My Name is Matt, Said the Doctor
By Lorraine Anderson
"My name," said the Doctor, "is… Mattendolon Smith." He stared intently at the large man before him, then dropped his eyes, as if shy.
"That's an odd name. May I call you Matt?" the man said. He went on, not waiting for an answer. "And yours?" He looked at the woman at the side of the Doctor. "Karen River," said Amy, looking at the large man as if he was going to denounce her as a liar. She glanced at the Doctor.
"Are you married?" the man said.
"No," Amy said.
"Yes," the Doctor said, overtop of her. He grabbed Amy's hand and pressed it to his lips. "Karen doesn't believe we're married unless we get married in the church. But to all practical purposes…"
The man grinned a toothy grin. "Ah, yes, the conventional mores of this time. How charming." The dark-haired lady beside him glanced at him and rolled her eyes. The Doctor looked appropriately confused and glanced at Amy, a warning glance not to say a thing. Amy looked stormy, but kept her mouth shut.
"Where are we?" the Doctor said.
"I call this," the man said, "a Tardis." He looked around the room. The room was very plain, the Doctor said, all aluminum and polka dots and screens and levers. Not nearly as stylish as his Tardis which at least had some color and style to it, rather than plain steel doors leading to the interior of the Tardis. He much preferred the stairs.
"And who," the Doctor said. "Are you?"
"I am called the Doctor," the man said. He looked to one side and smiled. "And this is my friend, Sarah Jane Smith."
The Doctor extended his hand. "Sarah Jane," he said, being very careful not to let his voice be too warm. She raised her eyebrows and shook his hand.
"Matt Smith," Sarah Jane said, looking at her hand. "There are a lot of Smiths in England."
"Indeed," "Matt" said, agreeably. "A pleasure to meet you," he let go of her hand, after Amy nudged him.
She stared at her hand at her hand again. She took a quick look at her Doctor, then at Amy's Doctor. A slight look of confusion came over her face. She shook her head.
"Well," the older looking man said – the Doctor nicknamed him "Four" – "what you seem to have stumbled into is a nest of Cybermen – something you shouldn't see in this time and place. I'm glad we could take care of them for you."
Actually, the Doctor thought, he had destroyed them a second before Four had swooped in, and he suspected Four knew that, but didn't want to admit it.
But that wasn't why they were on this Tardis.
Careful, he thought, he didn't want to give anything away.
"Is that what those were?" Amy said, her eyes wide.
The Doctor almost choked at her expression. "Cybermen? That's… " he shook his head. "Impossible. That's something out of science fiction."
The man smiled broadly. "I tend to run into impossible things."
"How can this… box…," Amy said, "be larger on the inside then it is on the outside?"
Four snorted. "Everybody asks that," he smiled.
"When you travel with the Doctor," Sarah Jane said, "impossible things tend to happen."
"Well," Four said. "Sarah Jane, why don't you show Mr. and Mrs. Smith to their room?" Amy flushed, but didn't say anything.
"Where are we going, Doctor?" Sarah Jane said.
"To confront these Cybermen at their origin," Four said. He moved some levers and stared intently at the screens. The Doctor almost laughed. As if Four knew what he was actually doing… He knew the Tardis too well for that. She knew exactly where she was going and basically ignored that Doctor. He smiled, then frowned. The Tardis wouldn't give him away, would she?
Why would she? This Tardis rescued them. Or thought she did. Or did she?
The Tardis was shifty in more ways than one. In any timeline.
Sarah Jane opened a door. Ah, yes, the Doctor thought, she gave them the suite with the big king bed. She bustled around the room, showing them the closets – with clothes to fit every size and weight – the bathroom, and the lights. Finally, she stood in the middle of the room and looked at them curiously. "Mr. Smith," she said, an odd look on her face – "are you sure we haven't met?"
"I don't see how," the Doctor said. "I'm a teacher from Northhampton. I just started working in London."
