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But if you can still dream – 18

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I talk of dreams

I talk of dreams;
Which are the children of an idle brain,
Begot of nothing but vain fantasy.
Romeo and Juliet I, 4

Doctor: Narcolepsy

Jack stood in front of a fairly high-strung Time Lord and demanded, openly and directly, to be heard.
“As long as I’m here as a passenger, I don’t want to spend my days considering the chance that you will get us killed. Not that it is a problem – I can buy most supplies anywhere we go, but restarting hurts.”

Doctor finally gave in. He promised to teach Jack proper TARDIS flying, as the method used until now wasn’t working (probably due to TARDIS reacting a bit sluggishly to Jack’s commands). Now he was paying for it.
“The first thing is to understand properly the time-space phenomenons we may come across. Now, you as a Time Agent should have had at least a basic course on this, but I suppose your studies would have been more in area of regulations and practical application. On Gallifrey they taught us to feel the time and to read from that feeling. First you need to understand what various things you might feel – or see on our girl’s sensors, as your human senses may be unable to catch some nuances. Afterwards I will show you how to interpret the printouts, screen readings and, if we manage to, will get you at least a tiny smattering of Gallifreyan. I have to warn you, human brain may not cope well with that.”
“I have lots of free time” the captain joked dryrily. “I can cram when we’re out in the vortex.”
“So” the Doctor rubbed his hands together. “Let’s go bookhunting. You will have tons of reading material before we finish today!”
This sounded like a threat.

In four more hours the heap of books started resembling a small hill and Doctor wasn’t stopping.

Doctor was, in fact, fascinated by the idea. Finally teaching someone to fly his ship, maybe refreshing his own rusty skills and checking, just in case, if everything was working as it was supposed to – apart from chameleon arch, which he knew perfectly well was working by now, with Jack helping with the repairs.
One thing was missing, which was the main primer on multidimensional geometry of closed areas.
He was a tiny bit tired already, but that book had to be somewhere here. Shaking his head he turned to them and suggested they just pile the collected books anywhere comfortable. Both got rid of their burden by the next table and looked at him expectantly as he climber the ladder. He heard their giggling and his hearts jumped a bit, trying not to look at them before he gets the jealousy of his face.
Fortunately he found a distraction and an aim – he had to visit an old friend to retreive the book.
Of course, they made fun of him. As if Ninth obsession with bananas was anything to laugh at. Heroically he left them there, between bookshelves, still trying to get rid of accumulated dust from their hair and clothes… Stop that line of thought, you idiot! They are just friends!
Their conversation quieted as soon as he made the second turn.
Three down, one across, three up, two zobrax and third yellow bricked doorway on the left.
They exchanged silent greetings, three books were returned and a bunch of bananas changed hands – the Librarian kept his stores of fruit on the top shelf of the History of the Ice Giants bookcase.
As Doctor was leaving, he recalled something and turned back, handing his friend a rolled-up copy of “Modern Book Conservation” leaflet. In return, he was handed a modest but still significantly pointy hat.
When he finally got back to them, she looked a bit unfocused and he saw her head jerking as if she tried to look at their friend and just couldn’t. Even as he strode towards them, talking lightly about where he just came from, he saw her body spasm and jerk, so he dashed to her and tried to hold her immobile. Suddenly her head came up and smacked him right in the chin and he shook his head and recoiled from the impact.
“Doctor! Doctor, are you ok? What were you… were you walking around with your eyes closed?”
He drew breath with effort. Feeling slightly weak, he felt around for the object he collided with. Finally focusing his eyes he saw one of the bigger containers, slightly sticking out of it’s shelf, just enough for him to walk into it and hit himself right in the face.
“I think there’s something wrong” he uttered finally. “I think I may be getting ill.”
Jack looked at him with suspicion.
“Was it a Rose-dream again?”
Doctor sat more comfortably with his back to a stack of books.
“Yes. But they seem to get more… more inline with the reality. The first ones were completely disconnected, seemed like dreams. Later they started to be flashbacks of something we did… then corrected flashbacks and now they fit in seamlessly into what is before them. I can’t even start to guess they are dreams, the only indicator is that Rose appears then. And, to tell the truth” he sighed heavily “even when I notice her, I order my brain to suppress the thought of this being a dream.”
Jack sat across from him and propped his elbows on his knees.
“Why? Do you just want to hold on to any contact with her, even like this?”
Doctor scratched his head, leaving his hair in worse disarray than ever before.
“Probably. Yes. But not only. I hope… I hope at some point I can find out what exactly is happening. Some of them just are, but remember, we have that blanket and flipflop. And they were hers, definitely. And used on a beach in France. And I lost one of my jackets, so I suppose it might have gone the other way and she has it now.”
Both sat in silence for a moment.
“Maybe you should get checked out? I know there’s nobody who could help you, really, but maybe TARDIS can check your vitals, to make sure we’re not missing… well, maybe if we tried, we could get her here permanently?”
Doctor’s eyes brightened.

