Title: The Boy Who Saved the Doctor
Characters: Richard G. /Robin, Bruce W. /Batman, 11th Doctor
Summary: The boy who saved the doctor, the Seeing Genius. He's the boy who saved the Doctor, the one who is the genius. The boy who saved the Doctor, the one who can travel time and space forever… forever, with his Doctor.
Disclaimer: I do not own Young Justice Characters/Rights/Names/Places or The Doctor/TARDIS.
Slight AU with the TARDIS, AU in general.
The first time Dick Grayson saw it, he was walking back from Gotham Academy. It was sitting in an alley, against the wall. It was bright and blue and it stood out rather harshly against the rain and the tainted brick buildings and so Dick found it hard to miss. He walked by here everyday and had never seen it before, so why would it be here now?
He stopped, blinking harshly as the rain settled on his lashes and stared at it. He took a step forward and touched the blue painted wood, staring up at the looming box. It was a 1960s Police Box, from London; this of course, caused the ten year old to feel confusion, because why would a police box from London be in Gotham City, in America. He took a step back, back into the sidewalk and shook his head figuring it was silly to suspect such things, and skipped away to the place where Alfred was supposed to pick him up.
The second time Dick Grayson saw it, he was thirteen and it was on a different spot. Dick had stopped and stared at it, recalling the memory to which he had known about it in the first place. It was the same blue, the same size. Everything the same; it was the same one. So, Dick asked himself, why was it here? Why was it only a few blocks down from Wayne Manor. This time it was on a street corner, the same blue color from before. Dick walked around it a few times, frowning and staring at it. Something, he decided, wasn't right… because how could it have been in that alley three years ago and then suddenly here, on the corner of a street three years later when it wasn't in the alley. He had noticed, noticed how it was gone the next day.
Now, he figured, unless Gotham was filling itself up with 1960s Police Boxes, something had to be explained. It stayed there for a few days, and Dick watched it. First from the roofs and then from the sidewalk. It never moved, no one went in it. He tried to get in, to see the inside of his moving blue box, but it was locked. A bit of a bust, but not a set back. He waited.
Would it move again?
It was the same one, he could feel it.
He stepped back, studying it as people behind him passed, not even noticing it. What was it? Magic? Alien Tech? Or was it just a police box.
No… no that couldn't be it.
It got dark then and Dick looked up, because suddenly there was a ship above Gotham. A large steel-like ship that was casting a shadow over the entire city. Dick's eyes widened and he took a step back into the box, leaning into it.
"Oi! What are you doing?" a British accent said above him.
Dick looked over to a tall man in a suede jacket and a bow-tie. "There's…" he tried to remain as if he was confused about the ship, but he had to call Bruce. He had to warn him.
"Oh well yes I can see that, hard to miss. But I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to move, from that box," the man said pleasantly, with a smile on his face. His eyes were old and harsh and Dick knew it was an order.
"Why should I? Is this your box?" Dick froze a second and the man hesitated and nodded. "Why does it move? I saw it, three years ago in an alley in the rain. And now, well, now it's here and I'd like to know why my magic box moves?" He halted, cutting himself short. He hadn't meant to say "my magic box". The man smiled.
"Your magic box, eh?"
"Just tell me why it moves?" Dick asked, not moving from his spot with his back pressed against the doors.
"I suppose I could," the British man mused, "but where would all the fun in that be?" He looked excitedly at Dick, smiling and lifting his hands in the air. "No, I suppose you're not going to move until I tell you how I move my box, are you?"
Dick nodded; it was the nod that changed his life.
"Well then," the man began, "I suppose I can show you." He grabbed Dick by the shoulder, and it wasn't harsh. It was soft, like a fathers. "Now you're going to have to trust me, alright? That ship, up there, do you see it?"
Dick gave him a look, almost scoffing as he replied. "Of course."
"Brilliant, fantastic. I'm going up there and you're coming with me!" The man grabbed his hand and Dick was pulled away and inside the box.
It was wonderful, this box. It was bigger on the inside and smaller on the outside and filled with infinite rooms. Dick was whisked inside, being pulled on by the madman. He felt woozy when he first stepped in, as if he was seeing everything from two different points of view. A headache burst in his head and was gone the second it came. He saw everything different, then.
"It's bigger on the inside," Dick told him, trying to figure it out. The man only laughed.
