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Archive for July 2013

Medical Care – 1

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A/N A story that is totally disconnected from all other ones, a multi-crossover. At the moment it is not finished and I’m not sure I’m going to finish it anytime soon, I’m afraid. So I’m posting this as it is, and will be adding parts as they come to me.

The mountains were awful. The weather was terrible. He hated snow, he hated wind and he hated this stupid little town with some stupid name he couldn’t even remember. He had to breathe. In, out, in, out. Getting angry will not help Elizabeth. The midwife. They said she lived in the middle of the town in a big, fancy house. So here he was, in the middle of the town, but the most fancy thing he could see was a snowflake on his own eyelash. He stomped to get some feeling back into his toes and started to circle the marketplace.Finally, after passing by several town offices and smaller houses, he came across something that the locals could probably call “fancy”. He knocked on the door…

…and was now seated on a big, overstuffed chair, with a mad-looking cat salivating at him from the top of the table, and the old biddy of a midwife wrapping herself in layers and layers of shawls and coats. Finally, as she fastened a fur cloak on her shoulders, he stood up with a sigh of relief.

“One more thing, young man.” She turned back to the mantlepiece and took a little, delicately-carved eggtimer. “One never know when some time may be useful.”

He looked at her with bewildered eyes.

“Are you sure you are up to the task?”

“I’m the best one around here” she smiled, looking as if a winter apple smiled. “Actually, I’m the only midwife around here.”

He swallowed. Elizabeth was in trouble. Big trouble.

“Oh, so maybe you want a second opinion?”

“But you said…”

“I’m the only midwife. We have this doctor, or so he calls himself. A medic, he says. Noone wants to deal with him, but in time, they will get used to it. He is not from around here, you see.”

She pulled on her boots with visible effort and motioned for one of the young women to tie her shoelaces.

“Daughters in law” she smiled. “Good for such things.”

He followed her outside.

“So, lad, do you want the second opinion? You would feel better with a man doing… this?”

“If you think he may be useful… I can cover all his costs.”

“I’m sure a good dinner in the inn will be enough for him. So, we go. But not be worried and not be surprised. He isn’t as many others. He is a bit out of his place” ‘And time’ she added mentally.

He sure was. Fitzwilliam Darcy was a tolerant, open and curious man. He had seen a black man before, but a black medic, and a bit crazy one himself was way too much for him.

“I don’t bite, I don’t kick, I’m civilized.” the strange man was apparently used to such stares. “If you have someone ill at home, I can go with you and try to help. I don’t promise it will work. These primitive conditions…” he stopped.

Fitzwilliam Darcy could certainly sympathise. Primitive they were, to be sure.

“Actually, it’s not an illness in itself. My wife has gone into labor an hour ago and I just found a midwife, and she was so gracious to show me your abode. Would you accompany us and try to help? It’s our first child and Elizabeth is absolutely terrified…”

“As are you, yes, I see that. I will go with you – I have nothing better to do today, after all. Nobody comes here.”

As they fought against wind, trying to reach the inn where the Darcys were lodged, Stephen – because the black medic gave only his name – asked him quite a lot of questions regarding the pregnancy, the dates, even going into such intimate details that Fitzwilliam felt rather ill at ease.

“I’m sure my wife, or her maid, may answer you more specifically.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. Yes, I’ll ask her, if she is still in a somewhat communicative mood.”

The walked back to the inn, old woman chattering merrily, producing large amounts of smoke from her pipe and making saucy remarks, which reminded him of his mother-in-law (and this was not a good thought, as he could only begin to imagine the dressing-down he would receive as soon as the woman understands she had missed the birth of her first grandchild). He fixed his overcoat and held it closer, observing his other companion quietly. The black man was wearing a weird, tight-fitting outfit that couldn’t be doing much to keep him warm.

“Aren’t you cold… doctor?” he asked finally.

“What? No, not at all” white smile in the dark face. “My uniform is prepared especially for harsh weather.”

“This is… a uniform? Are you an army doctor?” he asked incredously.

“In a way” the medic sighed. “I shouldn’t tell you too much, sorry. I don’t want to seem rude…”

“My cousin is a military man. I understand the need for secrecy. But… an uniform like this? Most soldiers I know would not look at it twice.”

“Oh, I get it. You mean a dress uniform? Colours, shiny metal plates, medals and distinctions? This one is for everyday use.”

“Our soldiers use civilian clothing off-duty.”

“So do we. But one can be on duty and not on official business. Or any dress-uniform kind of business. And this one is more practical. More freedom of movement, easier to get rid of stains – and I tell you, as a doctor, I’m practically covered with various kinds of dirt after a day of work – does not stand out too much. And is much lighter than my dress uniform. Easier to pack, too.”

“I see.”

They walked in silence, when he dared to venture a question.

“Do you… do you have any experience with…” he was lost for words.

“Midwifery? Some. My instructors made sure I could cover for any kind of specialist in case of… if I was the only medic present.”

“But this is not an area- what I would expect- as an army doctor?”

“I’m sure even your military units have some women. No?”

He choked. What?

“I mean, officers wifes and so. They do travel with their husbands, don’t they?”

“Yes, usually. Although I suspect that any colonel’s wife who finds herself expecting settles down in a safe place – like her or his parent’s house – for the time needed…”

“Unlike gen-um wifes who travel the country in winter” interjected the midwife. “Now very wise, mind you. She should be sittin’ in her own home, fireplace and all, with servants to fetch the midwife, and not you by yourself.”

“We expected this to be next month.” he murmured through clenched teeth.

“So either you can’t count to thirty or we should hurry up, because the little one is early” she picked up a brisker pace. “As you look e-doo-cay-ted, I think the little one is the problem. Would you walk a little faster, you two?”

As they finally arrived at the inn, the innkeeper looked at them with fearful eyes.

“Your wife, sir…”

“What of her?” the gentelman barked sharply. Then he breathed deeply and closed his eyes. “What of her?” he repeated in a calmer voice, laced with the tiniest bit of respect and courtesy.

“She… She sent one of the maids to search for a doctor. She screamed and repeated that… I probably shouldn’t…”

“Say it, man” he sighed.

“She screamed that she is not going to wait for you to pull the stick out of your… and get to talk to the midwife. And that you can go to hell as this is all your fault. I’m sorry, sir.”

“Don’t you worry, boy” the old midwife patted his shoulder, unwrapping herself from the many layers of woolen scarfs. “They scream all kinds of things, want to go to a convent, want you to go to one, want their mum or want to die. It’s pain talking. After a while they forget and you are their own darling husband again, no worries. Now, take me… us to her” she patted his arm again, smiling.

He straightened his back, nodded and led them to the only suite of rooms the inn possessed – and he paid dearly for it as soon as they had became snowed in in this backwater, God-forsaken place. On entering the miniature parlour they found it surprisingly occupied by three people of rather unusual appearance.

Young woman in a dark dress was not so unsettling – even though her hair was not done up as the propriety demanded – as her neighbour. Pretty blonde in her mid-twenties, dressed in light blue trousers and shamelessly small blouse – or vest – with all the signs of advanced pregnancy blatantly displayed. This being her extended belly over the hem of her trousers. Their third companion was male, dressed in sober brown suit of a rather outlandish cut, emphasising his slight, wiry built. All three were watching the left bedroom door with concern.

“Who are you?” he asked wearily. “And what are you doing in this parlour?”

“Parlour!” exclaimed softly the man. “That’s the word I’ve been looking for. Thank you, sir” he bowed, rising slightly. “As to what we are doing here – we are waiting for our friend to finish examining your pretty wife, as we were quite concerned for her health.”

One man. Two women. That means…

“She is in there alone with a strange man?” he uttered.

“Do you think we are stupid and left your wife with a man? In a state she is in?” the girl in the dress spat. “Martha is in there and is taking good care of your wife which you have left alone, to go for a stroll. Coming back finally, are you? Well, I wouldn’t be so sure that she ever lets you near her again.”

“For your information, miss, I have been sent by her, to fetch a midwife. Which I have done. Your ‘Martha’ – is she a midwife?”

“No” answered the blonde. “She’s a doctor.”

For some reason all three of them smiled widely.

“She travels with us and oversees my pregnancy.” she added seriously. “I’m quite sure that she will have more problems with me than she could ever have with your wife.”

He sat stiffly and the midwife followed suit. The black doctor positioned himself beside the window and took off his jacket, uncovering stark white, high collared shirt with some markings on the shoulders.

“Oh, you are military!” exclaimed the blonde in a voice which eerily reminded him of his sisters-in-law. “What unit? What army?”

