Hello everyone! Welcome to Part 2 of the Time Child Trilogy, The Time Child: Insanity Calling! This probably won't make much sense without reading part 1 first, which is on my profile, just so you can get a feel of Danni and what's she up to in relation to the other characters. I update every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, just to try and keep in frequent and to set myself targets to finish chapters XD. So, hope you enjoy!
A large man in Restoration dress pushed the door to an outer room open, striding over to the opposite side while flanked by two men. A servant held his hands up in surprise, hoping to stop the regal man in his tracks but he was pushed out of the way as the man made his way to the set of double doors with determination.
"Out of my way!" The man snapped. He reached the door and tried to get in, rattling them angrily when he found them locked.
"Doctor!" The man screamed, "Doctor!" He banged on the doors harder and harder until they swung open. He stormed in, sword in hand to find a woman in a purple dress, hands twirling a paint brush, stood next to a painting of the Doctor, posed in a mass of clouds wearing only a red cloth, "Where's the Doctor?!" He demanded. The woman giggled nervously.
"Doctor who?" She asked. There was a muffled sneeze and the eyebrows of the man shot up, having already been unconvinced by her lie. He strode over and used the end of his sword to lift the hem of her dress up.
"Oh no, me first." Danni snapped as she stormed into the room, startling the man and the woman as she roughly lifted up the bottom of the dress, revealing a naked and abashed Doctor.
"You know, this isn't nearly as bad it looks." He promised her.
Amelia Pond, well Amy Williams but she loved her maiden name too much to use it, followed her husband Rory into the kitchen. He placed the two large, green grocery bags down on the island in the middle of the room while Amy read from an old, red book.
"'At the personal intervention of the King, the unnamed doctor and his companion was incarcerated without trial in the Tower Of London.'" She read as she walked around him, turning to stare at him, wide eyed in shock. Rory continued to unpack the groceries, he knew that Amy wouldn't do it. He loved her to pieces, but she had no time for 'domestic' things like unpacking food. Or doing the washing up for that matter.
"OK, but it doesn't have to be them." he pointed out.
"'The female was then said to have disappeared in a flash of light. Two nights later a magical sphere some 20 feet across was seen floating away from the tower, bearing the mysterious doctor aloft.'" Amy continued as Rory placed some items in the cupboard. He shut the door and turned to face her.
"OK...it's them." He conceded.
"There's more." Amy told him as she flipped to another page in the book.
A British solider laid on her stomach in an underground tunnel. He was dressed only in his underclothes and was covered in dirt and dust while lying on a dolly. He looked upwards into a hole in the roof of the tunnel.
"Doctor, what can you see?" He whispered. The Doctor, equally caked in dirt and also in his vest dangled upside down out of the hole, his hair hanging comically as he smiled at the man.
"Is the commandant's office painted a sort of green colour with a big flag on the wall?" He asked, only for an alarm to start blaring moments later. Light from the searchlights shone through the tunnel, illuminating the Time Lord, "I think the answer's probably yes." He was pulled back through the hole to sounds of barking dogs and screaming Germans.
Amy slammed the book shut, now lying on her sofa next to Rory, who had the television remote clasped in one hand.
"It's like he's being deliberately ridiculous, trying to attract our attention. Are you watching this again?" Her attention was pulled to the television, which had 'Sons of the Desert' playing on it. The doorbell rang and she pushed herself up.
"I've explained the jokes." Rory replied, picking up the book and looking at it with a thoughtful look on his face while Amy answered the door, "So what are you saying? Do you really think they're back there trying to wave to us out of history books?" He called, completely missing Danni and the Doctor appearing on the screen. The Doctor walked straight to the camera, waving at the pair he assumed was watching before joining Danni next to Laurel and Hardy. The four did a little dance together.
"It's the sort of thing they'd do." She called, thanking the person at the door before returning with a blue envelope in hand. Rory stretched around to look at her while placing the book on the arm of the chair.
"Yeah, but why?" He asked.
"He said he'd be in touch." Amy replied as she flipped the envelope around. It had a small silver '3' written on the point.
"Two months ago." Rory pointed out.
"Two months is nothing." Amy dismissed, "He's up to something, I know he is, I know him." She opened the letter, pulling out a piece of blue card with a white piece of paper stuck on it. She frowned in confusion as she read the mass of numbers and letters on it.
