Theta Sigma by LayneCarver

Summary: When the Eleventh Doctor has an unusual regeneration, a Time Lady appears in his life, ready to find which Doctor is suitable to revive the Time Lords. Over months and years, she works with the Ninth Doctor to heal his wounds, and somehow, they find a way to their new home.
Rating: Teen
Categories: Multi-Era, Ninth Doctor, Eleventh Doctor
Characters: Original Companion, The Doctor (9th), The TARDIS, Amy Pond, River Song, Rory Williams, The Doctor (11th)
Genres: Action/Adventure, Alternate Universe, Angst, Drama, Hurt/Comfort, Romance, Series
Warnings: Explicit Violence, Swearing
Challenges: None
Series: Auxiliary Timelines
Published: 2013.05.28
Updated: 2013.07.17


Chapter 1: Chapter 1: Dalek Envy
Chapter 2: Chapter 2: Into the Heart
Chapter 3: Chapter 3: Of the Soul
Chapter 4: Chapter 4: Fully Flooding
Chapter 5: Chapter 5: All the Rest
Chapter 6: Chapter 6: Dearest Child
Chapter 7: Chapter 7: Cold Blooded
Chapter 8: Chapter 8: Fear and Love
Chapter 9: Chapter 9: The Sound of Drums
Chapter 10: Chapter 10: Nightmares
Chapter 11: Chapter 11: Getting Out
Chapter 12: Chapter 12: Sunny Mornings
Chapter 13: Chapter 13: Dandelions
Chapter 14: Chapter 14: Falling
Chapter 15: Chapter 15: Forevermore

Chapter 1: Chapter 1: Dalek Envy

Author's Notes: Eleven finally destroys his mortal enemy, the Daleks, but dies as a consequence. In his regeneration, something goes horribly wrong, and a girl appears, coming to fix the universe.

"Exterminate!" rung their edgy voices through the crumbling halls.

Tall, dark, and utterly evil, their eyestalks shone cold blue into the dimly lit halls, chasing after footsteps they'd recognise anywhere as their mortal enemy. The Doctor.

"Come on Ponds!" he cried in a raspy, worn voice to his companions, Amy and Rory.

Brown hair hung, dripping with sweat and blood in his face that was torn and covered in ash. Coming to a junction in the ship, they turned left and sealed the airlock behind them.

The Doctor tripped up and cried out in agony, falling to the floor in a trembling, bloody mess. His momentum slammed him into the white wall on the far side of the large control room. Out of the thick glass window you could see the heart of space swirling in a glowing, writhing, dancing mass. 

River quickly knelt beside the Doctor, while Rory looked Amy over for injuries. River delicately brushed the hair out of his face, wiping his grimy forehead with a wet cloth, trying to arrange his threadbare clothes. 

"What have they done?" River breathed, despairingly.

He winced, trying to get up, limping to the echoing metal door that led them out of the hall. He held out his fried sonic screwdriver, and it fell into a crumble.

"Open the door," he struggled to say, turning to Rory who stood at the control panel, the lights on reserve energy, flickering. Amy moved to press the button when Rory slapped her hand away.

"Doctor, they'll kill you!" he said, taking a step between Amy and the control panel. 

"They already have! I'm holding back regeneration already, please... just do it," the Doctor replied, struggling for breath, pain obvious in his face and words. "Because I have to! They killed my people, made me destroy my world! I have to finish this!It ends now!"

The ship groaned, pulling in enough power to budge the heavy door open a few inches. As the door slowly, begrudgingly opened, he lit a candle on a smoking outlet nearby. And just as the doors opened he threw it out, lodging it in one of the Dalek's body armour. The golden domes that covered them usually, were sharp and pointed in their new generation, giving them a fierce, guard-dog like appearance.

The Daleks screamed in hate and anger, shooting, the energy beam bouncing around on the opaque glass walls as they all panicked, shooting each other.

The heavy door slammed shut when the ship sensed the fire, and danger to the captains. The Doctor limped, dragging himself to the nearest chair that wasn't smouldering. As he plopped down, the panic of his friends set in as he slowly began to glow. The TARDIS landed in the room, sensing his need and injury, his companions rushing him in only added to the sentient time-space ship's worries as she felt the energy pouring off of him at a dangerous rate. 

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Chapter 2: Chapter 2: Into the Heart

Author's Notes: The mysterious girl appears, and all of the Doctor's companions are confused. She tries her best to help, but is lost herself.

The regeneration was difficult, his screaming echoed down the living halls, and sweat poured down his shaking, glowing, and aching body. He felt the change encroaching on every cell of his being. He gave in to the change as he flopped down on the bed, and sought refuge in his ship. She caught his flailing mind, calming him, and pushing his body into actions as it teetered on the edge, not able to do what it needed to do.

In the control room, River stroked a coral support strut, standing on the glass floor, above Amy and Rory.

"I hoped I wouldn't have to see this!" she sobbed into Rory's shoulder.

His strong hands trembled as he stroked her fiery red hair, and yet another scream came from down the hall, rattling their bones as it went from audible noise into sub- and super-sonic. Even the TARDIS was trembling.

"None of us did, Amy, not even her." River motioned to the engine, the TARDIS's heart.

The TARDIS gave a reassuring hum to them as a lock clicked open and the door reappeared. Rory looked to see the new man as he held his wife, River ran to the archway, and Amy barely looked up. 

"Doctor?" they asked in confused unison.

The Doctor teetered in, getting used to new legs, still in the torn clothing that now no longer revealed wounds and burns, but fresh, pale skin. 

"What? What is it?" the Doctor asked, his new voice was higher, more melodic than his previous, and lacking any sort of accent.  "Am I ginger?"

They all nodded their heads 'no' to his question, none sure of what to say. They watched as the new person slapped their hands to their face feeling all over, mumbling. "Nose.. Eyes... Ears.. Longer hair? Everything's there, what is it then?" the Doctor asked, slapping his hands up his stomach to his chest. The Doctor's eyes widened as he felt lumps, "I'm a girl!" the Doctor said, running to the view screen. 

"Yeah..." They said in an uneven chorus, looking around, anywhere but at the new Doctor. 

"Doctor, what does this mean?" River asked, walking up, looking in the view screen with the Doctor.

The girl didn't respond, looking startled when River placed her hand on the Doctor's shoulder.


"What?" she answered, jumping.

Out of the room she regenerated in, stumbled a freshly healed and very naked eleventh Doctor.

"Oh!" all in the room gasped at him, covering their eyes, Rory blushing.

"Oh," the Doctor answered looking down at himself and quickly scuttling out of the room, noticing his nudity.

He stumbled back into the room, tripping slightly over the blanket he had wrapped himself in, approaching the girl River was standing with.

"Doctor?" River asked in a very confused tone.

"Yes?" they both answered, startled at each other's response, looking over each other.  The Doctor took a step closer to the girl and placed his hand on her cheek. Looking back at River, still rubbing the girl's cheek with his thumb "We're both me." 

"How do we differentiate you two, you're both the Doctor. Boy and Girl?" River asked.

"What is your name?" the Doctor asked, completely ignoring River.

"I... I, can't remember. I know my name, it's gnawing at the back of my head..." she tried to answer, not meeting his gaze. "But it's not there."

She tussled her curly, red-blond hair that met her shoulder. The Doctor caught her hand and led her out of the room muttering, "Decency, decency."

As they came back in the room, she had clothed herself in a brown army jacket that buttoned up, double breasted, worn blue jeans that fitted snuggly against her curvy hips and muscular thighs, and flared at the ankle. On her feet were probably the most functional pair of shoes out of hundreds of pairs of shoes in the TARDIS at her disposal, nubuck leather of a creamy golden caramel color that had a buckle across the middle, covering militaristic laces. The Doctor came out, not being able to find a matching suit to the one that had been destroyed, and wore his previous form's blue suit and red t-shirt, barefoot. 

"Take me to 3141592653589793," the girl rattled off the numbers and the Doctor nodded, moving to punch in the numbers, until River stopped him.

"That's pi," River questioned the frazzled looking girl.

"That's where I need to go," the much younger looking girl tried to convince the older woman. She looked much younger, as if just now out of her teens, at the oldest 23, by appearances. " I am the Doctor, but I'm not, just not him. Like a different wrung of DNA." 

"Oh.. Oh.. Oh!" the Doctor gasped, clutching his head as a wave of memories pounded in from every nerve and synapse, sending him a strong wave of pain, causing him to gasp out,  relapsing into Gallifreyan language as he cursed. No one in the room, but the girl, winced at the severity of the curses, obviously not understanding the language.

"Oh Rassilon! River, say hello to my extra DNA! Everyone has DNA that they don't use, that's where mine went, and I guess I still had some left over from my previous self," he rambled on.

"Yes, I know. But what does that mean?" River continued with her skepticism. 

"She's a Time Lord, from me, but not my daughter. In a sense yes, but, no, not really. She can carry on the Time Lords!" he managed to tell River as the ship lurched, grinding, wheezing to life, and roaring off into time and space once more.

"She's the saviour of my species, River, trust her, love her! Time Lords can change their genders to suit them, so it makes sense that she's a she, and especially since I've always been been male. When the Time War began, they needed more soldiers, so, I, as the youngest in the House of Cousins, was chosen to go, as the unwanted child, but something special was found about me..." he drifted off into memories, snapping out of it as Amy squeezed his hand.

"Now the Time War is over and the fact that I ran away is rippling through the timelines, correcting the damage and, and.." this time he would not go on or meet eyes with any of them.Only when they had landed would he continue, not touching the previous branch of the subject.

"She'll find a previous form of mine to live with and carry on our species, she can't do that with me, we're too similar still."

Outside of the TARDIS River clutched to the Doctor like she never had before.

"But were married.." she could barely get out.

"Yes and no, this time around, but not like it's supposed to be." he answered cryptically. "She can have my children with him, you and I can't, not that we ever will or would, with our lives."

"But I'm-,"

"No River! No, you're human plus Time Lord, she and I... Just Time Lord, humans and Time Lords may be physically compatible, but not genetically." He ensured her, "I still love you," hugging her to himself. "Its time to go into my heart," and he stepped out of the TARDIS.

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Chapter 3: Chapter 3: Of the Soul

Author's Notes: The girl meets each of the Doctor's previous selves, and finds out her name, choosing which Doctor she wishes to love.

The five of them went to middle of the large pasture, tiled in a circular pattern with small, charcoal grey tiles that were old, cracking, and had blue- green grass that grew up between the tiles and purplish mushrooms here and there. It went on as far as any of them cloud in every direction. Three of them backed up, leaving only the Doctor and the new, small girl. 

