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01 May 2009 @ 12:56 am
Doctor Who - Ten/Rose, Eight/Charley - Twist of Fate (PG, 3/20)  
Title: Twist of Fate (3/20)
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: 1602 (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.


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chapter one | chapter two | chapter three | chapter four | chapter five | chapter six | chapter seven | chapter eight | chapter nine | chapter ten | chapter eleven
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Rose’s hands shook as she fumbled to get the key into the lock on the door of the TARDIS. She was fairly certain that she wasn’t dreaming, unless she’d had an aneurysm sometime between leaving her desk and reaching this alleyway, because why would she have dreamt the entire workday first? Of course, if it was a dream, it would break her heart come morning, or whenever she woke up in whatever hospital bed in which she landed.

She didn’t care. If it was a dream, she was going to enjoy every second. The key slid into the lock and she nearly sobbed with relief. She didn’t stop to wonder why the Doctor hadn’t come barreling out of the door and into her arms. If she’d thought about it at all, she would have assumed that whatever he’d done to get him to Pete’s World in the first place required his continued presence at the console and that their epic reunion hug would have to wait until he had gotten the TARDIS back into their proper universe. She was okay with that, as long as she ended up back where she belonged eventually.

Her hands still shaking, it took her a moment to get the lock to turn. When it finally did, she burst through the door. “Doctor!” she shouted, scanning the room for him. She ran towards the console, not even noticing in her excitement how different the room looked since the last time she had seen it. “Doctor, I’m here!” Her heart, buoyed so high by the sudden appearance of her beloved blue box, began to sink as she noticed the distinct lack of coral, the presence of the plush armchair, the wood paneling on the console. “Doctor?” She turned around to look behind her and finally noticed the man standing next to the coat rack.

His hair was longer than the Doctor’s and lighter in color, curly. He wore clothes much fancier than either of her Doctors had worn – a velvet coat, embroidered waistcoat, and tailored trousers. “I believe you’re looking for me?” he said, curiosity in his voice. “I do enjoy these sorts of meetings.”

“You…” Rose swallowed, her heart sinking lower. “You’ve regenerated again?” He had been sick after the last time. Perhaps this time he’d had some memory loss as well, and that was why he wasn’t as happy to see her as she was to see him.

“Not recently, no,” he said. He stepped forward and Rose could see he had kind, sad eyes. Like her Doctor’s, except without quite as much of an edge. There was less pain hiding behind them, less agony.

“Oh, no,” Rose whispered. “We haven’t met yet, have we?”

He shook his head. “I am fairly certain that we haven’t. Yet, anyway. You seem delightful, though. I’m quite sure I’ll like you.”

Rose nodded numbly, then shook her head, eyes widening. “I… shouldn’t tell you that.”

The Doctor-who-wasn’t-her-Doctor chuckled warmly. “Perhaps not. Though I think given how pleased you were to see the TARDIS…” he trailed off, eyes sharpening. “This is a parallel world. I fully intend to go back to my proper universe as soon as possible. You don’t seem surprised to hear that this is a parallel universe…” Rose shook her head, and he continued. “Ergo, I must make it back and meet you in my proper universe.”

Rose nodded mutely. She wondered if even that was going to tear some sort of hole in the fabric of space and time. She added “what to do in the event of meeting a previous version of you” to her mental list of Things We Should Have Talked About Before They Happened. If she ever actually made a paper copy of the list, that particular point would be in bold, right under things like “regeneration” and “absorbing the Time Vortex: pros and cons.”

The Doctor made a low “hmm” noise in the back of his throat. “So, Miss…?”

“Tyler,” Rose supplied gamely. “Rose Tyler.”

“So, Miss Rose Tyler, if you belong in the other universe, how ever did you wind up here?” He grimaced. “I once accidentally wound up in one thanks to a nursery rhyme and the man who founded Gallifreyan society; did I ever tell you that?”

Rose shook her head. “I shouldn’t tell you that, though, right? You can’t know before it happens because you didn’t know.” Her eyes widened in horror. “You didn’t.” He couldn’t have known, she thought wildly, couldn’t have known and kept it from her anyway. But he’d been unsettled in the weeks before it had happened…

The Doctor stepped forward, shaking his head and interrupting Rose’s rushing thoughts. “No, no, I’ll have to wipe my memory of this after it happens. Lock it away somewhere until I’m allowed to remember it again. If I ever am, that is.” He came to within an arm’s length of Rose and blinked at her. “You’re very pale, Miss Tyler, why don’t you sit down?”

She winced at the idea of the Doctor calling her by the formal “Miss Tyler,” but allowed him to lead her to the armchair with a gentle touch on her elbow. She sat, and he knelt down in front of her.

“Tell me what you can, Miss Tyler.”

“How did you get here?” she blurted out. Her Doctor had declared it impossible for him to come through on his own, but she remembered him saying the first time they’d landed in Pete’s World that when Gallifrey still existed, it had been easy to travel between universes. And already this Doctor had mentioned visiting another universe, matter-of-factly; surely that meant he didn’t view it as an impossible journey to make.

