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Srebrna, Skald Arkadii (and thoughts on writing)

Archive for the ‘Phone Call’ Category

A Phone Call – 4, Pillow Talks

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

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

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Written by Srebrna

2013/07/29 at 01:23

A Phone Call – 3, Girl Talk

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AN: Actually, it was only going to be one chapter and the little epilogue-thingy, but this explanation here was bugging me yesterday, so I decided to write it down and get rid of it. So, here you are, second and last part of “A Phone Call”. I hope to get my other pieces updates soon…

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Written by Srebrna

2013/07/29 at 01:20

A Phone Call – 2, Epilogue

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AN: This is a mood-spoiling epilogue to the previous chapter. I wanted to include it in the first before, but I does ruin this nice, angsty feeling, to I put it separately. If you like the first chapter as it is, leave now :)

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Written by Srebrna

2013/07/27 at 01:13

A Phone Call – 1, A Call At The Right Time

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AN: Everyone is entitled to their own fixer-upper, right? Me too. So, here is my view of the story. If you don’t want to see s4 spoilers, close the window.

Of course, nothing recognisable belongs to me.

The phone hopped and moved, as the vibrating alarm propelled it across the control boards switches and levers. He looked at it without much interest – bogus calls and wrong numbers did make one weary. He pushed a dial-and-button device to show the number on the main screen, as the mobile display went black long time before already. At the last moment, he caught the number.

“UK area code” he murmured, putting on his spectacles. “Who may be calling me from UK? We have Jack on subnet, and even if he used a phone, you would have put him through directly, now, wouldn’t you? Who else…” he scratched his chin. “Wilfred! Wilfred, it would mean that something is wrong with Donna…”

The phone went off again and TARDIS displayed the number immediately.

“Hello? Wilfred?”


“Hello? Anyone there?”

“Yees” a young voice answered. “But I’m starting to wonder if I dialed the right number…”

“It depends who you were going to call” he shot back, relived it was not Wilfred. He pushed all thoughts of Donna out of his mind.

“Ah, well, I was planning to call this one bloke, you see, he… Ow, I’m sorry to take your time, I probably got the number wrong. I lost my old mobile, you see, and I’m not sure…”

“I am almost certainly a bloke, so this one you got right.”

“Yeah, but, y’see, he’s somewhat special. Not your everyday bloke, if you get my meaning.”

“That’s also quite right. I’d say I’m not everyday bloke.”

She laughed. He froze.

“Awright, sorry to keep you…”


She inhaled and chuckled suddenly.

“Nothing like shitty connection to make me think… Oh, have you…? I mean, your voice sounds…?”

“No, nothing like this. Connection, that’s the problem. Wait a bit, I’ll make TARDIS boost the signal a bit. Rose? You there?”


“Like, really?”

“Like, really really.”


They fell silent for a moment.

“Oh, I see, we picked up better signal now. You have visual there?”

“Vis…? No, sorry. New mobile, as I said, I bought some pre-paid junk, voice calls only.”

“Ah. That’s too bad.”

“But if you get here, you could get all visual you want.”

He swallowed and tried very hard not to imagine too much.

“What do you mean, get here? Where are you? I supposed you… Like, connected somehow from…”

“No, I’m here. Like, here-here, on Earth, no blimps in the sky, no earpieces, officially dead from what I saw on the plaque. Who wrote it? I almost sat down there, on the pavement.”

He sat heavily on his command chair.

“Oh my. Wait, jus… just a moment, Rose, ok? I’ll be there as soon… Where are you?”

He heard some movement.

“In Florence. On the south end of Ponte Vecchio.”


“Earth, Italy, Florence. Nice city, lots of bridges. I chose the best known of them. So, how long is it going to take you?”

He stuttered.

“Your subjective fifteen minutes?”

“Be here.”

They disconnected and only then did he wipe the sweat from his forehead. And allowed himself to ask this one silent question – What happened to him?

Because he knew, he just knew that he would never let Rose go willingly and here she was, not looking for immediate help, not desperate, but… waiting for him? In Florence? It sounded almost like a… No. No way.

He stroke some dial delicately and turned a knob, still concentrating on her.

