LANE CHANGE: Chapter Four of a Daria/Doctor Who crossover

Perpetrated by: Ranger Thorne



"Where are we going?" Martha asked as they paused where the corridor came to a 'T.'

"The primary engines," Quinn told her. "I've got an idea but I need some things from a supply room down . . ." she nodded as she pointed to their right, "there."

"Right," Martha said with a nod just before she broke into a run to keep up with the redhead.

======

"Well, there. It's been a long time." Whirling, the Master held his weapon on the man who had stepped into the room. He was tall, but not overly so, with brown hair that refused to behave and a brown pinstripe suit with a long brown coat on over it. As he moved closer the Master could see the white sneakers. The man stopped and gave him a glare that sent a chill down his spine. "Hello, Master," came the voice loaded with disdain. "You should have remained dead."

"I should have guessed you'd come for the girl, Doctor." Grinning he gestured to where Daria managed to fight off the regeneration once more. "She'll lose, you know. Then I will be returned to my rightful place."

"You were in your rightful place," the Doctor snapped. "Dead, like the rest of our people." A sneer twisted his face as he growled, "Only you deserved it!"

"My my," the Master calmly replied, "how emotional you've become in your later regenerations."

"Oh yes," the Doctor conceded as he raised his chin. "I've become emotional. But I've also become a much harder man. There's enough blood on my hands to hide a few drops more, Master. Yours won't make any difference."

"You're not a killer, Doctor," the Master chided. "War is one thing, but this would be cold blooded murder."

"Wouldn't be the first time." Seeing the disbelief on his foe's face, he explained, "I wiped out the last of the Racnoss."

"Oh come on, they've been dead for millions of years."

"Drained the Thames doing it," came the near monotone reply. "An entire species wiped out. My resume for destruction is almost equal to yours."

"But I've got the weapon," came the reminder.

"But what good will it do you?" The Doctor moved closer but kept his hands in his pockets. "Especially after I say '317B.'"

There was a pause before the Master finally asked, "What does that have to do with anything?"

"Because it tells my great-granddaughter what setting to use on the sonic screwdriver."

Before he could do more that flinch a buzzing sound came from his right. Jane smirked as she then waved the device in her hand at him. "Surprise."

"You dare!" Whirling, he brought up the pistol and held it up to Jane's face as he pulled the trigger.

When nothing happened, she asked, "What's it gonna do, nibble my bum?"

"Oh, Monty Python," the Doctor said appraisingly as he grinned. "Nice choice."

"I try," she told him with a shrug. "Now, what do we -- OOF!" The sonic screwdriver was sent flying as Monique tackled Jane to the ground.

"It would seem you are not the only one with help," the Master told the Doctor with a smirk.

"Maybe so," the Doctor said as he dropped his long coat and unbuttoned his jacket. "But she's going to be too busy to help you."

The Master chuckled as the two women fought behind him. "I don't know, Monique is . . . rather resourceful."

"And Jane is a black belt." The sound of something hitting flesh was followed by a cry of pain from Monique and a grin from the Doctor. "That leaves just you and me. Time to have a nice little chat."

======

The door opened to allow Quinn and Martha to step inside the mammoth chamber. Three columns of light shot upward from somewhere miles below to somewhere miles above. The columns seemed to be pulsing, causing them to reach onto the catwalk going around the sides of the room.

"What is this?" Martha asked.

"Those beams are unfocused time energy," Quinn told her. "Normally they're about six inches across and a gold color, but the system is, like, running away with itself. Come one, I need some things from there." Raising a hand, she pointed to a door halfway around to the right and past one of the beams.

Martha looked at Quinn as if she'd grown another head. "We can't get there, Quinn. That beam is covering the whole walk."

"If we time it right we can make it."

"But there's not enough time to --"

"Martha," Quinn turned to her, "I can do it. I can time it so we can both get across. If you don't want to go I won't make you, but I need your help. I need too many things to carry on my own and the longer this takes the closer we get to blowing up."

"You can get us across?"

"Yes."

She stared at Quinn for a long moment before nodding. "What do I do?"

"We get as close as we can then I move us forward." Quinn smiled at her as she added, "Then I get to practice my time perception skills." As Martha reached the closest safe point she felt Quinn's hands on her shoulders. "You may want to close your eyes," Quinn told her.

After a very nervous nod, Martha did. "Okay, I'm ready," she said. There was a sensation like she'd gotten when almost nodding off.

"Done." Hearing the redhead's voice, Martha opened her eyes to see they were both safely past the beam.

"How did . . ." Martha shook her head. "Never mind, don't tell me."

"I'm the first Human Time Lady," Quinn told her as she opened the door.

"Human?"

"I use to live in a house that was really a TARDIS in disguise." Quinn stepped inside and handed out a Y-shaped section of cable. "It made some changes to my DNA and gave me an impru, uh, improv . . ." Quinn shook her head before explaining, "It did things to me so I could interact with it. Now I can slow my perception of time so that I can do things like that."

