That's Lay-day Snackpants to you, buster. (amand_r) wrote in hlh_shortcuts,
That's Lay-day Snackpants to you, buster.
amand_r
hlh_shortcuts

Happy Holidays, strangevisitor7!

Title: Unraveling Time
Author: settiai, aka Did you know "santa" has the same letters as "satan"? Neither wrote this fic.
Written for: strangevisitor7
Crossover: Doctor Who
HL Characters: Amanda, Duncan, Fitz, Joe, Methos, Richie, mention of Connor and Cory Raines
DW Characters: Tenth Doctor, Donna, Martha, Mickey, Rose, Sarah Jane, mention of Jack and various old school companions
Rating: PG-13
Author's Notes: Many thanks to my wonderful beta reader, who I'm certain wanted to strangle me when I begged her to take a look at this story at the last minute.
Summary: At least one Time Lord was well aware that Immortals existed.

***


London, England: 1185 A.D.

"Do something!" Rose hissed.

Sometimes the Doctor wondered how he always managed to find himself in situations like the one he was currently in. He'd actually thought that, for once, he and Rose might end up having a fairly uneventful trip. Then he had caught sight of a familiar face slipping through the crowd and had grabbed Rose's arm, giving her a brief explanation about Immortals as he hurried to follow the woman who had caught his eye.

Of course, now that Amanda was standing in front of them with a sword aimed rather threateningly in their direction, he was starting to rethink that decision.

The Doctor forced his mouth to twist into what he hoped was a placating smile. "Amanda, I'm sure that you really don't want to hurt either of us."

"How do you know my name?" Amanda hissed, her already suspicious face growing even more so. "And for the last time, how did you know I was an Immortal? You're not one. I could feel it if you were."

His smile disappeared instantly. He stared at her for a second, well aware that Rose was growing more and more nervous the longer he didn't say anything. Then, suddenly, comprehension dawned on him.

"Oh right, 1185! Paris hasn't happened yet." The Doctor didn't even try to hide his grin. "You know, come to think of it, this explains a lot."

Both women turned to stare at him, incredulous looks on their faces.

"Maybe you should explain," Amanda said, her voice leaving no question that it was an order and not a request.

Rose shivered and took a step closer to the Doctor. "I think the nice lady with the sword is talking to you."

The Doctor grinned broadly, ignoring the weapon that was obviously being aimed at him and instead glancing over at Rose. "The last few times that I've ran into Amanda here. . ." He quickly held up a hand to hold off a comment from Amanda. ". . . she's made several rather derogatory comments about my appearance. Now it all makes sense!"

"Right," Rose said, an annoyed look on her face, "clear as mud, as usual."

Feigning a hurt look, the Doctor shook his head. "She's been basing her assumptions on this meeting," he explained slowly, as if he was speaking to children. "Now I'll admit, most of my previous bodies have been fairly decent-looking. But you've said yourself, Rose, this one is rather handsome."

Amanda snorted. "Modest, is he?" she asked Rose.

Rose looked over in Amanda's direction, hesitantly smiling back. "You have no idea."

Shaking her head, Amanda finally lowered her weapon. "You should be careful with him," she said, still speaking to Rose. "Many people in this area do not take kindly to those with addled minds. Especially when they talk about things they should not know."

"Hey!"

Before the Doctor could say anything else, Rose elbowed him in the side. "Don't argue, Doctor," she hissed. "Better she thinks you're a nutter than an enemy."

Amanda suddenly narrowed her eyes. "Doctor?" She brought her sword back up, studying the Doctor's face much more carefully. "Doctor who?"

"Just the Doctor," he replied, holding up his hands placatingly.

"Just the Doctor," Amanda repeated slowly. "A title, but no name."

She didn't say anything for several seconds.

"Rebecca warned me about you," she finally said, her grip on her weapon tightening. "She said that you were a lord of time, that the past and the future both lay open before you. A time traveler."

"That's me," the Doctor replied cheerfully.

Rose elbowed him again.

Amanda kept her gaze focused on him. "Rebecca told me that disaster follows you."

The Doctor's smile faded. "Ah, yes. 1185. She's probably still be mad with me about that little incident in Constantinople back in 764. Recent history, and all that."

Rose leaned in a little closer to him. "How recent for you?" she muttered under her breath.

"Oh, a lifetime," he replied, not taking his eyes off of Amanda. "Four, actually. I'm told that particular incarnation could be considered fairly rude sometimes."

