Chapter 19

In the Seventh Doctor's TARDIS, everyone was given a task.

Amy's deck chair had been moved closer to the console, so that she could trigger the door switch should one of the other Doctor's arrive while the others inside were busy. Donna was standing next to the sixth Doctor. He had one of the large glass roundels off of the wall to the left of the door, revealing a mass of brightly lit, multi-colured wiring. Donna was holding things for him, so he could work with his hands free.

In the meantime, the tenth Doctor had removed his coat and suit jacket and loosened his tie. He lay on his side, intently using his sonic screwdriver to make minute adjustments to bits of circuitry at the base of the console. The second Doctor was kneeling alongside him, switching some motherboards around.

In the TARDIS' interior, the third Doctor was searching various store rooms for something called a glockometer switch, while the seventh Doctor was busy in the infirmary. He was frantically looking for anything that might help relieve Amy's symptoms.

"Hand me those Zeus plugs, Donna." The sixth Doctor said.

"The what?" Donna didn't have a clue.

"He means those round black things with the wires attached." The tenth Doctor called out to her, as he continued working. "Sort of look like headphones."

"Oh. Why do you call them Zeus plugs? Did ancient Greek gods have ipods?" She asked curiously.

Suddenly, the wiring in the wall blew with a few sparks and a puff of white smoke. Crying out, the sixth Doctor snatched his fingers away.

"Are you sure you know what you're doing?" Donna asked skeptically. "Maybe you should get a man in."

"Typical human. Think they know everything. When they know nothing!" The sixth Doctor said to himself. Giving a dramatic put-upon sigh, he asked Donna, "My dear woman. Do I even remotely look like some kind of an idiot?"

In answer, Donna stepped back, her eyes critically appraising this version of the Doctor.

"Meh." She answered, bringing her hand up and shaking it slightly for emphasis. "I think you should've taken that coat off, before you asked me that question, mate."

Unseen by them, the tenth Doctor broke into a lopsided grin. He snickered into his sleeve. Then paused in his task as the second Doctor spoke softly to him.

"Very independent, isn't she?"

"Yeah." The second Doctor's smile widened. "Donna's just...brilliant. Never a dull moment. Well, except for that trip to the shopping mall planet. Bleurgh! I'll have nightmares for the rest of my life. Although, I did end up getting a great deal on a fondue pot at TL Max."

"I must say, your Donna's quite different from most of my female companions." The second Doctor commented, as he patched in a bit of wiring. "Polly was always busy doing her nails. Of course, that nail varnish did come in handy when the Cybermen invaded that moon base. To be honest though, there are times when I could do without all the screaming. I've been considering training my ears to go deaf at key moments."

"Sometimes Donna almost makes me miss the screaming." The tenth Doctor told him in a hushed whisper, as he went back to work. "Blimey, she can shout! They could mount her on a rooftop and use her as an air raid hooter. I've even taken to calling her 'Foghorn Leghorn' behind her back." He paused, then cautioned, "Don't ever tell Donna I said that. She has one helluva' right hook."

Just then, a strident beeping sounded from the console. A large yellow light began to wink on and off. The second Doctor checked the console. "Keep working." He told the tenth and sixth Doctors. "I'll check this out."

"It seems this part of Wales is about to become a bit crowded. Another ship is preparing to land. About a half a mile from this quarry, by the looks of it." The second Doctor said, his face creased with a puzzled frown.

"Is it another TARDIS?" Amy asked.

"No, doesn't seem to be. It's a space ship. A rather old one apparently, judging by the radiation signature she's giving out. According to these readings, she's a Triellian passenger yacht. Oooh, that's a classic! I haven't seen one of those in ages. I wonder what it's doing here?" He pondered.

The second Doctor was interrupted by a startled cry from Donna. Without warning, Amy had fainted. She ran over to to Amy's chair, and knelt down beside her.

"Oh dear! Poor Amy! I'd better go and see what's keeping my counterpart. He should have found something in the infirmary by now! Probably busy playing with the tongue depressors." The worried second Doctor said, as hurried into the TARDIS interior.

Donna stroked Amy's hair and suddenly felt completely helpless. Then she realized that the other two Doctors in the room had kept on working.

"Are you going to help her? Or are you too busy with your little DYI project to bother?" Donna demanded of her version of the Doctor. "I suppose after nine hundred years, you probably get used to this sort of thing."

The tenth Doctor suddenly froze. His face first took on a hurt look, then hardened into anger. Placing his sonic on the floor, he stood and stared at Donna for a long moment. She was so startled by the expression on his face, that for once, Donna was suddenly at a loss for words.

"The one thing I hope I'll never get used to Donna, is seeing suffering and pain." He told her bitterly. "Why would you even think that I..." He paused. Then taking a deep breath, he went on, "Yes. Sometimes I do get a little caught up in events, I admit that. And I know that's no excuse. Yet, if I dwell too much, or too long, on all the suffering and grief I've seen, I'll go mad as a March hare." He smiled at her sadly. Kneeling down beside Donna and the unconscious Amy, he said more softly, "I do care. Really, I do. I wish I could help Amy right now. But that won't happen unless all of us work together to fix things. That's why I kept on working. I knew Amy was in good hands, Donna. Yours."

"I'm sorry, Doctor." Donna said, suddenly feeling ashamed of her outburst. Then she smiled and gave him a nudge. "Go on, then! What are you waiting for? Get back to work, you."

Returning the smile, the Doctor was about to retrieve his sonic, when there came a knock on the TARDIS door.

"Are you two going to spend the rest of the day playing at your little soap opera? Or are you going to answer the door?" The sixth Doctor called out to them. "I would. Only, unlike the rest of you, I am a bit busy at the moment."

The tenth Doctor frowned at the sixth, slamming the door lever. The wide wall panel of glass roundels swung inward. There at the threshold stood five other Doctors, with Captain Jack and Sarah Jane hovering in the background.

The forth Doctor stood there, his long scarf wrapped securely about him. Removing his floppy hat in greeting, he broke into a wide grin. "Hello! Did we miss anything?"

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