READ: ‘Eyebrows & Fish’: A Twelfth Doctor story

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to be a part of A Target For Tommy, a charity Doctor Who fanthology to support the author Tommy Donbavand during his treatment for cancer. The book was released by Obverse books for a limited time; the paperbacks sold out incredibly fast, and as they have now retired the ebook the only way for you to get hold of the book is in dodgy dark alleys in exchange for relative’s vital organs (or, similarly, eBay, probably.) As such, I thought I’d post my story here for your reading pleasure/undiluted scorn. (Although, actually, this version ends differently to the version that appeared in the book. Why, you ask? Because sometimes unparalleled creative genius only strikes after the deadline.)

‘Eyebrows and Fish’ is a Twelfth Doctor story set in the 1920s, in which he meets both the Silence and a lady detective who is definitely not Miss Fisher, thank you for asking, because that would be copyright infringement. (Mind you, so is the Doctor, so I’ll take this moment to underline that this is fanfiction. Thank-you-please-don’t-sue-me.) I wrote my usual Debrief post about it, if you’re the kind of person that watches DVD extras.

(Also, hint: pay attention to the section numbering. Just sayin’.)

*

1.

Miss Fish needed a man, and Eyebrows would do.

“Would you do me an enormous favour?” she said, extending an elegant arm. It sounded like a request one could decline, but Miss Fish had a particular knack for asking questions in such a way that nobody ever refused her.

Eyebrows looked her up and down as if she were an alien. “No,” he said.

“Oh,” said Miss Fish. “Well—I mean—are you sure? It would only take a few moments and it wouldn’t be all that dangerous, I imagine…”

Eyebrows was stood in front of a large blue police box—quite odd, really, when she came to think of it; Miss Fish hadn’t seen on of these things since she last visited London.

“Dangerous, did you say?”

“Well… only mildly.”

Eyebrows’ eyebrows knit together. “You’re not one of those—what are they called?—ladies of the night, are you?”

Miss Fish laughed. “Certainly not. And you’re lucky I’ve been called much worse in my time. Now—will you do me the pleasure?” She jutted her elbow again, and offered her most winning smile.

Eyebrows squinted at her, as if trying to decide. “What year is this?”

Miss Fish sighed. Trust her to pick an imbecile. “1924,” she said. “Anything else you’d like to know.”

“No. Wait—yes. Why are all the women around here wearing tiny little hats? Is there a shortage? Is there some kind of national hat emergency?”

Fashion, I imagine.”

Fascinating.”

Almost.”

Eyebrows looked at the police box, shifting from one foot to the other. It was almost, Miss Fish though, as if he was asking permission. “Oh, fine then,” Eyebrows said. “But I warn you, I’m not dancing.”

I haven’t asked you to,” said Miss Fish. “Yet.”

He tugged on the lapels of his coat, patted the side of the police box, and extended his arm for her to take. “Lead on,” he said.

The Town Hall was a few chilly streets away. In the square, gleaming motorcars pulled up to dispense beautiful women and well-heeled men, footmen waiting to snatch the keys they were tossed. Miss Fish and her new companion strolled across the stones towards the steps, slipping into the glittering stream of people for whom the Town Hall was also their destination.

The Gasfitter’s Ball,” Miss Fish explained. “Highlight of the social season, but ludicrously one is not permitted to enter as an unaccompanied woman, even if that woman has financed half the affair. Much as it gauls me, I needed a man, you see.”

“And you didn’t have any to hand?”

“I seem to have temporarily misplaced all of mine.”

Eyebrows looked at her sidelong as they ascended the steps. “Seems unlikely.”

Miss Fish assumed that was a compliment, thought it was always hard to tell in a Scottish accent.

Liveried waiters were waiting at the double doors—they inclined their heads to Miss Fish and Eyebrows as they approached, and in perfect unison bent to open the doors before them.

On the other side, there was music and light in abundance.

“This way!” Miss Fish said, and vanished amongst the crowd.

Eyebrows leaned to try and follow her passage, but she was immediately lost amongst the twirl of dresses, the crush of dancing bodies that pranced and twisted beneath the wash of lights, wreathed among clouds of sweet-smelling smoke. The hall was rectangular, a balcony ringing the whole room, packed full of figures—mostly men in slender suits—who smoked and watched the dancers below. In the centre of the dance floor, radiant in the spotlight, a four-piece band were in full swing: a double bass player and trombonist faced each other, marching the bassline up and down, sandwiched between a sweating drummer and a pretty blonde singer who wailed into a silver microphone, the braids of her short dress swinging in time with the music.