He place a hand on her shoulder as he faced her, the TARDIS but ten feet away. The sound of engines whispered in the background, behind her, and she heard long, heavy footfalls growing closer until a large gentle hand rested on her other shoulder, she could feel his cool breath on her hair, he must've been taller than the one in front of her. Each new TARDIS landed in the same circle of tile in the field, she stood in the centre, and the Doctors around her on every succeeding row. Once they were all there, hands on everyone's shoulders, connecting them all, she had two hands on each shoulder, supporting her as she closed her eyes and swayed, reaching out for their minds which they so willingly offered her.

"Hello?" she called into the darkness until a bright, shining olive green coloured light radiated from his voice into her emptiness.

"Hello." He smiled, if a voice could tell you if someone was smiling.

"Which are you?" she asked as he came into focus and she ran her hand across the left side of his face as if she were blind.

"Eleven," he answered.

"It cannot be you, and you know such." She turned away.

"Don't go!" he called anxiously.

"But I have to, what would happen if I didn't?" She caught his weakness, his wanting to make things right.

She left, and the heaviness of the darkness once again weighed down on his shoulders, he was once again alone, but he had to hope, whoever she chose deserved her, a monster like him didn't.

"Hello?" she called to his mind, like flowers to a bee.

"Hello," he answered as his deep wine red light spilled out onto her fair, soft face, he was eager to know, to learn of her.

"Which are you?" she asked him.

"Ten," he answered her.

"You have loved many..." he could feel her probing his memories, "been loved by many, and lost all." she turned away, shaking her head sadly.

"Don't go!" he cried.

"But I have to."

It was once again dark, he wanted to ball up and die, to cry his hearts out and die, not regenerating. He, himself, who he was, had turned her away, he chastised himself mercilessly, driving himself into a further depression, and lost himself in the red under his eyelids.

"Hello?" she called nervously, she had been in 11, 10, 4, 7, and 6's minds, not liking what she had found.

"Hello, Theta," responded a friendly, northern british accent.

She felt the warm midnight blue light envelope her, it had a depressive ambiance, but it was all so lovely and she could feel just the slightest glimmer of hope run into it as she lingered, watching the centre of the light get just a little lighter.

"You know my name?" she said, drawing closer until he could've wrapped his arms around her if he dared. "Which are you?"

"Nine," he answered.

"You know many more things, which they do not, you can hear it can't you. The universes?" To this he nodded, leaning into her touch on the side of his face. "And you know my name?" 

"Theta, Theta Sigma. Out of the Doctor and come for the universes and Time, to save the timelines and the Time Lords," he answered.

"Perhaps I shall return," she said, longing not to leave as she could feel him tense back up as she stepped away, once again death gripping at him, clawing away at his sanity, and he was breaking inside, two worlds warring within he himself.

"Only if you must," he said knowingly, almost expecting to never see her again, his blue eyes boring holes into her, and yet she didn't mind, somehow.

She journeyed through all of their minds fixing problems that she could, and reassuring them if she couldn't. Ten's depression and anxiety, Eleven's nervousness, Six's rage, One's crotchetiness, Two's bitterness, Three's biting wittiness, Four's eccentricities- they each had something, but she didn't fix Nine, and she returned solely to him, and broke the web, turning to the man who stood at her right hand side, embracing him while the others walked away.

"Theta Sigma!" he cried as he embraced her, holding back the wetness that was welling up in his eyes and overwhelming joy within him. His short, dark brown hair fluttered as best it could in the strong wind. Steely blue eyes piercing through the fog into her own candy blue eyes. Tall, strong, reliable, but in pain, wanting to forget, to die, but willing himself against these thoughts.

"What happened?" Rory asked, peering over the Doctor's shoulder.

"She journeyed into each of us, our minds, our hearts, and souls. She looked for the universes' cry, and she found it in him," he answered.

The pain was still so fresh in him, anger burning.  He saw and heard what he knew as the loudest cry for help in all of eternity. Those after had dulled the pain and knowledge, those before ignorant, walking right over it, not seeing or hearing or acknowledging.

One through Eight left, then Ten, and finally Eleven, reluctantly. Theta put her hands into the Doctor's and he pulled her close, brushing some hair behind her ear, stroking her cheek.

"Hello," she murmured into his chest.

" Hello," he murmured back, kissing her hair. "The universe has told me all about you."

"Tell me," she said taking his hand as they walked to his lone TARDIS.

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Chapter 4: Chapter 4: Fully Flooding

Author's Notes: Theta goes with the Ninth Doctor, and he is skeptical of her actuality, still afraid of hurting anything that is good. Theta is changing still, and seeks help from the Doctor, who does not know if he can do anything good now.

Each felt something in her. The girl who pulled at heart strings and the nerves in their brains. It would gnaw at them until they found their piece of the puzzle. Content in doing so, reveal it to the universe to call to Nine. But she had healed many wounds in their subconscious as she passed through. Worries, guilt, envy, vengefulness, broken hearts, and confusion.

"Theta?" the Doctor asked shyly.

"Yes Doctor?" she turned to him at the jump seat.

"Do you know what's going to happen? I know you, I remember you- why?" he said, his eyebrows furrowing as he stared at his hands.

"I don't know, but we'll find out soon enough, as the puzzle is pieced together." She  stood to go to him, placing her hand across his.

"So on my travels I find objects that hold your meaning?" he questioned.

"Yes, I would believe so. Ten items and our brainpower." She tapped his forehead, then smoothed her hand out on the side of his bony face.

He wrapped his long, slender fingers around her small wrist, taking her other hand in his and looking down at her soft, round face.

"You're kind, beautiful, clever, sly, and above all else, here with me. You don't know how lonely it is, after the Time War. You don't know what I've done, but somehow you must." He turned back to her as he spoke these powerful words, "I thought it was over but it just kept going, I lost everything, but now, with you, I have a chance to have it all back."

Tears were welling up in his eyes, then fell over the edge, first one, then another, leading up to the flood.
He leaned his head down on her shoulder, into her neck, seeking the support he could no longer give himself. She lead him to sit down on the floor, as he held her close, no air trapped between them. He began to tremor as he cried soundlessly, she held him back as emotions ran through her, leftovers of his and now those that were pelting her from every angle.

Then he wailed, his arms slung around her waist tightened into a death grip in his flashback , she whispered words of comfort to him rubbing circles into his tense muscles.

She looked down, they had both fallen asleep on the control room floor, she looked at how the back of her hand had the grating's pattern pressed into the soft flesh. His meltdown had obviously worn them both out as he murmured words of sorrow and gratitude onto her stomach, his cheeks still wet. Slowly she sat up, and helped him to do so, and then to stand and wobble down the hall to the nearest bedroom.

She held a couple of his memories, more now than she would in the months to come, fading with time and DNA morphing to make her who she needed to be. They were already blurring into grey, as she set a knee down on the mattress to lie next him on the black sheets that blended into his own clothing, the only thing missing were his shoes. Funny, she didn't remember taking hers off. 

She sat down, cross-legged beside him, his eyelids fluttering between open and closed, heavy, and half-asleep. He looked up at her, his intense blue eyes dulled by the redness and drowsiness obvious in them, as he hadn't slept for weeks, even months.

"I'm sorry about earlier, hardly a welcome," he chuckled hollowly, and patted her knee.

"I understand, really, I do. But you are my family, all I know is you, and what you've known. I don't know who I am, but I will as the universe reveals it, and that scares me. I am relying on you, because I can't help myself," she said genuinely.

"Fantastic," he said, calming down. He gave her a sleepy smile. "How so?" he asked, beginning to think again.

"You always bring the best out in people. You've seen so much," her hand gently wiping away the residue from the tears "and have hurt so much, it's all I can do but to help you, after you've helped so many."

'Thank you' was all he could manage so say, holding back more tears.

The TARDIS patiently floated in the Vortex, giving them as much time as they needed, happy to have another Time Lord on board after so long.

"You stayed up all night?" the Doctor asked, shucking off his leather jacket. He was surprised at how little sleep she had gotten, even he needed more sleep than she.

"DNA morphing is making me restless, but remember, you wore yourself out," she responded, putting her hand on is shoulder. At least she was friendly, and brave.

He smiled and she turned back to making the bed. He lifted off his black jumper, peeled off sweaty socks, and went to his belt, trying to make as little noise as possible, but it clanged as it hit the floor. He turned to see her glaring, almost. But it wasn't quite as harsh as glaring.

"You don't mind?" he asked sheepishly. He was worried he'd done yet another thing to turn her away. She simply smiled and stepped closer to him, shrugging.
"You may think you're not handsome, but I think you aren't telling yourself the truth," she said, then ran her fingers lightly across his collarbone.

He longed to touch her, and be touched by her, just as she did. He slipped into the bathroom when she walked to the head of the bed and fluffed the pillows, he glanced in the mirror, not meeting his own eyes.

Yes, I can be handsome. He reassured himself in his thoughts. He smiled that crazed smile and slipped back out without Theta noticing he'd left. He stepped through the door adjacent the bathroom's, which was the closet. He gathered his things and stepped back, he could smell his own tears evaporated into
the air, and it bothered him.

"Here," he said, plopping the pile of clothing on the bed next to where she sat.

He watched her fiddle with the buttons and zipper, yes, she really did need his help. Even he had compromised motor skills after regeneration, not to mention she was basically a meta-crisis. He sat down next to her, on the side that didn't have the clothing and fiddled with his green shirt, but didn't put it on. They watched each other out of their peripheral as he did nothing, and she could accomplish nothing no matter how hard she tried. Finally, she grunted and flung her hands down in her lap. She glared at him, frustrated as her arms shook, he could feel the residual energy.

"What?" he asked too innocently, then smirked as he wrapped one arm around her waist to the other side and moved his right hand to the front. He unbuttoned the jacket and eased it down her arms then tossed in the same pile as his own discarded clothing. But that was as far as he got when the TARDIS finally had to yell at him that something had gotten in, was awaiting him. When she did, though, he experienced a searing pain and doubled over in the bed, worrying Theta, until he relaxed.

"Sorry..." he breathed, it was directed at both women in his life.

" You okay?" she asked.

"Yeah, the TARDIS had to yell at me to get my attention, thought I was too focused on you," he said in a joking tone that made Theta laugh and the TARDIS give her equivalent of a languid smile.

The Doctor lead Theta back to the control room, as she didn't remember any of the turns. There was a dumb waiter in the wall that no one ever noticed, it was so well concealed. He opened the trick door and took out a glowing orb. It was red, two layers of glass with a vacuum in between that was very easily discerned, inside was a star, tiny, but denser than a red giant and shone a white light, no colour to it at all. There was a slip of aged, torn paper tied to it, on it was a fancy, cursive, red '5'.

"One down, nine to go... Are you okay?" Theta asked.

The Doctor had his arms folded across his chest, which was a whole lot less impressive when the man was only in boxer-briefs, though he was quite muscular.

"Hope she doesn't have to yell at me anymore about these, if there's going to be nine more!" he said, smiling a toothless smile as he rubbed his throbbing temple.