It was a spaceship, Dick figured and this man wasn't a man. Still, he was a mad man in every sense of the first word. They went up to the ship, a strange plugging noise filling up the compartment as the man danced around the controls, laughing and smiling. Dick stared in wonder as they were suddenly on the ship, aliens aiming their weapons at them. The man walked outside, his smiling demeanor gone as he told them off. Dick watched in awe. Then they fired their weapons.
The man took Dick's hand and they were back in the magic box, the man working the controls.
"What should I call you?" Dick asked, yelling.
"The Doctor!" the man shouted back.
Dick paused a moment. "Doctor who?"
The man looked at him, grinning as he slammed a gear down. "That is the question, now isn't it?"
They were jerked forward and Dick fell into the console, breathing rapidly. It stopped and it was suddenly silent. "Where are we?" Dick asked the Doctor.
"The engine room of the ship," the Doctor explained. "They got mad at me, us I suppose. Pulled out guns, I don't like guns."
"Neither do I," Dick replied. "But… how did we get here? You asked me to trust you, and you said you'd tell me how it moved."
The Doctor didn't reply, instead opening the doors of the box and stepping out. He coughed, waving away smoke. Dick narrowed his eyes and followed the Doctor, waving away the smoke as well. They walked through and the Doctor explained who the aliens were. Dick asked why they were here, remembering his confusion, and the Doctor only gave him a knowing look. Dick followed and they came to a control panel. The Doctor pulled out a thing… and pointed it at it, the bright green light creating a sort of wave sound thing. The panel sparked and the Doctor pulled it open.
"What did that do? What is it?"
"Sonic Screwdriver," the Doctor answered. "I've soniced it."
"Oh, of course."
"Of course!" The Doctor replied cheerily. "But actually what I've done was disable all their weapons. It's sending out an EMP signal, using their own scapegoat as a weapon against them. Oh, look at me!"
Dick nodded, grinning slightly. Before long, they were back where they had first landed on the ship and the Doctor was telling them off again. They agreed. Pulling back into the box, the Doctor took him back to earth.
"Normally it isn't that easy," The Doctor sang, jumping back as they landed with a jerk.
"Normally?" Dick asked.
"So tell me how it moves. Why was it there for so long before you came back? Why did you come back when the aliens got here?"
The Doctor stared at him, thinking. "What's your name?"
"Dick Grayson…" the Doctor mused. "I suppose I told you I would, wouldn't I?"
"It's a space ship." The man was grinning now.
"I figured as much. And the inside? A Pocket Dimension?"
The Doctor gave him a look. "How did you know that?"
"You just confirmed it and it wasn't too hard once I figured out the whole bigger on the inside thing."
"Right… well you see. This… this is the TARDIS. It stands for Time And Relative Dimension In Space. It's a time machine."
Dick stared at him, lifting his head. "Really? That's… brilliant."
"I agree," the Doctor stated loudly, fiddling with a control. "It's a space ship and a time machine and that's how it moves, Dick Grayson. Well, I was tracking the aliens a few days before they came, that why the TARDIS was there for so long. What I want to know…" the Doctor took a step toward him and loomed above him, as if inspecting a small animal, and Dick blinked, jerking his head back.
"How did you see it?"
"The TARDIS. How did you see it? It's supposed to be unnoticeable, just to be something on the corner of your eye… something that doesn't matter. Tell me, how did you notice it?"
Dick looked away, his words catching on his throat. "I… um, I don't know. I just, I was walking back from school and it was my normal route and it was just there and…"
"No, no, no!" the Doctor interrupted. "That's not it. You noticed it for a reason. You saw the TARDIS for a reason… why…"
"I don't know, I'm sorry…"
"Oh no, don't be sorry!" the Doctor reassured him. "It's not your fault. You were just… pulled into this. No… no don't be sorry, no reason to be sorry. I just need to know why." The Doctor studied him for a moment before turning away.
Dick nodded, breathing a little easier. "Right…"
It was silent, Dick recalled, as they stood there in the Magic Box, in the TARDIS. He stared at the ground of the space ship, the time machine. He tried to think straight, of everything. He was in a time machine. He could save his parents. No he couldn't, he thought harshly, you can't cross your own timeline. He waited for the Doctor to say something. Something, he remembered thinking, something wasn't right.
