Doctor Who and the Multiverse of Madness: Chapter Two

Story Summary: The Doctor didn’t mean to get dragged away from her girlfriend and into the multiverse. Honest! Especially not to a world where her life is a TV show and Peter Parker is her no.1 fan.

This is chapter two! Make sure you read chapter one first!

Notes: Hello, yes, it’s been a little over a year since I updated this ‘verse but I had more ideas and I just had to do this, #sorrynotsorry.

Anyway, it turns out that this is going to be a three-shot because as I was writing I found that this was a natural stopping point. I also am historically terrible about guessing properly how many chapters something is going to be, so y’all should really expect this from me at this point.

Anyway, onto the story!

Chapter Two

Peter was not sure what to expect when he encountered the Doctor. As an avid Doctor Who fan, he had always wanted to meet them, of course. Despite the fact that he was a real-life superhero, and had met actual aliens, something about the fictional character had always stood out to him. Peter took pride in the fact that Spider-Man was someone who cared about the neighborhood. Spider-Man did not leave people behind, he knew that everyone mattered. Many people assumed that Spider-Man was inspired by heroes like Iron Man or Thor, but it was the Doctor who had taught him how to be a hero.

In 900 years of time and space I’ve never met someone who wasn’t important.

There are some corners of the universe which have bred the most terrible things. Things that act against everything we believe in. They must be fought.

Courage isn’t just a matter of not being afraid. It’s being afraid and doing what you have to do anyway.

Sometimes the only choices you have are bad ones, but you still have to choose.

The Doctor was not perfect, by any means, and there were many times where Peter had been watching the show and vehemently disagreed with their actions or words. Yet he still admired them, and was excited at the prospect of meeting someone who, at the very least, modeled themself off of the character that had meant so much to him growing up. MJ and Ned were going to be so jealous. 

Rhodey took Peter to one of the secure conference rooms of the tower, where the Doctor and America were waiting with Wong, Dr. Strange, and Tony. Tony was not in the armor, which was a good sign, and everyone in the room appeared to be relaxed as they sat around the table.

“Ah, Peter, there you are!” Tony greeted them as they walked in.

“Hi Mr. Stark. Colonel Rhodes said that you needed me?” Peter grinned as he saw how his dad’s eye twitched at being referred to so formally. Though with strangers present it was probably wise to not advertise exactly how close they all were to each other. 

“Yes, this is the Doctor and America Chavez. Did Rhodey brief you?” Tony asked, gesturing for them to sit. 

“Yep. So what are we talking about?” Peter asked as he pulled up a chair. He couldn’t help but look at the Doctor curiously. She did not look identical to the woman who had been cast as the Doctor before the snap, but they were of a similar slender build and shared common facial features along with having the same dirty blonde hair. When he looked into the Doctor’s eyes, however, he felt almost pulled in. Her eyes were like a swirling vortex, shifting from gold to brown to hazel-green to the brightest blue, never staying a single color. Yeah, he could definitely believe that this woman was an alien. 

“Peter Parker! One of my favorite humans in the multiverse. Usually. Did you know, there was one time I ran into Peter, and he was possessed by an alien symbiote? That was a right nasty time. Had to commandeer a bell tower to break its hold on him. I think I still have it somewhere. He’s actually really friendly when given chocolate and I gave him a stern lecture about consent and not forming connections with someone that didn’t give him permission. Which reminds me of another time that–” 

“Wait, so you’ve met another me?” Peter cut her off, but she didn’t seem upset at the interruption.

“We’ve met a lot of you, actually.” America interjected. “A lot of a lot of you. The first Peter Parker I ever met could shoot webs directly out of his wrists. Can you?” the room simply stared at her and she coughed uncomfortably. “I’m sorry, I forgot to ask, are you Spider-Man in this universe? You’re not always.”

“I– yes I’m Spider-Man. And the webshooters are something I made in class.” Peter didn’t see harm in answering a question that, while normally quite secret, was one that she already knew the answer.

“Brilliant. Also nice to meet a Spider-Person. Quite a few of them have helped us in our journey before. And none a one of them tried to kill us in the process. Even the symbiote just wanted to dance.” Everyone was looking at the Doctor slightly incredulously.

“Do a lot of our alternate selves try to kill you?” Tony asked oddly.

“Well, yes. Just a few days ago a Doctor Strange tried to absorb America’s powers into himself and kill her in the process. You can understand why we might be wary. But Spider-People typically have their hearts in the right place.” the Doctor’s tone was way too cheerful, and based on the way that Strange was shifting uncomfortably in his seat Peter surmised that this was not the first time that an alternate Dr. Strange nearly killing them came up.

“And what exactly are America’s powers. Trust that we do not want to take them from her, but we need to be aware of what threats might be after them and why.” Natasha interjected. “Is there more that you can do other than universe-hopping?”

“Well, maybe? The Doctor and I have been working on a few things. But we think it’s the universe-hopping that the monster wants.” America shifted uncomfortably. “We were hoping you can figure out what it is, and why it’s after me.”

