Chapter I

Chanyeol could almost remember the look on the latter's face the last time he wandered off the universe still using his real identity without even a pinch of shame brought along in his brazen actions. The look on his face putatively should've been the look of a man who's about to be hurdled to death by practically a big swollen piece of what's left of his enemies (it's not much of them if you compare it with the big percentage he had before, but it is certainly a whole lot of work considering that they're now working as allies in order to bring him down, and how him and Chanyeol had always gone through everything only as a duo ever since his last regeneration) but in fact there wasn't a single trance of agony left adorning the Timelord's eyes.

The Doctor, the scrawny guy from out of space, the confiscating weirdo who had only managed to keep both his limbs attached by the help of Chanyeol, his stoic companion (who could probably burst in vexation any moment now if he still was to act like a unanimous prickhead with too much to say) (he still loves him dearly, though), didn't bother to sense a hunch of terror lying in the back of his mind even when he had enemies out there all prepared to kill him. A mesmerizing grin still drooping at the corner of his lips, not planning for its departure any sooner.

That was the scariest part.

"Doctor!" Chanyeol yielded urgently, the tip of his fingers already numb after his blood pressure unexpectedly rising up to 40 percent. His breaths were harsh and out of words, ensnarled by the needs of being saved. A trip with the TARDIS has never been this unstable before, At least, according to Chanyeol's experience that appears to be lacking during this kind of situation. The adventures he had with the Doctor still could be counted by the number of his fingers, that not including the rest of his toes. "Are they still following us?!"

"Yes!" He arched his back to read the whimsical readings the TARDIS had been sending him that looked far from okay. He already had one of his legs resting on the control panel for god knows what – sometimes Chanyeol wonders whether he's playing stupid or if he really knows what he's doing, it's hard to differentiate the situation these days – but the taller one clearly knows that this is one of the signs of when the Doctor really needs his daily fix of reality before being able to function properly again. His foot on the controls, his strands of brown hair covering his eyelids and a brush on his pink lips that are still curled into a smile.

"Then how are we supposed to get rid of them?!" Chanyeol cried out in panic, a part of him not wanting to die this quick, at least not today. Chanyeol was no expert, but he could immediately sense strange and erratic Gallifreyan readings once he sees them, and the ones written in the regulator screen were definitely solid examples of them.

"The thing is: we don't." He was somehow able to prance from his side of the controls to Chanyeol's position, where he kept himself steady by holding onto his arms for support. At this point, Chanyeol knew that the Doctor is now genuinely disheveled and that he has been scrummaging through his only choices of plan B he had left. "Chanyeol, do you trust me?"

Chanyeol scrunches his face. "Well, you could be a pain in the arse sometimes but of course I do!"

"Great, I'll be needing all the trust you have left for me for this one." He raises his head enough to look at the taller one in the eye. "Because I'd swear to two hearts that my life depends on you at this point."

» 2010

Baekhyun had spent most of his life with Chanyeol for at least as long as he remembers.

And it was strange, as he somehow always finds himself ending up with the boy at some point. How they'd always do the same thing together, how Chanyeol changed his whole ambition once he knew that Baekhyun wanted to become an idol and hence he continued on following him instead, how they're now together again, training to become an idol in Korea's most successful entertainment company.

It's not like he dislikes Chanyeol's presence, it's just that he felt.. Peculiar of him hanging around for such a long and precarious time. It was almost as if Chanyeol's always there to meticulously take care of him and keep him out of trouble (though he's clearly older than him by a few months, Baekhyun always felt like he was the one who needed babysitting) but he doesn't really mind it as long as Chanyeol's presence doesn't get him on his sleeves. At least for now, Chanyeol has been confoundingly... Sustainable. And helpful, during some occasions.

So the occurring nights stayed the same. Them calling out for another nightstand just to justify their training lessons, them praying that they would still be able to maintain their spot in the upcoming debut group (a process that went on like a survival show, as a couple of trainees do get eliminated if they weren't strong enough to face the blasphemy of a trainee life), them being low on money and had to feast themselves with instant ramen until the end of the month, them practically doing everything together that the other trainees are already in the stage of picturing them as a married couple.

Quoting what Chanyeol said about himself to the other trainees, that he'd quit his training if Baekhyun were to leave the scene; are you even sure that's something bros would've had casually done?

Chanyeol is Baekhyun's caretaker, that's what everyone is fully aware of. In what sort of way? Well in... everything. Wherever Byun Baekhyun is, Park Chanyeol is always there either in person or by substitute, guiding his footsteps like a guardian angel. Sometimes it gets out of the line when Chanyeol would volunteer to take Baekhyun's penalty in times he got scolded by the vocal trainer for straining his voice too much; the trainer needing to explain to him for the hundredth time that penalty volunteering doesn't exist in their training system but Chanyeol insisted on taking Baekhyun's place until the end of the session; them both ending up doing the penalty together anyway.