"Why did you tell me all that?"
The Doctor looked at him curiously. "What?"
"Why did you tell me that? I mean, I've only barely just met you. Why would you tell me that if you're not expecting me to do something else?"
"Oh you clever boy," the Doctor mumbled under his breath. "You're right. Why would I tell you?"
"That's what I would like to know," Dick replied with a smirk.
"Would you like to come with me? Travel space and time and the stars…"
"You mean… go with you in the TARDIS? Like… forever?"
"Well perhaps not forever," he remembered the Doctor saying with a sad smile that he had missed the first time. Why had he missed such a detail? "But… yes, come with me in the TARDIS."
"Why should I trust you?"
"No reason," the Doctor stated sadly. "But… you have no reason not to."
That began his adventures with the Doctor.
You aged differently in the TARDIS, Dick found. He traveled to 1920 and helped an alien Bootlegger smuggle alcohol out of a speakeasy. Helped the Potato and the Lizard Woman and her wife in Victorian London. It took a matter of weeks but when they went back to Gotham, it was only hours. Dick loved it. He had, he did. He had really loved it.
They traveled to planet where the heat was so intense that it solidified that sandstorms that waged war with the skies, creating marvelous crystal structures that broke down so create more storms, only to solidify into glass sculptures again. He helped save an alien race, traveled to the Moon and the helped defeat killers, murderers. He met Abbot and Castello and ran through 1640s Gotham City after an alien scavenger, looking to take the cities stone. He and the Doctor in the magic box. But there was something else. Something wrong and deep inside him.
The Doctor called Dick Grayson his genius, his Seeing Genius. Dick loved the Doctor, he found, like a father of sorts. Of course, he never forgot about Bruce or Barbara or Alfred or the team. But they could appear in Gotham merely hours after they had left. Why would Dick have to worry? It had only been a few weeks, a month or two at the most. They wouldn't notice. He was the Doctor's Seeing Genius, the only one who understood his calculations. He was smart, brilliant; a genius.
He met the Daleks, the Cybermen, the Angels. He'd almost been converted into a Dalek, made to kill the Doctor with his genius. They told him he would either destroy the doctor, or save him. Dick didn't know what that meant but the Doctor saved him, just like the Doctor always did. The Angels had almost got him one time, had grabbed a hold of him and ripped his clothes and tore at his body and tried to feed off his time energy. The Doctor came in and saved him. He had yet to save the doctor.
There had been a woman, with dark hair, and she was controlling the angels. She had them wrapped around her hands and told them they could have the Doctor if they gave him the Seeing Genius. The Genius was connected to the TARDIS, she said, he could control it. They tried to kill him so he couldn't. So he couldn't control the TARDIS.
The Doctor saved him from the lady with dark hair and took him home, back to Gotham. Dick fought with the Doctor and he remember screaming that he could never take him away, because he belonged with the Doctor and the TARDIS. They landed in his room in the Manor. He had been with the Doctor a year but according to the clocks it had been only a few hours. He tried to fight the Doctor, but he couldn't bring himself to use his training from the Batman. Training, Dick knew, that the Doctor knew he had. That TARDIS needed him, he needed him he knew it. And the Doctor, of course, the Doctor needed him too. Bruce burst in, seeing the Doctor and Dick and the blue box. The Doctor and Dick were arguing, Dick begging him to stay.
Bruce had looked so relieved, he'd been worried when he couldn't get in contact with Dick after the alien threat was mysteriously taken care of. That had been two weeks ago. The clocks said the hours, not the days.
"I have to stay! I have to save you!" the fourteen year old yelled, "That's what they told me! Please! Doctor!"
"Richard!" Bruce yelled, stepping forward and rushing the boy with a hug. "I've been worried!" But Dick pulled away.
"You don't understand! Doctor, please!"
But the Doctor only gave him a sad look, a look a father gave his son. He took a step away, hearing the boy yell for him, the boys real (in every legal sense) father was pulling him back, giving the Doctor a steely glare with pained eyes. What had he done to his son?
The Doctor pulled away and stepped into the TARDIS, the familiar whooshing sound of the Time Machine whisking the Mad Man away. Dick yelled and screamed and sobbed, calling out that he had to save the Doctor. He had to save him.
