Characters/Pairings- 11, Romana IV, hints of Amy/Rory
Summary- The Doctor, Amy and Rory have an "impossible" adventure and find something unexpected. Warning: if you read this, you WILL be spoiled for next season. If you don't want to be spoiled, don't click, because there are giant spoilers in bold at the very top of the page.
Inspiration for this fic: Suranne Jones will play a character called Idris... She plays someone who is beautiful and who bites "and who might just turn out to be an old acquaintance with a new face... Although Idris is preparing for death as the story begins, she doesn't actually die. By the time the Doctor and friends meet her she's gone mad and ends up biting the Time Lord …".
The name Idris means "Lord" in Welsh. Let's face it, whether this is Romana or not, we absolutely have a Time Lady on our hands as of Ep. 3 of next series. My fangirl brain is going
( ( BOOM ) ) as we speak. The only debate, really, is whether it's the Rani or Romana (I'm hoping for the latter, obviously).
Amy stumbled out of the TARDIS, coughing at the smoke pouring from the console, with Rory just behind her. The Time Lord backed out after them, aiming a fire extinguisher into the depths of the TARDIS and tripping slightly over the door frame as he failed to pay attention to where he was going.
"Blimey, that's a rough landing," he grumbled. "That's what I get for unintentionally crossing the void..."
"Where are we?" Amy asked.
"I'm not sure," the Doctor said, still peering into the TARDIS with a worried look on his face. "Except I know we're in another universe. Which should not be possible, but there it is."
Rory rolled his eyes. "Any chance you can be a little more vague?"
The Doctor turned around at last and surveyed their surroundings. "We seem to be in some kind of... junkyard," he stated. "A huge junkyard."
And so they were. They were standing on a warped sheet of aluminum, and in every direction, as far as any of them could see, were miles upon miles of heaps of assorted items, most broken beyond repair and many rusting or deformed.
"Yes, I know that, Doctor," Amy said. She seemed intent on asking for more information, but then seemed to think better of it. "Well, come on, we're not going to find anything out by sitting on our bums, now are we?"
She marched off in a randomly selected direction; the other two exchanged long-suffering looks before following.
When they had first landed, the Doctor had thought the planet must be uninhabited. The TARDIS hadn't picked up any life signs before the time rotor started making that funny noise and everything went haywire. But as they had traveled further west, he had realized almost immediately that there was something buzzing painfully on a psychic wavelength.
"Alright, we have been walking for hours," Rory said. "We've got to be miles from the TARDIS; don't you think we should go back before we get lost or something?"
"Rory, we're already lost," the Doctor said peevishly. "We're in a universe that I can't even identify! Besides... I want to have a proper look 'round. There's something... I feel something. Can't you hear it? That sort of shrill humming?"
The Ponds shook their heads.
"Tiny little human brains..." the Time Lord muttered. "Well, there's something here. And I want to find out what."
It was sunset by the time they found her.
By that point, the noise in the back of the Doctor's head had grown to a constant sub-psychic shriek. Some kind of desperate scream for help, repeated for so long it had become pure rote, an unconscious action of a broken mind; when they rounded the end of what had once been a high-class personal spaceship to see a crouched figure digging through a heap of trash, the Doctor winced, because he feared he already knew what they would find.
The figure was female, dressed in the tattered remains of what had once been some kind of robes, and though they were stained beyond recognition, the Doctor was suddenly very, very sure that if they were restored to pristine condition, they would have been scarlet and gold. Her dark hair was matted and dirty, and her face and exposed skin were streaked with grime and, in some places, blood. She took no notice of the trio as she threw herself into the pointless excavation of the junk pile, apparently heedless of any injuries she received on jagged metal.
"Doctor, what-?" Rory asked in a hushed voice.
"Who is that?" Amy echoed.
He turned to them and held up a hand to signal them to stay put. He then moved forward on his own to approach the woman. She didn't even acknowledge him as he stood right next to her.
