"Well, that's a rubbish year." River was standing on a wooden bench at the end of a long hallway looking at an assortment of wines her parents had housed in a large cupboard next to the bench itself.
Clara walked in and stood next to the edge of the stall. "Your mother told me to tell you to bring in the '48."
"Good idea. Mummy is brilliant. Great taste in wine." River took the bottle next to the one she had been looking at and Clara offered her hand to help River down. "Runs in the family."
"So you and I know each other in the future, eh?" Clara asked with a spark in her eye.
River hit the ground with both feet fully planted and shook her hair from her face. "Spoilers."
"How did we meet, then? I can at least know that, right?" Clara was giddy.
"Spoilers, again." River then got a look on her face and sat down on the bench. She patted the spot beside her for Clara to sit and Clara followed River's direction. "You shouldn't want to know too much about your own future, Clara. Knowing too much about your own future is dangerous."
"'Cause of paradoxes?"
"Well, yes. Those too. Paradoxes resolve themselves, by and large. The trouble - one can never know which ones can truly be rewritten and which ones can't." She looked at Clara with a smile. "Life has to be lived, Clara. All the beginnings and middles and endings of it..."
"So you don't have a problem with endings like The Doctor does?"
"He didn't use to." She smiled at Clara bitter sweetly. "If you'd lived so many lives and lost so many people. If you'd had that much hurt you wouldn't like endings either. "
"Humans, you mean. Him. Out-living us."
"Any race. Humans may have less of a life span than Time Lords, but even Time Lords have endings. Endings are a part of life. But you know what the best parts of endings are?" She leaned in like she was about to share a great secret. "After every ending comes a wonderful new beginning." River looked off towards the living room at the end of the hall where she could see The Doctor catching up with Amy and Rory, being his gregarious self. River nodded her head for Clara to take a look. "I mean look at that face. My him indoors. That young, puerile face he picked out for himself. Why he acts like a big child most of the time."
"But, that's just… The Doctor, being The Doctor." Clara smiled and looked back at River.
"Yes, many of his faces - this one especially. It's his coping mechanism. But don't worry." She smiled. "He'll get over that soon. I don't know how, but he does." She got a glint in her eye. "Little spoiler for you."
Clara smiled huge. "Well, I'll never leave him." She looked back at River.
"You said it yourself, we're human. I may have Time Lord DNA, but I can't regenerate anymore. I gave them up to save him. One day I will leave him too. And you. I'm sorry Clara but he will outlive all of us. It is his nature."
"Do you know… how long he has?" Clara asked, frighten for the future, knowing she could never tell River where she had been, Trenzalore, and with River's data ghost to boot – too many spoilers.
"No. I don't. I've collected as many of his faces as I can find. Paintings, old history books – legends, and then I paste them in my diary. I have a feeling I have as many as you've met, I'd imagine."
"You know about me, then?" Clara was shocked considering their ghost conversation on Trenzalore. "About the lives I've led?" It then dawned on Clara that River's Data Ghost must have had to pretend for the sake of spoilers – in fact she remembered River hadn't really talked her out of it, just gave her the facts of the situation. Yet, as the Doctor told it, she had battled him at every stop to jump in his own time stream to save her.
"Yes, I know. But again not how. Like with my parents, I knew they got trapped here in New York in 1938, but I didn't know how until it was happening right in front of me. The bits I learn that aren't from my own adventures with The Doctor I have to piece together in my diary, the life of an Archaeologist. Putting the pieces in the right order. I rarely get it all right. The order I mean."
"Wait?" She got a confused look on her face and tilted her head towards River. "Does this mean we've actually met in the future or do you know me from… some archeology dig?"
River shifted her head towards Clara and gave her an impish look. "You're not going to get anything out of me, so stop trying. " She bobbed Clara on the nose and got up to walk away. She had taken a few steps away when Clara stopped her with her final question.
"Did you ever meet Rose?" Clara asked sincerely.
River stopped short, turned to Clara and plainly asked. "Did you?"
"Spoilers," Clara said with delight.
River smiled sweetly at Clara and walked closer to her and the bench. "Now you're learning." She sat down next to Clara again and spoke plainly. "Yes, I know about Rose, and his first wife on Gallifrey, Queen Elizabeth, all of it. "
"It doesn't bother you?"
"There will be a time when you understand this more, but a man like The Doctor, who has lived and will live so many lives, has two hearts... there's no way he could have only one love. He loved Rose; she was an important part of his life and therefore... mine. I know he loves me and that's all I need. I'm very confident in that. Every man comes with a past and a future, and no one more than the Doctor. I'd expect this is something you two could bond over, living so many lives – meeting the same people." She stood up. "I think this little chat will come in handy the next time we meet."
