A/N: Surprise! Lol, this is the eighth story of the Academic Series which involves my OC/Time Lady the Professor, and will be a revision of the 50th Anniversary Special! This means, there were 7 stories before this one (Reunion, Recuperation, Relapse, Rebound, Revitalization, Remembrance, and Reproduction) which really capture the history of the Professor and the Doctor's relationship and past, so I'd recommend reading them first for new readers :)
This will, essentially, be a one-shot of the 50th, this chapter however will be a sort of prologue as 'The Night of the Doctor' before we really get to the 50th...tomorrow! ^-^ There will be only one main chapter after this, the entirety of the 50th and it will have...quite a few changes and some minor tweaks to the story to fit with what I've written of the Academic Series in the past but I will try to stay as true to the essence of the 50th as possible ;)
The cover will be up tomorrow with the 50th's chapter ;)
~8~ is a scene break
~/~\~ is a flashback
'italics' is the Doctor/Professor speaking telepathically
The Academic Series focuses on the Doctor and Professor's POV, so scenes that don't feature them will be missing and any scenes that include references to the Doctor should be thought to also include the Professor too when applicable :)
A short description of the Professor's 11th incarnation: hazel (brownish-green, with flecks of lighter green) eyes, strawberry blonde, wavy hair that is worn half up/half down by a green clip, and cheekbones that are slightly pronounced when she smiles. Her typical outfit is a white knee-length skirt, with strappy white sandals, a fitted halter top that was more like a tube top pulled up to her neck by a band of cloth, and a fitted/tailored jean jacket with slight Victorian aspects to it :) She also wears a pair of black shorts under her skirt with a holster attached to her thigh for her sonic blaster, and a pair of sunglasses on her head. I picture her to look something like Isla Fisher :)
Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who...otherwise I'd have had more than just images of all the Doctors appear in the 50th ;)
And now...here we go! ^-^
The Night of the Doctor
The Doctor, worn and weary, stood in the back of a room, a control room of a spacecraft, leaning against the side of the wall, watching as a young woman with brown hair frantically tried to man the craft by herself. He had to smile at how she was trying to keep her calm under pressure while clearly failing to maneuver the craft. She reminded him quite a bit of…
No, he cut his thoughts off, shaking his head, no he couldn't think of her. It would hurt too much. Because she was on Gallifrey, she was on a planet in the middle of a war that was taking a turn for the worse…and he couldn't help her. She must hate him by now, she HAD to. He had, singlehandedly, torn apart her family. He knew it had been a mistake to Unite with her cousin, the worst mistake of his life and, when he'd demanded a separation from her, because Mayra would not ever have just let him go if he'd asked, she'd sobbed and fought and yelled…
Everything that proved he was making the right choice in letting her go. But he knew Mayra, she was vicious and selfish and he was sure she'd tell HER all about it, spin it to paint her as the victim, as though HE had not suffered in the 200 years he'd been trapped in the sham of a 'marriage' with her. He had fled Gallifrey in the hopes of never having to confront HER about it, in never having to see the look of loathing and hatred that had to be on her face because of what he'd done.
And then the war had begun, the Time War, the greatest one his people had ever endured, and he just…he couldn't bring himself to be a part of it. War wasn't right, it wasn't him, it wasn't someone he wanted to be, a warrior. He prayed though, every moment that she was ok, that she had managed to escape or that she was in the safe houses set up. She was an Academic, the High Council would never risk allowing their minds to go to waste or be exterminated…would they?
"Help me, please!" he heard the young woman shouting as she sent out another distress call, "Can anybody hear me?"
"Please state the nature of your ailment or injury," her computer system spoke.
"I'm not injured, I'm crashing," the woman countered, which made him smile, even in the face of likely death she could still argue with a machine, "I don't need a doctor."
"A clear statement of your symptoms will help us provide the medical practitioner appropriate to your individual needs."
"I'm trying to send a distress signal. Stop talking about doctors!"
"I'm a doctor," he called, making his presence known, "But probably not the one you were expecting."
He probably wouldn't even be the one anyone on Gallifrey expected either, he'd regenerated, now in his 8th incarnation. He'd only visited Gallifrey a few times since then, once when the war had begun, once when he'd gotten word that his son had been killed in action in the very first days of the war. He had gone to his family, well…to the one he'd once shared with Mayra, but was unwelcome. He'd caught a glimpse of HER though, he doubted she'd seen him before he was being ushered out and barred entrance to pay his respects to his son, the son he HAD loved despite how like his mother the boy was.
