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Almost Time

By SerenBex

Scifi / Adventure

What's Wrong With You?

They followed the child into her house. Evie had honestly thought that she couldn't see her but evidently the Doctor had just been far more interesting. That made her feel great about herself. Apparently the child was more interesting than she was as well, judging by how the Time Lord was completely ignoring her.

"If you're a Doctor why does your box say police?" The girl asked. Evie sent the Doctor a sarcastic smirk, pleased that the girl was questioning him. He took the apple from her hand without answering and sniffed it.

"Ha! Got an answer for that one, Sweetie?" The teenager asked, looking around the kitchen. It looked pretty ordinary – similar to the kitchen she'd grown up with. But that couldn't be right because the girl could see and hear her.

The Doctor took a bite from the apple, ignoring both questions, before promptly spitting it back out again. Evie pulled a revolted face. "That's disgusting. What is that?" He asked.

"An apple."

"Apples are rubbish… I hate apples."

"You said you loved them."

"Ignore him." The teenager advised her. "He's an idiot."

"No, no, no. I love yoghurt. Yoghurt's my favourite. Give me yoghurt." He said before poking out his tongue and pointing at Evie. "And remember, don't listen to her."

"I told you, he's a complete idiot." As the girl ran around the table to fetch one from the fridge, Evie faced the man shaking her head. "What the hell are you playing at?" She demanded.

"What?" He asked, innocently. "I'm not playing at anything."

Taking the yoghurt, he ripped the lid off and tipped the contents of the pot into his mouth. A split second later it followed the apple onto the floor. Evie put her head in her hands, mortified; she couldn't take him anywhere. The poor child was just looking bemused.

"I hate yoghurt. It's just stuff with bits in."

"You said it was your favourite."

"New mouth, new rules; It's like eating after cleaning your teeth – everything tastes wrong." Except the Doctor didn't say 'wrong' it came out as more of a roar as his body went into some kind of spasm. Evie jumped, not to mention the little girl who was standing directly in front of him.

"What is it, what's wrong with you?"

"Wrong with me?" The Doctor asked, slightly confused. "It's not my fault, why can't you give me any decent food? You're Scottish, fry something."

"Doctor!" Evie scolded.

But, the girl did as she was told, turning on the hob and frying some bacon. No sooner had he taken a mouthful, than he spat it out. Shrugging, Evie took the plate of bacon off his hands, eating it quickly before he could change his mind and demand it back; that would be just like him.

"That's bacon… are you trying to poison me?" He asked.

By now, Evie was incredibly fed up of his new personality and was looking round the room again. There was nothing interesting there so, sure that the Doctor and the little girl would be occupied for some time, she headed off along the hallway. The first room she came to was a small bathroom. Boring.

After that was some kind of living room containing a three piece suite and various other bits of furniture that seemed to come from late twentieth century Earth. But surely that wasn't possible. The teenager lifted up photographs, looking at them intently; not one of them contained the little girl in the kitchen.

Leaving the photos behind she carried on with her tour, finding herself in some kind of study. There was an old desktop computer on the table; the massive, white kind. A book shelf and some chairs were the only other things in the room. Except for a small desk calendar beside the computer. Evie lifted the page of the calendar, smiling weakly at the picture of a bird that illustrated the next month. Then her eye caught the date and she gasped. It was March 1996. So how could the little girl see her? Surely that was impossible?

"Doctor…" She murmured, not taking her eyes off the calendar. Realising that obviously he wouldn't have heard her, she picked the cube up and went back to kitchen. The Time Lord seemed to be dipping fish fingers into custard, eating them with obvious delight.

"… must be a hell of a scary crack in your wall." The Doctor was saying to the girl as Evie leant against the doorframe. He didn't even glance up at her arrival. "Alright, Jones?" He asked, licking his lips. "You look like you've seen a ghost."

"Not funny." She snapped, dropping the calendar on the table in front of him. "Look at that."