But to Chanyeol's defense, Baekhyun wasn't all that normal either. In fact, he is way beyond normal that sometimes he seems.. inhuman. Starting from his questionable responses to his juvenile behavior, Byun Baekhyun is certainly not what you'd expect from a presumably matured adult (the boy's apparently turning into legal age this year so isn't he supposed to act like the other boys his age...?) and that's how he earned the title as SM's four-dimensional alien. Not that it's a bad thing, by the way, as he accepted the title with prideful appraise.

Another thing about Baekhyun that seems to affect his image quite voluminously is that he talks about his dreams a lot. His dreams could be considered as an imagery of Baekhyun is usually prescribed as: bizarre yet amusing. And out of the world, quite literally. As in his dreams, he engaged himself as a mad creature from out of space who seemingly resemble a human being, has two hearts, and travels through time and space in a blue box that is apparently described as 'bigger on the inside'. He also doesn't forget to add in the details where he had a couple of other companions hanging around with him, with Chanyeol (unsurprisingly) being one of them.

The others find his dreams somehow enjoyable and appropriate as a topic opener during a conversation, apprehending that Baekhyun could spend hours chattering about his neverending dreams. Sometimes they'd question how Baekhyun could summarize the complete story in detail and no mistakes as if he knows the instance by heart, as if he's just recalling a past memory; though that all was given in pure fascination and not suspicion. It needs to be reminded again that the dreams Baekhyun had were a lot more than a dozen, so him remembering the most of them almost precisely could be considered as a specialty.

"Maybe I should just ditch my dreams as being an idol," Baekhyun murmured under the fabric of his cotton blanket, his drained eyes struggling to stay awake. "and make a living out of writing books about my dreams. That'll be much easier."

Chanyeol sneered. "I don't think the person in your dream will be quite pleased knowing that you made a biography of him out of his permission."

He scrunched his nose, his eyes peering to Chanyeol's side. "Well technically speaking, this person in my dream *is* me, at least, in a fictional way."

You almost got it right. Almost. Chanyeol endured at the thought but kept silent.

"My dreams are too much for me to handle. It's just a reminder of how sad and vulnerable I actually am in real life." Baekhyun continued, his lips parting as a sign of dissatisfaction.

"If you were to be able to have a life just like this alien you keep dreaming of, would you take the chance?" Chanyeol asked, yet a question he has been keeping ever since he knew Baekhyun's been getting perceivable dreams.

"Me? As the Doctor?" Baekhyun mentioned the name of the individual like as if it was sled through his tongue in an outlandish way. "Boy, I'd never miss it for the world."

Then what are you waiting for, idiot? Reveal yourself! Chanyeol wanted to scream out of his lungs, but he knew that is was too soon, even for him. He knew that the both of them were still unsafe at this point and that he needs to suffer a little while longer before he could reveal the truth to Baekhyun — for at least that's what the Doctor originally ordered him to do.

Give the boy a break. He's going to know sooner or later.

"Have you been getting any other strange dreams of this Doctor?" Chanyeol asked, shifting to another related matter. "Hell, why is he called the Doctor anyway?"

"I thought we've already gone through this." Baekhyun groaned in disbelief. "He's called the Doctor because he's not exactly able to reveal his real identity. His real past. The Doctor is a dangerous man alright, and he doesn't need the whole world to know that."

Chanyeol shrugged. "He sounds like a coward to me."

"Whatever you say, the Doctor stays unbothered." He responded with an unvarnished pout.

"I suppose he's pictured as a handsome face in your head, for your own sake of your sanity." Chanyeol chimed.

"He could be considered as more attractive than the Chanyeol in my dreams, if that's what you're asking. A whole lot of smarter than you could ever be."

Chanyeol paused. "... So basically the opposite of how it actually is in real life?"

"Yeah— wait, no!" Baekhyun playfully hit Chanyeol with a pillow in defense. "You're unbelievable. I hate you."

Chanyeol laughed in return. "Not sure I feel the same about you, Doctor."

"Are you sure that's even remotely possible?! That plan's preposterous, even for you!"

"Preposterous? Yes, a maniac's attire a'ight." The Doctor blandished, a significant sight of smile wrinkles garnishing the corner of his eyelids. "Impossible? Nah, not really — all you need to do is to add a dash of science!" He melodramatically pushed a distinct red button that unveiled a queer, aberrant-looking helmet that was designed for someone with a bigger head, at least a lot bigger than the one the Doctor has now. "And a tiny bit of hope, only the ones you have left."

Chanyeol grasped the helmet that was left dangling in the air, examining it closely. "What's this for?"

"It's an invention I made a few regenerations back; a device to rewrite every single cell in your body, transforming you into a whole different entity." The Doctor explained as he played with the string connecting the helmet to the TARDIS' ceiling, shifting it around in circles.

"So this is the device you'd use to turn yourself into a human being?" Chanyeol asked in curiosity. "A real, congenital human being with one heart?"

"Yup," He answered, unnecessarily popping the 'p' in a plethoric behavior. He shifted to the monitor and put on his reading glasses, scanning the information abundantly. "Give me an identity – a name, to be exact. My personality could just adjust to my recurring self later."

