Unfinished Business, Doctor Who, Dr. Who, Chris Eccleston, Christopher Eccleston, Doctor who Fiction

Davie steadied his two hearts. They were both beating a little too fast. And there was no need, after all. He had faced all kinds of enemies, all manner of danger, and though he wasn’t so stupid as to claim he was never scared, he at least knew how to rise above fear.

And today all he was doing was getting married.

“It’s not so difficult,” Chris told him telepathically as he stood by his side in front of the Great Seal of Rassilon. “I did it, after all.”

“Nobody told you until after the ceremony,” Davie answered him. “You didn’t have time to be nervous.”

“You could still change your mind,” Spenser, his other Best Man, reminded him. “It’s not too late.”

“Yes, it is,” Davie insisted. “I’m ready. I’ve loved Brenda since the first day I met her. I want to marry her. Besides, you shouldn’t be tempting me like that. You’re spoken for, as well.”

He felt Spenser’s telepathic laugh and though all three of them were looking away from their gathered friends and relations, they could picture Stuart Harrison in a neatly pressed suit and tie, sitting beside an empty place in the front row where Spenser would be once the ceremony began.

“I’m the only single man around here. It’s time I got on with the job, don’t you think?”

“More than time,” whispered his grandfather who stood beside his great-grandfather in their finest regalia, ready to conduct the ceremony. Davie was the eldest son of the descendent of one of the Twelve Ancient Oldblood families of Gallifrey. By tradition he was entitled to have his Alliance conducted by the Lord High President of Gallifrey in the presence of the Chancellor and High Council.

It didn’t matter that Gallifrey no longer existed. His Alliance was proof that all those Gallifreyan traditions mattered as much now as they ever did. Though he was born two hundred and fifty million light years away from the Shining System, he was proud of that fact.

The guests were all assembled now. They were just waiting for the bride and her entourage to make their way from the house where they had been getting ready since before dawn. The wedding bower was under an environmental shield that protected them from the elements should the fine spring morning in Northern Tibora become less fine as the day wore on. The pale blue sky was above his head. The crystal lake dominated the view on one side and the great Mountain of The Gods on the other. The volcano had been quiet for several years now, and everyone was glad of that. Davie looked at it and remembered the trouble it caused him. But he also remembered that it was the volcano and the events leading up to its eruption, that brought him and Brenda together. Having their Alliance here, in its now benign shadow, was entirely appropriate, and well worth the effort of transporting his entire family and many of their friends across the galaxy.

A low murmur susurrated around the marquee. Davie Campbell de Lœngbærrow, Time Lord, warrior, war veteran, universal defender of justice and right, suddenly felt weak in the knees. He was grateful for the two strong hands that both touched his shoulders. Chris had always been the other half of his soul. Spenser had touched that soul in ways he never imagined possible. Now both were ready to step back, literally and figuratively, and hand on the key to his hearts and the rope attached to his soul to his bride.

The bride had not yet made her appearance, but the moment was almost upon them. First the congregation was treated to the sight of his two youngest great aunts, Julia and Sarah Jane, just short of two years old, carrying flower baskets from which pink and yellow rose petals were strewn. Behind them, Garrick, Peter, and Jack, the youngest males in his extended family carried silk cushions. The older boys actually had responsibility for the two gold rings that were crucial to the ceremony. Little Jack’s cushion had a silver horseshoe on it. It was a symbol of good luck for their future that would not be jeopardised if he dropped it.

After that came the chief bridesmaids. Davie smiled at his sister, Sukie, and his great aunt, Vicki. Both looked stunning in their first official pairs of high heeled shoes and silk stockings under dresses of shimmering satin that set off their dark hair. Davie just had time to glance at his mother and notice her proud smile as her youngest child walked down the aisle to play her part in the wedding of her eldest.

Behind them, Carya, his brother’s wife, walked happily. This was a very different sort of wedding ceremony than they conducted on her world, but Brenda had become her dearest friend since she came to live on Earth and she was glad to play her part.

Then the moment they had all waited for, the groom more avidly than anyone else. The chosen music swelled. Davie smiled wryly as he recalled Brenda’s insistence that she would not have her processional entrance accompanied by anything by Queen. His father had wanted Highland Cathedral and for a long time Davie had considered that nod to his Scottish Heritage. Then he and Brenda happened to spend an afternoon in Southern Germany in the 1690s and came upon a performance of Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D. The tune, played by a string quartet, had captured both of their imaginations. Brenda thought of it played on a solo violin. Davie imagined rhythm and bass electric guitars. Careful inquiries around the Tiboran capital city found a young female violinist and an incredibly talented youth who played both kinds of electric guitar at the same time. The two of them were proud to accept the engagement, and the sound that filled the air as Brenda began her long walk to his side was magnificent.

