A fanfiction based on the TV shows “The Librarians” & “Doctor Who” originally written in June 2016, and revamped in September 2018.
Summary: The Twelfth Doctor retrieves a Victorian bracelet that leads him to more trouble than he asked for…
Note: it is advised to watch “… and the Happily Ever Afters” (2×09) before reading this story!
Disclaimer: This is a work of fan-fiction, with no affiliation to Electric Entertainment, TNT and BBC who are the rightful owners of the franchises. No profit has been made from this story, none is intended to be made other than the pleasure to have written a story about a fictional universe and its characters.
The Librarians…meet the Doctor
Much to his dismay, not everything had gone according to plan. He had located the artefact, had discovered in whose hands it had fallen into and from then on…everything had gone wrong.
Had he remembered that the item’s new owners were a very sensitive race before trying to pickpocket them, he might have avoided a nasty situation. Of course they spotted him in flagrante delicto. It was only thanks to his extraordinary reflexes that he kept his hand attached to his body. 2000 years of practice paying off at that very moment. The aliens didn’t take it kindly to be robbed. The fact that they were visiting a foreign planet wouldn’t stop them from applying the right punishment to the thief in accordance to their homeworld’s rules. First they would cut the culprit’s hand, claw, tongue or whatever he used to rob them. Then they would recover the stolen object and finally they would kill the thief to prevent him from ever reoffending them.
“No wonder they have the lowest crime rate in the entire galaxy,” muttered the Doctor while fleeing in the dark streets of Maq’Nom, a small town lost on Loreïn, a peaceful planet, quite similar to Earth only with a more advanced space travel technology.
As he was trying to outrun his pursuers and reach the TARDIS before they caught him, the Doctor considered himself lucky. He had managed to retrieve the artefact, save his hand threatened by a laser knife and escape using his knowledge of the area. He had to revise the latter when he realized that two unfriendly aliens were standing at the far end of the alley he turned into. He could still hear heavy footsteps behind him. The aliens knew their way around the city as well… He was trapped.
He flashed his sonic out of his jacket pocket and configured it while running. Then he unexpectedly rushed toward one of the buildings backdoors and worked the lock. The alley he was in was filled with metallic doors opening to areas used by servants and other less respectable people. The Doctor wondered if he was about to burst into an illegal game session – his sudden arrival probably wouldn’t be greeted by a warm welcome – or if he would emerge in an honest home’s kitchen. When the door finally opened, it only revealed a black hole. The Time Lord didn’t think twice. He shut the door behind him and locked it again with his sonic. It didn’t take long for the angry aliens to start banging on the metallic frame. The Doctor quickly reset his sonic that almost instantly lit the surroundings. The green light revealed that had he taken two more steps, he would have fallen into a narrow descending staircase.
“So much for an escape route,” he sighed, realizing that he was indeed in a basement and that his only way out was behind him, blocked by some very angry aliens.
The Doctor walked down the stairs only to find himself in a narrow corridor. Heavy stones suggested that the cellar was also the building’s foundations. Small rooms opened on each wall, full of food and water supplies. As the Time Lord feared, there was no exit. He had trapped himself.
“Stupid, stupid, stupid!” he cursed himself before taking a deep breath.
There was no point in expressing his frustration right now. He needed a plan very urgently. His pursuers were still banging at the door. It was only a matter of time before they would manage to break it – unless they decided to be clever and ask for the house’s owner assistance…
The Doctor entered in one of the rooms and hid behind wooden crates on which the following words were printed in the Loreïn peculiar alphabet: FRAGILE – HANDLE WITH CARE. He sat on the floor, so he wouldn’t be seen from the corridor, and he took the artefact from his pocket to examine it. There was something extremely disturbing about the object. It was not its shape – it was a copper bracelet with nothing exceptional about it – but rather its source that puzzled the Doctor. Late 19th century Earth. A reading from the sonic confirmed its origin while also revealing that the last owner had been an earthling who had died wearing it. There was bone dust encrusted in it. How such a piece of jewellery had managed to travel half across the galaxy remained a mystery, however. Earth objects didn’t have such a great value to the rest of the universe, more interested in taking control of the blue planet and enslaving its inhabitants. Only the Doctor was fascinated by those items. When they landed far away from their rightful planet, it usually meant either an interesting story, trouble, or both.
