My fanfiction and other random ramblings

my thoughts on how to write (or not)

Two for the price of one – 3

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‘How long has she been here?’ he whispered to Romana, looking straight into the blonde’s eyes. ‘When did she come? How? Where?’

Romana’s both hands were busy, stroking carefully her patient’s hair and shoulders, trying to ease the tension.

‘Last three to four days, really’ she whispered back. ‘I think she got hit by whatever the President was trying to do, when they were saying you were holding the Moment. When Gallifrey was… I don’t really know, shifting? Many were hurt, on top of the war injuries, some were affected more deeply, but she’s the only one who didn’t respond to any known treatment.’

He licked his lips and swallowed, extending his hand towards the cowering patient.

‘And who cut her hair?’

Romana’s eyes directed him to the Time Lord he opposed just a minute before.

‘He wanted to see if her skull isn’t damaged and then complained she is not formed properly so he can’t really say. He’s been bothering us ever since, trying to force her to eat hard food, which she can’t swallow and to go outside, which she can’t stand. Calling it a shock therapy, he is’ she frowned. ‘I’m almost sure that’s a big pile of…’

‘Poppycock’ he supplied in English.

Romana smiled, finally looking like her older selves.

The girl shivered.

***

There was a man there, looking at her. Trembling hands reaching out to her, the stranger’s face was animated, lips trembling and eyes tearing up.

The worried medic was still holding her and both were forming a protective shield around her, talking in their strange, weird-sounding language and looking at her oh-so-tenderly.

She was warm, and slowly relaxing from her confrontation just a few moments before when all of sudden the man said something she caught and finally understood. Not that it made sense, but his uttered – very dryly – “Poppycock” made her tense up.

Finally, she understood something. Something that was in actual, proper English. Even though they may be speaking in a language she’d never heard before, they knew common, even very common, English. She tensed up, trying to get her mouth to work on something to say.

The lady medic repeated the word. This was no illusion. She did have a chance of finally communicating with them!

***

‘Poppycock’ Romana agreed. ‘Now, I wanted to keep her comfortable, supply with some light brain stimulation and try to make sure she has social contact. Trying to ease her into the real world. After all, maybe her brain shut down because she saw something so horrible she can’t speak about it. And he, forcing her, undoes all my work’ she held the blonde head closer to her. ‘Come now, Bright One. You should get some sleep. I will stay with you.’

She helped the girl up, slowly, but the Doctor was there first and swept the patient up into his arms.

‘Which room?’ not that there were all that many, but the last thing he needed was to have to guess.

‘Here, on the left. He must have caught her awake… Put her down on the mattress, she likes to keep close to the floor… She had a bed, but slept in the corner, on the floor, so I moved the mattress there…’ she supplied steady stream of narrative as the Doctor was lowering his burden on the mattress she pointed out.

As he slowly removed his arms from under the patient, she sat up, grabbing his suit’s sleeve and lifted herself to look into his face searchingly. He dared a crooked smile.

Her hand found his hair and she smiled.

He finally allowed himself a glimmer of hope. Maybe, just maybe, this day would end with something good.

‘I’m no longer, you know, him’ he forced out in English and saw her dissolve in tears. All of sudden, a wave of emotions hit him, the stored stress, the fear and the sudden relief she was emitting so strongly Romana hissed in surprise.

‘Empath!’ she murmured. ‘Real, living empath.’

‘She’s marginally telepathic, too’ he supplied, not looking away from his the blonde. ‘She’s also not a time lady, which you should have picked up on your scans.’

‘But she is’ Romana protested hotly. ‘Her whole physiology is correct, only the brain seems to be either affected by whatever happened to her or she is an undiscovered…’ she swallowed, hard. ‘Well, you know.’

Gallifrey wasn’t a planet on which a brain-damaged child would be able to hide easily, but parents always tried.

‘No, no. She’s quite fine. She just doesn’t understand us. No translation circuit translates our language and she never got to learn it…’

He was still holding the shaking form and rubbing slow circles on her thin back. He had a flash on a memory – him, the previous one, holding her after he non-regenerated, her full body pressing into him and his mind, still reeling from the regen overload, visualising everything he would do with her as soon as he could get rid of Donna and Jack.

There was no soft fullness now, the body that shivered in his arms was lanky and hard. He wasn’t letting go, though, this time. Whatever happened, he wasn’t letting go of her.

Her breathing evened out and she seemed to relax slightly.

He rolled her head on his shoulder so that he could have a good look at her.

‘Hello?’ he murmured, almost hesitantly. ‘Rose, are you there?’

She smacked her lips and tried to produce a sound. Instead, a low, unarticulated moan escaped her.

‘Damn it’ he whispered. ‘She’s hurt. Much… much more than I can fix. Either her brain was, in fact, injured, or something happened to her just directly before. She can understand me, can you, Rose?’ he added in English and she nodded slowly. ‘Good. At least we have this one solved. But she can’t speak, or she can’t produce proper sounds, or… Well’ he smiled nervously. ‘Humans call it aphasia, lack of speech. You see, she’s trying to communicate, but her brain… Sorry, Rose. Your brain can’t get it to form.’

She nodded, quite emphatically.

What followed was a strange little pantomime of Rose pointing at the Doctor and then at her fingers. She made a show of counting them, One and she put her hands to her ears and made a move as if she was flattening her hair. Two and she straightened the invisible tie – or that was their guess – smiled winningly and made a long movement along his body. Three and she looked at him expectantly.

