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Srebrna, Skald Arkadii (and thoughts on writing)

Archive for August 2013

But if you can still dream – 16

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A dream itself is but a shadow.

A dream itself is but a shadow.

Hamlet II, 2

Doctor – Hallucinations

He was still analysing the damn sand.

Jack stood patiently in the door to the laboratory, trying not to make any “come on, hurry up” noises and mostly succeeding. Doctor, anyway, gave up.


“We need to make a stop for food. You’ve been after this poor cup of sand for the last two or three days. Leave it, we’re going shopping.”

The Doctor rolled his eyes expressively.

“And don’t you do this again, or your face will freeze like this” Jack strode inside the lab and grabbed Doctor’s hand. “I’m going shopping and you’re coming with me. If nothing else, for the simple reason that you complained for two days about lack of pears after my last trip. Now, my dear lady. Get us to some nice, seaside town, preferably with human-edible food, a mall or a fruit market will be a plus. We’ll be staying at least for a day. He needs to get some air.”

Of course, nothing could be that easy. On their approach to the planet, TARDIS went out of Vortex high in the air and followed an airplane (into which they almost crashed) over a big stretch of water. Due to their close proximity they were able to observe (and prevent further problems with) a sizeable rift in space that the airplane almost flew into. The passengers turned out to be local notables, heading towards the local equivalent of United Nations.

As both transports headed towards the land, grateful thanks from the pilots’ cabin in Jack’s and Doctor’s ears, the Captain was making the shopping list and Doctor preparing to land somewhere possibly inconspicuous near the beach.

Jack’s smile and abundance of local credits bought them fresh fruit, samples of local cheeses and a sack of vegetables, which they brought into the TARDIS and dumped in the cold room. Even when they were finished with this task, Jack didn’t allow the Doctor to shut himself in the lab yet again, but bodily dragged him towards the stretch of sand which bordered impossibly, audaciously even, blue water.

The Doctor sat on a boulder, jacket over his shoulder, and surveyed their surroundings.

“Did you know that the water in the local seas has universe-wide fame as beauty products source? It has a perfect combination of salts and flora, making it a prime mud masks basis” he smiled lazily. “Local girls are known for their beauty and swimming skills – even the poorest ones can afford to dive for the ingredients.”

Jack shot him a suspicious look.

“You want to get rid of me, or what?”

“Naah, just sayin’. Don’t mind me.”

He leaned back and threw his head back, looking at the beach sidewalk border upside-down.

A flash of pink and blue between the trees, and a head of blonde hair, and…

He froze in place. She was here. She was HERE, he was not dreaming about it, she simply was here, just twenty steps away. And suddenly she was whirling around, looking at the sea and he felt the universe hiccup and she wasn’t there and then anymore, she was there and thirty minutes before, and his timesense whirled around him, making seeing her one of the most nausea-inducing experiences in his life (up there in the top three, including Jack Harkness being brought to life and his own 6th regeneration) and he was seeing her watching TARDIS land and Jack’s face as he shook him back to consciousness.

“You went and took a stupid pill? You could get sick, watching…”

“Rose was here.”

This had the power of shutting up Captain Jack pretty quickly.

“You’re kidding.”

“No, she was there, between the trees, when we were landing. She saw the TARDIS, waved at it, and disappeared. I swear I saw her.”

His companion sighed and closed his eyes in an exaggerated gesture of ‘you-must-be-joking’.

“How come you saw her now if she was there half an hour or so ago?”

Doctor blinked. He was still seeing some things that looked stuck in the wrong time. The trees which were moving in the wind and standing still at the same time. People who never came out from the trees they disappeared behind. Dog that barked without opening its mouth.



“We’re getting out. There is something wrong. With me. Have to get back to the TARDIS. Now.”

The urgency in Doctor’s voice spurred Jack into movement. In seconds he was holding Doctor’s jacket in one hand and supporting his stumbling friend with the other. As soon as they stepped through the door, Doctor knelt, holding one arm over his head, as if trying to keep his skull in place.

“What is happening?”

Bloodshot eyes looked up at Jack.

“If we’re lucky, something that will pass. If we’re not, something permanent. If you’re not a praying man, Captain, some would say it’s a time to pick up this habit. Crap. My head is spinning and I see things split in time. As if my eyes worked in different times.”

He blinked, first both eyes, then each of them separately.

“Rassilion, this is not good. Actually, I see only two things in the same way. Good luck is that one of them is TARDIS.”

Jack picked him up and started slowly walking towards the medbay.

“The other one?”

Doctor hiccuped and screwed his eyes shut.

“You. But, on the other hand, you sound as if you were synced with a delay. I hear what you say, but I don’t see you saying it. At least I’m not getting cross-eyed looking at you.”

He was propped on one of the beds and Jack brought the diagnostic station to check him out. When he was trying out the fourth reader, a soft chime sounded.

“TARDIS finished the analysis I had her run before we left. She could economize on out not being here and by shutting down most of her systems, shunted most of the power to the lab computer” Doctor licked his lips. “She’s found… Ogh, yeah. Nice one” his eyes opened and he stared at Jack. “The sunscreen on the sand. It’s been… Oh, dear. It’s been causing me to hallucinate. Well, as much as a Time Lord can. Which, in our case, means seeing across time without conscious control. Raised my body temp and sent several senses into overdrive.”

Jack sat down suddenly.

“So this means you have actually seen her, or not?”

“I have. I just don’t know from when. It felt like half an hour, but…”

“You can’t really be sure, because your internal clock was messed up by this suncream contents?”

