Time's Rites (Doctor Who/The Dresden Files).

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Time's Rites (Doctor Who/The Dresden Files).

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-10-29 05:00am

Inspired, in part, by this old thread of mine (my posts in said thread will contain major spoilers for this story):

viewtopic.php?f=32&t=154238

At the time, I mentioned that I had considered writing it as a crossover, but didn't have the time. Well, since I've got a bit of writer's block with my Gargoyles/Harry Potter crossover, I've decided to give this a try, four and a half years later. ;)

Obvious disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who or The Dresden Files, or anything originating therein. This story is not for profit, and I am making no money off of it.

Note: As per my usual fan fiction policy, I will try to follow canon for both series as closely as possible, aside from divergences resulting from said crossover. However, as I do not have all of either series on-hand to refer to, their may be errors. Any such errors can be attributed to Wobbly-Wobbly, Timey-wimey. Yes, its lazy, but it seems to work for Steven Moffat. ;)


TIMES' RITES

Somewhere infinitely remote yet closer than touch, lost in the space between realities, between past, present, and future, a blue police telephone box tumbled through time.

Inside, in an improbably large room ringed by metal stairs and doors, bathed in orangish light and centred around an eclectic console out of which rose a column of glass or some other transparent substance, a pale, slender woman with long legs and flowing red hair stood leaning against the railing of the stairs. She laughed exuberantly, her eyes dancing as they followed the frenetic movements of a gangly man in a brown tweed coat and a bright red bow tie as he dashed around the console, flipping switches, pulling levers, and muttering loudly to himself, or perhaps to the living machine that he called home. Amy Pond watched him fondly, her ragged Doctor, not at all alarmed by the ever-present rumble or the constant shuddering motion, or the occasional jolts that shook the whole control room.

"No no nono, Oh! Something's interfering with the temporal-positioning adjusters." The man slapped a hand on the console as if to wordlessly shout "Eureka!", then gripped it tightly, grinning broadly, as the whole room lurched violently, nearly causing his legs to slide out from under him on the slippery glass floor. Amy gave a slight shriek and clutched at the railing of the stairway as she stumbled, before a hand gripped her arm, steadying her. She pulled free, embarrassed, but cast a quick, appreciative smile over her shoulder at Rory, marvelling again for a moment at the fact that he was now Rory Williams/Pond, her husband. His face, however, wore an expression of mingled concern and a hint of disapproval as he watched the Doctor. She barely resisted rolling her eyes. She loved her husband dearly, or she would never have married him, but he could be such a worry wort, and he still didn't seem to entirely trust the Doctor. Well, it had taken her long enough to trust him, but Rory really needed to let go of the past and stop worrying. She tried to ignore the painful reminder that Rory had an awful lot more past to forget than most on her account. Her thoughts were interrupted as the control room shuddered violently again, but this time she was able to catch herself on the railing of the stairway. She stepped down to the floor of the control room, Rory following her carefully, figuring that it would be more stable down their.

She'd momentarily forgotten the glass floor, but she was used enough to the TARDSIS that she could mostly keep her balance when the time machine lurched again.

"Oy! Behave yourself!" The TARDIS's pilot slapped the console, casting a sharp glance upward at the column that rose from the console into the ceiling, and the complex machinery inside of it.

"Doctor", Amy called, curious. "Where are we going? Or is that when?"

"Somewhere. Somewhen. Not sure."

"Well that tells us a lot", Rory grumbled, to Amy's mild irritation. The Doctor shot him a sharp look.

"TARDIS is locked in, I can't alter course."

"But where too?", Amy asked again.

"Can't tell Amy, I'll know when we get their", the Doctor replied, then staggered as the control room shuddered again. He glanced at a view screen, and his face brightened eagerly. "Oh, looks like we should be arriving... aannny moment." The shuddering of the control room eased as the central column began to move up and down, and a deep, wheezing groan echoed through the TARDIS. With a final, slight jolt, and a deep, echoing thud, the time machine stopped shaking. The sound faded away, and all was still and quiet. Amy straightened, Rory moving up to stand a little behind her, releasing his grip on the railing. She glanced at the Doctor in anticipation.

"Well", Amy asked after a moment. "Where are we?"

The Doctor grinned eagerly, that boyish grin at the start of each adventure that could not quite hide the age or the sadness in his eyes. It made her heart beat faster, imagining what lay outside the TARDIS's front door, knowing that it was all about to being again. Even the danger. They could handle danger.

"Let's find out."

The Doctor wheeled and made for the exit on the far side of the control room. Amy bounced after him, barely slowing to snatch her jacket from the coat hanger by the door. She could sense Rory following behind her, but she didn't pause or look back. He would be their no matter what, and the knowledge made her feel a little warmer, and sadder, inside. In front of her, the Doctor had thrown open the doors and stepped out into the night, right into the middle of...

"A parking lot?" Amy's face fell, mirroring her baffled surprise. "Doctor, why are we in a parking lot?" A curious thought occurred to her, making her grin. "Ooh, is it an alien parking lot?"

The Doctor seemed not to hear her. He was glancing around inquisitively, first at the nearly empty lot, the gas pumps in the middle of the asphalt and the small store on the far side of the lot, then back at the TARDIS.

"Why did you bring me here", he muttered, pulling out his sonic screwdriver. A bright green light lit up on the end of the long, knobbly silver device, which he waved back and forth in front of him as he peered into the night.

"Doctor", she queried. "What is it?"

He continued to wave the sonic back and forth for a few moments, then finally seemed to hear her and turned, shrugging slightly.

"Hmmm... what's that? Oh, no, looks just like an ordinary parking lot." He looked slightly disappointed, matching her own sentiments. "Earth, mid-western United States, late 20th. Century, I believe." Then his features perked up, and Amy knew at once that their was something unusual here after all. "But I'm picking up an odd energy signature. Looks like its coming from inside the store."

The Doctor snapped his fingers, causing the TARDIS doors to swing shut behind them, then turned and strode away across the lot, toward the little store. Amy followed, grinning once more, with Rory a few steps behind her. They crossed the pavement quickly, and though the night was not cold, Amy reflexively drew her jacket tighter around herself as they moved away from the TARDIS, her eyes darting quickly into the deep shadows at the edges of the lot. She felt Rory tensing behind her, and knew that it wasn't just her imagination. Their was something about this dark, empty space, so ordinary yet so lifeless, that made her shiver. She couldn't put her finger on it, but she felt like someone was... watching her, with a malevolent gaze, and though she would never have said it, she was grateful for the presence of Rory a few feet behind her and of the Doctor, his face lit up faintly by the green glow of the sonic, a few paces ahead. If he was troubled, he didn't show it, just strode through the door of the little gas station like a king entering his castle. She smiled slightly, then followed him quickly inside, Rory close behind her.

The inside of the store was much like that of any other gas station store that Amy had ever been in- dull, crowded, and filled with cheap merchandise. The feeling of menace had lessened slightly, but it had not completely disappeared. A young man, just a kid really, sat behind the counter, looking both very bored and very tired. Amy could empathize, though she raised an eyebrow when he didn't even seem to notice the sonic. The Doctor, however, paid him no mind- simply strode on past him down one of the isles, the sonic held up out in front of him, turning to follow each flicker of its green light. Amy followed, wondering where all of this was going. This place didn't seem like anywhere special or dangerous or exciting, but she'd learned to expect the peculiar everywhere, especially when she was with the Doctor.

The Doctor had reached the end of the isle and turned the corner, then stopped so suddenly that Amy, having rounded the corner behind him, nearly ran right into him. She peered over his shoulder, curious as to what had brought him so abruptly to a halt, but she saw only a gangly and rather unkempt boy who looked about fifteen years old. The boy suddenly seemed to realize that someone was standing behind him and yelped, spinning so fast that she started. He was tall, slightly awkward, with sharp features and brown hair and eyes. He looked rather ordinary, if a little on the scruffy side, but their was something wary in his face, and his eyes were haunted. She looked quickly away. Something told her that it would be a bad idea to meet those eyes for long.

The boy had assumed a defensive posture, and the Doctor, in an unusual display of tact, had taken a quick step back, raising both hands in what was clearly meant to be a non-threatening gesture. Unfortunately, his right hand was still holding the sonic screwdriver. The boy's eyes fell on it, then widened slightly, and he took a step back too, his back hitting the shelf behind him.

"Stay away from me", he snapped, his voice slightly high and shaky. "Just, stay away."

"Don't worry, we're not going to hurt you", the Doctor said.

"Oh, right", snapped the boy. "So that's why you're got me cornered with your little glowey thing."

"What, my screwdriver", the Doctor asked, sounding surprised and a little hurt. Amy smirked, then sighed as the Doctor waved it around and the boy flinched. "Its' harmless." The Doctor leaned forward to peer more closely at the boy. "Why would we want to hurt you? And more importantly, why would you think we'd want to hurt you?"

The boy shrugged, though he no longer seemed angry or afraid, just uneasy and a little confused.

"Everybody does", he said bitterly. "Why should you be any different?"

Amy elbowed the Doctor aside, ignoring his indignant expression, and stepped toward the boy.

"Are you in some kind of trouble", she asked softly. "'Cause we can help", she added quickly when the kid's face tightened. "Right boys?"

"Oh, yeah, we're great at helping", the Doctor threw in, pushing forward again. "We're the best at... helping." He trailed off awkwardly. The kid was looking at the Doctor like he wasn't sure if he was sane. Amy signed. She loved the Doctor, but he had a way of attracting those sorts of looks, her mad man with a box.

"Don't mind the Doctor", Amy said. "He's mostly harmless."

The boy studied her for a moment, his eyes drifting down her legs before they snapped quickly back up, his face reddening slightly. Amy sighed inwardly. Teenagers.

"Who are you?", he asked finally.

"I'm Amy", she replied. "Amy Pond. And this is my husband Rory", she nudged him with her elbow, "and this is the Doctor." She nodded toward her other companion.

"What kind of Doctor", the boy asked.

"Oh, this and that", the Doctor replied vaguely.

"He dabbles", Rory threw in.

"So that's us", Amy said. "What's your name?"

Their was a brief silence.

"You're not..." the boy swallowed. "You're not with him?"

"With who?", Amy asked, confused.

The boy frowned, as if he was considering what to say next. Then his face cleared, as he seemed to make up his mind.

"Look, don't take this the wrong way, but I don't think you can help me. Thanks and everything, but its really not your business, so if you don't mind-"

He tried to push past them, but the Doctor reached out and caught his arm.

"Do you know that you're emitting low-level Thaumaton Radiation on an irregular frequency?"

The boy had turned to glare at the Doctor, breaking his grip, but now he just looked confused, and a little concerned.

"Tauma-What?"

The lights went out.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Time's Rites (Doctor Who/The Dresden Files).

Postby LadyTevar » 2016-10-29 03:33pm

Oh, Interesting Start.

But you need to double-check your spell-checker, you've got There-Their mixed up all over the place.
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Re: Time's Rites (Doctor Who/The Dresden Files).

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-10-29 07:50pm

Yeah, sorry. That's a bad habit I got into many years ago, and I tend to backslide into it if I'm not consciously thinking about it.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Time's Rites (Doctor Who/The Dresden Files).

Postby SpottedKitty » 2016-10-30 01:58am

I've lost track a bit, is this the one my mum calls the Tweedy Teacher or the Student Teacher?
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Re: Time's Rites (Doctor Who/The Dresden Files).

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-10-30 03:24am

You mean which Doctor?

Its Eleven. I'd have thought Rory and Amy as companions gave it away. ;) And yeah, he's the one who wore tweed.

I think I picked Eleven for a couple of major reasons:

1. He's the Doctor I feel I know best, and I find that the Doctor is a difficult character to write at the best of times.

2. I like the Eleven/Amy/Rory dynamic.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Time's Rites (Doctor Who/The Dresden Files).

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-11-08 01:50pm

Meant to get this spooky chapter up for Halloween, but other things got in the way, including no small amount of writer's block trying to figure out how best to get the Doctor and company out of this situation.

Also, I'm writing a lot of stuff from memory, since I don't have a copy of Ghost Story to refer to. Apologies in advance for any errors.



I looked back and forth between the peculiar trio that had cornered me in the back of the gas station. The girl seemed nice enough, even if she talked to me a bit like I was a little kid, or like I might break if she spoke to me too loudly. I also couldn't help noticing, despite my nerves and my weariness, despite everything that had happened that day, that she had legs to die for. I snapped my eyes quickly back up to her face, trying hard not to blush.

The gangly man with the prominent chin was waving that buzzing little green lightbulb at me again, and I repressed the impulse to bat it away, feeling uncomfortably like a bug under a magnifying glass. The second man, standing protectively behind the redhead, kept quiet, watching the conversation with a wary expression.

"Who are you", I asked after a moment. I mostly wanted to just get out of their, before Justin tracked me down, or the cops showed up looking for a runaway kid. These people couldn't help me, and I'd just get them hurt if they tried. But I didn't think they'd leave unless I convinced them I was okay, and I was irritated enough to demand a few answers of my own.