‘What is it, Doctor?’ Romana’s eyes were almost round.

‘She is… No idea.’

Rose rubbed her face in weariness. Then she pointed to his face and made a circling motion.

‘Turn… turn face?’

Headshake, no.

‘Turn around? Turn in place?’

Eyes roll. Mimicking along his whole body.

‘I should turn around?’

Another eyeroll. She stabbed at him with a finger and then spread her arms and threw her head back.

Regeneration!

‘Oh. You wanted to know how many?’

Satisfied nod.

‘I’m just next. Next after the one that you know. Knew.’

She winced visibly and he sat up.

‘What happened?’

He didn’t really think this through, which he understood when she straightened and pulled her blouse up.

‘Told you she was injured’ Romana supplied. ‘All over her body, we thought she must have rolled down a hill, or fallen down the stairs.’

Rose looked at her questioningly and Doctor provided a translation.

A headshake.

‘So what happened?’

She mimicked hitting him. One fist in his stomach, one on his shoulder, one on the head…

His breath hitched and he reached for her, gathering her to himself.

‘Please tell me it wasn’t him’ he whispered fearfully. ‘Please tell me I didn’t leave you there to live your life out with a monster…’

She pushed him away a bit and gazed into his eyes sadly, biting her lower lip.

‘I’m so sorry, Rose, I’m so sorry… How…’

Suddenly a sound of multiple feet thundered down the corridor and Romana said something definitely not ladylike.

‘Oh? Is this the cavalry coming to rescue that stuck-up fool that we got rid of?’ he asked flippantly, still holding Rose. He wanted to sing her name, to beg forgiveness, to crawl and…

‘We’re taking away the prisoner’ the guard didn’t bother with pleasantries.

‘Rose is a patient, I am a hero and the lady Romana here is a medic. We have no prisoners here’ he didn’t even turn around, eyes still fixated on his pink-and-yellow human. He wasn’t letting her out of his sight ever, ever again.

His answer didn’t make the guard any happier.

‘Hand over the girl, my lord. She will be escorted out of the city and disposed of. She is a risk to everyone around and must be removed.’

Romana straightened all five feet of her not-so-imposing posture and tried valiantly to stare the guard down.

‘I don’t think so’ the Doctor stood up and brought Rose closer to himself. ‘I will be taking her to her family who can decide what to do with her from now on.’

‘If they have been hiding her for so long, they too will be punished’ the guard stated seriously. ‘She is obviously damaged and someone must have been keeping her hidden. It is against the law.’

‘She was hurt, you imbecile!’ Romana finally snapped. ‘She might not be standard as Lord Washem seems to see the Time Lords, but she was hurt and she is traumatised! Probably not enough to trigger a regeneration, but definitely quite enough to make her… like she’s now, whatever it is. The Doctor wants to help her and he knows her family and it’s their decision what should happen with her, not his Lordship’s and definitely not yours!’

‘Romana’ Doctor sighed. ‘She’s not a Time Lady. She’s not from Gallifrey. She can’t regenerate, ever.’

Round eyes of the medic-ex-president turned towards him.

‘Laws regarding correction of inborn defects are only for native-born Gallifreyans’ he added slowly, nodding to the guard. ‘You can leave now, then.’

‘If she’s not native of our planet, then she’s a spy or a forpost of a new invasion. She must be removed.’

The guard was quite determined and Doctor exchanged a look with Romana. Suspicious.

‘I will remove her myself, to my TARDIS. She will leave the planet – not that she could see all that much, with her injuries – and I will most definitely keep her away from here’ and myself, if I can.

Rose frowned. She straightened and pointed at the guard, made a chopping motion at her throat and looked questioningly at the Doctor.

‘I’m afraid so’ he said awkwardly. ‘But no worries, my dearies, no worries! I will get us out of here and on our way to London in no time.’

Romana, catching the multiple “dearies” – and applying it to herself – slowly sidled towards him, lending him her support. Which also put her in his reach. Just in case.

‘Now, are we going to have an issue here, and should I take it to the Council, or can we pass and get to my TARDIS?’

The Doctor’s voice dripped icicles. It was so cold Romana could feel the snowflakes falling. He seemed to be unholily gleeful about the whole thing, but at the same time he restrained himself to calm and cold expression.

‘What did he mean by ‘disrupting everyone’s work’, by the way?’ he side-whispered to Romana as the guard processed the last question with obvious difficulty.

‘She screams in her sleep’ the short medic provided. ‘And whatever happens, do not get close to her with anything powered by dion energy, it will shut down and you’ll never get it to work again.’

‘That’s the ‘parasite’ part, I suppose?’

‘She did drain at least one of his experimental weapons. Not that it would have worked, but he feels she sabotaged his work.’

They made a slight movement to the side, trying to bypass the guard, but he followed them with his eyes, probably weighing his direct orders against the possibly good idea of letting the planet’s saviour do what he wanted for the time being.

‘Rose? Do you remember what we did on the very first day that we met?’

He saw it. The smile. The full-toothed, big-mouthed smile that could lighten any gloom.

‘Well, I know you’re not feeling all that well, but I think we’ll be doing lots and lots of it today. You up to it?’

She squeezed his hand.

The very foul day suddenly improved. And he was seeing some running and a daring rescue in his near future. Perfect!

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Written by Srebrna

2014/01/15 at 06:42

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