Right now, the thief considered the troublesome bracelet. The door seemed to be on the edge of breaking any moment now. The Time Lord forced himself to focus on the jewel. Something was engraved in it. Using the green glow of his sonic, he managed to make out the words.
“I shall lead the way and bring you back to Ariel,” he read out loud.
This sounded much like a spell or a summon. The Doctor quickly assessed the risks trying on the bracelet but dismissed them even faster. He couldn’t be in more trouble than he was in right now. At least he hoped so. He put the jewel around his wrist just as the door upstairs cracked open.
The Doctor opened his eyes slowly, despite his curiosity to see where the bracelet had taken him. The sudden flash of light, the feeling of losing grip on space as soon as the jewel had touched his bare skin had been an indicator. The item was a travelling device. A powerful one with that. The dizziness the Time Lord experienced was a sign that he had left the planet.
He was standing in front of a bookshelf full of books and documents. A smile blossomed on the Doctor’s lips as his eyes caught titles written in Greek, Latin, Italian, French, English… He suddenly knew that he was back on Earth. The air smelled of old papers and wood, the usual fragrance of a library.
There were two other perfumes too. The Doctor turned around, realizing that he was not alone. Indeed, a strange couple was staring at him in surprise.
There was something odd about those two. The white-haired man, with a wrinkled face indicating that he was in his late 60s in human age, seemed much older, infinitely older. The same could be said about his female companion despite the fact that she looked quite young. Her features expressed a mix of fear and surprise.
“Nothing to worry about,” happily said the Doctor. “I was merely hoping to escape a gang of unfriendly aliens and a rather terminal fate. I shall be on my way and leave you to whatever you were doing when I interrupted you.”
He looked around, wondering where he was exactly. The place looked strangely familiar with the huge table set in the centre of the room, the papers covering it and the big clipping book.
When he saw it, the Time Lord realized where he was. And at that precise moment, Jenkins realized who the visitor was. His face darkened instantly.
“As if I didn’t have enough to worry about,” he mumbled before he pointed a hand toward the Doctor and started casting a spell.
“Oh no, please, don’t do that again!”
The Time Lord’s memories about the place were foggy, but he knew that the spell the old man was about to cast on him was going to be all but enjoyable for him. In fact, the Doctor was starting to feel quite weak and he fell on his knees, as memories rushed back about the place and its occupants.
“Please, Judson, I swear I come in peace! In fact, I can even swear that I had no knowledge that I would end up in the Library. I didn’t plan the whole thing!” The Doctor managed to say, trying his best to fight off the effects of the spell.
“How did you call me?” Jenkins asked, interrupting the spell in the process.
“Judson. That’s still your name, right? And you must be the Librarian,” said the Doctor, smiling at the girl.
There was something about her. He could feel it. Was he attracted to her? The thought was so ludicrous yet the feeling was so strong that he decided that he should be concerned about the whole situation.
He started walking around the room, resting his eyes on every object of interest. He was about to reach a strange device set in a globe and plugged into a door, but was stopped by Jenkins who blocked his way.
“I must say, it’s about time the Library reached for me,” continued the Doctor. “I always found it surprising and should I say frustrating that it never considered me a suitable Librarian. After all, I am the perfect candidate, wouldn’t you agree?”
Jenkins didn’t have a chance to reply. Before he could understand what was happening, his female companion had reached for the Time Lord’s hand. The fearful expression had vanished from her face. She seemed overwhelmed with emotion, for no apparent reason.
Silence fell on the room.
Ariel had been thrilled to receive Jenkins’ invitation to come and visit him at the Annex. The young Librarians and their Guardian had left on a mission that would last a few days at best, weeks maybe, allowing Jenkins and Ariel to spend some time together. The Caretaker was looking forward to conduct some of his experiments, and the fairy proved to be a valuable assistant. She was focused, dedicated and seemed genuinely interested in the Caretaker’s occupations.
They were working on a new filing system in the main room when a bright light appeared from nowhere, surprising them. Next thing they knew, a man was standing near one of the bookshelves. He wasn’t facing them so all Ariel could see from him was curly grey-white hair.
