LANE CHANGE: Chapter One of a Daria/Doctor Who crossover
Perpetrated by: Ranger Thorne
The following is based on Yui Daoren's "Doctor Who Gives A Damn" and Lawndale Stalker's
"The House On Space/Time Lane" as well as the as-of-yet unfinished sequel(s). I have seen the
ninth and tenth Doctor(s) in action in just over two seasons (or series as they call them 'across
the pond'). After finally getting to watch a Doctor Who series, I wondered how the Daria from
the above stories would have fared. But, since my letters addressed to the "TARDIS disguised as
a police call box sitting quietly on the corner in Cardiff" have not been answered, I figured I'd
write this to find out for myself.
Maybe I have it spelled wrong or something.
A blue police call box was something that had been common in London, England at a time
before the police had been given radios. In the year 2014, in the town of Lawndale in the United
States, however, they were unheard of. Nonetheless, one had appeared next to the giant
strawberry. Which would have been seen as odd in London, England during any period of time.
The man who stepped out of the box was dressed in black, from his shoes and trousers to his
black leather coat and his v-necked shirt, or 'jumper.' His dark hair was trimmed close to his
scalp and his gray eyes seemed haunted. At six feet tall, he was too tall for average height but
not tall enough to stand out for it.
Closing the door behind him, the man made his way down the street and away from the blue box.
A short while later he approached the Cranberry Commons mall, then cut down a side street to
avoid the crowd. He passed by several houses until he encountered the intersection with Glen
Oaks Lane. After a quick check of house numbers he turned right and continued walking.
He stopped in front of a vacant lot. The ground was neatly trimmed, with a driveway and
sidewalk that stopped at nothing. A privacy fence went around three sides of the property from
about where the drive ended back. There was no house, however, and no indication that one had
ever existed on the lot. Dropping his head, the man stood quietly before turning to continue on in
the same direction.
When the road changed to Howard Drive, the man began to keep track of the house numbers
again. When he passed 113, he stopped and looked at the next house with trepidation. Finally,
he walked up to the door and knocked.
The woman who opened the door was thirty-ish, with her long black hair pulled back into a
ponytail that reached to the small of her back. She was without any makeup and wearing a black
running suit with a red T-shirt beneath it. "What do you want?" she demanded when she saw
"I'm trying to find Jane Lane," the man said with a British accent.
"Okay, I'll bite," she told him, "I'm Jane Lane. Now, like I said, what do you want?"
"Jane?" Looking confused, he blinked at her. "What year is it?"
"What?" Looking annoyed, she stepped out onto the porch and glared up at him. "What kind of
idiot doesn't know the year?"
"One who just got here," he countered. "I thought it was 2007."
"Seven?" She rolled her eyes. "Boy are you gone off the reservation. It's 2014." When the man
looks guilty, Jane raised an eyebrow. "You owe me money or something?"
"Um." He took a deep breath and looked her in the eye. "I'm the Doctor," he announced.
"The Doctor? Doctor Who?"
"The Doctor," he repeated. "Daria's grandfather. You remember."
He nodded. "Yes, you see --" his words were cut off as Jane's fist struck him in the nose,
knocking him onto the yard.
"YOU TOOK DARIA AWAY AND GOT HER KILLED!" Jane screamed at him. "AND NOW
YOU HAVE THE NERVE TO COME HERE AFTER ALL THIS TIME LIKE NOTHING
"No!" he replied. "I came to tell you what happened." He sighed as he propped himself up onto
his elbows. "I was going to tell you after I talked to the Morgendorffer's but there is nothing but
an empty lot over there."
"Of course there is, you idiot!" Rolling her eyes, she explained, "Daria took the house with her
when she left."
"The entire thing?" He blinked but did not try to rise. "How could it take the entire house?"
As suddenly as she had gotten angry, Jane felt the anger evaporate. Holding out a hand, Jane
said, "Daria told me that the TARDIS had been integrated with the house for so long that it
finally just made it a part of itself."
"Ah, that makes sense." Taking the hand, the Doctor rose to his feet. Rubbing his nose, he told
her, "I guess I had that coming, but you have a nasty right."
Jane smirked. "I take martial arts. It helps me deal with what happened." As she started to turn
toward the door, she added, "I also think the instructor is cute."
"Now that," he said with a smirk of his own, "sounds like the Jane Lane I remember."
"Forgive the mess," Jane said as they came into the house. "I was grading papers and forgot to
clean in here."
"Grading papers?" He looked at her in confusion. "Oh, that's right, you've graduated from
university by now." Glancing around, he saw an average sized living room with a large flat-panel
television on the wall opposite where a couch sat beneath a window. A telescope with a
computer-aided mount rested on a tripod with wheels. The papers Jane had mentioned were on
the coffee table. Idly glancing at the one on top confused him again. "That looks like a science
paper," he said. "I thought you were an artist."
