Full disclaimer before we begin: this is basically just my take on Doctor Who season 5's "Amy's Choice" but with Dante and Elizabeth. A lot, if not most of the dialogue is lifted straight from the episode so of course all rights go to their respective holders and I own none of it.


All things considered, Elizabeth supposed they'd had a good run. From Columbia to the farthest reaches of a million different worlds, she and Dante had seen and done it all. From running and stopping all manner of creature and menace, to just stopping by a solar system for a quick lunch. It seemed they'd seen and done it all, again and again and again.

She supposed it was bound to get monotonous at some point. Elizabeth loved the thrill of danger, she loved traveling around and seeing all the different worlds she had only had a glimpse of before, but after a while it all seemed to blend together. She didn't mention it to Dante, but she started to daydream of a normal life somewhere. A house with a cliche white-picket fence and neighbors and getting a daily newspaper. Elizabeth didn't forget the irony of thinking that a normal life would be more exciting than her current one, but she wanted it nonetheless.

It was only after a particularly death-defying escapade that she confided her fears to Dante. Yes, she loved him, and this life, but she was also afraid-not of the insurmountable odds and horrors that they faced every day, but of...well, she wasn't exactly sure. All she knew was that she and Dante couldn't do this forever, and she didn't want to. He'd agreed to at least take a break, and they'd found a lovely place together in Bayville, New York. One thing had led to another-they had gotten married, bought a house, and...well...

Elizabeth was reading in the living room when it happened. She didn't even notice it at first, too engrossed in her novel to focus on anything other than the story-and even when she did, the small stomach aches were easy to ignore. She didn't realize what the stinging, sharp and abrupt pains were at first. Shifting uncomfortably in her seat a couple of times, she finally put the book down. Maybe a drink would help.

"I need a glass of water," she sighed to no one as she rose from her position, the pain increasing as she moved towards the kitchen. 'What the hell is happening?' It took getting the glass and sitting down at the counter for her to realize-and once she did, she sat up straight, calling out, "Dante! Get in here! It's starting!"


Dante, in the meantime, was working on a new device that he was going to pitch to UNIT and was about to place the finishing touches when he heard his wife's yell. This caused him to immediately drop everything and run as fast as he could from the workshop shed they had out in back, into the house.

"Elizabeth! Wha-?!"

His words were cut short due to the sight of Elizabeth herself, munching slowly away at a chocolate bar as she held a book in front of her face. When Dante entered, she looked up, her nose wrinkling at the sight of his appearance. "False alarm."

He let out a sigh of relief and slight disappointment. "Jeez, that almost gave me a heart attack I swear. This is the second time this week that's happened."

"Getting close," she agreed, biting off another piece of the chocolate. As he approached her, she snapped the bar in half and offered him the second half. "There's always next time."

"Always next time," he frowned, taking the piece. "You know, one of these days it's going to be real, except I'll think it's not and leave you to your own devices, but you'll actually be in labor."

"That's a convoluted way of thinking about it."

"It's the truth."

"Well, if that happens I'll just scream long and loud enough until you know it's for real."


Dante took a seat beside Elizabeth, and the two sat in silence for a while as she read her book and he ate his half of the bar. He looked around the kitchen, wanting to talk to his wife but not really knowing what to say. He supposed he could update her on how the device was going, but he wasn't sure Elizabeth would care for it. She wouldn't want to hear about it unless she could see the updates herself or until it was done. That was just the way she was. His gaze fell upon the window, cracked open a little to let some fresh air in. Sunlight streamed in and bathed the countertops in a golden glow. After several minutes, Dante asked, "Wanna go for a walk? I could use a break and it's quite nice out."

Elizabeth looked up at him and then out of the window where he was looking. She gave a noncommittal shrug. "Sure. Give me a minute to get ready and we'll head out."


They decided to head to the park after a bit of aimless wandering. Neither of them really cared for just sitting around on benches and doing nothing while being so exposed in the open, but a walk through couldn't hurt. They walked hand in hand, saying hello and greeting people they came across before sitting down on one of the park bench to give Elizabeth some time off her feet. She rested her head on his shoulder as they took in the beautiful weather. Something about the day felt off to Dante, but he chalked it up to the unusual start they had had this morning. Elizabeth didn't seem to share his sentiments, enjoying the cool breeze and the sun on her face. From somewhere distant, Dante heard the chirping of birds.

"How long were you going to stay with me again?" Dante looked down at his wife, noting the matching blue and gold mixed wedding bands on their respective fingers.

Elizabeth looked up smiling at him, taking his hand in hers. "Forever."

The chirping of the birds evolved into a song of sorts, one that went mostly unnoticed by everyone in the park, including Dante and Elizabeth. They sat there for a while longer,

in silence, taking in everything. Abruptly, a feeling of drowsiness overtook both of them, and though they tried to blink themselves awake, they fell asleep.


Dante's eyes shot open as he was wondering why he was laying on the floor of the TARDIS before realizing several lights were flashing and alarms were going off all at once. He startled as he recognized the current situation being very different and far less pleasant than the one he had just woken from. How had he even fallen into that trap in the first place? He shook his head, trying to clear it.

Elizabeth. He needed to find Elizabeth, first and foremost. Then he could worry about the alarms. Groaning, he got up off the floor and winced as several bouts of pain almost overwhelmed him. Where was she?

He ignored the wailing of the alarms, aware that if he didn't find Elizabeth soon then she would have to wait until the problem was dealt with. That notion did not appeal to Dante, as if there was danger and not just a malfunction then every second they spent out of each other's sight was a moment they could be in grave danger. Fortunately, he found her lying not too far away from him, her eyes just fluttering gently open before snapping awake.