Clara felt so connected to River; she started to confess her heart. "I don't have anyone to talk to about this. I mean like we are now. The Doctor and I just don't talk about it. We just don't. We talk about other things, but not this. See… all the lives... I led..." She tried not to give away too much. "Well, I lived them with a purpose, one single purpose. I remember some bits and I've read about others. But it's not me...it's just…echoes of me." She took a breath and River took hold of her hand. "No matter what I can remember or not, I know the purpose I had was always so... clear." She watched River nod her head. "And the more I read about you, the more I felt you of all people could understand that. The more I kept looking and going where I shouldn't have. Thinking, maybe, that even that could be my purpose. To help. Something. For in this life I don't know what my purpose is. I don't have one as strong, as epic. So maybe, I feel if I know what is going to happen, in my future... I'll know – that I have a real purpose... in my future... and it will make my present less… perplexing."
"Isn't teaching enough?" River asked, but she really didn't ask, she more stated. "The lives you change - change the world. Maybe one day the universe. I've seen it in my own classrooms."
"Yeah? See, you teach? Is it enough?" Clara knew River's answer already considering the life she knew River led; it was more a rhetorical question.
River smiled and shook her head, "no"
"I never felt this way before – it's why I took the job at Coal Hill School... after... and don't get me wrong I love my kids, truly, I do, but I still feel this way now."
"Clara, we all have a purpose, every life has a purpose, and, believe me, you more than any. Trust me." River stood and handed Clara the wine in her hand. Clara took the bottle and stood.
"How do you do it?" Clara asked. "Stay so optimistic. After everything you've been through?"
"Comes from living a life with a man that's back to front." She said with a playful smile. "You learn to savor the good days. Today is a good day. My parents are alive. The Doctor knows who I am. And for a brief moment, The Doctor and I... we aren't…. like two dogs chasing their own tails. You need to find those moments in life, Clara. For yourself. Days to live for. The blessed days. Your special days, while they're happening in front of you. They are the meaning of life. I'm afraid, Clara, if you don't tend to the future now, you won't have a future once you get there. That is a lesson you need to take to heart before it is too late." She smiled. "Now... "She put her arm through Clara's arm. "I say we go enjoy ourselves." River smirked at Clara.
Clara smiled back at River. "The Doctor says I'm very clever. I think we're friends in the future, yeah?" Clara raised her eyebrows at River and took her arm out from River arm to face her.
River smiled and then turned towards the other room, but was called back around by the sound of Clara's voice.
"I see now why you're both so well matched." Clara paused and nodded her head with a smile. "You ground him, don't you?" she said with sincerity.
River smiled, but said nothing. Clara wondered if she had hit a nerve, but she felt no malice coming from River, or hurt - just a silence longer than was normal - which caused Clara to remember something.
"Oh!" Clara exclaimed as if the idea had just come to her head. "My notebook!" Her eyes almost bugged out. " 'scuse me. Sorry." She turned to run away, but then stopped and spun back around towards River. "Take this in, will you? " She handed the wine back to River. "Sorry!" Clara ran off. "Be back in a jif!"
Clara paused before entering the Williams Kitchen and smiled at a familiar sight on the door frame. Just like in Rory's father's kitchen there was a series of marks with heights and ages, only this time it was for Amy and Rory's son Anthony, scratched in the wood. Clara followed the heights and groves of ages with her finger for a moment and her face filled with joy.
Clara walked into the Kitchen and looked around. She found her notebook on a chair and sighed with relief that it wasn't completely covered in milk. "Eww," she grimaced, as she picked up the notebook and shook off a few wet parts.
She turned to exit back into the hallway when she saw a startling surprise - River's diary just sitting on the counter top. Clara stared at the book with deep intention. She put her hand towards the diary and then pulled it back instantly while River's words echoed in her head. Clara quickly turned her back to the book, but the look on her face made it clear Clara desperately wanted to read the sections UNIT hadn't let her read. Her self-control was battling against her. Clara slowly walked towards the diary again, knowing she was about to do wrong.
"Just walk away. Distract yourself. Walk away. Pop off. Read your own notebook." She reached her hand towards River's diary and then spun away fast to stop herself, or had she heard someone coming. Her heart skipped a beat.
It was then that Rory entered the Kitchen. "Clara, you look lost?"
Clara looked at Rory with a caught look on her face. "Eh, yeah... My notebook." She showed Rory the wet papers. "I was hoping to dry off the pages before they stick."
"I'll get you a hair dryer. Follow me."
"Thanks." Clara smiled and followed Rory out of the kitchen.
Rory entered the lounge from the kitchen with a towel over his shoulder and a wine opener in his hand. He handed Amy the opener.
"So what's married life for you two?" Amy asked wryly and began to open the wine bottle in front of her. "Jet setting around the universe, Isuppose," she stated with comic melodramatic fascination. The wine bottle opened with a pop. She began to pour two glasses of wine.
