Disclaimer: I don't own "Doctor Who" or "Twilight", and the essential details of the original concept of this fic came from a video posted on YouTube by heroesdwtw- which can be found on YouTube at .com/watch?v=VTuSUBk8fXk- and is used with their permission
Feedback: Much appreciated
AN: This begins in "New Moon" when Bella's about to jump off the cliff, during her brief mental 'conversation' with 'Edward' as she reaches the top, although things will diverge from canon after that. For the Doctor, this is set after "The Next Doctor", before he received the 'He will knock four times' prophecy and is currently travelling alone
Try to Find My Place
You wanted me to be human, I reminded Edward as I stood there, at the edge of the stone precipice that I had spent so much time thinking about. Watch me.
"Please," Edward's voice whispered at me. "For me."
But you won't stay with me any other way.
He had been the only thing that made my life worthwhile, had ever made me feel worth something; even if it was only ever a lie, how could I not want that back?
"Please," he whispered, the rain continuing to beat down on me, making me as wet as though I had already jumped once that day.
For a moment, as I paused there, my feet on the edge of the cliff, I thought I heard a strange groaning sound coming from the trees just behind me, but I pushed it from my mind; it wasn't what I wanted to hear right now...
That was what I wanted; his anger, his passion...
Raising my arms straight out before me, lifting my face into the rain, I leaned forward, crouching to get more spring...
"NO!" Edward cried out as I flung myself from the cliff, only for me to realise as I was falling that there had been another voice accompanying his at that moment, a voice I didn't recognise, a voice so unexpected that confusion over its identity momentarily made me forget the wind whistling around me, the thrill of adrenaline from the fall combining with my brief curiosity about the identity of the speaker...
Then I struck the cold water, fell into the cold, and found myself caught in a sudden current under the surface; I had been so caught up in the jump that I had forgotten about the true menace underneath the heaving surf. Lost to the current as the water seemed to fight over me, I couldn't even be sure which way was up, never mind which way the shore was... the battering waves were flinging me around like a rag doll... I was running out of breath...
Then I felt something forcibly grab me by the neckline of my thin long-sleeved T-shirt and haul me suddenly backwards to what I only learned was the surface when I felt the water vanish from my face, leaving only the cool, wind-swept air of the surface across my face.
"Hang on!" the strange voice I'd heard earlier said; I still couldn't hear it clearly over the waves that still washed against and over my head, but I could at least feel that we were going in a specific direction rather than being dragged down like I had been previously. "We're going to be all right!"
I would have laughed at the idea that we'd ever be all right in a situation like this if it wasn't for the utter determination I heard in his voice; even as we continued to be pulled along by the water, I still felt the strange man- that was all I could really determine about the voice; it was male- tighten an arm around me as he swam with the other one, my own body able to muster up nothing more than the occasional kick to support my latest rescuer out of instinctual response rather than any real desire to do so.
And then I heard him.
"Fight, Bella!" he yelled at me. "Swim! Swim!"
I could barely bring myself to do it. I was so cold- as cold as he had ever felt whenever I had those rare moments where I was allowed to touch more of him than usual-, and so tired, and it was so hard to want anything more than to be where I was, his voice in my ears, his face just visible out of the corner of my darkening vision...
When I finally opened my eyes again, black spots dancing over my vision as I coughed my way through the burning taste of the salt water in my throat and lungs, I found myself lying on a beach that I vaguely recognised as the beach a short distance down from the cliff that I had just jumped from, a slight burning pain in my chest as though something had been hitting me.
"Breathe!" that same strange voice yelled, only for me to be unable to do anything but cough through the waterfall pouring from my mouth. "You're still in there; breathe!"
It was somehow louder here than it had been earlier, the sound of the waves initially still seemingly crashing and rolling inside my head before they began to fade to a dull whoosh, leaving nothing but the rough feel of sand under my fingers, dirt against my damp cheek, and the stillness of the world around me...
"Easy there..." a voice said, smooth long fingers brushing what had to be sand from my cheek, too cool to be Jacob's but not warm enough to be Edward's. "You'll be OK... just take your time... easy there..."
I hardly felt OK as I sat up, my body shivering from cold as I blinked my eyes to try and clear my vision and my lungs burning with each breath as I inhaled through recently-tortured passages, but I was alive.
As my eyes finally felt like I could open them again, my gaze quickly fell on the man who must have been the one to drag me from the ocean, I almost couldn't believe how normal he looked. Although he was currently crouching down, he gave the impression of being a tall figure, dressed in a blue shirt, a brown tie around his neck, and brown pinstriped trousers with red converse sneakers, all of them completely soaked beyond what you would expect even in the recent rain; it was as though he'd been swimming in his clothes...