Eventually, Bruce calmed him down. Dick remember sitting on the bed with a cup of tea, staring at the spot where the TARDIS had disappeared. It wouldn't be for a few weeks that he explained who the Doctor was and how the blue box left like it had. He didn't go into the detail of all his adventures, he didn't even tell Bruce that the Doctor was an alien, a Timelord from a far off planet that was long ago destroyed. He didn't tell him about the Angels and the woman with dark hair or even about how the Dalek's tried to use him, use him for his mind; for his genius. He didn't want Bruce to worry about him.
Two weeks later, one month and 24 hours later, Dick was sitting at his desk. He had to get the Doctor's attention. Something, somewhere would get the Doctor's attention. He was a genius, the Doctor's genius he could do this.
Bruce found the plans on his desk on day later, going in to check on him, along with a letter. He slammed his fist against the desk, Dick had seen it. It had left an imprint on the dust that had seemingly appeared over night. Dick had gotten the Doctor's attention. A giant mural, scrawled on the side of the Wayne Industries building.
Where are you, Doctor?
The Doctor came back for him.
"You got my attention, Richard."
"You've never called me that before," Dick replied hoarsely.
"Yes well, I suppose there's something new everyday," the Doctor replied with a sad smiled. "Dick, you're not supposed to call me. You were supposed to stay silent."
"Then why'd you come?"
The Doctor didn't reply.
"Did the TARDIS bring you here? How do you think you could take me all those places and then just drop me off back home?"
"Why do you think you have to save me?" the Doctor cut him off. Dick remembered feeling surprised.
"Is that why you came? To get answers?" Dick couldn't help but feel hurt then, the surprise wayning.
"No… I did come because I wanted to, because the TARDIS brought me here and because I wanted to know. Why do you believe you have to save me?"
The brash wind hit Dick neck as they stood on the top of Wayne Tower and he shivered, not knowing what to say. "I don't know," he inclined slowly, looking away shyly. "I just… I feel like I have to. It's my job, to save the Doctor."
"I can't let you back on board the TARDIS. You could die."
Dick paused a moment, opening his mouth to speak before closing it again. He thought of the team, Wally and Artemis. M'gann and Connor and Kaldur and Zatanna and he thought about how much they meant to him, they were his family. He hadn't told them anything in his time back and they had asked and asked about where he'd been but he couldn't bring himself to answer. He thought about his Parents. They died doing what they loved… why couldn't he? Saving people, saving the universe… saving the Doctor. He thought about Barbara and the boy next door, Tim Drake and he thought about their friendship. He loved Barbara, he thought, because she was everything. He thought about Alfred and the Manor; his home. And he thought about Bruce and everything he did for him; everything he done and taught him.
"I know. But you can die anywhere."
The Doctor stared at him. Then he smiled. "Why yes, I suppose you can."
Dick grinned and jumped forward, giving the Doctor a hug. He grabbed the handle of the TARDIS and was about to pull it open.
Both he and the Doctor turned around to see Bruce standing there, in his prim suit staring at the boy he called his son with worried and sad eyes. "Please, son, don't go!" He had to yell over the wind from the distance he was standing from them. Dick stared at him, noticing the letter he had written Bruce clutched in the mans hand. The Doctor saw it to, looking down and away.
"You can't take him, please," Bruce yelled, reaching out toward the Doctor.
The Timelord looked up, furrowing his brow.
"Bruce, I need to go with the Doctor!" Dick yelled. "I'll be back!"
Lie, why else would he write the letter? Why would he write one if he wasn't coming back?
Both of them knew that. Dick gave Bruce a pained look, gulping.
"Trust me!" Dick yelled.
Bruce opened his mouth, tilting his head to look to his right and rolling it back. Dick disappeared into the TARDIS, the door closing behind him so Bruce only barely got a look on the inside. Bruce Wayne looked at the famed Doctor, the man who was taking his boy.
"Keep him safe," he yelled softly, to the Doctor.
The Doctor looked at him. "I promise."
Another month of traveling with the Doctor. The Doctor saved him more then once. He didn't save the Doctor, not really. Sure, he would do this and that, things the Doctor asked, but it wasn't really him. He figured them out a second to late. A second, still, that only confused the Doctor.
Dick Grayson was a genius, his Seeing Genius that saw the TARDIS when no one else did. How could he only be a second behind the Doctor? Where did he get all that knowledge from, he remembered himself thinking, where did he get such ideas? How did he know all this? The taste of it on his brain... it was almost alien.
