A/N: Hola! Welcome to the fifth story featuring my OC the Professor, the fifth in the Academic Series, a revision of Series 5! There are four stories that should be read before this one, Reunion, Recuperation, Relapse, and Rebound, in order to understand the Professor and the relationship she has with the Doctor.
~8~ is a scene break
~/~\~ is a flashback (three per story)
'italics' is the Doctor/Professor speaking telepathically.
This series is based around the Doctor or Professor's POV, so scenes will be missing, any that include references to the Doctor should be thought to also speak of the Professor.
This is the 11th incarnation of the Professor, a hazel (brownish-green, with flecks of lighter green) eyed woman with strawberry blonde, wavy hair and cheekbones that are slightly pronounced when she smiles. A more detailed description of her attire will be provided near the end of this chapter, as she is still dressed in her previous incarnation's clothing which will soon be in tatters due to regeneration and a crashing TARDIS.
This story, I'm pleased to say, will be updated every day!
Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who...if I did there would be continuous filming and the Series would would just keep showing with no gaps spanning months in between...
The Eleventh Hour
The TARDIS was flying out of control over London on a crash course somewhere, the console sparking, the room in flames, and the Doctor hanging out of the doors by his hands, the sonic in his mouth, as the Professor tried to help him in.
He turned, looking back to see the top of Big Ben coming towards him.
"Pilot her!" he shouted up at the Professor, who ran back to the console, "Up! UP!"
She quickly pulled a lever and the console sparked again, but the TARDIS flew up, narrowly missing the top of the tower.
She ran back over to him, helping to pull him into the TARDIS, shutting the doors behind him as they fell against them with a sigh, wide smiles on their faces. The ship lurched and spun out of control, throwing them off the doors and to the floor, the Professor half landing on top of the Doctor, both laughing before she pushed herself up, pulling the Doctor up with her and over to the console.
The TARDIS crash landed, on her side, on top of a shed, in the backyard of a small house, the sound of splashing and glass breaking echoing into the night. The doors popped open, releasing steam and smoke from within, when a grappling hook was thrown out of it, latching on to something. A moment later the Professor pulled herself up, soaking wet, her clothes torn and half scorched, to see a young ginger girl looking up at her.
She laughed and perched herself on the side of the box, "Oi! Use your muscles!" she called down into the box.
"Not all of us went through basic training you know!" the Doctor shouted back up at her before he popped over the edge as well. He looked over, spotting the girl and smiled, "Can I have an apple? All I can think about, apples. I love apples," he looked at the Professor, "Maybe I'm having a craving. That's new, never had cravings before," he worked himself onto the side of the TARDIS, straddling it as he looked back down, "Whoa! Look at that!"
"Are you ok?" the girl asked them, Scottish if her accent was anything to go by.
He turned, putting both legs over the side to face her, "Just had a fall."
"All the way down there," the Professor nodded down to the TARDIS, "Right to the library."
"Hell of a climb back up."
"You're soaking wet," the girl frowned.
"We were in the swimming pool," the Professor defended.
"You said you were in the library."
"So was the swimming pool," the Doctor laughed.
"Are you policemen?"
"Why?" the Professor eyed her, "Did you call the policemen?"
"Did you come about the crack in my wall?"
"What cra..." the Doctor began before he fell to the ground with a twitch, "Agh!"
"Are you alright, mister?"
The Professor hopped off the TARDIS and walked over to him, to check on him.
"No, I'm fine," he knelt, "It's ok. This is all perfectly norm..." he opened his mouth and a burst of regeneration energy escaped, swirling over to the Professor who batted it away from her, her nose crinkled.
"Who are you?" the girl asked.
"We don't know yet," the Professor looked at her hands, seeing a faint orange-gold energy fade.
"We're still cooking," the Doctor nodded, "Does it scare you?"
"No, it just looks a bit weird," she shook her head.
"No, no, no. The crack in your wall. Does it scare you?"
He jumped up, "Well, then, no time to lose. I'm the Doctor and that's the Professor. Do everything we tell you, don't ask stupid questions, and don't wander off," he strode away with purpose…and walked right into a tree, knocking himself down to he ground.
"Early days. Steering's a bit off."
The Professor walked over and held out a hand, helping him up as he wound his arm around her waist, kissing the side of her head in thanks.
The Doctor and Professor stood in the doorway of the girl's kitchen, just looking around as she eyed them.
"If you're a doctor and professor, why does your box say 'Police?'" she asked them, handing the Doctor an apple.
He took a bite of it, chewing a moment, before spitting it out, "That's disgusting. What is that?"
"An apple," the girl replied, watching as the Professor took the apple and munched on it as well, shrugging and continuing to eat it.
"Apples are rubbish. I hate apples."
"You said you loved them," the Professor teased, nudging him a bit.
"No, I love you," he gave her a peck on her still munching mouth, making her laugh, before continuing, "But I do love yogurt too. Yogurt's my favorite," he turned to the girl, "Give me yogurt."
The girl eyed him a moment before turning and going to her refrigerator to get him some yogurt. He opened the container and poured it into his mouth before spitting that out as well.
"I hate yogurt, it's just stuff with bits in," he frowned. The Professor laughed and took the container, wiping her finger inside it and tasting the yogurt, going in for a second helping.
"You said it was your favorite," the girl glared.
"New mouth, new rules," he shrugged, wiping the back of his hand across his mouth, "It's like eating after cleaning your teeth, everything tastes wro...agh!" he twitched, ending up smacking himself in the forehead in the process. The Professor bit back a laugh, he always had the oddest reactions to regeneration. She'd been lucky, usually not getting more than a faint glow or what she liked to call 'regeneration breath.'
"What is it?" the girl frowned, "What's wrong with you?"
"Wrong with me?" he mock glared at her, rubbing where he'd smacked himself, "It's not my fault. Why can't you give me decent food? You're Scottish, fry something."
This time the Professor did laugh as she walked over to him and tugged his head down a bit, giving him a soft kiss on his forehead where he'd hit himself, making him beam as she pulled away.
The girl stood at the stove, frying up some bacon for the Doctor, as he and the Professor used some towels to dry their hair.
"Ah!" he grinned, "Bacon!" he moved to sit at the table as the girl set a plate of bacon before him. She watched as the Professor picked up a bit and ate it, both of them watching the Doctor try some and spit it out with a grimace, "Bacon? That's bacon?" he leaned forward, eyeing the girl, "Are you trying to poison me?"
The girl stood at the stove again, cooking some baked beans as the Doctor watched, "Ah, you see, beans!" he grinned, moving to sit at the table once more, taking a forkful of beans...and spitting them into the sink behind him, the Professor moving to take his spot at the table, eating some of the beans herself.
"Beans are evil," the Doctor muttered, "Bad, bad beans."
The girl spread some butter on a slice of bread as the Doctor and Professor sat across from her, "Bread and butter," he sighed, "Now you're talking."
The door opened and the Doctor threw the plate of bread and butter outside, but not before the Professor managed to snag a small piece off it. There was a crash and a cat meowed loudly in the distance.
"And stay out!" the Doctor shouted before closing the door behind him.
The girl stood before the refrigerator, looking in, as the Doctor paced, "We've got some carrots…" she told him.
"Carrots?" he grimaced, "Are you insane?"
The Professor laughed, "I know just what you need," she walked over, pulling out…
"Fish fingers and custard…" she grinned.
The Doctor eyed her before shrugging.
The Doctor sat at the table across from the girl, the Professor beside him, as he dipped a fish finger into a bowl of custard and took a bite, he'd gotten through half of them already. The Professor just grimaced. She had tried one of the first sticks, only to crinkle her nose and blanch at it. Ironically she couldn't seem to stomach it despite the fact she'd eaten everything else he'd tried, so she was eating some chocolate ice cream like the girl was eating vanilla. The Doctor lifted the bowl and started to drink the custard, leaving him with a custard mustache which he wiped away with the back of his hand.
"Funny," the girl laughed.
"Am I?" he smiled, "Good. Funny's good. What's your name?"
"Ah, that's a brilliant name. Amelia Pond, like a name in a fairy tale. Are we in Scotland, Amelia?"
"No," the Professor said.
Amelia nodded, "We had to move to England. It's rubbish."
"So what about your mum and dad, then?" he asked, "Are they upstairs? Thought we'd have woken them by now."
"I don't have a mum and dad. Just an aunt."
"I don't even have an aunt," the Professor muttered, both her parents had been only children.
"You'd think," she sighed. She'd always wanted a large family. Perhaps that was why she'd fit in so well with the Doctor's whenever they would visit his home. He looked over at her, catching her thoughts, and smiled, she'd fit in with his family from the moment she met them all.
