This post is to keep LJ from deleting this community.
Although no one writes here anymore, we still love the work we accomplished and wish to keep it stored here.
"Well, I suppose it would be wisest to head to Cardiff now to refuel, while we still have reserves, instead of waiting until it becomes absolutely necessary... what if something came up and we got stuck?"
Catherine was leaning on the edge of the console, looking across at the Doctor, awaiting his reply, when suddenly the TARDIS lurched, sending her to the floor. She hopped up, and stared down at the navigational display as she dusted herself off. "...we've changed course. I didn't do that. And I know you didn't, not from the other side of the console."
There was the usual soft thump of dematerialisation, and the rotor came to rest. "Is this what you mean when you say the TARDIS sometimes 'knows' when you're needed?" she asked dryly, giving the display another glance. "We're on Earth again. Erm... Massachusetts, America. Boston. Sunday, the 16th April, 1775. The sun's just gone down."
Her eyes met the Doctor's over the top of the console, and one eyebrow quirked. "Any idea why we might be here...?"
She was following him again.
The woman was gone, and she knew she should get to her next destination, to pick up the thread again, and yet... here she was, following him as he wandered the rainy streets in London, apparently aimlessly.
Where was he going? Did it matter?
He turned into a dark, isolated alleyway, and she paused, frowning.
Then she caught sight of the blue police box.
Of course. His TARDIS. Why he had left the woman so far from where he was parked she wasn't sure, but of course he'd come back here for it.
She began picking her way along the alley, wanting a better look.
She sat at a desk in the small hotel room, tugging at the lampshade to spread more light over the wristband she was repairing. These things weren't the most reliable form of travel. She'd managed to work around the problem they had with shorting out frequently, but she still hadn't worked out a solution to the very short battery life.
She was in San Francisco. It was 2007. She needed to move on to 2042 now, but the wristband hadn't entirely wanted to cooperate. Just a few more adjustments and she'd be on her way, to watch more of the story unfold.
She had no idea why she was drawn to those people. Why she was compelled to seek them out, watch, examine their lives. She just knew it was something she had to do.
She hoped that with time, the answers would come.
Making plans for another meeting was going to be difficult, he decided. She had no reason to believe he would actually show up, other than his word, which, really, wasn't much at that point. All the same, to keep himself in her life with himself (circular logic always did make him dizzy), he had to make a date with her and keep it.
So, he decided on December 24, 2042. San Fransisco. He had the key to her apartment, given to him back in his last incarnation, and he used it to open her apartment door. The neighborhood had expanded, but they didn't expand upon the property owned by Dr. Endicott, even though she was rarely seen for the last 35 years.
He glanced around the small apartment. Everything seemed to be coated in a good bit of dust, but it still looked the way it had when he'd seen it last, that day he'd first met her in this incarnation. He pulled the white sheet off of the couch and sat down, closing his eyes.
What do we do to pass the time?
Make out, obviously.
It was strange, remembering a time where he didn't remember. All the same, a smile spread across his face at the memory. First recalling emotions for her, attraction, desire.
No time to waste, though. He reached for the house phone and picked it up, breathing a bit in relief at the sound of the dial tone. He punched in Catherine's number and waited for her to pick up.
Catherine put her phone to her ear, smiling at Mike. "Don't worry. It'll be fine."
She initiated the call, and when the Doctor answered, she grinned and merely said, "The day after you dropped me off. Ocean Beach. Can't wait to see you."
She tucked the phone away and glanced up at Mike, giving him another reassuring smile. The breeze was blowing her hair into her face; she swept it away with her fingertips and gazed out over the ocean while they waited.
The only difference was the lack of a mess.
Catherine's presence was good for him, and he remembered how very neat she kept things around herself. A woman's touch, or something like that, and it showed in the TARDIS as he stepped into it.
It was his TARDIS, but it wasn't. Very like walking into a house that wasn't yours anymore. It felt different. He knew the way to their bedroom, and each step his feet made towards it made his hearts speed up.
This was completely against everything he'd tried to accomplish by not showing up. By answering the phone, by telling her---
He pushed open the door and gazed inside a moment, at the sleeping form in their bed. There was no layer of dust in this bedroom, and everything had the lingering smell of TARDIS grease, sex, Catherine's perfume, and newly washed clothes (probably his, probably in a pile somewhere). All of these smells had vanished from the room in his own TARDIS, it was almost as if they hadn't lived there.
He took a few tentative steps towards the bed, before sitting, gingerly, on his side.
The Doctor rolled out of bed and stood, looking back at the sleeping form of Catherine. He had held her while she cried, had held her until her eyes were dry, and they had made love with a kind of desperation that hadn't been there since their first time together. It had been a long day for the both of them, but especially her, and she was so worn out that she barely noticed he was gone.
He leaned down to kiss her forehead before getting dressed. The Doctor had an appointment to make.
When Catherine had told him what his future self had done, he had tucked away a message in his mind. There were two triggers: one for him and one for the man he would become, so that they would both meet at the proper place and time.
By the time he was at the console, shrugging on his coat, he realized that the coordinates had already been programmed in. His fingers brushed the console lovingly as he set the TARDIS moving.
He stepped out of the doors onto the bank of the Thames.