"You okay?" he asked, gingerly checking her over while helping her up.

She groaned an affirmative and shook her head, trying to clear the thoughts from her mind. "That was...something else."

"What was?"

"The-dream, I guess it was. It couldn't have been anything else, except maybe a hallucination."

"But it felt real didn't it?" Elizabeth nodded. He flicked the certain switches and buttons to silence the TARDIS' alarms and lights, setting the ship to auto pilot. "What did you see in the dream?"

A blush crossed Elizabeth's face as she recounted what happened in said dream. "Well, we were, of all things, married. And I was-"


"How did you-"

"We had the same dream. Or nightmare. Or...goodmare?" He started to ponder, walking circles around the console. "Look, it doesn't matter. We both had some kind of psychic episode. We probably jumped a time track or something. Forget it. We're back to reality now."

It was then the two could hear a bird's singing.

"If we're back to reality, how come I can still hear birds? The same birds. The same ones we heard in the-"


"Dream? Oh! Sorry. Nodded off. God, I must be overdoing it. I was dreaming we were back on the TARDIS." Elizabeth laughed, soft and sleepy. "Alarms were blaring like crazy. It was annoying as hell." She turned to Dante, who got up beginning to pace back and forth, a look of worry masking his face. "What's wrong?"

"You had the same dream, didn't you?"

"I think so. Why do dreams have to fade so quickly?" She groaned, holding her forehead. "Is this because of you? Is this some Time Lordy thing?"

Dante held her by her shoulders "Listen to me. Trust nothing. From now on, trust nothing you see, hear or feel."

Elizabeth started, looking uncomfortable. She hadn't seen that look of wild mania in so long, but suddenly she remembered it clear as day. "But we're awake now."

"Yeah. You thought you were awake on the TARDIS, too."

"But we're home."

"I think so. But we're also dreaming. Trouble is, which is which? Are we flashing forwards or backwards?" The chirping of birds could be heard once again, the two starting to feel drowsy, Dante retreating back to the bench. "Hold on, this one's gonna be difficult."


"Oh, this is bad. I don't like this." Dante growled as he kicked the console, only managing to hurt his leg in the process. "Argh! Never use force. You'll just embarrass yourself. Unless you're upset, in which case, always use force."

"Should I get the manual?" Elizabeth asked, looking at him with concern.

"The Doctor threw it in a supernova," he said off-handedly, like it was nothing. To him it was, but to Elizabeth…

"He threw the manual in a supernova? Why?"

"Because he disagreed with it. Please stop talking to me when I'm upset."

"Okay, but whatever's wrong with the TARDIS, is that what caused us to dream about the future? Also, there's no need to be rude," she frowned. Elizabeth attempted to place a placating hand on Dante's shoulder, but he turned away at the last second, making it impossible.

He began to pace, up and down in front of the console while making nervous glances towards it. That's when Elizabeth grasped, at least in part, the severity of the situation, even if she didn't fully understand it. "If we were dreaming of the future," he muttered, catching Elizabeth's attention.

"Well, of course we were," she said, more confused than ever now. "We were in Bayville."

"Yeah, and we could still be in Bayville, dreaming of this. Don't you get it?"

"No...no, okay?" Elizabeth shook her head, attempting to clear her thoughts. She grabbed Dante's upper arm, squeezing it tightly. A short, shallow breath later, and she nodded. "No, this is real. I'm definitely awake now."

"And you thought you were definitely awake when you were pregnant," he countered. "Heck, you could be giving birth right now. This could be the dream. I told you: trust nothing we see or hear or feel. Look around you. Examine everything. Look for all the little details that don't ring true."

Elizabeth was beginning to get a better grasp of the situation as the seconds ticked by, so although she still didn't understand fully, she nodded and put her trust in him. "Okay, we're in a spaceship that's bigger on the inside than the outside. So maybe what rings true isn't so simple."

"Valid point."

Out of nowhere, the TARDIS out of nowhere switched off. Not a single thing was left powered, bar a faint glow from the time rotor. Elizabeth jumped at the sudden activity, but Dante just groaned, shaking his head in disappointment.

"It's dead." Dante touched the rotor, letting his hand slide down it. "We're in a dead time machine."

"Is that even possible? How could it be-" Elizabeth began, but something made her pause, craning her head to listen to the sound.

Somewhere, a bird was singing. The sound was familiar in a way it shouldn't be, and a sense of foreboding washed over her the longer she listened. With a start, both of them recognized where they had heard that tune before. Elizabeth's heart seized, and Dante grabbed her by the shoulders.

"Remember," he said, trying to remain collected for her sake. "This is real. But when we wake up in the other place, remember how real this feels."

"It is real. I know it's real."


The first thing Elizabeth noticed upon waking was the sunlight hitting her face. For a terrifying moment, she thought she was still back in the dead TARDIS, knocked out by -well, something, surely-and was only now coming to. But, she realized after a moment, the heat she felt was not scorching and angry like she had just experienced, but soft and not as intense. Confused, her eyes fluttered open, and all at once everything came back to her. She bolted upright, a hand coming to rest on her stomach.

"Dante?" she asked, looking around for him, and saw him sitting next to her. Not confused as she was, but understandably upset all the same. "What...the hell just happened?"

"I…" He sighed, scratching the back of his head and looking up to the sky. "I may have an idea, but..." Dante looked up, squinting at the sky as if it held all the answers to the questions he didn't bother asking aloud. "That's odd."

