Disclaimer: I don't own "Doctor Who" or "Charmed"; you know the drill
Feedback: As always, it's appreciated
AN: Just to clarify, this is a crossover between "Doctor Who" and "Charmed" looking at how things might have gone if the Charmed Ones had become involved in the events of the Seventh Doctor's regeneration and the beginning of the Eighth Doctor's life (The Seventh Doctor regenerated after making a forced landing in San Francisco on December 30th 1999 due to the actions of the Master causing the TARDIS to crash-land in an alley, the Doctor subsequently being shot by gang members and taken to hospital only to be killed due to the doctors' inexperience with his physiology). Essential information about events from the Doctor's perspective leading up to his regeneration will be included in this chapter, with the Charmed Ones becoming involved in the next one; I hope it proves interesting.
AN 2: For the Charmed Ones, this takes place between the Season Two episodes "P3 H2O" and "Ms. Hellfire"- the events depicted here would take place around that time frame based on air dates-, so Piper's currently dating Dan while Leo's trying to maintain a distance, Prue's alive and acquainted with (But not yet officially dating) Jack, and Phoebe's single. For the Doctor, this takes place during an alternate take on the 1996 TV movie, so as this story begins the Doctor's currently in his seventh incarnation and travelling alone, taking the Master's remains back to Gallifrey after his execution on Skaro (Obviously before the Time War)
A Charmed Regeneration
It was on the planet Skaro that my old enemy, the Master, was finally put on trial. They say he listened calmly, as his list of evil crimes was read, and sentence passed. Then he made his last- and I thought, somewhat curious- request. He demanded that I, the Doctor, a rival Time Lord, should take his remains back to our home planet, Gallifrey.
It was a request they should never have granted.
Staring silently at the box containing the small urn of ashes that were all that remained of the man he'd once considered his closest friend, the Doctor couldn't help but ponder the irony of the situation; after all the chaos his old friend had caused throughout time and space, the ones responsible for his execution were the Daleks, and even that had been more of a show trial than anything else.
Getting off Skaro after acquiring the remains hadn't been easy, of course, but he'd pulled it off anyway; the personal force field he'd used to deflect Dalek fire might have shorted out after a few hits, but it had been enough to let him gain those crucial few feet to get into the TARDIS before the Daleks caught up with him, allowing him to comfortably sit out their attempts to fire at his ship while he set the coordinates for Gallifrey before moving the Master's remains to the container he'd laid out earlier.
"There," he said reflectively to himself, sealing the container with the sonic screwdriver, "that should do it."
It might be a relatively pointless precaution, of course- no Time Lord in existence could come back from what the Daleks had done to the Master at the end, and that was before you factored in the detail that he'd already wasted all of his regenerations-, but after all of the Master's earlier efforts to claim immortality, there was no harm in going that little extra mile, as far as he was concerned.
With the coordinates now set and the journey back to Gallifrey pre-programmed in, there was nothing more for the Doctor to do than sit down in the comfortable armchair that he'd added to the TARDIS console room during his recent reconfiguration of it- he might have been feeling unnecessarily nostalgic when he programmed the console room to its current setting to give it the appearance of a private library, complete with multiple clocks, various filled bookshelves, and a reading-chair, but that didn't mean he couldn't enjoy the comfort of the new additions-, listening to a few records and getting in a good read of a rather amusing book (The Time Machine might have been fundamentally wrong in the particulars of how it worked but Herbert had really had some good ideas)...
The skipping record player briefly distracted his attention, of course, but that was easy enough to sort out; having given the gramophone just the slight tweak necessary to get everything back to normal, the Doctor returned his attention to his reading, even allowing himself a quick jelly baby as he continued to peruse the novel. It was really far too rarely that he had the opportunity to just relax like this; maybe he should consider putting the TARDIS in 'hover mode' more often if it was the only way he could be certain of relaxation...
The slight shaking in his teacup, however, left a nagging concern in his mind that he already knew he wouldn't be able to shake off that easily. It might be a minor detail, he knew, but after he'd spent so long in his life preparing plans and traps for his enemies ranging from the large to the small, he knew better than to underestimate the importance of anything that happened around him...