And she was magnificent, too. The dress was an almost incandescent silvery-white satin with capped sleeves of Italian point lace and more of the lace covering the bodice which was sculpted around her slim figure. The neckline was surprisingly low considering she was such a conservatively brought up Tiboran woman. Davie thought that expanse of peaches and cream flesh set off with a diamond and sapphire necklace and the bare arms, again adorned with diamonds and sapphires in traditional Tiboran marriage bracelets, was utterly alluring. The bodice was tight around her trim waist, then the skirt fell in a widening bell shape to a scalloped hem. Her feet in satin pumps with a silver heel peeped out under the hem as she walked. The lace of the bodice sparkled with the traditional diamonds that covered it, and the skirt glittered with them, too. So did the edge of the long satin train. The sheer silk veil that covered her face and fell behind over her long dark hair also shone with diamonds sewn into it, while larger stones were set into the tiara that held the veil in place.

Davie felt that she was smiling beneath the veil. He certainly was as she drew closer on her father’s arm. He felt as if he was in a time fold and she was walking in slow motion. She was coming closer every moment but still too far away for him to touch. He longed to lift the veil and look at her face.

At last she reached his side. Sukie stepped neatly up and took the bouquet of silver roses from her and her father pressed her beautifully manicured hand into Davie’s slightly trembling one before stepping back. Davie looked at her through the sheer silk of the veil. She WAS smiling brightly. He let go of her hand long enough to lift the veil and look at her properly as the music came to a close.

“I love you,” he whispered. Her smile widened as they both turned towards the Great Seal of Rassilon before which they would be bound in Alliance of Unity according to the tradition and statutes of Gallifrey.

Or they would be in a little less than twelve hours time. First there was a whole magnificent ceremony to go through, solemn vows and sacred promises to make, and in between music and poetry chosen by the bride and groom.

“Don’t tell Brenda,” Davie said telepathically to his two Best Men as he and Brenda sat on silk-covered chairs, hands entwined lovingly, while Christopher began one of the long recitations from the book of Rassilon. “Don’t tell her until after the ceremony. In fact… not even then. Wait until after the honeymoon. No… until after our first anniversary… or the tenth. Or… how about Brenda NEVER knows how close we came to not making it?”

“Never would be my choice,” Chris agreed.

“Me, too,” Spenser added.

It had been Davie’s idea to go to Malvoria for a few days before the Alliance, to practice the meditation that was supposed to purify his body and soul. It was his idea to do it in a cave high up on the holy mountain above the monastery where the monks practised Sun Ko Du and lived their lives of peace and harmony.

Chris went with him, of course. And Spenser, who kissed Stuart goodbye and promised to see him on Tibora for the Alliance. Christopher was including him in the group travelling in the Gothic TARDIS while The Doctor took his immediate family in the police box.

All three young men were without the love of their lives, therefore, when they arrived on Malvoria. They were not missing them too much, though. Their spirits were high and each other’s company was enough. They left the TARDIS part way up the mountain and climbed the narrow, winding paths with perilous drops on one side and sheer cliffs on the other. They talked out loud cheerfully, and without being significantly out of breath, since all three of them had two hearts and a respiratory system that adapted to their environment.

“When we have more time to spare, we ought to spend a few days at the monastery,” Davie said as they looked down on the tiled roof and the inner courtyard where they could see some of the monks at their own meditations.

“You’re getting married in two days. You won’t HAVE time to spare,” Chris replied.

“Yes, I will,” Davie responded. “I still have my TARDIS. I can take an afternoon away from Brenda’s idea of domestic bliss and spend a weekend on the race circuit in the twenty-first century or a fortnight in contemplation in Malvoria. My wife doesn’t have to know.”

“Davie, you REALLY need this purification rite,” his brother teased him. “You’re not married yet and you’re thinking of ways to deceive your future wife.”

“Not deceive,” Davie protested. “Not at all. I still want to race my cars and I still want to do Time Lord things, like coming here. If I can do them in an afternoon, then she doesn’t have to miss me.”

“A quick adventure and home for tea,” Chris said. “Granddad used to say that.”

“Before we start the purification…” Spenser said hesitantly, breaking into the brotherly reminiscences a little. “I want to say something.”

Davie and Chris both halted and turned to him.

“Stuart and I got married last week,” he said.

“What?” The two brothers registered the same measure of surprise. Davie took a step towards him and then stopped. He reached out his hand then changed his mind.

“Married? Really?”