Theta placed her first two fingers gently across his neck, feeling the double pulse thumping through his veins at a slightly elevated pace.

"I can't believe you're a Time Lady- it seems like forever since..." he trailed, halfway reaching towards her neck, but pausing. "I just, I want... To check," he said in a quiet voice that betrayed nothing.

"Of course," she said, letting him lead her down the twisting halls to the Med Bay.

The medical bay was a long, skinny rectangle, it's sections partitioned by teal, plastic curtains. Cold steel tables filled the first partition, after that were hospitable beds each in their own room. Everything besides the curtains, that wasn't metal, was white, even the Doctor's new apparel.

"No comments," he told her sternly as he rolled up the sleeves slightly, referring to his name.

"May I?" he asked her, nodding his head at her chest as she lay on the cold table.

She nodded a 'yes', and folded her hands across her stomach, breathing at a steady pace. He checked her breathing, then her hearts, first left, then right. He sat back, smiling.

"You really are," he sighed.

"Why wouldn't I be?" Theta asked, suddenly now worried.

"I can never be too sure."

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Chapter 5: Chapter 5: All the Rest

Author's Notes: The Doctor hates hormones.

The Doctor looked at his hand, turning it around, waving his long fingers. his skin felt prickly, and tingled. It felt very mild, until Theta came back into the room, changed after he'd undone the buttons. She was wearing a similar outfit, same jacket, only it was a warm olive green, and black jeans.

The Doctor's skin began to heat up, tingling more intense and they were both breaking out in sweat.

"Damn hormones..." the Doctor muttered so Theta wouldn't hear.

"What is this?" she asked, scratching and panting. "It certainly doesn't feel like the DNA morphing."

The Doctor held out his hand, waving his fingers and she took it, and that at least relieved them somewhat.

"I can feel my DNA... changing. I guess it has to..." he said. "The itching and sweating is a by-product of our hormones, yours rocketed because of the regeneration, mine reacted to yours."

"Why does your body have to change?" Theta asked. Then rubbed her head, muttering that her memories were blurring and fading.

"I...I'm sterile," he said, looking embarrassed. "Long ago, my people rebelled against our leader. In turn, though we won, she placed a curse so we could no longer naturally reproduce, but we were working away from it anyway, with the dangers of it." He only told her what he thought he must, the TARDIS gave him a mental harrumph. The Doctor was scared of hurting her or scaring her away, she was so fragile and young. So new, he couldn't hurt a youth with his darkness, even less so than an adult.

"Why do you think I'm only a child?" Theta asked,annoyed.

"How do you know-"

"You were broadcasting your thoughts a little too loudly," she said matter-of-factly, but sat down nearly on his lap.

He placed a hand loosely around her waist, thought, then put both hands on the bed for support as he swayed.

"A long time ago, I was a father, and a grandfather. They would take a sample of our DNA, whoever I was compatible with, and mine. They'd take it, mix it and grow it in the Looms. The Looms grew cells and knit them together and formed all of the children," the Doctor said.

"So that's how you were born?" Theta asked.

"Kind of, my birth had some... Complications. I don't remember much, I've had memories erased right out of my head a time or two, but that's why Time Lords keep century journals. Well, one reason," the Doctor explained.

"Century Journals, that's where you wright down who your were, what your were like, and what had happened, right?" Theta asked.

"Yes, exactly," the Doctor said, then pulled out a couple journals. All but one were labelled with Gallifreyan numbers, in assorted blues, the other was bright yellow and had a scrawl of circles across it.

"What's that one there, the yellow one?" Theta asked, pointing, but minding not to touch.

The Doctor handed it to her, watching as she gingerly flipped thought the pages, fingering the letters, and they began to glow a little.

"Only a Time Lady's touch can do that," he said. "It's my mother's.

"She feared for me, so she wrote a journal, keeping every detail she could since I was born. She said I would know the time to read it, and that's now."

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Chapter 6: Chapter 6: Dearest Child

Author's Notes: The Doctor finds out his mother lied to him all his life.

'You came out of the Looms a bundle of joy, marvelling at the world around you, but you were not like any of the other children. Prydonian children are always getting into cabinets and cupboards, teething and destroying as they go, as fast as they could crawl.

'You, on the other hand, would explore, curious, you learned as you went, and carefully took everything apart, though still making a mess. You would look all over any device, feeling it, trying to figure out what it did. The day you came out of the Looms you were clever, you learned to read and write early on- though you had no idea what the words meant, not yet.

'You need to know the man you loved as a father, adored, was not your father.

'In the glory days of Rassilon, Omega, and the Other, there was a war. Rassilon instructed Omega that, so they could set up the city's power source, he would have to use some device on a collapsing star. Omega created a black hole, a singularity, and died in the process, and Rassilon continued on to the Looms to alter each child so that they wouldn't think for themselves, and not be able to make their own choices, the very thing that made us civilised, he wanted to take away. The Other prevented this by throwing himself in the Looms mixing his DNA with the child who was being grown, well, you were that child. The Loom responded to this as well, and Rassilon no longer could alter the process or offspring.'

"The Other?" Theta asked the Doctor.

"Yes, he was a legend in the Prydonian chapter of Gallifrey, unknown to anyone else. And, he's... He's, he's my father." the Doctor stumbled over this revelation. "I was born of a man I never knew... I never got to meet the man who determined who I am.

"How could you lie to me?" he said calmly, but hate stung in his words that made the hairs on Theta's neck prickle. The Doctor was stroking the pages longingly, a single tear rolling down his down turned nose and dripped off. The words on the page gave way to images, the book fluttering, glowing, and glittering. His mother's voice could be heard, distant, as the room took the appearance of Gallifrey centuries ago.

'Do not feel sorrowful or angry, my child. Long ago you were found, we had sent you off to school, and you learned quickly- too quickly. I was afraid they would take you away. Much to my relief, when they came, they promised not to. You were five, you met them, I could see you from around the corner, fascinated with the things they gave you, gauging your reactions.

'They left a special teacher for you, and android. Trying to explain to your siblings and cousins was difficult. Every day you came back from the school, the teacher would take you to the tree in the backyard
'He taught you of the stars and planets, but there was deeper meaning to this. They were training you to become the president. Your father taught you what he could, but trying to love you, and give you the freedom any child needs, and letting them teach you...You grew up too fast.

'Only eight years old, you and your friend were taken to the Untempered Schism. He chose the name 'the Master' and you chose yours, 'the Doctor'. The Master went insane, when I heard this I immediately feared for you- no one had ever looked into the Schism that young before. You were okay, you ran, but you were okay. You came back normal, so it seemed, but you had changed, a piece of you had been awakened. I knew you had changed.

'In the Academy, Anzor made fun of the Master, and you for being friends with him, when I heard what you had done, I was horrified. Horrified that you could do such a thing, and amazed when nobody did anything about it. You had never shown any signs of violence.

'You can out of the Looms normally, but no president is the same as when they were born, so they bathed you in regeneration energy, and controlled the results and you came out as you did, none the wiser.

'But I treated you gently, everyday you grew closer to becoming President, but just as well, further and further from your trust of the Council, of Gallifrey as a whole. You would watch the hermit who lived outside, dismantling the robot teacher. I thought you were still running from the Schism, so did you, but you weren't, you had been inspired whether you knew it or not. Inspired, but depressed.

'One day you just didn't come home, you'd walked down the hill to fight the Council, and never turned back. By then you were nearly 80, just out of your youth. So many years, just the same, never changing. I could think of so many reasons of why you'd left. Glospin's taunts, Anzor's bullying, and the Council... What they've done I'll never forgive myself...


'You rebelled against their plans- you refused to be a pawn, to be the President, refused to be their puppet. And that had infuriated them, they exiled you for years, not to mention you stole a TARDIS.

'We never saw you again... Your brother comforted me,but I never stopped missing you.

'You returned when I was on my death bed, just making it to hold my hand as I breathed out my last breath. But I was relieved, I thought they had killed you, but they didn't. Even now, I know I'm long gone, before any of them... We're all gone. But now you have to keep going, the universe has made it this far.

'And, Theta, thank you.'

Her voice faded as the images ebbed away, but the reassuring feeling she gave stayed.

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Chapter 7: Chapter 7: Cold Blooded

Author's Notes: The Doctor feels for the first time since the Time War, and Theta feels the effects of regeneration.

"Doctor?" Theta slowly asked. He blinked, then turned to face her. His eyes were red, his cheeks were wet, and his forehead was wrinkled.

"I never knew, I've only just remembered my nickname was Theta Sigma at the Academy," he said, clearing his throat.

"If you chose that name, the Doctor, then what is your real name?" she asked.

"My name is ------" he answered, rolling off liquid syllables, though no vowel could be heard. Theta didn't look surprised.

"I've never told anyone, but they wouldn't know how to pronounce it," he said, swatting away the wetness that covered his face.

"They're gone because of the war?" she asked gently, sensitive to his emotional state.

"Yes..." he sighed. "That's what has happened to all of them. But because you're here, I know it's over." He smiled and shook her shoulder. She leaned forward and kissed his cheek, then got up to leave. As she reached the door he called her name.

"Where are you going?" he asked.

"The galley, aren't you hungry?" she said, waving her fingers at him. His stomach answered her before he did with a displeased growl.

"I think that means yes." He chuckled, and took her hand, leading her to the simple room.

They walked in silence, neither one sure of what to say or do. The Doctor pulled her out a chair and instructed her to sit down.

"I think I could cook, I still remember that," she fussed.

"Oh no, I am not having you burning your delicate fingers on the stove," he replied.

"So I get to sit here and watch your bum?" she teased.

He turned his head to look at her over his shoulder, then wiggled his hips, causing them both to crack up.

Soon he sat down with two sandwiches that looked like the alien equivalent of a tavern dip au jus. He brought their plates and sat down across from her. As they ate, they conversed about simple things, the mood lightened and soon, the Doctor wasn't brooding.

"Don't be worried- it's the same thing I feel after regenerating, only I have my memories... Usually. Who am I? What do I like? What am I like? It's always similar."

"So, what do I do?" Theta asked.

"Give it some time, it only takes a little experimenting and adventuring to find the answers. We could start anytime." The Doctor finished off his sandwich in a large chunk that filled his cheeks and rounded his face.

"Somehow I don't feel ready, even the TARDIS is an adventure!" she exclaimed.

"Tell me about it..." he grumbled quietly, but the TARDIS still flicker her lights in warning.

"At least I can help you, your not human, ugh!" he grumbled yet again, this time Theta sent a warning.

"Can't you relish something that reminds you of yourself?" she argued.

"It hurts to remember," he stated plainly.

"Sometimes it's a good hurt," she said, taking his hand.