What happened next was something he wasn't sure he'd ever fully understand- his best guess later on was a slight temporal imbalance formed by the sudden 'restoration' of a Time Lord 'mind' where nothing had been before shifting the psychic balance in the TARDIS just enough to knock the cup without making an impression he could detect himself-; even as he watched it, the teacup seemed to leap off the table he'd placed it on, crashing to the floor and shattering into pieces. He had just leaned over to examine it more closely in case there was some obvious sign on the cup that he'd missed when sparks suddenly burst from the TARDIS console, prompting him to put down the book he'd been reading and hurry over to the console, quickly checking the controls and activating the break as sparks burst all around him; if the TARDIS was in this kind of trouble, the last thing he wanted was to continue flying...
As the Time Rotor came to a halt in front of him, he pulled down the new monitor- the screen might be smaller than the old one, but it was more immediately accessible than the old method of flicking switches-, the Doctor glanced at the display, only for his worst fears to be confirmed.
CRITICAL TIMING MALFUNCTION
INSTIGATE AUTOMATIC EMERGENCY LANDING
"Oh no..." he muttered, taking one last check to make sure that the dematerialisation circuits still functioned properly- the TARDIS might have suffered damage to its temporal location circuits, but everything else seemed fine- before he hurried off to where he'd left the casket, praying that he was simply becoming paranoid in his middle-age- this hadn't exactly been his most relaxing life; it was only natural he'd start to suffer from some degree of stress at this time- even as he knew that there wasn't another explanation; anything powerful enough to attack the TARDIS from the outside wouldn't have resorted to such basic measures...
As soon as his eyes fell on the casket, the Doctor's worst fears were confirmed; the small metal box had broken practically in half and there was a thin trail of slime running from the crack.
He might not know how the Master had accomplished this last trick- most likely some last-ditch experiment of his in his endless quest to cheat death-, but he could be certain of one thing; whatever the Master had planned, it couldn't be good.
With the damage to the timing mechanism of the TARDIS, he couldn't even take off without risking arriving somewhere dangerous. The spatial systems might prevent him from arriving somewhere that was immediately dangerous like an active volcano or the bottom of the ocean, but that wouldn't help him if, for example, he landed at Hiroshima just before the bomb fell; there would be no immediate danger to him, but there would be trouble in the immediate future.
Glancing at the spatial coordinates, the Doctor noted that at least things could be worse, according to the ship's coordinates, he had apparently landed in an alleyway somewhere in San Francisco, while a temporary glance at the astronomy scanner seemed to put his temporal position somewhere towards the end of the twentieth century based on the location of the planets in relation to the rest of the universe...
There was nothing else for it; he'd have to go outside, find something that he could use to repair the timing mechanism of the ship, and hope that the ship's security systems would be enough to keep the Master contained inside- assuming that he was actually aware at this point rather than operating on instinct in whatever form he was in right now- long enough for him to find something that he could use to repair the ship.
On the bright side, he reflected as he turned around and walked out of the door, if the timing's accurate, I should be able to find what I'm looking for soon enough; all I need is a decent-
The sound of four bullets firing cut off his train of thought even before the bullets struck him, leaving him falling to the ground as his left leg was suddenly rendered useless by the impact of two of the bullets in the aforementioned limb; the wounds themselves weren't too serious, but the shock of being shot, combined with his weakened telepathic link to the TARDIS, was enough to knock him to the ground.
He was only vaguely aware of the sound of a car driving away with a loud screech- most likely whoever had shot him fleeing the scene of the crime-, his eyes straining for focus before he saw someone crouching uncertainly over him; a young Asian-looking boy dressed in a dark jacket with slightly curled hair.
"Timing malfunction..." he muttered, trying to get the words out even as he knew he wouldn't be able to do so; his body was already automatically shutting down to prepare for the usual healing coma to recover from the damage...
Then his eyes fell on the faint trail of slime slithering through the TARDIS keyhole- evidently the Master was still aware enough in this state to know that remaining where he was would accomplish nothing-, and a cold feeling of dread spread over him.
"Stop it!" he yelled, grabbing for the jacket of the young man above him, desperately indicating the slime that was the Master. "Stop... it..."
