Disclaimer: I don't own the Doctor, the TARDIS, Fitz, Trix, K9, the Vore, Daleks, Madame Xing (From 'Halflife') or the Nestene Consciousness; they're all the BBC. I just own this plot.

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Filling in the Blanks

The Doctor blinked his eyes open.

The first thing he saw was the TARDIS console seemed to have repaired itself.

The second thing was that his hand seemed a lot rougher than it had been in his last body.

The third thing was that he had a new body.

"Oh…" he said, standing up and staring at his new hands. "I made it, then."

Then he shrugged, and looked around at the TARDIS. "Still, could have been worse, couldn't it?" he said to the ship.

Then he turned around and headed off for the wardrobe room. He wasn't sure what he wanted to wear in this life, but he was sure that it wasn't his current garb; even if his current clothing hadn't been damaged in the explosion that had caused him to regenerate, he'd instinctively disproved of the velvet he was dressed in at present. He still couldn't quite remember what had happened to him to cause this change, but give him a few moments and he was sure he'd be back to normal.

He entered the wardrobe…

And sighed at the sight; Marnal's cold fusion reactor had practically decimated the place. Most of the clothes were fairly safe- the TARDIS must have managed to contain the worst of the damage away from this area- but at least half the clothes were cinders, and there were no mirrors for him to examine his new face.

"Ah well," he said to himself, dismissing the issue of his appearance, "it doesn't matter that much; just go for something simple."

Then a thought occurred to him.

He actually had an accent; now that he thought about it, it sounded vaguely Northern.

"Mmm," he mused to himself, as he headed over to a nearby set of hangers and began to browse them for a costume. His hands hovered over his fifth self's red-and-cream coat, and then briefly contemplated a rather comfortable-looking tartan-coloured jumper, but eventually his hand settled on a fine-looking leather jacket, dark trousers, and a jumper in a deep red colour to wear underneath the jacket.

Pulling them off the rack, he smiled, laid them down on the ground, and began to take off the remains of his previous self's coat…

A few minutes later, the Doctor was standing in the remodelled console room, idly straightening out his jacket sleeves as he checked over the ship. He'd already examined his new appearance as well as he could without a mirror, and as far as he could tell his new clothes looked effective enough- the jacket even contained the psychic paper Serena had given him during that trip to Napoleon's ball in one pocket; he'd lost track of it after his regeneration and exile-, and he'd swiftly discovered an upgraded sonic screwdriver in another part of the wardrobe room- it almost looked like the TARDIS had provided him with this new one to replace the one he'd lost when it had exploded in his face; he could already tell this one had several new features available to it that the old one hadn't had, he'd need to make sure to spend some time working out what it was capable of-, leaving him with only the condition of the TARDIS itself to examine.

He still needed to look in a mirror at some point to get the full picture, of course; his new short hair just felt strange after spending so long with at least a couple of inches in all his previous incarnations, and there was no way of knowing how he looked with this whopping great big new nose in the middle of his face ('Whopping great big'? He had changed), but right now the TARDIS was more important; everything else could wait.

He was relieved to see that the console that- if his memory was accurate; regeneration always played havoc with his recall, even if this one appeared to have come through with a relatively minimal amount of disorientation- had exploded in his face, causing this last regeneration, appeared to have repaired itself while he was out of it; even if it couldn't repair most of the personal possessions that had been lost in the recent explosion, the TARDIS could do wonders for itself.

Now, what was I doing earlier… The Doctor asked himself as he stared around the console. He knew he'd remember it eventually- something important enough for him to give his life wouldn't just be forgotten even with a regeneration like that- but the question was, would it be in time…?

And then it hit him.

The Nestene home planet.

He'd failed to save it from destruction, and now the Nestenes would be heading for twentieth-century Earth.

"Oh no…" the Doctor said to himself, as he headed for the console and began to set course for Earth.

He'd already lost his home planet millennia before its time should have come; he wouldn't lose the Earth as well…

At that thought, the Doctor stopped what he was doing, grasping the edges of the console as he stared vacantly into space. He didn't even need to continue on the console anyway- the coordinates for the new destination had all been entered-, but now…

Right now, he needed the comfort and support of his oldest and most devoted companion as he processed the full scale of what he had just realised for the first time in his new incarnation.

