Title: Tomorrow Never Knows
Pairing, characters: Billy/Dom ust, Tenth Doctor
Rating: PG-13 for language
Word count: 2900
Warnings: Should the Tenth Doctor's hair get a warning? ;-)
Disclaimer: Billy and Dom belong to themselves and Doctor Who belongs to the BBC. I'm just borrowing them for a bit and making no money whilst doing so.
Summary: "Oi," the Doctor said, glaring at Dom. "Just you remember who it is who's given you the trip of a lifetime."
"A man who takes way too much joy in shouting "run"?" Billy said, straight-faced.
A/N: This story was started in 2010 for msilverstar
, who won me in the help_haiti
auction, but I couldn't get it to come together, so I ended up writing something else. Now that it's finished, I think it fitting to dedicate this to msilverstar
as well. Thanks for everything you do for fandom. <3
Many and repeated thanks out to tigg71
who first took up the beta reins last year and gave me solid suggestions to build on, and rembrandt13
who took up the challenge of my insecurity and helped make this into a much better fic than what I started with. This has been thoroughly betaed but I am a compulsive tinkerer and all mistakes are my own.
Title is from the Beatles song.
"Shift your arse, Monaghan, we're losing the daylight."
Billy's voice was still quite tolerant, Dom thought, smiling. Dom was currently trying to convince a large lizard of some sort to let him get close, and he'd been at it for more than a few minutes. Billy didn't mind "Nature," so long as "Nature" left him well enough alone, but deliberately seeking out "Nature" was not high on his list of things to do at any given time.
"Right," Dom said, chuckling. "Because we have such a tight schedule."
"You want to get up the mountain today, it is. I'll not be the bloody fool driving those tiny roads in the dark, thanks very much."
"Yeah, yeah," Dom said, giving up on the idea of winning over the lizard. The impatience that had now begun to creep into Billy's voice was his signal to leave it for now. He stood up from a crouch and stretched. The lizard blinked placidly at him.
"What's so interesting about the bloody lizard anyway? Aside from that fact that it's practically a Komodo dragon, I mean."
Dom laughed. "Not even close, Bill. Komodos can reach up to three meters, and this is significantly smaller that that. I've never seen anything like it before, though. Purple isn't a normal colour in nature; usually lizards are a colour that allows them to blend in with their surroundings. This one hasn't shifted colour since we've been here. Plus, don't think I'm mental--" he smirked at Billy's snort--"but I really think it understands what I'm saying to it. It looks distinctly...amused right now."
Billy came over and looked down at the lizard, pursing his lips as he studied it. "It does, rather. Probably thinking what twats humans are." He rubbed the back of his neck.
"You're not far off with that guess," came a voice from behind them. They whirled around to see a tall, thin man with wildly crazy brown hair standing there, his hands in the pockets of his blue pinstriped suit.
"You gave us a fright," Billy accused, his hand resting over his heart.
"Sorry," the man said, not sounding very apologetic at all as he advanced on the lizard. "And you'll
be coming with me."
The lizard issued a harsh hissing noise and began to move toward the man.
"I know you got lost, I'll just lead you back and we can all get out of here." He looked around. "Where is here, by the way?"
Billy looked at Dom, eyebrow raised. "New Zealand."
"Ah, New Zealand
! Lovely place." He looked down at the lizard who was now at his side. "Why here, of all places in the universe?" The lizard made a series of hisses and soft coughs, and the man laughed loudly. "The wetas are that good, hey?" Another hiss. "Yes, maybe I will try them." He turned and waved at Dom and Billy, who simply watched the man and the lizard walk away, apparently having a conversation.
"What just happened here?" Billy asked, confused.
"I...think some bloke showed up and took that big lizard away whilst having a conversation with it?"
"Yeah, mental, innit?"
"Maybe a prank of some sort? Could've been giving cues to the lizard. It didn't 'talk' to you, after all."
Dom considered. "That makes the most sense, anyway. He didn't look nor sound local, though."