“We’ve been dating for nearly six months, now, and we’re stuck on each other. And… when I say dating… I mean… He’s had to get up early a couple of mornings to get back to the pub in time for the brewery delivery… and I’ve got to know what time the milkman comes round the village… So… well, we’re beyond dating, really. And we thought we really ought to make it official… So we went up to Alnwick and had a civil ceremony and celebrated afterwards with dinner and a movie… and…”

He stopped talking but Davie didn’t fill the silence with any words so he had to keep talking again.

“I thought a lot about your Alliance… the whole Gallifreyan thing. I told Stuart all about it and he was fascinated by the idea. But we knew it wasn’t really for us. I mean… he really doesn’t want to have to recite that long list of wifely duties... and neither do I.”

“That’s a pity,” Davie told him. “Not about the wifely duties. But the Alliance. You’re descended from an old Time Lord family just as I am. There ought to be a way.”

Spenser shook his head.

“Apart from anything else I think my ancestors might all jump out of their graves if they found out I was marrying another man by the ancient rite of Alliance. So we just did it quietly, simply, just the two of us and the best man and chief bridesmaid from the party who were after us as witnesses.”

“Why didn’t you ask us? Chris and I would have loved to have been there, just as you’re going to be there for me.”

“I… didn’t think you would… I thought… you might have felt…”

“Felt what? If I’d known… I’d have got Brenda’s seamstress to make a bridesmaid’s dress in my size! I would have loved to see you and Stuart get married. You… silly man.”

Davie hugged him and kissed his cheek tenderly.

“Congratulations, to both of you,” he said. “I’m pleased. I really am. And when you get back tell Stuart I said so.”

Davie pulled his thoughts back to the present as he stood to receive the vow of loyalty to his House from his bride’s mother. As he watched her step forward he saw Spenser and Stuart sitting together. Their hands were entwined tightly. Six months wasn’t as long as he and Brenda had known each other, but it was time enough for them to know they wanted to be together.

After all, he knew within a day of knowing Brenda that he wanted to spend his life with her.

Mrs Freeman knelt before him and began her three hour pledge. He kept his mind on what was happening right there and then, because the ceremony was important to him, even the long-winded and dull parts. But he was also thinking about those events that almost kept him from getting to his wedding.

Spenser’s news occupied their thoughts in the final half mile of mountain path before they reached the cave of Contemplation. It was an impressive looking place. All three of them thought of caves as rough, natural openings in a rock face with signs of ancient water having worn down the walls or stalagmites, stalactites, felspar or quartz glittering in the torchlight…

This cave was made by the action of water long ago. But people had been there since and widened it out in an almost perfect circle, and they had decorated it. The ceiling was covered in gold, elaborately moulded into a frieze that depicted the story of the first monks who made their home on the mountain. They had lived in this cave and practiced meditation and martial arts while they built the monastery further down the valley and established the ‘rules’ of Sun Ko Du.

Around the walls were brightly coloured friezes telling the history of the monks since their time dwelling in the cave. One particular story involved a Time Lord who helped free the valleys of a tyrant’s rule. Chris and Davie both smiled proudly at that one.

“That was our ancestor called Diam?ndh?rt,” Davies explained to Spenser.

“The monks would not be pleased at us displaying reflected pride at something we are only incidentally connected with,” Chris reminded his brother. But he was just as thrilled by his family connection to the place.

Spenser didn’t know if any of his family had done any brave deeds on Malvoria. But he didn’t care. He had his own brave deeds and perhaps somebody would put them on a frieze for posterity. Or perhaps he would remain nameless in the memories of those he had helped. He didn’t mind, either way. He had redeemed his family name from his father’s evil work and was forging a future in which he was somebody who walked in the light. It didn’t matter if his name or his deed was recorded or not.

Chris opened his back pack and took out three Chinese bowls and three pairs of chopsticks. He opened a sealed packet containing saffron rice and shared it between the bowls. He also set out three small cups into which he poured milk from a flask.

“An ascetic meal to provide the protein our bodies need before we begin our meditations,” he said. His hands moved across the feast as if he was blessing it in some religious fashion. It was something he did whenever he sat to eat with his students in the Sanctuary. He explained that it wasn’t, in fact, religious in that sense, but it was an invocation of a peaceful aura over their meal.

A blessing by any other name.

And even Davie felt that a blessing from Chris was something to treasure in his hearts.

They ate in silence and then adopted the positions they each found best for their meditations. Chris preferred to lie flat on the bedroll that he laid out. That was how he best concentrated when he flew his TARDIS telepathically, and until he had acquired a wife and installed a double bed in his private room in the Sanctuary he had often spent the night in such a position, meditating rather than sleeping, honing his mind and body.

