"Yo-u can't! The u-niverse will co-collapse! Time will un-unwrite itself," The floppy haired man sobbed. He lay on the ground, his hand clutching the large gaping hole. He was bleeding to death and he was on his last regeneration. No hope to survive this. The Doctor fought back a cough, trying to fight the shock that was coming on. Death was inevitable. He failed them all.
Amy. Rory. River. His beautiful Old Girl.
"Ple-ase do-n't take her from me," He pleaded. He didn't state who the her was but he didn't have to. Time could take his companions, disease and enemies could take his companions, but no one had succeeded taking his Tardis from him. He wasn't going to do so now. That was before she shot him straight in the stomach after taking out Amy and River with Rory was somewhere in the matrix dying as well. He crawled towards her, his orange blood staining the glass floor. He took handfuls of robe, tugging at it. "D-Don't do this." His voice shook so badly that he could his teeth chatter.
The Time Lady did not even spare him a glance. She shook his hand from her leg the way people shook dirt from their pants. "I can and I must," she told him. She turned to look at him, her red hair seemed to go up in fire as it caught the vortex light. Her eyes were dilated with a kind of obsession that the Doctor had seen in the mirror countless of times. The times where he spent breaking the mirrors in the Tardis because he couldn't bear to look at himself, she was just like him, hurting so badly that she was willing to do anything to bring it all back. Driven mad by Time war, driven mad by the silence that followed it.
"Ple-ase." He took a shuddering breath. Black spots danced across his vision. He was going to die here, on his Tardis, by the hands of the last Time Lady. The Doctor had come close to death many times and died on many of those occasions, the Silurians, the Sontarans even by forceful regeneration. He just never expected his permanent death to be by the hands of the last time lady. Why couldn't she understand? He placed his blood stained hand on her robes. "Do the Math again. It won't work. Please listen. I tried them too. I did after they- they-"
"Yes but you're only the Doctor and I'm infinitely better at this than you. Yes. I will succeed where you couldn't." She laughed manically. "Thirteen Mircospans. It was nice knowing you, Theta. I'm afraid this is where our friendship has to end. Not that it bothers me one bit. Good bye." She shifted, pulling down the lever. The time rotor began its dematerialization.
"Do-n't-" His body was heavy, he was so very tired. The Doctor found he didn't even have any energy left in him to speak so he begged the Tardis, his Old Girl, his wife. Please stop her. Please save Time.
A golden light overwhelmed his vision. The light from the heart of the Tardis. The one thing that his Tardis could do. She was doing her best to save this dimension and all the dimensions with time, the whole expanse of time and space.
He hoped this was a good death. It really should be a good death. He took a shuddering breath and let the darkness welcome him. His Old Girl would fix it.
The man stood there in his pin-stripe suit. He was not sure how long he had been staring at the monitor. He was not sure how long he had been searching: searching for a way to retrieve her, searching for a way to say goodbye to her. The thief did not cry, though the grief that gripped his hearts felt like they had been shattered to billions of pieces.
The man had lost track of time for the first time in his long life. It had been four days since he last ate, twelve days since he had a shower, twenty days since he slept. Time was inconsequential to him. Only the need, the wish, the desire to at least say goodbye to her drove him forward.
Help, she would help him find a way to say goodbye. If it eased the grief in him just a little. If she could safely bring the thief to his bad wolf, she would do it even if it meant the end of her. He did not acknowledge, did not comprehend, did not notice her desires. That mattered nothing to her. Acknowledgement from the thief was insignificant. She would first get him to eat and shower. She turned the monitors off, turned the console off. The thief grumbled, banging the consoles and swearing. These, she had all seen that will, that have, that had, that would happen. Tenses are difficult when one sees beyond the future, looks into the past and watches the present concurrently.
He sank to the ground, clasping his head between his legs. He was, he is sulking on her floor. She would not have it. She shakes, causing him to tumble into the stairway and into the bathroom. He was so angry. The thief raged against the sealed door for the ten minutes before giving up and taking the shower. She is not done yet. He does not want food, but she would not let him out until he ate the bananas on the table. He does so grudgingly.
He is unhappy with her until he realizes that she has found the perfect sun for him, the supernova that will allow him to transmit a message to his bad wolf. He almost jumps for joy, only to realize he has only but a few minutes to say goodbye. How much could he say in those few minutes? What should he, would he say in those few minutes?
