Wow over a month.
I am sorry folks and hope someone is still reading.
Work just became all encompassing but things are finally slowing down so I will get back to writing.
This is another in the Doctor Who Crossover series I have been doing. I am putting it behind a cut due to length.
I hope you enjoy it
Charles found himself back in Oxford 15 years after he graduated for a conference on genetics that he has been asked to be a key-note speaker. It was strange coming back to his old haunts under such different circumstances. Alex and Sean had accompanied him on this trip and he was both glad and embarrassed that he needed their help for the simplest things. He had gotten use to the manor where they had set it up for him so he didn’t even thinking about being in the chair anymore. It just sort of was, but here in Oxford things were very different.
He went to the old pub Eagle on the Pond where he had spend many a happy evening with his fellow students drinking, eating pickled eggs, and picking up girls. It was also one of the few he knew he could get into even in the wheelchair in Oxford. The barkeep hadn’t changed much since he last saw him. Charles found the usual strange look as the man sorted out that he knew Charles and then that look of wonderment as to what happened quickly followed by pity. Charles told the story that had become second nature to him. Wrong place, wrong time and a stray bullet. He let the other person fill in the where in their own heads. Most thought a dark and dank New York rather than a sunny, sandy beach in Cuba and he didn’t correct him.
He found himself seated at the table he spent entirely too many hours sitting at. He could still see the X he had carved into the side of the table oh so many lifetimes ago. He picked up the pint and looked around the room. He people watched for a bit and then did a little light dipping in the minds around him. He had missed this sort of hustle and bustle. Academics ivory towers were very special places full of people worried about their next grade or lecture. Arguing things that in the big picture don’t mean that much but seem all encompassing at the time. Charles smiled, he had forgotten what it was like not to have the weight of the future of the world on your shoulders.
A voice interrupted his contemplation of his former simpler life, “Professor Xavier?”
He looked into the eyes of a rather lovely young woman who seemed timeless at the same time, “Yes Miss…?”
She held out her hand, “Sarah Jane Smith.”
He took her hand and a bunch of really strange images flooded into his mind. He tried to process what he was seeing but his brain was having trouble. But the image of a police box with a very strange man who kept changing his appearance seemed to be a fix point for her.
“Professor? Professor, can I have my hand back?” he heard her say “Are you alright?”
He let go of her hand and said “Sorry. Would you like a seat?”
She sat down and the barmaid came back to his table, “A pint for me and a glass of red wine for my friend here.”
“Thank you very much Professor Xavier.”
“Call me Charles,” he said with a disarming grin.
“He was right, you are a charmer” said Sarah Jane with a soft sad smile.
“Oh, yes. Basically I am a reporter and my friend the Doctor informed me that you would be here. I went to your lecture this morning on genetics and mutation in the human species. I want to interview you for an article I am doing to try to bring the subject down to a layman’s level.”
Charles heard the word ‘the Doctor’ and his mind threw back to his time at Oxford and the man in the bow tie who wasn’t a man in a bow tie. A cascade of images floated quickly through his brain that didn’t make any sense but maybe this woman could help him.
“Sorry lost in thought there for a minute. May I ask you a couple of questions?”
“Who is the Doctor?” He concentrated and found Ms. Smith thinking the word my friend and a Timelord rapidly by ‘got to be careful. He’s a telepath.’
Charles blurted out “How did you know?”
“That I am a..” he projected the word “telepath” into her mind.
She looked shaken and then steeled her face, “The Doctor told me.”
“Your mind is surprisingly slippery” admitted the Professor.
“I have had training dealing with telepaths over the years.” Again strange images of creatures of nightmare fodder and people wearing clothing that hadn’t been seen in years floating into Charles’ mind.
“Do you mind? It seems rather impolite to poke around where you aren’t invited.”
“Really? It seems rather impolite to sit down and share a drink under false pretences.”
“Touché” said Ms. Smith with a slight smile.
“Cards on the table. Why are you really here?”
She looked at him, “Can I be totally honest with you?”
“Without you poking around in my head? I am rather tired of people playing around in my brain.”
He smiled and nodded again, “However I am not responsible for any stray thought you project my dear.”
She smiled and said “Fair enough. I am a reporter and I do want to talk to you about mutation however I was told that I should meet you here this day at this time by the Doctor. He was rather insistent about it. He even marking it in my day planner which is highly unusual for him.” She pulled out her day planner from her bag and showed Charles her page for today. In a rather nice script that didn’t match the other handwriting around it were the words Go meet Professor Xavier at the Eagle on the Pond in Oxford .