Which he had, I couldn't help but remind myself; this man, according to all available evidence, had willingly dived into freezing water, current and all, simply to try and save me...
"Hello," the man said, smiling brightly at me despite the fact that his clothes were all soaking wet and his hair was plastered against his forehead from the same water that had come so close to drowning me. "How are you doing there, Miss...?"
For a moment I could only stare at him, barely able to process what had just happened or what he'd said to me- the concept of someone other than Jacob or Edward saving me from something seemed so alien I could barely even accept that it had happened-, but then I forced the still-seemingly dampened brain cells in my dazed and battered skull into some kind of sufficient order to answer the strange man's question.
"B... Bella," I said at last. "Bella Swan."
"Bella Swan, eh?" he said, still smiling at me as though he hadn't just nearly died trying to drag me out of a tempestuous ocean that I'd jumped into myself. "Glad to meet you, Bella Swan; I'm the Doctor."
"Doctor?" I repeated, confused about what a doctor would be doing dressed like that on a walk; even Carlisle had assumed more casual clothing when he was out hunting, and he had the advantages of his vampire abilities to help him get through any hazards he might run into...
"Just 'the Doctor'," the man replied, evidently misinterpreting my confusion as an inquiry rather than simple uncertainty.
"Uh... right..." I said, deciding that I might as well start addressing the man before me more directly. "So... what were you... doing...?"
"Why was I out here?" he asked, finishing my sentence for me with a nonchalant smile. "Long story short, I was in the area looking for somewhere quiet- been a bit rough lately; this seemed like as good a place as any for somewhere to just take advantage of a bit of peace-, saw you on the cliff while I was out walking, and..."
His smile faded slightly as he looked pointedly at me. "Well, I saw you jump, and I thought that I should get involved."
"Wh... why?" I asked, looking at him in confusion after a moment's pause made it clear that he wasn't going to elaborate on what he'd just said himself.
"Among other things, it's what I do, but mainly because I have certain... issues... when it comes to people choosing death in that manner in any situation," he said, his eyes narrowing as he looked at me in a manner that somehow made me think of a Jacob with his anger pushed aside in favour of sheer intensity.
"It was only for fun..." I said, my resolution about why I had jumped in the first place paling in the face of this strange man's intensity.
"'Fun'?" he repeated sceptically. "Jumping off a cliff is your idea of 'fun'?"
"I'd seen some of my friend Jake's friends doing it, and it looked fun, and I was... bored," I finished, realising as I spoke how weak it all sounded. "I didn't think about how the storm would affect the currents-"
"Oh, I'm not saying that you were planning on jumping into the current like that; I'm just saying that your... less-than-thorough approach towards your own safety doesn't exactly encourage thoughts that you were really thinking things through when you did that," the Doctor said, still looking pointedly at me even as he briefly waved one hand. "I admit that I don't know much about what's available for you to do in the immediate area, but there have to be less risky ways of keeping yourself occupied than jumping off cliffs; what made you put yourself in such a dangerous position?"
For a moment I thought about trying to lie about my reasons, but something in his stare convinced me to stick to the honest facts instead; it was as though he'd actually be able to... tell if I was lying to him.
"I... I lost... something... a while back," I began, trying to find a way to talk about this that minimised the need to relive painful memories. "It was the first time I ever felt really happy..."
I stopped myself at that last comment, shaking my head to make it clear to the Doctor that I was taking back my last statement; 'happy' wasn't exactly the right word to describe how I'd been with Edward, even if it was mainly because the term was simply inadequate.
"It's just..." I began, pausing for a moment to try to think of the best way to describe my feelings. "Have you ever just... encountered something so... incredible, so... unbelievable... that you could never believe it was there... that you never expected anything like that to happen to you... and had it just... taken away?"
For a moment the Doctor stared at me in contemplative silence, a reflective expression on his face, before he shook his head.
"Not exactly," he said, before he looked at me with an intensity that I hadn't even felt when Edward stared at me. "But I have been a part of a world that was so incredible you could never even begin to imagine it... and lost it all because of who I was."
I wasn't sure what to say to that.
If it had been anyone else saying something like that to me, I'd have asked him for more details, but the solemn expression on his face gave the impression that I'd just brought up a topic he wasn't that comfortable talking about, and I doubted he'd be willing to share further details about something like that with someone he'd only just met.
Even if I couldn't ask him for more information...