“Groovy,” Eyebrows said to himself. “Or is that the wrong decade…?”

Miss Fish appeared from the press. In her hands, she clutched two cocktail glasses of clear liquid. “Shall we dance?” she said.

“Oh, no—not, but I said, I—“

Miss Fish tried out that winning smile again, the one that men usually didn’t say no to.

She had never seen anyone dance quite like Eyebrows. Below the neck, his moves were really quite excellent, if a little scarecrow-like: precise hand-to-hands, johnny drops, freezes, savoy kicks; above the neck, he looked like a cantankerous grandfather, the kind about to cut you out of his will.

“I don’t see many gasfitters,” he said as they whipped past each other.

“Oh, it’s not really been an actual gasfitter’s ball for decades,” she said. “That’s just tradition. Hence the absurd rule as to unaccompanied women, I imagine.”

He span away from her, into the grip of a series of energetically dancing women, who span him from one to the other, and back again. Miss Fish looked around; now she came to look, the crowd tonight was quite odd. Not the usual type. A lot of—

“What was so important about getting in, anyway?” He was back, shouting into her ear. On-stage, the drummer as turning an alarming shade of red, and the singer was leaping blithely up the octaves.

“I had an anonymous tip,” she shouted back—then they were vanishing away from each other again, her swinging in jockey around a well-built gentleman in a frock coat, him promenading briefly back to the flappers, then back again, and: “Said something I absolutely couldn’t miss would be happening tonight.”

“Anonymous tip,” Eyebrows said. “So you’re a—“

“Detective?” Miss Fish kicked her feet and spun. “Of course.”

“Adventurous lady detective! That’s wonderful. Do you have the whole thing—you know, slightly dim sidekick? Handsome love interest? Greasers to do the dirty work? Say—you don’t know someone name of Malone do you?”

The song exposed in a rousing finish. The crowd burst into applause.

Eyebrows leaned in to her. “If you’re a detective,” he said, “how come you haven’t noticed that there’s a woman over there with a notepad, watching everything you do.”

Miss Fish looked up to the balcony where he indicated. “Oh, her. Yes. That’s Miss Frank. She works for the Gazette. Bit odd for her to be here, actually—I was just thinking that a moment ago. In fact there’s all sorts here—him over there, he’s a plain clothes policemen. And those three up there, looking shifty? They’re from the Observer, the Mail and the Whippet, respectively.”

“Perhaps,” Eyebrows said, “you weren’t the only one with an anonymous tip.”

The music was starting up again.

“So—you just sort of wandered in and hoped some trouble might turn up?” Eyebrows said to her.

“Yes,” said Miss Fish. “It’s always worked for me before.”

“Funny that,” Eyebrows said. “Me too.”

Miss Fish began to pivot. “It always makes life quite—“

3.

The music had stopped, and everyone was screaming. And then, as if an enchantment fell over everyone, the screaming stopped, and everyone was looking around, not quite sure what all the fuss was about anyway.

There were about seven seconds of glacial calm, and then the screams started all over again.

Miss Fish, meanwhile, was confused to find herself on the floor, pressed beneath Eyebrows body.

He stared down at her, eyes bulging, and then he rolled off, muttering apologies. “Sorry—not quite sure why—“

But Miss Fish wasn’t paying attention.

“Someone’s been murdered!” She darted through the crowd, towards the epicentre of the rippling panic. People were trying to push their way out, but in the packed room, with only a few able to see the cause of the screams, there was only confusion.

In the middle of the dance floor lay the body of a woman. She wore a long black habit, no make-up and sensible shoes, but none of these features were nearly as eye-catching as the smoking hole in the centre of her chest.

“Murder—“

“Someone’s dead—“

“My god—“

The news was spreading through the room. The noise rose.

Nobody move.” On the stage, the man Miss Fish had pointed out as a plain clothes policeman had climbed onto the stage and taken control of the microphone. “Nobody panic.

Miss Fish knelt beside the body. “Who did this? Did anyone see—?”

There was a multitude of shaking heads from those nearest.

Did anyone see what happened?” boomed the policeman, as if asking louder might change the answer.