“Navy…” the medic caught himself. “I cannot tell.”

“Oh, come oon…” mock-whined the second girl. “We can see you’re not from around here, you can see we are neither. Spill.”

“He should not hear” the medic indicated their host. “And I don’t think I should bend our rules even in these conditions.”

“It’s good you have rules, but from what I managed to see, we already have an information leak. Or will have if we explain to this good sir what is happening with his wife and heir. And we should, if this whole situation is to be solved” the man in the suit rose and strode towards the left door. “Martha, dear? Everything going well?”

Someone answered in a muffled voice.

“If I send Donna inside, would it be any help? There is the local midwife here, too, maybe she could help?”

The door opened a bit.

“The midwife? Come in, the mother here needs some support. Talk to her. I’m afraid she is a bit overwhelmed.”

As the elderly lady entered the room, the ‘Martha, dear’ exited it, stripping some weird, elastic gloves from her hands and shaking her black hair out.

Fitzwilliam Darcy was a tolerant, open and curious man, but a black female medic did it for him.

“Now, you all sit down and I want some answers. Who are you people? Why are you all sitting here and what… What was she doing to my wife?” he uttered slowly, almost coldly. He was on the verge of nervous collapse, but he had to keep his wits about him if his wife was to deliver safely. Even if it meant cooperating with this… motley crew.

“I was checking the progress of the birth” she answered simply. “As it begun prematurely – I would say, three weeks early – I was anxious as to the rapidity of the process. But everything seems to be going smoothly, or as smoothly as the situation of giving birth allows. There was one problem on the way, but it was solved as soon as it was diagnosed.”

“A problem?” he repeated quietly.

“It seems…” the man in suit begun, but stopped suddenly and walked towards the fireplace. “It seems, from our observations, that someone was attempting to hurt your wife and child. More than once. Wait!” he prevented Mr Darcy from rising. “It has been treated. Fixed. It has been…”

“Healed” finished the blonde.

“Yes, thank you. It has been healed. There are ways… There are ways in which a child is positioned in the mother’s body. The most common is with the head down, or forwards. Stay, wait. I know, it is not something you would like to learn, being a gentleman of means and all, but you must. If you want to know what happened. Please, sit down. Yes. So, the child is facing down, everything goes well, the delivery happens, the child is whole and sound. This is the ideal scenario. The less-than-ideal, but still bearable, is with his – or hers – seat down. It is harder on the mother, and really hard for the first-time mothers. But, still, doable” here he paused and touched the blonde’s shoulder. “I… we did some research on this subject lately, you see. Now, there is also an option which is, at this point of time, not good. To tell the truth, in most, cases, fatal. If the child is lying on the back. And this was the situation here. It was. It isn’t anymore.” He breathed deeply and caressed the girl’s arm again. “As soon as we were… as we arrived, Rose here almost forced us to seek shelter in this inn. As we heard about an expecting mother enduring much pain and on the probable brink of delivery, we offered her any help we could render. Rose made sure your wife understood that we are conscious of the delicacy of the situation, as she is herself in the same state, I, on the other hand, could not be so comforting. As we entered the parlour here and your wife… As I saw her…” he paused to breathe. “I could see something is not… occurring as it should. As a doctor” here all three girls smiled – yet again “I could only asses that either there was a natural problem with delivery or that an artificial obstacle had been introduced by someone from outside. Martha has some experience with such matters and she confirmed that the situation had been arranged by someone. Did you ever notice that you have became snowed in here, miles from any larger town, with one elderly midwife to assist you – if you manage to find her – and in a situation where the help of one village midwife would certainly not be enough?”

Mr Darcy nodded with grim face.

“This is what awakened our suspicions. And I have to tell you, this is one fine mess we found ourselves in. Because, I need to ask, what is the year now?”

“1814” said Fitzwilliam Darcy immediately.

“Donna? Martha?”

“2010” they both answered.

“Rose?”

“2012. Or 2010, yes.”

“Stephen?”

The black medic swallowed.

“It is 2275.”

“And… excuse me” he opened the door a crack. “What is your name, madame?”

“You may call me Nanny. Now, lie on your side, that’s a good girl…”

“So, Nanny. What is the year now?”

“Why, the Year of the Swallowing Horse, of course” she smiled at him and… winked?

“So, you see, Mr Darcy. We cannot agree on what year it is, and most certainly, we are all quite normal. Mostly normal. Let’s check if we can agree on the place, what say you?”

After proving to the expectant father that they were indeed in an undefined place – but probably in the Ramtop mountains somewhere, probably near Lancre, as the only local person – the midwife – was most stubborn about this – they moved to the explanations.

“For some reason, someone interfered with your child’s safety. It has been turned in your wife’s body so that it was lying in the most unfortunate position. And the delivery has been forced, just so that you knew, by the same person. We still don’t know who, why and how, but it has been reversed. Now the birth should progress in the normal way and in the span of – I’d say – ten hours tops you should have your heir.”

“What would they – whoever it was – achieve by this?”

The younger man pursed his lips.

“Your child would not survive. You wife neither. If, by any chance, she managed to live, she would never be able to carry to term again and even an attempt – conceiving and… well, anything in this area could be lethal to her. In short, someone wanted to ensure that you, Fitzwilliam Darcy, would be unable to produce your legal heir with your wife, Elizabeth.”

“Who could have had the means? What would have been needed?”

“I would say that it would necessitate the use of at least the same kind instruments we have at our disposal, if not more advanced. It would call for imagination, trickery and rather high level of animosity towards both of you. In short, it would mean an enemy with access to technology at least two hundred years ahead of your point in time.”

“But you have such technology.”

“Ah, yes. And my friends here gave you the year they feel is now. So you see, we actually are from this point of time. I’d say, it would call for one of my kind, with the same knowledge, to start this process. As I am the last of my kind, or rather, last but one” his hand again caressed the blonde’s shoulder. “I would bet that it was someone even further on. 2080, this is the year they make some breakthroughs.”

“Or a Time Agent” added Donna.

“Yes, or a Time Agent, which would make our lives even more interesting. Well, now I have told you everything I know. Ah, not everything. You see, we travel in time. But in a way, we are drawn to certain… problems in the history when other time-travelling entities try to make trouble. Our… our means of transport has a kind of sensor which is set to catch any kind of time-altering activity. If we follow the signal, we became locked into the stream of events. As we have gathered here people from at least three different times, not counting you and your wife, of course, it means that the birth – or death – of your child would influence greatly some part of the universe. And we were drawn here to rectify the situation and help your heir to be born. Now, do you wish to see your wife? Martha, could you check if madame Nanny has done everything she could for Mrs Darcy?”

They sat in the parlour, looking at the fire, as Martha emerged from the birthing room with a worried face. She whispered something into the blonde’s ear and her friend replaced her immediately beside Elizabeth’s bed.

“Sir? Mr Darcy?” Martha lowered herself to the seat next to him.

“Yes, madame?”

“Your wife is asking for you. I must warn you, she is very weak. Terribly. It… This process of turning the child, both ways, had taken its toll on her. She is half-conscious. If you could go there and… support her somehow, I’d try to find a way to provide her with more strength. She does not keep her food down and I don’t think giving her any more injections would not be more harmful than helpful.”

“I’ll go. Thank you.”

She looked at his retreating back and shook her head in wonder.

“Excuse me, miss…”

“Doctor Jones, if you don’t mind.”

“Certainly. I could not help overhearing your conversation here and I would like to offer my help” at her curious stare he shrugged. “Your… your friend here stated you were drawn here for a purpose, yes? So maybe I have my purpose here, too.”

“And this would be?”

His smile glimmered.

“This would be the most treasured medical secret of Earth Alliance” he reached into his duffle and pulled out a weird, wired contraption.

“And it is?”

“A life energy transmitter and transformator. With additional safeguards to keep the donor alive.”

“You mean… you could lend her some of your lifeforce?”

“Give. As we have checked, no way to give it back, at least not immediately” he seemed pensive. “But there are four of us in good health – I wouldn’t recommend using it on your pregnant friend there – and we could support Mrs Darcy in turns.”

“You sure it works?” she licked her lips unconsciously. “This may be a breakthrough…”

“Yes, it works. And no, I can’t give it to you. I have no idea why I’m stuck here, maybe I’m waiting for something else to happen, so I can’t lose this” he patted the side of the contraption. “Also, it should stay in my timeline.”

Suited man looked at him appreciatively.

“I like a time traveller who knows his paradoxes.”

Stephen regarded him for a moment calmly and then turned to his newly-found colleague.

“So, what say you?”