"I'm Amy", the redhead replied with a slight smile. "Amy Pond. And this is my husband Rory." She nudged him with her elbow. "And this", she nodded toward gangly, "is the Doctor."

I frowned.

"What kind of Doctor?"

"Oh, this and that", the Doctor replied vaguely. It didn't take a genius to figure out that he was hiding something, though what it was I couldn't imagine. I could only guess that it was something to do with that little buzzing green light, the... what had the Doctor called it? The screwdriver? That didn't make sense.

The other guy, Rory? Rory said something, but I didn't catch it, distracted as I was. Then Amy was speaking again, and I turned my attention back to her.

"What's your name?"

I hesitated.

Don't tell them anything, a little voice in the back of my mind whispered. They can't help you. Besides, why would they stick their necks out for you? I felt again the bitter memory of my recent betrayal, of Elaine's... wrongness, of Justin's rage as I fled the only real home I'd had since my father had died. I swallowed, a familiar ache of bitter loneliness now accentuated by the pain of betrayal.

In the end, people always let you down.

Elaine... she was the first girl I'd ever kissed, the first girl I'd ever loved, in every sense of the word. I hadn't wanted to leave her behind, but what could I do? But maybe, just maybe, this "Doctor" and his friends could do something. The cynical little voice in the back of my head scoffed, and I pretty much agreed with it, but what, I thought, did I have to lose?

Of course, for all I knew, the Doctor had been sent by Justin to find me. Maybe he'd lock me up in some nuthouse for blabbering about magic, somewhere where their'd be nowhere to run when Justin came for me. But for some reason I couldn't quite explain, I didn't think so.

I met Amy's eyes, and forced myself to speak.

"You're not... You're not with him?"

"With who", Amy asked. She sounded genuine, but I'd met good liars before.

I sighed. This was pointless. Even if they believed me, even if they were willing to help, how could I trust three complete strangers when my own foster father had tried to kill me?

"Look, don't take this the wrong way, but I don't think you can help me. Thanks and everything, but its really not your business, so if you don't mind-"

I tried to shove past the trio, but someone grabbed my arm. I spun around, my heart racing, ready to slug whoever had grabbed me, and found myself face to face with the Doctor. He didn't flinch but released my arm, regarding me with a curious expression.

"Do you know that you're emitting low-level Thaumaton Radiation on an irregular frequency?"

I froze. That sounded like magic, but nothing that I was familiar with.

"Tauma-What?" Yeah, smooth under pressure, that's me.

The lights went out.

***

Amy glanced up at the now dark ceiling, then at the kid's frightened face and the Doctor beside her. The sensation of cold malevolence had returned, suddenly and stronger than before, feeling as though it was freezing her very soul. The Doctor was frowning hard at the sonic screwdriver, then gave it a little shake, and it took her a moment to realize that its light, too, had gone out. What could have caused that, she wondered? Their wasn't a lot that could mess with the Doctor's gadgets.

"Doctor", she asked, her voice coming out slightly high and strained. "What's going on?"

The Doctor's head snapped up, his eyes darting about as he quickly pocketed the screwdriver.

"Not sure. Not important. Come on, let's go."

She stared at him, taken aback. It wasn't like the Doctor to run away from an adventure, especially if their was a mystery. Especially if someone was in trouble, which the kid obviously was. But the Doctor was backing slowly down the aisle the way they had come, his eyes seeming to leap between every shadow.

"But, Doctor, what about-" she gestured at the boy, who was likewise watching the shadows, his back to the wall, his eyes wide and his expression bordering on panicked.

"He's right", the Doctor said, his voice strained, a forced calm. "Not our business. Now move along Pond." He tried to sound all light and cheery, but she'd gotten pretty good at reading her Doctor, at least as much as anyone could, and she saw right through the lie.

"But Doctor, what about-" she began to protest, but Rory gripped her hand, gently but firmly, and turned her around, guiding her back down the aisle. She opened her mouth to protest, indignant, but the Doctor nudged her after Rory, keeping his eyes fixed on the boy as he backed slowly away, keeping between the kid and her and Rory. The way you might act if you found yourself face to face with a vicious dog, she thought oddly, or a bear. She followed Rory, her thoughts racing, and tried not to notice the look of disappointment and betrayal that flickered across the kid's face.

They rounded the corner and headed toward the exit, almost jogging in the dark, narrow aisle. Rory had let go of her hand, probably so as not to slow her down, but they kept pace with one another. They both slowed, however, as they reached the checkout counter. The young clerk looked a lot more awake now, his face pale and his wide eyes starring, his mouth working wordlessly.

"Move", Rory said tersely, reaching around the counter and yanking him into the aisle toward the entrance. He gave the young man a push, sending him stumbling toward the door, Amy and Rory following close behind him. Amy heard a muffled crash and a high-pitched yelp of pain and fear coming from the back of the store, and she glanced back over her shoulder, her fears receding slightly as she saw the Doctor hurrying down the aisle behind them. She saw no sign of the kid, however. She paused, wanting to ask again what was going on, but the Doctor hurried past her without slowing.

"Come on Pond, don't dawdle."

And so, reluctantly, she followed him and Rory, wondering what was happening, and trying to ignore the gnawing guilt she felt at running away, at leaving someone behind.

The parking lot was still empty, and it seemed darker now, colder. She could see the TARDIS, half-hidden in shadows on the other side of the lot, its blue light flaring like a beacon in the night, promising shelter and safety behind its shields, but the others seemed to be moving more slowly now, like they were running through deep water. Her own movements felt slow as well, clumsy and lethargic. She tried to open her mouth to ask the Doctor what was happening, but she couldn't make any sounds come out. The whole world seemed to have ground to a halt, like in a bad dream where you know something is chasing you but you can't run away. She could see the profile of the Doctor's face, his features taut, his eyes hard; and Rory's face, half-turned over one shoulder toward her, his expression anxious.

She heard a crash from behind her, the sound of shattering glass, the sound seeming distorted as well. She tried to turn around, but she couldn't move, couldn't even breath. Her chest felt tight, constricted, her heart beating much too fast, cold fear gnawing at her guts and making her limbs tremble as she futily tried to get away.

Then the malevolent presence rolled over her like a black wave, and she felt immoveable claws grip her right shoulder and throat and lift her off the ground.

***

I hit the cement in front of the gas station hard, scraping my chin and hands on the rough pavement. I barely felt it between the pounding in my head and the terror of the demon behind me. I tried to climb to my feet, but before I could get my bearings, a vicious blow struck me across my right shoulder, spinning me like a top. The world blurred, and then I was lying on my back, facing the large front window of the gas station, every bone and muscle in agony. I tried to sit up, but a wave of dizzy nausea washed over me, and I gagged. I sat sprawled their, head spinning, heart pounding as I tried to get my bearings.

I could see the parking lot reflected in the glass of the store's front window, the blurred figures of the odd trio who'd confronted me in the store, Amy and whatshisname and the strange "Doctor". The clerk from the store was with them too, a little ahead of them, but they seemed to be frozen in mid-stride, as though time had slowed to a standstill.

And their, between us, stood the demon named He Who Walks Behind.

It was almost human-shaped, maybe, but distorted and wrong, and blacker than the night. It turned to me, fixing me with an inhuman stare- and then it smiled.

I've seen some strange and terrible things in my life, but nothing compares to that smile. It was cold, and cruel, filled with hatred and malice and delight in the pain of all living things. The demon smiled- and then it moved, impossibly fast, so fast that it was less a blur and more like it had simply shifted from one spot to another, like I was watching a film that had just jumped a few seconds forward. Then it was standing behind Amy, wrapping its claws around her throat, lifting her into the air. I began to lurch to my feet, a reflexive motion, then froze, uncertain. I wanted to help her. I didn't want Amy to get hurt because of me, because the demon was here for me. But what could I do? I couldn't stop this thing. I couldn't do anything.

And then the Doctor and Rory were moving, whatever spell had immobilized them broken. They were shouting, frantic words spilling from their mouths, though I couldn't make out the details. The thing lifted Amy further off the ground and they froze, a few paces away on either side of the thing. The Doctor was shouting, his words spilling out rapid-fire, tinged with forced calm on the edge of panic, and something darker, bubbling just below the surface.

"Wait! Wait don't! Whatever you want. Let's just talk about this, okay?"

"Doctor-" Rory began, his voice strained, terrified.

"Don't worry Rory, she'll be alright, I promise."

The demon spoke, its voice grating like nails on the chalkboard of the soul, yet somehow amused.

"I do not think that likely, Doctor."

The Doctor turned to face him.

"What do you want?"

The demon laughed, sending shivers dancing along my spine.

"I want many things, Doctor. I want to hunt. To kill. To taste the terror of the mortal race, their pain and their despair. I want to stand in the ashes of this plane as the stars burn out. But what I want right now is answers.

Your companions are mortal. They matter not. The young mageling and I are already acquainted, and we will conclude our business soon enough." I swallowed. "But you, Doctor... you are something different. I sense your power, yet it is unfamiliar. Alien. Who are you? What are are you?"

"But you already know that", the Doctor replied. "I'm the Doctor."

The creature hissed, and shook Amy's limp body like a rag doll. Rory and the Doctor both took a step toward her, then froze, standing helplessly a few paces away from the demon and its hostage.

"DO YOU THINK TO SPORT WITH ME", the demon snarled, its voice made more terrible by its fury. "I AM NOT SOME MORTAL ANIMAL, SOME LESSER FAE OR DEMON TO BE GULLED WITH CLEVER WORDS! I AM THE HUNTER, THE GREATEST OF THE WALKERS! I AM HE WHO WALKS BEHIND! ANSWER MY QUESTIONS TRUE, OR YOU WILL WATCH AS YOUR COMPANIONS DIE SCREAMING. THE MORTAL WOMAN AND HER MATE, THE MAGELING, THE MORTAL ATTENDANT. AND LAST OF ALL, WHILE THEIR SCREAMS STILL LINGER IN YOUR EARS, LAST OF ALL WILL I COME FOR YOU, AND YOUR DEATH WILL BE AS SLOW AS THE DYING OF THE STARS." Its voice returned to that quite, cultured tone, though laced with no less fury. "How do you answer, Doctor?"

The Doctor stood silent for a moment, then drew himself up. When he spoke, his voice was too calm.

"Alright. Alright. What do you want to know."

The demon was silent for a moment, and I thought its grip on the girl's throat tightened. Rory took a step towards her, though he couldn't have reached her in time, or done anything if he had. I could see it on his face, even in the blurry reflection in the window's glass, desperate fear and frustration. I wondered if it was how my face had looked when I fled Justin's mansion, leaving Elaine behind.

Then the demon relaxed its grip, letting Amy's feet drop to the ground, though it did not release its hold upon her.

"Your name, Doctor", it said. "Tell me your name."

Silence.

The demon didn't move, but a tension seemed to gather around it, the thought before the action.

"Alright", the Doctor said again, his shoulders slumping slightly in defeat. "Let her go, and I'll tell you my name."

The demon hissed, tightening its grip on Amy's throat, and I thought I heard her gasp in pain. At least I knew she was still alive.

"This is not a trade, Doctor. My patience wears thin."

The Doctor stood regarding the monster for a moment. I heard Rory's voice, raw and desperate.

"Doctor its killing her-"

"I don't have a choice!", the Doctor snapped. He turned to face the demon again. "Alright. I'll tell you who I am. Its a pity though. I really would have liked to ask you a few questions. What you are, why you're here, just what you want with the wizard. I mean, sure, he's a wizard, but he's just a child. Their's nothing special about him, no great power. Clearly its not to kill him, you could have done that a dozen times over-"

Surprise made me turn to face him, despite myself.

The demon vanished, releasing its grip on Amy. She dropped to the ground where she crumpled limply. Rory ran to her and knelt beside her.

Something slammed into me with vicious strength, driving me to the pavement again. Through a blur of pain I felt the demon grip me, and my heart leapt into my throat as I felt certain that it was about to rip me apart. Their was a nauseating blur of motion, and then I hit the ground again, hard. I was winded for a few moments, but I was dimly aware that it had dropped me a few feet away from that odd blue box, on the other side of the parking lot.

And that was when I heard it.

Its difficult to describe the sound, to someone who's never heard it. A deep, groaning, wheezing that echoed through the air, through your bones, through your very soul. A gust of wind accompanied the sound as air was displaced, wafting over the parking lot. It was accompanied by a surge of indescribable energy and power. I don't know if anyone else felt it, though I'd bet that the Walker did. Maybe its just a wizard thing. It felt warm, almost hot, but not painfully so. It swirled around us, wrapping us in its embrace. Their was a deep, echoing thud. Then silence. But only for a moment.

The demon screamed with incoherent rage, and I felt the ground tremble slightly beneath me from its fury. I heard a gasp of pain, and guessed that it had struck the Doctor. It was shrieking in rage, its words almost incoherent in its wrath, and I didn't dare to to look behind me to try to see what was happening, didn't dare to even move in case I drew its attention to me again.

"YOU DARE DEFY ME? THEN WITNESS THE PRICE!"

