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Archive for February 2014

Two for the price of one – 4

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He was so different.

She watched him whenever he turned away – which wasn’t often – and compared in her mind.

‘Looks a bit like a crazy windmill with all this handwaving and headsmacking’ she mused as he jabbered away in Gallifreyan – finally she knew what is going on with the language – with the medic – a Time Lady? – and watched her carefully at the same time. He looked scared. When she made her little pantomime about being hit, he almost crumbled as he begged her for the relief she couldn’t give him. The fear in his voice was what hit her the most. Until this moment she wasn’t really sure it was him – but who else would have been so broken about her being hurt?

After all, she was nothing – nobody cared, nobody would help her, nobody could be bothered… and he had been an universe away.

After considering it, she noticed that she actually felt better with him regenerated. Not that she didn’t miss his previous face – as long as it was actually his face, not the other one’s face – but deep inside she felt that she would never be able to trust that other face again. She never wanted to wake up next to that body again, whichever soul inhabited it. She much rather preferred the new body with the soul and the mind she knew and could count on.

The guard was in the room, she never noticed him coming, so deep in thought she was. They were arguing, again in Gallifreyan, but both Romana and the Doctor seemed to be putting themselves between her and the new arrival. She got the Doctor’s attention and he confirmed her fears – locals wanted to get rid of her. And he was arguing with the local authorities about her. Just like the old times.

He sounded somehow more… tired than the one she knew. Even on his non-regeneration day he was more lively, this one was slightly greyer, much less suntan, clothes somewhat more muted… Oh, English again.

He was asking her to run.

Well, if she couldn’t write, maybe she could run. Or at least stumble effectively.

She cracked a smile. She’ll try as hell to stumble as fast as possible.

***

The guard seemed to be waiting for something. As the something would probably mean manpower, Doctor made the decision and pushed Rose ahead of himself, with Romana, towards the door.

‘Whoever sent you, tell them I’m dealing with this crisis’ he smiled charmingly. ‘Bye!’

And they run, the corridors of the medical centre having no secrets for Romana. Rose kept up with visible effort, so he caught her elbow and supported her whenever she faltered. She must have been laying down for quite a time, to lose that much of the muscle tone. One more thing for the TARDIS to check and treat.

He was almost sure the guard would not follow them. He didn’t seem the type to try to pursue them on his own, and before he could manage to organise backup, they would be long gone.

‘Which way to the observatory now?’

‘Why in the galaxies would you need to get there?’ Romana asked, gasping.

‘I… Kind of parked there’ he finally provided.

‘How can you kind of park?’

He rolled his eyes expressively.

‘Are you going to argue about my language, or will you tell me which way we should run if we don’t want to end up back in the hospital wing?’

She puffed out her cheeks and looked around.

‘The lift up here, then a corridor to the left, across a fountain square and over the small bridge, we’ll be in the right tower. I only hope nothing was damaged, she’s not going to be able to keep up if we have to climb.’

He breathed deeply and pressed his palm to his forehead.

‘You will have to stay here. Just don’t wander away, clear? I will bring the TARDIS over here and pick you up. Just. Stay. Put.’

Both females scowled at him and he rubbed his face in weariness and sighed.

‘Very well. Let’s go up as far as Rose can follow and find a good spot. Just… just tell me as soon as you can’t keep up, you hear me?’ he poked her in the shoulder. ‘I just found you.’

She smiled bravely.

***

She was so different.

He watched her whenever she turned away. Wasn’t that often, as she was watching almost every move he made.

It made him a bit nervous and his movements got even more erratic.

It was definitely not the only thing that made him nervous, as he was feeling the strain of a long day that just wouldn’t end. He really, really needed as rest. Not a post-regen rest, but he would pay anything for a sofa, a pillow and a cuppa.

Not anything. Almost anything. He wasn’t letting her go, not as long as he had any chance of getting them all to safety.

His people were bonkers, definitely. He just saved their sorry backsides and this was how they repaid him, eh? He wouldn’t stand for this. No, sir, Lord Councilman, he wouldn’t. He would take both his girls up to his TARDIS and sail away as quick as possible, just to make sure…

Actually, make sure of what? What would they do to Rose?

He asked this question aloud, turning to Romana.

“I suppose they would want to either throw her out – and that would be bad on a normal day – or transport her to one of the facilities away from the capital. We have a few choice locations for “non-aligned” citizens, after all” she answered with a grim frown. “Or, if she was unlucky, they would want to discover who and what she is, even if only to track down her family and take them in, too.”

Rose rolled her eyes – as Romana finally switched to English, she could follow the whole conversation.

“Well, let’s just make sure that there is nobody there to be taken away, thrown out or transported – or anything else – and get to the TARDIS. I wonder if I could cash in on that hero of the day status I’m supposed to have and get us a free passage out of here.”

Romana shrugged expressively.

“You might try, but some of the most astonishingly single-minded people got transferred down here, to Medical, so we would have to get out of this area before they call in the administration and arrange full-size hunt. They won’t really be very impressed by you. Some of them didn’t actually, well, believe in what is going on outside. Quite put out by power outages or need for evacuating some buildings.”

He felt slightly nauseous. He would have to fight the people he just saved in order to save yet another life? How could anyone be that stupid? How was it logical? Wasn’t he allowed even a bit of leniency?

Ha squashed this thought like a bug. He remembered the same things running through his mind so many years ago, just before his short phase of feeling the smartest thing in the living universe, and he still remembered how it hurt to be brought down to ground by someone with better principles. He shuddered.

But still, his actions today must have won him some credit with the general population, so the faster they got out of the Medical, the better chance they had of gaining some support.