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Written by Srebrna

2014/05/27 at 01:00

But if you can still dream – 17

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I talk of dreams

I talk of dreams;
Which are the children of an idle brain,
Begot of nothing but vain fantasy.
Romeo and Juliet I, 4

Rose: Meditation

Three weeks after the attempt at vacation, Rose’s condition was desribed as “satisfactory”. She apparently didn’t suffer any “adverse effects” of her “episode”. Even the newspapers stopped blaring about her supposed drug addiction, especially after the catastrophe at the debutante ball (one based on two dresses being identical and one of them getting slashed with a bread knife).
Rose, with her satisfactory condition, was now reclining comfortably on her bed, made with high pillows and bottle green cover, trying to somehow manage her ennui. Boredom was making her want to do something, anything, even though most activities were forbidden – and some were strictly forbidden – in her state of health.
She tried to drown her excessive awareness in several mindless pursuits, starting from reading Jackie’s stack of romance novels, through reviewing lab results and ending on watching soap opera channel. Each lasted no more than a few hours and her restlessness already showed in the way the house was thorougly cleaned, the books stacked and restacked in boith library and living room, Tony’s toys cleaned and fixed, where needed, and now she was trying to force herself to finally lie down.
Inside something was pushing her to go, to do, to create or destroy, to simply act, whatever the act itself would be, to change things, maybe to discover, to–
Her breath came in short gasps when she finally managed to calm down. A panic attac, caused solely by the limitations of her own body, sped up her heart rate so much that she felt her pulse drumming into each cell of her system. Watching her palms slowly pulse white-pink-white-pink-white she counted, with watch in the other hand, 15 seconds, 30 beats. 120 per minute. Still a bit too quick, but if this was what she could gain when she calmed down, she wasn’t going to try for a slower one. Definitely not wanting to get worked up again and do some irreparable damage to herself.
The “episode” was finally ascribed to an overwhelming allergic reaction, almost on the brink of shock, to some specific chemical compound found in her sunblock. Fortunately Tony had no sign of these same problems, even though his lotion came from the same brand. Anyway the series was being recalled from distribution and customers were crowding the company’s chain shops, demanding their money back.
Rose stopped Pete from suing the company, reminding him that none of them wished her to be studied and checked for specific reasons for reaction. She herself had no idea what might have caused it – whatever happened in the previous years might have redone part of her immune system to the level which would not tolerate substances normally not harmful to humans.
She lied back, trying to purge her overclocked brain of everything, but each time she finally managed to achieve the blissfull level of relaxation which granted her only the abstract view of caleidoscopic spots, spinning slowly on glittery black background, something intruded into her absolute peace, starting with an overexcited squirell outside her windows.
Finally she had her windows shut, curtains drawn, doors closed, Theresa away in the kitchen and not checking on her every minute, mobile phone muted and the landline disconnected. And the nice, glowing black was back in her mind, swirling with jeweltone sparks and spots, slowly spiralling towards the center and suddenly he was there, turning, turning, turning towards her, his smile, his hair, his glowing eyes, and the black was fading, slowly fading, and it disappeared somewhere in the wall or in the floor or in him or in her and he was talking, at her, actually talking…
“…and it should be somwehere around this corner. I’m pretty sure I left it there, just let me have a look. You can put yours on the floor there.”
They dumped the books they were holding unceremoniusly on the huge central table. After having carried them through half of the library they were already dusty, and when Doctor climbled yet another ladder and started to browse the top shelf, they discreetly dusted each other off, giggling over Doctor’s mutterings.
“Ah, yes. Just as I thought. We have to make a few more turns” he slid down the ladder, holding a banana in one hand.
“Are you going to eat it now?” she burst into uncontrolled laughter, not really knowing why.
“By no means, my dear lady. It’s a sign and I don’t eat signs.”
He snorted.
“A sign? Doctor, who could be leaving you bananas as signs? Your previous self?”
Doctor looked a bit hurt at this supposition.
“Of course not. It would have spoilt if it waited that long. Well, it could have, depending on when he would have left it. But no, definitely not. One of my fellow Librarians left it there, letting me know he took the book. Ook.”
They both blinked.
“Just wait here and I’ll be back in no time at all.”
They stared in the small corridor he entered, but couldn’t even hear his steps anymore.
Rose felt there was something very, very wrong with her eyes. Whenever she tried to look at her companion, her sight slid to one side. She knew there was someone there, but the aversion agains looking at him – definitely a he – was so strong she couldn’t even focus properly to think about his name. Before she could go deeper and analyze her feelings, Doctor was back, holding a whole bunch of bananas, three books and a pointy hat.
“Good chap. Terribly useful with high shelves. I envy him – never needs a ladder or a stepstool. Well. I have what I needed, and now we should set up the working area. …., go to the kitchen and bring me the biggest pot we have.”
When he addressed the man next to her, she felt her fear anxiety nervousness revulsion rise and a burning sensation woke up in her middle. Suddenly she was bending in half, jaws locked and she saw his eyes darken and widen and his hand was on her arm, holding her up and shaking her slightly.
“Rose? Rose? Are you awake?”
Pete’s voice got through to her consciousness.
She tried saying something, but gagged on her dust-dry tongue and shook in a silent shudder. Finally she managed to nod and breathe shakily.
“You’re going for a checkup tomorrow” her mother’s words were short and sharp. “No more slepping pills for you, my lady. Day and a half asleep is way too much.”
She blinked and nodded, trying to stop the world around her from swimming.
She didn’t remember taking any pills.