He grieves as he sends the message to his bad wolf. He is happy to see her. He is happy to see her well. He is happy to see her alive. It is an immeasurable though small joy. He bustles through it, his hearts breaking even more as his bad wolf says those three words. He should say those three words, but he doesn't. He sheds a slow tear knowing that he would never have the chance to say it again. He leans against the console. She comforts him with the only way she knows. He would have never said it. She knows. She has seen the future. The bad wolf was never the one he was meant to be with. The bad wolf was there to heal him. She hums, helping him chase the bad dreams away with her soft humming.
Sorley blinked. The sunlight outside was filtering into the drawn windows. A blue sky. The smell of antiseptic coloured the air. It was an unfamiliar room. White walls, white bed sheets, Sorley had no idea where she was. Everything hurt. She blinked again, the room was still settling.
"Sorley?" The lady hovered over her. There was a relieved look on the lady's face. She was awfully familiar but for the life of her, Sorley found herself unable to bring up a name. "You're awake!"
She groaned as she tried to lift herself up. Her body felt unnaturally heavy. What did she do yesterday to tire herself out this much? She frowned, her mind bringing up a blank.
"Doctor!" The lady had turned away before she could ask the lady's name.
The man and woman came in. The man shone a light in her eye and did some other tests. They spoke to her about stuff, Sorley could not quite understand they were saying. It seemed odd to describe it, but her ears were still settling. She captured voices, maybe relief and grief in the lady's voice but she seemed to otherwise just not understand. She blinked again, this time trying to bring her hand up. Her hand. Why did her hand feel so disconcerting? She felt like she wasn't supposed to have a hand. That didn't make sense. She wiggled her hands. Her fingers moving as she did. Oh good. They work.
All that must have taken longer than she had expected for when Sorley looked up the man and the woman had left. Sorley turned to the lady sitting by her, finally finding her voice.
"Who are you?"
The lady that she did not recognize turned to her. Shock coloured the lady's face. "I'm your mum. You don't recognize me?"
The tired looking lady turned to the door. Sorley can hear her calling for the doctor,
"What happened?" she said in a voice too quiet when the lady, her mum returned. The lady had responded, was the lady really her mum? "Where am I?"
"You were hit by a car and fell into a coma. The Doctors were worried that you might never wake up." The lady, her mum gripped her hand tightly. She rubbed her nose bridge; dark circles outlined the lady's face.
Not the most descriptive word she could have used to describe what she was feeling. One could hardly fault her. Sorley pursed her lips. Her memory was still bringing up nothing. It was all so strange. What had she been doing before she had been hit? Sorley. At least she seemed to understand that Sorley was her name. It was strange. It was like she had expected her name to be something else. Strange. Everything was just strange, familiar yet unfamiliar. The blue sky outside, the white walls, the way her body felt. Existing yet not supposed to be existing. She stared around completely baffled.
"Sorley, are you alright?" Another man came up to her with a worried look. Grabbing my head with his large hands, he checked me up and down that seemed somewhat similar to that of Doctor Mellins had done.
Sorley suppressed the urge to roll her eyes. Seriously. Hospital, car accident, coma and then one asks if she's alright.
"Do you know who I am?" The man asked. Apparently he had a quick conversation with her mum while she was being sarcastic in her head.
The man's face fell. "I'm Thomas. Your elder brother."
"Elder brother?" She inspected him. Tall, wide shoulders and used to be muscular but now it's mostly flabby, ginger hair with tons of freckles.
"Do we look alike?" Sorley asked, suddenly realizing that she had no idea how she looked like.
"We-" Thomas faltered. He looked terribly upset. "We look so similar that people mistake us for twins. But you know" He chuckled hollowly, "You can't be identical twins with different genders. Well mostly no. It's completely possible in rare cases but then the female would be-"
"Thomas," Her mum said, interrupting his ramble. "Sorry sweetheart, you know how Thomas gets when he talks about biology and medical."
He nodded embarrassed. It seemed that this conversation was entirely too familiar. Handing her a compact mirror, Sorley inspected her reflection. Large green eyes, a stammering of freckles, pale skin, ginger hair, thin lips, all in all looking almost exactly like Thomas. That felt right but odd.
"I'm sorry. I really don't remember anything. What happened before the car accident?"