The Doctor pulled her up from her chair into a tight hug, and she lay her head on his strong chest, feeling the steady rise and fall, and listening to the thud-thud-thumping of his twin hearts. Unwrapping his arms from around her, he took her hand and lead her to a different bedroom.

"This is my bedroom," he stated, and led her in.

The room was breathtaking, black glass walls with Circular Gallifreyan inscribed in gold, blue floors of crystal tile, a midnight blue rug of velvet on the upper level where the bed resided. The bed was a king, four posts of a deep mahogany frame. Black sheets were concealed by layers of deep blue organza and two layers of black lace, white lilies grew up the posts and were woven above into the canopy of cascading fabrics.

"It's beautiful!"Theta gasped. Her eyes met his briefly, when he pulled to sit down next to him on the edge of the bed. He had thrown his coat onto a rack and pulled a small chest by the bed, the key in his hand.

"Do you want to spend your life with me? Not because we're the last, but because we can?" he asked her, uncertainty in his eyes, he was asking of a simple, small commitment from her, a relationship, but they were far from anything normal.

"Why would I want anyone else if I can have you?" she said sincerely.

"Well, for a starters, I've committed genocide on two species and killed thousands of others-" he said, until Theta slapped her hand over his mouth.

"You are brave, gentle, loving, caring, friendly, courageous, adventurous, and so much more. Why wouldn't I want that?" again asking questions.

He smiled back at her, and took her face in his hands.

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Chapter 8: Chapter 8: Fear and Love

Author's Notes: WARNING: graphic violence and horror; Theta sees the The Last Great Time War for herself, and the Doctor fears for her life.

He just sat there, stroking her cheek. He was so lonely, and she would never understand how good this felt, company. He never wanted it to end, the TARDIS lowered the lights, and he thought of the girl who sat here now, with him.

She had come from him, but had nothing, he was everything to her, as she held her arms around his neck. He planted a kiss on her forehead, then lifted her chin.

"I have something for you," he said, walked to a chest and retrieved the key, unlocking it.

She could hear metal shifting around, clanging slightly. He pulled out a long, silver chain, from which hung a pendant of his signature, and in the centers were blue sapphires the color of his eyes. He returned and slipped the long necklace over her head, then sat back down, watching her finger it.

"It's like a friendship bracelet in some cultures. More than friends, but not engaged." He smiled, trying not to ramble in his nervousness. He was afraid of rejection.

She looked up at him, then smiled, pulling him into a close hug. He didn't remember it happening, but their lips met in a sweet, chaste kiss. He was excited and surprised, which caused him to let his guard down, and his mind brushed against hers. Unguarded, the memories poured like a fountain into her head, trapping her somewhere between the world of the living and the dream world.

It burned, fire cackled in the background, torturous screams echoed through the rubble. Limbs severed from their owners were strewn about the once peaceful fields. A Cyberman marched through, claiming his prize, a herd of Gallifreyan children. They were torn limb from limb, some regenerated and some did not. Their blood was harvested like milk from a cow,and the bodies disorderly thrown from high walls breaking and shattering further.

Women cried over their husbands' battered bodies, unable to care for their children. Cut and shriveling, their lips cracked in the heat of summer, and the water had long since gone dry. The Schism roared through time and space.

Daleks were heard threatening, bodies were dishonored, sliced to be turned into more Daleks. Occasionally a Dalek shot was heard to echo off of a Cyberman, who crumpled, a burnt, charred mass of wire and bio material. Flesh of survivors was flayed off, slowly, hearts were ripped out, depriving them of the respiratory bypass. Drowning on land or starving, as they sagged against poles that held them under the twin suns. The Council buildings were in ruins, cloth was fluttering in the breeze, torn to shreds. Hair was caught on burning branches, and whips dug into the skin of those unfortunate enough to not die by Dalek. Death was never a good option, and regeneration wasn't much better.

She clamped her hands over her ears as the screams bombarded her, one after another, sub- and super-sonic cries rattling her bones. Her muscles spasmed and contracted, forcing her to fall to her knees, clutching her stomach as she retched from the sheer smell of blood and death. She could see and heard his fury and self-loathing, all around her. She could feel she was being approached, but she didn't care, she just wanted it all to stop. She felt his reassuring arms go around her waist, and pull her from the wreckage. He scooped her up a d carried her out of the war zone, it felt like days that she stayed folded in on herself, held in his arms. Slowly he set her down in a calm meadow, she was asleep, but not awake on the other side. He spooned up next to her, and rocked her further into sleep and relaxation, humming an old Gallifreyan lullaby.

He cried, and the tears burnt on his skin, on the other side he clawed at his own skin, furious with himself, the TARDIS tried to comfort him but he only shut her out. Theta trembled in his arms, shaking violently, soft cries fell from her lips, and what hurt him the most, was the blood that trickled down her chin from where she bit her lip through.

Drums were growing closer, a war beat, even in the meadow, he couldn't get far enough away. He shook her awake in the dreamworld, and tried to lead her away, but every time she stood, she crumbled. Her mind was being severed, burnt, then cauterized. She cried, tears rolled down her cheeks in front of him, underneath him. He stooped to pick her up, but she flailed,screaming, and awoke on the other side to the sound of his breaking voice as he sung to himself, unaware of her waking. He had a good voice, she thought, and clutched to his shirt.

She was in the fetal position, a tight ball, and he was balled up around her. Her face buried in his chest, his legs underneath and behind her, his arms flayed across her back. She soothed at the rumbling his chest was making, vibrating her into peacefulness. When she went still and quiet, he pushed back, her eyes closed. He cursed himself and feared the worst, when she whimpered, and slowly, weakly lifted her lids, he pulled her closer than before, which was previously thought impossible.

"You saved far more lives than you ever will take," she croaked out.

"You're safe, you're okay, thank Rassilon!" the Doctor cried. "No, don't thank him."

They comforted each other, when he began to apologize she interrupted him with a simple kiss.

"I don't even want to hear about it. It was just too..." She looked away.

She hadn't blamed him, it just was. She had seen it, she was there, it was too familiar, too horrible to forget.

"I'm sorry...really I am...I...I..." he couldn't keep it in anymore.

He felt it all pinpointing on him like it never had before, usually he could get through, but it was all falling at once. The girl, his mother's story, he flashback, and now this.

"I need a shower," he said, but she had fallen asleep in her exhaustion.

"Oh Theta..." he sighed, brushing her hair out of her face,and got up, pacing around the room. But he was loathe to leave her, asking the TARDIS questions, and constantly checking her temperature.

She seemed to calm down the further into sleep she got, but that didn't stop him from worrying.

Stupid Time Lord!

He admonished himself, smacking his wrists to his head, staring up, pacing in circles, until he could no longer stand it. He lay down beside her and spooned up against her back, wrapping his arms protectively and possessively around her.

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Chapter 9: Chapter 9: The Sound of Drums

Author's Notes: Theta survives, but new repercussions affect them all, and the Doctor fears himself.

"My head!" Theta moaned, rolling closer to the Doctor. He couldn't bear to leave her in her fragile state, especially since he caused it.

"Theta..." he said to her softly, wrapping his arms around her, looking into her eyes as she gazed up into his.

"Drums, they're in my head..." she said again.

"You're not alone, know that. You're not alone," he began to reassure her once more, gripping here shoulders.

"I'm scared," she said, and she meant it, which frightened him.

Suddenly the Doctor forced his way into her mind, and his mental walls were up higher, and stronger, than ever. He had to fix the damage that was done to her psyche, the extent terrorized him. He left reassurances for her and promises, like she did so many others. He searched out the Rift and set it in a dormant part of her mind. It would never leave, it was a part of her like the rest of the universe, like it was to everyone who looked into it. But let into her mind too soon, and it would kill her. She had no past, and an unscripted future even he couldn't see.

"You can be whoever you want, you have no history, and no future that can be predicted. Theta, you, you...are fantastic!" the Doctor told her over a breakfast of bacon and eggs.

"I can be whoever I like..." She thought about it,"but whatever I do, I do with you." She pointed her spoon at him.

"You know what?" he asked her, jumping up and wheeling around to her.

"What?" Theta looked up at him.

"You need a sonic screwdriver!" He patted her shoulders, then ran off.

She walked in on him pressing buttons and smashing circuits with a rubber mallet.

"Don't you know how to work a TARDIS properly?" she asked him.

"Nope!" he replied cheerily, but she saw past his mask.

"How about a manual? They do come with manuals, right?" she asked skeptically.

"Threw that in a supernova!" he exclaimed.

"Why?!" she asked.

"I didn't agree with it," he said matter- of - factly.

"How is that a good answer?" Theta questioned, but he simply smiled and didn't answer.

"Oh well, our children won't come with manuals, now will they?" She smirked.

That caught his attention, he smile and ran over, twirling her up in his arms.

"When does that start?" he asked her, laughing and waggling his eyebrows.

He ran down the halls in a caveman-like lope, dragging her along behind him. As they reached the door, he leaned down, pinning her against the wall, and met her halfway so she could pull out if she didn't want to do this. She placed her hand on his neck, pulling him towards her.

'How vulnerable he seems without the jacket,' she thought, and led him to kiss her. He walked her back to the bed, leaning her down, but he went very gingerly. Being cautious and worried at hurting or scaring her further. He leaned in to kiss her again, but he saw it there, the Void, floating through her head, and though he knew it was safe, restrained, it still worried him that it could get past his blocks.

"What are they doing to you?" he asked, worry in his voice.

"Helping," she told him. "I know it worries you, because of him, the Master, but I promise you it means no harm, it's fading, doing its job and leaving." She kissed each of his cheeks, and shifted beside him.

"But why? Where is it from?" the Doctor said.

"My mother, the universe," she said this, and the Doctor had his 'aha!'moment, seeing the obvious answer that he kept overlooking. He really did that too often.

"The universes' cry, Theta Sigma, your heartbeats span the length of all time, your love stretches to touch every star in the skies!" he exclaimed, rolling over and pulling her on top of him.

"You are fantastic," he whispered into her ear.

They laughed and relaxed for the first time. The Doctor told her old jokes, explained why the TARDIS was bigger on the inside, how sonic screwdrivers worked, and as they tired, his favourite story as a child, Moxx in Socks. Theta fell asleep halfway through, and the Doctor found himself yawning and stretching beside her stilling body.

He was reluctant to leave her, but he knew if he lay there, he would fall asleep, and he never had much luck with sleep. Nightmares and flashbacks haunted him, so he tried to stay awake as long as he could, despite the TARDIS' advising him otherwise.

He sauntered into the bathroom, turning on the shower. Pulling back a deep blue, velvet curtain revealing a mirror, he winced as he saw himself. Staring, almost angrily, at his sharp features. He rubbed his close cut, dark brown hair, his eyes tracing the outline of his angular face, and tugged on large ears. But he was keen to avoid his eyes.