He touched down with less than his standard flair and certainly more stable. Since the “Earth-towing” experiment he redid most of the control board with Jack’s and Martha’s help in order to facilitate flying solo. They created a mess of cables, fountains of wires and even some preset command macros in order to make standard operations – which weren’t numerous, of course – easier.

So, an English police-phone-box, on Italian soil. And he was supposed to meet her…

Ah. Here.

The sun was setting and the shadows lied on the street of the bridge. People were milling about, making last purchases and taking picturesque photos. Suddenly, above the hum of the evening crowds he heard distinct sound of a pair of hard-soled heels, clicking on the stone surface. He watched, as she emerged from the relative darkness of the commercial gallery, first her shapely legs, clad in eerily silvery-grey pumps, then a short, conservative skirt – his hearts jumped – and a low-neckline blouse, and a jacked, slung carelessly over her shoulder. She stopped. His breathing stopped too. He was still conscious of his respiratory bypass, but…

Perhaps it was not her? He froze.

“Well, are you not going to say hello?”

Her voice was full of repressed mirth.

“I… I…”

“My favourite timelord, trying to say something bright.”

She made the next step and smiled widely.

“Now, let’s assume we already both said ‘Hello’. Come. You must see this!”

She half-dragged him, still silent and stupefied, to the middle of the bridge and pushed towards the railing.


He looked obediently. It was, indeed, a magnificent sunset, but when he looked at her, she was not watching it, but checking time on her pocket watch.

“And you? Are you not looking?”

“Have seen this before.”

“Me too. On various planets.”

“Yeah, but never Earth, Italy, Florence, right? So now, you can add this one to the collection” she smiled innocently. “You want something to eat?”

Oh my, sure…

“No, actually, I’m not so hungry. You?”


He looked at her uncertainly and touched her sleeve.

“You are really here.”

She laughed, throwing her head back and shaking her hair.

“Without any doubt! But, I must tell you, this was one hell of a journey.”

“Maybe we could…”

“…continue in a more intimate place? Yes.”

The customers and spectators suddenly noticed a lack of something, but nobody actually saw what happened.

As they walked towards the end of the bridge and the side alley where TARDIS waited, the mass of humanity seemed to part in front of them, and when everyone else had to make their way with elbows and force, they just… walked. Quite in the same way as he saw Rose walk at the first moment. As if there was a force wall, or a shield, about them, making them separate from their surroundings.

They reached TARDIS and stood there, yet unsure of what happens next.

“You still have the key?”

She simply reached around her neck to undo the pale-pink ribbon, where, on a ring, a cold key did hang. She held it in her hand and made a step towards the door.

“May I enter?” she asked, not looking at him.

“Always. I would never…”

She only smiled.

“Thank you.”

She turned the key in the lock and pushed the door open.

“Ladies first” he motioned her to go.

She stood, hands propped on the railing, one leg up, shaking off her shoe.

“Awful things, these pumps.”

“So why did you wear them?”

She smiled mischeviously.

“To see your face when you look at me for the first time.”

Jesting, joking, none ready to speak seriously.

“You will tell me how you managed to get here?”

“Here, Florence? By train. Here, this reality…?”

“More interesting, actually.”

She pushed herself away from where she stood and picked up the discarded footwear. Few quick strides took her to his chair.

“Here, or the kitchen? I’m dying for a tea.”

“I’d rather you didn’t do this here. Black, milk?” he grabbed the tin from the cupboard already.

“Green, lemon” she smiled again. “Changed, my personal physician says it’s better for me.”

“I see. Looking good, Rose, you know?”

“Yeah. I kinda have a mirror, you know” she patted her sleeve to straighten out an invisible wrinkle.

“So… you will finally tell me what’s going on?”

She took the cup and blew gently on the steaming surface.

“If you are afraid I damaged something when I appeared here, then no, there was no risk to the realities.”


She smiled and sat back on her chair.

“The cracks and holes you, we used the several previous times, they were errors, yes? Like, they should not be there? That was why they emitted all this energy and you could find them?”

“More or less, yes. More accurately…”

“Later. So, as they were errors, they were hurting their surroundings up to the point of realities breaking, universes merging, Cybermen, Daleks and everything else spilling through the walls.”


“So, we should not use them – void stuff covers us, we can get sucked in, we could help Daleks come back… but what if I didn’t use one. Or the dimensions cannon, as it used the fact that the walls were already crumbling.”