The Doctor closed his eyes and listened, tuning out the clanking sounds as the pile of junk the woman was digging through shifted around. He focused his hearing, so much better than that of a human, on the woman herself.
Two heartbeats. He had feared as much.
Delicately, he placed his hand on her shoulder.
She whipped around, hissing fiercely, and sank her teeth into the offending extremity. The Doctor yelped and pulled his hand back. The woman stared at him and rose from her low crouch into a defensive stance, eyes wild like an animal.
The Doctor reached out mentally to the source of the psychic screaming. The connection was instantaneous, an ease of psychic transfer he hadn't experienced in centuries, confirming what he already knew. The instant the connection was established, the noise intensified as a desperate jumble of images and concepts shot through them both. It overwhelmed him and he was pretty sure he had fallen down.
It wasn't her fault. Decades (centuries?) of total isolation on this world would take a toll on even the strongest mind; communication, especially in a form as nuanced as telepathy, would be difficult after all that.
He blinked to clear his vision and realized that yes, he was, in fact, slumped on the ground. Rory was kneeling beside him with Amy standing over the cowering woman.
"What've you done to him?" Amy demanded.
The woman lashed out, striking Amy in the chest then dancing away to a safer distance.
"Amy, it's alright!" the Doctor said before the redhead could do any serious harm. "She's just... her mind's broken. It's not her fault."
He stood up and moved forward again. The woman didn't back away from him as she did from Amy, but he could see the wildness in her eyes and how her body shook with tension and adrenaline as he moved closer. "It's alright," he said softly. "You're not alone anymore." Slowly, gently, he placed his hands on her temples.
The Doctor had always been good at telepathy. The fact that all his senses were so highly developed, even for a Time Lord, had been the only thing that had prevented him from completely failing at the Academy (well, the second time around, anyway), and telepathy was no exception. Nevertheless, he wasn't a miracle worker. Even he couldn't erase the damage the years (and the Time War? he couldn't be sure) had taken on her.
But he wasn't called the Doctor for nothing.
He hid the trauma behind a mental door. It wouldn't completely restore her, nor was it really a temporary solution, but it would bring her back to the proper side of sanity long enough for her to sort out her experiences and deal with them on her own.
As the weight of what felt like centuries lifted from her mind, she let out a gasp and stumbled. He steadied her.
She looked at him for the longest two seconds of his life (and that really was saying something). Then, silently, a tear streamed down her cheek.
"You survived, then?" she asked.
"I did, too."
"I see that."
"I wish I hadn't."
The Doctor shook his head vehemently. "Don't say that."
She sighed and glanced at the Ponds. "I see you have a new entourage, Doctor." Rory waved awkwardly.
"Yeah, well..." He grinned a little sheepishly. "Life goes on."
A slight twitch of her lips might have been a near almost-smile. "Perhaps it does, at that." Then she frowned pensively. "I can't be who I was when I knew you before. Romanadvoratrelundar was the ice cold president who gave you the order to open the Eye of Harmony and destroy our home. I don't know who I'll be now, but I can't be her. That woman, that thing I used to be... she was a monster, at the end."
"A monster who did the right thing for every living thing in the universe, rather than blindly following Rassilon into the greatest genocide ever committed," he reminded her.
"Nevertheless," she argued.
The Doctor nodded. "I understand. Believe me, I know better than anyone about the freedom of reinventing yourself. A name is a good place to start."
For a span, she was silent. Then she said, "I always liked the name Idris. It's human, but I like that. I lost the right to anything Time Lord when I ordered you to steal the Moment."
The Doctor knew that feeling would pass. It had passed in him. He still deeply regretted his actions, but if his last regeneration had taught him anything, it was that he couldn't make himself out as a monster or he would become one. The woman who used to be Romanadvoratrelundar, last president of Gallifrey, his Romana, would find healing with time. Rose had saved him; Rom- Idris just needed someone to save her.
"Idris it is, then."
The Moff and Neil Gaiman will do it better than I ever could, but that doesn't stop me from trying!
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