Spenser sat in a traditional Sun Ko Du position with a very straight back and legs crossed in front of him. He had never learnt Sun Ko Du, but his father had and he found that he had inherited the skill through the years in which his own mind had been telepathically suppressed by his father’s.

Davie adopted a perfect lotus position with his hands folded in front of him. Spenser was impressed by his suppleness. He was even more impressed when he levitated a foot from the floor.

“You’re just showing off,” Chris whispered telepathically. “You don’t HAVE to do it that way.”

“But seeing as I can…” Davie replied. Then all three quietened their minds and began the descent into the purifying level of meditative trance.

Davie’s memory stirred again and he glanced around at his brother, sitting next to Carya, his pretty young wife. That had certainly come from out of the blue, but there was nobody in the family who wasn’t pleased about it. Chris was happy. Then again, Chris was always happy. He was at peace with his universe. But now he shared that peace with a woman who was devoted to him.

He was at peace with his universe, too, even if it wasn’t always at peace with him. Marrying Brenda today completed the path he had begun travelling on the day when the volcano blew. From today, he started on a new path, as a husband and, probably in a very short time, as a father.

And that suited him just fine.

Chris and Davie dropped into their meditative trance together. Spenser was their ‘control’, their anchor at a slightly higher level of consciousness. He was there to help them come back out of it again when it was over. He was needed because this particular purification meditation involved much more than merely clearing the minds and thinking of nothing.

Davie had to be, the ritual demanded, as a child newborn. And to do that the trance period involved a regression back through his life to his moment of birth. Davie was only slightly complicating matters by doing it along with his twin brother. After all, their birth, as with much of their life, had been a shared experience.

The two brothers had talked about it excitedly in the preceding days. Of course, the regression was only taking them back twenty-two years. For the Time Lords of the past, even those who married young, it was a journey of centuries. But they thought they had racked up enough experience in those twenty-two years to make the journey interesting. The Doctor agreed. He said most Time Lords at five hundred had done less than they had at their tender age. He said it slightly regretfully. On Gallifrey a twenty-two year old was a mere child, barely started on an education that would last another hundred and sixty years before he was considered to be a man capable of shouldering even the lightest of burdens. Chris and Davie were already carrying more responsibilities than wise old High Councillors did in the days of the old regime.

Spenser felt the regression begin. In his own carefully cleared mind he saw their memories reach back over the past years. He saw Chris’s great emotional epiphany as he gave himself up to the joys of physical love. He saw Davie’s crisis of identity as he came to terms with his bi-sexual inclinations. He saw the war that had scarred them all deep in their souls. Before that, Chris’s triumph as he opened his Sanctuary and shared his philosophies with his students, and Davie’s first battles with the forces of darkness.

Before that, their Transcension, when they turned from boys to men, from candidates to Time Lords.

Further back, their teenage years had been different to their peers. With that sacred goal of Transcension always in sight they had been earnest and anxious to please their mentor, The Doctor, eager to learn all they needed to learn. They had made mistakes, they had enjoyed small triumphs. Sometimes the earnestness and the seriousness of it all got too much and they took part in small acts of mischief. Sometimes their overreaching ambition had got them into serious trouble. Through it all The Doctor had been there to praise or censure, to dry their tears and share their laughter and to guide them along their chosen path.

The Doctor was the key figure in their teenage years. His arrival in their lives when they were eight years old was the most significant moment since their birth. It was then that they had discovered, not so much that they were different, since they knew that, but why they were different. Then it all started to make sense. Then they discovered that they HAD a destiny to strive for.

Before that epiphany, Spenser noted that they had been slightly troubled boys. They didn’t make friends easily. They were sometimes bullied at school, though they were far from weaklings and fought back when they could. When they couldn’t, they turned to each other for comfort and reassurance. They lived within their shared consciousness, communicating with each other without words, needing nobody else but each other.

Spenser noticed, too, that in their childhood, there was less distinction between the two of them. That surprised him. By the time he came to know them, Davie and Chris were unique individuals pursuing different interests in different ways. And he knew better than anyone how different they were. After all, he had fallen in love with Davie, while only ever being friends with Chris. Beyond the fact that they were two very handsome young men, he had seen something in Davie that was irresistible to him, something that Chris didn’t have, or which was manifested in some different way in his personality.

But when they were six or seven years old, they were identical in every way. Their two minds were interchangeable. Their parents bought them clothes of different colours and styles. They chose to dress alike. They sat at separate tables with paper and pencils and drew the same picture with the same colours. They really had been two halves of the same soul.