"Hm?" Elizabeth followed his line of sight and noticed the sky looking a lot greyer and the clouds becoming a lot darker in what was most definitely not a normal length of time. "Oh, that's probably bad, isn't it?"

"Probably," Dante admitted.

"Should we waste time on wishful thinking?"

"I wouldn't. Come on, let's get back to the house."

Before they could move another muscle, the birds sounded again, their telltale chirping striking chords of anxiety within the pair. As they unwillingly drifted off into another fit of slumber, Elizabeth felt the patter of rain on her face where only seconds before there had been sunlight.

How strange. It had been sunny only moments before, hadn't it? A nice, warm sunny day in the park with her husband, on a perfectly normal day. Inexplicably, she felt a tug in her gut, familiar and foreign all at once. It took her only a moment to recognize the feeling—and cold, slow dread spread through her. The feeling of a tear, somewhere, being opened—and she hadn't done a thing. Whatever this was, it was dangerous, but before she could so much as turn her head, she was asleep again.


"Okay, I hate this. Stop it, please, because this is definitely real. It's definitely this one. Why is it so warm in here?" Elizabeth complained, still clutching her stomach. When she noticed it was not nearly as big as she had remembered, she drew her hands away, feeling embarrassed.

"The A/C's off." Dante surmised, scowling at the console.


"Yeah." He took off his jacket and threw it on the railing. "Put on summer clothes or start shedding the ones you have on. It's what I do."

"Normally I'd say something sultry or flirtatious, but unlike you, I can tell when the situation calls for a joke and when it doesn't." Despite this critique, she complied, beginning to take her clothes off as Dante, doing the same, started to pace.

"Everything's off. Sensors, core power. We're drifting. The scanner's down so we can't even see outside. We could be anywhere, anywhen. Someone, something, is overriding my controls."

All of a sudden a little man in a red bow tie and tweed jacket appeared on the set of stairs behind Dante. Elizabeth yelped in surprised, holding her discarded shirt to her chest and blushing.

The little man chuckled, eyeing her but addressing the both of them. "Well, that took a while. Honestly, I'd heard such good things. The Fate Bender, the Universe Hacker, the Equation Changer."

"How'd you get in here? Who are you?"

"Hmm, what shall we call me? Well, if you're a Time Lord-albeit a hybrid-let's call me the Dream Lord."

Dante gave the man's outfit a onceover. "Decent look."

"This?" He gestured at his outfit, shaking his head in distaste. "No, I'm not convinced. Bow ties?"

Dante was silent for a moment before he threw a ball from his pocket, it going straight through the Dream Lord.

"Interesting." He looked at where the ball would've hit him, tilting his head. "I'd love to be impressed, but Dream Lord. It's in the name, isn't it? Eerie, yet not quite there."

He suddenly disappeared before suddenly popping up behind Elizabeth.

"And yet, very much here."

Elizabeth jumped, scowling at the odd figure as she turned to face him. She attempted to subtly inch the shirt closer up her torso as she backed away. She looked to Dante for help, but he was entirely focused on the strange man.

"I'll do the talking, thank you." Dante pointed towards him. "Elizabeth, want to take a guess at what that is?"

"Dream Lord. He creates dreams?"

"Dreams, delusions, cheap tricks."

"Oh, Elizabeth, you have to sort your boy out. Choose, even." The Dream Lord's maniacal grin deeply unsettled the both of them, and Elizabeth could not help but be reminded of a different fanatical psychopath she had encountered in her lifetime.

"Choose? Choose what?"

The Dream Lord popped up behind them again.

"You can't fool me. I've seen your dreams. Some of them twice. Blimey, I'd blush if I had a blood supply or a real face."

"Where'd you get this act from?" Dante defended, stepping in front of Elizabeth, who for once couldn't muster up a snappy retort or seething comeback. She sneered at the Dream Lord, which would have looked scathing if her face wasn't so red.

"Me? Oh, you're on shaky ground." The short man pointed a finger at Dante, grinning madly. Dante was far from unnerved-he had seen and met far worse things than this-but still, he was on his guard.

"Am I?"

"If you had any more quirks you could open up a Quirk Shop. The madcap vehicle, the ratty curly hair, the clothes designed by a first-year fashion student. I'm surprised you haven't got that blue space dog just to ram home what an intergalactic clown you are. Where was I?" He put a finger to his lip before exclaiming, "I know where I was. So, here's your challenge. Two worlds. Here, in the time machine, and there, in the invaded town. One is real, the other's fake. And just to make it more interesting, you're going to face in both worlds a deadly danger, but only one of the dangers is real. Tweet, tweet. Time to sleep."

The telltale birdsong was heard as the two began to drift to sleep, falling to the floor while struggling to stay awake.

"Oh. Or are you waking up?"


"Okay, this is the real one. Definitely this one." Elizabeth held her pregnant belly, unable to resist a small smile as she looked at it. "It's all solid."

"It felt solid in the TARDIS too. You can't spot a dream while you're having it." Dante then began to wave his hand in front of his face, examining it. Trying to spot some glitch in reality that only he could decipher.

"What are you doing?"

"Checking for motion blur or pixilation. It could be a computer simulation. Although I don't think so."

"Did anything like this ever happen to your mentor?"

Before Dante had a chance to respond, a loud tearing sound could be heard as the duo's eyes shot up to see a tear in the middle of the air. Out of it came, of all things, a Coloumbian airship. Both Dante and Elizabeth looked up; Elizabeth in disbelief, Dante in horror. Dante felt his heart seize in his chest as a cold feeling spread in his gut. What the hell was going on? Had Elizabeth opened a tear without her knowledge?

