AN: Omg, the amount of feedback you guys have left me is seriously staggering. You guys are really too kind 3. Seriously. I have been checking my email 80 times more often than usual in the hopes of reviews, and I was DEFINITELY not disappointed. Er mer gerd. Happy face. Okay.
This chapter is longer by far than the others, but I am really not all that fond of it. Oh well. How about you guys? Wow. Look at that REEEAAALLLY subtle hint that I want more reviews. I'm hopeless, haha. ( _ _).
Disclaimer: I have Matt Smith, David Tennant, Karen Gillan, and Billie Piper hidden in my basement. O_O. Just kidding. I don't own anything.
Amy thought over the first part of her decidedly uncertain plan the next day. It would be difficult to find anything out without the Doctor noticing, but she was determined. After they had parted ways the night before Amy had gone to bed, and when she had first seen the Doctor this morning, he had once again reverted back to putting on his Time Lord mask and being the rambling lighthearted Doctor that Amy had thought she knew.
Thought was the operative word in her previous musing, unfortunately.
Now, as she watched him and Rory banter playfully around the console, Amy realized that she didn't really know her Raggedy Doctor at all. He was 900 years old, after all, but she had never really thought about what the Doctor's life had been like before she had come along. Sure, she'd known that he'd had previous companions, that was a given – but who were they, really? What were they like? What had been their relationship with the Doctor? What had they even looked like? As Amy's thoughts drifted back to the Doctor's sorrowful tale from last night, she realized that she didn't even know what the mysterious Rose looked like – just that she was blond and pretty.
All of the questions that her overtired brain was peppering her with could only be answered by one person – the Doctor.
And therein lay the problem.
Last night, Amy had decided that if the Doctor found out about her little investigations, he would, without a doubt, go to great lengths to deter her. He would probably succeed, which was the problem. It was vitally important that he didn't find out, and Amy had decided that it would be easier to keep Rory in the dark too. Nodding at something the Doctor had just said – rambled – Amy kept herself from letting a pout show on her face as she failed to come up with a way to get the TARDIS to herself. Watching Rory and the Doctor half-playfully argue, hunched over something on the console, Amy flailed wildly as she struggled to come up with an excuse that would make her boys leave.
"Ladies and gentleman, I give you Tatooine!"
Amy was startled out of her increasingly frustrating thoughts as the Doctor's voice spun bye next to her head, the – deceptively – cheerful alien giving a twirl with wide arms as he flew to the doors and flung the open to reveal a shimmering expanse of sand.
"Oh come on, Doctor. Tatooine is a planet from Star Wars." Rory cut in with a snort, raising his eyebrows. "What, Star Wars is real and Luke Skywalker is out saving the universe from the evil Sith?"
"Oi, Rory, saving the universe is my thing! And, just for the record, George Lucas might not be who you think he is." The Doctor called over his shoulder as he breezed out of the doors. Rory stared after him, and Amy stifled a laugh as she watched her husband struggle not to let his mouth hang open.
"He's not joking is he… he really isn't joking!" Rory said after a moment, starting quickly for the doors. Then, a metaphorical light bulb going off in her head, Amy saw her chance. Forcing a rather moody expression onto her face, she slumped against the rail she was leaning against as Rory turned to ask her if she was coming.
"Go with the Doctor, I'm staying here." Seeing him open his mouth to protest, Amy grabbed a railing and hauled herself to her feet, leaning on it as if she were tired and flapping a hand at Rory lazily.
"Oh, go on, Rory. I don't want to wander around this dusty sauna for hours just to end up running for our lives from the first high ranking alien the Doctor manages to insult. I'm going to watch Titanic," Amy paused for a moment, letting the fact that she was watching one of Rory's least favorite movies sink in, "and I have a funny feeling that you'd rather go with the Doctor."
Rory was out of the door in a flash, with a 'goodbye' and an 'I love you' thrown hastily over his shoulder.
Amy let her triumphant grin blossom on her face as the TARDIS door clicked shut. Lightly pushing off of her perch, she sauntered victoriously over to the console and leaned over the multitude of buttons, impatiently pushing her long and fiery hair back over her shoulder. There had to be some sort of rhyme or reason to these controls – she just needed to find it.
Four hours later
Amy sank ungracefully to the floor to lay spread eagle on the glad, letting out a groan of anger and frustration. Four hours. For four hours she had scoured and prodded each and every button and lever she could find in the now seemingly massive control room, and yet she'd found absolutely nothing even remotely helpful. Amy felt like shaking her best friend until his teeth rattled for throwing the manual away. She was getting nowhere.
