Night and Day for Fitz by annariel
Summary: Where was Fitz during Night of the Doctor? And did Day of the Doctor make any difference?
Rating: All Ages
Categories: Eighth Doctor, Eleventh Doctor
Characters: Clara Oswin Oswald, The Doctor (11th), The Doctor (War), Fitz Kreiner, The Doctor (8th)
Genres: Character Study
Chapter 1: Night
Chapter 2: Day
Chapter 1: Night
Author's Notes: Written as a Yuletide treat for Lelek
Thanks for beta-reading and hand-holding to hhertzof and fredbassett
When Fitz padded into the TARDIS console room, everything was dim and dark. It wasn't unusual to find the TARDIS like that at night, or at least at during the hours the TARDIS notionally treated as night. Fitz glanced at his watch and was unsurprised to discover it read 2am. There was no sign of the Doctor and the rotor in the centre was stationary. Either the Doctor was somewhere in the TARDIS or he was already outside.
He was probably outside. That was happening more and more often. They roamed the universe and as the Time War became more and more desperate, and they stumbled from one burning battlefield to another, the Doctor vanished off on his own adventures in the middle of the night. He was desperate to rescue anyone - everyone - as if trying to pay some kind of one man penance for the sins of his people.
Fitz rubbed his hand gently along the edge of the console. "Did you wake me up? What kind of trouble has he got himself into this time?"
The scanner dropped down into view. He could see the Doctor, standing with his back to him, arguing with someone through a closed door. Fitz sighed. Bloody typical.
Then suddenly the TARDIS raised the lights, opened the doors and all hell broke loose. The floor tilted and Fitz had to grab hold of the console for support. He shouted for the Doctor, who looked over his shoulder, and Fitz saw his eyes open in surprise and horror at the open TARDIS door and Fitz hanging onto the console. Then there was a crash. Twisted metal and burning debris fell between them. The lights went out and acrid smoke filled the air.
He couldn't hear anything above the sounds of burning and crashing outside.
He took a deep breath, coughing on the smoke, and attempted to pull himself up to the console controls.
"Look! I know you were just concerned for him and trying to get him to safety, but is there any chance of getting gravity localised again?"
Fitz coughed again and hoped that the TARDIS would understand him. There was a lurch, and the room righted itself momentarily and then the floor slid away once more. The lights flickered and then came up which at least was something. Fitz looked towards the door. All he could see was a mound of rubble and darkness beyond.
Then he let go of the console and allowed himself to slip and slide down the floor until he ended up against the debris. He scrambled up the pile, hands scraping at the loose metal and wiring. Up near the top was a void, a gap he could scramble through if only he could widen it slightly. Fitz began frantically pulling stuff away, anything that moved he worked to pull free and then either tossed it behind him into the console room or shoved it outwards down the far side.
He'd been at work for about ten minutes when he saw lights in the darkness beyond. They were moving and he froze cautiously in place, waiting to see who or what it was. Three women in long red robes emerged from the gloom carrying burning torches. He saw one bend down.
"He is here!" she said with a note of triumph in her voice.
Quickly the other two brought forward a stretcher.
"Hey! Wait! Help!" Fitz threw caution to the winds. If they had found the Doctor then he needed to be out there with him. "Hey!"
The woman looked back at him, raising her torch so Fitz could see the lines of ageing worn into her face.
"He is beyond your help now. Only we can tend to him!" she said.
"At least get me out of here. I need to be with him."
She turned her back. "Not this time," he heard her say. "This time it is better if you are not there."
"Hey!" Fitz was still shouting as the stretcher party vanished into the distance.
It was a couple of hours before Fitz finally succeeded in crawling out. Somewhere along the way the TARDIS had managed to restore local gravity. That had allowed Fitz to venture to as store cupboard and collect a torch. It didn't take him long to realise he was inside the remains of a crashed spaceship. He clambered out, following a route of cleared debris obviously left by the red-robed women.
He finally emerged into a dark and barren landscape. The torch light showed dusty rocky ground. The footprints of the women were clear enough and he began to follow.
He'd not gone far when a group of figures emerged suddenly from the darkness and he found himself face to face with more of the women and a grim-faced man wearing the Doctor's clothes.
Fitz stopped short. He knew about regeneration but the fact of it came as a shock.
"Doctor?" he asked cautiously.
The grim expression on the man's face deepened into something sad and resigned. "Maybe. We'll see."
"Well, at least you survived," Fitz managed. He suddenly felt incredibly awkward and rubbed his hands on his jacket before extending one for a shake.
The man took it cautiously and Fitz was struck by how ridiculous it was to be greeting his best friend like a stranger met for the first time.
"Fitz," the man... the Doctor... said quietly and it was halfway between a question and a cry for help.
Fitz felt a sudden need to embrace this Doctor. To feel that he was real. He pulled him into his arms and felt the crush of a returned embrace.
It's all going to be all right, Fitz told himself desperately.
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Chapter 2: Day
Author's Notes: Several Years Later (At Least as Fitz Counts)
Fitz watched the soldiers swarming around the National Gallery and tried to suppress his curiosity. He recognised UNIT by now and he knew the Undergallery was down there, but that didn't necessarily mean anything. Besides he was absolutely totally over the Doctor.