Martha smirked, "Can you get the numbers for the lottery too?"

In a bored voice, Quinn replied, "41, 2, 32, 8, 24,16. You know how many times I've thought about it?" A coil of cable was handed to Martha, along with four adjustable stands. As she closed the door, Quinn took the stands and the Y-section. After adjusting them and the second Y-section she'd removed from the room, she instructed, "Let's go."

Martha moved to the edge of the beam then looked back to give Quinn a smile and a nod. She closed her eyes and waited. This time, however, there was a yelp of pain from behind her. Turning, she saw Quinn had fallen to her knees just past the beam.

"I got in a hurry," Quinn explained as she kept her head down, her hair hiding her face. "Should have taken a few more seconds." She saw Martha gasp when she looked up. "Is it bad?"

Martha didn't know what to say. Quinn had aged to almost forty in seconds. As she watched, Martha could see gray beginning to spread through the red hair. "You're getting older," she finally said.

"Then we don't have much time." With a grunt Quinn got to her feet. "Now I know how Mom and Dad felt." Giving Martha a smirk she said, "Getting older sucks."

======

Jane drove her foot into Monique's chest, knocking her back against the raised area in the center of the room. "You lost the nose ring I see," she observed as she moved in.

"Had a guy try to clip a leash on it," she explained as she looked around for a weapon. Her eyes lit up when she realized the object coming up from the corner of the low wall wasn't part of it. The long staff-like object came out of the hole easily, allowing her to jam the end into Jane's midriff. "Not bad," she observed as she struck Jane in the head. "Nice balance."

The Doctor staggered back a step as the Master's punch connected with his jaw. "And here I thought you were a harder man," the former time lord said with a grin. "Maybe I'll just hold you captive and make you watch as I kill your granddaughter and her brat."

A half-snarl curled the Doctor's lip. "You will not touch them. Daria will be free and you'll never harm Jane. In fact," he went on, "you're never harming anyone ever again."

"A likely story." Two quick punches to his stomach, however, put doubt into the Master's mind. "Not bad," he gasped.

"Just getting started."

======

Martha and an aging Quinn made their way into the control room. Quinn opened the base of the control consol and grabbed one of the Y-section pieces. "Set those things down here," she gestured to the area between the consol and the two TARDISes.

"Right." After setting everything down, she leaned over the now-fiftyish woman. "Now what?"

"Can you find your way to the Cloister Room again?" Quinn asked as she took her pen from her pocket.

"Yeah."

"Good. Go get everyone and bring me two of those lenses." She looked up at Martha. "I mean everyone. Our only chance is going to radiate the TARDIS. Anyone left on board unprotected will be killed."

"Two lenses and everyone," Martha repeated as she stood, "got it." Turning, she ran down the corridor.

Quinn looked back at her work as she sighed and said, "One casualty will be, like, plenty."

======

Jane stumbled back as the pole flew past, then leaped in before Monique could swing it back. A quick series of punches and the older woman was lying on the ground and holding her nose. "You move and I'll come back and kill you," Jane promised before turning and running to Amy.

"Judging from your description," Jane said as she reached up and undid the bindings, "you must be Amy, or Amalie, or something like that."

"Yeah. Ow!" Amy exclaimed as her arms dropped. "You need to check on Daria," she instructed.

"I know, but you know more about this whole Time Lady business." Jane left Amy to make her way up the stairs and made her way to Daria's side.

Daria was limp, with her brown eyes staring straight ahead and her mouth dropped open. As soon as the second binding was released she fell and would have landed on the steps if Jane hadn't caught her.

"Daria?" Jane struggled with the still figure until Amy was able to help. Carefully then brought her down to the bottom of the steps and placed her on the floor. "Come on, Daria, wake up."

"She's gone," Amy told her. "She should have regenerated, but she fought it."

"Why would she do that?" Jane asked.

"The lense would have pulled the energy and the Master would have ended up with both of our regenerations." Amy sighed and looked down at her daughter. "I don't even know if there's enough energy left for her to regenerate."

"Wait a minute," Jane started looked around until she spotted the sonic screwdriver. "Aha," she exclaimed, before rushing over to pick it up. As she turned around, however, what she saw stopped her in her tracks.

======

The Master realized he'd made a mistake. Despite his presence within it, the body he inhabited was still Human. Against a Time Lord he stood little chance. Not that the Doctor was stronger by much, but he was healing even as the Master hit him. And the Doctor's bony knuckles hurt.

Again and again the Doctor drove his fists into the Master's face and body, the look of anger only growing. "I've lost how many lives because of you?" he finally demanded as the Master backed away. "How many?!" Not waiting for an answer, he charge in and battered his foe once more. "And how many times have I stopped you? Killed you?" Grabbing him, the Doctor threw him onto the buried sphere in the center of the room then wrapped his hands around the Master's throat. "I even fed you to the Eye of Harmony. But you won't. Stay. Dead!" With a snarl he shook the figure before him. "I'm going to fix that," he promised. "I'm going to make sure you stay gone this time. Because if I can't have our people back, and I can't have," he stumbled over the word before trying again, "if I can't have them, then I certainly don't want you."

