William flung the doors open and pounded up the old staircase up to the next floor. He was closely followed by Caroline, her face pale and her eyes red and sore. He skidded on the landing, sent a rug flying across the polished wooden floor and then hurled himself through the door of his parents bedroom.
Lying on the bed was Arthur Fieldgate, pale and gaunt looking. He had the flu. He had contracted it only two weeks ago and Arthur and Agatha had kept things quiet, hoping that he’d pull through. The doctor had been to see him a number of times, but this time things had taken a turn for the worst. Word had come through to the Riverside orphanage and William and Caroline had made their way to the old Bargate house as quickly as possible.
But fate was not on their side today…
Time passed. Arthur Fieldgate passed away…
The funeral was a typically sombre affair. Everyone wore black and Mrs Fieldgate wore a veil. Caroline had no idea what she was doing under it. No idea if she was crying or simply keeping a stiff upper lip. In the week since Mr Fieldgate had died, she had busied herself, helping out Hazel with the housework and making sure she was not caught off her guard. Making sure that she didn’t allow herself to start thinking about the hole that Arthur’s passing had left in her life.
William had been distraught, as any son would be, and Caroline had even offered to call off the wedding, but it was William’s devotion to Caroline that had kept him going. His determination to marry the woman that he loved. And Caroline had been the strength he needed to get himself through this heartache.
The funeral took place at St James’s church. Caroline stood there in the small church yard, looking up at the church, remembering her experience in the future when she faced down the Apparites with Danny and the Doctor. It seemed such a long time ago now. She could almost see the glowing crack of light before her. She sighed and looked back to the funeral procession. It was starting to disband and people were due to head back to Bargate for the wake.
And then Caroline noticed something out of the corner of her eye.
A blonde woman with long, curly blonde hair was just disappearing around the corner of the great church. She looked familiar. Something about her was very, very familiar.
She turned to William, who was still trying to hold back his own tears.
“Stay here, I’ll be back in a moment.”
“Where are you going?” asked William as Caroline skipped away from him, holding up the hem of her long, black dress and following the blonde woman around the corner of the church.
She just glimpsed the woman disappear around the corner and go into the main church door.
She followed her inside.
Once inside Caroline felt a strange sense of foreboding that she surely shouldn’t have been expecting from a place like the church. She wasn’t sure if it was a feeling from what she had experienced here before, or what was maybe still here.
The door leading down to the crypt was ajar and Caroline went through it, heading down the stone staircase towards the locked room which contained the trapdoor to the hidden tunnels.
She was about to open the door and go inside when a voice came from behind her.
“Who are you?”
She turned. It was the blonde woman.
“It’s you,” said Caroline, almost in a whisper-like voice.
“Do we know each other?”
Caroline suddenly realised that she shouldn’t be doing this. This woman was Margot. She had met her in this same church in 2011 when they fought the Apparites. But how could it be the same woman? This was over a hundred years before her time and in that time the woman hadn’t changed. Hadn’t aged.
“I asked you a question. Do we know each other?” asked the woman again.
Caroline shivered, and then realised that her veil was still over her face. The woman wouldn’t recognise her when she would see her again in a centuries time.
“No. I was mistaken. I thought you were from the Fieldgate’s funeral.”
“No,” said Margot quietly. “Who are you?”
“I’m Caroline Pa-Fieldgate. Caroline Fieldgate.”
Margot nodded and swept passed Caroline. “I suggest you go back to your funeral. I’m here helping the reverend of this church to clear space in the crypt. For storage.”
“Okay,” said Caroline. “You look a little too spruced up to be helping clear a crypt.”
Margot stared at Caroline, her nostrils flaring. “What I do is my own business. Don’t come here again or I shall inform the police,” said Margot, in the most stuck up voice Caroline had ever heard. She then turned, opened the door and went inside.
Caroline was about to turn and go back when she stopped herself. Inside that door could be the answers she needed. She gingerly walked forward and pushed the door open…
And there was nothing there. No Margot. Nobody and nothing. The room was completely empty.
Frowning, she felt a chill up her spine, turned and ran back the way she’d come, pounding up the stairs and back into the main area of the church. She collided with William and buried her head in his chest.
“What’s wrong?” he asked, looking down at her.
“Nothing. Nothing. I just…I thought I saw a ghost. I thought it was someone from my own time.”
“Come on,” said William. “Father wouldn’t have wanted you hanging around this place.”