But no-he looked over to his companion and saw that she was equally as surprised and horrified, and her hands were still resting on her stomach. She was speechless, trying to get some word out when a familiar horn sounded followed by words coming from a PA system.

"Attention, sinners and heathens, for we are the Children of Comstock! Descendants of those who seceded from the Sodom below over a century ago! We have emerged to reclaim the Lamb of Colombia, so she can complete her father's mission!"

"Oh, you have got to be kidding me," Dante groaned, turning to Elizabeth. "I don't suppose I have to tell you what we need to do next?"

"Run and hide?" she suggested hopefully, knowing that wasn't to be the case.

"Right about the first part, second...that might actually be the case."

The horn sounded again as the PA came alive. "As for the False Shepherd's disciple, the one who helped us get here has a word for you."

This caught Dante's peak attention as the sound of the mic being passed and the sound of an ominous throat clearing.

"Peoples of the Earth, please attend carefully. The message that follows is vital to the future of you all."

Dante's hearts nearly stopped together as he recognized the voice immediately.

"And I know you're listening as well, apprentice of my greatest adversary." The voice said, seething with venom. "Give us the girl and I'll let you and your pathetic planet live. Try to run, try to hide and, heh heh heh, I don't have to say what will happen if you do. Better yet, I'll just show you." The PA went dead as a loud bang and whistling followed by an explosion, a large motor round hitting the nearby town.

"Who was that?" Elizabeth asked cautiously, still seated on the bench.

"That…" Dante breathed out, wiping the cold sweat off his brow, "was the Master."

"The...who now?" Elizabeth frowned, and attempted to stand up, only succeeding when Dante offered her a hand. "A friend of yours, obviously."

"Far from it. They're a fiend who revels in glory and chaos as well as me and the Doctor's greatest enemy."

"Oh, well, that's not concerning at all, is it? I'm sure he just wants a friendly chat over some poisoned tea. Should we still run and hide?"

"Definitely." He held her hand as the two made their way back to their home, managing to get inside and lock all the doors and windows. On top of this, Dante turned on the lockdown feature he had installed, basically turning the house into a fortified bunker. Elizabeth, meanwhile, sat at the kitchen table, wanting to help but not being much help because of her certain medical condition. The best thing for her, Dante had said, was to just sit down and not get in the way. Normally she would be anything but in the way, but then again, normally she wasn't nine months pregnant and due any day now. Even if it was just a dream, serious harm could come to her and their (imaginary) unborn child.

Just as Dante was trying to put the final touches on the house-turned-bunker, Elizabeth screamed from the kitchen, "DANTE!"

He dropped everything and ran for the kitchen to find Elizabeth clutching her stomach and looking terrified. "I-I don't know if it's just a false alarm or if….but….oh god, it hurts."

Dante was about to say something until the familiar sound of birds could be heard. Not just any birds, however— the sound of the birds that preceded their last two breaks from either reality or fiction as Elizabeth groaned and Dante swore.


The two woke up, back on the TARDIS floor, as they noted that the temperature had gotten a tad hotter than the last time. That and a certain someone decided to pop back in for a chat. Elizabeth scowled and Dante groaned as the Dream Lord began speaking again.

"Now then, the game is this: If you die in the dream, you wake up in reality. Ask me what happens if you die in reality?"

"What happens?" Elizabeth asked already knowing she would hate the answer.

"You die, stupid. That's why it's called reality."

Despite the insult from the small person, Elizabeth asked a question that was nagging at her. "Have you met Dante before? Do you know him? " She turned to her boyfriend, suddenly unsure. "Does he?"

"Now don't get jealous. He's been around, our boy. But never mind that. You've got a world to choose. One reality was always too much for you, Dante."

With that, the Dream Lord vanished leaving the couple alone to collect their thoughts.

"I really don't like him. Who is he?"

"I don't know." Elizabeth shot him an odd look, and he sighed, shaking his head. "Really I don't, it's a big universe after all."

"Then why is he doing this?"

"Maybe because he has no physical form. That tends to get one down after a while, so he's taking it out on people like us who can touch, eat and feel."

Elizabeth shrugged before she began to shed her clothing. "Do we have any better suited clothing? I feel like a cake that's about to become overcooked."

"The word is burnt," Dante corrected, allowing himself a slight smirk before following her lead. Hadn't they done this the last time? How terribly inconvenient. "There should be more suitable clothing down there if you're interested."

They went down the steps together, Dante leading Elizabeth to a panel which he then opened. As Elizaebeth began to dig through the spare clothing, she sighed, frustrated and boiling in more ways than one.

"I want the other life," she murmured wistfully, almost as an afterthought. She refused to look at Dante. It was a moment or two before she spoke again. "You know, where we're happy, settled and about to have a baby."

"But it makes you think doesn't it?" Dante conjectected. "If that life is real, then why would we give up all this? Why would anyone?"

"Because we're going to broil to death?"

"I'll fix it. Besides, we could still get married someday."

"It wouldn't be the same. I do want that. But I also...I also want something normal. Routine, boring even. I don't want to…" She paused, trying to find the right words to use. "I don't want to be hopping from adventure to adventure with no breaks or moments of rest in between. I don't want to spend the rest of my life fighting or running away from the next person that's trying to kill us. I want to, eventually, settle down, maybe...have a family? I love this life, and I love you, but I don't want it for forever. Maybe we could try the simple life?"

Dante said nothing for a time, avoiding eye contact with Elizabeth, before going back upstairs. He'd grabbed and assembled a whisk, rope and bottle opener into a gizmo and held the rope out to Elizabeth.

"Could you attach this to the monitor, please?"

