Title: A Leap Through Time
Fandoms: Doctor Who / Quantum Leap
Paring: Prior to ‘Rose’ / After ‘Mirror Image’
Spoilers: Sam’s alone, The Time War
Author's note: These two time travelers were bound to run into each other.
“Just how big is this ship?”
The Doctor had led Sam through the twisting corridors of the TARDIS for about a half an hour. They were in an elevator of some sort. The Doctor had changed clothes, and was now wearing a leather jacket that looked like it came from the fifties.
“I’m not quite sure, dear boy,” /accent change/ “even I haven’t gone through everywhen in here.”
The lift stopped and they got out. “Shouldn’t be too far now, Ben,” he paused and shook his head, “Sam.”
“At least let me take your vitals,” Sam asked again for the umpteenth time.
The Doctor stopped and turned around abruptly. He grabbed Sam’s hand and placed it on the left side of his chest for a few seconds, then on the right side. “Heartsbeat normal.” He then put Sam’s hand on his own forehead, “Temperature normal.” He dropped his hand, “Satisfied?”
Sam was more than a little startled at all of that, especially the ‘heartsbeat’. “He’s not human. He can’t be.”
The Doctor turned back around and stomped down the corridor.
“No, I’m not.” Sam blurted, “What are you?”
“Annoyed,” he muttered. “Yes I know he means well. Shut up, old fool!”
Sam stopped in his tracks, “That’s what I’m worried about right there, doctor.” The Doctor turned around with a quizzical look. Sam tapped the side of his head, “You’re not all there.”
The Doctor rubbed his temple, “That’s the problem. There’s too much me in here.”
“What do you mean?”
“I’ve done this before. Changed, I mean,” he explained, “My people’s life span is quite long. After a while, the body has to remake itself to keep going.” He held his stomach and belched acrid air. “I almost didn’t get to this time. I shouldn’t have…” tears welled up again. “Enough of this! Come along, Benton, we’re here.”
They entered a room that was similar to the one that Sam first saw, only it was even bigger. There were curving support beams along the walls. And, in the center of the room there was another console. This one looked considerably older than the other one. Sam thought that this must be some sort of backup.
He looked to the far side and saw the inside of the police box door. He looked behind him, then back to that door again. “Didn’t we just…”
“Yeah, I know. There’s more tha’ one exit, but it’s the same exit.”
“How do you not come into multiple spaces from that door?” Sam asked, “The quantum mechanics just don’t fit.”
“Quantum? He said his name was Sam. I know who he is, but I just can’t place it. God, I can’t think straight.” He thought to himself, then said aloud, “The TARDIS knows what door’s supposed to open.” The Doctor sat down at the couch-chair next to the console. He sighed heavily as his stomach turned over again. This time it growled at him.
“Maybe we should get you something to eat.”
He thought about that for a moment, “You’re probably right. Know where there’s a pub around ‘ere?”
“I think so. Might not be built yet, but we can find out.”
He stood up again with some minor difficulty, “Lead on then. This is your town.”
The place had been built, but it was under different management. Instead of the sandwich shop he remembered, it was an all night diner. One lady was waiting tables as well as running the register. There was a heavy set balding man in the back keeping the burners warm.
The waitress, Sheila, was a woman that looked to be in her mid thirties. Her hair was in the stages of falling out of curl, even though it looked like she had plastered her hair. She looked quite tired. It had to be close to the end of her shift. She sat them down in the booth with a smile, took their order – ham and eggs for Sam, and fried chicken and scones (biscuits) for the Doctor – then left them with their water.
“You haven’t told me your name yet,” Sam prodded.
“The Doctor, I think.”
“I cannae remember anything else.”
“Well, until you remember, I’ll just call you John. Is that ok?”
“Wait,” memory sparked, “I went by that once. Smythe? No, Smith. Jonathan Smith. That’s right. I had to use a name with UNIT.”
“Got it in one,” Sam smiled. “Now… what happened to you?”
The Doctor’s face fell, “Fightin’. Lots and lots of fightin’.”
The Doctor nodded. His eyes started to water up again.
“Is it still going on?”
He shook his head and held his temple. He started rocking in his seat.
“You ok honey?” Sheila had come to the table without them noticing. She had two cups and a coffee decanter in her hands.
Sam looked up at her like he’d been slapped, “Shell shock,” this came a bit easier to him, “He’s on furlough from Britain.”
She set the stuff on the table and rubbed the Doctor’s head. “Oh honey, I’m so sorry. Here,” she took out the ticket and struck out their order, “this meal’s on me.”
“You don’ ‘ave ta do that.”
“Shush.” She leaned down and kissed the top of his head, then gave him a top down hug. She looked over to Sam and mouthed the words, “Take care of him, Sam.”
He just blinked at her. He didn’t remember mentioning his name.
She winked at him and stood up to pour their coffee.
The Doctor took his cup, “Thanks. Thank you Sheila.”
“You’re welcome honey. Jeff’s about done cookin’. Shouldn’t be a couple more minutes.” She walked back to the counter.
Sam followed her with his eyes. When she sat back down at her stool, she looked at him then inclined her head toward the Doctor. She nodded to Sam and tapped the clock that was on the counter.
It finally clicked in his head. Sheila was another ‘helper’. He didn’t know the real word for them, but the other ‘Al’ back at the day he was born was one of them too.
He smiled at her and felt relieved. He found who he was supposed to help.
Looking back to ‘Doctor Smith’, his face fell. The Doctor was looking at the table with his face all screwed up in another fit of agony. He was red faced from gritting his teeth.
“Hey, hey,” he reached over the table and put his hand on his shoulder, “it’s going to be ok.”
“They’re dead,” he whispered.
“All of them. They’re all dead. I’m the only one left, and it’s my fault.”
“Don’t say that.”
The Doctor looked at him, “IT’S MY FAULT! I DID IT!”
“I have to stop it. I have to stop myself. I CAN’T LET THEM DIE!”
The Doctor shot out of the booth and ran out the door. Sam got up and looked at Sheila.
She yelled at him, “GO!”
Sam bolted out the door after him.
“Thank you Lord. Thank you,” Sheila wiped her eyes with a napkin. “Good luck… son.” She smiled and was enveloped in a familiar blue shine, then disappeared.
An elderly woman came out from the back. She noticed the coffee mugs on the table and muttered to herself, “I thought I cleaned that up.” She went over to the table and saw that the mugs were half full.
“Jeffrey!” she hollered to the back of the diner, “Was there anyone here?”
The man stuck his head out through the dinner hole and said, “No sweetheart, the bell didn’t ring.”
Amanda looked at the bell hanging over the door and saw that it was still. “Hmph.”