He'd fled, he couldn't bear it, to see the ones he loved killed, to see the ones that he had known all his life, all his friends, driven insane with battle and bloodlust. He…couldn't bear the thought of seeing HER turned into the same.
He shook his head out of his thoughts, now was not the time, there really wasn't time to waste, "Where are the rest of the crew?" he moved forward and began to scan and flash the controls with his sonic.
"Teleported off," the woman shrugged.
"But you're still here," he pointed out.
"I teleported them."
"Everyone else was screaming."
He had to smile at that, it was something SHE would have said, she would have done all she could to save the crew before trying to man the ship herself. Though he was sure she would have succeeded though. She was brilliant like that, so clever, cleverer than him certainly. They always joked that he could never think as fast as her.
"Welcome aboard," he smiled.
He just took her hand, "I'll show you!" and pulled her off.
"Where are we going?"
"Back of the ship."
"Because the front crashes first, think it through," he was starting to reconsider this a bit. The woman…she reminded him so much of someone he knew, but…all the questions, SHE wouldn't have asked them, she'd have worked it out herself, she was logical like that. They'd nearly reached the back when a door slid shut before them, "Oh! Why do you do that?!"
"Emergency protocols," the woman explained.
He quickly flashed the sonic along the door, trying to get it open again, "What's your name?"
He smiled, even sounded like the start of her name, except with C and not a K and it ended in two Ss instead of a 'ta' but still, it was enough to bring that smile to his face, "You're young to be crewing a gunship Cass."
"I wanted to see the universe. Is it always like this?"
"If you're lucky," he let out a cheer as he got the door open, revealing the TARDIS sitting in the back, that big old box that he'd…THEY'D planned so many adventures in, so many that he'd gone on without her, so many he refused to consider going on unless she was there too, "Don't worry," he stepped into the small back room, heading for the box, "It's bigger on the inside."
Cass froze at that, "What did you say?" she let out a breath, as though frightened, "'Bigger on the inside?' Is that what you said?"
"Yes," he smiled, tugging her on, "Come on. You'll love it…"
But Cass resisted, "Is this a TARDIS?"
His smile started to fade, starting to realize what she was asking, WHY she was asking, what she had to have realized from how she knew what it was, "Yes, but you'll be perfectly safe, I promise you."
"Don't touch me!" Cass yanked her hand away from him, pulling back, stumbling back, out of the small room and back into the hall.
"I'm not part of the war," he told her, earnest, needing her to believe him, "I swear to you, I never was…"
"You're a Time Lord!" she hissed, disgust in her voice.
"Yes, I'm a Time Lord," he admitted, before trying to smile, "But I'm one of the nice ones."
"Get away from me!" she pointed at him warningly, backing up more as he took a step towards her, till he stopped, holding up his hands in surrender.
"Well, look on the bright side, I'm not a Dalek."
She scoffed bitterly at that, "Who can tell the difference anymore?" and pushed a button beside her, sliding the door shut ones more, keeping her cut off from him, keeping them separated.
"Cass!" he rushed to the door, banging on it.
"It's deadlocked," she told him, "Don't even try!"
"Cass just open the door. I'm trying to help."
"Go back to your battlefield. You haven't finished yet," she sneered, "Some of the universe is still standing!"
He shook his head, "I'm not leaving this ship without you."
He should have said that on Gallifrey. He should have found her, before the War really got going, he should have found her and taken her with him. He should have refused to leave Gallifrey without her. But he hadn't, he'd been a coward. Once a coward, always a coward, such was the curse of those who Ran from the Untempered Schism.
"Well you're going to die, right here…" she laughed, a manic quality to it, "Best news all day!"
"Cass!" he shouted, banging on the door when the sonic failed him, "Cass! Cass! Cass!"
He didn't even think to run to the TARDIS for safety when the ship hit a nearby planet and his world went dark…
The Doctor gasped awake to find himself sitting hunched over in a small cavern of some sort, slumped forward with his back pressed against a long, rectangular rock, rocks all around him, the ground hard and dirty, and…a woman in a red robe standing before him, her hair long and dark with lighter bits mixed in.
"Cass!" he cried as his eyes flew open, looking around, startled to see he was still alive…but then why did he hurt?
"If you refer to your companion," the woman before him spoke, "We are still attempting to extract her from the wreckage."
He frowned, glancing around, noticing other women of varying ages standing there as well, lining the edge of the room, all in red robes with goblets in their hands, "She wasn't my companion."
"She's almost certainly dead. No one could survive that crash."