Wildly, the Master looked around for something to use to stop the Doctor. Turning his head, he saw Monique watching the tableau. Their eyes met for a moment before both figures collapsed.

Beyond noticing, the Doctor continued to squeeze until a hand landed on his arm. "Jane, what?" he asked, snapping out of his rage. Seeing the limp figure in front of him, he let go. "I, I killed him."

"He's still breathing," Jane pointed out. "Too bad, too. I guess we'll have to do something else with him now."

"But," he began.

"Ah, man," the figure choked out, "my throat hurts, Mr. D."

Despite the situation behind her, Jane almost chuckled. "I think the 'Big Bad Master' has been chased off by the Doctor and the QB."

"The what?" The Doctor asked, looking confused.

"That," Jane gestured to the figure rubbing his throat as he sat up, "is Kevin Thompson. He was our quarterback in high school."

"Quarterback?"

"Football."

"There's no quarterback in football."

Jane sighed before explaining, "American football."

"Oh, yes." He nodded and smiled. "I see. The field general, the leader of the offense the," he paused as he looked at the other man. "No, I don't see it," he admitted.

"That was a long time ago," Jane reminded him before putting a hand on Kevin's shoulder. "You okay, Kevin?"

"Huh?" Looking at Jane, he looked slightly more confused than before. "Daria? What are you doing here?"

"I was hoping you could tell me," Jane replied, deciding not to explain any more than she had to. "Do you remember anything?"

"There was this girl," he started. "She said she had something, but then she said this old dude had it." Scowling he went on, "Would have been better if it was something from her. You know, she was kinda hot."

"And nothing after that?" the Doctor asked.

"Well, there was this dream that Mr. D. was trying to strangle me." The confusion returned. "Then I woke up with a sore throat."

"Um, yes," the Doctor said, embarrassed, "probably catching a cold. Well, we'll just get you taken care of."

"Speaking of taking care of something, we have a problem with your granddaughter." Jane handed him the sonic screwdriver. "I seem to recall these things being able to do some medical stuff."

"I can do some, yes. But, what's wrong with Daria?"

"Your granddaughter has the same name as Daria?" Kevin asked. Looking at Jane, he smiled and said, "He named his granddaughter after you, Daria."

"Uh, yeah, Kevin, he did," Jane said as she rolled her eyes. "Now why don't you sit here and rest while we go take a look at her."

"That's cool."

======

Martha came around the turn and almost ran down a woman with long black hair who was heading the other way. "Hold it," Martha instructed as she came to a stop.

"Uh, where am I?" the woman asked, her dark eyes looking around in confusion.

"You're on a ship," Martha explained. "You're on a ship and you have to get to the control room. Everyone has to get there so we can abandon it. You see, it's going to explode."

"It is?" The eyes widened. "So how do I get there?"

Pointing back the way she had come Martha gave her directions then added, "Now hurry!"

As Martha raced away, Monique gave a twisted smile and whispered, "Oh, I will. I will hurry right along."

======

Amy and Jane could tell from the expression on the Doctor's face that the news wasn't good, and, in fact, was probably terrible. They weren't surprised, therefore, when he looked up at them and said, "It's too late. She fought the regeneration to the point where the energy has gone dormant in her cells." Swallowing hard, he leaned back as his eyes began to moisten.

"Doctor!" The group turned to look as Martha charged into the room. Coming to a stop, she saw the expressions on their faces. "That doesn't look good," she observed.

"Where's Quinn?" Jane asked.

"She's in the control room," Martha replied. "She said to get everyone and two of some kind of lenses." Looking at the Doctor, she went on, "Something happened to her down in a room with some kind of lights shooting up in the air. She's getting older, Doctor."

"She must have been exposed to the time beams," Amy guessed.

"She won't have much longer, then." Tossing his sonic screwdriver to Martha, he turned and scooped Daria's still figure into his arms. "Time to go," he announced. "Princess grab the lenses and Jane, grab the quarterback."

Jane grabbed Kevin by the arm and said, "Come on, Kevin, they're having a science club meeting in here."

"Geeks?" Coming to his feet, the former football star nearly led the way out of the room.

======

Quinn paused for a moment and leaned against Jane's TARDIS. Taking a deep breath, she wiped a layer of sweat from her forehead with an emaciated hand.

"Looking a little rough around the edges, Human." Looking up, she saw Monique pointing what looked like a simple snub-nosed revolver at her. "Have a bit of an accident in the engine room?" Not waiting for a reply, she looked from one TARDIS to another. "Which one is the Doctor's?"

"Why?"

Quinn was unable to do much more than squirm when Monique grabbed her by the neck. "Which one?" came the whisper.

"The other one."