"You know typical…" The Doctor made a boring matter-of-fact-face. "For a boy meets girl, gets married in an alternate universe, travels through time and space couple. "
"Yeah, typical." Amy joked statistically and handed River, who had been lounging on the couch, one of glasses of wine she had just poured.
"That brings something up, Doctor." Rory waved off a glass of wine from his wife. "I hope you don't mind me asking. "It's just - had a lot of...time to think it through, but, eh, are you two really married?" Amy hit Rory. "Oww." He gave her a sour look.
"Of course were married," River responded gleefully.
"I just mean…You were married in an alternate universe. Does that even count? "
"Oh, it always counts," River said seductively.
"Hello, parents, right here…" Rory waved in River's direction. Amy laughed at her husband. Rory looked at the Doctor. "And you were an android…" Rory pointed his finger at the Doctor as if to continue his point.
"What kind of wedding was it?" Daphne asked. "Were there bridesmaids?"
"Oh, it wasn't a proper wedding." River ran her fingers along the edge of her glass and smiled at her granddaughter.
"Slap dash combat wedding." The Doctor seemed rather proud of that fact
"The most romantic kind." River took a sip of her wine with a grin.
"I remember most of it. Not all of it." Amy said with despair. "I used to remember more, but now it's faded."
"Same here." Rory interjected. "Or maybe it's hard because we didn't quite know who we were at the time," Rory bemused.
The Doctor looked at Amy and Rory and then at River. "Well... I certainly don't want my father-in-law thinking we're not married, River." He called to her, "Come here." He gestured to her with his fingers.
"What am I doing?" She didn't move from her seat.
"Here. Now. I'm giving you a proper wedding."
"How is this a proper wedding?" she teased and sipped her wine.
"Real time." He spun in Rory and Amy's direction with his hands and fingers ablaze. "Real me. Parents who know they're your parents. What else could you ask for? It's time we did this properly." He looked at her.
"You don't have to do this. I'm not a girl who needs a wedding," she assured him with a lilt in her voice. "Now a new square-ness gun, that I could use."
"And where would one register for that?" Rory asked in a joking manner.
"Well, you're getting one. A wedding I mean. The gun you'll have to fend for on your own." The Doctor gestured to River and then looked at Rory. "Rory, can you hand me that - what's over your shoulder. " He pointed toward the towel in Rory's hand. "Yes, that will do." He outreached his hand towards Rory.
"Oh, no…" River stood. "I'm not getting married with a tea towel." She marched over to him.
"Well, what do you expect I use, River!? I don't go walking around with a sacramental Gallifreyan marriage ribbon in my back pocket."
"Are you two actually going to have a fall-out… now?" Amy scolded.
"You silly, boy…" River cooed. "You're never sentimental at the right times." She slowly took apart his bow tie and pulled it from around his neck. The Doctor liked that. River started to bind it around her hand.
"River Song, Melody Pond...Williams," The Doctor said in his most gravitas voice. Rory enjoyed that last part. "Are you ready for me to make an honest woman of you?"
"Oh, god," she hissed. "I hope not," she remarked with a wicked tone.
The Doctor smirked and took the other end of his bow tie and bound it to his own hand. "Let us begin."
"Wait! Wait..." Amy shouted and grabbed flowers from a vase on the fireplace mantel and handed them to Daphne "Flower girl." She then put a flower in River's hair, who smiled at her mother. "Okay, father - Mother of the bride." She took Rory's arm and positioned herself and Rory next to River. Amy smiled and then noticed that everyone else in the room was staring at her. "Come on, this is one shot at planning my daughter's wedding. Let me have it." She held Rory's arm tighter.
"Where's Clara?" The Doctor asked and looked around.
Rory raised his head towards The Doctor. "She's in the laundry room drying out her notebook." Everyone gave Rory an odd look. "It made more sense in my own head. I spilled milk on her notebook… before." He looked at the group as he explained.
"No matter. We'll catch her up with what she missed on her return. "The Doctor looked back at River.
"You can still get out of it," River teased him.
"Not a chance." He gestured to Rory and kept his eyes on River. "Rory, repeat after me –"
"Oh, I remember this bit. I consent and gladly give." He looked at Amy.
"I consent and gladly give." Amy's eyes got moist.
The Doctor looked are River. "Do you?" he asked.
"Like that hasn't been obvious." She smiled. "Do you?" She asked with a sinful tone.
"Always." The Doctor hadn't looked so happy in centuries. "Now, River Song, Melody Pond Williams, now you're the girl who married me twice. Now let anyone say we're not married."
"I never thought otherwise." She shook her head at him in a know-it-all-way.
"Someone needs to stop your mouth from speaking."
"Oh, shut up. I'd like to see you try." Her grin was large.
"Try me..." he whispered.
"Make me..." she trilled back in a whisper.