"What do you do?" Sarah Jane asked Amy.
"She's a housewife," the Doctor said quickly, giving her a big hug.
"Ah," Sarah Jane said. "Well, I'll just leave you to settle in. If you want to come to the control room, just go right and keep following the hall."
"Thank you," the Doctor said. The door closed, and Amy opened her mouth.
"Ssh." The Doctor walked to the door, then after a minute, looked out the door. "She's gone."
Amy was staring daggers at him. "Your wife?" she spouted. "I'd like to see you explain that to Rory."
"I'm sure he'll understand," the Doctor said. "Once you explain it to him."
"Oh, no," Amy said. "I'm not explaining…"
"If I hadn't introduced you as my wife, they wouldn't have let us stay in the same room," the Doctor said.
"Yeah. And about that…"
"Amy Pond, we need to talk. And we can't keep trotting back and forth to each other's rooms. Trust me, I won't touch you."
She smiled slowly. "Why not?"
He rolled his eyes, but smiled. "Amy Pond. The girl who waited. You're in love with Rory."
The Doctor sighed.
Amy sat down. "Why couldn't you introduce yourself to… him?"
"Remember when I told you once that time was a timey-wimey ball, all tangled up?
She nodded her head.
"I can't introduce myself to him, because he's an earlier version of me."
"I figured that," Amy said, then squinted at him. "But you've said that you've worked with yourself before."
"I have. But I didn't have any choice but to introduce myself. And besides," he smiled. "I think I've gotten a little smarter in my old age. I can jump in without proclaiming who I am and what I can do."
"Sometimes," she snorted. "He looks older than you do."
"Yeah," the Doctor said. "Funny, isn't it?"
She rolled her eyes, then got up. "Okay, don't say anything."
He closed his eyes, and sat down.
"How're you feeling?" Amy said, concerned.
He opened his eyes again. He had been feeling a little shaky. "Who, me? Fine. Never better. Why do you ask?"
"Oh, no reason. Because you looked a little white.…"
"I am white. Born that way, although I am surprised that one of my regenerations hasn't been brown. Luck of the draw, I guess."
He held up a finger. "Matt."
Amy growled. "So?"
"So," he said, sitting down, "if you call me 'Doctor,' things could get confusing."
She rolled her eyes. "Like they aren't now? We travelled in the Tardis to London to 'accidentally'" she used her quoting fingers, "confront cybermen and get aboard the Tardis belonging to your earlier incarnation and his current companion, whom you seem to have the hots for."
"Incorrect," the Doctor said, closing his eyes.
"The Tardis does not belong to me. The Tardis belongs to herself."
He laid back.
"And..." she said, putting a quick hand on his forehead, "you're not feeling well."
He sat up quickly. "I feel fine. Never better."
"You're hot," Amy said. "Even for you. You're sick."
"I am not," he laid back down, "I am not..."
"You are," Amy said gently, sitting beside him. "You are sick. In fact, you've been sick ever since we dropped Rory off at his Dad's." She stroked his cheek. "Is that why we're here?"
He nodded, keeping his eyes closed.
"You need to tell me."
The Doctor scrunched his eyes shut. "Fine," he finally said. "But you can't say a thing to him."
"Of course not," Amy said gently. "He's not my Doctor."
"Something happens to him soon that is affecting my existance." He shook his head. "If we don't save him from being killed, I'll cease to exist."
She looked at him. "Which means..." she turned pale.
"Exactly," the Doctor said. "Your existence is threatened, too."
She glared at him. "I wasn't thinking of that. I was thinking about the Universe being threatened by the cracks in the wall."
The Doctor shrugged on the bed, his eyes still closed. "That still means your existence is threatened."
She sighed loudly.
"So we need to prevent me from being killed."
"Do you have any idea how?"
"No, and we can't tell Sarah Jane, either."
Amy got up and paced around the room. "She seems pretty bright. I think she suspects something already."