The door to his bedroom creaked as he opened it a crack, peeking out into the hall beyond. He spotted the door to the guest room open a sliver as well. He grinned and quickly flashed a light twice, giving the ok, and jumped back into his bed. A few moments later, the door creaked softly as a girl with blond hair, holding a yellow teddy bear, snuck in. He scooted over in his bed and pulled down the covers. She smiled and rushed over, hopping in beside him as she cuddled to him, the bear between them. He laughed, but couldn't stop smiling, she always kept the bear he'd given her with her at nights.
"So," he whispered, "You alright?"
She smiled, squirming a bit so she could look up at him, "I'm fantastic!" she giggled, "Thank you for inviting me to your home for the holiday."
He winked at her, of course he'd invited her. She always refused to go to her own home during the holidays and he felt very bad about leaving her at the Academy alone. He'd managed to get her invited to a number of his friends homes along with him over the years or stayed with her at the Academy, but this was the first time she was coming to his house. His parents had practically ordered him to bring her to visit. According to them, he talked about her so often in his letters that they were very keen to meet the little girl he'd befriended.
"My parents were really excited to meet you," he told her, so were his siblings but it was more so because they always saw him wandering the halls of the Academy with her but she never was very comfortable talking with so many others around. It hadn't really helped her shyness that his ENTIRE family had joined them for the holiday, he had one of the larger ones on the whole planet. Since their people lived so long, there weren't a lot of children, he had one of the highest number of siblings in all the families he'd ever met, four. At least now they had all gotten the chance to meet her properly.
Her smile faded slightly, her eyes growing worried.
He frowned, "What is it?"
"Do…do you think they liked me?" she asked, so softly he nearly had to strain his ears to hear her despite the fact she was right next to him. He knew she was worried that his parents would dislike her for some reason and not want her to visit again, or worse, forbid him from spending more time with her.
He actually laughed quite loudly, before recalling he was supposed to be sleeping, and quieting down, "I think they loved you," he told her reassuringly.
"Really?" she breathed, her eyes wide.
He nodded, grinning, "Seriously. I think they may try to adopt you they like you that much."
She laughed a bit, "It would be nice though," she sighed, "To be a part of your family. I rather like them too," she shook her head and looked at him, "What do you think? Wouldn't it be nice?"
"Well, it would depend," he began.
She looked startled, "On what?"
"Who you'd be in my family."
"I don't understand."
"Well…" there was a faint pink tint to his cheeks that she could see even in the dark of his room, "I DO want you to be a part of my family but…" he shook his head, "I don't think I'd want you to be my sister though."
She was quiet for a moment and he looked at her, "You…wouldn't?"
He tilted his head a moment. He expected her to be a bit more worried and assume he meant he didn't want her in the family at all. But, the expression on her face, it seemed almost hopeful that he didn't want her as his sister for a reason he didn't know.
He shook himself out of his thoughts, "I think…I think I'd like to Bond to you one day."
She gasped and actually sat up in his bed, staring down at him with wide eyes, the bear clutched to her, "B…Bond?" she breathed, "To me?" she shook her head and he could almost see tears in her eyes, "Why?"
He sat up as well, a small frown on his face. He knew what she was thinking, she was wondering why he wanted to Bond to HER. She always felt like she wasn't good enough for anything. It was why she worked so hard in classes, why she tried to follow the rules (though less so now that she knew him), why she always tried to do better, push herself.
"Because you're special," he told her, "And you're brilliant. I care about you a lot and we always have so much fun together. You make me happy, you make me laugh, and you're always there for me just like we promised. You…you make me a better person. And…I trust you. More than anyone in the world."
She blinked, staring at him for a long while before she swallowed, "Are you sure?"
He smiled, reaching out to put his hand on her right heart, her doing the same to him, before they clasped their hands, "I," he squeezed her hand, taking a breath, "Theta," she let out a little gasp, "Promise, one day, I'll Bond to you."
She squeezed his hand back, "And I," she swallowed again, "Kata," he beamed at her, it was a beautiful name that just fit her so well, "Promise, one day, I'll Bond to you too."
"Brilliant," he grinned widely, his cheeks actually hurting he was smiling that widely. His hearts were racing and he couldn't help but feel giddy at the thought of what they'd promised. It didn't even matter that he was only 50, or that she was 48, or that anything could happen before they were ready to Bond, he could tell, he just knew, one day, he WOULD Bond to her.
He smiled at the memory. He hadn't realized it at the time, but his parents had actually been right outside the door, having heard the creaking and gone to investigate. He'd found out when he'd gone to them to inform them of his separation from Mayra before he left. They'd merely said that they knew his Union with her wouldn't last, especially when he'd promised to Bond to the Professor when he was just a child. He'd been shocked that they knew, even more startled to find out that they weren't even a little bit cross that he'd told someone his name. But they had explained that they'd seen it in his eyes at the time, even then, they saw the love he had for her growing. They saw it in how he acted around her, how he treated her like she was the most precious thing he'd ever known, how he smiled and looked at her, and how his attention never once strayed to anything else when she was in the room. They knew then what he hadn't, that he loved her more than anything, and they could not fault him for making such a promise when they knew he'd see it through in the end.
He felt a hand on his cheek, turning his head, and looked right into the new eyes of the Professor as she smiled softly at him, her eyes shining with happiness having seen the memory and heard his thoughts. Her thumb stroked his cheek before she leaned in and kissed him deeply. He felt his hearts racing as they always did with her and returned the kiss with as much love as he could...which unfortunately made them both start to smile, unable to stop, which forced them to pull away, unable to continue they were smiling so much.
She gave a little laugh, resting her forehead on his as he closed his eyes, just enjoying her nearness, how open and affectionate this new her seemed to be, before he remembered the little ginger girl sitting across from them. He glanced over to see her looking off to the side, her eyes up, trying to ignore them, and chuckled to himself, pulling back, his hand taking the Professor's as he turned back to Amelia, "So, your aunt," he continued, clearing his throat, absolutely sure his cheeks were pink by now, "Where is she?"
"She's out," Amelia replied.
"And she left you all alone?" the Professor looked at her, surprised.
"I'm not scared."
"Course you're not," the Doctor agreed, "You're not scared of anything! Box falls out of the sky, man and woman fall out of box, woman eats everything…"
"Hate you," the Professor muttered, though he could tell she was joking.
"No you don't," he grinned at her, squeezing her hand, before continuing to speak to Amelia, "Man eats fish custard, and look at you, just sitting there. So you know what we think?"
"Must be a hell of a scary crack in your wall."
The Professor quickly entered Amelia's room and half ran over to the wall she had mentioned, looking at the crack closely as the Doctor stood by the doorway for a moment before joining her, "You've had some cowboys in here," he mumbled, "Not actual cowboys, though that can happen."
"I used to hate apples," Amelia murmured as she stood in the doorway, holding an apple, "So my mum put faces on them," she walked over to the Doctor and handed him an apple with a smiley face carved in it, the Professor glancing over before focusing on the wall once more, tracing it with her finger.
"She sounds good, your mum," he tossed the apple and caught it, "I'll keep it for later," he put it in his pocket and moved back over to the Professor.
"This wall is solid," the Professor told him as she rested a hand on the wall, tracing the crack back, "And the crack doesn't go all the way through it."
"So here's the thing," he caught on, "Where's the draft coming from?" he ran the sonic across it, checking the readings, "Wibbly wobbly, timey wimey. You know what the crack is?"
"What?" Amelia asked.
"It's a crack," the Professor told her, "If you knocked this wall down, the crack would stay put, because the crack isn't in the wall."
"Where is it, then?"
"Everywhere," the Doctor said.
"In everything," the Professor nodded.
"It's a split in the skin of the world."
"Two parts of space and time that should never have touched, pressed together."
"Right here in the wall of your bedroom…" he pressed his ear to the wall.
"Do you two do that a lot?" Amelia eyed them curiously.
They exchanged a look and smiled, "Sorry," they said before pressing their ears to the wall once more.
"Sometimes, can you hear…" the Doctor frowned.
"A voice?" Amelia asked, "Yes."
The Doctor and Professor frowned, hearing the voice. The Doctor walked over to a glass of water on Amelia's nightstand and jerked, pouring it out and looked down at the now empty cup, a bit curious as to how it was now empty, before walking back over to the Professor. He leaned against the wall, pressing the cup to it and listening.
"Prisoner Zero has escaped," a voice on the other side said.
"Prisoner Zero?" he frowned.
"Prisoner Zero has escaped," Amelia nodded, "That's what I heard. What does it mean?"
"Prisoner Zero has escaped…" the voice repeated.
The Doctor stepped back and looked at the Professor. "It means that, on the other side of this wall, there's a prison," the Professor told her, "And that they've lost a prisoner."
"Do you know what that means?" he looked at the girl.
"What?" she frowned.
"You need a better wall," he turned to move the desk out of the way, the Professor taking the sonic from his pocket and starting to set it.