The dark-haired woman tossed Quinn aside then stepped in through the open door. Looking over her shoulder, she said, "Tell them they can use that old thing," she paused long enough to wave disdainfully at the Type 40, "to survive in. I'll just take this one. Nice of you to accommodate me once more."

"No," Quinn whispered as she tried to drag herself back to her feet even as the door shut.

"Quinn!" Turning, she saw Amy rushing to her side. "How do you feel?" she asked as she set the lenses down next to Quinn.

"Decrap, uh," she shook her head once. "Never mind. How's Daria?"

"Not good," the Doctor told her.

"What's the plan?" Jane asked as she looked around. There was a cable running to the back of both TARDIS's that were connected to the base of the control consol. Another set was running from the consol to what looked like stands set up in front of the doors.

"Put the lenses in there," she ordered. "Jane, I'm sorry, but Monique has a gun and is in your TARDIS."

"I guess she learned something from the Master," Jane grumbled.

"Okay, then," the Doctor said, "everyone into my TARDIS. Amalie help Quinn onboard while I --"

"No," Quinn cut him off, "it's my ship. I'll do it."

"Quinn," he tried again as he handed Daria to Jane.

"No, Doctor," she insisted as she shook her head. "You know the radiation will kill anyone not already dead. And I'm already dead."

Amy flinched at her words, but Quinn's eyes never left the Doctor's. "All right," he relented after a long moment. "But as soon as the radiation clears we'll be back for you."

"Good." Looking at Amy she smiled. "Now be a good aunt and put those lenses in like I told you."

"And hurry," Jane said as she struggled with her mother, "Quinn has to go yell at the neighborhood kids to get out of her yard."

Quinn's laugh sounded more like a cough. "Yeah. All they'll do is trample down the grass."

Amy set the second lense in place then moved to help Quinn back to her feet. As she did she noticed that the silver hair was much thinner than it had been even a few minutes before. "Quinn, I," she began.

"No time," the Human told her. "And me too, Aunt Amy."

"We need to get aboard," the Doctor said as he looked at the bright glow coming from inside the center column. "There's about thirty seconds before this whole TARDIS is a x-ray streak across the end of the universe."

Quinn nodded and turned away from them as she made her way to the console. She didn't see the pain echoed on their faces as they reluctantly entered the blue box.

======

"How can you do that?" Jane insisted on knowing as the Doctor closed the door. "She's going to die out there!"

"She's already dead," Amy stated. "At the rate she's aging she'll be lucky to make in another minute. I'm honestly surprised she lasted this long."

"How can you say that? I, I thought she was immortal."

"She's not," the Doctor said in a very quiet voice. "No one is. Not even us. Even the Time Lords themselves eventually lost to time."

"But . . ." Jane glanced at Daria's body then at the door. Changing topics, she then asked, "How does being in here help us, anyway?"

After a quick intake of breath, the Doctor explained, "The problem, as you've been told, or well, probably not, is that Quinn's TARDIS is generating too much power too quickly for her rotor system to use it safely. So," he ran around to the far side of the center column, "she's going to feed as much of that energy as she can to our ships. Then, once we've reached saturation, we'll be kicked out of her ship. This will cause both of us to act like anchors, slowing her TARDIS down a tic. Now, behind each ship is a power collector. When we're gone, all that energy will be fed back into her ship, causing an overload." He was distracted when the ship suddenly came to life.

"The overload will blow the center column," Amy continued. "It'll release several kinds of radiation."

"Which will then cancel each other out in about five minutes after they're released," the Doctor spoke again."

"Killing Quinn," Jane realized.

"She's probably already dead, Jane," Amy reminded her.

"And alone," Jane shot back.

"Yeah," the Doctor agreed as they all looked at the door, "alone."

======

Quinn watched as the white aura surrounding the two ships seemed to become hollow as each TARDIS vanished. Then, the beams coming from the lenses hit the collection grids she had set up behind them. There was an audible groan from somewhere deep inside the ship.

Turning her back to the console, she sat on the floor and leaned back. "At least we're together, old boy," she whispered as she closed her eyes.

When the center column exploded a minute later she was beyond hearing it.

======

Ten minutes after having left, the Doctor's TARDIS again appeared in the control room. Amy was the first through the door, with Jane next and the Doctor with Martha close behind.. Shattered bits of plastic, glass and the rods that had made up the rotor system were scattered across the room, with some embedded into the walls.

"Quinn?" Amy asked as she knelt next to her. It was obvious she was dead. Her skin had the pallor of someone who had been dead for years. "Oh god," Amy whispered. Looking up, she saw the Doctor standing there, his hands in his pockets, looking like he was holding himself together with sheer determination. "What do we do?" she asked.

It was Jane, however, who replied. "We put the pieces back together and we survive," she told them. Pointing to the console, she then asked, "Do the fact that there are lights still on mean this thing is still alive?"

Stepping over to the console, the Doctor looked at the weak readings. "He survived," came the diagnosis.

