Today, Hex decided, was a very bad day.
First, they’d landed in the middle of a rainstorm. Then, after several minutes of walking, they had determined conclusively that it was, in fact, an acid rainstorm. Then the walking had changed to a mad dash for shelter, and they had wound up in--you guessed it--a basement.
Except it wasn’t just any basement. It was more of a room attached to a system of caves, which they’d found out rather too quickly after the Doctor had suggested, “We should find out what’s over here.” Especially since they turned out to be caves with quite a lot of echoes, which had resulted in Hex very soon finding himself alone in caves in a basement on a planet with a surface full of acid rain.
By that point, he was hoping it couldn’t get any worse. “Doctor?” he called as he wandered the caves. “Ace? Are you here?” He paused in his walking, listening for a moment, but all he heard were the echoes of his own voice. “It had to be a planet with a basement you could get lost in, didn’t it...” he muttered as he continued forward.
He stopped short only moments later as a very familiar sound met his ears. “The TARDIS!” he cried, taking off at a run toward where the noise...well, seemed to be coming from, at least. “Doctor! Doctor, I’m coming! Don’t go anywhere!”
But the sound stopped and so did Hex--after yelling a few vulgar words, at least. He leaned against a cave wall while he caught his breath, trying to figure out what he should do now. His thoughts didn’t take him far, however, as he was jarred from them by the sound of a door. The TARDIS hadn’t been leaving; it had been arriving! Hex took off again, trying to follow the sound but mostly hoping that, for the first time today, he would get a tiny bit lucky.
He stopped so short in shock that he very nearly fell over when he turned a corner and found himself face-to-face with a familiar blue box.
Except one thing was very wrong.
“Oh my god!” Hex cried at the sight of the man coming out of it. “How did you get in the TARDIS?”
The man stopped, turning to him and giving him a questioning look. Then he broke out in a huge grin. “Thomas Hector Schofield, is that you?”
Hex quirked an eyebrow at the man. “Yes?”
“Ohhh, brilliant! Well, probably not brilliant--means I’ve crossed my own timeline again, and that always seems to signify trouble, but still! It’s so good to see you. Hex.”
Hex took a few steps backwards. “Yeah, you too, I’m sure. If I knew who you were.”
The man looked taken aback. “You don’t recognize me? Hex, I’m disappointed! Who else do you think I would be? Aren’t there enough clues?” He patted the TARDIS behind him affectionately. “Or do I have to remind you of mistaking her for a port-a-loo?”
Hex’s eyes bulged. “Oh my god.”
The man nodded. “Yeah, I remember that one, too.”
“Oh my god!”
“And?” the man pressed.
“You’re...you’re the Doctor!”
“Ah, there we go! Knew you’d get there eventually. So, do you know anything about where we’ve found ourselves? You aren’t alone here, are you? Am I running around somewhere? Or how about your lovely w-w-w--Ace!” he corrected hurriedly. “Is Ace here with you?”
Hex blinked. “What did you just call her?”
“Ace, of course!” The Doctor wasn’t looking at him now. He had moved away from the TARDIS and was holding out the sonic screwdriver, using it to scan the area.
“Yeah, but you almost...you...” Hex stopped. “Oh my god. You were gonna say wife!”
“Huh? I don’t know what you’re talking about,” the man said evasively, waving a hand. “But she is here, isn’t she? This way, I believe. There seem to be explosives to be found.”
Hex rushed to keep up with him, trying to think through this very odd situation. “I know I’m probably being thick Hex again, but if you’re the Doctor, what are you doing here?” he asked.
The Doctor frowned. “That’s a good question. I think I might be...oh.”
“Oh?” Hex asked, looking at what had made the Doctor stop. They had entered a cavern that, interestingly enough, had some sort of machine sitting on the floor in the middle of it. A machine that looked mysteriously similar to a TV remote, come to think of it. “What is that?”
“This, I think,” he said as he picked it up, “is why I’m here.” Then he grinned. “Hold onto your hat,” he said with a smile.
“But I don’t have a-”
“He seems to be coming around now.”
“Yeah, well, he could be a little faster about it. Hex, wake up already!”
“Huh? What? Ace?” Hex groaned as he opened his eyes to far too much light. “What happened?” he mumbled, putting a hand to his head.
“You were at the center of a dimensional storm,” the Doctor--the usual Doctor, he was relieved to note--said. Then, more gently, “How is your head?”
“Killing me,” Hex admitted, groaning again as he started to sit up.
“Hey, not so fast!” Ace protested, grabbing his shoulder. “Reality just tore around you, you know.”
Hex looked at her blearily. “Did it?”
She smiled. “Something like that, anyway. But it got him to leave that awful planet, at least.”
“A dimensional storm is no joking matter!” the Doctor protested. “Anything could happen in one of those.”
Hex paused in the middle of rubbing his temple. “Anything? Like, seeing the future sort of anything?”
The Doctor gave him a questioning look. “That’s a possibility, yes.”
Hex took that in thoughtfully. Then he turned to Ace and grinned.
“And what’s that about?” she asked, raising an eyebrow at him.
“Nothing,” he replied, still grinning. “Just the best headache I’ve ever had.”
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