She caught the Doctor staring at her with an unreadable expression. The last year had been tough on him, and she knew he always expected people to leave eventually. The fact that she'd decided to stay had clearly gotten to him. She let him have his moment, then turned back to the console with a grin, hopping up and starting up the flight sequence. "Come on, lazy. Time get to get going."
She shot the Doctor a manic, knowing grin. "Allons-y!"
He grinned, running up to join her at the console. Before he could touch anything, however, the TARDIS gave a massive shudder, going into wild convulsions, the likes of which Molly had never felt before. She was thrown back roughly against the grated floor, sliding back and hitting the railing. She let out a slight whimper of pain as her shoulder and head were slammed against the railing. Pain shot through her head, searing heat that faded to a dull throbbing ache. She screwed her eyes shut, suppressing a groan.
After a few moments, the shaking stopped, the TARDIS stilling again. Molly started to open her eyes, then shut them again as harsh light hit her eyes. She waited a few moments, then opened them a slit, waiting for to get used to the light before opening them further.
There wasn't any actual light as far she could tell now, but the whole room seemed to glow slightly, everything seeming just slightly surreal. She could still see the Doctor as he scrambled to his feet and rushed towards her, crouching beside her with concern. "Molly? Molly, are you alright?" the Time Lord asked anxiously.
She tried to shake her head to get rid of the light, but a sudden rush of pain convinced her not to try again. Instead, she blinked a few times. The light got a bit better, but she still felt a bit weak and dizzy. "I'm fine," she said quietly.
The Doctor frowned, not looking convinced. "Molly, look at me." She reluctantly met his gaze, and his frown deepened. "Dilated pupils, and I heard that crack when your head hit the railing. I'd say you've got a concussion."
Suddenly, a new voice spoke. "Do you feel any dizziness or nausea?" Molly blinked in surprise as an unfamiliar man approached from the console, crouching down beside the Doctor.
Molly stared at him uncertainly, fighting another wave of dizziness. "Who are you?" she asked.
The Doctor turned to him, eyes widening in shock. He let out a flat, "What?"
The other man ignored him and focused on Molly. "Just answer the question. Any dizziness or pain?"
He reached forward to help Molly up, but the companion flinched back from his touch, eyes narrowed distrustingly. "I'm fine," she said stiffly. She stood shakily, the Doctor holding her shoulder and helping her up.
The other man narrowed his eyes at Molly's strange behavior, but he didn't comment on it, standing with the other two. Now that she was standing, Molly could see Sherlock already back on his feet, watching the new man with interest. "Good to know," the new man said coolly. "Since you're fine, then, would you like to tell me what you're doing on my TARDIS?"
That helped snap Molly out of her funk slightly. "Your TARDIS?" she repeated, baffled. "Since when? Who are you?"
The man straightened, squaring his shoulders as he announced, "I am the Doctor."
Molly stared at the man in shock, gaping slightly. Reminiscent of the Doctor, all she could manage was a flat, "What?" She turned to the Doctor, her Doctor, in her confusion.
He hesitated. "Yeah, er, long story." The Time Lord seemed excited about the new guy for some reason, but he was more concerned about her. "Come on, you need to sit down." He started to lead her toward a seat, but Molly pulled away.
"I'm fine, Doctor," she insisted more firmly. He looked unconvinced, so she compromised by leaning against the railing.
The other man looked between her and the Doctor with obvious confusion. "He's not the Doctor, I am," he reminded her.
The Doctor turned to him, suddenly grinning widely. "Yeah, about that, oh, this is brilliant. I mean, totally wrong, big emergency, universe goes bang in five minutes, but... brilliant!"
Molly felt a bit irritated with the Time Lord's excitement, and his usual refusal to explain anything. "Doctor? Little explanation would be helpful right now." The Doctor turned back to her, managing to look a little shame-faced. "Now, why does this guy keep saying he's the Doctor?"
"Because he is," the Doctor told her with a grin. Molly blinked uncomprehendingly. "Er, look, remember how I explained about regeneration?"
She suddenly understood. "So this guy's, what, a future you?"
"Past, actually," the Doctor corrected. The other Doctor – past Doctor? – stared at her Doctor with obvious confusion. "My fifth face, five faces ago."
From his spot by the console, Sherlock spoke up. "I see your fashion sense has changed since then, Doctor." He stared at the fifth Doctor with a smirk. "Nice celery." Molly blinked in surprise. She hadn't realized the green on the man's jacket was a stalk of celery. She hasn't really been paying that much attention to his looks before, but now that she knew he was the Doctor, she took a closer look. He was dressed in a beige coat with a white jumper underneath, with striped trousers and a white hat with a red band. It was quite a different look from the Doctor she knew, and the stick of celery was a bit off, but she could see how it might be something the Doctor would wear.