The two glanced at each other. It didn't take a genius to see guilt in their face. Thomas ran his hand through his hair and cleared his throat a few times. Perhaps seeing how difficult it was for Thomas, her mum decided to answer her question instead. "You were on your way home and then you stumbled and the car hit you."
The jet-black rolled out far beyond her eyes could see. Tiny pinpricks that blinked studded the sky, illuminating the dark moonless night. Apparently Sorley had never been a fan of the night sky or things that required her to stay still too long. Her friends described her as someone out and about, out doing things, never really capable of sitting still. Something which she learnt that drove her to learn and master (attempted to) martial arts and various sports. The more she listened stories about herself, the more she sounded like an incredibly interesting person. It was a pity that it seemed a lot of it had been lost after she had woken up. Rather than being up and about, she was more inclined to sit around, waiting. Sorley wasn't very sure what she was waiting. All she knew that the world she knew didn't feel right.
Thomas said it was the disparity of memory. The loss of memory made it confusing for her and her mind was trying to cope by 'trying to stay still and regain its bearings'. It all sounded like hogswash to her and she told Thomas so. He smiled faintly at that. It seemed that that was something she would have said back then.
Thomas had found her yet again and climbed up to join her on the roof.
"I should be asking why you are on the roof and telling you that it's incredibly dangerous, but I know it's not going to matter to you."
Sorley quirked her lips to smirk at him. The immense guilt flickered through his face as he gazed at her. Thomas turned away quickly, looking up at the stars.
"I didn't know you liked star-gazing. There was a time you used to tease me constantly about liking the stars and all the outer space stuff. I still remember you laughing at me when I tried to introduce you to Doctor Who and now you're watching that too. Oh see! See that star? That's the-"
"You should just tell me about it," she said casually. She glanced at him. It didn't take a genius to figure that there was something more to do with the accident. He always had a flash of guilty look when he looked her way or she mentioned something about not remembering. "It's going to eat you up if you don't."
He paused in his rambling. "Wha- I never could put anything pass you, could I?"
He sighed. He ran his hand through his hair. A guilty response or maybe a nervous response, Sorley noticed him doing it frequently especially when it had something to do with her. Was he the one who had hit her? Seemed the only logical answer.
"That night, I was supposed to send you home. I was busy and angry at you. Told you to hoof it home. Only six blocks." He cupped his head with his hands, resting his elbows on his knees. His voice breaking as he continued. "I regretted it almost as I turned round the corner. Came back to fetch you. It wasn't your fault that you caught Diana cheating on me. I shouldn't have been angry. Shouldn't have told you to walk home."
She pulled him into a hug, resting her head on his back. He was shaking now, grasping her hand tightly. "It's okay."
"No. It's not that. It's-" He gulped large breaths of air. He was a bloody fool. He had seen the muggers pull her into the alley and figured she would be alright. She was more than capable of handling two men and had proved it time after time. Never doubted her. It wasn't that.
"I parked on the wrong side of the road. You saw me standing there and had crossed the road. Then you stumbled. The head injury or something. I don't know. A car appeared out of nowhere and hit you. If I had parked directly outside the alley. If I hadn't told you to walk home. If I had sent you home like I promised to." He shuddered.
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry," he whispered. "If only I had sent you home then you wouldn't be like this. You'd have all your memories. You would be... you."
"I believe I'm still me. Just-" she paused, searching for an appropriate word. "Different."
"I didn't mean that. It's just that it feels like I cheated you out of having a normal life. I don't know!" he half shouted, pushing her away.
She moved to the edge of the roof, her hands gripping the edge tightly. "Normal? Are you saying I'm abnormal now? I'm alive and it was because you were there. Isn't that all we need? There's a saying I heard from somewhere. There is no such thing as coincidences only predestined. There's nothing you can do but accept it and enjoy the fact that I'm alive. I'm still Leya."
Thomas gaped at her as she swung down back to her balcony. She called herself Leya. Leya! The old Sorley was still somewhere there. Right? He wasn't going to give up on that faint hope.
Recovering takes time.
Oh god, she was beginning to hate that sentence. She didn't want to be reminded every day that she felt so out of sync with the rest of the world. Manners. Gratitude. She found herself difficult to feel grateful with the reminder of her accident and amnesia looming over them, if there was such a word.
She can't remember anything in the past.
