My fanfiction and other random ramblings

my thoughts on how to write (or not)

Posts Tagged ‘series

But if you can still dream – 23

leave a comment »

Chapter 11: But only in their dreams…

But only in their dreams can men be truly free. ‘Twas always thus, and always thus will be.

Tom Schulman, in Dead Poets Society, expressed by the character John Keating

Jack: Sleep deprivation

All the contours were sharp, but blurry at the same time. The colours of everything on TARDIS were slightly shifted and he couldn’t stop shivering.

The stupid circles Doctor was showing him told him nothing. Obviously, they should mean various things, and the simplest set was a kind of a primer, but his brain just didn’t work that way. He tried to draw them from memory and when he compared them later, his crooked ovals didn’t even come close to what he saw printed in the fat book.

Fortunately it seemed the Doctor had also read a few Earth books and so allowed him a moment of respite when he considered the latest flight of fancy.

Then, suddenly, they were mixing the cheese, jello, sugar and lemonjuice in a big bowl and throwing in frozen strawberries. He doubted the logic of this, but followed Doctor’s directions and then witnessed him stuffing his face with the result. Even though everything was already looking like an old movie done with a bad camera, including faint trailing lines left by objects moving, as if his eyes could not notice something was gone for a few seconds after it moved. That made the Doctor’s hand a blur, moving up and down with a spoon.

The spoon itself was becoming its own shiny blur.

Spoon. Spooooooon.

He felt that he could totally have an out of body experience anytime now, no cheesecake required.

Spoooooon.

Finally his friend was done and they moved to the TV room, as it had the best sofa. Then the Doctor made a valiant attempt at not-falling-asleep-but-almost.

Jack privately thought the strawberries must have interfered with the process, but his brain was still stuck in a slo-mo mode, so before he managed to voice his opinion, the Doctor managed to take a shot at meditating, gymnastics, breathing exercises, some other sit-and-murmur-quietly thing and finally simulating a dervish.

Nevertheless he still looked very awake.

As Jack watched him pant on the sofa, he tried putting his strawberries-related conclusions in words, but before he got to opening his mouth, the screen came alive and the Doctor went off.

‘Ah. That may be it. Thank you, lady.’

‘-No problem, Captain-‘

A girl, in her teens or so, was sitting on the sofa armrest.

Jack was actually surprised at the lack of surprise he felt.

‘And you are?’

She blinked and smiled, a bit too wide for a standard human being.

‘-I’m me-‘ she weaved her hand around. ‘-I’m here-‘

Jack blinked and shook his head slightly. She wasn’t blurring. She was actually the only thing in tha room that had proper colours and shape.

‘You don’t look like a spaceship.’

‘-You don’t look like a crook-‘

‘Point taken. But I’m reformed, you know.’

‘-I’m not-‘

She smirked.

‘-Now, he’s out, I hope the little hypnotisation trick worked correctly. If it did, she should be showing up antime. You will have to pay attention and take her to the medbay immediately. I don’t have the right sensors in this room, and I really need to diagnose what is going on with her. Leave him here, he will wake up in his own time, but get to the medbay before he does-‘

He nodded, a bit sideways.

‘-Make sure you don’t miss her-‘

‘Yeah.’

‘-And, Captain… Take a break after this. You need to sleep. You’re still able to damage yourself if you continue like this, even if you’re im-im-im-imm… Heck. If you’re stuck-‘ she finished unhappily. ‘-your brain can only take that much-‘

He sat there after she disappeared, considering the complicated situation of travelling in a spaceship with a speech impediment. He tried to keep himself upright, rigidly so, to make sure his required sleep didn’t come anytime too soon. Suddenly the warm weight next to him shifted and leaned towards him, her head on his shoulder, blonde hair tickling his nose.

Automatically he put his arm around her and pulled her closer, but her limp body simply slumped across his lap.

Then the jolt of adrenaline woke him up.

He was barelling down the corridor towards the medbay in no time at all. As he straightened her out on the cot, the instruments started coming to life and he saw with a relief the first of the diagnostic lights shining already on Rose.

He started opening the cupboards, looking for something to remove the residue of the tape from her skin and for any medicine he could possibly identify. Suddenly she made a small noise and immediately he was leaning over her, barely stopping himself from toppling over, as he looked at her eyes flutter open.