Before they were school age it was even more obvious. Spenser watched, feeling extremely privileged to do so, the twin boys as they were in their infanthood. He noted that, even when they were old enough to have ‘real’ beds they only ever slept in one of them. Their parents tucked them up separately and kissed them goodnight, and within a few minutes one or the other would slip out of his own bed and into his brother’s, cuddling up close and safe through the night. At that point Spenser wasn’t even sure which was which. Did Chris seek the comfort of his brother’s bed or the other way around? Or did it vary? He wasn’t sure. It really was impossible to tell. Their minds were just too similar.

He understood why they did that, anyway, as their minds regressed further back, to when they were babies and their mother laid them down in the same cot, side by side. They had always been together, always reached out to each other and found comfort in each other’s nearness.

They were reaching the beginning point, now. Spenser wasn’t actually breathing very much at all. He was in a deep enough trance that his own hearts and lungs were working at only a very minimal level. But in his sub-consciousness he felt as if he was holding his breath as he witnessed the twins being born. Davie was already in his mother’s arms when Chris was born a few minutes later. They weren’t named yet at that point. They were aware only of unaccustomed light and strange noises and that they had been in pain for a long time but it was over now.

Spenser smiled as he remembered that intimate moment that he had shared with the twins. He clutched his own husband’s hand and smiled a secret smile as he looked at Davie now, holding his soon to be wife’s hand in his and making the first of the sacred promises to her that would bind them in Alliance. He still felt extraordinarily privileged to have shared that time with him and his brother. Even though he had been friends with both of them for years, and had been Davie’s lover for some of those years, he had never known them quite so completely before.

“Pure as a newborn,” he whispered as he saw Davie’s birth vividly in his nascent memory. “You can come on back now, both of you.”

But they didn’t. Spenser watched as their twin memories reached further back. He realised with a shock that he was now seeing them before their birth, within their mother’s womb.

It was a good place to be. He felt their sense of warmth and comfort and mutual love. He shared that feeling with them. It was a very good feeling and it would have been easy to lose himself in it with them. But there were alarm bells ringing in his consciousness. They shouldn’t be going this far.

“Stop, please,” he begged them. He tried to reach out mentally and touch their minds. But it felt as if there was a barrier. Perhaps it was because their consciousnesses were now regressed so far that their world was the womb that they were both growing in. They were aware only of each other and there was no room for Spenser in that awareness.

“Please, stop,” he said again. “Before I lose you both.”

As scared as he was, he knew he was witnessing an amazing thing. He knew that their physical bodies were still as they should be, in the cave on the Malvorian mountain. But Chris and Davie’s consciousnesses were regressing right back to the very moment when they came into existence.


They had regressed so far that they really were no longer two individuals. Spenser felt himself looking at one fertilised embryo that had not yet divided to form identical twins. They really were one soul now.

“Don’t go any further!” he begged. “Please, come on back now.”

“They can’t.”

Spenser’s hearts jolted as he felt another mind touching his and a voice he thought he knew from somewhere speaking in his head.

“Who is that?” he asked.

“The Doctor,” the voice replied.

“How? You’re on Earth. We’re light years away.”

“I’m here, with you. In spirit. Through Davie. Remember, my essence is within him, through the Rite of Mori. But his own personality is almost gone now. So I’m here… instead.”

“You’re in his mind… instead of him… like… like my father did to me…”

“Yes, something like that. But only because he needs help and this is the only way. Spenser, listen to me carefully. This has gone very badly wrong. We both have to help now. We have to bring them back. If we don’t….”

“We’ll lose them both.”

“Their bodies would remain as empty shells without understanding of their world. But it’s not that bad, yet. Everything they are… their intelligence, their personalities, is there in potentia – just as it was when they were babies and their future was waiting to be written. We have to show them the way back from where they are right now. But we have to do it simultaneously. They’re twins. Their lives are parallel. We have to keep them that way.”

“Show me what to do,” Spenser said. “I love Davie. I know he’s going to marry Brenda and I’ve got Stuart. But I love him, still. I’ll do anything to save him. I’d die for him.”

“None of that. Nobody has to die around here. But your affection for Davie will help. It will help you focus your mind on his individuality.”

The Doctor explained what he had to do. He steeled himself to the task and reached into that in potentia soul to find the part of it that was the individual he knew as Davie Campbell. At the same time The Doctor focussed on his twin. Together they drew them out, slowly, back through that life journey. He felt the moment when they became two separate beings once more. That was the crucial point. But it was still dangerous. There was still a chance that the two souls wouldn’t separate properly and that Chris and Davie’s unique personalities would be fused, still. They would be alive and self-aware, but they would most likely both go mad trying to sort out a tangled mess of shared memories and experiences.