Someone had told that to her co-workers and now every time someone came up to her, they'd introduce themselves to her. Admittedly it did help quite a bit, but it didn't make up for the fact that she had utterly no idea how to do work for whatever she's supposed to be doing. Sorley felt incredibly useless trying to return to 'normal' life and every time someone offered to help her it only served to remind her how pathetic she had become. She had flipped her 'album of memories' that her brother, Thomas, had so 'lovingly' given her: Masters in Mathemathics, a picture of her sorority, the picture of her best friends which is questionable for she has yet to see or hear from them since she woke up.
She was most definitely becoming more cynical. Sorley hated herself for being so yet didn't seem able to stop it. She was not trying her
You'll remember eventually!
Thomas would say and push videos and pictures of her doing things she never knew she would have done. Her mum would hound after her about things she would have usually done. No, staying indoors and reading a book is not something Sorley would have done.
Why couldn't the world just leave her alone? If she had her way, she would leave this place right now. It was bad enough feeling cooped up, having to cope with her memory loss. She wanted to go somewhere, anywhere, away from all the pitiful looks, away from the smarting rejection that her family unintentionally gave her. She was so deep in her fuming that she did not notice the man walking out of the blue box which had appeared out of nowhere. She walked straight into the man or rather, the man walked into her and she fell.
"Blimey! Didn't see you there!"
"Didn't bother checking before opening the door, did you?" she spat out, before turning to glare at the man.
The pin-stripe suited man looked at her with an expression of guilt. Pin-stripe suit with red converse. She trembled. He was familiar, yet unfamiliar. She must know this man as well. Sorley allowed herself to be pulled up.
"Do I know you?" They both said at the same time. He chuckled and for the first time in the last few months, Sorley found her face twitching into a real smile. The feeling was incredibly exhilarating. She was excited by a smile, his or her own?
She turned to look at the blue box that said 'Police Box'. This too was awfully familiar, yet unfamiliar. She should come up with a term for it considering how many things were under that category. Hazy fuzzy memory… thingy.
"I know this," she muttered, her hands reaching out to gingerly touch it. "Tardis."
"So I do know you. Should know you at least," the man said with a large grin. He thrust out his right hand. "Hi, I'm the-"
"Doctor. You're the Doctor." Doctor Who? She smiled slightly, her hand rising to shake his hand. His grip felt extremely familiar. His hand felt right. It sounded so odd when she said that in her mind, though there seemed no other way to describe it. He just felt right. Right for what, Sorley couldn't fathom. Her memory was making all the weird connections but none of the right ones that she was looking for.
Doctor, Doctor, Doctor, Doctor, Doctor, Doctor, Doctor.
Her mind kept repeating that same word. She knew his name but didn't know from where or how. She knew the blue box but couldn't remember why. She knew his name but where? She knew the blue box; she had seen it on the television - vaguely. Everything about him struck her with a sense of overwhelming familiarity despite her stupid memory told her it was dissimilar to the television set. Everything about him felt more real, more so than her home and her family had been. It was a different sort of hazy fuzzy memory thingy, if that made any sense.
"So- how do I know you? Which year am I in by the way? This place, sort of doesn't feel right."
She frowned, her memory was still playing truant on her, refusing stubbornly to pull up the relevant information. "Doctor, Doctor, Doctor, Doctor, Doctor who?" she clapped her mouth, horrified at her mouth running off before her mind could filter it out. "I didn't mean to- It's the first time I'm meeting you. If we met before, I don't remember."
He stared at her bewildered. He was quite a remarkable person and most of the time the people who travelled with him never really forgot him. It was always somewhere there, regardless if it was a dreaded memory or a good story to tell. He was saying that he had 'heard it all' a lot recently, but clearly he hadn't heard it all at all.
"Well- That's a first."
"I'm Sorley, Sorley Morin. It's 20 July, 2012." Year? He did just ask for the year right? Whoever asks for the year? She stared at him, trying to figure the strange man out.
"Sorley Morin-" he said it as though he was tasting wine, rolling it back and forth. No memory sprung to mind. He would have assumed that she had met him in her past and his future but if she was meeting him for the first time and already knew his name, perhaps she was one of the aborted timelines and he had met her then. That's why she was so familiar yet unfamiliar. "Nope. Nothing comes to mind."
