katherine_b: (DW - Hurt Doctor)
posted by [personal profile] katherine_b at 08:33am on 24/11/2013 under , ,
Title: Redemption Epilogue
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.
A/N: Oops, did I forget to mention this bit? *g* Oh, and NO spoilers for Day of the Doctor.


Sun warms his face and the scent of grass is strong in his nostrils. He inhales deeply, his eyes still closed, and from the smell of the world around him, he could almost believe himself to be on Gallifrey again. But Gallifrey before it was destroyed, when such mundane and yet beautiful things as red grass and silver trees still flourished.

He readies himself for bitterness and disappointment. Better that than to let himself hope that a miracle has somehow taken place, only to have to suffer that pain all over again.

Exhaling to rid his olfactory senses of the teasing memories of home, he finally opens his eyes to look out at the new world on which he has found himself.

A brilliant landscape full of colour greets his nervous gaze. Twin mountains, the snow on their peaks reflecting the brilliant orange sky, soar high above his head from the edge of the plain of red grass on which he is lying. A tree stretches its branches high above his head, the silver leaves dancing and sparkling as a light breeze passes over him. Two suns have reached the peak of their paths across the sky, casting brilliant light across everything. It is a world he knows only too well.

The Vadlott stares in disbelief.

“Gallifrey...” he breathes, swinging himself into a sitting position.

Every part of his logical mind screams that the scene in front of him is impossible, but his overwhelmed senses make it all but impossible to deny.

The only thing missing from the scene in front of him, he realises, is the great glass dome in which the Citadel should be located.

It is the sudden realisation of what this absence might mean that has the Vadlott on his feet and scrambling for his tardis key. He finally grabs it and jams it into the lock, flinging open the door and stumbling inside.

“Oswin!” he calls as soon as he has crossed the threshold. “Oswin, where are you? Oswin?”

The tardis suddenly seems horribly empty, and the wind outside enters through the doors with an eerie whistling sound, gusting around the dark walls and across the console.

“Oswin!” he roars at the full force of his lungs.

“Vadlott? I’m coming!”

There’s an edge of panic to her voice that makes him think hard, wondering if she, too, has woken somewhere unexpected. The next moment she bursts into the console room, her hair messy and her eyes wide.

“Oh! Vadlott!” She stops short at the sight of the room she has just entered. “What happened in here? It’s all different!”

“Oswin.” He crosses the floor to stop in front of her. “Never mind the tardis for now. Look at yourself.”

Her eyes travel down to her belt, which is sitting at rather a drunken angle across her hips, and her shoes, in which the laces are lying partly undone. She runs her fingers through her hair to smooth it.

“I’m a mess,” she admits.

“No,” he says gently. “Look properly. Look,” he adds daringly, averting his eyes, “at things I can’t see. Have never seen. Wouldn’t know how it – they – looked.”

Out of the corner of his eye, he sees her pull out the neckline of her dress and peer down at her chest, before her eyes widen and she looks up at him again, her hands falling to her sides.

“How am I seeing that?”

He reaches out and, for the first time, gently places his hands on her shoulders. She stares at his fingers for a moment before looking up at him again.

“How are you doing that?” she demands. “How are you touching me? I’m not real. It’s just that crystal...”

She gestures in the direction of the console, and her jaw drops noticeably as she sees the vacant spot where it once stood. The Vadlott pulls his cravat free and then loosens his shirt collar so she can see his bare throat.

“No chain,” he points out. “No medallion. It’s gone. And you, Oswin Oswald, are not being projected into this room. You ran into this room. Your footsteps on the floor weren’t an echo from my mind. They were the sound made by your feet.” He waits for her to reply, but she is clearly still stunned so he leans forward, gazing searchingly into her face, and adds, “You’re human, Oswin.”

Tears glisten in her eyes, but she blinks them away. “Don’t!” she says gruffly, tearing herself away from his hold. “Don’t tease me. It’s not nice.”

“Pinch yourself,” he suggests, nevertheless letting her go because he can understand her utter bewilderment. “You won’t get anything from me because I won’t be feeling that pain, but you will!”

Her hands are drawn together in front of her body and thus out of his sight. Then she starts and turns back to him so that he can see the tears streaming down her face.

“I felt it!” she sobs, and then runs into his embrace.

He wraps his arms around her, gazing out at what he can see of Gallifrey beyond the tardis doors as Oswin recovers from her shock. She mumbles something and he looks down at her.

“What was that?”

“I asked how it happened.” Oswin glances at the bronze-coloured tardis core before returning her eyes to his face. “Did you know she could do that? That she could make me human again?”

“The tardis didn’t do it,” he says confidently. “She was a passenger, just like we were. Because – Oswin, do you have even the faintest idea where we are?”

“Actually, I was hoping you did,” she retorts with only the slightest tremor in her voice. “Otherwise we’re in trouble.”

He walks her over to the doors and gestures outside with the arm that is not around her shoulders.

“Gallifrey,” he says simply, and watches her eyes widen as all traces of tears vanish.

“But – what? Where? How?!”

He chuckles softly. “The ‘how’ I can’t answer. But while the ‘where’ is Gallifrey, it’s not my Gallifrey. This is a different Gallifrey, in a different universe, where there were never Time Lords. This is a completely unpopulated planet, in a universe that is not ours.”

Oswin’s lips form a silent ‘Oh.’

“There’s not a Time Lord in this entire universe,” he adds thoughtfully. “Well, other than me, of course. Although,” he releases his hold on Oswin and runs to the console, digging out the controls behind the light that tells him if the Doctor is in the region and turning the receptive setting up as far as it can go so that it will stretch to the farthest reaches of the universe, “nope,” he adds when the light remains off, “not one.”

“Not even the Doctor?” asks Oswin from half-way across the room.

He casts a half-smile in her direction. “It would seem not.”

“Meaning what?” asks Oswin, eagerness in her voice. “Meaning I was never converted into a Dalek?”

“Not quite.” The Vadlott sinks his hands into the pockets of his coat and rocks back on his heels. “We were certainly transferred here – but how that happened, that’s the bit I don’t understand. Still, whatever caused it, during that process, certain things were undone. You were changed back from being a Dalek, and I was deposited on the very last place on Gallifrey that I stood before ending the war. Exact space-time co-ordinates, but it all looks very different because it’s not the same version of the planet. Even the tardis has changed. It’s gone back to the way it was after I first regenerated: a steam-punk theme, rather than the modernist look it had when you first came on board.”

Oswin frowns for a moment. “Nope, not really getting it,” she admits. “And I don’t say that very often!”

He smiles. “You’re my impossible girl, Oswin. Even more impossible now! And I’m impossible, too, remember? The Universe – our Universe – has been trying to find a way of getting rid of me ever since I was created. Clearly whatever happened back there, the meeting between the Doctors that we were being dragged into – and it must have been something impossible, like time being unwritten or rewritten – forced the Universe to spit out, for want of a better description, everything that didn’t fit in with its current state of being. Everything that didn’t make sense to it. And we are the epitome of things not making sense: this is a tardis that shouldn’t exist, I’m a man who shouldn’t be, and you’re a girl who should be a Dalek. We’re so impossible that we could probably even defy the laws of time and skip across those parallel Universes if we wanted to, even without the Time Lords there to control everything! So it got rid of us, undoing these impossible actions in the process. Us being here like this is the result of that.”

“Oh.” A smile appears on her face. “Oh!”

“This universe is all ours,” he adds, caressing the tardis controls. “Ours to discover. Ours to experience. Ours to enjoy. So, Oswin Oswald,” he grins at her across the console, “where do you want to start?”


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