“Jack?” she whispered in a hoarse voice.

“Rosie” he sighed. “Oh, love, you have us such a scare…!”

“I don’t feel so well” she complained, a shiver going through her.

Another.

Then another.

Then her body spasmed on the little cot and suddenly she was gone.

He could only sit there and cry.

Advertisements

Written by Srebrna

2016/05/26 at 02:32

But if you can still dream – 22

leave a comment »

Chapter 11: But only in their dreams…

But only in their dreams can men be truly free. ‘Twas always thus, and always thus will be.

Tom Schulman, in Dead Poets Society, expressed by the character John Keating

Doctor: Out of body experience

“You will have to teach me.”

They both looked rather worn out.

Even Jack’s innuendo was next to zero, as they pored over the maps, time graphs and descriptions Doctor managed to write down, and Doctor was becoming slightly worried about him. He could cope with next to no sleep for prolonged stretches of time, but Jack – immortal or no – had to sleep in a regular fashion. They already had to experience what happened if Jack was restarted sick and he really didn’t wish to replay that one.

“We can try, but I wouldn’t hold my breath” Doctor grimaced, walking around the table. “Or, I would, but you should not. Gallifreyan writing is somewhat…” he chewed his next word. “Complicated.”

“We eat complicated for breakfast, remember?”

“Not that kind of complicated. It really… What it really does is interfacing with the time sensors in your brain and so transferring the meaning through them. Human beings may learn to catch the general idea, if they start early enough.”

“I have a lot of time to catch up” Jack shrugged. “And every Time Agent had to be a quick learner. Who doesn’t learn, doesn’t get to live long.”

Two days later they were still on tha basic circle combination and Doctor was annoyed.

Nothing was working. Jack could not hold the picture of the circles in his mind long enough for the interpretation to come through.

“…and I’m an idiot, too!”

Jack yawned and turned towards his friend slowly.

“Are you implying that there is” yawn “some other idiot already here?”

Doctor shot him an angry glare.

“You can’t learn Gallifreyan. You just… Can’t. Never, ever.”

“Very nice” yawn “Why?”

“Because of the number that Rose did on you. You have no time sensors active. Or rather, you have – but they are permanently frozen and tracking only one type of information – the one that tells you whether you’re in the right time or not. They can’t be trained to do anything else. This is the other side of why TARDIS and, to a certain degree, me are both slightly allergic to you. You’re like that one thing stuck and unmovable. Even when she’s flying both of us through time and space, she feels you like a tiny speck of a pebble in her mental shoe.”

Jack blinked slowly and slumped over the tabletop, his nose touching the leather binding of a fat book, his eyes drifting slowly closed.

Suddenly, a sharp shout jerked him erect. “I know!” the Doctor shouted and whipped the screwdriver out, flicking it in the air. “I will need to find a few ingredients, but that should work!”

Jack shook his head and followed his host towards the kitchen.

“What the blazes are you blathering about?”

“There is that book” he scrunched his nose in concentration “About a doctor – don’t laugh – who is trying to understand the NDEs. I could tell him something about these, but my NDEs are mostly related to being in pain and turning myself inside out, sometimes in flames, so I suppose that would not fit his model. Anyway, what he does is he uses a drug to put people in a kind of trance and tracks their brain activity and chemistry to find out what NDEs actually are. One of the points they make there is that many people who claim to have had an NDE also had an out of body experience. That gives me an idea” he pulled a drawer open and started rummaging through it.

“You want to fix the same kind of drug?”

“No, that would be silly. It was a made-up drug, and anyway it wouldn’t work. I tried. But I can get myself auto-hypnotised to get an out of body experience. Then I’d be asleep and awake at the same time. If I wait long enough, she has to be asleep again at some point, and then we’ll be in sync but I will also have control over what I’m doing, right?”

Jack shuddered slightly and nodded.

“If you say so. So, what do you need?”

“A cup of sugar, some gelatine, four pounds of good cottage cheese and three big bags of frozen strawberries. And lemons.”

When the rest of the cheesecake was safely stored in the fridge, Doctor arranged himself on the couch.

“I can probably start with the counting, and as full of sugar I am, I should be out in minutes.”

“Sure that is the right way?”

He shrugged.

“It worked the last time.”

Not that time, however.