The Walker blurred, and I saw it reflected in the windows of the nearest car, as it wrapped its hands around the gas station attendant's throat and torso. The Doctor started forward, his hand outstretched.

"No wait-"

Their was a motion, a sick, wet, ripping sound, a splash of wet, dark liquid. I felt some of the droplets hit the back of my head and neck. Others speckled the glass in front of me.

Three hunks of wet, mangled meat hit the ground. My stomach heaved, and I retched onto the pavement.

The demon had ripped the boy apart, for no other reason than to send the Doctor a message.

"That was a mistake." I blinked, wiping vomit away from my mouth with my sleeve. The Doctor's voice sounded different now. Colder. Harder.

"ANSWER ME NOW, DOCTOR, OR THE MAGE SHALL SHARE HIS FATE!"

"Oh, we both know that's just talk. Like I said, you're not hear to kill him. I'm not sure why you are here, but that really doesn't matter now. Because you killed someone, someone under my protection. So no deals, no demands, no name. No talk." The Doctor was stalking toward the Walker, past the gas pumps in the centre of the parking lot. I saw one loosely swinging arm tangle in the hose of the middle pump, a clumsy mistake. The Doctor shook it free, yanking the hose lose, and gasoline began spilling onto the pavement. The Doctor continued pacing forward, toward the demon. "Its just you and me now. And now your time is up."

You got that wrong, Doc, I thought. My heart was still pounding, my limbs shaking with fear, but something else was rising up in me, pushing out the terror. Anger, burning hot and bright. I slowly raised my arm behind me, using the monster's reflection to aim, gathering my will and my power for a spell greater and more destructive than any I had ever cast before. I smiled as the word for the spell formed in my mind.

The demon snarled. It blurred toward the Doctor again, sending him flying across the lot. I heard him hit something with a tinkle of shattering glass. It must have been a parked car, I guess. The demon was standing where the Doctor had been, right next to the pumps, in the middle of a spreading pool of gasoline.

"I WILL TEAR YOU LIMB FROM LIMB", it howled.

"No", I said. My voice came out high-pitched and thready, but at least I sounded calmer than I felt. "You won't."

The demon turned toward me, and I released the spell.

"Fuego!"

A wide, wild jet of fire shot from my hand, expanding out to engulf the demon, the pumps, and the nearest cars. The spreading pool of gasoline went up in a sheet of fire that raced across the little lot. Car after car went up.

For a moment the demon rose out of the inferno, its screams echoing across the parking lot.

"YOU DARE TO RAISE YOUR HAND AGAINST ME!"

Then the pumps exploded, one after another in rapid succession. The explosion threw me against the nearest car, and I think I blacked out. When I came too, I could hear the fire roaring behind me, feel its heat singing my hair and the back of my neck. Bits of flaming debris littered the lot around me, and the asphalt was starting to melt. I pushed myself to my feet, swaying, then turned around, flinching as two more cars on the far side of the lot blew apart. Flaming debris rained down on the gas station. I saw the roof catch fire and begin to burn.

Their was no sign of the demon, or the Doctor, or his companions. Just a blue phone box, standing untouched in the middle of the roaring inferno.

That wasn't where it was supposed to be, I thought vaguely.

"You alright?"

I spun 'round, raising my arm and calling my new fire spell to mind once more, though I didn't think I'd have the strength to cast it again. It took me a moment to realize that I was staring into the pale face of the Doctor. His hair was a wild mess, stained with dirt and soot, his clothes tattered, but he gave me a small, tired smile. Next to him was...

I blinked. The blue box was standing next to him, lit orange and red by the flickering light of the flames. I looked back at the inferno. Sure enough, a second blue box was sitting in the middle of the roaring flames, having apparently materialized from nowhere. I looked back at the Doctor, who was grinning now.

"Interesting trick", he said, nodding from me to the firestorm beside us. I looked away, embarrassed, then glanced between the two boxes once more.

"Same to you", I said.

The Doctor put an arm around my shoulder and guided me toward the box, but I dragged my feet. I suddenly remembered that I knew nothing about this man, and that whoever, whatever he was, he was clearly more than ordinary For all I knew, this was some trick of Justin's. Send a demon after me, have the Doctor show up and save me, earn my trust, only to deliver me right back into my mentor's hands.

The Doctor stepped back, regarding me quietly.

"You don't trust me."

I swallowed, trying not to let my fear show.

"Any reason why I should?"

The Doctor considered it for a moment. Then he smiled.

"Only one way to find out."

He opened the door of the blue box, and stepped inside.

I stood their a moment, then sighed.

What the hell. It wasn't like I had anywhere else to go.

I followed the Doctor inside.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Time's Rites (Doctor Who/The Dresden Files).

Postby LadyTevar » 2016-11-08 03:14pm

Nicely done. :)
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Re: Time's Rites (Doctor Who/The Dresden Files).

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-11-12 10:02pm

Glad you like it. I'm having a lot of fun with this story. Next chapter is currently in progress.

A couple random thoughts on combining Dresden and Who lore, which I hope aren't too spoilery for this story:

1. Considering how magic works in the Dresdenverse, the TARDIS must have a hell of a threshold on it. Its been the Doctor's home, and his sole permanent companion, for about a millennium. I also wonder if its being a sapient being, being both the home and the permanent resident, as it were, in one, would give it a stronger threshold. Either way, I doubt anything in Dresdenverse canon short of Capital G-God or an angel would be getting through its threshold easily.

Additionally, the TARDIS's mind/soul could qualify as analogous to a genius loci like Demonreach- a spirit attached to, and possessing power over, a single location.

2. I've been considering where the Doctor would fall in terms of power and status in the Dresdenverse. Its difficult because he's really unparalleled in Dresden Files terms, a powerful alien who derives his powers primarily from science rather than magic and/or mortal belief.

At the risk of sounding like wank, the best I can come up with is a small-g god, like Odin or Hades, or the Queens of Summer and Winter. Albeit deriving power from different sources and being less physically formidable than such beings generally are in Dresden Files canon.

1. He is immortal (or at least close to it, practically).
2. He possesses super human physical and mental abilities.
3. He has his own domain over which he has power (the TARDIS is essentially a pocket universe).
4. He has power and authority over a specific fundamental force of nature (Time).
5. He has been referred to as a god, and even derived power from mortal belief on at least one occasion, I believe ("Last of the Time Lords").

His companions would likely be seen as his servitors/vassels, in Dresden supernatural terms.

The main difference, besides how he originated/acquired his power, is that he is much more active in the mortal world than such beings generally are in The Dresden Files. For one thing, I very much doubt that the Doctor would ever sign his name to the Unseelie Accords, and if he had, he'd have probably violated them a thousand times over now. :D
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Time's Rites (Doctor Who/The Dresden Files).

Postby LadyTevar » 2016-11-13 05:47pm

1. The TARDIS is not just a threshold, it'd be a Power Center like Arctis Tor or the SummerPalace.

2. The Doctor would be lesser than the Queens, closer to Leann-Shidhe. Although, in a way, The Doctor is as much a Mantle as Santa Claus.

As for the Accords, that's debatable. Have we ever seen a full version of the Accords (in this 'verse)? There might be a stipulation in there specifically dealing with the Doctor for all we know.
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Re: Time's Rites (Doctor Who/The Dresden Files).

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-11-14 02:08pm

Number two is something I considered as well.

We know from "The Doctor's Wife" that the TARDIS is not only sapient, but that it is implicitly using its precognitive abilities to actively manipulate the Doctor's life ("I always took you where you needed to go").

In that case, the Doctor might be viewed as the TARDIS's emissary/agent to the mortal world, being to the TARDIS what the Winter and Summer Knight are to the fae queens.

Not that Doc would see it that way, of course. ;) But in terms of how the supernatural community might view him.

And maybe this just my obsession with politics, but I'd really love it if Butcher published a full copy of the Unseelie Accords as a companion to the series. It would make some of these debates so much easier.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Time's Rites (Doctor Who/The Dresden Files).

Postby HortonX25 » 2016-11-14 02:50pm

I'd be surprised if the Doctor isn't known off in the Dresdenverse myself.

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Re: Time's Rites (Doctor Who/The Dresden Files).

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-11-14 02:55pm

I'll say this much about upcoming chapters: Some of the players will definitely know the Doctor (though not necessarily by that name). Feel free to speculate as to whom. :D

HWWB didn't because he's an Outsider, and unless summoned by a mortal practitioner, is stuck outside the universe.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Time's Rites (Doctor Who/The Dresden Files).

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-11-24 06:51pm

I followed the Doctor through the doors of the strange blue box, and stopped short as that indescribable energy I'd felt before washed over me like a vast tide. I'm pretty sure my mouth dropped open, but I don't remember much for the next minute or so.

I was standing in a circular room; an impossibly large, circular room. The floor was glass, and beneath it I could see a tangle of great, intricate machines. The walls were metallic and white, and stairs ran up to doors leading... somewhere. In the middle of the room sat a sort of control station?- covered in buttons and levers and stranger things. A translucent column rose from its centre to join with the ceiling. A warm, orangish light bathed the entire chamber. I'd seen magic and monsters, but I'd never even heard of something like this. It felt alien, and yet strangely... homey. I starred, from the controls to the high ceiling to the Doctor, standing in the middle of the room with an odd, almost alien smile playing across his soot-stained face. I looked back over my shoulder, through the door, partly to convince myself that this was real and partly to reassure myself that the outside world was still their. I could see orange light and shadows flickering in the darkness, and hear the crackle of flames, punctuated by little hisses and pops, and a sudden loud bang of a tire bursting. I looked quickly away. Part of me wanted to dash outside, to confirm what my eyes saw but my reason and experience told me were impossible, but the rest of me didn't want to set foot out their again, with the fire and the demon and the... bodies. I imagined Amy and whatwasshisname?- Rory. I imagined Amy and Rory lying amid the flames, beside the three pieces of the boy, their clothes and skin drying and withering in the flames, charing before they burst into crackling flame...

I shuddered and nearly gagged again as I turned away from the door, facing the Doctor. To my surprise, he was still smiling, the expression incongruous and unnerving after everything that had happened that night.

"What..." I trailed off, swallowed, and tried again. "What is this place?"

"Its the TARDIS", he replied. "My ship."

"It's..." I trailed off again, feeling foolish saying the obvious, even if it was obviously impossible.

The Doctor grinned.

"Go on, say it."

"Its... bigger on the inside." The Doctor mouthed the words along with me, grinning. I flushed, feeling like he was making fun of me, but he just kept grinning, then clapped his hands and spun toward the console.

"How's about we take her for a spin?"

Before I could reply or figure out what the hell he was talking about, the Doctor began working the controls, still addressing me without taking his eyes off the console.

"Could you just close that door behind you, their's a good lad." I blinked, then scrambled to comply, deliberately keeping my eyes averted from the lot and the flames outside. No sooner had I shut the door than I felt an incredible power thrum through the air, through my bones, though my magic and into my soul. That indescribable sound echoed around me again, and I felt the floors, the whole room, begin to shake. I grabbed a coat stand next to the door, a detached part of my mind noting how strangely out of place a coat stand seemed in a place that looked like it had come out of an H.G. Wells novel or something, and I barely managed to keep my feet. My head was still swimming a little from the beating I'd taken, and each jolt sent a burst of pain through my cranium. I could hear the Doctor shouting something as I gritted my teeth and tried not to throw up or pass out, but I couldn't make out the words. Then the shuddering slowed and stopped, and I heard again that deep, groaning, wheezing noise that seemed to come from everywhere at once. I opened my eyes for a moment, then yelped and sprang back, hitting the wall behind me hard enough to hurt.

A shape, no, two shapes, pale and translucent, were fading in and out of sight in the centre of the... control room, the solidity of the images waxing and waning in time with the rising and falling sound. I starred as the shapes slowly resolved into the figures of Amy and Rory. She was lying on the floor, like I had last seen her in the parking lot. Her face was pale, almost white, and a thin line of blood trickled from a small cut on her throat. I felt a moment of panic before I saw that she was breathing. Rory knelt beside her, one hand holding her's, the other checking her pulse. He'd looked up momentarily when they materialized inside the TARDIS, but after a moment, he completed his cursory examination, then turned to the Doctor as he came hurrying over.

"I think she'll be okay." The relief in Rory's voice was palpable. As he spoke, Amy groaned and sat up, despite Rory's gentle effort to keep her lying down. She smiled at her husband, then turned to the Doctor. Rory's glance flickered briefly to me.

"What about the other one?"

The Doctor's face fell slightly, his boyish enthusiasm fading, and for a moment he looked ancient, and very tired.

"I couldn't save him."

Rory didn't answer, just helped Amy to her feet and guided her towards the stairs and the doorway on the far side of the room. She protested weakly, and after a few moments, in which Amy insisted that she really was alright, honestly, and she didn't need her boys babying her, Rory reluctantly helped her sit down next to the console, keeping one arm around her to support her as she leaned tiredly against him. She looked like she hadn't slept in a week, and a thread of mostly dried blood still ran down her throat, but she managed a tired grin at me. I smiled back uncertainly, then turned back to the Doctor.