“I say aye” she smiled crookedly. “Not that I have any alternative method of helping her.”

The old midwife entered the parlour and sent Martha a scathing look.

“You gave her sumit for pain, didn’t you? Stupid girls. They think a mother can’t stand the pain by herself and look what good it did – the lassie may now bleed herself to death before the lil’one appears. Fat lots of good, I say. I know, I know. She was scared, you were scared…”

“I was not scared, madame” Martha answered curtly. “She was scared, in pain and her heart was going to fail if I didn’t give her something. It was over twelve hours ago, it is certified not to prolong the labour and it was vital for her to get it. She would be dead by now otherwise. Now, Stephen. Can we proceed?”

As soon as Elizabeth was arranged to be covered enough for the propriety to be satisfied and Martha convinced her to stay calm, the machine was placed on the night table and her left arm was hooked to it.

“Now, Rose, you are not going to participate in this. We don’t know what would be the reaction and frankly, I don’t wish to have two labours on my hands – sorry for the bad pun – so stay on the other side and talk to Elizabeth. Stephen, I’ll go as the first donor, as I think it would be wise to have you at the controls. Right?”

Martha sat down, next to the bed and put her hand into the energy rings.

“I’ll set it for 10%. It was the setting we mainly used when experimenting with the machine. Sometimes we went as high as 75%, especially when the risk was high and time for recovery short. Now we want only to support the lady here and we don’t know if it affects the child, so…”

The warm sensation running up and down her arm surprised Martha at first, but then she found them quite interesting. Elizabeth, on the other hand, was sitting rigid and scared as the light went on around her wrist and elbow.

“How did you come to be here?” she leaned back on a couch next to him.

“No idea. I just got off a heli from the London spaceport and voila, here I am.”

“Why did you have this” she pointed to the alien machine “with you? Do you carry military secrets with you as a norm?”

He frowned.

“I was going to a medical conference – top secret, hush-hush, no outsiders. We were going to show this to the main medical minds of Earth. But as soon as I stepped off the heli, I didn’t even manage to get my main bag out, and bzzt, here I am. In the middle of a busy town square in the middle of the winter, instead of nice, summer day on Cardiff Plass.”

Martha blinked.

“Cardiff, you say? 2275? Was there a security escort of some kind?”

Stephen rubbed his eyes.

“Of course there was. After all, it was a secret military-medicine operation. There were some guys from local alien-detection service… one of them tried to hit on me” he added with a bit of bemusement. “Why?”

“Nothing… just, was he, like, pretty? Doll-like pretty?”

“Yeah. Tall, blue eyes, all militar-y. And all his men called him ‘Captain’. You know him?”

She smiled, finally.

“Yup. Rose!” she called to the blonde. “Apparently Jack makes it to 2275 without change. It gives us what?”

“Donna is still in, I’m out. I bet on until 2248. You’re still in, but remember about the conditions.”

“Very well” she grinned to Stephen. “We placed bets on how long he is going to make like this.”

Stephen blinked.

“What?”

“He’s immortal. Well, not exactly. But nobody yet managed to kill him.”

“How long…?”

“Since around middle nineteenth century, or something like this. Rose there went a bit overboard with saving his life and locked him in one state forever.”

“Would you be able to explain me how the hell she did that? And why is the man not in military, government or espionage?”

“He is in civil service. As you witnessed. Being in public would make him too visible and people would start to notice. Espionage is… also part of what he does.”

“What does he do?”

“Guards the rift in time and space. Conveniently placed in Cardiff. You must have been hit by a spot of activity. I think chances are high you’ll meet him as soon as Doctor sends you back. Tell him we say hi.”

 

Cardiff, April 18th, 2275

“Martha says ‘hi'” Stephen watched the tall man from behing the bars. “Now, let me the hell out. I have a conference to attend.”

“Nu-ugh” Jack Harkness smiled at him sweetly. “Not for two more days. You’re landing up there in two days and three hours and you don’t want anyone seeing you before, now do you?”

He blinked.

“That’s what I thought. Now. Pizza, or Chinese?”

 

London, August 1897

Delia Darcy – she hated the alliteration, but could do absolutely nothing about it – was whining. Her farther had already given up and hid himself in his library, but her mother was made of much harder stuff. And she wasn’t giving up. Delia was not going driving around Hyde Park with James Tyler, whatever she said.

Delia so was going to. James – Jimmy – had the most marvelous new open carriage, with his own improvements implemented in the springing of it and conveniently furnished with several additional comforts, like a small heating stove under the seat or special holder for gloves.

Jimmy Tyler was the sweetest, most absent-minded young man Delia has ever seen. She determined he needed some management in the area of dress – someone should tell him and his father that the XIX century was just finishing, not starting, and that full Regency evening clothes were not so fashionable anymore – and in punctuality. Otherwise, he managed quite well himself, including the question of money. His improvements, inventions and clever gadgets sold pretty well and he made quite a number of special commissions for nobles and wealthy of London, which brought him to the salons (although as more of a curiosity to be shown off than a honored guest). This way the second daughter of Laurent Darcy (of Pemberley) had met the young inventor on one of the social functions of her second Season. She immediately felt she could be the one to take care of this specimen of masculine handsomeness (he was most definitely easy on the eyes).

However, her parents weren’t so happy about it. She even understood – their difference of birth, her dowry and his lack of base capital, his employment and lack of social life… BUT! He was so nice. And so gallant in explaining to her all the little complicated details of his inventions. Delia was well-versed in behaving as if she was overwhelmingly interested and completely understanding what was being shown to her, but here she didn’t have to pretend. She actually understood all his explanations and his sheer enthusiasm for all things mechanical somehow infected her, too.

Now all she wanted was to sit in his wonderful, comfy carriage and drive a bit. Mother didn’t have to know that this would be actually Delia driving, did she now?

Finally, her mother gave up, too. Delia had perfected her whining skills on her siblings – her mother had no chance.

The ride itself ended in Delia taking the reins and driving herself the nice carriage. Which included driving it into the pond, when the horses got spooked by something on the lane. Which itself led to some amount of indecent exposure, awkward embraces, public compromitation and forced marriage. None of the main participants of the ceremony had the slightest thought about putting up a resistance.

 

Not Pegasus Galaxy

He felt lost. At one moment, he was pushing the gurney to the infirmary, next thing he felt was an explosion and now he was here, in a middle of a small town, which itself seemed to be in the middle of bloody nowhere.

He was standing there, in his scrubs, with a small cache of medical appliances still in his hands and pockets, and he was shivering.

Finally, after a few minutes, he gave up waiting for a divine intervention and strode in a random direction, hoping to find some shelter. He could always trade his tools or his services for food and heat.
No sooner had he made this decision than he had a man, tall, well built man, barrel into him, running at full speed.

“I’m sorry, sir” he uttered “I have to catch someone… DOCTOR! Come back, DOCTOR!” he shouted, entering the main town square. “Oh, damnation. DOCTOR!”

“Lad, I’m a doctor. Maybe I can help you?”

The man turned to him, as if seeing him for the first time.

“Another one? Very well, please, follow me. My wife…” he inhaled deeply of the cold air and started coughing. “I’m sorry. My wife, she just gave birth. A doctor – a few of them – were assisting her. They said everything looked well, but now she’s bleeding and the innkeeper’s wife says it’s not good. Can you help?”

He closed his eyes for a moment. This struck so close to home.

“I will. Lead on, lad.”

The inn was warm and smelled of cooked cabbage. Somewhat homey. The innkeeper’s wife was sitting next to a young, dark-haired lady, lying in the middle of a large bed.

Next to it, some quite out-of-place items were scattered on the table and a newborn was crying in a crib.

“Very well. Please, madam, go prepare a large pot of tea. Quickly. And a bowl of warm water. Me fingers went stiff from the cold and I don’t want to hurt the poor lady anymore. Now, lass” he sat next to the bed and looked at her closely. “What happened to you?”

“I’ll explain” the tall gentleman removed his greatcoat, uncovering a slightly rumpled and stained shirt under it. “After the last few hours, I’d rather get to the most important parts without additional ceremonies. My name is Fitzwilliam Darcy and we’ve been through a hell of an evening today…”

He localized the spot that was bleeding, managed to fix the wound and stop the hemorrhaging. Fortunately, the elderly owner’s wife was a keen observer and alerted young father quite early as to her suspicions. The mother didn’t lose too much blood, as it would have been impossible to give her a transfusion there.

Now he was checking up the baby, listening at the same time to the Regency gentleman telling him an outlandish story of time travelers, aliens, strange medics – especially a female medic! – and weird happenings around the place.