"That could be part of the prank. You know, like that llama in Chile that would try to surprise drivers on that mountain road?"
"Llama, alpaca, they're basically the same."
"Right. Like how British people are basically the same? Just like you and me, eh?"
"We are not the same, Monaghan. I, for instance, come from the better country, and--"
"Fine. Alpaca, then," Billy replied, rolling his eyes.
"Now I reckon we should follow your earlier advice and shift our arses. We're losing the daylight."
Billy chuckled and they walked back to the car to continue their drive up the mountain.
Dom watched Billy out of the corner of his eye, much like he had every day since they'd met last year. He rather fancied Billy, but had never found the occasion--or words, when it came down to it--to tell him. It was becoming harder to keep it to himself, though. He'd caught Billy watching him--studying him--sometimes, and wondered if Billy somehow already knew and was just waiting for Dom to get his head on straight. Straight, that's a good one, Dom snorted to himself as he focused on Billy's hands on the wheel and gear shift. He blinked. Surely Billy hadn't just squeezed the head of the shift before downshifting?
After a short pause, Billy answered, "Just wondering how much longer--oh shite!" He quickly swerved to miss the body partially lying in the road. It was the man they'd seen earlier, his blue pin-striped suit now mussed and torn.
"Jesus," Dom said, exhaling as Billy found a place to pull over safely. His hands were shaking and he could see Billy's were as well.
They rushed back to the prone man and Billy leaned over to check for a pulse. It was there--weak and thready--and he reached for the man's right side in preparation for rolling him into recovery position.
"What the fuck!" He shrieked as he jerked his hand back.
"Christ, Billy, what?"
"I-I think there's another heart beat on that side!"
"Fuck off, Boyd!"
"I'm not taking the piss, Dom! Put your hand there and feel it for yourself!"
The colour drained from his face as his jaw fell open. "But...But..."
Billy sat back on his heels. "Okay. All right. Think, Boyd, think
. Two heartbeats somehow. All right." He blew out a breath. "Right. Dom, I think we'll just have to treat him as normal and roll him onto his left side. Both pulses are there, so let's just protect his breathing for now."
Dom nodded, eyes wide.
They moved him into recovery position as gently as they could and then waited, hoping for the best. Five excruciating minutes later, the man took in a deep breath, his eyes opening wide and wild.
"Oh, hello again."
"Ehm...hello," Dom managed.
"Did the lizard do this to you?" Billy asked, tentative.
"What? No! I was trying to get him back to his ride. He'd wandered off. Gotta love kids, eh?"
Billy blinked. "You, what? Ride?"
"Never mind that right now," Dom interjected. "What happened to you?"
"Oh, yes, well, the security guard thought I
had taken my young companion. He is, after all, the youngest hatchling of the High King and Queen of...well, it doesn't matter where he's from, does it? Obviously it's not Earth, and he was returned before his parents incited an interplanetary incident."
Billy's mouth hung open. "Who are
"Oh, right! I'm the Doctor."
"Doctor of what
?" Dom asked.
The Doctor's eyebrow went up. "Well, that's not the usual phrasing of that question. At any rate, I suppose the simplest answer is that I'm a Doctor of time. But you can just call me the Doctor."
"Well, Doctor, are you all right? Only, we can't help but notice that you seem to have, ehm, two heart beats, so we weren't exactly sure how to help you."
"Yes, well, thank you very much. You humans are always so helpful. I'd've come around eventually, but you drastically reduced my recovery time."
"So, what are you then?" Dom asked. "Where do you come from?"
A shadow fell over the Doctor's face. "Gallifrey. Fairly sure you'd not know of it."
"No," Billy replied, "but then I don't know much about space or aliens other than what's presented in films and telly. Which, if I'm honest, I never believed in until a few minutes ago, so..." He rubbed the back of his neck.
Dom knew how he felt. There was so much he wanted to ask the Doctor: how and why he was here, what was it like in space, how had he--and come to that, the lizards--gotten into the atmosphere without anyone knowing about it, but the man--alien--was pushing himself to a sitting position.