Yep. Sure.

Somewhere behind them a door clanged open.

They run.

He liked the way her hand felt in his.

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Written by Srebrna

2014/02/12 at 03:58

Manners

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“So this is the famous good breeding and proper manners that are so important in the Town?” she asked, both brows high on her forehead. “I’m so happy we don’t have these in the country. We wouldn’t know what to do with such a treasure.”

He stifled a giggle and made a choking sound.

“How terrible, Mr Darcy! You are already ill of it, I’m quite sure!”

“Thank you, Miss Elizabeth, but I’m quite well. However I’d like to see some members of the ton reacting to your statement. I’m almost certain the spectacle would be… interesting.”

“Oh, la, sir” she waved her imagined handkerchief and rolled her eyes heavenwards. “I’m perfectly aware of my status as a poor, unsophisticated small-town girl – practically a country savage! I’ve actually walked on an unpaved path at least once and most probably got sunburnt doing it! All town ladies would eat me for breakfast with their accomplishments, education and vast knowledge of topics most suitable for morning visit discussions.”

He executed a slight bow in her direction.

“I would however place my bet on you – if any bets were placed on ladies in situations such as these – to be able to survive any conversation on good walking shoes, ways to evade unruly horses and which trees are the best cover from rain.”

She blushed so hotly he could well nigh feel the wave of warmth coming from her.

“Please, Mr Darcy. These are hardly the topics for a proper morning visit in the Town. They aren’t even quite proper for a visit in the country, especially if one’s mother is sitting in on said visit and making various remarks about the fate that awaits the girls who climb trees.”

“So you also climbed trees, how interesting. Which kinds?”

“Mr Darcy! I’m not going to discuss the theory and practice of climbing trees in the middle of the park!”

“Would you rather discuss it in the middle of a drawing room?” he frowned in mock non-understanding. “I have not the pleasure of comprehending your unwillingness in this subject.”

She closed her eyes for a second, making the face of a person praying for patience.

“I’d rather not discuss my few painful and traumatic – at least to my mother – attempts at climbing trees with anyone and at any time or place. I’d rather not discuss the state of my dresses afterwards, either. Or the talking to I received from my father on each of these occasions. Or the one time that I managed to fell down a particularly tall chestnut tree and land on young Tom Lucas who was standing there and shouting encouragements all the time.”

“Ah” he inhaled slowly. “Did you break anything?”

“Yes. His left ankle.”

“Ah. Did it hurt?”

“From the way he screamed, a lot. He was, however, a rather plump boy, so my landing was soft.”

“May I inquire as to your age at that time?”

She stretched her gloved palms and counted silently.

“We must have both been about seven or so.”

“Did he keep accompanying you on other excursions?”

“I’m afraid sir William thought I was a bad example to his heir and he sent him away to school as soon as the ankle healed. That was the only way to make sure we won’t come into any contact before we’re both quite grown up.”

He smirked and looked down at the top of her bonnet.

“I’m finding such astonishing new things about you, I’m quite scared of the idea of introducing you to my sister. She’s but fifteen and could probably happily climb numerous trees in our gardens, had she ever had this kind of idea. I may want to keep the two of you separated so that she doesn’t get too… well. Just thinking about the cost of gowns she could shred to nothing if she took to climbing pines…” he shuddered theatrically.

She sighed.

“What can I do? You’re already committed to accompanying me to the dinner at your aunt’s tomorrow, and your sister will certainly be there. We will have to speak a little, and as we’ve already ascertained, I’m unable to keep to the correct topics. So I will either be absolutely dull and speak about weather in Hertfordshire as compared to the, most probably, superior weather in Derbyshire, or we’ll stray into the dangerous subjects of walking the stony paths and getting our dresses muddy.”

He smiled, unseen by her. Quite happily. She was holding his heart in her slender palm, not even knowing it. From the moment he almost run her over with his horse and she told him off so soundly he almost fell from his saddle, he admired her wit and vivacity and willingness to experience life in all its aspects. Their paths crossed again and again, as he met her ruining her parasol to fish someone’s purse from stinking river water and that someone turned out to be his own aunt Theresa, or when she snatched the last copy of a book he was looking for and paid for it before he managed to protest. He followed her, begging to let him buy the book off her, even for double or triple price, until she was joined by an older couple who looked at him with visible surprise – and a bit of apprehension, even though she was laughing all the time.

He felt like a fool. He was talked about in the Town and he hated the feeling, but he couldn’t help himself and keep away from her. Her relations in trade, her position in life, everything should have helped him to rein in the feeling of being pulled towards her, but every time he thought about them, they seemed somehow unimportant. His aunt was all for the match, as Elisabeth made her recall her own young years in her family’s estate. His uncle kept wisely silent on the topic, probably recalling the same. His cousins… He didn’t care what they thought. He thought she was perfect and this small walk in the park only made him even more sure, especially watching her trade barbs with some of the fashionable wannabe-Mrs-Darcys that accosted her just before he arrived.

“Mr Darcy?”

“Pardon?” he blinked and came out of his reverie. “I’m so sorry, I was just a bit lost in thought.”

“As long as we don’t get lost in the park, I’m quite happy” she smirked. “I was thinking about manners and wanted to consult with you, you having much more experience in the way the Town works in these matters.”

“Anything I can do to help. I’m yours to command.”

She tapped her lips with a finger.

“I was trying to work out the proper way for a lady to determine whether a gentleman’s intentions towards her are serious or not. Is there a savoir-faire solution for this kind of quandry?”

Written by Srebrna

2014/02/05 at 02:08