My fanfiction and other random ramblings

Srebrna, Skald Arkadii (and thoughts on writing)

Posts Tagged ‘doctorwho

Two for the price of one – 2

leave a comment »

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

leave a comment »

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

leave a comment »

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

leave a comment »

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

leave a comment »

“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

leave a comment »

“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

But if you can still dream – 12

leave a comment »

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

George Lucas

Doctor – False awakening

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A female scream.

Very well-known female scream.

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

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

Ah.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Written by Srebrna

2013/08/03 at 00:13

But if you can still dream – 11

leave a comment »

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

George Lucas

Rose – Sleeping gas

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

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

On this specific Tuesday they learned something new.

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

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

“Don’t be late, Rose. Love you too.”

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

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

“Good day, Thomas.”

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

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

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

“Gwen, where did this come from?”

Gwen flipped her PDA open and scanned the list.

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

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

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

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

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

“Gwen, Anna? Everyone clear?”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

“Guards?”

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

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

Suddenly the room seemed a bit darker.

“Is it smoking, Gwen?”

“Ma’am?”

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

She was out before they managed to stop her fall.

She felt as if a truck had run her over.

“Doct’r?”

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

“Pupils not reacting properly. Damn.”

“Wha’?”

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

He disappeared.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Pounding” she complained.

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

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

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

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

He pursed his lips and took off the glasses.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Do you hear me? Nod or blink.”

Rose blinked, afraid of moving within the tent.

“Good. Do you know who I am?”

Blink.

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

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

Written by Srebrna

2013/08/03 at 00:11

Medical Care – 1

leave a comment »

A/N A story that is totally disconnected from all other ones, a multi-crossover. At the moment it is not finished and I’m not sure I’m going to finish it anytime soon, I’m afraid. So I’m posting this as it is, and will be adding parts as they come to me.

The mountains were awful. The weather was terrible. He hated snow, he hated wind and he hated this stupid little town with some stupid name he couldn’t even remember. He had to breathe. In, out, in, out. Getting angry will not help Elizabeth. The midwife. They said she lived in the middle of the town in a big, fancy house. So here he was, in the middle of the town, but the most fancy thing he could see was a snowflake on his own eyelash. He stomped to get some feeling back into his toes and started to circle the marketplace.Finally, after passing by several town offices and smaller houses, he came across something that the locals could probably call “fancy”. He knocked on the door…

…and was now seated on a big, overstuffed chair, with a mad-looking cat salivating at him from the top of the table, and the old biddy of a midwife wrapping herself in layers and layers of shawls and coats. Finally, as she fastened a fur cloak on her shoulders, he stood up with a sigh of relief.

“One more thing, young man.” She turned back to the mantlepiece and took a little, delicately-carved eggtimer. “One never know when some time may be useful.”

He looked at her with bewildered eyes.

“Are you sure you are up to the task?”

“I’m the best one around here” she smiled, looking as if a winter apple smiled. “Actually, I’m the only midwife around here.”

He swallowed. Elizabeth was in trouble. Big trouble.

“Oh, so maybe you want a second opinion?”

“But you said…”

“I’m the only midwife. We have this doctor, or so he calls himself. A medic, he says. Noone wants to deal with him, but in time, they will get used to it. He is not from around here, you see.”

She pulled on her boots with visible effort and motioned for one of the young women to tie her shoelaces.

“Daughters in law” she smiled. “Good for such things.”

He followed her outside.

“So, lad, do you want the second opinion? You would feel better with a man doing… this?”

“If you think he may be useful… I can cover all his costs.”

“I’m sure a good dinner in the inn will be enough for him. So, we go. But not be worried and not be surprised. He isn’t as many others. He is a bit out of his place” ‘And time’ she added mentally.

He sure was. Fitzwilliam Darcy was a tolerant, open and curious man. He had seen a black man before, but a black medic, and a bit crazy one himself was way too much for him.

“I don’t bite, I don’t kick, I’m civilized.” the strange man was apparently used to such stares. “If you have someone ill at home, I can go with you and try to help. I don’t promise it will work. These primitive conditions…” he stopped.

Fitzwilliam Darcy could certainly sympathise. Primitive they were, to be sure.

“Actually, it’s not an illness in itself. My wife has gone into labor an hour ago and I just found a midwife, and she was so gracious to show me your abode. Would you accompany us and try to help? It’s our first child and Elizabeth is absolutely terrified…”

“As are you, yes, I see that. I will go with you – I have nothing better to do today, after all. Nobody comes here.”

