"So… I'm Death? And you're future-me?" I asked, confused. The skeleton nodded, "Okay, but why are you a skeleton and I'm… not?"

"Because only one of us in a given time can have a mortal form throughout the multiverse. I'm what you expected to see, meeting Death. Of course, seeing as they're each encased in their own time, we can technically go against the system, but not in this moment."


"Here's the rulebook that I wrote for you, since I know it's confusing, and here's the scythe that I know you think is badass, along with the instruction manual."

I blinked in confusion as they left. Multiverse? Does that mean… That the Doctor Who universe is real? I open up the rulebook.

Rule One: While slacking off, still do your job if you come across it. You don't want to cross your own timestream too often.

I close the book and look for the Doctor Who universe. Fuck yeah I was gonna slack off for a few eternities. Doctor, here Death comes! Woohoo! I stumbled into the universe, staring at the frozen form of everything. I open the rulebook.

Rule Two: Time doesn't apply to you, that doesn't mean you can do your job without stepping into the timestream. To do so just take a step forward and imagine time running again. You won't understand the process for another few years as of yet.

I nodded and took a step forwards, stumbling at the sudden rush of things. Air, sounds, that ringing that I somehow knew was time, and all of the vibrations that hadn't been there before. Even space overtook me, and I gasped, unused to needing oxygen even in the small amount of time I've been Death, and stumble, falling.

The Christopher Eccleston lookalike gave me a confused look. I had, after all, just appeared out of nowhere, gasping and gaping like a fish.

"Oooh, unused to time, hokay!" I stood back up, just fine, grinning at the Doctor, "Hello dude! Sorry for appearing outta nowhere, you wouldn't understand how even if I walked you through the steps, so I'll just leave now."

"We're on an iceberg! Where are you gonna go?" He yelled to me. I paused. That's why it was so cold! Ooh. Okay.

"Ah, good point. Can I come with you, then?" I asked, and he gave me an incredulous look.

"I'm on the iceberg too."

"... Yeah?" I sat down in front of him. Why was he clinging onto… Ooh, we were sideways. Does gravity not effect Death? I opened my rulebook.

Rule Three: Do not tell anyone who you are. Your mortal body will perish if you do, and you'll never be able to interact with them if they know. You can say your name is Death, but do not claim to be Death, and do not show them that you are Death. Ever.

I blinked. Okay. Not what I was looking for.

Rule Four: In each universe there will be a Rulebook for that specific universe. It will be outside of time right where you appeared. You likely didn't notice it. Find it and keep it in that universe for easy access. Yes, I wrote them all. I got bored, sue me past-self. After a while you just know the rules, but for now I'll write down the first few.

That… Also doesn't tell me anything.

"Be right back," I said absently, stepping out of time and picking up the also defying gravity book. I guess that's just what happens. I blinked at the cake, looking at the note.

You'll find you'll have new tastes for things. I'm just speeding up the process by giving you this butterscotch-cinnamon pie by you-know-who.

Toriel's famed, I mused even as I chomped down. My eyes dilated, and, Rulebook in hands, stumbled back into the timestream by accident. I froze in horror as the cake fell, and I dived after it, entirely forgetting about the Doctor, who got in the way and fell with us. I absently make sure he doesn't die on impact before catching the cake just before it hits the water. I happily eat the rest of it, not noticing that I was sitting on water.

"You're not human, are you," The Doctor asked after spewing forth from the water, looking cold, but not as cold as a human would be.

"Dude… Cake is awesome," I ignored what he was saying, staring at the holy cake before me.

"Never had cake before?" The Doctor asked, "Where did you get that?"

"I'm uhhh the last of my species, you wouldn't know us," I muttered, "We call ourselves the Timestriders. Something managed to kill us even though we're typically outside of time… Some pepper-pot things, and humanoids that glowed golden. I gained a new body, and now everything tastes different," I made up on the spot, eyes not leaving the cake.

"... I'm sorry for your loss," The Doctor apologized.

"Don't be. We all hated each other. We're… Lone creatures. We don't need others, unlike social species," I lied more. I wrote that down in the rulebook in my own code. It was half-regular letters because I forgot most of the code I created. Was that an M or an F? I blinked at the symbol for a moment before shrugging, "So why are you on an iceberg?"

"I'm not, anymore, thanks to someone," The Doctor mentioned. I glanced at him, before picking him up and walking to the top of the iceberg. I set him down. It was dark by the time we were found, and we managed to get into the boat.

I gave the man a confused look when he looked away. I knew him, but… He still felt like such a stranger. It was an odd feeling. On the ride I decided to read more of the rules.

Rule One: Don't let the Time Lords know of your existence. You break pretty much all of their laws daily and they hate you for it. If you already have, which I think you did, good luck getting away long enough to do your job beyond next to whichever Time Lord you come across.

"What're you reading?"

"Rulebook of this universe," I absently said, looking at the second rule, the only other rule on the page.

Rule Two: Don't tell anyone about this rulebook, or let them read any of the rules. I believe, if I remember correctly, you already failed at this rule too. Good job.

"Fuck," I muttered under my breath.

"Remember correctly, what does that mean?" The Doctor asked.

"Future-me wrote these… We have laws… But we aren't born knowing them so we write them as we figure them out, and then give it to our past selves… Because we live outside of time," I muttered.

"Oh. And the first rule?" He asked after curiously.

"... Well all of our laws kind of go against all of theirs. We prefer changing up time and having fun over being boring and not accidentally ripping the universe in half… Because it doesn't really affect us."

"Hm, and what do you do?" He asked curiously.

"I don't know, I was just sent here," I muttered, flipping to the next page.

Rule Three: Create as many paradoxes as you can. More cake for us if you do, due to you being able to duplicate the same cake in a paradox. Only in this universe, though. The more paradoxes you create the more people die, and the faster the universe dies the sooner you're done with this rulebook.

I immediately close the rulebook, glancing at the Doctor. He gave me a disapproving look. I grinned sheepishly, "Uh, you didn't see that? It's none of a human's business anyway!"

"Time Lord. Last of," He said.

"Ah," I nodded, before standing up, saluting him with a cocky grin, and stepping out of the timestream after jumping into the water. Nope.

Okay, what's the first event that I can create a paradox in? Immediately my mind flickers to the Tardis, which is literally a walking paradox if it lands a few years early. Hmm. I sneak around, finding the TARDIS. Looking around, I don't notice time start up again as I go back to the console room and slowly but surely flick the levers, making it so that it's in the same space at the same time. About to flip the lever, I wince as I'm ripped away from the TARDIS, all of my work undone.

"Man," I said, unhappy.

"I'm actually glad I ran into you," The Doctor said, flipping the levers and switches to some other setting, "You're under arrest."