It didn't stop me from seeing the evident pain in his eyes at that statement.
It was a variation of the same pain I'd seen in mine almost every day since Edward had left me.
It was slightly less than mine, of course, but the sheer depth and intensity of his gaze suggested to me that this was only due to him having had more time to adapt and cope with the pain rather than because it had been less... intense... than what I'd experienced when Edward had left me.
I felt sorry for him...
I was almost surprised at the revelation; for the first time since Edward had left- even if it was only due to this man giving the impression that he actually did get what had happened to me rather than everyone else simply mouthing what was expected-, I actually felt like I had really connected with someone...
"So... you... kind of... get where I'm coming from?" I said at last, slightly surprised to find myself even thinking that; after so long believing that nobody could understand how I'd felt after losing Edward, actually meeting someone who could actually understand how I felt was something I wasn't entirely sure how to deal with.
"Let's just say I... know what you're talking about, anyway," the Doctor said, looking solemnly at me as he continued to speak. "Who was he?"
"E... Edward," I replied, the familiar pain I felt when speaking his name somehow lessened by the more genuine sympathy of the look he gave me, as opposed to the attempted consolation other people at school had shown me (Or Jake's attempt to just try and get me to plough right on through my past with Edward and move on).
I didn't even bother to ask how this man had known that what had caused me to reach this state was a person rather than an event; after everything I'd seen this last year, something that minor didn't exactly seem like something that I should be panicking about...
"So, in a nutshell, this 'Edward' left you, and you felt...?" the Doctor asked, pausing as he looked at me, waiting for me to fill in the blanks in a history that should have been something that I kept to myself from anyone who didn't already know what I'd been like back then.
I'd kept those memories locked away for so long...
But this strange, nameless man, who looked at me with an understanding I could never get from anyone at school or on the reservation... who simply wanted to know for no apparent reason other than that he was concerned about me...
"I..." I began again, fighting to keep the tears that now threatened to spill over my cheeks down as I spike. "I wanted to be with him forever... and he just... he left me... his entire family... he was tired of pretending... he couldn't be bothered... he let me get so close..."
For a moment, I thought the man before me flinched slightly at my words, but as I bent over, shaking and sobbing, he simply leant over and placed his arms around me, any hesitancy about my reaction either forgotten or dismissed, his thin body contrasting greatly with the muscles that Jacob had used to comfort me or the hard-yet-tender arms that Edward had always been afraid to use on me himself...
It wasn't perfect, and it definitely wasn't warm, but it felt... nice...
"I'm sorry," he whispered in my ear, one hand reaching up to stroke tenderly at my damp hair. "I'm so sorry..."
"I... he was everything..." I whispered shakily, uncertain if I was crying or if it was just water from the sea. "He took everything... I don't even have a picture... but he's there... he's always there..."
"Even when you don't see him any more, it doesn't make it easier to move on," the Doctor said, his voice low as he spoke, a kind of grim sympathy in his tone. "You can try to get past it by making new memories... but when everything you see reminds you of them... everywhere you go makes you think of something you did or didn't do with them..."
I looked at him uncertainly.
"Who...?" I asked.
"Rose," he said in response, pulling back to look at me with a grim expression. "Her name was Rose."
"Was she...?" I began.
"She wasn't what I was talking about earlier, no," the Doctor replied, shaking his head as he sat back on the sand, apparently unconcerned about his now-sand-covered trousers as he continued to speak. "She was there for me after I'd lost everything- well, essentially, anyway; the full story's a bit complicated-, she helped me through a rather bleak period of my life, and we had the potential for... something more than what we had... but we never got the chance to explore it before we were... separated..."
He sighed slightly as he looked out at the churning ocean before us, his own expression reflecting an inner turmoil about whether or not to continue that I somehow sensed would be just as tempestuous as the storm raging in front of us, before he spoke once more.
"It took a long time to get past that," he admitted, as he looked over at me once more, "but, with a few good friends, I was able to remember that I had a life beyond just what I'd had with her; what I had with Rose will always be an important part of me, but she doesn't have to define me."
His expression turned solemn as he looked at me. "And losing this... Edward... doesn't have to define your life, Bella. I'm not saying it won't hurt, but if I've learned anything from my travels, it's that human beings have a tremendous capacity to recover from the worst that life has to offer them; some things hurt more than others, but no matter what you're hit with, you can survive if you simply try..."
I briefly wondered what the Doctor meant by that 'human beings' comment- it was as though he wasn't talking about himself in that description-, but pushed it aside to focus more on what I was going to say now.
