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 has unfortunately now been taken off YouTube- and is used with their permission
Feedback: Much appreciated
AN: The votes are in and opinions have been logged and noted; as promised, majority rules have concluded that Christina...
Well, you'll see when you get there
AN 2: As a bonus, I include a SLIGHT hint at plans for a future plot; without giving anything more specific away, I'll just say that Bella's going to meet some old companions and deal with a loose end from a novel adventure in a future plot...
Planet of the Dead
As the bus came to a halt on the ground in front of the tunnel- the initial jolt of landing was slightly rough, but considering how difficult the departure had been that was a definite improvement-, I had to remind myself not to feel too satisfied at the applause we received from the various UNIT soldiers gathered around the entrance; appreciation was nice, but in the end it wasn't like I'd done that much to contribute to our return to Earth...
Glancing back at the rest of the bus, the Doctor gave me a brief nod of approval when he noticed the Tritovores' currently-concealed state before he aimed the sonic screwdriver at the bus doors, opening the vehicle that had been our shelter on San Helios, our assembled passengers exchanging smiles and professions of gratitude with each other as they walked past the Doctor, Christina and I and headed out onto the streets.
"Welcome back, everyone," a young man in a military uniform said, walking over to stand close to the bus as he waved us all away from the vehicle, some of his colleagues waving what looked like Geiger counters over the passengers. "If you could step away from the bus, just to be safe, fast as you can, thank you - it's standard procedure, we just need to screen you, then you will all be taken for debriefing..."
"I don't count, and they're with me," the Doctor said, pulling out the psychic paper and showing it to the nearest UNIT guard as he indicated the Tritovores and me, the guard glancing at the paper before giving the Doctor a confirming nod and waving the four of us away from the bus.
"Doctor-!" Christina began, before the soldier lead her away to be scanned along with the others, leaving the four of us to walk along the tarmac towards a dark-skinned woman in a black uniform who was all but pushed aside by an older man with a round face and short greying hair in a long white coat underneath a shorter black military jacket, round glasses, and grey scarf.
"Doctor!" the man said, grinning broadly at the sight of my friend.
"You must be Malcolm!" the Doctor said, smiling gratefully back at the other man, the Tritovores and I standing slightly behind him as he looked at the other two people.
"I love you!" Malcolm said, still grinning enthusiastically as he suddenly hugged the Time Lord, before pulling back to address the Doctor more directly. "I love you. Oh, I love you. I. Love. You."
"To your station, Doctor Taylor," the woman who I presumed had been in charge of the operation said, looking at the other man with a slightly exasperated yet warm smile.
"Yes, ma'am," Malcolm replied, nodding slightly breathlessly at her before he walked away, pausing only briefly to adjust his glasses before he turned back to look at the Doctor one last time. "I love you."
As he ran off back to the van after he and the Doctor had exchanged congratulatory points with each other, the woman turned to look at the Doctor, smiling warmly at the Time Lord.
"Doctor," she said, raising her arm after only a brief glance at me as I stood alongside the Tritovores behind him, "I salute you, whether you like it or not."
"We just did what we could..." I said, suddenly feeling embarrassed even if I wasn't the one receiving the salute.
"Which is why you all deserve it," the woman said, looking over at me with a slight smile. "You'd be the latest companion, I take it?"
"Bella Swan," I responded, briefly noting the implications of that last comment before I shook it off; if the Doctor was as old as he implied at times, it was only natural he'd have travelled with people before now. For a moment, I thought I saw a faint flicker of recognition in the older woman's eyes as she looked at me, but then it passed as she re-focused her attention on the Doctor, and I dismissed it as nothing by my imagination.
"Now," she asked the Doctor, "I take it we're safe from those things?"
"They'll start again, generate a new doorway; not their fault, it's a natural life-cycle," the Doctor said, shrugging slightly as he spoke (Not that I couldn't see his point; unlike the Cullens and other vampires, who had the ability to make a choice, the swarm were just animals when you got down to it). "But I'll see if I can nudge the wormholes on to uninhabited planets; right bit of equipment should allow me to shift their bio-rhythms a bit, divert the wormholes away from anything with the right amount of sentient mental energy on it to indicate that the planet's inhabited. Closer to home though, Captain, those two lads..."
As the Doctor turned his head slightly, I followed his gaze to note that he was indicating where Nathan and Barclay were currently being scanned by the other soldiers.
"Very good in a crisis," the Doctor continued, walking around to stand beside the captain as he continued to speak. "Nathan needs a job, Barclay's good with engines, you could do a lot worse. Privates Nathan and Barclay, UNIT's finest?"
"I'll see what I can do," the captain said (Somehow, I had a feeling she'd do more than that; from the way that Malcolm had talked about the Doctor during the initial phone call, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that advice from the Doctor was advice from God as far as UNIT were concerned).