"The only way to close the breach is to open it all the way," she mumbled, setting it, "The forces will invert and it'll snap itself shut…"
"Or..." the Doctor hesitated, glancing at Amelia.
"What?" Amelia asked.
"You know when grownups tell you everything's going to be fine and you think they're probably lying to make you feel better?"
"Everything's going to be fine," he held out a hand to Amelia who grasped it as the Professor flashed the crack. It opened wide, a bright light shining through it.
"Prisoner Zero has escaped."
The Professor stepped closer to look in, vaguely seeing bars through the light.
"Prisoner Zero has escaped."
"Hello?" the Doctor called, "Hello?"
A giant, blue eye peered through the crack at them.
"What's that?" Amelia gasped.
A small ball of light shot out from the crack and struck the Doctor, making him fall back as the crack sealed completely.
"There," the Professor smiled and looked back, flipping the sonic in her hand, "You see, told you it would close."
He grinned up at her, "Knew you'd be right," he nodded at the wall, "Good as new."
"What was that thing?" Amelia asked, "Was that Prisoner Zero?"
"No. I think that was Prisoner Zero's guard."
"It was a member of the Atraxi," the Professor added, walking over.
He nodded, "It sent me a message," he pulled the psychic paper out of his pocket, "Psychic paper, takes a lovely little message," he frowned, reading it, "'Prisoner Zero has escaped.' But why tell us?"
"Unless..." the Professor looked around as the Doctor stood.
"Unless what?" Amelia frowned.
"Unless Prisoner Zero escaped through here. But he couldn't have. We would know."
The Doctor ran out of the room and into a small hall, looking around, confused, "It's difficult. Brand new us, nothing works yet. But there's something we're missing…in the corner...of our eye…" he slowly started to turn to face a door at the end of the hall, the Professor noticing it as well.
Just as they moved to head towards it, a grinding noise echoed along with a warning bell.
"No, no, no, no, no, no!" he shouted as he and the Professor took off down the stairs, Amelia following.
They ran straight outside and towards the TARDIS, "We've got to get back in there," the Professor told him quickly, "The engines are phasing, it's going to burn!"
"But...it's just a box!" Amelia shouted, "How can a box have engines?"
The Doctor freed the grappling hook and gathered the rope as the Professor pulled herself onto the ledge, taking the rope from him, "It's not a box," he told her, "It's a time machine."
"What, a real one? You've got a real time machine?"
"Not for much longer if we can't get her stabilized," the Professor looped the rope through the door handles.
"Five minute hop into the future should do it," the Doctor nodded.
"Can I come?" Amelia stepped up.
"Not safe in here, not yet. Five minutes. Give us five minutes, we'll be right back," he moved to hop on by the Professor.
"People always say that," Amelia breathed, sullen.
He glanced at the Professor who nodded, jumping down into the box to try and give him a few moments as he turned and hopped over by Amelia, "Am I people? Do I even look like people? Trust me, I'm the Doctor."
Amelia smiled at him.
"Doctor!" the Professor shouted from within, "I can't keep her locked her much longer!"
He turned and scrambled back up the box, "Geronimo!" he shouted, jumping down. The doors slammed shut behind him and the TARDIS disappeared.
The TARDIS materialized in Amelia's garden once more, but this time right side up. The doors opened and the Doctor ran out, smoke billowing behind him, the Professor running out a moment after him with a fire extinguisher.
He looked at her but she just motioned him away, "Go! I've got this!"
He nodded and ran to the house, "Amelia! Amelia! We worked out what it was. We know what we were missing! You've got to get out of there!" he flashed the sonic and ran into the house, the Professor still trying to extinguish a few flames.
"Amelia?" he ran up the stairs, "Amelia, are you alright? Are you there?" he ran straight for the door at the end of the hall, trying to open it with the sonic, but, like the front door, it was being difficult, "Prisoner Zero is here. Prisoner Zero is here! Prisoner Zero is here! Do you understand me? Prisoner Zero is..." there was a creak behind him and he turned, only to get slammed across the face by a cricket bat.
The Professor whirled around and looked at the second floor windows of the house, the doors to the TARDIS slamming shut behind her, pushing her to the ground.
She rolled onto her back and glared at the door, "That was rude," she told the box.
The Doctor slowly came around to find himself sitting on the floor by a radiator, a woman in a short skirt and police garb across from him.
"White male, mid-20s, breaking and entering," the woman said into her radio, "Send me some backup, I've got him restrained," she turned to him, "Oi, you! Sit still."
He groaned, "Cricket bat. I'm getting cricket bat."
"You were breaking and entering."
He tried to stand, only to find himself handcuffed to the radiator, "Well, that's much better. Brand new me, whack on the head. Just what it needed."
"Do you want to shut up now? I've got backup on the way!"
"Hang on, no, wait…you're a policewoman."
"And you're breaking and entering. You see how this works?"
"But what are you doing here? Where's Amelia?"
"Yeah. Little Scottish girl. Where is she? I promised her five minutes but the engines were phasing. I suppose we must have gone a bit far. Has something happened to her?"
"Amelia Pond hasn't lived here in a long time."
"No, no, no! We can't be six months late! I said five minutes. I promised," the officer walked away, "What happened to her? What happened to Amelia Pond?"
She simply lifted the radio, "Sarge, it's me again. Hurry it up, this guy knows something about Amelia Pond."
The Professor got up and looked around, scanning the yard when her gaze landed on the shed…the one they had destroyed last time they arrived…standing upright again. She frowned and walked towards it.
"I need to speak to whoever lives in this house now," the Doctor spoke up to the officer.
"I live here," she replied.
"But you're the police."
"Yes, and this is where I live. You got a problem with that?"
"How many rooms?"
"I'm sorry, what?"
"On this floor. How many rooms on this floor? Count them for me now."
"Because it will change your life."
"Five," she pointed to each, "One, two, three, four, five."
"Exactly where you don't want to look. Where you never want to look, the corner of your eye. Look behind you."
The officer frowned but slowly turned to look at the door at the end of the hall, "That's...that is not possible. How's that possible?"
"There's a perception filter round the door. Sensed it the last time we were here. Should've seen it."
"But that's a whole room. That's a whole room I've never even noticed."
"The filter stops you. Something came a while ago to hide. It's still hiding. You need to uncuff me now!"
She ignored him, slowly walking towards the door, "I don't have the key. I lost it."
"How can you have lost it? Stay away from that door!" she just kept walking, "Do not touch that door!" she grabbed the knob, "Listen to me! Do not open that..." and turned it, "Why does no one ever listen to me? Do I just have a face that nobody listens to?" and walked into the room, "Again..." he frantically searched his pockets, "My screwdriver, where is it?"
The Professor frowned, reaching out to touch the shed, her eyes widening.
"Silver thing, blue at the end," the Doctor called, "Where did it go?"
"There's nothing here," the officer replied from inside the room.
"Whatever's there stopped you seeing the whole room. What makes you think you could see it? Now, please, just get out!"
"Silver, blue at the end?"
"My screwdriver, yeah."
"Must have rolled under the door."
"Yeah. Must have. And then it must have jumped up on the table..."
"Get out of there! Get out of there! Get out! Get out of there!" he stretched as far as he could with the handcuffs, trying to reach for her, "What is it? What are you doing?"
"There's nothing here, but..."
"Corner of your eye."
"What is it?"
"Don't try to see it. If it knows you've seen it, it will kill you. Don't look at it. Do not look…"
The Professor looked back at the house, hearing someone scream, and ran towards it, the Doctor had left the door unlocked.
"Get out!" she heard him shout as a woman in a police uniform ran past the upstairs landing, "Give me that!" she ran up the stairs as the Doctor grabbed the sonic from the woman and flashed the door locked before turning to his handcuffs, "What's the bad alien done to you?" he looked at the sonic.
"Doctor!" the Professor ran over, grabbing the sonic from him and trying to set it.
The officer's eyes widened, seeing her there, but a bang on the door pulled her focus, "Will that door hold it?"
"Oh, yes, course!" the Professor muttered sarcastically, having mentally gathered quite a bit about the creature from the Doctor as she worked, "It's an interdimensional multiform from outer space, they're all terrified of wood."
"What's that?" she gasped as a bright light flashed under the doorframe, "What's it doing?"
The Professor tried to clean off the sonic.
"I don't know, getting dressed?" the Doctor rolled his eyes, "Run. Just go. Your backup's coming, we'll be fine. Seriously, I've got the Professor, she's not someone to mess with."
"Aw, thanks love," she smiled at him, giving him a little peck before she managed to get the sonic working, though it was feebly lighting up.
"There is no backup," the officer told him.
He looked up, surprised, "I heard you on the radio, you called for backup."
"I was pretending. It's a pretend radio."
"You're a policewoman."
"I'm a kiss-o-gram!" she pulled the bowler hat off her head and long ginger hair fell down.
The door to the room at the end slammed open and a man in a blue work uniform and a dog stepped through.