He raised his eyebrows at her.
"You…" She teased him and wobbled her head.
"Kiss your husband, Wife."
The Doctor and River kissed and everyone applauded.
Clara leaned over a washer and dryer with an old style hair dryer in her hand, even older than the time period she was in, positioned over the pages of her notebook. She didn't look very happy and mostly disgruntled at the prospect of all of her notes close to ruin. Luckily it was mostly the edges that were wet with a few pages stuck together. Still Clara was determined to make sure it didn't get worse. Clara turned off the hair dryer and checked to see how she was doing. The hum of the clothes washer was now louder to her ears.
"Not bad." She flipped through a few pages, checking them to be sure they weren't stuck together, reviewing her writing as she went. It was on the third flip of the page that Clara stopped cold. "Hold on…" She lifted her body up into a standing position. Her face was as white as a sheet. "Doctor!" Clara ran out of the laundry room with a firm hold on her journal.
"Doctor!" Clara ran into the living and the aftermath of the happy event.
"Clara, there you are!?" The Doctor put both his hands out, his bow tie loosely around his neck and a glass of wine in his right hand. "You missed the whole thing." He saw her face, she looked flushed and out of breath, but it was too happy to take it all in yet. "I got married...again!" he said gleefully and showed Clara the glass of red wine in his hand. "I'm drinking wine. I almost never
do that. Look at me!" He raised both his arms in the air. "I'm drinking wine! " It was then that The Doctor really saw Clara's face. "Clara, what's wrong? Something's wrong." He got serious very quickly.
Everyone looked concerned and approached Clara and the Doctor.
"Clara what it is? What's wrong?" River asked with a glass of wine in her hand and the flower now gone from her hair.
"I was looking back at my notes; being sure the milk didn't ya know -" She took a breath.
"Yes…" The Doctor finished for Clara and encouraged her to continue with the gesture of his head.
"Drying them off. And my notes, they've changed."
"Changed? How?' The Doctor seized the notepad from Clara and River read over their shoulders.
"I distinctly remembering writing down River and the baby arrived on the 16th November - only now it says the 15th. Today."
"No..." River spoke up. "It can't be. You must have written it down wrong the 16th November. Tomorrow night." The Doctor looked at River, he knew how bright Clara was, and they needed to believe her.
River walked into the empty kitchen and took hold of her diary. "I have a fake entry, written in code, so I would never forget. Not that I ever could." She opened the book and flipped a few pages. Her face went white. "Doctor…" She looked at him nervously. "She's right. It's changed. It says here the 15th November. Sunrise. I would never forget that date. Never. " River was concerned.
The Doctor had just finished securing his bow-tie to his neck. "That must have been why the calculations kept changing. Time is changing… " The Doctor was also concerned. "But how and why?"
"How do we remember? " Clara asked standing next to Amy near the doorway.
The Doctor looked at Clara. "You're a time traveler now, Clara – you will remember all your time lines from now on. Most bits." He looked around. "Need to - figure." He kept turning and looking at everyone. "Was it something we did? But, how? River is coming from the future. So it can't be us who's changing time. So, who… who is changing time. Time is being re-written. By who and from where?"
Rory walked into the kitchen from the second doorway with Daphne in a new sweater. "I had her put on one of Anthony's old jumper's - fits pretty well." He smiled and saw something was going on. "Why is he spinning like that?" he asked Amy, who came over and dangled her arms around Daphne's neck from behind
"He's thinking." She kissed the top of Daphne's head.
"Ahhh…" Rory pretended like that was a good answer.
River was now more than concerned, she was downright frightened. "Doctor, obviously, someone in the future is changing my time stream. I must be the anomaly."
"Hold on…" Clara stepped up. "What about what The Doctor just said – " She turned to The Doctor. "Wouldn't River remember?"
The Doctor spoke up. "Not if it's incrementally– no... she wouldn't. River's time stream is being re-written by mere hours - moments even. Like pointillism in time -"
"How?" Clara asked confused.
River continued for the Doctor and spoke quickly. "A missed meeting, a delayed moment, a diversion that makes you turn left instead of right. Forgotten moments that can become retrospectively dangerous."
"Unknown buoys in sea of trouble." The Doctor looked as distressed as River.
"Doctor…" An idea hit Amy like a bolt of lightning and she approached the Doctor. "You said younger River, from the future, pinged on to mine and Rory's DNA, right? What if this time River pinged onto Daphne's DNA instead of ours? What if Daphne is now the beacon? What if that's why time is changing?"
River answered for the Doctor. "It can't be. The locket doubles as a DNA cloaker."
Rory cleared his throat awkwardly and everyone turned to look at him. He raised two fingers at the group, to show he had something to say. "What would happen.. if... she took the locket off… say just for a moment?"
The Doctor turned sad with concern. "Rory, you didn't?"
