Chapter 31

"Is that a sword in your hand, or are you just happy to see us?" Came a sarcastic female voice from behind Rory.

"Wha—?" He asked, startled, turning to see who was speaking.

"Look...whoever you are. All of us are only here because we're trying to save Amy. So why don't you stop waving your manhood about? If you really care about her, go and find something useful to do, yeah?" Donna told him angrily.

"Erm—OK." Rory said, gazing at the weapon in his hand, as if seeing it for the first time.

"And while you're at it gladiator boy, you might want to apologize to...whichever Doctor he is." Donna nodded her head towards the eleventh Doctor.

"I'm a Centurian, not a gladiator. Wait a sec." Rory said, as his penny dropped. Realizing what he'd just done, he said, What the? Oh! Oh. My. God. Uh...Yeah. Right. I'd that." Blushing with sudden embarrassment, Rory sheathed his sword. "S-sorry, Doctor." He humbly apologized. Rory's version of the Doctor was still standing in front of his TARDIS door, now looking very relieved. "I...I...don't know what happened. I saw Amy lying there and just... lost it. You know I'd never-"

"Yes. I do know. That's why I let you travel with me, Rory."

The eleventh Doctor smiled kindly, coming forward and putting his arm around Rory's shoulder, giving him a companionable squeeze. The one intact bunny ear suddenly flopped over, covering his left eye. The Doctor tried to blow it away with his lips. Unsuccessfully. Sighing, he moved away and flipped it to one side. In the meantime Rory kept stammering, trying to apologize. The Doctor saw that his hands were shaking.

"It's fine. I understand, Rory." The eleventh Doctor quietly tried to reassure him, "No problemo. You 'went postal,' as the Americans say. It happens. Completely normal. Well...sort of normal. Well, maybe not an everyday kind of normal. More like a 'Quick! Get that man a straight-jacket and some Prozac!' sort of normal. At least, that's normal for me. I've heard lots of male humans get that mid-life crisis thingy. Though...not usually until late middle age. You're starting a bit early, aren't you? Still, never mind. Time travel will do that to you. Anyway, enough chit-chat..." He stepped back and clapped his hands together, beaming with anticipation, "I'm here now. Let's go save Amy!"

"Who the hell is Amy?" Came a loud woman's voice from the doorway. She spoke with an Australian accent.

Everyone turned to look as Tegan came though the seventh Doctor's TARDIS door. The fifth Doctor was all smiles. Hands in pockets, he came strolling in behind her.

"You got it open!" The seventh Doctor beamed.

"How'd you manage that?" The eighth Doctor asked.

"Found the key to Rogerious' lock." The fifth Doctor explained as he went over to check the readings on the console. "I've disarmed the kill-bot, but we'll have to dispose it somehow."

"Yes, quite." The third Doctor agreed. "We certainly can't leave it here. Wouldn't do for the military to find it."

"Especially the Americans" The second Doctor said. "They'd start bossing everyone about. Telling them what to do. There'd be no end to it."

"Don't they already do that?" Sarah Jane asked dryly.

"Leave that to me, Doctor's. I'll make sure no one finds that thing until it can be carted away, and dumped into the nearest black hole." Jack said, brushing past Tegan and heading out of the door. "Hello!" he smiled at him as he went by.

"Jack!" The ninth Doctor scolded.

"I know. I know. No flirting." Throwing up his hands, Jack shook his head in mock disgust. He winked at Tegan. "Guess I'll see you later for cocktails in the companion lounge."

"And no, you can't have the kill-bot for Torchwood!" The tenth Doctor shouted after him.

"Do the words 'wet blanket' mean anything to you?" Jack shouted back as the door closed shut behind him.

"Wait a minute. This isn't your TARDIS." Tegan said to her version of the Doctor. "Where are we?"

"You're right, Tegan. This is a slightly later version of my ship." The fifth Doctor told her. "Two regenerations from now."

"Now you're just being ridiculous, Doctor." She said, thinking he was stitching her up.

"There you are, all gossiping like a clutch of old hens. Since when did time travel come with a tea break?" The first Doctor declared. "It's high time we got back to work!"

Sighing, the sixth Doctor muttered, "Good lord, I was an uptight old git when I was younger."

"Still are, if you ask me." Tegan muttered, as she gaped at the colourful costume of the sixth Doctor. Then, as if truly noticing the crowd for the first time, she gaped at the configuration of all of the Doctor's other selves. Staring, Tegan accidentally backed into the forth Doctor's back.

"Oh, I do beg your pardon." He said distractedly, as he sorted through a bundle of multicoloured wires.

