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): 1383
Master post link: Master post
As he walked into the console room, David spotted the Doctor and his two companions in the chamber beneath the console. The Doctor was stuffed under a big piece of machinery, only his legs visible, while Amy and Rory were standing nearby, handing him tools and otherwise idly fiddling with hanging cables and springy bits. Rory noticed his entrance and turned towards him with a concerned look.
“Couldn’t sleep, huh?” he called.
“Nah. Too wound up.” David started to wander around the room, to get a good look at the whole thing.
“Thought you might. Anything we can do to help?”
“Take me home?” Facetious, he didn’t even bother to turn back towards them as he asked.
“Can’t,” came the answer from under the machine, and the Doctor pushed himself out. “Rift’s closed, no way back. Could try to punch a hole through the universe, but there’s no telling where we’d come out. And then the universe would have a hole. Nasty things, holes. Nothing in them, and that one would go through the Void, so the nothing would be made of nothing. Can’t have that.” He sprang to his feet as he rambled. “So, David, Amy suggested that I take you back to England, to get your bearings, give you some familiar ground. How does that strike you?”
David, who had turned to gawk at the Doctor’s babble, consciously shut his mouth, then frowned. “I don’t see how that would help anything.”
"Nonsense! We'll take you back, and you'll feel right at home!" He bounded up the stairs to the console, then spun around. "What year was it when you left?"
"You took me," David corrected, "and it was 2008."
"Ah, yes! A good year!" He began typing at the console. "Spent a while in it. When I was you. And where is home?"
David crossed his arms and regarded the Doctor with impatience, his weight centered on one leg. "London."
The Doctor spun back around to face him. "Oh, no! It's always London! I'm not taking you there! It's too boring."
David shrugged. "You asked where home was. I wasn't the one who suggested taking me there."
"No! No London. Pick somewhere fun!"
"Doctor!" Amy came stomping up the steps. "You promised to take him home!"
"Not if it's a boring home, Pond." He turned to David. "Where else is home for you?"
"Who has two homes?" wondered Rory, who had followed his fiancee up the stairs.
David shrugged. "Well, I’m from Paisley, and we were just filming in Cardiff..."
The Doctor pointed at David. "There! Cardiff! Much better! We'll go there!" He twirled back to the console and began entering coordinates for Cardiff in 2009.
Amy scrunched up her nose in distaste. "How is Cardiff more interesting than London?"
David rolled his eyes. "He probably just wants to refuel the TARDIS at the rift."
The Doctor flipped the last switch and with a jerk, the time rotor started pumping and the ship trembled like it always did in flight. He spun back to face David. "No, but a fine idea. She's already mostly full, but might as well top up. You know quite a bit, don't you, David." He emphasised the actor's name with a knowing wink.
"Stop it," David growled. "I've played the part for four years, and before that I was a great fan of the show. Of course I know a 'quite a bit.'"
The Doctor smirked, but declined to reply, turning back to the console to tend to the ship in flight.
"Look. You don't have to do this."
Amy wandered over and pushed him on the shoulder with a fist. "Come on. It'll be fun. You'll see some familiar sights and feel a lot better."
"I think I want a nap."
He turned towards the hallway, but Amy hooked his arm. "No, you don't. Come on. Cardiff awaits! I've never been to Cardiff."
As the time rotor ground to a halt and the familiar clunk told David they had landed, she led him across the room to the main doors. He cast a glance over his shoulder at Rory, who was wearing an apologetic frown that said, "They both do what they want. What can you do?" David shrugged almost imperceptibly and turned back to see where Amy was taking him.
They stepped out of the doors onto a huge, beautifully manicured lawn bordered on all sides by large, long buildings in classic architectural style, all fronted with rows of windows. There were clots of people here and there, strolling along the walkways that ringed the lawn, but otherwise, the wide expanse among the buildings was empty.
Amy, wandering away from the TARDIS and whirling around to take in the panorama, murmured, "So. This is Cardiff. Where are we?"
David stepped a few feet in the direction of one of the buildings and stopped to gaze at it with his feet planted a shoulder-width apart. He swept his jacket back to plant his fists on his hips. "I don't know. Never been to this part before. Cardiff University, I'd hazard to guess."
He turned to look around some more, but caught sight of the TARDIS. As the only structure standing on the lawn, it looked even more incongruous than usual, but it made his breath catch. He had just stepped out of that police box: it had carried him through the time vortex, and it really was bigger on the inside. His head swam with the impossibility of it all and the realization that everything he had dreamed of as a child was real.
Rory and the Doctor emerged from the box at that moment. Rory spotted David's momentary lapse and immediately dashed over to him. "Hey, are you okay?" He placed a steadying hand on the actor's shoulder and peered at his face to determine what was wrong.
"Fine, fine, thanks." David brought a hand up to smooth the hair on the side of his head. "Just saw the TARDIS from the outside for the first time. I'm fine."
"Oh, yeah. I can understand that." Rory gave a wry smile.
"So, where are we?" Amy called to the Doctor.
The man in the tweed jacket answered, "Cardiff!" then paced around to assess his surroundings. "No, no, no, no, no, no!" he cried in an increasing volume, flapping his arms about, ending with both hands firmly planted on his temples.
"Doctor! What's wrong?"
"We're supposed to be in front of the wordy building! Why does it never go where I want it to go?"
"Wordy building? What's a wordy building? Like a library?" Amy asked.
David smirked. "He means the Wales Millenium Centre. The one with the huge words across the front. The rift runs right under it."
The Doctor clapped once and pointed at David. "That's the one. The Millenium Centre. This is not the Millenium Centre." He spun around, surveying the buildings. "This is a big wide open place with lots of buildings."
"This is Cambridge," stated Rory as he trotted up. Unseen by the others, he had jogged off a ways to read one of the building signs.
"That’s like Cardiff. Starts with the same letter.” Amy smirked at the Doctor. “Isn’t this a bit far off?"
"But good enough for our purposes," the Doctor declared. He smiled encouragingly at David. "Feel more like home now, does it?"
David stared at him in amazement. "Home? Why would it? Never been here before. I didn't go to university."
"Even better! A new place to explore! Broaden your horizons! Better than London any day. Come along!"
The Doctor turned on his heel and strode off without checking if any of his companions were following. Amy called after him in exasperation and ran to join him. David and Rory exchanged looks of resignation and followed at a walk. The actor snorted a laugh.
"What’s so funny?" asked Rory.
"All those years of watching the show and dreaming about traveling in the TARDIS, and all it turns out to be is a holiday in Cambridge."