Written by Srebrna

2014/05/22 at 00:30

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.

Written by Srebrna

2014/02/12 at 03:58

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!

Written by Srebrna

2014/01/15 at 06:42

Two for the price of one – 2

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He couldn’t actually kill the holo, so he turned his back to him and tried to ignore any new sounds. Holo finally gave up and wandered away – or simulated doing so. It was quite enough.

Something simple, something obvious, something so normal that nobody will think to remove it or… Or something not so easily visible. Maybe high up? Maybe…

He raked his hair with both hands.

Something clicked in his brain and he pulled his hair, hard.

The tallest spire of the central tower.

The rest was, in fact, very simple.

Or as simple as a hidden planet full of angry people almost-frozen in time can be.

***

He was convinced that his whole race was crazy. Bonkers, Donna would say. Out of their mind.

Two nuts short of a fruitcake. One nut, now, and the very thought of the other one, who perished, giving Earth the chance of survival, still stabbed him like a knife.

He wasn’t the same man anymore, and Master would never be the same boy that walked with him to look into the Untempered Schizm, but the link was there and the hole in his soul would never quite heal.

Actually, one other nut was missing, giving him a reason to rejoice. Apparently whatever the Master did to Rasillon was quite, quite permanent. Lovely and deadly, and the fear in the eyes of the witnesses was more than enough to make the darker parts of his hearts fill with delight. No regeneration. No enlightenment. No ascension. No living as energy forms. No president. How lovely it was to deal with the council only, prepared now (however short the time was) to negotiate, if not in good will, then at least in fear of consequences of failure. He had to exhibit all of his various people skills, from blinding them with his brillance to outright blackmail, but he finally got them to understand that under no circumstances would they be allowed a repeat performance of what Rasillon attempted to do. That he was absolutely, definitely prepared to leave them as they were until they think his offer over. Carefully.