"After all the crap Daria and Quinn were going on about I thought I needed to do something a
little more weighty," she told him. Shrugging, she went on, "Besides, I've always been interested
in astronomy. So I transferred from BFAC to Raft, since they have a really good astronomy
"But how did you end up back in Lawndale?"
"Daria and Quinn were in a Time War," Jane reminded him. "So I figured if they were ever
going to show up again it would be here." She took a deep breath before concluding, "By the
time it really sunk in that neither of them were coming back I'd already bought the house from
my folks and got use to teaching science at Lawndale State."
"So what happened to your brother, uh," he paused as he tried to remember the name.
"Trent?" Jane asked with a smirk. "He still lives here. He even pays for half the mortgage. Of
course," the smirk faded slightly, "to do that he had to get a real job. He's working over at the
coffee cup factory."
"Daria said he was a musician or something."
"They never made it big. Or even medium-sized for that matter." Gesturing toward the kitchen,
she asked, "Would you like some coffee?"
"Tea, if you have it," the Doctor replied. A few minutes later they were sitting in the kitchen at a
tall table with a marble top in chairs that were like modified stools. "I like this," he told Jane.
"Thanks. I build the frames myself then bought the marble and cushions. Being an artist as a
youth comes in handy sometimes." Setting the cup in front of him, she asked, "I know this might
be rough, but what happened out there?"
The Doctor looked down into his tea for over a minute before lifting it to his lips. Finally, he
lowered the cup back to the table. "Over the course of the war we came across intelligence that
showed us the Daleks were planning on going back in time to the beginning of the universe itself
and establishing themselves as the supreme order."
"Wait, you mean the Big Bang?" Jane's eyes widened. "That far back?"
"'Big Bang'?" He smiled at her. "It was a lot more complicated than that, but it does get the
point across. Yes, that far back. I convinced the council that we should attack them at that point
in time. Now," he paused to take a sip of tea, "a lot of our fleet, surprisingly enough, are not time
machines. And we took all of them, from Bowships to Black Hole Carriers to the N-Forms."
Looking embarrassed for some reason, he added, "We even armed some of our TARDIS fleet."
"You had an armed TARDIS?"
"No," he corrected, "you see, my TARDIS model can't be armed like that. I was part of the
group that created the time field to take the other ships back with us."
"When we arrived, the Daleks were waiting for us. Believe me, between the Daleks attacking
and the massive amounts of radiation and antimatter flying around it was a nasty place to be."
He held up his hand with his finger and thumb barely apart. "If you had this much of a gap in
your defenses the radiation alone would kill you."
"So I take it you won?"
"We were losing," the Doctor admitted. "But, lucky me, I had an idea. If we could surround the
Dalek fleet with our TARDISes we could use the time field generators to drive them back to the
actual point of the, as you called it, 'Big Bang' itself."
"That," she stopped and stared at him. "Nothing could exist them. If, if our theories are correct,
there would be no room for so much as an atom to exist."
"Well, that much is true." He looked away as he spoke again, "We used the warships as a
distraction to gather the Daleks in one place as we surrounded them. When we generated the
time field around them they turned on us. That was when Daria and Quinn had their proudest
moments." With a sad smile he said, "They were fantastic."
"They had both survived until then?"
"Yeah." He swallowed as he looked at her. "Quinn's job was to protect Daria. And she did it
"Why Daria?" Jane absently lifted her cool coffee to her lips and drank without tasting it.
"She was in the SuperTARDIS," he reminded her. "Her time engines had been the anchor for the
time field. We knew we'd need them to drive the Daleks the final distance, so Quinn and a
couple of others were assigned to protect her." A smirk appeared. "Not that she seemed to need
it much. That TARDIS had been armed to the teeth. I think it did more damage to the fleet than
most of our other ships."
"Daria never does anything halfway," Jane reminded him.
"No kidding," he said, a grin appearing for a long second. "Well, the Daleks figured out that it
was Daria who would have to force them backward in time, so they came after her. The other
ships protecting her had been destroyed by then, leaving only Quinn in their way. And she
certainly did. She took out almost a third of the attacking ships when I saw her TARDIS hit
hard. There was an explosion a few seconds later."
"Oh." Jane tried to swallow the lump that had appeared in her throat. "And, and Daria?"
"My TARDIS was hit just as they started the final push to the beginning of time," he explained.
"I never saw what happened. But I do know the result."
"They're all gone." When she looked at him in confusion, he explained, "I'm the last of the
Time Lords. My entire people are dead. My home planet is nothing but dust and rock."