“My lad, weird is in my job description. If you saw a female medic, you still haven’t seen everything. The place where I came from, they have a human population that didn’t come from Earth. I’m an Earther, yes. But them, they were born of different ancestors. I’ll tell you, lad” he patted the large man’s shoulder. “Be happy to live in your times. Risky. Hungry. Wars, famines, bandits and slow transport. But you still get to think only about your house, your property or, at the most, about your country. Me and my colleagues, we have to think planet-wide. Or, sometimes, humanity-wide. Which, I tell you, is not the same thing. And we are tired of it.”

He knew the man wouldn’t tell. After all, nobody would have believed him, and if he insisted – well, Bedlam would have earned a new patient.

“Please, doctor. Take at least my jacket” Mr Darcy insisted, walking him to the door. “You must be cold in this…”

“Coat. Yes, thank you. I’ll have a look, maybe someone is searching for me – somehow” he sighed. “I dearly hope so.”

“I do, too. And again, thank you… you saved Elizabeth’s life.”

“All in a day’s work.”

The town square was silent and empty. Except for a terribly out-of-place, blue telephone box. And a redhead standing in front of it, tapping her foot impatiently.

“Hurry up, will ya? We’ve been freezing our butts off here for some time already. Yes, now we know what happened, but you helped and we were really in a hurry, because Rose’s gone into her labour and the kid should supposedly be born onboard. So come on in, we’ll give you a lift. To whenever it is you should go.”

Atlantis team had never been more happy than on the day they found out that Carson Becket had indeed survived the explosion. The arrival and leaving of strange travelers went almost unnoticed, except for Ronon bowing deeply to the skinny, suited man and uttering some words of greeting in what he explained was the traditional central satedan language.

“What did you say?” Shepard joined him, as the blue box shifted in and out of reality, disappearing quickly.

“I welcome you and bow to you, o lonely traveler” Ronon said calmly. “That is what our elders taught us to say when we see him.”

“See who? The guy with the hair?”

Ronon eyed him calmly.

“Last time he was seen in my area, he was older and dressed differently. Has no importance. It was him. I know it.”

Shepard shook his head.

“You’re crazy.”

“Oh, yeah. But the Oncoming Storm is the craziness embodied. I’m honoured to meet him. Every Satedan would have been.”

England, 1856

“Nonna…”

Elizabeth eyed Giovanna suspiciously.

“You’re using that tone again, my child.”

Her granddaughter’s golden-brown eyes opened widely and innocently.

“And you’re overdoing that look.”

“But, Nonna…”

“Giovanna.”

Twenty-year-old flopped limply on the setee, carefully keeping her shoes away from the daisy-printed pillows.

Giovanna Victoria Balistieri, the seventh grandchild of Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy, made an attractive picture, despite her disheveled look and theatrically sad set of her lips.

“Giovanna!”

“But, Nonna! I want to marry him!”

Suddenly Elizabeth put down her book and regarded the girl carefully.

“Marry who, my dear? Neither Mary Anne nor your father mentioned anything to me.”

“Because they didn’t know” she sighed. “I told them only this morning.”

Elizabeth pursed her lips.

“Are you… in trouble?”

“Nonna! I may be half-Italian, but I’m still half-British!”

Elizabeth sighed. Anytime Giovanna did something not-quite-in-line with what the general public would do, someone came back to the old ‘it’s all because of her Italian blood’. Not that these social accidents really happened that much more often than other girls could account for, but the general consensus was that if only Giovanna wouldn’t have been half Italian (and what was her mother thinking!) she would have been a perfectly nice girl with good manners.

“Giovanna, I don’t give two pence for your whining about this newest bout of conflict with your dear parents. Tell me everything in order.”

Giovanna finally sat straight. Her shoulders pulled back, her fingers torturing a handkerchief in her lap and her eyes firmly on these fingers, she told her ‘Nonna’ about Samuel. Samuel Beckett, a Scot. Scottish merchant. Scottish wool and linen merchant of high standing. About meeting him at the modiste, where he was checking on the materials’ delivery and she was checking on her dress’ progress. About striking a conversation on the general topic of textile trade, her having a great-grand-uncle in the same trade and him being the third generation. About various following occasions, when he passed by her, bowing slightly, with his hat raised minutely and his smile, ooh, that smile…

“And he’s a prefect gentleman. He wants to talk to Papa, but Papa said he does not want to talk to him. So it turns out that I have a suitor, who has declared himself and has settlement papers in hand and my father, who is supposedly a nobleman, does not even think about meeting him.”

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This Is Not How It Was Supposed To Be

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Pirates of the Caribbean FF.

Major AWE spoiler ;) Some harder language, but no violence, no explicit descriptions. Will + Elisabeth, of course.

‘What?’ Elisabeth breathed.’Yes. Free to go, if I wish. I did my job, you did yours’ he planted a delicate kiss on her lips ‘and Calypso set me free of all obligations. I can stay here, we can move somewhere else, go back to Tortuga, Shipwreck Cove, heck, even Singapore, if you wish.”But… who will take souls to the afterlife?’ she stammered, not wanting actually to think about immediate consequences.’Me father’ he said casually. ‘He’s been part of the ship and part of the crew’ he quipped ‘for far longer than it’s healthy for anyone, so he doesn’t want to risk coming a-shore.’

‘Your father? That… That would be something new, don’t you think?’ she stood up and started to move things on the shelf. ‘For a father to inherit a position from his son.’

‘Elisabeth’ he said standing in front of her ‘you are not happy?’

She looked down.

‘I don’t know. I do not understand. I prepared myself, I already… I prepared William for this being the only day, I planned ahead, I gathered money, I fixed him a place on Hector’s next journey even! I expected some time of loneliness, some…’

‘And now Calypso ruined all your effort’ he ended with a crooked smile ‘what pity. Perhaps I should go for a year away, you would make use of all these preparations and then I’ll come back?’ his voice betrayed laughter he tried to suppress. ‘Or maybe I should have never told you AND come back in a few months?’

‘Will! Stop this! You are not going anywhere, I have have my say’ she pulled him into a tight embrace. ‘I was just… getting used to the idea!’

‘Do it quick. I have some plans. First thing tomorrow morning I go to the jeweller and pick my order’ he kissed her hand. ‘Mrs Turner, how would you like to have a nice, legal, wedding ring?’

She smiled suddenly.

‘Ooooh, Mr. Turner. Are you suggesting you are trying to turn me into… a decent woman? How terrible for a pirate king!’

‘Mrs Turner, I never suggested you were and indecent woman. I’d say you are… quite… decently…’ his voice became muffled when he moved his lips over her skin and into the cloth of her dress and tried – without success – to untie a lace on her neck.

Yes, Mr Turner?’

‘Quite decently clad, for the moment. Way too decently for what I’m planning to do to you. With you. How do you untie this stupid lace?’ he tugged furiously on the decorative bow.

‘You don’t’ she stated simply and undid an undercover button. ‘Now better?’

‘Aah, Mrs Turner, you are simply reading my mind…’ he kissed down her spine, as far, as the dress would let him.

‘Now, about this decency’ she mused ‘perhaps we should move to some other room? I have quite a nice bed made and it would be a shame not to use it…’



The next several days they spend arranging their life as a family, making love, buying building supplies for the additional parts of the house, fooling around, shopping for Will’s new clothes and personal belongings, as most were lost in the last ten years, caressing, checking up on old friends (and seeing the surprised faces), kissing, arranging the garden and the vicinity of the house and, when they had time left, getting to know each other better in all possible meanings of the word. Will was everything she dreamed about. She was everything he longed for. Both were careful, delicate, passionate and simply made for each other. Little William looked up to his father from the very first meeting, friends were as wonderful as they could be. And on the twentieth day of his stay on land Will took out yet another surprise.

‘You really mean this?’ her eyes widened. She longed for this feeling she never knew.

‘Where is the chest?’ he asked, twirling the key on his finger.

‘I… buried it in the basement. There was some unrest for a time… and I wanted to make sure it’s safe.’

They went down the steps to the wine cellar she had to dig for all supplies brought by other pirates for their king. In the corner they dug up a hole and lifted The Chest out of it.

‘Ready?’ he asked.

‘Always’ she took his hand as he moved a shell talisman over the top.

Time stopped, as she watched little light spots move from the chest, towards the talisman, towards HIS chest… Suddenly, Will moaned and set his jaw. Elisabeth held his hand tighter, not letting him let go of the shell.