"Rude?" Rose couldn't keep a hint of amusement out of her voice, even though. "You? I can't imagine it."

Amanda cleared her throat, and the Doctor couldn't help but notice a hint of hesitation appear in her eyes. "Are you not going to deny Rebecca's claims?"

The Doctor shrugged. "I can't deny the truth. I have. . ."

". . . bad luck?" Rose suggested, her eyes twinkling. Apparently she had seen Amanda's hesitation as well and had decided to take it as a good sign. "A knack for getting into trouble? A sixth sense for danger? A gift for insulting people and making them want to kill you and anyone traveling with you?"

He gently swatted at her. "I was going to say 'a predilection for winding up in the right place at the right time.'"

"Or the wrong place at the wrong time," Rose shot back, grinning.

Amanda let out a quiet laugh, drawing their attention back toward her.

Before he even had a chance to blink, Amanda had lowered her sword and sheaved it. She took a few steps forward to where Doctor and Rose were standing, smiling sweetly. "Well then," she said, throwing her arms over their shoulders, "since at least you are truthful, perhaps we should talk. Since you claim that we will be such close friends in the future, I know you would love to help me with something that I have planned."

The Doctor shot Rose a warning look, frantically shaking his head.

"We'd love to help!" Rose said brightly.

***


Babylon, Neo-Babylonian Empire: 575 B.C

Mickey elbowed Rose, pointedly nodding at a nearby building when she turned to glare at him. "Any idea why that bloke's staring at us?"

Rose followed his gaze, frowning when she saw the man that Mickey was pointing toward. He was fairly handsome, and there was something about him that seemed vaguely familiar. But she was certain that she'd never met him before in her life.

After a few seconds, the man seemed to notice that he'd been seen. He shrugged as if he had expected it and started walking toward them.

"I don't think he's staring at us," Rose said slowly. She hurried forward to catch up with the Doctor, who had managed to get ahead of them while they stopped to stare, grabbing him by the sleeve as soon as she was in reach.

The Doctor instantly stopped when she grabbed him. "Problem, Rose?"

"Mickey noticed some bloke staring at you," she said, gesturing toward the quickly approaching man. "Friend of yours?"

As the Doctor followed his gaze, his eyes lit up. "Oh yes, definitely a friend of mine," he said, grinning as the man finally reached them.

"That's good to hear," the newcomer said, smiling a bit when he heard the last bit of the conversation. "I've seen what usually happens to your enemies."

Rose eyed the man speculatively before glancing back at the Doctor. "The last time we ran into an old friend of yours, I almost got sacrificed to purple aliens living in the Thames. And the time before that. . . ."

The Doctor cut her off with a wave of his hand, but he had the good grace to look apologetic. "The Brigadier did say he was sorry about," he pointed out. "And this is an entirely different situation. Rose, I'd like you to meet. . ."

"Sacrificed?" Mickey asked, finally catching up with them. "When were you almost sacrificed?"

The Doctor rolled his eyes and looked heavenward for just a second. "As I was saying," he said pointedly, "Rose, Mickey, meet Methos. Or Adam, Benjamin, Mathias, or whatever name he's going by right now."

Rose tilted her head curiously. "Immortal?" she asked.

"Immortal," the Doctor said, nodding.

Mickey blanched. "He's a what?" he asked, quickly turning to Rose. "He's kidding, right?"

"Hardly," Methos said dryly, though his eyes twinkled. "The Doctor's never had much of a sense of humor, no matter what he looks like."

Rose grabbed Mickey's arm, shutting him up before he could say anything else. "I'll explain later," she said reassuringly. "I promise."

Shaking his head, Methos glanced away from them and turned his attention back toward the Doctor. "Doctor," he said, bowing his head slightly. "It's been. . . a long time."

The Doctor flashed him a smile. "You have no idea."

Methos narrowed his eyes, unable to hide the hint of amusement tugging at the corners of his mouth. "Why do I get the feeling that you and I are thinking of different meetings altogether?"

The Doctor just grinned at him.

Methos let out an annoyed sigh. "Fine then," he said, the amused look on his face belying his serious tone of voice. "Keep your secrets."

"Thank you," the Doctor said, mock-bowing. "I plan to do just that."

Methos managed to keep a straight face for a second seconds before laughing. "You win this time," he said lightly, "but one of these days I'm going to find myself ahead."

The Doctor grinned back at him. "I don't know about that," he said teasingly. Then he face grew a little more serious. "Tell me, why are you in Babylon?"