“More or less. Anyway, I need a massive dose of potassium now and some tannins. And proteins. I need to cleanse my system” he swallowed a bit nervously. “Can’t pilot in this state, you know.”

“You want some bananas or tomato juice, a cuppa and a slice of ham?”

The Doctor’s smile was somewhat sickly, but he nodded slightly and fell back on the pillow.

‘Rose was here’.


Written by Srebrna

2013/08/20 at 04:11

But if you can still dream – 15

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A dream itself is but a shadow.

A dream itself is but a shadow.

Hamlet II, 2

Rose – Sleeping pills

“Pete, have you seen the headlines? I think I’ll stay at the office, take a sleeping pill and lie down on the coach…”

“Even though they are practically accusing you of being an addict?” Pete lowered his glasses. “Maybe you should take a cab home and have a quiet afternoon there? Jackie is out shopping with Tony, there should be nobody but Theresa around.”

Theresa, the maid-and-sometimes-cook was usually cleaning up at that time of the day. Rose would have been delighted to hide in the Tyler Mansion and take advantage of Theresa’s baking skills, but unfortunately her day was a bit more complicated than a usual Monday.

“May be a problem here” she moaned and flopped herself backwards on the stuffed chair. “Have you had w look from your window recently? Last two hours or so?”

Pete blinked, stood up and peeked between the blinds.

“Are these…?”

“Reporters, yep. Paparazzi, they called these in our world. I always pitied celebrities – I know, I know, it sounds stupid for a shopgirl to pity princesses and singers – that these guys hounded them 24/7. Well, now I know how it feels. If you want to ask, it sucks. Yesterday one of them was shooting photos of me eating ice cream with Tanya, and today they managed to cook up an article about me having munchies. A week ago they managed to find traces of white on my coat. Tony’s milk became cocaine I throw around so carelessly I got my coat covered with it. And someone actually bribed a pharmacy assistant to get to my list of purchases and pulled the syringes and needles from it. How I’m supposed to snort cocaine, smoke mj and shoot myself up with heroine at the same time and still be able to stand straight, I have no idea. They have their theories, main of them being you’re providing me with alien tech that reduces the normal symptoms.”

“Do you want a team to escort you out?” he asked finally, after swallowing the first quiet curse. “They should be no match agains properly trained bodyguards.”

“And have tomorrow half of the newsstand filled with my face and speculations about my mental state? ‘What did Rose Tyler do to be thrown out of her workplace and taken out by armed escort?’ ‘Vitex Princess gets wasted at work, security measures taken’ ‘Torchwood head of development developing new symptoms'” she snorted and threw her arm over her eyes. “And the fact that my eyes got totally hypersensitive to light isn’t helping, especially when someone points these big, nastly flash lamps at me.”

“Did you have this checked by doctor Harper?”

She peeked at him from under her arm.

“Are you kidding? He would only perscribe another relaxant. Look how well I did after the last one.”

He sighed and nodded shortly.

“I’m taking one of the ‘safe’ pills, and crashing on my coach. Let me know when the vultures go away.”

‘Safe’ pills were tested and, in fact, worked most of the time. When she needed to get through several hours of doing nothing, she just popped one and drag out her pillow and blanket to her office’s couch. Couch was a wrong term for that piece, as it was comfy, straight and properly soft like a folding bed. But it would sound wrong if she had a bed in her office, so couch it was.

This time, well, the sleep wasn’t coming. She started walking around her office, putting various tiny pieces of equipment in order – a battery, a stylus, a pencil… She spotted something on the floor and picked up a beautiful, pinky-white conch. Shaking off tiny, perfectly white grains of sand, she put it to her ear and, just for a moment, allowed herself to drown in the sound of ocean, both the one several feet from herself and the one closed in the conch.

She turned towards the water, topped with white foam and a few surfers and shaded her eyes with the free hand. Someone was trying hang gliding over the shore – more than one someone – and next to them, she saw a kite, with its long tail of ribbon bows. She watched with apprehension, trying to gauge the distance between the freely flying kite and the hang gliders, but they seemed to be perfectly safe.

Hearing a motorized engine, she turned left and saw a small plane, coming low over the water – ah, a seaplane, probably the coastal guard, and behind them, a speck of blue – police plane? No, it wasn’t the right shape. A chopper? It didn’t have the top blades.

‘Is it a plane? Is it a bird? No, it’s a TARDIS!’

She smiled and waved with the free hand, but it allowed the sun to hit her eyes, and she grimaced uncomfortably.

“Miss Tyler? Miss Tyler!” the big security guard was staring at her with slight uncertainty. “Miss Tyler, the journalists are gone, we can go now. As soon as you’re ready.”

She licked her lips, tasting the salty residue from the sea wind.

“Sure. Sure. I’ll be up any minute. Just… let me find my backpack.”

“Here, Miss Tyler” the second guard handed her the black object. “Can we go now? Before they gather somewhere else?”

She stood up, a bit gingerly, and smiled.

“Lead on” she quipped. “Let’s hope they are not waiting around the corner.”

The bigger of the guards smiled nastily.

“They sure aren’t, Maam. We convinced them it’s not a very healthy area.”

Written by Srebrna

2013/08/20 at 04:07

But if you can still dream – 14

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“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.”

John Lennon

Doctor – Hibernation

Being shut in a situation of no exit was one of Jack’s greatest fears. He would die here. Doctor would die here. Of course, the Time Lord will last longer per life – better respiratory system and cold resistance – but after three deaths, he’ll be truly dead forever, whereas he, the fixed-point-in-time guy will die over and over forever.

