"We're home, Doc," said Kim. Just this once the Time Lord forebore complaining at being called Doc.
"You were still decades from home!" Padme exclaimed. "How?"
"Through the courtesy of one Admiral Janeway," explaind Captain Janeway, "who nobly sacrificed her life and the intervening twenty-six years of the history she came from in order to get us here, and took out one-sixth of the Borg's transwarp capability while she was at it."
"So you took my advice after all," said the Doctor. Janeway had known he'd take credit for it. "Still, it's well you've already nobbled Braxton."
"Starfleet regulations on time-travel interference aside," Janeway said, approaching the Doctor and lowering her voice, "may I assume that your arrival in ignorance of the situation means that Admiral Janeway's actions haven't damaged the timelines at all?"
"Not even a hiccup on my instruments," the Doctor said. "It must be a predestination paradox, like Kirk's first meeting with Gary Seven."
"Good. Given what little Time Lord temporal theory I've picked up from your frequent visits, I was concerned."
"No, you seem to have nothing to worry about but my own pique."
"Yours? Whatever for?"
"As you say, I've involved myself in Starfleet affairs quite a bit throughout my lives. No doubt a substantial portion of my personal future history came unraveled with that of Admiral Janeway's Starfleet's."
Janeway smiled. "Well, I hope you won't think me unfeeling if I'm sure your ex-future self can take care of himself ..."
The grinding wheeze of temporal displacement would have gone unnoticed amongst all the sparks flying and consoles exploding on the main deck of the Borg cube even if there had been anyone conscious to note it. When the TARDIS had fully materialized, out hobbled an old, stooped man in a grey frock coat, leaning heavily on a wooden cane, more and longer white hair on his face than on his crown. He scrabbled in his pocket for a device whose function would not have leapt to the eye (had anyone else's eyes been open) and dropped it only three times before pressing it to the neck of the whitehaired woman in the anachronistic Starfleet uniform. The nanite-generated Borg implants that had bloomed on her face were gone before he had fuddled the injector back into his pocket.
"Come along!" he snapped as her eyes fluttered open. "Haven't got all day! You've seen to that!"
"Doctor -" Admiral Janeway got to her feet, less surprised at the Time Lord's arrival than that she was alive to appreciate it. "What are you doing here?"
"Where else can I be, now that you've destroyed my history and yours, hm?" snapped the Doctor, hobbling at his top pace through the smoke and flames back toward the TARDIS. "Irresponsible woman!"
Janeway passed him up and held the door for him. "If I'm such a danger to space and time, why rescue me?"
The Doctor snorted. "Haven't you teased me in the past that I can't seem to get by unless I have a young female traveling companion?"
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