"I could ask you the same thing," Methos shot back.

The Doctor shrugged and gestured toward Mickey and Rose. "I wanted to show my friends here the hanging gardens. They're nothing more than a few sentences in a history book in their time."

Methos grinned. "Well then, if you're merely here to visit the gardens, then I might as well join you." He started forward, pausing after a few steps to glance back at the Doctor. "When exactly are they from?"

Rose started to reply, but one look from the Doctor stopped her.

"You're going to get involved in the lives of enough of my companions as it is," the Doctor said, shooting Methos an exasperated look. "And in Erimem's case, you've already been involved."

Methos turned toward Mickey and Rose and eyed them speculatively, as if he was trying to memorize what they looked like. Or what they were wearing. "Now Doctor, what makes you think I'd do something like that?"

"Experience," the Doctor replied dryly.

***


Seacouver, Washington: 1996

"Joe's?" Rose asked skeptically. She looked away from the sign in the window and glanced over at the Doctor. "Are you sure about this place? It doesn't really look like much."

The Doctor shook his head. "Rose, Rose, Rose. How many times do I have to tell you not to judge things by how they look on the outside?"

She quirked an eyebrow.

"Humans," he muttered under his breath. Then he grabbed her arm, pulling her after him as he opened the door and started inside.

Rose laughed as they made their way toward the bar, swatting at his hand as he slowed down. "Fine, you win," she said, grinning. "Now let go of my arm, will you?"

The Doctor laughed and kept pulling her toward the bar. The bartender was staring at them, a thoughtful look on his face as he stared at the Doctor.

"Is she over twenty-one?" the man asked, gesturing toward Rose with his eyes as she and the Doctor grabbed stools and sat down.

"Of course she is, Joe," the Doctor replied, his eyes twinkling as he pulled out the psychic paper. "I wouldn't dream of asking a fine gentlemen like yourself to break the law."

The bartender—or was he the owner?—stared at him for a moment. "Doctor?" he asked slowly. Then he glanced down at the psychic paper and immediately burst out laughing.

"Right in one," the Doctor replied, grinning broadly. "I'm surprised you recognized me. I looked pretty different back then."

Joe chuckled. "So did your friends," he said, gesturing at Rose. "How's Kreiner doing?"

The Doctor's gaze grew dark for just a second and he looked away. Rose bit her lip, knowing very well what that expression meant even though she didn't recognize the name. She hesitantly reached out and lay her hand on the Doctor's arm, not surprised when he pulled away.

Joe let out a tired sigh. "I shouldn't have asked."

"Don't worry about it," the Doctor sad, not quite meeting Joe's eyes. "He was your friend too. You had a right to ask."

Behind them, someone cleared his throat.

All three of them glanced behind them in surprise. Rose blinked when she found herself staring at a cute guy around her age, his red hair cropped short. He had a suspicious look on his face, but it faded when he saw her. "Hi," she said, unconsciously reaching up to brush a strand of hair out of her face, "I'm Rose."

He smiled. "Richie," he said. "Nice to meet you."

"Stop that," the Doctor said, swatting Rose's arm. "He's an Immortal. Younger than the others you've met, admittedly, but still an Immortal."

Rose glanced at him and raised an eyebrow. "So?"

She immediately turned back toward Richie, but he was staring at the Doctor with a look on his face that was half puzzled and half suspicious. "Do I know you?"

The Doctor grinned. "You could say that, Richie Ryan."

"Seriously," Richie repeated, eyeing the Doctor warily, "do I know you?"

The Doctor rolled his eyes when Rose giggled. "I'm disappointed," he said, shaking his head. "Joe recognized me right away, even though I've regenerated."

Richie stared at him and slowly mouthed "regenerated." Then his eyes lit up and he did a double-take. "Doctor?" he asked.

"Why do people keep sounding so surprised when they ask me that?" the Doctor asked, glancing over at Rose.

She started to laugh, but it quickly turned into a surprised cough when a familiar voice came from behind her.

"Joe, Richie, have either of you seen Duncan anywhere?"

The Doctor blanched.

Joe shot them both a surprised look as he replied to the question. "Sorry, all I know is that he and Adam were up to something."

There wasn't a reply for several seconds.

"Doctor?" Amanda asked, her eyes widening as she came up and draped her arm over his shoulder. "My my, this is a surprise."

***


Bannerman Road, Ealing: 2007

Sarah Jane blinked in surprise when she saw the man standing in her doorway. "Doctor?"