"I had to pull her jumper off to put in the wash – it was in the… "He paused to retain his thoughts. " You know, in my own defense no one toldme that."
"Right. Yes. Okay." The Doctor nodded his head and then scratched the back of it.
Rory turned to Amy. "It's like now that he's back I've regressed back about thirty years."
Amy consoled her husband by rubbing his back. "What now, Doctor? Can we stop it? Can River and the baby be put back on course? Should it even matter?" She looked at Rory. "As long as they get there safely?" She looked at the Doctor with a hurried concern. "Right, Doctor? Doctor, why aren't you reassuring me they'll be fine?"
"Because I can't anymore." The Doctor had a laser focus on Rory. "How long ago, Rory? How long was it off from around her neck? Bespecific."
"At about half past…. And just a minute or two. Not long."
The Doctor took in a heavy breath. This was confirmation enough for him that the timeline had been re-written, and it worried the Doctor greatly - his face said it all. "A beacon has been found. It cannot be stopped. She's a comin'."
The lights then started to flicker on and off for a moment. A radio turned on for another instant playing the same Cat Stevens song Joe had been singing earlier and then it turned off just as quickly.
"That can't be good…" Clara commented.
"Oh, no it happens a lot." Rory remarked. "Old house."
"Nooo." The Doctor looked around. "I smell something…."
"What?" River questioned.
The Doctor licked his finger and put it out in the air.
Amy held her stomach and felt nauseous for a moment. "Oh, I smell it too…"
"Amy?" Rory questioned and put his hand on her shoulder. "What is it? What's wrong?"
Daphne looked at Amy, also concerned.
"I'm not sure. It's like it reminds my body of something." Amy seemed to recover.
"It's perfume. I know that perfume." River was not happy and pulled out her gun.
The Doctor turned away from everyone, facing the door, and spoke softly. "I smell trouble." But he said it more like he was ready for a fight then with fear, for he had his answer. "Proper trouble."
The lights went out again and then returned on as quickly as they had gone off, only now they had a special visitor.
Madame Kovarian stared down the group, her 52nd century gun firmly pointed towards them. She looked the same as the last time Amy, Rory, River and The Doctor had seen her – red lips, black suit, except this time, they could see both of her eyes.
River positioned her gun at Kovarian and there appeared to be a stand-off. Amy held onto Daphne tightly from behind and Rory stood firm next to Amy like the great Centurion of old. Clara looked confused and The Doctor appeared ready for his figurative brawl. This was a woman who did not scare him, but her mere presence did anger him.
"Well, well, back for a second child, are we?" The Doctor said with a confident sarcasm.
Amy pulled Daphne tighter to her body.
"Didn't my wife kill you?" Rory asked in a boastful and defiant tone.
"Only in an alternate universe," Kovarian answered with a cool power. "In an aborted timeline..."
The Doctor spoke, "And back like a bad penny. "
"I'd say, Doctor, you're in a spot of trouble." Kovarian gripped her gun with ease.
"I don't remember inviting you to my wedding day, this time or the last," he said to her in his most overconfident voice.
"Doctor?" Clara asked in a fearful inquisitive way. "Who's this? An old friend of yours, eh?" She asked knowing full well this woman didn't look like a friend.
"Clara, meet Madam Kovarian." He gestured toward Clara. "Not a pleasure I'm sure."
"The lady who kidnapped River as a baby?" Clara asked, softly, almost to herself.
"In the flesh. Pun intended. I use puns now. Puns are cool," he said crisply.
River held tighter to her gun. "Don't think I'll let you do to my family what you did to me."
"River -" The Doctor was anxious she would do something drastic. "Don't - she's not taking anyone anywhere ever again. Not on my watch."
"You really think that's what this is about? I'm repetitive, but not that repetitive." She looked at The Doctor and narrowed her eyes. "This is about what it's always been about… " She paused for a moment. "Trenzalore."
"Trenzalore?" The Doctor was shocked and a bit nervous to hear that word come from a woman holding a gun in his direction.
"He's never going to Trenzalore." River eyed Kovarian. "Over my dead body he's not."
Kovarian smirked. "Interesting choice of words, dear."
The Doctor did not like that last remark.
"What's Trenzalore?" Amy asked.
"Where, not what. A planet." The Doctor glared at Kovarian as he spoke. "Named in a prophecy that predicts my death. But prophecies can be misinterpreted…. or misunderstood."
"Not this one." Kovarian said with malice and a wicked smile on her face.
"If I die there, then why all this fuss about killing me? Feels redundant."
"Because Trenzalore was never about your death, dear Doctor, it was about what you, upon your death brought to life and the long, bitter war you let rage on. It is about stopping you from ever getting there, from bringing back the Time Lords - to bring back peace. It was never about Trenzalore." She leaned in. "This is now Trenzalore," she hissed.