As they fought against wind, trying to reach the inn where the Darcys were lodged, Stephen – because the black medic gave only his name – asked him quite a lot of questions regarding the pregnancy, the dates, even going into such intimate details that Fitzwilliam felt rather ill at ease.

“I’m sure my wife, or her maid, may answer you more specifically.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. Yes, I’ll ask her, if she is still in a somewhat communicative mood.”

The walked back to the inn, old woman chattering merrily, producing large amounts of smoke from her pipe and making saucy remarks, which reminded him of his mother-in-law (and this was not a good thought, as he could only begin to imagine the dressing-down he would receive as soon as the woman understands she had missed the birth of her first grandchild). He fixed his overcoat and held it closer, observing his other companion quietly. The black man was wearing a weird, tight-fitting outfit that couldn’t be doing much to keep him warm.

“Aren’t you cold… doctor?” he asked finally.

“What? No, not at all” white smile in the dark face. “My uniform is prepared especially for harsh weather.”

“This is… a uniform? Are you an army doctor?” he asked incredously.

“In a way” the medic sighed. “I shouldn’t tell you too much, sorry. I don’t want to seem rude…”

“My cousin is a military man. I understand the need for secrecy. But… an uniform like this? Most soldiers I know would not look at it twice.”

“Oh, I get it. You mean a dress uniform? Colours, shiny metal plates, medals and distinctions? This one is for everyday use.”

“Our soldiers use civilian clothing off-duty.”

“So do we. But one can be on duty and not on official business. Or any dress-uniform kind of business. And this one is more practical. More freedom of movement, easier to get rid of stains – and I tell you, as a doctor, I’m practically covered with various kinds of dirt after a day of work – does not stand out too much. And is much lighter than my dress uniform. Easier to pack, too.”

“I see.”

They walked in silence, when he dared to venture a question.

“Do you… do you have any experience with…” he was lost for words.

“Midwifery? Some. My instructors made sure I could cover for any kind of specialist in case of… if I was the only medic present.”

“But this is not an area- what I would expect- as an army doctor?”

“I’m sure even your military units have some women. No?”

He choked. What?

“I mean, officers wifes and so. They do travel with their husbands, don’t they?”

“Yes, usually. Although I suspect that any colonel’s wife who finds herself expecting settles down in a safe place – like her or his parent’s house – for the time needed…”

“Unlike gen-um wifes who travel the country in winter” interjected the midwife. “Now very wise, mind you. She should be sittin’ in her own home, fireplace and all, with servants to fetch the midwife, and not you by yourself.”

“We expected this to be next month.” he murmured through clenched teeth.

“So either you can’t count to thirty or we should hurry up, because the little one is early” she picked up a brisker pace. “As you look e-doo-cay-ted, I think the little one is the problem. Would you walk a little faster, you two?”

As they finally arrived at the inn, the innkeeper looked at them with fearful eyes.

“Your wife, sir…”

“What of her?” the gentelman barked sharply. Then he breathed deeply and closed his eyes. “What of her?” he repeated in a calmer voice, laced with the tiniest bit of respect and courtesy.

“She… She sent one of the maids to search for a doctor. She screamed and repeated that… I probably shouldn’t…”

“Say it, man” he sighed.

“She screamed that she is not going to wait for you to pull the stick out of your… and get to talk to the midwife. And that you can go to hell as this is all your fault. I’m sorry, sir.”

“Don’t you worry, boy” the old midwife patted his shoulder, unwrapping herself from the many layers of woolen scarfs. “They scream all kinds of things, want to go to a convent, want you to go to one, want their mum or want to die. It’s pain talking. After a while they forget and you are their own darling husband again, no worries. Now, take me… us to her” she patted his arm again, smiling.

He straightened his back, nodded and led them to the only suite of rooms the inn possessed – and he paid dearly for it as soon as they had became snowed in in this backwater, God-forsaken place. On entering the miniature parlour they found it surprisingly occupied by three people of rather unusual appearance.

Young woman in a dark dress was not so unsettling – even though her hair was not done up as the propriety demanded – as her neighbour. Pretty blonde in her mid-twenties, dressed in light blue trousers and shamelessly small blouse – or vest – with all the signs of advanced pregnancy blatantly displayed. This being her extended belly over the hem of her trousers. Their third companion was male, dressed in sober brown suit of a rather outlandish cut, emphasising his slight, wiry built. All three were watching the left bedroom door with concern.