He looked, puzzled for a few moments. Then his eyes read the date quickly and he glanced at her in concern. She nodded slightly, narrowing her eyes. Understanding passed between them; don't scare the girl.

"This is Amelia, by the way." He told her with a grin. "Amelia Pond. It's a great name, isn't it?"

"Sure is." Evie smiled, nodding in agreement.

"Evie doesn't have a mum and dad either." The Doctor said to the girl. She looked at the teenager with interest at the words. Evie pursed her lips slightly, not liking the Doctor at that moment and shook her head.

"Really?" Amelia asked, looking at Evie with wide eyes. "Did you lose yours too?"

"I guess..." The phrase struck Evie as odd; lost. Most children would refer to their parents dying as 'losing' them.

"Now, Evie, are you up for a little bit of detective work?" The Doctor asked, leaning back on the chair and putting his hands behind his head. She gave him a hard, searching look, wondering what was coming next. "Amelia here has a scary crack on her wall that needs investigating."

"What are we waiting here for, then?" The teenager asked, holding out her hand to the little girl. Amelia took it and they followed the Doctor to her bedroom. The closer they got, the tighter the child's grip on Evie's hand became.

"You've had some cowboys in here." The Doctor said, examining the wall closely. Evie hung back by the door with Amelia. "Not actual cowboys… though that can happen."

"I used to hate apples. My mum put faces on them." Amelia said, detaching herself from Evie and walking towards the Doctor. The teenager hadn't noticed that she was clutching the fruit, but the girl was examining it closely, before she handed it to the Doctor.

"She sounds good your mum." He said, throwing the apple up and catching it. "I'll keep it for later." He beckoned Evie over. Putting her hands on the girl's shoulders to push her aside slightly, the teenager moved to his side. He started talking to her in a low voice, his eyes roving over the surface in front of them. "This wall is solid and the crack doesn't go all the way through it. So here's the thing; where's the draft coming from?"

"Maybe it's coming from somewhere else entirely?" Evie suggested leaning her ear against the wall as the Doctor scanned it with the sonic screwdriver. "You know, it's just suggestion that makes you think something's being caused by something else. Like when rain seems to be attracted to a moving vehicle?"

"Maybe…" The Doctor breathed, staring at the readings on the sonic. "Wibbly wobbly timey wimey. You know what the crack is?" He looked at Evie for a second before his gaze settled on Amelia.

"What?" She asked, shaking her head slightly.

"Doctor?"

"It's a crack." He said simply. "But I'll tell you something funny, if you knock this wall down the crack would stay put because the crack isn't in the wall." Amelia looked at Evie, as though hoping the teenager would be able to offer some kind of sensible explanation. But she had nothing to offer.

"Sorry kid." She said with a shrug. "I'm with you on this one – no idea what he's on about."

"Where is it then?" Amelia asked the Doctor.

"Everywhere." He said quickly. "In everything. It's a split in the skin of the World. Two parts of space and time that should never have touched… pressed together… right here in the wall of your bedroom." The Doctor was still running his fingers along the crack, pressing his ear to it.

Amelia was looking nervous and Evie moved to her side, putting a protective arm around her shoulders. Almost instinctively the girl leant against her, huddling into the safety of the teenager's body.

"Doctor." She said imploringly. He was terrifying the poor child, surely more than he needed to. But he ignored her and carried on with his questioning.

"Sometimes… can you hear –"

"A voice?" Amelia finished his sentence, making Evie jump. She nodded. "Yes."

Moving away, he emptied the water from the glass beside Amelia's bed onto the floor behind him and pressed it against the crack listening intently. The girl looked annoyed, but Evie just squeezed her shoulders shaking her head.

"There's no point arguing; he won't listen." She told her, speaking from experience. "Not when he gets like this."

"It's alright." Amelia said looking up at her. "It'll dry."

"Prisoner Zero…"

"Prisoner Zero has escaped." Amelia finished. "That's what I heard. What does it mean?"

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