“That can’t happen,” Spenser said. “We can’t let it happen.”

“We won’t. Just hold your nerve a little longer. You’re doing fine, Spenser.”

It was easier now. He was able to see two unique minds, again. But they still needed guidance and it was still a delicate thing.

“Be careful not to leave any imprint of your own identity on him,” The Doctor warned. His voice seemed less distinct in Spenser’s mind, now. He wondered why. “There’s more of Davie’s personality taking over his brain. It’s working. That means it’s harder for me to break through.”

“That’s good, though?”

“It’s very good. We’ve almost made it. When they’re awake, give them a message from me. A little reminder of something I tried to teach them when they were younger.”

“What message?” Spenser asked. The Doctor told him. Then he felt his consciousness slip away and he felt Davie and Chris both reaching out to him, asking him what happened.

“Wake up properly and I’ll explain over another cup of cooled goats milk,” he answered.

He opened his own eyes and looked around the cave. Davie’s carefully adopted lotus position while levitating had ended up as him lying in a rather uncomfortable heap on the floor. He groaned as he woke and complained of aching muscles. Chris simply sat up and told his brother he felt fine.


“What happened?” They both asked the question. Spenser explained. Then he gave them the message from their great-grandfather.

“I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself and falls on the other.”

Chris and Davie both laughed.

“He quoted Macbeth at us!” Davie said. “He’s right, of course. It was my fault. I wanted to see how far we could regress. But I never thought about how to get back. That was me trying to go too far, too fast, and not thinking about the consequences. It’s always been my fault.”

“It was his fault, too, when he was young,” Chris reminded him. “You were always so much like him.”

“It was a hell of an experience, though,” Davie added, passing over his culpability. “I remember so much… we’re only in our twenties, but there’s so much we’ve forgotten about our childhood. And now I remember it all so clearly.”

“Yes,” Chris agreed. “And more. You always said you could remember before we were born, but I couldn’t. Now… I can feel what it was like when we were one soul… before we were twins. I remember growing with you…”

The brothers embraced each other. Spenser drew back, feeling surplus to requirements for a while. Then, to his surprise, Chris reached out to him.

“We both owe you so much,” he said as he drew him into a threeway hug. “Thank you, Spenser.”

“Have we done enough dangerous meditation now?” Spenser asked when they sat back and drank some milk.

“I think so,” Davie replied. “Let’s pack up here and walk down to the monastery. We’ll pay our respects to the monks and enjoy a little peace and tranquility before we head back to Tibora and the chaos of wedding preparations.”

Spenser smiled as he remembered those tranquil days with the Monks of Malvoria. They weren’t merely leisure time. Davie knew he had let things go too far and he and Chris both needed to be sure they weren’t suffering any after-effects of their fusion. When they were sure they were both safely restored in their individual personalities, they hiked back to the TARDIS and Davie turned his thoughts to his future as a married man.

“That’s one thing I do remember from when our minds were fused,” Davie said as he piloted his TARDIS to Tibora. “Chris, you got married before me. You know about… honeymoon nights. I…” Davie blushed in what Spenser thought was a thoroughly charming way. So did Chris as he saw what his brother was getting at. “I think I can stop worrying about what I have to do on my own wedding night. I’ve got a few ideas about it, now.”

“You only had to ask, brother of mine,” Chris answered.

Spenser looked at Davie, hand in hand with his bride, now. The Alliance ceremony was in its final stages at last as a warm spring day turned to a cool spring evening. The Doctor winked at the bride and groom before asking the necessary question that they had to consider before they went on.

“I am bound to ask you now, before you make the final vows and bind yourselves to each other, if there is a slightest doubt in your mind. The Alliance of Unity once made cannot be unmade except by death.”

Davie and Brenda looked at each other, then they looked back at The Doctor and shook their heads. He smiled and then looked past them at the gathered witnesses to their Alliance.

“I am bound to ask the company present, if any one among them has a doubt as to whether this Alliance of Unity should be made?”

Nobody moved. The silence was palpable. Spenser clutched his own husband’s hand and carefully avoided even a pang of regret that he and Davie couldn’t be together. This was how it was meant to be.

“Then make your vows to each other,” The Doctor said to the bride and groom.

Brenda took a deep breath and began to speak first. Her voice was soft, but everyone heard her words.