The offer was very simple – he would attempt to crack the pocket-dimension lock only if they go under a planet-wide cloaking spell and nobody ever leaves the surface to meddle with other races unless they were personally vetted by him. He didn’t actually supply the “or else” part, but he felt they understood his meaning quite… clearly.

***

She was lying on the nice, plump mattress they gave her. The IV helped and she felt much stronger, but the migraines came and went and she didn’t want to get up unless someone was holding her. Being as close as possible to the floor – and to the wall – seemed the best solution with her head spinning so much.

The nice lady was worried. Apparently she wasn’t doing that well. The bruises were healing slowly, but she still couldn’t understand what was said, or written – she thought what they showed her was writing, but she couldn’t understand any of the signs. She blamed the lack of sleep for this.

She tried writing, but her muscles didn’t obey and the letters she tried were twisted beyond recognition. So, no written communication until she gets her fingers to cooperate. At least she could eat by herself, if only soups.

Something seemed to be stuck or broken inside her. She tried explaining it to the nice, worried lady medic, but gestures could convey only so much. Especially not something more psychical than physiological.

She carefully rolled to face the room and tried putting everything in a logical order. Maybe it would be easier to draw pictures?

The door opened suddenly.

***

‘Please, Doctor’ he heard the breathy female voice behind him and turned tiredly. ‘Please, I need help.’

Young, harried face of a medic. She stood no more than five feet and an inch or so, quite short for a Time Lady, but she looked at him with hard, experienced eyes.

‘Ha! Doesn’t everybody?’ he asked bitterly. ‘I think I’ve saved enough lives for the next decade, I need some rest.’

He didn’t, not really. But after tending to the entire planet as a whole and dealing with personal issues of each separate Time Lord and Lady of the Council, he didn’t have much left for yet another discussion about his methods and means of saving everybody. He was quite sure he didn’t have to do anything more at the moment, unless the Daleks came back.

‘I’m sorry’ she cringed. ‘I really need your help. Nobody else knows anything and I’ve never seen a case like this, and my patient is getting worse…’ she trailed off, looking at him hopefully.

‘Your patient?’ he sighed and raked his hair with fingers. ‘What’s wrong with him?’

‘It’s a her, actually. From what we can guess, it is head trauma, but none of the available diagnostic tools shows anything. She is half-conscious most of the time and was injured all over her body, as if due to a fall or roll in a rough terrain. She doesn’t seem to recognise spoken language or any kind of writing I’ve shown her, but otherwise behaves perfectly normally, so I don’t think it’s a general defect of brain function, just the language portion is somehow… missing. She can communicate with handsigns, but that’s obviously limited to everyday activities and, well, bodily functions. I can’t get her outside, she panics every time someone tries to walk her into a bigger open space – that’s actually how they found her, curled up next to a wall of a tumbled-down house, covering her eyes. Please, Doctor’ she implored, her hands shaking. ‘I hoped with your experience… You might have seen something…’

He sighed again and shut his eyes for a moment.

‘Just give me a… What is your name, actually?’

She smirked and shook her head with a sudden flirtiness.

‘I know I’ve regenerated since we last met, but really, Doctor’ she giggled.

‘Romana…?’ he ventured carefully and gathered her in his arms upon her short nod. ‘Oh, I’ve never hoped to see you again! And, well, you could have chosen a taller form, you barely reach my shoulder now!’ he measured with his large palm.

She swatted said shoulder lightly.

‘You’re discussing my height and I have a patient waiting. Are you coming, or not?’

‘For you, my lady, everything’ he bowed his head and did something curtsylike with his feet.