"But it's just..." she breathed.
"No, it isn't," the Professor cut in, trying to get the cuffs unlocked, she really wanted to grab her blaster, but the sonic was malfunctioning badly and she would need two hands to work on it, "Look at the faces."
The man growled and barked while the dog remained impassive.
"What? I'm sorry, but what?"
"It's all one creature," the Professor explained, "One creature disguised as two."
"Clever old multiform," the Doctor kept his eye on it as the man and dog looked at them, "A bit of a rush job, though. Got the voice a bit muddled, did you? Mind you, where did you get the pattern from? You'd need a psychic link, a live feed. How did you fix that?"
It snarled, starting to advance, its mouths opening to reveal sharp teeth.
"Stay!" the Professor ordered firmly, an edge to her voice, and it halted.
"Brilliant," the Doctor smiled at her. She flashed him one of her own before focusing on the sonic again as he turned to the creature, "Her and us," he nodded at the ginger, "We're safe. Want to know why? She sent for backup."
"I didn't send for backup!" the woman hissed.
"I know, that was a clever lie to save our lives," he turned back to the creature, "Ok, yeah, NO backup! And that's why we're safe. Alone, we're not a threat to you. If we HAD backup, then you'd have to kill us!"
"Attention, Prisoner Zero," a voice shouted from outside, "The human residence is surrounded. Attention Prisoner Zero. The human residence is surrounded."
"What's that?" the woman turned to them.
"That would be backup," the Professor muttered.
"Ok, one more time," the Doctor turned to the creature, "We do have backup and that's definitely why we're safe."
"Prisoner Zero will vacate the human residence or the human residence will be incinerated."
"Well, safe apart from, you know, incineration."
The creature turned into one of the other rooms as the voice repeated its warning.
The Professor twisted the sonic harshly and it buzzed to life, she quickly flashed it on the cuffs, unlocking them, "Run," she ordered, pulling the Doctor up and pushing the woman towards the stairs, "Run!" they ran down them quickly when she glanced at the Doctor, "You know, you should have automatically ducked first."
"Oh, and why's that?" he asked, heading for the door.
"Statistically anyone sneaking up behind you is aiming a blow to the head. Ducking or swinging your leg out gives you an advantage of disarming them quickly and in surprise."
He just laughed and shook his head. While she was stating a fact of combat, she sounded more like she was commenting on the weather, so, clearly, this version of her wasn't militaristic, though did have a solid grounds for self-defense. She probably wouldn't go attacking people or pulling her blaster as she seemed prone to do before. Which was good…because the little shiver he'd just gotten, imagining her previous incarnation holding the blaster, was far too pleasant for him to admit.
"Kiss-o-gram?" he looked at the ginger girl as they ran outside.
"Yes!" she shouted.
"Why'd you pretend to be a policewoman?"
"You broke into my house! It was this or a French maid! What's going on? Tell me! Tell me!"
"An alien convict is hiding in your spare room disguised as a man and a dog," the Professor explained quickly as they reached the TARDIS, "And some other aliens are about to incinerate your house. Any questions?"
"Me too," the Doctor agreed, trying to unlock the TARDIS, "No, no, don't do that, not now! It's still rebuilding, not letting us in!"
"Prisoner Zero will vacate the human residence or the human residence will be incinerated."
There was a barking and the girl noticed the man and dog in the second floor window, watching them, "Come on!" she grabbed the Doctor's arm and tried to pull him off.
The Professor, though, grabbed his other arm and pulled him back to the shed, "No, wait the shed!" she tugged him over to it, "We destroyed that shed last time we were here, smashed it to pieces..."
"So there's a new one," the woman shrugged, "Let's go."
"But the new one's got old," the Doctor realized, the same thing as the Professor, "It's ten years old at least…" he sniffed the wood and rubbed his finger on it moving to taste it when the Professor grabbed his wrist to stop him.
"12 years," she nodded.
"We're not six months late," he breathed, "We're 12 years late!"
"He's coming…" the woman tried to deflect as they turned to her.
"You said six months," he accused, "Why did you say six months?"
"We've got to go."
"This matters. This is important. Why did you say six months?"
"Why did you say five minutes?" she shouted, hurt, a Scottish accent bleeding in over the British one she'd been using.
"What?" he gaped.
"Doctor, later," the Professor grabbed his arm and tugged him after Amelia as she led them off.
"Prisoner Zero will vacate the human residence or the human residence will be incinerated."
They ran out of the back garden, past the creature as he appeared in the doorway.
Amelia led them down a village road, away from her house, when the Doctor stopped and faced her, "You're Amelia?"
She just kept walking, "You're late."
"Amelia Pond, you're the little girl?"
"I'm Amelia and you're late."
"What happened?" the Professor frowned.
"You hit me with a cricket bat," the Doctor pointed out.
"A cricket bat."
"12 years and four psychiatrists."
"Four?" the Professor asked, just slightly amused.
"I kept biting them."
"Good for you!" she laughed.
"Why?" the Doctor frowned, confused.
Amelia glanced at them, "They said you weren't real."
"Prisoner Zero will vacate the human residence or the human residence will be incinerated," the voice spoke over the speakers of a nearby ice cream van.
"No, no, no, come on…what? We're being staked out by an ice cream van?"
The Doctor headed over with the Professor, "What's that?" he asked the vendor, "Why are you playing that?"
"It's supposed to be Claire De Lune," the man shrugged.
The Doctor picked up the small radio player sitting there and listened, "Prisoner Zero will vacate the human residence or the human residence will be incinerated. Repeat, Prisoner Zero will vacate the human residence or the human residence will be incinerated," repeating over and over.
He stepped away when the Professor put an hand on his arm, nodding at a jogger with an MP3 player, the same message on her speakers as well as another woman on her mobile, anything with a speaker really.
"What's happening?" Amelia asked.
The Doctor just turned and leapt over a low, white fence into a pretty front garden with the Professor, Amelia running around to the front. They ran into the house of an old woman standing before her television, flipping through the channels only to see the eye from the crack on each of them.
"Hello!" the Doctor shouted, "Sorry to burst in, we're doing a special on television faults in this area…" he glanced at Amelia's costume, "Also, crimes. Let's have a look," he took the remote from her.
"I was just about to phone," the woman smiled, "It's on every channel," and then she noticed Amelia, "Hello, Amy, dear. Are you a policewoman now?"
"Well, sometimes," Amelia nodded.
"I thought you were a nurse."
"I can be a nurse."
"Or, actually, a nun."
"Amy, who are your friends?"
"Who's Amy?" the Doctor looked at her, "You were Amelia."
"Yeah, now I'm Amy," Amy replied.
"Amelia Pond, that was a great name."
"Bit fairy tale."
"I know you two, don't I?" the woman looked at them, "I've seen you somewhere before."
"Not us," he shook his head, "Brand new faces..." he grimaced widely to show her his face, "First time on," he turned to Amy, "And what sort of job's a kiss-o-gram?"
"I go to parties and I kiss people," she cleared her throat, "With outfits. It's a laugh."
"You were a little girl five minutes ago," the Professor frowned at her.
"You're worse than my aunt."
"She's the Professor and I'm the Doctor, we're worse than everybody's aunt," he looked back at the old woman, "And that is not how we're introducing ourselves," he turned and picked up a radio, sonicing it to play the same message from the Atraxi but in every language, "Ok, so it's everywhere, in every language. They're broadcasting to the whole world."
The Professor ran to the window and looked out, up at the sky, that was never a good sign.
"What's up there?" Amy asked, "What are you looking for?"
She pulled herself back in and nodded at the Doctor.
"Ok," he sighed, "Planet this size, two poles, your basic molten core..."
"They're going to need a 40 percent fission blast," the Professor nodded as a young man entered.
The Doctor walked up to him, "But they'll have to power up first, won't they?"
"So assuming a medium sized starship…that's 20 minutes."
"What do you think?" he asked the man.
"20 minutes?" the Professor asked him as well.
"Yeah, 20 minutes," the Doctor nodded, "We've got 20 minutes."
Amy looked over at the woman and her friend who were eyeing the two oddly, "Yeah, apparently they do this a lot," she cleared her throat to get the aliens attention, "20 minutes to what?"
"Are you the Doctor and the Professor?" the man asked them.
"They are, aren't they?" the old woman cheered, "He's the Doctor! The Raggedy Doctor. And she's the Tattery Professor! All those cartoons you did when you were little. The Raggedy Doctor and Tattery Professor, it's them!"
"I know," Amy whispered.
The Doctor looked at her, bemused, sitting down on the sofa, "Cartoons?"
"Gran, it's them, isn't it?" the man turned to his grandmother, "It's really them!"
"Jeff, shut up!" Amy snapped and turned back to the Doctor and Professor, "20 minutes to what?"
"The human residence," the Professor told her, "They're not just talking about your house Amy, they're talking about the whole planet."