"Can we get him home?" Jane asked. "I want to fix it so I can use it. I need to learn somehow."

"Yeah, I suppose you do. Well," he looked around, "we'll use my TARDIS to get this one back to Earth."

"And once we're there?" Amy asked, her eyes not leaving Quinn.

"Then we mourn."

======

As gently as she could, Amy placed Quinn next to Daria on Jane's king-sized bed then stepped back and looked at the other two survivors. In the dim light she could see Jane standing on the far side of the bed looking from the two bodies to Amy then the Doctor and Martha who were standing at the foot of the bed. The only one who had traveled back to Earth with them but not in the room was the man, Kevin, who had run into the fading sunset as soon as the doors to the TARDIS had opened.

"What will you do now?" Amy asked.

"Go on traveling," the Doctor managed. Looking from Amy to Jane, he added, "You could come with us."

"I want to fix Quinn's TARDIS," Jane told him.

"We'll keep it with us," he suggested. "I'll show you how it works as we fix it." He attempted a light smile as he said, "After all, you're family."

"Family," she repeated as she looked back at Daria. "I didn't learn she was my mother until it was," Jane tried to fight back a sob, "too late," she put a hand over her mouth and clenched her eyes tightly shut.

"Gallifryian tradition says we should build a pyre," Amy said. "They use spices in the wood and . . ." her voice trailed off as she saw the Doctor whip out a pair of glasses and slip them on as he stared at Jane. "What's wrong?" she asked.

Moving quickly, the Time Lord moved over the Jane and reached out a finger to pluck a tear from her cheek. "Wrong?" he said with a massive grin as he held up his finger. "Oh nothing's wrong now." Seeing the confusion, he nodded toward his hand. "Don't you see? Look at it."

Jane glanced at Amy before looking at the tear. "Holds it shape well," she observed. The tear was a perfect drop on the end of his finger. It took Jane a second to realize that the slight golden glow wasn't a reflection but coming from [i]inside[/i] the tear itself.

"It's been less than fifteen hours since your regeneration," the Doctor told her.

"How'd you know that?"

"Because this tear,"he gestured very carefully with his finger, "holds the last of your cellular energy." If possible the grin grew even larger. "The very stuff Daria needs to get her own regeneration going. You've saved the day."

Amy looked at the tear for a moment before saying, "That won't be enough on its own." She licked her lips then nodded. "Here," she told him as she put a hand on his wrist. She blew gently on the tear, causing it to glow even brighter. Seeing Jane's confusion, she explained, "I just gave it five years of my life. Five fewer years in a nursing home," she added with a shrug.

"Now," he sat on the side of the bed and leaned over Daria's head, "unless I'm wrong, and I'm [i]never[/i] wrong about this stuff, this," he gently rubbed the tear over Daria's lips, "should get the ol' Time Lady juices flowing."

As the Doctor stood, Jane gestured to the far side of the bed and asked, "But what about Quinn?"

"Well, I don't know if anything can --" The Doctor's words were cut off when an arc of energy leaped from Daria's body to Quinn's with a massive [i][b]POP![/i][/b]

"That was unexpected," the three Gallifreyians said together.

"Something's happening," Martha told them as she pointed at Quinn. As they watched, small arcs of electricity began to run over the body, leaving younger, healed skin in its wake. Other arcs danced between the strands of hair, leaving healthy red color behind to join the strands almost exploding from her scalp.

"Hm," the Doctor observed, "I've never seen a regeneration like that before."

"That's because this is a [i]Human[/i] regeneration," Jane told him with a smirk. "Look, she still looks like Quinn." Leaning her head to the side for a better look at the face, she added, "Looks a bit older, though. But still younger than a few minutes a -- AAH!" She let out a scream as, along with everyone else, she was thrown back by the blast of golden energy that erupted from Daria.

Quinn was shoved off of the bed by the force of the blast and rolled against the wall. As her eyes blinked open she threw an arm over her eyes. Jane, like the Doctor, had climbed to her knees and was trying to see what was happening even while protecting their eyes with their arms. Martha had crawled back to beside the bed and had her back to it while Amy lay on the floor with her eyes shut, waiting.

Finally the light died away, letting them blink away the spots and get to their feet.

"Quinn!" Jane grabbed her in a tight hug. "You're alive again."

"Yeah," came the confused response. "What happened?"

"Jane saved you," the Doctor told her. "She saved both of you," he added, gesturing toward the bed.

Everyone glanced from each other to the still form on the bed. Suddenly, Daria gasped, sat up and looked at them.

"Oh," she said, an accent eerily similar to the Doctor's in her voice, "hello." Grinning slightly, she looked at them. "So, what did I," she stopped and looked around again. Raising her hands, she looked at them, then moved the closer and farther away before holding her left close and her right farther back. Finally, she looked up at them. "New eyes," she said to herself, "that's weird. So," she asked the group as the grin returned, "what did I miss?"