He grinned at her, but it didn't quite meet his eyes. "Hello Sarah Jane," he said tiredly. "Sorry to drop in unannounced, but I was hoping to take you up on that cup of tea you offered me last time."

"Of course," she said, trying not to gape as he pushed past her and into the house. "You're always welcome. But I should probably warn you that. . ."

The Doctor froze in the doorway to the sitting room. "What is he doing here?" he asked, glancing back at her. She couldn't help but notice that, while he didn't look particularly happy, his eyes at least matched his faze.

"Having tea and biscuits," she said dryly.

Methos grinned at them over his teacup, leaning back in his chair. "Hello Doctor," he said, winking as the Doctor reluctantly made his way over to where he was sitting. "Did I ever thank you for giving me that advice back in Babylon about looking up some of your former companions over the centuries?"

Sarah Jane let out a quiet laugh, which she quickly turned into a cough when the Doctor shot an irritated look in her direction. "Let me put some more tea on," she said, unable to hide her smile.

Almost as soon as she stepped through the door, she heard a distracted "hey!" from Methos followed by the sound of liquid splashing. "What was that for?"

"You heard her," the Doctor said teasingly. She could almost hear his smile. "She's putting some more on."

Sarah Jane groaned, knowing very well that he had just dumped Methos's cup of tea over his head. She'd seen him do the same thing to Harry on more than one occasion, when he'd been particularly irritated. "Your sonic screwdriver better get out tea stains!" she called over her shoulder.

She suspected that the sudden silence from the sitting room didn't bode well.

***


Hart, Missouri: 1926

"Okay, new rule," Martha grumbled, shooting the Doctor an annoyed look as they made their way back to the TARDIS. "You're not taking me anywhere else in the States unless it's after the Civil Rights movement."

The Doctor shot her an apologetic look. "Really, I am sorry about that reception. I honestly thought that the psychic paper would keep any problems from arising."

She rolled her eyes. "For the last time, Doctor, no piece of alien paper's going to just erase human nature. As long as my skin's this color, those people wouldn't have cared if it said I was the Princess of Wales.

Sighing, he threw an arm around her shoulder. "No more America for awhile then?"

"Yeah, not for awhile," she agreed. Then she paused, her gaze drifting past the Doctor. "Is that man digging up a grave?"

The Doctor blinked and turned to follow her gaze. When he saw the man in question, though, his face split into a broad grin. "Wait here a second," he said distractedly, taking off at a brisk walk in the direction of the cemetery.

He made it within ten feet of the gravedigger before the man looked up and noticed him. The expression on the man's face made it obvious that he was trying to come up with some type of excuse, but after a few seconds his face lit up with recognition and he laughed.

"Duncan MacLeod," the Doctor said, grinning as he walked forward. "It's been quite awhile since the last time I saw you."

Duncan raised an eyebrow. "It really hasn't been that long," he protested. "I saw you in Cardiff back in. . ."

"Don't finish that sentence," the Doctor said, waggling a finger in Duncan's face as he cut him off. "Time traveler, remember? As far as my timeline's concerned, the last time I saw you I had blonde hair and an odd tendency to wear vegetables as accessories."

Duncan snorted but didn't say another word.

"Someone you know?" the Doctor asked, glancing at the fresh graves.

Duncan's amusement faded as he let out a long-suffering sigh. "One of them is named Cory Raines," he said tiredly.

The Doctor blinked at the unfamiliar name before raising an eyebrow. "And the other?" he prompted.

Duncan sighed again. "It's Amanda."

The Doctor did a double-take. "Are you absolutely sure that you want to dig her up?" he asked, surprised.

"That's what I keep asking myself," Duncan said, snorting. Then his eyes widened in surprise. "I see you're not alone."

The Doctor glanced behind him, not surprised to see Martha heading their way.

Duncan grinned when she reached them. "Martha," he said, nodding. "It's a pleasure to see you again."

Martha blinked and turned toward the Doctor. "Do I know him?" she asked out of the corner of her mouth.

The Doctor shot Duncan a thoughtful look, but the Immortal just smiled back at him with an unreadable look on his face. "Don't worry," he said, patting her on the shoulder, "I'm sure that you will eventually."

She raised an eyebrow.

"Martha Jones," the Doctor said, grinning, "remind to tell you about Immortals. Just as soon as we help Duncan here finish digging up these graves."