The Doctor nodded, "Somewhere up there, there's a spaceship and it's going to incinerate the planet. 20 minutes to the end of the world."
A young boy ran down a village road with a toy helicopter as the Doctor, Professor, and Amy walked quickly in the opposite direction.
"What is this place?" the Doctor asked, "Where are we?"
"Leadworth," Amy and the Professor said at once.
"Where's the rest of it?"
"This is it," Amy shrugged.
"Is there an airport?"
"A nuclear power station?"
"Even a little one?"
"Gloucester, half an hour by car."
"We don't have half an hour."
The Professor smiled, "Do we even have a car?"
"No," Amy replied.
"Well, that's good!" the Doctor grumbled, "Fantastic, that is. 20 minutes to save the world and we've got a post office. And it's shut! WHAT is that?"
"It's a duck pond," Amy ran off, following the two towards the small pond.
"Why aren't there any ducks?"
"I don't know. There's never any ducks."
"Then how do you know it's a duck pond?"
"It just is. Is it important, the duck pond?"
"I don't know," he groaned, having another tremor, "Why would I know? You want someone who knows ask the Professor!" he sat on the ground heavily, clutching his chest as the Professor knelt beside him. He looked at her, taking her hand as she placed it on his chest, "I'm not ready, I'm not done yet."
The sky darkened and they looked up.
"What's happening?" Amy gasped, "Why's it going dark?" the sun reappeared, grey and flickering, before turning somewhat normal, "So what's wrong with the sun?"
"Nothing," the Professor told her, not bothering to look up as she focused on the Doctor, rubbing his chest lightly, "You're looking at it through a force field. They've sealed off your upper atmosphere, now they're getting ready to burn the planet," she reached out and helped the Doctor to his feet.
He scoffed, looking at the villagers on the green, taking photos of the sun, "Oh, and here they come, the human race. The end comes, as it was always going to, down a video phone!"
"This isn't real, is it?" Amy frowned, "This is some kind of big windup."
"Why would we wind you up?"
"You told me you had a time machine."
"And you believed us."
"Then I grew up."
He groaned, "Oh, you never want to do that. No, hang on, shut up, wait!" he spun to the Professor, "We missed it!" he smacked his forehead, "You were watching me but I saw it and I missed it!" he smacked himself again before grabbing the Professor's shoulders, looking at her intently, "What did I see?"
She frowned, looking into his eyes, sifting through his memories, trying to spot what he needed her to see…and then she saw it. The one person, a man in a nurse's garb, taking a photo of Prisoner Zero, the man and his dog, not at all focused on the sun.
"20 minutes," he smiled, seeing the exact memory playing in her mind, knowing she would spot it with her brilliant eyes which were really quite beautiful, they reminded him of a forest after a rainstorm and...he shook his head quickly, now was not the time, "We can do it. 20 minutes, the planet burns," he turned to Amy, "Run to your loved ones and say goodbye or stay and help us."
"No," Amy said.
"No!" she grabbed him by his tie and pulled him away.
"Amy! No! No! What are you doing?" she pushed him against a car just as the driver stepped out and slammed the door on his tie, grabbing the lock off the man and locking the car, trapping him, "Are you out of your mind?"
"Who are you?" Amy demanded as the Professor ran over.
"You know who we are," the Professor told her.
"No, really, who are you?"
"Look at the sky!" the Doctor shouted, "End of the world, 20 minutes."
"Better talk quickly, then!"
"Amy, I am going to need my car back…" the owner of the car said to her.
"Yes, in a bit. Now go and have coffee."
"Right, yes," the driver walked off.
The Professor quickly dug in the Doctors pocket and tossed Amy the apple, "Catch."
Amy looked at it, seeing the smiley face etched into it.
"She's the Professor, I'm the Doctor," the Doctor began, "We're time travelers. Everything we told you 12 years ago is true. We're real. What's happening in the sky is real, and if you don't let me go now, everything you've ever known is over."
"I don't believe you…"
The Doctor grabbed her wrist, "Just 20 minutes. Just believe us for 20 minutes. Look at it. Fresh as the day you gave it to me. And you know it's the same one…" she looked at him.
"Amy," the Professor cut in, "Believe for 20 minutes."
Amy hesitated a moment, before unlocking the car, "What do we do?"
"Stop that nurse!" he shouted, running across the green with the Professor and taking the phone from the male nurse, "The sun's going out and you're photographing a man and a dog. Why?"
"Amy?" the man turned to her as she ran up.
"Hi!" she smiled, "Oh, this is Rory, he's a...friend."
"Boyfriend," Rory corrected.
"Kind of boyfriend."
"Man and dog, why?" the Doctor tried again.
"Oh, my God, it's them!" Rory's eyes widened.
"Just answer his question, please," Amy turned to him.
"It's them, though. The Doctor. The Raggedy Doctor. And the Tattery Professor..."
"Yeah, he came back. They both did."
"But they were a story. They were a game."
"Man and dog," the Doctor grabbed Rory by his shirt, finally understanding the Professor's frustration in Pompeii, "Why? Tell us now!"
"Sorry," Rory swallowed, "Because he can't be there. Because he's…"
"In a hospital, in a coma," Rory said, at the same time as the Doctor and Professor.
"Yeah…" he eyed them.
"Knew it," the Doctor nodded, "Multiform, you see?" he let go of Rory's shirt.
"Disguises itself as anything, but it needs a live feed, a psychic link with a living but dormant mind," the Professor agreed.
There was a snarl and snap behind them and the Doctor turned around to see the man and dog standing there, "Prisoner Zero," he greeted as the Professor and him stepped forward, though he kept a grip on the Professor's arm to keep her from going for the blaster still attached to her waist.
"What, there's a Prisoner Zero too?" Rory gaped.
"Yes," Amy nodded.
There was an electrical buzz above them as a spaceship flew over the green, an eye sticking out of it as it swiveled back and forth.
"See, that ship up there is scanning this area for non-terrestrial technology," the Doctor slipped the sonic from his pocket, "And nothing says non-terrestrial like a sonic screwdriver," he held it up above his head and turned it on. There was chaos as streetlights shattered, car alarms went off, sirens wailed, and everyone began screaming, "I think someone's going to notice, don't you?"
"Don't use it at full power," the Professor warned him, recalling the difficulty she'd had getting it to work in Amy's house.
"Why?" he frowned at her as Zero barked.
"You're gonna blow a fuse."
"It'll be fine," he smiled, lowering the sonic to aim it at a phone box which exploded…
And then the sonic followed suit, sparking and fizzling out in his hand.
He dropped it and crouched down, "No, no, no, don't do that!"
"I did warn you," the Professor sighed as the ship drifted away. She couldn't risk firing a shot into the air with her blaster lest the Atraxi see it as an attack on them and incinerate the Earth automatically.
"Look, it's going," Rory frowned.
"No, come back, he's here!" the Doctor jumped up, trying to get the ship's attention, "Come back! He's here, Prisoner Zero is here. Come back, he's here! Prisoner Zero is..."
Zero turned into a mist and escaped down a drain below him.
"Doctor!" Amy gasped, "The drain. It just sort of melted and went down the drain."
"Well, of course it did."
"What do we do now?"
"It's hiding in human form," the Professor took charge, "We need to drive it into the open."
The Doctor nodded, "No TARDIS, no screwdriver, 17 minutes. Come on, think. Think!"
Amy glanced at the drain, "So that thing…THAT hid in my house for 12 years?"
"Multiforms can live for millennia," the Professor explained, "12 years is nothing."
"So how come you show up again on the same day that lot do? The same minute?"
"They were looking for him, but followed us. They saw us through the crack and got a fix. They're only late because we are."
"What's she on about?" Rory frowned.
"Now, sport, give me your phone," the Doctor held out his hand to Rory.
Rory just shook his head, confused, "How can they be real? They were never real."
"Phone, now, give me!"
"They were just a game," Rory tossed him the phone, "We were kids. You made me dress up as him so you could be her!"
"These are all coma patients?" the Doctor asked as he went through the photos on Rory's phone, the Professor looking over his shoulder.
"No," the Professor shook her head, smiling, "They're all the multiform. Eight comas, eight disguises for Prisoner Zero."
"He had a dog, though," Amy frowned, "There's a dog in a coma?"
"The coma patient dreams he's walking a dog, Prisoner Zero gets a dog," the Doctor mumbled, "Laptop! Your friend, what was his name? Not him, the good looking one."
"Thanks," Rory rolled his eyes.
"Jeff," Amy answered.
"He had a laptop in his bag, a laptop. Big bag, big laptop, we need Jeff's laptop. You two, get to the hospital, get everyone out, clear the whole floor. Phone us when you're done."
He turned and ran off with the Professor, hand-in-hand.
