, or rather what you refused to do.” He shook his head. “Do you have any idea how it felt?”
Donna looked at him with a raised eyebrow. “Do you?”
The scary one was about to retort, but he found himself stuck for words. He frowned and began to run through the scenario again in his head. Something wasn’t right. Donna smiled at him as she saw the thought cross his mind.
“There it is. How did you get from there to here? You didn’t die that day, that’s for sure. So, how did you change from floppy hair here to what I see standing before me.” The scary one thought back, but no explanation came to him. It was almost as if the event was deleted from time. “Feels wrong, doesn’t it?”
“What does?” He asked, squinting at her suspiciously.
“You.” She walked past him and eyed up the bow tie one. “I did tell you that, remember?”
The bow tie one frowned as well. “You said…”
“…you’re wrong.” She smiled at him with that emotionless smile she now had. “You must feel it.”
The Doctor stepped forward in frustration. “I don’t understand, who is this woman?”
Donna turned on him and looked him up and down. “You on the other hand. You seem correct. Wouldn’t you two agree?”
The Doctor was totally lost. He turned to his future selves for some help, however they both seemed lost in their own world. The Doctor, instead, turned his attention on this mystery woman.
“Who are you, and how did you get here?” He demanded.
“Well, I’m the living embodiment of your failure, Doctor.” She laughed to herself. “And as for how I got here, you can thank your little box friend for that. It would seem I’m not the only one who sees how wrong everything is. That big bad wolf also sensed it.”
“What are you talking about?” The Doctor felt his throat getting dry. Something about this woman made him extremely nervous, and there wasn’t much that could do that.
“Why you?” The scary one finally spoke up. “Why are you always here? How is it you sensed something before me?”
Donna shrugged. “I have no idea. I guess I have some kind of connection to whatever it is that’s going on. You figure it out, clever boy.”
The scary one thought deeply. “What is it? I’m missing something.”
“Something big.” The bow tie one agreed.
The scary one looked at Donna. His eyes widened. The thought came crashing into his mind. It couldn’t be. But the connection was there. Something wrong with time. Donna Noble.
“I…I think I know what’s wrong.” He said in a hushed whisper.
Donna, for the first time since she had changed, looked lost. “What?” She asked.
“I need to speak to Donna.” He said firmly.
Donna snorted and took a step back. “Nice try, Doctor. I told you, I’m not going back.”
The scary one frowned. “There is something she knows that I do not. I need to talk to her.”
Donna scowled at the Doctor. “Then I guess you’re out of luck, cos Donna aint here.”
The scary one thought deeply. “There might be another way.” He whispered to himself. “Someone else who can help.”
“Who?” The bow tie one asked.
“We need a cataclysmic event. Something big to happen so crossing over becomes possible again.” The scary one walked over to the button. “Forgive me.”
Before his past selves could stop him, he slammed his hand down. And finally, the Moment came.