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27 April 2009 @ 06:03 pm
Doctor Who - Ten/Rose, Eight/Charley - Twist of Fate (PG, 2/20)  
Title: Twist of Fate (2/20)
Author: Liz/surrexi
Fandom/Pairings: Doctor Who (new series + Big Finish Audios) | Ten/Rose, Eight/Charley
Rating: PG
Spoilers/Timeline: New series: set after Voyage of the Damned; Big Finish Audios: set after The Girl Who Never Was
Word Count: 1463 (this chapter)
Summary: The Eighth Doctor unexpectedly lands in a parallel world and a blonde unlocks his front door; the Tenth Doctor answers a distress call and finds an old friend on a deserted beach. When an old enemy brings the four of them together, can they save the universe in time to sort out their own timelines?
Notes/Disclaimer: This fic would have been impossible without the encouragement and input of my invaluable beta, unbrokensky. I own nothing, everyone belongs to the BBC and/or Big Finish.

chapter one | chapter two | chapter three | chapter four | chapter five | chapter six | chapter seven | chapter eight | chapter nine | chapter ten | chapter eleven

A universe away from Rose Tyler and in another time, either in the future or the past depending on which way one looked at it, the TARDIS dematerialized while the Doctor watched the image of old Mr. Copper, still skipping with happiness, fade away on the screen. The Doctor hadn’t set any destination coordinates when he’d dematerialized, so the TARDIS simply drifted aimlessly through the Vortex.

The Doctor thought about heading to the kitchen to make himself some tea, or going to the library and curling up with a book – he had the oddest urge to read some of Eliot’s poetry, he wasn’t sure why – but he couldn’t seem to muster the energy to get any further than the captain’s bench in the console room.

He ached, in more ways than one. He’d told the people on the ship that night that he was nine hundred and three, which was laughably false. The truth was closer to a thousand and three, and even that was probably a low estimate. It was hard to keep track, but the point was that he was beginning to think he’d have to start admitting he was getting old if even in one of his younger-appearing bodies he was feeling like his back wasn’t quite what it used to be.

Then again, it had been a particularly physically taxing evening.

The ache centered around his hearts was even more problematic. Thoughts of Astrid flooded his head, unbidden, and with them were the inevitable thoughts of his lost Rose. Astrid had been so like Rose, with her small life and big dreams. He thought of how they’d both stood on alien ground and jumped up and down in their enthusiasm and a sad smiled crossed his face. Both of them had deserved so much more than they’d gotten, from life and from him.

He thought of the man in the newspaper stand saying that everyone had left London in fear of alien attack and found himself wondering what Jackie Tyler would have done. He shook his head. She’d have been right there with the newspaper man, he thought, shaking her fist at anyone – or any thing – that dared interrupt her third Christmas in a row.

He wished he could tell Rose that he’d finally gotten to say “allons-y, Alonso.” She would laugh and her eyes would twinkle when she patted him on the hand and said she was happy for him. Then she would ask him what the next thing he couldn’t wait to say was, and smile indulgently when he told her.

But then he remembered why Rose wasn’t there to hear about Alonso, and why Astrid wasn’t there gaping in wonderment at how the TARDIS was bigger on the inside. Memories swirled in his mind in sharp, unforgiving Technicolor. Rose’s fall into the bright white light merged with Astrid’s fall into the red-hot glow of the nuclear engine, and he found himself cursing his complicated Time Lord brain with its incredible recall abilities.

Some things he wanted to forget.

He wanted to forget the looks on their faces as they fell, wanted to forget the way they had reached for him, fingers outstretched with nothing to grab. He wanted to forget staring at the blank white wall, irrationally waiting for Rose to reappear once again, muttering about yellow buttons and idiotic Time Lords. He wanted to forget grimly allowing the Host to fly him up through the Titanic replica and then watching as all that was left of Astrid Peth dissolved into stardust.

He leaned forward, bracing his elbows on his knees and cradling his head in his hands. The Master had once taunted him with his choice of name – the Doctor, the man who makes things better – but he wasn’t that man. He was the man who got people killed, who ruined their lives. There was nothing for it, he thought. He’d have to stop traveling with someone else. He’d have to go it alone from now on. He wasn’t ruining anyone else’s life.

When the sound of an SOS call filled the console room, it took a moment for the Doctor to get wearily to his feet. He locked the navigational system on to the location of the signal and held on as the ship jerked out of the Vortex and began to materialize wherever it was he’d ended up.

The pounding on the door surprised him out of his mechanically automatic run-through of landing procedures. “What?”

He could hear someone shouting on the other side. “What took you?!” he heard, followed by “open up, open up!”


He opened the door and gaped at the woman standing there. “What?”


Charley Pollard knew the Doctor would come for her. Eventually. She refused to believe anything else.