"So", Amy began after a few moments. "What the hell was that... that thing?"

"An ancient being", the Doctor said quietly, his voice cold. "Something from Outside." I noted that he said "Outside" like it was capitalized.

"Outside?"

"Outside our reality. All realities."

I had so many questions, so many questions, that I couldn't think where to start. Eventually one thought managed to break through the general tangle long enough for me to give it voice.

"How did..." I glanced at Amy and Rory, then back to the Doctor.

The Doctor shrugged.

"Short-range time jump. I'm usually not so precise, but the old girl really came through this time." He patted the console affectionately.

"Wait- time jump?", I blurted, my eyes going wide as the words penetrated my dazed and confused brain. "Are you saying this thing... travels in time?"

"Well of course", the Doctor replied, as if it was the most ordinary thing in the world, and I was being rather silly for asking. "It wouldn't be much of a time machine otherwise, would it?"

I shook my head mutely, still trying to wrap my head around it.

"So... you... what, jumped back in time to pick up your friends? After the..." I swallowed. "After it let them go?"

He nodded. It took me a moment to realize that that meant that He Who Walks Behind was still outside, that at that very moment I might be calling up fire to hurl at it. I backed quickly away from the walls, looking around as though I half-expected it to appear inside the control room, which to be honest, I did.

"Oh, we're perfectly safe in here", the Doctor said, as though he had read my mind. "TARDIS shields. The legions of Rome couldn't break down those doors." I saw Amy glance at Rory, grinning slightly, and he shifted uncomfortably.

I nodded, not feeling terribly reassured. The legions of Rome might not be able to enter, but the legions of Rome didn't have superhuman strength and speed, hideous mind powers, or the ability to always be standing directly behind you. I flinched, and resisted the urge to look over my shoulder. It wouldn't do any good anyway. On the other hand, I tried to reassure myself, the Doctor had a lot more power than anything else I'd ever encountered. Even Justin had never shown me anything like this.

Then again, Justin had never shown me how to summon demons either.

What the hell was I going to do now? I couldn't think of anything else to say that wouldn't sound scared or stupid, so I just stood their mutely, feeling like an idiot, and completely out of my depth. Weariness overcame me and I leaned against the wall, letting myself slide slowly to the floor. I heard someone approaching and looked up to see Amy standing over me. Her face was still pale, and Rory hovered anxiously just over her shoulder, but she seemed steady on her feet as she kneeled beside me.

"Its a lot to take in, isn't it?"

I nodded. I realized, in a rare moment of intuition, that she'd probably experienced a day a lot like this one once, and I wondered what Amy had been before she met the Doctor, and weather she ever regretted it. She met my eyes, and before I could jerk them away, I found myself being drawn forward into what I recognized, in panic, as a Soul Gaze.

One of the things about being a wizard, don't ask me how or why, is that if you look into another person, another human being's eyes, you get a glimpse of their soul, their true nature- and they get a look at your's. And what you see you never, ever forget. It never fades, never goes away. Its their in your memory, forever.

I'd only Soul Gazed someone once before, and what I'd seen in Elaine's soul that night still moved me. I'd done my best to avoid gazing anyone else- what I'd seen in Elaine had been beautiful, but also frightening, and I didn't know what I'd see if I looked in someone else. Besides, I didn't like the idea of someone seeing into me like that, and I doubted most other people would be any more comfortable with the idea than I was. But I'd been taken off-guard, still caught up in thinking about all the impossible things that had happened to me since I woke up that morning, and before I knew it I was being pulled into the Soul Gaze, as Amy's eyes seemed to grow and expand to swallow me up.

I fell through darkness, and landed on... grass?

I looked up.

I was standing in a garden, outside what looked like an old fashioned country home, somewhere in Europe maybe. Probably England or Scotland, given the trio's accents. It was night, and the stars shone brightly overhead. A cool breeze rustled the branches and bushes. It felt peaceful, safe. Like home. But I sensed something lurking in the shadows, a nameless, invisible menace hiding just out of sight.

Sitting on the grass in the middle of the garden, atop a bulging suitcase and bundled in warm clothes, was a little girl. She couldn't have been older than... ten, maybe? She had a pale face, bright eyes, and long red hair. Despite the difference in years, I knew, somehow, beyond any doubt, that this was Amy. She was looking up at the stars, her expression earnest, joyful and yearning.

Time passed. It can't have been more than seconds, but it felt like ages. I watched as the hope and joy slowly fell away from that youthful face. I watched as night changed to day and day to night, as seasons and years flew past, and her face aged, childish enthusiasm replaced by a weary cynicism as the garden withered around her.

Now another person joined Amy in the garden. Rory: not the Rory I'd seen that night, but younger, happier, if somehow... goofier. Rory as Amy saw him. He sat beside her, never leaving her side, his attention never wavering from her, and I sensed the strength and comfort she drew from his presence.

Then I heard that indescribable sound, the sound of the TARDIS, echoing through the garden. At first Amy seemed not to notice, but as the sound grew louder, more persistent, I saw her look up, her attention drawn toward it. A blue light began to flicker in and out, washing over the garden, and I saw the years of cynicism and loneliness and fear fall away from Amy's face as a light returned to her eyes. She ran after the sound, and Rory followed, chasing her through the garden. A deep boom echoed through the air and the world seemed to dissolve, falling away beneath Amy's feet. Rory reached for her hand and she took it, and they fell together and I was falling with them, falling through space, the stars far brighter and harder and more numerous than they had ever been on Earth. It was beautiful, and exhilarating, and terrifying, and a powerful surge of emotion ran through me, making me want to cry out, to weep, to shout for joy.

We tumbled through stars, no up or down, past blazing suns and empty night, raging infernos and the swirling colours of nebulas, until one brilliant Sun grew brighter before us, orange and blinding white fire expanding to fill my vision. Amy and Rory fell into the fire, their forms lost in that blaze of incandescent light-

I jerked back, gasping, as the Soul Gaze ended. I stared at Amy, my heart pounding. Her face was even paler than usual, and she looked close to hyperventilating. Rory crouched beside her, his expression concerned, and for a moment I was struck with a powerful sense of deja vu. I knew that the Rory in the Soul Gaze would follow Amy to the ends of the universe. Just as I knew that it would destroy them both, and that even knowing that, they'd make the same choices all over again.

"Amy, are you alright? What happened?"

She blinked at Rory, shook her head as though to clear her thoughts, then turned her head toward me. I didn't meet her eyes, even though I knew a Soul Gaze could happen only once between two people. I didn't know what she'd seen in me to frighten her so badly, and I didn't want to.

"Sorry", I mumbled, my eyes on the floor. I could see a green light blinking on one of the great pieces of alien machinery below me.

"Doctor", Amy asked. I looked up, wondering if the Doctor knew what had just happened, and if he would explain it so I didn't have.

"Their are stories", he said slowly. "About looking a wizard in the eye. That they can see into you, see your true nature. I never gave much credence to them."

Amy eyed me warily.

"I guess... I guess it works both ways then."

"Its... its called a Soul Gaze", I muttered, still not meeting anyone's eyes. "When a wizard looks you in the eye, they can see your soul, and you can see their's. It only happens once though", I added quickly, trying to reassure them. I'd always kept quiet about my powers around those who didn't know. Most people, if you told them you were a wizard, would think you were nuts.

If they saw the proof for themselves, they'd usually be scared.

I didn't want Amy, and Rory, and the Doctor, to be afraid of me. True, they seemed a bit more used to this sort of thing than most people, and people who lived in impossibly large time machines couldn't throw stones when it came to having weird and scary powers, but I didn't want to spook them any more than they already were. Amy and Rory seemed like good people, people I'd have liked to call friends under different circumstances. And the Doctor... well, I hadn't quite figured out if I liked him, or was afraid of him.

"Well", said Amy briskly, turning to the Doctor. "That's a relief then, isn't it?"

"Are you sure you're alright Amy", Rory asked, shooting me an annoyed look over her shoulder.

"I'm fine Rory, really", Amy insisted. "Doctor, we're going to help him, right?" She looked at me, and I felt a warmth I hadn't felt in a long time spreading through me at her words. Amy wasn't afraid of me. Or, if she was, she still wanted to help me. Even though she had no reason to, and plenty of reason to be terrified of me.

Five minutes ago, I might have wondered what her real motive was. But now I knew, because I'd seen it written in her soul.

Amy Pond was a good person.

"'Course we are", the Doctor replied, brushing past Amy and striding across the control room to face me. I stood quickly, if still a little unsteadily.

Hey, cut me some slack. Its not every day you find out that your only family is a monster, lose the girl you love, get a demon sent after you, find out time machines are real, and then get pulled into an unexpected Soul Gaze. Hang on- time machine?

An idea began to form, but the Doctor interrupted me before I could get a firm grasp on it.

"Now, then", the Doctor was saying. "Who was it sent an Outsider after you? You know, don't you?"

I swallowed. I suddenly had a feeling that it would be a very, very bad idea to lie to the Doctor.

"It was... I mean, I think it was Justin. My... I guess he's my foster father."

"Your own father sent that thing after you?" Amy sounded horrified, and Rory looked, I thought, a little ill.

"Foster father", I emphasized. "He adopted me, a while after my dad died. I guess it was just after I-" I glanced nervously between the trio, then realized that their was no point in hiding it. They already knew what I was. "Just after I first used magic. He raised me, he gave me a home, he taught me everything I know about magic..." I trailed off as the memories nearly overwhelmed me. No one spoke. I swallowed, took a deep breath, and went on.

"Not long after he adopted me" -I stumbled over the words, the memories causing a fresh pang of loss and betrayal- "he adopted a girl. Her name was Elaine. We... she..." I trailed off miserably. I looked up when I felt Amy's hand on my shoulder.

"You're in love with her." It wasn't a question. I nodded.

"What happened?"

"Justin... Justin must have done something to her. When I came home from school today, she was... different. Wrong, somehow." I knew I was being vague, that I probably sounded like I was just paranoid, or crazy, or slow or something, but I had to make them understand. They'd seen the demon, they'd have to believe me. Right?

"Wrong how", the Doctor asked, his gaze sharp, inquisitive.

"I don't know, I don't know how to describe it. Just- trust me, okay? I know Elaine. That wasn't Elaine."

"So you ran away", Amy said.

I nodded.

"Justin was furious. I knew... I was afraid he'd kill me if I went back, or do something to me like he did to Elaine." I didn't add what I was thinking then- that I'd left Elaine behind.

"You were smart", Rory said. "How's it go? Run away, live to fight another day?"

I snorted.

"I wasn't really thinking past the "running away" part."

"Didn't you have a plan?" The Doctor sounded indignant.

"Oi, listen to the pot calling the kettle black", Amy said with a smile.

"I have plans", the Doctor protested. Amy raised an eyebrow. "Okay, well, mostly I make them up as I go along. But those are the best kind of plan!"

I grinned. Their was something infectious about the Doctor's enthusiasm, and the easy banter between these three. It felt like... family.

"Look", I began. "I really appreciate everything... everything you've done for me, but I can't ask you to get involved. Justin's dangerous. He'll kill you."

They'd already almost died because of me, and I couldn't ask them to face still more horror and danger. Without my fire spell, the demon would have killed the Doctor. And, I suddenly realized, if the Doctor had died their, he couldn't have gone back to rescue Rory and Amy. They all would have died, simply because they stopped to talk to me. And this time, we had no guarantees that everything would work out. I'd gotten a lucky shot in, with the Doctor's help, but I knew that I was no match for Justin DuMourne in a wizard's duel.

But the Doctor just smiled, and their was an edge to it now.

"He'll try", the Doctor said. "But their's something your Justin doesn't know." He grinned. "I'm the man who stops the monsters."

***

In a burning parking lot somewhere in rural America, a pair of feline eyes watched as a blue police call box faded out of reality, accompanied by an unearthly wheezing, groaning sound. A gust of wind made the fires dance and flicker, and then all was silent save for the crackling and popping of the flames.

"Well", said a richly feminine voice. "This will be interesting."

With a swish of rustling fabric, the watcher turned and vanished, just as the sounds of the fast-approaching sirens pierced the night.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Time's Rites (Doctor Who/The Dresden Files).

Postby LadyTevar » 2016-11-25 05:17pm

Once again: THERE vs THEIR. They/Their.

Otherwise -- GREAT JOB. I like the image of Amy's Soul Gaze, and I have to wonder what she saw in his eyes.
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Re: Time's Rites (Doctor Who/The Dresden Files).

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-11-25 09:01pm

The Soul Gaze was actually a last-minute addition when I was writing this chapter, not in my original plan, but it seemed to fit. I wanted to show a bit more of Amy's character and what motivates her, partly because I felt bad about the plot requiring her to spend a chapter as the damsel in distress. Plus, Soul Gazes are fun to write. :D

I've gone back and forth on showing Amy's perspective on Dresden's soul. I'd rather like to, but Butcher has made a point of not revealing what other people see in Dresden's soul (aside from Thomas seeing a... fragment, I guess, of their mother), and while the stories are mostly told from Harry's POV, their have been enough stories from other characters' POV that I figure Butcher must be keeping mum for a reason.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Time's Rites (Doctor Who/The Dresden Files).

