The Ends of the Earth by vegetables

Summary: London, 1963. Two teachers stumble into a police box. London, 1962. The city is destroyed in nuclear fire. There were stories that happened before the first story was told. Before there was a beginning, something ends.
Rating: Teen
Categories: Thirteenth Doctor
Characters: The Doctor (13th), The Doctor (Ruth), Yasmin Khan
Genres: Action/Adventure, Alternate Universe, Angst, Drama, General, Introspection, Mixed, Romance, Standalone
Warnings: Explicit Violence, Swearing
Challenges: None
Series: None
Published: 2021.11.23
Updated: 2021.11.23

The Ends of the Earth by vegetables
Chapter 11: Chapter 11
Author's Notes:

Now the fight was over, the Doctor looked around the ruined hospital ward. Pipework was visible through holes in the shattered floor. Green goo dripped down the walls, sliding down over the patients and their beds. Her own coat was damp and stained with green, but the mess hadn’t seemed to have touched the other Doctor at all. She looked as clean and professional as she had before the fight, as if all of this had merely been another new medical procedure.

“How’re you going to explain all of this?” the Doctor asked her other self.

“I usually say there’s been a problem with some new equipment,” that other self replied.

“And people believe that?”

“I doubt it. But I they’re usually too intimidated to ask more.”

She bristled the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver at a blob of goop, and frowned.

“But I won’t be explaining any of this,” she said, “because I have to run. The Division; they’ve given up using intermediaries. Stopped caring if all this is out in the open.”

The Doctor grimaced. “No Judoon any more,” she said.

Her other self laughed.

“The Judoon!” she said. “I’d almost forgotten them. We’re a long way past that now. They’ve hired the worst of the worst to track me down. The Lexligiest, the Angela of the North. People think that the patients are seeing things.”

“And now even that isn’t enough,” said the Doctor. “What did we do? To invest so much in fighting us?”

She saw her other self tense, and glower. A chill air seemed to settle behind the frames of her glasses.

“Maybe it’s a question of what we refused to do,” that other self finally said. “The Division don’t have much time for moral standards.”

“Says the woman who manipulated someone into shooting themselves.”

The other Doctor didn’t smile. “Maybe that tells you something about how bad the Division are.”

She sighed.

“I’ve risked a lot coming back here,” she said. “I didn’t think they’d make an attack so openly. They don’t like to be seen to interfere. And I don’t have a lot of time.”

She looked her other self right in the eyes.

“I need to get back to the TARDIS,” she said. “And you should get back to yours, too. It won’t just be me they’re coming for.”

“I got out of jail once,” said the Doctor.

“We’re not talking jail anymore,” her other self said. “The worst punishments of the Time Lords? Even I never found out about them.”

“Oh,” said the Doctor glumly. “I did.”

“Then from your face maybe I’m better off not knowing.”

“Yeah,” said the Doctor. “Maybe.”

She let herself pull a massive grin that she knew would end up looking unconvincing.

“You’re still Doctor Clayton, I see,” she said brightly. “Still a Ruth.”

“I am,” said her other self. “Have you decided to go for a change?”

“John Smith. Might need to work on that a bit.”

Her other self nodded. “Then keep fighting, Doctor Smith.”

The Doctor nodded back. “Doctor Clayton.”

“‘Till our timeline crosses again.”

It hadn’t been the most productive meeting in the end, accidentally leading her enemy right to her other self. But the Doctor was nothing if not optimistic, even when people asked her to stop. She had an idea she knew how to find out more about where the Division were hiding, one she didn’t think would even occur to her other self.

Doctor Clayton wouldn’t notice anything out of the ordinary here, because she didn’t know what ordinary even was.

But Doctor Smith knew someone who knew ordinary very well.

And she might be very good at spotting when something was wrong.

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.

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