"Oi Spaceman, you left me behind!" A ginger haired woman burst through the doors, almost hitting Sorley had the Doctor not pulled her back. "Oops. Did I just hit you?"
Sorley stared at her baffled. Another hazy fuzzy memory thingy.
"Ah Donna! Meet Sorley. Sorley, Donna."
"Just a few minutes behind and you've already hit on a poor innocent girl?" Donna rolled her eyes. "Nice to meet you."
Donna pursed her lips and before she could say anything further, the Doctor reached over to grip Sorley's arm, holding her up. "Are you okay? You're shaking real hard."
He pushed the doors open and led her to the jump chair. Sorley sat in the jump chair, her hand hanging tightly as though the jump chair was her lifeline. She knew the room. She had seen the room before. Where? The time rotor wheezed cheerfully.
"Well, look at that! She likes you," the Doctor exclaimed happily. He bounced on the balls of his feet, waiting for his favourite sentence. "Well- go on! Say it. I've heard it all."
"It's dimensionally transcendental."
"What. I was looking forward to its bigger on the inside."
Sorley scoffed at him. "Thanks captain obvious. I can see that she's bigger on the inside. What would be a better question is how big can it go? Is there a limit?"
"Wait. What?" The Doctor spun back to her, looking at her closely. "How did you know that term?"
"That was weird. How did I know that? It's not like I'm those science geeks who reads up on such stuff." She gaped at him. "That can't be. I mean. It's the first time I've been in here." She stood up, staring at the Time Rotor. Her memories shuffled about
"It's so weird," she muttered. "I know I said it, but I don't even know what that means."
"Doctor?" Donna called out from the bottom of the stairs. "Are we going to-"
Her words were cut off by the sudden slamming of the doors. "Wha-" Donna found herself hanging onto the edge of the railings as the Tardis took off. "What are you doing?"
"It's not me!" he yelled back. He was dashing about pushing random buttons. Clearly whatever he was trying to do wasn't working. "No no no! What are you doing?" he cried, narrowly grabbing the railing as the Tardis bucked.
"Doctor!?" Sorley yelled. Hysterical, that's what she should be. Maybe a panic attack, Sorley thought to herself as she found herself gasping for breath with each bucking. Oh please be over soon.
The Tardis jerked one more time, this time appearing to be somewhat half-heartedly. Half-heartedly. It was weird that she even thought that the Tardis had emotions. She supposed all machines had 'emotions', just like how her oven was rather temperamental. She was so going to kill the Doctor.
"Where are we Doctor?" Donna asked him, before thwacking him hard on the shoulder.
"Ow! What was that for?" He moaned, rubbing his shoulder.
"For kidnapping the poor girl, you prawn!" Donna scolded. They looked across the room. The Doctor didn't think it was possible, but Sorley had gripped the jump seat so tightly that there were a finger marks on the white leather.
"Sorley?" The Doctor knelt down before her, placing his hand lightly on her arm. "It's okay. We're no longer in motion. You can let go now."
She exhaled loudly, trying to get her breathing under control. She was so not going to break down here over stupid and terrible piloting skills. She was going to let go down so she can beat the crap out of the Doctor. Yes, she was going to let go down.
Sorley felt the Doctor reach for her hands and gently untangled it from the torn leather. He patted her hands straight. "It's okay now," she heard him say softly. Her shoulders sank down in relief. Then she smacked him on the head.
"Ow! Why are you hitting me as well?"
"That's for the god awful piloting skills!"
"But it wasn't my fault!" he protested. The Doctor turned to fiddle with the console once he knew she was okay now.
"Well- the good news is that we're back in our original universe," he started.
To be honest, the Doctor already had guessed what had happened. After Donna and him had gotten stuck in the alternate universe, he had much difficulty procuring the parts to patch the Tardis so it could go through the rift and back to their original universe. Of course by procuring he meant they had gone through the planet of Bvirh and asked with the relevant pieces. Nothing was ever easy in the chronicles of the Doctor. The Bvirht wanted very particular shells in exchange for the parts which meant they had to go Aquaris which then sent them off into another adventure which led into another adventure. Linearly, they had spent five months in the alternate universe before they had gotten the right parts and fixed the Tardis. Finding the rift was very difficult and then he lost control of it and ended up meeting Sorley, which was brilliant in an odd way. He still couldn't figure why she was familiar to him. The Tardis recognized her as well. So she must have come into contact with him previously. He should faintly remember aborted timelines as well. It was just in the nature of Time Lords. Did it have to do with him being in the alternate universe?