Postby HortonX25 » 2016-11-29 06:39pm

So...is there anything within Dresdenverse that can get through the shields of a Tardis?

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Re: Time's Rites (Doctor Who/The Dresden Files).

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-11-30 03:24am

HortonX25 wrote:So...is there anything within Dresdenverse that can get through the shields of a Tardis?


Hard to say what could, because to some extent its speculation how the rules of the Dresdenverse magic would interact with Doctor Who rules (what rules Doctor Who even has).

I would say that between shields, threshold, and whatever psychic power the TARDIS itself has (remember that it kicked out the creature possessing it in "The Doctor's Wife", once it was returned to the control room), it would be likely beyond the ability of any wizard, fae, or even minor god. I did think about getting a piece of TARDIS tech. to create a thaumaturgical link, but I seem to recall reading somewhere that that can fail if the being you're trying to affect is stronger than you are- which the Sun-powered sapient pocket universe in a box would be.

Capital G-God could do it, presumably, if he were a more hands-on deity. Archangels, and probably lesser angels, could (Uriel casually remarks in Skin Game that he can destroy galaxies). Maybe Mothers Summer and Winter?

Not sure about the Denarians. They're Fallen Angels, but working under fairly strict limits. Nicodemus's shadow, Anduriel, can supposedly use any shadow to spy on you, but its noted in Skin Game that certain places can be protected from this. I'll put him as a maybe.

Possibly the Archive, simply because the amount of knowledge she possesses might give her knowledge of vulnerabilities that others would not have (the question of weather her innate knowledge of anything that's written down would extend beyond Earth has never been addressed, because the question of weather their is life beyond Earth in The Dresden Files, excluding the NeverNever of course, has never been addressed).

I also wonder if the TARDIS would be vulnerable to Nemesis corruption- a rather terrifying thought.

Although, the best way to get to the TARDIS would be to take control of its pilot or one of its passengers and use them to gain access. Or ambush its crew and storm it on landing (the Doctor has an unfortunate habit of not scanning the surroundings before opening the doors). Still dangerous, and a villain would be in for a galaxy of hurt if they tried it and failed, but easier than breaching the shields, I'd imagine.

Edit: I wonder if the TARDIS has a true name (presumably she would in the Dresdenverse) and what it would be. Using someone's name against them is supposed to be one of the most effective ways to control them, barring getting a sample of their blood for thaumaturgy anyway.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Time's Rites (Doctor Who/The Dresden Files).

Postby HortonX25 » 2016-11-30 05:11pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
HortonX25 wrote:So...is there anything within Dresdenverse that can get through the shields of a Tardis?


Hard to say what could, because to some extent its speculation how the rules of the Dresdenverse magic would interact with Doctor Who rules (what rules Doctor Who even has).

I would say that between shields, threshold, and whatever psychic power the TARDIS itself has (remember that it kicked out the creature possessing it in "The Doctor's Wife", once it was returned to the control room), it would be likely beyond the ability of any wizard, fae, or even minor god. I did think about getting a piece of TARDIS tech. to create a thaumaturgical link, but I seem to recall reading somewhere that that can fail if the being you're trying to affect is stronger than you are- which the Sun-powered sapient pocket universe in a box would be.

Capital G-God could do it, presumably, if he were a more hands-on deity. Archangels, and probably lesser angels, could (Uriel casually remarks in Skin Game that he can destroy galaxies). Maybe Mothers Summer and Winter?

Not sure about the Denarians. They're Fallen Angels, but working under fairly strict limits. Nicodemus's shadow, Anduriel, can supposedly use any shadow to spy on you, but its noted in Skin Game that certain places can be protected from this. I'll put him as a maybe.

Possibly the Archive, simply because the amount of knowledge she possesses might give her knowledge of vulnerabilities that others would not have (the question of weather her innate knowledge of anything that's written down would extend beyond Earth has never been addressed, because the question of weather their is life beyond Earth in The Dresden Files, excluding the NeverNever of course, has never been addressed).

I also wonder if the TARDIS would be vulnerable to Nemesis corruption- a rather terrifying thought.

Although, the best way to get to the TARDIS would be to take control of its pilot or one of its passengers and use them to gain access. Or ambush its crew and storm it on landing (the Doctor has an unfortunate habit of not scanning the surroundings before opening the doors). Still dangerous, and a villain would be in for a galaxy of hurt if they tried it and failed, but easier than breaching the shields, I'd imagine.

Edit: I wonder if the TARDIS has a true name (presumably she would in the Dresdenverse) and what it would be. Using someone's name against them is supposed to be one of the most effective ways to control them, barring getting a sample of their blood for thaumaturgy anyway.

Interesting, how would the Time Lords be linked in with Dresdenverse? As those guys erased magic originally from the universe.

I doubt the TARDIS would be vulnerable to something like that, as it strikes me as something the Time Lords would've protected them against for obvious reasons or otherwise things could get nasty.

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Re: Time's Rites (Doctor Who/The Dresden Files).

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-11-30 07:17pm

I wasn't actually familiar with the notion that the Time Lords had erased magic, although the line between science and magic is rather blurry with Who (you know the quote about sufficiently advanced science?). For that matter Ten met alien witches (with a thin veneer of technobabble to justify them) and a Satan knock-off, so...

I think that its likely that the Time Lords could have missed some things, though- wouldn't be the first time they've proven less infallible than they'd probably like to think that they are.

And yes, they probably would have devised countermeasures to protect their technology- though if they believed that they had wiped out magic with technology, perhaps they wouldn't do so any more. Time Lord arrogance.

I won't say any more right now, because spoilers. ;)
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Time's Rites (Doctor Who/The Dresden Files).

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-12-23 09:46pm

Apologies for the delay in this chapter, and for the fact that not much happens- chapter four was supposed to be longer, but it was simply getting too long and unwieldy for my liking, so I broke it up.

Some of the stuff on Soul Gazes may be a bit different from how they're portrayed in canon- I did try to find info on the various types of Soul Gazes (thanks to Crazedwraith and Ralin for their assistance), so hopefully I'm at least not contradicting canon.

Regarding timeline, I'm not sure weather the exact dates were ever given, but I'm using 1991 as a best guess for this story's time frame.

Merry Christmas from the Multiverse!


She was blind, and cold, and alone. She could see nothing, feel nothing, as malevolent voices whispered poison in her mind. Ice gripped her heart, and froze her thoughts, and their was no way out, nothing...

Something tugged at her thoughts, an echo of distant memory that could not quite be grasped. It grew stronger, more persistent, and her heart leapt at the familiar sound. She couldn't place it, couldn't recall where she'd heard it before, but she knew, somehow, that it meant hope, and freedom.

TARDIS, she remembered. It was called the TARDIS. And with that, the cold grip of fear on her mind broke, and her memories came flooding back. The TARDIS, the Doctor, Rory. The monster.

Consciousness returned gradually. Later, she would reflect that it could not have been more than a few seconds, but it had felt like hours.

She was lying on something hard and flat and metallic, and she felt cold, though not as much as she had before. Images of a table in a morgue came to mind, and she tried to sit up, but the most she could manage was to open her eyes. She was surrounded by a warm, orangish light, somehow comforting and familiar, like the sound. Something brushed against her throat, and she jerked away, then relaxed as she felt someone gripping her hand. A familiar grip. Rory.

She could hear voices, Rory's voice. She blinked her eyes, groaning, and the orangish light resolved into the familiar walls and ceiling of the TARDIS control room. An indescribable weary relief filled her. They were safe. She was alive, and she was with Rory, and the Doctor had saved them again. Then she remembered the others. She sat up stiffly, her body weak and aching, as Rory tried to push her back to the floor, but she shrugged him off, giving him a quick smile, then turning to the Doctor as he approached, his expression flickering between concern and a pleased grin. As she turned to him, she caught sight of the tall, ragged kid they'd seen in the gas station. He was starring around the TARDIS's control room in dazed amazement, his face and clothes stained with soot. Under other circumstances, she might have grinned at that- it was always amusing when someone caught their first glimpse of the inside of the TARDIS.

"What about the other one", her husband asked the Doctor. Her chest tightened as the Doctor's grin slipped, and a weariness she seldom saw passed over his features.

Oh, no.

"I couldn't save him", the Doctor replied, his regret obvious. She wanted to say something to reassure him, that it hadn't been his fault, but now Rory was helping her to her feet and turning her towards the doorway that lead to, among other things, their bedroom aboard the TARDIS.

The hell with that, she thought with tired irritation. She didn't need rest, or worry. She needed to know what had happened, and what they would do next. She needed to know what that... that thing was.

She shuddered, and felt Rory's hand squeeze her shoulder briefly. She leaned against him for a moment, grateful for his presence, then gently pushed him away.

"I'm fine Rory, don't worry. Really", she added when he looked at her with a familiar expression of exasperated skepticism. "I'm quite alright, honestly, and I don't need my boys babying me. I need answers."

Rory gave her his professional nurse expression, the "You're not well, now stop being difficult and follow the doctor's orders" expression, but he couldn't keep it up for long as she stared him down, so he eventually sighed, rolling his eyes, and gently eased her down to sit against the console. The Doctor had moved around to stand beside Rory, and she cast a quick glance over at the boy on the far side of the control room, shooting him what she hoped was a reassuring smile. He smiled back hesitantly, and she turned to face the Doctor, trying to put together a coherent question for him.

"So", she said finally. It hurt her throat to speak, but she took a deep breath (as deep as she could), swallowed, and tried again, more softly. "What the hell was that... that thing?"

She wasn't sure that she wanted to know.

"An ancient being", the Doctor replied, his voice and expression growing harder, colder than they normally were. "Something from Outside." He emphasized the last word like it was capitalized.

"Outside?" Outside what?

"Outside our reality", he clarified, then added. "All realities."

What? How could something be outside of all realities? Did the Doctor mean like when he had been trapped in the Pandorica, behind the cracks in the universe? She shivered. Those cracks had haunted her most of her life, even when she didn't know it, and they'd nearly destroyed everything. If something else had come through- were the cracks back? Had it all been for nothing? Her old fears, thought buried, returned in force, and it was a few moments before she was able to focus on what the Doctor was saying again. He appeared to have gotten sidetracked on explaining the workings of the TARDIS to the kid. She almost rolled her eyes. She loved her Doctor, but he had a tendency to get distracted like a particularly hyperactive puppy, especially when someone asked him about the TARDIS.

Then again, she thought with a wry grin, who was she to throw stones?

"So you, what, jumped back in time to pick up your friends? After the... After it let them go?"

The kid was asking questions. That was good. She thought about what he had said, and it only took her, a more experienced time traveler, a second to figure out what the Doctor's plan had been. From what Rory had told her, after, it wasn't all that different from how he'd escaped the Pandorica, the first time.

"TARDIS shields", she heard the Doctor explaining. "The legions of Rome couldn't break down those doors."

She shot a grin at Rory, which he avoided with an uncomfortable grimace. She frowned at that. He never talked about what had happened while she had been inside the Pandorica, and she hadn't pushed the issue. It was for her sake, after all, that he'd lived through that existence, though she wasn't sure how much of it he still remembered.

She wondered if the Doctor had been thinking of the same adventure.

The kid, she saw, still looked pretty shaken. He had leaned back against the wall and let himself sink to the floor, his eyes half-closed. She remembered how overwhelmed she had been by some of the things she had seen when she first met the Doctor, and she felt a sudden pang of intense empathy for the boy. She stood carefully, wincing slightly, and gently refusing Rory's assistance, made her way over to the kid. He looked up as she approached, apparently too tired to respond with more than a vaguely questioning expression, as she knelt next to him.

"Its a lot to take in, isn't it", she asked gently.

He nodded, then met her eyes. Their was a moment of instinctive warning, and then, before she could look away, they seemed to expand, or she was being drawn into them, until the control room disappeared and she was floating in darkness once more. She tried to break her gaze away, but she could not. Everywhere she looked, their was only... nothing.

Strangely, though, she didn't feel afraid, not really. It was as if she somehow knew that, whatever horrors lurked in this darkness, they meant her no harm. But, she couldn't help feeling that something, someone, was watching her.

A powerful smell filled her nostrils. She could not immediately place it, and it took her a moment to realize that it was many scents at once, all layered one over another. She could smell wood smoke, and a forest after a spring rain, with a strong whiff of pine. Warm baking bread, Sun-baked Earth and flowers, and a scent that reminded her of a damp, musty basement. The aromas mingled and accentuated one another, growing or diminishing in prominence. She could also smell other, less pleasant things. Burnt rubber, burnt meant, the stench of blood and death. And over it all, a foul, poisonous miasma that left a greasy, oily taste in her mouth. It reminded her irresistably of the creature, the one that had nearly just killed her.

And last of all, as the scents faded and the void dissolved to reveal the familiar control room of the TARDIS, came a whiff of a woman's perfume.

