Chapter 20

"Quickly now! Help me get her up into a sitting position." The fifth Doctor, whom Donna noticed was wearing what looked something like ye olde cricket kit, had rushed over to Amy's aid.

Amy had slumped forward, her head resting on her knees. As this version of the Doctor supported her back, Donna gently eased Amy upright again. She noted with concern that Amy was now flushed and sweating. Her breathing had become more rapid and shallow, as well. The fifth Doctor slipped on a pair of wire-framed glasses and knelt down next to the chair. He felt Amy's pulse, while making note of her respiration rate.

Sarah Jane came over and stood beside Donna. "Anything I can do to help?"

"There's not a lot any of us can do for her, at the moment I'm afraid. Other than to keep trying to make her as comfortable as possible." The fifth Doctor said.

"Donna?" The Tenth Doctor asked, as he continued working at the base of the TARDIS console, "Is Amy alright?"

Donna looked questioningly at this other Doctor. He smiled at her reassuringly. She rather liked him. He sort of reminded her of 'her' version. Right down to trainers and glasses. So that's where he got that from! She noted to herself to ask 'her' Doctor what else was a holdover from his other regenerations, when they got back to his TARDIS.

"I think she'll be alright for now. It's only too bad she's human. If she were a Time Lord we could fix her right up with a bit of celery." The Doctor with Amy said, glancing down at the celery stalk affixed to his lapel. He spoke out to the others, "But I would recommend that you all speed things along a little. The sooner we can reverse the process, the better off she'll be. Has anyone got a stethoscope?"

"In my coat, Donna! Right hand pocket." The tenth Doctor called out.

"Hang on, I've got one." The forth Doctor said, rummaging through his own capricious pockets. He stopped abruptly. His face fell. "Oh! I forgot. I traded it for a bag of Jelly Babies and two satsumas last week, in Portabello Road."

"Good trade. Satsumas do come in handy, sometimes." The tenth Doctor told him.

"No worries, I have my own stethoscope right here." The second Doctor replied cheerfully, as he reached into his own coat pocket and produced the requested item.

"She's in stable condition for the moment." The fifth Doctor said to them, slipping in the ear pieces, preparing to listen to Amy's heart. "However, I have no idea how long that will last."

"If that is the case, might I suggest that you all stop jabbering at each other? This is no time for gossiping. Get busy. Chop chop!" The first Doctor said, standing in the doorway, hands on his lapels, assuming an air of authority.

"Good lord! You were always that bossy?" Captain Jack said to the ninth Doctor, as the two of them worked on prying a couple of the roundels off. "And here I thought it was just the onset of old age making you so cranky."

"Old? Me? I'm only a little over nine-hundred. In human terms, you and I are practually the same age." His leather jacketed Doctor snorted, glancing at Jack with an insulted expression. "Look, Jack. I'd just left Galifrey. Leaving hundreds of years of pomp and ceremony behind. And the high council wasn't exactly too keen on the idea of me going so...abruptly."

"Yeah." Jack grinned. "I suppose TARDIS-jacking wasn't a sanctioned activity."

"Sarah! Come here a moment, would you?" The forth Doctor called from where he stood beside the console.

"Hello there!" Jack said, as Sarah passed him.

"Stop flirting!" The ninth and tenth Doctor both scolded him.

"I only said 'hello.' Jack protested.

"For you, that's the same as asking Sarah for her phone number." The tenth Doctor said.

"You'd better not tell me to bring in the tea trolley, Doctor." Sarah chided the forth Doctor with a mock frown, as she went to his side.

"Heaven forbid, Sarah!" The forth Doctor smiled up at her. He was crouched down, fiddling with a piece of the TARDIS console . "There is something you can do for me, though."

"Alright. How can I help?" She asked him eagerly.

"Hold my coat for me, will you?"

"Oh thanks a lot, Doctor!" Sarah shook her head, exasperated. "You might as well ask me to pass out the biscuits too, while you're at it."

"Did somebody say something about biscuits?" The seventh Doctor said, scurrying back into the control room. He was carefully holding a small vial of red liquid. "You know what? I think some custard creams would go down a treat right now. Has anyone made tea, yet?"

"I hardly think now is the time for tea and cake. Much as I would like to indulge. I'm feeling a bit parched, myself." The eighth Doctor said, as he quickly set about unraveling a long tangle of power cables. "However, if we're going to link the TARDIS matrix to the heart of the vortex, we'll need every bit of our concentration. Very delicate operation. As you all know. Could punch a hole in the space-time continuum that would destroy everything. And if you don't mind me saying so, the one thing we don't need right now, are any distractions."

"Yes, yes. We know that, young man!" The first Doctor told him shortly, as he observed the activity in the control room. "No need to state the obvious."

"I for one am perfectly capable of drinking tea, using my sonic and chewing gum at the same time." The tenth Doctor commented. "Not that I plan on doing that. I'm out of gum."

Just then, the third Doctor came back into the control room. He was carrying cardboard box which had the words, 'Posh-Wash Dish Washing Liquid 24 Bottles' printed on its side. The box was filled with an assortment of odd items. These included some old radio tubes, a bicycle clip, a set of jumper cables, a number two pencil, a bundle of multi-coloured wires, and a round silver sphere covered with what appeared to be blue Christmas lights.