"I did," he countered, and if he could…then perhaps so could Cass.
"No," the woman shook her head, smiling at him a moment, "We restored you to life, but it's a temporary measure. You have a little under four minutes."
"Four minutes?" he scoffed, as though that idea were supposed to frighten him, "That's ages. What if I get bored or need a television, couple of books. Anyone for chess? Bring me knitting."
He winced at that, knitting. She'd knitted his scarf for him, oh he loved that scarf, it was his favorite scarf. He'd worn it all through an entire regeneration, because…that had been the hardest one to endure. He…hadn't ever wanted to travel with a Time Lady unless it was HER. But Romana had been forced on him, sent to watch him like a babysitter he felt, and then she'd decided to stay with him and it would have been rude to deny her. So he'd had to travel with the woman and…he'd needed something from HER, something she'd made, something she'd given him to help him endure, to comfort him as he was forced, every time he looked at Romana, to remember that SHE wasn't there and some other Time Lady was.
"You have so little breath left, spend it wisely," the woman remarked.
He frowned, eyeing her attire, the designs on it, the markings, the room itself, "Hang on…is it you? Am I back on Karn?" he heaved himself up, using the rectangular stone, more like an altar of sorts, to push himself, "You're the Sisterhood of Karn, Keepers of the Flame…of utter boredom."
"Eternal Life," she countered, her eyes narrowing at the slight against them.
"That's the one," he mockingly smiled.
"Mock us if you will," she caught onto that, "But our elixir can trigger your regeneration, bring you back. Time Lord science is elevated here on Karn, the change doesn't have to be random," she pointed at the goblets, "Fat or thin, young or old, man or woman?"
He eyed her suspiciously, "Why would you do this for me?"
"You have helped us in the past," she said simply.
"You were never big on gratitude."
"The war between the Daleks and the Time Lords threatens all reality. You and another are the only hope left."
"It's not my war. I will have no part of it. Let that other person help you."
"You can't ignore it forever."
"I help where I can, I will not fight."
"She thought the same before she was made to fight," the woman tilted her head, "And now she does. Yet you refuse. Is it because you are the 'good man,' as you call yourself?"
"I call myself the Doctor."
"It's the same thing in your mind."
"I'd like to think so."
He…he hoped SHE would think so too. She had been the one to name him that, unintentionally, inadvertently, just by saying he reminded her of Earth Doctors when they were but children. It was only fair really, HE had been the one to name her when she'd been struggling to find a title that fit her. He truly hoped she would still think him a 'doctor' after all of this, after his refusal to fight in the war…to even set foot on the planet. There were likely millions of soldiers wounded every day, if they hadn't started to regenerate that is, that he could have tried to help. He could have been a part of the war, without fighting in it…but he couldn't do it. He didn't want to see what his people had become.
"In that case, Doctor, attend your patient," the woman gestured to the side as Cass was brought in and placed on the altar. The woman watched as he rushed to her side, sonicing her, scanning her for anything he could do to help save her, "You're wasting your time. She is beyond even our help."
"She wanted to see the universe," he murmured.
Just like SHE had. That had been their plans, to explore, to see the Universe, to rescue planets and civilizations and run…just…run. To find new things and discover forgotten things, to meet the people who would shape the whole of human history, to visit the most beautiful places…that had been their plans. To do it together. Plans rarely ever worked out the way they hoped though. All the plans they'd ever made had never happened. They'd planned to Bond, had begun the process, told each other their names…yet he'd United with her cousin instead. They'd planned to explore in an old TARDIS, and he'd run off without her. He planned to go back for her…but he'd been too scared.
"She didn't miss much," the woman sighed, "It's very nearly over."
"I could have saved her, I could have got her off, but she wouldn't listen."
"Then she was wiser than you. She understood there was no escaping the Time War. You are a part of this Doctor, whether you like it or not. No one can escape it. No one."
"I would rather die."
"You're dead already. How many more will you let join you?" she eyed him for a long while, "Would you let your beloved join you? You will be condemning her to face her death alone."
"I don't have a beloved," he muttered under his breath, still sonicing Cass, still hoping…
"You should be careful with your words, Time Lord," the woman tsked him, "What would she say if she heard that, the Professor?"
He froze, the sonic's whirr ceasing instantly, "What did you say?" he looked up at her, a hard look in his eyes.
The woman smiled slyly, "Would you deny your care for the Professor? Would you leave her to fight an endless, bitter war alone?"