"What is it?" Rory asked, turning more to look at her when she didn't answer, "Amy?" Amy walked over, not taking her eyes off the card.
"A date, a time, a map reference." She told him, pointing to each line as she described it, "I think it's an invitation."
"From who?" She shrugged.
"It's not signed. Look, TARDIS blue!" She tossed the letter to him.
In another part of the universe, at another point in time River Song was sat in her cell at Stormcage when a blue envelope was tossed onto her bed by the prison's postman. Lightning flashed outside to accompany the ever-present rain that really set off the gloom of the building. She reached down and picked it up, smiling as she read the contents. She turned and began getting ready, alarms setting off moments later. A squad of soldiers began running towards her cell as another soldier stood on the phone to his commander.
"You'd better get down here, sir. She's doing it again. Dr Song, sir. She's...packing." He told the man on the other side of the line, "Says she's going to some planet called...America."
The yellow American school bus pulled over on the long stretch of road in the middle of the desert in Utah. Amy and Rory stepped off, wearing appropriate clothing considering the heat and both sporting huge backpacks.
"Thanks!" Amy called happily as she jumped off the last step.
"You're very welcome." The driver called in reply before shutting the door and driving off. Amy's happy smile immediately dropped off her face and she sighed.
"Uh! This is it, yeah? The right place?" She asked Rory.
"Nowhere, middle of? Yeah, this is it." Rory replied, still slightly annoyed he'd allowed Amy to talk him into this wild goose chase. They didn't even know who the letter was off, just because it had come on blue card in a blue envelope didn't mean it had anything to do with the Doctor, or Danni. If anything, it reeked of a trap but Amy had been adamant and he couldn't really deny her anything.
"Howdy!" A voice called and they both turned to see the Doctor lying on the bonnet of a bright red station wagon, Danni leaning against it with a small smile of her face.
"Doctor! Danni!" Amy shouted happily, rushing over to the pair. Rory frowned, his nursing instincts kicking in when he looked Danni over. She looked thinner than the last time he's seen her, much too thin as her face was pale and drawn. The Doctor, however, just laughed at the sight of them.
"Ha-ha! It's the Ponds!" He climbed off the car, meeting Amy in front of it, "Pond One and Pond Two!" He hugged Amy, spinning her around, "Hello, Ponds, come here!"
"So someone's been a busy boy then, eh?" Amy teased, straightening out his tie.
"Did you see us?" He asked and she nodded.
"Of course!" Amy replied.
"Flirt!" She retorted and Rory coughed.
"Husband." He pointed out. The Doctor turned to him, stretching his arms out again.
"And Rory the Roman! Oh, come here!" He hugged Rory as well, Rory only noticing the hat perched on his head when in knocked him in the side of his own.
"Hey, nice hat." Rory said, the Doctor smirking in reply.
"I wear a Stetson now, Stetsons are cool." He told the pair. The hat was then blown of his head by a gunshot, it flipping over before landing on the ground in front of him. He immediately reached over and pulled Danni against him, his eyes narrowing as he scanned for the attacker, his eyes falling on a figure behind him. Amy and Rory also spun around after following the path of the hat to see River stood in the distance, gun in one hand, the other dangling at her side casually. She blew on the muzzle.
"Hello, sweetie." She stated.
The Doctor took them all to a diner, stating that he'd been there sometime in his past and they did the best cola drink he'd ever tasted. He sent Rory and Amy to the counter to buy them and sat Danni in one of the booths, sliding her over slightly and sitting next to her. He pulled out his diary as River sat across from him and they began to compare notes.
"Right then, where are we? Have we done Easter Island yet?" River asked. The Doctor flicked through his book.
"Yes!" He exclaimed, "I've got Easter Island!"
"They worshipped you there! Have you seen the statues?" River teased playfully. The Doctor didn't look up from his book as Amy and Rory squeezed into the booth, Rory placing Danni's drink in front of her. She shot him a small smile, pulling the drink close but not drinking from the glass bottle with a straw. The Doctor looked at her sternly and she sighed, taking a sip and sticking her tongue out at him. He grinned then turned back to the book.