Chanyeol paused. "A name..."

"Faster, you idiot. Time's ticking."

"Yes, just wait for a sec!" Chanyeol wanted to rename him with something uncommon for his Korean folks, at least something less aggravating than the infamous Kims or Parks (although he can't get rid of the fact that he's one of those individuals). "Baekhyun, wise and virtuous."

The Doctor clasped his hands. "Don't just leave me hanging! A last name would sure be effective!"

"Byun!" Chanyeol blurted out the first thing that appeared on his head, one surname that he was quite surprised of because he expected himself calling out a 'Lee' or a 'Kang' but that happened anyway. "Baekhyun Byun. Pretty name, sounds prominent. Not inspired from a war criminal whatsoever."

The Doctor wrote the name Chanyeol just had spoken in hangul, inserting the translation to the monitor automatically into gallifreyan. "Chanyeol Park vows to protect Baekhyun Byun during his wrecked times of adjusting the human life, am I correct?"

Chanyeol nodded without a trace of disagreement. "Yes, you are."

"And then he will try his best to make sure Baekhyun Byun returns back into his previous life scenario as the Doctor, no matter in what circumstances he might be in?"

"How am I supposed to do that?"

He shrugged. "I don't know, I guess you should think of something that'll trigger the Doctor the most. A sentence or a behavior, that's what you'll be figuring out yourself."

Chanyeol nodded. "And how long exactly are we going continue this? When should I return you back from living the life as Baekhyun Byun?"

"Obviously when the time is right. 2 years? 3? For the contrary, 5 is the last. I swear I'll burst into pieces if I were to stay as human that long. We'll be stopping at 2010, right?"


"So the deadline's in 2015. It's either you wake me up if there's trouble heading to earth and the Doctor would've taken a bigger role to help than the useless prick Baekhyun Byun is, or that you wait until 2015 so that we'd be assured that our enemies are all gone."

Chanyeol had no problems with the plan, so he agreed to it. Spending days with the human form of the Doctor wouldn't be much of a burden, right? It'll probably won't be as bad as having the Doctor around as he wouldn't be as hyper. "Okay, then we're settled."

"When's your birthdate?" The Doctor asked out of the blue.

"...Why'd you need such information?"

"So that I could input a birthdate older than you for Baekhyun." The Doctor reasoned with no sense of disarray. "So you'd still learn how to respect me and my old age."

Chanyeol scoffed, but he replied anyway. "November 1992. Bit hell of a year."

"November? I'd take 6 months before that. May 1992 it is!"

"I still won't be calling you hyung."

"You'd be considered rude and disrespectful, if you haven't noticed." The Doctor took the reason to defend himself. "So that's all for the practical stuff. All I have to do is to place my head into this oversized helmet and just get this over with." He planted a kiss on Chanyeol's forehead a little bit too gradually (by having to tiptoe so that he could reach his height) , one that Chanyeol didn't even have time to react on as the Doctor had already moved on to the next stage that is putting on the helmet.

The Doctor has always been like this – gifting Chanyeol tons of sweet surprises, even if it were only to last for a split second.

And Chanyeol enjoyed every single one he received.

"Wait," Chanyeol placed his hand on the Timelord's shoulder before he put on the helmet, his gaze slowly intensifying.


"You'll be rewriting every single cell in your body," Chanyeol quoted as to what the Doctor just said a few minutes before. "Wouldn't that... hurt?"

"Yes, it'll hurt." The Doctor placed the helmet at the top of his head, letting out a shaky breath. "It'll hurt. A lot."

» 2012

"In just less than 24 hours, we'd be on stage, chanting our greeting for the first time in front of hundreds of people." Junmyeon accumulated all of the 12 members in a big circle, gathering them together before resting for tomorrow's big show. "In less than 24 hours, we'll be debuting as EXO, as SM's foremost youngest group after 3 years, so we better not waste the opportunity and do our best as long we still have a chance, shall we?" He cleared his throat, one hand patting Tao as a sign for him to kindly stay awake. "Is there anyone who'd like to express their emotions other than me as it's obvious most of you all are already tired of me doing the pep-talk..?"

Silence. Jongdae nudging Minseok's shoulder because he's the eldest but he didn't give a spec of reaction, Junmyeon eyeing the maknae line who seemed to had other interesting things to do, Baekhyun seemed to be in his own world as he continuously teases on poor Kyungsoo who only wanted to sleep without no one bothering him. Stunned, Minseok decided to raise his voice. "Why don't Kris speak in English so that we all won't understand anything and we'd get this over with?"

Everyone responded with a guileless laugh, a smile creeping on Kris' lips. "Why can't we have Kyungsoo to speak instead? It's always either me or Junmyeon."

Everyone's attention garnered on Kyungsoo who only shook his head in defiance. With no doubt he pointed his finger to Baekhyun who was sitting next to him, bringing him up for no reason. "He likes talking. Let him talk."

Baekhyun groaned. "Why is it always me?!"

"At least you'd be more useful rather than bothering me all the time." Kyungsoo heaved a disinterested smile. "Talk."