When he turned around, she was stricken by his powerful aura. Her gaze wandered to his bushy eyebrows and landed on his blue eyes. He had a deep energetic voice that seemed perfectly suited to the tall, thin man. There was something very Victorian about the way he was dressed: a dark jacket with a red lining, an old-fashioned white shirt, black trousers and boots. He behaved like he knew exactly where he was, despite the fact that he called Jenkins a different name. There was something almost familiar about him that troubled her, especially since the Caretaker seemed to know him well enough to start casting a spell.
She couldn’t help but shudder when she recognized it. It was meant to disable the stranger. And indeed, he soon collapsed on his knees, begging the Caretaker. She felt almost relieved when Jenkins interrupted the spell. The fairy had a good vibe about the man who started to walk around the Annex. He was just about to reach the Librarians’ travel device when the caretaker placed himself in his way. The man stopped abruptly and Ariel caught sight of the copper bracelet he was wearing around his wrist. Various emotions washed over her in an instant. Before she realized it, she had made a few steps towards the visitor. Now she could sense the bond that was already starting to grow without their knowledge. She knew that he didn’t recognize her, yet. He clearly had no idea that the bracelet had brought them together. He was obviously too happy to have escaped a dangerous situation and he seemed convinced that the Library had brought him on purpose. Ariel wondered what would be his reaction learning the truth. Would he be angry and blame her like the last one did? Would he hate her? The fairy couldn’t take her eyes off him. He was somehow different. Maybe things would be different as well this time? She reached for his hand and gently squeezed it. The stranger stopped his babbling instantly. The bond was sealed now. And deep inside, she knew that he could feel it too. Jenkins looked worried. She would have to explain. But not now.
Silence fell on the room.
Time was frozen. As soon as the woman touched him, the Time Lord felt a connection so strong that it was almost overwhelming. He turned to look at the girl. She was smiling now, yet there was sadness in her eyes.
“I’m sorry,” she said and he was instantly charmed by her voice.
“Don’t be. You’re perfect.”
She seemed a bit surprised by his words and she went on:
“No, you don’t understand. I’m really sorry. I don’t think you realize what just happened to you. Why you appeared here, in this place, with us.”
The Doctor shrugged:
“It’s pretty clear to me. The Library called for me so I would meet someone – you – who speaks perfectly. This is quite enjoyable.”
“Are you always like this?” Ariel couldn’t help but ask.
“He is even worse usually,” intervened Jenkins who was wondering what had caused his assistant to get involved.
“Thank you, Judson.”
“The name is Jenkins, Doctor.”
The Time Lord raised an eyebrow: “Oh, sorry, I thought that you were someone else. Did we meet before? Or is it my first encounter with you but you already met my future self in your past which would account for you recognizing me.”
The Caretaker sighed. Some things never changed.
“Not everything revolves around you Time Lord. Sometimes, your – bad – reputation precedes you. Judson did warn me about you. He didn’t speak too highly about you…”
“Tut tut tut. This is in the past, let’s talk about the present or the future, shall we?”
The fairy took this opportunity to speak again:
“It’s the bracelet you’re wearing. It’s the reason why you’re here.”
The Doctor smiled: “Oh, this.”
He let go of Ariel’s hand and tried vainly to remove the jewel.
“No, it’s not.”
Ariel’s tone was so gloomy that the Time Lord stared at her with concern.
Jenkins was starting to understand. As soon as the girl had mentioned the bracelet, he checked her wrist. She was wearing a similar item.
“The bracelet is bonding us.” The fairy explained while showing hers to the Doctor.
“That’s why you can’t remove it. And that’s why you were sent here, our bracelets are attracted to each other.”
The Caretaker wondered if the magic involved would affect their mind as well. Somehow he couldn’t picture the Doctor being attracted to Ariel. In fact, he hoped it wouldn’t happen. It was shocking enough to see how the fairy behaved with him. If only she knew him as well as he did…
“So, you’re my new companion then,” said the Time Lord rather matter-of-factly. “Not exactly how I planned it all, but oh well. I hope that you don’t mind time and space travel?”
Jenkins pictured Ariel with the Doctor and felt a sudden urge to prevent the fairy from leaving with him.
“Aren’t you at least curious to know more about the bracelet?” He asked. “For instance, how it works?”
The Doctor thought about it for a second then he used his sonic to study the item.
“Now that it’s active, I have access to a brand new set of data!” He said happily.