The Doctor ran into Jeff's bedroom to see him lying on the bed with his laptop on his lap, "Hello. Laptop, give me!" he grabbed it as the Professor ran in.
"No, no, no, no, wait, hang on!" Jeff held onto it.
"It's fine, give it here!"
The Professor walked over and snatched the laptop from between them, sitting down at the end of the bed and opening it. She laughed a bit, "Get a girlfriend Jeff."
"Why?" the Doctor frowned, peeking over her shoulder, "Oh, ew! Jeff!"
Jeff looked away, embarrassed, as the door opened and his grandmother looked in, "What are you doing?"
"The sun's gone wibbly," the Doctor answered.
"Right now, somewhere out there, there's going to be a big video conference call," the Professor typed, "All the experts in the world panicking at once…"
"And do you know what they need? Us. Ah, and here they all are. All the big boys."
"NASA, Jodrell Bank, Tokyo Space Center, Patrick Moore…"
"Oh, I like Patrick Moore," the woman smiled.
"We'll get you his number, but watch him, he's a devil," the Doctor warned.
"You can't just hack in on a call like that!" Jeff exclaimed.
"Can't we?" the Doctor grinned, holding up the psychic paper to the webcam.
"Who are you?" one of the experts demanded as they appeared on screen, "This is a secure call. What are you doing?"
"Hello," the Doctor plopped down beside the Professor, "I know, you should switch us off. But before you do, watch this."
The Doctor took the laptop and began to type.
"It's here too, I'm getting it," one of the experts called as a visual of the equation the Doctor was typing in came up on their screens.
"Fermat's Theorem, the proof, and I mean the real one, never seen before. Poor old Fermat, got killed in a duel before he could write it down. My fault, I slept in…but in all fairness it was my honeymoon…"
"Our honeymoon," the Professor corrected lightly, leaning over, her hand resting on the Doctor's thigh.
He grinned broadly, looking at her, "Yes, OUR honeymoon," he nuzzled the side of her head a moment before turning back to the screen, "And really, would you expect anyone to wake up before noon? Especially after…"
"Oh, and here's an oldie but a goodie," the Professor cut in, taking the laptop, her cheeks flaming, "Why electrons have mass."
The Doctor had surprised her with a honeymoon in France circa the mid 1660s, about a century after their wedding, he was aiming for Paris, the city of love, but the TARDIS decided to take them to a quaint little inn in Castres for their wedding night. They'd run into Fermat as they were checking in and, as soon as the Doctor realized who he was, he'd ended up chatting with the man about mathmatics. They'd gotten so animated in their discussion that one of the other men who'd had a bit too much to drink had gotten irritated and demanded they quiet down. Fermat, in retaliation, had challenged the man to a duel at dawn for daring to raise his voice around a lady. They were supposed to join Fermat in the morning, the Doctor acting as his second, despite how she had tried to tell the man that she was a far better shot than her husband. And, as the Doctor had said, it was their honeymoon...and when they reached their room, as it always seemed to happen with the Doctor, things...escalated...
The Doctor laughed, hearing her thoughts, and took the laptop back again when she had finished, "And a personal favorite of mine, faster-than-light travel with two diagrams and a joke."
"Look at your screens. Whoever we are, we're geniuses. Now look at the sun. You need all the help you can get."
"Fellas, pay attention."
The Professor typed something on Rory's mobile as the Doctor sat at the computer beside Jeff.
"Sir, what's she doing?" one of the men asked, eyeing the Professor in the background.
"Writing a computer virus," the Professor called, "Very clever, super-fast, and just a tiny bit alive…"
"As for why she's writing it on a phone?" the Doctor continued, "Never mind, you'll find out. Ok, I'm sending this to all your computers. Get everyone who works for you sending this everywhere. Email, text, Facebook, Bebo, Twitter, radar dish, whatever you've got. Any questions?"
"Who's your lady friend?" Patrick grinned back at the Professor.
"Patrick, focus!" he glared at the man, feeling himself tensing unintentionally at the man's words.
The Professor just ran a gentle hand through his hair, relaxing him quite a bit, before resting it on his shoulder, squeezing it as he looked up at her, "Possessive are we?" she joked.
He just took her hand and dropped a kiss on the back of it, he definitely understood her reactions to other women around him during her last incarnation now. He smirked at her, "Yes, very."
Jeff just looked between the two, feeling as though he'd missed out on some sort of joke.
"What does this virus do?" another expert asked, concerned.
"It's a reset command, that's all," the Professor reassured them, getting back to the phone, "It resets counters, it gets in the wi-fi and resets every counter it can find. Clocks, calendars, anything with a chip will default at zero at exactly the same time."
"But, yeah, she could be lying, why should you trust us?" the Doctor added, "We'll let our best man explain…" there was silence. The Doctor looked at Jeff, "Jeff, you're our best man."
"Your what?" Jeff frowned.
The Doctor closed the laptop, "Listen. In ten minutes, you're going to be a legend. In ten minutes, everyone on that screen is going to be offering you any job you want. But first, you have to be magnificent. You have to make them trust you and get them working. This is it, Jeff. Right here, right now. This is when you fly. Today's the day you save the world."
"It's your bedroom," the Professor reasoned.
"Now go, go, go!" the Doctor shouted as he got up and grabbed the Professor's hand, turning to leave.
"Ok, guys," Jeff opened the laptop, "Let's do this."
"Oh," the Professor popped her head in with a teasing smile, "And delete your internet history."
And she was off with the Doctor once more.
The Doctor drove quickly towards the hospital when the mobile rang. The Professor quickly answered it, putting it on speaker, "Doctor?" Amy's voice called, "Professor? We're at the hospital, but we can't get through."
"Look in the mirror!" the Doctor called.
"What did he say?" they heard Rory ask.
"Look in the mirror…ha ha! Uniform! Are you on your way? You're going to need a car."
"Don't worry," the Professor spoke up, "We've commandeered a vehicle."
The Doctor grinned as he turned the fire engine's sirens on, it wasn't often that the Professor let him do the driving. The Professor just smiled, watching him in his excitement, really the worst he could do with her there was set the vehicle on fire, and then it would be a good thing that they had a fire engine handy.
'Oi!' she heard in her mind as he caught her throughts, 'That only happened ONCE!'
The Doctor pulled up to the hospital when the phone rang again, this time he grabbed it, putting it on speaker, "Are you in?"
"Yep," Amy replied, "But so's Prisoner Zero."
"You need to get out of there," the Professor cut in.
There was a muffled conversation, someone talking but they couldn't make out who.
"Oh, my God!" they heard Rory exclaim.
"Amy?" the Doctor called, "Amy, what's happening?" there was the sound of running, of doors opening and sliding shut, "Amy, talk to us!"
"We're in the coma ward," Amy was back, "But it's here, it's getting in."
"Which window are you?" the Professor asked.
"Which window?" the Doctor repeated.
"First floor on the left, fourth from the end."
The Doctor nodded and flipped the phone closed, the two getting the ladder of the fire engine set.
The ladder of the fire engine broke through the window of the coma ward, the Professor quickly climbed in, her blaster out and aimed at the woman with two little girls standing before Amy and Rory, ready, should the multiform attack, as the Doctor followed her through.
"Right!" the Doctor called, "Hello! Are we late?"
"No," the Professor glanced at the clock, "Three minutes to go. Still time."
"Time for what, Time Lords?" Zero asked.
"Take the disguise off," the Doctor turned to her, "They'll find you in a heartbeat. Nobody dies."
"The Atraxi will kill me this time. If I am to die, let there be fire."
"Ok. You came to this world by opening a crack in space and time. Do it again, just leave."
"I did not open the crack."
"The cracks in the skin of the Universe, don't you know where they came from? You don't, do you?" the woman's voice shifted to a child's, "The Doctor and Professor in the TARDIS don't know. Don't know, don't know!" and then returned to normal, "The Universe is cracked. The Pandorica will open. Silence will fall."
There was a click, drawing the Doctor and Professor's attention to the clock on the wall. He grinned, "And we're off! Look at that!" he pointed, "Look at that!" the clock read '0,' "Yeah, I know, just a clock, whatever. But do you know what's happening right now?"
"In one little bedroom, our team is working," the Professor told her, "Jeff and the world. And do you know what they're doing? They're spreading the word all over the world, quantum fast."
"The word is out. And do you know what the word is?"
"Now, me, if I was up in the sky in a battleship, monitoring all Earth communications, I'd take that as a hint."
"And if I had a whole battle fleet surrounding the planet, I'd be able track a simple old computer virus to its source in…a few seconds."
The Doctor smirked, pulling her close a moment, "They can't think as fast as you dear," he whispered to her.
She sighed, nodding, "I suppose, as I'm not the one with the battle fleet, it would take…just under a minute?"
The Doctor took the mobile from his pocket, "The source, by the way, is right here," a bright light shown through the windows, "Oh! And I think they just found us!"