"Well, you two were obviously on your way somewhere, and I don't mean to keep you from it. If you could help me, I'm just a bit up there," the Doctor said, pointing up the slope.
Dom looked at Billy as they helped the Doctor get to his feet. He just couldn't believe they were interacting with a real, live alien and that they were about to see his--its?--ship. Billy nodded, signalling that they would see this through to whatever end might come.
Between the two of them, they got the Doctor up the rocky hillside to what looked like a 1960s police call box.
"You're having us on," Dom said, snorting. "What is this, "Bill and Dom's Excellent Adventure"? Are you our Rufus?"
"Bit on the small side, isn't it?" Billy asked, giggling nervously at Dom's words.
The Doctor fumbled in his inner jacket pocket until he pulled out a key. "There's nothing small about her," he replied, unlocking the door and pushing it open.
They stumbled through the door and into a console room.
"What?" Dom cried, looking around wildly. "Billy--"
"Well then," Billy said, taking in the surroundings.
Dom let go of the Doctor and went to look outside again. Still a call box. "This is the most amazing thing I've ever seen!"
"Really?" The Doctor sounded pitying.
Billy snorted. "If we weren't rushed for time--"
"Ah, but I did say I was a Doctor of time, did I not? Time is one thing we've got plenty of."
"So you're a time traveller."
"I am. You are, in point of fact, in a time machine."
"You're having us on!"
"Indeed; that's why all three of us are standing comfortably inside a police call box, correct? Shall I demonstrate, then?"
Dom looked over at Billy. The Doctor was quite mad, but he was right about the physics of the call box, so who knew what they could see if they went with him.
"You can get us back here?" Billy asked, "To this exact time so we're not driving the mountain at night?"
"Of course," the Doctor scoffed. He then seemed to remember his dishevelled state. "Let me get cleaned up, and then we'll take a little trip. Sit tight, and don't touch anything." He dashed up a ramp and disappeared into a hallway that seemed to open out of the wall.
"Billy, what the fuck
?" Dom demanded, staring after the Doctor. "Have we driven off the side of the mountain and are currently in limbo?"
"If it were just me," Billy replied, walking around the console and eyeing all the levers and buttons and other various doohickeys that comprised it, "I'd assume I'd gone mental. But you're here as well, so, yeah. I've got no fucking clue, mate."
"All right, lads," the Doctor said loudly as he bounded back into the console room. He'd changed into a brown pinstripe suit, and there were no signs of the cuts and bruises he'd had just minutes ago. He stopped in front of them and rubbed his hands together. "Where, and more importantly when
, would you like to go?"
"Ancient Rome!" Dom shouted at the same time as Billy said, "Ancient Egypt."
They looked at each other and grinned as the Doctor clapped his hands. "How about Alexandria during Cleopatra's reign? You'll have both Romans and Egyptians."
The Doctor ran around the console flipping switches, pushing buttons and pulling levers. "Hold on, she gets a bit rough sometimes!" he called out.
They barely had time to grab the railing behind them before the ship began to buck and twist rather violently.
"A bit, you say?" Dom shouted as the Doctor laughed joyfully.
They landed with a teeth-ratting jolt.
"That's the price you pay for this
," he said, turning on the outside monitor.
The wide avenue was bustling with people of all colours in all sorts of clothing.
"Can we?" Dom asked, wistful.
"Could hardly say you've been if all you did was look out a window, eh?" The Doctor answered, bouncing up on his toes.
Billy snorted. "Not as if we'll be telling many souls about this little trip, eh?"
"Can you even imagine?" Dom said, chuckling. "Everyone would think we'd had a go at Vig's secret stash."
"I'm beginning to wonder if that's exactly
what's happening here."
"I can assure you that Vig's stash is intact," the Doctor said, smirking. "You are in Alexandria, Egypt and the date is the 22nd of June, 39 BC. Ready to mingle?"
"How do we possibly mingle in 39 fucking BC, Doctor?" Dom demanded. "I'm sure we're not dressed according to the local custom, and my ancient Egyptian is a tad rusty."