Miss Fish looked around the circle of scared faces. “But surely one of you must have—“

One of the flappers, clutching her mouth, spoke up. “I swear Miss—it was like one moment she was there, and then the next…”

Surely one of you must—“

Miss Fish turned and yanked the microphone out of the policeman’s hands. “What about you?” But in turn, each shook their head. No-one had seen a thing, it seemed. Nor, judging by the uneasy quiet that was falling over the hall, had anyone else.

“Miss Frank.”

Miss Fish looked up. “Excuse me?”

Eyebrows stood over her. He was doing that shifting thing again with his feet. He called out louder. “Miss Frank? Where are you?”

The girl on the balcony leaned into the light. “Here… sir?”

“What’s the last thing it says in your notebook?”

“I wrote down, ‘Eyebrows dances’.”

“Are you sure?”

“That’s the last thing I—wait. No. It says, ‘white man’.”

Eyebrows spun on his heel. “1920s high society, there’s no other kind. Not very helpful.”

“I—I don’t remember writing that.” Miss Frank’s voice shook.

Eyebrows looked up at her, his face suddenly grave. “Anything else? No? Good though, good. Keep writing down everything you see.”

Panic was setting into the crowd again, an uneasy shifting starting to spread. “Nobody move,” said Eyebrows, and it was a tone Miss Fish recognised, the kind people didn’t argue with. He didn’t need a microphone for his voice to carry.

She looked up at him. “I’m not sure what’s going on,” she said, “but I’m going to figure it out.”

“Miss Fish, a moment ago we were over there—“ Eyebrows pointed to a spot near the bar. “And then were were over here. More significantly though, there is now a dead body in the middle of a crowded room which nobody—“ he gestured around for confirmation “—saw get there.”

“Are you suggesting…?”

“Memory loss. All of us. Collective memory loss.” His frown turned briefly into an excited grin, like a cloud blowing away from the moon. “Still—great mystery, ay? Like a locked room mystery, but the other way around. Great story for a lady detective!”

“I prefer just ‘detective’,” Miss Fish said. “Memory loss though—how?”

The moon clouded back over. “There is a creature I know that could have caused this…”

“A creature?”

“Yes, a creature. A white creature—a white man, perhaps. It can suck the life out of you and leave you nothing more than a husk, all without you ever remembering that you had set eyes on it.”

“Suck the life… I…” Miss Fish was starting to think she really had picked up an imbecile. This was the problem with meeting men in alleyways.

“Think of it like the jam in a doughnut. Doughnut’s fine without it, but it’s the jam that makes it a proper doughnut. Otherwise you’re just… dry bread. Nevermind, not my best metaphor.” He crouched opposite her, and gripped by the shoulders. “All you need to know is they’re pretty fearsome creatures.”

“Do they suck the… jam… out through your chest?”

“Sorry… what?”

Miss Fish pointed down to the body. “The murderer, whoever it was, stabbed this poor woman with something, something very hot I’m guessing, judging by the way that the wound is cauterised.”

“Well, no, that’s not how they…”

“So, if that’s not how they…”

“Yes, I see your point. You’re quite good, aren’t you?”

“I try.” Miss Fish pointed around the room. “And whatever the murderer used, they seem to have been swinging it around a bit liberally.” He followed her finger, picked out the burning slices that, now he focussed attention on them, he could see had been cut in the furnishings and walls. “And the doors,” she said. “They’re hanging open, as if…”

“…as if someone has smashed them open.”

“Yes.”

“That’s quite alarming, actually.”

Miss Fish looked back down at the body. “Yes,” she said, “on balance, I think this is the most horrific murder I’ve ever—“

5.

Chaos.

Again.

“There seem to be an awful lot of people running and screaming again,” Eyebrows said, picking himself up off the floor. “Miss Fish, did you happen to see…?”

“Not a thing.”

“No—me neither.”

The crowd, panicked a moment earlier, fell to the strange enchantment again, and skidded to a halt once more, looking at each other in confusion.

“No no,” said Eyebrows. He felt around for the microphone and picked it up off the floor. “I think you’re all probably right. You should all run.” When no-one moved, he added. “Now. Look—there’s been a murder!” He pointed at the dead nun.

The crowd scrambled to vacate. Miss Fish pushed her way through them to reach Eyebrows. “Four minutes,” she said, holding up her watch. “Four minutes are gone.”

“Yes,” Eyebrows said. “I’d noticed.” He suddenly winced, and clapped a hand to his face. “Did you slap me?”

