Author's Note: New fic. Given how my favorite Doctors are Two and Six, it shouldn't come as any surprise that one of my favorite storylines is The Two Doctors. And of course, ever since I've seen it, I've been wanting to write a "between-the-gaps" fic for it. Thus, this fic was born. :) I will say up front though, that I will be playing around a little bit with time in this one. This means that some chapters will take place over a longer time frame than what was strictly present on the episodes themselves. But other than that, it will be faithful to the original story. In any case, I hope my readers will enjoy. :)

I do not own Doctor Who or any of its characters.

Thank you to everyone who reads/follows/favorites/reviews this. It is always appreciated.

Chapter One

It was with no small amount of annoyance that the Doctor reflected on how moments like this were one of the numerous reasons why he fled Gallifrey and Time Lord society and rarely looked back.

At first, it had seemed like an innocuous mission. Despite the fact that they hardly ever left their home planet, the Time Lords had been monitoring the activities of other planets and galaxies for centuries. Quietly watching from afar, they saw it as their duty to make sure nothing interfered with the complex mechanisms of time.

It was for that reason that the Celestial Intervention Agency had summoned the Doctor to carry out yet another one of their seemingly endless assignments for them.

"Doctor, we have noticed a disturbing level of temporal distortion emanating from Space Station Chimera," his contact within the CIA had told him. "It appears that scientists from this Third Zone outpost have been experimenting with the rudiments of time travel with a complete lack of forethought or caution. Their experiments must cease. Immediately."

For a moment, the Doctor wondered just what kinds of methods they had in mind to make them stop. Fortunately, his supervisor already had an agreeable suggestion in mind.

"I understand that Dastari is in charge of projects at this station," his supervisor continued. "I seem to recall that you've known him personally for some time. We'd like you to persuade him to put a halt to these dangerous experiments. A simple task, as I'm sure you'd agree."

The Doctor huffed and began to pace about, only half listening to what Dastari was currently saying.

Back on Gallifrey, he had agreed with the CIA that this appeared to be a far safer and straightforward mission than many of the recent ones he had been forced to take on. Expecting to only spend about a day on discussions and negotiations, the Doctor began to make tentative plans to relax for a while after it was over. He stopped by Earth to pick up Victoria and took her to a planet on the edge of the Milky Way galaxy so she could finally fulfill her desire to study graphology. After he and Jamie were done at Chimera, he planned to return to where he had taken her so he could show Jamie the beauty of the foothills there and so the three of them could spent time together when she wasn't engaged in her studies.

Looking back on it, the Doctor realized that he shouldn't have been surprised at Dastari's reluctance to comply with the Time Lords' request. What he hadn't counted on was his old friend's complete and unmovable stubbornness over the matter.

"Even if I wanted to Doctor, I have no authority to order Professors Kartz and Reimer to abandon their work."

The Doctor sighed inwardly, struggling to keep his frustration in check. He had seen the data that the Time Lords had gathered from their surveillance and swiftly agreed that something needed to be done before things got out of hand. Originally, he had thought that explaining the situation and the dangers involved would be enough to convince Dastari to consider putting a halt to the experiments at least temporarily while they worked out a plan to ensure that future experiments would not threaten the balance of time. However, it seemed as if any mention of these risks only made Dastari even more obstinate, much to the Doctor's dismay.

"Hasn't it occurred to you that the Time Lords have a vested interest in ensuring that others do not discover their secrets?"

The Doctor made sure to deny Dastari's allegation, albeit half-heartedly. During his time at the Academy, he had heard more than one story about how the intricate web of time had been threatened by their own initial forays into time travel. While most of his fellow Time Lords blithely dismissed this time in their history as a minor point of concern, the Doctor was convinced that even the worst of these stories severely downplayed the peril the temporal fabric of the universe had been in.

'Still, just because we managed to scrape by with minimal damage doesn't mean we should encourage others to haphazardly fiddle with time,' the Doctor thought. 'Granted, nothing is more sacred to most Time Lords than maintaining the status quo. But that doesn't make them wrong about the need to preserve the timelines.'

The Doctor took a deep breath and tried to calm himself. He was disappointed with how his old friend had changed, but tried to hide his unhappiness as best he could. The zeal with which Dastari talked about his experiments to "heighten the awareness" of the Androgums and pass the "baton of progress" over to them made the Doctor wonder if the scientist was truly capable of looking at this situation in a rational, objective manner. This revelation saddened him even more when he considered the brilliant mind that Dastari still possessed, a mind that used to be tempered by a genuine desire to seek knowledge and wisdom rather than bask in the glow of his own accomplishments.