"I insist," he said. "You can't tell her a thing."
"I already know," said a voice from the door.
The dark-haired lady walked in and closed the door. "Doctor," she nodded at the Doctor warmly.
"Do you always break into other people's rooms?" Amy said, getting up and trying to place herself in between the two.
"No," Sarah Jane said. "Only those people who I think might threaten my Doctor." She paused. "Or those who give me weird vibes, like you two do." She paused. "I'm not sorry I eavesdropped."
"Sarah Jane. You look good."
"How many years?"
The Doctor shook his head. "Many years past your lifetime."
"I see." She looked sad, then looked at Amy. "Is she taking care of you?"
"She and her husband."
"Husband! So you are not…?"
"No," Amy said, then blushed. "No!" She looked at Sarah Jane curiously. "There is…"
"No," Sarah Jane said decisively. "Of course not."
Matt looked between the two. "If you two are through with status updates…" He turned to Sarah Jane. "Does he suspect?"
Sarah Jane smiled. "No. In some ways," she said. "You are very, very innocent." She looked at the Doctor up and down. "Perhaps my Doctor is more innocent than you are. You look very different. And very, very sad."
"Can you tell me why?"
"No." He looked at Amy warningly, who nodded.
She nodded. "Your name is not Karen River, either, I take it."
"You would be right," Amy said. She glanced at the Doctor. "But that's good for now."
"So," Sarah Jane said businesslike, "you expect that you are going to be killed. But you don't remember anything?"
"No, of course not. Since I wasn't killed, I'm not going to remember when I'm going to be killed, am I?" he said, testily.
"Now," Sarah Jane smiled. "That sounds like my old Doctor."
"What besides your 'feelings' tipped you off?" the Doctor said.
"Mattendolen." Sarah Jane and Amy said together.
Amy shook her head. "You really need to work on your British names," she said. "Besides 'John,' who nobody would believe for a second."
"Next time," Sarah Jane said. "Use the name 'Mathew.'"
"Fortunately, my Doctor isn't much better."
The Tardis shuddered to a halt.
"We've stopped," the Doctor said.
"I noticed," Sarah Jane said, and rushed out the door to the control room, followed by the Doctor and Amy.
Four was in the middle of the control room, looking perplexed. He circled the dais, pulling on levers and peering at controls. "I don't understand it," he muttered.
"Where are we, Doctor?" Sarah Jane said. She shot a warning look at Amy and the Doctor.
"Where are we?" Amy said, her voice rising. "What do you mean, where are we?"
The Doctor looked at her admiringly. He never realized what a good actress that Amy was. "Now, dear," he said soothingly. "I'm sure there's a perfectly good explanation." He looked at Four with as bland an expression that he could manage.
"It's an unexpected stop. There shouldn't be any Cybermen here."
The Doctor bit back a retort. "Stop?" he said blandly. "Is this some sort of vehicle?"
"It's a Tardis. A Time and Relative Dimension in Space Machine," Four said distractedly.
"So we've moved?" the Doctor said. "Can you look outside?"
Four gave him a look, then moved to the other side. "Of course I can. What do you think I was going to do, open a door?"
Sarah Jane gave the Doctor an amused look.
Four harrumphed and turned the television on in the console, then stood back. "Seems harmless enough."
The television showed a forest of evergreens. Blue and yellow birds flitted back and forth across the scene. There was a tall mountain in the background. "Oh, good," Amy said. "We've landed in Canada."
The Doctor gave Amy a warning look, then looked bland again. Sarah Jane snorted. Four looked up, obviously distracted, "huh?"
"I said, the picture looks like Canada," Amy said, letting the fear come back to her face.
"Right," Four said. "So there's no need to be afraid." He strode to the door and threw it open. He took a big sniff. "Bracing."
The Doctor looked at Amy. They moved to the door, peering out. "I wonder where we're at," Amy said.
"Well," Four said. "Let's go and find out." He headed out the door. Sarah Jane glanced at the Doctor and Amy and followed him out.