"And the bad news is that whatever that had allowed us to pass in and out of that universe is now closed. She's now stuck in ours."
Sorley stared at him. The Doctor could see her jaws clenching, her mind working. She opened her mouth, hesitating then closing it again. She was stuck in this world. She didn't really like her world, but that was because everyone kept pressuring her, rejecting her. She would have eventually remembered and return to her life, been the best friend to her elder brother Thomas as her mum seemed to hint. No. She didn't think she was that close to her brother, but now the opportunity of even knowing her brother, her family and her strangely absent friends was gone. She was gone. She couldn't even tell them that she was alright. Sorley found herself unable to express anything. The strange numbness had spread over her.
"Sorley?" Donna asked. She pulled the girl into a hug, but she kept her green eyes on him. Her eyes said much more than her stiff posture and silent voice did.
"I could do with some tea," she said, her voice sounding more pathetic that she had envisioned it to be. She cringed inwardly at the tremble in her voice.
"I think it's the kitchen is this way," Donna smiled kindly.
Sorley turned her thoughts away from the whole universe thing. There were so many things she wanted to say, so many things she would probably regret saying. She had been so tired of her world: the world where everyone just looked at her with pitiful eyes, the world where everyone wanted her to be her old self, the world that seemed reject the person that she had become. She had a master in mathematics and she didn't even know what that meant. Everything that was her in the past was a blank. The brilliant mathematician Sorley that loved anything that had to do with the body, could outtalk almost anyone, and was relied often as a think tank. She was almost entirely unlike that old Sorley. Sorley had found herself entirely incapable of doing the most basic equations that her job required. Her co-workers had ended up picking up much of a slack and truth to be told, she more often than not, in the way rather than of help. Her boss then had 'politely' hinted that perhaps she should take more time off. Back at home, her family was always going about with the 'but you used to like this'. They had good intentions but it had made her feel like she didn't belong anymore.
In a way, a very guilty way, she was very glad that she was free from that world. She could start 'anew' here, a life with people not knowing what happened and et cetera. They would not be judging her based on her past but rather what they saw her now. What she did with that here and now, would be all up to her.
Then there was that guilty part. The fact that her family and friends had invested so much in her and she just disappeared. She had not really done it willingly or even purposely, that wasn't her fault right?
"I was working H.C. Clements. I was together with this man, Lance. And we were supposed to be getting married and while I was walking down the aisle literally, I got teleported into the Tardis," Donna laughed. She recounted how she had met the Doctor and eventually joined him on his trips. All the time while she spoke, she watched the quiet girl. A small faint smile lingered on the girl's lips as she listened to Donna talk.
It wasn't a story with a typically happy ending. Sorley hadn't expected a happy ending to begin with. However the way Donna talked about her other adventures, it seemed like her eyes were alight. Adventures, that's what Thomas said that she had always been looking for. Perhaps if she had an adventure as well, she would recover some of her old self. Then there was the strange warmth of familiarity from the Doctor and the Tardis blanketed her, telling her of safety, like strong warm arms that would never let her go. Yet it was the first time meeting him, them. Why?
She shook herself out of her thoughts as his voice echoed down the hallway calling out with excitement or maybe joy, Sorley wasn't sure. She had her bets on excitement.
"Donna! Sorley! Really! You'll want to see this!"
The Tardis jerked, launching them flat into the hallway. They could see the Doctor waving frantically at them. Okay, not frantically, exuberantly.
"Is he always like that?" Sorley asked.
"Mostly…" Donna gave the Doctor a stern look. "What did you do this time?"
He sulked. "Why do you always think I did something?"
"The last time you called for me so excitedly you found the Xuba- whatever you pronounce it. Where they used farts as currency. The smellier it was, the more value it had."
"Xuberatla and they had crystal waterfalls! That's just one! Name another time where-"
"The time we found zombie birds in Loclin. ONE WEEK! I had the smell of dead bird in my hair for one week!"
Donna continued, cutting the Doctor's protests. "The time where you said it was one of the greatest market place and landed us in the desert! And the Tardis lost power and we had to camp in the desert with 7 suns for 2 weeks. I'm still burnt from it! Another time you said Paris for breakfast. We ended up in North Korea and were chased by them all over the place."