They went through controlled breathing exercise, meditation, standing on his head, hiperventilation, counting, spinning and other equally weird and equally useless attempts. As they sprawled on the sofa again, the TV screen flickered on and the Doctor blinked. Two small, connected gears spinned there for a moment and he shrugged, turning around and through the sofa armrest, suddenly floating away from the place he was sitting and watching the screen with glazed eyes. Jack leaned forward and poked him slightly.

“Whatever you did, it worked” he said towards the ceiling and started setting up the elaborate alarm system they rigged to time the Doctor’s stay in the non-awake state.

He could not really focus on what was happening in the TV room and slowly drifted through the door, out into the corridor and up one flight of stairs, finding himself in front of her bedroom door. He tested it with his finger, but it went through, so he followed it and passed the solid metal, entering the dimly-lit interior of a dusty, slightly messy and rather… pink room.

“ah” he exhaled “so you kept it?”

“-why shouldn’t I?-“

“well, sometimes we have to jettison this or that… I remember you getting rid of a significant part of the mass once, including the original medbay”

“-we didn’t jettison anything recently, so it’s here-“

“but we did and you got rid of…”

“-Jack’s porn collection, yes-“

“he was rather miffed about that”

“-he doesn’t need it anyway-“

He blinked and turned around.

“how come you’re speaking to me so directly?”

“-you’re much more open now-“

“but…”

“-he needs your help-“

He twirled in place and floated back towards the TV room, but the sight of Jack coming down the corridor stopped him. The prone body in the Captain’s arms explained the hurry and the big man was having obvious trouble keeping his steps straight, bumping his shoulders on the walls rather painfully.

“I hope he wakes up as soon as possible” Jack murmured, trying to keep her steady. “I have no idea what might be wrong with you, Rosie, but I promise, we’ll make it better. Just stay with me, ok? Stay with me.”

Rose was getting paler with every second, but she was till breathing and warm, so whatever was wrong with her was not – not yet – fatal.

He shouldered the medbay door open and deposited her on the cot.

He floated over to her unresponsive body and surveyed it, biting his lip.

She looked so frail. Her forearms were dotted with injection spots, some sticky tape still left on her skin, probably something they used to secure the IV.

“She’s not waking up, why is she not waking up…” he mumbled, looking through the cupboards “Why am I so thick? I can’t read this stuff… He should have bloody labelled it in English!”

She stirred on the bed. In a flash they were both by her side and the lights in the room flared a bit more to the warm yellow. Then he felt suddenly as if he was falling backwards, and backwards, and through the walls, and then directly down the staircase, missing all the stairs and railings he was trying to grasp and then he jerked awake, gasping for air, and up on his feet that very second.

And he heard Jack’s disappointed cry from the medbay.

Written by Srebrna

2016/05/26 at 02:31

But if you can still dream – 21

leave a comment »

Chapter 11: But only in their dreams…

But only in their dreams can men be truly free. ‘Twas always thus, and always thus will be.
Tom Schulman, in Dead Poets Society, expressed by the character John Keating

Rose: Coma

The sitting room was eerily quiet, only sounds the murmur of cars filtering through the window somewhere in the house and a humming of some household appliance. Rose’s things were still lying around, her tea mug just as she left it on the side table, her purple jacket across a chair. Jackie sat on the sofa, looking through the thick folder of medical documentation without actually reading anything.
“I wish I was a bit smarter” she finally said, breaking the silence.
Theresa’s vacuuming in the next room stopped for a moment and her face appeared in the door.
“You wanted anything, maam?”
Jackie’s smile felt as if it was cracking her skin.
“No, just talking to myself. Sorry, Theresa. Just finish the vacuuming and you can take the rest day off. I’ll order dinner in.”
The housekeeper shook her head and sighed. The house was much too empty without Miss Rose.

