Holding On

Now It All Makes Sense

Back in the TARDIS, Evie went straight to her bedroom, returning a moment later with the newspaper reporting on her death clutched tightly in her hands. She spread it open on the TARDIS console, patting the machine lovingly as she did so. Amy could have sworn she'd seen the scanner flashing at her touch, almost as though it were returning the fond sentiments.

"Right… look." She said, pointing to the main article. "'The body of Evie Jones, who turned eighteen just a week before her disappearance last month' blah blah blah 'was discovered on Tuesday night, washed up by the River Appley just ten minutes from the farm' blah blah blah. 'Heavy rainfall caused a blockage in the river which meant that Miss Jones' body was caught on the branches stopping the flow.' See… told you." She said, smirking smugly.

"Which came first, the newspaper article, or your plan?" The Doctor asked slowly, observing her suspiciously. Evie stared blankly back before looking down and folding up the newspaper carefully.

"Does it matter?" She asked moving towards the corridors, intending to return the paper to her bedroom.

"Yes."

Sending him a faint-hearted smile, Evie didn't answer, continuing her journey to the bedroom and closing the door firmly. She leant against it, closing her eyes. She knew what had just happened and she knew exactly what the past months had been about; they had been bringing her back here. She even knew the reason. But she had to keep that hidden from the Doctor and from Amy.

She knew so much more about them than they did about her. They'd done things together, with the Doctor more so than Amy, that hadn't even happened to them yet. One word in the wrong place, one reference to something important could change the whole course of her history and then where would she be. Here? Possibly not.

She understood now that all the knowledge that had burst into her mind when she'd met Donna Noble hadn't been an extension of things that Donna knew, it had been her mind – her real mind – bursting back into life, fighting with the fake life that had been created around her. That was the precise moment that the process had started. But it had been too early, because Evie wasn't supposed to meet Donna.

She glanced at the photograph propped up beside her bed; the one that Doctor had drawn her attention to. The one with the woman's smiling face almost hidden, right in the corner. Now she knew who the woman was Evie smirked and shook her head.

"Typical… I bet you just couldn't resist, could you?" She muttered, resting her finger lightly on the picture.

Evie jumped as someone knocked on her door. Dropping the newspaper on her bed, Evie glanced quickly in the full-length mirror beside the door and gathered her senses. She opened the door, a serene smile on her face.

"Hey." Amy said, pushing past her into the bedroom. Evie smiled and sat down heavily on the bed, pulling off her boots before jumping up again and rooting around in the wardrobe for some different clothes.

"Eurgh… the old me didn't have much taste, did she?" She said with a grin. "This is all… I dunno… teenage."

"But, you are a teenager, aren't you?" Amy asked, puzzled. "I mean you were eighteen when you died."

"Yes but I wasn't actually…" she started, turning to face her friend. Then she trailed off, thinking about what she'd been told in that office building on Philosius VI. "Oh… now it all makes sense; that's what she meant. It was too soon for me to be there. It probably wasn't supposed to start until I was almost twenty." Then she shrugged casually. "But I don't suppose it matters now. The paper said I was eighteen, obviously the early conclusion was compensated for."

"What the hell are you on about?" Amy asked staring at her. "Aren't you eighteen?"

"Nope." Evie said, holding a sky blue t-shirt up against herself in front of the mirror. Then she curled up her lip and threw the t-shirt on top of the pile of other clothes she'd decided she didn't like. "I'm nineteen. Almost twenty, technically."

"What d'you mean 'technically'?"

"Well… I travelled through time, as well as space to get here, right? So where I came from it was a month before my twentieth birthday."

"Where did you come from?"

Evie smiled. "Classified information, Ames. Sorry."

"So you're not from… wherever we were when you died? You said you were. You told me so." The red-head continued, trying to get Evie to tell her as much as she could.

"It's difficult to explain. And under no circumstances are you to tell him out there anything I tell you. Nothing, promise me."

"OK, but why?"

"It's dangerous… again, it's complicated to explain. But if the Doctor – or any traveller in time really – finds out something that they're not supposed to know from their future then bad, bad things will happen. Imagine that it's like if you found out what the answers to a test were then went back and took it. Actually no, that's not helpful. But it's sort of like that. And I've got more to lose than most if the Doctor messes up his timeline." She said with a grim smile.

Amy nodded. "OK, I won't say anything. I promise."

"It was like a time loop that was going round and round. Maybe that's why it happened faster this time. Remember what I said to myself to make me shoot?" She asked, trying to unscramble the meaning of her own question. Amy nodded.

"You said you had to remember. That if you didn't do it this time, it would happen again and that you couldn't do it again."

"See… it's obvious when you make the right connections." Evie said with a grin pulling a long, white sleeveless t-shirt out of the wardrobe. "Oh, I quite like this."

"What connections? I don't get it." Amy stood up and walked over to her friend, gently pulling the top out of her hands and looking into her eyes. "Tell me."

"If I didn't do it… kill myself… it would happen again… the time loop… and I couldn't do it again." She sighed. "I think, this time, it was the last chance. In my head I'd been in that spot so many times and not been able to go through with it. I saw myself typing coordinates into the Vortex Manipulator and going back. But I also saw that I was already dying. If I didn't do it this time, I couldn't do it again, because it would be too late."

"Alright… I think I understand." Amy said smiling. "But… why the time loop? Why would you have to go round and round until you shot yourself?"

Evie grinned. "That's something that I really can't tell you. It's classified information of epic proportions."

"Fair enough." Amy shrugged. Then she turned her attention back to the top she was still clutching. "Tell you what… there's some boots in the main wardrobe that would look amazing with that top and a pair of leggings."

x-x

"Where are we heading then, spaceman?" Evie asked, striding across the console room in her new outfit. He raised her eyebrows slightly.

"You look older." The Doctor said simply, moving to the scanner.

"That's because I am older." She replied equally simply before tilting her head and staring at him. Her eyes seemed too old for the rest of her; as though she'd seen far more than most people had at her age. "How can I make you trust me again?"

"I don't know." He admitted shaking his head.

"Brilliant. That's hopeful then." Evie grinned, moving to the opposite side of the TARDIS console and started to move levers and dials. He walked to her side, putting his hands on her shoulders and turning her away from the controls.

"You obviously came from somewhere, so surely you have somewhere to be." He said, making it sound more like a question than a statement.

"Nope." She told him, wriggling from his grasp and skipping away. "Everything was being pinned on to two minutes past eight this evening. And now the world is my oyster for a while!"

"You said you were late for a meeting?"

"Oh, Sweetie." She looked at him slightly pityingly. "A meeting with myself. Come on, speed up." He growled, not used to being talked to like that by anyone, especially Evie. She just laughed and tapped at the TARDIS console.

"What about your sisters then? Don't you want to go and see them?" He asked.

Sadness flashed through Evie's eyes as she remembered them. "They aren't real, Doctor. Just a part of the cover story created around me. Erin and Millie don't exist. Well, they do, but if you went to find them they'd have absolutely no recollection of you, me or anything else."

Turning away so that he couldn't see her face, she pressed a button on her Vortex Manipulator. She groaned as she read the message displayed there.

"What is it?"

"Looks like you're getting your wish." She said with a weak smile. "I have to go. I've got no choice in the matter."

"Why?"

"The TARDIS just sent me a message… from the future. Time's up." She said confusingly with a broad grin. "Don't worry, Doctor. I'll be seeing you before you know it. And that's when things get interesting."

She winked, pressed a button on the Vortex Manipulator and vanished in a flash.

Two parts in one day? Aren't you the lucky ones! ;)

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