The fifth Doctor turned an irritated glare on the detective, while Molly's Doctor frowned, staring at the vegetable in question. "Yeah... brave choice, celery, but fair play to me, not a lot of men can carry off a decorative vegetable."
The fifth Doctor looked at his future self, baffled, but before he could comment further, the TARDIS console beeped insistently. The past Doctor looked at it, then turned back to his future self. "Look, I don't have time for this. There's something wrong with my TARDIS, and if I've got to do something about it. You," he ordered the Doctor, "stay with her, make sure she's alright, while I try to sort this bloody thing out."
The Doctor, her Doctor, gave Molly an anxious glance, then turned back to his former self. "Actually, if it's all the same Doctor, I think I'll be more help by the console. Sherlock, take care of Molly."
He followed his former self to the console, while Sherlock came to Molly's side, looking carefully into her eyes, critically analyzing her dilated pupils. "The Doctor's right, you really should be resting," he told her.
Molly couldn't help but smirk. "Here's a new one, you playing nursemaid," she joked. "Wasn't it usually me cleaning you up after some fight or another?"
Sherlock smirked. "Enough distractions, Molly," he chided. "You're concussed, you need to rest. Just once, listen to the people trying to help you." He gave her a meaningful look, and she remembered, over a year ago, saying almost the same exact thing to him.
She sighed. "Alright, fine, but let's see if the Doctor – sorry, Doctors – need help first."
The two Time Lords – two versions of the same Time Lord – were working worriedly on the console. "That's a paradox," the fifth Doctor was saying. "Could blow a hole in the space-time continuum the size of..." he trailed off as his future self swung the monitor around so he could see. "Well, actually, the exact size of... Belgium. That's a bit undramatic, isn't it? Belgium?"
Molly's Doctor pulled his sonic screwdriver out his jacket, offering it to his past self. "Need this?"
The past Doctor shook his head. "Nah, I'm fine."
The current Doctor snorted, putting the screwdriver back in his coat. "Oh no, of course," he said drily, "you mostly went hands free, didn't you, like 'eh, I'm the Doctor, I can save the universe using a kettle and some string, and look at me, I'm wearing a vegetable'."
Even through her discomfort, Molly couldn't suppress a snort of amusement. "With your ego, you think you'd be singing his praises, not putting him down."
The Doctor shrugged. "Eh, you've got to be able to poke fun at yourself."
The fifth Doctor let out an annoyed huff. Sherlock turned away from Molly to face the two Time Lords. "What you're saying is that two TARDIS, two versions of the same TARDIS, on different points on their timestream, have collided and the ensuing paradox will tear a hole in the fabric of time?"
Molly's Doctor nodded. "Yeah, basically."
The past Doctor looked at Sherlock with surprise. "Clever. So who are you, then?"
Molly answered before Sherlock could, straightening and saying, "I'm Molly Hooper, and he's Sherlock Holmes. We're the Doctor's... er, your companions, in the future."
The fifth Doctor's eyes narrowed as he took in Molly's posture and outfit. "Interesting," he said quietly. "You're a soldier, aren't you? I can tell." Molly wasn't sure, but she thought she heard a tint of disapproval in his tone. Molly's Doctor shot him a quick, warning glance.
She tensed, holding her head high. "Of a sort, yes," she told him coolly.
The Time Lord just nodded slightly. "Right." Molly couldn't help but feel he didn't like her very much. She continued to glare evenly at the past Doctor, but before he could say anything further, a low warning bell sounded from the console. The past Doctor's eyes widened. "The cloister bell!"
Molly's Doctor looked surprised for a moment, then hurried to the console. "Yep, right on time. That's my cue."
He started fiddling with dials and levers while the fifth Doctor looked worriedly at the monitor. "In this limit," he said anxiously, "we're gonna generate a black hole strong enough to swallow the entire universe!"
Molly's Doctor grimaced. "Yeah... that's my fault, actually. I was rebuilding the TARDIS, forgot to put the shields back up. Like Sherlock said, our TARDISes... well, the same TARDIS, different voyages in the same time stream, collided and wurp, there ya go, end of the universe, butterfingers, but, don't worry, I know exactly how this all works out, watch..." He fiddled with a few controls, grinning in full manic Doctor force. "Venting the thermo buffer... Flooring the helmic regulator... And just to finish off, let's fire those zyton crystals."
The past Doctor tried to pull his future self's hands away from the controls. "You'll blow up the TARDIS!" he hissed.
Molly's Doctor shrugged. "Only way out," he said.