In spite of himself he wandered up the steps and in between the columns. At the entrance a soldier stopped him.
"Sorry, sir," the woman began.
"I know Lethbridge-Stewart," Fitz began the lie.
"It's OK, Sergeant, he's with me."
Fitz blinked at the man who bounded up, he was wearing a tweed jacket and bow tie with hair that was flopping wildly into his eyes. A small pretty brunette was on his heels.
"Doctor?" Fitz asked.
A wide grin broke across the man's face. "You recognised me?" he said in delight.
"Who else could it be?"
The Doctor's face was so mobile and expressive, so like his Doctor that it hurt Fitz desperately. This man was so different to the Doctor he had left, the Doctor who even in the moments after his regeneration had worn too much armour to ever really let Fitz in.
"I'm Clara Oswald," said the woman with a grin, holding out her hand around the Doctor. She looked like good companion material: fresh faced, vivacious, perky.
"Fitz Kreiner." Fitz shook it.
"Well, this is wonderful. We must go and have tea somewhere and catch up." The Doctor's hands fluttered around nervously.
He strode past Fitz and down the steps of the Gallery.
Clara grinned at Fitz. "You travelled with him, didn't you?"
"Yeah, yeah! I did." Fitz gazed idly at the Doctor's retreating back.
"Come on you two, don't dawdle." The Doctor waved his hands in the air.
Clara offered to take their order to the counter, which left Fitz and the Doctor staring awkwardly at each other over the plastic menus.
"How have you been?" Fitz asked.
The Doctor's face became solemn. "Worse and then better?"
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"I thought I did something terrible but I've just learned that I didn't and now, here you are!"
Fitz frowned and fiddled with the menu. "That doesn't actually make much sense... and it makes me sound like a prize for not doing bad things."
"No! No! No! I never thought you were, it's just... isn't this brilliant!"
Fitz's heart squeezed a little more as the emotion and pleasure washed over him from the Doctor, raw and without moderation. But he still didn't understand anything.
"When you left..." the Doctor began and then hesitated.
Fitz remembered the kiss, the sudden pressure of dry lips against his. His own sick certainty that this was not a moment of passion, but a moment of desperation, the Doctor was trying to hang onto something from before. That had been the worst of it, really, being offered something only after the point of it had long gone.
"I couldn't stay. You weren't... you weren't the same," Fitz forced out.
"You left your jacket. I wore that jacket. For years I wore that jacket. It was a cool jacket."
The Doctor's face briefly lapsed into something melancholic. Fitz had a sense of missed opportunities. He hadn't really meant to leave the jacket behind, but he'd been in such a rush to flee from the strange Doctor who both wanted to bind him close and push him away. It had been like being frozen and suffocated at once.
"How long has it been?" Fitz asked.
"Too long, but I couldn't, you see, because of the terrible thing. I couldn't because you knew what I was capable of and you left."
"You are making very little sense here," Fitz felt compelled to point out.
"Come away with me," the Doctor urged suddenly.
Fitz had hardly been cut off from the world since the Doctor had left him. It wasn't like he hadn't met some of the Doctor's other companions. He'd talked to them. If there was one thing he knew, it was that once you were gone the Doctor never asked you back. He stared at his old friend across the table and wondered what to say, because he'd built himself a life in the 21st century, and it wasn't the boring rest-of-my-existence-as-a-shop-assistant life he'd been facing when he first met the Doctor. It was a life which involved people who depended upon him, not to mention a certain amount of running away from aliens and getting shot at.
"It's complicated," he said at last and winced, because if that didn't sound like a polite brush off, he didn't know what did.
"It's probably not as complicated as you think," the Doctor pushed.
Fitz found himself losing his temper. "How would you bloody know? I mean you've assumed I went back to boring loser-ville the moment you turned your back. Well I didn't. I got involved in things, and with people, and they are important."
The Doctor held up his hands. "Sorry, yes. People and things. I've never been all that good at either of those."
Fitz anger drained away slightly. "Yeah, well, me neither, but I don't think I can just up sticks now and vanish totally."
"You could let the Doctor just give you the odd call when he feels like companionship."
Fitz looked up, startled to see Clara had come back carrying a plastic tray with a teapot and three cups.
"That's what I do. Got a life here, thank you very much, but I can't say no to the odd bit of part-time adventuring."
"Part-time adventuring?" Fitz could hear the amazement in his voice. He looked back to the Doctor for confirmation.
"Yes, well, I've grown up a bit, worked out that people can come with me and still have their own lives too." The Doctor fiddled with his fingers and then hurriedly started pouring tea.
"Part time adventuring." Fitz savoured the sound of that on his tongue.
The Doctor peered out cautiously from underneath his floppy hair. "Just try it out, maybe. See how you like the new me!"
If felt like the cold hand around Fitz's heart unclenched slightly. He took a deep breath and found himself nodding cautiously. Part time adventuring he could handle. A cautious sense of joy seized Fitz. It wasn't his Doctor who had returned, but it was a Doctor, a Doctor who might have recaptured some of things the grim-faced Warrior had lost. He caught Clara's grinning expression and smiled back at her.
It was definitely worth a try.
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