"The stage's all yours, Baek." Luhan passed him a sprightly look, handing all the burden and the responsibilities all to the not-so-youngest member.

Baekhyun scorned. "Alright then, just because you all never fail to express your frivolous obsession towards me, I guess I'll be able to speak a word or two."

"Byun Baekhyun, fighting!" Sehun cheered the latter, though not in all seriousness. He was rather making a travesty of him.

"We're all counting on you, hyung!" Jongin added as he raised both his thumbs up.

"Look at you being all supportive only during the times I strive to suffer." Baekhyun asserted. "You all erroneous snakes–"

"Baekhyun," Chanyeol settled him down. Byun Baekhyun was one for joking – that's something he's aware of after spending the last 2 years with him – but Chanyeol was pretty sure that if someone were to break his strings (and that it wouldn't be hard to break anyway as the character 'Baekhyun' himself doesn't look like one to be able to control his emotions) his rage would possibly be as scintillating as the Doctor's, and that wasn't taken as an overstatement.

Somewhere inside Baekhyun's head was the Doctor wandering around, it should be kept in mind that there's a possibility of him to be triggered by someone other than Chanyeol, even if there's no intention of doing so.

Baekhyun was pouting, but deep inside he already had a speech personally prepared for himself. Another thing about Baekhyun that much resembled the Doctor: he's great at making speeches.

"Alright, i won't be saying much but! What I'm going to say is definitely truly indisputably important so you all have to listen to what I say — including you, crackhead." He pinched Kyungsoo's arm, making sure he stays awake. He kept four fingers raised except for his thumb, unambiguously starting his customary lecture. "There's 4 things you should keep in mind during our debut showcase. Number 1!" Baekhyun got up on his feet and started walking around, despite how he despised the thought of talking just moments ago.

"He's doing it again." Junmyeon whispered to Chanyeol's ear and he just nodded, not sure if that's something to be glad about or not.

"Cameras are not evil. I repeat, they're not evil." Baekhyun snapped his fingers in tactlessness. "You'd meet them wherever you go so don't be afraid of them. They love you – except for those who bother you during your sleep or when you're in the bath; then those are evil. Bad cameras."

"I think it'll better for you all to know the difference between tolerably good cameras and bad, bad ones." Kris added. The others nodded in agreement, as they all already knew that was serious matter and something that definitely needs to be remembered of.

"That leads to number 2!" Baekhyun flicked drowsy Tao's forehead with his sculpted fingers, forcibly dragging him back to reality. "Fans are great — fans, are like friends." The words came out of his mouth as if it was a resuscitated law. "But same like cameras, there's good and bad ones. Relatively, it's easier to differentiate people rather than cameras, but do know that the *bad* ones... they hold much more power than you could ever think. They have learnt from the best players: the ones who attempted on choking Yunho-sunbaenim to death, the ones creeping into apartments just to devour themselves with superior 'undergarment shots', you'd know you reach that stage of your career when you have gotten those spam calls and messages by the same unknown number."

"Taemin told me that he already gotten one of those even only a day after his debut." Jongin enunciated.

"For those cases, you'd better consult with ones with experience, and by that I mean our seniors." He raised his eyebrows. "As a probable example, i always come to Jinki-hyung for advice."

"Hyung," Sehun barged into his lecture with no shame.

Baekhyun ignored the younger one's plead. "Questions for later, Hunnie–"

Sehun definitely didn't back down even after Baekhyun ordering him to do so. "What if you ask advice from Girls Generation sunbaes instead?"

Baekhyun sneered. "And why in the world should I do such a thing?"

"I don't know, for your own interest..?" Sehun shrugged

"Not interested. Case closed. Any questions?"

Junmyeon leaned on Chanyeol's shoulder to yet again whisper something to him. "It's because he's not even interested of girls, isn't it?"

Chanyeol was surprised that the older one was able to reprise that so quickly, but knowing how obvious Baekhyun is with his sturdy affection, Chanyeol didn't bother to question. He ended up shushing him instead. "I don't think he's aware of that yet."

Junmyeon tilted his head. "The question is: are you?"

Chanyeol didn't get a chance to reply as Baekhyun had already continued to the next topic. "Number four— no, three!" He continued, leaving the other boys questioning how many numbers was this going to take. "We're a bilingual group, Korean Chinese alike. This is important: don't get mixed up between the two. This advice is specially given to you both," He pointed at Jongdae and Minseok, the Korean members of EXO-M. "We're all struggling but we all know that you're working harder than the most of us. Don't let that fact bring you down. We're all here to support you, okay?"

"Aye, captain!" Minseok retorted. Jongdae responded with a thumbs up. The both received another spurn of affection by the other boys, from friendly hugs to strangling each other like a bunch of kids playing around.