“Who are you?” he asked wearily. “And what are you doing in this parlour?”

“Parlour!” exclaimed softly the man. “That’s the word I’ve been looking for. Thank you, sir” he bowed, rising slightly. “As to what we are doing here – we are waiting for our friend to finish examining your pretty wife, as we were quite concerned for her health.”

One man. Two women. That means…

“She is in there alone with a strange man?” he uttered.

“Do you think we are stupid and left your wife with a man? In a state she is in?” the girl in the dress spat. “Martha is in there and is taking good care of your wife which you have left alone, to go for a stroll. Coming back finally, are you? Well, I wouldn’t be so sure that she ever lets you near her again.”

“For your information, miss, I have been sent by her, to fetch a midwife. Which I have done. Your ‘Martha’ – is she a midwife?”

“No” answered the blonde. “She’s a doctor.”

For some reason all three of them smiled widely.

“She travels with us and oversees my pregnancy.” she added seriously. “I’m quite sure that she will have more problems with me than she could ever have with your wife.”

He sat stiffly and the midwife followed suit. The black doctor positioned himself beside the window and took off his jacket, uncovering stark white, high collared shirt with some markings on the shoulders.

“Oh, you are military!” exclaimed the blonde in a voice which eerily reminded him of his sisters-in-law. “What unit? What army?”

“Navy…” the medic caught himself. “I cannot tell.”

“Oh, come oon…” mock-whined the second girl. “We can see you’re not from around here, you can see we are neither. Spill.”

“He should not hear” the medic indicated their host. “And I don’t think I should bend our rules even in these conditions.”

“It’s good you have rules, but from what I managed to see, we already have an information leak. Or will have if we explain to this good sir what is happening with his wife and heir. And we should, if this whole situation is to be solved” the man in the suit rose and strode towards the left door. “Martha, dear? Everything going well?”

Someone answered in a muffled voice.

“If I send Donna inside, would it be any help? There is the local midwife here, too, maybe she could help?”

The door opened a bit.

“The midwife? Come in, the mother here needs some support. Talk to her. I’m afraid she is a bit overwhelmed.”

As the elderly lady entered the room, the ‘Martha, dear’ exited it, stripping some weird, elastic gloves from her hands and shaking her black hair out.

Fitzwilliam Darcy was a tolerant, open and curious man, but a black female medic did it for him.

“Now, you all sit down and I want some answers. Who are you people? Why are you all sitting here and what… What was she doing to my wife?” he uttered slowly, almost coldly. He was on the verge of nervous collapse, but he had to keep his wits about him if his wife was to deliver safely. Even if it meant cooperating with this… motley crew.

“I was checking the progress of the birth” she answered simply. “As it begun prematurely – I would say, three weeks early – I was anxious as to the rapidity of the process. But everything seems to be going smoothly, or as smoothly as the situation of giving birth allows. There was one problem on the way, but it was solved as soon as it was diagnosed.”

“A problem?” he repeated quietly.

“It seems…” the man in suit begun, but stopped suddenly and walked towards the fireplace. “It seems, from our observations, that someone was attempting to hurt your wife and child. More than once. Wait!” he prevented Mr Darcy from rising. “It has been treated. Fixed. It has been…”

“Healed” finished the blonde.

“Yes, thank you. It has been healed. There are ways… There are ways in which a child is positioned in the mother’s body. The most common is with the head down, or forwards. Stay, wait. I know, it is not something you would like to learn, being a gentleman of means and all, but you must. If you want to know what happened. Please, sit down. Yes. So, the child is facing down, everything goes well, the delivery happens, the child is whole and sound. This is the ideal scenario. The less-than-ideal, but still bearable, is with his – or hers – seat down. It is harder on the mother, and really hard for the first-time mothers. But, still, doable” here he paused and touched the blonde’s shoulder. “I… we did some research on this subject lately, you see. Now, there is also an option which is, at this point of time, not good. To tell the truth, in most, cases, fatal. If the child is lying on the back. And this was the situation here. It was. It isn’t anymore.” He breathed deeply and caressed the girl’s arm again. “As soon as we were… as we arrived, Rose here almost forced us to seek shelter in this inn. As we heard about an expecting mother enduring much pain and on the probable brink of delivery, we offered her any help we could render. Rose made sure your wife understood that we are conscious of the delicacy of the situation, as she is herself in the same state, I, on the other hand, could not be so comforting. As we entered the parlour here and your wife… As I saw her…” he paused to breathe. “I could see something is not… occurring as it should. As a doctor” here all three girls smiled – yet again “I could only asses that either there was a natural problem with delivery or that an artificial obstacle had been introduced by someone from outside. Martha has some experience with such matters and she confirmed that the situation had been arranged by someone. Did you ever notice that you have became snowed in here, miles from any larger town, with one elderly midwife to assist you – if you manage to find her – and in a situation where the help of one village midwife would certainly not be enough?”