They sat in a cold, icy cave and didn’t look at one another. Neither of them dared. They had already been through the phase of senseless activity, ingenious ideas on how to get out, attempts at calling the TARDIS, attempts at climbing walls – Jack sported a huge bruise on his knee – and the usual phase of placing the blame.

Jack sniffed slightly. Damn it, resetting with a cold. Damn.

The Doctor inhaled deeply.

“We must do something.”

“We’ve already tried” Jack answered levelly. “I guess we’ve tried most anything.”

“Yes. But not absolutely everything” the Doctor was searching his pockets. “We should eat anything edible we have and try to slow down a bit.”


“I have a feeling that I have at most next ten to twelve hours of life, if I continue like this. And, in these conditions, I won’t be able to regenerate properly, I’m afraid. Last time I needed… Well. It was warmer in London at this time. Even though it was Christmas.”

“So, what do you suggest?”

“I suppose you know something about meditation or yoga” the words were a bot clipped, as if the Doctor’s teeth were clenched tight. “If so, you should know enough about slowing down your metabolism and getting into a trance.”

“How long do you suppose you can stay this way?”

“In this body, no less than seven months, unless the conditions change drastically.”

Jack licked his lips.

“Do it. I will stand guard.”

“You crazy?” the Doctor raised one brow, trying to find a good spot for sitting.

“No. Someone has to look out for dangers here. I can reset in any conditions. Been there, done that. More than once. More than healthy for my mental stability, surely.”

“So you shouldn’t do it again soon, should you?”

“Well, I see it like this: we have a higher chance of survival if you meditate and I stay awake than the other way round, don’t we? And we need someone awake here just in case a greater catastrophe is waiting to happen.”

The Doctor had to admit, although grudgingly, that Jack was most probably right.

“So, you go on and go your yoga thing and I’ll have a small walk.”

The Doctor shrugged finally, as the Captain was actually right.

“Don’t wander away too far, Jack. Don’t want you to get lost.”

“I’ll never get lost here, Doctor. Would be hard to. Even so, I may be absent when you come to – for any reason” he sat down next to his best – and probably only, at this point – friend. “So, I’d like you to remember something after you wake up.”

“What is?” said the Doctor drowsily, as the chemicals he released into his own system were starting to take over and slow his organism down.

“This” came a whisper in Jack Harkness’ voice and soft, cold lips touched Doctor’s. The kiss lasted only a few seconds, two breaths, five heartbeats, whole eternity. “Remember, I’m here.”

His eyes couldn’t keep focus as he tried to concentrate on the pillar in the centre of the ice cave in which they became imprisoned because of what the locals thought of two single men travelling together. The pillar was slender, half-transparent and somewhat glassy…

The light was moving slightly up and down the central console column as he observed it with dread. It was cold, it was already getting to him. He had to think about some clever solution or he and Rose will die here of hypothermia.

Rose was sitting there, just next to the main console, wrapped in a cocoon of blankets and other warm covers, looking progressively more and more blue. He tore himself away from the TARDIS’ reconfiguration display and managed to feed Rose as much sugar as her system could take.

She was a bad, bad girl and she was going to…

Ow, she was licking her lips.

He was hurting.

She was saying something. Moving around in the blankets and… inviting him in? Did she go crazy or what?

Finally, he agreed, and they were lying, hugging closely, only a thin blanket between them to make sure she wouldn’t get any colder because of his nearness. He placed his hand on her wonderful, soft and enticingly rounded hip and marveled at the sensation. Very carefully, feeling like a teen on a first date, he moved his hand up, to keep her closer to himself. His fingers itched to be surrounding something nice, rounded and firm, something tipped with a nice, stiff nipple, something that he could almost feel brushing against his hand every time she inhaled.

She also squirmed. He felt her moving a bit around, this bringing her into a position where her luscious behind pressed even more firmly into the front of his trousers.

He longed to move his hand – either higher up, to the wonderful, full and heavy breast, just an inch from his palm – or much lower, to dip his fingers inside of her and make her feel like she never felt before. Would be a good idea for warming up, too.

He managed to ask her, finally, about her comfort. Also, advise her to sleep. If she slept, he would have to remove his hand and find something productive. She was way too active. probably bad idea to pump her with all this sugar, but it was the only way to keep her up and warm.

Ah, yes, active. Now she was turning round and reaching for him and kissing him so wonderfully, so sweetly, It literally made him swoon and he actually managed to lose his balance lying down on the floor. He felt himself fall backwards… and backwards…

“Shit!” he heard, uttered with obvious frustration. “Doctor, wakey wakey! The cave is melting and I’d rather not drown, so please do WAKE UP!”

His eyes shot open and suddenly he noticed a cold trickle, running down his back and water filling his converses.

“What the…”

“Apparently, the spring came. Or something. Anyway, the ice IS melting and we HAVE to be ready for whatever happens now. As soon as the ceiling has enough holes in it, we may be able to climb there and see how far from TARDIS we are.”

He stretched slowly and looked at Jack’s drawn, slightly gray face.

“How long?” his feeling of time was only now adjusting to the long stand-by.

“My watch says eight days. No idea what it is in local time, but I’m not going to stay around long enough to find out, if I don’t have to. So please, let’s try to go a bit higher and get as far from this place as possible. My claustrofobia isn’t as pronounced as some other people complain about, but after being buried alive for an extended period of time, I somehow like open air.”

Doctor swallowed hard and tried to force his body into action.

“Very well. I’d much rather get to TARDIS and check something. There was… I had a dream.”

“A Rose-dream?”

After all, Jack was the only one who could relate on any level.