"Doctor! It's you!" Tegan said, with startled surprise etched across her face.

"Sorry? Do I know you?" The forth Doctor asked. "I usually remember people I've met, except when I don't meet them in the right order."

"But...that's impossible." She shook her head in disbelief. "I saw you fa—"

"No, that's me before you knew me." The fifth Doctor quickly interrupted, before she could make a time traveller's faux paux.

"Huh?" A thoroughly confused Tegan asked. "As usual, you're not making any sense, Doctor."

"It's all very simple really. These are my other selves, in previous and future regenerations." He explained patiently, with a wry smile. "We were summoned here to try and save the life of a future companion."

"No. Sorry. Still not getting it." Tegan shook her head in the negative. "How can all of you be here at the same time? Especially when some of you have already died, so to speak?"

"Look, Tegan. I'll explain everything later. I promise." The fifth Doctor patted her shoulder, steering her towards the entryway leading to the ship's interior. "Right now, I need you to give this sonic screwdriver to my other self—the skinny one in the suit working at the console."

"Skinny? What's wrong with being thin? Humans like thin people." The tenth Doctor said to no one in particular. "Well, they do now. Fat won't be all the rage for another four decades. Then everyone will ostracize me because I'm underweight. Can't win for losing."

"Alright, fine. Tegan, give that average weight Doctor over there his sonic back, and then go and see if you can find a pint of milk and two lemons." The fifth Doctor instructed her.

"What do you need those for?" She questioned. "Oh, never mind. You'll tell me later, I suppose?"

"Yes! Now hurry along, there you go!" The fifth Doctor encouraged her.

Tegan's Doctor didn't really need those items. He just decided it would be easier to have Tegan out of the way for a while, to avoid any more awkward moments. He watched as Tegan gave the other Doctor his sonic back, then made her way out of the control room, in search of the TARDIS kitchen. The fifth Doctor sighed with relief, then went to work removing one of the glass roundels from the wall.

"Has anyone seen those Zeus plugs?" Shouted a harried tenth Doctor, as he slaved over a bit of exposed circuitry on the TARDIS console.

"Here you are." Said the third Doctor genially, placing the Zeus plugs on the console. He leaned over the other Doctor's shoulder, observing his work. "I say! That's making a bit of a hash of things. It might work better if you were to try reversing the polarity of the neutron flow."

Slowly, the tenth Doctor turned his head. Raising an eyebrow, he glared. "You just had to say that, didn't you?"

"My dear chap. I'm sure I have no idea what you mean." A slightly miffed third Doctor answered him. "I was only trying to be helpful."

"Right!" Shouted an excited eleventh Doctor suddenly, from inside his TARDIS. He ran back out the door carrying a long cable. It was pulsing with orange light. "I think this should about do it. We can hook this up to your ship—" He nodded to the seventh Doctor, "and yowza! Everything hunky dory again."

"Yowza?" The seventh Doctor asked himself. "When did I start saying 'yowza'?"

"Never mind that." The ninth Doctor snorted, as he connected a final wire from the wall to the console, "When did I think saying 'hunky-dory' was a good idea?"

Working quickly now, the eleventh Doctor connected his ship to the other TARDIS' console. Meanwhile, the other ten Doctor's also began hooking up various places of the seventh Doctor's TARDIS control room with the console. Wires were strewn all about, some ordinary looking, others lit up in varying colours. All of them making the white, mulit-tiered console suddenly seem like a cross between a Christmas tree and a street utility pole.

As they each set about their tasks, the Doctor's had to dodge each other and the equipment, making it seem to a bemused Sarah Jane, like they were dancing some alien ballet.

"What happens if you trip over one of those wires?" She asked the forth Doctor, as he bustled by her holding up yet another wire—this one purple and green.

"Oh, nothing much. Just the end of the universe as we know it, after the vortex collapses and takes the rest of creation with it." He said cheerfully, as he connected the wire to the underside of the console. He paused, beaming a smile at her. "Or at least that's the theory, as I understand it."

"Oh. I see. Well, don't trip then." She advised cheekily.

"I'll try not to, Sarah." He said somber tone, yet with a smile tugging at the corner of his mouth.

"That just about does it, I think." The tenth Doctor announced, as he plugged a final connection into the console.

"Now what?" Donna called over to her Doctor, dubiously eying the plethora of wires. "Are we gonna' tune in Radio Free Mars or something?"

"Oooh, that's an idea!" The eleventh Doctor chortled, practically writhing with excitement. "I'm dying to hear the results of the man united match."

"And I wouldn't mind finding out what happened on Emerdale Farm." The eighth Doctor said, "Lost reception last week, twhilst travelling though the Haslog Asteroid Belt. All I could hear were sheep and static."

