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Srebrna, Skald Arkadii (and thoughts on writing)

Posts Tagged ‘tardis

But if you can still dream – 17

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I talk of dreams

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

Rose: Meditation

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

Written by Srebrna

2014/05/22 at 00:30

Two for the price of one – 4

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He was so different.

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

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

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

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

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

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

He was asking her to run.

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

‘Which way to the observatory now?’

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

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

‘How can you kind of park?’

He rolled his eyes expressively.

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

She puffed out her cheeks and looked around.

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

He breathed deeply and pressed his palm to his forehead.

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

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

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

She smiled bravely.

***

She was so different.

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

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

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

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

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

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

He asked this question aloud, turning to Romana.

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

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

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

Romana shrugged expressively.

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

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

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

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

Yep. Sure.

Somewhere behind them a door clanged open.

They run.

He liked the way her hand felt in his.

Written by Srebrna

2014/02/12 at 03:58

Two for the price of one – 3

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

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

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

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

‘And who cut her hair?’

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

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

‘Poppycock’ he supplied in English.

Romana smiled, finally looking like her older selves.

The girl shivered.

***

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

Her hand found his hair and she smiled.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Her breathing evened out and she seemed to relax slightly.

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

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

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

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

She nodded, quite emphatically.

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

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

‘She is… No idea.’

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

‘Turn… turn face?’

Headshake, no.

‘Turn around? Turn in place?’

Eyes roll. Mimicking along his whole body.

‘I should turn around?’

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

Regeneration!

‘Oh. You wanted to know how many?’

Satisfied nod.

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

She winced visibly and he sat up.

‘What happened?’

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

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

Rose looked at her questioningly and Doctor provided a translation.

A headshake.

‘So what happened?’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

His answer didn’t make the guard any happier.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She squeezed his hand.

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

Written by Srebrna

2014/01/15 at 06:42

Two for the price of one – 2

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

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

He raked his hair with both hands.

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

The tallest spire of the central tower.

The rest was, in fact, very simple.

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

The door opened suddenly.

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He sighed again and shut his eyes for a moment.

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

She smirked and shook her head with a sudden flirtiness.

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

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

She swatted said shoulder lightly.

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

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

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

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

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

‘Crap’ Romana muttered and strode into the fray.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Written by Srebrna

2014/01/14 at 00:36

But if you can still dream – 16

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A dream itself is but a shadow.

A dream itself is but a shadow.

Hamlet II, 2

Doctor – Hallucinations

He was still analysing the damn sand.

Jack stood patiently in the door to the laboratory, trying not to make any “come on, hurry up” noises and mostly succeeding. Doctor, anyway, gave up.

“What?”

“We need to make a stop for food. You’ve been after this poor cup of sand for the last two or three days. Leave it, we’re going shopping.”

The Doctor rolled his eyes expressively.

“And don’t you do this again, or your face will freeze like this” Jack strode inside the lab and grabbed Doctor’s hand. “I’m going shopping and you’re coming with me. If nothing else, for the simple reason that you complained for two days about lack of pears after my last trip. Now, my dear lady. Get us to some nice, seaside town, preferably with human-edible food, a mall or a fruit market will be a plus. We’ll be staying at least for a day. He needs to get some air.”

Of course, nothing could be that easy. On their approach to the planet, TARDIS went out of Vortex high in the air and followed an airplane (into which they almost crashed) over a big stretch of water. Due to their close proximity they were able to observe (and prevent further problems with) a sizeable rift in space that the airplane almost flew into. The passengers turned out to be local notables, heading towards the local equivalent of United Nations.

As both transports headed towards the land, grateful thanks from the pilots’ cabin in Jack’s and Doctor’s ears, the Captain was making the shopping list and Doctor preparing to land somewhere possibly inconspicuous near the beach.

Jack’s smile and abundance of local credits bought them fresh fruit, samples of local cheeses and a sack of vegetables, which they brought into the TARDIS and dumped in the cold room. Even when they were finished with this task, Jack didn’t allow the Doctor to shut himself in the lab yet again, but bodily dragged him towards the stretch of sand which bordered impossibly, audaciously even, blue water.

The Doctor sat on a boulder, jacket over his shoulder, and surveyed their surroundings.