His jacket and belt dropped to the floor, the red jumper soon after. His chest was muscular, collarbone jutting out, his arms were long and lanky, he was stronger than he looked. His hands were large, thin and bony, but calloused and firm. Long fingers unbuttoned his jeans and tugged them down. His legs made up most of his height, he had the build of a runner with his life. Lean, firm, and hairless legs, chest, stomach and face. Then the boxer-briefs fell to the floor, he stood fully naked in front of the mirror, scrutinising what he saw.

He followed every contour, every muscle, and line, from his large, flat feet, long legs, slim torso, muscular shoulders, lean arms, rigid neck, to angular face. He held his breath, and met his eyes hoping he wouldn't be haunted with their faces and voices, like every other time. As he met them, the searing pain came back, and he wrenched his face away, clasping his hands firmly over them. He ran into the shower, letting the cool water run down his face, in his open mouth, and across his open eyes. But even as he turned the heat up as far as the TARDIS would let him, he couldn't get clean,couldn't shake the slimy feeling. Or the hands that were so feverishly grabbing at his skin, trying to claw their way into him.

His whole body shook violently, as he collapsed, curled up into the foetal position, with the water running around him. Tears streamed down his face, he struggled to wipe them away, fighting for consciousness.

"Damn..." he muttered, could barely even whisper. Fighting for breath, as his body racked with coughs. He slipped into the darkness, fighting to stay awake, but too much was against him.

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Chapter 10: Chapter 10: Nightmares

Author's Notes: The Doctors admits how long he has quarantined himself, and Theta sees first hand the effects of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).

Theta woke up to loud cries and whimpers, and the sound of water running. She rubbed her eyes and walked through the doorway, she knelt beside the pile of his clothing. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw his hand limp, on the floor, hidden by the curtain. Throwing off her own jacket, she ran barefoot, and pulled back the curtain. She grabbed his arm and shook him, but he didn't respond.

Quickly she turned the water off and went in, trying to move him, but failing. She finally sat down, her back in the corner, and pulled his head and shoulders into her lap. She stroked his face, and at his whimper, asked, "What's wrong?" But all he could do was flutter his eyelids.

Repositioning him, she felt his sides, and his head rested on her chest. Finally, he looked up at her, sullenly, but turned his head and smiled. He glanced down, and embarrassedly crossed his legs and twisted his pelvis, lying on his side now. Theta lay the back of her hand across his cheek, then helped him scoot up the wall to sit next to her.

"What's wrong? What happened?" she asked, grabbing a hold of his hand.

"I saw them burn...burn because of me," he said, looking at her intensely, as a tear trickled down his angular face.

But instead of protesting his anger, or sadness, Theta simply hugged him. She could feel the depressive energy dissipate as he hugged her back, kissing her cheek. Completely fading soon after. He slowly regained his strength, and after three tries, he was up and stumbling to the bed.

Theta lay the now folded clothing by the door, and sat on the bed beside the prone Doctor, who was breathing heavily. She grazed his jaw and neck with the back of her hand, then lay down beside him. He barely opened his eyes to look at her and smiled, at which she smiled back. She put her hands on his face and softly kissed him. The light in the room softened, and the Doctor put his hands put his hands on Theta's back. The kiss was slow, sweet, sensual, not rushed, and not random or forced. Natural.

Slowly Theta was healing the Doctor's broken hearts, he realized that now, and he didn't just want to be with her because she was the last, but because she made him better.

He smiled against her lips and pulled back, "It's been too long," he said, "too long since I've loved someone like I do you." he rubbed her cheek. He pulled his hand back to his stomach and grunted, frowning.

"What?" Theta asked.

"I want a banana," he said.

"A banana?" she asked.

"Bananas are good," he answered without the usual Doctor vigour, and Theta got up, soon returning with a banana.

The Doctor tried to take it, but was still too weak, so Theta sat there and fed him, rubbing his throat, trying to coax the muscles to swallow. After that she curled up with him, and lay still while he slept. She lay her head against his chest, listening to his heartsbeats, then kissed the centre between the two hearts, and got up.

She walked along the corridors of the TARDIS, dripping water all along the way. They were all a warm brown, with the same roundel lights as in the control room. She got lost a few times, but eventually made her way back after retrieving some books, from a pool, a garden, the galley, two closets, two staircases, and finally the library.

"How does he find his way around here?" she asked, astonished at the long walk.

She plopped back down on the bed and was well engrossed in Shakespeare's plays, when the Doctor woke up.

"Boo!" he yelled, grabbing her sides and tickling her.

"Feeling better?" she asked as they both recovered. He smiled and laughed, nodding.

"So what exactly happened?" she asked, worried again.

"Basically a nightmare, or flashback. Post traumatic stress has a profound effect on humanoids, other species could care less," he answered.

"Not too much I can do about that, huh?" she replied.

"What you did was great, it makes it easier, not being alone," he said, pulling her close, his chin resting on her head.

"How long have you been alone?" Theta asked.

"Hard to say with the non-linear travel, but about 40 years," he answered.

"You did that to yourself?" She was astonished.

"Guess I'm not always right," he said, chuckling softly.

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Chapter 11: Chapter 11: Getting Out

Author's Notes: Theta finally conquers the TARDIS and decide to go somewhere... Midnight.

"Okay, I think I'm ready to go somewhere," Theta said to the Doctor, who was at the control panel, hitting circuits with his rubber mallet.

It had been a few more weeks, they had gotten past their initial shocks, and she had learned the layout of the TARDIS well enough, given that it was constantly moving.The Doctor was about to press a yellow button, when Theta interrupted,

"Not that one."

He pointed to a blue one, she nodded 'no'. When he pointed to a green nob, she nodded her head, smiling. He pressed it, smiling that what he wanted, had happened immediately, then wrinkled his brow.

"How do you know?" he asked her, genuinely confused.

"Manual... Every TARDIS model's manual," she said, and took a bite of banana, wrinkling her upwardly curved nose. She held the banana out to him.

"What?" he asked, looking at her, then the banana, and back to her.

" Bananas.. no, they're not... my thing," she said.

He shrugged, then took it, and ate it in two bites.

"Good," he said, flipping through the manual, and threw the peel over his shoulder.

Theta stifled a laugh and turned the book to the pages on type 40 TARDISes.

"Oh, I see," he said, nodding, then snapped the book shut, having read it in only a few seconds. Theta gave him a funny look.

"What?" he asked.

"You're not going to throw this one into a supernova too?" she said, smiling wryly.

Bouncing over to the console, the Doctor flipped a few switches, turned knobs, pushed buttons, and pumped the bicycle pump, and the TARDIS sprung to life, lurching forward. The Doctor clung to the edge of the console, bracing himself along the still bumpy ride, there was only one of him.

"Where are we going?" she asked, dusting herself off after the TARDIS stopped lurching, as she had fallen to the floor.

"Go and see," he said, patting the controls on his way out, letting Theta lead the way.

Outside was a harsh, crystal blue sky, and cliffs of diamond, bathed in Xtonic light.

"Welcome, to the planet Midnight," the Doctor said. "Just be careful not to go beyond the air field, the Xtonic light would kill you."

He put his arm around her protectively, remembering all the times his companions had wandered off deliberately, when he had told them not to. Something was wrong here, he felt like he was being watched, and pulled Theta a little closer.

"I think we should go," he said, trying to pull her back inside the TARDIS.

"Wait!" she said, as she spotted the dark, shadowy being.

It began to approach, and the Doctor shifted on his feet, "Theta," he insisted.

Theta raised one hand in the air, the humanoid shape copied. Then her other hand, it followed whatever she did, from turning her face, to waving her arms. Then Theta gave a shocked, then excited look on her face.

"What?" the Doctor asked.

"It's- she's telepathic!" Theta exclaimed.

The shroud faded somewhat on her face, which was the same crystal blue, sparkling, with deep black eyes.

"Living crystal." the Doctor said, still wavering.

'You're beautiful.' Theta told the creature telepathically. The Doctor shared this conversation in his head with them, also.

'How are you surviving?' the Doctor asked, 'Midnight has no atmosphere, and its sun's rays would kill you.'

'I am rock in animation, living crystal. I am one of few who has fled here when Atlantis collapsed long ago,' it told. 'My cloak filters light so I can survive, as I am like a plant, getting my energy from the sun, and nutrients from the soil.'

'Are you lonely?' Theta asked.

'Very much so. My husband has left to travel, to seek more prosperous land, but I cannot leave until the children have grown.' she answered, motioning to a cave not too far off. 'Thank you, for keeping me company, and though I wish I could know more, I have to get back to the children.'

"That was fantastic!" the Doctor cried.

"Yes, yes it was," Theta said, and leaned on his shoulder as they went back into the TARDIS.

In the galley, Theta sat at the table, pushing her food around on the plate with her fork in one hand, her chin propped on the other. She sighed, and the Doctor looked up from his tinkering.

"Something wrong?" he asked.

"She has children. The longer I stay, the more I am wanting this." She looked up at him and gazed longingly. He felt her emotions sky-rocket, and he moved to wrap his arms around her.

"I know, I know. But are you ready?" He looked down at her pleading eyes and smiled sympathetically, "I don't know exactly what'll happen since its been so long since Time Lords have reproduced sexually, we were practically asexual. There's bonding involved, and it takes a while, but I... I don't know."

"Book?" Theta offered up the book.

"Now why do I have this? Gallifreyan Sexuality 101. That is just embarrassing." He looked at the book and shrugged, "Why not?"

They flipped through, thankful it wasn't a picture book, and once done, the Doctor scuttled off to do maintenance.

'That's his usual way of getting away from something when he's scared, embarrassed, or both.' The TARDIS supplied to Theta.

"I thought you 'didn't do domestic'. You're always saying you had to tell companions not to make it domestic, I think children are about as domestic as it gets," she said plainly.

"It's different with your own, they'll be raised in the TARDIS. They'll know what to touch or not touch," he replied, sonic screwdriver in mouth.

The TARDIS announced Theta's sonic was ready, and he told her she could go get it. It was similar to his, only not as damaged. The body was slimmer, a silvery-black metal, and the light was a blue green, the same colour of the TARDIS engines.

Theta tossed it up in the air gently, feeling the weight of it. "Okay, mine has a blue-green light and is a little smaller than yours," she told him. She turned and walked towards the door to the rest of the TARDIS, stoping when the Doctor called her name.

"Where are you going?" he asked.

"Our bedroom," she replied simply, leaning against the doorframe.

The Doctor hopped up and ran around the control room where she couldn't see him, and picked her up off her feet playfully. He twirled around and she closed her eyes, revelling in the sensation of him. When he set her back down, they were in a room she had never seen, and it was breathtaking.