The Doctor looked back at the Tardis console longingly. "Don't even think about it," Amy said. "This isn't your Tardis."
"Yes," he said, "it is."
"Are you coming?" Four yelled.
The Doctor sighed. "Yes," he said. He pointed. "We're following," he said to Amy.
"Yes, we are," Amy grinned.
"You're enjoying this."
"Yes, I am."
"Well," he said. "Stop enjoying it so much and keep watch." He looked around. "You're right," he said. "It does look like Canada. Or the Northern United States."
"Can you think of any other planet that looks like this?"
The Doctor grinned. "Besides Earth? A ton of them." He looked around again. "Most of them a bit more inhabited." He looked around a third time, puzzled. "When the Tardis gets an idea, she usually lands someplace where she thinks I should be. But why should I be here?"
"Perhaps," Amy said. "She thought you needed a vacation."
The Doctor blinked. "Do you hear that?" Just ahead, Four had stopped and looked around. He pointed and climbed a hill, then got down, hugging the ground, peering over the peek. Sarah Jane, the Doctor, and followed. The Doctor looked at Four.
"Cybermen," he said. He looked again. "And it looks like they've been recruiting prospects."
The Doctor looked over the hill and bit his lip. Men, women, and children were in a fenced in area. There were bunkers, latrines, and messes of people milling around. The whole area reminded him disturbingly of Auschwitz or Dauchau, both of which he was helpless to prevent at the time. "But not now," he muttered.
"What?" Four said.
"I said," the Doctor said, "that that looks bad."
"Cybermen," Four said, rolling over and looking blindly at the sky. "Beings who believe that the only perfection is cybernetic. And controlled."
"Borg," Amy said.
The other three stared at her.
"It's from an American TV show," Amy explained. "Star Trek, the Next Generation."
"I know of Star Trek," Sarah Jane said slowly, "but …"
The Doctor shook his head at her. "It just means that we know what you're talking about." He looked over at the encampment. "We should get away before they discover us," he said slowly. It almost killed him to say that, but if he were taken over here, all of the later good he had done would be undone.
"No." Four said, rolling back over and looking at the camp. "We need to rescue them."
"Yes," the Doctor said slowly. "But how?" He felt a twinge in his leg and couldn't avoid a wince. Amy glanced at him, alarmed. He shook his head slowly at her, even though he knew that the pain was caused by something that Four was going to do.
"I have an idea," Four said. He started to stand up, and the Doctor grabbed him by the leg. He jerked his leg, stared, puzzled, down at the Doctor, then sat down again. "You have a better idea?"
"It looked," the Doctor said, "like you were just going to stride into the compound and announce yourself as the Doctor."
"I was," Four shrugged. "Why not?"
"Do you think they're going to fall over at the announcement?"
"Once I was in the compound, I would have made a plan."
"Arrogant sod," the Doctor said under his breath. Amy smiled.
"Doctor," the Doctor said. "I said, send me in. I'm more expendable."
"Send you in?" Four said. "You've barely been on the Tardis for a couple of hours! I'm not going to send an innocent – a young man - into danger."
One side of the Doctor's face turned up. "I'm not as young as you think, Doctor. I've seen my share of evil things."
"No." He started to get up again.
The Doctor lobbed a rock at Four's head. He went down like a sack. "Doctor!" Sarah Jane said. She glanced at the Doctor, then went to look at Four.
Amy slapped his arm. "What did you do that for?"
"Trust me," the Doctor said. "That hurt me worse than it hurt them." He put a hand to the side of his head, where a scar had appeared. He turned to Sarah Jane. "It's better if I go down rather than him. This is where it happened."
"Are you sure?"
"Oh, yes," the Doctor said. He pulled up his pants leg and Amy gasped. Just disappearing was a sheen of metal. As the Doctor watched, the metal changed back to flesh.
"And you think you going down there is better than him," Amy said, shrill.
