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You could’ve told me?

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Lots of running, always lots of running, and it was a good day, everyone lived.
Team TARDIS should be sleeping, the TARDIS console lights are turned down to blue.

Quietly, “Thank you for letting me see this, you’re not gonna have indigestion and toss me out, for this?”

The Doctor is leaning over the console, as a holographic scene plays out, showing a much brighter lit interior.

Unable to sleep, Yaz makes her way to the kitchen for tea. Except tonight the kitchen is a lot closer to the console room than normal. Realizing she can hear the Doctor speaking, pauses to listen and wonder who she’s with because it doesn’t sound like the way she talks to the TARDIS.

‘….I’m sorry, to burden you so. Do you want Ryan and Graham to know? Do you want to remember?

And then Yaz hears her own voice say, ‘You say that like remembering is optional…’

Followed by a sullen Doctor slowly admitting, ‘It is.’

Stunned Yaz slowly enters the console room, behind the Doctor.

Now able to see the same projection as the Doctor, watches herself say, ‘You could wipe my memory! Of this entire conversation?’

A reluctant Doctor paces in the projection, before finally admitting that, ‘A human compatible neural block would make it easier, but yes, I could make you forget... it all, no memory of the future, space, or time travel, meeting The Dregs, Cybermen, or Rosa and Tesla...drop you.....’

Yaz knowing that she has no memory of this conversation shouts, “Doctor!”

The Doctor slams off the projection and spins around and whispers, “Yaz this is not what it looks like.”

“You!…..What is this?.. Because it looks like you erased my memory.”

“I didn’t... I didn’t... I promise you I did not.”

“Well you must’ve done something, because I don’t remember having that conversation.” As Yaz gestures to where the hologram had been.

“I know... but it’s not... I didn’t do it, in a way I did, but it was by not doing something.”

Coldly Yaz says, “Doctor. Take me home, now.”

“No no, let me explain.” the Doctor pleads, “The timeline changed that’s why you can’t remember.”

Not convinced she crosses her arms to wait for the explanation.

“The TARDIS. She is sentient. A 12th dimensional matrix. She exists all across space and time, all the will have been’s, might be’s, could have been’s, shouldn’t be’s and nevermore’s happening all at once.
I found a book….my Diary, but it didn’t match my memory of how Jack got me out of prison, others were involved... you were there.
So tonight I asked nicely and She agreed to play some of the could’ve been’s. Normally She wouldn’t, but I can see time, the possibilities that reformed...and maybe after over 24 consecutive years some of my wife’s habits finally wore off for me, she used to look us up sometimes and the TARDIS is very fond of River.”

The TARDIS makes a sad and mournful noise.

“I know, I miss her too.”

“So, you may still have erased my memory, but since it happened in timeline that doesn’t exist it, your saying it doesn’t count?, because it certainly sounded like that’s where that conversation was going. Wife? you’ve never mentioned that before, why haven’t we met her.”

“No, I know..That’s not what I’m saying, and I did tell you about my family, when we first met, you asked me at the funeral, I told you I carry them with me.”

“You said your family was gone from the world. Did you just mean that time period? You're a time traveler, you didn’t intent for us all to come with you that first time. Would’ve been a lot of explaining, but since then you’d shown us a lot of worlds all across time.”

“I have lived for millennia Yaz, far beyond what even l know. Before I left Gallifrey, I had a family, I had children, I had grandchildren, I was old by earth standards when I left in the TARDIS with my granddaughter and we traveled years before we found our way to Earth.”

The TARDIS hums wistfully.

“Doctor I’m sorry I didn’t... sometimes it’s easy to forget you’re not human, you look like you’re in your 30s.“

“And my granddaughter look like she was 16, even enrolled at Coal Hill School...I have known so much loss, It would make your hearts break, that’s why I carry my loved ones with me, what they thought, what they would say, what they would’ve done. Otherwise I....” Looking off to the left, “I see you, I always see you, and see, I’m not alone and look talking.”

Concerned “Doctor?”

Focusing in on Yaz again, “River’s….data ghost, doesn’t like it when I travel alone....and she thinks I’ve been reckless with you all…..keeping so much of me from you...missed the point of why I’m not supposed to travel alone...but when I regenerated, one of the things Scottish me said to me was, ‘Always try to be nice, but never fail to be kind. Laugh hard, run fast, be kind. I thought it would be kind to show you the good parts of the universe, to have fun..however I fear I left you more unprepared for the darker parts.”

“We've seen some pretty dark stuff Doctor, I don’t think you should feel you left us unprepared.”

“Perhaps I meant of my darker parts.

“Doctor You aren’t….” The Doctor shakes her head and Yaz starts again. “What did you mean you could see time, the possibilities reforming,if it’s a could’ve been in isn’t it in the past? I mean you said you could go back, before you’ve been gone nearly a year. If you had, things could have worked out differently, what if you came back a minute after we did and we just all got on traveling again we could have been off world and the Daleks wouldn’t have defeated.”

“I’ll always do what I have to stop the Daleks from destroying a world. You saw what I did to that TARDIS, they are sentient Yaz, and I took his life.”

“Oh! My..”