Pete read the short report Martha Jones had delivered with a bit more understanding than his wife. Still not much could actually be decided based on “drug coma, no sign of brain damage, significant strain on heart muscle, ventilator required” and the list of drugs required to keep Rose under as her body kept fighting the simple medicines used on normal humans.
“Do you expect any chance of improvement, doctor Jones?”
The young medic sighed, pushing the stray hair back behind her ear.
“I have no idea. With a standard human I’d say douse her with a bunch of appropriate medicines and wake up slowly. Rose however keeps waking up quickly whenever we put even a little less of the sleeping drugs in the drip. Her heart will finally give in at some point, as every time we tried to wake her up it speeds up again to 160 bpm. I’m afraid to keep her under for much longer, but I don’t see any other option. The heart medicines we’ve tried to apply to slow down her heartbeat don’t seem to have any actual effect.”
Pete worried his thumb with his teeth.
“What about some of the alien tech we’ve collected? Any… I don’t know. Criogenics? I’m almost sure we’ve had a stasis pod somewhere around.”
“Now cleared the animal testing stage, I’m afraid. We haven’t managed to wake up anything alive yet.”
“Ouch” he pursed his lips. “So we are out of options.”

They sat on the sofa in front of a black TV screen, her head on his shoulder.
“I visited Rose today” she whispered. “I read to her, they say it’s good to talk to coma patients.”
He felt a half-smirk pulling at his lips.
“What did you read?”
She huffed quietly.
“A few gossip pages, but then I thought she may be getting worse from these, so I went home and brought some of her physics books. I’m not sure I had all the pronunciation right, but at least…” she sniffed. “And then I bought a CD with someone reading Sherlock Holmes stories. Very nice voice, you know, like from the TV. I left the player there for her, the nurse promised she’ll turn it on during the night.”

A cultured, quiet voice was reciting something vaguely familiar as she struggled for air.
Everything was soft and nice, apart from whatever was covering her mouth. She didn’t have enough strength to raise her hand, so she let it be, small tears trickling down her cheek, into her hair.
This was no dream, she was quite sure. This had to be reality, plain and simple.
She was very, very sick.
On this particular evening, Lestrade had spoken of the weather and
the newspapers. Then he had fallen silent, puffing thoughtfully at his
cigar. Holmes looked keenly at him.
“Anything remarkable on hand?” he asked.
“I don’t think so, Doctor” Jack sighed, and a sound of papers being shuffled reached her ears.
She was quite sure the story didn’t have Jack or the Doctor in it. Quite.
“I’m having a vague feeling that we are missing something” Doctor’s fingers raked his hair. “Did she say anything? Anything at all? Your name, at least?”
Jack groaned.
“For once in my life I wish I was dressed. Maybe she wouldn’t have screamed so.”
“Don’t flatter yourself.”
“How do you think she’s doing it? We can safely say it’s only happening when you’re asleep – any ideas why?”
Her heart was beating so slowly, but still she could hear the pulsing blood in her ears as she struggled to get through to them, to tell them she was right here, she heard…
TARDIS made a distressed sound and both men looked up at the console.
“She’s showing something” Doctor’s voice quivered with excitement. “It’s a…” he looked around “a ghost of a vital signal? Does this make any sense?”
Jack jumped to his side and wrangled some display from benath the main console, trailing a bunch of colorful cables behind it.
“Seems it is a radiation of some sort… Whaddyacallit, void stuff?”
Doctor rolled his eyes and turned a few knobs.
Her heart picked up the pace as she watched her two favourite boys work in such an accord.
“Rose!” Jack finally exclaimed. “That’s the same radiation that was on that blanket! Something is coming through!”
“TARDIS is actually… Enhancing it? Why can’t you just…”
:You’re awake:
She felt herself falling back, back into the soft covers, the shock of being back in her own body forcing her to open her eyes. She was still hearing Jack and the Doctor panicking at the console, but around her activity exploded as multitude of medical staff ran to and fro, trying to replace the suddenly vanished drip-bag.

“We had to give her something experimental.”
Martha Jones looked like the most tired doctor in the entire England.
“Nothing standard works for long. Her body is actively fighting the drugs and neutralizing them. Actually, now most of them are getting directly expelled – she’s sweating them out. At least her heart did not reach the same BPM count as the last time she woke up, but it’s still alarming.”
Pete looked down at the piece of paper with some words scribbled on it in a hurry.
“And this is what she managed to say?”
Martha Jones grimaced unhappily.
“I’m afraid it’s not much. I’d wish for something sensible, but…”
“No, no. This is perfectly sensible” Pete Tyler shook his head. “You just have to know how to read it.”