Sitting up with a plaintive sigh, Amy habitually smoothed back her hair. After a moment she stood and wandered down the stairs, plopping herself into the swing under the console and shoving her hands in her pockets.
That was when she remembered that she still had the ring.
After finding the ring last night, Amy had meant to return it, but something had stopped her. She'd been on her way to the console room when a little nag in in the back of her head had made her pause. She had dithered for a moment, at war with herself, but after a moment she'd turned and gone back down the hallway, the ring box clutched gently in her hand.
Now, as she turned the ring over in her hand, she felt the nagging return and take up position in the back of her head. She'd been so tired last night that she hadn't even really bothered to question or examine it, but now she sat up carefully and shut her eyes to concentrate. After a few moments, it seemed as though someone – or something – was whispering in a soft voice. Amy's eyebrows furrowed as she struggled to decipher the words, but all of a sudden they appeared in her mind as though they had been there the entire time.
Come, my cub, and discover yourself. Discover yourself, and you will discover me. Discover me. Discover me.
Amy could almost hear the words being spoken in her mind, as if by a gentle and loving voice that had an undercurrent of power. For some reason she did not understand, a sense of familiarity and safety wrapped Amy in the ghost of a cocoon, and for a fleeting millisecond a flash of the most brilliant golden light trickled through her mind before disappearing as quickly as it had come. It did, however, leave behind of a feeling of happiness that also gave off a sense of underlying worry and urgency. Eventually the strange feeling faded away, and Amy slowly opened her eyes.
Only to find herself walking slowly and smoothly from the swing and up the stairs, towards the console.
Panic shot through Amy with a burst of adrenaline, but when she tried to jerk back, her body gave no response and continued its ascension. Her fear heightening with every passing second, Amy thrashed in vain. No matter what she did, nothing that Amy tried made her body give a reaction. It was as if she were paralyzed – only she was still moving. Fear turning to terror as her body's pace quickened, Amy tried to open her mouth to scream. Her mouth didn't move and no sound came out. At long last, she reached the console, and Amy watched in silent horror as her hand reached out – and flicked a switch.
Panic turned to confusion.
What was she doing? Some of Amy's fear began to trickle away and be replaced with bewilderment. She had absolutely no idea how to fly the TARDIS, but evidently, whatever was controlling her did. Forcing down the fear that was bubbling in the pit of her stomach, Amy forced herself to keep a clear head. She watched in growing confusion as her hands began moving faster, slamming down buttons and dancing across levers, her body twirling expertly around the console. And then all of a sudden, the sinuous movements came to an abrupt halt as an ominous detaching sound rang through the room and part of the console lifted up.
And Amy forgot everything.
The console had lifted to reveal a pool of swirling molten silver, a light so beautiful and pure that it nearly brought tears to her eyes. It frolicked and played in its void, roiling and frothing. As if it were sentient, and suddenly realized it was free, tendrils of blinding light reached out into the open air like slim arms, testing, feeling. The silver encompassed Amy's entire vision and filled her soul with unimaginable wonder, showing her the entirety of the cosmos and everything beyond. As she watched the universe begin and end in the same moment, a sudden clarity trickled over her. Everything was so clear now – so obvious. So simple. Everything was beginning and ending and beginning again, all at the same time – empires rose and fell in the span of a heartbeat, only to rise up again. Amy saw everything that ever was and everything that would be and everything that might be and everything that could not ever be. It was the way of the universe, and it was wonderful beyond words. But then all of a sudden, the silver light that she had been gazing into to see the universe exploded outwards, dousing her in its brilliance and seemingly lighting the world on fire.
And then it was gone.
Darkness. That was the first thing Amy was aware of as she slowly ebbed back into consciousness.
Consciousness – she was aware of herself. That was good. Amy didn't know why it was suddenly a possibility that she might not… Be, but it was. And she Was. That was good.
Amy slowly fluttered open her eyes – she had eyes, which meant she a body. This was also good. She still didn't know why there was a question in her mind that she wouldn't.
She seemed to be standing - no. There did not seem to be anything beneath her feet. Blinking past the brightness that assaulted her sense, Amy peered out into the empty void before her. It was shockingly white, and it seemed to press in on her from all sides yet stretch on forever. Looking down at herself, Amy saw that she was now wearing a simple golden dress. It was a bit long on her, though, and the bottom pooled at her feet.
So she was standing. Amy took a step forward.
Her thoughts where so… choppy. So disjointed. There was a distinct wrongness about this place. Amy shivered even though she wasn't cold, crossing her pale arms tightly across her chest. It was obvious that she was not supposed to be here.