Amy took Rory's hand and squeezed it.
"The map," The Doctor said soft and slowly, with one eye on River and the other on Madame Kovarian. "You're after the map. I see now… You knew all along that River was the key. That she would find it - Gallifrey - find it for me. Change River's destiny, change mine. Just a pawn in all your possible scenarios - not to find it. Change River, stop the madman; stop the war and if that wasn't enough, in the biggest of all ironies you turn her into a psychopath to kill me, only again I assume, time rewrites itself and I totally married her - again, for the first time. All you keep doing is causing what you're trying to stop. You can't win. You're stuck in your own destiny trap. You can't change anything because you're the reason it happened. So, what makes you think this time it's going to work?" The Doctor had another thought. "But, wait… how are you even here? The fabric of time must be on thin ice if it let someone else through and we're all still here. Why didn't you bounce off 1969 on entry? Oh!." He seemed delighted with his discovered. "They left you here, didn't they? The Silence - at least your followers in 1969 - after I beat them at their own game and you lost the little girl. You lost Melody. You lost her. And now… and now…You have no way of getting back." He smiled at her. "Here for a lift?" he smirked grandly. "I'm not a taxi service, I'm afraid." He held his jaw and teeth tight.
"Oh, enough, can't I just shoot her now," River asked with little concern.
"Patience, River." The Doctor walked closer to Kovarian in a confident stride. "That can be a problem with the wife, she's so impatient. But yet, I still adore her none the less. Big hair; big heart." He was now inches from Kovarian's gun. "Great shot," he said in an intimidating tone.
Kovarian was just as confident. "No escape plan can make a person far more fearless. Having no end game. A dangerous combination, wouldn't you say, Doctor? Or am I not alone, perhaps? I, like you, have learned to be a "mighty warrior" and mighty warriors don't get left behind."
The Doctor looked at her and shook his head; he still had it up on her. "Really?" He leaned in for his final verbal jab. "If you're not alone, where's your eye drive, then? "
Kovarian flinched slightly and The Doctor knew he had the upper hand. No eye-drive meant there was no way she was working with The Silence.
"Gotcha!" The Doctor exclaimed in delight. "Six against one. Including one psychopath with a weapon and a Doctor with a sonic." He brandished his sonic like it was a badge of honor. "Come on then, you don't stand a chance."
Madame Kovarian pulled something out of her pocket with her free hand - and held it to show The Doctor - it was a sonic screwdriver, it looked just like his own screwdriver. "I think you mean two, Doctor."
"Where did you get that?" The Doctor asked flabbergasted and a bit fearful.
"Wouldn't you like to know?" Kovarian smirked. "I did come from Trenzalore." Kovarian smiled large and laughed.
The Doctor looked frightened - he understood now.
"Ohhh...and the penny drops…." she hissed. "You see, I've also been to The Truth Caves Of Prophecy as well, Doctor," she cackled. "And I know prophecy comes true..." She leaned in and almost murmured, " ...because I've seen it happen." She laughed again and pointed the sonic in her hand towards Daphne.
"Time Lord, Time Lord," the sonic sounded.
River took advantage of Kovarian's cockiness and sent a blaster shot right at her gun, disarming her, and sending her weapon halfway across the room.
Kovarian then lifted the screwdriver in hand towards the ceiling and the lights literally went out. Everyone screamed. The lights turned back on, but Kovarian was gone and the front door was wide open.
"Daphne!" The Doctor yelled and turned to see Amy still had a hold of her.
"She's here, I have her, she's here," Amy assured him and even more herself.
"Where did she go?" Clara asked.
"She's gone. I don't care where," Amy retorted.
"I wouldn't be so fast to say that, Mother." River walked up to Daphne, kissed her forehead and then looked into her eyes to be sure she was alright.
The Doctor had no time to waste. "River's right, I'm sorry to say, but she's out there and she's dangerous, even more so out of our sights. And she has what looks like my sonic. So, if anyone is keeping score I think we have our number one candidate as to who might have nicked half the map from that locket."
Clara chimed in "There's still a chance we we're the ones to do it, yeah? " Clara tried to be positive.
The Doctor nodded his head. "Yes, but we're already re-written time just by being here. I don't know how, but we have. And it would appear; somehow someone else is manipulating the past, here, from the future. Playing with what happens on this day. And I'm not just talking about Daphne. This is bigger. It has to be. Kovarian being discovered before she tries to nick half that map, if she is in fact the one to do so is all new territory. Time is no longer just in flux - it is fluxing - a fluxing point. From now on everything that happens here is new. No more road map." He took in a discontented breath. "There are too many "what if's" running around right now for my taste.
"I guess the scenario in which she doesn't come back isn't on the table?" Rory asked sarcastically.
"River, how long do we have now until the younger you arrives?" The Doctor asked her.