“She thinks she’s actually crossing over to the TARDIS.”
Jackie grimaced and picked up the scrap of prescription used to write down Rose’s first words after coming out of the coma.
Doctor and captain looking for way. Have to sleep a lot a lot. Void stuff detect. TARDIS will pull me.
She looked at her husband, propped against the door frame, his hands in his pockets.
“She wants to go back” she whispered hopelessly. “My baby girl wants to go back and I have no idea how to help her.”
“Who is ‘captain’?”
“Oh, him. He’s supposed to be dead, Rose told me about him. Some kind of galactic con-man who accompanied her and the Doctor for a while. He should be dead, but is she thinks he’s with the Doctor, then he is. She said he was a time traveller, but more of a tradesman kind than a hero one, if you get my meaning.”
“So… An immortal time lord and probably-dead time-travelling scam artist are searching for some way to get her back to your old universe, she’s supposed to sleep a lot even though she keeps waking up, they will detect that void thing we’re all covered with and the police box ship is helping them to get her through?”
Jackie sniffed and nodded, wiping her nose with a hankie.
“I suppose so.”
“Then let’s hope they know what they are doing, because I’m afraid we’re out of options.”

Written by Srebrna

2014/06/10 at 02:53

But if you can still dream – 20

leave a comment »

To die, to sleep;

To die, to sleep;
To sleep! Perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause.
Hamlet III, 1

Doctor: Sleeping positions

His bed was messed up to an unusual degree.
Once he accepted the fact that there is, indeed, another live being on his ship when he is sleeping, the easiness of sleep itself came quite quickly. Of course he could go for weeks on weeks without more than a nap now and then. He still could. But he preferred not to, considering what could happen if he drove himself to sleep deprivation. Like his humans for all these years, who liked to sleep in, some even joking that a time-travelling ship lets them sleep millenia in one stretch, he now took his time and relaxed. A deep, proper, full-sized sleep would also come, at some point. This way he could make sure his next regeneration wouldn’t wreck his whole body and mess with his mind. No more of this – if, and it was a big IF, if he had to regenerate again, Jack will be there to oversee it, get him to medbay ASAP and check his vitals. Also, TARDIS will be able to direct Jack to whatever nutritients they would be needing, because after last time with tea (and previous – damn hard to find bananas, when one is floating in freezing water in an evening coat and too-tight suit pants!) he wanted to make sure he’d get exactly what he would need and without delay.
He lied there, looking at the ceiling, trying to understand what was different. He never planned this kind of things before. They just… happened. Companions coped. He managed. OK, not every regeneration was particularily brilliant point in his life – especially the sixth him was nothing to write home about – but he got through, survived and went on.
Now, he was planning and it was, in fact, scaring him a bit. The very fact that he sat down and explained to Jack the mechanics of regeneration, the first signs, the possible causes, risky situations, outcomes, needed materials, protocols and definite no-no’s (“Don’t give me aspirin, ever, even if I beg for it, or someone thinks it may help my heart”, “Never get me to a hospital. EVER. EVEN if you think I finally died – medbay is good enough, but if it really gets weird, or my hearts don’t start, run Protocol 3, it is coded to your voice pattern. TARDIS will lock everything and get us, top-speed, to dr Grace Holloway, San Francisco. It has to be after 1999, and she will know what to do…”, “No glucose IVs or any other nutrients intravenously – they may go the wrong way”).
He was feeling a bit queasy about giving Jack so much information about himself, but every time he thought about keeping something to himself, a small tiny thought popped up in his brain, reminding him that this, like thousand of other things, may be the detail that saves his life or sanity the next time.
Bed was messed up.
Not by him. He slept on his side, on one side of the 7 feet wide and long bed. The other side of the bed was messed and it radiated… body heat? Residue of a living being sleeping there, with him?
“Jack! What the hell!?”
He was suddenly very, very much awake. And very angry.
And then there was a scream.
A girl was screaming, scared out of her mind, but it was like a music for his ears. Even when the scream suddenly stopped and he heard kitchen implements falling with clatter, his crazy smile was widening.
“Jack!” he burst into the kitchen, where the Captain was trying, in vain, to hide his best parts with a pot and a cooking apron and looking madly at the exact spot that the Doctor was now standing on.
“D..dd….dddd…”
“At first, I thought you brought some company on board and they mistook the rooms” Doctor said in a conversational tone, leaning on the door frame. “But now I think you were quite alone today, and it was actually only me that slept… not alone.”
“Wh…? What?”
“Did you, or did you not, in fact, just got caught parading butt-naked around the kitchen and scared Rose Tyler into the next universe?”
“Doctor!”
“But that’s great!” he smiled maniacally. “That means she actually was here! I mean, look at you – well, maybe not, but still – she saw you. Did you see her? I most certainly heard her, oh yes. And TARDIS felt her existence appear and then shut down again.”
“I saw her” Jack gave up the efforts to cover himself and settled on just not showing the most important bits. Somehow getting caught naked in the kitchen twice didn’t seem as much fun as getting caught naked in his bedroom, by some appropriate person. “She was here, she looked at me, and screamed. May I tell you what it does to my self-esteem, to have girls scream with fear when they see me? May I?”
“You may not. But you may tell me what she looked like” the Doctor scrunched his nose and sat at the table. “Also, you may turn off the gas under that pan, before the eggs burn.”
After a few minutes (and one short trip to Jack’s wardrobe) they were sitting on their usual places and Jack was inhaling his scrambled eggs, trying not to choke when he related the very short story of his encounter with their most beloved friend.
“She walked in. Not appeared here, walked. When I rerun what I heard just before she showed up, I know I noticed steps in the corridor, but thought it was just something in the kitchen. Then she stood by the door, probably slightly stunned by all the beauty…”
“Captain.”
“Very well. I turned ’round, feeling eyes on my ass – a bit intrusive. She stared at me for at most two seconds and then screamed. She bent forward, still crying something, and flickered out.”
“Flickered… out?”
“Like a damn Princess Leia on a bad recording.”
“But when she was here, she was material? I mean, not see-through, or flickering?”
“No, solid, totally. And then she blinked out and in once and disappeared.”
Doctor pouted slightly, pondering the new data.
“I think… I… Well. Hm.”
“Very informative, thank you.”
Doctor snatched last half-burnt toast.
“I think I need something to eat. Also, I think – I am very hopeful! – that we can, in fact, pull her through.”