“I don’t remember,” Miss Fish said, “but I’d not rule out the possibility.”

There was an unmusical twang; on the stage, the band’s discarded instruments clattered off the stage. The double bass was in smithereens, the trombone mangled.

“That doesn’t look too good either,” Miss Fish remarked.

“Looks like something big and mean did that,” Eyebrows said. He was pacing now. “You said you had an anonymous tip? And all those other people here—journalists, policemen…”

“Town gossips…”

“Yes—doesn’t that sound like someone really wanted everyone to know about whatever happened here. Really wanted everyone to see… but what use is sending someone to see the only creature in the universe they’ll never remember.”

“Also,” Miss Fish said, “why would anyone kill a nun?”

“Well—to be fair, have you ever met one? Hold on—what’s a nun doing at a ball?”

Miss Fish shrugged. “They run a Temperance League. Perhaps she was here to protest?”

“Or…” Eyebrows spun. “Of course! A nun, an alien and murdered all walk into a bar…”

“Excuse me…?”

“It all makes sense!”

“Does it?”

“I think I know what happened.” His face darkened. “I think I know what’s happening… Miss Fish, have you asked yourself why you are holding a laser gun?”

“Sir—“

“Not now, I’m being impressive.”

“Oi!”

Eyebrows blinked, first at Miss Fish, and then at Miss Frank who inserted herself between them. Her hair was in disarray, and she looked as if she’d recently run a marathon. She waved her notebook at him. “Sorry for being rude,” she said, “but I think you should hear this.” She held the notebook close to her face. “I wrote, ‘white men’, ‘murder’, and… um, ‘tentacles’.”

Eyebrows spun.

“Tentacles?” he said. “Well, that’s not good.”

7.

Miss Fish felt sad.

She wasn’t quite sure why, but it was a particular kind of melancholy that filled up her ribcage and her head, almost spilling out beneath her eyelids.

She looked around—there was nothing to see here, nothing of note. Just Miss Frank, with her notebook, looking bedraggled. “Miss Fish?” she said, impatient as if she had already asked once. “Will you be willing to comment, on the record?”

Miss Fish frowned at her. “Comment… about?”

“About whatever has happened here tonight. Not that I’m quite sure…”

“No, no I don’t think I should.”

She looked around. This was the alley in which she’d found that man Eyebrows by the strange police box. But it was empty now, unremarkable. Not even the police box.

“Please, Miss Fish, it really would be invaluable—“

“Do you have a car?” said Miss Fish. “I brought mine, but I don’t have the keys. I seem to have mislaid my purse.” She felt like there was something she was supposed to remember, but she had no idea what it was.

Miss Fish looked back one more time, and then shook herself, affected her usual debonair smile, and sauntered towards Miss Frank, hooking her arm in hers and leading her out onto the noisy square, out into the big city beyond, trying to ignore the feeling that what she was walking away from was anything but empty and unremarkable.

* * *

2.

The Doctor never danced, but when he did, he did it right. And besides, there was something quite enticing about this Miss Fish. Something familiar, too—short, dark bob, a bit feisty. It was a feeling that nagged, and though he couldn’t quite put his finger on it’s source, the Doctor had learned to follow those kind of nagging feelings.

“It always makes life quite interesting,” Miss Fish was saying.

Usually that nagging feeling led to trouble.

Trouble like a tentacle monster bursting through the doors, pursued by a nun with a laser gun and a horde of skeletal white men in black suits. Trouble just like that.

The tentacle monster was a good nine feet tall, and so naturally there was quite a good deal of screaming and running. It hurtled through the crowd, dodging laser blasts. The nun dashed in hot pursuit, her habit opening voluminously behind her like a cape.

Behind here, the Silence ghosted, graceful amidst the chaos.

The band did not play on. They threw themselves off the stage, and just in time as the tentacle monster cannoned across the dais, scattering instruments. The Doctor threw himself at Miss Fish. The nun threw herself at the tentacle monster.

From their ungainly position on the floor, his head pressed awkwardly into Miss Fish’s bosom, the Doctor saw very little, but what he heard was quite descriptive. There was a fleshy ripping noise, and a wet screech cut off midway through. A slithering. A splintering of doors.

And, just in the Doctor’s obscured eye-line, one, two three, four, more, more pairs of impeccably shined shoes stepping unhurriedly past him, and out of the door.

Then—

4.

“—seen.”