‘Just a little longer, love’ she encouraged him. ‘Calypso wouldn’t have you die because of this, would she? Now, keep it up..’ she whispered on and on, babbling and crying with his pain.

Suddenly, the spots run out and Will collapsed over the chest.

‘Will? Will?!’ Panic in her voice made him turn his head a bit.

‘I’m here, love’ he croaked. ‘If this was anything close to giving birth to a child, I don’t envy you, women’



They celebrated. They made passionate love until morning. They simply couldn’t have enough of the other one. She could hear his heartbeat falling asleep and waking up. At last.

It was early morning of yet another beautiful day, hopefully full of some new delights.

Will touched her cheek.

‘Mrs Turner… time to wake up’

She yawned, smiled, stretched and suddenly curled into a ball, then jumped out of the bed, run to the corridor and started throwing up.

Will caught her nightgown and quickly followed her to the place where she was kneeling over a little bucket.

‘Elisabeth, love, what…?’

She spat.

‘I’m afraid, da’ling, that one young Turner will be making our life miserable for the next several months’ she croaked.

Will violently bit down on his own thumb.



‘Congratulations!’ someone slapped him on the back. AGAIN.

This was not how it was supposed to be he thought bitterly. I want back on my ship!

Written by Srebrna

2013/07/31 at 21:34

But if you can still dream – 10

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I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams.
Hamlet II, 2

The Doctor – Lucid dreaming

From what Jack could get the Doctor to tell, the Time Lords’ superior psychology and physiology had some interesting traits. Like an ability to discern immediately if one is currently dreaming or no. Lucid dreaming, it was called, and the Doctor prided himself on being always sure not only where and when he was but also if what he saw was reality or product of his overactive imagination.

But this took some time, at least a few seconds. As they were usually wake-induced lucid dreams, they would fit almost perfectly into whatever had been happening just a moment before and thus would wake no doubts – at least at first – as to their being real. Sometimes Jack would find the Doctor looking through half-closed eyelids at a console, which at the moment displayed either gibberish in Gallifreyan or simply gibberish, and talking to himself. Apparently lost in his daydreams, of course – consciously.

So, as the Doctor stressed over and over again, he always knew if he was dreaming or not. Sometimes, though, he chose to ignore it and let the dream carry him away. Sometimes he really wanted for this to be reality and didn’t want to remember it was only a dream. So he chose not only to ignore the fact that he was dreaming, he chose not to check.

Jack strolled into the TV room, a can of Coke in one hand and an overlarge dish of popcorn in the other. He plopped on the sofa and placed the popcorn between himself and the Doctor. One look at the alien told him to stay quiet and not disturb him – his eyes were half-closed, his lips – mmm – moving and his glasses were pushed up into his hair. Either he was doing some time-and-space arithmetics or he was dreaming about Rose again. Jack could sympathise, he certainly dreamed about Rose – and the Doctor – enough to be able to relate.

He was watching whatever Rose left in the DVD reader the evening before and it was beginning to look quite good. Even though everybody looked to be in love with someone (sometimes recently passed away), it was still good.

She came, silently, and said something, but at first he registered only the fact that his hair stood on its ends as her breath bathed his skin. Then his mind processed the words and he was able to reply, at least partially reasonably. Then he was finally able to turn to her and look at her – from quite a short distance – and he calmly invited her to join in, under the pretense of getting to understand the love threads. As he watched her expression soften – from a small smile of I-am-making-fun-of-you to a delicate, new smile of… of something else – he noticed her breath catching, and he froze. He shouldn’t have, as she took the opportunity – and his head – into her own hands – and he was lost in the world of Rose, of minty chocolate she filched from the cupboard, of honey she laced her tea with and of something fascinating which made him finally shake the astonishment and kiss her back as he had wanted to for quite some time already. When she broke the contact – poor humans and their breathing requirements – he didn’t dare to open his eyes and look at her.

He opened his eyes and looked at Rowan Atkinson being a difficult plane passenger and letting the kid get through the gates. Then he noticed Jack, casually slouching next to him on the sofa.

“Jack?”

“Yeah?”

“Is there another can of Coke? I think I need something cold.”

“Sure. But perhaps you should take some ice.”

“Why?”

“You look as if you have bitten yourself. You’re bleeding.”

Written by Srebrna

2013/07/31 at 09:39

But if you can still dream – 9

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I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams.
Hamlet II, 2

Rose – Nightmares

Rose Tyler never admitted she could have nightmares. Of course, Jackie Tyler and the great kitchen of the Tyler Residence knew better – both having seen the at her worst and even worse sometimes. Jackie soothed her quivering nerves with copious amounts of honeyed tea – now that they could afford the best blends available, they certainly took pleasure in a cuppa – and the kitchen itself was re-done after they moved in in some not easily described way which transformed the food-processing-and-plates-washing space into a secondary living-room (much to the cook’s amusement). Now there was a second, quite smaller fireplace, just to make the room more cozy, a wooden table and matching chairs with cushions, beige tablecloth with delicate patterns and always waiting teapot and jar of honey on a wooden tray, with three cups ready. Each of them had their own chosen cup – Pete having the big, clay one, Jackie – the out-of-set white porcelain with blue flowers and Rose – one painted with telephone boxes. They came into the kitchen at different hours, all of them needing some support at one moment or another.

So, Rose didn’t call them nightmares, but to every other human (and some non-human) being they were nightmares, all right. If someone falls asleep and then cries, moans and tosses in their sleep only to wake up with a scream which would wake up all their old neighbours – then this is a nightmare.

Rose would then go down to the kitchen, sometimes remembering to put on her slippers or dressing gown, but usually just in her shortish, pink-and-yellow spotted pyjamas or even shorter blue gown, sit next to the fireplace, throw a few pieces of wood more and brood. And, by some telepathic means, one of her parents would wake up, wander to the kitchen, pour tea and ask. And she even sometimes told. Sometimes, though, she just looked at her mother with sorrow, and then Jackie would hold the blonde head to her shoulder and help her daughter weep herself into peace – or at least a temporary silence – of her mind. If Pete was the one to come down one of these nights, he usually wrapped Rose in an additional blanket and sat her in the one armchair available in the kitchen and wait. When the sobbing stopped, he could usually get a word or two from his “daughter”, and a piece of the infinitesimal puzzle with The Doctor in the middle again found its place. Making room for a few new ones.

Rose dreamed of escapes, of runs and blow-ups, of shootings, fights and betrayals, but she only woke up crying from two kinds of dreams. One of them featured Cassandra as the main actor. The other one – well, after them, she cried for lost chances.

He was sitting in front of a large, flat-panel display and watching – of all things – a love flick. In fact, it was ‘Love Actually’ he was watching, the very movie he kept joking about her drooling over only a day before.

“I see” she murmured, propping her elbows on the back of the sofa. “You are one soft-hearted Time Lord.”

“Know thy enemy” he answered, not looking at her. “I wanted to understand what you girls see in it. Perhaps if I watch it once again with all the additional scenes put in, I’ll be able to ‘get it’.”

He turned to look at her face and smiled with this one-of-a-kind, timelordy smile of knowing everything.

“I hoped you might find your way here. Would be more interesting to watch it with someone who understands.”

His lips were mere centimeters from hers – as a moment earlier she was whispering right into his ear – and he seemed not to notice the breathing problems she had just developed. So she took the matters into her own hands by seizing his neck and massaging it carefully as she brought their lips together. He tasted of tea, and gingerbread – now she knew who was guilty of the cookie jar being empty – and something else, which made him different from the guys she kissed in the past. And, to her astonishment, he was kissing her back, ever so delicately. They slowly broke the contact and she stared at him, his eyes half-closed, his breathing just a tiny bit faster and his lips still parted.

A truck hit some loose bit of metal somewhere nearby. She sat up suddenly, her eyes burning, her throat hoarse and her cheeks already wet with tears.

Written by Srebrna

2013/07/31 at 09:38

But if you can still dream – 8

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“I have had a dream, past the wit of man to say what dream it was.”
William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1595-6)

Doctor – Déjà vécu

The Doctor bit his lower lip and inhaled deeply. He was not going to look. No way. Jack was preparing something at the stove, dancing around the kitchen and humming “I’m too sexy”. No way. No. Bad mental image. No.

The problem was, Jack wasn’t doing it on purpose. He just was. The idea of Jack Harkness, the very essence of him made it so that he didn’t even have to drop any sexual references to create tension. He was one living, breathing – and humming! – sexual reference.

The Doctor groaned. This was not the line of thought he wanted to follow. Actually, no line of thought was really attractive lately. They tended to digress towards Captain Jack or towards his dreams.