River looked at the watch on her wrist. "Forty-five minutes according to the changed entry." She looked at him. "Plan?"
"Right," The Doctor set out what needed to ensue with great speed. "Alright, plan. First, we need to find Kovarian, stall her, at least enough time for young River to pop in, have the baby, so Daphne will be born and we're sure we are the ones to rip that map in half and not Kovarian." He took a big breath. "Either way, that baby needs to be born and that map needs to be ripped or we could have a paradox on our hands. If Kovarian isn't out there creating them as we speak." He paused.
He looked at Amy who nodded her head. "Worst case scenario here?" Amy asked point blank.
"A new big bang right in your own backyard," The Doctor said flatly. "The equivalent of a nuclear explosion and we'd be grown zero."
Amy continued for The Doctor. "So, the entire universe or at least this planet imploding in on itself, yeah, sounds like an average day with you."
"Well, just New York…" he grumbled. The Doctor went into plan direction mode. "Now…Rory, Amy, Clara take Daphne down to the cellar and lock the door. I noticed all the door knobs in the house are wooden. Old house, no windows down there, perfect for our needs. We'll let you know when we have Kovarian and it's safe to come out. " He opened the cellar door and patted Rory on the shoulder. "I leave them in your care Centurion." Rory nodded his head. "Don't beat yourself up on this one. This wasn't your fault." He nodded at Rory and Rory nodded back.
"I can stay and protect them," River said firmly and raised her gun.
"No, River, I'll need your help to secure Kovarian. And we'll need to be sure she doesn't find the Tardis." He threw Rory his sonic and he caught it. "Rory and Amy can handle themselves." He grinned at Rory. "Just in case." He turned to the group.
Rory took a key off a peg under a mirror in the hallway and then took a stand next to the cellar door. Clara noticed the mirror was across from an armoire – they were the objects from the manuscript that River would be smashing into soon.
Amy chimed in. "Isn't it safer for us on the Tardis?"
"Not so close to battle – remember what happened to River. No, no, much too dangerous – not to mention too Timey-Wimey. We cannot risk any more changes to your time streams.
"So, now - our deaths, Rory and I, now – it would be like when River refused to kill you - when all time happened at once – when time just stopped?
"Worse than our deaths?" Rory questioned.
"Worse, because there would be way of coming back from it - no fail safe to start time up again. It would be permanent."
Amy nodded her head at The Doctor, she understood and wasn't ready to take any chances.
"Trust me, Amy." The Doctor approached her and took her face in his hands. "I will do everything in my power to protect your family." He had to be sure she knew he still had their interest at heart.
Amy took his hands in hers. "Our family." She kissed him on the cheek and took Daphne's hand towards the basement. She kissed Rory on the cheek as she passed him in the doorway and then ran down the steps.
"What about me?" Clara asked with anticipation. "What's my job in all this?"
"Like I said, in the cellar…" He motioned towards the door with his hands.
"That makes no sense chin boy." Clara folded her arms and gave him a cross look.
"I see you have more of your past life memories now." The Doctor was impressed.
"Really?" Clara was happy to remember something more. She shared a look with River, but then got back to what was at hand. "See, best I understand I'm a time traveler now too –" she said sarcastically. "I don't need my time line / time stream protected or whatever other nonsense you decide to make up to stop me. I'm not just some tag along."
The Doctor put his hands on Clara's forearms. "You don't know how dangerous she is – or the people she associates with. This isn't play fun anymore, Clara. I don't want you getting hurt. "
"Dangerous, eh? Since when has that worked on me before?" She looked at him sideways and he lifted his hands off her arms.
"Clara, you are very precious to me. And the fact that I haven't lost you by now is in itself a miracle. If anything happened to you I'd never forgive myself. Now, we're running out of time, in the cellar, now. Quickly. Please."
"So, what's so safe about the cellar? Anyone could be in there." Clara tilted her head at him and waited for her answer.
River assured Clara. "Sonic tech doesn't work on wood."
"I won't go." Clara was firm. "I won't." She folded her arms tighter.
The Doctor took a moment to take in what Clara was saying and then shook his head at her. "No, no, you're right. Go get Amy and Daphne." He lowered his head. "New plan."
Clara's smile grew ten-fold and she ran down the cellar stairs calling Amy and Daphne's names.
The Doctor nodded his head at Rory who nodded back. Rory then walked into the cellar and closed the door behind him. River and The Doctor heard the door lock behind.
"This must be early days for her to fall for that old trick," River commented while looking at her computer link.
"Yes, very. That one was way too easy."
"She's going to try to kill you when she gets out of there."
"Better me than her. Now, come on." The Doctor motioned for River to follow him and they sped up their gait towards the front door.
"I'll call the Tardis." The Doctor spoke as fast as he ran down the brownstone steps
"You really think the anomalies are from more than just Daphne?" River put her computer link away with one hand and pulled out her gun.