"It's really not that bad!" He blanched. "Stop discouraging her, Donna!"
"And the running! He said it'd be fun but forgot to mention how much running you would be doing."
Sorley giggled at the Doctor's crestfallen expression. "Well, go on Spaceman! What do you have for us?"
His face lit up again. "Oh it's really good." He bounced to the doors. "Open it, Sorley! Beginner's luck!"
Donna rolled her eyes as she followed Sorley to the door. Gingerly, Sorley pushed the door open. She stood there staring at the view. There were no words to describe how magnificent the view was. The grass was iridescent, their colours changing as they fluttered in the wind. The sky was deep violet and shades of deep red running through the sky, leaping and fading with the wind, filled with multitudes of stars that seemed to smile at her with their twinkling lights. A strange smell hung heavily in the air. It was strange and thick but not unpleasant. Comforting and painfully reminiscent of something that Sorley couldn't figure. Crisp and dry, sweet and light yet heavy. She breathed deeply and then as she turned to call out to Donna, her voice was caught in her throat. In the sky was the large moon, larger than that she ever thought possible. Huge and aureate like a burning coil of gold.
"Welcome to Ralitektap."
"It's- it's-" She searched her mind for an appropriate word. Gorgeous was the understatement of the year. Breath-taking, mind blowing, amazing.
He smiled with a knowing smile. It was beyond words. "Every ten thousand years, the thirteen planets would align and move so close together that they almost touch."
Donna stood there, awe filling her face. All the two years of travelling with the Doctor and he still never failed to amaze her with the sights of the universe.
"The colour of the moon! It changes!" Sorley turned away in surprise.
"Yes. It is due to the atmospheric change between the planets that causes the change of colours. Each planet with a different type of atmosphere so when the chemicals in the atmosphere interact with each other, their colours change. That is what gives the 'moon' the scintillating effect. It's not really a moon but actually the neighbouring planet, Tialatk. And on Tialatk-"
"Doctor, rambling," Donna interrupted.
He grunted, disappointed of being interrupted in what seemed to be a good rant. "Fine, anyway that's why on this day, every one on the planet celebrates the festival of colours. Shall we go?"
"No jumping off cliffs?"
"No psychic messages?"
"No weird currency like farts?"
Donna leaned over and mock-whispered to Sorley, "Where ever he goes, trouble follows."
"Donna! You're being a very bad bad influence!" He scolded. Grabbing Sorley's hand, he marched forward. "You're banned from being a bad influence to Sorley!"
"Very matured, Doctor!" Donna called out, following a distance behind with a large smirk.
"I'm not that bad," he muttered quietly. His hand twitched as he said that. "I'm really not that bad!" He asserted, glanced at Sorley. She hid her lips under her hand, trying to stop herself from bursting out laughing in no avail. Tears were trickling down her face as she struggled to stop herself from laughing. She was laughing at him! The audacity!
"You're laughing at me," he groused.
"Making fun of me is not funny!" he pouted. His mock bad mood dissipated in an instant as they approached the first stall.
"See!" The Doctor pulls up a shimmering blue cloth. "They wrap themselves in colours and at midnight which is in one hour when the alignment is completed, they will dance and sing."
"Dance and sing?"
"Yes! All thirteen planets will sing in harmony. The shared atmosphere will reverberate the song throughout the thirteen planets. The reverberation will induce the soil in each planet to reconstruct themselves to their original potential. This in return will cause the vegetation on each thirteen planets to grow vigorously."
"So it's like a reset button?"
"It is!" He beamed, rocking back and forth on his heels. "Here wear this. Everyone wears one to participate."
He wrapped the blue cloth deftly around her and gazed at her with a mischievous twinkle in his eye. "Perfect. We'll take it. And this."
He strode towards Donna and wrapped her in the lavender cloth.
"Oh my god! This is beautiful! Where did you get it from?" Donna caressed the fabric. "It's so soft and smooth."
"Over there, Sorley got a blue one too. It's for this ceremony they do when the planets are in alignment where all the thirteen planets sing together-"
Donna turned and pursed her lips. "Doctor, I think she's gone."
"-the song will reverberate and the conglomeration of harmonies will-"
"Doctor!" Donna swats him, hard. "Sorley's gone!"