"She's not fighting in the war," he insisted, though he felt horror mount within him because…he really didn't know, he hadn't…
"You have not been able to reach her," the woman finished his thought for him, "Not for lack of trying. You've tried harder than ever before to contact her…yet you failed. What must that mean?"
"It…it means she's hiding, she's…she's safe," he swallowed hard, his hearts starting to race at the thought. Could she…would she…
The woman let out a hollow laugh, "You underestimate the cruelty of your kind," she told him, "You have seen the devastation they bring to other species. You think your own people are safe from them as well?"
"What do you know?" he eyed her, "What do you know that I don't?"
They HAD to know something, know more than he realized. He hadn't even thought of 'the Professor,' of her title, of her name, having gotten so used to trying to ignore the ache in his soul and the pain in his hearts to know that she wasn't with him on his travels. He had resigned himself to thinking of her only as 'she' or 'her' or other endearments, it was too painful to remember her as 'the Professor.' And yet this Sister had known, and if she knew the Professor's title without HIM giving it away…she had to know the Professor herself!
"That your beloved has fallen," she began, her smiles and smirks turning sad, "Fallen to war."
"No," he shook his head, "She wouldn't. She doesn't like fighting or violence! Not after what her father did to her!" he shouted in the heat of the moment, he NEVER brought up her father so easily, but...to find out all this...it was too much.
"Not willingly," the woman agreed, "You have noticed, yes, that the Academics have been taken?"
He nodded, "Yes…" he breathed, a pit starting to form in his stomach, "They…they were being moved to safe houses…weren't they?"
"They were moved," she remarked, "To training houses."
"No…" he shook his head.
"They were taught to war, to fight, to kill."
"Even the Professor, especially her."
"What point would there be for me to lie about this?" the woman tilted her head, entirely too calm with his shouting and his glaring and his hands curling into fists.
"So that I'll agree to your plans," he spat, "You're trying to trick me!"
"I am not," she replied, solemn, "The Professor has become what she has always detested, a soldier. She is being forced to fight, even now, by your High Council. On the front lines, in the most dangerous and deadly of battles. And yet you stand apart, you abandon her…"
"No," he swallowed, "You're…you're lying. How would you even know this?"
"Because we have seen her," she said simply.
His world stopped, "...you have?"
"She came to Karn, on assignment from the High Council," she looked down, "To ensure our neutrality, by force if necessary."
"That doesn't sound like her," he warned.
"It wasn't her, not truly," the woman looked up at him and he could see…tears in her eyes, something that startled him, "It is a shell of her, and in her eyes we saw the truth, the pain, the death, the horrors of war. She has lost hope, Doctor. She has become everything she despised and she is…alone."
The Doctor let out a breath, looking down, he could see it in the Sister's eyes, hear it in her words, she was speaking the truth. The Professor, his Kata, had been…turned into a soldier somehow, forced to fight. She had NEVER been allowed off the planet before, except for the war and…she had clearly returned to it. She was fighting in it, alone, by herself, without hope. And there he was, standing on the sides, not wanting to war, not wanting to fight, and merely hoping she would be ok, that she had been safe.
But she wasn't safe, was she? No one was safe, not from the war, no one in the entire Universe. And because of him…she was suffering. If he'd been there, he could have been at her side, he could have protected her, saved her from whatever training the Sister spoke of. He could have BEEN there…but he wasn't. And now she was left to fight a war she didn't belong in, because he'd abandoned her, something he had sworn not to do.
"She would beg your help," the woman continued, knowing that if Cass wasn't enough to get through to him, THIS was, "Her eyes begged for it to end," she added, watching his expression harden, "As we beg your help now. The universe stands on the brink, will you let it fall? Fast or strong, wise or angry, what do you need now?"
The Doctor looked at the weapons belt Cass was wearing, was the Professor wearing one like it? What weapons had been forced into her hands? What tactics had she learned? What skills had she acquired? What sort of soldier was she? The best, probably, she'd always been the best at everything she set her mind to. She was focused like that. Focused in a way he had never been, well…that was a lie. He HAD been able to focus on only one thing in the entirety of his schooling.
She had been the center of his world for so long…he couldn't lose her, not now, not to this war. He had…he'd promised her once, before a newly born star, that nothing would ever keep him away from her for long. He had already broken too many promises to her, he couldn't break this one as well, not when it was so central to the Bonding he had promised her.
"Warrior," he murmured.
The woman smiled, "The Soldier and the Warrior."