The sky burnt orange, and twin suns twinkled high above their heads. The mountains in the distance to the west, and forests of silver shone. The fields of red grass they stood on whispered in the winds, and lavender flowers were scattered along the edge, crystal clear water cut through, forging its way to the south. It appeared to go on forever. In the east were stone buildings with elegant stairs of marble, fountains, and floating pathways. But it was all empty, and seemed forgotten.

Words on the walls were scripted, circular, and powerful. Falls of red, gold, and orange fabric floated in the wind, like a living animal. Soft, puffy clouds floated by, and blue butterflies hopped from silver leaf to silver leaf. A crashing of waves in the distance beckoned, and Theta looked to the amazing man next to her. She caught his hand for balance, gasping when she saw the entirety of the room. His look was far off, and in remembrance, she could tell. She smiled a wane smile, and squeezed his hand.

He looked down to her, gazing upon the world in front of them. It went on farther than they could walk in a lifetime, and without her here, it would be too painful. She met his eyes, and smiled weakly, then turned and began to run. They ran, ran across the fields, not saying a word. Both happy, but still a little pain lingered. They slowed to a walk along the edge of the forest.

There were no animals, no birds to sing, no people to fill the buildings, no children to fill it with laughter. No one was left,they were all gone, and they were the only way to bring them back. He glanced down the uneven rows of trees, he remembered watching them burn and fall. He looked to the mountains, and remembered seeing them overtaken, one by one. His final departure from a cliff-face, and he witnessed the destruction of his planet.

But he also remembered his children, watching them growing up. Remembered laughing with the Master, before he went mad, and meeting Romana, and eventually Susan. This was why he loved Earth, the people had the same appearance, same attitude. They were curious, searched. He remembered meeting his TARDIS, and the glorious moments of telling-off the Council. He remembered his raven-haired mother, and light haired father, who loved each other and were compatible. And his family, oh that large family, of 64 cousins, and the laughter of the Prydonian chapter kids. They would pull complex pranks, like mis-matching the doors to rooms, and he remembered standing atop of it all, remembered how different, but the same he was, always was.

He chased Theta through the woods, laughing for the sake of laughter, running to feel free, leaving behind his worries and armour. He climbed up in the tree she sat in, only to lose track of her. He followed her laughter, finding her running along the banks of a river. He laughed like he never had before, his sides hurt from the rumbling, and cheeks from smiling. The TARDIS filled the room with music of Gallifrey, the violins, pipe organs, and vocals. It felt like an eternity in the blink of an eye, as they sat exhausted in the grass, watching the suns set.

The suns slowly crawled along the sky, and first one slipped under, like a child under the covers, and the sky went a brilliant purple. First one star twinkled, then the next, and as the second sun set, it went dark. Theta gasped as, after a few seconds, the sky flashed and the stars appeared full force. Out of the corner of the sky, a green-tailed comet grazed Alpha Centauri.

The Doctor folded his hands beneath his head, and Theta snuggled up close to him, hugging his chest, matching her breathing to the steady rise and fall of his own chest. He had never been happier, and he knew it was because of her.

"It's so beautiful," Theta said.

"It is, isn't it? It's the only piece of home I have left. It's yours now."

"Does it hurt to be in here?" she asked, furrowing her eyebrows, and looking up at his peaceful face.

"You don't know what you do to me. Everything is better, everything's fantastic! I used to hide inside my cracked armour, but you showed me I needed to get rid of it. And I did," he told her, stroking her hair, then kissing her forehead.

She shimmied up to be eye-level with him, and he pulled her close, into a beautiful kiss, the music a faded tune in the background. She pulled back, smiling, and watched the stars, glancing around her.

"How far does this go on?" She motioned to the fields and mountains, the forest and buildings.

"Even I don't know," he said joyfully, peacefully. "That's what Gallifreyan music sounds like." He waved a finger around in the air, "How I enjoyed music, nobody really thought it was important, but it's an expression of the soul."

"It's beautiful," Theta said, leaning her head on his shoulder, and he wrapped his arm around her.

They talked, words lightened the load on the Doctor's shoulders. It was no longer a burden to bear, and he felt he could let go, but he would always live with it, the memory, of who he was, and what he had done. But there was nothing he could do anymore, he had to accept it, and he just didn't care anymore. He had Theta, and a new life opened up to him. He was no longer the last.

"What happened to Anzor?" Theta asked cautiously.

"I... I killed him, he was the first. My first," he said, sadly.

She looked upset, like she was thinking, but he couldn't quite tell what.

"I was defending my friend," he said.

"I guess it's better to be protective, rather than careless." Theta smiled up at him.

"I know it was wrong, but I've only ever killed because I had to, and I would never take joy or pride in it." His thumb rubbed circles in her side, and he pulled her just a little closer.

"How did you choose your name?" she asked, after a long silence had passed.

"I was only eight when I looked into the Schism, and by doing so, I was accepted into the Academy. The Academy was a proper school, for those who would become Time Lords, not merely Gallifreyans. Time Lords have to have knowledge about timelines, fixed and static points, and traveling. TARDISes, and knowing when to stop those who meddled with time. And when not to. But that is one thing that got to me- having to just stand by. I had a strong sense of justice, still do.

"Once I came of age in the Academy, forty years old, I chose my name. I was the first to use it, the rest of the universe adopted it. It was a splice of Old High Gallifreyan and modern Gallifreyan words, that made the meaning I wanted: the man who makes better. People, time, and life- that's what I wanted, and it was a sort of defiance of the Council.

"I was in the Prydonian chapter of the Academy, and everyone there was notoriously devious, pranksters they were. Didn't always follow the rules. But we also learned more than the other chapters, quite competitive- Rassilon was of the Prydonian chapter. The colours were red, gold, and orange, and yes, I had to wear the ridiculous headdress and robes.

"When it was my turn to tell everyone my name, they were gathered in the auditorium. I was presented in the formal robes, and spoke my name, and the name given to me when I entered the Academy- Theta Sigma, it was kind of a joke referring to the spelling of my real name- and then spoke my chosen name, writing it in the space on the wall reserved for me, next to the Master, and below the Rani.

"Nobody said anything, it was normal for lots of cheering and cajoling when a name is chosen, but it went silent. Only the Prydonians know of the Other, and when I spoke my name, they all stood and bowed their heads in reverence to me. I didn't know what was going on, but I accepted the respect, as I did finish top of my class, and first in jiggery-pokery. Even the headmaster and Professor removed their headdresses, I was honoured, and didn't know what to say, I didn't understand. My naming ceremony was still spoken of in the Prydonian chapter before the war, I guess Rassilon took a disliking to me. That had never happened before."

"But what about Romana? Did she choose that name, or not choose a name? She regenerated, she was a Time Lady," Theta said.

"Romana ran away with me before her ceremony, we were both sick of Gallifrey's standards, and got along well. She told me if she had gotten to choose her name, she would have chosen the Roman, since it was close enough to her real name. She was younger than me, when we ran away, I was in my two hundreds, she was only one hundred thirty. For her chapter, one hundred fifty was the naming age."

Theta yawned, and so did he, so he stood up, pulling her with him, and led her back to the door. Which the TARDIS had thankfully moved closer. Their bedroom was only a few doors down, it had been a week since either had slept well, and three days since Midnight.

Theta sat down on the bed, her muscles spasming like they had for the past few days, and she struggled to pull off her shoes with all the shaking. The Doctor helped her, seeing she needed it, and said,"I'll have to check on that sometime, not sure it's normal."

He took off her jacket, socks, and let her curl up, joining her after he got undressed. They lay shoulder to shoulder, and she lay her head over his hearts. He kissed the top off her head once she drifted, content with the day, and fell asleep, having the most peaceful sleep since regenerating.

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Chapter 12: Chapter 12: Sunny Mornings

Author's Notes: Could anyone guess what would happen after Midnight? Theta feels like this is all her fault, but the TARDIS gives some helpful insight.

The Doctor was still asleep in their bed when Theta woke up. He looked so peaceful, he was much younger that way, when he didn't scowl so often. She remembered the previous day, how he laughed. He really was happy, the TARDIS told her it had been nearly five decades since he had smiled like that, or laughed so much.

She was going to go back to the Gallifrey room, when the TARDIS caught her attention. Just down the hallway, there was a very aged door, upon which grew Gallifreyan lilies. They were pure white with midnight blue centres and yellow stamen, tipped in silver. She opened the door to find another long, skinny hall, but with niches in the wall. The hallway met the vanishing point before it appeared to end, and was all of white marble with Gallifreyan lilies in the latticework that was the upper border on the wall and made up the ceiling.

Each of the cubbies had a portrait painting, a sonic screwdriver, and one or two outfits. Theta didn't understand, or realise who they were, and she was a bit confused.

The first picture was of an old white haired man, the outfit a simple tuxedo, and the sonic a long, slim, silver tube with a golden light. Theta thought she recognized him, then decided he just had one of those faces.

The second was a middle aged man with dark brown hair, a coat, blue oxford, red kerchief, and blue plaid bow tie. The sonic was similar to the previous, but with stabilizing legs that retracted on the front. She thought he looked like working class man.

Thirdly, an older man with greying blond hair, a black suit, a frilled blue button down, red bow tie, and grey riding pants, with black boots, his sonic looked like an old fashioned microphone. He looked like he had wit and education.

The fourth was a young man with a mass of curly brown hair, and crooked teeth. His outfit was a navy trench coat, a striped vest, white Oxford, blue pants, and a ridiculous, multi colour scarf that draped three times around the neck and still dragged along the ground. The sonic here, again was similar to the previous, but now with a new paint job. She definitely recognised him, but from where?

Five: a young man, blonde hair, in a red and yellow cricket outfit, and a celery pinned to the lapel. No sonic screwdriver either. Odd.

The next had curly, red-brown hair, a smirk, and a crazy, patchwork-quilt suit. Instead of a sonic screwdriver, there was a black and red sonic lance, it looked weird, and unconventional. He looked like a nutter, and was, apparently, proud of it.

Seventh was an older, black haired man; a question mark vest, a straw hat, black suit, and a question mark umbrella were his sense of style. The sonic screwdriver here was a sleek version of the third's or fourth's. He looked like a detective to her.

The eight was handsome, long curly brown hair, and lovely Edwardian suit, and the sonic looked like a steampunk Edison bulb. She had never seen him, but he looked grieved.

The next niches were empty, and when Theta turned around, she jumped to see the Doctor standing behind her. His arms were folded, and he was hold a lily, playing with the six petals. He smiled expectantly.

"What is all of this?" she asked.

"I hoped you wouldn't find this..." he said.

"But what is it? Who are these people, and why do I recognize them?" she repeated.



"They're me, all of my forms."

She looked at him, very confused. He sighed, letting the hand with the lily fall to his side, taking one of her hands in his other hand. She smiled, then looked at him, then six, and back to him.

"Yeah, I know it's awful," he chuckled. He liked six, just didn't understand the clothing.