Then she was sitting on the floor of the TARDIS, gasping, starring at the pale, wide-eyed face of the kid. He flushed and looked down, avoiding her eyes. Probably for the best, she thought distantly. She heard Rory say something to her, probably asking if she was alright, or what the hell had just happened, and she glanced quickly at him, shaking her head in a small, noncommittal gesture, before turning her attention back to the kid. He still looked shaken, and avoided her eyes.

Understandable, she thought again.

"Sorry", he muttered. Amy glanced at the Doctor.

"Doctor?"

He answered the unspoken question.

"Their are stories. About looking a wizard in the eye. That they can see into you, see your true nature. I never gave much credence to them."

Of course. The Doctor said that he didn't believe in magic, even if more than half the things he did would qualify by any normal person's standards. She glanced back at the boy. He was still staring at the floor, not meeting their eyes. She didn't think he'd meant to see her soul, if that was what he had done, but she couldn't be sure. Only... if what she had seen, or smelled, or whatever, was the boy's soul, or his true nature, or something... then she didn't think he was bad. Not completely, anyway. Dangerous, yes, she was sure of that now, but not bad.

"I guess... I guess it works both ways, then", she said warily.

"Its... its called a Soul Gaze", the kid spoke up suddenly. "When a wizard looks you in the eye, they can see your soul, and you can see their's. It only happens once though", he quickly added, as though to reassure them.

"Well", she said, trying to muster up more certainty than she felt. "That's a relief then, isn't it?"

"Are you sure you're alright Amy", Rory asked from just behind her.

"I'm fine Rory, really", she replied, rolling her eyes a little. She felt a little bad about that-he was only worried about her-but they'd been through worse. Just tonight, in fact. She shivered.

She turned to the Doctor.

"Doctor, we're going to help him, right?"

She saw the surprise on the kid's face, and winced inwardly. What, had he expected them to simply kick him out of the TARDIS and fly away? Probably, she realized, if not worse. He'd just been attacked by a demon, and he had no real reason to trust them, especially after the... soul gaze? But now a slow grin was spreading across his face.

Whatever is going on here, the Doctor will fix it, she said silently. Count on it.

"'Course we are", the Doctor replied as though he had read her thoughts, crossing the control room to face the kid. He stood quickly, back to the wall, still looking rather nervous.

"Now, then", the Doctor said, anger lacing his voice below the conversational tone. "Who was it sent an Outsider after you? You know, don't you?"

The kid swallowed, eyes darting nervously to her and then back to the Doctor before he replied. Part of her wanted to tell the Doctor to back off, but she didn't. They needed to know, and when the Doctor was like this, he wouldn't accept evasions.

"It was... I mean, I think it was Justin." The boy's next words made the bottom drop out of her stomach. "My... I guess he's my foster father."

"Your own father sent that thing after you", she blurted, then winced once more. She felt Rory tense behind her.

"Foster father", the kid replied, a little sharply. "He adopted me, a while after my dad died. I guess it was just after I-" -he hesitated, then continued- "...just after I first used magic. He raised me, gave me a home, he taught me everything I know about magic..." He fell silent, his expression morose. Amy could guess what he was thinking. She had been an orphan herself. She also knew how much it hurt to be betrayed by someone you trusted, though the Doctor's "abandonment", and Auton-Rory shooting her outside the Pandorica, had been done against their wills.

"Not long after he adopted me", the boy continued, "he adopted a girl. Her name was Elaine." One look at his face when he said the girl's name told Amy that she was more than just a friend to the kid. He clearly regarded her as either a sister, or was in love with her, and her instincts and experience told her that it was the latter. She knelt beside him and placed a hand gently on his shoulder.

"You're in love with her."

He nodded, his expression miserable.

"What happened", she asked, half out of sympathy and half out of curiosity.

"Justin... Justin must have done something to her. When I came home from school today, she was... different. Wrong, somehow." He fell silent, seeming to struggle with putting his thoughts into words.

"Wrong how", the Doctor asked.

"I don't know, I don't know how to describe it. Just- trust me, okay? I know Elaine. That wasn't Elaine."

"So you ran away", Amy said.

The kid nodded, looking thoroughly ashamed of himself.

"Justin was furious. I knew... I was afraid he'd kill me if I went back, or do something to me like he did to Elaine."

"You were smart", Rory said. "How's it go? Run away, live to fight another day?" She gave her husband a small smile.

That got a derisive snort, but the kid's next words showed that he wasn't angry at Rory.

"I wasn't really thinking past the "running away" part."

Been their, she thought grimly.

"Didn't you have a plan", the Doctor asked.

"Oi, listen to the pot calling the kettle black", Amy shot back, shooting him a wry grin. It was too good an opening to miss, and she hoped it might help take the kid's mind off of beating himself up for doing the only smart thing he could have done.

"I have plans", the Doctor protested. She raised an eyebrow. "Okay", he quickly amended, "mostly I make them up as I go along. But those are the best kind of plan!"

She smirked, and was pleased to see the kid grinning too. But then his face fell.

"Look", he said uncertainly. "I really appreciate everything... everything you've done for me, but I can't ask you to get involved. Justin's dangerous. He'll kill you."

Amy snorted. It wasn't that she wasn't afraid- she was, and the Walker had scared her more than she'd been since before she'd traveled with the Doctor. But she knew that their was no way in hell that the Doctor would run away now.

He was ready to run before, a voice in her mind whispered.

That was different, she told herself. He didn't know what we were dealing with. He wasn't prepared.

Then why did he know to run?

He... he was trying to protect us. She did her best to suppress her doubts. She thought she'd moved past this. She could trust the Doctor. He wouldn't run away.

She glanced at the Doctor. He was smiling, a dangerous smile, and she knew that she'd been right.

"He'll try", the Doctor said. "But their's something your Justin doesn't know. I'm the man who stops the monsters."

The Doctor spun 'round and dashed over to the console.

"Now, where are Justin and your friend?"

The kid just blinked, gaping open-mouthed at the Doctor.

"What-"

"We are going to sort this out right now. Just got to make one quick stop along the way. Can't have wizards messing with childrens' heads, or letting Outsiders into this universe."

"But... plan..." the kid stammered.

Rory spoke up, cutting him off.

"He's right Doctor. We can't just go running off after this... wizard now", he said, with a voice of forced calm.

"We're not just going to leave", Amy said, half-question and half-instruction.

"No", Rory agreed, glancing from her, to the boy, to the Doctor. "But I think we could all use some rest right now." His eyes flickered to Amy, and she rolled her eyes, but she couldn't really argue with him. She felt like she'd been up for a week and fallen down a flight of stairs. "And time to figure out a plan." Rory nodded to the kid.

The Doctor hesitated, but then nodded as well.

"Alright. Fair point. Plan. Like I said, quick stop to make along the way."

Rory met his eye for a moment, then nodded before turning to her and the kid.

"I'm going to need to check you both for concussions", he said.

"I'm fine", the kid protested, but Rory ignored him.

"I'll be the judge of that", he said calmly, then instructed them to sit down on the stairs while he examined them. After a minute, she turned to the kid.

"You know, you never did tell us your name."

The kid flushed in embarrasement, then extended a hand.

"Harry... Harry Dresden."

"Oh, a wizard named Harry", she quipped. He stared at her blankly, and she sighed.

"What year is it here?"

"What year is it?" He looked at her like she was nuts. "Don't you- oh, right, time machine." He slapped his face in his hand, in exhaustion or exasperation she wasn't certain.

She smiled.

"You get used to it."

"Its 1991", Harry said helpfully.

"Ah", she nodded. "That explains it."

"Explains what?" The kid was starting to sound irritated. "What does the date have to do with my name being Harry?"

"Oh, its just a funny coincidence. You'll get it in a few years." She grinned at his annoyed expression.

"So", he said after a few moments. "What... what time do you come from? I'm guessing England, from the accent-"

"Scotland, actually", she replied with a smile. "And not that far in the future. Though the Doctor's not actually from England. Just likes to hang out their a lot." She smirked. "I guess, if we were back in our own time, so to speak-" she did some quick figuring. "We'd be in 2011, Rory and me."

"Wow", Harry said, sounding impressed. He grinned. "You're actually from the future."

"Well, technically", she replied. "I mean, I suppose I'm actually somewhere out their right now. Little baby Amy." It was a strange thought, one she didn't usually dwell on.

Harry frowned at her.

"So, you could go back in time and meet your younger self? Talk to her? Maybe... warn her, about trouble down the line?"

"It doesn't quite work like that", she said, then, seeing his expression, half-deflated and half-argumentative, guessed where he'd been going with this.

Oh damn. She didn't want the wizard kid getting the wrong ideas about time travel. That would be... bad.

"Look", she said sympathetically. "Their are... rules, okay? About time travel. One of the big ones is that you're not supposed to cross your own timeline. If you do..."

"Bad things happen", Rory finished.

"Oh." The kid looked utterly crestfallen. She didn't mention that the Doctor had broken that particular rule, blatantly, during the whole Pandorica incident. She felt bad about lying to Harry, if only lying by omission, but...

Their were exceptions to almost every rule. That was something you learned when you traveled with the Doctor. But the kid didn't need to hear that right now. She understood the temptation to try to cheat, to try to make things work out the way you wanted them to. But the Pandorica had been a "desperate times, desperate measures" sort of situation. She'd been dead, technically, and Rory was a robot, and the whole bloody universe had been being erased around them, everything that ever was or could have been just bleeding away...

Harry looked like he wanted to argue the point some more. She was pretty sure what he had had in mind, and yeah, she could sympathize. It wasn't all that different from what the Doctor and Rory had done for her.

"You were thinking you could just go back, get Elaine before Justin did anything to her, before he could ever summon a demon to hunt you, or attack us."

He looked up, startled, like that wasn't what he'd been thinking at all, but it had to be it, right?

He shrugged.

"Not a bad plan, the way I see it."

She shook her head, her expression sympathetic. She hated to take away his hope that this could all just be... undone, and for a few moments, she considered trying to convince the Doctor to go with plan Rewrite the Timeline. She caught Rory's warning look. He'd probably guessed what she was thinking. She met his eyes levelly for a moment, a silent communication. Then she turned back to Harry.

"I get it", she said. "I really, really do. You want to go back and make everything right. But you can't."

"Why not", he asked, his tone almost pleading before it shifted to anger. "What's the point in having a damn time machine if you can't help people?"

"We do help people", she said. "But that doesn't mean we can fix everything."

"Why not", Harry repeated stubbornly.

"Paradoxes", Rory cut in before she could reply. She shot him a look, though she wasn't sure weather to be annoyed or grateful for the interruption.

"Paradoxes", Harry asked. "Like..." He trailed off, thinking, then looked up, a look of realization on his face. "Like... if I went back in time and killed Hitler, then Hitler would never have been born, so I would never have gone back to kill him?"

Smart kid, she thought. Or maybe he just watches a lot of science fiction.

"That's the idea", Rory agreed. "Its a logical contradiction."

"And what happens if there's a paradox", Harry asked.

Amy shrugged uncomfortably. She wasn't actually sure. The Doctor had something about giant bat-things that ate people, but she wasn't sure if he had been serious. It was so hard to tell sometimes.

"You'll have to ask the Doctor", Rory replied.

Harry shrugged and looked away, his expression morose. Then he looked up sharply.

"Hang on a moment. Isn't that exactly what the Doctor did, saving you two with the... TARDIS?"

That honestly stumped her for a moment, and she turned to Rory for an explanation.

In my defence, I was kind of out of it at the time.

"Its a time loop", Rory said. "At least, I think."

"Time loop", Harry repeated.

"Yeah. Like in..." He searched for an example. "Like in Terminator. Skynet sends the Terminator back in time, the Terminator gets destroyed and salvaged for parts, which leads to its own creation."

"And then John Connor sends a guy back to stop it, and he becomes John's father", Amy added in, catching on. "Its a loop. Like... a self-fulfilling prophecy."

"So the Doctor didn't actually change anything. Just made sure that what he already knew happened, happened", Rory finished.

"I've never seen Terminator", Harry grumbled.

"Oops, sorry about the spoilers." Amy grinned, but Harry didn't answer, his expression still gloomy. She felt like such a jerk, but she knew that the Doctor might have second thoughts about helping him if he tried to break the rules like that, now.

"Hey", she said, reaching over and gripping his shoulder gently. "We'll get her back, and we'll sort out Justin. I promise."

Harry met her eyes, and she almost flinched, but nothing happened. Guess he was telling the truth, she thought. It only happens once.

Harry studied her face, then nodded slowly, letting out a long breath.

She hoped it was a promise she could keep.

Finally Rory nodded and rose, apparently convinced that neither of them were in immediate danger, and headed back towards the depths of the TARDIS. Amy followed him, and a couple moments later she heard Harry get up and fall in behind her. As they climbed the stairs and approached the door leading to the rest of the TARDIS, the Doctor called out to them.

"Oi, be careful not to use your Sight."

"Huh?" She glanced at the Doctor, then at Harry, who simply nodded.

"Why can't Harry use his sight", she asked. "Isn't he doing that now?"

