Chapter Twenty One

River paused by the door to the console room and peeked in. She could see the Valeyard standing at the console near the monitor, his back to her. She narrowed her eyes and readied her blaster. Using techniques drilled into her by Madam Kovarian over the years, she slowly walked down the steps, taking care not to make any noise. She knew this man was supposed to be the Doctor so she wasn't about to underestimate him. And she was right when the Valeyard chuckled.

"Hello, River," he said without turning around.

"Where are they?" River growled as she raised her blaster and pointed it at the back of his head.

"If by "they" you mean your lovers, father and friend, they are on a barren snow planet that's about to be hit by a comet."

"Bring them back…now," River said.

The Valeyard turned around to face her and River backed up so he couldn't snatch the blaster from her hand.

"I said…bring them back here," River growled.

"Whatever for?" the Valeyard said calmly.

"Because I will shoot you and keep on shooting you until you are dead," River said.

"Come now, my love, you don't want to shoot me. I'm your heart's desire."

"No, the Doctor is my heart's desire. You are a pale imitation of him," River said.

"No, River, he's a pale imitation of me. I am what the Doctor would be if he stopped listening to his conscience and did what he was meant to do. I am more of a mate for you than he is, especially since I have no qualms about guns or shooting people. Now come on, my dear, you know you were bred to be a killer and yet you travel with a man who won't let you do what you were born to do. Wouldn't you rather be with me and experience real power?"

"I told you to bring them back here and I mean it," River said. "If you don't do it in the next thirty seconds, I will shoot you."

"Shoot me all you like, the TARDIS will stop you," the Valeyard said with a shrug.

River backed up when he tried to touch her.

"Come, my love, join me and fulfill your true destiny," he said.

"Go to Hell," River snarled.

"I did. This is Hell," the Valeyard said, gesturing around the room. "I'm in the console room of my weakling self. That, to me, is terrifying. But we can change that. We can recreate the universe just the way we want it.

River gasped when he suddenly lunged at her and she grunted when her back slammed into the railing. She fought him while he tried to grab the blaster out of her hand.

"Be a good girl, Melody, and give me the gun," the Valeyard snarled at her.

"Only my parents and the Doctor can call me that," River snarled back. "It's Professor River Song to you!"

The Valeyard tripped her and fell with her to the glass floor.

"I will make you my assassin," the Valeyard said as he wrapped his hand around her throat. "But first I will choke you to the point of death so you can't resist me and…"

He grunted, a look of surprise on his face before he went limp and fell unconscious. River looked up at Amy who was standing over them holding a rubber mallet in her hand.

"It's a good job the Doctor carries all sorts of bits and bobs on his ship," Amy said. "As for you, you bastard, no one hurts my child and gets away with it!"

Amy helped River roll the Valeyard off her body. River breathed a sigh of relief as Amy helped her up.

"The TARDIS was able to free you?" she asked.

"I suppose so. I woke up in some sort of pod thing and when I opened the door I could see you and him fighting so I came down the stairs, grabbed the mallet the Doctor keeps here and hit him as hard as I could. Are you okay?"

"Yeah, I'm just glad you're alright, mum," River said, getting up. "There's a problem though. Our Doctor, the tenth Doctor, dad and a couple of people called Rose and Jack are on another planet. We have to get to them before a comet slams into it and kills them."

"How do we do that?" Amy said.

River held up her hand, trying to communicate with the TARDIS. The TARDIS weakly told her what coordinates to use to fly her to the planet and River nodded when she was finished.

"TARDIS just told me where they are. Hold on, mum, I'll get us there," she said, hurrying to the console.


Rose dropped another rodent in the fire and stepped back, shaking the snow from her fur. It had begun to snow hard and Eleven finally called Rory inside just in case there was a blizzard.

"I appreciate the guard duty but I have a feeling we'll be able to fight off anything that comes in here," Eleven said, patting him on the snout. "Besides, it looks like a blizzard now and I doubt there'll be anything scurrying about. Come and rest and warm yourself by the fire, you've earned it."

"Yes, come and be with your wife," Jack said.

Rory shot him a look as he walked towards the fire. He and Rose stood together, warming themselves while Jack got up and walked over to them.

"You do make a cute couple," Jack said. "I mean, I know you're married and everything but hey, you're a tauntaun, she's a tauntaun, it could work out."

Rory and Rose eyed him while the Doctors sniggered.

"Hey! That's right, they did look like tauntauns," Ten said.

"Say, we could do what Han did and slit one open. We could warm Amala that way!" Eleven said.

"And I thought they smell bad…" Ten said.

"On the outside," both Doctors finished saying before chortling.

Rory chittered to Eleven.

"What'd he say?" Jack said to him.

"He said how would I feel if he slit me open instead," Eleven said.

"Hey, Rose, can I ride you again and pretend I'm Luke out on patrol?" Jack said to her. "After all, Hoth was an ice world too."

Rose looked at him for a moment and then walked over to Ten. Ten smiled when she nuzzled his cheek with her snout.

"Aw, Rosie Tauntaun is giving me love right now," he said to Eleven. "I just hope there are no fleas in this thick coat of hers."

"Where's my lovin', Rosie Tauntaun?" Eleven said. "And no lice either."

"Ooo, lice, ick," Ten said, playfully pushing Rose's snout away from him.

"You know what I regret," Eleven said to Ten.

"No, what do you regret?" Ten said, stroking Rose's snout.

"That we may die here and no one but us will know that we had a tauntaun for a pet," Eleven said.

"I rode a tauntaun," Jack said, holding up his finger while he knelt down to check on Amala.

"Where's my turn at?" Ten said to Rose, looking into her eyes while he stroked her snout. "Gotta have a go before the comet destroys us all."

Rose playfully snapped at his ear in response.

"Is my ear still attached?" he asked, turning his head so Eleven can see.

"Yes, it's still there," Eleven said.

"Good, I thought the tauntaun got a bit overzealous and made me into Van Gogh," Ten said while Rose snuffled his cheek playfully.

"Met Van Gogh actually. Had both his ears though," Eleven said. "Nice bloke, you'll like him…if we get off this planet, that is."

"Maybe if you two think reeeeeally hard, the TARDIS will appear," Jack said.

The two Doctors stared at each other for a moment. Ten shrugged and closed his eyes. Eleven shrugged and did the same. Everyone watched while they thought really hard. Then suddenly, their eyes snapped open when they heard a wheezing sound.

"Holy shit," Jack said. "I was only kidding."

"So were we," Ten said.

But everyone could see the TARDIS materializing just outside the cave entrance.

"Wow, I guess there is something to be said for mind power," Eleven said as the two Doctors got up and headed towards it.

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