"But that happened in the past," she began.
"Gallifrey doesn't exist in the normal time continuum," the Doctor told her. "When the two
fleets crashed into the beginning of the universe the shock wave down the time line blew my
planet apart and hurled it into the regular time stream as debris."
"Oh." Jane started to drink her coffee but frowned at it and set it aside. "So you're the last
"I'm sorry to hear that."
"So am I," said as he tried to smile and failed. "But, you know, I'll go on."
"You're the Doctor," she stated, "you'll survive. You always have. Even if you keep changing
"Only a few more to go and then I'm out of new ones," he muttered.
"You lose the last one because of what happened?"
"Yeah." Again he looked away. The haunted look on his face was echoed in his voice as he
spoke, "There's a planet, called Decelaraptinguildintshtad. I woke up there after my TARDIS
was hit. I was the only living person on the planet."
"You were alone?"
"Yeah. Except," his eyes took on a haunted look, "except for all the others."
"Others? I thought you said you were alone."
"I was the only person, not the only thing. You see, Decelaraptinguildintshtad has the wrecked
remains of thousands of TARDISes. It's like a TARDIS Graveyard. By the beach where I woke
up to the mountains to the depths of the oceans. They've come there to wait for masters who will
never return . . . or to die." He looked away for a while before saying, "Some of the TARDISes
have been there for a century, waiting. Most of them, though, were just empty ships. Their
hearts died with their pilots." Leaning back he closed his eyes. "Some of those that were still
alive were so desperate for a pilot that they imitated my own."
"A planet of blue boxes." Jane smirked then said, "Sorry, but even with the circumstances that's
kind of amusing."
After a moment, the Doctor smirked slightly. "Yeah, I guess it is." He drained his tea then
slipped off the chair and stood. "Well, I've taken up enough of your time. I'll be on my way."
"You sure you're okay?" Jane asked as she stood as well.
"As I'm going to be. Besides," he added, "the TARDIS picked up a signal from 2005 as I was
coming in." Looking thoughtful, he told Jane, "That's probably why I got the year wrong."
"So don't get distracted next time," she scolded him with a smirk. The smirk faded though as
they walked out into the yard. Jane looked up and said, "With time travel and all, I'd like to
think Daria and Quinn are still out there somewhere. Or," she corrected, "somewhen."
The Doctor looked at her for a long moment. She, like Daria, had been impossible for him to
read from the moment they had met. Most people he could catch at least a glimpse of their future
or destiny, but not those two. He had heard from Daria how important their friendship had been,
and how it had hurt her to leave Jane behind. "She wanted you safe," he told her. "You were
what she was fighting for. She wanted me to be sure to remember that in case she . . ." Now he
looked up into the sky. "I'm not really sure how I survived," he admitted. "Maybe it was
something different about my old TARDIS that they changed in later models. Maybe it's how
I'm half-Human or just the right place at the right time. But at least I could pass on that one
message." Looking at Jane again, he repeated, "She wanted you to live, Jane. You were the
most important person in her life and she fought and died so you could live."
"I appreciate that," Jane said. "But I'd rather have her here so I could kick her fanny for going
off and dying on me."
"So would I," the Doctor said, grinning. "I'd like to kick the fanny of a lot of people."
"A regular fanny-kicking party," Jane went on, grinning back.
The grins faded as they looked again toward the heavens. Finally she looked at him. "Come
back and see me," she requested.
"Why don't you come with me?" was the response.
"Too old," she told him. "I'm too old to start adventuring now and I have too many
"You're only thirty," he argued.
"Which, compared to your nine hundred and whatever is nothing, but it's a little late for me to go
from lowly science professor to Indiana Jones."
"I promise I won't make you wear a hat."
"But what about the whip?" she asked with a wicked gleam in her eye. "Really, though, I'd
rather stay here. Besides, I'll slow you down with the younger chicks." Nudging him with her
elbow, she said, "And you know how the chicks like a man with his own police box."
"You are strange," he stated. The smile was a sad one as he held out his hand. "Be seeing you
around, Jane Lane."
Shaking his hand, Jane said, "You, too, Doctor insert-unknown-last-name-here." She watched
him until he was out of sight before sighing and turning to go back inside. Stopping in the
doorway, she looked back in the direction he'd gone with a confused look on her face.
I would have gone, she thought, but it would keep him from meeting someone he's supposed to
meet. But how do I know that?
He heard her before he saw her. Her corn-stalk colored hair, full lips and her attempt at bravery
had the autons distracted. Too bad it couldn't last.
"Derek, is this you?" she asked hopefully.
