Holding On

No Time to Explain

Evie blinked. She was supposed to be dead; properly dead this time. The TARDIS had exploded with her and her mother inside the console room. Her mother. The teenager leapt to her feet and looked around her absolutely horrified. It was dark and she was outside. Pulling up the sleeve of her jacket, Evie tapped at her Vortex Manipulator which lit up instantly.

"Oh, so now you decide that you're gonna work?" She snapped at the device. Rage bubbled up inside her and she had the urge to drop it on the ground and stamp on it. But Evie knew that was the stupidest thing she could do at the moment; it was all she had. Taking a deep, steadying breath the girl closed her eyes for a moment. "Pull yourself together woman."

Sighing, the teenager looked around her. The last thing she remembered was River opening the TARDIS doors and realising that there was no way they would be able to get out before the explosion. Then her mother had turned and looked at her, there'd been a bright light and she'd found herself here.

"Where is here?" Evie asked herself screwing up her face as she thought. "And where is mum?"

She turned slowly on the spot. Apparently she was in the middle of a small village, standing right in the centre on a large square of grass. The thing she noticed that caught her attention most was straight above her. There were no stars. The whole sky was black, apart from the moon which was alone in the universe above her.

"I've been here before." She murmured. Then it hit her; she was in Leadworth. And in Leadworth there was only one place where she should be; Amy Pond's house.

Carefully she made her way through the village and into the garden of Amy's house. Curiously she trailed her hand along the brickwork of the house, trying to take in everything. She tried to rack her brain to work out what was going on. It was night time and she would look incredibly suspicious to anyone who spotted her hanging around outside the house. But what else was she supposed to do? Why was she here? How was she here?

A figure suddenly caught her attention, running towards the front door in a strange crouching position. Poking something through the letter box he did an odd shuffle and moved away. He was also wearing something red and totally ridiculous on his head. Despite her situation, Evie sighed and rolled her eyes.

"Doctor?" She hissed, hoping he'd hear her. He stopped, pulled a strange face and looked around him for the source of the sound. The girl repeated the word, slightly louder this time.

"Ah! Evie!" He said beaming and holding out his hand. To her astonishment, he didn't look remotely surprised to see her. Wondering whether he'd had something to do with her unexpectedly materialising here, Evie ran to him and, the second her hand was encased in his, they disappeared.

"What?" She murmured, looking around, even more confused than she had been before. Amy and Rory stared back at her, as well as a small ginger girl who was now drinking from the paper cup the Doctor had just handed her. "Amelia?"

"No time to explain!" The Doctor said, whirling around. "Evie, I need you to scout ahead. I'm presuming you have that horrible gun of yours with you? We're heading for the roof."

"Doctor, where's –" She started, trying to ask about her mother. But the Doctor just waved his hands cutting her off and pushed her forwards up the staircase.

Knowing that he wouldn't cooperate if she didn't do what he wanted she pulled out the laser blaster and ran up the stairs, leaving the others talking behind her. Carefully she eased herself around the corner after checking that the corridor was clear and walked quickly along it, throwing glances left and right as she went.

She didn't meet anyone or anything as she made her way to the roof, poking her head out of a hatch and looking around. Again there was no one and nothing in sight. Pulling herself up, Evie put her gun back in its holster and looked around, hands on hips. Glancing upwards she saw a great, burning ball of fire. Shielding her eyes slightly from the glare, the teenager looked at it as hard as she could. It didn't look remotely like the sun she remembered.

As she waited for the others to arrive, Evie was alarmed to realise that the sky was lightening. When she'd climbed out of the roof hatch it had been dark, but by the time she heard voices behind her the sky was much, much lighter. Amy seemed to have the same thought as her, about the light. The Doctor was impatient as he answered her questions, his eyes fixed on the sun.

"That's not the sun, is it?" Evie asked in a low voice, standing close to him and still staring at the fireball. The Time Lord shook his head before moving away. She heard the sonic screwdriver behind her and turned to see the Doctor ripping a satellite disk off its pole and heading back towards her.

"I don't understand!" Amy said. "So the TARDIS blew up and took the universe with it, but why would it do that? How?"

"Good question for another day." The Doctor told her. Evie retreated from the edge of the roof as the Doctor jumped onto the ledge, wielding his satellite dish. "The question for now is: total event collapse means that every star in the universe never happened, not one single one of them ever shone. So, if all the stars that ever were are gone then what is that?" The teenager rolled her eyes. Even while the universe was collapsing he was so bloody over-dramatic. "Like I said, I'm looking for an exploding TARDIS."

"But that's the sun." Rory said. Evie pulled a face at him that blatantly said, 'aw, bless' and he stared blankly back. Only then did the teenager realise that he hadn't properly met her yet, only having briefly seen her during the Prisoner Zero situation, so her greeting at Stonehenge and her familiarity with him then would have confused him totally. She had obviously met her grandfather far more times than he'd met her.

"Is it? Well here's the noise that sun is making." The Doctor told him, using the sonic screwdriver to amplify the sound. The unmistakable sound of the TARDIS filled their ears. "That's my TARDIS burning up. That's what's been keeping the Earth warm."

The sound was heart-breaking. Evie turned away, unable to look at it anymore. Then she realised something that made her go cold. The TARDIS wasn't empty.

"Doctor…" She started urgently, but Rory cut her off.

"Doctor there's something else. There's a voice." He said. Evie could have kissed him in that moment. Of course there was a voice; River Song was still in the middle of that explosion. The Doctor amplified the sound further and Evie gasped. Her mother's last words were being repeated over and over again.

Silently the teenager began to cry as she listened to the loop. None of the others noticed; they were too caught up in listening to the sound. She felt awful, knowing that somehow she'd managed to escape from the explosion while her mother had been caught in the middle of it. Her heart felt as though it had been ripped straight out of her chest.

"… put her into a time loop to save her. She is right at the heart of the explosion." The Doctor was saying. Evie gulped, her heart leaping at his words. She turned and gazed at him. River was alive?

"Go and get her then." She ordered urgently. The Time Lord was slightly taken aback by her tone, peering closely at her.

"Have you been crying?" He asked, leaning forwards and scrutinising her face. The teenager put on an affronted expression and put her hands on her hips.

"Crying? Me? Don't be stupid, spaceman, of course I haven't."

"Hmm…" The Doctor said, not completely convinced. He tapped at the Vortex Manipulator on his wrist, River's Vortex Manipulator, and vanished. Evie had wondered where her mother's time travel device had vanished to.

To stop herself thinking about the fact that River was still in the middle of the explosion, Evie turned and smiled at Amy and Rory. Amy leapt towards her hugging her tightly, overjoyed that her friend was alright and had somehow managed to find them. Evie buried her face in her grandmother's hair, breathing in her scent and feeling instantly comforted. Then the teenager smiled at Rory.

"Hey," she said holding out her hand, "you don't actually know me very well at the moment. But you will do." He looked slightly confused, but shook the hand she was holding out anyway, as though he instinctively knew he could trust her. Amy laughed happily. If only they knew what Evie did, the teenager thought to herself.

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