“It would be nice, but quite impossible.”

She smiled again and took a sip.

“Aaah, good. Toby would be so proud of me. Well, no cracks, no jumps, no cannon… but what do you think about delicate and careful slipping?”

He raised his eyebrows, inviting more details.

“Low. Energy. Transmission. Points” she said slowly and with emphasis.

“You must be kidding.”

“No. We found one.”

He tapped an uneven rhythm on the tabletop.


“Some fifty kilometres south from here.”

“You know that the Time Lords have been searching for low energy transmission points since… since…”

“Yes. He told me.”

Again, silence fell.

“He… He let you go?”

She bit her lip.

“Not exactly. That is, he wanted me to go. It was basically all his idea.”

“So, he found out how to detect the LETPs, he helped you go through, he pushed you into one…?”

“Kinda” she inhaled sharply. “He explained to everyone – starting with Dad – that there is a possibility. He said he has enough Donna in him to get the ‘gut instinct’. And this gut instinct was telling him to find a non-violent way to get through. We spent months working on the basic mechanics, invented a new department in Torchwood – he got to have his own team, of course, only geniuses and alpha-whatevers, it looked like catherding, absolutely brilliant – and we got some two hundred new patent registrations out of this. Including several new alloys of non-terran origin, two new kinds of power cells and an olfactory communication device. Not too useful, but fun to create anyway.”

She stood up, still holding the cup.

“So, he pushed the project on, we dug, we sent probes, we worked on almost inexistent data and some crazy almost-timelord memories, my own gut instinct, when available and experimentation.”


“We finally got one of our people to the other side – whatever other side he managed to get to. Mind you, we could have found a slip into any other universe around. But he had this wicked piece of machinery which, in short, detected time anomalies. Don’t ask. He landed in Italy, somewhere near Siena, he managed to start a two-way transmission, set up a communication hub and move around a bit. Ran the analysis, sent them back and even managed to get back in one piece. Two years later, unfortunately, but this was expected, so we set up an incoming room for him in the appropriate place and caught him at the right time. So, we did some more calculations and… here I am.”

“Yes, here you are” he repeated slowly.

“You are… not happy?”

“It’s not… I am, Rose. I am. But I’m worried about…”

“Toby. Tobias Harold Eniht.”

He stared at her in astonishment.

“Tobias Harold Eniht, Doctor of interplanetary protocol.”

More stare.

“Oh, come on, timeboy! Read the anagram! Do you even know how long it took us to make this one up? Dad was furious, because Toby didn’t want new documents before he creates the best name possible, ever. So?”

“T.H.E. Doctor…?” his eyes twinkled in merriment.


He sipped his tea, as she moved restlessly around the kitchen in silence.

“So, what about… Toby?”

“He said I should do it.”

“And you listened to him? That would be the first one.”

She bit her full lower lip.

“The third one. The first one was not to cannon myself across everything and strangle you. The second was to marry him.”

He felt as if someone hit him in the stomach.

“Why so surprised? You don’t suppose you can throw together two people like us, send them to another universe, strand them there without anyone else understanding their problems and not expect some outcome? Especially when one of them has the whole Doctor’s memory and brains and emotions stuffed inside? And the other has proved over and over that she is unable not to care for mad lonely gods…?”

She sniffed and threw her head back.

“We had to go through therapy. Dad organised everything. They helped us to cope with this. Toby created his history to make himself move believable. I had only half a year to create, he – some thirty years. Then he got hired by Torchwood, as they already knew about him – had to, they provided the therapist – and we did well” she pressed a finger to the tip of her nose. “We were the best team ever in Torchwood.”


“Well, I’m not going back, am I?” she smiled weakly.

“But he needs you” he pressed.

“Not anymore” she stated calmly.

“What happened? Did you split up?” he came closer to her.

“No, Doctor” she looked at him. “He died.”

Doctor swallowed.

“But… He was healthy. As good as I, only thirty, maybe thirty-three.”


He made an involuntary step back.

“Since we celebrated his fifty-fifth birthday, he’s been working on the detector. He knew that when we found the right hole, slipping through it would only be the matter of time. He knew he would die and wanted to give me this much. He said it was a debt he must pay.”

She turned to the kitchen counter and put the cup down carefully, as her hands shook convulsively.