"If he," the Doctor pointed, "goes down there, he'll undo all of the good that I did. But my future is still uncharted."
"Doctor," Sarah Jane said, "your future is unlimited. You are not any more expendable than he is."
The Doctor smiled. "Oh, Sarah Jane. That's what I've learned throughout the years. I am so expendable, you wouldn't believe it. I just do the best I can."
Sarah Jane looked at Amy. "Has he really learned humility?"
Amy shrugged. "When he's not bouncing off the walls."
The Doctor took off his coat, smeared dirt over his face, ripped his shirt, and ran towards the compound. "Help me!" he yelled. "Help me!"
The people in the compound looked up, alarmed. "Go away," one of them shouted. "Go! Save yourself!"
The Doctor was surrounded by Cybermen and shuffled into one of the compounds. "No," he yelled. "Daleks!"
The closest Cyberman turned around. "Where are the Daleks?"
"Not logical," the Cyberman said. "The Daleks cannot travel over uneven ground."
"They're flying," the Doctor said. With a move, he slipped his sonic screwdriver out of his pocket. He fingered a switch and pointed it at the Cyberman.
The Cyberman stopped and cocked his head slightly. "I hear Daleks," he said.
The Doctor pointed his screwdriver at the other Cyberman. "Daleks," they said. "Coordinate."
He pointed the screwdriver at the horizon, away from the trio sitting on the hill.
"They appear to be over there," one Cyberman said.
"Not logical," the first one said. "This one came from that direction." They looked at the Doctor, who was looking at them with an innocent face.
"They're surrounding this place," he said, looking fearful, but thinking that they weren't falling for this.
Maybe he should have let Four come down.
"There are more humans up on the hill."
The Doctor shrugged. "Who said we are all human?"
"Because we aren't," Four said, behind him. "Two of us are from someplace else."
The Doctor turned. "How did you…?"
"I'm cleverer than some of our people think we are." He tapped his head. "What I don't know is why you're here."
"Why do you think?" The Doctor cursed himself inwardly. He should have known that he couldn't pass as human in front of himself. He was much smarter than that.
And he wished that the Gallifreyan language had figured out pronouns for encountering oneself on one's timeline. Maybe that was why doubling up on one's timeline was forbidden. Nobody could figure out the pronouns.
He felt a sharp twinge in his leg again. "I didn't want you to come down here."
"And if you know me," Four shrugged, looking at him sharply, "you know that I don't take orders well. Or take getting knocked out with good grace. Or getting spied on."
"Where's… Karen and Miss Smith?"
"They are back up on the hill."
"That's what you think, bub," Amy said. "You think I'm going to stay up there while you're down here?"
Four cocked his head at her. "Feisty human, isn't she?"
"Hey!" Sarah Jane said.
"So now we're all down here," the Doctor mused. "By the way," he shouted. "I think I had them all convinced that Daleks were coming over the hill!" He looked at the Cybermen. They were all looking at the hill. He blinked -
- then he heard it. He looked at Four, who gave him a knowing look.
"Daleks?" the Doctor said.
"Daleks." Four agreed.
The Doctor felt a twinge in his other leg, a sharp pain, then nothing, and knew without looking that both of his lower legs were metal. He looked down. At least they were still under his trousers.
The whir of the Dalek's motors were even louder now, and they started appearing over the hill. They weren't flying, but they were moving slowly through the forest. The Doctor looked at them closely. They looked somehow different. They looked -
- like they did when he himself was the man beside him. His mouth opened, then closed. So these Daleks wouldn't recognize him as the Doctor. That could be to his advantage.
"Get the Doctor. Exterminate," came the massed hum from the Daleks. They started shooting at the Cybermen.
Four looked bemusedly at the Daleks. "So I'm being rescued by Daleks?"
The Doctor felt a twinge in his arm. "Not yet." He stood up. "May I have your attention!" he shouted. He started walking toward the fight.