‘Stop it’ she gestured towards an internal corridor. ‘We keep her here. She hates windows, so she was quite happy with the isolation room. This way she’s safe in case of convulsions or nightmares, she’s having these quite often. Last two days, no sleep, only nightmares. She’s keeping a guard up with them most of the time, but they seem not to mind that much. Now, please, be careful. She reacts badly to all new faces…’

They turned into the corridor and faced a scene of a battle.

Waged between a tall, imposing Time Lord, two guards, visibly unsure as to who should be supported, and a thin, wiry girl with closely-cropped blonde hair. The girl was losing, obviously, but her opponent wouldn’t leave the scene unscathed. She managed to use her nails quite effectively on his face, his tall collar seemed dislodged and the bruise around his eye was impressive.

‘Crap’ Romana muttered and strode into the fray.

‘Delightful’ the Doctor echoed her sentiment and followed not a step behind her.

‘My Lord, you must let go of her, immediately’ he heard her say to the high dignitary, who seemed intent on getting the patient into the open area. ‘I have been assured by the High Lady Thorena that the girl will not be moved or approached again by anyone outside the normal staff! You were repeatedly told that your interventions do more harm than good!’

She looked like a miniature terrier trying to get a big husky to move – he saw something like this on Earth, once – and the Time Lord was giving her exactly the same amount of attention as the husky was paying to the terrier on that day.

‘My Lord’ he put a hand on the stranger’s hand, taking it off the girl’s arm. ‘Please unhand the patient and let Lady Romana do her work.’

‘If this stupid girl was doing her work, we wouldn’t be having this… this… crazy parasite here with us, disrupting everyone’s work!’ the man turned towards him. ‘And what is she to you, eh?’

‘She asked for my assistance’ he uttered slowly, moving his body between the gasping girl and the angry man. ‘And I want to check the patient myself, before…’

He glanced over his shoulder and froze. The girl was now held by Romana, crying and shivering in the corner of the corridor and he heard her voice, gasping some half-formed words and moans and he drowned in the sound. Not really caring, he pushed the overbearing Time Lord into the arms of the nearest guard and with one fluid move knelt next to both females.

He barely dared to hold out his hand, she looked so fragile and breakable.

Written by Srebrna

2014/01/14 at 00:36

Two for the price of one – 1

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Ever since watching the 50th anniversary special THIS was following me. No idea, really, how it should end, but I hope it will end somehow (unlike some of my other stories).

***

He was so tired.

He was tired, but he simply had to see this through.

Gallifrey Falls No More – could he had given himself a hint even a bit less subtle? And that “Who knows” still sent shivers down his spine. And revisiting the favourites? Well, he’d have to learn something new in order to do that. Not every male Time Lord had the ability to even steer their regeneration in the general direction of what they wanted (he never got ginger, after all) and even they couldn’t just, well, roll back to the previous bodies. Once a form was used, it was lost.

And even with the hint and the premonitions he had a lot of hard work still before him, and the slight suspicion that he was missing something big – maybe not planet-sized but still big – wasn’t really helping. Sometimes he felt his brainpower just shunting to the side to resolve that vague impression instead of doing the proper work of finally finding his home planet.

What he really hoped for was finding Gallifrey and being informed that he was just a little bit late and that the President had died of injuries just before they went into stasis (not to mention someone conveniently having shot him when he was incapacitated during regeneration, just to make sure he stays dead). Wouldn’t this be nice? No Rassilon to deal with, no need to confront his once-friend and wannabe puppet master, much less hassle, eh? Well, he would take what he could get, and if that meant facing Rassilon on the touchy subject of him driving the Master mad, well, he could work with that.

He kept seeing double and he really hoped it wasn’t some new, interesting effect of time distortion. Main console seemed slightly out of sync with the rest of the control room and it seemed to take so long to find the right keys…

‘You really should get some sleep.’

‘Look who’s talking’ he grunted.

‘You.’

He only shrugged. He couldn’t really argue with himself – even if the other self was the previous one.

He was also a hallucination – slash – TARDIS supported hologram. He wasn’t exactly sure which, but he felt somewhat comforted by his presence all the same.