“Yup. And I have a feeling that there is more to these dreams than just random brain activity.”

“And how are you going to check it?” Jack was preparing his line and hook set in order to throw it up, as soon as appropriate supporting spot could be find.

“If there is a set of bedding, or a curiously warmer place, or… well, I’ll see. If anything of these checks out, it means these are not really dreams. And if so, I want to know how this happens and if we can make use of it in any reasonable and safe way.”

Jack looked at him over the partly coiled rope.

“Reasonable and safe?”

“It is Rose we are speaking about. She will make enough trouble by herself, no reason to add to it. I’d much rather get her whole and conscious, so no way I’m risking now.”

They entered the TARDIS slowly, both quite unwilling to check the spot where the makeshift bed would have been. Both fearing any outcome – as either the Doctor was going even more mad than he already was or they would have to investigate the matter and deal with the distinct possibility that Rose was, indeed, abandoned in the universe next door for no reason and could have been brought back already.

Finally Jack made his way around the console and bravely forced himself to take a look.

There was, lying crumpled on the steel floor, a single, sand-encrusted blanket and a red, flower patterned, flip-flop. Size 5.


The Timelord inhaled deeply.


“It’s definitely not the bed you described. But I have a feeling that someone was here. Somehow” he picked up the brightly colored jandal. “Someone was having fun on a beach.”

His friend snatched the object from his hands and run a quick diagnostics over it with his screwdriver.

“I need to…” he trailed off and run another setting. “Hah!” he picked up something and moved it to a highlighted area on the console. “Sand! I can check where it came from…”

“Wherever it did, there’s more of it here” Jack picked up the blanket. “Also, I’d check it for any skin residue. Would let us know who was using this pretty blankie lately, wouldn’t it?”

The Doctor’s eyes brightened.

“That’s more like it! Gimme!”


The blanket that went missing after Rose was taken into hospital was replaced immediately by the waiting staff. Unfortunately, they found only one of her flip-flops, but as it was, nobody expected her to be going to the beach any time soon.

Written by Srebrna

2013/08/03 at 00:16

But if you can still dream – 13

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“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.”

John Lennon

Rose – Sunstroke

Jackie wanted Tony to see the sea. So she pressed everyone around into the organisation “committee” and forced Pete and Rose to take a week of holiday, naturally at the same time.

Of course, Pete took the week off. And, quite as certainly, Rose tried to find some big reason not to. It’s hard when your boss is your – more or less – father, who is trying very hard to please his wife and the mother of his only own child. Not that Pete ever voiced that aloud, but that was the truth. As much as he cherished her existence, supported her, advised, funded her education and officially introduced her as his daughter, Pete needed a child of his own. And from this Jackie he got one, and if everything the doctors said was true, he could get a couple more – Jackie had nothing against the notion. So now there was his not-quite daughter and his very much own son… Both from the same pair of parents with more or less the same genetic makeup…

I feel more like very-much loved niece. That’s actually good – I know my dad and he was anything but successful. Pete is something like his better-planning brother. An uncle. Yup. I have to remember to call him “Dad” at any public venue, but… Did I just think “venue”?

She put her head on the cold surface of her desk.

“Rose, you all right? Ready to go home? Jacks will be furious if we delay the departure any more.”

“Do you really need me there? I mean, you take the nanny, the night-nurse, the tutor – why does this kid need a tutor already? – and you will be both free to do anything you want. Like, a honeymoon. Why take me? I will get underfoot…” her voice trailed off as she looked sideways at the photo, standing on the edge of her desk.

“Come on, Rose. You didn’t have to pack, you don’t have to plan or remember about anything, only to take your credit card and this here” he pointed to said photo “and you are ready. You will have lots of sun, get some tan, have a nice swim when you wish and buy any crazy seaside souvenir you see. I will even buy one of these string-bikinis, if any of them tickles your fancy, and make your mother be quiet on the topic. Just come.”

“Are you trying to bribe me, Pete?” she smiled crookedly.

“Kind of. You know Jackie wants to air Tony a bit, and she wants to do it with both of us, too. Also, I want her to have a bit of vacation, she seems so intent of getting everything absolutely right, and she will never relax if she knows you are at work. Come to mention in, neither will I” he grinned at her widened eyes. “So? You know that after this poisoning nobody will let you near anything even remotely resembling physical work.”

She sighed with frustration as he hit exactly the problem she was trying not to think about.

“Just a moment.”

She picked up her backpack – no fancy handbags for her, bad for running – threw in her wallet and the photo frame from the desk.

Pete gave it to her on her first local birthday – he got his secretary dig up the security recording from the party and get the best shots of Doctor – preferably Doctor and Rose – extracted, enhanced and copied into the new Vitex patented electronic photo frame. The first working frame was sitting on his own desk, holding several minutes of a slide show of Jackie, Tony and Rose.

So, Rose had her plastic money, her frame, her packed suitcase (thanks heaven for servants) and her backpack, everything was loaded into the waiting car and transported quickly to the airport where efficient and well-muscled staff moved it, together with many other suitcases, into the private Tyler zeppelin as she was handed into the sitting area by Pete.

“How is the plane design and research going?” Jackie asked finally, after setting Tony down in his safety seat. “It would be much faster than these… blimps. And I still don’t feel very safe in them.”

“Don’t be so impatient. I want to have the first working prototype running for the next year Vitex Week. It would make a proper main exhibit” Pete smiled to Rose affectionately. “And it would never have came to be without you and Mickey.”

“More Mickey than me. He was the plane geek all this time ago” she lowered her seat. “I only had a dozen or so miniatures, but his room looked like an exhibition. He could spend half his wages in this one shop near the Estates.”