"Ah!" The third Doctor said, smiling. "Good! I see the others have arrived. Except for one of us, it seems. Wonder what's keeping him?"

"Never mind that!" The sixth Doctor called out to the third Doctor. "What's been keeping you? I've been waiting ages for those items. Were you busy fussing with your hair again?"

"My good fellow." The third Doctor sniffed at the sixth, "I assure you that hair styling is the last thing on my mind at this moment."

"Speaking of hair," The first Doctor said, as he made his way through the crowd to the console, "what happened to yours? Did you touch a live wire recently?" he asked the tenth Doctor curiously.

"What's wrong with my hair?" The tenth Doctor complained crossly.

"I like the hair. Very metrosexual." Captain Jack said, turning to wink in the tenth Doctor's direction. "Kinda' hot, you know?"

The tenth Doctor didn't reply. He only muttered something under his breath as he kept working.

"Would you lot kindly refrain from using old low Galifreyan around me." The first Doctor sternly reprimanded the tenth. "I certainly never used that sort of language in my TARDIS."

"I think you're forgetting when Ian accidentally triggered the fire defense system, and you got covered in foam." The ninth Doctor chipped in, as he used his sonic screwdriver on some circuits in the exposed TARDIS wall.

"And you've forgotten the day Susan turned up the console speakers full blast, broadcasting American rock n' roll music." The forth Doctor contributed, as he set about plugging some wires into a panel on top of the control console. "I..I mean, you, threatened to send Elvis back to the stone age."

"Oooh. The language." The tenth Doctor winced at the memory, as he sonicked another circuit. "You have to admit. You were in a high dudgeon that time."

"Hmmm—yes. And I remember you had some very naughty things to say, that day you almost shot off your foot with Wyatt Earp's pistol." Pitched in the third Doctor.

"And after you found out you'd accidentally become engaged to that Aztec woman," the fifth Doctor added, as he continued to monitor Amy's vital signs. "you weren't exactly speaking in old high galifreyan, that time, either."

"Then there was that day when you stepped in that that dinosaur poo, as well." The second Doctor said. "I seem to remember a few choice words being said. Can't say I blame you, though. The TARDIS was stinky for a while."

The tenth Doctor abruptly laughed long and loud at the memory, pausing only to wipe the tears of mirth from his eyes. "Oh yes! I'd completely forgotten about that! Imagine the look on my..I mean, your face!"

"Hey! Would you keep it down? I'm trying to concentrate here." Jack said to him. "Jeez. You sound like a manic-depressive off his medication, Doctor."

"Excuse me, sunshine?" An incensed Donna glared angrily at Jack from her place beside Amy. "Last time I heard, laughter wasn't a symptom of mental illness."

"Relax, Donna. It's fine." The tenth Doctor tried to calm her.

"Yeah? Well, it's not 'fine' to me. My mother's got bi-polar disorder. You know, just because mum laughs or gets angry, doesn't mean that she's ill. Or stopped taking her medication." Donna said to Jack. "I hate it when people say things like that. It's stupid and mean."

"Reckon she's got us both there, Jack." The tenth Doctor said quietly.

"You're right, Donna. I'm sorry." Jack apologized.

"Me too." The Doctor said to her.

"Wait!" The tenth Doctor's head shot up, narrowly missing the bottom edge of the control panel on the console. He stared at Donna with genuine surprise. "Your mum laughs?"

"Foghorn Leghorn?" She shot back at him, sarcastically.

"Erm—yeah. Sorry about that, Donna." the tenth Doctor replied sheepishly.

"It's OK. Spaceman." Donna smiled at him to show she held no hard grudges.

The seventh Doctor had brought the fifth the vial of liquid. "Here you are. Give her this. It should help to bring Amy around. Might settle her queasy stomach, as well."

Just then, the TARDIS shook as if from a violent blow. It sent everyone inside either reeling about the floor, or grasping on to things for dear life. Faintly, they all heard a loud boom from outside.

"What the hell?" Jack said.

"That seemed to be an explosion of some kind. Very close, by the feel of it. Let's have a look." The seventh Doctor said to the others.

The seventh Doctor quickly punched up the video screen on the wall. He and the other Doctors all gaped in surprise at what they saw there.

"Dear me!" The second Doctor said worriedly. "That's not good at all."

"I don't believe it!" Spoke out a suddenly very unhappy fifth Doctor. "It can't be!"

"Oh good. More distractions." The eighth Doctor sighed dramatically. "Talk about putting a spanner into the works."

"What in Rassilon's name is going on?" The third Doctor exclaimed.

"Well, I don't think they're doing any night quarrying. But, you never know. Humans do get funny notions, sometimes. Especially the Welsh." The forth Doctor said to him.

"I thought you said this quarry was deserted, though?" Sarah questioned the forth Doctor.

"It's not deserted. We're here, aren't we?" The ninth Doctor snorted.

"Us and someone else, apparently." The sixth Doctor said, to no one in particular.

"Maybe I should take a look outside." Jack sprang for the door, reaching for the revolver hidden under his coat.

"No, wait! Don't you dare, Jack!" The tenth Doctor warned angrily, putting out his hand in a 'stop' gesture. "No guns in the TARDIS. Hold off until we're sure who or what is out there."

"What is it? What's happening?" Donna asked the tenth Doctor.

"I should think that would be obvious, my dear woman." The first Doctor told her condescendingly. "We're under attack!"

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