‘You will be able to think after you have a nap, really.’

‘You’re nagging.’

‘Yep. You left Clara at home so I have to nag. Go, sleep. You’ll do this much faster if you do. Also, you may find the answer to the additional question.’

He turned to face his holo-double.

‘Which is?’

‘What the hell am I missing’ the other him snorted. ‘It’s driving you mad, isn’t it? So just go, get some shut-eye and get back to this in a few hours. After all, Gallifrey isn’t going anywhere, right?’

He rolled his eyes expressively, but gave up.

***

Sleeping helped a bit, but not that much.

Also, his double was temporarily gone. Maybe TARDIS shut him down when he finally listened.

The calculations were almost done, giving him a good estimate of the area in space he should search – not that small, at least a dozen of Sol systems would happily fit in it without even touching, but still, it was better than just “out there”.

***

She was hurting – not in some specific spot, but just hurting. Her eyes, especially, she felt them growing hot and cold, in waves. She could hear movement around her and hear voices, but the language sounded so strange she couldn’t even pinpoint the possible place on Earth it may come from. It didn’t sound like any European language she spoke, or even the ones she could remember ever hearing.

There were things on her arms which felt like restraints, but she didn’t have strength to fight them. Also, she could feel an IV line connected, so she could at least guess that she was, in fact, in a hospital.

Maybe we were in an accident? Oooh, that’s why I don’t understand anything – I got hit in the head and something broke… Not good, girl, not good. You’re gonna communicate with them somehow.

Ouch, my eyes.

Someone put a cooling compress on her eyelids and she actually welcomed the slight sting of an injection with relief.

Asleep, finally.

***

The calculations. They were a stroke of genius, simply. He couldn’t be happier with himself – he still didn’t know which one, but he suspected he must have punched in the code the moment he stopped burning after his regeneration from the Warrior. Sometimes he was sick, sometimes he was hungry, or crazy. Sometimes he was brilliant and inspired. He didn’t exactly remember waking up after that regeneration – just that the mirror in the wardrobe was smashed – but he definitely must have done at least three things. Start the calculations, get changed and lock the memories of the Warrior from direct contact.

He could remember being the Warrior by now, again, although it was still a bit patchy in places, but there was a big gap from the moment he started glowing to sometime around landing in the docs just as the Titanic was getting prepared for the journey.

He could live with that – he had other gaps like this, after all. At times they would suddenly fill in and he knew there was something important and dangerous hidden in them, dangerous enough for Warrior – or the next him – keeping it covered until certain signal comes. Well, hopefully this one wouldn’t interfere with his current plan and he was really grateful to himself for having set up this calculating routine, the observation procedures that were collecting data for the last – khm – years and combining it into an array of information that provided him with all the gravitational anomalies he could wish for, ever. Also, with several other kinds of anomalies, including unexpected neutrino streams and several interesting kinds of radiation, all layered one onto another and delivering him the almost-exact location of a tiny hiccup in space and time which might have, but didn’t actually have to be, the sign of the pocket universe containing stasis-frozen Gallifrey.

Now, what he would need to do when he finds it… Well. He would have really appreciated some actual company – the other him was cool, but someone he could touch would have been so much better. Not Clara, though. He didn’t really want to risk Clara and she confessed she remembered her short stay on Gallifrey (still mind-boggling) and she didn’t really care for meeting all those people again.

So here he was, alone, with a hallucination-hologram for company and an unclear goal…

‘You’re doing it again.’

‘What?’ he didn’t even turn to look at himself.

‘No idea, really, but definitely not what you are supposed to do.’

He walked into his line of view, all insolent smile, trainers and ‘brainy specs’.

‘Come on, you are supposed to help me!’

‘Not really, no. I’m supposed to nag and push you. I can’t help you, as in telling you what to do – I only know what you know and what she knows’ he gestured vaguely around. ‘If you don’t know what you’re missing and she doesn’t know what you mean, I can’t help.’

‘You’re annoying.’