Just as Amy was in the middle of wondering if she were alone here in the emptiness, she suddenly became of aware of a presence surrounding her. As if it had been here the entire time. The presence grew stronger, but no noticeable change affected the whiteness.
Until she blinked.
All of a sudden a towering mass of golden brilliance swirled in front of her, pulsing and swirling. It looked exactly like the light Amy had seen in the TARDIS, with the color being the seemingly only difference. It was, clearly, the presence she had been feeling moments ago, and Amy stumbled back warily, squinting up at the column of gold. As she watched, her suspicion and fear heightening, the column shrunk, compressing itself down until it was about Amy's height. Then, to her astonishment, it rippled violently and shifted, taking on the vague outline of a human.
The swirling stopped abruptly, then, and the outline sharpened. The brilliance of the light dimmed greatly, and a softly glowing, golden, human shaped mass stood in front of a highly wary Amy. Taking a very cautious step forward, Amy let her eyes roam over the… thing. From what she could tell it was a woman – though there were no features or markings of any kind, it looked as though the creature had a sheet of hair that fell to its shoulders. Amy took another step forward and, steeling herself, opened her mouth to speak.
"Who are you, and why am I here?"
Her loud and accusing voice pierced the suffocating silence, and Amy was surprised at how different the voice that answered her was. It was soft and gentle, but it had a faint double timbre that spoke of immeasurable power.
"You know me in your heart, Amelia Pond. Look deep. Look deep into the universe's secrets, the ones that I have shown you."
Amy briefly considered telling whatever this thing was to stop speaking in riddles, but she quickly decided against it. After hesitating for a moment, Amy closed her eyes and tried to remember. Nothing came to her. Scrunching her eyebrows together, Amy focused all of her strength on remembering, but all she dredged up was a feeling that something was hidden, that there was a barrier in her mind. Then, all of a sudden, two words appeared in her head with a sudden burst of remembrance –
Amy's eyes shot open.
"Bad Wolf. You're Bad Wolf. Oh my God you're the Bad Wolf. But that means that you're… Rose? Are you Rose?"
Amy took a few steps back, but the being copied her movements and stepped forward in time with Amy's retreat.
"Yes, Amelia Pond. I am the Bad Wolf, but I am not the Doctor's Rose. One day we will become one again, Rose Tyler and I, but not today."
"Okay… okay. But… why can't I remember? You told me I would know you from the things you showed me, but I can't remember them. It's weird, it's like… I know that you showed me those things, but I can't actually remember what they were. And yet… I do remember, because all of a sudden the words 'Bad Wolf' just sort of popped into my head…"
Amy trailed off confusedly, and though there was no change in the Bad Wolf's glowing form, Amy got the distinct feeling that she was smiling.
"I showed you myself, Amelia Pond. When Rose Tyler absorbed the Time Vortex all of those years ago, I was created. I am, to put it in a way that you can comprehend, a sentient piece of the Time Vortex. The Doctor has told you what happened to dear Rose when she had the Time Vortex inside her head; she began to burn. I have locked the things I have shown you behind a door in your mind, and that door will open to release certain memories when you have need of them on your journey. I could not risk the life of my Cub by letting the secrets of the universe burn their way through you mind – I must keep you safe." Bad Wolf stepped forward and Amy stood stock still as the being brushed a shining hand across her cheek. The place that her shimmering fingers touched her face grew warm and tingly for a few moments before fading away. The gesture seemed... affectionate, and Amy forced herself not to take another wary step back.
"What - what do you mean by Cub?" Amy asked skeptically. She felt the Bad Wolf smile again before answering.
"I am the Bad Wolf and you are my Cub, Amelia Pond. I was the one who made you withhold the ring from our Doctor last night, and the one who used your body to open the heart of the TARDIS. I needed to show you a bit of my essence so that you would be capable of completing your task - if you so choose - and you will need that ring very soon though I cannot tell you why just yet. When you looked into the TARDIS you looked into me, and you became my Cub. You are part of me." Bad Wolf let her words hang in the air, waiting patiently for Amy to respond.
"I don't really have a choice of whether to believe you or not, do I?"
"Do you wish to renounce me, Amelia Pond? I cannot and will not stop you if you feel that you must decline."
"I don't... I don't know. But the way you've been talking - you're sending me on some sort of mission, aren't you? Something to do with Rose Tyler?"
"You always were a perceptive one, my Cub. Yes; if you give your consent, I will send you on a journey to find the Doctor's Rose."