“Well, here he gets to play with the big stuff.”

“I hope your designers can keep up coming with proper solutions. After all we can’t have our planes running on twisted rubber bands” she yawned.

“Here, a blanket, miss Tyler” the assistant handed her chequered afghan.

“Do you want your tea now, or after your nap?” his name tag said ‘Andrew, Junior Team’.

“Now, thank you, Andrew. And the toast, too.”

“Of course.”

She watched as he walked into the kitchen area, but her eyes didn’t see the white suit and shoes but brown stripes and plimsolls…

“Stop ogling my staff” Pete hissed. “They are off limits.”

“Aww, dad. Why? I don’t touch them, they won’t break.”

“Yea, but if you look at them too much they might start imagining things.”


“Like being the Vitex Princess’ Consort. And this is something I don’t want even to consider.”

She smiled mischievously.

“So, who would you imagine as your son in law?”

He tapped his lips in thought.

“He should be smart. And I don’t mean good-looking, but some brain.”

“OK, must be smart. What else?”

“Should have some dependable job. Or at least means to support you. Independent or freelancer is good too, but only if he can afford living on some reasonable level.”

“Money. Hmm.”

“Should be educated. Street smarts are not enough. And, possibly, some technical area. Engineering, land design, heavy machinery, electronics… anything. Programmer or network administrator might be. Should be handsome, if only to make sure my grandchildren have both sides of the family to inherit from and we don’t have to depend on them getting only your looks.”

She snickered sleepily.

“Well… Should read, be able to talk to people, outgoing and sociable would be nice, but if you find a quiet type I won’t kick him out. Should dress for the occasion. Or at least be amenable to taking fashion tips. No tattoos, please. At least not in publicly visible places. No piercings in unusual places… Or, again, in unusual but generally visible.”


“And he must love you, girl” he whispered. “And you must love him. So my choices are rather… narrow.”

Jackie sat next to him.

“Tony’s asleep.”

“Rose too.”


Rose stretched on her blanket, all shiny from freshly-applied sun lotion, and covered her head with a straw hat.

“Rose, have you seen Tony’s sunblock?”

She opened her eyes sleepily.

“In the sandwich cooler. And your lotions too.”

“Thanks, love. Now, little man, I have to put this on you again and if you squirm so much, you will get burnt!”

Jackie was firm believer in high factor lotions and sunblocks – one fair-skinned, sunburn prone child was enough to convince her that it’s better to be pale than red. And no way something like this was happening to her precious son. Oh, no.

Pete pulled a laptop out of his bag and set it carefully on a folding table.

“I’ll check in with the office and see if there has been any emergency in the last 24 hours. Hopefully rift is staying stable…” he trailed off, furiously typing on his keyboard.

Rose laid her head on her t-shirt-made-pillow and sighed. Workaholics. Gotta be one of them to believe.


Sand looked quite pretty from this short distance. Private stretch of a beach, somewhere in Italy, all fenced, guarded, clean and pristine…

Yeah. She could get used to this life. Almost.

She could accept totally new line of work which her “father” arranged for her, she could accept a nice, spacious house, even though she grew up in two-rooms flat, she could accept the bodyguards, discreetly hovering around her on almost every outing, especially in holiday season, when photographers got really nasty about catching her in some stupid situation. She could almost accept everything her “father” had given her – new brother, education, happy mother, stressless life… except for the fact that she would never, ever leave this planet. She was, for all the work she did with aliens and alien artefacts, grounded. Due to the fact that global transport was based on zeppelins, the approach to interplanetary missiles was different than in her world. Unfortunately neither she nor Mickey could really help with this – none of them was ever interested in sputniks, space shuttles or rockets. Of course, they could draw a symbolical rocket or sketch a sputnik – more or less — but the Torchwood/Vitex designers preferred them to focus on airplanes.


Yes. Almost used to. Full family, even with a 20-years-younger brother. Silly, cute little thing. Too cute for his own good.

Oh, he is cute when he pouts.

She sat in the control room, trying not to giggle, as Doctor stared at the main column with a… pout. Yes.

“What is wrong? Did the bad, bad TARDIS take your bowl of pudding?”

He scowled even more immaturely and finally stuck his tongue at her.

Ooh, bad Doctor. I’ll make you stand in a corner if you do this again” she leaned back on the captain’s chair, propped her legs on one of the armrests and sipped from her bottle of something-very-much-like-coke. “Now, what happened?”

She says she’s stuck.”


That’s the problem. We have only one information – it’s cold out there. Additionally, we haven’t recharged lately, so in order to keep her calculating abilities, TARDIS will have to cut down on heating.”

We’re gonna be cold?”

You‘re gonna be cold. I can stand much lower temperatures than humans. So, instead of sitting here and poisoning your system with this bastard child of caffeine and carbon dioxide, you’d better go to your room and get as many warm things as you can.”

This might be a problem” she said, putting away the bottle. “Remember the accident with pink dye? Well, after this I gave all my cardigans and whatnot to Mum, to take to dry cleaners. I have a jacket and an afghan.”

Doctor sighed and rubbed his face.

Bring everything here. We’ll shut down all unnecessary parts and ask TARDIS to move kitchen nearby. We can camp out on the floor here. Move!” he aimed to swat her arm.

She ran, squealing, into the corridor and to her room. TARDIS was nice and moved it close, but Rose still didn’t manage to come back to the control room before she saw her breath condense into thin mist.

Put it all there and get under the covers” he pointed to a nest of bedding and covers next to the central unit. “Heat from processors will help a bit, too.”