Dreams were yet another topic he wished very much to avoid. Since Jack came abroad, he experienced a rising frequency of real – or day – dreams. Way too realistic, sometimes altogether too well entwined with his memories for him to be sure that they were simply productions of his overactive – and superior! – mind. No. They were only projections of his wishes and other could-have-beens. No more. In full daylight – or at least in whatever TARDIS supplied as daylight – he was completly conscious of what was memory and what was imagination and falsehood. Unfortunately, in the hours of darkness, when Jack finally succumbed to his human-body habits, when the TARDIS was doing some introspective work and didn’t take notice of him, his doubts emerged. In this time he was never really sure what happened – not anymore.

Jack prodded the meat on the skillet with an oversized fork and started stirring in tomato juice, still humming – at least he didn’t sing off-key – and wiggling his butt.

Doctor shut his eyes and tried to concentrate on something else. Dancing… when was the last time…

…Jack and Rose were laughing, and he wanted to show these two kids that being a timelord doesn’t make one a fossil, no matter what they might think. So he asked the TARDIS for a song, shed his coat, threw it over the railing and grabbed Rose’s hand, pulling her close in the rhythm of some random tune.

“You are missing a rose, Gomez” she smiled at him when they performed a bend-over and her leg swept up in a gancho.

“A rose?” he led her in a giro and a quick volcada. “Gomez?”

“Did you choose the music, or did you ask the TARDIS to pick a tango for you?” she almost tripped on some loose flooring, trying to perform a barrida.

“I… asked, yes.”

“So ask her now for the movie.”

Her eyes flashed as she tilted her head back in the next step and she smiled again, this time pursing her lips a little.

“Will you watch it with me?” he held her closer.

“Any time you wish… And now as you have ruined my shoes – and my toes – could we sit down?”

He shook his head to clear it of the swirling images. There was something wrong. Something didn’t match.

…shed his coat…

It should have been a leather jacket. A black leather jacket. Not a brown coat. And he wasn’t wearing a jumper, he was…

He bit his lip again.

It was way too realistic for his liking.

-+-+-+-

Rose woke up with the feeling of someone stepping on her toe-tips. They were hurting.

Written by Srebrna

2013/07/31 at 09:36

But if you can still dream – 7

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“I have had a dream, past the wit of man to say what dream it was.”

William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1595-6)

Rose – Déjà senti

She was looking at the new piece of technology the research had salvaged from one of the “uncontrolled contact with the ground” places and trying to understand what might be the meaning of all these small indicators, circles and dials. She breathed deeply, closed her eyes and put her hands on the surface, opening herself to the structure and she felt herself slipping away, just a bit aside from her surroundings. The sounds vanished first, then the smells… She breathed slowly, trying to spread her palms as wide as she could to reach all available surface of the object. There were some knobs and switches there, almost familiar, as if she had already touched this, or very similar control board. But no finger-tingling, no intuitive movement showed up. She raised her hands, shook them loose for a moment and approached the board from the other side. Perhaps she was just looking at it upwards down?

Three hours still didn’t give any information, either factual or imaginary. No suggestions from her subconsciousness, but the eerie familiarity of the “thing” was getting on her nerves. She sat in her deep armchair, crossing her legs and looking angrily at her desk. She was angry. And her nerves had seen better times, too. She was…

close to tears. And suddenly she groaned inwardly – this one she knew and recognised as a really bad dream. It started well enough, with some basic how-to-fly-a-TARDIS instructions, but ended in tears, slamming the door and feeling down and inferior. He was making fun of her, she knew it, just knew it, and he was standing there, with this foolish superior-life-form smile on his face and… and suddenly he was standing just behind her, his hands covering hers on the controls, guiding her to do things slowly, calmly and carefully. His breath tickled her cheek as they silently co-operated, his hands guiding her, and she submitting to the teaching. She began to understand – or at least to feel a bit closer to the understanding of the idea – and she relaxed, just a bit, and managed to finally draw a breath. And stopped moving, at once. It wasn’t him. It was… him… Her mind performed a somersault. It wasn’t black leather – or black jumper – that he was wearing. Actually, it wasn’t the brown coat or pin-striped suit either, but a delicate pale-blue shirt that he sometimes wore with the suit. This didn’t… this didn’t make sense… but somehow, in a very convoluted way, it was good. Of course she was attracted to Nine. Hell, who wouldn’t be? Her mother was… Perhaps not a good thought. Concentrate on the controls, girl, you know it’s a dream, but you can make the most of it. Ooh, his cologne…

She actually felt light-headed in the dream. And she could think – double-think actually. One level was still dreaming and was approaching absolute bliss in a brisk pace, the other was observing the first and second-thinking. Analysing. And trying to merge with the first one in order not to ruin a nice dream.

Actually, it was becoming quite… intense…

Hopefully the dream Doctor didn’t notice the goosebumps his breath created on her skin, or her catching breath or the fact that she was trying very hard not to let herself relax and melt into his arms. She savoured the feeling of his chin on her right arm, of his fingers upon her own and let her eyes close.

The TARDIS flew silently and calmly through the space.

She woke up, her head still a bit light and swoony.

This dream ended differently last time. Oh, the new ending was an improvement – but still left her with tears in her eyes and a heartache.

-+-+-+-

The TARDIS flew silently and calmly through the space as the lingering traces of female hands disappeared from the main control panel.

Written by Srebrna

2013/07/31 at 09:35

Have a Nice Life, Mr Darcy

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“My family?” she raised her brows in question.

“Yes! For one thing, your mother. Always talking. And she sticks to people as if she was covered with super-glue. And does not know when to be quiet and stop babbling about money. Or rank. And is so… so… obnoxiously flattering. I could not move because she was all the time looking at me, talking to me, asking me some inane questions about tea or cake or dinner, and I thought I would never be able to swallow even a bit of this chicken after she described the smallest details of how it was prepared. I… I can’t stand this noise! She babbled about my money – all the time – and about Charles’ money and about how good it would be to have such nice suitors for her daughters… she invited us for dinner and just didn’t want to hear about our previous plans!”

“I see.”

“And I just… I just don’t understand how you and Jane can be her daughters. Aren’t you adopted or something?”

Her face went white for a moment, making all her freckles to stand out.

“No, thank you for the compliment. How nice to know you consider my mother a twit. I gather you prefer other type of parents…?”

“Of course. Quiet, dignified…”

“Yes. So someone who is always talking – quietly – about others, not letting them be and sticking her nose into every conversation, be it public or private, who talks about rank and money, all the time comparing one people to other, who asks questions only to override the answers with her own opinion, who oversees others’ lives in detail, starting from the number of children they should have to the brand of birdseed for their canary, who talks about rich fiancés for her daughter and niece and who does not even accept the fact that others can have different opinion, or their own, unconnected plans, is much better?”

It was now his turn to stare at her in astonishment.

“Who…”

“And I suppose the fact that I talked back to your Aunt is something you would view as a proof that I’m indeed my mother’s daughter, yes?”

“Why, yes! You were abominably rude, in fact, that was the moment I was pretty sure I don’t want to ask you out.”

Her eyes flashed angrily.

“Rude? I was rude because I told her it’s not her business whether I’m sleeping around or not? Because I told her I won’t let her know my salary? That I don’t care for her advice about “appropriate, economical make of car for poor office girls”? I was rude??”

“Well, you were a guest in her house!”

“As you were a guest in my mother’s house, and I didn’t see you behaving any better! In fact, you were downright awful when you told my mother you won’t sit where she suggested and that you don’t take your tea with milk. I know she is not the most polished host around, but you know what? She intends her guests to feel comfortable and that’s why she behaves so – she doesn’t know how to do it otherwise. Your esteemed Aunt Cattie only means for her guests to feel worse and she is simply the best in this. And you know what else? If you feel Jane and I are adopted – well, I think nobody would make a mistake and take you for an adopted nephew. I wonder that people don’t take you for her son! But I forgot! You will soon be her son – or did I mishear the boasting about you and Anne? And the pre-nup arrangements she wanted you to make? Well, I hope you are happy with your anorectic cousin – she will not marry you for money, nor for position and prestige. And you will surely produce good heirs to Darcy fortune, well-bred, well-brought up, dignified, poised and proper.”

She stood up from the table and threw a few bills on the table.

“Here, for my coffee. So that you didn’t feel taken advantage of. Have a nice life, Mr Darcy.”

“Elizabeth, wait! I don’t want to mary Anne. I want to marry you. If only you…”

“What? Were less outspoken? Had a star career at a corporation instead of being independent? Or bowed and curtsied every time your family honours me with their presence and attention?”