“No, you’re right,” said Caroline, looking back at the doorway. “It can’t be real. It’s just…impossible.”
Danny had moved into Lisa’s flat. He had said his goodbyes to the Doctor, and had vowed to not let him anywhere near Lisa. The Doctor had pleaded with Danny for him to stay, but Danny had said that they were beyond reconciliation. Danny knew the way forward. He knew what he had to do and that doing the right thing was in not erasing an entire family from existence.
But Danny knew that it wouldn’t solve his problems.
“What would happen if you went back in time and changed things back to how they were?” Danny had asked the Doctor. “What would happen if you did that and I was still in this version of 1988? If I never came back with you?”
“Well, ideally, I’d take you with me.”
“Okay,” said Danny, nodding, “but what if I didn’t come? Would time change around me? Or would it simply change and destroy me?”
“I…don’t know,” said the Doctor, looking a little lost.
“Well I’m staying here.”
“You can’t,” said the Doctor. “I won’t let you die as well.”
“You’ll have to. The only way you’re going to change history is by killing me.”
The Doctor sighed and then turned angrily on him. “Why do you have such devotion to this woman? You’ve hardly had time to get to know her.”
“I’ve had ten months, Doctor! Ten months! Maybe that’s a drop in the ocean for your people, but for us Humans, a lot can happen in ten months.”
The Doctor pinched the bridge of his nose and rubbed his head. “You are just making this harder and harder, Danny.”
“You say you’re not just concerned about the kids that died. You’re also concerned about Lisa having these powers. Well, why don’t we pop back, save the kids and then take Lisa with us into the TARDIS and try and find out about her powers.”
“A straight swap for Caroline?” asked the Doctor with bewildered smile.
“No!” said Danny. “Not a straight swap for her.”
“And then what happens when we have another accident and we lose Lisa as well? The whole process starts all over again. No. She is an aberration in time. We put back what once went wrong.”
“Don’t give me that Sam Beckett crap!” snapped Danny.
“Who?” asked the Doctor.
“You’re not going!”
“I’m going with or without you. If you stay here, you’ll have to suffer the consequences.”
Danny laughed. “Is that right? Well if you even attempt to go, I’ll stop you. Even if it means killing you myself.”
Danny’s eyes had turned black. The Doctor looked extremely concerned as he looked down at his companion.
“That’s not you talking, Danny,” said the Doctor. “That’s the Apparite inside of you.”
“It’s trying to escape,” said Danny, a harsh sound to his voice. “But my body keeps holding it back. It’s trapped, itching to break free!”
“Danny, stop!” shouted the Doctor, grabbing the young man by his shoulders.
Danny let out a low, guttural howl and then collapsed into the Doctor’s arms.
“Get off me,” sobbed Danny. “Get off me!”
And he turned and ran.
And that was the last he saw of the Doctor. Now he was sat on the sofa, with Lisa asleep next to him, watching a very old, very 1980’s style episode of EastEnders. And Danny wasn’t comfortable. He was sure the Doctor wouldn’t go back and continue on this plan if Danny stayed in 1988, but at the same time, he couldn’t let him risk it.
And that’s when he made his decision.
That night Danny returned to the White Hart. He made sure he was quiet, so as not to wake Lisa, and made his way through the sleeping town towards the old, white building.
He used his key to unlock the front door and crept along the old wooden floorboards towards the wooden staircase that led to the first floor.
The floor creaked under his weight and he stopped himself, checking that he hadn’t woken Harry or any other possible sleeping guests.
And then he continued. He passed the Doctor’s room and went to a locked wardrobe. This was where Harry had been letting the Doctor keep his equipment while he was staying here.
He picked the lock and then opened the wooden front. Inside was a collection of strange and odd equipment. Danny looked at them for a long, long time.
And then he grabbed the shelves and pulled the wardrobe forward.
The whole thing tipped and items and equipment fell from the shelves, hitting the floor below with a clatter. He then started stamping and smashing and crushing anything he could under his feet.
The light in the Doctor’s room and also in Harry’s room switched on and both men appeared at their doorways in a shot.
“Danny, what have you done?” said the Doctor, an anguished look on his face.
“Just trying to save Lisa,” said Danny, turning and running for the steps and out of the pub, back into the night.
The Doctor knelt down amongst all of his destroyed equipment.
“Can you save any of it?” asked Harry, still attempting to tie up his dressing gown.
“Maybe,” said the Doctor, frustrated, “but this has got to end. And soon.”