Elizabeth sighed, snatching the contraption out of his hand and rolling her eyes. "Don't switch the subject, and don't ignore me. I was promised amazing worlds. Instead I get garbage air conditioning and a weird, kitcheny wind-up device."

"It's a generator. Please start winding."

"Answer the question," she said as she started winding. The scanner came to life suddenly, startling Elizabeth.

"What is that?"

"A newborn white dwarf." Dante went over and opened the door, letting in a wave of heat while Elizabeth yelled at him to immediately shut the door. He ignored her for a few seconds before complying. "That's why we're burning up. It's not a malfunction, we're drifting towards a star. There's our deadly danger for this version of reality."

"So does that mean this is the dream?"

"I don't know. Also I'd say we've got about," he briefly checked his watch, "fourteen minutes until we crash into it. But that's not a problem."

"Because you know how to get us out of this?" she asked hopefully.

"Because we'll have become flambe by that point."

"Oh," and she flung her hands in the air, exasperated. "Well, that's so much better. What are we going to do?

"Firstly, stay calm. Don't get sucked into it, because this just might be the battle that we have to lose."

"Fourteen minutes left to live and you're the only one who can save the day, huh?" She let out a bitter chuckle. "Why me? I just want to live in a nice town with a family...maybe a dog. I'd trade you for a dog," she finished offhandedly, tone joking, but there was something else in her tone that unnerved the hybrid.

"Oh dear," tisked a voice from somewhere behind them. Both whirled around in unison at the returned phantom, grinning madly from ear to ear. "Dissent in the ranks."

The Dream Lord looked startled as the bird song started up again, before the look melted into one of feigned concern. "Oh, no. We've run out of time. Don't spend too long there, or you'll burn here."


Dante's eyes shot open and he immediately sat up from where he was lying. He didn't even bother to check for Elizabeth next to or around him as he made a beeline for the kitchen, making sure that the lockdown procedures were still underway for every room as he went. He thought he heard some kind of siren as he went along, but paid it no heed as he went. Maybe it was just his imagination—maybe something was actually going on. He didn't much care to find out, but knew it was inevitable.

As he reached the kitchen, he heard footsteps behind him. He whirled around only to find Elizabeth on his heels, once again heavily pregnant and now out of breath. But she wasn't looking at him—rather, her gaze was turned towards the door, an unspoken question in her eyes.

"Did you hear something?" he asked, but Elizabeth either didn't hear or didn't care. She moved quickly to the door, unlatching it as the shutter went up and headed outside. Dante, not wanting to leave his wife defenseless, followed suit.

Outside, the sky had changed from its normal pleasant blue to a near blood red as they watched, the sirens Dante had thought he'd heard earlier in full force as the screaming started around them. Dante stared at the sky as Elizabeth started looking around frantically for people to help. He didn't even register her leaving his side and rushing to the nearby couple to see if she could help-just stared at the sky above, frozen in what he refused to admit was terror. It didn't matter right now which world was real. Right now, this one was-and in either one, the danger could result in death. Even he didn't have a way to tell the dangers apart right now-so one was just as real as the other. He followed Elizabeth, who had just directed the couple off to safety.

"Elizabeth-" he started, grabbing at her arm, but she yanked it away. "Elizabeth! What the hell do you think you're doing?"

"Helping," she said without turning back. "All these people, we have to help them-"

"But we can't save everyone. You should know this by now. Besides, we don't even know if this world is the real one. This could be the illusion! In which case, you're wasting your time and risking your life for nothing."

"Or this could be the real one and the TARDIS could be fake, in which case all these people will die and we will have done nothing to save them. I say it's better to take the chance."

"But what about…?" He motioned to her swollen belly, trying to get his point across without actually having to say it. "Real or not real, there is another human inside of you. What about the baby?"

Elizabeth could not immediately form a response, but she placed her hand on her stomach and swallowed thickly. Whatever her personal thoughts on the matter were, she knew he was at least partially right. "I know, it's just...we have to help them. Please."

Dante bit the corner of his lip, a moment of uncertainty crossing his mind, before he decided to go with it. "Alright. But if you start hearing birds, you'll have to fortify yourself. And stay close to me."

"Noted." She gave him a grateful look, squeezing his arm and smiling. "Thank you. You know I'd never be able to live with myself if we didn't…"

"I know. But it's going to be okay."

"It had better be." She glared at the sky, as if whoever was invading could see her. "All I wanted was a normal life."

"Well, if we live through this, maybe we can talk about it. But is now really the time?"

"...No. No, it isn't."

She followed Dante, helping out those they could and sending them away from the fighting before a familiar voice piped up behind them.

"Hello, peasants. What is this? Attack of the pack of flying racists? Oh, that's ridiculous. This has got to be the dream, hasn't it? What do you think, Lizzy? Let's all jump under a bus and wake up in the TARDIS. You first."

"Leave her alone," Dante said, whirling around and glaring.

"Do that again. I love it when he does that. Tall dark hero. Leave her alone," the Dream Lord mocked, snickering.

"Just leave her," he snarled.

"Has he told you about Cleopatra?" He turned to Elizabeth, grinning madly. "Well, she thought she was his first." The short man waggled his eyebrows suggestively, and she rolled her eyes, ignoring him.

"Drop it. I know who you are," Dante threatened, eyes narrowed.

"Course you don't," he teased in a sing-song voice, still grinning that incredibly infuriating smirk.

"Course I do," Dante said back, deadly serious. He had no time or patience for games, especially whatever ones this self-proclaimed Dream Lord was playing. He tried to keep his cool for Elizabeth's sake, but it was becoming harder the longer he spent flitting to and from different realities. "I have no idea how you can be here, but there's only one person in the universe who hates me as much as you do."