Then his vision blurred and he fell back onto the ground, blackness settling over his mind as his body shut down to begin the healing process.
When the Doctor regained consciousness, he only needed a moment to know that something had changed; for one thing, he found it unlikely that anything in an alleyway would be played Puccini's Madame Butterfly in that manner...
Then he opened his eyes, saw a group of surgeons standing over him, and knew that things were about to get worse before they got better; no matter how well-meaning they were, anyone even attempting to operate on him without access to UNIT medical files wouldn't have the slightest clue what to do to him without killing him...
"What you're about to do, stop," he said simply, grabbing the wrist of a nearby surgeon holding a scalpel and staring intently at her.
"Mr Smith, you'll be all right-" the surgeon began; his ears felt somewhat clogged-up, as though whatever was happening to him had hampered his body's ability to process external stimuli, but he could still hear enough of what was being said to get the basic picture of what was happening to him.
"No," the Doctor protested, trying to fight through whatever drugs he'd been given before he arrived in this situation, "I am not human; I am not like you-"
"Nobody is like you, Mr Smith-" the surgeon continued.
"Please," the Doctor insisted, his mind latching back onto the last thoughts he'd had before he sustained the damage that had led him here, "I need a beryllium atomic clock; this is 1999, isn't it?"
"We can't wait any longer, Grace," another surgeon said from just out of his line of sigh, an anaesthtetist mask being placed over the Doctor's face.
"No!" the Doctor yelled, reaching up and pulling the surgeon's mask down- revealing a narrow face with lines around her mouth that could have been caused by smiling or frowning- as he tried to pull the mask off with his other hand. "I'm not human, I'm not human!"
"Try not to speak, Mr Smith," the woman said, as the Doctor was held back onto the bed, his mind racing too quickly for him to hear the rest of her words as he tried to place what felt so familiar about this situation... something he'd encountered before... something that he'd been shown about this latest dilemma...
Then it hit him.
During that affair with Benny's father attempting to start a nuclear war as a result of the Daleks' manipulations, he'd encountered the 'ghost' of a young woman who'd become unstuck in time, who'd shown him his next regeneration while trying to break him; dying, surrounded by well-meaning strangers who couldn't help him...
Then the Doctor's memory of the events immediately before this situation returned to him, and he sat upwards in shock.
"Timing malfunction!" he yelled in shock, trying to focus his mind through the drugs that were now in his system and the residual shock caused by the bullets; if he could just concentrate long enough to metabolise them out of his system...
"The Master!" he continued, desperately trying to make someone understand as he was 'forced' back onto the bed. "He's out there! He's... he's..."
His mind blurred again as he was gently 'forced' back onto the bed, his vision and thoughts clouded over as the anaesthetic took hold, his body too weakened to properly respond to what was happening to him no matter how hard he tried to fight his way back to consciousness...
"I've got to stop...!" he muttered briefly through the mask, before the anaesthetic they'd given him filled his system and rendered him unconscious.
As he surrendered to blacked, the Doctor could only hope that whatever was about to happen to him wouldn't be too fatal...
As he opened his eyes, already slightly shivering from the cold that his body had registered before his mind could do the same, the temperature was the first thing he noticed about his surroundings.
The second thing was that he had no idea where he was.
This was followed by the rather disturbing revelation that he didn't even know who he was, or why he was in the place that he was currently inside.
What had happened to him?
Why was he only wearing this sheet?
Who was he?
And why was it so cold in here?
AN 3: For those who haven't seen the TV movie, the man at the end is the newly-regenerated Eighth Doctor; due to the surgeons' inexperience with Gallifreyian physiology, they caused damage to his heart while examining his internal organs with a probe to figure out what went wrong, but the anaesthetic they had him under almost destroyed the regenerative process and he was left unconscious for several hours after his 'death', the regeneration only completing itself in the morgue- the Doctor having been booked for an autopsy the next morning- and leaving the Eighth Doctor with total amnesia.
The "Charmed" elements of the plot begin next chapter, I assure you; I just thought it best to establish the current situation from the Doctor's perspective rather than beginning looking at things from the Charmed Ones point of view