"Why didn't you want me to find this?" she asked, as he led her down the hall further, and turned to the other wall.

"I didn't want to remember, or you to be afraid. You don't look the same after regeneration, sometimes it goes completely wrong."

There was Romana's first body, she had curly raven hair, and a pointy face. Her nose looked sharp,and she had high cheekbones, and rosebud lips. A simple v necked white dress hung in the cubby, along with a red rose. Her second body looked more child-like, a snub nose, and a square chin, long, straight, dirty blond hair, and a white lace dress, with a matching grey and holly berry hat.

She was pleasant looking, until the third incarnation. She had sharp black hair, and unwelcome green eyes, she would have looked pleasant if she wasn't so hard, but she was still beautiful.

"She looked like my mother, before my naming ceremony. The majority of the time I knew my mother, she didn't look like this, though," he said.

Next, were men, the first looked of Spanish decent, black hair, and silvering beard. Then a sparkling, black crystal skeleton in a glittery black robe. Third looked like a younger version of the first with brown hair and blue eyes. Next, he had a mopey, wrinkled face, and slicked hair, and finally, an old man with white hair, and lots of wrinkles. In each of the past cubbies were a single red rose.

"That was the Master, even though he became an evil megalomaniac, I could never stop loving him," the Doctor explained. And touched the glass of Romana's and the Master's niches.

"And there's Susan," he said, not wanting to stop at the young girl's picture, she looked to be very young, with dark brown hair and a round face.

"How many are there?" Theta asked.

"There are no others besides these, the other cut-outs were just left if I ever met another Time Lord and traveled with them. Excepting the Master," he answered, still looking uneasy. He tucked the lily behind her ear gently, then grabbed her arms and pulled her against him gently, kissing her.

"I do still love you," she whispered into his ear, the smell of the flower mixing with her own sweet smell, like an ocean breeze, intoxicating him.

"Good," he said, and smiled."Let's get out of here."

He took her hand, and led her back down the hallway.

"So, being a Time Lord, or Lady, do I regenerate?" she asked.

"Not sure, probably not yet, since you haven't finished changing yet. But I don't want to find out anytime soon." He looked at his food and pushed it around, he wasn't really hungry.

"How come I didn't really recognise them well?" she said.

"Probably because your memories have faded since we all met, and they're paintings, not terribly accurate," the Doctor told her.

"This is true," she smirked.

"I have an idea!" he said, and jumped up, dragging her to the closet. "We're going swimming."

He threw pair after pair if swim trunks over his shoulder, not caring where they landed. The TARDIS grumbled. Theta looked through the racks, watching him watch her from the corner of her eye, he wasn't being subtle, either. There were tiny bikinis, and shiny fabrics, sequins, jewels, if you could think of it, it was probably somewhere within the racks.

She finally settled on a shiny, gold flecked army green one piece that was reminiscent of snakeskin. When she turned around, he was in navy and lemon yellow striped trunks, fiddling with his jacket until deciding to toss it in the pile. He looked up and smiled at her as she came out from behind the screen of woven bamboo in the halter-top suit. She turned around, holding her hair up and the strings out, he tied them and patted the bow flat, fluffing her hair on her shoulders. He took her hand and led her to yet another room, to which, the door was a light turquoise.

He turned the handle, and inside was a beach. The soft white sand felt like powder, and the crystal clear waters rolled in and out, crashing on the shore. Tropical trees and brightly coloured flowers lined the would be wall, leading to a forest where animals would've resided. The water was cool around her feet, splashing and lapping gently against her skin. She stood ankle deep in the water, turned and held her hand out to him.

Laughing they ran, hand in hand, diving into the waters, so full of colourful fish. Magentas, lime greens, lemon yellows, purples, navies, and turquoises, dancing around them in a flurry, like fireworks.

"It's like there are whole other worlds stolen into the TARDIS!" Theta cried, splashing the Doctor.

"Well, yes considering..." the Doctor trailed off.

"Considering what?"

"That it's a whole other world in a Time Lord's head," he looked to her, then splashed her back, catching her off guard. She squealed, and hugged closer to him. He was gazing at the horizon, then shook his head, like there was water in his ear, but he had a glazed look over his eyes.

"Doctor?" Theta snapped her fingers in front of his face.

"Huh?" he asked, eyes glued to the horizon.
"Are you okay?" She moved in front of him, blocking his view, and stroked the side of his face.

"Sorry...thinking." He shook his head, and looked a little sadder.

"Is something wrong?" she asked, following along behind him as he took huge strides deeper into the water.

"Yes... No! I don't know!?" he said, then clutched his head, and shook, veins popping out on his hands and temples, his jaw was clenched.

She tried to get him to talk, but he wouldn't, and just dove into the water, swimming down to the very deep bottom. She followed.

Just beneath the surface, her eyes clicked open as the lenses slid over them, and she saw the city of coral. The fish popped between the sharp rocks, and seaweed floated in masses. She swam after him, as he swam through the crevasses, and finally balled up, sitting on the bottom, hiding, a stray beam of light caught on his face. His eyes were empty, glazed over, and he was warring within himself, she could see.

She swam down to him, a trail of bubbles expelled from her nostrils, she floated in front of him, placing her fingers on his temples, pulling his forehead to hers. She saw him there, surrounded by darkness, and he sent her a bright blue wave of warning, she sent her own colours of comfort, and pulled away from his mind. She took his arms, and pulled the quickly going limp body to the surface.

He was hardly kicking, his eyelids fluttering, bubbles of air escaping his lungs. He was turning a sickly, pale yellow colour, and fought for control, with whatever it was. As the sand contacted their skin, he coughed up water and air, and tremors ran through his body.

"Doctor!" Theta knelt, doubled over, beside him. She searched his face for clues, but none appeared, and his eyes squinted shut.

"My head, in my head," he struggled to say, concentrating with difficulty.

"What do I do?" she asked.

"Infirmary." That was all he had to utter and she had hauled him up, straddling his arm over her shoulder, pulling him to his feet, and helping him stumble to the nearby door.

'Thank you,' she told the ship, in a mental prayer.

He fell face first onto the bed, collapsing rapidly, and Theta had to work quickly to turn him over before he became completely dead weight. His breathing was laboured and his body was wracked with pains, his arms shook violently as he grabbed her hand and pulled it to his lips. He mouthed a word or two, which she couldn't make out, but decided to stay with him.

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Chapter 13: Chapter 13: Dandelions

Author's Notes: The TARDIS takes on a motherly roll towards Theta, and finally Theta gets in the head of the Doctor.

The TARDIS flew them out of their orbit of Midnight, and into the Vortex, where the Doctor would be safest, she knew. She did not know what was trying to get to him, why, or how, all she knew was that it wasn't good.

"You'll alert me if he needs me?" Theta said, not asking a question.

'Of course,' the TARDIS responded.

"Goodnight," she said, stroking his hair back. His breathing was uneven, his heartsbeat racing, and his eyes fluttered every now and then. She kissed his forehead, and sat back down on a stool the TARDIS had provided. She moved to hold his hand, finding they were bleeding from how hard he was clenching his fists, little, red crescents decorating his hand.

As Theta wrapped the Doctor's hands, the TARDIS was panicking, as something was interfering with the connection between her and her Time Lord. Perhaps not malevolent, perhaps clueless, but nonetheless, it wasn't supposed to be there.

'As soon as I get here, he gets hurt!' Theta thought to herself, angry, and worried. The TARDIS hummed reassuringly.

'Do you love him?' Theta asked the TARDIS.

'Of course. He can be...frustrating, but I imagine if I was humanoid, I would show love for him. He has never once left me broken. He is attentive, but impatient.' she answered.

'Does he just like the blue police box, or are you stuck?' Theta asked, with a friendly laugh.

'Oh, that. My chameleon circuit broke when we were in London in the 1960's, in his first incarnation...720 years ago. He's looked for replacements, but never found any. We have both grown fond of it though." The ship liked to have someone to talk to, since the Doctor usually shrugged her off.

'Do you know what's wrong with him?' Theta asked.

'The being from Midnight is reaching out, trying to take over his mind. It's curious, but not very smart. His mental blocks slammed down inside his head, and cut off all communications other than what you can physically see. It's trapped us out, and him and the being in,' the TARDIS answered in a worried tone.

'Why did it go after him? Surely he's stronger than me,' Theta said.

'Female to female connections are more difficult, with what she's trying to do. Especially since you've never officially bonded to anyone mentally,' the TARDIS said.

'But I am capable of telepathy, I had a telepathic conversation with her, too,' Theta said, confused.

'That may be true, but when you bond mentally, it opens up a part of your mind to become a port for thoughts and emotions. The port in your head is still closed off, thus only beings who are present with you, at any given time, can communicate with you.

'He has bonded before, with his granddaughter Susan, Romana, and myself. The ports in his head are much more vulnerable than yours because they have experience. They're looking for telepathic conversations, reaching out for other minds,' the TARDIS said. 'Not only that, but you share DNA with me since we came from the same planet, initially.'

'I share DNA with you?' Theta asked.

'You share DNA with a dandelion.'

'So... You're bonded with him. What do I need to do to help him, can you tell?' Theta asked.

'The best I can tell, or rather, guess, is let your mind wander. When you're asleep it'll be easier to connect with him, since you'll be relaxed. When you're relaxed, the port will open, somewhat. I cannot guarantee this.' TheTARDIS spoke softly to Theta in her head, trying to calm the girl.

Hours passed by that Theta wracked her mind, trying to focus on nothing, letting her mind wander, but it always wandered into trouble, and then finally....

'Theta!' She heard him call. 'Theta!'

'Doctor! What is it, where are you?' she asked, she saw a vast field surrounding her in her subconscious, but it was not of her own doing. She saw from the dark sky, that the Doctor was scared, or rather, protective.

'Go to the North,' he guided her, 'I'll meet you there.'

Theta looked around, seeing a single, blue sun rising up in the east.

'The sun rises in the east and sets in the west,' Theta thought to herself, and turned, running as fast as she could. Her legs pumped furiously, and her feet pounded the ground, her hair whipped in the wind, and she focused her eyes straight ahead.

As she became tired, running for what felt like days in the infinite mind of the Doctor, she came upon the TARDIS. Theta was so glad, she traced the wooden panels with her hand, and pressed her forehead upon its walls. The TARDIS hummed in delight, and the Doctor stepped out.

"Theta!" he cried, and scooped her up in his arms.

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Chapter 14: Chapter 14: Falling

Author's Notes: The Doctor and Theta discuss how to get the monster out, but instead begin arguing, and things turn dark.

All day, as far as Theta could tell, the Doctor told her of the being in his head. How he hated feeling vulnerable, not how much he admired the being. He said it had been investigating his memories, and he thought it was looking for something.

"We'll, if that is the case, why not just let it finish and be on its way?" Theta asked.

