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Almost Time

By SerenBex

Scifi / Adventure

It's Not a Box It's a Time Machine

I know, I know… it must be slightly boring reading something you've already seen, but it's kind of important because it shows the new dynamic between Evie and the Doctor. Comments? :)

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

The Doctor and Evie exchanged a look before the Time Lord pressed his ear back against the glass on the wall. Amelia glanced up at Evie, who smiled reassuringly and tightened her grip on the girl. She moved even closer, practically standing on the teenager's toes.

"It means that on the other side of this wall there's a prison." He said, straightening up. "And they've lost a prisoner and d'you know what that means?"

"What?"

"You need a better wall. The only way to close the breach is to open it all the way." He announced, moving the chest of drawers out of the way. Evie pulled Amelia backwards out of his path.

"Are you sure?" She demanded. "If this goes wrong…" She shot a meaningful look down at the top of the little girl's head. The Doctor looked at her seriously for a moment before returning his attention to the task at hand. Evie held her breath.

"The forces will invert and it will snap itself shut." He said, moving back towards the wall. Evie and Amelia looked at each other; the little girl looked scared but Evie merely looked unsure. "Or…"

"What?" The females said together.

"You know when grown-ups tell you everything's going to be fine and you think they're probably lying to make you feel better?"

"Yeah." Amelia said, sounding as though she was talking from experience. Evie couldn't stop herself nodded in agreement.

"Everything's going to be fine." The Doctor said, looking at them with wide eyes.

"Fantastic." Evie muttered, pulling Amelia even further back. But the Doctor shook his head, holding out his hand to the girl. She glanced at Evie, before moving forward and taking it. "You better hope this works, spaceman." Evie hissed, using Donna Noble's sarcastic nickname for him as she moved forwards as well, standing on Amelia's other side.

"Have you got your gun?" He asked her in a low voice. Evie pulled it out of the back of the waistband of her jeans. He raised his eyebrows and swallowed, aiming the sonic screwdriver at the crack. "Just checking."

As the sonic made the familiar whirring, Amelia leant round the Doctor to see what was happening. Beside her, Evie's eyes were trained on the crack which was widening and her finger rested comfortingly on the trigger of her laser blaster. The crack was huge when the Doctor stopped using the sonic.

"Prisoner Zero has escaped." A metallic voice, almost like a robot, said. The Doctor narrowed his eyes looking confused. As the voice repeated its words, Evie moved forward shielding Amelia even more.

"Hello?" The Doctor called into the void. "Hello?"

Evie jumped backwards as a huge eye appeared in the gap, moving wildly over them. It settled on the Doctor.

"What's that?" Amelia asked, voicing the teenager's own question. The Doctor didn't answer and then, without warning there was a flash and the crack closed.

"There, see… told you it would close. Good as new." The Doctor said, sending a triumphant look at Evie. She just shook her head and bent down to check the girl was alright. Amelia was still staring at the wall, not blinking but shaking violently.

"What's that thing?" She asked, not moving her gaze from the space in front of them. "Was that Prisoner Zero?"

"No. I think that was Prisoner Zero's guard. Whatever it was it sent me a message." He told them. "Psychic paper; takes a lovely little message." He explained to the girl, showing her. Evie resisted the urge to grab it off him as she waited to hear what it said. He looked at her seriously. "Prisoner Zero has escaped. But why tell us? Unless…"

"Unless what?"

"Unless Prisoner Zero escaped through here. But he couldn't have. We'd know." The Time Lord ran out onto the landing, looking wildly around, the girl and the teenager on his heels. "It's difficult, brand new me; nothing works yet. But there's something I'm missing."

"Doctor… get your head together." Evie snapped. "This is important."

"I know, Evie!" He retorted sharply. Then he stopped, moving his head slowly to the right and speaking in a much lower tone. "In the corner of my eye."

There was silence as he stood, staring for a moment. Amelia and Evie exchanged a look, wondering what he was seeing. There was nothing there, but the Doctor was definitely watching something.

A deep booming sound, like a huge bell chiming, broke the moment and the Doctor sprinted down the stairs and outside, shouting 'no' over and over again. Evie followed, feeling incredibly uneasy all of a sudden. Something very bad was happening.

"I've gotta get back in there!" The Doctor was shouting. "The engines are fazing… it's gonna burn!"

He reached the TARDIS first, fiddling with the anchor that had helped them escape, trying to untangle it. Evie was already climbing inside, hanging onto the poles inside the door and wrapping her legs around them to stop herself falling into the swimming pool again.

"But… it's just a box. How can a box have engines?" Amelia asked cynically.

"It's not a box. It's a time machine." The Doctor told her, almost defensively.

"A real one?" Amelia asked. "You've got a real time machine?"

"Not for much longer if I can't get her stabilised. Five minute hop into the future should do it. Everything alright in there, Evie?"

"Yep. All under control." She shouted, dislodging part of the wall as she did so. The debris fell, creating a loud splash.

"Evie?" The Doctor asked, peering over the edge.

"It's fine… just part of the internal casing falling to the pool… nothing to worry about." She assured him. He grinned and returned to whatever he was doing outside.

"Can I come?" Amelia asked.

"It's not safe in here, not yet. Five minutes; give me five minutes, I'll be right back." He promised her. Evie rolled her eyes. Great, he was bringing a child with them. Amelia seemed like a sweet kid, but the teenager knew who'd be left looking after her when he got bored of the responsibility.

He jumped up to sit on the edge, grinning down at Evie who just shook her head at him, clinging on tightly.

"People always say that." Amelia said sadly. Evie sighed and shot the Doctor a look.

"Don't get her hopes up if you don't mean it." She warned softly. They looked at each other for a moment before he jumped down and went to talk to Amelia.

"Am I people?" Evie heard him ask the girl. "Do I even look like people? Trust me. I'm the Doctor." He told her. Then he was back and, with a last look he jumped inside. "Geronimo!"

He went straight down into the swimming pool, something the teenager had absolutely no intention of doing twice in one night, slamming the front doors behind him. Then the TARDIS was off, shifting and settling itself back into the right places. Evie breathed deeply as the time machine's energy swarmed around her, settling itself.

The teenager found she couldn't hold on and, before she knew what was happening, she was falling. With a splash she re-entered the water in the swimming pool, growling in annoyance. The Doctor, already out and on his feet, laughed at her face and hauled her out, handing her a towel.

"Brilliant. Fantastic. Amazing." She snapped, snatching it off him and starting to rub her hair, trying to dry it as much as possible before it went curly. "Twice in one night? I really hate you."

"No you don't. And you love it; the adrenaline." The Doctor told her, his eyes twinkling mischievously as he ruffled her hair. She fought to keep the smirk from her face, but failed.

"Yeah." She agreed, following him out of the library and along the corridor to the console room. "I do!"

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