"The Atraxi are limited," Zero sneered, "While I'm in this form, they'll still be unable to detect me. They've tracked a phone, not me."
"Yes but, do you know what this phone is full of?" the Professor took the phone, holding it out for Zero to see the images as she scrolled through them while still training her blaster on the creature, "Pictures of you. Every form you've learned to take, right here."
"And being uploaded about now," the Doctor took it back, "And the final score is: no TARDIS, no screwdriver, two minutes to spare…" he held out his arms, triumphant, "Who da man?" silence, "Oh, I'm never saying that again! Fine."
The Professor laughed.
"Then I shall take a new form," Zero replied.
"Oh, stop it, you know you can't," he waved the alien off.
"It takes months to form that kind of psychic link," the Professor stated, though now she was suspicious.
"And I've had years," Zero glowed and Amy fell to the floor behind them.
"No!" the Doctor shouted as they ran over, "Amy?" he put his hands on her face, "You've got to hold on. Amy! Don't sleep! You've got to stay awake, please."
"Doctor?" Rory looked over at Zero.
The Doctor looked back to see Zero was standing there, as a floppy haired young man in a torn blue shirt and brown slacks, "Well, that's rubbish. Who's that supposed to be?"
"It's you," the Professor told him, putting her blaster away, she couldn't risk firing at Zero now, not when it was connected to Amy.
"Me?" he looked at her with a frown, "Is that what I look like?"
"You don't know?" Rory frowned.
"Busy day," he shrugged before standing and walking over to Zero, "Why me, though? You're linked with her. Why are you copying me? And what about the Professor?"
The Professor looked down at Amy's still form, lightly putting her hand on the girl's forehead, closing her eyes and focusing, scanning her mind.
"I'm not," a voice replied as young Amelia stepped out from behind his replica, "Poor Amy Pond. Still such a child inside. Dreaming of the magic Doctor she knows will return to save her. What a disappointment you've been."
"No…" the Professor's eyes snapped open, "She's dreaming about you because she can hear you! She can hear us!" the Professor took Amy's hand and looked down at her, "Amy, don't just hear us, listen."
"Remember the room," the Doctor joined her, "The room in your house you couldn't see? Remember you went inside. I tried to stop you, but you did. You went in the room. You went inside."
"Amy…dream about what you saw."
"No..." Zero cried, "No...no!" it started to glow, transforming into a large eel-like creature with sharp teeth.
The Doctor smirked, facing it, "Well done, Prisoner Zero. A perfect impersonation of yourself."
A white light shown through the window, trapping it, "Prisoner Zero is located. Prisoner Zero is restrained."
"Silence," Zero hissed as it started to fade, "Silence will fall!"
There was a whoosh as the ship started to leave. The Doctor ran to the window as the Professor snatched the mobile back from him and began to dial.
"The sun," Rory glanced out, "It's back to normal, right? That's...that's good, yeah? That means it's over?" Amy started to blink, "Amy? Are you ok? Are you with us?"
"What happened?" she moaned.
"They did it. The Doctor and Professor did it."
"No, we didn't," the Professor called.
"What are you doing?" Rory looked over, seeing her fiddling with the phone.
"Tracking the signal back."
"Sorry, in advance," the Doctor added, starting to smile.
"About what?" Rory shook his head.
The Professor put the phone to her ear, "Where do you think you are going? According to Article 57 of the Shadow Proclamation, this is a fully established, Level 5 planet, and you were just going to burn it? What, did you think no one was watching? You lot, back here, now!" she grinned, tossing Rory the phone back, "Ok, now we've done it."
They turned and left the ward, Amy and Rory following.
"Did she just bring them back?" Rory gaped, "Did they just save the world from aliens and then bring all the aliens back again?"
The Doctor and Professor just strode down the corridor, determined, as the humans ran after them.
"Where are you going?" Amy called.
"The roof," the Professor replied.
"No, hang on," the Doctor grabbed her hand and turned to enter a changing room. He quickly started to sift through the clothes lying around, tossing away a few as the Professor did the same.
"What's in here?" Amy shook her head.
"We're saving the world," the Doctor reasoned, "We need decent clothes. To hell with the raggedy and the tattery. Time to put on a show!"
"You just summoned aliens back to Earth," Rory blinked, "Actual aliens…" the Doctor stripped off his old shirt as the Professor continued to try and look around for women's clothing, "Deadly aliens, aliens of death, and now you're taking your clothes off...Amy, he's taking his clothes off," Amy just watched appreciatively.
"Turn your back if it embarrasses you!"
"Are you stealing clothes now? Those clothes belong to people, you know," but he turned his back nonetheless, glancing at Amy, "Are you not you going to turn your back?"
"Nope," Amy smirked.
The Professor shook her head, "Amy I've got a blaster," she gestured at the gun in the holster around her waist as she removed it, "Turn around."
Amy glanced at it a moment before sighing and turning, leaving the aliens privacy to change.
The Professor had, somehow, managed to piece together a rather normal outfit from the miscellaneous mess in the changing room. She was now sporting a white skirt that went down to her knees with white tennis shoes, a light green tank top, and a jean jacket over it. Her hair was pulled half up/half down with a green clip in the back. Her blaster still affixed on her person, the holster now fitted around her thigh, though neither Amy nor Rory saw her put it there.
The Doctor on the other hand, had somehow ended up with a pink long sleeved shirt, trousers with braces, boots, a tweed jacket which the Professor carried folded over her arm, and a number of ties draped around his neck. He strode over to the Atraxi ship as it waited on the other end of the rooftop, the Professor at his side as the humans hung back.
"So this was a good idea, was it?" Amy called, "They were leaving!"
"Leaving is good," the Professor conceded, "But never coming back is better."
"Come on, then!" the Doctor shouted, "The Doctor will see you now."
The eye disconnected from the ship and floated down to them, scanning them, "You are not of this world."
"No, but we've put a lot of work into it," he examined a tie and held it to the Professor, "I don't know. What do you think?"
She looked at it a moment before scrunching her nose, something, he noticed, she did when she didn't like something. It was adorable and he couldn't help but give her a little peck on the nose, making her laugh as he tossed the tie to Rory.
"Is this world important?" the Atraxi asked, killing their playful mood.
"Important?" he scoffed, "What's that mean, important? 6 billion people live here, is that important?"
"Here's a better question," the Professor glared at the eye, "Is this world a threat to the Atraxi?"
The Doctor tossed another tie to Amy as he nodded, "Well, come on. You're monitoring the whole planet. IS this world a threat?"
The Atraxi projected a hologram of Earth, filling it with scenes from its history, both good and bad, "No."
"Are the peoples of this world guilty of any crime by the laws of the Atraxi?" the Professor continued.
More images of war, but also of peace, "No."
"Ok," the Doctor nodded, "One more. Just one. Is this world protected? Because you're not the first lot to come here…" the projection started to fill with images of various alien threats the Earth had faced over the years, "Oh, there have been so many! And what you've got to ask is..." he grinned, "What happened to them?"
The projection shifted and, much to the Doctor's surprise, the first images were of the Professor, of all her previous incarnations starting with her first.
'You're forgetting what field I entered after I became an Academic,' she remarked silently to him. She'd begun work in Intergalactic Relations, trying to stop wars and others hostilities that had the potential to threaten timelines throughout the galaxies. The Time Lords never allowed her to leave the planet however, knowing that as soon as she was away from them she would seek him out and likely never return, she had been the trick up their sleeves, the one thing they could use if they ever needed the Doctor to return to Gallifrey. But that hadn't stopped her from making connections, hacking into other secure systems throughout the Universe to listen in on any secret plots against the Earth. She knew it was his favorite planet, it was hers as well, and she was not about to let anything harm it if she could prevent it, 'You would not believe how much trouble the Slitheen gave me about wanting to turn Earth into a vacation spot,' she grumbled. And they had tried to do just that after the war had ended, when they thought she was no longer alive to protect the Earth. Luckily, the Doctor had been there.
He nodded slowly, slightly dazed as he watched, wide eyed, fixing the bow tie he'd selected, at the different women that drifted across the screen.
He recognized the first, a woman with light hair and eyes, blonde and gray, smiling out at him. But then different women he'd never gotten to see appeared. The second, a woman with darker hair he guessed was red and eyes that were similar to her eyes now, hazel, frowned before them. Then there was a woman with very dark hair and dark eyes, who looked not at all happy. Next was a woman with hair that seemed to blend the first and second incarnations, probably a strawberry blonde like she was now, and what he guessed were green eyes slightly magnified by the glasses she wore, concentrating on something. The next woman had dark hair as well, but not quite so dark as the other woman, brown hair, with the same eyes as her first incarnation, though looking very nervous. And then there was the woman he knew from the war, black hair, cold, ice blue eyes that blazed as her face set in a serious, determined expression. He recognized the next woman from the Professor's memory when the TARDIS had ended up in the parallel world, short choppy red hair, brown eyes, looking frantic. He swallowed hard, knowing which incarnation was coming next, the one tortured by the Krillitanes. He could see that the image was from before her hair had been chopped off, looking strawberry blonde again but with eyes he remembered were an amber color with tears in them. And then it came to women he himself knew, the ash-brown haired girl with gray eyes who looked so scared and the blonde haired, blue eyed soldier with the expressionless face.