"Jim the Fish." He drawled out, remembering the meeting with the man who wasn't actually a fish, but loved water.
"Oh, Jim the Fish!" River replied just as fondly, "How is he?"
"Still building his dam." He told her, his mood falling slightly at the sight of his two companions.
"Sorry, what are you two doing?" Rory asked after finishing his own drink.
"They're both time travellers, so they never meet in the right order. They're syncing their diaries." Amy explained to him before turning to the Doctor, "So what's happening, then? Because you've been up to something."
"I've been running...faster than I've ever run, and I've been running my whole life." He told her sadly, taking Danni's hand tightly in his own. She squeezed it back and he brought it up to his lips, placing a kiss on her palm before turning back to Amy, "Now it's time for me to stop. And tonight I'm going to need you all with me."
"OK, we're here, what's up?" Amy asked him, them all eyeing the pair concerned. The Doctor noticed and smiled.
"A picnic!" He told them, "And then a trip. Somewhere different, somewhere brand-new."
"Where?" Amy asked, not being able to help the smile that spread on her face, somewhere new was always exciting.
The Doctor was stretched out on the large picnic blanket on the shore next to Lake Silencio, his arm wrapped around Danni's waist who was curled up into his side. Amy, Rory and River were sat around the edges. The three held a glass of red wine each while the Doctor held onto what appeared to be a rather old bottle. He raised it into the air.
"Salut!" He toasted and they all clinked the glasses against the bottle.
"Salut!" They all took a sip of the old wine, smiling happily.
"So when are we going to 1969?" Rory asked the Doctor.
"And since when do you drink wine?" Amy added.
"I'm 1,103 - I must have drunk it some time." He took a sip from the bottle and immediately sat up and turned around, spitting it onto the sand behind him, "Oh, wine's horrid!" He looked down at Danni and smiled gently, "I thought it would taste more like the gums." She giggled slightly and he placed a kiss on top of her head.
"1,103?" Amy asked, confused, "You were 908 the last time we saw you."
"You've put on a couple of pounds. I wasn't going to mention it." Amy rolled her eyes at his defensiveness and turned to look at the dunes surrounding them. Her gaze was caught by a figure stood on top of the large pile of sand, silhouetted by the sun.
"Who's that?" Amy asked, wondering if they were important.
"Who's who?" Rory asked. Amy turned to Rory, all memory of the figure wiped from her mind.
"Sorry, what?" She asked, taking a drink of her wine. The Doctor eyed her suspiciously.
"What did you see? You said you saw someone." Amy shot him an incredulous look.
"No, I didn't." The Doctor turned to Danni, who was staring at the dune Amy had just been looking at. He looked over, but nothing was there. He turned to her and began rubbing her back soothingly, worried as she looked ready to be sick, something River noticed.
"You're being very quiet." The bushy haired woman said, taking a sip of her wine.
"Do you want me to shout?" The Doctor retorted with a frown, he thought he'd been quite chatty.
"Not you, her." She motioned to Danni with her glass, "You've not said anything since we got here. Not one word. What's wrong?" Danni looked up at the Doctor, a panicked look on her face and the Doctor wrapped his arm around her waist, pulling her closer against him as he looked up at the sky.
"Ah! The moon, look at it!" He said loudly, changing the subject, pointing to the large body in the sky, visible even in the bright blue sky, "Of course, you lot did more than look, didn't you? Big silvery thing in the sky, you couldn't resist it. Quite right."
"The moon landing was in '69. Is that where we're going?" Rory asked him, intrigued.
"Oh, a lot more happens in '69 than anyone remembers. Human beings... I thought I'd never get done saving you." He sighed and kissed Danni on the side of the head again. River frowned, it was if he was trying to kiss her as many times as he could, but in a much more desperate way than she was used to seeing. A pick-up trucked pulled up on the sand behind them and an older man stepped out. Danni's grip tightened on the Doctor, who pulled her up with him as he stood. He held up a hand in a wave to the old man, who replied with one of his own. He looked down at Danni, his eyes shining on the verge of tears but he kissed her gently on the lips before loosening her grip. He gently passed her down to River, who took the unsteady girl, increasingly becoming concerned. His behaviour hadn't been right since she'd landed, and Danni's was downright disconcerting.