“Breaking the barriers of universes can have deadly consequences. Any number of people might be after you for it, for any number of reasons. What we need to do is identify who the threat is, and where she is coming from. Is there anything else you can tell us?” Natasha pressed.

“Well, the first thing is that America’s hopping isn’t something she can properly control yet. My working theory is that whoever wants to take her knows more about the power than us, and can track us across universes. But they cannot cross universe barriers alone, they need a vehicle.”

“If they are tracing you across the multiverse and sending monsters against you, that means they are following your signal. Could we follow it back?” Tony asked. “I’ve done some research into the multiverse ever since the… incident last fall. There are layers and traces of alternate universes everywhere. Sometimes things slip through.”

“Exactly! The multiverse has so much to offer and enjoy, and also to fear. I have been trying to trace the signal, but we are having trouble with staying in one place long enough to run the tests.”

“And what will you do when you find the person hunting you? Are you just going to roll up and say ‘please stop trying to kill us?’” Rhodey asked slightly incredulously.

“I always give them a chance first. That’s the important bit.” the Doctor shrugged, making easy eye contact.

“And if that doesn’t work?” Natasha asked with a raised eyebrow.

“Well,” the Doctor paused. “That is when they discover why some call me The Oncoming Storm.”

After an hour more of feeling each other out, the group broke up, with the Doctor, Tony, and Stephen going to work in the lab to find a way to track the mysterious monster back to their home universe. Natasha left to presumably fill in the rest of the team, while Rhodey and Peter took America to the penthouse to get some rest. She was hesitant to sleep when the monster could come for her at any moment, but Peter and Rhodey promised her that they would stand watch so that she could get some desperately-needed sleep. Not that they had much to do, the wards that Stephen and Loki had put up were excellent at doing their job. Nevertheless, Peter was studiously avoiding going back to the field trip. He had escaped– why would he put himself through more stress?

Still, she only slept for a few hours in the guest room before coming back out to the common area where Rhodey was quizzing Peter for his upcoming economics exam. 

“Did you know,” America yawned “that in some universes people have to pay extreme amounts of money for healthcare?

“Really?” Peter asked, surprised. 

“Yeah, in a lot of universes hospitals are really expensive. It can cost like, over twenty thousand dollars to just have a baby.” America yawned again. “Y’all have pizza, right? Almost every universe has pizza. The Doc and I got some food when we first got here but I’m hungry again after that nap. Do you pay for food here?”

“Yes, we pay for food.” Rhodey answered, amused. “Is that not always the case?”

“Food is free in some universes. Relatedly, I have no money. Well, I have money from like, three universes ago, but conversion rates can be difficult in the multiverse.”

Peter laughed. “I can imagine that would be difficult. How much is twenty thousand dollars in our currency?”

“Beats me if I know,” America shrugged. “So, pizza?”

While Rhodey and Peter were eating pizza with America in the penthouse, the Doctor, Stephen, and Tony were working to track the signal of the monster, along with Loki who had dropped in on them to help after being informed of the situation by Natasha.

“It goes both ways you know,” the Doctor remarked distractedly as she scanned the device they had made with her sonic screwdriver.

“What goes both ways? The signal to the monster?” Tony asked. “We knew that.”

“No, I mean yes, but I was talking about the media.”

“Oh, do tell.” Loki asked, his eyes dancing.

“I know my life is a fiction here. It was one of the first things I noticed. But the same goes for you all.” 

Stephen’s eyebrows raised so high they were near his forehead.

“Yes, I know it’s hard to believe. But there are universes where you are all simply characters. There is a lot of fanfiction about you.”

“There is already fanfiction of us.” Tony scoffed. “That’s nothing new.”

“Yes, but a lot of people feel weird about writing real-person fanfiction. You should read the stuff that people write when they have the full liberty of not thinking that you are real people. It’s wild the things people come up with.” The Doctor shook her head. “Well, I think the device is as ready as it is going to be. Now we just need to figure out how to teach America enough that we can go to that universe intentionally.

“And it has to be America taking us? She’s just a kid.”

“Peter’s ‘just a kid’ too, Tony.” Stephen interjected. “He and America both have powers that are beyond what many expect. Besides, you are the one who took a fourteen-year-old to battle Captain America.”

“And I’ve been doing my best to make up for that ever since!”

“I believe we are out of time.” Loki interrupted. “There is an unusual pressure on the wards.” 

Stephen gave a sharp nod of agreement. “I feel it as well, looks like our time is up.”

Despite the fact that she had the Doctor helping her in the recent months, directing her powers was still a struggle for America. Nevertheless, she knew that this was something she had to do. The only way to regain control over her life was if she confronted the monster herself. She also wouldn’t be alone. The Doctor continued to stay with her, despite the fact that of anyone America had met she would be the most likely to get back to her home universe on her own. 

The surprise came when Tony, Rhodey, Peter, Natasha, and Loki insisted on coming with them as well. The majority of the Avengers had wanted to come along, but they could not leave their world undefended. They landed in New York, as was common for the past few universes, and of course a monster was waiting for them, now that they were in its home universe. They were handling it well on their own, but in the end it was defeated with the aid of yet another Stephen Strange. In almost every universe that man popped up like a bad penny.