Fandom(s): Doctor Who (modern)
Characters: David Tennant, Eleventh Doctor, Amy Pond, Rory Williams
Pairing(s): None (well, Amy and Rory)
Rating: PG, maybe PG-13
Warnings: Character death
Genre: Sci-fi, adventure
Summary: While filming his final specials for Doctor Who, David Tennant finds himself in the TARDIS, face-to-face with a future incarnation of the character he portrays, his childhood hero. When he discovers that he can't return to his own world, he must determine his place in this strange yet familiar universe.
Word count (chapter): 1704
Master post link: Master post
The first thing David became aware of was that the back of his head was resting on a very hard surface. The second thing was that it was rather dark, until he realised that his eyes were closed. Opening them, he saw the blurry face of a girl with long red hair leaning over him. Beyond her, odd bits of machinery and latticework stretched below a dark golden domed ceiling decorated with large, dark circles.
"Oi! He's waking up!" she called out, her Scottish brogue comforting to his ears. After years of living in London, it was nice to hear someone from home.
He tried to lift himself off the floor, but his head swam and he only succeeded in propping himself on his elbows. He closed his eyes to concentrate on stabilizing himself. "I'm okay, I'm okay," he lied.
"Don't get up. Just stay there." The girl placed a hand on his arm, then called over her shoulder, "Doctor! He's awake. He's trying to get up."
A strident disembodied voice answered her. "I'm busy! I've got to close the rift." His tone was petulant.
David could feel the vibrations of approaching footsteps and then thumps of someone landing on their knees next to him. A low, gentle male voice said, "Lie back now." A hand cradled his head, and another carefully pushed on his chest to guide him back down. This time, there was a pillow to cushion him.
"Where am I? What happened?" David croaked.
"I'm Rory. I'm a nurse and I'm just checking you over, okay?" said the nearby male voice. "I think you're going to be fine, but I just want to make sure." David nodded, and someone pressed his wrist, checking his pulse.
"I'm Amy," the Scottish lass stated. "You're safe now. We were able to stop your car before it hit the truck, but the sudden stop knocked you out cold. What's your name?"
"I'm David." He opened his eyes, and found that his eyesight was much clearer. Amy was a pretty girl, probably in her early twenties, kneeling on his right. She wore a loose sweater and a short skirt, and had an energetic, inquisitive air about her. Rory, who was continuing to prod and poke him, seemed to be about the same age as Amy, with short blond hair and casual, nondescript clothing. That dome still stood above them, an odd sight considering he had just been on a highway in the country. Looking around a bit, he saw a railing behind Amy that would be about waist height if he were standing, and behind Rory was some kind of table and above that, a metal and glass column stretched to the ceiling.
"What is this place? Uh, where's my car?"
"Don't worry, the car's safe, too," Amy replied. "We're in the TARDIS."
David turned to stare at Amy, then after a moment, started to laugh. "Oh, I get it. You know, you people take this stuff way too seriously. It's just a show on the telly. It's not real." He started to sit up again, and when Amy protested, Rory stopped her.
"No, let him. He should be fine."
"What's just a show on the telly?" Amy asked.
Now sitting up, David could see his surroundings a lot better, and the room was definitely decorated in the style of a TARDIS, but all the details were wrong: it didn't look like the TARDIS console room from his set, or any other season's set. The feel and lighting was like his set, but the roundels in the wall were less prominent and the organic struts were missing. The console itself was more angular and edged with metal, with controls that looked like they were scavenged from an antiques shop. The center column was metal and glass, with a blown-glass time rotor, which rose up into the ceiling in the center of concentric circles of metal. The floor he was on was glass instead of grating, and he could see beneath him another person puttering around down there. Staircases led down into the lower part of the chamber, and one led up to his left to a high hallway. Far off behind him were the familiar police box doors, and there was another hallway leading out of the lower part of the room, ahead of him and to the right. The worksmanship was exquisite, but everything was wrong. Perhaps this was fan-designed.
