Chapter One

At last, he found his exit, a way to escape Gallifrey for good. The cracks in the fabric of reality were numerous but he was sure he had found the right universe, the original one. The one the Doctor had inhabited.

After killing Rassilon, he had managed to flee the council chambers, blasting anyone who got in his way with his energy bolts. Then he kept on running and hiding, dodging soldiers and security forces who wanted him for murder. Running and running until he found shelter high up in the mountains, inside a cave where he managed to eke out a living by killing animals with his energy bolts and keeping warm in the chilly air by doing the same thing to light fires. By now, he'd become quite proficient at controlling his energy but the fact remains that his body was still decaying and dying and if he didn't find another, he would soon perish.

He did come down from the mountain from time to time to gather food and find supplies from a nearby village. During one of his forays, he managed to kidnap a homeless boy, a little nine year old street beggar that he hypnotized and used as a servant and spy. The boy, named Xelok, became his eyes and ears. That was how he learned that Gallifrey had been sent to another universe after Xelok overheard some soldiers discussing it. And then, Xelok heard the soldiers talking about finding cracks in the universe and trying to communicate with the Doctor through them so Gallifrey could return home. He also needed a body badly. True, he could take over Xelok's body but he had no desire to be nine years old again. And he really didn't want anyone from the village. What he really wanted was the Doctor's body…or someone close to him perhaps. One of his little pets like Martha…or Rose. He seemed very fond of Rose. He recalled the conversation between him and Jack on Malcasairo and how he had entered the Doctor's mind during his time on the Valiant and seen how much she meant to him. He wondered what would happen if he took over Rose's body instead. He grinned, imagining how much torment that would bring his old adversary. After all, it had traumatized Nyssa when he did the same thing to her father, didn't it?

The problem was finding the child since she was also in another universe. It was going to be bad enough finding the Doctor without finding her as well. Still, first things first. He had to find a way to get back to the Citadel and find a way off the planet.

"There must be something they have planned if they're going to come back to the real world," the Master mused as he sat inside his cave by a roaring fire. "They must have a device of some sort that can propel them across the void. If they have it, I want it."

He looked across the cave at Xelok. Xelok was standing quietly out of the range of the fire. The Master smiled, realizing in some small way he did care about this outcast boy and called him over to the fire.


(Pete's World…)

Rose Tyler laid the note on the night table beside the bed she shared with the Metacrisis Doctor. After a year of trying to make their relationship work, Rose realized that she couldn't be faithful to this cloned Doctor while she still had feelings for the other one. She realized the clone Doctor would be heartbroken once he read the note but she felt it was more loving to let him go and let him find someone who could love him 100 percent, rather than having someone who loved him because he looked like someone else. She was doing him a disservice by not loving him completely so she was going to go and try to track down the Doctor by trying to use the dimension cannon again. It was risky but Rose was willing to take that risk in order to be with the man she loved.

She stood by the bed and stared at the clone Doctor. He was sleeping peacefully, his chest rising and falling and a slight smile on his face. Normally, he was a scientific advisor at Torchwood, working alongside his girlfriend. Today was his day off and he was relaxing. It was Rose's day off as well but she felt now was the time to try to reach the other universe. She glanced at the note, debating whether to leave it at all in case she failed in her mission. Then she decided if she did and came back, perhaps they could have a frank discussion about why she really couldn't be with him.

"Goodbye, Doctor, " she murmured and slowly turned around and walked out of room.


(The original universe…)

"Bugger this!"

Clara sat on the jump seat near the console and watched with the Twelfth Doctor made repairs to his ship. Ever since he regenerated, she had learned to stay out of his way whenever he was grumpy because she learned, he was much more brusque than her other Doctor had been.

Twelve sighed and laid his screwdriver down on the console.

"Are you alright?" Clara said gently as Twelve ran his hand through his short, graying hair.

"No," Twelve spat out, his accent thickly Scottish, "I'm not alright, Clara. I'm frustrated. It's getting harder and harder to fix the old girl. I think she's in need of a regeneration as well."

Clara was about to suggest he take a rest when the Doctor stepped away from the console and headed towards her.

"She's old, Clara, older than I am," he said when he reached her side. "She was old when I took her, old and wonky, just like me."

Clara didn't know what to say to that. She'd gotten used to walking on eggshells around this Doctor and was afraid she'd say something that made him angry. Then he chuckled and laid his hand on her cheek.

"You can laugh at that," he said.

Clara smiled and nodded. This Doctor seemed more angry and less approachable than her other Doctor but sometimes Clara thought that was just an act to keep her and the universe at arm's length. Sometimes, there was still a bit of tenderness in his actions and still a fond look or two. She remembered what he said about not being his boyfriend and she wondered if he was saying that to convince her or to convince himself.

"So what do we do now?" Clara asked him.

"Dunno. I have to land her somewhere and sort this out though. The Flux Modulator is a vital part. I need to fix it before we do any serious traveling. I suppose we could go back to your present day London. That way you can keep on working while I fix the old girl. Sound good?"

"Sounds good to me," Clara said.

"Right, I'll set a course for London then," the Doctor said before walking back to the console.

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