katherine_b: (DW - Hurt Doctor)
posted by [personal profile] katherine_b at 06:57am on 20/11/2013 under , ,
Title: Redemption 48/50
Author: [livejournal.com profile] katherine_b
Rating: PG
Summary: When you have lost everything, what do you do to get it back?
Characters: The non-Doctor first glimpsed at the end of Name of the Doctor and a lot of old friends.

Part XLVIII

“That’s what wrong with you, isn’t it?” remarks the Vadlott as he hunts through his pockets and gently curses them for being bigger on the inside. “That was why you were acting all protective of me when we landed on the Ice Warriors’ ship. It’s because you, Oswin Oswald, are bored!”

“No!” she protests at once, perhaps afraid of hurting his feelings, before adding, “Well, maybe a little bit.”

“I don’t really blame you. Aha, here it is! After all, wonderful though the tardis is, she is just one ship. Not a lot of variety.”

“What are you doing?” asks Oswin curiously. “What was the ‘Aha, here it is’ all about?”

“Fools and bairns,” he quotes, beginning to assemble a frame on the console, and Oswin blows a raspberry at him, making him chuckle.

“It’s something for you,” he tells her. “Just wait and see.”

She mutters something that he suspects is dismissive, but he ignores her and focuses on getting the stand to sit firmly, since he knows how rough the ride can sometimes be in the tardis and he does not want to keep rebuilding it if it breaks.

“What’s it for?” asks Oswin as he steps back to admire his construction.

“It’s so sweet and trusting how you think I’m going to tell you before I’m ready,” he mocks, pulling a chain out of his pocket and using his sonic to weld on an oval-shaped disc. Then he produces the key to this whole mystery – a luminous blue crystal, which he gently places on the console.

“You know what to do, old girl,” he tells his ship.

“The tardis might,” grumbles Oswin. “But I still have no idea what’s going on.”

“Good! I like surprises!”

The Vadlott looks down at the crystal, seeing that the tardis has split it in two. One has been roughly shaped so that it will fit into the frame he has set into the console and the other is being carved into an oval. Once the process is complete, the Vadlott slots the carved crystal into the chain and hangs it around his neck, dropping it beneath his shirt-front. The other part he places in the stand before flicking a switch on the console and raising his eyes to the far side of the console.

Light dances in place for a moment before it solidifies into the shape that the Vadlott, from his sightings of Clara, was expecting. A young, slim, brown-haired girl in a red dress stares at him for a moment, her eyes wide in astonishment, before she redirects her gaze to herself.

“But – how?!” she demands, staring at her hands, turning them back and front. “How can I be here?”

“You aren’t,” he admits. “You’re still in that little room. But this,” he lightly touches the stand with the glowing blue contents, “is a crystal from Metebelis III. It enhances psychic abilities, in this case my own. I used the tardis to link into your mind, and she is using the two crystals to feed you with the things I am sensing. However, the power of the link means you will feel as if it’s you doing all the work yourself.”

“Oh!” Oswin’s eyes are glowing as she looks at him. “Oh, Vadlott, that’s wonderful!”

Then, before he can warn her, she runs towards him, clearly intent on giving him a hug. He looks down just in time to see her pass through him and turns to see her coming out the other side, a startled look on her face, which turns to one of sheepishness when he laughs.

“I told you,” he reminds her, trying to wipe the smile off his face, “you aren’t really here. It just feels like it.”

“It really does,” agrees Oswin, stamping her foot on the tardis floor, and although the Vadlott can hear nothing, he knows that she is drawing on his sensation of the firm surface beneath his feet for her to know what it would be like. “Wow!”

“All right then!” The Vadlott materialises the blue box. “Now let’s see how well it works outside.”

“Really?” Oswin is already running for the door, but the Vadlott stops her.

“I’m afraid you’re going to have to let me go first,” he says, “because until I can build up any sort of sensory picture for the tardis to transfer to you, it’s just going to be a gaping black hole out there as far as you’re concerned.”