Truthfully, a large part of him wished he could recall the TARDIS and take off there and then, but he knew that the CIA would make him pay dearly for such an act. That along with the fact that these time experiments really were veering into hazardous territory were the only things keeping him here. As he tried to think of another approach to try with Dastari, he glanced over to see Jamie waiting patiently nearby.

Dear old Jamie. It had been years since the CIA had allowed him to reunite with the Scot and restore his memories. Ever since then, Jamie had staunchly refused to leave his side. This made it so that they were able to spend numerous hours enjoying each other's company and could occasionally travel about together like they did before. However, it also meant that the piper insisted on accompanying him on every single assignment, even though many of them were appallingly risky while others left him with virtually nothing to do.

"Ye will nae get rid of me so easily, Doctor. Aye, someone has to look after ye and that's what I'm goin' to do from now on."

There had been times when the Doctor thought about trying to convince Jamie to wait for him in the TARDIS or to stay with Victoria while he completed his missions, but the Scot absolutely refused to budge on this point. Eventually, he stopped trying. Out loud, the Doctor had repeatedly scolded Jamie for being stubborn and foolish, but secretly, he was deeply thankful for his presence. Jamie's enduring loyalty and friendship were just about the only things that made all these years of punishing servitude and dirty politics bearable.

Right now, he imagined that Jamie was probably bored with standing around silently, and yet the Doctor could not help but be somewhat relieved by this boredom. Even in the face of his mounting irritation, he still preferred dealing with Dastari's hardheaded indignation to missions that involved putting Jamie in extreme danger. This thought spurred him to keep trying to reason with his old friend.

"Look, I've a suggestion," the Doctor said, his tone and gestures as placating as possible. "Stop these experiments for the time being whilst my people study their work. If Kartz and Reimer really are on safe lines, I'm sure they'll be allowed to continue."

By the end of his statement, the Doctor was smiling, confident that he had finally managed to reach Dastari. That confidence was quickly wiped away by the anger that suddenly sparked in the scientist's eyes.

"Allowed to continue?" Dastari echoed, rising from his chair.

'Oh crumbs….'

"I mean, there will be no further objection," the Doctor immediately added.

But by that point, the damage had already been done. Dastari was even more determined than ever to refuse to cooperate. Seeing his chances of successfully negotiating with Dastari slipping away from him, the Doctor found his own temper flaring up in response.

"How is it that you can be such a stupid, stubborn, irrational, and thoroughly objectionable old idiot?!" he bellowed. He looked over toward Jamie again, irritated to see piper smirking.

"Well, what are you smiling at, you, you hairy-legged Highlander?" he snapped.

"I'm jes admirin' yer diplomatic skills," Jamie replied, amusement coloring his tone.

The Doctor brushed his remark aside and moved closer to Dastari. Something about the way that the scientist had suddenly slumped down in his chair had disturbed him. He reached down to check on him and was concerned when Dastari did not respond to his touch.

"He's got his head doon, Doctor," Jamie quipped. "I cannae say I blame him."

"I'll thank you not speak in that appalling mongrel dialect," the Doctor shot back. He couldn't put his finger on it, but something, some creeping threat, was making his nerves tingle, an unpleasant sensation that never meant anything good.

"I mean he's gon' to sleep," Jamie continued.

The Doctor lightly tapped Dastari's arm and checked his pulse and breathing. While he was relieved to find that the scientist was in stable condition, some of the Doctor's worst fears were soon confirmed.

"He's nae asleep…."

Jamie pointed, the smirk back on his face, and despite his increasing unease, the Doctor was barely able to resist smiling back. It was a strange thing that existed between them. All those times when he and Jamie found themselves in mortal peril, they almost always managed to make light of the situation. Of course, they both knew about the worry and seriousness each of them held behind the jokes, but that never stopped either of them. No matter what might happen next, they refused to let anyone or anything to intrude upon the warm, jovial, and intimate existence they shared.

"He's not asleep, Jamie," he corrected himself. "…He's drugged!"

Seconds after saying this, the sound of laser fire reached the Doctor's ears. It was then that he realized that this was not a case of revenge or sabotage that he had first theorized it to be. This was an attack. No, not an attack: an invasion.