Mr Darcy nodded with grim face.

“This is what awakened our suspicions. And I have to tell you, this is one fine mess we found ourselves in. Because, I need to ask, what is the year now?”

“1814” said Fitzwilliam Darcy immediately.

“Donna? Martha?”

“2010” they both answered.

“Rose?”

“2012. Or 2010, yes.”

“Stephen?”

The black medic swallowed.

“It is 2275.”

“And… excuse me” he opened the door a crack. “What is your name, madame?”

“You may call me Nanny. Now, lie on your side, that’s a good girl…”

“So, Nanny. What is the year now?”

“Why, the Year of the Swallowing Horse, of course” she smiled at him and… winked?

“So, you see, Mr Darcy. We cannot agree on what year it is, and most certainly, we are all quite normal. Mostly normal. Let’s check if we can agree on the place, what say you?”

After proving to the expectant father that they were indeed in an undefined place – but probably in the Ramtop mountains somewhere, probably near Lancre, as the only local person – the midwife – was most stubborn about this – they moved to the explanations.

“For some reason, someone interfered with your child’s safety. It has been turned in your wife’s body so that it was lying in the most unfortunate position. And the delivery has been forced, just so that you knew, by the same person. We still don’t know who, why and how, but it has been reversed. Now the birth should progress in the normal way and in the span of – I’d say – ten hours tops you should have your heir.”

“What would they – whoever it was – achieve by this?”

The younger man pursed his lips.

“Your child would not survive. You wife neither. If, by any chance, she managed to live, she would never be able to carry to term again and even an attempt – conceiving and… well, anything in this area could be lethal to her. In short, someone wanted to ensure that you, Fitzwilliam Darcy, would be unable to produce your legal heir with your wife, Elizabeth.”

“Who could have had the means? What would have been needed?”

“I would say that it would necessitate the use of at least the same kind instruments we have at our disposal, if not more advanced. It would call for imagination, trickery and rather high level of animosity towards both of you. In short, it would mean an enemy with access to technology at least two hundred years ahead of your point in time.”

“But you have such technology.”

“Ah, yes. And my friends here gave you the year they feel is now. So you see, we actually are from this point of time. I’d say, it would call for one of my kind, with the same knowledge, to start this process. As I am the last of my kind, or rather, last but one” his hand again caressed the blonde’s shoulder. “I would bet that it was someone even further on. 2080, this is the year they make some breakthroughs.”

“Or a Time Agent” added Donna.

“Yes, or a Time Agent, which would make our lives even more interesting. Well, now I have told you everything I know. Ah, not everything. You see, we travel in time. But in a way, we are drawn to certain… problems in the history when other time-travelling entities try to make trouble. Our… our means of transport has a kind of sensor which is set to catch any kind of time-altering activity. If we follow the signal, we became locked into the stream of events. As we have gathered here people from at least three different times, not counting you and your wife, of course, it means that the birth – or death – of your child would influence greatly some part of the universe. And we were drawn here to rectify the situation and help your heir to be born. Now, do you wish to see your wife? Martha, could you check if madame Nanny has done everything she could for Mrs Darcy?”

They sat in the parlour, looking at the fire, as Martha emerged from the birthing room with a worried face. She whispered something into the blonde’s ear and her friend replaced her immediately beside Elizabeth’s bed.

“Sir? Mr Darcy?” Martha lowered herself to the seat next to him.

“Yes, madame?”

“Your wife is asking for you. I must warn you, she is very weak. Terribly. It… This process of turning the child, both ways, had taken its toll on her. She is half-conscious. If you could go there and… support her somehow, I’d try to find a way to provide her with more strength. She does not keep her food down and I don’t think giving her any more injections would not be more harmful than helpful.”

“I’ll go. Thank you.”

She looked at his retreating back and shook her head in wonder.