She told herself that it didn’t matter that she’d left that note at the hotel in Singapore and knowing the Doctor he’d be disoriented when he got there and he’d find it and believe it, and it didn’t matter that the Doctor was convinced Charley not only wanted to leave him, but ought to leave him. He was her best friend, and she was his, and he would come for her.

She glanced at the watch the Doctor had gotten her on some alien planet whose name she’d forgotten – it always told her the correct time, no matter where in the universe she was, or when. And despite the fact that she was alone, finally the desert island castaway of her childhood fantasies – she used that watch every day.

She used it every day because like the desert island castaway of her childhood fantasies, Charley Pollard, Edwardian Adventuress was not sitting around waiting to be rescued. She didn’t doubt that the Doctor would come for her, but she didn’t think it undermined her faith in him if she tried to make it easier for him. So, in an act she knew would make him so proud of her, she’d salvaged pieces of the wrecked Cyber ship and created a crystal set. And every hour, on the hour, she sent out an SOS.

Somewhere out there, she knew he was listening. He had to be. And if he didn’t hear it, someone else would, and she would keep looking for the Doctor wherever she went. She wondered and planned and brainstormed about what she would do if someone else came, thought about ways she could track down the Doctor or the TARDIS. As she trudged toward her crystal set, which was protected from the elements by a rudimentary cover she’d pieced together from more of the debris, she pondered how one went about tracking down a time-traveler without running into him before you were supposed to have met him.

She began to tap out her SOS without really thinking about it, formulating her next journal entry in her mind as she tapped. Dot dot dot, she thought, dash dash dash. Repeat, and repeat, and repeat. It was the same every hour, but she did it without fail.

She tapped out the pattern, and though she firmly believed that one day the Doctor would come for her, she was admittedly not expecting much to happen right at that moment.

So when she heard the telltale grinding noise of the TARDIS engines, she couldn’t hold back the gasp. She nearly knocked over her crystal set in her haste to get to her feet.

“He’s alive!” she rasped out, her voice rusty from a lack of someone with whom to converse. “Oh,” she said, relieved despite how firm her belief had been that he would come, “he’s alive!”

Within moments the big blue box was standing incongruously on her empty beach, real and vibrant and not ten feet away from her. She ran to it without thinking, without worrying about any of her earlier musings about the perils of running into a time traveler at the wrong point in his personal timeline, and before she quite knew what she was doing, she was pounding on the door.

“Oh God, what took you? Open up, open up!” she shouted. “Oh God, I knew it,” she muttered, “I knew you’d come.” She pounded and shouted again. “Come on, open up!”

The door opened, and Charley froze mid-pound. A skinny young man in a torn and battered tuxedo stared at her, stunned surprise showing plainly in his brown eyes. His hair was a shock of brown spiking in all directions. He looked like he’d just come from a war fought in formal clothing instead of armor or uniforms. “What?” he said in a dumbfounded voice.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” Charley said, fumbling for words and praying that her voice didn’t break from the emotional blow of someone other than the Doctor appearing at that moment. “I was expecting someone else.”
Beka: DW: Discovery!autumnjoy on April 27th, 2009 11:44 pm (UTC)

He thought of how they’d both stood on alien ground and jumped up and down in their enthusiasm

I had never made that connection before. I'm a bad fan....
Lily of Shalott: Charley stars (smkwriter08)lilyofshalott on April 28th, 2009 01:18 am (UTC)
Oh, Ten. Time Lord needs a hug. ):


I loved this line: As she trudged toward her crystal set, which was protected from the elements by a rudimentary cover she’d pieced together from more of the debris, she pondered how one went about tracking down a time-traveler without running into him before you were supposed to have met him.

And the image of Rose indulging a bouncy Ten squeeing over finally meeting an Alonzo is adorable. ^_^
meremoon: eight with tardismeremoon on April 28th, 2009 02:07 am (UTC)
Oh, I am *very* intrigued.

Looking forward to more!
Twillingvangor: timelordsfalconsoko on April 28th, 2009 02:29 am (UTC)
I LOVE 10/8/Rose fics! I cant wait to see where you take this! And of course the only thing the Doctor can say is "What?"!
wiggiemomsi: 10th-Shockwiggiemomsi on April 28th, 2009 03:38 am (UTC)
Oh, another great chapter! And of course Ten recognizes Charley; he desperately needs someone with him right now!

gwendolynflight: dw out for a spingwendolynflight on April 28th, 2009 04:27 am (UTC)
Oh, awesome! This is so awesome. I can't wait for the next chapter when they start to interact. ::jumps giddily::
mitamitashade on April 28th, 2009 05:21 am (UTC)
Oooooo this is gonna be so good. *mems*
Carrie the Madtastc_queen on April 28th, 2009 11:54 am (UTC)
I don't knowmuch about 8 or Cherley but i'm liking it all the same :D

(Anonymous) on January 24th, 2011 01:11 pm (UTC)
book of all flesh
Unimaginable, that' s scrupulously what I was seeking because of! You principled saved me alot of function