Reaching out, he took her hand in his and said one word, "Run."
Everything was new. From the comfortable darkness to the light and the noise. A strange figure
was looking at her as she dangled in the air. There was a sharp pain, causing her to cry out.
Eyes hidden behind masks seemed to glitter with joy for a moment, then they turned from her to
They were cleaning her off when a weak voice spoke. "Let me see her."
"She's supposed to be unconscious," a voice snapped.
"No more drugs," she told them with a weak wave of her hand. "It won't stop it." Holding her
and out to the infant, she told them, "I just want to see her."
The eyes glanced around until one head nodded toward her. She was carried and set on a
surface next to a woman who was in obvious pain. Cuts and bruises covered her face and her
brown hair was unkempt. The woman's brown eyes looked down at her and smiled. Running a
hand over the infant's cheek, the woman whispered, "I knew who you were the moment you were
conceived. You will have a long life, my daughter. We will meet again, although I won't know
who you are then." Falling back again, she nodded to the nurse and smiled as she said, "Thank
you." Her strength was almost gone, now, she knew. Just time for one more thing . . .
Leaning in close, the doctor asked, "Yes, miss?"
"The family that adopts her," she managed to whisper, "ask them to call my daughter 'Jane.'"
Jane sat up and blinked away the tears that were in her eyes. Reaching up, she wiped away the
tears on her cheeks with shaking hands. Tossing off the covers she stood and walked out of the
master bedroom, leaving the door open behind her as she made her way down the hall. Opening
a different door, she stepped into the room she had called her own until she had bought the
house. After turning on the light she stepped further into what was now her studio and office. A
desk with a fresh set of bills and letters was in one corner and an old familiar easel rested by the
opposite wall. A canvas rested on the easel with a picture painted onto it.
The woman looked out with the same expression Jane had just seen in her dream. Only in the
painting the wounds were missing. Standing in front of it, Jane rubbed her chin as she thought.
It had been two weeks since the Doctor had visited. That night the dream had occurred for the
first time. Every night since Jane had seen the same thing as she slept. It always happened just
before 3 in the morning. And every night the feeling that a piece of her heart had been ripped
away got stronger.
"But who," Jane asked, "is," she pointed with both hands toward the painting, "she?"
"What?" Turning, Jane saw her brother, Trent, standing in the door to the studio.
"Oh, sorry, Trent. I didn't know you were there."
"Getting some water from the kitchen," he explained. Stepping over to where she was, Trent
looked at the painting then at her with confusion on his face.
"Something wrong?" she asked.
"Come one," she insisted, "tell me what you're thinking."
"I know how you get about your paintings," he began.
He took a drink of the glass of water as a way to stall. When he lowered the glass the expression
being focused on him brought out a sigh. "Okay," he said, "but you can't get mad."
"Just tell me already."
"I was just wondering why you painted a picture of Daria after all this time."
Standing in the back yard, Jane looked up at the sliver of moon making its way across the night
sky without seeing it. She could tell that Trent had finally given up his vigil from the window of
the studio but she could still only see the face of the woman in the dream. The face of her best
friend. The face of . . .
. . . her mother?
Untying her hair, Jane sighed as she ran her hands through it. "Of all the crazy ideas," she
grumbled, "to think that some stupid dream would mess with my head to the point where I think
my mother is some stranger and that Daria is my mother. Besides," she went on, "I look too
much like a Lane to be anything else."
"I knew it was you the moment you were conceived. It was worth it for you to live."
"Stop that!" Jane ordered with a shake of her head. Looking up toward the moon, she scowled.
"This all started when the Doctor showed up. He started this, he should have some idea on how
to end it. But," she raised an eyebrow and tapped her chin, "how to find him?"
Jane walked around the giant strawberry as she shined a light on it. Finally, however, she was
looking for. Reaching up, she pressed one of the 'seeds' and a panel opened up that was large
enough for her to crawl into. I knew I should have paid more attention when the Doctor was
poking around in this thing, Jane thought to herself.
As she looked around, she shook her head as she remembered meeting the Doctor for the first
time. The strawberry, it had turned out, was really an early-warning system that UNIT, United
Nations Intelligence Taskforce, had set up to warn of alien invasion. The Daleks had appeared
after the strawberry had been hit by a Jaguar during a storm. They had captured most of
Lawndale with the intention of using them as slave labor before the Doctor, his companion Sarah
Jane Smith, Daria and Jane had managed to free them. UNIT had arrived to help stop the Daleks
and get the people home. Daria and Jane had ridden with the Doctor in the TARDIS, which had
landed on the wrong planet before taking them on to Earth.
"Of course," Jane muttered, "that was before we found out Daria was his granddaughter.