‘But I got you to rest, that’s positive. Thinking any better today, eh? Old brain cells finally firing up? Lately they seemed a bit sluggish.’

‘No need to be offensive’ he frowned and moved around the console. ‘Oh, this was brilliant. Exquisite. I never would have… Well, apparently I did, but I still don’t remember how!’

‘What are you raving about this time?’

‘Oh. I’ve set this thing up to gather all the data… you stupid, why are you asking me about this? You are in there, you should know’ he moved a slide up and a whole new array of buttons rode up from behind the main keyboard. ‘All this data, all this information… you must have access to it.’

The holo frowned, blinked and seemed to be thinking. He never knew he looked that weird when deep in thought.

‘I think I found it’ he finally uttered. ‘It’s weird. I know what they mean, but I don’t… who did it?’

He clapped and hooted.

‘I even blocked the TARDIS from remembering about it, yay!’

‘Or TARDIS is simulating me not remembering’ the brown-suited holo added.

‘You’re messing with me’ he pointed a finger at the holo.

‘Sure. Nobody else around to get on your nerves, you gotta have an imaginary friend then.’

‘Or an imaginary fiend. Imaginary… menace. I-ma-gi-na-ry-meee-nace’ he sang, strolling around the readouts and monitors. ‘You seen this?’ he pointed and the holo rolled his eyes.

‘Yeah. You mean that little blinking spot? Seen it. Been there for the last minute or so.’

‘You’re useless’ he muttered again.

‘I can hear you.’

‘You are meant to. Anyway. We’ve narrowed the scope of search to a very, very tiny area. Volume. Now the question is, what do we do with it? How do we get them out?’

‘How did you get them in in the first place?’ the holo leaned against a pillar, his coat slightly sinking into the structure.

‘Well, I had help. Some help. You. I mean, him, me, in your version. You know.’

‘But you needed them only for the pure, machine, power. You had all the calculations on your sonic’ he pointed ‘and you just needed the other TARDISes to work with it properly. You didn’t need them for the solution itself.’

He shook his head.

‘I could really use another head. Or two, or twelve, in fact. My own just doesn’t work correctly. Not that I’m going mad, as…’ he trailed off.

‘Yes?’ the holo whispered finally.

‘How they did it the last time. Not how I did it, because one way can work completely different than the other, but how they did it. They broke out of a time lock, linking to the Master. They had a, a, a lifeline. They threw a White Star at him, after all. And he pulled them in. Now if only I could think about something that could reach inside…’

***

It wasn’t actually that hard after all. Blood worked best for everybody and although Doctor wasn’t very happy to admit it, he did have a close relative or two still – hopefully – alive during the Time War and living at home. Using something that the holo christened “hi-tech voodoo doll” he tried to create a link to the interior of the pocket universe, only to see it go suddenly “fizz” instead of the expected “snap”.

He didn’t exactly curse, but the collection of animal names from Salxyfatoria he growled made the holo shake his head.

‘You should make sure you don’t use these in front of company. Especially the xenologists. You know they consider these to be quite vile.’

‘Why do you think I’m using them now?’ he threw his arms up in exasperation. ‘If only I had had enough foresight to leave a marker on Gallifrey itself, it all would have been so simple. Something obvious and common so that everyone would…’

Silence was only broken by his hissing breath and TARDIS’ slight rumbling.

The holo chewed his lip in expectation.

He turned slowly to face his double.

‘Are you telling me I did actually leave a marker?’

‘No-pe’ the ‘p’ was explosive. ‘I’m not telling you anything you don’t know already.’

Written by Srebrna

2013/12/14 at 21:37

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.

“What?”

“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.

“Jack…”

“Yeah?”

“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’.

:Yes:

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.”

“What?”

“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.

“Doctor?”

The Timelord inhaled deeply.

“So?”

“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!”

~~~~~~DWDW~~~~~~

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?”

“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.”

“Mmhm.”

“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.”

“Children.”

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.

Yawn.

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.

Yawn.

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.”

Where?”

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.

‘Ah-ha!’

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