“I don’t understand. He… He was thirty, probably, the day we… Ninety-one? How?” he stopped suddenly. “Stasis? Criogenics?”

She shook her head and breathed a few times to calm down, out of sheer habit.

“You jumped years? Did you leave him to…”

“No!” she swirled, her eyes full of tears. “No, I didn’t leave him! It was you who left us! Left us without even checking one stupid little thing! You know how it hurts when you actually promise your husband to be with him, always and forever, and to see him age faster? I assumed, he is some ten years older than me, biologically, so ok, he starts graying, he gets some heart problems, but I, I still stay the same! My mother got a heart attack, my dad, Pete, he got arthritis and started to use a cane, but I am still good! My younger brother graduated, got a job and a wife and I danced at their wedding and they thought I’m his younger sister! But, it’s ok, because Rose always looked young, now didn’t she? You know, what tipped us off? I’m sure Toby knew it before I did. It might have been this little fact that we couldn’t get a baby, no matter what we did. We wanted to, tried to…” her voice trailed off as she saw his face pale “…but no way, never possible. Toby knew since then, I suppose. I, with my stupid human thinking, got it way later. I kept denying it, I kept pushing it away, but… here I am. My husband died peacefully, of old age, and I stayed with him, as I promised. He tried to send me away, but I am little stubborn Rose Tyler and I didn’t go. I held his hand” she inhaled quickly “and I watched him… go. He watched me all the time. And, just at the very end, he squeezed my fingers and said… he said…” she sobbed.

“Rose, you don’t have to…”

“I must!” she shoved him out of her way as she paced to and fro. “He said ‘Ask him again, caer’main’.”

He straightened as if someone slapped him.

“He remembered Gallifreyan quite well, you know. All this knowledge, one human mind… I know, Donna didn’t cope. How it ended, did you manage to…?” she looked at him with her bright eyes.

“I got her home safely. She teaches fast-typing classes now at one of the new schools.”

She looked at him, stupefied.

“How far back did I…” she closed her eyes and felt. “Ten years? Only ten years passed…? Oh, Toby…” she sobbed again. “He must have set the detector to catch some other…” she tapped her lips. “It means everyone is still alive, right? Nothing happened to them? May we go to meet them?”


She blinked.

“Why? I wanna meet Jack! And Sarah-Jane! Doooctoor!”

She is whining.

“First I want to know what happened to you” he said sternly.

“But… is this not obvious?” she looked at him with her big, innocent – or not so innocent anymore – eyes.

“No. It. Is. Not” he uttered. Mood swings. Remind me of somebody.

She reached for him and caught his hand with both of hers.

“What do you feel? Close your eyes!”

He did it obediently. And he felt…

“…cold. Your hands are… cold?”

“And so? Use your astounding timelord logic on this.”

“So, you must have another cup of tea.” Cold. Cold hands?

“No. Logic. Doctor, why does one feel something is cold?”

“It is cold in relation to his own body.” Aw…

“Right. So, relatively, my hands feel cold to you. Now, once again, tell me, what is the normal body temperature for you?”

“About your 15 Celsius.”

“And so…?”

“So, your hands are probably colder. Cyborg…?”

“NO! Other reasons?”

“If this is your current body temperature, then you must be dead.”

“Quite the opposite, I assure you.”

He shook his head.

“Now, give me your hand” she pulled him closer to herself and placed his right palm on… under her breast.


“Oh, shut up. You feel this?”

“Yeah. Nice. Soft.”

“I mean, deeper, you git. Give me the other hand” and she put it symmetrically to the first one.

He stood there, listening and feeling with his whole being. Nothing could hide this. He could not push it away anymore.

He opened his eyes and looked at her.

Rose Tyler.

His companion.

Love of his life.

A Child of Time.

Living Vortex vessel.

Time Lady.

His lips were soft and he tasted familiarly but strangely, almost the same, but different enough to be something else. She close her eyes and felt and strengthened the feeling to reach out to him, and felt his and hers hearts beating faster, so fast, his lips on hers, and nothing else in the whole time and space was important anymore, ever.

AN: You can now click on Chapter 2, if you wish for a mood-crashing epilogue. If no, stay here and review :)

Written by Srebrna

2013/07/27 at 01:09