"That would take too long. Theta , I have over 900 years of memories, the thing would die before it got through them all. I've seen...a lot," he answered.

"Okay, not an option," Theta hummed in thought now. "I have no idea! I have no experience, I'm useless!"

"No, Theta, you're not useless. If anything, you're the only one I have right now, because the TARDIS is trapped out," he told her.

"So... What do I do?" she asked.

"I have a plan!" the Doctor exclaimed, and began plotting it out.

"The brain has a map, just like land does. Currently, we're stuck in the temporal lobe, sight region to be exact. We cannot accomplish anything here, so we need to get to the region of the brain where telepathy occurs- the frontal lobe. But to do so, we need to cross emotional memory and motor functions. I don't exactly know how we will be affected..." he trailed off.

"So you're saying..?"

"We might run into painful memories and situations."

"Fun," she replied sarcastically.

"Not really," the Doctor answered, and crossed his jaw in thought.

"So we're down here," Theta pointed to a small section of the brain the Doctor had drawn in the dirt, "and we need to get here."

She drew a line, and the Doctor nodded and sighed.

"Is something wrong?" Theta asked.

"Yes, you're going to experience the Time War again. But this time you'll really experience it, it won't be like you're a ghost. You won't be physically harmed, but you might feel pain, and be mentally scarred despite the barriers I put up in your head," he said sadly.

"But can't you put up your barriers?" Theta replied.

"No, with the Midnight being in my head, it's disabled all of my telepathic abilities, it's taking over that region of my brain."

"Sounds terrifying."

"It is. But that's not the point, the point is that I can't protect you, and that petrifies me," he said, and refused to look at her face. "I don't want you to get hurt, I'm afraid that it'll release the blocks in your head, and I've just now gotten you, it would kill me if I lost you now."

"I won't let that happen, if I come from the universe, if the universe is my mother, it won't hurt me," Theta said.

"How can you know, as much as I have tried to help the universe, another thing comes my way, to look at me like I'm the bad guy, to try and kill everything good. It's broken me, and I'm a tough, grizzled old man. I am the bad guy, and I can't see why you love me or chose me, I've committed two genocides, I've killed billions, and I still am. The delta wave is echoing through the universe, killing how many more. I am the Oncoming Storm, Destroyer of Worlds, I'm a warrior, I'm a killer-"

"Doctor, stop!" Theta screamed, as he drove himself further into his depression. "How many lives have you saved? How many times have you saved the universe? Without you, there would be no universe! Everyone who is alive, will be, and has been, would be dead, nonexistent. Comparing to the number of lives you've saved, the lives you've taken is infinitesimally small! If you give up now, and choose to believe what they would have you believe, then there is no point to anything you've done up to this point. I would rather walk away now than live with you in this state, because you are my life! When you choose to hurt yourself, you hurt me! It kills me inside! I can feel it, don't even think that you're doing what needs to be done and you're getting what you deserve, because you're lying to yourself!" she screamed, her voice cracked,and tears began streaming down her face. And it killed him, he was kicking himself, because he'd done it again, but this time it was all because of what he'd done.

Theta stormed away, about ten feet, enough, but she was still able to still see him. She sat down, wiped her face, and looked up at the sky as it began to rain. The wind was picking up, and the trees began to close in on them as they sat in the field, and all colours began to drain out. She sat with her knees drawn up underneath her chin, and she could see him standby stiffly, his back to her. His hands were balled up in fists, and she still couldn't believe that they'd fought. Here she was, trying to help him, trying to get this beast out of his head, but she didn't want to leave. She was regretting what she said right about then, and knocked her forehead against her knuckles, balled up on her knees. The silence was taken over by the ominous howling of wind, and she rubbed her eyes tightly, wiping away the last residue of tears.

"Don't blame yourself," he said to her in a whisper, "it's my fault, it usually is. For such a smart man, and as much as I look down on them, the humans, on earth. As much as I call them stupid apes, I'm more stupid than them. I have so much knowledge, yet I refuse to use it." He looked up at the sky, his short locks dancing on top of his head. His blue eyes mirrored the clouds, and he winced at the loud clap of thunder.

"Doctor," Theta called to him, feeling like a small child. She was scared as he turned around stiffly, only to see his war lorn face more hollow, sad, more destitute than before, and he smiled wanly at her. He saw her fear, more angry at himself for making her that way, how she balled herself up so small, and hid her face. Cautiously, he walked to her, relaxing his own body, attempting to appear as unthreatening as possible. He crouched down next to her, frowning when he saw the necklace he had given her in her hand, swinging like a pendulum.

"I'm sorry," he said, rubbing her back tenderly, "I forget sometimes, how ignorant I am."

"No, I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said what I did," she said, furrowing her brow. He didn't like the look of worry on her face.

He was about to say something, when the rain began pelting down harder than the previous sprinkling. The tears on her face now mingled with the fresh water from the sky. Lightning crackled between the clouds, then suddenly, a huge burst hit only ten feet away, and the field began burning, despite the rain.

"Run!" the Doctor yelled, pushing Theta up on her feet, and leaping up to follow her as she made a beeline for the mouth of the field.

She ran, looking back to see if he was there, but she never saw him, and pressed on harder, not matter how afraid she was that she wouldn't be able to find him. The trees became more and more monstrous, their branches like claws reaching out, scraping her face. She leapt over a fallen tree, and ran as hard as she could, her heart in her throat, sticky sweat covering her. Goosebumps ran up her arms, and she shivered, her shirt was getting caught and torn on branches, and she was nearly wrapped up in a pricker vine. Her eyes were locked straight ahead, and she could hear growls from all around her. The light was dimming, and she turned to look back, seeing him there. But it was too late, when she looked back ahead as a crevasse lay ahead of her, and she ducked, rolling down the steep hill.

"Theta!" he yelled, and he could hear the leaves crunch as she went further and further away from him, faster and faster, then- nothing.

He screeched to a halt at the edge of the ridge, looking to see if he could see her, but the darkness swallowed her up whole, and only Rassilon knew where the bottom was, and when she would reach. A soft, startled whisper hit his ears as he closed his eyes and focused. He could hear her breathing, and took a leap of faith. The steep walls of the canyon became steeper as he stared down at his feet, falling, how well he knew the sensation, but he never got used to it.

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Chapter 15: Chapter 15: Forevermore

Author's Notes: Theta and the Doctor face new beasts.

As he plodded down the steep canyon walls, slipping and sliding, he saw bright titanium shining beneath the dead leaves. He stooped, and saw that in his hand, he held the necklace he had given her, and it was covered in her thick, red blood. It sent chills up his spine to see the precious, vital fluid, so viciously wasted. The further he stumbled into his visual cortex, the more realistic, dangerous and sensitive it would become, he knew. His poor Theta, the thought of her mangled body laying atop the rocks down below horrified him, and pushed him on faster and farther.

He watched the track of time, wandering, walking down, until the steep walls turned into a basin, and he could see drag marks and bloody tracks. Not far, he heard the babbling of a gentle brook, and began to run where he knew she'd be. But he hadn't reached the banks of the stream by the time he found her exhausted body splayed out on the rough, muddy terrain. He knew this would translate over into her body, he lied to keep from scaring her, he told her she wouldn't be physically hurt. It was only a partial lie, she couldn't be killed, at least, as far as he knew, but the bruised and cut lip, scraped and scratched cheeks and gouged flesh, she would be worn out and terrified when she awoke.

The clouds had taken over the sky, and his ever present subconscious sense of time moved the sun to fall beneath the horizon, leaving them in a consuming darkness. As the darkness set in upon them, he looked for a good place to take shelter during the night, fearful of the storm. He carried her to a nearby, large redwood tree. It's branches provided sufficient protection, but it wasn't the tallest thing around. A nook in the trunk allowed them to nuzzle into its warmth and safety, however minuscule it was.

The Doctor pushed himself against the rough of the wood, and set Theta out in the main area of the hollow. The slow rise and fall of her chest evened out, her lips parted, and a gentle wheezing left from them every time she took a breath. He could feel through her radial artery that her hearts were pumping, adrenaline having been poured into her veins. He wiped her forehead clean of blood with a rag from his pocket, and patted her cheeks clean, awaiting the morning.

He saw out through the opening in their temporary fortress, the sun set, and the blue sky deepen into an angry purple, until the looming darkness took over, without a single star or moon to light up the night. The Doctor heard swishing through the branches of the surrounding trees, and he could feel the hairs on the back of his neck raise. He saw a dark figure dart back and forth, coming ever closer, and the Doctor began imagining his worst nightmares, shivering in fear of what it could be. He settled by the doorway, in front of his precious Theta, determined to protect her no matter what, yet he had no idea what it could be.

The dark beckoned his eyelids, and as soon as he began to nod off, the creature would grow closer, and hiss when he caught sight of it. He could feel himself tense up, every time, his hearts beating ever faster, adrenaline pumping through his system, and he mentally geared up for conflict.

But Theta awoke, startled by his physically more impressive form, he didn't notice that she'd woken up, and she began to fear whatever was clearly frightening him. And suddenly a ferocious face appeared in the doorway.

She watched as he launched himself at it, pushing it out of the safe place within the tree. It snarled and growled, biting and gnashing its teeth. He hated fighting, but for his precious Theta, he would. She watched as he evaded, jumped and danced around the seething beast. It snarled and hissed, but she could not see its face. It moved, and she tracked its but it had no form, forever only a blur in space.

She watched until the Doctor had trapped it within a ring of branches he had methodically placed as he went around the beast in circles, and he set fire to the branches.

The Doctor marched away in stern silence.

But when he ducked into the hollow, he did his best to put on a smile, and brushed the hair out of Theta's face. She looked down, avoiding his eyes, the look on her face one of fear, fear of him. The Doctor went to say something, but thought better of it, and merely sat down next to her. She was shivering, and he pulled her into his lap, murmuring words of comfort that she did not hear directly, but rather felt them pulse through her body.

She curled up into his welcoming mass, like a child, and lay there until the fear shook its way out of her bones, and the chill on her skin lifted, broken into by his warmth. She feared this man. She love this man. She learned from this man. She trusted this man, with her life. Yet, she did not truly know this man. How? How was it possible? To love a stranger, a madman, living in a box.

'But I love him nonetheless, and I will follow him until the end. Until my end. Until I can no longer follow him, where he wanders. I will accompany the accursed immortal, until he finds his mortality. And I with he.'Theta thought, but she knew not what she thought, she only knew it was what she must do.

The universe had sent he to heal him, because the universe would not exist without him. He universe loved the Doctor, knew that it needed him, but so much was trying to kill them all. The universe needed a saviour for the saviour. It needed to ensure survival. And it would. For when the immortal found his mortality, he would leave behind a long line of more immortals to pick up where he left of, and ensure the universe's survival for forevermore.

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