“No! But could you slow down… like, calm a bit?”

“Would I be able to work at my agency?”

“No way! It would be absolutely unseemly!”

“To go for vacation fishing at my grandpa’s lake?”

“If any newspaper got even a sniff of this…”

“Walk out in jeans? Go jogging without bodyguards? Stay in bed until noon?”

He closed his eyes.

“So, basically, you love me, you want me to be attentive to your family, to cut my ties with my family, to change my lifestyle to suit yours, give up my job and take another under your command and, additionally, sleep in your bed and be available?”

He swallowed hard.

“If so, I have an ideal candidate for you. Obedient, flexible, in awe of your family, appropriately trained in bowing, is able to dress for official occasion if directed by an authority. Only the sleeping arrangements may be a problem, but you would probably get used to it, after all, every other ‘pro’ is in place.”

He inhaled, but stayed silent.

“The only person who could have something against is Charlotte. I don’t think she would be supportive of Bill hooking up with you…”

Written by Srebrna

2013/07/29 at 14:27

But if you can still dream – 6

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Swift as a shadow, short as any dream.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream I, 1

Doctor – Nap

Jack handed him the last floorpane and he fixed it in place with the sonic screwdriver. Finally, they were done – the floor under the entrance side of the console was safe and the cables were finally running in somewhat ordered way. He knew Jack would be good for something and it apparently wasn’t only cooking. Hah. He’s just showing off to my girl, trying to sweeten her. But she’s mine, all mine, and if he thinks he may get into her good graces without my consent, he is very much mistaken. Right, dear? He patted the railing, leaned on it, testing its stability, and sighed. Rose would have jumped to create more pressure. He patted the railing again…

…and her fingers covered his in an affectionate gesture.

“It’s good to be home at least” she whispered, looking at the door which have just a moment before closed on a most gruesome spectacle of one group of people trying not to be caught and treated as target for bow practice by other group. Both groups were nasty, vengeful and murderous, so they deserved each other. The only thing they didn’t deserve was their planet blowing up underneath their three-toed feet and this was prevented by TARDIS landing in the right time and place for the Doctor and Rose to get their hands dirty with some hard manual work. So now they stood side by side, covered with dust and grime from head to toe and utterly exhausted. He smiled wanly, gesturing towards the corridor.

“To the bathroom, you stubborn woman. I told you to stay away from this shed, didn’t I?”

“As if you were any better” she shot back. “I could see your hair stand up and sparkle with electricity when you caught that cable with your bare hand. Get yourself to the medbay and check if you didn’t do yourself any damage.”

“If I did, I would know, you… human. My superior physiology enables me to control the state of my body much better than you with your USG and X-rays.”

“Yeees? And who got drunk on this liquor bought at the suuk, two or three planets back? It is totally safe, Rose, I’m sure!” she mimicked. “And the hangover you had, it was once in a lifetime sight!”

“Silent, girl” he placed the cleanest finger on her lips. “Or I will find some appropriate punishment for you. I’m sure TARDIS has some undiscovered room full of dirty dishes, just for you to wash them.”

“Go to the medbay, you crazy alien” she turned and before he could duck, she smacked him on the bottom. “Tag!”

He woke up with a start and the feeling that his backside stung a little. Gathering his surroundings he pulled himself up from the floor on which he apparently sat with quite a force and massaged the offended place discreetly. He sighed, straightened, took off the jacket, threw it on the coat hanger and fell backwards, into his…

..chair. Rose jumped up the steps excitedly, her body still adrenaline-high – he could almost taste it in the air, together with girlish rose-scented perfume, green tea deodorant, the dust on her jumper, the grass on her trainers, her shampoo…

“You were great. We were great!” he exclaimed happily.

“Brilliant!” she smiled widely.

“As always” he squeezed her fingers and, looking at her still smiling face, pressed a soft kiss to them. “My brilliant Rose.”

She turned her palm to touch his cheek.

“My brilliant Doctor” she answered. “But you are nuts, you know?”

“Of course. But you wouldn’t want me different, would you?”

“Never.”

She reached over him for the last packet of peanuts, sitting on the console.

“Hey! Stay away from my peanuts!” he snatched it from her grasp.

“Your peanuts? Your peanuts?! You galactic thief, these are my peanuts, you ate all yours before we left!”

“No way. You ate all of yours, woman!”

“Give. Me. This. Bag,” she uttered slowly, approaching him in a threatening way.

Of course, he was the winner. By virtue of his longer arms. And some well-placed tickling. So he leaned back on the chair, laughing, and she finally lost her balance, and toppled over him, her head landing comfortably just on his arm, her whole body fitting his almost too well. He reached around her on the pretence of putting the bag down…

…and touched Jack’s shirt, as the Captain was trying to pick him up and save him from sliding all they way down from the chair, to the floor and on, into the opened panels.

“I’m not hugging you for good morning, Doc” he observed calmly. “Not without dinner and flowers the day before.”

“I think I need to get to a bed” the Timelord grumbled. “I should stop having naps in this chair, I’m risking my life.”

“Use your own, I’m not sharing!”

“Who are you and what did you do to Jack…?”

Written by Srebrna

2013/07/29 at 12:06

But if you can still dream – 5

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Swift as a shadow, short as any dream.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream I, 1

Rose – Catnap

Her work colleagues wanted to go to the mall. Sure, why not. After all, she had a really good job – well-paid job – and a loaded father (who was quite eager to express his admiration for his daughter in any way he could, including the local equivalent of VIP Visa card), so she could probably afford a shopping spree of any kind. But nothing tickled her fancy yet, and they had already been here for at least three hours. She sighed and fingered a pair of male gloves displayed in one of the shops. They would do well for Pete, as he seemed to be constantly losing his gloves, hats and umbrellas, but she wasn’t convinced. She knew who they would suit for sure, but tried to think around this thought and make it wait until she was back home.

As the girls moved to the next door and giggled over some silly gadgets in a gift store, she walked to the nearest fountain and sat down on the concrete edge. Her nose ached, so she took off her spectacles – worn to work only (as she knew, spectacles tended to make one look more respectable and reliable) – and put them in her shirt pocket. She actually started to wear shirts, and trousers. Sometimes even nice blouses with some light and subtle jewelry. Jackie, armed with newfound certainty and feeling of being the wife of a really wealthy man, managed to work on her own style and on her little girl’s clothes. Both were way more classy than in their own London – money did wonders to one’s wardrobe – but also than local Jackie had ever been before.

Of course, nobody told it outright, but some gossip rags noted that since the catastrophe and “close call” Jackie Tyler had changed her taste in clothes to less flashy, less glittery and surely less girly. Also, they mused, having her long-absent daughter back made her assume finally the role of a mother, which explained the 180 degrees turn in the way she dressed, behaved in public and conducted her private life. Beginning with selling all her Svarowski-covered stiletto heels on e-Bay to the parties, which were no more.

The Tylers stopped entertaining at all. Of course there were official events, but nothing was hosted at the Tyler residence, no one but closest friends and chosen coworkers was admitted further than to the gate and the family became way more private than ever before. Combined with reappearance of a pretty daughter and gossips on another Tyler being on the way it made them the celebrities of the season.

As Jackie’s pregnancy progressed and Pete was seen getting into his car in front of a clinic, helping his rotund wife in, without hiding behind bodyguards, the tabloids moved on to someone else – and his or hers scandalous behavior on the deck of some love boat – and Tylers could again breathe with ease.

Now Rose could finally walk through a market or a mall without anyone noticing her and trying to pry some information. She leaned on a decorative concrete wall and admired the play of light on the water spouting from the hidden pipes.

There was a man, standing on the other side of the water wall, man of an uncomfortably familiar figure. His movements and gestures made her heart skip a beat, and when a young, dark-haired woman approached him and handed him a sleepy child, Rose’s eyes filled with tears. Fortunately he moved closer and into a spot where her view was no longer obscured by the droplets and she could see that his hair was neatly combed back, his built was rather stocky – the water made him look thinner – and his glasses were horn-rimmed, not black. Also his nose was rather… potato-shaped. Her heart constricted painfully as she tried to catch some air and she tilted her head back to ease her breathing. She closed her eyes to stop the tears and forced her face muscles to relax. Her hands rested on warm concrete and slick, wet tiles…

… she felt him squeeze her fingers. They didn’t even have to look at each other – they just sat in the sun, watching the clouds go by and waiting for their bodies to regain some strength and warmth before going back to the TARDIS. She felt his presence acutely, knew without checking when he raked his hair with his free hand, when he fidgeted with the shirt collar or when he checked his shoelaces. It was familiar. She was quite conscious of the fact that whatever she did, he could also guess, in the same way. Familiarity. The effect of watching each other, sometimes in rather cramped spaces, for weeks – or was it months? – now. Of course, since the regeneration she had to remove some quirks from the list – and add new ones – but there were enough similarities… Now he should pat his breast pocket and check for the stone they managed to retrieve, look at it in the sunlight, check the surface – letting go of her hand for a moment – grab her fingers again, even more firmly and say something joyous and absolutely nonsensical about being here and now but having to move, move, move, Rose, we are going…

“Rose? We are going to get something to eat… Rose?”