“I didn’t mean to,” he said, a slight whine in his tone making him sound like a child who needed a nap. “I was in the Vortex, minding my own business. Someone else from my world was making the trip, and I got caught in their breach.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out what Rose thought looked like a pocket watch on steroids. “Breach detector. It’ll let me know when my ride home is about to leave.”

So Gallifrey was still floating in the universe somewhere, and all his people were still there, all around him and in his head. The Time War hadn’t reached its zenith. She looked in his eyes again. In them she saw the wisdom and age she expected, but again she was struck by the softness her own Doctors had lacked. Yes, this Doctor had been through a lot – it was clear that he carried his own burdens of sadness. But her heart ached for him, because he didn’t know what was coming. He didn’t know what he was going to do.

“What about you?” he asked her, a gentle reminder of his earlier entreaty for her to tell him what she could.

“I can’t…” Rose struggled to find words. “There are things I know that I can’t tell you. Even if you could make yourself forget them,” she said, anticipating his response. “I won’t be the one to tell you.” She shrugged. “We were saving the universes, you and I, and I got stuck on the wrong side of the breach,” she said, settling for simplicity. Best not to mention the Daleks, all things considered. She couldn’t know how much of the Time War had already happened, or how soon the end would come.

“But why haven’t I come to get you?”

“You can’t.”

The Doctor pushed to his feet. “Of course I can. Someone would hold the breach open for me. Romana would grumble, but she’d do it if I asked very nicely and reminded her of favors she owes me.”

Rose fought back the lump that rose in her throat. “You just can’t,” she whispered. “I can’t tell you why.”

The Doctor crouched back down in front of her. He must have noticed how distressed she was, because his voice lowered to a soothing murmur. “All right, then, it’s all right. Rose, it’s all right.” He patted her knee. “Would you like some tea? I find tea to be remarkably helpful in many situations.”

Rose sniffled a little, willed herself not to cry, and shook her head. “I want chips,” she said.

“Chips?”

She nodded. “Chips. We had chips after the first adventure you took me on.” She smiled sadly. “Shouldn’t have told you that.”

“Already forgotten,” he replied with an encouraging smile. “But we should have time for chips.”

“Time?”

The Doctor got to his feet and offered Rose his hand. “Before my breach detector goes off and we have to get back to the proper universe.”

Rose gaped at him. “You’ll… you’ll take me back?”

“Don’t you want to go back?”

Rose stared at the hand he held out to her, so unlike her first Doctor’s wide workingman’s hands or her second Doctor’s long, thin hands. It was the hand of an aristocrat, the romantic hero of a poem by Byron or Tennyson. She took a deep breath and slipped her palm against his and let his fingers close around her hand.

“There’s nothing I want more,” she said, getting to her feet. “Except chips. I really need some chips.”
 
 
 
Nicole: Harriet Jones: Former Prime Ministerlogical_pervert on May 1st, 2009 07:46 am (UTC)
Can't wait to see more of this. I never see Eight getting the love he deserves.
Panthera: Eight - Candlespanthology on May 1st, 2009 10:44 am (UTC)
Seconded! This is great!
Carrie the Madtastc_queen on May 1st, 2009 12:26 pm (UTC)
Awww :hugs Eight: like you now. you take care of teh rose okay and shan't exterminate you.

Carrie
sunnytyler001sunnytyler001 on May 1st, 2009 02:52 pm (UTC)
Awww!!! That's lovely!
*so much love for Eight/Rose*
He would have said the words...
Christina: adorable billiesunlitdays on May 1st, 2009 03:23 pm (UTC)
Hmm. Delicious. Am alone in thinking these chapters aren't quite long enough? lol I'm always drooling for more words!
Twillingvangor: timelordsfalconsoko on May 1st, 2009 10:56 pm (UTC)
YANA, I'll run around in circles and then reread the chapter a few times because there simply isn't enough. And knowing that I'll put off reading a new chapter for as long as possible so that I can savor it.
I'm A Diva: DW: The Ten Doctorssilencing on May 3rd, 2009 03:53 am (UTC)
I was just admitting to my brother TODAY about how I think Eight/Charley is my secondary pairing to my OTP of Doctor/Rose. I've only recently finished the BFP and practically cried (I was at work, so I couldn't) when I heard how she left.

Then I found this fic today, while trying to catch up a week's worth of fics. I can't tell you how ridiculously excited I am for this fic. Seriously. I love how it's starting, and I can't wait for more!!!!
wiggiemomsi: 8-Rosewiggiemomsi on May 3rd, 2009 07:10 am (UTC)
HOORAY for Eight/Rose! I LOVE that pairing, and there's so little of it. This is a reallyreallyreally GOOD story!

*Happy Hugs*
Caityrusta_wilwarin on June 6th, 2009 08:38 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is making me really like Eight... which I've never really done before. And making me want to find the audio adventures. Great writing!!