"And I've got something for you..." the captain added, smiling as she indicated a truck a short distance away from us, the back cover being raised to reveal a familiar blue box, its windows glowing as it sat and waited for its crew to return.
"Oh, better than a bus, any day!" the Doctor said, grinning enthusiastically as he hurried over to the TARDIS as it was lowered back onto the ground, beckoning the Tritovores over to him as he quickly opened the door to wave them inside.
"Natives?" the captain asked, looking at the small creatures with a brief smile as the Doctor grabbed our coats off the Tritovores as they passed by him, sounds of what I assumed were awe at the size of the interior clearly audible before the Doctor shut the door.
"Just visitors, actually; I said I'd get them home when those things attacked their ship, and they gave us access to a few bits and bobs to get us back to Earth," the Doctor explained as he shrugged on his coat and tossed mine back to me. "Don't worry about where you picked the old girl up, by the way; she doesn't mind."
I tried not to consider the implications of the royal family not minding about the Doctor leaving the TARDIS in the gardens of Buckingham Palace; I was definitely starting to wonder where my strange new friend didn't have contacts...
"Now," the captain continued, walking forward in a nonchalant manner as she looked at the Doctor, "I've got three dead alien stingrays to clear up; I don't suppose you want to help with the paperwork?"
"Not a chance!" the Doctor replied with a broad grin.
"Until we meet again, Doctor," the captain said, nodding at him in a manner that made it clear she'd expected that response, shaking his hand warmly.
"I hope so," the Doctor replied, smiling back at her.
"A pleasure to meet you, Miss Swan," the captain said, turning to me and shaking my hand, leaving me standing in silence for a moment as I looked uncertainly after the woman- something about the way she said that felt like she meant something else beyond the obvious-, but then Christina ran past me and my attention was drawn back to her as she stood in front of the TARDIS, smiling eagerly at the Doctor.
"Little blue box; just like you said!" Christina said, grinning at him as though they were simply picking up a conversation that I'd missed earlier. "Right then; off we go! Come on, Doctor; show me the stars!"
I had no idea how I should feel about that statement.
It wasn't like I had any say in what the Doctor did- the TARDIS was his ship and I was just a passenger, after all-, and I could probably learn to get along with Christina, but I just didn't find the idea of having to spend time with her that appealing...
"Nope," the Doctor said, looking firmly at Christina.
Relief and confusion warred within me to determine how I should best react to that statement; as much as I was glad to know that Christina wouldn't be joining us- I didn't want anything more from the Doctor other than friendship, but I was just getting comfortable with the dynamic we'd developed in the TARDIS so far; adding in a third person would have felt strange-, the Doctor's dismissal of her did seem a bit abrupt...
"What?" Christina asked, looking at the Doctor in confusion.
"I said no," the Doctor repeated.
"But I saved your life," Christina said, looking at him in confusion. "And you saved mine."
"So?" the Doctor replied, his expression giving nothing away.
"We're surrounded by police," Christina continued, glancing anxiously at the people around us. "I'll go to prison."
"Yep," the Doctor said, taking a deep breath as he acknowledged Christina's assessment of our surroundings (A part of me wasn't sure what to think of the Doctor's abrupt dismissal of that statement, but I quickly amended that thought; given that Christina had already revealed why she'd be arrested, it wasn't like she wanted to escape to avoid unjust punishment or anything like that).
"But you were right," Christina said, looking urgently at him. "It's not about the money; I only steal things for the adventure, and today, with you... I want more days like this. I want every day to be like this. You saw it yourself; we made the perfect team..."
"We were a good team for this incident; that doesn't mean we're a good match on a more regular basis," the Doctor said, shaking his head firmly. "For one thing, I don't just take people around the universe with me because they saved my life, and for another, what you've just said makes it clear you'd be joining me for the wrong reasons; I'm not going to take anyone around the universe for the adrenaline rush. Given your past behaviour- to say nothing of what you just did up there-, you're too used to things going your way; might have been interesting under other circumstances, but as it is, I'm fine with who I have now, and your presence on board isn't what we're looking for."
Before the now-dejected-looking Christina could say anything else to respond to the Doctor's last statement, a slightly overweight man in a suit who was probably a police detective walked up to us, along with a couple of uniformed officers who quickly took up position around Christina.
"Lady Christina di Souza," the man said, looking at her in obvious satisfaction as his men placed handcuffs on Christina's wrists, "I have waited a long time to say this; I am arresting you on suspicion of theft, you do not have to say anything, etcetera, etcetera..."
With that, Christina was led away by the uniformed officers after she gave us a last pleading glance, leaving the Doctor and I to silently watch as she was lead away towards a police car while we just stood beside the TARDIS.
"Uh... what she just did?" I asked, looking curiously at the Doctor, feeling that something else needed to be said about what had just happened.