"Last but not least," A reassuring smile appeared on Baekhyun's face. "Number four: know that no matter how messed up you could ever be, how hard you're coping with all of this, how many mistakes you made on or off stage, know that me — Byun Baekhyun — will always love you all, without any circumstances." He grinned. "If any of you starts saying that everyone hates you, you're all telling yourself a lie. Because as long there's me, as long there's Byun Baekhyun — you still got one person in the back screaming 'fighting' whenever you need it. And that's me."

Yixing gazed at the boy, seeing him as something he needs to cherish. "There's no need of you to explain that to us, Baek. We already know."

A bit after dinner time, Chanyeol took a crazy attempt on sneaking out, only a dark hoodie covering up his pajamas. He scurried out with a bike, just for the need to visit one last place before he witness the life-change he'd be getting tomorrow: the TARDIS.

The TARDIS had been left parking at the backyard of Chanyeol's house, personally taken care of by Chanyeol's mother. It stayed there ever since, as Chanyeol himself didn't really understand how to control it. Having to teleport the TARDIS from the middle of nowhere to his backyard needed all the knowledge and experience Chanyeol had gotten from the Doctor, and perhaps that's the only thing he could possibly do. He hasn't stayed that long with the Doctor, so it's passable for him to be clueless at some parts.

He used to visit the TARDIS for at least once every two weeks just to make sure that it hasn't died out completely. That day, however, had a different feel. He wanted to visit just so that he could assure her once again that no matter how much things are changing, no matter how much the Doctor has changed, Chanyeol still holds his promise of bringing him back someday, and he has made sure that the Doctor is never going to abandon her in the void space she calls earth.

However, he didn't exactly know when he's going to be back. The Doctor's reaching his second year of being Byun Baekhyun, and when he debuts as an idol, there's really not much he can do to get away from the human life. It's either he leaves it completely, or he leaves his life as the Doctor, something he's definitely unlikely to do.

Chanyeol's not sure which one will hurt him more: losing the Doctor, or losing Byun Baekhyun.

Chanyeol stared at the TARDIS' console still with the same fascination the first time he stepped foot on the magical box. Set in offline mode, the TARDIS wasn't able to move from a time period to another until it senses the Doctor's appearance — which is a good thing, as Chanyeol doesn't really trust himself for it either. In the middle of the console was no other than the Doctor's sonic screwdriver, the only thing keeping the TARDIS alive like an everlasting power bank.

"I hope you're doing great," Chanyeol slowly encircled the console, taking his time to be engulfed in admiration. He didn't expect for it to answer, but he knows that asking her random questions was one of the ways of keeping in touch with her. "The Doctor is... currently preparing for one of the biggest events of his life after centuries of living." He chuckled. "He's even nervous of it — when's the last time you ever see the Doctor being nervous? It's the strangest thing I've ever seen." The smile on his face faded once he remembered what he's going to go through in a very short amount of time. "Once he does that.. I don't know how I'm able to convince him anymore." He sighed. "But the Doctor is definitely going to return, right? Baekhyun is strong-willed, that's for sure, but he's no match to the Doctor. I'm sure that I'd be able to bring him back in no time."

That sounded more like him reassuring himself rather than reassuring the TARDIS.

"Just.. not now." Chanyeol muttered, the hope he had slowly draining out. His eyes looked up to the ceiling, gazing at the Gallifreyan symbols written on top of it. The Doctor once told him that the symbols were Gallifreyan for every single companion he had through his cycle of life, including Chanyeol himself. Chanyeol wasn't quite convinced by what he said, because as long as he stays clueless about the art of the Gallifreyan language, he might as well won't know the real meaning of what was written up there.

Chanyeol doesn't know if he's special enough for the Doctor to have his name carved at the TARDIS' ceiling, but he knew he's quite special for *his* Doctor, this regeneration of the Doctor who he is with now, the Doctor that now goes by the Byun Baekhyun. How could he deny it? He's the first face that face ever saw, after all.

The first face he saw after regeneration.

My name is Park Chanyeol, and today's the day when I ditched my life traveling with the Doctor just to get myself a normal one.

Yes, not a doctor, but THE Doctor. Female, strange fashion sense, messy hair, and definitely not human. I met her at a pub in London, me being all amazed on how I could communicate with her so fluently though I had limited English, but turns out a moment later she told me that she had a multifunctional translator thing activated inside her head; an explanation that didn't really make sense for me back then but it's not like she's going to waste her time explaining it all to me.

The last thing I knew I was already inside her TARDIS, panicking because somehow an alien had already taken over the west side of London? Yeah, a lot of things happened during my first trip to Europe. But at the end of the day, the Doctor finally had saved the world ('I've done it too many times that you're not able to count it anymore', she would say) and she offered me a position as a loyal passenger of the TARDIS.

That was the time I completely left the life I had before and decided to follow the Doctor, a decision I haven't thought that clear of as to why I chose it.

And it was fun, the adventures I had with the Doctor. Although there's going to be times when you have to control the needs to strangle her, as the woman is nothing but peaceful. You'd get burnt out trying to get her to calm down, as she'd obnoxiously go running around here and there without any remorse. I guess that's what made her memorable, and fun to be exact. It's not a trip with the Doctor if it does not involve running.

