When the TARDIS malfunctions yet again, Charley and the Doctor end up nowhere. Crossover. [Eighth Doctor]
Fandom: Doctor Who
Characters: Charley, the Doctor (Eighth)
Prompt: 015 - if you feel scared, a bit confused, I gotta say, this sounds a little beyond anything I'm used to
Word Count: 1250
Summary: When the TARDIS malfunctions yet again, Charley and the Doctor end up nowhere.
Author's Notes: Originally written for 50lyricsfanfic over on LJ. No particular setting for this one in the timeline, save that it occurs before the events of Neverland. Kind of a vague crossover at the very end. This ended up being longer and a tad more serious than originally intended, but it's also leaving me a good starting point if I ever want to continue with it in a series of sorts. Yay?
"Doctor, should the TARDIS be making that horrible grating noise?" Charley asked as she moved to approach the console where the time rotor shuddered and struggled to shift as the time ship travelled through the vortex. "I mean, it always sounds like it's on its last, dying breath, but this is just a tad more abnormal."
The Doctor very nearly danced around the console as he tried to gather information from the various monitors that surrounded the central column of the control room. "No, you're right, Charley, the old girl shouldn't sound like she's trying to trudge through a tar pit in the middle of the vortex."
"There goes the party on Argolis," Charley muttered under her breath, though the smile that played across her face betrayed her amusement at the situation. "Would landing help at all?"
The Doctor glanced up, the sudden movement causing some of his brown curls to fall into his line of sight. "Perhaps...but it'll be a rough landing. I can't even tell where she's trying to go. It's as if she's stuck in... Well, the closest analogy I can think of is a fish trying to swim through slush."
"Ah, yes, that's not a pleasant thought at all," Charley agreed.
"But it looks like materializing seems to be the only way to kick free of...whatever this is that's got us caught up," the Doctor continued, as if Charley hadn't said anything at all. He glanced over at his companion with a mischievous grin. "Might want to hold on to something, Charley. It's going to be a rough landing."
Charley moved to hang on to the console itself, but as the Doctor flipped the switches to initiate the materialization, the TARDIS jerked suddenly and threw both her and the Doctor to the floor. The time ship shook violently, the lights all going out save for the indicators on the console and the time rotor itself, and Charley could hear the clatter of some of the standing candelabras as they fell. She tried to stand, to move closer to the console with the intent to use it for shelter from any other objects in the control room that might feel the need to fall over when the TARDIS jerked in the opposite direction, sending her to the ground again harshly.
"Charley? Charley, are you all right?" The Doctor's voice was quiet, his tone clearly indicating his worry.
Charley opened her eyes to find the Doctor leaning over her. The first thing that caught her attention wasn't that the lighting had returned in the control room, although it was much dimmer than normal, but rather the streak of blood running down the side of the Doctor's temple. She sat up slowly and reached out to him.
"I'm fine," she said, furrowing her brow. "You're bleeding, you know. Let me see."
"Don't worry about it, Charley," the Doctor returned, brushing her concern off. He leaned in closer, earning an almost offended look from Charley, as he examined her for any injuries. When he was satisfied that she truly was all right, the Doctor jumped up to his feet and returned to the console. "Sorry about the landing. I didn't think it would have been quite that rough."
Charley stood slowly and joined the Doctor at the console. She was rather surprised by the blank, white snow displaying on all of the monitors where there should have been readouts and data. "Where are we?"
The Doctor kept silent for a few moments, debating on whether or not to tell Charley the truth of the matter. He sighed, closing his eyes before he faced her. "I don't know. According to the TARDIS, there's nothing out there."
"That's not possible. There has to be something out there." She watched the Doctor closely, waiting to see if he would suddenly prove her wrong and say that there was something out there. "Doctor?"
He shook his head. "There's nothing there, Charley."
"That's impossible. If we've landed into nothingness, then how do we exist? We can't exist in a world of nothingness, can we?" Charley said defiantly. When the Doctor didn't reply, she sniffed disdainfully and stalked towards the doors. "Well, there has to be something out there and I'm going to find out what it is."
The Doctor started after her, though he was far too late to stop her from opening the doors and heading outside. "Charley, wait!"
He only peripherally noticed the fog billowing into the TARDIS as he chased after his companion out into the nothingness that surrounded his old time ship. The Doctor found himself alone once outside. At least, he couldn't see anyone else; the fog was far too thick for that.
"Charley! Where are you?" he called out, wanting to go searching for her, yet afraid of leaving the safety of the TARDIS.
"I'm here," she called back, her voice not too far away. "I can't see you, Doctor. But I can see a sign here... It looks like a welcome sign for a town."
"Charley, come back here," the Doctor said anxiously. He had a bad feeling about this place where they'd materialized. "Just follow my voice back to me. We should stay near the TARDIS. It's...safer. This is like nothing I've ever seen before and I don't think--"
"No, wait just a minute, I think I can make out the words on the sign," she protested, her footfalls and voice moving away from the Doctor. "It says... Welcome to Silent Hill."
With no real reason behind it, the Doctor felt his hearts nearly stop as a wave of primal fear engulfed him for a moment. This was not somewhere pleasant to be. "Charley, come back here now! Please...this place, it isn't safe. Just follow my voice. I'm here with the TARDIS."
"All right, I'm coming," Charley replied. Her footsteps echoed abnormally loudly in the thick, silent fog, although the Doctor was glad for that; he could hear her approaching closer and closer until they just stopped. The Doctor was left in silence, effectively blind save for a few feet in front of him.
"Charley?" He was worried now, and torn on what to do: leave the TARDIS and risk the unknown in a place that he could feel was corrupt to try and find Charley, or stay with his old time ship and hope that she found her way back on her own. "Charley! This isn't funny. Tell me where you are and I'll come fetch you."
But only the silence remained. The Doctor was alone. And he knew he had to find Charley before something happened to her. But that would mean he'd have to leave the TARDIS behind to do it.
He wasn't prepared to leave Charley alone in a world such as this, though, no matter how strongly his instincts told him to turn back to the safety of his ship. Moving ahead into the fog cautiously and quietly, the Doctor passed the sign that Charley had seen. The sign that had distracted her enough to, in a small way, be the cause of her disappearance and he knew then that finding Charley was not going to be easy in the least.
Welcome to Silent Hill.