Ariel was staring at the green glow with such awe that it made the Caretaker cringe. The Time Lord quickly brushed the screwdriver over her bracelet as well and checked the results.
“Impressive piece of technology… It locks on the magnetic resonance of the carrier, becoming a part of it.”
“Alright, but why? And furthermore, how does the bond work?” insisted Jenkins.
“I can’t have an answer for everything, now, can I?” shrugged the Doctor.
“How did you get the bracelet in the first place?” asked the Caretaker to the fairy.
She smiled as she remembered old memories.
“It was a long time ago, in London. This Chinese man saw me with Prospero and decided to free me. Of course, it was impossible, he didn’t have the strength. There was nothing he could do except offer me the illusion of freedom. He gave me the same bracelet that he was wearing. He said that no one would be able to pull us apart. And indeed, when we left, he managed to find me again…and again…”
The fairy’s voice trailed off. Jenkins gently put an arm around her shoulders:
“You loved him…”
“And he loved me in return.”
The Time Lord was resting against a bookcase, looking at Ariel and the Caretaker. He smiled:
“The Red String of Fate. That’s why the bracelet can’t be removed.”
“You’re certainly not soulmates,” snapped Jenkins. “Knowing you, it’s just an experiment gone wrong.”
The Doctor was about to reply, but decided against it. Clearly the old man cared a lot for the young woman. He suddenly realized that he would probably have reacted the same way if a total stranger appeared from nowhere to take Clara away from him…
“Those bracelets are very powerful. It would be interesting to know for what exact purpose they have been created…”
He paused. A question had crossed his mind: “Who are you anyway?”
“She is Ariel, a spirit from The Tempest. Long story,” explained Jenkins.
“Oh, fascinating indeed… I really like where this is all going.”
The Time Lord’s eyes were shining with delight. The Caretaker sighed:
“Alright, let’s start again. Where did you find the bracelet?”
The Doctor told them about his collection of displaced objects from Earth, how he had located the jewel, stole it, and escaped the angry aliens.
“I can’t explain it – which is odd – but when I saw the inscription, I just knew I had to wear the bracelet…” He concluded dreamingly.
“I shall lead the way and bring you back to Ariel.”
As soon as he spoke the words, both bracelets started to glow. Pure energy escaped and formed an intricate network over the Doctor and the fairy.
“So that’s how it works,” smiled the Time Lord. “Bonding two compatible energies…”
“But what for? And how did the bracelet end up on an alien world in the first place?”
Jenkins was growing impatient. He wanted answers, but more importantly he needed to know that the girl would be safe.
“I suppose Ariel’s last companion decided to break up. Maybe he tried to escape as far away as possible from the bracelet’s influence. Or maybe the bracelet sent him here.”
“What happened to him?” Asked the fairy.
“He died,” bluntly replied the Doctor, revealing that he had found bone dust when he had analysed the item on the planet. So I would suggest that whatever we do, we do it together for the time being.”
“Maybe Jenkins can help investigate? In the meantime, I could try your lifestyle,” suggested Ariel
The Caretaker’s face expressed a mix of different feelings.
“I will conduct some research and find a way to free you from the bracelet’s influence, but I strongly recommend that you don’t leave.”
“Would you rather have him poking around your dear Annex?” Asked the fairy.
The Doctor was already looking around, disturbing books and objects to satisfy his curiosity.
“I guess not,” smiled Ariel when she saw Jenkins’ disapproving look.
She then turned towards the Time Lord:
“How should I address you?”
“We are going to get on very well with each other, Ariel… I can’t wait to introduce you to the TARDIS…”
The Doctor was smiling, and Jenkins knew that he was sincere. He was looking forward to new adventures with a new companion, and the Caretaker decided that he deserved a chance. He operated the travelling device connected to the door, before gesturing the Time Lord and Ariel to go through the door.
“You should find yourselves inside the TARDIS. We wouldn’t want those angry aliens to catch you, now, would we? I recommend that you leave Loreïn this instant.”
Startled, the Doctor turned towards Jenkins, his eyebrows locked in a surprised brow.
“How did you know?”
Jenkins simply bowed at him. The Time Lord didn’t have a chance to insist. Ariel took his hand and pulled him through the door, right inside the TARDIS.