"Not sight, Sight", the Doctor said absently, emphasizing the word as he flipped a switch and the TARDIS jolted into motion again.

She glanced at Harry inquiringly, realizing that the Doctor wasn't going to say more right now.

"Its a wizard thing", he said. "Like a... like a Soul Gaze", he added softly. "Its a way we have of... seeing the world the way it really is, I guess."

"So why can't you use it in here?"

He opened his mouth, but the Doctor replied for him.

"The TARDIS is a multi-dimensional sapient universe in a box", he explained. "I'm not sure what seeing its true nature would do to a human mind, and its probably best if we don't find out."

Harry swallowed, and nodded.

"Right then. No Sight", he said, and followed her and Rory through the door and into the long, dimly lit hallway. They passed a couple of other doors and made a turn, as Harry eyed his new surroundings warily.

"What's in their", he asked, as they passed one of the doors.

"Oh, that's the swimming pool", Amy replied offhandedly.

"Swimming pool? Just how big is this place?"

"No one's really sure. I'm not sure even the Doctor knows."

Harry whistled.

"Where did he get something like this? Did he make it himself, or-"

"Stole it", Amy replied, smirking.

"He stole it? From who?" The kid sounded a little nervous, like he was worried that whoever the Doctor had robbed might coming looking for them.

"His own people, I think", she said. "He doesn't talk about it much."

"His people", Harry queried.

"The Time Lords."

"Time Lords?" The kid glanced nervously back toward the control room. "Then the Doctor... he's not human?"

"Nope", Amy said with a grin. "He's an alien."

"An alien? Not a demon or... or a fairy or something? An actual alien?"

She nodded.

"Yep."

Harry grinned once more.

"That's... really cool."

***

Amy and Rory lead me through the interior of the TARDIS, down dark and vaguely menacing white-walled corridors that thrummed with that same strange energy I had felt upon entering the TARDIS, until we reached another door, identical to the others that we had already passed.

"Guest room", Rory explained as the door opened, revealing a small room with a wood-panneled, rug-covered floor and oddly familiar, peeling green wallpaper. A rather messy bed jutted out of one wall, and a desk and chair sat against the opposite wall. Their was another door, this one made of wood, on the far side of the room, next to a closet.

It looked... ordinary. Homey.

Way, way too homey.

I glanced at Amy.

"This looks like..." I trailed off, not knowing how to explain without sounding like a nut. It looked rather like the few, faded memories I had of the last place where I'd lived with my dad, before he died.

"Don't worry, its perfectly safe", Amy assured me. "Rory and I are right down the hall."

I blushed, embarrassed by Amy treating me like a scared little kid, and tried to look like I wasn't as nervous and just plain creeped by this place as I felt.

"Right then", I said, trying to sound more confident than I felt. "See you in the morning."

"Good night Harry", Amy said with a smile, then turned and headed back down the corridor. Rory shot me a sympathetic look over his shoulder before he followed his wife. I stood their in the doorway for a few moments, hemming and hawing, then shrugged.

"Oh grow a pair Dresden. If this place wanted to eat you, it could have done it already." Unless it was waiting to get me alone. I was a stranger here after all, and...

I tried to suppress that line of thought. I could trust Amy, and Rory. Right? Right.

A low rumble echoed through the walls and ceiling. I couldn't explain it, but I swear, it felt almost as if the room was laughing at me.

Taking a deep breath, I stepped further into the room, jumping slightly as the door slid shut automatically behind me. The room was brightly lit, and really would have seemed downright homey if not for the fact that it lay deep in the bowls of a multi-dimensional mini-universe that, if I understood what the Doctor had been saying, had its own brain. I stood their for a few minutes, looking around the room, but I couldn't see anything out of the ordinary. Aside from the fact that the bed looked like it had been used, which was a little unsettling, it could have been the bedroom of any slightly geeky teenager in any typical apartment in America.

Somehow, I thought I would have felt more comfortable if the room had been full of magical do-das or alien technology.

No sooner had I thought that than I noticed a shiny Star Trek-style control panel that had appeared on the wall beside the desk, and a hollowed-out skull sitting on the desk beside it.

I shivered, glancing up at the ceiling.

"Can you read my thoughts", I wondered allowed. As I thought it, I felt another rumble run through the walls, this one sounding almost like a purr.

Right, I thought. That's not spooky at all.

The room made no response.

I stood their for a few moments, then sighed and made my way over to the bed. I flopped down on the bed, still fully dressed and without bothering to turn the light off. Despite my misgivings, I fell asleep almost immediately.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Time's Rites (Doctor Who/The Dresden Files).

Postby LadyTevar » 2016-12-24 04:40pm

THERE is the place where They keep THEIR stuff.
You're mixing the two again :)
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Re: Time's Rites (Doctor Who/The Dresden Files).

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-12-24 05:37pm

Memo: check every use of there and their when proofreading the next chapter (which incidentally, since it was originally supposed to be all one chapter, is already half-done).
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Time's Rites (Doctor Who/The Dresden Files).

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-04-11 03:01am

Apologies for the very long delay, and for the rather action-less chapter. Think of this story as a TV episode, and this episode as the mid-episode lull where we focus on character interactions before getting back to the action. This was a very hard one to finish, but I figure that its time to just get something out there. Anyhow, things should pick up again now.




I was standing in a circle of light, surrounded by darkness. The light stopped abruptly about three feet out, and I could see nothing beyond it, but I could hear movements, and whispering, in the darkness. Cold, malevolent voices. Like the Walker.

I stood still, heart pounding, afraid to move in case I stepped out of the circle of light.

A voice cried out in the darkness, faint and distant but instantly recognizable.

Elaine. I took an involuntary step forward, breaking the circle. The darkness rushed up around me and-

I was standing in the hallway outside the living room of Justin's mansion. Home.

The hallway was darker than I was used to, and the air was choked with a thick smell of decay, of wet mould and rotting flesh, which clung to the inside of my nostrils and mouth, making me want to gag. Out of the corners of my eyes, the walls seemed to ooze some thick dark liquid, but when I looked more closely, they seemed normal. Yet, somehow... not. There was a subtle, unsettling wrongness to the hallway, and it made my hair stand on end. I could feel eyes on the back of my head, and I didn't dare to turn around.

Elaine. I needed to find Elaine.

I made my way down the hallway, but it never seemed to end. I could see a faint light ahead, but it never seemed to grow any closer. I continued on, growing increasingly uneasy. I passed the kitchen and the stairs, maybe more than once, and then I somehow found myself standing in the second floor hall, near where my and Elaine's rooms were.

I paused outside the door to Elaine's room, and something told me it was a very bad idea to go in there. I could feel eyes on me again, stronger than before. I knew, without looking, that something was following me.

I opened the door and stepped inside. The door slammed shut behind me. I whirled around, and found myself facing only an ordinary door, but that creepy feeling of being followed was still behind me. I turned back to face the room.

Elaine was sitting on the bed, the same bed where we had first slept together. Her back was to me, and her long golden-brown hair tumbled down over her shoulders. The room was lit by a soft, golden light, though outside the window I could see only black. There, too, the darkness whispered too me, soft words filled with malice and hate.

"Elaine-" I began, faltering.

She laughed, a high, wavering laugh that reminded me of the crazy clown in that Batman cartoon I'd seen once. When she spoke, her voice was filled with hurt and anger.

"Finally decide to come back, Harry?"

"I-" I have no idea what I was going to say, to explain, or apologize, or... something, but she laughed again, still turned away from me.

"You ran. Left me all alone."

I wanted to tell her that I hadn't meant to leave her, that I had friends now who would help us, that I'd come back for her, but I couldn't speak. She seemed to sense my thoughts, however, for she replied in a jeering voice:

"Is that it? You just ran off with Amy? Figures." Elaine's appearance shifted, Amy's long red hair replacing her own.

"Disappointing."

I spun 'round at the familiar voice. My father was standing in the doorway, my father as I remembered him before he died.

"Dad", I whispered.

"Disappointing, son", he repeated, and now it was Justin who stood before me, a sneer on his proud face as he looked down at me. "Running away to save your own skin. I thought I raised you better."

"You left me", I said. Elaine. I have to protect Elaine.

"Not by choice. Besides, your mother left us first."

My anger flared, and I tried to gather my magic, to hurl fire at this monster that had taken my father's form.

He laughed cruelly.

"You think your feeble powers will save you? I made you. And I can unmake you."

I felt claws grasp my shoulders, talons digging painfully into my flesh. I jerked, twisting 'round. Their was nothing there. Elaine had vanished. But on the wall hung a mirror, and in it, standing where Justin had been a moment before, I could see the hideous black shape of the Walker.

I jerked awake, looking around myself in confusion for a few moments before I realized that I was lying on the bed in the TARDIS's... guest room? The light was off, though I couldn't remember turning it off before I fell asleep. Under other circumstances, I probably would have found that a little spooky, but my thoughts were still absorbed by the memory of the nightmare I'd just had. Or maybe I had just grown accustomed already to the TARDIS doing weird, impossible things.

I snorted. Figured it would only take me one night to get jaded about being inside an intelligent time traveling alternate dimension.

The darkness around me made me uneasy. I'd never been particularly afraid of the dark, but I suddenly thought of the Walker, sitting their hidden in the shadows, watching me. As soon as I wished that the lights were on, they came on, casting the room in a soft orange-white glow. I looked around, relaxing as I saw the room as I'd left it last night. If it was last night.

After a few moments, I sat up and swung my legs out of bed, then made my way over toward the door. I was still fully dressed- I hadn't bothered to change before I'd fallen asleep last night either. I wondered what time it was. Hell, for all I knew, we were in another time zone now, or another century. Just how far back, or forward for that matter, could the TARDIS go? Something to ask the Doctor, or Amy and Rory. The Doctor still made me a little uneasy, if I was being honest with myself. He seemed friendly, almost overly so, if a little bit hyper and prone to random mood swings, but their were those moments when I'd seen something darker, lurking just beneath the act. If it was an act. I remembered the Doctor's fury when the Walker had killed that kid at the gas station, the Doctor standing their grinning at me amid the dancing flames, and shivered.

And then their was what Amy had said, about him not being human. What was it she'd called him? A Time Lord? That didn't necessarily mean he was a bad guy, I thought- Amy and Rory seemed to like him, and I'd seen plenty of friendly aliens in the movies. But this wasn't a movie, and trusting someone who wasn't even human on a movie or tv screen was a lot easier than doing it in real life, where my survival might depend on it.

I shrugged. It wasn't like I had much of a choice but to trust the Doctor, or at least to trust Amy and Rory. Figuring that I wouldn't be getting back to sleep any time soon, I moved toward the door, then paused. I had no idea how to open it-I didn't see anything obvious like a doorknob-but as soon as I thought that, the door slid open on its own with a soft whirring sound, not unlike one of the doors on the starship Enterprise.

I grinned.

Cool. Guess I'm not completely jaded yet, I thought.

The hallway was silent, dark and foreboding, and I nearly went back into the guest room to wait for Amy and Rory to find me, but then I took a deep breath and, berating myself for being so easily frightened (I wasn't a little kid for God's sake), I stepped out into the hallway, then jumped slightly as the door slid softly shut behind me. Blushing, and glad that Amy and Rory hadn't been their to see how nervous I was, I made my way slowly down the hallway, in the direction I thought the control room lay. I didn't really have a clear plan of where I was going- I'd had a vague idea of talking to Amy and Rory again, but I realized that I had no idea which door was their room, and I didn't know if they'd hear me knocking. I didn't want to barge in on Amy and Rory while they were sleeping, or worse... getting busy, if you know what I mean. That wasn't likely though, I thought. They'd probably been as worn out by last night as I had been, especially poor Amy.

I cringed inwardly as I remembered what the Walker had done to her; how she, and Rory and the Doctor, had almost died because of me. How that guy at the gas station-I didn't even know his name-had died, simply because he was their when the Walker came after me.

I made myself a promise, right then and their. I wasn't going to let anyone else get hurt because of me. Not even if it killed me.

Looking up, I suddenly realized that I had no idea where I was. I cursed, looking around me for something familiar, but there was nothing I could see to distinguish this bit of hallway from any other. Had I reached the control room yet, or had I gone past it, or taken a wrong turn along the way?

"Hello", I called out softly, my voice sounding too loud in that quiet, empty hallway. "Is anybody... is anybody their?"

Silence answered me. I imagined being lost in the TARDIS, unable to find my way out, wandering aimlessly until I starved to death. I was starting to get worried when something occurred to me, and I cursed myself for not thinking of it before. The TARDIS could read my thoughts. Could it show me the way? Or was it just toying with me?

No sooner had I thought that than I turned around and saw a large blue arrow glowing on the wall, pointing back the way I had come. I hesitated for a moment, then sighed and followed it. About ten paces further, and I reached a corner. Looking around the corner, I saw another arrow pointing towards a door. I walked towards the door, and it slid open. I relaxed as I recognized the control room.

