He remembered more now. He hadn't regenerated, as his dreams so often told him, from anything to do with the mafia. That's what you get from post-Regenerative trauma and a nasty crash landing, plus turning into a human; faulty memories, mis-remembering. It hadn't been to do with the spacey Mafia. From anything to do with any of that. They had been a sidestep, a last adventure before his previous self – old Ten – could get on with the important business of dealing with the Ood and they're summons.
Or had it? Maybe he was mis-mis-remembering.
Wait a minute.
Something was wrong.
He remembered Carrie. Oh Carrie, I'm so sorry. He remembered what she had been through, all the loss. She had not deserved it. But it had been given to her anyway, and she had gone away like they all did, the Donna's and the Rose's and the Martha's and the Carrie's. All of them left him in the end. But this was different. He had just left. There was no kidnap, no rescue, none of this.
Something was wrong all right.
He dressed himself in the old suit, brown pinstripe that he knew had been in his wardrobe the whole time. The shoes didn't fit. Nostalgia, for a moment. These shoes! They fit perfectly! Old Eight. Brave. True. Noble.
Not noble enough. Not strong enough.
He shook his head. Old thought, not right for the moment. He had to focus, just for a moment.
Something was still wrong.
Oh yeah, Time War. If he was being caught up with his past, he was being caught up with the events of the war which his past had already been involved in, though he didn't know it. Details were changing. Time was fluxing. Big headaches all round, then, especially for him. Might even knacker up his timeline completely, and that would be bad. But, there again, the space mafia boys would doubtless kill Eight if Eleven didn't get a shift on.
Ah well. Get dressed, Doctor. Get ready to face your audience.
"Alright," he said to Carrie once he'd finished and walked down the stairs to the woman waiting for him. "I know the suit's too big, next question please."
Carrie, standing at the bottom of the stairs, looked right at him.
The suit was definitely too big. Also a little knackered looking, in places. The odd char mark.
"Your suit's a little… tatty, isn't it?" she asked.
"Crash landed, moving swiftly on," the new Doctor said.
"Nothing better in the wardrobe?" she asked.
"No, nothing, and besides which human fashions in this era were appalling."
"I liked the silver suit."
"I tried a silver suit last time – it didn't suit me."
"Ok…" Carrie shook her head, and smiled at this new man's apparent mix of zest, youthful exuberance and complete barminess. She wondered briefly at herself, accepting this new Doctor far more easily than she had initially accepted the "Fake" Doctor – but then again, this wasn't a replacement for hers, and he was the genuine thing.
The Doctor meanwhile, was trying to calm down. He was only just returned to being Time Lord, and only four hours into the cycle – his body being reset to where it was rather than noticing he'd been on Earth for five years and had perfectly adjusted to his body. Four hours into the regeneration cycle. Bit woozy. Not sure if there were any more effects yet.
He was forgetting something.
"So what about my Doctor then?" Carrie asked.
"Thank you for reminding me," the Eleventh Doctor smiled. "Come on – we'd best get moving."
"Where are we going?" Carrie asked. Eleven smiled.
"We're going somewhere," he said, walking – striding – out into the darkness. "Somewhere important. Somewhere with space mafia."
"Isn't that dangerous?" Carrie asked.
"Oh yeah," the Eleventh Doctor said. "Coming?"
Carrie decided she liked this new Doctor a lot.
"Y'know, whatever I did to you in the future," the Eighth Doctor said to his captors, sitting with the blindfold on still, "I'm sure we can come to some amicable arrangement; you don't have to kill either of me. I could leave you lot alone. Forget this whole thing."
"Nice try," the leader of the gang's voice came through. "We know you're a Time Lord though."
"Oh don't go holding that against me," the Doctor cut in. "They might be all be a bunch of pompous windbags, but I'm not..."
"But we know you won't change history," the voice said. "Changing history would knacker up time, leaving the whole thing free for - whaddya call 'em?"
"Reavers?" another voice said.
"Reapers...?" the Doctor said, fear creeping in. "Why wouldn't the Time Lords keep them out?"
"Because..." the second voice said.
"No reason," the leader said. "This one's from right before. It was only the big eared fella and suity boy who new about the - big timey thing."
"Oh," the second voice said.
"Big timey thing?" the Doctor asked. "What big timey thing?"
"You'll find out, presumably," the leader said. "One day in the future."
"But if the Reapers can get in," the Eighth Doctor said, feeling the need to ask, even though he knew he shouldn't, "then that must mean that the defences are failing, but if the defences are failing…"
He didn't want to finish that thought.
They were from his personal future. And in that personal future…
He didn't want to finish that thought either.
He felt sick. P0hysically sick. So sick as to not even be believed because what he was thinking was something he simply did not want to think but too late he's thinking it, no, stop thinking, stop thinking…
And then, mercifully, there was a noise, a loud banging noise that interrupted that train of thought completely, a loud noise followed by a stunned, echoing silence.
And then a voice.
"Hello, lads," a young, completely recognisable and very welcome voice said. "Did you miss me?"