The Lost Girl

People get lost in time sometimes, but there's no one quite as lost as Amanda Grey. She's spent an eternity jumping from place to place, much like the Doctor does, but she can't control it, can't stop it. She's alone in the universe, but she has hope. There are stories scattered through time about the Doctor. Fair warning - female Doctor. If you don't like don't read.


3. An Ancient Enemy

The Doctor stood at the Tardis, tapping with scant accuracy at the data bank, muttering crossly under her breath, “Crackers!” she exclaimed, “No, wait, I like crackers. Let me think, cauliflower sounds a bit lacklustre. What do I not like that sounds a little bit cool when you shout it?”

“Can we try to concentrate?” Alex snapped from the other side of the room.

“Hush, I’m trying to think”.

Alex let his head fall back against the railing, “If you can call that ‘trying’”, he said darkly.

“Pears”, the Doctor cried, “I hate pears! Excellent! Oh, and I heard that. Why did I ever let you come along? You’re so…so…”



Alex sighed, “Yeah, just because I might as well be a five-year old to you does not mean you get to treat me like one. I may not be a genius, but I lest I don’t get distracted by the colour orange at awkward times!”

“How many times do I have to say this? Orange is a very distracting colour and I’ll thank you not to make derogatory comments about any colour!”

“That wasn’t a derogatory comment”, Alex said, but the Doctor ignored him in favour of stroking the Tardis wall, “I’m sure he didn’t mean it like that”.

“If you’ll look around”, Alex said, “The Tardis is not orange”.

“She used to be”, the Doctor said, and pulled her sonic screwdriver from the pocket of her jacket and pointing it at the screen. “Well if you will insist upon getting mixed up”, she said to the Tardis.

“I could be wrong”, Alex said, “But shouldn’t we be trying to help the girl, instead of standing around talking to the Tardis”, he tapped the console, “No offence”.

“Kids these days just don’t understand that trying to find a temporal anomaly that could be anywhere in any universe takes a little time!” The Doctor shook her head disparagingly, “In any case, she’s only part of the problem”.

“She needs your help”, Alex said.

“Do you think I don’t know that?” The Doctor pushed the data bank away and turned to Alex, “But she’s just a symptom of a larger problem, or at least that’s what I’m starting to suspect. People don’t just stop obeying the laws of time, Alex. Whatever happened to her wasn’t an accident, and I’m not entirely sure if she isn’t being cast out as bait. I suppose we’ll find out in a moment”.

“A moment? What do you mean?”

The Doctor smiled, “Well, you see, when she was yanked away I followed her, and for the past few minutes something has been trying to hack into the Tardis, and I think I know what it is”.

Suddenly, a voice filled the Tardis, and the lights flickered and dimmed and there was a distant, urgent buzzing as the Tardis tried to fight off the invading forces arrayed against it, “Hello Doctor”, it said, “It’s been a long time, though I suppose that’s all relative to you. Did you like my bait? Pretty little thing. I’m so looking forward to eating her”.

The Doctor’s face fell for a moment and Alex caught a glimpse of incredible sadness before she raised her defences once again, “The universe has made me so suspicious. When I saw what was happening to her, it crossed my mind, but I never expected to be right. Not this time, not about you. Do you realise what you’ve done, just to get me here? That girl, everything you did to her, and she was just a fish on a hook, dragging me along in her wake”.

“Not exactly”, the voice said with a note of amusement, “She was more like a worm. You’re the fish. I know you probably think that you’ve got the upper hand here, because you usually do, but not this time. Do you like my trap?”

“If I’m following the right train of thought, you know me better than that”, the Doctor said quietly, “I’m here because I chose to come here”.

Disembodied laughter filled the Tardis, “Oh Doctor, you can’t fool me anymore. You never have a plan, you just do things. Reckless Doctor, silly Doctor. I always said it would end you”.

“You seem to be operating on a bewildering level of familiarity with me. My timeline is a bit…” the Doctor said, stroking the Tardis console comfortingly as it whimpered, straining to stay alive. She looked at Alex and grinned, “Wibbly wobbly”.

As usual, and as she so often seemed to forget, he was entirely incapable of understanding her obscure references to past adventures and presumably past regenerations, but he smiled back anyway. Something told him she needed it.

She turned back to the console, “Up until a minute ago, you were just a fairly-tale to me, or at least, I wanted badly for you to be just another fairy-tale. So why don’t we pretend that I’m an idiot for a moment, if it makes you feel more comfortable, and you can tell me what you want, preferably without trying to murder my Tardis”.

“It is strange to think that I know so much about you, and you don’t even know my name, do you? All those stories back in your forgotten home, and even the great Lords of Time couldn’t fine me. I’m amazed that your Type 40 managed it, really, but you must have made adjustments to her. She’s shuddering now, you know. Can you feel it? I’m that terrible Doctor. The Tardis is afraid of me”, the Doctor’s shoulders tensed, her skinny shoulders strained. Alex could feel the anger radiating from her.

“Yes, yes”, she said impatiently, “Our histories are equally great and equally terrible, the same old routine. You think I’m evil and that fascinates you. It’s captured the attention of many people before, and I’m tired of having to correct them. This may come as a disappointment, but I’m not you, I’m not anything like you”, the Doctor’s face was creased with revulsion, “So stop playing with me”.