And why did I leave the life with the Doctor, that you may ask? Simple, because I wanted my life to be planned out even after leaving the Doctor. If I still had the luck to survive after years and years traveling with the Doctor, I'd still want to live a happy life long after that, right? I don't want to drop myself out in the depths of South Korea, all old and drowsy, not sure what to do next.

And if I don't drop the Doctor now, I don't think I'd have the chance to continue the life I once planned for myself.

Yes, I had plans. Strong and well-planned ones, for sure. All I ever wanted to do was to be an idol and to perform in front of many people. Even before I met the Doctor, I was already accepted in one of Korea's most prestigious entertainment companies. I had my own future completely set up for myself, but I will never be able to live that life if I were to stay with the Doctor. It'll be too risky.

And so the Doctor understood. She brought me back to my mother's house, setting the time and date as the day I originally should have gotten home from England. I waved her goodbye and took another glance of the TARDIS before watching her dematerialize right in front of my eyes, not a single trace left at the end.

Well, nothing except for the key resting in the palm of my hand, the key that fits to any keyhole in the world, every keyhole including the TARDIS. The one the Doctor personally gave to me as a gift, as if I did return back as a companion, I'd still have a piece of the TARDIS left with me and not appearing as a completely unknown person.

So here I was, back in my mother's house a day after the Doctor dropped me off here. Mom asking how was my trip and I said "Fine, just made one female friend that was too absurd for my circle of friends," her replying with "I'm surprised that you even had the ability to make friends at all," then me spending the rest of the day sleeping in my favorite couch, as I had to leave for SM Entertainment the next day.

A night after the I left the Doctor, Mom woke me up because she claimed to see a meteorite falling out of the sky and it's now here in our backyard. I denied her statement and claimed it to be impossible, as there's no way we're still able to live in that moment if a meteorite really did clashed on our backyard. Still knocked-out and sleepy, I went out to take a look, just so that mom doesn't cling on me all the time talking about how worried she is.

But it wasn't a meteorite I came to see.

It was a blue box.

And so if it was faith that brought us together, I immediately ran to the front door of the TARDIS and tried opening it by pulling the handle, but it seemed like it was locked. Then I snapped my fingers – a trick the Doctor usually does – but it still doesn't work. Disappointed, I had to sprint to my room back to the backyard just to get the key I received from the Doctor a day earlier. The door clicked and I immediately opened the door, hoping to see the figure of the Doctor being all good and healthy to see me.

Well, not exactly.

In front of the console was an unconscious body, unspecified gender, casually wearing the clothes the Doctor usually wears. I couldn't see who it was as its head was facing the floor, its brown hair covering everything of his face. With fear creeping on my shoulder, I gathered all my bravery to move its head just to see who it was.

My breaths hitched.

It's a man – no, a boy, found unconscious on the TARDIS floor, appeared to be wearing the Doctor's clothes.

I did spend a while with the Doctor, but this, this doesn't really made up much of a conclusion.

Well, except for one.

I didn't have to think twice when I carried the unconscious man back to my house. Mom looks at me in shock. "Who's that?"

"My friend from England. Came to visit. Is sick." My eyes shifted on the man who is yet to find his conscience. "Very sick."

"I thought the friend you made was a woman!" Mom repudiated. "And for the contrary, a bit of a European lad? Why is he a man... and why does he look like some sort of a guy I'd meet on the Gangwon-do streets rather than London?" She shook her head as she continued to examine the individual that was resting on my arms. "Wait never mind, he definitely looks more charming than the ones I'd see on the streets–"

"Mom, he needs rest." My voice hardened. Without further notice, I brought him into my room and let him recover in my bed for a while. Whoever he was, he's definitely someone important to the Doctor, or perhaps, he's remotely the Doctor herself — or himself, in this case. That's for me to find out sooner or later.

"Do you need me to make him a cup of nokcha to help him recover?" Mom asked before leaving the room.

I paused. "I think he's more of the type to enjoy English tea."

She sneered. "You think I'm a cafe owner? We never have one of those in our home!"

"Actually green tea would be nice." The man suddenly raised his voice, startling the both of us. "And what's those things that guys usually eat? Rice cakes?"

"Perhaps the tteokbokki store next door is still open for customers, especially for regulars like me." Mom informed, talking normally to the guy as nothing bizarre had happened earlier. "I guess I could get you some."

"That would be nice, thank you." He chimed and gave a smile that appeared to be a smile of satisfaction.

Mother innocently left the room, leaving the both of us alone. I immediately got to the point without thinking twice. "Alright, enough shittalk. Who are you?"

He rose up from the bed, impulsively glaring at me. "I have a feeling you already got a guess."

"Alright, I'll fix my question — who are you, Doctor?" I asked again, now the question doesn't really make sense once it slipped through my mouth. "Why did you change? Actually, how did you change?"

"I thought I've told you all the basics."

"Yeah by regenerating, but that means you have to die before doing that—" my eyes squinted. "And what are you doing here anyway? I told you I quit."