Molly raised an eyebrow. "Is that really the best plan, Doctor?"
He turned to her with the familiar manic grin. "Ah, come on Molly Hooper, give me a little credit." She hesitated, then nodded, grinning back. He turned back to his past self. "I know, because I remembered, Doctor," he said pointedly.
The other Time Lord's eyes widened, but before he could say anything, the monitor beeped. There was a flash of light, which Molly immediately shut her eyes against, then nothing. The former Doctor looked at the monitor in surprise, a relieved smile slowly appearing on his face. "A supernova and a black hole at the exact same instant..."
Molly's Doctor grinned proudly. "Explosion cancels out implosion."
"Matter remains constant."
"Brilliant," Molly's Doctor said smugly.
The fifth Doctor smiled, giving the current Doctor a curious glance. "You really are, aren't you? You're really me? That's how you knew to explode the TARDIS, you only knew what to do because I saw you do it."
Molly's Doctor chuckled. "Wibbly wobbly..."
"...timey wimey!" they finished together. Molly couldn't help but chuckle at their excitement. Yeah, this guy was definitely the Doctor.
Suddenly, another alarm sounded from the console. Molly's Doctor bounded over to the console, working quickly on the controls. "Right! TARDISes are separating. Sorry Doctor, time's up, back to long ago." He looked up curiously at his past self. "Where are you now? Nyssa and Tegan? Cybermen and Mara and Time Lords in funny hats and the Master? Oh, he just showed up again, same as ever." Molly stiffened at the mention of the Time Lord, but the Doctor didn't seem too upset about mentioning his deceased friend. He was rather good at covering up his pain.
The fifth Doctor snorted. "Oh, no, really? Does he still have that rubbish beard?"
Molly's Doctor chuckled. "No, no beard this time. Well, a wife."
Suddenly, the past Doctor began to fade. He looked down at himself in surprise. "Oh. I seem to be off." He looked up at his future self with a smile. "What can I say? Thank you. Doctor."
Molly's Doctor nodded. "Thank you."
The fifth Doctor grinned. "I'm very welcome," he joked. He disappeared completely, but Molly's Doctor flipped a switch, bringing the past Doctor back.
He reached to grab his past self's hat, which had been left behind on the console, and handed it to him. He was wearing a huge, warm grin. "You know, I loved being you. Back when I first started at the very beginning, I was always trying to be old and grumpy and important, like you do when you're young. And then I was you. I was all bashing about and playing cricket and my voice going all squeaky when I shouted, I still do that! The voice thing, I got that from you! Oh!" He swung his leg up, putting his foot on the console to show off his converse. "And the trainers! And..." he pulled out his glasses, putting them on quick, "Snap! Cos you know what, Doctor? You were my Doctor."
The fifth Doctor smiled. "To days to come."
Molly's Doctor smiled warmly back. "All my love to long ago."
"Good luck, Doctor, to you and your companions." The fifth Doctor's gaze flicked briefly to Molly, and once again she couldn't shake the feeling he didn't like her. What was that about?
The fifth Doctor faded again, leaving the Doctor grinning fondly at the place he'd been standing. A few moments later, however, his voice echoed through the TARDIS. "Oh, Doctor? Remember to put your shields up."
The Doctor turned back to the console, flipping a few switches. Molly grinned. "That was interesting. You were a bit stuffier back then," she teased.
The Doctor chuckled. "That was nothing, you should have seen me before that." He started working on some controls. "Right, so I'm sending into the Vortex, then you, miss Hooper, need to rest."
Before Molly could argue, the TARDIS shook, throwing the Doctor off his feet. Luckily, Sherlock and Molly were already holding into the railing and were able to keep their footing. But that wasn't the weird part. The weird part was the cause - what looked like the front of a ship had crashed through the walls of the TARDIS. A loud airhorn blared from the ship. Molly stared up at the ship in shock, lost for words. The Doctor's brow furrowed, and he let out a confused, "What?" He scrambled up to his knees, looking more and more baffled. "What?!"
A life preserver ring was tossed from the ship. The Doctor picked it up, turning it over curiously. Everyone froze in shock at what it showed. On the other side, in bold black letters, was the name of the ship. The Titanic.
The Doctor stared at it and let out a flat, "What?"
Yeah, so here's that sequel I promised. Much sooner I than I planned on posting it of course, but I think it's clear by this point that I have red restraint when it comes to this story.
I'd never seen "Time Crash" before writing this, actually, and it was interesting to see for the first time.
Right, so, not really sure where the concussion came from, but the TARDIS was shaking way worse than normal, so I figured it'd make sense if someone got hurt. I won't say much at this point, but I will say that this chapter sets the mood for the rest of the story.