Interrupting, “I could go back, stop it before it got to that point, stop it before I did what I did, you’d have never known, but I would’ve remembered, then I’ve could picked you up a day later after you got back from Galifrey, it probably would’ve created a paradox, because then how would I have known to go back to stop what happened if I prevented what happened from happening. Time is tricky like that, with the way somethings can be rewritten....and others can’t. In a way that’s why you don’t remember the conversation from the projection...a difference in the timelines, because one day a version of me, but not this version of me, decided to go explain things to you sooner than I am right now. It was a seemingly small change, it didn’t break time, it just delayed that explanation.

Yaz curiously starting to accept the Doctors explanation, “So you don’t remember it either?”

“Not in the same sense I would if right now, I went into your past, to pick you up early. That holoimage I was watching before, it was a could’ve been, when a younger me jumped onto your timeline not long after you got back from Gallifrey and you lot explained things and asked questions that I couldn’t answer because it hadn’t happened for me yet. I brushed it off, pretended I knew what you were talking about, apologized for picking you all up so late, said we’d talk about in the morning, the boys went to sleep, but you came back with tea, wanting to talk. That’s what I… that version of me was explaining. When you came in.”

“And you.. that version of you.. was going to wipe my memory of it???”

“No..well.. I don’t think so, I think I was giving you a choice, and the diary entry implies you had the tools to find River and Jack and then find me and escape prison.

The TARDIS shutters irritably.

The Doctor spins around and starts soothing the TARDIS. “Shhhhh...No no no no no...don’t get indigestion, please.. don’t toss me out.”

“Doctor, how can the TARDIS get indigestion, what does she eat?”

Distractedly the Doctor explains, still walking around the console,“Eat? Well...I suppose in a way she eats an Eye of Harmony, an exploding star, in the act of becoming a black hole, suspended in a permanent state of decay… and the TARDIS would keep you safely away from that room.”

“That's….reassuring” Yaz says, sounding not all that reassured, “You tell us a little stories sometimes, they seem, like you’re trying mentioned Agatha Christie and a Bee at Kablam. Sometimes it seems like you’re just trying to distract us, but your stories are all real aren’t they?”

Still distracted,“Of Course they are…I wouldn’t li..” turning around to face Yaz, “There was more to that potential recording. Do you want proof that I didn’t erase your memory?”

“How do you know you didn’t, I thought because it was a ‘could’ve been’ you don’t really remember it properly either?”

“Well, we can find out together?”

“What about the indigestion?”

Resting a hand on one of the columns, “She’ll be OK. She just not fond of paradoxes, but this one can’t happen because I’ve already been to Gallifrey with you. If we watch, it’s just an alternate timeline now, not a paradox.

The projection starts playing picking up with the Doctor saying, ‘I could make you forget... it all, no memory of the future, space, or time travel, meeting The Dregs, Cybermen, or Rosa and Tesla...drop you back home, or just the little bit of this conversation where you realized my timeline doesn’t match yours and I haven’t been to Gallifrey with you, yet…’

A worried Yaz asks, ’Have you….before?’

The Doctor, if possible looks even more uncomfortable than earlier, walks around the console, flipping switches...nothing happens. The Doctor glares at the TARDIS ceiling, and finally reluctantly admits, ‘Not to my Fam.’

‘That’s not a no, just that you haven’t done it to us, yet.’

Defensively the Doctor explains, ‘I don’t make a habit of it Yaz.’ *sighs* ‘Usually only if it’s needed to protect the future, or a life. Well, what do you say?’

‘I say, none of your criteria is met and I want to remember, but I don’t think Graham and Ryan need to be told, at least not like ya just did. However, if they figure out you aren’t the you we last saw, they get to decide for themselves. Okay?’

‘Okay, yes. But Yaz that means you need to be okay with Rule 1. Can you do it?
Yaz, you don’t know me, and it’s my own fault, I haven’t told you things.
I’ve lived for over 2000 years, and not all of them good. I've made many mistakes, in part it’s why I have so many rules, and also why I don’t travel alone.
I’ve been negligent with you all. I thought if you didn’t know my past, that you couldn’t get hurt by the things you didn’t know.’

‘That seems a bit naive, given your age. Also it doesn’t seem like you have that many rules, you’ve got several rule ones and a rule two.’

‘Yea, well, I thought it would be nice to show you all the Universe, without complications...Laugh hard, run fast, be kind.’

‘Doctor, we are your friends, your Fam. You can tell us stuff. We want to help, if we can. Or if you need, just to listen.’

‘Yaz, my last run in with the Master, was just before we met, it didn’t end well.
It Involved two versions of themselves and Mondasian Cybermen on a spaceship trying to escape a black hole. I lost my friends…’

Come along…..The tea won’t make itself. Well that's not true, it might if we ask nicely.’

Yaz stands and stretches and slowly follows along. The Doctor glances back with a smile and addresses the TARDIS. ‘What do you say, Old Girl, tea and biscuits in the rainforest?’

The TARDIS shifts corridors and a green door appears around the next corner.
‘Get a shift on Yaz, tea is getting cold.’

And the projection fades off, “We’d have to go to the rainforest of you want to watch the rest.”

“Or you could just tell me what this YOU would say....?”