Amy did not answer right away, pausing to take a deep breath and clear her head. If she agreed, she would have a chance to find this Rose Tyler and, it sounded like, reunite her with the Doctor. The Doctor's tear streaked and heartbroken face floated up to the front of Amy's mind.
How could she say no?
Squaring her shoulders and taking another deep breath, Amy cleared her throat.
"We'll let's get this show on the road."
Amy got the distinct impression that Bad Wolf was smiling again, this time even wider.
"I was correct in my assumption that you would comply. Your bravery is not exaggerated, my Cub."
At this, Amy felt a faint blush rise in her cheeks.
"What do I have to do?"
"There are many things that you must do, but the first step of this journey is clear - you must find Rose Tyler. It will not be easy, though, and you will face many a risk along the way. I will send you to Pete's world. You must find Rose and make her trust you enough to pull her back to this world, but you cannot let her know who you are or where you are from. She must make the decision herself to come through the portal I will create, and it must be without her knowing where she is going."
Amy scowled at this.
"Why can't I just tell her? It would be so much easier..."
The Bad Wolf gave a sigh, bowing her golden head.
"She does not remember."
"Rose and the Metacrisis had only lived in Pete's world for a few months together before things started to go wrong. Rose had her version of the Doctor, but she was still in love with the original. The Metacrisis saw this, and it pushed him over the edge. He had been becoming more and more unstable ever since his creation - his Time Lord mind wasn't compatible with his human body. When he saw that Rose still looked at him as just a copy, he snapped. He erased her memories, but it put too much of a strain on the fragile connection between his body and mind. He died almost instantly, but he still managed to lock the memories away. The catch, though, is that he locked them away with the sliver of Bad Wolf, and the memories are now entwined with that sliver. If Rose remembers, it will reawaken the part of me that is in her too soon, and she will die."
Amy listened with growing pity. The universe seemed to harbor a personal grudge against poor Rose.
"Alright, I think I understand. Sort of." Amy replied slowly after a few moments, and Bad Wolf dipped her head in acknowledgement before starting to speak again.
"Universe jumping is not to be taken lightly, and even I cannot send you through without ripping a hole in the walls between the two worlds.
You will have one shot and one shot only to find her, because I will only be able to send you through once and only for three weeks at most. If I leave you there for any longer I will not be able to pull you back through the same hole I sent you through, and you will be trapped there along with Rose." The Bad Wolf paused here, and it seemed to Amy as if she were steeling herself to say something difficult.
"This is... the best case scenario. There is a small chance that sending you through at all will destroy the wall between our universes and create a domino effect, destroying many other walls in the process. This would be catastrophic - the affected universes would collapse entirely. The chance that this will happen is very slight, but it will increase alarmingly when I will try to pull you, and hopefully Rose, back through. You must decide now whether or not you are willing to take this risk."
"Yes. The Doctor and your Rory are fast approaching the TARDIS, and I must guide you in the setting up of a one way dimension cannon while the TARDIS is stationary. There is not much time, my Cub. Decide."
Amy stared blindly at the Bad Wolf, decisions warring for supremacy in her head. The risks were high. We're they too high? Amy started to open her mouth to back out of the mission-
But then an image of the Doctor burying his tear-streaked face in her shoulder popped into her head, along with a growing anger and fierce protectiveness. The Doctor had been lonely, so lonely for so long, and Amy knew that he would forever be lonely until he was reunited with his precious Rose Tyler. He would never be happy until they were together again.
Wasn't the Doctor one of the most happiness deserving beings in the universe?
The fire sprang up in her eyes again.
"I'd risk practically anything for that man, Bad Wolf, and don't you ever think otherwise." Amy declared passionately, and the Bad Wolf took both of Amy's hands in hers, sending wonderfully warm tingles up Amy's arms.
"So would I, Cub. So would I."
Any gave a determined smile, gripping the Bad Wolf's hands back just as tightly.
"How do I get to Pete's world?" Amy asked, and the Bad Wolf gave a tinkling laugh.
"How about I show you?"
The Bad Wolf lifted her open palms in front of Amy's face, and all of a sudden the silver light reappeared, shooting out of her hands and straight into Amy. It rushed through her blood to gather into a swirling mass in her soul, filling her with is giddiness and joy as she saw the universe again. Amy knew that it would not last but she didn't care, flinging her arms out to the sides and twirling gracefully in a circle that made her golden dress float around her and flash like fire. Amy tipped her head back and let out a laugh of wonderment, and she felt the silver light within her rise up to shine out from her eyes. She would have been content to revel in the majesty of the Bad Wolf's Cub forever, but a gentle touch on her shoulder brought her back to the present. The Bad Wolf was smiling again, Amy knew.