"Not a very faithful replica, is it?" He was a bit disappointed. Fans usually did a far better job of copying sets. Though, come to think of it, if these fans were so rabid that they built a replica, why had Amy needed to ask his name?
The disembodied voice replied, and David was able to confirm it came from the man below them, who was now trotting up the stairs to the console platform. "Well, you haven't seen this one yet, have you? I had to rebuild it after the right mess you made. Oh, I suppose I shouldn't have said that."
David squinted in confusion. "The mess I made? What are you talking about?" He started to stand up, and Amy and Rory moved in to assist. They steadied him, but once he gained his feet, he was fine. Taller than all of them, he got a very good look at the chamber, spotting his overnight bag on the floor on the other side of the console, then he turned his eye on the newcomer. Shorter than himself, the man had shaggy brown hair with a lock that fell into his eyes and a pleasant face with a prominent chin. His long, gangly legs were slightly bowed and his arms were held with his hands at chest height and elbows out from his side, giving David the distinct impression that he didn't know what to do with them. Wearing a brown tweed jacket over a light pink shirt, highwater pants, boots, and a dark red bow tie, he looked like an old college professor, except that he couldn't have been more than thirty years old.
He came to stand directly in front of David and looked him over from head to toe. "Never mind that, Doctor. Now that you're here, what are we going to do with you?"
David pursed his lips, then opened his mouth to utter a sarcastic reply, but Amy spoke first. "Doctor?" She turned to David. "Are you a doctor?" She then turned back to the man in tweed. "How do you know he's a doctor?"
The man smiled, almost triumphantly. "Not just a doctor. The Doctor. The previous version of me! Mind you, I don't remember doing this, or dressing like that, but it's all history-in-flux, timey-wimey stuff. The timestream will fix itself as we go along."
David waved his hands in protest. "Wait, wait, wait. I'm not the Doctor. I'm an actor who plays the Doctor on the telly. It's not real, and I am really not comfortable taking part in whatever live-action roleplay thing you've got going on here."
"Nonsense!" the man calling himself the Doctor replied, waving a hand dismissively. "If anyone would recognise me, it would be me, wouldn't it? I mean, yes, it's been a bit of time since the regeneration, but I'd like to think I would remember my previous appearance."
Amy was staring at David. "I suppose he does look like one of faces the Atraxi displayed. Can't tell for sure, though. It's been a while."
David held his hands up to stop them from talking. "Look, I really don't know what's going on here..."
"Oh, I've got plenty of pictures here." The tweed man started pushing buttons on the console. "Rose especially. Couldn't get her to put down that camera phone. Just got to pull up the right archive. Oh! This will do. The old Emergency Programme One video. From before your time, Amy." He punched a button with a flair and spun on his heel to face the flickering blue mass of light that appeared between David and Rory.
It appeared to be a three-dimensional video of David dressed in his Doctor costume, without the overcoat. After a moment, the image began speaking, in the fake London accent David used for the Doctor instead of his natural Scottish one. "This is Emergency Programme One. Donna, if you're seeing this programme, it means that we are in great danger. I have set the TARDIS to take you home, where you'll be safe..."
The message continued, but David didn't hear any of it. First, he was floored by the 3-D hologram in front of him, something he had never seen before, and he circled around it to view it from different angles. And second, he was absolutely sure he had never filmed this scene. He remembered Christopher Eccleston's version for Rose in "The Parting of the Ways," but there was never a script for the Tenth Doctor that reproduced that idea. He started backing up, pointing at the hologram.
"How'd you make that? Where'd you get a guy that looks so much like me?"
"That's me," explained the man in tweed, "made back when I was you."
David made up his mind. "Okay, this is just too weird. Thanks for helping me, but I've got to go." Ducking down to snag his overnight bag, David strode down the stairs to the doors and yanked them open. The sight of the inky blackness of deep space, punctuated by billions of points of starlight, stopped him in his tracks, and his mouth dropped open.
"You really can't go out there," Amy called in a sarcastically helpful tone.
Rory dashed down the stairs as David started to sway, then collapse; he got there just in time to catch him. He laid the unconscious man on the floor, then closed the doors.