"But... I can't..." I said, my voice almost whispering as I looked at him. "It's been months, and I just... he took everything from me and he didn't even care... I can't move on... he's always there..."
I stopped myself before I could say anything more, suddenly embarrassed by my sudden outpouring to a man who was still a stranger even if he had just saved my life, only for the Doctor to give me nothing more than a sympathetic, contemplative smile as he looked at me.
"He is, isn't he?" he said, his tone giving nothing else away beyond a casual query that sounded more like it was addressed to himself rather than to me. "I mean, you're... how old?"
"Eighteen," I replied, without even considering the usual warnings not to give this kind of information to a stranger.
"And you... go to school here, right?" he continued.
"Well... yeah, most of the time..." I replied (Since everything with Edward my attendance record had been a bit spotty).
"So..." he said, clearly talking to himself by this point, "your boyfriend ends a serious relationship- from what I've seen of your reaction I'm assuming it was pretty serious-, you're feeling undervalued and depressed, losing interest in much else, unable to move on because you're always reminded of him everywhere..."
He shook his head as he looked up at me with an apologetic shrug. "Sorry, I'm being a bit rude; talk too much these days, that's my main problem..."
"It's... it's fine," I assured him, unable to shake the sudden feeling that there was more to that last comment than what I knew about. "Uh... were you... going somewhere with that... line of thought?"
"Well, actually, I was," the Doctor said, standing up and clapping his hands together as he looked at me. "The way I see it, there are two ways things can go from here. Option one is that I leave you here to cope with this on your own as you've been doing, I go back to my own life and you go back to yours, and we leave this incident as just one thing among many in our ever-remarkable lives..."
"Or...?" I asked, looking uncertainly at him, uncertain what he could mean by my life being 'remarkable' when he didn't even know the full story before I found myself wondering what was particularly remarkable about his life.
"Or," he continued, looking at me with a slight smile, "I do something that I'd been thinking of not doing again once more, and... you could come with me."
"Pardon?" I said, confused at the random nature of his offer (I also wondered what he meant by his comment about thinking of not doing this any more, but I had a feeling that this wasn't the time to ask that question).
"You come along and travel with me," he repeated, smiling reassuringly at me. "I've got the space, I've got the time, and you... well, no offence, but you look like you could use a bit of time away from... well, all this; quite frankly, you're never going to get through this if you're stuck somewhere that constantly reminds you of Edward all the time."
"I can't just leave-" I began automatically, not even bothering to respond to his comment about getting through this; 'getting through this' would mean that I had lost what part of Edward I had left...
"Trust me; I can have you back here before anyone even notices you've vanished," he said, smiling reassuringly at me with a nonchalant grin before it became more serious. "I'm not asking for anything more from you than a few quick trips around the proverbial block, but you look like you could use the chance to get away from it all at the moment, and not only can I offer you the perfect chance to do that, I could use a mate after everything I've been through lately..."
"Uh... just to check, when you say 'mate'..." I began uncertainly.
"I mean 'friend', yes; what is it with people and that word?" the Doctor asked, staring upwards in slight frustration. "It's not like I'm trying to give the wrong impression..."
"Never mind," I said, smiling briefly at him; it might have been a slightly poor choice of words, but his slight embarrassment at my request for clarification was actually kind of amusing.
"So..." I continued, deciding that now was the time to tackle the obvious question, "when you say that you want me to 'come with you'... where are you going?"
"That's going to take a bit longer to describe right now, so it's best that you follow me to my... transport; I'll fill you in there and you can decide then if you want to come along or not," the Doctor said, indicating the path leading back up to the clifftop where I had so recently jumped from. "Coming?"
For a moment, considering how little I knew about him and the sheer randomness of his offer, I was briefly tempted to turn around, head back to my life, forget this whole strange experience, and...
That was the problem, really; there wasn't an 'and' after that beyond what I'd been doing so far; trying to exist in a world without Edward when everything in it reminded me of him and why he wasn't there any more.
Going with the Doctor... wherever he was going...
At least it wouldn't be somewhere I knew.
If he'd already saved my life once, it at least suggested that he'd be willing to do it again if/when I ended up in trouble wherever we went from here; besides, with Victoria possibly still hanging around, maybe getting away from here myself for a little while would discourage her to back off...
"All... all right," I said at last, nodding at him with a slight smile, even as he prepared myself to at least think about running if he started doing anything I wasn't comfortable with. "So... where's your... car?"
"Well, my transport is just up the cliff where we... met," the Doctor said, indicating a path that led back up to the cliff-top. "Just need to go back up there and get my things, and we're ready to go when you are... unless there's anything you need to get, of course?"