"You know the Tardis, River, better than anyone, if it were that simple wouldn't she or I- Or you- have been able to figure out the calculations." He sounded like a harried father. "And I'll guess from the look on your face the readings haven't changed, have they?"
"No. They haven't."
They cleared the last step and hit the pavement, as the Doctor reached for his Tardis key, but River put her hand on his arm to stop him.
"Hold on." River motioned to the Doctor at a woman about Amy and Rory's age, in a pink terrycloth robe, running towards them. River put her gun in the back of her belt to hide it from view.
"I need help! Can you help me!? Please!" shrieked the woman.
"What's wrong?" The Doctor questioned.
"You must be the William's family from out of town?"
"Yes, yes we are," River smiled. "And we're -"
"In a little bit of a hurry, actually…" The Doctor's voice was agitated.
"Oh, and you have those cute little accents like they do."
River and the Doctor looked at each other oddly as they didn't sound anything like Amy and Rory at all.
"This woman ran into our house, I think she was trying to rob us, I don't know. I can't find my husband, Joe anywhere."
"This woman, can you describe her?" River was now intrigued.
"Red lips, dark hair, dark suit. She ran into the backyard and I hit her with a shovel. Oh, dear! I didn't mean to, she just scared me so. The things I see on the news. Will you come and help? Should I call the police?"
"No, no, don't bother." The Doctor showed her his psychic paper with a quick flash. "John Smith, I happen to work at Scotland Yard, back home, and I'm here working in tandem with the Brooklyn police department. On what, I can't say. Very hush, hush and all that."
The woman was very impressed.
"My wife and partner in crime... fighting. River Song…" He pointed to River, as quickly as he said her name, and then took a short pause before stating his next direction forcefully. "Now... take us to your... backyard."
It was dark in the cellar, except for a small light from above, and the only sound was from a small drip of water from the previous day's rain storm, echoing through what felt like an underground bunker.
Clara rubbed her shoulders for warmth.
"Are you cold?" Rory asked.
"Just a bit."
Rory walked over to Clara. "It can be very drafty down here." Rory took off his sweater/jacket and gave it to Clara.
"Oh, no, I don't…" But once Rory had placed his sweater on Clara's shoulders she couldn't say no to the warmth it gave her. "Thank you," she said almost sheepishly.
Rory sat down on a cardboard box next to his wife who had Daphne's head on her lap.
"You've both been so nice to me," Clara told Amy and Rory.
"Of course." Amy answered. "You travel with the Doctor – we have a common sisterhood."
"That's what I said." Clara loved that she was on the same page with Amy, if only to prove the Doctor wrong – after all she was very cross with him at the moment.
"What I am? Toast?" Rory joked.
Amy put her arm around her husband's neck. "The Tardis travelers support group will now meet in conjunction with the by-laws… that I just made up." She laughed and Clara and Rory joined in.
Then Amy got a serious look on her face and stroked Daphne's hair lovingly with her hand. "You travel with him. My family and I owe you a great deal of gratitude." Amy looked up at Clara. "He shouldn't travel alone. Just remember that. He needs to have someone by his side. Especially now that…" Amy got a little choked up and Rory was perplexed by it. "Well, we're just glad it's you."
Daphne opened her eyes.
"Look who's awake." Amy said sweetly and brushed Daphne's hair away from face. She looked a little frightened. Amy and Clara shared a look for they saw the girl's uneasiness.
"Daph," Clara got her attention. "Why don't you tell us about the book you're reading now?" She looked at Amy and Rory. "Daphne's reading about The Druids." She looked back at Daphne. "What about The Druid made you fancy a read?"
Daphne yawned and didn't lift her head off Amy's lap. "Julius Caesar said they believed, "That souls do not perish, but after death pass from one to another." She closed her eyes.
Amy teared up for a moment and Clara thought of her own mother.
"I do love a good Roman." Amy joked a little, so she wouldn't burst out crying. Amy leaned in to Daphne's ear. "I hope that's true, Sweetie," she kissed Daphne's head. "I really, really hope that's true." She looked at Rory.
"Yeah, well…" Rory spoke up. "Let's hope it just doesn't happen tonight," he remarked in a stern tone, not understanding the gravity of Daphne's comment.
"Bang! Bang! Bang!" The sudden noise caused Amy, Rory and Clara to almost jump out of their seats.
Rory stood and Daphne lifted her head off Amy's lap. They all looked a bit terrified.
"Rory! Amy!" Came the voice, a voice Amy and Rory knew well.
"Joe?" Amy asked as the banging and yelling continued.
"Joe!?" Rory called.
"You have to help me, it's after me, it's after me!"
Daphne lifted her head completely off Amy's lap and Rory rushed up the stairs toward Joe and his banging.