“Did he tell you why?”
“He rarely explains these sorts of things but expects you to do as he requests without question.”
Charles thought back on his recent behavior and reflected on the fact that he had been doing the exact same thing.
“But he usually doesn’t do without a really good reason.”
“I can relate to that.”
“I am sure that you can from what I know about you.”
“And what would that be?”
“I know how you really ended up in that chair.”
“I was there.”
Chills ran up what was left Charles’ spine because he knew that she was telling the truth.
He repeated “How?”
“Short answer is the Doctor. Didn’t you ever wonder how you got from the beach to a hospital?”
He thought about it. The last thing he remembered on the beach was telling Moria and the boys that he couldn’t feel his legs and another wave of pain caused him to pass out. The next was waking up in a Miami hospital three days later.
Moria had been vague about how they had gotten him there and the feds off their tail. When he pressed he found her memory jumbled and fragmented but most of it her drive to get him help. The boys weren’t much better in telling him what when on. By the time that he could get his powers back under control, it was like someone went in and took away some of their memories of that day on the beach.
“We were on the beach that day by the usual random means that seem to dump us into the middle of things,” she began. “But this time it was different. The Doctor kept telling us that this was a fixed point in history and we couldn’t interfere with what was about to happen.”
Charles shuttered a bit with his mind going back to that day.
“Do you want me to go on?” she asked.
“Please” he said motioning to the barmaid, “Would you join me for dinner?”
“Thanks” she said. They ordered dinner and another round of drinks and settling in.
“We watched the submarine and the plane hit the beach. We were blocked by the plane but we saw the missiles heading for the beach and then turn around back towards the ships. Then we heard gunshots and watched the bombs drop out of the sky just short of both fleets. The Doctor waited a bit and we went down to the beach to find you and the others clustered around you. They were very projective of you but the Doctor managed to convince Agent MacTaggert that he was the only way off the island considering that your government had just tried to kill you. Harry had been a field surgeon so he and Hank did what they could to stabilized you before we could move you. The Doctor said it was the only way to prevent more damage to your spine.”
“Doctor Harry Sullivan, he was traveling with us at that time. He left shortly after that. Said that traveling with the Doctor was too much for his nerves. So we managed to get you and your companions to Miami without too much trouble. Harry filled in the surgeon as to what had been done for you and we left. The Doctor did something that made everyone forget what had just happened. He mumbled something about playing fast and loose with time and space.”
“Which is why everyone couldn’t really tell me how we got to Miami” said Charles. “Why tell me now?”
She put her hand on her day planner, “Because the man I trust the most in the universe told me to come here and meet with you.”
“That’s not much of an answer” said Charles with a charming smile.
“But there it is Professor,” she replied with an equally charming smile, “He wanted you to know what happened then but not until now. That’s one of the problems with being able to travel through time and space. Sometimes you have to wait until you are in the right time and the right space before you can talk about something.”
Charles could relate to that.
He saw Alex and Sean walk into the pub. He raised a hand so they could see where he was. “Ah, here are my students.”
“And that would be my cue to leave. Professor Xavier, it has been a honor to meet you…again I guess although you were not as brilliant a conversationalist as the first time I met you.”
“I was unconscious” said Charles.
“Well that explains why this went so much better.” She held her hand out to shake
Charles laughed and kissed the hand offered to him “Thank you Sarah Jane Smith. Thank you for ever thing.”
She walked out of the pub and into the night. The boys looked at her leaving with a slightly puzzled expression on both of their faces.
“Anything wrong?” asked Charles.
Alex shook his head “Sort of a odd déjà vu moment. You ready to get out of here Professor?”
“Care to join me for a pint?” asked Charles. Both men sat down and the three had a pleasant evening in the pub without a care in the world.
Sarah Jane walked out of the pub and down the street to her car. She saw the blue box out of the corner of her eye. She turned to look at the tall gentleman in a battered felt hat and a very long scarf wrapped around his neck.
“Did you do as I asked Sarah Jane?” he rumbled.
“Yes Doctor, I did. But I still don’t know why you wanted me to.”
He chuckled a dry laugh “It will become apparent in time. Can I offer you a lift home?”
“No thank you. I think I’ll drive back.”
“See you Monday at UNIT?”
She nodded and turned to ask another question only to hear the door close and that strange sound that has become so comforting to her echo through the cool night air.
“Typical” she said as she started up her car and drove home.
- FIC: The Professor and the Reporter