I didn't see the Doctor anywhere, and the TARDIS didn't appear to be in flight, though I suppose I should have been able to tell that from the fact that the floor wasn't shaking like we were in the middle of an earthquake. The TARDIS might be by far the coolest place I'd ever seen, but it wasn't the most comfortable mode of transportation.

Seat belts, I thought. It needs seat belts.

As I came down the steps, I saw that the door on the far side of the control room was half-open, a line of pitch black in the wall through which a cold wind whistled.

I approached the door cautiously, wondering where we were. I remembered the Doctor saying he wanted to do something before we went to rescue Elaine. My heart beat faster at that thought, the desperate hope that we could do something to save Elaine fighting with the cold dread I felt at the thought of going back to that house, of facing the man who had taught me magic, then betrayed me and sent a demon after me. I had no illusions about who was stronger or more skilled: me or Justin. But I couldn't just walk away. Even if Justin was willing to let me go, I couldn't abandon Elaine, not when I knew that I had a chance, however slim, of saving her.

Besides, I thought bitterly, Justin will just come after me again. He'll send another demon, or come after me himself, and more people will die.

It occurred to me that the Doctor could probably take me somewhere where Justin couldn't find me; another time, another world. I could ask him, presuming I was willing to trust him.

You can trust Amy and Rory, I thought.

Yes, I could trust them. But if I ran, their'd be no going back, and as much as I was terrified of facing Justin, I didn't like the thought of just running away. Maybe it was pride. Maybe it was stupidity. But I suddenly felt that I would be damned if I was going to just turn tail and hide. Not just because of my pride, or even because of Elaine. I thought about what Justin had done, and felt a surge of righteous anger flow through me. Justin had hurt people, and he'd done it to get to me. Someone needed to stop him. I couldn't do it alone. But I wanted to be a part of it. I wanted to look that bastard in the eye when he got what was coming to him, and I wanted him to know that I was the one who had done it.

I peered out through the half-opened door of the TARDIS.

"Amy?"

Their was no answer.

"Rory? Doctor?"

Silence.

I waited a moment, then took a deep breath and stepped through the door and into the darkness.

At first, I could make out nothing, beside the smell of grass and trees, and the cold wind gusting around me. After a moment, though, I could hear the rustling and creaking of branches in the wind. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I saw the outlines of trees, clustered thickly just beyond the light from the open doorway of the TARDIS. I looked up. It was clearly night, and I could see a few stars gleaming through the branches overhead.

I wasn't sure it was a smart idea to go strolling through a strange forest at night, but curiosity was quickly winning out over fear, and I was fairly sure that the Doctor wouldn't have left the door hanging open if we were somewhere too dangerous. Besides, I couldn't take on Justin DuMourn or save Elaine if I was too scarred to set foot out the door. So I took another deep breath and stepped away from the TARDIS, towards the edge of the trees, then turned and looked around.

I was standing in a small clearing surrounded by thick trees. I could only see a few yards beyond the pool of orange light streaming from the open TARDIS, but I saw only more tree trunks, pressed close together, and between them a tangle of thick undergrowth. I shivered in the cold air, and pulled my jacket more tightly around myself.

Carefully, I made a circle around the TARDIS. I felt like there were eyes at my back again, watching, me, but I did my best to ignore it, and by the time I'd completed my circuit of the blue box, the door was still open, just as I had left it. Feeling a bit silly, I considered going back inside, but I didn't feel much like sitting in the control room waiting for the Doctor to come back.

The ground around the TARDIS sloped uphill away from the door, rough and uneven, and now that my eyes had adjusted to the darkness, I could make out what looked like a faint, overgrown trail running off into the trees. I debated exploring further. It was cold, and the forest was menacing in a way that only a dark forest on a Moonless night can be. Besides, I didn't want to lose sight of the TARDIS. What if it took off and left me behind, here in the middle of some strange forest?

I shook my head. You're being silly, I told myself. Amy and Rory wouldn't do that. I knew that much. I didn't think the Doctor would either, though who could tell what an alien might think was a good idea? I wondered if I was being prejudiced. Was it racist to not trust someone because they were an alien? To be fair, my only other experience with a non-human thus far was probably going to give me nightmares for years to come.

Its gone, I told myself. You set it on fire. The memory of He Who Walks behind going up like a torch made me feel perversely better. I was a wizard, I reminded myself, or at least a wizard-in-training, commanding forces beyond the understanding of mortal men. I wasn't afraid of a few trees.

Grinning slightly, I made my way up the narrow, overgrown path, pushing through the undergrowth and cursing when I stumbled and scratched myself on some unseen thorns. I was careful to make sure that I didn't go so far that I lost sight of the TARDIS. I made my way up the slope, looking back every few steps, until the TARDIS was little more than a faint blue glow amid the trees. I was about to stop and turn back, when I saw the trees beginning to thin out before me, and a few more steps brought me to the edge of a sort of clearing. The ground levelled out, creating an open space at the top of the hill, or whatever it was I was standing on. Great dark trees ringed the summit like a crown. Above, the stars glittered like a million diamonds, and I could see the great misty belt of the Milky Way. In the centre of the open space stood the ruins of a tower, the roof gone and the walls half-collapsed. Beyond and far below, I could hear the distant crash of waves.

It was like something out of some dark fairy tale, from a more ancient time when magic wasn't hidden away, and people knew to be afraid of the things that go bump in the night. I stood still, entranced by the wild, forsaken beauty of that place, and the glittering infinity of the night sky overhead. I remembered the vision from the Soul Gaze, of Amy and Rory tumbling through stars until they were consumed by fire.

Is this what the Doctor's life is always like, I wondered. I wondered what it was like to fly among the stars, and a sudden, overwhelming yearning filled my heart, to follow the Doctor and Amy and Rory, to leave this ugly, uncaring world behind and soar among the heavens. I swallowed, my throat tight, and felt my eyes turn moist.

"Harry."

I spun 'round to see the Doctor standing their, a long brown trench coat flapping around his legs. Somehow, seeing him standing their, in that place, he looked alien in a way that he never had before, and much more ancient.

"Just... just going for a walk", I said.

He smiled, his gaze moving over the trees, the clearing, and the ruined tower.

"Quite the spot, isn't it", he said softly. "Still, probably not the safest place to go wandering alone at night. Not that I'm one to talk, eh?"

I chuckled at that.

"Come on", he said, slinging an arm around my shoulders. "Back to the TARDIS. Time to go save your girlfriend."

My pace quickened, his words setting my nerves on edge. We reached the little clearing where the TARDIS sat, and I followed the Doctor inside, glad to be leaving that dark, forbidding place behind. I closed the door behind me, relieved to be back in the warm glow of the control room. I leaned against the wall, watching the Doctor as he scurried about the console, fiddling with the controls.

"So", I asked, more for something to say than anything else, "Where exactly are we? If you don't mind my asking?"

"Why would I mind", he asked, sounding genuinely surprised. "Anyway, we're somewhere in the middle of Lake Michigan, I think. The island doesn't really have a name, though. I just call it the island.

"You've been here often?" I knew I was probably being nosy, but I was curious.

"Oh, yeah. Its kind of mine."

"You own it", I asked in surprise. Ruined tower on an island didn't really fit with time-traveling alien in my book.

"Well, not so much own as "keep an eye on"", he replied.

"Seems a bit run down", I said, grinning.

"Not the tower", he said dismissively. "The island."

"Oh."

"Oh? Is that all? I thought you humans were inquisitive."

You humans, I noted.

"You really are an alien", I said, more to myself than to the Doctor.

"Hmm? Oh, yes. Alien. That's me. Figured the time machine was a bit of a giveaway. Well, that and the two hearts."

"Two hearts?" I gaped. "But... you look human."

He shot me a look.

"You look Time Lord."

I laughed at that. I couldn't help it.

"So... was that what you said you needed to do last night? Hang out on some creepy island?"

"Its not just some creepy island", he replied, a little indignantly. "Its a sanctuary, and a prison."

"A prison for what?"

"Things. Things that don't belong."

"That's pretty vague-", I began, then put it together. "Oh. Things like the Walker."

"Among other things", he replied. "Had to check the seals, make sure nothing had been compromised. Didn't think so- if the prison had been breached, the whole Mid-West would probably be one giant smoking crater by now."

I choked on what I had been about to say. It wasn't just what the Doctor had said, though that was bad enough- it was the completely blaze way that he had said it, as if whole regions of the planet just blowing up was all in a day's work for him.

"I guess its a good thing it wasn't compromised", I muttered weakly.

"Something bothering you, Harry", the Doctor asked after a moment.

"Wha- no. Its just..." I trailed off, wondering how to put what I was feeling into words. "Its just... you talk about all of this extraordinary, impossible stuff like its just another day at the office or something."

"Oh I hope not", the Doctor said, making a face. "Can't stand office jobs, terribly tedious."

I grinned despite myself.

"Its just that... this is normal for you, isn't it?"

"Says the teenage wizard", the Doctor said, eyeing me over the console.

I shrugged awkwardly.

"Well, yeah, but... aside from the magic stuff, I'm just a regular kid, you know? I grew up in cheap apartments, and then in an orphanage, before I was adopted by Justin." I grimaced. "But you, you spend your life traveling around the universe, battling monsters and aliens and- and visiting other worlds. And you make it sound ordinary."

"Their are more things in Heaven and Earth, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

"Huh?"

"Hamlet. Shakespeare", he clarified. "Now their was a fellow who knew how to turn a phrase. Absolutely brilliant, and not a bad chap to share a pint with either."

"You... you knew Shakespeare", I said weakly.

"Time traveler." He grinned.

"Actually"-I laughed, a little shakily-"its kind of reassuring. I mean, this is hands down the absolutely craziest day of my entire life, but to you its just another day. I'm just... I guess I'm just wondering why? Why do this, when you could be sitting safe at home somewhere with Amy and Rory, or a family of your own..." I thought I saw the Doctor's face darken for just a moment, but I might have imagined it. "I just don't get it, Doctor", I concluded apologetically.

He was silent for a moment, and I wondered if I had somehow offended him. Then he began tapping buttons on the TARDIS console, his face breaking into a grin once more. He threw the leaver, and I struggled to keep my balance as the TARDIS shuddered into motion once again. But after only a moment, the Doctor pulled back the lever, and the rumbling and shaking subsided. He turned toward me, a curious smile playing across his face.

"Open the door, Harry. Go on."

I turned.

I opened the door.

I froze, starring out into the blackest night that I had ever seen. And their, suspended in space, a dark sphere, its rim outlined in by the light of the rising Sun, its face glittering with a billion lights. And as I watched, the Sun rose over its surface and the darkness rolled away, revealing blue seas, brown lands, white clouds.

The Earth.

I was in space, and I was looking at the Earth.

"The Earth", the Doctor said. "A single minuscule speck in a vast and uncaring universe. But down there are billions of living, thinking beings just like you, living out their lives, falling in love, having families." He turned and gazed out into space. "And out there, a billion billion more like them. A whole universe of possibilities, just waiting to be explored."

I realized that I was crying, the tears running silently down my cheeks.

"But its dangerous."

"Yes." His expression had turned solemn now. "There are monsters out their Harry. Monster that seek to consume and destroy everything else. But you already knew that."

"Can you stop him", I asked quietly. "Really?" For all that I had seen of the Doctor's power, the thought of going up against Justin still terrified me on some almost primal level. He had been a fixture in my life ever since the orphanage, in some sense almost a second father, and now he was trying to kill me. I had run from him, leaving Elaine behind, believing that he would destroy me, and knowing that I would have no chance against him in a fight. Even now, I couldn't really believe, in my gut, that he could be stopped.

The Doctor met my eyes.

"Harry Dresden, I promise you that I will do everything I can to stop Justin, and keep you and Elaine safe."

I nodded, feeling a little reassured, while the Doctor turned and went back to the console and began fiddling with the controls. It wasn't until he had left that I realized that he hadn't actually answered the question. I turned back toward the Earth, hanging like a gleaming jewel in space.

There was great darkness in the universe, but their was also great beauty. I was a very small person in a very large and dangerous world, and I didn't know if I could make a difference, but I knew that I had to try. And looking at the Earth turning beneath me, Justin suddenly seemed a lot smaller as well. We were both ants beneath the feet of the Gods, and win or lose, I knew that the world would keep turning.

Now I just had to make sure that me and Elaine were still a part of it.

I closed the door and turned away, gripping on tight to the door frame as the TARDIS shuddered into motion once again.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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The Romulan Republic
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Re: Time's Rites (Doctor Who/The Dresden Files).

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-04-11 03:30am

Also, while I'm here:

This initial adventure is tentatively planned to run at least six more chapters, possibly more depending on how things go.

I do have some ideas for subsequent stories set in the same continuity which I may or may not pursue, depending on how I feel and how much spare time I have when this one is done (in addition to off-line commitments, I also have a number of other crossover stories that demand my attention, most pressingly my Star Trek vs. Star Wars story).

In case anyone's curious, my two main ideas for subsequent stories thus far are for Spoiler
an adult Dresden and Michael teaming up against the Weeping Angels in Chicago, and for a flashback story set during Rory's time as the Centurion, featuring Nicodemus.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.