Sometimes the universe just laughs at you. Ah, here we are." Reaching into her pocket, Jane
pulled out a small screwdriver and set to work. "Leave it to bureaucrats to fix this thing then
shut it off. But, if I'm right, there are two transmitters hooked up here. That big one is a normal
transmitter while this one," she used the screwdriver to pry loose a panel, "only has an input but
no power. Which means," she shined the light with her right hand while she reached in with the
screwdriver, "it has an internal power supply. That has to be more advanced technology so it
doesn't run out of power. And this," she finished as there was a 'click,' "should send a signal."
A mauve light began to blink, causing Jane to raise an eyebrow. A smirk later, she replaced the
panel then climbed out of the strawberry and pressed the seeds until the hatch closed. As she
walked away from the disguised device the sun was just beginning to rise.
She found herself missing the pain. However, as the nerves had died it had as well. Now numb
on her left side, she could only lean against the control console as she tried to find a way out of
the time stream. The damaged instruments couldn't find a lock on a time, insisting that nothing
outside the stream existed.
A beeping from another part of the console alerted her that something was happening. Pulling
herself over, she almost fell as her right foot slipped in some of the blood. When she saw what
had caused the beep, she almost smiled.
"A signal," she said in a slurred voice. "I can," she tapped a few button, "use it to bring us in for
a landing." She pulled herself back around and hit a few buttons, flipped a couple of switches
then threw a lever and hit a button. "Automatic." The time rotors over the console groaned as
they changed their speed. There was a slight grinding sound that was getting louder, but she
knew there was nothing for it now. "Get us somewhere safe," she asked just before the smoke
sent her into a coughing fit that splattered blood over the back of her right hand. "Somewhere,"
the darkness of the room began to be overtaken by unconsciousness, "safe."
Jane paused at the end of the sidewalk that had once led to the Morgendorffer house. The empty
lot was well cared-for, with a small sign giving the name of the lawn care provider who oversaw
the upkeep. Just as she turned to go she caught movement from the corner of her eye causing her
to dive to the ground just as an object passed where she had been standing.
After looking around to make sure nothing else was heading her way, Jane climbed to her feet
then turned to see what had nearly collided with her. A long furrow had been dug into the dirt
leading up to a large wooden wardrobe that was now sitting almost ten feet past the end of the
sidewalk. As Jane watched one of the doors to the wardrobe opened, allowing a figure to
stumble out and fall to the ground.
Running to their side, Jane could see that the left side of their body was blackened from where
they had been burned. Most of their hair was gone, as was their clothes, leaving the woman in a
scorched sports bra and barely enough of her burned and shredded jeans to hide her underwear.
One brown eye looked around before seeing Jane standing over her. The right side of her mouth
tried to form words.
"Don't talk," Jane told her. Pulling her phone from the inside pocket of her jacket, she added,
"I'll call you an ambulance."
"No," came the whisper. "They'll be too late. Need you," she waved her right hand toward the
open door where smoke was now pouring out. "Have to stop fire."
"Okay, I'll call the fire department."
The eye narrowed. "Jane?"
"You, you know me?"
There was the barest of nods. "You're Daria's friend." She waved her hand again. "Fire control
system. Wall to the left of the control console. Mauve panel. Don't let it," she stopped for a
moment then finished, "don't let it die."
"Control panel?" Jane looked toward the door. A sudden realization hit her. "That's a
TARDIS," she said.
"Don't let it die," the woman repeated. "Fire . . ." her voice faded as she lost consciousness.
Daria said that a TARDIS is alive, Jane recalled. "That's gotta be hurting," she said as she
moved toward the door. Taking a deep breath, she moved past the doors and into the ship. The
darkness was only broken up by the light from the door behind her and a few lights on the control
console. Turning left when she reached the console she could see square panels on the wall with
what looked like stone circles mounted to them. She couldn't see the colors until she was right
on top of them.
Finally needing to take a breath, Jane choked on the smoke for several seconds until she could
stop herself. Seeing what looked like a purple-ish stone, Jane pulled it open to see a lever inside
with some kind of symbol over it. Grabbing the lever, she pulled it down until it stopped. A
whirring noise started up and the smoke was pulled away. Seeing that the door was about to
close, Jane ran out of the TARDIS before it closed too far for her to slip through.
As the door closed behind her, Jane knelt next to the woman on the ground. "I got it," she
reported. Not getting a reply, she felt the woman's wrist for a pulse. Not finding one, Jane
gently placed the hand to the woman's side. Looking around, she noticed that no one else was
around. "Too early to be up," Jane muttered. Taking her phone out again, she was about to dial
when an electrical buzzing noise distracted her.