“Excuse me, miss…”

“Doctor Jones, if you don’t mind.”

“Certainly. I could not help overhearing your conversation here and I would like to offer my help” at her curious stare he shrugged. “Your… your friend here stated you were drawn here for a purpose, yes? So maybe I have my purpose here, too.”

“And this would be?”

His smile glimmered.

“This would be the most treasured medical secret of Earth Alliance” he reached into his duffle and pulled out a weird, wired contraption.

“And it is?”

“A life energy transmitter and transformator. With additional safeguards to keep the donor alive.”

“You mean… you could lend her some of your lifeforce?”

“Give. As we have checked, no way to give it back, at least not immediately” he seemed pensive. “But there are four of us in good health – I wouldn’t recommend using it on your pregnant friend there – and we could support Mrs Darcy in turns.”

“You sure it works?” she licked her lips unconsciously. “This may be a breakthrough…”

“Yes, it works. And no, I can’t give it to you. I have no idea why I’m stuck here, maybe I’m waiting for something else to happen, so I can’t lose this” he patted the side of the contraption. “Also, it should stay in my timeline.”

Suited man looked at him appreciatively.

“I like a time traveller who knows his paradoxes.”

Stephen regarded him for a moment calmly and then turned to his newly-found colleague.

“So, what say you?”

“I say aye” she smiled crookedly. “Not that I have any alternative method of helping her.”

The old midwife entered the parlour and sent Martha a scathing look.

“You gave her sumit for pain, didn’t you? Stupid girls. They think a mother can’t stand the pain by herself and look what good it did – the lassie may now bleed herself to death before the lil’one appears. Fat lots of good, I say. I know, I know. She was scared, you were scared…”

“I was not scared, madame” Martha answered curtly. “She was scared, in pain and her heart was going to fail if I didn’t give her something. It was over twelve hours ago, it is certified not to prolong the labour and it was vital for her to get it. She would be dead by now otherwise. Now, Stephen. Can we proceed?”

As soon as Elizabeth was arranged to be covered enough for the propriety to be satisfied and Martha convinced her to stay calm, the machine was placed on the night table and her left arm was hooked to it.

“Now, Rose, you are not going to participate in this. We don’t know what would be the reaction and frankly, I don’t wish to have two labours on my hands – sorry for the bad pun – so stay on the other side and talk to Elizabeth. Stephen, I’ll go as the first donor, as I think it would be wise to have you at the controls. Right?”

Martha sat down, next to the bed and put her hand into the energy rings.

“I’ll set it for 10%. It was the setting we mainly used when experimenting with the machine. Sometimes we went as high as 75%, especially when the risk was high and time for recovery short. Now we want only to support the lady here and we don’t know if it affects the child, so…”

The warm sensation running up and down her arm surprised Martha at first, but then she found them quite interesting. Elizabeth, on the other hand, was sitting rigid and scared as the light went on around her wrist and elbow.

“How did you come to be here?” she leaned back on a couch next to him.

“No idea. I just got off a heli from the London spaceport and voila, here I am.”

“Why did you have this” she pointed to the alien machine “with you? Do you carry military secrets with you as a norm?”

He frowned.

“I was going to a medical conference – top secret, hush-hush, no outsiders. We were going to show this to the main medical minds of Earth. But as soon as I stepped off the heli, I didn’t even manage to get my main bag out, and bzzt, here I am. In the middle of a busy town square in the middle of the winter, instead of nice, summer day on Cardiff Plass.”

Martha blinked.

“Cardiff, you say? 2275? Was there a security escort of some kind?”

Stephen rubbed his eyes.

“Of course there was. After all, it was a secret military-medicine operation. There were some guys from local alien-detection service… one of them tried to hit on me” he added with a bit of bemusement. “Why?”

“Nothing… just, was he, like, pretty? Doll-like pretty?”

“Yeah. Tall, blue eyes, all militar-y. And all his men called him ‘Captain’. You know him?”

She smiled, finally.

“Yup. Rose!” she called to the blonde. “Apparently Jack makes it to 2275 without change. It gives us what?”

“Donna is still in, I’m out. I bet on until 2248. You’re still in, but remember about the conditions.”

“Very well” she grinned to Stephen. “We placed bets on how long he is going to make like this.”

Stephen blinked.

“What?”

“He’s immortal. Well, not exactly. But nobody yet managed to kill him.”

“How long…?”