"Pardon me for interrupting, but a little focus here would be helpful!" The fifth Doctor announced.

"That lot have the attention span of a Sun subscriber." Rory said as he held Amy in his arms.

"Excuse me, mate? I get the Sun." Donna said to him.

"Bet you loved that story about the royal family being werewolves. " The tenth Doctor said, as he stood up and stared balefully at the console.

"What? You mean that was true?" She asked, surprised.

"Not now, Donna!" He replied, conveniently ignoring the question. "Didn't you hear? We're trying to fo-cus!"

"I'm not sure I understand all this. Precisely what are you going to do?" Sarah asked the forth Doctor.

"Whatever it is, I wish they'd hurry it up." Rory said tensely.

"You'll see in a moment, Sarah. Right now, I have to concentrate." The forth Doctor told her as he too stared intently at the console. His right hand hovered, palm side down, over the controls.

"Now. Is everybody ready?" The first Doctor asked in his school master's voice, he too was mimicking the actions of the other Doctors around the console, holding his hand over one of the panels.

One by one, the Doctors surrounded the console, each raising a hand over it.

"Hold on!" The sixth Doctor called out, as he rushed over to the beach chair. "I think it would help if you gave me time to connect Amy to the console."

"Get on with it, then! None of us are looking forward to this, you know." The first Doctor chided him.

A circular rubber headband, with bits of odd-shaped metal and multicolured wires attached to it was held in the sixth Doctor's hand. The wires lead to various parts of the control console. He reached out for Amy. Rory suddenly blocked the Doctor with his arm.

"One question. Is this going to hurt her?" He asked evenly, staring up into the Doctor's eyes.

"Well, it's certainly going to hurt us." Came the sixth Doctor's evasive answer, as he checked the connections on the headband. .

"Amy's going to be alright." The eleventh Doctor called out, from his place at the console.

He was now back in his usual bow tie & tweed suit. Before stepping up to the console, he'd quickly shed the singed costume. The Doctor said that if he should happen to die today, he didn't want to kick the bucket looking like a deranged Easter bunny.

"I promise you. She'll be fine, Rory." He told him. "In her present state, she probably won't feel anything more than an itchy, tingling sensation in her scalp.

" said it will hurt." He countered uncertainly.

"You weren't listening. I said it will hurt us. As in us Time Lords. Amy's not a Time Lord, is she?" The sixth Doctor said, as he gently slipped the odd headgear over Amy's forehead.

"All set here." Said the sixth Doctor, as he walked swiftly back to the console.

Once there, he joined the others. Bracing themselves, the Doctor's shut their eyes. Each holding the palm of his right hand over the controls.

"Now. Everyone who isn't a Time Lord, step away from Amy and the controls." Ordered the first Doctor.

"Back against the walls, you three." Called out the ninth Doctor. "As far away as you can. We don't want to risk any of you getting caught in the bio-chromatic feedback loop."

"The what loop?" Came Tegan's voice from the interior doorway. She was holding two lemons and a pint of blue milk in her hand. "I thought you needed these things?"

"What things?" The fifth Doctor asked. As if he didn't have a clue.

"The things you asked me to get from the...oh, I give up." Tegan sighed. "Would someone mind telling me what the hell's going on?

"Tegan. Don't swear!" the fifth Doctor scolded her. "Just do what he says. Get away from Amy and the console."

"Alright, alright!" Tegan sighed in belligerent resignation, dumping her things on the floor.

"Come on, then. Let's get this over with, girls." Donna said, taking Tegan and Sarah Jane by the hand and leading them to safety. Which she decided was between the wall and the back of the eleventh Doctor's TARDIS.

"Erm—what about me?" Rory asked.

"You're the one wearing a skirt, mate." Donna smirked.

"It's a kilt. And I am wearing leggings underneath, in case you hadn't noticed."

As soon as the four of them were safely out of the way, the first Doctor called out. "Throw the switch!"

Taking a deep breath, the tenth Doctor pushed a big red lever forward. Instantly, a yellow, sparkling glow travelled down the cable from the eleventh Doctor's TARDIS, to the control console. All across the room, wires began sparking, fizzing and smoking.

Suddenly, the glow from the other TARDIS shot out from the contol panel, running through the Doctor's hands and into their bodies. Simultainously, their bodies spasmed. They grimaced, some of them crying out in pain.

Then, just as abruptly, the light shot down the wires connecting to Amy's head. She too, jerked like a puppet on a string...then the light ricocheted back up the wires, and into the eleven Doctors, knocking all of them back onto the floor.

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