"Never mind me," he said, holding his hands up in a placating manner. He turned one hand to the left, the smirk instantly dropping from his face and twisting into something far more sinister. "Maybe you should worry about them." He pointed as a four man squad of CoC rounded the corner. The duo turned back to see the Dream Lord had disappeared and the soldiers had caught sight of them.

"It's them!" one of them shouted, pointing unnecessarily at them. "Take the lamb alive, but kill the disciple!"

Dante grabbed Elizaberh's hand as the two began to run, gunfire peppering the ground where they stood. They ran a good few minutes before Elizabeth yanked on his hand to stop. Leaning up against a wall, she held her stomach and breathed heavily, gasping for air.

"Can't run like I used to," she said between gulps of air.

"Taking account of the current state of your body, that's a given."

"No shit, Sherlock," she growled, glaring. She looked behind them to ensure that their pursuers were not as close as she'd feared. They weren't, but they were drawing closer by the second. She grabbed his outstretched hand and allowed him to lead her into a nearby shop, hoping that it would be enough to throw their pursuers off their trail. The cashier barely looked up from his magazine as they entered, frantic but quiet as they hid themselves among the various shelves.

"You folks let me know if you need anything," the teen drawled from behind the counter, still flipping through his tabloid and completely oblivious to the danger present just outside the door.

Daten ignored him and silenced Elizabeth's protest when he pushed her down to crouch farther behind a row of chips. They watched with their hearts in their throats as the trio of soldiers walked by, knocking people over and getting more than the occasional odd look from everyone else due to their outlandish garb. They didn't even consider looking towards the direction of the shop, something which Dante was sure was nothing short of a small miracle. Once they had passed, Elizabeth began to stand up, but Dante pushed her down again.

"Wait," he mouthed, and she nodded, lips drawn into a thin line.

They waited together behind the shelf until Dante was sure that the trio were long gone and had little to no chance of turning back.

"Come on." Dante grabbed her hand and carefully and quietly led her out of the shop.

"Where are we going?"

"Back to the house. We'll be at least semi-safe there."

"What about—"

"The house is fortified remember? The only thing it couldn't survive is a direct strike from a nuclear bomb."

"And I'm sure they don't have that," she muttered hopefully.

"Doubtful. Seeing as they want you alive and…" Dante went silent instantly, a score of terrible thoughts crossed his mind. "Look, point is, let's just get back home."

"Alright. I trust you, Dante."

They made their way back to their home, taking care to avoid patrols and help when they could. It was once they got back that they began to re-fortify the home until they heard the tweeting of birds.

"Dammit, not-"



They were once again back in the TARDIS, the biggest difference they noticed that it was starting to feel like an oven.

"It's getting too damn hot in here," Elizabeth complained, as if that was their biggest worry right now. Dante couldn't find it in himself to scold her now, though—again, they had worse things going on. He hauled himself up off the floor and only briefly glanced Elizabeth's way as he made his way to the console.

Dante then collected several deep breaths as Elizabeth regained her senses, sitting up and glancing dazedly at him. "We have to agree, which is the dream, which battle we need to lose, now."

"Okay, which world do you think is real?" Elizabeth asked.

"This one."

"No, the other one."

Dante checked his wrist watch. "Nine minutes until impact."

"What temperature is it?"

"Outside? Pretty much the surface of the sun. In here, might as well be a human easy bake oven."

Elizabeth picked up the TARDIS telephone from the console, desperate to not be idle and be of some use, however small it may be. "Can't we call for help?"

He snorted derisively. "Yeah, because the universe is really small and there's bound to be someone nearby."

Elizabeth sighed, rolling her eyes at his rudeness as she decided to shed the last bit of clothing she was wearing, but decided to go with a two piece bikini she found in the compartment. Dante followed suit with a pair of swimming trunks he'd acquired.

"If we're going to die, let's die looking like we're going to the beach," Elizabeth chuckled humorlessly, trying vainly to lighten the mood.

"No, we're not going to die, but our time's running out. If we fall asleep here we're in trouble. If we could divide up, then we'd have an active presence in each world, but the Dream Lord is switching us between the worlds. Why? What's the logic?" He began to pace back and forth.

"Good idea," a voice said, and both of them froze in horror. A certain unwanted midget showed back up pacing beside the hybrid, wearing his own swimming garb as well. Elizabeth dared not look, but Dante faced the Dream Lord head on, glaring. "Let's divide you two up, so I can have a little chat with our lovely companion. Maybe I'll keep her, should you manage to clamber aboard some sort of reality."

Dante looked up, eyes wide and frantic at hearing the sound of birds he was beginning to dread. "Can you hear that?"

"What?" Elizabeth looked around in panic, trying desperately to hear the birdsong too. "No."

He began to feel himself slip back into unconsciousness, starting to grasp at her just as he could feel his mind shutting down. "Elizabeth, don't be scared. I'll be back." Dropping to the floor, Dante fell back asleep.

"Dante, don't leave me," she cried out in desperation, but he was already gone.

"My dear Lizzy, we're going to have fun, aren't we?"

"No, please, not alone."


Dante woke up with a start, checking his surroundings and noting that Elizabeth was still asleep. But before he had a chance to have his mind settle, an explosion rocked the house as he and his wife were thrown off balance. Thankfully he managed to catch her before the position she was in could bring any harm to the baby. That concept alone still boggled his mind, but there was no time to dwell on it as he reached a wall panel and input a set of commands. A second set of shutters and shielding layered over the house as the sounds of heavy gunfire and motor rounds hit their home. He went back over to Elizabeth and began to pull her up the stairs. The extra weight made it a tad trickier to be gentle with her, the eventual bumps and bruises from knocking up against the wall not at all going to be a pleasant feeling once she woke back up. He kicked open the door to what was to be the baby's nursery. Looking around it, he saw little bits of clothing, boxes of diapers and a changing station laid out for the arrival of the newborn.