"What is he doing?" Amy said, behind him. "He can't do that."
Sarah Jane smiled. "He is."
She laid a hand on Four's arm, who looked down at her. "I have to save that idiot," he said.
"Doctor," Sarah Jane said gently. "That idiot is saving you." She held on to his arm. "Let him do it." She offered a hand to Amy, who grasped it.
The Doctor looked forward again. "Attention, please!" He blinked. He could hear his voice go funny, just like the cybermen. He waved his hand behind him, hoping they would get the message to escape at the earliest opportunity.
"What is this?" a Dalek said.
"It is our prisoner," said one of the cybermen. He stepped forward.
The Dalek looked the Doctor up and down. "It is part cyberman. And it is part Gallifreyan. It is…"
"I am," the Doctor closed his eyes, then suddenly it was as if he couldn't close his eyes. "I am." He could feel his mind going. "I am. I am. I am." He struggled to stay. "I am…" He couldn't feel his body. He looked at himself. He was metal. He struggled to keep the rest of the Cybermen out of his mind. "I am. I am. I am Cyber… I am Cyberm…"
He shook with the effort to keep them out.
Suddenly, with a jerk, he could feel his body. He smiled broadly and jumped up into the air, pulling out his sonic screwdriver out of his pocket. "I am the Doctor!"
"But. But." The Dalek said. "The Doctor has a long scarf and curly hair. You are not the Doctor."
"Update your database," the Doctor said. He pointed the screwdriver at the Daleks, then turned. "And update yours. I am the one you want."
"We don't think…"
"No," the Doctor said. "You don't. I am yours, to do whatever you want." He hoped that Four would have the presence of mind to take Amy home. He hated to leave Amy and Rory, but at least he had left them before they left him. He hoped they wouldn't miss him too much…
He heard a grinding noise, then a door opened, and an arm grabbed him in. The door closed. "You're not getting away that easily, you wanker."
He smiled broadly. "Amy!" He turned to the console. "Karen!" he said, a moment later.
Four cocked his head. "Right." He set a control on the console, then turned to the Doctor. "I don't believe I've ever met you before on Gallifrey, have I?"
"No, Doctor," the Doctor said truthfully. After all, he reflected, how could one meet oneself?
"Why are you incognito and traveling with a human?"
"Why are you?"
"I enjoy being with humans. They're an admirable race." Four shrugged.
"As do I." He smiled. "So – are you going to drop us back off in London?"
"Why didn't you want me to get near the Cybermen?"
Four was getting too close to the truth. "Because," he said lamely. He really didn't want to explain anything to Four – the truth would devastate him. Let him live this life in his ignorance. There was nothing Four or any of his various incarnations could do to prevent the coming disaster. The Time Lords had to be trapped in their time-loop or the rest of the universe would suffer. Four had been president of the Time Lords, therefore he would resist any suggestion that he could destroy his own race.
"Because. Humph." He pursed his lips and turned away. "Well, 'Matt', keep your secrets. I'll drop you off where I found you."
"Thank you," the Doctor said. "Trust me," he added. "It's for the greater good that you don't know who I am."
"Really," Four said.
Sarah Jane put a hand on Four's arm and smiled at the Doctor. "Please, Doctor. Do you really need to know everything?"
"Look who's talking," he smiled. He punched a button. "There." The Tardis ground to a stop. "Go."
"Thank you, Doctor," the Doctor said gratefully. "You didn't have to save me."
"Yes, I did," the Doctor said. "You saved me."
Sarah Jane walked up and kissed his cheek. "Take care of yourself."
"I'll take care of him," Amy said.
Sarah smiled knowingly. "Right."
As they walked out of the Tardis, he heard Four say, "Sarah Jane, did you happen to think there was something odd about that Gallifreyan?"
"Why, no, Doctor," said Sarah innocently. "I think you're all odd."
The door closed, and Amy and the Doctor burst out in laughter.