The sky is full of a million, million voices saying "Yes, of course. We'll help." – River Song
The Wheel turned as it always did, and life continued as it always had. The head astrophysicist sometimes found herself bored, dreaming of adventures. Then she would shake her head, chastise herself mentally for flights of illogical fantasy and get back to work. She sometimes studied history, inspired by that long ago visit from the Doctor and his Scottish companion.
Once, when she felt particularly brave, she had even looked up the Cybermen, learning about them throughout history. She had felt a twinge of fear at hearing of their near invasion of Earth, and been unable to explain it.
Even now she found herself thinking of the pair of travelers. She regretted sometimes not going with them. Imagine the adventures she could have had then!
"Doctor Heriot?" One of the younger scientists called out, a look of confusion on his face.
"Yes?" Zoe Heriot's voice had deepened with age, but her mind was still sharp. She had risen quickly in the ranks of the Wheel, and chosen to stay.
"We're receiving a strange message."
"I'm not sure what it means." He hesitated. "Shall I play it on speakers?"
A moment later a female voice spilled across, her voice tinged with a slightly desperate tone. "Please. The Doctor is dying. Please, please help. Help me, I can save him! I have to save him!"
The young scientist frowned at his commander, surprised at the look of longing and sadness on her face. "Ma'am?"
The look vanished, and Doctor Heriot hesitated. "Where is it coming from?"
"That's what's strange ma'am. I can't tell. It seems to literally come from nowhere."
"He was a kind, old man," he heard her whisper, and for a moment, she looked much younger. Then, "Tell them we'll do whatever is needed."
Doctor Heriot straightened and gave him a small smile. "I met him once, for a little while. He saved my life." She feels a fierce, unexplainable loyalty wash through her. Those journeys she never got to have, maybe, making her sentimental in her old age.
Martha Smith nodded in thanks at the woman running the cart. "I love this country."
Her husband, Mickey, grinned over at her. "You been here then?"
"Never told me that."
"It was a long time ago," Martha said with a sad smile, thinking of the year that only a handful of people remembered living. Japan had been different then. She wouldn't recognize any of the places she had been then, running from the Master, spreading the stories of the Doctor. She didn't like to talk about it much.
Mickey saw her smile, and understood. He'd never pressed her for anything she didn't want to talk about. She still had nightmares about those angels, being stuck in another time, no way back, working in a shop.
Mickey had his own nightmares though, about Cybermen, and other creatures, and he didn't talk much about them either.
She leaned against him, happy for a moment to be a normal couple on vacation.
Then her phone rang.
She frowned, pulling it out of her pocket and stared. "Mickey," she breathed.
Mickey blinked, and she knew he was also thinking of that moment when they had been hunted by a Sontaran, and he had been stopped by a mallet. "Answer it."
So she did, and listened to the plea, and she didn't have to ask her husband what he wanted, because they had flown among the stars, traveled through time.
And one man had showed them both how much more they could be.
"We'll save him. Tell us how."
Dorothy made her way through the halls of A Charitable Earth. The charity had many functions, but focused mainly on promoting science and also racial equality. Everyone should have an equal shot at making something of themselves.
It was the least she could do, she thought, after all she'd experienced.
Didn't hurt to have a few members of UNIT as friends and advisors either.
She had no doubt that the Brigadier, as so many called him, had called in a few favors when she had first started setting this up.
"Ms. McShane?" Her personal assistant caught up with her, looking mildly embarrassed. "I'm sorry miss, but I wanted to warn you, one of your televisions has been messing up all day. I've called a repairman, but he can't be here until this afternoon."
Dorothy frowned, she loved her tv setup, being able to watch global news on multiple channels. "What's the problem?"
"It keeps getting the wrong signal. Picking up some channel instead of what it's set to."
"I'm sure it will be fine," Dorothy said with a smile, her hand on her office's doorknob. "Maybe I'll just keep it off today."
"That's just it, Miss. Sometimes, after I've turned it off, it'll come back on. A short somewhere, is what the tech said it sounds like."
"Alright, thanks for the heads up." She grinned and joked, "It's nothing a little Nitro 9 won't fix."
The other woman smiled tightly, used to her bosses eccentrics. "Of course."
Dorothy went in, noticing her televisions were off, and set her briefcase on her desk. She was pulling papers out when she heard the click of the television. She turned, thinking suddenly of an old fifties television she'd once watched hum to life with fascination.
"I have to save him!" A female voice called out, the volume down but unable to hide the frustration in her voice. "He's saved so many of you, and never asked for anything in return. Help me!" There was no image, just a sort of white haze.