“Since around middle nineteenth century, or something like this. Rose there went a bit overboard with saving his life and locked him in one state forever.”

“Would you be able to explain me how the hell she did that? And why is the man not in military, government or espionage?”

“He is in civil service. As you witnessed. Being in public would make him too visible and people would start to notice. Espionage is… also part of what he does.”

“What does he do?”

“Guards the rift in time and space. Conveniently placed in Cardiff. You must have been hit by a spot of activity. I think chances are high you’ll meet him as soon as Doctor sends you back. Tell him we say hi.”

 

Cardiff, April 18th, 2275

“Martha says ‘hi'” Stephen watched the tall man from behing the bars. “Now, let me the hell out. I have a conference to attend.”

“Nu-ugh” Jack Harkness smiled at him sweetly. “Not for two more days. You’re landing up there in two days and three hours and you don’t want anyone seeing you before, now do you?”

He blinked.

“That’s what I thought. Now. Pizza, or Chinese?”

 

London, August 1897

Delia Darcy – she hated the alliteration, but could do absolutely nothing about it – was whining. Her farther had already given up and hid himself in his library, but her mother was made of much harder stuff. And she wasn’t giving up. Delia was not going driving around Hyde Park with James Tyler, whatever she said.

Delia so was going to. James – Jimmy – had the most marvelous new open carriage, with his own improvements implemented in the springing of it and conveniently furnished with several additional comforts, like a small heating stove under the seat or special holder for gloves.

Jimmy Tyler was the sweetest, most absent-minded young man Delia has ever seen. She determined he needed some management in the area of dress – someone should tell him and his father that the XIX century was just finishing, not starting, and that full Regency evening clothes were not so fashionable anymore – and in punctuality. Otherwise, he managed quite well himself, including the question of money. His improvements, inventions and clever gadgets sold pretty well and he made quite a number of special commissions for nobles and wealthy of London, which brought him to the salons (although as more of a curiosity to be shown off than a honored guest). This way the second daughter of Laurent Darcy (of Pemberley) had met the young inventor on one of the social functions of her second Season. She immediately felt she could be the one to take care of this specimen of masculine handsomeness (he was most definitely easy on the eyes).

However, her parents weren’t so happy about it. She even understood – their difference of birth, her dowry and his lack of base capital, his employment and lack of social life… BUT! He was so nice. And so gallant in explaining to her all the little complicated details of his inventions. Delia was well-versed in behaving as if she was overwhelmingly interested and completely understanding what was being shown to her, but here she didn’t have to pretend. She actually understood all his explanations and his sheer enthusiasm for all things mechanical somehow infected her, too.

Now all she wanted was to sit in his wonderful, comfy carriage and drive a bit. Mother didn’t have to know that this would be actually Delia driving, did she now?

Finally, her mother gave up, too. Delia had perfected her whining skills on her siblings – her mother had no chance.

The ride itself ended in Delia taking the reins and driving herself the nice carriage. Which included driving it into the pond, when the horses got spooked by something on the lane. Which itself led to some amount of indecent exposure, awkward embraces, public compromitation and forced marriage. None of the main participants of the ceremony had the slightest thought about putting up a resistance.

 

Not Pegasus Galaxy

He felt lost. At one moment, he was pushing the gurney to the infirmary, next thing he felt was an explosion and now he was here, in a middle of a small town, which itself seemed to be in the middle of bloody nowhere.

He was standing there, in his scrubs, with a small cache of medical appliances still in his hands and pockets, and he was shivering.

Finally, after a few minutes, he gave up waiting for a divine intervention and strode in a random direction, hoping to find some shelter. He could always trade his tools or his services for food and heat.
No sooner had he made this decision than he had a man, tall, well built man, barrel into him, running at full speed.

“I’m sorry, sir” he uttered “I have to catch someone… DOCTOR! Come back, DOCTOR!” he shouted, entering the main town square. “Oh, damnation. DOCTOR!”

“Lad, I’m a doctor. Maybe I can help you?”

The man turned to him, as if seeing him for the first time.

“Another one? Very well, please, follow me. My wife…” he inhaled deeply of the cold air and started coughing. “I’m sorry. My wife, she just gave birth. A doctor – a few of them – were assisting her. They said everything looked well, but now she’s bleeding and the innkeeper’s wife says it’s not good. Can you help?”

He closed his eyes for a moment. This struck so close to home.

“I will. Lead on, lad.”