"She kissed me," the Doctor said simply. "She's probably used to getting men to do anything she wants after she's had a good snog with them- play on the emotions, get the hormones riled up, things like that-; personally, I found it nice, but I'm not going to travel with someone when I'm fairly sure they're going to try and use me after what happened the last time I invited someone like that along..."
"What happened?" I asked uncertainly.
"Long story for another time," the Doctor replied, shaking his head as he looked back at me, the stare making it clear that I wasn't to bring up that particular issue again unless he did. "The point is, I take people who will appreciate the wonders of the universe, but, from what I've seen, Christina would just appreciate the danger; this was always about the thrill for her, rather than the desire to help. She nearly got herself killed back on San Helios because she leapt into action to do things her way without checking to see if it would be safe; I'm all for my friends showing initiative, but you can't just go diving into action when you're facing something this unfamiliar, you know?"
For a moment, as he looked after Christina, toying with the sonic screwdriver, I wondered if the Doctor was still thinking about helping her, but then he looked back at me and shook his head, simply watching as Christina was forced into the car.
"You didn't... want to help her get away?" I asked, looking slightly uncertainly at the Doctor. "I mean, she did help us..."
"Thought about it," the Doctor admitted with a shrug, "but what would it have accomplished? She'd be free with nobody to go to and nothing to fall back on but her old skills, except that I'd have made her aware of a whole new potential market; sometimes, you've got to tell people 'no' to help them move on."
For a moment, I was reminded of Edward- breaking my heart as he dismissed everything that we were-, but I pushed that aside; I wasn't that girl any more, and this wasn't the time to dwell on that part of my past.
"So, what'll happen to her?" I asked.
"Well, she should have a chance," the Doctor said, shrugging slightly as he looked at the car where Christina now waited. "She's not a bad person herself- doesn't sound like she killed anyone to get anything she stole, after all-, and with the rest of our little team to serve as character witnesses, I think she'll do all right when things come to trial; maybe the reminder of how she was a hero here'll help her think about doing something that benefits others rather than herself..."
He looked over at me with a surprising smile. "By the way, thanks."
"For what?" I asked.
"For being here to remind me that I need to think at times," the Doctor said.
I wasn't sure what that meant, so decided not to worry about it; if he thought that I was helping him, I wasn't going to argue with that.
"Doctor?" Carmen's voice suddenly said, prompting the two of us to turn around and look at the older woman as she stood on the street opposite us, a solemn expression on her face as she stared at my friend. "You take care now."
"And you!" the Doctor replied with a broad smile. "Chops and gravy, lovely!"
"No, but you be careful," Carmen said, her tone strangely grim as though something was speaking through her rather than her speaking herself. "Because your song is ending, sir."
"What do you mean?" the Doctor said, his expression suddenly grimmer than it had been.
"It is returning," Carmen said, staring intently at him. "It is returning through the dark. And then, Doctor... oh, but then... he will knock four times."
With that, she and Lou walked away, an apologetic expression on Carmen's face as she left, leaving the Doctor and I to exchange uncertain glances with each other.
"Any ideas?" I asked.
"Not a lot," the Doctor said, shaking his head in what I could only interpret as frustrated contemplation, before he sighed and shrugged. "Well, you know prophecies; tricky things that it's not worth putting your faith in, in my view. Come on then; time for us to be off."
"I'm all for that," I said, turning back to look at the TARDIS, thoughts of prophecies forgotten until a more immediate matter prompted me to look anxiously back at the Doctor. "Uh... shouldn't we be worried about the bus?"
"Oh, no need; without the ship to power them, the clamps'll run down sooner rather than later, and there's no way anyone on Earth would have access to the power supply needed to charge them up properly," the Doctor said, shrugging nonchalantly as he opened the door to the TARDIS. "Anyway, let's be off, shall we; once the Tritovores have been dropped off, any preference for our next destination?"
"Well... some time in the past would be nice; we've been going forward a lot lately..." I said; after my old interest in historical literature, maybe it was time to indulge myself.
"Anywhere in particular?" the Doctor asked.
"Surprise me," I said, smiling at him as we walked back into the police box that was rapidly becoming a home I'd never imagined could exist after the Cullens had left me.
Carmen's prophecy might be an issue, but it wasn't one I was going to worry about any time soon; if anyone could defy prophecy, I had a feeling that it was the Doctor.
Right now, our only priority was to get the Tritovores home, and then we were going off to somewhere in Earth's past; after that, as far as I was concerned, we could just take everything as it came.
AN 3: Well, hope you all enjoyed that; coming up next, their trip to Earth's past becomes a trip into Bella's past, when she runs into someone she was not expecting to see.
I'll tell you this right now; she's NOT going to be meeting a human Edward, but she will encounter a human Cullen in their last few hours of humanity...