“Oh. Right.” Oswin stops, turning back to face him, her impatience obvious. “Well, come on,” she says barely an instant later.

Unable to help teasing her, the Vadlott takes his time checking the dials and switches of the tardis, making sure that everything is as it should be. He also does this almost agonisingly slowly, glancing at Oswin out of the corner of his eye to see her shifting from one foot to the other.

“Please!” she begs almost desperately.

Giving up his teasing, he crosses the floor, seizing the door handles and pulling them wide, open instantly taking in the brilliant colours, sounds and smells of the market outside. Oswin, when he glances at her, is taking it all in, her eyes wide. The Vadlott steps over the tardis threshold, pulling the doors closed behind him – and relieved when it seems as if Oswin materialises next to him.

“Excellent!” he declares in satisfied tones. “It works perfectly!”

A woman looking over goods at a nearby stall glances in his direction and then peers around, clearly trying to work out the individual to whom he has addressed his remarks. This time it is Oswin who laughs as the Vadlott gives the lady his most beguiling smile.

“She probably thinks you’re crazy, talking to people who aren’t there,” Oswin suggests.

“She might not be all that wrong,” he murmurs, beginning to stroll through the markets with his companion by his side.

* * *

“Well, now what do you have planned?” asks the Vadlott as Oswin comes to a stop in front of the couch where he is reading a book and enjoying some of the excellent tea he purchased at the market.

He glances at his companion. From the tone of her voice, he can tell that his solution has solved the problem of her ennui. Still, it is clear that she has concocted some idea now and is only waiting for his approval to put it into practice.

“This link of yours will work anywhere in the tardis, right?” she asks.

“It should do,” he agrees. “And if I haven’t seen something, the tardis ought to be able to fill in the gaps for you. Why?” He arches an eyebrow. “Do you want to explore?”

“Yes, please!” Oswin rocks back and forth eagerly. “I could – oh, I don’t know – inventorize the rooms for you and make sure there aren’t any you don’t know about.”

He chuckles at this. “In that case, I wish you all the luck in the universe with your task, Miss Oswald,” he replies, “because, with the way the tardis keeps moving them around and changing them, you might never finish.”

“Oh, I’ll finish,” she promises, as much, he suspects, to herself as to him.

“Well, I’ll certainly let you know if you make any mistakes...”

“I never make mistakes!”

“...and if you happen to find any living beings anywhere, I’d quite like to know,” he finishes, ignoring her interruption.

“You will!” she promises, heading out of the room.

He smiles as he watches her go before turning back to his book and taking another sip of his tea.

* * *

“Vadlott?”

The man standing at the far side of the console looks up at Oswin, who is peering at someone on the screen.

“What have you found?”

“Something on Earth.” She frowns. “An illness of some kind. It turns people red.”

The Vadlott only just keeps himself from snorting in disgust, but he forces himself to remember that, clever though she is, Oswin does not have all his knowledge. Given her (albeit understandable) limitations about Earth, it is difficult for Oswin to differentiate between major disasters and minor ones. And then her sympathies with her look-alike, Clara, mean she is more likely to pick up on anything happening on Earth that she might want to Vadlott to investigate. Hence her frequent attempts to draw his attention to them.

“But, the Doctor...” she begins, but he cuts across her.

“If the Doctor’s involved then we certainly aren’t going to be,” he insists, crossing the floor to stop in front of her and remembering only at the last second not to place his hands on her seemingly solid shoulders. “Oswin,” he says gently, “I am not going to run after every bout of scarlet fever that shows itself on Earth or we’ll never go anywhere else. We’ve spent a lot of time there recently and there are so many other places I want to show you. So let’s see what else we can find.”

He clears the search on the screen and begins hunting for a different destination.

“I saw something about flying giraffes in the Isop galaxy,” she suggests hesitantly.

That,” he says firmly, as he enters the co-ordinates “sounds like much more fun!”

Next Part

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