The inn was warm and smelled of cooked cabbage. Somewhat homey. The innkeeper’s wife was sitting next to a young, dark-haired lady, lying in the middle of a large bed.

Next to it, some quite out-of-place items were scattered on the table and a newborn was crying in a crib.

“Very well. Please, madam, go prepare a large pot of tea. Quickly. And a bowl of warm water. Me fingers went stiff from the cold and I don’t want to hurt the poor lady anymore. Now, lass” he sat next to the bed and looked at her closely. “What happened to you?”

“I’ll explain” the tall gentleman removed his greatcoat, uncovering a slightly rumpled and stained shirt under it. “After the last few hours, I’d rather get to the most important parts without additional ceremonies. My name is Fitzwilliam Darcy and we’ve been through a hell of an evening today…”

He localized the spot that was bleeding, managed to fix the wound and stop the hemorrhaging. Fortunately, the elderly owner’s wife was a keen observer and alerted young father quite early as to her suspicions. The mother didn’t lose too much blood, as it would have been impossible to give her a transfusion there.

Now he was checking up the baby, listening at the same time to the Regency gentleman telling him an outlandish story of time travelers, aliens, strange medics – especially a female medic! – and weird happenings around the place.

“My lad, weird is in my job description. If you saw a female medic, you still haven’t seen everything. The place where I came from, they have a human population that didn’t come from Earth. I’m an Earther, yes. But them, they were born of different ancestors. I’ll tell you, lad” he patted the large man’s shoulder. “Be happy to live in your times. Risky. Hungry. Wars, famines, bandits and slow transport. But you still get to think only about your house, your property or, at the most, about your country. Me and my colleagues, we have to think planet-wide. Or, sometimes, humanity-wide. Which, I tell you, is not the same thing. And we are tired of it.”

He knew the man wouldn’t tell. After all, nobody would have believed him, and if he insisted – well, Bedlam would have earned a new patient.

“Please, doctor. Take at least my jacket” Mr Darcy insisted, walking him to the door. “You must be cold in this…”

“Coat. Yes, thank you. I’ll have a look, maybe someone is searching for me – somehow” he sighed. “I dearly hope so.”

“I do, too. And again, thank you… you saved Elizabeth’s life.”

“All in a day’s work.”

The town square was silent and empty. Except for a terribly out-of-place, blue telephone box. And a redhead standing in front of it, tapping her foot impatiently.

“Hurry up, will ya? We’ve been freezing our butts off here for some time already. Yes, now we know what happened, but you helped and we were really in a hurry, because Rose’s gone into her labour and the kid should supposedly be born onboard. So come on in, we’ll give you a lift. To whenever it is you should go.”

Atlantis team had never been more happy than on the day they found out that Carson Becket had indeed survived the explosion. The arrival and leaving of strange travelers went almost unnoticed, except for Ronon bowing deeply to the skinny, suited man and uttering some words of greeting in what he explained was the traditional central satedan language.

“What did you say?” Shepard joined him, as the blue box shifted in and out of reality, disappearing quickly.

“I welcome you and bow to you, o lonely traveler” Ronon said calmly. “That is what our elders taught us to say when we see him.”

“See who? The guy with the hair?”

Ronon eyed him calmly.

“Last time he was seen in my area, he was older and dressed differently. Has no importance. It was him. I know it.”

Shepard shook his head.

“You’re crazy.”

“Oh, yeah. But the Oncoming Storm is the craziness embodied. I’m honoured to meet him. Every Satedan would have been.”

England, 1856

“Nonna…”

Elizabeth eyed Giovanna suspiciously.

“You’re using that tone again, my child.”

Her granddaughter’s golden-brown eyes opened widely and innocently.

“And you’re overdoing that look.”

“But, Nonna…”

“Giovanna.”

Twenty-year-old flopped limply on the setee, carefully keeping her shoes away from the daisy-printed pillows.

Giovanna Victoria Balistieri, the seventh grandchild of Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy, made an attractive picture, despite her disheveled look and theatrically sad set of her lips.

“Giovanna!”

“But, Nonna! I want to marry him!”

Suddenly Elizabeth put down her book and regarded the girl carefully.

“Marry who, my dear? Neither Mary Anne nor your father mentioned anything to me.”

“Because they didn’t know” she sighed. “I told them only this morning.”

Elizabeth pursed her lips.

“Are you… in trouble?”

