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22 December 2007 @ 07:11 pm
Old Prompt - 11.18.07, #1  

It didn't happen often, but sometimes it returned to him, full force. The crashing, swirling, immensity of time, bearing down on his shoulders. And it wasn't necessarily the things he would assume would set him off.

It wasn't the sound of the Master's laughter, as he gazed through the window of the Portreeve's home on Castrovalva.

It wasn't the sound the Cybermen's feet made on the cavern floor, far below the surface of the Earth.

Somehow, it wasn't even ringing in his ears, in the silence when he opened the doors to the Zero Room and realized it had gone.

The thing that did it, really, was when Peri clambered on board, and started searching for something to wear other than her swimming costume and that ridiculous shirt. The Doctor was glad of it, really. It wasn't that he found it distracting, but ... something about it seemed entirely unladylike, and he'd been used to Nyssa and Tegan wandering around in long sleeves and high collars... and in waltzed Peri in her near nothing. It was more the simple fact of change than anything else. So he'd pointed her in the direction of the wardrobe, hoping she'd find something a little more suitable.

"How about this, Doctor?" She walked out, holding up a white, summery sort of dress, and suddenly his mind rocketed to long ago.

It wasn't even the same exact dress, but Romana wore it well, relaxing under the shade of one of the trees on the Academy grounds, an oversized but thin book resting in her lap. Ushas was perched up high in the branches above her, her own book forgotten and draped over a branch in lieu of a bookmark, as she took sweets from her pocket and picked them open with her fingernails. As for Koschei, he'd managed to find and nick the very book that the Doctor himself needed, and was making a quietly big to-do out of it, taking his sweet time.

"Come on, Kosch, give it back."

He chuckled, pulling it just out of reach. "Make me, Lakare."


"Oh, what, you think I'm getting involved?"

"Really, don't look at me, either," Ushas drawled, from her perch. "Boys. You realize that you're just going to squabble your way through exams?"

"Well, he started it," the Doctor objected, jabbing Koschei in the shoulder. "He stole my book!"

"Not the first time he's stolen something of yours," Ushas quipped, and Romana giggled. Both boys were unified in their positions long enough to glare at them - and then Koschei reached up and poked the Doctor back.

"Stop that." Poke.

"No, my dear Doctor, I don't believe I will." Poke.

"Doctor, is it, now?" Romana looked up from her book. "I thought it was going to be Theta."

"Theta's stupid," Ushas drawled. "Time Lords have to sound classy. After all, we've seen something no other race is priveledged enough to see. All of space and time..."

The Doctor fidgeted. There she went again, off on her ranting. It always made him uncomfortable, somehow, and he could see Koschei fidgeting, too, one hand reaching down to start ripping handfuls of grass from the earth and shredding it in his fingers.

"You'll stain your fingers," he pointed out, quietly.

"Maybe I'll wear gloves," the younger Time Lord snapped, eyes still fixed on Ushas as she ranted, punctuating one particular point with a flail of her arm. The sweet she'd been unwrapping flew from her fingers and landed in Romana's lap with a plop, syrup staining the knee of her dress.

"Doctor? ..... I would think that's a no, then," Peri snapped, frowning.

"Hm? Oh. Oh, so sorry, Peri, I was ... worlds away. That's ... it's lovely, yes, but ... hardly practical, don't you think?" The Doctor willed up a strained smile.

"Good point. I don't want to have to climb around rocks and run away from things in something like this. Though, I don't suppose that'll happen again, will it, Doctor? The Master, he's ... he's gone, isn't he?"

To tell the truth, he hadn't really looked. It had served Koschei right, the ordeal with the numismaton gas - after all, sometimes he still had nightmares of falling - but at the same time, sometimes time crept in and layered itself over everything, and he saw it all, all at once.

"No, Peri," he said at last, quietly shrugging off his coat and hanging it on the iron rack behind the control console. "There are far, far, far too many things in all of space and time that will never happen again."

And with that, he walked over to the Tardis door and lay a hand upon it, almost able to feel all of space and time whirling around them, full of chaos and order - and as long as time surrounded him, he knew that somehow, Gallifrey would never be as far away as he wished.
Current Location: The Tardis
Current Mood: melancholymelancholy
Current Music: David Bowie :: Time