Where did you get these?” she touched the exquisite silky pillowcase.

My room. I’ll bring yours, too, in a moment. Now get under blankets and stay there!”

‘Huh. He’s practically ordering me to get into his bed’ she dropped her trainers next to the impromptu bed and slid under the covers. ‘Not that I would protest, mind you.’

She laid there, watching him run around the central column and adjust things. Her eyelids were closing and she dug a bit deeper under the covers to keep warmer. She breathed in the fragrance of his cologne, lingering on the sheets and smiled. He was still using that bottle she bought him a handful of planets back. Nice. Sexy. Mmm… ‘Just like him. Ooh, nice view here.’

He turned suddenly as if he heard her thought.

Now, Rose, it’s all set, and as soon as TARDIS can calculate everything we need… Are you going blue?”

Not that I know” she answered sleepily. She heard her own voice shake a bit. “I’m ok, I think.”

Uh-oh” he bit his lip. “Not good. You ARE blue. And sleepy, yes? Wait. Don’t fall asleep until I come back” and with this he run out of the control room.

Rose let her head fall back on the wonderfully fluffy pillow and blinked. Blinked. Blin…

I told you not to fall asleep. Now, sit up, up, up” he was sitting next to her, a small mountain of sheets and another of food beside him. “Now, open your mouth, don’t take your hands from under the covers. And here is something to cover you” he draped a blanket over her shoulders. “Now, open nicely and let your Doctor feed you something with sugar. You’ll need it.”

She blinked again and opened her mouth obediently and he spooned some chocolate-brown stuff from a plastic jar.

What’s this?”

Terran origins, don’t worry. Picked it up some time ago in Eastern Europe. Something like custard, but waaaay better. Be a good girl and eat up.”

So she swallowed a spoon, and another, of a gooey, chocolatey and terribly sweet pudding, only to be hand-fed some fudge, banana pralines (“Bananas are good, Rose!”), sun-dried apricots, chocolate-covered raisins and helped to a cup of coffee.

Although it felt somewhat weird, she felt herself getting warmer. For more than one reason.

Now, still sleepy?”

Naw. Just full” she licked her lower lip and watched his reaction. He blushed.


Come here. You must be getting cold, too” she moved to a side, making a bit of room for him. Not too much, of course.

Better not. I’m still colder than you and I would bring your body temp down.”

So I’ll wrap in a blanket, but I feel colder simply by looking at you, sitting there, on this cold floor” she pouted prettily. “So?”

Oook” he finally sighed. “But wrap up well and stay under the covers.”

He sat up and removed his converses and suit jacket and slid in beside her.

Now, turn a bit, I will watch you, so you can actually get some sleep now. I’ll wake you up if I notice something wrong.”

She laid on her left side and felt him spooning behind her and encircling her with his right arm.

Sleep, Rose. I’m here” he whispered into her ear, blowing the hair aside with his breath.

She tried to relax, but the warm feeling inside her was growing. Especially as his hand laid on her hip and was making small, unconscious, but extremely arousing movements.

‘Ah. Move it lower, you alien. Now!’

Unfortunately it seemed to have no effect on the Doctor, as he decidedly moved his hand up, to her waist, and hugged her even closer.

He was cold, yes. And at the same time, she felt as if she was burning in the spots where he touched her. His hand was exactly an inch below her left breast, almost brushing against it every time she inhaled. The most exquisite torture she ever experienced and her torturer was totally oblivious to her predicament.

She tried moving strategically down a bit, but his hand held her firmly and she didn’t even manage half of the distance, so she simply sighed and settled down on the pillow. She was immediately rewarded by his leaning over to her ear and asking in low voice “Are you comfortable?”

She managed only to nod slightly and she felt his lips connect for a slightest moment with her earlobe.

That’s good” he let go of her waist and fixed the blanked around her a bit higher. “Sleep, Rose. Time will past faster.”

I can’t sleep” she protested quietly. Somehow his whispering made her avoid all louder sounds. “You have pumped me full of sugar and now I’m… I can’t sleep!”

Shush. Lie down and the sugar will let you sleep.”

No” she finally moved and turned round. Her hands flew up, to his face and she reached for him, opening her lips, when a trickle of cold air wandered down her back, making her shiver. She tried to control it, to hold longer on this dream, because by now she knew it had to be a dream, and she held him and pressed her lips to his in a desperate attempt to make him understand…

her body convulsed on the soft beach towel and immediately two muscled bodyguards were beside her, trying to hold her down. One of them pushed a rolled-up piece of her own t-shirt into her mouth, to prevent her from biting on her tongue as they carried her towards the shade.

Rose was lying on a soft field bed, hastily set up for her in the zeppelin and Peter Tyler was sitting next to her.

He left his wife and son under good care of his staff and he would be joining them as soon as he managed to deliver his daughter to the Torchwood hospital and get her proper care.

His daughter. He felt his heart constrict. Rose was his daughter, no matter what anyone said. The other Pete Tyler may have fathered her, but she was just as much his daughter as the other man’s.

He understood what it meant the moment he looked in Jackie’s eyes. Tony, held securely in the wrap-around infant sling, momentarily forgotten, and the daughter she lost already so many times the only focus of her attention.

Rose brought this Jackie to his world. Rose was the reason he got another chance in life. He was going to do anything to give her her own chance.

He would never see Jackie lose her again.

Written by Srebrna

2013/08/03 at 00:15

But if you can still dream – 12

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“Dreams are extremely important. You can’t do it unless you imagine it.”