'Must've had a baby shower.' He thought briefly before noting the noticed the crib with a familiar looking mobile hanging over it. Dante carefully adjusted Elizabeth to where she was in a comfortable position before slightly spinning the toy. His eyes grew soft as he traced his hand over the crib. There were times he thought about settling down just in case he'd never get back to his home dimension. Times where growing old with someone he truly loved and cared about sounded perfect. But the current sound of pelting bullets and slight shaking of explosives pulled him out of that mindset. He rushed back downstairs to a closet, opening another panel in the wall and typing a code as a compartment opened to reveal several weapons. All varied from modern firearms to futuristic lasers. Grabbing what he could he headed back up stairs and used a manual lever to slightly lower down one of the shields. Dante armed himself and took a deep breath before beginning his one man defense of his home, wife and unborn child.


There was a thick haze of heat as sweat poured off the two, Elizabeth sat on the stairs looking at the sleeping form of her boyfriend. All the while the mischievous imp watched her from the side.

"Poor Lizzy," the Dream Lord cooed mockingly. His mouth twists into a pathetic imitation of a sympathetic smile as he watches the woman in front of him. "He always leaves you, doesn't he? Or rather, you leave him."

"He doesn't have to," Elizabeth said hollowly. The words didn't feel as if they were really coming from her-she was doing some serious dissociating right now. She felt numb, as if literally frozen to the spot. Her breath was quick and shallow, her heart beating a mile a minute. Dante was gone-that was obvious. She could hold her own, but she felt so much weaker without his knowledge of this...thing. She didn't like her odds against this Dream Lord.

"That's good, because he never will. And now he's left you with me. Spooky old, not to be trusted me." He disappeared for a moment...only to reappear in a bathrobe. He grinned wolfishly at her, and this just barely snapped her out of her frenzied state of mind. "Anything could happen."

"Who are you, and what do you want? Dante knows you, but he's not telling me who you are. And he always does. Takes him a while sometimes, but he tells me. So you're something different."

The Dream Lord snorted, eyeing her smugly. He was trying to break her confidence, shatter her faith in Dante. That was not going to happen-at least, not easily. "Oh, is that who you think you are? The one he trusts?"

"Yes, actually." Her response was cool and leveled but something about her tone disturbed even her. She hoped that the Dream Lord didn't pick up on it, but that was probably a feeble hope.

"The only girl in the universe to whom he tells everything?"


The Dream Lord sighed, shaking his head as if talking to a particularly dense child. His faux patience and arrogant demeanor made Elizabeth want to smack him upside the head. She doubted she could get close enough to do so, and besides, even if she somehow did, it was doubtful that it would connect. Either she'd be stopped or, as Elizabeth remembered now, the slap would just go right through him. "Now, which one of these realities would you really choose? Look at them. You ran away with a handsome hero. Would you really give up the adventuring for a boring life and a child?

"Stop. You don't know me."

"But maybe it's better than loving and losing Dante," the man continued, as if he hadn't been interrupted. "Pick a world, and this nightmare will all be over. He'll listen to you. It's you he's waiting for. Elizabeth's man. Elizabeth's choice."


Elizabeth woke up gasping for air. "How did I get up here?" she asked after a moment of looking around. She was back. In the other world-with Dante. Who was currently tossing what looked like a grenade back out the window as it detonated followed by the outcry of the CoC troops.

"I carried you," he said offhandedly. If he was surprised by her return to consciousness, he didn't bother showing it. "I'm afraid you may experience some bruising."

"What are we going to do?"

"I don't know. I thought the burning TARDIS was real but now I'm not so sure." Dante looked out the window briefly to check on the impending CoC troops, frowning and fiddling with something inside his jacket. He began muttering under his breath.

Elizabeth was about to interject when she felt a sharp but telling pain in her stomach. "Oh! I think the baby's starting."


"Would I make it up at a time like this?"

"Well, you do have a history of-"

It was then a sound, like electronic screeching, could be heard as a yellow beam came through the window and glanced Dante on the side. He let out a shout of pain as he fell to the floor, slightly writhing in agony, barely able to nurse his wound. Then again, there was no outer wound, the weapon in question was some type of laser that disrupted the innards of any organic.

"Dante!" She quickly rushed over to him, checking his pulse only to find to her horror that it was only one and not his normal two heart beats. And it was fading. She felt her heart stutter in terror as she grabbed his shoulder. "This is the dream. Definitely this one. Now, if we die here, we wake up, right?"

"Unless we just die. Which'll be soon in my case." He hissed in pain, trying to calm his shaking hand.

"Either way, this is my only chance of being with you. This is the dream."

"How do you know?"

"Because if this is real life, I don't want it. I don't want it," she sobbed, the words becoming mangled in her throat. She hoisted him to his feet and led him to the main room of the house again.

After disabling the safety measures, they began to walk outside to the garage all the while the soldiers stopped attacking and just looked on at the two. Their gazes were unfocused and they seemed dazed, as if they weren't sure what was happening either. Elizabeth got ready to fight them if she needed to, but Dante put a weak hand on her shoulder.

"Why aren't they attacking?"

"Either because this is just a dream or because they know what we're about to do."