"You're fine," he replied with a dismissive wave as he reached the door and opened it. "Besides, the Ptolemies refused to speak Egyptian. Well. Not all
of them, Cleopatra did learn it eventually, but still. Why else would there be Greek on the Rosetta Stone? Allon-sy, my friends."
They stared at each other, disbelieving, during the Doctor's speech, but reluctantly followed him out of the ship, casting wary glances around themselves as the Doctor locked the door.
No one paid them much mind as they walked down the avenue. There were a few nods and greetings exchanged, but for all intents and purposes, they seemed to blend in fine. It wasn't until they were bargaining for baklava in the market a few minutes later that a simple truth came to light.
"These people are speaking English," Billy said to no one in particular.
"They're not, really," the Doctor replied. "They're speaking Greek and Egyptian. You're hearing it in English because you've been in the TARDIS and she automatically translates for us."
"That's handy," Dom said, nodding. He'd just seen a display of beaten copper bracelets and was heading for it, planning on taking a souvenir back with him--something he could pass off as fake if asked--when there was a commotion at the far end of the market. He and Billy turned and saw several men in uniform bearing down upon them.
"You there! Doctor!" the lead soldier shouted. "You're commanded to appear before the Queen!"
?" the Doctor cried, his brows drawn in fierce confusion. "But I've never even--"
"Doctor?" Billy said, his eyes wide.
"I think it's time to leave now," the Doctor said quickly.
"Run!" the Doctor said with manic glee as he whirled and began to run back toward the TARDIS.
They sprinted after him. They'd not gone far from the ship and by the time they caught up to the Doctor, he was unlocking the door and gesturing for them to get in. He slammed the door shut on the tip of a spear and, laughing, ran up to the console, pushing a lever and leaning heavily on it.
"That was a bit quicker visit than I'd intended, sorry about that."
"That soldier knew you," Billy said, eyebrow raised. "Been there before, had you?"
"Must have. Well. At some future point, anyway. I've not yet had the pleasure of meeting Cleopatra."
"Apparently the pleasure will be all yours," Dom said, snorting.
"Oi," the Doctor said, glaring at Dom. "Just you remember who it is who's given you the trip of a lifetime."
"A man who takes way too much joy in shouting "run"?" Billy said, straight-faced.
The Doctor turned his glare on Billy, who shrugged. "I'm Billy, by the way. Billy Boyd."
"And I'm Dom Monaghan."
The glare instantly morphed into a grin. "Welcome aboard, Billy and Dom."
Dom grinned back. "So, where can we go next? Is there somewhere in the universe you're not wanted by some monarch or another?"
The Doctor looked abashed, and Billy laughed, his eyes twinkling as they met Dom's. Dom's face was flushed from the exertion of the race back to safety, and his eyes were sparkling with excitement, and Billy...well, Billy's breath caught as a spike of heat coursed through him. He'd known that he was attracted to Dom, known that he wanted to see just how flexible--and loud--Dom could get in bed, but he hadn't expected the sharpness of it, the need to cross the console room and press Dom against the wall and take
. Especially when he didn't know Dom's proclivities. He tore his gaze from Dom's and turned back to the Doctor.
The Doctor had been fiddling with the console, but now he looked from one to the other. "Travelling with me is dangerous."
"Mate, jumping off a cliff with naught but a rubber band to keep you from crashing to your death is also dangerous," Dom said, smirking. "I'm in."
They turned to Billy, who was clearly considering. "You can get us back to our car at the correct date and time?"
"Whether you want to go back now or ten years on, Billy. No one will even know you were gone."
Billy smiled, clapping his hands. "Onward, then, to the next adventure."
The Doctor laughed loudly and danced around the console, flipping switches and turning knobs on his way. "And where shall that be, lads?"
Billy looked at Dom and they had an entire conversation with eyebrows and lip twitches. The Doctor was grinning widely when they looked at him.
"Surprise us," they said in unison, smiling as he rubbed his hands together and reached for the dial.
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