***


Barcelona, Spain: 1837

Martha rolled her eyes as the Doctor's friend stumbled, almost pulling both of them to the ground. "Remind me why I'm helping you?" she asked irritably.

Fitzcairn shot her a charming smile, or at least one that would have been charming if he hadn't been so drunk that he could barely walk. "Because I am a gallant gentlemen," he said trying to hold his head up high, "and it is my duty to help such a lovely lady as yourself."

"Aren't I the one doing the helping," she asked, raising an eyebrow.

Fitz started to reply, but he paused—his mouth open—and stared at her. "I do believe you are correct," he said, sounding almost surprised.

Martha let out a frustrated sigh.

He settled into silence again, not saying anything for several minutes. Then he cleared his throat. "Why are you helping me?" he asked. "I understand if you are attracted to me, most women are mind you, and I would. . . ."

"I really suggest that you stop right there," Martha cut in.

Fitz frowned and tried to nod, but that only send him stumbling again.

Martha groaned. "Tomorrow, you're going to help me break the Doctor and Duncan out of jail," she said pointedly. "Remember? The two of them started that brawl and ended up breaking a chair over some city official's head?"

"Oh, of course," Fitz said, nodding knowingly. Then his eyes rolled back in his head.

Fitz slumped to the ground, oblivious to the world. Martha grunted as she struggled not to let him completely hit the dirt street, her gaze drifting toward the TARDIS sitting only a few meters away. Sighing, she started dragging Fitz toward the ship.

"Of course, I'm starting to think that it won't hurt them to sit in that cell for a few days," she grumbled under her breath.

***


The TARDIS: unknown time

Donna glared at the Doctor, holding up her hand when he tried to talk. "You, you, you. . ."

She made a frustrated sound and glanced over at Martha. "He let me get arrested! And then he left me there!"

Martha nodded, reaching up to rub her forehead. "In his defense, he couldn't exactly free you and Amanda until Duncan and I found a way to get him, Connor, and Fitzcairn away from the aliens who were impersonating the priests."

"You could have broken us out first," Donna muttered.

The Doctor cleared his throat. "Actually, I never mention to Martha what Amanda was getting you to help her do."

Donna's glare intensified as she turned her attention solely back on him. "And would it have killed you to mention that whatever she was doing was probably illegal?"

"Well, I kind of assumed that you'd figure that part out when she mentioned breaking and entering," the Doctor said weakly.

Throwing her arms up in the air, Donna shot him one more frustrated look before stomping out of the control room.

Grumbling under his breath, the Doctor fiddling with a few of the TARDIS's controls. When he finally looked up, he couldn't help but notice an odd expression on Martha's face as she stared at him. "What?" he asked, raising an eyebrow.

A sheepish look appeared on her face. "It's just. . . I noticed something that I didn't see the first few times I saw you interacting with Immortals."

The Doctor shot her a curious look, his earlier irritation already fading. "And what's that?"

"You act differently around them than you do Jack," she said matter-of-factly.

He blinked. "What?"

"Exactly what I said," Martha said unflinchingly. "With Connor, and Duncan, and Fitz, and Amanda you're. . . normal. It's like they're just regular humans, but ones you don't have to worry about as much."

The Doctor sighed, not quite meeting her gaze.

"It's different with Jack," she said, pressing onward. "He's immortal, just like them, but you act like he's not right or something. You try to act normal, but you can't quite pull it off."

He reluctantly met her gaze. "That's because they're two completely different situations," he said slowly. "Immortals, like the ones you've met, aren't really immortal. They don't die easily, yes, but there is one way to kill them."

Martha's eyes widened slightly. "Beheading," she said, nodding. "But even that won't kill Jack."

"Not permanently, at least."

Both of them flinched as that brought up a recent memory.

They stared at each other for a moment before the Doctor startled chuckling. Martha joined in a few seconds later. She walked over and gently grabbed him by the arm, pulling him down to sit beside her on the grating that covered the floor.

The two of them sat there for a minute or two, their laughter slowly dying off until they were sitting in a companionable silence. Then, without warning, the chiming of a bell suddenly filled the air.

Martha met the Doctor's gaze. "Is that the Cloister Bell?" she asked wearily.

He nodded. Without saying another word, they both pulled themselves to their feet. The Doctor headed toward the control console, shooting Martha a quick look over his shoulder. "Go find Donna and get her in here."

Time never stopped.
Tags: 2007 fest, amanda, crossover, dr. who, duncan, fitz, gen, joe, methos, richie
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