======

The group had separated to allow the two 'regenerators,' as Jane had dubbed them, to clean up and, in Daria's case, get dressed. After a shower and a change of clothes, Quinn found Jane sitting on the end of the bed where the regenerations had taken place.

"You okay?" she asked.

"Yeah," Jane replied. "Just letting it all soak in. I still haven't told Trent about this."

"It's been less than a day, Jane."

"It's been over twenty years, Quinn," Jane corrected. "Daria is my mother, for crying out loud. I can feel it." Looking at her, she asked, "How can I feel stuff like this? All this, this stuff I feel? And why didn't I feel it before?"

"I don't know why you didn't before, Jane, you'd probably have to ask Daria about that. But I do know why." Quinn sighed. "All those things you feel naturally the old house had to change me to feel. And you feel them because you need to for traveling in time. Time Lords and Ladies recognize each other regardless of their regenerations for that very reason."

"Otherwise you could end up sleeping with your own father," Jane surmised.

"Yep."

There was a pause before Jane looked at the door and asked another question, "So where is Daria, anyway?"

"She's using my wardrobe," Quinn told her. "My TARDIS is in bad shape but at least the wardrobe is still there."

"At least you still have a TARDIS," Jane reminded her.

"What? Oh!" Quinn reached into her pocket and pulled out her pen. As she spoke she opened it and set the dials. "I forgot to tell you before I shoved you all into the Doctor's TARDIS. I set a recall circuit just in case." Handing the pen to Jane, she said, "Just point where you want it to show up and hold down the button."

After giving the redhead a quick glance of disbelief, Jane pointed to a corner and pressed the button. The buzzing of the sonic pen was drowned out a few seconds later by the sound of a materializing TARDIS. As she released the button, Jane looked at the extra closet door that now set next to the window.

"Wow," Jane muttered. Smirking, she looked at Quinn and said, "Thanks, Aunt Quinn."

"Just Quinn, please," came the correction. "Amy was right, that makes me feel old."

"You were old."

"But," she paused to flip her hair over her shoulder, "still young at heart. Hey," she looked at Jane and smiled, "I have an idea."

"Oh?" Smiling back, Jane raised an eyebrow.

======

Daria was humming to herself as she wandered through the racks of clothes in the wardrobe. Suddenly she stopped and giggled just before a burst of golden light erupted from her mouth. "That tickles," she half-complained.

"I didn't have to do that," came a barely-familiar voice from the other side of a wall of clothes.

"Jane?"

"Yep. How you feeling?"

"Oddly giddy," she replied through the racks of clothes. "If I'd felt like this before I think I would have drowned myself for being too happy. Now," she shrugged, "I'm waiting to see who I am."

"I guess I got lucky, then," Jane said. "I'm still mostly the same, I think. Didn't do the coughing up gold phlegm, either."

"That usually doesn't start until your later regenerations," Daria told her. "But mine wasn't exactly a normal one."

"No kidding. Anyway, I found out Quinn put a return circuit on my TARDIS, so we got it back. Since Monique was gone we took a quick little trip to pick up something you lost."

"Lost?"

"Here's a blast from the past, amiga, or should I say, madre? Eh, we'll work it out." A cardboard box slid under the clothes to stop nearby.

Daria knelt next to the box and reached inside. Laughing, she pulled out a battered green jacket. There were still bloodstains, rips and burns on it, but she knew it at once. "My old stuff," she muttered as she reached back inside. Her burnt-orange T-shirt was followed by the black skirt. Finally, she pulled a pair of black boots from the box and smiled.

======

Coming out of the racks of clothes, Daria stopped at the scene in front of her. Jane had taken a small trunk and set it in front of a chair so she could prop her feet up on it. In her hands was a copy of [i]The Art of War[/i] by Sun Tzu, and on her face was a pair of small silver-wire framed glasses. When she noticed Daria, Jane reached up and pulled the wires out from where they wrapped around her ears.

"Ready?" Jane asked.

"As soon as you tell me about those," Daria replied, gesturing toward the glasses.

"If I read too much without them I get a headache," Jane explained.

"Steal them from Radar O'Reilly?"

"Very funny."

"Don't back talk or I'll send you to your room," Daria admonished with a smile.

Smiling back, Jane shook her head and said, "It's a little late for that. It's my house and, besides, I've got a whole TARDIS in my room." Getting to her feet, she tucked the glasses into a pocket of her jacket and looked at her mother and best friend. "You look great, amiga."

"You think so?" Daria held her hands out to her sides and looked down. At five foot ten she was taller than Amy, with a shapely figure that, unless they had seen it, no one would never believe had regenerated from the almost stick-like figure Daria had been before. Her jet-black hair cascaded down her back almost to her waist, and her eyes were a captivating light blue. She had on a black button-down shirt tucked into a pair of tan slacks with a dark green leather blazer and a black belt. Jane smirked as she recognized the black boots that stuck out from under the slacks.