Dorothy frowned, her hand halfway extended to unplug the damn thing, some prickling in the back of her mind making her hesitate.
"The Doctor is dying!"
"Oh, Professor," Dorothy whispered, feeling her heart clench. "What trouble have you got into now without me there to watch your back?"
She turned away from the television, reaching for her phone and dialing numbers she knew by heart. "UNIT, yes? Good. Gilmore, please? No, he's not expecting my call. It's sort of an emergency. Tell him Ace is calling, that'll get him on the phone." She tapped her fingers and silently wondered where she'd left that old baseball bat.
Luke sat in his old attic, his friends silent around him, all of them still in their funeral formals. K9 sat in standby mode in the corner. "I shouldn't have gone off for uni."
Maria smiled, setting her hand gently on his shoulder. Across from them Clyde held Rani's hand. "She was proud of you," Maria said softly. "Of all of us."
"Think of all she did, and no one will ever know," Clyde said softly, and shrugged off Maria's glare. "It's true. She fought aliens! She traveled through time and space! All that priest talked about was how good she was to take in Luke and how she always wrote 'lovely articles,' like that codger ever read any of her articles."
Luke snorted. "I actually expected her to run in ranting about how few people showed up." He smiled slightly. "Church was full, but she would have said something."
They lapsed back into silence.
"I was surprised he didn't come," Rani said softly.
"Probably busy off saving someone else," Luke muttered, then winced at the bitterness in his tone.
"The men from UNIT were a nice touch, and Jo. It was good of them to come. I was surprised at the salute," Rani said with a smile, thinking of the servicemen that had volunteered as pall bearers, and then saluted as the casket had been lowered into the ground.
"Mom had a lot of friends," Luke said quietly.
Clyde opened his mouth to say something, but it was lost in the sound of Mr. Smith activating.
"Mr. Smith? What is it?"
"I'm receiving a message, a distress call that seems to be coming from multiple points of time."
"Multiple points of time?" Maria blinked. "Is that possible?"
"It is if you can do that sort of thing," Clyde said, catching Luke's eye and shrugging. "It is if you're you know…"
"The Doctor? Sending out a distress signal?" Rani shook her head. "That's terrifying."
K9 beeped eagerly from his spot, his antenna spinning urgently. "Confirmed, Master Luke, I can detect a time vortex."
"That may be why he didn't come," Rani said as though all was explained.
Luke hesitated, staring not at any of his friends, not at Mr. Smith or even K-9. Instead he was staring at a spot on the floor. "He saved my life." At their looks he waved his hand dismissively. "Yes, I know, he's saved all our lives. But he saved my life, and I think he did it because of my mother, because she meant something to him." He sighed, aware he was babbling. "I'm going to help. I'm not asking any of you to." He smiled at Maria. "You got out of this life."
Maria smiled back, tears in her eyes, and grabbed his hand, squeezing tightly. "Sarah Jane would have helped him. Maybe that can be her legacy, then."
"She would have helped," Rani said and nodded, looking to Clyde, who nodded back.
"Mr Smith, send a message back." Luke took in his friends, and his robot dog. "Tell whoever it is, yes, we'll help."
Tegan Jovanka-Chesterton stood on the steps of Parliament and smiled brilliantly as a cameraman snapped a shot. Then she sighed very slightly, and shook the reporter's hand as their interview materials were gathered and put away.
"It's an honor meeting you, Mrs. Jovanka. The work you've done is amazing."
Tegan smiled. "Thank you."
"What started you doing this? Stewardess to equal rights activist? Bit of a jump."
"Maybe. I saw a lot of oppression in my travels, in many different places. And when I came home, I thought, I can change something here, on my own little world," she said, smiling as her thoughts drifted.
"Own little world?"
Tegan blinked and smiled, "Well, it's just an expression, of course."
"Of course," he said with a blink.
"Ma'am, you have a call." Tegan turned and smiled at her assistant.
"You'll have to excuse me," she said tucking her hair behind her ear and once again lamenting the fact that it was starting to gray. She speed-walked to her office, smiling and nodding greetings at others as she passed. As she walked into her offices though, she saw her assistant standing and holding her phone with the oddest expression on her face.
"What's the matter?"
"I'm sorry, ma'am. The call disconnected. It was very odd though. Some woman, sounded British, said she needed help, that the Doctor was in trouble and needed help."
"Doctor who?" Tegan asked, already on her way into her office, and then a thought struck her and she hesitated. "Did she say?"
"No, actually. I asked, and she just said the doctor, like he was the only one, or you would recognize it."
Tegan blinked. It wasn't possible. He hadn't tried to contact her again in all these years. Surely he had forgotten her by now.