The tentacle monster was back, cannoning into the room through the splintered door it had already destroyed. It wriggled its many arms, and opened its huge maw. A roar shook the room.

“Oh,” said the Doctor, spinning around, “aren’t you wonderful?

A tentacle struck him across the face, launching him clear across the room to land amidst the band’s instruments with an atonal clang. The double bass splintered beneath him, the strings snapping in an ominous downward-descending one-two-three.

The tentacle monster advanced on him.

“A mournserpent!” The Doctor was delighted. “I haven’t seen one of you lot in years—not since Hetheron 9! I don’t suppose you know Dexwield Dampwick do you? He’s about your height, bit greyer in the gills… no, no, of course, you’re right. Culturally insensitive of me—just because you’re both mournserpents…”

The tentacle monster seemed to blur around the edges. It turned, distracted from its noisy little prey.

The ring of Silence closed around him. Between them, the air blurred as the jam in the doughnut was sucked out. Tentacle monsters—especially ones from Hetheron 9—don’t go down that easy though; it swung a thick arm, scattering the Silence amongst the panicked guests.

“Hey!”

The mournserpent wriggled around to track the source of the voice. Atop a table, Miss Fish stood, clutching the nun’s laser gun. She squeezed the trigger… and nothing happened. The mournserpent shook—it’s roar sounded almost like laughter—and launched itself at her. Miss Fish dived off the table. The mournserpent sailed through the space she had recently vacated, smashing into the bar, showering itself in a fragrant cocktail of spirits.

“It won’t work,” called the Doctor. “It’s biolocked.”

Miss Fish picked herself up. “Bio-what?”

“Bio-nevermind-that-now.”

The mournserpent shook itself down, showering the Doctor and Miss Fish with what tasted suspiciously like a Singapore Sling.

“Well,” said Miss Fish, “I always like to be prepared.” There was another gun in her hand, a small pearl-handed pistol. The Doctor wasn’t quite sure from where she had produced it. The mournserpent advanced on them—

—and then it turned, and hurled itself through the window, shattering the glass, and vanishing into the dark outside.

Between the Doctor and Miss Fish, the Silence stalked, leaping soundlessly one-by-one out of the window in pursuit of the mournserpent.

6.

As anyone that’s ever seen a good horror movie knows, the monster always comes back.

This time, the mournserpent’s roar was met with a louder noise—a piercing shriek that brought Miss Fish to her knees, hands clutched to her ears.

The Doctor held the sonic screwdriver against the microphone; the noise ascended higher and higher, and before their eyes, the mournserpent began to shrivel. It twisted this way and that, squirming, sinking in on itself until it was no bigger than a prawn.

The Doctor dropped the microphone, and stowed the screwdriver away. “Interesting thing about mournserpents,” he said, “their natural predator is the sonic shark. They’ve evolved to shrink up into nothing when they heard high-pitched sounds. Keeps them safe.”

Miss Fish knelt down beside the creature. It hopped angrily, but shied away when she reached out to touch it.

“Could I borrow this?” The Doctor plucked her purse from her grasp, emptied it out, and scooped the tiny mournserpent inside it. He closed the clasp and turned the lock. “That should keep him for about half an hour,” he said.

Miss Fish looked at her vibrating purse. “What on earth is it…?”

“Oh, it’s an alien,” said the Doctor.

“Excuse me—a what?”

“An alien.”

“Are you telling me that…”

“Yes, I’m telling you that. Aliens, galaxies, whole new worlds, they’re all out there. Thing is, you’re not meant to find out for a couple of decades yet. And the mournserpent probably wasn’t too happy about that. No, don’t write that down.” The Doctor ducked his head beneath an overturned table, and plucked the notebook from Miss Frank’s quivering hands. “I’m afraid I have to confiscate this.”

Miss Frank crawled out, stood up and brushed herself down. “Well will you comment for me on the record—or you, Miss Fish?”

“Absolutely not,” said the Doctor. “That’s just what it wanted.”

Miss Fish looked around the destruction of the town hall. “It wanted me to see it?”

“Well, not just you. The journalists, the policemen, the gossip. Anyone who would make a big noise.”

“But why?”

“Mournserpents are amphibious. Can live on land, prefer oceans. And their plane has dried up—or it had last I visited. And good old Earth—well, she’s got plenty of water to spare. Just one little fly in the ointment—there’s this Proclamation, you see. If I’m honest, I’m not quite sure what the Proclamation rules, but it usually applies at times like these. Long story short: they can’t come here until you lot find out about aliens for yourselves.”

