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07 May 2009 @ 06:49 pm
Doctor Who - Ten/Rose, Eight/Charley - Twist of Fate (PG, 5/20)  
Title: Twist of Fate (5/20)
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: 1223 (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

Rose poured vinegar and salt over her chips and watched the Doctor carefully do the same with his own chips. He was so different than either of her versions of the Doctor. Her first Doctor had usually put away a basket of chips with restrained gusto, heavy on the salt and light on the vinegar. Her second had shoveled them in with unrestrained enthusiasm and gone heavy on salt and vinegar. This Doctor ate them more delicately, though he gave every appearance of enjoying them.

“I don’t have these often,” he said, interrupting her thoughts.

“I love ‘em,” Rose replied immediately. “I used to always try to get them in whatever time or place we were in, just to see how they tasted. Of course some planets don’t have them…” She trailed off and looked down at her basket of chips. “Shouldn’t be telling you this.”

“Rose,” he said, waiting for her to look up at him before continuing. “You don’t have to watch every word you say. I told you, if you say something I shouldn’t know yet, I can erase my memories or lock them away somewhere until it’s safe to remember them again. And little things like how you like to visit a chip shop in every port will hardly cause a paradox.”

Rose managed a smile. “Okay.”

“Is there anyone you’d like to say goodbye to before we go?” he asked after a little while. “There’s no telling how long we have, but hopefully it will be enough time to get some things and say your goodbyes.”

Rose nodded. “Yeah, my mum is here, an’ my best friend.”

The Doctor’s eyebrows rose. “From our proper universe? You’re here accidentally, but they came with you?”

“It’s… complicated,” Rose replied. “I can’t really explain what happened. Trust me,” she added. “It’s not a little thing like stopping for chips.”

The Doctor shook his head slowly, sounding regretful when he spoke. “I’m always curious. But I always teach you so well, my companions.”

“You don’t really want me to tell you.”

“Rose, Rose, Rose. You obviously know me quite well.” He patted her hand where it rested on the table. “I don’t.” He grinned. “Because we all know curiosity killed the cat. And I don’t feel like regenerating today.”

Rose smiled. “Does it count as being suicidal if you know you’ll just come to life again a few seconds later?”

“An interesting question,” he said thoughtfully. “Very existential. Cheeky,” he added with a grin, “but also existential.” He ate a chip, chewing thoroughly and swallowing before continuing. “We can choose not to regenerate, you know.”

“What?” Rose said, surprised. “I thought it was like, automatic or something.”

The Doctor ran a hand through his curls. “For me it tends to be more so than for others. Romana’s very good at it,” he added. “If we weren’t limited in how many times we could do it she’d probably do it just for fun. Have you met Romana?”

“Er, no,” Rose muttered. “You’ve mentioned her a few times, but no, we’ve never met.” She leaned forward in her seat, eager to change the subject away from Time Lords – or Ladies – she’d never met and the natural question as to why she’d never met them. “You’re limited on how many times you can regenerate?”

He nodded. “Twelve regenerations, thirteen versions of yourself.” He shook his head a little. “I’m going through them far too quickly. Barely a thousand and I’ve already done it seven times.”

“A thousand?” Rose said with a laugh. “So even Time Lords lie about their age when they get older?”

“Why? What did I tell you? Oh, never mind,” he said before she could wonder aloud if it was okay to tell him or not. He polished off the last of his chips and wiped his fingers on a napkin. “I’m not sure how much time we’ll have,” he said, reaching into his pocket. He pulled out the detector he’d shown her earlier and glanced at it. “It’s difficult to say until it gets closer to the time.”

Rose shoved her last chip in her mouth and licked her fingers. “I don’t need much time,” she admitted. She eyed him speculatively. “Especially if we could use the TARDIS instead of relying on public transport.”

The Doctor glanced once more at his detector and made a hmm noise in the back of his throat. “Normally I’d hesitate to use the TARDIS once I’ve landed in a timeline, but under the circumstances…” He smiled kindly at Rose. “Surely she’ll behave herself this once and we won’t overshoot.”

Rose grinned impishly. “If I recall correctly, it was often not completely the TARDIS’ fault when we ended up somewhere we weren’t supposed to end up.”