George Lucas

Doctor – False awakening

Jack stood at the console, trying to recall the last lesson on steering the TARDIS he received just a few hours before. Doctor, who had recently progressively became more introspective, brooding and quiet, has left him to his own devices and declared he’s going to the library to do some research.

‘Research, my ass. Of course, he’s researching. His own dreams…’

The Doctor was, indeed, researching. Something has been bothering him lately and he just couldn’t quite identify the feeling that wandered along his spine – he would never admit he had a gut feeling.

But he had. And every time he managed to get some precious time alone (TARDIS being occupied with Captain’s flying and Captain being occupied in not crashing them) he attempted a bit of meditation. Supposedly to work out what the hell was bugging him. Of course it had nothing to do with the repeating dreams of Rose he usually managed to catch when he tried this. Not at all.

He was now sitting on the comfy sofa in the middle of the large reading room, his suit jacket lying in a heap together with his shoes and cufflinks (he already knew they disrupted some energy flows, also, cuffed sleeves were uncomfortable). He had carefully placed his legs in the lotos position and was humming quietly, working himself into a trance.

His mind relaxed, he felt his connection with the Vortex strengthening and his scope of view expand fluidly.

He was still sitting there, trying to find the element in the surrounding reality that started getting on his nerves lately when he heard voices from the corridor, a discussion, followed suddenly by a crash, a lurch of internal gravity of TARDIS and a scream.

A female scream.

Very well-known female scream.

He tried to rise, stopped to untangle his legs, and run towards the noises, stopping only to pick up his screwdriver.

TARDIS was emitting damage reports and complaints about things appearing where they should not be, but he muted her down, concentrating on finding the source…


Rose, lying motionlessly in the corridor. Just next to some nasty-looking piece of railing, on which she probably bumped her head and acquired this large bruise that was now coming to view on her cheek.

He ran back to the reading room and retrieved his jacket. The only way to support her head now was with something soft, he should have taken… Well. Here she is.

He scanned her neck and as much of the spine as he could reach, but found no internal injuries that would have prevented him from moving her a bit. He lifter her head onto the makeshift pillow and placed her comfortably. Only when he was sure she would not slip back on the floor, he attempted a waking-up.

She looked at him, but as he expected, talked nonsense. Never mind, she was here and he was going to save the day – of course, with a little help from Jack.

With a little help from Jack he also managed to move Rose to the infirmary, to examine her and to process the results. Finally, when the man was swaying on his legs and apparently only his male pride and honour were keeping him up, the Doctor kicked the human out of the infirmary and back into his room.

They talked and he told her a story and then he carried her out and into – as he planned – her own room. Unfortunately, TARDIS had other ideas, so he ended up putting Rose into his own bed. He sat on the edge of the mattress and looked at her as she nestled deeper under the covers, still holding his poor old suit jacket.

He tried pulling up his legs on the bed, but lost his balance and woke up to a feeling of a carpet in his nose as he was lying on the floor of the reading room. Hah. He dreamed about waking up, AGAIN.

Jack standing in the doorframe and smirking didn’t improve his mood.

But when they found out that his jacket was indeed, missing, they were both equally weirded out.

Written by Srebrna

2013/08/03 at 00:13

But if you can still dream – 11

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Dreams are extremely important. You can’t do it unless you imagine it.”

George Lucas

Rose – Sleeping gas

As Rose was skipping on one leg, trying to pull her trainer on the other one, Pete was shouting from the car that they were going to be late and Jackie was trying to use her no-nonsense voice and get her daughter to eat something for breakfast, they simply relived everyday morning routine of the Tyler residence. Everywhere around the world parents shouted at their children, people were getting late to their offices and young women tried to get slimmer by not eating the most important meal of the day. None of them, except the Tyler family and a few others, were expecting – or at least knew they were risking – an alien encounter or even interplanetary communication. Every day.

What Rose was not expecting, usually, was getting poisoned. As the Torchwood personnel were routinely vaccined, immunized and tested agains numerous illnesses and toxic substances, nobody cared to remember that the treatments were not perfect and the laboratories were still learning.

On this specific Tuesday they learned something new.

Rose unfastened her seatbelt as soon as Pete’s car stopped by the storeroom side entrance and literally jumped out of the vehicle, catching her bag at the last moment.

“See you at the lunch, Dad. Love you!”

“Don’t be late, Rose. Love you too.”

And she run down the stairs, to the room where the technicians placed the freshest, most exciting and yet untested objects collected recently.

“Good day, Miss Tyler, please enter the code” the guard handed her the number pad.

“Good day, Thomas.”

She shrugged on her lab coat and strolled to “her” table, where lab assistants were piling the most interesting – at least superficially – gadgets and started digging through it.

From the very beginning of her work in Torchwood, ever since she “came back from school” and was introduced to the staff as the boss’s daughter and new lab rat, Rose was lucky. On her second day in the stores, almost as soon as she was appointed her pile of “trash” to sort, she found a power unit which the research department could disassemble, reassemble, copy and mass produce in a matter of weeks, providing easily recharged portable power cells of high endurance. In the following month she was recognised as a human-form-alien-gizmo-detector and promoted, rather rapidly, to an independent position in the organisation. Of course, some begrudged her the fast-track career, but everyone knew (if not admitted it aloud) that it was both earned and most certainly dangerous position. She still went into the front lines, as everyone in Torchwood would in the time of crisis, she held one of the Rift Keys, which enabled her to unlock the power in Cardiff, she talked to the aliens, she explored the crash sites with her father and… and, as this day, she touched the fresh load with her bare hands.