"Trent's jaw is about to fall off completely," Jane told her.

"Trent?" Daria stopped and stared. "Oh, Rassilon, how am I going to explain this to Trent?"

"I was hoping the truth would work," Jane replied. "If not, we run for my TARDIS and split before he calls the cops."

"Sounds like a good plan."

Turning serious, Jane held up a finger as she said, "There is one thing I need to know, though."

"And that is?"

"What did you do to my head?"

"Excuse me?"

"I remember you touched my face," Jane recalled as she touched her cheek where her mother had run her hand. "That's when you did it, right?" Daria swallowed but didn't reply. "Come on, Daria," Jane urged, "tell me. I need to know why I never felt any of this before I slugged the Doctor."

"You slugged him?"

"He showed up after ten years and told me you two were dead," Jane told her, "of [i]course[/i] I slugged him. And stop changing the subject."

Daria took a deep breath and looked away as she nodded. Her serious look was shaken as she giggled for a few seconds before another burst of gold erupted from her mouth. "That's embarrassing," she complained.

"You had a baby in front of a bunch of strangers and spitting up gold light is embarrassing?"

"Yeah. Well," Daria shrugged, "I guess you should know what I did." Looking down, she began, "I knew that I had to do something. I couldn't keep you, Jane, I knew that. You had to be brought up by the Lanes or there would be a paradox."

"That and you'd have to change diapers," Jane interjected as she smirked.

"Well, that too," Daria admitted with a smirk of her own.

"So what did you do?"

"I gave you a telepathic suggestion to ignore all the input from your Gallifreyan heritage."

"You can [i]do[/i] that?" Jane was shocked.

"It only worked because you were a newborn and I'm your mother." Before Jane could reply, Daria held up her hands. "If I hadn't, Jane, you would grown up feeling things that would have caused you more trouble than you could imagine."

"You had no right to make that decision, Daria," Jane began.

"I'm your mother!" Daria snapped. She walked a few steps away before speaking again. "I knew I had to do something. You see," she turned back to Jane, "you'd remember me. You would have known who I was the moment we met. Imagine, seeing me at Lawndale High and [i]knowing[/i] I was your real mother. [i]Remembering[/i] me from the delivery room. How would that conversation have gone?"

In a quiet voice Jane said, "You should have told me." When Daria chuckled, she scowled and asked, "What's so funny?"

"Jane, for me it's only been a few hours since you were born. At what point during all this insanity should I have mentioned it?" Not getting an answer, she smiled. "I'm not sorry I did it, Jane. But I am sorry that we've both regenerated so we can't go torture Tom Sloan with the fact that he dumped you for your mother."

The two looked at each other for a long moment before laughing. "All right," Jane finally said, "I guess I understand. But the fact that I'm older than my own mother is going to be confusing."

"Happened all the time on Gallifrey," Daria told her. "Now," she said, putting a hand on Jane's shoulder, "shall we go see if we can find a way to explain this to your father?"

"You mean without his head exploding?"

"That would be preferable."

"Why, you looking to give me siblings?" Jane laughed as she scooted out of her mother's reach.

"You're lucky I lost that bridesmaid's dress," Daria half-growled as they left the wardrobe room.

======

Daria and Jane found Quinn, Martha and the Doctor picking pieces of the central column from the floor and walls. As the pieces made their 'tik' noise as they landed on the other pieces Quinn continued what she had been saying.

". . . and then she shut the door to the TARDIS and that was that." Turning, she scowled at the Doctor across the room. "Did the Master do something to her? I mean, I saw some of the other Time Lords do nasty things to each other at the Academy, but bad enough to make her just leave everyone like that? And how did she know how to pilot one, anyway? I don't think they had this one long enough for her to learn."

"It wasn't Monique," the Doctor said as he turned to face her. He took a deep breath through his nose before continuing. "I felt the Master leave that man's body. I thought at the moment he'd finally met his end, but he must have passed himself off into her body somehow."

"You mean that evil monster is [i]still[/i] out there somewhere?" Daria exclaimed. "How many times do I have to kill him before he gets the message?"

"And perhaps that's part of the problem," the Doctor said, looking at her as he put his hands, tweezers and all, into his pockets.

"Meaning?" Daria shot back as she crossed her arms.

"Meaning," he went on, "these aren't the old days, Daria. We, along with the Master, are all that's left. Maybe it's time we stopped trying to kill each other and found a new way to behave."

"Weren't you trying to kill him just a few hours ago?" Jane asked.

"Oh yes," he admitted with a nod. "But I've gotten better. And I think it's time we all did." He looked at Jane with a haunted expression on his face. "Jane deserves better than to live in the shadow of the Master. We can't give her Gallifrey, but we can try to give her one less thing to worry about."

"Too late for that," Jane told him. "He's the fellow who shot me and caused me to regenerate."

"Ah, see," he pointed at her, "we've passed it down to a new generation already."