"Who's he?" Amy asked, echoing all their thoughts. River's eyes widened, as did Rory's as something completely difference caught their attention. She stood up, helping Danni to her feet as Rory and Amy did the same.
"Oh, my God!" She breathed as an astronaut began to rise out of the lake, slowly walking to the shore.
"You all need to stay back. Whatever happens now, you do not interfere. Clear?" The Doctor told them firmly before he began to stride over to the astronaut. Danni stumbled out of River's grip and over to Amy, taking hold of her arm. Amy looked down at her in shock, her grip was tighter than she would have ever guessed the smaller woman was capable of. Danni didn't notice the questioning look, instead she kept her gaze firmly on the Doctor.
"That's an astronaut. That's an Apollo astronaut in the lake. Look." Rory said slowly, unable to believe his eyes.
"Hello. It's OK, I know it's you." They heard him say, his words just making it to them as the astronaut opened its visor, revealing it's face to the Doctor but not to them, "Well then..." The rest of the conversation trailed off as they couldn't hear him. He then bowed his head as the astronaut slowly raised it's arm.
"What's he doing?" Amy whispered to Danni, confused and a little bit scared. The astronaut fired at the Doctor out of it's arm, sending him staggering backwards. Amy screamed, "Doctor!", and tried to run towards him. Danni held her back, her fingers digging into Amy's arm as River grabbed the other side, helping her.
"Amy! Stay back! The Doctor said stay back!" The astronaut fired again and the Doctor fell to his knees.
"No!" Amy sobbed, struggling to get out of their grasps.
"You have to stay back!" River told her again.
"No!" They watched as regeneration energy began to flow from his hands. He looked over at them, a devastated look on his face.
"I'm sorry." He whispered, tilting his head back as his regeneration started. The astronaut fired for a final time, and he collapsed to the ground, the regeneration stopping.
"No! Doctor!" River shouted, and Danni let Amy run over to him as the astronaut began to slowly walk back into the lake. River and Amy dropped down to their knees by his body, Amy stroking his hair while River scanned his body.
"River... River!" Amy prompted, seeing River's face drop at the readings on the device. It began to make a long, dull beeping noise like the flat line on a heart monitor and Amy turned to the bushy-haired woman, "River?" River didn't reply, instead she stood up and began firing her pistol at the astronaut until she ran out of ammunition but it had no effect, the astronaut returning to the water until it was fully submerged once more.
"Of course not." She whispered, turning to see Amy curled up in on herself, sobbing and shaking her head.
"River, he can't be dead. This is impossible." She cried as Danni sat next to the girl, not looking at anyone as she took the Doctor's hand in hers, holding it in her lap. River saw the silent tears running down her face, even more concerned that she wasn't like Amy.
"Whatever that was, it killed him in the middle of his regeneration cycle. His body was already dead. He didn't make it to the next one." She explained quietly, tears in her own eyes as she knelt down on the other side of him, taking his other hand.
"Maybe he's a clone or a duplicate or something." Amy suggested, praying that it was anything but him. The man who had been in the truck before had slowly made his way to them. He took his hat off as he looked down at the body of the dead Time Lord.
"I believe I can save you some time. That most certainly is the Doctor, and he is most certainly dead. He said you'd need this." He placed a red gas canister next to Danni, everyone but her turning to eye it in confusion.
"Gasoline?" Rory asked as River gasped in realisation.
"A Time Lord's body is a miracle. Even a dead one. There are whole empires out there who'd rip this world apart for just one cell." She stood up after adjusting his position on the ground, he looked uncomfortable, "We can't leave him here. Or anywhere." Amy leant forward and stroked the Doctor's face.
"Wake up! Go on, wake up, you stupid bloody idiot!" She begged before resting her head on his chest, clutching him tightly, "What do we do, Rory?" Rory couldn't answer, his own grief catching any words of comfort in his throat. Seeing Rory struggling, River turned to Amy.
"We're his friends. We do what the Doctor's friends always do." She reached over and picked up the gas canister, "As we're told." She took a deep shuddering breath, she could break down over this when they were finished. Rory looked around the area, at anything but the Doctor when his eyes fell on an abandoned boat at the edge of the lake.
"There's a boat." He turned to River, "If we're going to do this...let's do it properly."