The next ship-evening he laid there, on “his” side of the bed, curled around “her” pillow. Still somewhat smelling of her.
Next morning didn’t bring anything new, but for a few blonde hair, which he collected gleefully and took to the TARDIS lab for identification.
Blonde hair turned out to be emitting – still active – void particles. Their roots, however, gave something even more interesting – the DNA of, well, human origins, but very much mutated. And the mutations were such that the Doctor stared at the readout for several good seconds before comprehending them. Including the fact that the tiny wisp of energy still stuck to these cells was pulsating with the familiar golden glow.

Written by Srebrna

2014/06/05 at 02:50

Two for the price of one – 4

leave a comment »

He was so different.

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

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

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

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

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

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

He was asking her to run.

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

‘Which way to the observatory now?’

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

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

‘How can you kind of park?’

He rolled his eyes expressively.

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

She puffed out her cheeks and looked around.

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

He breathed deeply and pressed his palm to his forehead.

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

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

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

She smiled bravely.

***

She was so different.

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

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

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

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

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

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

He asked this question aloud, turning to Romana.

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

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

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

Romana shrugged expressively.

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

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

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

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

Yep. Sure.

Somewhere behind them a door clanged open.

They run.

He liked the way her hand felt in his.

Written by Srebrna

2014/02/12 at 03:58

Two for the price of one – 3

leave a comment »

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

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

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

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

‘And who cut her hair?’

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

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

‘Poppycock’ he supplied in English.

Romana smiled, finally looking like her older selves.

The girl shivered.

***

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

Her hand found his hair and she smiled.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Her breathing evened out and she seemed to relax slightly.

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

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

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

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

She nodded, quite emphatically.

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

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

‘She is… No idea.’

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

‘Turn… turn face?’

Headshake, no.

‘Turn around? Turn in place?’

Eyes roll. Mimicking along his whole body.

‘I should turn around?’

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

Regeneration!

‘Oh. You wanted to know how many?’

Satisfied nod.

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

She winced visibly and he sat up.

‘What happened?’

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

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

Rose looked at her questioningly and Doctor provided a translation.

A headshake.

‘So what happened?’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

His answer didn’t make the guard any happier.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She squeezed his hand.

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

Written by Srebrna

2014/01/15 at 06:42

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