Alex stared between the faintly glowing Tardis heart and the Doctor, looking up at it with fury in her bright green eyes, clutching the Tardis as though it might slip between her fingers. After travelling with the Doctor for a few years, he’d gotten used to dealing with crazy mind boggling plot twists, but their winding idea of conversation was nonetheless failing to wrap itself around his head.

“Yes, I know who you are”, the Doctor continued, “The Tardis recognised you when I brought the girl inside. She was trying to fight you off, but she couldn’t risk hurting the girl, so it came across as simple warmth, but the Tardis doesn’t just warm to people like that”, he patted the console, “Do you, my dear?”

“Of course”, the voice boomed, “I had forgotten about your Tardis and our little bit of history. That was a long time ago. I was sure you’d entirely missed it”.

“I couldn’t risk interfering then”, the Doctor replied, “I might have damaged the Tardis. She didn’t tell me, because she almost didn’t believe it herself. After all this time, all this space we’ve seen, we still couldn’t see the obvious”.

Alex couldn’t keep his mouth shut any longer, “Who is that, Doctor?”

“Shh”, the Doctor hissed, and looked up at the centre of the console, “What do you want? Why go to all this trouble just to bring me here?”

“Is that selective memory of yours playing up again, dear Doctor? Because you seem to be labouring under the delusion that you and I are strangers. I suppose I sound a little different, but you aren’t an idiot. No, I would go so far as to say that you’re one of the most intelligent beings in the universe, which is saying something, but you know that. You’ve seen every dark street and every dusty corner, or at least enough to stop being so surprised when things jump out from them. I don’t expect that you’ve forgotten me, because if you remembered you’d know exactly why I brought you here”.

The Doctor shook her head slowly and gazed sadly up at the flickering Tardis lights, “I wish I didn’t have to be right all the time”, she murmured, “But I suppose that’s a side effect of being clever and possessing anything but a selective memory”.

It chuckled, “There are things you’ve chosen to disregard about yourself, and the company you seem to drag around with you like a dead weight. Does the human know about you, Doctor, of is he just vaguely aware of what you are, or more importantly, who you are?”

The Doctor glanced at Alex, something akin to regret in her dark eyes, “I don’t disregard anything, but there are certain secrets I can never share, and certain deeds that are better left in the past. It’s a Time Lord curse, knowing so much, but keeping it locked away until your hearts feel like they might burst. A curse I have to bear if this universe is to continue merely bulging at the seams”.

Alex hopped onto the railing, “Okay, I’m bored with being quiet, and if I’m honest your old people conversation is getting a little tedious. You can stop playing around with the idea of sharing a few choice secrets with me and thus tearing apart my poor, pathetic, misguided trust in her, because I can tell you right now that nothing you can tell me will ever change my mind about her. So yeah, shut up, and cut to the chase, because I’m used to running, and we haven’t done much of it lately”.

The Doctor shot him a disparaging look, to which he replied with a shrug. She stood silhouetted in the few dim lights that still glowed as the Tardis lost power, her hair sticking up at the back, lying astonishingly flat despite all her unconscious ruffling. She wore a shirt, rolled up to the sleeves, her bare, lightly muscled arms tensed, and over that a waistcoat with peculiar symbols embroidered onto it. Alex couldn’t read a word of it, because the Tardis didn’t bother translating Gallifreyan. Her screwdriver was stuffed into the pocket, glinting in the dying light. She wore pants she’d apparently borrowed from Anne Bonny when they’d fished her out of the sea.

The disembodied being said nothing for a moment, “They’re always so feisty, these little companions of yours. I’ve been watching, you know. Very closely”.

“I assumed as much”, The Doctor said dryly, “But as Alex said, can we get a move on with things here, because I really can’t afford to dawdle when there’s all of time and space to be getting on with”.

“Oh, I wouldn’t be too concerned with your schedule, Doctor. You won’t be leaving here anytime soon. You might as well resign yourself to that fact. I’ve been very bored, and there’s nothing more entertaining to watch than despair, especially in someone like you”. There was a rattling sound, like someone was dragging air into tortured lungs, “There are so many secrets in your big little box, so many corners where you daren’t tread, Doctor. Secrets the world isn’t even a little bit ready for. Secrets that could tear apart time, if I felt like sharing them”.

The Doctor laughed, but it was high and cold and unsettling. It was the laugh of a stranger, “Stop it, just stop it. We’ve already established that I’m really very clever, so don’t try to mess with my head. You can’t share my secrets with the world, not here. You’re trapped”.

“Ah, but knowledge is a strange thing. Maybe I can’t share it with the world, but I can share it with your little friend”, Alex flinched. He grasped the railing involuntarily, and snatched his hand away. It was freezing. The Doctor stroked the Tardis, slowly, achingly, sadly. “He thinks he knows all about you, but no one does. Well, not before now”.

The glowing centre of the Tardis was fading faster now, throwing the console room into near darkness, and the Doctor turned her head and looked at Alex, pressed against the freezing railing, and he looked back.

There was terror in her eyes, real, crushing terror and her eyes seemed to plead with him. “Hmm, what should I tell him? There are so many choices. You have been naughty, Doctor. It almost makes me insecure, but I’m sure this will redeem me”.

The Doctor barely heard what it said next. She watched Alex’s eyelids flutter as he slid down the railings, eyes scrabbling blindly at the darkness, and she felt herself running forward.

And after that she remembered only the darkness.

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