“Nonna! I may be half-Italian, but I’m still half-British!”

Elizabeth sighed. Anytime Giovanna did something not-quite-in-line with what the general public would do, someone came back to the old ‘it’s all because of her Italian blood’. Not that these social accidents really happened that much more often than other girls could account for, but the general consensus was that if only Giovanna wouldn’t have been half Italian (and what was her mother thinking!) she would have been a perfectly nice girl with good manners.

“Giovanna, I don’t give two pence for your whining about this newest bout of conflict with your dear parents. Tell me everything in order.”

Giovanna finally sat straight. Her shoulders pulled back, her fingers torturing a handkerchief in her lap and her eyes firmly on these fingers, she told her ‘Nonna’ about Samuel. Samuel Beckett, a Scot. Scottish merchant. Scottish wool and linen merchant of high standing. About meeting him at the modiste, where he was checking on the materials’ delivery and she was checking on her dress’ progress. About striking a conversation on the general topic of textile trade, her having a great-grand-uncle in the same trade and him being the third generation. About various following occasions, when he passed by her, bowing slightly, with his hat raised minutely and his smile, ooh, that smile…

“And he’s a prefect gentleman. He wants to talk to Papa, but Papa said he does not want to talk to him. So it turns out that I have a suitor, who has declared himself and has settlement papers in hand and my father, who is supposedly a nobleman, does not even think about meeting him.”

But if you can still dream – 10

leave a comment »

I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams.
Hamlet II, 2

The Doctor – Lucid dreaming

From what Jack could get the Doctor to tell, the Time Lords’ superior psychology and physiology had some interesting traits. Like an ability to discern immediately if one is currently dreaming or no. Lucid dreaming, it was called, and the Doctor prided himself on being always sure not only where and when he was but also if what he saw was reality or product of his overactive imagination.

But this took some time, at least a few seconds. As they were usually wake-induced lucid dreams, they would fit almost perfectly into whatever had been happening just a moment before and thus would wake no doubts – at least at first – as to their being real. Sometimes Jack would find the Doctor looking through half-closed eyelids at a console, which at the moment displayed either gibberish in Gallifreyan or simply gibberish, and talking to himself. Apparently lost in his daydreams, of course – consciously.

So, as the Doctor stressed over and over again, he always knew if he was dreaming or not. Sometimes, though, he chose to ignore it and let the dream carry him away. Sometimes he really wanted for this to be reality and didn’t want to remember it was only a dream. So he chose not only to ignore the fact that he was dreaming, he chose not to check.

Jack strolled into the TV room, a can of Coke in one hand and an overlarge dish of popcorn in the other. He plopped on the sofa and placed the popcorn between himself and the Doctor. One look at the alien told him to stay quiet and not disturb him – his eyes were half-closed, his lips – mmm – moving and his glasses were pushed up into his hair. Either he was doing some time-and-space arithmetics or he was dreaming about Rose again. Jack could sympathise, he certainly dreamed about Rose – and the Doctor – enough to be able to relate.

He was watching whatever Rose left in the DVD reader the evening before and it was beginning to look quite good. Even though everybody looked to be in love with someone (sometimes recently passed away), it was still good.

She came, silently, and said something, but at first he registered only the fact that his hair stood on its ends as her breath bathed his skin. Then his mind processed the words and he was able to reply, at least partially reasonably. Then he was finally able to turn to her and look at her – from quite a short distance – and he calmly invited her to join in, under the pretense of getting to understand the love threads. As he watched her expression soften – from a small smile of I-am-making-fun-of-you to a delicate, new smile of… of something else – he noticed her breath catching, and he froze. He shouldn’t have, as she took the opportunity – and his head – into her own hands – and he was lost in the world of Rose, of minty chocolate she filched from the cupboard, of honey she laced her tea with and of something fascinating which made him finally shake the astonishment and kiss her back as he had wanted to for quite some time already. When she broke the contact – poor humans and their breathing requirements – he didn’t dare to open his eyes and look at her.

He opened his eyes and looked at Rowan Atkinson being a difficult plane passenger and letting the kid get through the gates. Then he noticed Jack, casually slouching next to him on the sofa.

“Jack?”

“Yeah?”

“Is there another can of Coke? I think I need something cold.”

“Sure. But perhaps you should take some ice.”

“Why?”

“You look as if you have bitten yourself. You’re bleeding.”

Written by Srebrna

2013/07/31 at 09:39