One of the lab assistants burst into the room, calling for Dastari, only to be shot down almost as soon as he had entered. The Doctor rushed over and knelt beside the fallen man, but could find no signs of life. He could hear the heavy sound of marching further down the corridor and tried to peer through the billowing smoke.

Suddenly, glints of light reflecting off rounded metal helmets caught his eye. It only took a second for him to recognize the wearers of those helmets and even less time than that for him to start to panic.

'Sontarans! But what are they doing here? The Third Zoners have no role in the war between them and the Rutans. And as for the space station itself, it's far from strategically located and none of the research being conducted here would be of interest to their military.'

The Doctor's hearts pounded as he readied himself to run. However, he immediately froze when he realized that a pair of Sontaran warriors had already spotted him and were heading straight for him, their weapons raised. As he watched them advance, another thought popped into his brain.

'They haven't fired. Sontarans aren't known for taking hostages, so there must be some other purpose for taking me alive. And the same might be true for Dastari as well. It would certainly explain why he was drugged. But…that also means that the Sontarans will probably kill anyone who is of no use to them.'

The flutter of red fabric at the edge of his vision reminded the Doctor that he was not alone in the room, a fact that made his hearts race even faster.

"Jamie…run," he choked out.

"What?" the piper replied, leaning closer to him.

The Doctor gulped as a shudder ran through his body. One of his early missions for the CIA had taken him to a planet that had been the stage for a scrimmage between the Sontarans and the Rutans. Some of the local inhabitants had foolishly chosen to get involved and the result had been a massacre with the corpses left behind providing plenty of examples of the Sontarans' savagery. The images the Doctor had seen there had seared the idea of their race being without mercy or decency into his brain.

And now they were marching toward Jamie.

"Run, I said!" the Doctor yelled at him, his tone as firm and authoritative as he could possibly make it. "Save yourself!"

Jamie hesitated for about a half a second more before dashing off into a corridor hidden in a corner of the room. The Doctor was able to let out a short sigh of relief that the piper had escaped unnoticed before being confronted with the sight of one of the Sontaran warriors aiming a weapon at his chest. He silently raised his hands over his head and slowly stood back up.

"What is this?" the Doctor asked. "What do you want with me?"

"Be silent, Time Lord!" the Sontaran shouted at him. Two more soldiers showed up and the four of them stepped into the room. They scanned the area for a moment before turning toward the Doctor again.

"There was supposed to be another one with you," the first Sontaran growled at him. "A Tellurian. Where is it?"

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

That earned him a brutal kick to the back of his legs, causing him to topple to his knees. The one who had his weapon pointed at him strode forward and grabbed him by the hair, forcing the Doctor to look up at him.

"Where is it?" the Sontaran demanded a second time. "I won't ask you again."

"Good," the Doctor said, a smirk appearing on his lips. "Because I do so hate having to repeat myself."

The Sontaran snarled and tightened his grip on the silver threads in his hand, causing the Doctor to wince.

"Know this," the soldier said, looking the Doctor in the eye. "Your puny attempts to shield the Tellurian will not work. We will find it. And when we do, you can be sure that it will die slowly."

The Doctor retained his cool, impassive stare in spite of the fury and anxiety that grew inside him. He would not give this Sontaran the satisfaction of seeing how much his threats had affected him. He would save those feelings for when he figured out a way to stop the Sontarans and get Jamie, Dastari and any other survivors to safety.

The Sontaran let go of the Doctor's bangs and waved a hand at the other soldiers in the room.

"Take him and load him onto the ship," he said, pointing at Dastari's inert form. "And as for you, Time Lord, on your feet. Now!"

The Doctor stood up and watched as two of the other Sontarans lifted Dastari from his chair and carried him out of the room.

'So I was right about Dastari,' he thought to himself. 'But what do they want him for? Or me for that matter?'

Once they were gone, the two remaining Sontarans forced the Doctor to walk down the corridor in front of them. As they walked, the sound of additional blaster fire and screams filled the Doctor's ears, his hearts aching at the senseless loss of life.

"I'll take the Time Lord to Major Varl," the first Sontaran said to the other one. "You assist the others in the hunt for the Tellurian. Make sure to report to me it has been found."

"Very good, sir," the other Sontaran said before saluting and marching away.

The Doctor flinched, but remained silent. Even though he had managed to convince Jamie to run a couple moments ago, he knew that that would not be the end of it. Although the piper was not quite as impulsive as he used to be, Jamie was still far too willing to risk his life to rescue him. The Doctor was certain that there would be an attempt before too long. Sadly, he was also certain that a rescue attempt would have very little chance of success in this current situation. Dread spurring him to act, the Doctor slowed his pace as he started to concentrate his thoughts toward his companion.