Elizabeth set him down on the porch, knowing that he couldn't be there for this. He would join her soon enough anyway. She rifled through Dante's pockets, getting her hands on the car keys before he wrapped his hand around hers.

"Be very sure. This could be the real world."

"It can't be," she protested. "You won't be here. I didn't know. I didn't, I didn't, I honestly didn't, till right now. I just want you," she reassured, and he smiled warmly.


She held him up again and helped him to the car. The two got into the car as she started the engine, and as it began to purr, she looked over at him, at the light fading from his eyes and the sluggishness of his posture. Neither of them had very long now.

"I love you," she whispered one final time. He was only able to smile in agreement.

Elizabeth revved the engine and drove the car through the fence and at a docked airship. She squeezed her eyes shut-even if it was just a dream, she doubted she would be spared the horror of pain.


The heat inside the TARDIS was on par with that of a vast desert on top of a hot day in summer. Condensation build up was on everything and the two passengers were laying face first on the floor. Elizabeth woke up first, slowly reaching out for Dante's hand as he took hers in his.

"So, you chose this world. Well done. You got it right." The Dream Lord spat out, a slight bit of venom laced with his words. "And with only seconds left. Fair's fair. Let's cool you down." He walked over to the console and flicked a few switches as the TARDIS' power was restored. "I hope you've enjoyed your little fictions. It all came out of your imagination, so I'll leave you to ponder on that. I've been defeated. I shall withdraw. Farewell." And with that, the Dream Lord vanished without a trace, leaving Dante and Elizabeth staring at each other in both horror and relief. After a few moments of simply catching their bearings, Elizabeth got up and hugged Dante fiercely. He in turn gave her a hug that was on par, but gentler. They stayed like that for a good minute or two before separating, Dante heading over the TARDIS console.

"So, what are we doing now?" Elizabeth asked, voice still shaking. She absentmindedly placed a quiet hand on her stomach.

"I'm going to blow up the TARDIS." Dante responded offhandedly, all the while placing in the sequence that would destroy the ship.

"What?" She jerked her head up and her eyes were wide. "Why?"

"Notice how helpful the Dream Lord was. Yeah, there was misinformation, red herrings and malice. But he was always very keen to make us choose between dream and reality."

"The Dream Lord gave up, this isn't a dream."

"Yes, it is."

"Stop it!"

"The TARDIS aimlessly drifting into a newborn start? Please. The Dream Lord has no power over the real world. He was offering us a choice between two dreams."

"How do you know that?"

"Because I know who he is." With that ominous statement, he placed in the last control as the sound of an explosion could be heard as their vision went to white.


Elizabeth entered the console room to see Dante holding and looking at something small and yellow on his palm.

He noted her presence as he asked, "Any questions?"

She nodded, motioning to his palm. "Yes, actually. What is that?"

"A speck of psychic pollen from the candle meadows of Karass don Slava. Must've gotten in somehow. Fell in the time rotor, heated up and induced a dream state for us." Dante walked over to the door, opening the door and blew the pollen into space

"So that was the Dream Lord? Those little bits." Elizabeth hmmed almost nonchalantly. "I'll be honest, I'm kind of disappointed. He's not very impressive like this."

"No, no. Wasn't it obvious? The Dream Lord was me. Psychic pollen. It's a mind parasite. It feeds on everything dark in you, gives it a voice, turns it against you. I'm...well I lost count, but it had a lot to go on."

"But...why didn't it feed on me?" Elizabeth tried to place a hand on his shoulder, but he shrugged it away in an instant, too ashamed of what he had to confess to let her touch him. She didn't understand, but she didn't attempt to do so again.

"The darkness in you would've starved it to death in an instant. I choose my friends with great care. Otherwise, I'm stuck with my own company, and, well, you know how that works out."

"But those things he said about you…" She shook her head. "You don't think any of that's true?"

Dante let out a sigh. "Elizabeth, if there's something else that's on your mind, now's the time to get it out."

"I love you. I love this life that we lead, these insane adventures and death-defying odds. But even though it feels like it in the moment, we aren't invincible. I mean, maybe you are-you regenerate. But I don't. Someday, I want this to stop. I want to stop running away, defying death at every turn, and never staying in one place for too long. I want to settle down, maybe have a kid. Somewhere nice and quiet, maybe even suburban-cliche white picket fence and Pinesol scented air. I want a life, Dante, a normal, routine, boring one, with you. I can't do this forever."

Dante didn't know what to say. For once, he hadn't expected this, not really, and he knew he would need a few seconds to formulate a response that was anywhere near half-decent. She didn't give him that. Instead, she placed a tentative hand on his, and squeezed tightly.

"Something to think about," she added, as if knowing his internal thoughts. "I want you to think about it. You don't have to make a decision, and it doesn't have to be anytime soon. But until then, I love you, and I'll stay by your side."

Dante turned towards her, a slight smile on his face, and began to kiss Elizabeth. She in turn kissed him back with passion and stayed like that for a good few minutes. They broke off after the need for some air arose and pulled back. Elizabeth had a contempt smile on her face while Dante had his trademark grin plastered on his.

"So, well then, where now? Anywhere and when is good for me. I'm happy anywhere with you. It's up to you this time. Elizabeth's choice."

"Hmm." She grinned, pretending to think about it for several seconds. Finally, she cast him a sly smile and shrugged. "You know, I hear Italy is fantastic this time of year."

"Italy it is then."

Dante began to place the coordinates, but before he pulled the final lever, looked down at the console to see a reflection of the Dream Lord smirking at him. He glowered at it for a second before hitting the lever, looking back up at Elizabeth with a smile as the TARDIS made its way to its destination.