The woman with the dark hair was back. They were surrounded by the Angels, the TARDIS with them somewhere. Dick was standing there, frightened beyond anything he'd seen in Gotham. The dark woman was screaming at the Angels. They can have the Doctor, so long as she gets the Genius she shouted at them. The lights flickered on and off, the Angels advancing with their fanged faces and hard nails. The energy off the Doctor… it would kill him. He had to save the Doctor, but how?
The TARDIS. He had to call out to the TARDIS.
He screamed in his head, begging for the TARDIS. He could feel it, it's energy. He yelled for the TARDIS to save the Doctor, yelled for it to come.
The familiar sound filled the room, there was a bright light and Dick could see the Angels. They were coming but then so was the TARDIS. It was the most glorious sound he had ever hear in his life.
He woke up to the Doctor sitting next to him. He remembered feeling confused. This moment, out of everything in Time and Space, stood out to him.
"What did you do?"
Red, Dick remember seeing, there was lot's of red.
"I… I don't under…"
"You called out to the TARDIS. How? How did you do it? Why would he listen to you?"
Dick choked. "I… I don't know. I didn't think he'd listen. Where are we? Why is… why is there red everywhere?"
"Dick… Richard, did I ever tell you where I am from?"
Dick nodded his head, a pain in his chest. Pain. It was blooming.
"Gallifrey… welcome, Dick Grayson, to Gallifrey."
Dick sat up. "You told me it was destroyed, we can't be here you can't cross your timeline, so how-"
"When you called out to the TARDIS, it took you to the first place it met you. Where both you and it fell safe."
"But… but I met the TARDIS in Gotham! When I was ten!" Dick shouted. "How-"
"Because you first met the TARDIS, my TARDIS, here on Gallifrey. When you called out to it, your mind latched to the only familiar thing that it could on the TARDIS. You."
"Me…" Dick murmured. "But… Doctor, am I dying?"
Dick choked, laying his head down the red grass.
"But… what is there… Doctor," Dick whispered, putting it all together. They said he would either save or destroy the Doctor; this is what was meant. "Doctor you have to leave this timeline!"
"I know," the Doctor said, holding the boys hand. "Your mind… your soul is attached to my TARDIS and in this timeline, Dick, there are two. Your mind and soul are being ripped between them, the one you are already familiar with… the one that is you and the one you will become."
"Which means… I know," Dick chuckled softly, blinking rapidly like he did the first time he saw the TARDIS in the alley way. He became the soul of the TARDIS. His future had been set in stone, a continuous loop. He had called out to the TARDIS, his mind had become so interconnected with it that his own mind was fading from his body and into the TARDIS. But something had gone wrong, the TARDIS was rejecting it...because it was already there. So the TARDIS took the boy to where he would be safe and where his mind would latch onto the familiar thing from where there was nothing to reject it and now his mind and soul were being ripped in two. Between the TARDIS where he was already in... and the one where he was going. A future set in stone, where he was the heart and soul and essence of the TARDIS.
"Leave Doctor, and let your Genius be," Dick whispered softly. "Please, go… now."
Dick closed his eyes. He wasn't dead yet… but soon.
The Doctor held his hand and brushed the hair from his face and cried, the tears falling down his cheek. He should be dead right not, the paradoxes… everything. It should all be twisting and collapsing in on itself. He looked at his TARDIS… it was protecting him. His Genius was protecting him.
The Doctor picked the boy up and laid his head on his chest, crying. Then he put the boy down and crossed his hands over one another over his chest and knelled in the once familiar red grass. He stood up a few seconds later and looked angrily away, turning around and walking into the TARDIS. He started it, the sound filling up his ears and then he and his magic box disappeared, leaving his genius.
The boy's mind and soul were sucked into the familiar thing; this TARDIS. It waited in the museum, waiting for his Doctor to come, bringing the life back into the center of the TARDIS. When the Doctor finally came, when his Madman was there, the TARDIS was ready, ready for him. It was alive. He asked the Doctor if would travel with him forever… now, well, he could.
In all of time and space, in everything that Dick had done with the Doctor and with everything that would come, he was prepared. He knew everything.
He was… the boy who saved the Doctor.
Over… and over…