"No, I'll... I'll be fine," I said, briefly thinking of my truck before I pushed that thought to the side; if I was away too long, Jake would probably find it easily enough...
We paused briefly at the top of the cliff to allow the Doctor to pick up a brown pinstriped suit jacket and a long brown leather coat that he'd left lying there- I tried not to think about the fact that I had prompted a man to just leave what looked like two rather expensive pieces of clothing lying around simply to save me; if the Doctor didn't seem bothered about it I wasn't going to start pushing my luck-, and then he led me a short distance into the woods behind the cliff, until we arrived in a small clear point in the trees where the Doctor smiled at the sight of the object before us.
"Here she is," he said, turning to look at me as he indicated the object behind him with a sweep of his arm. "What do you think?"
Looking at the object he was so proudly displaying to me right now, I couldn't help but wonder if I'd just been saved by a madman.
What normal man was that proud of a blue phonebox with a light on top and 'Police Public Call Box' written above its door?
"Uh... what?" I said at last, looking at him in confusion while trying not to be rude. "But... but it's a box..."
"Outside? Oh yeah, definitely; been like this for centuries," he said, smiling at me as he pulled a key out of his pocket and opened the door. "But if you step inside..."
As he waved a hand at me to indicate the door in question, I hesitated for a moment, but pushed any suspicion aside; if he was playing some kind of trick, it should be easy enough to stop the door from closing on me before I could get out.
As soon as I saw what was inside the box, however, I couldn't help but gasp in shock.
It might be small outside, but inside it was larger than the largest room at the Cullens' house, with glowing golden roundels in the curving walls, six organic-looking 'pillars' on a grill floor, and an elaborate mushroom-shaped device in the middle of the room covered with all kinds of controls, a brilliant glowing light turquoise-coloured tube stretching from the middle of the console all the way up to the roof...
"Welcome to the TARDIS," the Doctor said, smiling nonchalantly at me as he leaned against a railing near the console. "Do you like it?"
"Oh my God..." I said, staring at my incredible surroundings before I turned back to look back at him. "This... it's..."
"Impossible?" the Doctor replied. "For humans, yeah, but I'm not human; I'm a Time Lord, and this is my time machine."
"Time machine?" I repeated.
"Well, time and space, really- I can go anywhere I want in the whole universe of time and space in this old thing-, but 'time machine' gets the point across more easily," the Doctor said with a brief smile as he patted the console. "Had her for centuries, and she's never let me down; might not always steer her properly when I'm just travelling, but when I need her to go somewhere specific, she's always pulled through for me-"
"Hold on; what was that about you being a... Time Lord?" I asked, looking uncertainly at him, trying to focus my mind on the important parts of this conversation.
"It's my species," he said with a brief smile. "I'm a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey in the constellation of Kasterborous; been dropping in on Earth at various points in its history over the years- along with other planets, naturally-, and..."
He shrugged. "Well, sometimes I travel with people I meet on Earth, and I think I wouldn't mind travelling with you."
I couldn't believe what I was hearing.
A time machine...
A time machine belonging to an alien...
A time machine belonging to an alien that could go to other planets...
"We... we can go anywhere?" I said, looking slightly uncertainly at him.
"Anywhere you want," the Doctor replied with a nod and a smile at me. "Just pick."
As I stared at the man before me, I couldn't believe what he was offering.
A chance to get away from Forks... God, a chance to get away from Earth...
If I couldn't get away from memories of Edward on another planet, I couldn't get away from his memory anywhere...
"Anywhere but here," I said at last, unable to stop a slight smile crossing my face at the thought; with something like this, I could go wherever I wanted and still be back before anyone knew I was missing. "Anywhere but Forks; just... everywhere."
"Right then," the Doctor said, grinning as he walked over to the central console and began to flick the switches that I presumed would activate his incredible machine, "Bella Swan, meet the rest of the universe; allons-y!"
With that, the entire room suddenly shook around me as the central column began to move, followed by the same sound that I'd heard when I was about to jump off the cliff filling the room around us.
I definitely hadn't expected this when I started my day this morning, but I already knew that I was in for a really wild journey...
AN 2: Well, hope everyone enjoyed that; I've got a couple of idea for other one-shots set in this universe, but if there's anything you want Bella to see- or anywhere you want her to go- during her time with the Doctor, just let me know and I'll see if I can include it (Suggestions involving Bella seeing Edward as a human will only be accepted if other details about the desired encounter can be provided)