“Davie,” she said. “Keeper of my stars. I am yours to the end of time, bearer of your seed, handmaid to your lordship, devoted helpmate, friend, lover.” She took another breath before saying his full Gallifreyan name. “Davõreenchrístõdiam?ndh?rtmallõup-dracœfiredelunmiancuimhnemilágrodánte de Lœngbærrow-Campbell, Time Lord of Gallifrey, I give myself to you, body and soul, heart and head, and take you as my Lord and my husband for all eternity.”

Then she took the ring from the velvet cushion that Peter, having patiently waited for this moment, held up high above his own head. She placed it on Davie’s finger, holding his hand for just a moment longer than necessary because it seemed so incredible that, at last, she was able to do that.

Then he took her hands in his and began to speak, clearly and carefully.

“Brenda, my first and dearest love, as you have consented to be my wife, handmaid, companion and lover to the end of time, I give into your care my two hearts, both devoted entirely to you.” He paused and seemed captivated by the clear sparkle in her eyes before he went on. “Brenda Anika Georgetta Freeman, Child of the blessed planet, Tibora, I give myself to you, body and soul, hearts and head, and take you as my Lady and my wife for all eternity.”

He took the gold ring from the velvet cushion held up by Garrick, a year younger than Peter, but determined not to let the side down by any mistakes. He slid the ring onto Brenda’s slender hand and bent to kiss it before they both turned to perform the more mundane but thoroughly important part of the ceremony. They stepped to one side where a man in the livery of the Tiboran civil service waited with the book of registry. Davie signed it first, then Brenda. When they were back on Earth, after their honeymoon, they both needed to drop into the registry office and sign a similar document that validated their marriage on planet Earth, but right now Davie solemnly received the certificate of Alliance from the official and placed it inside his formal robe before they turned back to where The Doctor waited to complete the ceremony. He stepped forward and took both their hands as they faced their guests once more.

“I present to you, Davie Campbell de Lœngbærrow, Lord of Gallifrey and Earth and his wife, Lady Brenda Campbell de Lœngbærrow, of Earth and Tibora. May Rassilon’s peace be on their Alliance of Unity this day and for all eternity.”

Everyone stood and clapped as The Doctor stepped back and Davie turned to Brenda. He reached his arms around her shoulders and pulled her into a deep, long, wonderful kiss. The first they shared as man and wife.

Then the flower bearers who had slept some of the day and been amused by nursemaids in a side room when they were bored, stepped forward with their baskets replenished. The three pageboys followed them back up the aisle, then the proud bridesmaids. And finally the bride and groom stepped forward. The recessional music was an acknowledgement of Davie’s Human roots. The Tiboran violinist and electric guitarist were joined by a young Scotsman whose pipes led them in Highland Cathedral. Davie looked at his father, dressed in Campbell plaid as he always was on important days. He was smiling proudly. There had been times when he and his father had been at odds. Sometimes he felt distant from him. He spent too much time being a Time Lord descended from Gallifrey, and very little as a Human of Earth. And his father had never been entirely happy about his relationship with Spenser, even though Davie had assured him it would not jeopardise his betrothal to Brenda. Now, finally, they were married. His father smiled benignly at them. His mother beamed joyfully to see her eldest son with his new wife walking at his side. Brenda’s mother was crying softly. Mr Freeman bowed his head respectfully to the Lord of Time who had just married his daughter. The Tiboran guests all bowed to him. Old habits died hard. His Earth friends, Human, Gallifreyan and a few other species, too, just smiled happily.

The air when they stepped from under the enviro-dome was cold, but they didn’t care. The Tiboran moon was rising in a darkening sky and the strongest and brightest stars were already shining. Davie and Brenda followed their retinue along a carefully laid path to a lamplit gangway leading onto a wide floating platform, covered over by a wooden roof in case of rain. It was brightly lit already and tables arranged for the reception. There was a dance floor for later and a string quartet would join the three musicians who had graced the Alliance ceremony so well.

Everyone took their places and the wedding feast began. For Davie, the food was welcome. It had been a long time since breakfast, and it was the very best food that the finest Tiboran caterers could provide. But he hardly tasted it. His thoughts now were on the near future. Even so. he did his best to enjoy the present moment. He sipped southern Tiboran champagne as his father-in-law stood to make the first speech of the evening and the first toast to the happy couple. Then his own father spoke of his pride in his son and daughter in law before the two Best Men stood together. Chris spoke first. He kept his words plain and simple.

“My brother and his wife, Brenda, were destined to be together since the first time they walked together beside this very lake. I saw this day coming from that moment. I bless their Union… Brenda and Davie.”

The blessing was repeated by all the guests. Then Spenser cleared his throat and spoke up.

“Davie Campbell has saved my life so many times. He saved my soul more than once. He has been my mentor and friend. I owe him more than I can begin to tell any of you. I am proud to see him marry the woman he has loved for longer than I have known him. I bless them both.”