'Jamie. Jamie, please. You have to survive. No matter what happens, you must not let them catch you. Do what you must to stay alive. And make sure to keep out of sight.'

The Doctor stumbled and reached up to rub his temples. It had taken a lot of mental effort to send such a strong telepathic projection, and he was left feeling drained.

"Move!" the Sontaran said, giving him a rough shove. The Doctor turned his head to glare at him before doing as he was told.

It had been a long shot, but he hoped that Jamie had received and would attend to his message. Human minds were usually oblivious toward attempts at telepathic communication. However, Jamie was different in that he had a limited amount of psychic sensitivity to the Doctor's thoughts in particular. To this day, the Doctor wasn't sure if this was a latent ability that had been brought forth as a result of the mental training he had put Jamie through, a side effect of all the times when he had linked with the piper's mind for any number of reasons, or simply another facet of the bond that existed between them. Perhaps it was all these things or none of them. Whatever it was behind it, the Doctor prayed that it was powerful enough to override the recklessness that was still a part of Jamie's character.

The Sontaran shoved him into another room and saluted the warrior standing by one of the databank consoles.

"Sir, I've brought you the Time Lord you requested," he said. "Unfortunately, we haven't been able to locate the Tellurian he brought with him."

"Continue the search," the other Sontaran replied. "Our orders are to leave no one alive."

"Understood, sir," the first Sontaran said before leaving. The other Sontaran pulled out his blaster and aimed it at the Doctor.

"I am Major Varl of the Ninth Sontaran Attack Group," he said to him.

"Indeed, how interesting," the Doctor said acerbically. "And what exactly does that have to do with me? An attempt to force Gallifrey's hand in some way? If that's the case, I'm afraid you're in for nothing but disappointment."

"We have no interest in your planet," Varl scoffed. "A race of sniveling pacifists like the Time Lords poses no threat to our ultimate plans of victory and conquest. Although, they will be dealt with when the time comes."

"So what is your goal then?" the Doctor asked. "A disruption of the stability of the Third Zone governments? Worried that they might align themselves with the Rutans?"

"You ask too many questions," Varl said.

"Can't help it," the Doctor quipped. "You could say it's part of my nature. Much like it's apparently part of a Sontaran's nature to butcher unarmed civilians."

Varl stepped forward and punched the Doctor in the stomach while still keeping his weapon pointed at him. The Doctor doubled over painfully and slumped down onto the ground. He looked up to see Varl balling up his fist for another strike when suddenly; the sound of heavy footsteps stopped him.

"Sir," Varl said, saluting.

"Stand at ease," the gruff Sontaran voice behind the Doctor intoned. "This, I take it, is the Time Lord in question?"

"He is," Varl answered. "Shall I take him to the ship?"

"No," the other Sontaran said, moving to stand next to Varl. "No we have one last thing to do with him, one last part of the plan."

"And what is this plan then?" the Doctor snapped. "Or are you just another drone who can't give me any straight answers either?"

The Sontaran next to Varl glowered at him for only a moment before crouching down and grabbing the Doctor by the throat.

"I am Group Marshall Stike of the Ninth Sontaran Attack Group," he said. "And our plan involves keeping you alive for the time being."

Stike tightened his grip and the Doctor was almost certain that he was attempting to smile.

"However, keeping you alive does not necessarily mean keeping you completely intact," the Sontaran said.

Stike let go of his throat and the Doctor coughed several times as he tried to get his breathing back under control. Then he stood back up and grabbed the Doctor by the shoulder, hauling him to his feet.

"Standing in front of that wall, Time Lord," Stike ordered.

The Doctor rubbed his shoulder and peered at the reflective surface in front of him.

'This isn't just a wall,' he mused. 'No, it looks like some kind of scanning panel. Yes, it's copying my body print now, I imagine. But why would they….?'

"Sir, I've set the animator switch on," Varl said.

"Good," Stike replied. "Now we just need to give this computer some additional 'information' to make sure we get the images we want."

The Doctor was about to ask what he meant by that when he was suddenly hit with a bolt of searing pain in his head and throughout his chest. The pain swiftly intensified, causing him to collapse onto the floor. The Doctor thought of Jamie and his fears for the piper's safety resurged. For a moment, he could have sworn that he felt another presence in his mind.

Seconds later, the contact was broken, and the Doctor fell unconscious.