Quinn leaned against the control consol. "Doctor, I'm not saying you're wrong, but wouldn't it, like, be up to him to change? We don't try to go after him until he's done something to us."

"Like kidnap us from the hospital right after we've given birth," Daria stated, angry. "And for that matter, I don't care what he did to Monique. She helped him try to take my regenerations [i]and[/i] my mother's."

"I understand how you feel," he began before stopping himself. "Well," he scowled as he looked away, "probably not. I've never given birth, you see, and I've never been kidnaped after not having given birth so I'm pretty sure I don't have the foggiest what that's like."

Martha, who had moved next to Quinn, leaned over and asked, "Did you get that?"

Nodding, Quinn replied, "Believe it or not there were worse at the Academy."

"Yeah, I had worse back in medical school but I used a tape recorder." She smirked, "Still could barely understand 'em."

Jane repressed a smirk. "I hate to get all serious here, but what am I going to tell Trent?"

"Don't you me 'we?'" Daria asked, managing to look only slightly pink.

"You can pretend you're someone else," Jane pointed out. "I still live here."

"Well, um," the Doctor scowled slightly, "you may want to rethink that. After all, it might appear a bit, you know, strange, to have someone who never ages showing up here for the next few centuries."

"You want me to run off and just leave Trent here alone?"

"That might be a kindness, actually," he began.

"A KINDNESS?!" Jane bellowed. "How can leaving my broth, uh," her anger vanished as she shook her head but reappeared a moment later. "I don't care if he's my brother, father or chiropractor's nephew's roommate. I am not going to just up and vanish. He deserves better than that."

"I didn't say vanish," the elder Time Lord explained. "You can tell him anything you like, but staying here for very long is only going to invite trouble."

"Like gallivanting around the universe is the best way to avoid it?" Crossing her arms, Jane looked at Daria and said, "I'm sure Daria thinks that's a bad idea, don't you?"

"Um, actually," Daria looked from her grandfather to her daughter, "you both have perfectly valid points."

Jane was stunned. "So you think I should just up and vanish, too?" she managed to ask.

"I just think living here is a bad idea. Especially since you have a TARDIS." Before Jane could say anything, Daria held up a hand. "I'm not saying don't visit, but you're going to end up living in your TARDIS anyway."

"Why would I do that?"

"Because," Quinn spoke up, "it's already gotten into your head, Jane. You're part of each other now."

"Part of each . . ." Jane looked at each of them for a few seconds. "Yeah, I guess you'd know better than me on that one. But I don't want to just leave Trent alone."

"Jane," the Doctor paused to sigh before going on, "you're going to live for hundreds of years. Let's say you travel for, say, 60 before coming back. If you come back that far into the future, he will probably be dead. If not, you've grown 60 years smarter while he's had only one." A sad tone came into his voice as he added, "He'll get older, fade away and die while you stay the same. You might indeed stay with him all of his life, but he can't be there for all of yours."

Jane felt the color drain from her face as the truth of his words hit her. "But he . . ."

"He's Human," her great-grandfather reminded her. "Humans are an amazing species, but their time is short."

"But I'm half-human," Jane reminded him. "Won't I age like one?"

"Actually, no," he replied. "As I am a prime example of."

"You're half . . ." Jane shook her head. "This is just too strange."

"Well," Daria put a hand on her shoulder, much to their mutual surprise. "I guess the new me doesn't mind touching her daughter," she observed.

"That'll take some getting use to," Jane said.

"No kidding," Quinn chipped in.

"Not much on touching before, then?" Martha asked.

"No," Daria, Jane and Quinn replied in unison.

"Well, I'm glad we cleared that up," the Doctor said, grinning.

"Yeah," Daria scowled, "so am I."

"You were saying?" Jane prompted.

"Oh, yeah. What I was going to say was that we're going to be here a while if we're going to help Quinn fix her TARDIS."

"Right," the Doctor agreed. "And that would be a good way to start your education."

"Great," Jane grumbled, "I go to school and get my Ph.D. and now I have to go back."

"At least you don't have to wear those awful outfits," Quinn pointed out.

"For once, Quinn," Daria told her, "we're in agreement on something to do with fashion."

The Doctor shrugged. "Well, as my previous incarnation's outfits would attest, I've not always had the keenest eye on fashion, but all of them, and myself of course, have always felt that the uniforms worn by the students of the Prydonian Academy were indeed atrocious."

"They can't be that bad," Martha remarked.

Looking over at her, Quinn said, "I'll show you one later. Trust me, they were uncomfortable, unhandy, unbalanced and rode up in areas, that, like, it should be impossible for clothing to ride up into."

"Well, the Time Lords did invent anti-gravity," the Doctor pointed out.

Daria opened her mouth to say something when there was a knock on the door to the TARDIS. The group glanced at each other before Quinn hit one of the few working switches, causing the door to open and admit Trent.

He looked at the group before his eyes locked onto Quinn. "Hey," he asked, "why is there a blue police box in the yard?"