Looking away from the phone, she could see that tiny arcs were dancing across the woman's
skin. As they moved over her, the skin was healing. The arcs dancing across her scalp were
leaving behind stubble of hair which began to grow rapidly. Open wounds closed and vanished,
the burned skin healed or flaked away. In less than three minutes the arcs vanished, leaving a
body in perfect shape, but unbreathing. That ended a few seconds later when the woman took a
sharp breath and her eyes opened. It was also at that moment when Jane realized who she was
"Quinn?" The girl who was sitting up was, indeed, Quinn Morgendorffer or an exact replica.
Her hair was bright red and reached halfway down her back with bangs on her forehead and
brown eyes. She looked young for her twenty-four years, just as she had when she had left for
After blinking a few times, the redhead looked at her. "What?"
"How'd . . ." Jane waved a hand toward the TARDIS before giving up and trying again, "You're
"Barely." Quinn looked at her left hand in confusion before coming to her feet. "Where am I,
"Lawndale," Jane replied. "In fact, you made it back to your place."
"I did?" Quinn looked around the lot. "Looks different without the house here." Looking at
Jane again, she put the index finger of her right hand against her cheek as she leaned her head to
the side. "You look older."
"Thanks for rubbing it in."
"What year is it?"
"Gee, I really missed it, then. I was trying to get back to the year I left." She shrugged then said,
"Oh well. At least I made it back." Looking around again, she asked, "So where did Daria put
the house, anyway?"
Jane looked away until she felt the weight of Quinn's gaze. "She didn't come back," she finally
"Didn't come back?" Shaking her head in disbelief, she insisted, "Daria had to have come back.
You sure she didn't pop in then take off again? Maybe she's on Gallifrey or something."
"There is no Gallifrey, Quinn." Before the redhead could say anything Jane went on, "The
Doctor was here a couple of weeks ago. He said that he was the only survivor of the war.
Gallifrey was blown to rubble and all the other Time Lords were gone." She sighed before
adding, "I guess you make two survivors of the Time War."
"No one else?" The question came in a whisper as the color drained from Quinn's face.
"No one," came the confirmation.
"So he's alone."
"Not any more," Jane told her before she could stop herself. "Shut up," she whispered to herself.
"What are you talking about?"
"Long story. Look, can that thing move?" she asked with a wave toward the TARDIS.
"No. Almost all of its circuits were damaged in the attack and the few that weren't were
damaged in the landing." Quinn rested a hand on the wardrobe. "But even now you're crawling
back from the brink of death, aren't you, boy?" A proud smile appeared on her face. "Let me
catch my breath and I'll start helping you heal."
"Well, for now we need to move it before someone decides it would look good in their
bedroom," Jane told her. She looked a the tatters Quinn was wearing for a moment then asked,
"You have anything to wear in there?"
"Of course," Quinn replied. "I moved my stuff from the house to in here right after we met."
"I strongly suggest that you go put on something that's in one piece while I go get my truck."
Jane smirked at her, "Girls your age dressed like you tend to have trouble find them in any
Quinn looked down at herself then back up with confusion. "You know, I have no idea why I'm
"Worry about that later," Jane ordered as she nudged Quinn toward the TARDIS door. "Get
dressed and I'll be right back."
"Wait." Quinn started to reach into a pocket only to have the denim come apart in her hands.
Now clad only in matching dark gray bra and panties, Quinn blushed as she shook off the
material. She unlocked the door then handed Jane the key. "You'll need this to get in when you
"Uh, yeah." Jane looked down then back up at Quinn. "I'll be right back."
"I'm going to get dressed." Stepping inside the damaged ship, Quinn closed the door behind her.
Quinn watched as Jane brought in a box loaded with books and files from the garage. In the
three months since she'd been there it was the first time she had seen Jane bring in a box of
anything other than pizza. When Jane turned to look at her, Quinn asked, "This isn't good news,
"Huh?" Jane chuckled once before saying, "No, it's nothing. This is just the first day of Spring
Break and I didn't want to leave this stuff in my office."
"I missed that at the Academy," Quinn said. "We didn't get a Spring Break."
"Or any kind of break, if I remember correctly," Jane added. "Daria always said that was one of
the things she liked about it."
"Not me. I was so exhausted by the time the session would end I wasn't able to do much more
than climb in bed and hide until it was time for the next one."
"Could have used some down time, eh?" Jane shifted the weight of the box as she smiled. "I felt
like after finals a few times. And I really felt like that after my dissertation."
"What was it on?" Quinn asked.
Smirking, Jane answered, "I wrote on the probabilities of worm holes in the Horse Head
"There are no worm holes in the Horse Head Nebula."