"No, you told me you're going for a hiatus," his beamed. "And now this is me, asking you to come for another trip after a long time."



"You left me here yesterday."

He paused. "Sorry?"

"You left me here yesterday, I just left you yesterday." I repeated, now a bit of concern appearing on my voice. "It hasn't been a long time, Doctor. I haven't even gotten a chance to do anything."

"... Oh."



"What have you been doing since I've been away?" I asked, my eyes observing the new man I had never seen before my entire life.

He shrugged sheepishly, only rubbish coming out of his mouth. "You know, 've been out and about."

"Have you gotten yourself other companions after me?"

He paused before sighing. "... No, I've traveled solo since then."

I shook my head in discontent. "Doctor.."

"What? Making friends is hard." He said it in a matter of defense, immaturely crossing his arms like a spoiled child. "I don't like talking."

I sneered. "The Doctor I know would never dare to say the last sentence."

"Well yeah, that's the Doctor before." He reminded. "Not the Doctor I am now. Honestly speaking, I still don't know who I am either. I'm still taking a wild guess on how I look like now. Maybe that's why.." he stopped. "Oh, that's why I came here!"

"... why?"

"Because I wanted to borrow a mirror!" He exclaimed, a little too loud for the sake of it. "You got those phones with the front camera things? I want to see how I look like now."

I scoffed. "You think I'm an inventor? Who in the world thought of having front cameras?"

"Uh, Steve Jobs? Come on, it's 2010! You should've had gotten them by now! iPhones!"

I stared at the BlackBerry phone left on my desk before denying his statement. "... No thanks." I took a small mirror from the drawer and passed it to the Doctor, making sure it's going the right way and not to the granite floor. He took the mirror by ease and took his time to observe himself.

"Nice features, dollish eyes, pretty lips—" he whined. "Still not ginger!"

"And still shorter than me," I added, a reality the Doctor still needs to face, no matter which regeneration he's in.


That was when I started to pay attention on what had really changed of him. "... This might sound strange, but could timelords change ethnicities?"

The Doctor noticed what I meant once he double checked his appearance, him not looking as posh and flashy as he usually is. He cupped his cheeks with his own hands, feeling the surface of his clear, unblemished skin. "I've heard some cases, yes, I heard some. Melody turning to River, a primary example. But me, it's quite unexpected for me to be choosing *this* face. For instance, i look..."

"Magnificent? Brilliant? Descendant of the Han dynasty?" I phrased some possible answers, all spluttered without thinking as I didn't have the urge to ask anyway.

"Korean!" He bolted in mere clairvoyance, grinning to me proudly.

"You're spewing nonsense again." I heaved a heavy breath. "If so, why in the world did you have the single thought of turning yourself into what appeared to be a young, Korean man—" I stopped, as I suddenly remembered a conversation I had with the Doctor not so long ago.

"You're one, fine specimen, that's what I'd got to say." She spoke out a compliment, something the Doctor is uncommon to do. "Why don't you go on dates? I had a couple of other charming companions and they're still out and about searching for a partner, though clearly they'd be just fine as long as they have me." She slurped the remaining substance left in her strangely-colored space beverage. "How about you? Not interested on finding someone?"

I shrugged. "Mom's a bit picky. She only approves of me dating Korean guys rather than the western type."

She spat out her drink, her trailing in a wild shock. She coughed tormentedly like someone choking on a riceball. "Guys?"

"... Yes," I replied without hesitation. "Why are you so surprised..?"

"Oh it's nothing," she chuckled to herself. "Korean man, same age, same interest. I'll keep that in mind."

I rose both of my eyebrows. "Saving it for later so that you could surprise me with a blind date?"

She stopped. "Yeah, something like that."

"Uh, zoning out much?" The Doctor snapped his fingers right in front of my eyes, trying to keep me from going unconscious. "You were saying?"

I got up from my bed and scowled. "You know what? You're all healthy and all. You don't seem to be in pain and I've already given you the mirror, now please kindly leave." I uttered. "You don't need me anymore, right?"

"Wait!" He shouted, gripping my hand with no patience. "The mirror's not the only reason why I came here."

"And you came here because...?"

"It's obvious. You." He tightened his grip, not planning on letting it go any sooner. "I want you back in the TARDIS."

I felt myself aggrieved. "Doctor, you know I want to stay here. To live the life I had specifically planned for myself. And I just said that to you no more than just yesterday. I'm not planning on leaving so soon."

I didn't dare to look at his face because I already know from his voice that he is somehow distressed. "But.. all I did to get back here.."

I squinted my eyes. "What exactly did you do to get back here?"

It seemed like he was unable to say anything, as nothing came out of his mouth. Disheartened, he stood up from the bed. "I guess I'll be going then, if you don't want me."

In a swift move, I yanked his arm. "No," I held on to him, me being a lot stronger than him physically making is easier for me to pull him backwards. "Stay."

He sneered. "That's what I just said."

"No really, I'm staying." I continued. "With you." He stared at me, eyes widening, truly appalled by what I just said. "We'll be leaving tomorrow. But please, for god's sake, let's tone down the running, shall we? I've had enough of it."

