The old Doctor stepped forward gingerly, towing Rose along with their hands closely linked. "Hello? Uh, I'm sorry... I'm so sorry. I don't mean to sound rude... or maybe I do. Who knows - this is a new me, fairly new anyway... but who are you?"
"I'm you!" The new Doctor beamed maniacally. "You, your new regeneration! Although I won't tell you which one - spoils the surprise, doesn't it? I'm the Doctor from the future!"
"Oh..." The old Doctor appeared to be thinking hard, running his hand through his shock of brown hair. "Oh! Ohhhhh. Ah, I see. I get it. Doctor from the future! Future me! Wow, I look about twelve - is that a good thing? Everyone's so obsessed with youth these days I guess I should be happy - then I guess that's a good thing. Okay! Molte bene! New Doctor... but that means I die, doesn't it? Ah, well, it had to happen. Just hope it was a good death... it was, wasn't it?"
The new Doctor nodded. "I always go out with a bang."
"Doctor?" Rose interrupted, stepping forward. She bit her lip. "If that's the new you, then where am I?"
Both Doctors stopped at that. Rose and Amy peered at eachother - Amy looked confused, while Rose just looked plain distraught.
"I'm dead, aren't I?" Rose gasped.
"No!" The new Doctor reassured her, reaching out to touch her shoulder. She shrugged away from his new regeneration, sidling closer to the old Doctor. Her Doctor.
"Then what, did you leave me? Did I get left behind? Replaced?"
Amy's eyes widened, her hands thrust to her hips. "I'm not a replacement!" She yelled defensively.
Rose smirked. "You're not the first, doll."
"Well, it doesn't look like you're the last either," Amy rebuffed. Rose's jaw dropped.
"What is this Scottish woman doing with the Doctor anyway? He only ever goes to England and Wales." Rose sniped.
"Have you got something against the Scots?" Amy's eyes narrowed. "Come on, Barbie, if you have something to say-"
"Did you seriously just call me Barbie?"
"Oh, boy. Catfight," the old Doctor sighed, taking a huge stride away from the bickering women. "Ironic considering we've just come from fighting cats on New Earth. Pesky things. Never could stand them."
"Oh, I remember New Earth!" The new Doctor grinned. "Applegrass. The Face of Boe. He's a tricky one, he is. And you'll never guess his real identity!"
"Ooh, give me a clue!"
"He's got a big head."
"He IS a big head!"
"Doctor!" Rose and Amy shouted simulatenously, and both Doctors snapped back into focus, looking sheepish.
"She said I was a dumb blonde!"
"Well, she said I was a replacement!"
"Doctor, I want to know what happens to me," Rose whimpered to the Tenth Doctor, before realizing she was asking the wrong reincarnation. She turned to the Eleventh Doctor coldly. "We obviously don't stay together."
"Obviously not," Amy said frostily, "because he's never mentioned you before."
The new Doctor shrugged. "I'm sorry, Rose, but I can't tell you. These things can't be premeditated, even if it would help. Did you ever see Back to the Future 2? Look what happened there - Biff got a hold of that book and it changed everything!"
Rose raised her eyebrows incredulously. "Um, no offense, but I don't think I'm going to use knowledge of the future to win bets."
"You see what he... what I am trying to say though, don't you Rose? Even with the little things, we can't afford to mess with the future," the tenth Doctor tried to help, though he looked just as concerned for Rose's fate as she was.
"It's not little, Doctor," Rose's voice heightened as she locked hands with her Doctor once again. "It's my life."
"It's my life too, Rose," the Doctor said solemnly.
"You're still alive."
The Doctor screwed up his nose at that. "It's a new regeneration - I don't know where, I don't know when but it's going to happen. I die and get replaced by a completely different man ... or woman, depending on the circumstances. Personality, looks, likes, dislikes - all changed. The only thing that remains is the memories. Good ones... bad ones... all the adventures I've had... friends and enemies... travelling in the TARDIS..." The Doctor suddenly looked around and emitted an audible gasp. He rushed towards the central console and cupped his hands around his face. He turned to the new Doctor, a savage glint in his eyes. "My TARDIS! What have you done to her?"
The new Doctor grinned guiltily. "We had a bit of a crash-landing."
"Aw, no!" The old Doctor moaned. "It's so... new! Ah, blimey, where's my old sofa gone? I like my old sofa!"
"Interior replacement," the new Doctor explained.
"My sofa!" The old Doctor continued to whine.
"Come on, it was a disgusting old thing anyway. Wouldn't save it even if I wanted to," the new Doctor said sharply, tired of the old Doctor's laments over his favourite piece of Tardis furniture. "And I got rid of that ridiculous piece of yellowy foam you had around the railings too. That was going mouldy and everything."
"It is pretty gross, Doctor," Rose quietly agreed.
The old Doctor turned to her with the sense of someone betrayed and finally, sighed deeply. "We should go. The TARDISES can't remain merged like this. It's not safe, for us, or for the Universe." He turned to the new Doctor, motioning blindly at the central console without looking at it's new design. "If you could just begin the basic procedures for separation-"
But before the old Doctor could finish his sentence, the ancient and recognizable rhythm of the cloister bell sounded and the four of them were once again thrown to the floor and were encompassed by a realm of darkness.
Next: Can the Doctors and the companions get along well enough to save themselves from certain disaster?
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