Chapter Two

Grace was confused. She'd been following the voice of the Eighth Doctor through the labyrinth of the TARDIS but now the voice was silent and she was lost. She thought she felt the TARDIS engines come to life, which filled her with even more panic but now she couldn't find her way back to the front. All the corridors looked alike to her and she was terrified that she'd be lost forever unless the Doctor found her and guided her back. She yelled for the Doctor, trying to keep the terror out of her voice as she walked through the corridors.


"Now," the Doctor said as he set a course for the Golden Gate Bridge, "this time we will be right beside the bridge."

"Uh huh, not six hundred miles away from it?" Clara said with a wry grin.

"We were not six hundred miles away," the Doctor said indignantly while Clara giggled. "More like ten."

"Ten thousand, you mean."

"Do you want to ride on the top of the TARDIS?" the Doctor said, playfully wagging a finger at her. "Because I can make that happen…"

He trailed off and Clara frowned when he got an odd look on his face.

"Doctor, what's wrong?" she asked, coming closer to him.

"What?" the Doctor said to the ceiling while Clara stared at him in silent confusion. "How did she…take me to her then!"

"Take you to who?" Clara said as the TARDIS opened up a hole in the wall behind them.

She watched as the Doctor sprinted through it. She tried to run after him when the hole suddenly closed up again.

"Seriously?" Clara said to the ceiling. "Blimey, you really don't like me, do you?"


Grace stopped for a moment by a door. She tried it and pounded on it in frustration when it wouldn't open.

"Damn it, Doctor, where are you!" she yelled out as she slapped the door angrily.

"I'm here, Grace."

Grace froze when she heard someone behind her. The voice didn't belong to the Doctor and she stiffened. She remembered when the Master was in the TARDIS and for one heartstopping moment, she wondered if it was him.

"Who are you?" she said, facing the door.

"The Doctor."

"No, that's not the Doctor's voice," Grace said.

"I regenerated, Grace. Several times since I last saw you. Now turn and face me."

Grace swallowed hard and slowly turned. She stopped when she saw a young man standing in front of her. He was dressed in Victorian clothes that she had to admit made him look sexy. She looked at his eyes as the man stood there, hands clasped in front of him.

"Hello, Grace," the man said.

Grace cautiously walked over to him and stared into his eyes, searching for any hint of her Doctor. She couldn't see her Doctor in his eyes but there was a faint whiff of something indefinable about him that the other Doctor had. A smell that she figured came from the universe. But her other Doctor was here, somewhere. She heard him so she told this young man that. The man smiled.

"I think the TARDIS lured you in here for some reason," he said. "Maybe she missed you. Maybe she thought you made a mistake when you declined my offer to travel with me. All I can say is I'm no longer him, haven't been him for centuries. You, on the other hand, haven't changed."

Grace shook her head.

"I want to believe you but…I mean, I know you changed before but…you could just be saying that. The Master managed to get in here, right?"

"Yes. But…he wasn't with us when I was in your house, being examined by you and looking at your Puccini CD. He wasn't with us when I told Gareth that he needed to answer the second question on his exams. He wasn't with us when we were speeding on the motorbike and you told me to slow down because you only had one life. Is that enough proof I am who I say I am?"

"Yes, I'm convinced now," Grace said with a nod. "But…why are you here? Is the universe in danger again?"

"No, I have someone traveling with me and I was trying to show her the Golden Gate Bridge. I didn't get close enough the first time."

"Well, yeah, I was about twenty miles from it when I found the TARDIS," Grace said.

"Ten. I was ten miles from it," the Doctor said.

"No, Doctor, you were about twenty miles from it," Grace said.

She grinned when the Doctor thought that over.

"I thought piloting the TARDIS was as easy as setting an alarm clock," she teased him.

"Yes, well…this particular alarm clock has been around for centuries and she sometimes goes a bit wibbly," the Doctor said defensively.

He fell silent as they stared at one another. Grace hesitated a moment before she brought her hand up and laid it against his cheek.

"I was worried about you," she said, nearing closer to him. "I was afraid you were dead. It's been so long since I've seen you."

The Doctor smiled sadly at that.

"It's been centuries since I saw you, Grace," he said.

Grace hesitated for a moment before leaning in and kissing his lips. The Doctor stiffened for a moment before returning the kiss and his hearts fluttered when Grace put her hand on the back of his neck and rubbed it. Old feelings resurfaced that had been shoved into his subconscious. He remembered that night near her house, that night of jubilation when he suddenly realized who he was and kissed Grace with pure, unadulterated joy. Then the second kiss after he stunned Grace and she asked him to do it again. The feelings he had for her, the pain he felt when she died in front of him and the relief when the TARDIS brought her back to life. Up till that time, he had never openly showed his feelings for any of his companions. He had loved several of them but always kept them at arm's length, preferring a platonic relationship. But his lives have different personalities; different ways of looking at the world and his eighth life was a bit of a romantic, not afraid to be openly affectionate. Besides, Grace wasn't a companion in the traditional sense; she had just been one of many who had assisted him over the years. He had bedded other women before Grace and Rose and River, had kissed the lips of many people throughout history but there were only a select few who had managed to worm their way into his hearts. Grace was one of them.

Grace broke off the kiss and Eleven was momentarily dazed. He smiled with a sleepy look on his face which made Grace chuckle.

"That wasn't the reaction the last time I kissed you," she said. "You were more…whoopee then. But…I shouldn't have done that without your permission and I'm sorry. That was uncalled for."

The Doctor cleared his throat.

"Well, Americans are known for being very straightforward," he said. "So I'll accept your apology and tell you that it's nothing to worry about. But…the question is…do you want to go back home? I mean, the TARDIS did bring you in here under false pretenses and I won't hold you against your will."

Grace thought about that for a moment.

"You know what? I've been overworked lately and I know it sounds crazy but ever since I left you, I kinda regretted not traveling with you. At least to another time period or planet. If you don't mind, I would like to see something besides San Francisco for a change."

A wide grin split the Doctor's face and he took Grace's hand.

"Come with me then, Doctor Holloway," he said to her. "I will show you things that will blow your mind!"

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