He didn't know how the Atraxi had managed to gather all those images of her, but he was thankful they had. He let out a breath of air when it came to the ones he recognized, "Blimey…" he looked at her, "I never should have left Gallifrey if I missed out on those. You're gorgeous."
She smiled, helping him into his jacket, and glanced at the images now flickering through his own incarnations, "You're not too bad yourself."
He laughed, looking at the projection as it played through to his last one, before walking through it, "Hello," he grinned.
"I'm the Professor," she introduced, "And this is the Doctor."
"Basically..." he smirked, taking her hand, "Run!"
The Atraxi ship departed quickly, Amy laughing as they watched it flee. The Doctor looked down suddenly, feeling something hot in his pocket and pulled out the glowing TARDIS key.
They turned and smiled at each other before running off.
The duo ran into Amy's back garden to see the TARDIS, looking bluer than ever, now with a St. John's Ambulance sticker on the door opposite the instructions.
"Ok!" the Doctor breathed, "What have you got for us this time?" he opened the door and they stood in the doorway, amazed. The TARDIS had shifted to a multi-level console. A glass floor with steps that led below the console, a few steps up to it from the doors, a set of steps on the one side leading to the halls while steps on the other led to an upper decked area.
"Look at you!" the Professor's eyes widened, gripping the Doctor's arm in excitement.
The Doctor grinned widely, "Oh, you sexy thing! Look at you!"
And then they ran in, the doors closing behind them, not even noticing Amy and Rory running into the garden...
Amy stepped out of her back door in a robe and slippers as they stood outside the TARDIS at night, waiting for her, the Doctor with his arm around the Professor's waist as she leaned on him.
"Sorry about running off earlier," the Doctor explained, "Brand new TARDIS, bit exciting."
"Very exciting," the Professor corrected.
The Doctor nodded, "Just had a quick hop to the moon and back to run her in. She's ready for the big stuff now."
"It's you," Amy looked at them, "You came back."
"Of course we came back," the Professor smiled, "We always come back."
"Something wrong with that?" the Doctor eyed her.
"And you kept the clothes…" Amy eyed him more than the Professor, his outfit really was ridiculous.
"Well, we just saved the world, the whole planet, for about the millionth time, no charge. Yeah, shoot me! I kept the clothes."
"Including the bow tie."
"Yeah, it's cool. Bow ties are cool."
The Professor laughed at that, shaking her head fondly at him.
"Are you from another planet?" Amy frowned.
"Yeah," he nodded as did the Professor.
"So what do you think?" the Professor asked.
"Other planets," the Doctor said, "Want to check some out?"
"What does that mean?"
"It means...well, it means...come with us."
"Wherever you like," the Professor explained.
"All that stuff, the hospital, the spaceships, Prisoner Zero..."
"Oh, don't worry," the Doctor laughed, "That's just the beginning. There's loads more."
"Yeah, but those things, amazing things, all that stuff..." and then she was angry, "That was two years ago!"
"Oh…oh!" his eyes widened as they both winced, "Oops."
" So that's..."
"14 years…" the Professor sighed, she was still settling a bit, her sensation of time slightly thrown till the 15-hour regeneration cycle had ended.
"14 years since fish custard. Amy Pond, the girl who waited, you've waited long enough."
Amy hesitated a moment, "When I was a kid, you said there was a swimming pool and a library, and the swimming pool was IN the library."
"Yeah. Not sure where it's got to now. It'll turn up. So...coming?"
"You wanted to come 14 years ago," the Professor reminded her.
"I grew up."
The Doctor grinned, "Don't worry. We'll soon fix that," he snapped his fingers and the door to the TARDIS opened, bathing Amy in a warm, golden light as she entered, "Well..." he trailed as he and the Professor stepped past her and towards the console, shutting the door behind them, "Anything you want to say? Any passing remarks? I've heard them all."
"I'm in my nightie…"
"Oh, don't worry," the Professor laughed, "Plenty of clothes in the wardrobe."
"AND possibly a swimming pool," the Doctor added, "So...all of time and space, everything that ever happened or ever will..."
"Where do you want to start?"
"You are so sure that I'm coming," she eyed them suspiciously.
"Yeah, we are," he nodded.
"'Cos you're the Scottish girl in the English village, and we know how that feels."
"Oh, do you?"
"All these years, living here most of your life...and you've still got that accent. Yeah, you're coming."
"Can you get me back for tomorrow morning?"
"It's a time machine," the Professor reminded her.
"I can get you back five minutes ago," the Doctor nodded.
"Well…I can get you back five minutes ago, the Doctor…he'd probably over shoot and get you back 50 years ago."
"Oi! That only happened once!"
"That is true…" she nodded and he began to grin, "For THIS body," she added. He pouted. He had landed them down 50 years ago before they managed to get to Amy this time…the little house hadn't even been built then apparently.
He shook his head and turned back to Amy, "Why, what's tomorrow?"
"Nothing," she said quickly, "Nothing. Just...you know, stuff."
"Alright, then. Back in time for 'stuff,'" a new sonic popped out from the console's surface, "Oh! A new one!" he flashed the Professor with it quickly, testing it, "Lovely," he patted the console, "Thanks, dear."
"Why me?" Amy asked as the two got to work, setting the controls.
"Why not?" the Professor shrugged.
"No, seriously. You are asking me to run away with you two in the middle of the night. It's a fair question. Why me?"
"Don't know," the Doctor shrugged this time, "Fun. Do we have to have a reason?"
"People always have a reason."
"Do we look like people?"
He sighed, "Been knocking around on our own for a while, our choice, but I've started talking quite a bit. It's giving me earache and the Professor was ready to blast a hole in me…not good since we're Bonded and all."
This time it was the Professor's turn to roll her eyes, "Now THAT only happened once."
"You're lonely?" Amy frowned as they laughed at each other, "That's it? Just that?"
"Just that," the Doctor nodded, "Promise," he looked up to see a small, flickering line on the monitor before him, looking very much like the crack from Amy's bedroom.
"Ok," Amy nodded.
He switched off the monitor, "So, are you ok, then? 'Cos this place, sometimes it can make people feel a bit...you know."
"I'm fine. It's just...there's a whole world in here, just like you said. It's all true. I thought...well, I started to think that maybe you were just like a mad man and woman with a box."
"Oh I'm nothing of the sort," the Professor put an arm around her.
"But…Amy Pond, there's something you'd better understand," the Doctor told her seriously, "It's important, and, one day, your life may depend on it. I am definitely a madman with a box. Ha ha! Yeah," Amy laughed, "Goodbye, Leadworth. Hello, everything!"
The Professor pulled a lever and they started to disappear, all of them holding onto the console for stability as the TARDIS jolted.
A/N: And we have our 11s! I hope you enjoy this new Professor, trust me, she enjoys this version of her so much more than...well, you'll find out what her other incarnations were like in Vampires of Venice :) I'll say this, the expressions her previous incarnations wore will say quite a lot about who she was during her time as them. We'll definitely also start to get a feel for who this new Professor is in terms of personality, I've hinted a bit at it here, but with all the running around they were doing it probably took a back seat to the adventure. Not as much flirting in this chapter as I'd like after Keta withdrawal, darn them trying to stop Zero, but it'll definitely start popping up soon :)
The fact that she's so much more open than her last incarnation means that her relationship with the Doctor will definitely get a breath of new life and energy, be revitalized. And I feel like I need to say this, since I tortured you all for an entire story with Keta being so strained in Relapse, as a treat, one hint each about Series 5 and 6! The flirting between the Doctor and Professor in Series 5, at times, may reach ridiculously fluffy extremes, there's a game changing decision at the end of Series 6 (the Christmas special) as well as another hint about what I'm planning for Series 7.
And I just want to thank all of you who have been following the Academic Series from the beginning (and those just picking it up now) and all those who have ever reviewed. You guys make my day and inspire me SO much you have no idea! I'm serious. Words really cannot describe how thankful I am to have readers and reviewers like you. You all surpassed the reviews I was hoping for in ALL my stories, 50 for Reunion, 75 for Recuperation, 100 for Relapse, and 50 for Rebound. I gotta say, this story is going to have 1 extra chapter than Relapse (I'm including the Sarah Jane Adventures, Death of the Doctor as the last chapter of this story), and you got us up to 147 reviews for the 14 chapter Relapse. Think we can make it to 150? With as amazing reviewers as you all are, I think we can :)