The Doctor affected a look of innocence. “I have no idea what you’re talking about. I cannot imagine that in any incarnation I wouldn’t have full control over my own TARDIS.” Then he grinned again. “Cheeky.” He got to his feet, and Rose did the same.

“Back to the TARDIS, then?” she asked.

“Back to the TARDIS,” he affirmed.

Rose smiled brightly. “You really have no idea how happy I am to hear that,” she said.

The Doctor stuck his elbow out for her to take. “Then I’m sure you’ll be even happier to do it.”

Rose linked her arm with the Doctor’s and they left the chip shop. After a few feet, Rose’s curiosity got the better of her.

“Can you tell me about your life? I mean, that wouldn’t break any rules or make any paradoxes, right?”

“What would you like to know?”

Rose thought for a second, trying to decide what question to ask first. “Why aren’t you traveling with someone right now?” she finally asked. “When I met Sarah Jane, she said you liked to travel with an entourage.” She hoped he already had known Sarah in this incarnation. Luckily, he smiled at the mention of Sarah’s name.

“That sounds like something Sarah would say,” he said fondly. “I’m at a bit of loose ends,” he added. “I was traveling with someone. She was… brilliant.”

“What happened?” Rose asked cautiously, knowing better than anyone how bad the answer could be.

The Doctor shook his head sadly. “It was just time for her to make her own way, I suppose. But I miss her,” he added. “She was my best friend.”

“Maybe you’ll see her again sometime,” Rose suggested. “What was her name?”

“Charley Pollard,” the Doctor replied. “But no, I think it’s time I left her alone.” They reached the TARDIS and the Doctor held the door open for Rose. “Where to next?” he asked, shutting the door behind him after following her inside.

“My flat for a few things,” Rose said. “And then my mum and dad’s place, so I can say goodbye.” She gestured at his pocket, where the breach detector was tucked. “Do we have time?”

He pulled the detector out and flipped it open. “So far we’re looking good,” he affirmed. “Now tell me where your flat is so I can set the proper coordinates.”

At the end of the alley where the TARDIS was parked, a shadowy figure watched the TARDIS fade away, a grimly satisfied smile spreading slowly across her face, nails painted blood red tapping slowly against her arm.
Sarlania: paul mcgannsarlania on May 8th, 2009 12:12 am (UTC)
Ohhhhhh cliffhanger! Is it the rani? XD
Megan Queenkesomon on May 8th, 2009 01:09 am (UTC)
I think it's probably a testament to how screwed my brain is when I read that last line and immediately thought "War!" As in, the apocalyptic horseperson of Good Omens fame. And all from blood red nail polish. *facepalm*
dustuck: see you againdustuck on May 8th, 2009 07:41 pm (UTC)
Oh, you're not the only one with dorkly habits. My first thought was Drusilla, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But War fits quite well too. On the other hand, with a story as brilliant as this, who needs crossovers?
wiggiemomsi: 8-Rosewiggiemomsi on May 8th, 2009 01:55 am (UTC)
Uh oh; danger lurks in the alley!

Another great -- although muchmuchmuch too short -- chapter! Now, surely the Doctor is going to be attracted to Rose, right? Void, Bad Wolf, etc; she must be like Time Lord catnip! So ... they gonna kiss, or what?

*Hopeful Hugs*
Beka: DW: She's his Plus Oneautumnjoy on May 8th, 2009 04:52 am (UTC)
she must be like Time Lord catnip
Lol, what a great visual!
wiggiemomsi: Catnip Catwiggiemomsi on May 8th, 2009 05:00 am (UTC)
I saw it in one of the manymanymany fics I devour, & the visual stuck in my head, too!! Oh, how I wish I could make icons with words!


Edited at 2009-05-08 05:12 am (UTC)
Beka: DW: Curiouser and curiouserautumnjoy on May 8th, 2009 04:53 am (UTC)
Ooh, totally did not see that sinister note at the end coming. :D
sunnytyler001sunnytyler001 on May 8th, 2009 07:07 pm (UTC)
The Rani? Lucy Saxon?
I can't wait!!!
Twillingvangorfalconsoko on May 9th, 2009 04:40 am (UTC)
It's Sweet, sweet torture watching this story unfold
fishface44fishface44 on May 15th, 2009 08:00 am (UTC)
I'm behind on reading (as usual) but I read the first 5 chapters tonight & I am completely smitten with this fic!!!! It is WONDERFUL!!!