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Holding On

By SerenBex

Adventure / Scifi

A Hat Would Be Nice

Disclaimer – OK, so this story includes stuff that happened in 'The Pandorica Opens' and 'The Big Bang'. Again, sadly I have NO claim over Doctor Who, which belongs to the lovely BBC (unless they ruin River/the Doctor's obvious true love when they will NOT be lovely anymore). Speech taken directly from the episodes is in italics :)

"Please don't let me die." Evie had begged him, tears rolling down her cheeks.

The Doctor covered his mouth with one hand, looking at her. He realised in that moment that he had never actually seen the teenager cry before. When she'd first found and read the headline and seen that she was 'dead' she'd been angry; so angry, inexplicably angry. Since then, whenever she got upset she just closed down or avoided the subject.

He had never seen a single tear fall from her eyes. Yes, he'd seen evidence that she had been crying – tearstained cheeks, red eyes, etc., but he'd never actually seen her cry before. And now he realised that that scared him. Especially now that she was crying. Grabbing her tightly by the arms, he forced her to look at him, promising things with his eyes that he couldn't say out loud.

As though she understood what he was trying to tell her, Evie nodded and moved aside so that he could look at the scanner. Taking in the readings carefully, the Doctor saw that the girl was right; the statistics indicated that she was dying. But the logic disagreed. According to the lines on the screen, Evie should be lying in a heap, gasping for air and in the middle of a massive heart attack.

But she was standing, watching him and sobbing violently, tears cascading down her cheeks as though she was making up for her lack of crying in the past.

"Evie… how do you feel?" He asked, moving the sonic screwdriver over her slowly and deliberately, looking for any anomalies in the readings. Then he shook his head; all her readings were anomalous.

"I… I don't know." She said; the tears stopping as she stared at him in confusion.

"Amy… take Evie to her room and put her to bed. She needs her rest." He said. There wasn't even a flicker of resentment or argument from the teenager. Another bad sign.

As soon as the females had gone, the Doctor started pacing again. "What do I know? What is concrete evidence? An Ood told Evie she'd find out the truth about something or other soon. But what will she find out? She has to keep her eyes on the cracks? Which cracks, the ones in the road? No. That isn't right. More important cracks; I'll think about them later."

He returned to the scanner, wondering whether looking more closely at the readings would give him any more information. As he stared at the words and numbers a sudden thought hit him. The TARDIS had taken him to Evie – She had chosen the teenager, not him. He'd had no control over meeting her. So why had the time machine taken him to Lower Appley on August 14th 2009 and again the day after. It was as if she was trying to force him to bring the teenager on board.

"Why would you do that, dear?" He murmured, laying a hand on the console. Instantly numbers flashed on the display beside him – the coordinates for Lower Appley on Saturday 15th August 2009. He pulled the lever beside him and the engines kicked in. "If you say so, old girl."

Going back in his own timeline was a very bad idea, bad things could happen, but the TARDIS wanted him to go there, so that's where he was heading. He waited until they landed before alerting Amy to the fact that something was going on. She wanted to come with him, but he had a feeling that her presence probably wasn't a good idea.

"No, Evie needs you to stay with her. Whatever you do please don't leave her and do not, under any circumstances let her leave the TARDIS." He warned. Realising that he was deadly serious, the red-head nodded and watched as he left. The Doctor considered locking them in, but thought better of it; surely he could trust them to do as he said. A feeling of unease entered his mind as he thought that, but he dismissed it.

Striding across the now familiar village green, the Doctor briefly wondered whether he should be wearing some kind of disguise. Then he remembered he had a different face to the last time he was here. A hat would be nice though. Glancing around, he saw a man wearing a flat cap sitting on the bench, reading a paper. Carefully he plucked it off the man's head and put it on, feeling instantly more comfortable. The man didn't even notice.

It was evening, but there was a pocket of activity on the green. Remembering that it had been the Church Fete the day he first met Evie, he guessed that the people he could see were the remnants of the day's festivities. Momentarily the Doctor wondered how long he'd have to wait for himself to meet Evie. Then he realised he wouldn't have to wait long at all.

Across the green he spotted a large, blue Police box. Grinning, he headed for it, doing his best to stay out of sight of himself. He watched as his previous self had a conversation with the teenager, before leading her over to the TARDIS.

"So… what have I learnt?" The Doctor asked himself, as he watched the blue box. He put his left index finger on his forehead and thinking hard. "Absolutely nothing."

He sighed and shook his head, wondering how he could be so clueless. Out of the corner of his eye he spotted something appear at the very edge of his vision at exactly the same time that the second TARDIS dematerialised. Spinning quickly before he missed the figure, the Doctor was gobsmacked to see that he knew who it was.

She was dressed very differently from what he was used to. Gone were the ripped blue jeans, vest top and clumpy trainers that he was used to seeing in various forms. They'd been replaced by skin-tight black jeans, a green t-shirt and sleeveless, puffed black jacket with heavy boots – but it was unmistakably Evie. Her dark hair, much longer than his Evie's, was tied back from her face in a messy bun and at her hip hung a gun in its holster. She glanced around her quickly as though checking whether she'd been spotted, fixed the cover back over a device on her wrist and set off across the green at a run.

The Doctor followed, completely nonplussed as to what he was seeing. As he got closer his excellent vision allowed him to notice subtle differences between 'his' Evie and this one. This Evie had more piercings in her ears; three piercings at the bottom of each and a small emerald stud in the cartilage at the top of her left ear. She also had a word tattooed on the inside of her right wrist. The Doctor couldn't read what it said, but the fact that it was there was odd enough.

Fighting the feeling that he was being followed, the Doctor only turned a couple of times to check that he wasn't. He didn't see anything out of the ordinary, but his senses told him he was being watched.

They reached a dry stone wall, behind which was a mass of trees and, before the Doctor knew what was happening, the girl had whirled around and was aiming the gun at him. With her head tilted slightly to one side and her eyes narrowed as she glared at him, not to mention the laser gun in her hand, she was terrifying.

"Woah, woah, woah!" The Doctor said, his hands shooting up in the air. "Point that thing away from me, Evie."

"How do you know my name?" She demanded, her gun staying exactly where it was. "And what the hell have you got on your head?"

"Because I know you… and you know me, Evie. I'm the Doctor. And this is my new flat cap."

Her eyes softened slightly, but the gun was still pointing at his head, much to the Doctor's annoyance. "You look different. How do I know you're telling the truth? How do I know it's really you?"

"Err… the first time I met you was on a bench on that green over there."

She looked slightly puzzled, but returned her gun to the holster with a flick of her wrist, twirling her finger round the trigger guard as she did so, spinning the gun quickly. "I've never been here before." She said seriously, but then her face broke into a wide beaming smile. "But I was only joking about not knowing who you are, of course I recognise you Doctor. I know you almost as well as I know myself; it's not like we've never met before. Or haven't we yet? No, we must have because you know me."

"What do you mean you're never been here before?" The Doctor asked her, ignoring everything else she'd said without even registering that he'd heard it.

"I mean exactly what I just said. This is my first time at these coordinates and I'm going to be late for my meeting. You coming?"

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