Then somebody else stood. Davie heard his mother gasp softly as the man he always called Ten for sake of clarity raised a glass in toast. He had been sent an invitation but nobody had been certain if he would come or not.

“Davie Campbell,” he said. “I know I have precious little cause to do so, but I feel the pride of your ancestors when I see you – a young Lord of Time, keeping the flame alive. I wish you and your bride all the very best. Rassilon’s blessing on you both.”

When the speeches were over, Davie and Brenda together cut their magnificent wedding cake. Later, Davie would have had a hard time saying what it tasted like. The food he ate was mere protein and sugars, fats and carbohydrates for his body to process.

Then the orchestra began to play and the lights on the dance floor dimmed except for one spotlight. Davie stood and led his bride out onto the floor. She had detached the long, diamond trimmed train before sitting down to eat and now she removed the veil, too. He held her around the shoulders as they danced to a tune that was her first choice. It was an Earth country song from the late twentieth century that Brenda had taken a liking to. It was the only country song Davie had ever heard all the way through that wasn’t by his brother’s favourite, Shania Twain. He forgot for those few wonderful minutes that he didn’t like that sort of music and let the gentle melody and the romantic words stir his hearts as he gazed into the eyes of his bride and danced his first dance with her.

I tip my hat to the keeper of the stars

He sure knew what he was doin'

When he joined these two hearts

I hold everything

When I hold you in my arms

I've got all I'll ever need

Thanks to the keeper of the stars

For the first minute they danced it alone. Then his brother stepped onto the floor with his own pretty young wife, and his mother and father, Brenda’s parents, The Doctor and Rose, Christopher and Jackie. He glanced around and saw Spenser dancing with Stuart, despite the curious glances of some of the Tiboran guests.

He danced with Brenda through two traditional Tiboran love themes, and then she smiled warmly and stepped away from him.

“I told her parents this is an Earth tradition,” Chris whispered in his ear as Spenser put his hand on his shoulder and led him in the next dance. Chris took Stuart onto the floor while Brenda danced with Carya. Out of the corner of his eye, Davie saw The Doctor step onto the dance floor with Jack Harkness. He remembered that they had last danced together at his and Chris’s eighteenth birthday party, the day they both became Time Lords, and the day Brenda became his fiancée.

Other more conventional couples joined in the dance, too. This time, it was Davie’s choice of song. The young man playing two electric guitars at once excelled himself as the slow rock song ‘Who Wants To Live Forever’ swelled the hearts of all who heart it.

“There’s no time for us

There’s no place for us

What is this thing that builds our dreams yet slips away

From us…..”

Spenser carefully guided Davie to a quiet edge of the dance floor, where less eyes were on them. He pulled him closer and kissed him as they danced. Davie responded to the kiss. He let it carry on for a long time.

“That might be the last time we do that,” Spenser said. “I just wanted to…”

“You’ll always be special to me, Spenser. Never forget that.”

The song came to an end. Spenser hugged him once again and let him find Brenda again. Despite his care, their intimacy had been witnessed by quite a lot of people. He saw Brenda’s father say something to Davie as the bride and groom began to dance together again but no harm seemed to have been done. Everyone was smiling again as the evening wore on and the time for the happy couple to leave the party drew closer.

When that time came, there was one more thing to do. Davie waited as Brenda faced a sea of female faces and threw her bouquet into them. Hands reached to catch. Davie was amused when he saw his teenage sister, Sukie, triumph over the other single women in the crowd. He glanced at his father and mother and noted their expressions. Tradition or no tradition it was going to be a few years, yet, before the next member of the Campbell family would be getting married. Then he took his wife by her hand and they stepped onto the gangplank. Lanterns were lit along the path, past the sturdy house where Brenda had been born and raised, past the bower where they had been joined in Alliance. As they passed each lantern it went out. Davie was making them do it with a tiny movement of his sonic screwdriver concealed in his free hand.

Finally they reached the newly built lodge house by the lake that was going to be their honeymoon place as well as their holiday home in the future. According to Earth tradition Davie unlocked and opened the door and then lifted his bride into his arms as he carried her over the threshold. He gently placed her on her feet again in the warm, cosy drawing room. He noticed that the table had been laid for breakfast the next morning. Nobody expected them to want to eat before then.

The door to the master bedroom was closed. Davie glanced at it and then looked at Brenda.

“I’m ready,” she told him. “Davie… my husband…”

“Brenda… my wife,” he replied as he opened the door and drew her inside. The door closed behind them as they prepared to begin the first night of their married life.