“And that’s…”

“Not for a while. Unless they tip your hand.”

“So…”

“Yes. Tip. Tip. As in, anonymous.”

“And so what about… those?” Miss Fish pointed over the Doctor’s shoulder, to where the glimpse of bone-white hovered in his peripheral vision.

The Silence approached.

The Doctor began to blur at the edges. He turned on them. “Now, none of that,” he said. “you try going back and telling whoever’s running the Papal Mainframe these days that you tried to kill the Doctor at the wrong time, you see how that goes.”

The Doctor’s lines grew hard again.

“I thought so,” he said.

“So these things were trying to stop the… alien?”

“The nun was—the Papal Mainframe. These are just her… pets. Ones I need to take back to the pound.” The Doctor produced his sonic screwdriver again, and brandished it at the Silence. “Come on, laddies. That way. Good boys.”

He frog-marched them through the wreckage, out into the brisk night air of the square, to the alley way where the TARDIS waited.

The purse was beginning to bulge. “Ah,” he said, holding it up. He turned to Miss Fish. “Would you do me an enormous favour?”

She hurried after him. “Of course.”

“Don’t take your eyes off them. Not for a second.” He held up the purse—the fabric was starting to split. “I’m going to take this fellow back to a big pond some way away and some time ago. Then I’ll swing by the Papal Mainframe and send someone to collect these boys. Can’t take them with me, otherwise this purse might accidentally slip my mind and then I’d have a mournserpent loose in the TARDIS, and it probably wouldn’t do to have two monsters knocking around the place.”

Miss Fish peered through the door. The inside was bigger than the—

“You have a monster in there?”

The Doctor looked down at his feet. “Yes,’ he said, and commented no further.

“But surely you’ll be gone for ages—I can’t just stand here all night…”

“I’ll be gone barely a second,” the Doctor said. “Just… don’t take your eyes off them. Otherwise you’ll completely forget what you have to do.”

Miss Fish fixed the Silence in her gaze. “Certainly,” she said.

“Say,” the Doctor said. He had half turned to the console, but swung back. “I don’t suppose you fancy… coming with me? I mean—if you want to. Today was… fun. It hasn’t been fun in a while.”

Miss Fish stepped up, pressed herself against him. “That sounds wonderful,” she said, “it really does. But I have people here at home—I have Dotty, and Jack, and… and…” She trailed off. This was the Doctor’s particular ability, she thought—making all the reasons to stay seem trifling and insignificant.

“I just though… you and me… seemed like a good team…” The Doctor was looking abashed; it didn’t suit his face, quite—it was an expression that belonged to a little boy.

“Well, there is certainly something between us,” Miss Fish said.

“That,” said the Doctor, “is probably the laser gun.”

She stepped back. He tossed the gun back into the TARDIS.

“Yes,” she said. “Yes I will.”

He smiled, quickly, that moon through cloud again. “Great,” he said. “Just remember—don’t look away. And I’ll be right back.”

She watched him step back into the TARDIS and start pulling levers. He looked up at her from the panel as, with its plaintive vwoorp vwoorp, he began to dematerialise. Miss Fish stepped back, staring in astonishment as it faded slowly from view, until it was gone.

In its place there was a woman. She was dressed oddly—clothes Miss Fish had never seen before, and her hair was an explosion of ringlets. “Hello,” said the woman.

Miss Fish looked her up and down carefully. “Hello.”

“So you’re the new one.”

“The new… what?”

The woman spoiled. “Oh, spoilers.” She looked around the crowd of Silence that surrounded her. “I’m from the Papal Mainframe,” she said. She fussed with something on her wrist, something metallic and ungainly.

“He told me to keep my eye on them—not to look away…”

“He says things like that.”

“He said he’d be back in just a moment.”

The woman smiled at her. “He says things like that too.” She pressed her fist against the contraption on her wrist, and with a faint pop she was gone, the Silence vanishing beside her.

8.

When he opened the door to the TARDIS, the alleyway was empty. The Doctor stared out for a moment, brow creased.

He wasn’t too sure why he was here at all. There was something, something nagging in his brain, something that he’d forgotten, as if he was supposed to do something, supposed to meet somebody here. But no…

Behind him there was the sound of fabric ripping, and something very large and monstrous getting bigger.

No, the Doctor thought, he had no idea what it was he was supposed to remember.

 

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