"And that was my conclusion." As Quinn shook her head Jane headed up the stairs with the box.
After dropping the box off at her desk, Jane came out of her room in time to see Quinn heading
into the one she had been using since her arrival. Following, she reached the doorway just as
Quinn was unlocking the wardrobe. Noticing Jane, she motioned with her head for Jane to
follow then stepped inside.
"I wonder if I'll ever get used to this?" Jane asked as she stepped through the door and into the
It looked very different than it had the first time Jane had been inside. The walls were clean
again instead of smoke-stained and the squares of carpeting no longer were dirty or scorched.
The central console was again hexagonal instead of a pentagon with an additional side that was
melted away. The controls were still dark but at least all the sides were now there. The lights
were dimmed but they all seemed to be working. The doorway on the far side of the control
room was also looking much better than it had three months before. It was a stark white with
soft lights shining from the ceiling. The hallway alone was larger than the room the TARDIS
was 'sitting' in.
"Every time I see this place it looks better," Jane said to Quinn. Quinn was unfolding a ladder
next to the control console. For a moment she wondered what the redhead was doing but figured
it out a moment later. A clear column reached up from the center of the console, with clear rods
projected down from the machinery on the ceiling as well as from the console itself. Two of the
rods on the top had actually come loose and were lying on the bottom of the column, and one of
the rods on the bottom looked partially melted.
"You mind turning down the gravity when I get up there?" Quinn asked her.
"Huh? Oh, sure. Where is it?"
"Other side. The environmental controls are the only ones lit." Climbing the ladder she added,
"Blue lever. Don't turn it all the way down, just until it says point one or something."
"Okay." Jane came around the other side of the console and found the panel. She waited until
Quinn was at the top then reached out and touched the blue lever.
"Ah!" Jane jumped back and stared at the console as if bitten.
"What?" Quinn asked, nearly falling.
"It, it," Jane waved a hand at the controls. "I heard something in my head."
"It's just the TARDIS," Quinn told her. "Remember, it's alive. I'm afraid it's a little tired of just
talking to me, and the Doctor's TARDIS is in a different time right now."
"Hopefully with the Doctor aboard," Jane added. "But why would it talk to me? I'm not a Time
Lady or anything."
"Well," Quinn said as she pulled something out of her jacket, "if you'll go ahead and lower the
gravity I'll give you a theory."
Jane looked at the switch as if she was expecting a shock then reached out and placed a hand on
it. "Wow," she said, "I can feel something, kinda like a pulse or heartbeat."
"It's the mental pulse of the TARDIS."
"Oh. Well, here goes." Jane began to move the lever then watched as one of the indicators
began to drop. Finally she let go and asked, "point zero seven okay?"
"Perfect." Quinn smirked then added, "Easiest weight loss plan I've ever heard of."
Jane moved her arm as she noticed the lack of pull from the ground beneath her. "Wow. I
haven't been in low gravity before."
"It's better for removing large heavy objects like the time rotors," Quinn pointed out. The device
in her hand began buzzing as she began to work at the top of the column where it met the
"You were going to tell me about why the TARDIS talked to me," came the reminder.
"Oh, that. Well," Quinn leaned around the column and reached up with the buzzing device,
"since the house, or SuperTARDIS, gave me an Imprimature of Rassilon, I figure it might have
given you one, too."
"A, hold on." Quinn leaned back onto the ladder and made her way down. "An Imprimature of
Rassilon. It's what allows Time Lords to communicate with the TARDIS. Without it the whole
system falls apart."
"Just because you can't talk to it?"
"Well, that and the Time Lords generate a specific kind of mental energy that they need to
operate properly." Quinn stepped off of the ladder and onto the console. Kneeling, she applied
the device in her hand to the base of the column. "It also ensures that the TARDIS keeps the
people aboard safe."
"That doesn't sound good," Jane observed.
"Actually it is. You see," Quinn began shifting around the column, "a young TARDIS needs to
be bonded to a Time Lord or Lady so that it's aware that the things inside it are important enough
to run the environmental systems and try to keep them alive. Ah." Standing on the console,
Quinn reached out and slid the entire column, rods and all, out of position. "Take this," she said
to Jane as she lowered it to her.
"And what do I do with it?"
"Just hold it while I get down. If I just try to jump I'll bounce off of the ceiling." Slowly the
redhead climbed down to the ground. Then, she took the column and gently set it on the ground.
"Could you reset gravity for me? I need to get something."
"Okay," Jane agreed as she moved the lever back to its original position. Letting her hand linger,
Jane let the feeling of the TARDIS' mental pulse. Not unpleasant once you get use to it, she
I like you too.
Removing her hand, Jane grumbled, "Stop that or people will talk."