The message, now unlocked again in his mind:
If this works, you should remember this just after you broke Catherine's hearts. Maybe later, maybe sooner. Probably later, since she's in my arms right now, crying. I've tucked this away, set it on time release.
I want to talk to you. I don't care about timelines or paradoxes. We accepted those kinds of risks when we started this. London at the Tower Bridge, June 1st 2050, 3 pm. I'll be waiting for you.
Catherine trudged through the rain for an hour, marching a bit aimlessly around the grounds of the villa, until she was soaked. As she walked she turned things over in her brain, trying to make sense of them.
She just couldn't.
She also just couldn't stay out here in the rain and drown, either. She sighed, and stopped, and took her phone out of her pocket.
"I'm ready. Same place," she said quietly into the phone.
When the TARDIS materialised she didn't even wait for the Doctor to open the doors. She strode over to it and pushed them open, stepping inside and walking over to the console before he got halfway there. She looked down at it, and punched in a set of coordinates.
Then, almost absently, she craned her neck up and kissed the Doctor's cheek.
There is no middle ground for you. Things are or they aren't. They're good or they're evil. You're with or you're without.
Right now, you are most certainly without
She's gone. The last you saw her she was winding her way through people in the 1930's, heading back to her own life, slipping away from you like a child in the fairground. Strong and self-assured, never needing to seek out the hand that guides. She knew her own way and she went it.
You imagine she must've waited a long time for you in Rome, in that place you promised but knew you wouldn't go to. You imagine her crying, imagine cradling her in your arms---the way it was before, when you were with
---and you imagine how much you hated that man---that man you are
now---for hurting her.( These are the things you have done.Collapse )
Humans have a word for it, don't they?
It was Thursday. The 12th of July. He was supposed to be in Rome, buying Catherine ice cream and telling her about his fantastic journeys into Ancient Rome, which she would follow up with her own worldly knowledge and they would be happy and then he just had to let his curiosity get the better of him. And it wiped away the layer of whatever chemical he'd given himself between regenerations to help him forget so much of what had happened.
So much of her.
It tasted like vilirorox. The after-effects seemed to fit it, and the slow progression if memory. Might never have gotten it all back, if not for the Eternals. Bit dangerous, and the drug could be addictive. Probably a good thing he'd made himself forget he'd taken it.
The console room looked terrible. Broken bits of furniture, a few overturned chairs. The rest of the TARDIS wasn't in the greatest shape, either. He'd stumbled back into the ship after bidding a quick good-bye to Catherine, and proceeded to rip apart his home. In anger at himself, at what he remembered. At his former self for saying such stupid and sentimental things, and for himself for being the man that said them.
The person you turned out to be made me the man I am.
His back was against the console, his knees were pressed into his eyes and he tried to will himself to forget why he'd left Catherine. Why he ran away so fast and given himself chemicals to prevent himself from ever seeing her again, even though he knew he would.
She was going to call soon. He knew that, too, but tried to will himself to forget he'd stood her up on this date.
The Doctor was off, soon, to collect his old friends, Ace and Hex. That made Catherine feel a little better. He wouldn't be so alone while she was gone. She was also heartened by the fact that he seemed to have reached out to them. Perhaps he no longer wanted to be alone, no longer felt he wasn't good company and should sequester himself.
That left Catherine with the question of what she would do with herself whilst the Doctor was off picking up his friends and getting reacquainted with them.
...Oh, no it didn't, either. Not really. She already knew.
She let herself into the bedroom she'd chosen when she first arrived on this TARDIS, the one with the overstuffed chairs and rows and rows of books. She turned on one of the stained-glass lamps and draped herself across one of the chairs, one arm at her back, her legs dangling over the other, and began patting down her pockets until she found her mobile.
It felt as if she'd only just seen the Doctor... and yet at the same time it felt like an eternity. She wondered if he felt the same, if he'd missed her. She wondered how long it had even been, for him, since they'd last been together. The Eye of Orion, underwater exploring, that wind-swept cliff and church, the hired room.
She started to scroll through her contact list for his number, when her eyes went wide and she sat up a bit, giving her coat pockets another patting-down. His notepad. She'd nicked it. Did she still have it? No, no... she'd slipped it back into his coat (after scrawling a heartfelt note in it--and didn't that make her feel mildly like those Earth teenagers the other Doctor kept referencing) that night, while he was asleep. She sunk back down into the chair with a smile. She'd had to extricate herself from his rather exuberant embrace, that tangle of arms and legs, to do so.
She shook her head as she called up his number, and raised the mobile to her ear. Who else could possibly have something they did while fast asleep described as "exuberant"?
Rassilon's old and dry bones, she missed him.
The bright smile on her lips carried through in her voice when he answered. "Hello, is that the Doctor, then?" she asked, before he had a chance to say much. "Good afternoon, Doctor. This is Catherine, and I'm calling with a special offer, good for today only. Do I have your interest?"
Catherine was perched on the edge of the console. One denim-clad leg dangled below her; the other was stretched out, her toes bracing her against the floor.
"If you were serious about seeing my old life," she said, glancing over at the Doctor as he peered at a display, "I think I'd like that. We could go back to the day after I left, so I'll still have access to my house. We could spend a day or two... I could show you around, like you wanted."
She smiled and added, "Perhaps even find a bit of trouble, knowing how talented we seem to be at that."