Because it was the only way she could work. No gloves, no matter how thin, let the “touch” through. So she closed her eyes, held out her right hand and let it slide over the accumulated goods. As her assistant was watching, she picked a pen-like container and held it to the lamp.

“Gwen, where did this come from?”

Gwen flipped her PDA open and scanned the list.

“11 cm, metalic, tubular… Ah, yes. The western airport collision last month. They are still cleaning up the debris. It was delivered yesterday, Anna thought it looked unscratched and you might get something from it.”

Rose weaved to the short, washed-out girl at the next table.

“Well, it certainly looks… whole. No marks, no indentations…” she put her thumb on the end. “Just click and write” she pushed the end jokingly and suddenly let go of the cylinder, as a drop of blood appeared on her finger.

“Blasted thing has a needle in it! Gwen, alarm one. Anna, everything from this batch, isolate. Shit!”

The object clattered to the ground, as Gwen was ordering everyone else out, out, out, and it started twisting, as if until-now invisible rings were separating and uniting again. A faint whistling noise was heard as it laid still finally.

“Gwen, Anna? Everyone clear?”

“Yes, Ma’am.”


“Station three coming to us in a moment. What is going on?”

“The thing frigging… bit me? Injected me? Took blood sample???

Suddenly the room seemed a bit darker.

“Is it smoking, Gwen?”


“It’s getting dark here, but I don’t see any smo…”

She was out before they managed to stop her fall.

She felt as if a truck had run her over.


“Rose? Oh, Rassilion, Rose, finally…” he flipped the screwdriver on and flashed a little light at her eyes.

“Pupils not reacting properly. Damn.”


“We hit… we hit something. Don’t worry. Jack and I will take care of it. Just… Just don’t you worry, ok? Stay here, be still, I put TARDIS to play something for you… Don’t fall asleep, ok? Wait for us. Please.”

He disappeared.

Her head felt as if it was stuffed with lead wool. One huge bump on the left side and probably some bruises everywhere else, too. But she would sit here. Her two favourite spacemen will take care of everything. Must have been something big, to hit TARDIS so.

She was feeling a bit faint and tried to lean her head a bit further back, but she hissed involuntarily and suddenly there was someone behind her, supporting her neck and head with steady, strong hands into which she could simply slide and feel all confident that she will be caught.

The Doctor appeared in front of her and checked her pupils again.

“We have contained the problem, so we can move you now. Captain, Are you holding her securely?”

“I sure am” rumbled the second sexiest voice in the known space. “Now, lean on me, Rose-girl” he caught her more firmly. “We’re taking you to the infirmary.”

She felt Doctor’s hands picking up her legs and both of them moving her to a stretcher she hadn’t noticed before.

“Now, on a count of three! One, two, three, up!”

And suddenly they were in the infirmary, and Jack was holding her head again and the Doctor was moving his sonic screwdriver around the back of her head…

“Do you know how to make a blonde’s eyes light up?” she joked weakly.

“No, tell me?” Jack moved her hair aside as the Doctor picked up some splinter that got stuck in her skin.

“Put a flashlight to her ear” she chuckled quietly, trying not to move too many muscles. “Ouch!”

“That was the last one” Doctor allowed her to roll back face up. “How’s the head?”

“Pounding” she complained.

“We need to keep you company today, I’m afraid. Jack here is ready to drop – he may be tough, but not that tough. So, Captain, off with you – sleep, eat, take a bath. Not necessarily in this order. I’ll stay with Rose and talk to her – she shouldn’t fall asleep at least until I’m sure the swelling has gone down. Shoo!”

Jack smiled, not looking even one bit tired, and strolled out, rolling his sleeves down and fixind the cuffs.

“So, what do you want to talk about?” Doctor sat next to her bed and looked at her intently.

“Tell me…” she stopped. “Tell me about Earth. What have you seen on it?”

He pursed his lips and took off the glasses.

“Well… let’s see. As my third self, I had a car. I named her Bessie…”

She was conscious, but wasn’t listening to his words, rather floating along the tone of his voice, that incredible, induplicable timbre. The sexiest voice in the known space.

Finally, he stopped, looked at her, as she stared at him, trembling internally from the emotions that washed through her now.

“I think we can safely move you to some more comfortable location. Please, lead me to some room I could put Rose down in.”

In a few minutes the situation stopped being funny as they faced the same door again and again.

She didn’t care. The double beat of his hearts was enough to calm her down. As he finally gave up and put her down on the cool covers, she could only roll onto her side and curl up. She didn’t notice his turning up the cover or putting her underneath.

She could finally fall asleep, feeling so tired that she could barely lift her head and look around. The oxygen tent over her suddenly felt constricting and she started hyperventilating.

The sounds of general evacuation seeped through the walls of the ambulance and suddenly there was someone next to her. Ah. Good. A Torchwood medic. Nice girl, this Martha. Good doctor and something of a visionary when it came to alien physiology.

“Do you hear me? Nod or blink.”

Rose blinked, afraid of moving within the tent.

“Good. Do you know who I am?”


“Good. Now, I’m going to take a blood sample, look at your finger and then you’ll be shipped to the medical facilities of Torchwood in Liverpool. They are going to analyse the bloody gas you freed and detoxify you. Afterwards you’ll stay, quarantined, until they can be sure there are no lasting effects. I’ll be joining you, don’t worry. I’ll explain them what they need to know. Your coworkers here are trying co catch and analyze the substance you freed. Don’t worry. We’ll sort it out.”

She inhaled slowly and her head cleared a bit. She was covered with something. Something nice, soft, and utterly, completely, alien. Also, to her, quite familiar.

Written by Srebrna

2013/08/03 at 00:11