It took me a while to ponder about what I had to do during the Doctor's appearance. Trust me, I spent the last conversation with him mortified by all the decisions i have made and whether I'll change them or not. It was hard and full of risks. For once, I stood tall with the decision of leaving the Doctor, as I thought the position I had with the Doctor now could clearly be replaced by someone else, by someone who loves adventures as much as I do.

But it all changed when I took another glance of the Doctor's face, the look on his face that shows he's awfully terrified, more terrified than anything in the world.

For the previous Doctor, I wasn't the first companion. She had a several others before, though I never asked what become of them. However, for this Doctor, I am the first. The first person he came for help, the first to tuck him to bed, the first in everything. And once you become the first face a person would saw, like a baby finally opening his eyes and catches the sight of his mother, you become an important figure for them. A wistful dream, an imminent anchor.

The Doctor came back because he had no one else to come back for except for me. He's agitated and confused, he rode the TARDIS like some sort of a mad man that did not know where to go. Then he thought of me. Through his regeneration, he thought of me. And although this all just sounded so theoretical and wishful thinking – even for me – I can't help but act as if it was all true.

So no, no one could replace my position with the Doctor, that is standing by his side. He came to me for help, so I guess it's the time for me to help him.

When Chanyeol returned back to the dorms, everyone was already asleep. It's going to be obvious that most of them wondered on where did he go, as the rooms that were used for all of the 12 of them were only two; both of them being a whole lot awfully small for 6 occupants, but they had to go through that anyway. All they could do left is to think of a better future for them after debuting, mainly to receive good accommodation and respect by their company.

Chanyeol returned to his 'bed' (which was just blankets and pillows piled up together but who was he to judge) which was in the middle of Jongin and Baekhyun. He had to tiptoe so that he didn't wake up the other members. Once he tucked himself inside his blanket, he realized that he wasn't the only one fully awake.

"Where have you been?" Baekhyun mumbled, his eyes shifting at the sight of Chanyeol.

Chanyeol grimaced. "Have you been waiting for me?"

"No, I just can't sleep." He replied with an uninterested tone. "You still haven't answered my last question — where have you been?"

He shrugged. "Just out and about. There was something I had to do."

"Junmyeon-hyung was worried sick of you. He thought you ran away or something."

"I'm sorry, I didn't think anyone would notice." Chanyeol apologized, a pinch of guilt added into his emotions. "Is that why you haven't been able to sleep?"

Baekhyun shook his head as he wrapped himself up with the blanket, looking like a resurrected mummy. "I feel weird."

Chanyeol moved closer. "In what way?"

"Just, weird. Like I'm.. sad, but I don't know what for." He breathed deeply. "Sad and sorry. But not sure for what."

"Anything appears in your head? Like a memory or some of sort?" Chanyeol disembarked, trying to break down some possibilities. "Or is it related with the Doctor?"

"The Doctor..." he mentioned the name as if it wasn't a native word for his tongue. "Yes.. oh, he's full of guilt."

Chanyeol tilted my head. "What?"

"Sorry.. he's very, very sorry." Baekhyun paused, his eyes starting to dilate. "Amy."

Hearing that name coming out from Baekhyun brings shivers up to Chanyeol's spine, as he never brought up any of the Doctor's past companions. Not even once. "Amy? Amelia Pond?"

He started to list out names that Chanyeol clearly knew of, but didn't know that Baekhyun had the capability of knowing them to. "Martha, Clara, Donna, Sarah Jane, Susan, Ace, Bill—"


"Rose!" Baekhyun's voice trembled, not realizing that he already had tears streaming down his cheeks. "I'm sorry for them. I'm so, terribly, deeply sorry... I'm..."

His eyes were locked onto Chanyeol's, and there was nothing else in the world that'll make him look away. Chanyeol wasn't expecting anything to happen, well that was until Baekhyun took a unexpected move by leaning over to kiss him. Before he reached his lips, Chanyeol looked away. A part of him wanted to swear at himself for doing such a thing, but the other part was relieved, knowing that this was what he was supposed to do, not for the sake of his pleasure but for the sake of both of their futures.

Noticing what he just voluntarily did, Baekhyun backed away, clothing himself in penitence and shame. "I'm sorry, I'm truly, truly sorry; I didn't know what I was thinking."

No, I'm sorry. Chanyeol thought to himself. The only reason why he didn't go for the kiss is because he knew that deep inside it wasn't Baekhyun doing it, it was the Doctor. And he knew if he were to give a single reply to the Doctor — especially one as strong as a kiss — it's most likely for the Doctor to be triggered, ending up with them losing Byun Baekhyun.

No, not now. The Doctor returning would be to soon to be true, especially due to the fact that he'd be returning a night before their debut. God knows what'll happen to Byun Baekhyun afterwards. So no, he wouldn't take the risk of bringing the Doctor back, at least for now. The world doesn't need him yet, right?No, I'm the one who's sorry. I'm sorry, Doctor.