"It's gone…" he said, half to himself, the sudden sheer emptiness expressed by the word echoing in his mind. "They're all gone… Susan… Romana… Leela… Drax… Damon… Braxtiel…"

He sighed and bowed his head. "All gone…"

He watched as a single tear dripped onto the surface of the console, and closed his eyes; he couldn't afford to cry yet.

He was the Doctor.

Terrible loss or not, he had a job to do right now.

He had to save the planet which had been his prison for the last hundred years…

The Doctor briefly shuddered at the memory.

God, that exile had been depressing; at least the first time he'd been stuck on Earth he'd known what to do to get out of that mess, even if he hadn't been able to accomplish it at the time, but now-

He stopped himself; getting bogged down in blame and frustration wouldn't help Earth survive the coming events.

He was the Doctor; it was time to start acting like the Doctor.

An hour or so later, the Doctor found himself staring at the scanner, as the TARDIS tried to detect the distinctive trace of the Nestenes' sentient plastics on Earth.

Damnit! the Doctor thought to himself, as he slammed his fist onto the TARDIS console. How long does it take to find something that distinctive? Come on, old girl come on…

And then there was a beep.

"Yes!" the Doctor cried out, punching the air in victory as he stared at the screen; the Nestene consciousness had been detected. Reaching over, he tapped at a few buttons on the console, and watched as the monitor zoomed in on the source of the signal; what appeared to be a department store somewhere in London was currently the source of a high concentration of Autons.

Fantastic! The Doctor thought to himself (Actually, that word sounded rather good; he'd have to be sure to use that more often this time around…).

According to the chronometer, it was night there, so he should manage to investigate the Nestene signal before things got out of hand; if he could find the relay device in time, he could probably whip up something suitable to blow that relay device sky-high before it could even get started.

Smiling, he set the TARDIS to dematerialise in an alleyway just opposite the front of the shopping centre; that way, if something went wrong, he stood a better chance of being able to evade the Autons that would be in the shop if he was just trying to get out of the building rather than just get to another part of it.

The Doctor sighed as he looked around himself at the corridors of the department store he'd found himself in.


He'd been searching around this place for the last few minutes, explosive device all ready to blow the Nestene relay device to pieces, and so far he'd found nothing that would indicate there was so much as a single Auton here, and he was getting bored on top of everything else; evidently his new incarnation's attention span wasn't particularly long (Although that could just be post-regenerative disorientation; he'd need to give his new persona some time and take it from there).

He glanced down at the sonic screwdriver, moving it closer to his eye for inspection just in case he'd mislaid the power source; after all, he had only recently started using this thing, it wouldn't be impossible to assume he'd missed something…

Suddenly, he nearly stumbled as he walked into something. Looking down at his feet, he sighed as he saw the sight; a dead man, apparently in his mid-thirties, with at least- the Doctor winced- half his head missing, possibly from an Auton gun striking him in the face.

The Doctor stared at the body for a few seconds, and sighed.

The first casualty of the new Auton invasion… he mused regretfully.

He was briefly tempted to call UNIT- they'd certainly been helpful the first couple of times he'd faced the Nestenes-, but pushed that thought aside; right now, the memory of the war still fresh in his mind, just the thought of becoming associated with the military in this incarnation was something that he did not feel… comfortable… with-

Before he could follow that train of thought any further, the screwdriver started to beep. Looking down at it, the Doctor stood up and slowly turned around, stopping when the screwdriver was making an almost continuous whine while pointing at a door a few metres down the corridor, indicating the presence of a strong concentration of Nestene-controlled plastic in that direction.

Slipping the screwdriver off and into his pocket, the Doctor walked down towards the door, and, peering through the keyhole, saw what was causing the beeping; a vast, almost army-sized amount of Autons, walking towards a young blonde-haired woman with her back to the door…

The Doctor didn't hesitate.

A life was in danger, and he was the Doctor; the course of events was obvious.

He opened the door, grabbed her hand, and looked her in the eyes as she turned to see what had just grabbed her.

"Run!" he told her.

The rest… is history…