It was night by the time they had built up the courage to do what he had asked of them. River and Rory had placed him on the boat while Danni had held Amy in her arms at the side of the lake, hugging the sobbing woman tightly to herself. Rory had poured the gasoline over the body, but just couldn't bring himself to set it alight, so River had done it. He had then pushed it into the lake and it floated out far enough for them to not be able to tell it was his body, that if they could get the image of him out of their heads they could just pretend it was a burning boat they had stumbled upon. They stood on the shore in a line as Rory walked out of the lake, Amy at the front, then Canton, then River and Danni stood side by side at the back.
"It's so quiet." Danni stated suddenly and they all turned to look at her in surprise. They were the first words she had spoken since they had met up, and the small smile on her face shocked them either more.
"He was quiet the talker." River replied, her voice full of the tears she still refused to let fall. Danni shook her head.
"No, not that. My head." She tapped her skull, "There's nothing. It's so quiet. I'm glad it worked." She looked back out at the body as Amy and Rory shared a confused look.
"What worked?" River prompted when the girl continued to stay quiet.
"The Doctor dying." She stated calmly, as if it wasn't a big deal. River tensed in anger at her attitude, her mouth dropping open at the thought of anyone being happy the Doctor was dead.
"What?" She snapped, taking a step towards the girl, hand already lifting to slap her. Danni just smiled, winced then disappeared in the flash of light they all had become accustomed to.
"River, what did she mean?" Rory asked. There was no way Danni would be happy at this, there had to be something else, something more to the entire situation. Not really knowing the answer, River turned to the old man who hadn't left the lake.
"Who are you? Why did you come?" She asked him.
"Same reason as you." He pulled a TARDIS blue envelope out of the pocket of his jacket, holding it out to her. After a moments hesitation, River pulled her own out and held it against his. The numbers '2' and '4' reflected the light from the moon in the sky.
"Dr Song... Amy... Rory." They all stared at him, suspicious at him using their names, "I'm Canton Everett Delaware III. I won't be seeing you again. But...you'll be seeing me." He turned and walked back to his truck, picking up the gas canister as he went. River watched him retreating, before spinning to the other two.
"Four." She stated.
"Sorry, what?" Rory asked.
"The Doctor numbered the envelopes." She told him, finally seeing a glimmer of hope in the bleak situation.
Amy pushed the door open to the diner they had gone to with the Doctor earlier that day in a daze, still in shock as River and Rory entered behind her, River continuing her explanation.
"You got three, I was two, Mr Delaware was four." She told him as they headed towards the back of the diner.
"So?" Rory asked, not seeing the significance.
"So where's one?" River replied as Amy paused to lean on a seat, her head swimming.
"Danni?" Rory asked but River shook her head.
"No, she came with him."
"You think he invited someone else?" He realised and she nodded as they walked past Amy.
"Well, he must have. He planned all of this to the last detail."
"Will you shut up? It doesn't matter." Amy told them quietly.
"He was up to something." River continued, holding the envelopes up to Rory to illustrate her point.
"He's dead." Amy whispered.
"Space 1969, what did he mean?" River asked Rory, who shrugged. He knew about as much as she did, in fact probably more seeing as she knew him in his future.
"You're still talking, but it doesn't matter." Amy snapped at the pair.
"Hey, it mattered to him." Rory replied, walking over to his wife to try and comfort her.
"So it matters to us." River added.
"He's dead." She hissed, the words making her feel woozy.
"But he still needs us. I know. Amy...I know." She emphasised, hoping Amy could see how much she was hurting as well, "But right now we have to focus." Rory glanced around and spotted another blue envelope on a table across the room.
"Look." He pointed over at it. River started jogging over to it as he turned to the man behind the counter, "Excuse me, who was sitting over there?"
"Some guy with his girlfriend." The man replied with a shrug before returning to his clean-up. River picked up the envelope, her mind racing.
The Doctor knew he was going to his death, so he sent out messages. When you know it's the end, who do you call?" She asked the pair.
"Your friends, people you trust." Rory replied. River held up the envelope, showing them both the back.
"Number one. Who did the Doctor trust the most?" At that moment, before either could reply, the door behind them leading to the back exit opened and the Doctor and Danni entered, holding each others hands and both with a straw in each of their mouths.