"Go now, Amelia Pond, and create the dimension cannon. You know how, for the moment, but soon the barrier in your mind will reactivate and lock away the information. Use your time wisely, my Cub." The Bad Wolf told her gently. Amy suddenly felt an enormous rush of affection for her. She was a part of the Bad Wolf and the Bad Wolf was a part of her. Stepping forward, Amy wrapped her arms around the Bad Wolf and hugged her tightly for a moment before letting go and taking her hands.
"Thank you, Bad Wolf. I can't thank you enough." Amy said with a smile, the silver in her eyes glowing even brighter.
"Do not thank me yet, Cub. Thank me when you come back, because I will make absolutely sure that you will."
"I know, Bad Wolf. I know."
The Bad Wolf smiled again before placing her hands on either side of Amy's head, and all of sudden the Bad Wolf's golden light engulfed her vision, swirling around her in a miniature tornado. It dissipated as quickly as it had come, and Amy found herself standing back in the TARDIS in front of the console. Amy smiled and gave another laugh, silver mist slithering from her smiling mouth. Everything was exactly as she left it – except that this time she had a piece of the Bad Wolf inside of her head, showing her the universe and what she had to do.
Amy's hands pressed down buttons and danced across levers for the second time, only this time she was in full and complete control of her once again expertly twirling body. She flicked down one last lever with an unnecessary flourish, and a field of crackling energy surrounded her –
Just as the TARDIS doors creaked open and the Doctor and Rory froze in their tracks.
No, no, no.
The Doctor stared in shock and horror at Amy as she turned to face them, a peaceful smile on her face and a brilliant silver light pouring from her eyes. When she spoke, her voice carried a hauntingly familiar double timbre.
"I am the Cub, Doctor. I am the daughter of the Bad Wolf. She is part of me, and I part of her." Amy told him. The Doctor felt his two hearts fill with wild panic and fear, and he stumbled up towards Amy with a confused and fearful Rory on his heels. He reached out towards Amy only to be met with some sort of barrier, and it did not yield even when he threw his all of his weight against it. Placing his hands flat against the invisible wall, the Doctor tried to still the shaking in his voice.
"You've got to stop this, Amelia, you've got to let it go, it'll kill you if you don't!" The Doctor pleaded wildly, pressing himself up against the force field. Amy turned to him with a smile, her fiery hair flaring out gently from her face as if pushed by the blinding silver that shone from her eyes.
"No, Doctor. It won't. I don't have time to explain why, or how, but you must trust me. The Bad Wolf has returned, and you know what that means." Here Amy paused, letting her gaze bore into the Doctor's. He gulped and nodded shakily in understanding, and Amy was silent for a moment more before speaking again.
"I am going to Pete's world, Doctor. It does not take a genius to figure out why."
The Doctor's hearts clenched with eve more terror. Five seconds ago he would not have thought that possible.
"Amy, Amy, you will rip a hole in the universe? Do you have any idea of how much chaos and destruction that could cause? How much death?" the Doctor exclaimed, determined to make her see reason. Amy, who had turned back to the TARDIS console, whirled back to stare him down.
"Don't you think I know that, Doctor? I am perfectly aware of the risks. I am prepared to take them." Amy snapped. The Doctor felt tears pool in his eyes. Rory, who had been silent until now, piped up suddenly.
"Amy, what are you doing? What is going on?" Rory demanded, reaching out to press a hand against the barrier next to the Doctor's.
"The Doctor will explain, Rory. He has no doubt figured it out by now." Amy told him. The Doctor opened his mouth, intending to protest vehemently again, but Amy held a finger to her lips. "I love you, Rory. I will return. You both will see. Do not be afraid for me – the Bad Wolf is my guide."
The Doctor watched helplessly as Amy gave them one more glowing smile before whirling around to slam her hand down upon a button on the console. The crackling barrier between them began to spin, whirling faster and faster and generating a mighty roar that filled the TARDIS and made the Doctor's ears ring. All of a sudden, the light that had previously shone only from Amy's face exploded out around her, pouring over her and coating her body in molten silver. The crackling energy spun faster still as Amy tipped back her head and threw her arms out to her sides. The silvery light exploded outwards once more, filling the force field and obscuring Amy from view, and warning bells screamed in the Doctor's mind.
The Doctor sank to his knees, his hands sliding down the barrier as he pushed against it in vain.
A streak of what looked like blue lightning shot through the swirling mass of electric silver, and it vanished abruptly with what sounded like a sonic boom.
A strand of hair the color of fire lay on the glass where Amy had stood moments before.