He nodded, "I don't suppose there's any need for a doctor anymore. There's no point in a Doctor without his Professor," he grew quiet, "I made her better, and she made me smarter, that was our promise, another one I've broken," he nodded, turning to the Sister, "Make me a warrior, now."
She stepped forward, holding up a goblet that was steaming a bit, smoke rolling out of the top of it, "I took the liberty of preparing this one myself."
He didn't bother to question how she knew he'd request that particular potion, he assumed it was rather obvious. The woman knew how he felt for the Professor, knew his care and love for her, what better partner was there for a Soldier than a Warrior?
He reached out and took the goblet, staring at it a long while, "Get out," he whispered, before shouting, "Get out! All of you," he added to the main Sister as the others filed out. He waited till the young women had left, waited till the Sister had passed him before asking, "Will it hurt?"
She paused, standing with her back to him and not taking a step further away, "Yes."
He nodded, "Good," he stared at the liquid in the goblet, he could only imagine the pain the Professor had gone through in the war, fighting without him, surviving alone, this would be a small price to pay to feel even a fraction of it, "Charley, C'rizz, Lucie, Tamsin, Molly…friends, companions I've known, I salute you. And Cass…I apologize," he closed his eyes, "Professor…my love, my hearts, and my soul, know that I love you always and that I shall never abandon you again, I do this for you," he opened his eyes and held the goblet up, "Physician, heal thyself."
And with that, he downed the contents of the goblet…swaying a moment later, dropping it to the floor. He winced, crying out in pain as he looked at his hands in alarm, a golden glow bursting out of them, encompassing him, making its way to his head and face as well…he screamed as he threw his head and arms back, the golden-orange color blasting out of him as his world went dark once more from the sheer pain of it…
The Doctor slowly awoke to find himself on the floor of the cavern, the woman crouched above him, "Is it done?" the woman asked, before starting to smile as she took him in.
He frowned, feeling different, before he pushed himself up. He didn't even glance at Cass before he picked up the goblet, looking down at his reflection in its surface, seeing a different man, a hardened, man looking back at him. He gave it an empty smile, taking the weapons belt and strapping it onto his person.
"Doctor no more," he stated, his voice deeper, before he turned and headed out of the cavern, to the TARDIS, the Sister smiling after him.
The Soldier and the Warrior, perhaps there was hope for the Universe after all.
A/N: I hope you all liked this little surprise ;) I did promise the 50th on the 30th, never said we wouldn't get a prologue before it though }:) The second I saw this mini-sode, my mind went RIGHT to the Professor and to what she was during the war. I couldn't help but think, if the Doctor knew what the Professor had become, that he would become the same, to be with her :')
Just a note for the end of Reproduction...the challenge thing I issued about the Keta offspring...was answered and posted on tumblr, there's pictures up on the Academic Series Page, but...so far (if nothing bad happens) it's Keta...TWINS! A boy and girl, the Sergeant and the Matron, that were introduced in the Adoption of River Song ;)
Little reminder, the cover will be up tomorrow with the 50th's chapter ;)
And now I'm going to try to answer some questions from the end of Reproduction :)
Some notes on reviews...
There's no pyramid thing for the Professor or Evy, mostly because I just kept knocking out Proffy's chapters, and then for Evy decided to do a sort of 'next time' teaser thing at the end of the chapters ;) Angel's the only one with a pyramid so far ;)
The hidden references to Proffy's pregnancy was mostly her being tired and having odd cravings (like ice cream and pickles) and bionic smelling ;) And her being dizzy when she stood to fast, things like that ;)
Lol, nope, not a reference to Angel ;)
I can say the babies, so far, if nothing...bad...happens to them, are twins, one boy and one girl. To balance out LJ being a boy and Ayla being a girl from my other two series ;)
Thanks for pointing out the error, I fixed it ;)
Lol, that would be a pretty giant twist, I don't think Proffy has it in her to do that to the Doctor though. But I SO think the Professor would win if she ever had to fight Rassilon ;)
We'll have to wait and see how/if the Professor regenerates in the Christmas Special with the Doctor ;) The point in her pregnancy will be explained in the next chapter ;)
The Professor died and regenerated the first time was one Clara glimpsed, where a boy (the Doctor's son) was crossing the road and nearly got hit by a transport Unit, she pushed him out of the way and got hit instead :'(
I hope you enjoy the other OC series if you read them ;) I love Keta too ;)
Criminal Minds will hopefully be up next year (2014) either mid-year or near fall ;) I have a few other show-stories I'll be putting up first (Merlin, OUAT, BBT, and then probably Criminal Minds).