“Did you know that the water in the local seas has universe-wide fame as beauty products source? It has a perfect combination of salts and flora, making it a prime mud masks basis” he smiled lazily. “Local girls are known for their beauty and swimming skills – even the poorest ones can afford to dive for the ingredients.”

Jack shot him a suspicious look.

“You want to get rid of me, or what?”

“Naah, just sayin’. Don’t mind me.”

He leaned back and threw his head back, looking at the beach sidewalk border upside-down.

A flash of pink and blue between the trees, and a head of blonde hair, and…

He froze in place. She was here. She was HERE, he was not dreaming about it, she simply was here, just twenty steps away. And suddenly she was whirling around, looking at the sea and he felt the universe hiccup and she wasn’t there and then anymore, she was there and thirty minutes before, and his timesense whirled around him, making seeing her one of the most nausea-inducing experiences in his life (up there in the top three, including Jack Harkness being brought to life and his own 6th regeneration) and he was seeing her watching TARDIS land and Jack’s face as he shook him back to consciousness.

“You went and took a stupid pill? You could get sick, watching…”

“Rose was here.”

This had the power of shutting up Captain Jack pretty quickly.

“You’re kidding.”

“No, she was there, between the trees, when we were landing. She saw the TARDIS, waved at it, and disappeared. I swear I saw her.”

His companion sighed and closed his eyes in an exaggerated gesture of ‘you-must-be-joking’.

“How come you saw her now if she was there half an hour or so ago?”

Doctor blinked. He was still seeing some things that looked stuck in the wrong time. The trees which were moving in the wind and standing still at the same time. People who never came out from the trees they disappeared behind. Dog that barked without opening its mouth.

“Jack…”

“Yeah?”

“We’re getting out. There is something wrong. With me. Have to get back to the TARDIS. Now.”

The urgency in Doctor’s voice spurred Jack into movement. In seconds he was holding Doctor’s jacket in one hand and supporting his stumbling friend with the other. As soon as they stepped through the door, Doctor knelt, holding one arm over his head, as if trying to keep his skull in place.

“What is happening?”

Bloodshot eyes looked up at Jack.

“If we’re lucky, something that will pass. If we’re not, something permanent. If you’re not a praying man, Captain, some would say it’s a time to pick up this habit. Crap. My head is spinning and I see things split in time. As if my eyes worked in different times.”

He blinked, first both eyes, then each of them separately.

“Rassilion, this is not good. Actually, I see only two things in the same way. Good luck is that one of them is TARDIS.”

Jack picked him up and started slowly walking towards the medbay.

“The other one?”

Doctor hiccuped and screwed his eyes shut.

“You. But, on the other hand, you sound as if you were synced with a delay. I hear what you say, but I don’t see you saying it. At least I’m not getting cross-eyed looking at you.”

He was propped on one of the beds and Jack brought the diagnostic station to check him out. When he was trying out the fourth reader, a soft chime sounded.

“TARDIS finished the analysis I had her run before we left. She could economize on out not being here and by shutting down most of her systems, shunted most of the power to the lab computer” Doctor licked his lips. “She’s found… Ogh, yeah. Nice one” his eyes opened and he stared at Jack. “The sunscreen on the sand. It’s been… Oh, dear. It’s been causing me to hallucinate. Well, as much as a Time Lord can. Which, in our case, means seeing across time without conscious control. Raised my body temp and sent several senses into overdrive.”

Jack sat down suddenly.

“So this means you have actually seen her, or not?”

“I have. I just don’t know from when. It felt like half an hour, but…”

“You can’t really be sure, because your internal clock was messed up by this suncream contents?”

“More or less. Anyway, I need a massive dose of potassium now and some tannins. And proteins. I need to cleanse my system” he swallowed a bit nervously. “Can’t pilot in this state, you know.”

“You want some bananas or tomato juice, a cuppa and a slice of ham?”

The Doctor’s smile was somewhat sickly, but he nodded slightly and fell back on the pillow.

‘Rose was here’.

:Yes:

Written by Srebrna

2013/08/20 at 04:11

A Phone Call – 3, Girl Talk

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

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Written by Srebrna

2013/07/29 at 01:20