"Okay," Quinn said as she came back into the control room, "now you're making him laugh."
"Sure." Quinn placed the tube-like object against the center of the outer casing of the time rotors
and pressed the button. A glowing red line began to stretch toward each end. "Every TARDIS is
assigned a sex when they're finished growing. I was never sure why," she admitted. When the
line reached the ends, she removed the device then rolled the column over. "But there are male
and female TARDISes."
"I think the Doctor's is female," Jane told her as Quinn repeated the procedure on the column.
"And the house is male." Quinn smirked a she added, "When I first realized that I got very
"Because you'd undressed in it?"
Jane thought about it for a moment, then shook her head. "No, actually it doesn't. Of course,
given my track record with guys, that's more action that I got out of most of the men I've been
Quinn sighed as the casing came apart along the two lines she had made. Reaching into her
pocket she pulled out the device from earlier and started work on the rods.
"That's the magic ink pen Daria gave you isn't it?"
Quinn stopped and looked at Jane for a moment before rolling her eyes. "It's not a 'magic ink
pen,'" she replied, "it's a sonic pen."
"But it is, right?"
"Yes, Daria gave it to me."
Quinn took a moment to glance at the device in her hand. The 'sonic pen' looked at the moment
like an expensive pen that had an extra section stuck between the top and bottom. The top and
bottom parts were a dark red with a gold cap on the top, a silver band and clip beneath that, and a
gold cap with a blue tip on the bottom. The section in the middle was black with four gold rings
around the center and a red button just below where the top connected and in line with the clip.
Below that was a small blue display with the number '0009' currently displayed. Holding up the
pen, she pressed the red button and watched as the blue tip glowed as the pen buzzed.
"Best gift I ever got," Quinn whispered. "Thanks, Daria." Scowling, she turned back to her task.
A moment later she lifted the melted rod away from the rest. "This is going to be a problem."
"I could reforge it, but I'd never get the shape exactly right."
"Well," Jane asked with a shrug, "can you just leave out the one at the top to keep them even?"
"They'd have to balance right or they'd never move properly. And it would slow the ship down a
lot. But, it can be done."
"That's right, they have to move, don't they?" Jane shook her head. "Too bad. If they stayed in
one place it'd be a lot easier."
Quinn turned to look at Jane. "Did Daria tell you about her new time rotor design too?"
"Tell me about what?"
Setting the rod down, Quinn stood and headed for the passageway as she waved for Jane to
follow. As she walked, she said, "Daria noticed that the number one problem facing the
TARDIS was that the time rotors are fragile and the mechanism for moving them can stick at bad
times. So," she stepped through a door, "she came up with an alternate design."
Jane stopped just after entering the room. It was another large room, but this one was set up with
a large drafting table as well as several tools that looked like they were designed to work with
wood or other materials. She recognized a lathe, although it had things attached that she was
afraid to ask about. Quinn had pulled a roll of paper from a cubbyhole above the table and was
spreading it out.
Quinn nodded as she told Jane, "She figured out that instead of moving the rotor to generate the
field you could change the way the current was applied and get the same result." Smiling, she
looked up at Jane. "They never tried it on Gallifrey. They decided it was too experimental. But
we," she said, "can do it. And with the fewer rods, too. And," she turned back to the schematics,
"we should get an increase in speed instead of a decrease."
"But won't that throw off the equilibrium with the rest of the system?" Jane stopped as she
mentally reviewed her own words. "How did I know to ask that?"
"Daria probably talked about it," Quinn guessed. "Anyway, you have a point. I'll have to
completely reconfigure the entire system."
"How long with that take?"
After pausing to flip her hair back over her shoulder, Quinn said, "No idea. But if I'm going to
get my TARDIS up and running again, I'm going to have to make this idea work."
"This could take a while," Jane muttered to herself.
The classroom was mostly full, with several of the students either pink, red or tanned from their
break spent in sunnier parts of the country. As they spoke amongst themselves, most noticed that
the class was five minutes late in starting. Finally, the professor came through the back door to
"Sorry," Jane told them. "Running late today." Setting her briefcase on the desk, she looked up at them. "It looks like most of you are here. Well, all but seven of you anyway. So, now we'll . . ." Jane felt the dizziness wash over her like a tidal wave as she looked around the room. "Moving." Leaning on the desk, she closed her eyes and lowered her head. I can feel the room moving, she thought. No, not the room. I can feel the planet moving beneath us at a thousand miles an hour. The whole thing spinning as it races around the sun at a hundred thousand per, while the whole solar system flies around the galaxy at five hundred thousand miles an hour. Looking up again, she smiled at the class. "You don't know what you're missing," she told them just before passing out.