Chapter One

"Now what is this again?" Clara said to Twelve while she stood beside him at the console.

"Hands Across America," Twelve said to her.

"Never heard of it," Clara said with a frown.

"It was a chartable event that took place on May 25, 1986 that took place all across America. People came together to form a human chain from New York to California to help fight hunger and homelessness."

"How does forming a human chain help fight hunger?" Clara said.

"Well, obviously some people donated money and others paid ten dollars to reserve a spot in the queue," the Doctor said a bit condescendingly.

"And this is what we're doing today," Clara said. "Standing by some random people and holding their hands for hunger in the middle of nowhere."

"It's a historical event and it's for a good cause, Clara."

"Yeah, but…you have no money so we're just going to stand there and say we stood there?" Clara said.

"I donated money," the Doctor said.

"Really, how?"

"I have my ways," the Doctor said evasively as he sat the coordinates on his console.

"What? Illegal ways?" Clara said.

Twelve said nothing and Clara shrugged.

"Just as long as I don't end up holding hands with a Dalek or a Cyberman," Clara said as the Doctor changed course.


(Long Beach, California…)

"Ah, here we are," the Doctor said as he and Clara emerged from the TARDIS. "The end of the chain."

The TARDIS was parked about a hundred feet away from a huge steamship that was anchored sideways to a dock. Clara looked at the front of the ship and read its name.

"RMS Queen Mary," she said, glancing at the Doctor.

"That's right; we're in Long Beach, California. And that is the end of the queue," he said, pointing to a line of people standing near the ship.

"So how long do we have to stand in this queue," Clara asked as she followed the Doctor.

"Fifteen minutes. At noon, they will play the Hands Across America song and we all hold hands and see if we can form a human chain across the US."

"Whee," Clara said dryly, thinking that picking out socks would be more interesting than this.

The queue consisted of people off all ages, races and both genders. There was even one bleach blonde woman standing there with a white poodle on a red leash. The Doctor checked in with the organizers while Clara waited and told him they had a spot reserved for two. He gave their names and a young man checked his list and nodded. He pointed to the line and told them to get in their places because it was almost about to begin. To Clara's surprise, they went to the very end of the line near the ship. The Doctor noticed that Clara was staring at the man at the end, an old hippie with long scraggly hair; beard and a tie dyed t-shirt and noticed her distaste. He sighed, shook his head and stood next to the man, allowing her to stand beside him at the very end. Clara looked over at the massive ship and studied it while she waited for the event to start. It was resting in the Pacific Ocean and the water was gently sloshing up against it, making a soothing rhythmic sound. Clara looked around at the palm trees and then focused on a water taxi that was slowly motoring by the boat.

"Just think, my tenth and eleventh selves are in this queue at this very moment."

Clara jerked her head around when she heard the Doctor say that.

"Huh? They are? Where?" she said, looking at the queue.

"Not here. My tenth self is in New York and my eleventh self is in Indianapolis. They're at the beginning and middle and now I'm at the end. And don't get any ideas," he added when he saw Clara's hopeful look. "We can't go see him in Indianapolis. I don't want a paradox on my hands. Just enjoy the day with me, Clara."

Clara nodded. She ached to see her old Doctor but she knew better than to bully him into taking her. To her surprise, however, the Doctor began giggling to himself.

"What's so funny?" Clara said to him.

"It's raining in Indianapolis today and I'm out in it with Amy, Rory and River, standing there, getting wet as we speak."

"And you're happy about that?" Clara said.

"I am now because now it's not me," Twelve said. "I was miserable that day but not today, today is nice, sunny and filled with Disney characters."

Clara frowned and Twelve pointed outwards with his chin. She turned her head and her eyes bulged when people dressed at Mickey Mouse and Goofy walked towards her. "Mickey" walked up to Clara, waved silently and pointed to her free hand.

"Oh! Um…yeah, you can hold it," Clara said while the Doctor chuckled.

Mickey patted her on the head and took her hand while Goofy stood on his other side and took his.

"Is it more fun now, Clara?" Twelve asked her.

"Not by much but it definitely lightens the mood when Mickey Mouse is standing beside ya," Clara said.

"Okay, everyone, we're one minute away from holding hands and forming our human chain," the man with the list said as he yelled into a loudhailer. "When I give the signal, everyone hold hands and keep on holding hands for fifteen minutes! We'd like to thank everyone for participating today and let's all keep working to end poverty and homelessness. Okay, everyone ready…ten, nine, eight…"

Everyone counted down with the man and when he got to one, everyone grabbed everyone's hand and held it while the Hands Across America song played from a speaker mounted at the top of the ship. Some people were singing along with it but since Clara didn't know it, she remained silent and listened. To her, it sounded like a cheesy 80's pop song but it was for a good cause so she didn't say anything. However, Mickey's gloved hand was making her own hand sweat and she hoped that the fifteen minutes would end soon so she and the Doctor could go back to the TARDIS and go on more interesting adventures.

She looked up at the Doctor and noticed he was still giggling. She figured he was still tickled about his other self being wet in Indianapolis which was odd to her since it was him relieving his own memories. Still, the fact that there was no creatures around other than Mickey and Goofy made it a pleasant day and she squeezed the Doctor's hand and smiled when he squeezed back.

(Meanwhile, in New York…)

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