“Sure” she smiled, shaking off the remnants of the dream. “I’ll have something to drink. Way too warm for me today. Where are we going?”

They found a nice, cozy restaurant with an outdoor table or two, and ordered tons of food.

“So, you finally found something nice?” she asked, conscious of having to interact with her group. “I think I’ll get these gloves for my Dad, he lost the last pair on the crash site yesterday. Mum is furious, of course.”

“Why? He can afford them, for sure” one of the girls looked curiously at her.

“Oh, it’s this thing about principles, you know. She still remembers the times when she had to count every penny. So sometimes, when we do something totally stupid, she goes berserk. It takes a day or two for her to wind down and everything is back to normal, but this gloves thing is her pet peeve. She says Dad just doesn’t pay enough attention and one day, when he manages to spend all his money on replacing his gloves she is not going to support him and he will have to count on my charity” she sipped her soda. “So, anything good today?”

“Sure. A sale at the Body Shop. I got a box of Ocean soap, my Ma’s favourite. And some bubble bath” Josie smiled widely. “And I got you something for your birthday, Rosie-chan, but I’m not telling!”

“Aw, Josie, spill” Rose reached for the Body Shop bag next to her friend.

“Keep your hands to yourself. You’ll see in two weeks. Dori got you something too, you go badger her.”

“No way I’m showing this here, Rose. You would not want, I guarantee you. But I got myself a chocolate fondue set I wanted and not as expensive as I saw them in some other shops. And they threw in a dose of Belgium chocolate for the first try, so we shall have a treat for your party. You are having a party, aren’t you?”

Rose smiled contrarily.

“Oh, I thought we could go and hang out in some nice pub, look at some nice backsides and get totally trashed. Then we would get to my place, kick my Mum out of the TV room and watch some sappy romance or brain-numbing chick flick. These I have enough to get us quite stupid in one night.”

“Good plan, but I got a better one” interjected the fourth girl, silent until now and busy sipping her tea. “We get to my place, as my mother is out for that weekend, some conference or other, and we have our party in one place without moving. The pro is, I got a pub on the other side of the street, so if we feel like some backside-looking, we could make a short trip there, get our fill, and get back to a safe and warm home before we get too drunk. This way we get all the entertainment without any parents noting the hour or trying to set us straight and get us to bed before we wish. No offense to your mother, Rosie, but she tends to treat you as if you were still sixteen. Didn’t she notice you’ve grown up a bit? You know, change of bra size, job, your own money?”

“I still live with them. And it’s not like she didn’t notice, but she has these protective urges. Even more so since she got pregnant again. Hormones are talking through her. So, you know, I try not to tax her nerves too much, this is eight month and she isn’t taking this well. Also, I admit, I sometimes like the attention. It’s hard when your boss is your Dad and the only way not to take your work home is to talk about weather at the table, and sometimes even weather is ‘work’.”

They all nodded. Torchwood employees learned soon that every topic, after careful examination, may be work-related and thus, is many instances, secret. That was why they tended to hang out together – at least they didn’t have to watch their mouths so much, even if they were supposed no to talk about professional issues in public places. And they could watch each other, which made the situation a little bit more comfortable.

“That sucks, sure. But you know things waaay before we get out hands on them, don’t you?”

“If my Dad told me of them, you would be right, but I usually hear of them in the loading room” Rose smiled slightly. “These truck drivers have big chatty mouths and they feel they should share all the stories from the sites with me when I do the primary search of the load. Dad sometimes learns things from me and before his secretary gets around to showing him the key reports.”

They all smiled at the memory of the boss’ main assistant, competent, nice, careful but quite slow lady who never managed to beat anyone to the boss with the news.

As she boarded the bus and managed to obtain a window seat, she leaned back and to the right. Her back hurt, her feet hurt, her left hand hurt where she managed to bash it on the glass door when the opening mechanism failed and started to close the door directly on her person. She sat, favoring her left side and looked at the greenery outside. She could have called a taxi, but she simply wanted to do something normal and everyday. And seeing the other girls board their buses she paid the driver and readied herself for a half-hour ride home by the indirect route. The sway of the bus made her a little sleepy, but fortunately not queasy. She let her eyelids drop, but a hard motion of the bus made her jerk awake suddenly, before the dreams appeared. Fortunately.

As soon as she passed through the door to the living room, she felt the day’s weariness catching up with her and she could barely crawl towards the couch.

“Mariah?” she called tentatively towards the kitchen door.

“Rosie? What are you doing here, girl? Shouldn’t you be out, shopping?”

“I was” she yawned desperately. “But I feel… I felt a bit warm. An’ sleepy. Could you…” she tried to gather her thoughts. “Coffee? And wake me up in half an hour?”

“How long did you stay up yesterday?” the cook put her hands on her hips and stared at her with reproach.

“Like… Three? Four…?” she yawned again. “Coffee, I beg you” and she fell forwards on the pillow.

“You just lie here and I’ll get you what you need.”

“…k you…”

She was staring down at the crowd milling under the balcony. They were yet unaware of the trouble that was clouding the horizon, but they would soon realize that their world is not as easily controlled as they thought. Well, that would teach them. But to learn, they must survive, and for them to survive, she and the Doctor must finish their quest. And one thing this quest demanded was for them to stay silent.

He pressed her fingers, once, and pointed towards the vines on the side of the building. They grew in a way reminding of the Earth grapevine, but sturdier and with much thicker branches. She nodded and touched the back of his hand in confirmation.

They communicated thus for the whole day. The problem was the language. Although TARDIS translated it for them properly, the local society demanded different ways of speaking depending on the social and financial situation of both sides of the conversation and they didn’t have enough time to explore and research where in the hierarchy they should place themselves, especially as it was at least three if not four-dimensional. Not too low, nor too high, to be able to move freely but not to draw attention… Apparently the locals noticed you only if you emitted sound, so as long as they stayed silent, they were safe.

They were back, finally, having searched, found and disposed of a rather ugly, literally underground, problem which would make the local society crumble in a few weeks if not neutralised. All this without uttering a sound, which took its toll on the Doctor. He was holding her hand, communicating even without any signals his level of stress and worry. As soon as they were inside the TARDIS and shut the door safely, she tried to free her hand from his grasp, but to no avail.

“Let me go” she uttered slowly, looking in his exhausted face. “Doctor?”

“I’m sorry, Rose” he inhaled deeply and drew her hand to his lips. “You were wonderful” he added, bestowing a light kiss on her fingertips. “We should land somewhere nice and calm next time. We need vacation, don’t you think?”

“I think we need some rest now, we can talk about vacation when we think straight.”

“Right as always” he murmured, squeezing her hand again and rubbing it carefully. “I didn’t hurt you, I hope? I thought I was holding you too hard, but I was afraid that if I let go of you I’d never be able to find you again in this crazy place.”

“You surely wouldn’t be able to ask for directions” she joked poorly and they both smiled tiredly.

“So, rest it is. Do try to get a few hours tonight…”

“…tonight. Not watching TV, not working, just sleeping, you hear me? No more catnaps, you are not a middle-aged male!”

“Whut?” she tried to see her mother, who was apparently in the middle of a good scolding.

“You are going to bed, now, missy. All right, you may make a pit stop at the bathroom, but no books, no movies,no phone, no laptop. And give me back your PDA!”

“‘k, Mum. I’ll go in a few. Really.”

“I’ll wait” said Jackie Tyler calmly and decidedly.

Written by Srebrna

2013/07/29 at 01:28

A Phone Call – 4, Pillow Talks

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AN: This was really going to be a oneshot, then it grew an epilogue and a second chapter. And now, you know, I should be packing for my vacation, but every time I go into another room, there is this little plot bunny following me and if I don’t write this down, I’m going to trip on the silly thing.

AN2: If you feel your sensibilities offended by descriptions or references to things two adult and consenting Time Lords may indulge in, go somewhere else.

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Written by Srebrna

2013/07/29 at 01:23