"Shall I call someone to have it looked into?"
Tegan shook her head. "It probably was a prank of some sort, or a wrong number."
"She sounded desperate actually. Said she needed the Doctor's companions, whatever that means."
"I used to travel with a man we called Doctor. No name, just Doctor." Tegan still couldn't think of Adric without tearing up.
"Can you still get in touch with him?"
The question almost made her laugh. "No. No, I don't think that's possible." Not without a powerful satellite." She turned, ready to banish her thoughts of the Doctor back to the past, then stopped. "If she calls again, tell me."
"If you aren't available, shall I take a message?"
"No. Actually, if she calls back, tell her I'll help. Tell her I'll do anything I can." She took a step, then stuck her head back out. "And call Johnny for me, and Ian and Barbara. Tell them I want to talk to them." She closed her office door and smiled.
In the Senate of New New New New New (you get the idea) Earth, a Sister of Plenitude, the final Sister of Plentitude, knelt and prayed to Santori.
The Face of Boe said nothing, as this had become ritual.
He had lived a long long life, and knew that rituals were important. He even had a few himself.
One religious belief, one holy mantra, was that he believed in the Doctor. No doubt, no hesitation. Despite, or perhaps because of everything they had been through together, he believed.
He had a message for his old friend, one he knew he would deliver with his dying breath. It was an irony not wasted on him, that he would be the one to deliver said message. His own past, become future.
Such was life when you had traveled through time. Sometimes you had to avoid moments you had lived, so that you could live them.
Or something like that.
He was old though, and his time was coming. He knew that.
Finally, the magic or curse that beautiful Rose had cast would end.
He was grateful. He was as grateful to be dying as he was for the life he had lived.
He could still remember them all. Rose Tyler, Gray, all of the Doctor's companions, and all of his Torchwood family throughout the years.
He had danced at their weddings, and the weddings of their great-grandchildren, and when his once friends were dust he still danced with a descendant who might not know him, but he saw a familiar twinkle in blue eyes, or a determined look on a brunette's face.
The Time Agency had approached him once, when he still young as a Boekind, the name new to him. They had asked for his wisdom, for his history.
He had laughed, and wanted to weep.
He had told them nothing.
Now, he waited patiently as the Sister finished her prayers.
"Hello? Can you hear me?"
The Sister froze, staring at him in shock. Then she whirled, terrified.
"I know that voice," Boe rumbled, and indeed he did. He recognized it from a woman he had once chased as criminal, hated as a murderer, and forgiven as a woman who truly had no control over her own fate.
"River Song," he murmured.
"It's coming from this," the Sister said, holding up a square object she couldn't identify.
Boe huffed out a laugh, wondering how it was possible that in a pile of junk, his wristband, once a device that allowed him to move through time, could have ended up with him now.
"Hit the button."
The sister did, setting the device down as a hologram of a woman appeared. Boe was reminded of a movie, from a few millennia ago, and almost murmured aloud 'Obi-wan Kenobi, you are my only hope.'
The woman's image stood resolutely. "The Doctor is coming, and he plans to let himself die, and I can't let it happen. I can't! Please, if you're hearing this, then you know him, or have known him. He has to understand, he can't just die."
The Sister turned to Boe with a look of awe on her face. "The Doctor? The one you're waiting for?"
Boe rumbled a short laugh. "Yes."
"Then we must help her!"
Boe was silent a long moment. "Turn it off."
"Turn it off."
"But if he dies. He'll never come. Your final destiny."
Boe rumbled again. "He will come. This call is from another moment in time, after my Doctor's."
"I don't understand."
"Time travel. It gets confusing. Your past is someone else's future, and vice versa. It will work itself out. That woman has many more adventures with the Doctor to go. He will one day watch her die, as he watches so many of us die. We, his Children of Time."
The Sister tossed the wristband back into the rubbish and the woman's voice faded.
Boe sighed, so tired. "Let others answer the call. In the end, he will survive. He always does. He's the Doctor. He saves the universe, and creates absolute havoc while doing it, and no one would change a moment of their time with him."
He settled and began to fall asleep as the sister looked on, clinging to his words.
"And sometimes," he whispered, thinking of scarves and umbrellas, and leather jackets or brown overcoats, of blondes and bad wolves, and Cardiff, beautiful Cardiff. "When it counts, sometimes, the universe saves him. It's only fair."
Maybe not my best work, but I had fun writing it. Actually started it months ago when I saw "The Wedding of River Song" and never got around to finishing it.
Please review! It lets me know if I did any good! :)
Still don't own Doctor Who.